26 October, 2020

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The Challenge Of May 19 Is To Commemorate & To Mourn

By Jehan Perera

Jehan Perera

Jehan Perera

The war ended on the battlefields of the north seven years ago on May 19. The commemoration of this day is a divisive one. During the period of the previous government, which claimed ownership of the war victory, the commemoration took the form of a victory celebration, with military parades and narrow ethnic nationalistic speechmaking that catered to ethnic majority sentiment but injured the sentiments of the ethnic minorities. At the same time the government also took action to ensure that there would be no commemoration of the LTTE or even of civilian loss of life. This led to the prohibition of any form of public coming together in the north of the country where the last battles were fought, even within places of religious worship, for the purpose of remembering the dead.

However, a shift could be discerned last year, after the new government had come to power. Although once again the commemoration took the form of a military parade with associated speechmaking, it was conducted on a smaller scale and with less nationalism. The decision of the new government headed by President Maithripala Sirisena to redefine May 19 as a Day of Remembrance marked a significant break with the past. However, it was still not a complete break. It was accompanied by a military parade, as in the past, attended by the President. The sacrifice of the Sri Lankan security forces who ensured the territorial unity of the country, and the final military triumph over the LTTE and its separatist campaign, were the main themes of this event.

At last year’s May 19 event there was also reference to the general loss of life in the war by the President in his speech. This satisfied neither the Sinhalese nationalists in the south who wanted the war victory celebrated nor the Tamil people in the north who wanted their dead commemorated. However, there was an improvement in the flexibility of the government and the people in the north were permitted to hold religious services for those who lost her lives. These events even took place on the battleground where the last of the fighting took place. At one such event a multi religious commemoration took place with a Buddhist monk from the Jaffna district inter religious committee being present.

Uncertain Commemoration 

This year there is still a measure of uncertainty as to how May 19 will be commemorated. According to the Defence Ministry website the government has decided not to have a military parade this year. The government’s position with regard to the events in the north is that commemorations of those who died can take place, but the LTTE cannot be commemorated as it had engaged in terrorism and human rights violations on a large scale, including child recruitment and usage of human shield. The LTTE was also an organization that sought to divide the country. No government that is committed to the country’s unity, and pledged to govern according to the constitution in which separatism is legally banned, can permit the demise of such an organization to be mourned.

It is clear that the government is making a dedicated effort to take the country in the direction of national reconciliation. The excessive use of this anniversary to promote narrow ethnic nationalist sentiment amongst the Sinhalese people was criticized in the past as being detrimental to national reconciliation. The manner in which the war ended was traumatic to the Tamil people who were trapped in the war zones. I n the last months of the war large numbers of people perished, including large numbers of civilians. This led to allegations of war crimes from the Tamil people which put Sri Lanka in the dock of international opinion and to resolutions from Geneva by the UN Human Rights Council urging the country to account for what had happened.

Unlike war victories which are usually celebrated and which are between countries, civil war victories are more complicated. The victory of the Western allies over Nazi Germany and the victory of the northern states over the southern states in the US civil war are commemorated differently. What is commemorated in the US civil war is not the victory of the north over south, but rather the union over the confederacy and the end of slavery. A succinct example of how the US civil war is remembered in US government publications is “4,000,000 freed. 750,000 dead. 1 nation saved. From 1861 to 1865, the American union was broken as brother fought brother in a Civil War that remains a defining moment in our nation’s history. Its causes and consequences, including the continuing struggle for civil rights for all Americans, reverberate to this day. From the battlefields to the homefront, the cost of the war was steep…its lessons eternal.”

Develop Answer 

Likewise in Sri Lanka it is necessary to be sensitive to the fact that it was a civil war that ended, of citizen against citizen, and not a war against a foreign foe. The new government has been making a commendable effort to touch the hearts and minds of the Tamil people while also winning over to it the international support that the previous government so badly lost. Along with land and resources it has been restoring to the Tamil people the sense of confidence that they can speak their minds. Tamil nationalist opinion is being freely expressed by both Tamil politicians and civil society members even though it causes problems for the government in other Sinhalese dominated parts of the country where those views are not shared. By re-designating May 19 as a Day of Remembrance the government has also taken the right policy decision from the top down.

At the same time as the government moves to reach out to the Tamil people it is important for it not to lose the support of the Sinhalese people for whom the end of the war meant liberation from the terrorism and destruction of the LTTE. Due to the calamitous failure of negotiations between successive governments and the LTTE, it was finally the military victory achieved by the Sri Lankan military that prevented the country from being geographically divided. Bus stand shelters and community halls bear the names of fallen soldiers put up by their relatives and communities in gratitude for fighting to keep the country united. Their sacrifice needs to be recognized and valued and become part of the Sri Lankan commitment to ensure that such an internal war never again occurs.

The unity of the country is one in which all sections of the people, Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim can move forward together. May 19 is the day the war ended and also the day on which large number of Sri Lankans died. There will be a division between those who want the day celebrated as a triumph of the state over the LTTE and those who want to mourn the dead, and those who want to mourn the LTTE. These are difficult and emotional issues, and difficult to resolve, and so the government needs to start a dialogue with the people of all parts of the country as to how best these issues can be resolved. The first step is to create awareness and sensitivity in the general population on the issue that can pave the way for permanent change. This has yet to take place. The Ministry of National Coexistence, Dialogue and Official Languages could be mandated by the government to get the discussion going.

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Latest comments

  • 14
    11

    The scourge of my generation is to find something to commemorate without being divisive.

    Should we commemorate the victorious visceral backlash against the uprising in April 1971?

    Again, but this time by a different government, the dark murderous ending of the southern uprising in 1989?

    Should the disgraceful events of May 1958 be commemorated?

    Should the catastrophic pogrom of July 1983 be commemorated?

    All these events would, arguably, have been early pointers to the debacle of May 19, 2009.

    We are right to remember these events, and resolve to do better.

    It is best not commemorate these events with ‘Victory’ parades etc.

    Vanquishing one’s own should never be a cause for celebration.

    • 7
      6

      Spring Koha

      “Should we commemorate the victorious visceral backlash against the uprising in April 1971? Again, but this time by a different government, the dark murderous ending of the southern uprising in 1989?”

      A categorical, no no no no no ……. no.

      However we should remember the victims forever,
      we should remember the victims forever,
      we should remember the victims forever …….. .

    • 7
      2

      “”Vanquishing one’s own should never be a cause for celebration. “

      Kings and Queens have done it.

      moaning and groaning and moaning for a better future.

      read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and talk about what your former masters for 5 centuries left behind and how you just can’t do without it.

      Can you think outside of socialist illiberal democracy?

    • 6
      2

      Jehan Perera uses the two Words Commemorate and Celebrate in accordance with their Correct Definitions;

      But some Commentators on CT seem to be Confusing these two Similar Sounding Words, although they have completely Different Meanings.

      We Commemorate Someone’s Death, We do not Celebrate it.

      Similarly, We Commemorate the End of the Insurrection. We do not Celebrate it, because Lives were Lost on both sides.

      Our Historic Parallel is the Edict of Dutugemunu, that All should Venerate the Tomb of Elara, Whatever their Ethnic background!

      • 4
        0

        “We Commemorate Someone’s Death, We do not Celebrate it.”

        It all depends on the existing culture in context.
        The palestinians `celebrated` the 9/11 destruction and the deaths of multicultural society in it.
        The islamist celebrate the shooting down of English tourist sunning it out.

        Mr Dictionary? What haven’t your culture celebrated?
        Death of an enemy?? or just keep on cursing??

        Why do they still fly the confederate flag?
        Why do they still fly the Eelam flag??

      • 5
        0

        When the Sinhala youth formed the JVP in 1971 and rebelled against the government using armed violence, then Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranayake defeated them by using the military. Again when the Sinhala youth rebelled against the government using armed violence, then President Ranasinghe Premadasa defeated them in 1989 by using the military. When the Tamil youth formed the LTTE and rebelled against the government using armed violence, then President Mahinda Rajapakshe defeated them in 2009 by using the military.

        Usually countries celebrate war victories when they defeat another country. Here the government had a war with its own people, the citizens of the same country and defeated them in 1971, 1989 and 2009. Did Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranayake or President Ranasinghe Premadasa have military parades to celebrate victories? Why ONLY Mahinda Rajapakshe wants to celebrate and why ONLY victory against Tamil youth?

    • 3
      3

      Jehan Perera

      RE: The Challenge Of May 19 Is To Commemorate & To Mourn

      Yes. We should commemorate the Culmination, of the actions of the fools, Para-Sinhala and Para-Tamils, since independence in 1948, and call it,

      The Para-Sinhala and Para-Tamil Fools Commemoration Day.

      The Para-Sinhala Modays and Para-Tamil Mootals have earned it in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho!

    • 5
      2

      Spring Koha,

      It is best not commemorate these events with ‘Victory’ parades etc.
      You make a very sensible and admirable observation. I sincerely hope you had held that same view and argued for that in 2010 when the subject initially came for discussion.

      In May of 2010, unfortunately, boot-lickers such as the celebrated Political Scientist Dayan prodded and supported MR to do the exact opposite, throwing civility to the winds so as to curry favour and seek lucrative foreign appointments under MR’s regime (prostituting academic skills?).

      Dayan Jayathileke is on record arguing for the MR regime to celebrate Nanthikadal massacre as a majoritarian right, observing ridiculously that “after all the war against Apartheid was rooted in nothing but the Majoritarian aspiration for the domination of the minorities.”

      It is the curse of these prostituting academics that laid the foundation for the destruction of this blessed land!

      • 3
        0

        Kumar R.

        “I sincerely hope you had held that same view and argued for that in 2010 when the subject initially came for discussion.”

        Spring Koha is one of the few who holds sane views on every aspect human life in this island.

    • 1
      0

      Spring Koha, beautifully written mate. Thanks.

    • 0
      0

      Spring Koha, Never mind the score the readers have given you.

      What matters is, you have written a lot of sense here. The fact that it cannot be appreciated by an almost equal number says a lot about the prejudices we harbor as a people.

      We don’t know what is right and wrong, and that’s the tragedy.

  • 2
    8

    From the man who said “tigers cannot be defeated militarily” and who NEVER condemned Tiger terrorist attacks and kept saying “negotiate negotiate” with a group which never intended to negotiate or adapt or compromise it is a bit too ripe. He and CPA man always got it wrong leading up to the war’s gory conclusion.

    As for just printing verbatim what is said about the US civil war, he ignores the Southern culture which still views the war as the “war of northern aggression”. So like how Southern Whites feel, it is likely Tamils, in particular Tamil racists like Southern White racists will always look at this as an invasion. He has no clue about how ordinary Southern Whites feel about the war, Sherman’s march through Georgia where he burnt Atlanta to the ground and razed everything on his path except Savannah the beautiful port city.

    After capturing Atlanta Sept. 2, 1864, Union Gen. William T. Sherman lobbied his superiors for permission to cut across Georgia to deep water at Savannah. At first, worries about what Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood might be up to and the perilous nature of the adventure gave overall Union commander U.S. Grant pause. But Sherman prevailed and while at Kingston Nov. 12 got the go-ahead to march to Savannah. He wasted no time. Three days later, after giving orders to burn Atlanta, two wings of Union infantry totaling about 60,000 troops, headed east.
    Since Union forces were abandoning their supply and communication line to Chattanooga, Sherman gave orders to “forage liberally during the march.” He also ordered mills and cotton gins burned along the way and if guerrilla activity was encountered then “army commanders should order and enforce a devastation more or less relentless according to the measure of such hostility.”
    Those orders became the basis for widespread destruction during the march and hostility toward Sherman that lasts until today.
    Organized Confederate opposition was virtually nonexistent during the march. There was a small battle fought with Southern militia near Macon and brief resistance at Honey Hill and near Savannah at Fort McAllister.
    On Dec. 20, Confederate forces under Gen. William Hardee abandoned the city. Sherman accepted the formal surrender of the city the next day.

  • 2
    2

    I wish that19th May 2016 should be celebrated as a victory day for every citizen of the island of Sri Lanka including Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, and Islamists. This is only possible when each and everyone realises that our polititical institutions and religious institutions in the past failed to bring peace and harmony to this island. The leadership of political institutions and religious instituions who should apologise to the people of this island for creating an enviornment of divisions in the name of race, language and religion on 19th 2016. President Maithiri, Prime Minister Ranil, Opposition Leader Sampanthan, Muslim leader Rauf Hakeem, Former President Mahinda, Former President Chndrika etc. should join on this day and take an oath in front of people that they will get together to find a political & economic solution to all the problems that they created in the past. The 19th of May 2016 should be declared a day of rememberance for all including military, LTTE, JVP.

  • 0
    6

    Can we burrow Jehan Perera’s “FUNERAL FACE” to be among our mourning party ??????????????????

    Hello jehan…. leave us to do out own thing. We do not need your free loading Harvard out put.

  • 2
    2

    Jehan you are unfairly scared to the greedy, unfair, selfish, murderous majority sentiments.

  • 4
    3

    The singing of the national anthem in Tamil on February fourth has strengthened a feeling of ‘belonging’ to most Tamils.

    Allowing Tamils to mourn those who died during the conflict will help.

    At the same time, allowing Tamils to live without harassment, with security for themselves and for their properties and lands, will strengthen this.

    The army should be removed from the war torn lands and police allowed to enforce the law.

    But, it appears that even the president is unable to do this.

  • 2
    3

    Americans still celebrate their civil war, war against evil slave lords! They even perform reenactments as well!

    At the same time morning all the dead, We must celebrate the good against evil!

    In fact we must celebrate eradication of all the JVP instigated civil wars too.

    • 5
      1

      My reading from various sources of the commemoration of the event is that it is far from a celebration of victory than remembering the dead and achievement of peace.

      The following piece of history of the surrender of the South is revealing:
      “Indeed, when Lee [leader of he armed forces of the South] left the building, Grant [leader of he armed forces of the North] stopped the Northern troops from cheering. He said the two sides were no longer their enemies, and the best way to show the North’s joy was not to celebrate the South’s defeat.
      Source: http://www.voanews.com/content/us-marks-150th-anniversary-of-civil-war-end/2713796.html

  • 4
    2

    The people should be allowed to morn their dead, whether the dead are from the army, LTTE or civilians. That should be their freedom. But the Sinhala governments do not want the mothers and fathers of the dead LTTE members remembered. Is there justice in the restriction. If the army is going to celebrate the victory over the LTTE in the civil war, then the mothers and fathers of the dead LTTE members should be allowed to be remembered. How can there be reconciliation, the government always speaks of. 150,000 army personnel are stationed in the north occupying private lands and the owners are living in camps. Is this the way forward for reconciliation. It will never happen.

  • 2
    3

    Wounds of the US civil war have still not healed for the defeated. It was total war. Lincoln was up for re-election. He was in a pretty dicey position. He wanted a decisive war victory. The serious battles of Gettysburg in 1863 where the union lost over 23,000 men and the Confederate army lost over 25,000 men did not end the war. The South kept fighting despite the horrendous casualties. In fact the South without resorting to terrorism unlike the Tigers kept fighting for a long time more. Even after Chattanooga etc the South held on in 1964.

    There was a lot of peace noise in the North. People like Mr Jehan Perera or Mr. P Saravanmuttu of CPA existed in the USA too; They were urging Lincoln to negotiate a peace. In fact a significant proportion of the Union/North were sick and tired of the causlties and wanted peace. There were also negotiations. The fact is that the North was losing a lot of men and despite it being supposedly about slavery, the people dying were white and there was a lot of dissension and violent disagreement about whites dying to free Slaves. So the war was framed, pushed, sold to REUNITE The union even though Lincoln made a clarion call for morality. But the total war with economic warfare etc was fought to REUNITE The USA.

    Before the war, in 1861 there was a peace conference to try to avoid war. This is very different from the Tigers. It was not a terrorist civil war financed by India. It was a local war without geopolitical actors like India. So that failed. Then in 1865 the Hampton Peace talks also failed. Again like the Tigers in the North , in the US the Confederate southern states did not cooperate. They felt the North will let them do what they wanted and wanted to buy time to win the war and secede.

    The Hampton Roads Conference was a peace conference held between the United States and the Confederate States in February, 1865, to discuss terms to end the American Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward, representing the Union, met with three commissioners from the Confederacy: Vice President Alexander H. Stephens, Senator Robert M. T. Hunter, and Assistant Secretary of War John A. Campbell.(Thimpu? PTOMS?)

    Extract from Wiki below:
    The representatives discussed a possible alliance against France(informal alliance against India by President Premedasa and LTTE?), the possible terms of surrender, the question of whether slavery might persist after the war, and the question of whether the South would be compensated for property lost through emancipation. Lincoln and Seward reportedly offered some possibilities for compromise on the issue of slavery. The only concrete agreement reached was over prisoner-of-war exchanges.LINCOLN WAS WILLING to even compromise on slavery in some states ! Mr. Perera, did you know this fact?
    Confederate President Jefferson Davis announced that the North would not compromise. Lincoln drafted an amnesty agreement based on terms discussed at the Conference, but met with opposition from his Cabinet. John Campbell continued to advocate for a peace agreement and met again with Lincoln after the fall of Richmond on April 2. The war continued until April 9, 1865.

    It was a hellish war with the North realizing they had to wage total war to win. One of the key strategic battles was the battle for Atlanta and Sherman’s march to Savannah. That was in 1964 but the war still continued until the surrender at Appomatox in Virginia after a decisive victory for the Union soldiers. Mr. Perera, if you contrast this with the LTTE, then even after the decisive victories in Jaffna and in Kilinochchi (Kili fell on Jan 8th) and it was clear Tigers were getting routed, the LTTE Refused to negotiate or surrender. This is a big difference. At anytime before the gory ending in May, they could have surrendered but they did not until it was too late and too little and India was sick of them too and told Sri Lanka to “go for it”. That is the reality.

    Now as for celebrations, sadly some will be upset that their heroes are not respected but as you said a commemoration will probably be good. The wounds of the civil war have not healed.

    It took DECADES for reconstruction and healing between the Northern and Southern Whites to happen. Blacks still got a really shitty deal and were treated poorly across the union and terribly in the South because of compromises. When people like you and CPA and the new Indian American pundits(I doubt if those kiddos have a bloody goddamn clue about how people still view the US civil war in the deep south) who dictate policies to Sri Lanka do not seem to know it took decades and it still did not settle anything. Recall that Blacks in the South were still victims of segregation, had no right to vote or be treated equally. There was no integration of even military people after the war ended.

    In fact, Mr. Perera, the US military was desegegated only in 1948(did you know that Sir?) by law. In1948, President Harry S. Truman signed this executive order establishing the President’s Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services, committing the government to integrating the segregated military.

    But DEFACTO segregation still existed even during the Vietnam war when the US christian nation was ostensibly fighting for democracy and freedom.

    So these are complex issues. The chances are our Tamil brethren will take longer to even accept that their LTTE Was trounced and will never forget their war dead. The South still honors and commemorates their war dead. At Stone Mountain park in the heart of the South the 3 people on the Rock are carvings depicts three Confederate figures during the Civil War: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis. There is a giant Confederate flag that flies and every evening they still play the Southern battle song. So this is how many decades after the civil war?

    So I think it will be good if the Tamils are also allowed to remember their dead but not terrorists. A really good thing decades later will be to have a museum depicting the savage riots that targeted innocent Tamils(not sure if India will have a similar one to the thousands of Sikhs raped, burnt alive and slaughtered in 1984 by Hindoo Cong-I thugs) but I strongly feel the UNP regime of 1983 never too responsibility for it. A way not to repeat mistakes of the past is to openly discuss it and have museums documenting it with photographic evidence and history from all sides of the horrendous civil war in Sri Lanka but not downplaying terrorism or state terrorism either or civil casualties on both sides. In the US civil war fought with primitive technology, not too many civilians died or were murdered though it was a total war to subjugate and defeat decisively the Southern separatist state.

    Lincoln ONLY won a second term because Sherman captured Atlanta even though the war would continue for another year. Atlanta fell in 1964 July. If the war had been a stalemate and casualties mounted Lincoln may have lost to General McClellan who was the Democratic party nominee. But he was not a great General like Field Marshal Fonseka.

    One of the most amazing places to visit is the Atlanta Civil and Human rights museum. Mr. Perera, when US Embassy or someone sponsors your ticket you should visit it. You will learn a lot about the hate white christians had for black people and how they abused them physically and verbally for even daring to sit at a diner counter. HATE cannot be accepted.

  • 2
    3

    Gettysburg Address. Very powerful.

    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    Abraham Lincoln
    November 19, 1863

    • 3
      0

      Why are these Comments referring to the American Civil War?

      We are not America!

      Let us create a Unique Sri Lankan Culture of ‘Forgive and Forget’ on Both Sides!

      • 1
        0

        We are America, India, China, Zambia, Afghanistan or anything under the sun when it suits us.
        And we are not America, India, China, Zambia, Afghanistan or anything under the sun when does not suit us.

        Let us forget and forgive– but remember to fully compensate the victims, all of them.

        • 3
          0

          SJ/sekera

          “Let us forget and forgive– but remember to fully compensate the victims, all of them.”

          Could you also advise China to exit from Tibet and fully compensate for what Chinese did or are doing to Tibetans? Then they will try to forget and forgive the Chinese.

          • 1
            6

            “Could you also advise China to exit from Tibet and fully compensate for what Chinese did or are doing to Tibetans? Then they will try to forget and forgive the Chinese.”

            Have majority of Tibetans occupied China? +50% Tamils(Tamil speaking people ) occupy areas outside North and East.

            Soma

            • 0
              0

              Modaya China would cite Japan then you are bowled leg before.
              The point is you have to make a `reasonable` (refer a thesaurus for reasonable) offer than say I won’t give it to you because the white man gave you administration by mistake having taken it away from Tamil Nadu.
              you can’t change white man’s history because he still is your BREAD AND BUTTER- EXPORTS.
              The white man is in agreement with the yellow man’s execution of townships and cities in Asia-
              Ethnic Integration Policy is implemented
              1st Mar 1989
              The Ethnic Integration Policy was implemented on 1 March 1989 to promote racial integration and harmony in Housing and Development Board (HDB) estates.[1]Then Minister for National Development S. Dhanabalan first highlighted the emergence of ethnic enclaves in HDB estates in his speech to community leaders at a New Year’s gathering held at the People’s Association auditorium on 6 January 1989.

              If you are frightened because he is a Tamil then commit suicide now because you have no Ba**s but like Sinhala buddhist begging bowl Ghettos – just like Pakistan the American Kaka.

              Dhanabalan officially introduced the Ethnic Integration Policy in parliament on 16 February 1989. To ensure a better racial mix in HDB estates, the government established ethic quotas for HDB neighbourhoods and blocks. The permissible proportion of flats in each neighbourhood for Malays was 22 percent while the permissible proportion of flats in each block was 25 percent. For Chinese, the permissible proportions were 84 percent and 87 percent respectively, and for Indians and other minority groups, the figures were reduced to 10 percent and 13 percent respectively.

            • 1
              1

              somaass

              What was your question?

      • 2
        0

        “”Let us create a Unique Sri Lankan Culture of ‘Forgive and Forget’ on Both Sides! “”

        That is what Islam did in the Iberian Peninsula for 800 years to the pagans.

        ‘Forgive and Forget’= Only Allah knows and then Enter Mulla O My Gosh.

        in a reasonable world we forgive but never forget the lesson of experience.
        Never mistake the act of kindness for weakness- is what lanka needs to learn the most.

        • 1
          0

          Alfred

          “Only Allah knows and then Enter Mulla O My Gosh.”

          Trade came first, Bible came second, when people woke up their land is gone, then came new kings & Queens, and a new mother country.

  • 1
    0

    The Challenge Of May 19 Is To Commemorate & To Mourn.

    Yes, to commemorate and mourn. Definitely not celebrate.

    The root cause of the whole debacle, that of hate, marginalisation, suspicion and political expediency still remains the root cause, even after such devastation.

    What are we celebrating??

  • 0
    0

    Great is the victory, but the friendship of all is greater.
    -Emil Zatopek

    The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult.
    -Winston Churchill

    http://www.brainyquote.com

  • 2
    2

    There is nothing to mourn. Bush did not mourn the Iraqi dead when he paraded the Iraqi victory on USS Carl Vinson. The US, British and the rest of the hodge podge in Afghanistan did not mourn when they captured Afghanistan. Hence there is nothing to mourn in the Sri Lankan situation too.

    The Sri Lankan forces killed a terrorist group that corralled an entire population in the Wanni to small strip of land and used them as human shield. Non of the NGO’s talk about the human shield because their funding will be cut off. Also for Jehan’s information large number of people did not die on the 19th of May. That day signifies the killing of Prabakaran which may be for LTTE sympathizers and fund raisers a large loss. Also Jahan uses the term of large number of civilians killed and missing very loosely as he has credible numbers. Majority of those missing are those who either migrated to other countries (number of individuals have surfaced in the recent times from the dead in other countries) or those who were forcibly sent to the war front during the final stages of the war by a desperate tiger leadership. Jehan should talk to the Opposition Leader Hon. Sambanthan and ask him for the correct figures because he was the LTTE’s civilian voice at the time.
    So before trying to muddle the facts here educated individuals like you should write things that are professionally collated not cherry picked.
    This is a commemoration of the good guys over coming the bad guys.

  • 0
    3

    If they (LTTE) won they would have celebrated. No one would have told them no to. And we would have commomorated.

    We celebrate victory over terrorism. If you are for terrorism don’t celebrate. If you supported terrorism don’t celebrate.

    The struggle is still going on?

    • 1
      0

      New Vanguard

      “We celebrate victory over terrorism. If you are for terrorism don’t celebrate. If you supported terrorism don’t celebrate.”

      Actually, Hindians should be celebrating the victory over terrorism in this island which they helped to sustain for some time directly or indirectly. Then went to war and 2000 soldiers.

      The war against LTTE was won by VP and Hindia while the stupid Sri Lankan leaders sent their Village boys from poor families to die. I am not sure any of the prominent politicians sent their children to join the army?

      Did any political brat die in the war?

    • 0
      0

      The successive Sri Lanka governments terrorised the Tamils too! What do you have to say about that? The ltte did not drop out of the sky suddenly! You celebrate all you want mister the reconciliation and unitary state will remain elusive for a long while! You are a dangerous chauvinist no doubt!

      • 0
        0

        I think the celebration is about victory over terrorists and terrorism.

        If Tamils obtained victory over the Sinhalese (“Terrorists” ) in the political sphere for example, by defeating the Sinhala only act and establishing better if not equal rights for themselves and all groups on this island, these would be celebrated as victories. If Sri Lanka had become a federal state in 1952 this also would have been celebrated as a victory. There is nothing wrong with that. Some people won’t like it, but that’s too bad.

        The victory of the Yahapalanaya movement is was also celebrated this year on January 8th. The majority of those celebrating were Sinhalese. They celebrate victory over some of the oppressive forces that were in existence at that time. There is nothing wrong with that either.

        So the celebration is over the overcoming of violent forces. I am totally against state terrorism and violent oppression. I am for equal rights for all races and ethnic groups although we have fewer resources in this country they should be shared with all without fear or favour.

        I have a different view from most people in that I feel that future Sri Lankans will basically forget their race and culture and become more westernized, so this ethnic divide will not be so great.

        We might even go for Federalism and no-one will mind.

        So the question to ask is: can all fight to build a Sri Lanka that we can all be proud of, all Sinhalese and Tamils, and how far ahead is our common day of Victory?

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          What an ostensible innocuous piece of reply coming from a man who stated that devolution is out of the question predicated on 2500 year history!

          After 70 years of arrogant Sinhala Buddhist hegemonic disposition that treated the Tamils as invaders and paid no regard whatsoever for their contributions to the United national heritage, it is very rich coming from you “can all fight to build a Sri Lanka”!

          “We might even go for Federalism and no-one will mind”

          Wow, wow! You must think that the Tamils are completely stupid. I know we Tamils were stupid enough to allow VP to highjack the Tamil course but even you cannot expect that the Tamil will buy this cheap and baseless statement!

          Sri Lanka cannot function as a unitary state with two languages and innate chronic insecurities. First and foremost Sri Lanka needs to find the truth and nothing but the truth as to the final stages of the war. People of all colour and creed must introspect by listening to the affected people. Subsequently, a new governing system in keeping with or similar to the Swiss model should be evolved.

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    The past regime called it “Victory day” and was foolishly put to masses as an “achieved victory”. Was there any “victory” at all instead of shame?

    The shame we experienced was in or over;

    1. Inabilty to peacefully talk and end the Tamil national question for 67 years.

    2. In killing 100,000 Tamil indigenous civilians in a “no fire zone”..

    3. shame of military oppression by soldiers, kidnapping, terrorising civilians, torture, disappearance and genocide..

    4. Shame in the world, and the UN, as people who do not know to reconcile with one aother.

    5. Shame of corruption,and poverty of citizens in arms purchase for multi billions.

    Even now, sense has not returned to the leaders to apologise for the offence done to citizens. When will it dawn, if ever?

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    Justin

    “Inabilty to peacefully talk and end the Tamil national question for 67 years.”

    You know the reason?

    Because there is NO conceivable solution.

    You know why there is no conceivable solution?

    Because +50% Tamils (Tamil speaking people ) live outside North and East.

    Cheers

    Soma

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      soma,

      “Because there is NO conceivable solution.”

      Yeah you are right. Only solution is total assimilation by completely subjugating the Tamils!

      Your fear of India is driving you nuts!

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      Soma,

      The LTTE used to give permits for families to leave Jaffna for a fee. Once they leave the contents of the houses were looted. Thereafter they either occupied the house or gave it their supporters. Sometimes they even built on the land.

      Many houses that were left locked up by the owners who had migrated prior to the pass system were also subject to the same treatment.

      Do you see the parallel in the logic you are advocating on a much larger scale?

      Dr.RN

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        I am advancing this logic to prove that there is no alternative to living togather and dangers of political power devolution on ethnicity and religion basis. To expose the hypocrisy involved in this demand. The only issue to overcome is language for communication purposes.

        Soma

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          Dear Soma,

          Our post-independence history in most instances and especially with regard to inter-ethnic relations and State-policy with regard to the minorities, defies logic. I would venture to call it madness. One cannot resort to logic to treat insanity!

          Let us learn to trust each other and exchange Kiribath, Pongal, kavun and Vaddai, before we venture into what you advocate. We are a country superficially at peace, because we do not have a constitution, laws and the apparatus to deal with the undercurrents that create mistrust, sow hate, mistreat fellow citizens and undermines true peace.

          We should take one step at a time to build trust and mutual accommodation. It will be a long journey and a path strewn with nettles.

          Do not advocate putting the cart before the horse. We will not go anywhere. It is very likely what you advocate will seed further turmoil.

          Please come and live among the Tamils in the north and east on your own volition, as we do in the south among the Sinhalese. Let the State not be involved in this internal migration/dynamics. The State has done much damage to communal relations in this country and has never been a neutral player. Let us reach out to each other as citizens and change the nature of the State first,

          Dr.RN

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    Dr.Jehan Perera,

    Why not commemorate, mourn, learn about past mistakes, change , hope and work towards for a better future?

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    Live and let live. Let everyone mourn their dead with their religious rituals and whatever that helps people grieve. Enough people have died in Sri lanka in so many violent confrontations. Sad.

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    Europe and North america celebrates the defeat of Germany since the second world war time ?

    Why only celebration of getting rid of LTTE is wrong ?

    Sri lankan politicians are chicken. they are only good at stealing from the public.

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