26 February, 2024


Fonseka’s Release, G.L.’s Visit To US And Reconciliation

By Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu –

Dr.Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

Against the backdrop of grave planetary changes, Sarath Fonseka’s release, G.L.Peris’s visit to Washington DC and the third anniversary of the defeat of the LTTE, an evaluation of the requirements of reconciliation are in order.  There is a need to distinguish between the symbolic and the substantive – both in turn playing their part in the journey beyond conflict.

The consequences of Sarath Fonseka’s release are yet to be registered, as are the causes for it to be ascertained.  Speculation abounds about it as the grand symbolic act of reconciliation, which will distract attention from the lack of or tardiness in the implementation of the more substantive measures that need to be undertaken.  There are those who maintain that it is a great meritorious act, which will vitiate malefic planetary effects, others cite Fonseka’s health and there are the more prosaic and “unpatriotic” explanations of international pressure.  Finally there is the explanation that it is a savvy political act aimed at sowing greater discord amongst the opposition. A Macchiavellian twist to this is the regime’s expectation that Fonseka as the cat amongst the pigeons in the opposition will in the end consume himself- his incarceration not having turned him into a Mandela.

Sarath Fonseka may in the short term at least galvanize, with varying degrees of success, that section of the polity for whom he is a hero and martyr and those generally despairing of the Rajapakshas and the available opposition leadership.  As to whether his release will have an appreciable bearing on the substantive requirements of reconciliation is by no means certain.  That substantive progress on this front is a national priority, nevertheless, is surely beyond dispute.

Taking the LLRC report and the UNHRC resolution as the reference points, it is important that the key areas for action are identified and benchmarks for progress defined to measure demonstrable progress.  This requires a national conversation amongst those who have read the Report and who are both willing and able to contribute towards framing the process of reconciliation.  It also very importantly, requires the availability of the report in its entirety in the two official languages of the land.  There should be a copy of it in every public library in the country. No one should be denied access to it and to informed participation in the countrywide debate it has aroused.   That this has yet to be done, some five months after the report was made public, is a disgrace. Surely, so sovereignty conscious a government as the one we have, can get its act together to translate the LLRC report?  The latter is an indicator of the regime’s understanding of and commitment to the process of reconciliation and democratic governance.

In a similar vein, if there is an action plan or if there is to be one, it must be shared with the peoples of this country as the US secretary of State, apparently one of the privileged few who are privy to even a draft, has communicated to the foreign minister.

The issue of a political settlement of the ethnic conflict is a priority substantive issue.  It has been deadlocked for quite some time and while there are media reports about imminent movement on this front, the simple fact is that deadlock is attributable to the persistence of perspectives and positions integral to the conflict, rather than its resolution.  The arguments about Thirteenth Amendment Plus or Minus and when or whether the select committee should commence its deliberations need no rehearsing here.  What is impeding movement is the ideology of the regime and its perceived political exigencies, which are responsible for the belief that the defeat of the LTTE is the end of the story and that even now, India and the international community can be strung along with repeated and short-lived rhetorical commitments on devolution and not much else.

The President wants plausible deniability and no hostages to fortune on devolution. In political terms he is happy to trust his hardline allies to scuttle the enterprise – hence the passing of the buck to the select committee. In the meantime he will make out that Tamil political representation is stubbornly, if covertly, holding out for secession whilst at the same time, by drawing out proceedings, leave Tamil political representation high and dry, haemorrhaging credibility with its constituency.

In terms of process, the government-TNA consensus that comes out of direct talks being placed before the select committee is important because of the President’s political capital with the majority Sinhala community.  This is the time to lead; Mahinda Rajapaksha must have views on a political settlement, the need for one and the substance of it. The country needs to know; he needs to carry it along with him.  As for his hardline allies, given the importance of the issue, can he not tell them to put up and shut up or get out?

Other substantive issues that need attention are return of IDPs to their homes and out of shelter in transit camps and with host families, the provision of information on detainees to their families – an issue that was a subject in the GOSL-TNA talks and more recently of a circular, all of which to no avail- land dispute settlement and de-militarization.  The denials of the government on the latter score fly in the face of the ground realities.  Even the Leader of the Opposition in India and her fellow MPs are on record on the intrusion of the military into civilian and civic life in the north after their visit to the province. More recently the leader of the Students Union of Jaffna University was assaulted.

To demilitarization must be added the calls for investigations by the LLRC with regard to the ACF murders, the Trinco Five, the Channel 4 allegations and the incidents of civilian deaths for which the security forces are responsible, albeit, accidentally according to the LLRC.  Whilst the Geneva resolution calls upon the regime to state what it will do to ensure accountability – a key issue on which it notes the LLRC falls short- the commencement of investigations on what the LLRC has identified will go some way to checking the egregious culture of impunity.  Investigations have to be independent and it is worth monitoring as to whether information made available in Wikileaks cables will be acted upon in respect of the Trinco Five.

There is also the matter of independent commissions and that of right to information legislation.  Neither is likely under a regime so wedded to control, but nevertheless both are so fundamental to democratic governance that they must be kept on the agenda of substantive reforms.

Substantive, demonstrable progress is the need of the hour.  There are mileposts in the storm, so to speak – the Universal Periodic Review in October, the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in March 2013 and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to follow in November 2013.



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Latest comments

  • 0

    Under the WAR CRIME and Human Rights violation of US UK EU & Indian passed resoultion really cover up LTTE war CRIMES.LTTE terrorist-outfit war crimes has been abonded at large by INGOS NGO and Diasporrs of Tamils in Europen countries.Is back by local Agaents.So-called resoution is bargain chip of Disapora to DIVIED AND SPLIT OUR NATIOANL SOVEREGINITY;SF is be on their camp promoted SPLITTING ACTVITIES WITH LEGAL FRAME WORK INSIDE OUR ISLAND.
    WHAT IS WAR CRIME OF LTTE TERRORIST OUTFIT?SINCE ITS INCEPATION 1970s the LTTE has carried out extensive attacks against strstigic INSTALLATION THROUGH SRI LANKA inculding world trade center,national airport,its carriers,cerntarl telecommuniation building,army haedquaters,sacred heigratige sites of (DALADA MAILGAWA and SRI MAHA BOGIYA)and innumerable homes,villages,buses,trians and airplanes carrying civilians.it has systematically eliminated political leaders journalist and some Tamil dissidents.It has aquire tremonedours military,FINICAIL and Media capability with SUPPORT FROM THE SRI LANKANUTAMIL DISAPORA,WORLD TAMIL CONGRESS,GLOBLE TAMIL FORUM and alleged LINKS TO THE GOBAL NARCOTIC TRADE,HUMAN SMUGGLING AND OTHER ILLIGAL ACTVITIES.IT is said to have LINK TO other TERRORIST NETWORK such as AL Qaeda and holds the dubious HONOR OF POPULARIZING SUICIDE BOMBING IN THE MODERN WORLD.Such war crime of LTTE has been skipped by Geneva resoultion.

    • 0

      LTTE is not under investigations by the UN or US. However, if there is going to be an investigations of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and GOSL and other Sinhala racist-chauvinist wishes to present any evidence of LTTE violence against the State or State agents/colonizers, that should be permitted.
      Similarly, credible evidence of GOSL/MOD crimes not just in 2009, but from 1972 change of constitution denying the rights of minorities and non Buddhist need to be presented. Tamils have no problems with that.
      LTTE was not a sovereign government and member of the UN and commonwealth. There are different standards in the IC to evaluate such liberation organizations which the whole world accepted and respected to negotiate with the GOSL from 1985. (27 years now).LTTE was not just dismissed as a “Terrorist” organizations and wished away.

      That difference mostly all Singhalese seem not to comprehend, and to battle the Tamils worldwide including in Tamil Nadu and India. It is a foolish strategy, ill planned and not thought out properly. Sad for the country and it’s people.

  • 0

    LTTE has been already punished for its war crimes by west n ltte is no more. remaining lttes r cardboard lttes. So to coverup govt war crimes do not pull ltte name..

  • 0

    [Edited out],

    Your food is not digested and you can’t sleep if you dont say something about LTTE.

    • 0

      And you can’t sleep when somebody talks the truth, can you?

      • 0


        You mean the truth about the corrupt government of Rajapaksas’

        Are you related Blue Eye Prof Rajive Wijesinghe?

  • 0

    when LTTE was blowing up every side and killed everywhere, where was this Saravanamuththu guy ?

    He was just talking about a political solution for tamils and hiding in Colombo while [Edited out]

    • 0

      He was busy batting for the LTTE those days.

  • 0

    //He was just talking about a political solution for tamils and hiding in Colombo while [Edited out]//

    And what’s so wrong about advising a political solution? If a political solution had been established between Bandaranaike and Chelvanayakam in 1958 an horrific civil war could have been avoided. And who prevented the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact from being realized? It was the chauvinist Sinhala Buddhist lobby which insisted then, and still does, that all Sri Lanka is Sinhala and Buddhist, denying the SL Tamils the homeland which has been theirs on the island for several millennia.

    It is precisely because no SL government has been able to find a political solution to the problem that matters polarized, leading to violence. Is the GoSL able to stop pandering to the chauvinists and find a political solution? On its past track record I doubt it. Chauvinists will remain chauvinists, unable as they are to learn from history :(

  • 0

    Eleam is myth of Tamil chavinist cum natioanl in Sri Lanka.There was REAL ELEAM STATE IN TAMIL NADU OF INDIA 70 MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ( (TAMILS) LIVING IN INDIA.
    Similar things happen in USA,in 18th 19th cetury BLACK AFRICAN BEEN BROUGHT BY GOVERNMANT OF USA FOR AS WORKERS.Are there demand for Seperarat STATE FOR BLACKS IN USA?NO
    TAMILS HAVE GIVE UP SO-CALLED MYTH OF ELEAM.Is fact Tamil of Drividain had long-history civilization in South India.Nobody going to denied that fact but not in Sri Lanka.
    All Tamil griveriances derived form MYTH of Eleam State> First and formost you have to DELETD SUCH MYTH (of Tamil state) FROM your MINDSETS.
    No police powers for LTTE control in North of Island over 30 odd years.Any Tamils can live any part of island and buying and selling of land any part of Island having FREE RIGHT.Why ONLY Tamils have MONOPLY OF LAND OWERSHIP IN NORTH?

  • 0

    Must commend Dr. PS, for his well thought of analysis of the current political situation where the GOSL finds itself. Congratulations.
    The 3 dates he has mentioned are very significant for the future of SL. They do not seem to be still comprehending the seriousness of events to come, leading from the UNHRC resolution sponsored by 40 countries, supported by many more including India. When SL leads the whole world in a song and dance of non implementing the UNHRC resolution, Silva report, the deceit and delay of the PSC on finding a political solution, antagonizing India and Tamil Nadu, GOSL will certainly find the distasteful consequences and ramifications of their vengeful acts and crimes. Furthermore, they do not realize that “Karma” is a bitch, and they cannot get away with murder of 100,000 civilians in 2009, even if they are able to fool the UN,US and the IC.
    The fools in the GOSL do not even see what they are losing in terms of good will, foreign aid, loans, investment (FDI), loss in employment, trade and academic opportunities, tourism, heavy costs of insurance and security, and the cooperation of 1 million Tamil diaspora and 66 million Tamils in Tamil Nadu. They are still drunk with power, and wasteful in spending $2,200 million dollars on the MOD 3 years after the end of war.

    Read the US DOS annual HR report for 2011. And the Amnesty international HR report just released.

  • 0

    Investment before we want sovereignity and independence and stability of Island.LTTE terrorist outfit and 1 million Diaspora had been undrmine our pepole unity stabilty and peaceful enviroment of Sri Lanak.Anti evil forcres aganist our Island shedding lights on host of complex issues such as ELEAM and LTTE terrorism,civil society,diaspora and INTERNATIOAL INTERVENTION and SECCSSIONISM forces hinder our ISLAND UNITY AND DEVELOPEMENT.Don’t try denied real facts before you since 1975s.

  • 0

    Why you guys stll talk about LTTE and try to protect WAR CRIMINALS from being investigated. If you realy talk about a unitery state then inorder to achieve that, to bring people together there need to be a reconciliation process. To achieve that there have to be accountability, the war c rimes need to be investigated and whoever committed those crimes need to face the Justice system,that includes KP, KARUNA, PILLAYAN and those LTTE leaders still detained at undisclosed camps.Stop keep talking about winning the war, from whom you won the war, are the Tamils not belong to Sri lanka, bring MR brothers with others to Justice

  • 0

    Dear Wimaladasa! The Root Cause of the problems faced by Lanka has been the Sinhala – Theravada Buddhist Nationalism based on imaginary and false doctrine: “Aryan” – Sinhala – Sinhalese – Theravada Buddhism – Lanka with one to one correspondence. Could any of the present Sinhala Buddhist prove with scientific evidence that they are the descendants of the origins of Lanka? You are talking about the Lankan history based on ‘Mahavamsa’ written after the fall of Jaffna Kingdom in 1457. This year was taken as 2000 Buddhist year. If you go back by 2000 years, Death of Buddha would be in the year 543 Before the Common Era. All the Kings of Lanka and most important historical events had been based on the year 1457 and years derived from that.You could confirm this through the Mahayana Buddhist Tamil epic Manimeehalai which states that Buddha from the Thushita Loka would reappear on the earth in the year 1616 (Buddhsit year).
    Dear Wimaladasa! Sinhalese speak about ‘Theravada’ Buddhism.
    People like Meethaanantha Thera and others associate all the Buddhist archaeological finds with ‘Theravada’ Buddhism and the Sinhalese!
    First of all you must know that the ‘Theravada’ Buddhism rejects completely Puraanas, literature, symbolization, Symbolization of Buddha and Buddhism, music, dance. drama, iconography, statues, sculptures, painting etc?
    Do you know that ‘Mahayana’ Buddhism also existed in Lanka and Tamil Nadu from ancient time? Do you know the Tamils were ‘Mahayana’ Buddhists in ancient time? Do you know “Saivaism’ is actually the perfected Mahayana Buddhist philosophy?
    Our great archaeologist and historian Prof. S. Paranavitane studied over 2000 ‘Brahmi’ inscription and written a book in 1970s. In the ‘Brahmi’ inscriptions you find over 65 different symbols with different combination. But Prof. Paranavitane could not study those symbols and come to any conclusion. He avoided those symbols and come to imaginary and false conclusions based on the writings alone. Have you seen any article or book written by Prof. Paranavitane on Symbolization and Symbolization of Buddha and Buddhism? No! In coins, sculptures, statues, paintings, potsherds and earthen wares you find hundreds of symbols. But no one has explained scientifically what they symbolize severally and jointly! Similarly, in Sinhala, Pali, and Tamil literature, you find Triple Gem praised at the beginning. Here also symbolization of Buddhism had been used.
    Dear Wimiladasa, all these belong to ‘Mahaayaana’ Buddhism and not the Theravada Buddhism. Unless our archaeologists, historians, numismatists conduct a scientific study on symbolization and symbolization of Buddha and Buddhism, all the conclusions on archaeological finds and literature would be false and imaginary!
    Historians and politicians talk about ‘lion emblem’ of the Kadyan Kingdom. Do you know the lion holding a sword placed at the middle of a rectangle with four pinnacles at the corners symbolizes Lord Buddha? It does not symbolize the Sinhalese Race as told by the Sri Lanka Governments! Even the flag supposed to be carried by Duttagamani (Dambulla painting) also symbolizes Lord Buddha and not the Sinhalese!
    Without knowing anything about symbolization and Symbolization of Buddha and Buddhism, our historians have come to false and imaginary conclusions and our so called learned have formulated Sinhala – Theravada Buddhist nationalism based on a false and imaginary doctrine “Aryan” – Sinhala – Sinhalese – ‘Theravada’ Buddhism – Lanka with one to one correspondence.
    Unless our politicians, Buddhist religious leaders and the so-called learned are rescued from IGNORANCE, no political solution, peace, development etc. would be possible in our country!

    • 0

      Dear Abimanasibgham, So in summary, Aryan, Mahawansa, and all other literature about Sri Lanka, Sinhala and Buddhism are scientifically wrong but any gossip and other scripts about Eelam are written by God himself, so scientifically correct and the Mahawansa has been written by Jayawardene in 1978?? Man are you on crack? Because that is pure ignorance. There are so many Brahmi scripts that Pranavithane and others discovered that perfectly match with Mahawansa for respective era. You seem to believe in what Pakyasothi has been preaching. [Edited out] We do need a different political culture but all the religions are the same.

      Part of this comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy

  • 0

    Remember, Dr PS is one of the few who fought for devolution of powers under a united SL and he is and was against separation, not like us.

    If you abuse him like this it shows again your chauvinistic character.

    I strongly believe you do not understand what he writes, we still have an ethnic non solved issue in SL.

    The Sara Stadium in Colombo is donated by his grandfather to all Sri Lankans. He and his family is not like MR, SF or some of these corrupted catagories who looted and still loots to fill their pocket.

    Don´t forget!

  • 0

    Dear Mr. Rubert Vanderkoon!
    I am not a “crack” as you say!
    You are ignorant like most of the Sinhalese and Tamils!
    Mr. N Wimaladasa wrote about the Tamils and their Eelam claiming that the history of the Sinhalese is only correct with evidence!
    Dear Vanderkoon, what I say is that not only the Tamils, but the Sinhalese are also equally ignorant of their history!
    Both people are trying to use imaginary and false history to have claim over the island! That is the Truth that cannot be denied with any evidence.
    You have spoken about the ‘Braahmi’ inscriptions. I am sure you have not studied those on your own.You think that Paranavitaane and others have studied the ‘Braahmi’ inscriptions scientifically and found that what are being said in those inscription agree with Mahaavamsa!
    To explain you how unscientific their studies on Braahmi inscriptions, I give you one simple example.
    In about ten of the Braahmi inscriptions of Lanka with symbols,you find a fish symbol in combination with some other symbols. Profs. Paravitaane, G. C. Mendis and others had interpreted those inscriptions basing their conclusion ONLY on the “fish” symbol found marked on them! They had claimed that the “fish” symbolizes the “Paandya Dynasty.” Their conclusions on those ‘Braahmi’ inscriptions were unscientific, wrong and imaginary for two reasons:
    1) “Fish” symbol symbolizes the Middle Path, the Dhamma!
    2) They had ignored the other symbols marked in combination with the ‘Fish’ Symbol and failed to explain what those symbolize of the Paandyan Dynasty.
    To understand how a ‘fish’ could symbolize ‘the Middle Path’ or Dhamma, you must know the Tamil language and the word – meaning relationship of the Tamil language.
    In Tamil, a fish is called “மீன்” (Miin). This word “மீன்” (Miin) has got ‘fish and the Middleness as the meaning. In English language also we speak about “the value”!
    The Middleness or “the Middle Path” is the fundamental philosophy of Buddhism!
    It is similar to the sword symbol you find in ‘the lion emblem’ of the Kandyan Kingdom and the flag supposed to be carried by Duttagaamani. Here the Tamil word for a ‘sword’ is “வாள்” (VaaL). According the Tamil grammarian ‘Tolkaapiyan’ the word means sword and light. Thus, the lion holding a sword symbolizes “Enlightened Lion,” the Buddha!From ancient time Lord Buddha had been symbolized with the animals lion, elephant horse and a bull and also with a pair of foot!
    The other symbols found marked in combination with the fish symbols in these particular Braahmi inscriptions symbolize what Buddhism emphasizes.
    You must know that Buddhism could be symbolized with the following:
    1) the Triple Gem; 2) the Four Noble Truths; 3) the Middle Path; 4) the Five Nivaaranas; 5) the Seven Links to Enlightenment; 6) the Noble Eight fold Path; 7) the Ten Precepts; 8) the Ti-pidaka; 9) the Three steps Siila, Samaadhi and Pannaa; 10. ’12 Nithanas’ and others.
    Different geometric symbols could be created to symbolize each of these!
    Unfortunately, Profs. Paranavitane, G. C. Mendis, Osmond Bopeaaraachchi and others could not conduct a scientific study on the symbols found marked on thousands of the archaeological finds discovered all over Lanka! Please see what Prof. Bopeaaraachi has written on the ‘Braahmi’ coins of Akurugoda (Ruhuna – An Ancient Civilization Revisited).
    Now tell me what sort of interpretations could have been given by our archaeologists and historians on the ‘Braahmi’ inscriptions?
    Leave the geometric and physical symbols. Let us consider another form of symbolization, the ‘Braahmi’ scripts!
    My dear! In order make correct conclusions on the Braahmi inscriptions. first of all you must find out correctly the period during which the ‘Braahmi’ scripts were invented! The linguist have come out with some thriller stories about the ‘Braahmi’ scripts!The Linguists have come to the conclusion that the ‘Braahmi’ scripts were invented 3 centuries before the common era!
    Whatever it may be. The person who invented the ‘Brahmi’ scripts and the other people who have come to know about the ‘Brahmi’ scripts would have written their traditional stories, songs etc in their languages with ‘Braahmi’ scripts!
    But my dear, no stories or poems have been discovered written in any of the languages with Braahmi scripts! Why?
    The ‘Brahmi’ scripts are based on the smallest possible sounds a human could produce. That shows that the ‘Braahmi’ scripts were invented after studying and analyzing words! i.e. compound sounds that have got meanings.
    But dear Vandekoon! You do not find any lexicons written in different languages with Braahmi scripts! Not only this. You do not find any grammar book written with ‘Braahmi’ scripts for any of the languages!
    Yes! The Lankan other linguists claim that there have been ‘Braahmi’ inscriptions discovered in Lanka that belong to 5th centuries Before the Common Era! Then My dear why do not we find Sinhala and Tamil lexicons ot Grammar books written with Brahmi scripts? Why the Sinhalese who used the ‘Braahmi’ scripts 5 centuries before the common era did not write their traditional stories, poems etc. in Sinhala language with ‘Braahmi’ scripts? Why they did not write the Grammar book on Sinhala language in Sinhalese with ‘Braahmi’ scripts?
    Was it because that Sinhala language never existed in the 5th century Before the Common Era or in the 3rd century of the Common Era?
    Similar questions coul;d be raised in the case of Tamil language and other languages of the Indian sub-continent.
    Dear Vandakoon! different communities could have spoken different languages from ancient time. But, the reason for non existence of traditional stories, poems, lexicons, grammar books on different languages written with Braahmi scripts is because ‘Braahmi’ scripts were only a later invention! Unless we find out with scientific evidence the period of invention of the Braahmi scripts, all our histories would be thriller novels!
    As the Moderator has deleted some of what you have written, I could not enjoy what an ignorant person has wriiten about studies on literature and archaeological finds of Lanka.
    Anyway, finally you have written: “We do need a different political culture but all the religions are the same.” It is surprising!

  • 0

    Mr. Vandakoon!
    Please read “In English language also we speak about ‘the value’ as “In English language also we speak about ‘the MEAN value.”

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