21 November, 2018

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Heartbeat Of A Palmyra Grove 

By Charles Ponnuthurai Sarvan

Prof. Charles Sarvan

Frances Harrison in her Still Counting the Dead: Survivors of Sri Lanka’s Hidden War (2012, 2013) observes that Sri Lanka’s ethnic communities of are sealed off from each other. In other words, they are trapped within their own experience and resulting perspective. There is little, if any, of inter-ethnic comprehension. Each group speaks of itself and to its own. If the other group is spoken to, usually it’s only to reproach and blame; accuse and abuse. Palmyra Grove is an attempt to build a bridge (or should I write “a modest plank”?) of communication and understanding. It consists of some of the writings of the Rev. Terence Fernando, a Sinhalese Jesuit priest, written during and immediately after the war. The book is in the Sinhala language, meant for Sinhalese readers, and that fact makes me feel like one who stands outside a room, unable to enter because he doesn’t have the key: sensing that the beautiful Ceylon (“beautiful” in more important terms than landscape and scenery) I had known was undergoing a violent metamorphosis, I left in 1963 and can’t read Sinhala. The sign on the door (the book’s title), was kindly translated for me by Rev. Fernando in a message dated 26 May with the comment that the palmyra palm being associated with Tamils, the title could be read as The Heartbeat of the Tamil PeopleI suppose, an alternate title could be Tamil Experiences. However, about one-sixth of the book is in English; I peep through that opening, and what I see tells me the room contains matters of human and national importance.  The book also has a few photographs, notably by one Lal Laxman. I attempted to contact him but failed: pictures can be very eloquent.

The background to anti-Tamil violence is the (Sinhalese) JVP uprisings against the government, the second of which was put down (according to Ajit Hadley Perera in an introductory note) with the loss of about 60,000 lives (page 246). The medical student Thrimawithane “was brutally killed by nailing on the head and [being] dragged on the roads by a jeep” (Perera, page 245). The beauty queen Premawathie Manamperi was forced to walk the street naked, tortured, raped and buried while still alive. Tortured bodies on burning tyres, and bodies floating on the river were not rare sights. Ben Bavinck writes in his Of Tamils and Tigers (Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2011) that outside an army camp in Baddegama, “a corpse has been hung in a crucified position with a large nail in its head”. A number of youth were beheaded in Kandy and their heads displayed with a sign reading, “Coconuts for sale”:  see, Sarvan, Public Writings on Sri Lanka, Volume 2, pages 162 & 163. Reading Bavinck’s comment that children play the game of who has seen more dead bodies, reminds me of lines in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (Act 3, Scene 1) which I paraphrase: Domestic fury and fierce civil strife; blood and destruction shall be common, and pity choked so that mothers will but smile when they see their children carrying weapons. Bavinck’s book was originally a diary, and he asks himself: What has gone wrong? How it is possible that these things happen in a country where Buddhism, a religion of peace and non-violence, is supposed to dominate life? (See, Sarvan, op.cit, page 163.)

Rev Fernando spoke out against abduction, torture and killings; he went in search of the missing young men and women, at great personal risk; helped to bury burnt bodies “killed by the army or para-military groups”. The same high ideals, courage and the readiness to pay the personal price will, I fear, now lead some to see him as deluded or, worse, a traitor: he observes that the soldiers who abducted, tortured and killed the sons and daughters of the people of the South are now hailed as heroes when they behave in the same way in the North and East (page 256). His comment that the JVP uprising was suppressed brutally, “without addressing the causes of the unrest” (page 265; italics not in the original) is relevant in another context. What’s more, some members of the JVP who “fought against discrimination seeking justice, today have become the partners of the oppressors and the oppressive system” (page 265). It was seen as brave, selfless and admirable of Rev. Fernando to fight against violence unleashed on Sinhalese during the JVP uprising, but for the same person to protest injustice and violence against Tamils is deemed traitorous. But here I am being unjust to Rev. Fernando because rare individuals like him neither see nor think on group-lines. For such, what matters is not being Sinhalese or Tamil; Buddhist, Christian or Hindu but belonging to our common humanity. They do not see themselves as trying to help Sinhalese or Tamils but only their fellow human beings. In the Christian tradition, man was made by God in His image. (Buddhism includes not only human beings but all living things in care and compassion. This accounts for vegetarianism, led by Buddhist monks, being widespread in Sri Lanka.)

Culture can mean the high Arts, including ancient architecture, or it can signify the way of life of a people. Writing during the JVP uprising, Rev. Fernando dares to say that Sri Lankan culture is marked by division, violence and hatred. (One may add corruption to this sorry list.) ‘The Blessed Isle’ has become “a tribal and racist society”, and its way of life marked by “racism and hegemony” (page 254). It is remarkable how we human beings learn to accept and live with the unacceptable, the abnormal – to use a phrase one hears often, “the new normal”. Let Us Commemorate Rev. Fr Paul Capsersz mentions the great sense of relief when Rev. Caspersz, who had been summoned by the police to present himself at the “4th floor”, emerges unharmed: “Hardly anyone called there for investigation, ever left the place alive”! (Satyodaya publication, Kandy, 2018, page 19). This specially equipped place of horror, the notorious “4th floor”, is accepted, even as one accepts the topical heat as something natural; as something about which nothing can be done. As Tisaranee Gunasekara writes (Colombo Telegraph, 15 July 2018), “Crimes today are more brutal, often sickeningly so”. Mostly, it’s Tamils who are at the receiving end of violence, and that might help to explain the indifference of politicians and people. A Tamil woman tells Rev. Fernando through her tears that if she is to be born again in this world, it shouldn’t be as a Tamil woman in Sri Lanka (page 257). I am reminded of what was said in South Africa during the apartheid years: It’s bad to be poor; worse to be poor and black, but worst of all is to be poor, black and female.

Organised religion, a branch of which Rev. Fernando represents, does not escape his frank scrutiny and criticism. He cites the parable related by Jesus of a man attacked, robbed and left by the wayside. A priest and then a Levite go past without stopping to help, and it’s left to a member of the despised group, the Samaritans, to render help. The central question the parable seeks to answer is: Who is my brother? Christ’s reply is that all, even those outside the group to which one belongs, are our brothers and sisters. A Tamil priest tells Rev. Fernando that he will speak with lay Sinhalese but not with Sinhalese Christian priests because of their silence and inactivity. As Edward Gibbon notes in his famous The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, the official church has always sided with the state. So one is not surprised to read in Colombo Telegraph (July 2018) that the Catholic Archbishop of Sri Lanka is in favour of reinstating the death penalty: see Jude Fernando’s article titled ‘Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s endorsement of the death penalty’ in Colombo Telegraph, 15 July 2018. Official religious organisations are silent in the face of injustice and suffering because ethnic feeling is far more potent than religious affinity. Religious leaders should be in the forefront of advocating justice for the downtrodden: their deafening silence erodes their spiritual and moral authority. What guides Rev. Fernando is simple but also dangerous and very difficult: If we fail our fellow human beings, we fail our religion (page 284).

Though Palmyra Grove largely excludes me, I am glad the book is in Sinhala, and hope it will receive attention. Though it is important to talk about the people, and more important to talk for the people, it’s most important is to talk with the people. And to do that, one must talk in their language and, preferably, idiom. My impression is that much of the ‘talking’ is done in English, and the talking in Sinhala largely left to the worst elements. I hope a Tamil with a long and tested record of integrity and courage (such as Rev. Fernando has earned) will talk with her or his Sinhalese contacts; listen to what they say about the injustices and atrocities visited by Tamils on the Sinhalese – not in ancient times; not vaguely but with the specificity here provided – and write about it in Tamil so that Tamils will understand the Sinhalese experience and the resulting attitudes, feelings and conduct. In that way, mutual understanding now absent (noted and regretted by Frances Harrison and others) can be built. Intention is important: the purpose of testimony is not to dwell in recrimination; not to indulge in a “we have been more sinned against than sinning” but to heal through mutual understanding.

I end by citing (Satyodaya publication, op. cit., page 35) another Sri Lankan Jesuit priest, Rev. Paul Caspersz citing from Che Guevara’s last letter to his children: “Above all, always be capable of feeling deeply any injustice committed against anyone anywhere in the world”. 

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  • 9
    3

    Prof even today you can notice the discrimination in government ( by the action) and among the majority ( by their reaction). When the monk preached “Hitlerism” he was found to have immunity so that he continues to practice the same. When ex General Sarath threatened and intimidated the civic bodies he too was found to have immunity so that he can continue the same. But when Vijayakala uttered the word LTTE in public out of context, the country came to a standstill in shock and dismay.So much of a hue and cry was made that she was forced to resign, the whole Justice and Law department was put on red alert and attorney General was ordered to investigate and take action. I consider this as a discrimination against woman, race and religion. What is your opinion???. I have heard enough from the rest.

  • 5
    5

    Chiv what happened when a Sinhalese diplomat made a throat cutting gesture? Was it overlooked? Why are you so selective in your examples?

    • 9
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      Taraki,
      .
      As far as we know, yes, it has been overlooked:
      .
      http://mirrorcitizen.dailymirror.lk/2018/02/09/no-probe-against-brig-fernando/
      .
      How much lower can we fall than having to acknowledge this fellow and Shamal Perera as co-citizens of this country.

    • 4
      1

      Sinhala military attache who made throat slitting gesture was kicked out by British government and Sri Lanka government to save face, sent him for a three month course to China. Until now Sri Lanka government has not taken any action against him. This criminal will never be permitted to land in UK, even on a visitors visa.

    • 3
      1

      Taraki

      Don’t you remember the sequence of events.
      It was nail biting moment, will he or will he not, Sirisena being the present darling of the Armed forces was just vacillating to be or not to be a honest tough president once again he too succumbed to the temptation. If not for the clear message from the host country he would have swept everything under the carpet.

    • 2
      1

      Taraki ~ “…….what happened when a Sinhalese diplomat made a throat cutting gesture? Was it overlooked?”
      Not in UK. but the Lankan Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake said that he is not going to look into any aspect of this. This is overlooking.

  • 2
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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 https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 2
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    ———————
    Though Palmyra Grove largely excludes me, I am glad the book is in Sinhala, and hope it will receive attention.
    ———————

    LOL! How out of touch with Sri Lankan society are some of these writers.

    Don’t you know in SL society there aren’t too many voracious readers of good books? After a few drinks, we Sri Lankans, the only thing we read is an excerpt or two from a Kunuharpa Book.

    • 11
      1

      Disgusting Rtd. Lt. Reginald Shamal Perera,
      .
      Can you respect nobody? Prof. Sarvan is in his mid eighties, not in the best of health, in Germany. In a previous article he had said that he can speak Sinhala with a good accent, but he can’t write it. Yet he takes the trouble (despite harassment by the likes of you) to bring to our attention this book.
      .
      He’s right: “the talking in Sinhala largely left to the worst elements.” He wants Tamils to understand the thinking of the Sinhalese. Even in his twilight years, he’s trying desperately to bring about understanding between our two groups of brown Sri Lankans – all descended from Dravidians and Veddahs, with may be a touch of Vijaya’s North Indian blood. As for you, your name conveys that you are an unholy mix.
      .

      • 2
        3

        Sinhala_Man, how many Sinhala speaking people do you know, perhaps even less that the Prof, Really, you think Sinhala speaking people are worst elements, I know hundreds and hundreds of people who speak Sinhala, they are the most generous, forgiving and kind people whom I know and some of them not only sheltered Tamils in ’83 but gave permanent shelter to Tamils who who cold not live in Jaffna. Shame on you

        • 5
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          Dear wannihami,
          .
          You have not understood what either Prof. Sarvan or I have said.
          .
          There are about fifteen million Sinhalese, perhaps about 12 million of them are at an age when they are articulate. The talking on the subject of Sinhala-Tamil relations is being done by about ten thousand who are among the worst elements in our society.
          .
          I adopted my “Sinhala Miniha” handle precisely for that reason. To assure Tamils that not all Sinhalese are brutal or racist. A secondary hope was that some well-meaning, but unthinking, Sinhalese would question their own stand.
          .
          Champa holds on to his position. He and I have been studying each others comments. We both acknowledge the sincerity of the other. We have overtly stated so.
          .
          It’s similar with Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam, except that in his case he has not overtly stated so. I don’t mind that.
          .
          Two lines fro Yeats sum it up:
          .
          “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
          Are full of passionate intensity.”
          .
          Actually Yeats’ personal politics was abominable. His reputation is safe because he died in 1939 just before the Second World War began. He would have supported Hitler. Of course Yeats was not British; he was Irish.
          .
          I may not be from the Wanni, but I too, live in a Sinhalese village, in Uva, and talk in Sinhala with many non-English speakers, without condescension, as an equal. I read Sinhala, occasionally, but not much. For instance, I’ve looked at this:
          .
          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/friday-forum-14-july-2018/
          .
          No comments there, even in English. We are all a bit Thuppahi – acknowledged!

          • 2
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            Sinhala_Man

            “Dear wannihami, You have not understood what either Prof. Sarvan or I have said.”

            wannihami is incapable of understanding anything that remotely resembles truth, reasonableness, justice, corruption, ……………………. war crimes, …

        • 4
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          Wannihami,
          What I have found is that the Sinhalese as individuals are decent, but as a group are omong the most paranoid, hypocritical and bigoted.
          Just an example: I can speak/ understand Sinhala /Tamil / and some Indian languages plus Arabic. But nowhere have I found such blatant abuse (in Sinhala) of “others” when the speakers don’t think the “other” understands Sinhala. This is a most shameful aspect of Sinhala “culture”.

          • 1
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            romani

            “This is a most shameful aspect of Sinhala “culture”.”

            It is because the little islanders think too much of themselves. It also true with Tamils.

            • 1
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              Mr. Vedda,
              I can understand Tamil too, and I have never heard Tamils use filthy language when they don’t think anyone understands.

        • 2
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          Wannihamy!
          Sheltered Tamils from whom?. Was it from foreign elements or SINHALA mobs?. I have come across quite a number of Sinhalese who take pride in saying that they saved a number of Tamils during the 1983 riots., They must be ashamed of themselves to claim credit.
          Generosity of a person does not depend on the language /religion one speaks or follow. It is a natural instinct- an inborn character.

    • 1
      1

      “Don’t you know in SL society there aren’t too many voracious readers of good books? “

      first please qualify your statement.
      in Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhist society ….there aren’t too many voracious readers of good books? “

      second let me correct your statement
      in Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhist society ….there aren’t too many who can read “

    • 2
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      Rtd. Lt. Reginald Shamal Perera ~ “…the only thing we read is an excerpt or two from a Kunuharpa Book”.
      Do not know about this ‘Kunuharpa’ but since you relish it, is it about ‘Bestiality’?

  • 3
    1

    Taraki!
    The Sinhalese diplomat did not threaten the Tamil demonstrators. What he meant was that he will cut his throat and commit suicide if the demonstrators did not stop the demonstration. It appears that his intention has been misrepresented, What a pity?

    • 3
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      kanaga,

      He’s a soldier. A soldier will only commit suicide under captivity. Under any other circumstance, a soldier will never take his own life. Especially, in front of some demonstrating hooligans.

      Never say that. Suicide is for weak people and we know who practiced that in abundance during the war.

      • 1
        1

        Committing suicide can be taken literally or metaphorically. Was the final outcome suggest that he had committed suicide. Was he not disgraced by getting kicked out of UK designated as a criminal persona non grata.

      • 4
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        Retarded ………………………………………..

        “Under any other circumstance, a soldier will never take his own life.”

        I incline to agree with you.
        Under normal circumstances the so called soldiers only take the life of innocent civilians as we have witnessed it from 1971 to 2015.

      • 2
        1

        Rtd. Lt. Reginald Shamal Perera”A soldier will only commit suicide under captivity”
        perhaps he felt under captivity of the demonstrators.
        please give him the benefit of “your” doubt.

      • 0
        0

        Various inferences have been given with regard to the Diplomat’ s throat slitting ”DEMONSTRATION’ My inference is, what I have stated.It may have been possible but not probable. Your contention that soldiers will never take his own life is far from facts. Various news items appeared where soldiers committed Suicide for not getting leave and for fear of going to the warzones. Unfortunately some of the soldiers like you never get out of the ‘killing field mentality.’ Perhaps this may be one of the reason the pseudo diplomat forgot where he was and acted in an undiplomatic manner. I am not a reader of other people’s mind more so of a soldier. Probability vs Possibility that is all.

  • 0
    1

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 1
    3

    Prof Sarvan says “..and the talking in Sinhala largely left to the worst elements.”, I tried to find a typo there so that I can say this is not what he meant, no, it looks like he meant it. There are are hundreds and hundreds of people I know personally who only speaks Sinhala, they are the kindest, most generous and forgiving people I know, to call them “worst elements” show how little this called Professor knows, just by that sentence Mr. Sarvan completely negates his own arguments.

    • 5
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      Dear wannihami,
      .
      No typos. You just haven’t understood it correctly. On the Sinhala side, those who “talk” – to be publicly heard, that is, – are the worst: people like Gnanasara, Cyril Mathew, K.M.P. Rajaratne. Not you!
      .
      I don’t want to provoke controversy by quoting other names. I wish all this argument would stop!
      .
      What Prof has said is that most reasonable talk appears in English. And when we talk, especially in high flown English, we cause resentment among those who can’t cope. And we guys who speak English don’t matter. We must find people who will talk in Sinhala to the millions of decent kindly Sinhalese.
      .
      The English-educated tend to migrate. I haven’t. In fact I have never had the opportunity to visit any of the “developed white countries” that I have read so much about. I have never been out of Asia.
      .
      Prof. Sarvan has immense love for all Sri Lankans – I mean as a general attitude, of course. And he’s critical of the British disruption of our native ways.
      .
      http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=174369
      .
      I have never had the pleasure of meeting Prof. Sarvan, but the Dr Hayman whom he speaks of there has taught me as well: Physics, formally. Many other things that I learnt from him outside the classroom. A great man. Dr Rajan Hoole once dismissed his stay in Oxford for his PhD as being of no consequence, but he told me, with great feeling: “I am proud to have been in Dr Hayman’s Gurutalawa. Unfortunately Dr Hayman has caned me on the buttocks as well: in those days they thought it did the student good.

  • 1
    3

    Mr. Saravan you may also have heard of the LTTE massacres of complete Sinhala villages, in their sleep, children, women including pregnant mothers, as well as the men. Sinhala speaking people of the South bore all that pain without harming a single Tamil, and you call them the worst elements.. How dare you insult this island and its people, while living in a NATO country which had its share in destroying entire countries and killing millions in the middle east. If you have left this country 1963 what right do you have to criticize it!

    • 5
      0

      wannihami,
      .
      Really! ” Sinhala speaking people of the South bore all that pain without harming a single Tamil.”
      .
      Where have you been living? i have SEEN the contrary.
      .
      Many Sinhalese are very good.
      .
      A few are really evil.
      .
      Unfortunately, there also are a sizeable number who can be roused easily to act foolishly. Far too many believe this rot about our Aryan descent, and that this is “Buddha’s Kingdom”.
      .
      Gauthama had no Kingdom. He left his father’s palace (and unfortunately – with regret, I’m sure, his wife and son) to seek the Truth. What that Truth is, I don’t yet know. He actually wanted his message understood that way.
      .
      He wished that his vision would benefit the entire world. We seem to be well on the way to destroying it for ever. I mean that. I’m sure that many valuable insights have been lost to mankind. We have driven many living things to extinction. We ourselves will soon be extinct, I think.
      .
      Please don’t under-estimate the extent to which all this technology that we have applied to the world during the last two centuries is affecting our human make up. These trends have to be countered thoughtfully. Not by hanging the poor people framed by our Police and corrupt Judicial System.

    • 2
      0

      He lives in Germany, with his German wife.
      .
      You may now ask why he didn’t marry a Sri Lankan. Just not our business!
      .
      After the end of the War here, in 2009, Prof. Sarvan (old as he already was), volunteered to teach in Jaffna University for free. We didn’t show much interest. Even now you are being nasty to him.
      .
      This is the land of his birth, which he loves passionately. The proof of that is to be found in his having read what he could of that book.
      .
      Actually, looking at what I have just written, I’m wondering whether to modify it, since I hope that the Truth has dawned on you. Let me wait until you comment in a changed tone.

      • 3
        1

        Sinhala man,
        ” Let me wait until you comment in a changed tone.”
        I feel you are going to have a long wait. Wannihamy is one of the rare birds, an educated extremist. He usually does not respond when cornered.

        • 2
          0

          Meenachchi

          “Wannihamy is one of the rare birds, an educated extremist. “

          Please note Education does not make a man/woman wise.
          Wisdom is not obtained through education.
          People foolishly believe a degree or the ability to read and write, especially in English, drop few names, make people wise or seem wise.
          It is the most ridiculous perception.

          The 19th century Germany had one of the best educational system in the world from Kindergartens to best research universities yet it also produced some of the hated men in the world.

    • 5
      1

      Wannihami,
      It is easy for you to preach while living abroad: “. Sinhala speaking people of the South bore all that pain without harming a single Tamil, and you call them the worst elements..”
      You have not heard of the Bindunuwewa massacre of Tamil prisoners by Sinhala villagers? Or the Welikada prison massacre of 1983?
      Or the murder of Tamil students at Moratuwa university? Leave alone the rapes and murders by your heroic army.
      These were all committed on our own citizens. There is no comparison with NATO.
      Simply beacause the media covers up such incidents does not mean they didn’t take place.

  • 1
    0

    My dear Shamal

    Many soldiers have committed suicide and they will continue to do so. Don’t hide the truth.

    They (people who commit suicide) are not weak people. They want to get out of this unjust world.

    Suicide bombers are diffirent they are murderous.

  • 3
    0

    The good prof identified the main reason for the separation of the two peoples…..They cannot communicate with each other….Because they don’t know each other’s language and have no common medium. While Tamil political leadership discouraged Tamils learning Sinhala, the Sinhalese didn’t have a necessity to learn Tamil due to them being the majority. That is where the govt intervention was required in addressing the communication gap (Asking the people to communicate in an alien language such as English was not the answer though). From a personal experience, in such a context it was remarkable that both my parents studied Tamil and my mother taught Tamil to junior Sinhala students (though I was lazy to continue studying Tamil. Again there was no necessity).

    • 4
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      Dear Hela,
      .
      Excellent.
      .
      You have come in for some flack from Native Vedda (whom I admire). I think that you deserved that criticism.
      .
      But this statement of yours is perfect. The position is exactly as you have outlined so clearly and economically.
      .
      Interesting about your parents: would there were more such.
      .
      Please listen to this when you have 20 minutes to spare:
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_0-TLLtW-8
      .
      That is the current Professor of English in Peradeniya.

      • 4
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        Sinhala_Man

        Taraki, wannihami, soma, Hela, shenali, sach, Eagle Eye (who used three different pseudonyms in this forum all at the same time), John, Champa ……………………………………… have been suffering from fascistic delusions which clearly include hatred for “other people”, deriving sadistic sexual pleasure from inflicting pain on others or watching others suffer, ………………………….

        Have you noticed how they are selective in their analogy, picking and choosing from juicy though horrible part of the the history, hypocritical, double standard supported by blatant lies.

        These are the English speaking Wimal Sangili Karuppan Weerawansas.

      • 1
        0

        Sinhala Man,

        Anyone can agree or disagree with my views. However healthy discussions including clash of views have the potential to enrich each participant’s perspectives about the subject matter concerned. At the same time, I know a substantial mass of people hold views similar to mine. I have a clear understanding of the mindset of the general commentator population who flock onto CT forum (this includes CT itself which has a particular agenda). Therefore I am not perturbed if I am criticized. Majority of the criticisms are mere politically or racially motivated personal attacks (that includes moronic vedda too). Only a handful of criticisms that are worth taking note of and use to critically self evaluate against own views and assumptions.

    • 2
      2

      Helass

      You are really an ass.

      “the Sinhalese didn’t have a necessity to learn Tamil due to them being the majority.”

      Are you saying Sinhalese being stupid lazy bums they need not to learn another language, or a language widely spoken and used in that region.

      “While Tamil political leadership discouraged Tamils learning Sinhala,

      You are really an ass.
      My Elders tell me before 1956 the alien creole Sinhala language was imposed as the only official language the non sinhalese didn’t have any problem learning it as an option or on their own initiative.
      Can asses remember the entire circumstances and think logically/rationally?

      “though I was lazy to continue studying Tamil. Again there was no necessity”

      Lazy bums needn’t explain, its obvious and we have evidence to prove it as there had been many riots and the message is clear, the lazy envious bums would not acquire new skills, learn social skills, work hard, ……………….. yet demand special privileges for being the majority,. ……………
      I agree Sinhala speaking people are the majority in this island. Does it mean you have more stupid people than rest of the people put together? Remember in a globalising world you are just another minority, a potential asylum seeker with an attitude and chip on both shoulders, ………….

  • 0
    1

    Taraki my Deae Bro, touch your heart and tell us A throat slitting gesture by a service personal while in duty is as same as the out of context comment made by a female now ex minister. The gesture is a intimidating threat and a warning to others about the consequence, reminding the past. The comment was made in desperation to prevent women, especially innocent children from abuse but totally taken out of context.

  • 1
    1

    Sri Lanka is a country without a heartbeat.

  • 1
    0

    Man.. The article is about building bridges. Explaining the wrong doings of their own. What I see from these comments is the quite opposite. Two sides justifying their own. May be the book should have been in English for these posh boys. Great bunch.

  • 1
    0

    Committing suicide is what is called PTSD. Mahinda Rajapakse and gotabhaya Rajapakse were in hurry to enjoy and harvest the benefits of the War victory and they neglected soldiers. No one brings tha statistics out.

  • 3
    0

    It is high time that Sri Lankans look at serious issues from the perspective of the other.
    All communities majority or minority should look at issues form the perspective of others.
    In other words try and get into their shoes for a minute.

    This is called emotional intelligence. We have to develop this so that ultimately harmony will be achieved.

    From this aspect this book is a positive step in the right direction.

    We have to develop this dialog and treat each other as human beings.

  • 2
    0

    Colombo Man,
    .
    Good. You’ve understood the Professor’s message. He’ll be so happy.
    .
    Very occasionally he sends me a brief email. He writes with difficulty. He’s in poor health.
    .
    But the result will be that he’ll challenge us with another book.

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