24 September, 2018

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A Response To The President’s Address On ‘Victory Day’

By Rajasingham Narendran

Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

I read with much interest the President’s ‘Victory Day’ speech at the Galle Face Green, yesterday, reproduced in CT.   While I agree with much of his recount of recent history, there are glaring gaps in the story he recalled.  Further, he has failed to address the current concerns of the victims his forces liberated at all.  I have selected some sentences and sections from his address to express my concerns.

Today we have the fourth opportunity to celebrate with dignity the great victory of our Motherland.”

Mr. President, victory over whom?   I raise this question in terms of the word ‘Conquered’ used in a war memorial in Mullaitivu.  Was it a victory over the LTTE or the Tamils?  Motherland!  Whose?  I did not see any opposition figures in the podium?  There were also no representatives of the Tamils, who were liberated by the armed forces, on the podium. I also did not see any Hindu priests, Christian padres or Muslim Moulavis on the podium, except for a handful of Buddhist monks.  The absence of Sarath Fonseka, the man who led the army from the front, at this function and his name and role not being even mentioned were glaring omissions that portrayed  the smallness this great country is being reduced to.

Further, the language in the inscription on the war memorial at which flowers were laid was only in Sinhalese. Why?  What does this imply in terms of the word ‘Motherland’ used by you? Is Tamil not the language of the ‘Other’ children of ‘Mother Lanka’?   Why were these inscriptions not also in Tamil- an official language and English- a link language? What is the message this government is conveying?

“We must bear in mind that thousands of heroes like this sacrificed their lives for the country to obtain this great victory.”

Why were the thousands of civilians- innocent and forcibly conscripted by the LTTE- who sacrificed their lives and much more, not remembered or mentioned in the president’s speech.  They are war-victims who are yet living and are the bigger heroes.   Those Tamils liberated from the clutches of the LTTE are the real victors. They sacrificed most, put up with the worst imaginable and barely escaped alive. Why were the disabled, the orphaned and widowed Tamil civilian survivors, not paraded and honored at this event? Why was an opportunity to promote national reconciliation once again missed?

“If one is to fully understand the great service provided by these heroes we must recall how the people of this country lived before May 2009.”

I hope you  had in mind the period preceding the emergence of Tamil militancy and the LTTE, where the Tamils were exclusively targeted and the interim period when they were also subjected to state terror.  The Tamils have borne the consequences of terrorism- of the state, Sinhala hoodlums and the Tamil terrorists masquerading as liberators, for a much longer period than the others in our Mother Land.  They are the bigger victims and the larger than life heroes.  They are the ones who should prod our conscience and make us humane and hence human.

“We know that those who had ceasefire agreements that betrayed the country to the Tigers are making every effort to make us forget the heroism of this nation.”

This is a very unfair and inaccurate statement.  It is the last ceasefire agreement signed with Norwegian mediation that exposed the LTTE for what it was to the Tamils and helped weaken it from within.  It was an important prelude to what the last war achieved.

“This era should be not go-down in history as an era when we were warring, but an era when war was ended.”

True.   What about the hereafter?  What sort of peace are you trying to build? What sort of nation are you trying to build?  This has been neither defined nor clarified yet.  Is it going to be a victor’s justice or resolution of issues that led to Tamil militancy, terrorism and war, for all time, to the satisfaction of the Tamils and all right thinking people in this country?  Are the minorities to be permanent step-children in the Mother Land that is also theirs?

The end of the war has also not helped liberate all the peoples of Sri Lanka from the scourges of bad governance and the unbearable cost of living. There are haunting realities in the lives of all the citizens of this country.  The armed forces have won a major battle under your leadership, but you are on the way to lose the bigger war.

“Similarly, this era should go down in history as one that carried out a major transformation to prevent the occurrence of war again.”

What sort of major transformation?  Are increased militarization and surveillance the only answers? Should not the political needs, concerns and fears of the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims be addressed in a more Statesman-like manner? Isn’t it important to remember that each one of is a child of Mother Lanka and the weaker in political terms, need special care from your government, which at the moment is in charge of affairs here.

Why were warnings against commemorating the war-dead among the Tamils, issued by the military and not the police?  Why has not the government organized official events to commemorate all the / riot/war / insurgency dead in this country?  If the government can publicly celebrate victory, why can’t the Tamils publicly commemorate the innocent victims of war?

Why should  almost 7000 acres of land that was commandeered for reasons of war  25 years back from their owners, be not returned to the rightful owners, four years after the war ended?  What is the moral justification for acquiring these lands?  Will this help with reconciliation or win the hearts and minds of the Tamils?  How will these acquisitions prevent the recurrence of war?   Do you understand that the Tamils will not want a war in their midst for the next thousand years?   You have to know what the Tamils think, better and trust their good sense. They have learned more lessons the hard way than you and your government have learned.

“It is the people in the North and the East who would and should feel this most. Today, in the north and east of the country, there are twelve political parties carrying out their activities freely.”

How freely?  What choices do the war-affected have?  What sort of individuals and political formations has your government promoted in the north and east?  What sort of individuals would come forward to contest elections in the north and east, considering the political climate?  You have embraced ex-LTTE’rs –both big and small-, but have not yet reached out for the hearts, minds and souls of the Tamils. You have not trusted them and they are yet unable to trust you yet, despite your laudable efforts  on the IDP, resettlement, rehabilitation and infra-structure development fronts.   It is for you t6o identify the missing piece.

“Prabhakaran and his cohorts destroyed the erudite society that could build the culture of the Tamil people of the north.”

What has your government done to encourage the remaining erudite and the cultured Tamils to lead the Tamils in the north and east?  How can we expect you to do this in the north and east, when you are orchestrating and promoting the entry of scum and the lumpen into Sinhala and Tamil politics?

“The time has come for the people of the north to have a good understanding of the honesty of those who claim to speak on their behalf.”

Please remember that this caution will also apply to those you have promoted and continue to promote as the leaders of the Tamils in the north and east.

“I understand well and recall the hearts and minds of the people of the north and east. History shows that in the Presidential Election of 1982 the Tamil people of the north defeated Ponnambalam who stood for a separate state and elected Kobbekaduwa who was from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.”

The vote for Hector Kobbekaduwa was a vote against the high handedness of JRJ and the UNP.

The voting at the 1982 Presidential Elections was as follows in north and east:

Jaffna:  Total voters- 493,705          Voted- 218,003

SLFP – 77,300    UNP -44,980    ACTC- 87, 263

Vanni:  Total voters- 119,093           Voted- 70,739

SLFP-23, 221      UNP -32,834     ACTC- 11,521

Batticaloa:  Total voters- 172,480     Voted- 120,076

SLFP- 21,688      UNP- 48,094      ACTC- 47,095

Trincomalee:   Total voters- 133,646    Voted- 70,739

SLFP- 31,700      UNP- 32,834     ACTC- 11,521.

Kumar Ponnambalam had the largest share of votes in Jaffna, although he basked in the glory of his late father and had no vote base there.

You have failed also to mention how the Tamils voted when Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunge was a presidential candidate for the first time in 1994:

Jaffna:   Total voters- 596,366      Voted- 14,716

SLFP – 16,934         UNP- 341

Vanni:    Total Voters- 184,090     Voted- 40,053

SLFP- 75, 242           UNP- 26,860

Batticaloa:  Total voters- 201,897   Voted- 168,443

SLFP – 144,725      UNP 14,812

Trincomalee:   Total voters- 184,090     Voted- 106,480

SLFP- 75,242       UNP- 26,860

The above results are self explanatory. Tamils have been ready to vote for candidates of national parties, irrespective of the token candidatures of Tamils.  The overwhelming Tamil vote for Chandrika Kumaratunge was for the promise she represented for the Tamils.  The UNP caricatured her dressed and adorned as a Tamil, to draw the Sinhala vote. However, this did not work. She won 66% of the votes cast.

There is a lesson for you in this. The Sinhala people are wiser and more ethical than they are portrayed to be by fringe Sinhala political parties.

“I believe that the feeling that we should all live together in a single country is once again emerging in the hearts of the Tamil people.”

That feeling was always there among the overwhelming number of Tamils. Unfortunately, they were driven to consider other options, when forced to feel they were unwanted in their Mother Land.  Yes, they want to yet live in a single country, but as equal citizens in every way and with rights to manage their political affairs internally, in areas where they predominate, to a reasonable extent.  They also want to share power at the centre, to commiserate with their numbers. They do not want to be victims of state terrorism, Tamil terrorism or Sinhala chauvinism and majoritarianism, ever gain.

The big question is what are you and your government doing to meet Tamil and other minority expectations in terms of their role and place in the national politics and life.

“Before me today I see brave sons and daughters of Sri Lanka who are ready to sacrifice their lives for our Motherland.”

There would have been more Tamil and Muslim sons and daughters of Sri Lanka, in front of you, ready to sacrifice their lives too for the Motherland, if you had made 18th May, the National Commemoration and Remembrance Day, instead of a Victory Day.   I think there is a big lesson for you and your government to learn on what national reconciliation means.

“It is with great pride that I recall that through thousands of years past there were hundreds of thousands of brave people ready to sacrifice their lives for the Motherland.”

These brave people included Tamils who fought in Dutu Gemunu’s army, Sempakaperumal alias Sappumal Kumaraya, Tamils who fought against the Portuguese invaders and the thousands of Tamils who refused to bow down to the LTTE, any longer.  Please also do not forget the Tamil leaders who were in the fore front, demanding independence for Sri Lanka.

“It said “Never did we know what fear was. Never were we bothered about life, but for our land”.”

However, dastardly the LTTE was, it should also be remembered that many thousands of young Tamils knew no fear, did not bother about life and sacrificed their lives for its cause, because they loved the part of this Mother Land that they believed was theirs to live as proud citizens.  It was a fallback position on account of their being marginalized and brutalized in the larger Mother Land of Sri Lanka. If this fundamental is not understood, there can never be reconciliation in this land.

I end this response repeating some lines from Prof. Niranjan Mahesan’s recent poem:

“With the end of the Fascist, the new dawn we toasted;

With strength of Leadership, of a new plan we boasted.

 Now what can we show, for all that gore?

Food for thought Mr. President!

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Latest comments

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    Dr.Narendran,please let us know in your next article what are the questions in the grilling you get when you are asked to come for an interview to the 4th floor now.When the knock on your door comes for the summons don’t try to take out a semi auutomatic and try to shoot your way out or try to throw a grenade at the police officers because then they will have no option but to mow you down.

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    Rajapaksa as the President and the Commander in Chief was able to save Srilanka from separation and disintegration thanks to the valiant Armed Forces.

    The same people who aided and abetted the 30 year mayhem inflicted on the inhbitants, under the pretext of liberation now are making the same demands as if nothing happened.

    As the Commander in Chief he can’t even acknowledge the bravery of his Military Forces and their supreme sacrifice in saving the Nation.

    LTTE Diaspora and their elected Cabinet and the PM is openly declaring an Eelaam in Srilanka.

    TNA is in bed with the UNP to organize general strikes to cripple the Nation.

    PMs Cameron and Harper are trying hard to do a “Syria” in Srilanka.

    UN High Commissioer Ms Pillay is adding more pages to the dossier to try Rajapaksa in the Hague.

    What is Rajapaksa supposed to do?.

    Hand over Land to Sambandan with his TNA or could it be IAK, TULF TELO or what ever Police and hope the ex Militants and Terrorist associates become Alter Boys under Bishop Rayappu.

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      What is Rajapaksa supposed to do?

      Ado Sumo, BBS & JHU clowns with the villainous military forces added poison to the forage of that poor man Percy.

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    Don’t know how long this victory parade will go on.We have had the Independence parade for the last 60 years and it is real stale stuff now and should be dumped in the dustbin,because nobody is interested about how we got independence anymore.Same for the victory parade,probably it will go on well into the latter part of the century when the future generations coundn’t care a hoot about what happenned with the LTTE and would be more interested in making as much money as possible because they will be only thinking of the dollars, not caring two hoots about what happened in the past.Every generation is smarter than the previous one and thats how humans evolved and have achieved so much.

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    A great analysis by the author,I hope more and more people think in similar terms and make the country a real paradise

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    I would have thought that having a victory parade every year highlights the fact that we have had two nations and one has triumphed over the other.Isn’t this exactly what the eelamists want,to show the world that there are two nations,not one.I thought we would try to cover the embarassing fact that we had to kill people who we call citizens of srilanka, the tamils without highlighting the fact to the whole world and playing right into the hands of the eelamists who will say”told you so,there were two nations in this country and just like the independence day from the British,they are now every year celebrating the triumph of the sinhala nation over the tamil nation”.

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      Precisely so, dear Shankar. There was the Tamil Nation and more than one Sinhala Nation by the time the Portugese decided to visit. No amount of distortion of current historians – of the JHU/JVP, Sobita Thero variety is not going to change the equation. Last week’s events show the 2 Nations in their right and real mood – one celebrates while the other mourns. The latter is not allowed to mourn their dead and their heroes locally – so they are forced to do outside – but with what deadly effect and global publicity.

      Senguttuvan

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        Senguttuvan,
        You Tamils talk only about killings during the last few months of the war but not the tens of thousands of killings that had been going on for over thirty years before that? Praba asked the war and he got the war. If only Praba raised a white flag high at least at the end of 2008, all that last few months deaths could have been avoided. Blame Praba not Rajapakse for civilian deaths during the last few months.

        Surely you should appreciate that regardless his race all Sri Lankan enjoy better peace and better democracy and better growth than any country that had experienced even a shorter war than ours at recent times. Look at what’s happening to those countries that democracy was rammed by the West, like Libya, Iraq and etc. Do you know any country turned around so quick faster than us.

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        Senguttuvan.Yu say that one nation is celebrating while the other mourns.I don’t think the tamils are exactly mourning the demise of the LTTE lock stock and barrel as you proclaim.There must be a sense of relief that this long and bloody war is over.Even world war 2 was for about 5 or six years whereas the war with the LTTe dragged on for 25 years.There is a limit to what the tamils can take and they would have got a gutful of the LTTe to last them a life time.They are not mourning the dead LTTE i,sm sure,but my main point is by the yearly victory celebrations the the government is giving the impression to the world that they have vanquished an external enemy,and that gives the impression to the world that there were two countries really instead of one and that one conquered the other.Then the world will start seriously delving into the history of Srilanka for the last thousand years and then might decide that the tamils are justified in asking for their own country because before colonialism they did have what they are claiming now.So it is very foolish for the sinhalese to be highlighting this with their victory celebrations because it will be a constant reminder to the rest of the world that there were two nations.

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        WE don’t need a Catholic nation in north east.

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          Dear Senguttuvan,
          We are mostly Hindus.WE don’t need a Catholic nation in north east. If it is a Buddist nation we will be happy.

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            theva

            “WE don’t need a Catholic nation in north east.”

            There is no such thing as Hindu nation nor a Buddhist nation.

            Nations are for people to live, thrive and unleash their potential, not for the bigots ordering rest of the people how to live, what to eat and whom they sleep with, based on their perverted interpretation of respective religions.

            People don’t want to see the religious/thought police in their house particularly in their bedroom.

            The idea of Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, Catholic …..nation is a disaster which should be resisted at all cost.

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              100 likes for this

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            Theva,

            If we read Agnithevan’s policies right, the State he had in mind
            had no place for religion. It was not an agnostic State but one in
            which all religions, he insisted, are equal. So don’t you worry – although Thevan is no more, the inspiration remains.

            Senguttuvan

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    Even the political-scientist DJ has warned SL about what the Diaspora
    can do in the future, as they are being forced to resort to these actions
    by the SL Sinhala King in his madness to hang on to power.
    DJs attempt to smooth-out the Victory Celeb. to another date will make no difference to the Tamils.

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    Remember Sengutt,
    774 Police officers taken prisoner were massacre on 11 June 1990.
    147 Muslims praying in a mosque massacre in Kattankudy Aug 1990.
    146 Buddhist pilgrims massacre at Boa-tree in Anuradhapura in May1985.
    127 were massacred in a Habarana bus on 17 April 1987.
    120 massacred in Eastern Province on 16 October 1995.
    116 massacred at Central Bus Station Colombo on 21 April 1987.
    109 massacred at Palliyagodella on 15 October 1991.
    103 massacred at Digampathana bombing 16 October 2006.
    91 killed at Central Bank bombing 31 January 1996.
    64 killed in Dehiwala train bombing 24 July 1996.
    35 Bikkus were massacred at Aranthalawa on 2 July 1987.

    As you know, that is only a very few in a long list of LTTE killings since Duraiappa. Needless to say, victims included people of all races and religions. They had to die because you and your politicians encouraged ‘boys’ to resort to terrorist tactics to have your pipe dream – Eelam come true. Now that tigers are finished the tiger proxies are coming up with new games. I bet, Rajapakse can smell it.

    The victory celebration that President Rajapakase headed, as I interpreted from his speech, is to remind you and us (two nation that mentioned) what it was like for 30 odd years and his determination never to allow any thugs or gangs to start killing spree once again in Sri Lanka. In spite of your global publicity he is doing a fine job of it. So long as he stick to his guns all his other sins will be forgiven by the majority in this country.

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    Shankar and One Sri Lanka Man will note the war should have been against the armed LTTE and not the unarmed Tamil civilians.
    ‘If only Praba raised a white flag high at least at the end of 2008…” you say. But they did, my friend, apparently on prior- arrangements with the higher up at the UN. If the deal was kept
    VP, arguably, may have been in the next batch. Who mowed them moved down by virtual point blank fire, while they were walking to supposed-safety under White Flags, is now the question. The summarily executed includes a Sinhala woman, who must have felt the filth fired against her for being a Sinhalese married to a Tamil, must have been more painful than the bullets that finally did her in. That pernicious piece of legislation, the PTA, is still applied although the war was over 4 years ago. Why, demands, Ranil W – an answer that he will never get. Mrs Ekniligoda is puzzled why her husband was taken in by a bad piece of law calculated to cause harm only to Tamils.

    Senguttuvan

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      Senguttuwan,

      I recommend you read the articles written by a team of Thuklak ( Cho Ramasamy’s political weekly) reporters that are being serialised in thenee.com. They are in Tamil. These articles based on recent visits to various areas in the Vanni and Jaffna, present the ‘other’ perspectives. Whether you and other readers choose to concur or disagree, does not matter, as long as the existence of the other perspective is recognised.

      Dr.RN

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        I was recently on an extended tour of Tamilnadu and the temples in the South. Friends of many years – very close to Cho R – were keen that I meet with him for a long chat. I looked forward to this because I know Puratchi Chelvi holds him in very high regard. The 2-hr power cuts and a sudden visit to Kovai by him resulted in the need for a re-schedule. I have met him years ago when he personally gave me a copy of Thuglaq. I have not read the latest issues of thenee.

        Around 2007 I was invited to set up a Cbo-Chennai line to improve relations between the two sides – with Cho playing a role. But the regime read it wrong and appointed someone who was a misfit to carry through the process. The man was so inefficient all the time he spent was getting the Police to stop the many demos a week. He had to be removed unceremoniously.

        I agree whether what I and others opine may be debatable. But equally real are the undue rosy pictures painted of normalcy,
        development and peace. Salman Khurshid may not have made that unprecedented phone call merely check on the weather??? Or the sudden rush to Beijing.

        Senguttuvan

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          Senguttuvan

          While you are in Tamilnadu do visit my cousins in the hilly part of the state.

          Please also advise them to hold on to their land.

          Please let us know the impact that the student protest had on the Tamilnadu political establishment.

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      ButVP didn’t raise a white flag, Sengu. None of his military commanders did. It was only a few insignificant bureaucrats who did so in secret. What was called for was a surrender — a laying down of arms and a cessation of hostilities. Instead, VP and the Tigers traded the lives of women and children — daily — so that they could survive instead.

      VP should have surrendered when Kilinochchi fell, when his outflanked and outgunned troops turned and ran on January 1st. At least he should have surrendered after Aanandapuram, when every single Tiger unit commander was killed in one battle. But he didn’t. He hid behind the Tamil people.

      VP and his henchmen deserved to die just as the Nazis deserved to die. Even if VP knew he was to be shot without trial, he should have surrendered for the sake of the Tamils he was claiming to be fighting for. Imagine what a heroic act that would have been. Instead he gathered them around him in a human shield. That is the hero you are venerating.

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        “But VP didn’t raise a white flag” This is often your problem. Read me well before you contradict. I didn’t say he raised the white flag.

        Surely Nadesan is no small fry???

        I have no problem with your comments in para 2 and 3.
        VP should have taken a different step – paying the greatest heed to the safety and lives of civilians. This is something by which his role will always be defined and seen. If he had, the region and the world would probably have, to some extent, stood with him. But then Wars are won and lost – sometimes on small mistakes.
        This, clearly, was his.

        Senguttuvan

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          Senguttuvan

          “Surely Nadesan is no small fry???”

          He was the former head of Tamil Eelam police (IGP?).

          At the time of his killing, Nadesan was the Chief Political Commissar.

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          Dear MR. Senguttuvan!,

          If he had, the region and the world would probably have, to some extent, stood with him. But then Wars are won and lost – sometimes on small mistakes. This, clearly, was his.

          —-

          Oh this is jolly good:-)

          So VP keeping civilians hostage around him till the last moment was only a “small” mistake on his part?

          Is this the common view held by educated upper class Tamils of the day Mr. Senguttuvan? May be this is the same view they held when thousands of people were allegedly being killed in Wanni back in 2009?

          Excellent! Then can we please forget VP’s “small” mistake and its “small” CONSEQUENCES and move on without wasting everyone’s time and energy on accountability, investigations, resolutions, mass demonstration, self immolation, etc. etc.?

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            The “small mistake” was not doing what should have been done – that VP did not do. Was it ego, honour or something else, I don’t know. Many, like KP and others, yielded to the inevitable.
            “Consequences” you speak of, does not fall in this category. They involve the many instances of deliberately dishonoured pledges
            concerning high officials in the UN system. It is up to them to move on or insist on accountability, investigations and so on.
            I lose very little sleep on these.

            Senguttuvan

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              Dear Mr. Senguttuvan,

              The “small mistake” was not doing what should have been done – that VP did not do.

              Good sir, is not doing what should have being done a “small” mistake on part of VP? When VP’s “mistake” caused so much death, destruction and agony to thousands of civilians, how could it be “SMALL”?

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    @Dr RN says
    On the other hand, the Tamil politicians prioritized political power in their hands as the solution to all the post-war problems in the north and east.

    That it the current issues in a nutshell.

    Enough said.

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      Who is this other pompous arse? Who misses a multitude of forests of other readers’ contributions for a single weed in his back and egotistically wants the last word for him or herself being apparently incapable of an expansive, panoramic and depth comprehensions of the bigger pixes?

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    To me 18th of May was Victory over an outfit hellbent on separating this island into two. That is the main point least you forget. Who, why and where can always be debated. But at the end of day there was a war fought using C4, gunpowder, manpower resulting in Blood and death. There is no need to mention that irrespective of race many thousands died. No dont tell me that more Tamils died than Singhalese – if the seperatist war was fought in the south more Sinhalese would have died as was the case of the JVP insurrection.

    For me 18th of May is definitely a day to commemorate Victory. over who?– The LTTE.

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      Dilshan F,

      ” For me the 18th of May is definitely a day to commemorate Victory. Over who? – The LTTE.”

      The ‘ Sri Lankan’ armed forces were the instruments of this victory. Sri Lankans include the Sinhalese, Tamils , Muslims, Veddhas and others. The Sri Lankan armed forces also liberated the Tamils from the LTTE, while recovering territory occupied by them. The recovered territory was part of Sri Lanka. There was nothing to conquor.The armed forces also freed this country from the grip of terror, war and violence. The defeated LTTErs were also Sri Lankans who had rebelled against the state and terrorised its people. They had a cause, but were wrong in their methods. They were rightly defeated.

      I am sure you will agree with these premises. If you do, the question then arises, why the Tamils should not be given cause to celebrate the victory of their armed forces and rejoice at their own liberation? Why cannot they mourn the death of their kith and kin, while celebrating the defeat of the LTTE. Although the LTTE was also made up of leaders and cadres who were Tamils and hence their kith and kin, all Tamils were not tigers. They have a right to mourn their dead , while also celebrating the defeat of the LTTE. Those Tamils who are not convinced that the defeat of the LTTE was right, should also have the right to mourn their dead, while not commemorating the LTTE. This is freedom and the choice that their liberation from the LTTE should accord the Tamils. This would be democracy. Democracy involves acceptance of diversity in all its variety as a guaranteed norm.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    Isn’t it a total surprise that even the “Leader” came out waving a White Flag.

    And coming from the well connected Tamil like Mr Sengutuan it can’t be just a bit of mischievous blabber.

    Mr Sengutuan seems to have got a new spring in his steps with his Diaspora Leader issuing the Eelaam Charter.

    Is Mr Cameron going to show a copy to our Prez on the sidelines at the CHOGM and put him under the pump.?.

    Considering the large gathering who took to the streets in London, and Toronto the PMs there can’t just ignore nearly 60,000 hardcore marginal voters.

    Supposing Cameron and Harper force the 2 in 1 on us and the Rudra Charter is adopted what would the scenario be in our Motherland?.

    Muslims are now neck and neck in numbers.

    Diasporians with their Duals will push the Muslims back. Yet the Muslims are not going to give the up the East .

    Karuna , Pillayan, KP, Daya Master and many others will be happy that the Charter prohibits the Noose.

    Is Mr Sengutuan going to stay in Colombo?.

    If so does he come under the Rudra Chater or is he happy with the Srilankan Charter?.

    After all Cyprus did Okay until the last couple years.

    But Cypriots were smart enough to have clean break.

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      Come, Come – Sumane, dear chap, where did you get this one “Isn’t it a total surprise that even the “Leader” came out waving a White Flag…”
      I have far too much respect for you and your knowledge to believe this crap coming from you.

      But take a note of this. Those who surrendered under the White Flag (and who were shot down) did so after many assurances from many people in the UN, within the higher levels of GoSL and in the Lankan diplomatic system, the UK, France/USA/Japan – gave the Go Ahead to come out of the cold. That included the celebrated journo Marie Colvin (who died a heroic death in Libya (?) and who had good connections here) This is one issue that will continue to be a thorn on the Rajapakses flesh for a long time – purely for perfidious reasons.

      Senguttuvan

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    K.A Sumanasekera

    “Karuna , Pillayan, KP, Daya Master and many others will be happy that the Charter prohibits the Noose.”

    Common criminals are either rewarded with political appointments or shot inside the prisons whereas mass murderers are feted with high offices and celebrated as heroes.

    You would be surprised, this is Lankan style.

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    Hatred in comments doesn’t necessarily reflect the mentality of the masses and The majority of it is ill informed. In all the future is Sri Lanka is bleak. You have to go out of the country to compare it.

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    Dr. Narendran
    Victory is Victory! all community is now can live peacefully in this country .
    Are you trying to create new problems ?
    Please don’t create problems…. please ….

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      Upul,

      I am not disputing the victory. I am only demanding that it be a victory for all Sri Lankans- Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, opposition parties and others . I am also demanding that it be also a celebration of the Tamils who were delivered from the deadly embrace of the LTTE into freedom. A freedom that will permit them to mourn their dead kith and kin, but NOT the LTTE.
      If Hitler had children and grand children, they would have had the right to mourn their father and grand father, but not the Nazi political set-up and ideology! There are Nazi sympthizers in Germany yet, but all Germans were not Nazis. The majority of Germans remained silent during Nazi rule and rampage, but they were not Nazi sympathisers . This difference should should be understood, appreciated and accommodated in Lankan politics in the post-war circumstances.

      Mine is a heartfelt cry for good sense to prevail in this country. It is the government that is foolishly seeding trouble, by its short sighted vote-seeking political approach to a national issue of critical importance- RECONCILIATION . The noise of the Tamil poltical formations and sections of the Tamil Diaspora should be mistaken for the voice of the majority of Tamils who live here. Reconciliation is a concept and a national goal that should be pursued wisely and with stubborn determination. Nothing is more important to this country at this juncture of our history.

      Dr.RN

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    This retired academic has no any other thing to do, no one in this world 100% correct, should understand the practical situation when implementing anything , ask him to show any other world leader 100% correct in their speech or actions, then we will accept your ideas, all these academic people believe in theories which cannot implement 100% practically, therefore this article is only another peace of S—t

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    A matured thought.

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    Current Realities and Future Needs of the Tamils of North and East

    The war that ended in May’ 2009 and the preceding events changed the political, social, cultural and economic land escape of the Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka.

    In the post-independence years the Muslims and Plantation Tamils adopted different approaches to find their place within the Sri Lankan polity dominated by the majority Sinhalese. Whereas the Tamils demanded that their identity and areas of habitation in the north and east be accorded political recognition within the Sri Lankan state. When this failed they demanded a separate independent state and fought a war to seek it.

    The post-war situation of the Tamils in the north at present is as follows:

    The cumulated wealth, wisdom and culture of millennia are completely lost. The animalistic, brutish, low grade values dominate at every level of society. Men of values, culture and character have adopted an ostrich-like burying the head in sand posture, in the face of this reality.

    Vultures hover over the landscape, for left- over of the war and for their share of development expenditure.

    Type of Leadership changes
    During colonial rule, Sir, P. Ramanathan, Sir P. Arunachalam and ‘Hindu Board’ S. Rajaratnam, under the guidance of Sri La Siri Arumuga Navalar, initiated a movement for educational development of the people in the north.

    These personalities using their enhanced spiritual attributes, which manifested as compassion in action and sacrifice and seeded the formation of 200 feeder schools, one teacher training collage and number of colleges, long before dawn of independence. These institutions were foolishly nationalized in 1963 by Srimavo Government disrupting the symbiotic relationship between them and the community.

    By mobilizing the community, activating them and guiding them, the entire society was transformed. A silent and epoch making revolution we can be proud of and take as an example today.

    This resulted in creating a highly literate, respectable, cultured and value based society. After the demise of the triumvirate, the new leadership that emerged did not have visionary, committed, creative determined, thinking, planning , mobilizing and executing abilities to take the people to the next stage of development.

    A leadership, divorced from the real needs of the people, and a culture different to that of the people came forth which could be best described as ‘Platform speakers’ in the State Council and later the parliament.. G.G.Ponnambalam, who followed Sir P.Ramanathan, though highly educated, articulate, persuasive and flamboyant, confined his role to only representing matters to State Council, and after Independence to Parliament and never believed in mobilizing the people for collective and productive action. Being a top class criminal lawyer, he was very good at arguing a case, but failed to achieve anything meaningful for the Tamils.

    After independence, he saw the changing political landscape, brought about by number based power politics, where the Tamil input and concerns did not matter. Though he was unhappy with these changes, he decided on a course of responsive cooperation and collaboration to resolve problems. His period of Leadership was very crucial.

    Significant changes happened for the country and the destiny of people. However, he achieved little for the people he represented.
    Indian citizenship – He opted for a problem solvingg approach and worked out a formula and time frame, with the Sri Lankan political establishment.

    This was torpedoed by numbers backed power seekers on both sides, Sinhalese, upcountry Tamils led by Thondaman and his own folks , Chelvanayakam and the leftists in the south. This resulted in the Plantation Tamils losing their political clout, until the Srimavo Shasthir pact of 1963

    If one does some costing of the loss to the community on the basis of time lost, economy, progress etc, as a result of the priority given to power politics instead of problem solving , it would be mind boggling. The Plantation Tamil community was pushed down the precipice, by the machinations of power politics.

    After independence, his (G.G) power started dwindling, as his own team,worked to undermine his effectiveness, and soon Chelvanayagam ascended the power structure, representing the Tamils. Tamils were divided into two camps.

    His (S.J.V) Politics, was similar to that of Ponnampalam, in being purely platform- based rhetoric.
    Both did not create any full time establishments to mobilize people and resources to do any kind of developmental activities for the populations in the north and east.

    He ( SJV ) clinched, the idea of federalism, proposed originally and later abandoned by S.W.R.D Banderanayake in 1930’s, which was not acceptable to majority of Sinhalese, due to changes in the nature of local Politics, time and world trends.

    This resulted in confrontational, antagonistic and suspicion creating postures between the various communities resulting. The only results were bringing muscle power and violence to the fore in national politics.

    At the tail end of their lives, both (GG and SJV) withdrew from active and M. Siva Sithamparam and A. Amirthalingam came to the fore. Both lost their parliamentary seats in the 1971 elections. This generational change provided an opportunity for a change in Tamil politics.

    Siva Sithamparam made the first move to meet Amirthalingam at Moolai, in 1971. This meeting initiated , sea of change in Tamil adversarial politics.

    It is Siva’s move, who on advise initiated, engineered and finally made possible the formation of T.U.F, to which S.J.V and G.G reluctantly agreed. They handed over the reins of leadership to the new duo in 1974.

    The calculation of the politicians and calculators of both parties (FP and TC) were based on their new initiatives on power and electoral seat sharing. Despite continuing manipulations and intra-party wrangling, they succeeded in going to Parliament as one block in 1977.
    They however were blind to the deeper currents developing among the Tamil youth whom they had aroused with their rhetoric.

    When they realized their inability to full fill their platform promises, their place in Tamil politics was nearing an end. They had become redundant. Events over took them faster than they had imagined and they lost control. The politically activated youth were in the saddle.

    With the demise of Ponnambalam and Chelvanayakam, a culture of violence and armed struggle, guided by a poorly educated, uncompromising ,determined, steadfast and ruthless Pirabakaran, became a reality.

    The entire Tamil community was made silent and mostly reluctant participants. His Leadership was drastically and diametrically different in nature, to that of Ponnambalam and Chelvanayakam.

    He dedicated himself full time, 24 x 7 x 12, for number of years, in mobilizing, creating, directing, operating, monitoring all aspects and every activity in his movement, Unlike his elite predecessors he seeded a spectacular phenomenon, found the resources and created establishments and institutions of state, which process the world observed in amazement and bewilderment.

    Politics and social mechanisms do not change easily. Governments do not operate on philosophies but in their self interest, This was not acceptable to Pirabakaran. He failed because of his inability to change according to changing circumstances and his destruction of the Tamil societal strengths. He was both a creator and destroyer. However, he was unable to play the maintenance and sustenance role.

    The darkest period had dawned on the Tamil people of N & E Sri Lanka after 500 years of gradual development, as a result of three decades of mindless violence and attendant destruction. The war ended in 2009, but the after effects continue.. The actions initiated to relieve the simple sufferings of the people in all spheres are archaic, painfully slow, eroded by corruption. The govt. services, technical services, judiciary and arms of execution of law and order have all failed.

    Present scenario No Leadership – including political party arena:
    No agenda for future, no collective thinking and no collective action.
    No workers to think and no collective planning.

    No Collective Establishments and institutions for action and implementation

    No efforts for collective mobilization of people and resources.
    Everyone minds their own pottage, and stay in their cubby holes.
    Others are begging and selling their souls.
    Such a great tragedy!

    A serious research study of Tamil political leadership in the pre- and post- independent eras, will be a useful base to formulate future approach, philosophy, and development strategy.

    The vacuum in quality leadership is glaringly visible among the Tamils today. People who think deeply and are aware of history are worried and pray for a restoration of sense of purpose and practical community based efforts, work programs and achievements.

    Old Yarlppanathan

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      Old Yarlpanathan,

      Your analysis of the historical evolution of ‘Tamil Platform Politics’, highlights the fundamental ‘ PROBLEM’ of Tamil politics. The domination of Tamil politics in the post- independence years by lawyers and the evolution of a generation of Tamils fed a heavy dose of South Indian Tamil film oratory ( eg. Prasakthy, Kappal Ortiya Thamilan etc. ), made us the victims of this platform politics.

      I remember that the ‘ Ootru’ organisation initiated , organised and run from the early 1970’s until the LTTE interfered and enfeebled it, was a visionary effort to create a local organisational initiative of the nature you highlight, in the north. Dr. Kandiah Krishnanandasivam, was the visionary behind the ‘ Ootru’ Organization. He was also the force behind the construction of the Murugan.( Kundrit Kumaran) temple at the Peradeniya campus, as an undergraduate.

      Dr. M. Sarvananthan’s Point Pedro institute is presently engaged in research on various aspects of the real problems confronting the Tamils. The TNA is not even aware of the need for such initiatives. The Jaffna University is a glorified high school and degree mill. As it stands today, it cannot fulfil the dreams that accompanied its founding. The Tamil University movement of the post-independence years, of which the Ratmalana Hindu College was a nucleus, died on its feet after this initiative.

      Yes, VP created a war machine ( with its accompanying propaganda and money collecting/making mechanisms) with great ingenuity and genius, but destroyed everything that defined our Tamilness as peoples and identity as individuals in the process. All the other institutional arrangements he created were illusions to delude us and the world. His is not the example for our future.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        Parasakthy had a thicker anti-Brahmin Vs Dalit Tamil layer than
        Tamil nationalistic. Kappalottiya Thamilan – yes. The Tamil Nationalistic wind released by the DK of the late 1950s in the State of Madras coincided with the pro-Buddhist nationalism released by the events that converged with the Buddha Jayanthi,
        SWRD’s cross-over from the UNP and the 1956 Sinhala Buddhist
        revolution in the Island of Ceylon. The period also saw the Sinhala Buddhists regaining their composure after nearly 450 years of colonial rule when the Sinhalese, their religion and culture were denied their place. One will, therefore, not fail to notice fate itself played a substantial part in sensitive events that were to project themselves in the divisive 1950s. These could have been managed in a way the racial-religious equilibrium of Sinhalese and Tamils remained unharmed but our polity failed
        us there. Both the Sinhala and Tamil leadership must share blame here.

        Senguttuvan

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    All those Tamil Leaders you have listed, knew English, and were able to communicate in Parliament. The new Leaders are educated in Tamil, as demanded by their Leaders of the Time and cannot communicate with the Majority. This is the disaster that started the Rot, and is continuing, because the Diaspora have a Voice in the International Arena, due to their knowledge of a foreign Language/or languages.

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    Dr.RN.
    when you say that “the soldiers are war victims”. Who is going to take advantage about this statement.As a tamil I am sure there will be no algebraic sum of advantage for tamil side. Actually Outside countries they are going to threat Sri Lanka for their own benefit. So Sri lanka going to have some disadvantages. It will bring SL ecconomy down.It is for not only for sinhalese but also for tamils. We both sharing the SL ecconomy.

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      Theva,

      Your quote?. Can you please clarify?

      Dr.RN

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