16 April, 2024

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Prasanna Ranatunga’s Misguided Claims, The JVP & The Tragedy Of The Black July Riots, 1983

By Lionel Bopage

Dr. Lionel Bopage

Introduction

A recent statement attributed to Prasanna Ranatunga, the Urban Development and Housing Minister of Sri Lanka, and publicised by the A5 News Facebook page prompted the drafting of this article. Whether Ranatunga’s statement was a misguided attempt to mislead the younger generation born post-1980 remains unclear. Many of them might be unaware of the role played by President JR Jayewardene’s regime during that period, which led to two insurrections, one by the JVP under the Desha Vimukthi Vyaparaya in the South, and a decades-long armed conflict in the North and East.

Politicians in Sri Lanka have a history of falsehoods during election campaigns, as evidenced by the vast disparities between their promises and actual outcomes. Year 2024 is said to be an election year and such false statements like in the past are commonly made to manipulate and deceive voters, a tactic not unique to Sri Lanka but prevalent worldwide, especially during election times.

Since gaining independence in 1948, Sri Lanka has been controlled by three family clans: the Rajapaksas, Bandaranaikes, and Senanayakes, driven primarily by a thirst for power and economic interests. Their disregard for the rule of law, democratic practices, corruption, and incompetence have often been obscured by scapegoating. However, in 2022, this façade crumbled when the government had to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund to mitigate a severe economic crisis, exposing the true causes of the country’s woes.

Black July Riots of 1983

Black July marked a week-long pogrom against native Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka, characterised by unprecedented efficiency in brutality. The catalyst was an ambush of Sinhalese troops by the LTTE (Tamil Tigers), resulting in 13 deaths. In retaliation, the army killed around sixty civilians, a fact often omitted in the South. Subsequently, mobs systematically targeted Tamil households and shops in Colombo, looting, burning properties, and inflicting violence on inhabitants. The death toll remains uncertain, ranging from government claims of around 300 to more credible estimates of up to 3,000.

Government’s Response

The government’s response to the riots was inadequate and callous. President Jayewardene showed indifference towards Tamil lives, and his government enacted measures that further marginalised Tamils, including the passage of the sixth amendment of the Constitution, which deprived them of elected representation. He infamously said at the time that Tamils should be taught a lesson.

The government scapegoated the opposition for the riots and banned political parties like the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), the Communist Party of Sri Lanka, and the Nava Sama Samaja Party. However, credible evidence suggests the involvement of UNP luminaries like Cyril Mathew. They also orchestrated the violence, particularly the burning of the Jaffna library in June 1981.

Personal Testimony

As General Secretary of the JVP at the time, I witnessed the organised assault on Tamils during Black July. The streets of Colombo were engulfed in violence and chaos, with armed mobs targeting Tamil-owned properties. Security forces stood by, allowing the atrocities to unfold.

While on my way home from the party office, I witnessed many incidents of savagery and brutality. I was stopped just in front of Ceylon Tyre Corporation, Kelaniya by some people armed with swords and iron bars. I was asked to say ‘Baldiya’ aloud and when I obliged, they knew I was  Sinhalese and did not attack me. Yet, they decided to remove petrol from the car. Fortunately, someone recognised me and told others to let me go. The petrol tank was half-empty when I was asked to leave. There I witnessed the carnage and atrocities that characterised Black July. Rioters stopped lorries, looted all goods in them, moved all goods to other vehicles and set the lorries on fire, burning the passengers and drivers.

While I was on my way along Kiribathgoda Mawaramandiya road, a CTB service truck full of a gang brandishing swords and crowbars stopped me. They got down from the truck and came running towards me in droves scolding me in the filthiest language imaginable. They had assumed that I was a Tamil fleeing Colombo. I yelled back at them in Sinhala. They desisted and went back to their truck and proceeded towards Colombo. The next day, I saw the colossal damage these hordes of rioters had wrought on the city.

I went inquiring about our comrades of Tamil background who were living in Narahenpita, Maradana and Kotahena. Most of those houses had been attacked or burnt down. According to what I heard, people wearing security uniforms went from place-to-place encouraging people to take part in the violence. There had been credible reports of Buddhist monks carrying electoral lists for identifying properties that belonged to Tamils. They accompanied the rioters.

I was summarily arrested later while at home, put into solitary confinement, psychologically tortured but not charged with any offence; and then released after about six months of detention, when the habaes corpus application Chitra had filed was to be heard.

Some of the guilty

Dr Rajan Hoole presents his meticulous account in The Arrogance of Power: Myths, Decadence and Murder. There are other thorough investigations of this horrific episode in the country’s history. The evidence shows that several UNP luminaries played a major role in the ensuing pogrom. Foremost amongst them was Cyril Mathew. The trucks used to ferry the goons and the petrol used to ignite Tamil businesses came from the public corporations under the jurisdiction of his Ministry. Some others who either participated or turned a blind eye to the use of government property and employees under their control were:

• Mr R. Premadasa, who was Prime Minister at the time; he probably was not physically involved, but his power base was the lumpen elements in Pettah and its environs. They played a key role in the ensuing mayhem.

• Mr Siresena Cooray, Mayor of Colombo and a protégé of Premadasa who filled the Ceylon Transport Board with his thugs; and

• Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe, (the Current President) at the time, Minister of Education and Youth Affairs. While there is no direct evidence of his involvement, his trusted assistant Gonawela Sunil and members of Sunil’s gang did participate.

However, no genuine reforms have ever been forthcoming and no perpetrators were brought before the court and prosecuted.

One of the most horrific and reprehensible incident was the killing of Tamil militants who were arrested and detained under the PTA. As Colombo was engulfed by violence and the law of the mob, around 400 Sinhalese prisoners in A3 ward of Welikada Prison armed with iron poles, wooden sticks, manna knives, axes, pointed iron sticks, broken chair legs and coils of wire attacked and opened the doors of wards B3 and D3 where Tamil political prisoners were detained. They hacked to death  35 unarmed Tamil prisoners The dead bodies including those of Kuttimani and Thangathurai were scattered all over the hall corridor, where they had been held. The blood lust of the attackers was not abated and they methodically went about to find those who were barely alive and beat them till they died.

The next day, on July 26th, prisoners Manikkathasan, Panagoda Maheswaran, Paranthan Rajan, Douglas Devananda (current Cabinet Minister) and Antoni Pillai Alagiri stressed to all others that if there were going to be another attack against them, they should prepare as much as possible thinking that it would be better  to face it and die.

While the Tamil prisoners were trying to defend themselves with implements they could find, the security forces fired tear gas at them. When dust settled on July 26, 1983, the dead bodies of another 17 Tamil prisoners  were found. Among those killed in the attack in Welikada Prison on the second day was  Secretary of the Gandhiam Movement, Dr Somasundaram Rajasundaram. Not only those injured were not rushed to hospitals for treatment, but even those admitted to hospitals were reported to have not received proper treatment due to the ethnic bias of sone hospital staff.

It was obvious that this murderous attack inside the prison was well planned. It was reported that Sunil Perera alias Gonawala Sunil, a thug previously mentioned, who had been in prison for some time and released after receiving an amnesty offered by President Jayawardene, was also involved in this horrific attack. When questioned about the massacre of 53 Tamil political prisoners in Welikada Prison within two consecutive days, the then Prime Minister R. Premadasa evaded to respond by saying that ‘one Sinhalese prisoner has also died’ in the incident.

Conclusion

Why does a responsible minister make unvirtuous statements with no factual basis? The consequences of the Black July pogrom were catastrophic. It exacerbated ethnic tensions and paved the way for a protracted civil war. The JVP, unfairly blamed for the violence, intensified its activities, leading to further bloodshed. That is why, one should expose such statements and strongly condemn those.

Moving forward, Sri Lanka must learn from its past mistakes and strive for a more equitable society. This entails holding accountable those responsible for past atrocities, promoting transparency and the rule of law, and fostering unity and reconciliation among its diverse populace.

Sri Lanka’s future hinges on its ability to confront its past and embrace a path towards peace, justice, and prosperity for all its citizens. We must not let the sins of the past dictate our future. Instead, let us forge ahead with wisdom and unity, ensuring a brighter tomorrow for generations to come.

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Latest comments

  • 38
    6

    Mr. Bopage, did you expect anything different from this rogue politician. The whole purpose of his statement is to cause confusion in voters mind, especially the young and first time voters, who may not be fully aware of these facts. This article also helps in exposing those who deny such government sponsored violence against Tamils. One of the main reasons for Lanka’s bankruptcy is because , Lanka never learned anything from past mistakes. Politicians whoever came after continued the same until today. Today we have a human rights violator nominated as IGP.

    • 9
      26

      Dear Dr Bopage,
      .
      We don’t have to go that far. 83 riots 41 years ago.
      What about the May 2022 uprising?
      Who was behind it?

      If not JVP and Peratugami led Sri Lankan thugs?

      I thought we couldn’t believe our eyes, but huge lorry jetties and other valuables were thrown into Baira Lake like toys.

      Who cleans them and whose money is it against wasting cleaning them? Both northern and southern rebels are saboteurs in my eyes.

      They are emotional only for some malicious reasons.

      • 29
        3

        “According to what I heard, people wearing security uniforms went from place-to-place encouraging people to take part in the violence. There had been credible reports of Buddhist monks carrying electoral lists for identifying properties that belonged to Tamils. They accompanied the rioters.”
        Those who are sensitive to insults directed at Sinhala Buddhists should take note.

        • 11
          1

          PART TWO
          .
          This is what makes it difficult to give clear evidence. Nuwara-Eliya had been heroically protected by some foolishly conscientious Police Officer. The following day, he was removed, and Nuwara-Eliya also fell. But that is what I read about later. There was TV also, but no mobile phones.
          .
          By the time I got to Keppetipola, I realised that Nuwara-Eliya was merely an ocean of sanity. I had thought that my first duty was to pick up my elder daughter from STC, Gurutalawa, and take her back to Bandarawela. I realised the futility, and went on to Bandarawela.
          .
          The house in front of ours belonging to a Tamil, Mr David Pillai, was still smouldering. For at least two days it had been expected to go up in flames. The hoards that had come were said to be thugs, but not from our immediate vicinity.
          .
          The worst atrocity in Bandarawela were the murders of Dentist & Mrs Nathaniel. My obsession with upper-middle class English speakers? No. The thugs were focussing on better off Tamils. Searching just now, I found this:
          .
          https://web.facebook.com/VOFD2020/videos/513012180622730
          .
          It will take me some time to listen to all 165 minutes.

          • 2
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            PART THREE
            .
            I’m sorry
            that PART TWO had run elsewhere!
            .
            I have said that we had experiences from four earlier. That is rerecorded here:
            .
            https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/violence-against-tamils-at-peradeniya-university-a-portent/
            .
            and here, a week later:
            .
            https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/university-of-peradeniya-may-1983-when-majesty-stoops-to-folly/
            .
            The author is the same as the Dr Hoole (Rajan) whom Dr Bopage commends for “his meticulous account” of what happened in Black July. Those other articles detail what had happened during the “dress rehearsal” four months previously in Peradeniya. My comments there are more than seven years old, but relate to incidents almost 37 years ago. And there you will find reference to the Kenneth de Lanerolle Report which was commissioned and produced in 1983. The evidence that I was able to give was not, truthfully, much, but it was given in time.
            .
            I was responding to what I read in 2016, but the seemingly paltry narrations that I came up with proved valuable because so few tell anything.
            .
            For many years I had not met the author, Rajan Hoole. But I had known him well, for four years, starting 15th January 1963. My re-meeting I remember well, but before or after 2016? Don’t know!

            • 1
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              PART FOUR
              .
              After some time, it becomes difficult to align my own version with that of others – who remember what they were doing themselves.
              .
              I have spoken of how I was rudely awakened from my Nuwara-Eliya idyll at Keppetipola. The charred remains of a van. I later learnt that it had been going to Gurutalawa to fetch a boarder at S. Thomas’. My wife and her father had set out that same day for the school, and got back by bus later than me. I’ve asked my wife and daughter, they know that I was home before them, and the David Pillai house was gone.
              .
              My daughter had stayed in school quarters with a Jaffna Tamil friend, and his wife. My friend died of old age three years ago, and now, 3.45 am, is no time to telephone his wife. I’ll try to tell you tomorrow. I have the impression that they sought refuge in the Muslim village. My daughter, then nine, knows that she was in the sick-room of the school. The buses were being searched for Tamils, but there were none. That was Gurutalawa to Welimada; Welimada to Bandarawela.
              .
              Panini Edirisinhe

            • 1
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              PART FIVE
              .
              Phoned about noon.

              .
              Mrs Pathma Jayarajah said that they had initially been evacuated to a Muslim home. Easily managed because she was an English teacher in the Muslim Central School just on the other side of the road, the school where Dr Ameer Ali’s father had been the Principal, when I was a student, but something that I learnt only recently.
              .
              However, by that evening the school had been turned into a refugee camp, and so they had moved back in, but not into their own quarters. The very efficient Farm Manageress was a Sinhalese, married to a Tamil who was the Post Master. I knew all these people, names etc, but why clutter up the narrative?
              .
              Pathma had been in Gurutalawa for 16, mostly happy, years; all moves since then have been dictated by outside forces. She has just the one (married) son in Sydney. She may move there. At present she lives with her sister in Nawala (near Colombo). Her husband and she had lived in the house they had bought about twenty years ago in a remotish part of Mirihana, surrounded by helpful Sinhalese neighbours. That house must first be sold.

            • 1
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              PART SIX
              .
              They have a small ancestral house in Chundikuli, Jaffna; excellent residential area – I’ve been there. They’ll keep it – for whom? What strikes me is how little in control of events Tamils are. These are people who just wanted to live ordinary lives, co-operating with all those around. They can’t afford to be involved in politics, and now they are beginning to be hopeful that some day some relatives will re-establish themselves in Jaffna. It doesn’t look as though their daughter-in-law will produce any children.
              .
              I’ve just called Rajan Hoole’s home in Chemmani Road, Nallur; spoke to his wife. He’s recovering from a stroke that he suffered almost two months ago. These are people who have been doing all that they can to undo the damage that the three family clans have done over the years to our country. Please check on all the work that Rajan Hoole has done, and make reading it one of the tasks you set yourself. Let us hope that the country will know how to do the little bit more that they can, by voting intelligently.
              .
              Concluded
              .
              Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V) writing from Maharagama

        • 10
          2

          “killed around sixty”

          A pity they were not eaten.

          This is what I’ve been trying to instil in Native …….. that morally, cannibals were better than the modern-man.

          But would he listen …… his manufactured “intelligence” has got in the way of his ……… thinking …….. well, if he thinks at all ………

          • 11
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            “Dunno about morality…. but there were better ethics in the time of the cannibals. They killed because they were hungry; a very valid reason by any objective criteria ………… and they finished all their food.” …………

            “But when the modern man kills, he ain’t hungry ……….. It’s a mental trick that we play on ourselves …….we don’t judge the act of killing by objective criteria …….. but by the perpetrators’ projection of his “practice” of “culture/civilization”

            We are revolted by the cannibals’ eating of the victim and automatically fall into the trap of discarding objective criteria …….. while we are duped by the “modern man’s” cloak of “culture/civilization” he puts on ……. When the cannibals’ act is the lesser of the two evils.

            So, the trick is to, get the fashion-sense right. Can anyone pass me the contact details of Gota’s tailor? Got to get this projection thingy right!

            And the guy I admire the most, good ol’ Adolf ………. He was listening to Wagner and collecting stolen fine art and dressed in high fashion ………… and the millions gassed almost went unnoticed. That’s the epitome of “projection” thingy.

            Like some dude said “I have the simplest of tastes; I’m always satisfied with the very best.” …….. Adolf, my man, stand up and take a bow.”

            https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/smart-patriotism-jagath-jayasuriya-the-war-heroes-of-rathupaswala/

      • 8
        0

        Thanks, old codger,
        .
        PART ONE
        .
        For staying close to what you remember yourself. I was in Peradeniya; we expected it to get really bad, because of the experience that we’d had four months earlier, but this time I was an on-looker who knew that I could do little to help.
        .
        I’ve had to check that all this began in the early hours of Sunday, 24th July 1983. If so, it was on Tuesday, the 26th, that we panicked. I was a thirty-four year old undergrad. No lectures, I knew. Stayed in the house, 1129, Kandy Road, Peradeniya (which now belongs to the Peradeniya Police). I had to get back to Bandarawela on my bike (no, not the one I now have.) There were marauding crowds everywhere on the streets. We knew that they were stopping even bikes wanting petrol. I guess it must have been about Friday, the 29th, that I decided to set out. It would now be near impossible to check. I took the direct route, Gampola, and Ramboda pass. Many shops in Gampola had been razed, but it was wonderful to see Nuwara-Eliya undamaged. Vehicles were being stopped for petrol, but I wasn’t.

        • 2
          1

          “I’ve had to check that all this began in the early hours of Sunday, 24th July 1983. If so, it was on Tuesday, the 26th, that we panicked. I was a thirty-four year old undergrad.”

          Sinhala_man (SM) What is the reason for this nation to become another “spring money”? Wasantha Mudali is said to be the most famous “under graduate” of the University of Sri Lanka for the last 13 years.

          How come was SM still an undergraduate at his 32???

          I understand Vasantha Mudalige or “life long students”, but pundits like SM to have done the same ?
          Did the Sinhalese man misuse public money like Wasantha Mudali or others did?
          .
          The current president, RW explained that he graduated from Colombo University at the age of 21.

          • 1
            2

            Why do you ask, “leelagemalli”? You and I exchanged roughly two thousand emails, and quite a few WhatsApp calls until you revealed to me that you hated not only the JVP but also all brown persons (your mother being the sole exception).
            .
            Why do you try to confuse everybody?
            .
            You surely know that I became an internal University Student only at the age of thirty-four (I guess thirty-two crept in inadvertently). That was after sitting the GAQ, after travellling from Bandarawela to Aquinas every week-end for two years. In Peradeniya I was fortunate that the major disruptions to University life came later after JRJ banned leftist political organisations for what his own goons did in 1983. I was an exemplary student who topped the English Special batch.
            .
            Wasantha Mudalige saved us from Gotabaya. He chose to be a political activist, so what? Why don’t you question why Ranil had to make 19 trips abroad in 19 months, instead of focussing on our everyday problems.
            .
            As for you, you entered Peradeniya, but chickened out after two years – which you never properly explained to me.

          • 1
            2

            Ranil Wickremasinghe is from an extremely wealthy family? Why did he study at Royal College where the amount spent per student is well over a hundred times what is spent on a student in an average State School?
            .
            Well, I don’t think that the point made by me is a great one. The decision was made by his parents. Just as your parents sent you to Mahinda College, Galle. But having dropped out of Peradeniya University, you just went off to Germany.
            .
            No doubt you will say that you (patronisingly!) helped the poor in Lanka.
            .
            Isn’t this getting tedious? I want to stop!
            .
            Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V)

            • 2
              1

              SM,
              Lies about others, blatant lies, now it has gone to the level of false public perception:
              I’m sorry to hurt you, but I started my student career at the age of 19. I’ve never had a “patrozing charactor”. I help the poor from my pocket (I hope every good thing I do will be a blessing to my dear late mother who is the compass of my life. In this life).
              For me it was collectivism that freed Gota not by Mudalage the parasite.

              However, the parasites of Mudali’s nature abused the ARAGALAYA for some reasons.
              Students who hang on to education for more than 13 years as undergraduates are veritable parasites in the Sri Lankan context, as there are plenty of deserving students who have lost their chance to get selected to a limited number of universities because their cut-off marks did not allow them.

              In Germany that is not the case, if you pass yourA levels you are entitled to do what you intend to study as a degree course. There are some lim itatios for some catergories of the subjects though.

              tbc

              • 2
                0

                cont.
                .
                Allow me to kindly summarize by correcting the false content:
                1) Exchanged 2000 or more emails, but not to educate me but to abuse my email address for your BCCs. Neither I nor Manel understood them very well. It was all against your former college. Remember ?
                2) In the early 90s I left the country to save my life during that JVP brutal period, where my batchas were murdered by them and the govt. I just started my degree course and many other students had to stay home without notice again. So it was not a drop out… which is a big lie,. I was a merit student. I was entitled to BURSARY fund. I left my personal belongings at Pera student hostel and left home for our escape, I don’t know what happened to my belongings since then. As a bursary beneficiary, I did not care about my funds either even if they were transfered to my account.
                3) I don’t know how you can definitively label me as a lover of white people and a hater of brown skin???? I was with 50 or more nationalities (Morocco, Nigeria, Cameroon, Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Palestine, Iraq, Turkey, Iran, America, Germany, Switzerland, Malawi, Lesotho, South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, China, Canada). I am Linked , Australia and others) already in my student life in Germany.

                • 0
                  0

                  Dear “leelagemalli”,
                  .
                  Firstly, strange the familiarity you show with Manel (Fonseka) in the opening of this comment, coupled with with claims of concern for universal suffering by humans across cultures, in ending the comment, but you have had nothing to say below this article,
                  .
                  https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/gaza-creating-hell-on-earth/
                  .
                  on the holocaust in Gaza, where all regular commenters have had something to say, including Manel. I think the reason to be precisely because Manel, despite physical frailty, has roused herself to comment there. The World is aghast at what is happening there; one of the few individuals still helping Israel is your hero, Ranil Wickremasinghe.
                  .
                  You don’t want to air your views on that issue knowing that special attention will be paid to what is said there by Manel.
                  .
                  Let me see how you respond to this charge by me.
                  .
                  Panini Edirisinhe

                  • 0
                    0

                    Dear “leelagemalli”,
                    .
                    You’ve been intelligent enough
                    to make a comment on the Gaza article by Lasantha Pethiyagoda.
                    .
                    Good judgement on your part; you have not taken sides there!

                  • 1
                    0

                    There is nothing to be surprised about, because I know that Manel has personally done a lot to support Palestine for so long. I have had many exchanges with her over the past year since the recent atrocities.
                    .
                    I have shared my student dormitories with parlastenians since as far back as my basic undergraduate courses in Germany. That was in the mid 90s. Some of them are my colleagues today and we share a lot of insider information on crises in the region. All over Germany, you have educated Palasenians at least as medical doctors and high-level biology researchers. Palestinians are believed to be 100% literate.

                    tbc

                • 1
                  0

                  Secondly, I grant that you would have entered the University at the worst time for a person who was serious about his studies.
                  .
                  Above this, you have compared the ages at which Ranil W., and yourself spent time in the University, with my age and Wasantha Mudalige’s.
                  .
                  Know this then, I was not a guy who crept in late. In my case, it is connected with the problems related to the shortage of proficient teachers of English. I was easily the youngest trained to be a teacher of English at the Maharagama Teachers’ College in 1969-70. Entrance was via an English test; the average age of trainees then was over 35, and there was one who had been a teacher for 22 years.
                  .
                  There was also a scheme to improve teacher quality by admitting those teachers who had passed their General Arts Qualifying Exam, with English as a subject, to Universities. Two other ladies, with whom I got on fine, were admitted with me, but they behaved as demure middle-aged dowagers, and they settled for the less demanding and shorter Combined Degree Course (with Western Classical Culture), whereas mine was the extremely taxing English Special Degree Course.
                  .
                  I led that batch throughout, and won the Leigh Smith Prize for English.
                  .
                  More details if you really want them.

                  • 1
                    0

                    1
                    Very honestly, I am not biased to anyone, but my opinion is below. It was you who branded me as partial. The same is seen in Old Codger and Native Vedda if I may say so. Btw, your catergorization should be caught by proper methodologies. This may be connected to your thinking nature. As nobody else, you would love to express your personal details to CT commenters, even if they seem not interested in.

                    I’m also not a supporter of RW or CBK, but over time, I consider things based on the context of the time. CBK managed Tsunami-aftermath and she wanted to introduce federalism, which was rejected due to some known reasons. You and I are well aware of them, which are sinhala-racism which is similar to a bark of a tree. This means I don’t respect everything she’s involved with. Likewise, I respect some of the steps RW is taking, but this doesn’t mean I bow my head to him and his mission for everything he does. I am really sorry if I missed some thoughts provided by dearest Manel, I face such, while me being caught by “tight working schedules ” also in winter times in europe. Raj-UK and Human Touch can read my thoughts better.
                    tbc

                    • 1
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                      2
                      However, I will check them again. Manel will forgive me for sure. I respect her so much and her endeavours regarding palastina issue from its conception onwards.

                      I still believe it was not the convener of the International Students Federation/Council led by V.M.drove GOTABAYA away. I fully disgree with you regarding the opininon that VM led undergrads did it:
                      Gotta was driven away by collective forces, but because the collective was successful. Any biased videos and paper tabloids might have misinterpreted it, but we neutrally assessed it.

                      I read about Vasantha Mudali’s evolution and how he or the others of that nature became “undergraduates of life” (srilanka is a poor country and the universities are maintained by tax payers funds) giving universities a headache. I think it is a crime to prolong their university life (13 years – germans or any other europeans woudl crucify if their students would behave as such) so much. This needs to be spelled out in the context of Sri Lanka, as there are many thousands who are eligible for selection but never get the opportunity to enter university.
                      .
                      He himself came from the Vedi community and was looked down upon by the Sinhalese for so long. We all know this. Then for sure, after entering the university, he wanted to stand out in every way.
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6ovg7W3MJE

                      tbc

                    • 1
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                      3

                      Also, our minorities (Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and others) are still constantly discriminated against by the Sinhalese.
                      One of my friends from colombo, argued, colombites are used to look down upon the tamils living in UVA province again and again. Only if they need domestic servants, they are interested in knowing their grievances. This is very true even after long driven civil war in that country.
                      I have experienced how they treat those Tamil Sri Lankans whenever they go to srilanken embassies in Europe (UK, Germany, France or wherever) even if Lester or the like oppose it.
                      I really know how minorities feel about them being caught by discriminations of various nature. The truth is we are all Sri Lankans regardless of what nationality you claim when you are out of the country.
                      Whether in our fields of work or living in our villages in Europe, we face the same thing. Therefore, I can read the mentality of Sri Lankan minorities better than you.

                      ANTHARAYA (Interuniversity Fedearation) did not fight that “struggle”: they and others joined them later: the wealthy classes of Colombo could not bear power cuts, , lack of cooking gas and a few other daily necessities being in scarcity. Some people believed that people who lived in the flats in high buildings had no electricity and suffered a lot.

                • 1
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                  Thirdly, I know that both the despicable Ranil W. and you disgustingly now refer to Wasantha Mudalige, a hero of our times, as a parasite. It was collective action that got rid of Gota, but it was Mudalige, who took on leadership – which didn’t mean glory; it meant torture.
                  .
                  After going through all that, what happens? When Ranil took over we didn’t fiercely oppose him. He had the option of being a humble caretaker. Instead he has proved the parasite who has sucked all our blood.
                  .
                  You ought to wait for the people to return their verdict, but I now know you well enough; you will then insult all those who were your fellow countrymen.
                  Even at this stage, I will, from here, help you properly integrate with your current countrymen’s European culture. I assert that I know most aspects of it well enough to do that for you, who are a glorified slave.
                  .
                  Panini Edirisinhe, 51B, Golf Links Road, Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)

                  • 1
                    0

                    It is your thoughts to repeatedly brand me despicable, but many will not. I know that clearly.
                    If we (ANYONE WITH SOME SANITY) look back, RW or srilanka will definitely be SOMALIYA. Even if incumbent care taker govt suppresses the people by increasing taxes, he is not blamed. period.

                    The irony is that the Rajapaksas, who deliberately bankrupted the nation, are still deified by 30% of the electorate across the country.

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmpeLBCkgPs

                    Then the latest result of opinion polls -. That is why no party can succeed without the direct involvement of “MARA supporters”.

                    I wish the NPP and SJB led groups have more brains to understand the truths before them. This is srilanka where voters would act using their brains.
                    I don’t believe that the NPP led government will be a panacea for this nation because I know that the devil is darker than he appears in Sri Lankan society. “Real change” cannot easily change people’s mood:

      • 25
        4

        Dear Mr Leelagemalli,
        Thank you for your comment.
        I have provided in this article, my personal experiences and the facts I had collected about the July 1983 anti-Tamil violence.
        If you have any evidence with regard to your allegation that the JVP and the FSP were behind the violence associated with the May 2022 uprising, it will be best for you to present those facts.
        I am not affiliated with any political party, but as far as I am aware, it was mostly the goons of the then Rajapaksa regime and subsequently the mercenaries and “security” forces of the Wickremesinghe regime who were associate with violence and setting fire to some houses.
        If I am wrong please correct me by showing facts, not by rhetoric.

        • 5
          13

          Dear Dr. Bopage,
          Thanks for getting straight to me. I want to add some video links that support my thoughts. I am not usually a shunned person who spreads JVP fascists just because I feel they are. I must have some reliable sources. So please don’t take them as evasive rhetoric, but you will be reading about this from me soon. Today is a busy day for me with work-dependent travel and meetings, but I’ll try to get this sorted before or after the next day.
          best regards,

          • 2
            1

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oMeCFVGpWI

            This is another. I REALLY dont know what the truth is…

            • 0
              2

              I listened to as much of Prasanna Ranatunga as I could stand.
              .
              The warning about the Trojan related to the article in the Sunday Times.
              .
              I’m sorry if the placements (not my fault this time) has confused you.

              • 2
                0

                Panini Edirisinghe,
                .
                I’m afraid, I wasn’t aware of any malware out there. I honestly gave CT readers the source of information they were looking for.

                I only asked the readers to check the information. I cannot vouch for their information. Mr. Bopage also questioned about any source. If Prasanna R is wrong, you as a citizen has very right to stand against his public statements. And you live in Sri Lanka and I live outside the country.

                • 0
                  0

                  Dear “leelagemalli”,
                  .
                  I know that you’re quite innocent on that score.
                  .
                  It’s just that I have Malwarebytes (free version) on this computer. It detects this particular Trojan.
                  .
                  I was travelling in a 174 bus from Rajagiriya (to strictly speaking Pannipitiya Railway Station) to Mahahragama. I accidentally went to the link, and it came open without a fuss.
                  .
                  Simplistic thinking is that you have viruses only if you have a virus-guard that detects the viruses. So, some idiots don’t want virus-guards. No, I’m not saying that your reasoning is, in this respect, idiotic.
                  .
                  Hamlet: “There are more things on heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
                  .
                  Panini

          • 1
            1

            Malwarebytes warned me off going into this.
            .
            Who put a Trojan in there?

      • 15
        3

        Dear LM: “If not JVP and Peratugami led Sri Lankan “THUDG”?

        That 2022 Aragalaya was led by the PEOPLE of all walks of life including all shades of politics. Please correct the nerve centers of your brain that have clogged your memory.

        Perhaps to your disbelief and shattering your fake antagonism to Rajapakses, the PEOPLE managed to chase away the President and Prime Minister of the Rajapakse clan.

        The only unfortunate event was it brought another Rajapakse SAVIOR – alias Ranil Rajapakse to carry the baton. Don’t worry, we will oust him and the Rajapakse clan soon. It may not be to your liking, but the PEOPLE want it.

        • 4
          1

          Dear Douglas,
          .
          Looking back today, there are two versions
          1) RW took over to support and defend Rajapakshes
          2) RW himself thought to restore normalcy by doing the job since the nation was left in a lurch by GOta’s inexperienced decisions taken with his henchmen.

          JVP led NPP and their SUPPORTERs like you and SINHALA man pronounce 1) while some like me still believe, if RW did not take over, things would have ended up like in Tahiti or somalia.

          However, before the elections, people will be made clear what the interior govt has achieved from the scratch level after Gota was driven away from his presidency. My personal wish for the nation is whoever will get elected next should continue IMF recommendations.

    • 18
      2

      “However, credible evidence suggests the involvement of UNP luminaries like Cyril Mathew. They also orchestrated the violence, particularly the burning of the Jaffna library in June 1981.”

      I suppose the latter-day saint good ol’ boy Ranil Wickramasinghe (and Uncle Junius) had no hand in it ……… and the Tamils still have faith in him …….. and he is somehow going to give them 13+?

      To keep thing balanced here ……. are the people who want an apology from the JVP for their past sins ……. going to demand a similar apology from Ranil for UNP’s past sins?

      Where is the fairness ……. that Buddha instilled?

      Looks like something went wrong somewhere.

      • 14
        0

        nimal fernando

        “……… and the Tamils still have faith in him …….. and he is somehow going to give them 13+?”

        Aiyo nimal sadly Tamils did not have any qualm voting for the Lonely and racist General Sarath in 2010 Presidential elections who too was alleged to have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. During the election campaign Ranil held Sambandan;s hand, waving Sri Lankan Lion Flag.

        Are you saying Sambandan didn’t know Ranil was conning them?

        • 12
          1

          “Aiyo nimal sadly Tamils did not have any qualm voting for the Lonely and racist General Sarath in 2010 Presidential elections who too was alleged to have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

          Native,

          What other choice did the Tamils have? ……. What choice have the Tamils ever had?


          Are you saying Sambandan didn’t know Ranil was conning them?

          Sambandan always had a gun held to his head ……… as far as the eye can see ……… Sambandan wasn’t in a position to call anyone’s bluff ……

          • 6
            1

            nimal fernando,
            Your presence in this forum is a gift to us.
            Your subtlety is your strength.
            Thank you.

            • 2
              1

              The above comment is not an insight into my view.
              Present aspirants for his seat are ruining his stewardship.

  • 19
    1

    That is why I say, don’t vote for the same bunch of crooks once again. Once a crook, always a crook. Vote for some fresh faces and those in whom some sincerity of purpose is evident. So let us have both elections soon!

  • 28
    3

    Prasanna Ranatunga is a convicted criminal for extorting money from a businessman sentenced to two years suspended prison and 25 million SLRs.
    The fact is most of the Politicians in both UNP and SLFP (SLPP) have Criminal backgrounds.It is no secret that they cover up their criminality by putting the blame on JVP and LTTE.

    • 3
      8

      Not the SJB I wonder!

      • 14
        2

        SJB inclusive!

        • 4
          5

          How can one thank you for that little favour!

    • 16
      4

      Ajith,
      Tell me if there is a politician in our country who is not accused? There is a Sinhalese saying that you cant find mustard in a house where no one has died. And corruption crimes are in their blood. It is like the bark of a tree. .
      .
      Sri Lanka is a country full of big criminals and various saboteurs. Popularity opium. It doesn’t matter how they became popular. Even a rapist monk or a child molesting monk can easily break media records and enter the spotlight.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfw2FA1gEP0
      This mlechcha culture was introduced by the Rajapakse rascals with the help of people eating milk rice. I often spend my tenure in the mother country with trepidation. To me, Tahiti is even safer.

      See how Mahendra Rajapaksa is still unmoved even today despite the Supreme Court rulings being very clear.
      Our peoples are easily manipulative. They have no principles. International norms are also not respected.
      .
      They act not with wisdom but with malicious agendas. That was the reason colonial masters to wait that long to allow them with universal franchise. Many of them are more jealous than others. It’s in their genes more than others, I mean common to all 3 major population groups in Sri Lanka. Even the supporters are like that.

      • 10
        2

        “The mlechcha culture introduced by the Rajapaksa rascals”
        I don’t agree with it fully.Of course its become viral after Rajapaksa but started long time before. example, 1958.

        • 2
          0

          Ajith,
          .
          No matter what anyone says against, there is no leader who has destroyed the country as much as Rajapaksa did.
          They had own selfish programs. Now that bastard son is ready to behave like “Mahendra Rajapaksa” (see Namala Rajapaksa and his “Mustash, Scarf”). They perfectly know people are stupidier than appeared to be. They are born as cunning bastards who suck up every last blood drop of the nation.
          Deceiving and winning votes are subtle tricks and political gimmicks. How cruel must they be?
          False perceptions are built across the country to gain power. Psyche of the rank and file are targeted. Our people are no different to that of others coming from south asian region. Mystics and myths govern thheir day today lives.
          Today they are branded as real thieves by country s supreme court but the foolish villagers follow them yet today.WE CANT do anything against those stupid masses. They would never be enriched with truths, but uncouth information they were misled. So to the eyes of experts,
          any party politician has to depend on these sections of the society. It is said that 30% of Sri Lankan voters are still behind the Rajapaksa-led groups.

      • 9
        1

        Dear LM: “See how Mahendran Rajapakse is still unmoved even today despite the Supreme Court ruling being very clear”

        Do you know why “MR” is not unmoved? Have you given thought to it?

        It is none other than Raja[akses has installed a PROXY named Ranil Wickranasinghe alias Ranil Rajapakse to provide a SAFETY NET to the Hoara Nade – that you named sometime back “BPs”. Do you agree?

        • 5
          4

          Douglas MAHATHMAYA@, you know I will not treat you with a spoon like I treat Master Bandarawela. It means I consider your thoughts more progressive than his. Some of your comments certainly opened people’s eyes.
          .
          I may have said this before. The moment we study our own deficiencies (corruption and abuse culture) we should unite for the future of this country.

          Now with Nagananda being revoke his lawyership, things would though turn better for NPP, nevertheless they should more align with other parties than they are today.
          .
          This is because OUR people are more corrupt than being uncorrupted. It is like bark of a tree. If you would widen your eyes surely you will have to agree with me. Those of you as ones have lived the entire life in that hell for the last 6 decades or more would know it better.

          We have to make some sacrifices there, but the JVPs are not ready for that yet. They can clearly make a real change, but they should finally have the pulse feeling of the society.

          So are the others under Premadasa’s foolish son who does not seem to know what he is talking about.
          No matter who takes power without coming together, national issues will not be successful.

          • 7
            0

            My friend LM: Thank you. The absence of Nagananda Kodithuwakku is a loss to NPP. You would have observed that in not a single media briefing he did not exclude an accusation against “Anura Kumara and JVP”. That was a PLUS to gather popular support for AKD and NPP. Someone must hire him to do the same as a favor to AKD and NPP. He would gladly accept it and do it until CHOCKED with the three letters “AKD’ and “JVP”.

            You want a “Coming Together”. With whom? Look at the politicians who are doing that “Coming Togther” such as Sajith, Ranil W; Patali; Dallas; Wimal; GL P; Ranathunga; Basil; Namal; Susil; and many more who ruined this country. I am glad that NPP has abandoned these crooks and separated all of them into one block and instead formed a Social Organization directly with the people at the village (Kottasa Saba) electoral and district levels. Let us TRY that.

            • 4
              8

              Doughlas – Good answer!

              • 1
                1

                R,
                Did you understand what his message was?

                My university professors don’t forget to write “thinking is hard work” on the blackboard.
                :
                Every time I remember this, every time we are forced to read your stupid comments. Isn’t it tiresome to abuse the “webspace”?

                • 1
                  0

                  Apologies, I mean did not forget to write “thinking is a hard work”.

            • 2
              0

              Dear Douglas Mahathmaya,
              .
              ” I am glad that NPP has abandoned these crooks and separated all of them into one block and instead formed a Social Organization directly with the people at the village (Kottasa Saba) electoral and district levels. Let us TRY that.”

              I thought honourable Nagananda Kodithuwakka (NK) was always against NPP. I may be false or not updated. Please forgive me if mine are not updated.
              .
              However, I’m not really aware of NK’s support for AKD. Perhaps you might have explained it ironically. ANYWAYS, You should further enlighten us CT readership with the facts about it.
              .
              Scholars still prove that 30% of the electorate (5 millions out of rank and file) is loyal to MEDAMULANA thugs. Unless these brainwashed men and women are destroyed by nature (not even by COVID-like pandemic), no a single party can stand without the “pro-Rajapaksa faction”. It is THE TRUth about good old Sri Lanka full of Sinhala Buddhist beasts. Most of them would lick bo-tree to get away with their problems.
              .
              To me, It is only a wonder that the NPP dreams of taking power into their own hands without targeting above mentioned segment.

              However, out of the 75 years of independent Sri Lanka, JVP has been active in politics for 52 years.

              • 0
                0

                Dear KM: My comment was not “Irronical” but CYNICAL.

                Every time NK’s videos appear, hundreds of public comments come in the comment column. All of them were to ridicule and condemn his accusations on AKD and JVP. Those reactions were in support of AKD. So the more NK does it, the greater and greater for AKD. It was in this context I said: “Someone must hire him to do that” so that the support for AKD would escalate.

                T think “Ruchira” got what I meant.

  • 12
    11

    Good eye opening essay by Dr. Bopage for those who seem to think that Ranil and his UNP (or even Sajith and SJB) could be the solution for the country’s woes – both past and present. The need for NPP is getting clearer.

  • 16
    5

    KILLING INNOCENT TAMI CIVILIANS IS A HABIT OF SINGALA SAKILI BUDIST.EVEN AFTER ANOTHER 100 YEARS THEY WILL DO THE SAME THINK.WE HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE WHAT THE NEW BORN BUDIST FROM THAMBUTHTEGAM AVATHAR ANURAKUMARA IS GOING TO OFFER TO TAMILS TO SETTLE THIS BURNING ISSUE FROM 1948 IF BY CHANCE JVP-NPP COMES TO POWER.

    • 8
      5

      “SAKILI “
      What does that word mean?
      What does it peak about the user of it in an offensive way?

      • 5
        3

        What does it speak etc.

      • 8
        5

        Only the old remember this term. This was a group of people brought from India to remove shit from the bucket toilets. It was a time of real Indian dominance as we would have been living with shit if not for these poor people whom we looked down upon. The term “Sakili” referred to these people. It was a derogatory term best forgotten.

        • 3
          3

          Thanks C
          Not many are sensitive to such matters.
          There are too many here that call others low caste etc.

        • 1
          2

          I remember the system, a generation older than us.
          .
          Spending holidays in my father’s sister’s home in Galle, we had to use the system.
          .
          I, as a Sinhalese, would tend to write the word out as “sakkili” – with both “k”s being pronounced in Sinhala – as in Galle, spoken in Sinhala. The Brits cannot handle those doubled consonants, but I didn’t know that a Tamil speaker would have the same difficulty.
          .
          And those poor Tamils were brought from India. Best forgotten is correct, Cicero.

          • 5
            4

            They now call themselves Arunthathiyar and do not use the word Chakkili. they are actually Telugu/Telugu speakers and not Tamils. They migrated to the Tamil country in the late of 17Th century or were imported into the Tamil country from Telugu lands to the do the same work, as scavengers, sweep the roads and as night soil cleaners. Even in Sri Lankan or Ceylon amongst themselves they used to speak a dialect of Telugu and not Tamil. Now most probably the younger generation speak Tamil. The correct pronunciation is Chakkiliyar and not Sakkili and Thamizh are very good at double constantans, in fact there are lots of Tamil words with double constantans. The Chakkiliyar/Arunthathiyar/ Madiga/Madari are part of the Adi Andhra community.

            • 1
              0

              Thanks, SSS,
              .
              What you say explains why we, Sinhalese, say that the person was talking “Andhara-Demala” when we cannot understand what somebody was saying.
              .
              It puzzled me how our people know so much about the States of India.

              • 4
                4

                SM,
                “It puzzled me how our people know so much about the States of India.”
                They weren’t States at the time, but independent countries, which happened to be our closest neighbours.

            • 0
              2

              Before they arrived I wonder if the Tamils did what they still do now: “Velikkidarathu”

          • 2
            4

            Dear Readers,
            .
            In today’s context, we don’t even use such terms. We need to bring new laws to ban these terms in public like we do in Europe.
            .
            My elders told me then that Shakkilya were the lower caste people who cleaned the toilets in Colombo in 50tie and 60ties.
            My father even told me that the blacks were brought to Sri Lanka in WORLD WAR period with their mouths shut, otherwise they would look for human sacrifices. All these are just fiction stories similar to the Jataka stories of the Sinhalese-Buddhists
            . In earlier days my life in europe (early 90ties), i THOUGHT the blacks I got to know from various countries from Africa were the best buddies in my hostel life.

            Their empathy and sympathy about student issues were not comparable to that of the whites in general. Some of them were coming from high class societies of each of their countries while others were similar to economic refugee in the guise of students.

            The gap between the upper castes and the lower castes in our motherland was that big then. This reminded me of how some RADA or RODIA people walked from house to house in Galle areas to collect the dirty clothes from our houses.

            • 2
              3

              LM,
              “My father even told me that the blacks were brought to Sri Lanka in WORLD WAR period with their mouths shut, otherwise they would look for human sacrifices.”
              I have heard that story too, but never met anyone who actually saw it.

              • 2
                1

                Very true OC.

                There are many lies ingrained in us during our teenage years. I think lanken schools should have each psychologist if we at all to build up a better nation.
                Loads of lies in our head, led many of us to condemn even our own minorities. That ended up producing LESTERs and other racists in this country.
                Latter is a fact. We should be clear of this today. I have the feeling dead EAGLE EYE is now conceieved in the man called Lester.
                Lester or the like lower human beings woudl do any pathetic job to save their pay masters on and on.
                I am thankful my mum to have guided me not to do that in my life.
                .
                All of that left me with some antagonism before meeting black people for the first time in my life.

                Black people in general are the best people I have met them from different countries in Africa.
                Even though their cultures are unique to them, to look down on them as black is beyond my understanding. They were branded by some because the ficitons made them believe, that the blacks ate humans.

  • 16
    1

    “Prasanna Ranatunga”

    Never had any interest in what he had to say …….. the hard times must be tough on him ……. he was carrying triplets …….. now looks like twins ……….

    Hope JVP/NPP …… make his labor pains …….. bearable ……..

    • 2
      0

      NF,
      .
      A significant number of people voted for them, even if you weren’t interested. It is the unique nature of our electorate. Even JVP/NPP is not trying to fix them. Then as a result they will refuse to vote. Every party is interested in the victory of its voters.

      I wondered how they behaved like that, coming from the most literate state in Sri Lanka which is the Western Province (95%).
      :
      Not only Prasanna Ranatunga but Wimal Weerawansa (believed to be a born criminal) Godaheva also got more points in the last elections from the incorrigible voters of the same country. Do you think people’s attitudes will change significantly? And when? They are very much enmeshed in their cognitive systems.

      tbc

      • 2
        1

        cont.
        .
        It will more or less be the same in the upcoming elections. But by bringing more members of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna/National Party to the Parliament, some things will change.
        .
        Although many infants in the South Asian region today become diabetic, their dietary habits based on relatively high carbohydrate portions will continue. Last November, the grocer who served me with fruits in Wellawatte told me that he eats 2 plates of Dagaba style rice at a time. This was questioned by me because his abdomen was abnormally protruding, so he could not move from a to b. easily.
        .
        People are generally stubborn and they don’t care about fact-based information.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xqi8DmsFaI

        Not even Z-genzers and millennials in srilanka are better. The latter can be proven today by watching the circulating YouTube videos of them.

  • 20
    13

    It is time for the GoSL to think about compensating the Tamils for the state sponsored violent acts against the minorities. Those behind penalised

    • 28
      27

      The author does not mention that the riots were 41 years ago. At that time, there was no social media. Compare with the Easter Attacks. The government took immediate measures to prevent Muslims from being attacked. Most of the rioters were not racist, they were just opportunists. The target being Tamils was purely coincidental. You can see this with other riots. In the US, UK, France, after so-called “police brutality”, the rioters go on a shopping spree.

      • 24
        21

        Lester

        ” Most of the rioters were not racist, they were just opportunists.”

        How about those politicians and saffron clad thugs who recruited and motivated the rioters? Do you think the riots were organised by benevolent monks who were to alleviate Tamils from their suffering?.

        However those who burned down Jaffna Library were expressing too much love for Tamils.

        • 21
          13

          Native,

          Can you comment on the massacre of 600 unarmed policeman in Ampara by the LTTE in 1990? What about the ethnic cleansing of Muslims and Sinhalese in the North and East?

          • 12
            14

            Lester,
            In your universe, was 1990 before or after 1983? Who gave the weapons to the LTTE to massacre them? Wasn’t it a Sinhala Buddhist?

          • 12
            15

            Lester

            “Can you comment on the massacre of 600 unarmed policeman in Ampara by the LTTE in 1990?”

            What do you want me to say?
            Weren’t they trained in weapons handling, weren’t they armed to their teeth, how come you are silent on JVP’s killings policemen and threat to kill their family members, Police managed to massacre scores of innocent people between 1987 and 1991, as a consequence DIG Udugampola had to leave the island and went into hiding in India while Somawansa was already hiding in Hindia, … … Who killed Innocent Sinhalese youth in 1971 and between 1987 and 1991? Why don’t you question the Police, STF, JVP, Army, Green Tigers and LTTE ….?

            Why do you think Mahinda Rajapaksa and Vasudeva Nanayakara went to Geneva during during the time of dark ages?

            • 14
              9

              Native,

              Actually that is a policeman’s job. He has to be trained in weapons handling. How else do you fight a criminal?

              JVP were terrorists, they got exactly the same treatment as LTTE. Rohana W had a “Nanthikadal Moment.” The difference is that 99% of Sinhalese don’t consider JVP “heroes” or “martyrs.”

              It’s useless glossing over the 1983 riots, other than to ensure it never happens again. If LTTE had won the war, they would have shown a similar, if not worse level of brutality to any Sinhalese and Muslims still living in Trincomalee, Vavuniya, etc. And the CT geniuses here would come up with some excuse like “Mahavamsa is racist.”

              “Why do you think Mahinda Rajapaksa and Vasudeva Nanayakara went to Geneva during during the time of dark ages?”

              Yes, Mahinda is a “man of the people.” I don’t know why people consider him a racist. Maybe because of the “white flag” buggers. But KP, Karuna, Thamilini, Daya Master, etc. were treated well. 10K ex-LTTE were rehabilitated without going to prison. In Israel, they jail even Palestinian teenagers.

              • 6
                13

                Lester

                “I don’t know why people consider him a racist.”

                When armed forces killed Sinhala youth between 1987 and 1991 he went to Geneva, produced many evidences to stop Sinhala youth being massacred.
                When his entire clan was in power he killed innocent Tamil people and fought UN tooth nail to prevent UN war crime investigation.

                He wears his heart on his sleeve for all of us to see and judge by ourselves.

                “10K ex-LTTE were rehabilitated without going to prison.”

                If true why didn’t he publish the details of those people who surrendered to the Armed forces and details of those who were released by them?

                No one in his or her right mind would defend all those war criminals.

                • 14
                  5

                  Native,

                  “No one in his or her right mind would defend all those war criminals.”

                  But you are defending war criminals. When I asked you about the massacre of 600 unarmed policemen by the LTTE, your response is simply “what can I say?”

              • 4
                4

                “Yes, Mahinda is a “man of the people.” I don’t know why people consider him a racist. Maybe because of the “white flag” buggers. But KP, Karuna,”
                .
                Most fit would be stealer pf the nation.
                .
                MR has no right to shed his last breath 😢 out of a prison 😢.
                .
                May just work for all criminals equally

      • 16
        7

        Lester,
        “The target being Tamils was purely coincidental. “
        I see even Ruchira can’t bring himself to agree with you. Perhaps he’s gone for a drink with his father?

        • 4
          2

          Lester is indebted to this nation so as Mahendra BP Rajapakses because Lester is being paid by stolen money 💰.
          .
          These men should be hanged forever.

      • 14
        6

        No shopping spree here Lester. People were being burnt alive.

      • 8
        5

        Lester,
        As usual, you did excellently.
        “The target being Tamils was purely coincidental. You can see this with other riots. In the US, UK, France, after so-called “police brutality”, the rioters go on a shopping spree. “

        There is no factual representation elucidated in that statement. But I am not going to elaborate on how ridiculous those lines are. But I wonder about you who believe in your ability to prove the night as the day.
        There is a bard from the famous Tamil laureate poet Awai, saying: “Thinkal Kariai Irulai Neekaathulakil Nirai Irulai Neekume Ninru ”. Those like the Moon who care about the world are not minding the dark spots on their face but send the light from there to erase the darkness on the earth. You never cared to answer the fellow commentators’ questions about the racism that you set to flare in your comments. But here, you are exerting maximum effort to cover up the world’s known criminal racists known as the Sinhala Buddhists’ carnage,

      • 8
        3

        Before you try to clear the names of those who conducted (Junius Richard, Cyril Mathew) and who acted (the UNP Kaadies – rowdies) in Black July, a forty years ago, if you give a satisfactory explanation why you still seek this racist path, they may be able to comprehend your explanation better. Seeing some intelligible ones throwing a clear liquid (water) on fire hoping to douse it, you are throwing the clear liquid (the gasoline) you carry in your can and telling us that will also douse the fire and expect us to think that you are honest in your explanations.

        • 7
          1

          Mallaiyuran,

          It’s very funny how the pro-LTTE websites like “Tamil Guardian” try to blame the massacre of 600 policemen on Karuna. Since Karuna works for Gotha, it means Karuna is now a mass murderer. But when Karuna was working for Velu (20 years), he was a top commander & Tamil “hero.” What is the logic there? Why don’t you take responsibility for the mass murders and assassinations of LTTE, rather than crying over 1983?

  • 15
    7

    Those who ‘understand’ the sane, rational, and good intentions of Lionel Bopage would look forward, not backwards. Easily said than done, I admit. But, do we have a choice …?

  • 28
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    Thank you for writing this, Mr Bopage. It is necessary to name the other culprits, like gamini dissanaike and lalith athulathmudali. The callousness involved gave us 30 years of civil war and its consequent calamity of hunger and bankruptcy. The Tamils believe that the Sinhalese did not protest at what was happening except a few men like Mr Bopage. In silence, they all become accomplices in what was done. JRJ did state that all Sinhalese would be happy if he starves the Tamils. Karma does work. We are all starving except the Sinhala rich who party away at five star hotels with the money they stole from the people. Will the JVP announce a policy on the ethnic issue? It is silent on this. Its past is not encouraging. It is important that the JVP takes a clear stance on the ethnic/religious issue and the economy. The two are interconnected. The IMF may have its statistics but the root cause of our ills is due to the divisions among the people, the smokescreen created by Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism and the looting that takes place under its cover, sanctioned by the Mahasangha. We can see that these negative forces are seeking a come-back. This needs to be scotched early.

    • 15
      3

      Cicero,
      Totally agree with you.

    • 10
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      Cicero

      “Will the JVP announce a policy on the ethnic issue?”

      JVP believes under their Socialist government every problem will be solved – that is what their Marxian Class Analysis informs the party.
      Well ……

    • 3
      1

      Dear Cicero,
      Thanks for your meaningful comments. Today we are all perflexed. I ve the remotest idea how the inexperienced JVP led NPP can do magic on our hellish myriad of issues.

      “Will Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna announce a policy on the ethnic issue? It is silent on this. Its past is not encouraging. It is important for the Janata Vimukthi Peramuna to take a clear stand on the ethnic/religious issue and the economy.”

      I doubt.
      .
      As AKD has returned from his recent visit to India, he has no misgivings about Indian investments. How can they become something unprecedented?

      The other thing is that after taking power, not a single word is spoken about their economic miracles.

      I used to have a lot of faith in Dr. Harini Amarasuriya, but her reaction to AKD’s recent visit to India completely changed my mind from negative to negative.

      Now experts say that Ranil may be the one to have requested the Indians to civilize and train the AKD-led teams.
      They Indians know it very well, none other than the JVP-led groups are the biggest obstacle to block any kind of bilateral or multilateral agreements between Sri Lanka and other countries. At the moment, Maldives has made it clear ” INDIA IS OUT”…. so Indians make every effort not to loose srilanka in indian ocean.
      :
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge17FqXYHTU

      • 3
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        Apologies.
        .
        The other thing is that they have not yet explained how they will do the miracle of earning dollars once they come to power. So how can people keep faith in them?

  • 12
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    The tragic part is that no one was put on trial and punished for any of the crimes, including the incident with the white flag that happened just 15 years ago. These murderers, regardless of ethnic background, are freely roaming the country. Lookk at what happened to Gota. In 1983, I remember thugs burning temples and putting cigar in the mouth of Lord Ganesh. Today, all Sinhalese worship Hindu gods for wealth and prosperity and safety. Sri Lanka is 100% under Indian control politically, militarily, and economically. Yes, karma affects, what goes around comes around. It goes for all.

  • 9
    3

    I have received the following comment from Alagiri:
    ———
    I have read your article. Thank you. At the same time I would like to inform you about an error in the article.
    ‘ The second day massacre was carried out on 27th July (not on 26th) where 18 (not 17) tamil prisoners were killed. An inquiry was carried out by magistrates accompanied by police on 26th after the day before on 25th July where 35 of our comrades were killed.
    We were 37 people in the Youth Offenders building on that day. Out of 19 people who were injured (and killed) during the attack, only two comrades were taken to the hospital. Among that two, one died without medical attention and another one escaped death with medical attention who was transferred to Baticaloe Prison later.’
    Thank you again for writing this article. Wish you all the best.

    • 6
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      Lionel Bopage:

      You seem to have good intentions. That said, you neglected to mention that CBK offered an apology for 1983 and even compensation to the victims. At the political level, there is not much more that can be done. Do you also think that the Tamil diaspora should apologize for the LTTE’s acts of terror, namely suicide bombs, which were designed to maximize casualties? Personally, I don’t care if they apologize. My argument is that people should leave these incidents and focus on the future, especially economic development. However, since you are in the business of reconciliation, I don’t think the optimal outcome can be achieved if all the blame is shifted to one side.

      • 6
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        Lester,
        “Do you also think that the Tamil diaspora should apologize for the LTTE’s acts of terror, namely suicide bombs”
        In your universe, did the LTTE have suicide bombers in 1983?

        • 5
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          This is another useless comment. There is no point in answering.

          • 0
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            Lester,
            That got to you, did it?

      • 2
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        “My argument is that people should leave these incidents and focus on the future, especially economic development.”
        .
        It may not be easy to leave behind the past, but nevertheless it’s true that they should focus on the future – economic development.
        .
        “However, since you are in the business of reconciliation, I don’t think the optimal outcome can be achieved if all the blame is shifted to one side.”
        .
        I agree that reconcilliation is a two way street. War crimes were committed by both parties. While it was the Sri Lankan government that was at war with the LTTE, the latter categorically and indiscriminately targetted Sinhalese civilians and civillian infrastructure right throughout.
        .
        Not to mention suicide bombings and the recruitment and engagementvof child soldiers in combat.
        .
        The argument that they were done in retalliation as s response to gov’t or Sinhalese actions, like 1983 progrom, I believe, does not hold ground when it comes to war crimes.
        .
        Disproportionate and indiscriminate killing of civillians by anyone in combat I believe constitute a war crime, a violation of International Human Rights Laws. Rebellions can not escape these laws that the same way the governments can’t.
        .
        Any reconciliatory process that does not recognise this may not go very far.

        • 2
          2

          Lester is right.
          .
          The Tamil Diaspora community and their sympathizers that extended them any helping hands, both locally and internationally, that may include Sinhalese well as non-Sinhalese, that funded these indiscriminate killings and various other crimes including war crimes committed by the LTTE too should be exposed and made accountable.
          .
          Especially the illegal activities they may have carried out across the globe in multiple jurisdictions to fund a terrorist outfit, and possibly continuing to do so albeit in smaller scale to keep the old goals and agendas still alive, need exposure and the perpertrators brought to justice.
          .
          Such funds should be frozen (again) to prevent these networks of terrorist funders from continuing to advance their seperatist, criminal and violent agendas, like inviting and expecting India to invade Sri Lanka, and the use of the troubled Sri Lankan economy to possible laundering of these funds.
          .
          TBC

          • 2
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            Continued…
            .
            Their propaganda, fake theories, mis and disinformation campaigns too need exposure and dismantling.
            .
            These are prerequisites for any reconcilliatory and/or a political process and a solution to be successful if at all.

            • 2
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              The country needs a fresh start, a system of governance that could impartially address grievances of both sides and could punish perpertrators on both sides.
              .
              That requires getting rid of the old ruling class at the national level and getting rid of the aforementioned parties and their networks that relentlessly worked to further a seperatist agenda through criminal means.

          • 2
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            Ruchira,

            Bopage is saying the majority community has some collective responsibility for 1983. That is the implication. Fair enough, but he does not offer any solution for dealing with terrorism. Terrorists are not rational actors, they cannot be dealt with through conventional means. They are not 9 am – 5 PM people looking to advance their careers. Their goal is to terrorize a given target population into submitting. Terrorists have to be dealt with through unconventional means, whether PTA, Emergency Regulations, etc.

            No country will stand by idly when their citizens are attacked. Forget about this whole PC business. After 11th Sept 2001, the US invaded two countries, Afghanistan and Iraq, without the permission of the US. Close ties were established with Pakistan to optimize the whole operation. NATO was eventually brought in. By comparison, Sri Lanka simply defended its borders from anarchists/separatists using terrorism as their primary methodology. There were some HR abuses and so-called “war crimes” but these could not be avoided.

            • 2
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              *permission of the UN

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