18 May, 2022


Rethinking Forgiveness Amidst Probes On War Crimes

By Athulasiri Kumara Samarakoon

 Athulasiri Samarakoon

Athulasiri Samarakoon

“…the concept of the ‘crimes against humanity’ remains on the horizon of the entire geopolitics of forgiveness”. – Jacques Derrida

Sri Lanka’s incapacity as a nation state (or which has so far failed to become so) to give protection to many of its citizens, mostly during the war and its aftermath, has resulted in the current crisis of the country facing international probes. The world has come to know about the realities facing the average person in Sri Lanka after the end of the war in May 2009. And, today, the international community has begun to force open the eyes of the ruling regime to such realities. On the other hand, regime has failed to provide ‘laws for those who lost the protection of the national government’ and has increasingly placed such matters in the hands of the military or the police. This remains largely a cause for endless agitations in the North where the civilian administration is yet to be restored in its entirety. The military and the police have received unprecedented authority to act directly on the people. Mostly, as we have seen, the alleged perpetrators of violence during the ethnic war and the JVP insurrection were put to death by military in the name of national security without fair trials or any other mechanism even to have records of the death count. At the end of the long fought war too this practice has not ended, but gotten more rigorous. We often witness the truth of this situation from the killings of many of the alleged members of the underworld and others like media persons who protested against this government’s arbitrariness and anti-people policies through their activism as members of the civil society.

Rule of Law not in place

Extrajudicial killings, abductions, arbitrary arrests, torture, delay in legal procedures and many other impunities by the military and police in Sri Lanka have constituted a set of new undemocratic practices and anti-people norms which in turn have best served the interests of a few who have wanted to extend their power at any cost. All in all, democracy in Sri Lanka is being slowly led to the guillotine. Ritualistic elections have only served as eyewash to the world to justify our practice of democracy. As domestic politics kept growing like a cactus with severe authoritarian tendencies, the international pressure on the government too has grown in similar scales. The UNHRC advocated probe that the parliamentarians of ruling alliance did not want to take place is the best example for such external pressures.

War CrimeTrue that the President has suddenly awakened to the reality, or he pretended so, and set up a local mechanism supported by international advocacy at this last minute, but it has not added much justification for stopping an international probe as such. Now therefore two probes, a local probe with international advocacy and an UN initiated international probe, are being underway. Probing crimes of the past, why and for what? Can the justice be done through punishment? And, if not, are the parties ready to apologise or to forgive each other?  And can they really do so in the absence of the dead? Or who is going to apologise on whose persuasion?  We need to answer these and many questions by rereading Derrida’s idea of forgiveness in our context.

External Forces for probing

The UN prescribed probe on the alleged human rights violations and breaches of humanitarian laws has started as an international process at this critical juncture when the domestic process has crucially collapsed.  What exactly would an internationally driven probe and its findings result in terms of bringing justice to those who remain already dead and who are survived by the dead. The probing of any crime related event is aimed at punishment or at least making the perpetrators apologise for such crimes.

The Sinhalese and Tamil conflict in Sri Lanka took a highly militant character with the violent eruption of the conflict after the Black July pogrom of 1983. At the end of the long war it was alleged that Sri Lankan military had perpetrated genocide against the Tamils in the last phase of the war as well. Nevertheless, from both sides, despite the disparity of powers each other had, violence was caused and on such violence multiple narratives abound now in society. The end result was a greater destruction; the increasing understanding that violence can lead a society no where in searching for solution for political and social issues it is confronted against. However, this understanding seems to have not struck the minds of the leadership of both parties to the violent struggle and they still maintain attempts of revenge.

It is such a difficult exercise to rethink the idea of forgiveness on behalf of the dead. The living is unwilling to forgive or they themselves cannot do so as they have no power to represent the dead either. Thus at a time when the idea of forgiveness has increasingly shown its impossibility to take root in an embroiled social and cultural space like ours, we undertake to rethink of the same, despite its seemingly futile nature. Because we think that the dead is dead, but the unborn is yet to come, and they should not inherit the burden of an unresolved crisis. Therefore we suggest that a campaign for forgiveness is a political struggle against racialism, ethnic hatred and ethno-political violence. Yet, it does not want to be another pragmatist tool on the hands of the rulers or racists to cover up for their crimes too.

Derrida and South African Reconciliation

Possibly, the idea of forgiveness is not just a philosophical notion without political possibility, but it has a futuristic dimension that can contribute to a better democracy tomorrow or ‘democracy to come’. If we can attain forgiveness for all our crimes, surely an impossible task, tomorrow’s generation will not have to inherit the same amount of hatred that we live with today. French philosopher Derrida has dealt with the issue of what he calls ‘impossibility of forgiveness’ in an essay titled ‘On Forgiveness’. In this essay Derrida throws light on the reconciliation process of the South African society after a long fought conflict due to apartheid.

South Africa established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to look into the possibility of reconciliation. Without a reconciliation process “South Africa would have mired in fire and bloody vengeance” for long.  The President of this Commission Desmand Tutu, as Derrida says, “With as much as goodwill and confusion…introduced the vocabulary of repentance and forgiveness”. According to Derrida South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission had to recognise two parties to the process of reconciliation namely the perpetrators of violence (guilty) and the victim. This is certainly the tradition of Abrahamic religions and Derrida highlights the effect of norms in Christianity on South Africa’s reconciliation process. Therefore, the ‘forgiveness’ takes place only between the two singularities –victim and guilty- in its pure form, and with third party mediation, again, could change the language toward ‘amnesty, reconciliation and reparation’.

Derrida finds that South African TRC oscillated ‘between the non-penal and non-reparative logic of ‘forgiveness’ and ‘a judicial logic of amnesty’. Now the central question that Derrida raises on the issue of forgiveness is that it can create confusion between the ‘order of forgiveness and order of justice’. The time consumed for the process of ‘forgiveness’ may provide for ‘escape of justice’. If the parties to conflict just “mimic the scene of ‘immediate’ and quasi automatic-forgiveness” the process of justice will never run its full course. Thus, forgiveness in its true sense seems more impossible than we think of it. There is more possibility that forgiveness can be abused by the parties to the conflict in order to escape penal or reparative dimensions of justice. Should forgiveness be ‘conditional or unconditional’? The answer for this issue brings out the heterogeneity of forgiveness.

Heterogeneity of Forgiveness

Derrida realizes that a genuine reconciliation process through genuine forgiveness has to address the ‘heterogeneity’ of the term. A non-conditional forgiveness is something like a ‘gracious gift’ from the God.  Therefore forgiveness has to be attached with some conditions at least the ‘repentance, transformation of the sinners’. The transformation must take place in many spheres, ‘law, history, politics, and existence itself’. ‘A series of conditions of all kinds’, social, psychological etc. have to be engaged in order to arrive at ‘effective’ or ‘concrete forgiveness’. ‘A pure and unconditional’ process of forgiveness would reduce it to the idea of ‘amnesia, acquittal, or prescription’ and what Derrida calls ‘the work of mourning and some political therapy call reconciliation’. However, Derrida suggests that ‘pure and unconditional’ forgiveness cannot have ‘meaning or finality or even intelligibility’. Therefore, from a philosophical meaning, the challenge before us today would be to create conditions for forgiveness that does not yearn for ‘meaning or finalities’.

Politics and Forgiveness

Forgiveness is impossible like a ‘gift of grace’. It aims at finding ‘meaning or finality’ and therefore engages in a relentless process of political bargain. The experience in Sri Lanka is that the Tamils have kept demanding for rights for ages and the Sinhalese government has kept refusing every time. The parties have looked at the issues from a language of strategic, economic, and political only. As Derrida says “All sorts of unacknowledgeable ‘politics’, all sorts of strategic ruses can hide themselves abusively behind a ‘rhetoric’ or ‘comedy’ of forgiveness, in order to avoid the step of law”. The disjuncture between ‘ethical and pure forgiveness’ and pragmatic process of reconciliation is clear from the Sri Lankan example. Ours is a case of ‘power, sovereignty and human rights violations’. The crimes against humanity are what make the problematic of forgiveness more complicated. Is it just possible to forgive ‘terrorist’ or ‘military’ any other perpetrator when they have killed someone’s children, raped his wife etc? This is where the question that who can forgive arises in the discourse of forgiveness. When the ordinary masses suffer in the absence of their beloved members, breadwinners in the family, can the reconciliation occur through a process of forgiveness? And just an exchange of symbolic gesture between the leadership will alone not make forgiveness possible. The people at the grassroots level needs to forgive.  On the other hand the enormous violent machinery called the state is not willing to compromise its power or so called ‘sovereignty’.

Future without Forgiving

Sri Lanka is likely to carry forward the legacy of its ethnically disturbed history of violence well into the next century unless it cannot establish a new foundation for peace. The existing foundation of violence has to be transformed in ways that guarantee justice for all the communities in the land. The victors of the war and defeated have to come out of their victorious and defeatist mindsets and for such a transformation political power has to be unconditionally negotiated between the parties. The form of the state has historically kept changing, even our own state, and we have to be open minded to see that there are not so rigid forms of state that should go to the future without transformations. The right of minority communities to their language, culture, politics and economics have to be unconditionally recognised through legal and constitutional means and the system of democracy should be more strengthened in order to free the people to realise their true freedom in a meaningful manner. As a nation which want to progress with the world we should prepare to forgive and ask for forgiveness. One of our most daunting political challenges today is to create a discourse of forgiveness and take it as long a possible, because the communication between people and sharing their languages among each other would help a lot in that endeavour. It is true that this article raises more questions than it answers but many of those answers are complex, difficult and can only be arrived at through sustained engagement between the two communities under the guidance of enlightened leaders. Only time will tell whether Sri Lanka will take such a path.

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Latest comments

  • 16

    Athulasiri Kumara Samarakoon, I will be failing in my duty, if I don’t thank you for your kind thoughts.

    You are on a footing of fairness, reason, and common sense.

    What is required to prevail over the tragic situation the country is in today, is the reasoning and thought you bear. If many more of your kind will put your minds together and voice it loud and clear we can overcome the bleak future the country is facing.

    A half a century ago, I had a friend of mine from Galle. You are no relative of his for sure. But, you remind me of him. You are the second one, after him, to give me hope that perhaps one day we may find peace and happiness together, as Sri Lankans.

    In all seriousness, if ever you would want to have a Tamil in your team, count me in.

    • 9

      Athulasiri Kumara Samarakoon –

      “…the concept of the ‘crimes against humanity’ remains on the horizon of the entire geopolitics of forgiveness”. – Jacques Derrida

      This is NOT the First time the Sinhala “Buddhist” have committed Crimes of various degree of criminality.

      1. 1948-1950 disenfranchising the Estate Tamil Paras, by the Sinhala “Buddhist” Paras, in the land of Native Veddah.

      2. 1958 Tamil Riots and Sinhala “Buddhist” Criminality.

      3. 1971 Sinhala “Buddhist” Criminality with Sinhala Youth

      4. 1977 Criminality against Tamils, and the resulting Tamil Separatism.

      5. 1983 Criminality against Tamils, “Black July”the resulting Tamil Separatism.

      6. 1987-1989 Sinhala “Buddhist” Criminality with Sinhala Youth

      7. 2009 Culmination of Criminality against Tamils, “black 30 year war” the resulting in war crimes against Tamils.

      7. 2009-2014 Continuing Sinhala “Buddhist” criminality against Tamils.

      8. 2012-2014 Initiation of New Sinhala “Buddhist criminality against Muslims and Christians, in addition by the Para-Sinhala Buddhist Maras in the Land of native Veddah, based on the lies and imaginations in the Dipawansa and Mahawansa.

    • 11

      Mr Samarakoon and Mr Nathan write a load of bullshit about forgiveness. After all the trash that Mr Nathan has written on CT, he now talks of a long lost friend in Galle. Forgiveness can only come after meaningful retribution and compensation for all the damage that has been done to the lives of the Tamil people. Perhaps, CT published the photograph with this bullshit article meaningfully. It shows little children no doubt about to be killed. A girl child sits with them with the soldiers paws on her. A man stands naked, about to be killed. Mr Samarakoon talks of Derrida and South Africa. Has he come back with this wisdom from some hike at a Western university? We are ready to forgive after retribution is had. Why have a criminal law, if there is forgiveness, particularly of the Buddhist variety.

      A settlement that Mr Samarakoon can come about only after retribution and the basis of deterrence of future conduct of a similar type has been effected. Otherwise, the Mahawamsa mentality of the Sinhalese which lies at the root cause of the ethnic strife will continue. It has to be effaced. Tamils will be foolish to forgive. They will be subjected to interminable slaughter if they do. They rightly insist on war crimes trials for those guilty.

      Please leave the nonsense about South Africa out. There is no Mandela or Tutu here. Even the Mahanayakes condoned all the brutalities that took place in Sri Lanka. There is a need for a cathartic solution, a wiping of the slate clean of the past. Only war crimes trials of the perpetrators of the massive brutalities can effect this. There is plenty of proof as to who did the crimes. The photograph shows some of them. How can these men sleep at night? Do they not have children of their own? How can the Rajapaksas have any peace in their lives after the enormity of what they have done? How can the children caught in the picture have had anything to do with terrorism? Mr Nathan naively talks about his Sinhalese friend. I ask all Sinhalese. They must have seen such pictures. Why do they remain silent? or why do they speak of forgiveness when they had participated through silence in mass atrocities.

      At least the Germans, who were responsible for the holocaust, passed laws against hate speech, ensured that all their war criminals were punished and then made a new beginning. Sri Lanka can do that too after all war criminals, both Sinhalese and Tamils (including Karuna and the like) are punished for what they did.

      • 9

        Ponkoh Sivakumaran,

        You are perfectly correct in you argument.

        We can go on ad infinitum discussing like academics while grave injustices continue on the ground, which is threatening to annihilate the existence of the Tamil nation that has been existing in the island for more than 3 millenniums.

        Let the war crimes investigation find out the truth, and from there the international community can decide what is to be done to establish peace, justice, political structure in the island.

        Mahavamsa mentality that distorts the thinking of the Broad masses of the Sinhalese Buddhists cannot be overcome internally.

        British made the mistake at independence by not providing a suitable state structure, hope the IC fix it this time.

    • 6


      Athulasiri Samarakoon’s article is enlightening and he should be thanked for his frankness.

      However, read the concluding sentence:

      “Only time will tell whether Sri Lanka will take such a path.”

      Time is telling the truth that is the reality today: Genocide of Tamils is accelerating in various forms (except mass killings and pogroms), and the same has started to Muslims.

      Time eventually will solve the problem in favor of the largest community. Is that what is just and peaceful, let alone forgiveness?

      Please don’t come back at me saying that I have a racist view. I am a pragmatist, not an idealist, philosopher or religious one to talk of forgiveness sans political redress.

      • 1


        Since you directed your comment at me, I feel obliged to respond. There is no guarantee that I’d do so every time.

        My initial comment to AKS was on the arguments he put forth in the article.

        You yourself has said that Athulasiri Samarakoon’s article is enlightening and he should be thanked for his frankness.

        CT is a Forum. I welcome when the forum is put to use to alleviate the pain and suffering of the Tamils. Yes, Tamils need a helping hand, just not from us, but from all corners. In this context, we should grasp the soothing hand of Athulasiri Samarakoon.

        For our actions to be effective, we need the voice of the folks of the type of Athulasiri Samarakoon.

        You are trying to put words in my mouth when you say:

        ‘Please don’t come back at me saying that I have a racist view. I am a pragmatist, not an idealist, philosopher or religious one to talk of forgiveness sans political redress’.

        A pragmatist deals with matters in a practical way. If you cannot see Athulasiri Samarakoon as an ally, you are not being practical.

  • 8

    Athula, many thanks. You and I have to start the process and the rest will follow. We cannot wait for the Government, JHU, TNA or any other ‘Peramuna’ to start the process…….it needs to start in our own living rooms……with our own sons and daughters. The bottom line here is that society – at every level, is an integrated whole. One of the fundamental features of any such integrated biological system is that that malfunction within any individual “component” of the system will -by definition, affect the well being of the “entire system”. You can see many examples of this in every day life right from the level of an individual cell, tissue, organ, organ systems or the individual being. The same basic laws apply even within larger human societies or countries. Pain, anguish and suffering within any individual component of this integrated system- whether in Pussalawa or Pudukudiyiruppu; Muruhandy or Muthurajawela will come to haunt the well being of the entire society/country. We have seen the consequences of brutalising a society in the early 70s and late 80s in the form of half-burnt bodies floating in the Kelani Ganga. These haunting images – perhaps in their thousands, cannot be attributed to “fate”, “destiny”, “karumaya”, “batahira kumanthranaya” or even the evil designs of “the diasporawa”…….it is simply the way integrated biological systems behave. The ancient Chinese called it the “Tao”……. or “the way”. That is why the cries of our mothers – whether from Murungan or Mulleriyawa; Athurugiriya or Aluthgama must be heard…..and their pain and anguish felt in all our hearts. We are all – most certainly, components of an integrated whole.
    Dr Mahesan Nirmalan
    Manchester Medical School.

    • 8

      Armchair politicians scratch each other’s back while genocide of Tamils accelerates on the ground.

      Do they care?

    • 3

      “The ancient Chinese called it the “Tao”……. or “the way”.”

      Is it psycho from Manchester that is doing the rounds??
      Where is the humility??

      `PinYin`- “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.”
      – “The name that can be named is not the eternal name.”

      Social/Political worker-
      We are all different just like your five fingers.
      or as LKY put it- totally different you cannot circumscribe.

  • 5

    Your suggestions are the best, but for Rajapaksa regime, going for blood than reconciliation they may not even read this essay. South African TRC worked well because most Black and White South Africans belong on one faith and most respect Rev. Desmond Tutu as a man of strength and good character who always talk the truth.
    I was part of the Anti-Aparthied movement and most who fought the White supremacy wanted peace and listen to the Leaders. But in Sri Lanka approximately 75% of the people are Buddhist and believe in Lord Buddha’s teaching (including myself) but forgiveness is gone from their minds.

    If Rajapaksa is a TRUE Buddhist, but not a one pretending to be a Buddhist taking orders from a Catholic wife, he should have First reconcile with the former Army Commander Feneral Fonseka and restore his pension and the other perks including restoring the pension of those Army Offiers and soldiers kicked out by the Sycopath Gotabaya Rajapaksa. If Mahinda as the President is unable to reconcile with the people who saved the country from the LTTE, how can anyone expect Mahinda to come to term with the Tamils and help to build a ONE nation of Sri Lankans.

    Rajapaksa’s are a very greedy lot for money as they never enjoyed money when they were yong, will not give up their greediness for anything good for the Nation.

  • 1

    Agree with you on everything but not with that south african model ( That guy R’S’amaphosa is a corupted dirty pol’ution’itician who killed innocent miners ). This is our problem. Lets we have our own model.

  • 4

    Mr.Samarakoon, You are missing an important point. the conflict is not between two groups. It is between the government and its own people.You are questioning if punishment is necessary. You are also talking about forgiveness. Forgiveness of what? What is the issue here? Is’nt there a planned attempt to annihilate the minority ethnic group by an elected government?. The extra judiciary killings,abductions of dissenters,killing of political opponents,subjugation of press.aiding and abetting pogroms against religious and ethnic minorities,land grabbing of minority owned properties, atrocities and rapes in army occupied regions, promoting impunity—- are these not planned acts of a government? Are these not still continuing in spite of massive national and international protests? If all these happened to your parents, wife or daughters will you think of forgiveness?

  • 5

    Exactly Razeek,

    People want us to keep talking that we did for 66 years in vain, while the state and the Sinhalese government is hell bent on erasing the Tamil nation from the island.

    There are coming for Muslims too, now the Muslims realize.

    Stop talking lofty academic things and do something to stop the genocide of Tamils if you can. If you cannot, well keep mum and let time answer it as the author says.

  • 2

    The photograph deflects from all the communication with words the writer intended.

  • 1

    *I wish to ask can any one openly tell the offenses and crimes against the Sinhalese committed by The Tamils , in a chronological manner.
    *Silence is consent.
    *Let the Sinhalese live with their corrupted Leadership for ever and leave the Tamils to look after their affairs.
    * The truth is always the causality. I doubt truth in complete dimension will ever manifest or prevail.
    *The UN did nothing to protect The Tamils and mainly helped to prevent the truth. The UN and IC partner of Tamil Genocide. In the Tamil Genocide The UN also an accused. The accused is conducting the Trial.
    * The Global media imposed a deliberate blackout and censor on the Tamil issue and published biased distorted misinterpreted messages.
    * Can believe to expect truth and honesty from from the guardians of Democracy.
    * Jesus said repent for forgiveness. There is no value in forgiveness without repentance. There is no mercy without Repentance. Total truth is necessary for repentance. They may do not know the offenses they committed.
    * The leadership is rewarded through corruption.
    * In 1977 The Sinhalese country declared war against the unarmed Tamils through the JR. The UN , Law specialist on rules of engagement and the academics did nothing then.
    Sri Lanka In total will suffer from post traumatic disorder for ever. Each and every Sri Lankan soldier will suffer from this disorder.

  • 2

    Gota the warlord who thrives on instability, is now on his next campaign to attract trouble again by instigating local Muslims of having links with foreign Muslim extremists, whilst hiding the fact that it is his backing and support of BBS/SR/RB/JHU which may be driving Muslims to seek foreign support to survive this onslaught. I hope the whole world comes to realize this truth, and recognizes the cause and effect phenomenon in this respect. Otherwise there is absolutely no reason for SL Muslims to rebel against the State.

    As reported in The new Indian Express dated 22nd Aug. ’14.

    Quote: ‘In a paper published in the latest issue of the US Defence Department’s journal “Prism”, Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has reiterated his belief that Islamic terrorism poses a threat to the island nation.

    Since the LTTE’s defeat, some of the Muslim groups in Lanka have begun to engage in activities that go “far beyond self-protection”, he said in the journal brought out by the Center for Complex Operations (CCO).

    “There is information that some of these groups have even tried to link up with global Islamic terrorist organisations. This is a situation that requires careful monitoring,” Gotabaya said. “Some Islamic groups in Lanka have started to establish ties with LTTE-linked agents to create further problems,” he further said.

    According to Gotabaya, the increasing insularity of Lanka’s ethnic groups is at the root of the problem. “Rather than identifying themselves on the basis of nationality, the communities of Sri Lanka have begun to identify themselves on the basis of ethnicity or their religion. The cross-border links that can arise as a result of such insular ethnic or religious identification are also troublesome,” he said. “There are some foreign groups that wish to encourage Lankan Muslims to identify themselves more with the global Muslim community, thereby reducing their integration within Lanka.” The increasing insularity and cohesion amongst minority ethnic groups has also led to the emergence of hard line groups from the majority community, the top Lankan security official observed’. Clse quote.

  • 1

    The writer is only creating an academical corundum of the matter at issue.

    The history of wars in this universe have mostly concluded with peace
    negotiations – in the last few centuries at least I guess. What has this
    Regime, aided by the Mahanayakes done over the last FIVE years for all its
    citizens and the future of this Country – every one knows and no repetition
    is needed.

    Face the Inquiry like a man is the conclusion. There are no alternatives

  • 1

    Time is a healer. During this time period-Sri Lanka can go down to a non-state as it is progressing, or evolve to a nation building process and come out of this mess. This will depend on the people of SriLanka, assuming fair elctoral process.
    This process is dependant on wider knowledge and understanding of concepts i.e. respect others their opinions and ambitions whilst achieving set national objectives. This will require upholding the law and righteous justice system. These have been eroded to what extent, I do not know as I left SriLanka two decades ago.
    Let us leave the people of SriLanka to sort themselves out.

  • 1

    In political processes one forgives and forgets, not for moral or religious reasons, but for practical ones.If the Tamils forgive the Sinhalese for all the atrocities committed against them and the Sinhalese forgive and forget the atrocities committed by the LTTE, we can move on and construct a new social order.
    After all poiltics doesn’t need a confessional approach…Let us leave that to the Christians!

  • 3

    All i can say is its a very disturbing picture sad..sad..

  • 1

    Thank you Amarasiri, Ponkoh sivakumaran, Thiru, Punchinilame, Razeek, Pacs & rita. Another article of the Sinhalese intelligentia with the intention of smoke-screening. The immensely disturbing picture speaks volume and if any analyst can still put pen on the paper and write about forgiveness without justice then it is very obvious he is blinded to the naked truth. South Africa addressed the political issue head on with no compromise to uphold the justice and then established the T&R mechanism as an instrument to forgive and to move together as a Nation. The writer has not acknowledged this inconvenient truth and has very schematically directed the unsuspecting readers into the land of no return. The writer is able to forsee the consequences of the ongoing international inquiry and is unable to visualise the naked exposure of Sri LAnka’s true nature being paraded in the hearts and minds of the world humanity. I can only make one conclusion. These are artful dodgers.There is only one solution. “Face it like a man” as Punchinilame said.

  • 3

    Dear Mr.Athulasiri Samarakoon, thank you for your enlightenment on the subject of forgiveness.
    People on both sides of the divide will react emotionally and adverely, do not be hurt or stop your contribution. As you say no inquiry, neither local nor international, will give the People of Sri Lanka real reconciliation or peace. Inquiries are necessary only to establish the truth and move on to render justice. They are not meant to take revenge or pay off. As a Christian I am convinced that only truth will make us free, and true freedom begins not from the outside, but from within ourselves,(as Thick Nathan, the Buddhist Monk in Paris says) when we liberate ourselves from hatred, revenge and violence against others.
    Actions of injustice and violence by the powerful state or the majority has provoked reactions from the victims. These Actions and reactions may have gone too far. We have to find out the truth and apply the norms of justice and find a way to peaceful co-existence.

  • 0

    ” Inquiries are necessary only to establish the truth and move on to render justice.”

    In one word: Avenge.!

    The reprisal is water tight.

    `We have to find out the truth and apply the norms of justice and find a way to peaceful co-existence.”

    Do you think of whether we provide enough for those who have too little?

    Religious bigotry is the cause of bloodletting.

    For a starter: Make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between temple and State.

  • 0

    Vanakkam father J Emmanuel
    I don’t agree that I have reacted emotionally. I have no hatred towards any contributors in this media. When someone of the writer’s calibre consider T&R model of South Africa as the pathway to forgiveness without acknowledging the political solution to black grievances that preceeded the model then his intentions are questionable. Tamils agitation for the past 30 years is for the equal status in their country of birth. If truth can make us free, then I beleive that it is my duty to tell the truth as I see it. With all due respect that is exactly what I have done.
    Daya Thevi

  • 0

    I am sad and perturbed to see the photographs with naked images in this article. I think it is norm to hide the private parts when publishing images. CT has published this image the private part of the victims who were still alive are shown with much clarity. It is for the sake of Human dignity the private parts of a fellow human is masked. As such the publication of this nakedness it self tell the type of Dignity the Tamils receive. Also I could recall the Tractor load of bodies exhibited without any cloths on just after the attack on Anuradhapura air base attack none of the media around the world wanted to mention about this humiliation to the human dignity. I am sure those dead fighters went for combat in nakedness.
    Thank you

  • 0

    I am sad and perturbed to see the photographs with naked images in this article. I think it is norm to hide the private parts when publishing images. CT has published this image the private part of the victims who were still alive are shown with much clarity. It is for the sake of Human dignity the private parts of a fellow human is masked. As such the publication of this nakedness it self tell the type of Dignity the Tamils receive. Also I could recall the Tractor load of bodies exhibited without any cloths on just after the attack on Anuradhapura air base attack none of the media around the world wanted to mention about this humiliation to the human dignity. I am sure those dead fighters did not go for combat in nakedness.
    Thank you

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