21 October, 2020

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Sri Lanka Hiding The Elephant

By Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

Sri Lanka Hiding the Elephant: A Perspective On The Author Professor Ramu Manivannan

It was such an honour to introduce Prof. Ramu Manivannan, the author of the hugely compelling book Sri Lanka: Hiding the Elephant – Documenting Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, at its launch in Toronto Canada on 13, December 2014.

The Credentials He Brings To the Book

You can’t but be in awe of Prof. Ramu Manivannan, Mani as he is affectionately called, a son of a freedom fighter who agitated side by side with Gandhi to free Mother India from colonial occupation; one who knows what oppression is, having a sensitive understanding of liberation movements because it runs in his blood; one who has a deep sense of empathy for the marginalised, the persecuted and the subjugated continuously raising his voice against repression and authoritarianism, a peace activist involving himself with pro- democracy movements in Asia who, “believes in freedom and democracy as important values, but considers that they must be based on social justice to be of relevance to ordinary people” [1]; a man who wishes to raise a new generation of pupils and educators [2], one who is, “committed to exploring non- violent alternatives and community participation at grass root level and a strong proponent of referendums as a tool to deciding nations aspiring for independence; an outspoken critic of Indian Intervention in Sri Lanka, 1988 and the Indian Congress led abstention at the UNHRC resolution, March 2014: Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights [3]; a different kind of academic known for his work as an “organic intellectual”; one who has heavily invested in promoting peace , education, human rights and justice in India and South Asia including Tibet, Burma, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, forgoing several academic and professional opportunities that came his way (he regrets neither he says); and one who is a prolific writer who has authored 5 other books in addition to numerous articles and papers:

Shadows of A Long War: Indian Intervention in Sri Lanka, Delhi, 1988

Social Justice, Democracy and Alternative Politics: An Asian-European Dialogue

Prospect and Retrospect of Alternative Education in the Asia-Pacific Region

Burma: Freedom Behind Bars, Delhi 2004 (also Published in Hindi in 2006 & Gujrati in 2009)

Asian Future: Dialogues for Change (co-edited with Pracha Hutanuwatr)

It’s with these exceptional credentials behind him that he addresses the issues and sets out his thesis in the book, Sri Lanka: Hiding The Elephant.

Author Makes a “solid case” for Genocide

When Tamils cried out agonisingly that the targeted mass killings that took place in Mullivakkal was indeed Genocide and is in fact an intensification of the genocidal acts perpetrated by successive Sri Lankan Sinhala governments that’s still ongoing in the form of ‘structural genocide’, few from the international community were convinced. They were doubting that the perpetrators had a “specific intent while committing the crime,” listening sadly to the false propaganda of the perpetrators, that it was a fight against terror and not an intentional destruction of a national or ethnic group; although if the international community had walked in our shoes, they would have known that it was indeed genocide.

Sri Lanka Hiding the Elephant.pngBut like a ‘God Send’, a boon, an answer to our prayers comes the book Sri Lanka: Hiding the Elephant, where Prof. Ramu Manivannan, the head of the Department of Politics and Public Administration of the University of Madras , has meticulously and painstakingly put together a “solid case” as P C Vinoj Kumar elucidates, “to back his argument that what happened in Sri Lanka was indeed Genocide,” in his article, “Chennai Academic Names 18 SL war criminals, indicts one 1 Indian.” [4] In the book, Vinoj Kumar says, Prof Ramu Manivannan, “has named 18 top Sri Lankan nationals as war criminals including Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa,” (who ironically had walked the corridors of the same prestigious University of Madras doing his Masters, who nevertheless would be brought to justice Prof. Ramu Manivannan hopes) , “former Army Commander, Sarath Fonseka, Minister of External Affairs, G L Peiris and indicted two UN officials,” (one of them Vijay Nambiar an Indian national), ” for their role during the last stages of the Sri Lankan civil war that concluded with the Mullaithivu Massacre of Tamils in May 2009.”

Doctrine of “Double Effect”

In the book Sri Lanka: Hiding the Elephant, Prof. Ramu Manivannan goes to the root of the problem, in my view, propounding the “doctrine of double effect” to make his case as Vinoj Kumar writes in his article, quoting from the book on Sri Lanka’s twin genocidal strategy:

And I quote:

“In recognition of the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Sri Lankan government and its authorities, we need to ask whether there is a unique case or a distinct crime here? The answer is yes. …The genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka has taken place over a period of time involving several steps and strategies, and this includes continuous dismantling and destruction of the essential foundations of human life of the Tamils in Sri Lanka…To be precise, the Sri Lankan government has employed the ‘doctrine of double effect’, the brutal military resolution of the ethnic conflict combined with the long term strategy of ethnic cleansing… This ‘doctrine of double effect’ has been the most unmistakable exhibition of the genocidal intent of the State and its Sinhala nationalism… The genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka has taken place over a period of time involving several premeditated steps and concealed strategies. This includes organized attacks and destruction of essential foundations of human life common to all civilized human societies.. Interestingly, the book reveals that Gotabaya Rajapaksa was a student of the very same University that has now named him as a war criminal,” says Vinoj Kumar highlighting sections of the book.

Who then is Prof. Ramu Manivannan, the author, the head of the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Madras?

“No Ivory Tower Intellectual”

Prof. Suryanarayan, who reviewed the book [5], Sri Lanka: Hiding the Elephant, and called it an ‘Invaluable Reference Book’ credits Prof. Manivannan, “since assuming the Chairmanship of the Department of Politics and Public Administration of the University of Madras, among other,

And I quote:

to revamping and modernizing the syllabus and teaching curriculum in his department. Today the students are taught and scholars do research on issues of human rights, ongoing democratic struggles in South Asia and refugee issues. Ramu is not an ivory tower intellectual; he and his students are actively involved with movements for peace and justice in India and its neighbourhood. This edited volume (It should be pointed out that this is not an, “edited volume”), is a testimony to the commitment of Ramu, his colleagues and students to understand and sensitize the public to the momentous developments taking place in India’s southern neighbourhood.”

End quote.

Buddha Smiles And The Garden of Peace

But to gain a true insight into this one in a million individual, a humanitarian, a human rights defender, a champion of the underdog and a staunch believer in social justice, social responsibility and social development, one should dig deeper into this humble, modest, down to earth, who is “no ivory tower intellectual” as Prof. Suryanarayan correctly referred to him!

To gain an insight all you need to do is find out more about ‘Buddha Smiles’ – yes ‘Buddha Smiles’ the project close to Ramu Manivannan’s heart, one that he founded more than a decade ago. Believing in what Gandhi believed in – which is, “universal education through the medium of some craft,” Ramu Manivannan has created an awesome real life model of this principle at the Garden of Peace – Amaithi Poonga.

In an article “Professor Creates Gardens of Peace for children” Prashanti Ganesh writes [6]:

And I quote:

” When a zealous 25-year-old answers at a Harvard University interview that his life’s dream is to build a school, the interviewers might not understand the complete implications of it. It is one thing for a young man to shrug off his dream to go ahead and experience the big American dream, but it is another thing to see the vision through and turn it into reality. And that is exactly what Dr Ramu Manivannan did.

What initially began as modest evening schools under trees or in volunteers’ homes at 10 different locations in the Vellore district, has now officially begun providing free education, uniforms, meals, books and transport to over 170 kids, mostly from poverty-stricken families in the district. 

The Garden of Peace, or Amaidhi Poonga as the schools are called, cater to the needs of mostly children of quarry workers and weavers. Dr Ramu believes that all of us have an obligation to give back to society. “I come from a very humble family and my interaction with other kids in my hometown who didn’t get the chance to go to school due to various economic and social reasons and the distance factor are what have always made me want to start a school,” says Ramu. “Even when I was a student, I was socially engaged.”

At 40, he decided that he had taken enough from society and it was time to give back. “I have gained so much from the blessings of the world and since I had always felt strongly about education, starting a school was only natural,” he says. “But if I had known the problems that I would face in running a school, I wouldn’t have done it,” he jokes.

In 2003, when he was with the Delhi University, he used his provident fund from the college to buy the land for the school at Kusumbuppalayam, a one-km-stretch village a little further down Vellore. He managed to set up a shack by 2004, starting the school with seven children and one teacher. 

Currently working with seven teachers, all of whom certified to teach at the primary level, the school has seen two batches of students graduate. “Currently we have only till Class V, but are expanding till Class XII next year,” informs Ramu. 

He is also looking to open a community college within the same campus, where parents can help out in many ways, such as at the kitchen or in carrying out repair work.

Having been able to raise from others around Rs 25,000  to Rs 30,000 out of the over Rs 95,000 required to run the school, Ramu puts in the rest of the capital from his own pocket. “I am doing it because I understand reality and poverty at a deep level and not as a theoretician,” he says. “It gives me a great sense of satisfaction.”

End quote.

One gets a notion through Professor Ramu Manivannan’s Face Book post, of the ideals and activities close to his heart, those that he promotes and fosters. Informing the programme schedule for the 8th international workshop on, Education for Life hosted by Buddha Smiles, he writes:

And I quote:

“BUDDHA SMILES will be hosting its eighth international workshop on Education for Life. This five weeks camp will be held from 12th January 2013 to 16th February 2013. The major activity during this period would be construction of a natural pond that will harvest rain-water from the nearby mountain, revive a well and work on renovating natural buildings. The workshop will include five day social-anthropological visit to the Blue Mountains to understand the ecology and social environment of the unique tribes of Tamil Nadu. During the workshop we will have introduction to permaculture, natural building, organic food , alternative health care and traditional theater. There will be Yoga every morning and occasional night walks besides the weekly reflection under WISDOM TREE,”

End quote.

Exposing The Sri Lankan Government’s Motive To Hide The Elephant In The Room

The man who cleared his provident fund to build his dream school for destitute children and continues to maintain it mainly from his own funds, has once again borne the cost of another one of his undertakings he so deeply believes in – not only writing but paying for the publication of this book that amounted to close to a Million Indian Rupees.

Today we owe it to Prof. Ramu Manivannan for taking on his shoulders this massive undertaking to refute and rebuke Sri Lanka’s false propaganda and expose the Sri Lankan government’s motive to hide the Elephant in the room, when definitive proof was staring in the face.

The book will stand as a testament of a labour of love that is 976 pages long and took four years to complete with a Foreword from Callum Macrae, Director of the documentary, Sri Lanka: The Killing Fields and No Fire Zone – The Movie; it’s a labour of love indeed to bring justice to the victims who perished in the Mullivaikkal Genocide and to document for posterity this grave crime to slowly eliminate a people based on ethnicity – the Tamil people in the island of Sri Lanka; and now also because of this book we may at long last get closer to hauling before the courts and bringing to justice the perpetrators of this Genocide.

[1] https://books.google.ca/books?id=nx26ceMXSWkC&pg=PP3&lpg=PP3&dq=peace-+Ramu+manivannan&source=bl&ots=Au0UHjZbgq&sig=TgycZ4tQr8x0VedRSJaLGuUl3Pg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qMiVVMGLGouAygSFtYGYAw&ved=0CEwQ6AEwCw#v=onepage&q=peace-%20Ramu%20manivannan&f=false

[2] http://www.lotusoutreach.org/apr14/

[3] http://strategicstudyindia.blogspot.de/2014/04/sri-lanka-indian-abstention-at-unhrc.html#more

[4] http://www.theweekendleader.com/Headlines/2206/chennai-academic-names-18-sl-war-criminals,-indicts-1-indian-.html

[5] http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/node/1591

[6] http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/article237732.ece

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Latest comments

  • 13
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    Always amusing to see these LTTE [Edited out] rubbing each other off :D

    • 16
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      Siva Sankaran Sarma

      By the way you have spelt your name I know you are Sinhala posing as a Tamil. Your comment is a clear indication that here Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah may be throwing pearls before swine.

    • 5
      3

      Maybe you would pair with Dayan better. After all, what are feathers of a bird for? And don’t worry, if even Dayan shows you the door, there is always Mahinda mama and his goon brother, Gotabaya. I know that you don’t have to rub that much with them to be buddies. May be you are fortunate than us.

      • 4
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        No they will be dropping coins, only Siva’s got to do is bend over and pick-up. I am pretty sure he is well used to it.

  • 12
    3

    Another undoubtedly impressive take on our national debacle.

    But I for one cannot but help revisiting the days before 1956 when WE the people of all hues and creeds were led by wily politicians in a slow, inexorable descent into hell. Slowly, the bastards led us on to divide and rule. They started on the pretext of ‘righting the wrongs of the colonial master’. That was a tasty old ‘gundu’ that the gullible swallowed, and developed a craving for more. Then came the Horagolla Horror (whose ancestors were instrumental in supporting our colonial masters; where do you think the Solomon West Ridgeway came from?) and he hit the bulls-eye with his Sinhala Only. His own Sinhala was no better than the worst of the loyal servants in his ancestral walauwa. Never mind, it brought in the votes. After that, Sri Lankans who together happily ate, drank and made merry, and griped only about bad batting at the big match, started to eye one another with visceral suspicion. The die was cast; the rest is history and the inevitable books that dissect the shitty mess that we have ended up in.

    Will our Sinhala-Buddhists see the light soon! That is what we want to know. Who will give us the answer?

    • 8
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      Where have all the flowers gone!

      ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۞۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
      ACROSS BALLOT-`NO CONFIDENCE!`
      ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۞۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

      66 years of Sinhala Buddhist Rule – Amma natnam Tatthi

      The Europeans left a picture book island which our cricket only mad followers and supporters of the sinking game in the UK (commentators) glorify for a piece of pie.

    • 4
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      The Sri Lankan tragedy the alert Spring Koha refers to reminds me of Pakistan’s self-made fate of today. Their political leaders chose
      religion initially – more to remain in power – beginning from the liberal intentions of Jinnah to the wily craft of Zia Hul Haq to serve his narrow political interests. They created the Taliban to destroy India – starting with the Kashmiri separatists and now this has blown in their face. They had Osama Bin Laden operating in close proximity to high Pakistani security units – while conning the world they knew nothing about it. How many realise if Pakistan goes the wrong way much of the safety of the world is at risk. The Pakistanis have surreptitiously – and against all international laws and norms – have amassed a stock pile of nuclear weapons, which they can ill afford anyway. If these get to the wrong hands of the Taliban or fanatical Muslim radicals, there can be a colossal nuclear disaster that can destroy our entire region – Pakistan, the Indian Sub-Continent including Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and the regions around.

      Kettikaran

      • 4
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        Kettikaran,

        “They created the Taliban to destroy India – starting with the Kashmiri separatists and now this has blown in their face. They had Osama Bin Laden operating in close proximity to high Pakistani security units – while conning the world they knew nothing about it. How many realise if Pakistan goes the wrong way much of the safety of the world is at risk. “

        that is hindian journalist cowpee influence by Associated Press north American diaspora for the trade that is never under question and keeps one in power- arms and ammunition import &export like UK,US. Its stay divided and rule like lankan mules- of same DNA.
        __
        The nuclear arsenal that Pakistan has, I believe is secure. I think the government and the military have taken adequate steps to protect that.
        Hillary Clinton
        this is very true even today similarly Hindi was checked after 9/11 before lifting sanctions on it ` unfair trading partner` – but the naturally are unfair because of their stupid numbers and no opportunities – sitting on money box and shitting there too.while chinese, japenese are ferocious gamblers by nature.
        The issue is Hindia scape goating both America and Russia to keep its brother- brother war . There is no freedom of information on defence of india- women officers are raped or they die. If the judicary take up borfor deal further then they would die and be another pakistan.
        Pakistan was primarily created by Roosvelt to contain Russia in the long term so the nuke was introduced and the army is paid around $2-3 billion per year.
        If there were doubts – then Musharraf was at Edgeware Road for years even after Bin was killed and costed the london tax payer £1 million per month just the security alone. There is nothing called a free lunch at London.
        Hindian DNA is mughal not hindu they still practice sharia law components at commerce and rape at will.
        the day russia falls in line with the west pakistan or islam would be a bygone word. Each county is doing overtime and extending time because the money is tax free and good.
        Go see touch taste not in english but the common language on the streets with educated artist, scientist etc.

        • 0
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          ” …Go see touch taste not in english but the common language on the streets with educated artist, scientist etc…” says our friend Javi, a regular Jihadist commentator. That is what happened in Peshawar last week, when the inevitable enmity between the Islamic brothers explodes. Yes! The confused and corrupt Pak Army and Nawab Shariff’s Govt (somewhat liberal and less fanatical) will hang a few hundred Islamic assassins in their custody to ensure that the American money keeps pouring in – to enable the high living style of the Pakistan top security brass. But then this will result in a further blood-bath.

          In the very nature of the composition of the State of Islamic Pakistan, it is unlikely to see peace – at any time. The Punjabis have always been at the throat of the Sindhis. The Pathans against the rest and so forth. Within our lifetime Pakistan may break into Punjab Pakistan, Sindhi Pakistan and other smaller formations like the NEFA of Khan Walia Ghaffar Khan.

          As to Musharaff – what a world leader. The congenital liar was caught lying in Rolf Blitzer’s CNN show when his book was published. I agree with you he should be kicked out of Edgware Road. Have the Brits demoted him? Is there no room in Hampstead Heath or other parts of Central London to “host” this rogue – a fugitive of Pakistan’s own peculiar system of justice?

          If and when Pakistan learns to separate religion from politics and also give up their 24x7x365 crusade to destroy India, there is a chance the country may be in the path to peace. Otherwise, for them it is the wisdom of those “who live by the sword, perish by the sword” Insha Allah. What a beautiful and meaningful expression, if lived to the true essence of the sentiments therein.

          Kettikaran

          • 0
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            mottakaran says “says our friend Javi, a regular Jihadist commentator.”

            Apen thera bak ka bap (walking owl)

            first clear yourself of from whom even BBC gets all its news.

            Peshwar, kabul all these were updated on my news update before i responded
            knowing what you write- always prepared for the worse for it keeps on coming,

            If you think Hindia & Porkistan are independant even with their nukes stop looking at your nose. Cant you see what happens to independence nuke countries.
            For US to have around 736 bases worldwide and averaging 50k per base then you are the only one awake and they are just making the Japanese girls pregnant.

            • 0
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              For the love of God, I do not understand what this creature Javi is trying to convey. Does anyone? Other than the vitriol and abuse, I see little substance to engage. Your “News update”. What in tarnation is that?

              Kettikaran

              • 0
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                “Does anyone? Other than the vitriol and abuse, I see little substance to engage”

                you sit on your hands dig in your feet and write through your rear!

                When i spoke of Musharf stay in the UK you talk -“”As to Musharaff – what a world leader. The congenital liar was caught lying in Rolf Blitzer’s CNN show when his book was published. I agree with you he should be kicked out of Edgware Road. Have the Brits demoted him? Is there no room in Hampstead Heath or other parts of Central London to “host” this rogue – a fugitive of Pakistan’s own peculiar system of justice?””

                Edgware Arab town in Westminister why should he go to social hamstead- you cant think.
                I live at Westminister (UK) (BBC is westminister) and I live at Moncloa too (Spain) I have always been a city boy born Cinnamon Gardens and lived there.
                We dont need to wrong info – we dont buy and sell like you refugee JT’s but manufacture for generations.

                That is why folk call you para demala the kallathonio and castism has to be respected. fing man

                Dont you know he went to Pakistan like Bhutto about a year ago??
                http://zeenews.india.com/news/south-asia/order-on-abettors-in-musharrafs-treason-trial-stayed_1519335.html

                Associated Press and Associated Press Services are the wholesale distributors of News Services and they have their teams at BBC and CNN etc.
                I do have friends who are the supervisors to their teams and we do meet at the pub occasionally.

                you sound like you come from a slave background that you need a kick up your backside to refer scumbag.
                You write sleeping pills like totakattu go jump in the sea join Hole in one Fatty VP your ethinicity scumbag.

                • 0
                  0

                  I concede I have no intention to sink to the depths of vulgarity and foul-mouthing of Javi, which is in the blood of these rejects originally from the slums of Maradana, Mariakade and Dematogoda (Colombo)- descendents of untouchables from the littoral of present Tamilnadu. In the nature of their deceptive character, they hesitatingly claim they came from Arabia. Tell that to the Marines. The columns of Colombo Telegraph is meant for higher and better purposes.

                  I live in the best parts of Colombo and am very much part of the Colombo society. No Muslims who lived as our neighbours in Cbo 7 would engage in vitriol like you. I have for long visited, lived in the UK/West and can easily distinguish between good Lankans and the incorrgigible dirt – in person and in writing.

                  As to your fond description of Parademalu and Kallathoni, you know the majority is going hell for leather to join us to alienate
                  “our common enemy” Azath Sally’s trying to form an alliance with the parademalu went nowhere, eh??? While I will stay by the decent Muslims among us, it is scum like you who have brought your community to this level. The Sinhalese don’t want you and neither do the Tamils. And you have the gaul to think the Arabs will.

                  Make a Resolution this season, man, and learn to live in peace with others without plotting to take them over and eventually destroy them. That is your wider problem. You are more of a paavi than a javi.

                  Kettikaran

      • 0
        0

        “”For the love of God, I do not understand what this creature Javi is trying to convey.”

        4th world villager get off your pit dont sleep and write stories

        Peshawar School Attack: ‘Those Who Kill Children Are Animals,’ Says Pervez Musharraf
        Published On: December 17, 2014 | Duration: 3 min, 57 se

        http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/news/peshawar-school-attack-those-who-kill-children-are-animals-says-pervez-musharraf/348805

  • 11
    13

    Was Genocide in Sri Lanka done only by the Government of Sri Lanka? What about the Genocide done by LTTE? Sending child soldiers to the battle field, forceful recruitment of children from schools to fight the war, killing of civilians, bombing civilians sites etc are also genocidal activities. How much of LTTE genocide was covered in this book. If it was not done then this is an “hypocritical book” not worth the reading. It is easy for Usha to write sitting in Canada, has she got the guts to go to Northern Sri Lanka, live among the people and contest an election without creating trouble for the simple people living in the North.

    • 2
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      Q: Was Genocide in Sri Lanka done only by the Government of Sri Lanka?

      A: Not always, sometimes by proxy viz 1958, 1977 and 1983.

      However, in 1971, then again in 1987 to 1989, and finally in 2009, the GoSL showed its teeth, rolled up its sleeves and threw caution to the winds. As the men in army fatigues said to me “Geneva Convention? Nobody told us anything about the fucking Geneva Convention. We were just told to finish the job”.

      Now, apropos “”…Sending child soldiers to the battle field, forceful recruitment of children from schools to fight the war, killing of civilians, bombing civilians sites etc are also genocidal activities. How much of LTTE genocide was covered in this book. If it was not done then this is an “hypocritical book” not worth the reading…” WELL, well, well, NONE of this would have come to pass if WE the PEOPLE hadn’t succumbed to the devious politicians of the fifties (to start with) who divided us and offered the Sinhala-Buddhists a promised land.. Afterwards it was all downhill. We abandoned decency, fairness and respect for each other as we succumbed over the years to the charms of myriad crooks, thugs and self servers who screwed this blessed land.

      As grandma said; there IS such a thing as cause and effect.

    • 3
      0

      “”Was Genocide in Sri Lanka done only by the Government of Sri Lanka? “”

      If you cross a snake with a hot_dog you get a fangfurther.

      (*|~)

    • 6
      2

      This particular defense that the LTTE also killed civilians and therefore committed war crimes must be put to rest once and for all. When secessionist troops fail in their attempt, then, they become subject to the national laws. It is for the Sri Lankan government which defeated the LTTE to try the LTTE cadres who had killed civilians under the normal processes of the criminal law of Sri Lanka. This, the government has failed to do. Most of the killers of the LTTE, who without doubt are responsible for killing civilians are dead and cannot be tried. Others the Sri Lankan government wiped off after they were taken into custody. Some are Ministers in the Sri Lankan government (Karuna and KP). So the issue of the liability of the LTTE simply does not arise.

      Genocide is committed by governments. Had LTTE formed an Eelam, its leaders would have to answer for the killings of civilian Sinhalese. They killed brutally and in large numbers. This has to be conceded. They however are not answerable for war crimes simply for (i) reasons stated above (ii) there is no separate state that was formed.

      The position of the war leaders of the Sri Lankan government are different. They become liable for war crimes and, if the requisite intention can be shown, for genocide. Clearly, war crimes were committed. It is within the province of the international community to ensure accountability, though Sri Lanka as a state bears responsibility for every civilian person killed during the war and has a duty to prosecute those responsible. If they do not, other states and the international community have a right to prosecute them

      It does not matter whether Rajapakse wins the elections or not. The time will come when he will have to face the music. Let us not waste time frivolously with the argument that the LTTE too killed civilians. Few would want to deny that. It does not provide any defense to anything.

      • 3
        2

        Ponkoh Sivakumaran:

        It’s good to see you have accepted the LTTE committed crimes. Please note the UNHCR is mandated to look into the LTTE’s crimes as well. In the event of further investigation into this, what would be the position of Rudrakumaran, who is an international advisor to the LTTE. Does he have any corporate accountability for the crimes of the LTTE?

        • 1
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          I never had doubts that LTTE committed crimes. That was pretty obvious and could not be denied.
          The commander of the East responsible for killings of policemen and Muslims at prayer now is a Minister in MR’s Cabinet. All criminals must be tried whatever side they belonged to. But, the characterisation of the crime is important.

          As to Rudrakumaran, there is no corporate responsibility as suggested as the LTTE was not a company. He was, as I understand it, legal advisor to the LTTE. Had he advised the LTTE to commit murders of civilians, he would be complicit in the murders. There can be little doubt about this either.

          This is not a Sinhala v Tamil issue. It is a question of applying the law and holding people accountable for their crimes.

          As I said, we must think of accountability for the 70,000 Sinhalese youth killed during the JVP uprising. Sri Lanka became the killing fields then. Why have people kept quiet about it, with the JVP burning commemoration candles only now. At least, the Tamils make noise about the killings of their civilians. “Real Peace” must understand that the restoration of the rule of law in Sri Lanka requires all Sri Lankan citizens killed are identified and the responsibility for their killings be established. This is the duty of the State of Sri Lanka.

          • 2
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            Ponkoh Sivakumaran:

            Well, interestingly, the wives of the Islamic armed militants in the UK have been charged with acts of omission [not divulging information to the State to protect civilians] and found guilty. The wives did not ask their husbands to carry out attacks! How can the international legal advisor now say that he had nothing to do with crimes committed by the LTTE?

            • 0
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              Your information that wives of alleged terrorists have been tried in England is incorrect. The law requires active complicity. Passive complicity suffices if the person had the power to prevent and omitted to do so. You will have to prove that the person was in such a position. If thee is a case to be made against Rudrakumaran, sure, he should be tried. But, the present government has within its control far greater criminals against whom a well-founded case exists-Karuna, KP, Pillayan and co. Let us start with them. They are within the jurisdiction of the Sri Lankan Government, probably sitting next to the President.

      • 1
        1

        Why should there be double standard? Since you agree that LTTE was involved in war crimes, both LTTE and the SL Government should be brought before the international courts. Whether LTTE members are alive or not, at least all those organizations which are carrying LTTE flags should be brought before the international courts.

        It is sad that the civilians in the North and East are suffering even today for the crimes of LTTE which attracted the illegal action of the SL Government. Those who are carrying LTTE flag, who are mostly diaspora organization should be ashamed of themselves.

        • 1
          1

          Sure, bring the LTTE persons to trial. Most of them are sojourning as Ministers in the MR government-KP, Karuna and Pillaiyan and their assistants and hangers on. It should be easy to try them. Others have been killed off by the Government some after they surrendered.

    • 3
      2

      LTTE was saints.

      Financial and moral supporters of LTTE were saints.

      Suicide bombers and black tigers were rebels and killing is part of Tamil culture.

      Child soldier recruiting was Tamil culture.

    • 0
      2

      Two wrongs never made a right.

      • 2
        1

        You never knew how to make it right in the first instance with 2.
        Randy.
        Did you count your fingers when it came to algebra??

  • 6
    3

    The gentle and handsome Ramu Manivannan is a humanist. It is not only Sri Lankan Tamils, whose plight he is interested in. He is equally interested in the situation in Burma and Tibet – among many other. He also spends much of his time in social work without remuneration – helping the poor and those outside the education loop. As Martin Luther King Jr. points out he believes in “Injustice anywhere affects justice everywhere”

    I had a long chat with a close friend – also a Colombo businessman, very much into politics and academic work. The latter had addressed a meeting chaired by Prof. Manivannan 2 years ago on Sri Lanka. He was impressed with the depth of RM’s knowledge in all 3 countries – from a humane perspective. I am told RM is not a rich man or an ambitious one but one, in the Gandhian mould, who understands life is a brief journey and one must do to those less fortunate to make their lives happy and a little more endurable. Noble qualities indeed.

    As to Sinhala Sri Lanka, the Intelligence agencies will have a case against him simply because he has written an article or two over the years in sympathy with Lankan Tamil sufferings. For this reason he may be Persona Non-grata here. How I wish a day will arrive soon when the Tamil Nation – and indeed Sinhala friends free of racial prejudice – host the learned Prof. Ramu Manivannan and learn from his wide repertoire in politics and social work of this humanist.

    R. Varathan

  • 2
    1

    We Sri Lankans. Nowadays can’t stop saying how bad MR is, but if we here LTTE or UN mentioned, then suddenly we forget how MR is turning Sri Lanka in a family business with only one (Chinese) customer. No no, suddenly we should all protect “mother lanka”.

    Remember that US and EU account for 75% of Sri Lanka’s export, willing to pay a good price for Sri Lankan goodies (12 USD / kg fish versus 3 USD / kg fish by Putin, MR’s twin in all but a name). But EU and USA want something in return: human rights, freedom of speech etc.

    And it will come. If not in a few days, then in a few decades. And if you think that a Sri Lankan trial is better, than just do yourself a favor and google “prison scheveningen” to see what kind of prison cells they have at ICC.

  • 8
    4

    Usha:

    There is no point in talking only about crimes committed by the GOSL. If you are a true HR activist, you must also speak up about the crimes committed by the LTTE. Why are you turning a blind eye to the crimes committed by the LTTE? It’s high time you behave like an educated and sensible person.

  • 3
    0

    The cause for genocide may have been a counter-approach to separatism
    turned terrorism, only by definition after US Sept.incident.

    MS Diary for 23-4-15 speaks of a National Govt. and thus provides some
    space for bargaining – even a mutual separation for the benefit of both
    races? These are trends in current International Politics. With such a promise the need for tamils to participate in this PE is a chance not worth missing.

    It is possible for MR & cabal to prevent Tamils turning out in large numbers on Voting day in N/E, using its Forces. Even Election Monitors may be picked to suit this kind of arrangement with the connivence of their EC. A free and fair election is supect given the do or die attitude
    of the incumbent.

  • 3
    5

    Anyone can write a book of words amounting it to be a Novel. I am interested to know such specific acts, supported by witnesses, to constitute a War Crime. Otherwise the accusers will be accused of shedding crocodile tears.

    • 6
      3

      “Otherwise the accusers will be accused of shedding crocodile tears.”

      That was Sirimavo’s speciality that took her high up making a dynasty.

      I can’t stand whining.(*|*)

      • 1
        0

        Whether Mrs. Bandaranaike or any other person, I don’t think anybody who sheds crocodile tears should be given any credence. Politicians in general are quite good at shedding tears. Prof. Manivannan should not fall into that category and he must cite specific instances to clear his own name.

        • 0
          1

          Shy Scum,

          “Her opponents and critics called her the “weeping widow”, saying she got herself nominated a Senator and made head of her husband’s party after his death by making capital out of his death, going around to different villages and weeping over their children.

          in camera or coram non iudice ??

          Lanka is the latter presently.

          • 1
            0

            Frankly, the subject matter here is Prof Manivannan, who is supposed to be a man of learning and has to maintain his reputation and not Mrs. B., the house-wife turned politician. At the cost of repetition I must say that I am not interested in the politicians’ lot. Saying one thing and doing another is their watch word

            • 0
              1

              2the subject matter here is Prof Manivannan,”

              study a bit about interrelationships than ballistics to appreciate where we come from.

              Ego tripper, simply put would you be put in the cockpit of a formula 1??

              • 0
                1

                I can understand some having deep seated feelings when they are not treated as equal partners in society. So am I. But I got rid of the bitterness by placing dirt where it should be and in that context politicians are a set of cunning scoundrels who beg our vote periodically for them to enjoy while in office. In the light of the foregoing Prof. M. cannot be pushed to the second place. We must have people who we can look towards and academics are one such group. Hence they must maintain high standards.

  • 1
    9

    Vellala Ms Skandarajah obviously hasn’t seen at least a copy of the “Sirisena – Ranil Wickremasinghe Pact , which Ranil signed on behalf of the LTTE proxy Sambandan and his TNA..

    * Dismantle all Security Zones,

    * Withdraw the Armed Forces from the North and the East,

    * Implement the 13 A with additional needs of the TNA,

    * Cut the Defence Budget by 40 %

    * And invest the whole 40 % in the North and the East.

    Additional needs of the TNA obviously are from the TNGTE and the Diaspora which were incorporated into the CC Manifesto by the UNP London and its ally Mr Suren Surendran,

    Ms Senator and Mr Surendran may even visit our inhabitants to celebrate the First Anniversary of My Thee Sira’s Presidency..

    And negotiate a more powerful delegation for the following year, with PM Rudrakumaran and the deputy Reverend..

    Vellala Sambandan must be nominated for the Oscar in 2015.

    • 3
      2

      Looks like Sumanasekera is having nightmares these days.

      Sumanasekera,
      First seek psychiatric treatment and then go to a Buddhist temple, sit in front of the Buddha statue and meditate, it will lessen your suffering.

    • 2
      1

      A spurious “secret agreement” purportedly signed between Maithripala Sirisena, the common opposition leader and Ranil Wickremesinghe the leader of UNP is put out in the glare of wide publicity by the Rajapakse mudslinging unit using the UNP dissident Tissa Attanayake. This fake agreement letter/document with signatures of Maithri and Ranil, has been prepared by the Rajapakse’s mudslinging team led by Dallas and Heeralu Herath along with former UNP General Secretary and Health Minister Tissa Attanayake.

    • 0
      1

      Sumane, you are a nit-wit. All what you cry over are matters dealt with
      in MRs LLRC Report, that was given to the UN and accepted. So why are
      you crying? Why not Vote for a C H A N G E ?

  • 1
    2

    [Edited out]

    Cheers

    Abhaya

    • 2
      1

      mouth organ,sangria,

      too much darshini erotic exposure-mahasoni not sonia my love.

  • 4
    4

    What did these guys call the LTTE -tigers! More ferocious than the elephant !Any army fighting a terrorist group there can be colateral damage-the US army in Afganistan and Iraq, UK in Iraq,Pakistan army in its own northern territories,Indian army in Kashmir,this is a funadmental reality of fighting.Even in the recent Sydney restaurant attack two innocent people died.People like Usha are color blind.With these kind of new citizens Canada will soon become a morally bankrupt country. It is sad that they opened the doors to all comers

  • 2
    4

    Government of Sri Lanka and LTTE should not be weighed in the same scale. Sri Lanka is a state actor bound by the conventions and protocols part of international law. Not so much the LTTE. For example the age limit for recruitment of soldiers by the state actor is above 17. For the LTTE it is 15+. So the bar is low for the LTTE. Those who accuse LTTE of recruiting child soldiers themselves bombed and killed school children, Chencholai children claiming they were child soldiers! I want to ask all Sinhalese zealots why there was a war in the first place? Surely Prabhakaran was not born with a gun in his hand? Is it not the failure of Sinhalese leaders to act equitably and justly towards the Thamil minority that led to the war? Why did they ram Sinhala Only police down the throats of the Thamils ditching the two language policy in place from State Council days? What about robbing the citizenship and franchise rights of the Hill Country Thamils who had those rights before independence? The list is endless. There are over 90,000 IDPs waiting resettlement at their own homes in the Northeast. There are also 89,000 war widows in need of government assistance. Some Sinhalese chauvinists blame Ranil for signing the peace agreement with the LTTE. But the truth is without the peace agreement the LTTE would have taken over and concluded the war much earlier. The Sinhalese soldiers trapped in the Jaffna peninsula after the fall of Elephant Pass to the LTTE were waiting for evacuation by Indian war ships. LTTE made the fatal mistake of giving time for the army to surrender.

    • 3
      3

      Yes yes, and the Nazis were kind of alright, they only turned up on the scene because the allies were a bit mean after WW1. The same goes for the We Thamizh Nazis, right :D

  • 3
    2

    Siva Sankaran Sarma /David Blacker,

    You are still having nightmares, tired and dead on your feet??

  • 0
    0

    Sumane calls Ms.Usha Sri-Skandarajah as Vellala Ms Sri-Skandarajah.Similarly Vellala Sampandan.Strangely,Mr.Suren Surendran and Rudrakumaran are not referred with the Vellala prefix! This is getting curioser and curioser.Is Sumanasekera in Alices Wonderland.This may also account for his swallowing of the first Gundu of Tissa Attanayake,who after all is working overnight for the huge Pocket Money he received for the PoleVault.

  • 1
    0

    Your expressed views are same as late Parabahkarn, any sensible person reading your views will not be amused, will understand you either as a born Tamil or ssumed nationality of a Tamil, would want to seek publicity. You are not the only individual who sought publicity at the mercy/expense of innocent victims, Tamil, Moslem, Sinhalese killed by your murderous goon Parabakharan. If you are a mother, I hope you sleep well at night, counting the money you had made from Tamils who had bought your book, I don’t think any Muslim or Sinhalese person will want to read this tripe.

  • 1
    0

    Your expressed views are same as late Parabahkarn, any sensible person reading your views will not be amused, will understand you either as a born Tamil or assumed nationality of a Tamil, would want to seek publicity. You are not the only individual who sought publicity at the mercy/expense of innocent victims, Tamil, Moslem, Sinhalese killed by your murderous goon Parabakharan. If you are a mother, I hope you sleep well at night, counting the money you had made from Tamils who had bought your book, I don’t think any Muslim or Sinhalese person will want to read this tripe.
    No Sri Lankan Govt: is obliged to ppologize for stopping the war. Parabakaran was despised all over the world, apart from individuals like you, [Edited out]

  • 0
    0

    Interesting book review. And judging by the comments definitely worth getting. Genocide is disgusting anywhere in the world.

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