23 September, 2021

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Pseudonymous Comments In Colombo Telegraph

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

The Editor

Colombo Telegraph.

Sir,

Pseudonymous Letters in Colombo Telegraph: Examples of Rahavan and Chanakyan

I know you allow people to comment on articles under pseudonyms. You know who they are by email address but the readers do not. I agree that anonymity makes people feel free to comment and this engenders freer discussion.

However, recent comments by Rahavan (whom I have mistaken for Suren Raghavan and another Raghavan I know) and Chanakyan make me wonder how wise that policy is.

Following your reproducing the interview with Ravi Kumar of the British Tamil Forum by the newspaper Oru Paper from London (Read here ), I had commented under my name that the British Tamil Forum must not give interviews to communalist papers and thereby encourage them. I went on to cite the Oru Paper editorial of  07.04.2006 when I was appointed Vice Chancellor of Jaffna in 2006. The editorial read

“[T]here are a few Christians who are unable to reconcile their minds to the fact that they had deserted the religion of their forefathers. This grievance they carry against the whole community. The Hoole brothers[…],Lakshman Kadirgamar and D.B.S. Jeyaraj of Canada belong to this category. As for Ratnajeevan Hoole as Vice-Chancellor of Jaffna University, this much has to be said. He should not be allowed to roam free in Jaffna’s Tamil Hindu society, particularly in the university campus where there is a Saiva temple ” [Emphasis as in the original].”

The two ideas in the editorial that betray the communalism of the editor are 1) Tamils should never have converted to Christianity and are traitors for that reason and 2) Christians are polluting. These make the editorial a punishable hate crime under British law.

Coming to the point, Rahavan – whoever he may be, but almost certainly pseudonymous because Rahavan with an h is rarely used in formal names which have initials – then put in a comment that “Oru Paper is owned and edited by Christians.” It simply undermined my comment that Oru Paper is communalist.

However, I found it unbelievable that Christians would accept the idea that they are polluting. I therefore made careful enquiries and found that there is no one at Oru Paper who is a Christian except a girl doing office work. I have been able to further establish that the manager is one Partheepan who rarely writes, the editor is one Gopiratnam and a regular columnist is Ravi Arunachalam from the liberal Colombo-based Sarinigar who became pro-LTTE and got a job at IBC Radio, and is accused of printing someone else’s book with a change of title under his authorship.

Just today following the article “Navi Pillay Rides Again” by Malinda Seneviratne, there is a cryptic comment by Chanakya (who also signs as Chanakyan)  as follows “What a pathetic case is MS who hates the US and ‘west’ because he is a Cornell Drop Out!”

The term dropout in the English language is used for dropping out of society or school. When it is out of undergraduate studies, the term is college dropout. Seneviratne earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard. The comment by Chanakya is therefore designed to create the impression that Seneviratne holds no degree and is uneducated.

I think it is time to force those who comment to take responsibility by signing under their real names. Email addresses which only you see are really not enough because one can get an address easily under any cooked up name.  It may be unfair by those who make thoughtful comments anonymously because they are afraid. But when anonymity is used to spread false information and slander, it is time for change.

It is a sad commentary that it is people of the quality of Rahavan and Chanakyan whom we Tamils have to speak for us abroad as Geneva comes up.

Sincerely,

S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

We received the letter above from prof. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole and  decide to share it with our readers. We request our commentators to follow our Discussion Guidelines voluntarily.  

The Colombo Telegraph provides a opportunity for readers who wish to discuss content we publish, or debate issues more generally. Our aim is to ensure this platform is inclusive and safe.

There are 10 simple guidelines which we expect all participants to abide by, all of which directly inform our approach to moderation (detailed below). These apply across the site, while moderation decisions are also informed by the context in which comments are made.

1. We welcome debate and dissent, but personal attacks (on authors, other users or any individual), persistent trolling and mindless abuse will not be tolerated. The key to maintaining the website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.

2. We acknowledge criticism of the articles we publish, but will not allow persistent misrepresentation of the Colombo Telegraph and our journalists/contributors to be published on our website. For the sake of robust debate, we will distinguish between constructive, focused argument and smear tactics.

3. We understand that people often feel strongly about issues debated on the site, but we will consider removing any content that others might find extremely offensive or threatening. Please respect other people’s views and beliefs and consider your impact on others when making your contribution.

4. We reserve the right to redirect or curtail conversations which descend into flame-wars based on ingrained partisanship or generalisations. We don’t want to stop people discussing topics they are enthusiastic about, but we do ask users to find ways of sharing their views that do not feel divisive, threatening or toxic to others.

5. We will not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia or other forms of hate-speech, or contributions that could be interpreted as such. We recognise the difference between criticising a particular government, organisation, community or belief and attacking people on the basis of their race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age.

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10. The platform is ours, but the conversation belongs to everybody. We want this to be a welcoming space for intelligent discussion, and we expect participants to help us achieve this by notifying us of potential problems and helping each other to keep conversations inviting and appropriate. If you spot something problematic in comment section, please report it. When we all take responsibility for maintaining an appropriate and constructive environment, the debate itself is improved and everyone benefits.

In short:

– If you act with maturity and consideration for other users, you should have no problems.
– Don’t be unpleasant. Demonstrate and share the intelligence, wisdom and humour we know you possess.
– Take some responsibility for the quality of the conversations in which you’re participating. Help make this an intelligent place for discussion and it will be.

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Latest comments

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    Why is the champion of outspokeness now complaining about comments
    of others? Surely, Dr. Ratnajeevan Hoole should know as an academic
    that facts are sacred and comment is free. It seems truth, when told
    under any name, is hurting him. I don’t give a hoot to what he says.
    I know him from the 1960s and what he said.

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    I agree that the guidelines set out by CT should be strictly adhered to. This will lead to more constructive criticism and valuable discussion.

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    Dr. Hoole:
    You have not had the full ire of the current regime directed against you for being bold enough as to dissent and are therefore insistent on people putting their names (and not pseudonyms) to their contributions.
    That is a certain way to curtail any dissent of value,given the status quo prevailing in Sri Lanka.
    While CT must cut abusive comments, I feel it is often being less than objective about justified criticism of those who are paid publicists for the Rajapaksa government.
    It is bad enough that several of these (I will not name them because CT will then censor this contribution!)do nothing but act as spokespeople for the government, pretending that they aren’t, but to have them launch personal attacks – uncensored by CT – against anyone critical of their paymasters gets to be a bit much!

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    CT

    ‘Comment is free, but facts are sacred’ – CP Scott

    CT writes;

    “The key to maintaining the website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.”

    Intelligent discussion is reflected in intelligent response. Stupid comments ensure stupid response.

    ” For the sake of robust debate, we will distinguish between constructive, focused argument and smear tactics.”

    Being born in this island, I doubt any of us are capable of robust debate. It goes with the territory.

    “Please respect other people’s views and beliefs and consider your impact on others when making your contribution”

    It is unreasonable to put heavy burden on commendators for most of us are thick skinned and stupid. I am only bit thick.

    “we do ask users to find ways of sharing their views that do not feel divisive, threatening or toxic to others.”

    We are already polluted in our hearts and minds. It will take a long time to adjust to new environmentally friendly discussions provided CT is willing to supply the antidote, create space to unload our frustrations. Once we are bored we might consider getting back to reality.

    “We will not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia or other forms of hate-speech, or contributions that could be interpreted as such”

    How can I be a sexist male chauvinist pig when I am married to a female from Sri Lanka?

    “Keep it relevant”

    Come on you must be joking. How on earth we are going to comply with this policy/idea/rules? I beg you please change this policy. Most of us won’t be happy as you would have noticed over the period of time that it is our policy/idea/rules never to comply.

    “Be aware that you may be misunderstood”

    Most of us do agree with you, however we like it that way since we ourselves do not know what we are saying.

    “When we all take responsibility for maintaining an appropriate and constructive environment, the debate itself is improved and everyone benefits”

    I am sorry to say you are expecting too much from us in fact it is against our respective religions, whatever that may be. We have never been a constructive people nor can we see beyond our noses. We thrive on destruction. For the people of Sri Lanka you can substitute destruction for benefits.

    After having uploaded my misery I feel better now.

    “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Voltaire

    I hope CT will adhere to the above principle and I wish them well.

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      Whats your real name..native. About me i am product of sinhala mum and tamil father…true srilankan….

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        Ramon veera

        “Whats your real name..native.”

        Does it matter whether Vedda has a name at all?

        “About me i am product of sinhala mum and tamil father…true srilankan….”

        Your mum and dad share the same gene hence I do not see you as a special case. What is special about it?

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          Hay Native Vedda,

          So both your Mom and dad’s ancestors came from India….

          If so why you tell us to leave your land…..Where do you belong…or you are simply joking….

          I don’t understand….

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            Jayantha

            Veddahs are genetically different from stupid sinhalese, their stupid Tamil brethren and their stupid Tamilnadu brethren.

            Where have I said my people are genetically akin to all these stupid people.?

            Please don’t insult my people being related you and your brethren.

            The island is my ancestral land and I ask those descendants of Tamils, Sinhalese whoever came here as economic and political refugees should go back to their own homeland which is mostly in Tamilnadu, Balochistan, Bihar, Kalinga, Venga………….

            Could I have my land back?

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    dear Dr, Mr S.R.H.HOOLE.

    i am not an academic or an intellectual either.
    Just an O/L passed, Farmer’s son.

    I have much respect to the Colombo Telegraph for the opportunity given to us for expressing our ideas and exchange the views.the editors of C T Have the honour, authority and responsibility to edit what ever we send them.
    let it be that way.

    And To inform further more, that you have left the Wonderland of the mother earth to safe guard your life.
    Don’t we deserve to save our lives also From thugs, rapist and Kudu dealers.]
    we are staying and fighting for just society.
    just give a chance to, who wants to call a spade a spade,
    irrespective of race religion, or colour , who ever they are?.

    you are fighting for what?.
    Is your claim reasonable?.

    Sincerely,

    JULAAMPITYE AMARAYA.
    A Buddhist Sinhelayek.

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      A very valid response to Prof Hoole.

      People who live in Sri lanka live in fear for their lives if they protest against the misrule of the Rajapaksa brothers. If those who oppose the regime are compelled to identify themselves then the opposing voices will stay silent which the regime will construe as agreement with its actions.

      Prof Hoole does not live in Sri lanka and so he is safe and able to criticise the regime from afar but people living in Sri Lanka don’t have that luxury. I am not saying that false comments should be allowed on this forum but that is a small price to pay for freedom of expression. I hope Prof Hoole understands that.

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    As a person who has been in the thick of political issues, this is a surprising naive and utterly irrelevant letter from this writer to CT.

    Aren’t we witnessing and commneting on much worse things? If CT felt, the comments on Christianity and malinda S were breaking its comment policy, it would have taken action.

    And CT doesn’t make difference if someone writes in so called real name, as CT never asks to prove identity, or avatar name, when comments don’t follow guidelines they are not published, plain and simple. isn’t that good enough.

    About misrepresenting, prof. Hoole, I beleive, wrote that prof. carlo Fonseka misrep facts that prof. Hoole was trying to get Vc post at Jaffna uni in a lanka academic write up, and what did he try to correct that misrep about himself.

    Will CT ask him to focus on more valid issues? If he doesn’t have that’s not others problem. Seriously.

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    I am not very happy with Colombo Telegraphs all out attack on MR government. However I continue to read it and write comments because of the fact Colombo Telegraph is one journal that permits freedom of comments. CT’s guidelines on comments are sensible. CT did not publish some of my recent comments critical of NGOs and Americans. I understood the reason why. I realised it was potentially defamatory and would have caused problems to CT though I was convinced of the true face of NGOs and how the Americans use them in third world countries.

    I do not understand why Professor Hoole is making such a big fuss about critical comments even if some of these are baseless or puerile. Professor Hoole is very opinionated and thus are the readers. If he cannot put up with readers’comments he should shut up and stop writing. He should not be whinging. He is a man who went behind MR government whether by himself or through his friends or admirers to get back the Jaffna VC job denied to him by the Tigers. He is now throwing stones from the glass house and therefore should expect others to retaliate.

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        COLOMBO TELEGRAPH,

        Please don’t try to justify yourself; you don’t have to!!! Varying opinions on these discussion boards are proof enough to the nature of your unbiased approach. Don’t try to cleanse the sea to the point that the water always stays drinkable; you will only tire yourself trying. We who come here to swim, take the saltiness of the water as part of what comes with the territory. I pity those who cannot grasp that.

        Among many web sites, that folded probably due to similar e-mails, what you provide on this web site is truly praiseworthy. Just as we don’t praise people we appreciate as much as we complain about those we despise, this site may not be getting constant praise but we still DO APPRECIATE IT.

        Though considered a great mind of Sri Lanka, I’m sorely disappointed in Prof. Hoole’s attitude towards open discussion forums. It appears that what is sought is a sanitized, serialized and emasculated group to be commenting on articles. Those who’d like to have the podium to themselves surely would also love to see that happen. COLOMBO TELEGRAPH, this is your site, so we all have to accept the direction you decide to take. The only choice we have is to decide whether we would want to continue posting comments here on not.

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      COLOMBO TELEGRAPH,…..and Naga

      First of all I really appreciate for your wonderful contribution for both writers, columnists and we readers for our comments.

      Second I see CT has taken out my comments on many occassions… although I comment impartially and according to my conscious with no animosity against any person or party.
      Neither Govt. nor opposition feed my family…..but I work hard to keep home fires burning.
      I still don’t mind when CT take out some of my comments if they are against their comment policy and I have to agree to them……although I see many worse comments in some Gossip blogs.
      But believe me I belong to no party……although all my generations are UNPers. But that doesn’t mean when I see injustice in UNP that I keep silent. N0 I always comment when and where needed.

      Also I see many CT writers are highly qualified and knowledegable.

      If GOSL could read only these CT reporters editorials and newsletters and the comments…… it does not need anybody elses advise to put back the country on correct path.

      That’s why I always say some have eyes….but can’t see. Others have ears……but cannot hear. Some have brains…..but can’t think.

      Thank you Colombo Telegraph.

  • 0
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    Excellent guideline from CT & Excellent work from Prof. Thank you all.

  • 0
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    I fully agree with Prof Hoole on this matter.

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    11 Author Pen Names That We Thought Were Their Real Names

    1. Anne Rice. (Real Name: Howard Allen O’Brien)

    2. George Orwell. (Real Name: Eric Arthur Blair)

    3. Lewis Carroll. (Real Name: Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)

    4. Voltaire. (Real Name: Francois-Marie Arouet)

    5. Pablo Neruda. (Real Name: Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto)

    6. Ayn Rand. (Real Name: Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum)

    7. Stan Lee. (Real Name: Stanley Martin Lieber)

    8. George Eliot. (Real Name: Mary Ann Evans)

    9. Joseph Conrad. (Real Name: Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski)

    10. Agatha Christie. (Real Name: Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller)

    11. J.K. Rowling. (Real Name: Joanne Rowling)

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      PresiDunce Bean (real name: Rowan Atkinson)

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        Good sense of humour!

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      The difference, Shehan, is that those people wrote great pieces of work. They didn’t hide behind a pseudonym to sling mud at fellow commentators and bore us to tears with awful “poetry”.

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        David Blacker

        Those who hurl s..t from a keyboard should be aware of it when it hits the fan.

        Those who abuse by their keyboard will be abused buy others’ keyboards.

        Those who think they type great stuff will be buried by their own stuff.

        Native Vedda

        “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”
        ― E.L. Doctorow

        What do you say to the above quote by E.L. Doctorow?

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          Schizophrenia shouldn’t be an excuse for lack of quality in one’s writing. That is if you consider Shehan/Duncie’s drivel to be writing :D Prof Hoole’s point (which you clearly haven’t understood) is that pseudonym’s shouldn’t be tolerated when it is merely a shield for cowards to hurl shit at those who are brave enough to stand for their ideas. People like you and Shehan have no real original ideas in the first place, so I don’t blame you for wanting to hide yourselves and therefore avoid ridicule.

          But thanks for proving that the cap fits ;)

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        David Blacker to the rescue. Want to see impotence defined? look at David da Blacker

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    CT editor please ignore these folks who cannot take critique and want to effectively censor this website by forcing people who would not otherwise write anywhere due to fear of persecution by authorities, to display their names..
    We don’t need censorship on the CT website which is just fine as is! People are free to write and the editorial policy seems fine.
    CT editors please do no listen to these folks – there is enough self-censorship and fear of speech and I find may of the psedonyms and comments most enlightening..

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    David Blacker

    How are you?

    Are you on extended holiday?

    Without you I find myself bit bored.

    Lets have our gerrymandering back in motion.

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    Colombo Telegraph has given an opportunity for everyone to air their views. It may have hurt some, but these are comments made in good faith and sometimes truth. It also amounts to freedom of speech. Views, in a way, is exchanging views between people of all categories, has the force of bringing all people together, irrespective of any discrimination. At the same time, it enhances knowledge. Just ignore what are irrelevant and gather what is relevant. Colombo Telegraph has demonstrated a meaningful step for the concept that Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. I think Colombo Telegraph is justified in airing the views of people by adopting the guidelines.

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    There’s a lot of smear in the comments, CT. I laugh it off, usually, but it’s something you might want to reflect on.

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      Malinda Seneviratne

      “There’s a lot of smear in the comments, CT. I laugh it off, usually, but it’s something you might want to reflect on.”

      There is a lot of irrational and perverted thinking in MS’s typing I too laugh it off most of the time, but it’s something MS might want to reflect on.

      I do have an option of ignoring such typings. However I do read them for this is a price I am willing to pay for freedom of speech and media, a price (my self inflicted pain)worth paying .

      Please note I am not a masochist.

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    Hoole says Chanakya (who also signs as Chanakyan). Such abrupt inferences expressed so callously evoke expletives and then he yelps, snarls, squeals and drones. For an earlier comment of mine he said without even seeking to know my identity that I drip with anti Christian sentiment. To him Chanakyan same as Chanakya had just dropped the last letter N. What intellection! Be a man if you want to engage in diatribes without seeking cover from CT.

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      CHANAKYAN

      “Be a man if you want to engage in diatribes without seeking cover from CT.”

      How does one do it?

      Please clarify as I am bit thick I do not understand all these verbosity, gobbledygook, and other.

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    I have to disagree with Hoole’s assault on the namesakes of Rag(h)avan and Chanakkya(n).
    Let me tell you a little story…..

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

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    I agree totally with Prof Hoole.

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      Only two people have agreed with Prof. Hoole’s suggestion. David Blocker and Dr Dayan Jayatilleka…and we all know where their loyalties lie. :)

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        Oh, let me correct you my friend. Malinda Seneviratne also peaked from behind that corner. But it only goes to further validate your point.

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          How much easier it is to point to our supposed loyalties than answer our difficult questions. No wonder you guys cannot stand in the light, and no wonder no one cares what you write. Your words are as forgettable as your pseudonyms.

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    Honesty is the best policy Hoole but he who follows it is not an honest man you fool.

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    I ask the Colombo Editorial staff whether they did read my above comments carefully. I was not making any adverse comments about CT editorial policy. In fact I said CT’s guidelines on making comments are very sensible.

    I did not make any allegations about partiality of CT editorial policy in relation to NGOs and the Americans. What I said was that CT did not publish some of my recent comments critical of NGOs and Americans. I went on to add that I understood the reason for it. I thought the reason was perhaps it might have been defamatory in nature.

    In that part of the comment that CT deleted I was making reference to some NGO personalities and how American intelligence agencies operate in third world countries. In that deleted part of my comments I also mentioned how I came across some of these American intelligence agents who operated in a South East Asian nation. You people deleted all these references in my comments. I understood that these comments were deleted probably because these were potentially defamatory and would have caused problems to CT.

    Did I say that CT was partial towards NGOs and Americans? I never even made any oblique reference to that effect.

    Why are you people jumping to the conclusion that my comments are obliquely critical of CT’s partiality towards NGOs and the Americans? Is it because you people are in the pay of some NGOs and/or the Americans for carrying on with this virulent campaign against the MR government? Perhaps my above comments touched some raw nerve.

    There is no balance in the opinions, news and articles published in CT. Ninety nine percent of what you publish are harshly critical of the MR government. Only Malinda Seneviratne’s write ups are somewhat supportive of MR government. I am not saying CT should become MR sycophant. You have every right to publish a website journal that is anti-MR government. However, the inescapable fact is that your journal is biased and does not publish balanced views.

    You people were wondering whether I am a MR or MRS Naga. I am certainly a Mr Naga. You should know my full name from my email address. I have only shortened my name to Naga which is how my friends call me. I have no problem in anyone knowing my full name. There was a time when I did not reveal my full name. That was when the LTTE bastards were gunning for me.

    You may wonder why I am somewhat supportive of MR government. It was because he erased from the face of this world that megalomaniac Prapaharan and his murderous outfit. There are many shortcomings in MR and in the way he is presently running the country. But that should not give the licence to Americans and the LTTE remnants to destabilise Sri Lanka.

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      Looks whose raw nerve has been touched. Ouch!!! Well the other MR supporters are so slick you don’t even know who they are, do you?

      When both sides think CT is biased against them, that is when you know how balanced they are. There is no way you are going to satisfy all the nuts, so quit try’in. You’ll have an easier time pulling the lower lip over your head and swallowing yourself, believe me.

      Let me make a relevant argument here. All our lives are greatly affected by who is in power in Sri Lanka; even though some don’t even live in the island. Who gets to power depends on who supports ’em, isn’t it? Like Naga here, who gives unwavering support for MR because he eradicated a personal thread to Naga (namely the LTTE), most people in Sri Lanka gives their political support because of personal reasons (one may venture to even say selfish reasons). Many don’t care if the Presidential hopeful is capable of handling the country’s economy and foreign policy wisely or has respect for law and order or the constitution. They don’t care if the whole country will be better of with one candidate or the other. All they care about is whether they can get a job or at least get the bridge to the village fixed. That is who they will vote for.

      Loyalties of some columnists on this web site appear to be equally selfish in nature. When someone’s personal life is directly connected to the opinions they advance here, why is it that their personal life off bound to discussion? Do you expect Malinda Seneviratne to be so supportive of this regime if he did not have personal benefits from the regime? Will D. Jayatilleka suddenly become mildly critical of the government if he was still the Ambassador of France? Do you think Rajiva Wijesinha would be supporting the government here if he didn’t have the gift of MP-ness or the “advisory” position. I can keep going but I suspect you get the point. So why is that these motivators are not questionable?

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      Naga,

      You say..”There is no balance in the opinions, news and articles published in CT. Ninety nine percent of what you publish are harshly critical of the MR government. Only Malinda Seneviratne’s write ups are somewhat supportive of MR government. I am not saying CT should become MR sycophant.”

      I, as a reader of CT publications only go by the contents of it’s writers. I, as a reader always try to balance between what’s the ground reality in the country compared to what writers write,…….and also many readers comments to justify what is written.

      Please keep party politics aside and follow the writer’s contents along with the ground reality.

      You will see the difference then. As for me I can differentiate between a fox and a lamb.

      Good luck.

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

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

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    Prof. Hoole is an evangelical Christian just like Prof Dayan Jayatileke. Why should Hoole be ashamed to hear the fact that his ancestors were not Christians?

    In the case of Sri Lanka 95% of those who write about human rights etc in Sri lanka are Christians including NGO owners.

    Why should CT become like DBS Jeyaraj’s website or the Asian Tribune’s where they do not publish anything opposed to their hidden agenda?

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    It looks like only MR sycophants like Dr.Dayan, Blocker, Malinda ect seem to endorse what Prof Hoole has to say. :) Birds of a feather flock together they say.

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    OK, who are you and what have you done with Dr. Hoole?

    On a more serious note, I have nothing but great respect for Dr. Hoole. This gentleman, could have easily engaged in his craft (which is a lot more than being able to write about what he dreamt the previous night) and led a comfortable life in the West, without bothering himself with the affairs of that hopeless island where the suffering masses are not even interested in helping themselves. But he does care and has made great sacrifices because of that.

    However, I must disagree with you, Dr. Hoole, on this one. I know you don’t need reminding of the prevailing White Van culture when it comes to politics in Sri Lanka. We, the commenters, are not shooting for ambassador posts here but to write our passing thoughts on articles that appear on the site. Besides, why do you insist on knowing the commenters personally? With 7 billion people on this planet I suspect you’d know many of them even if they provided you with “real (sounding) names”. You cannot control what others think of your thinking (articles) if you do your thinking aloud. And this comment board is a place where you get to find out what at least some are thinking; isn’t that a good thing? Do you really need a “Real Name” to go with that?

    Look at the Gota-stooges who are agreeing with you on this and you should realize that you are looking through the wrong scope here. They all want the pulpit all to themselves and I can’t believe that you, of all people, are thinking in those same lines too. You can easily publish your articles on gov. media where they won’t allow anyone to disagree with you. DBS, for instance, allowed comments on his website but then disabled it (and I, for one, don’t go there anymore); but you can go there, couldn’t you?

    Instead, I see that, you want to stay here and change this place to suite your taste. Hmm… are you interested in police-powers, land-powers, administrative-powers and moderator-powers on this website? Are you asking for more than 13-Plus here? It is Deja-vu all over again.

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      A fact doesn’t change according to its adherents. It is only the morally weak who must look at the messenger to deduce true from wrong.

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    Katmai says:

    “Look at the Gota-stooges who are agreeing with you on this and you should realize that you are looking through the wrong scope here.”

    Malinda, Dayan and David agreed with Dr. Hoole. Then he should review his conclusion. In other words he is simply wrong.

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      Actually, when you see the idiotic, inarticulate, and downright stupid attacks on Prof Hoole in this thread, there can be no better endorsement of his view.

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    I think my point is being missed. The old adage in journalism is this: “Opinion is free but facts are sacred.”

    I never objected to opinions being expressed. What I object to is facts being mauled — the claims 1) By Rahavan that Oru paper is run my Christians when it is run by Hindus, and 2)By Chanakya/Chanakyan that Harvard graduate Malinda Seneviratne is a dropout.

    Do not lie and then argue based on your lie. For that is to deceive all of us.

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      I can’t believe I’m saying this to a Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and the only Sri Lankan Fellow at IEEE.

      Pardon my saying this, but in this Internet age where everyone has an opinion and a bullhorn, to make that opinion heard, the days of only one person talking and the rest listening are long gone. In this bazaar, people use various tactics to get the spotlight on them but only facts (with links to credible sources) will make sure the spotlight stays on you long enough for others to recognize you and pay attention to what you have to say. If anyone really wants to know the educational background of Malinda Seneviratne, all they have to do is to search the Internet and they’ll find out about the scholarship from Harvard University and why it was offered and all other details. So some “pseudonymous” commenter using the word “dropout” doesn’t really change much. It is the argument the commenter was making that will carry the day; provided the argument was valid and preferably original.

      All someone with your recognition had to do was to just type “Oru paper is not run by Christians, and I know it” and your words would have carried much more weight that an “pseudonymous” commenter; that is, if you thought that misrepresentation was important enough to be correctly.

      Instead, you were looking to put this forum in a straight jacket through an e-mail (why not an open article?). Well that was not a very nice way to use your recognition, I must say.

      In your articles, you are dealing with a country, where the rulers are lying to the citizenry through their teeth, to squeeze out every rupee they can, and you are worried about some “pseudonymous” commenter insinuating that Malinda Seneviratne may not have graduated from Harvard University? And you want to prevent everyone else from commenting in this forum before going through an identity parade? OK, I give up; what’s up with you?

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        Hear hear…

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    I’m prepared to report Oru paper to the Race Relations Commision if Prof Hoole gives me the relevant documents. I authorise the editor CT to pass on my email I’d to the Prof.

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    S.R.H. Hoole says:

    “What I object to is facts being mauled — the claims 1) By Rahavan that Oru paper is run my Christians when it is run by Hindus, and 2)By Chanakya/Chanakyan that Harvard graduate Malinda Seneviratne is a dropout.”

    As long as the media allows the injured party the right of reply which I consider to be Media Dharma, would be fine. Beyond that one may have to take person to courts which obviously costs money and time.

    More over not many readers waste time to read all the comments published on electronic media and they don’t take these issues seriously, especially when media proliferation is at all time high.

    These days readers can easily access information on ownership of any media through legal means and not so legal means, or through their network of friends and relatives if they desperately want to know.

    Honestly I don’t care who own’s the Boru paper. Its not my cup of tea.

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    You in the CT will censor this comment as well but yet I will place it on record such that when the time is ripe people may get to know that you were most driven by hubris and less with the truth to placate your vanity of lohba, dhosa, moha and bhaya like most humans.

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    The more one reads Naga the more one begins to know his real identity –
    a regime favourite in the Batticaloa District. Nothing wrong there.

    Sampanthan being accepted as leader of the TNA – i.e. leader of the Tamil Nation, is acceptance the earlier Jaffna-EP divide is a thing of the past. The Lankan Tamil Nation is light years different to what it was before the 1960s. This is no time to call for separate leaderships on both sides. Such a call will only go out to weaken the Tamils further and strengthen those planning to obliterate them and drive them into slavery. This is the time to stand united – particularly after the President made his mind clear on Independence Day at Trinco. The upcoming times for the Tamils will be very difficult. Efforts to change the demographic equation in the North will increase – most of it by force and intimidation. Karunanidhi and other Tamilnadu leaders alone cannot fight 24x7x365 for the Lankan Tamil. It is only if we remain united and strong the Rajapakses and the Sinhala Buddhist chauvinist wing will hasten to yield what is our legitimate due. The Rajapakses are in for a tough time in the Sinhala electorate with the economy gradually collapsing and local matters such as the unearthing of the remains of JVP cadres at Matale cadres. The latter will make the Sinhala electorate think matters over. The greatest challenge for the Tamils in the EP is to regain their lands and political primacy as the largest minority there – under attack from the other two challengers. Naga may be able to help here with the personal goodwill he appears to enjoy with The Family.

    Senguttuvan

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