15 August, 2020

Blog

Deeper Similarities Between LTTE Control And UPFA Control

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

When I returned home in 1995 with our pet Dalmatian with its spots, hostile crowds gathered around us at Katunayake with shouts of Koti-Balla (Tiger-Dog). On other trips I had been taken straight to the Katunayake Police Station, and held up at Vanuniya and released after my friend travelling with me was arrested. I have been held up at Omanthai by the STF for four hours with fellow bus passengers and told that there was a change of guard at Elephant Pass and we would be held till the men from Elephant Pass arrived on foot and if they failed to arrive we would be shot.
Today, three years after the end of hostilities, Tamils arriving at Katunayake are still watched. Passengers report being asked for a bribe at immigration; some routinely seem to be handing in their passports with a few thousand rupee notes inside. It may not be necessary but the Tamil psyche believes it to be so. In LTTE times the same timid passengers paid a fee to the LTTE at Omanthai.

Driving to Jaffna it is common for Tamils to be stopped by police between Puttalam and Anuradhapura, especially at night. A year ago my van driver hired by the university forked out Rs. 1,000 to avoid cooked up offences. A friend had a more comical story. Stopped at midnight while driving carefully, he was shown a radar gun with a reading below the limit. When he expressed puzzlement, the policeman pointed to the School Zone sign, although it was midnight. He forked out Rs. 500.

I have had a very similar experience twice with the LTTE, once for exceeding an absurdly low speed limit posted on a downward road and the other time for not having a side mirror although most cars were manufactured without side mirrors. In both instances arguing, I was advised, would mean having to wait for Monday for the ‘magistrate.’

Deeper similarities between LTTE control and UPFA control

Far more seriously, almost everyone looking for personal benefits joined the LTTE. Even decent men joined to get passes for their children. Others joined the death squads for power. LTTE agents sat through university teacher union meetings. No opposition was tolerated. The LTTE, though hostile to its opponents, had a reserve of hatred for those who were once with them and then left.

Today, the UPFA is the same. Nishanthan from the TNA was sent to Velanai, Douglas’ fortress, to organize TNA’s youth league. Nishanthan successfully got a man (aged about 37) who was once with the EPDP to join. TNA’s newest member disappeared last week and his wife and children are lost as the police make the motions of investigating.

Just as some joined the LTTE for lucre, today many join the UPFA bandwagon to be able to sell jobs and take bribes for bus route permits. The same businessmen who joined the LTTE for the exclusive right to bid on government road and building contracts in LTTE regions are now with the government. The LTTE sold sand and now the EPDP does. The very same people who helped the LTTE control the Tamil people are now behind the UPFA. An example is KP. One implicated in Rajani Thirangama’s murder and vanished into the Vanni with the LTTE is also back. The LTTE’s Jaffna Political Commissar, a blood thirsty killer, was hunting LTTE-ers for the army after 2009. I was at a Noolaham (an NGO preserving Tamil books) meeting when the army threateningly intervened and held us up until their intelligence officer was brought in to join us.
In a dexterous move, an NGO that provided legal services to the needy and is now run by the founder’s daughter has been essentially bought over through dinners with Governor Chandrasiri, a university Council seat and exclusive agency rights to Milko in Jaffna. In exchange the once respectable NGO provides, among other things, cover to a dreaded LTTE-er by the code name Valluthi through employment.

Maaveerar Day and Kaarthikai Theepam

November 26 is Prabhakaran’s birthday, Great Heroes’ Day Nov. 28, a day when the army vigilantly nips any celebrations in the bud. This year coincidentally, Nov. 27 was Karthikai Theepam, the Hindu (Tamil and Thelungu) Festival of Lights. Hindus celebrate it in temples and the next day, , they light up their homes and vicinity. So this year could they dare celebrate their festival on Maaveerar Day?

It would appear that some liberal soldiers had given a green light and celebrations commenced. It was clear that some die-hard LTTE-ers would mix the two up. At Jaffna University, celebrations were held. TNA MP, E. Saravanapavan, was among the invitees.

The university is seen as government territory to be carefully guarded. So there are several men with hidden arms going about the university – because they are in civvies it is not known if they are from the regular army or paramilitaries. (I have seen at the university the same intelligence officer who sat through the Noolaham meeting referred to above). It is clear though that there are intelligence officers, EPDP men and even LTTE turn-coats roaming the university hallways with the university administration’s connivance. Douglas Devananda holds pre-Council meetings where he instructs the Council on decisions. These mirror LTTE times when the LTTE had a Poruppaalar (Person-in-charge) running the university and instructing the VC.
So the celebrations, whether for Maaveerar or Kaarthikai Theepam, were anathema to the government. A massive assault on the celebrants was launched. Male and female hostels were broken into by bashing down the doors and the inmates assaulted. The students protested, with black cloth over their mouths. Placards read “Army: You can suppress us in battle but never our feelings,” “Reconciliation is not through our suppression,” “Administration: Who is in charge of our safety?,” “Administration: Who gave permission to the army to walk in?,” etc. As the protestors came out of the campus, they were severely assaulted with iron rods, rubber cables and batons. Initial reports say that seven students were hospitalized with severe injuries, and Saravanabavan was beaten up and his car stoned. A woman-student, caught in the midst of the melee, fainted; and was beaten up regardless of her condition.

Stupid Government Fomenting Trouble

Post 2009, when the TNA rejected extremism and became democratic under Sampanthan, LTTE-time TNA parliamentarians S. Kajendran, Pathmini Sithambaranathan and Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam broke with Sampanthan and formed the Tamil National People’s Front. Kajendran rigged elections for the LTTE’s TNA and had lived in the university hostel controlling the university (giving new meaning to the Peradeniya phrase ‘Gajaying’ after another Gajendran who lived in the halls without paying). Kajendran is hated at the university. Naturally the TNPF was roundly defeated at the freer post-war 2010 polls with 0.09% of the vote!
Today the government thinks that LTTE tactics which failed to work will now work for them. When Amirthalingam was humiliated by the government by not recognizing his mandate from the people, it boomeranged and the LTTE’s ideology gained credence. Despite Sampanthan’s clear hold on the Tamil people’s hearts, the government is trying to by-pass him – the only gentleman at the PSC to say that unless the Chief Justice was given a seat he would give his to her. Now, the TNPF seems to make hay by holding a demonstration on 4 December to protest the assault on the university. It seems that the lessons of history are never learnt by the State.

Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. Our government truly seems to have gone mad.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Hoole is finally repenting from his broken palmyra days….when he had nothing but only one devil….which he kept comparing to the third reich and penepolasian wars…

    Now thankfully he has a most unexpected devil in the very people he wrote the broken palmyra for? People like Rajiva Wijesinha who is working hand in glove with the MR fascists…

    What a strange twist of destiny and the work of God, perhaps he will not believe that this too is the work of Jesus!

    • 0
      0

      You are drowning in DUNG. LOL!! Open your mouth and SWALLOW. Death will be a lot faster that way

    • 0
      0

      Ratnajeevan Hoole was not one of the authors of Broken Palmyra.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • 0
        0

        Fool

    • 0
      0

      You are confusing Ratnajeevan with Rajan Hoole.

      • 0
        0

        Thank you, I withdraw the earlier remark with an apology to the DNR.

  • 0
    0

    Suppression of People under whatever form is like trying to douse the ambers, where the wind will blow and the flames will errupt once again. The only way out is to reconcile with addressing the issues in conflict and not using BRUTE FORCE. Violence is a game that two can play.

  • 0
    0

    Dr Hoole says “Tamils returning seem to be asked by the immigration for a bribe. Ssome are reported to be handing in their passports with a few thousand rupees inside.”

    People who live overseas and come down for holidays or other visits do not carry LKRs.

    Arrivals have to clear immigration as well as customs ,before they reach the money changers.

    Frequent travellers to our neighbouring nations may be carrying LKRs and they are a different kettle of fish.

    This Professor perhaps got the two groups mixed up.

    • 0
      0

      KASumanasekera,
      Travellers to sri lanka keep some Rs.1,000 notes with them for an “emergency”.

    • 0
      0

      Sumanasekera,
      If you like to know more about why Professor Hoole continues to howl such unbelievable things, you should understand his true nature and his mindset. As the first step to examine it, you may google and read the keynote speech that he had delivered at a meeting organized by ‘Canadians for Peace’ in Toronto, on August 17, 2008.

      If only crowds at Katunayake knew that racist oration they would have shouted ‘koti balla’ not at the spotted dog but its owner with tiger stripes underneath.
      Leela

      • 0
        0

        Ane mage Leelooooo ;) You see koti, you dream koti, you scream koti beti, dont you have a kitty I mean Garfield?

      • 0
        0

        I was at the meeting which was held on 17th of October 2008 and listened to his speech intently. It was a decent keynote address and there was nothing unbelievable. He spoke very sensibly and had to face some hostile reaction from the LTTE supporters among the audience.

    • 0
      0

      I also noticed. Immigration comes well before the Money exchange counters. So, may be these Tamils bring Sri Lankan currency with them when they get from the plane. Why it is not fiction ?

      I have seen both all over North America police hiding in bends, slopes and abandoned roads and catch people. Article accuses pointing the RADAR gun during the night. Some times, they do air surveillance and catch speeding vehicles in rarely used highways. I have experience in all those.

      I think, those Tamils should have been prosecuted for giving bribes to peace officials because according to this article it is the tourist who willing gave the bribe in order to avoid delay.

    • 0
      0

      Well, K.A Sumanasekera, Sri Lanka is a nation of swindlers, so bribes should come as no surprise. Not only are Tamils targetted, but so too are Western tourists , who pay 10 times the “local rate” to visit a tourist site or catch a taxi. Naturally, the police have limited access to tourists, so it’s far easier to chase Tamils. Each to his own racket; welcome to the Banana Republic.

  • 0
    0

    Professor Ratnajeevan what happened to your friend about speeding in all parts of the country not only on the road to Jaffna and, most people believe they use the same reading to cop everybody. Another thing is crossing the white line. Which is as absurd and cooked up. So in this instance you are to alone. At least you are coming from abroad you have the money to give. More often than not we do not

  • 0
    0

    The Govt must realise that it cannot control the hearts and minds of people. You can only win them over by treating them as valued and equal human beings.

    Govt needs to implement LLRC proposals. Hold the NP PC elections. These are the basic rights of the Nothern people.

    • 0
      0

      Those same people never ever expressed remorse for their the blowing and killing pregnant women and children of their Brothers and sisters in the South for THIRTY years.

      Only Tamils are entitled to emotions and not others.

  • 0
    0

    Safa says:

    “The Govt must realise that it cannot control the hearts and minds of people.”

    I disagree with your sweeping do gooder comment.

    If the state catch you by your balls your heart and mind will definitely follow.

    • 0
      0

      Secret is not to get caught by your balls. Discretion is the better part of valour. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Live to fight another day.

      • 0
        0

        Safa says:

        “Live to fight another day.”

        I wrote the same quote a few weeks ago to point out their futility of a belief that bravery was dying.

        Are you a Veddah by any chance because you seem to understand the difference between living and dying.

  • 0
    0

    Prof. Hoole has summarised the situation in the north,well.
    The people are caught in a ‘vice’ – between the police/army on one side,and the EPDP goons on the other.
    The university administration is under Devananda,and has to ‘toe the line’.
    Dissent,and grief for dead ancesters is banned.

    • 0
      0

      Traffic policemen all over Sri Lanka try to extract bribes from vehicle operators on various frivolous pretexts , especially at nights and very early in the mornings.. I was beside a driver in a van travelling at night. A traffic policeman stopped the van and accused the driver of putting on his seat belt only after noticing him. The driver vehemently denied the accusation, because he was wearing the seat belt from the commencement of the journey. In fact I buckled my seat belt only after noticing the driver had his clipped. I butted in and told the policeman that the driver was wearing his seat belt throughout the trip. The policemen then wanted to know who I was. I told him who I was. He thereupon told the driver, he was excusing him out of respect for me and walked away. This crime is not directed at only Tamils, but all drivers.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • 0
        0

        I agree that cops do take bribes but they are very scared of being caught. Such conversation with bribe taking cops should be recorded and forward it to their superiors or the bribery commission.
        Leela

  • 0
    0

    Mr KA Sumanasekera – Most Sri Lankans going in and out of the country
    in some regularity carry LKRs, as I do. It comes in handy for taxis when the flt arrival is late at night – when our driver is not avaialble.

    It seemed to me the rackets and tension for Tamils at the airport is far less now. The larger number of women immigration officers are friendly and courteous. Even the Customs officers too.

    Senguttuvan

    • 0
      0

      If one is to believe the Diaspora take on Tamils travelling to Srilanka,harassment commences at the Immigration counter and follows every where even Radar guns following them on A9 in the night

      That is not even mentioning the White Vans and abduction brigades.

      Here is Mr Sengutuan , a very vocal local of the anti MARA brigade walking out of the BIA in wee hours and hailing a Tax to get home.

      A great many Sinhalese who have no relatives to greet them at the entrance to welcome and take them home, never venture out to get taxis outside BIA.

      They always line up at Abbans desk to get a ride home.

      And Professor Hoole reckons it is pretty dangerous going out there for his Diaspora mates.

      • 0
        0

        at the Immigration counteritselfK.A Sumanasekera – says

        “Here is Mr Sengutuan , a very vocal local of the anti MARA brigade walking out of the BIA in wee hours and hailing a Tax to get home.”

        Is Senguttuvan a member of Tamil Diaspora?

  • 0
    0

    These two institutions – military and university – exist on different planets and should never be brought within remote proximity of each other, else, the inevitable clash. Even Hitler had a difficult time moulding the universities into a bastion of National Socialist ideology. One of the more famous dissidents – a university student – was beheaded for printing out phamplets critical of the Third Reich. The central problem is that academicians are somewhat rebellious by nature, and, by extension, encourage the students to think freely. Whereas the military values blind obedience above all. Now, if the Rajapakses think they can bridge the divide through “Leadership Training”, they are dead wrong.

  • 0
    0

    Wonder who Mr.Hoole is referring to here. Another of the long list of compramised NGO karayas?

    “In a dexterous move, an NGO that provided legal services to the needy and is now run by the founder’s daughter has been essentially bought over through dinners with Governor Chandrasiri, a university Council seat and exclusive agency rights to Milko in Jaffna. In exchange the once respectable NGO provides, among other things, cover to a dreaded LTTE-er by the code name Valluthi through employment.

  • 0
    0

    If you were appointed as vice chancellor you would have maintained dead silence over the current issues like your Palmyrah(UTHR) friends .
    Not heard much from them after may 2009.Is that means no more human rights violations in Sri Lanka or they are not paid by their paymasters any more?

  • 0
    0

    leela,
    canadian for peace was a very anti LTTE organization. Ratnajeevan’s speeches over their can’t be pro LTTE at all. after LTTE was defeated they tried to help build all of ours nation and failed. don’t get angry about what he said. forget about tamil people . what about sinhalease? chief justice, mjr sarath fonseka etc. then try to imagine how tamil man’s story can be.

  • 0
    0

    K.A. Sumanasekera and Leela are on the bum-sucker payroll of MARA & Co.
    Pay no heed to their mutterings that come out of their rear ends.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.