24 January, 2021

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The Ground Situation In The Sri Lankan North & East; The Possibility Of A Resurgence Of Tamil Militancy

By Brian Senewiratne

Dr. Brian Senewiratne

This is being written for forthcoming 46th UNHRC Sessions in February/March 2021. 

It is based on the following documents:-

1. Delayed or Denied? Sri Lanka’s Failing Transitional Justice Process by PEARL (People for Equality and Relief in Lanka – A Tamil advocacy group in Washington D.C USA)

2. Normalising the Abnormal. The militarisation of Mullaitivu by PEARL and the ACPR (Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research – a similar group in Jaffna, Sri Lanka)

The PEARL publication is very important. Before I go into this, I will point out to those who dismiss this as being ‘too old’ (May 2018), that in a recent Statement (27 November 2020) PEARL commemorates Maaveerar Naal; Condemns crackdown in North-East” no statement was made that any of what was stated in the May 2018 Report had to be changed. 

The PEARL publication 

In late 2017 and early 2018, PEARL analysed over 170 English language statements made by the Sri Lankan government officials on transitional justice.  In July 2017 and February 2018 PEARL researches did what no other international investigation has done – they sent research workers to physically visit the Sri Lankan North—East (seven of the eight districts) and stay there and interview 50 war-affected individuals about transitional justice. The result was a ‘must read’ document which is on the net.

The last paragraph of this 47 page A4 document is alarming. I will quote it in full.

“The growing protest movement across the North-East reflects the fact that despite Sri Lanka’s grand promises in Geneva, many Tamils feel that nothing has changed for them. “Are we even in transition? queried one activist, echoing comments made by numerous interviewees. Others spoke of the possibility that the increasing anger within the Tamil community may spark violence “Our children are talking about taking up arms”. Many suggested that the ongoing failure to grapple with victims and survivors’ grievances is endangering the prospects for long-term peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. “If the government doesn’t listen, there needs to be other action. If that doesn’t happen, Tamils will take up arms. This is how it all started”.

The Agenda of the Sinhalese government

The agenda of the Sri Lankan (Sinhalese) government is that it wants the land (the North and East) without people (Tamils and Muslims). They will populate the area with Sinhalese from the South. This is ‘Sinhalisation’. The aim is to create a Sinhala-Buddhist land. 

What then happens to the people (Tamils and Muslims) who have been in the area for hundreds of years? They can

1. Leave the country as asylum seekers.

2. Stay there as 2nd or 3rd class citizens

3. End up in prisons or detention centres

4. Be killed. That is Genocide. A large article on Genocide of the Tamil people will be found in the second of my two books on Sri Lanka – The struggle for Justice of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka 2nd Edition May 2020

The size of the Armed Forces

The Sri Lankan Armed Forces consist of the Army, Navy and Air Force. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies February 2019, ‘The military Balance’, the Sri Lankan military has 255,000 active members. This is a larger military than in the United Kingdom (146,390), Israel (146,390), France (203,910) and Saudi Arabia( 227,000). 

The situation in Mullaitivu in the Sri Lankan North and East is particularly serious with some 60,000 army personnel – 1 soldier for every two civilian making it the most militarised region in the whole world. 

Unlike the Sri Lankan Army, there is no available information on the number of military personnel in the military air force and military navy, so that figure quoted above ( 255,000) are significant underestimates of the size of the Sri Lankan military.

The Sri Lankan government has to justify the need for such a massive Armed Force. The militant Tamil Tigers have been crushed. Who is the enemy?

Mahinda Rajapaksa, when he was President, was asked about this. He asked “What am I to do with the Armed Forces?” The answer was straightforward –“Demobilise them”.

Where the rest of the world, in particular the donor community is concerned, the action that has to be taken is “Unless the Armed Forces are removed from the Sri Lankan North and East, there will be no aid” .This is what the expatriate Tamils, now more than 1.5 million, should be doing.

Extent of Land occupied by the military in Mullaitivu

Mullaitivu in the North-East has been picked because of the detailed information available.

The Mullaitivu district is made up of 5 Divisional Secretariat (DS) divisions. Numbers obtained from Government offices put the total are of land occupied by the military at 2,265 acres. However, a document prepared by the Mullaitivu District Secretariat for a Resettlement Plan meeting placed the land occupied by the military at 13,546 acres.

Thurairasa Ravikaran, a member of the former Northern Provincial Council representing Mullaitivu, undertook an extensive research study through intensives with villages, rural development societies and other grass roots organisers. He showed that the land occupied by the armed forces was a staggering 34,191 acres. It is obvious that the government significantly downplays the actual amount of land occupied by the military.

One of the most important steps in demilitarisation is a transparent and credible estimate of the land area occupied by the military. This, the government and the military, will not do.

To summarise:

Land occupied by the military:

1. From the Government – 2,265 acres

2. From the Mullaitivu District Secretariat – 13,545 acres

3. From a reliable private individual – 34,191 acres

What is clear is that figures released by the military and the government simply cannot be believed. The most credible estimate of how much land the military occupies in the Mullaitivu district alone is 30,000 acres. Land taken by the Sri Lankan military and Police in the rest of the North and East, is much larger. 

This is land taken (stolen) by the Armed Forces and Police with no payment to those who owned the land. The answer is again in the hands of the donors –“Give the land back to the rightful owners or there will be no aid”.

To get back to the PEARL publication:- 

Rewarding Failure? Granting an Extension in 2017

This section documents what has been known for years – Sri Lanka will agree with UN Resolutions but will not implement them. They are effectively a waste of time. Here is an example.

On 1 October 2015, the UN Human Rights Council passed Resolution 30/1 which set out what Sri Lanka had to do. The UN High Commissioner’s progress report in early 2017 concluded that Sri Lanka’s progress in implementing Resolution 30/1 was “elementary” and “worryingly slow”. Despite this, at the next (34th) session, the HRC granted Sri Lanka a two-year extension, till March 2019, to perform. However, one year later, there was little indication that it will do so rather than telling Sri Lanka to deliver, the extension appears to have only emboldened further intransigence. In early 2018, the High Commissioner again decried the government’s pace, this time noting that “the authorities have not yet demonstrated the capacity or willingness to address impunity”.

Needless to say, this failure to pressure Sri Lanka encouraged those in power in Sri Lanka. Kumaratunga, head of the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation, told an audience in Jaffna that there would be no trials and that only Tamil diaspora organisations – not locals- wanted prosecutions

The military’s presence and infiltration into civilian life throughout the North–East remains pervasive into 2018, including in religious, cultural, school, and tourism-related activities.

PEARL and the Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research found that one-fourth of Sri Lanka’s Army, was stationed in Mullaitivu District resulting in an extraordinary ratio of nearly 1 soldier for every 2 civilians, making the area the most militarised area in the world. . 

The ongoing presence of the military in Tamil-inhabited areas has had a profound impact on civilian’s daily lives. Members of the security forces continue to harass and intimidate Tamils in the North-East.

Although there is much more in the PEARL publication, I will move on to the most important section, which is of direct relevance to my publication – “The Effect on the Victims”.

The leniency shown by members of the international community does not just communicate to the Sri Lankan government that it can get away with flouting its obligations. It also tells the victim-survivor community that their suffering and struggle for accountability is increasingly unimportant. 

With war-affected individuals’ faith in the Sri Lankan government non-existent, their best hope for accountability has always rested with members of the international community. But increased military cooperation accompanied by commendations of Sri Lanka’s “progress”—despite ongoing repression and overt repudiation of transitional justice commitments—has put a significant dent in victims and survivors’ trust in the international community. 

Victims’ Low Expectations “Hope is gone now”

The majority of our interviews were conducted shortly after the OMP(Office of Missing Persons) bill was finally signed into law in July 2017. However, while the international community interpreted the bill’s passage as an encouraging sign of progress, our interviewees were universally pessimistic about the OMP and the prospects for transitional justice more broadly. As one member of the victim-survivor community put it, underscoring the government’s refusal to provide any information about the fate of the  disappeared: “If they can’t even answer simple questions, what is the OMP going to do? They just want to hoodwink the international community”

Another explained that she lost faith in the process after the results of the consultative process were ignored. “During the consultations, nothing from us was taken on board. We expected good things from the consultations—we were able to share our view, but nothing has happened”  

 A long-time community activist pointed out that victim-survivors were also not included in the -establishment of the Office of National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR), dismissing it as “just another office” 

“They use the OMP as a handy excuse to show progress—but where is this OMP? Why haven’t we been contacted yet about how it will work?”

Many highlighted the absence not only of victim-survivor participation in decision-making, but also outreach to inform them about transitional justice institutions. Some said the only information they had received about the OMP came from the newspaper or mentioned hearing the name “ONUR” but nothing further.

 Others noted the spread of misinformation. One victim-survivor said a local government official told her that the OMP was already operational and had an office open in Kilinochchi, which was untrue. 

Nearly everyone we spoke to emphasized Sri Lanka’s long history of window-dressing accountability institutions. Several family members of the appeared estimated that they had submitted information about their missing loved ones on as many as 50 occasions to past commissions, police stations, and government officials. “We started in 2009 from the IDP camps and haven’t stopped”.

These experiences left many exhausted and wondering about the point of participating in another institution. Nevertheless, several said they planned to go to the OMP anyway, despite having “no hope and no expectation”  

Some expressed the concern that if they did not participate, the government would use that fact strategically “as an excuse for more time at the Human Rights Council” 

Members of the victim-survivor community clearly saw the disconnect between Sri Lanka’s rhetoric abroad and actions at home. “There is no will on the part of the government” said one activist, referring to the government’s promises in Geneva 

 Again and again, they highlighted the fact that in the absence of international participation, any transitional justice process would be a farce. “How can those responsible prosecute themselves?”

While they were particularly pessimistic about the prospect of criminal accountability without international involvement, many also stressed the need for a role for foreigners in the OMP. “Without international participation in the OMP, the government won’t let information about perpetrators come out”.

Others pointed out that it was “only because of the international community” that progress had occurred on related issues such as land return  

Losing Faith in the International Community “We have no faith in the government but [have faith] in the international community” 

None of the protesters we spoke to expressed surprise that the government had failed to act on their demands. In fact, many downplayed any expectation that the Sirisena administration would respond to them, identifying their target audience as the international community rather than the Sri Lankan government  

“Our only hope is that the international community puts pressure on the government” 

 Several mentioned their wish for more members of the international community to come meet with them. “It has to have an effect—at least let the international community know what’s happening”  

Our interviewees were surprised and confused by the two-year extension granted to Sri Lanka by the Human Rights Council in March 2017. “The government can’t even do the OMP. How are they going to do the bigger things they promised?”

One activist who had been to Geneva described the costs of delay: “I told them, you give them two years, you are giving time to the Army”  

Another argued that Sri Lanka had already shown that the extension was worthless: “What have they done in four months?” 

For many, this confusion shaded into frustration. “I don’t understand what the international community is waiting for” 

Several victims and survivors criticized the international community for what they saw as wilful blindness to Sri Lanka’s intransigence on transitional justice. One called out specific members of the international community, saying: “The US, UK, and Swiss used to be very active, now they don’t open their mouths”.

Another remarked incredulously: “The international community is sending us to the government and the military for justice even now” 

Advocates working with the families of the disappeared explained that victims and survivors “had expectations of the international community” and that when the extension was announced “they were shocked” 

What this section on the effects on the victims demonstrates is anger, serious anger, which can so easily result in people taking up arms. If there is any doubt about this, I will re-state what I have already stated, “Others spoke of the possibility that the increasing anger within the Tamil community may spark violence. “Our children are talking about taking up arms”. Many suggested that the ongoing failure to grapple with victims and survivors’ grievances is endangering the prospects for long-term peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. “If the government doesn’t happen, Tamils will take up arms. This is how it all started”?

Back to an Armed struggle

I do not know what sort of an armed uprising it will be. It could be an open armed conflict or a guerrilla conflict. Well aware of what happened the last time round when the Tamil Tigers got into a conventional war (they were wiped out) my guess is that it will be guerrilla warfare. 

The problem with guerrilla warfare is that it is impossible to identify those who are armed. Let me give you one example.

It was when the Indian Peace Keeping Force was in Jaffna. Three Indian soldiers were on foot patrol. It was boiling hot with outside temperatures in the mid 40s.People have died of dehydration unless fluid is administered. I know the scene well because of many research projects I have done years ago in Jaffna. The Indian soldiers were looking for water. They saw a well and a village girl drawing water- which is what they urgently needed. They approached the girl and asked her whether she could give them some water. She said that she could and would run across to her home and get three cups. She brought the cups on a tray, filled them up with water and gave it to the soldiers. When they had finished drinking the water, they thanked her and set off on their patrol. As soon as they turned their backs, the girl who happened to be a Tamil guerrilla fighter, took out her revolver and shot dead all three soldiers.

It was all done quietly and with no fuss. Leaving the bodies piled up on the ground, the girl took the cups and the tray back to her home and returned to do what she was doing – collecting water for her mother. That is the problem with guerrilla fighters – an inability to identify them. 

Coping with guerrilla fighters

How Gotabaya Rajapaksa will cope with guerrilla fighters only time will tell. As we know from the past, is that he is a very violent man. He knows only one way to handle any situation and that is violently.

It is possible that he will ask is Armed Forces to open fire and flatten the lot. This is something that we will have to be aware of and decide what we can do.

One thing we can do is to contact Gotabaya Rajapaksa and tell him that he is on our watch list. I am more than willing to do so but it will be more credible if half a dozen people add their names.

Informers and Funds

We must have informers, spies if you like, on the ground in the Sri Lankan North and East. Can they be found? Yes, they can be but they will have to be paid.

I have mentioned to the organisation to which I belong, the TGTE (The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam), the need to have some funds. Business organisations, especially in Canada, will provide the money if they know what the money will be used for.

Boycott

Say No” to Sri Lanka which was operative sometime ago, will have to be restarted. When I was in South Africa to see Bishop Desmond Tutu, I met several former ANC leaders. They told me that the two things that were successful in overthrowing the apartheid regime were the boycott on the economy and the boycott on sports, especially cricket. These proven methods should be used on Sri Lanka to bring the ruling regime to its knees.

Responsibility to Protect (R2P)

Responsibility to Protect  is  global political commitment which was endorsed by all the members of the UN at the 2005 World Summit, to prevent genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

R2P is based on the premise that sovereignty is a responsibility to protect all its population from mass atrocities and human rights violations. It is based on a respect for the norms and international law relating to sovereignty, peace and security, human rights and armed conflict.

Clearly this is applicable to the North and East of Sri Lanka where the Tamil people are in need of protection.

Anne-Marie Slaughter from Princeton University called R2P “the most important shift in our conception of sovereignty since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648”.

Louise Arbour from International Crisis Group said that “The responsibility to protect is the most important and imaginative doctrine to emerge on the international scene for decades”.

Professor Damien Kingsbury, Deakins University, Australia, has written an entire book. Sri Lanka and the Responsibility to Protect: politics, ethnicity and genocide 

I will leave it to lawyers to decide where we go from here. As for me, knowing the talk-shop that the UN is, I will not be surprised if the Responsibility to Protect are just three words with no meaning.

Support those who work

There is an absolute need to support people like PEARL and the ACPR that have produced outstanding work. To support PEARL, and get them to send another team of investigators to Sri Lanka is crucial.

Get people of importance to visit the North and East of Sri Lanka

Get your Member of Parliament and others in high places to visit the North and East of Sri Lanka and speak with the people, as PEARL have done. It is important that they take with them people who can speak Tamil and not rely on the Sri Lankan government to provide them.

India

India, or rather Delhi, has a crucial role to play which it has not done. This is why I have urged the organisation that I work with, to set up an office, however small, in Delhi and in Tamil Nadu, to supply the necessary information about the current situation in Sri Lanka.

Such an office, the Tamil Information Centre, existed in London many years ago under Kandiah Kandasamy, and was crucially important in providing information. I have visited this centre and been greatly impressed with the work they did.

Get involved

It is most important that people get involved. There are some one and a half million expatriate Tamils in the world, living and working in the most powerful countries in the world. They are, by far, the most powerful force that the Tamils in the Tamil North and East have got. If, instead of fighting with each other or saying “We want Tamil Eelam”, they focussed on the deteriorating human rights situation in the Sri Lankan North and East, a lot can be achieved. All of us who support the struggle of the Tamil people want Tamil Eelam. However with rapid ‘Sinhalisation’ of the Tamil North and East, there might be no Tamil Eelam. Hence the need, the urgent need, to act now, tomorrow might be too late for the Tamils in the North and East of Sri Lanka. 

Sri Lanka is almost bankrupt

Nimal Sanderatne from the Peradeniya University in Sri Lanka has recently written an outstanding analysis of the Sri Lankan financial crisis.  This being so, the answer is to block financial aid coming to Sri Lanka from the IMF and elsewhere or state that aid will come provided that there is a marked improvement in human rights. This is what the expatriate Tamils and others concerned with human rights in Sri Lanka should be doing. The Chinese will, of course, not cooperate. As much money that Sri Lanka wants will be supplied by China as it was when the Rajapaksas were last in power. This is money that Sri Lanka can never repay. So the land will be sold to China as has happened in the South. More will be sold this time and Sri Lanka will become a Chinese colony—one of China’s “String of Pearls”.

Given this economic crisis, a well-planned economic boycott of goods and services going in and out of Sri Lanka till the Tamil people get their rights is very important. 

China

China has a stranglehold on Sri Lanka. 4 years ago Sri Lanka built Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) in Hambantota (Rajapaksa’s home area) with Chinese assistance of $190 million. Today MRIA is running at a huge loss and Sri Lanka is unable to pay back dues to China’s EXIM bank.

China will lend money to countries at high interest rates which the recipient country is unable to repay. This leads to China getting a permanent footprint in the country.

Not far from the loss-making airport is the sea port of Hambantota also built by China. China has recently got a 99-year lease for running the Hambantota port.

For the Hambantota port project, Sri Lanka borrowed US $ 300 million from China at interest rates of 6.3%. Interest rates for loans from India to neighbouring countries is as low as 1%, and even lower. 

Sri Lanka is currently unable to pay its debt to China because of its slow economic growth. To resolve its debt crisis, the Sri Lankan government has agreed to convert the debt into equity. This will probably lead to Chinese ownership of the project finally.

Sri Lanka’s decision to hand over the loss-making airport to India is a move against China’s tightening noose of debt.

China’s “One Belt One Road” (OBOR) project is a global partnership of China. In reality, OBOR is really an exploitative, colonial stratagem to gain vital assets in smaller countries

Boycott Sri Lanka. Say “No” to Sri Lanka

A boycott of goods and services in and out of Sri Lanka is essential. It must be not only an economic boycott but a boycott of sports, especially cricket, and of tourism. All this was done when dealing with apartheid South Africa. As activists in South Africa confirmed to me when I visited that country, it was just these two, an economic boycott, and a boycott of sports, that brought apartheid South Africa to its knees, and brought to an end that dreadful regime. There is no reason why it should fail in bringing the dreadful regime running Sri Lanka to its knees.

Stop Aid   

It is foreign aid that enables corrupt and evil regimes to continue. The donor community must realise this and state that aid will only be given in exchange for an improvement in human rights. There is enough published information in the ground situation in the Sri Lankan North and East, to list this out – the demilitarisation of the Sri Lankan North and East, handing back lands in the area to the rightful owners, stopping ‘Sinhalisation’ and ‘Buddhistisation’, enabling the people in the area to live with equality and dignity. This is by no means a comprehensive list.

The only country that will not cooperate with this is China. However, aid’ from China is more like a loan that has to be paid back – at enormous interest rates.

Where are the weapons of mass destruction?

A question that has not been asked is ‘where are the Kfir jets, the multibarrel rocket launchers,and the helicopter gunships that the Sri Lankan government and Armed Forces have? We have a right to know. Until they are sold there should be no aid going to Sri Lanka. 

Work with the local groups in the Sri Lankan North and East

It is crucial for expatriate Tamils and others concerned with what is going on in Sri Lanka to work with activists and active groups in the Sri Lankan North and East. It has to be a joint venture. Expatriate groups cannot do what local groups can do and local groups cannot do what can be done abroad.

Local groups can bring the North and East to a halt. This has already been done at least twice. Thousands of Sri Lankan military and police were helpless and could only watch but not act. Local groups cannot stop foreign aid, those outside can.     

There is more, much more, that needs to be included but this document is getting too long. The rest will have to be dealt with in another article. However, the critical situation in Jaffna has to be dealt with, if only briefly.

Education in Jaffna in chaos

Dr Daya Somasunderam, Professor of Psychiatry in Jaffna, delivered an important lecture, “A lost Generation of Tamil Youth: Impact of past war trauma, present psychosocial context, globalisation and Education”. What he said was alarming. 70% of students failed the Grade 5 examination annually, and 50% failed the Ordinary Level (O/L) examination. Of those who sit for the Advanced Level (A/L) examination, only 15 % enter Universities.

Even the few who enter universities are not assured of a bright future. The university system that was dong reasonable well up to the early 1980s has deteriorated drastically due to the general chaos of war, poor resources and support from the State, loss of able academics and teachers with the general brain drain. This ‘must-read’ publication is on the net.

The difficulty in getting into universities is compounded by the fact that large numbers of Sinhalese from the South are getting into the Jaffna University. Some of them qualify for university education. Others get in because they know the ‘right’ people.

As someone who has been a Senior Lecturer in Medicine in the Peradeniya University in the late 1960s, I am well aware that a significant number of medical students were Tamils, many from Jaffna.  There is no place that I know of in any part of the world that has produced more professionals than Jaffna. As such, what is now going on in Jaffna is an absolute disaster. Jaffna will take decades, if ever, to get back to where it was at the top of the educational league table.

Of equal concern is that parents, who can afford to do so, are sending their children abroad. Once trained, they are not going to return. This serious brain drain will affect not only Jaffna but the rest of the country. 

On 18 March 2018, the former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe referred to this problem. He said, “The whole system of education in the North has fallen today. What we have to do is to lay the foundation stone to revive this system in the province. I cannot say that we can do this in one year as it will take at least ten years”.

With the Rajapaksas returning to power, it might take a hundred years, or more. 

Drugs and alcohol from Kerala

The Sri Lankan Navy in Jaffna is bringing in large amounts of drugs and alcohol from Kerala which are being sold to people in Jaffna, including children. Several children are unable to go to school for obvious reasons. Drugs and alcohol are even reaching the villages, resulting in serious family problems. The problem will not be resolved until the Navy is removed from Jaffna, something that the Sri Lankan government has no intention of doing. It is left to public spirited people to act. As to how they can act is unclear.

Mass protests

The public in the North and East have decided to launch mass protests. At least three massive protests have brought Jaffna and the East to a halt. More of these will have to follow to make the area ungovernable. None of this is known to the outside world or even to the rest of Sri Lanka. The attitude of the government seems to be, “It is a free country. You can protest if you want to”. 

Sri Lanka is heading to be a ‘Failed State’ if it has not got there already.

The Tamil Homelands in the Sri Lankan North and East is being ‘Sinhalised’

Expatriate Tamil groups, including the one to which I belong, the TGTE (Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam) seem to be unaware that the Tamil homelands in the Sri Lankan North and East no longer exist. The area is being ‘Sinhalised’ by the movement of thousands of Sinhalese from the Sri Lankan South. Documents from the TGTE still has “The Thirst of Tamils is Tamil Eelam!” It is time that everyone realised that Tamil Eelam only exists in the minds of (some) Tamils. It is certainly not there where it should be – in the North and East of Sri Lanka.

Many years ago, I went with the Director of Irrigation (my father-in-law) and the Tamil political leader, S.J.V. Chelvanayagam, to see what was going on in Amparai in the East which was being ‘Sinhalised’. It  was when S.W.R.D Bandaranaike was changing the Official Language from English to Sinhalese. Neither of the two people with whom I travelled, were great talkers. When they did, it was important to listen to what they said. Chelvanayagam, having seen what was going on, quietly said “This is far more dangerous to the Tamils than a change in the Official language”. How right he was. Amparai which was a Tamil area, is now no longer a Tamil area. It has been ‘Sinhalised’.

Exactly the same is happening with great speed to the Tamil homeland in the North and East. In the not too distant future, it will be ‘Sinhalised’. It is to make Sri Lanka into a Sinhalese-Buddhist country. The Tamils will not have a Tamil homeland. 

As has been said, the Tamil people in the North and East can do one of 4 things – 1) Leave the area and the country as asylum seekers, 2) Live as 2nd or 3rd class citizens 4) End up in detention centres or prisons 5) Die. This is Genocide of the Tamil people which I have extensively written about elsewhere.

There is an entire Chapter on this in the book I have just published “The Struggle for  Justice of the Tamil People in Sri Lanka”. I will be more than happy to email the entire book. Just send me your email (to bsenewiratne@gmail.com). There will be no cost.  

If Genocide of the Tamil people is to be prevented, action will have to be taken now. Tomorrow will be too late.

Today there are some one and a half million expatriate Tamils in the most important and powerful countries in the world. They will have to unite which, unfortunately, they have never been able to do. They will have to realise the ground situation in the Sri Lankan North and East where the Tamil people are ‘disappearing’. It is Genocide before our very eyes. Is that acceptable?    

Can anything be done?

I have said earlier, the UN can act. R2P, the responsibility to protect, can clearly be applied because the people in the Sri Lankan North and East are in need of protection. Let me repeat what I have said because it is so important.

R2P is based on the premise that sovereignty is a responsibility to protect all its population from mass atrocities and human rights violations. It is based on a respect for the norms and international law relating to sovereignty, peace and security, human rights and armed conflict.

Will the UN apply R2P? No, it will not, just as it did not do so in 2019 when the people in the North and East were very much in need of protection and more than 50,000 people, men, women and children were slaughtered. It is confirmation that responsibility to protect are just three words which are not to be taken seriously.

*Brian Senewiratne, MA(Cantab), MBBChir (Cantab), MBBS Hons (Lond), MDLondon), FRCPLond). FRACP – Consultant Physician

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Latest comments

  • 3
    3

    That means another 2009 victory for the Sinhala army.

  • 3
    3

    The only solution is to split the island equitably into 3 mono ethnic nations of Sinhala Only Elam, Tamil Elam and Muslim Elam. (The last two can join together after the split if they wish.) Only 15% of the people need to relocate. There will be permanent peace. Permanent end to discrimination, ethnic riots, ethnic war, political solutions, etc. Until then war, riots, discrimination, Sinhala only rule over Tamils and Muslims will continue.

    • 2
      6

      GATAM,
      Demalu and Muslims who helped Brits to oppress and kill Native Sinhalayo do not deserve even an inch of the Land of Sinhalayo and Vedda Eththo.
      Not a single Demalek or a Muslim went in front of the firing squads of Brits for fighting against British rule to liberate this country from colonial rulers. It was Sinhalayo and Buddhist monks who fought against Brits and went in front of the firing squads of Brits. Who shot those Sinhala heroes? Demalu and Muslims. These ‘Para’ people were anti-Sinhala traitors.

      “split the island equitably into 3 mono ethnic nations”

      • 3
        0

        EE,

        Did those Sinhalayo who fought against the Brits achieve anything?
        Foolish, no?

        Oh! you may not know. There were more Sinhalayo who were knighted than any other non-British community in the world! Did you know that?

        Tamils and Muslims were wiser than that. They waited till the Sinhalas got power to launch their campaign. Easy. Look what Sinhala rule has done to SL. Disaster everywhere. Why should Tamils and Muslims have to put up with this nonsense?

        When Tamil Elam and Muslim Elam are created there will be long queues of SB housemaid, etc. women at the border of those two nations. Shame they have to compete with Ukrainian women.

      • 3
        1

        Eagle,
        “It was Sinhalayo and Buddhist monks who fought against Brits and went in front of the firing squads”
        Yes, it was a Buddhist monk who bravely shot the Premier, while his friend in the Kelani Vihara was heroically doing sexual acrobatics with a female Minister. All in the name of Sinhalayo culture.

      • 1
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        Wealth Robbers of Heladiva (Sri Lanka) Tamils and Muslims. Tamil TV stations and Muslims Business people doing business in Sri Lanka. All Sinhalese people’s wealth, are they brought the money from the Moon? They robbed the wealth of Sinhalese peoples. Indian Boras brought the money from India and established big companies in Sri Lanka. This is the gospel truth.

      • 0
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        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

        For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 14
    2

    Dr. Brian Senewiratne – with due respect to you , I don’t think there is any appetite among Tamils for another insurgency.
    However what the present government is trying to do is incite some kind of violent reaction form the Tamils and Muslims.

    The present government is piling up army/navy/police /STF and concentrating them and creating incidents from nowhere.
    They want to incite and instigate the Tamil students in to violence. All they want is for one Tamil student to attack a army/navy/police /STF. They will then gun down all of them and plant some arms and scream LTTE is still alive and kicking.

    The Sinhala masses will be happy ….diversion from the economic tsunami waiting to hit Sri Lanka

    There is a video of the Jaffna university incident . A police officer attacking a Tamil student for no reason hoping the student will retaliate.

    But the student knew the game and walked away

    Goat and Mahinda are exploiting every avenue to create a mayhem in Sri Lanka to take cover behind the mayhem

    as usual

    when will the Sinhala people learn

    • 6
      1

      R
      Your assessment of the mood of the Tamils is fairly precise.
      Brian S seems to be caught in a past when the mood if not militant was defiant.
      *
      Where do the Tamils go from here?
      Can they go it alone? They cannot.
      Many who claim to speak for them rely on a foreign agency to enter the fray, but have no basis to justify that expectation.
      Is it not time that Tamils thought and spoke about the sufferings of other people in this country and elsewhere?
      A mindset of being persecuted and betrayed by others has only divided the Tamil community further.
      If Tamils want the Sinhalese to learn, they should help the learning process.
      How will they listen to someone who is constantly blaming and cursing them?
      The Tamil leadership has over the past decades ensured that there was no dialogue with any other community to ensure that they had the sole right to bargain with Sinhalese leaders. Their taking an anti-left stand was not accidental.
      *
      My plea has been for a progressive kind of Tamil nationalism that can relate to oppressed people outside its identity and within it.
      If no Tamil leadership can take that route, shouldn’t someone take the initiative.

      • 1
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        We all did and it was all crushed since 1970 by FP/TULF/TNA thuggery/open killings/hate speeches/Indian training camps.

        It is a puzzle why the Author feels Tamils of Jaffna (whatever left) need to be cleansed for good when India got all they wanted out of the misery by arming the children and killing decent in Jaffna against the FP/TULF??

        The decent and the fighters are PLOTE/TELO children from around the world and in SL?? Indian Tamils from India/ Malaysian Tamils? Singaporean Tamils?? Upcountry tamils? Tamil speaking Muslims?? Who is training them?? the same Indian training camps? has he spoken to Australian Tamils and got some feed back as to their children are ready and being trained and where??

        Or now a Sinhala man on behalf of racists/geo political masters around the world asking Tamil children in Jaffna to die once more will sell his books of fibs & fobs? Now all this need is a predator drone/submarine/ship to launch a night time missile to Jaffna his story will do a wholesale of park strait for good for foreign interest??

        Folks watch the space as we can not have our children die anymore as only a wonderful living left in SL that shouldn’t be robbed of our children.

        I am enlisting all Diaspora Tamil children pls send your names to CT.

        • 1
          3

          Please write a book about resurgence of the Aboriginal people will help you do some soul search or the Red Indians of the Americas will cover your rest if you fanfare in the states and in Canada.

          or return to do some real work to Nation Build.

          Alternatively write a book about how many diaspora can sponsor all the Sri Lankan children(Tamil, Sinhala and all other) to be homed in their houses with their children and sponsored to study diverse studies that will help build the Nation when they return…they can then bring their counterparts (diaspora children) home/network to build our Nation to the same level as Australia/Singapore/Malaysia and Tamil Nadu children life standards/roam around the world and enjoy their planet the way the above children do….. I personally challenge you and ask all the humanitarian organisations in Australia your book has any human values before publications please??

          • 3
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            We need some doctors/engineers/scientists/teachers/qualified social workers/Ted Talk style program makers/documentary makers of environmental issues & bio diversity/water and waste water specialists/city planners/rural area planners/land and resource management specialists/Marine life specialists/Food and nutritional specialists/skill transfer specialists/New Trade(sustanable) Deal experts/Labs to test soils, water, diseases, toxins and analysts/erosion management/agricultural experts/recyclers/up cyclers and all related technology??

            We do not need explosive specialists/shooters/guns and bombs experts/lawyers/accountants/bloody traders the buy and sell merchants the whole Indian Continent is fall of them/regime change experts./secret services…basically death merchants…this is defined as Crime against humanity.

            • 2
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              If you do not know Jaffna history come to me I will help you rewrite history fact based……………you will end up being look-up not just in SL but around the world…..this world needs people like you to peace build…help heal the pain Mr BS.

              Just to update you in the UK we can not even make enough oxygen for the covid patients..yet we we spent a lot of money on defence. We had Berni and Corbyn partnership to change the foundation of the world and look where we are today..a disintegrating planet………….you a medical Doctor want to sell your thoughts on “retributions” and not “peace and reconciliation”….between the “victims and the perpetrators” “not” between Tamils and Sinhalese please understand. They are all born free Sir you may not know except for the guns introduced in our Nation by some outsiders…even after all this misery we are all one people.

              • 1
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                Our world does not have space for little people making Ghettos does not matter where in the world solve anything Sir????? all the stuff belongs to all the people of this planet……….merely going by the founding principle of Australia/NW/Canada/America/SA many SL call home very rightfully so etc….is self explanatory.

                • 1
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                  R2021
                  “…it was all crushed since 1970 by FP/TULF/TNA thuggery/open killings/hate speeches/…”
                  Have not I heard this phrase several times before here?
                  Is somebody plagiarizing or wearing a mask?

                • 0
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                  Rumble,
                  Why are you ashamed of your real name?

                  • 0
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                    SJ/OC

                    A Covid requirement ma.

                  • 1
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                    OC
                    You and I are in the same dock as Rumble on that count.
                    I blew my cover long ago, but still use SJ to prevent newcomers from jumping from their sears.
                    Rumble leaves unmistakable fingerprints.
                    You are smart. I don’t know who you are, do not care to know, and respect you for your honest comments..

                    • 0
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                      Sorry,
                      jumping from their seats

                    • 0
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                      SJ,
                      Maybe I want live a while longer.

                    • 0
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                      OC
                      Me too.
                      But I am not as smart!

    • 3
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      Rajash,
      Sinhalayo who gave citizenship to descendants of Dravida slaves brought by colonial rulers and abandoned in Sinhale have already learnt that they made a blunder by helping these ungrateful ‘Para’ people. It is up to Demalu to learn to be grateful to people who helped and live with them peacefully.
      —-
      “when will the Sinhala people learn”

      • 0
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        “when will the Sinhala people learn”
        Eagle Eye – i know its a wasted statement on you

  • 5
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    Brian,
    Do you expect the Government and Sinhalayo to give in to whims and fancies of the descendants of Dravida slaves brought to Yapanaya by Portuguese and naturalized by Sinhalayo to keep them happy because you who lick the *** of Demalu think that there might be a resurgence of militancy. If ‘Moda’ Demalu have not learnt a lesson from the history of Sinhala Demala conflict starting from Dravida invasions from 3rd Century BC they might resort to militancy again. Foreign hands who want to destabilize Sri Lanka will use Demala extremists to achieve their agenda but it will be suicidal for the Demala community if they allow that to happen.
    One positive thing emerged from Tamil terrorism is Sri Lanka now have a professional Armed Force capable of handling any situation although ‘Jadapalana’ dong keys tried to ruin that to please ‘Koti’ Diaspora and few Western countries. A person who dealt Tamil terrorism successfully is at the helm and the Armed Forces are behind him.
    It is not only Demalu and Muslims who can resort to militancy, Sinhalayo also can. Silence of Sinhalayo who were the main victim of Tamil terrorism should not be taken as a sign of weakness.

  • 9
    3

    Dear Dr. Brian Senewiratne:
    Thank you for the comprehensive narrative, focusing on the existential threats faced by the Tamils in Sri Lanka on several fronts, especially on the urgent need to stop the intensive/extensive Sinhala-Buddhistization of Tamil habitats.International intervention is a sine qua non to arrest ongoing structural genocide and to salvage our traditional habitats. Quest for a Homeland , if any, can wait until we secure the real estate.
    BTW, it is only on the last minute intervention of the Indian govt. that the Rajapaksas have beaten a retreat on the recent Mullivaikal Memorial issue at the Jaffna University. The VC has agreed to restore status quo ante and has, in fact, laid the foundation for reconstruction of the demolished Memorial. Delhi BJP govt. has intervened because of massive mass protests in Tamil Nadu and Puduchery against the demolition and the BJP wants to placate the Tamil fraternity on the eve of impending State Elections in Tamil Nadu & Puduchery, in May/June 2021.
    If not for this intervention, trigger-happy boys of Rajapaksas in the army/police would have spilt the blood of scores of our students at the campus.

    • 3
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      Karikalan S Navaratnam,
      It is not Tamils who face threats but Sinhalayo. Sinhalayo who are the native people in Sinhale are facing threats from Tamils and Muslims who came from Hindusthan and settled down in Sinhale. Sinhalayo did not engage in terrorist activities against Demalu or Muslims but both these communities carried out terrorist attacks on Sinhalayo and massacred innocent Sinhala men, women, children and even unborn babies. They are colonizing Sinhala land.
      Dumbo, there is no Sinhala-Buddhistization of Tamil habitat because there is nothing called Tamil habitat in Sinhale. As a matter of fact ‘Para’ Demalu who are occupying Sinhala land in the North have Tamilized Sinhala habitat by building Hindu Kovils on top of Sinhala Buddhist heritage sites and by Tamilizing Sinhala place names.
      —-
      “Thank you for the comprehensive narrative, focusing on the existential threats faced by the Tamils in Sri Lanka on several fronts, especially on the urgent need to stop the intensive/extensive Sinhala-Buddhistization of Tamil habitats.”

      • 2
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        Sinhalayas are not facing threats from the Tamils but from themselves, by their own actions and inactions. It is Self inflicted.

    • 1
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      Wrong assessment.

      Rajapaksas will allow them to build it so they can sell the tiger story to Sinhalas and Muslims again. If the losers’ monument (the first in the world) does not come up Rajapaksas have nothing to sell their racism. (Tamil youth have wisely avoided clashing with the military frustrating Rajapaksa plan for another victory like 2009).

      Sinhala racism, Tamil racism and Muslim racism COEXIST. They need one another.

  • 5
    2

    Can anything be done?
    Yes, TNA should carry out an intensive propaganda campaign among the Tsmils ( All Tamil speaking people) living outside North East encouraging them to relocate themselves into North East. Educate the Tamil children on the discrimination, violence, rape, looting, muder and planned genocide by the Sinhalese. Resulting mass migration will offset the Sinhala colonization in the North East.
    TGTE and rich Tamil diaspora can fund this exercise.
    The notion ingrained in the Tamil mind that the Sinhala Buddhist society is superior must be erased. The fear to live in a Tamil only enclave has to be eradicated.
    The differences among Tamil speaking people based on religion, caste or the date of arrival should be forgotten.

    Soma

    • 3
      2

      soman

      “Yes, TNA should carry out an intensive propaganda campaign . ……………………………………. … Sinhala colonization in the North East.”

      No need, its been brilliantly done by every Sinhala/Buddhist, members of Saffron Brigade, Armed forces, Channa Masala, Anuradha, Wimal Sangili, you, Shenali, …. Hindians are watching and often visiting this island.

      Your brethren VP is no longer available to kick the Hindian asses out of this island. How certain are you Kamal, Shavendra, .and their 15,000 fellow .. single handed generals could manage to get up from their comfortable sofas and run away from invading IPKF Mark II?

      Are Wimal Weerawansa, Nalin, Channa, Shenali, Saroj, Champika …. planning to retreat to Bangladesh, Myanmar, …. fight another day?

      • 2
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        NV
        “No need, its been brilliantly done by every Sinhala/Buddhist, members of Saffron Brigade, Armed forces, Channa Masala, Anuradha, Wimal Sangili, you, Shenali, …. Hindians are watching and often visiting this island.”
        Moreover Tamil racist donkeys who flock to Colombo Telegraph for open defecation have done their utmost for many years now.
        But all that have gone down the drain.
        That is why I suggest that TNA should carry out an intensive campaign to convince the Tamils that they must get the notion that Sinhala Buddhist society is superior to their own off their heads.
        YOU too have to double your efforts.

        Soma

        .

        • 0
          1

          soman

          “Moreover Tamil racist donkeys who flock to Colombo Telegraph for open defecation have done their utmost for many years now.”

          Of course they do, therefore you have to be careful when to shut your mouth.

          “YOU too have to double your efforts.”

          I always take good care of myself, unlike you I rarely open my mouth. In your case you do not seem to know the difference between a defecating bum and a bulging pocket.

  • 1
    1

    There are typos in above article.
    Too many zeros in numbers.
    The author can talk to CT editor for correction.

    Soma

  • 6
    2

    It was around 2017 at the time of the height of civil war in Sri Lanka, Dr.Brian Senewiratne was invited as a guest speaker at a public meeting hosted by the Tamil Organization of Auckland in New Zealand. On the request from a group of new immigrants from Sri Lanka that his address be interpreted, the organizer of the discourse put me on the stage to do the job. Dr. Brian’s opening address still ringing in through the ears and is still fresh in my soul.
    This is what he said, ” Every Sri Lankan Tamil has been affected and or suffered in one way or other by the oppressive ongoing war. But when showing your solidarity in protest or dissent, you allow a few to do it and others merely sit and watch. It looks as if the Tamils are suffering from an ailment ‘ Sleeping Syndrome ‘.
    On the other hand our Sinhalese also have multiple factions and divisions among them, but when something comes to the issue of ethnicity, they all rally round together and show their solidarity in their fight “.
    Dr.Brian is always outspoken and straightforward both in his writings and addresses to audience. In all his articles he makes a detail study of the subject and pragmatic and easy methods to deal with that are of concern.

    • 3
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      P. Rajeshwaran
      “But when showing your solidarity in protest or dissent, you allow a few to do it and others merely sit and watch. It looks as if the Tamils are suffering from an ailment ‘ Sleeping Syndrome ‘.”
      You know why?
      They know they are the guilty party because any time they could stop the war if they choose to.

      Soma

  • 5
    3

    “There is no place that I know of in any part of the world that has produced more professionals than Jaffna”
    Sri Lanka can be truly proud of creating conducive environment and providing necessary funding for this singular achievement.
    Education is totally free from kindergarten to university.
    Free health from cradle to grave ( sorry crematorium for the time being.)
    There is no country I know of in any part of the world with such free facilities and ungrateful professionals.

    Soma

    • 6
      2

      Soma,
      “Sri Lanka can be truly proud of creating conducive environment and providing necessary funding for this singular achievement.”
      True. But how is it paid for? Earnings from Tea, foreign remittances, Garments,… Two of the foregoing are mostly minority owned or employ minorities. Is there a commensurate share for these minorities in State employment, let alone proportionality?
      So, in the end the minorities raise most of the revenue to pay salaries to non-minority deadwood warming seats in govt. offices. And you ask for gratitude?

      • 3
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        Old codger
        Further grattitude of Himalayan scale is in order for the coducive environment Sri Lanka has created for the minority businesses to thrive as you have described.
        Another unique feature of our magnamity is depicted in the following scenerio:
        /
        Thiagarajah Venugopal 10dec20
        “Only country in the world a bunch of MP’s lived amongst their enemies, studied with their enemies, owned businesses amongst their enemies, ask living spaces for some other foreigners in even my lands, conducted war and killed their enemies whilst they lived amongst the enemies, went around the world and told pokies about their enemies (I’m agentry) to by western life style too, during the war lived amongst the enemies and after the war refused to go home too their territories, and some some retire and come to Tamil territories and talk through their back side whilst I am washing toilets somewhere else????”
        /

        Soma

        • 0
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          Soma,
          Quoting T.V, who doesn’t even live in this country, is like quoting Gandasara on Islam. You should know better.

        • 0
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          Soma,
          “Further grattitude of Himalayan scale is in order”
          Gratitude to whom?

      • 1
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        We should get rid of the tea plantains and create sustainable bio diverse agriculture/re-wild the nature? with Family planning in the heart of all the planning.

        Currently we are competing with the Indians in the Horney business.

    • 2
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      soman

      “…… …… ….. funding for this singular achievement. “

      Please refer to various papers on Aid received from the west, Japan, …..(https://www.usaid.gov/sri-lanka/history).

      Even if the state had funded education remember Up Country hard working plantation workers contribution while Sinhala/Buddhist lazy racist have been relying on handouts, free rice from moon. Don’t forget on the other hand you earned living from organised riots, …..

      • 1
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        NV
        Again you should bow in grattitude for granting them citizenship.
        .
        When arrangements were made for the estate Tamils to relocate themselves to India so that then can live as equal citizens among their own kith and kin in an environment of their own language, religion and culture they protested and demanded to continue that pathetic life in Sri Lanka. To this day they are happy here than going back to super power India.

        Soma

  • 6
    3

    Here is a video of one of the abducted Tamil dairy farmers living along the border regions of Batticaloa district by Sinhalese . This is planned attack , which many say is coming from the highest Sinhalese governing authority in the eastern province , to threaten abduct and chase all the Tamils living along the border areas of the Batticaloa district , so that Sinhalese can be settled. This was done soon after the 1983 riots . Many Sinhalese Criminal elements , released prisoners and thugs were deliberately settled in this region by the authorities and they were all chased away or they fled when to LTTE took over these areas. The state then falesely stated the LTTE was attacking innocent Sinhalese civilians , Innocent my foot. They did not belong here and were criminals , thugs and ex convicts deliberately settled there by JR government to ethnically cleanse local Tamils . Now the same thing is happening
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FR_bqUtw9HI&feature=youtu.be

  • 5
    5

    Dr. Brian Senewiratne
    Dear Sir,
    I salute you for fighting for the rights of Tamils, even at this ripe age of yours.
    We are in an entirely different era, today. We are scattered all over. Our competitiveness has been badly weakened, morale badly shaken. Militancy can no more succeed.
    Last time, we failed to have even a single military on our side. India comes to mind. Yes, India.

  • 4
    3

    A related quote:
    /
    Thiagarajah Venugopal 10dec20
    “Only country in the world a bunch of MP’s lived amongst their enemies, studied with their enemies, owned businesses amongst their enemies, ask living spaces for some other foreigners in even my lands, conducted war and killed their enemies whilst they lived amongst the enemies, went around the world and told pokies about their enemies (I’m agentry) to by western life style too, during the war lived amongst the enemies and after the war refused to go home too their territories, and some some retire and come to Tamil territories and talk through their back side whilst I am washing toilets somewhere else????”
    /
    Submitted by

    Soma

    • 0
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      Soma

      I can not follow TV’s English is so bad la.

      What is he saying here? not sure.

      About the Indian workers who arrived within the last 10years prior to independence you are right India agree to take them backer time.

      The planation (owned by few landlords/foreign interest etc) needed exploitable work force before it was all nationalised in I think in 1958? Basically it was a human right abuse but went well with some of the 50/50 and Federal “Love for Tamil” on behalf of the estate owners then?? same was true in Malaysia etc.

      People fled poverty (landless and abused by the TN Landlords themselves) to be in SL then you can understand why the poor folks did not want to return even the horrible conditions in the estate then??

      Crime was to trap them in the estates and “not” demanding resettlement’s in North and East in huge scale amongst the other Tamils with lands and all other privileges enjoyed by the Tamils then?? This was a crime against the Sinhalese too.

  • 1
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  • 4
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    The Rajapaksa’s have done NOTHING to reconcile, unite, and include, the minority, never have, never will. They discriminate at every opportunity, to give racist Buddhist monks their gratifications.

    WHEN MINORITIES ARE DISCRIMINATED IT COULD LEAD TO ANGER, RESISTANCE, AND VIOLENCE. BE WARNED.

    • 1
      1

      Violence did you say?

      That is what Rajapaksas are praying for. The moment minorities turn violent Rajapaksas will crush, etc. them with unthinkable violence with generous “collateral damage”. That is their plan. Don’t fall into it.

      Army has 11 years of weapons stock which they set alight and dump in the sea when expiry dates elapse. They are more than willing to use them on minorities. And that also means more purchases and more commissions for them.

  • 0
    0

    Correction to my earlier comment:-

    ‘ It was around 2017 at the time of the height of civil war in Sri Lanka ‘
    Correction:
    It was around 2007 (not 2017) at the time of the height of civil war

    Thanks

  • 0
    0

    P.Rajeswaran:

    Correction to my earlier comment:-
    ‘ It was around 2007(not 2017) at the time of the height of civil war in Sri Lanka ……..’

    Thanks
    P.Rajeswaran

  • 1
    1

    JRJ famously remarked in the 80s, when Tensions were high in the Sinhala-Tamil stand-off that Srilanka can finish-off the Tamils before the Indians invade the country., implying that India will not be justified to save the Tamils when there would be no Tamils. This of-course was plain rhetoric. Besides at that point of time there was hardly a Military presence in the North-East region.

    Now of-course as Dr. Brian Seneviratne has written that in Mullativu alone there is one soldier for every two civilians.. Most militarised region in the world.
    Provocations are there. Sparring like in boxing.
    All what is needed is a Tamil backlash. Similarly, the Muslim cremation issue.

    Leaders of both communities need to exercise care.
    The build-up of the Military is not so much as to capture land and colonize the area ,which in any event is a long time affair but to provoke and create the conditions for a quick confrontation which would be disastrous for the Tamils.

    In the midst of an unprecedented Economic crisis looming large over the country in the wake of the Covid-19, a clean-up of the minorities is a possible lease of life for a Govt: which has lost some or more of its popular standing in its ultra-nationalist voter base.
    India – China equation is the external factor.

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