18 September, 2020

Blog

Should Tamils Be Loyal Sri Lankans?

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Minorities are easy targets in a Sinhalese polity believing that no one else belongs. As Tisaranee Gunasekara has noted, UPFA ministers have attacked the Chief Justice for having Tamil lawyers – although Neelakandan voted for the BASL resolution against the Ban Ki Moon Report, it did not help him. Thrishantha Nanayakkara has drawn our attention to an ITN program where Minister Wimal Weerawansa makes much of the Court of Appeal bench ruling on the CJ matter consisting of two Tamils and a Muslim (whereas it really had 1 of each community, including a Sinhalese).

The Muslims too are caught up as hate campaigns are launched against halal food (ignoring that the rest of us have Poya food imposed on us by closing meat stalls on full moon days) and Muslims being successful at Law College entrance exams (ignoring that Muslims have preserved multilingualism, giving them an edge in English medium exams and those requiring wide reading).

Jaffna University

As Jaffna University is attacked and Douglas Devananda’s appointees manage it, the President has complained privately that Douglas with his thuggery is costing him support and he is looking for other Tamils to join him. The President is play-acting: his brothers speak against the 13th amendment in general; he for it in India; and Douglas for it among Tamils. They are as thick as thieves and cannot afford to let go of each other because of each other’s dark secrets they carry.

Unfortunately some Tamils believe this charade. When Douglas’ VC was caught between army orders to reopen the university and adamant students who refused to resume classes before their arrested colleagues are released, she was desperate as her reputation among Tamils sank low. Believing that Douglas had lost clout, it was to the SLFP’s  Jaffna organizer Angajan Ramanathan and Mr. Ramachandran (I believe from Germany) who runs “Tamil Buddhists” that she turned. The meeting they arranged through Gothabaya with Jaffna Commander Hathurusinghe resulted only in her eating his Palahaarams (viands) as noted last week.

By-passed, an angry Douglas issued orders at his Pre-Council Meeting. At Saturday 29th’s University Council his appointees thundered: “Douglas can deliver. You should have called an emergency meeting.” Douglas then attended a meeting today Thursday with the Minister for Higher Education where the VC was asked to reopen after Thaipongal and bring the arrestees’ parents to Douglas who would ask his friend the President to release them. Will the President countermand his brother Gothabaya for Douglas? Is it a game to enhance Douglas?

Giving hope that Sri Lanka is still a viable nation, southern students Wednesday distributed posters in Colombo in support of their Jaffna colleagues, even as the Federation of University Teachers’ Associations planned a delegation of 20-30 members at January’s end to Jaffna, joined by the Inter-University Student Federation. As I feared that the government may use the IUSF presence to launch another attack, the IUSF president Sanjeeva Bandara himself was attacked in Kelaniya on the 30th. He has blamed the army.

Tamils Helpless

In the meantime Tamils without access to the law and order machinery or to the administrative apparatus in a Sinhalese state, continue to suffer. Bishop Rayappu Joseph of Mannar was questioned by the CID in an attempt to silence outspoken Tamils.  Thuwarakeswaran, the brother of UNP MP Maheswaran who was shot dead in Colombo, had acid thrown on him at the Nallur Temple. Uthayan reports that in his police complaint he has identified the assailant as Governor G.A.Chandrasiri‘s personal secretary and former military officer Jayakody who had fled the scene with 4 others and stated that Jayakody had been following him. The poor terrified fellow is in hiding.

Striking terror among Tamils, four year old Surendren Sudanththini was raped and her body recovered on the 28th from a well in Mandaithivu, controlled by Douglas and the Navy. Elsewhere, Dr. E. Shivashankar, who went with a Tamil girl tricked into the army and her parents from Kilinochchi (Rudrapuram) after her OL exam, was detained on a certificate declaring the doctor insane! ENT Surgeon Dr. Thirumaaran who earlier had his arm slashed has fled Jaffna.

Today as schools reopened there are reports that soldiers will compulsorily teach Sinhalese to Tamils in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu.  TNA MP Sritharan has questioned how Grade 6 qualified soldiers can teach. Education officials ran away from reporters pleading ignorance. The gimmick was sanctioned by a Presidential Working Group.

Paranoid Government

A young man, who placed flowers on his mother’s grave in Northeast Jaffna on Dec. 26, the anniversary of her perishing in the tsunami, was arrested, accusing him of celebrating the LTTE although it was December not November. I was invited to a Christmas party by Tamils from Windsor Canada and Detroit Michigan. As the meeting began a person suddenly called for 2 minutes’ silence for all who had died in May 2009. I saw no harm. Of the 70,000 estimated to have been killed by government forces in the UN Petrie Report, there were hardly 10,000 LTTE, the majority being children and the uncommitted forced to bear arms. It can therefore be safely surmised that most of the 70,000 executed by our army (whether in cold blood or by asking them to shelter in protected areas and then bombing them) were innocents. Those standing up continued to talk and were disengaged as at Tamil functions.

A general attack on Tamil university students by the army is, in my mind,  as absurd as if the Canadian Government had decided to bomb that hall where we stood up to commemorate the dead in the name of fighting a banned terrorist organization. It is important for Sri Lankans to see that Jaffna attack in the context of a berserk military continuing its genocide.

Brigadier Ravi Ratnasingam

Ravi Ratnasingam has received headlines after his visit to North America during Christmas. Reports suddenly allege that he played a part in the massacre of 70,000 as the commander of Vavuniya from 2001.

From Royal College, he is one of few Tamils in the army and had a good reputation – especially in rehabilitation work in the Vanni after the war. His wife is an old girl of CMS Chundikuli and from Somasundaram Avenue. They are both extremely well-liked.

But to a private party thrown to him in New York, Major General Shavendra de Silva who is accused of war crimes flew all the way from Geneva. This association does no good for a Tamil who has helped many people get released from detention.

A pattern is emerging where the army is trying to find scapegoats for its criminal activity. Is the Tamil Ratnasingam being set up to take the fall for de Silva? We see the same thing in Jaffa where Hathurusinghe has suddenly said that about  “1,000 ex-LTTE cadres have evaded rehabilitation and are currently engaged in criminal activities in the North.” This runs counter to his statement 2 years ago that the EPDP is responsible for criminal activities in Jaffna at a time when it was said that with so many checkpoints no robber can move about without army connivance, and he was trying to extricate the army.

Canada

In Canada for Christmas as Sri Lanka goes downhill, I must confess to second thoughts about having returned home. A few of us who had been happy in Sri Lanka returned. Today many of us have gone abroad again; at least our children have. I am pained for our failed dreams of home.

That pain and regret were underscored when the Rector of St. Paul’s l’Amoreaux in Scarborough, the Rev. Canon Dean Mercer, before pronouncing the benediction at the Tamil New Year Service conducted by Jaffna’s Rev. Isaac Selvaratnam and Batticaloa’s Mr. Vivekanandan, said this:

“The Canadian tradition at New Year was to make merry. After Tamils and West Indians came, I am glad it is now to be present in the House of God as the New Year dawns.”

Our talents and culture, so rudely rejected in Sri Lanka, are welcomed and used with appreciation, making me ask “Where is home?”

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Latest comments

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    Ratnajeevan H. Hoole asks:

    Should Tamils Be Loyal Sri Lankans?

    No, they should be loyal to mother India.

    So should the Sinhalese.

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      Native Veddah,

      You have the right to say so because you are a descendant of Jeewahaththa and Disala, the children of Kuweni.

      King Vijaya brought only 700 followers. King Gajabahu went to Chola in India with 12,000 soldiers on foot with Giant Neela paving the way by hitting the water with his iron pole and brought back the locals imprisoned in Chola and 12000 Cholas to SL.

      I do not know where those Cholas were settled. But the question remains: Were 700 followers of Vijaya were more fertile than the 12,000 Cholas?

      One more reasonable conclusion: Giant Neela was able to pave way for the King to walk to India because water was shallow and therefore it is evident that rising of level of the sea is not due to global warming.

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        It takes my breath away when I hear people whose ancestors came all the way from distant North India in a boat calling the Tamils as invaders/kallathonis. If Tamils were invaders/kallathonis, I suppose Sinhalese (Vijaya’s descendants) must be tourists.

        Just imagine if king Ellalan had chased out his son and his cronies because they were molesting women etc, and they drifted and landed in Sinhapura, North India and then started calling the North Indians as invaders.

        It is like the white Australians calling the aborigines as invaders or the white people in Africa calling the Africans as invaders.

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          Kumar Joseph

          ” I suppose Sinhalese (Vijaya’s descendants) must be tourists.”

          Perhaps they were on Ramayana trail organised by other Kallathonies Tourist Board.

          As far as my people are concerned stupid Tamils and stupid Sinhalese are Kallthonies. Their race would not prevent them being deported back to their ancestral homeland, Tamilnadu or Sinhapura.

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    Mano Ganesan brings to the notice of Tamils and others in the South
    this weird action by some army men in Mullaitivu and elsewhere in the
    North, the misplaced patriotism of some army men to force Sinhala down the throats of Tamil students. The army men themselves are reported to be 6th graders needing learning of their own. Besides, teaching in schools go by a carefully prepared sylabbi of daily studies. This condescending action is nothing short of cultural genocide and must be stopped forthwith. One wonders if the President or the Defence Secretary are aware of this disturbing event.

    Senguttuvan

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      They want to make more dumps like sinhala. Hope every sinhala modayas must be thankful to Mad Praba. They will never use so called brain and hope never where it is….
      Native veda over to you…

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        r.kovian

        “They want to make more dumps like sinhala”

        As if your Tamils are clever, intelligent and useful members of the society.

        Both people are equally stupid, self destructive and greedy, they live a wasteful existence.

        Both compete for superiority of their stupidity.

        What more can I add to what has already been established over 2,500 years.

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      Then Vanni schools are acutely short of science, English and Sinhala teachers. The war has left behind a generation of Tamil children with a mismatch between what they should know at their age and what they really know. Should they continue on this path and become a condemned generation too? Should they also end up largely as the dredges of society? Let them be taught by anyone at least reasonably qualified and trained, available now, even if we wrongly/ rightly fear that they would be Sinhalized. Which is to be feared more, being Sinhalized or being ignorant?

      Many Tamils of my parental generation were anglicised to the extent that they could speak only very poor quality Tamil with their domestics. However, they were in the forefront in the fight for Tamil rights. Many who are commenting here on behalf of the Tamils also have very little knowledge of Tamil ( Muth Thamil – Tri Tamil). Being a Tamil is a way of life and knowing the prose/poetry ( Iyal), music ( Isai) and the drama ( Nadaham) that go to make the language. Many Tamil children in Sri Lanka are not trained in Isai and Nadaham. They are also not properly educated in Iyal. This being the ground reality, why are we crying foul? Of course our politicians are masters of Nadaham!

      Some politicians in this country make mountains out of mole hills and mole hills out of mountains to remain in the political limelight. They are mostly an ignorant, self seeking lot. What they say, if believed and then accepted as Bible truth, will never bring to an end the curse that has befallen the Tamils particularly and the country generally.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    Deeply touching statement:

    ….Our talents and culture, so rudely rejected in Sri Lanka, are welcomed and used with appreciation, making me ask “Where is home?”….

    This is the same question I’ve been asking myself as my adopted country give me freedom, respect, responsibility, equality and all my rights as a human being. Even if I write up any guideline I have to declare whether this conforms to the Ethnic Equality Law!!

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    Is this the same Professor who is pleading for Dual Passports for his Canadian Diaspora mates who have made it?.

    General Chandrasiri who is the most underrated but the best Commander, who kept the LTTE main Brigades at Bay for two years in the Peninnsula, until his equally best Commanders Cleaned up the rest.

    And this Professor wants his audience ,including those whom he is lobbying for Dual Passports to believe that Gen Chandrasiri’s Personal Sec was stalking Kerosine Mahesha’s Bro with a can of acid in his sack.

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      K.A Sumanasekera

      “best Commanders Cleaned up the rest”

      I know what you mean.

      “Personal Sec was stalking Kerosine Mahesha’s Bro with a can of acid in his sack.”

      Does the Personal Sec prefer men to women? If he does, why does he carry a can of acid in his sack? Homosexuality is a choice and should not amount to sexual harassment.

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        N Vedda suold direct this query to his colleague, reader Sengutuan,or the Professor.

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      They have to be now interviewed by Gotabaya Rajapakse! They will now forget about dual citizenship and those who have applied will withdraw their applications!

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        I have to in a more serious vein say that the decision on the issue dual citizenship is wrong. Every person with an umbilical relationship to Sri Lanka should be afforded the right to Sri Lankan citizenship. Every applicant cannot be treated a criminal , pro-tiger or separatist. The embassies, high commissions and the foreign ministry should handle this issue. Of course reports can be solicited from the MOD- the police and the armed forces- to filter the hardcore undesirable. such individuals should have right of appeal reaching upto the Supreme Court.

        The recent decision is as foolish as the decision to stop the national anthem being sung in Tamil.

        Shortsighted and unwise decisions are blunting the reach of the reconciliation efforts. Optimism and hope should displace the paranoia being gradually entrenched. Eternal and non-intrusive vigilance, while necessary, should not be permitted to become a counterproductive paranoia.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    Reader Sengutuan is at it again ,using hs disparaging remarks on the Srilankan Army.

    The UN ,which has some high profile bosses who are openly pro LTTE ,can’t get enough of our Soldiers to keep peace for them.

    The Diaspora main villain, the main Leader of these 6th graders is now a highly sought after Military consultant to the UN to manage their trouble spots.

    Why doese reader Sengutuan have to depend on Mr Mano Ganeshan .the leader of the Estate Tamils, to tell him how bad the things are in the North, when the high class and high caste leaders of the TNA have a caveat on their subjets?.

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      K.A Sumanasekera

      “can’t get enough of our Soldiers to keep peace for them.”

      The reason UN deploys Sri Lankan soldiers and generals in their employ is to stop them from continuing their war crime and crime against humanity in this island.

      However “old habits die hard” wherever they were employed the Sri Lankan armed forces continued their business as usual, molesting under age children.

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    We all need to be patriotic to our country and nation. There are no two words about it. That is the very reason that we must see that this country is not hijacked by a self seeking group of individulas. We have to differentiate between the nation and the leaders who may come and go. Patriotism does not mean blindly following the whims of dictators and scoundrels.

    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    ― Mark Twain

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    Hoole Pouring out his hatred against Sinhala people, in abundance.

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    This is the Truth and Reconciliation effort from Tamils.

    • 0
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      Jim Softy, you really need to start reading articles before you make comments. You might actually find some enlightenment!

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    Prof. Hoole ,

    There are many things wrong with Sri Lanka. It is in some ways like a shark infested ocean. Our post–independence political evolution has provided ideal breeding grounds for these sharks. These sharks have not only devoured values and principles in this country but lives too- of Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. No one has been spared, although we can have endless speculation about numbers. Notwithstanding this , Sri Lanka has also through its free education system, free health care system and social welfare program’s provided a quality of life, those in our neighbourhood do not yet have. Thus, many things are also right with Sri Lanka.

    What is taking place in Sri Lanka is a process of catharsis to rid itself of the sharks ,their legacy and their current manifestations. In females, the uterus renews itself every month for a possible pregnancy by shedding its endometrium and this manifests as menstruation, which many females consider a curse. However, it is a blessing that makes birth and pregnancy possible. What is taking place now in Sri Lanka will be a blessing to many, though a curse to some. However, what is true is that the process has just begun and there are more struggles to come before the right asserts itself over the wrong. This is an eternal struggle in human life. The anti- Tamil riots, JVP insurrections and the Tamil militancy were also manifestations of this struggle. We are at the cross roads as a nation and have together take the right turn now.

    What is happening now is a struggle between what is right and what is wrong. The lines of battle are clearly drawn now, as never before. The Tamil issue is not on the centre stage now, although what emerges out of this struggle will have implications for all people in Sri Lanka, including the Tamils. The sane voice of the Sinhalese is being heard, over the din of the rabble. This is good sign and portends well for Sri Lanka.

    It is thus wise for the Tamils also to join battle on what is right for this country, setting aside their parochial and sectarian concerns and complaints. Every Tamil here cannot find refuge in the west. The LTTE has also provided us an unforgettable lesson on what life could be under a dispensation such as theirs. The dominant Tamil political voices heard even today are as intolerant of diverse political opinions as were the FP, TULF , LTTE , other militant groups and the TNA. Anyone voicing a different opinion is yet named a traitor among Tamils. The traitor can be someone voicing an opinion in favour of another Tamil- person or party, or in favour of a Sinhalese- person or party. We Tamils are probably as or more undemocratic in our attitudes than others in Sri Lanka.

    There is no alternative for the Tamils who choose to or are forced by circumstances to live in Sri Lanka, but to join the national mainstream and make Sri Lanka’ s concerns theirs. I am glad the dominant elements in the TNA are beginning to move in this direction. The Tamils have to pursue their diverse concerns as a community composed of many subgroups, within the overarching Sri Lankan identity . Tamil loyalty to Sri Lanka should be unquestionable, while we battle everything wrong in Sri Lanka vigorously and democratically.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      Thanks for your very sensible comments.This is the way forward.

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    Senguttuvan

    I thought from your writings you are an intellectual, but ashamed to read your statement that teaching of Sinhala to Tamil students is nothing short of cultural genocide. What is wrong in Tamil students learning Sinhala language (it does not matter who does the teaching)? If they learn Sinhala they will be able to interact with all Sinhalese including Sinhalese soldiers based in the North East and be able to make the Sinhalese understand that Tamils too are citizens of Sri Lanka with equal rights. Do you know that only the Tamils who cannot speak Sinhala language are mostly fearful of the Sinhalese people?

    When I was working in Colombo I was able to speak fluent Sinhala and stood shoulder to shoulder with my Sinhalese comrades in trade union matters. I was able to interact with my Sinhalese colleagues and stand up for the common cause of the workers. Most Tamils fear the Sinhalese because they cannot interact with them. By the way, I would like to tell you that all students in Batticaloa are now learning Sinhala language at schools. That is a good sign for the unity of Sri Lanka. In any case what is wrong in learning another language. If you people can learn English why not learn the national language of Sri Lanka? You should praise those Sinhalese soldiers who have vounteered to teach their language to Tamil students. Even if they have are sixth graders, as you allege, they should be able to teach colloquial Sinhala. I am sorry to see that you are joining hands with LTTE bastards like TNA MP Srithiran in criticizing the Sri Lankan Army for what ever they do.

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      Naga

      “What is wrong in Tamil students learning Sinhala language (it does not matter who does the teaching)?”

      Nothing wrong in Tamil students learning Sinhala language.

      “it does not matter who does the teaching”

      Only if it is reciprocated by Sinhalese. Let the Sinhalese learn Tamil from uniformed LTTE former killers with all their symbols attached to their uniforms and threat of violence hanging in the air.

      LTTE flag is an essential paraphernalia.

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        More Sinhala students are learning Tamil at school and in tuition classes than Tamil students are leaning Sinhala. Most Sinhala parents are pleased with this.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

          “More Sinhala students are learning Tamil at school and in tuition classes than Tamil students are leaning Sinhala”

          Are they being taught by LTTE’s armed forces?

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            Native Vedda,

            If the LTTE had abided by the last ceasefire agreement and used it to sort out problems wisely, it’s cadres could have possibly taught Tamil to more Sinhalese, through reciprocal arrangements!

            Dr.R.N

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      I have a sinhala friend, a girl recently graduated as a doctor and working at Kalubovila hospital who started learning Tamil just to serve the Tamil and other tamil speaking patients as a doctor.

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        sach says:

        “who started learning Tamil just to serve the Tamil and other tamil speaking patients as a doctor”.

        It is very noble of her.

        While she is striving to be noble in this forum a stupid Sri Lanky Jim Softy says ” Even the Tamils moved to Norway or Europe, that happened after 1983, talk and work in their majority languages.” enticed by the pervading mantra “majority”.

        Humanity and majority don’t mix.

        The doctors primary motive is to serve the public. Out of goodness of her heart she must have thought about it and found learning Tamil is the best way to do her job satisfactorily or competently. Given the work culture/ethics in Sri Lanka she didn’t even have to treat patients, the monthly salary is guaranteed until she retires.

        The stupid majoritarian Jim Softy implies since minority Tamils are living in a country where Tamils should be automatically forced to learn the language of the majority. Why?

        After 57 years of carnage some Sinhalese are beginning to understand the link between multilingualism and benefits accruing to the people. A policy of multilingualism would have prevented all these destruction and growing mistrust among the different races.

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    Prof Hoole — if you were VC of Jaffna Uni now, what would you have done to get these students released? Do you believe you could have been more effective in that environment?? If so how?

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    It must be extremely difficult for any group to be loyal to a State that appears to be systematically targeting them in a variety of ways as described by Professor Hoole. The natural response would be fear and hate, so how could they possibly be ‘loyal’?

    Winning hearts and minds doesn’t seem to be on the GOSL’s agenda at all, in fact it appears that the opposite is what’s happening. What a tragedy!

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    You touch a raw nerve. Despite the disadvantages of being a Muslim in Sri Lanka, I have strived to belong despite knowing that I am not wanted by fellow countrymen. I have also realized that working hard and being better than others doesn’t count, if you are not one of them. I have had to strive from building a home, to finding suitable schools for my children, to moving ahead in my career, due to this implicit racism.
    How does this implicit racism impact one’s life? First safety of my family mattered most compelling me to buy a piece of land I could ill afford. Second my children were forced to go to an “international school” as Sinhala schools were barred. Again way beyond what I could afford. Should I elaborate on lost job opportunities because of my race?
    When I reflect on a collectively squandered future, particularly those of us who started our working lives when the 83 riots happened, I have nothing but a huge debt that I hope my children will pay off.
    I am appalled at the silence of the majority taking in their stride institutionalized racism in our country. I wonder at times if there is tacit support. Contrast this with the international community’s outpouring of solidarity with Kevin-Prince Boateng’s stand against racial taunts.
    I have remained faithful to my country, but I don’t share the sense of optimism anymore. With a heavy heart I am actively encouraging my children to flee their motherland. I am a changed man. In the years ahead I am sure I would follow suit.
    Does it mean I am not a loyal Sri Lankan? I leave it to the readers to judge

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      I sympathise with the hardship you had to endure. However, if Muslims were the majority, would the Sinhalese be treated better than how they treat you now?

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        stupid questions!!

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          Hmm.. are they?

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        Hypothetical, assumes that Muslims would behave badly if they are in the majority. Are you justifying what is happening on the presumption?

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          No, I am assuming Sri Lanka will become like any other muslim country, with executions etc

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      “I am appalled at the silence of the majority taking in their stride institutionalized racism in our country. I wonder at times if there is tacit support.”

      The sinhalese are not racist as individuals but they lack the spirit, determination and stength to make a change and stand for what is right. I know that is not something to be proud of. We have wrong leaders from religous establishment to politics.
      Sinhalese have been the second most persecuted race in Lanka after tamils. They have seen their children dragged out of thier homes only to be discovered as burnt carcasses in the roads the next morning. This was the 88-89 period. Monks getting assaulted by Mervin in Parliament, day light robbery by way of nationalising private enterprises because the owners are not in gud terms with the gov. There are people whose property has been robbed by the politicians in the mask of development. Yet we didnt stand up for us.

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        I read a an interesting comment recently following the multiple rape incident in New Delhi and the vociferous expression of public opinion on the streets there. The person said that if had happened in Sri Lanka most Sinhalese would have felt genuinely sorry, but stopped with saying ” Aney Pow ( Oh! It is a sin).

        The Sinhalese are a sensitive people with a heart and well defined values. Unfortunately, they are largely a very passive people. This passivity in the face of outrageous political behaviour has contributed to the failure of democracy to take firm root.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        I agree with you. The reason why we must be above board and think of Sri Lanka as a secular inclusive country. Then we won’t have these problems, the rule of law will apply to all citizens equally

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      I remember some where reading that Muslim businessman in Colombo went to MEcca for his religious pilgrimage. But his Sinhala worker asked for his govt approved holiday, he blamed the govt and did not give the vacation.

      NABI: How do you interpret that ?

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        Simple. The shop and office act mandates leave. If some one breaks the rules, they must be punished. he can go to labour and find redress.

        Not giving leave can’t be categorized as racism. A Sinhalese employer could do the same to another Sinhalese. please understand the difference.

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    The problem is that the minorities are more racist than the majority

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    Naga not only reads me wrong but also jumps the gun. I have called for and encourage Sinhalese and Tamils learning each others language voluntarily – many times earlier. I read and write (less now) Sinhala from the age of 10. Many Sinhala friends tell me I speak Sinhala like a Sinhalese. I am happy about this. VVIPs of this administration, who speak English well, tell mutual friends they prefer to converse with me in Sinhala. What I agree with Mano Ganesan and others is no language should be pushed down a throat of another and that too in an environment where the notion of the ruled and subject people is in the minds of many ignorants.

    Sumane might note the reference to 6th grade army men came from MP Sumanthiran’s media statements. While I welcome forces men, with recognised qualifications, voluntarily teaching Tamils of the North Sinhala and/or English outside school hours, I will have reservations of the blind leading the blind. Much of the tension is because of the wide space between the civilians and the forces in the North. This can be reduced by closer interaction in sports, education and cultural
    contacts. It is with pleasure I recall my personal friendship with many senior officers of the army down the years – one of whom arranged for the visit of my wife and I – when we hosted the visit of political figure from India – during those difficult days during 1989 to visit to Kadirgamam. I value my friendship to the day with a former Army ranker – a Sri Lankan and Havelocks National Ruggerite – whom I helped in many ways in his sports career. During the air-drop days of 1987
    and times of tension he made it a point to visit my home in army vehicles making sure we were safe. On one occasion he even brought 3 loaves of bread when the JVP forced many bakeries to close and when bread was short in Colombo. What I am opposed to is excesses by the forces – and there, I don’t have to emphasise, there is room for much comment. So Sumane, you have to invent better material than you have so far done to accomplish a “maatuwa” between me and the Sinhala people.

    Senguttuvan

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      In North america like countries people learn English on purpose because otherwise, it is difficult to find employment.

      In Sri Lanka Mano Ganeshan like politicians who thrive on Tamil Tribalism, TNA politicians who make their employment is living the Tamil Tribalism talk differently.

      In Sri Lanka, Tamils do not want to learn the majority language. They want to tamils in majority Sri Lanka.

      Even the Tamils moved to Norway or Europe, that happened after 1983, talk and work in their majority languages.

      That clearly shows Sri Lankan Tamils are racist in Sri Lanka and they are theire only to bully Sinhala people.

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        oi sinhala hybrid mongrel, what are you on about. can you give one reason why should anyone learn sinhala dialect let alone tamils. sinhala dialect is a primitive and inferior dialect. can you name a poetry or sinhala poet. even swahili is much better than sinhala dialect. sinhala and buddhism are lowly dialect and religion respectively. their end is not far off.

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        Jin Softy,

        Tamils were learning Sinhalese before the 1956 Sinhala only act, voluntarily. It was the attempt to force it down their throats that stopped them learning Sinhala. The Diasporan Tamils learn the languages of the countries they reside in because, they have to for education and employment, and because they yet feel they are not in their own country. The Sinhala Dispora do so too. However, Sri Lanka is different. It is their country and the country of their ancestors. They are not guests, who have been given citizenship in Sri Lanka. They are citizens by right, birth and ancestors. they are entitled to make their chices and the country should provide the choices. This is their right.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

          How long are we going to teach these morons who are proud of being stupid as well as in denial the alphabets and the numerals?

          Let them invent fire, wheel and then discover earth is not flat after all.

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    Prof Hool

    You ran away from Sri Lanka putting the whole blame on the LTTE.

    Now what is lacking for your Executive President appointing you as the V.C. for the University of Jaffna?

    UTHR, Douglas Devananda, Karuna, Pillayan and many others are very late to understand the verocity of Racism in Sri Lanka.

    What you want is social life, name and fame for your and your family and everyone should patronise you as the most elite among the Tamils.

    Today what is happening to you is out of the sin what you all have done for the successful freedom fight.

    It doesnt mean that LTTE was wonderful.

    But they knell down to the Sinhala racism and said you our masters are good.

    Now you all deserve to suffer.
    We love you all suffer in the hands of Sinhala racism.

    Today you and others were brought to the level to consider the Tamils as MINORITY.

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    Reader Nabil notes “Despite the disadvantages of being a Muslim in Sri Lanka, I have strived to belong despite knowing that I am not wanted by fellow countrymen” This is a movie the Lankan Tamil has seen before
    from the mid-1950s but during that period we were alone. Malignancy such as this has a tendency to spread. But in the Tamil case they have historical and unambiguous title recognition of which can be delayed, as it is the case, but it can never be denied permanently.

    Senguttuvan

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      We survived the brutal and in humane efforts of the Portuguese to covert all Hindus to Catholicism . We survived as Tamils and Hindus at the end of the centuries long Colonial interlude despite the immense pressures. We will survive and revive as Tamils, Hindus, Christians and Muslims the unworthy/unethical /uncivilised/ barbaric developments in our 65 year interlude as an independent nation. Even the Sinhalese will survive the ravages to their reputation as a cultured and pious people, wrought by the post-independence interlude. Let us not despair for the minorities in Sri Lanka, although we may be feeling the pains now. Let us hope and work towards a better life for all citizens of Sri Lanka.

      Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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    prof hoole, why should the tamil people be loyal to sri lanka. tamil people don’t have to be loyal to sri lanka any more. if you ask me , i HATE sinhala people, sri lanka , mongolian buddha and buddhism.

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    Reader Sengutuan’s take on post Praba Lanka is diametrically opposite to that of Dr Narendran.

    Rajapaksa clan pockets everything.

    MPS,are village Jonnys. drug dealers and gangstas.

    Public Servants are on the take.

    Srilankan Army is only 6th graders .

    Sinhala Buddhist are not up to speed in anything.

    All public servants even senior public servants are not good in Queen’s dialect and want to speak to Mr Sengutuan in Sinhala.

    And Sinhala Buddhist Monks are nothing but trouble, and they use foul language and piss in public.

    And his take on reconciliation is a 2 in 1, but never mentions Tamils in the East, West ,South or Wellawatta.

    Dr Narendran on the other hand is a cool customer who has a great understanding of the plight of the Tamil people, the North Eastern Tamil in particular.and has a vision where his people can be after the devastation inflicted on them.

    This depth of him is a combination of his education, hands on approach with his people and his own personal experience.

    He often offers pragmatic, sensible,and visionary ideas to lift the lot of Tamil population, especially the Tamils in the North.

    A good example of the practicality of his ideas is his recent suggestion to the Diapora well off, to cooperate with the Govt to help the Northern Tamils to get their lives back faster.

    How do the most in the audience here react?.All praise for reader Sengutuan, and insults and brick bats to Dr Narendran.

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    Tamil children in the north are by force being taught sinhalese IN PLACE of ENGLISH which was being taught as the LINK language.
    They must learn english along with tamil,as english is the portal to knowledge.
    The government is purposely sabotaging the learning of ENGLISH by tamil children,by forcing them to learn sinhalse from soldiers who were mostly recruited with 7th & 8th Std passes in sinhala medium.

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    I am bit disappointed with your conclusion. Why do you have to differenciate Jaffna’s Rev. Isac Selvaratnam and Batticaloa’s MR. Vivakanadan? It clearly shows it is very difficult to get rid of the Jaffna mentality. Beside, Mr. V is an ordained Pastor(Methodist) I am sure this is not due to your oversight, Something fishy?

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    In the first place, the question itself is misleading and wrong because it actually means to ask if Tamils are traitors or no?
    The war is over and the government of the day should STOP what it is doing to the Tamils in the north in the name of developing the north by using the army in all its activities involving the Tamils.
    Its time to treat the Tamils with respect and humanity because not all the Tamils supported the LTTE and they too suffered in the 30 year war which ravaged the countrys’ economy and peace.Teaching Sinhala in Tamil schools and teaching Tamil in Sinhala schools should be encouraged because it will built to better understanding among the future generation of young Sri Lankans BUT certainly not in army uniforms unless the government is trying to intimidate the Tamils at an early stage.As for the Tamils,they should learn to forget the past and try their best to live peacefully in a country which is actually economically booming.As for Sinhala people, they should also(try) forget the past and forgive those Tamils who were part of the civil war and strife for a better Sri Lanka.It is obvious that both the Tamil and Sinhala people have a lot to do in order to bring back the lost trust between them because of the long war AND IT IS NOT EASY AND MAY TAKE TIME BUT MEMORIES ARE MEANT TO FADE AND SCARS ARE ALSO MEANT TO HEAL THOUGH.
    NB:As a Tamilian myself,from day one I was of the opinion that no community in any country should demand/ask/fight for the division of that nation in the name of freedom.In other words the LTTE and the other outfits should have settled/agreed for a limited autonomy or the offer of Northeast Governorship by the JJ governemnt to Prabhakaran in the mid 1980’s.
    Lastly I pray that this nation called Sri Lanka will never see the war that ravaged the country for 30 years or any war for that matter.Peace to the poeple of Lanka. MALAYSIA

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