30 November, 2020

Blog

Remembering Fr. Miller

By Rajan Hoole

Dr. Rajan Hoole

Father Harry Miller was among the group of American missionaries who came to Ceylon in the late 1940s to serve at the Jesuit foundation of St. Michael’s Batticaloa. He was the last surviving member of the group who passed away in Batticaloa on 31st December 2018. The missionaries were a great strength to the people during the war years. Fr. Eugene Hebert disappeared during those tragic days in 1990 when Tamil-Muslim clashes were engineered in Batticaloa by the LTTE and the Government was not slow in finding them useful (See last days of Fr. Hebert in UTHR (J) Special Report No.3 ). In fact it was the Jayewardene Government that first initiated the clashes in 1985 by using Muslim thugs ferried from Colombo to attack Karaitivu.

Although based in the Tamil community, Fr. Miller was rigorously fair and was sympathetic to the Muslim civilians who were caught up in violence they did not want. Being in the heart of the storm, Fr. Miller would have heard the Muslims being constantly blamed, but he kept his balance. He saw through the popular hypocrisy of support for the LTTE and held that they should be tried for their crimes. He maintained the same standard towards the state forces and tried repeatedly, without success, to have their crimes investigated and the perpetrators punished (see UTHR (J) Reports 7 and 8). He strongly believed that there was no peace without the rule of law. 

The following extract from Rajan Hoole’s Palmyra Fallen recalls the UTHR (Jaffna)’s contacts with Human Rights defenders in the Batticaloa District in the early 1990s.  

Miller

Batticaloa had seen many incidents of massacre and disappearance in the second half of 1990. It was in February 1991 that we were able to go there. The Eastern University had been reopened and our hosts were Sritharan’s contemporaries at Peradeniya, Rabindranath and Jeyasingham, who had attended the commemoration for Rajani in November 1989. Rabindranath became vice chancellor and disappeared in 2006 after being abducted reportedly by the Karuna group under licence from the Defence Ministry. They had detailed information on the abduction and disappearance of 159 refugees from Eastern University on 5th September 1990. With their help we interviewed students of Eastern University from various parts of Batticaloa (Report No.7). Anzar (if I remember the name correctly), a top ranking mathematics student enabled us to visit Kattankudy where there had been two massacres by the LTTE in mosques, where we also subsequently met widows of the victims. Rev. Arulrajah of the Methodist Church helped us to visit Eravur, where too there had been a massacre of Muslims. In its aftermath, the Army used Muslim home guards to massacre Tamils (Report No.7).

On a subsequent visit to Batticaloa in July 1991, we made contact with Fr. Harry Miller SJ of the Batticaloa Peace Committee, which was relentless in documenting disappearances and trying to deliver justice to the victims of the Sathurukondan Massacre by the Army, involving close to 200 persons, just after the disappearances at Eastern University. A lone survivor from the massacre testified before the Peace Committee. Amnesty International got a pledge from the Government to investigate it. The Army then sent in bulldozers and destroyed the evidence.

We then became friends with Fr. Joseph Mary SJ and his twin brother Alphonse Mary, both ardent Federal Party supporters. Rural Batticaloa, of which they knew every nook and cranny, was poetically entwined with their being. While being strong advocates of the Tamil cause, they also wanted the LTTE’s misdeeds exposed. In July 1991 there was an army massacre in Mahiladitivu, Kokkadichcholai. Despite LTTE movement in the area Fr. Joseph Mary thought we could risk a visit there across the lagoon. This was our first visit there with Joseph Mary.

The LTTE had at mid-day on 12th June 1991, set off a landmine and attacked an army tractor carrying supplies from the jetty, killing two soldiers. The Army then came to the village in large numbers, massacred over a hundred people, raped six women, looted, burnt several houses and withdrew. Joseph Mary took us to a leading man in the village, Veerasingam, who had details of what happened. As to how it began, Veerasingam said evasively that they did not know who did what and, there being so many parties in uniform, they could not tell one from another. We then had a demonstration of the authority the priest enjoyed. Joseph Mary cut in sternly, “Veerasingam…the truth.” Veerasingam’s eloquence ceased mid-flight. He then said in a calmer and contrite tone, “Yes it was the LTTE that attacked the Army. They ran away and simply watched from a distance. If they had fired just two shots the Army would never have come. However the LTTE came the next morning to take videos of the carnage.”

The rationale for the carnage was a singular feature of the liberation struggle. From the State’s standpoint, killing Tamils was ideologically congenial. For the LTTE, these killings meant recruits and propaganda videos. It is easy to see what a visiting peace group would have gathered on a visit to the area. Certainly they would have seen evidence of the carnage, but next to nothing about what the LTTE did. An army officer subsequently posted to the area tried to explain away the massacre as the work of village boys with inadequate training. But in fact it was a massacre planned and executed, led by a bearded man with a red cloth on his head. Ten Tamil boys from the PLOTE who were with the Army had been disarmed with forethought (see Report No.8). 

On a later visit, Fr. Harry Miller remarked to us that some Tamil priests he met had been unhappy about our reports and asked the reasons for it. We were aware that the Church was divided and non-committal on the LTTE. This enabled some priests who supported the LTTE to speak as though they were the Church and the people. Fr. Miller then remarked that he had told them that where he was concerned, whatever he told us had been reported accurately. He had the same reservations about the Tigers that we had. Our contact with Fr. Miller continued and we were happily on the same wavelength.

The Batticaloa Peace Committee collected a tremendous amount of information about atrocities by the security forces. Likewise it would have been easy to get hold of a large amount of information in the Amparai District. But the commissions of inquiry President Kumaratunge appointed in 1995 did very little to expose the truth. No senior officer of major general or brigadier rank, who was literally on the spot, was questioned. One needs to be pessimistic about Sri Lanka’s ability to come to terms impartially with a host of dastardly official crimes.  

In our reports we credited army officers who had acted professionally in trying situations to the benefit of the civilians. Some objected that it gave credit to an army whose record was abysmally bad, most of the time. 

Sritharan said in response that had our liberation struggle been virtuous to the extent of being mindful of the lives of the people and, as far as possible, keeping them out of harm’s way, we would have had no need to commend the actions of individual officers of the Army. But our struggle had in fact descended to the nadir of ethical conduct, deliberately provoking the Army in ways calculated to ensure huge reprisals that would maximise propaganda and net a catch of angry recruits. When our acclaimed defenders constantly resorted to such methods, the only protection the people had was the good sense of the few officers who refused to be provoked and thereby saved lives. It is then only right that we should express our appreciation and encourage such behaviour from more officers. 

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  • 12
    9

    It is sad to hear of ‘Fther’ Harry Miller’s passing. He did serve Batticaloa Tamils by way of education at St. Michael’s College.

    But there is a lesser knows aspect of his life that needs to be brought to the table for the sake of completeness. ‘Father’ Miller, was one of the British and American who were left in former colonies, as Christian clergy and ‘Bhantes’ (wearing Buddhist robes). They were commissioned to go deep in to the psyche of Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims in the North, South and the East of Sri Lanka, with a view to rule us all through neocolonialst version of divide and rule..He took an active role in stirring up the Eastern Tamils and bridge the gap between them and the military movement of the North.
    =
    One of the maing projects of Miller was to ‘cultivate’ his past student D. Sivaram of Batticaloa with the help of the CIA agent American academics Dennis B. McGilvray, (a professor in the Department of Anthropology in University of Colorado at Boulder) and Mark P. Whitaker (a graduate in anthropology from the private, Drew University, New Jersey).
    =
    With the help of these two CIA agents, Miller promoted Sivaram’s bogus image as a brilliant analyst of geopolitics, getting him a job as a ‘journalist’ in Colombo English media, and to travel to the US on a a number of ‘academic’ tours. He also formed an anti-government front named Batticaloa Peace Committee, fully financed by the CIA desk at the American embassy in Colombo
    =
    Deeply disturbed by the LTTE defeat and the end of the war in 2009, Miller left Batticaloa within months, for his native New Orleans, never to return again. That is where he has died. Those who maintained correspondence with him report that he was deeply personally affected by the military defeat of the LTTE and was used to speak fondly of Prabhakaran. He blamed Karuna for the loss of the LTTE.

    • 0
      0

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

    • 7
      3

      Reading your comment it is clear that Tamils share much with the Sinhalas in the post-war ear, particularly the incapacitation of critical thought.

    • 13
      5

      Namasivayam: You say “Miller left Batticaloa within months, for his native New Orleans, never to return again.”

      What nonsense!!

      My wife and I travelled to Batticaloa recently for the Mass for Fr. Joe Mary’s 50th anniversary in the priesthood. We met Fr. Miller in his living quarters on the upper storey of St. Michael’s.

      I think, based in this, the rest of your comment also may be safely attributed to your fertile imagination.

      • 4
        3

        Excuse me! Miller would have come in the last few months to die in Batticaloa since he spent major part of his life there, doing the duty for his tribe, and he wanted to breathe his last there.

        Any one who thinks his role is ‘imagination of a fertile mind’ is either an idiot, or a Tamil separatist .

        Miller was one of many American Jesuits who were planted in Sri Lanka by the CIA since the early stages of the ethnic conflict (1983–2009). They were predominantely stationed in Tamil-speaking areas originally as educators, and then under the cover of ‘human rights activists’. But their major role was to act as mediators between the different militant factions involved in the war, to unite them against government forces.

        But he is dead now. He did not succeed, or carry Sri Lanka to his grave.

      • 2
        3

        JN
        Be thankful that SRHH is not contesting your main theme.
        If a factual error (although there seems to be none here) is sufficient to dismiss the whole story, I wonder what one could say about credibility of the UTHR, some of whose narratives were based on falsehoods if not fabrication.
        *
        The CIA as always ran with the hare and hunted with the hound.
        *
        Thanks for the information.

        • 1
          1

          SJ,
          Your attack on Fr. Miller by the innuendo of giving credit to a story whose only factual basis may be that Fr. Miller knew Whitaker, McGilvray and Sivaram, is in very bad taste. Such allegations could be made against anyone. Most of us have innocuous contacts with various people over some common interests. Fr. Miller was not some foreign agent rolling in dollars. Over the many times I met him and several others who knew him well, I got to know a decent and concerned man who strongly believed in and worked for human rights.

          There was nothing secretive about him or his study at St. Michael’s. He shared the simple life of his fellow priests.

        • 0
          0

          SJ,

          You are thanking a Sinhalese communalist who masquerades as a Tamil and sees a CIA conspiracy everywhere. As the Tamil saying goes, “Kaamaalai Kannuku Irrundathellam Manjal.” ( Let Namasivayam come and explain that Tamil phrase in English if he is in fact a Tamil.) Unfortunately your own Marxist views seem to have jaundiced you as well.

          • 1
            0

            Hoole,
            I beg your pardon. Where did I attack Fr. Miller? And why should I?
            I attacked the CIA because it plays the same game everywhere. If that amounts to an attack on Fr miller by innuendo, your imagination seems as fertile as it was on earlier occasions.
            The person you should answer is Namasivayam. Unable to challenge him, you pounce on me!
            *
            Agnos
            I am not influenced by whether a view comes from a Tamil, Sinhalese or a Martian. I go by what I observe.
            JN made some charges. Hoole’s pathetic response was based on what he saw as an error, instead of contesting any of the main charges.
            If you believe that the CIA does not play dirty, I am sorry to have offended your faith. Be reassured by the fact that many CIA assets here are ‘respectable persons’.
            The issue however, is whether Fr. Miller did what he is said to have done.
            If specific charges are false the writer should refute them.

            • 2
              0

              SJ,

              The issue is that JN has no credibility, having been caught with a big fake claim about where Fr. Miller died, and misspelled his own assumed name. So there is no need to take him seriously on other claims.

              Let us say someone who knows your views about China calls you a Chinese spy. How do you prove you are not?

              • 1
                0

                Agnos
                I have been called many things by many people.
                You may have noticed that I did not bother to respond to any.
                I talk about issues and ignore personal attacks; and never call anyone names in return.
                *
                JN’s credibility apart, some of the things that he said except for his specific charges against Fr Miller are important.
                The writer rather than rebut them, dismissed JN based on what to me is a trivial matter.
                *
                It is not JN’s credibility that matters but specific information that he offered that pointed to a feasible explanation of Sivaram’s acrobatic feat (far better than all manner of explanations that I heard before).
                All what the writer had to do was to negate what seemed factual information.
                But he resorted to accusing me of something that I never did.
                *
                JN’s dots seemed to join better than some of the subjective dots of the UTHR(J) that I have come across.
                *
                To me one’s being an LTTE sympathiser was no crime. If you read Thamizini you may understand why even very rational people supported the LTTE.
                In any event, Fr Miller was, at worst, used by people with devious motives.

          • 1
            0

            Agnos
            You and Hoole seem to think that one needs to be a CIA agent to be used by the CIA.
            The CIA has a good idea of the weaknesses of people in public life (including commitment to certain beliefs) and uses those as bait to get people to implement their devious schemes. Some sincere leftists too have been victims.
            *
            I did not accuse Fr. Miller of being a CIA agent, but concede that he could have been used by the CIA through McGilvray and Whitaker, whose academic credentials would have impressed him.
            That version explains the miracle of Sivaram’s metamorphosis far better than any that I heard before. I thanked him for that.

            • 1
              0

              SJ,

              The alacrity with which you latch onto a fly-by-night impostor’s words reveals more about you than Fr.Miller or the CIA.

              Fr. Miller had publicly castigated LTTE’s child conscription, saying that LTTE had become ‘Ogre’ that descended on the people and took away their children. The idea that he would be an LTTE supporter defies reason.

              There have been many reports about how Sivaram changed his views. He has said there was no political space for a Tamil nationalist outside the LTTE ; becoming a paramilitary guy supporting the GoSL was never a long-term option for any serious Tamil nationalist. (That Siddarthan and Devananda have been able to get enough support to get elected, despite having collaborated with the SLA, is kind of an anomaly, and is still surprising).

              He had also faced pressure from the diaspora. A Tamil BBC lady journalist at that time was said to have influenced Sivaram to change his stance. And he was always eager to use the latest technology for journalism, and he might have been enticed by the prospect of TamilNet becoming influential. Many Tamil militant leaders, despite their outward show of bravado, would have been willing to change their positions or make somersaults except for fear of VP and Pottu Amman.

              It is the jaundiced people who look for the CIA explanation for everything.

              • 0
                0

                Agnos
                I have no universal explanation for anything.
                But I am adequately aware of CIA operations in our part of the world and from sources like the late William Blum and Noam Chomsky.
                I said nothing about the character or intentions of Fr Miller, except that he could have been taken for a thundering ride by the named CIA agents.
                As for the CIA, I respect your faith in the CIA, although I do not share it.
                *
                “He has said there was no political space for a Tamil nationalist outside the LTTE “
                Is that enlightenment under a tree of some description?
                He was a shrewd and cunning operator who would grab an opportunity when it came his way.
                His stand on international issues also meant something.
                *
                I know fairly well the Tamil BBC lady you refer to and I think that Sivaram was too smart to be persuaded by her.

                • 1
                  1

                  After saying at the beginning of this thread “If a factual error (although there seems to be none here)” about Namasivayam’s comment that is so full of accusations against Fr. Miller, this man Sivasegaram says he did not attack Fr. Miller .

    • 8
      2

      Gamini Weerakoon and Rajpal Abenayake have written about how The Island first hired Taraki Sivaram as a freelance journalist. The late Richard de Zoysa had recommended him after spotting his talent. Fr. Miller probably had nothing to do with it. Both Mervyn de Silva and his son Dayan Jayatilleka used to commend Sivaram for his ‘incisive’ and ‘soaring’ writings.

      And Fr. Miller didn’t return to New Orleans, but continued to live in Batticaloa and was buried there.
      So you are spreading fake stories and canards, including about any CIA connection. The way you misspell your name and the content of your writing make me suspect you are a Sinhalese hardliner attempting to masquerading under a Tamil name.

      • 2
        1

        Agnos, As a retired journalist who personally knew most characters mentioned in your comment, I like to present my view on this too.
        =
        Of course, Gamini Weerakoon was boasting about introducing Sivaram to journalism until Sivaram’s role in espionage and the manner of his capture and death became widely known. He has not written about Sivaram for a long time. We will never know whether Weerakoon foolishly walked in to the trap, or whether he himself (being the bitter and twisted man Weerakoon is) was part of the conspiracy to launder Sivaram as a journalist (He couldn’t write two words of English to save his life!). We at Island at the time always had suspicions about Sivaram’s interest in VIP movements in particular and only later could we join the dots.
        =
        Without Miller’s assistance he would not have been able to make American contacts. But the bottom line is, finally he received a form of justice.

        • 3
          0

          The (un)fair one,

          I read somewhere that Sivaram got to know Mark Whitaker of the US when the latter went to Batticaloa for field studies in Anthropology, and both of them were checking out the same book at the public library. Later on, as an activist journalist, he maintained contact with hundreds of people, and I know that the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC invited him to give a talk on insurgencies in SL as well as in Colombia.

          If the GoSL had any evidence of any unlawful activities on his part, they could have easily arrested him and charged; he lived openly in Colombo and wasn’t hiding anywhere, nor did he carry any arms. To justify such extrajudicial killings by leveling unsubstantiated charges of espionage is just pure evil.

          • 1
            1

            Obviously you know less about espionage and its techniques less than the old Kalagola Abey would have!

            I can go on, but suffice it to say the the GoSL did better than arresting him and feeding him in prison and clog up the justice system. Three hearty cheers for that!

            As for you , wait for a Rajapakse return for another laptop and a Geneva trip (but don’t lose your wallet in a brothel again).

            • 3
              0

              You confuse my identity with Rajpal Abenayake. Still you claim to know a lot about ‘espionage.’ That says a lot about Sri Lanka’s ‘journalists.’

          • 4
            0

            Agnos
            Sivaram was once with the PLOTE (or another bitterly anti-LTTE outfit?). His transformation into an ardent LTTE fan was almost a miracle to me.
            He was well informed, but utterly subjective in various matters.
            *
            However, his role in the TamilNet gave it a shade of credibility to what would have otherwise been a crude propaganda organ worse than the London-based “Hot Spring”.
            That perhaps pose a threat to the regime as well as its Tamil allies.

            • 3
              1

              SJ,

              I was no fan of Sivaram and was aware of his somersaults, but that didn’t justify white van abduction and murder, nor does it justify unsubstantiated claims.

              • 2
                0

                Agnos,
                Did I hint the slightest approval of what was done to Sivaram?
                I only supplemented your narrative.
                His last metamorphosis was no ordinary somersault.

    • 2
      0

      J. Namasvayam

      “With the help of these two CIA agents, Miller promoted Sivaram’s bogus image as a brilliant analyst of geopolitics, getting him a job as a ‘journalist’ in Colombo English media, ….”

      The then Island news paper owners/editor must have been damn fools they themselves were working for CIA.

      Are you implying that D. Sivaram, Miller, Mark P. Whitaker, Dennis B. McGilvray, ………… were Chinese double agents? Perhaps we have one among ourselves, however Chinese are unaware of his loyalty, work, … and they know whatever the information he has is dated and only about TNA.

    • 3
      0

      I knew Fr. Miller in the process of my own involvement with the Rotary Club. Like multiple thousands of Americans – lay and clergy – throughout the world he was interested in service to humanity. He could have gone back to the States for a comfortable life but he felt
      his calling lay elsewhere. This business of calling every American
      a CIA Agent, Ugly American, Capitalist stooge is universal. Particularly in countries where half-baked Socialists-Communists haunt the political landscape. From what I could see over many years Fr Miller did not engage in any distasteful or subversive activity. He produced good students and sportsmen. He loved the Batticaloa region and all its people. He probably wished his bones to be buried there.

      To write Fr Miller left Batti in 2009 to New Orleans; never to return; to die there and then to be discovered as a liar this fake Tamil JN has many qualifications to join the ranks of Gamarala Sirisena and his band of congenital liars in today’s dishonest Lanka.

      R.Varathan

  • 9
    3

    This essay by Hoole is more about the LTTE ,Army and the UTHR [ J ] etc and pretty little about Fr.Miller born in 1925 and died on 1stJan.2019 and buried in the precincts of St.Michaels College-Batticaloa.

    • 16
      4

      Plato,

      People can remember the departed through their personal interactions and its relevance to larger issues. So it is fine for Rajan Hoole to write this as long as what he writes is accurate. Others can write more about their own personal interactions with Fr. Miller, and collectively all such writings will give a fuller picture.

  • 8
    4

    A commendable attempt to expose beastly and unimaginable atrocities committed by LTTE, armed forces, and the SL government in general during the war. Thank you Sir. !!!

    As far as this war was concerned, nobody comes clean. Only poor civilians immensely suffered in the hand of LTTE and the government.

    Finally, an uncouth and uneducated idiot like GoTa became a national hero who in fact should have been hanged for abandoning the war at its crucial movement and returned to the island for stealing the credit from the real hero-Sarath Fonseka.

    • 1
      5

      No point now talking about the past
      Look to the future
      We Sinhalese Buddhist have been too kind to the Tamils who have been
      So violent for more than 30 years
      Killing innocent Un armed Sinhalese in boarder
      Villages which was very well planed and exicuted by violent. Tamils

      • 4
        5

        The future is what we have a responsibility to create. We would create a nastier future if we try to do that while mythologising the past. The rationale for border killings was not started by the LTTE. You may not have heard about the JOSSOP (Joint Services Special Operations Command), another monster created by the Jayewardene Government in 1984. Please read my Arrogance of Power, parts of which were serialised by Colombo Telegraph. For example:

        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/post-july-1983-jossop-a-new-kind-of-war/

  • 11
    0

    Dr. Hoole,

    The special report you have linked to, doesn’t have any mention of Fr. Eugene Hebert. But upon delving into it, it talks about Fr. Hebare. So I think a correction is due, either here in this CT article, or in your original report.

    By the way, I have been watching for any update on the disappearance/murder of Eastern Univ VC, Prof. Raveendranath ( or Rabindranath?), but even when progressive minded people in the South talk about white vans, Lasantha W. , Ekenaligoda, Keith Noyhar, et al., they never talk about this Tamil VC. Things in SL cannot get better unless there is equal accountability for all these and similar atrocities by the GoSL.

    • 7
      7

      Agnos,
      .
      It’s only now that I got to know about Prof. Raveendranath.
      .
      But I don’t really think that I can take much more of this. When will horrors cease in Sri Lanka?

  • 15
    3

    Why haven’t Wiggie and the Gang learnt the lessons from those dark days yet??? Violence begets violence, and in a land where Tamils are the minority, the statistics of succeeding via violence in against them.

    Yet, Vijaykala and Wiggie, for example, advocate for a revival of violence or use it as the threat against the nation in order to get their way – that is to stay in power and enjoy the perks that come along with being a SL politician.

    When will they learn???

    Is “Tamilness” so important that you are still willing to sacrifice other people’s children, grandchildren, and yet unborns at the altar of “Ealam”?

    How about you identify as humans and work with those Sinhalese who do not think this island “belongs” to sinhalese only? Build bridges, not walls.

    Those from abroad – let the Tamils in SL build their own future without the corruption that your overseas money brings in to the island.

    Sinhalese – realize the fact that land does not “belong” to any one group. The occupation of land is, like everything else in life, impermanent. Learn Tamil, build bridges and recognize our shared blood lines and history, and be proud to be “Sri Lankan”, instead of narrower ethno-religious labels. Live-and-let live in peace.

    • 9
      4

      Wonderful comment, dear sinhalese buddhist.
      .
      I must regain my poise before I write more.

  • 6
    1

    Sinhala Budhist and Sinhala _man.

    Thanks for enlightened comments.

    Food for thought

    Tamils and Sinhalease-“empathy is the word”

    If only we could build up Sri Lanka on these lines, there is!

    Let us hope and built bridges!

  • 7
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    Do we -the minority Tamils have the right to harm the majority Sinhalese however noble our cause may be?

    Mathematics, Geography and history are against us!

    • 4
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      When history is tailored by each side while geography and mathematics remains constant, is it not silly to question about minority rights to harm and talk about empathy at the same time?

  • 5
    5

    Rajan Hoole is yet again showing his insatiable hunger to have a go at LTTE in {“Remembering Fr. Miller”}. He uses Jaffna University staff appointments for the same purpose. He wants Jaffna University to afford him facilities to organise a ‘Rajani Remembrance Day’. If there is violence, Hoole wins. No violence, Hoole wins.
    .
    Rajan Hoole must acquaint himself with the Cuban Revolution – in vogue right now. Young activist Fidel Castro saw the atrocities committed by the President of the then Cuba Fulgensio Batista. Fidel petitioned the then Cuban Courts to ‘remove’ Batista. After all peaceful attempt failed, Fidel Castro had to resort to armed resistance. Will crossing the ‘t’ and dotting the ‘i’ on how Fidel achieved what he achieved be of much use?
    .
    The uniqueness of Fr Miller is his sincere concern for human rights abuse. Is this the way to eulogise him Rajan?
    For example: In the 12th June 1991 landmine incident, the Lankan Army went to the village in large numbers and …………you know what. Joseph Mary took the Rajan H team to a leading man in the village, Veerasingam, who had details of what happened. In Rajan’s words ~ “……… Joseph Mary cut in sternly, “Veerasingam…the truth.” Veerasingam’s eloquence ceased mid-flight. He then said in a calmer and contrite tone, “Yes it was the LTTE that attacked the Army. They ran away and simply watched from a distance. If they had fired just two shots the Army would never have come. However the LTTE came the next morning to take videos of the carnage.”
    Two shots fired in the air was all that was required? This says it all.
    .
    Rajan connects Karuna with the ‘disappearance’ of the a former VC of Eastern University Ravindranath. He fails to mention that Karuna was (and still is) an ‘eating drinking’ companion of GR.
    Rajan Hoole , we have yet again noticed your prejudice.

    • 3
      2

      KP
      I am no admirer of the LTTE.
      But I was annoyed by the “UTHR” demonizing the LTTE to defend the misdeeds of the SLAF and the IPKF.
      If anything was in doubt, the benefit was to the opponents of the LTTE.
      *
      RH, for example, downplays the close involvement of Rajini T and several others with the LTTE, even when it was clear that the LTTE was an undemocratic institution.
      It is more than subjective thinking involved in this business.

      • 0
        1

        SJ,
        Like you, many were wrongly annoyed by the UTHR’s critique of the Sri Lankan Tri Forces because it benefited the LTTE. What is your response?

        • 2
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          M,
          I am nobody’s proxy.
          I expressed a general view. I am not an analyst of every action in the name of the UTHR(J).
          *
          Any association with the LTTE is evil to the few that make the UTHR(J), so that anyone they openly admire has to be sanitized of even a trace of affinity for the LTTE.

  • 2
    1

    SJ.
    How would Rajani know, when she was a young academic at the Jaffna University in the 80s the Militants who constituted the LTTE, PLOTE, EROS,TELO, EPRLF etc,etc,etc.
    She took up a humanistic approach to the issues facing the Tamil community, and helped by her husband Tiranagama.
    Your comment linking her to the LTTE is as usual your slime comment!

    • 1
      0

      “How would Rajani know”?

      Tiranagama as a Southerner would not know anything about what really was at stake at that juncture of history in the 80’s.
      Rajini may have not taken a realistic political assessment about the LTTE but a humanist one as a medic.
      But it was too late for her until she examined the body of martyr Thleepan.
      But by the time she saw through the haze it was too late.

      • 1
        0

        Uthungan
        The sympathy as far as I know was political as well.
        The split with the LTTE was much after 1983.
        I do not denounce her or anyone close to her for being supportive of the LTTE.
        But attempts to distort reality are not admirable.

      • 2
        0

        Uthungan: “martyr Thleepan” should perhaps read “martyred Thleepan” (not the tense as in present/past, but the semantics of what precisely led to his death, particularly close to the last hours of his life).

  • 4
    1

    Dear Agnos,
    .
    How can people be still arguing about this? It seems clear to me that “J. Namasivayam” is the assumed name of a mischief-making Sinhalese masquerading as a Tamil. Don’ t we have enough real problems to deal with.
    .
    I hadn’t heard of this Father Harry Miller S.J (that means he belonged to the Jesuits – Society of Jesus) until I read this article in which Dr Rajan Hoole said that this dedicated Catholic priest had passed away on the last day of 2018, while Plato says that he died the following day in Batticaloa, and was buried there. How Plato came by that knowledge, I don’t know, but obviously the two statements corroborate, and don’t contradict.

    “Namasivayam” had very clearly stated that this aged priest “left Batticaloa within months, for his native New Orleans, never to return again. That is where he has died.”
    .
    We have to conclude that this “Namasivayam” guy can’t concede what he cannot comprehend as rational, that a pious man can set about doing what he felt was a calling from God. He himself is writing blatant lies in the hope that people like me, who are grateful that some missionaries came here from the West, and worked with dedication for their entire lives. I wonder what he would say about Olcott, Madam Blavatsy, and Marie Musaeus Higgins. Sent by the CIA?
    .
    Can’t this “Namasivayam” just shut up! President My3 had a problem when he had to swear in Ranil as PrimeMinister. He explained his action in a strange way, contrasting personal wish with official duty. He wasn’t trying to “unsay” what he had said. I guess his effort was sincere and transparent in its own way.
    .
    But what arrant nonsense here from our Sinhala side? Thank you, Dr Rajan Hoole for reminding us that there are human beings, white or brown, who want to bring about peace and reconcilliation.
    .
    Sri-Krish, you are not a minority man; you are an equal citizen with me of this country.

  • 1
    0

    Fr.Miller was planted by the CIA IN THE EARLY STAGES OF THE eTHNIC CONFLICT[ 1983-2009] says Namasivayam.
    I was told that Fr.Miller and Fr.Weber were institutions in Batticaloa [St.Michaels college] even before Independence-1947.
    CIA- MYFOOT!

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