15 July, 2020

Blog

Two Issues That Will Continue To Trouble 

By Jehan Perera

Jehan Perera

One of the striking features of the presidential election was the division of the country’s electoral map along ethnic lines. Over the weekend I was in Vavuniya to take part in an inter-religious exchange visit. Three groups consisting of religious clergy, civil society leaders, government officials and police officers from Akurana, Weligama and Vavuniya, which are three localities in which there has been inter-religious conflict, met together in Vavuniya. The purpose of this meeting of groups was to promote bridge-building and inter-community understanding. All of those present, especially the government officials, wanted to strengthen ground level inter-community relations so that they would have less problems of conflict to deal with. There was also the happiness of interaction and getting to know those who are different.

The event in Vavuniya showed that division is not necessarily the case at the person-to-person level or at the community level where non-political issues are concerned. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s recent statements that increased devolution of power is not politically possible is based on the assessment of the present (and past) levels of political consciousness regarding the issue of devolution of power. The president has said that the ethnic majority population is not in favour of devolution of power, which is why it is not feasible and cannot be implemented. The ethnic majority population placed its trust overwhelmingly with President Rajapaksa at the recent presidential election.

On the other hand, for the past nearly one hundred years, the Tamil demand for power sharing arrangements with the ethnic Sinhalese majority has been present despite being rejected time and time again. The first such demand was in the 1930s, when the Tamil political leaders called for a 50:50 power sharing arrangement between the ethnic majority and the ethnic minorities which was to be at the level of the central government. When this demand was rejected by the British colonial rulers at that time, the call changed to devolution of power at the regional level to the northern and eastern provinces. The post-independence demand of the Tamil polity has been for power sharing in the form of either a federal arrangement (where the constitution is supreme) or for a strengthened system of devolution of power (where the central government remains supreme).

Reach Midpoint

The concept of devolution is viewed with suspicion by the Sinhalese majority on account of its association with the campaign for separation by Tamil politicians of the past and by the LTTE. But this is not an unchangeable perception. In 2000, the Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga government attempted to strengthen the devolution of powers in a new constitution. Her government carried out a public education campaign, called Sudu Nelum, that changed the perceptions of people so that public opinion surveys showed a majority in support of devolution of power. But the constitutional bill was defeated in parliament by the opposition parties. The most recent attempt commenced in 2015 when the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government sought to draft a new constitution, but it did not take off the ground due to the government’s inability to put forward its own formulation of the solution.

Since the watershed election of 1956, where the main election slogan was “Sinhala only” in which the Sinhala language was made the single official language over the opposition of Tamil speakers, the devolution of power has been akin to an article of faith to the Tamil polity. They have not been willing to move from that position despite its rejection by the Sinhalese majority or by the failure of successive governments to implement their promises with regard to it. If solving the problem is to be considered, the sentiments of the ethnic minorities will also need to be heeded and goodwill and trust-building from the community level needs to be taken to the national level. Just as much as the Sinhalese need to be made aware of the Tamil feeling of nationalism, so must the Tamils be made to realize what the Sinhalese concerns are.

President Rajapaksa’s preference for development as the way to peaceful relations within Sri Lanka has resonance in view of general Sinhalese opposition to the devolution of powers which has been manifested time and time again. The international trend too at the present time is in favour of ethnic nationalism, which the president’s campaign team skillfully used to mobilise Sinhalese nationalism at the presidential elections. But it also means that overcoming long standing Tamil nationalism through development alone is an unlikely prospect. With them too, nationalism will tend to prevail over all other considerations. If it is to be no to devolution, the problem will not be solved. There needs to be movement towards a midpoint in which there is a change of heart and mind on all sides.

Healing Hearts

President Rajapaksa’s strength as a national leader who can overcome the fear and suspicion of the Sinhalese majority is on account of his leadership in the war with the LTTE that secured a victory that few though possible. At the same time as he is the main national leader at this time he will need to reach out to the minorities and find solutions to their concerns. Apart from the longstanding issue of devolution of power there is also the more recent issue of missing persons. As a former army officer who had firsthand experience of the war with the LTTE, the president has pointed to the impossibility of identifying those who died on the military battlefields and left for dead behind enemy lines. The president pointed out that there were more than 5000 soldiers who went missing in that manner.

German Ambassador Joern Rohde

However, the unresolved problem lies with those who claim that they themselves surrendered their relatives to government forces and also those who claim that their loved ones were abducted in their presence. I was at a meeting recently with relatives of war victims when one of them came up and gave me a set of photocopies of an identity card and other documents relating to the case of his missing son. When I checked the dates it was after the war had ended. So this would not be a battlefield disappearance. We can be sure that the parents of those who went missing or wives of husbands who went missing will never stop hoping and looking for their loved ones. I personally know of a mother of a soldier who went missing nearly two decades ago, whose eyes lit up with hope when a fortune teller told her that her son was alive in a foreign country.

German Ambassador Joern Rohde recently shared his personal experience of being a beneficiary of a policy of government reparation at a meeting with war victims. He said that during the Second World War, his father was left without a single living relative at the age of 16. But he was able to grow into being an adult who could enjoy a good life due to a scheme of reparations instituted by the post-war German government. The most important thing that a government could do for people recovering from the trauma of war and death, according to Ambassador Rohde, was to show that it cared for them. The dead cannot be brought back to life and those missing may never be found. A compassionate society and a compassionate government will reach out to their relatives and help them to heal. Today the government has both an Office of Missing Persons and an Office for Reparations, both of which can give that message of care and heal hearts and minds.

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Latest comments

  • 13
    11

    Jehan Perera, you quote the German Ambassador but there is no basis for comparison given the geopolitics.
    The US set up massive military bases in Germany after the war that continue to this day.. and then dished out their Marshall Plan funds for Germany’s reconstruction.

    But as Easter Sunday Carnage showed this year in Sri Lanka the Americans are hell bent on de-stabilizing Sri Lanka by weaponizing religion and massaging ethnic grievances with fake reconciliation experts and USAID funded NGOs in order to set up military bases and lily pads in the US own ISIL Caliphate to be set up with MCC funds in the Eastern Province where, Trincomalee habour is in order to fight the Cold War on China in the Indian Ocean. Please do not be naive.
    Dr. JP Please write an article on the Easter Sunday Attacks this Christmas and give us you analysis about the foreign hands behind the youth who blew themselves up and who funded them to do this?!.

    • 25
      6

      Shamil,
      Fools like you are one of the biggest reason for terrorism in SL. Don’t you know that the current SL president himself is an American citizen? If America is hell-bend to destabilize SL, then they may have chosen one of their own agent to make the president of SL. This may explain Gvt decision to sing national Anthem in Sinhalese only! With these kinds of patriots, who need traitors to betray the nation to terrorism once again?

      • 3
        1

        D/P,
        There are millions of Americans who don’t agree with the way American politicians work with regard to other countries.
        Gotabaya Rajapaksa is neither pro nor anti american. He has already said that the Sri Lanka’s foreign policy would be strictly non-aligned.
        However, it doesn’t prevent SL from being caught between powers that attempt to dominate the region. Hence his neutral foreign policy.
        MCC will be a dominant issue in the years to come, but President Gotabaya should stick to his election promise when his government negotiates Yahapalana contracts, already signed with foreign countries.

        • 1
          0

          Raj,
          I agree with your first sentence 100%. When it comes to politics, Americans are very independent; they don’t worship politicians the way Lankans do. GoRa is also a Lankan who thinks as an average Lankan. I believe that there are two factors that influence GoRa’s thinking: His military training and his inability to control anger. The ruthlessness he displayed during pre-2015 has not changed much; only the expression of it looks softened may be due to the lessons learned. With this kind of personal character without a deep intellectual training, it is very doubtful that GoRa would be able to fulfill SL dream. Yes, despite campaign rhetoric, he will sign the MCC and will keep other trade deals signed by the previous Gvt. As a matter of fact, his American experience will force him to adopt more free market policies than did the previous Gvt!

        • 0
          1

          @ Jehan: “…The ethnic majority population placed its trust overwhelmingly with President Rajapaksa at the recent presidential election.”…. and THIS IS A BIG FAT LIE the entire GOVIGAMA MAFIA Ruling Elite Families Designed, manufactured and delivered at the recently held Presidential Election. See, the ZIONIST design for the South Asia region has been already done by US/ Israeli / Indian alliance that is working throughout a Quarter of a century by manipulating the many governments operated through back-door diplomacy and hand twistings. The majority Sinhalese did not vote for theRajapakse criminality, but were elected Fraudulently by internal manipulations as everyone know how the officials and the govt servants are supportive of the corrupt regime of
          Rajapakses return. Sirisena and Ranil really worked hard to make Gota the GOON of the country’s Presidency finally. It all began with the creation of the Sihala Urumaya way back in the 90’s with a Fascist ideology and slowly managed to integrate its RACISM based politics in to the mainstream parties of SLFP and the UNP. Elections are a big time fraud where the govts are created not by the Votes of people but by backdoor DEEP STATE manipulations. In this dirty game the hierarchy of the UNP and SLFP play along for a common goal. That common goal is thus fulfilled through conducting fake Elections that resulted always with the WRONG person installed as the PM or the President to take forward the “SINHALA ONLY” Zionist agenda which is in its 104th year anniversary which began in 1915.

      • 10
        3

        This is what Shirley Gunnel who was an anti-apartheid activist, who suffered torture and imprisonment, and in the post apartheid period took part in implementation of truth and reconciliation recommendations in South Africa had to say about what is happening in Sri Lanka : “Truth plus justice plus reparation equals reconciliation. In Sri Lanka I have not seen the truth aspect, I am not seeing the commitment to justice aspect either and I see reparation as a floating limb somewhere away from the trunk, a branch cut away from the main stem which is the truth.” In Sri Lanka governments are denying the truth, refusing to grant the rights of Tamils to rule themselves and makes a sham about the issue of the disappeared. Is the writer unable to see this or does he not want to know about them. If the Sinhalese are not willing for genuine reconciliation which will usher peace and dignity to Tamils, then it is the Sinhalese who should be taken to task and not keeping Tamils suppressed. We have heard two voices in this respect from Modi and Boris Johnson, which the government and their bigoted sycophants find as interference in their agenda.

        • 4
          3

          Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam,
          “In Sri Lanka governments are denying the truth, refusing to grant the rights of Tamils to rule themselves..”
          If you guys are ‘Real Tamils’ go back to Tamil Nadu and demand a Separate State for Tamils from New Delhi and see what kind of response you will get. These cowards who are afraid to demand a Separate State in India talk about ‘Separate State’, Federal System’, ‘Devolution of Power’ in this country.

        • 2
          2

          Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam,
          “If the Sinhalese are not willing for genuine reconciliation which will usher peace and dignity to Tamils, then it is the Sinhalese who should be taken to task and not keeping Tamils suppressed.”

          Native Sinhalayo who gave citizenship to Malabar slaves are willing for reconciliation which will usher peace and dignity to majority Sinhalayo and majority of Demala people who are Daliths in the North and plantation workers in the Central Part of the country. Native Sinhalayo are not prepared for reconciliation that will benefit Malabar Wellala Dravidians who oppress Daliths and look down upon Demala people in tea plantations.

      • 1
        1

        Well said!

        Sadly fools and racists won’t get it. Fearful of the rice mafia, Gota the Coward has taken it on minorities.

      • 0
        0

        DP
        Why is it not possible for another’s give an opinion without you calling him/her a fool? Aren’t you the fool for labelling people just because you can’t stomach another’s opinion.

        There are thousands or even millions of people with dual citizenships and that DOES NOT mean they are unpatriotic to mother Lanka.

        The anger you hold within you is a poison that will get you in the end.

    • 3
      13

      You are missing the point Mr. Shamil,
      /
      After WW2, US (winner) opened military bases in countries like Japan and Germany (defeated) to spread their doctrine.
      /
      What our good learnt Mr. Jehan Perera proposing by quoting German Ambassador Joern Rohde is that……
      /
      SL army should open bases all over north and east to help the development process proposed by our president Gotabaya Rajapaksha.
      /
      Good idea.
      /
      After all German Ambassador Joern Rohde can’t be wrong… being Western and white man and all that.

      • 5
        3

        S. C. Pasqual

        “After all German Ambassador Joern Rohde can’t be wrong… being Western and white man and all that.”

        No wonder why whiteman still carries his burden, that is he has taken it upon himself to civilise you. Though he left this island in 1948 you unsophisticated lot still are behaving like barbarians.

        • 0
          0

          Jehan
          You say “general Sinhalese opposition to the devolution of powers which has been manifested time and time again.”

          This is merely a moment in time when it is true. But several survey have shown that to have been untrue from the 1930s.

          You also miss out on punishment as against impunity. The president by praising and appointing to high positions accused murderers who have not been cleared by a court is fostering separatism among those of us who want no part in a country where people. are killed and the President thinks trying the accused is harassment. It is to decree that Tamils can be killed with impunity.

    • 9
      3

      Perhaps we would also like to know about the Israel/BBS/GR connections too. Wasn’t GR accused of funding the terrorists?
      That terrible attack gave GR the perfect opportunity, and timing, to announce his candidacy, even as an American citizen. What a wonderful chance to show Sri Lanka needed that “strong man” to save it.

    • 9
      3

      JEHAN Perera,

      Shamil raises an interesting question. What is the Truth?

      Is Gotabaya Rajapaksa an agent of the US? After all is he still a US Citizen?

      WMD, ISIS, IRAQ Invasion , Syria, Libya etc, had causes, and many say the lines lead to the US and the West.

      You need to research this link.

      In addition, you should also educate yourself on the Para-Sinhala Para-“Buddhism “, the cause of the many conflicts, that is a distortion of Buddhism and is an Insult to the Buddha, by reading Buddhism Betrayed, by Dr. Stanley Thambiah with a forward by Lal Jayawardane, which was exploited by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in addition to the incompetence of the duo Sirisena and Ranil, to win the election.

      So, the religion is weaponized, to maintain the hegemony, by the Sinhala Buddhist monks and the West.

      • 1
        0

        In addition, you should also educate yourself on the Para-Sinhala Para-“Buddhism “, the cause of the many conflicts, that is a distortion of Buddhism and is an Insult to the Buddha,”
        —-
        Buddhism is ‘Para’ because it came from Hindusthan. Sinhalayo or Sinhala language are not ‘Para’ because both of them evolved in this country. Although this is the undeniable truth, it is difficult to convince that to some don-keys working for NGOs because they get paid to keep on repeating what they have been asked to do to get their pay check. They are like those ancient Greeks who believed that Sun is going round the earth.

        It is true to a certain extent that Buddhism is the cause for some conflicts. Because of the tolerance of Native Sinhala people who embraced Buddhism ‘Para’ Musalmans and ‘Para’ Malabar Dravidians got the opportunity to live in this country as citizens with equal rights. But these two ‘Para’ communities produced barbaric terrorists who massacred Sinhala Buddhist men, women, children and even unborn babies.

  • 7
    18

    The war wounds are in all sides. Healing is not a one way street as presently being propagated. At the moment, all efforts are focused on healing the wounds of terrorists and their sympathisers.

    • 14
      2

      Helass

      “The war wounds are in all sides.”

      True.

      “Healing is not a one way street as presently being propagated.”

      True, war criminals are being elected to top jobs including presidency and prime ministerial job. In addition those who carried Gota’s b***s when in uniform are being appointed to various top jobs, including Secretary to the Ministry of Defense, ….. Remember just after the Coronation of the Sinhala/Buddhist emperor Gota, who said he would not tolerate Nepotism ( the practice among those with power or influence of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.),…………..

      The clan is well healed and well settled in the state power structure now, hence the one side has no problem. The question is when will healing start for the rest of the 21 million people.

      “At the moment, all efforts are focused on healing the wounds of terrorists and their sympathisers.”

      True, all efforts are focused on healing the wounds of state terrorists and their sympathisers including merchants of death (arms suppliers), saffron brigade, ………

      Therefore you should stop mourning.
      Happy Holidays
      Happy Festivus

      • 4
        1

        Leaving almost everything aside, let me pass my CHRISTMAS and season s greetings to you Mr NATIVE V.
        Now we are very clear even if we the few on CT would repeatedly stand against, so long our majority mindset stay rotten further nothing, not even an inch of progress could be made towards a better srilanka.
        Our grass eaters are today happy just looking at wall arts, forgetting all the high rises of the daily needs, as if DOWN SYNDROME patients would be totally happy to be loved by others.
        I think it is nobody else, but sinhalaya – majority kalakanniyas should be made accoutable for all the mess in srilanka today.
        They talk high but most of them suffer from delusions of grandeur. They dont feel like that they should see it beyond. Over 69 lacks of people, stay speechless today, not even 2 months passed since proved criminals returned to power. It was just the media made it a reality, and the stupid people just voted for abusive men.
        Today, GOTLER has become the football between MAHINDA MAFIA BOSS and BASIL RAJAPAKSHE.
        Also, speechless not being able to face the world, since the responsiblity before him is huge than he ever thought. Not a single EU leader welcomed the newly elected president yet, but instead, remind the nation that the resolution already issued against the nation, should be very clear and what was promised by the nation should be made in the next few months. The Chinese are also not that happy, since BUGGER Gotler sent a message across that HIS govt would not be meaningful without the support of INDIA. The unbearable size of loans that his govt will have to pay off by March 2020, is the other burden before him, even if he promised..

        • 1
          0

          Simon De Silva

          Gota is struggling to retain his sanity.
          Does he know what he is talking about.
          He insanely believes he is a strongman. He too is beginning to believe in his own spin masters’ propaganda, shameless aggrandizing.
          This is danger.

      • 2
        0

        Native Vedda, why are you using words like ‘propagated’ in your response to Hela? Poor Hela is an uneducated buffoon and now you have confused him.

  • 4
    19

    In this photo, there is a woman who looks very much like Siriyalatha Perera aka Garnia Barrister Frances. This tribal crap never work. Germans were Nazis. Sinhala – Buddhists are not so. Sri Lanka should stop this Ethnic crap and devolution of power crap.

  • 7
    14

    “””One of the striking features of the presidential election was the division of the country’s electoral map along ethnic lines””
    /
    Mr. Jehan Perera,
    You are trying to bend facts to suit your political agenda.
    /
    You are trying to divide voters along ethanic and religious lines.
    But you are not dividing presidential hopefuls along the same lines.
    You have to treat both sides of the equation same way.
    Correct fact is……
    99.9% ethanic and religious minorities voted for Sajith or GR. Both are Sinhala Buddhist candidates.
    So where is the big divide you all are taking about.

    • 1
      0

      pasqual

      minorities voted for a true bhuddhist,while majority voted for a bogus bhuddhist.

      i wonder whether we would have had a 25 year war if sinhalese practiced bhuddism.

  • 12
    3

    the way the government handled the swiss embassy lady, shows the government does not care, its only for the select few. who will think long term in a country which is run by mafia lords.

  • 19
    1

    Jehan, The Govt has decided to sing the National Anthem ONLY in Sinhalese on Independence day. I guess that will help with true peace and nation building. Irony, on the very same day of Independence the minority will be reminded, they are not really Independent (as they want to believe) in their mother country. Way to go.

    • 12
      0

      This ethnic conflict is continuing to cost the country dearly.
      .
      It costs us in terms of moral dignity as well as straightforward economics.
      .
      If those whose “Mother Tongue” (I know that very concept is being challenged, but I think we understand that in practical terms it is two languages, Sinhala and Tamil that matter) is Tamil sing the faithful Tamil translation of the Sinhala words enthusiastically and spontaneously, to the same tune, is that not an affirmation of unity? That will be a good start.
      .
      Reparations? I personally feel that the families of the dead LTTE dead deserve support. In economic terms, doing this will cost us less than continuing to deny that the ordinary Tiger cadres were supporting what they sincerely imagined was a worthy cause. Those Sinhalese who want to add under their breath that they were misguided can continue to do so if they want to, as individuals.
      .
      Nobody can deny that the families of dead and injured government soldiers has been generously taken care of.
      .
      Let that decision about Tamil dead be made now, and let us start 2020 as a United Country.

      • 11
        2

        Sinhala Man, for a united country there has to be peace and dignity. For peace and dignity there should be justice and equality. When all of these are non-existent in Sri Lanka and the government flatly refusing to move forwards on these aspects, how can you expect unity. All except handful of Sinhalese want is to cover up crimes committed on Tamils, continue the injustice on Tamils and keep them suppressed without dignity or peace. Absence of war is not peace and enforced peace does not bring reconciliation. Two world statesmen have told Sri Lanka what to do to allow Tamils to live in equality, justice, peace and dignity. Without that unity is empty rhetoric.

        • 1
          0

          World statesmen can say anything but what matters is facts on the ground. The fact is Tamils are being slowly genocided, ethnically and culturally cleansed in their own home.

        • 0
          0

          Dear Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam,
          .
          You and I may be said to be old antagonists who speak the truth to each other. We are about the same age: Gnana, the Tamil, and Sinhala_Man. Yes, I proudly proclaim that I’m a Sinhalese each time I write, but today, this comment will be submitted under my real name. You are a rich Brit, I’m a poor man who has never left Asia.
          .
          Other Tamils don’t use their real names. Why? They are afraid to. That usually is because people are cowards, although they have nothing to fear. However, there’s much that you have to fear in Sri Lanka, because you are Second Class Citizens. You should not be treated so by us. I know that; and as you realise, I have always faced up to that truth.
          .
          Secondly, Gnana, you were a Royalist. I more humbly say that I was at S. Thomas’. Every child, every school, is equally important, but, in practice, there is little equality, much exploitation. The teachers at S. Thomas’ today are those who had studied in other schools. They are treated shabbily.
          .
          Today is Christmas, a Holy Day. Let more home truths be uttered today.
          .
          Best wishes!

    • 15
      3

      This was one of their first moves , when elected ban the singing of the national anthem in Tamil but due to the backlash and his impending visit to India , backed off , now slowly bringing it back again. Will say I was elected by the racist Sinhalese majority and this is what they wish for their Tamil serfs , as Tamil peoples rights and lives depend on the whims , fancies .likes and dislikes of these racist Sinhalese majority and not on law or legislation. This is not what I state but the war criminal thug , who was elected by the racist imbeciles.

    • 8
      1

      Chic/JEHAN Perera,

      By singing the National Anthem, in only Para- -Sinhala, and not in Para-Tamil as well, the Government is going back to the root of the the Para conflict in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

      The Government is saying, the Para-Sinhala are the Masters and the Para-Tamils are the subordinates or the slaves.

      So, the slaves will continue to fight for liberation from the masters.

      The question is who will liberate the “low- caste” Para-Tamils from the “high-caste “ Para-Tamils, in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho?

    • 13
      2

      People who think that this regime, with two brothers ruling the show, are genuinely concerned about the minority, (who don’t vote for their party), will rule the country with fairness and security for all, are naive, in denial, or ignorant. They have an ugly record that their supporters seem to have forgotten, and it has always been to pander to the Sinhala Buddhists.

    • 9
      2

      So much for including the minority and treating all fairly. No wonder GR ran to India for advice, it seem nationalism is infectious, and Modi’s model is going to be the same for Sri Lanka. The signs do not bode well for this country.

    • 1
      2

      chiv
      The Govt has decided to sing the National Anthem ONLY in Sinhalese on Independence day.

      It was the Sinhalese who fought for independence in their country so why shouldn’t we sing it in Sinhala, you people find fault in everything Sinhala and only want us gone from this country while at the same time talking about a multiethnic country. Keep dreaming you guys will never get eelam.

    • 1
      0

      chiv
      india has its national anthem in samskutham which is sanskritized bengali.sanskrit is the mother of all indian languages.The anthem is not in hindi as most people believe.I wonder what the sinhalese will do if the tamils tell the british to put back ceylon in the same way it was when they took over the island.After that is done the same could be requested of the dutch and the portuguese who were also colonial powers .So independence day to be sung in sinhala national anthem is okay for tamils as they never got independence from the colonials.from colonial master to sinhala master.

  • 2
    8

    Wiggy has written to Boris Johnson asking him to help set up a Federal state for the Tamils. In India that is the crime of Sedition. A sure way of earning the trust of the majority. We can all see what devolution has led to in Scotland.

    • 0
      0

      Adrian,
      .
      Why get so legalistic about the behaviour of Wiggy or any other Tamil? We, as the majority have to adopt a far more constructive attitude than you are prepared for.
      .
      Today, I will not sign off as “Sinhala_Man”. I will use the name that my parents gave me – for better or for worse. See who originally bore my first name:
      .
      https://www.dictionary.com/browse/panini
      .
      Wikipedia gives you more. Look it up yourself.
      .
      Yes, he was an Indian, a great man. When children are named a huge weight is placed upon them, which they cannot possibly shoulder. So it is with me. I am not great.
      .
      However, each of us can speak out and be truthful. Think that out, and on this Christmas Day, I hope that Anglicans will face up to the truth about themselves. There are only 24,000 in Sri Lanka, including me. Most are rich, and exploitative. Yes, that is right. See what they are doing here:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/some-thomian-pharisees-are-adamant-on-the-need-to-cheat/
      .
      Yes, their Bishops cheat. There are many dishonest things in this country that must be put right. Why don’t you make more intelligent comments there? Injustices that happen in any part of Sri Lanka ought to concern us.

  • 2
    7

    Nandasean is heading to be a Lame Duck President after the Sinhala New Year..
    Dr Jehan does not need to worry about building bridges among the Tamils , Muslims ,and the converted poor Sinhalese.

    TNA’s Gun Lawyer MP just announced that he will help the UNP to form the next Government.
    As Abraham is confident that his Vellala Party will get a lot more than the current 16 Seats at the next Election.

    Abraham got a point.
    When I did the Math, Keselwatta Kid received over Two Million Votes from the Tamils and the Muslims in the South.;
    With the Muslims and the TNA Tamils contesting under their own Symbols that will be a whopping 30 to 40 Seats in Kotte.

    7 Million inhabitants who backed Nandasena have their work cut out.
    They will have to gather as many more votes as possible from their extended families if they want to keep their country in one piece.

    Because the TNA heavy Abraham’s pledge to his follower is that this Joining g the UNP to Form the next Government is his strategy to get their Independent Federal Eelaam after the next Election..

    • 4
      1

      KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

      “Because the TNA heavy Abraham’s pledge to his follower is that this Joining g the UNP to Form the next Government is his strategy to get their Independent Federal Eelaam after the next Election..”

      What the heck is wrong with you?

      It can either be Independent Eelam or be a Federal Eelam.

      It cannot be both all at the same time.
      What exactly do you want, an independent Eelam or Federal Eelam.

      Let the Hindians know what the status of island is going to be in about 5 to ten years. It’s time you went to bed., and got up early, so that you can start your early binge.

      Happy Holidays.
      Happy Festivus.

      • 1
        0

        Dear Native,

        Didn’t your new Liberator from Cinnamon Gardens,the ex Judge Wineswaran say he wants a separate Homeland for the Tamils and the Tamil Speaking People in a combined North and Eastern Provinces of Srilnaka to be a totally Independent Federal Eelaam.?.

        Do you know the LAW better than Him.?.

        Mr Wiggs made this statement and justified it saying Tamil Buddhists were aready in Srilanka when the real Buddha paid his first visit.

        I just watched the first episode of BUDDHA , a Doc type Movie made by the Hindians.
        Young Siddhartha didn’t look like a Tamil . Neither he spoke Tamil.
        Besides they were no where near Thamil Nad..

        There goes Wiggy’s Theory of Buddha being a Thamil..

        One thing I noticed though is Siddhartha’s Mom said something about his Hubby being related to a King Rama..

        Is he the same dude who brought that Hanuman Brigade to rescue his Missus from our King Ravana from Batalanda?.. .

        Merry XMas to you all..

        • 1
          0

          KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

          “Didn’t your new Liberator from Cinnamon Gardens,the ex Judge Wineswaran say he …………………”

          I am told he threw a few Tamil youth in jail in the early 1990s, when he was serving in North East while was in the middle of transition from Tamil Hindu to Sinhala Buddhist. Then he found out about Hinduism, pottu, Tamil and Vesty.

  • 5
    2

    JD,
    As I explained many times before, I’m against the devolution power via 13 A b’cos it can be done without the PC white elephant. As Dallas Alahpperuma pointed out, I believe that a crash program of nationwide bilingual (Tamil/Sinhala) education can solve large % of problems b’cos the issue of feeling of discrimination come mainly from the inability communicate in mother tongue.Then there, are other issues such as district basis university selection which is already abandoned.

    However, I think that the Gvt is making a mistake by putting emphasis “asphalt/concrete” diplomacy in the N & E. Material progress is important but, it has no meaning for those who are struggling to mange living unless it is accompanied with improving living conditions (economic progress). On top of such poor decisions, initiative for Sinhalese only National Anthem and abusing power political revenge will only enhance the existing mistrust. With all these factors, along with Gvt’s risky economic plan which has all the signs of misfire, I doubt whether the Gvt will be able to move forward even an inch towards the reconciliation.

    • 1
      0

      D. P. ,
      .
      Just come off it will you. I’m that same Sinhala_Man who has told you many a truth.
      .
      By profession, i’ve been a language teacher – of English.
      .
      I’m not for bilingualism, but for trilingualism. Encourage that, by all means, but don’t force it on people. Languages are not easy to learn. Alas, I don’t know any Tamil, but my attitudes are correct – at least I think so.
      .
      Please make intelligent comments on other articles as well.

  • 8
    1

    Jehan Perera

    Army maintained a register of persons taken into the camps at Vavuniya and other places after the war ended. If this register is open to the public, missing persons’ relatives could check and find out the names of persons they are looking for are there or not. In a magistrate courts case at Mullaithivu, army agreed to produce this register on the next date of hearing, but they denied the existence of the said register at the next hearing. President Srisena too agreed once to show this register to the victims’ relatives. But after sometime he too denied its existence. In this predicament you say that office of missing persons and office for reparations, on which victims’ relatives have no faith as these offices have no power to trace the missing people and arrest the perpetrators, will bring relief. What a joke ! Answer to me Jehan.

  • 7
    1

    Jehan

    Family members of involuntarily disappeared persons have been carrying out protests continuously for the last three years in North and East of Srilanka. Please tell me how many times you and officers from Missing persons office and Reparation have met them at their protest places to give” message of care and heal hearts and minds ” or for any other constructive purposes.

  • 1
    1

    In analysing the voting patterns @ the presidential election, it is evident that there is an ethnic divide (although statistically proven, I cannot provide the hypothesized details due to lack of population data).

    in more simpler terms, the margin of victory for GR was not was it seems, since the statistical analysis does not indicate such a margin of victory as calculated using basic Arithmetic.

    Thus Mr. GR should not feel such overwhelmed in victory.

    In contrast, the interpretation of such a majority @ the presidential election, may mislead many political pundits to become complacent @ the General election, that might result in a much tighter outcome.
    As an statistician, an academic in digitally based decision making, and a student of Artificial Intelligence (AI), my recommendation to Mr. GR is to be sensible and be close to the ground in making nationalistic decisions.
    You’ve done an excellent job thus far.

    Cheers!

    • 0
      0

      Ah, Preethi Wanasinghe, PhD, etc, it is!
      .
      Instead of solving all the problems of Sri Lanka, why don’t you look at the problems in your alma mater first? Or have you had your say, and has your comment not been displayed yet?
      .
      You are a past Secretary of the Bandarawela OBA. I was the Vice-President, with a dishonest man as President. Why don’t you talk about that? You are privy to many bits of information that others are unaware of. Now is the time for you to come out with it all.
      .
      Only for this week, I’m not signing myself as Sinhala_Man. That name sounds a bit racist. Do you consider me to be racist? Jehan Perera has always attacked racism.
      .
      Do you know that I was a very average tennis player, but I think that Jehan Perera was a champion?
      .
      More later.

      • 2
        0

        Ediri,
        That is how I was called by my Sinhala friends after I came on the athletic scene. I never thought of you as Racist because you went by the name of Sinhala-Man. I have many Sinhala friends from all walks of life. None of them are racist. I know many professionals who are Sinhalese. Some of their policies are anit-Tamil. They will never admit it. Their excuses are pathetic. But they are not racist in any other respect. None of the athletes I know are racist. After 1956 some of the Officials were Anit-Tamil. In 1958, 1960 and 1962 I was left out of the Asian and Olympic Games, though I qualified and none of the others qualified. Because the Daily News sport editor, Carlton Senevaretne, published challenges to the selectors, I was selected for the 1958 and 1962 Asian Games. I don’t see such discrimination in athletics now.

  • 6
    0

    What Bandaranaike said was ‘Sinhala Only’ What he meant was “Only for the Sinahalese” That hidden meaning was clearly understood by those for whom the slogan was meant.

  • 2
    0

    singing of national anthem in tamil is not a big deal.it is only minor gesture to please tamils. tamils and the problem they are facing from the day ceylon gained independent in 1948.only during election time some leaders like MHINDA SAYS VANNAKAM in broken tamil.nothing is permanent in life and in politics and power that come along with that.LEADERS LIKE HITLER,GADAFI,SATHAM QUSAIN and their fate are good recent example.leave the tamils and muslims alone for the time being.THE BIG POLITICAL 50 OVER MATCH WILL BE A HOME AND HOME MATCH BETWEEN SINGALEASE IN GENERAL ELECTIONS WILL MAKE TAMILS AND MUSLIMS VERY HAPPY FOR THE REASON FOR THE WAY THERE ARE BEING TREATED NOW.

    • 0
      0

      Absolutely, dear PARAGON.
      .
      National Anthems are only of symbolic value. But even that we can’t get right.
      .
      This is Sinhala_Man, but for the next week, I’m going to sign off differently.

  • 9
    1

    Jegan,
    After this election, Gota and Mahinda thinks that devolution of power is not necessary because now Sinhalese only can decide who should govern this country what right they can offer to other communities of this island. It is the same Mahinda Rajapaksa who offered 13 plus. It is the same Mahinda Rajapaksa who appointed a all party committee and came up with a solution through devolution of power. It is the SWRD who lead the SLFP came up with devolution of power in 1956. Buddhist Sinhala will never agree for a solution unless they feel they are not secured. When LTTE was in command they agreed to offer a federal solution. They think now they won LTTE and they can do anything they want. But it is not permanent. Did Mahinda ever thought he will loose his power in 2015? No. Did LTTE thought they will loose in 2009?No. You can win and loose in elections and wars. But nothing is permanent. In Srilanka bloodbath is permanent since 1948. It will continue until buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism dies.

  • 8
    1

    Singing the National Anthem in both official languages or in ‘Sinhala Only’ not is a big issue. The Rajapakshes are well known for their Anti-minority attitude and that is the reason why he came to power from 95% Sinhala-Buddhist votes. He definitely has to make his voters happy, singing the national anthem in ‘Sinhala Only’ is just the first step, expect more and more Anti-minority stuff in the future.

    • 2
      0

      A Sri Lankan.
      In 1952, the Ceylon Olympic Team that consisted of 3 boxers, 2 swimmers and 1 athlete (2 Sinhalese, 3 Burghers and 1 Tamil with 2 Sinhala Officials) learned to sing the National Anthem in Sinhala. I memorized it without knowing what it meant, except a 2 or 3 words. At the Games I listened to the national anthem of those who won Gold medal. National Anthem of USA was played many times and I learned much of it. I also learned the Finnish national anthem. I enjoyed the music of national anthem and looking at the flags of all nationals. But I did not and still do not care for national anthems and flags.
      At and after the the Helsinki Games I thought myself as an International. I wished, like Bertrand Russel that there should be a World Government. Just imagine no borders, visa and passports!!! With the Sri Lanka passport it takes a month to get a visa to travel to any country except Singapore.
      I really don’t care which language citizens of Sri Lanka sing their National Anthem. There are more serious issues we have to resolve. Isn’t Namo Namo Matha Sanskrit words?

    • 0
      0

      A Sri Lankan.
      In 1952, the Ceylon Olympic Team that consisted of 3 boxers, 2 swimmers and 1 athlete (2 Sinhalese, 3 Burghers and 1 Tamil with 2 Sinhala Officials) learned to sing the National Anthem in Sinhala. I memorized it without knowing what it meant, except 2 or 3 words. At the Games I listened to the national anthem of those who won Gold medals. National Anthem of USA was played many times and I learned much of it. I also learned the Finnish national anthem. I enjoyed the music of national anthems and looking at the flags of all nationals. But I did not and still do not care for national anthems and flags.
      At and after the the Helsinki Games I thought myself as an International. I wished, like Bertrand Russel that there should be a World Government. Just imagine no borders, visa and passports!!! With the Sri Lanka passport it takes a month to get a visa to travel to any country except Singapore.
      I really don’t care which language citizens of Sri Lanka sing their National Anthem. There are more serious issues we have to resolve. Isn’t Namo Namo Matha Sanskrit words?

  • 2
    9

    There should be Tamil boys and girls who can sing the national anthem in Sinhala but with the Tamil accent. Rewarad them to sing and make it an item of the event.

    • 0
      1

      JD
      There is a great American citizen who sang American National anthem in English is now in Srilanka to sing Srilanka national anthem in English with Sinhala accent. Do you know who is that?

  • 3
    0

    TNA has threatened the govt saying, TNA will help the sinking Ship UNP to form the next parliament.

  • 3
    2

    Tamils have a reputation that they always hang onto sinking ships. It is certain UNP lose except in the case that the candidate have a good reputation. TNA is supporting UNP and that is the evidence that UNP is busted now.

  • 3
    1

    Jehan, You and other liberals in Colombo may remember your pushing for Federalism since 1994. Chandrika could not get her party or the opposition to support the August 1995 and watered down 2000 proposals. It took LTTE 10 years to ” agree to Explore Federalism” in Oslo. May be it was because US Amb Wills stated such a solution in a letter that US will support a Federal solution. But soon after Chandrika dissolved Parliament. She won the election and tried to put Kadirgamar as PM. But MR was given the job. After LTTE was defeated all the liberals thought Federalism as an “F” word.

    One of the key component of Reconciliation is Justice for those who were made to disappear for whom records exist. Then there is the killing of Balachandran. P. at point blank range. The soldier who took the picture of that child sitting in a military post and later picture of his chest drilled with bullets has a heart and leaked the picture to the Press. So was the leaked picture of many naked LTTE cadres sitting with their hands tied behind their back in a dug ditch with water. It is the picture of Isaipriya and another girl sitting with the others. Equally disturbing is the video of two soldier assassins shooting in the back of the head of naked men with blindfold and hands tied behind their back. The video pans to other bodies of who were shot. The soldier who took the video should be commended for releasing the clips to the Press. President MR and Sec of Defence GR and the Generals down to the involved soldiers need to answer for the crimes that took place under their watch.

    The results of the Presidential election shows that neither the Tamils or the Sinhalese are ready to find a common middle ground to find a political solution.

  • 1
    5

    All the hysteria over Sinhala-Only. If Tamils had simply accepted this proposition, it would have shown their willingness to assimilate. As bi-lingual (or tril-lingual) speakers, they would have had an easy time assimilating. At what expense? None; learning a language is free. In the end, even Sinhalese realized the limitations of “Sinhala-Only”; all the leading schools have English as compulsory and universities are only English medium. This is a classic case of opportunist Tamil politicians like SJV making an issue out of a non-issue.

    • 1
      3

      Lester, Agree 100%. The racist Tamil politicians SJV, Ponna, Sunda did overtime to make ordinary, peace loving Tamils second class citizens. They have also etched their racist mindset on to the minds of younger generations.

    • 1
      0

      Lester

      “All the hysteria over Sinhala-Only. If Tamils had simply accepted this proposition, it would have shown their willingness to assimilate. “

      Why should they?
      Why don’t you assimilate with Tamils of Tamil Nadu as they seem to be the majority in this region or with Malayalies and merge with south India. This island would have been better off had DS decided to merge with India.

    • 2
      0

      Lester why would a Tamil learn a Primitive Language. You learn English because it gives you access to wider World. Sinhala only for Tamils wont even save them in Anuradapura when you lot start another riots as you lot hold the World Record.

  • 1
    2

    Jehan PhD is shedding tears for Royal’s Aanduwa. But King has told the NGOs to stay out of making deals with foreign entities. Then the payments to Jehan PhD have to be paid through un-laundered, uncleaned bills. Otherwise King will shave everybody deep below skin. Further King said “stop importing anything can be made in Lankawe, including Wheat flour”. I don’t know who is making wheat flour in Lankawe, if not the communist Pakkaya can answer that. New King’s brother asked King to import rice as the stock in hand is dangerously low. This pre-economic sanctions taste for Modaya Mahajan (all others too, but Mahajan deserve special mention). There won’t be any Pain queue this time as American flour will be banned this time. The solution going to be is Kurakkan Bread for Sinhalese and Kurakkan Pittu for Tamils. No diabetic- No kidney diseases, fit & hourglass shaped body for everybody. Awai praised a king one time:”varakarasi soorum valuthunaikai vaadalum muramuravenawe puliththa maurum, Pulvealoor Poothan pokanthidda sooru ellavulakum perum. ” (Millet rice, fried eggplant and really fermented curd milk given to me by the king is worth for the whole world.)
    Millet Rice recipe in case if needed in the future: https://www.indianhealthyrecipes.com/lemon-millet-rice-recipe/
    Enjoy it!

  • 3
    0

    I was reluctant to join the conversation. I had to convince myself that inaccuracies in our struggle for our fair demands must not be allowed to pass without being questioned. Look at Jehan Perera’s, ‘ .. for the past nearly one hundred years, the Tamil demand for power sharing arrangements … … has been present despite being rejected time and time again’. Is this not a half-truth. Denied? Yes. Rejected? No.
    (Jehan spins his own story. He has been dishing out such untruths since mid-1980s.)

  • 3
    0

    Jehan, Today court has ordered the arrest of Rajitha. Finally they have come for the politicians. Initially it was Estate Tamils, then it was the whole Tamil Community, then it changed to Christians, Muslims, Non Buddhist Sinhalese and now finally the politicians them self. Rajitha too at one time was with MR and took up few issues against minorities and then went on to join the previous Govt. Who would have thought a guy who had his family wedding in official residence will be going to a prison with no bed, mattress or pillow (according to Champika). I still insist I am against all kind of political revenge.

  • 0
    3

    “On the other hand, for the past nearly one hundred years, the Tamil demand for power sharing arrangements with the ethnic Sinhalese majority has been present despite being rejected time and time again.”

    The so called ‘Ceylon Tamils’ are the descendants of Malabar slaves brought to Sinhale by Portuguese and Dutch to work in their plantations. After exploiting these slaves to the maximum, the colonial parasites dumped them in Sinhale and vanished making them Stateless. Because of the kind-heartedness of Native Sinhalayo, instead of chasing these people back to their place of origin across the Palk Strait gave them citizenship in Sinhale. Native Sinhalayo find it unacceptable for these ‘Para’ people to talk about creating a Separate State in Sinhale, introducing a Federal System or Devolution of Power. If these ‘Para’ people are not willing to live in this country with Native Sinhalayo in a Unitary State as equal citizens, a privilege given by Native Sinhalayo and want to talk about ‘Minority Rights’, ‘Tamil Rights’ they should leave this country allowing those who are willing to live peacefully with Native Sinhalayo in this country. Native Sinhalayo are not prepared to accept any of these demands from ‘Para’ people because they have no moral justification to make such demands.

  • 2
    1

    Aanduwa passed all needed legislations in cabinet, (while parliament is shut off,) to fight back any economic sanctions on food items. Lankaweyans will be restarting Siri Mao’s time home gardening. But, if they get enough drinking water in Colombo taps, they will have to urinate into gas tanks for their three wheelers and two wheelers. (Ministers’ & Ayatollahs’ Benzes will be running on Indian- Chinese gase)

    Mano Ganesan, for his last 5 years’ hard work, received apersonal gift that was re-allowing to sing the Sinhala Song in Tamil. Now, all of Mano Ganesan’s five years of toil is gone by last week, just like that. Now Mano Ganesan has to wait for another 20 years UNP to come back and has to work hard five years to get the permission to sing the Sinhala Song in Tamil.
    Jayawewa!

  • 3
    1

    Jehan

    Two Issues That Will Continue To Trouble

    *** The two issues ( Not only two many more) that will continue to trouble are one is personal to Gotha and the other one is what his Presidency means to the minorities.

    Personal:

    1) He is a President in name only and he knows tt but he is making elaborate plans to improve the lot for his own electorate the 52% voted for him. But he is under the cloud of CRIMINALITY.

    2) What is in it for the minorities . Frankly NOTHING from within. But dark clouds are gathering.

    a) Even the mighty Nethenyahu is about to be charged by ICC and Gotha is next. The US State department is yet to deliver its judgement on his Citizenship .
    b) BJP leader has added weight to his woes. He has said that the Tamil refugees on his soil mut be able to return Home so India has a Weapon.

    Finally the Chicken has come Home to roost and reality has come home to haunt him . Despite all his utterances it was him and his brother who leased large parts of Sri Lanka to China and China is flexing its muscle using the Billions as a leverage. There is no respite. Indian Defence Minister will be visiting soon to Press for a Milittary Prsence either by Persuasion of by Force.

  • 0
    0

    Why Srilanka as a Nation didn’t progress? main reason is that the SANGHA with Extremist vies dictates the Rules of ENGAGEMENT. If we were to progress DUMP the SANGHA.

  • 0
    0

    If we all are looking for a paradigm shift to gain a meaningful result, let us seek the middle ground by merely focussing on building bridges by moving towards a solid answer, shifting from self-rule to shared rule and building a strong citizenry. Together we are all Sri Lankans is the key to the future.

  • 0
    0

    ‘Eagle Eye’- a right name. He has to study history in detail from the origin of mankind. Tamils except the Hill country tamils never came from anywhere. Your history book- the Mahavamsa states that Vijayan with 700 people came from India and later got brides from India for them. As per your Mahavamsa, Nagas were living in Ilankai the present Srilanka you call. The truth is that the Sinhalese came from India and not the Tamils. Please do your home work on the origins of the sinhala language and the sinhala race. You will see shocking truths. For your information, try to read a book ‘ Sinhalese of Ceylon and the Aryan theory’ by Samuel Livingstone and get enlightened.

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