18 October, 2017

Felicitation To A Friend & Resolute Marxist

By Rajan Hoole

Dr. Rajan Hoole

In the normal course of events my long friendship and brotherly regard for Sritharan, or Sugu, as he is called, and to several of his colleagues, particularly Subathiran, or Robert, would have been unusual. Those of us whose training had a professional bias and had successful careers with domestic felicity mapped out for us, often ceased to think about things that really matter.  That would normally have been perfectly all right. But when these persons also had a vicarious urge to be heroes of Tamil nationalism, they also gave their voice and tacit approval to maligning and killing as traitors, those who thought and felt for the utterly hapless plight of ordinary people, repeatedly forced into wars they never wanted.

For persons who took the road that Sugu took, life has been full of painful challenges that would have broken most of us. Sugu’s political career goes back to about the era of the 1980 general strike for very basic workers’ demands that was brutally broken up by JR’s government, using JSS thugs, whom President JR ordered to have a counter-demonstration on 24th May. They were used again in the 1983 communal violence. This was the last time perhaps when there was an organised workers’ movement, supported by leading figures as Bishop Lakshman Wickremesinghe. It was also a testing time for the Tamil nationalists. My colleague Sritharan, who was then a lecturer in Jaffna University, went with a delegation to ask the leadership of the TULF to express solidarity with the workers. They were evasive and Mr. Sivasithamparam suggested to them that it was a Sinhalese problem that did not concern the Tamils. Being the main opposition party this was irresponsible and insensitive. After what happened subsequently, I need not expatiate on the historic irony and stupidity of that position, waiting for JR to deliver.

Sritharan Thirunavukarasu

Those like Sugu, who were early members of the EPRLF, struggled both intellectually and emotionally, to start a people’s movement that would be both internationalist and rigorously dedicated to the interests of the people, going against the high tide of Tamil nationalism that brought the LTTE to the fore. It is not hard to understand why several of those who were with him, from Balakumar’s section of the EROS to Premachandran, more recently, plunged into the Tamil nationalist tide that swept people along to the horrors of Mullivaykkal.

To give a flavour of the EPRLF in the 1980s, I will do well to quote N. Pathmanathan, one of our leading civil servants, who did a term in prison under the PTA from 1983 to 1987. He was helping other PTA detainees to prepare their cases. He was astounded upon reading the charges against an EPRLF prisoner caught putting up posters in Vavuniya, which called upon Tamil and Sinhalese workers to get together and launch a united struggle to establish a workers’ state that would guarantee equality to everyone. Pathmanathan was struck by the irony of detaining on a separatist charge, a man who should have been honoured for his dedication to national unity.

Sugu, whom we felicitate today on the launch of his book, we may say belongs to the remnants of the historic workers’ movement that took a last stand on their behalf in 1980. The crushing of that movement enabled the same methods to be used against Tamils while our leaders slept. Sugu is among the rare souls who have been through decades of fury and murder and have come out with their character unblemished. What helped him along was his sound intellect, constantly renewing itself through study, interaction with the world and compassion for the suffering. It is the kind of quality intellect that would be out of place in protected academic establishments where place-hunting is the norm. A scholarly mind as Sugu’s is rooted in a large universe spanning space and time, and derives confidence and reassurance from the wisdom of the ages.

The collection of his articles titled ‘To a new generation that consecrates Humanity’ is dedicated to ‘the dead and disappeared in the struggle for the dawn of humanity’ where he quotes Bharathy’s dedication to the freedom fighters of India – ‘[May their] dreams come true’. Both Bharathy and the lines from Tagore he quotes “Where the mind is without fear…Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way…Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake”, are an indicator of the man’s heart and his aspirations.

Like the two of his mentors, Sugu is an unswerving internationalist. This comes through in his article on the US – British led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and his joy at the Arab Spring and anxiety at its delicacy. Through his sense of reality and disappointments he has faced, he tries to see things in the light of reason and the way the world works, and his emotion is characteristically restrained. As a man who placed his life on the line in search of a liberated order, his words have a poignant ring, when he describes the culture of murder that struck parents and children at unseemly hours, and abducted children to fight wars that the elite were running away from, and remarks: “For us who have adopted such abominable practices to seek franchise and recognition in the civilised world is utterly unworthy.”

The contrast between nationalism and internationalism explicates how Tamil nationalist ritual has pushed the Tamils into a dead end. It is a ritual for power and position that ‘intellectuals’ and academics participate in. One hears professors say in public that the Tamil people gave their support for the wars fought against the Indian and Sri Lankan forces. It is a gross misrepresentation of a people misled and forced to suffer by the opportunism of their elite, for whom war has become a plaything. There is no heroism or romance in war.

Today we take it for granted that governments who fight wars are obliged to protect civilians on the opposing side and that a disarmed combatant is entitled to the rights of a civilian. But these are recent developments starting with President Lincoln’s Lieber Code of 1863 and internationally adopted by the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907. What the rules of war were, until then, is given in a court judgment of 1774 by Lord Mansfield:

“It is left by the constitution to the king’s authority to grant or refuse a capitulation.” – Here he puts the instance of his acquiring a right over the lives of the conquered people. If the king refuses to grant the right of capitulation, which he may do, he may take the lives of those who are disposed to capitulate, and if he puts the inhabitants to the sword, all the lands belong to him. “If he receives the inhabitants under his protection, and grants them their property, he has the power to fix such terms and conditions as he thinks proper.”

Here the conquered people had no protection of the law. Typically they would be at the discretion of a governor or military commander. In Roman positive or arbitrary law (ius gentium), as a concession, a defeated people could be made slaves rather than be put to the sword.

Today we demand our lands back and investigations into misconduct by soldiers on the winning side. Nationalists have no moral right to make these demands and from them it would be sheer hypocrisy. Nationalism is fundamentally about blood and gore. Internationalists like Sugu are morally bound and have the right to make these demands; demands that were made law by dedicated internationalists. We should be thankful that the Sinhalese largely agree. Even today the old laws of war cast their shadow over the present, as instanced for example in the plight of civilians in Iraq, Syria and Palestine.

It could be said that in 1983 the Jayewardene government declared war on the Tamil civilians. Massacres followed. Then one cannot deny that the end to this phase with the 1987 Indo-Lanka Accord, as Sugu points out, owed much to the combined effort of all the militant groups. The LTTE’s enforced monopoly of the militancy in mid-1986 led to only reverses, as in Vadamaratchi and Kokkadichcholai that were checked by India’s intervention. The LTTE could not accept that India saved the Tamils from ignominy and the settlement under the Accord owed much to all the groups combined. Its heroic image had been shattered. The next four wars were unwanted.

The Tamils having struggled and lost many lives for the devolution of power, when it came in 1988, there were no takers. The LTTE called the Accord a betrayal, then started a war with India and in three successive years, as Sugu points out, killed three leading contributers to it, Mr. A. Amirthalingam, EPRLF leader Padmanabha and Rajiv Gandhi. Sugu claims with justification that the EPRLF’s willingness to run the North-East provincial administration along with the SLMC and ENDLF saved it from being swept under the carpet. It was in 1990 dissolved by President Premadasa at the LTTE’s behest. Premadasa allowed the LTTE to run the North-East, while cooperating with its murder and prisons without a formal political arrangement – that would have been embarrassing to both.

Then having started the war on 8th June 1990 with the government of Premadasa, whom it eventually killed, the LTTE was never able to put anything in place of the North-East Provincial Council. That is why, Sugu says, although accepting office in the two provincial councils of the North and East, the Tamil nationalists find it irritable to talk about the history behind it. Prabhakaran has gone, leaving the Tamils trapped in his rhetorical legacy. Vigneswaran from Amirthalingam’s party is now Chief Minister of the North. He has called Prabhakaran a great man. Where then do we go from here? Amirthalingam’s party can neither own him who became LTTE’s traitor, nor disown him without looking ridiculous. They can never talk seriously about devolution, because a vocal group would belabour them as traitors unless the package includes the right to self-determination, read separation.

Thus the Tamils are forced to live in political limbo, perhaps just as well. We can today not put together a high quality team of administrators the North-East Provincial Council was able to draw together in 1989. The administrators today will have to come from Jaffna University whose rhetorical politics is of the Tiger, Pongu Tamil and Eluga Tamil variety and whose ideology and ritual is Hindu of the narrow, casteist and exclusivist kind, which is contemptuous of secularism. To serve the Tamils in the modern world and to release them from limbo, the University as well as Tamil politics need to be taken to the cleaners. Sugu describes the political culture articulated by our civil society and intellectuals as Puli-ism (Tigerism), under which he says the civilised world would never accept us as a civil or political entity having a say in the affairs of the world.

Sugu is by no means dismissive of the terrible role the state has played in this saga, nor the indefensible violations of his own party, the EPRLF, which included murder and abduction of youth for the ill-fated Tamil National Army, while they were part of the provincial government. Ironically, a group of the party that was reputed for notoriety at that time joined in 1999 the LTTE-sponsored Tamil National Alliance to become a leading voice of Puli-ism.

We are all scarred by the violence that Tamil nationalism and Sinhalese state ideology subjected us to. Some killed because they had a gun in hand and felt threatened, but the rest of us killed by our thoughts and words by supporting murder as a right of the Tigers or by branding others insensitively and insultingly. And the reality was that you could often speak your mind bluntly to an officer in the Indian or the Sri Lankan Army without feeling threatened, but hardly ever to someone infected with Puli-ism. Today’s nationalist leaders became very reliant on army and police protection, especially after the murders of Thangathurai and Neelan Thiruchelvam who were among our sanest leaders. We are no longer saints.

The pervasive threat of murder for their political views drove people to places where they did not want to go and do things they did not want to do and some of these are persons of the highest calibre whom we treated insensitively. One example is Muhunthan, an EPRLF man with a keen intellect who was trained to and wanted to protect and develop the resources of the North-East. He was imprisoned and barbarously killed by the LTTE. Sugu and Subathiran after they came out of Sri Lankan prison in 1987 faced a painful dilemma. The EPRLF leadership decided to cooperate with the Indian Army after it came under fire from the LTTE. Both of them from what I heard from a PLOTE member who was in prison with them, were opposed to it, fearful of where it might lead them. Sugu’s wife Gnana was among the earliest to take the leadership to task for its silence over Indian Army atrocities near her home in Urumpirai in October 1987.

But the question for them was not so simple. They were senior members responsible for many of the cadres being in the EPRLF. To leave them without guidance or protection and run away was also betrayal. Like many who were their comrades, they had the ability to go abroad, get qualified and disappear from the scene. Sugu and Subathiran remained out of a sense of responsibility. Even many who went abroad could not cut themselves off. Their conscience kept troubling them.

I was told by a government officer about the plight of LTTE conscripts, injured with limbs impaired, who are in a state of utter neglect in the Vanni. They are on wheelchairs and have no toilets to serve their needs and are forced to defecate in plastic bags. One day he was approached by a former EPRLF man who fled the country under the LTTE’s threat and has done well in Switzerland. He wanted to help these injured former cadres. The officer told him that he cannot get directly involved as he would come under army suspicion. But this former EPRLF man made his own contacts and now comes regularly to attend to the needs of these former conscripts.

After the Provincial Council fiasco, Sugu and Subathiran insisted that they would function as a political group and not as an armed group. Subathiran put his military training to good account and was a first rate human rights investigator. He quickly marshalled the necessary information to establish who was responsible for shooting down the Lionair flight in 1998. As a member of the Jaffna Municipal Council he provided the backbone for Mayor Sellan Kandian to defy the LTTE ban and reopen the Jaffna Public Library in early 2003. The LTTE killed him a few weeks later. Subathiran had demonstrated the power of democratic action against heavy odds.

As part of his routine, Subathiran had tapped telephone conversations between LTTE spokesmen and leading government officials during the 2002 peace process. One was a cosy conversation in English between Pulidevan and a government official with inquiries about family concerns, sightseeing and shopping. But the people in Jaffna were not allowed even a public library. The movement was cracking and yet could rest and offer its people peace. Unlike Pulidevan, Karuna saw the coming cataclysm and got out in time. One of the most indefensible actions of the Kumaratunga government was to, in 2004, stand by and lend complicity to the LTTE massacre of Karuna’s cadres and conscript children, and then use the survivors as the Army’s killers.

Sugu and Subathiran constantly had the people’s suffering at heart and did what they could to relieve it. Openings they could have had were blocked by the nationalist TNA, who used nationalist rhetoric to obtain perks of office, mainly to play dogs in the manger.

As with Dr. Rajani Thiranagama, whose activism was triggered by the human devastation she witnessed around Nallur Kandasamy Kovil in the wake of the Indian Army offensive, for Sugu and Robert the heart of their political activism inspired by Marx was rooted in mobilising the people who felt victimised, and powerless, to unite and realise their strength. This could be seen in the rise of social democracy in Europe in the second half of the nineteenth century.

For a man whose youth was rooted in liberation struggles around the world he studied closely, Sugu’s recent articles evince disillusionment with violence even as a tactical or fall back measure. He speaks with admiration for Gandhi’s ahimsa and satyagraha as the way forward for the Tamils and counsel’s Communists in India who recently experienced electoral setbacks, to go back to their roots in Marx.

Since we have been on the subject of liberation, I proceed to leave you with a final thought. We lived in times when many of the brave and good who were with us are no more. That leaves a heavy burden to be borne by us who are alive, to ensure that they did not die in vain and their memories do not fade. As much as opportunity allowed, I have been making inquiries about the students of my time in the University who were consumed by terror. One of them is George Manoharan, who was not involved with any political party, but was a Christian pacifist concerned with human rights. I was recently told by his fellow student the kind of influence he exercised. There was a political slogan having the LTTE’s approval about the most important ‘dhanam’ or sacrifice. The approved answer was ‘irattha dhanam’ or the gift of one’s life. Manoharan used to tell his colleagues that it is rather ‘avadhanam’, namely ‘alertness’.

Taking into account the ambience of terror at that time and the fact that this youth suffered torture and death a few months later, that remark becomes a plaintive critique of Puli-ism. It is not about the past, but rather about the present and future. Instead of learning from the past to correct ourselves and move forward, we look for bogies to wallow in the same mire, without realising that the world and the old bogies, the Sinhalese and India are all the time changing and new opportunities and challenges are coming our way. Sugu is very sensitive to these changes and his writings, achievements and pitfalls provide a starting point for a new leadership.

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Latest comments

  • 8
    1

    We, in the South can never know properly that band of Internationalists who struggled so bravely on OUR behalf as well. They must be regarded as heroes by us Sinhalese as well.

    When I saw this tribute to Sritharan Thirunavukarasu, I imagined it to be Kopalasingham Sritharan, whom many of us by now know from this video:

    https://vimeo.com/43541217

    Rajan Hoole’s co-author in books and articles.

    Who is this Sritharan Thirunavukarasu? I have Googled, but there isn’t much more to the results than this:

    https://www.facebook.com/sritharan.thirunavukarasu

    Facebook is full of pictures, but of this man there is none. So, who is this hero, Sugu? And who is Subathiran?

    We, in the South aren’t even easily find out who these people are.

    Thankfully Rajan keeps giving us these compelling insights. We have to establish links with like minded people in the other communities in Sri Lanka.

    After all the drama in France, the anxiety and the nail-biting, the joyful results were released within half an hour of the polls closing. This was how, apparently:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2017/may/07/french-presidential-election-results-latest

    Let us hope that there are many more results of this sort to follow elsewhere in the World. Let us hope that in many countries we see internationalists like Emmanuel Macron, and Rajan Hoole him self, and the TWO Sritharans taking the lead in inspiring young people to throw off the shackles of Imperialism and and usher in an era of Internationalism.

    Interesting, some of these things are:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/07/europe/brigitte-trogneux-emmanuel-macron-profile/

    “Maybe there’s even more (love) than conventional families.”

    • 3
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      Sugu and Subathran are senior leaders of EPRLF who played important role during IPKF period.They worked hand in glove with Mr.Rajan Hoole and provided “reliable” information for his “human rights” reports.
      Subathran had been murdered before UTHR KILLED kATHIRAVEL THAYAPARARAJA(according to UTHR) on the 15th of September 2009 in Kalubovila.
      Thayapararaja ,who was killed by UTHR has now requested his release from Tamilnadu jail.
      Will UTHR help the release of K.Thayapararaja?

  • 5
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    Thank you so much Dr. Rajan Hoole, for your write up about Sugu by which you have taken the opportunity illustrate and highlight the political hollowness of emotive Tamil Nationalism that began with the Vaddukoddai Resoulution and ended up in Nandi Kadal in May 2009.
    In this regard your reference to you student George Manoharan’s “Avadanam” ( cautious vigilance) is precisely the need of this hour for all the people of this island irrespective of whatever race or religion they may belong to rather than Puli’s “irratha dhanam” or “Sinha Le”.

  • 0
    5

    Dr. Rajan Hoole:

    Another way to think is, your frined got some concepts into his mind and he thought he was correct. So he became a trouble maker as well as got trouble to himself.

    Am I wrong ?

    • 1
      0

      Who would think that he/she has wrong concepts in his/her mind and hold on to them?
      If you speak up for what you believe is right, trouble is guaranteed.

      Show some respect for those with ideals among the many with plain personal ambition.

  • 5
    4

    Quote Rajan Hoole: “…….. my long friendship and brotherly regard for Sritharan, or Sugu, as he is called, and to several of his colleagues, particularly Subathiran, or Robert, would have been unusual……. “

    One could just about cull out that Sugu was a Jaffna University lecturer. He was an EPRLF cadre – so was Dr Dayan Jayatillake! Hoole says Sugu was (and still is?) a Marxist. Sugu would have known about liberation movements more than Hoole but Hoole’s knowledge in this aspect is close to nil.

    There is very little about Sugu but plenty of Hooleian bluff. The article is about LTTE bashing with vengeance.

    There are references to “Sugu and Subathiran” and to “Sugu and Robert”. No wonder commenter Sinhala_Man is unable fathom the content.

    Hoole – it is wrong to give vent to your phobias through articles. Clearly the psychiatrist visits have not helped.

    • 0
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      Pillai
      The last sentence is unusual of you and uncalled for.

      • 4
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        Thanks SJ. Yes on second thoughts I withdraw the offensive last sentence.

        I found reference to Dr. Rajani Thiranagama uncalled for. Hoole says Vigneswaran is bad because of V’s opinion on Prabhakaran. Hoole projects Karuna good because he betrayed. Thiruchelvan is canonized. Why?

        Quote Hoole: “……… The administrators today will have to come from Jaffna University whose rhetorical politics is of the Tiger, Pongu Tamil and Eluga Tamil variety and whose ideology and ritual is Hindu of the narrow, casteist and exclusivist kind, which is contemptuous of secularism”.
        Jaffna University has weaknesses but not the ones above.

        Hoole had the same article in “The Island” of 07 May. The readers there do not comment and want to hear the sort of Hoole-talk.

        Following a cricket match loss hundreds of fans will opine as to why the match was lost. Hoole is doing exactly that – criticisms of past events are easy.

      • 1
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        Thanks
        I share several of your concerns.
        But I think that the intelligent reader can read between lines.
        It is adequate for you to hint at the irrelevancies.

        One reckless sentence and you lose the point that you wish to make.

        • 5
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          K. Pillai and SJ,

          I cant comprehend your concerns. Rajani Thiranagama is considered by many dissenting Tamil activists as an inspiration and example. Why is Rajan Hoole’s reference to Rajani Thiranagama uncalled for? I do not know who K. Pillai is but SJ endorsing K. Pillai’s comments seem to be rather strange to me.

          Where in the article does Rajan Hoole says Vigneswaran is bad? He is critical of Vigneswaran’s characterization of Prabhakaran. That does not mean that RH says Viggie is bad. Rajan Hoole did a good critique of Viggie’s religious politics, his association with VHP and other right-wing Hindu groups. But that is a different thing.

          What is your issue with Hoole writing in The Island? While I like online platforms like Colombo Telegraph, I also think people should continue to write in newspapers. Newspapers in general do not have space comments. Then, not only Hoole, everybody should stop writing in newspapers. By the way, there is an opinion page in The Island and people write commentaries on others articles in that section. So your claim people cannot comment in The Island is also wrong.

          We are always producing criticism of events that happened in the past. People are critical of the French Revolution, Russian Revolution, the anti-colonial movement in India, etc. Why should Tamil politics, militancy and the LTTE be exceptions? How do we move forward without reflecting on the past? Criticisms of past events may be easy – but does it mean they are unnecessary?

          • 1
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            Kindly be specific about what I said before you seek to rebut me.

            I have exposed a few ‘factual inexactitudes’ (I am being polite) but there was much reluctance to admit mistake.
            I do not need to go into it all over again.

            • 2
              2

              What I meant was the points raised by K. Pillai. You say in one of your previous comments that you also share several of his concerns. His concerns are not the ‘factual inexactitudes’ in Hoole’s piece They are about Hoole’s phobias, LTTE-bashing, etc. In other words, Hoole’s politics, his take on the LTTE, his take on the Tamil elite, etc. I think you are talking about Hoole’s other works when you say factual inexactitudes, whereas K. Pillai’s comments are about this article.

              • 0
                1

                Several means more than two but not many.

                You have yet to answer my plea: “Kindly be specific….”

                It may do some good to think before you type.

                • 4
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                  SJ,

                  I have dealt with all the concerns raised by Pillai about THIS article if not in one but several comments. You may not be satisfied with my responses. Then you should ask me questions about my responses and ask me to clarify. That is how a dialogue can happen. I am not talking about what Hoole, et al wrote elsewhere. Can you please let me know which of the concerns raised by Pillai regarding this article that I have not responded to?

              • 2
                1

                Your comment addressed the two names together.
                Sadly, what you said and what you meant do not tally.
                The game is not knew.

                Like the UTHR(J) lot you too are reluctant to use the five letter word.

          • 2
            1

            Arun I started by saying that there was very very little felicitation but too much of other matters.

            Long long before Rajani assassination and before the birth of liberation movements, several activists were tortured and massacred by the police.

            Why is Thiruchelvan more important than say Raviraj?

            Russian and French revolutions and JVP insurrections are NOT liberation movements.

            Hoole’s motives are clear.

            • 3
              2

              The word Sugu appears in the article 23 times. In my opinion, it is enough to say that the article felicitates Sugu.

              Yes – does the article deny the torture and murder of activists before the assassination of Rajani? And the article does not talk about the assassination of Rajani Thiranagama. It only refers to her activism.

              “Today’s nationalist leaders became very reliant on army and police protection, especially after the murders of Thangathurai and Neelan Thiruchelvam who were among our sanest leaders.” – this is what the article says. It is about the TULF leaders assassinated by the LTTE in the mid-1990s and others (probably referring to Sambandan) getting protection from the state. Raviraj is believed to have been killed by the state, not LTTE. Hoole only names the first two as sanest among the TULF leaders. How do you know from this one sentence that he thinks Thiruchelvam is more important than Raviraj? Any person whose thoughts are governed by logic can understand there is no room for Hoole to make a comparison between Raviraj and Thiruchelvam in that sense.

              I did not say RR and FR are liberation movements. Remember I used the word events. But I don’t have any issues with describing them as movements. There was a certain force or a combination of forces behind these revolutions. There is nothing wrong in describing them as movements.

              Your last comment makes your motives clearer!!

  • 8
    1

    Pillai– Please grow up; Don’t be still a ‘Pillai’ (Child)

    So many sincere and genuine Tamils who came forward to serve their community have been either killed or side-lined in the whirl-wind of Tamil parochial politics. Subathiran (Robert) belongs to the former category, (cowardly killed by the LTTE snipers when he was unarmed and exercising in the open terrace of a building in Jaffna) , and Sugu (Sritharan) belongs to the latter category , side-lined and falsely blackened by the Tamil polity who are either silent or roar for the wrong persons only to lead their brethren to doom and destruction. We are still paying a heavy price for this Himalayan folly.

    Thank you Dr. Rajan Hoole, despite all the “barkings” by the short-sighted detractors, you have been always on the side of reason, justice and humanity; your write-up is a further expression of it.

    • 2
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      My thrust is this: There was very little felicitation but lots and lots of other thingy, thingy and thingy.

  • 5
    2

    A well deserved facilitation

    • 3
      0

      Is is because educationists like Krishnananthans were killed during IPKF period?

  • 4
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    A good article by Dr. Hoole. In retrospect, a federal solution would have been the way to go from Independence onwards. At that time, there was no demand (on the part of the Tamil leadership) for separation, backed by armed struggle. The policies pursued by successive governments, such as standardisation, swabasha, colonization, etc. not only led to the civil war, but caused a massive brain drain. Therefore, the “victory” in 2009 came at a great cost, not only economically, but in terms of upsetting the intellectual class.

  • 5
    4

    It was the same Mr.Hoole wrote in his ” human rights report” that,K.Thayapararaja was abducted in September 2009 in Colombo and was admitted to the kalubovila hospital on the 13th Sep2009 after being tortured and DIED after two days.
    THE SAME THAYAPARARJA WHO WAS ‘KILLED” BY HOOLE IS NOW IN TAMILNADU.
    Will someone believe Mr.Hoole’s reports anymore?Mr.Hoole cant hoodwink the people anymore and he is exposed now.

    Will Mr.Hoole answer the following questions:
    1.Even before the Tigers,who started to recruit Tamil youths forcefully for Tamil National Army?
    2.Can someone who chased away Sinhalese from Trinco be called a revolutionary?
    3 Who abducted and killed Muslims during the IPKF period?

    • 5
      2

      Human rights reports sometimes include slips (slip is not an appropriate word here- but for the want of a better word I use ‘slip’ here) of this kind. I see them as exceptions rather than norms. One could observe similar slips in the reports prepared by Amnesty International and other internationally acclaimed human rights watchdogs. The tone of your comment shows that your intention is not about issuing a corrective and giving the readership about the subsequent developments on the Thayapararajah story but to discredit the UTHR(J) based on a lapse (which became a lapse after the publication of the report) that you observed in this report. Also, don’t forget the UTHR(J) report you cited says that even Tamilnet and a Tamil newspaper reported that Thayapararajah had been killed.

      I see truth as a process and what is important is our willingness to accept truth as a contingent and mediated process. This does not mean abandoning the pursuit of truth (or truth in all its multiplicities) or abandoning human rights activism and reporting. UTHR(J)’s conduct in this regard has been exemplary and even nationalists would find it difficult to question the ethics of their reporting if they take the time to read their reports carefully and patiently. In fact, many of the submissions sent to UN organizations by Tamil nationalist groups on war crimes cite the reports prepared by the UTHR(J).

    • 4
      2

      Ramany K,

      UTHR(J) have always been open about the limitations of their reporting. They even acknowledged the errors in their reports and issued public apology to persons concerned. I would cite one example here which comes from their response to criticism made by a Muslim group in the East about one of their reports (http://www.uthr.org/Reports/Report10/Appendix1.htm) brought out in the early 1990s:

      The situation prevailing in the latter half of 199O made it difficult for us to talk to Muslims themselves. We have subsequently tried to make amends. Once again we apologise for our shortcomings and for any injury caused as a result. Within our limitations we try to give out information and analysis in the shortest possible time, so that we could influence current developments and be of service to those whose rights are being violated. It is not our brief to reflect with leisure and erudition on events past which matter little to people in their day to day lives. We will make mistakes, but will be most happy to stand corrected. This has to be an ongoing development and part of a dialogue as well as mutual education.

      The report speaks for itself.

      • 1
        1

        “They even acknowledged the errors in their reports and issued public apology to persons concerned.”

        My experience was not that bright.

      • 3
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        This is not slip,you are writing deliberate falsehood with an agenda to serve your international masters.You have now come to the pathetic situation of bringing in Tamilnet in your defense . You used to quote “informed sources,reliable sources,insiders…etc.etc.Now you have started to quote Tamilnet.Then you say that Amnesty is quoting you.AI and Tamilnet reports are as false as your SLIP reports .
        For you, so called human rights activists and internationalists, everything would be okay if you say sorry when you are caught red handed. Bala Annar referred to Rajiv Ghandi’s murder as tragic incident.Your sorry are as good as Bala Annar’s tragic incident.I repeat ,human rights have become a lucrative business .Western powers,especially US is using human rights as a weapon internationally for regime changes and other purposes.INTERNATIONALIST Sugu would definitely agree with this statement.As a loyal servants of the west, you are writing all these SLIP reports to the tune of your western masters. In the process the clan and their friends benefit. ,Prof.Hoole has been appointed as deputy election commissioner,Thevanesan Nesiah has been appointed as university council member.Hoole clan is now controlling the Jaffna University including the VC appointment.President has made Thevanesan Nesiah as Thesamanya.President has made Sumanthiran a President counsel.These are only tip of the iceberg.When the clan do not get what they want they make hue and cry.When they get what they want ,they stop writing HR reports.
        Reliable sources say that,Dr.Rajan Hoole used the helicopter arranged by EPRLF during Chandrika’s time.
        Well informed sources say that Sugu,Subathran and EPRLF comrades received defence ministry funds.
        These things never made to your reports.They are “slipping “ from your reports.
        To hoodwink the people you use high sounding phrases like ,HR,good governance,women rights,nepotism,democracy,opposition to neoliberal policy and internationalism in between.

        • 4
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          Ramany K,

          If Ramany K can cite well-informed sources and reliable sources in the comments section of Colombo Telegraph, why can’t Rajan Hoole cite informed sources, insiders, etc in the reports that he has published on the official website of UTHR(J) and circulated locally and globally in hard copies as well? I don’t see your logic there. RH claimed responsibility for what he wrote – was willing to correct himself, etc.

          Whether or not one has to trust Rajan Hoole is the reader’s decision. People concerned in the reports can refute what he says. The LTTE can refute what he says, the state can refute what he says. It is for others to judge. It is a document in circulation- available for comments, responses, etc. Like you others will pass judgment on his writings.

          I don’t see a contradiction between human rights and Left politics. In fact HR represent a form of internationalism to me. What Americans are doing is a different matter. It is an institutional problem related to how the UN functions, etc. It does not mean we have to debunk human rights. Let’s struggle for better institutions that would safeguard human rights of the people regardless of the victim and perpetrator’s identities.

          Red-handed is used when you are caught after you did something that you knew was wrong. I trust Rajan Hoole. I would have been sympathetic to Bala Annar’s sorry too had the LTTE reformed itself in other ways too during the 2002 ceasefire agreement. In fact, I became more sympathetic to Bala Annar after hearing about the ways in which he tried to change Prabhakaran.

        • 3
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          Ramany K,

          There is a very informative passage in Ben Bavinck’s book (part II) about how Rajan Hoole and his wife waited in a queue for nearly two hours in Jaffna in 1997 to get a ticket to fly to Colombo on a civilian flight after his first trip to Jaffna since 1990. This one incident is enough for me to understand Rajan Hoole’s simplicity, his down-to-earth lifestyle and activism and that he did not mind taking risks even when there were serious threats to his life:

          “Finally on Wednesday, 30th July, the first planes were flying again. But when I at about 11 a.m. came to the house where Rajan and Kirupa were staying, I found Rajan still sitting on the verandah. They had gone to the station to wait there with a large crowd, but their names had not been called. Kirupa had immediately gone to civil affairs to make a booking for the next day, 31st July. I was shocked to hear that Rajan had stood there in that throng near the station for two hours, open to the scrutiny of everyone, inclusive of the Tigers, who definitely must be watching people there. Later Kirupa came home and told us that she had got a booking for Thursday, the 31st. But how certain is that? The booking may still be cancelled or the flights may be cancelled again.

          But when I went to see what had happened on Thursday 31st, I found that they had flown. What a relief! Even now, a few days later as I am writing these notes, I feel such a sense of gladness rise up in my inner self that I could shout. They have escaped! They are safe! Fantastic!”

      • 3
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        Then why didnt they issue public apology to Thayapararaja killed by UTHR?
        Are there any “SLIP” in the other reports also or only in Thayapararaja’s?

    • 4
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      Ramany K,

      Does Rajan Hoole praise the Tamil National Army in this piece or any of his reports for you to ask these questions? Read the article (and other reports) carefully. He commends Sugu, Subathiran and Gnana for their self-criticism, for challenging their leaders and comrades. Sugu has been vocal in his criticism of his own movement in many a forun. And Tamil National Army included non-EPRLF members too. The article does not condone what the EPRLF did in its name and as part of the Tamil National Army.

  • 7
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    K. Pillai,

    You seem to know very little about Jaffna University and the exclusions that those who are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, non-elite Hindus, Dalits and critics of Tamil nationalism face in that place. SJ, being a Marxist and Council Member, should know about these things. Without knowing what is happening at the University, there is no pointing being a Council Member. Does SJ know why the screening of Thanges’ documentary on Pungudutheevu was cancelled at JU? Would SJ ask the new VC why the transfer power at Jaffna University happened inside the premises of the temple recently? Would SJ ask the new VC why there was no Kandyan Dance when the new VC was taken to the administration block from the temple on a procession? Would SJ ask the former VC why she allowed the inauguration of the Eluga Thamil march to happen at the University (I am fine with university being used for Eluga Thamil – but then they cannot stop the Jaathika Chinthanaya group from organizing their nationalist events at JU) while refusing to give permission for the commemoration event for Rajani Thiranagama? What do these exclusions mean? Things are bad or worse in the universities in the South. But that does not mean Jaffna University can continue its exclusionary practices.

    • 7
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      Arun
      Thank you for exposing the various low down parochial activities occurring at the JU.

      • 0
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        Uthungan
        எப் பொருள் யார்யார் வாய்க் கேட்பினும் அப்பொருள்
        மெயப்பொருள் காண்பதறிவு
        Whatever one may hear from any it is sagacious to explore its truth.

        Food for thought: Parochialism is not the privilege of the few who are systematically targetted on these pages for sometime.

        (Sorry, I have sworn not to step on *** ****.)

    • 2
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      Arul tell me how the hell did you know the identity of SJ?

      I will show you my identity if you show me yours. (PS Mine is small!)

      We all along knew that the purpose of commemorating Rajani was to create chaos and then capitalize on this.

    • 1
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      Arun,

      Thank you for your good questions. In addition to “SJ” we should in my opinion make the same questions to all the academics and Council members. “SJ” does not represent the Council or UoJ academics in any official capacity.

      “Would SJ ask the former VC why she allowed the inauguration of the Eluga Thamil march to happen at the University (I am fine with university being used for Eluga Thamil – but then they cannot stop the Jaathika Chinthanaya group from organizing their nationalist events at JU) while refusing to give permission for the commemoration event for Rajani Thiranagama?”

      How many academics and Council members objected to the Eluga Thamil march starting from the university or questioned it openly?

      How many academics publicly discussed and opposed the refusal to commemorate Rajani Thiranagama?

      The VC has wide executive powers but that does and should not mean that others should accept everything he/she decides to do. The decisions of the VC should be challenged and discussed.

      This is my second attempt to post this comment.

      • 1
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        I am not sure if the gathering before the procession was a Council approved event. (Anything to that effect in the mafialeaks?)
        Any responsible member of the University aware of a plan to start the procession from within the Campus was duty bound to formally inform the Vice Chancellor.

        If there was an unauthorized gathering or meeting in the campus preceding the march, that is a serious matter; and should have been brought to the attention of a person directly responsible the relevant location.
        Even now, it is not too late for the matter to be brought to the attention of the Council to determine who was responsible for abuse, if any, of the premises.

      • 0
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        LW
        “The VC has wide executive powers but that does and should not mean that others should accept everything he/she decides to do. The decisions of the VC should be challenged and discussed.”
        What makes you so sure that the latter does not happen?

        The powers of a VC do require the VC to decide on every issue.
        Where I worked, the Deans and Heads take decisions unless a matter requires decision at a higher level.
        I know of one Society for the Study of Scientific Socialism founded way back in 1970 with the VC’s approval; but the Dean of a Faculty refused permission to hold meetings. A few months later another person from the same faculty was allowed to organize meetings on some other pretext— not religion or culture. (SSSS found another supportive Dean.)
        There is discretionary power besides normal authority for Deans and Heads.
        Rules are generally stricter since the escalation of war. So when it comes to events organized by outsiders, administrators play it safe.
        As far as I knew, where I worked last, student societies organizing meetings obtained formal permission trough the Senior Treasurer.
        There is procedure to follow.

        But then there were events that went out of control. The VC avoids involvement unless it is a matter where the VC’s ruling was necessary. There are also contextual differences between campuses.

        • 0
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          Correction:
          The powers of a VC do NOT require the VC to decide on every issue.

    • 0
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      Hi Ginger, I’m so happy to find a familiar face also taking Kelly Rae’s course Thank you so much for your lovely co8tents.Im&#m217;s nice to find another fan of gold (and Klimt), I find I don’t use it nearly as much as I use to. Hows the painting going?? I can’t wait to see more of your work!

  • 5
    2

    Those who read the comment section of CT know very well who SJ is. SJ himself has self-identified who he is in indirect ways in his response to others’ comments.

    So people should not commemorate Rajani Thiranagama? She served the University and died on her way back home after conducting viva voce for her students in the medical faculty. The commemoration event organized in 2014 was the first commemoration event to take place in the soil where she was born and for whose people she sacrificed her life, after the 60th day commemoration held in 1989. The university was the most appropriate venue for her commemoration. Vasanthi Arasaratnam, who was also a teacher in the Medical Faculty when Rajani was teaching there, blocked the event in a ruthless manner. To say that the commemoration event was organized to create chaos shows you are a heartless, insensitive person.

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      Your imagination is running riot.
      Quote me for anything I am supposed to have said.
      I can only defend my actions and not anyone’s foolish fantasy.

      • 1
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        SJ,

        That was a comment on K. Pillai’s comment.

      • 1
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        Arun
        Pillai’s name did not fare in your comment.

        • 1
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          SJ,

          My apologies. I should have addressed it to Pillai. It was unintentional.

          • 2
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            Thanks for the apology.
            But there was a whole load of c*** about me in your comment of May 10, 2017 at 1:31 am– the kind of stuff that I do not to respond to.
            I wonder if you regret covers that as well.

    • 2
      1

      Quote Arun:”………. Those who read the comment section of CT know very well who SJ is…. “.
      No no no I do not and I do not care. Look I will put you out of your misery. I will divulge my identity to a Hoole. Get it from him.

      I reiterate that the Rajani commemoration was intended to create chaos which “The Island” will lap. As crude as the “Felicitation” write up which mentions “Sugu” 23 times (according to your count).

      Rajani assassination is a sad episode but exploiting the issue is low low low.

      • 1
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        K. Pillai,

        I am not at all interested in your identity. Have I ever asked you in these comments to reveal your identity? I only spoke about SJ’s identity.

        • 1
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          Arun
          Now you tell me that you are not interested in my identity. I have already told Hoole who I am. I am K.Pillai.

          You definitely know SJ – Jaffna University Council and so on. It is unethical to say this let alone boast as I am sure the information you gathered is more than likely wrong.

    • 0
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      Arun: “Those who read the comment section of CT know very well who SJ is. SJ himself has self-identified who he is in indirect ways in his response to others’ comments. “
      A serious correction.
      I did not willingly identify myself as anything. (I even made a joke of an attempt earlier on as the features attributed to me were in error.)
      Note:
      I am not among those who say different things with different identities.

      While I did not declare my identity, I did not deny it when later confronted. It is strangely unique that in CT my identity and imagined past and present are more important to those struggling to confront my views than the views themselves. I am systematically maligned, by some who knew well that I will nor respond to certain things. Then there have been their cheer leaders, which in a way includes you.

      I appeal to you to kindly stick to issues and avoid personalities in the future. That may help in some way to reduce the stench here.
      There can be no clean up unless CT decides to.

  • 6
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    I beg your pardon, what is the relevance of my identity?
    Cannot you combat ideas with ideas?

  • 5
    2

    Arul,
    I think you are very much disturbed for exposing the falsehood and duplicity of UTHR.It is YOU must read my comments carefully,not ME.I never said that THAYAPARARAJAH killer(liar) Dr.Hoole praised the Tamil National Army in this piece.My question is ,” Even before the Tigers,who started to recruit Tamil youths forcefully for Tamil National Army?Do you remember Ashoka hotel in Jaffna ,where forcefully recruited Tamil youth were detained by the Internationalist Sugu’s group?In your dictionary,is forceful recruitment an act of REVOLUTION ?
    Where did you get the information that Sugu challenged the leadership?Is it from informed sources or reliable sources or insiders?.Do you know how many muslims were abducted and killed by Sugu’s EPRLf?How many Dr.Gnanis were killed by EPRLF?How many Sinhalese were killed by Sugu’s EPRLF?
    When all these atrocities were taking place ,do you want us to believe that Sugu was challenging the leadership?Is that what you are trying to say ?
    There was a time EPRLF was very popular among the people and that is not the case now.American stooges have infiltrated into the revolutionary movements and have weakened and even destroyed the revolutionary movements in the past.Now, it is crystal clear who are the cause for the current plight of Sugu’s EPRLF.

    • 3
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      Ramany K,

      Hoole is not going to deny the charge that you level against the Tamil National Army. In fact, his article says: “Sugu is by no means dismissive of the terrible role the state has played in this saga, nor the indefensible violations of his own party, the EPRLF, which included murder and abduction of youth for the ill-fated Tamil National Army, while they were part of the provincial government.”

      This report deals with killings going on at that time including those by groups connected to the IPKF
      http://www.uthr.org/Reports/Report3/Report3.htm

      esp http://www.uthr.org/Reports/Report3/chapter5.htm

      The point of any response should be to prevent others getting confused. Almost everyone living at that time was either depending on the tacit protection of an armed group (the Indian or Sri Lankan troops) to get on with the daily routine or was threatened by one or more of these or other armed groups. No one was strictly innocent.

      What is wrong in giving the credit to Sugu for challenging his leadership? Rajan Hoole’s article is not about EPRLF. It is about an EPRLF member who was open to self-criticism.

  • 2
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    Arul
    The question raised by Pillai is about the credibility of a claim.

    If the person concerned stayed on in a key position in an organization when it committed serious atrocities, that person is answerable. At least he owes an explanation for his inaction if not failure.
    If one wishes to give the benefit of the doubt to people that is fine, as long as one is consistent.

    If there is evidence of serious dissent by ‘Sugu’, then the author should produce it.
    You could have done it on his behalf if you chose, but you seem to be speculating.
    It would have been less waste of time and trouble had the matter been left to the author.

    • 2
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      SJ,

      I am not interested in keep blaming someone for what he failed to do or what he could not do despite trying, after that person came out openly and said self-reflection should start from himself. Sugu spoke about his own self-reflection at a meeting I attended in 2009. I trust him. I read his articles that appear in Thenee.com. Others who do not know him well will continue to blame him and blame others who trust and praise him. I cannot find fault with some of them because I do not know for sure whether they are doing it deliberately or whether they did not have an opportunity, unlike me, to interact with him and understand him. But K Pillai and Ramany K’s comments show they only want to insult and debunk the work done by UTHR(J). Ramany K even argues that the VC appointment is done according to Hoole family’s wishes. What an absurd claim. K Pillai strongly says that Rajani Thiranagama’s commemoration was organized to create chaos.

      As for evidence, Rajan Hoole in his article says he was told by a PLOTE member that Sugu and Subathiran challenged the leadership for their movement’s involvement in abuses.

      • 0
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        Arul
        Some of Pillai’s comments are based on his view of things. I have no issue with your contesting his interpretations.

        But on Sugu, the challenges posed here are serious. Hoole’s testimony is weak in the matter; he has to come with a more robust defence.
        EPRLF committed very serious crimes between 1997 and 2000.
        Did Sugu make a public statement denouncing any? If so, when? That will be worth citing.
        One’s errors do not make one a bad person. Many were prisoners of circumstances. But it is best to be honest in these matters.

        Also I think that you would not have missed the tendency to use the tribute as a Trojan horse for other narratives.

        I still think that the responsibility to respond is with the author.

  • 4
    1

    Since Dr.Hoole is well educated,I had high regards for Dr.Hoole and always believed what he wrote was absolutely correct. I had an opinion that educated people like Dr.Hoole will always be honest and will never write lies. After Thayapararaja’s case,I was really shaken and started to read some previous UTHR reports.
    I was also one ,who wanted the regime change,and the situation now is much better than before.

    Arrests taking place under the new regime do not support what UTHR wrote about the killings.Who has been arrested in the killing of Raviraj?None ,mentioned in the UTHR report.When a killer kills someone and if we put the blame on someone else,we let the killer go scot- free without being punished.Letting the killer go scot-free is a heinous crime.I kindly urge UTHR not to commit such crimes in future believing EPRLF information.
    I,personally underwent immense hardship by the EPRLF while I was inJaffna. I don’t want to describe in detail. I had to flee the country by boat with my three months old baby because of them also.
    Dr.Hoole,when it comes to HR,the credibility is very very important.They should be above suspision.

    The big mistake of the HR activist is that they should not get involved in direct politics.You cannot be a politician and a HR activist at the same time. When you do so, your views are biased.

  • 2
    2

    Judy
    Human Rights is highly political. (Read Chomsky on what a mighty weapon it is against ones we do not like.)

    There is nothing called neutrality in public matters.
    Each of us has his/her ideology— not necessarily spelled out.
    But one can be honest— more honest by declaring one’s position.

    • 2
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      SJ,

      “Human Rights is highly political. (Read Chomsky on what a mighty weapon it is against ones we do not like.)”

      Interesting and true. I did not know that Chomsky has written about this.

      “Each of us has his/her ideology— not necessarily spelled out.”

      True also.

      I consider the EU monitoring of Human and other rights in SL as a new weapon but unfortunately it will only be available during some years. One trade union already used the EU monitoring and won.

      The RTI Act is another new weapon that will be used increasingly. It can be used for personal attacks but that must be accepted. In a perfect world our hegemonic system would consist of only “clean” persons who would not have to worry about RTI, various audits and anonymous social media.

      • 0
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        LW
        I think that I cited Chomsky in one of my comments in Tamil Times in the 1990’s— they were rather biting remarks.

        RTI I can assure you will, like Fundamental Rights, be more abused by unscrupulous individuals (and the State) than used for any social good.

        • 0
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          SJ,

          “RTI I can assure you will, like Fundamental Rights, be more abused by unscrupulous individuals (and the State) than used for any social good.”

          I am sure that different kinds of people will find different uses for it ranging from social good to blackmail and other forms of personal gain. The innocent families of the naughty people may suffer from media exposure and worse.

        • 0
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          LW
          At least now, you may appreciate why I kept bitching about code of conduct etc.
          RTI will be abused to a point that it will produce worse results than selective whistle blowing and blowing bent whistles.

          • 1
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            SJ,

            “At least now, you may appreciate why I kept bitching about code of conduct etc.”

            I have nothing against any code of conduct except that they cannot contradict, for instance, the RTI Act.

            “RTI will be abused to a point that it will produce worse results than selective whistle blowing and blowing bent whistles.”

            India has had RTI for some time but continues to suffer from corruption and other problems. Complaints based on facts obtained with RTI are not investigated and even if they are the courts do nothing. It might be the same here.

            Another fact is that anybody using RTI let alone making a complaint faces a threat of revenge.

  • 4
    0

    Even 70 years after the end of the Second World War, we find people writing about the war experience, what people went through, the lessons learnt, accepted the mistakes made and corrected their course and made things better for the world at large,
    We Tamils feel, we have to hide all our sins and expose the others. We will never get anywhere.
    How many really care for the people who died in the Vanni?
    How many feel that many of our youth lost their lives in vain?
    Of those of us who are alive, can we really satisfy our conscience what we are doing is correct?
    This is the time we have to collect the experiences from all those who have gone through this saga, the bottled up stories of our relatives, from people and things that happened around them, and document all these stories and incidents as history before people could forget.
    There were people who took risks and helped , there were others who lost many dear ones and are unable to live with those memories.
    What is there to criticise in someone who is reflecting philosophically on the past looking at the horrendous state of affairs?
    Why not people reflect on the past, write something advising the present politicians not to play the same slogans but to act differently and motivate the people in the right direction, rather than arousing the people once more for mere political gain, playing the same old narrow nationalistic cards that will again take the people to another Mullivaikal.
    Let us all think constructively about the past to make our region and country better places for the next generation.

    • 0
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      Grace
      I agree with your sentiment.
      But tolerance is a two way street. Many are intolerant to dissent— in very abusive ways. (Some will have no cheek left if they took Jesus Christ’s advice literally.)

      People who reflect on the past can be inaccurate.
      Errors need to be pointed out and prejudices identified. These too should be seen with the same supportive spirit.

      What is lacking here is civil discussion.

  • 2
    0

    The LTTE’s reign over the North-East was a dark period where all dissent was suppressed. To think is to dissent, but by suppressing dissent and manufacturing consent, the LTTE created a make-believe world of invincibility, which ultimately proved to be its undoing at Nanthikadal.

    So there was a need to provide the other side of the picture, and the UTHR reports were very much needed.

    The UTHR was not without faults; perhaps only 2-3 people were seriously involved with the group but they sought to project an image of being a larger group. When errors were made, they weren’t quick to correct it with the same publicity they gave the original claims, and the damage might have been done already; e.g., the rape and murder by Navy men of a little girl ( Dharshini?) in Pungudutivu. And there was always a sense the UTHR was partial to the EPRLF, which had its own faults and brutalities, especially when the IPKF was there.

    So I am not surprised that there is strong criticism from certain people here. On the whole, though, the UTHR filled a void and there doesn’t need to be over-the-top criticism.

    It seems after Dr. Rajan Hoole returned to teaching at the University of Jaffna, they didn’t publish any more reports. The last UTHR report after the war appeared to support the claim that 40,000 or more civilians were killed in the Vanni. I would have liked follow-up on that. The TNA and some of the expatriate groups like the GTF were supposed to take on the task of methodically documenting the deaths and other atrocities in the Vanni, but it isn’t clear where things stand now.

    • 0
      0

      Agnos you say “…there doesn’t need to be over-the-top criticism.”

      My experience is that responses to moderate objective criticism have not been healthy on these pages.

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