26 September, 2020

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The Yogarajan Reconciliation Proposal

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Those who lecture Sri Lanka on what is best for the country and the people, claim that accountability and justice are necessary and non-negotiable preconditions for reconciliation.  Never mind their moral authority to pontificate there is truth in this position.    ‘Forgive-and-forget’ is easy to say but hard to obtain.  It is the same for the aggrieved, whether grief arrived in May 2009 or somewhere in the mid-eighties for the simple reason that some sorrows can only be laid to rest with any degree of finality with the death of the sorrowing.

In short, there are no shortcuts in the matter of ‘closure’. There can be no selectivity, not of community, not within community and not in terms of week, month, year or decade.  Complete closure, as mentioned, will only come with death.  This side of death, there are things that help and things that detract.

Leaving aside the legality of the matter and punishment warranted if infringement is determined, S. Sritharan did not help when he did his ‘Mahaveer’ number in Parliament, calling Velupillai Prabhakaran a national hero.  It is hard to understand how a man who ordered hundreds of Tamils to be killed, abducted and conscripted thousands of little children to carry out terrorist activities and held some 300,000 civilians hostage could be hero to Tamil people, never mind the death, destruction, dismemberment and displacement invited and engineered by the man’s preferred strategies.

The leadership of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was quick to distance itself from Sritharan’s position. Party Leader R. Sampanthan, however, has skirted around the vexed question of hero-credentials, offering ‘the man is dead’.  If the fact of death is itself a conversation stopper than the TNA (and Sri Lanka’s detractors in the international community) can drop all talk of investigation, accountability and justice.  TNA MP Sumanthiran did no better when he chided Government MPs for not stopping Sritharan.  Surely, he knows that charity begins at home?  He could have himself intervened.  Both leave us wondering whether they have a ‘public story’ or a ‘Colombo story’ about Prabhakaran as well as a private (Beyond-Vavuniya) narrative.  Sritharan, in this aspect, appears more honest.

If reconciliation is predicated on accountability and justice then the TNA and other one-time apologists for the LTTE who even now squirm and wriggle when questioned about Prabhakaran would have to turn searchlight inwards.  Even if they don’t they cannot stop the questions being asked.  This is because reconciliation is a two-way street.  They can’t point finger without applauding the Government for saving more than 300,000 Tamils held hostage by Prabhakaran.  They could ask Murali Reddy, embedded journalist during the last stages, what he saw and wrote at the time, if they still have doubts.

All this indicates the amount of acrimony and distrust that still exists or else the pernicious readiness to pretend to be acrimonious and distrustful.  That’s Cameronesque politicking.  The TNA can do better if only because all things taken into account they belong to a community of largely gentle disposition that can draw from a refined, accommodating and generous culture.

If the TNA needs inspiration at this point, UNP National List MP R Yogarajan’s observations on the issue of commemoration would suffice.   Yogarajan said, ‘Both parties should commemorate war heroes together’.  One can dispute the suitability of the term ‘hero’ of course. One can argue about what the term ‘parties’ means here.  Everyone, however, can commemorate the dead for that’s ‘common ground’, ‘heroism’ being a contentious word that could revive old animosities.

Yogarajan, when heckled by Government MPs, also said, ‘Let’s change the date if you don’t want to commemorate on November 26th which was fixed by the LTTE’.  He was essentially saying that it is not profitable to get embroiled over ‘best day to commemorate,’ implying rather that what is important is the act of commemorating together.  Yes, the key word is ‘together’.  We can, after all, drop all labels and keep ‘citizen’ and therefore ‘fellow-citizen’ intact.

We could theoretically argue until we are dead and (therefore) done about accountability, justice and the best pathways to reconcile, but nothing stops us from opting to do the little things that can heal.

The TNA, perhaps for reasons of political expedience, may not have ears for the likes of Yogarajan.  President Mahinda Rajapaksa, however, has no reason to object. Indeed, as head of state, he is better positioned to take the lead here.  It will not get us to ‘Reconciliation’, sure, but it will get us out of hatred and suspicion.  That would be a big step.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com

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Latest comments

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    Keep up the great work, would love to have a coffee with you and discuss some things. You can never know a man until you talk face to face, and you can never judge a book by it’s cover. But man…… Your dimwit smile and your constant LTTE talk, and just the general verbal shit you put out time and time again.. I wonder really wonder if you are retarded, a pretty smart guy who is just another MR hanger-on..?.. Or both… It would be nice to have a chat so I can confirm it…

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      it is not worth sitting and see his grins knowing that his endeavours are bound to the perks offered to him by rulers. What can bring to us so long he is sitting with kakka boys. We the dissidents to this brutal regime, should fight further to get rid of theman..

    • 0
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      I have no idea whether beggars of pettah still stay those places. Heard that were removed by force to give the city a beautificul face… but I would suggest you to sit down with a begger would be better than looking at MS trying to bring all his roundabouts to prove you that his arguments could still contain some values.

      Honesty shold be generated in his hearts – that I have not seen in the person. I have read his articles a few times, but each time, ended up asking myself, why he is trying to beat about the bush .. not once many a times

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        We All got to make a living Bandara, writing garbage or not, Malinda gets paid, so well done Malia.. If only someone can pay for comments I’ll be a millionaire.. Same with Jimmy Softies and the other side of the arguments, the great Veddas.. I only mention the educated Veddas because I know he/she knows the truth.. Please don’t bash me with any verbal abuse Vedda.. I’m already scared of your iPad and axe.. the ‘modern’ world is a very funny thing, but you would understand “modern” from a very long time ago.. :) Before you judge me here’s a quote from someone who knew the truth.. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci…

  • 0
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    Whilst many of Malinda’s views could be debated, paragraph 4 is a very important one. Something the TNA can clarify (really CLARIFY in plain language not legalese) to the rest of the country. Come clean as it were.

    • 0
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      SURPRISED NONE OF YOU SEES THE HUGE RED HERRING HERE. A LOT OF CRAP TO DRAW THE PUBLIC FOCUS AWAY FROM ALL THE MUCK AND STATE ORDERED MAYHEM THAT’S BEEN RAISED.

      ANYTHING GOES, HOWEVER STUPID IT SOUNDS,SO DESPERATE ARE THE GOVERNMENT’S APOLOGISTS, IN THEIR VAIN EFFORTS TO GET THE GOVERNMENT OFF THE HOOK. IT’S THE DESPERATION THAT’S DRIVING THEM TO THESE STUPID EXCESSES FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT THEY HAVE NO SOUND RESPONSE TO THE MOUNTING ONSLAUGHTS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT’S WRONGDOINGS.

      AMAZING THAT NO ONE IS DEALING WITH ANY OF THE CHARGES, THE INCREASING ALLEGATIONS.

      THE NAME OF THE GAME IS ” CREATE A DIVERSION”.. AND YOU GUYS ARE FALLING FOR THIS CHEAP TRICK. MY ADVICE IS DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME WITH SUCH LINKS. I DON’T…BUT MERELY CAME IN TO POINT OUT THIS FACT TO YOU.

      THERE ARE IMPORTANT POSTS ELSEWHERE ON THIS SITE TO WHICH ONE CAN MAKE SOME WORTHWHILE CONTRIBUTIONS.

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    Malinda I didnt know you are the *Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’. LTTE managed to install R pakse so that he will destroy Sri Lanka sooner. I dint know that they installed you in this position to do the same job. Some more Malindas Tamil Elam will realize very soon. Keep writing so that all Sri Lankan journo will loose all credibility. No wonder even Sinhalese are going to websites maintained by Tamils to read the truth and participate in a healthy exchange of ideas. I didn’t know that VP destroyed even the Lankan press and the media so that they will never revive.

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    Malinda you say “They could ask Murali Reddy, embedded journalist during the last stages, what he saw and wrote at the time, if they still have doubts”. The whole world knows that the Madras Hindu’s Colombo journalist M. Reddy was the only one embedded in the war zone in the final stages by the GOSL along with State controlled SL media. Malinda if Reddy embedded himself in the war zone why were other International Journalists not allowed entry?. Also did Reddy stayed in a Hotel or with SLA in the war zone?.

    SL editors were bestowed with free Lap tops and the Hindu with the Lanka Ratna award to its editor Ram.

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      Why worry about Reddy or other journalists not allowed in the war zone, LTTE sympathizing neocons had their big birds gazing down at the small patch of silver day in day out where all that 40,000 deaths supposed to have taken place. They say cameras attached to satellites are so sophisticated, they could even read a vehicle number plate. Mind you there is no place to take cover in that silver. Surely then, neocons could come up with those killer images without calling their bluff. // I bet all that LTTE heroic work of shooting its own people as human shield must have been recorded in toto. Perhaps that’s why the US defence attaché Lt. Col. Lawrence Smith had clearly exonerated Sri Lanka forces at a seminar in Colombo.

  • 0
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    ‘The Yogarajan Reconciliation Proposal’ Let’s first talk about justice before reconciliation. ——————————————————————————————————Without justice there is no guarantee of a no repetition of genocide.

    • 0
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      For justice to be complete then, those that were massacred by LTTE directly and contributions by rump LTTE like Adela indirectly for thirty or so years cannot be ignored as bygones.

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        Banda

        As a passport carrying British citizen how soon can you take Adele to ICC? …….. As a British citizen you too are responsible for what British did/does in the world. ………As a citizen of this island how soon can you present yourself at ICC explaining to the judges as to why you voluntarily support these war criminals?………. Are you racist? …….

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          I agree with every word you added here – SUPERB:) Banda will have no good answers, he is thicker than anyone else.

    • 0
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      THIRU, THIS PLEA FOR RECONCILIATION IS SO MUCH BULLDUST EMANATING FROM STARK FEAR OF TOTAL EXPOSURE AND CONVICTION OF CRIME.

      RECONCILIATION IA NOW EMERGING AS PERHAPS THE ONLY AVENUE OF SALVATION FOR THE RAJAPAKSAS. THE TIME IS FAST APPROACHING IN WHICH IT WILL GO BEYOND A PLEA FOR RECONCILIATION TO GROVELING AT THE FEET OF THEIR ACCUSERS.

      PANIC CAN PLAY HAVOC WITH A MAN’S MIND THEY SAY.

      THE JUSTICE YOU SPEAK OF..GOOD GOD ! TO THEM THE WORD IS A DEATH KNELL. A POUND FOR A POUND ? NOT ON YOUR LIFE !

      THE GOVERNMENT’S NOW GOT ITSELF SOME YUPPIES..TALK ABOUT SCRAPING THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL.IT’S WAY BELOW EVEN THE SORRY SIGHTS MADE BY DJ’S AND RAJIVA’S NONSENSE ON THESE WEBSITES.WONDER HOW IT’S ALL GOING DOWN WITH THE YOUNGER GENERATION.

      I THINK THEY ALL KNOW IT’S TIME TO MAKE A BREAK FOR IT AND RUN… THE POSER IS : WHERE TO RUN?

  • 0
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    Wow – this is a new spin. You must have learn t something from Murali. One one hand the TNA is two tonged lizard telling the Tamils one thing and the Sinhalese one thing. On the other hand, you show grand magnanimity that the Tamils should also honor their dead.

    I prefer your Manhinda Puja – it is much easier to appreciate.

  • 0
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    .
    Malinda, did you write this after a ‘drink’? Are you crazy?
    Your own people, like MaRa’s and BBS’s will never accept this.
    :-)

  • 0
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    Seems, he has to finish his required annual quota before the end of the year…. Like a policeman who catches everyTom Dick and Harry for nothing, this guy hits on any topic

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    Yojarajan’s homage to the LTTE War Heroes may get currency among the Colombo Elite and the Vellalas……Diaspora may send delegates, even if they have to come under cover….. Cameron might send greetings with them and McCrae and Jonathan too to do a another Episode with him in the background to screen in the marginals in London at the next Election… …..Whether the TNA and Terror Sira take part or skirt around is any ones guess…..But the most important and pertinent question is whether the the Indian Army,its 2000 soldier families and Mrs Gandhi will send greetings, . let alone delegates????….

  • 0
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    Malinda,
    I admired the following statement.

    “It is hard to understand how a man who ordered hundreds of Tamils to be killed, abducted and conscripted thousands of little children to carry out terrorist activities and held some 300,000 civilians hostage could be hero to Tamil people, never mind the death, destruction, dismemberment and displacement invited and engineered by the man’s preferred strategies.”

    I will put it this way.

    It is hard to understand how the Buddhist Sinhala extremism who ordered thousands of Tamils to be killed since 1958 in the streets, in their homes, in their villages, in the prisons,in the refugee camps, in the schools, in the hospitals , abduct and murder those Tamils and Sinhalese who spoke about corruption and justice, raped hundreds of women, conscripted thousands of Sinhala children to the military and ordered to carry out terrorist activities on Tamils and Sinhalese (1970, 1989) and held the whole Sri Lanka hostage could be hero of the Nation, never mind the death, destruction, dismemberment and displacement invited and engineered by the extremist Sinhala buddhist’s preferred strategies.”

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      Ajith: In 1912, at the election for the ‘educated Ceylonese’, did not Sinhalas in Colombo elected Ponnanbalan Ramanathan, a Tamil over their own man Sinhalese doctor named Marcus Fernando. Tell us then, who started the first known riot at Nawalapitiya in 1939 and why?

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        Banda………

        Tell us then, who started the first known riot in 1915 and why? ………..It was Ponna who went all the way to your mother country and saved your neck.

      • 0
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        Banda,

        I am talking about the governance after independence under the Sinhala rule. I never knew that Sri Lanka was ruled by Tamils in 1939.
        However, I thank you for accepting all the facts that Sinhala Buddhist extremism strategies was the reason for death, destruction of the nation.

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          Well Tamis were c

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          Well Ajith, Tamils were the chosen people of the British Raj and the majority of government administrators up until 1948. That made them the co-rulers. Please read my comments above and elsewhere properly.

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            I know it is difficult to accept that Tamils are better than Sinhalese in all aspects of administration. It is the reason you people introduced language based standardisation. Now it is very evident that corruption is from head to tail under Sinhala administration.

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            “|” Tamils were the chosen people of the British Raj and the majority of government administrators up until 1948. “|”
            ________________________________________________________

            The Sinhalese were busy spying for the fascist Japanese and hiding inside the Tamil Nadu Lungi.

  • 0
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    MR’s K.P is at it again. Not that K.P. but Kalu Balla with half a brain thinking he is an intellectual. The other K.P. ofcourse is much brighter although he does not wear the same kind of jeans.

  • 1
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    Peace doesn’t come from the sky. It has to come from ones pure heart with love. If someone is belong to a certain group or any falls view , how can they talk about peace? Empty your cup first!

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