22 September, 2020

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Complexity, Contradiction & The Tamil Tigers 

By Charles Ponnuthurai Sarvan

Prof. Charles Sarvan

“The pity of war, the pity war distilled …” ~ Wilfred Owen, 1893-1918. (Killed in battle, aged twenty-five, just one week before World War 1 was ended.)

It would be interesting to conduct an ‘Implicit-Association Test’ on the Tamil Tigers with (1) non-Sri Lankans and (2) Sri Lankans separated into (2a) Sinhalese and (2b) Tamils. My impression (emphasised) is that the result will be overwhelmingly negative. (What may not be realized, or admitted, is that there are many Tamils with great anger against the Tigers for their actions, and for the disastrous consequence of those actions.) What follows is largely the result of reading A Fleeting Moment in my Country: The Last Years of the LTTE De-Facto State by Dr N. Malathy.  In the long drama of human history, The Tamil Tigers were on the stage for a very short time and yet, as Dr Malathy notes, it is important that those who have first-hand knowledge leave a record. Dr Malathy was a volunteer social-worker in the Vanni from 2005 till the end of the war in 2009. She was then briefly detained in the notorious Manik Farm, together with over 300,000 Tamil children, women and men. She’s now outside the Island and safe from physical reprisal. I don’t know Dr Malathy but, going by her writing, I believe she is not someone who will deliberately descend to falsehood. But, admittedly, sincerity and inaccuracy can go together. What she writes is based on what she saw, heard and experienced. If she can be reproached it is for omission and minimisation: not for what she writes as for what’s left unwritten. Hers is a fragment which, together with other tesserae, will go to form a contested, conflicted, appraisal.

A Fleeting Moment in my Country

Complexity can encompass contradiction, and it is the last that concerns me here. The poet John Keats (died 1821, barely 26 years of age) used the phrase ‘negative capability’ in a letter, dated 21 December 1817, to his brothers. By negative capability Keats meant the ability to remain in uncertainties and doubts without any “irritable” reaching after certainty. (If I may be permitted a digression, doubt can have positive results in that it keeps us thinking and searching while certainty leads to closure; even to complacency, if not to arrogance and its dogmatism. Socrates commented that if he was wise it was because he knew that he didn’t know. Could one, therefore, alter the religious injunction to believe and say: “Go thou – and doubt”?) One could apply Keats’ philosophic attitude to contraries and contradictions. As is well known, a human being can be compassionate and cruel; have lofty ideals and stoop to base conduct; be generous and mean. ‘Cognitive dissonance’ is said to create tension, even anxiety, in the individual between what s/he believes and what are facts or truths. One existential strategy when confronted with contradiction, for example, meanness and munificence or behaviour as a private, personal, individual and the conduct of the same person as a member of an ethnic group (I draw here on Reinhold Niebuhr’s Moral Man and Immoral Society), is to deny or ignore one of the two extreme opposing poles. Both A and Z simply cannot co-exist: it must be one or the other. But in reality contradictions do co-exist, and this brings me back to complexity, and to an altered form of Keats’ negative capability. As with individual human beings, so with political groups: contradictions cohere.  And this returns me to the Tamil Tigers and to A Fleeting Moment. The cover-pictures indicate the writer’s partiality: they show a female Tamil Tiger fighter smiling as she rides a bicycle with a child on the pillion and, below it, a group of male fighters cycling in single-file, also smiling, waving their hands in greeting. 

Whether realized or not, personal life is impacted by wider political, economic and social factors, and so it’s said that the personal is political. An extreme instance of this truism is life in the Vanni as Dr Malathy knew it: “One could sit down and chat to literally anyone living in Vanni and hear their personal stories of war-related tragedies” (p. 116). Within Vanni, the pernicious caste-system was successfully dismantled. Among other benefits, this gave free scope to individuals to express and, what’s more, develop their potential. Allied to this was the emancipation of women: there was a “culture of respect for women” (p. 46). Indeed, sometimes male Tigers reported to more senior female leaders (p. 110). Equality had reached such a degree that some women felt “they did not need gender specific laws to protect them” (p. 106). Training in martial arts and weaponry gave female Tiger cadres a quiet self-confidence, evident also in their daily (non-military) life. In turn, this had a positive influence on civilian Tamil women (p. 112). The Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation ran child-nutrition parks for those between the ages of two and five. Previously, parents when they went out to work, left the older children to look after the younger, resulting in missed schooling by the former and inadequate care for the latter. The little ones attended the “park” six days a week. They were weighed every month and a record kept. (Compare: “LTTE paramedics came to see us [prisoners] every day. Yes, every day, in every place we were held”. Commodore Ajith Boyagoda, A Long Watch, 2016, p. 128.) A pre-school programme was run for slightly older children. There was no antagonism between Christians and Hindus. On the contrary, at Mullaithiivu (p. 117) there was a particular place of worship known as the Baby-Jesus (Kulanthai Jesu) temple. Note: “temple”, not “church”.

Among the reasons that led many to join the Tigers the following are mentioned: the killing by the military of a loved family member; with females, to avoid rape by the army; extreme poverty; rebellion against traditional culture, and the “awareness campaign” of the Tigers (pp. 107-8). Through this memoir of a fragment of time, we meet individuals who’ll not find space in history books. For example, the Catholic priest, Father M. X. Karunaradnam who ran the ‘North East Secretariat on Human Rights’ with courage, energy and total commitment. “His residence in Maankulam in Vanni was a garden paradise. It was like a miniature botanical garden with many exotic plants. He would take visitors through it, showing off his plants like a proud mother. He had a pair of deer […] He would embrace them and talk to them like he was talking to humans. He never wore any footwear even when walking on rough ground, as a sign of respect to mother earth” (58). He was killed in 2008. (His love nature reminds me of Malaravan’s sensitive and detailed response: “The tiny coconut-oil lamp struggled to stay alive. An insect fell on the flame, briefly making it brighter”.  A white heron flies in “the reddened wind”. Malaravan was killed in action, aged twenty: see Sarvan, Sri Lanka: Paradise Lost? Pages 97-101). Janani ran the Senchoolai children’s home “from its birth till its end” (p. 40) for 150 children of all ages, caring superbly despite many and grave difficulties. To them, she was the periamma (senior or big mother). She refused to “walk out of the war zone” (p. 49) and was killed. What happened to the children is not known. Then there was Ilanko (male) who had a “one hundred percent pro-women stance” (p. 112) and had produced awareness-raising plays on “women’s issues”. He was killed in 2009. Kalaimahal is another forgotten whose ghost is summoned to make an appearance. She headed the ‘Centre for Women’s Development & Rehabilitation’; had once been thought dead and stacked with “other bodies of dead cadres” until someone noticed movement. “Her administrative skills and her drive were phenomenal” (p. 114). “I last met Kalaimahal in March 2009, still with the same drive, living among destitute women and children… She introduced me to four siblings whom they had just taken in because their parents were killed in artillery fire” (ibid). She, her husband and adopted child were disappeared. Sathiamoorthy, a “humble” man was a writer, journalist and educationalist. Had he survived he would have “brilliantly” (p. 49) recorded life in the Vanni. He was last seen pushing his loaded bicycle, accompanied by his wife and two-year daughter whom he “adored”. “He gave me a wave and his usual polite smile, and appeared to be taking the ordeal of [yet another] displacement in his stride.”  They were killed by artillery shells.  One also reads elsewhere of wheelchair-bound cadres making themselves useful; of men with amputated legs learning to climb coconut-palms in order to pluck the fruit.  Vae victis!” (“Woe to the vanquished”) and Dr Malathy ends her memoir by quoting (p. 162) lines translated from Barathiyaar:

“Not water that nourished                                                            

This crop – Oh God Almighty!                                                              

We cherished it with our tears                                                

 You now desire it burnt” 

 Buddhist philosophy has a greater consciousness of change than (in alphabetical order) Christianity, Hinduism or Islam (Whether what the Buddha preached and enjoined can be termed a “religion” is not of relevance here.) We change; others change; relationships change; society and the wider world changes. Heraclitus of Ephesus (535 BC475 BC) expressed it succinctly: All is flux.  Change can be for the better or for the worse; be engineered from within or be wrought by external circumstances. Joseph Conrad in his novel, Under Western Eyes, observed that a revolution consumes its best: the most noble, the most idealistic, the most unselfish. A violent revolution falls into the hands of narrow-minded fanatics and of tyrannical hypocrites. The scrupulous and the just; the noble, humane, and devoted natures; the unselfish and the intelligent are not the leaders of a revolution. No, they are its victims. Hopes grotesquely betrayed, ideals caricatured — that is the definition of revolutionary success (adapted from Conrad). 

Dr Malathy’s re-presentation of life in Vanni does not include the brutality of which the Tigers are accused, particularly towards the end.  (Some would argue that brutality was a hallmark of the Tigers not only at the end but from the very beginning when they mercilessly murdered cadres from other Tamil militant groups.) She does criticise the Tigers but in a tepid form: they did not fully co-operate with the ‘North East Secretariat on Human Rights’. The media (press and radio) had no freedom; no dissenting views or voices were permitted. Despite protested equality between the sexes, civilian women were not allowed to wear trousers like female Tigers, but had to dress in the traditional “sari”: see p. 111. Dr Malathy wonders why there was so much attention paid by the West to the recruitment of children. Though not stated by her, while “terrorist” groups may kill even in the hundreds, governments kill in the thousands and tens of thousands. This mass murder is carried out, the world over, by states indiscriminately bombing and shelling – not excluding schools, places of worship and hospitals. These acts are camouflaged under the innocuous expression, “collateral damage”. (Similarly, extreme torture is termed “enhanced interrogation”: to enhance is to further improve quality.)  Picking up the Buddha’s emphasis on change, Malathy who wrote with pride about homes for children, admits that towards the end the older children were forcibly recruited. Given that the human “pool” from which the Tigers could draw was small and rapidly shrinking, this was inevitable; desperate and, above all, tragic. Dr Malathy mentions the lack of “political acumen” on the part of the Tigers but this seems to me, a layman, to be an understatement. They had little knowledge or care about wider, external, forces and changing international developments and configurations. Self-confidence veered into fatal over-confidence. It appears that the murders they carried out were often motivated by a sense of revenge on the part of the leader; his personal pique; his feeling of being affronted, rather than being based on careful, long-term, political calculation. A very senior Indian administrator, now retired, wrote in a message to me: The day the Tigers killed Gandhi, they also killed any hope they ever had of success.

“Around this time I heard for the first time rumours that the LTTE was shooting at people who were trying to cross over to the Lankan side” (p. 148). This is most shameful; despicable and incomprehensible. The final military collapse meant also a collapse in morality; a collapse in principle and compassion. And again, one remembers the Buddha’s teaching on change, and what Joseph Conrad wrote about violent revolution. Those terrified children, women and men were tragically trapped between deadly Scylla and equally vicious Charybdis. War by its nature is cruel, and pitiful in its consequence. We must not confine ourselves to Sri Lanka but have a broader perception, and so I draw attention to just one example of cruelty on both sides, with sandwiched civilians paying a horrific and tragic price. In September BCE 52 the Romans surrounded the Gallic fortification of Alesia. Running out of food the Gauls (under their famous leader Vercingetorix) sent out their children and women, and then closed the gates on them. But the Romans (led by Julius Caesar) refused to let them in. Trapped in no-man’s land, those children and women starved and died piteously, in plain sight of both sides. As Sun-tzu (BCE 380-316), wrote in his Art of War, to see beauty in military victory is to rejoice in the killing of others. To quote again the words of Wilfred Owen, war and the consequences of war show pity in distilled form.

Dr Malathy is to be thanked for publishing this fragment of a memoir; a first-hand account of life in the Vanni during those four, last, years. It is an obligation to posterity owed by those with first-hand, inside, knowledge. Building on the words of Othello just before he committed suicide, we must neither excuse nor minimise. But on the other hand, we shouldn’t write with the distortions of anger and hatred. In other words, we must strive to be scrupulously balanced and fair. (The incomparable genius of Shakespeare is such that Othello then proceeds to deliver a very partial assessment of himself. Objectivity and impartiality are easily protested but hard to achieve.) Extreme contradictions do co-exist – we are a complex, contradictory species – and the struggle is not to lose sight of either: A is true and (to whatever degree, however small) Z is also true. 

However, I fear there are some who are incapable of discussing public issues (here the Tigers) dispassionately: dis-passion; without passion; therefore, with reason, restraint and balance. Such individuals are given to vulgar abuse and taunting; they degenerate to personal attack rather than dealing with the argument; are incapable of distinguishing between essentials and trivia. They reflect credit neither on themselves nor on Sri Lanka and on the quality of the Island’s public discourse. But as it’s said:  A luta continua”.

“A voice is heard […] Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”                                          (Old Testament, Jeremiah 31:15)

Postscript. 

My own experience of Tiger-controlled Vanni is limited to a few hours. I quote from a letter, dated February 2004, that I wrote to my sister:

On the return journey, we’d left Jaffna rather late, and it was judged that we couldn’t make it through the various checkpoints […] We stayed the night at Kilinochchi […] We were told that there was an LTTE cemetery, a “Resting Place of the Heroes,” not far away, and that at night it’s lit up. We found the place, but it was in total darkness. From somewhere in the middle, an elderly man [no doubt having seen the lights of our car] turned up with a feeble torch: a thin man accompanied by a small skinny dog. He explained that the power supply had broken down. 

We chatted briefly, and leaving asked him whether he didn’t feel uneasy at being in the middle of a cemetery, far from town, all by himself and in total darkness. He laughed gently and replied with a ‘rhetorical question’: “How can I be afraid when I’m surrounded by thousands and thousands of heroic young men and women!” 

 

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Latest comments

  • 2
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    As you are a mature person and is an educated person, I suppose what you have written is trust worthy and can be proved. Where did doctor get her MBBS or MD (from which medical collge). where does she practice now. IS she in the MISSING PEOPLES list. What about LTTE training. The photo that is on the cover, is that she ?for me it is obscure there. Looks like tiger woman. HOw did you get this 300,000 children in the MAnik Farm figure. I think UN, Catholic priests, and other Tamils may have reported it some ehre. Where did you find that figure.
    HOw do you say it is a Defacto state when the food and medicine were provided by the govt. So often LTTE complained saying that the govt doe snot allow food and medicine.
    This writings look like LIES for the careless reader. In one place you say the notorious manik farm with children. In another place you say she was riding a bike with a child and she was looking after children. doesn’t it prove the lies.
    Even with your qualifications and experience, you look so confused. In the middle of all these, you do not talk about what good Sinhala officers did to Tamil children. Example, in the Case OF commodore Ajith Boyagoda, you say there was no antagonism among Christian and Hindu children. YOU do not mention at least word about sinhala good treatment to tamils. On the otherhand, it looks MALATHY’s camp had there Hindu and Christian children segregation ( As I heard) We know there was MALATHY CAMP, and a REIGIMENT. HOw did MAlathy escape to write the book ?

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      Jimmy,
      .
      You have made some valid points.
      .
      Yours is one of nine comments made when this article was asking for the first comment on it.
      .
      When I made my long comment, I thought that it would be the first. Now there will be various responses, which will make it difficult for readers chancing on this later, to figure out which was comments were pure and undefiled comments on the article, and which comments represent in fighting amongst commenters.
      .
      The comment by chiv / May 18, 2018, which begins with “Thank you”, and ends with ” Thanks Again” is the last of the nine.

      THIS ARTICLE deserves serious comments.

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        Sinhala Man: What do you say, Malathy had a regiemnet or Brigade. So, if Pabakaran was Angel of Jesus. THEn who is Malathy, one like MAriya thumi.

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      Jim Softy, you sound so ignorant and indifferent.There have been thousands of people who have witnessed the brutal massacre of civilians. If you can access the habes corpus petitions filed in court you will understand reality. They are first hand information speaking to the wickedness of Srilankan forces dropping bombs and shelling on civilian targets such as schools, temples, hospitals etc. Declaring certain locations as no fire zones, the military rained artillery on the people who gathered at these locations. People had to step on dead bodies in order to get to safety. The army was acting with the intention of decimating the Tamil civilian population. Srilankan government and the army were only interested in committing genocide in furtherance of their Buddhist hegemonic agenda.

  • 0
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    You say Malathy had nutrition workshops inside Wanni. HOw did they get nutritious food inside Wanni in order to teach them. Did they feed children just sweet potato, Manioc or Bajiri (Soeghum) ? YOu talk about military killings and Rapes where are the evidence. There were so many rapes by Tamil after the war, How did they learn, IS it Tribal customs or LTTE training ?
    YOu have written an amazing part. Dr. Malathy as a woman, as a doctor, If she had mother – instincts, as one worked with children how did she think or believe that it is fair game to recruit children in the war. SO, most of these 300,000 children may have presihed as Child soldiers ans that amounts to Genocide, war crimes.
    IT is a good book. I would have liked to read more from her.

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      Jimmy, thanks for writing serious comments.
      .
      Please start trusting those whose view points are different from those of others.
      .
      Among those who are most malnourished today are those who grew up as super rich kids. It is said that when the Portuguese were under siege by the Dutch in Colombo, they were reduced to eating dogs and cats – and then the rats, for the sake of protein. When that, too, was gone, they cooked their dead comrades. Yes, CANNIBALISM. We Sri Lankans did not want any of those colonisers here, but that’s a different issue.
      .
      Can we necessarily fault the starving Portuguese on ethical grounds. Yes it disgusts our notions of civilised behaviour.
      .
      Depending on how desperate one is, one can usually find food.
      .
      Almost the same argument holds with regard to child soldiers. I won’t elaborate on that. Why not you take that aspect over. THAT then will be discussion.
      .
      Let us admire Dr Malathy’s resourcefulness, and resolve, ourselves, never to create such situations again.

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        Sinhala MAn: Do not read what he says. IOnstead read what is in between. He says there 300,000 children that Malathy Looked after. what happened to those. Why did she approve child soldiers. One Sinhala Navy OFficer is admired for ranil CHRISTIAN and HINDU children without discrimination among them. But, I HEARD Malathy ran Hindu and christians children camps separately.

        DID YOU READ THOSE TOO ? dID YOU READ CAREFULLY. wERE YOU ALERT WITH RESPECT TO WHAT YOU WERE READING ?

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      Jimmy the dumb,
      You say “SO, most of these 300,000 children may have presihed as Child soldiers ans that amounts to Genocide,”
      What do you say about the millions of children that Buddhist monks have kidnapped and enslaved in their temples for the last 2500 years?

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    So glad VP is playing with Satan now.
    So glad the LTTE were wiped out. Just like the Nazi Germans, at the end they were so desperate they used child soldiers and hid behind refugees to fire at the Army. They then received return fire but never honestly told anyone why they were being fired upon. They shot and killed so many who tried to escape through the breached bunds. On 19th we will still celebrate though the politically correct poufta appeasers will not. We will be happy VP and his family were erased. Hitler and his wife committed suicide. But no doubt the Russians would have executed him. Goebbels and his family committed suicide. No doubt Russians would have executed them. So we are glad VP and his family are vaporized. They I heard are at Satan’s left side. Balasingham is on the right drinking Single Malt.

  • 0
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    Tamils will not get any rights as Home Land. it is not problem of Sri Lanka but India will not allow it happens. .. if that take place then many in India will ask for home land. India is clever. So. you all need to go with India.. Not Srilankan wish. poor tamils. When you get rid of caste system you will have some space to breath.

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    Tamils lost their dignity when Praba begged for mercy at the feet of Sinhala soldiers.

  • 4
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    Tamils badly need dignity. Stop begging for political solutions from Singhalese. Tamils begged for 70 years but what did they get? Nothing? Only dead bodies and raped Tamil women. Stop begging at least now. Have some dignity for a change.

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    Thank you. Prof. Sarvan for yet another important contribution to ensure that a fair and impartial assessment of the civil war becomes possible for all Sri Lankans – some day. You have reviewed for us a book that must be taken in to account when future generations “shall these unhappy deeds relate”.
    .
    It is 4.00 a.m. in Sri Lanka; may I appeal before I hit the pillow, that Sinhalese readers don’t come up with knee jerk reactions to the recording of some of the positives that there were in the temporary Tiger rule in the North. Please display that “negative capability” to resist the impulse to “hate the other”.
    .
    Prof. Sarvan’s own attitude to the Tigers is one of ambivalence – and given to us in that wonderful prose that he writes. There are many who have said that they read him for the quality of his writing. I’ve just discovered that we, on CT, have missed this other essay of Prof. Sarvan:
    .
    http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=174369
    .
    He there recalls, “Bullo”, one of the “innocent imperial missionary educators” whom he knew as an adolescent; and whom I knew at the same stage of my life, many years later when the same Bullo left – a little later than the good Prof. records. It was in mid-1963. It is likely, for many reasons, that Rajan Hoole may remember the month – or the very day – better than me.
    .
    There’s ambivalance in so many things in life: “In the juvescence of the year
    came . . . ” Yes, Dr Malathy and Fr Karunaradnam were doing their best.

    .

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      This was my spontaneous response to Prof. Sarvan’s article, submitted when no others were visible.
      .
      Any, and all of us, can make mistakes. For instance in the CANNIBALISM comment in response to Jim softy, I said:
      .
      “Please start trusting those whose view points are different from those of yours.”
      .
      In fact I find that I had typed “others” instead of “yours’.
      .
      From this point on, I will start putting my comments in at the bottom instead of cluttering the top. For instance, there is something that I want to say about Dr Rajan Hoole, which has little to do with Prof. Sarvan’s article, but still has some relevance.

  • 4
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    The author and the critic both together are on a great Tiger glorification ride.
    A beautiful couple.
    To coincide with the upcoming commemoration.

    “How can I be afraid when I’m surrounded by thousands and thousands of heroic young men and women!” The old man was scared shit even to think of the heros when they were alive. Memories of how he had to hide his children are a thing of the past. Spectacle of blood and dead bodies of innocent villgers killed and maimed by the heros must be still haunting him. He surely has no reason to be afraid anymore. He must be feeling grateful to the Sri Lankan armed forces and thanking the gods when he thinks that the rest of his countrymen can now have a good night’s sleep. May he attain Nibbana.
    Soma

  • 5
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    Thank You so much for the article. I guess you need a lot of maturity in way of first hand experience to understand this writing,Unfortunately this cannot be gained by knowledge or reading books(intellectual). Soon after the tsunami devastation I voluntarily took a long leave from work to be back in Lanka. At the time I had the opportunity to meet people from affected areas( South, North and East) who had taken the brunt.Though the political issues were alive at the time, the catastrophe helped in uniting people regardless of their religion or race.People of different ages shared their stories, grief, fears, and helplessness but not once asked for my identity. I also had the opportunity to talk to several LTTE rebels who were then assigned in coordinating the rehab in the North.. The whole experience of being in touch with these people turned out to be an “eye opener.”This helped me in seeing and understanding things in a different perspective.This article has definitely touched quite a few raw nerves from the past. Thanks Again.

    • 0
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      My comment, starting:
      .
      “Thank you. Prof. Sarvan for yet another important contribution . . .” was made at 4.00 a.m.
      .
      There then were no others to be seen.
      .
      Now, at noon in Sri Lanka, nine comments are to be seen. This appreciative comment by “chiv” is the last of the nine; or internal evidence in the comment suggests that he may have seen adverse reactions, or sensed many coming.
      .
      However that be, this is the last of the nine comments that has focussed on the article, without being deflected by antagonisms built over the years amongst the commenters. This comment may even get pushed into 60th place, and appear on Page 2.
      .
      Some reader observations may be valuable, but let us try to separate “comments on comments” that will distort our responses to what Prof. Sarvan is saying, in his own twilight years, with great responsibility, for the sake of our great grand children, from those focussed on the main article.
      .
      Thank you, Prof. Sarvan.

      .
      I learnt only recently how to turn some words in to bold. I’ve also noticed that if bold is not cancelled before the end of the comment, there is the danger that bold (or italics) continues to influence the comments that follow.

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      Very stupid comment. NEed to learn to read inbetween lines.

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    Thank you Prof: Sarvan.
    My only regret in life is that we had to live our lives during this long terrible tragedy.
    Well did Cicero declare Inter arma enim silent leges…
    In times of war,the law falls silent….

    1] Dr. Malathy has mentioned in her book about the lack of political acumen on the part of the Tigers: But what I would say is that the Tigers had no political acumen whatsoever!
    2] As per the Snr: Indian Administrator…….The day the Tigers killed Gandhi they also killed any hope they EVER[?] had of success.
    The aforesaid two views,interlinked more or less ,were the most important ingredients[my view] that caused their total collapse.

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      One US PAcific commander summarized PAbakaran’s military knowledge. These people have different phobias and manias. They do not understand it.

  • 3
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    Prof Charles Sarvan

    After reading your articles I started admiring you a lot, particularly your intellectual honesty, wider knowledge and simplicity in expression.

    As you are aware we cannot show a single revolutionary struggle or a revolutionary devoid of committing mistakes. Leaders such as Che Guavara Castro Mao Trotsky Lenin Stalin and several others have made mistakes, killed many and failed in their journey. Che Guavara has approved killing of his own comrades. Castro has imprisoned his comrades fought along with him. General Giap was a reputed butcher. But condemning Prabakaran and praising all others by our leftists and NGO jokers makes me laugh. Even non violent preacher Gandhi had committed many mistakes and met failures.

    Prabakaran did not fail in his administration or conducting armed struggle. His failure mainly relies on relying on a sole person as his political advisor. He should have had a team of advisors from abroad and inland. Balasingam deserted Prabakaran during the last three or four crucial years and lived in London. He complained that P was not listening to him. This is not acceptable. As an advisor Bala should have known to use different methods, approach, appropriate time and ways that will make the recipient P to listen. Bala failed in this. He simply left without anyone to advise P. In fact Bala did not want anyone else or a team as advisors , from the beginning. He wants to be a sole Rajah that, no doubt, lead to Mullivaikkal.

    Dr Malathy has done a great service and I thank her a lot.

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      Correction
      Balasingam deserted Prabakaran during the last three or four crucial years before his death in December 2016 and lived in London.

      Addendum:
      Thirukkural : idipparai illatha emara mannan keduppar illinum kedum” which means King ( or a leader ) would fail, in spite of no adversaries, when there were no compelling advisors.

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    Prof Sarvan: It is a pathetic comment that you wrote, it is OK for a poor simpleton but not for an educated man. that is approving killers as people to be proud. YOU say you were around thousands of thousands of heroes and heroies around” Are you justifying thierkilling of innocent civilians. Why don’t you write about atrocities by them. that is why I say Tamils are disgussting. YOU are tyring to over come your disability through violent means. YOu understand what I am talking.

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    Jim softy,
    .
    I tried to take you seriously, half suspecting the futility. Now you’ve confirmed it. The 300,000 were children, women, and [old?] men.
    .
    Yes, some may have been turned in to child soldiers – terrible! But why? Have you not heard of desperate parents, even in other circumstances than war, killing their children, and then themselves. No, I don’t want to delve in to such horrible things – referring to Portuguese cannibalism was bad enough.
    .
    The Tamils have caste and religious problems that must be solved by themselves, and some Muslims create problems for themselves and others. You are so concerned about having child soldiers being a war crime; why don’t you do what you can to persuade Muslims to emancipate girl children by imposing minimum marriage age? I wouldn’t want the State to intervene in Tamil and Muslim affairs in any way.
    .
    I don’t enjoy reading about the horrors of war, but I think I must be concerned about what we have done to our fellow Sri Lankans. I’m trying desperately to ensure that this country remains united. You do everything possible to divide it. Of course, if you see some chance to set one Tamil against another, or set Muslims and Tamils against each other, you seize it.

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      Sinhala _Man: I can not believe a Sinhala Man saying “I regret that Children had been used as child soldiers. but, in this case, the use of Child soldiers is a must”. Why did you come into that conclusion. IS it Because your religious beliefs say that your group must have dominence in Sri lanka ?
      Again you say the killing of innocent sinhala and muslims civilians at everyplace, taking civilian hostages as a barrier to attacks and child soldiers are reasonable.
      Why don’t you accept that you are a Cruel man who is willing to do any dastard thing just to have what you want.

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        Dumb Jim,
        IF you are so concerned about child rights, why don’t you check what the monks in your temple are doing with 5-year-old boys?

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        Jimmy,
        .
        Who on earth said this, and where?
        .
        “I regret that Children had been used as child soldiers. but, in this case, the use of Child soldiers is a must”.
        .
        Certainly, even such a thought would never have entered my head. What I have clearly stated (using different words) is that looking back on all this we should be unhappy that some Tamils didn’t think life worth living, and so may have decided that it wouldn’t matter those children dying. We are partly responsible for such conditions getting created. No point analysing this “blame game”.
        .
        Those words you have put within quotes. This is libellous, since the implication is that even if a reader can’t see this here, I may have said this elsewhere. Nothing of the sort. The same applies to the rest of what you have said as well. I will merely give up on you. You will never learn decency.
        .
        No more exchange of ideas with you!

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    1

    Professor Charles Ponnuthurai Sarvan and Dr N Malathy have not highlighted as to what caused the infamous Lankan War.
    Since independence in 1948, successive GoSL failed to address the grievances of minorities. Why? The stake holders in the GoSLs saw means of enriching themselves. For example way way back, Buddharakeertha Thero of Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya was irritated by SWRD B’s lethargy in letting the Thero’s shipping empire to grow and so arranged an assassination. This set the trend and Malathy’s book is a fleeting moment indeed!
    Corruption/nepotism/impunity have now been respectified and the game is now for the rein. The winner this time keeps all the wealth.
    Sarvan and Malathy have not gone into the part played by India towards the end. One agrees that this is a topic on its own!
    Evidently Malathy was in Vanni from 2005 (i.e. just after the 2004 X’mas day Tsunami) till the end of the war in 2009. The mention of Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) by Malathy has raised the ire of some commenters here. Remember TRO was on the spot within an hour of the Tsunami irrespective of the language in which victims screamed. CBK recognised this and honoured TRO. A well known leader started scheming what to do with all the aid due to pour in! TRO was proscribed and their assets frozen.
    Malathy’s book is a personal account. Eye witness account of survivors of the infamous Lankan war is being documented. Hopefully a collation is on its way.

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    Jim, this I prepared yesterday: now it’s your turn to answer.
    .
    You know my name, you know my background; I have challenged you to write to me; publicly displayed my email address for your benefit, but you will reveal nothing of yourself. You’re just nasty to everybody. What’s all this tosh about Christianity? I know a certain amount about Christianity, so does Prof. Sarvan. Have you seen any place where I have displayed much respect for Christianity as we see it practised? Have you seen me saying anything nasty about any other way of life? About the Buddha? I have made many comments, and you first challenged me years ago. Now spend some time looking at the archives. That is a challenge!
    .
    Can you tell us where you live? What work do you do? Have you any friends? What are you aims in writing as you do? Can you tell me why any any other human being should tolerate you? .
    I gave you this link. Did you read the article?
    .
    http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=174369
    .
    Can you not see that Sarvan says that although Bullo was a very good man, his achievements are questionable?
    .
    Why are you asking me about Christianity? Yes, like Prof. Sarvan and most well read (I don’t want to call MYSELF that!) English speaking Sri Lankans, I, too, have awareness of Christianity. But can you not see that Prof. Sarvan feels that all that missionary activity was rather foolish?
    .
    I won’t say more until you come up with fresh and valid observations. Tell me, when was the last time anybody addressed you with as much decency as I have shown? If you launch any more diatribes on me, I, too, will ridicule you for the absurdities you come up with.

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      S.M,
      ” If you launch any more diatribes on me, I, too, will ridicule you for the absurdities you come up with.”
      You should have done that long ago, instead of trying to use reason on a mentally challenged individual. I hear he is a toilet keeper in Toronto.

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