29 October, 2020

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Expulsion Of Muslims From The North

By Mangala Samaraweera

Mangala Samaraweera -Minister of External Affairs

Mangala Samaraweera -Minister of External Affairs

I would like to thank the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress for organizing this commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Expulsion of Muslims from the North. At this historic juncture, when Sri Lanka is grappling with its past and creating a constitutional framework for true peace, this tragic episode in our history, and the anguish that persists to this day, needs to be remembered and addressed.

I would like to particularly thank Minister Rauff Hakeem for his vision and leadership in organizing this event – it is a privilege to be invited here to speak a few words. The SLMC has a long and chequered history of advocating on behalf their community’s rights. Both the late Mr. Ashraff and Minister Hakeem have boldly voiced the grievances and concerns of the Muslim community in Cabinet, in Parliament, in the press and in their travels abroad. The SLMC’s fact-finding and reporting efforts during the Aluthgama Pogrom and surrounding attacks were particularly bold.

The history and suffering of Sri Lanka’s Northern Muslims is a microcosm of our post-Independence history. In October 1990 the LTTE gave 75,000 Muslims under forty-eight hours to leave their ancestral homes across the North and take nothing more than their clothes and 500 rupees to live in IDP camps – where an estimated 80 percent remain 25 years later.

They had peacefully lived, farmed and traded with their Tamil brethren for centuries. In fact, some Muslims initially helped the LTTE and many more were sympathetic to their cause. The bonds between the communities were close. Therefore, the LTTE’s sudden order came as a surprise to many. It was a crime that shocked the conscience of the entire country.

The LTTE’s justification echoed the age-old line of majorities towards minorities: they, the majority, had been lenient, generous and considerate, while the minorities have been treacherous and ungrateful. In this case, the Tigers alleged that the Muslims’ specific crime was colluding with the state and the Indian Peacekeeping Forces.

But underlying the arguments about Muslims being a fifth column and a security threat to the LTTE was something more pernicious. It was a belief that the power of numerical majority was a justification for violating the rights of individuals and minority groups.

The North of Sri Lanka was as much home for its Muslim population as it was for its Tamil population. Both communities had as much claim as the other to live there and these claims were not contested. The two communities had lived together for centuries in peace.

But the LTTE believed that the Tamil population’s numerical majority gave it the right to expel the entire Muslim population. It was not just the LTTE, few Tamils criticized the LTTE while many justified their actions; even today Muslims returning to their homes face majoritarian resistance from Tamil bureaucrats.

The story is of course many-sided. Numerous Tamils weeped when their Muslim neighbors left, hiding valuables on their behalf and helping them in what little way they could. But as a whole, the majority community, failed to stand in solidarity and protect the rights of the minority community in their midst.

The expulsion occurred because the LTTE was unable to accept a society based on equality and freedom; they were unable to accept that North was multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious. They were unable to celebrate diversity. They were even unable to have the basic decency to give the community they exiled a few extra days or weeks to leave and to take their heirlooms and title deeds with them.

The racism and majoritarianism undergirding the LTTE’s expulsion of Muslims from the North is not something isolated to the Tamil community. It prevails to this day among all communities in our society. Just as the LTTE was unable to accept a multi-ethnic North, extremists in the South are unable to celebrate our country’s diversity – much the less accept that Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and Malays are as much a part of Sri Lanka as the Sinhalese.

Especially since the end of the war, which should have ushered introspection, magnanimity and healing, majoritarianism in the South raised its ugly head. The government indulged in an orgy of triumphalism based on equating Sri Lanka’s identity with the Sinhala-Buddhist community, and relegated the minority communities to the place of unwanted guests.

They ignored the grievances of those in the North and the South and trampled on their rights. The Aluthgama Pogrom and the hundreds of smaller attacks surrounding it were a clear signal to minorities that they were not only second-class citizens but that the state had abdicated from discharging its basic responsibilities towards them, including safeguarding their person and property.

In fact, it is this scourge of majoritarianism that is at the very centre of our post-Independence failure to build a peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka that is united and undivided both on the map and in its citizens’ hearts and minds. Each and every ethnic, religious, class and caste group discriminates and oppresses in areas where they form a majority whether it be in the North, South, East or West.

At this critical moment in Sri Lanka’s history the lessons of the expulsion have much to teach us. Since Independence we have failed to establish a society where all citizens feel equal and free and, as a result, instead of peace, conflict has prevailed.

The end of the war presented a historic opportunity for all our communities and leaders to demonstrate true leadership by breaking away from the past and beginning the task of building a truly united Sri Lanka.  Just as Muslims and Tamils lived together as brothers and sisters in the North for centuries; prior to Independence in 1948, Sri Lanka had many centuries of ethnic amity and peace.

Of course, there were disturbances, like the 1915 riots, but they were isolated and rare. Even before the colonial era, Sri Lanka enjoyed a highly syncretic culture – there is evidence that Buddhism was widely practiced by the Tamils of Jaffna, Tamil was spoken by the kings of Kandy and there are some indications that the language of court was Tamil; Muslims generally speak both Sinhalese and Tamil and thus it could be argued that they are the most Sri Lankan of all the ethnic groups. They were also functionaries at the Dalada Maligawa and participated in the Kandy Esala Perahera. The religious and cultural practices of Sri Lanka’s many communities indicate a high degree of tolerance and borrowing.

We need to understand why that amity broke down, and why it broke down to the extent that war and violence followed.

The challenge for us today is to learn from our past failures, remedy mistakes and move forward. This is a rare opportunity we cannot miss. Speaking in Parliament last Friday I said, “Sri Lanka has yet another window of opportunity to come to terms with its past and move on. Extremists in the North and in the South have been defeated in the recent elections, two of the most liberal minded leaders since independence are leading the country and the two main parties, for the first time in history, have formed a national unity government. This is a moment we cannot afford to lose.”

But it will not be an easy or a pleasant process: we will have to look critically at our own faults and strive hard to hear the voices of others. It will require courage and commitment. But I am confident it can be done.

The TNA recently announced that it would be leading its own community in a process of introspection. The SLMC, welcoming this statement, indicated that it would do so as well. The National Government comprising of both the United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party have committed themselves to guiding the entire country in this difficult process of dealing with the past.

As for the Government of Sri Lanka – as you are aware- we are now beginning to lay the foundations for peace and reconciliation through truth-seeking, accountability, reparations and non-recurrence. Already the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation, the Ministry of Resettlement and other government agencies are taking steps to assist in this process, and just yesterday I met with civil society, including representatives of the Muslim community, to discuss the consultations process necessary to design the mechanisms to implement this process.

Muslims will be an integral part of the truth, justice, reparations and non-recurrence process. Muslims’ grievances and concerns will be a part of the consultations, design and operationalization of the domestic mechanisms; including the Commission for Truth, Justice, Reconciliation and Non-recurrence, the Judicial Mechanism, the Office of Missing Persons and the Office of Reparations. Together with the Ministries and government agencies, these mechanisms, will provide much needed relief to the daily struggle of the thousands of Muslims who remain in IDP camps, are struggling to return to their homes or are dealing with the losses of loved ones.

These mechanisms will not only address the suffering and grievances of members of the Muslim community, they will also address the grievances and concerns of members of the Sinhala and Tamil communities and the concerns of other minority groups.

At this historic moment, let us not be afraid to engage in meaningful dialogue aimed at finding solutions to problems as opposed to pointing fingers, heaping blame and scoring political points at the expense of future generations. Let us design, define and create our future by our hopes and aspirations, and not be held back by the fears and prejudices of the past. Let us not be afraid to dream.

*Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s speech at the Commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Muslims of the Northern Province 

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    Very nice speech Mr. Minister. A lot of Sinhalese people were there to help Tamils in 1983. Also others were afraid because that pogrom was carried out by UNP JSS thugs and not random mobs. While underworld elements did take part those were not the majority sinhalese. The UNP government of that day bears responsibility for this and not all Sinhalese. Also if Sinhalese were so hell bent on majoritarianism then why the hell are a vast majority of Tamils thriving in Sinhala areas from Devundara to Kandy to Matara to Galle along with Muslims?

    When there are different ethno-linguistic groups there are always barriers specially if they cannot talk to each other. But even when they can talk to each other look at the USA. Black-vs-White. Former Yugoslavia different linguistic racial groups but almost all spoke Serbian. What happened there?

    GET RANIL TO APOLOGIZE. YOU ARE NOW IN THE UNP like your Father. SLFP Lost a great liberal doer-and-compassionate man when you crossed over. But GET RANIL TO APOLOGIZE like how Chandrika Madam apologized to Tamil people for 1983. She is your friend and mentor. So ask Ranil to apologize.

    Here is a TAMIL posting from DBS Jeyaraj’s Facebook page for you to ponder over.

    I pity these mislead youth of my time.

    As the American Missionary schools were situated Jaffna, they were the ones who were English, science & commerce educated, even the Catholic and Christian schools elsewhere in the country were mostly catering to the Jaffna civil servants children.

    While in the South the Sinhalese were mostly educated in Buddhist missionary Schools in which most of them concentrated only in teaching Sinhala, Tamil, Pali & Sanskrit with other Arts Subjects and were boycotting English.

    In the 1950s the government servants who were almost totally English educated Jaffna Tamils as they were the ones recruited by the Britishers.

    Jaffna people boycotted Sinhala while they were serving in the Sinhala areas like Colombo, Kandy and the suburbs.

    These Jaffna people boycotting Sinhala were serving the Sinhala common man who knew nothing but Sinhalese. They were also reluctant to serve in the Tamil areas as they were under developed.

    Sri Lanka being a small country and the North East being Native to the Tamils is comparatively very small compared to the Sinhala south, so even Tamils recruited in the north east have to serve in the Sinhala south when they are transferable.

    As this became a dilemma to the government they had to introduce basic Sinhala as compulsory.

    As this country was based on Buddhist concepts social services were free for every citizen. So free education, health and other services were provided for every citizen of this country, unlike the Hindu caste based structure where only certain elite castes enjoy such privileges.

    So the widespread free school education had to be based on the vernacular languages (Sinhala, Tamil) instead of English, because the poor masses didn’t have the required family & external environment to practice English.

    The university environment too had to change vernacular to suit the school output. This lead to media wise allocations. Whereas earlier it was English and it was the missionary school Jaffna students who were almost totally occupying the seats.

    Fearing competition from the estate Tamils of the upcountry for university seats the Jaffna Tamil Politicians stripped the estate Tamils of their Citizenship rights so that they won’t be eligible for free elementary education. They didn’t care that the free education, health and other benefits the citizens were enjoying was from the sweat and blood of the estate tamils, as tea was and is the largest foreign exchange earner of Sri Lanka. It was in the 1990’s that President Premadasa who gave back the Citizenship rights to the estate Tamils.

    Because of the English educated Jaffna diaspora which settled in the imperialist countries since independence, the guerilla warfare of the youth turned into a full blooded conventional warfare, with their funds.

    This resulted in mayhem and total devastation & destruction not only in the warfront (north & east) but to the total economy of Sri Lanka which every citizen has to bear.

    If they say the government is hellbent in ethnic cleansing how come Tamils are living lavishly not only in the north & east but also living harmoniously among the Sinhalese. How come the Tamil stream exists in every school.

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      A quarter century is more than enough for any government to have completed the demolition to get a level ground for a well planned Muslim enclave. I have seen the area a few times in the last 12 years to speak about the extent of devastation.

      What’s the purpose of commemoration? Are we to be feted again to a Silver Jubilee and Centenary celebration? Let the Reparations Programme begin immediately. Foreign borrowing is the only course. China is one country that can do it. Bullock cart pace of any other country should be rejected.

      Budgets of Trillions cannot accommodate only Muslim or Tamil centred redevelopment. Is it?

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      Reality

      “Tamil Politicians stripped the estate Tamils of their Citizenship rights”

      From where did you get this fact? Was it from the dreams you had yesterday after a heavy shot of arrack?

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        Shrikaran,

        Reader Reality is not entirely wrong. It is widely believed the real forces that went out to remove voting rights from the Indian Estate workers in 1948 – who, in fact, voted in the Parliamentary General Elections in 1947 -were a noted Northern Tamil civil servant close to the then Ceylon PM DSS and a another Jaffna Tamil political leader in the DSS Cabinet – a lawyer of no mean repute. Fate was to play an ironic role in the post-1983 period where those superior Tamils who were responsible to chase the lowly “Indian” Tamil from Ceylon/Sri Lanka had to seek refuge and safety in the very same South India, which, incidentally, was also their original home.

        Kettikaran

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          Original home? How long ago? Tamil Nadu is the original home of most Sinhalese * who share a 70% DNA with Indian Tamils ) and most of the Sri Lankan Muslims. The ancestors of some Sri Lankan Tamils originated from Tamil Nadu a 1000 years ago but most of the Sri Lankan Tamils are descended from the ancient Tamil Dravidian Nagas who had lived in the island from prehistoric times. Indigenous Sri Lankan Tamils only share a 17% DNA with Indian Tamils and this fact proves this. As for the Indian origin Tamils being disfranchised and made citizenless is not the fault of the Sri Lankan Tamils, some may have aided and abetted in that but it was hatched by the Sinhalese as they were the majority and held the power. Please get your facts correct. Most Sri Lankan Tamils were against this and after this hardly voted for the Tamil Congress or GG Ponambalam who sided with the Sinhalese in this matter. They then started voting for the Federal Party led by Chelvanaygam as he was against this. The Indian Tamil political leaders also betrayed their own people. Please get your fact correct. The Sri Lankan Tamils themselves were struggling to get their rights for themselves in their own land and their very own existence and identity was in threat, so where did they get the power to do anything let alone disenfranchise anyone.

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      [Edited out]

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      The vast majority of the Tamils living in Sinhalese areas are largely the Indian origin estate Tamils who were settled by the British there, and not the indigenous Tamils. The majority of them live in their own areas. Most of the Sri Lankan Tamils living down south live in Colombo (90%). Remember Colombo and the western littoral until a few centuries ago, was once part of the Tamil homeland. The Sinhalese living along the western and southern littorals were all Tamils until a few centuries ago. The Tamil origin of many of the place names proves this. This includes Colombo Tamils do not like to live amongst the Sinhalese at all to be ill treated and be subjects of state sponsored pogroms. Tamils are forced to live in Sinhalese areas due to deliberate lack of development and employment opportunists in Tamil areas by all Sri Lankan governments to make the Tamils dependent on the Sinhalese south and the deliberate bombing and ethnic cleansing activities conducted by the Sri Lankan government and armed forces to empty the Tamils from their lands and to move them south amongst the Sinhalese, so that they become a perpetual powerless minority living amongst the Sinhalese and to settle Sinhalese in these ethnically cleansed Tamil lands that will also make the Tamils a minority again in their lands. If Tamils thrive in the south it is due to their hard work and industry without any help from the government. Quite the opposite to what happens to the illegal Sinhalese settlers in the north and east, who are provided lands homes and finance to settle in Tamil lands. Stop distorting facts to suit your racist agenda

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        Cool story, bro. Another one for the complete collection of We Thamizh fairy tales :D

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    The expulsion occurred because the LTTE was unable to accept a society based on equality and freedom; they were unable to accept that North was multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious. They were unable to celebrate diversity. They were even unable to have the basic decency to give the community they exiled a few extra days or weeks to leave and to take their heirlooms and title deeds with them.

    The racism and majoritarianism undergirding the LTTE’s expulsion of Muslims from the North is not something isolated to the Tamil community. It prevails to this day among all communities in our society. Just as the LTTE was unable to accept a multi-ethnic North, extremists in the South are unable to celebrate our country’s diversity – much the less accept that Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and Malays are as much a part of Sri Lanka as the Sinhalese.”

    In the above 2 paragraphs, substitute Sinhalese for the Tamils, South instead of the North- what do you get? The answer is all are responsible for the current status quo of this island. So as Minister says ACCPET the fact that this is a multi-ethnic multi-cultural island with diversity. Problem solved. Numbers, majority, minority don’t mean a thing. Rather than using indecent, clandestine ways to outsmart the other community, try to use wise ways to outsmart the other communities. This way, the whole nation would prosper and stand out in the international arena.

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    These are mere words – and very reassuring.
    But will action follow?
    What will Muslims do, on return – many are well settled elsewhere.
    What of lands, homes, livelihoods, education etc.

    Same type of reassurances were given to Tamils at the end of the war, yet the state oppression continues, in various forms – from land grabs to deprivation of livelihoods.

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      Bring down the 300,000 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in South India living in 13 refugee camps undergoing untold difficulties. These Tamils fled to Tamilnadu in fishing boats chased by the Sri Lankan Navy.

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    ”It was a crime that shocked the conscience of the entire country.”
    Yes, it was utterly inhumanindeed.

    SLA expelled the LTTE in 1995 from Jaffna and has been controlling everything in Jaffna till today (even President Sirisena has said that the return of land in Jaffna HSZ is up to the decision by SLA – turkeys don’t vote for Christmas).

    Why didn’t the successive governments help the Muslims resettle in their original place? Parliamentarians from EU countries visiting Sri Lanka did not fail to be taken to see Muslim IDPs in Puttalam and were told that they were expelled by the LTTE. So Muslim IDPs had to suffer for more than two decades because susccessive governments wanted to show the visiting foreign parliamentarians that the LTTE did such an inhuman thing.

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      Punitham

      Will you agree that your father Thiagarajah, MP for Vadukoddai was the one of the persons cause of present situation of the Tamils?

      Before you blame the Sinhala leaders, you better keep your house in order.

      Your father Thiagarajah, MP for Vaddukoddai and Arulamapalam MP for Nallur were the cause of everything today.

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    It is sad that LTTE asked Jaffna Muslims to leave out of Jaffna. It is also sad that Muslims were used by Sinhalese or a few Muslims themselves used the opportunity to exploite Tamil – Muslims relationship. It is also a fact a Muslim minister was the key to divide LTTE. Unfortunately, later Muslims and now those LTTE men who worked for Govt against LTTE have become victims of Sinhalese. Forced evacuvation of people from one place to anotherdid not start in 1990. Hundreds of Tamils lived in the Capital city and up country were forced to leave with violence (brutal murder, burning, destruction)in 1958, 1977, 1983, 1995, 2009. We all know who was behind this and responsible for these crimes. In this cycle of violence since 1948 you cannot point your finger at anyone because rest of the fingers points to you.

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    Mangala is on the band wagon again. Muslims were chased out by a terror organization because it was felt that Muslims were spying on them and helping the government to fight the Terror organization. It is simple logic that if you harm the terrorists they will harm you in turn.
    Why is Mangala talking about numerical strength of Tamils and the rights of minorities. Is he trying to say that the entire Tamils got together and chased the Muslims. Then, can we say that the entire Sinhalese must take the blame for the multiple pogroms against Tamils and Muslims?

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    The MUSLIMS do seem to be having a problem.Not just in Srilanka but even in Europe.
    Mangala holding a brief for the Muslims?
    We had Manouri holding a brief for them in Colombo Telegraph. Now Mangala.
    We do not see any member of the S

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    I have had occasion, more than once, to concede Minister Mangala Samaraweera (MS) is a welcome liberal among our present frontline Buddhist Sinhala leaders in his approach to resolve the National Question. His credentials for standing out as non-religious, non-racial and accommodative in those issues that divide us is exemplary and laudable. Having conceded that I find some of MS’s observations in his address to the SLMC meeting somewhat intriguing and at variance with the grain of his generally accepted outlook on the Sinhala-Tamil divide.

    I fear it is somewhat uncharacteristic of him to imply Tamils are “treacherous and ungrateful” – an unacceptable description to Tamils. Quite the contrary. Within the country and in the outside world, it is unanimously accepted Tamils in the country have been long singled out for shared group punishment by Sinhala-majority governments subscribing to the two main parties of the political divide. They are far too well known and have been matters of discussion and debate for decades to be repeated here. It is curious why MS chose this thoroughly unacceptable description on the entire Tamil nation in the country.

    Equally objectionable is the description “Aluthgama Pogrom” by MS in his speech in a process of history the very term Pogrom gains validity applied only to the nearly 3 million Tamils in the country in the post-1983 period – unless, of course, MS to maintain his credentials as a Sinhala political leader from the Matara District obliquely proposes to dilute the unbearable burdens placed on the Tamil Nation both by what is often described, internally and abroad, as the Sinhala armed forces and a Sinhala State – both rabidly anti-Tamil.

    To suggest “both communities had as much claim as the other to live there” and “these claims were not contested” is as surprising as it is grossly untrue. It is also not in accord with history. One understands MS was there at the meeting to soothe the feelings of his Muslim friends in a solemn occasion. But, I may be pardoned if I were to say this is the wrong way to go about it. Tamils have been in the island as long as the Sinhalese is undeniable history. Muslims, in very large numbers, came here from the Tamilandu Coastal areas mostly during the time of the British. It is, however, granted there were a handful of
    Arabs, Moors and possibly others of the Islamic faith, who have been here for a few centuries more. But, by and large, they are of more recent origin in an island inhabited by the two main races in the past 2,000 years or more of recorded history.

    It is now a part of history that the period when the tigers held sway in the late 1990s till 2009 is a sad aberration in the annals of the Tamil Nation that was held captive against their rights and wishes.
    The Tamil political leadership has not only issued public statements deeply regretting Muslim sufferings and eviction under the Tigers but have also, in many ways in recent years, helped Muslims of the North to re-settle in their former homes. That they even magnanimously made a Muslim a TNA MP to establish their spirit of friendship cannot be ignored by even the most strident critic. Northern Tamils have always lived in amity and friendship with their Muslim neighbours except for the disruption during the period of the Tiger rule – a fact that is eloquently captured by MS as he repeats history “numerous Tamils weeped when their Muslim neighbors left, hiding valuables on their behalf and helping them in what little way they could” May this spirit of neighbourliness continue is the wish of all in the Tamil Nation.

    Kettikaran

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    “The expulsion occurred because the LTTE was unable to accept a society based on equality and freedom; they were unable to accept that North was multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-religious. They were unable to celebrate diversity.”- Japwatch

    Its not only the LTTE, instead it should have read as the Catholic Church together with the LTTE.
    Also not only the muslims, but Sinhala bakers and dry fish merchants too were expelled.

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    Very good speech except RH is not a visionary but opportunist. This comm- oration is pure opportunism. He is well known for this in the past. It has taken quarter of century to remember about IDP Muslims. As RB said he had not even built a toilet for these Muslims as he claimed to a Muslim leader.Its shame!!

    RH had been a cabinet minister for 15 years in various Govts,he never done “anything to anybody”.He is a figure head and waste of space in this planet.

    Ahamed, UK

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    As long as the likes of Minister Mangala Samaraweera remain at the helm of the political establishment in Sri Lanka , there will always be hope for unity and progress in our fair isle..This article and other bold pronouncements elevates him into the ranks of statesmen, a rarity in Lankan politics.May his tribe increase.

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      Hey Brian, will we be seeing guest appearances by “Alan de Cruze”, “Albert Ranasinghe”, “Thalpehewa” etc etc today as well? :D

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    Forty years ago nearly five lakhs CEYLON Tamils who lived in the up country were deported to India in a most inhumane manner applying violence intimidation threat starvation and unjust administrative methods. There is no politician or trade unionist or Forums in this country to commomerate the40th anniversary or write an article or issue a statement. What a Country is this; full of hypocrites! full of racist opportunists!

    Let us remember them; pray for them; take steps to bring them back to their own country.

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      Responding to the gracious comments of reader MR, I might remind him there were two categories of Tamils of recent Indian origin (the preferred description of the late Hon. S. Thondaman) who were brutally evicted from the island
      (1) those several hundred thousands with the coming of the 1947/48 Indian-Pakistani Citizenship Acts

      (2) the large number sent under the Sirima-Shasti Pact (1964) under the 625,000/375,000 formulae.

      I have had occasion to speak to some of their leaders in the Nilgiris-Koonoor areas in Tamilnadu. They and their descendants are now well settled in India and have absolutely no intention to come back to an unstable country suffering a weak economy, a poorer system of security and a suspect Courts and judicial system – all of which a daily worry to all Tamils in the island today. A greater fear is the politicised Buddhist clergy and the armed forces openly engaged in politics. Whereas employment opportunities and the economy in India during the 1948-1964 period was poor today it is entirely different – with Tamilnadu becoming a leading agricultural and industrial State. The new phenomena of the well developed IT sector in South India has created millions of well-paying jobs there.

      However, if well and popularly supported events remembering both historical events are held in Sri Lanka fresh consciousness in young Sinhala minds may be created. This can, hopefully, contribute to better understanding in the Sinhala-Tamil debate now increasingly in the national agenda.

      Kettikaran

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    Good speech.[Edited out]

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    Tamils were chased out by Mangala Samaraweera’s relatives and his friends.

    Pabakaran was This guy’s relative.

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    Mr.Samaraweera:

    Expulsion Of Muslims From The North:

    No doubt you would have considered the invitation to speak at the Commemoration as an honour.You come accross as a person who is Genuine and sincere but I am not going to take anything for granted as we have been let down by many Liberals who have owned up that they had a murky past.
    Having said that I am sure you are an intelligent individual and will readily admit that anything that comes from GOSL has to be taken with a pinch of salt. I want give you a History lesson and before that I want to comment on the following.

    1) I would like to particularly thank Minister Rauff Hakeem for his vision and leadership in organizing this event – it is a privilege to be invited here to speak a few words.

    *** Untill not so long ago Mr.Hakeem was part of the EVIL Empire and what did he do to alleviate the plight of the Muslims. Instead of being part of that Evil Empire which was busy uprooting Sinhalese from the South and settling them in Tamil areas ( colonistaion) why didnt he ask Mahintha the fallen King to resettle the Muslims. No doubt Hakeem was more interested in keeing his Portfolio than helping his fellow Muslims.

    As for the History lesson I promised let me tell as a person who has lost three Generations at the hands of the Sinhalse the reason why we are where we are is pecisely because of the failed policies of successive Sinhalese Governments not addressing the Tamil Grievances.
    We are no longer interested in empty words and actions speak louder than words and the Words from MS, RW and your Justice Minister doesnt fill me with any confidence.

    1) I thought MS was elected President for all Sri Lankans not for the Privileged Majority. There have been many injustices and atrocities inflicted upon the defenceless Tamils by yur armed forces but yet MS & RW utter words like we will defend our Armed forces who defended the Country. Are they not aware of the story of ” Krishanthi” and thousands like her at the hannds of the Armend forces .
    I am sure you would admit that if he considered himself President for all Sri Lankans he should have remained impartial and how can we have any confidence in a Domestic Mechanism.
    You Justice Minister who once headed the Bar doesnt know the Meaning of Conviction. Can you please ask him when where and who convicted the LTTERs who are locked up.
    Can you please also ask the President if he was aware of the Secret Army Camps where the LTTERs have been locked up untill revealed by the UN Chief. If NOT Why NOT
    What we need is an honest admission by those in charge of the terrible past if we are to move on.

    Accountabilty comes before Reconcilation.

    Mannhintha cannot be part of Reconcilation and he must serve time for his role in the Genocide. If that doesnt happen I will never be able to reconcile and I will die an Unhappy Man.

    My worry with a Domestic mechanism is as follows.
    Under the Principle of ESTOPPEL , MS will be Estopped from going back on his promise he gave to MS during Election and in the Early Hours of the 9th January.

    So there will be every effort to absolve MR from Guilt and even if he is found Guilty with the International Input he will be afforded a “PRESIDENTIAL PARDON”. Justice to the Victims Sri Lankan Style.

    I hope you will prove me Wrong.

    Just Imagine if you had treated us as equal Citizens we could have made

    1) Music together ( such as Pasumai Niraintha Ninaivugale)
    2) Partied together

    Instead of you
    1) Killing us in the dead of Night and burying never to be seen agin.

    I ask you to impress upon all your colleagues to refrain from making Statments which are Hurtful.

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    Good speech Mangala. Good on you. Keep it up

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    Expulsion Of Muslims From The North- Tamils were made to bow their heads in shame. Some still celebrate those who were behind. Back boneless Tamil outfits doesn’t even have the courage to say sorry.

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