22 September, 2018

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Tamils Of The Vanni – Betrayed By All

By Elilini Hoole

Elilini Hoole

It really bothers me that the protest depicted by photograph titles like ‘Tamils… gathered around photographs of those killed during the Sri Lankan civil war’ is being orchestrated by people carrying the LTTE flag.

Anyone who protests against massacres of Tamils in 2009 should by no means do so under the flag adopted by the Tigers. In 2009, the Tigers forced innocent Tamil civilians to remain in the Vanni –  under pain of death – as a shield. This is evident from the same reports that accuse the government of genocide. When I was working in the Vanni, I sincerely sympathized with the Tamils who stayed behind in Sri Lanka. They lost everything under the Tigers and the successive governments of Sri Lanka.

After the riots and massacres of Tamils in the 1970’s, a Tamil struggle was obviously imminent. There were peaceful Tamils who, moved by their common humanity with the victims, came forward to speak up. And then there were monsters like Prabhakaran who started out assassinating the Mayor of Jaffna. Until he died he had nothing but blood on his hands.

If we Tamils look at our history, we should discuss and apologize for the many hundreds of innocent Sinhalese, Muslim and even Tamil civilians the Tigers killed in cold blood back in the 1980’s and 1990’s. We can also bring up the Kent and Dollar Farm massacres, the cruel response of the LTTE to the unjust Mahaveli Schemes displacing hundreds of Tamils in Mullaitivu. Or the unsuspecting civil servants murdered in the East for no reason better than their not happening to be born Tamils. We Tamils rightly complain that the Government lashed out against civilians when there was trouble, but the Tigers did exactly the same.

Indeed, our struggle under the LTTE was nothing greater or worse than the struggle of chauvinistic Sinhala-Buddhists. As much as we blame the GoSL, we need also to examine the contributions of the LTTE to pain and destruction among Tamils.

A Note on the Flag

The symbolic Tiger jumping through a halo framed by bullets and bayonets and the text, ‘Thamil Viduthalai Pulikal’ or Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, was designed to represent the LTTE in 1977. In 1991, the Tiger emblem, devoid of the text, was placed on a crimson flag and made to represent Tamil Eelam. While people carrying the Eelam flag may not always be a part of the LTTE, we must cultivate the consciousness to link the history of the Eelam flag to the LTTE. Perhaps we should revoke this fraudulent imagery of a violent Eelam and revert to a more peaceful image with greater ties to Tamil history such as the palmyra tree or the yal (flute).

Betrayed, Forsaken and Exploited in the Vanni

Here are some truthful histories behind the war in 2009 that I picked up from people whom I befriended in the Vanni (names changed for good reason):

At the age of 78 Viram had many accomplishments to boast of, but none greater than his six little grand children. At that very moment he was being herded out of his village by three young and virulent Tigers holding rather large automatic weapons. He knew the drill – stay silent and do as told.

Loud voices distracted the concentration with which he watched over his family. A young man, bent under the weight of his mother, is arguing with one of the Tigers, “Ammah is so tired, please just leave us and go!”

“Move!” the harsh response tears right through Viram’s heart. “Get moving or die here and now.”

The young man carefully sets down his mother to release a series of words expressing a mix of whining and begging directed at the same young Tiger.

Out of pity Viram interrupts, “Thambi, she is so tired. Isn’t this fighting enough already?”

The Tiger barely looks at Viram as he coldly lifts his gun and shoots him through his head.

Wails ripped through the air as he slumps to the ground.

The Tiger turns, carefully examining the downcast eyes of the crowd. “Hurry up,” he shouts and walks on.

It is not just entire villages they ripped apart, but families as well. As Thangammah put it to me:

The Tigers used to come day and night. Some of them were nice, if we hid our children and had already given them one, they would understand our situation and leave quietly. But not everyone was like that. There were some we hated. One of them would always come to our village and use violence and threats to hound us to sacrifice more and more of our children. He enjoyed having power over us. When we knew they were coming, we would cover our children under sleeping mats, or rice or anything that was in our house. Once, I put my little girl under some mats and later I saw that a snake was in it as well! Another family put their child under some coverings and sat on it so no one would see. The child nearly died.

I’ve already given 2 children. They conscripted one. When he was killed while fighting, my second son was so angry he went and enlisted on his own. But the Movement didn’t care about my sacrifice. They came for another one of my little darlings, and that’s when I stopped believing in them, stopped believing that they were fighting for me.

We saw this hard-hearted Tiger later in Menik Farm. We couldn’t stand the sight of him pretending to be married and living in a tent with some woman. Our children died because of him. Our men grabbed him and started beating him until the military came and took him away. He wrote his own fate.

They didn’t respect or care for those who stayed behind to look after the weak, related a priest.

“Move faster!” The kneeling Anglican priest wondered at the harsh sounds coming from such a baby face. The young LTTE cadre waved a pistol in the priest’s face. The Father looked around. Tired groups of people dragged their feet away from the sounds of bombs, but his flock stood frozen around him staring at the confrontation. One of the last lots of Vanni civilians surrounded him – the ones that moved slowly, the orphaned children, the old ones, the injured and disabled. Unconsciously he reached for his thick wooden cross swinging carefree over his dusty black cincher at his waist.

“How can we move faster than this?” he logically surmised.

“You’ve got to leave this place and keep moving or we’ll shoot you ourselves,” the cadre screamed louder, pressing his pistol harder on the kneeling Father’s forehead.

Father looked up at the young man, determination glinted in his sunken stubborn eyes. His voice wavered but his frame remained resolute, “Leave? Leave them? Son, if you’re going to shoot me, go ahead, but I’m not leaving without them.”

The man looked surprised. His eyes shifted over the cowering people and back at the firm, emaciated face of the priest. His grip loosened on the gun, “Humph. You guys will die anyways.” He swore as he swaggered on.

People fled from the Tigers in the end.

Arivu worked for an INGO until all the expats shut down offices and moved out, leaving the local staff behind. He felt an intense pain throb along his entire side every time he moved. He moved aside the bandaging to take a closer look at the wound. The GoSL forces had dropped a bomb just a few feet away from him. The flying shrapnel had torn through his stomach.

His wife crouched beside him under the palmyra tree, worry etched across her face deeper than ever. She hugged their only daughter tightly to herself, almost as if she wanted to envelope the little girl with her body.

Over the trees, over the sound of bombing, a voice clearly unfamiliar with Tamil cracked over speakers, the same message again and again with words to the effect, “Come over to the protection of the Government. You will be treated well. You will be safe.”

Many families had made it this far, but not all. Their neighbors had died by the same bomb that nearly tore Arivu in two. No water, no food, no shelter from the floods and sun. But if only they walked a little further across the brush, and crossed a road and walked 10 kms more they would be out of the warzone!

From where he stood, Arivu could see a group of Tigers patrolling the road. They would have to wait. They had tried to cross the road twice before and had failed. “Lord, let it be today,” Arivu shot off a quick prayer.

The putrid smell of rotting wounds on living bodies followed them as they silently made their way through the trees.

They were only partially across the road when the LTTE patrol saw them. “Stop right there!” Bullets whizzed through the air. Crouching low, Arivu grabbed his bandages with one hand and held on to his wife with the other. They made it, but from the screams they could tell not everyone had.

On the other side, a GoSL soldier greeted them with a huge smile and pity in his eyes. As he led them to the screening area, he handed their daughter a piece of candy, patted her on the head and said something they didn’t understand. But what words could make up for the warmth of his hand and the kindness in his eyes? Arivu is still bitter of all the family, friends and even property, which he lost to the bombing of the military, but he also sees that not everything as black and white as he once thought.

Blind Trust

These are true stories that those mesmerized by the crimson red and marigold flag of the Tigers seem to discard as irrelevant. Yet they are not irrelevant! They are, in fact, the truth behind 30 years of power struggles that betrayed the common person.

I think it is tragic that all Tamils are being labeled as Tiger supporters, when in fact many Tamils have been cruelly scarred by none other than the Tigers. I think it is even more tragic when people forget how the Tigers purposefully did not let anyone out of the war-zone in order to mobilize the international community through sympathy to intervene in the war.

As members of the diaspora, it is our responsibility to revere our recent history and herald a time of peaceful discussions if we are to bring peace to our own people. We must seek to usher in peace with utmost concern for all who suffered under the wicked schemes of the elite and respect those who have died from the negligence of leaders. Both sides have betrayed us, the common Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim and native persons, but we must look forward with love and honor, not anger and violence.

It was difficult to see the humanity of our fellow citizens when we were fighting ‘for’ them. We now conveniently label them victims because it suddenly serves us to do so. It seems that is the same now unless we change.

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Latest comments

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    Great article. We need more un-biased Tamils to speak out like this.

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      Nice screen name/pseudonym
      Is your real name sundera-lingam

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    Thank you for being so honest, unbiased and open. This sort of thinking is what will bring us true peace and reconciliation. Let there be such unbiased voices come from the sinhalese front void of any political agenda to establish true peace and unity in the beautiful land of Lanka.

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    I wholeheartedly agree with you in the use of Eelam flag. If diaspora thinks that using the same old tiger flag to demonstrate and seek justice derives them strength or unity, it is flawed. A more progressive, peaceful but powerful approach is need of the hour.

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      but it draws the dollars,what else matters more!!

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    Unfortunately she will be branded a traitor by the Tamils just as any Sinhalese will be if they dare speak against the Govt.

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      so true

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    Lets also add that the children, men and women LTTE used as fighters were all from LOW-CASTE and POOR Tamil homes….

    their plight never changed before LTTE or will even after if the Tamil leaders have their way.

    Did the Tamils in COlombo care for these – no, bcos they knew they were lowcaste andpoor
    Did the Tamils overseas care for them – no, too bcos these cadres were scapegoats and now these people are beginning to realize… so the tamils are coming up with a new version

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      I don’t like the way some nationalists to exploit the caste difference within the tamil community justifying their state terrorism. It is true that LTTE leader is not from high caste but there were thousands of high caste, well educated(doctors, engineers, scientists)Tamils were in the LTTE. During their time, there was no caste issues.

      LTTE may be a terrorist organization for some like this author but for most Tamils they are freedom fighters and you cannot remove them from the hearts and minds of the people. They sacrificed their live for the cause of the people, they are our children. I recently met a senior government servant and he said when LTTE was we managed both LTTE and Government to do honest service to the people but now they are very stressed and cannot provide the service that needed to the people. I have met several people lived inside Vanni during LTTE and the real stories are completely different to what this writer says. The motive this writer is very obvious because her focus is LTTE, not other betrayers of the Tamils. She starts with LTTE murder of Jaffna major Duraiappah in 1975 but I doubt whether this lady even born in 1975.

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        Maybe a terrorist organization? maybe??? Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t the LTTE who introduced suicide bombings to the world? Killed and maimed innocent people in Colombo? These suicide attacks not only killed n maimed the Sinhalese but also the Muslims, burghers n your Tamil brothers and sisters as well. I guess it’s alright for you as it wasn’t your children who lost their life or limb for that matter!

        I am glad that this curse of a war is done with!! My children go to school and unlike my parents I don’t have to worry about a terrorist attack …. And I’m sure it was much worse to those parents’ in the north and east who didnt think their children sacrificed their lives for a cause! What parent could think it or live with it? It was forced and cyanide capsules were shoved down on those who were recruited by the LTTE.

        Do not sugar-coat the crimes committed by the LTTE. Somewhere down the line the LTTE lost their cause.

        Too much greed n thirst for power does that to man. Same goes for MR….

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          It is not LTTE introduced sucide bombings to the world. It is well before that. First LTTE sucide attack was directed towards a Sinhala military camp in 1987 during military operation. Innocent people were not only killed by LTTE suicide attacks but also indiscriminate shelling of Sinhala military, bombing of churches, schools, hospitals, refugee camps. Innocent civilians were killed not only by military but also by non-military political hooligans and criminals sponsored by State. The LTTE killings were targetted mainly its enemies, military establishments and in revenge of attacks on Tamil civilians whereas the Sinhala military, the hooligans sponsored by the government and religious extremists target was LTTE and Tamils.

          It is true that the war has had an affect on all communities. Unlike in the South every tamil family in the north east affected by this bloody war. I don’t know you understand the cause of this war and the pain and suffering the Tamil people of this nation underwent before the war. Tamil people are not war loving people. They are a very soft, passive and tolerant community. Just imagine you yourself as a Tamil and you are discriminated because you are a tamil and your community is subjected to continuous violent attacks and brutal killings and the state that you expect to protect them fail to protect you and your family but in the side of those criminals. For example, 1983 do you know how many innocent Tamil pregnant mother who lived in Colombo were brought into streets and burnt in front of security forces. Do you know a political activists eyes were drilled by follow Sinhala prisoners and the Sinhala community celebrated him as a hero. Do you understand the pain and fear of those people. What harm they did to your people. Of course, Pirabaharan is a crude terrorist. You killed him. It is OK. But what did his 12 year old son did to your community. Look at his eyes before shooting that innocent child in point blank distance. How cruel is this? I don’t like violence at any any form by any one. The pain and death happened to a Sinhala mother by LTTE is same as a pain and death happened to a Tamil by a Sinhala military.

          I agree that too much greed and thirst for power is the main reason for this unwanted war and the suffering of the people. You must understand the causes of this war and rectify the factors that are barriers to peace and love. Respect each others right and eliminate that evils who are barriers to peace.

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            So does public transport also fall under the military? What about all the attacks on trains and buses? please don’t tell me those were actually targeted for the military but blew up by mistake! What about central bank and lake house attack? What about kebethigollewa ( a Sinhalese border village ) ? It was innocent children as young as 1-2 years and pregnant mothers in that bus. I was in vavuniya when the LTTE blew up a civilian bus close to the town violating the CFA agreement. Next came mavil aru . It was clear that the LTTE didn’t want to bide by the CFA. it was the LTTE who started the final phase of the war. And you the Tamil diaspora blame India and the west for not pressurising the govt to halt military operations.

            I do understand the cause of this war. But you must understand that THAT cause was forgottten by your leader as a result of greed and power. And as far as VP, LTTE and LTTE flag are concerned . I hope it never raises it’s ugly head in my beautiful country ever !

            Every country has a past they are not proud of. Take the Brits for example. We Sri lankans made some grave mistakes too and it’s time we learned from they. I believe the new generation will make that change. I recently visited Jaffna and the Tamil people were so kind and welcoming. It is the Tamil diaspora who has a problem with co- exhistnace among the two communities not the Tamils and sinhalese living here. Quite frankly I can tell you that we as Sri lankans are fed up of all this fighting! Let us live in peace and you leave your people alone! They aee not scapegoats! You abandoned your brothers and sisters and that is a fact!

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              Dear Anna,

              I am not denying those attacks. As you see some of the attacks are targeted to weaken economy (Central bank), some are against religious fundamentalism (Dalada Maligai), Some are military (Katunayake, Anuradhapura) and some are public.I can give you a list of those killings and mass murders committed by Sri Lankan forces and Sinhalese since 1956 until now against civilian targets. You cannot just ignore those attacks as simply mistakes in the past because still Tamil people are under military occupation. You may have heard about “oil ghosts attacking civilians”, TNA meeting was attacked by military, the biggest on going land grabing by military, TNA parliamentarians are regular visitors to the famous 4th Floor and so on. These ugly faces are still in your country.
              Did your leadership who committed war crimes learn anything even after the bloodbath on the soils. Even the man who lead the war to the victory has no fundamental rights. Even the Chief justice denied her fundamental rights. The unlawful abductions and murders are continuing. Are you really thing that your country learned the lessons and moving towards peace?

              It is the beauty of the Tamil culture though your government did so much of damage to the Tamil with your backing and continued support to the regime they have shown kindness and welcoming. You cannot understand the real feeling of Tamils suffered under your military rule. It is also applicable to diaspora Tamils. The kindness and welcoming Tamils are the parents, mothers, sisters and brothers of diaspora. The diaspora ask only justice and equality for Tamils and Sinhalese. If you give freedom to those Tamil live in your country to express their concern, their problems and respect their identity Why the Diaspora has to raise these issues in international level? If Tamils and Sinhalese have no problem living in Sri Lanka, can you explain why do you need more than 90% of the military in the North and East? Why don’t you allow to live freely and democratically elect their provincial council members as other provinces enjoy that freedom. Is it the way you want to treat Tamils?

              I agree wars create so much of pain to the people and lead to so many things including poverty, corruption, and further disturbances. Don’t worry about the diaspora what can they do if you are honest and implement those recommendations you agreed to such as:
              1.Talk to elected members of parliament of North East and find a permanent political solution to the North East problems based on agreed principles of power sharing.
              2. Take necessary steps to create an environment for people to live peacefully with all democratic rights and freedom of expression such as spread your military equally in each province, not interfering with people and administration and bring back the rule of law and justice system to work independent of political interference.
              3. Corporate with the provincial administration to develop the province and bring up the living standard of the people and provide an environment where people can feel this land is ours and the nation is ours.
              4. If the reconciliations to work, the trust and accountability must be recognized. If you agree both LTTE and Sri Lanka have the same level of responsibility for the past, then there is a way forward for reconciliation. There should be an impartial investigation to the matters happened over the past and the law should apply equally for both LTTE and SRILanka, not only for the latest war but also for the six decades of violence. The truth should be found and either you punish all those responsible for the crimes or give a common pardon to all including LTTE.

              5. The constitution should be amended to those factors that lead to communal hatred such as Strict laws against to those who claim Sri Lanka is only for Buddhist Sinhalese, Muslims should not wear these clothes etc.

              6. Tamils and Sinhalese should be the part of National security, not Sinhala only.

              It is not who feed those Tamils who live in the nation. If you look at your budget you will see how much money is coming to your nation from diaspora. The future of Sri Lanka depends on you. I can tell you frankly, If you choose to continue to deny the rights of the people and discriminate the people because of their language, religion and if you continued to follow on the way of Buddhist fundamentalism as we see now in the country and signalization and militarization of North East then I think you are betraying Buddhism and humanity and you are self-inflicting the image of a Nation. You must make me to feel that I am a Sri lankan. I should say that I am proud to be a Sri lankan I am treated equally as other citizens. Can you do it? I don’t need your words. I need to see the ground reality!

              God Bless Sri Lanka! God Bless Justice in Sri Lanka! God bless humanity in Sri Lanka!

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              Anna I do agree with what you say except for your assertion that those who fled the country did so abandoning the rest. That is cruel. They fled because they had no alternative. It would not be fair to say that they abandoned their people.

              On the other hand the Tamil diaspora need to come to terms with their reality and be proactive in engaging with the government and the Sinhala people to instigate reconciliation and normalcy. You cannot do that by sustaining a move to secede from Sri Lanka. The agitation overseas is a reflection of the continuing hatred and is as racist as the extremist Sinhalas. This government is racist and biased but will yield when the good people assert themselves. There aren’t enough good people doing so. If good is to triumph we need love and forgiveness. Those who criticise must work with the good Sinhala people to ensure that their will carries the day. I do believe and endorse what Elilini Hoole says.

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              Wickramasiri..

              Abandoned in the sense during the war. The diaspora never condems the LTTE for keeping the Tamils as hostages n using them as human shields.. Never condems the LTTE for child recruitment or suicide missions.. They only speak of their fellow brothers and sisters only to suit their agenda – for a separate state.

              There are a few like Ms Hoole in the diaspora community. Those people should really come forward… For that they need to rise against the extremist forces similarly so do the sinhalese community … seems impossible to me especially since evil rules the world and minds of people and always takes center stage. ….but it takes only ‘one’ and the rest will follow. Hopefully. Someday.

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            Ajith;

            you say; ” I have met several people lived inside Vanni during LTTE and the real stories are completely different to what this writer says.”.

            And you are telling you are from Vanni.

            We dont know that you are telling a LIe or nOT.

            But As a BUDDHIST SINHALESE,
            Who OWN a small plot of land in northern tip of Jaffna penninsula, and Had three brothers work At the Minstry of defence.
            and lost close Sinhalee reletives,and TAMIL neighbours and more tamil Frinds.
            Because I have first hand experences as I am from the east of sri lanka and i have risked my life to entering the LTTE’ terotory by cheating SL ARMY many times to help my friends.

            As I know that kILLER TERRORISTS LTTE, S L ARMY And So call Civil Gam Balu force, AND ALL OTHER AXX Liker Tamil armed and so called librators organizations done much Harm to All sri lankans.
            I MEAN TO US all Sri Lankans.

            But I Do not Blame Them ALL as there were some, who done most extrodinay services also as to they were followng ORDERS FROM SENIORS or HIGHER UPS.
            All of them, those organised groups and forces have not done any good to humane kind.
            only destruction to our SDri Lanka.
            I have So many Real,and very sad stories to Devulge,
            All those done by Your So called Tamil Librators and Our Sri lankan Defense forces.
            But
            ANY HOW, you dont wants to white wash what the LTTE or other militant goons.
            And there is nothing wrong with this Young writer to elobarate what she found out and NO BODY CAN DENY THAT OR SAY IT IS WRONG,

            AS We Know THAT IS THE TRUTH.
            NOTHING BUT THE REAL TRUTH.

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              Well said. We need not white wash the LTTE or the Armed Forces, or any other. We know what they have done.

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              JULAMPITIYE AMARAYA,
              I am not saying this lady is telling lie or truth. If there is no particular motive in this article at this time, why she is telling now? why she didn’t talk about the problems faced by the people due to SLM?? For example, there were news reports quoting people telling about raping of women by military inside the refugee camps after the end of war.
              I am not telling that LTTE is good or it didn’t commit crimes. My point is always both SLM and LTTE have committed crimes against humanity and we should not blame everything on LTTE and ignoring the military or paramilitary crimes.

              I don’t know who is this Ellini Hoole. I have heard of two brothers.
              1. Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole.
              2. Ranjan Hoole (UTCHR)

              I assume that this lady must be related to that family. Both have had problems with LTTE and they are anti-LTTE. In 2006, he was appointed as VC of Jaffna by the President and later he left to USA following threats from LTTE. At the end of the war, the government announced and invited Tamils went abroad to come back to the country. According to him, I think the President agreed to give that VC post and he came to Jaffna and applied for the post. The Jaffna University administration is under the control of EPDP paramilitary leader and the minister of Rural Devt Douglas Devananda. The University administration cannot even appoint a clerk without the recommendation of this minister. More than half of the selection committee are sponsored by EPDP leader. EPDP leader did not like Prof Hoole because he afraid that he will loose his influence in the Uni. Unfortunately President of Sri Lanka depends on EPDP leader for many things in the North decided to go with his recommendation. It was some election time and Prof. Hoole had a visit to an island that is fully under the control of this paramilitary group and observed that the environment is not suitable for free election. That is the end of Prof. Hoole’s career in Jaffna. He was threatened and chased away from the country.

              It is real and it is the nothing other than truth that terrorism did not end with LTTE and did not start with LTTE. International community and India helped to defeat LTTE terrorism but what is the solution to the continued terrorism in this country?

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        I have met several people lived inside Vanni during LTTE and the real stories are completely different to what this writer says

        Really, you know different stories first hand. Have you even been back to Sri Lanka.

        Ms. Hoole on the other hand has been working (dont know if its volunteer) for refugee rehabilitation agency in Sri Lanka. I’ll give a lot more credence to someone who is actually on the ground and working with people as against a armchair pundit.

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          I am still a Sri Lankan. I am from Vanni and I know the people of Vanni very well and I love my land better than those who come and go. You don’t need to come to Sri Lanka to find the truth. People speak very clearly and that reflects the truth. You cannot expect people will tell the truth to any stranger under the military environment. We see those who speak are regular visitors of the famous 4th floor.Even if you ask those people who killed Lasantha they will immediately tell it is LTTE because that is the only way they can live there. Such a freedom is there? If you have to live in Sri Lanka you should accept LTTE as a cruel terrorist and Sri Lanka military liberators!

          Can you let me know how long she lived in the North or East of Sri Lanka? How long she worked as volunteer for refugee rehabilitation agency? How long She was in Vanni before the end of the war? Who do you think those people who complaint to the LLRC about disappeared children, brothers and sister? If your government truly liberated those people, why still people vote for TNA, not Rajapakse government and for autonomy of North-East even under military occupation? Why you afraid for having Northern Provincial Council Elections? Whether you accept or not the international community accepts that over 40,000 people were intentionally killed and a large number of people were still missing, and food and medicine were used as a weapon in this war. The whole world aware that this war was done in a closed environment without NGO’s, Journalists. Do you know even after people were kept inside the camp they were not allowed to meet even opposition party members, TNA or journalists for several months?

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            Ajith,

            I assume you are a citizen of another country and by definition no longer a Sri Lankan, just of Sri Lankan origin.

            Ms. Hoole is a Sr Lankan, bcos her parents got dual citizenship
            many years ago before it became useful after the war ended.

            I am pretty sure, Ms. Hoole used to stay in Jaffna during the school holidays even when a child.

            What have you done, have you helped to rehabilitate the LTTE army survivors? Or is it that now they cant fight your war you have forgotten them.

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              I had met couple of war affected people in person and we made arrangements for them . The story, they narrate are very different than what is in articles, It was clearly, the military launched attack, not bothering civilians safety. So dont paint them as saints. My friend had sent the witness of the evidence to UNHRC. May be some people in LTTE behaved mad during last stages of war. That is what war brings in to you. So blame both LTTE and your military and don’t save your military as savior.

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              do you know why she and her father ran away?

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            One of the Hoole brothers ran away away to avoid the same fate as Ranjani Thiranagama, Amirthalingam.

            Ratnajeevan Hoole was a Professor out in the US. Then he returned to SL in the mid/late 90’s to serve his country.

            Academic couple Ratnajeevan and Dushyanthi Hoole treated shabbily

            You need to read a little more than the rubbish the LTTE crowd puts out.

            You should also read Broken Palmyra
            Either buy it for USD 179 on Amazon or read online

            Broken Palmyra: Online

            Broken Palmyra:Amazon

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        Ajith, LTTE is not a terrorist organization, I agree. I too agree that young boys and girls fought for Tamils without expecting any return from us. I too agree that If they are terrorist, they could have easily killed thousands of Sinhalese, but they did not. But we must also accept,acknowledge and condomned what LTTE diid for Tamils 1) Forceble fund collection, forcible recruitment from 2006 and and their human rights violations during final phase of the war. We as Tamils have to condemned what they did for Muslims-chasing Muslims out of North and Killing Muslim civilians in Palli and killing innocent Sinhalese in boder villages.

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          Buvanes

          ” LTTE is not a terrorist organization,”

          LTTE is no more, could we use past tense to describe its nonexistence.

          If LTTE was not a terrorist organisation then what is?

          When a spade is not a spade?

          “I too agree that If they are terrorist, they could have easily killed thousands of Sinhalese, but they did not.”

          Do you know exactly how many innocent people (irrespective of their race)were killed, maimed and terrorised by LTTE?

          If it was not a Terrorist organisation it would have been recognised by many countries and respected by people world over. On the contrary it was banned by many countries including India and hated by people all over the world.

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        Ajith,i too came across many people who lived in Wanni till 2009 and they all CURSE THE LTTE for what they did post 2006

        What Elili wrote was nothing but the truth and for your information she did work in jaffna and wanni a lot so she knows what she is talking about.

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          Why people then hate Rajapakse regime?

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            my view is that people dislike the Govt for its corruption and thuggery but that does not make the LTTE any better!

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      Nandana:
      Are you telling the Buddhists have no caste problems? Even the Malayali low caste Jayawardene clan became a High caste GOVIGAMA in Colombo!

      Why do Sinhala Buddhists have Buddhist Sects under the CASTE banners? Asgiriya, Malwatte and others?

      How many LOW caste Sinhalese are Ministers in the GOVIGAMA Rajapakse Cabinet?

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    Show me a Tamil who is not a Tiger symapthiser and I’ll show you a liar

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      According to you,then all Tamils are either LTTE or LTTE supporter, then whom have you claimed freed from LTTE? And for whom the humanitarian operation was intended for?

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      NARI Man;

      I’ll show you a liar=

      YOU ARE A S xx t Eating big LIar;

      The World ;

      This Nari Man Is a Backboneless Liar like His BOSSES just caughing for some pennys.

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      I am a Tamil and I hate LTTE to the core. Does that answer you question Mr. Nariman?

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      Douglas Devananda and many thousands Tamils are still alive to oppose LTTE even today! Nari Sellama epaa!

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        Hi machan,
        what caste douglas devananda…is he govigama tamil or kovian…

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          He is a casteless “comrade”.

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      Nari-Man-Falsy…Yes thats why MR has killed more than 40000 or 70000 as claimed to be Tamils, regardless of their age,caste,cread or gender. Where the hell in this world are you?
      Of course these sort of lies and fanatical courage fed by Morons like you and so many others like you in the diasphora only make the lives of Morons like you and others prosperous and sophisticated.
      You are not only a liar but a determind liar.I’m sure one will never hesitate to conclude your birth as an accidental one.

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    ..OMG !!!!

    TNA will think this is extremely offensive, and the Diaspora will call it outight blasphemy.

    Rev Emmanuel perhaps may move an extra clause to Rudra’s Charter to have something similar to a “Fatwa” in future.

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    Tigers are gone. However, the tamils are our brothers and sisters. They are also our sons and doughters. We can share the same culture and values. We are all Sri Lankans. We are looking forward to having this relationship for another 1000 years.

    Good balanced article.

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    “Tamils Of The Vanni – Betrayed By All”. It is true. Most of the Tamils are Hindus they died and lost their properties than any oither religious minority groups. But here all of them are trying to insert Catholic features within the North East and they were and are trying to create Cathoilic nation????.

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      Catholic = Crusaders, like the leopards don’t change their spots .

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    Thank you Ms Hoole for reminding us of the atrocities carried out by the LTTE ‘heroes’ as some in the West see them. It is not as if such histories were not presented to the likes of Harrison (ex-BBC) or Weiss (ex-UN), but their desire is to revile the good name of Sri Lanka, and sell their books saw such events being suppresssed. They listened only to the perpetrators of terror, and many saw them as eregal rather than the puligal they pretended to be.

    There are still elemnts within the country pulling in differend directions in pursuit of temporary selfish gain, but let us hope that sanity prevails and that all citizens are seen as equal and learn to live in harmony for a prosperous future.

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    Here is the voice of reason and we should welcome it. This is the way forward. The older guilt-ridden Tamils who fled SL after allowing their community leadership to be hijacked by barely educated thugs now seek to assuage their guilt by pathetic parading in foreign climes. They are losers with time on their hands. Those who want to really help the Tamil community should return to SL and work to heal the fractured and hurting. The serious damage done and the scars inflicted in the last years of the conflict will need much repair; it won’t be months but years before we see the Tamils in SL raise their heads again and walk with dignity and pride. The Tamil diaspora – they made their choices for one reason or another a long time ago – can help by not engaging in meaningless posturing and grandstanding in countries that in truth couldn’t care a hoot about the internal politics of SL. Many of the younger generation of the diaspora have the skills, the foresight and the goodwill to help, and more importantly have no chip on their young shoulders. There is little or nothing gained with the interminable exchanges of who came first and the discussions of ancient kings and battles long won and lost and gods shared and gods exclusive and slights and revenges. The last four years have been dissipated by profitless recriminations – on both sides – who did what to whom, six of one and half a dozen of the other -valuable time has been lost; youngTamils have become teenagers, teenagers become adults, rudderless in a hostile world. Shaping the future must start here and now.

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      Educated? How are you under tyrannical rule eh?
      What sort of Taliban is it not Sinhaliban.
      Nation of beggars living off housemaids for FE.
      Easier said than done!

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    We have seen lengthy articles about LTTE monuments and dead.

    But not a word about the living surviving LTTE. Are they the defeated too in the eyes of the diaspora and best ignored. Reviled by the Tamils living in the North and East, as Ms. Hoole indicates.

    Looks like the govt and army has been much more magnanimous to LTTE cadre having training and rehabilitation and even going to the extent of arraigning marriages for them.

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    Well Done Elilini !!!

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    well writen and very true indeed!

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    Thanks,appreciate very much your courage to speak your mind.

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    Most of the Tamils in the vanni were Indian estate tamils who were settled along the borderline by the Ghandian movement with the promise of land for cultivation under the KIBUTZ System. But they were settle on crown land. But the tamils are of the view that there is nothing called CROWN LAND in the North
    This is what bothers the majority in regard to the NP Elections & 13th Ammendment.
    The Architect of this system was S.A.David.

    Appapillai amirthalingam issued letters to prospective settlers with promise of land.

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    THANK YOU MS.HOOLE FOR YOUR ARTICLE , IT IS A PORTION OF THE FACTS, RELATING, TO VANNI LTTE, STRATEGY, ADOPTED BY THE LTTE, HEAD, VP, PAINTING OFF AS TAMILS SAVIOURS. IN FACT, IT WAS NO MORE THAN A CALL FO
    A [TIGER THRONE TO BE BUILT, IN THE VANNI AND WELL ADMINISTERED] V.P HAD IN MIND TO ESTABLISH A ONE MAN SHOW, AND CLAIM THE THRONE, AT THE
    COST OF HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS, OF HUMAN AND PROPERTY, LOSSESS [ON BOTH SECTORS OF THE WAR PROMOTED BY INDIA.]

    JUST TO QUOTE, APPAPILLAI AMIRTHALINGAM AND HIS TEAM, WHO FAITHFULLY
    PROMOTED THE LTTE, COULD NOT GO VERY FAR, HAVING BEEN ASSASINATED
    BY THE VERY SAME, LTTE CORE WHO, WERE AIMING AT A [TIGER RULE, HAVING
    SELF APPOINTED,THEMSELVES, AS THE TAMILS REPRESENTATIVES, AND WERE
    NOT AT ALL, WILLING FOR A NEGOTIATED SOLUTION.

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    LTTE is not a terrorist organization, I agree. I too agree that young boys and girls fought for Tamils without expecting any return from us. I too agree that If they are terrorist, they could have easily killed thousands of Sinhalese, but they did not. But we must also accept,acknowledge and condomned what LTTE diid for Tamils 1) Forceble fund collection, forcible recruitment from 2006 and and their human rights violations during final phase of the war. We as Tamils have to condemned what they did for Muslims-chasing Muslims out of North and Killing Muslim civilians in Palli and killing innocent Sinhalese in boder villages.

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      “I too agree that If they are terrorist, they could have easily killed thousands of Sinhalese, but they did not.”

      where have you been all these years? you are not aware of LTTE killing civilians? i am sorry for people like you!

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    Minorities have majority voice, this is the nature and it is seen quite clearly everywhere. Majority are often reluctant to talk against minority voice. If they do it then they will be branded as extremist.

    Unfortunately how much you compromise with the minority there will be new issues and demands. Therefore all citizens should be considered as majority and should be incorporated in constitution, irrespective of the ethnicity or their beliefs. The forces that try to destroy this balance should be managed effectively by the governments.

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    All Tamils in SL were betrayed first and primarily by the British. All problems stem from that betrayal. The British now offer asylum to those who were affected by that betrayal.

    These British Tamils now march, wave flags and cry foul over the goings on in SL.

    Meanwhile the British continue to sell weapons, aircraft engines and attend conferences headed by their Prime Minister.

    Boy, these British have done a number on the Tamils that the Tamils are yet to figure out. The Vanni Tamils are but one episode of a long running soap opera.

    Everyone else…… Just chill…. till the next episode!

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    The fact that the military leader of the LTTE came from a lower caste than the political leaders is not testament to the fact that in the LTTE caste was irrelevant, imo. In fact, the exact opposite is more likely to be true: it was Prabhakaran’s low caste status that made him so valuable to the real higher caste leaders of the LTTE who mostly resided overseas. Only someone who was himself a low caste Tamil would have been able to organize and recruit the other lower caste people of northern Sri Lanka into cannon fodder to fight their war of revenge against the rest of the Sri Lankan people who were dismantling the privileges that the upper caste Tamilians had enjoyed under the British.

    In that sense Prabhakaran and the majority of the Tigers military leadership were simply ruthless mercenaries employed by the upper castes to force the lower caste Tamils into an army to avenge the lost privileges and status of the upper castes in the north of Sri Lanka. It is now heartening to see more and more Tamilian Sri Lankans from the north seeing the true nature of the LTTE.

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      what a joke. You couldn’t find any explanation. Do you know sinhala youths are mercenary employed by upper caste Sinhalese. Almost all the Sinhala leaders had their education in Europe, Changed their religion from Buddhism to Christianity and then to Buddhism. SWRD family, DS Senanayake family, JR Jeyawradena family, Mahinda Percey Rajapakse family hold nearly 75% of the wealth of the nation and poor sinhala youths were employed in the army to kill innocent Tamils. Gotapaya Rajapakse, Basil Rajapakse, Military commander Sarath Fonseka and their family have the passport of wealthy nations and all of them invested the wealth earned from this nation in western Banks. You know over 60000 army recruits run away from the army unable to serve honestly under your wealthy masters. Do you know these are the people who killed and put in the mass graves over 60,000 poor Sinhala youths and run away to America? Do you know how much of money they robbed from the Nation from the commission of buying military equipments from illegal sources to kill poor people.

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        So all the Tamil Leaders, the Arunachalam Brothers, SJV Chelvanayagam, GG Ponnambalam were of the people.

        Heard of the “Maviddapuram temple entry”. Just google those words.

        You can also google “Sebastian Rasalingam”

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          Yes you are right both Tamil leaders and Sinhala leaders come under same category. Unfortunately the rule of the Nation only goes to Sinhala leaders and still they maintain the same leadership and same policy.

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    Finally a Tamil admitting that LTTE did horrific things to Tamils, Sinhalaes and Muslims.
    I applaud you for having the courage to say that and also mention that Tamils need to seek forgiveness from the rest of the Sri Lankans for supporting the LTTE, and for rejoicing and reveling when they killed innocent civilians of Sri Lanka.
    Until the LTTE is acknowledged for what they were, a brutal terror group that killed many many thousands of Sri Lankans, there will never be a chance at reconciliation between Sinahalese and Tamils.
    How can it be otherwise? One group abhors the LTTE and call them a monstrous terrorists group, while the other group venerates them.
    Tamils have very right to remember their dead, but, please don’t glorify the terrorists who killed so many innocents. After all they killed and killed and killed.
    Does not matter what they were fighting for ( I doubt it whether even they knew at the end what they were fighting for)
    killing people is not right.
    It is also time that the Sinhalese sought forgiveness from the Tamils for the atrocities committed against the Tamils, especially during he 1983 riots. Nothing can justify those killings either. The SL govt should make a formal apology for the failure of the JR govt to protect the innocent Tamils at that time.
    I hope and pray that both communities will come to realize our sins against each other and reach out to seek and offer forgiveness.
    Forgiveness is something that breaks down barriers and sets us free.
    Without that, as long as the Tamil Diaspora ( who funded the LTTE with millions of dollars over 2 decades to kill innocent Sril Lankans) tries to exact vengeance on the SL govt , nothing good will happen. The SL govt will not yield o such hypocritical demands of the Tamil diaspora (genocide, my foot!), and further harden their stand.

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    As I see, Ms Hoole’s is genuine and not trying to twist the truth, though it may not be 100% accurate. These are her perceptions and knowledge of the history of this conflict. Some who have commented on this article are upset, she did not try to white wash the LTTE, the most brutal internationalised terrorist group in modern times. However, nobody should blame the Government and SriLankan security forces for being compelled to battle LTTE terrorists who refused to surrender but continued with ethnic cleansing of Sinhalese and Muslims in and around the areas the LTTE were active and also did not care at all for the human rights of the Tamil civilians.
    I believe the LTTE had planned to give a reason for a foreign power to intervene in this conflict by uprooting from their homes, around 300000 Tamil civilians, but it failed to materialise as the SriLankan forces were quick to realise it and defeated the LTTE in double quick time.
    As for the LTTE flag, it is just a symbol of evil, like Hitler’s Nazi flag. Those who still carry this flag of evil are no better than the LTTE terrorists.

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