31 October, 2020

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Lubrication Of Reconciliation

By Malinda Seneviratne –

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Velyutham Dayanidhi is not a name many would recognize.  He was born on March 3, 1956.  He joined the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam not on account of any persecution or perception of discrimination on the part of Sinhalese.  He was motivated after he was abducted and tortured by the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) in the late eighties.  The EPRLF contended that Dayanidhi was an LTTE supporter.  Years later he became the media spokesperson for the LTTE.

Everyone who kept abreast of what was happening with the LTTE would immediately recognize both name and face. Everyone knew Daya Master.

In July 2006 Daya Master suffered a heart attack.  Arrangements were made to admit him to Apollo Hospital, Colombo subsequent to a request made to President Rajapaksa by his family.  This was while the Ceasefire Agreement between the Government and the LTTE was still in force and despite the fact that hostilities had resumed.  It happened two months after the LTTE carried out a suicide attack in an attempt to assassinate the then Army Commander, Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka.  The National Movement Against Terrorism (NMAT) staged a demonstration outside the hospital, demanding that Daya Master be arrested.  He was not.  He was treated as a patient; his terrorist credentials were ignored.  After he recovered, Daya Master was taken back to Kilinochchi.

Less than three years later with comprehensive defeat on the military front staring him in the face, Daya Master surrendered to the Sri Lankan military.  This was at Puthumathalan in April 2009. Today Daya Master, along with some 11,000 LTTE members, is free.  If that’s not a positive step in post-conflict reconciliation what is, one could ask.  This is why when someone like Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu tells those who still believe he has any sensible thing to say, ‘This government is only interested in ‘building reconciliation on concrete’, it is funny.  That’s another story.

Now Daya Master can be said to have ‘defected’, that he is victim of circumstances and that he has/had no option. Fine.

But a few days ago, Daya Master wept.  He wept when a man his outfit fought against and would have had no compulsion in killing in cold blood (remember what Tamil ‘civilians’ did to SSP Charles Wijewardena?) was transferred from the North to Colombo.  Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe headed the Security Forces in the North.  There was a farewell ceremony for him.  Daya Master was present.  He wept.

Tears shed out of gratitude for the fact that he was not killed as his counterparts in the Al Qaeda would have been had the Marines got hold of them?  Tears of gratitude for not having been held in some Sri Lankan equivalent of Guantanamo Bay if indeed such facilities are replicable?  Tears because he read it all wrong, believed what he should not have believed?  Tears for all the unnecessary deaths caused by pernicious misreading, the wide articulation of the misread and the buttressing of misread by bullet and bomb?   Who can tell?

Let us not assume.

Let’s talk of known facts.  There was a man whose family wanted the Government to facilitate treatment for a heart condition. The Government did exactly that. There was a call for his arrest.  He was not  arrested.  There was a man who was forced by circumstances to join the LTTE. He became spokesperson for that organization.  Somewhere inside this 58 year old man lives a man who was tortured by the EPRLF, a man who spoke for the LTTE and a man who fled that organization. There is a teacher within him.  A father and a husband live within him.  Within him, also, there are tears.

Even as past wounds are not allowed to heal, even as the failure of preferred outcomes to materialize prompts demonization and fuels revenge-intent, even as embrace is read as subjugation, even as certain kinds of embrace are tinged with condescension, even as a nation struggles with history and terminology, angst and anger, there is a man who still has tears and is unafraid to shed them.

This country has hope.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com

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Latest comments

  • 1
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    Daya Master wept because he is one among the few “11,000 LTTE members” who had special privileges due to Hathurusinghe and was pampered and guarded by him as a faithful slave and was destined for higher posts – like Karuna,KP & Pillayan.He may even have been provided a Bogus Passport by Gota,as was done for Karuna.
    Maybe he kept the list of ‘handmaidens’ for Hathurusinghe who texted them whenever he required their ‘services’.
    The rest of the so-called ‘11,000’ are hounded almost daily by the army – they have to report to the army each month,and are prevented from acquiring gainful employment.Their families too suffer.
    Malinda should go north and inquire instead of shedding crocodile tears.

    • 0
      1

      Dayamaster knows how to live as any other low caste Tamil has learned.

      Daya master lived under the rule of HON. SUNGOD THE VELUPILLAI PABAKARAN.

      DAYA MASTER IS LIVING WELL EVEN UNDER THE RULE OF MAHINDA RAJAPAKSE AND AND GENERAL? HATHURUSINGHE.

      DON’T BE AN IDIOT.

      ACCEPT THAT Daya master is a survivor.

  • 3
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    Excellent write up as always, Malinda.

    • 0
      1

      tell us why do you find it that excellent ?

      Come with good arguments please.Thanks

  • 4
    1

    Ms.Linda Seneviratne,if the devil was to play pandu with the Jarapassas’ and had the servility to say yes sir, no sir, ulcer…he would be accepted with open arms by the Jarapassas’. If anyone goes against them, be it General Fonseka to Nelson Mandela…they would become traitors overnight and feel the eternal wrath of the Jarapassas’. People like you dear Ms.Linda Seneviratne know the truth but keep on typing anyway trying to fool the people. Yes, you can fool some people Ms.Linda Seneviratne, but you cannot fool everyone…especially those who read and comment on CT.

  • 3
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    [Edited out] Malinda,

    What poppy-cock you write as usual!

    Do you think we buy all this BS you spew out with your ‘stories’, attempting to give saintly status to an otherwise unsaintly regime?

    Wasn’t there a great probability that Daya Master was allowed to come to Colombo for medical treatment in exchange for release of some senior military officer/s held by the LTTE?

    Ignoring the above fact gives you the usual fodder to sing praises to your unworthy patrons.

    Get a life Malinda. Not all your readers are as inane as you are.

  • 1
    0

    Wow- a man who was seriously considered as the government candidate for the post of chief minister at the provincial council election, was crying when the military leader who was source of his strength was being transferred! Truly the stuff of reconciliation! Doesn’t this investigative journalist par excellence think that this little fact is relevant? Oh Darth Insidious is there no hope for you?
    S

  • 4
    1

    Mahinda Seniviratne

    Your writings are full of anti feelings and does not show any moderation.

    Whist dissection of the past is an important process it cannot be an avenue to live on.

    From the type of writings of yours, it is clear that you belong to the traditional unbending extremism that only knows to discharge hate in any form. Yours is one type.

    Now that war is over what is your position on political empowerment through regional autonomy of the minorities and abating the central control from the day to day life of the people.

    Also, do you support an international inquiry on war crimes against the Sri Lanka state and the LTTE?

    Let me see how liberal are you on these.

    Joel

  • 4
    1

    It is well documented that 90% of the “Johns” who exploit the women victims of the war in the north are Jaffna men themselves. In a heartless place like that good people can only shed tears. Malinda, your writing resonates Daya Master’s tears.

    • 0
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      OutRider:
      That’s a first, someone waxing poetic about a government mouthpiece singing the praises of one of LTTE killers! It will be interesting to know how serious the removal of this b….ds protection is going to turn out. After all, it was the Daya Masters, KPs, Karunas who were the leaders and financiers of this murderous band who preyed not only on the Sinhalese but on their own people as well. Will the chickens come home to roost now that Hathurusinghe is no longer around to protect this animal?

  • 0
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    Isaipiriya [Edited out]

  • 3
    1

    ” This is why when someone like Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu tells those who still believe he has any sensible thing to say, ‘This government is only interested in ‘building reconciliation on concrete’, it is funny. That’s another story.”

    It looks like you have not read –
    Short-­‐Term Benchmarks for Peace and Reconciliation in Post-­‐War Sri Lanka – http://www.sangam.org/2012/05/CPA_Benchmarks.pdf

  • 1
    0

    Did you get a free laptop as well?

  • 3
    0

    why did they spare Daya master but not VP’s son; colnel Ramesh?
    Isaipriya? etc etc

    Malinda dont give us this bullshit

  • 1
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    “He joined the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam not on account of any persecution or perception of discrimination on the part of Sinhalese”

    putting words in to his mouth

    He was motivated after he was abducted and tortured by the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) in the late eighties.

    so who is EPRLF and howdid they come about

    so it’s not LTTE and VP

    it’s your Douglas Devananda and EPDP and EPRLF etc etc

  • 0
    1

    People like Daya master cant even think of betraying Hathurusinghe
    people like you will betray the country for a laptop

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