1 June, 2020

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For Sri Lanka: Engaging Michael Morris & His Journeys In Sri Lanka 

By Michael Roberts

Dr. Michael Roberts

Since I had been introduced to the British peer Lord Michael Naseby in the surrounds of the House of Lords in March 2018, I assumed that he had been born into the aristocratic upper layer of British society. Wrong. It required this book for me to learn that he was from the upper middle class and had contested parliamentary seats on behalf of the Conservative Party in what were Labour strongholds – with his peerage being of 1990s vintage. As vitally, his early career as a marketing executive had seen him working in Pakistan and Bengal in the early 1960s before he was stationed in Sri Lanka as a marketing manager for Reckitt and Colman in the period 1963-64.

Critically, he had gone through National Service in the RAF in the 1950s. This specific background experience heightens the value of his analysis of the Eelam Wars in Sri Lanka. Fatal misjudgements of the war scenario have beset the analysis of Sri Lankan events essayed by members of the intelligentsia, both foreign and Lankan, who are oblivious to their desk-bound blindness when addressing the intricacies of war. Not so with Naseby. 

I did not pursue conventional paths in reading this book, though, quite conventionally, I noted the absence of a bibliography as a significant lapse on the part of Michael Morris the Lord Naseby. Having checked the Table of Contents, I went directly to some of the Appendices (mostly useful embellishments). Appendix IV, with his address to the House of Lords on 11th June 2014 entitled “Review of Sri Lankan post war,” provides data of the greatest importance. After castigating those British personnel who listen to the exaggerations of the Tamil diaspora (complicit in Tiger “terrorism”), he forcefully asserts that the Sri Lankan government “tried hard to minimise casualties” and raises a rhetorical question: “Why do we think that the Sri Lankan army, which we helped to train, is so different from our own army?” 

He then provides his punchline: “Yes” there should be a military inquiry because all the argument is basically about gunfire et cetera. A retired general should conduct it, perhaps from Australia.”

This line of argument is wholly in keeping with the insights he had gained in Colombo on 21st January 2009 when listening to the appraisal provided by Lt. Col Gash, the Defence Attache at the British Embassy; and his subsequent struggle to secure the release of Gash’s series of reports during the final five months of the war.  Some of the redacted Gash reports are now made available as Appendix VII (pp. 273-77) — a resource of immense value for those who are willing to keep an open mind. 

One of the most significant themes in Lord Naseby’s autobiography is the detailed account of his struggles to extract the Gash despatches from the Foreign Office and the Information Office (together constituting “Whitehall” for our review). It took him around 30 months of persistent letter-writing, phone calls and speeches in the House of Lords to extract these Gash reports from the Whitehall set of defensive bunkers. It was, and is, work worthy of a Bureaucratic Victoria Cross. 

This “award” is not in jest. The bureaucratic resistance from Whitehall underlines the partialities displayed by the British ruling class in the Conservative Party (Naseby’s very own party) and not just the arrogant positions taken by such twits as David Cameron and David Miliband. In brief, it pinpoints a major issue for political analysis: how is it that British ruling elements chose to side with the partisan international politics pressed by the Tamil Tiger diaspora in alliance with human rights activists in such organisations as HRW, Amnesty International and ICG during the period 2008 to the present? …. while continuing to adhere to this stance in the UNHRC in Geneva, where the American ambassador Eileen Donahue even phoned the Sri Lankan ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam in September 2011 and said “we will get you” (an instance of primeval vengeance politics in the Swiss mountains).

Naseby’s account of this struggle to extract the Gash despatches for public illumination is in Chapter 16, the most boring chapters in his book. But it is central background for the vital issue I have presented above: how is it that the Sri Lankan Tamils had such clout in UK?  Naseby’s answer is to pinpoint constituency politics and the vote-pressures mounted by the 300,000 or so Sri Lankan Tamil migrants in UK and especially those congregated in certain marginal seats (see his pp. 238-39, 242). 

That factor was (and is) certainly a major force in sustaining these partialities. But we need to expand our speculations. I would stress the constellation of two other factors: (B) the strong currents of liberalism and radicalism within the British middle and upper classes and (C) the depth of horror aroused and implanted in the British public by the pogrom directed against the Tamils in July 1983 as major influences on this position – a body of thought sustained by the tales (some true, some concocted) purveyed by Tamil people who had experienced that set of atrocities as well as the stories conveyed by their children to their English mates. 

The thinking of the Whitehall personnel would also have been bolstered by the one-sided reportage of the war in 2007-09 purveyed by a phalanx of media personnel within UK partial to the LTTE: for instance, Marie Colvin, Frances Harrison, Gethin Chamberlain, Charles Haviland, Jeremy Page, Nick Paton-Walsh, Jon Snow and Callum McRae.

These ‘quibbles’ with Lord Naseby on my part should not detract from my admiration for the forthrightness with which he castigates the British authorities for their failure to “face up to the reality of the LTTE” and its “atrocities” – atrocities that are presented within a segment of the book where he elaborates on their vicious campaigns of terror in Colombo and the border areas as well as their recruitment of child soldiers. Against this background, he expresses disgust at the fact that Anton and Adele Balasingham were permitted space to act within Britain; and laments the fact that an active Tiger army officer like Adele remains free of any war crimes charges (pp. 238-39). 

These specifics are presented within a chapter which lambasts the LTTE for (A) the cold-blooded killing of several Sri Lankan parliamentarians and Ministers; (B) the killing of Rajiv Gandhi; (C) the recruitment of child soldiers; (D) the “ethnic cleansing of 75,000 Muslims” from the north; (E) the massacres of Muslims at mosques in the east in 1990 and 1992; (F) the “forced herding of around 300,00 Tamils as a human shield” in 2008/09; and (G) the rejection of calls for a No Fire Zone in 2009.

So much, then, for the ‘hot topics’ from recent times. But there is a great deal more of an useful autobiographical kind where Michael Lord Naseby relates in readable prose a tale of repeated visits to the island beginning with his professional duties as Marketing Manager for Reckitt and Colman in 1963-64 and continuing with regular visits on holiday or official duty or tsunami relief work right through to the 2010s.

Mark this: Naseby kept notes and wrote memoranda about his encounters. He seems to have been an assiduous account keeper. The punch and power in his autobiographical reviews of life and times comes from this solid habit, one that has enhanced his lifetime work as a mover-and-shaker. As it happens, he got to move in high circles in Sri Lanka.. Beginning with Anandatissa de Alwis, one finds him hobnobbing on occasions with Chandrika Kumaratunga, Gamini Dissanayake, Lalith Athulathmudali, and Mahinda Rajapakse (two subsequently assassinated by the LTTE and one severely wounded).

Perhaps the most significant impact on the island from the relationships noted above was his friendship with Gamini Dissanayake at a time when the latter was in charge of the Mahaweli Development Authority and had begun negotiating with Balfour Beatty, a major engineering firm, to build a dam across the Mahaweli Ganga near Kandy so as to generate power and service irrigation further downstream. 

Naseby’s descriptions of this process have been an eye-opener for ignoramus Roberts. I was not aware of the financial scale of the project – eventually turning out to be one of the largest grants ever to any county from the British Exchequer up to that time (the 1980s: namely involving the figure of 110 million British pounds: page 69). It is no surprise that Margaret Thatcher was invited to open the dam when it was completed, a request she readily met on the 12th April 1985 (pp. 66-70).

Huge this, the Victoria Dam. Gargantuan. Having wide-ranging consequences for the life of so many people – whether contractors, workers, lawyers, politicians and their hangers-on. But, given my partialities, the most meaningful sideline here was the flow-on impact on Sri Lanka’s cricketing status in the world. While the cricketers themselves had done more than enough to underline their capacities during the 1975 and 1979 World Cup matches in England, the conservative prejudices of the Colonel Blimps in the MCC stood in their way. 

So, mark this: well before Gamini Dissanayake became head of the BCCSL, that being June 1981, he seems to have begun working on plans to break the resistance within the MCC and ICC. This was when he stayed at Michael Morris’s house in Bedfordshire at some point in 1980 …. yes, 1980 (see Paradise, p. 103). Alas, no further details are provided. But I conjecture that Balfour Beatty featured strongly in these schemes. Their profit-making hopes in Sri Lanka had to be prefaced by the organisation of social functions and dinners for the English and other powerbrokers in the ICC where Gamini and his aides gently pressed their case. Firmed up by solid cricketing reasons for Sri Lanka cricket’s entry to full-fledged ICC Test status, we know that Gamini was able to participate in the ICC gathering in June 1981 and secure Sri Lanka’s spot at this highest level. 

That is not the only moment when cricketing interests penetrate this work. During the tsunami relief work in the Maldives and Sri Lanka pursued so vigorously by Naseby and his doctor wife Ann, they had seen the devastation wrought on the picturesque cricket ground at Galle. When Naseby returned to the island in early 2006, he brought a cheque for 50,000 British pounds from the MCC assigned for the restoration of the facilities at this spot. In effect, he scuttled the plans germinating in the mind of one Thilanga Sumathipala to build an entirely new stadium at some spot such as Habaraduwa – with all the benefits associated with the political and financial deals linked to such ventures. Proof? ( Click here )

Ah! We cannot erase the tsunami story, Michael and Ann travelled immediately to the Maldives and Sri Lanka armed for relief work. Alarming details on the destruction wrought on life and property are intertwined with accounts of specific relief work they devoted time and money to: 35,262 estimated dead; 519,063 homeless; 29,694 fishing boats lost or damaged; large numbers of the buoys vital to the ‘life’ of fishing boats gone missing. It is from such mundane detail that disaster is illuminated (as we know only too well now via Mr coronavirus).

There are, of course, important details regarding the British tsunami relief work: a chartered plane with bottled water from Oxfam; the Fish and Chips project to rebuild the fishing fleet; the “Adopt a School” project; and the initiative displayed by Steve Ainsworth representing the British government and Geoffrey Dobbs in Galle and Weligama. He is not blind to the confusions caused by too many well-meaning INGOs stepping on each other’s toes and has the nous to tell us that the tents supplied by Italy and Saudi Arabia were the most suitable among the plethora of tent donations. Good temporary hosing is vital when major catastrophes occur.

It is in this chapter that he brings in his interaction with Chandrika Kumaratunga and the Rajapaksa brothers. The former was abroad at the moment the tsunami hit and he was impressed by the way in which Prime minister Rajapaksa “took command” (p. 129). It is in this chapter – perhaps surprisingly — that he addresses the impending clouds of renewed war; touches on the powerful LTTE lobbies in UK and its parliament; and the preparations for a renewal of fighting taken (wisely) by the three Rajapaksa brothers – from the development of rapport with Man Mohan Singh and his Indian advisors (p. 131); to the huge expansion of the armed forces assisted by the Tri Ads television advertisement (p. 131); the setting up of  defence.lk web site (p. 131); and the presentation of TV announcements in all there languages (p. 140).

It is in chapters 17 and 18 that Naseby confronts the most contentious topics of recent times, viz., the last stages of Eelam War IV and its death toll. Beginning with the resounding truth that the LTTE represented “no less than a unadulterated terrorism on a scale never seen before” (p. 223), he claims that the war has to be appraised under “International Humanitarian Law, [not] Human Rights legislation.” This is a significant twist that I am not qualified to assess. 

He then lays stress on the contextual background fact that the LTTE used their Tamil people “as a human shield [and] bargaining counter” (p. 224); before proceeding to challenge the various allegations targeting the Sri Lankan government as pursuing a war-campaign of genocide and denying the claim that the detention centres organised to temporarily house the Tamil civilian survivors (some 290,000) were concentration camps (or “death camps” — vide Dixon 2009). He and his wife Ann had visited the maps in April 2012 when only a small number of IDPs remained and their reports “praised the staff and the facilities” (p. 227).

I can personally endorse the latter contention on the basis of a visit in mid-2010 and extensive studies over time via interaction with Drs Herath and Safras and senior staff at Sewalanka and LEEDs, two NGOs based in Vavuniya whose personnel rendered yeomen service to the distraught Tamil IDPs in 2009 with the help of military and police personnel, and some INGOs and (mostly Tamil) government servants. My one regret is that Lord Naseby did not access this body of material – a huge stock that is as illuminating as substantial.

When this corpus of studies is surveyed, one can only gnash one’s teeth in disgust at the horrendous accounts of the Manik Farm enterprise purveyed by some Tamil propagandists and the blatant chicanery of Jeremy Page (BBC) when he circulated a headline reading “1400 die every week in the IDP camps” – a story that spread like wildfire because the Western media had the Rajapaksa government in its gunsights.

Such minor quibbles aside, Naseby’s Sri Lanka. Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained is a tour de force – even though I do not consider the land and its people, my people, idyllic in every which way.

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    Couldn’t resist a chuckle when I got to the bit that went. . . . .’at the moment the tsunami hit and he was impressed by the way in which Prime minister Rajapaksa “took command” (p. 129). . . .

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      Lord Naseby as Michael Morris was an ultra racist, and naturally he became a friend of another set of racists. In UK every politician has to inform his party about the perks he got from other sources. Naseby was reprimanded by the conservative party for not disclosing what he received from Sri Lanka. Fully paid holidays and monetary support were given by successive SL governments to get him to carry out false propaganda. When a politician is caught in that way, he is expelled from the party and loses his seat in parliament. But as he is a lord a lifetime post, he was not sacked. UK government does not take him seriously. So do not worry about his barks and brays. Michael Roberts should know that the biggest terrorist organisation is SL government with its goons and forces who have killed more people and carried out more atrocities. This is why they are afraid of facing an international impartial inquiry. Time has changed. Then LTTE was on the dock for its atrocities as well as intransigence. Now Sri Lanka is on the dock for its atrocities and intransigence. Knowing well that Naseby is a non entity in UK treated as a joker by his party, and to praise him will only receive plaudits from Sinhala racist gallery. Any one who thinks that this nosey boy will do wonders in bailing out Sri Lanka from war crimes charge is fooling himself.

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        Gnana Sankaralingam,

        Anyone who has followed the history of LTTE and Prabhakaran would know what Lord Naseby and Prof Roberts have said is factual & correct. Calling them names will not erase the terrorist acts of comitted over 30 years, cheered on by expat Tamils

        Every one knows that LTTE recruited child soldiers and used innocent humans as war shields while Prabhakaran stayed inside his bunker eating “‘Nandu”‘. Sangaralingam should ask who killed most of elected Tamil parliamentarians, while the SL gov gave them shelter and protection in gov housing.

        As Chelvanayam”s son Chandrahasan said”‘ Prabhakaran and the LTTEhave killed more Tamils than the SL army”. Now Chandrahasan has returned to Jaffna and is living without any fear of being killed.

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          KID!
          Yes, Violence breeds Violence. You are right. Continuous government-sponsored violence in 1956. 1958, 1961. 1977 and 1983 onwards against the Tamils gave birth to LTTE. The rest is history. I wonder whether you were a KID or nonexistent during the periods I have mentioned. There were no democratically elected governments as far as the Tamil were/ are concerned.

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            K Anga,
            Looking at the years you have mentioned it has started in 1956.
            As I have heared this was the year Mr Bandaranayake brought the Sinhala only policy. The state pivoting towards the Sinhala – Bhudhists started at this point.

            I think that Sri Lanka would have been better off if English was popularised and thaught to the rich and the poor and Tamils and Sinhalese while Vernacular languges were protected and fostered as part of our heritage.

            It is my opinion that Bandaranayake’s Sinhala only policy was a catalyst for disunity amongst the two main ethnic groups. At present the seeds that were sown in 1956 have escalated exponentially.

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          Hello Uthungan,

          There is a long-time poster who simply went with one name as Uthungan.
          You are probably someone else as you don’t seem to have the same maturity he has displayed in his posts.

          Anyway, what has Chandrahasan’s living without fear got to do with the fact that there were grave war crimes committed by the GoSL in the North-East? That the LTTE also committed crimes against the people in no way justifies the scale and brutality of the what the GoSL did.

          And you must be insane to call Roberts and Naseby factual. That the SLA committed grave crimes is supported by cases such as the Mirusuvil massacre for which Sunil Ratnayake was convicted but has now been pardoned by GR, Krishanthi family’s massacre, Trinco-5, ACF-17, the Navy abductions and disapprearance of Colombo youths. There are countless other examples of SLA atrocities. Back in the mid 1980’s many of us personally witnessed such atrocities by the SLA in the North-East. All of these happened well outside the theater of the final mass slaughter by the forces in the Vanni.

          Roberts and Naseby’s criticism of the LTTE and the diaspora would have been taken seriously if they had shown any interest in bringing out the truth of all the known atrocities by the SLA for which there is clear evidence and advocating for some justice to the victims. But doing so would deprive them the underhanded support and perks from the GoSL, financial and otherwise, so they keep repeating their mantra , becoming despicable propagandists for the GoSL.

          Have they at least asked, for instance, why was Sunil Ratnayake, convicted for the Mirusuvil massacres by the SL legal system itself, pardoned?

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            I agree with you that he is an impostor, probably a Sinhala racist masquerading under a Tamil name. Law has to be equal to all and attempts to cover up crimes committed by security forces saying that LTTE also committed them is not acceptable. First of all Naseby is dishonest in not declaring the perks he received from Sri Lanka government. Therefore what he says cannot be taken as truth, There is no doubt that LTTE committed crimes of killing Tamil dissidents and non-combatant Sinhalese and Muslims. But all of them were either killed in combat or killed after surrendering. In contrast Sri Lanka security personnel who committed crimes against non-combatant Tamils are still walking free. In the second JVP insurrection of 1988/89 security forces killed 60,000 Sinhalese. Are you saying that JVP killed more than that. Similarly in the 30 year war security personnel killed over 150.000 non-combatant Tamils and dis;placed 300,000 of them. Other than 7,000 security forces personnel killed by LTTE, less than 300 Sinhalese and 150 Muslims had been. Muslim home guards are also guilty of killing Tamil civilians in the eastern province. Therefore the account given by Naseby is biased, and to say that what he has written is a true account amounts to fraud. All journeys to Sri Lanka by Naseby was paid by Sri Lanka government, and naturally he had to sing to their tune. (CONTD)

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              Unfortunately for people like Michael Roberts, I was a medico-legal officer in the war zone and a medical witness to the crimes committed by Sri Lanka security forces. There are records of each and every murder committed and people know who committed them. This is why whatever party that rules Sri Lanka will never agree for an impartial international inquiry. About ethnic cleansing, this had been happening since 1956 with driving away of Tamil farmers around Kondavatuwana tank in Amparai. In 1958 second ethnic cleansing took place when Tamils in a village Tanjanagaram near Kataragama were driven out. In every riot Tamils were displaced from their original dwellings. Ethnic cleansing of Kantalai started in 1958 and was completed in 1976, where a Tamil majority town had been transformed into a sole Sinhala town. In 1984, there was an order giving 48 hours for Tamils living in Manal Aru to vacate the lands and after they left, Sinhalese were settled and it was named Weli Oya. So to harp on Ethnic cleansing of Muslims by LTTE and ignoring ethnic cleansing of Tamils by SL government shows the biased nature of Naseby. In fact Muslims are also guilty of ethnic cleansing of Tamils in Amparai and Batticaloa districts. Regarding Chandrahasan’s comments, he fled to India in 1983, and remained there till the end of the war. Therefore his assessment cannot be correct as it was made from hearsay and not on ground situation. (CONTD)

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                Several mass murders of Tamils had been committed by Sri Lanka security forces and bodies dumped in graves. In Vantharumullai in Batticaloa over 200 Tamils were arrested and all have gone missing. In Jaffna there is a mass grave in Chemmani where over 3000 bodies of Tamils were buried. The chief architect of those murders Janaka Perera was subsequently assassinated by LTTE. Janaka Perera also played a prominent role in the ethnic cleansing of Manal Aru where a village was named Janakapura to felicitate him. In Mannar after a bomb blast outside Murunkan post office which killed several members of security forces, over 150 Tamils including father Mary Bastian of Vankalai church were arrested and all of them are missing. The bones found in Mannar mass grave where there was an army camp, belong to these people, but government despite the presence of Maliban biscuit tin concluded that they those of people buried during Portuguese time. All murders committed by security forces were swept under the carpet. Due to international pressure few sham trials were conducted, transferring the case to Colombo citing security reasons to be heard by Sinhala judges, with witnesses suffering financial and accommodation problems and being threatened by agents of the criminals, despite incriminating evidence of first degree murder, Sinhala judges without any sense of shame gave verdicts as either justifiable homicide or collateral damage. Mailentenne and Kumarapuram murder cases are glaring examples where pan Sinhala jury without sense of guilt absolved the accused members of security forces. Murders of five students in Trincomalee and seven aid workers in Mutur are examples of where cases never came up for trial. As for murder of politicians, government was responsible for murder of Raviraj, Joseph Pararajasingam and Sripathi Suriarachchi. TELO on the instigation of RAW was responsible for murder of Dharmalingam and Alalasunderam. Sirisena Cooray and his son-in-law are responsible for murder of Lalith Athulathmiudali and Mahinda Rajapakse using army contract killers was responsible for murder of Lakshman Kadirgamar. Thus to say that only LTTE killed politicians and not other murderers is fraudulent. (CONTD)

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                  About antics of Naseby in House of Lords, the reason why UK government is not taking into account the dispatches sent by Gash about the number of deaths is because the figure was obtained from the government and not from independent sources as people were not allowed to go into the battle field. So to keep on praising Noseby for his stupidity is of not going anywhere. About Tamils as human shields, security forces also did it when transporting men and materials by passenger ships from Trincomalee to Kankesanthurai and back. As for the camps to accommodate people crossing over from war zone, they were not established for humanitarian reasons but to screen the people for LTTE fighters. Some of those were arrested as suspects and have since gone missing. Fact that the area was fenced off preventing relatives and friends of those inside visiting them, makes it a concentration camps. Not mentioning of injured people being left to die without medical assistance and that those with wounds suggestive of use of poison gas burns and shattered parts due to cluster bombs were executed. Therefore the actions of security forces is far from a humanitarian one. As for Victoria dam, UK wanted to experiment with construction of arc shaped dam and chose it and made an outright grant, on condition that contractors and suppliers should be British. Naturally the best civil engineering firm in UK, Balfour Beaty got the job. All in all, it is monkey praising its own tail and propaganda against Tamils.

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    When a weaker society fights for their rights, they use whatever they could lay hands-on to attack the powerful enemy. It may vary from Bullock Carts, Bicycles, Motor Cycles. Vans and Lorries, While the government, in this case, used multi-barrel guns, Army Trucks, Helicopters, Planes, and Trained Army to Kill. During this period when the rebels used unconventional weapons, they were referred to as Terrorists and the army was referred to as liberating army. But when with the passage of time when the rebels used similar weapons as used by the army to liberate their community, they were continued to be referred to as terrorists. But the world power supported the government to subjugate the Tamils. The United Kingdom was responsible for bringing the Separate Tamil Kingdom under them and ruled them along with the Sinhalese. Instead of restoring the status quo of the Tamils, they changed the rulers. As if to add insult to injury Britain supported the Srilankan government in the war against the Tamils. Now they seem to shed Crocodile Tears, too fool the Tamils in the UK, to obtain votes.

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      Dr. Roberts really enjoys putting his foot in his mouth.
      “How can the Sri Lankan army be any different from the British army , given that it was largely trained by the latter?”
      In my limited knowledge, the British army has committed many atrocities , but it hasn’t been accused of killing 5-year-olds in its own country. There is a difference , you know.
      It’s sad that a person of such obvious erudition keeps trying to defend the indefensible.
      At least the WhatsApp patriots infesting the Net nowadays cannot be accused of being educated.

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      The war against the LTTE was a Just cause.
      Good on you UK.

      The Tamils cut their own grave by supporting the LTTE.

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    Indeed. Many other chuckles in this write up.

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    Violence breeds violence LTTE was the most ruthless out fit among the early Tamil Freedom Fighters. The LTTE estblished it’s power by instilling shear terror among the Tamils as well as all other communities. They eliminated all other Tamil militant organisations that emerged after the 1983 riots. Prabhakaran did not have any inclination to work collaboratively with other Tamil liberation organisations such as EROS, TELO, PLOT. It is my opinion that these organisations were led by more principled individuals that had a vision of winning self determination and respect for the Tamils and Tamil cuture while working towards a peaceful coexisitent with the majority. Some of these organisations were influenced by communism.
    The LTTE stratergy was to bring the democratically elected government of Sri Lanka to it’s knees and get the upper hand through acts of Terror that killed thousands of innocent civilians. The local Tamils were powerless to go against the LTTE and the LTTE leadership was single minded in destroying the Sinhala – Buddhist Nation. The injustices that they suffered at the hands of the majoriy Sinalese (riots / language) may have kept them motivated. As an organisation the LTTE was well organised and they had their over seas networks that contributed to the LTTE cause.
    Most of the Tamil diaspora supported the LTTE by regular finacial contributions. Some willingly and others not so willingly because they had to oblige to the LTTE collectors.
    The Sri Lanka government and the military was totaly shattered by the aggressive and organised Terrorrist onslaght that was unleased by the LTTE supported by the Tamil diaspora and well funded through various illegal methods such as extorsion and illegal trade. However the military had to do some thing to face the unrelenting aggresion and provocation by the LTTE.
    The government spent a considerable amount on military hardware and traing and in the process a battle hardened military evolved.

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      ‘The considerable amount spent on Military Hardware” could have bee spent on solving the Tamil problem by accepting self-determination/ federalism KID.

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        K Anga,
        The LTTE became unrealistic in their approach to negosiations.
        They over estimated them selves. Through violence they became the sole representative for the Tamils. CBK offered federalism but they refused because VP was selfish he could wield all that power only during a civil war (when all civil leaders are silent or killed). So the SL government was fedup with the Tamil cause that was hijacked by the LTTE.
        The Tamil Tiger Brand is dead as far as Sri Lanka and the World is concerned. The “Rajapaksha” brand will also soon be dead if there is no U turn in its unsympathetic approach towards the minorities and the gross disregard for Justice and the rule of law in the country.
        Buddhism became the majority way of life for a short period in India because Chandashoka became Dharmashoka and fostered kindness and fairplay ushering in an era of peace and prosperity to india.

        Even India had enough and also the international community lost faith in the LTTE as the chief negosiator at peace talks. The majority Sinhala Buddhists and other minorities and Tamils that were opressed by the LTTE accepted the inevitable that is a military solution that was aimed at eliminating the LTTE.

        With the Easter Sunday Bombings once again the deep recentment against terrorism became the driver for the majority of voters to vote for Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to be their president.

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    K Anga,
    The LTTE became unrealistic in their approach to negosiations.
    They over estimated them selves. Through violence they became the sole representative for the Tamils. CBK offered federalism but they refused because VP was selfish he could wield all that power only during a civil war (when all civil leaders are silent or killed). So the SL government was fedup with the Tamil cause that was hijacked by the LTTE.
    The Tamil Tiger Brand is dead as far as Sri Lanka and the World is concerned. The “Rajapaksha” brand will also soon be dead if there is no U turn in its unsympathetic approach towards the minorities and the gross disregard for Justice and the rule of law in the country.
    Buddhism became the majority way of life for a short period in India because Chandashoka became Dharmashoka and fostered kindness and fairplay ushering in an era of peace and prosperity to india.

    Even India had enough and also the international community lost faith in the LTTE as the chief negosiator at peace talks. The majority Sinhala Buddhists and other minorities and Tamils that were opressed by the LTTE accepted the inevitable that is a military solution that was aimed at eliminating the LTTE.

    With the Easter Sunday Bombings once again the deep recentment against terrorism became the driver for the majority of voters to vote for Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to be their president.

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    K Anga,

    Always makes it look as if only Tamils were targeted during riots starting from 1956……
    This is not true many Sinhalese and Muslims were also targeted by Tamils in Tamil majority areas.

    Tamils are a selfish lot who care two hoots about anyone else, they can only undestand Gota’s Law.

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      The LTTE atrocities are crimes against humanity and rich Tamils and Tamil diaspora who supported and funded the LTTE should be held accountable.

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    K Anga,
    Looking at the years you have mentioned it has started in 1956.
    As I have heared this was the year Mr Bandaranayake brought the Sinhala only policy. The state pivoting towards the Sinhala – Bhudhists started at this point.

    I think that Sri Lanka would have been better off if English was popularised and thaught to the rich and the poor and Tamils and Sinhalese while Vernacular languges were protected and fostered as part of our heritage.

    It is my opinion that Bandaranayake’s Sinhala only policy was a catalyst for disunity amongst the two main ethnic groups. At present the seeds that were sown in 1956 have escalated exponentially.

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      Wimpy,
      .
      But in the same time, majority sinhalayas would have been eroded out if Bandaranayaka did not allow SINHALA be the most powerful langauge among the other two. There is a saying – in hindsight everyone becomes cleverer.

      To that time, there had been a great antipathy in public opinion against to English speaking minorities. Politics in South asian region succeeds only on such slogans. Be it India, Pakistan, Bangalidesh or Nepal, it is the common denominator of their political campaign. Today, srilanken leaders of MR nature, have gone an extra mile .. and apply even every tactics, regardless of its abuse nature, irrespective of people s antipathy.. to grab the votes and stay in Power. See, the manner, MR ans his campaigns mislead the nation today.

      Besides, I think it was not B’s principles but just the general mentality of the people created new problems in the country as we experience today.

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    Shouldn’t SL show its gratitude to Naseby by providing an all-inclusive air ambulance service to bring him back to one of Gemini’s mansions? One of Naseby’s paid services blunder was that he estimated 8000 then SL confirmed it with 20,000.

    Next time Noseby should try something like the following if he would get a chance to write another report in future: “20K+ was an error in 2009, but 20M+ was saved in 2020 by the same team. So suck it up buttercups”.

    PS: Many of us are craving for an authentic Chinese takeout nowadays. Can Michael let us know whether Noseby has written any recipe books to make a protein rich stew with locally available ingredients and creatures?

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    My dear Sensitive S,
    Good leaders should change self destructive mindsets of the masses in order to achive peace and progress.
    Mr B had the necessary education, skills and training to be a visionary leader.
    However he fostered the primitive, tribal mentality inorder to gain power.

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