16 October, 2021

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Frances Harrison, Daran Of Channel 4 Claims, And The Othering Of Arun Tambimuttu

By Rajiva Wijesinha, MP –

Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha

At the Frontline Club discussion on Sri Lanka, I finally came across Frances Harrison. The name had been familiar, for in recent years, whenever I went to England, she used to tweet madly about me, in what seemed to me desperate hysteria, though I soon enough found out that many journalists tweet in that mad fashion. This time round, her fascination with me continued, in that she saw the discussion as ‘Ch 4 vs prof rajiva debate’ as she tweeted an hour before the discussion.

It is possible however that the lady is cunning rather than obsessional, because this was also a way of cutting out the contribution of Arun Tambimuttu to the discussion. Initially it had indeed been meant to be me and the High Commissioner debating Jon Snow and Callum McRae, but Snow dropped out. I thought it was because he was nervous since previously, when the High Commission had asked Channel 4 to invite me for a discussion, they had dodged, except once when we managed to corner them with the help of the BBC Today programme. However it is possible that, as one of his loyal fellow employees said before the discussion, in explaining his absence, he simply says ‘Yes’ to everything, and then changes his mind.

The Frontline Club then changed the goalposts, a common feature where Sri Lanka is concerned, by asking both Amnesty International and Tamils Against Genocide to participate. Given the absurdity of the position of the latter – which also dodged a debate with me, when Bruce Fein cried off – we had, instead of the High Commissioner, Arun Tambimuttu, a Tamil whose parents had been killed by the LTTE, evidence of how ruthless the LTTE was with moderate Tamils.

He therefore was ignored by Frances Harrison, but that was better than most, which suggests she has at least some decency in her. Roma Tearne, an esteemed author as advertised in the article she wrote, claimed that Arun was ‘shamelessly misused’ by me for ‘its own ends’. Even worse was the article in the former LTTE mouthpiece ‘Athirvu’, which was doubtless written by Siobhain McDonagh’s researcher, the young man called Daran, who had previously told me that he had supplied Channel 4 with material for its coverage of Sri Lanka. He promised to send me some of this, but then told me he had thought better of it, and instead sent me a video he claimed was startling, which was so obviously edited that I began to wonder even more about the standards Channel 4 employs.

Daran kept taking photographs during the event, and I understood why when ‘Athirvu’ the next day had a report which included a picture of Arun with a red circle round his neck. He is clearly being figured as a target, though I can only hope the murderousness of the LTTE, which had the same sort of picture years ago of Lakshman Kadirgamar and Neelan Tiruchelvam, before they were assassinated, will be controlled for the future. I hope though that our High Commission has informed the British Foreign Office and Scotland Yard as to what these characters are insinuating.

Compared with such characters, Frances Harrison is clearly angelic, but she too has her own problems. One is to twist things when facts militate against her prejudices. I had pointed out, when Jan Jananayagam, pursuing her own little obsession of genocide, declared that the Sri Lankan forces worked with the objective of annihilating civilians, that the ICRC said quite the opposite. The actual words used, as cited in a Wikileaks account of a conversation in Geneva, was that ‘In fact, the army actually could have won the military battle faster with higher civilian casualties, yet chose a slower approach which led to a greater number of Sri Lankan military deaths’.

I cited this, but Frances Harrison claims that I said the international Red Cross had praised the Sri Lankan army for its restraint. She then declares that ‘The same Red Cross publicly confirmed its staff had come under fire inside a hospital from positions held by the Sri Lankan military’ which is more sleight of hand since none of the ICRC public statements referred explicitly or implicitly to one or the other party to the conflict. In fact the army changed its trajectories when the ICRC warned of possible damage to hospitals, which is why there were so few shells in hospital premises, even though the LTTE used heavy weapons from such places. And surely even Frances Harrison must realize that, when there were no casualties amongst all the UN workers the LTTE kept behind, and the ICRC workers who died were not injured on hospital premises, that her claims are at best dubious.

And her final shot, in claiming to refute my statement, while ignoring that it was made specifically in response to Jan Jananayagam’s extraordinary assertion that genocide was practiced, was again misleading. She claimed that the ICRC declared that what happened was an “unimaginable humanitarian catastrophe“, but I could not find the claim that ‘the Red Cross said it had seen a lot of wars, but rarely one where civilians had been so badly affected’. And she omitted the fact that a few weeks earlier, when over 100,000 fled to government areas but the LTTE kept back almost as many by force, the Red Cross said, in an unusual naming of the guilty, ‘The LTTE must keep its fighters and other military resources well away from places where civilians are concentrated, and allow civilians who want to leave the area to do so safely’.

We too had kept urging the International Community to demand that the LTTE let the people go. I don’t think Frances Harrison and her ilk did anything of the sort at that time. And that is why I find the whole process so sordid. All those who now screech about the Sri Lankan forces do add in a few words of criticism about the LTTE. But they are well aware that the LTTE leadership is no longer with us, and those who support the LTTE like Daran are working in different ways now. So this perfunctory criticism, which Callum Mcrae also claimed he advanced, suppressing the fact that all the visuals – which is what television is about, after all – were directed against the Sri Lankan forces, should be contrasted with the stunning silence in 2009, when the LTTE was permitted to take 300,000 people hostage. When the NGOs left Kilinochchi, and when their employees were forced to stay behind, when the families of UN workers were kept back, with mocking denial of the efforts of the rump ofConvoy 11 to bring them out, there was no categorical demand that the people should be allowed to leave.

So one worries about the agenda of these characters. When we see evidence of collusion, Frances Harrison evidently being closely associated with Sam Pari who had been in the forefront of LTTE activity in Australia, when Daran works for Siobhain McDonagh and supplies material to Channel 4, when Benjamin Dix is given a job by Amnesty International, one realizes that there is a forceful network of activists with a political agenda. Whose tools these people are remains to be seen, but it is certainly a rich and immensely powerful grouping, given the money they can so readily lavish on their protégés.

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    Myself and Arun always talk about the political reform in Sri Lanka. He is having a great vision which I have to salute though I am not agree with him about current regime going on the right path to resolve the 64 year problem. However I do have to respect his values and he does the same cause that is the beautiful part of the democracy as we both are believe in democracy.

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      The way he raised his voice, and the way he responded to and older woman (who said her father was also killed by the LTTE, but she would not oversimplify her father’s fate to defend the government atrocities) …. Aran comes out as a shallow mouth piece. He was playing high about the LTTE violations in Batticaloa, but the chap who did all those is his leader (Karuna is the Deputy President of SLFP, right?)

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        I accept buddy…
        GoSL does n’t have any moral right to cry about the LTTE atrocities… as it is has appointed the same person who massacred the monks in Aranthalawa is a deputy national organizer of SLFP..

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        Anyone who says what really happened happens to be a mouthpiece for the goverment . Get real AND face facts rather than being in denial . Arun said what he went through and that is a fact .

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          I agree with you! These LTTE sympathizers are out of their heads… spreading hatred more and more… let the new generation move on..

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        Arun’s father Sam was a robber baron who went from a sun beam [?] with a torn top to being a millionaire hijacking the first shrimp project in Sri Lanka, the riches which his son is enjoying. This young man is a swindler. Ask him about the Thornar bay swindle. http://www.karoodaproperties.com/content.php?sub=6 .

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    The usual mumbo jumbo from a liar called Rajiva. If Rajiva and GOSL are so damn cocky that there was from zero casualties to 5,000 and then to 9,000 civilians killed in 2009, why not agree on a full independent international investigations? Why are they running scared and propagating lies, and propaganda videos?

    Why did GL and his delegation go on bended knees crawling to Secretary Hilary Clinton with such a lengthy action plan while for weeks they challenged the UNHRC resolution to simply implement the “White Wash” Silva report?

    Rajiva and GOSL can claim that only 5,000 civilians died in the 2009 final war, no chemical weapons or phosphorous bombs were used, and therefore there is no need for any accountability or investigations? There was no white flag murders either?

    There are no human bones in Vanni and therefore there was NO casualties?

    Enough of this rubbish from Rajiva and all the supporters of war crimes. Sooner or later when Fonseka is allowed to travel he would spill the beans on war crimes. So will several of the army officers and all the photographs which were taken from hundreds of those cameras.. Idiots do know what evidence we have from those cameras and soldiers/officers who witnessed the killings and some who did the killings on orders.

    It was the Singhala army which callously murdered the Singhala youth by the tens of thousands in the 1988-1989 JVP insurrection. Similarly, the Singhala armed forces killed tens of thousands of civilians which is reported by the UN report. So has the US HR report. All will be exposed soon. The wheels of Justice turns slowly as we have seen with all the other war criminals and crimes against humanity.

    Sri Lanka will be no different!!!!!

    Rajapakses are absolutely nervous of depositions and testimony of Fonseka to the US and UN oneday. The US judicial system has full jurisdiction on all US citizens and Green card holders.

    There is no point even discussing Thambimuttu in this conversation as he is nothing but a Tamil quisling and is a greedy politician working with the Rajapakses/SLFP in Batticaloa.

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      There were 5,000 bombing missions claimed by the airforce on LTTE occupied areas.All the bombs could not have killed only LTTE cadres.

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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
      http://colombotelegraph.com/comments-policy/

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    This man is not getting tired of writing some rubbish and he still believes he finds some people who still believe

    His performance at the frontline club discussion was more than awkward

    These kind of intellectuals supported one upon a time the Nazis. At the end ” Everything was done by Hitler, we had nothing to with that”

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    It is a pity that so much of time is wasted with this Consultant MP
    when the answer is simply an III -International Independent Investigation
    to end all this bluff for once. He is of the opinion that the LLRC
    has met all UN requirements.

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      LLRC was not set up to satisfy UN requirements.

      But, to help Sri Lanka move on.

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        Move on by covering up? Not acting on??

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    The one thing that can be said about this guy who was turfed out of even his Alma Mater is that his twisted outpourings are truly reflective of the man’s (twisted) mind.

    Amunugama, Dayan Jayatilleka, Wijesinha, Mervin Silva and Duminda Silva really say it all about the team that MR has put together. Differing flight but certainly birds of a feather in a very real sense, every one complementing the others.

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    Keep repeating a lie is not going to make it true Rajive. Everybody now knows you lot lie through your teeth and even the patriot Sinhalese are getting bored with your “LTTE” bull**** phrase. Its just you and your ruling junta, The 7-11 man Gotapaya in particular, and the likes of Mr “Thug” Mervin Silva are the only people telling the truth and everyone else in this world talking about human rights are liars; if anyone talking human rights and if you feel uncomfortable about it you will brand them “tigers” regardless of their colour and the nationality. Stop defending the undefendable human rights record of the Totalitarian government Rajive. What kind of a Professor are you? You don’t even know a simple maths! 449000+ people were accounted for in Vanni( by your puppet G.A)prior to so called “war on terror” and according to your truthful government’s report after the massacre of Vanni only 280,000(this number varies according to your mood)moved in to the concentration camps which you call, ridiculous, “welfare camps”. Now can you do the maths Prof? This is what Bishop Rayappu is talking about..Can you ask your murderous regime to stop answering any questions by murder and disappearances? If anyone calls for an investigation you will brand them “TRAITORS” or as always “terrorists”..Come off it Prof!

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    Ladies and gents…. Rajiva said the Government punished someone from his side for the crimes during the war. Rajiva was trying to bluff, but SS pushed and got an answer. rajiva said that guy’s name is Bharathy. I do not think anyone of that sort was punished. The only Bharathy with paramilitary background is Iniya Bharathy. Iniya Bharathy was awarded a a top honour, not punishment. Can someone do a little more digging to find who Rajiva was talking about? Rajiva looked like a brat in that Panel. He even admitted they have two many Ministries, and coordination is a challenge. We already have Coordinating Ministers as well, don’t we?

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    This Rajiva is not an MP in actuality. He is a national lister meaning no one gave him a vote but was appointed by the crooked president as an MP! He is trained in empty ranting and running all over the world telling lies! His duty is to bury the truth! Everybody please don’t waste your valuable time with donkeys like this. Forget about C4 file, forget about Nandikadal. Has anyone thought about what they did post war? How many were killed, disappeared, attached and maimed? In North they club Tamils to death! Why don’t the international count those figures and require a really serious inquiry from SLG into these crimes? I am sure Sinhalese would provide more evidence on these crimes.

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      So many have been killed, maimed and made homeless: true but that is in Syria, let’s talk about sri Lanka, because this is Colombo Telegraph not Damascus Chronicle. It is easy for pro-LTTE to forget concocted Channel 4 and Nanthikadal where their boss had the last rest but the people of Sri Lanka can’t. If you didn’t know, an MP can be elected or selected according to 1978 constitution, so he is an MP. Post war, Sri Lanka has done so much, you can’t see that far, I understand, because you have to be there to see and experience. Those 300,000 who the LTTE used as human shoelds have now been resettled, many houses have been rebuilt, even India is building 50,000 houses, roads have been re-laid (soon A9 will look like a proper highway) , cultivation of land has begun, businesses have been re-established, banks are now in operation replacing Kangaroo Eelam banks, schools and hospitals are functioning and many more have happened. It may be hard for diaspora to take it but the North and East of Sri Lanka are changing for better times.

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    Rajiva Wijesinha, a spineless apologist of the kleptoratic Rajapaksa regime made a total fool of himself in the Frontline discussion round. He is an epitome of those pseudo-intellectuals who pushed the dimwit nazis in Germany to power in the 30ies. Please stop publishing this crap and blabber of his – it is utterly disgusting how this creep even tries to turn recently videographed history his way.

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    Comment on this gibberish is not worthy
    Would someone give him a “tokka”
    He may come back to his senses

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    The reason why Arun participated in the debate is for him to say that the Tigers killed his father and his mother.But who was representing the Tigers in the East at that time. Wasn’t it Karuna and Pillayan who now hold a ministerial position and Chief minister of the eastern province position respectively.
    He claims to have gone to the East recently, but why stop there?. Could he not have gone to the Vanni and the Mullaitivu districts ie if he is allowed ,which would have given him a better picture of the sad plight of the Tamils living there?.
    He is nothing but an opportunist brought to hoodwink the International Community.

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    Rupert Vanderkoon,

    What the f…..g hell are you talking about? You are a rat living in the cesspit of Rajapaksha. Do you know 5000 odd people have been abducted by white vans and no one knows their whereabouts. All these people have been either killed by dumping in acid baths or sacrificed to devils to unearth berried ancient treasure by the Rajapakshas! Who killed Bharatha Lukshman in high noon in front of thousands of people? Do you say Syrians did that?! F…..g morons like you must be planted on Galleface brim and kicked on the ass to throw into the sea!

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      Really……? 5000 abducted …Really…. dumped in acid baths? noooaah…how dreadful ..So …..so….. how many white crows!!!

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    This Arun Tambimuttu who is a bootlicker of Rajapakshas is driven by grief and hate of the death of his family members caused by Tigers and Rajiv is very happy about it. To revenge the death of his family members by the LTTE he tries to deny justice for Tamils by showing the impossibility of punishing all the culprits of all the crimes committed since the beginning of the earth! Quite contrastingly however, what is the use of having all these UN, UNHRC, ICC and all the other international bodies established to uphold and maintain human rights and international humanitarian laws? Does this person advocate that all these human rights bodies and organisations in the world should engage in sports activities to spend their time without investigating human rights violations by rogue states like Sri Lanka? Not only of Tamils but of Sinhalese too has this government violated the basic human rights. We fervently hope that the international would discharge their duty by enforcing compliance by SLG with HR ethics, norms, rules and regulations.

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    Blue Eye Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha

    Where is the photographs of Tamil children with Blue Eye?

    You should be taken to courts for insulting the Tamils children.

    Don’t you know that this “Racist statement”

    Have you done your ph.d in “How to tell lies”?

    You are an Uter liar – Blue Eye Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha

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      WOW! Careful…. Prof would bark at you… “How dare you”. He has proven adequately for Rajapakse’s to feed him for afew more years. Mission accomplished…

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    NAK, who the [Edited out]

    The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances of the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights has the details of these disappearances and anyone can refer to them:

    “…The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances of the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights has recorded 5,671 reported cases of wartime-related disappearance in Sri Lanka, not counting people who went missing in the final stages of fighting from 2008 to 2009. …” web link to news item: http://www.asiasentinel.com

    This is the problem with cesspit lying pigs of Rajapaksha regime. They get astonished when facts and figures from impartial international organisations speak! These morons have been brainwashed by the rogue regime and its falsehoods. By the way the Central Bank of Sri Lanka is the number one lie factory in Sri Lanka.

    To perceive the appalling human rights record of Sri lanka one only needs two wards on the internet browser: “Srilanka abductions”. I ask this nincompoop to find the avalanche of abduction and killing stories reported in the internet by just typing those two words and then come up with a response!

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    King of folly rears both four-legged and two-legged dogs. We heard a two-legged god bark at Frontline Club discussion on Sri Lanka recently: “how dare you?..” This nincompoop seems to think barking will scare away the truth!

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    Prof.. you are as shameless creature…

    First take some action against Karuna Amman.. and then talk about the LTTE attrocities..

    You are trying to justify your genocide based on the LTTE atrocities..

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    Rather than you Guys imitating all the stupid animals in the Zoo, Why don’t you ask for an open debate with the persons concerned again? Challenge Rajiva and co of sri lanka to debate Channel 4 guys and other ladies whom he clearly indicates, ran away , when challenged. No body has time to read all these comments to and fro . Why don’t we have a live debate , where every one can watch , and draw conclusions? Guys rather than braying for both sides ask Channel 4 or BBC for another debate. Being a neutral person, I get a feeling that Tamil sympathizers are afraid to debate openly.

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      Well said Mr. Paul Smith!!!

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    The Sri Lankan government eliminated the most ruthless terrorists in the world in 2 and half years. We do not argue that there were no civilian causalities. In any kind of war throughout the world you will find civilian casualties. Even you take war against Iraq by US.

    But clear your mind that the LTTE used civilians as human shields, at most parts of the war. They didn’t care about the tamil civilian safety at all. LTTE forcefully kept them and killed if anyone disagree. LTTE didn’t wanted tamils to study, get educated. They hated scholars. LTTE Killed all most all educated tamil scholars. Tamils be careful, education is the most important social norm to come out from poverty. So please do get your education and start your tamil educated generation. 2 generations were wasted by LTTE.

    If anyone wanted to challenge these, channel 4 could arrange a program and we could participate with mind blowing evidences of LTTE killings and how they wanted to eliminate educated tamils from the society.

    Most of the LTTE carders were given post war rehabilitation by government, all have gone home after completing vocational training. Almost 90% displaced people have been resettles by sri lankan government with facilities accepted to all international humanitarian organizations, Nearly 80% of the lands which had land minds have been cleared. Could anyone show a country who had done so much in a short 3 years post war period.

    Almost all tamil leaders who were in LTTE, who wanted to come to democratic process were given chances for them to hold powerful ministries, governors positions etc. etc. Karuna, Pilleyan, KP were some of the leaders who choose to come the democratic process realizing the truth behind LTTE. They do lots of work for people in the North as well as tamils living in South.

    People can argue about the final phase of the war. But the war is over, now lets talk about how to implement a proper education system, proper employment system, proper investment system, proper infrastructure development system in the north as well as whole country.

    The Sri Lankan government has invested lots of money to North and East to develop facilities, the growth rate of the economy in North is almost 22%, when the rest of the country stands at 8%. How could this happen if there is no proper development program in the North After the war.

    TAMILS Please remember your LTTE is not very happy when you guys are getting facilities, they will always block them reaching you. Thats the truth. LTTE still want less facilities for people living in North.

    Try to understand the truth behind LTTE. My Tamil friends all over the world, please take my word…its so important at this stage you take steps to educate your kids and prepare them for the next generation. You cannot spend another 30 years acting like idiots anymore. Tamils could liberate themselves if they have a proper education, be scholars, get proper jobs and liberate individual families.

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    Rajiva would have by now realized that although the majority LTTE terrorist leadership is dead, that the Tamil apartheid ideology they followed hasn’t. Along with a few terrorists who found safe have in the UK, US, Canada etc there are also a few treacherous Sinhala quislings who work with and for them. They are likely to continue to work againt Sri Lanka. Their intent is not to help their Tamil bretheren in Sri Lanka improve their lives but to denigrate the nation.
    The modern ‘journlists’ of the ilk of Harrison and Jon Snow seem to be rather easily duped. They are ready and willing to point fingers at Asian and African nations rather than their own leaders who have been involved in illegal wars (leading to a million dead in Iraq alone) torture and illegal abductions. One could easily accuse them of being part of the state machinery with some justification.

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      Ram,
      Your comment about LTTE and of “modern journalists” ignoring illegal wars by the West try to deflect the main point of discussion
      in this article.
      Don’t you agree that LTTE was formed as a result of discrimination of a minority Tamils by every single Government dominated by the majority Sinhalese.
      Now that LTTE leadership is not existing, this Government’s (enhanced) discriminatory acts in the Tamil habitats – accelerated colonisation,
      land grabs, denying the poor Tamils their means of livelyhood-agriculture, fishing, employment etc..–the Tamils are left with no one to defend them against the atrocities of this family dictaorship.

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        Absolute tosh. Good enough to convince the [Eited out]Jon Snow and Harrison, but not people who are aware of the history. A 12% minority who occupied some 35% or more of Civil service posts still complained of discrimination. Demanding 50% of the land mass along with 2/3rds of the coastal areas by the same group did not engender harmony in the wider community. The terrorist leadership has been eliminated from Sri Lanka but yet exists elsewhere. There were no exclusive Tamil areas in Sri Lanka, and the government land being redistributed among poor peasants is not a land grab.

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    It is going to be a lasting debate about channel 4 telecast about Sri Lankan Killind fields. Why didnt this GSOL take legal action.Or to be honest in what the GSOl is saying why not ratify Rome statute and be clear about all this.

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    Hi ,
    The person Rajiva mention “Daran” thats not his real name. He is a Journalist who live in London and his real name is Kanna. He supplied may materials to C4 television and various other television , even if you cant get to who is he, then how you could do politics ?

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    It is a shame a guy who titles himself professor stoops to such levels. He is not the first academic but the second to do so. How does one expect international community to respect sri lankans? As for this scum Arun Thambimuththu whose grand mother was a saintly sunday school teacher in Batticaloa, bless her soul. I am sure she will be turning in her grave realizing what a scum her grand son is. Thambimuththu senior was an EPRL minion who had enough blood on his hands. Father [Edited out] and the son is following suite with his Thona bay project trying to attract investments from gullible rich people. He has nothing to show. These people are not even from Batticaloa but decedents of settlers who came from Jaffna in Carts two centuries ago.

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      “These people are not even from Batticaloa but decedents of settlers who came from Jaffna in Carts two centuries ago.”

      This is true of most Tamil people in the Easter Province, though they are willing to claim these areas are ‘traditional homelands’. They were able to do so unhindered when the King in Kandy lost control of these areas to the Dutch.

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    Where is Arun? He was selling flats and hotel called “Thona Bay”, through his property company Karooda Properties. This is in the Batticaloa Thona area. See Thona Bay Sri Lanka. He sold this to UK and Hong Kong based investors from 2011-2012, and collected around £1million pounds of their money.The development was supposed be finished in the second half of 2013 but as far as we can see nothing has been done yet. What is going on here, and what is this man doing with the investors money? He is the one who is responsible for the development and he has a fudicial duty to the investors, and yet he seems to be deliberately evading any questions and failing completely to reassure the investors. This is a very serious situation for him and potentially for investment into Sri Lanka.

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