26 October, 2020

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‘Sri Lanka Masks Tyranny With Selective Democracy’ – GTF

By Colombo Telegraph

“Global Tamil Forum condemns Sri Lankan Government’s indefinite closure of 13 of the 15 state-run universities on the island, in response to strikes over privatisation of the higher education system, politicisation of key appointments in the sector and military training of all university entrants. This latest act to undermine academic freedom and institutional autonomy is a continuation of heavy militarisation of the island to maintain social control and curb any democratic opposition. Denial of university places for qualified Tamil entrants through a discriminatory education policy in the 1970s was a major trigger of the Tamil youth rebellion.” says Global Tamil Forum (GTF). 

Suren Surendiran

“The Rajapaksa regime’s use of force and intimidation to rule the population threatens all forms of freedom for expression – the very foundation of democracy. Attacks on journalists, media establishments and human rights activists continue with widespread impunity to censor any criticism of the Government. Centralising powers to the President has already severely compromised the independence of the judicial system on the island and consequently there is breakdown in the rule of law. The UK foreign Office has last week issued a travel advisory warning British citizens of an upsurge in nationalism, sexual offense and anti-Western (particularly anti-British) rhetoric in Sri Lanka.” issuing a press release GTF further says.

Here is  GTF statesman in full;

Global Tamil Forum condemns Sri Lankan Government’s indefinite closure of 13 of the 15 state-run universities on the island, in response to strikes over privatisation of the higher education system, politicisation of key appointments in the sector and military training of all university entrants. This latest act to undermine academic freedom and institutional autonomy is a continuation of heavy militarisation of the island to maintain social control and curb any democratic opposition. Denial of university places for qualified Tamil entrants through a discriminatory education policy in the 1970s was a major trigger of the Tamil youth rebellion.

The Rajapaksa regime’s use of force and intimidation to rule the population threatens all forms of freedom for expression – the very foundation of democracy. Attacks on journalists, media establishments and human rights activists continue with widespread impunity to censor any criticism of the Government. Centralising powers to the President has already severely compromised the independence of the judicial system on the island and consequently there is breakdown in the rule of law. The UK foreign Office has last week issued a travel advisory warning British citizens of an upsurge in nationalism, sexual offense and anti-Western (particularly anti-British) rhetoric in Sri Lanka.

Tamil people have demonstrated to the world in many ways that there needs to be significant changes to the current constitution to resolve their genuine political grievances. Tamils do not consider the 13th Amendment to the constitution as grounds to satisfying their political aspirations or forming a lasting political settlement. It has become common practice by the Sri Lankan regime to avoid addressing the genuine political grievances of the Tamil people by silencing voice of dissent and hoodwinking the international community with delay tactics and reconciliation facade.

The Government has chosen to adopt a selective approach to democracy. President Rajapaksa has announced that the Northern provincial Council elections need to be delayed until September 2013, to allow time for the completion of the rehabilitation and resettlement process in the Province and for electoral rolls to be updated. It is therefore ironic that three other elections have been held following the end of the war — presidential elections, parliamentary elections and elections to local bodies, in which the voters from theNorthern Provincehave participated. Despite the heavy military presence and intimidation efforts, the Tamil people exercised their democratic right and voted to show support for the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), as evident in the local and parliamentary polls in the North.

The onus is once again on our kith and kin to stand in solidarity against these apparatuses of oppression in the upcoming Eastern Provincial elections and show support for the TNA. Global Tamil Forum will always play its part, working with democratically elected representatives of the Tamil people and other democratic forces in the island to achieve permanent and just peace and a lasting political settlement for the ethnic conflict in the island.

Media Contact: Suren Surendiran

Tel: +44 (0) 7958 590196          

Skype: surendirans

Email: media@globaltamilforum.org

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Latest comments

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    Its the Circus of Democracy or the facade of democracy – holding provincial elections in a few areas while using state resources to buy voters while a family of uneducated brothers controls the entire economy.

    Democracy died some time ago in Lanka and now the Dons are trying to revive it! Long may they persevere!

    The starving Dons and Students (staved for intellectual and material inputs) will lead the revolution and send the brothers to the Hague for a war crimes trial!

    • 0
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      A HUNGRY MAN IS AN ANGRY MAN!
      People will “GET UP STAND UP FOR THEIR RIGHTS!” At the next FUTA rally lets here some Bob Marley lyrics to rally the students in addition to the Russian propaganda music!
      Long live FUTA!

  • 0
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    As always, uneducated village idiots from our government utter nonsense to deceit us and shut our universities down !!

    The Sri Lanka Government is incapable to run our country and in total disarray !!

    They are dragging our country from one crisis to another..

    If the Government fails to do something and things get difficult it puts the blame on international conspiracy, Diaspora, etc, etc, etc…

    That’s an easy way to get out of the situation and hoodwink the uneducated and the gullible.. :(

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    Issues concerning the Tamil people which led to the rise of Tamil youth militancy and the thirty-year loss of thousands of valuable lives, before that the insurgency in 1971 and later in 1987-89 are all consequences of the negative political culture practiced in Sri Lanka by the major stake-holders in politics. The statement of the GTF is a timely one to make the misled majority Sinhala people understand that the GTF is not only concerned of the Tamil people, which is the immediate need, but also of the whole country. Few weeks ago the GTF also came out with a set of proposals to solve the Tamil peoples’ issues peacefully but there seems to be no response from the Govt. which only keeps on blaming the Tamil Diaspora for all the problems in country.

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      Lanka Muslim, while I agree with your assessment of the performance of ‘major stake-holders’ in the country, I can’t agree with your conclusion of the GTF.

      A wolf dressed in sheep clothing doesn’t change the fact that it is still a wolf. Many in the GTF also fall in to the category of ‘major stake-holders’ of Sri Lanka.

      So from your post it is clear that you are either extremely naive, or you too are a ‘major stake-holder’.

  • 0
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    The Massacres of all sorts have taken place in Sri Lanka for 62 years.
    For many, many years the Tamil minority have been massacred by the various Sri Lanka Governments with impunity. We do not see the spilling of blood nor the loud wailing but we know that many hearts of Tamil war victims are still bleeding.
    This is definitely worse in the North and East of this Country.
    The barbarians of Africa, the head hunters of Borneo the savages of South America are all blood thirsty, but they did not pretend to be religious or virtuous they enjoyed what they did even today some these Countries are living up to these acts.
    But in this Country the Country which has embraced Buddhism one of the greatest philosophies the followers or pretenders are blood thirsty.
    The Sinhla Government is a reflection of its people.
    A GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE.
    This is the sad irony
    How many riots has this Country had since independence?
    All the riots were directed towards the minorities.
    Such a magnanimous loving charitable Country conducted a historically unknown “humanitarian operation” and that too with zero casualities,killing thousands and thousands and now shamelessly saying there were “only” few thousand casualities.
    So you can see the mindset of this Nation comprising 71% Sinhala Buddhist.
    Untill there is a total recognition of the frailings of the Sinhala man there can never be true reconciliation

    • 0
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      ‘Untill there is a total recognition of the frailings of the Sinhala man there can never be true reconciliation’.

      Haha, classic, yet another attempt at calling one side evil, while ignoring the evils of the other. It takes two to tango. And anyone who is truly after justice for Tamils, need to also look at their own leaderships. Anyone who doesn’t, can only be part of that leadership who continues to fail its own people.

      True reconciliation will come when those with a vested interest in division and conflict are ignored, and the people living inside the country learn to pick the wolves dressed as sheep.

  • 0
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    Typical Rajapaksa Mismanagement and “Democratic”Dictarorship:(

    Sri Lanka Government wastes billion of rupees by putting one Sri Lanka Army soldier behind every tree to spy on Tamil children conversations’ on the playgrounds.

    Meanwhile, a huge environmental disaster bomb was ticking away for 3 years in the middle of the capital?!?!

    A tiny fraction from the Defense Budget will deal with this long time ago..

    What a bunch of idiots!!

    Why on earth didn’t Rajapaksa govt make plans to tow this ship away from disaster instead of waiting for it to sink?

    This is a deliberate environmental disaster and a serious environmental crime !!

    In any other country they will go in for 20 years hard labor.

    In Sri Lanka they might even get promoted..

  • 0
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    The Rajapakses have got the message unrest in the Universities, with Dons in the fore, can be a tricky thing. Even the Kandyan prelates are taking the side of the Strikers. The Rajapakses have already relented and the Big Boss has agreed for talks. The formulae – predictably, yielding most of what is demanded while they themselves reportedly told the Ministers concerned not to give in.

    In the Tamil majority areas, the closing of the Universities, which did not engage any unrest at all, will be viewed from a different angle. The argument there is why they should suffer for the mess in the Sinhala South.

    What farce is being doled out under the name of governance and order.

    Senguttuvan

  • 0
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    Closing down the universities is a stupid thing to do even for Rajapaksa Dictatorship !!

    Of course, the blame for this fiasco will shifted on small fries, some ruling party ministers or even on extra terrestrial aliens from the outer space or other such nonsense !! :)

    Another fiasco-the environmental disaster of oil slick which was neglected for more than three years will be blamed on law courts!!

    But who is responsible for its upkeep or any danger to the environment, Rajapaksa Government or Law Courts ?

    And who is responsible for shutting down our universities, Rajapaksa Government or the small fry-some ruling party ministers ?

  • 0
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    GTF press release:

    “The Rajapaksa regime’s use of force and intimidation to rule the population threatens all forms of freedom for expression – the very foundation of democracy”

    I was reliably informed that a person from a sister organisation was forcibly evicted from GTF’s “meet the people meeting” by hired security personnel for expressing genuine concerns which GTF found awkward. In this regard a report was published in Colombo Telegraph.

    Bit rich for GTF to call for democracy in Sri Lanka.

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    Some European colonial governments of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Asia and Africa pursued a policy which had its origins in the belief that denying a people the access to knowledge and means to gain wisdom was key in unfettered control of their destinies at the whim of the colonial powers.

    It was perhaps the British who went one step further and rather than stifle the broadening of peoples’ discretionary capacities,steered them towards an artificially highly valued “British” system of administration,values and lifestyles, that still characterises Sri Lankan attitudes.

    The colonial powers such as Spain,Portugal, France,Germany and Belgium had to use violent repression to contain people’s uprisings (ie from hunger and hopelessness) and cost millions upon millions of innocent lives to sustain,due to the policy of promoting apathy in a dumbed-down society.

    Sri Lankans must strive towards maintaining education as key to advancement,development and ultimate survival if it is to prosper as a viable entity,and not give in to commercial interest or self interest by a small group of elites who do not represent society in general.

    • 0
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      Lasantha Pethiyagoda says:

      “steered them towards an artificially highly valued “British” system of administration,values and lifestyles, that still characterises Sri Lankan attitudes”.

      What would have been the alternative indigenous system had the British not colonise the island?

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        If the British did not colonise, all these Academics and Professionals, they would still be serving as vassals in a feudal system.

        • 0
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          gamini

          my man indulges in luxuries:

          “If the British did not colonise, all these Academics and Professionals, they would still be serving as vassals in a feudal system”

          When did these academics and professionals come out of feudal mentality? They still serve as vassals to their feudal chiefs. The only difference is that they do not wear amudei anymore but in western clothes as you complained few weeks ago.

          They may be mimicking the white man in their mannerisms and outlook and but deep down they are the same unsophisticated feudal functionaries, be it Tamil or Sinhalese.

  • 0
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    The GTF has not done enough to
    show that they are not proxies of the LTTE. At every GTF-sponsored demonstration, there are flags of guns & bullets but the GTF
    has not uttered a single word against those people who bring these disgraceful so-called ‘national flags’ with guns & bullets.

    • 0
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      Real Peace

      knows that:

      “The GTF has not done enough to show that they are not proxies of the LTTE.”

      Sri Lankan state, its rulers and supporters have not done enough (begin) to show its people they are genuinely interested in just settlement of ethnic issues.

      Every opportunistic leader duck and dives avoiding a meaningful engagement with minorities. The day they find reasonable settlement LTTE supporters would have no reason to wave the LTTE flag.

      Also remember these flag wavers have their own sad stories to tell the world. If they are to come to terms with loss of their kith and kin they need a genuine closure to the war, an independent war crime investigation might do splendidly.

      Avoiding both the political settlement with dignity and an independent investigation will prolong your agony, LTTE flag will remain an eyesore to every Sinhalese travelling abroad or watching the news.

      Sri Lankan state has a choice.

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        There shold be a political settlement to the national question and an independent international question into the war crimes -let there be no question.

        But tell me as to why should people who seek justice into war crimes brIng the flag of guns & bullets…I just don’t understand….

        • 0
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          Real Peace

          has a serious question:

          “But tell me as to why should people who seek justice into war crimes brIng the flag of guns & bullets…I just don’t understand….”

          I will deal with your question when I get time.

    • 0
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      Is is not the GOSL take the first step to win the confidence of any dissenting group. The Govt. just only talks of development and sabotage of ‘Diaspora’ (not defined as to which; Tamils, Sinhalese or Muslims). The core issue is the rights of the Tamil people to which the Southern political leader has been always evasive having promised of proposals at various times and sabotaging implementation of agreements/pacts entered into. The present Govt. has alone do so on many promises, viz; 1. The Non-implementation of the APRC proposals, 2. Dragging on the implementation of the LLRC proposals, 2. Going back on the agreements reached with the TNA at direct talks, and 3. Blaming the TNA for not agreeing to participate in the PSC when the JVP has rejected it totally and the UNP too has laid down conditions to participate. The GTF has set-out a set of proposals for negotiations and the Govt. has not all responded to them. So who is dishonest about peace?

  • 0
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    The present Govt. is neck deep sunk on numerous allegations of corruption, the latest the Stock Market which has become serious with Tilak Karunaratne saying that the President pressurised Tilak to resign when he tried to take stern action against offenders. So the Govt. has now no time for other matters as it has to wriggle out of the allegations.

  • 0
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    Great! GTF. The new comedy in town.

    Democracy in Sri Lanka is flawed. Rajapakse clan is a huge problem for post-war Sri Lankan progress.

    We, the Sri Lankans are very aware of this.

    Sooner rather than later Sri Lankans will rectify this problem. Just like we eliminated the LTTE cancer nourished for 30 years by the GTF.

    Sri Lankans can democracy. We do not need tutoring from people who backed political murders, child soldier operations, suicide bombings and mass killings for 30 years. All in the name of a perverted version of ethno-nationalism of Tamils in multi-cultural Sri Lanka.

    Use your time to cover up your evidence of collusion in crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka GTF!

    Democratic Sri Lanka will lose no time in tracking you down. No matter where you are. You will be brought to justice for the horrible mayhem caused in Sri Lanka.

    • 0
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      Ben Hurling
      says:

      “We, the Sri Lankans are very aware of this.”

      Are you really? What are the problems you see as flaws in Sri Lankan brand of democracy?

      You assure us that

      “Sooner rather than later Sri Lankans will rectify this problem.”

      When?

      You are confident:

      “We do not need tutoring from people who backed political murders, child soldier operations, suicide bombings and mass killings for 30 years.”

      Who is your favourite tutor in Democracy? Terror Gota, Mervyn Silva PhD, Pillayan, Karuna, Daya master………?

      You are proud:

      “All in the name of a perverted version of ethno-nationalism of Tamils in multi-cultural Sri Lanka”

      How would you define Sri Lankan multiculturalism, “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer,” [one people, one nation, one leader]?

      You are confident:

      “Democratic Sri Lanka will lose no time in tracking you down.”

      Democratic Sri Lanka, you got a long way to go. No chance.

      GTF has given notice to Sri Lanka “You can run but you can’t hide from war crime investigation” Who is right?

  • 0
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    It is good to hear the confidence Sri Lankans will rectify their problems. So why wait? The country is bleeding in many fronts.
    Why not start with PC elections in the North?
    The same wisdom should be applied in broadcasting the message throughout the land the Diaspora threat is a delusional invention for the Rajapakses to remain in power.

    The country-wide watched TV programme in several channels a few days ago, where the President and Gothabaya with their team spoke to the nation (Sinhala) on a Question and Answer programme, was a gross violation of election laws. The Opposition parties never got an equal chance. The Election Commissioner must exercise his powers at the right time and help declare the elections of all the electorates concerned null and void via a due election petition. I am naturally assuming Govt candidates will win in all the electorates concerned.

    Senguttuvan

    • 0
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      Senguttuvan

      says:

      “The Opposition parties never got an equal chance.”

      This is what many liberal thinkers called “tyranny of the majority”. Many Sinhalese including the disgraced one time general believe since they are the majority they can treat the minorities any way they want to and get away with murder.

      The majoritarian government now denies the minority opposition parties the same rights they enjoy/take it for granted.

      What the stupid population failed to grasp is that majoritarianism always turns into ugly authoritarianism, and eventually to complete dictatorship. Hitler came to power

      They voted for it let them face the consequences. I could not resist recalling “Illang kewaa”, They asked for it now they deserve it.

  • 0
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    And how many universities did Suren Surendiran’s beloved Tamil Eelam have?

    Only one – the University of Murder and Terror. For which there was compulsory attendance for all young Tamils in the north of the island.

  • 0
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    This idiot has nothing to do other than making statements to media , what is actualy this idiot has done for tamil people, how does this idot get income to live, he fool the innocent tamil people and live on their hard cold cash

  • 0
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    Is Suren Surendiran a citizen of Sri Lanka? How about the rest of the GTF leadership? Like to know just out of curiosity.

    GTF and all the LTTE supporters want a “reasonable settlement” & a “political settlement with dignity”. Of course, their starting point is a separate state. Now, that’s what I call a wet dream.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I can’t recall the GTF(BTF) & their LTTE supporters calling for any “settlements with dignity” when the LTTE was ruling the roost. Just saying.

  • 0
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    Oh, and does anyone remember the 294,000 people that were saved? Then housed and fed while the million or so plus land mines were cleared?

    Probably that’s too trivial for anyone to acknowledge.

    Guess that cannot be compared to what the GTF/LTTE did for their people like building houses, roads, places of worship, schools, creating employment, providing clean water, food and other basic needs. Maybe Suren can send all of us some pictures and details.

  • 0
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    military training to the university students is bad. But was it ok for your group to use 12 y.old innocent tamil children in the battlefield frontlines huh? Wake up man! It’s not military training that fresh university students undergo. It’s leadership training so that they can face the inhuman ragging in a more confident way.

  • 0
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    I would like to tell surendram to start tamil eelam in his own land

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