3 March, 2024


I Have Some Linen

By Mahendran Thiruvarangan

 Mahendran Thiruvarangan

Mahendran Thiruvarangan

On reading Daya Somasundaram’s “Collective trauma in the Vanni- a qualitative inquiry into the mental health of the internally displaced due to the civil war in Sri Lanka” on the eve of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo[i]


Can you hear me?

Is this cacophony too loud?

In Colombo, Paris, Chennai, Toronto and London,

the Brothers, siblings and masters,

in tongues that speak of deafening half-truths,

concoct flawed histories of terror and relief.


Buried deeply under my homelands,

my story, my suffering, my blood,

vanishing beyond the senses’ reach,

long lost in other stories,

about nations and sovereignties,

about humanitarianism and genocide.


In garbs made of my precious memories,

hijacked, amputated and tailored,

of a not-so-distant past,

our lords and lands appear gorily guarded.




In the silence of the night I dream aloud,

of flesh pieces swimming in hot crimson blood,

of scarred bones and skulls,

of children starving and weeping,

of my fugitive self charting an escape route from armed four-legged men,

of strange, fire-spitting birds encircling the terror-struck sky,

of leaky shelters and barbed-fences,

of betrayal and enslavement.


“Ush! Dirty dreams! Banned, don’t you know?”

in stately fashion,

boot-wearing guardians,

dragging my head off the filthy mats of the past,

steal my nocturnal freedoms;

my nightmare melts and melts into the hot, stifling air,

but soil-lovers rush past me

to swiftly pick up threads that they find useful.


Homeless, lifeless and limbless,

now my dreams stolen and butchered too;

but I have some linen,

unclean, blood-stained and shit-smelling,

for four full years and more…

Can I wash them tomorrow

at the CHOGM,

in the presence of all the kings of empires dead and alive,

at our altars where my siblings chant in resolute cries, “Boycott!”

in public,

in broad daylight,

for justice, truth and history’s sake?


[i] http://www.ijmhs.com/content/4/1/22

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Latest comments

  • 0

    Isn’t that news!

    When did civilization reach Tamilians? Must be after Nanthikadal 2009.

    • 0

      Poor Fathima desperately needs medical help!!

      • 0

        Yes, psychiatric help in Mulleriyava under supervision!

  • 0

    The truth will win at the end brother, for Tamils, Singhalese, Muslims, Burgers, Chinese, Moors, etc.. Please be aware that the cockroaches that inflict hatred are power hungry Mfuckers pretending to be religious… They can be Budhist monks, Pujarees, Christian priests and gran Muftis.. Most are full of shit and repeating orders from above, and I don’t mean the divine above…

    Do not ever categories yourself with a brand, we are all in the same gang brother, fuck what these cocksuckers do in the name of religion or ethnicity. You pray to who ever you want and I’ll pray to who ever i want. You have no right to say I’m wrong, and I have no right to say you are wrong until we both meet in heaven or hell.. :)

    Love the poetry and keep it coming brother. Unstoppable we are if united in spirit.. Fuck the ethnicity and religion…………….

    • 0

      Right On Penetrator !

  • 0

    FF doesn’t need medical help. He or She in desperate need of a free ride of white van and lets see what he or she says then. If he or she is not cured by then send him or her to a mental asylum. God help him or her.

  • 0

    wear your linen [Edited out] , and stop writing shit poems that you dont know how to write .

    • 0

      Ham Abhaya Premawardena aka Chicago Jack ass;
      Where are you teaching to write Shit poems to Shit eating pigs of Jarapassa Clan and goons???????.

  • 0

    ‘Though the cause of evil prosper,

    yet ’tis TRUTH alone is strong..’.

  • 0

    Martin Vickers, Conservative MP, UK:

    Clearly there has been genocide taken place in Sri Lanka and the International Community needs to take the issue much more seriously and investigations should take place.

    Source a video clip in English, above is a transcript by me from:


    • 0

      which genocide are you talking about?

    • 0

      What’s the going rate today ? £ 3000/. ?

  • 0

    Really strong poem.

  • 0

    Thiru…………. how much are you paid to cut and paste same message everywhere……….
    You cheap diaspora dick.

  • 0

    painful comrade!

  • 0

    A powerful poem. So much linen to wash, from so many sides, communities, countries – I don’t think CHOGM organisers have enough water, even with the sea surrounding them. Thanks for writing something on Lanka that doesn’t follow the predictable lines of narrative and analysis.

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