14 November, 2019

Blog

Skeletons In The Closet

By M A Sumanthiran

M.A. Sumanthiran MP

The discovery of skeletal remains of what is reported to be more than a hundred people has dominated the press for some time. It is now clear that the mass graves were of victims of summary executions during the second JVP insurrection. It is also clear that the appointment of a Presidential Commission of Inquiry to probe these crimes – which are demonstrable crimes against humanity – is to protect those responsible for these crimes to begin with.

Presidential Commissions of Inquiry have often been cynically utilized to satisfy public and international demands for action, whilst sabotaging the prospect of justice. The President who has complete control over a Commission’s mandate, composition, funding, tenure and staff effectively dominates Presidential Commissions. The President may choose not to release Commission reports to the public at all. The long list of Presidential Commissions that have yielded no tangible results are matched by an equally long list of Commission reports that have never been made public. The Udalagama Commission into seventeen serious human rights abuses was discontinued in June 2009, while the Commission’s report has never been made public. The Mahanama Tillekeratne Commission’s report on enforced disappearances has also disappeared. Even where the President releases a report, he is not bound to take any action on the Commission’s recommendations. One may justifiably ask, what then is the purpose of a Commission? In the seminal Indian Supreme Court judgment of Sanjiv Kumar vs. Haryana, the Court expressed its view on Commissions of Inquiry. It said:

“The flaw with the commissions of Inquiry, as revealed by experience, is that they do not have enough teeth and for their functioning they have to depend on the State’s assistance. Commissions of Inquiry remain pending for unreasonable length of time. The reports submitted do not bind the State and in spite of transparency and public hearings which the commissions often hold, at times with fanfare, the reports hardly serve any purpose….We feel, Commissions of India are more suited for Inquiring into such matters of public importance where the purpose is to find out truth so as to learn lessons for future and devise policies or frame legislation to avoid recurrence of lapses. Such Commissions do not suitably serve the object of punishing the guilty.”[emphasis added]

What then are the lessons from Matale? The first is that the culture of impunity in Sri Lanka needs to broken, and unless it is broken, the atrocities of the past will recur. These atrocities will not and cannot victimize one ethnic group and not the other. Matale and Mullivaikkal are inextricable linked, just as Black July and Pepiliyana are linked. They are all characterized by the unwillingness and inability of the state’s institutions to protect its own citizens. That simple reality – that the state cannot protect its own – is a staggering attack on the mindless invocation of ‘sovereignty’ by the government as a substitute for argument, when it faces criticism of its human rights record.  The breakdown of the rule of law may victimize Tamils disproportionately, but other communities cannot escape its effects. I have often said that if we are one, then we will also suffer as one. To break this culture of impunity, we must ensure truth, justice and reparation for victims. That is why the Tamil people’s movement for truth and justice in the aftermath of 2009 will benefit people of all communities, and must be supported by those who envision a different future for this country. That is also why we must all unhesitatingly call for truth and justice for the victims for Matale.

Secondly, Matale reminds us why we simply cannot tell victims of atrocities to forget the past and move on. To expect mothers and wives to forget their sons and husbands who never came home is to perpetuate the cruel apathy that enabled those atrocities in the first place. To deal genuinely with the past, victims and their relatives must be given a space to discover closure. That space is both private and public. It is private because grief that stems from loss, is an intense personal struggle, ranging from shock and denial to anger and acceptance. But it is also public because victims of state and institutionalized violence can never achieve closure until the institutions responsible for their loss are transformed and called to account. The oppressive militarization of the North and East – where relatives are denied the right to mourn their dead at kovils and churches – will not bring closure. It will merely delay the date of reckoning. That is why it is important the institutions of state – particularly the police and the military – be reformed.

Thirdly, Matale teaches us that atrocity crimes will never remain hidden. We have all witnessed the shocking videos and pictures that have emerged from the last stages of the war. Those images were not captured with the intention of public dissemination, but millions have now seen them. In the era of worldwide connectivity and new media, the rules of the game have changed. Today, we are witnessing international and domestic trials for atrocity crimes on a scale that was unimaginable two decades ago. From the military dictators of Latin America to Charles Taylor of Liberia and Khieu Samphan of Cambodia; and from Milosevic to the Chadian dictator Hissene Habre and former President Laurent Gbagbo of Cote d’Ivoire, formerly invincible leaders of countries have been forced to stand trial for their crimes. Going forward, if Sri Lanka is to avert the present danger of international isolation, it must not be seen to provide safe-harbour for wanted criminals.

Thus, there are many reasons – institutional, moral, economic and geostrategic – for Sri Lanka to begin pursuing accountability for atrocity crimes committed in the past. Most importantly, however, in dealing with the past, we will discover who we really are. For those of us who believe that a common Sri Lankan identity which recognizes the unique national identities of the island’s people groups is a good idea, constructing that identity in a meaningful way should also mean that we understand ourselves. Understanding the evil and brutality that have punctuated our disputes over political power is a good place to start.

*The author, M A Sumanthiran(B.Sc, LL.M) is a senior practicing lawyer, Constitutional and Public Law expert and a Member of Parliament through the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Bravo! excellent article connecting the dots between Mullivaikkal and Matale. The criminal “official” in charge is the white van goon!

    The same military officials were responsible for grave excesses – that are not equatable with “collateral damage” against both the LTTE and the JVP.
    These crimes cannot be brushed under the carpet. Time for JVP to join hands with the oppressed minorities and give up its racist game.

    • 0
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      LTTE & JVP had more skeletons than any. Deaths from 378 Suicide bombings of LTTE on this soil, perhaps last being at banks of Nandikadal Lagoon when “Human Shield” of LTTE “heros” were received back to safety by SL Forces,were witnessed by this country & nobody, human rights campaigners cried foul then.
      crimes committed by blood sucking VP & his mad murderous gang should be better known to TNA which did “Political Wing” job of LTTE (willingly or not).
      Further, TNA the legitimate successor to TUF/FP/TULF which misled Tamil youths on separatist agenda from 1920’s should take responsibility for those skeletons & destruction of 02 generations of Ceylon Tamils & sending over a million Tamils overseas as refugees.
      At least now, it’s time TNA acted responsibly & try to live with all other Sri Lankans as patriotic sons of soil, without further destroying Ceylon Tamils by misguiding youth.
      Mr. Sumandiran, I think it’s your historical duty by Ceylon Tamils.

      • 0
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        April ,

        I hope this is not an April fool joke.
        LTTE & JVP had more skeletons than any. Deaths from 378 Suicide bombings of LTTE on this soil, perhaps last being at banks of Nandikadal Lagoon when “Human Shield” of LTTE “heros” were Nandikadal Lagoon when “Human Shield” of LTTE “heros” were received back to safety by SL Forces,were witnessed by this country & nobody, human rights campaigners cried foul then.

        What you are bloody saying is that it was witnessed by your armed forces who were the JUDGE AND JURY.

        Get this into your thick head and that is this.

        If you consider LTTE & JVP as terrorist groups and your leaders as Elected represenatives then one expects as a much higher standard from elected representative and your Leaders have miserably failed in that respect.

    • 0
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      Dinuk,
      It would be more excellent if MAS says root cause of terror JVP 89-90/LTTE. JVP (DJV) fought against Indian Army, who / which made IPKF presence ? & LTTE result of whose misguiding. I think TNA (TULF’s successor) which played the role of Political wing of LTTE knows this better,they misled Tamil youth showing a separate state from 1920 on-wards & finally Youth took lives of their own god fathers, TULF leaders, rest is history. More skeletons could be found if one sees over 50,000 innocent people killed by LTTE, Sinhala/Tamil/Muslim/ MR. Sumandiran should be ashamed of his parties history.

  • 0
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    Well said Mr. Sumanthiran.
    Matale and Mullivaikkal has one important link.
    That name is Gotabaya Rajapakse.
    He was a war criminal 25 years ago although JVP cannot be considered a real combatant in war. They were nothing but Singhala Buddhist Terrorist.

    That does not mean the Army or GOSL can butcher those Sinhala youth most of whom were innocent civilians who had no connection or links with the JVP… Even the way Rohana Wijeweera was murdered and the body disposed are crimes against humanity….

    Even if the President’s commissions are useless the international community should be informed of what type of impunity that goes on in Sri Lanka for decades. Over 40 decades from the 1971 Sinhala JVP insurgency where Buddhist monks also was involved.

    As for July 1983 and Pepiliyana attacks by Gota’s goons BBS is no comparison. I disagree with MP Sumanthiran. In July 1983 3,300 civilians were murdered and several others by the thousands were injured. The total destruction of properties and looting were in the billions. Refugees were by the hundreds of thousands.

    In this case only 2 shops were attacked and the Rajapakses have promised huge compensation via the insurance companies and forcing them to settle amicably with the State terrorist… The 2 Muslim shop owners will profit by these attacks and no loss will be incurred. But the Muslim Psych has been destroyed as now the Muslims really fear the State Terrorist and wonder they too would be chased out like the Tamils after 1983 July…

    The State Terrorist and their rump, the journalist who support the state terrorist like Malinda Seniviratne and all those who protect such journalist should be exposed….

  • 0
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    Matale Mass Grave of 1988/1990 will be closed by this regime. The appointment of a so-called Commission to probe the Matale killings is nothing but a red herring drawn accross the eyes of the gullible public to save the wrong-doers. However, “Dhitta Dhamma Vedeniya Karma” (or retribution)will pursue the wrong-doers and inflict punishment on them. That cannot be prevented by any majesty or ruler. It is only a matter of time and that time is not very far. No God or any mantra or talisman can prevent punishment being inflicted on those wrong-doers by nature. It is said “Karma first and God second.

    • 0
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      Wish it becomes true.

      But in this wretched world of geopolitics ??

    • 0
      0

      Karma and God have been amended by Parliament.

  • 0
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    We appreciate this Hon MP’s sympathy and sorrow for the poor young Sinhala youth,who lost their valuble lives due to the dastardly tricks, the JVP leaders played on these naive innocents,

    We also note that some of the same Leadership are still around and trying to con the poor Sinhalese in the village and give the separatists movements a helping hand.just to sabotage the progress these poor inhabitants are making in the new peaceful environment.

    We would appreciate this Hon MP’s statements even more if it had a preamble expressing his and his party’s especially his Leaders sorrow for the Buddhist Monks in Arantalawa, Pilgrims in Mahabodi,Temple of the Tooth and many thousands of others who were killed and maimed over thirty years.

    • 0
      0

      ALL lives are precious.

      But
      ”many thousands of others who were killed and maimed over thirty years” should be
      ”many thousands of others who were killed and maimed over sixty years”

      Pl don’t forget 1956, 1958, ….

      Unless state terrorism stops, reactive terrorism from the South/North/East/West will be there.

    • 0
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      The most effective ”preamble” would be a country with a good constitution and rulers who abide by that so that millions or billions of people can function systemically and sytematically with minimum chaos.

      • 0
        0

        Sri Lanka will never see progress as long as Sinhala Buddhist Racists are in power.

        Religion, Race and politics should be seperated and the rightful personnel should be appointed to administer the country.

        What MR seeking is 75% uneducated majority Sinhal Buddhist vote to stay in power while the country goes down precipee.

        Take the country back from uneducated Political Alibaba crooks and give it Honest and qualified professionals to govern it.

    • 0
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      The leaders who procured the weapons, the leaders who ordered mainly managed the attrocities and the leaders who went and did these are in the Government payrolls. Just catch them and punish them.

      • 0
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        Sri Lanka’s illicit Kasippu business is 10,000 Billion Rupee Business, now monopolised by Rajapakse family Mafia business cartel. All the other small timers are Raided, fined and jailed except the Raja family goonsand parliament members to monopolise kasippu and liquor business.

        After artificially increasing regular liquor prices, Rakapakses have forced general public to seek drinking Kasippu at a lower price and the family to get away from paying Taxes to the state, thereby making a 700% Profit on ecch bottle sold.

        The quality of Regular Pol and Gal Arrack have drastically lowered, and now when one drink Gal Arrack it is like drinking Eau de toilette.

        Both Kasippu, opium and drug trade and distribution was V.Prabhakaran’s main money earner, now copied bu Govt. VVIPS.

        Also it’s a way of easy control and supress a society who are addicted to illecit drugs.

        This is similar to how Europeans brought Opium to China to calm and control opposition.

        Also for many years Mexico Government used Drug money to Balance their trade deficit and to balance their budget.

        While GOSL import ethenol only to produce liquor and Kasippu, it could manufacture Rum, Gin, wisky, Beer, Sake, sweet Beer and wine using local ingredients such as Rice,Barley, corn, all types of fruits etc, and could sell at much lower price.

        Out of all the wines I have tasted around the world, our Sri Lankan King Coconut “Thambili” wine is the Best and I don’t know why Govt. does not promote it to local and export market.

        DIRINING KASIPPU IS ALSO COULD BE RELATED TO KIDNEY FAILURE WITH ADULTRATED HIGH CONTENT OF ETHENOL ALCOHOL BEEN USED WHEN PRODUCED KASIPPU AND LIQUORS.

        ALSO SRI LANKAN LIQUOR DRINKING METHOD IS THE MOST PRIMITIVE AND HARMFUL TO THE BODY.

        GOVT. SHOULD TEACH (with instructions on the label) AS TO HOW TO MIX SHANDY,SODA, WATER PERCENTAGES AND SPECIALLY USING ICE CUBES TO LOWER THE DIFFERENT ALCOHOL STRENGTH AND FOR BODY TO EASILY ABSORBE WITHOUT MUCH HARM TO THE BODY.ALSO EATING BITES AND SNACKS DURING DRINKS REDUCE HARM TO THE LIVER.

        IT IS PEOPLES WISH TO HAVE A DRINK AFTER A DAY’S WORK AND IT IS GOVERNMENT’S DUTY TO GIVE THEM A HARMLESS AND HEALTHY PRODUCT SO THEY ARE USEFUL TO OUR ECONOMY AS WELL AS TO OUR LABOR MARKET BY NOT GETTING SICK AFTER A DRINK.

        Long time ago I got my safest Kasippu from a known Policeman who woked in the heart of Colombo, while many others did not have that opportunity.

        IT IS UPTO GOSL TO GIVE A HEALTHY BOTTLE OF LIQUOR AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE WITHOUT FORCING PEOPLE TO TURN TO ILLICIT AND HARMFUL KASIPPU.

    • 0
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      K.A Sumanasekera

      “the poor young Sinhala youth,who lost their valuble lives due to the dastardly tricks, the JVP leaders played on these naive innocents,”

      Please bear with me.

      Did the Sinhala youth commit suicide after being conned by JVP leaders?

      Did the LTTE, LTTE rump, Diaspora, Exiled Journalists, NGO ….cause the death of young Sinhala youth after being conned by JVP leaders?

      Did Amirthalingam, S J V Chelvanayagan Anandasangaree………together with other Tamil leaders cause the death of young Sinhala youth after being conned by JVP leaders?

      Did MR cause the death of young Sinhala youth after being conned by JVP leaders?

      Did you cause the death of young Sinhala youth after being conned by JVP leaders?

      Did the 75% inhabitants cause the death of young Sinhala youth after being conned by JVP leaders??

      Did Weerawansa and Smawansa cause the death of young Sinhala youth after being conned by JVP leaders?

      At the time of their death MR was championing human rights of the majority inhabitants of this country. It is only appropriate you ask him as to how these death were allowed to happen unchallenged.

      Please name and shame those who caused the death of young Sinhala youth after being conned by JVP leaders.

      Whilst these killing went on the IPKF was killing your brethren the minority inhabitants of this country. Would you also tell me as to how that was possible when you claim the majority of the inhabitants were very very nice people?

      Would you do it for me?

      There a lot of things that I don’t understand, this is one of them.

      • 0
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        Native,

        Ever since we got independence every Politician was conning each other and the Citizen, including JVP and VP.

        Both VP and JVP were part and parcel of this con game. They conned the desperate youth who were looking for justice and to fulfill their ambitions.

        The latest political con victims are BBS, Rawaya and Rawana. Their days are numbered.

        Sri Lanka is heading towards Political and econiomic Volcano.

        It doesn’t matter who con whom then as the norm will be to balance population growth control and the survival of the crooks.

    • 0
      0

      Sumana-Sumana-Sumana Sekara ( Arokara )

      What a load of rubbish. You appreciate and identify with the sorrow being shown by the Hon MP for the young lives lost.

      But you condemn the Leadership who are still around and are trying to con the poor Sinhalese villagers ( you mean out of money ) and by conning helping the Seperatist movement.
      Where do these Sinhalse villagers come from please. From down south or the new settelrs in the North who have been brought over to colonise.
      What progress are these poor inhabitants making and in what way is their progress being hampered and what is this new peaceful environment please. If you can be clear and precise the MP might be able to pass the message to MR and help.

      Finally I am sure the MP and his leaders are full of sorrow for the untimely deaths of the revered Buddhist Monks which was a reaction to an action by you lot over the previous 33 years killing and maiming thousands of innocent Tamils and by the way do you feel sorry for all the innocent Tamils who perished at the hands of Sinhalese mobs.
      May be not because that is what you do a living.

    • 0
      0

      Sumane,My brothers have been in background to divide this nation on Racila, Language, Religion and caste basis.Thus if some person decided to get rid of some of my scheming brothers, they should be appreciated.They will attend Moksha

  • 0
    0

    Excellent exposure by Mr.S. Government appointing a commission for Matale mass grave to avoid going International like Mullivaikkal. If the govt. wants to appoint a commission for Matale, how independent the commission is the issue.

  • 0
    0

    Very true, hope to see sumanthiran’s
    next parlimentary debate

  • 0
    0

    Where exactly does the TNA stand in National politics?

    Some of its members want eelam (like Kosovo and South Sudan) others talk of united Sri Lanka but say the 13th amendment is not enough and want federalism but yet in public forums demand full implementation of the 13A. Their leader seems not to know which camp to back.

    Mr.Sumnthiran’s point of the state being able to protect its citizens is perfectly correct. But coming from the TNA it just is not credible. Just sounds like anti-Government rhetoric.

    Pity.

    • 0
      0

      Whose voice is credible? Is it that of perpetuater’s of crime or safron religious fundamentalist or chauvinistic nepotistic government?

    • 0
      0

      interested,
      TNA wants tamils to be able to live as free and equal citizens in their own homes,engage in businesses,livelihoods and education etc. freely without constraints,manage their affairs through their elected representatives rather than live in fear as slaves under militarisation with denial of basic human rights,in a society without Law & Order.
      Is this too much to ask for?

  • 0
    0

    Most importantly, it is the accurate dating of these skeletal remains that should be conducted using several testing labs and results, so that the time of the burials is accurately established.
    The story told by a resident of the area who recollected that his father who was an employee of the hospital, had been quarantined and not allowed to come home for some weeks in 1945 due to an outbreak of smallpox in the hospital, brought in by an illegal immigrant from S. India seems to have been wiped away and forgotten in the eagerness of the JVP and everyone else falling over each other to pin this on the Government in power at the time of the ’87 JVP rebellion.
    So, is it critical that as a first step it be clearly and irrefutably established whether these skeletons are from 1945 or 1987.

    • 0
      0

      Mahesh, good yarn keep on spinning it, you may get reward

    • 0
      0

      A good yarn that your spinning Mahesh,please say what yu just wrote while standing in front of the mirror and then perhaps one person will believe this LIE AND THAT WILL BE YOU AND NO ONE ELSE

      Take your shoddy attempt to cover up somewhere else buddy!

  • 0
    0

    All the evidence is in place and well documented. The Army Camp, Torture Chamber, Evidence of Torture, Missing Persons, Mass Burial, Records of the Army Personell etc. What use for a commission? CID can investigate and question their boss first of all. Crimes against humanity can be proved easily if investigation is handed over to a international scientific organisation. US can help in this matter.

  • 0
    0

    Failure to conduct an independent credible inquiry into this event will definitely result in another sentence or two being added on to the next UN resolution against Sri Lanka. Hope the regime learns from its past mistakes and conducts a credible independent public inquiry. One thing the regime should remember is that most of these skeletons belong to Sinhala youth, not Tamils or Muslims!

  • 0
    0

    Good message from Sumanthiran as usuall,
    Now I believe Sumanthiran has more trust on this nation than me ( my name has Mudiyanselage in front)
    Recently, There was an article by UN human rights guy on Sri Lanka with the heading ‘Nation Without Conscious? ‘ and it was regarded Matale graves too. it give better but ugly description of us. Some commented that question mark was NOT needed in the heading..
    For some unknown kind of thinking patterns, my fathers, mothers, uncles and aunties forget even the very important things happened in the past very quickly. Is it because of ‘Let Go’ or ‘KARMA’ like Buddhist thinking? Even it is their interpretation of Buddhism, still it is wrong.
    When I used to argue that when a Gov kill its’ own people without law and order is worse than any rebel groups like JVP or LTTE doing the same, most of my learned SL friends didn’t agree.
    When I used to argue that sending our mothers, sisters, wives as unskilled domestic workers abroad was bad, they used to say only poor people do that and it is kind of good because they have no other choice. We don’t learnt tobsee thing empathetically. Empathy is still unknown feeling to Sri Lankans. We don’t feel them as are our mothers or sisters.
    Similarly, unarmed people who were killed by Gov in 71, 88-89 are NOT our brothers or sisters or children, they just foolish people and opposition party members and that’s their fate or they deserved it.

    In Eienstein’s biography, it says that he visited Singapore, Japan and Ceylon in his trip to Asia. I felt proud feelings. So SL should have something comparable with Singapore and Japan in early 1900s.
    If we ask Nelson Mandela to select only three countries in Asia to visit, i guess name of Sri Lanka would not even bother him at all.
    Anura

  • 0
    0

    A well wriiten objective analysis written as a Sri Lankan and not as a Tamil.
    It is time for the Singalese to realise that the Rajapakse family will want to retain power at any cost and for long as possible.For them to be in power they need enemies. First they anihilated and subjucated the Tamils, then they used thugs and suffron terrorits to destroy christian churches and the new enemy are the Muslims.Unfortunately they cannot touch the “The Tiger Rump” which has become powerful by the day and will one day cause the downfall of the Rajapakse Regime.

  • 0
    0

    If the JVP was not crushed in 1989we would not have a country to live today ,If the LTTE was not defeated in 2009 ,we would still be counting army and civilian casualties.Mr Sumanthiran must remember that that we have a country to live cos we crushed both the LTTE and the JVP.He must also remember the innocent people killed by the LTTE and JVP .We in matale suffered a lot most of the SLFP and UNP supporters were killed by the JVP,and a lot of bodies were found by the roadside which may have been buried near the hospital by the police as JRJ had given DIG powers to MP,s and bodies could be buried without a post mortem .There are no complainants or accussed in matale .Our people forget what it was like in 89 90 and also the time with killker Prabakaran ,Sumanthiran is a tiger hiding under parliamentary privileges.

    • 0
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      anuradha

      “If the JVP was not crushed in 1989we would not have a country to live today”

      JVP was a historical product of this island. So was LTTE.

      • 0
        0

        Native,

        I want to refer you back to your elders for wise counselling.
        Dont compare JVP with LTTE as they had different agendas and fighting for different reasons.

        I am not sure what you mean when you say JVP was a historical product.

        Let me try and help you with the analysis. LTTE was a creattion and a product of Sinhalese atrocities on innocent Tamils since independance.

        But if you say JVP was a product of the Island. Do you mean

        1) A product like Cocunut from a Tree
        2) A garment from a Factory
        3) Tea from the mountain.
        4) Product from the failure by the wrong upbringing by the parents.
        5) Or product from the failure by the State to manage the Economy resulting in poverty and deprivation.

        WHICH ONE MATE

    • 0
      0

      Sri Lankans have very short memories. The people who faced the guns and bombs of the DJV and LTTE on a daily (if not every second)basis – do they not have the human right to life? Many paid with their lives for no other crime than reporting to their workplaces.

      • 0
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        Interested,

        I am very Interested in your analysis but very confused. I cant stay awake all night trying to figure this one out. Can you help.

  • 0
    0

    This lively debate is enlightening but useless. How do we take it to the masses. The support bases of the perpetrators are among the masses. With an unofficial press censorship, thuggery and the infra structure projects done from borrowed funds their blindness is a yoke on them which they do not realize. Their darkness feels eternal.What do we do ?

  • 0
    0

    A wonderful article. To add a few words.

    Noam Chomsky on the primary characteristics of Failed States:

    “Inability or unwillingness to protect their citizens from violence and perhaps even destruction. Tendency to regard themselves (states) as beyond the reach of domestic and international law, and hence free to carry out aggression and violence”.

    Adam Smith ” Vile maxim of the masters of mankind … ” All for ourselves and nothing for other people”.

    Article III of the Nuremberg Principles states:

    “The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of State or responsible government official, does not relieve him from responsibility under international law”.

    • 0
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      CHANAKYAN

      Are you simply name dropping to impress fellow commentators?

      • 0
        0

        Mate, are you suffering from an inferiority complex NV?
        I think he is trying to educate and broaden the horizon of the readers.

        • 0
          0

          Truth

          Education is good as long as it is understood and practiced.

          Copy and paste is easy, understanding it is the difficult part.

          I just wanted to know just that.

          • 0
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            Native,

            I genuinly feel sorry for you. You are the most honest idiots I have ever come accross and that is why you call the Tamils Stupid and that is an echo of yourself reverberating back on you .

            If you dont understand you can learn. If you dont learn you cant educate yourself. The three go hand in hand and sadly you fail in all three important departments and that is why you need the help of your elders for life.

            • 0
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              kali

              I am bit thick because all my teachers were either Sinhalese or Tamils.

              “that is why you call the Tamils Stupid”

              Unlike you I don’t favour one stupid people to another, as far as I am concerned both Tamils and Sinhalese are equally stupid, as you know they share the same stupid gene with their Tamil brethren in Tamilnadu.

  • 0
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    Hon. Mp’s tigerness hidden beneath the parliamentary clothes was exposed when his attempted bluff at the religion, Reconcilliation and Future gathering to the bewilderment of Chickera who with an open mouth giving ear to the rebuke by Dr. DJ of the history, moreover the begining of Northern terrorists.

    This toothless tiger did not know the origins of militant organisation and the great escape of Suresh Premachandran.
    Other than these, he knew everything else. Eloquest & fine.

    Hey Hon. MP, you can not bluff to people all the time.

    • 0
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      The bluffer here is not Mr Sumanthiran. It is your corrupt thug Mahinda Rajapaksa. People are realising that he has been bluffing for far too long and many who wholeheartedly supported him before are now calling his bluff. The end is nigh for the corrupt dictator my friend. Stop being his arselicker.

  • 0
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    We know you Mr. Sumanthiran who is well fed and paid by tax payers money to “PREACH” as usually done in the House Of Representatives. Everyone in the Opposition “bark and bark” all day and night, but don’nt you see the caravan moves unconcerned.

    Apart from finding fault with every move with the Government, what have you got to offer? What is your recommendation in place of a “Commission of Inquiry Or Fact Finding Inquiry”. If you are so concerned about Matale or Mullivikal tell what you want. (period)

    • 0
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      douglas says:

      Everyone in the Opposition “bark and bark” all day and night, but don’nt you see the caravan moves unconcerned.

      And falls over the cliff.

  • 0
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    It is interesting to note that none of the comments above have not picked on one important fact.
    The very person who has now appointed a presidential commission is the very same individual who undertook the arduous journey in 1989 to Geneva with such great passion and commitment to demand justice for all those disappeared Sinhalese youth and all the extrajudicial killings committed by the then state machinery.
    Now that the boot is on the other foot lets see how far he would travel with his special commission to bring justice to the very same people whom he was represention then, now that he has all the powers to do it?
    He does not have to beg others for it!

  • 0
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    Reply to Jay & Peace Lover:

    I have had good reason to point out that distinction should be made between the incidents of 1945 and those of 1987.
    In fact, in the name of the thorough investigation that Mr. Sumanthiran calls for, the >100 skeletons should be all analyzed to ascertain the ages of the dead, what they had died of, as well as the time frame in which they had died and were buried. I am sure the Forensic technology is available to do all this.

    In 1945, the country was still under British rule. Small pox was not endemic to Sri Lanka, but the Medical authorities had to face the problem of immigrants from S. India bringing the disease across. For this reason, Mannar had a well administered Quarantine system where suspected legal immigrants were placed under observation for some weeks before being released as legally free of contagious and infectious disease. However, illegal immigrants or “Kallathonis” remained the problem.

    In 1945, I am personally aware of a smallpox scare emanating from panic created by rumors of a quarantined “Kallathoni” patient who had escaped from Matale and was supposed to be hiding out in another town in this country where I lived. This sent people into panic knowing that smallpox was a killer disease, and there were frantic efforts to get Vaccinated against smallpox. My own father died through complications that followed his being vaccinated against Smallpox in 1945. So I have a vivid recollection of what happened.

    I am connecting the dots in this story. I am also concerned that the media have succeeded in suppressing the “smallpox” involvement, creating a lot of hoopla using the JVP aspect, while political groups have jumped the bandwagon of focusing the direction of investigations towards the 1987 JVP events only.

    The Truth must be irrefutably established through dating of the skeletons being done by several labs, collated and analyzed. The forensic evidence for causes of the deaths should also be established so that there is no miscarriage of justice in the enthusiasm to make this another political bone of contention.

    MEDICAL RECORDS
    There must be records, both in Sri Lanka and in Britain on how the hospitals disposed of the bodies of unclaimed persons, as well as those of the claimed who were suspected of being a public danger due to being carriers of infectious diseases. Especially with regard to a disease as deadly as Smallpox that could spread into epidemic proportions, there must be recorded details. Britain had the experience of London’s “Black Plague”, and would have had a set of administrative procedures in place for Health Dept. personnel to follow.
    Today, the grave area should be carefully secured to ensure among other aspects, that there are no lingering microbes that could be resuscitated into causing widespread disease.
    The Forensic examinations will have to be conducted under sterile conditions in order to ensure that any still lingering communicable disease organisms do not have opportunity to escape and enter the normal community environment.

    THIS IS A RESPONSIBILITY OF BOTH THE GOVERNMENT AND THE OPPOSITION.

    ——————
    Finally:
    Jay -I object to your insinuation of ‘reward’ as being completely out of line. An apology is due from you.
    Peace Lover – your comments are not compatible with your Username.

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      I thought an academic from one of the Universities established that the bones were from around 1988?

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        Who, which, when???

        If so, the report should be made public in order to critically ascertain the methodology etc. that were used to establish this conclusion.
        At any rate, this is far too serious am issue for conclusions to be based on one person’s opinion.

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          In case it was ‘conviniently forgoten it was Professor Delgahawatthage Raj Kumar Somadeva Delgahawatta of the Archealogy Dept in SL said that.

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      yes of course facts should be established beyond any doubt, for that we need a independent credible investigation which any Srilankan Govt cannot afford to have. However it is believed the mass grave aged back to 80’s, some of the victims parents have come out and talked openly but you are trying to cover it up with a rare and unlikely match. Then you went on and said “Kallathoni” a derogatory term for Tea estate workers who are marginalised by all other communities in Sri Lanka . It’s you who owes an apology for use of derogatory term and stressing hard a distorted skewed non linear explanation for the findings at this point of time.

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      This chap Mahesh seems to be hallucinating and doing his job well in trying to cover up for the Goverments sins!

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      maneshL,

      As per your comment on “Indian Kalla thonis” Bringing in small pox to Sri Lanka is yet to be clarified. Also you should know we had the malaria epidemic and Polio which thanks to the then British rulers were able to suppress.

      Now we have Dengue and also Malaria back again with poor response by Sri Lankan Health Ministry. Kidney disease is another grave disease.

      All we see now is the best opportunity GOSL had develop Sri Lanka after 30 year war was lost by Rajapakse Government. What I herd was they were more concern on their commission percentages than developping the country.

      When you have leaders who have failed constantly in governing a country, obviously people want either to get rid of them or asking for a seperate state.

      Therefore I think the struggle JVP did in 70’s and 80’s and LTTE did in 80’s to 2009 is justified due to finding no other alternative available to fulfill their ambitions, but both finally lost their struggle due to poor planning.

      Anyway now both of them have realised their weaknesses and are sure to come up with a new winnable game plan.

      A well planned realistic struggle with proper execution only will fulfill everybody’s dream.

      Remember it took 30 years of trial and error, correction and more plan and execution for our forces to win the LTTE war.

      Corrupt party politics and family dynastics have to go and should leave quickly.

      No citizen would like to see their hard earned Tax money wasted by a corrupt government.

      Sixty Five years of Trial and error should bring some ideas to the suffering masses when finally installing a real true patriotic government is everybody’s duty.

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    @ Mahesh,First of all sorry to hear about your fathers death due to complications resulting from small pox vacination.since it happened in 1945 your old enough to be wise but alas thats sadly not the case esp in the way you quickly defend the regime.

    Yes I do agree its the Govt and the Oppositions responsibility to do tests to ascertain the ages of the skeletons but will the Govt do it? I hardly think so as its going to go against them

    btw,do you know that Professor Delgahawatthage Raj Kumar Somadeva Delgahawatta of the Archealogy dept has said that the graves are from the 1980s! which makes it very credible so its the Govts duty to conduct the tests now but tell me Mahesh will they do it?

    Mahesh you keep refering to ‘kalla thonis’ in your text and I feel that your refering to the Indian Tamil population in Sri Lanka and that is a degradatory term

    Anyways if you call them ‘Kalla thonis’ then how to classify Vijaya and his clan who landed (who were booted out by his own father) here did they confirm to immigration procedures and have their landing cards stamped? does it not make them ‘kalla thonis’ too in which case ur their descendant is one as well….oooops im not supposed to ask all that right ;-)

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    Jay & Peace Lover…you both bring up much the same points so let me address them together….

    `1. I have asserted that this is a sufficiently serious issue that needs to be addressed by BOTH the GoSL and the Opposition, so accusing me of “defending the regime” on this issue is totally unwarranted.
    I have thought long and hard before entering into this debate especially since it involved personal facts. It was the call by Mr. Sumanthiran, that finally drew me in to relate what I knew to be very relevant, but was being slowly and surely suppressed.

    2. I am drawing attention to the need to ascertain with as much accuracy as possible and WITH PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERNS IN VIEW, all the information that the skeletons yield as to their origin. Data from 1 or 2 skeletons simply will not do.

    3. Since there clearly could be multiple reasons for the origin of the skeletons in the Matale hospital graveyard (although efforts are being made to point to the 1987 events only), investigations should be carried out for every skeleton in order for the most accurate dating etc. to be established. As I said, the Health Dept must have records of the 1945 Public Health concern in addition to other events that could underlie the burials.

    4. I do not know what analytical methodology was used by Prof. Delgahawatta to state with certainty (if that is what he did), that ALL the skeletons were from 1988. If his report is made public, perhaps a critical analysis could be made to confirm or challenge his conclusions.

    5. Now for the use of the term “Kallathoni”. It was a term used for “illegal immigrants”. I did not understand the term to be insulting. There is nothing insulting about it unless the 2 of you consider any Sinhala/Tamil term to be “insulting’, while the corresponding English term is acceptable!!
    There could of course be a NEW term for “illegal immigrant” after the Swabasha languages developed and more sophisticated technical terminology began to be introduced.

    6. You still owe me that apology, and now for added reasons as well.

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      Mahesh

      You say ‘2 Data from 1 or 2 skeletons simply will not do.’

      Do you honestly think that the good professor is a fool to come to a conclusion after looking at 1 or 2 skeletons that they are from the 1987-89 era?

      you say ‘3. Since there clearly could be multiple reasons for the origin of the skeletons in the Matale hospital graveyard (although efforts are being made to point to the 1987 events only), investigations should be carried out for every skeleton in order for the most accurate dating etc. to be established. As I said, the Health Dept must have records of the 1945 Public Health concern in addition to other events that could underlie the burials.

      No one is bothered about skeletons in a graveyard you joker,this was not in a graveyard it was found in the land belonging to the hospital while digging for building a sewage system (remember a similar incident near Durraipph stadium in jaffna and how it was hushed up by the govt)

      you say ‘5. Now for the use of the term “Kallathoni”. It was a term used for “illegal immigrants”. I did not understand the term to be insulting. There is nothing insulting about it unless the 2 of you consider any Sinhala/Tamil term to be “insulting’, while the corresponding English term is acceptable!!
      There could of course be a NEW term for “illegal immigrant” after the Swabasha languages developed and more sophisticated technical terminology began to be introduced.

      You silly fellow so you think that ‘kalla thoni’ is not a degradatory term huh,tell me mahesh if I call you a ‘sinhala modaya’ then is that also not a degradatory term? whom are are trying to fool here,do you think we are like the Daily news readers to believe all this?

      the terms ‘kalla thoni,’sinhala modaya’,para demala’,’thambiya’,’hambaya’ are ALL DEGRADATORY TERMS AND RACIAL STEREOTYPES (but perhaps nomal to people like you?)

      Anyways its sad that you in your late 60’s have to be taught not to use these terms by me who is not even half your age,with elders like these who can blame the younger generation now huh ;-)

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        To Peace Lover

        Re 2: There has been no publicly released report of the good Prof’s investigation and of how many skeletons were examined to come to the conclusion that they were all from 1987. As a scientist I would expect that specimens from ALL skeletons should be examined, since we do not know whether hospitals which had patients who died of causes that were a Public health risk, or even unclaimed bodies had provisions for special disposal. Too many unknowns for the conclusion that all skeletons were from 1987 to be accepted without question.

        Re 5: If you call a person a “sinhalaya” it is not an insult, but if you follow it with the epithet “modaya” it becomes one. If you say someone is “demala” it is not an insult, but on adding the epithet “para” it becomes one. “Kallathoni” is a factual term for an “illegal immigrant”. The derogatory aspect depends on the mindset of the person using it.

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    Mr.Sumanthiren!There is no commission in S.L.But, All are omission of GOSL

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    What we have in Sri Lanka today is Jungle justice and the evidence which is being unearthed now is a confirmation that the past was no better.
    That only points to one thing that there is something fundamentally rong with the Sinhala Race and Barbarism immediately springs to mind.

    There is a differeence between the LTTE killing and the State Machinery Killing. LTTE killed for freedom and the Sri Lankan Soldiers kill for pleasure and I am sorry to say this but sadly it is true.

    What then are the lessons from Matale? The first is that the culture of impunity in Sri Lanka needs to broken, and unless it is broken, the atrocities of the past will recur. These atrocities will not and cannot victimize one ethnic group and not the other. Matale and Mullivaikkal are inextricable linked, just as Black July and Pepiliyana are linked. They are all characterized by the unwillingness and inability of the state’s institutions to protect its citizens.

    Let us analyse the above.

    1) The Matale incident would probably have been swept under the carpet if not for the spotlight on the Governments record following the Mullivalaikal Massacre.
    2) The culture of Impunity is a pattern of this Government and that is due to two factors. a) In the immediate aftermath of their success against the LTTE they were basking in the Glory and there was general appreciation by the vast majority of the Sinhalese of the Governments achievement. Any one who dared to qustion were in danger of being branded a traitor. I have many Sinhalese friends who were moderates but even they called SF a traitor.
    b) Having been given the Credit for crushing the LTTE they became not only arrogant but also bolder and with an Agenda of Ethnic Cleansing there was no going back which inevitably meant that they had to stay in power at any cost to complete the job.
    So the big question is how do you then break the culture of Impunity and my feeling is that you cannot do it from within and you need outside help. The rulers will not change course themselves and this is what I would call a withdrwal symptom.

    Matale and Mullivalaikal may be linked in one sense in that they were both a massacre of enormous proportions with callous disregard for human lives and civilsed standards in pursit of a goal. But that is where the comparison ends and without wishing to condone the Matale killing I never subscribed to the Marxist Ideology as Sri Lanka was a democrcay and if any change was needed that should have been through the Ballot Box and not using violent means to overthrow an elected Government( dare I say a Sinhalese Government and the Tamils only had a mrginal influence so we were just onlookers ) as the JVP tried and paid a heavy price.
    But the fight for freedom by LTTE was as the writer rightly points out was the result of victimisation and years of atrocities on a defenceless minority.

    Thus, there are many reasons – institutional, moral, economic and geostrategic – for Sri Lanka to begin pursuing accountability for atrocity crimes committed in the past. Most importantly, however, in dealing with the past, we will discover who we really are. For those of us who believe that a common Sri Lankan identity which recognizes the unique national identities of the island’s people groups is a good idea, constructing that identity in a meaningful way should also mean that we understand ourselves. Understanding the evil and brutality that have punctuated our disputes over political power is a good place to start.
    Nothing has changed in the last 63 years in Sri Lanka since independance in terms of the attitude and understanding by the Sinhalese Majority of the aspirations of the Tamil Minority so why would it change.I dont have much hope it would change now.

    If change was to come from within it wont be for institutional, moral, or geostrategic reasons and for Sri Lanka to begin pursuing accountability for atrocity crimes committed in the past is like digging your own grave so that is a non starter.

    It may be for Economic reasons and for this to have any meanigful outcome there has to be a determination and resolve by the international community and sadly India plays a crucial role and that is lacking under the current regime and we have to wait for change at the top in India and hopefully we wont have to wait for too long.

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