29 September, 2020

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The Time Has Certainly Come For All Necessary Appropriate Action

By R Sampanthan –

R Sampanthan

Sri Lanka’s immediate post independent history was marked by discriminatory policies on vital issues such as citizenship, language, alienation of state land, employment, education and economic opportunity.  These features characterised the inception of majoritarian rule and the denial of the legitimate aspirations of minority peoples.

The abrogation of the Soulbury Constitution of 1947, under which the country attained independence, removing the minimum safeguards for minority peoples contained therein, the abrogation of the BANDARANAIKE – CHELVANAYAGAM pact (1957), the DUDLEY SENANAYAKE – CHELVANAYAGAM pact (1965), entered into between successive Prime Ministers, and the democratically elected Tamil Leader particularly to terminate State aided land settlement of majority Sinhala people in the North and East, the enactment of the 1972 Republican Constitution giving the majority religion and language, privileged positions, and the installation of a majoritarian structure of governance, perpetrated majoritarian hegemony which was further entrenched under the 1978 Constitution.  These new features contributed towards ensuring that majoritarianism became the vehicle to political power.

This situation resulted in the demand of the Tamil people, for political autonomy through constitutional arrangements.  This demand of the Tamil people rested on two pillars; the Tamil People are a distinct people, with their own identity, own history, own culture, own language, from time immemorial, and have historically inhabited the North Eastern part of the country with the Tamil speaking Muslim people.  The Tamil speaking people are yet in a majority in every one of the districts in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, despite concerted efforts on the part of Governments through State aided land settlement popularly referred to as Colonisation, and other avenues such aspreferential employment to the majority people in both the public and private sectors, so as to convert the said areas into ethnically majoritarian areas.  The extent of the demographic change in the Eastern Province can be seen from the fact that while the natural increase of the majority Sinhala population in the whole country since Independence has been in the region of 250 to 300% , the increase of the majority Sinhala population in the Eastern Province has been between 850 to 900%.

The demand for political autonomy for the Tamil People and their resistance to majoritarian inroads, through peaceful non -violent campaigns based on the Gandhian principles of “Ahimsa” led to repeated anti Tamil racial pogroms commencing from the 1950s which resulted in around 50% of the Sri Lankan Tamil population fleeing from the countryand seeking refugein several countries the world over.  This segment, today, substantially constitutes the Tamil Diaspora.

A retaliatory armed conflict that commenced in the 1980 s and lasted more than twenty five years has come to an end around four years ago.  It must be stated that this armed conflict which assumed very fierce dimensions on both sides, resulted in the occurrence of very unfortunate and regrettable incidentscausing much suffering and pain to all peoples in the country particularly the Tamil People.  The end of the conflict presented an opportunity to the Country and to all its peoples to chart a new future premised upon the ascertainment of the truth and genuine reconciliation based upon justice, discarding military triumphalism and majoritarian hegemony.   It is such a course that provides all the peoples of Sri Lanka with equal opportunities to build a new Sri Lanka based on peace progress and prosperity.  It is in this background that I propose to analyse the events that have occurred since the conclusion of the armed conflict and what needs to be done to achieve the desired objective.

The War and its aftermath had several unacceptable consequences.  The War was conducted by the Sri Lankan State on the premise that it could be completed without any witnesses and without adherence to Humanitarian or Human Rights Laws.  In September 2008, all non-governmental organisations were directed to leave the “VANNI” – the area of conflict, both the domestic and international media were kept out, the United Nations personnel were required on grounds of their own security to leave, access to the ICRC was severely limited, and no one else, not even Members of Parliament were permitted to enter the area.  The Sri Lankan Government claimed that there were only around 60,000 people in the conflict zone when there were in fact around 400,000 people in that area.  Food and medicines were provided only as per government estimates.  The expulsion of international agencies placed an unbearable burden on the people.  Despite these rigid restrictions clear evidence has been forthcoming in regard to the nature of the attacks to which civilians were subjected, the extent of their suffering and deprivation, a realistic appraisal of the number of casualties and the atrocities committed by both sides. Eventually despite the Government’s claims, over 290,000 people  came out of the conflict zone, conclusively establishing that the Government’s initial claim of only 60,000 remaining in the conflict zone was a gross distortion of the truth.

The visit of the Secretary General of the United Nations to Sri Lanka on 23rd May, 2009, almost immediately after the war came to an end and the joint communique issued by the President of Sri Lanka and the Secretary General identified three issues as of fundamental importance.

  1. Political empowerment and Political  solution
  2. Resettlement of internally displaced persons together with providing them with means of livelihood so as to enable the resumption of lives at the earliest
  3. The Government’s commitment to take measures to address its strongest commitment to the promotion and protection of Human Rights in keeping with International Human Rights standards and Sri Lanka’s international obligations, and the importance of an accountability process for addressing violations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Laws.

Since then we have had the benefit of

  1. The report of the Committee of Experts, appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations to advise him on issues of accountability.
  2. The report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission appointed by the Sri Lankan Government, and the constructive recommendations contained therein to bring about genuine reconciliation.
  3. The resolution adopted at the Human Rights Council in March 2012, outlining the obligations of the Sri Lankan Government and the further steps relating thereto.

We now have the report of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights to the Human Rights Council in regard to the manner of implementation by the Sri Lankan Government of the Resolution of the Human Rights Council of March 2012 and the new resolution to be introduced by the United States of America at the current session of the UN Human Rights Council.

It’s in this background and the background of the current situation on the ground in the North East that we have to consider what the future needs to be.

What has happened in the North East since the end of the conflict, instead of bringing about genuine reconciliation has only resulted in further alienation.

The Sri Lankan Government has not made tangible progress on any of the constructive recommendations identified by the L.L.R.C and incorporated in the U.N.H.R.C resolution of March 2012 – viz – credible investigations of wide spread allegations of extra judicial killings and enforced disappearances – several thousands yet remain unaccounted for; amongst the more egregious  of these killings was the murder of five students in Trincomalee and seventeen aid workers in Muthur, despite Government’s commitments no action has been taken to conclude the investigations and prosecute the offenders; not even the report of a Commission of Inquiry appointed to inquire into these, amongst other grave violations of Human Rights has been published; An Independent group of eminent persons appointed to oversee the working of the Commission and to ensure that its performance was in keeping with International standards,  terminated its mandate stating that the Sri Lankan state did not have the political will or commitment to investigate grave human rights violations in keeping with International norms and standards;this clearly demonstrates the attitude of the Sri Lankan State towards extra judicial killings and enforced disappearance of Tamils; demilitarisation of the North of Sri Lanka, particularly the dismantling of High Security Zones and restoring such lands to the civilians entitled thereto both for residence and occupation;

The Government has made commitments to the Supreme Court that the people evicted from the Vallikamam High Security Zone and the Sampur High Security Zone would be resettled, the Government has also given an assurance in  Parliament that the people evicted from the Sampur High Security Zone would be resettled; while in Vallikamam there has been part settlement and there is more to be done, no settlement has taken place in Sampur and steps are afoot in both areas to use the land for other purposes;  implement impartial land dispute resolution mechanisms – that would enable restoration of lands presently occupied by the Armed Forces and Para Military groups to civilians entitled thereto; re-evaluate detention policies, – large numbers yet continue to languish in detention,; strengthen formerly independent civil institutions, – these institutions are being further weakened; reach a political settlement involving devolution of power, – the Government has moved backwards despite the best efforts of the Tamil People and the Tamil National Alliance; protect the right of freedom of expression for all;  and enact rule of law reforms.  In every one of these areas the steps taken by the Government have been retrogressive.  The Government has even chosen to blatantly deny credible evidence that has been placed in the public domain by credible International Agencies with adequate expertise in such fields.  The Government acts with a sense of impunity and seems to believe that through such repeated blatant denials it can lay to rest any credible investigations in regard to such issues.An impartial credible International investigation remains the only avenue available in the context of the Government’s failure to conduct an impartial credible domestic investigation and merely engaging in bald denials.  The Sri Lankan State which has continuously failed to keep it’s domestic commitments which have brought Sri Lanka to its present crisis seems to think that it can conceal itself behind the cloak of Sovereignty to avoid fulfilment of its International commitments and obligations.  No one wants Sri Lankan Sovereignty which belongs to all its peoples to be usurped; at the same time one cannot permit the Sri Lankan State to use Sovereignty as an excuse not to fulfil the State’s International commitments and obligations.  Such a situation can only lead to instability within Sri Lanka harmful to its own Sovereignty, and become a threat to both Regional and International Peace.  It is therefore imperative that the Sri Lankan State must be made to conform to its International commitments and obligations.  A State which has continuously failed to comply with it’s domestic commitments surely cannot be absolved from fulfilling its International commitments and obligations.

Since the repeal of the 17th amendment to the Constitution which ensured the independent appointment to and the independent functioning of important civil institutions such as the Elections Commission, the Judicial Services Commission, the Human Rights Commission, the Public Services Commission, the National Police Commission, the Bribery Commission, the Members of the Higher Judiciary, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, and other important appointments such as the Attorney General, the Auditor General, the Secretary General of Parliament and since the removal of the restriction on the term of the Presidency under the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, and all such appointments now being solely at the discretion of the President, the Country is inexorably moving towards Authoritarian Rule.  The impeachment of the Chief Justice because the Government found the interpretation of the Supreme Court on certain Constitutional provisions, a duty vested exclusively in the Supreme Court unpalatable, on the basis of charges which were of a highly dubious nature and through an investigative process which was rushed through in one sitting in a single day, in violation of all principles of Natural Justice and disregarding competent judicial verdicts pertaining to the said process, is not merely tantamount to the undermining of the independence of the judiciary but is also strongly indicative of very unhealthy trends which portend a future pregnant with the most undesirable consequences.  Physical assault on members of the Judiciary is a clear indication of the breakdown of the rule of law.  The oppressive presence of the Military, particularly in the North, continued steps to changethe demographic composition of the North and East and to alter the linguistic and cultural identity of the North and the East through State sponsored actions are clearly indicative of the Government implementing an agenda, the aims of which are to destroy multi ethnicity, multi-culturalism, pluralism and diversity and thereby suppress and subjugate the Tamil People who remain, and compel them to accept the status of inferior citizens which inevitably will have serious consequences.

Democracy, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law are clearly in jeopardy in Sri Lanka.  Political expediency takes precedence over all values and principles.  In the interests of Sri Lanka and all the peoples who live in Sri Lanka this situation should not continue.  The time has certainly come for all necessary appropriate action so as to ensure that Sri Lanka complies with its International commitments and obligations.

*STATEMENT  MADE BY MR. R SAMPANTHAN M.P., LEADER TAMIL NATIONAL ALLIANCE  AT THE THIRD ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE, 2013, LONDON, OF THE GLOBAL TAMIL FORUM IN COMMITTEE ROOM 14 AT THE UK PARLIAMENT ON WEDNESDAY, 27TH  FEBRUARY 2013

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    Dear Mr. Sampanthan

    You may have a lot of valid points regarding Sri Lanka’s situation.

    Unfortunately, the average Sri Lanka has no faith in your speeches about Democracy, Human Rights, Rule of Law, Values and Principles etc.

    Your unwavering support to blood thirsty, racist, facists of LTTE is still a fresh memory for all of us.

    Further, people believe TNA monkeys are now plottinng to ensure Sri Lanka fails using unforseen political methods.

    In the eyes of Sri Lankans TNA is a treacherous party. You need to rectify that image first. You need to show that you work for a better Sri Lanka for all. Not just to implement the agenda of the defunct LTTE using other means.

    Good luck anyway.

    Mr. Sumanthiran looks promising. I regret he was attracted to racial politics of TNA. He has the potantial to make all Sri Lankans proud.

    • 0
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      Ben and your sinhalayos live in blame culture, since 1948 30yrs peacful protest, 30 yrs violent protest. After 2009 did you learned anything, no never you will never learn. Go and see talk to the tamil people of north east, are they free people.

    • 0
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      Ben Hurling:
      As long as you live in Cloud Cuckoo Land you should not contribute your attempts at “history” to CT.
      To hear you tell it, Sampanthan and the Tamils were entirely to blame for what befell Sri Lanka since independence! The Sinhales chauvinists who lied and gave one undertaking after another which they consistently broke must have lived in another country!
      I know there are Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Aesop’s Fables and the Mahavamsa, but do you REALLY have to add your two cents worth to that mallung?

  • 0
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    Since the govt has revealed its racist intent it is in the interest of the minorities and all right thinking people to unite aginst these forces of evil.

    The govt cannot expect to unite the country by giving a free hand to such racist such as BBS / JHU / SR. The International Community and UN must be made aware of the racist policies of the Govt.

  • 0
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    Sampanthan

    You never condemned the LTTE atrocities when it was terrorizing the people in the country especially the Tamil people. You were a coward afraid to speak up for the people you claimed to represent. Instead you had the audacity to get up in the parliament and say the LTTE was the sole representative of the Tamils. How dare you talk about democracy and human rights. You should be charged for war crimes for supporting the murderous LTTE in the parliament. You back-stabbed Chandrika. You promised Chandrika you will support her package and then next morning you voted against it in the parliament. You refused to work together with all Sri Lankans and the political leaders of the country and instead turned your back against them and ran after foreigners carrying tales thereby destroying any trust or goodwill that was still remaining among the various communities. In that sense you betrayed not only Sri Lanka but the very Tamil people you claim to represent.

    Yes, when the war ended there was a good opportunity to chart a new course through genuine reconciliation and a political solution to the ethnic problem. But the opportunity was squandered away mainly due to your refusal to compromise and cooperate with the government. Because the continuation of racist politics is your vehicle to parliament. In this you and your impotent TNA are again taking the Tamil people and the country in the same destructive path. In fact after the war the people in the north and east had had enough of Eelam poltics and they wanted very much to enjoy the peace dividends and find a solution to their problems in a united Sri Lanka where all communities could live in harmony. But you – the petty politician that you are – didn’t encourage the Tamil people to take the conciliatory path they were seeking. Instead you are herding them down the confrontational road to disaster once again. That is why you keep saying your hackneyed Mantra “this demand of the Tamil people rested on two pillars; the Tamil People are a distinct people, with their own identity, own history, own culture, own language, from time immemorial, and have historically inhabited the North Eastern part of the country with the Tamil speaking Muslim people.”

    You are not a leader but a leech. You want to keep the beggar’s wound fresh so you can keep sucking the blood.

    You don’t want to see the problem solved.

    • 0
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      [Edited out], LTTE gone and finished. let the bastards rest in peace. Come to present situation, do you beleive tamils are free people in their own land. Why tamils started and supported all liberation move ments, because sinhala budhist fascism against tamils still continuing. Next time not arm struggle intervention from UN or INDIA. MARK MY WORD…

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        R.KOVIAN

        “Next time not arm struggle intervention from UN or INDIA. MARK MY WORD…”

        When did India stop interfering in this island?

        India’s 5th columns both the Tamils and Sinhalese never stopped destroying this island.

        Do you know the reason?

        Keep this to yourself.

        India always treated Sri Lanka as the Sinhala state of greater Bharat.

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      Ajay

      Sampanthan never uttered word against LTTE which is true. He was also a coward which is also true. He was a “prisoner of circumstances”.

      Lets see who else was coward.

      JR at difficult times said he was a “prisoner of circumstances”. He demonstrated cowardice not leadership.

      Another great living legend the great Tiger slayer in his previous incarnation as the human rights campaigner never uttered a word against JVP/DJV axis of evil. Both the campaigner and JVP/DJV are from the same Sinhala/Buddhist community.

      From your above analysis may I take it that there is no difference between Tamils and Sinhalese for both people are hypocrites, cowards and stupids.

      And don’t forget you are one of them.

      • 0
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        Hey Vedi* Boy:

        From your jungle hide-out (which is actually your mom’s basement – hey you must get out at least a couple of times a year)you have glimpsed only Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. What makes you think I’m one of them. Don’t make an ASS of yourself by ASSuming things. As Tisahamy once told Galaboda Kiriya an assuming Vedda is not worth his Amude.

        *Vedi – as in a tiny blast

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    LTTE is dead and buried.
    There is no use lambasting anyone about what LTTE did, and what they did,as fearful captives of the LTTE.
    Sambanthan has stated the truth of the prsent situation.
    The government stated lies in Geneva and those here know the truth.
    This is why the government is fearful of UN agents & NGOs visiting.
    The entire world knows the truth about the state of Democracy,Rule of Law & Human Rights.
    The government cant fool all nations & UN any longer.
    It is time to tell the truth and implement the LLRC recommendations fully.

  • 0
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    Sampanthan and his TNA have been making these statements over and over again but have stopped short of taking any other meaningful actions other than running to India and US seeking outside interference.

    This did not work in the past and will not work now or in the future.

    While Sampanthan and TNA are beating their breasts over these injustices and broken promises, ordinary Tamils are witnessing a steady encroachment of their traditional areas of habitation. Muslims have encroached on vast areas of state land in Batticaloa and Ampara districts and are now redrawing the demographic map in Eastern Province. Muslim Ministers like Hisbullah, Ameer Ali,and Athaullah are working to a planned program of establishing new settlements in the East. Muslims having captured power in the Eastern Province are now entrenched in power at the cost of Tamils. In the North, in the Mannar district in particulr, Minister Badiudeen has encroached on thousands acres of state lands and had settled Muslims coming from outside North East. Sunday Leader exposed his scheme to encroach on more state lands and this has been objected to not by Sampanthan and TNA but by Sinhala officials.

    Tamils are a defeated people. They should take a lesson from the defeated Germans and Japanese and learn how they made Germany and Japan as economic power houses. There is no use in calling for international criminal trials and investigations into war crimes.

    What TNA should do is to join the MR government and become partners in the ruling coalition. They need not lose their identity but like the Muslim Congress and Thondaman’s CWC join hands with the government of the day to win over their rights. Then only TNA can protect what is left in North East as the traditional habitat of Tamils.

    Like what LTTE commander Eilian has alleged to have told his wife, armed struggle of the Tamils not even to a zero position but to a minus position. Tamil leaders should at least now come forward to save whatever is left for the Tamils. Otherwise Tamils will lose even their geographic habitation.

    Tamil leaders should not treat Sinhalese as their enemies. In fact Tamils can be natural allies of Sinhalese given their cultural and religious affinity. In an atmosphere where Sinhalese are feeling threatened by the rise of Muslims, it is high time Tamils make a raproachment with the Sinhalese forgeting this foolish demand for Eelam.

  • 0
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    Mr Sampadhan,sorry to say your ‘principle and values of political line’ as similar as previous Tamil Political Leader of past intentionally that avoid to recognized Sri Lanka nation’s Sovereignty and Independence Territorial integrity and Democracy order.
    This is same political error occur by All Ceylon Tamil Congress(ACTC),Federal Party(FP), Tamil United Liberation Front(TULF), Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and LTTE and other terrorist-outfits followed by last 75 years.
    All Tamil Bourgeoisie class since before and after Independence, since 1948 that they denied principally to RECOGNIZED of Territorial Integrity of Ceylon and Sri Lanka.For replace of such Tamil bourgeoisie had been put forward the demand of alternative policy of “Federal State” then “Eelam’ for Sepereate State for Tamil speaking races in
    Sri Lanka.This is bluntly violation of nation territorial Integrity and so-called Balkanization of Island ,while that undermine Unity of all nationalities.
    Very simple fact is Tamil Bourgeoisie class political agenda is to be SPLIT SRI LANKA FOR TWO NATIONS;TAMILS AND SINHALESE ON BASIS OF RACISM.This is the truth behind all your political agenda of TNA, that Truth has been Distorted and cover up ‘Soulbury Constitution’… ‘1972 and 1978 Republic Constitution’.. ‘Authority Rule’ so-called ‘UN SG advice issue of accountbailty..'”LLRC Report “…”2012 March Human Rights Report”..”UN Human right”. By your speech of TNA politics reveal Sinister motive of in British’s Global Tamil Forum outright project of deterritoriliazation of master plan divide people of an Island in the favour VESTED interest of FEW HANDFUL TAMIL BOURGEOISIEand western hegemony.
    The authority and objective of GTF that rules govern by over the in-house process of Seperate State for Tamils in Sri Lanka.
    Your nature of class and consciousness Tamil Bourgeoisie are that repeating and practices OLD IMPERIALIST POLICIES of per-colonial era of Ceylon to surrender Sri Lanka-national sovergeity and laid foundation independence Tamil state by under the leadership of Tamil Bourgiosies politics, NORTH -EAST Sri Lanka.
    Mr Sampadhan,you have been, Well openly and cowardly, said that surrender sovernenity rights of Tamils People to the Past- colonial power,now run by USA head Hegemony and Indian Regional Expansionism.
    Your critic of against GOSL ,that People of Tamils come under Tamil STATE nothing, still by and large blaming ‘Authorities Rule’ and ‘colonisation of Sinhalese people’ policy opposed by TNA is nothing else to be restoration North-East part of Island ,that Colonial or Neo-colinial puppet state for vested interest handful of Tamils bourgoisei and WESTERN hegemony under name of ‘popular AUTONOMY’.
    What do you mean by ‘Majority Rule’,yes historically Sinhalese race is majority and Buddhism is dominated Religion of this island is not now even 2600 before, that is ground reality of evolutionary process of history of Island.History proven Buddhism came into Sri Lanka as a by product of Civilization of India but NOT from WEST.
    Mr Sapmathan… your entire speech that direct to Western power for asking for an INTERVENTION TO SOVEREIGNTY STATE BY MIGHTY POWER OF USA AND REGIONAL POWERS.
    Well,your ulterior motive is rediscover and REGAIN Tamil Bourgeoisie domination that in north-east parts of Sri Lanka RULE by HANDFUL OF INTEREST TAMIL -BOURGEOISIE CLASS alliances with Western powers.
    That will inevitable declining sovereignty of our nation state and increasing foreign power puppet state under the ‘popular autonomy’ in NORTH.
    TNA will be created another nocuous state for TAMILS PEOPLE IN NORTH.

  • 0
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    Naga,

    I agree the TNA should establish a working relationship with the governments in Sri Lanka. This should be for the benefit of the Tamils and not for the enrichment of the individuals in its fold. It should be also one step in the reconciliation process. However, this should not be a coalition against the Muslims as a people. Certain individuals who are Muslims are definitely upto mischief and this is resented by even Sinhala government officials. It will be interesting to find out who is behind the collection and transport of the war be rips steel from the Vanni? This profitable venture is comparable to the sand mining done by a Tamil minister in the north. In both cases there is a profit motive and government tolerance, if not connivance. On the question of land grabbing, the Muslims as a people cannot be blamed. Who will refuse land given gratis? There are also stories of Tamils who have grabbed a multiple of houses meant for the destitute refugees, with the connivance of Tamil government officials!

    Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

  • 0
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    Correction: — transport of war-debris steel— .

    Dr.RN

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    Dr RN

    We have come to a stage where drastic actions are needed to save what is left for the SL Tamils in Sri Lanka. Even a man like Anandasangari has become desparate. No other Tamil leaders are giving serious thought to the plight of the Tamils in the North East. They stop with speeches, media interviews and media statements.

    No UN resolutions and no external pressures from US or India are going to help the Tamils who are struggling to rebuild their lives after the disastrous war. Look at what this old bastard Karunanidhi is saying. He wants a UN referendum on Eelam. This old idiot does not realize that his speeches and actions are causig more grief to the Tamils living in Sri Lanka.

    If India votes for the US resolution at the UNHRC it will lose even the little leverage it has on MR.

    Look also at the demonstrations organised by the LTTE remanants in Geneva. The more the actions of the LTTE remants the more will be the backlash in Sri Lanka, particularly from the SL military stationed in North East.

    Read the article of DBS Jeyaraj appearing in his blog and in Daily Mirror. He very correctly says “The role and conduct of the LTTE and pro-LTTE elements within the Tamil Diaspora has played an extremely negative role in plunging the community into disaster. Yet these persons are now able to project themselves in a new image without feeling pangs of guilt or expressing any remorse for the past.” He call them as “Pasuthhol porthiya puli” which means the tiger covered in a cow’s skin or hide”.

    And now Sampanthan and TNA are dancing to the tune of these “Pasuthhol porthiya puli”. Priest Emmanuel (who is leading the Global Tamil Forum which organised the coference in London where Sampanthan made the above speech)is a “Pasuthhol porthiya puli”. How then can you expect MR to speak to Sampanthan and TNA again.

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      Naga,

      I agree with every word you have said. I read DBSJ’s article this morning and felt it was timely. I have also been advising the Tamil community in general and the TNA in particular to adopt a non-adversarial strategy, since the LTTE was defeated. I perceive most Tamils here think like me. However, the Tamil politicians fell back into their old habits and tactics. This has definitely backfired. Notwithstanding these problems, the TNA should get involved in the PSC process without any preconditions. Mahinda Rajpakse’s post-war stance has been clearly stated in the Wikileaked report, elsewhere in CT.
      This could be the starting point for the deliberations in the PSC. The TNA has nothing to lose by joining the PSC.

      Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

      • 0
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        “I perceive most Tamils here think like me.” – you , DBSJ, KARUNA, KP, ???

      • 0
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        Dr Narendran,
        Why do you think they’ve gone for an ill-advised, counter-productive, adversarial stance? Is it because of assurances from overseas Western & diaspora elements that this was the way to get what they wanted or have they simply misread the post-war scenario? And I’m fully aware of GoSL’s own, duplicitous nature!

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    Sampanthan and the TNA have, over and over again, declared they are prepared to work with the Rajapakse Govt. This needs no emphasis from those commentators in the Tamil side invariably identified as supporters of the regime – sans reservation. What the TNA/Sampanthan object to is being taken for a ride or for being part of time-serving exercises, in which Mahinda Rajapakse has an unenviable record. Surely Vitharna’s APRC, the Experts Committee and many other under this regime were all instruments calculated to deceive and waste time.

    If the NP PC elections come in Sept/October that will be largely as a result of strenuous and able efforts – both locally and nternationally- by TNA under Sampanthan and colleagues. Notwithstanding whatever the temporary differences the Tamil Nation suffers presently, it is their duty to see that TNA is returned in convincing majorities and in large numbers.

    Senguttuvan

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      Let us call the bluff once again on a forum that will be under the microscope from day one. The PSC process on the CJ, helped exposé the government for what it was becoming. Would MR risk such a calamity again? It is MR who is requesting the PSC process to evolve solutions. I will give him the benefit of doubt, a hundred times over, in the hope that there may be a satisfactory result. The story of Robert Bruce of Scotland that I learned as a child is yet etched in my memory.

      If MR is trying to take the TNA for a ride in the wrong direction, let them dismount, whenever they think it is time. However, the possibility of a ride in the right direction should not be missed. The truth, if we are ready to face it, is that there are no alternatives to taking this course. There is a profound proverb in Tamil. ” Arasanai nambi purushanai kaividaathey “, meaning, do not place faith in the king and abandon your husband. We have to deal with GOSLs irrespective of how difficult, arduous, disconcerting and frustrating the process is, hoping that there will be light at the end of the tunnel. Considering the post-war status of the Tamils, we have no other options left. If MR is a known devil, RW is also a known devil ( remember the fate of Chandrika Bandaranayke constitutional proposals and RWs stand at the last general elections). Is there anyone else in the horizon? Let us be realistic at least now and deal with whoever we have to deal with, in the interest of the Tamils and this country.

      Dr. Rajasingham Narendran.

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        “It is MR who is requesting the PSC process to evolve solutions…..” – It is MR who set up LLRC. What happened to that?

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        ” in the interest of the Tamils and this country” – In the interest of all MR and his team(1) should stop lying, (2) stop land grap, (3) stop sinhalease colonisation (4)…. (x) should tell the world how he is going to solve.

  • 0
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    ” Tamil politicians fell back into their old habits and tactics. “

    Who broke the pacts?
    What are you talking about?

    1957 Banda-Chelva pact – Regional Councils Unilaterally abrogated by GOSL
    1965 Dudley-Chelva pact – District Councils Unilaterally abrogated GOSL
    1970
    Proposals placed by the Tamil Federal Party
    (A federal form of government with an
    autonomous Tamil-Muslims state and three
    autonomous Sinhala states)
    Rejected by the GOSL
    1979 Presidential Commission to report on
    (creation of District Development Councils)
    This did not fulfi l the Tamils’ aspirations. Not intended to
    provide a different political or administrative structure for
    any particular part of the country
    1983
    All Party Conference (Proposals merely
    extended the scheme of decentralization at
    District level to the Provincial level with limited
    co-ordination)
    TULF rejected these proposals as it was not the originally
    formulated set of proposals, known as Annexure – C.
    1985 In Thimpu – The devolution proposal by Sri Lanka
    (District councils without executive power) Rejected by the Tamil representatives
    1985
    Thimpu (principle) proposal placed by Tamils
    (Homeland, Nationhood, Right to selfdetermination
    and equal rights )
    Rejected by the GOSL Talks collapsed because while
    the talks take place Sri Lanka renewed its military
    offensive in the NorthEast
    1986
    “19 December” proposal s by Indian envoys
    (Formation of a new Eastern Province by excising
    Sinhalese majority areas and the creation of
    two Tamil Provincial the reconstituted Eastern
    Province) Councils in the Northern and
    GOSL expressed reservations and eventually rejected
    this proposal.
    1987
    Indo-Lanka Accord (Provincial Councils) (North
    and Eastern Provinces were merged under this
    accord. 95% Tamils didn’t support this accord)
    After 18 years, the Sri Lanka Supreme Court rejected
    this merger 16 October 2006
    1989-1990
    Premadasa Talks (LTTE formed a political
    party-PFLT and prepared to contest in the
    elections)
    The holding of fresh elections in North East never took
    place. Prevented LTTE from demonstrating its support
    from the people in North East
    1992-1993
    Parliamentary Select Committee Reports
    (President D.B.Wijetunga said that there is no
    ‘ethnic problem’)
    Eyewash to International Community No progress was
    made
    1995
    Devolution Package (Refused to recognise the
    existence of the Tamil homeland, rejected an
    asymmetric approach, continued to treat all the
    provinces in the same way)
    Rejected by Buddhist Maha Sanga and other Sinhala
    political parties
    2003 ISGA proposal by LTTE (Interim Self-Governing
    Administration)
    Rejected by the GOSL and other extreme Sinhala political
    parties
    2005 Post Tsunami Operational Management
    Structure – PTOMS Rejected by the Sri Lanka Supreme Court
    2007 All Party Conference Sinhala political parities
    UNP, JVP, JHU strongly against its proposals
    Not ALL political parties invited to participate in its
    discussions. Tamil National Alliance, especially was kept
    away.

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      Anpu,

      Thanks for the lesson in history. I am well versed in this hitory and lived through it. Please now start proposing solutions. I think this would help us consider a variety of options. I shall look forward to hearing from you soon.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        There are two possible solutions which would ensure that Tamils will live as first class citizens in safety and dignity:
        1. Full autonomy to Tamil home lands of merged northern and eastern provinces within a united Srilanka, where the writ of the Tamil majority legislature will reign supreme over any Sinhala majority legislature in the country.
        If that is not possible,
        2. Independent Tamil Ealam.
        Having studied, worked and lived among the Sinhalese, 90% of them are not willing to concede sharing of any power or lands to the Tamils. They want to keep the Tamils suppressed and forced to accept whatever meager concessions that they are prepared to give. Now that they feel that they have won the war, they are in no mood to think about the rights or suffering of Tamils.
        International community was fooled to believe that LTTE is the root cause for the inability to reach a just solution and with their help LTTE was eliminated. Now the world is beginning to realize that Srilanka government is the culprit. Therefore it will not be too long for the world to take a firm stand and recognize that for a lasting peace, independent Tamil Ealam is the remedy.

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          Do you really think the whole world is so concerned about a roughly million people living in a tiny part of a tiny island that they will make it a priority in their “to do today” list over other items such as “have to buy milk”, “have to take the cat to the vet”, “have to do laundry”, “manicure for self”, “shoes for Ethan”, “buy wine”, “call Emma’s baby sitter” etc, etc.

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      ANPU

      I believe the ramifications of the following landmark events in Tamil politics should be also taken into account to understand our present predicament.

      1847
      Arumuka Navalar (1822-1879) leaves Jaffna Central School because of the admission of a low-caste (Nalavar) boy by Peter Percival. The Ceylon Observer laments the unhealthy climate and economic neglect of the the Eastern province.

      1871
      Caste clashes between Vellalar, dhobies and barbers in Mavittappuram, because the dhobies refuse to wash the barbers’ clothes. Vellalar are blamed for the conflagration. Arumuka Navalar founds the Caivap Pirapalanarc Capai.

      1890
      Sir P. Ramanathan claims in a controversial article that the Tamil speaking Muslims are Tamils which is fiercely rejected.

      1907
      In an article for a British publication P. Arunachalam defends the caste system as benevolent and necesssary.

      1918
      The Jaffna Association introduces the 50-50 representation formula for the Legislative Council in a memo.

      1929
      Start of the ‘Equal-seating’ controversy: After a directive by the administration that in grant-aided schools low-casste children have to be allowed to sit on benches instead on the floor or outside on the ground virulent protests erupt from the Vellalar. Low-caste children are assaulted and their houses burnt down. The low-caste parents are afraid to send their children to school.

      1930
      In a petition to the government Vellalar from Urelu, Vasavilan and Punalakkattavan demand to rescind the equal-seating directive.

      1931
      The Donoughmore constitution introduces universal suffrage and territorial representation against the spirited protests of the Tamils. The Jaffna Youth Congress demands a boycott of the constitution and the elections, since they do not confer dominion status on Ceylon. Caste clashes in Canganai where Pallar are attacked by Vellalar for hiring drummers for a funeral. Nehru visits Jaffna and is warmly greeted by the Jaffna Youth Congress.

      1933
      G.G. Ponnambalam denounces the boycott. In articles in Ilakecari the Jaffna Youth Congress now agrees to end the boycott. Sesveral pamphlets denouncing democracy and voting rights for low castes and women demand a federation between India and Ceylon to safeguard group representation under the umbrella of the British Raj.

      1939
      In his famous ‘nine-hour-speech’ Ponnambalam defends the concept of 50-50 representation: 50% for the Sinhalese, 50% for ALL minorities. Ilakecari praises the formerly vilified P. Ramanathan for his yeoman service for the Tamils and denounces G.G. Ponnambalam as a ‘Colombo Tamil’. Jaffna Youth Congress leader K. Balasingham calls for a federation with India to safeguard democratic principles.

      1948
      In l948/49 ‘The Ceylon Citizenship Act’, ‘The Indian and Pakistani Residents (Citizenship) Act’ and the ‘Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Act’ were passed in quick succession. These acts first made the overwhelming bulk of Indian arrivals during the British period non-citizens, then defined impossible conditions for citizenship, and finally imposed the very reasonable condition that a voter must be a citizen. It represented a sleight of hand revealing its conspiratorial character. The three acts, seemingly defensible when looked at singly, in sum produced something momentously unjust and indefensible.

      These bills were stoutly and very logically opposed by Sinhalese on the Left, who pointed out that speeches from the government benches were reflective of some of the worst and paranoid traditions of racism. The second of these bills was passed 52 for and 32 against. The Ayes included nearly all Ceylon Tamils (among the few exceptions being S.J.V.Chelvanayagam and C.Vanniasingam), and all Muslims, among the minority MPs.

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    Anpu – Tks for the useful record. Should you not update it with Tissa Vitharna’s APRC and the other red herrings during our current friend’s
    watch.

    Senguttuvan

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      Tx Senguttuvan. Dr RN Should stop blaming TAMILS, TNA leaders and the leaders before that. I am not saying that he should blame Sinhalease people. He should blame the Sinhalease Leaders – both UNP & SLFP leaders and now the leaders from the LEFT as well – there are exceptions.

      LTTE is the creation of these Sinhalease leaders.

      sangam.org/2012/03/TNA_BrokenPromises.php

      2.2. Even before the conclusion of the war, at the inaugural meeting of the All Party Representatives Committee (APRC) and its multi-ethnic Experts Committee appointed by the President to assist the APRC, on 11 July 2006, the President enunciated his vision for constitutional change, stating:
      “People in their own localities must take charge of their destiny and control their politico-economic environment. Central decision-making that allocates disproportionate resources has been an issue for a considerable time. In addition, it is axiomatic that devolution also needs to address issues relating to identity as well as security and socio-economic advancement, without overreliance on the centre … In sum, any solution needs to as a matter of urgency devolve power for people to take charge of their own destiny. This has been tried out successfully in many parts of the world. There are many examples from around the world that we may study as we evolve a truly Sri Lankan constitutional framework including our immediate neighbour, India … Any solution must be seen as one that stretches to the maximum possible devolution without sacrificing the sovereignty of the country given the background of the conflict.”
      2.3. In confirmation of the above, President Rajapaksa gave the visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, in November 2006, details of the work being done by the APRC and the multi-ethnic group of experts to provide a framework for the resolution of the ethnic problem.

      2.4. The multi-ethnic experts committee – appointed by the President – through a majority report made its proposals to the APRC. The deliberations of the APRC, which was set up in July 2006, were repeatedly held out by the Government of Sri Lanka as the mechanism by which a political settlement would be achieved. The APRC met 128 times for almost three years. But its final report has not even been made public. Significantly, however, the TNA was not invited to the APRC and did not participate in its deliberations.
      ………

      2.11. Consequent to the government’s lack of response, at a meeting held on 2 September 2011, between the President and the Leader of the TNA, it was agreed that a number of past proposals for constitutional reform, including the Mangala Moonesinghe Select Committee Report, the 1995, 1997 and 2000 Proposals for constitutional reform and the majority Report of the multi-ethnic APRC experts committee appointed by the President, be brought into the negotiation process.

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        Anpu,

        I also condemn the Sinhala leaders of the past and present for their acts of commision, omission, meanness, beastliness and more. Would this provide solutions? The experiences, should caution us, but not become permanent barriers to a dialogue, regarless of whether they will be productive or unproductive. Raja , above has given his alternative positions, both of which are untenable. What are your recommendations to break out of the current impasse?

        Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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            Anpu,

            In two words, your solution is external intervention. What form should this take? Invasion, sanctions, blockade , forced regime change, or something of this kind, are possibilities. Which is your choice? How will any of these play out in the short, medium and long term? Finally, will any of these or all combined help the Tamils? Would Tamil Eelam be created as a result? If not, what is the outcome you are expecting?

            Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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            Dr RN
            “It is now time for the government to listen to its critics and attempt to constructively engage with them.
            Sir Winston Churchill once said: “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
            The Sri Lankan Government has spoken. It will perhaps do well to consider whether it is now the time to sit down and listen.”

            http://tnapolitics.org/?p=1578

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    Dear Mr.Sampanthan,

    Whenever you talk about the Tamil’s political issue and what they have undergone, all these people who wanted Tamils as slave of this Country, will always talk about “how bad LTTE” was. Because, that is the only carpet they could hide under.

    Tamils were tortured, killed and their properties were killed even before LTTE era, and it is continuing even after LTTE era.

    They always thought they could do anything, against humanity and international law, against Tamils, whenever they wanted. And for a long time they could manage to convince the international community that all those were wrong propaganda.

    Many lacked basic civilization to understand major inhumanity like common punishment, which was very common in North east during the war.

    I hear still people talking about Tamils in Srilanka have no problem and it is TNA and Tamil Diaspora which is making unwanted and false allegation against Srilankan Government. They badly lack sense of commonsense why TNA got so much of support even after GOSL trying to block many Tamil voters from North East. Specially from war affected area.

    After decades long struggle, Tamils could manage to change the table by knocking the world door who started listening to our side of stories. Things might not change over night but criminals will be on the run and no will have the power to control the proof and truth coming out.

    Still GOSL and like minded people have the time to get civilized and reset their criminal mind (with decade old experience we know there is hardly any chance for it), or else accept the solution which would be thrust upon.

    They are no more decision makers any more.

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      T.Gnanam

      Do you think it is fair for 12% (with half of it outside the island) of the population to ask for 1/3 of the land and 5/6th of the coast?

      Is this the problem you are talking about?

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        It is simple – It belongs to the people who lived in that area.

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          IF SO IT WAS A HISTORICAL LAND GRAB WHEN THERE WAS NO CONCEPT OF HUMAN RIGHTS OR DEMOCRACY, AND NO UN OR GENEVA.

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          Anpu

          “It is simple – It belongs to the people who lived in that area”

          Which people the indigenous or descendants of both Sinhala/Tamil Kallathonies?

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        Rambler,
        First tell me how we arrived at this 12 % and then the reason for “with half of it outside the island”
        Tx

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          Anpu

          By our own selfish, confrontational and suicidal politics!

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            Rambler – your answer is very very brief.
            Where is the confrontation, selfishness and suicidal in this?

            1948 The Citizenship Act disenfranchising Indian Tamil Plantation workers was passed in Parliament. One million 3rd generation plantation workers had been living in the island for over 115 years. They were brought to the island by the British from South India to work in Tea and Rubber plantations in the hill country. 100,000 plantation Tamils were victimised.

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    Mr. Sambandan. once again your article is to plead, prod and mislead the innocent tamils’ and the american and european community and nothing but a propaganda to the masters of the diaspora.
    For a man who kept virtually mum during the reign of terror of VP and LTTE you have no moral right to clamour now for the innocents tamil citizens. In my opinion, you and your organisation is one of the root causes for the plight of the tamils’ who are left back in this country( try getting down at least 30% of those who are now domiciled in foreign countries to come and settle down with their wealth and expertise and contribute to the welfare of the tamil brothren.You will know the real tamils’ in your folk)
    Had you and your couterie of politicians the guts to stand up and speak against the LTTE and the former leaders of the Country and put into action a peaceful and forceful dialogue, all the money and human lives lost in the during the last 15/20 years could have built a stronger North politically and administratively to usher a peaceful co-existence with the South.
    But, you who were playing hide and seek and using the benefits of the Americans’and Europeans’ who were mislead right from the start, has only made rich and famous of those of your tamils’ of your higher caste and class.You have achieved your EElam goal were caste and creed is concerned. It is the so called lower caste who are now left to face the consequences. Never was there a sincere notion in you heart or mine for the innocent tamils’
    Let me take leave of you with the words of Malcolm X…. ” If you don’t stand up something you will fall foe anything”

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    Mr. Sambandan. once again your article is to plead, prod and mislead the innocent tamils’ and the american and european community and nothing but a propaganda to the masters of the diaspora.
    For a man who kept virtually mum during the reign of terror of VP and LTTE you have no moral right to clamour now for the innocents tamil citizens. In my opinion, you and your organisation is one of the root causes for the plight of the tamils’ who are left back in this country( try getting down at least 30% of those who are now domiciled in foreign countries to come and settle down with their wealth and expertise and contribute to the welfare of the tamil brothren.You will know the real tamils’ in your folk)
    Had you and your couterie of politicians the guts to stand up and speak against the LTTE and the former leaders of the Country and put into action a peaceful and forceful dialogue, all the money and human lives lost in the during the last 15/20 years could have built a stronger North politically and administratively to usher a peaceful co-existence with the South.
    But, you who were playing hide and seek and using the benefits of the Americans’and Europeans’ who were mislead right from the start, has only made rich and famous of those of your tamils’ of your higher caste and class.You have achieved your EElam goal were caste and creed is concerned. It is the so called lower caste who are now left to face the consequences. Never was there a sincere notion in you heart or mind for the innocent tamils’
    Let me take leave of you with the words of Malcolm X…. ” If you don’t stand up something you will fall foe anything”

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    0

    Mr. Sambandan. once again your article is to plead, prod and mislead the innocent tamils’ and the american and european community and nothing but a propaganda to the masters of the diaspora.
    For a man who kept virtually mum during the reign of terror of VP and LTTE you have no moral right to clamour now for the innocents tamil citizens. In my opinion, you and your organisation is one of the root causes for the plight of the tamils’ who are left back in this country( try getting down at least 30% of those who are now domiciled in foreign countries to come and settle down with their wealth and expertise and contribute to the welfare of the tamil brothren.You will know the real tamils’ in your folk)
    Had you and your couterie of politicians the guts to stand up and speak against the LTTE and the former leaders of the Country and put into action a peaceful and forceful dialogue, all the money and human lives lost in the during the last 15/20 years could have built a stronger North politically and administratively to usher a peaceful co-existence with the South.
    But, you who were playing hide and seek and using the benefits of the Americans’and Europeans’ who were mislead right from the start, has only made rich and famous of those of your tamils’ of your higher caste and class.You have achieved your EElam goal were caste and creed is concerned. It is the so called lower caste who are now left to face the consequences. Never was there a sincere notion in you heart or mind for the innocent tamils’
    Let me take leave of you with the words of Malcolm X…. ” If you don’t stand up something you will fall for anything”

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