29 October, 2020

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Enforced Disappearance – A Tamil Perspective

By Rev. Fr. Elil Rajendram SJ

Rev. Fr. Elil Rajendram SJ

Rev. Fr. Elil Rajendram SJ

Members of the families of those forcibly disappeared, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

I would like to thank the organising committee for the invitation to deliver this speech on Enforced Disappearance from a Tamil perspective.

I will start with the story of a Tamil mother – Chandra. Her life changed forever just before midnight on 11th of September 2008. Armed men broke into the house where her 24 year old son Jasinthan was sleeping and took him away in white van. There is only one road leading to the area where she lives and there is no way armed men could have taken away her son without the security forces knowing.

But for the last 7 years Chandra’s life has been spent searching for her son. This may sound futile after so many years but she has good reason to believe that his son is still alive. Three years ago she saw a video of him in hospital with his front teeth smashed. In January this year she recognised him among several men in a photograph showing detainees at Welikada Jail. And yet she still cannot locate him. She lives in limbo and says if he had died it would have been easier to accept than this.

Chandra has been forced to run from post to pillar looking for her son – she’s been entirely at the mercy of the security forces and police. She is exhausted from visiting all the military camps and police stations in Mannar. As a Tamil woman she was treated with utter disrespect by this country’s armed forces. A soldier even asked her to sleep with him so that he could help her find her son, and this is not an isolated incident. Young wives who go to military camps looking for their husbands often report sexual violence at the hands of soldiers – compounding their tragedy.

A Sri Lankan Tamil woman holds a portrait of a missing relativeI realise that the current minister of foreign affairs is one of a few government officials who acknowledged the government’s responsibility for disappearances. In his letter to the then President in early February 2007 you noted that “ a person is abducted every five hours” in Sri Lanka and that “no matter who does it, as a government, we are responsible for it”[1]. The International Truth and Justice Project of Sri Lanka led by Yasmin Sooka documented several instances of enforced disappearances being a continuing phenomenon under your Government. We urge you to translate your words in the opposition to action while in Government. There are many like Chandra who have been made to believe that things will be different under your Government. We urge you to act before all hope is again let to go waste.

Enforced Disappearance as a counter insurgency tool

Enforced disappearance is identified in the scholarly literature as a means to eliminate opponents and spread terror among the population’[2]. As you are aware the phenomenon of enforced disappearance has affected tens of thousands of individuals, their families and entire communities. Both Sinhalese and Tamils have had to bear the brunt of this government strategy, which has devastated families like Chandra’s and their communities. Enforced disappearance, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights inquiry on Sri Lanka (the OISL report)- “has been used by consecutive governments to target those perceived as critical of the Government, supportive of the opposition movements or involved in armed conflict”[3]. Enforced disappearances in particular against the Tamils has been used as a tool to suppress voices demanding self-determination, who have questioned war crimes, crimes against humanity and the genocide of the Tamils. It is one of the counter insurgency tools that was deployed by successive Governments to eliminate different layers of leadership amongst the Tamils by which it was hoped to weaken their political resolve for a political fairness and justice.

The OISL report suggests that most of the cases of enforced disappearance occurred in the Northern Province-in the districts of Mannar, Jaffna and Vavuniya, all under strict military control and the second most affected region was the Eastern Province. There are cases reported in Colombo but most of the victims there originate from the North and East of Sri Lanka.[4]

Patterns of enforced disappearance

‘Enforced Disappearance is designed to leave little evidence linking state officials to the abduction and subsequent torture or killing. Disappearances carried out by different units, be it security forces or police, the perpetrators did not identify themselves and always denied having committed such acts as quite often there was no witness to the act thus presenting a difficult problem of proof. Even when they knew the identity of the perpetrators, witnesses are reluctant to come forward for fear of reprisals. The OISL report finds that “the manner in which the arrests were carried out is consistent”[5] and represents a pattern. Often the abduction/s were carried out by the ‘white van without licence plates’ and the perpetrators quite often would speak Sinhala or broken Sinhala or Tamil and wore plainclothes or covered their faces, in some cases the perpetrators identified themselves as CID or TID.

OISL further reports that “the perpetrators systematically failed to provide a formal arrest warrant or any information about where they were taking the victim and later the security forces or police denied that the person was in their custody”[6] – as family members like Chandra will know. The climate of impunity that prevails in Sri Lanka became the supportive mechanism which assured the perpetrators never apprehended.

The victims who were disappeared received visits, were threatened, received anonymous calls, were questioned or harassed before they disappeared or they disappeared after a search operation.

The paramilitary groups especially EPDP in Jaffna after the capture of the Jaffna peninsula in 1996 and the Karuna group after 2004 in the East, carried out enforced disappearances in collusion with the state.

This practise of enforced disappearance created ‘terror’ that led “society as whole to live in a climate of physical and psychological submission to the benefit of those who, while violating the most basic laws of human coexistence, enjoyed a condition of total impunity”[7].

In most of the cases the bodies of the victims were not available and they were destroyed by the perpetrators thus leaving open to speculation whether or not the person disappeared is still alive[8].

At the end of the armed conflict a significant number of LTTE cadres who laid down their arms, LTTE administrative cadres, their associates and family members, surrendered on 18th of May 2009 at Vadduvahal bridge and disappeared. This includes the case of an elderly Tamil Catholic priest Father Francis who led the surrender. A significant number of LTTE cadres surrendered at Omanthai and inside Menik Farmf. There have been many cases where mothers, parents and wives, handed their loved ones to the security forces and have not seen them since..

Enforced disappearance as a Crime against Humanity and a possible ingredient of the crime of genocide

Article 7 (1) (i) of the ICC Rome statute defines “‘Crime against humanity’ as any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:”[9] Enforced disappearance of persons is recognised as a crime against humanity.

The elements of the above crime is listed as follows:

  1. The perpetrator who arrested, detained or abducted one or more persons
  2. Refused to acknowledge the arrest which resulted in not providing any information on the fate of the arrested accompanied by deprivation of freedom.
  3. The perpetrator was aware that such act will result in deprivation of freedom.
  4. Such arrest was carried out by, or with the authorisation, support of a state.
  5. Refusal to acknowledge that deprivation of freedom was carried out by, or with the authorisation of a state.
  6. The perpetrator intended to remove such person from the protections of the law for a prolonged period of time.
  7. The conduct was committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population.
  8. The perpetrator knew that the conduct was part of or intended the conduct to be part of widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population.[10]

The Inter-American Court has also unequivocally ruled that enforced disappearance is a crime against humanity[11]. The ICTY has clarified that even an isolated act can constitute a crime against humanity if it is the product of a political system based on terror or prosecution”[12]. Hence any attempt to treat violations as isolated incidents, as the Paranagama commission implies is grossly wrong and even if it is such it may still amount to a crime against humanity.

Prof. Phillipe Sands[13] of University College London appearing before the ICJ in the Bosnian Genocide case argued that psychological trauma caused to families of prolonged disappearance may form part of the elements needed to prove genocide.

Any accountability process undertaken by the present government needs to treat enforced disappearance as a crime against humanity and as an ingredient of the crime of genocide.

Conclusion

In Conclusion may I reiterate that the commissions that have been appointed to look into enforced disappearance in Sri Lanka have tried to suggest a few individuals as being responsible but we wish to reiterate that the nature of the crimes perpetrated in Sri Lanka by the state against the Tamil civilian population is widespread and systematic and this demands justice under international human rights and criminal law.

So far all the commissions appointed to look into the issue of enforced disappearance have failed not just to the lack of capacity but more importantly due to the lack of political will on the part of consecutive governments. Mothers like Chandra have testified to every commission and inquiry but their questions have not been put to rest. This is why this crime needs to be investigated under international criminal law by a system deemed to be credible by the victims .

In this regard I wish to suggest the following steps be taken by the Government if it is truly interested in addressing the issue :

  1. Immediately publish list of all detainees held in prisons
  2. Identify and publicise the existence of any secret prisons/ camps and detainees held in such illegal prisons/camps
  3. Provide access to representatives of families of those affected by enforced disappearances along with the ICRC and their lawyers
  4. Establish the office of missing persons with direct participation and representation of the victims’ families.
  5. Publicise the list of LTTE carders who surrendered or were made to surrender to the SL Army and their current status
  6. Release or charge political prisoners with an expedited trial releasing all held under the PTA on bail.
  7. Publicly acknowledge all those killed in custody, apologise and pay reparations
  8. Legislate war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide as crimes recognised by the penal jurisdiction with retro-active jurisdiction.
  9. Identify those who were responsible for the crime of enforced disappearances and extra judicial killings and prosecute them.
  10. Come out with an honest and truthful take on what the Government agreed to do under the UNHRC resolution by becoming a co-signatory.
  11. Set up the mechanism that is deemed credible by victims for prosecutions of all those responsible for crimes committed including the entirety of the chain of command


[1] Foreign Minister exposes corruption of Government, The Sunday Leader, 28th February 2007, http://www.thesundayleader.lk/archive/20070128/news.htm#Foreign , accessed on 25th October 2015

[2] Scivazzi & Citroni, p. 7

[3] Report of the OHCHR on Sri Lanka (OISL), 16th September 2015, p.84

[4] Ibid., p. 85

[5] OISL., p. 86

[6] OISL., p.87

[7] Scovazzi & Citroni, p.8

[8] Fracisco Forrest Martin (ed), International Human Rights & Humanitarian Law: Treatises, Cases & Analysis, (Cambridge Press 2006), p. 364

[9] F.F. Martin, p.475

[10] Scovazzi & Citroni, p. 274-275

[11] IACHR., Case 19 (judgment of 5July 2004) para. 142

[12] ICTY, Tadic (judgment 7th May 1997), para 623

[13] A third area where the ICJ seems to have made some interesting statements is in relation to the link between enforced disappearances and genocide. Indeed, Croatia claimed that “causing serious mental harm to members of the groups” includes (judgment, §159):

the psychological suffering caused to their surviving relatives by the disappearance of members of the group. [Croatia] thus argues that Article II (b) has been the subject of a continuing breach in the present case, since insufficient action has been initiated by Serbia to ascertain the fate of individuals having disappeared during the events cited in support of the principal claim.

In response to this, the ICJ said that:

In the Court’s view, the persistent refusal of the competent authorities to provide relatives of individuals who disappeared in the context of an alleged genocide with information in their possession, which would enable the relatives to establish with certainty whether those individuals are dead, and if so, how they died, is capable of causing psychological suffering. The Court concludes, however, that, to fall within Article II (b) of the Convention, the harm resulting from that suffering must be such as to contribute to the physical or biological destruction of the group, in whole or in part.

*Speech delivered at BMICH yesterday (27th October, 2015)

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Latest comments

  • 6
    23

    Rev. Fr. Elil Rajendram SJ while you are writing this your mother is holding a placard in Mannar asking for the whereabouts of you. Since you went on the Kallathoni out of Sri Lanka you are accounted as missing too.

  • 13
    3

    “we wish to reiterate that the nature of the crimes perpetrated in Sri Lanka by the state against the Tamil civilian population is widespread and systematic and this demands justice under international human rights and criminal law.”

    There is no doubt that there is a widespread and systematic institutionalised racism is practiced continuously by Srilankan state with the backing of Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism of all Sinhala major political and religious leadership whether it is right or left or middle.

  • 4
    2

    “Any accountability process undertaken by the present government needs to treat enforced disappearance as a crime against humanity and as an ingredient of the crime of genocide”

    This G word and the F word are all history, as far as a Sinhala Only Govt. is concerned?

    Of relevat reading, CT had this:-
    The genocidal imperative by Mr.A.Pararajasingham – C.T of 5-6-13
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sri-lanka-the-genocidal-imperative-causes-and-consequences/

  • 7
    4

    Rev. Fr. Elil Rajendram SJ:

    This is a Poignant reminder to the World especially the UN and America that in Sinhlala Lanka from top ( MS & RW) to bottom are all liars.
    MS as the commander in chief claims not to have known the Secret Army Camps where all these remaining souls are locked up forever without being charged.
    The Justice minister ( I dont know how he once headed the Bar) states that convicted LTTERs cant be released with a decision by the GOSL.
    The question that needs to be answered by GOSL and pass on to UN are as follows.

    1) Why did GOSL wait until these Secret Camps were revealed by the UN Chief.
    2) When and where these poor LTTERs were charged and Convicted.
    3) Parangama the Crook claims until resettlement is completed the file on missing persons cant be drawn up. Was he advised of the Secret Camps and was that what prompted him to discontinue work on missing persons.

    Sinhala Lanka has lied to UN and taken the whole world for a ride.

    Justice Sri Lanka Style. JUNGLE JUSTICE to be precise.

  • 10
    16

    Rev. Fr. Elil Rajendram SJ,
    It is good that you are trying to fight for a cause. But at the same time I would like to ask you what have you been doing when the LTTE terrorists were suicide murdering innocent Tamil and Sinhalese citizens all over the country? Did you give any speeches then? Did you condemn terror activities of the LTTE? Do you think you would be living today if you gave speeches antagonizing Parayabakaran?
    Do you think any of this what you are talking about in your speech would have happened if the LTTE did not indulge in terrorism? Do you accept that what you are talking about now are all unfortunate consequences of the GOSL trying to protect it’s citizens from terrorism and bringing peace to the country? Do you have any suggestions how else the GOSL could have ended this terror carnage? I feel you have no right to complain now if you did nothing when the terrorist group was murdering innocent civilians and forcibly kidnapping Tamil youth to fight for them.
    I would prefer you carryout your spiritual duties towards the Catholic church for which you were trained for years in a Seminary rather than getting involved in biased political activities. I say this to the Buddhist clergy too. There are more violence and deaths in the world due to religion related causes than any other entity. I don’t want that to happen in Sri Lanka.

    • 9
      6

      Nuisance

      What is the difference between you and a knife?

      • 9
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        Native Vedda

        Nuisance is a filthy racist. I have given up on her (?him). What was she (he) doing when Tamils were being butchered before the LTTE? In the 1958, 1977 racial violence. Don’t waste your time.

      • 4
        8

        Knife is anothername for a Tamil terrorist.

      • 8
        4

        NV, a knife can do many things. But this dumb clown Nuisance cannot do shi& except being a racist low life.

    • 6
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      Nuisance, are you back with your racist crap again. [Edited out] if this guy has opened his mouth when the LTTE or MaRa was in power, do you think he could have lived to write this piece today. What a dumb [Edited out] are you.

      • 6
        11

        Tamil,
        Show me which part of my post is racist. Yes, for terrorists and terror supporters the truth sounds like racism!
        Tamils like you are responsible for all what happened during the terror reign of the LTTE and during the last stages of the war. Why? people like you who write here now should have done so then condemning and opposing what Parayabakaran was doing.

        • 3
          4

          Nonsense

          “Show me which part of my post is racist”

          You are the best person to answer. Just reply your conscience and you will know. Take it from me, who have followed your highly partial comments, you are a racist!

        • 5
          4

          Nuisance Stupid I

          “Show me which part of my post is racist.”

          Show us which part of your soul, body, thought(?) words, and actions are not racist.

          What is the difference between you and a knife?

          • 4
            5

            vedda,
            For months you are talking about this stupid knife story! Let me try to answer.
            A knife can be used to castrate Veddas like you so that no more retards will be born to this world.

            • 2
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              Nuisance

              As the leader of stupid kind once again you are wrong.

              Give it a try once more.

        • 5
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          Nuisance, you are a filthy racist hog who simply cannot understand even your own comments and the underlying message you write. I am a terror supporter? Bloody joker, we are in wonderful Canada as we could not live with the SLA as well as the LTTE in Jaffna. If the LTTE was that great we would have remained in Jaffna. The difference between SL and Canada, if we see any of you racist fuc*ups in Canada, we will administer a thundering beating, which we could not do in SL as the military and the government was filled with pariahs like you. Look and see how many thumbs down you get for every comment you write. You bring such a bad name for well meaning decent Sinhalese, why don’t you do us all a favor, [Edited out]

          • 3
            7

            Tamil,
            What are you ranting about? I asked which part of my post is “racist” that is all. You only have to explain! I am not interested in your personal life except I sense you and the bunch are terror supporters. None of you, including XYZ and the “air head” Vedda, answered this question for me but keep on making personal attacks! Stupid Vedda is talking about a knife for months now! What is wrong with you guys? Are you all retards? Is that the reason you can’t answer my question? Is this the way you you are going to manage your Elam in the north, if you get one? I don’t want to give an Elam to a bunch of retards like you and be neighbors!

            • 1
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              Eusense

              In short your partiality to criticize only the crimes of the LTTE but simply gloss over or justify /deny the obvious crimes by the military shows the cracks to reveal your racist qualities. Educated racists like you do not shout like the uneducated ‘parademala’ and so on, they speak ‘clean’ but their actions proves who they are! Here your actions to simply ignore the proven and obvious gross war crimes by the military but to comment only of violations of the LTTE speaks volumes about you.

              Do not deny obvious proven facts. Accept them, and denying the such obvious facts committed by the military will certainly go against you. We want the truth and as educated people should not take sides. We might have taken sides while at war and now the war is over and terrible things had happened and now the time to find the truth. We need to reconcile and that is issue here.

              I am not denying the crimes of the LTTE. Tamils were pushed into ‘terrorism’ for various reasons which I need not elaborate here.

              Tamils otherwise were a hardworking, god-fearing and education centered people. It was these qualities that characterized the Tamils. You may know the Tamils of the yesteryear hated wastage and the Tamil clerks of the Government Department preserved the pencil given to them, (which was not their personal property but Government property) without losing and even when the pencil worn down to the size of a thimble they lengthened it by using a ballpoint pen cap and made full use of the pencil. So was the typical qualities of a Tamil in the era gone by. Tamils was pushed against the wall and out of despair the unfortunate ‘terrorism’ was born.

              We see your racism through the cracks you leave unknown to you. You were never balanced in the comments you wrote. It is nothing wrong to condemn the LTTE but you must also condemn the obvious crimes military has committed. None of us say military is wrong in having the war against the LTTE, even though Tamils might have supported the freedom struggle as a way out. Why LTTE became a reality is another big story and basically it was born out of a need of that time and this is not the place to discuss these issues.

              Tamils never agreed everything the LTTE did. But you should have jumped to condemn the obvious crimes without a shadow of doubt committed by the military which you did not, but sort only to deny proves to us you are a racist and being educated you know how to hide. But you cannot hide from the educated Tamils who can catch you.

              Touch your heart and answer, not to me but just to you whether you are a racist. Don’t cheat yourself. Else reverse the positions and imagine what happened to the Tamils had happened to your race and then will you accept what you said. Clearly the answer is NO. Take it from me you are a racist. I have otherwise nothing against you personally. I love to reform you so you may see a balanced perspective and be a better person. We all made mistakes, including me and we learnt from them. I am not antiSinhala. I have witnessed many Sinhalese who had written a well-balanced perspective of the ethnic problem in the Colombo Telegraph and I raise my hats off for them.

              Take it easy Eusense, just relax and think without rushing to hit the keyboard. Just for once think you may be wrong. Speaking in general, accepting ones mistake is a great quality and an essential tool to self improvement. It is denying your own mistakes a serious impediment against your own progress.

              • 2
                1

                xyz,
                Just because I am writing the reality you call me a racist??? Where have I denied the SLDF has done any mistakes. However, I would not call these mistakes “crimes” as you call them, because they were not fighting a conventional war where the enemy can be identified and selectively attack and kill. Isn’t attacking and killing the purpose of a war? Wasn’t that the idea of the LTTE who fought the SLDF in civilian clothes, suicide bombed innocent civilians? Did not you and the LTTE know that?
                This war was even more complicated as it was a terror war where the enemy is unidentifiable and civilian casualties are unavoidable. Also, If the LTTE did not raise arms against the GOSL and the citizens of SL there would be no such war casualties or as you call it “war crimes”. Do you accept these facts? If you don’t you are a racist too because this is the criteria you used to categorize me as a racist. Do you accept LTTE as the initiator and these so called “war crimes” were a consequence of it? If you as a Tamil don’t accept this fact and do not apologize to citizens of Sri lanka for what the Tamil terror group LTTE did I too have a reason to call you a racist.

                Anyhow, I don’t mind people calling me a racist. I will be stating the reality as it is. I have nothing against Tamils but I have much against Tamils who promote, support and resort to violence. I always support Tamils who negotiate in good faith.

                • 1
                  1

                  Eusense,

                  “However, I would not call these mistakes “crimes” as you call them, because they were not fighting a conventional war where the enemy can be identified and selectively attack and kill.”

                  Come on Eusense, what do you call what was shown on Channel 4. Do not deny them they are authentic. Shooting the prisoners blind folded at point blank range.

                  The white flag incident, shooting and killing all those who came carry white flag after having negotiated through international mediators. We know who gave the orders. Simply do not try to deny these obvious facts, through these your leave your tracks and reveal your cracks so we could see through and know who you are. There are many incidents which are crimes committed by your soldiers and only mentioned a few just to prove my point.

                  Certainly you may not know your faults and no one can see their backs. As I told it is a great virtue to be able to identify our own faults which is one of the serious impediments to our own progress. We are generally stubborn to accept our mistakes and we go on repeating the same mistakes and blame others for it.

                  “If the LTTE did not raise arms against the GOSL and the citizens of SL there …..”

                  You are coming back to the hen or the egg came first riddle. Again we are back to square A. I told LTTE was not born out of a ‘fantasy’ and I hate going back to it.

                  “Do you accept LTTE as the initiator and these so called…” Again I had given you my reply. LTTE (and PLOTE, EPRLF….) was born out of terrible despair Tamils have to bear for so long and peaceful satyagraha type of resentment was met with violence. You, had in fact replied Tamils deserved the violence and the Government had a right to resort to it. These too clearly revealed to us your ‘racist’ attributes. So violence was met with violence. However there is no need to go back and keep on arguing who is more black the kettle or pot.

                  I being a Tamil do give a margin some degree of ‘racism’ among the Sinhalese for being a Sinhalese and so Tamils to should be give their margin. These are what is called self protective mechanisms and they are not a ‘disease’. But once you exceed a limit only it is termed a ‘morbid’ state.

                  As Tamils we do say LTTE too committed so many inhuman acts. There is a good side of it as I told there was a need for it but as anything it has it own bad side as well. You too had a need for the war as you also have a rightful ego and not taking things lying down (like us) but accept there is a bad side too. No one said war is wrong it was legitimate as a Government but not certainly the war crimes and you cannot shield these criminals by which act you bring disrepute to all military personal. Remember Tamil victims are also citizens of this country and they too deserve justice. The prime duty of the government is to protect the citizens.

                  The crucial question, suppose the positions were reversed and it was the Sinhalese who were in the unfortunate position to be minorities and Tamils were in majority would you then accept what you told us. Will you then say “we Sinhalese are ‘minorities’ so Tamils are right”. Will you accept the same indiscriminate bombing which led to so many casualties. Will you then accept the Government declared safe zones to be bombed. If you say you are not a racist then you will accept all these had these happened to you and find no fault. But it is so difficult to imagine you will truly accept had same fate in reverse. You will fight back as how the Tamils did.

                  So in short, you being educated you will not demonstrate racism in a crude way shouting slangs such as ‘Parademala’ ‘Kallathoni’ and openly being rude at Tamils. Educated racists like you are very subtle but are more effective. However they are easy to catch by another educated person from the very tracks and cracks they leave behind. It is the human failings that they are not much aware of the tracks they leave behind but quite obvious to the others. It is from these clues I tell you have significant degree of racism in you. Unfortunately it is in endemic proportions in Sri Lanka and you are not alone!

                  Again I have nothing personally against you. Had if I known you in your real true life state (not in the present ‘virtual’ form)I would accept you as what you are and prove to you love and compassion go a long way instead of hate and apathy.

                  I am writing these as ideas came to my mind and did not check for any grammatical error, and not organized the presentation, so bear with me.

                  • 1
                    1

                    xyz,
                    I don’t know what kind of education you had but your criteria of a “racist” is seriously flawed! According to you anyone who antagonize or fights against terrorism is a racist. The US is attacking Alkida, ISIS etc., who are all Muslims. Do you call the US gov., Obama and the people of US racists???
                    Instead of your “racist” rant write something sensible, take one by one, any of my sentences and explain to me why they are wrong.

                    You write about Channel 4. I do not trust them. Why? they refuse to reveal the source and give the original video clips to the gov.. No legal system will accept such anonymous videos as legally acceptable.
                    I have said before and I am repeating these over and over again on the white flag debacle. First, these terror leaders should have taken the cyanide capsule like they forced their low rank fighters. If I was a SL soldier in the ground I would not trust any Tamil terrorist coming towards me with or with out a white flag. You know why!

                    There is no “egg or hen” story here. If Tamils had problems they should have negotiated with the gov. There were no laws separately for Tamils. All laws of the country was same for all. If you think you are discriminated give me a list of those. In fact Tamils did very well from independence onwards. Tamils were admitted to the Universities, many were professionals and rich businessmen, many living in the south, they acquired prime land and real estate in the south including Colombo, Kandy and other areas. Compare this to Blacks in the US. Until few decades ago they had no voting rights, not allowed to own land, had no right for an education couldn’t ride in a bus with the whites etc. etc. Did the Blacks resort to terrorism to get their rights which they enjoy now? NO, it was all through patient painful negotiations! I will say this to you, Tamils of SL has no difficulties the way you try to portrait. Only thing I see is the lazy, non hard working Tamils trying to create fake discriminatory scenarios hoping to separate the country. That is not going to work.
                    By resorting to violence the Tamils created resentment among the Sinhalese. As I said before that is not racism.

                    As you suggest if the roles were reversed where the Sinhalese minority group raised arms against the majority Tamils, I will be the first to condemn violence of that group. This is the same sentiment I have on the JVP raising arms during the seventies. Many young Sinhalese perished doing so. I will never blame the gov. for what it did. I need peace in the country. The stupid JVP had to face the consequences for inflicting terror on innocent citizens. They need to blame no body but themselves.

                    It doesn’t matter to me whether you consider me as a racist or not. That is your prerogative and as always is subjective. I will continue to counteract any false accusations and information any one try to subject my country into. But I am always open to be shown the truth if what I write is wrong. Unfortunately, many commentators here only accuses me of being a racist rather than explaining?
                    I will tell you again, I have no racial resentment against Tamils but I hate people (of any race) who insight violence.

                    • 1
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                      Eusense

                      You are entitled for your views, and I shall respect that. I will accept the fact I have failed to convince you. The most decent way out is to agree to disagree. You will not accept what I tell and I will not accept what you tell. It is so difficult to put everything in writing and so laborious and only if we could directly speak it out heart to heart. I only wish I knew you personally but that is not possible.

                      It is my experience, those who shout and speak out are usually harmless. Dangerous people are usually silent. Those who speak it out and once they relieve their vented feelings in their chests they usually calm down. So may be we are wrong to call you with dirty labels. You were indeed magnanimous to mention you are not bothered being called one. May be I have not left you enough margin before calling you a racist and you being a Sinhalese will naturally speak for your side. These are actually inbuilt subconscious self defense mechanisms.

                      Before I leave, be conscious of the fact to provide a balanced view in your writings and not to hurt the voiceless who suffer in silence, as we want the truth to prevail. Don’t think of ‘my side’ or ‘your side’. It may be today we are on the side of might but tomorrow we may be on the feeble side, but always best to wish the truth to win whether one is might or feeble and that is my stand.

                    • 1
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                      Eusense

                      “If I was a SL soldier in the ground I would not trust any Tamil terrorist coming towards me with or with out a white flag. You know why!”

                      I disagree with your version. However I do agree they should have taken cyanide instead of surrendering. But disagree being shot at. It was a negotiated surrender. They did not just walk in with white flags. The surrender was agreed upon with international mediators. They were asked to surrender holding white flag. Sri Lankan Government agreed on this. It was after all these discussions and agreeing to the terms they came towards the front line holding white flags. Now they cannot shoot. Your argument does not hold water. If so Sri Lankan Government should have not agreed on the surrender terms. No one will agree with your argument. sorry! This bull shit explanation, only meant, just to fool me and others in the CT. Just delete the words ‘Tamil’ and ‘Sinhalese’ and place ‘A’ and ‘B’ in its place and ask any lawyer giving the terms surrender took place and am sure no lawyer with a sound mind will agree with your type of justification. Sorry! Sorry! I have to respectfully disagree. I again appeal to you, not to indulge in these type of justification for the wrong acts by your military and only brings more damage than repair especially when ‘foreigners’ are reading your comments and will have a wrong impression of the Sinhalese people at large. If you are educated and have some common sense you will regret what you told!

                      Then the police can shoot any criminal saying he is dangerous, I am not sure he may blast himself when he comes close to me and so I shot him. He will have a very difficult time defending his action and NO court of law will accept that argument.

                      (This is a whisper to ears only (other readers are not allowed to read this paragraph) – you should have thought in your mind ‘serves these terrorists right’ but openly condemned the action of the military for shooting the surrendering terrorists holding white flag! To be honest Tamils are happy they were shot and killed more than you. Why it gave the Tamils to shout a lot about racist Sinhalese to the world outside to justify Eelam! These surrendering terrorist will only rot in jail and of no use anyway, but because of this shooting there was a lot of rich propaganda mileage created. Thank you for shooting and which gave me good points to write about in CT. See how I felt happy inside me of this killings but outwardly wept to you complaining on this injustice! Remember this is only a whisper into your ears only as a matter of good advise to you, and you cannot quote me! Never can you mention Tamils are happy they were shot for reasons told. You too should have felt happy in your own mind but outwardly condemned the killings. Quite instead you writings served as a double propaganda for the Tamils, when the outside world sees not only the military but the people are also so bad! So do not justify obvious and blatant acts of cruelty and that is my advise to you.) Good bye.

                • 2
                  2

                  Nuisance Stupid I

                  “I will be stating the reality as it is.”

                  What is the ultimate reality? You can quote from Sinhala/Buddhism while I refer back to Buddhism.

                  Seriously which school suites you well,

                  the monists, theists, animists, eternalists, traditionalists, fideists, dogmatists, ontologists, realists, idealists, and energists

                  or

                  the dualists, pluralists, atheists, nominalists,relativists, rationalists, positivists, phenomenalists, annihilationists, occasionialists,transformists, progressivists, materialists, ….

                  or

                  the Stupidos?

                  What is the difference between you and a knife?

                • 1
                  1

                  Nuisance, what reality are you writing. You call the garbage you write reality?[Edited out]

  • 4
    7

    This is the story of selective sympathy of a man who had to endure that 30 year ordeal. During the war I sympathised with one side and Fr Rajendran symptised with the other. While it was quite legitimate for him to focefully take children from their mothers, hang cynide capsules around the neck, and send them to the battle front it was quite abominable to me. The story from our perspective is far more pathetic. But I always believe at the end of a long brutal war where many innocents lost their lives faced all kinds of horrendous situations seeking justice for one side is a futile exercise.

    But Fr Rajendran has a purpose, an adjenda. God bless him.

    We only have to harden our resolve to build a country where all are equal in all respects and pray that the respected father may not succeed in his unchristian scheme.

    Soma.

  • 3
    4

    Is this father from Mannar ?

    He may have experience transporting suicide jackets to south.

    • 5
      1

      Jim softy,

      Can you please tell us from which TN tribal area (Dalit) your ancestors came to SL and got converted into Sinhala-Buddhists?

      • 1
        5

        PAndaram:

        We all began as monkies.

        You may still be a monkey.

        but not me.

  • 1
    0

    Let’s hope that Mr Sumanthiran – the TNA parliamentarian will read this article as he keeps saying that it is difficult to prove that genocide took place.

  • 0
    0

    “Rev. Fr. Elil Rajendram SJ, It is good that you are trying to fight for a cause. But at the same time I would like to ask you what have you been doing when the LTTE terrorists were suicide murdering innocent Tamil and Sinhalese citizens all over the country? Did you give any speeches then?”

    JUST PERMIT US TO LIVE IN pEACE……..

    ELLI ! HAVE YOU NOT PRAYED TO YOUR MASTER JESUS CHRIST ASKING FOR DIVINE INTERVENTION?
    S.J.EMMANUEL SAID PRABAKARAN WAS LIKE JESUS CHRIST AND THERE WAS NO MEANING TO THE CONSECRATION OF BODY & BLOOD AT HOLY MASS.

    HAVE YOU NOT ADDRESSED THESE ISSUES? IF NOT BURROW ONE OF THOSE CYANIDE CAPSULES.

    Rev. Elil Rajendran just stick to what you know best, PRAY instead of seeking cheap popularity in these pages & whipping racism.
    Just focus on cleaning up your religion…. and the attitude of priests & their priorities as clergy.

    Hey you catholic priest, first read your church history……
    The survival of the catholic church is to skirt with power & the silent expansion of the Roman empire which was destroyed by the Visigoths.
    Catholic Church & Vatican is the root cause of many World problems

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