Above the Law: Violations of Women’s Reproductive Rights in Northern Sri Lanka

Image courtesy The Social Architects

This report, TSA’s fourth, outlines the findings of the organization’s September 2013 field mission on coercive contraception clinics in Kilinochchi District. In early September of this year, activists in Kilinochchi discovered that public health workers had administered the sub-dermal contraceptive implant, Jadelle, to women from Veravil, Keranchi, and Valaipaddu during a nutrition clinic. After publishing accounts from these women, TSA traveled to Kilinochchi for an in-depth follow up investigation.

This report confirms that public health workers used coercive tactics to convince women to accept Jadelle. This egregious disregard for medical ethics and protocol constitutes serious violations of a woman’s rights to informed consent, reproductive autonomy, and health.

TSA visited the Veravil, Keranchi, Valaipaddu, Umaiyalpuram, and Malaiyalapuram villages, where Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have begun to rebuild their post-war lives. TSA interviewed twenty-five women ranging in age from fifteen to forty-three, members of the Ministry of Health (MoH), Kilinochchi, field level health workers, and community leaders. TSA worked on a very tight deadline and was under constant military surveillance throughout the course of this research.

The report includes eight conclusions:

  1. Women in these villages lack adequate access to primary care.
  2. Women lack adequate access to quality contraceptive services.
  3. Public health workers asked women to come to a government sponsored nutrition clinic under false pretenses.
  4. Government health workers coerced women into taking the implant.
  5. Government health workers did not provide adequate counseling and women did not give full and informed consent.
  6. Government health workers failed to conduct adequate medical pre-screening and to provide post-implant care instructions.
  7. Public health employees failed to provide information to women who accepted the implant.
  8. Women feel unsafe asking doctors questions. Government employees have told their subordinates to remain silent on this issue –perpetuating a culture of impunity.

Finally, this report urges the Government and civil society organizations to conduct a comprehensive investigation, to hold reproductive health and rights trainings for women and public health employees, to provide information on the implant in Tamil, to ensure adequate staffing at the field level, to develop a complaint mechanism for the public health system, to create a checklist for implant insertion, and to meet with women in these villages to explain removal, steps taken for accountability, and alternate forms of contraception.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) define reproductive rights as: “the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. They also include the right of all to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discriminationcoercion and violence.”

In light of these fundamental rights TSA reiterates: Women have a right to understand the benefits and potential side effects of all available contraceptive options that they may require at different stages of their lives. They have the right to accept or deny any form of contraception at any time. Removing the implant requires a medical intervention (unlike pills), therefore reducing a woman’s control over her reproductive self-determination. Contraceptive counseling with an emphasis on free choice is especially important in conflict zones where women already have fewer options, inadequate information, and limited access to primary health services including contraception. Misleading women into hospital visits, presenting false medical information, and the failure to ensure a woman’s right to make an informed, meaningful choice amounts to coercion and force – clear violations of women’s autonomy, well-being, dignity and bodily integrity.

Coerced medical procedures constitute cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment under international law.

Recommendations

To ensure accountability, basic health facilities, and the reproductive rights of women in Umaiyalpuram, Malaiyalapuram, Keranchi, Veravil, and Valaipaddu, TSA recommends:

To the Government of Sri Lanka

  • Conduct an in depth MOH and civil society investigation on Jadelle implant insertions in the North.
  • Conduct a comprehensive health and reproductive health survey for Kilinochchi District with results made public.
  • Provide information on the implant in Tamil and English. Information should also be available for women who cannot read. Adequate information should be provided at all health centers. Women should be able to take the information home.
  • Appoint adequate midwives, nurses, and doctors in Kilinochchi immediately, as per government schemes and policies
  • For the MOH to develop an easily accessible complaint mechanism for women with questions, comments or concerns regarding their experiences with the public health system.
  • For the MOH to create a mandatory check-list for counseling, pre-insertion counseling, and post-care instructions for each implant insertion.
  • For the MOH to conduct a reproductive rights training for doctors, nurses, and midwives.
  • For the MOH to conduct a reproductive rights training for doctors, nurses, and midwives.
  • Reduce the presence of military personnel in the Northern Province.
  • Provide accurate statistics about militarization to the public.

To Civil Society

  • Conduct trainings on reproductive health in villages in Kilinochchi District.
  • Conduct a reproductive rights training for doctors, nurses, and midwives.
  • Provide these women with information on removal in a language they understand and hold several village-wide meetings to explain the implant, steps for accountability, the clinic, and alternate forms of contraception.

To Bayer, the manufacturer

  • Ensure that all doctors and nurses are familiar with the training manual for family planning for counseling, screening, insertion, and post-insertion care.
  • Conduct trainings for doctors and nurses per the Jadelle training manual for family planning.

To the International Community

  • Conduct a rights-based review of family planning, contraceptive services, and reproductive health projects in Sri Lanka.
  • To review whether funding for Jadelle, an expensive contraceptive represents a rational public health expenditure.
  • To consult with local community groups and CSOs to ensure that projects and programs are tailored to individual community needs.
  • To urge the GoSL to publicize health indicators from the North and East.
  • To pressure the GoSL to fulfill its international obligations under CEDAW, CRC, and ICESCR.
  • For UNFPA, as funder for this project, to undertake a thorough study on what went wrong in these Kilinochchi villages.

The contents of the full report can be downloaded below:

Or download all the documents as a ZIP file here (6Mb).

  • mahinda

    Who the [edited out] is TSA. What right TSA has to meddle with SL affairs. If this is funded by UNFPA what right or authority does this [edited out] organization has to question their efforts. This article will only inflame genocide allegation of racist tamils living abroad. Now who have to take care of those unwanted children, srilankan government does. Who provides healthcare, education and subsidized food? SL government does. Who needs to provide jobs for them SL government does. These unwanted children are the ones who led the war for 30 years. This contraception is most humane contraception i’ve ever heard of. I thought this was only available in europe. These [edited out] organization that does nothing but inflame ethnic tensions (surely some pawns of a despotic regime) should be jailed for life. Groundviews publish some golden articles time to time but put some [edited out] as well.

    • truth

      What about the unwanted children born in the South? what right do you have to call them unwanted? Are you paying for their upkeep? What about all the unwanted men and women going round the world on tax payers money, accompanying the equally unwanted politicians? What about the Unwanted number of MPs and Minsters and Junior Ministers and [edited out] clans who are living a parasitic life?

    • Aia

      If you are shouting from the roof top saying GoSL has to provide healthcare, education, subsidized food,etc. and it is all too much for you as well as for GoSL as you highlight, just leave them alone as they requested, demanded or fought for. You will feel much less burden dear, give them what they asked for-the Eelam, they are happy to manage their own affairs, you cannot have it both way my friend. Also, if there was a blatant wrong, anyone can ask a question, you cannot take the cover under sovereignty. A sovereign right is not a license to kill its own citizens. In this day an age, You cannot get away even if you slaughter animals inhumanely. The planet is for coexistence.

      To find out if there is any credibility in this report, let’s see those who are responsible for or engage in the birth control measures in the areas concerned would respond to it. Birth control is an excellent initiative but the choice should be left for the parents. When this happens in Kilinochi, it does cause raising eyebrows. Having lost boys and girls in the battle, regardless of whether their parents like their children’s involvement in the war, this region suffers from a generation gap crisis. Having got published, I am concerned for the safety of these village folks. Suggestion taking this issue to Supreme Court, my off the cuff response is don’t do it, it has become a political organization since Hon. Sriyanni had left.

      • mahinda

        Demanded, fought or killed for…There was always democratic means to get things done even before. You wanted to get a part of country by killing other people, because of tamil-superiority. A few armed thugs should not be able dictate terms for all people. Ultimately what happens is who has the most power wins. And it just happened. LTTE wanted to take this path and they had it.

        • Aia

          I am not talking about LTTE. But what I was saying was if you are complaining that SL govt has to provide rations, health, education, etc. for the unwanted children, and by doing this sinhalease well-being was to be let down, my suggestion was for people like you was to let them manage their own affairs, then you will not have to worry about unwanted chilren and feeding them. LTTE of late was only one side of the coin, otherside was and has been the sinhala extremism. Only difference is when one was on the song, other put its tail betweeen the legs and behaves well. Either way, their effort in tandem has contributed to have a nation which is deeply divided, yet not geographically.

    • Piranha

      It is not these tamil women who are producing unwanted children but it is the Sinhala women in the villages all over the South whose children are living in dire poverty. Why not target them? Why selectively target the tamil women while settling Sinhala families in the North to change the demography. Yes, this is genocide and there is no other name for it. Hitler did the same thing too>

  • Off the Cuff

    TSA,

    You have been writing many a provocative article on Groundviews but unfortunately you do not respond to counter arguments (evidence can be provided if you deny my observation). This leads me to believe that your interest is not dealing with the truth.

    Just by chance I saw your article “Coercive Population Control in Kilinochchi” and I was intrigued. The GV Editor’s note at the head of that article led me to “Above the Law: Violations of Women’s Reproductive Rights in
    Northern Sri Lanka”.

    Sri Lanka does not have a “Sexual Sterilization Act” as in Canada. She does not even have a Law that can be used against any human being to enforce Birth Control through coercion.

    But Sri Lanka does have a former Tamil Supreme Court Judge as the Chief Minister of the Northern Province.
    She also has eloquent and capable lawyers such as Sumanthiran and Law Experts such as Aacharya. Their is no dearth of eminent and brilliant Tamil Lawyers within the Bar.

    If what you say is true, is it not a Golden Opportunity for you to file a Fundamental Rights application in the Supreme Courts and do Justice to the name that you have adopted for your organisation? Why don’t you walk the talk?

    Of course if you are only spinning a web of lies and inflaming rhetoric that will not stand up to Judicial Scrutiny, but will certainly scuttle the flimsy chances of reconciliation, I will understand your reluctance to stand up and be counted where it matters.

    Not withstanding what the TSA will do or not do, I appeal to Hon Justice CM Vigneshwaran or ANY Tamil
    Lawyer who has kindness in his/her heart, to stand up for these Tamil women who have been allegedly violated by the State, by taking up their case free of charge and obtaining for these women the reparations (including punitive damages) that are due to them.

    Please let Justice prevail.

    • puniselva

      1.This is only one example of a multitude of violations of rights of the ethnic minorities.

      2.”She does not even have a Law that can be used against any human being to enforce Birth Control through coercion” !
      No laws are needed for an oppressor to oppress any people.
      There are no laws to oppress the people under the boots of an occupation army. There have been no laws to oppress the ethnic minorities from 1948.

      3. Tamils have been trying to find solutions to problems created by successive governments. It’s too much. That’s why they’ve been trying to find a systemic solution by trying all sorts of methods which haven’t succeeded so far. They’ll keep trying:
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/i-took-oaths-a-little-while-ago/

      4. Educators need to tackle this urgently as part of a systemic solution:
      http://www.scribd.com/doc/158649137/Sri-Lanka-Must-Transform-Its-Education-for-War-Into-Education-for-Peace

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Puniselva,

        You say “1. This is only one example of a multitude of violations of rights of the ethnic
        minorities”

        The TSA has not given any such example. If someone writes the truth then he/she wont hesitate to defend it. The TSA has never defended what they write on GV. This leads me to believe that they skirt the Truth. If what they have written is not the truth then it is inflammatory. Social scientists know that Mobs do not pause to think. Inflammatory writing triggers mob mentality. Hence it is
        imperative that the TSA proves it’s good faith and standby what they have written. I hope what I write below will help you to avoid the mob and start thinking instead.

        What follows is a synopsis of my earlier post and is an attempt at keeping it short.

        This is supposed to be happening in the Northern Province under the watch of a Tamil Chief
        Minister Vigneswaran, who is a former Supreme Court Judge and heads a Tamil Provincial Council administration. Is the CM and the council unaware of this? Is he ignorant of the Law and the powers of the Supreme Court? There are 14 TNA members of Parliament in power since
        2010. Have all of them been sleeping to allow such an atrocity (what is alleged is unquestionably an atrocity) to happen under their watch?

        MP Sumanthiran is an eloquent defender of the Rule of Law. We have seen him in action during the CJ 43 impeachment crisis. His forceful and spirited defence drew my admiration and without doubt of many others from every community. Why is this fearless crusader silent when women within his own community are being allegedly ravaged under his watch?

        Then we have the “Tamil Civil Society” headed by Father Rayappu Joseph, another crusader. The so called TCS has an impressive line up of 10 Lawyers including Shantha Abimannasingham P.C and Mr. K. Guruparan, Lecturer in Law (a prominent scribe), Professors, Doctors, University teachers, Bankers etc (95 signed a petition some time back). Why are
        they silent when their women are allegedly ravaged by forced birth control/sterilisations?

        Perhaps the Social Architects have kept all of them in the DARK. I am at a loss to understand the type of social engineering the “Social Architects” are doing. What is their goal? Whatever it is, that they are succeeding is indicated by the increasing cacophony of the chorus of hurrah boys and girls defending the TSA.

        You say “No laws are needed for an oppressor to oppress any people …..”

        I am afraid you are wrong. Govts do enact laws when they want to carry out suppression on a large scale.

        Alberta – The Sexual Sterilization Act passed in 1928.
        3500 Native Canadians Sterilised.

        British Columbia – The Sexual Sterilization Act passed in 1933.
        Every native parent was forced by law to surrender legal custody of their children to the School
        Principal who was a Church employee. These native children were deliberately infected with incurable diseases. 75% got infected 40% died.

        Thousands of native men and women were sterilized by missionary doctors until 1980 in the 20th century.

        In 1969 a White Paper was presented in Canada’s Parliament to deny sovereignty and equal status to native nations. In 1998 investigations by the International Human Rights Association of American Minorities (an affiliate of the UN) – the investigating Tribunal concluded that the Government of Canada, the Catholic and the United and Anglican Churches were guilty of
        complicity in Genocide and recommended that the UN investigate into War Crimes. Nothing has happened yet.In February 2013, Human Rights Watch reported on the treatment of Aboriginal women by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in British Columbia which covers sexual abuse of native women in police custody, failure of law enforcement to protect indigenous women from abuse, police inaction on missing aboriginal women, absence of a recourse for police inaction, instances of law enforcement and judicial collusion in the abuse, rape and prostitution of aboriginal girls and women. There are only 4% of Aboriginal women in the population but 85% of Canada’s female prison population is aborigine women.

        Australia – read about the Rabbit proof fence and be informed.

        UK – Read about the depopulation of Deigo Garcia. The case is still ongoing. You could
        also read about the Waste lands Act and such other enactments of Ceylon.

        USA – Read about the original inhabitants (past and present) of America. The Jim Crow Laws. Racial Segregation etc.

        You say “There have been no laws to oppress the ethnic minorities from 1948″

        You are absolutely right about that,
        but Sri Lanka’s Parliament found it necessary to enact the Prevention of Social Disabilities Act No. 21 on 12 April 1957, nine years after your year of reference. Do you know why?

        Fourteen years later Parliament found it necessary to give more teeth to the PSD act of
        1957 by enacting the Prevention of Social Disabilities (Amendment) Act No.18 of 1971. Do you know why?

        Anyone with INTELLIGENCE would see that a weaker section of the population was being oppressed by a section wielding power and that the govt stepped in to protect the oppressed. They would also see that despite the Laws enacted in 1957, the oppression continued unabated with impunity for 14 years.

        Thus even 23 years after your reference year, oppression existed despite the laws.

        Please read what Ms Pearl Thevanayagam, a well to do Tamil Lady has to say. at this link
        http://groundviews.org/2013/10/03/conflict-strategy-and-game-theory/#comment-1076759297

        Please also read what a Low cast Tamil says about his experiences in Jaffna at the same link and the links below http://groundviews.org/2013/07/04/whither-the-sri-lankan-tamils/#comment-54413
        http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/12770

        Ms Thevanayagam statted that 75% of Tamils in Jaffna were a servile class doing menial work for the ruling class for a pittance or for free. Mr Sebastian is far more descriptive (affirmed by Ms Thevanayagam) and speaks of untold missary at the hands of the ruling class of Tamils. Mr. Neville Jayaweera, the Government Agent (highest ranking Civil Servant) of Jaffna, has analysed the oppression and he details the following.

        “Even in the mid 1960s, the following principles defined what it meant to be a non-Vellala.

        1. Regardless of natural endowments, anyone born a non-Vellala was frozen into his particular
        station for all of his life, be it fishing, tree climbing, road sweeping or whatever. Heredity was a cast iron frame from which there was no escape.

        2. They dared not marry anyone from the Vellala caste.

        3. They were not allowed into premises occupied by the Vellalas except for doing the tasks they was born into.

        4. They did not have access into temples owned or managed by Brahmins or Vellalas. In other words, they were non-persons.

        5. They did not have access into Hindu schools or to proceed for higher education. This barrier
        was breached effectively only when missionary schools began to proliferate, much to the consternation of Hindu leaders.

        6. They could not reside outside their villages.

        7. They could not drink at the village well nor use any other public amenity outside their own villages.

        8. They could not wear jewellery, nor ride in carriages nor use drums at any ceremony.

        9. When they died they could not be cremated or buried on land reserved for the Vellalas.

        unquote

        What Human Rights did these people enjoy in Jaffna when they and their progeny were LOCKED in to servility for life? When they are denied an education, the freedom to chose a spouse, the freedom to chose their domicile, denied the freedom to practice their religion,
        denied the freedom to use a public well or any public amenity, Denied the freedom of movement, Denied a females right to adorn herself with jewellery or ride a carriage, denied the use of Drums (this was a cause that triggered a riot) and even denied the right to chose their
        own cremation site or burial site. You could not even call Jaffna an open prison for there were areas that were taboo for them.

        In a revealing statement the GA states

        “Significantly, there were no protests from any of the 11 MPs of my district over my failure to enforce the Social Disabilities Act, and of course they were all from the Vellala caste! Equally sinister was that all 14 DROs of my district seemed to pour cold water on any move by me to
        even look into the problem,
        and needless to say the DROs were also from the Vellala caste” unquote

        The DRO is the Divisional Revenue Officer, a civil servant with authority over the entire divisional boundary.

        !75,000 Vellala and Brahmin Tamils dehumanised and oppressed 525,000 servile Tamils in the North in a mini apartheid South Africa, while another 700,000 Tamils of Indian origin (the lowest of the servile class) were living in dignity amongst the Sinhalese in the South.

        Hence Puniselva, when you talk about oppression since 1948. please make it very clear where it was concentrated.

        You say “Tamils have been trying to find solutions to problems created by successive
        governments.”

        The methods employed and the demands made were unjust.
        It was unjust yesterday and it is unjjust today.

        Unless you are able to come to terms with the principle of undiluted equality, the problem will continue.

        • puniselva
          • Off the Cuff

            Dear Puniselva,

            Where are your arguments in support of TSA’s claim of forced contraception of Tamil women? Have you aborted that?

            You wanted to discuss oppression since 1948. Yet it appears you have aborted that too.
            You did not expect it to boomerang on the Brahmin and Vellala Tamils.

            When you consider ALL the different ethnic groups in Lanka, the worst and most shameful oppression had happened in Jaffna where a few Tamils who had a strangle hold on the economy, was violating ALL Norms of Human behaviour by DOMINATING a servile Tamil Majority of 75%.

            I was shocked when my research exposed the extent of depravity and complicity of the Tamil members of Parliament and the Tamil bureaucracy of Jaffna in covering up and perpetuating such inhumanity (I was unaware of the magnitude, before I researched to write this comment). Unfortunately for the Vellala’s they had a Sinhalese GA who would not connive with them. Imagine what would have happened if the GA was a Vellala or a Brahmin!

            Yet while practising such depravity behind the Cadjan Curtain you have the audacity to blame the Sinhalese.

            It is significant that you did not challenge the treatment meted out to the servile class of Tamils by the ruling Tamils. You knew about it all along.

            What is also significant is your total inability to defend the behaviour of the 11 Tamil MP’s and the 14 DRO’s who controlled Jaffna. How can they claim to speak for the Tamils? They were only interested in perpetuating their power over 75% of them and hoodwink the world by blaming the Sinhalese!

            What I uncovered provides a knew perspective on the Thesawalami Law which I thought was benign and defended it from Ravana’s criticism. Apparently it’s not so benign as I thought, when it is the Brahmin’s and Vellala’s who own land in Jaffna. The Thesawalami concentrates land ownership within the Brahmin/Vellala group. Ingenious! Time we had land reform in the North to give an opportunity for the landless Servile Tamil majority to own land.

            What did you expect to achieve by sheepishly putting up that link?
            Nothing at that link provides a defence of the atrocious behaviour of the Brahmins and the Vellalas who had the Jaffna population in a vice grip. What went on behind the Cadjan Curtain gives a completely different perspective.

            You don’t have to convince me about devolution, I support it, the minorities should be able to administer themselves. What I would not support is any attempt by the Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims to grab for themselves INEQUITABLE resources for
            their exclusive use.

            Devolution should be on an uncompromising principle of absolute equality.

          • Bedouin

            It is a very forceful and largely accurate counter argument I have seen here on GV. I do not have a SL passport.Also, being a foreigner, my credentials to be participating on this forum might be called to question.

            It took a long time for dalit politics to gain a form of legitimacy it has now in India and throw up leaders of the likes of Mayawati. Despite massive repression of Dalits by the higher castes from time immemorial, this was not used as a card to negate the rightful claim of hindu Indians from their colonial oppressors.

            Despite these caste differences and the subjugation, you fail to acknowledge Hindu Tamils coalesced to challenge oppression heaped on them ( Perceived or factual , I will leave that open to debate). Given the currents of change, be assured you will hear voices demanding change and fighting for it in this archaic hindu system followed in Sri Lanka. However, to provide that as a counter for the identity oppression might not sound very logical or acceptable.

          • Off the Cuff

            Dear Bedouin,

            As promised here is a detailed reply to the issues that you raise.

            Let me give you a little background of Sri Lanka and the Franchise (it was not Universal at the beginning).

            In 1833 the Legislative Council of Ceylon was established. It had 10 official members and 6 unofficial members who could not initiate legislation (3 Europeans, 1 Sinhalese, 1 Tamil and 1 Burgher). Moors were unrepresented. The Ethnic representation had no relationship to the population.

            In 1889 the unofficial members had 3 Europeans, 1 Up country Sinhalese, 1 Low country Sinhalese, 1 Tamil, 1 Burgher and 1 Moor. The inclusion of the Moor was objected to by Tamils.

            In 1910 the Governor appointed 2 Low Country Sinhalese, 2 Tamils, 1 Kandyan Sinhalese and one Muslim as unofficial members and 4 others were elected (2 Europeans, 1 Burgher and 1 Educated Ceylonese). Thus we had our First Election.

            In order to qualify for the vote a person had to be Male, have an income of 3000 GBP and be English educated. Only 2400 qualified from a total population of 4 million (in 1911 there were 2.715 million Sinhalese, 0.528 million Lanka Tamils, 0.531 million Indian Tamils). Out of that, 1400 who qualified to vote were Tamils. The Tamil majority vote ensured a Tamil victory in the election (Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan).

            This time however the 4 elected unofficial members had Financial Control. Sir PR looked on the Sinhalese and the Muslims as his Little Brothers. The British thus created a minority with a majority complex.

            As you can see the Jaffna Tamils had Economic Power and had financial control which the Sinhalese did not have.

            The Sinhalese had no power.

            In 1920 their were 14 official appointed members and 23 unofficial members of which 4 were the Governor’s appointees (2 Kandyan Sinhalese, 1 Moor and 1 Indian Tamil). 19 were elected (3 from Western Province and one each from the other eight provinces, 5 Europeans, 2 Burghers and 1 Chamber of Commerce).

            This time 3 non-official members were elected to the Executive Council which in 1833 had 5 European members.

            The Ceylon Tamil League was formed by Sir Ponnambalam Arunachelem in 1922. This was the first Ethnic based party in Lanka. His vision was to establish a Tamil Akam that embraced South India, Tamil Colonies and Lanka. Addressing his new party’s second General meeting he stated in 1922 the following

            “…namely to keep alive and propagate these precious ideals throughout Ceylon, Southern India and the Tamil Colonies, to promote the union and solidarity of Tamilakam, the Tamil Land. We should keep alive and propagate these ideals throughout Ceylon and promote the union and solidarity of what we have been proud to call Tamil Eelam.

            We desire to preserve our individuality as a people, make ourselves worthy of our inheritance… We are not enamoured of that Cosmopolitanism which would make of as neither fish, fowl, nor red herring”

            In 1935 G.G. Ponnambalam declared that he was a PROUD DRAVIDIAN (The Hansard, 1935, column 3045). He started attacking Sinhalese History. The “Hindu Organ” (a Tamil owned paper published in Jaffna) stated on November 1, 1939. The FIRST Tamil Sinhala riot in 1939 was the result.

            The Hindu Organ (p. 4 — June 22, 1939), Writing about the Nawalapitiya incident Headlined their article thus; “Mr. Ponnambalam’s N’pitiya speech” and beneath it the strap line: “Mr. Bandaranaike’s challenge.” Writing an Editorial titled “THE WRITING ON THE WALL”, The Hindu Organ, says “….A verbal bombshell dropped unwittingly by a Tamil politician at Nawalapitiya appears to have set the South on fire……..A slander against a community by an individual, though unintended, is inexcusable…” continuing it said: “Communal differences, though there existed hardly any during the time of the last generation of leaders, have now been multiplied and intensified, thanks to the hot-heads and irresponsible talkers in the country who care more for the plaudits of the mob than for the welfare of the people. Ceylon today is seething with petty problems which have been created by thoughtless gas-bags, and which threaten to poison the peaceful conditions in the country….” It concluded by saying: “Let us hope that wise statesmanship will prevail among leaders who should realize the imperative need for the welding of the communities into a Ceylonese Community for the political and economic salvation of the country. The writing on the wall is too clear to be ignored.”

            I hope the above gives you a historical overview of the beginnings of the Ethic divide in the 20th century.

            You wrote “Despite these caste differences and the subjugation, you fail to acknowledge Hindu Tamils coalesced to challenge oppression heaped on them ( Perceived or factual , I will leave that open to debate).”

            Firstly if their was oppression of Tamils by the Sinhalese how do you explain the Economic Power wielded by them in the South? Even the premier State Bank the Bank of Ceylon had a Tamil, Mr Chellaiah Loganathan as it’s Head. There is evidence emanating from Tamil Sources that he bank rolled Tamil acquisition of property in the South (please read Mr Sebastian Rasalingam).

            The majority of big business in Lanka have Tamils at the helm. But ALL of those Tamils would be High Casts and non from the servile Low Casts. It is not the Sinhalese who are preventing them. This is quite in contrast to the Dalits in India who have successful Dalits (though few) such as Prasad Dahapute. But even today they find it difficult to find seed capital to establish a business.

            Sebastian Rasalingam is a Low Cast Tamil. He says,
            “When I moved to Hatton and later to Colombo, I found a very different world. It was a transforming experience for me and my wife to find that our workmates, mostly Sinhalese would actually sit with us and share a cup of tea. We found that we could go to night school and study without being threatened, beaten up, or go and borrow books, and do things that would bring swift retribution ‘back in the North’; our dwellings would have been torched and our women raped with impunity” (http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/12770)

            He speaks of oppression in the North and emancipation in the South. Hence where was the oppression?

            Mr Thomas Johnpulle, another Tamil writing in the Colombo Herald states

            “Writing to Sri Lanka Guardian, Dr Sebastian Rasalingam made a bold revelation about the nexus between Tamil caste discrimination and the ethnic problem. He gave examples some from his own long and rich life. ………… Contrary what some observers propagate, the ethnic problem didn’t start in 1956. The concept of Tamil Elam was inaugurated by Sir Ponnambalam Arunchalam as far back in 1923. In 1931 a highly disproportionate 50:50 representation was sought to represent people on an ethnic basis which was actually 70:30. Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kachchi (Lanka Tamil Kingdom Party) was formed in 1949. It has changed its English name from Federal Party to Tamil National Alliance over the years; however, the Tamil meaning remains same.” unquote

            These are ordinary Tamils speaking about their experiences.

            Re the coming together of Hindu’s these are my observations

            Inflaming Ethnic sensibilities can coalesce diverse groups who will temporarily forget their differences. As you can see from the above GG Ponnambalam profited by that. The elitists inflamed Ethnic feelings in order to gain political power. But they miscalculated and some of them paid with their lives for it. The LTTE had to use death and torture to force the Tamils to join them. The many Lamp Post Killings that preceded the LTTE becoming a dominant force is evidence. They had to force conscript Tamil Children and force each Tamil family to give up an adult as a conscript. The split by Karuna and his supporters show the internal dissension. Even those who took up arms against the govt at the beginning were hunted and killed. Even in the matter of contributions from abroad I have personal knowledge of families who were coerced into contributing. In one case the Father (in his 70s) was abducted by the LTTE when he visited the North and money demanded from the family based on the number of years that family spent in the UK. Most of the Diaspora funds were collected by threats and intimidation.

            A million Sri Lankan Tamils preferred the safety of staying overseas without joining Prabahkaran and 3 million others sought safety amongst the Sinhalese instead of joining Prabahkaran in his hour of need. That does not support the coming together view.

            The inability of the Elitist Tamils to share Sri Lanka’s resources on equal terms is the main cause of the problem. They have used the Servile Tamil population who form the Tamil majority as expendable pawns in their quest for power.

    • Steve Grafton

      Ha ha you are seeking justice for minorities from the supreme court of Sri Lanka, you are surely telling that in jest or you are living in cuckoo land !

      • Off the Cuff

        Steve Grafton,

        You say “Ha ha you are seeking justice for minorities from the supreme court of Sri Lanka,
        you are surely telling that in jest or you are living in cuckoo land !”

        Great comment.

        Proves that you cannot see beyond your nose.

        This is about a BASIC HUMAN RIGHT.
        If the Supreme Court fails to mete out Justice as you jest, it will strengthen the hand of the Tamils within the International Fora. How unfortunate that it was too much for you to recognise!

        However SC decisions have upheld minority rights when such rights have been transgressed (please research the SL Supreme Court judgements). You just don’t have enough knowledge of Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court. You should strive to replace your cockiness with real knowledge. The Chief Minister of the North was a member of the same Supreme Court that you have ridiculed.

        I am glad you are not a Sri Lankan.

        • J Fernando

          @steve_grafton:disqus I think you have annoyed [edited out] !
          More than your comment I think he is more bothered by the fact that you are NOT Sri Lankan (that means Sinhala Buddhists to people like him by the way). I am glad that you are bringing an outside perspective to the whole situation, so keep going.
          We have a defense sec who has a green card, his bother economic minister who is a citizen of the USA and a former army commander who is also said to hold a green card, none of whom have renounced these, so I don’t see any problem with you continuing to give your views here.

          The whole world knows how the last Chief justice was impeached and as usual using retired justice Wigneswaren as a fig leaf to cover the nakedness our justice system.

          • Off the Cuff

            “J Fernando”

            Interesting viewpoint. Especially since it is diametrically opposed to the viewpoint you held 5 months ago. It lays bare your integrity or the absence of it.

            Great Post. Keep it up.

            http://groundviews.org/2013/05/28/sri-lankas-numbers-game/#comment-1002154671

            Quote
            J Fernando

            Interesting point, but as an Irishman I am wondering what your role/agenda is in all this?

            I for one am a strong believer that when you look in your passport and if your passport says it was issued by the SL government then you have a say in the internal affairs of the country if it does not then I don’t think you should comment. This is my personal view !

            To me there is no difference between foreign passport holding diaspora shouting themselves hoarse from Europe or an Irishman shouting himself hoarse from SL !!!

            Unquote

            Emphasis mine

        • Inoka Karu

          You have fallen foul of the GV rabble rouser, pay no heed to him Steve, we never do.
          Many here defend your right to post n GV even if you are not from here.
          Keep calm and carry on. You were spot on about our justice system.

          • Off the Cuff

            Inoka Karu,

            Glad to know that you have been reading this web page. But as usual you have not engaged in arguing the issues. Though you are silent on issues you have no qualms about making ad hominem attacks.

            If reading about the TRUTH is such a bitter pill to swallow, you can imagine the suffering that the Tamil majority in Jaffna underwent for decades under the Jack Boots of the minority Tamil Land Owning class.

            Have you apologised or paid reparations to those poor Tamil whose life blood was sucked out with the connivance of the 11 Tamil MP’s and 14 Tamil DRO’s?

            I can see that you have a Dilemma as you cannot pass the blame to the Sinhalese or the Central Govt. So please go ahead and blame me for the exposure.

        • George

          So are you saying it is a crime for a NON Sinhala Buddhist to comment on the issues that affect all of us especially minorities (I am a Burgher)
          Yes, I am aware that most of my ancestors only came here a few centuries ago and don’t have “2500 years” of “glorious” history but I have a right to comment as does Steve !
          Stop trying to muzzle people who are not the numerical majority !

    • truth

      What is the function of the Government machinery in the country? I suppose they are there just to pamper for the big wigs and going around the globe white washing all the crime committed by the politicians and their private army!! globe trotting at the expense of the taxpayers. The money wasted on this extravaganza expenses can feed the poor and provide for their basic needs from North to South!!

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Truth,

        You have not addressed anything that I have raised in my post to the TSA.

        I have asked the TSA why they have not taken this to court when the alleged incidents are a golden opportunity to expose the govt IF the govt is guilty of the alleged incidents. Such an action would be more potent than spending millions of GBP on a fake CH4 video and I hope you realise that.

        There is an army of Tamil lawyers available who should appear at no cost in a FR test case such as this. Those include Mr. Shantha Abimannasingham P.C, Mr. K. Guruparan, Lecturer in Law, Mr Sumanthiran and Hon Vigneswaran himself.

        Is the TSA afraid to try this case in a court of Law where the witnesses would be subject to cross examination? Of course they will not have the courage to walk the talk if they are spinning
        a web of lies.
        My reply to Puniselva gives more details. I do hope you are able to digest the Truth.

        Hence your attempted diversionary Red Herring is rejected.

  • puniselva

    What can anyone do with a politicised court?
    Some judges do wrong things under pressure from the government. When they retire they tell they let [edited out] off hook for siphoning 500m rupees off tsunami fund.

    • puniselva
      • Off the Cuff

        The fall out from the impeachment of CJ43 by Parliament.
        http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/25111-unhcr-to-release-a-report-on-sl.html

        The removal of the Chief Justice through a flawed process — which has been deemed unconstitutional by the highest courts of the land — is, in the High Commissioner’s view, gross interference in the independence of the judiciary and a calamitous setback for the rule of law in Sri Lanka…… .The jurist sworn in by the President as the new Chief Justice on 15 January, the former Attorney-General and Legal Advisor to the Cabinet, Mr. Mohan Peiris, has been at the forefront of a number of government delegations to Geneva in recent years to vigorously defend the Sri Lankan government’s position before the Human Rights Council and other human rights mechanisms. This raises obvious concerns about his independence and impartiality, especially when handling allegations of serious human rights violations by the authorities………The High Commissioner will be issuing a report on Sri Lanka at the February-March session of the Human Rights Council, focusing on the engagement of UN mechanisms in support of the accountability and reconciliation processes.

        If a case such as the alleged atrocity in the Supreme Court, is seen as a sham, the fall out from that would be unimaginable.

        Hence the TSA who has the information of the alleged atrocity owes it to the Tamils and all other Sri Lankans to pursue it in the SC. If the TSA is reluctant the Hon Vigneswaran former SCJ and current Chief Minister of the North should take it up urgently.

        Why are they dilly dallying?

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Puni Selva,

      Justice will prevail and reconciliation will happen when parties are honest with each other.

      I responded to your previous post that referred me to a website run by you. You may have read it though others have not, as it is still in the pipeline.

      As stated there, I support complete devolution of power as I believe that areas with concentrations of
      minorities should be able to run their own affairs including the control of Land in proportion to the population within that area. A disproportionate claim means you are robbing someone else and hence I
      oppose that.

      Though I knew that the Brahmin’s and the Vellala’s dominated and persecuted the low casts through the writings of Sebastian Rasalingam and another low cast Tamil whose name I cannot recall at the moment, I was not prepared for the revelations of the GA Jaffna that I came across while researching to
      reply your comment and that shocked me and I could see that you were too.

      The GA’s words brought home to me the fact, that the 11 Tamil MPs representing Jaffna, though
      elected from Jaffna, did not represent the Majority Tamil opinion of the Northern Tamils. I was shocked to find that the highest Civil administrators of Jaffna, the 14 DRO’s, were also working against the majority Tamil population and conniving with the 11 MP’s to deny the just rights of the majority Tamil population. The ONLY person who wanted justice for the low cast Tamil majority was the Sinhalese GA.
      If this was not such a tragedy it would have been funny. This also led me to revisit my opinion of the Thesawalami Law, which I thought was benign and which I had defended here on GV when “Ravana”
      attacked it.

      The low cast Tamils form the overwhelming majority in the North. How many of them are involved in
      mainstream politics expressing their views? Tamil Politics today is still being dominated by a 25% minority of High Casts. Given the revelations in the previous paragraph, how sure can one be, that
      these high cast politicians, have the interests of the Tamil majority, the low cast Tamils at heart? Are they using these people like they used them before? Is history repeating itself?

      Now let’s get back to your question. “What can anyone do with a politicised court?”

      My personnel opinion is quite a lot. Very much more than a million dollar fake CH4 production and at
      insignificant cost.

      What are the aims of the CH4 videos that had runs even at UNHCR sessions? The govt did counter them and I too have picked many a hole in them in my posts on GV and elsewhere. But can a govt counter a sham legal process? I don’t think it can, as the CJ 43 impeachment, even though it was outside the courts and in Parliament (though some naively think that the Supreme Court did it)
      has still not gone away and continue to have repercussions.

      When it comes to the highest court in the land the standards of justice and fair play expected are much
      higher and any transgression of that standard will provide the Tamils an advantage unlike any other within International fora. Hence my personal opinion is, take it to the Supreme Court and put the govt behind the 8 ball.

      I thank you for being honest with your ethnicity, for not trying to hoodwink the readership with deceptive
      truncations and assumed names viz Kurunanadan (Tamil), Karuppan (Tamil) and Karunaratne (Sinhalese) can be shortened to Karu. I could hide my ethnicity with deceptive names such as Naganathan (Tamil), Polosky (Polish / American), Fernando (Sinhalese), Chapel (English),
      Ashton (English/Candian/American/Australian). However what one writes exposes the deception.

      I have tabled my arguments which are Facts based. I will acknowledge without exception, any challenge on he issues raised but will reject ad hominem attacks from those who do not address issues.

  • puniselva

    Future generation is learning how to lie when they commit atrocious human rights violations:

    In an interview with an Al Jazeera journalist on 27 September 2013 he lied flagrantly and blatantly:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKPXiaoubj0&noredirect=1

    i.attacks against religious minorities – he defended them as just-retribution without
    condemning them from the point of view of rule-of-law. So he has endorsed the
    mob violence and vigilante-retribution of extreme Sinhala Buddhists. He even
    emulated them in fictitiously citing a case of rape as the reason for attacks.

    ii. report by election monitors – he unashamedly said that the EU monitors were
    satisfied with the way the elections were held whereas there were actually no
    EU monitors because the government didn’t want ‘’Western monitors’’. The SAARC
    and the Commonwealth monitors who were allowed to monitor the elections
    reported many violations, including those by the army of occupation.

    iii. ‘’white van’’ disappearances – though it
    is well-documented by the media and human rights organisations he obfuscated it
    by referring to an elopement case and by askng why people are not talking about
    blue or green vans.

    iv. number of murders of journalists – While Sri Lanka is regarded as one of the worst
    places for journalists in the world and journalists have been murdered in
    daytime in busy roads, many journalists have fled the country and many have
    self-censored, he denied it and said: ‘’it’s all false……. they are not murders;
    they are incidents. Not killed… just incidents’’

    v. allegations of crimes – he said: ’’If someone has done something wrong, I’ll take action’’.
    He appointed armed forces personnel to investigate the crimes committed by them
    and their verdict was the armed forces did not commit crimes during the war
    whereas the armed forces themselves have gave their mobilephone photos to
    Channel4 to make the documentary ‘’Killing Fields’’. After UNHRC passed resolution on Sri Lanka in
    March 2013 the parliament was told that Sri Lanka did not concur with it,
    having appointed two PR companies to work in the West (previous governments
    also appointed PR companies)

    vi. his vision – he spoke only about economic prosperity without any reference to
    peace or reconciliation with the people who continue to suffer an army of
    occupation after having suffered the most
    atrocious human rights violations man has been witnessing recently – even the
    UN is hesitating to publish its own report on its inaction: http://colombogazette.com/2013/10/10/un-official-notes-failure/

  • http://www.attorneymatthewsrbark.com/attorneys/ Matthews Bark

    Thanks for news ” Violations of Women’s Reproductive Rights in Northern Sri Lanka ” , great information..

  • MaxV

    I’ve been hearing rumors of forced abortions and sterilizations from Southern parts for a long long time. One person once even swore that forced sterilizations are true (blame often falls on NGOs). Now TSA seems to have found credible evidence for it in the North. Is it possible that the seemingly crazy rumors we’ve been hearing from the Sinhala side could also be true?