28 November, 2020

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Still Counting The Dead

By Roma Tearne

Roma Tearne

Frances Harrison’s important new book on Sri Lanka, Still Counting The Dead is published this week. It was sent to me at its proof stage, to read. Such was the elegance of the prose that I read it voraciously in one sitting. I did not know its author, but I recognised the passionate commitment that this slight, energetic Englishwoman had for the vanished dead of Sri Lanka’s killing fields. Sri Lanka, that distant land where I was born and whose name is a song of childhood memory, a love though lost impossible to erase. I was stunned to find a stranger cared so much.

We, my family & I, left our home many years ago when the war was still   simmering out of sight. In those days there were only riots to contend with. Some broken glass windows on a bus, verbal abuse, a stone or two been thrown. Then, suddenly I saw some Singhalese youths set fire to a Tamil man. My father saw this too and also the writing on the wall. And so with the violence a hair’s breath away, we left.
What happened next is familiar history and, depending on which side you were on, the story differs. The Singhalese majority had their version while the Tamils, some of them, hounded for years, took matters into their own hands. Who amongst us can blame them? Which of us can take the moral high ground over what happened next? For of course what happened next was civil war.
The newly formed Tamil Tigers, beaten and hounded, psychologically and economically (their university careers and job prospects becoming non existent), took what they believed to be the only course of action by pitting violence against violence. Was it any surprise that grim death followed? That the chief casualty was innocence itself? Or that the great dark heart of revenge and bitterness took a strangle hold on the entire country’s psyche? Around the world today all Sri Lankan’s have a ‘view’ on the subject of the war even if they don’t voice it. Often this view is painfully at odds with the views of their fellow countrymen. No other civil war has managed to create such an astonishing cacophony of discordant voices and Frances Harrison is already finding this out.
Having spent time witnessing and interviewing victims and relatives of the dead along with decent Singhalese who have helped Tamils in their hour of need, Harrison has raised a clear voice reporting on the violence that took place on both sides of the divide. We know that both Tamil Tigers and Singhalese hard liners are at fault. That after the British left, long before any war started, each successive majority government persecuted innocent Tamils for decades. From this seething crater of injustice came the Tamil Tigers who, living by the sword, using their own people as cannon fodder, walked into the trap of becoming the aggressor. Losing what little sympathy they had from the International community they were labelled the terrorists they had become. Violence had cut its inevitable path to hell.
And now the war is over. All the Tamil Tigers are dead. And it isn’t easy to be critical of the dead. Still, in spite of this difficulty Harrison manages to take a balanced view. But it isn’t easy, the Tamil people are sensitive and some do not take kindly to what she has to say.  For while understanding what led them along this terrible road, the truth remains that no sane person can support any further desire for violence. The Tamil diaspora, their dignity twice violated, their homeland littered with land mines, their children maimed and killed, now, more than ever, need help to move away from anger. As do, interestingly enough, the disgraced Singhalese elite. The sad truth is that all this hatred, violence and grief, has worked its way through the skin of the country and into its blood stream, heading straight for the heart and head of the nation.
Thousands of corpses lie in mass graves created by the Singhalese military while the child soldiers, recruited by the Tigers, add to their numbers. Thus far the diaspora on both sides seems unwilling to engage with these shocking issues. Touch on them at your peril. For who will admit the great wrong done by so few to so many? Can the Singhalese elite stop using the anthem of ‘They-Were-All-Terrorists-So-We-Killed-Them’, and look at what theystarted all those years ago when the British left? Can the Tiger supporter abandon the crossed gun flag for another less aggressive symbol?
In order for a healing process to begin all white vans should be clamped, all weapons, both real and psychological, must be laid down. While memory, that most gracious of human qualities, needs inviting in with a flight of angels called up to sing the dead to rest. Frances Harrison’s book Still Counting The Dead is the first of those angels. Ignoring her words would be an act of monumental foolishness on the part of the Sri Lankan community, for she is one of the few messengers we have.
Memories of injustice do not simply go away. Take a look at the beautiful filmNostalgia For The Light, about Chile’s disappeared and you will see the infinite extent of human remembrences and its refusal to be denied. Effort is what is needed. The effort of admission. Reading Still Counting The Dead is a start.
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    Check this out, from an anti-GoSL website:

    “We amputated their tongues and limbs.” – Former LTTE spy confessed to British officials.
    Written By Sri Lanka Guardian on September 24, 2012 | 10:27 PM

    | by A Special Correspondent

    ( September 24, 2012, London – Zurich, Sri Lanka Guardian) The truth can sometimes be like an inflated ball in the water. Attempting to prevent the truth from come out is similar to trying to keep that ball under water. Natural laws ensure it will come to the surface anyway. It is only a matter of time.

    Torture and other cruel activities by the Tamil Tigers were also exposed in various ways by many people who were directly engaged with the LTTE a few of years ago.

    After the elimination of their leadership, the Tigers are now scattered and the survivors of that movement have been forced to come to terms with some truths about their organization that they undoubtedly find unpalatable.

    There are two main LTTE groups still active in Britain. One is Thalamai Seyalakam headed by Vinayakan and other one is Anaithulaka Seyalakam headed by Nediyawan, who is claiming its International Secretariat. The two groups are currently engaging in a blame game against each other, in regards to the post-war situation.

    The “Karuppu” a magazine published by the office of Nediyawan condemned one Srimaran, of the LTTE, stating that he betrayed them by making a confession to British police that he was in-charge of torture in the intelligence unit of the LTTE. It is a shocking story, revealing many details about the internal workings of the LTTE.

    The magazine quoted a British official who stated that, “Srimaran has revealed how he engaged in amputating the tongues and limbs of captured people from the enemy side, as well as those who were within the organization.”

    Meanwhile those who escaped to Europe from the LTTE disclosed the truth and claimed political asylum there, claiming that they engaged in notorious inhuman activities because of the absolute pressure from the leadership.

    Most of the kidnapped young boys and girls are dead, but many of their family members are still alive and former LTTE cadres fear they will seek revenge if they return to Sri Lanka. These LTTE veterans also claim that some of the kidnapped youth conscripts surrendered to the Sri Lankan army and were released after completing the rehabilitation process. They will also attack them, if they can, so they cannot return Sri Lanka.

    A source in Switzerland disclosed to the Sri Lanka Guardian that some of the Tigers who fled Sri Lanka are suffering from trauma, due to their inhuman practices at the time. Some of them are receiving medical treatment.

    “I shot many people who opposed the LTTE even during the time that both parties signed the Cease Fire Agreement,” a source told the Ilankainet, a Tamil medium website based in Zurich.

    “One day I shot and killed a man while pledging to me that he was a father of three. I feel mentally disturbed about the case and I am addicted to drugs to eliminate my past horrifying scenario,” he further said.

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      Sri Lanka Guardian quotes ‘Karuppu’ magazine which quotes British Police who are supposed to have quoted a man labelled as a former LTTEer.
      Such horrendous “confession” was not highlighted by the british media or any other.
      The two ‘proLTTE’ groups named,are disregarded by british and world tamils.

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      Dayan the ( Edited out )has to quote unheard of sources. LTTE has been teh savoiurs of Tamils. They had been harsh with people who betryed teh people. May be those people have hidden their sins by pointing fingers at LTTE. There were instances where the y made mistakes and judgements and they have apologised to people whenever that happend. That is whu Pirapaharn is treated as the National Leader of teh Tamils in Sri Lanka and elswhere

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        On the other hand, to those who can think for themeselves, he was an ignorant, racist, ethnic cleansing mass murderer.

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          It is a little arrogant to consider oneself to be a spokesperson for ‘all people who can think for themselves’ I am not in Sri Lanka and I wish Prabhakaran he was here. He was fighting so Tamil women and children wouldn’t be raped and killed. Considering the highly intelligent and free thinking person you consider yourself to be, I am sure you will see the current regime in Sri Lanka has been using rape as a weapon of war against the Tamils.

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      Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka is trying to justify the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Rajapakse regime.

      Dayan is a Sinhala nationalist and naturally should have the Apartheid mindset to divert attention rather than responding specifically to the article.

      The world is demanding for an Independent International Investigation on war crimes, crimes against humanity and Genocide committed in Sri Lanka by all forces and everyone. Each and every crime must be investigated and that includes the crimes committed by the LTTE, Indian collaborators, PLOTTE, EPDP, KP, Karuna, Pullaiyan, Douglas devananda, White Van abductions, Grease devils, shelling of Safe Zones, rape, torture and murder of surrendered POWs.

      Do anyone care if a EPDP or PLOTTE or an agent of KP or Karuna’s statement without analyzing the bigger picture and all crimes?

      Be sensible and Rajapakse regime has committed the worst crimes of the 21st century and that’s why they deny independent transparent international investigation.

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    The Sri Lankan goverment and the LTTE are responsible for the heinous atrocities committed during the war. But the majority of Tamils living in LTTE areas didn’t choose. Colombo imposed a united country; maybe it is possible to have reconciliation. A good start would be to resettle with decency and humanity the refugees and to admit that a massacre has been done. We are still counting the dead and the figure is horrendously high.

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    Roma Tearne’s objectivity and sensitivity, are the needs of the times. Her words centered around Frances Harrison’s book, are rrarely heard in the current discourse. Her words have made it imperative that I read Frances Harrison’s book.

    “In order for a healing process to begin all white vans should be clamped, all weapons, both real and psychological, must be laid down. While memory, that most gracious of human qualities, needs inviting in with a flight of angels called up to sing the dead to rest”.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    Ms. Roma Tearne
    Have Frances Harrison ever spoken about the crimes her country and the USA commits in Afganistan,Irag and Libiya?
    Did you ever think of reminding her that we had a war in our country
    but they declare war on other countries without a justifiable reason?
    Yes I aggree with the Sri Lankan government failing to solve the Tamil-Sinhala ethnic conflict but at least now the war is over and people are happy.
    Look at the present situation in Afganistan,Libiya and Iraq.
    Maybe the world s ruthless dictators were killed but thier problems are not over.
    Frances needs to talk about the injustices her country has done in the past and present before bagging about human rights in our country.

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      ARAKKU
      YOU ARE TALKING RUBBISH.

      YOU HAVE FLEAS INFESTED IN YOUR TAIL.
      SO SCRATCH LITTLE HEARD.

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      One does not become a ‘journalist’ today to pursue the truth. That’s old hat.

      Today they are referred to as ‘Crusader jounalists’ for a very good reason, and that is because they function to further the needs of their employers/governments/corporations as was obvious to anyone following the events in the Middle East and Africa. It also gives them a good life, opportunities to travel and maybe, even get a book out at the end of it all.

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    Roma, Thank you for writing this splendid piece.

    Arak and all others who ask this question should read British and US newspapers and see how the common people are able to condemn their governments without being punished for it. If our govt doesn’t punish dissent, foreigners will talk less about us.

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    ”all weapons, both real and psychological, must be laid down”- very sensible, very courageous, very forward-looking.

    But GoSL has no intention of doing justice to all in order to bring peace. In fact it is doing more injustice politically, economically, culturally, environmentally and psychologically:

    What is more psychologically oppressive than these ”monuments”:

    Defence Secretary unveiled monument on 30 April 2010
    http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=20100430_09

    Defence Secretary unveiled war memorial on 9 May 2010
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEes9C-TB00

    Victory parade to remember war heroes
    http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2010/05/09/sec02.asp

    The fact that these were built while A9 was closed to the public tells ALL.

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      @eureka,

      I was oppressed by the existence of this statue of Thileepan…
      http://tinyurl.com/3yjlkx8

      But my oppression has eased after seeing it in the garbage dump.
      http://tinyurl.com/39cgszz

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        That’s what oppression is all about.

        I think Thileepan is the one (I am not very sure) who fasted unto death against state terrorism.

        The present ”world order” is ”governments” can do any amount of terrorism to the people but if the oppressed people take up arms out of desperation it is not allowed.

        Conscientious Sinhalese:
        http://www.scribd.com/doc/104705097/Conscientious-Sinhalese-Tell-LLRC

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    Environmental oppression:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/106780784/Who-Looks-After-the-Environment-of-the-Oppressed-Revised-24-Sept-2012

    What sort of President would unveil this ”monument” in a pompous ceremony while he refuses IDPs detained in camps proper food, medicine and security:

    President unveiled monument on 9 December 2009
    http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=20091209_06

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    Roma appears to be quite unhinged and totally divorced from reality. Without a trace of irony, she thanks the odious David Miliband for “bringing Sri Lanka back into the news”.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/dec/03/miliband-leak-benefit-sri-lanka

    Miliband, it must never be forgotten, came to SL in 2009, demanding a ceasefire to save the LTTE from its well-deserved annihilation. Miliband was proud of his government’s actions in increasing unemployment in SL by supporting the EU’s GSP suspension. Miliband then tried and failed to stop an IMF loan to SL due to ‘human rights’ concerns.

    Roma claims to be “‘Half Sinhalese and half Tamil”… she’s definitely 100% bonkers. My advice to Roma: don’t give up your day of job writing soppy chick-lit.

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    Roma, please continue to write and encourage people to add more rays:

    Rays of hope are emerging:

    ‘’My own set of immediate demands as a citizen are as follows—roll back the Eighteenth Amendment; restore the Seventeenth Amendment and the Constitutional Council with improvements; guarantee judicial independence and independence of all oversight bodies; stop political interference in and politicization of public institutions; take strong measures to prevent discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, language and religion; let law enforcement (meaning the ordinary law–not exceptional laws) take its own course, do not provide protection to erring political favourites; respect and protect free expression, association and assembly– adopt a policy of ‘let a thousand flowers bloom’; adopt a zero tolerance policy on torture, abductions and involuntary disappearances; permit free and fair elections and respect the people’s will’’ – An Ideology of Reconciliation Cannot be Built Without Basic Ingredients of Democracy and Rule of Law, Dr. Deepika Udagama (Head, Department of Law, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka), 15 August 2012,

    ”A serious push for change needs to be demonstrated through a common front that will challenge this government at each of these levels. It is encouraging that such common thinking is now increasingly being evidenced through public protest movements in cities and village communities. We can only devoutly hope that this would achieve the necessary critical mass leading to change in Sri Lanka, filling a vacuum left by a spectacularly useless political opposition that can only take refuge in pathetic bleats of endless complaints against the government” – Patronage system replacing the rule of law, 7 October 2012, ://www.sundaytimes.lk/121007/columns/patronage-system-replacing-the-rule-of-law-15416.html

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      Here is a courageous young lady writing to those folks willing to think and express themselves in a manner that would help objectively. Clear thinking has nothing to do with emotion. In her sobering book – Still Counting the Dead, we have to consider the magnitude of this tragedy upon this gem of an Island.
      Could this have been avoided? The answer is yes and if so what went wrong or what really “contributed” to the source of such a tragedy which my dear friends, our country has not emeged. So let us keep the focus clear and not be concerned about other countries. We, have to ask ourselves sobering and unashamed questions.
      The development of this “ethinic cancer”, explosive and unimaginable brutality in a perceived Buddhist Nation, where I recall breaking an egg was considered to be a violation of the Buddha’s teaching. Well, in the late 1950’s raping and writing the Sinhala letter Sri on the chest of Tamil women with hot tar, setting fire to Tamil homes and business,and killing innnocent Tamil people in a Constitutionally protected country, did not seem to cause a riple in the All Ceylon Buddhist Association and the spread of the “Buddha Dhma”?
      The poor and power hungry Mr. Bandaranayeka was only interested in one thing – votes, and the appeasemnet of the Buddhist Cleargy who were and still in absolute violation of the Buddha’s basic teachings of non violence and being involved in politicts.
      By the late 50’s and 60’s most all the intellectuals, educaters, professional doctors, lawers, bankers etc; left the country as the mayopic “mad policies” of Mr. Bandaranaye was by this time,causing havoc and confusion – especially in the education sector. Connstitution to Democracy fled without her clothes and thuggery,violence became the order of the day with this own man’s family life in shambels. The only son never really found out who his father was and died a alcholic at an early age. Never sweep your sins under a carpet, it will cause you to pay a heavy price.
      The nation and it’s resources began the hellish, abssymal descent into the Sinhalese plundering their own people and the JVP was born, within a few years we saw the Tamil Tigers hold a small nation hostage for thirty years. Instead of celebrating freedom and victory over the LTTE’s defeat, we shuld have come in “sack cloth and ashes” for the most barbaric acts committed on both sides. The most henious crime committed uder the aspicies of this so called Buddhist Govt. was to “Bulldoze all the graves of those Tamil soldiers burid in order graves in Killinochie. Perhaps this may be another teaching of the Buddha? Mounuments were built for the Sinhala solders who died. Has the US bulldozed the memory of the civil war graves? In fact, many are intered at Arlington National Cemetary!!!! If you have the courage to think, read this artical by this young lady and read the book too -Still Burying the Dead. Untill there is repentenc and genuine restitution – Our brother’s and sisters and children’s blood will cry out for justice.

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        Thanks Rodger Williams for your excellent analysis.

        Lee Kuan Yew, the first PM of Singapore has said that he learnt from the mistakes of the Sinhala leaders in leading Singapore to a successful nation in the world. Eelam Tamils are proud partners of this successful nation and several senior ministers are of Eelam Tamils origin. In Singapore even Sinhalese children have to learn Tamil as it is an official language.

        Tamils may have attacked, raped, burnt alive and murdered by the Sinhala state terrorism and Buddhists but Tamil Diaspora is becoming stronger and stronger day by day and the Sinhalese here are trying to reach us in a friendly way but it is quite difficult to accept them after what has taken place to the Tamils in Sri Lanka. LTTE was a product of the Sinhala state terrorism and denials and not a product of the ordinary Tamils.

        Sri Lanka Buddhism is full of sex scandals, sexual abuse, politically motivated and Buddhist Monks have been involved in hate crimes. Do you believe that these Sri Lankan Sinhalese are really following the teachings of Buddha who was a Hindu?

        Sri Lanka has economically, morally lost its status globally due to the denial of rights to the Tamils and this has made over 120 million Tamils all over the world united and in solidarity to demand until they win their rights.

        No criminal can go unpunished and no criminal can rejoice. Although the world has failed to prevent the mass murders, detentions, rape and torture of the Tamils, it has created a permanent scar on the Tamils’, Human rights groups’, NGOs’, progressive leaders and Journalists’ minds and hearts. The struggle will continue until those who responsible are brought to face the law, accept responsibility and deliver justice!

        Now High Court Judges in Sri Lanka are under attack and threat; Independent Journalists have been brutally targetted. When Sinhalese feel the pain from this regime, they may come to senses and start a spring!

        Let the world judge who Tamils are and who Sinhalese are, their values and attributes?

        God bless all victims and their families!

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    More rays coming – encouraging:

    Our Constitution Requires Commitment To Democratic And Not Military Governance, 6 October 2012,
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/our-constitution-requires-commitment-to-democratic-and-not-military-governance/

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    It seems to me, quite frankly, that the great need for truth and reconciliation is not so much in Sri Lanka, but among the Sri Lankan emigre groups in the West, especially in the UK where the hatred seems still to be most intense. If Roma Tearne is so inclined she could put her considerable talents behind starting such an initiative in the UK.

    If such an initiative did occur, my advice, for it is worth, is to keep well away from the Western “human rights” NGOs and the media(which tend to be part of the problem, rather than part of the solution). This is something Sri Lankan Sinhalese, Tamils and Moslems have to do themselves.

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    ROma Tearne , Frances Harrison . Kath Noble are all the same species spitting out venom from time immemorial . I think the figure of the killed have now risen to 140,000 .Maybe Roma and Kath Noble can even raise this figure if they write another book . Any awards from International sources for writng this book . Maybe it is in the pipeline.Watch the space . What crazy person will applaud David Milliband who came to SL to give insructions to the president ?He was a person who was overstepping his mark big time.

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    Go count the dead in Iraq, Afganistan,Libya .Pakistan you could get better statistics.

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    Ms. Roma Tearne, having read with interest your Article, thanks for writing this splendid piece. I have also read the Article of Frances Harrison, and looking forward to read her published book on Sri Lanka “Still counting the Dead.
    I have to say that there is always some arrogant bigot sinhalese Sri Lankan who does not know anything about his past history will blabber and talk rubbish, and cant see the point of bringing Iraq, Libya,or Afganistan which has nothing to do with the conflict and civil war that ravaged in Sri Lanka between two races the Sinhalese and Tamils. All this was brought about and created by the previous governments of the ruling sinhalese politician S.W.R.D.Bandaranike, his family and regime that brought about the divide, changes to the cluture, Language, Religion and Political system that upset ethnic groups who had lived in peace and harmony as equals citizens for generations even
    after independence in 1948 from British Colonial rule. It was not the British or any foreign power that brought about this civil war between the Sinhalese and Tamil people. Most of the other ethnic groups including alot of the educated Sinhalese left the country and went abroad. We have to look back and examine what brought about this war
    between two races of people as I have said lived in peace togeather for the past generation. The Sinhalese majority had their own version while the Tamils who were hounded and deprived of their rights as citizens took matters into their own hands, and no doubt people on both side suffered death, violence, and destruction that ravaged the land by war. We cannot lay the blame on either side, but the Sinhalese nation should know where it all began the man who started to
    divide the nation the bloody Bandaranaike regime who wanted to hold on to power and family rule. The sinhalese people should open their eyes and try to realize the reasons of this civil war.
    Speaking as a Sinhalese Patriot who love his country of Birth I left Sri Lanka in 1955 knowing of the changes to come in the Political culture in which some of us had no place or future under the Bandaranaike regime even some of the eminent well educated ruling Politicians of the UNP government left the country. I do not need to elaborate what happend next I leave this to the imagination of the young generation who may have been brainwashed to think Sri Lanka belong only to the sinhalese race to rule and not other races who has every right as born descendant citizens of these Islands, and to me
    quite frankly the great need for truth and understanding for reconciliation is not so much in Sri Lanka, but among the Sri Lankan Sinhalese emigre groups living in the West, especially in the UK, Canada where the hatred seems most intense.

    I wish you well Ms.Tearne.

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      Mr Fernando,

      Thanks for the history lesson….

      Tell us, O Sage, with your extensive overseas experience, how would you have dealt with the LTTE, who, to avoid annihilation in May 2009, held 300k+ civilians as a massive human shield?

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        Mango,

        You have no idea of pluralism… what a shame! Tamils are living in Singapore and several senior ministers are Tamils. Even Sinhalese have to study Tamil in Singapore.

        Apartheid has ended in South Africa but the Sinhala Buddhist Apartheid in Sri Lanka is at extreme level. Further Sri Lankan Buddhist regime and the Sinhala hooligans have shown the world that they are hate criminals, sexual abusers and war criminals.
        LTTE was a product of Sinhala Buddhist Apartheid state terrorism and Sinhala hooliganism.

        You Sinhalese people with Apartheid mindset know only crimes against humanity and destruction!

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        MANGO.
        Is this your real name or is it a fictitious one that your hinding from and do not wish anyone to know who you are?
        Are you a true hard-headed sinhalese that is bitter and biased towards the Westerners and Sri Lankans living in the West. I ask these questions since I find some of your comments aimed to be racialy motivated towardsthe Westerners and the Sri Lankan journalist that have written Articles and reports about this civil
        war which lasted for over three decades. Left to the readers to draw their own conclusions.
        You have addressed me as ‘O’ Sage and will I tell you with my extensive overseas experience how would I have dealt with the LTTE. Having lived for over 58 yrs in the west I have made visits
        to Sri Lanka yearly since 1970 visiting family and relatives and
        being in touch with people this gave me insight and knowledge of
        what is going on also as trained Military combatant in the Malayasian conflict with communist terrorist insurrections in the 1950-57 have seen what civil conflict is all about. Travelled in
        Asia, Europe and the Americas. In one of my visit to Sri Lanka in July, 1983 I happen to witness with my own eyes setting fire to Tamil people draging them from their cars when they trying to
        escape from the cities and rural areas by the sinhalese plebs and
        thugs. The JRJ governemnt had declared Marshall law and called out the Army on to the streets to protect life and property, but the Army did nothing to stop this atrocities turning a blind eye
        letting the sinhalese thugs to carry out the burning of Tamil shops, properties, business and even the burning of human life. I
        could not bear to see what was happening the burning of a human being by another which to me and the civilised world is barbaric
        act carried out by the sinhalese which has tarnished the sinhalese brought about by the lowest of the low race of people
        who should not be called sinhalese. It was after this that the
        Tamils LTTE turned against the civilian sinhalese population revenge spreading the mayhem towards the cities in the south by bombing, killing, rape on the innocent sinhalese. Previous to this the fighting and conflict was between the government Armed forces and Tamil tigers concentrated in the North, and East.

        So my friend I did not wish to write along detail and brag who I am. Here is my answers to you the LTTE was a product of the Sinhale state terrorism created by the Bandarakies family denials of human and social rights to the Tamil people. True the LTTE were terrorists killing even their own people who did not support their cause. Both sides lost families and atracities were committed, people were used as human shields, and this is what happens in a civil war. Most of the Tamils wanted to live in peace even though they did not like the Political system effecting them, and also we the elite sinhalese people was against this war which could have been settled with understanding and Negotiation, but the hard line Nationalist Politicians wanted to carry on the genocide and rid of the Tamil people.

        War is not very nice thing see whats happening in Syria the people of the majority sect are being killed, by a tyrant who will not give up his power of rule his regime who are shiite Moslems a minority sect. Thousands of children, women and men bombed and killed.
        So there has to be real understanding and human feeling to ones fellow human being and we cannot go back to the dark ages when people fought to own land and wealth. We live in a civilised world in the 21st century and we can sit togeather and negotiate to come to an understanding to sort out difference which the ruling government should have done and prevented a very costly war and united the people as one nation and not divide and rule. Sinhalese and Tamil people should live as they have done for the past centuarys in Sri Lanka as a one nation.

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          Dear Mr Fernando,
          So,how would you have dealt with the LTTE, who, to avoid annihilation in May 2009, held 300k+ civilians as a massive human shield?

          As for the rest, I agree with your analysis of reasons for the LTTE’s genesis, including the Sinhalese population’s culpability in anti-Tamil pogroms. I have no bitterness or bias towards the West. I merely point out the ludicrousness of the West proclaiming itself moral arbiters of Sri Lanka’s conduct in its various wars, when its own record is immeasurably worse.

          Civilian casualties caused by the West’s wars over the same period as the Eelam Wars 1-4 exceed 1.5 million casualties. How very civilised. Obviously these civilians (mainly Muslim Arabs) embraced death knowing that they were dying in a civilised fashion upholding the West’s Christian moral underpinnings.

          Every Western counter-insurgency campaign since 1945 has involved torture, assassination, death squads, abductions and large scale killings of civilians and massive human rights abuses.
          http://thecarthaginiansolution.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/sri-lanka-can-never-beat-the-west/

          As for the accusation of ‘racism’, I’d be pleased to be made aware of my ‘racism’ against anyone. My bias is against intellectual vacuity and hypocrisy prominently displayed by so many Western hacks (and chick-lit authors like Roma Tearne) who pontificate on Sri Lanka’s wars.

          Finally, we definitely don’t live in a civilised world in the 21st Century. Hostage beheading on Youtube, schoolgirls shot for wanting an education, extremist Buddhist priests in Sri Lanka proclaiming racial and religious superiority… need I go on?

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    Frances Harrison’s may be one step away to complete her PhD by counting dead bodies.., it is not surprice to us at all what your objectives are. Where were you all when tamil tigers massacred ordinary Sri Lankan all across Sri Lanka for last three decades ? Do something else to make your living without selling dead bodies from the wars..

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      Sam, if you count the massacre of the Tamil civilians since independence including in 1956, 1958, 1977 and 198 it would be far more number of Tamils were murdered in cold blood by the state forces and Sinhalese thugs than the Sinhalese civilians killed by the ruthless LTTE.

      Please advise your President Rajapakse to allow for an independent international war crimes and human rights investigation that may count and provide you an transparent and independent answer to your question.

      You have failed to understand that this ethnic crisis is started by the State and Sinhalese and not by the Tamils.

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        Shiva,

        You are ignoring the fact that more tamils are killed by Tamil tiger killers rather any other party during last 3 decades. Go back to the World history to learn what happened to the war prisoners captured in most of the wars, it may be 1st WW, 2nd WW or what ever.

        Here you see in Sri Lanka, tens of thousand of LTTE prisners released less than in 3 years after the war.Is that something wrong with Sinhalese? Tamils and Sinhalese now live peacefully in Sri Lanka and people like you can not digest the fact that LTTE Terorist are no more. Sorry for that.

        Have you ever heard Guantanamo bay prison ?, After a decade of WTC bombing, American are still torchering the captured.That is what you expect from Sri Lnkan forces as well..? I don’t know why Tamils don’t have a homeland despite their millions in numbers, that is the question Tamils should ask themselves and we are sadly unable to help you, but Tamils can live side by side with Sinhalese as in Colombo.

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          Sam, You are another person of Denial and Denial!

          If you say that the LTTE killed more Tamils, the regime has rehabilitated Tamils, and the Sinhalese have done great things to the Tamils, why the Rajapakse regime is denying an independent international investigation?

          Don’t ever compare the Western living even in prison and their rights with that existing in Sri Lanka? Do you remember that Tamils’ eyes were removed by Sinhala thugs in the Welikada prison?

          Have you sen the video clip of murdering by stabbing a Tamil by the army? These things can only be done by the Sinhalese.

          No more denial and denial and this shows that you Sinhalese are at guilt and committed mass crimes against humanity.

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    Time for a bit of ‘Educating Shiva’.

    Shiva whines, ..”why the Rajapakse regime is denying an independent international investigation?”
    Because no fully sovereign state will allow ‘independent investigations’ of its alleged war crimes by an external organisation. e.g. India will never allow the UN to investigate its Kashmir conflict and abuses.

    Shiva whines again, “..These things [murdering by stabbing] can only be done by the Sinhalese.

    Shiva’s reduced memory function must’ve allowed him to forget the hundreds of Tamils murdered by their ‘sole representatives’, the LTTE, who stabbed, burnt and beheaded their merry way for over 30 years.

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      @ Mango, the struggle for Accountability and Justice will go globally until a satisfactory independent international investigation is completed and those who responsible for the crimes are brought to justice.

      Listen to the audio link in this link:

      http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/program/asia-pacific/un-reviews-sri-lankas-human-rights-record-after-the-war/1040006

      Mango should know that the LTTE released several captured Sinhala State POWs through the Red Cross and the world knows about the Sinhala Buddhist Apartheid and racism now.

      The corrupt Indian UPA regime will be wiped out at the next election and Tamil Nadu is boiling now and the land of the Great Raja Raja Cholan will rise to eliminate the Sinhala Buddhist Apartheid menace and state terrorism once and for all.

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        @ Shiva: “the struggle for Accountability and Justice will .. blah blah.. blahh… are brought to justice
        Please explain exact mechanism by which military and political leaders in Sri Lanka will be sent to face war crimes charges at the ICC in the Hague. Just saying “wait and see” or “there’s Facebook campaign” isn’t good enough.

        The Australian radio interview: the usual drivel by Yolanda Forster, most recently seen promoting C4’s ‘Killing Fields’ with an activist drone from the British Tamil Federation, an Eelamist front group. http://tinyurl.com/cmtw854

        “.. LTTE released several captured Sinhala State POWs..” Indeed they did. The LTTE also executed their remaining SL Army POWs as the war ended. How many SLA POWs remained alive after the war ended?

        “..The corrupt Indian UPA regime will be wiped out at the next election and..” If you can see into the future, can you please tell me the lottery numbers for the next Euro Lottery?

        “Tamil Nadu is boiling now and the land of the Great Raja Raja Cholan will rise..”
        Why is it only boiling now? Does it take THREE years for the Cholans to ‘boil’>? Are the great Cholans mentally defective? The time to ‘boil and rise’ was in 2006-2009, when the LTTE was desperately short of manpower to resist the advancing hordes of ‘genocidal’ Sri Lankan armed forces.

        Why were the fervent Cholan masses thirsting for Eelam unable to make the short boat journey to Sri Lanka? Were they too busy going to demonstrations or just not too sure about dying for Eelam?

        “…eliminate the Sinhala Buddhist Apartheid menace and state terrorism once and for all.” And how precisely will this be done? How many of the 87million Tamil Nadu citizens will join together, create a massive army and invade Sri Lanka? Will the scheduled castes in Tamil Nadu be invited to this party?

        I want to see a detailed plan with dates, timings, objectives, funding and a full programme of action after a successful invasion. Get to work. There’s no time to waste.

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    The word independent commission is one misleading concept. I believe there can never be such ‘independent ‘commissions as no man can remain unbiased in today’s world as the commission will be lobbied by various pressure groups with vested interest using money and other things like a vote base to influence to so called independent commission. On the other hand what is independent for you , may not be so independent in my eye.Specially with regard to the colonial masters of the earlier century, if they get involved in such a commission they will be naturally hostile and negatively biased towards their former colonies like sri lanka. On the other hand it is great irony to seek justice and impartiality from the west who have double standards regarding the governments of Syria and Bahrain

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    Roma is upto her old tricks again. How she writes one sided stories about the country she was born is shameless to say the least. It is quite visible to readers who know her background that she has a grudge against the country her mother and father and she herself were born. I wonder how many times she has visited this country after she left with her mother and father when she was a child. If she is so interested in writing about this country, please come visit this country. Are you unhappy that this country has been able to stop a war which affected all its citizens? We wish you would not insult the land that natured your mother and father. Please use your journalistic abilities to bring about reconciliation without rekindling hatrad between Sinhalese and Tamils.

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