9 December, 2019

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Sri Lanka’s Frontline Denial

By Roma Tearne

Roma Tearne

The room was packed. The panel, consisting of journalists, activists and relatives of the victims, were speaking to an audience made up mainly of Sri Lankans. I was there too, partly because I admire the work of the film maker Callum Macrae and partly because this kind of bunfight is worth watching, however painful.

The representative of the Government of Sri Lanka, Rajiva Wijesinha, in fine pudding-basin style haircut, was fighting the corner for the ruling party. In a long and rambling discourse, part stream of consciousness, part shaggy-dog story, he unravelled the contents of his mind. Well some of it, at least.
Sitting next to him was a Sri Lankan victim of the LTTE whose testament of horror from the reign of Tiger terror (he was abducted and tortured at the age of thirteen before his parents were killed) was being shamelessly mis-used by Our Man From Sri Lanka for its own ends.
There was also Jan Jananayagam, spokesperson for Tamils Against Genocide, Callum Macrae of course, Yolander Foster, Amnesty International’s excellent Sri Lankan researcher and the Chair, Stephen Sackur from the BBC’s programme Hardtalk.
Pudding Basin had brought a few books for which he wanted one pound. The reason for this nominal sum, he informed the audience, was because he knew British fellows respected anything they paid for.  The title of one of them.
The Road to Reconciliation & its Enemies [Documented Evidence & Logical Arguments against Emotional Exaggeration & Soundbites.]  
Huh?
What with his slender grasp of anything much, his denial of the authenticity of Callum Macrea’s Sri Lanka’s Killing Field and his generally vague logorrhea, Pudding Basin was giving the Chair a hard time of it. I thought he did rather well, considering. The Chair, I mean, not PB, whose deathless oratory lulled me into gentle slumber only to find myself woken up with a start when the gushing, 1940’s pre-Empire prose, finally stopped. This man was a member of the Sri Lankan government?

The audience, those one removed from the sorrow and the pity of Sri Lanka’s genocide, tittered. What else could they do in the face of such stupidity? At one point I marvelled at the way in which the other panelist, victim of the Tamil terrorist group, was being so shamelessly used for government propaganda. Why was it that this man’s terrible loss could not be treated with objective understanding? And then, because there was nothing else I could do, because the discussion had reached its most formless stage, I opened my sketchbook and began to draw instead.

Related stories;

Reconciliation And Justice: Frontline Club, London 16 May 2012 by Rajiva Wijesinha

Full Video Of The Frontline Club Debate, London

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    What a rant!

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    This woman hardly has a point apart from calling Rajiva “Pudding Basin”.

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    Exhilarating

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    Arrivederci Roma. Three hundred words of meaningless meanderings. This is how she fills her books gloriously applauded some years ago by some idiot called Alles. Roma uber Alles what.

    Douglas

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    there’s only one world view and that’s Roma Tearne’s! Thank god I have the wisdom to be charitable to a hopelessly lost writer

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    Rajiva Wijeyasinha, should give up his title as his arguments does not fit his title Prof. He talks like a street wala. Shame on him. If his mother and father were killed by Rajapakse, he will suddenly speak sense.

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    It appears that the comments made so far tries to ridicule the writer and the essence of her writing. To begin with, the style of her writing is excellent and the language skill of English far above the critics. With the second release of the Killing Fields, the MR govt. released a statement from Daya Master a one time hardcore LTTEer himself, that this particular film was done by the LTTE. What every one questioned was why did he wait till the second film was released as he should have said this even before releasing the first film ten months prior. It is no secret that the MR govt. whith sychophants as Rajeeva Wijeysinghe, using and forcing the Tamils themselves to give character certificates today to the very Murderous MR regime, where they themselves are partners is understaandable. What a bunch of HUMBUGS and Hypocrits?

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    The MR govt. tried to block CT a week ago although one apologist David Blacker posing a photo of someother, obviously a ficticious character said that he is living in Sri Lanka and had no problem, as much as CT was lying. The truth was CT was blocked and many could not access for a day or so. It appears either Bell Potinger or the Defence Ministry or both are using this blog to counter and ridicule articles published in CT, posting comments under ficticious names to salvage MR, whose popularity has hit rock bottom. Had Premadasa known of Bell Pottinger, he definitely would have used this Company and not engaged the services of Bradman Weerakoon to project his image. What money can do today in today’s context?

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      The GOSL trying to block CT is a wild imagination.If it wants it doesn’t have to try but it can do it.I am sure that the Tamilnet fellows will tell you more about it.There is no reason for the government to do so because no saner persons consider CT as independent or it’s contributors speaking the truth.No one takes seriously,CT’s authors such as Doc Brian,Doc Wickramabahu etc.May be nuts at Angoda would find these fellows interesting. It seems that this Roma woman is [Edited out]
      Part of this comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
      http://colombotelegraph.com/comments-policy/

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        Whoever is moderating this website needs to take a good hard look at Max Silva with a view to removing USELESS abuse and aggravation from this website.

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          Anti BS,
          You sound like a former jungle judge in one of those Kangaroo courts of the dreaded terrorist Prabakaran.If you don’t like my attitude,go jump in the Nandikadal lagoon!

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        This usless guy is a paid stooge of governmaent and a leach.
        he is doing a job, to get paid.
        may be related to kudu silvas or paying by bill pottinger HA HA HA ????????

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        Max, is that why the MR govt. has blocked LEN (Lanka E News) for so many months now? Right now it appears that MR is under scrutiny, hence SF’s impending release and back tracking on blocking CT.

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    Well written Roma. My Compliments.
    Except Janani’s performance being the only Tamil representation was extremely poor. (Thambi-Muttu is a Rajapakse politician seeking votes in Batticaloa. A quisling, trying to use his businessman/politician parents death to serve his political future). The Tamil voters in Batticaloa would give him a verdict he deserves.
    Rajiva aka PB was a disgrace and absolutely rude/arrogant.
    It was a shame there was no one among the panel to tell him to shut up. He got lucky. The moderator/chairman’s job was tough but he could have been tough with Rajiva, and also controlled Thambi to keep to the subject matter and not his personal political agenda. This is the first time we are hearing about he being kidnapped and tortured. More lies and rubbish????
    He also claims his mother too was kidnapped and released at the same time. What???

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      What kind of a bullshitter are you Gnanakoone. Why are you hiding in the US. Come to Jaffna and fight you coward. Be like me I am standing my ground and you are firing blanks from California. That is bravery in itself you believe?

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        Who the hell are you GGP? If you are in Jaffna then you must be a “Quisling” aka Ettapan,. I admit I do not have the strength to fight the State Terrorist and other gun totting parasites, and Grease Devils all by myself.
        What I do in the states is my business, and more useful to the real Tamils other than quislings and liars like you-GGP.
        These comments should be about Roma’s article and not try and abuse those who comment with cheap thuggery that the state terrorist and their “Golayas” are used to.

  • 0
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    …no comments on one sided articles …..sorry Roma ….

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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
    http://colombotelegraph.com/comments-policy/
    In short:
    • If you act with maturity and consideration for other users, you should have no problems.
    • Don’t be unpleasant. Demonstrate and share the intelligence, wisdom and humour we know you possess.
    • Take some responsibility for the quality of the conversations in which you’re participating. Help make this an intelligent place for discussion and it will be.

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    Waist of time reading this!

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    So…no Sinhalese were killed, no children abducted,no expecting women had their stomachs hacked open exposing unborn children in far flung northern and eastern villages, no air crafts blasted killing Japanese, Europeans,etc in Sri Lanka by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam. Even Rajiv Ghandi was not killed by these terrorists. Those 300 odd policemen killed after surrendering, in execution style more commonly attributed to Hitler’s Nazis were also killed by others. Thirty years of bloody fighting did not happen except for the scenes depicted in the Channel 4 videos?
    I opened the post hoping that the foreign sounding name would provide me with a different perspective into the fighting that brutalised the people of Sri Lanka. Instead I get drivel from a writer who takes offense at someone’s haircut!
    Roma, learn to do some proper research before writing unless you are into writing fiction.And,try to understand why such things as depicted happened if it did happen.
    Here are a few easy ones, check on the violations that occurred during the UN brokered ceasefire.Compare the numbers.They were not provided by the Sri Lanka Government.
    Check on the abductions of children by the LTTE? Those figures were not provided by the Sri Lanka Government. And remember that the LTTE gave an undertaking to UN Special Representative Olara Ottunu on that!
    Try and speak to the parents of children abducted and forced to fight, including the Principal of a Jaffna college whose only child, a son, was abducted and sent with a gun close to the Jaffna Fort to be shot dead on the first night following his abduction.
    These incidents did happen and there are plenty of stories on both sides for you to base your stories on. And they would not be fiction either.

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    A pity the panel did not have a truly independent representative from Sri Lanka who could have given a proper perspective. Tambimuttu failed to say that he is the Presidential Coordinator for Batticaloa, so naturally he must sing the praises of the government. He also forgo’s to(conveniently?) mention the atrocities committed under Karuna Ammaan’s command,where amongst many were the killing of buddhist monks and policemen. Karuna is now a ministrer in the Rajapakse government.

    Rajeeva Wijesinha for his part thinks that by stating(like a broken record) that the President wants somethings done but his offers do not heed him. On this panel too he says the Attorney General paid no heed to the Presidents command to prosecute those guilty in the killing of the Trincomalee five. In the case of Prageeth Ekneligoda, he says the Attorney General does not want to prosecute a case he cannot win. In other words it is admission that something horrible has happened to Ekneligoda. He also confirms through that statement, that the judiciary in Sri Lanka cares not a whit in ensuring justice. And if the President does not command the respect of his officers, as Rajeeva says, then he must resign.

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      And the Jananayagam woman was the representative of the LTTE in another form?

  • 0
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    I like the term “pudding Basin”!

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