Let Us Be Clear On What We Buried In Nandikadal Lagoon

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By Sanjeewa Ranaweera -

P2

Sanjeewa Ranaweera

During the 90s, I was a boarder at the Royal College Hostel. We, the hostellers were supposed to shift dormitories annually. And once, I was in the dormitory called ‘Galoya – III’. (Yes, all our dormitories were given the names of these well-known water reservation projects – Victoria, Kotmale, etc. And I still don’t know why!). If my memory serves me right, ‘Prasad’ was the only Tamil who shared our humble abode, ‘Galoya III’. Prasad was a loner. He never spoke to us. He preferred to have a reclusive life and deliberately avoided the company of others. Also, he always wore this sceptical, or rather, confused look which kept us away from him. One fine day, Prasad’s mosquito net, which was hanging over his bed, dropped onto the bed. He struggled to fix it on his own and was looking at the ceiling helplessly. Jeevan, the giant amongst us stepped in. He volunteered to resolve Prasad’s immediate worry at the time. The mosquito net was fastened to the ceiling in a fraction of a second. Prasad was, literally, in tears! He paused for a moment to collect himself. And then he smiled, perhaps for the first time in his hostel life. He hurriedly opened his cupboard and brought us a large brown paper parcel filled with sweets. He shared with us, not only those sugary snacks, but also the hitherto guarded story of his life. Eventually, he came out of his shell and became the darling of his dorm-mates. We, the Sinhalese enjoyed the company of this amiable Tamil. Yes, it was quite an unbelievable transformation! And that was purely the consequence of one small gesture of goodwill.

Now, have we made that gesture of goodwill towards the Tamils of this country after putting a victorious full stop to the bloody war? I’m afraid, my answer to this question is in the negative. Let us be clear that what we buried in the Nandikadal Lagoon, on that historical day, was not the legitimate aspirations of the Tamils, but a violent dream of a ruthless terrorist. Hence our celebrations over this military triumph should not be stretched to the point where the sentiments of a minority community are hurt.

There was a time in this country where certain impressive strides were made in fostering ethnic harmony. At that time, there was a conscientious effort on the part of the policy makers to educate the masses about the need to embrace the ethnic minorities by the majority. ‘Sudu Nelum Viyaparaya’ and ‘Thawalama’ were two prominent examples for such campaigns. However, the LTTE strategically stood in the way of that potential sense of togetherness. And that was why the likes of late Lakshman Kadirgamar fought hard to distance the LTTE from the common Tamil man. Now we admire the late Kadirgarmar as the finest foreign minister Sri Lanka ever had. Yet, do we follow in his footsteps, or to say the least, do we take his ideals seriously now? The late Kadirgamar believed in a ‘Sri Lankan identity’, crossing over the racial, linguistic and religious borders, within which our minds have been trapped for years.  However, during the campaign for the recently held Eastern Provincial Council Election, our politicos amply demonstrated that they no longer believe in such a ‘Sri Lankan identity’. ‘Ethnic card’ was their trump card to garner votes in the multi-ethnic eastern province. They played the ‘ethnic card’ shamelessly and ignored the far-reaching consequences of the divisions that they were creating. The results of the election reflected the results of this inane political gimmickry. The short-sighted, power-hungry politicians won. And Sri Lanka lost to them!

It is disheartening that there is no atmosphere in the country at present for racial unity. Religious leaders, who could play a significant role in fostering ethnic harmony, are too busy playing politics! ‘Saffron robe’ still has an exalted status in our society. And that status should not be exploited for petty political gains. Any right-thinking man cannot claim that ‘Sri Lanka is a Sinhala-Buddhist country’. And if you say so, either you are impractically oblivious to your surroundings, or you are misinformed of the recent history of your nation. Let us say repeatedly that ‘Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic country’ and it belongs to me as much as it belongs to my Tamil neighbour. And my Muslim friend too should not have any doubts about it.

And there was a time in this country where movies, dramas and songs were produced with a view to promoting the racial and religious unity. Such artistic endeavours enjoyed the patronage of the State and were recognised for the contribution that they made towards changing the deep-rooted perceptions of our ethnicities. Unfortunately, nowadays, our filmmakers are more inclined to make films depicting the heroism of our ancient kings and war heroes. Moreover, lengthy teledramas are being shown on almost all local television channels on a daily basis, but none of them focus on this burning issue. Perhaps the artists do not want to be controversial, or else, they are simply uninterested in doing something meaningful.

Strangely enough, the individuals, who have been harping on the lack of enthusiasm of the government as regards the post-war reconciliation, are not doing anything tangible to promote racial and religious harmony. These self-proclaimed civil society activists are, apparently, very concerned about the implementation of the LLRC Recommendations. But they are tight-lipped about the potential fragmentation of the society fuelled by the separatist agendas of the Tamil Diaspora and of the nepotistic politicos, like the ageing Karunanidhi.

Call it togetherness, brotherhood or camaraderie, it is this sense of amity and friendship that will bind us together as a nation. Besides, none of us had any control over our birth. I became a Sinhalese, and he or she became a Tamil. And what difference it made? We speak different languages. We have different cultures and mannerisms. But at the end of the day, both of us are human beings. More importantly, both of us have a limited stay on earth. And during that limited stay, let us reach out to our minority brethren. Perhaps one gesture of goodwill will suffice.

*Sanjeewa Ranaweera  - Attorney-at-Law

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58 Responses to Let Us Be Clear On What We Buried In Nandikadal Lagoon

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    I couldn’t be more thankful for the elimination of “a violent dream of a ruthless terrorist”". But what about the 40 000 civilian victims dragged in that grave? Aren’t you a bit forgetful about the way the IV Eelam War ended? The LTTE was surrounded, was it necessary to involve more than 300 000 people in harsh military operations with heavy artillery and shelling? Just the “victorious” words you are using express the absolute divergence of point of view. Don’t take me wrong: it is a victory of civilization to stop the LTTE activity. But it is equally a failure of the same principles first to chase out like animals almost half a million of human beings, “Sri Lankan citizens” and later to starve them out, to deny medical cure, to bomb them out. Do you think it is a good way to welcome the Tamils victims of the last war operations with monument of triumphs and Buddhist shrines?

    Celerati Editorial
    September 22, 2012 at 2:01 am
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      Hey there is a dead leftist called Vasu who is in charge of the Ministry of National Integration whose partner an NGO lady called Nimalka who is funded by a Japanese NGO to go to Geneva and preach about human rights! These two epitomize the status of the debate on minority rights in the regime and “Civil society” NGOs in Lanka today! Given that the UNP’s Ranil also supports Rajapassa, FUTA is the only real and principled challenge to the barbaric Rajapakse regime that exists today in Lanka and must be supported by all thinking persons..

      John Wayne
      September 22, 2012 at 4:03 am
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        So you are another SL politician, promoting FUTA. Why dont the FUTA focus on teaching? They are paid to teach, not to practise politics. If they want to get into politics, resign from the jobs, and do it. Shameless blood suckers pilfering tax-money.

        Ravi
        September 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm
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          Oh dont worry, FUTA is not asking to be paid for doing politics.

          sams
          September 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm
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        My dear John Wayne that Vasu is dead. Present Vasu is strong backer of the 18 amendment dictator Rajapakaksa.

        leel
        September 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm
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      40,000 civilian victims dragged in grave? You are talking bs, Celeriti … Do not become a mouth piece of LTTE rump …. You are asking “was it necessary to involve more than 300 000 people in harsh military operations with heavy artillery and shelling?” You are just talking like Military is the one who must be responsible for the involvment of more than 300000 people ?.. You just forget the recent history so soon… As your ideas are based on lies, How could anybody respect your views?

      Bruno Umbato
      September 22, 2012 at 6:37 am
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        i can forget about the genocide of 61yrs up to 2009. But not the one in the last 40 months.

        eureka
        September 22, 2012 at 8:19 am
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        DEAR WAMBOTTA; YOU DID BURN FIRE CRACKERS AND MADE MILK RICE [KIRIBATH] TO EAT WHEN YOUR NEIGHBOURS WERE KILLED / ASSASSINATED. SO ANYBODY CAN SEE AND UNDERSTAND THE MENTALITY OF YOU AND YOUR STOOGES. AND YOU HAVE ALREADY BECOME A MOUTH PIECE OF THE GOVERNMENT LIARS CHEATERS.

        JULAAMPITYE AMARAYA
        September 22, 2012 at 10:05 am
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      Do not get carried away with allegations about the 40000 civilian victims. There were casualties but the armed forces rescued over 300000 from LTTE murderers who dragged these these people from pillar to post and surrounded themselves with them for use as human shields. It is obvious that you are not a person who has had to battle suicide bombing murderous terrorists in atrocious environments. There are two sides to any story! Do not listen to LTTE supporting Tamil rump abroad or their propaganda or INGO’s who have lost their jobs and luxury living since the end of the conflict. Take a trip to Sri lanka and take a look for yourself.

      lanka
      September 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm
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      Mahinda Rajapakse was right to finish the war in the manner it was done. Today everyone is talking about so called refugees. Many of the so called refugees were part and Parcle of the terrorist movement or their sympathisers or even relatives of the terrorists themselves. True many were not involved but the end justify the means sometimes when a war is waged. The Americans bombed Hirishima and Nagasaki who died? Millions of innocent people. In SriLanka , The terrorists were planning to escape and some countries were preparing to rescue them by air. Just imagine if they escaped the war would have dragged on and ten times the civilians killed would have been dead by now. The government had to act and they did and thank heavens no one has been killed since then. Sudu Akka

      Sudu Akka
      September 23, 2012 at 1:11 am
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        Sudu Akka “Mahinda Rajapakse was right to finish the war in the manner it was done” No you are wrong most of the people both Sinhalese and Tamils believe that Mahinda and his war criminals have postponed the problem with the support of International Community just as Premadasa did with JVP. You say: “The government had to act and they did and thank heavens no one has been killed since then. Sudu Akka” It is true that LTTE hasn’t killed anyone since May 2009. However Sri Lankan state has not stopped its atrocities. If you are truly a Sudu person, you must be a decedent of Malayalee, Nayakkars, Portuguese,Dutch, British, Ibn Batuta, …. What are you doing in my ancestral land?

        Native Vedda
        September 23, 2012 at 9:18 am
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    The ‘Problem’is with our politicians and the media. The only fault that can be attributed to the majority of people, whether they be Sinhala, Tamil,Muslim or other, is that they are yet vulnerable to the machinations of the politicians and the media. This has to be expected of a population that is quite literate, but largely uneducated. The inability to ‘Think’is a major disbility in our country, which crosses the communal divides. We are a people who are yet paranoid and easily aroused to defend our territorial imperatives- however unjustifiable they may be. We yet want to mark our individual communal spaces with spurts of urine as male dogs do, spurred on by our politicians and large segments of our media! This is what happened at the PC elections in the East. The only solution is to have stringent legislation that imposes severe punishment on those who play the ‘Communal card’ to achieve their ends. All political formations that carry the communal label should be banned. The media should volunterily impose a code of conduct on matters that impinge on communal amity and seed discord. If they fail, there should be mechanisms that act as deterents, without impinging on the concept of media freedom. This freedom however should not be the freedom of the donkey. The web media in particular has become a scourge, instead of the blessing it should be. Finally, it is the people who have to embrace each other. There is no better time for this than now. This is a historical opportunity that should not be missed. Please come forward to adopt a war-affected family and give them the fishing-rod, instead of the fish. Pleasee interact with them closely and make them feel members of a bigger family. This can be an individual effort by those who can afford it and a group effort by those who can spare even a few dimes towards the most important ‘National task’- nation building. Those who cannot spare the dimes should come forward to give their spare time and physical support to this cause. There are war-affected in dire need amongst all communities in this country. The orphans, widows, injured, maimed and psychologically affected among the victims of war, need help urgently and sustained help for decades. Alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual excesses and family violence are major problems among the war-affected. Societal and cultural restraints have broken down due to the war and assciated violence and need to be re-built from ground upwards. They need counseling, guidance, example and help. This all-embracing effort is the war, we have to be engaged nationally, to reconcile. The government cannot be expected to do this in any meaningful way. It is us- the people- who have to be mobilized at every level of society by societal leaders to do this. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran
    September 22, 2012 at 2:33 am
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      ”The government cannot be expected to do this in any meaningful way.” Certainly it can let others do it in a meaningful way if elections are held in the North and the East is run by principles of good governance. The failure of both is taking the country away from reconciliation and back into the path of doom/war.

      eureka
      September 22, 2012 at 8:26 am
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      Dr Rajasingham you have hit the nail on the head. Until Sri lanka gets rid of communal and religious political parties this problem will never end. to register a political party in Sri lanka must have a a substantial quota representing all communities.

      lanka
      September 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm
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        lanka: “Until Sri lanka gets rid of communal and religious political parties this problem will never end.” I hate to agree with you. Lets start with JHU and ban all the parties in Sri Lanka. All parties are racists in nature and in practice.

        Native Vedda
        September 23, 2012 at 10:42 am
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      Narendran, While Mahinda Rajapakse preached about “tolerance” at Sanchi,his army threw excrement and assaulted tamils who demonstrated demanding their homes back. Of course “UPFA” and “SLFP” do not carry a ‘communal label’. Please send your thoughts to MR.

      Justice
      September 22, 2012 at 1:39 pm
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      your idea of hosting a war effected family is very commendable

      preethi perera
      September 22, 2012 at 6:38 pm
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    Dear Sir, There is nothing new. I am glad you say “Any right-thinking man cannot claim that ‘Sri Lanka is a Sinhala-Buddhist country’. How many are there falling into this category now in Sri Lanka? The proportion of’ right’ and ‘wrong’ remains static all along in our history. Racism has taken a very deep root in our system. The way out is that everyone should become racial. Muslim Blogs, Tamil Blogs and Singhalese blogs should be formed and the respective blogs should become ‘partners’ in the Government. Late Mr. Ashraff advocated this and his achievements were tremendous during a very short period of his legacy.

    Gnanasooriyam GV
    September 22, 2012 at 3:57 am
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      David Cameron the British PM recently said that the UK is a christian country but that does not mean they will undermine other religions. This is despite the fact that the UK is also a multicultural country . The editor of this article please take note .Just like Iraq ,Pakistan , Malaysia the middle east are all Muslim countries . Get over it and face facts .

      kumudini
      September 22, 2012 at 8:40 am
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        kumudini Sri Lanka has never been a Buddhist nation until Don David Hewavitarane (Anagarika Dharmapala) manufactured the Aryan Sinhala Buddist identity. The Aryan Sinhala/Buddhist identity has a short self life. So get your facts right and get over it.

        Native Vedda
        September 23, 2012 at 10:54 am
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          SINHALESE WERE THE FIRST ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. THE FIRST CONVERSION WAS BY BUDDHISTS NOT BY CHRISTIANS. WHO SAID SINHALESE ARE ARYANS? HENRY STEELE OLCOTT WAS A THEOSOPHIST NOT BUDDHIST. MUCH TALKED OF AND HOISTED FLAG WAS INTRODUCED BY OLCOTT, SO CAN YOU CALL IT A BUDDHIST FLAG.? DID LORD BUDDHA HAVE A FLAG? WHAT IS PRACTICED IN THIS COUNTRY, OR SO IT SEEMS, IS NOT WHAT WAS TAUGHT BY THE BUDDHA. I DO NOT MEAN TO INSULT SINHALESE AND BUDDHISTS, BUT TO EDUCATE THEM!!!!

          AYMAN
          September 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm
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    ‘Legitimate aspirations of Tamils’….what are they? And ‘multi-ethnic’….can someone flesh this out a little so that it does come out as ‘one-ethnicity, one-vote’?

    Malinda Seneviratne
    September 22, 2012 at 4:31 am
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      Tamils’ aspirations? Human security for Tamils. Security against what? Against state institutions, state-paid thugs, …. Insecurity from the state – initial stages: http://tamilnation.co/nadesan/580604emergency.htm Political, economic, socio-cultural and environmental insecurity: ”But that truth cannot excuse human rights violations that currently afflict the nation as a whole; or for that matter obscure the looming threat of the cultural and political colonisation of the north by the Sinhala Buddhist majority” – Biased and Prejudiced Collection on Sri Lanka, *Gananath Obeyesekere, Economic & Political Weekly, VOL 47 No. 04, 28 January-03 February 2012 (*a Sinhalese Buddhist and Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Princeton University), http://www.scribd.com/doc/82525102/Biased-and-Prejudiced-Collection-on-Sri-Lanka http://www.scribd.com/doc/104705097/Conscientious-Sinhalese-Tell-LLRC http://www.scribd.com/doc/104760706/Sri-Lanka-Education-for-War-Must-Be-Transformed-Into-Education-for-Peace http://www.scribd.com/doc/105133706/Who-Looks-After-the-Environment-of-the-Oppressed

      eureka
      September 22, 2012 at 3:59 pm
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        eureka I suppose you are a Sri Lankan and I have a question for you. You quote Prof Obeyesekere. How come a Sri Lankan like you referring to a learned person like the esteemed prof? It is unusual by any Sri Lankan standards. This is equivalent to a intellectual commando attack. I am stunned. Any chance that you are not name dropping.

        Native Vedda
        September 23, 2012 at 10:37 am
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      Malinda Seneviratne wonder as though he has seen a ghost: “Legitimate aspirations of Tamils’….what are they?” It is what the Sinhala/Buddhists are supposed to achieve and enshrined in the constitution. It is what denied to my people although we were the historical owners of the island.

      Native Vedda
      September 23, 2012 at 11:58 am
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      YOU ARE STUPID. NOT TAMILS BUT ALL MINORITIES ARE JUST ASKING FOR THEIR RIGHTS . WHICH THEY HAVE BEEN DEPRIVED OF. I AM SICK OF GOING BACK TO GIVING A HISTORY LESSON, AS TO WHO CREATED TAMIL MILITANCY AND A PRABHAKARAN. “PANCHA MAHA BALAVEGAYA” AND THE “PACHA BALAVEGAYA” WE STILL CAN MAKE A STATE WHERE WE CAN LIVE IN PEACE AND PRACTICE OUR RELIGIONS IF ONLY THE MINORITY SINHALA BUDDHIST FANATICS, LEARN THE BASICS OF BUDDHISM AND PUT INTO PRACTICE THE MAJORITY OF SINHALA BUDDHISTS ARE DECENT HUMAN BEINGS.

      AYMAN
      September 24, 2012 at 12:56 pm
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    Firstly i agree with the writer whole heatedly. Some of us grew up in a time where we celebrated each others differences. Dr narendran, what an insightful comment. I totally agree with you. We the people can, make a difference if we change the things we can instead of waiting for the rabid Sinhala buddhists and the illiterati to take over the country. As for the Celarati Editorial, don’t forget the LTTE took these 3000000 people hostage. It was they, who got these civilians into the fight by using them as shields. We don’t condone the killing of these civilians there is enough blame to go all round however.

    Concerned
    September 22, 2012 at 4:52 am
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    Even if the Govt does not take the lead in this matter, it is possible for people to make the difference by extending the hand of friendship and reconciliation amongst our communities. As revealed by the author it is only a small gesture that is required to create the bond of friendship between communities. So let the people extend the hand of friendship by visiting and helping the suffering people in the North. There are many families without breadwinners, many widows, many orphans in the North.By adopting and helping a family or a child we can the repair the damage caused by years of war and conflict.

    Karthelis
    September 22, 2012 at 4:52 am
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    Poor Sanjeewa is confused..Clearly a UN led referendum will clear any doubts if the political aspirations of VP is a privately held belief or that of an entire ethnic community..

    Jegath
    September 22, 2012 at 6:21 am
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      Jegath “Clearly a UN led referendum will clear any doubts” Being a stupid Tamil you never learn. Referendum can wait. We should be demanding investigation on war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by all parties during various conflicts which took place since 1971. Have you had time to look at those papers on genetics?

      Native Vedda
      September 23, 2012 at 9:55 am
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    To achieve the goal set in this article, all Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim (we’re not yet in the Sri Lankan category but can reaach it when the youth understand the contents of this article) youth should read the following to the very end: Speech delivered during the course of the debate on the State of Emergency in the Second Senate on June 4th, 1958, http://tamilnation.co/nadesan/580604emergency.htm

    eureka
    September 22, 2012 at 7:03 am
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      Not sure if readers in Srilanka can access tamilnation.co. Hence I am copying a bit from that page “..The Tamils are the pawns in a political game. It does not matter to anybody how we suffer, how we feel, so long as in this game one Sinhala party is the victor and the other Sinhala party is the vanquished. That is all. That is why I ask you not to make us pawns in your game. … We are willing to go. Every Tamil man, woman and child is willing to go…We do not want language rights from you. Please have Sinhalese only. We only want the right to live in our areas. We want the right to be able to walk the streets without being molested. Those are the rights we want. We will look after our language… The elementary duty of a Government is to afford protection to its subjects, and the duty of the citizens is to be loyal to that Government. The moment that Government fails to afford that protection, it forfeits its right to that loyalty and affection. This Government has forfeited that right. “

      Human
      September 22, 2012 at 9:53 am
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    Prasad must have known what happened to TAMILS before 1983. Author should have added this to Prasad story.

    Human
    September 22, 2012 at 8:38 am
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    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran – I fully agree with you, but what can we do, rather than just wait and see. Udugampola Mrs.

    Udugampola
    September 22, 2012 at 10:49 am
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    “Now we admire the late Kadirgarmar as the finest foreign minister Sri Lanka ever had.” Some Sinhalese and Tamils say the late Kadirgarmar, the finest president/prime minister Sri Lanka never had. How many Sinhalese and Tamils would agree with the above?

    Native Vedda
    September 22, 2012 at 10:49 am
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    Good Question Vedda… As long as you take a cover behind a fake name you are a non existing creature in my book… Come clean with your real name to get my answer you moron !!!

    Kapila Kahapola, UAE
    September 22, 2012 at 11:08 am
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      Kapila Kahapola, UAE It was a question posted to rest of the readers and not aimed at you. If you chose to refrain from responding to my comment that is your choice. I am pretty sure no one is crying over your choice. You started with “Good Question Vedda” and ended with “you moron” Vedda is a confusing and difficult problem for you at the same time you you cannot stop secretly admiring all Veddas including this writer. Can you?

      Native Vedda
      September 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm
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    Two thumbs up for Dr Narendran and the author of this article. A charismatic and bold moderate like Kadirgamar is exactly what is needed to break the cycle of recriminations. But any such figure would face great peril from the extremist elements within the Tamil community. The tigers have not been tamed> GOSL cannot let down its guard militarily until the Tamils tone down the rhetoric. Reconciliation requires effort on both sides including mutual forgiveness for past sins.

    American Lanka Lover
    September 22, 2012 at 11:30 am
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    Thanks Sanjeewa for your article. At least from now onwards some one must take a leadership to take Sri Lanka to the direction shown by Late Kr. Kadiragaman.Our politions will nevar do this they just want to be in the power and enjoy all the benifits.Religious leader or some one must come forward and take the leadership to restore comunial harmony in the country.If we try to dig our past we will naver be able to achive this .We can not just ignor the past,we have to get lessons from the past and move on.If try to argue about the past we will in the same place so lets chenge our future to the right direction

    christo
    September 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm
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    The day Prabakaran was killed, was the most happiest day in my life. I am royalist.80s-90s. I know how we suffered from LTTE bombs in colombo. Few occations, i just escaped from bomb blast. I have lot of disagreement with this govt. Still, I thank from bottom of my heart to Mahinda Rajapaksa for ending this war by killing Animal Prabakharan.

    Sudarshan
    September 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm
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      Sudarshan “Still, I thank from bottom of my heart to Mahinda Rajapaksa for ending this war by killing Animal Prabakharan.” Prabakharan was not an animal he was a psychopath just like his counterparts in the Sri Lankan armed forces and rest in the state apparatus. The Sri Lankan state did not throw up a Ganthi as its opponent but it created enemies in its mirror image, Rohana Vijeweera and Vellupillai for example were historical products of Sri Lankan state. If anything you start blaming the people who built an uncaring undemocratic state of which you are a part. Mahinda Rajapaksa did not end the war but the International Community including India did do all the necessary work for MR to claim the victory, which was his and his alone and not shared by others, SF. You say: “I know how we suffered from LTTE bombs in colombo”. You can’t even begin to understand how thousands of innocent civilians suffered under constant bombardments, shelling and killing because you are Sinhala/Buddhist and from a “me society” who had lost its purpose and values.

      Native Vedda
      September 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm
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    Sudarshan, Good that you lived in Colombo not in the East or North specially in Jaffna. Do you how many bombs I escaped, I was inside the Navali Church during the bombing by the Sri Lankan Air-force and later Gurunagar Catholic Church also bombed, according to the Pilot this was an extra bomb and they do no want to take it back to Colombo so they just drop it top of the church killing over 200 people. Do you know how many people died in both Churches or how many people slaughtered in the Kumuthini boat in Delft or other systematical genocide from 1956,1957,1977,1981,1983 & 2009 , We lived in fear day to day life, eating newspaper and living in the bunkers. Because of Pirabakaran there were no pogroms after 1983 just remember that.

    Jaffna Tamil
    September 22, 2012 at 2:08 pm
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    This author Sanjeewa is also another guy who has the Sinhala superiority complex and, so that, he himself has misled him. Think, even though Tamils themselves suffered , who are responsible for that suffering. but, what did Other Sri lankans did to suffer the way we suffered. Who were brave enough to roam freely in Colombo or inside city limits of the south ? Those days, when LTTE was blowing up every where and everyone, only thing Tamils said was POLITICAL SOLUTION. No tamils apologized for what they were doing or what they did. Hither to this date, the Tamil sentiment stays there and it is the same. Even in this article, see what Tamils have written. For them free real estate is worth the lives of every tamils that was killed. They are ready to forgive everything if they were given the free real estate. So, understand the true reality.

    Thalaivar
    September 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm
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      Thalaivar The stupid Tamils and stupid Sinhalese have back to past history to find how badly they have treated my people. They continue to treat my people the way they did in the past. Have they ever apologised for what they did to my people? Have the state and its rulers apologised to the Sinhalese youth for their disappearance in the past 40 years or for that matter to Tamils? Please stop being a hypocrite and a stupid. If anything apology is not enough. As a compensation please go back to India which is your mother country.

      Native Vedda
      September 23, 2012 at 9:46 am
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    We won the war but we will lose the peace , and in another twenty years another war. History will repeat itself Till Total distraction will be the final solution . till we realise that we all are the same human beings no religious race or caste only then will this stupidity end .

    Raja
    September 22, 2012 at 4:05 pm
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      Raja says: “till we realise that we all are the same human beings no religious race or caste only then will this stupidity end .” I hate to agree with you. I suppose you meant Tamil and Sinhalese stupidity. Well said.

      Native Vedda
      September 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm
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    The Sri Lankan leaders priority is as long as possible to hang on to power by which ever way possible. Country,the people, justice, equal rights are mere words and come distance second, third or last in the priority list.Dupe people with ideology and using extremism as a power base to safeguard power and authority.One has to describe what type of system one called this.

    Colombo Citizen
    September 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm
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    “It is disheartening that there is no atmosphere in the country at present for racial unity. Religious leaders, who could play a significant role in fostering ethnic harmony, are too busy playing politics! ‘Saffron robe’ still has an exalted status in our society. And that status should not be exploited for petty political gains. Any right-thinking man cannot claim that ‘Sri Lanka is a Sinhala-Buddhist country’. And if you say so, either you are impractically oblivious to your surroundings, or you are misinformed of the recent history of your nation. Let us say repeatedly that ‘Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic country’ and it belongs to me as much as it belongs to my Tamil neighbour. And my Muslim friend too should not have any doubts about it.” Sanjeewa, what you have said above rings true and an every day experience to us all. Whatever establishment we go in as a public today we are straight away greeted now with an “Aye bowan” in an arrogant tone expecting an immediate reciprocation! No sensitivity or hesitation to consider that there are other ethnicities in the land. Almost a defiant statement that this a mono ethnic country of the Singhala Buddhist. Recently I had to face this for the umpteenth time and that was at a Dialogue outlet. I was quite irritated by this continuous charade and promptly responded with an ” Alaikum aslaam “. The young lady was totally thrown back and looked as if she had seen the Ghost. Thereafter never once looked up and when the business was over did not even return a glance or greet me and pretended as if I never existed!

    Mahen
    September 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm
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    Nonsense! I find it unbelievable that after the murderous LTTE, supported directly and indirectly by the overwhelming majority of Lankan Tamil ins the diaspora and in the North of the country, is wiped out, that little crittters whose only contribution to that defeat is being silent and a watcher comeout to say these things. Face it, Tamils, including the more sophisticated ones, truly felt that in the minimum a federal state that will morph into a full-fledged state will be born, and they unconditionally supported a murderer an his cohorts. The brave sldiers defeated them. When you put all your eggs in one basket, bad things can happen. Now stop whining and try to live with the Sinhala people to the best accomodation possible. And be happy the Sinhala people are quick to forgive and forget.

    Jay Chambers
    September 22, 2012 at 8:24 pm
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      Jay Chambers has a very short and selective memory: “Nonsense! I find it unbelievable that after the murderous LTTE, supported directly and indirectly by the overwhelming majority of Lankan Tamil” The story would have been complete if you remember to include the support given to LTTE by Presidents Premadasa and Mahinda, in terms of arms and cash.

      Native Vedda
      September 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm
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    I would like to respond to celerati that the armed forces did not wantonly butcher civilians taken as human shields by a cowardly psychopath.Most of the soldiers that were killed were from operations where the enemy had cannons hidden among civilians where most of the time return fire was wthhheld.The enemy in its death march took the civilians with them destroying their homes so that there was nothing to return to.Celarati maybe a person who has gulped the venom of distortion trotted by the diaspoda(pun intended).As for Dr. Narendren I wish most tamils are of his view point, unfortunately in my middle class circles the tamils in the majority gloated the terrorist attacks and referred to as our boys rather than condemning such cowardly acts.The politicians from the time of Chelvanayagam have been using the race card because with free and equal education the caste card was losing its might in the north.Even now the race card is being used and most of the gullible are taking it.I personally feel the majority are not hate filled and it is the minority like in all instances that upset the apple cart.In this conflict the whole society has taken a beating and I hope we can forgive and start a whole new chapter as Srilankans and not even identify our ethnicity like they do in the USA.

    ranbanda
    September 22, 2012 at 10:10 pm
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      ranbanda You have a very very short and selective memory.

      Native Vedda
      September 23, 2012 at 10:00 am
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    Kapila Kahapola, UAE is coming close to the point. ‘Michael’ during daytime and ‘Daniel’ during night’s attitude of ours is what drags the nations down under. What legislations we do not have to live as civilized citizens in Sri Lanka? We have all the legislations in par with the UK, Singapore or name any. What we do not have is the impartial enforcer of law which paves the way for what we are talking about. Did Minister Mervin Silva’s son assaulted the Army Major using the Majors own weapon or not? We are looking for microscopes? In another country the Minister of Transport resigned when the train driver was found negligent!! What is happening here? It is not the Singhalese, Tamils, Muslims or any other. It is the biased attitude in the enforcement of existing laws. Without the ‘Police’ to enforce the law, ‘Policies’ are just papers. Those who respect the law are punished but not the outlaws. Our system allows one time ‘war lords’ to be appointed as deputy ministers, presidential advisors etc. All improprieties are justified by force without acting in just manner. What more legislations you can bring up decency?? It is not easy to awake some who pretend to be sleeping. The writings of the ‘Right Thinkers’ are read by the ‘Right Thinkers’ only, but the conflict is not among the ‘Right Thinkers’. So we are forced to remain in the ‘loop’ forever as the majority of the populations are ‘forced’ to think the way they are by force by our leaderships all along.

    Gnanasooriyam GV
    September 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm
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    We need Rule of Law and respect for Human Rights,more than anything else. Today’s report says that even prisoners’ rights are violated by law enforcers,judges,prison authorities & lawyers – due,it appears,to ignorance of the law. http://www.sundaytimes.lk/120923/news/prisoner-rights-violated-charge-hr-lawyers-13681.html This is shocking.

    Justice
    September 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm
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    Dear all, Unless we get over this euphoric allegations of “40,000″ civilian deaths,”war crimes”,we will never be able to move forward as a nation.Unfortunately,upon reading some comments it seems a dream too far to be realized. What writer has tried to convey to all of us is not whether the war was justifiable or it was fought in a correct manner..brothers ‘War is dirty-wherever it is fought”.So let us accept the ground reality .War is finished.It does not take lives anymore…. Let us begin the Healing process..

    lakmal kulasekara
    September 24, 2012 at 7:25 am
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      Those interested to know more about what happened in the final stages of the war around Nanthikadal should read the following link: roundviews.org/2012/09/18/sri-lankas-forgotten-mass-graves-google-earth-and-remembering-the-dead-in-nandikadal/ A preceding article in GV on similar lines and comments there-in also shed further light. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran
      September 25, 2012 at 1:47 am
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    HEALING PROCESS IS POSSIBLE, NOT WITH THE RAJAPAKSES,PATALI,JHU AND THEIR STOOGES.EITHER THEY STEP DOWN AND GO INTO EXILE, OR THEY ARE BOUND TO LEARN A LESSON AS ALL DESPOTS HAVE LEARNT IN THE RECENT PAST SUBHA ANAGATHEYAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    AYMAN
    September 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm
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    Mr. Sanjeewa Ranaweera. Thanks for the article which I have read with great interest, and it is high time someone with courage and humane understanding shown the direction that all good Sri Lankans should take for the unity and betterment of the nation to live in peace. The present Politicians will not try to do this since they want to hold on to power as long as they can and line their pockets robbing the nation. I wish you well.

    Merrill Fernando,
    September 29, 2012 at 11:31 pm
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