22 October, 2020

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‘Marshall Plan’ And Sri Lanka

By S.Sivathasan

S.Sivathasan

What a war devastated nation needs most is resource for rebuilding. What Sri Lanka lacked most was the requisite capital. When local resources cannot be fully mobilized recourse is necessary for infusion from abroad. Both strategies have been employed by the present regime. No doubt adding to debt, but permitting of first world expenditure  in a third world economy. Public debt of Rs. 2.222 trillion in 2005 has risen to Rs.6.000 trillion in 2012. Year on year increase alone was Rs. 867 billion in 2012. The GDP which grew by Rs. 1.038 trillion in the same year, has the resilience to accommodate this debt.

What the people are peeved about is the uneven spread smacking even of profligacy. What the Tamils cry for is equity in distribution to make amends for past misfortunes. In desperation, they direct their sights to foreign countries and institutions for their initiative and assistance. What they can look forward to from the government is proactive response. Their   experience of the Tokyo Pledge of 2003 for Sri Lanka and of Marshall Plan of 1947 for Europe is particularly comforting.

Marshall Plan

What is most striking about the Marshall Plan (MP) is the speed with which initiatives were taken for the economic  reconstruction  of Europe after the War.  It was considered a prelude to political stability. Both placed together were seen to ensure the health of Europe and as importantly, the economic  well-being and growth of the United States. The pace is a contrast to the failure of the Sri Lankan Government even four years after the end of the war. There is not even a thought of it. Launching  of  a redevelopment programme to get over war devastation was perhaps wished for. As culpable in this lapse are Tamils, failing to press forth the concept of a ‘Marshall Plan’ as an effort at redemption.  The idea of political solution now with reconstruction to follow will be realized in the Greek kalens.

The MP was enormous in scope and vast in geographical spread. The amount US spent in three years 1948 to 1951 was$ 12.7 billion. To get the perspective clear, it may be observed that the GDP of US in 1948 was $ 258 billion. In comparison the GDP of 2012 was $ 15.65 trillion. The beneficiaries of MP in Europe were 16 states of which, UK, France, W.Germany, Italy and Netherlands received nearly three-fourths. All five are among the top in the world in state GDP as well as per capita. Timely aid was as important as the volume disbursed. Grants to all 16 countries composed 90% and the balance was loans.

Benefits of the MP did not come easily to the recipient countries. The plan may be said to have originated with Marshall’s speech at Harvard in June 1947. The US was to assist in normalizing economic health in the world. No political stability or peace was assured otherwise. This was the germ of his thinking which was elaborated on. There were however reservations, criticism and even opposition.   From conception to delivery to the affected, the path was tortuous. Some had illusions of relegating Germany to a ‘pastoral state’. Statesmanship overwhelmed such ideas. Realization eventually prevailed that when Germany’s industrial capacity remained idle, Europe’s economic recovery can only get delayed. Germany’s economic recovery was deemed central to Europe’s progress. Pragmatism was more compelling than antagonism.

Other Aid

In passing, reference must be made to US grants and loans in Europe amounting to $14 billion outside MP. This was between 1945-1947. Britain alone received $ 3.75 billion. Post war Asia too received sizeable aid. Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Phillipines were principal beneficiaries. In the period 1945 to 1953, grants and loans given by America to the world totaled $ 44.3 billion. This was a huge amount and it had a tremendous impact  on the recovery of Europe not to mention the countries of Asia.

Inner Vitality

There is something very significant to be observed however.  Six major powers fully involved in the war, both allied and axis, are now among the topmost economic power houses. Five of them barring US – Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and France – had experienced severe destruction. With a little moistening the seeds have sprouted. There was hardly a spell when they remained dormant. Their inner vitality and entrepreneurial spirit explain. Perhaps their elan vital pushed them to the top even before the war. What is noteworthy is that physical destruction did not cause despondency, but infused a new vigour. Even before the MP went into implementation, they had launched their recovery programmes with their own resources.  This is not to discount the very important part that MP played in providing the initial spurt and then maintaining the momentum. Timeliness was of the essence.

Sri Lanka

Lending a helping hand to lift a prostrate people is all what the concept of ‘Marshall Plan’ is invoked here for. The parallel ceases thereafter. The five nations were able to do so since the nation building process was completed decades earlier. They moved ahead single mindedly as a single polity. The situation in Sri Lanka is distinctly different. The Tamils fought and lost. What they lost in war they cannot gain in peace. If what they want is equality, it is only inequality that we will give. This is the official attitude of the government. Reducing the North East to a ‘pastoral state’ will take the country nowhere.

“Come and see” is the oft thrown challenge. Having seen two there is no appetite for more. The no. of industries in the country is 4,816 in 2012. In the Northern Province-NP- it is 11. The no. grew by 470 in the last 4 years island wide. In the NP it grew by 6. The GDP of the Province is 3.68% of the nation’s. What is seen is enough.

The initiative of the donor community is necessary for a wholesome change. A country cannot prosper when a segment is impoverished. Russia spurned US aid and mulcted East Germany almost to the tune of MP aid. Unified Germany’s mission was to bring East and West to a level of parity. Same ethnicity one would say. If for the benefit of reconciliation and unity ethnicity blindness is called for, embracing it may be compulsive to all.

Tokyo Pledge

The Tokyo Pledge of 2003 drawn up with a magnitude of $ 4.5 billion is a little bit of a Marshall Plan. With a tenth implemented and nine-tenth remaining, it is a viable entry point to resume the redevelopment programme.  The Needs Assessment Report of 3,400 pages encompassing the North East and the adjoining Provinces is appropriate for an immediate beginning. The Report has identified projects. As funding becomes available, they are picked up, detailed estimates are worked out and projects are implemented. Even as this segment gets under implementation, a Needs Assessment survey can be carried out for the subsequent period up to 2009. Mid – course revisions are practicable.

Future

A future of promise should firstly enable those in governance to see the sentiments of all citizens in objective light. Those thrown aside have to be facilitated to come back to mainstream economic life. Local and foreign resources have to be mobilized and utilized for this purpose.

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Latest comments

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    Quite right – funds should be spent and priority given to implementation of LRRC report and restitution to war devastated communities and areas!

    But the Rajapassa establishment is spending massive sums in Hambantota white elephant projects and CHOGM – entertainment for the Commonwealth of Clowns which should be SHUT DOWN since it is a totally irrelevant, useless and wasteful outfit that ONLY serves as a Platform for Third World Dictators – headed by a dubious Indian.

    Once SL host Commonwealth and becomes Chair it the organization which is a colonial relic will be closed down and buried!

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    Aid will be forthcoming if there is sincerity shown by the govt. Instead we see a 20% cut in US aid. In todays news the loss of a 450 Mn grant to the Justice Ministry. Obviously the US is not convinced that the aid is reachig the people or that Justice is being served in this country.

    India too is investing directly on projects to help the people. A few years back Japan was a major donor but has pulled back due to the policies of the Govt. EU too pulled out after the GSP debacle. The channeling of funds through NGO’s too has dried up after Govt placed various security restrictions on their activities.

    Govt is now reduced to taking commercial loans for projects from China, Gulf states and Commercial Banks. It seems debt is piling up with no fresh generation of income. Massive projects which fail like Hambantota and Mattala can pull down the entire economy. Loss making ventures are being subsidised by taxing the public.

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    Quite right the brain dead TNA is as culpable as the Rajapassa regime and international donors for the failure to set up a post-war Marshal Plan for war affected communities – like the post-tsunami reconstruction operation.
    TNA which claims to represent Tamils, was only interested in political grandstanding, rather than sequencing their demands and prioritizing working on the ground with the people. TNA should have set up a structure to plan, coordinate and monitor post-war development work with civil society experts, donors and international community to ensure that development priorities (housing livelihoods) are identified and projects started.

    TNA however has no expertise in development but rather is full of talk ONLY lawyers who like to split hairs but who no nothing about people’s development priorities or implementation.

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    MR. sivathasan,

    “”Handling of a redevelopment programme to get over the war devastation was perhaps wished for. As culpable in this lapse are Tamils failing to press forth the concept of a ‘Marshall Plan’ was an effort at redemption. The idea of a political solution now with reconstruction to follow will be realised in the Greek Kalends?”

    Absolutely right. However, some qualifications apply. The redevelopment program has to be viewed in terms of infrastructure, services, investment and production development. The infrastructure rebuilding has been focused and effective. Most trunk roads have been rebuilt and are at the best ever. Reliable power supply has been restored as of January this year. Schools, hospitals and water supply schemes have also been restored, improved and launched. Government services have been effectively restored. Banks have been established all over, though are only lending for consumption on a highly secured basis. There is a serious dirth of funds for small and medium industries. Manpower is a serious problem quantitatively and quantitatively. Investments in productive ventures is yet minimal. Government investments directly , through international borrowing and international aid, has been quite high, with regard to infrastructure development, including fisheries harbours.

    The manpower constraints and the lack of well thought out programs to overcome them are bound to have adverse effects on productive development. Industrial development will require an influx of manpower from mainly the south. tThis would be opposed by the Tamil political formations. There is already a shortage of operators for agricultural equipment and agriculture labour. The idea of importing seasonal labour from India is under consideration. This too would be politically controversial. The agricultural sector has improved by leaps and bounds, but the high costs, manpower shortages and marketing problems are serious impediments to further progress.

    The ‘ River for Jaffna’ project, which is vital for Jaffna is stalled , although considerable work has been recently done. The Elephant Pass lagoon has been isolated from the sea on both sides. I was pleasantly shocked to learn yesterday at a seminar on water resources that this work was completed by the government in 2008, amidst the war. Further, after the war the Thondamanaru and Ariyalai barrages have been reconstructed. However, the construction of the Mulliyan canal to connect Elephant Pass reservoir with the Vadamaracchchi lagoon has not commenced. The bund of the Iranaimadu tank has been raised preventing a natural spill into Kanagarayan Aru and flow into the Elephant Pass reservoir. Mr. Anandasangari is leading the effort against Iranaimadu waters spilling over to fill the Elephant Pass reservoir. It is imperative that the government make the visionary river project for Jaffna of the Late Engr.Arumugam come true. There can be no greater blessing for Jaffna. This project if completed will make Jaffna bloom in every possible way – agriculture, tourism, inland fisheries, industrialisation fresh water availability, good quality ground water availability, greenery etc.,

    Your reference to the Greek Kalends ( a point in time that does not or will not exist), is true of Tamils politics. The failure of the TNA to press for the completion of the River for Jaffna project and mobilising public opinion in its favour, is a an example of this mentality and its blindness to economic imperatives and the real needs of the people.

    Thanks for bringing up an important issue and problem to public attention.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

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      Dude you may need to revise your grandiose river of Jaffna plans to accommodate:
      1)current environmental realities such as rising seas due to global warming,
      2) evolving socio-economic realities -since Jaffna youth do not aspire to be farmers like their fore fathers.
      3)and new development thinking which eschews such mega projects (with lots of kick backs for corrupt govt. authorities) in preference for preserving fragile eco-systems and marine resources.

      Other kinds of water solutions may be appropriate for a new-post war Jaffna – think again.

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        What nonsense! It is the most Eco -friendly project that could be envisaged . Only a 2.5 km canal remains to dug. However, the biggest decision is to permit water from the Iranaimadu tank to flow into the Kanagarayan Aru during the monsoon seasons. Jaffna youth will be farmers, if being farmers pays. All other options are costlier to establish and maintain. Enough thinking has gone into the project and much has been already done. There is no need to re-invent the wheel. This is will be the bonanza and peace dividend that Jaffna awaits.

        I heard recently that many vested interests are trying to wreck this project , I hope you are not representing these vested interests. The ADBfunds available should be used to complete this project at the earliest.

        It will have the same significance for a Jaffna as the giant tanks established by ancient kings and Mahaveli diversion project.

        Dr. RN

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    Americans flattened most of Europe and rebuilt it.

    Dispora helped to flatten all of North.

    Shouldn’t Mr Sivathasan be asking his “Marshal Plan” from PM Rudra and his loaded Diaspora?.

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      K.A.Sumanasekara, when you planning to stop stupid sinhala bushit farting. Grow up try to use your damn gel in your skull.

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      K.A Sumanasekera

      “Dispora helped to flatten all of North.”

      I didn’t know Diaspora secretly funded the state to flatten the earth. this is news to me. Go on tell me more about it.

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    My God do you think the West would give any money to this Gota, Rajapaksa regime. Util they stay in power that wouldn’t happen, the West is pulling back their aids for they know well the records of these people. China would suck our blood by giving loans at commercial rates. The poor people of the country are at the receiving end.

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    The solution to the water problem in Jaffna would be a desalination plant powered by solar and wind power. Also the Jaffna Salterns and Paranthan Chlorine Plant can be revived in tandem.

    The solution to the labour shortage would be the establishment of a Regional Training Institute in Jaffna. All this needs money and management skills. Any takers amongst the Diaspora and TGTE to invest in ones own people?

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      Safa,

      The Jaffna river project is the least cost and most effective option. The money that needs to be spent to complete the project is also comparatively minimal.

      Dr.RN

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      Looks like this project has been forestalled by the Iranmadu Water Project by NWSDB. Refer the following article of Island 06/07/2009

      What happened to the River for Jaffna?

      by D. L. O. Mendis

      While visiting my family in USA, a news item titled US$ 60 million allocated for Iranamadu scheme in ‘The Island’of June 25 2009 was sent to me via email, by Eng. Thiru Arumugam in Australia.

      The news item said: “The National Water Supply and Drainage Board has allocated US$ 60 million for the proposed water supply scheme in Iranamadu based on the Iranamadu tank. Eighty percent of the expenses will be provided by the Asian Development Bank.

      The National Water Supply Board sources said, after completion of the project, it would be possible to provide drinking water to Chavakachcheri, Punakkarai, Walikamam, Nachchathipillai, Marthankerni and the surrounding areas.

      A water purification plant with a capacity of 11 million gallons a day will be constructed in Paranthan. The pipelines will cover a distance of 43km to pump water to these areas and the population in the areas is projected to increase to 371,000 by the year 2028, the sources said”.

      This immediate response is being drafted to invite Island readers to recall the article titled A River for Jaffna – the Arumugam Plan in your esteemed journal of March 11, 2009, and the follow up letter by Eng. Thiru Arumugam dated March 18, 2009. The gist of these writings was that the Water Supply and Drainage Board’s proposed Jaffna Water Supply and Sanitation project should be adapted to make use of the River for Jaffna project on which Rs 100 million worth of work has been done already on restoration of the Thondamannaru barrage that had been constructed some sixty years ago.

      In the River for Jaffna project, spill water from Iranamadu reservoir that used to flow into the Elephant pass lagoon down the Kanagarayan aru and thence into the sea, was retained in that lagoon whose sea outfalls were closed. The Elephant Pass lagoon was to be connected by means of the Mulliyan canal to the southern end of the Vadamarachchi lagoon, at the northern end of which the Thondamannaru barrage had been built in the early 1950s. The Upparu lagoon lying southwest of Thondamannaru was likewise protected from seawater intrusion by means of the Ariyalai barrage built at that time but now in need of restoration. In the course of time, first the Elephant pass lagoon, and then Vadamarachchi lagoon, and finally Upparu lagoon would be converted to fresh water lakes. The benefits of this visionary scheme were evident in the improved quality of groundwater in the wells of the Jaffna peninsula even at the start of the scheme in the 1950s.

      To use today’s jargon this was a totally eco-friendly project, begun more than fifty years ago, but sadly never completed. It appeared to have been taken up again with restoration of Thondamanaru barrage by the Rajapaksa government, but then came the announcement of the WS&DB’s proposed Jaffna Water Supply and Sanitation project in March 2009, with a loan of US $80 million from the ADB, which is again announced as due for implementation, without any reference whatsoever to the River for Jaffna project. The WS&DB project depends on extracting water from storage in Iranamadu reservoir, to be released through a sluice into a channel or stream down to Paranthan, where a pumping station will pump water through a pipeline to Jaffna peninsula. The rest of the project will be a conventional water treatment and distribution system for domestic water supply.

      What the general reader does not know is that Mr Anandasangaree, MP for Killinochchi has categorically stated that Killinochchi farmers will not allow water from storage in Iranamadu reservoir to be transferred to Jaffna. Killinochchi farmers already face shortage of water in comparison to land available for cultivation. The River for Jaffna project on the other hand depends only on spill water from Iranamadu, which obviously the Water Supply and Drainage Board engineers and their foreign consultants have not understood. Besides, the wells in the Jaffna peninsula are used for both domestic water supply and as agro-wells, a part of the human-made water and soil conservation ecosystem, a unique feature of a unique part of the island Sri Lanka.

      In the articles in March 2009 in ‘The Island’ referred to, these issues were described in detail, and a suggestion made for adaption, but this has not been accepted by the proponents of the new scheme.

      In this connection, may I refer to my D A Rajapaksa Commemorative Oration on November 26, 2004, where I quoted the US Senator Fulbright, who was quoted by the economist John Kenneth Galbraith on the US military – industrial complex, as follows:

      “I do not think the military-industrial complex is the conspiratorial invention of a band of ‘merchants of death’. I almost wish it were because conspiracies can be exposed and dealt with. But the components of the new American militarism are too diverse, independent and complex for it to be the product of a centrally directed conspiracy. It is rather the inevitable result of the creation of a huge permanent military establishment, whose needs have given rise to a vast private defense industry tied to the Armed Forces by a natural bond of common interest”.

      (Fulbright, 1967, 36181)

      I suggested that in Sri Lanka, there is a techno-bureaucracy, analogous to the US military-industrial complex that act together in a natural bond of common interest, to outwit the politicians. This project put up by the Department of Water Supply and Drainage in connivance with some foreign (Snowy Mountain, Australia) consultants, and the Asian Development Bank, is a classic example of this.

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    We talk about development programmes of Jaffna, industrial development of Jaffna, Marshal plan and so on and highlights the shortage of human power to meet the requirement. What we need to do to fill this gap. Migration of Sinhalese from South to North, engagement of military in the development (100% Sinhala) and building housing, schools, worship places and transport network for the newly settled people. International aids and funds are used to change the demography and destroy the Tamil homeland.

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      Anit,

      A simple solution. If you live outside Sri Lanka and are a citizen of another country, please renounce your current citizenship, have your SL citizenship restored ( your right) and come back to lend a shoulder. You should also write instead to encourage many other patriotic Tamil nationalists to do the same. You would not be able to do more for the war-affected people and areas. You cannot have it both ways. Put your foot where your mouth is.

      Dr.RN

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        Thanks for your advice brother. I know sometimes it is difficult absorb the reality and facts. I am sure that I have the right to express my opinion irrespective of whether I am a Sri Lankan citizen or foreign citizen.

        I am not bothered about whether you are patriotic of Rajapakse regime or Sinhala Sri Lanka. I am not bothered about what citizenship you have and where you are based on but it is useful if you can tell us where were you between 2000 and 2009. What sort of contribution you made during this period to the development of North?

        It is a well known fact that Prof.Hoole who came to serve war affected people. He was threatened and forced to leave the country by your patriotic people?

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          Ajith,

          I left Sri Lanka in 1978, because the 1977 riot had left me absolutely destitute. I took up a position that was offered to me and refused in 1976, in Canada. I moved to Saudi Arabia in 1980, because I wanted to be closer to Sri Lanka and spend my vacations there. In 1989, I settled my family in Colombo and moved back and forth as frequently as possible. I did not settle my family in Jaffna, because my mother and brother had been murdered by the IPKF in 1987 and my house had been looted and occupied by the LTTE, thereafter. The house was also wrecked in the battles between the LTTE and the army, and then stripped by thieves. I rebuilt the house during the 2002 ceasefire and was a frequent visitor to Jaffna during that period. Once the last war started the house was looted and wrecked once again by thieves. I have rebuilt it again, and live there most of my time. I have always held a Sri Lankan passport.

          As to what I have done for the Tamils,

          1. I have continuously highlighted problems and issues starting with giving evidence to the Sansoni Commission.

          2. I was the first eye witness to what the IPKF was doing in the north in 1987 and gave what I experienced and saw wide publicity.

          3. My visits to Jaffna during the last ceasefire gave me an opportunity to observe the LTTE at close quarters and expose it for what it had become. I was told repeatedly that I was on their ‘ List’.

          4. I was a member of the Diaspora Dialogue group in March’ 1989 and had the opportunity to listen to the government and tell it what I thought was right. This also gave me the opportunity to visit the Vanni and see the travails of the IDPs pouring into Vavuniya from the battle zone. What I saw of, and heard from these unfortunates, was reported by me extensively.

          5. i have renewed my commitment to Jaffna by rebuilding my house there twice and in the process losing most of my savings.

          6. Since the war I have extensively travelled through the Vanni and less so in the east, and written about what I witnessed and learned.

          7. I have set up an experimental farm around my house in Jaffna to demonstrate how modern life can be combined with productive pursuits.

          8. I have participated in workshops and programmes to assist the war-affected with livelihood pursuits.

          9.I have provided employment to a war-affected family and spare what I can for others.

          10. Two children from a war- affected family are being brought up by us for the past ten years ( in Colombo). Their other brother has also joined us recently. One has the potential to gain admission to a Medical College soon. There are some Vellalah relatives who do not partake food or drinks in our house, because they consider these beautiful children as lower than them.

          11. I am also permanently back in Sri Lanka after my retirement and spend most of my time in Jaffna.

          12. I also continue to write and comment extensively on the majority-minority issues, with the objective of healing old wounds and creating a futuristic outlook among the a Sinhalese and Tamils.

          Is there anything more I can do as an individual and a Tamil?

          I am sure this will be interpreted as boastful and self-promoting by the cynical. However, I assure you there is no need for self promotion at this point in my life, as I have been mellowed by the tragedy, pathos, failures and successes in my life. I know the meaning of impermanence. Further, what I have listed are overdue answers to similar questions asked by many in the past. Their questions are valid in view of my engagement on an issue of all consuming concern to me, as a Tamil and a Sri Lankan.

          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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            Dear Dr. Rajasingham Narendran,
            I respect what you do to help the war affected people.
            I think you are very lucky person because you did not have problems with the Sri Lankan Sinhala Military over the six decades of violent nation.

            I think I lived more years than you in Sri Lanka and had enough in the hands of Sinhala forces and witnessed suffering of the Tamil people in the hands of IPKF, Sinhala army, para military groups, individuals. As a child I have seen people Tamil coming to Jaffna in 1958, I have witnessed 1977 butchery in Anuradhapura, I was in the Weerasingham Hall when the shooting happened in Tamil Research Conference, I was in Jaffna when the political prisoners were massacred inside the prison, I was i Jaffna when the thugs brought from Colombo burn the Jaffna Library and attacked Tamil Parliamentarians. I was in Jaffna when the “Kumuthini Boat” passengers were butchered by Sinhala Navy, I was in Jaffna when LTTE attacked the armoured car where 13 Sinhala soldiers dead and random fire by Sinhala military in the Palaly street and Manipay where 19 students were paraded and shot one by one,. I don’t want to describe the Black July 1983 where voters list is used to identify Tamils. I was in Kilinochi when the Government introduced ban on soaps, soya meat, fuel and various products to North. I was in Jaffna when IPKP came in 1987. It is my house that was shelled by IPKF. I was there when EPRLF and IPKF involved in abducting youngsters and creating forces against LTTE. I was in Jaffna when the hospital was surrounded by IPKP and hospital staff were murdered by IPKF. My wife was in the hospital when SriLanka air force bombed Navali church. We still can remember the days inside bunkers living with snakes. I can still remember that I was sleeping in the road in front of army check points in Batticaloa. Can I forget the day when a muslim gave information to the army that a tamil man coming in the bus and a sinhala army threatening at gun point or when I travelled from Batticaloa to Jaffna, the STF commando cheif pulling and kicking with a six month old my son. How can I forget those days. I thank god for his kindness to help me to escape from several attempts to take my life naturally and unnaturally.

            I am not an anti-Sinhala or anti-Sri Lankan. I have had my higher education in Sinkala areas. I havegood and bad Sinhala friends. I have worked in Sinhala areas and Tamil areas.

            Each individual is different in terms of the experience they had with others. You at least had the privilage to settle your family in Colombo. Several Tamils did not have that opportunity. You are lucky because you exposed LTTE, but not Sinhala military.
            I appreciate and wish you success for your attempt to healing old wounds between Sinhala and Tamil. I don’t think there are wounds between individual characters. The people who are responsible for creating that wounds are still very active and still do not recognise that there is a need for it.

            The problem is not a majority/minority issue in Sri Lanka. It is is more than that. The mindset have to be changed. The environment have to be changed. For example, in your mind LTTE is your enemy, not Sri Lanka military or Rajapakse regime. You exposed LTTE but you did not expose Rajapakse regime. Having that mindset will not help to heel the wounds because you are biased in your mindset. In my mind, because you are an anti_LTTE (Pro Rajapakse/Sinhala) because you have suffered under LTTE. Your interest is personal and not national interest.

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              Ajiith,

              My sympathies. I can also empathise with your experiences. I have seen how the Armed forces dealt with the JVP insurgents in 1971. It was as cruel as anything could be. However, I wish you will dwell less on the past and more on the future. You have found an alternate future, as I had to. The Tamils living here have to do so too. Mr. Sivathasan has brought a very crucial issue into focus and defined the priorities. Greek Kalends, describes our political stance quite accurately.

              Development is a priority in all its facets, if the north and east are to recover and provide a decent life to the people who live there.
              Dr.RN

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            Point 4 refers o 2009.
            Dr.RN

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          Ajith,

          Further, with reference to Prof. Hoole , I wish he had stayed on. Unfortunately, he has failed on many occasions to see to an what he started. He depended on favours from unworthy persons and paid the price. In hindsight I feel he was temperamentally unsuitable to one the VC of Jaffna University, although eminently qualified academically. His opposition to the new engineering faculty being located in Kilinochchi. Was retrogressive. How he hoped to serve Jaffna as a VC, if he could not know how to navigate shark infested waters, is difficult to comprehend.

          Dr.RN

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    In the melee of inter personal polemics, Marshall has made good his escape!

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      Chanakyan,

      Apologies for having contributed to.Marshall escaping. I had to respond to comments that trivialise the need to move forward on the economic and political fronts. I had to also draw attention to the manpower problems in the north that have been aggravated by outward migration. The Diaspora has returned in large numbers on short term visits and have not done anything productive and long lasting. Their visits only fuel further frustration and the desire to run away. Further, everyone has been burnt by the past to some extent. I have also had my share. However, this should not close our eyes to future opportunities and possibilities.. Some commentators, especially from the Diaspora, make it their mission in life to keep the pot boiling here, while firmly anchored in wherever they live. They also insult persons than discuss their message rationally. .Most will never return, even if there is an Eelam! They seem to think that the people living here, do not have historical memories. They forget that our present needs transcend this history! History is not a hobby for us! We have to write a new story to survive.

      Mr. Sivathasan was rightly pointing out the need for a new story.

      I hope Marshall will be back again!

      Dr.RN

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