20 September, 2018

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The Weight Of Past Choices

By Rajan Hoole

Dr. Rajan Hoole

Dr. Rajan Hoole

Tamils & The Political Culture Of Auto-Genocide –XIV

The LTTE can today be indifferent to the wishes of the Tamil people and even to views of the Tamil expatriates, since it has acquired an influential stake in the global underworld. Equally, it is a prisoner of these connections that at times make the Sri Lankan State look small. Indeed, it is conceivable that the big powers would decide that the best way to tackle the LTTE is to carve out a separate Tamil state, pamper the leaders with aid, and make Ealam a safe pro-Western Third World oligarchy. The price would be for the leaders to ease themselves out of global criminal networks, which make the control exercised by big powers more uncertain, even if they sometimes use these networks. Is this practicable? India has apparently ruled out such a possibility by reiterating its commitment to the unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

The rights of people in an LTTE dominated polity would count for little with big powers. But they would be concerned about a sovereign state that becomes a legal hub for the world’s most devious criminal networks. The style of the LTTE leadership, along with its record of assassinating South Asian leaders, is unpromising. In 1995 the French Government, after consultation with the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government, nominated a facilitator for talks between them. The LTTE shut the door, advancing the total lie that the French nominee was a friend of Mrs. Kumaratunge’s. No party to successful negotiations can conduct its diplomacy in this manner.

The logic of past choices and institutional realities would force the LTTE to make increasingly oppressive demands on the people it controls. It would further try to compensate its inherent military weakness by raising the technological stakes through its criminal networks and allies with links to defence concerns. The LTTE had long since created social conditions to turn out zombies for its war machine. However, the organisation will be haunted by its record of murder in more than a metaphorical sense. The following incident was related by M, an LTTE supporter with several close contacts in its intelligence wing.

Prabhakaran B Colombo TelegraphDuring about the late 1980s, the LTTE had a jungle camp in Alampil, Mullaitvu District. Nearby was a spot where the LTTE murdered and buried a large number of TELO men. The sentries doing night duty started having abnormal experiences. They heard noises from the kitchen, of people mixing tea and talking. What was worse, sometimes relief sentries arrived and sent away the ones on duty. Later they were dumbfounded to discover that the place had been left unguarded.

These experiences caused much perplexity in the camp and the matter was referred to the Leader, who had his main base nearby. The Leader sent his personal trouble-shooter Sornam to clear up the matter. Sornam went to the camp, sent the other sentries inside, and armed with an RPG (rocket-propelled-grenade), took up his position alone as night sentry. Sure enough, he saw a relief guard walking towards him, who paid no heed to his expostulations. Sornam fired at the object without any effect, and only then realised that it was an apparition. Though Sornam failed to disentangle the enigma, he earned himself an entry in the Guinness Book of Records as the first person to fire an RPG at a ghost. The Leader solved the problem by ordering the camp shifted.

The mature people living under the LTTE see enough not to want to go near it. M belonged to the intelligence wing of the LTTE in the early 1990s. M’s neighbours in Jaffna realised that another spy was tailing Spy M. M’s father was once seen at the entrance to his home peering anxiously in both directions. M then came out and went away surreptitiously. A few days later M’s dead body was brought home. It was said that M had died in the military operation at Pooneryn. The neighbours gathered around. One neighbour felt around the body, adjusting its position. He withdrew from the coffin, and nudging another neighbour, whispered, “They said he died facing the Army in battle, but the injury is at the back, at the very spot, just above the neck!

General Kobbekaduwe died from an explosion in 1992, and the LTTE media published photographs of an award ceremony. The Leader gave one LTTEer an award for supposedly having planted the mine that caused the explosion and another, for having made the mine. The photograph of the second became immediately the subject of public speculation. The recipient’s head was bowed down, as though accepting the award very reluctantly. The same photograph showed the Leader, his eyes blazing at the recipient, barely controlling his rage. The people kept their ears open for developments. Less than a week later, they learnt that the reluctant recipient had died a ‘heroic death’ during a skirmish at Elephant Pass.

An early description of the organisation came from a member who left it in 1985: “Many who look at the LTTE from outside take it to be a golden egg. In reality, however, it is a rotten egg, that will one day break. Its nauseating stink will permeate the far corners of the globe.”

How did a well-educated society holding out promise of better things give birth to a monstrosity that is beyond morality and beyond shame? Agonising over this question for two decades has debilitated the more sensitive Tamils in body and mind, and stolen the best of their years. A dissident reflecting on the fate of Tamil society penned the following words:

“Fear of fascists seems to be a dominant emotion going far beyond even parental or fraternal love. Friendship has become ephemeral. Friend forgets a friend who is murdered. I have seen fathers being forgotten by children and even two wives becoming mistresses of the same killer of their husbands. Lack of devotion even to the inner family makes me wonder what happened to Tamil society which once boasted of its strong family unit. Is it that their earlier devotion to family was no more than manifestly egoistic? How could someone who loves his family at the least not be kind to another man or, in the extreme, not be unkind to him? This is a riddle for me that does not get sorted out easily. Yet I could safely say something – the Tamils have themselves become more rotten inside than being eroded from outside. The Sinhalese for their original sin, have become the scapegoats for every wickedness committed under the guise of liberation.”

The dissident added, “The only way the community can redeem itself is by developing a social detestation of murder – any murder. I hate this man who has hijacked our destiny not because of something he did to my father, sister or my son. But I hate him with all my heart for the crimes he committed on ordinary people, ordinary boys and girls. If I start by saying that I am concerned only if a calamity overtakes members of my family, I will in time lose even that sympathy for my family as has happened to the majority, particularly to educated members of this community.”

Seldom in history has a handful of individuals been able to commandeer the life of a community, extinguish its healthier impulses and mould it into a dreadful machine of destruction. The TULF’s nationalism, which in the 1970s branded its parliamentary rivals traitors, placed the Tamils on that road culminating in the LTTE – its nemesis. But confirmation that it was a fundamental flaw in Jaffna society that helped the Tiger phenomenon to get away with its crimes, came as it were from the horse’s mouth – from the LTTE spokesman Anton Balasingam. His longevity owes a good deal to his never letting the boss suspect that he has an ego.

In 1995, just before the LTTE pulled out of Jaffna, Balasingam was met by an Indian journalist, an old acquaintance from Madras days. Balasingam reminded him of the closed meeting in Madras in 1984, where Nithyananthan, a lecturer from the University of Jaffna, told an audience including that reporter his reasons for leaving the LTTE. Nithyananthan spoke of the LTTE’s theoretical vacuum and absence of any practical understanding of the needs and aspirations of other Tamil-speaking minorities – the Muslims and Plantation Tamils. Balasingam told the journalist, “When you go back to Madras, tell Nithyananthan that we still don’t understand the Jaffna Tamils!” That was Balasingam’s sarcastic assessment of a people who accepted being manipulated so cynically.

Balasingam has been the source of the most discerning words about the LTTE. A regular drinking companion told Balasingam his disappointment over the LTTE breaking off talks in 1995 with the government of President Kumaratunga and resuming war. Balasingam told him, “Now look! There is a jungle, and a Tiger in the jungle. Tell me, who are its friends?

Balasingam’s shrewd remarks are a damning judgement on a community that thought highly of its culture and education. There have been struggles conducted by seemingly less sophisticated communities that one could learn a great deal from. In the Nicaraguan and Palestinian struggles for example there were genuine people’s institutions, alliances bringing together different civil and religious groups and structures for discussion, evaluation and ironing out differences. Power was dispersed. One may disagree with the use of violence, but in these struggles, the limits of violence were recognised and violence was admitted only as a transient necessity.

It is instructive to look at what Nelson Mandela said recently at the Independent Newspapers Annual Lecture at Trinity College, Dublin (Island 3rd May 2000):

“….if the defeat of the apartheid regime was mainly the work of the liberation movement, led by the ANC and supported by the international community, our transition to democracy was the work of all South Africans, from all communities and political persuasions…

“Indeed within the ranks of the ANC the negotiation process was hotly debated from its very beginning, even though the organisation had been striving for more than a century to sit and talk with the government….

“Rather than wait for a destructive war to run its course and only then begin to talk, we chose to talk before our country’s infrastructure was destroyed and before more innocent civilians were slaughtered…”

How different in spirit and substance from the LTTE’s struggle? Pluralism in every aspect of life was never lost sight of. There was no question of banning the other parties as traitors and passing death sentences on them. Whatever the temporary differences, everyone was treated as having the potential to contribute to the well- being of the South African nation. Who would be left in Tamil Eelam to even contemplate a transition to democracy?

Although the LTTE has long made headlines, a future historian trying to study it will find nothing that ennobles the spirit of man. Its programme, he would find, was absurdly simple – violence, unrestrained and primordial. One may set it down as follows:

  • There shall be only one movement and one leader.
  • If anyone disagrees, kill.
  • Create as much insecurity as possible all round. Those who escape from the land will be providers of resources and those who remain have little choice but to serve the Movement.
  • Negotiate only for absolute surrender. If there is strong pressure for a compromise, queer the pitch by a sensational act of violence.
  • People are only for recruitment alive and for propaganda as corpses. They are not to be trusted. The crucial links of the Movement shall be mafia-type connections with arms merchants and trans-national criminal networks.

It is so simple and yet one hesitates to accept simplicity. Its success owes much to the complacency of the Sri Lankan State and the global community. We began with the degradation betokened by the elite of a community who, if not justifying, have not protested audibly over the use of children as soldiers. Grand collections abroad for the LTTE’s coffers have been compared with ritual blood sacrifice – paying the high priest and his company in return for blessings accruing to the donors. This too is not new in the story of man.

The ancient world of the Levant or West Asia of the 8th to 6th centuries BC, was a place of upheavals and displacement, which radically altered the ethnography of the region. Many of the smaller kingdoms of the preceding period had become debased and the excesses of the ruling classes knew no bounds, so that these societies were ripe with discontent. Into this political vacuum stormed the empires of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon and Persia, in a bid to give the region the stability of the whip and chain. To protect their interests the ruling classes in the smaller kingdoms were driven to seeking alliances and counter-alliances in an attempt to ward off the inevitable consequences of moral decay. The poignancy of those times has been preserved for us in the words of heart-broken witnesses:

…. they offered their sons and their daughters unto devils; And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters: whom they offered unto the idols of Canaan; and the land was defiled with blood.” (Psalm 106: 36-37 and Ezekiel 23: 37-39.)

*To be continued..

*From Rajan Hoole‘s “Sri Lanka: Arrogance of Power – Myth, Decadence and Murder”. Thanks to Rajan for giving us permission to republish. To read earlier parts click here

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Latest comments

  • 4
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    Rajan Hoole –

    RE: The Weight Of Past Choices

    RE: Tamils & The Political Culture Of Auto-Genocide –XIV

    That is what happens to those who follow devils, Satans, Inlis, Lucifer and Mara.

    Auto-Destruction.

    Velupillai Prabakaran and his followers are no exception.

    Isn’t it is the Bible and the Quran? Even Buddhism warns against it.

    Reason for suffering is desire ( for Eelam)

    They made others to suffer as well.

  • 22
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    Let me hope that all readers keep in mind that this is the chapter of a book written fourteen years ago, when it was far from certain that the LTTE would be decimated. We are better off without them, but we must understand that all of them were human beings, and it would have been so much more desirable had the conditions that led to their emergence as terrorists not got created.

    Rajan Hoole’s admirable life has almost run its course – although I do wish him another good twenty years of retirement, and even more that he may see the positive results brought about by being for so long a vagabond in the Sinhalese areas of the country. More than all others it is surely the Tamil people of the country who should be grateful to him.

    But as a Sinhalese, may I urge the people in the South to be ever mindful of how much people like him suffered; not all Tamils were Tigers!

  • 4
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    People like Hoole instead of criticising liberators should focus condition for creation of LTTE. State terrorism from 1956. Intellectual [Edited out] like Hoole will never do it. They intellectual [Edited out] for state power. Hundreds of intellectuals who narrowly escaped ponogram of July 83 were amongst the liberators who perished aided and abbeted by intellectual [Edited out] of the likes of Hooles.

    • 13
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      Raja,If you read carefully you’ll see that Dr.Hoole is Talking about people like you who has no conscience or any morality. Even if there were conditions created by state terrorism LTTE was not behaving like a liberator but like an oppressive invader and educated poeple of the community complied with their silence and that is what Dr.Hoole is trying to point out.

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        When you want to fight state terrorism when the non violent methods of SJV Selvanayagam upto Amirthalingam failed educated people knew only aggressive invader type methods of LTTE will work. It would have worked if not for 9/11 and Bush.
        Sad part is educated Sinhalese are were silent when state terrorism was killing Tamils from 1956. They are silent even in yahapalana when Army is refusing to release thousand of acres of Tamil peoples land while owners live paupers life. When innocent are in jail while Karuna who killed 600 police men is free. They are not moved by thousands of Tamils are searching for their loved ones. Last month family of six was released with the threat that should they tell any one where they were held, they will be killed.
        Are you saying that there are no educated people amongst Sinhalese to speak out against the STATE terrorism.
        I am for a peaceful non violent Sri Lanka. If the sinhala people are willing to send power hungry politicians of theirs who use communalism to get to power

    • 10
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      Dear Raja,

      This has become the second time that I’m having to tick you off. We are on this 4.5 billion year planet for less than a hundred years each; don’t you think it a sensible thing for you and me and Hoole to work out how we can co-exist peacefully for that period of time, and be happy for fifty years each? We know not where we came from, and we have no idea what happens to our souls or minds after we die; my own strong conviction is that they cease to exist. If we live on, it will be through our children and grandchildren: I have two of each. Hoole has none. What he is still doing, heroically, is for them – and for your descendants, if you have any.

      As a Sinhalese, I have conceded that I, too, am to blame, for causing the LTTE to come in to existence; but you merely copy my phrase to lambaste Hoole with obscenities which CT has to edit out. Must you cause unnecessary controversy, and risk creating a backlash in the South, by repeatedly calling the LTTE, “liberators”? I have rejected the “State Word” for them – “terrorists” – and insisted that each of them was a human being, until we drove them to desperation. Is that not enough? Tell me what else you want me to parrot; I shall seriously consider doing what you want me to – if it seems reasonable.

      Why don’t we all learn the lessons of History, instead of re-living it? Please ponder the question, and let me have your response, please.

      • 10
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        Sinhala_Man,

        Thank you.

        I also disliked the word “liberators”.

        In my opinion there were different kinds of oppressors and no liberators. The state, the various Tamil groups, the IPKF and the International Community managed to create a real mess from which we are now trying to recover.

        • 5
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          Absolutely!

          But why do you call yourself “Inspector Dirty Hari”, when the sentiments you voice are so unexceptionable?

      • 2
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        Sinhala man
        I am for a peaceful Sri Lanka. But are you. Read my comment for previous comment. If you Sinhalese are willing to come out and make a protest march against atrocities still being perpetrated on Tamils some which I have enumerated by state terrorism, All the Tamils are willing.
        The way state terrorism operates even now and supported by silence of people like you and Hoole(gan), you are preparing the ground for another LTTE like organisation.You do not seem to be accepting the blame sincerely.
        Instead of talking about LTTE, if you and Hoole can talk against the atrocities being continued to be committed against Tamils by State terrorism and make can impact, we can live happily for ever.

        You want to live happily when thousands of peoples lands are robbed and state terrorist army is building luxury resorts for sinhala people enjoy on those robbed land.

  • 3
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    What is even more facinating is the wests stand on the war after all these revelations as to what the LTTE was like.

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      NAK,

      “What is even more facinating is the wests stand on the war after all these revelations as to what the LTTE was like.”

      I don’t think that the masses in the West knew about the details of what happened in Sri Lanka.

      The decision makers, diplomats, NGOs etc must have known but did not care.

      Fascinating indeed. Thank you.

  • 0
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    what has LTTE done to this maniac?

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      Dear Raja,

      I am very definitely for a peaceful Sri Lanka, and I certainly have done my share of protest marching – and more. Obviously, I’m not a “professional protester”, there are other things I do in life, including intervening when people were being lynched for being “Tamil”. However, I have my own life to lead. I have clearly stated that it is not only Tamils who are responsible for this mess. Please READ what I have written. I have NOT been silent; again, the proof is that I have stuck my neck out, and a few racist Sinhalese are angry with me for it, and a few unintelligent Tamils (you are one, I’m afraid) think I do it because I’m a fool.

      You speak of 1956: what could I have done then? I was little more than an infant. All you seem to do is to blame everybody (including Tamils like Hoole) for everything. And, please be so civil as not to insult people: why do you have to write “Hoole(gan)”? Do you get some perverse delight in being nasty to people?

      I have no first-hand knowledge of the current suffering of Tamils, or for that matter, of the atrocities during the war; but I have studied enough writing and visuals to be certain that there were such atrocities.

      I’m not going to pronounce on the subject of who was worse, but I do know that the LTTE were a nasty lot – as far as I’m concerned. I have no problem if you admire them, or even say you admire them, but please count me out of your audience.

      Lastly, I have problems of my own in living my life; and there are many Sinhalese who are poorer than me and have many problems. All human beings have problems, which cease only when they die. Before that death comes along, I will be as happy as I can. While I’m typing this, I’m listening to some wonderful Schubert music that I have downloaded on to a pen drive. Do you think that I should be in sack cloth and mourning all the rest of my life?

      I’ve written enough. I’ve said that I’d do your bidding “if it seems reasonable”. I don’t think that there’s much point in further inter-action with you, since you continue to argue from set positions. I wish you and your family well.

      Yours sincerely,

      Sinhala_Man

      • 13
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        Sinhala Man
        Thank you for a sensible output,
        There is no purpose in trying to drive sense into minds that are configured with a peculiar devious trait.

    • 0
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      Who is the “maniac”?

      Nobody has understood you, therefore thumb neither up, nor down!

      • 0
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        It is very clear to see that the articles in the Colombo Telegraph in the recent past carrying the photograph of LTTE leader V. Pirabakaran. These photos and the articles are almost always with either the leader was in swimming pool or discussing about caste system under LTTE leadership. There is no doubt that the articles written deliberately to defame the leader of LTTE. There is no need for me explain who writes these articles.
        It sounds to me that the LITE is not any more since 2009 but the articles appearing out of proportion or EXCESSIVE and unnecessary.
        I really feel that LTTE must have done something for ” Maniac ” to write article as such for no reason.
        Unfortunately, though I do not want to go into detail of what has been happening in the recent past with regard to Tamils problem in Srilanka, Tamils do not have any hope of their future in Srilanka.
        There are so many reasons for that. It is just a matter of time for the existence of Tamil culture and the language in Srilanka while the vested parties buying time in order to expedite the process. There is one Srilankan soldier for every 5 Tamils in North and East of Srilanka. It is not going to get better. The opportunists work very closely with the interested parties because of their mere survival and political benefits.

        ONE THING IS CLEAR IRRESPECTIVE OF WHAT IS WRITTEN IN CT BY Dr HOOLE.
        MANY MILLIONS STILL WOULD LIKE VP BACK!!!.
        It would be pointless to discuss or argue what is right or wrong during LTTE era. Have done so many times.
        but sadly for Tamils , 2009 is the end of their hope.
        Further I just regret why I bothered to read that article. I wish I had been one of those many not to read and react such articles.

        • 2
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          sinhala friend,

          “I really feel that LTTE must have done something for ” Maniac ” to write article as such for no reason.”

          For no reason? How about trying to show the truth?

          If you fail to understand that the LTTE caused enormous suffering for countless people there is something wrong with you.

          Please deny what Dr Rajan and others have written if you can. I know that you are unable to do that.

          I repeat that the LTTE was not the only one to blame.

          Feel free to continue in denial.

          • 3
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            Inspector Dirty Harry,

            Denial of the previous suffering helped me to be alive today.
            1957 , I was 6 months , survived the grenade thrown through the window by sinhalese mobs in Colombo. Refugee – travelled to Jaffna few days in a cargo ship in my Mums hand. Sea sickness and suffering ! my mum still remind me her suffering . That was the beginning, since then seen so many, including shelling my house in Jaffna. Burning the shops in Jaffan town library etc. As a young boy studying for university entrance , sometimes I wondered why cant we fight with out knowing the LTTE was already in embryo stage. Finally 1983 before the riots ( you mentioned the enormous suffering caused by LTTE, makes me laugh, put that in to context and see if you can digest) , I was in Peradeniya campus – Every room was searched to receive the humiliating assault)by my SINHALA FRIENDS.
            Denial and selfishness, helped me to run away from there. My many friends joined the LTTE.
            Guilty and denial keeps me going!
            you mentioned LTTE is not the only one to blame, Others too. This is the game being played by many to buy time for the eradication of Tamils in Srilanka. TRY TO BURY THE CRIME AND GENOCIDE COMMITTED BY ……..?? while magnifying the LTTEs activities as wrong doing!
            I would give an example , many years ago,UNESCO agent visited North and east of Srilanka as a fact finding mission to help children. All he found was the LTTE recruiting the children while buring the many other issues with regard to childern.
            This is not new, the lies by many Srilankan news papers and the politicians etc.
            DENIAL HELPED ME TO BE FRIEND WITH SINHALESE- HENCE THE SINHALA FRIEND

            • 1
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              sinhala friend,

              “while magnifying the LTTEs activities as wrong doing!”

              I repeat that the LTTE and the others caused immense suffering.

              I am not magnifying anything.

              You seem to forget Tamil on Tamil violence or even want to deny it or justify it. Why?

              Were the activities of the LTTE not wrong while all the others were doing bad things? A bit one sided.

            • 3
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              So, you were assaulted by Sinhala Friends in Peradeniya University – in which hall? Did it not all begin in the Science Faculty canteen when you were watching the Tamil film on a Wednesday? Perhaps it was on the 11th of March 1983 – a dress rehearsal for what followed in July.

              Do you know that it was inquired in to by a Committee of Three, headed by Kenneth de Lanerolle, with a man with a name like Karl Naidoo also on it. They held that a fellow named Thulsi Wickremasinghe was responsible, and wanted him punished.

              We got you back in to the University by about May 1983, didn’t we. The Sinhalese and Muslims in the Engineering Faculty were outstanding, and boycotted lectures until you got back. The JVP Students’ Union was not racist then – remember Ran Banda Wanssinghe, and Ananda Idamegama. I know that the latter ended up in a mass grave in Matale. Yes, there is another side to most stories.

              By the way, what did you read at Pera?

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                Dear Sinhala_ man,

                though it brings me the dark side of the story- that particular moment I was screaming in pain and my other batch mates screaming with broken ribs and so on, It is absolutely great to remember the life over there. Hence a sinhala friend- unforgettable , I am not exaggerating to say how helpful and friendly they were and they are now. I have still contacts with them.

                We were travelling to Jaffna with few Sinhala friends coming with us to see Jaffna, there were Srilnkan naval personnel in the other compartment in the Jaffna train, not very pleased why we were taking them to Jaffna. That was how we had a good time ,good friends

                Finally, what made me to leave the place where I was working was what I saw in Matale. The place where I made so many friends.

                Would you believe what I saw?!! another colleague of mine working at Matale hospital went to see a body for medical reason in the mortuary. 4 SINHALA JVP BOYS, WEARING UNDERWEAR, HANDs WERE TIED BEHIND , NO HEADS, brought by police in a pick up van to the mortuary. The worse part of it to see the cut injuries of torture in their chest!What I felt was how these boys would have cried before they were tortured and murdered. no doubt they would have been begging in Sinhala not to kill. If that the case for their own brothers, what about us as Tamils?? it is not pleasant to bring back those memories. I had boys staying in my hospital accommodation in the nights in fear of abduction by army.The sons of the hospital staff. I had so many good friend helping each other.

                Yes we came back to complete our studies. Always grateful , as I said always friends. now you could see why VP and Hoole became irrelevant at some times.

                Anyway I was in Mars hall on that night, reading medicine

                with best wishes and good luck

                • 0
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                  [Edited out]

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          What evidence can you adduce to suggest that “MANY MILLIONS STILL WOULD LIKE VP BACK!!!.”? Does calling yourself “sinhala friend” mean that you are a Sinhalese who is Tamil-firendly, or a Tamil who is a friend of the Sinhalese?

          All in Sri Lanka have suffered owing to this war. We have to usher in a different culture. We must also have some record of what happened in the past so as not to repeat those same mistakes. As I have said above, the second comment to appear on this page, all of this is a serialisation of a book that was written fourteen years ago. I don’t know when that serialisation began, but here is something that appeared in July 2013.

          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sri-lankas-black-july-borella-24th-evening/

          We forget so fast! At that time people like me couldn’t access Colombo Telegraph. Please correct me if I’m wrong: this website was maintained by some people in Australia. It was blocked by the Rajapaksa government. I was told that one could access such banned sites through things called “Proxy Servers”. You had to be a committed student of politics and highly computer literate to be able to do all that.

          I agree that this is painful to read; the earlier episodes seem to be available if you go to the bottom of each “article” where you will see this:

          “*From Rajan Hoole‘s “Sri Lanka: Arrogance of Power – Myth, Decadence and Murder”. Thanks to Rajan for giving us permission to republish. To read earlier parts click here”

          You are supposed to right click with your mouse on the word “here”, and you are re-directed to earlier chapters. I have not read them all. I agree with you that they are painful to read. How much more painful they must have been to write! In that sense your calling the writer a “maniac” is justified. Owing to this war ALL Sri Lankans have been turned in to maniacs. So, I agree with you, that I wish all this would end, and that we didn’t have to read so much.

          So, don’t read any more; but at the same time, don’t you think it good for you to face up to the fact that VP is not a suitable hero? There is a good deal of writing here that describes the atrocities perpetrated by others in Sri Lanka, including the Sinhalese; and I am what I say that I am: a “Sinhalese Man”, but before all else a human being.

          Please remember that there is poverty, hardship and suffering among the Sinhalese people as well. Hoole, the “Maniac” as you term him, probably knows that, but not at first hand so he doesn’t try to solve all problems; he only records what he has found out, and feels he understands. He was hiding, not abroad in comfort, but in Sinhalese areas, but he is not competent to comment definitively on what was happening on the Sinhalese side, although I have learnt a great deal by reading certain sections in which the in-fighting among the Sinhalese is described.

          I agree that this is painful, and I agree that Hoole has an intense dislike of Prabhakaran; so do I. You admire him, that is not something that makes you my enemy; but let us move forward by supporting each other. Yes, I agree that it is not acceptable to have so many Sinhalese soldiers stationed in the North. I, too, am disappointed to now see clear evidence of Presidential nepotism. But “the truth lies in the details”. If we can look at the current situation steadily and objectively, there is no reason why everybody must read all these “articles”.

          I believe that Hoole has just handed over a soft copy of his entire book and “Colombo Telegraph” is serialising a section at a time. He has published a book, earlier this year, called “The Palmyra Fallen” in which he deals with more current issues. I have bought it for Rs 1,500/= but, as you say, much of it is painful reading, and I am far from completing my reading of it. But it is necessary that such books be written, so that future scholars will be able to summarise the truth in a “more acceptable form” for the average citizen.

          The “Maniac” has written more recently on what is happening today:

          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/rule-of-law-first-step-to-invigorate-democratic-institutions-advance-nation-building/

          and you can actually see the man man in this short video:

          https://vimeo.com/43541217

          He is saying what he knows. Well you may not have read all that I have written myself in an effort to convince you that there are many Sinhalese who want this country united – but with justice for all.

          I have made many earlier comments on Hoole’s writing; they have all been honest and I have clearly stated what my background is. Why is it that you call yourself “sinhala friend” if you consider yourself a Tamil? Just my curiosity! I want us all to be friends, but let’s not be simplistic: human beings are extremely complex, and often we get deceived.

          Please try to find something that gives you hope for the future; else reality becomes unbearable!

          • 5
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            Thanks Sinhala _Man

            your reply reflect many things
            Human beings!
            Poverty!
            Hardships and suffering!
            Justice for all!
            all to be friends!

            Steadily and objectively!!

            It is great. That is the way how I try to spend my day.. Hope for the future? I do not belief! Today is the day. Many opportunities to help human beings.
            Thanks for my profession

            All I felt when I read about VP was out of context, excessive and unnecessary . Yes it is important to find the truth ? what for?
            do you believe the JUSTICE for ALL in reality?

            Finally, about VP- yes he is my hero. Inspirational for me. But my selfishness I was not there.
            yes a Leader- many after him with 30 years of freedom

            That is my view. Everybody is entitled for their opinion and respect accordingly. I write this , having studied your logical thinking and maturity in your reply. otherwise would not write
            ALL TO BE FRIENDS
            with best wishes

            • 0
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              Thanks, “sinhala friend”. I’ve seen this only after writing about Peradeniya.

          • 2
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            Sinhala_Man,

            “At that time people like me couldn’t access Colombo Telegraph. Please correct me if I’m wrong: this website was maintained by some people in Australia. It was blocked by the Rajapaksa government. I was told that one could access such banned sites through things called “Proxy Servers”. You had to be a committed student of politics and highly computer literate to be able to do all that.”

            I don’t know who runs CT but using proxy servers is easy. May I suggest that you learn how to do it? Using a proxy server might be necessary in the future. Some weeks ago I didn’t manage to access the Sunday Leader without using a proxy connection.

            The problem with proxy servers is that we can access blocked sites but somebody might discover what we are doing.

            Please check:

            The Best Free VPN Services for 2015

            http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2390381,00.asp

            • 1
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              Dear Hari,

              As you’ve said, it is unfortunately true that:

              “Using a proxy server might be necessary in the future”.

              You will grant, I’m sure, that we are not the first people to realise that civilised human life can be maintained only if individuals are eternally vigilant. Technology might change, but the basic requirements of honesty and prudence remain the same.

              I hope that all readers will note Hari’s advice on how we should equip ourselves for the next assault on our basic human rights by the “powers that be”.

              I also hope that those readers who are passionately partisan will note that Hari and I are not concerned here with ethnicity, cultural heritage, or religious affiliation. Those things are real, but must remain private.

              So, let’s adapt, and equip ourselves for the future – which will throw up fresh challenges.

        • 4
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          Sinhala Friend,

          You are absolutely wrong. MostTamils do not want the LTTE or anything like it back. Either you are deluding yourself or are being taken in by the tactics of the LTTE propagandists. However, the Tamils in this island will demand to remain Tamils with rights equal to any other citizen.

          Dr.RN

          • 0
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            Dear Doctor,

            keep demanding to live with equal rights with other citizens in that part of the world.!!!!
            have you come out with any new theory/concept that has not been tried in the past?

            One soldier with AK47/T56 for every 5 civilians?

            Wish them good luck

            • 3
              1

              Sinhala Friend,
              Thais is the only way that would have worked in the past, will work now and will work in the future. The sataygraha we talked about and tried to stage, was utter sham and pretense. We did not understand its philosophy and did not have the physical courage or moral timbre to succeed with it. We did not understand violence, especially if the barbaric and mindless type the LTTE adopted will not ever work.

              The LTTE did not establish an epiphytic relationship even with the people it proclaimed it was trying to liberate. It was a rampaging carnivore and a blood sucking parasite, combined.

              I do not defend here the actions and morality of the Sri Lankan State in any way. Everyone knows what it was, is and has every potential to continue to be. However, the LTTE proved itself to be worse for the Tamils than the Sinhala-majoritarian State. The Sinhala people were also the hapless victims of this State.

              Dr,RN

            • 3
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              Sinhala Friend,

              1:5 or 5: 1 will not make a difference., if we know how to stand up for our rights. Please read more about Mahatma Gandhi, Satyagraha and India’s freedom struggle. The let rubble for equality for the blacks in the US waged since the days of slavery, progressing to what Martin Luth r King did and achieves, and what is continuing to this day there, teach us many lessons on what to do and what not to do. The fact that thousands of Whites marched with the Blacks, should be a lesson for us. how the ANC with men like, NWalter Sisulu, Bishop Tutu , Nelson Mandela and others overturned Apartheid is another example that is more recent. Mahatma Gandhi set an example in both struggles. We, who were from the same religious and philosophical roots of Gandhi and India, however did not understand the true meaning of what he stood for and how he achieved what he did.

              Dr.RN

              • 0
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                Correction: the battle for equality—

                Dr.RN

        • 1
          1

          Our “chingalam” friend seems to be getting really butthurt over the truth coming out :D Even the We Thamizh high IQ isn’t enough to keep these heroics buried forever :D

          • 1
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            “Our “chingalam” friend seems to be getting really butthurt over the truth coming out”

            Ha, ha, ha…LOL!

            Is this the kind of thing that gives this creature Siva Sankaran Sarma aka Blocker stiffies these days? LOL how very sad. Is that why he is barking like a rabid animal? LMAO!

            Does anyone expect anything more from this Army deserter who ran away to UK during the war?

            Poor thing can`t handle facts, everything sounds cool to his eyes. :D

            Lying is the default state of this creature. Copying & pasting FAKE stuff is his inborn talent. Always gets caught with his pants below his knees. LOL!

            Being a CT resident clown, he never stops his daily entertainment with non-stop comedy. LMAO.

            Poor Siva Sankaran Sarma is getting it in style from We Thamizh. No wonder he is howling hysterically due to public buggering: D

            Cry blocker cry!

  • 2
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    Dear “sinhala friend”,

    I am appalled that you have suffered so much in your life. I don’t personally know the others who have commented, but I’m sure that by writing the way you have, after re-consideration, at 4.28 p.m., you have won many new friends, people like the clean-thinking “Inspector Dirty Hari”. This is what we mean when we talk of reconcilliation.

    I sincerely hope that all this unwonted reading has not interfered with your work; you speak of your profession as one in which you are able to help people. One thing that must be granted about all Tamils is that you have a work ethic. If you feel you have something more to contribute, about Peradeniya, do take your time; I think most of those who read Hoole’s history will return to comments, because these “articles” are different from most of the typically topical ones which are soon forgotten.

    What you have had to say is similar to the harrowing experiences undergone by the singer, m.i.a.:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.I.A._%28rapper%29

    What a terrible childhood in Jaffna and Madras, and yet about half of the 319 Comments seem to assume that she’s “never been to Sri Lanka”. It’ll take a long time to read it all, but it’s worth it. After a year almost of “Yahapalanaya” we are beginning to realise that some signs of nepotism and corruption do, indeed, suggest that MIA’s opening statement is spot on – and after all, far too many of the same faces are in the government – even those who supported Mara at the August 2015 General Elections, and lost!

    https://www.youtube.com/all_comments?v=MmbhjfCU8bY

    However, I think that the Tamil people are definitely feeling more relaxed now, under the New Dispensation. There were many who helped you in March 1983, although you may not have been aware of it. Here’s one, although I sought him out, and got to know him personally, only two years ago. Actually, this blog is embedded in one of the comments on MIA, but you may find it difficult to latch on to it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spBXxT5dVf0

    Isn’t there a startling similarity in the comments made by all too many Sinhalese about Vickremabau Karunaratne, to what Raja and you WERE saying about Bahu’s pupil, Dr Rajan Hoole? By the way, Bahu has not one, but two PhDs, and all that he has achieved is getting his head cracked in front of the Fort Railway Station and getting 1% of votes polled when he contests!

    Interestingly, just below the Bahu blog, you will find m.i.a.’s interview being introduced to Sinhala readers.

    http://www.vilanguwa.info/2015/01/mia-still-wants-war-probe-on-sri-lanka.html

    What a pity that these “idayaratne” statements are not in Sinhala.

    http://intensedebate.com/profiles/idayaratne

    The need to reach out to non-English speakers (be they in the South or the North) just cannot be over-emphasised. I have this horrible fear that just about a hundred people write to Colombo Telegraph, and then feel smug.

    I’ve taken so long searching for these links that I may find lots more comments on Rajan Hoole.

    • 1
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      Sinhala_Man and Sinhala Friend,

      “I am appalled that you have suffered so much in your life.”

      Have you read “The Lost Generation” by Dr Somasundaram? It has information on how the conflict affected Tamils.

      • 1
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        Thanks, Hari.

        No, I haven’t read what appears to be essay, not a book.

        http://torturemag.org/?p=1037

        That is all I’ve found so far. Actually, books hardly get read by me these days. It could be my age, but I have the feeling that this is becoming the case with all people because the Internet keeps thrusting little bits of information at us.

        Such a state of affairs is not an unqualified disaster. I don’t think that we are all that much worse than previous generations.

        My comment had a different purpose, and I think that we’ve succeeded with “sinhala friend”. None of us can know the suffering of another, but all of us appreciate a bit of kindness, and being listened to. In my case, I knw exactly what happened to him at Peradeniya. It has scarred him. I thought that he would ask for more details. He hasn’t contacted me; the links I have given are sufficient for him to track me down with relative ease! He’s in Matale, obviously attending to both Sinhalse and Tamil patients. A good man. He appears to have a deep psychological problem: Dr Daya Somasunderam’s field, not mine. Our friend feels guilty that he didn’t help Prabhakaran enough, that he let down his hero. I’ve already told him that our dislike of Prabha doesn’t mean that we have a right to interfere with “sinhala friend’s” emotions.

        When Mahinda Rajapaksa became President I was quite happy, but I didn’t wholly approve of the methods he began adopting. All those negative feelings got modified as a result of the war getting ended, and I was grateful to the Rajapaksas. I hope most Tamils will understand that: we desperately wanted an end to the conflict, but that doesn’t necessarily amount to approving all the means used.

        In particular, there was that habit of Gotabhaya’s of saying that that either an individual was “patriotic” (he used to say, “with us”) or a traitor. Yes, we were called “Sinhala Kotiyas”, which was all wrong, but it didn’t bother me, leave alone affecting my conscience. But we guys had to be careful. We have survived, and now we must do our bit, old as we are, to promote reconcilliation. It isn’t something any one person can do. And it has to be one Tamil person re-habilitated at a time. This, the Rajapaksas forgot.

        I’m not particularly clever, just fortunate, sometimes. So, I’m glad that I’ve managed to have a positive influence on one Tamil man. Let us hope that others reading this take heart from this result. We don’t know when or where the opportunity to do a little good will present itself.

        I know that I’m spending far too much of time on the Internet. That again, is not really necessary. So, let’s conclude that “All’s Well that Ends Well”.

        • 2
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          Sinhala_Man,

          Correct .”The Lost Generation” is not a book. It provides some relevant statistics, for instance, about the traumatic experiences of medical students from the Vanni and Jaffna.

          What I am trying to say is that all though Sinhala Friend started to see the LTTE as the (only?) solution due to his trauma many others suffered much more and apparently did not became hard core supporters of the LTTE or have given up.

          Maybe I am wrong but it appears that Sinhala Friend has spent most of his adult life outside of the conflict zone. This maybe one reason he continues supporting VP and the LTTE. There are many similar cases in the diaspora.

          In my opinion the persons who lived and live in the conflict zone are less likely to restart armed struggle.

          Most of the former cadres (even Black Tigers) of the LTTE have managed to start a normal life with marriage, employment etc. I don’t think any rehabilitation was provided for most of them.

          There must be many veterans in the South who are in need of counseling. For some reason they are forgotten.

  • 2
    2

    It is a matter for profound regret the CT is serialising a book written by Rajan Hoole 15 years ago. Hoole, a denationalised Tamil who had nothing in common with the ordinary men and women living in the Northeast. He was a self-appointed human rights activist from the University of Jaffna. Through out his life he was an LTTE baiter and vitrolic critic. He and another Christian DBSJ were born critics of the LTTE. They saw nothing positive about the LTTE. How it came about and who nurtured it. Hoole must be out of his mind to call the LTTE a fascist organization. Having sold their souls once before he had no inhibition to sell the freedom struggle to the enemy. Any fool will know that the LTTE phenomenon was a by-product of unvarnished Sinhalese racism. No lesser person than Chandrika Kumaratunga has said Prabhakaran was the creation of Sinhalese racism. When the oppressed takes arms in self-defence, the likes of Hoole and DBSJ cry foul. They call those fight oppression as fascists and those who oppress as nationalists. For the information of Hoole, let me categorically tell him that Prabhakaran and LTTE remain popular among Tamils even today living within and outside the country. No other Tamil leader’s birthday is celebrated on a scale comparable to Prabhakaran even 6 years after his demise. No other leader has sacrificed so much as Prabhakaran. Though he lost the war, he remains a great hero worthy of veneration to this minute. Yes, he did commit human rights violations, but they pale into insignificant compared to the armed forces. Prabhakaran could have spared the lives of civilians both Tamils and Sinhalese. The killings of moderate Tamil leaders was a huge mistake. But history will be kind to him, buy not to Hoole who will only a footnote and thrown into the dustbin of history.

    • 4
      2

      Mathy,

      If you disagree with something or everything that Dr.Rajann Hoole, DBSJ or anuine else write, contest their facts or surmises, but do not try to insult them personally , call into question their identity or their right to articulate and write.
      I for one have found them to have been bold to write the truth as they found it, even in murderous times. They have been the historians and chroniclers of a very difficult era, when most of were bamboozled and rendered, deaf, dumb and blind.

      Mt harsh off to them.

      Dr.RN

      • 0
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        Corrections:

        1. Anyone
        2. My hats —

        Dr.RN

    • 2
      1

      Mathy,

      “He and another Christian DBSJ were born critics of the LTTE. They saw nothing positive about the LTTE.”

      Why do you take up their religion? They are both Tamils and the fact that they are Christians should not be important.

      To my best knowledge DBS actually was a supporter of the LTTE until he changed his mind. Many others did the same.

      “Hoole must be out of his mind to call the LTTE a fascist organization.”

      Maybe you should read more on fascism to find out what it means.

      “For the information of Hoole, let me categorically tell him that Prabhakaran and LTTE remain popular among Tamils even today living within and outside the country.”

      Why do you think that Dr Rajan Hoole who lives in Jaffna has not noticed this?

      VP is dead. We are not.

      I am hoping for reconciliation and a political solution instead of more violence.

    • 2
      1

      I agree that it is not an enjoyable thing reading all that Dr Rajan Hoole has written; I undertake it as a painful duty.

      For you, the solution is simple: DON’T READ!

      Which came first? The hen or the egg. There’s no way we can fathom that.

      Chandrika Kumaratunga is pilloried by many (not me, particularly), but you appreciate her honesty in this. Why not leave out adjectives like “unvarnished” – they weaken your argument. So, for you, Prabhakaran is a “great hero worthy of veneration”. I have no problem with your thinking so.

      Permit me to consider Dr Rajan Hoole an even greater hero.

      May I please add this footnote: I don’t properly understand the sub-divisions of Tamil society. In the context that you are using it, “religion” is only a sociological phenomenon, isn’t it? We are making our country suffer by treating its diversities as fixed, and by stereotyping. I don’t know much about DBSJ, but as for Hoole, his father was an Anglican priest, and a good one, too. As for Rajan, I know that his motivation does not come from Christianity. Please try to understand that most educated people have, by this year 2015 Anno Domini, moved away from sectarianism, and don’t get particularly involved with religion.

      Please respect the right of people to do do their own thinking. But, please, no human rights violations by anybody!

      • 1
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        Sinhala_Man,

        “I don’t properly understand the sub-divisions of Tamil society.”

        Unfortunately we continue trying to identify others according to caste, sub-caste, religion and geography. Luckily this is changing.

        I know many who don’t fit in any of the identity boxes available due to mixed marriages.

        “For you, the solution is simple: DON’T READ!”

        Ignorance might reduce his agony while knowledge might cure him.

  • 2
    1

    I am criticised for making reference to the religioius identity of Hoole. I would have avoided all such reference, had Hoole not called Arumuga Navalar in derogatory terms. Hoole asserts that Navalar did not translate the Bible into Tamil at the request of the Christian missionary Peter Percival and adds that Navalar was a rabid caste conscious bigot, a ‘relatively uneducated’ Tamil teacher and had low caste origins. Hoole provides no proof for his atrocious claims except to make a cursory reference to Dagmar Hellman, an academic. Hoole asserts that Navalar was not the father of Tamil prose. He then claims that earlier translations of the Bible and Christian prayer books represented the first instances of Tamil prose. This was an attempt to rewrite history in favour of Christianity. Navalar worked in North Sri Lanka and in neighbouring Tamil Nadu. Navalar established schools and prevented conversion of Hindus to Christianity by dangling the prospect of education and jobs. He was the first person to avail of the modern printing press to publish rare Tamil classics long before U.V. Swaminatha Iyer and the other Hindu stalwart C.W. Thamotherampillai. The latter was a re-convert to Hinduism from Christianity. As for Dr.Rajasingham he has always been in the same boat as the Hooles! He was singing the praise of Mahinda Rajapaksa after trips to the North at government expense. He asserted the Tamil people are living in peace and prosperity under Rajapaksa and his cohorts since May, 2009!

    • 1
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      Are you referring to Dr.Rajan Hoole or his brother Ratnajeevan Hoole?

      Dr.RN

      • 1
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        Dr RN,

        “Are you referring to Dr.Rajan Hoole or his brother Ratnajeevan Hoole?”

        Now there seems to be a problem with the following protestants: Dr Rajan, Dr Ratnajeevan and DBS Jeyaraj.

        Btw I have discovered that you been active on the DBSJ blog during a long time.

  • 2
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    Thanga,

    1. What was wrong with being engaged in the websites managed by DBSJ?
    2. I locked horns with Dr. Ratnajeevan Hoole on the Navalar issue and other controversitial issues on the DBSJ websites. Anything wrong with that?
    3. Yes, I was able to visit the Vanni with the help of the Foreign Ministry at a time few could and was able too see the state of affairs there directly. There was no other way I could have done so. I wrote about what I saw and heard in mainly the DBSJ websites. Even Ban-ki-moon visited the Vanni after the war with government assistance. Does this taint his visit? This was a time when imagined stories were being told about the Vanni by those who did see or know what had transpired and was transpiring there.

    4. Yes, I was praising the MR government for what they did right and do so yet. I also criticized that government for what itit not do and what it did wrong,

    5. Further, we are commenting on the substance of what Rajan Hoole has written on and not him, his brother, DBSJ, others or me. Further, Rajan Hoole is.not his brother, Ratnajeevan’s keeper.

    6. I would be yet writing on DBSJ’s website/s if he had not changed his editorial policy. His blog site yet provides insightful information that is not available otherwise.

    7. Everyone has a right to his opinion, Ratnajeevan Hoole has this right too. We can disagree with him, but cannot condemn him. He is right on many matters and has proven himself to be a man with a social conscience. His brrother belongs to the same genre. I believe. Their Christian ( Protestent) faith gives them the social conscience to do so. We, Hindus unfortunately lack a social conscience, despite professing a profound, socially conscious religion.

    Dr.RN

    • 0
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      Dr RN,

      “Their Christian ( Protestent) faith gives them the social conscience to do so. We, Hindus unfortunately lack a social conscience, despite professing a profound, socially conscious religion.”

      Thanks for your explanation. After my comment yesterday I thought about the other critical protestant Tamils and the fact that I cannot remember a single critical Tamil Catholic. I am sure they exist.

    • 1
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      Dr RN,

      “What was wrong with being engaged in the websites managed by DBSJ?”

      Absolutely nothing. I only wanted to say that I found your name there while looking for something else. I have followed DBSJ in the newspapers but not his blog.

      I avoid judging unknown people especially without having facts.

  • 1
    0

    My last comment addressed to Thanga, also addresses the last comment of Inspector Dirty Hari.

    Dr.RN

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