24 June, 2024


Bavinck Diaries – III: The Tamil Intelligentsia For The LTTE

By Michael Roberts

Dr. Michael Roberts

Dr. Michael Roberts

Continuing with my presentation of “Motifs” from within his diaries, this collection is relatively meagre, but must be placed alongside the paths depicting moderate Tamils who were caught in between the main protagonists. Since Bavinck’s political leanings were firmly with the latter, it is not surprising that there is more information on that facet of political thinking. Therefore, this post must be studied in conjunction with the one immediately following on “Bavinck on Life in Jaffna, 1994-2004: People Caught in the Middle of Two Awesome Forces.

Both together indicate ambivalences and shifting tides in the thinking of the people residing in Jaffna under LTTE rule and/or SL Army rule. They also provide a sense of the shifting fortunes of war. The entries here are of great importance and indicate that the LTTE had a solid foundation of support among the middle class peoples of the north – an impression that was sustained during my brief visit to Jaffna Peninsula and Kilinochchi in late November 2004.

Bavinck’s diary entries are written intermittently, Note that he was residing at Puttur from mid-1994- September 1995; Atchuvely from then till July 1996; Puttur again from June 1996 till August 1999; Maruthanarmadam from thence till he left the island in September 2004. Note, however, that there were spells when he left the island on pastoral business or on furlough.
Do please refer back to these items as well:

[a] “Bavinck’s Testimony
[b] “Personal Stance
[c] “Sandwiched In-Between

13th June 1994

Ben B with bike


…. Yesterday I happened to meet my friend Daya again. He stressed the point that the people in Jaffna have internalised the restrictions on freedom of expression, which obviates practically all external show of force by the Tigers and their police.

We also spoke about the death of the former vice-chancellor, Prof. Thurairajah, who had been a supporter of the Tigers, and whose funeral therefore was being observed by them with three days of mourning. Prof. Thurairajah had been in Peradeniya University in 1983, together with his family, and there he had witnessed the cruel persecution of the Tamil people. He felt on purely emotional grounds that there was no other option for him but to give his support to the Tigers. They appreciated this very much because there were only very few people of his standing who openly supported them. For the Tigers, this practice of declaring special days of mourning or celebration forms a means to involve the general population more closely in their cause. Because of their complete control they succeed in this. Today I saw the plaited palm leaves and the black flags, which are the usual signs of such days, at several places in town. [pp. 14-15]

14th June 1994, Jaffna

In the last four days 10 people have been killed and 23 wounded by these random shells. Most of these incidents have happened in the coastal areas of Jaffna town. The NGOs working here sent a protest to the government. Rightly so! [p. 15]

19th June 1994, Jaffna

Recently I met two Roman Catholic priests whom I know very well. In our conversation I asked them whether the church didn’t have the responsibility to address those in power and if necessary, criticise their actions. They didn’t react defensively but admitted that this was indeed the duty of the church. Still I could sense in the course of the discussion that this was a difficult topic. One of them, Fr. Emmanuel, had written a brochure in which he states that the church should practise a prophetic theology which implies that it will act in solidarity with the oppressed.

In his brochure he doesn’t go so far as to conclude that the church should support the Tigers and he leaves the possibility open for a solution in which Tamils will be able to live in unity with the Sinhalese while maintaining their self-respect. [p. 15]

The other priest told me that they do not approve of everything the Tigers do, but then he asked: “What is the alternative which we have?” and in that way expressed the Tamil dilemma.

Still I cannot but think that influenced by Tamil nationalism they tend to make the mistake of too easily glossing over the mistakes and failings of ‘the boys’ by judging these as separate events. They do not carry out a deeper analysis of the basic character of this movement, of its goals, the means used to achieve these goals and what this means for the freedom or oppression of the Tamil people in the future. [p. 16]

1st July 1994, Jaffna
This week I again had a long conversation with Fr. Emmanuel about the booklet he wrote recently. When I asked him whether the church could speak to the movement about the means they were using in the struggle, he replied that the church should have done the right thing in the beginning, but that it was very difficult to do this now. It would be like throwing stones at ‘the boys’ at the time they were fighting. Today the papers printed the text of an interview by a BBC correspondent with the Roman Catholic bishop of Jaffna. In this interview the bishop doesn’t say that the church directly supports the Tigers; but because he defends the church supporting the struggle of the oppressed Tamil people and because he recognises the Tigers’ role in this struggle, it becomes clear that his attitude is one of strong sympathy for the movement. Earlier the BBC correspondent said that all people here support the Tigers because the Tigers are taking care of them. The fear of the army plays a big role in this. It is true, I think, that the increased institutionalisation of the LTTE has led to a greater acceptance by the population. Moreover the continuing shelling, the irritating checking by the army at Vavuniya and the unwise statements made by the president about the minorities have stimulated this. But I can’t help feeling depressed about this. Still, when I met a person who had survived the massacre in the Welikade jail in 1983 and found that he supported the Tigers 100%, I could only feel understanding. [pp. 18-19]

18th September 1994, Jaffna

The Roman Catholic bishop in a conversation with Chandrika has once again stressed the point that no distinction can be made between the Tigers and the Tamils at this moment in the struggle. This is the second time that he expresses Roman Catholic support for the Tigers. One Hindu friend of mine was indignant about the bishop speaking in this way for the whole of Jaffna society. I also spoke with a number of people who expressed grave doubts about the ultimate position the Tigers would take in the negotiations. [p. 36]

31st January 1995, Puttur

The Roman Catholic Bishop Soundranayagam has given an interview to the Sunday Leader in which he identifies himself almost completely with the Tigers, who according to him, are the great protectors of the Tamil people. Their demands are justified and he describes the situation in the north as one with an orderly society in which strong opinions can be expressed. I must say that I cannot understand this complete abdication by the church to Tamil nationalism. [p. 59]

18th March, 1995, Puttur

The hunger strike of the imprisoned policemen is still dragging on. It has become clear that the Tigers are back at their old game of effectuating an exchange of prisoners with the supply of diesel and petrol, a scandalous and immoral spectacle. I had to visit Dr. Jeyakularajah todayabout some other matter. He supports the Tigers and I thought I would raise this matter of the hostages with him. I was extremely glad when he immediately said that they (Tigers) should not have done this kind of a thing, because it went counter to fundamental rules. After that I went to ICRC. I had hardly started talking to Mary [Perkins] about a very good statement made by the ICRC in Colombo, when suddenly Bishop Kenneth Fernando together with his companions entered. In the following discussion about the hunger strike, it was felt that the government would never be able to accept this type of blackmail and that it was therefore important if the bishop could use his influence to persuade the policemen to give up their strike. Apparently this succeeded somehow because the strikers accepted young coconuts (thembili) out of the hands of the bishop. Later Prabhakaran released two of these policemen and handed them overto the bishop.

After that the bishop and his companions went on to the university for a discussion with the professors there. Afterwards, the visitors told me that these professors had been extremely negative about the government and the peace process. According to them, nothing had changed. [pp. 66-67]

22nd March, 1995, Puttur

On the night of 18th of March there was a BBC broadcast with a number of interviews with people in Jaffna. They all directly or indirectly supported the Tigers’ position. The Roman Catholic bishop went furthest by saying that there was no distinction between the Tigers and the Tamils, and that the Tamils supported the Tigers completely. [pp. 67-68]

5th April, 1995, Puttur
Fr. Jeyaseelan had some other disturbing reports. One was about the Tigers trying to recruit clergy to be their advocates on the international scene. Fr. Jeyaseelan was of the opinion that there is a hardening of the Tiger attitude with regard to the freedom of expression. All this just makes it clear that the talks of the government and the Tigers are just one side of the matter. [p. 70]

3rd May, 1995, Colombo

The YWCA has decided not to accept any Tamils anymore as guests in their guesthouse because of intensified checking of Tamils by police in Colombo. ….

Yesterday, I met my old friend, Fr. James. He has always supported the Tigers, but now, the moment we met he started to fulminate against them. “Why did they immediately attack? If they didn’t like the way the peace talks went, they could have withdrawn and left it like that. Those donkeys!” [p. 78]

8th June 1995, Puttur

Yesterday I visited Uduvil and Maruthanamadam. In conversations with my friends there I discovered that it was difficult to talk with them about politics. They were very critical of Chandrika and some even thought that she had been deceptive. According to them, the peace talks hadn’t produced any benefits for the Tamils. But they agreed that the declaration of war by the Tigers, was a mistake. I also had a long discussion with my friend Daya. He is a lecturer at the university. In a Sinhala magazine, there is an account of a lecture which he gave at a conference in London, in which he reports about the psychological damage experienced by some Tiger boys because of their violent past. It was refreshing to talk with him because of his totally impartial attitude. He thought that the peace movement in the south had not died and that it also had influenced the restrained reaction of the army and the population in the south up till now. He also mentioned some good things the Tigers had done, like for instance, inspiring young people to engage themselves in rehabilitation and development and the speedy way in which the Tiger courts had administered justice. [p. 90]

22nd June, 1995, Puttur
Yesterday I had a nice discussion with my friend Dr. Sambanthan, in which he made a peculiar remark about the foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar. Dr. Sambanthan said that he did a very good job as a minister in rallying support for the government and promoting condemnation of the Tigers by the governments in Europe and America. But that it would be better if he had not been a Tamil. There is this feeling that it is still a struggle between the Tamils and the Sinhala government and that therefore, Tamils could never be 100% for the government and 100% against the Tigers. I get that same sense when I talk to some of my friends here in Jaffna. But, what point of view should Tamils take after the Tigers have repeatedly destroyed all chances for peace so that the Tamils are again subjected to a new period of attacks by the army? Despite all this, does there still remain an obligation of loyalty to the Tigers? Something like, “Keep your wretched paws off our wretched boys!” [p. 92]

24th July, 1995, Puttur

It is really striking that there are tendencies to stress more and more the exalted leadership of Prabhakaran. For me, bad memories of the glorification of the Fuhrer during the dark days of World War II in occupied Holland were awakened. The success of any fighting exploit is now ascribed to the great leader Prabhakaran. [p. 105]

10th August, 1995, Puttur
I also saw Daya … He also pointed out to me a letter to the editor of The Sunday Times in which somebody in Jaffna took Rajan Hoole to task because of his criticising the Tigers. According to this correspondent, in Jaffna everything was being done so democratically and orderly. Daya reminded me of a remark by Sartre that in an absurd situation a normal person is a madman. I also had to think in the same way when I heard that the Tigers had written a letter to President Clinton in the USA offering their condolences for the Oklahoma bombing. Some things are simply too absurd for words! [p. 111]
…. ….
On the 31st day after the death of Mrs. Ratnavel, we had the usual ceremony, where I could meet a number of people, including Daya. He told me that he had met a leading pastor who had called Chandrika an incarnation of the devil, because she drank and misbehaved in other ways. Wonderful to maintain such moral judgment with regard to the president by someone who refuses to apply any moral judgement regarding his own liberation movement. I sat by the side of my friend Manibban who immediately began by saying that the government had made up its mind to eradicate the Tamils. He did not have one hopeful thought left and he felt that the Tigers were justified in their actions. I don’t want to disregard this deep fear in the Tamil soul. It is the consequence of 40 years of misrule by Sinhala governments and the propaganda of the Tigers. There is some justification for it, but if it makes people blind to any hopeful development, and drives them to go behind the Tigers, with no criticism, it can make one feel extremely sad. In a depressed state of mind I returned from this trip. [p. 112]

12th September, 1995
…. …
Today there was an editorial in Eelanatham, which placed the full blame for the coming genocide in Jaffna, on the government. Apparently, they are really worried about questions they might get about who started this war on the 19th of April. [p. 119]

28th September, 1995, Puttur
The attack on the school children in Nagarkovil is now being used for big protest demonstrations. The slogans at these demonstrations make the accusation that this attack was an act of genocide. This of course is a twisting of the truth, giving to this horrible event an even worse significance. [p. 124]

28th July 1996, Puttur

Yesterday I returned from Jaffna in a depressed mood. From Fr. Jeyaseelan I heard that a white van is now operating abducting people during the nights. At the hospital people are being admitted with internal injuries. From others I heard that the army at the checkpoints is now acting in a rude and impudent manner. Near the temple in Nallur I saw how a man was forced to empty big sacks of woodchips on the street so that the contents could be checked. All this is the consequence of the suicide bomb, the various incidents and above all the disaster at Mullaittivu.

Something else which depressed me was a remark by someone while we were waiting outside for a prayer meeting to begin. With a tinge of triumphalism in his voice this person told us that the number of soldiers killed at Mullaittivu is now estimated at 1,400 and that the army had now abandoned the camp. It seems to be true that the Tigers did not take any prisoners but killed all captives. Except for a handful of soldiers who managed to escape, everybody else is dead. The thought of this camp filled with corpses didn’t leave my mind. At the same time there was the sadness that Tamil people can be boastful about this, “Our boys have done it again!” No humane, moral judgement. And after everything which has happened, again this affinity with the Tigers. Sad and frightening! Fr. Jeyaseelan confirmed that here and there these feelings can be found, but according to him, this is not the general case. But if the army changes its friendly attitude and adopts a practice of systematic harassment at the checkpoints and the abduction of people at night this feeling of sympathy for the Tigers will again grow. Fr. Jeyaseelan wants to spread the idea of peace. I asked him whether one could still hope for peace with the Tigers. Is that realistic? I also told him that I was afraid that ultimately after a number of Mullaittivus and Dehiwalas the Sinhalese might reach a stage where they would say to the Tamils: “OK, folks. Here is the Northern Province. Kindly settle things with your own “liberation movement”. We refuse to sacrifice more human lives and money for this.”

Fr. Jeyaseelan’s reaction was: “Then the Jaffna people would finally have to accept responsibility for their future. The people here remain victims. It is always the others, the government, the army, the Tigers, who are responsible.” This is his persistent complaint. One hears again and again of people who leave for Colombo or who at least send their children there. Understandable and yet… [pp. 212-13]

10th November 1996, Puttur

These days there was a report in the papers that after a visit by the British High Commissioner to Jaffna and at the express request of the vice chancellor of the Jaffna University the British government had approached a number of Tamil doctors, living in the United Kingdom with the suggestion that they should go out and work here for periods of six to 12 months against very favourable financial conditions. Not one was prepared to come here!

Most probably most of these doctors will make their contributions to the LTTE and in this way help to keep this war to go on, a war of which the common Jaffna people are more and more becoming the victims…. [p. 222]

14th January 1997, Puttur

More news has come in about the Elephant Pass attack. Apparently the Tigers started their attack on Paranthan at the moment that the army was about to start their attack to the south out of Kilinochchi. This attackwas quickly halted and all troops redirected to face the Tiger attack on Paranthan and Elephant Pass. The losses of the army are much higher than earlier acknowledged, about 300 dead, while the losses of the Tigers must be about the same. The army also has lost a great amount of materials, which were blown up.

In the reactions by the people here one can sense a feeling of pride that “our boys” have done it again. On the other hand there is also the fear that the weakness of the army may allow these same “boys” to come back here. This possibility makes the people very uncertain and very cautious. [p. 228]

20th June 1997, Puttur
….. …..
An English lecturer at the university told me that he had asked the many girls, who really are doing their best, why they are so keen to learn English. Their answer had been that they wanted to go abroad to find marriage partners. Here in Jaffna the number of boys has decreased considerably after all these years of armed conflict. The boys have either been killed or they have escaped to foreign countries. Hearing this, one realizes how necessary it is to find a compromise solution to the conflict before this community is irreparably affected. The frightening fact is that the Tigers have never shown a real concern for this community and a willingness to search for a compromise solution. This same concern appears to be lacking with many of their supporters in Canada, Australia and other countries, who have nothing to lose by being radical and insisting on Eelam. On the contrary! For some of them a compromise solution would jeopardise their refugee status and in that way result in their being sent back here. [p. 242]

10th August 1997, Puttur
……. …..
The power of the Tigers is succinctly captured in a comment, ascribed to an editor of the Uthayan paper. When asked why he appeared to follow such a pro-Tiger policy he replied: “If I am irritating the army, I can talk with them. If however I irritate the Tigers then that is the end of me”. [p. 246]

26th September 1997, Puttur

My friend Rajasingam told me that there are still people who think that the Tigers will come back. He had stopped some men who had been cutting trees in the next compound, which earlier had been occupied by the Tigers. He had told them that he wanted to buy that land. The men had replied: “But won’t you get in to trouble when the Tigers come back?” [p. 249]

6th January 1999, Puttur

…… I was happy that Bishop Soundaranayagam in his New Year message had appealed to the Tigers to practise moderation: “The people cannot bear any more. Don’t think only in military terms and be prepared for compromise.” It is very good to finally hear a leading figure say some of these things. [p. 276]
24th September 1999, Maruthanarmadam

Today I had a good conversation with Fr. Jeyaseelan. We were speaking about the Uhana murders. Fr. Jeyaseelan, moved by these events, remarked: “All the time the good sides of the Tamil and his culture, language, music etcetera are being highlighted and praised by the lecturers in the university and by the churches, but we also must have the courage to face the dark side of the Tamils. Unless we face the dark side too, there will be no redemption.” I felt this was a very profound statement. He went on to say that in his sermons and speeches he was trying to spread this thought and in doing so he was always mentioning the names of Rajani, Rajan Hoole and Sritharan as shining examples of people, who do indeed have this courage to face the dark side. I was moved by this conversation and I decided that I would also try to follow this line at the seminary. [p. 284]

13th April 2000, Maruthanarmadam

Yesterday a hitherto completely unknown group which calls itself the Association of Humanitarian Agencies has declared a total hartal as a protest against the fact that the army still doesn’t permit free movement of the people in Pallai. The day before that they surrounded the kachcheri and prevented the government servants working there, including the GA, to leave the place till 7.30 p.m. University students and certain Roman Catholic priests play an important role in these activities. One gets the impression that behind the scene the Tigers are pulling the strings. The army denies that they are keeping the people and Gen. Balagala has issued a statement to this effect. UNHCR people went to Kilali and after talking to the people there confirmed that they were not being prevented from leaving.
[pp. 298-99]

27th April 2000, Maruthanarmadam

Everything is going on as usual and yet after the fall of Elephant Pass everything has changed. It looks a little as if the people are stunned. The confidence which still existed to some extent that the army would be able to keep the Tigers out, is now gone. I haven’t met anybody who was glad about the Tiger victory.….
Except for the university where I saw some victory graffiti on the walls, I have not seen any signs of celebration. Uthayan showed some enthusiasm, but it also printed the army bulletins. [p. 301]

20th May 2000, Maruthanarmadam

Basing themselves on this achievement the Tigers have again called upon the army to lay down their arms, because allegedly their supply lines now have been cut off. The government has immediately rejected this appeal and Gen. Janaka Perera, speaking on TV, has said that he will throw the Tigers out of Jaffna again.

…. The Uthayan paper today has been banned and their presses have been sealed. I think the paper went too far in their support of the Tigers, especially now that the state of emergency has been declared. Still it is a pity because closing down a newspaper is a very sensitive matter. Was there really no other way to make them tone down their writing? [p. 307]
10th June 2000, Maruthanarmadam

Yesterday the tumult of heavy fighting and the gunfire from Palaly were incessant. We thought it might be in the area of Chavakachcheri. Today this was confirmed by the sudden arrival of Rev. Suriyakumar and 40 others from Nunavil and Chavakachcheri. They had been holding out there with great difficulty but yesterday the gunfire and the shells had been so terrible that they could not stand it any longer. We were overjoyed at seeing them safe. Rev. Suriyakumar also told us that in that area many people have killed by the shells. [p. 310]

Talking a bit more with Rev. Suriyakumar I heard from him that from that part of Thenmarachchy many people had been transported by the Tigers to the Vanni. They went voluntarily and all facilities were accorded to them. The Tigers seem to tell the people that as long as the army remained in Jaffna it had no future, it would be destroyed. No, the Vanni; that is where Eelam is happening. That is the place to be! [pp. 310-11]

29th November 2000, Maruthanarmadam

The Great Heroes Day has past. Prabhakaran has made his annual address… [p. 325]

…. one sees the tremendous fuss the Uthayan paper is making about Prabhakaran’s speech. It is as if the whole of creation has been breathlessly waiting for the pronouncements of the great man. Indeed, one can hardly believe that the Great Heroes Day issue, in which the leader’s speech is printed verbatim and photographs of him are shown, articles about demonstrations and celebrations here and there are written, is a paper which is published in the army controlled area of Jaffna. It proves the great amount of latitude the army gives to Tamil freedom of expression in print. [p. 326]

24th March 2001, Maruthanarmadam

Recently in a discussion with a foreign diplomat I heard my friend Daya say that despite all the misdeeds of the Tigers there still are people who would prefer to live under Tiger rule rather than under the army, because the army is an alien force while the Tigers are their own. I’m sure this is true. [p. 334]

26th November 2001, Maruthanarmadam

On 8th November I returned to Colombo from Amsterdam. I then travelled to Jaffna.
Most probably out of despair that anything can ever be expected from Sinhala politicians, now four Tamil parties have joined behind the demand that the government should talk with the LTTE as the only representative of the Tamils. When the leader of the TULF, R. Sambanthan, was asked how he could justify this support for the LTTE with the history of TULF leaders having been murdered by the same LTTE, he answered that one should not sow confusion by raking up history. An amazing denial of the lessons of history. Is there any indication that the LTTE has changed? [p. 342]
…… ……
The great Heroes Week of the Tigers has been going on and today we get the speech of Prabhakaran, who nowadays is designated by the Uthayanpaper as the National Leader of Tamil Eelam. Many articles about the singular merits of Mr. P. illustrated by a number of pictures of him are published as well as a resume of his speech. The full text will follow tomorrow.

It was also very interesting to see the way my students were celebrating this day, which apparently is also the birthday of Prabhakaran. In the afternoon at tea time they suddenly started singing “Happy birthday, dear Prabha, happy birthday to you,” and “May the good Lord bless you!” The jocular way in which they performed this little ritual expressed at the same time involvement and distance.

After the evening prayers at 6 p.m. we also had a small ceremony in memory of the 17 year old sister of one of the boys, who had fallen as a Tiger cadre in the battles near Jaffna. I was asked to plant a coconut palm in her memory as well as in remembrance of all the fallen boys and girls and the killed civilians.
[p. 343]

Even though I feel real revulsion regarding this movement and its leader, I could wholeheartedly identify with the sorrow at the death of so many young girls and boys. I was struck by the behaviour of the boys who all were perfectly silent for two minutes of remembrance, but immediately afterward already started joking and laughing. Maybe it was their mechanism to distance themselves from a surfeit of emotion. [pp. 343-44]

23rd February 2002, Maruthanarmadam

The peace process is continuing. Today came the great news that a “memorandum of understanding” had been signed by Prabhakaran first and after that by Ranil. The ceasefire has now been extended indefinitely. It is not clear at the moment what the contents of this memorandum are. It is said though that it allows unarmed Tigers to enter all government-controlled Tamil areas to do “political” work there. If this is true it is very alarming. It may lead to political murders of opponents, recruitment of children and to continuous demonstrations against the government. The awful aspect of this peace process is that peace only becomes possible by accepting that the Tamils have to pass under the yoke of their fascist “liberation movement”. That this scenario has become inevitable is also due to the attitude of all moderate Tamil political parties united in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which have in a self-deprecating manner refused to pose as an alternative but instead always pointed to the LTTE as the only representative of the Tamil people. [p.348]

The demonstrations have already started in Mannar and in Batticaloa. The slogans used are “Tamil our life” and “Prabhakaran our life” accompanied with large pictures of Prabhakaran which are being carried along on a float preceded by four TNA members of parliament. Considering all this I notice that I am not really affected by this swelling peace chorus. I don’t feel happy and joyful the way I felt in 1994 when Chandrika became president on a peace plank. I notice that there are also Tamil people who share these doubts. “You cannot trust the buggers!” as someone told me yesterday, while we were waiting outside a funeral house. [p. 348]

11th April 2002, Maruthanarmadam

We are living in interesting times. Nearly everyday there are new developments.

The most important event was of course the opening of the A9 road to the south. This in itself for secluded Jaffna is a fact of great importance. This opening however was accompanied by the glorious entry of the first Tigers. To welcome them 30,000, others say 50,000, people had gone to Muhamalai. The army at first stupidly tried to stop the crowd at Mirusuvil, but the people broke through all barriers. Fortunately the army didn’t get excited and didn’t start firing. In Jaffna welcoming meetings were held, but ordinary life in the town is proceeding as usual. [p. 350]

11th April 2002, Maruthanarmadam

We are living in interesting times. Nearly everyday there are new developments. The most important event was of course the opening of the A9 road to the south. This in itself for secluded Jaffna is a fact of great importance. This opening however was accompanied by the glorious entry of the first Tigers. To welcome them 30,000, others say 50,000, people had gone to Muhamalai. The army at first stupidly tried to stop the crowd at Mirusuvil, but the people broke through all barriers. Fortunately the army didn’t get excited and didn’t start firing. In Jaffna welcoming meetings were held, but ordinary life in the town is proceeding as usual.

The Muslims are creating quite a stir. Their campaign about all the injustice which has been done to them in the east, in Jaffna and in Mannar is impressive. Balasingam in a speech at Puthukudiyiruppu has admitted that mistakes have been made in the past, but that the Tigers now accept the Muslims with open arms. This same subject was touched on in the first ever press conference by the Tigers in Kilinochchi.This was attended by about 200 journalists and reporters from inside and outside the country, who fired their questions directly at Prabhakaran and Balasingam. Balasingam continued speaking about the Muslims and this time even went so far as asking for forgiveness for the misdeeds in thepast. Prabhakaran amazingly said that if the government would accept proposals based on the Thimpu principles and the Tamil people wouldaccept this, the Tigers could consider giving up Eelam.

Altogether interesting developments and events which up till recently we would not have held to be possible. Still many people are sceptical because they don’t trust the Tigers and therefore think that in three months or so the guns will again speak. On the other hand there are also people who think that the Tigers by coming out into the open as much as they are doing now will get caught in the peace trap. [p. 352]

Daya has come back from Colombo, where he made more or less the same speech which he made here about war trauma. He was rather surprised at some of the reactions. When he mentioned the graves at Chemmani a reaction from the audience was, that there was nothing special about that. In the south there were many more mass graves. Why do the Tamils keep thinking that they are the ones who are oppressed most? The main line of thinking was that there is no ethnic problem. This point of view found general acceptance and was shared also by the chairman. It is apparently difficult for the Sinhala elite to appreciate the reality of the Tamil predicament. [pp. 352-53]

The past week was full of meetings and talks with the Tigers……

Today I read in a paper the pronouncement by one of the Tamil MPs: “If you want to see Hiroshima, please go to Chavakachcheri!” This forms a good example of the complete lack of proportions in some of the Tamil statements. Earlier I was offended more than once by the use of the word “holocaust” to describe what is happening in Sri Lanka to the Tamils. Having a vivid memory of the Second World War and the fate of the Jews in my native Holland I can only feel disgusted by these immoderate and totally inappropriate comparisons. [p. 353]

26th April 2002, Maruthanarmadam

The Pongu Tamil celebration has not become the great success and the culminating climax which the Uthayan paper expected. Maybe 50,000 people attended, most of them young ones, while several hundred thousands had been expected. The university students distributed pamphlets with the picture of Prabhakaran. There was also a cut-out showing Tamil Eelam, stretching from Chilaw in the south-west to Kumana in the south-east of the island, enough to annoy Sinhala observers immeasurably. [p. 353]

What irritated me most of all however was a triumphal arch near the university which showed that well-known picture of a Tiger holding a child by each hand facing the brilliant sunrise of Tamil Eelam. This is a picture which the German SS used during the Second World War as I remember. That the organisers still dared to use it after all the accusations against the Tigers of child recruitment really shows a total lack of sensitivity and moral sense.

In the meantime the deification of the great leader is progressing steadily. One of the Tamil MPs’ declared that Prabhakaran undoubtedly must be an avatar (incarnation) of the Hindu god Vishnu.

For the Jaffna man, the opening of the A9 road, after having been cut off now for several years, is a wonderful new reality and thousands make use of this road now by crossing the army and Tiger checkpoints at Muhamalai into the Vanni and then again at Omanthai from the Vanni to Vavuniya and the rest of Sri Lanka. [pp. 353-54]

29th April 2002, To Colombo

I flew to Colombo today.……

For me it is very interesting to follow developments in the country by reading three of the English language Colombo papers. Quite a difference from my daily diet of Uthayan in Jaffna. While in Uthayan the performance of Prabhakaran at the great press conference was praised to the sky, I found that found that here his behaviour was considered to have been awkward. The remark by him that the murder of Rajiv Gandhi had been a tragic event, met with a storm of indignation in India. And so I could go on. [p. 354]

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  • 6

    Under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, acts of murder committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such are considered as acts of genocide. The evidence presented here serves to prove that during the period commencing May 1995 and continuing 2001, the actions of the Sri Lanka authorities in their war on the Tamil people in the North-East of the island of Sri Lanka constitute genocide.

    Furthermore, Sri Lanka has consistently refused to acknowledge the applicability of the Geneva Conventions to the conflict in the island and has sought to categorise the lawful armed resistance of the Tamil people as an ‘internal disturbance’. It has consistently refused to take prisoners of war and insists on incarcerating them under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, which was described by Paul Sieghart in the following terms:

    “…No legislation conferring even remotely comparable powers is in force in any other free democracy operating under the Rule of Law, however troubled it may be by politically motivated violence…” (Sri Lanka: A Mounting Tragedy of Errors – Report of International Commission of Jurists 1984)

    The record shows that under cover of this refusal to acknowledge the law, the Sri Lanka security forces (acting on the implicit or explicit authorisation of its commander in chief, President Chandrika Kumaratunga) have with impunity committed gross violations of the international humanitarian law relating to armed conflict which law demands that –

    •the civilian population shall enjoy general protection against the dangers arising from military operations;
    •the civilian population shall not be the object of attack;
    •acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population shall be prohibited;
    •starvation of civilians as a method of combat shall be prohibited;
    •hospitals shall not be object of attack;
    •it shall be prohibited to attack, or destroy objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as food stuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works; and
    •it shall be prohibited to commit any acts of hostility against places of worship.

    The genocidal intent of the Sri Lanka government is proved by –
    •the ‘broad front steamrollering’ attack launched on the Jaffna peninsula;
    •the deliberation with which the Sri Lanka security forces have killed Tamil non combatants, shelled densely populated Tamil villages, destroyed Tamil homes and cultivable land, bombed Tamil schools and places of worship, and blocked the supply of essential food and medicine to the Tamil homeland;
    •the persistent and frequent breaches by Sri Lanka authorities of the laws and regulations relating to arrest and detention and the unprecedented number of “disappearances”;
    •the systematic use of torture and rape as instruments of state terrorism;
    •the mass graves;
    •the use of Tamil civilians as human mine detectors and as forced labour;
    •the murder of Tamil prisoners whilst in the custody of Sri Lanka authorities;
    •the imposition of a press censorship which went beyond any needs of ‘national security’;
    •by calculated resort to disinformation and war mongering;
    •the public pronouncements of President Kumaratunga and her ministers, together with the ‘victory’ ceremony on establishing ‘Sinhala rule’ of Jaffna; and
    •the failure of President Chandrika Kumaratunga and her government to condemn the gross and systematic violations of humanitarian law by the forces under their command and the impunity afforded to the offenders.

    Genocide is a crime which transcends national frontiers. The Sri Lanka authorities, and the security forces under their command, are guilty of crimes against humanity and should be charged and punished according to law.

    • Prologue
    • Sustained shelling compelled thousands of Tamil civilians to flee their homes
    • Arbitrary embargo on essential food and medicine to the Tamil homeland
    •Sri Lanka security forces unleash reign of terror in the East
    • Sinhala Army compels Tamil civilians to act as human mine detectors
    •Sri Lanka army fired indiscriminately into Tamil village says Amnesty
    • Thatched huts burnt with Tamil civilians inside
    • Extra judicial killings of Tamils at the Jeyanthipuram camp – 23 May 1995
    • Peace Brigades International reports on wide-ranging atrocities in Batticaloa area
    • Timing of genocide dictated by President Kumaratunga’s fragile majority
    • Heavy advance bombardment of Tamil villages and towns – 9 July 1995
    • St.Peters Church in Navaly bombed with refugees inside
    • International Red Cross expresses concern at Navali bombing
    • President Kumaratunga covers up Navali massacre
    • Navali and the Tamil Minister – Comment by Rajan Sriskandarajah
    •Sri Lanka armed forces contravened Geneva Convention says NGO
    •Over 180,000 Tamils displaced and more than 200 civilian deaths by 13 July
    • Conduct of war by Sri Lanka falls well short of accepted norms says CAFOOD
    • Tortured Tamil bodies float in Bolgoda lake in Colombo
    • “Political Package” – a peace mask for Sri Lanka’s war face
    • Jaffna Citizens Committee appeals to President Kumaratunga to end military terror
    • Jaffna University Teachers Association appeals to diplomats to stop the genocide
    • Nagerkoil School bombed under cover of press censorship – 22 September
    •Sri Lanka army shells densely populated Tamil villages
    • Thousands flee Jaffna
    •An eye witness account of the historic exodus – by Rev S.J.Emmanuel
    •UN Secretary General appeals for assistance for 400,000 displaced Tamils
    •Sri Lanka bans international agencies from aiding Tamil refugees
    • Calculated disinformation campaign says Voice of America – November 1995
    • Censorship went far beyond any legitimate interest in protecting national security – Article 19
    •US Congressmen appeal to President Kumaratunga to help Tamil refugees
    • President Kumaratunga ‘conquers’ Jaffna – and holds a medieval victory ceremony
    •Sri Lanka’s attack was actually a ‘steamrollering’ and destroying says Indian General Kalkat

    •End of first phase of genocide and the beginning of the next
    • Genocide in Kumarapuram – February 1996
    • Helicopter gunships attack and kill Tamil civilians in the East – March 1996
    •Sri Lanka Kfir jets kill Tamil civilians in Jaffna peninsula…
    • Renewed genocidal attack on Jaffna Peninsula – Kilali, April 1996
    • Professor Trawick:”Sri Lanka is trying to kill or terrorise as many Tamil people as possible”
    •Sri Lanka’s reprisal killings of Tamil non combatants: May 1996 – December 1996
    • Shadowy para military groups torture and execute Tamils
    •Sri Lanka uses food and medicine as weapons of war
    • Increasing concern for plight of refugees
    • Hundreds of Tamils ‘disappear’ in the Jaffna peninsula during 1996
    •Impunity remains a serious concern says Amnesty
    • Authorities often breach laws and regulations relating to arrest and detention
    •”Sri Lanka torture includes electric shock” says US State Department Report
    •Fear grips Jaffna says British Refugee Council publication – November 1996
    •Amnesty International documents several cases of rape by Sri Lanka security forces
    •Rape of Krishanthi Kumaraswamy…
    •Child rape – the case of ten year old Thenuka
    • Justice has fled the entire system says Sinhala paper Sunday Leader – December 1996
    • ‘Trial by Fire’ – film examines a Tamil family’s response to arrest and detention
    • Estimated 400,000 displaced Tamils in Vanni says US Committee for Refugees – December 1996
    •110 Tamils die of malaria and typhoid in refugee camps in December 1996

    •BBC correspondent Flora Botsford:”There were no direct threats against me, but…”
    •150 Tamils raped by Sinhala ‘law enforcers’ in 1996 says South China Morning Post
    •Tamils raped and killed in Batticaloa in January 1997 says British Refugee Council
    •Indiscriminate artillery shelling of Tamil villages: September 1996 – February 1997
    •Mass exodus as Tamil villages shelled again – Operation Edibala
    •150 Tamils die in refugee camps in the Vanni
    •Tamil cultivable lands and crops destroyed by Sri Lanka troops
    •Impunity: Sri Lanka Attorney General obstructs justice says Sinhala judge – March 1997
    •Tamil widow and her sister raped by Sinhala soldiers says Amnesty
    •Killings and disappearances in Jaffna create deep concern among human rights agencies
    •Amnesty warns that “disappearances” in Sri Lanka highest since 1990 – April 1997
    •Amnesty Urgent Action Appeal on continuing “disappearances”- May 1997
    •Fate of 656 Tamils who ‘disappeared’ in 1996 not yet known but Tamils continue to ‘disappear’
    •Sri Lanka Police – barbaric rape and murder of a young Tamil mother
    •Estimated 300,000 displaced Tamils in the Vanni says International Red Cross – May 1997
    •Mass arrests and torture of Tamils in Colombo…
    •Arrests and torture of Tamils – June, July 1997 – continuing impunity
    •Sri Lanka army shells refugee camp in Batticaloa…
    •80% of houses in Jaffna damaged…
    •Sri Lanka soldiers on rampage at Puthukudyiruppu – July 1997
    •Tamil M.P. Joseph Pararajasingham appeals to United States – August 1997
    •Sri Lanka bombs Tamil refugee settlements – 15 August 1997
    •A chronology of 20 months of Sri Lanka airforce attacks on Tamil civilian centres…
    •Disturbing number of disappearances says UN Special Rapporteur
    •Australian MP condemns Sri Lanka’s genocide – August 1997
    •World Council of Churches appalled by murder of Christian pastor by Sri Lanka army
    •Illegal arrest and torture of Tamils continue in Colombo and the South
    •Tamil houses bulldozed by Sri Lanka security forces – September 1997
    •Amparai atrocity – 23 September 1997
    •Torture, Death & Disappearances of Tamils continue unabated – September 1997
    •Uniting Church in Australia condemns Sri Lanka’s genocidal attack – 31 October 1997
    •Sinhala Army runs forced labour camp for Tamils
    •60,000 Tamil Refugees in Mannar without food and medicine – at least 6 die every month..
    •Torture of Tamil in custody proved in Supreme Court
    •Sri Lanka Air Force bombs Pooneryn & kills Tamils
    •Sri Lanka continues to use rape as a weapon of terror…
    •Continuing spectre of “disappearances” in Sri Lanka says Amnesty – November 1997
    •Asian Human Rights Commission reports on protests against disappearances…
    •Disappearances in the North follow the pattern set earlier in the South…
    •220 Tamil prisoners fast against prolonged detention without trial
    •Tamil prisoners murdered whilst in custody – December 1997
    •Tamils appeal to world leaders to end Sri Lanka murder of detainees – 23 December 1997

    •Harassed Tamils flee homeland to go West
    •Hindu temples attacked…
    •Amnesty deplores killing of 8 Tamil civilians by Government forces – 3 February 1998
    •Gunmen threaten journalist…
    •Pathmini’s agonising ordeal – a ‘disappearance’ case study – 15 February 1998
    •Amnesty appeals yet again on further Tamil ‘disappearances’ – 11 March 1998
    •Arbitrary Arrests and Degrading Treatment of Tamils continues – April 1998
    •Amnesty campaigns against ‘disappearance’ of children after detention by Sri Lanka security – April 1998
    •Sri Lanka restricts food and medicine to Tamil villages – April 1998
    •Health Crisis in the Vanni Districts says Asian Human Rights Commission…
    •Peace Brigades International forced out of Sri Lanka – 6 May 1998
    •Denial of Food & Medicine – a War Crime says Professor Paust
    •UN Committee expresses grave concern about 800,000 displaced Tamils
    •Collective Penalties & Systematic State Terrorism are War Crimes
    •Sri Lanka compelled to acknowledge torture is a problem
    •Australian Justice Enfield calls for cessation of brutality against Tamils
    •Sri Lanka bombs Tamil villages under cover of new Press censorship – 9 June 1998
    •US NGO Forum on Sri Lanka condemns press censorship
    •British Refugee Council says that Sri Lanka bombing blacked out by censorship
    •Torture and ill-treatment in army and police custody widespread, says Amnesty
    •Fears over arrest and detention continue to persist says British Refugee Council
    •Food Aid to Tamil areas slashed
    •The charge is genocide – mass graves in Chemmani, Jaffna – 13 July 1998
    •”Censorship far broader than necessary to protect national security” says Article 19 – July 1998
    •Asylum returnees tortured says British Refugee Council publication
    •Extra judicial executions of Tamils continue…July 1998
    •Sri Lanka uses food and medicine as weapons of war…
    •Tamil Refugees hit by food cuts says British Refugee Council, August 1998…
    •Amnesty Urgent Action Appeal against Torture of Tamil in custody – 6 August 1998
    •NGOs at UN condemn systematic rape of Tamil women by Sri Lanka armed forces
    •Chemmani witness assaulted and intimidated in Jail
    •Amnesty calls on Sri Lanka to end persistent use of unathorised places of detention for Tamils
    •Arson attack on Plantation Tamils in Ratnapura with the connivance of Sinhala politicians, 8 September 1998..
    •A culture of impunity has developed says ICJ – September 1998
    •Sinhala owned Sri Lanka press engaged in war mongering and racism says Centre for Policy Alternatives…
    •Bishops urge restoration of food supply to the Vanni – September 1998
    •A calamitous situation of tragic proportions is facing 702,987 Tamils, says appeal to Canada
    •International Appeal launched on the Chemmani mass grave investigation…
    •Health Professionals launch Appeal against use of food & medicine as weapons of war, September 1998…
    •Chemmani Mass Graves – US based Ilankai Thamil Sangam suggests action by US Government
    •Cuts in food, fuel & medicine result in humanitarian crisis…
    •Torture and disappearances continue unabated – October 1998…
    •Sri Lanka uses Tamils as human shields, November 1998…
    •Tamil refugees appeal to United Nations for food…
    •Arbitrary arrests & torture of Tamils continue in the South…
    •Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) calls upon UK to ban export of arms to Sri Lanka
    •The Cases of Sinnarasa Anthony Mala & Louis Rama – torture continues, Sri Lanka Style…
    •Sri Lanka army uses Tamil villagers as forced labour…
    •15,000 Tamils seek refuge in schools & temples…
    •Torture is standard procedure in detention says Asia Pacific Centre for Justice and Peace – 11 December 1998…
    •Quisling groups with Sri Lanka army abduct Tamils and Amnesty appeals yet again, 23 December 1998…
    •Torture & Illegal Detention of Tamils continue….

    •Article 19 accuses Sri Lanka of using censorship to conceal true cost of war – 20 January 1999
    •Human Rights Watch reports on murder, abduction, extortion, assault, illegal detention, and torture by Sri Lanka
    •Censorship and attacks on journalists continue…
    •Impunity afforded to security forces exposes extent of Sri Lanka Government support
    •Extra Judicial Killings continue…
    •Fate of 109 Tamils who disappeared in 1998 during Army occupation of Kilinochchi remains unknown..
    • Malnutrition, Malaria and Cholera …
    • Article 19 fears for Sri Lanka democracy – 3 February 1999…
    •Sri Lanka Navy shells houses in Trincomalee…
    • Torture in custody continues…
    •Quisling groups with Sri Lanka army, abduct Tamils and Amnesty appeals yet again – 23 February 1999
    •Secret Detention and Murder by (Quisling) Tamil Groups continues, says British Refugee Council
    •Over 20,000 Tamils displaced in March 1999…
    •Sri Lanka soldiers run amok in Tamil villages
    •Mass Graves discovered in Duraiyappah Stadium in Jaffna…
    •New Zealand Signature Campaign – Investigate Chemmani Mass Graves…
    •International Peace Bureau condemns torture by Sri Lanka, 12 April 1999…
    •Sri Lanka Supreme Court finds that Nesarasa Sivakumar was tortured…
    •Detention without trial and torture in custody says Norwegian M.P
    •Indiscriminate shelling of Tamil villages continues…
    •Amnesty continues to report – and Sri Lanka continues to torture – June 1999…
    •Corporal Rajapakse implicates Sri Lanka Army Command of murder, rape and torture
    •Human Rights Violations continue despite hundreds of letters to President Kumaratunga …
    •Heavy army shelling causes humanitarian crisis in the Vanni…
    •Non-Governmental Organization Council reports on life in Jaffna under military occupation – July 1999
    •Asian Human Rights Commission on torture, rape and extra judicial killing by Sri Lanka Armed Forces
    •British Refugee Council on Rape of Ida Carmelita…
    •Sinhala Army sacks Tamil village in Mannar…
    •Amnesty appeals yet again on torture by Sri Lanka authorities, September 1999…
    •International Red Cross deplores Sri Lanka bombing of Tamil civilian centres…
    •Asian Human Rights Commission says: “Sri Lankan record of gross abuse of human rights is much worse than that of Chile during the rule of Pinochet”
    •British Refugee Council reports on Sri Lanka’s ‘Food Aid Weapon’, October 1999…
    •Sathasivam Sanjeevan tortured and killed in Batticaloa, October 1999
    •Arbitrary Arrests of Tamils in Colombo continues…
    •Sri Lanka Army and Airforce attack Tamil civilians and Police take hostages…
    •Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says that there are increasing health risks in the Vanni…
    •350,000 Tamils face starvation in Wanni says Asian Human Rights Commission…
    •Sri Lanka Navy gang rapes and murders Sarathambal, a Brahmin Tamil Girl…

    •Asian Human Rights Commission issues yet another urgent action appeal on Sri Lanka’s crimes against humanity…
    •Amnesty continues to be concerned by ‘disappearances’ …
    •Jurists call on Sri Lanka government to investigate murder of Kumar Ponnambalam…
    •Arbitrary arrests, parade before masked informers, & detention without trial continue…
    •Amnesty appeals again about disappearances…
    •Sri Lanka continues to use food as a weapon of war…
    •Military backed death squads in Colombo….
    •No action taken against soldiers committing human rights violations…
    •Asian Human Rights Commission calls for International Tribunal on Sri Lanka’s crimes against humanity…
    •All Ceylon Hindu Congress urges Sri Lanka President to stop harassment of Tamils in Colombo…
    •”Disappearances were carried out as part of a plan approved by the highest political authorities” says Asian Legal Resource centre at 56th Sessions of UN Commission on Human Rights
    •Humanitarian Law Project accuses Sri Lanka of hostage taking …
    •Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) calls on Sri Lanka to allow supply of essential medicines to the North…
    •22,450 Tamil refugees confined to camps and suffer without sufficient food in Army controlled Vavuniya says British Refugee Council…
    •12,000 Tamils displaced from Pallai – and arrests and disappearances continue…
    •Dreaded white vans, the hallmark of Sri Lanka military death squads, reappear in Vavuniya…
    •Disease kills in Kilinochchi – and restrictions on food and medicine continue to affect the Vanni population…
    •UN Special Rapporteur on Torture says torture is committed with impunity in Sri Lanka, April 2000…
    •Sri Lanka’s notorious Special Task Force (STF) go on a rampage in Batticaloa…
    •Non Governmental Organisations call for action to prevent humanitarian crisis….
    •Article 19 calls on Sri Lanka to immediately repeal press censorship, May 2000
    •Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Sri Lanka’s policy of censorship as being incompatible with democratic governance…
    •Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) says Sri Lanka jets bombed fishing village of Pallikuda, near Pooneryn and five members of one family died immediately, including two children aged three months and two years, May 2000…
    •United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Ogata, says thousands have been forced to leave their homes in the Jaffna peninsula
    •UNHCR says Sri Lanka ignored ceasefire notice to allow Tamil civilians to leave conflict zone…
    •Tamil Centre for Human Rights protests against ethnic cleansing by Sri Lanka..
    •Amnesty Appeals & Sri Lanka Continues to Torture & Kill, June 2000…
    •Tamil detainees sexually abused & tortured by Sri Lanka authorities says study in British Medical Journal, Lancet…
    •More than five hundred civilian casualties due to bombing and shelling by Sri Lankan security forces says Mannar Bishop, June 2000…
    •Tamil civilian casualties mount says British Refugee Council Sri Lanka Monitor…
    •Sri Lanka security forces shoot dead 9 children from an orphanage…
    •World Health Organisation warns of alarming health situation in Tamil areas…
    •Amnesty continues to report on torture by Sri Lanka…
    •Torture of Yogalingam Vijitha – Supreme Court Finding, June 2000
    •Tamils in Colombo and other southern areas living in fear says London based Tamil Information Centre…
    •British Refugee Council reports ‘Tamil Civilians die without medicines’, June 2000…
    •14 US Congressmen appeal to Sri Lanka to permit Red Cross and UNHCR help Tamil refugees in the Jaffna Peninsula…
    •Tamils are being arrested at Colombo airport even if they have legally obtained travel documents to go abroad…
    •Amnesty says that Sri Lanka’s new emergency regulations further erode human rights protection, July 2000…
    •British Members of European Parliament strongly criticise Sri Lanka’s human rights record …
    •British Refugee Council reports that new Sri Lanka regulations encourage secret detention and torture…
    •Asian Human Rights Commission appeals against Sri Lanka’s prolonged custody of a Tamil for 3 years without trial, July 2000…
    •Amnesty issues yet another Urgent Action appeal on ‘disappearance’ of Tamils arrested by members of Sri Lanka army…
    •Amnesty writes to President Kumaratunga about increase in disappearances in August…
    •Sri Lanka continues to deny food and medicine to internally displaced Tamils…
    •Illegal arrests, extra judicial killings and disappearances continue with impunity, July 2000…
    •Try President Chandrika Kumaratunga For War Crimes, says V.Thangavelu, Canada, 26 July 2000
    •World Should Not Ignore Genocide of Tamils says Dr. K. Nava, Australia, 28 July 2000
    •Sri Lanka Army targets Tamil farmers in Batticaloa District & beheads one, August 2000…
    •Sri Lanka accused of rape at 52nd Sessions of UN Sub Commission on Human Rights…
    •British Refugee Council reports continuing arbitrary arrests, abduction and disappearances, August 2000…
    •Sri Lanka’s relentless use of food & medicine as weapons of war, September 2000…
    •Arbitrary arrests, detentions, extra judicial killings continue, unabated…
    •Tamil journalist, Nimalarajan, shot dead in Jaffna by Sri Lanka aligned group, October 2000…
    •Tamil Detainees murdered in custody, yet again, October 2000…
    •A Sinhala Professor of Medicine on the murder of Tamil Detainees in Custody…
    •Sri Lanka military death squads return again to Vavuniya…
    •Shortage of medicines and food plagues the Vanni, November 2000…
    •Tamil detainees in prisons fear for their safety in a climate of impunity…
    •Six Plantation Tamils shot dead by Sri Lanka Police and arbitrary arrests of other plantation Tamils continue, November 2000…
    •Jaffna District Judge M. Thirunavatkarasu: we live in an open prison in the dark, December 2000…
    •Torture of Mariyathas Mary Sharmila and Shanmugam Sharmila
    •Eight Tamil civilians found dead in mass grave in Mirusuvil after detention by Sri Lanka army…
    •Arbitrary Arrests, Torture & Extra Judicial Killings continue unabated…
    •’Extreme social, moral and physical precariousness of the people of the north-east’…


    • Catholic Bishop Rayappu Joseph, says only 25% of the food and medicines needed is allowed into the Vanni…

    •Strangling the Right to Work – Jesuit Refugee Service Report, 25 January 2001

    •Extra judicial executions, murder of Tamil detainees and abductions continue

    • Disappearances, and deaths in detention, February 2001..

    •Extra Judicial Killing of Kutaalam Muraleetharan

    •Sri Lanka bombs Tamil populated areas and embargo on food and medicine continues – February 2001…

    • Harassment of Tamils in Colombo…

    •Sri Lanka security forces rape Tamil women with impunity – March 2001…

    •Jaffna Bishop Savundaranayagam urges President Chandrika Kumaratunge not to bomb populated areas…

    • Vavuniya Court repeatedly declares that Sri Lanka police are breaching international and domestic law – March 2001…

    •Torture of a Tamil Girl from Kayts, March 2001

    •Extra judicial executions and disappearances in EPDP controlled areas…

    • Economic blockade, humanitarian disaster – and new restrictions in the East – March/May 2001…

    • Tortured Jaffna youth petitions Supreme Court, May 2001
    • Tamil people denied fundamental right of freedom from torture for more than 25 years, May 2001

    • Sinhala dominated Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission closes file on rape of Sarathambaal – June 2001…

    • ‘Torture will persist unless draconian provisions of Emergency Regulations and Prevention of Terrorism Act are removed ‘ – UN International Day – Victims of Torture in Trincomalee, June 2001

    • Special Task Force tortures Ponnappapillai Sivanesan in Mannar, June 2001

    •Secret graveyards rise to haunt Sri Lanka says New York Times report – August 2001

    • Chilling fear of rape haunts Tamil women in Sri Lanka reports Associated Press

    • Presidential Guard orchestrated Kumar Ponnambalam murder says Sinhala owned Sri Lanka Sunday Leader – November 2001

    • 4

      The Bavinck Diaries are no doubt a record of the times and hence a valuable historical document. It is a people oriented record of impressions at the ground level of a Dutchman who chose to live and work among us, during trouble times. Dr.Micheal Robert has to be thanked for compiling and publishing them. I find that Bavinck’s impressions coincide with mine. They do not in anyway countermand what you have listed.

      Unfortunately, you have failed to list all the crimes the LTTE and other militant groups committed against the innocents, those they disagreed with and against those who had alternate thoughts, among the Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims.

      Your listing would have been then objective, balanced and useful.

      To have healing, reconciliation and solutions, we have to face the truth, regardless of where it is or comes from. This is an unconditional prerequisite.

      Nothing justifies the wrongs done by governments, armed forces, LTTE, other Tamil militant groups, Tamil para-military groups, media and politicians of all ethic and religious identities.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • 3


        You should also compile a list of opportunities missed by the governments and the LTTE, to find solutions. Both are blood soaked records permanently etched in history.

        I think we are paving the way for one more missed opportunity, going by the mean ,vicious , unwise and tit for tat discourse unfolding in CT.

        I wish CT will exercise its editorial discretion to a greater extent.


  • 13

    A school teacher who gave up on life in the prosperous Benelux because it signed the Maastricht treaty and lost it’s idolized Gulden and life style.

    Are we to believe his Cat_O_Lic story as the story for the island?
    Rudyard Kipling though born at Mumbai wrote better stories that folk like to hear.
    So what happened to burgher boy Deputy to Neville K, at New Delhi- he left on godly call for Mother Theresa- don’t you have his writings??

    Neither is Democracy of the west or Socialism of east good for the island which has been under the jack boot of world Crusaders- Muslims and Christians.

    Pakistan is friend for a good reason because Christian America the godfather permits. what has Pakistan achieved under military or civil rule both are same in action but opposites in look.

    What is thuppai down under all about??

  • 6

    Anpu your list of atrocities is absolutely incomplete .Where is the list of LTTE atrocities commited on the very Tamil people it claimed to fight for?Have you forgotten what they did to Neelan Tiruchelvam and 1000s of innocent Tamils?

    • 9


      “Anpu your list of atrocities is absolutely incomplete .Where is the list of LTTE atrocities commited on the very Tamil people it claimed to fight for?”

      If you seriously want to have a list of atrocities committed by LTTE on all people, I can provide you with a comprehensive detailed schedule provided you have the patience to sit up read through it from start to finish and promise to stop ranting on imagined baseless world view. I know I shouldn’t expect a grumpy old man to stick to his promise.

      By the way, could you also consider giving us a detailed list of atrocities committed by the state since 5th April 1971 also the atrocities committed by bigoted/racist people like you since 1915.

      “Have you forgotten what they did to Neelan Tiruchelvam and 1000s of innocent Tamils?”

      I remember them, do you remember other atrocities committed by state/JVP/thugs/politicians in a humongous scale on innocent civilians, including the burning down of a library.

      I suppose you are blessed with selective amnesia.

      Anyway why do you worry so much about LTTE killing its own Tamil people? Do you remember state/JVP killing its own people since April 1971? Do you remember Muslim home guards killing other people in the East? If you don’t, you should now blame amnesia which I suppose is age related.

      You may not remember this however I will have to remind you if necessary 1000 times. You seem to have completely forgotten about or keeping a deafening silence on atrocities committed by IPKF.

      Old men/women should consider retiring gracefully if they have nothing else to contribute to their fellow human beings.

      Please feel free to ignore me.

    • 10

      “”Have you forgotten what they did to Neelan Tiruchelvam and 1000s of innocent Tamils?””

      Zebra eating Crocodile down Under!!

      Why are you shedding crocodile tears for Vellaha Neelan our neighbor?
      trying to sucker uvinda support?

      4 immigrant muslim deaths and 80 injured changes your lokka totalitarian regime- just one call from kerry the nariya.

    • 5

      HLD points out “Anpu your list of atrocities is absolutely incomplete …….”
      HLD M accepts that the Anpu list is correct but will be complete if certain omissions are included.

      Goodness – wait for the surprise surprise! HLD can write three sentences without mentioning the word Vellahlah – an outdated word not understood by the young!

    • 2

      HLD ;
      Could you accompany Anpu complete list at UNHRC?

      You don’t remember you killed Sooriyarachchi, Kathirgamar, even Gobi who spied for you.

      If you write that 1000 civilian( I Mean altogether of their 30 years) dead by LTTE you think that is going to become true? You are not able to answer what happened to the 90,000 widows family members? You have had defense lawyer Paranagama commission prolonged even after UNHRC High Commissioner said he only sending CIDs spying on witness so his commission has to be closed. You know UN’s Internal investigation has said more than 70,000 dead in the last few days of the war. What is your problem in disproving this to UNHRC and shut off their mouth, before start to talk about 1000 killed by LTTE? We have been watching you and Michael Roberts creating lot of comedy but we do not care about you two cowards as you are not ready face real Judge, but ready talk from inside an old pot. If you have one single proof of what you said bring out and face the Foreign Judges and Lawyers. Don’t sheeply think you can tell your concocted velalla story to judges who had practiced in a Western country.

      If you write about velalla story nobody care about, but if you think you have some prove of LTTE’s murders, bring it out man. Don’t be such coward to face a judge. Publish an open letter here in CT to Ranil and King and tell them that you have all the prove to establish the guilt of LTTE so ask them to admit the foreign judges to come in. You know even if you hide you are not going to save you Old king from the UN electric chair. So be bravely fact it man! Come on! I like to read your letter for Ranil and New King here. Please publish it!

      You know Old King running out of the Temple Tree house has not confirmed his safety so far. Remember your cowardish explanations are not going to stop the investigation; so come out and face it. So come out and prepare for the day.

      Thank you in Advance for you open letter.

    • 4


      You are once right!


    • 10

      “”.Where is the list of LTTE atrocities commited on the very Tamil people it claimed to fight for?””

      Presumably you are requesting of TGTE??

      Whoever desires is always poor.
      Fortune favors the brave.
      pick the dice, lets see your cards?

      Psst: When you believe you are excusing yourself, you are accusing yourself.

      • 0

        Alfred, Are you an alleged war criminal or a sympathizer? All crimes must be investigated including Muslims and Tamils.
        You must understand that failure of Sinhala Buddhist leaders and politics led to this madness and mass human sufferings.

        Tamils are living all over the world peacefully and Sinhalese are only in this small island committing mass atrocities and crimes against humanity that is well known all over the world today. This is not going to last long as no one tolerate crimes against humanity!

    • 1

      Are you the same HLD Mahindapala who writes article on Colombo Telegraph?

      What did happen before the appearance of LTTE?
      Senanayakes and Banadaranakes gave birth to LTTE.

      Sinhala Prime Minister D.S.Senanayake…
      Plantation Tamils deprived of citizenship – 1948/50
      Sinhala Lion Flag imposed as National Flag by majority will
      Sinhala colonisation of Tamil Homeland

      Sinhala Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike…
      Enactment of Sinhala Only Law – 1956
      Tamil Parliamentarians attacked & 150 Tamils killed – 1956
      Genocide – Genocide ’58
      “What are we left with (in 1958)? A nation in ruins, some grim lessons which we cannot afford to forget and a momentous question: Have the Sinhalese and Tamils reached the parting of ways?” Tarzie Vittachi: Emergency 1958

      Sinhala Prime Minister Srimavo Bandaranaike…
      Sinhala army attacks Tamil Satyagrahis – 1961
      Tamils squeezed out of Higher Education – 1971
      Discrimination in Education in Sri Lanka – paper presented by Professor C Jeyaratnam Eliezer
      Name of Country changed from Ceylon to Sinhala Sri Lanka
      & Buddhism given foremost place in Constitution – 1972
      Repeal of Constitutional safeguards for minorities – 1972
      Eleven Tamils killed at 4th International Tamil Conference in Jaffna – 1974
      Suppression of peaceful Tamil resistance -1972 to 1975
      Sinhala Prime Minister/President J.R.Jayawardene…
      Organised pogrom against Tamils – 1977
      Rise of the armed resistance of the Tamil people
      Tamil resistance met with Sri Lankan state terrorism – 1979
      Rigging of Jaffna DDC Elections – 4 June 1981
      V.Yogeswaran – the Story of an MP who Escaped Murder, 9 June 1981
      Destruction of Jaffna Public Library – 1981
      Continued attacks on Tamil civilians – July/August 1981
      Ethnic Conflict and Violence in Sri Lanka, Professor Virginia A. Leary – Report of an ICJ Mission to Sri Lanka in July-August 1981.
      Tamils Under Attack – September 1981
      Plantation Tamils Subjected To Terror
      Anti Tamil, anti Hindu offensive in Mullaitivu – 1982
      Violation of the right to free elections – 1982
      Interference with the judiciary and violation of the Rule of Law – 1982/83
      Tamils detained without charge or trial – 1979/83
      Sri Lanka Terrorism Act -‘ugly blot on statute book of any civilised country’
      Torture – almost universal practise of Sri Lankan authorities says ICJ
      University of Peradeniya – May 1983: When Majesty Stoops to Folly – The Beginnings of Mass Mobilisation for the Tamil Militancy UTHR Special Report

      Genocide – Genocide ’83…
      “Clearly this was not a spontaneous upsurge of communal hatred among the Sinhala people.. It was a series of deliberate acts, executed in accordance with a concerted plan, conceived and organised well in advance. But who were the planners?… Communal riots in which Tamils are killed, maimed, robbed and rendered homeless are no longer isolated episodes; they are beginning to become a pernicious habit.” Paul Sieghart Q.C. Report of a Mission to Sri Lanka on behalf of the International Commission of Jurists, March 1984

      International Commission of Jurists – The Review, December 1983
      “A government spokesman has denied that the destruction and killing of Tamils amounted to genocide. Under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, acts of murder committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such are considered as acts of genocide. The evidence points clearly to the conclusion that the violence of the Sinhala rioters on the Tamils amounted to acts of genocide.”

      Chunnakam massacre and extra judicial killings of Tamils – 1984
      Events affecting the Judiciary – 1977 to 1984
      The plea that went unheeded – K.V.Nadarajah, August 1984
      Case Study of Torture, Sri Lanka Style – 1984
      Sri lanka Army terrorises another Jaffna school – November 1984
      Sinhala army murders Christian priests – 1984/85
      Arbitrary killings and torture – 1985
      Synopsis of extra judicial killings by an independent law group – 1979 to May 1985
      Sri Lanka Navy murders passengers on Kumithini – May 1985
      Amnesty Reports on 163 Extra Judicial Killings of Tamils in May 1985
      An Episode of Persecution – Paul Nallanayagam on Special Task Force and Extra Judicial Killings
      The Massacre in Tiriyai – the village that died on 15 June 1985
      52 Tamil villages in Trincomalee area razed to the ground in two months – September 1985
      Amnesty File on Sri Lanka Torture – October 1985
      Amnesty confronts Sri Lanka’s denial of torture – December 1985
      Iruthayapuram Massacre: eye witness account – January 1986
      Akkaraipattu Massacre & Arbitrary killing of Tamils – 1986
      The Kokkadaicholai Massacre – 1987
      Security forces continue to kill, chain and incarcerate non combatant Tamils – 1987
      UN Commission on Human Rights calls for Red Cross intervention – 1987
      Indian army intervenes at invitation of Sri Lanka government – 1987
      Rajiv Gandhi’s War Crimes
      “…as an Indian I feel ashamed that under the Indo Sri Lanka agreement, our forces are fighting with Tamils whom they went to protect…”I believe that the Indian Government had betrayed its own culture and ethics…The guilt, therefore, rests entirely on those who sent them to do this dastardly business of fighting in Sri Lanka against our Tamil brothers and sisters…” India’s former Foreign Secretary, A.P.Venkateshwaran, speaking in London in April 1988

      Thileepan’s fast – and Jaffna, September to November 1987
      Two Harrowing Weeks in Jaffna – September/October 1987 – An Eye Witness Account
      Velupillai Pirabakaran On the Arrrest & Death of Kumarappa, Pulendran and Others
      India Must Stop Repression of Tamils – N. Sanmugathasan
      Tamils Killed and Injured by Indian Army in Jaffna between 10 – 16 October, 1987
      The Agony of Urumpiray
      Diwali Day massacre at Jaffna General Hospital – November 1987
      People Face Starvation & Slow Death – Citizens Committee to Indian Prime Minister
      Case of a Mother and Son murdered in cold blood by IPKF
      India’s war in Jaffna – Eduardo Marino’s Report to International Alert
      Indian army’s war crimes – 1987
      Rape of Tamil women by Indian Army – 1987/88
      3000 Civilians Forced by IPK to Squat under Scorching Sun for Nine Hours – 1988
      Annai Poopathy’s fast for freedom – 1988
      Detention without Trial, Torture – 1988
      Torture & Reprisal attacks by India and Sri Lanka – 1989
      India’s My Lai – the Valvettiturai Massacre – 1989
      Sinhala President Ranasinghe Premadasa…
      Sri Lanka’s Deputy Defence Minister on the rule of law, 1990
      Kannapuram Massacre, July 1990
      Planned genocidal attack on Tamils in the East – 1990
      180 Tamils butchered at Saththurukondan – September 1990
      Hundreds of Tamils ‘Disappear’ after detention by Sri Lanka – 1990
      Sri Lanka bombs Jaffna Hospital & other Tamil civilian centres – 1990
      Calculated disinformation campaign by Sri Lanka government
      Amnesty launches 3 month campaign against Sri Lanka – 19 September 1990
      Thousands of Tamils extra judicially executed says Amnesty – 1990
      Tamil detainees systematically tortured -1991
      Kokaddicholai massacre – June 1991
      On the use of Governmental Aggression to Suppress a Minority’s Quest for Self Determination – Deanne Hodgin, July 1991
      Human Rights violations continue at ‘an alarming rate’ – 1992
      India’s Act of Piracy, January 1993
      New spate of disappearances & extra judicial killings – 1993
      The torture of Arulapu Jude Arulrajah – October 1993
      Over 1,000 Tamil civilians killed in the three years bombing of Jaffna says British Refugee Council, July 1993
      200 Tamils civilians killed in air and navy attacks in 1993 alone, September 1993
      “This is organised State terrorism” say Bishop D.J.Ambalavanar, Bishop Thomas Saundranayagam , and Nallai Thiru Sampandar Atheenam
      Churches and Temples Bombed, January 1994
      Sri Lanka airforce strafes Tamil villages
      Sri Lanka Airforce Bombs Schools in Jaffna
      Sri Lanka Airforce targets Tamil civilian population, March 1994
      Hospitals bombed in Tamil Homeland

  • 3

    Thank you for your chronology. There are many chronologies of the events during the past 60 years and especially since 1956 and of the 30 year war. For 6 to 8 months of the last 22 years I was in the North and East from 1994 to 1999. Then based in Kilinochchi and Jaffna till May 2016.

    I am writing my observations of the last 22 years. It is important for eyewitnesses to events from 1956 to presents to write their observations. From all this, truth can be determined to a high level of probability keeping in mind that Truth is Observation minus Error of Observation.
    Most important is what we do with the truth. As Wallace in his commencement address in 2005 has posed his thoughts that is worth reading. His main position is that we are hardwired when we were born. How we learn to how to think and learn what to think is important to understand the world around us and be be independent of the constraints that the hardwiring that we were born with for survival as individual, family, community and as humans. Our learning and experience is what that can liberate us to rewire the motherboard.

    • 1

      Thank you Mr Ethirveerasingham. Thank you also to DR RN, Nativevedda, K.Pillai….

      Mr Ethirveerasingham – “I am writing my observations of the last 22 years. It is important for eyewitnesses to events from 1956 to presents to write their observations. ”

      Looking forward to read it. Is it going to be a book or in the form of blog? Please do both.

      Mr Sampanthan said we will have a solution before the end of this year. 6 months gone. Of course we see positive change. But the current govt has not stopped “sinhalisation” of N&E. Military is in control of everything.

      • 9

        thank you Anpu ,

        “”Mr Sampanthan said we will have a solution before the end of this year. 6 months gone. “”

        Washington is “very clear-eyed about the challenges ahead,” Power says- a Barry directive.

        Passionately Anpu, TGTE and others `Compose` for
        Guinness Book of World Records-
        A Northern addiction bravo!

        While Obama Hussain lets all evidence `Decompose`. – He and Washington is “very clear-eyed about the challenges ahead,” Power says.

        29th January- what did the trio (Moon Barry and Bodhi) murmur at Japan?

        : Samanta Elle Kelle,
        “accountable democracy.”
        anpu, still genuinely pushing for wartime accountability?
        Remember hillary, & he let go passa at Columbia District Courts.

        On Thursday 28th April, the United States and Sri Lanka held an important meeting focused on trade, investment, and the broader direction of bilateral economic relations. Samantha Power, U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations, even flew in from New York City to attend the event. other multilateral and bilateral loans, bringing total support to about $2.2 billion, over and above existing financing arrangements,” the IMF said.

        28 Apr 2016 – Sri Lanka Secures $1.5 Billion IMF(American Bank) Loan to Help Bolster Finances (in loans to help lower its borrowing costs and fix its finances.)

        3 more billion bonds before year end on the pipeline too.
        America plucks moola from the sky while others slog to get it.

        Over 90% of population fed up but believe living as one in an island without ghettos- never attacked throughout history whence all but fled.

        Less than 10 mixing is so easy- necessity mother of invention ;
        need not be told by Paradesi asspora, now this is how you vote,
        nor send the poor blokes up the garden path.
        Revenge on 90% What?? Chee chee.

        • 1

          Tamils will soon realize that Sampanthan and Sumanthiran are traitors;

          Obama was at the White House when Eelam Tamils genocide committed by the Sinhala forces and so far failed to bring the perpetrators to accountability and Justice! This is history, will be remembered for ever and unlikely anything to happen until the new US regime comes to power.

          Thanks to Germany that labelled Armenian Genocide and certainly Eelam Tamils genocide will be accepted sooner than later by the International community!

    • 4


      “It is important for eyewitnesses to events from 1956 to presents to write their observations.”

      SJ/sekera believes 1956, 1958, 1960, 1974, 1977, 1983, 2009, …. didn’t take place hence I don’t think we can find any credible witness to events that never happened.

      sach, Jimy, Nuisance, Ramu, ….. and quite a few others are in denial like SJ/sekera.

  • 4

    I have found that the only impartial records of mayhem and murder by all sides are to be found on the UTHR(J) website and in Dr Hoole’s books. All Tamils should be proud of them.

    • 7

      yet another army crusader who went sour at Darga Town loss of 4 men.

      fait accompli..

      Why do 2 crusaders still have to have a say in eastern affairs??

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