20 January, 2018

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Militarization Of Mullaitive: True Or Not?

By Vishwamithra

Highest Military to Civilian Ratio: 1:2, New Report Finds

“On either side of a potentially violent conflict, an opportunity exists to exercise compassion and diminish fear based on recognition of each other’s humanity. Without such recognition, fear fueled by uninformed assumptions, cultural prejudice, desperation to meet basic human needs, or the panicked uncertainty of the moment explodes into violence.”  ~Aberjhani, American historian

The Executive Summary of a new report contests the government’s demilitarization process and reveals, ‘Mullative district, with a population of 130,000 has an estimated 60,000 security forces, giving it an extremely steep (1:2) force to population ratio’. If the contents of the said report are true and accurate, the resultant socio-ethnic undercurrents would be unacceptable and an eruption of unwanted preconditions to another blow up inevitable. One uniformed soldier for every two civilians in the district is, in essence, a military cantonment. One couldn’t get a more effective purveyor of unfriendly news (which Donald Trump, US President, calls ‘fake news’).

Ceylon used to be a land where the faith one believes in or the language spoken and the cultural traditions one followed did not matter when friendships were bonded, community mix was intended and common political ends were fought for. Yet when histories of each community are thrown into this mix, that common bond disappears; those who still hold on to that bond seem more and more reactionary in their minds and the community as a collective mindset fast approaches a breaking point; the devastating effect that this breakdown of communal harmony is widespread amongst all communities. There does not seem to be any long-term resolution to this breakdown of the friendly bonds that existed among these communities. However, there do exist friendships, personal bindings and harmonious acquaintances and relationships among individuals but such alliances are not accepted in the wider realm of community-reconciliation. The Sinhalese community simply cannot equate these individual relationships between Tamils and themselves as a wider reconciliation between the two communities and disregard the legitimate grievances Tamils clamor about.

It is in the context of the hallucinated triumphalism and false sense of Aryan-based superiority of the Sinhalese-Buddhist psyche, the real and imaginary Tamil grievances come to life. In the absence of a sincere and sturdy commitment from the political leadership of Sinhalese Buddhists, any utterances and declaration from atop platforms and other fora would look like empty rhetoric and an aimless journey into the wilderness of political anarchy and socio-ethnic doom. Although the war between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) and Sri Lankan security forces have ceased, the animosity and distrust between the two communities have not ended. On the contrary, a deep-rooted anger has set in.  One day it might again find a violent expression of ethnic hatred and racial enmity as it did in the recent past. Such socio-ethnic dynamics do not occur in a vacuum. The majority consisting of Sinhalese Buddhists and their political and religious leadership have to bear a great amount of responsibility for the agonies brought upon minority Tamils. When such violent destruction was caused to ethnic groups, in terms of modern neo-liberal thinking, such actions are branded in the most dastardly lingo naming and shaming, quite unjustifiably so, as genocide, pogroms and ethnic cleansing, the situation is clearly out of control. The spirit of ethnic harmony, the spirit of racial parity and the fundamental sense of social fairness become mere words expressed by politicians whose very existence depends upon the flaming of violence and discord of different ethnic groups.

The developing situation in Mullaitivu, as per the Executive Summary of the said report, may very well be a breeding ground for such social spite. Cruelty visited upon one ethnic group by another cannot be condoned, nor should it be encouraged for political advantage. As was stated in my earlier paragraph, such conditions do not manifest themselves in a vacuum and the context in which such conditions appear needs to be changed as the very context is a result of a state of mind created willfully by vested interests whose parochial politics has dictated, that in politics, winning is not everything but it is the only thing. Politicians of today are beyond repair. Their ingrained interest in perpetuating themselves in power, not as a vehicle for service of man but solely a means to a more wholesome and wealthier end has destroyed their souls and injured their legacy. Callous disregard and apathetic approach to the voters’ needs and demands are finding unkind expression on many a field. The private sector that is totally reliant upon the bones and residue that politicians throw at them are even worse than the government sector-executives and managers. The entire system is rotten and it is showing at every layer and level of each and every socio-economic structure that is in place.

This is the cruel truth that we are grappling with today. Today’s television channels are no more interested in conveying the truth or factual state of affairs. They are willfully engrossed in making and breaking politicians. This warped mindset is dictating what is fit for screening and what is not. Against such a tortuous backdrop, when one reads the Executive Summary authored by Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research (ACPR) and People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL), the following part of the report stands out: ‘The consequences of such omnipresent militarization are widespread. Tamils must fear for themselves and their children as they encounter security forces on roads, in markets, and in schools while their community development is continuously obstructed. Trust within Tamil communities is inhibited by uncertainty over who may be reporting to the military. The military’s extensive presence inhibits freedom of speech and freedom of thought, since the military’s shadow hovers over all political activities, suppressing engagement in civic fora. It has become so engrained in Tamil society in the North-East that it no longer needs to be visibly seen for its presence to affect the community. The normalization of the military’s presence in various aspects of life in the North-East has led to Tamils internalizing this oppression’. It shows a sure way to another build-up of a terrorist force in the North. Such militarization leads to a physical response from the indigenous population and is prone to defining the issue as a moral contest fought between an overwhelming military force and an oppressed minority. Such easily palatable sloganeering would lead to prolonged clashes. The gates of the Temple of Fairness are being threatened to be broken. The Broken Palmyra is no more of rhetorical or verisimilar value.

Mullaitivu populace will have a very legitimate and valid case against such an imbalanced ratio of 1 is to one, military personnel are to civil population. As time passes by, the very physical presence of the army, when taken for granted, would be able to exercise enormous influence and pressure leading to a varied plethora of give-and-takes; such give-and-takes would be inevitably facilitated by bribery and other corrupt practices such as flesh for money etc. These inevitabilities are not able to be anticipated but when the situation demands, the very dynamic of these dishonest processes takes a stranglehold of the doers of the deeds. When the process reaches the plateau of a ‘comfort zone’, a chain of acts and deeds would be born out of sheer necessity. This is the same process that created the current course of culture that has engulfed our population in the rest of the country. A proud people who produced such civil servants, academics, engineers and doctors are being held hostage- 21st century-kind- so to speak. Yet we see an emerging investor class, mostly in the hospitality field, all over Jaffna and its suburbs. The Chief Minister seems to be profoundly embedded in the classical Tamil culture, confidence that he asserts and the equally eloquent expression of his true feelings and lending an aura of assurance and arrogance bordering on being condescending at times.

But the findings of the report that we are discussing will undoubtedly pivot this towards what the Army has to say in their defense. Phony patriots apart, there might be extremely valid reasons behind such a concentration of security personnel being present, if true, in Mullaitivu. The last thing the government and its security forces want would be random occurrences of violence, from whichever quarter they may erupt. Yet it’s incumbent upon the powers that be to explain to the curious public the real facts and question the veracity of the Report in discussion. Sri Lankans are very adept in procrastinating action when they are staring in your face. Despite that highly intolerable characteristic attributable to most of those who occupy higher echelons in the Administration, this Report surly must have been a subject that it discussed at its weekly Security Council Meetings.

Mullaitivu is not another country. It is very much part and parcel of our motherland. Its population consists overwhelmingly of Tamils. The war is over. It’s time we Sinhalese as well as Tamils realized that peaceful coexistence is infinitely preferable to conflict-ridden living.

The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com                      

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Latest comments

  • 9
    1

    My mother is from Mullaithivu. Her dad was one of the three Mudaliyars appointed by the British to administer Mulliathivu. I have visited Mulliathivu and the surrounding area many times during my childhood. Freshly caught prawns, crabs and fish curries and juicy mangoes, jack fruits, and rice from my mums paddy fields come to mind.

    Mullaithivu is not the hotbed of Tamil militancy. Mulaithivu is where it ended. But that is irrelevant. The army occupation of Mullaithivu is to an oppressive reminder to the Tamil people . In addition to the 60,000 army the ugly war memorials overlooked by Buddha statues, giving an impression that the army sought and received Buddhas blessing to the killing of 100s of thousands of innocent Tamils is an insult to Buddha.

    But in Sri Lanka killing and oppressing in the name of Buddha to preserve Buddhism is a norm .Violence against Tamils and oppression of Tamils is being packaged and sold to the gullible Sinhalese masses, since independence, as preserving Buddhism. Is present day Sri Lanka different to Hitlers Germany?

    • 2
      4

      This is wrong actually. Go to any country where a war destroyed the nation over few decades. THere you will h ave to see millataries presence.
      Just imagine if former rebels would mobilse against own folks, what a mess woudl ahve been the case. Knowing all these, please try to see it that way. Milltitary should be there until people s security is believed to be not in jeopardy. But in case Army men would be doing wroing to the folks, there, the law should work equally against them.
      I trully believe wit the time, notherners and southerners will forget all the differences so that our future generations can share peace without thinking race, religion or whatever may them apart.

    • 2
      5

      Hi Rajesh

      You say your maternal grand father was a Mudaliyar Appointed by the British to administer Mullaitivu, from this I understand that Your fore- fathers were traitors to the Tamil cause as they supported the British against my fore -fathers you fought the British to liberate Vanni from the colonial clutches. Pandara Vanniyan was betrayed by a Kathirgama nayaga Mudaliyar of Mullaitivu district, that is how the british found out the hideout of Panadara Vanniyan and his lieutenant ( his half brother Pariyari velan). Refer to J.P.Lewis manual of Vanni.

      I thought you may not be familiar with the intricate details of Vanni History that is why I wanted to point out about the origins of Mudaliyars of Mullaiytivu that said I agree with the rest of the contents of your post.

      By the way I am the Great, Great, Great,Gradson of Pariyari vellor.

      • 2
        2

        Correction; My fore-fathers who fought the British——

      • 1
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        Grandson of Pariyari VEllOR. Quite a long history in Sri lanka.

      • 2
        1

        we both come from the same clan….

        • 3
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          Rajash

          I agree with you when you say that we both are from the same clan as Pandara Vanniyan and Pariyari Velon are related to Kumarasingha Mudaliyar of Mullaitivu who was hanged by the British in 1803 for treason for assisting Pandara Vanniyan ‘s family. It is the British who split up this clan by cunningly employing their divide and rule policy as the Sinhala occupying forces now.

          • 2
            1

            I have a very old photo of my maternal granddad…dressed in his Mudaliyar out fit and all the trimmings that go with it …with the vaal

    • 1
      2

      So your sun goat must be singing lullabies for 30 years, mustn’t he?
      Chopping babies, hacking women, blowing school children…?
      Not just Sinhalese, Tamils too!

      60% of Tamil population lives with Sinhalese, How many Sinhalese live with Tamils in your Peelam?

      It would be the genocide of Sinhalese if we let him operate for another 10 years.

      God bless Mahinda, Gota and Sarath!

      • 1
        1

        Srinath

        Stop talking through your rear end. Before LTTE the Sinhalese were killing the Tamils indiscriminately in racial riots. LTTE was born to fight the Sinhala racial tyranny. LTTE killed a few hundred Sinhala Convicts who were Settled by the Sinhala state to harass the Tamil villegers in Manalaru district. Even these settlers were armed by the Sinhala state. They were by no means ordinary civilians. The total Sinhala armed and non armed killed by the LTTe over the 30 year war was about 1500 ( including all the bus bombs). Over the same period Sinhala state armed forces killed about 300,00 Tamil civilians ( LTTE or other militant combatants are not included in this figure) including school children in uniform. During the last days of the war nearly 60000 Tamil civilians were killed by the Sinhala army led by various war Criminals.

        GAY and pheodophile capital Sinhala lanka is a place White tourists piss on your boys’s faces and violate the tender Sinhala anuses.

        Srinath , you ignorant moron you need to go back to school to be re-educated or needs treatment in Angoda.

        • 2
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          Pirabakaran velupillai

          Ha, ha, ha, ha, In 30 years – 300,000! In last few days of the war – 600,000 excluding LTTE terrorists and other combatants. :D :D :D :D I am sure you are one of them!!!

          Man, make your lies at least believable!!!! Adding zeroes doesn’t make any lie, true.

          LTTE diaspora’s famous “40,000” civilian number is already challenged by none other than Lord Naseby whose word will eventually be accepted by the international community than the unconvincing word by LTTE remnants hiding behind lies and numbers.

          The truth is there were zero civilian casualty by our Army. All those who were killed by the Army were LTTE terrorists as Army had the information with regard to specific locations of all LTTE camps and hideouts. Our Army targeted only terrorists. Civilians were removed from the battle areas well before any such attacks. Unlike LTTE terrorists, our Army had used highest military geography in all their strategies, tactics and methodical planning in defeating terrorists.

          • 1
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            Champa

            Like every Sinhala modaya you have jumped the gun here. Read my correction below before you post ridiculous messages I know the difference between 30000 and 300000.

            Morris otherwise known as Lord Nasbey is a paedophile who enjoyed the Sinhala hospitality of providing young Sinhala boys’s anuses for White paedophiles. Now disgraced ” Lord” is going to lose his peerage over supporting the Sinhala war criminals. You watch this space ” now disgraced Lord” will be striped of his title pretty soon.
            If we compare the human rights abuses of the Combatants on both sides of the battle- I can tell you with absolute certainty that LTTE did not rape a Single Sinhala woman in the entire 30 years of conflict but Sinhala War Criminals raped thousands of Tamil women irrespective of their age and disability, so much for your fucking Sinhala Buddhist culture.
            Your cowardly Army never had any strategy of their own they were supported by India, Parkiland,China,Isreal, US to name a few countries, other wise they couldn’t have defeated the LTTE. Do you guys still piss in your pants when you hear the word LTTE.

            • 0
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              Machang Prabhakaran
              .
              Give me one good reason as to why the British Government hid the Report which concluded that our Army had not committed any war crimes?
              .
              Tell them to publish it. The British government is taking sides with terrorists and holding the truth. Double standards!!! But they won’t be able to do it for a long time.

              • 1
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                Champa

                I am not writing here for just passing my time. Although I dislike you bastards Sinhalese for what you did to the Tamil civilians during the final phase of the war, We Tamils still feel you all originally came from our race but have become radicalised through wrong education system which teaches Mahavansa literally as the starting point of the Nation’s history. Even by that fairy tale’s standard it is accepted that Sinhalese are Tamils per se or at the least they are composed primarily of Tamil and other South Indian ethnicity.

                I write here not to win a debate or to dispel my boredom but to seek justice for 20 of my own extended family members who were killed indiscriminately in 2009 in Mullaitivu district during the last few months before the war ended, killed by the Sinhala armed forces. By the way none of them had anything to do with the LTTE. Try understanding my feelings and where I am coming from. there shall be no peace until this unfinished business is resolved.

              • 1
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                Champa

                Please tell us as to why your gallant armed forces refused to fight the invading Hindian IPKF? Were they hiding behind VP’s fat bum or their women folks?

                It seems the psychopath VP was the only one along with his baby brigade to fight the invading foreign army and forced them a unceremonious retreat within the last 500 years or so.

                Island’s sovereignty (whatever it maybe) was saved by Demelas. What was shameless pimp Wimal the smart ass patriot doing when VP was fighting Hindia?

                Did he escape to India along with Somawansa and other JVP patriots?

      • 1
        0

        Srinath

        Tell me one single school that was blown up the LTTE with or without children. Sinhala army and Air forces Bombed Nagar kovil school killing hundreds of Tamil Children, Bombed Sencholai Killing hundreds of Tamil children in their uniforms, Bombed Navally church after requesting the civilians to take refuge there killing hundreds of Tamil civilians invluding, women, children and elderly.

        So much for your Sinhala buddhist culture of non violence.

      • 1
        0

        srinathan.gunaratnam

        “Chopping babies, hacking women, blowing school children…?
        Not just Sinhalese, Tamils too!”

        He did this to the Hindian IPKF too.
        VP was a bastard but he was your bastard when he was Chopping, hacking, blowing up Hindians while Sri Lankan armed forces were hiding behind VP’s fat bum.

        “60% of Tamil population lives with Sinhalese, How many Sinhalese live with Tamils in your Peelam?”

        Could you give us district wise break down.

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 5
    1

    “But in Sri Lanka killing and oppressing in the name of Buddha to preserve Buddhism is a norm”-

    How true. Institutionalised Buddhism, the way it is taught and “used” in Sri Lanka is one cause for the untold misery all Sri Lankans are facing including the gullible Sinhala Buddhists. Not bad to be a Buddhist Priest, if you are an anti – non Sinhala- non Buddhist racist, in the current environment- .

    MJA

  • 3
    2

    Now army should show sympathy and empathy to the people of North& East, 90% of Tamil public were forced to work for LTTE and Tamils suffered a lot. Why on earth once again this sinhalization of Tamil areas. This is like adding salt to wounds. Moreover, Politicians should have clear mind that conflict can be resolved in the way now government, army and policy makers are moving now. Since war ended government should have done more to win the hearts and minds of Tamils.. but yet, the way some monks talk seriously damage reconciliation process

  • 2
    8

    What if Tamils re removed Mullativu is made a military city. Many countries have such communities.

  • 4
    1

    It is about Sinhala hegemony, Sinhala dominance that is inherent in the Sri Lankan state and the military. The state wants to dominate almost every aspect of Tamil lives and devolve little or no power to Tamils which is the underlying problem behind the decades old conflict. Not surprised to see that nothing has changed.

  • 2
    0

    Vishwamithra ~ “Militarization Of Mullaitive: True Or Not?”
    Mullaitive rhyming with beehive? Vishwamithra: It should be Mullaithivu.
    GR permitted the Lankan Armed Services to model themselves in lines of Egyptian Armed Services.
    Lankan Armed Services are now an autonomous body. GoSL cannot set limits on the number recruited. With high unemployment there is money to be made. GoSL cannot stop this. Where they keep the recruits is none of GoSL business.

  • 2
    2

    Correction : Tamil civilians killed over a period of 30 years is 300000 and not 30000 as inadvertently stated periviously

    • 0
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      The question is why so many rats are still alive.

  • 0
    0

    As we exchange these views which are never ending, I viewed a television news last night and a news item in the Tamil newspaper today. It says that the military is holding on to the Gothabaya Military camp at Vattuvahal, Mullaitivu, to prevent the civilians entering the camp and discover scores of graves of civilians buried there. The truth can be verified by simple operation thus allaying the fears of all citizens. Why not try it?

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