30 October, 2020

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An Approach To Reconciliation

By Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

I am outlining in this article one possible approach to the problem of ethnic reconciliation, while acknowledging that other approaches could also merit consideration. First of all we must acknowledge that the investigations into war crimes required under the UNHRC Resolution could prove to be profoundly divisive, making the task of reconciliation even more difficult than it would have been otherwise. Part of the problem is that the investigations will be confined to the period 2002 to 2009. It will mean that Sinhalese notables will be targeted but not the LTTE ones – who were responsible for the horrors of the forcible recruitment of child soldiers and the use of 330,000 Tamils as human shields – because they are safely dead. It becomes arguable therefore that the investigations should cover the antecedent period as well, including the actions of the IPKF.

I am here recapitulating some of the main points in my article Reconciliation versus Geneva 2015 which was published in the Colombo Telegraph of October 19. The principle I affirmed was that looking into crimes committed in the past should be seen as part of a process of nation-building. We did have a Sri Lankan nation at one time but it broke down some years after Independence, becoming a Sinhalese nation in which the minorities are in Sri Lanka but not of it. The cost of the failure to build a Sri Lankan nation has been very terrible: a 26-year civil war which has left 100,000 dead. Nation-building has perforce to be an indigenous process without outsiders butting in. Therefore the crimes committed by the IPKF should be set aside – for which there are obviously other compelling reasons as well. The focus should be on the Sinhalese, Tamil, and Muslim contributions to our ethnic tragedy.

Where should we begin? Not with the pre-colonial past, nor even with the riots of 1956 and 1958 which in a historical perspective have to be seen as no more than sporadic bouts of violence. We should begin with the qualitative change in our ethnic relations which began in 1977, when the obviously state-sponsored pogrom of that year inaugurated a period of systematic violence against the Tamils. It reached its apogee in the state-sponsored holocaust of 1983. Some special features of what followed in the aftermath should be noted. Unlike in 1958 there was no vigorous protest from the Parliamentary Opposition. There was no civil society reaction worth speaking about, and the Sinhalese people cowered in terror under the heel of the omnipotent Jayawardenian state. There was no one within Sri Lankan to whom the Tamils could turn. It was shown that they could be killed with impunity, and even be treated as worse than pariah dogs with total impunity. It has never been our practice to burn pariah dogs alive, but in 1983 Tamils were burnt alive with the forces of law and order looking on.

The Sinhalese side must acknowledge those horrible facts and also the horrible consequences that follow from those facts. Here I must emphasize that what really matters is not what I think or the Tamils think, but what the international community thinks – meaning of course a powerful group of countries. We can be certain that what the international community thinks is that the Tamils, just like any other group deprived of the protection of the law, were right to take to the gun. That was the only way they had of affirming their human status. The international community could be expected furthermore to think that India was justified in providing training and weapons to the insurgent Tamils, even though India disastrously mishandled the problem at a later stage. I must add that I totally approve of the splendidly outspoken Island editorial of October 1915 which clearly recognizes the then government’s responsibility for 1983 and asks for a probe of the holocaust, including the two Welikada jail “riots”.

On the Tamil side there should be an acknowledgment of the fact that the prolongation of the war was largely due to LTTE intransigence. I don’t want to regurgitate well-known details to demonstrate that both Presidents Premadasa and Kumaratunge were sincere about wanting a negotiated political solution to the ethnic problem. Considering all that happened in the past, it is arguable that the Tamil side had good reason to doubt that sincerity. But that surely does not apply to the Norway-led peace process which the LTTE was bent on aborting by its ridiculous insistence that the addressing of substantive problems should be postponed until the existential problems of the Tamils were solved. The truth is that the LTTE never wanted a political solution because it believed that a military victory was inevitable. Behind that belief was a racist underestimation of Sinhalese capabilities – a racism that I analysed through a dissection of Heroes day speeches of Prabhakaran and Balasingham some years ago. So the Tamil side must acknowledge that the prolongation of the war was mainly due to LTTE intransigence.

A special importance should certainly be given to the expulsion of around 90,000 Muslims from the North under conditions that were horrifying indeed: only a few hours notice was given and the Muslims had to abandon their goods and property which passed into the possession of the Tamils. It was an act of utter barbarism, the only clear act of genocide during the entire 26-year civil war. For some time I held the view that that expulsion from the North was in retaliation for the Eastern Province Tamils having been driven out of around sixteen villages by Muslim Homeguards getting together with members of the STF. But I see from Rajan Hoole’s The Fallen Palmyra that what happened in the EP was itself in retaliation for earlier provocations by the LTTE. So it appears that the expulsion from the North was a well-planned and cold-blooded act of genocide. There seems to be reason to believe that if it had been possible the Muslims would have been driven out of the Eastern Province as well. I must acknowledge that the Muslims have supported the Sinhalese in every act of racist idiocy against the Tamils, and thereby they have contributed in no small measure to the ethnic tragedy. But that does not justify genocide against them.

Investigations into the antecedents of the ethnic problem going back to 1977 should correct what looks like an invidious targeting of the Sinhalese side by limiting the investigations to the period from 2002 to 2009. In any case the extended investigations are necessary for the purpose of ethnic reconciliation. We can be sure that our historians and others will be carrying out such investigations, but that will take time and therefore it will be best for the Government to appoint commissions for that purpose. In my view it would be counterproductive to try to establish whether this side or that side is more blameworthy for the ethnic tragedy, because that will only deepen our divisiveness. The focus should rather be on the fact that both sides have shown themselves capable of committing acts of utter savagery against their fellow human beings. The reason for that is that in the midst of civilisation we are in savagery. Every civilized society is capable of lapsing into savagery as shown best by Nazi Germany. But the same German people who lapsed into savagery have recently shown that they are capable of rising to glory by their movingly humane response to the plight of refugees.

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  • 0
    1

    When Ranil Wickramasinghe was a powerful minister in the government:

    1982. That ultimate crime, the most shameful event that ever took place on this soil, of burning down the Jafna library. Did he demand that culprits be brought before the law?

    1983. Watershed event in race relattions. Innocent Tamils were butchered, property looted and burnt, hundreds of thousands fled to India (still languishing in refugee camps) Did he demand that culprits be brought before the law?

    1989. Deadly “bheeshanaya” . Nearly 50, 000 Sinhala youth (who cares?) caught and killed some burnt alive (including Wijeweera). Did he demand that culprits be brought before the law?

    He was a great proponent of many evil things that shaped the landscape of this country. Politicisatin of Civil service, Abolishing civil rights of Sirimavo, Cursed 1978 JR constitution, the referendum etc. etc. And the list goes on and on.

    His contributions to the present pathetic state of race relation and the polity are unmatched.

    Finally gods saved this country from his deadly agreement with VP.

    What would have been the level of blood letting and race relattions in this country if that was in place today – if Rajapaksha did not appear in the scene?

    Here we are talking about reconciliation, impunity, rule of law …with Ranil Wickramasinghe piloting the plane. (WITH FULL BLESSINGS OF OUR TAMIL AND MUSLIM BROTHERN)

    Soma

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      I read the article with higher interest. But I would like to know what does the write feel about his nationality ? He addreses Sinhalese and tamils in the text above, but why not he could do it as ” we as srilankens”. I wish th e kind of writers could bring more balanced and unhurt articles that could then help many of the readers to pass the message across further.

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    This invertebrate Izeth Hussain has a problem. No strength of character, no intellectual honesty or courage of his conviction, if any. Whenever ultra-Sinhala racists of the Mahindapala ilk hit him hard and hurt him, Hussain walks an extra mile to appease the racists by taking it out on the Tamils. He thinks that after Mullivaikal massacres Tamils have become a defeated, docile, tamed and timid people and that he could hit them at will and ingratiate himself with the majority community. Hussain has been continuously doing it in CT columns. That is what spineless creatures like Rauff Hakim did. He got into the Mahinda bandwagon in Geneva to protest to deny the Mullivaikal massacres and protest the UNHRC Resolution. But that did not spare the Aluthgama killings and the TNA rightly condemned the attacks by racists. ! !

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      Yes, after his last article I thought he was progressing to the side of a ‘liberal, just, democracy’, however after the battering by the Sinhala chauvinists he is back to kow-towing, and appeasement of those who murdered and raped. Well done Izeth, a real big step forward.

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    Well, the question is this.
    Was the period of 2002 to 2009 specified for both the Udalagama Cmmission and the Paranagama Commission by the former government or not?
    So, whose omission was it?
    Sengodan. M

  • 2
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    A superbly articulated article as usual by Mr IT .Any comments by Tuan Bagoos Mahindapalan?Or is the poor bugger still licking his wounds?

    • 1
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      Brian Seneviratne – thanks very much for your present and earlier comments. I haven’t finished with the Tuan. Please see my reply to Agnos. – IH

  • 1
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    Mr Hussain

    “”..Sinhalese notables will be targeted but not the LTTE ones..””

    How sad,Tut! Tut! Tut! The poor ‘boys’ were effectively tried, and sentence of death was carried out without even the benefit of a Presidential pardon. What to do, we shall have to carry on without them.

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      Yes, Koha, I suppose those summary executions of men, women and children are what constitute a ‘fair trial’ in Sri Lanka.

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      Izeth Hussain; to further take some of your points:

      “”We did have a Sri Lankan nation at one time””….
      Yes we did, and that was because our white massa-sir kicked the arse of any native who tried any to step out of line. (Any racism will come from the rulers, right? Do as I say, not as I do.) But the peace that existed before only did because they did not have weapons of mass destruction.

      “”..the riots of 1956 and 1958 which in a historical perspective have to be seen as no more than sporadic bouts of violence.””
      Tell that to those who lost their lives in that shitty episode. Tell that to those who lost their homes in that shitty episode. Tell that to those who lost their livelihoods in that shitty episode. Tell that to the orphans who lost their parents in that shitty episode. Tell that to the men who ran down Panchikawatte who who lost their dignity as they broke their sarongs shouting “api marakkala”.

      Nevertheless, Izeth Hussain, gets it about right in his paragraph of the state controlled pogroms of 1977 and 1983. Then,

      “”Behind that belief was a racist underestimation of Sinhalese capabilities..”
      The sad fact is that Prabhakaran was never good at maths and/or his intellingence was faulty. The signs were evident that the Armed Forces were building up and getting prepared (and not for Sunday school picnic!). Even a school bully would have seen the odds; that in a 250 sq mile patch, 200,000 against 20,000, was going to end in only one result. It was time to fold, and Prabhakaran didn’t. He simply chose the Jonestown option for himself and his hapless band. The saddest thing for the Tamils is that those who supported and funded his misguided leadership never the got the opportunity to find out what his thinking was in those last few months.

      As for the hapless Muslims, they were caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. In reality they could not possible have stayed impartial. Theirs has been a truly unenviable lot, and the failure of the government of the day to prevent (and it could and should have been prevented) the excesses of the evil racist parties, particularly the BBS, was one of the key levers that help turn the minorities against MR and his regime.

      We could go on endlessly tying ourselves in knots, searching the nooks and crannies of history to find instances where the Sinhalese and Tamils transgressed. I suggest we leave that exercise to the historians. Better that we concentrate our current investigations on the here and the now. It is evident that the earliest signs of the impending and eventual debacle of the LTTE came with Balasingham’s illness. Prabhakaran was lost without his crutch. The game was up.

      The GoSL knew then that it was a matter of time before they would prevail. They need to show, and account for, what genuine attempts they made to ensure the safety of the non-combatant population from that time.

      It is also imperative that those members of the security forces who did transgress face the full force of inquiry and punishment. This is essential to safeguard those who did adhere to the conventions that apply in conflict of this sort. Be sure that many who violated the accepted norms remain with us, and even within the armed forces. Failure to so would send a signal that such practice is OK (whether in the North, the East, Katunayake, Chilaw, Rathupaswela, wherever) and a pardon from the highest in the land is assured, even guaranteed. We have had this before, and strategies are already in place to prepare for the same should there be any court of inquiry.

      Much as we celebrate the end of the war, we must also rue the failure of President MR and his government to build a peace. Instead, they embarked on a systematic plan to harass and subdue the communities in the north, and they had no intention of seriously addressing the many claims that were made within and outside Sri Lanka.

      There is much evidence to suggest that now, more than ever in recent times, communities are genuinely interested in working towards reconciliation. The most encouraging aspect is the acceptance of the Sinhalese community to this prospect. Now if only we can this government onside.

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        Hello R.M.B Senananakae,

        The saddest thing for the Tamils is that those who supported and funded his misguided leadership never the got the opportunity to find out what his thinking was in those last few months.

        This seems to bother you quite a lot.

        Is this why you seem to struggle to even sleep sometimes?

    • 1
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      Spring Koha – The killing of the LTTE leaders took place in the final days of the war, which too I hope will be investigated.I did not deal with that subject because in my article I covered the period before 2002. How come you missed so elementary a point? It is the kind of howler I expect from Alec, not from you. You seem to be off balance – slightly cuckoo. You have evidently chosen your nom-de-plume wisely. – IH

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        Izeth Hussain

        You may have missed my
        …We could go on endlessly tying ourselves in knots, searching the nooks and crannies of history to find instances where the Sinhalese and Tamils transgressed. I suggest we leave that exercise to the historians. Better that we concentrate our current investigations on the here and the now.

        The point I make is that anything earlier than 2006 is a waste of time and effort. Of course all interested parties will have their own favoured ‘start point’ and our post-independence period offers at least a few every year.

        For me the watershed came when Anton Balasingham died taking with him the many secrets he kept close to his chest. From that point, the bereft Prabhakaran was lost. It is from that point that the Tigers knew the game was up, and the GoSL knew that the Tiger was ready for slaying. It is from that time that I maintain that those who fought, funded and supported the LTTE should answer for their irresponsible actions in prolonging the fighting. From that point too, the GoSL should answer for its dereliction of duty in the way it prosecuted the finish of war. Clearly, by the time it came to Nandikadal it was far, far too late. It was clearly within the overwhelming capability of the GoSL to pursue a strategy that would have avoided the catastrophic outcome for the non-combatant innocent Tamils – instead the GoSL banked on blaming LTTE intransigence for the avoidable deaths that followed. A strategy that has back-fired and left us with a country full of the smelly stuff to clear up.

        For too long, the many governments of Sri Lanka have fallen short of fighting the challenges we have faced with transparency and accountability. Take the highlights of government irresponsibility;
        1971, 1977, 1983, 1987-89 and the myriad others. I shudder when I think of the debacle of Bindunuwewa. Each GoSL of those times never answered for the well documented breaches of irresponsibility. That licence to take liberties with its own people, our own people, must be stopped.

        Mr Hussain, you claim your article ‘covers the period before 2002’ but my response is that these matters cannot be compartmentalised. Your have your starting point, I have mine. Just as you have your facts, I have mine.

        Oh, and yes, I have chosen my nom-de-plume wisely. Perhaps with more innocent emotion than wisdom, and I value it for the benefits it gives me. Note, benefits, not licence.

        In the sacred defence of free speech, may the ink in your pen never run dry.

  • 2
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    Izeth,

    i) Its not your call to demand the Tamils just forget the past and move on – its up to the victims – the individuals and many / most of them seem to want justice – they are turning up at the Commissions and the police stations despite intense intimidation – more will naturally follow in a more liberal space – it can’t be repressed any longer;

    ii) Germany became liberal after the Nuremberg trials when the full horrors of what they had done became obvious to the German people. The Sinhala south still want more monuments to their ‘war heroes’;

    iii) There can be no common future until both sides understand what has happened – i.e. we know of the LTTE abuses but the South has no idea of the Army’s abuses – the media in the South shoulders alot of the blame for that;

    iv) The only way to guarantee non-recurrence is to see that accountability is pursued and constitutions changed. For example sign the Rome Statute so leaders who attack minorities (like Jayawardene will be internationally accountable and can go to the ICC). Send to jail murders and rapists in the army – that is what civilised nations do. The Germans are not Savages today because they made the difficult journey of looking within.

    This is an opportunity, possible a final opportunity, to mould a single liberal Sri Lanka. Once this moment passes, if the correct reforms are not in place (i) conflict will recur – may this generation, may be the next (ii) Sri Lanka will not enjoy the prosperity of a liberal democracy – i.e. reform now and lift all of Sri Lanka’s citizens.

    Brush this under the carpet and nothing changes.

  • 1
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    Very well said.

  • 0
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    Thank you Mr Hussain for your perceptive, fair, balanced and pragmatic views. I hope the authorities pay attention to what you say.

    • 1
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      H.L. Senevirathne:

      where you are living how is the ethnic reconciliation ?

      Are they just Tax payers ant rats trying to keep up with others on the fast lane ?

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        Izeth Hussain,

        An Approach to Reconciliation
        ////“Part of the problem is that the investigations will be confined to the period 2002 to 2009. It will mean that Sinhalese notables will be targeted but not the LTTE ones – who were responsible for the horrors of the forcible recruitment of child soldiers and the use of 330,000 Tamils as human shields – because they are safely dead It becomes arguable therefore that the investigations should cover the antecedent period as well, including the actions of the IPKF”////

        It is a mandatory that investigations should go beyond that scope of 2002 – 2009 since the actual beginning of the war is far before 2002, and though the physical war have been brought to a halt, perceptive sidelining and discriminating the minorities continues unabated on the basis (pretext) of a component of them engaged in a war for 30 years against the State, THE EXACT REASON TO WHICH THE STATE ORCHESTRATED THE WARRING SITUATION AND PRECIPITATED AND PROTRACTED A WAR AS AGAINST OF TAMILS; the present or rather a permanent notion of the Government of Sri Lanka is that Tamils engaged war against the State!
        ////“Nation-building has perforce to be an indigenous process without outsiders butting in. Therefore the crimes committed by the IPKF should be set aside – for which there are obviously other compelling reasons as well. The focus should be on the Sinhalese, Tamil, and Muslim contributions to our ethnic tragedy”////

        Exactly, there were and are cry that India interferes Sri Lanka’s internal affairs, but if the successive RGOSLs has addressed or at least manifested some decree willingness to wards political grievances as of rightful of an ethnic group, there wouldn’t have any foreign intervention; but the RGOSL, manifested the Power of a State, arrogance in dealing with simple matters, deception for interminable domination, everything pigeonholing the entice of an affected party. For the same reason President JRJ conjured India into a direct fray with LTTE, and supplied arms and ammunitions to the later and finally effectively denied a war victory to the IPKF in the Alambil Jungle of Mulaitheevu.

        ////“Where should we begin? Not with the pre-colonial past, nor even with the riots of 1956 and 1958 which in a historical perspective have to be seen as no more than sporadic bouts of violence”////

        If the RGOSL is in fair consideration they should embark on finding the truth from 1956, the foundation for discrimination physically laid, Sinhala ONLY, executing the plan of changing the natural demography existed in the East. Therefore even the 1958 riots, was a well-orchestrated one by the State in order to install fear in the minds of minorities, with an aim of implementing the above two as well as any other that would attain the “minorities are not Sri Lankan entities” – the way you have termed it and it is a good one! Thus all the anti-Tamil rioting of 1976 Trincomalee, 1977 and 1983 of all Island and 1985 Nuweraeliya and Ratnapura Districts are of State orchestrated, as part pigeonholing the entice of the grieving minorities. Thus 1956 and 1958 riots and behaviour of the security forces during the 1962 Satyagraha was very much unbecoming of a Buddhist Nation’s Army and hence there have been some hidden notions for such behaviour, as of above description.

        ////“I must add that I totally approve of the splendidly outspoken Island editorial of October 2015 which clearly recognizes the then government’s responsibility for 1983 and asks for a probe of the holocaust, including the two Welikada jail “riots””//////

        The media was mostly irresponsible, when it is come to minority issues, they failed miserably in constructing trust among the ethnic groups.
        1983 holocaust of Welikada Jail manifested most gruesome cruelty on a prisoner’s last wish of donating his eyes. I am ashamed of living amongst such human being who call themselves Buddhists! The worst was one army officer was just watching on the entire gruesome process of removing eyes of that prisoner’s on a last wish that was pronounced in a Court of Justice! Can a reconciliation effort survive the rulers with such hysterical maniacs placed an army officer to look after the process? Hence the entire processing of 1983 riots as well as the 1984 deploying of Army in Excess following a shooting down policeman were the mechanisms precipitation of a war that has been the deliberate process by the State since 1956. 1980 rioting that culminated in climax of such inciting connivance was the brutal burning down of the South East Asia’s best collection of books in the Jaffna people’s proud property The Jaffna Public Library to ashes by the men brought down along with Late Gamini Dissanayake a Cabinet Minister of 1st Party RGSL who is a Cambridge University alumnus of law.

        An ill-fated idea borne out by current era religious leaders off the historical notion of Dhutta-Khemunu killed 32 Tamil Chieftains and sixty thousand Tamils in the war around the Anuradhapura before confronting directly with the Saiva King Elara, in order to establish and sustain Buddhism.

        ////“The truth is that the LTTE never wanted a political solution because it believed that a military victory was inevitable. Behind that belief was a racist underestimation of Sinhalese capabilities”////

        Very true, the State plan and aim was that a clever criminal to the caliber of LTTE Leader V. Prabaharan would never come into a negotiated settlement, since he was clever enough to know the consequence of such settlement, prayed on the State. V. Prabaharan totally underestimated, the Sinhalese capabilities as racists and in final years he was made to trust Mahinda Rajapaksa and declared Sri Lankan leader as a pragmatic leader in a Heroes day speech, until few days of the final onslaught.

        Whatever the reasons expulsion of 90,000 Muslims as refugees in no time in 1990 deserves the condemnation it receives still. But what are these so called Muslim leaders and Cabinet Ministers are doing for these people?
        I reckon that the all the Muslim Leaders wanted have go another round of Boot Licking raising this issue, when an ethnic solution is on the offing. That is the most probable reason they might hold, and they all are in a euphoric enjoyment streak and does not want to burn their fingers at all. One think they and the GOSL must remember is LTTE’s war crimes cannot be conferred on ordinary Tamil people in order to refuse them a peaceful life that confers dignity and self-respect to them.
        Rajan Hoole’s theories worth fillings only of his too long essays; his claims that V. Prabaharan allowed only high cast people to go beyond Vanni, 1995 absolute rubbish, his prolonged article on cast and castigation of Jaffna people are that too exaggerated to the present context and to the time of LTTE. He was brought up in such a closed circuit of Vicarage he could not see Jaffna beyond that, and continue spitting on his own face! Please do not get influenced by his vomit of Little Bazaar.
        Anyway truth finding mission cannot be just confined into 2002 – 2009; It has to started from the day The Sate started the mission for Single State – Single religion policy, for since the Independence in 1948 to date the day when whole process declare end.

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          The first Paragraph of above needs further clarification circumstances that led to the 300,000 people becoming hostages to the LTTE

          1. Failing to arrest Veluppilai Prabaharan and his accomplices when they were having dinner of hoppers at Amirthalingam’s house, immediately or later following gunning down Alfred Duraippah, at Ponnalai. 2. Failing to apply a return ambush at Kadju Farm Murungan Mannar Road when Veluppilai Prabaharan and his accomplices ambushed a radio-car with few CID officers at the same farm, despite of its close proximity to Thalldi Army Camp, Mannar one of the biggest then existed. 3. Bringing an abrupt halt to the Vadamarachchy Operation Liberation in May 1987, when General Denzil Kobbekaduwa and Brig. Wimalasundra’s battalion have managed to isolate the civilians from rest of the fighting groups including Veluppilai Prabaharan and LTTE, and thus for failing to arrest or shoot down the most wanted people of the law by then and failing to avoid catastrophe in succeeding years by that abrupt halt of Operation Liberation 4. Failing to uphold the Sovereignty of Democratic Socialistic Republic of Sri Lanka, which is uttermost responsibility of a Responsible Government at the most required time, by halting the Operation Liberation at a crucial juncture at the behest of India another Sovereign Independent Nation (Could have finished the job swiftly said in above 3. and then sign the agreement) 5. By the action said in above 4 the Responsible Government of Sri Lanka (here in after referred to as RGOSL) wasted an opportunity to tear the Indian Super Power attitude and its’ face mask for the betterment Regional Independent Nations’ Sovereignty; worst of all RGOSL allowed Veluppilai Prabaharan to be carried off to Delhi by an Indian Helicopter from the shores of Sri Lanka, then to return by same means instead of to Colombo on both occasions – with ulterior motives unveiled later as a war. 6. By the actions above said 3 and 4 of RGOSL, the siege by the LTTE as well as by other groups over the entire population lived in the North and East of Sri Lanka and over the defense installations there in were allowed to recommence swiftly, though unfortunately for entire Sri Lanka population. 7. By agreeing to sign and signing an accord at the behest of India, the treacherous act described in above 4, was repeated, and the entire population lived in the North and East was exposed to the atrocities of Indian Peace Keeping Force, and to the crony groups ENDLF, EPRLF, TELO, PLOT, and the worst to the war against LTTE, and the atrocities of LLTE as well. This is an absolute failure, and abandoning the responsibility of the RGOSL, and its constituent Defense Forces to protect and saving its own population from external forces and miseries. More than 20,000 people perished apart from permanently inflicted trauma and despair of war on the living people. Though RGOSL, failed to compensate or compassionate towards that IPKF war affected people, India did only compensate for lose life and property. 8. In the Alambil Jungle, though IPKF have managed again to trap the, Veluppilai Prabaharan and LTTE far, far away from the civilians, again RGOSL, failed to give the necessary shooting orders in time to IPKF, Thus the RGOSL, failed, again to prevent the mayhem all that have been done by LTTE from there on and failed to protect the people, to which the accord was signed RGOSL, claimed. 9. Though the prime aim should have been to eradicate the LTTE and its terrorist activities, Government of Sri Lanka, acted invariably constantly in series of contradicting manner, funding, providing arms and ammunition, at the same time the security forces had been engaged in war with the same group, keeping the state of commotion afloat, totally disrupted of day to day life people of unabated. 10. as such in above 9. RGOSL, connived with LTTE, exposed very able, dedicated, members of defense forces who were very capable of segregating the civilians from terrorists and terrorism to be targets of LTTE and to be killed by same LTTE; to name a few, General Dezil Kobbekaduwa, Wimalratne, Clarence Wiyewardene and Brig. Wimalasundra. Similarly political rivalry also connived with LTTE to get rid of one or the other and not only succeeded in devil dared political maneuvering but also in propagating a maneuvered suspicion among gullible that the Tamil civilians, are against the State as well its leaders through LTTE. In one of those political killing, main informer to LTTE was a former cabinet of minister famous for highhandedness. 11. As such, pursuing the above action said in 10 the both political parties using the name Government of Sri Lanka deliberately closed the pathways for natural integration between the two major ethnic communities. 12. An action plan with a notion of Sinhala Buddhist Nation, was allowed to spread intentionally, hence the above said 10, and thus 11 took its own course to polarize the Sri Lankan society and pushing the Tamil civilians towards LTTE further and further. 13. LTTE on its part, as grown in stature in indisputable terms locally and internationally, staked claim as sole representatives of Tamil people, and to be attractive to that impression conducted series attacks on border villages, monasteries and suicide bombarding in civilian predominant places, such as Railways, Bus-Stand etc. Even their own brethren were killed in spree. 14. The grown stature of LTTE, as above inducted themselves to carry out suicide bombarding of economically important places of RGOSL, such as Central Bank, etc. 15. RGOSL by its own actions tabulated all above, concocted state of concede to carry out ostentatious cosmopolitan decorated Peace Talks for deception, with off tracking LTTE, and then entered into a ceasefire agreement (CFA) thus pushing the ordinary Tamil civilians towards LTTE and made them to keep Himalayan Trust on LTTE for their unresolved issues 16. Having constructed a full-fledged war, as an action plan, RGOSL using planes, artillery and mortar bombarded civilian targets on the pretext of LTTE targets, within its own territory. 17. From above all, it is abundantly clear that GOSL wanted a situation mass of population going behind LTTE, and did achieve it, rather than attracting the people of the land towards its rulers RGOSL 18. It is also abundantly clear that the above tabulated series of actions by the so called RGOSL were in line with, meticulously constructing a situation prolonging and culminating to be equivalent of 1971 and 1989, Machiavellians and Machiavellianism massacre, outside North and East of the country for the reasons described in above 12.
          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/?s=Mahinda+Rajapaksa&x=9&y=4
          During the 1958 riots my family had to leave Kelaniya as a refugees, we were transported to Jaffna through a ship, with some dead bodies as well. One of my Uncle who was working at Inland Revenue Colombo reached our ship through a boat with a tiny cloth barely enough only to cover his gene, organs what is known as AMBUDU or GOVANAM disguised as a fisherman!

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      Thank you very much for your generous present and earlier comments. Let’s hope for the best as the moderates are presently in the ascendant on both sides. Take a look at my reply to Agnos. – IH

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      H.L. Seneviratne – my reply of October 25 appears somewhere below in the wrong place.I thanked you for your present and earlier generous comments. I wrote that we should hope for the best as the moderates are in the ascendant on both sides.Also I referred you to my reply to Agnos. – IH

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    As usual, Mr Hussein is preaching to the Sinhalese and the Tamils.
    But not a word of advie to the Muslims! How can we take you seriously Mr Hussein?

    Do you mean Sri Lankan Muslims have behaved honourably, fault-less through all the events from colonialism through the LTTE war? Well, history needs to be re-written then. The country has not forgotten the 1915 riots and before that the betrayal to colonisers after gaining a lot of privileges from Sinhala kings.

    Why do they do business and offer help only to Muslims? what about characters like Bathiurdee, Mustapha and Sally in the context of Sri Lanka’s current politics? You think we are total idiots?

    You can’t white wash that disgraceful history and the multiplication and grabbing of influence during the 30 year Tamil war by playing the victim. You are now trying to ‘go for the jugulur’ of Sri Lanka.

    (Surat ar-Rad, 11) says, Allah never changes a people’s state until they change what is in themselves. When Allah desires evil for a people, there is no averting it.

    Good advice, hey? Watch it.

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      Well said. [Edited out]

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    Well, I support the objective stated.

    We should begin with the qualitative change in our ethnic relations which began in 1977, when the obviously state-sponsored pogrom of that year inaugurated a period of systematic violence against the Tamils.

    Justice Paranagama’s report was an eye opener. A similar report by Justice Sansoni in 1977 was just as forthcoming.

    Justice Sansoni was a Judge from an European extraction. His work would amount to what is termed “Hybrid” today. The Tamil Eelam Separatist cause responsible for the communal riots. That was the Commission discovery.

    How can you say the violence was “state sponsored” when the Sansoni Commission said something else?

    You are missing the bush from the jungle isn’t it? If a political movement wishes to create a separate state then it needs to do a few things.

    Balkanisation is prerequisite for creating a separate state. How does one Balkanise a country that presently isnt? It requires inciting nationalism, violence and racism. That was what 1977 was isn’t it?

    So do you see where Justice Sansoni was going with the report?

    In a nutshell we can demonstrate the situation from the points of view of the 2 protagonists JRJ and Amithalingam.

    If we asked JRJ the day before the riot if he anticipate any violence he would not have a clue.

    Although if one honed a microphone on Armirthalinam he would know Tamils will be beaten up the next day. He would know because he was the architect behind the violence.

    So there is almost certainly pre-determination i.e.”Pogrom”. Although bizarrely the violence against Tamils are pre-determined by their own Tamil party the TULF.

    This is a form of “Gandhian” approach they adopted all along. “Gandhian” for them means create a situation where Tamils get beaten up so that they win Brawny points with the international community.

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    For genuine peace the law of the land must function equally for ALL citizens. Yet today the corrupt politicians who also spread hate speech have complete impunity and immunity from the law.

    Ranil Wickramasinghe stopped the law taking its course against Wimal Weerawansa who has 2 passports, whose wife has 2 passports and who had given houses to his relatives when minister of housing. Today he is in Italy spreading hate speech because the CORRUPT PRIME MINISTER Ranil Wickramasinghe stopped the law working against a corrupt politician.

    The Prime Minister must be asked to resign and step down as he has prevented the law taking its course, demonstrated that there is one law for politicians and another for others. Ranil Wickramasinghe has aided and abetted law breaking and is acting like he is GOD.

    Ranil has also humilitated airport security and CID and sent a strong message to all national institutions not he bold corrupt politician accountable. Ranil Wickramsinghe must be held accountable and a case brought against him for preventing due process and legal process against corruption.

    The Diyawenna Parliament of corrupt morons is a JOKE where Ranil is the chief Joker – playing GOD!

    Civil society groups must file a case against PM Ranil Wickramasinghe for corruption and aid and abetting corrupt politicians like Wimal Weerawansa to avoid the law.

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      Ranil interfered with the public service and that lowered their enthusiasm and morale.

      It is the same thing with the ports authority when the minister in charge is installing 10 – 15 of his relatives in the authority including his brother as the general manager whose qualifications are just playing two cricket games.

      People will move towards thefts and not working hard keeping the country in forefront in their mind.

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    Master Bates again.

    Nothing new or original for the readers to ponder, respond or appreciate; but the usual solo act churning out sterile words for Izhoo’s selfish amusement!

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    Brother Izeth, I concur with your statement “ We should begin with the qualitative change in our ethnic relations which began in 1977 …..”

    A striking feature of the First-Pass-The-Post (FPTP) system of electing Members of Parliament, that existed until the introduction of the new Constitution in 1978, was the election of Muslim MP’s from predominantly Non-Muslim Electorates and the ready support extended to Non-Muslim Candidates by Muslim Voters in all electorates. Muslims voted for Candidates, irrespective of race or religion, who won their confidence of being able to safeguard and protect the interests of their Community inside and outside the Legislature. Muslims voted with their heads in the belief that ‘What is good for the Country, is good for me’.

    Then came the Proportional Representation (PR) system which compelled many would-be MP’s to adopt a partial attitude towards the Majority Community in their desperate bid to attract and hold Preference votes. From a situation where a candidate had to impress upon a cross-section of multi-ethnic voters that the policies of his party are more beneficial to the country at large than that of a rival party, he had to now further convince voters that of all the candidates of his party contesting a specific area, he is the one best suited to represent them. In other words, the candidate had to project himself as being significantly different from the rest of the flock. To use a common marketing term, he had to possess a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), something that gives him a competitive edge over the other candidates.

    Consciously or sub-consciously, many candidates began to play the ethnic card and/or the religious card as they directed their efforts and limited (cognitive and financial) resources at the group that constitute over 70% of Voters – the Sinhala Buddhists – in their desperate bid to possess this much-sought after USP. At the end of the day, the cost of marketing themselves to Sinhala Buddhist voters was considerably less than marketing themselves to a target group of multi-ethnic Voters.
    The National Parties abdicated their responsibilities to the Muslim Community leaving the Muslims with the feeling that their interests would be best looked after by Muslim Candidates.

    The new Constitution enacted by the UNP in 1978 did irreparable damage to Buddhist-Muslim relations, the effects of which are continuing to reverberate even today, primarily due to the introduction of the ‘Preference Vote’. Not only did it create the space for the emergence of Muslim Political Parties, but also for the entry of members of the Buddhist Clergy into the local political scene.

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    Tuan Pala must be fuming with rage, his name is not mentioned.

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    As usual this stupid do not understand the meaning of reconciliation or problem solving.

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    Thank you for your insightful article!

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    @Afzal

    Tuan Mahindapala has earned a dishonorable mention in the comments column above.

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    Mr. Hussain,

    Many of us gave effective counter arguments under your earlier articles, but you have failed to grasp those arguments and instead repeat the same old invalid arguments ad nauseam.

    A genocide is an extermination, not an expulsion at short notice. However tragic and deplorable an injustice it was, what happened to the Muslims in the North was not a genocide; the fact that there was a massive exodus of Tamil people in the North to the Vanni in 1995 during operations under CBK ( I recall that Rev.S.J. Emmanuel at that time wrote a booklet saying “let my people go!”) showed the LTTE was wedded to its militaristic objectives and would do anything to even Tamils themselves to achieve them, but it undercut the claim of genocide of Muslims.

    And as Spring Koha and Alex point out, your argument that investigations would target Sinhalese notables while doing nothing to the LTTE is irrational hogwash. Sure the LTTE’s intransigence prolonged the war, but it was not the only thing that prolonged it; there was rabid racism, utter corruption, a culture of using horrendous violence in the past to suppress the JVP, and incompetence among the Sinhalese as well; these all played a part.

    But the manner in which the war was conducted, with clear prior knowledge of massive civilian deaths, white van abductions of people, holding them to ransom, torturing and murdering them, all cry out for an investigation and accountability.

    Some of your similarly aging colleagues who frequent CT, including the TGTE senator–a man of many contradictions, Brian Senewiratne– and H.L. Seneviratne, give you some accolades, but don’t allow it to go to your head. They seem to have lost their marbles as well.

    By the way, when you brought up an argument earlier that the SLA wouldn’t have committed war crimes in the final stages because the satellites were watching, I argued why that was not so based on my technical expertise in engineering, and knowledge of how US institutions work. You never absorbed that or replied, but the Paranagama report includes a report by a military “expert” that confirms what I said.

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      Agnos – you have become insulting. You were not so in the past. About the varying legitimate definitions of “genocide”, look up Wikipedia. Don’t waste my time. I have long admired Brian Seneviratne’s courageous advocacy of Tamil rights. He has fought in the open at great risk to himself, and has been commended by the likes of Desmond Tutu. You attack from behind a cowardly anonymity. H.L.Seneviratne is widely respected as a scholar and intellectual of the highest quality. You advise me not to loose my head over the accolades I have received from them. I advise you not to be too upset by that. – IH

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        Mr. Hussain,

        I am sorry for the “insulting” tone, and extend my apologies to Brian and HL as well.

        But my criticism of your article stands. From the tone of your own responses to others, I do think age is getting to you, which is normal for someone of your age, but I cannot let illogical arguments go unchallenged.

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    Mr. Izeth Hussain please first tell your Sri Lankan Muslim community to first stop backstabbing their fellow Hindu and Christian Tamil ethnic kindred and try to steal their land with Sinhalese help. Please also ask them to admit to their open support to the Sinhalese racists to kill rape ethnically cleanse Tamils down south and in the east and their attempts in sabotaging any peace attempts between the Sinhalese and the Tamils by making unreasonable demands of land and rights for their immigrant community.
    It is very funny as more than 70% of the Sri Lankan Muslims live amongst the Sinhalese and only around 30% the most live amongst the Tamils. However they never ask for land and other rights for Muslims majority enclaves in the Sinhalese south. Only demand these for Muslim enclaves and try to create new ones ( like the nasty politician from Mannar was trying to attempt), as they feel that the Tamils are weak and vulnerable, so it is easy to steal their land. This is despite sharing a common language culture and blood ties with the Tamils, especially the eastern ones.
    Also ask them to acknowledge their real immigrant Dravidian Indian Tamil Hindu origin and not claim and cling to a fake Arab origin and try to be fake Arabs. It is pathetic. A few hundred Muslim families having a dash of Arab does not make them or the entire Muslim population in the island Arab. This is the most ridiculous claim. This is like the island’s Christian population claiming a European heritage/ancestry by stating that it was the Europeans who brought Christianity to the island and showing the few thousand part European Burgher population as proof of this European heritage. The Muslims in Sri Lanka ( other then the Malays and Borahs ETc) are Tamil by ethnicity and Muslim by religion. They are a religious community and not an ethnic community.
    True reconciliation only occurs when people acknowledge the truth about their origins and their errors. Tamils have acknowledged that the chasing of the Muslims from the north by the LTTE was wrong, however no ordinary Muslim. politician or academic has never acknowledged all the backstabbing the Muslims community did to the Tamils since the time of independence by conniving with the Sinhalese to deny the Tamils their language land , education and employment. The Muslim attacks on Tamil homes and property down south and the part played by the Muslim home guards with the help of the Sinhalese armed forces to kill murder rape and ethnically cleanse the real owners of the east. The eastern Tamils from their homes and lands and steal them. Especially in the Amparai and Trincomalless districts. This has now resulted in the Tamils becoming a minority in their own land. Despite the LTTE chasing the Muslims from the north no Tamil ever stole or took over the Muslim lands. However in the east the Muslims have appropriated all the ethnically cleansed Tamil land.
    The Tamils of the North and East are the real indigenous population of this area. Not the Muslims who only came and settled there a few centuries ago as refugees nor the Sinhalese, who were only settled there illegally by all Sri Lankan governments after independence. Like I stated earlier no Sinhalese was ever ethnically cleansed in the southern areas, however the Tamils who are indigenous and the real owners of the north and east, were killed raped and ethnically cleansed in their hundreds of thousands by the Sinhalese armed forces/settlers and by the Muslims.
    Killing raping and ethnically cleansing anyone is wrong but killing raping and ethnically cleansing an ancient indigenous population who had lived and ruled there for thousands of years by a settler populations who only came very recently or fairly recently is even a bigger crime.

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      Cool story, bro :D

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