A response to the critiques of the victory celebrations

Photography by AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena, via South China Morning Post

I would ask them to stop a moment, to take the time to listen to our time (we had no other one)…” – Jacques Derrida: text delivered at Althusser’s funeral

Human rights, dissidence, antiracism, SOS-this, SOS-that: these are soft, easy, post coitum historicum ideologies, ‘after the orgy’ ideologies for an easy going generation which has known neither hard ideologies nor radical philosophies. The ideology of a generation which is neo-sentimental in its politics too, which has rediscovered altruism, conviviality, international charity and the individual bleeding heart. Emotional outpourings, solidarity, cosmopolitan emotiveness, multi-media pathos: all soft values harshly condemned by the Nietzschean, Marxo-Freudian age… A new generation, that of the spoilt children of the crisis, whereas the preceding one was that of the accursed children of history.” – Jean Baudrillard, Cool Memories, London, Verso, 1990, pp 223-24.

The central contention of the anti-victory celebration civil society intelligentsia seems to be that violent civil conflicts should not be celebrated and never are. This is ironic because most of them would be familiar with Bastille Day and I expect to see some of them on the occasion. They would know that July 4th, Bastille Day is France’s National Day. That is of course the day that the prison, the Bastille was stormed. In other words, France marks as its National Day, the day that the Revolution triumphed. Though the storming of the Bastille was itself relatively bloodless, the Revolution was a very violent civil conflict which had an even bloodier aftermath. Bastille Day July 4th is celebrated and not only by receptions. As I have been privileged to witness during my tenure as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to France, it is marked by a most impressive display of military might, culminating in parachute drops and a spectacular fly past by advanced military aircraft of all categories.

Those who argue that civil wars are not commemorated are ignorant of the historical fact that when there is a liberating aspect to a civil war and when a civil war has ended in victory, it almost always is commemorated. The Russian Revolution was commemorated by military parades in the Red Square for decades, while as I have just noted, the French Revolution still is—and every victorious revolution was preceded, accompanied or followed by bitter civil war. The defeat of the Tigers and the felling of Prabhakaran the Monster-King, were felt to be an emancipation; an authentic liberation from decades-old terror.

Doesn’t any anti-war, anti-victory celebration Sri Lankan intellectual or aspirant intellectual remember or know what the Vietnam War was? It was originally and finally a civil war, in which the US intervened. The Vietnam War commenced as a war for reunification of North and South Vietnam which had been divided at the Geneva peace conference of 1954 on the proviso that elections would be held. The war resumed because Geneva Peace accords were violated by the South and its western backer, the USA, who feared that Ho Chi Minh would win an election throughout the country massively, not because he was a Communist — which he indubitably was— but precisely because he was also or primarily perceived as, a nationalist. Therefore the struggle for reunification took the form of guerrilla war and after the US intervened in that civil war on the side of its ideological protégés, it became a full scale conventional war. After the Paris Peace talks led to the signing of the Paris Peace Agreement, the US no longer had a combat role. The last years of the Vietnam War were once again a civil war for reunification of North and South. Following the victory of April 30th 1975, the capital of the South, long known as Saigon, was re-named Ho Chi Minh City. That victory is celebrated with military parades every year.

If Germany can celebrate its Reunification Day, when the Berlin Wall fell and the two halves of Germany were reunited, why should Sri Lanka not celebrate the day when the LTTE’s Iron Curtain was destroyed, a radical evil defeated, a monster (a South Asian Hitler) slain and the island reunified after decades?

Not every reunification is peaceful. In most cases the unification or reunification of the national territory and state required civil wars, as we know from Bismark’s Prussian unification of Germany through “blood and iron”, Italy’s Risorgimento and the history of most of Europe, not to mention the military campaigns of Sun Yat Sen and the Kuomintang which reunified China.

Which collective political formation/entity, be it state, nation, community, or peoples, would not celebrate a mere half a decade later, the reunification of its territory; the return and repair of its borders so that its sovereign territory is coextensive with its natural boundaries?

As for the liberal-pacifist argument in Colombo that the unification of peoples is far more important than the ‘mere’ unification of territorial borders, it demonstrates a complete ignorance of the history of the modern era. The magnificent democratic revolutionary awakening of 1848 dubbed ‘The Springtime of Nations’ saw the unification of territories and creation of nation-states by the shattering of the separate kingdoms or principalities (as Tamil Eelam was), and the unification under the language and often the religion of the group that constituted the majority. 1848 was a majoritarian phenomenon which left behind or kindled many a Nationalities or Minority Question throughout Europe.

I am glad we won the war. I am proud of it. If as Nietzsche says, there is a pattern of eternal recurrence in existence, if the only choices available were (a) the victory of the Tigers (b) their evacuation (c) a return to negotiations with them on the basis of the CFA, ISGA or PTOMS, i.e. anything other than outright surrender or (d) the outcome that we had with all the horrors that are coming to light, I would support that final offensive all over again. In Geneva in April-May 2009, we cleared the decks for the final decisive military endgame by staving off the West’s attempts to obtain a UN mandate for a cessation of hostilities. Having prevented the Special Session until Prabhakaran was dead we then defeated the West diplomatically when the special session was finally held ten days later. If I were put on a time machine and taken back to that time, I would unhesitating do it all over again.

As Regis Debray, philosopher Louis Althusser’s student, Fidel Castro’s acolyte, Che Guevara’s comrade, Francois Mitterrand’s advisor and one of Europe’s most renowned thinkers says:

In the beginning was War’. The demand for security (of people, property, and ideas) constitutes political ‘need’, for the state of war is the horizon of the social and societies can never see beyond it except in terms of juridical mirages of humanitarian pacifism…War is a universal and recurrent fact of history of societies because…it is inherent in the existence of social groups and actually conditions their constitution and dissolution…Everyone knows that war is waged so that we can have peace, but that we cannot have peace without making war.” (Regis Debray: ‘Critique of Political Reason’ 1981: 276)

The LTTE was a racist and fascistic force which had dismembered sleeping women and children and child monks, exploded bombs against wholly civilian targets in the South and serially murdered many leaders of the Sinhalese and Tamils. It is hardly surprising that in the last stage of the war, the motivating spirit of the Sri Lankan soldiers, some of whom would have come from villages which experienced atrocities, would have been a blood lust to exterminate the leadership and hard core of such an enemy which had engaged in a decades-long orgy of unbridled Nazi-like exterminism against the Sinhalese nation. When one fights radical evil, one is tempted to eliminate any chance of its revival. It is “human, all too human” to borrow Nietzsche’s phrase. It happens to the most rational and literate of us: who after all, has not heard of the Jacobin Terror after the French revolution and the elimination of the Tzar’s family— which Regi Siriwardhana termed the Original Sin of the Bolshevik Revolution?

It is a testament to the humanity of our armed forces that specialised units lost men and limbs in penetrating the bunker-bund complexes, engaging in bitter trench warfare, to rescue two hundred thousand Tamil civilians who were with the Tigers. It is evidence of their humanity that 11,000 Tiger fighters were taken into captivity unharmed.

As Nietzsche cautioned, when one looks for too long into the abyss, the abyss looks into you. We, my generation, “the accursed children of history” which preceded “the spoilt children of the crisis” to use Baudrillard’s phrases, had to look into the abyss for three decades (four if you date it from the April ’71 insurrection) and the abyss has looked into us. Our lives were directly impacted by the war. We knew many who were slain, and not in combat, by the Tigers. We had an emotional stake in the war and its outcome. We lived the crisis; the long ‘extreme situation’. We are the products of that two-way gaze, into the abyss with the abyss looking back into us. Someday, we as a society, Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims, shall settle accounts with our traumatic, terror filled past. We shall decide when that is. That choice and timing will not be imposed upon us by Western governments driven, among other things by the same elements of the Tamil Diaspora who supported the Tigers and materially contributed to the carnage they inflicted.

To open an inquiry prematurely would cause a psychological eruption among three hundred thousand armed men, veterans of a bitter and victorious war. Who are we to judge them? That is the task of another generation or other generations. Certainly Western states and societies have no right to judge them, or us, who experienced these harsh and bloody decades. This is why I remain as unalterably opposed to an international inquiry into the war as I was in Geneva in 2009 and before. We shall not permit it; we must and shall resist.

It is ludicrous of soi disant liberals and radicals to advocate or excuse an intrusive, lacerating external inquiry into the war while at the same time lamenting the closure, as I do, of the Sri Lankan state, society and mentality. These academics, commentators and critics lament the consequence while supporting the cause! As Regis Debray points out: “the besieger creates the ramparts…There would be no circumscription if there were no encirclement.” (Debray 1981: 276)

Thus only among those who oppose the external siege are consistent opponents of closure, paranoia and the siege mentality, to be found.

To leave the last philosophical word to Regis Debray: “The political world is a world in which there are always two of us; the enemy and me…War itself is a principle of delineation. There can be no really open society, no society whose essence or identity (or both) is not to some extent threatened by a neighbouring or more distant society. Enclosure is the basic category of the political world, since the opposition between inside and outside establishes both its identity and its necessity.”(Debray, 1981: 277)

Let no one repeat the mistake of underestimating the resolve of a people-nation which did not surrender to decades of terrorism but decided instead to fight and win.

Dayan Jayatilleka, PhD, was Sri Lanka’s Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva (2007-2009) and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO (2011-2013).

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This article is part of a  larger collection of articles and content commemorating five years after the end of war in Sri Lanka. An introduction to this special edition by the Editor of Groundviews can be read here. This, and all other articles in the special edition, is published under a Creative Commons license that allows for republication with attribution.

  • Fitzpatrick

    Given your background/history and your future aspirations your current stance is not surprising.

    Now to something that I mentioned earlier for which I am still waiting for a reply.

    You often slink away when challenged by one of us….example being…
    Re-visiting the Rajapaksa Hegemonic Project

    As a former ambassador are you willing accepting your own culpability in propagating and straightening this hegemonic project?
    The UNHCR resolution fundamentally is to deal with this hegemonic project and yet you continue to oppose this.
    The Nazi empire was built by more than Hitler, it had its many minions working at various level

    • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

      “One of us?” You mean pseudonymous internet trolls?

      Not having slunk away from the JVP, LTTE and the Western bloc, I really don’t see why i should slink away from you folk. i simply ignore you.

      However, since you’ve posed an interesting question let me deal with it.

      I was, demonstrably, one of if not the first public personality to name and criticize Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in the mainstream media and in public forums, in English and in Sinhala. So how on earth can I be a supporter of the Rajapaksa hegemonic project?

      Though I am opposed to it because it threatens national and state sovereignty, and sets a bad precedent, I have also pointed out that the UNHRC resolution strengthens rather than weakens the Rajapaksa hegemonic project. It is not accidental that a well read critic of the regime such as the author of the excellent essay on Groundviews on the RHP, Dayapala Tiranagama, DOES NOT SUPPORT the UNHRC Resolution– because he ( unlike you folk) understands this point!

      For the record, I am opposed to the Rajapaksas ( plural) i.e. the family hegemonic project – which I was the first to define as an oligarchy and a cartel in the mainstream media. However, so long as the alternatives remain Ranil and/or CBK, I definitely support Mahinda Rajapaksa (singular) and shall continue to do so. That too will change if Sajith is the UNP candidate.

      • Gamarala

        And what reason is there to support Rajapakse, and thus indirectly his cartel, and oppose RW + CBK? Why wouldn’t the latter be the lesser of the two evils as things stand now?

      • Dev

        Is your opposition to Gota out of your own volition or is it something that arises from your association with a NGO.

        In his interview with Al Jazeera our excellency the (twice democratically elected) president Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that you work for a “powerful” NGO.

        Given that this was out own executive president telling this on international TV, I am inclined to believe him. So, given your association with a “powerful” NGO and knowing some NGO’s many machinations in Sri Lanka (well according to Gota) I wonder if your criticism against him is arising out of his opposition for the likes of your NGO?

        Link on youtube: (see minute 18:15)

      • ram2009

        You’ve got it in one. It is a ‘project’ by the rump.

    • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

      I would like to pre-empt a point or question: ‘Is it possible to regard Mahinda Rajapaksa as distinct from from the Rajapaksa family project?’

      Yes, if one recalls the first Rajapaksa term in which the family wasn’t much in evidence.

      Yes, because Mahinda went ahead with the NPC election under the existing 13A despite opposition from Gota even in the face of Indian pressure.

      Yes, also if one recalls the situation in 2002 when CBK had to coexist with another party that formed the Govt because it had a majority in the legislature. If such a balance can come about through a strong opposition showing at the parliamentary election, the Rajapaksa family will be downsized, though Mahinda will remain president, having been re-elected.

      Did I participate in any hegemonic project? Yes, but it was not the Rajapaksa hegemonic project. I supported JRJ after the Indo-Lanka Accord and during the JVP insurrection. I supported President Premadasa far more closely than I did Mahinda. I also supported CBK publicly from the 1999 elections upto the takeover of the portfolios from RW and the general election that followed.

      The hegemonic project I supported throughout was that of the Sri Lankan democratic State. Mine is and has been since 1987, a state-centric project, not a family-centric or regime-centric or personality centric one.

      In conclusion, even if Sajith is not the UNP candidate, if Anura Kumara Dissanaike is the common opposition candidate– and does not promise to abolish the presidency ( the retention and reform of which I support)– I shall support the latter over Mahinda Rajapaksa.

      So clearly my stance towards Mahinda may be termed conditional and critical support.

      • Fitzpatrick

        You say:
        Yes, if one recalls the first Rajapaksa term in which the family wasn’t much in evidence.

        Yes, because Mahinda went ahead with the NPC election under the existing 13A despite opposition from Gota even in the face of Indian pressure.

        The first comment does not agree with your second, the 2013 election was held under the second term of MR.
        It was held because Japan demanded it. Of course since the election he has done everything he can to scuttle the working of the NPC.

        If you think that this is abnormal, look at the many commissions that MR has appointed to “investigate”, he does it in the face of local/international pressure then shelves it.
        In the case of the LLRC he again appointed it not because he wanted it but because of moves internationally to investigate the alleged atrocities in the last months of the war. Once it was done he was again pressured to release it. Now it’s implementation has been scuttled !!!!
        (the many articles on CT and GV are testament to its non implementation)

        Since you seem to support Sajith could you tell me why?? No one else can see any leadership potential in him. He is often seen as a petulant child who wants to throw his toys out of the cot when he does not get his ways. Then why do you support him? Is it due to your earlier support of his father (which you yourself mention above).

        What leadership does Anura show that you want him? The JVP can barely hold on to the few seats they have and their dismal performance in the SPC election was very revealing.
        There are many mothers and fathers who still mourn the missing/killed children who will not vote for the JVP.

        • RandomIdea

          Fitzpatrick, your analysis on Sajith/JVP shows your level of knowledge on matters you think you know better. Frankly, for me it shows you have a long way to go. [Edited out]

  • Rajah2000

    Bastille Day in France, the Vietnam war and all other examples given by Mr. Dayan in this article all involved a single ethnicity within a single country. Mr. Dayan, I want you to give me one example of a civil war involving two different ethnicities, two different peoples who identify themselves differently, either through language or religion, where each warring side composed of a majority of a single ethnicity like the Tigers who were majority tamils and the Sri-Lankan army where the majority were Sinhalese – and where such a conclusion to the war involving victory on one side is celebrated like Sri-Lanka celebrates with military might. Give me a single example from around the world. People are not stupid Mr. Dayan – Spin-doctoring only gets you so far.

    • Jayalath

      If the LTTE managed to separate the country as they wished by war , do you think they would not celebrate the victory day ? My point is that celebrating the victory is a normal , and what people forget today is the scale of war . We must not normalise the magnitude of crisis that we had to face by log into petty arguments . Whether agree or not that it was a full scale war to separate single country , so what ever the reasons is a separate question , therefore as a state that it has sole right to defeat the separatists by militarily or by discussions that both ways are legal and conventional and also constitutional that is what the government did and it’s the state responsibility to defend the country by any level of threat caused by internal or external . It is no matter whether it is ethnic or not as long as group of people wage a war against a legal government . Let’s have a look how did the state respond to Jvp twice in 71 and 89,90 . Did the state look away just because they are singhalese , no , it doesn’t work in such way . However , the LTTE And Jvp work for different purpose and The Jvp celebrates every year.
      By the way , we must not expect people like Dayan to wind up people by bold arguments . I have lot of respect for him about writing good and balance articles on this site , therefore he must refrain from writing bold article to infuriate people ,instead of writing articles on focusing and leading people to understand what is the better governing meant to be for the people of our country in the future .

      • Marty

        Do we celebrate a victory day over the defeat of the JVP,

        • Jayalath

          Was the Jvp fought to separate the country ?

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    My profound apologies, Bastille Day is July 14th, not July 4th. Late middle-aged memory lapse rather than personal ideological preference, confused the date of US Independence Day with Bastille Day.

  • puniselva

    Dayan
    Pl don’t compare apples and oranges using your vast knowledge of history, politics, philosophy and English language.

  • puniselva

    Dayan, I’ve just found this comment to this article posted on http://www.colombotelegraph.com:
    DJ cannot compare German re-unification to what he refers to as Sri Lankan re-unification for the following reasons: 1. East Germany and West Germany were both legally recognized, independent, sovereign states with membership in the United Nations Organization. Both countries were marked on the map. 2. East Germans and West Germans shared the same mix of religions. 3. East Germans and West Germans spoke the same language. 4. Citizens of both countries belonged predominantly to the same race. 5. The re-unification of the Germanies brought great rejoicing to citizens on both sides of the wall. 6. The uniting of the two halves of Germany was not achieved by committing genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. 7. The citizens from one part of Germany were not forcibly confined within the perimeters of ‘welfare camps’ and no one was sent to ‘rehabilitation’ camps immediately following reunification. 8. The re-unification of Germany did not produce any casualties or cause untold suffering and hardships to any segment of the population. The list goes on…… The sole dividing issue between the two countries was political ideology!

  • ram2009

    Bolshevik ‘revolution’ was not as described. The vast majority of the ‘Bolsheviks’ were not Slavic people, but yet managed to take control of the country from the 95% who were. Funnily enough they have now moved on and metamorphosed into the so-called NeoCons in another country, running most things there. German bifurcation was not desired by the German people but was an imposition after the defeat of Hitler, one of Prabhakaran’s heroes.
    The celebration of the victory over Prabhakaran, and his LTTE goons is not something we need to apologise for. The 300,000 Tamils he had herded to provide him with a human shield were liberated, though some fell victim in the final assault. We remember the dead, and the wounded. Some (security forces) willingly gave their lives lives so that we may live. Others were murdered willy nilly by the terrorists, and yet others were caught in the middle.
    There seems to be deficit in your understanding of the ethnic dimension given to Sri Lankan politics by the likes of Ponnambalam, SJV Chelvanayakam etc. which ultimately led to the blood letting. Peace of a sorts prevails today, and hopefully things will get better with time, in spite of the attempts by the LTTE rump abroad to reignite the cinders of political dissent hidden under the ash.

    • Fitzpatrick

      That’s all good and true. Care to comment on my questions directed at YOU in the article
      Erasing Identities: Tracing Sri Lanka’s Post-war Journey through the Changing Realities of Trincomalee ??
      I am waiting….thank you.

  • Sala

    Can Dayan explain why we do not have a day to celebrate the victory over the JVP?

  • Dev

    I personally feel there is nothing wrong in celebrating the victory over the LTTE (I am a Tamil) but why stop the Tamils from going to the temples?
    Given the presidents extensive interview in 2013 to Al Jazeera, I am of the opinion that everything that Dayan states needs to be taken within that context.
    As far as I am aware our excellency (twice democratically elected) president has not rescinded his statement vis-à-vis Dayan.

    • David Blacker

      since you appreciate context, you must look at the state’s actions in preventing commemorations of the dead Tigers in the context of the continued separatist threat from outside SL.

      as for Dayan, i think you should stop concerning yourself with his motives, and instead engage with what he is saying (if what he says holds any interest for you). right here in this thread he has been accused of being in the pay of an NGO as well as the Rajapakses, so clearly there’s no credible motive.

      • Dev

        Are calling our excellency (twice democratically elected) Hon. Mahinda Rajapakse (vanquisher of the terrorist ) a lier?

        It is NOT me who exposed Dayan and his NGO connections, it was not a anti government newspaper that did it OH NO it was our own dear (twice democratically elected) president on INTERNATIONAL television (reaching millions of people across the globe) that clearly in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS told that Dayan J now works for a “powerful” NGO.

        He has NOT rescinded his statement vis-à-vis Dayan as of today.

        (If he has please feel free to post the evidence). Until and unless I see evidence Dayan J is working for a NGO. (Surely you don’t expect our twice democratically elected president, a devout Buddhist to lie especially on international TV???)

        • David Blacker

          in spite of your attempts to intimidate me by suggesting i have called the president a liar (i haven’t even mentioned him) and derail the conversation into one on rumour and innuendo, i press you once more to instead engage with what Dayan is saying instead of why he is saying it. in case you missed it, my original comment about Dayan was simply in passing; the main point was the JVP.

          • Dev

            This is NOT rumour but stating the facts as laid out by our Hon. (twice democratically elected) president regarding Dayan. Simply a fact ! (unless you are suggesting our excellency deals with rumors and innuendo).
            I am simply saying that given this exposure by our honorable president, Dayan’s statements need to be taken in that context of his NGO involvement together with the government’s (in particular our defense secretary’s) warnings about the many machinations of the NGO’s that is all.

          • Fitzpatrick

            You have missed Dev’s point. Dayan said he criticized the defense secretary (in his own words: one of if not the first public personality to name and criticize Gotabhaya ). Dev raised the point that given his involvement with an NGO and given Gothabhya’s criticism of NGO’s, is his criticism motivated by his involvement with a NGO?

          • I Karu

            Thank you for your comments and your exposure.

          • David Blacker

            Dev, since you believe that all that is necessary for something to become fact is for the Prez to say so, i am sure you now accept that as fact that there were zero civilian casualties in the NE.

            Fitz, until Dev is capable of actually providing the context that would make DJ’s alleged employment by an NGO significant to his criticism of GR (but not of MR), his simple repetition that it is significant has no value as an argument.

          • Dev

            Come come David, stop beating about the bush. Are you saying the President Mahinda (twice democratically elected and tiger vanquisher) is lying?

            Either he is or he is not, only ONE could be true !

            Let us focus on Dayan and his NGO connections for now, since that is the subject we are talking about.

            Option 1:

            If Hon. Mahinda is NOT lying,then it is established that Dayan indeed works for a NGO and his recent rants against Hon. G Rajapakse (who lead our army to victory) is motivated by his NGO connections.

            ?Option 2:?

            If the president is lying, it means he lied in front of millions of people worldwide …..

            If he lied and Dayan does not work for a NGO, then, given that Dayan has in more than one occasion claimed that it is only Mahinda that can “deliver” Sri Lanka’s much needed peace and prosperity (definitely not CBK, Ranil or Rev. Sobitha) Are you suggesting that Dayan has been asking us to support a “lier”??
            (if that is true, then that speaks more about Dayan than Mahinda).

            It can only be one of the above two options-its that simple !

          • David Blacker

            i have no idea whether the MR is lying, and neither do you. what you are claiming is that an allegation becomes fact as long as the allegation is made by a particular individual.

            you still seem unable to explain how DJ being in an NGO has relevance to his criticism of just GR and not MR. is this because you don’t know and are simply repeating something in the hope that you will sound intelligent? i look forward to your explanation.

  • Patriot

    I think celebrating “victory day” is foolish because of the hopeless situation the GOSL finds itself in today. If Vegas was giving odds on what the newest country in the world will be, “Tamil Eelam” is going to be second on that list right behind Scotland. They are certainly going to be given far better odds than Western Sahara or even Palestine. Tell me Dayan, do you really think the UN investigation that’s currently underway is going to conclude that the GOSL did NOT commit genocide against the Tamil people? Maybe you choose to ignore that investigation and live in your own bubble believing that the world revolves around Sri Lanka. Tell me, does the GOSL have any leverage to resist the US, to prevent them from imposing their will on the Island just as they did at the UNHRC. What leverage does Sri Lanka posses that Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan did not?
    Since the GOSL does not have any such leverage, the sensible thing for it to do is to hedge their bets and not celebrate “Victory Day”. For what happens post Eelam; are they going to become the laughing stock of the world by celebrating “Victory” against separatism?!! Will they invite the Tamil Eelam ambassador to Sri Lanka to attend?!!

    • David Blacker

      Germany was invited to the last commemoration of the D-Day landings, but aren’t you counting your chickens a little early?

      • Burning_Issue

        You have missed the point Patriot has made!

  • David Blacker

    the JVP was a proscribed (banned/illegal) party at the time of the insurrection, and i don’t think separating the country into two is any worse than wanting to conquer it whole.

  • Jack Point

    I think the problem with the victory celebration is that it looks engineered to rub in the fact that the Tamils (not the LTTE) were defeated and the Sinhalese, were the victors. The GoSL reactions to any attempt at mourning or commemoration in the North this year underlines this attitude – anything done by the Tamils must necessarily be a commemoration of the LTTE and therefore banned. When LTTE=Tamils and the celebration is all about the defeat of the Tamils I think it bodes ill for any reconciliation. Subjugation, yes. Reconciliation, no.

  • David Blacker

    i don’t believe the president has ever personally withdrawn the zero casualty claim. even if he has, do you contend that the facts change when someone changes his claim? :D opinion isn’t fact, something poor old Dev can’t understand.

    i also don’t think GR has “exposed” anything about NGO plans. he too has made allegations, but again, do you contend that an allegation is a fact?