21 September, 2020

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Book Review: A Horror Story On Sri Lanka’s War

By M.R. Narayan Swamy

M.R. Narayan Swamy

Book: “Still Counting the Dead“; Author: Frances Harrison; Publishers: Portobello Books; Pages: 259; Price: Rs.399

If even half of what Frances Harrison has uncovered about what the Sri Lankan state did to crush the Tamil Tigers is true, then Colombo’s political and military leadership can be in the dock for war crimes.

The former BBC journalist talks to a few who got trapped in the LTTE war zone until the Tigers were vanquished and later made their way to the West — with revolting stories of death, destruction, savagery, torture, rape and humiliation of an entire community heaped in the name of a war on terror.

“Tens of thousands of civilians were slaughtered by the Sri Lankan government,” a UN aid worker tells Frances, who painstakingly tracks witnesses to know what happened during the end stages of the war until May 2009 and, in some cases, beyond.

With international organisations abandoning over 400,000 Tamils they should have protected, there was no place to run as the military went on the kill, not bothering to differentiate between LTTE fighters and civilians. One UN official concluded that the government repeatedly declared safe zones “only to concentrate civilians in one place so as to kill as many as possible”.

This, of course, was not the official line. To the world, Sri Lankan leaders kept parroting that they had a “zero civilian casualty policy”. Frances says the UN and many Western diplomats in Colombo knew this was a lie “but remained silent”.

Nobody knows for sure how many LTTE fighters and civilians perished in the military blitzkrieg that began in 2008 and reached its peak the next year. Sri Lanka adopted “scorched-earth tactics, blurring the distinction between civilians and combatants, and enforcing a media blackout”. The world turned a blind eye, and countries from India to China backed Sri Lanka. Everyone was ready to accept Colombo’s denials at face value. You get the bone-chilling truth from Frances.

Frances meets scarred survivors who recount how they walked to surrender to the army, “their bare feet stained with human blood” and seeing “still burning, and limbless, decomposing corpses … under vehicles or alongside bunkers”. A priest remembers counting “thousands of dead on that journey, most of them civilians, not fighters”. A Sinhalese soldier jeered: “We have killed all your leaders and you are our slaves!”

A journalist who worked for the pro-LTTE web site TamilNet describes seeing “children’s brains exposed by shattered skulls” and hearing “desolate screams of their mother”.

A doctor who remained in the war zone saving thousands of lives with a group of medics recalls that after January 2009, “people would arrive (in barely functional hospitals) with all the flesh blown off their limbs, the white bones visible like chewed joints of raw human meat”. If doctors shared details of their hospital’s location with the army, “the buildings were attacked (by artillery and air) within days, if not hours”.

The doctor says the military used white phosphorous. By the end of the war, hospitals had no medicines, no bandages. Surgeries were conducted using knives. After having seen thousands of limbs and body parts, the surgeon today “cannot stand the sight of blood”.

Each recall of the war’s end stages – by a nun, a teacher, a volunteer, a LTTE fighter, a shopkeeper and a wife – is more horrific than the previous one. It is difficult to even imagine that civilians in no way responsible for what the LTTE did were subjected to such savagery by a state whose citizens they were. The account by a distraught woman married to a pro-LTTE man brings out shocking details of how Tamil women were raped at will.

Frances holds no brief for the LTTE. She denounces it for forcing Tamil civilians to forcibly live in rebel territory. “Tamil nationalist groups conveniently overlook the fact that the Tiger leaders deliberately exposed their own people to slaughter and refused to surrender…”

Sri Lanka’s tragedy is not over. “Human rights activists and journalists have continued to disappear well after the war ended – not only Tamils but Sinhalese too.” The book is a good guide to understand why the Tigers went down – after having been seemingly invincible for decades.

The book is also a powerful indictment of Colombo – and the LTTE. It should be read by anyone wanting to know what happened in Sri Lanka.

*M.R. Narayan Swamy is a senior journalist and the author of three books on Sri Lanka. He can be contacted atnarayan.swamy@ians.in

Courtesy Indo-Asian News Service

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    This is a long continuing story of state terrorism in Sri Lanka.It has been exhibited in the past several times (…1958,1972, 1983, 1989, 2009 .Most of them were against Tamils and some were against Sinhalese . None of the perpetrators were indicted or sentenced in any court of law.That is the reason for the continuity of this trend.You can see the increasing trend of brutality and causality of the crimes with time.This is not going to stop here.If this is not checked this time ,sooner there will be another massive crime committed that may be against Tamils, Sinhalese or both.

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    Frances holds no brief for the LTTE.

    If not, why did Frances Harrison not bother to write about them 30 years?

    Is forcing Tamil civilians to live in rebel territory, the LTTE’s first crime that is worthy of international attention? How about the massacre of Sinhala and Musliem civilians over so many years before that?

    Frances Harrison’s cries are hollow. People who had no empathy for crimes against Sinhalese, showing empathy for crimes against Tamils are crying not for human suffering but for something completely different.

    She is being …. [Edited out]

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
    http://colombotelegraph.com/comments-policy/

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      How about the State Terrorism for 60 Long years and continuing for whom you hold brief racilaist barbarian

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        Raja

        You mean the free education given to everybody for last 60 odd year so that people like you could use to get out of the country and then use your faul mouth to discredit our motherland. Same all story mate. Is that the motto and technique of of Tamil-Die-Ass-Poo-ra?

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    I have read the book and have heard also the story of the victims who survived the ordeal. My conclusion was that the book is biased and very one sided, though there is a Luke warm effort to fault also the LTTE. Many civilians died horribly and many survived with horrible wounds- physical and emotional. However, the number of deaths were not as presented. Further, the deaths were the result of a brutal and mean war fought by both sides. One side made their people sand bags and the other side was determined to end the war, come what may. Amidst the brutality there was also humaneness, sacrifice and bravery. There was also callousness, beastliness , selfishness and cowardice. It was what a war is, despite the veneer of civilisation we try to paint on it. A war brings out the worst in man and makes him more dangerous than what any animal old ever be.

    I gave Frances Harrison’s book away, because it had no value as an addition to my library.

    Narayanaswamy, with his knowledge of the war and both players, could have done a better job reviewing this book. What he has done is to summarise Harrison’s presentation and give credence to her claim of thorough and exhaustive investigation.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      You say that Miss Harrison’s book is biased. She recounts the stories of the survivors of the tragedy and not her own version of what happened. Are you saying that the survivors who told her what they witnessed were liars and biased? Her account is factual. You can’t deny that!

      You are giving ammunition to the deniers of the tragedy and helping the perpetrators to go scot free. What happened to the 140,000 tamils missing from the population statistics?

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        All I am saying is that I have directly heard the stories of the survivors and on the basis of what I have heard consider Frances Harrison’s narrative biased and largely one sided. I was also in Vavuniya when the IDPs were pouring in from the war zone and listened to their narratives fresh from the war front. I was also in the Chettikulam IDP on several occasions thereafter and spoke to the people. Do you want to believe someone who can speak to the survivors in their language and ask probing questions in their language or someone who has to depend on others to get the information she is after?

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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          In that case you are also saying that the Petrie report and the Dharusman report are also lies and are biased. You also seem to say that their estimations of civilian deaths were not correct. But, you fail to answer my question about whatever happened to the 140000 people missing from the population statistics in the Vanni after the war.

          If you say that you have first hand knowledge of actually what happened to the tens of thousands of people, why have you not come forward before to defend the Rajapaksa regime of this crime against humanity? You lost an opportunity to be awarded a Deshamanya or even a Sri Lankabhimanya title!!

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            Once again, I say that whatever reports you are referring to are not compatible in parts, where they matter – numbers and implications- with what I know. They rely on second hand information and probably also tailored information from interested parties to a very large extent. The circumstances during the war did not permit anyone, except the victims o know what was happening. This was also circumscribed by the fact that would know what happened where they were. The LTTE cadres and sympathisers, who were also hard to distinguish were also among the civilians and their tales have to be taken with a pinch of salt. The ordinary civilians who were caught in the war had a different tale to tell. They yet continue to tell the same tale.

            The UN and its agencies are the abode of many vested interests today and are tools to be used by those who know how to do this. We have also seen how the UN has functioned, almost throughout its history. However, we should be grateful to the UN and its agencies for the many services they rendered in war zones of Sri Lanka. Both during the war and thereafter.

            Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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              A correction: — they would only know what happened where they were.

              Dr.R.N

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              You claim to know the truth about the civilian casualties but yet for some reason you haven’t answered my question why you have not attempted to defend the Rajapaksa regime publicly so far about the accusations of mass murder of tamil civilians.

              Do you know what happened to the 140,000 missing tamil population in the Vanni?

              For some one who was in the Vanni during the war and spoken to the affected people these should be easy questions to answer.

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              Piranha,

              I have not defended the actions of either the government or the LTTE during the last war. Both were parties to a war that the people over whom it was fought did not want.The LTTE instigated the last war, despite many like me expressing our view that it would be big mistake. The LTTE also as always exposed the Tamil civilians to the consequences of the war as a deliberate tactic. I also am of the opinion that once someone precipitates a war they have to bear the consequences. Both the LTTE and the Tamils bore the consequences.

              I have been interested in the post-war recovery of the Tamils than on the postmortem. I have also expressed my views on the deaths, when the situation demanded so ( transcurrents and Dbsjeyaraj.com). I am of the opinion also that even one war- related death was one too many. I know what such deaths mean, because Of the manner in which my family members were killed and left to rot in Jaffna during the IPKF interlude. I have also experienced the 1958, 1977 and 1983 riots . I have also experienced the perversity of the LTTE and the monster it had become. I also was aware of where the LTTE was leading the Tamils to, long before the war ended. I was thus not surprised or shocked by the results.

              I am convinced that the Tamils were and are now the victims of the foolishness and short sightedness of their own leadership . The manner in which we reacted to the injustice done to us by the Sri Lankan governments since independence, brought a nasty war to our very doorstep and almost destroyed us. I have written in detail on this subject over the years .

              I am sad at the current plight of the Tamils more than anyone can imagine. My overarching interest in the few months or years left of my life is to see the Tamils in the north and east regain a firm foothold on life, live as cultured Tamils and be part of a Sri Lanka that all of us- Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and others can be proud of. I prefer looking forward to the future than a part of a past that is now foregone,but sad history.

              Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      Dr Narendran

      You are one of the most disgusting persons I have ever come across. Thousands of people who lost their loved ones due to the atrocities of GOSL and LTTE seek justice. You are, a disgusting idiot, again and again defending Rajapakse.

      You must be a pervert getting some form of orgasm by posting highly irritating comments to “explain” the deaths of over 40,000 thousand civilians including women, children, elderly, infirm who were indeed massacred by the action of Rajapakse.

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      as doctor and is the one who organised some meetings to suck up to the powers that are. One such meeting ended up at the Galle face though I was told of a free ticket to Singapore for this meeting which I declined to accept knowing very well that you’ll were quite mistaken in your analysis and expectations and were sucking up to another VP.

      On another trip that Noel Nadesan invited me I declined that too and R Sivanathan the present secky of the ARRR accompanied him and the two were taken by SL army helicopters to the north of SL. Did you too accompany them on these joy rides to observe the pain, shame and sufferings the people in the north were being put through?
      How large and relevant is your great personal library? Does it have the 3 books painstakingly researched and authentically written by M.R. Narayan Swamy?

      Having read these 3 books along with Anita Pratahap’s interview with VP, I declined 3 offers to meet with VP knowing very well the futility of such an encounter and fearing that I may be bumped off after meeting with VP.

      Whatever regard I had for you is very much diminished in the light of the above remarks of yours and am beginning to think that you’ll too are people like Carlo Fonseka who are more indebted to the present regime and lack any proper sense of a balance perspective on what is going around us.

      You especially quoting big stuff things like “karma” being subordinate to “Dharma” etc is partly out of Karnan like “Senchotrook Kadan” (pay-back indebtedness for favours given) is now giving voice as a stumbling block to help “Dharma” to play its part. Though Nadesan’s motivations are similar to yours or may be even more questionable and worse than yours as I have moved more closely with him and have not met you in person.

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      Please ignore above top missed out in copy and paste and peruse what is below.

      Book Review: A Horror Story On Sri Lanka’s War
      So-called Dr N.Rajasingham,
      You are more of an animalistic small animal’s doctor like Noel Nadesan who also calls himself a doctor and is the one who organised some meetings to suck up or win favours with the powers that are. One such meeting ended up at the Galle face though I was initially told of a free ticket to Singapore for this meeting which I declined to accept knowing very well that you’ll were quite mistaken in your analysis and expectations and were on a wild goose chase with another VP.

      On another trip that Noel Nadesan invited me I declined that too and R Sivanathan the present secretary of the ARRR accompanied him and the two were taken by SL army helicopters to the north of SL. Did you too accompany them on these joy rides to observe the pain, shame and sufferings the people in the north were being put through?

      How large and relevant is your great personal library? Does it have the 3 books painstakingly researched and authentically written by M.R. Narayan Swamy? Having read these 3 books along with Anita Pratahap’s interview with VP, I declined 3 offers to meet with VP knowing very well the futility of such an encounter and fearing that I may be bumped off after meeting with VP.

      Whatever regard I had for you is very much diminished in the light of the above remarks of yours and am beginning to think that you’ll too are people like Carlo Fonseka who are more indebted to the present regime and lack any proper sense of a balance perspective on what is going around us.

      You especially quoting big stuff things like “karma” being subordinate to “Dharma” etc are partly out of Karnan like “Senchotrook Kadan” (pay-back indebtedness for favours given) is now giving voice as a stumbling block to help “Dharma” to play its part. Though Nadesan’s motivations are similar to yours or may be even more questionable and worse than yours as I have moved more closely with him and have not met you in person.

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        Spencer,

        Yes, I was one among those who were in the delegation led by Dr.Noel Nadesan that had a dialogue with the government in 2009. The dialogue was planned to be held in New Delhi first. Thereafter, under LTTE threats it was decided to hold it in Singapore. This plan had to be also cancelled due to LTTE threats. Finally, the dialogue took place in Colombo. Many who had agreed failed to attend because of fears of coming to Colombo.

        I paid for my air ticket . Although my family was living in Colombo, I was forced to stay at the hotel arranged by the government, because of security reasons. We were guests of the government at a hotel in Colombo. We travelled by bus to Vavuniya, Chettikulam and the eastern province and had free access to what we wanted to see and those whom we wanted to speak. During the dialogue we listened to what the government representatives had to say and said what we had to say unequivocally. You forfeited your right to meet the lion in its own den, when the opportunity arose. This was your fault and to give a twist to the tale now is quite unbecoming.

        Further, I have written lengthy articles on my opinion on various reports and claims of death over the past few years. These are available on the web to those interested. What I express is my informed opinion. Further,my doctoral training and work as an academic, makes me study and question every report and document that is of interest to me in the light of what I know, what I have heard and what I seek to confirm. The part of my library in Colombo that survived the LTTE grand robbery in Jaffna, and subsequently added to, is big enough and wide enough to keep me informed. I also know how to seek information through the search engines, learn from my peers and discriminate between the meaningful and crap.

        Learn to express your opinion and views without insulting individuals and attributing motives. Further, my belief in the concepts of Karma and Dharma, which are too profound even for the brightest amongst us to know and understand in full, are not up for debate. It is my right to believe in them and its not for you to question.

        As you have not met me,you do not know me. You have also not read all what I have written and hence do not know enough of me through that device. Hence, do not be judgemental. Disagree if you have to and express your own opinion. That is your inalienable right. Express these rights within the boundaries of decorum. Remember that what is nectar to one can be poison to another!

        I am also not craving for your regards , complements , accolades or even agreement with my views. I write on and comment about what I know, surmise and think, honestly. I may be wrong, but I will never be dishonest to myself! I definitely cannot be bought or sold. Further,my loyalty to and pride in my Tamil identity, do not necessarily mean that I will accept what I think is not the truth or the whole truth. I like to call a spade a spade by natural inclination, but with time age learned that words have to used wisely, sparingly and carefully.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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          Yes Dr Rajasingham,

          “This was your fault and to give a twist to the tale now is quite unbecoming.” There is no twist I declined and rejected it on three different occasions as I had done my home work well in advance reading and preparing myself before trying to meet someone such as VP or for that matter there were a couple to MR as well. They are both mentally and empirically the opposite sides of the same coin cast in the mould of a Hitler and as close as identical twins. I came to this tentative conclusion in my comments on the “Tamil week” website within the first couple of years of MR ascending the throne.

          “Further, my belief in the concepts of Karma and Dharma, which are too profound even for the brightest amongst us to know and understand in full, are not up for debate. It is my right to believe in them and its not for you to question.”

          Your response and clarifications given are much appreciated though your belief without any rational and testable evidence is not sustainable in the long run. Please study the contents of the website or URL http://ugkrishnamurti.org/ to get a better balanced and more objective understanding on matters so-called as Spirituality, Religion and Enlightenment etc and to be rid of some of your other delusions on Dharma and Karma as well.

          My quest began at 12 years of age and I continue to be a celibate bachelor not wanting to use anyone for my gratification that even UGK came realise much late in life after fathering 3 children yet he has the best fit key to-date to help those who are really interested in knowing what so-called truth and enlightenment by many religions that try delude us on due to their own misunderstandings.I could have sent this direct to your email address but I am posting it here at the CT for the benefit and tentative appraisals and judgements of others as well.

          Your flawed analysis of the present regime in earlier times and delusions of grandeur with MR with those gatherings makes you still wish and hope and want to plead with and /from MR for a better deal. Prof Kumar David and others like him have gauged and understood the predicament in SL more sensibly with the least of delusions. Your contributions along with Lasantha Pethiyagoda, Safa, Jayantha and the pseudonymous specialist on SL affairs Ilaya Seran Sengutuvan etc are all good and I too do appreciate and learn from them even as my father would often repeat to me that we continue to learn until our last breath or beat.

          When I once questioned a visiting Psychologist from Germany when he spoke on the “Psychology of prejudice” at the Ceylon Rationalist Associating in the late 60’s as to his own and that of his German Teams prejudices undermining their findings etc. He responded stating that “That is why we present our finding and tentative conclusions to people like you at fora like this. This should go for all of us who participate in and on this CT URL.

          Let the other readers be the judge of whatever the truth is in our correspondences as quite often we cannot see our own follies. Yet in the final analysis we all seem to be nature’s robots working within the constraints of our own genetic and mematic make-up. No human has ever lived on this planet without any detractors or enemies. Yet we may all try to work together where ever we can find common ground.

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            Spencer

            This doctor cum donkey says that he went to Sri Lanka on a “fact finding mission as a guest of the SL govt!!!!!’
            He is incorrigible. He has some fatal attraction towards Rajapakses and he is not in a pposition to understand or his brain is too small to tell him what is right and wrong. Please leave him in peace.

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              Thanks “Real Peace” for this response and should he not respond further then we may take it that the message has got through to his and other identity-less self deluding brains as well.

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              Noted and thanks “Real Peace” for this response and should he not respond further then we may take it that at least some of the message has got through to his and other partially identified and mostly gutless identity-less self deluding thick skulls and brains who are having mini orgasms apparently with and without ejaculation though not being transparent enough to admit it as this Dr NR has been.

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    We can only pray that such events do not happen again.
    But to ensure this,we need Rule of Law,Good Governance,Absolute Equality of all citizens in every sense of the word,and Social Justice.
    The Military Regime needs to be dismantled.
    A strong Election Commission should be created to ensure free and fair elections – maybe,like in India.
    The Executive Presidency needs to be dissolved,to ensure all this.
    I am hoping that all this will commence in this New Year.

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      was it executive Presidency responsible for 1956, 1958, 1960, 1977, 1983 State aided and state sponsored Terrorism. It is the Sinhala racialist.

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        Raja

        “was it executive Presidency responsible for 1956, 1958, 1960, 1977, 1983 State aided and state sponsored Terrorism. It is the Sinhala racialist.”

        Those were preemptive attacks against LTTE.

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          What your state terrorists are telling LTTE was there for only 30 yrs. then how come 56, 58, 60, 77, 83 were preemptive attacks against LTTE? what a fool you are. just shut up than f**** your state terrorists….

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            LOl the stupid

            Read my comments again.

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        No. Bad governance was responsible.

        Dr.R.N

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          Doctor/donkey
          When over 70 Tamil prisoners were massacred in Welikada there was no public inquiry, but when a Sinhala prisoner (Marusira) was found dead before his death sentence was executed there was a full blown public inquiry. Is this naked racism or governance issue?

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            Real Peace,

            Racism in governance is bad governance! It appears you have much to learn about what governance means.

            Doctor/ Donkey to you.

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    Horrow story has turned into a continuing nightmare.

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    There is an old Tamil proverb that says you cannot hide an elephant under the Sulagu (rice separator – used usually by women by hand) The gory details of the local war can be hushed up by force temporarily but will come out – sooner than later. Unless a proper, credible and representative inquiry is held, the chances of speculative rumour will remain. In our May 2009 war it is clear both sides committed terrible HR crimes. The people and the world have a right to know what happened, who did and what to whom. Many a times Sarath F has said he will come out with the truth soon. By continuing to conceal matters the Govt is doing itself a tremendous dis-service.

    Senguttuvan

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    I would never believe any war crime allegation that has ex LTTE cadres as witnesses.Pro LTTE priests and cadres as witnesses sound more like a load of bulsh8t. Francis can ask these very innocent ltte cadres how they butchered sinhala ppl in the villages in the most horrendous ways imaginable.Nameless witnesses, non credible sources i wouldnt even spend a penny to buy such a book.
    This war is SL’s tragedy and there are many who made a business out of our tragedy. The author and the reviewer belong to that category. Any bugger can write any piece of propaganda and call it a book on SL war and make a few bucks. Honestly i had some regard for Narayanswamy as a journalist. But none is left now. With this review on Francis fiction, i have no credibility left on swamy’s any of the books now.

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    A Book review is suspect. What on Shavendra Silva being called
    back at a crucial time and the 100% Allowance increase to the
    83,000 in the Police. These indicate the panick and not Governance.

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    Narendran Doctor/Donkey?

    has truly revealed his colours. I realize being a vet you care more for animals which is good. but your care for animals seems to be selective. Perhaps you dont like one kind of donkeys?

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      Punchilamani,

      Despite my true colours which you have seen, I definitely do not like humans who make perverse and nasty comments in a cowardly manner while hiding their true identities. They are cowards- a kind that is at the lowest levels of the animal kingdom.
      Of course, this implies I am proud to be called a donkey than a coward!

      Narendran Doctor/ Donkey to you.

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        Doctor;

        There were jewish jail guards who were even more cruel to the Jews than the Germans during the holocaus.

        I will put you in the same category as the jewish guards in Nazin prisons who serve their masters earnestly by hating their own kind.

        We all know that the LTTE was no saintly outfit, but it was a product of a monstrous racism that still continues to haunt the island and that you continue to support for your own back side.

        With respect to writing under a pen name that is my right like that of so many others here in this website.

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      Punchi and Ral Peace

      You two should be ashamed of the language that you use in this forum to discredit Dr. R.N.

      Your comments also reflects the level of education that you have cheived and the environments you were brought up. No woner why people like you still worship the blood sucking LTTE and Podian Praba.

      My advice to Dr. R.N. is to disregards these sort of people rather than responding.

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        Vani Pulendran

        LTTE leaders are my enemy since they turned their guns against the TELO in 1986 massacred over 500 cadres. I never supported any Tamil militant groups.

        I firmly believe Tamils have been abused by successive SL regimes and they went through the worst abuse in 2009 by the Rajapakse regime. I am not saying the LTTE is innocent but Rajapakse is responsible for 85% of horrible abuses, in my opinion. Whoever abused Tamils – whether it is Prabaharan or Rajapakse – should be brought to the court and punished. This is what I want.

        When this Doctor cum donkey behaves like the “Jewish Prison Guard” for goodies from Rajapakse it infuriates me.

        Would you educate him please?

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        Vani Pulendran,

        Thanks for your response and advice. I respond to the nastiness, in the hope that it will make those behind it learn to respect others views which are based on their personal experiences and understanding.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        Vani Pulendran

        “You two should be ashamed of the language that you use in this forum to discredit Dr. R.N.”

        He is an old fox you need not to defend him.

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          Hey Vadda

          I have seen your comments and responses in all CT forums and I simply disregard them for a simple reason. You know that I mean?

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            Hi Vani
            Am I in your good books now?!

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    M R Narayan Swamy seems to have put his critical faculties to one side when he wrote this review. Well before the end of the civil war he himself forecast that the Tamil Tigers, due to the nature of the movement, would try to manipulate some sort of massacre of their own civilians. Wars are always bloody, as he well knows, but in a war against a fanatical movement that values death more than life it is particularly difficult to minimise civilian casualties. Most of us wish the world wasn’t like this, but it is, and those with responsibility to lead our defence against the barbarism of groups like the Tamil Tigers have to make painful and difficult decisions.

    Frances Harrison’s book, as many have pointed out, seems particularly one-sided as it remains indifferent to providing any meaningful details of the thousands of deaths of Sri Lankan Sinhalese, Tamils & Moslems caused by the Tamil Tigers. It reminds us of the dreadful consequences of people putting their trust in fanatics like the Tamil Tigers. But we humans have done it many times in the past in our history, and will do it many times again in the future.

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    Dr. Nrendran , Many thanks for exposing the hypocrites. It is ofcourse obvious that Frances had been paid well by the LTTE proxies to write the book. Srilankan army rescued 300,000 civilians from the terrorists.I too have read the book and it is biased compared to others.

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    Pen names and nom-du-plumes have been used in the world of letters for a long time – and duly respected. The list is far too long to mention
    but as I recall from memory O. Henry, Joseph Conrad, George Orwell, Lewis Carrol, Mark Twain, Ayn Rand are all giants of literature.

    In our own little world Tarzie Vittachi drew a large readership with his Flybynight Column as did Reggie Michael and Mervyn de Silva from the 1950s to the end of the last century. Lasantha Wickramatunga, Sinha R, Jayaram as Taraki followed their footsteps to an appreciating
    public. Lasantha and Jayaram would have been here with us if they were a little more circumspect in the situation on the ground. In the climate against writers and critics obtaining it is dangerous to identify yourself against the laws of the jungle. Many of our journalists have escaped overseas a wag commented soon we may have An Association of Sri Lankan Exiled Journalists.

    One must respect the choice of a writer to remain anonymous if he/she so wishes. Trashing and ridiculing them are features of lowly culture
    and absence of social finesse.

    Senguttuvan

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      If one is operating from within the not so Sri Lanka, what you say is reasonable and acceptable. What about those in the Diaspora? Are they also on a US and/or SL black list for special treatment like Dr Brian Seniviratne and Satchi Sri kantha etc? So do you really think we if not some of us are going to become literary giants after practicing these cowardly skills and exposing our horrendous stupidities here?! Because no one knows who the hell the other is? And those who question it may be people lacking social finesse but don’t you think that these should be questioned and partly exposed to arrive at a balanced perspective on the views being expressed here such that views like yours too get to be aired as well?

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      Is engaging in personal abuse, using gutter language and sometimes filth acceptable to you under the circumstances I have mentioned? Please cite examples of good or great men who done so before.

      No one will question the anonymity of anyone who is engaged in a civilised discussion and debate. I am not questioning your web identity,because the message you send is within civilised norms. However, when anonymity is used as a cover to abuse others on the web, it is an act of a coward. It is important to make the distinction.

      Dr. Rajaingham Narendran

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        Hai Donkey

        When you go to Colombo you will get protection by Rajapakse, but who will protect me if I use my real name?

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          I am living in Sri Lanka now and am critical of the Rajapakse government when warranted. I have not needed protection from the government and it is unlikely I would be given protection,even if I have to seek it.

          Dr. R.N ( Donkey to you- a coward)

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    If the government and its forces have acted in a very professional way, holding an impartial inquiry is not going to harm them. In fact such findings will be very much favorable to the government in the international arena.That will be the end of all these discussions and a good starting point for the ethnic reconciliation domestically. Still why the government is vehemently opposing such inquiry? Any person with reasonable mind will know the answer.

    Do not abuse Dr Narendran ,His mind is a invaluable treasure for psychiatrists/psychologists for learning purposes.

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      Newton,
      You are correct. If the SLArmy was not to blame,why refuse an international inquiry?
      Narendran says that he lives in Jaffna,and therefore has to be very careful about what he says.
      He knows what has happened to those who told the truth.
      But,his trying to ‘whitewash’ the regime is nauseating.

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    Those who have contrary opinions on the number of Tamils killed in the last stages of Eelam war-4, should check the following link:

    http://shr.aaas.org/geotech/srilanka/srilanka.shtml

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      What is your conclusion after checking the link.

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        Anpu,

        Please let me know your’s first. If that is different to mine, I shall reply.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      I expected those who express outrage at the numbers claimed to have been killed in the latter stages of the last war to comment on the AAAS report and its conclusions, presented in the link I provided. It is sad that those who accept numbers that are thrown around, widely circulated and cited in many reports that are accepted as gospel truth, and question my bonafides and even sanity because I have a different opinion, fail to respond to a report that is scientific and objective evidence based.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        Dr,

        Is this the gospel truth “zero civilian casualty policy” or 8000 ?

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        NR,

        ACCC Conclusion

        “Based on satellite imagery obtained of the Civilian Safety Zone and surrounding environs, AAAS found evidence of artillery emplacements, destroyed permanent structures, graves, and shell impact craters. Additional information used in the AAAS analysis process included public statements from the Sri Lankan Army and LTTE, media reporting, and a set of photographs taken during a helicopter flight over the CSZ by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Analysis of the CSZ showed three gravesites with 1,346 burials between them. These graves grew in number between April and May 2009, and are corroborated by aerial photos taken by the UN after the conflict. The imagery also revealed numerous impact craters, some with ejecta patterns that helped determine the trajectory of shells. By extrapolating the azimuth trajectories, AAAS was able to determine the locations of probable mortar emplacements likely created by the Sri Lankan Army. “

        The above is the conclusion from the URL containing a 23 page report with many satellite images from various satellites around a certain limited period of time like screen shots no different to try and read your palm and predict your future and say something about your past. What has this got to do with what is in contention? Unless you give us a better detailed exposition in layman’s terms of the whole report we ordinary mortals cannot fathom.

        Your imagined evidence and proof from these, one has to tentatively conclude that you are trying sound and look pedantic and scientific though in reality you are barking up the wrong tree to support your own delusions in defiance of the others who painstaking work. There were 30 countries ganged up against an ill trained, handicapped and misguided guerrilla force that was made to close shop in a pre-planned war to be fought without any witnesses such as Iquabal Athass and others through intimidation and threats to their life.

        It is fortuitous personal modern technologies and the vanity of soldiers to record some mementos that that has brought out the ugly, sordid truths of yet another partial genocide. You don’t seem to want the culprits to be brought to book. Is it also partly because you were given Galle Face Hotel accommodation and some other perks on a so-called fact finding mission that was a facade and a farce for ongoing hoodwinking of the world at large.

        MCS

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      Dr.narendran,that link you gave is absolute crap.When a ferocious war has taken place with the civilians sandwiched between the LTTE and armed forces,can you find out how many have been killed and just dumped into pits and covered up,with the type of scientific jargon depicted in that link of yours.dead,dying and even injured civilians would have been just covered up using bulldozers.The link says 1386 burials while the government itself has admitted 7000 after first saying zero.

      You have also not answered the repeated questions of a commentator about why 140000 have not been accounted for according to the last census.

      If gota had not forced a news blackout when the war was in its final stages,then we would have known the real casualties.Since he covered up everything at that critical juncture now let him disprove the figure of 40000.You don’t need to do that for him with your scientific jargon and bullshit.The tamils also don’t need to prove the 40000 deaths.It is upto the GOSL to disprove because they brought it upon themselves by creating a international news blackout.

      The GOSL never thinks of the consequences of their actions because I don’t think they have the brainpower to think ahead,as the current impeachment saga shows.They will get into a pit which they themselves dig,and then fight hard to come out of it.No need for your help.

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        What I meant at the end by saying ‘no need for your help’ is you will be ruining their fun.The GOSL enjoys digging a pit and getting into it then trying to clamber out.I think it is called leadership training or something like that.

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