21 October, 2020

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Remembering  May 18, 2009 – “Ranaviruwo” Vs. Tamil “Terrorists”

By Karikalan  S. Navaratnam –

Karikalan S. Navaratnam

‘Our heroic Sinhala ‘Ranaviruvo’ have roundly defeated and decimated the Tamil terrorists” in the war in May 2009’. That, in essence, is the refrain of the Southern political class in post-war Sri Lanka  and  the theme that sustains all bluster and braggadocio of the hardcore Sinhala ultra-nationalists. That is rather a simplistic assertion. Tamil militancy represented our collective resistance to Sinhala majoritarian oppression and tyranny. In the face of state-sponsored terrorism and aggression, fledgling militancy morphed into full-fledged armed struggle. 

Majoritarian discourses on Tamil question in Sri Lanka never addressed the root causes of Tamil insurgency during its infancy. Instead, the mandarins and military leaders of successive racist regimes, gnashing and grinding their teeth, snarled “Tamil terrorists” and launched savage terror campaigns against Tamil youths. 

Since early 1970s even before their armed struggle took off, hundreds of innocent Tamil youths were indiscriminately hunted down and scores of them were killed.  

Nelson Mandela – a ‘Terrorist’

After all, to be dubbed as “terrorist” is not always universally a stigma. Nelson Mandela, the most iconic leader of the 20th Century, had earned the epithet “terrorist”. The U.S. Government had his name on Terrorist Watch Lists until 2008.

Why/how did Nelson Mandela become a “terrorist”?. “Since its founding in 1912, “the ANC fought against apartheid for decades through rigorously nonviolent means, mostly labor strikes and public service boycotts,….” The ANC’s policy of nonviolence received a sudden and brutal setback in 1960. That’s when the Sharpeville Massacre took place. In 1960, South African police killed 69 black protesters in the town 40 miles south of Johannesburg; amid the crackdown that followed, the government banned the ANC. As the ANC went underground, Mandela became the head of the military wing of the African National Congress, ……..(Spear of the Nation)…..”. “Defending the shift in strategy as a last resort, Mandela said in one of his interviews from prison, “‘The armed struggle [with the authorities] was forced on us by the government.’” (TIME magazine, 18 July 2018)

Tamils ‘Satyagraha’ struggle 

For over three decades the Tamil people carried on a non-violent Satyagraha struggle against majoritarian oppression and discrimination. A single ‘Sharpeville Massacre’ had forced the hands of ANC leaders to shift gears and opt for armed struggle. How many ‘Sharpeville Massacres’ and genocidal killings – savage attacks and periodic pogroms (in 1956, 1958, 1977, 1981 and 1983) – the Tamils had suffered or endured, before the younglings took up arms?.  

Rebels silenced their guns – 17 May 2009

LTTE fighters silenced their guns on the 17 May 2009. However, Sri Lankan military blitzkrieg continued with all guns blazing onslaught even on 18 May 2009 and the army’s heavy artillery booming until they completed the slaughter of the entire civilians remaining trapped in the No-Fire Zone (NFZ). 

A statement carried by the pro-rebel Tamilnet website said that the Tigers had given up their fight and “have decided to silence our guns“. “The statement was issued as the Sri Lankan government was moving in for a final push today in its 26-year civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after announcing that all civilians had been evacuated from the rebels’ tiny enclave on the north-east coast of the island.” (Verily, the government’s claim that all civilians had been evacuated was a blatant lie). Their claims were challenged, however, by western diplomats and humanitarian workers who said they feared thousands of civilians remain trapped in the so-called “safe zone” and face a “massacre” as government forces move in to crush the last of the Tamil Tigers.” (The Telegraph, (UK) 17 May 2009 – “Tamil Tigers ‘silence  their guns’ after Sri Lankan president claims victory

Massacre of Surrendees 

The massacre of surrendering LTTE leaders and their families by the Army was a treacherous act. It may seem ironic that days/hours before their surrender, the Tamil “terrorists” released the Sinhala PoWs in their custody in one piece. But, what did the “war heroes” do? The narrative, which has since gained international notoriety as ‘White Flag’ incident, merits elaborating a bit (per Wikipedia-Excerpts): 

(QUOTED) It was all a desperate attempt to save the lives of an estimated 300 fighters and their families. LTTE’s Political Wing leader Nadesan and Pulidevan agreed to surrender and contacted the UN, the governments of Norway, UK, USA and ICRC, and intermediaries, Tamil M.P. Rohan Chandranehru, Basil Rajapaksa and Sunday Times (UK) reporter………. Marie Colvin. Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa was aware of the negotiated surrender…………  On May 17, 2009 Marie Colvin received a call from Nadesan asking that she relay to the United Nations that, they would lay down their arms, they wanted a guarantee of safety from the U.S. or Great Britain”. 

UN official’s role

(QUOTED) According to Colvin, she established contact with Vijay Nambiar, Chief of Staff to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and relayed the LTTE’s conditions for surrender, which he in turn agreed to relay to the government. By the night of May 17, the LTTE ……… requested Nambiar to be present to guarantee their safety in surrender. Nambiar told Colvin that he had been assured by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa of the surrendering combatants’ safety, all they had to do was hoist a white flag high”. Nambiar told her that the President’s assurance was enough and that his presence was unnecessary. At 1:06 AM on May 18, 2009, Nadesan made his final call to Tamil MP Rohan Chandranehru saying they were walking towards the Sri Lankan military and, “I will hoist the white flag as high as I can.” …….., Nadesan’s Sinhalese wife was among those in the front of the surrender party.  LTTE surrendered to the 58 Division army, carrying White flags. …………… Hours later, the Sri Lankan Army announced that the Nadesan, Pulidevan, and the LTTE members accompanying them had been killed. That evening they displayed their bodies.

Contradictions by Sri Lanka 

(QUOTED) Sri Lankan Government has given various contradicting explanations of the deaths – from denying the surrender to claiming that those surrendering were shot by their supporters in the back. General Sarath Fonseka, the commander of the Sri Lankan Army at the time, claimed Defense Minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa gave instructions to Shavendra Silva, commander of the 58 Division, to kill the surrendering LTTE. ……..Pictures have surfaced of Balachandran Prabhakaran, the  12-year-old son of …….Prabhakaran, alive, unharmed and in custody of the military. 

A photo from a few hours later shows the boy’s dead body shot in the chest five times. Other photos have appeared of Isaipriya, …., alive and in the custody of the Sri Lankan military. Footage obtained by Channel 4 News shows a number of dead bodies, including that of Isaipriya, which showed signs of possible sexual assault. 

These emerging eyewitness reports, photos, and videos are part of the mounting evidence of Sri Lankan soldiers summarily executing captured Tamils in the closing stages of the war.

Journalist Marie Colvin’s role

(UNQUOTE).  One need not labour the point why Sri Lankan leaders get the jitters on hearing the word “Geneva”. Sadly, journalist Marie Colvin was killed on 22 Feb.2012 while covering the war in Syria.  Writing on her death, the BBC made reference to her role in the “White Flag” episode: “She was angered that senior Tamil Tiger leaders who surrendered by arrangement with a very senior United Nations official to the Sri Lankan military were killed. On the evening of 17th May 2009 she had received a ‘desperate phone call’ from the LTTE political head Balasingham Nadesan……She has then called the UN Secretary General’s Chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar who she said had been assured by the Sri Lankan president that Mr. Nadesan would be safe in surrendering to the Sri Lankan Army. “They would take him under international law,” she quoted Mr. Nambiar.” (BBC -Sinhala Service, 26 Feb. 2012 – “Marie Colvin and Sri Lanka War Crimes ).

A Family affair!

Incidentally, it is relevant to figure out some family bonds relating to certain UN apparatchiks. Vijay Nambiar is the younger brother of Lt. Gen. Satish Nambiar, aformer Indian General, who had previously served as an advisor to the Sri Lankan government (2002/2003).  Satish was later quoted on the Sri Lankan military’s portal praising the Army’s conduct of the war in the north. UN Chief Ban Ki-moon’s daughter is married to Major Siddharth Chatterjee, who had served in the IPKF in Sri Lanka (1987 to 1990). According to Sunday Times (4 Sept. 2016) Mr. Chatterjee is reported to have praised the Sri Lanka Army for the way they defeated the LTTE.

UN Failed

We haven’t had UN Chief of the calibre of a Dag Hammarskjold or Kofi Annan, during the war. The “War without witness” was conducted, sans the UN agencies, the ICRC, international media, INGOs or any other monitoring groups. All of them were ordered out of Sri Lanka.  In response to criticisms, Ban Ki-moon appointed ‘The Internal Review Panel on UN actions in Sri Lanka.’ BBC has commented on the leaked draft of the Panel’s Report, which states, inter alia: “The panel questions decisions such as the withdrawal of UN staff from the war zone in September 2008 after the Sri Lankan government warned it could no longer guarantee their safety. Benjamin Dix, who was part of the UN team that left, says he disagreed with the pullout”. “I believe we should have gone further north, not evacuate south, and basically abandon the civilian population with no protection or witness,”  (BBC News, 13 Nov. 2012 – “UN ‘failed Sri Lanka civilians’, says internal probe”)

Humanitarian Operation?

Rajapaksa called it a “humanitarian operation” to liberate the Tamils. Massacre of multitude of civilians marooned in the “No-fire Zones”, heavy artillery/aerial attacks on hospitals and the use of prohibited weapons (WMD) could not have constituted a “humanitarian operation”. Likewise, abduction, torture and disappearance of detainees held in internment camps, savage sexual attacks on them and summary execution of captive rebels could not have constituted their liberation”. During the influx of IDPs into the camps, our modest womenfolk were ordered to strip naked and paraded before male officers for ostensible ‘security check’.  One cannot overlook that some of these “war heroes” had not spared even the famished female children of Haiti when they later served as UN Peacekeepers in that country. 

These were some of the exploits of the “Ranaviruwo” during or after their decisive battle against the “terrorists”. We have lost count of the number of massacres – let alone the number of victims – carried out by the military in random or reprisal attacks against innocent civilians during the course of the war. It is a very long list!

32 nations vs. Tamil rebels

Sri Lanka had enlisted the support of 32 countries in the war. Countries which were mutually antagonistic had ganged up against the LTTE. Thus, India, China and Pakistan, together with USA, UK, Russia, Israel, EU and others had offered crucial support – military/ material aid, financial, technological, intelligence etc. India stands out as the premier benefactor. 

“………The Sri Lankan Navy led by Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, executed a maritime strategy based on intelligence on LTTE ship movements provided by India. In 2006 the SL Navy had tremendous success when, based on Indian intelligence, it launched operations to destroy six LTTE warehouse vessels. Subsequently, by 2007, two more were destroyed, which completely disrupted the LTTE’s supply line.”

“In a recent interview to the Jane’s Defence Weekly, Admiral Karrannagoda said, “It was one of the major turning points in the last 30 years of the conflict. That was the main reason why the LTTE are losing the battle, we did not allow a single supply of replenishment ship to come into (Sri Lankan) waters over the last two and a half years since 2006.” (Indian Defence Review, Issue Vol.24.3 of Jul-Sept 2009, 19 Nov.2014 –“Lessons from Sri Lanka’s War” )

Constriction of space does not permit cataloguing the material support provided by each country.  (Vide- South Asia Journal, 23 Jan. 2020 – “Which countries helped the Sri Lankan government in the civilian war 2009 ”). The rebels have not had this luxury. With supplies completely stopped, it was as though they were fighting the war with bare hands – and largely on empty stomachs!  I believe, their spirit and grit sustained them.

Military marvels

Not only the “Ranaviruwo”, the rebels also have had their share of ‘military marvels’ to brag about.  If one can adore the armed forces as “war heroes”, what shall we call the ‘boys’, who fought for a cause and fought clean, through monumental adversity and against monstrous adversaries? Some of the battles won by the rebels against the superior firepower of the security forces bear testimony to their spirit and intrepidity. The enormity of the losses suffered by security forces show the intensity and ferocity of some of the battles which the rebels had won. 

Uneven war

Tamil rebels were denigrated by military leaders and the media as “Baby Brigade” and “barefoot soldiers”. For Sri Lanka, with a 250,000  strong armed forces including aerial and naval military resources and reinforced by the military, material, logistic and diplomatic support of 32 powerful nations around the globe, it took almost 25 years to subdue the rebels. Manekshaw was the first Indian to be decorated as a Field Marshal. The rank was conferred on him in 1973 in recognition of his leadership in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War, which changed the course of history of three different countries as well as the political geography of the subcontinent. In Sri Lanka, Sarath Fonseka was decorated as a Field Marshal for leading the fight against the ‘boys’ to a finish. Bravo Sri Lanka!

Abuses by Rebels

After all is said and done, some of the heinous crimes committed by the LTTE continue to haunt my memory. Let me reflect on a couple of them. The rebels had no legal, moral or strategic justification for committing these crimes.

*July 1989-Killing of my leader Amirthalingam and my friend Yogeswaran is still hurting me. 

*June 1990- The massacre of over 600 Policemen who had surrendered to the LTTE in Batticaloa was a dastardly act.  The excuse that that it was carried out by Karuna, the LTTE honcho in the East, does not absolve the LTTE of the crime. 

*Oct.1990- Mass expulsion of Muslims from Jaffna. I have heard LTTE apologists rationalizing the atrocious act.  I could not find them convincing. 

*May 1991- The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was an insane, evil enterprise which had drastically changed the dynamics of our political discourse. It had not only wrought the LTTE’s eventual undoing, but had also critically undermined the Tamil struggle.   

Conclusion

Some of us may not have fully agreed with the methods or message of the LTTE. Nonetheless, in pursuit of the liberation of our people, the rebels have fought until their very last breath. Their sacrifice is a shining example of bravery and devotion to one’s ideals and they have made the supreme sacrifice.  LTTE leader epitomizes self-sacrifice. He did not seek safe sanctuary for his wife and children, but had pledged his whole family to the cause – and, perhaps, they all have perished in the hands of their predatory captors in the most cruel manner. We salute our martyrs. Equally, tens of thousands of brave young men in the security forces, drawn mostly from poor rural families, have fought hard and died in the line of duty. We salute them too. They are the real heroes – not the vainglorious “war criminals” out there, flaunting their insignia on their uniforms. They are fugitives from international justice.

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Latest comments

  • 24
    5

    An interesting article with some home truths. While there is enough of blame to go around on ALL sides, it has been disappointing, and even chilling, that the Sri Lankan government allowed the military to behave just like the terrorists in many instances, and then justified and covered their war crimes. We do not expect terrorists to obey international laws, nor expect them to behave in any decent manner, but you expect it from the armed forces of a “democracy”. The video tapes of women stripped naked, some sexually attacked, and killed brutally was dismissed as “doctored”.
    This is shame for our Buddhist nation. These are the same armed forces that committed rapes in Haiti.
    The indifference to the lives of thousands of civilians who were caught in the crossfire, and the resulting massacre by Sri Lankan soldiers are unacceptable. The killing of a child, who was unarmed, and not threatening to anyone, was cold and unnecessary. That is what terrorist do. The government went against their own word, and massacred those surrendering, and carrying a white flag. It is international law that you honor that gesture, and make appropriate arrests. Sri Lanka failed to end this war in a humane way, and committed unnecessary war crimes. Most of these deaths could have been prevented, and our reputation in the international arena, in a better standing.

    • 13
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      Here are messages from Conservative and Labour on commemoration day:
      Lord Tariq Ahamad of Wimbledon – ” On the eleventh anniversary of the end of armed conflict, I join communities in SL, UK and abroad to commemorate those who lost their lives and suffered. UK reiterates the importance of reconciliation and accountability to ensuring a peaceful and stable future for all Srilankans.
      Sir Keith Starmer, leader of Labour party – Our thoughts are with Tamil community on this day of eleventh anniversary of those who died and went missing in last stages of war. Not only it should be a day of remembrance of those died, but also a day to remind that criminals should be brought before justice.
      Where are the Sinhala racist jokers in UK.

    • 6
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      Karikalan S. Navaratnam

      “he rebels had no legal, moral or strategic justification for committing these crimes.”

      Alright what about the following terrorist acts, did these terrorist acts have any legal, moral or strategic justification for committing these crimes?

      The Anuradhapura massacre which was carried out by LTTE in 1985 , 149 innocent people died.

      LTTE massacred of members of fellow Tamil armed groups in Sri Lanka as well as in Thamil Nadu.

      LTTE massacred 147 innocent Muslims in Kattankudy.

      …….
      Thousands of LTTE perpetrated terrorist acts had no basis whatsoever including suicide bombing and its Child Brigades.

  • 17
    5

    Violence as a form to achieve political end was first used by Sinhalese in 1956 when Tamil Satyagrahis on Galle Face green were brutally assaulted by thugs organised by government with police looking on. All the riots unleashed subsequently sanctioned by government with police looking on were done to cow down and silence Tamils. In fact 1983 riots was organised and executed by government in power, and security forces actively took part killing Tamils and destroying their properties. Harsh methods taken to put down peaceful protests were done under gun point. Thus at one stage Tamils pointing the gun back at Sinhala perpetrators, thinking enough is enough cannot be called wrong. It is sad that mushrooms who have sprung up in the last ten years, who were not in existence when Tamil youths who took up arms, are now slinging mud at the supreme sacrifice done by these selfless set of people. Instead of tackling it politically by accommodating just demands of Tamils, successive governments took military measures to deny them. Even now eleven years after the end of armed conflict, there is no will among Sinhalese to tackle the problem politically and are continuing with military methods. If Sinhalese expect to keep Tamils suppressed for ever, they are sadly mistaken.

  • 23
    3

    We salute our Tamil Fighters (heroes) who sacrificed their lives to the cause of justice and the rights of the Tamils in Srilanka. We salute the thousands of civilians who were massacred since 1958 to their sacrifices in the fight against oppressing Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism. We also salute those thousands of Sinhalese youths who sacrificed their lives falling to the trap of Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalists false propaganda against innocent Tamils. The truth is none of the ruling Families lost any of their lives for the country in this illegal war and they are celebrating your death as well. They do not want to remember those who lost their lives.

  • 17
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    An amazing narrative that seeks to justify the LTTE’s methods and rationale. If the LTTE is a proscribed organisation (like the African National Congress in South Africa was during apartheid) and its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is compared with Nelson Mandela of the ANC which was a “terrorist” outfit by definition then the writer too is a member of the LTTE and should perhaps be arrested and charged with activism on behalf of a terrorist organisation. However, I believe he lives overseas and is not easily able to be to be extradited from Canada or Australia or other country sympathetic to terrorism in poor countries. Just imagine if the boys had wanted to “lay down their guns” until they regrouped again, the show would still be going on, with countless civilians dying from suicide missions. I am happy that the war ended in May 2009 and sorry for the civilians who died, as they’re all Sri Lankan. We must all ensure that such a terrible outfit never sees the light of day again and are exterminated at the first opportunity (zero tolerance) while uplifing the lives of the northern people to be on par with their southern counterparts.

    • 17
      7

      You have jumped to conclusion without reading the article properly. Writer has listed several atrocities committed by LTTE and has condemned them. No blind supporter of LTTE will ever do that. Secondly supporting LTTE for the political rights it fought for cannot be called wrong. LTTE was banned because of their unacceptable behaviour of killing dissidents and non-combatants and not for its demand for justice to Tamils. This is the reason that LTTE is still able to fly its flag in UK despite barking of Sinhala racists and braying of High Commission. Your dream of uplifting the lives of the northern people to be on par with their southern counterparts is a noble one, but will never materialize because other than handful of Sinhalese, rest want to keep Tamils suppressed both economically and politically. There may not be such a terrible outfit in the future, but only India can ensure that it will not resurface again. Reading is on the board – “Get rid of China and be a vassal state of India”.

    • 11
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      Lasantha Pethiyagoda,
      When I comment on positions advocated by you, kindly take them in good spirit. It is my duty to see that carefree evaluation of events are eliminated.
      ______________
      Let us look at what you have said:
      ” …. sorry for the civilians who died, as they’re all Sri Lankan. We must all ensure that such a terrible outfit never sees the light of day again”.
      _______________
      We ought to see no terrible outfit, not only ‘such a terrible outfit’.
      _______________
      Uplifting the lives of the people in the North to be on par with that of the lives of the people in the South has to be in earnest. You have to be at it consistently, not just in fits and starts, just to mollify or buy time.
      ________________
      Lasantha Pethiyagoda, I want you and your likes to start a movement to attain this objective. I am ready to extend my support.

      • 10
        2

        Nathan, recently we had e-mail discussion among our Royal classmates about development of north. I told them exactly what you have written. Without doing haphazardly some projects to show the world that you are not neglecting north, do mega projects like in the south. Let Jaffna man to prosper and he will lift Sri Lanka up economically like what Chinese have done in Malaysia. One Sinhala classmate in good faith told me to take the lead and organize Tamil diaspora to invest and our classmates will help you to develop north. I wrote to him, firstly I have no influence over Tamil diaspora and I am keeping a distance from them. Secondly look at the reply I received from our classmates for my appeal to develop north and to allow Tamils to prosper. Do you think that I could succeed. One person in reply to mega development said we do not want white elephants. Another person in reply to allow Tamils to thrive said we do not want another Hong Kong. If this is the attitude of Sinhalese educated at Royal, do you expect anything better from others.

        • 8
          2

          GS, You are a tireless advocate of the Tamil cause. Your endorsement is much welcome.

          • 9
            3

            Nathan, I am a tireless advocate of justice. Unfortunately in Srilanka context, justice happens to be synonymous with Tamil cause. If you go through history, injustice never lasted forever and at one stage justice prevailed. After 1983 riots I told friends, Mahabaratha is being enacted in Sri Lanka and will India play the role of Krishnan. Tamils will have to play the game properly pitting Sri Lanka against India and reap the benefits, and not to install a government India wants. There will be a new world order after this pandemic, which will be beneficial to Tamils.

      • 7
        9

        Nathan,
        Here are few suggestions to improve the livelihood of Demala people in the North:
        • Get rid of Malabar customary law called ‘Thesawalamei’ and give the ownership of land owned by absentee Vellala landlords to those who till the land.
        • Stop all sorts of discrimination against Daliths by so called ‘High Caste’ Demalu.
        • Encourage Demala people, particularly young to learn Sinhala and migrate to South. Vellala Demalu who controlled NPC did not recruit teachers to teach Sinhala. They like to keep ordinary Demala folks as ‘Frogs in the Well’ so that they can have control over them.
        • Tell the producers to become customer oriented. Sometime back I went to a Trade Fair in BMICH. There was a stall selling produce from Yapanaya. None of the labels had the description in Sinhala. Mostly in Tamil and few with Tamil and English.
        • Take measures to prevent Tamil Nadu fishermen collecting fish harvest depriving Tamils in Sri Lanka to catch fish.

        Remember, Sinhalayo have no problem with Demala people who like to live in harmony with them. Now more than 50% of Tamils from North live in the South. They are against racist, fascist, separatist bigots.

        • 5
          5

          ” give the ownership of land owned by absentee Vellala landlords to those who till the land.”
          In general Tamils don’t loot or steal other peoples wealth.
          ” recruit teachers to teach Sinhala”
          For what? As I grew-up in Col I studied Sinhala but have not used in at least 30 years in a productive manner or even as a mode of communication other than when I am on vacation in SL. Even in the west Tamil is of better use than Sinhala.
          “Tell the producers to become customer oriented.”
          Right or wrong is subjective but there is a stigma that Sinhales are crooks and thieves so some traders intentionally try to discourage people like you
          ” Take measures to prevent Tamil Nadu fishermen collecting fish “
          Isn’t this the responsibility of the federal government?.

        • 4
          0

          What a load of crap. At present I do not comment much as I am currently working from home due to the current pandemic and cannot be bothered seated at the same place after work to comment on racist crap , from my home computer.

          Please read Tamils and Ceylon by C S Navaratnam

        • 4
          1

          Eagle Brain Dead Blind Eye

          ” Sinhalayo have no problem with Demala people who like to live in harmony with them.”

          I shouldn’t think otherwise.
          The conflict between the Sinhala/Buddhist fascists and Sinhalese and Buddhists has been spilling over into rest of the people who at the receiving end at regular interval.
          The conflict resolution can only be achieved by liberating the Sinhalese from Sinhala/Buddhists and Buddhism from Sinhala/Buddhism.

          Being the 125,000 years old man how can you help us?

          “Now more than 50% of Tamils from North live in the South.”

          I would be grateful for a district wise breakdown of your assumption.

  • 13
    21

    Lots of f…… crap.

    • 7
      4

      Mr.Pasqual
      I do not see a lot.crap, if there are atleast expose one.
      I see only one crap, heading should have.been
      State terrorist v freedom fighters
      I am ashamed to.have been.on the side.of State Terrorist

      • 5
        11

        Mr Dilshan
        .
        It is crap because author wants to glorify the death of bunch of animals.

        • 7
          2

          Or justify freedom fighters who took arm against state terrorist

        • 6
          0

          Better than glorifying looters, rapists and murders as war heros.

    • 9
      2

      Sinkala Pasquali

      *** Anger doesnt get you anywhere. If you cant mont an intelectual challenge dont get into the Ring. Bloody CRAP from Gotha your lover

    • 4
      0

      S. C. Passqual

      “Lots of f…… crap.”

      Its time for you to close your mouth.

  • 10
    10

    A bunch of Tamil lawyers with “some sort” of Jaffna heritage made a living out of People of Jaffna ever since independence. Had absolutely no clue regards to basic development concept of a developing nation post Colonial period. The post colonial era had several challenges that needed addressed for citizens of Ceylon/Sri Lanka just as all other developing Nations have gone through succesfully and still going through date. They did not even bother to address the Jaffna cast issues and people of deprived educational back ground who needed help what else could they understand about Sinhala peoples need??.. Given our colonial history the elected from Jaffna are the ones to help the newly born country??
    The FP/TULF/TNA through thuggery and intimidation made our parliament into a court room drama based on their believes and deeds. Forming new parties and having new causes as and when they needed them without ever having to deliver single economic planning/mandate for the people in their manefesto……..this is a principled behaviour of the few who benefitted from the colonial past??
    What Mr Navaratnam has captured in his writing is the other Geo Political aspect one should have considered before pushing our children into the frying pan (poisoning them to fight the FP/TULF cooked up causes) that has resulted in the carnage we have today

  • 4
    5

    It is not remembering. It is celebrating. SL is the winner and Tamils are the losers of the war. That is a fact. Sad but true. One man’s misfortune is another man’s fortune!

  • 12
    10

    To all the thalaivars trying to launder terrorists and terrorism into the wholesome way of life we should all adopt, if their lamentations are reasonably based.
    /
    We will never accept the Gonagala massacre, Sri Maha Bodhi massacre, Petta Bodhi massacre, attack on the Kandy temple of the tooth, Arantalawa.bhikku massacre, Central Bank attack etc as any thing other than cowardly terrorist attacks perpetrated under the command of an animal known as Velupillai Pirabakaran. He deserved the treatment he finally got from our war heroes.
    /
    The war heroes indeed are the real forces of good that put an end to this mlechcha force, at the risk of their own lives, and under difficult circumstances.
    /
    So all the terrorist sympathising thalaivars, you can lick your wounds.

    • 9
      9

      Helios

      Frankly CRAP.. You might not accept your Criminaly but the World more importantly dosent accept it either.

      • 7
        8

        After all the examples given in my earlier comment, if you still keep referring to CRAP, you re doing nothing more than what in the skull, between your ears!
        /
        Find a good dictionary and learn the meaning of CRAP, you will agree!

        • 8
          4

          Helios

          CRAP and more CRAP. The day you turn to civilsied behaviour and sivislised and factual language is the day you become acceptable. Bit you have a long way to go.

    • 3
      0

      Helios

      “The war heroes indeed are the real forces of good that put an end to this mlechcha force, at the risk of their own lives, and under difficult circumstances.”

      The Ranaviruses didn’t put an end to this LTTE, however the stupid Ranaviruses simply died not for the country but for their individual families hoping to better their livelihood. It was VP who single handedly finished off LTTE with huge support from Hindia.

      “So all the terrorist sympathising thalaivars, you can lick your wounds.”

      Only the stupid asses will die for their Thalaivars, including Rajapaksa’s, Banda’s, Fernandos, Fonsekas, VPs, …… while their cronies making their way into unofficial Forbes listing.

  • 8
    3

    Karikalan’s article highlights events which hardline Sinhalese nationalists ignore or deny .The majority of Sinhalese ( seventy per cent ) are ignorant and gullible , and are totally unaware about the inhuman actions of members of the Armed Forces and Sinhalese civilians which occurred from 1956.tHE ABOVE ESTIMATE IS BASED on my conversation with my S
    The LTTE with its so -called advisers should have gone around the country propagating the atrocities committed on innocent Tamil people from 1956 to 1981 instead of targeting non-combatant Sinhalese and thereby earning their enmity ..
    Emergency 58 ( a book on the events of 1958 ) which was authored by a Sinhalese named Tarzie Vittachi is a good starting point for most Sinhalese to know the evil acts which were committed in places like Padaviya and Vavuniya .I went to Padaviya in November 2019 to meet a number of Sinhalese villagers who had cataracts and realised that they were living in extreme poverty while their so-called Sinhalese moda leaders were living it up in Colombo .
    I felt very sorry after reading an article a few days ago about the large number of non-combatants including Sinhalese who died due to a bomb placed in a train by a member of the LTTE exploded at or near Dehiwala.

    • 4
      11

      sive49,
      Before 1505, Sinhale was a Sinhala Buddhist country where Sinhala was the official language. There were hardly any Demalu (Tamils) in Sinhale. From 1505 to 1948 Sinhalayo were oppressed by colonial rulers. To work in plantations, colonial rulers brought Dravida slaves from Hindusthan and drastically changed the demographic composition of the country. Demala (Tamil) is the language brought to Sinhale by those slaves. During British rule, English became the official language.
      Is changing the official language after Independence from English to Sinhala which is the language of Native Sinhalayo a crime?
      After Sinhala was made the official language, Demalu who are the descendants of Dravida slaves brought by colonial parasites started attacking Sinhalayo who lived in Yapanaya and started the first anti-Sinhala riot.
      When the English letters in car number plates were changed to a Sinhala letter, Demalu started the ‘Anti- Sri’ campaign and attacked Sinhalayo.
      In 1983, Demalu killed 13 soldiers of the Sri Lankan Army and declared war against the Government.
      It was racist Demalu who started anti-Sinhala racial riots. Do not blame Native Sinhalayo for crimes committed by Demalu.

      • 7
        2

        Where did you learn your history? From the BBS? Did you even learn history at all?
        Do you not know about the Jaffna Kingdom? The Jaffna Kingdom is a tamil kingdom founded in around 1215 and lasted until Portuguese colonised Jaffna. Have you not heard of Cankilian? You speak a lot of twisted fantasies. Even the last king of Kandy was a tamil (of Telugu origin). The last king of Kandy was born in Madurai, the court language of the Kingdom of Kandy at the time was tamil. The amount of hypocrisy you talk about racism is astonishing because you are the real racist here. There was no anti-sinhala riot but the first riot after indpendence was anti-tamil riots. I feel sorry for you you are probably not been educated enough about history, just following blindly by extremist buddhist sinhalese nationalists.

        • 3
          3

          k89justice,
          The problem is ‘Para’ Demalu who are the descendants of Dravida slaves brought to Sinhale by colonial parasites to work in their plantations do not know the history of this country.
          There was no Jaffna Kingdom but there was a war load called Aryachkravarti from Kalinga. When Portuguese invaded Yapanaya, King Senerath of Kandy who was a Sinhala sent an Army to Yapanaya to fight against Portuguese. No King from Jaffna Kingdom fought against Portuguese.

      • 6
        0

        For what it is worth, Sinhalese are kallathonies from a different part of India.

        “The history of Sri Lanka is intertwined with the history of the broader Indian subcontinent and the surrounding regions, comprising the areas of South Asia, Southeast Asia and Indian Ocean.
        The earliest human remains found on the island of Sri Lanka date to about 34,000 years ago (Balangoda Man).
        The proto-historical period begins roughly in the 3rd century, based on Prakrith chronicles like the Mahavamsa, Dipavamsa, and the Culavamsa. They describe the history since the arrival of Sinhalese from Northern India [1][2][3][4] The earliest documents of settlement in the Island are found in these chronicles. These chronicles cover the period since the establishment of the Kingdom of Tambapanni in the 6th century BCE by the earliest ancestors of the Sinhalese. The first Sri Lankan ruler of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, Pandukabhaya, is recorded for the 4th century BCE. Buddhism was introduced in the 3rd century BCE by Arhath Mahinda (son of the Indian emperor Ashoka). The first Tamil ruler of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, Ellalan (Elara), an invader, is recorded for the 2nd century BCE.[5]”

      • 4
        2

        Mahindapala, did you hear that Guardian UK paper has said that the ancient name for Sri Lanka is Eelam. When jokers of High Commission protested, they were ignored. So where is your Sinhale nonsense. Before bunch of Bengali criminals landed, Eelam was a Dravidian Saivite country where Elu the precursor of Tamil was the official language. There was not a single Sinhala person. From then native Dravidians were oppressed by these usurpers of their land. Sinhala is the language which evolved from the dialect of those gangsters. Prior to that the language used in communication and administration was Tamil. Sinhala is the fourth language to be used in the land after, Veddha dialect, Elu and Tamil. Buddhism is the fourth religion to be practiced after natural worship, Saivaism (Murugan worship of Veddhas) and Hinduism. So how can language and religion in the fourth place supersede language and religion at a higher rank. At the time of Portuguese conquest, Tamil was the official language in Jaffna and Kandyan kingdoms while Sinhala had official status only in Kotte kingdom. So giving Tamil official status on par with Sinhala is nothing wrong, which sadly had to be remedied by India.

        • 3
          5

          Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam,
          I guess the source is Demalawansham by Chelvanayakam which is a distorted version of Mahavamsa.
          ‘Para’ Demalu who are the descendants of slaves from Hindusthan do not have a history in Sinhale.

  • 2
    0

    The fifth line of my posting should read as follows :

    on my conversations with a large number of Sinhalese .

  • 10
    2

    *** What a Poignant moment in the annuls of Sri Lankan history. We amils remember our fallen Heroes whereas perpetrators ( Gotha) make bold statements such as
    1) We will not allow any one to remember Freedom Fighters and they will be arrested
    2) ‘I will not hesitate to withdraw from organizations targeting SL & war heroes’
    3) He Pardones Convicted Killers and promotes people who have been fined by Feltham Magistrates.

    What the Criminal doesn’t realize is that Sri Lanka is barred from every respectable organization such as UN he personally is a Persona Non Grata from every Country such as US where he is deemed as War Criminal . Sri Lank under him is a Pariah State and he is on Death Row

  • 10
    1

    The Tamil people in Jaffna have far more self-discipline than the largely Sinhala folk in Colombo or regional towns. Even a cursory look at the traffic and how orderly it is in Jaffna with no one trying to get ahead by breaking rules is a great lesson to observe for the rest of SL. I do remember a time before attitudes hardened, where the Jaffna people were very respectful to their southern counterparts and quite accommodating also. If the people in the north are elevated to a standard of living available in the south, I am certain the region will prosper and flourish, well ahead of the rest of SL. Alas, our political parasites will never allow such a program to be implemented and carried through, as divisions and conflict are their bread and butter.

    • 9
      1

      Lasantha, if you go through police records you will find that before the armed insurrection, there was hardly any crime in Jaffna and homicide was unheard of. People in Jaffna were not only well disciplined, but also honest, industrious and intelligent. British recognized this and employed them not only in Sri Lanka but in Malay states. To say that British favoured Tamils over corrupt, lazy and foolish Sinhalese, is only a way to justify racial discrimination practiced by government in education, employment and economic development. Now UK government is commending Tamil immigrants for their loyalty and hard work in contributing to the economy. It is Sinhala racism borne out of inferiority and fear complex , that did not give Tamils their due place. Tamil Nadu is the second richest and industrialized state in India, second to Maharastra which is bigger and had been promoted as economic center from British times. Similarly Tamil regions will prosper only when Sinhala interference is prevented, either voluntarily by Sinhalese or forced by foreign powers.

      • 2
        4

        Doctor Gnana, Sir: //Lasantha, if you go through police records you will find that before the armed insurrection, there was hardly any crime in Jaffna .//
        Have you not heard about caste based violence in Jaffna, of upper caste fellows beating up and burning the houses of lower caste people over the simplest of disputes? You won’t find them in police records because the inspectors at the stations would have been upper caste Tamils! Pumpkin and handful of rice, doctor?

        • 2
          4

          Singar A. Velan,
          Even now, caste based oppression and discrimination prevail in Yapanaya. After LTTE was eliminated, Vellala only schools have increased. Unfortunately, Western countries and INGOs who make lot of noise about discrimination and human rights are turning a blind eye to what is going on in Yapanaya because Vella Ala guys have become poo-dles of ‘White Guys’.

        • 4
          0

          Was that the bed time story your parents told you as a child? You got to get a grasp of facts and fiction.

    • 9
      0

      Lasantha Pethiyagoda. Both Sinhalese and Tamils are folks of decency. Shortsighted politicians in their avarice have introduced the culture of animosity between us. Educate the average Sinhala man. Thank you.

      • 3
        3

        Nathan,
        Liberate Dalits who are the majority in Yapanaya from racist, fascist, separatist Vella Ala elite politicians. That is the solution to the ‘Tamil Problem’.

    • 3
      3

      Lasantha Pethiyagoda,
      After LTTE was eliminated, lot of money was invested for electricity supply, road construction, water supply projects, rehabilitation of LTTE cadres and guiding them to self-employment.
      About two years ago I visited a school established by a Buddhist Charity Organization for Dalit children. What I learnt was that Vellala Demala people do not like to see Dalits raising their heads.
      The Principal of that school had requested NPC to recruit a teacher to teach Sinhala but NPC had told ‘NO’.
      Although Vellala politicians want to remove army, Dalits want the Sri Lankan Army to stay because they feel secure with their presence. Army is also engaged in development work although TNA want to brand them as war criminals.

  • 5
    1

    The conversation we have here in general is the same we had 10 years ago and I am sure will continue another ten years from now.In the mean time the real answers for this long standing problem will remain answered and overall situation of Sorry Lanka will either remain same (sorry state) or get more ugly. The conclusion of above conversations are 1) By comparing our governments acts (crimes ???) to that of LTTE, we admit our previous governments are of the same stature (terrorist???), if not 2) After running out of all democratic/voting options, LTTE elevated them self to the stature of our governments (making / executing decisions for their people). Which one is it???? In my opinion neither are wrong. Until we remain blind and in denial, incapable of seeing right from wrong , regardless of who committed , there will be no genuine reconciliation or closure. Where South Africa succeeded we miserably failed. If SA continued in our foot steps, today Mandela will be branded as terrorist and SA would have continued with its apartheid policies.

    • 4
      0

      You cannot compare South Africa with Sri Lanka. I was working in Zambia when transition from white to black rule took place. Zambia and Botswana were the only countries in Africa which had trade links with Apartheid South Africa. There was daily flights from Lusaka to Johanessburg operated by Zambian Airways. We could travel by car from Zambia to South Africa only through Botswana using Kazungula ferry. At that time there was immense international pressure and De Clerk the prime minister rose to the level of a statesman to deliver justice. In Sri Lanka I cannot see any statesman among Sinhalese and international pressure appears only to maintain their geo-political agenda and not sincere to deliver justice to Tamils. As for truth and reconciliation, it is based on Christian concept of confession and atonement, which was successful there because both perpetrators and victims were Christians. Shirley Gunnel former anti-apartheid activist who faced imprisonment and torture, correctly stated what is happening in Sri Lanka, “Truth plus justice plus reparation equals reconciliation. I have not seen the truth aspect, I am not seeing the commitment to justice aspect either and I cannot hear anything about reparation”.

      • 3
        0

        Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam

        ” In Sri Lanka I cannot see any statesman among Sinhalese”

        How about Wimal Sangili Karuppan Weerawansa, Dr Mervyn Silva PhD, Saffron Gnanasara, Ampitiye Sumanarathana, Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana, Sarath Fonseka, Sarath Weerasekera, Champika Ranawake, Udaya Gamanpilla, Duminda Silva, ……….

  • 4
    0

    SORRY, third line should read as long standing problem will remain UNANSWERED

  • 2
    0

    Native Vedda

    Please read the entire passage. “Some of the heinous crimes committed by the LTTE continue to haunt my memory. Let me reflect on a couple of them.” I have called them all HEINOUS crimes and mentioned only a couple of them. -Karikalan

    • 3
      0

      Thank you Karikalan. Any comment on this.
      “n the Jain report, various people and agencies are named as suspected of having been involved in the murder of Rajiv Gandhi. Among them, the cleric Chandraswami was suspected of involvement, including financing the assassination.[34][35][36] One of the accused, Ranganath, said Chandraswami was the godfather who financed the killing.[37] Sikh Militants were also suspected.[38][39] The interim report of the Jain Commission created a storm when it accused M. Karunanidhi the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu of a role in the assassination, leading to Congress withdrawing its support for the I. K. Gujral government and fresh elections in 1998. Also other strong LTTE sympathizers Vaiko with MDMK and Thol. Thirumavalavan with VCK have supported Congress under Sonia Gandhi in the past. Vaiko left the UPA alliance before the 2009 election, partly due to the Sri Lankan issue. In the 2001 Norway peace talks, Prabhakaran told the press that the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was a sorrowful event. In 2006, LTTE spokesman Anton Balasingham told the Indian television channel NDTV that the killing was a “great tragedy, a monumental historical tragedy which we deeply regret”.[40][41]” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Rajiv_Gandhi#Jain_Commission_and_other_reports

      • 2
        0

        Anpu

        “Prabhakaran told the press that the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was a sorrowful event. “

        What exactly is sorrowful event?
        Was it an unreserved apology from VP?

        “In 2006, LTTE spokesman Anton Balasingham told the Indian television channel NDTV that the killing was a “great tragedy, a monumental historical tragedy which we deeply regret”

        The next day LTTE Political Commissar Suppiah Paramu Thamilselvan withdrew the apology in a public statement.

    • 3
      0

      Karikalan S. Navaratnam

      Thanks for your clarification however I still strongly believe LTTE’s targeted attack on holy places are as heinous as on Amirthalingam, Rajiv, Policemen, .. and ethnic cleansing of Muslims from North.

      It’s time Tamils own up all war crimes that were perpetrated in their name by LTTE and others and apologise for them.

      • 1
        0

        Thank you NV and Karikalan.
        Can you tell me what Mr Wigneswaran was doing before he was invited to become the NP chief minister? Was he active in politics?
        Wherever you are look after yourself.

        • 1
          0

          Anpu

          Thanks

          “Can you tell me what Mr Wigneswaran was doing before he was invited to become the NP chief minister?”

          Between October 2004 and 7 October 2013 he was very popular in Saiva/Hindu lecture circuits.

          By the way what are you doing to respond to the High Commissioner who believes the Name Eelam was invented by Tigers (LTTE)

          Take care

  • 3
    0

    Anpu,
    I believe there were other conspirators involved, with their own agenda .Chandraswami’s name figured in a big way. Yet, it was mainly LTTE’s handiwork.

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