4 December, 2021

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Mind The Sri Lankan State (Of Mind)

By Gehan Gunatilleke – 

Gehan Gunatilleke

Gehan Gunatilleke

Imagine a house with five distinct layers. The outer layer is a veranda and is the first thing you witness on arrival. The second is a living room, where guests are hosted and entertained. The bedrooms are located within the third layer and the kitchen located in the fourth. Finally, the sanitary facilities are found within the outer layer, at the rear of the house. This design is common to many traditional homes in Sri Lanka and may strike some of us as vaguely familiar. There is a fascinating phenomenon to detect in the design. With each layer, the relative charm of the house diminishes. The veranda is spotless; and the living room is in mint condition. Yet the rest of the house progressively loses its sheen—all the way to the squalor of the rear.

In Sri Lanka, appearances mean much more than what meets the eye. To a majority of us, our dignity resides in how we are seen by others. This is why the façades of Colombo were decorated splendidly ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), while the suburbs remained less appealing. Even before the summit, public pride in the beauty and cleanliness of the city was palpable. Meanwhile, large screens were constructed alongside our highways to conceal the slums.

The phenomenon is not limited to the tangible. We are world-renowned for our pleasantries and our hospitality. Yet it is unbecoming of a Sri Lankan to openly discuss the things that lurk behind the smiles. This mentality explains a Magistrate’s look of contempt when a woman brings her husband to court on charges of domestic violence. This psyche also explains the public’s hostility towards international criticism. It certainly explains the hailing of a new hero—Dr. Chris Nonis, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

As the social media revelry over Nonis’s slick disposal of a CNN interviewer unfolded, few questioned why so many Sri Lankans felt a sense of national pride. Nonis, a British citizen, with his accent, vocabulary and rhetoric, resembled a skillful artist with a multihued palette. The picture he painted and, importantly, the manner in which he painted it, made Sri Lanka look good—a rare feat on the diplomatic stage. Yet the picture he painted was a simple forgery. And Fred Pleitgen, in for Christiane Amanpour, was woefully underprepared to point this out.

Nonis claimed that the government-appointed Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was Sri Lanka’s equivalent to South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Yet, around the same time as the interview, the Government of Sri Lanka was mulling over fresh proposals for a Sri Lankan TRC. Perhaps it would be unfair to have expected Pleitgen to point out the irony in Nonis’s comparison.

Nonis also claimed that a domestic process was in place to implement the LLRC’s recommendations. Yet Pleitgen failed to ask exactly how many LLRC recommendations had been implemented to date. In Chapter 4 of its report, the LLRC cited incidents such as the alleged navy attack on civilians in Chundikulam on 10 May 2009 and the army shelling of civilians in Pokkanai, and called for their investigation. In Annex 5.1, the LLRC’s report listed 3,596 complaints of disappearances, 1,018 of which were allegedly after the security forces or police arrested the persons concerned. Unknown to Pleitgen, a military Court of Inquiry and a Board of Inquiry has already exonerated the armed forces from these allegations.

Nonis also declared that in Sri Lanka, the right to protest is respected, which is why ‘protests’ against foreign journalists had to be tolerated. Once again, Pleitgen failed to point out the glaring contradictions in Nonis’s observations. Even as the High Commissioner spoke, protests in Colombo during CHOGM had been banned by a court order to prevent any embarrassment to the government.

We may forgive a foreign journalist, tasked with eliciting a sound bite, for failing to do his homework. Yet the Sri Lankan public knows very well the inaccuracies in Nonis’s statements. Notwithstanding, the reaction has been distinctly triumphalist—from the viral dissemination of his interview across Facebook to the numerous fan pages bestowing him with demigod status.

Make no mistake; the hysteria does not come from the so-called ignorant masses. It comes from the upper echelons of the educated classes. On this island, the value placed on prestige far outweighs the value of a clean conscience. It hardly matters if the prestige is superficial. It hardly matters that Nonis, the latest guardian of the realm, merely emulated our former colonial masters. It matters even less that he has already sworn his allegiance to another monarch.

This paradox is also evident in the Sri Lankan public’s attitude towards CHOGM. On the one hand, the majority of the Sri Lankan public derives great pride from their country sitting at the helm of the Commonwealth for the next two years. On the other, the public endorsed and openly partook in the anti-British diatribe, which emerged in response to the criticism of Sri Lanka’s human rights record throughout the summit. A majority of Sri Lankans felt that British Prime Minister David Cameron, who called for an independent inquiry into alleged war crimes, had no moral right to point fingers at Sri Lanka, given the UK’s own human rights record. Hardly anyone wanted to confront the substance of these allegations.

We Sri Lankans live in a house with a charming façade but a decrepit inner sanctum. A majority of us derive prestige and self worth from verandas and living rooms and care little for the places that visitors are not meant to see. Nonis is celebrated only because he helps keep the verandas and living rooms clean, and it matters little that the broom is an imported one. Those who pursue accountability in Sri Lanka must then realise that they are not merely contending with the Sri Lankan state. They are contending with the Sri Lankan state of mind. The majority of Sri Lankans staunchly resist an international accountability process because they view it as an intrusion into the inner layers of their house. Change may come only through a radical transformation; a transformation through which the occupants of the house redefine their sense of self worth; a transformation of the mind, where loyalty is defined by fidelity to the truth and pride is taken in pursuing it.

*Gehan Gunatilleke is an attorney-at-law and researcher living in Colombo, Sri Lanka

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Latest comments

  • 2
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    Mr. Gunatilleke, is very percaptive in thia article. Without rambling onto other nations crimes, which is the easy and usual escapist route our in-grown, corrupt political system has taken from the 1950’s,denial and whitewashinng is a very finely developed art form especially prevalent at this time.

    • 1
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      Precisely, Rodger Williams. Succinctly expressed.

      • 3
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        Very Nice Gehan, agree with almost everything you say.

        but just want to point out that this complex of layered house is not unique to Sri Lanka.

        Neither is this state of mind. A man’s house is his castle and not even the queen may pry inside without the mans consent… that’s from her majesty’s own country.

        Not saying one shouldn’t try, but Gehan is talking about Changing the very nature of the human psyche, to be willing to not only be self critical but to open up to the criticism of others. But good on you for trying, after all evolution of the Human is apparently still ongoing…

    • 3
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      Gehan Gunatilleke,

      Why this vitriolic diatribe against a talented representative of Sri Lanka?

      Are you engaged in a proxy propaganda war against Dr. Nonis?

      There seems to be a ‘dichotomy or disjuncture in perception,’ in the portrayals of Sri Lanka and its contemporary reality by you.

      Fortunately for you, Sri Lanka practices restorative justice, not punitive.

      Cheers!

      • 4
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        Nonis is no different to any other Rajapaksa/GOSL regime hack, except for being slick.

        • 1
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          Right on PS !

      • 2
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        Brilliant!!!

      • 2
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        Sri Lanka practice so-called restorative justice at veranda and in living room.
        It’s okay if you haven’t been to the kitchen or the rooms to witness the justice Sri Lanka practice in them.

        Cheers.

        • 1
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          Luis Garcia,

          I think you misunderstood the sense of humour in my comment.

          I do not approve the kind of Justice Police & Military dishes out to citizens. You know what I am talking about.

          Cheers!

      • 1
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        Hey Ben – your comment seems to have been anticipated by Gehan when he indicated that “..Make no mistake; the hysteria does not come from the so-called ignorant masses. It comes from the upper echelons of the educated classes”.

        I found no problem with Gehan’s analysis and conclusion. What exactly are you objecting about?

        • 2
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          Everyone calam down!

          I admit to having enjoyed and even admired a Sri Lankan kicking CNN’s behind so firmly. That with relative ease and elegance.

          There is no doubt Dr. Nonis is an accomplished individual.

          That does not mean I accept all is well in Sri Lanka at all. Nonis just excelled in his job.

          What happened to your sense of humour people?

          I am no Rajapassa cronie. I am a Sri Lankan.

          Take it easy!

      • 0
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        Damn cant u digest what he wrote, cant blame u, Sinhala Buddhism love blood and violence, still u fool believe Jaffna library burnt by LTTE, do u know the bleeding history…of Sinhala barbarism in my land…still going on, u dangerous than all the Sinhala modayas like sumanas, ravi perera, fuckushma [Edited out], john fool, Max mad silvas….

        • 2
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          J.Muthu

          If you wanna be President, you should moderate your language a bit.

          Offending people too much or being too controversial are hardly Presidential characterisitcs.

          PS: Take your dose of pills regualarly.

          Cheers!

          • 0
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            Ben Hurling

            “Offending people too much or being too controversial are hardly Presidential characterisitcs.”

            Offending a section of people had worked in the past, will work for politicians in the future.

            Offence includes, a promise of induced starvation and war crimes which are the corners of politics, would do splendidly.

      • 0
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        The most entertaining of comments here by far Ben! Nice one.

  • 2
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    Gehan Gunatilleke.

    Is an honest soul, and he has hit the nail on the head: The Sinhala psyche.

    • 3
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      I think he’s talking about Sri Lankans and not Sinhalese

    • 3
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      He called it the Sri Lankan psyche not the Sinhala psyche. People like you will twist anything to your advantage. Fortunately all Tamils are not like you.

    • 0
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      Gehan has referred to Sri Lankans and not Tamils or Sinhalese Mr. Thiru. Kindly put on your spectacles and read the article carefully or if you don’t have spectacles please obtain money from the Diaspora to buy one.

  • 1
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    Good on you for exposing this British citizen Nonis our eloquent high commissioner to the court of st. James trying to justify the human rights violations and despotic rule of this medamulana uneducated Yako.the president might be bamboozled bythis buggers accent not the substance that this fellows smart talk which has no substance.that I as a British educated citizen cannot understand. The worst disgusting foreign minister we ever has is G.L. Peiris. This fellow went on a world wide holiday spending spree living in luxury hotels entertaining dictators in African and third world countries to gain support at the UNHRC. Which Navi Pillai treated this man with utter contempt our country,s diplomatic service is an utter disgrace run by ex Army and Navy men who have no proper formal education at university level the rest ot few professionals are sidelined to get the relatives of the president and ministers to enjoy paid holidays in exotic countries .It is a well known fact that millions of dollars were made by the government lackeys from CHOGM the luxury cars alone imported for use by VIPs for two days shows how this bunch of crooks operate. Hope the people see thru these injustices andi get rid of these crooks

  • 2
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    Outward show and camouflage seems to be a weakness of the Govt. Hardly a week after CHOGM the overnight plants are being removed and the Ape Gama dismantled. Only the expensive flags and monster pictures of our leader and siblings adorn the landscape. Ordinary Sri Lankans should dig into their pockets and see what they have gained. A few sycophants and contractors close to the regime may have got something but even they may not be paid.

    The international community is not so glib to fall for showmanship without any substance. Investors are vary of the smart talk of politicians like Nimal Siripala. The news that a magistrate in a remote area has shut down the Coca Cola factory for three months due to a single infringement might excite our pseudo patriots but it is not good news for industrialists and investors. The unfounded contraversy about New Zealand dairy procducts by ultra nationalist in the Govt has a similiar effect. The closure of the Weliveriya Factory by a group lead by a monk is a measure of the risk of investing in Sri Lanka.

    Where does all this glib talk and playing to the gallery lead us and our country?

  • 1
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    People in SL are naive because they are fed with Lies and more lies about the state of things that matter to them. Majority of them have no access to web sites that give a balance picture of the state of the country.The regime knows this that is why they have a total control of the media govt and private. social media is a class by itself confined to the laptop owners. In this environment what options does the Opposition have ? They must go to the more effective primitive media the KELA PATHTHARA. Giving a short break down of the Regimes corruption , the debt trap etc..Another way of reaching the people is to distribute KAVI KOLA.

  • 1
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    Gehan,
    You say you are a lawyer and a researcher.Why you don’t get any court cases?At least kasippu cases.Most probably not,hence turned in to research.Only god knows what he is researching.I do understand that there are too many lawyers in this country.Too many jobless lawyers.If it’s money that is your main concern,you are on the right track.Come up with a few more Srilana bashing articles,the defeated Tamil terrorists will take a note of you,after that life will be sunshine to you.$$$$$$$.

    • 0
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      Why don’t you shut up you fraud nothing but a crude arse sucker of the medamulana clan posing under all sorts of pseudonyms . You are Sumanasekera, Leela.Jim Softy, Sivanathan , and all sorts of disgusting crude idiots who have no idea of what the poor uneducated citizens of this country go thru in their daily lives to get two meals in the kussiya to feed their young. Go you bastards get your bloody Laptops free Booze. duty free cars and enjoy the largesse that a bloody crude uneducated yako of a dictator gives you to further this despotic regime.Max Silva what a stinking crude idiot . needs Maximum courage to talk sense to instill some sense into uneducated godayas and yakos.

      • 0
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        Who is this Johnny come lately,one Kapila Dissa something something!The words this so called educated guy use is much to be desired.”[Edited out].Why get so worked up?I just said that most probably that your lawyer pal is out of business.No doubt that you are not a Tamil but a Sinhalese out there to make some $$$$.My friend it’s not easy as you think.
        For god sake stop acting like a bull in a China shop.
        I have come across guys on this forum with whom i don’t see an eye to an eye.i.e Javi,mike,native vedda, etc.Still i have enjoyed with them for the simple reason that they are not “Johnny come lately”like you.I just got one question for you.Imagine that we bump off Mahinda.Who is going to be the next president of Srilanka?Is it the Bodhisathwa Karu Jayasuriya?

    • 3
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      Wow! Max I think you just proved everything he said. Whilst there are certain elements in his article I disagree with, I don’t think for a moment he is a Sinhala bashing jobless lawyer. Maybe what he was trying to say just went over your head. Just beCause he wants accountability it doesn’t make him a non patriot. Or anyone for that matter.

    • 1
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      Max – as usual you are not commenting on the substance of the post, instead you are (again, as usual) displaying your penchant for mindless abuse and idiocy. Don’t you have anything better to do?

  • 2
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    Gehan will now be watched and snooped on by Gota’s jackboots, assuming he isn’t already under their surveillance.

    • 1
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      “Gehan now will be watched”.For what?For coming up with a stupid article?I am sure that this Gihan character will go to the US embassy and say that his life is in danger.You know the rest.Visa refused!Why?HR is big bucks for losers.Lets murder Mahinda.After that what?Lets murder Goota!After that what?We murdered Premadasa,Gamimi,Ranjan,Rajiv.But we love them.Know why?We succeeded!WE don’t like Mahinda the ass hole.Why?He murdered that lovely human being MR Prabakaran!Myself being a strong HR activist hate this Mahinda character.Once we murder that killer Mahinda,lets make one of our own guys the president.Once Mahinda is murdered the Gihnans,Dharishkas,Thisaranees,Madam Pintos,Bahus,Pakis,and all the HR activists will rule this country.I am not sure who is going to be the president.How about Karu or Ruwan?If there aren’t any takers Max Silva will be the president!A BLOODY SET OF IDIOTIC CLOWNS!

      • 2
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        Rajapaksa regime does not tolerate criticism or a truly independent critical media. This should be evident by GOSL banning certain news sites , killing journalists and forcing others to flee.

  • 2
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    Gehan, Thank You for this most perceptive article on Nonis.

    Nonis is a psychopath by circumstance caused by the pressure brought on by having to serve two competing interests. One, his adopted land (chosen by his parents, I should add) and where he was brought up, and the other, the ruling masters in Sri Lanka, from where the lucre generated by Mackwoods, the family business, to keep him in comfort, comes from.

    Nonis is an offspring of the Mendis-Nonis clan who with others of the clan were educated overseas on the money earned in Sri Lanka by their Mackwoods estates, and the profits repatriated in the good old way. Naturally, they speak with the affected accent of where they were brought up and educated.
    His medical education was a waste of time as he always intended taking the first opportunity to reverting to look after the family business. Taking on this London diplomatic appointment was self-serving for him – I bet you he will not serve in Tashkent or New Delhi – he is now able to combine Mackwoods business in the UK and other points west with access by title to build further contacts to advance the fortunes of the company. His relationship with the ruling regime is a sort of you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
    The sad thing is that his antecendents must be turning in their graves watching Nonis hobnobbing with the parvenu’s, thugs and crooks in the Rajapakse regime; Keheliya, Mervyn, etc etc. Sadly the oily doctor has developed a thick skin; only necessity can explain such a come down.

    • 0
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      Spring Koha,

      The response I am giving you is the same response Mackwood’s Nonis gave CNN.

      It is important for you to realize, we are a vibrant democracy.

      We encourage divergent opinion. And I think you should respect that.

      LOL!

      • 0
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        Wow Ben… You really have studies the video!!!!

        • 0
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          I meant Studied***

      • 0
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        I have noticed it that Nonis repeats the same in every interview.
        As a parrot is trained to do so. He is an another hand picked candidate- learnt physician, that is appointed to the position. If he continued with patients, they would have been grateful to his medical service. But to support thuggish most corrupted politics as if he is a dimwit similar to GLP is not AT ALL understandable. MR has focused him just because of the advantage that MR co could enjoy through Nonis’s so called business contacts in the UK. Nonis family is well established in the UK for such a long time. The guy is running even tourist hotel in Bentota area. [Edited out]

      • 1
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        Ben

        Many Thanks for confirming what I have long known; that this magical island of ours is a vibrant democracy that welcomes its citizens to speak and write freely, and without fear of reprisal. I may not always or ever agree with other opinions but I will, till my dying day, respect and defend their right to be heard. I hope that clarifies my position, Ben.

        I wish you well.

        • 1
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          Spring Koha,

          Thanks a lot for the clarification of Dr. Nonis’ relationship to Rajapassa. And his background as well.

          I think most Sri Lankans know how bad things are in our Island. And that Mr. Nonis was white washing a lot of stuff. He is supposed to as Ambassador.

          Nevertheles, many Sri Lankans enjoyed the Sri Lankan Ambassador’s onslaught on international corporate media which is CNN.

          As you know Sri Lanka’s Foreign Service is crowded with talentless political apointees & career diplomats who are unable to defend Sri Lanka.

          Mr. Nonis was eleoquent enough to beat CNN anchor in their own game. The sound bite game!

          Otherwise I agree with you about this magical Island’s horrific situation.

          I hope you are able to see the ironic sense of humour in all this.

          Cheers!

          • 1
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            Ben Hurling

            “Mr. Nonis was eleoquent enough to beat CNN anchor in their own game. The sound bite game!”

            Subscribers to CNN would have seen through his façade, unlike the Sri Lankies, they are not gullible to buy his stuff.

            • 0
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              Native

              People’s blind faith in Western media amsues me.

              None of the Western media outlets are independent. Sure they are run more professionally than our awful Lake House or SLBC. And they do not idiots like Hudson.

              However, Western media is run by invisible corporations.

              CNN subscribers smart? Sure. Remember Iraq & WMDs? They bought the whole lie and allowed their governments to kill nearly a million people.

              Cheers!

              • 0
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                Ben Hurling

                There is alternative to CNN, Al Jazeera is broadening its coverage and try its best to cover other side of the stories. Their market share in Europe is growing phenomenally.

                There is freedom to entry and exit hence new news providers can enter into the market, in case if they fail pull the shutters and go home. States do not control directly but the media knows how to manufacture consent among its viewers. It is subtle control by interested parties,I agree.

                No need to physically threaten or make them disappear. It requires creativity and sophistication of the masses and their leaders.

                I have no doubt that when people in the Western world face poverty and eroding quality of life they too would behave just like the stupid people in this island.

                The sophistication that you may find amusing is the flexibility that they have built into their political system. I am told Scotland wants to separate from “Great Britain” The British political establishment has finally agreed to have a referendum in the near future.

                This is the kind of flexibility that is lacking in this island. You know the Sinhala only language policy which was vigorously enforced from 1950s to late 1980s could have been avoided had the stupid Sinhala/Buddhist were bit wiser. Now after many years of war, destruction and foregone development suddenly implementation of tri-lingual policy seems attractive to the same stupid Sinhala/Buddhists. Weerawansa wants Sinhala only national anthem, setting the stage for another round of blood letting. How long the Sinhala/Buddhist are planning to put up with such and other morons?

                I hope you want be one of them.

  • 0
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    “Sri Lankan public derives great pride from their country sitting at the helm of the Commonwealth for the next two years” I beg to disagree.
    This has not been gained by any leadership or other skill. It automatically comes to the host of the last CHOGM. At any rate, the head of CHOGM is the British Queen.

    Imagine in a future Commonwealth Confab our friend, as Chair, is forced to meet the free media in a Q & A Session? God forbid! Remember the last one in Colombo where he claimed he brought the War to an end – “I STOP it” and he again repeated “I STOP it” The whole of Sri Lanka will have to be sent to the cleaners if such a Confab takes place.

    Horikadey

  • 1
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    Gunatilleke

    A nice article excellently presented with fine imagery. Please continue with more of such.

  • 0
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    The author says:
    “We Sri Lankans live in a house with a charming façade but a decrepit inner sanctum. A majority of us derive prestige and self worth from verandas and living rooms and care little for the places that visitors are not meant to see.”

    Is this not true of every nation on Planet Earth?. In what nation on earth do you not see poverty, garbage, bad behavior etc., masked by glitz and modern facade? In the more developed nations too the facade hides the reality.
    Sri Lanka is a developing nation in the global village and is following the same established patterns of transformation and the value systems of the Model nations the author may be having in mind.

    With increasing media power to project image as the determiner rather than fact, IMAGE via Advertising as well as Propaganda have taken over and have subverted the TRUTH.

  • 1
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    Congratulations, Gehan, yours is one of the best intelligent analyses I have so far seen on this issue. When people are driven into an ecstasy of emotions, they are partially blinded for the time being and fail to notice even the obvious which should bother them in terms of their conscience as you have very correctly pointed out.

    • 0
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      A charming and elegant narrative of some aspects of the Lankan national condition. If “protests are banned by Court order” during CHOGM, where is the validity of Shri Kamlesh Sharma to claim his favoured regime conducts matters spot on with Commonwealth and Lattimer principles. A Court that issues such an outrageous Order is not worth its name. To me it looks like an assault on the very
      basis freedom of speech and assembly – guaranteed by UN Charter scrupulously observed by all countries claiming to be free and democratic.

      “The Sri Lankan state of mind” – the writer refers to, is so sick under its current managers, even Sigmund Freud will be baffled by its level of deterioration and unable to cure it.

      Few will dispute it is time for the more educated and responsible in the country to come together and “re-define the sense of self-worth” of this Commonwealth of ours – Sri Lanka – divided, deteriorating
      and, arguably, headed towards dis-integration.

      Senguttuvan

  • 1
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    ” . .Change may come only through a radical transformation; a transformation through which the occupants of the house redefine their sense of self worth . . “
    Change can only happen when educated people like you have to come out and openly speak out against the wrong doing. Otherwise educated ( ? ) people like CJ / Nonis will mislead the public and the innocent ( moda ) people will believe them and always in the present state of mind . . .

  • 0
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    HEY FOLKS,TODAY YOU ALL WILL MISS MY PRESENCE AT CT.REASON BEING I WILL BE JOINING THE BIRTHDAY PARTY OF THAT WONDERFUL HUMAN BEING PRABAKARAN AT THE HOTEL BY THE NANDIKADAL LAGOON.I AM MADE TO UNDERSTAND THAT MY FRIENDS JAVI,NATIVE VEDDA,MIKE & CO ARE BUSY WITH COOKING,DECORATING AND TOILET CLEANING. LETS ALL SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THAT WONDERFUL HUMAN BEING PRABAKARAN!!!
    PS:YOU DEFEATED TAMIL TERRORISTS,DON’T BOTHER TO COOK TONIGHT.I WILL PROVIDE DINNER WITH THE LEFTOVER FOOD!

    • 1
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      Funny but Stupid MAD Max !

    • 0
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      What kind of heartess person are you to make idiotic smart arse talk re the murders of thousands of helpless humans on the shores of Nandikal not only by the despicable praba and his tigers but by our own brutal army of heroes as well. never mind the channel four doco which if ever you saw makes one sick.iabm a sinhalese la Buddhist from the south.our ancestors always instled since we were children to try and live a life adhering to five precepts.Among my closest friends and family were Tamils this includes Lakshman Kadiragamar from A hall Unversity of Ceylon Peradeniya.All. Tamils overseas are not terrorists they have equal rights and love this land as much we new found extremist Sinhala bbs type uneducated rackets portray.please let’s stop this hate and bitterness and let’s live as people who belong to a once beautiful democratic land

  • 2
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    Mr Gunatilleke the diaspora are those who send letters and messages reminding us everyday of the hatred of your people towards us on black july day. The diaspora keep wanting us to act on those memories because they know that if we remember July ’83 for what it really was. We would be able to love each other today.

    Most peace-loving Tamils among us today who were also the source of attack in 1983 but have known to put things in perspective and do things the right way are finally having our chance to speak out against the still growing number of organizations around the world that consist of the more selfish among us who constantly tried to remember a solitary incident that took place in 1983 which was unrepeated since, to continuously project and promote a larger objective of throwing our innocent youth, forcing them from their families against their parents’ wishes, to fight a senseless war that not only killed our own tamil youth but the sinhalese youth from the army who did their best to stop terror spreading have no idea what destruction short sighted propaganda does to us. Some of us manipulated our own people and took take great pains to ‘remember’ this solitary incident but refused or ignoring to hold a single exhibition, documentary or issue a statement for the 300 or more attacks by the LTTE who did worse by being ruthless without abandon.
    Only a few far-sighted among us have taken a stand to move forward instead of concentrating on one unrepeated incident in order to mislead countless people into resorting to terror in the name of “community”. We who are educated have a moral duty to stop these ‘remembrance’ programs that imitate the strategy of Channel 4 that are held every time Sri Lanka attends an important event. We need to speak out and stop those members of our community who our quick to disrupt our international cricket matches with flags that only stir hatred once again. This needs to stop and it’s in our hands to stop it by educating those among us that it is time to put an end to the mindless hatred deposited in us by poor role models in our very own community.
    When the LTTE attacks are brought up the immediate defence by these groups was to depict that Tamils are not to blame for LTTE attacks. By the same logic, organized mob attacks of 1983 does not equate to Sinhalese attacking Tamils. We need to remind the ignorant who were not even born during that time about how Sinhalese saved and protected their Tamil neighbours and friends. I am one of those who experienced it.
    We need to let Sri Lanka and the world know that that just as all Tamils are not LTTE but all LTTE were Tamils similarly 1983 was a mob attack and those that looted homes/property comprised men from all the ethnic groups as happens in riot situations. The public is not to blame. If Tamils are not to be blamed for LTTE – Sinhalese are not to blame for 1983 either.
    If 1983 was a REVENGE attack – why did the people not avenge 300 LTTE attacks?
    Going further the 1983 riots was attributed to revenge attacks for the killing of 13 soldiers. On July 18, 1996 the LTTE overran an entire army camp in Mullaitivu killing 1,200 soldiers. In September, 26, 1998 LTTE overran the Kilinochchi army camp killing more than 900 soldiers – why did the people not repeat 1983 to revenge these killings?
    Again by the same logic of revenge, the below comprehensive list of LTTE attacks upon the military as well as unarmed civilians should have resulted in revenge attacks by the public for the anger at killing unarmed men women and children would have been far more difficult for any authority to curtail. BUT – no such revenge attacks took place despite the horrific manner the LTTE planned and executed their killings.
    Lakshman Kadirgamar
    z_p04-See-July-02.jpg
    Alfred Duraiappah
    This speaks volumes of the tolerance of the Sri Lankan public in-spite of their anger with previous governments for forsaking the greater interest of the people and thinking of only their political futures that led to delaying action against LTTE terrorism resulting in the deaths of close to 30,000 war heroes, thousands of still missing unaccounted for soldiers, tens of thousands of civilian deaths, destruction of property, ancient sacred sites being affected – the damage was colossal.
    Those that take pains to dig deep into July 1983 in our discussions among each other do not want to remember LTTE atrocities in the same way. All I ask is why would we promote one and not the other? Coincidentally, some among us also happen to be the same people that find difficulty in admitting that achievement of peace has led to the end of the loss of life, the hurts, the fears and the running away. Many of our fathers had to leave school early and were forced to flee abroad, leaving our kith and kin because the LTTE would not permit us to continue our education, only to recall that we would never have made that flight if that senseless war didn’t rage among our homes.
    1983 Black July was certainly a planned attack and then again we fail to remember that it was the result of a backlash after 13 young sinhalese were killed by the LTTE in what we all know, was an attempt to provoke the majority into an act that would give credibility to what terror leaders were licking their lips to lunge into. We cannot go back now. What was done was done. The LTTE leaders got what they wanted.

    When the riots took place, they were in their elements as strategy worked and while our tamil community suffered the brunt of the riots none of the real perpetrators (the killers of those soldiers) could be got back at.
    When the LTTE and Prabhakaran ruthlessly started their killing spree borrowing and hijacking the ‘separatist’ slogan from our Tamil political leaders, it was a handful of us who could see through how little they actually cared for us as a community.
    When they assassinated our Mayor of Jaffna, Alfred Duraiappah, they did not stop there. They went on to use our very own people (the scores of young tamil boys forced against their wishes, to join the child brigade) went on to kill scores of Tamil police officers on duty making Tamils fear joining the police service.
    Alfred Duraiappah was the first victim of LTTE, being a Tamil and those of us who were in the North at the time witnessed the last victims of the LTTE who were from among our Tamil people too. It was on April 20, 2009 that three LTTE suicide bomb attacks targeted fleeing Tamil civilians being rescued by the Sri Lankan armed forces and resulted in 17 civilian deaths including women and children.
    This was the last time the LTTE was able to inflict pain upon the Sri Lankan populace and now four years on not a single bullet, not a single claymore, not a single suicide mission or assassination has taken place. The LTTE has killed 82 Tamil politicians/54 Tamil Government officials/24 Tamil intellectuals and academics.
    LTTE has assassinated;
    * Two Heads of State (President Premadasa and former PM Rajiv Gandhi) and attempt on President Chandrika Kumaratunga
    * One Opposition candidate
    * Ten leaders of political parties
    * Nine Ministers (including seven Cabinet level Ministers and Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar)
    * Thirty seven Members of Parliament
    * Six Members of Provincial Councils
    * Twenty two Members of Pradeshiya Sabhas
    * Seventeen Political Party Organizers and
    * Four Mayors including Alfred Duraiappah who became the LTTE’s first killing in 1975 outside a kovil in Jaffna.
    Prior to the July 1983 riots, the LTTE was involved in a spate of activities that included blasting of Air Ceylon Avro Aircraft (1978), bombing night mail train to Jaffna (1983 June), killing of police officers (Tamil) and attacks on police stations (Chavakachcheri-1982), attacking Navy convoys (1982) as well as killing two soldiers in Jaffna (1981). The first LTTE cadre to be killed was Seelan (Charles Anthony) in 1982.
    The UNP may like to remember some of its members killed by the LTTE – MP Pulendran/Vavuniya Organizer (1982), K V Rathnasingham (1983), S S Muttiah (1983), Sinnathambi Thilagar (1983 June) A J Rajasooriar (1983), M Hemachandran (1983).
    Now is a good time for those among us who are Tamils and who have no vested interest finally break our silence. For far too long we have either been silenced or chosen to be silent. Silence has played a pivotal role in the lives of the Tamils throughout the conflict. Now we have the opportunity to start afresh with a new voice but we must silence all the voices that kept us silenced and speak out.
    The riots of 1958 started on account of the killing of a Seneviratne family by Tamils and Tamil politicians getting Tamils to refuse to carry “Sri” on the car plates. Prime Minister Bandaranaike pleaded with the media not to make public the news of the killing knowing it would create friction. The writings of Tarzie Wittachchi, and the book by F N D Jilla Sudt of Police elaborates further.
    Tamil journalists among us still maintain in silence the truth that they all know, which is that the 1983 riots known as Black July started after 13 soldiers killed by the LTTE were brought for burial to Colombo. The riots had nothing to do with the public – it was they who protected the Tamils. We Tamils must begin to openly thank and acknowledge this fact publicly. And now is a good time to do so. We Tamils need to set the story straight once and for all. We need to unite and there is no better time than now.
    It was the low-caste poor Tamils who were turned into human suicide bombs – not the Tamils in Colombo. The LTTE herded us Tamils to be used as human shields/hostages and as combatants LTTE kept Tamil civilians in underground bunkers and shot at the army so that retaliation fire would result in civilian deaths. It is an international HR violation to use civilians and LTTE is accountable. LTTE refused to accept numerous calls to lay down arms and surrender. The LTTE declared the civilians were voluntarily with them turning civilians into combatants and thus denying them rights under civilians in an armed conflict. We have to remember how the military used various means of communication (dropping Tamil leaflets, loudspeakers etc) to ask them to move to the areas that were declared safe. 295,000 of us were saved at the cost of over 5000 military lives by the Sri Lankan army. In an armed conflict and war declared and if civilians are said to be combatants the army does not require to be exercising any humanitarian rescue operation. By virtue that they did deserves far more credit than they are getting – the US/NATO would not think of compromising their soldiers to safe any Iraqi, Libyan, Afghan civilian.

    It’s time for us to break the silence and tell the story of how the LTTE fired at us when we (the people they were so called building a homeland for) attempted to flee. Many of us can give specific instances of how LTTE ill treated those close to us by denying food and water and confiscating the foot/essentials sent for us civilians by the Govt.
    Finally, we the educated Tamils who have a conscience to speak the truth need to reverse the brainwashing that has been
    systematically done on our people by some of the more selfish elements of our own community by looking at the countless numbers of our very own Tamil people who are happy and at peace, making contributions to Sri Lanka, doing exceedingly well in their careers, going far better than we could have in overseas.
    Let me end by sharing this list off the top of my head.
    Commercial Bank:
    Jagan Durairatnam – Executive Director / Chief Operating Officer
    S Swarnajothi – Director
    Rohan Muttiah – Chief Information officer
    DFCC / VARDHANA Bank:
    J E A Perumal – Director
    R B Thambiayah – Director
    M A Tharmarathnam – Director
    S R Thambiayah – Director
    Hatton National Bank:
    Rajendra Theagarajah – MD / CEO
    J R P M Paiva – DGM S&C
    L L C C Thambiah – DGM NM
    M Asokan – Head of Int Audit
    S Gnanapragasam – AGM Risk
    R Thamirajah – AGM NM
    Aitkenspence:
    R.N. Asirwatham – Director
    Ranjan Casie Chetty – company Secretary
    Nilanthi Sivapragasam – Chief Financial Officer
    John Keells Group:
    Sithie Tiruchelvam – Director
    Indrajit Coomaraswamy – Director
    Ceylinco Life:
    R. Reganathan – MD/CEO
    Sri Lanka Insurance:
    Noel Selvanayagam – Director
    Colombo Stock Exchange:
    Krishan Balendra – Chairman
    Brandix:
    Ken Balendra* – Chairman
    Ajit Johnpillai – Director
    Let’s pass this message on to our Tamil friends and family and extend our hands to the Sinhalese with a newer brand of love.It’s time to re-build our culture. We can do it and it begins with you and me. Enough is enough. And more than anything else, we have a duty to educate the rest of our community who cannot forget the way our children were forced out of their houses by senior members of the LTTE who cared less for our weeping, our pleading and our begging of them to leave our children alone.
    They are many who wish they could but are afraid to speak out as a Tamil as their hearts are crushed in a losing power balance to the diaspora . The diaspora among us that continued to fund and propagate the ideology of ruthless, selfish killers who had no heart towards our own children were those tyrannical, selfish barbarians who sat in the comfort of their first world countries and fuelled the murderous LTTE. Our children in the North were denied an education and the life that we hoped for them as they were dragged away from us and taught to kill while they mothers’ hearts bled day and night, sorrowing for them while the children of the diaspora thrived as doctors and surgeons, pretending to care. I detest the diaspora for not intervening to stop the LTTE from tearing our familes apart. I detest the diaspora for not doing anything to prevent the cadres from knocking on our doors, then breaking them down, entering by force and dragging our children out while we begged and begged them to leave them. The LTTE had no heart, no thought for the mothers among us who stopped eating and sorrowfully wept day and night, for their children who were forced into child cadres. Children we raised with love. Children we lost in battle. Children who were brutally dragged away – literally and brainwashed. Children who the senior LTTE cadres forcefully turned into miniature versions of themselves. You the diaspora turned our loved ones into dead bodies. Into murderers. You turned their loving eyes into cold eyes of killers for your own selfish cause.
    To the Tamil community in Colombo that gleefully love to identify themselves with support for the LTTE, we the family members who have personally suffered at their hands abhor you. Where were you when the LTTE killed our children? If you so care for our community where were you when you had the power to stop the LTTE from the barbaric acts they committed against their own? Where were you when our mothers cried day and night and some of us lost our own when they were forced out of our families though we begged and pleaded the cadres not to?
    To those in Colombo who venerate the LTTE leader and cry out against the way his son was killed, how dare you turn a blind eye to the scores of our sons and daughters who he took BY FORCE and killed? I am one of those who witnessed it thrice.
    Mr. Gunatilleke, you are a lawyer and a researcher. Please please come down to the North and speak to those of our community in the camps who have been threatened and bulled by our own people into never saying anything against the real perpetrators. Use your influence to get through to the makers of the Channel 4 documentary to be patient with us when we refuse to speak out because we have been told not to. Ask them to stay with us and allow us to have the courage to tell you the real truth. Do what you can to tell the diaspora among us to STOP killing our people. Mr Nonis told a bitter truth when he said that the diaspora are the ones who are doing what they do. You as a Sinhalese may not care for the tears of our people who have gone to their graves because of this diaspora’s propaganda. You mean well Mr Gunathilake but you as a Sinhalese may never know what it is like to be betrayed – by your own people. That is why you are so quick to put down the voice of the only person who spoke out against the diaspora. The diaspora among us are powerful. More powerful than those among us who have been trampled by their funded dictates. While they continue to bully us from the comfort of their homes it is the diaspora that pulls the strings. Examine the validity of Mr Nonis’ thoughts on the rehabilitation and ask them to be quicker in granting relief to the north and east and come down and do all you can to help us too. But don’t let your scant concern for those who are at the mercy of the diaspora make you also one of those who silence anyone who speaks against them. In doing so you are being a part of those who pat themselves on the back and grin in secret while the endless taunting of our own people continues.

    Do you know that there is a hate campaign RIGHT NOW against our own Murali by our diaspora? It’s a shame for the Tamils of this country that they have rushed in now to fuel this war against him for speaking to Channel 4 and saying how though his factories and houses were burnt down and he had to restart life again, he forgave and forgot and then moved on. ANYONE WHO WANTS TO FORGIVE AND FORGET is harassed. The powerful Chavakachcheri Urban Council is already whipping up support from our people to protest against Murali if has any more cricket training camps in the North and the East. TAMILS ARE BEING BULLIED BY OUR OWN PEOPLE.
    Mr Nonis is one of the few people who brought this out for the first time.

    Sinhalese people, please don’t silence the voice of those among you who care to point out that this bullying against our own people is taking place. You are committing a greater crime and holding hands with those in power who continue to taunt us like they are doing now to anyone – ANYONE among us who speaks from his heart. Please use your pen to bring the diaspora down and investigate the manner in which there are hundreds HUNDREDS among us – not just Murali, who are being threatened the moment we beg for relief and peace again. Channel 4 are bullies. Bullies who are doctoring EVERYTHING to speak and incite hatred again.

    Bullies who are SILENCING the voices of the tamil people and forcing them to speak what they want them to. http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/172-opinion/39056-the-controversial-interview-murali-bowls-at-channel-4-.html

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      Raghunath,

      You are wasting your energy and space here with your rubbish: 1983 anti-Tamil pogrom was not a solitary incident it was schemed by the regime, and there were such pogroms in 1956, 1958, 1961 and 1977.

      Don’t forget the massacre of 2009, executions, rapes and the on-going genocide of Tamils.

      You can write long lists but the facts are now well known to the world, not just to the Tamil diaspora!

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        Thiru

        CT readers are taken for a ride by K. Raghunath curator of the LTTE atrocities.

        This is what he writes above:

        “Going further the 1983 riots was attributed to revenge attacks for the killing of 13 soldiers. On July 18, 1996 the LTTE overran an entire army camp in Mullaitivu killing 1,200 soldiers. In September, 26, 1998 LTTE overran the Kilinochchi army camp killing more than 900 soldiers – why did the people not repeat 1983 to revenge these killings?

        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/mind-the-sri-lankan-state-of-mind/#comments

        This what Shenali D Waduge writes in The Sri Lankan Forum:

        “Going further the 1983 riots was attributed to revenge attacks for the killing of 13 soldiers. On July 18, 1996 the LTTE overran an entire army camp in Mullaitivu killing 1200 soldiers. In 1998 26 September LTTE overran the Kilinochchi army camp killing more than 900 soldiers – why did the people not repeat 1983 to revenge these killings?

        http://srilankanforum.org/home/latest-news/79-features.html?start=33

        If you care to compare both pieces you will see most of both articles are from the same source.

        K. Raghunath’s name sounds like a Tamil with a willy. On the other hand Shenali D Waduge looks like a women.

        Is K. Raghunath plagiarising Shenali D Waduge’s work of garbage or is she ghost writing for K. Raghunath?

        As a reasoned commentator you should know.

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          Looks like Shenali gave Raghu one……er er er or is it the other way around. The auto sodomisation of a sinhala girl by her own avatar. Very intriguing!

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            Spring Koha

            You are a dirty old man.

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              O Native Vedda

              I am sorry to have startled you; I assure you it was a reflex comment borne of desperation as I lost the thread of Raghu’s ‘comment’ that turned out to be reams longer than the article itself. Really, good people reading this, it was too smartarse a comment by half and I promise you all that no slight was intended to all the comely Sinhala maidens that roam our beautiful island.

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        Raghunath is confused in major matters. 7/83 island-wide attacks on Tamils was not an isolated incident. It was carefully planned many months ago. There is much evidence – such as in those eminently fine reports of UTHR(J)to support this.
        The list of Tamils he offers is both incomplete and misleading.
        Some of them are Colombo Chetties – most of whom now prefer not to be identified with the larger Lankan Tamil formation. At least one of them he lists is a Muslim lady. Another, with a Tamil name, the son of a major mercantile figure, prefers to go as Sinhalese. Directors of Banks and Companies, at any rate, are temporary positions. He seems not to know some of the major and successful Tamils in the Colombo mercantile, industrial and banking circles.

        However, I sympathise with him on one issue. And that is where well established Tamils in the South from the middle class – with little connection with or cut off decades ago from the North – worry about their future in the present uncertain times. This fear of the present and future is shared by a large number of Tamils in lesser circumstances as well. Their future lies in coexisting with the majority Sinhalese amongst whom they live. During times of stress unruly elements take advantage of them with bogus lists and other forms of intimidation – with the law unwilling or unable to offer them protection. These are sadly symptoms of a Failed Society – politically, economically and socially

        R. Varathan

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          R. Varathan

          “Raghunath is confused in major matters. 7/83 island-wide attacks on Tamils was not an isolated incident.”

          Please refer to my comment above:

          Native Vedda
          November 26, 2013 at 6:22 pm

          You will find a large part of articles is copied from an article already published by Shenali D Waduge.

          I have already given the link in my comment.

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      You as the Writer was not involved or did experince the ethnic suffering
      is probably what I think, as I lost my 20 yr.old son in the 1983 riots
      and now a part of the mighty diaspora have other avenues to gain what
      was lost.

      You take pride in the opposite not taking revenge over 300 LTTE incidents, but you did not realise that was so because they were armed
      liberators, (who were categorised as Terrorist only because of US 9/11)
      and may have responded.

      The answer to your long complaint was in the hands of MR – if he did
      carry out his undertaking of 23-5-09 to the world. What does he still
      do – play politics; now with a Cricketer whose abnormality in his arm
      brought fame!

      It is too late to meddle with a roubust diaspora – Nonis will testify.
      They are much committed to serve their own community and it is MR
      who should realise this aspect instead of using it to garner Votes at
      every future election.

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      K.Raghunath, I salute you for your courage in facing the truth without rancour at the discrimination and ill treatment Tamil people faced ( and still face) from the Sinhala people and their government. Though your comment will face criticism from racists, please be proud that we need people like you from both sides if we are to work for reconciliation.

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        Wickramasiri

        Please refer to my comment above:

        Native Vedda
        November 26, 2013 at 6:22 pm

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      Ragunath you Bloody Sinkalam,

      You are a Coward hiding behind a Tamil Name. You idiot have the courage to write to in your Sinkala Name.

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        kali-ban, the stupid. ……………………………………….Ragunath the stupid has done a copy and past of Shenali Waduge’s article.

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    Mandela On Disagreement:

    A good leader can engage in a debate
    frankly and thoroughly, knowing that
    at the end he and the other side must
    be closer and thus emerge stronger.
    You don’t have that idea when you are
    arrogant, superficial and uninformed.

    Nelson Mandela, statesman

    Is Mahinda Rajapakse one such good leader?

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    Gehan,

    “Change may come only through a radical transformation; a transformation through which the occupants of the house redefine their sense of self worth; a transformation of the mind, where loyalty is defined by fidelity to the truth and pride is taken in pursuing it.”

    Excellent. This is a point I have made over the years with nationalists on both sides.

    You are young enough to try to work without cynicism for such a transformation, which will take several decades. It will require a lot of patience and commitment, and you will need to appeal to the masses on those terms.
    I used to argue that precisely because it will take so long, Tamil demand for something close to Federalism is justified in the short term, but in the long term, more unity is possible if major efforts are made toward such a transformation on all sides.

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    Great analogy, Gehan – and also a super analysis.

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    this is a brilliant article, mate. this not only talks about sri lanka but talks about the world in general,mate. although it gives heavy reference to nonis as well, this is awesome.

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    Rarely do I come across a press article that captures my attention and applause for its honesty and integrity. Every Sri Lankan owes it to themselves and their country to read, understand and accept the Sri Lankan mindset explained so eloquently here. It is through the admission of our failings, an introspective hard look at ourselves can we take the crucial steps on the road to recovery. I believe it’s ok to use that imported broom – we must accept a global market and it’s place in our world – but it is vital for a prosperous Sri Lanka that we use that broom – to clean out the neglected, hidden and ignored places of our home. It takes a courageous human to address a painful truth about ourselves – and I applaud Mr. Gunatilleke’s loyalty to true patriotism.

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    Great article! Well said and kudos to you on the courage and initiative you took in the honest analysis.

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    Gehan,

    Yes i agree the inner sanctom of SL sociery stinks. There is a level of toxicity in everything. The way people deal with each other can be appaling. I guess its a result of 3 decades of slow decay of morality and basic decency. Although there are a good number of positives too. Need to focus on the positives buddy. The rest will take care of itself.

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    Awesome article! I have been feeling the same way; glad that someone had the sense and kahuna’s to put it down so very eloquently. I have always thought that we Sri Lankans project this false sense of Lion Pride when we are simply not willing to do what it takes to be proud. Everything is just so superficial, namesake and lip service. It’s about time people open their eyes and realise that pride without substance is like a Lion without a Pride.

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    Adroit demolition job!! Mr Gunetillake is virtuous iconoclast.

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    well done.

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    The issue with Gehan and their ilk is they suffer from inferior complexes and have issues with self esteem. They always think Westerners are better than the natives and the natives are just fools.

    They purposely ignore the comparative context. Sri Lanka has done remarkably well in post conflict recovery in comparison to almost all the comparative conflict situations around the world.

    Sri Lanka is emerging from a brutal conflict spanning almost 3 decades where a whole generation has been brought up in a war situation in both sides of the conflict with minimal people to people interaction. Therefore the wounds of the conflict will linger on for a much longer period.

    The Western lead anti GOSL campaign aided and abetted by die-ass-pora Tamils will not help the healing process. On the contrary it exacerbate it. Politically colour blinded guys like Gehan in their desire on regime change forget the larger picture of country and it’s peoples well being as a whole (if they want a regime change get the opposition to bring a viable alternate political program which can galvanise the masses and achieve it democratically and not by eliminating the incumbant leadership with ultra democratic methods through Western schemes).

    Sri Lanka doesn’t want to ramble onto other nations crimes though they are facts and therefore those countries certainly do not have any moral right to interfere in SL. What Sri Lanka seeks is to allow it to progress on it’s reconciliation path peacefully.

    It has demonstrated it’s committment by rehabilitating and providing education to 500+ former child soldiers, re-intergrating 10,000+ former LTTE combatants, taking former leaders into the mainstream who are willing to work with national governing structure, re-settling most of the displaced, re-establishing basic infrastructure. All of these have been done within a relatively short period by a small country with limited resources.

    While justly resisting unwanted and blatant interferences, Sri Lanka has willingly engaged with rest of the world in an open manner because the country and the people want to move forward from the terrible past that they alone experienced. That is something West or India will not allow to happen in their own countries. They will not open themselves to scrutiny.

    However Sri Lanka cannot submit itself to investigations based on falsehoods where outcomes are already pre-judged. To those chaps we should not show even the veranda.

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    Rarely do I come across a press article that captures my attention and applause for its honesty and integrity. Every Sri Lankan owes it to themselves and their country to read, understand and accept the Sri Lankan mindset explained so eloquently here. It is through the admission of our failings, an introspective hard look at ourselves can we take the crucial steps on the road to recovery. I believe it’s ok to use that imported broom – we must accept a global market and it’s place in our world – but it is vital for a prosperous Sri Lanka that we use that broom – to clean out the neglected, hidden and ignored places of our home. It takes a courageous human to address a painful truth about ourselves – and I applaud Mr. Gunatilleke’s loyalty to true patriotism.

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    Great article which systematically takes apart the Chris Nonis hysteria. The HC also suffered a bout of memory lapse when stating that Sri Lanka upholds the right to peaceful protest… Unless you happen to be protesting against the Government about the right to clean water in Weliweriya.

    Sri Lankans have been duped by a slick-looking PR man with a poor imitation of a British accent. He’s not the statesman Sri Lanka needs, they need to look deeper.

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    Very Nice Gehan, agree with almost everything you say.

    Just want to point out that this complex of layered house is not unique to Sri Lanka.

    Neither is this state of mind. A man’s house is his castle and not even the queen may pry inside without the mans consent… thats from her majesty’s country.

    Not saying one shouldn’t try, but Gehan is talking about Changing the very nature of human psyche, to be willing to not only be self critical but to open up to the criticism of others. But good luck Gehan…

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    Gehan Gunatilleke,

    Why this vitriolic diatribe against a talented representative of Sri Lanka?

    Are you engaged in a proxy propaganda war against Dr. Nonis?

    There seems to be a ‘dichotomy or disjuncture in perception,’ in the portrayals of Sri Lanka and its contemporary reality by you.

    Fortunately for you, Sri Lanka practices restorative justice, not punitive.

    Cheers!

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