21 September, 2018

Blog

Appalling Attack And Unjustifiable Reactions

By Nirmanusan Balasundaram –

Nirmanusan Balasundaram

On the evening of the November 27 at 06:07 PM (local time), flames were lit in commemoration of Maaveerar Naal 2012 (Martyrs’ Day 2012). It was initiated by the Tamil students from the Jaffna University.

Pre-deployed Sri Lankan troops forcibly entered into the Ladies’ Hostel and attacked the students and damaged properties, soon after they realized that the flames were lit inside the Ladies’ Hostel of the Jaffna University. The victims called the University administration to escape from the attack and seek safety. However, following the attack tensions prevailed.

More troops and policemen were deployed to the university vicinity by the Sri Lankan Defense establishment in Jaffna. The next day (November 28), the students called for a nonviolent protest in opposition to the military attack against the students. The sit-in protest which took place within the university premises revisited memories of the Satyagraha campaign led by the late S.J.V.Chelvanayagam.

Vicious Cycle

Just as successive Sri Lankan governments and their hooligan mobs attacked the Gandhian way of the Satyagraha campaigns of 1956 and 1961, on the 28th the Sri Lankan army and policemen unleashed their terror campaign against the university students, who were marching peacefully within university surroundings holding placards, with a considerable number of  students symbolically covering their mouths with black cloths.

The attackers injured about 20 students, damaged the vehicle of a TNA parliamentarian, and harassed and threatened a Tamil journalist trying to cover the incident.

The history of the island indicates that it was the oppression of Tamils’ democratic struggle that led the Tamil youth to take up arms to safeguard their nation’s rights, especially that of freedom.  The outcome of which was known not just to the people of the island, but also the world.  Despite this, the Sri Lankan Armed Forces’ atrocities against the Tamil people continues today, mirroring past acts of violence.

This act of abuse and oppression reveals the importance of demilitarization, as situation of an open prison is prolonged in the NorthEast, particularly in the North.

Failure of the Media

International media outlets justified their failure to aptly cover the genocidal war in late-2008 to mid-2009 by blaming the Sri Lankan government’s denial to independent and international journalists to access/enter the war zone. Yet, today, with no directive war taking place, media coverage by the Colombo based English and Sinhala media of the brutal attack against the Jaffna University students has been extremely poor. While polarization of the national media continues, imbalanced reporting by international media outlets emanated once again.  Jan Jananayagam,  Director, Tamils Against Genocide [TAG] tweeted, “sickening that colombo-based european media like @afp have not learned from their failures in 2009”, highlighting that “misleading account from @afp omits to say students threw stones AFTER military attacked peaceful demo” – a vital omission leading to suggest that it was the students’ act triggered the military’s violent response.

She further tweeted BBC “who failed disgustingly in 2009, reporting from colombo repeats srilankan military lies about jaffna protests” and added that the BBC pretends ‘balanced’ reporting involves quoting of discredited lanka army sources w’out mentioning their previous record of mendacity”.

The BBC reportage also failed to include the students’ version of the story – a vital view of the incident, while having given attention to the Sri Lankan military’s false recount of events.

This misrepresentation by the AFP and BBC only assists the Sri Lankan government’s propaganda machine.

“Save us”

Speaking to the victimized students, a student leader said:

This is a most degrading incident. They [the armed forces] have entered the Ladies’ Hostel. This is an indecent act. So we are protesting against this act by the Sri Lankan Army. The University Administration says they knew nothing about it. We cannot believe this because at that time there was no one around. It was only after the army came and took their positions that the officers from the administration arrived and then simply chose to watch the proceedings.

To what extent are you [the University Administration] protecting the students?  How can this happen without the administration’s knowledge? What is the use of having a Vice-Chancellor? It is better to have an ordinary soldier as a VC then… If an ordinary soldier can come within the university premises and threaten the students, what is the need for you [the VC]? I am not trying to abuse anyone. Please consider this, our VC, our administration – if the army can freely enter the university premises then what need is there for an administration?

Therefore to prevent these kinds of incidents happening, we can’t ask anyone, we are not in a position to ask anyone, we can only show this as a protest, to the international community. There is no one in Jaffna to listen to us, it is only the international community which must open its eyes and save us.

International Response

According to the available information, no prompt statements have been issued by the international community, except for that of the U.S. embassy in Colombo. While describing it as a “peaceful demonstration”, the U.S. embassy said in its statement that it was “greatly concerned about reports of attacks on students in Jaffna”. It further states its concern “about recent threats to freedom of expression in Sri Lanka” with the “November 28 beating of a reporter in Jaffna, harassment by Government of Sri Lanka officials of independent media outlets, and searches without warrants of journalists all..[serving]…to stifle media freedom”.

Reconciliation: Repeating Rhetoric

The Sri Lankan government continues its malicious propaganda in support of its own so-called action plan for reconciliation, while the Tamil people continue to be oppressed in many forms within an open prison. Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Expression and other democratic rights have been completely denied to the Tamil people.

Not only on Martyrs’ Day, but even choosing to commemorate kith and kin who were killed during the genocidal warfare in May 2009 has also been extremely restricted to the Tamil people. Even if perceived as an enemy, war memories are to be respected, but the Sri Lankan government has engaged in a continuous act of destroying all the Martyrs cemeteries built throughout the NorthEast in memory of more than twenty thousand LTTE cadres.

It is noteworthy at this juncture that academic sources from within the Jaffna University premises have revealed on condition of anonymity to the JDS, “The soldiers were angry that students have somehow commemorated their heroes and lit the commemoration lamp despite many threats and intimidation. Today’s attack was nothing but a violent retaliation on the students for remembering their own sisters and brothers. This simply shows that we don’t have freedom even to cry silently in the NorthEast”.

In a fundamental sense, the reconciliation comes through respect and acknowledgement and not through denial and continuing terror atrocities. Committing massacres and denying the survivors their right to remember is simply an extention of the genocidal policy of the state. Therefore, the international community should act swiftly in order to prevent any further atrocities against the Tamil people in the island, while ensuring their right to peaceful assembly and protest.

 

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    Mr. Balasundaram, that is why Sri lankan need securty force to stay in North & East. Sri lanka does not want to see anyone commemorated their LTTE terrorist.

    • 0
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      Nalla thambi, you are an idiot. sinhala using thamil name. coward.

      • 0
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        Kovian, you are an ex-LTTE Tamil Idiot fan. I am a Sri Lankan Tamil.

        • 0
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          he he he… I certainly understand R. Kovian’s pain…

          Although he lost his money placed on the Tamil terrorists, I hope none of his loved ones were not killed or injured due to the stupid Elaam project.

          Paaavam.

        • 0
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          Shame on you, you need to grow up don’t stay like the single frog in the well. There are no Srilankan Tamils they are srilankan tigers. you are either a SriLankan- Sinhala Buddhist, or a minority Tamil,upcountry Tamil, Muslim, Burgher, Malay or chinese

        • 0
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          Nalla Thambi,
          In that case you belong to the catagory of Sri Lankan Tamils
          like Karuna, Pillaiyan, Douglas and others.

        • 0
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          Nalla Thambi

          “I am a Sri Lankan Tamil.”

          So you are another kallathony from South India. When are you planning to go back to your mother country?

      • 0
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        The attack on Jaffna Students and the impeachment of the CJ should become the reason for the International community to NOW take firm action against Rajapassa regardless of his China backers..

        The useless Commonwealth Organization should put its money where its mouth is and state clearly NOW that it will move the Heads of State meeting to another country in 2013 if the CJ is impeached.

        The international community MUST ACT NOW and put Rajapassa and his greedy war criminal sybllings and children, Asia’s Gaddhafi, on notice before it is too late for democracy in Sri Lanka.

        • 0
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          Has anyone complained about the lawyers attacking the three wheeler drivers protest against the decision of the CJ to remain as CJ without stepping down and degrading the legal profession . These so called lawyers are a real disgrace to the whole country . These lunatics called lawyers even crack coconuts in coat and tie attire . What kind of clowns do we have as lawyers? The three wheeler drivers to their credit was in a peaceful demonstration . The lawyers had attacked them without any provocation. Deeply disturbing situation.

      • 0
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        lets not lapse into name calling. but the idea of eelam is not welcome in sri lanka. i have the right to tread in the north and the east and to buy land there, the security forces have to remain there so that the thought of eelam does not crop up again. its ok cheer up, we had to put up with the security forces when the threat of ltte was grave in colombo

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      How about commemoration day for Rohana Wijeweera of JVP?? That is allowed because he is a Sinhalese and the tamils cannot hold commemoration day for the people who died in the war because they are tamils?

      So you racists have two laws in sri lanka one for tamils and another for sinhalese?

  • 0
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    Maaveer Day is a celebration that Commemorates the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam [LTTE]- an internationally proscribed terrorist organisation. The celebration is currently illegal under Sri Lankan Law.

    What the Army did is wrong, but so is the celebration. The Army is wrong because they have no Civic Authority here. the Celebration should have been stopped by the Jaffna University Authorities, University Marshals, or the Police. If they did not do so, they are also guilty of Aiding a breach of the law.

    Sri Lankan Law also applies to Jaffna. It is your right argue on whether a Law is right or wrong, but you have to accept the Law if you are a Citizen of a country.

    Setting the celebration in a Ladies Hostel instead of a male one, where the Army ‘invasion’ will then make for painting them in more ‘brutal’ colours in the Media, was obviously a clever pro-LTTE ploy. And the Stupid Army fell for it hook, line and sinker. Serves them right. They should have left this to the correct authorities to sort out.

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      Can the srilankan tamil people killing army enter a university in colombo, matara or in kandy??

      Sri Lanka has two laws one for Sinhalese and one for Tamils!!!

      • 0
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        Kabi , Mahaveer day is a celebration of a man who has massacred and killed thousands of civilians , Tamil , Sinhala , Moslem . This is an internationally proscribed oraganisation. Please learn to respect the law of the country if you are livng in SL . If not feel free to go any other country that you feel comfortable in. The JVP is also a terrorist organisation like the LTTE . However this organisation is unfortunately,not a proscibed organisation.

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          JVP is not proscribed by government because they belong to Sinhala majority and LTTE is because they are Tamils. Tamils question the law itself. One law for Tamils one for Sinhalese.

          Maveerar naal (மாவீரர் நாள்) is not a celebration is a commemoration of death of many Tamils in the long war. That is freedom of expression for Tamils like Sinhalese have for the death of army, JVP or anyone else.

          DOES SRI LANKA HAS A LAW PREVENTING A CONVICTED KILLER BEING COMMEMORATED BY HIS/HER PARENTS OR ANYONE ELSE.

          However, I’m personally against Maveerar Naal, I think Tamils should declare a different day commemorating the death of all during the war; Tamil people, Sinhala people and freedom fighters.

          Who are you tell me to find a different country, this is our land you occupied our land and asking us to leave the country. How dare are you?

          The Aryans have never been good to us Tamils or Dravidians. They grabbed our country in India and in Sri Lanka as well. If you are asking me to leave, you Aryans should leave to wherever you belong to.

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      Vivekha says

      “Maaveer Day is a celebration that Commemorates the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam [LTTE]”

      No.

      Maaveer day is the last day of a week long celebration of VP’s birthday. VP was born on the 26th of November.

      You say:

      “It is your right argue on whether a Law is right or wrong,”

      Where would you argue your case when Sri Lankan state, its rulers and their apparatus are operating with impunity and beyond the reaches of long arm of the law?

      You say:

      ” They should have left this to the correct authorities to sort out.”

      Is there such things as correct authorities in Sri Lanka?

      Where are you from, Venus?

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    The incidents and photographs of police officers kicking and beating people simply reinforces the impression that there is military rule in the North and exposes the uncontrolled use of the armed forces in civil areas. Such brutal repression of the Tamil youth will further fuel resentment and make national reconcilliation difficult to achieve.

    It is noted that there is no comment from his excellency on this very serious incident. By keeping silent he is simply endorsing this state of affairs.

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      Hey Safa:

      These are the consequences, when you break law. The students are not babies… they know they cannot engage in remembering of that symbolic dead [Edited out] in public. They can of course do that in private.

      Who is behind these actions? The TTD. Well, if this is what they want… they can have it.

      There will never be anything special for “Tamils” in Sri Lanka except accommodation on language, cultural and religious tolerance.

      The cops manhandle Buddhist monks too if law and order needs to be maintained. So, love Sri Lanka as it is, or get out. The doors are open.

      BTW I had a good chuckle reading how these students want International Community to interfere for this! The cat is out of the bag, buddy!
      In fact, we know what your next steps are too!

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        Very true… these jokers tried this not to commomorate any terrorist, but to get down their white journalist masters to report the big drama at world stage. Now they feel let downed by their own white journalists and started the usual blame game. BTW anything happened to this so special selected Tamil race is blamed on others, the usual Tamil way.

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    Even Tamils who disagreed with some of the actions of the LTTE
    believe there cannot be two different rules in looking at the excesses of the JVP and the LTTE. Both movements took arms against the State and are responsible for the death of many people.
    One was rehabiliated using State resources with some of their men in the front ranks of the Govt today.On the other hand the LTTE is given different treatment while leaders meaninglessly mumble “Tamils are our brothers; our own people” The LTTE label is still used to milk innocent Tamils of money in many instances when they go to conduct business with the Police, the Army and other limbs of the State. The memory of Wijeweera is celebrated openly, not wrongly I venture to suggest, whereas the burial grounds of the LTTE dead are bulldozed, urinated upon and hekpless dogs slaughtered with their carcasses thrown into the precincts – allegedly by army personnel. Racial hatred and inherent venom has in no way abated. These are symbolic of a section of the people who had taken leave of all that is civilised and human. Where is the justice, humanity and decency here?

    Contrary to what the government and its apologists claim both here and in many fora in the world, citizens of this country – the majority in the NEP – continue to be deliberately alienated and made to feel they do not belong here. The latest ICG Report has many paras in support of my comments. These are times of healing – that seem to be wasted. Instead the more activist Tamils are pushed to revisit their recent past. PLO securing Observer Status in the UN 2 days ago will have its own message here both to the Govt and to the radical elements in the Tamil Nation.

    Senguttuvan

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    I stopped reading after the first paragraph, because I cannot see any justification for observing Maveerar Day — given the atrocities committed by armed Tamil youth on fellow Tamils, Sinhala villagers and Muslims. Jaffna University students should read a bit about what the Tigers did on their own campus. Have they not heard of Thiranagama, their lecturer? Have they not heard about Chelvi, the student poet? What kind of Maaveerar are their murderers?

    What these students want is to stir up trouble. Clear evidence for this comes from the competition between TNA and the other three-wheeler party called TNPF to hold demonstrations next week. (TNPF leader is G. Ponnambalam who is on record as claiming that due to actions of the Tigers, the Tamil people are politically in a far stronger position now (2010) than ever before in their history. How idiotic?)This TNPF called for a demonstration in Jaffna next Tuesday. Not to be outsmarted, TNA has called for one next Monday, one day sooner. Such is their capacity to make us laugh.

    These guys (the student-puppet Maaveerar Day observers and their political string pullers — collectively holding onto the tail of the dead Tiger) will never realize how much damage has been done to the Tamil people over 30 years at the hands of racist and incompetent elements in the Sri Lankan political establishment: Racists are the present regime and JR who actively want/wanted to harm the Tamils; Incompetent are Chandrika and Ranil who perhaps had their hearts in the right place at times, but were unable to achieve anything tangible.

    None of what I say above is to condone the actions of the security forces. There was no reason to attack the students. They just needed to be ignored — then they would have shouted a bit and gone back to the cinemas or taverns or facebook.

    So both sides are acting without any consideration for the ordinary Jaffna man who wants to recover from 30 years of war and lead a normal life like everybody else in our country of Sri Lanka.

    Sad, really sad.

  • 0
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    What is undeniable is the racism of the Sri Lankan state and an increasing number of Sinhalese fed by the state.

    This event then is hardly a surprise given developments at least since 1948.

    Criticizing the policies of the Tigers is not the same as escusing the genocidal activities of the Sinhalese and the sinhala state. It is funny how like many third world countries the Sinhala state is also dealing with the tamils like the racist and apartheid colonial state. It favours the Tamil lackeys like Karuna, Douglas etc and operates thru them just like the colonial nomination/Nazi of willing collaborators.

    Mahinda Chintana is Nazi Cintana!

    • 0
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      Fact- One racist recognizes another.
      Kallathonis at their peak had just less than 12% of the population and want ½ the land
      Down with the racist J.T’s and their murderous ways!!!!!!

  • 0
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    Who is in fear of re awakening of LTTE?

    Isn’t is obvious the SL army/ GOSL?

    The law enforcing authorities and the citizens of North and east should realise that confrontations should be avoided.

    All have a right to remember the dead their kith and kin. However labeling this event as a LTTE hero’s day celebration is what provokes the army.

    After decades now the GoSL is tolerant on JVP heroes day celebrations which is a very low key event.

    I condemn the attack on students who were peacefully demonstrating. However the authorities should have acted as peacemakers not to rouse trouble.

    I hope the army / GoSL will get over the suspicion of the tamil youth as they see every one a potential rebel at present.

    Of course the local media is bias and there is seldom of balance reporting.

    Everyone believes what they want to believe not the truth.

  • 0
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    What are missing in the narrative are :

    1. Attempt to use the ‘Karthikai Villakeedu’ ( oil lamp lighting day) which coincided with the Mavirar day, as a cover to commemorate the Maveerar.

    2. The use of the girls hostal to commemorate the Maviarar.

    3. The Vilakeedu as a religious occasion was celebrated all over Jaffna without hindrance .

    4. The role of Saravanabavan MP in the events at the Jaffna campus.

    5 Awareness among the people living particularly in the Thinaiveli area, even before the said day that mischief makers were at work in the Jaffna campus and this was undesirable.

    What took place at the Jaffna campus was a result of premeditated and cynical moves to precipitate a conflict with the police and armed forces, in pursuance of a failed political agenda. The actions of some players within the Jaffna campus supported by political elements outside, elicited the expected response from the police and armed forces. The publicity generated, was also the harvest expected.

    What is funny is that the ‘ Truth’ has once again be made a casualty. The war-dead could have been remembered in every Tamil Hindu home – as almost every Tamil family has sacrificed someone in the wars- without precipitating events of a political nature which will lead to more bloodshed and death. Was challenging the security forces and police warranted in the current circumstances, knowing the majority of the Tamils are against such action? Was it not known that such actions will reinforce the GOSL decision to keep the security presence in Jaffna on high alert for a long time?

    It appears Tamil politicians are determined to follow a calamitous path to achieve a failed agenda, despite the bitter and self-defeating lessons of the past. Wisdom has been sacrificed at the altar of political expediency!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

    • 0
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      Thank you for speaking the truth without bias.

  • 0
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    The rats come out of their holes into the daylight. They must open their eyes to the injustice happening. The world is watching.

  • 0
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    This is why I always insist that Tamil Terrorist Diaspora, the TTD never died… and is still in full swing… and looking to create VIOLENCE in Sri Lanka for various gains.

    If Karuna, KP, Pillayan and hundreds of thousands of others live, work and play as Sri Lankans… what is this freaking noise from the TTD and their (sponsored) cat’s paws, the students?

    Law and order must be maintained at any cost. The best way to tackle these students is to make the examinations tougher and increase the education costs at the same time. Ask any student in the west, how they work two part-time jobs while studying in sub-zero temps to collect $15,000 per year tuition fees for four years… In Sri Lanka life is too easy for them.

    These bloody lowlifes will wake screaming from their daydreams when their wallet is hit. They and the crooked TTD sponsors never appreciated or will ever appreciate the free education facilities in Sri Lanka.

    Bloody lowlifes who bite the hand that feeds…

    Be creative, GOSL.

    • 0
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      BunkerRat

      “Law and order must be maintained at any cost.”

      Where, only in the North East?

      The forces have no business in women hostels. The forces provoke a situation then hammer the protesters in the name of law and order. Good tactics but won’t be effective in the long run.

      Who is going to impose law and order on MR clan and its cronies?

      Are you helping the members of armed forces who suffer from PTDS? Already 400 of them have committed suicide.

  • 0
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    Okay……… What took place was all wrong.
    There should not have been celebrations and they should not have been attacked.

    But the questionS remain
    IS ANYTHING BREWING BEHIND CADJAN WALLS OF THE UNIVERSITY??
    WHO IS AND WAS THE INFLUENCE OR THE INSTIGATOR?
    wAS THIS A PROVOCATION TO TEST THE WATERS?

    DOES NOT THE JAFFNA PEOPLE YEARN FOR PEACE OR HAVE THEY not had enough of THE WAR AND THE SUFFERING AND DENIAL OF EDUCATION ???

    IS THE UNIVERSITY BEing USED AS THE BREEDING GROUND??
    JAFFNA SENIOR CITIZENS MUST REALISE AS POLITICIANS SURVIVE ON THIS EELAM ISSUES FOR THEIR PERKS AND WELL BEING AT THE EXPENSE OF THE MASSES.

    are the jaffnians ready to sacrifice the current youth population again?
    A HIGHLY UNNECESSARY SITUATION THAT COULD HAVE BEEN EASILY AVOIDED.
    THERE IS NO POINT BLAMING ANYONE.
    EVERY ACTION HAS AN EQUAL AND OPPOSITE REACTION.

    • 0
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      Some very pertinent questions Dicky.

  • 0
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    It is internationally accepted norm that certain groups can’t be commorated, even there are supporters of NAZI groups in Germany and some parts of Europe, commomartion of NAZIS is uotlawed in civilized world including GERMANY. I am not going to support the way it was stopped,Uni students should know better their democratic rights.

  • 0
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    tamil people don’t like sinhala pariahs. it’s as simple as that. i hate sinhala pariahs. i just can’t stand the sight of sinhala people.

    • 0
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      Please find a place where there are no sinhalese you racist.

  • 0
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    While the right of the Tamil people in the North to respect the memories of the fallen youth cannot be denied, it appears in this case there was a pre-planed move to provoke the army and Police. A propaganda benefit appears to have been in the works. The much suffering Tamil people in the areas deserve to re-build their lives again. Any effort to relive a failed past by local and foreign adventurers should not come into play. However less significant, the Rajapakses are slowly but surely forced to contribute to the infra-structural development of the Tamil majority areas.

    The regime also should take into account former Tiger interests in the diaspora are unlikely to call off their efforts so long the Tamil issue is kept ablaze. “Cause a few trickles now and then when they shout” appears to me to be unwise policy. The most desirable way to bring back the Tamils to the fold is to cause early and visible development in the Quality of Life, rapid and high capital investment, creation of new employment, assistance to farmers and fisher folk, up-grading of the airport, KKS sea-port etc. Almost the entire Tamil Nation do not want to revisit that past where a small number of youth, using their name, undertook a project that was unlikely to succeed. The entire Tamil people, unconnected to politics, in all parts of the country were subject to enormous punishment – shades of which still continue. Not that Tamils have little to complain – but the manner in which to go about this should have been different.

    It is also curious whereas plans are ahead to build airports almost everywhere, why have no plans been announced to upgrade the Palaly airport to attract large planes. There is now an assured clientele of many thousands of Tamils from the diaspora arriving almost daily at Colombo to warrant a convenient and reasonably-priced Katunayake-Palaly
    connection. There was some talk earlier of interest by the Indian Govt to play arole but it was said army interests shot this down.

    The Govt should place as its highest priority an announcement to empower the Tamil people its own institutions of early local governance – a move that will also shift a great deal of pressure on the Rajapakses from regional and international actors.

    Meanwhile, if democracy has any meaning to the regime the complaint of TNA MP Saravanapavan must be enquired into in the most transpaent manner. The right of an elected MP should neither be curtailed or denied as it appears to have been done in this case this week.

    Senguttuvan

    Senguttuvan

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      Senguttuvan,

      //…it appears in this case there was a pre-planed move to provoke the army and Police.//

      Once you acknowledge the above, should you not direct a well deserved sharp criticism at these people for their acts of pre-planned provocation, before setting the agenda for what the government ought to be doing? Airport or not, there is a real danger, is there not, that the Tamil people will be dragged into an invited state of siege for another 30 years by those who refuse to learn lessons — those whom Kumar David aptly described as kazuthaikaL some time ago in these pages?

  • 0
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    SINHALESE and TAMILS CAN NOT CO-EXIST IN THE ISLAND! Bifurcation is the only answer now. GODS SHALL BRING CURSE TO RAJAPAKSE JUNTA!

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      Curse in upon you my son first get over it before casting curses on others.

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    Tamilan says:

    “SINHALESE and TAMILS CAN NOT CO-EXIST IN THE ISLAND”

    Then go home. Sinhalese and Tamils belonged to India. Take your Sinhalese brothers with you. Drop them in Venga.

  • 0
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    Jayantha Dhanapala’s submission to Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), 25 August 2010: ‘The lessons we have to learn go back to the past – certainly from the time that we had responsibility for our own governance on 4 February 1948. Each and every Government which held office from 1948 till the present bear culpability for the failure to achieve good governance, national unity and a framework of peace, stability and economic development in which all ethnic, religious and other groups could live in security and equality.
    Our inability to manage our affairs has led to the taking of arms by a desperate group of our citizens. We need to rectify this bad governance and the first and foremost task before us is to undertake constitutional reform in order to ensure that we have adequate devolution of power. We need to have State reform; we need to have rule of law established; we need to ensure non discrimination amongst our citizens; we need to have devolution of power and a tolerance of dissent and a strengthening of
    democratic institutions. (Dhanapala is a Sinhalese and was formerly UN Under-Secretary General for Disarmament)

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    Sri Lankan leaders have achieved what they wanted to acieve:

    Why education matters for global security, Irina Bokova(Director General, UNESCO) 1 March 2011: ‘’ Education must rise on the agenda of peace building. We know the wrong type of education can fuel conflict. The use of education systems to foster hatred has contributed to the underlying causes of conflicts, from Rwanda to Sri Lanka, but also in Guatemala and Sudan.’’

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    It would be better to close the Jaffna university and absorb all staff and students temporally to other universities in the country. This university is going to be a breading ground for LTTE in near future. During JVP times the government shutdown all universities. A similar strategy is required here.

    These university students like their Sinhalese counterparts know next to nothing about politics. This university as things are is not a conducive place for their education.

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      Navin,

      I diasagree with you. Ideally, Universities are crucibles where new thoughts challenging the status quo have to arise among the youth and take root in society. Universities are where students have to standup, look around, think and question. Educere, the Latin root for the word education, literally means ‘to stand up'(to think). The faculty at a university are supposed to be capable of making students think differently, in the context of the future, with the the wisdom they have accumulated and epitomise. University graduates will define what we will become as a nation in the future. They will be the future leaders in the various endeavours of life. They are our hope and valuable asset.

      However, what we have in this country are Polytechnics/ extended secondary schools that are degree mills, masquerading as unversities. What the university students in Jaffna are trying to do is take back the Tamils through a failed and poisonous ideology. They are incapable of innovative thinking suitable for the present and the future. I guess there are no faculty at this university, as in most others, who are capable of dispensing the much needed wisdom (Knowledge + culture + experience).

      The solution is not to close down any university, but to downgrade most to the level of Polytechnics and upgrade a few to the level of real universities with adequate funding, facilities and high quality faculty.

      The universities in Sri Lanka, including the one in Jaffna are a criminal charade and a fraud perpetrated on our youth and our country.The Jaffna University was a dream come true for many of us, when it was established. We expected it to harbinger an age of enlightenment, cultural resurgence, progress and dynamism in Jaffna. Unfortunately, the wars, turmoil, Tiger interference and now political interference have made it an albatross around Jaffna’s neck!

      The political interference in the affairs of the Jaffna University, should also be brought to an end immediately. This is the first step. The second step is to recruit new faculty with high standards, even from abroad, to reset this university on the right track.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        We can keep the university open as long as it continues to function as expected of it. What we do not want to do is provide a watering hole for those looking for foot soldiers to fight the next Eelam War.

        As you said, it all good if Jaffna university students were to critically look at the ethnic problem and pass out as mature individuals who will be an asset to the Tamil community and to the country. But what is the chance of this happening as thing are?
        This university has become a battle ground between LTTE, TNA, EPDP (the government proxy).

        It is my feeling that these students will be far better off studying in other universities amongst Sinhalese and Muslim students in other parts of the country than in Jaffna. Though Jaffna university can remain closed, its intake every year until it is reopen, can be absorbed by other universities. When there is a climate conducive for education, the university can be reopened and hopefully with a student body which is not mono-ethnic as it is now.

        It is beyond the government capacity to handle the political turmoil that is brewing here. The government and staff in other universities cannot even handle trouble makers in IUSF. So lets not expect staff to guide the students of Jaffna university.

        What we witnessed unfortunately is what happens when things are allowed to go like this. Soon we find armed forces and police inside the university, students are arrested, they may disappear and so forth. This happened during JVP time and it will happen soon in Jaffna. So, the prudent thing for the government to do to arrest this trend without harming the students while not compromising its own political strategy is to send them to other parts of the country to study.

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          Navin

          “It is my feeling that these students will be far better off studying in other universities amongst Sinhalese and Muslim students in other parts of the country than in Jaffna.”

          So you are motivated by feelings, but not by rational or scientific reasons. There is no change at all.

          When you feel like killing, raping, burning down homes and businesses, religious institution, …………….. you execute your impulses.

          I have a long cherished feeling that all Tamils and Sinhalese are better off in Tamilnadu. I feel like deporting both of you people to India.

          Please help me to make it a reality.

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          Navin,

          Universities in the USA and Canada are policed by a campus police force. It is time this practice is adopted by all universities in Sri Lanka. This should be done despite the hue and cry that it will engender. I remember my student days at Peradeniya and the number of times the campus was closed near examination times and the pain it entailed. I do not wish this agony on the majority of the law abiding students. However , trouble making and law breaking must be stopped . Of course, this should be followed by measures to set our tertiary education sector in the right direction. The universities are institutions where idealism should thrive and dreams be dreamt on a grand scale. The universities should not be permitted to become the stronghold of a few troublemakers and their political puppeteers.

          The idealism that a university should have, is enshrined in the following words of Mahatma Gandhi written at the Berkley campus of the University of California. ‘If a society is unjust, all the good people in that society should be in jail’ ( I have not used quotation marks, as the words I have used are not exactly what Gandhi used . The meaning is however quite accurate).

          I know how many students are struggling to meet the cost of being a student. They are eating very little, because they cannot afford to eat what they need. Many Sinhala people are helping these students through their charities and personal funds. What is being attempted by some elements at the Jaffna campus is a crime against this segment of students. I have heard the tragedy in these students lives, that have made tears well in my eyes.

          Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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          Navin,

          One other practical problem with your suggestion to relocate Jaffna University students is that all universities lack the space and facilities required. The Supreme Court order that the students penalised by the two syllabi problem at the Advanced level examination has created a big problem of space and facilities at the universities,

          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        Dear Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        It is not just in Jaffna but also in India most of Universities are nothing but “degree mills” .
        Very little political , cultural awareness is there among the Youth of India . There is a severe lack of “quality faculty” in most of the Universities as when the Economy was opened here in 90s most of the people moved to Technical Jobs /MNCs where the pay packet was higher and very few “qualified” people took to jobs as Faculty . This 2 decades of being coached by improper faculty has really spoilt most of the Youngsters here and no doubt many of these Youngsters have high IQ but very low EQ and low social ,political and cultural awareness and this is disastrous for the future of Indian Society at large and this symptom is beginning to show now itself in the form of severe depression in most of students once they come out of college to work , unstable in their work and keep job hopping , very low tolerance for criticism or failure and many commit suicide or go in to deep depression , many of the marriages of current youngsters are in the doldrums within a few weeks of their marriage and I can go on . I can agree Jaffna struggling with its Educational infrastructure after 3 decades of bloody war but India is struggling in its Educational Infrastructure due to Powerful Economic forces ( I call it Economic Terrorism ) due to Opening of its Economy in the 90s .I really do not know what the solution is .Only Enlightened people like you can offer some pointers to this problem .

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      Navin

      “It would be better to close the Jaffna university and absorb all staff and students temporally to other universities in the country”

      Yes, it is a good idea.

      Let us close all the universities through out Sri Lanka as these institutions are not fit for the purpose.

      University students are not benefiting from these institutions hence students won’t lose anything at all.

      If you let the young people to stay at home they will have more time in their hand to think about themselves and the world in which they live. This could open up their horizon, will show them new ways of doing old things.

      Go ahead make their day punk.

      You say:

      ” This university is going to be a breading ground for LTTE in near future.”

      When did universities animal farms?

      You say:

      ” During JVP times the government shutdown all universities”

      That was during the peak of Sinhala/Buddist terrorism.

      According to state and its armed forces they defeated LTTE terrorism in 2009.

      Whom are you shadow boxing with now?

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    Tamilan [Edited out]. Prabakaran was a catholic and Catholic church is behind LTTE ideology and they actively supported and still do LTTE criminals. If the Jaffna students wants to celebrate dead terrorists, this is what you get! And that TNA terrorists too. You were brought here by Europeans and its natural to seek help from so called “International community” who will happily support another terrorists campaign.

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      Godaya mada gahanava neda?

      VP was never a catholic. He is from a Hidu back ground and was never converted to Christianity. Please do not spread hatred against catholics.

      Jesus said love your enemies….. follower of Jesus will not become a murderer.

      u must be from the bodubala sena ??

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    Balasunderam seems to be living in a dream world like all other LTTE terrorist sympathisers.

    NAZIs cannot commemorate their dead martyrs. Similarly USA or others do not allow AlKaida followers to commemorate their suicidal martyrs anywhere either.

    Then why does Sri Lankan law enforcement authorities are questioned on their actions to stop commemoration of kuppi wearing suicidal terrorists?

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      Because v r not Germany or USA.

      V r dependent on their loans to get our daily bread.

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      Hela says

      “NAZIs cannot commemorate their dead martyrs.”

      Because they lost the war. Had they won the war they would have behaved exactly like MR clan. MR clan is more similar to Pol Pot than the highly industrialised Nazi Germany.

      You ask a stupid question as usual:

      “Then why does Sri Lankan law enforcement authorities are questioned on their actions to stop commemoration of kuppi wearing suicidal terrorists?

      Why does the state allow Somawansa and Weerawansa to celebrate their equally murderous JVP Sinhala/Buddhist terrorists?

      Now I get it:

      JVP is anti Tamil pro Sinhala/Buddhist terrorists whereas LTTE was anti Sinhala/Buddhist terrorists.

      You think double standards always work for you. However you have already lost the plot.

      What are you doing to help the soldiers who suffer from PTSD?

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    The Tamils have lost everything since they have allowed India to equip the criminals with arms to fight for their freedom. Prabhakaran was a criminal, wanted by the Sri Lankan police for smuggling and murder chrages. Nelson Mandela wanted to take up arms and fight for his people’s freedom, but fortunately the South African government put him in jail. This has changed everything, it made Nelson Mandela to choose non violence method for his people’s freedom. The South African jail made Nelson Mandela as a wise leader. Today the South Africans have their freedom, at the same time Nelson Mandela became one of the most respected leader in the world. The Sri Lankan government could not put Prabhakaran in jail, because India gave refuge to him and made sure he becomes an incurable cancer for the Tamils and Sinhalese. India’s refuge made Prabhakran as one of the most dangerous man in the world. India made the Tamils and Sinhalese to suffer by equipping the uneducated criminals. There is no comparison between Mandela and Prabhakaran or Ghandi and Prabhakaran. This week the Tamils commemorate defeated Tamil Tigers, and celebrate Prabhakaran’s birthday in Sri Lanka, India and also in the Western Countries. I really feel sorry for the followers who gave-up their lives, especially for the young people, they have wasted their lives. However, these events are creating more disaster for the Tamils, it will drove the Tamils away from their rights and freedom. These events are clearly proving that the Tamils have not learned anything from the past, but they are still under the grip of India and the Western Countries. I am a Sri Lankan Tamil, I have an Australian business degree and done lots of research about world history and politics. My research is equal to two Phd’s, but the Tamils do not want to listen to me, even if they want to listen to me the Westerners and Indians won’t allow them. The Westerners know how to divide others, the Indians follow the Westerners. The Tamils are to be blamed for their current status in their own country. This is the outcome when you listen to the foreigners and kill or ignore your own intellectuals. Sadly, history is repeating itself, but the Tamil leaders believe something new is happening. China and India are the future superpowers, they will never allow the Tamils to get Eelam under any circumstance, if they do it will set the precedent to divide their own countries. The Westerners are using the Tamil diaspora leaders to create a drift in South East Asia, but the Chinese and Indians leaders are too smart for this trick.

    I urge the Tamils to stay away from the LTTE and remove Prabhakaran’s picture and Tiger flag from your minds, houses and offices. The Tamil Armed groups have killed thousands of innocent people, intellectuals and political leaders more than al-Qaeda. The Armed Groups have been eating your dignity, rights and freedom. You are not better off since they have taken the arms, in fact they have taken you backward. They only served India’s and the Western countries’ interests at the expense of innocent Sri Lankans. I urge you to build your leadership which has been destroyed by the Tamil armed groups. Create a think tank website for the Tamils, listen to the Tamil intellectuals, rather than listening to the foreigners. Do everything to get back your dignity, rights and freedom. Remember, late is better than never.

    I urge all the Sri Lankans who have been affected by the Tamil Armed Groups to sue India and the Western Countries. India is liable for creating the Tamil Armed groups, and the Western Countries are liable for making them as the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world. The Western Countries knew how much money have been poured into the LTTE by the Tamil diaspora, but did nothing. Canada banned the LTTE in 2006, but millions of dollars poured into the LTTE in 2007 and 2008. The CSIS knew everything, but did nothing. As long as people are divided, and the Westerners get to talk about war crimes, democracy and human rights they are happy.

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