27 September, 2020

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Sri Lanka: In Search Of Truth & Reconciliation

By Mark Salter

Mark Salter

Is Sri Lanka on the path to establishing its own Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)? The answer, at least if Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is to be believed, is ‘yes’. Speaking at a recent meeting in Kilinochchi – the wartime capital of territory ruled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during its 23 year-long conflict with government forces (1983 – 2009) – Wickremesinghe suggested that setting up an TRC was now a priority, the aim being to establish a process and mechanism for ‘telling the truth related to the war’, ‘expressing regret for the past’ and ‘asking forgiveness in order to establish genuine reconciliation’. Like others before him, too, Wikremesinghe pointed to South Africa as a model for how to design such a process.

Critics will be quick to detect the hand of instrumental politics in this move. With the next Geneva review session of the UN Human Rights Commission now less than a month away, it is indeed tempting to see an announcement of moves to establish a TRC as a sop designed to keep the international community at bay over demands for demonstrable progress on accountability for alleged war crimes. And given the government’s past record of last-minute official announcements prior to UNHRC review sessions – most recently in 2017, with regard to an Office of Missing Persons (OMP) – a certain measure of political sang-froid over moves to establish a TRC indeed seems in order. 

That said, it’s important to keep in mind that setting up a TRC was one of four core elements of the wide-ranging and ambitious transitional justice (TJ) strategy outlined by then Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the UN in autumn 2015: the others being the OMP, an Office of Reparations and – most controversially within Sri Lanka at least – a hybrid court to address war crimes allegations. 

Samaraweera envisaged an 18-month timeframe for rolling out the new set of TJ instruments. In practice, however, progress on realizing this agenda has been either painfully slow or – in the case of a hybrid court – non-existent. Following seemingly endless debates regarding its mandate and composition the OMP was finally established in May 2018. To date it has held victim consultations and produced an interim report but not much more, compounding suspicions – notably among the northern Tamil population that bore the brunt of the carnage during the conflict’s final stages – that it will prove to be yet another ultimately toothless official instrument incapable of providing victims with the information they most want: the truth regarding the thousands of civilians and combatants still officially ‘missing’ almost 10 years after the war’s ending.

With regard to an Office for Reparations legislation enabling its establishment finally passed through parliament in October 2018, though there was some criticism of the envisaged mechanism as lacking in independence from government. No doubt at least partially due to the turmoil that descended in the wake of the (ultimately failed) late November takeover attempt by President Sirisena in cahoots with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, little has been heard of the Reparations Office since, and it remains to be seen what happens once – of if – the Office eventually gets up and running.

Finally, at this juncture moves towards setting up the hybrid court proposed in 2015 appear to be completely stymied. If anything, indeed, things have moved backwards, with a succession of government officials, President Sirisena included, lining up over the past few years to voice criticism of everything from international judges’ prospective involvement in a court to wholesale rejection of allegations of war crimes committed by Sri Lankan armed forces. 

In response to this situation, some will argue strongly that unless and until issues of accountability are adequately addressed in Sri Lanka, moves to establish bodies such as a Reparations Office or TRC are little more than window-dressing and should be treated accordingly. A more nuanced position might be to welcome the (limited) progress made to date on implementing the 2015 transitional justice agenda while also urging the government to move forward resolutely on all four pillars.

At the same time it’s important to underscore the fact that in Sri Lanka, as in all post-conflict contexts, there are critical issues of timing, sequencing and balancing what may sometimes appear to be competing objectives in the context of an overall transitional justice agenda. By its very definition transitional justice implies compromises and as such the delivery of less than perfect outcomes, not least with respect to justice itself. In transitional contexts, in other words, no one, either victors or victims, gets everything they want and/or quite possibly deserve. 

On the one hand there is clearly a fundamental need to avoid the pursuit of what is perceived as ‘victors justice’. But at the same time – and here’s the rub – if national reconciliation is considered an overriding objective, it may be that some of victim’s legitimate demands for justice may have to be deferred until satisfying them becomes politically practicable.

In this context, too, there’s a need to bear in mind the political risks potentially involved in pursuing justice. An instructive example in this regard is Croatian General Ante Gotovina. Following a 2001 announcement that the ex-Yugoslavia War Tribunal (ICTY) had issued sealed indictments against him, Gotovina rapidly assumed the status of nationalist symbol and rallying point for all who rejected criticism of Croatian forces’ conduct in the Balkan wars. 

In a similar vein, it doesn’t take too much imagination to conjure up the kind of reaction that the indictment or arrest of wartime Sri Lankan military leaders such as Sarath Fonseka or Shavendra Silva might still provoke among the majority Sinhalese population.

The implication, and lesson learned from other experiences here is that when framing the transitional agenda, some key aspects of justice may have to wait until such time as a country’s judicial institutions – and in particular its civil-military relations – have undergone the thorough-going transformation necessary for them to be able to deal adequately (and safely) with them. Critically, there is also hope here. For the victims of General Pinochet in Chile, Hissène Habré in Chad, Charles Taylor in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and Radko Mladic in Bosnia, for example, the wait for justice has been a long one. At the wait’s end, however, has come real justice, in visible, tangible form.

In the meantime, it is equally clear that efforts to move the majority population towards acceptance of the need for an honest examination of the wartime past requires clear, resolute political leadership. In other words, precisely what barring a few exceptions has been so signally and disappointingly lacking from the current administration. And with a sequence of elections – provincial, presidential and parliamentary – looming over the horizon, the window for action appears to be getting smaller by the day. Following his announcement of the government’s new TJ agenda in 2015, Mangala Samaraweera placed great store on consultation with the population. While it may have appeared an appropriate mantra at the time, what’s required more than anything else from the government today is action. 

Finally, and returning briefly to reconciliation, the Prime Minister’s recent remarks in Kilinochchi suggest two further things that demand closer scrutiny. The first concerns the so-called ‘South African model’ for a TRC. Does such a thing exist and if so, can it be copied or otherwise replicated elsewhere? Certainly its leading figure, Archbishop Desmond Tutu doesn’t think so. ‘There is no handy roadmap for reconciliation’, he cautioned some years ago. ‘As our experience in South Africa has taught us, each society must discover its own route to reconciliation. Reconciliation cannot be imposed from outside, nor can someone else’s map get us to our destination: it must be our own solution.’

Tutu’s advice thus points away from fixating on South African experience and towards the need for Sri Lankans to identify and articulate their own vision and version of reconciliation. Second, alongside truth-telling about the past Wickremesinghe points to the desirability of ‘say[ing] sorry and reconcile[ing]’. 

I would argue, however, that forgiveness is neither inherent in or necessary to the notion of reconciliation. What reconciliation does require is: minimally, recognition of the other’s right to exist regardless of what he or she may have done in the past; a future preparedness to co-exist, including with former enemies; and a willingness to (re)build the social relations necessary for a society to function effectively. Forgiveness, while essential to some and certainly a notion deeply embedded in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, is at root an individual act that cannot and should not be legislated for as part of an approach to reconciliation and transitional justice. 

For reconciliation to ‘work’ in Sri Lanka the first task is to establish a solidly-anchored localized understanding of what the term implies. And in doing this, crucially the country needs to draw on its own key religious traditions – Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu as much as Christian. Exactly what that understanding entails will require further exploration. Indeed should it be established in the coming months, one of the first things a TRC could usefully do is to undertake precisely such a broad-based, consultative enquiry. By doing so it would help to ensure that any concerted effort to promote a process of truth-telling and reconciliation is firmly anchored in an authentically Sri Lankan roadmap.

*Mark Salter is a writer and analyst. His latest book, referenced throughout this article, is To End A Civil War: Norway’s Peace Engagement in Sri Lanka (Hurst, London: 2015).

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

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      somass

      Being the clever dick in this forum you should know the reason before you attempt to reject the idea of forming Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
      Here is the reason, ” Forgiveness, while essential to some and certainly a notion deeply embedded in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, is at root an individual act that cannot and should not be legislated for as part of an approach to reconciliation and transitional justice. “.

      Do you think Dr Ranil is trying to impose Judaeo-Christian tradition onto Sinhala/Buddhist majoritarian? Even if it is not the case you must reject it out of hand before looking into merits and demerit of the process.

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        This is a hoodwinking exercise to cover up the crimes. You cannot compare it with what happened in South Africa, where truth and reconciliation commission was established only after justice was granted to Blacks and all white perpetrators of crimes were disarmed and removed from authority. In Sri Lanka nothing of this has happened. There is no sight of justice for Tamils for which they fought, leave alone semi justice. Still the terrorist armed forces are remaining fully armed in Tamil areas and still the racist Sinhala government is in full control over Tamil homelands. As long has this has not happened it is only empty rhetoric on truth and reconciliation. Secondly confession and atonement is a Christian concept which worked well in South Africa as both perpetrators and victims were Christians. Confession and atonement may be the way in some Buddhists and Hindus but it is never heard of among Muslims. So this will be an exercise in futility and will only serve as a time wasting process in denying justice to Tamils.

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          Tamil TULF, made up of the land owning Vellalar Tamils who pushed the Vaddukkodei resolution so that they can continue to keep the lower castes under their yoke. Then they can exploit them and get them to work their lands without interference from the central government. Most of the Tamil leaders live in Colombo 7, or in USA, UK or Europe and regard Sri Lanka’s North as their fiefdom which should not be opened to the democratic process. They even want to annex the East.

      • 5
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        If Ranil is unable to give forgiveness to those Tamil Political Prisoners held in prison without trial and if he can’t release all the private lands held by the army, how can he even suggest what he has suggested?.
        This I believe is feeler to SAM/SUM

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        Native
        Thank you for the invitation.
        Of course we must study the Judio Christian traditions as practically applied throughout history in respect of war, violence and destruction and substitute that for the Hindu-Buddhist concept of ahimsa. There is no doubt that it is the only way of survival for a threatened species of Hindu/Buddhist roots. As a matter of fact both Sinhalese and Tamils did apply Judio Christian traditions in conducting the 30 year war and Western countries can justifiably feel proud of that.

        Soma

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        These are done by western spies who are the supporter of Tamil Tigers. no sri Lankan have committed crime; These 11 are Tamil Terrorist. Terrorists are not children. Prez pramadasa was killed by a same age Tamil terrorists who was directed by Western spies
        Western planed well pramadasa killing and other high profiles killing. Sly western spies had discussed with Tigers in Canada, US and especially Europe on how to avoid tight security of pramadasa to get the suicide bomber in. Then, Western spies from Colombo embassies were listening to Pramadasa to find “any weakness of pramadasa and to find way to kill him. Then, they found that pramadasa told security forces to allow children to visit him when he travel in Colombo.
        This was widely discussed by Tamil Tigers communities and Western spies across North America and Europe and Western men and women celebrated with dancing and parties. parties and celebration were held throughout Canada at each time when a Tiger suicide bomber kill a
        Sinhalese leader in Colomb

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        Judaeo-Christian. tradition? *Terrorist funding across the globe. Colonial genocide across the globe. Mass genocide Balkan region, former Yugoslavia. Genocide Syria. Genocide Iraq. Genocide Lybia. Communists Genocide in Russia. Genocide and stealing in Africa. Genocide and stealing in India named a few.

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        most current and popular one Is genocide Palestine

  • 14
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    Srilanka had number commissions, institutions to investigate after each episode of genocidal attack on Tamils since 1956. They had lots reports, recommendations each time but they never look back again these reports or recommendations but they plan for the next episode within a few years of previous genocide episode. Now they are planning for another episode and this TRC is another same old tactics played by both International Community and Sinhalese governments. The truth is that Genocide of Tamils in Srilanka is the objective of Sinhala politicians.

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      Ajith
      “The truth is that Genocide of Tamils in Srilanka is the objective of Sinhala politicians.”
      What do you advise those +50% Tamils (all Tamil speaking people irrespective of their religion caste or the date of arrival scattered across the island) who are presently trapped inside Sinhala majority provinces before the island is broken into federal pieces.

      Soma

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        Soma,
        Unfortunately I cannot advise 75% of the Buddhist Sinhala to stop brutality or genocidal programme they believe that is genetically they inherited from from the Jungle King lion. Is it possible to change you, No, whenever you get hungry you kill a Tamil and eat. That is your culture.

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          Ajith
          Despite all what you say the only ambition of +50% Tamils {all Tamil speaking people irrespective of their religion caste or the date of arrival) is to live among the Sinhalese. This fact alone makes us feel proud and superior.
          Tamil racists on CT has proved to me in no uncertain terms that nothing terrifies a Tamil than the thought of living in a Tamil only enclave.

          Mr Ajith, knowing well the genocidal nature of the Sinhalese what do you advise those +50% Tamils who are presently trapped inside Sinhala majority provinces before the island is broken into federal pieces.?

          “whenever you get hungry you kill a Tamil and eat.”
          Such is the stink a Sinhalese would eat his own shit rather.

          Soma

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      These are done by western spies who are the supporter of Tamil Tigers. no sri Lankan have committed crime; These 11 are Tamil Terrorist. Terrorists are not children. Prez pramadasa was killed by a same age Tamil terrorists who was directed by Western spies
      Western planed well pramadasa killing and other high profiles killing. Sly western spies had discussed with Tigers in Canada, US and especially Europe on how to avoid tight security of pramadasa to get the suicide bomber in. Then, Western spies from Colombo embassies were listening to Pramadasa to find “any weakness of pramadasa and to find way to kill him. Then, they found that pramadasa told security forces to allow children to visit him when he travel in Colombo.
      This was widely discussed by Tamil Tigers communities and Western spies across North America and Europe and Western men and women celebrated with dancing and parties. parties and celebration were held throughout Canada at each time when a Tiger suicide bomber kill a
      Sinhalese leader in Colomb

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      After the 1977 riots, soon after UNP scored a 5/6 victory, a commission by the name of SANSONI COMMISSION was appointed by JRJ popularly known as the Cunning fox. When the commission’s report had a tendency to go against the government,.Sansoni was bought over by JRJ and the report lost its teeth. I have forgotten the sequence of events which lead to the change in heart of a Burgher Retired Judge. Commissions appointed by governments are meant to safe guard the governments and not give redress to the affected. Any way at the end of his regime he was considered a’ LAME DUCK’ with no feathers to cover himself up..

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    @Jd, as usual your cracker comments are removed by CT. You are a bloody circus clown!

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

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    Mark we Lankans know the meaning of commissions and reports. Sorry to burst the bubble. The meaning in South Africa and Lanka are not the same. That is why we are known as “country like no other”. (blessed). Wait for next year Convention and you will have a fresh commission and a report/ new edition.

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      Thanks for this. When underlining differences in the understanding of reconciliation between, for example, South Africa and Sri Lanka, I should perhaps have added that understandings – and perhaps most importantly, historical experience – of Commissions are also very different. Mindful of this issue a Lankan TRC ought perhaps to try and find another word than ‘Commission’ to describe itself: a word that doesn’t trigger all the same negative associations in people’s minds,

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        A rose by any other name ……….

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    Mark meaning of TRC in Afrikaans/Zulu/Swati/ English languages when translated to Sinhalese are of quite opposite meanings..

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    Justice is not one-sided. People like you seem quite hostile to specific ethnic groups in Sri Lanka, and thus are biased in your claims and attempts to bring about justice for all those who suffered in the civil war.

    It should be worth your while to also investigate the wrong-doings of the UK, USA and European countries in the various wars they have participated in. It seems that people like you are not writing treatises on bringing those wrong-doers to justice.

    Don’t do the political bidding of vested parties in the West or Asia. Human rights knows no ethnicity/nationality or religion. Go ahead and agitate for ALL victims of wars, and advocate for the international courts to try military members from the UK, US, Australia and European countries, Israel, China, India and Japan as well.

    Then I will salute you as a TRUE defender of human rights.

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    Mr. Salter,
    As the 10th anniversary of the end of the war nears, the victims and their families want real and present justice, not yet another fancy distraction like TRC. What prevents the GoSL to start the reparations process without foot dragging? The GoSL–and the Southern polity–has no real will to come to terms with justice, and will come up with evasions, outright lies and stonewalling. External intervention is needed to ensure justice.

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    Any one , can you please clear my doubts. As per hear say Ganasara has told Mano during prison visit if he was born in Mullaitivu he would have joined LTTE and fought with them. What is he trying to say. Is that struggle of LTTE is justified????, Minorities fighting for their rights are justified????

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      Cause for the struggle by LTTE to fight for justice to Tamils is perfectly justified. It is the methods they used against non-combatants and dissidents and intransigence they displayed in arriving at a negotiated settlement were unacceptable. For that matter LTTE was never given any mandate by Tamils to fight for them. It is rank foolishness and selfishness of one man that brought down LTTE and placed Tamils in this state of helplessness. Who in his sane mind will join Premadasa and fight IPKF rather than joining IPKF and fight Premadasa. Who in his sane mind will kill Rajiv Gandhi purely for personal vendetta putting the Tamils at risk and bring doom to Eelam project. This is the sad truth which is unpalatable to many.

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      Tamil are not a minority – just 20km across there are 70 million of them.

      Soma

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    Native
    Thank you for the invitation.
    Of course we must study the Judio Christian traditions as practically applied throughout history in respect of war, violence and destruction and substitute that for the Hindu-Buddhist concept of ahimsa. There is no doubt that it is the only way of survival for a threatened species of Hindu/Buddhist roots. As a matter of fact both Sinhalese and Tamils did apply Judio Christian traditions in conducting the 30 year war and Western countries can justifiably feel proud of that.

    Soma

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    Accountability is the very antithesis of reconciliation and reconciliation is the very antithesis of separatism.

    Soma

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    Bring back Eric Solheim! we hear Salter crying, instead of salt! salt!!

    But not in a thousand years. Keep your thieving hero out of trouble (he won’t go to jail on stealing UN money anyway) and you both stay in Europe.

    We have seen too many hymes of all types.(American, British, Swedish, Norwegian, Australian) and a few Latin American hymes dressed as UN ‘Rapporteurs’.

    You must ask these parasites to work for a dollar rather than songe on the poor, trying to find escape routes for Israeli war criminals.

    You can do the same.

    • 3
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      The Aryan

      What is your point if you have one?

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        Don’t you understand f+++ing English? You want me to write in Dutch?

        Get a f++++ing brain, you retard.

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          The Aryan

          Try your best.
          Perhaps in Esperando.
          Are there any such words as f+++ing English, f++++ing brain, ….?

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    There have been investigative commissions in the past, from mismanagement & corruption to human rights, but they have been either a total whitewash or the recommendations made from the conclusions have never been implemented. The objective of the govt. has always been to be seen as doing something to satisfy the public or the international community, & at the end of the day, a waste of tax payers’ money.

    Are we ever going to see justice for the people who have suffered or punish those who have brazenly looted the country? I don’t think so. We have come to accept that politicians have no integrity, nor shame, & the average person in SL has a short memory. So the corruption continues, law enforcement & the legal system deteriorates & the fat cats who sit on commissions & those who live off NGOs have a good life, life goes on.

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    no one on both sides will tell the truth as they fear the consequences
    tand j will not work in sri lanka

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    In entire history of Lanka Not at least one Tamil kingdom existed in this territory. Time to time Tamil traders captured.crown and ruled some part .At the same time Tamil dynasties like Cholar, Chera and Pandyans Invaded Us & rule some part for their trading activities in East Indies & Malayan Peninsular. That does not mean total tamilian kingdoms existed here in the past. .As such tamilians do not have any rights to claim this territory or its part as theirs. If Tamilians existed in this territory we should see at least one single poem in Tamil or Malayalam or Telugu or Kannada languages or proto darvadian in our our ancient rock kingdom palace complex called “SIGIRIYA” Since 7th Century AD people visited abandoned Rock king palace & wrote poem of its beauties. Neither of them are in Darvadian affiliated languages. All are in Proto Sinhala or ELU affiliated language.Even rock famous paintings can not be related to any tales of Hinduism. But it is related to Animistic ritual tales that are told by our older generations. Tamils specially jaffna tamils claim they were not from Tamilnadu. Yes that is correct they are descendants of Dutch slaves brought here from Andra for Tobacco plantation just like British brought Tamilnadu for Tea plantation. Though now Jaffna tamils claim Vellala cast that is very high cast like Nadar cast in tamilnadu actually they are Sakkiliyar lived in Andra. As such Their speaking tamil language very much differ to Tamils spoken in Tamilnadu .Sakkiliyar were followers of NAGA royalist throughout the history. That is why Jaffna tamils trying hard to make bullshit story related to NAGA clan That was existed here in Lanka & very south part of India in old era. But that was not mentioned in old book like Ramayanaya or Mahabaratha

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      Ranjith(SPRRW), the failed sorcerer

      “In entire history of Lanka Not at least one Tamil kingdom existed in this territory. “

      Did you wave your magic willi and make the entire Tamil history in this island disappear?
      Brilliant, remember if there is no Tamil History in this island there is also no Sinhala History.

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        Native Gas vedda. At first tell us your writes to use this bogus name. If you have Tamil history here posted them here.Sinhalese are the ones who created history & civilization here. Tamils came as merchants at first and invaded seeing its glory to have some thing out of it.

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      Shut up lying racist Chingkalla clown with a comic website. You belong to one of these Chingkalla communities , who are descended from low caste Indian Thamizh slave imports , who arrived in the island during the Portuguese and Dutch colonial periods., Now their so called Chingkalla descendants like Chenali Vadukathi,, Kundipalan from Melbourne, Muttukarrupan Weerakundi, Kamalika Perunthollai, Choma, Ramona Kutti and not forgetting Pulugan Thayan are all beating the anti Thamizh drum , to hide their actual low caste Indian Thamizh slave origin. Elu is a simple Dravidian dialect of Thamizh, so stop lying. There is nothing original about Chingkallam. it is basically a mixture of three languages. Thamizh , Pali and Samaskirutham. Thamizh or its local dialect Elu is the foundation for Chingkallam and contributed most to this mongrel language on which a super structure of Pali/Samaskitutham words have been built. Out these three languages only Thamizh is from the island , the rest from North India. How can you then say Chingkallam is indigenous clown? Take Thamizh from Chingkallam there will be no Chingkallam , just Pali and Samaskirutham. Chingkalla grammar and alphabet is all based on Thamizh . Not on Pali or Samaskirutham. Everything about Chingkalam including the Chingkala people is based on Thamizh and Thamizh people and this includes your low caste Indian Thamizh slave ancestors. Ancestors of half the present day so called Chingkallams. You look very ugly just like your thoughts and heart.

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        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

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          Ranjith(SPRRW)
          The failed sorcerer

          Brilliant.
          Thank you for your mythical history.
          Keep typing.

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      There is no BULL SHIT OR COW SHIT STORY. Neither the Sinhala King Dutugemunu nor The Tamil king Ellalan ruled the whole of Srilanka. They did not rule beyond Madavachi to the North and Polonaruwa to the East.
      The Sinhala king of Kotte signed his ‘death warrant’ to the Britishers while the Jafnna Kings Sangliyan and Kakai Vanniyan fought the invaders and died a noble death. Similarly Prabaharan fought until his death to resist the world powers fighting against him. In that process not only he died, even his young son of 10/12 years was killed after a Maliban Biscuit feed (Maliban is supposed to be a racist Biscuit manufacturer who never employs a Tamil or Muslim) after capture. That shows how the army was afraid of the young Prabaharan .I won’t be surprised when the history of the war is written, they will say that Prabahran. fled the war zone due to Sinhala army’s attack. If not for the the world army fighting alongside Srilankan Army, Prabhaharn could not have been defeated.
      It is customary for the Sinhalese to claim victory by foul means and then claim the Hindu temples as their own and plant the statue of Buddha, a Hindu, (Not a God )who never preached a new religion.
      Fortunately Buddha was cremated according to Hindu Rites other wise his bones will be struggling to come out and and join the bones found in Mannar and say that he doesn’t agree as to how the Sinhalese Buddhists are treating his Hindu Brothers and Sisters.
      Oh! Lord please forgive them they know not what the do.

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      sachooooooooooooooooo

      Brilliant.
      Thank you for your interlinear inscription.
      Keep typing.

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    When Apartheid was dismantled in South Africa, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was suggested to bridge the deep chasm. Both sides were confused but Nelson Mandel and Desmond Tutu were able to restore confidence and the rest is history.
    .
    In SL, ‘Conciliation’ has got synonymised with ‘separation’ and as a ‘treacherous treason’.
    A TRC SL, must consist of unbiassed Commissioners. We cannot find ANY.
    PS: SLPP, a new arrival in Lankan political scene will unfurl, the guaranteed vote winner, the ‘threat of separation’. Watch this space.

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

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    Mark Salter, ’tis the season of mellow mists and balmy breezes’ even in sunny Sri Lanka and, ever since the dreaded resolution, January and February has become the season for bull-shitting in preparation for the annual event in Geneva. Obfuscation, dilly-dallying, shilly-shallying and every variation thereof is practised by our politicians. The stark truth is that NO Sinhalese politician has any intention of ever acceding to anything in the slowly decomposing resolution.

    The Truth will stay buried in a thousand haunted graves for now and evermore.

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    Mark Salter has done extensive research to write his book published some years ago. His effort was intended to articulate Norway’s view of its peace making role in Sri Lanka. During his research he seems to have found that the relationship between Tamils and Sinhalese is analogous to that between a wolf and a sheep. One side has the instruments of power and the strong support of like minded countries and on the other side there is a group of weak orphans. As a result of his research he now may have a soft corner for Tamils and hence this article by him. This article also appeared in the SriLanka Brief.
    Mr RW has recently talked about setting up the TRC to placate the UNHCR annual conference to be held next month in Geneva. This conference may have been the reason for removing Mr Mangala Samaraweera as the foreign minister.
    It is the usual ‘ bad’ government harms the minorities and the ‘good’ government comes to protect the bad government in international forums. Tamil people and by now many members of the UNHCR are fully aware of this game. The feed back from Tamil areas is that Mr RW will not get unmitigated support like what TNA gave him during the October crisis. Surprisingly like the Sinhalese in the villages, Tamils in the villages are also beginning to think that Mr MR coming to power is good for them. They are also willing to take a risk with democracy because there is no benefit in it for them.
    In order to avoid depending on minority votes Mr RW, Mr MR and Mr MS are now talking about removing the powers of the president and handing it over to the parliament. This will not materialise before the next presidential election nor the general election. Therefore minority votes may be needed to get elected as president.

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    Native what does (SPRRW) stands for. A secrete code????, Any Idea.

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      chiv

      Sorry I have no idea.

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    The Government of Sri Lanka and the politicians are making statement to the effect that ; Let us Forget and forgive – the PM and Amnesty to all sides from war crimes committed during the civil war – Minister Champika Ranawaka. These statements are at most idiocy. How can there be TRUE reconciliation between societies? If, everything is brushed under the carpet. Is Sri Lanka not matured enough to face the TRUTH. What guarantee that this “30 years of civil war” is not going to happen? What has Sri Lanka learned from the brutal civil wars during JVP insurrection and LTTE insurrection?

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