21 October, 2020

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Book Review: Tamil Tigress By Niromi De Soyza

By Koom Kankesan

Koom Kankesan

Tamil Tigress by Niromi de Soyza,Allen & Unwin,308 pages

Niromi de Soyza’s Tamil Tigress has been available for a year in Australia but was only recently imported to Canadian bookstores. It seems to have brought the anonymous author (Niromi de Soyza is a pen name, apparently constructed for the author’s protection) almost as much controversy as fame. The book starts off as a polemic against the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) but ends up as a document affirming Tamil women’s rights.

The memoir is about a year in de Soyza’s life when she and her best fried, Ajanthi, joined the Tigers during the second stage of the war – the mid 80’s when Tamils fought the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in the North and East of Sri Lanka. De Soyza and Ajanthi came from middle-class families in an area of Jaffna in which the LTTE found it hard to recruit. Given the fact that both girls were still in their mid to late teens, the news of their enlistment was shocking to their families and neighbours. Trading their Catholic school lives and designer clothes for mud soaked rags and chest holsters, the girls join the first wave of female hopefuls, mostly poor young women from rural areas, to brave starvation, privation, and mockery in order to fight for the LTTE. Armed with little more than revolutionary idealism and anger for the injustice perpetrated against Tamils, the girls struggle along through months of waiting, training, and sentry duty before seeing combat. The story is told in a natural style employing gripping episodes with a knack for sensation and detail, and is designed to be accessible to a wide range of readers.

Tamil Tigress is important not only because it is the first book by an insider within the forces, but because it hearkens to key aspects of the Tamil psyche. Most accounts or portraits of Tiger cadres have been written by outsiders. As invested and informed as they are, there is an impenetrability about them when getting access to soldiers’ feelings and personalities. Their portraits of affected Tamils can be opaque, not to mention temporary and distant. Much has been written about the fallout of the fighting: the destroyed families, devastated parents, tortured civilians, and maimed fighters. Once again, de Soyza is able to provide a familiarity and insight here that only an insider can. The Tamil civilians’ complex relationships and attitudes towards the Tigers are sometimes the most interesting parts. The constantly starved soldiers are dependent on sympathizers who are at turns  pitying, nervous, scared, and hateful. This is not the LTTE that stalked a nation’s nightmares or rationed control of the Jaffna peninsula. This is an LTTE that is often running for its life, praying that people don’t turn them in. Villagers are intimidated enough that fighters can impose on them in a time of crisis and a kind of mute sympathy and coexistence exists in many of the scenes:

‘Stop all this fighting, children! We can’t cope any longer!’ wept an old woman.

            …

            ‘If you are fighting for us, we can tell you right now that we don’t want this!’ shouted someone. ‘We are tired of living as refugees in our own land, and it’s all because of you.’ I felt that these people were being ungrateful. Did they not see we were willing to die for them? Prabhakaran had told us that the Indians were not to be trusted. These people would one day learn the hard way.

De Soyza recounts passing experiences with Prabhakaran, his deputy Mahathaya (nicknamed the Crocodile), as well as other Tiger leaders. The controversy over the book stems from claims that the account might  be fake and the fact that De Soyza wilfully conflates the IPKF and the SLA in an early account to paint the Sinhalese forces as the enemy. D. B. S. Jeyaraj, in a laboured and somewhat smug blog, has claimed knowledge that the account and characters in De Soyza’s memoir are indeed accurate because he and other citizens of Jaffna knew them. Regardless of this pickling debate, the book offers much that is interesting as a contribution to writing about Tamil life and for this reason alone, is worth reading.

Early in the book, De Soyza explains that as a child, she would have to try and understand what was happening around her by making herself invisible and eavesdropping in on conversations:

In Sri Lanka curiousity was not a trait encouraged among children, particularly in girls, because those in power – often males, but anyone older, or of higher caste, education or influence – were always right and their reasons needn’t be explained or understood to the subordinate. Questioning was seen as defiance or challenging authority, for which we were often ignored, scolded or smacked, so we quickly learned to never challenge authority.

She grows up enduring a spiteful grandmother, suffering mother, and schoolteacher nuns who use humiliation and bullying as their primary educational tools. The climate of Jaffna, a sophisticated urban environment that prides itself as the capital of the North, is portrayed amongst the mounting tensions and flammable politics of the late seventies and the early eighties. De Soyza is a dedicated, intelligent, and fairly serious student whose intensity and anger for events around her runs deep. While the rest of her friends discuss militant movements as if they were boy bands, De Soyza and her friend Ajanthi join SOLT (the student wing of the Tigers) at school and then convince the leader of the organization, Muralie, to let them become military recruits. Their patience and dedication is tested by weeks of endless waiting, cleaning, cooking, training, sentry work, and most difficult of all, rebuffing the constant appeals of their parents who come to Tiger stations and beg them to return home. The two are finally posted in companies resisting the invasions by India’s IPKF and the girls have to wait until other soldiers are killed before their rifles can be passed down to them.

At this stage of the war, the Tigers are presented as a disarrayed medley of ragtag children and weary adults, cynical and starving, silent and obedient, hardened if they have the fortune to survive. De Soyza is often moved around in groups, not know what the plans are, with no change of clothing, an absolute lack of water to wash in, suffering from dermatitis and lice, and making do with open air toilets in which she can see the maggots and worms feasting on the feces. Their stomachs shrivel due to the lack of food and when food arrives, it is usually the barest spoonful of red rice and weakened curry. They are constantly on the run, in bare feet, trying to evade the advancing IPKF forces, spending more of their time running than fighting.

Through it all, De Soyza presents scenes which delineate the wiry and sharp characters she encounters and friends she has great feeling for. She captures the sharp Tamil wit and the strange insanity that accompanies life during wartime:

The Tigers apparently imposed fines on suicides as well as failed attempts, reasoning that it was bad enough that the Sinhala government was trying to eliminate the Tamil race, without us doing our bit to help them. It made me think about Benjamin and the other innocent Tamils the Tigers had murdered.

            ‘Perhaps the Tigers could send the boy on a suicide-bombing mission, instead of penalising his family,’ laughed Dhushi later, when I told the girls about the fine. ‘That way, everyone would get what they want.’ She was always making such inappropriate remarks.

Never losing her revolutionary fervour, De Soyza struggles on, but becomes more and more uncomfortable with the way the Tigers administer and exercise power. From the execution of an EPRLF acquaintance to the torturing and living burial of a boy who is cast with the slightest of suspicions, to the ultimate coldblooded execution of a cadre who has fostered a romantic relationship with a female recruit, De Soyza watches in horror and amazement as the dictatorial nature of the Tigers asserts itself:

As Akila and I headed back to our hut at the end of my sentry hour that evening, I thought back to the times I had been a witness to my comrades’ crimes – Mahathaya beating up an innocent man while Kaanchana and I guarded his bicycle; Navin and Nizaam bashing a civilian at the shopping mall; the killing of Vellai in broad daylight; and now Shanthan. The gravity of these incidents had increased over time, starting as assaults and ending up as murders, and I had done nothing to stop them. And, although I did not condone any of this, I, too, as a Tiger and witness, now had blood on my hands – the blood of my comrades and my fellow Tamils.

The story is essentially a passage from innocence to experience; by the end of it, De Soyza is a weary young adult who, having seen most of her friends die, chooses to resign. Her politics do not change but her choices in life swing back in line with the values she was brought up with. She concludes the book by telling us that she went on to study in India where eighteen months later, she graduates as ‘one of four captains and crowned prom queen of the year.’ She migrates to Australia, does graduate work in law, marries, and has children. Her mother, sister, and Ajanthi’s sister also leave and find similar successful lives, establish their identities as emigre members of the bourgeois class in which they started.

Probably the only person who could write such a book is someone like De Soyza. The fervent Tiger service is a brief but eyeopening interlude in an otherwise comfortable and privileged life. It’s hard to imagine a veteran of the conflict sitting down to write a tell-all, feeling free enough or even wanting to divulge the details. Only someone familiar and comfortable with the trappings of middle class success could venture such a gambit. For that reason, it is perhaps even more amazing that this book should exist. Maybe it will open up the gates for future accounts of Tiger service but I doubt that will happen anytime soon.

What is consistent throughout the book is a keen anger at injustice and the conditions of the time and place in which she lived. De Soyza aligns the Tigers’ pernicious methods with factors in Tamil society that are already familiar to us: having to follow orders without questioning, the fear of authority, the extreme care that must be taken to guard one’s propriety and behaviour, the dread seriousness and threat of ramification from elders if rules are disobeyed. De Soyza does a very good job of portraying how women are both shunned and privileged by these social mores while serving under the Tigers. What she goes on to understand is that a movement like the LTTE can only flourish in a culture that is so long suffering, yet intensely proud and demanding of its own.

The very real and natural accounts of villagers and civilians are the strongest aspect of this book. The civilians are uncomfortable and sometimes fearful, don’t wish their children to join, but at the same time sympathize with their decision to take arms and at other times, when they have the upper hand, are scornful or even spiteful, especially of the women. If I have a complaint, it is that the glimpses into characters are brief and unfulfilling. Passages feel quickly written and even in the case of her friends, De Soyza does not paint sustained psychological portraits that live up to the precision of her anecdotes. Despite her intelligence and dedication, there is something cold about the way in which she undertakes her adventures; we never really come to feel we know her as a person, let alone the people around her. This guardedness is there in childhood and very much there in the sense we get from De Soyza as a successful adult and may be a feature of the social forces which she so adroitly describes. Episodes in which Roshan, a Tiger lieutenant who is in love with her and whom she is quite affected by, are especially frustrating because De Soyza waxes coy and flirts with the possibility of falling in love with a boy of lower caste than herself but cannot bring herself to act and acknowledge her feelings.

For those of us lucky enough to have left the war, there is the question of why we should drag all this history and trauma behind us. There is something almost Teutonic or Victorian about our culture which has entrenched itself. It imposes a strong self-regulation, a code of conduct that is like an exoskeleton of feeling, an iron band around the heart. We are used to the rule of force, the desire for power and success, in a cultural identity where pride and unhappiness walk hand in hand. The pride which we take in our abilities and achievements is a great source of comfort but in an oddly complicated way, is also at the root of our misery. As we’re at a stage where we’re rapidly dispersing and changing, we have the unique power to stop and look back on ourselves: who we are, what we want, what to keep and what to change. Imagine the wonder a pupa would feel if it could gaze at itself from outside its cocoon. I don’t think we can just cut our pasts loose with a slice of the psychic knife. As any psychologist will tell you, the worst thing one can do is bottle up the feelings and pretend the trauma didn’t happen. Sweeping things under the carpet will not make them go away. That being said, it would be a mistake to continue in the same vein as our ancestors, cloying to them for the sake of tradition. Conversely, it is a mistake to simply see life in Western countries as liberating and life back home as repressed. Such simple binaries only serve to make us simple.

There is still an association with the struggle back home, however abstract. It is impossible to know of the long years of suffering, violence, and privation, and not feel moved, to feel some attachment. Tamils often resent the feeling of being the underdog and this anger that burns with a combustive intensity has made us all somewhat complicit. We’ve agreed at some point, even if it was only for a few private moments in our heads, that the Tigers were justified. What is most disturbing, however, is the ease with which the Tigers killed their own, simply to dominate the social order or on the merest suspicion that individuals were not following the status quo. It is amazing to see how strongly deep feelings of anger run alongside an acceptance of death as a price, death as a means, death as an inevitability, symbolized by the cyanide capsule held by a black string, forever around De Soyza’s neck during her service. When death (both to our own as well as to enemies) becomes a familiar logistic, an alarming line has been crossed. In this way, the Tigers are more like the Sinhalese government than different; both killing their own people in order to maintain power. It behoves us as Tamils to search the darkness within our own hearts, within our own culture, that allows something like this to be permissible.

The desire for power, for accomplishment, for success, drives us at the root of our psyches. When this pride supplants our ability to look at ourselves, the forces we are pushed by and which we use on others, our relationships to each other as men and women, as parents and children, it wouldn’t have mattered if we had migrated to the other end of the galaxy. Nothing will have changed. All that intelligence and all that professional development will not save us; it will not buy us happiness or peace.

In this way, De Soyza’s failure to ultimately deal with her revolutionary ideals or convey to the reader a personal fundamental change, is a huge disappointment. De Soyza ends having found success by the standards which she bristles against as a young child. This results in a lack of warmth in the way she finds her escape from a world of pain. Despite this, I think the book is the most important account by a diaspora writer of what it is to be Tamil, fictional or otherwise. She touches upon key elements of our society and psyche that are troubling and familiar; they are here and probably will be here for a long time. The book is extremely readable, vivid in detail, and groundbreaking in terms of its material. Despite railing against the Sinhalese government’s actions, it keeps a constant eye on the disturbing actions undertaken by the Tigers and the Tamils’ complicity in these actions. It should be read by everyone whether they are people who don’t know much about the Tamils or Sinhalese, Sinhalese who hate Tamil sympathizers, Tamils who hate the Sri Lankan Government, Tamils who hate Sinhala apologists, Tamils who hate the Sinhalese, Sinhalese who hate the Tamils, Sinhalese who hate the LTTE, plain old haters who hate everybody (misanthropists), or just people who enjoy reading compelling memoirs.

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Latest comments

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    This book sounds quite intriguing as it is difficult to find an insider’s account of a seemingly rational person. It appears that she realized that the flawed means utilized vitiated any just objective of resisting Sinhalese domination.

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    THIS AUTHOR, (DESOYZA) THANGACHCHI, SHOULD TELL US WHETHER ALL THIS FIGHTING WAS WORTH IT.
    SO MANY INNOCENT LIVES OF BOTH TAMILS, SINHALESE, BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF OUR MOTHERLAND WERE DESTROYED BY RUTHLESS LEADERS OF BOTH SIDES.
    LET US START THE “LLRC” IMPLEMENTED AT ONCE. LET US NOT WASTE ANYMORE OF OUR PRECIOUS TIME TALKING ABOUT IT. LET US ALL JOIN HANDS BY GETTING RID OF THE ARROGANT REGIME.

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      “Fight” does not depend on how “worth” it is, but depend on the need for it, given the slow eradication of Tamil’s identity in the island, a fight was needed to stop it, nothing has changed now, so a fight is needed again, this time of course it will be different, if the fighting stops the loss of identity of tamils, then its worth it,

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        ‘ “Fight” does not depend on how “worth” it is, but depend on the need for it ‘

        That sort of statement is nothing but the preaching of a warmonger. What utter nonsense! One life lost, in the name of ‘culture’, ‘race’ or ‘religion’, or whatever, is a waste, unjustifiable to any who truly understands the value of a human life, the love of a mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister!

        Some people make a pretty decent living encouraging (brainwashing) others to die! While hundreds and thousands mourn the loss of their loved ones, these warmongers continue to live in comfort, with their loved ones all around them, in overseas countries, far away from any real conflict.

        What is the fight for? Freedom they say, while oppressing and dictating their own followers and those who they claim to represent… drunk with patriotism, the followers continue to ‘die’, and leave behind more and more mourning loved ones, to continue living in conflict and hell, while the leaders reap the rewards!

        The recipe is to create an environment in which people have little to live for, so that death seems more appealing than life itself. Then incite a little bit of hatred, like blame someone else for the state of affairs, and you can not only get such people to die for you, but also kill a few people in the process!

        The fact to the matter is, there are no two communities more alike than the Sinhalese and Tamil communities. Both blindly worship corrupt and manipulative leaders while complaining about the other! If only they just fought their own, instead of fighting the other!!

        If we want a Sri Lanka where our children and loved ones can wake up in the morning and walk to school, without the risk of a bomb blowing them up, or them getting abducted to ‘fight’, then we as Sri Lankan adults need to grow up and start to see past the ‘feel good’ brainwashing propaganda of those who make a living out of our suffering. Tamil or Sinhalese, we have loved ones, and their safety must be paramount for us, not the ethnicity of our leaders!

        What use is living in a land labelled as ours, if our loved ones have no security? The answer is in the number of Sinhalese and Tamil people now living outside of Sri Lanka. Strangely, it seems to these Tamils and Sinhalese, it is okay to live in a country not ruled by their own… Yet many of them, continue to fuel the war ‘back home’, insisting on the importance of ‘their land’ being ruled by ‘their people’. What hypocrisy!!

        We need to learn to say ‘No’ to those who continue to glorify war and division in the name of various patriotic identities such as ethnicity and religion. Rights and freedoms will only come if we learn to treat each other equally, and for that, we need to learn to see past the divisive labels that we are handed at birth, for these are the tools of dictators and terrorists alike! We need to stop listening to divisive voices, and instead start to see cheap patriotic propaganda for just what it is!

        Why should we care about the ethnicity or religion or caste of who rules my country. We should only care that whoever it is, creates an environment in which our rights, and those of our loved ones, are respected and protected. I can’t see such a leadership being offered by any of the past GoSLs, the LTTE, or any of the current Sri Lankan diaspora voices… So ‘fighting’ on behalf of any of these groups is therefore nothing but an ABSOLUTE, UTTER WASTE INDEED!

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          Just to clarify, my opinion on past GoSLs also apply to the current one, in case it wasn’t clear…

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        “”””a fight was needed to stop it, nothing has changed now, so a fight is needed again,””””.

        HO HO HO,
        HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

        Here comes a Fighter, Who was at the front line and again going to fight.

        Hay bull /fighter, do not sit on your brain.
        just wast it properly.

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    Adele Balasingham wrote a book, that is the first book from an insider within LTTE.That book unlike “tamil tigress” is not written from an emotional point of view, it describes important incidents in LTTE and leave the emotional part to the reader.

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      But Adele is Australian, not Tamil, so despite her marriage to Bala she cannot relate to the mindset of Tamils in Jaffna. And Bala spent more time in the UK and globetrotting as the Tigers’ ambassador than he did in the Vanni or Jaffna. Finally, she is a true believer in the terror campaign while this author saw the vicious reality and became disillusioned with it. Therefore, her perspective seems more intriguing than that of the White Tigress.

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    CT should delete comments all in uppercase (“shouting”).

    Replace the arrogant regime with who exactly? Until a viable alternative emerges, regime change is very unlikely.

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      ‘Regime Change’ sounds anathema to those apologists of the present regime, who post comments as Lanka Lovers from Foreign soil, possibly they managed to emigrate under this corrupt regime as Diplomuts.

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        Gamini: As I have stated repeatedly, I am a White American who had never been to SL until this year and thus am an objective observer who has thoroughly, some say obsessively, researched the matters starting from 1956. I have no Sinhalese blood, and I am no Buddhist either. So your attempts to accuse me of bias have no basis in fact. I do understand your displeasure with the realization that not all westerners are as easily duped by LTTE propaganda like so many British, Norwegians and Canadians.

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          American Lanka Lover you are no better than that Kath Noble writing on the Political firmament of Sri Lanka with absolutely no clue of events and the people involved. I will accept with reservation your position that you have no Sinhalese blood nor a Buddhist but you certainly seem to do better than one being so.

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      Whaaaat? It seems, Koom Kankesan has not only read the ‘links’, but also accepted DBSJ’s follow up. Sour Grapes Arun Ambalavanar has run away from the scene. Doctor Michael Roberts and Doctor Muttukrishnan Sarvanatha had nothing substantial to add.

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    We all know what the LTTE and Extreme previous governments did for our Sri Lankan. I have serious concern about the author. When we browse the internet , we can easily feel how controversial is the author Niromi de Soza. Controversy is not because her previous life. But her contradicting statements and deliberately mislead the readers by pleasing everyone. Her credibility is question by Prof Michael Robert ( Sri Lankan born well known author) , Her community involvement is question by Dr.M.Sarvananthan . She was a propaganda for the pro LTTE during the final war. after the war justifying the arrival of assylum seekers who could find US$10,000 . She is promoting her book through the dead friend Ajanthi and a pregnant asylum seeker Ranjani. What we need to do is looking forward to build the nation rather what happened to this woman 25 years ago. Every one in sri Lanka has a story. Some are more than 25 years. not 8 months as the Author experienced. We need to Sri Lankan! to move forward and not look at the exaggerated story.

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      “We need to Sri Lankan! to move forward and not look at the exaggerated story.” Fine… Just move forward with Rajapakse brothers. Why are you wasting your time here, Jayantha?

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    The First review of koom Kankesan was published in the blog called ” The New direction of wind ” on the 2nd if July.

    People started to give the readers about the blog links by Prof Michael Robert and Dr.Sarvananthan challenging the author Niromi de Soyza.

    Under the pressure Koom requested geoffrey ( The Editor of the New direction) to remove the comments challenging the author Niromi de Soyza.

    Geoffry removed those links and inform the readers about the reason for him to remove the links . Geoffrey says ” I’ve removed a certain comment at the request of Mr. Kankesan. I’ve done this not because I am taking a side in the matter. I know little about it. I like him so I’ve agreed to his request. That’s all ” . please refer the link http://thenewdirectionoftime.com/2012/07/02/tamil-tigress-reviewed-by-koom-kankesan/#comments

    I have a serious question about the credibility of Koom Kankesan who had asked the editor to remove the comments.

    The review from Koom in ” The New direction of wind ” is not same as Colombo Telegraph.

    When I read from Prof Michael Robert article about author Niromi De Soyza and her book, Michael Robert explained clearly how Niromi De Soyza got into the Australian media . I would like to know whether the review is written here as a marketing tactic for mutual benefit ?

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      The review has not been changed. The reason why the comment was removed from the original website was because of its hateful nature, its intention to malign, very much like the comment here. I had hoped to generate discussion about the book’s contents, not give space for people to grind their usual axes. This commentator has not reproduced Geoffrey’s comments in entirety which reprimands commentators who aren’t interested in the subject of the review at all but simply wish to vent their political spleens. You can read them on the website which is called ‘The New Direction of Time’ and not ‘…Wind’ as this commentator has willfully or ignorantly named it. While you are browsing Geoffrey’s wonderful site, please also check out my, what I hope are thoughtful, essays on R. K. Narayan and Alan Moore. Thank you.

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    Michael Roberts has no credibility on Tamil matters and he is a partisan.

    There is no need to bring his opinion here…Nobody needs it…

    I cannot authenticate all what she has written in her book, but many Tamils tried to slander her and villify her in Australia. Now they all have gone very quiet. That says something.!!!!!

    She is also supportive of St. John’s College Chundukuli, charitable work in the Vanni, and helps the asylum seekers in Australia. So let her do her work, and write her experiences. If some don’t like it do not buy her book or read her book..

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      “..The man had psychiatric disorder even prior to his torture by the Sri Lanka Army, and was admitted to Colombo’s mental instititution as early as 2003. The medical documents also say he is incoherent, suffering grandiose delusions and auditory hallucinations, and he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Another document apparently from Vavuniya General Hospital says he suffers from ‘recurrent depressive disorder with psychiatric features,’ ABC reported.” http://tinyurl.com/cgbdc2f

      Mr Gnanakone, how are you accessing the internet from a detention cell in Christmas Island?

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    BY THE WAY DONALD,

    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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    I agree with Donald Gnanakone, well said.. Some of these extremists who spend all there time and energy hating everybody do nothing constructive but try o bring down anyone who do good work. They try to call anyone who doesn’t agree with their narrative a liar. Because they don’t want people to know the truth!
    We should all ignore these haters and look towards a better future for all humanity by love and understanding. This imposter who calls himself Sooriyakumar here is just a coward, hiding behind other’s name. He’s the fake, insinuating hatred! Let us all see these pathetic persons for who they are. Niromi has done a great service to the history of Sri Lanka, by not only recording it but also giving the poor children an education.
    More should come forward and tell their stories and not put off by these sad cases who are really, no bodies!

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    What I can see here is some of the comments are sliding away from the comment on Koom’s review about the book Tamil Tigress to attack the author Niromi de soyza . We are here to comment on the Tamil tigress review , not about how the author market the product . leave it to the publishers and we readers do not have any say about it.

    Firstly author Niromi De Soyza ( pen name) himself clearly tells in her memoir ( Tamil Tigress -book) about the life . Girls who studied with her living around the globe.

    Secondly It has been independently viewed by people around the globe and the independent journalist live contemporary to Niromi’s time.Here are the series of articles
    1.) http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/3160
    2.) http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/3516
    3.) http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/3378
    4.) http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/3463

    Finally I am one of the living witnesses who can related the incidents when we were in the high school during 1986-1988.

    It is interesting to see how Michael Robert was writing article saying ” Fake memoir” , But people know authenticity of the Author and her book.

    I would recommend everyone to get the book in hand read before you drop a comment. That is the wise thing to do rather mud sling on the author purely out of jealous.

    Sharon

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    Well said Sharon and Jeyan..
    Niromi aka author has every right, to write her experiences and she has not gone out of her way, to malign anyone in the LTTE or IPKF etc.

    Some “Key board Cowboys” who are simply jealous and envious about this author and book, have resorted to attacks including personal ones, hiding behind fake names and identity. They want to simply “poison the water”.

    Let the people who want to read the book or review read it and move on. Niroma is also trying to do some good work for extremely good causes. So she has her heart in the right place, and how many of her age and experience done any thing so honest and genuine. Such books will not bring much revenues, and I wish her every success, growing up in the circumstances she had to.

    Yes, I am a little biased towards her as my childhood is at St.John’s College, Jaffna, and my sister school was chundukuli Girls School, where she studied, but years apart. This girl or lady now, is no stooge of anybody nor is she “Kissing up” to anyone, but joined hands with organizations in contributing her part.

    She should be recognized and respected for her role, and experience.
    She is one in a million Tamil in the diaspora.

    Best wishes to the author…

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    Just reading the review I am convinced that the book is a good reflection of real situation on the ground. Niromi had the intelligence to quit whilst the LTTE and their expat residents like Anton Balasingham had no clue about strategies that would improve the quality of life of SL Tamils.

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    Why not people read the book on “Ethnopolitical warfare” by American Psychological Association? How the LTTE tried to stop an ethnic cleansing. How stupid is people to forget the cause of LTTE?

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    I agree with Donald J Gnanakone in what he said. However, Donald used some words out of emotion ” Kissing up” . I studied in St.John’s college 1988 A/L batch as Niromi de soyza (marketing name, deliberately used for loosing Tamil identity). We had lot of good looking girls in Chundikuli Girls college. Ajanthi was one of them. Niromi was not in our Radar. I think Donald would looked at the picture ( full of make up) thinks Niromi is a queen. when we grow older we admire everything. But generally your comment is fantastic.

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    I totally disagree what you are saying Koom.K. The removed links dis not have any hate links. It has only links to the articles written by one of the leading Professors in Australia about the inconsistent and contradicting statements made by the Author Niromi de Soyza. He questioned the integrity and truthfulness of the Tamil tigress author Niromi de Soyza. It showed the readers clearly , you have not done the homework properly Mr. Koom.I can see you are hanging onto the peggy bag :-)

    Following links were removed from the Direction of Times by Geoffrey ( the Editor) by the request of Koom. Readers can read the links now and decide whether it has any hateful links or expose the truth!

    1.http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2011/08/farce-of-fake-tigress.html

    2.http://groundviews.org/2011/11/19/outing-a-counterfeit-guerrilla-a-tale-of-lies-by-tamil-tigress-niromi-de-soyza/

    3.http://groundviews.org/2011/08/31/forbidden-fruits-niromi-de-soyzas-tamil-tigress-noumi-kouri-and-helen-demidenko/

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    There are different kinds of dogs in this world.
    Stray dogs, rabid dogs, useless dogs and just barking dogs. “Shenuka” should ignore these types of dogs, and follow what Sir Winston Churchill once said. Quote
    “You’ll never reach your destination if you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks.”
    Sir Winston Churchill.

    Shenuka should totally disregard the michael Roberts, Arun Ambalavanar, aka Sooriyakumar and others. She at 17 (not a child soldier as per Geneva conventions and article 77 even now or in 1987 when also LTTE was not a proscribed organization for political reasons) joined the moved, trained, fought, and had the courage of her convictions to leave the organization.

    She had studied in India, went to Australia and applied for asylum and received it legally without the GOSL fighting hard to prevent it, (or it’s slimy stooges), qualified well and also become an author. She is one in 20 million Sri Lankans and had accomplished what she has after all the struggles she has experienced in her teenage days..

    It is time for these envious jokers to “zip up” and allow her to lead her life in anonymity, as she was not looking for name, fame or position like most of the Sri Lankans. If her powers of imagination and creativity is that great with the capacity to do so much of research of history within a secretive organization such as LTTE, she will do even better writing more books on the Bandaranayakes, Rajapakses, Fonsekas, and Premadasas, or any other topic she chooses..

    Many have informed me that her story is true, and believable although her 25 year memory might not have been perfect as all this happened so fast and furious under trying and emotional circumstances at a tender age of 17-18..

    She has not given up and gone into hiding like nurse Mrs. Adele Balasingam who enjoyed all the best of perks the LTTE and the world (including different GOSL) could offer. What did Shenuka get for her trials and tribulations, as a teenager and now she still has a lot of fight left, and she speaks up for the voiceless asylum seekers who are risking their lives and meager resources to escape the racist-chauvinist dictatorship and oppressive regime. Let the Tamils who want to leave go, and do not be dogs in a manger and cruel/inhuman bas…..ds.

    Congratulations Shenuka, and carry on regardless. Best wishes to the young Tamil freedom fighter and mother…Tamils are proud of you….

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    Oh My Gosh! We have moved away from reviewing the book to analyse the types of dogs.

    Facts does not change;

    point 1:

    Michael Roberts [One of the leading Srilankan born Professors lives in south Australia] challenges the inconsistent and contradicting statements made by the Author Niromi de Soyza to the media in Australia . Michael Roberts also questioned the integrity and truthfulness of the Tamil tigress author Niromi de Soyza. Critics conclusion is The story of Niromi De Soyza was exaggerated to attract the readers to please every one to sell more books .She deliberately chose the words to confuse the readers to sell more books more money !

    Point 2:
    Koom Kankesan who reviewed Niromi’s book had asked the editor Geoffrey (to remove the comments exposed the truth and challenges the author Niromi de Soyza and her book Tamil Tigress. Geoffrey removed the comments and honestly made the readers aware of his action. Here is what Geoffrey says ” I’ve removed a certain comment at the request of Mr. Kankesan. I’ve done this not because I am taking a side in the matter. I know little about it. I like him so I’ve agreed to his request. That’s all ” . evidence http://thenewdirectionoftime.com/2012/07/02/tamil-tigress-reviewed-by-koom-kankesan/#comments.
    I salute Geoffrey for the truthfulness.

    Now a days reviews are powerful promotional methods., mostly written by the author !

    In a business world Contractors, clients and consultants are same. They share the profit. poor readers are the victims :(

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    Thanks Niromi for the wonderful book you brought to the readers. It took me back to the life I had in Jaffna in late eighties. People who lived in Jaffna can relate very well. It is an honest record to bring the truth without compromising anyone. I would recommend to every Sri Lankan.

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    More depth information about the book Tamil Tigress written by Niromi de Soyza. pretty shocking and scary information…

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tamil-Tigress-The-fake-memoirs/426676137369106?ref=ts

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      The comment above claiming to be from me is not from me. Please remove it. Thanks.

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    Shocking truth about the Tamil Tigress- book and author Niromi de Soyza , authoe’s real maiden name is Subothini Mariatta Anandarajah was born in June 1969

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    Shocking revelation about the Tamil Tigress –book written by Niromi De Soyza

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2012/10/15/shocking-revelation-about-the-tamil-tigress-book-written-by-niromi-de-soyza/

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