19 November, 2019

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The Face Of Despair & The Black Day That Is Sri Lankan Independence Day

By Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

Black Day for Tamils

The Sinhalese and some self-deprecating Tamils will be celebrating the 68th anniversary of Sri Lankan independence on Feb 4, 2016. On the other hand in stark contrast, Eelam Tamils who have their dignity, self-pride and self respect intact will be marking it as a Black Day. If independence is explained in the dictionary as self-government, self-rule, home rule, separation, self-determination, sovereignty, autonomy, freedom, liberty, self-sufficiency, self-reliance, etc., (Google it and see what you get), then it goes without saying what Tamil got on that fateful day in February in 1948, is a far cry from any of the synonyms here mentioned, and with the benefit of hind sight, a long way away from what we should have demanded as our human and political right!

It was on this Black Day, that Tamils moved from a white colonial master, quite decent in comparison, to serving a brown colonial master and were thrust into a suffocating Sinhala Buddhist hegemony and bigotry without our knowing the extent to which it would show its ugly face, until it hit, hit hard!

What happened to us?

What happened to us? We foolishly and naively trusted the Sinhalese, agreeing to a unitary system that resulted in them having a majoritarian stranglehold in parliament, and a Sinhala government at the centre. It was too late to reverse our misfortunes when we found these Sinhalese turned out to be scoundrels, wolves in sheep’s clothing more like, resulting in us Tamils ending up, in effect, losing our traditional homeland, our sovereignty and our rights. That’s what happened.

February 4th 1948 is indeed a Black day any which way we look at it and already a month before, I was starting to feel a bit heavy in the heart – remembering everyone who died for freedom, feeling the pain, and the horrors of the genocide perpetrated against Tamils that intensified during the month of May 2009!

Face of Despair

So what’s the story behind this “Face of Despair” you see here:

let me tell you ..While my mind was in turmoil and engrossed in past horrors and feeling guilty for living on safe ground, I remembered the article I wrote same time last year, a must read: “Acts of Betrayal that Broke the Letter and Spirit of Independence“.

It struck me that nothing had changed, one year on, since President Sirisena took office. There was no discussion on any power sharing arrangement forthcoming, other than a plan to draft a new constitution and a constituent assembly – oh no not again I thought – a repetition of what happened in 1972, the main thrust of my article last year. Neither was there a change to the Unitary State system narrative, nor demilitarisation, nor significant return of people’s lands, nor relaxing of the government’s hold on state land which should in reality belong to the people at the provincial level; no marked reversal of fortunes towards a better quality of life for Tamils, no move to releasing most of the Tamil detainees incarcerated without charge under the PTA – except a bombshell from the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe in his interview with Channel 4’s Jon Snow, that the disappeared “are probably dead”, virtually asking Tamils to live with it.

Tears welled up as I continued to read my article, experiencing a choking feeling in the throat and heart..I wiped the tears with my fingers but it still came. The more I read the more I cried, the nose too was runny wetting my lips which I wiped away. I grasped my phone and took a shot of me. I do not know why I did it, but I did it. Activists like me often times show that we are strong, resilient and have a fighting spirit… but more often than not we have our moments when we are over-wrought; overcome with emotion. It’s not wrong to cry, we are human; besides we have humanity; we are not crying for ourselves, we are crying for a larger polity.

Usha SriskandarajahIt’s happened to me numerous time! We cry and we laugh! That’s how life is for an activist. We flex our muscles, show off a strong demeanour, have almost a permanent grimace, strong when we haven’t gotten anywhere and display a lot of courage when it’s demanded – but we are in essence softies most times than not! And to our detriment, yes. Activists will tell you, they run on adrenalin and Cortisol, two hormones, the release of too much of which could be damaging to the body; activism sucks the energy off a person; many a time it weakens a person; because it drains the electrolytes, vitamins and minerals required for the body’s sustenance; it more or less eats into the system! This is how it is, especially while I am writing an essay meant to educate the Sri Lankan and international community. I literally shut the outside world.

But God made sure he gave me the tools needed to fulfil the purpose for which I was born.. yes God gave me the gift of yoga.. I am able get by with these tools that Yoga has to offer that helps me balance the ill effects of increased stress levels, that passionate activists have to endure, the highs and lows we go through – I do it with a lot of healthy breathing and long and short bouts of meditation.. all of which has a calming effect on me no doubt. What would I do, where would I be without it – I mean Yoga – the best lifestyle lift anyone could get- Yoga as much as being therapeutic, preventative, often curative and truly life enhancing it’s also spiritually rewarding and far reaching.

Looking at the picture I had just taken, I realized the picture best describes the frame of mind I am in; that it best captures me right at that instant, the emotions that surfaced when I was reading this essay I wrote exactly a year ago.

Now what do I do with this picture – a question arose in my mind. I needed to post it on my Face Book page I thought to let everyone know how I was feeling. So I posted the picture with the link to the article on FB and even replaced my profile picture with it: Many who saw it, wanted it removed, because they did not want to see me like that, they just love me and for that I am grateful; there were others who cared and wanted me to be strong, asking what happened to my resilient self; some messaged me and asked what was wrong? Some were dead silent! Could they have thought I was bordering on depression and even lunacy and probably needed to see a doctor.

later while gazing at the picture I was thinking of a suitable caption that could best describe it although a friend on FB commented, the picture is more descriptive, more powerful than what (thousand) words can say! Yet I was looking for a caption and the words that came to mind did not quite resonate with what I truly felt. While I was struggling with what caption to give , my word finder of a husband came up with the word: “DESPAIR”! “Yours is a Face of Despair!” Wow that was spot on! Mine was indeed, “the face of despair” reflecting the emotions of tens of thousands of Tamil activists as I write this. DESPAIR is indeed the word that best described the mood I was in!

“DESPAIR” is How I Feel

Yes “DESPAIR” is how I feel because the hope we had of fairness from a president who won on the back of the Tamil vote, sadly without any conditions attached, is fast diminishing. Especially as it became clear recently when he made a shocking revelation to Aljazeera claiming that as a co-sponsor, Sri Lanka only agreed to a judicial process that involved allegations of “human rights violations” and not war crimes; and that he was opposed to any, “foreign involvement”. At the same time, Sirisena in the interview was quite content with placing the blame on the “LTTE – terrorists” as he called them, whom he said should be investigated for attacks on hospitals – turning the question round and throwing it right back at Aljazeera’s Ms. Abdel-Hamid who asked about alleged attacks on hospitals by the Sri Lankan army! How naive does President Sirisena think the rest of the world is/was if he could just simply dismiss those who allegedly committed more heinous crimes, as only coming within the purview of “human rights violations”, that involved lesser crimes in his mind – anything more he did not sign up to. This despite when reminded of the Paranagama Commission report which found, “there were “credible allegations which… may show that some members of the armed forces committed acts during the final phase of the war that amounted to war crimes giving rise to individual criminal responsibility.”

Could it be that he thinks it would absolve him of any wrong doing as being part of the Rajapaksa regime and acting Defence Minister for a short period during the last stages of the war?
“DESPAIR” is what I feel when Tamils aren’t united on critical issues of Justice for the victims of Genocide and a political settlement for Tamils. “DESPAIR” is the word when the TNA is not offering strong leadership but rather for all intents and purposes kowtowing to the Sri Lankan government and following the instructions laid out by the international community rather than insisting on certain necessary conditions for reconciliation and a satisfactory political settlement. “DESPAIR” is the word when the TNA relies on the APRC report that was never officially accepted, without really restating what they want! “DESPAIR” is the wod when you find the leading party in the official opposition in parliament, the TNA, supporting the country’s budget that called for increased military spending – that is in excess of what the Rajapaksa regime allocated – a military that was occupying the NorthEast! “DESPAIR” is the word when the TNA hasn’t still publically called for the abolition of the 6th amendment which criminalises any discourse on separation; i.e. the actual restoration of an independent Tamil Eelam and thereby making way for a call to conduct a UN sponsored referendum that we the TGTE are calling for. “DESPAIR” is the word when TNA couldn’t articulate more clearly what Mr. Sampanthan meant when he went to the Tamil constituency and proclaimed that a political settlement is imminent in 2016, leaving the people guessing what that would be and on whose assurance. “DESPAIR” is the word when the TNA members decide to go so late in the day to explore devolved power to Scotland and the proposals for further reform, when they should have done it sooner and had a draft ready on a Federal Constitution that they can actually publically and categorically convey to the Sirisena Government earlier than later.

“DESPAIR” is the feeling I get when I think that TNA jointly in cahoots with the presidential candidate Sirisena removed the word “unitary” in his manifesto to mislead the Tamil voters in my view because from recent pronouncements from the regime it didn’t seem to be based on a definitive undertaking from Sirisena, one that he intends to honour.

“DESPAIR” is the word I feel when the TNA is unwilling to work with the newly formed Tamil People’s Council and speak with one voice on the issue of the right to self determination for the people. “DESPAIR” is the word when the, Report of the Sub-Committee of the Tamil People’s Council on “Finding a Political Solution to the National Question” seems a worthwhile document that’s,
“calling for a political agreement prior to a constitutional enactment in Sri Lanka. A document which ideally the TNA can jointly work to improve and develop but does not want to – at the time of writing this article.

It’s this “DESPAIR” that leads us to recall and be inspired by the deeply held beliefs we hold dear. Today on this Black Day let me share the words of someone who holds those deeply held beliefs and has some advice for fellow Tamils throughout the world written in Tamil, which I attempt to translate here:

Thamizha

“February 4th 1948 is the day that Tamils lost their freedom; the day Tamils came under Sinhala subjugation. For Tamils who have a modicum of self respect it is a Black Day. Thamizha, We are not ordinary, we are revolutionaries. Thamizha, Think about it for a moment. Open your eyes, the dawn of freedom is here; Tamil Eelam, the ideal we fought for undaunted is not far away. Thamizha, An unprecedented human catastrophe the world seldom witnessed has taken place, a blood bath of enormous proportions that shook the ground; where children were executed; where young women were gang raped; where the number of widows exceeded 90,000; where those that were maimed and disabled, fill the landscape; where the Tamil Diaspora and those at home lost their kith and kin; where a countless number were disappeared; where the fatalities exceeded a quarter of a million people; where land is in the hands of thugs; where peace is drowned in the deep sea and the tears that flowed are larger than the ocean. Thamizha, The one and only solution is Tamil Eelam. A Tamil country that’s for me. Thamizha, We shall take hold of our own political destiny; Tamil Eelam is not symbolic shawl we wear on our shoulders; Tamil Eelam is inextricably linked to our life, it’s part and parcel of our psyche. Tamil Eelam is for us and for our progeny. -Mr. R Sivakumar – Feb, 2016

Self-determination, Life and Liberty

it’s most relevant as we discuss Tamil Freedom, for me to share with you my own words of inspiration, on “Why Tamils of Eelam Deserve Self-determination in 250 words an OP-ED I wrote earlier. I share here 2 excerpts of which I give here below:

Self- determination

Self-determination would mean as a nation, we can become the architects of our own destiny and herald a new era of freedom and self governance. We can then put Tamil Eelam first; put the people first; their security, prosperity and happiness first. It boils down to having the freedom to determine our affairs and not be dictated to by another nation. Taking a leaf from Abe Lincoln, at last we can say with certainty that ours will truly be “a government of the people, by the people, for the people.” It will free us from enslavement and subjugation: from a Sinhala dictatorship devoid of checks and balances that has no mandate to rule over us; from strangulation by Sinhala majoritarian parliaments known to legislate in its interest not in ours; from a 100,000 strong Sinhala army of occupation; from diminishing boundaries due to forced Sinhala settlements intended to change the demography; from systematic genocide: the UN convention defines it as acts (killing …or causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction…) committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial..group. At last we shall have control over our resources and our finances, enabling us to determine our own taxes, negotiate our own contracts and foreign investment deals and to develop our economy with our people in mind, giving us the best opportunities to realize our own potential.

Life and Liberty by Thomas Jefferson

It is fitting also at the end of “Why Tamils of Eelam deserve Self-determination” to finish with a quotation from Thomas Jefferson, the ‘Founding Father’ of the ‘American Revolution’, the principle author of the ‘Declaration of Independence’ and the 3rd President of the United States of America: “The God who gave us life, gave us liberty; the hand of force may destroy but never dis-join.”

I sincerely hope we can move from “DESPAIR” to “OPTIMISM” in the coming days – all depends on some key players who now seem to be holding the key to our destiny in their hands, if we let them! Let’s not lose hope in those good people who just may find ours is a just cause!

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Latest comments

  • 55
    12

    Oh Usha, give me a break and please stop talking nonsense!

    You are a disgrace to the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora. I am Tamil and I hate Prabakaran and his monstrous Tamil Nationalism which is the mirror image of the barbaric Sinhala Buddhist Nationalists.

    Please get a life, Usha!
    Please stop trying to be an expert on things you have not education or understanding about!

    • 34
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      Quite right Laxmi.

      Usha have you heard the saying “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing,
      drink deep or taste not of that Pierean Spring.” ?

      You should stick to your Yoga, Usha, instead of fantazising about despair. Your writing is Voyeruristic to the extreme and You seem to get a perverse pleasure, reliving the pain and misery of others. Those who have suffered want to move on and heal, and your gruesome prose are the worst thing.
      Please observe a respectful silence- if you have but a little knowledge.

      As Laxmi says, please grow up Usha, and get a life – instead of spreading virulent Tamil nationalism that is an insult to us all!

      • 18
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        Quite the ego boosting, selfie-ride, on self-pity Usha, please!

        • 8
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          Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

          “Eelam Tamils who have their dignity, self-pride and self respect intact will be marking it as a Black Day.”

          Take a deep breath.

          By now almost all Tamils without exception would have realised that the Black Day for them falls on 26 November.

          Please bear with me, if you have spare time, would you consider writing a well-researched paper on Vellaikkara Padei (Tamil Merceneries), who were part of and fought for Sinhala and Tamil kingdoms and Tamil Merchant guild during the medieval period.

          Please let me know if you don’t want to be a purposeful writer.

          • 0
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            //Vellaikkara Padei (Tamil Merceneries)//

            koolip padai is the often used term for this.

            • 3
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              Rohan

              “koolip padai is the often used term for this.”

              All historians irrespective of their race agree that south Indian Vellaikkara padei was extensively employed in South India and Sri Lanka by kings and Tamil Merchant Guild.

              For a period during Medieval time they were responsible for protecting Buddha’s tooth relic. They played a key role shaping this island history, providing their services any king who would hire them.

              Please refer to literature on Tamil Merchant Guild, by prof Indrapala, Prof Pathmanathan, …….

              • 0
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                Point taken, NV

    • 7
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      It’s very easy to divide and self-determination may lead to divide your own home, also to many partitions with no -kitchen to cook the food. And what about the roof for shelter.
      Sri Lanka is one family with many divisions but still live in the same home!

      Too small only 25k sq.miles and common gods to Buddhists and Hindus to seek help.

    • 1
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      1. You’ll be pleased to look at this:
      Independence Day celebration in the North:
      http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=38123

      2. My Tamil friends say they spell: Luxmy
      Laxmi is starnge to them.

    • 1
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      Laxmi
      I am Sinhala.
      Pl disprove some of the things Usha says.

  • 29
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    Usha babe, get real!

    This reeks of guilt and long distance Nationalism. Your story of victim hood is really a perverse masturbation, that promotes hatred of the “other” (Sinhala community) that is both RACIST and vacuous to the extreme.

    We who actually live in Lanka have better things to do than masturbate our victim hood. Get real, UB and get a life!

    Usha, I guess it is hard for you to get a life out there in the diaspora with all the racism that you face in your new homeland, but please try, Usha, and GET A LIFE – for your sake and for Sri Lanka!

    This is the type of narrative that also spreads Hate Speech among Tamils and excuses Prabakaran and his Tamil nationalist Barbarism, against Tamils mainly, but also Sinhalas and Muslims.

    • 6
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      Dihara, be mindful of your choice of words. Nothing is achieved by anger and filthy words.

    • 9
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      Dilhara

      Interesting

      Please tell us whether masturbation is good or bad. Please narrate the story from your own experience.

      I will have to advise Jim softy our resident dimwit know about the consequences self-actualisation.

      “Prabakaran and his Tamil nationalist Barbarism, against Tamils mainly, but also Sinhalas and Muslims.”

      Good point.

      Does barbarism come in different sizes, shapes, form, races, languages, …. or is it unique to Tamils? If unique how did the Tamils become barbarians in the first place? Have you ever met any of the Tamil barbarians in your life time?

      Do they look like Gota, MR, Premadasa, Sarath Fonseka, Wimal, Dayan, Nalin, Jegath Dias, Mervyn Silva, Ravana, Gnanasara, you, …. or bit better?

      Please bear with me as you know I am bit thick.

    • 6
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      Well, well, Dilhara… Usha is at one extreme, hence Tamils and Sinahal speaking people are not comfortable with what she says.

      But, you seem to be ignorant and insensitive! Tamils paid a huge prize for the lack of leadership in Sri Lanka. They ARE real victims. Please don’t belittle them.

  • 23
    2

    I agree with the sentiment that there is a lot to be done for reconciliation between Sinhalese and Tamils. I also agree that this government is not doing enough. But I also recognise the political realities that can make this a difficult step. You cannot go after too many targets all at once. This is a sad weakness of democracy.
    Furthermore, investigations, especially in a 3rd world country take a long time. It is unfortunate, but it must happen in a deliberate manner. I’m sure the readers of CT could appreciate that. Truth is a process after all.

    As for this article. This is basically a self pat on the back. You cried about your own article? Cool story bro. Oh, you cried and you decided to take a selfie? Because that’s a normal response to the pain of others right? The picture of your sobbing face doesn’t make me more sympathetic towards Tamil people. It just makes me angry that someone would use such self-promotion for such an important cause. This is reminiscent of some college freshman’s slam poetry.

    “EGO” is the feeling I get

  • 0
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    [Edited out] We are sorry, the comment language is English – CT

  • 14
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    Usha……..you are talking nonsense.

  • 19
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    Hi, Usha,

    Today, we have a President and a Prime Minister who had the guts to allow the National Anthem to be sung in Tamil at the conclusion of the Independence celebrations. And, of course we see the black-flag brigade as usual in Vavuniya. If you really want reconciliation, which do you prefer? My3 and RW despite MR and all rabid nationalists screaming that the Anthem should not be sung in any language but Sinhala, had the guts to stand to attention when a group of youth sang. Yet, you dwell in the vomit of anger, jealousy and “separatism”.

    OK. So, if we did not have a gutsy Prez., and a gutsy PM who took on the MRs and won, what will be our position? There would be no reconciliation of any sort. Instead, this nation will be “acquired” by them with Chinese support. Trying to please the diaspora, the UN and the Western politicians would have imposed sanctions just like in North Korea. We will have a real peace and harmony of a kind only the North Koreans know.

    Come on Usha, give these men a chance. Given time, we will have even more young Tmils work and live in the South.

  • 10
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    Usha

    I would like to draw your definition to independence and request you to consider whether in your adopted country where you are a citizen if you go by your own interpretation of independence, whether you have so called independence.

    self-government, self-rule, home rule, separation, self-determination, sovereignty, autonomy, freedom, liberty, self-sufficiency, self-reliance, etc.,

    As I am in toronto where in fact nearly 300,000 sri lankan tamils are you there ,do you have self rule, certianly you do not have self rule.then do you have independence if you go by your interpretation.
    I know what kind of jobs vast majority of immigrants including sri lankan tamil have to do. Most of the immigrants are doing menial jobs which tamil or that matter anybody would not have dreamt of doing. to give a simple example, most of the Janitorial work (which invariably includes cleaning of toilets ) are done in toronoto by immigrants and vast majority of them are sri lankan tamils which them would never done back in sri lanka becuase in sri lanka as i learnt recently, therir is a special caste to do that job. But in canada where they have freedom they do not mind washing toilets because used by vast majority of white men and women.
    I have seen this personally as i patronise Coffee shop Tim Hortons and more than 50% of employs at this coffee shops are Sri Lanlan tamils.
    so please Usha,pl do not try to give absurd interpretations to independence, to once again rouse communal feelings among sinhale and tamils as vast majority of tamils and sinhalese like to live together and sort out problems amicably.
    I you do not know not only Tamils more than 60 % of sinhalese are living below porverty line and substantial portion of then go to middle east to feed their families and in the process women have to offer additional services to keep the job or to get some bonus from the bosses.
    SO pl stop you hate speech

    • 9
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      son of commoner

      “,do you have self rule, certianly you do not have self rule.then do you have independence if you go by your interpretation.”

      Aren’t you talking bull again?

  • 7
    3

    Usha.

    I read and reread your piece on how to respond.

    Discomfort guides my tongue
    And bids me speak of nothing but despair.
    – Shakespeare- Richard II.

    Take it easy.
    The National Anthem has been rendered in Tamil,at the Independence Day Celebrations,after 1949.

    Hope springs eternal in the human breast!

  • 14
    12

    The ‘problem’ with Usha Sri Skandarajah’s articles and why there is so much venom seen in the comments above is that a lot of what she says is true.

    So also the comments after every article I have written. My ‘reaction’ is that I no longer read them.

    Having lived through all this there is not the slightest doubt that the so-called ‘Independence’ was Independence for the Sinhalese to do what they wanted to the Tamils. And they have. My recent book “Sri Lank: Sexual Violence of Tamils by the Armed Forces’ a 200 page book, sets this out in depth.

    The horse keeps going in the same direction, only the rider has changed. The Armed Forces have gone from 175,000 to 200,000, to 300,000 and I gather it might be 400,000 (to come). The question is “Who is the enemy?”

    The economy is in a mess – not surprising, because the policies, especially having to feed and maintain this massive Army, is as it was. The people who are paying for all this are the people at the bottom of the ladder, be they Tamils, Sinhalese or Muslims.

    Sri Lanka is facing a debt-crisis and is heading to be a ‘Failed State’ if it has not become one already.I gather that the debt-service payment is greater than the income – hence the ‘need’ to borrow more money which the IMF is glad to supply – getting Sri Lanka deeper and deeper into debt.

    A UK human rights group in London “Freedom from Torture” released a Report Tainted Peace: Torture in Sri Lanka (since May 2009).Nothing has changed.

    My question is a simple one. If Sirisena/Wickremasinghe say that all is well in Sri Lanka, what is the justification for excluding internationally famous human rights groups (Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and International Crisis Group), from the country?”

    One problem facing the Tamils is that they have no leaders. After the death of S.J.V. Chelvanayagam, there has been no one. Wigneswaran is just appearing as a leader.

    As for the Sinhalese, every ‘leader’ since Independence in 1948, has the ‘Mahavamsa mind-set’ – that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala-Buddhist nation. The first Act of the newly independent country (in 1948) was to decitizeniso and disenfranchise nearly a million Plantation Tamils (one seventh of the population of the country) in one of the worst acts of political barbarism anywhere in the world. What is now going in is Genocide of the Tamil people in the North and East which I have set out in a detailed article which is still on the net. It is not only physical genocide but cultural, religious, linguistic, economic and structural genocide.

    That is why the outlook for the country in general, and the Tamils in the North and East in particular, is so poor. For the Tamils in this area, Sirisena is another name for Rajapaksa.

    The Tamils in the North and East are not under the Sinhala government in Colombo but under the Sinhala military and police. It is a military/police state which is why AI, HRW and ICG are not allowed into this area and even into the country.

    A recent report by HRW “Living in fear’ describes the brutality inflicted on the Sinhalese (let alone the Tamils) by the Sri Lankan Police. The Sri Lankan Police are said to be some of the worst in the world. That has not altered, in fact, it has got worse.

    i have not the slightest doubt that what will follow is a tirade against what I have said. Why? Because it is true. The nearer it is to the truth, the more virulent the comments. That is a fact.

    i sometimes read some of these comments just to see how virulent they are.If they are really virulent, what is stated in the article is probably true.

    Brian Senewiratne

    • 6
      10

      The nutcase senewiratne is barking again. LMAO!

    • 18
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      Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah and Brian Senewiratne

      ‘It struck me that nothing had changed, one year on, since President Sirisena took office’. —- Usha S Sri-Skanda

      ‘why there is so much venom seen in the comments above is that a lot of what she says is true’. —–Brian Senewiratne

      I returned from Sri Lanka just over two weeks ago and let me tell the true situation facing the Tamils since the new government came to power.

      1. There is much needed freedom to move around without any check point and fear.

      2. Compared to my previous visits, the Tamil people are fearlessly talking about serious issues.

      3. Overall view is that they had enough for such a long time and they do not want to face it again.

      4.Some asked me to tell the Diaspora to mind their own business as they are so detached from what they are undergoing.

      5. People are struggling to rebuild their lives and they have made serious progress.

      6. They want an early meaningful resolution to the historical conflict. They are looking at TNA with huge expectation to reach a fair settlement with the government.

      7. They view C V Wigneswaran handling of the NPC with concern but they want CVW and the TNA leadership to work together. There is lots of criticism of CVW but these are privately said.

      8. The war widows and war wounded need financial and psychological support to come out of their sufferings. Very little is done.

      9. Compared to my previous visits, people (in particular girls) can move about without the harassment of the unemployed and troublesome youngsters as the High Court judge Mr Illancheliian is giving due judgements for the anti-social behaviours and the police too are effectively dealing with them.The youngsters are largely corrupted by funds reaching them from their relatives in the Diaspora.

      10. The army is confined to the barracks and they are not engaged in any security operations.

      11. The lands occupied by the army is something currently being discussed at higher level. Indications are that significant or all the lands will be released.

      12. There is clear order to the army to account for every bullet they discharge and the fuel is heavily rationed for them to freely move about.

      13. There is serious land grabs by the Tamils in the north. There are many operatives and even the former LTTE chaps are heavily involved. I heard about Douglas’s bearded Pulavar going around and intimidating and grabbing lands.

      14. In the east, the Tamils are living in abject conditions. The Northern Tamils do not care about them. Largely resourceful Muslims are buying the lands of the Tamils in the east and strengthening their hold.

      15. In the upcountry, though the living standard have marginally improved they too live in abject conditions and are facing the pressures of living amidst the majority.

      16. Intelligence operations are significantly scaled down but there are incidences of operatives visiting Tamil houses on tip offs. I guess they will have a watchful eye on the LTTE activists (present and past) from overseas visiting Sri Lanka.

      It is time for the Diaspora Tamils to wake up from their slumber and see things eye to eye.

      It is not the olden hate and emotional politics but the politics of engagement is the only way forward.

      • 12
        5

        Thanks.
        How many Buddhists Vihara are built in the N& E?

        • 10
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          Anpu
          There are still army camps in every town in the NE.
          The army/navy now patrol in civilian clothes.
          People are still not free

          • 4
            3

            Rajash

            I have told you several times not to get into controversies. Why did you make this comment and ear a bad name for you putha.

            [Edited out]

        • 6
          5

          Anpu

          There were many road Buddhist shrines came up on the A9 other main roads after the war. They are not visible now except for few here and there. With the closure of army camps and confining them to the remaining barracks these little shrines have become dormant.

          The issues facing the Tamils are deep down issues. Both the government forces and the LTTE are responsible. It is not just one sided. But the government as a legitimate authority must genuinely find the answers for the problems it created and presided over for too long.

          There is hope with the international pressure there will be some movement on this.

          It is time that Tamils (in particular the Diaspora Tamils) take a mature stand without reflecting the past to the current situation.

          • 3
            3

            Thanks RJ

            “There is hope with the international pressure there will be some movement on this.”

            Tamils are working for a just solution. Not just movement. I know lot of positive things have happened after 2015.

            You must have read the news after CH4 Jon Snow’s team visit few weeks ago.

            What did Ranil say to JS and what did Ranil say in the parliament afterwards?

            “It is time that Tamils (in particular the Diaspora Tamils) take a mature stand without reflecting the past to the current situation. “

            Only few days ago I read Buddhist temple building is still going on in the north.

            • 2
              3

              RJ,

              “Only few days ago I read Buddhist temple building is still going on in the north. “

              I gave two links to support what I read. CT did not allow those links to appear. I do not know why CT removed it.
              Those articles appeared in Tamilguardian.com (August 2015 Buddhist temple in Pooneryan )and tamilnet.com (August 2015 Buddisht temple in Kokkulay )

            • 3
              1

              Anpu

              With regard to John Snows coverage. C4 went in search of the facts about the last leg of the war.It is welcome effort.

              This article and Brian’s comments gave a distorted picture of the prevailing situation. I responded in kind with hard facts that I witnessed personally.

              With regard to the Buddhist Vihara. I do know the full facts and believing that it is true, I will have my objections if the government is involved in the effort.

              We also must bear in mind that Hindu temples have come up in Southern Sri Lanka. Visa Pillaiyar and three story Hindu temple off Ramakrishna Road are unique ones in Wellawatte. Then there is a beautiful Hindu temple built just few years ago in Puttalam/Chillaw.

              These were not issues for the government or the extremist Sinhalese. These temples were built with planning permission granted by the Councils.

              It is better if we move away and undertake:

              1. Self analyse our own failures and find ways to redress them.

              2. Help those traumatised by the war and are living in abject conditions.

              3. Channel the Diaspora resources to uplift the living standard of the Tamils.

              4. Campaign to get the Northern Provincial Council working with whatever minimum powers it has for the elected members. It is not a zero situation. The CM and the elected members must account for the salaries they are earning.

              • 1
                2

                RJ,

                “We also must bear in mind that Hindu temples have come up in Southern Sri Lanka. Visa Pillaiyar and three story Hindu temple off Ramakrishna Road are unique ones in Wellawatte. Then there is a beautiful Hindu temple built just few years ago in Puttalam/Chillaw. “

                Are not we talking about two different things RJ?

                • 3
                  1

                  Anpu

                  What are the ‘two different things?.

                  Cat and mouse game? Pride and prejudice feeling? Me only and not you mindset?

                  ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it too’ – it is impossible to have something both ways, in a two ways conflict.

                  There are legitimate reasons for us to fight for our rights through meaningful ways. Reflecting downright hatred in every sense will be detrimental.

                  I welcome CVW’s latest statement: ‘Tamils ready to take ten steps if Sinhalese took one’. Whatever criticism I make about his conduct, I am humbled. Are you?

                  • 1
                    1

                    RJ,

                    “Cat and mouse game? Pride and prejudice feeling? Me only and not you mindset? ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it too’ – it is impossible to have something both ways, in a two ways conflict.”

                    This is nothing to do with cat and mouse or pride and prejudice.

                    I am living in UK. One of my nieces would like to learn about Buddhism. I support her. She even become a Buddhist. I do not have any problem with that.

                    The Sri Lankan police force has constructed a new makeshift Buddhist shrine in Kayts in Jaffna, according to latest reports.

                    The Buddhist shrine has been built on private land which is currently being occupied by the Sri Lankan forces, after Tamil villagers were displaced from the area in 1990.

                    This is part of SINHALISATION agenda.

                    I am surprised you do not see it that way.

                    • 0
                      1

                      Anpu

                      I saw this little shrine in front of the roadside Hindu temple in kayts during my previous visits and publicised it in my writings.

                      This shrine came up during Mahinda’s regime. The situation in the islands is that many Tamils have abandoned their lands. Those in the Diaspora do not bother. Many have moved to main lands.

                      In Naina Thivu, palmyrah products like odiyal, pinattu etc are mostly sold by the Sinhala tradesman. Nothing wrong in that. Even Mahinda had plans to turn Kayts into a major entertainment/ Thamasha hub.

                      Paramilitary dictates are rapidly ending but Douglas’s men are involved in activities of land grabs and people must rise up against this. The pathetic situation is that the average Tamils will not go forward and confront the illegal activities but want others to solve their problems for them. They sit and wait in aghast. This is the sad predicament whilst the petty politicians play panthus.

                      It is no point mourning on small issues, when Tamils are faced with bigger challenges to rebuilt their lives from the ravages of the war.

                    • 1
                      0

                      RJ,

                      I read your comments (Rajasingham Jayadevan February 7, 2016 at 1:24 pm – There is no reply button)

                      Thanks for your comments.

                      “people must rise up against this.”
                      How do we do that???????
                      How many people would have read these comments?

              • 1
                1

                RJ,

                I asked “What did Ranil say to JS and what did Ranil say in the parliament afterwards?”

                Your response

                “With regard to John Snows coverage. C4 went in search of the facts about the last leg of the war. It is welcome effort.”

                Are you trying to avoid?

                • 1
                  2

                  Anpu

                  ‘Are you trying to avoid?’ — Tell me what?

                  • 1
                    1

                    RJ,

                    Sorry for not being clear. I assumed that you have followed CH4 news during and after JS visit.

                    Prime Minister told Channel 4 JS that Government had not ruled out a foreign judicial inquiry on alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka. But, two days later on January 28, he told parliament he had never told such a thing during the interview he gave to Channel 4

                    How can we trust these people?

            • 1
              1

              Mr Appu,

              Why are you and many Tamils obsessed with Buddist temples in the North/East? There are hundreds of Hindu temples in Colombo, Kandy and just about everywhere in Sri Lanka including in the heartland of Sinhala land yet,the Sinhalese don’t make an issue of it. Are you suggesting that Tamils have a right for exclusive territory and yet want to live in other areas as they wish? Do not forget Tamils of Indian origin were settled in the Central Province with British assistance on Sinhala inhabited land. The North and East too belong to Sinhala and they will live where they wish with or without your approval and those who think like you. Time you get over your hand-ups about your Buddhist temples.

          • 1
            1

            [Edited out] Please write instead of posting links – CT

          • 1
            1

            [Edited out] Please write instead of posting links – CT

          • 3
            3

            Come on Rajasingham Jeyadevan
            Let’s look at your comment 15. Really?
            What about comment 14 , you say the northern Tamils don’t care about eastern Tamils, then you say Tmails have told you to mind your own business I can go on and on and shred what you have posted as a pigment of your own imagination

            You seriously suffer from hallucination. Consult a doctor soon.

            • 1
              1

              Rajash

              You seems to be going into serious strain after reading my comments.

              The moment you read anything I write, your mind sets in the negative mode and the rest is discharge of deliberate anti comments.

              Reveal your true identity and then I too can set my mind to give you the right answers.

              • 5
                2

                RJ “….then I too can set my mind to give you the right answers. “
                To start with, If you can set your mind before writing here on CT that would be a help to all CT readers.

      • 9
        11

        Rajasingham Jeyadevan :
        4.Some asked me to tell the Diaspora to mind their own business as they are so detached from what they are undergoing.

        Rajasingham Jeyadevan Please take this advise and mind your own business

        • 6
          4

          Rajash

          You are a wellknown scatterbrain in these columns.

          Please do something useful to enhance the quality of life of our people without writing nonsense and wasting your time.

          Tamil people who have come out of the clutches of the war are not fools like you.

          They want peace, justice and reparation to live a peaceful life.

          Donkeys are donkeys and they cannot be turned into horses and your deep down comments all over these columns speaks heavily of it.

          • 0
            4

            RJ and Anpu great intellectual
            engagement between you two in CT

      • 5
        2

        Bravo, bravo. Brave to write these words at this juncture of Sri Lanka’s history knowing that you are going to be attacked by the clueless and gutless. And to express them in this tiger pit. I take my hat off and salute you Sir.
        And Sri Lanka being a ‘failed state’ -that has been Brian Seneviratne’s wet dream for years. Several CT readers have been wanking to the same tune / dream.

    • 5
      8

      Did you take your meds today Brian or can we look forward to appearances by your various other identities :D

      • 6
        3

        Imposter Sarma,

        Have you taken your meds? May be you had as it is not a cool story! :D

      • 6
        3

        Wee Thamiz Siva Sankaran Sarma Menon

        Did you suffer a burning sensation deep inside the bottom part of your anatomy moving towards your head when you heard the national anthem being sung in Tamil?

        Cool

      • 1
        0

        How dare you use my name and identity you imposter. You are no Tamil nor a Brahmin.

        • 0
          0

          Cool story, bro :D

    • 4
      1

      @Brian Senewiratne

      A lot of people have been repeating this “failed state” mantra for many years now

      Despite your yearnings, we haven’t arrived there

      It must be disappointing

    • 4
      4

      What you state is the truth. The plight of the eastern Tamils is pathetic. It is really not the northern Tamil who do care much about them but many sections of their elite have this grudge and hatred against the northern Tamils, especially the Jaffna Tamils and only seem to be concentrating on this whilst the Sinhalese settlers and the Muslim immigrants from Tamil Nadu are busy stealing their land, especially the Muslims who are using the current situation and the tactic support of the Sinhalese Sri Lankan armed forces and the Sinhalese settlers to grab the east from the its real Tamil owners and make an Islamic homeland for their immigrant community.

    • 3
      2

      We know who you are, you always defend actions of LTTE even it cause destruction in many fronts. Please be reminded,there are two sides of the story, you and the writer, Usha only highlights only one side. You are being driven by your wife, this is very clear. Why do you propagate hatred all the time. I believe this is your hobby. You may refrain from false propagation and blowing up these issues un-proportionality

  • 4
    4

    You need Mahinda back so desperately, aren’t you?

    Stay put wherever you stay with that many DESPAIRS, the more DESPAIRS you get, better for Tamils who live here. Don’t try to lecture TNA, they knew what is best for Tamils live here and why Tamils voted for them overwhelmingly. And, they knew most of the ones who were behind forming the Tamil people’s Council, were rejected by the voters except Wiggy. Not sure what game Wiggy plays here in collaboration with Vausdeva-should not he run the Provincial Council properly? How long can he blame the central government for his failures to advance any development in North?. Sadly, Tamils have again divided, whether war or peace, we have more than one group. How many militant groups and how many got killed fighting Tamils against Tamils. You want TNA to pick a fight with current government, why this koli very ma?.

  • 7
    7

    “The more I read the more I cried, the nose too was runny wetting my lips which I wiped away. I grasped my phone and took a shot of me. I do not know why I did it, but I did it.”

    LOL. Cool story, bro :D

    Now back to reality: the zoomed out version of the pic shows Usha sitting on the
    throne trying desperately hard to do her morning business :D You should really try some laxatives dear – a prolapsed rectum is not a pretty sight :D

    • 5
      4

      Imposter Sarma,

      Perhaps you hadn’t taken your meds after all! :D

  • 4
    4

    This so-called ‘article’ shows who the racists are: Tamils like this ‘writer’….. Go build your eelam in Tamil Nadu, the real “home” to a gazillion Tamils.

  • 6
    0

    Rajasingham Jayadevan.

    Item no:8 and item no:14 that you have correctly identified needs top priority.
    I hope this can be addressed effectively.
    Thanks anyway for the highlight.

  • 4
    4

    Dear Usha

    The Face Of Despair & The Black Day That Is Sri Lankan Independence Day

    *** As you know I am ever the optimist.

    What goes round comes round.

    The Despair is now the Proud Possession of the Sinkalams

    The Black Day has dawned on them.

    The Sinkalams might wonder why. I will tell you why.

    Sri Lanka is no longer Sovereign. They lost Sovereignty on the 8th January 2015.

  • 11
    1

    I agree with Dilhara’s comment about this being “long distance nationalism”. It is not confined to Tamils, but we see it among the Sinhala diaspora as well, and indeed all diasporas. These people live comfortable lives enjoying the prosperity and freedoms of western democracies. During the war, those diaspora Tamils afflicted with long distance nationalism were financing the LTTE activities. Those activities included the recruitment child soldiers, who were brainwashed and sent to their deaths or lifelong injury. Whereas the diaspora children were safe, comfortable, and being educated in posh schools and universities.

    It’s the same story with the Sinhala diaspora sick with this disease. They advocated and supported the war. Under the fancy name “ranaviru” (war heroes), the children of the poor were recruited to face the guns of the LTTE, while their own children were safe and being educated in international schools and/or overseas.

    These people, while living in their adopted societies for long years, have not had the capacity to integrate themselves to the societies of their choice, but prefer to build tribal enclaves that become refugee camps for their alienated identities. The majority of the Tamil people who live in their country, Sri Lanka, know the real problems, and are willing to enter into a dialogue realistically and without acrimony to reach an acceptable solution. They are not dreaming of a mythical Eelam, but asking for a decent standard of living, and acceptance as equal citizens. “Culture”, “identity”, “traditional homelands” and so forth are luxuries they can do without.

    The mentality of the racists who champion a Sinhala Buddhist utopia and the racists who champion a mythical Tamil Eelam are identical, both intent on using religion and culture as the opium of the people. With so much in common, they perhaps can join hands to found a new utopia of hate.

    These people can think only in racist and other parochial categories. For example in a previous post some months ago the same writer Usha Sri Skandarajah attacked Kusal Perera, a distinguished columnist and a fierce advocate of minority rights. The assumption was that a Sinhalese could not and will not champion Tamil rights. People who believe in equal rights for all citizens are in turn attacked by racists of their own ethnic group. A Buddhist monk for whom my support of Tamil rights was unpalatable called me a “Kotiya” (Tiger).

    It is not through acrimony and self-pity, but through intelligent dialogue that we can become a civilized nation where rights of all are accepted and respected. That consummation above all needs men and women of integrity and ethics in positions of leadership.

    • 6
      1

      Thank you. What you have said is the truth and nothing but the truth. We cannot go forward, if we accept to carry the bags of garbage being loaded on our backs by nasty elements amongst us here in Sri Lanka and amongst the Diaspora.

      Let us always remember that these nastiest are a minority and the media permits them to box above their weight.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 4
      0

      Professor H.L. Seneviratne

      ” A Buddhist monk for whom my support of Tamil rights was unpalatable called me a “Kotiya” (Tiger).”

      Though sad this is the price one has to pay for his/her principles, standing up to bullies, racists, bigots, etc. Most crooks use racism and patriotism to enrich themselves.

      In this island those who hold enlightened views on justice, human rights, rule of law, truth, human decency, democracy, … are constantly vilified as traitor, working for NGO, in the pay of LTTE or Sri Lankan state, …….

      It has come to a stage where people no longer see themselves as fellow human being, it just so happened they were born here in this island, but they see themselves as Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims, SLFP, UNP, TNA, JVP, NGO, Kottiya, Sinhalam, …. basically them and us, ……… and they work very hard to establish these petty or parochial identities, … this only benefited the crooks, politicians, bureaucrats, armed forces, arm merchant (merchants of death) ….. leading to a centralised state, powers vested in the hands of a few, …………. paranoid population see enemies in every nook and corner, ……….. the media plays into their hands some editors of leading news papers have long lost their sense of proportion, we have all become experts on Historiography, ………..

      Professor Sudharshan Seneviratne aptly wrote “history is best left to the expert”.

      The uniqueness of the people of this island is as individuals all of us are expert Historian, Anthropologist, Economist, Geopolitics, Archaeologist, Physicist, Delhi Watchers, Philosophers, ……….. deserving Nobel Prizes, for each year, every year, every individual, in every subject.

      Nevertheless I am an optimist.

    • 1
      1

      HLS:
      “Long distance nationalism” == god description.”Absentee Tribalism” would suit too.One should ask these absentee tribalists: Did they send their children to join the fight or did they send them to Harvard and Yale and UBC or University of Toronto to become lawyers doctors and scientists while sending money to have Tamil boys and girls massacred.
      Now that the Tamil people have been saved from this pernicious tribalism they are trying to win by using abuse and manufactured history on the internet!!

    • 0
      0

      Seneviratne summarizes the the tragedy that has befallen the people of Sri Lanka in one succinct paragraph:
      “The mentality of the racists who champion a Sinhala Buddhist utopia and the racists who champion a mythical Tamil Eelam are identical, both intent on using religion and culture as the opium of the people. With so much in common, they perhaps can join hands to found a new utopia of hate”. Bravo,HLS
      Perhaps he could have added that at least some of these purveyors of hate suffer from deep psychological problems!

  • 1
    2

    Hi Usha
    I am julia how are you doing i am thinking about you right now how was your feeling right now [Edited out]

  • 6
    1

    This is a quite long article, who has the time to read such long articles in this day and age. I skimmed through briefly and found that Tamil extremists do not want to live in harmony and they want an Eelam. She has attempted to define the freedom by quoting various phrases from the internet. I don’t believe freedom to such a level exists in this planet, and everyone is governed by certain code of ethics wherever you domicile. She is trying to paint a hypothetical freedom and create a diabolical situation once again leading to second phases of civil war.

    This is a good opening for our politicians both Sinhalese and Tamils who are desperately trying to live in harmony under unitary status.

    Finally, I would like to ask a question from her, have you seen such true hypothetical freedom when Prabhakaran was governing parts of North and East?

    Don’t try to inflame the situation as our politicians are trying to bridge and reconcile the differences

  • 5
    0

    usha would have been quite attractive in her youth but may be too much poison though. Nice pottu ( dot on forehead) I must say.

  • 10
    3

    We Tamils are the worst racists. Usha is a classic example. She is educated, living overseas, protecting her children in an environment where they are not exposed as the other children in Jaffna or Batti. She is lecturing us, shame on you Usha. People like you should be disowned by Tamils. You, Thondaman, (Un)Just-ice Wigneswaran, and Douglas Devananda should be disowned by the Tamil Community. You bring hatred to Tamils and plant hatred in their hearts. We Tamils do not want your ideas. Look after your family and stay where you are and do not mislead the poor people in Jaffna and Batti. Let honest leaders such as Sambanthan, Swaminathan, Mano Ganeshan and Sumanthiran lead the Tamils. On your part you can do one thing KISS THEIR FEET.

  • 4
    6

    DESPAIR is when some Tamils still believe that a home grown solution is still possible, after Mullaivaikkal.

    DESPAIR is when some Tamils still refusing to read what’s written on the wall, and to understand the clear message from RW, MS, CK, MR, BBS, and the Muslim brothers who have joined ISIS.

    DESPAIR is thinking how would Tamils live in a unitary state in peace and with dignity under the supervision of the 99% Sinhala army.

    DESPAIR is when Tamils are still getting suck into their game plan of reviews after reviews to delay and divert the IC into fatigue, and to remove the spotlight.

    DESPAIR is why the slow progress towards our Tamil Nation?

    If we can get the US, China and India to agree and meet to their geo-politics, guarantee the security of Sri Lanka from any external aggression, and the safety and security of the Tamils and the Tamil Nation, there is no reason why an army is ever required.

    Both nations need to develop and prosper, and the best option lies between yoga – which works and karma – which will deliver and destroy with a painful action plan.

    Manicka Vasagar

    • 8
      3

      Hope is when one sees a glimmer of light through the darkness of despair. Hope is what keeps us alive amidst all the despair. Hope is what has permitted mankind to survive disaster, surmount despair and come out stronger. Despair is a challenge and hope drives us to meet it head on.

      Dr.RN

  • 1
    0

    All Tamils (Tamil speaking people) should look North from the present GPS location from where they are standing now. There lies their inspiration and eventual salvation.

    Soma

  • 3
    2

    I got to give it to Ms Usha for sticking to her guns.

    Ms Usha wants full on Eelaam with all the Bells & Whistles,

    That means self determination and join with the the cousins in Thamil Eelaam in Madurai.

    Now that the Vellalas have become major shareholders in the Yahapalana Corporation with Directorships alongside Suren Surendran, they are happy for a weekend Eelaam in the North.

    After Hakeem signed him MOU , there is no way the Whabis will allow Sambandan to have the East.

    Which is understandable.

    Ms Usha only gyrates among Scarborough, New Jersey and Oslo.

    Stints in northern Eelaam will be either layover or stop overs, when the Pallai becomes the first International Airport.

    But the Vellalas from Cinnamon Gardens will spend long weekends or even weeks enjoying Thamil Nationalism , Culture and Customs while eating Crab curry and drinking Palm Toddy.

    But they wouldn’t want to share that luxury life with the Naduans who will be regulars there as visitors and workers.

    Did you see Old Vellala Sambandan crying , listening to Na mo Na mo matha in Thamil?.

    Now he can close his eyes as a happy man even tomorrow, not that I want him to do so.

    In contrast Usha’s sefie is shocking.I mean is it worth shedding so many tears.

    I know Usha and the fellow Diasporians chipped in with so much dosh to keep Pirahaparan alive for 30 years.

    Pirahaparan in return killed a whole generation of Vellala leaders along side tens of thousands of Sinha Le.

    But the Vellalas are not too concerned about the past.

    As long as the Bedouin Prince send the current young generation Army Commanders to jail or home,

    And clear the deck for Batalanda Ranil to appoint his Elite , Anglican and Vellala mates as in the good old past.

    They know Batalanada will do his best to please the Vellalas , while helping the Elite and the Anglicans.

    Sambandan is no fool unlike his hand picked CM.

    Sambandan’s flock are Elite and Vellalas first before being Eelaamits.

  • 4
    3

    All what have been said about the situation in the North is absolute rubbish. It may be partially true in the coastal areas.
    The real situation is that the Tamils are shocked by what the Sinhala rulers have done to them They never expected a state to commit such crime and end up in the UNHRC and struggle to get out of the trap by engaging some Tamil politicians who have no experience. The Sinhala leaders are to be blamed for this situation. The National Anthem was sung during the early days of independence. Who stopped it? It is the racist leaders like Mahinda Rajapakse.

    Weak leaders gave in to unjust demands of the extremist which resulted in the present situation.

    From day one of independence extremist started the Sinhala hegemony and domination to the detriment of the country.

    Cut everything short all leaders now must treat all citizens as equal and give the due rights to all communities including the rights to rule themselves. All must jointly come to a practical just solution without claiming priority for the ownership of the island. Forget Mahavamsa re the origin of the Sinhala race as DNA studies will refute such claims.

    If such a political solution can be achieved then there is no need of a huge army which is now more than the strength of the British army that once controlled the British Empire. British army have now reduced its strength after the dissolution of the British empire. In vain the Sinhala governments created such a huge army in order to suppress the Tamils without giving their dues.

  • 4
    3

    It seems this woman, Usha S. Sri-Skanda-Rajah, will never be happy and never stop crying until she sees more lower-caste Tamils in Sri Lanka dying for her fantasy of a pure caste-based Tamil Eelam where she will be some sort of privileged minister.

    She will eventually, therefore, die a very unhappy woman. That is unfortunate for herself, but fortunate for the majority of Tamilian Sri Lankans in the North who can look forward to the opportunity for peace and prosperity for the first time in 40 years now that the Tamil Tigers are no more on the island.

  • 3
    1

    I like to add some more to my comments above. Dr Usha SriSkantharajah should stop writing repentant memories like this for cheap popularity. Now the question of the Tamils have gone up to the UN. Now I would advice her to write to world leaders to step in and bring a guaranteed permanent solution to the Tamils plight which can be anything from federal, or like Indian constitutional atate rule or something like Switzerland etc.

    Writing letters like this with selfies that portrays her unpleasant side should be avoided. This can raise a hornet nest.

    Devote your time for more useful purpose. A Writer like you should write to world leaders including Narendra Mody pressing for an impartial inquiry with the participation of Tamils and independent judges. Constant harping on this topic will bring good result. Eternal vigilance is the necessary to preserve democracy. It is the watch word.

    • 2
      1

      If impartial inquiry is to be held, then the inquiry should also cover the present diaspora Tamils who were Tigers during the 30 year war. Inquiry cannot be one sided. May be the Government of SL can ask international Judges to inquire in their own countries about the atrocities committed by the now Diaspora Tamils who were Tiger Fighters during the period of war. If this is not done then the inquiry in SL will not be an impartial inquiry. If found guilty those Diaspora Tamils should be brought before the courts in SL. This is the only fair impartial inquiry method. This would be well within the resolution passed as there is a demand for international judges and these international judges could be used for this purpose.

    • 0
      3

      Mr. C P Thiagarajah
      I am disappointed in you, you have read too much of the comments here and got swayed. The ‘face of despair'(selfie) is a manifestation of how deeply one feels about our situation and it’s real, shame you did not get that! It hurts to read some of the comments in this forum but it hurts much more to read yours. You have belittled more than 40 years of activism with your callous and ignorant remarks!!!!!I could have ignored you but i needed to tell you!
      Usha
      How much do you know me? Do you think I am seeking cheap popularity? Do you think I haven’t written to world leaders???!!!

  • 0
    0

    Mrs. Sri-Skanda-Rajah,

    The TNA has made it clear that they are not for anything beyond a federal solution. Even the TMP, with C.V. Wigneswaran as its guide, despite its assertion of ‘self-determination’ has proposed a federal structure.

    The only difference between the TNA and the TMP is that, for pragmatic reasons, the former might accept a structure that falls short of federalism, while the latter wants to be uncompromising in that demand. But no mainstream party or group is referring to Eelam anymore. You and others with the TGTE stand isolated on this issue.

    You are muddying the issue by talking about Federalism alongside Eelam, and quoting someone who wrote in Tamil: “Open your eyes, the dawn of freedom is here; Tamil Eelam, the ideal we fought for undaunted is not far away.” It is patent nonsense based on the farfetched notion among a small section of Diaspora Tamils that the UNHRC process on war crimes would somehow lead to the international community to intervene and secure an independent territory for Tamils. Nothing could be further from the truth.

  • 5
    2

    This lady Usha is a complete Drama Queen living in her own delusional world. Her ideology is equal to that of the BBS and she should be treated as such. As a Jaffna Tamil living in Sri Lanka (unlike my diaspora types who want to be extreme in their views) I declare that we want peace with all communities and to be treated as one people under one flag. Lets be reasonable and fight for those basic rights. Will it be easy, absolutely not but at least we will be sensible in our struggle.

  • 2
    0

    Writing an article about a country and its people one has not visited for over two decades based on information gathered from the internet, drawing a conclusion without experiencing anything firsthand and spewing hatred does not seem the way forward. The Tamils affected by the conflict need to be rehabilitated into their homeland first, this will take time and needs to be carried out by the people within Sri Lanka and not the Tamil diaspora in exile.

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    To say a word or two for Peace or Shanthi will take only a few seconds and words but to promote disunity and hatred it takes an eternity as Usha’s article demonstrates.We have all, irrespective of Race ,Religion,Caste or Class tasted the bitter tears of a bloody war that devastated our Island home.Trying to apportion blame to the other party is no more easier than unraveling a baked cake back to it’s original ingredients,eggs included.Who could do it but the Almighty,that too if one believes in His/Her existence.
    There is no doubt that post 8th January,the changes that have already occurred and are in the offing are predominantly positive ones,that too in the face of enormous opposition and risk.As a Sinhalese who has affection for and share concern for the welfare of the Tamil brothers and sisters I would urge Usha to muster enough courage to write a few words for Peace.Look around the world,in case you have not cared to do so already and see what seeds of hatred are reaping.Is this what you wish for your people again,as if you have forgotten what happened in 2009.Use your God given talent to promote righteousness and peace.

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    Still LOL’ing at the ‘face of constipation’ :D

    Oh the comedy :D

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