14 December, 2017

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UK And US Should Keep Up The Pressure On Sri Lanka

By Veluppillai Thangavelu

Veluppillai Thangavelu

Veluppillai Thangavelu

Countries normally compete with one another to host international conferences to polish their image and standing.  Olympics is one example. Publicity for such events brings in tourists, investments and trade.

The Commonwealth Conference of Heads of Governments (CHOGM) also serves the same purpose. The CHOGM   held in Colombo last November was preceded by the Commonwealth People’s Forum, the Commonwealth Youth Forum, and the Commonwealth Business Forum. Several hundred delegates attended the Business Forum that attracted global media coverage.  A high profile Business Forum was led by British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Sri Lanka by hosting this biennial conference in Colombo must have calculated that  it will provide an opportunity to improve  the tarnished image of the country, especially  accusations  regarding  wide spread human rights  violations, war crimes, crimes against humanity, lack of media  freedom, subversion of  the judiciary, undermining  of rule of law etc.

Government spent millions of dollars on extensive beautification of the city. More than 50 brand new bullet-proof S400 Mercedes Benz cars were imported for the summit. A large fleet of brand new Nissan Teanas, Toyota Corollas, 100 forty-one-seater luxury buses and 60 Land Rover Defender jeeps were also imported. A few days to the summit, a shiny new 26 kilometre expressway costing   1.8 billion rupees or 14 million US dollars per kilometre, amongst the most expensive in the world, was declared opened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Where all the finance did came from?  Like the other mega projects, it was mostly financed by a loan from China whose terms are unknown. No wonder Sri Lanka’s public debt has risen alarmingly to Rs. 3 trillion or nearly 80 per cent of GDP.

Unfortunately for Sri Lanka, the hosting of the CHOGM spending several billions resulted in a near total public relations disaster, its human rights record coming under intense scrutiny by the international media. The   meticulously crafted   efforts to ensure the right image is conveyed have backfired. Normally these biannual meetings are not controversial and ends unnoticed and unsung.

To begin with Prime Minister Stephen Harper kept his word by boycotting the CHOGM and sending only a low profile delegation headed by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for External Affairs Deepak Obhrai. After much agonizing Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh too skipped the conference at the last minute.   He succumbed to the intense pressure from Thamil Nadu government and political parties of all hues to boycott the CHOGM.  The boycott by India took the shine away from the CHOGM and it was a total disappointment and a bitter pill for Sri Lanka to swallow. Added to Sri Lanka’s woes, Mauritius Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam announced that he will be boycott the conference.

In this back ground, only 27 out of   53 Heads of Government attended the meeting. Of the 19 countries in the African continent, only 7 attended.    More than the host country the Commonwealth’s showpiece event was a disaster for the parent organisation.

Sri Lanka’s war crimes dominated the commonwealth summit.  There were calls for international investigations over Sri Lanka’s war crimes.

While the CHOGM took place in Colombo all eyes were on Jaffna. Delegations from many countries visited the North and met the newly elected Chief Minister of the Northern Province and a cross section of the common people.   There was heavy presence of western media, including the Channel 4 crew headed by Callum Macrae, Director of the documentary film Killing Fields of Sri Lanka featuring devastating video evidence of horrific war crimes. A panicked government to stem the flow halted all air flights to Jaffna though denied subsequently.

When the Channel 4 crew went by train to Jaffna, there was a government inspired demonstration at the Anuradhapura railway station. The train they travelled was stopped and they were forced to return to Colombo.  The Police trotted the lame excuse that they cannot provide security to the Channel 4 crew. This incident only helped to confirm the lack of media freedom and the poor law and order situation in Sri Lanka. Why the government treated the Channel 4 crew so shabbily after promising that anyone can visit any place they like remains a mystery. Due to further harassment by the Immigration Department officials the Channel 4 crew cuts short their visit and took flight home. Macrae vowed that he will not be intimated from carrying out his duties as a director by Sri Lankan authorities. Callum Macrae has become a household name among Diaspora Thamils.

Not surprisingly the Sri Lankan law enforcement forces continued a campaign of harassment not only of the media but also human rights activists while the CHOGM was in sessions.

The youthful British Prime Minister David Cameron easily stole the limelight at the CHOGM. He had a hectic schedule, but still managed to fly to Jaffna after the opening ceremony to get a first hand knowledge of what was going on behind the cadjan fence. His visit is the first by a world leader to the Thamil-dominated north since independence in 1948. He met Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran along with TNA leader R.Sampanthan and M.A.Sumanthiran, MP.  He visited Uthayan newspaper office and later the Sabapathy Pillai refugee camp in the outskirts of Jaffna, described by the government as a “welfare village”.  There were around 150 families living in a tangle of bamboo and corrugated-iron huts since they were displaced in 1990 army offensive. David Cameron was mobbed by the people and was seen getting in and out of dilapidated huts holding hands with the dishevelled refugees. It was a moving scene reminiscent of refugees in Haiti or Somalia.

At Uthayan newspaper office David Cameron saw the bullet ridden walls and the burnt out printing press during an attack by the intelligence wing of the army. At 4.00 pm on April 13, this year, masked men on motorbikes smashed their way into a room where that day’s newspaper was still rolling off the presses. Bullets were fired, but the seven staff present escaped unharmed. The printing press was set alight, and today remains out of action. There were 6 attacks this year alone and Uthayan newspaper has lost six staff members to masked paramilitary gangs sent by the government since 2005. One is still missing. The paper’s editor has lived in his office for seven years after attempts on his life by armed goons.

About his historical visit to the North, David Cameron tweeted “I’m the first leader to go to the north of Sri Lanka since 1948. I want to shine a light on chilling events there first hand and Political leaders in the north of Sri Lanka tell me they are glad I’ve come to help highlight what is happening here.”

The government claims there are no missing persons and all those LTTE cadres who surrendered have been released after rehabilitation. And all IDPs have been resettled in their homes. But David Cameron was confronted by up to 200 mainly female Thamil demonstrators brandishing photographs of their missing relatives opposite the Jaffna library. The wailing men and women broke the police cordon to get closer to him.  The pathetic pleas of the demonstrators exposed the lies trotted out by the government. A frustrated government accused David Cameron of breaching protocol on his visit to the country.

Mahinda Rajapakse has been infuriated by David Cameron’s warning that he will push for an international probe in the form of resolution through the UN bodies. “Let me be very clear, if an investigation is not completed by March, then I will use our position on the UN HRC to work with the UN Human Rights Commission and call for a full, credible and independent international inquiry,” Mr Cameron stated in Colombo.

Backing the call already made by UN human rights chief Navi Pillay,  David Cameron said that, if no credible domestic investigations are carried out by March next year, there should be an international inquiry.  Navi Pillay during her visit to Sri Lanka in August this year issued a hard-hitting statement where she expressed deep concern “that Sri Lanka, despite the opportunity provided by the end of the war to construct a new vibrant all-embracing state, is showing signs of heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction.”

The British Foreign Secretary William Hague met rights activists in Colombo in a sign of his government’s determination to keep the issue alive. “We cannot and will not turn a blind eye to the abuses which occur whether they are about freedom of expression, impunity for disappearances or sexual violence, freedom from torture and the lack of accountability” Hague said after his meetings in Colombo.

Canada’s Parliamentary Secretary to the Foreign Minister Deepak Obhrai said the decision to allow Colombo to stage such a gathering was akin to “accommodating evil”.

After the summit David Cameron continued his pressure on the Sri Lankan government that he will press for an international inquiry into war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan army.  He said that the Sri Lankan government is now under more pressure than a week ago or months ago regarding the alleged human rights violations.

“I do not think that anyone can be in any doubt that they are under more pressure today than they were a week ago, or a month ago, because of the international attention that has been shone on these issues—they know that the world will be watching. One only has to watch President Rajapaksa’s press conference, which was dominated by questions about human rights and inquiries into what happened at the end of the war, to see that there is pressure today that there was not a week ago,” Cameron told British Parliament on  18th December.

However, sources suggest that Cameron made little headway with Rajapaksa during an hour-long meeting with him in Colombo on 15th November, 2013. They described the exchange as robust and animated, with Rajapaksa acknowledging problems in his country but arguing that they needed time to sort out.

During the encounter, Cameron brought up attacks on Christians and Muslims, the murder of British national Khuram Shaikh, the killing of journalists and seizure of land. He also mentioned a Channel 4 documentary about atrocities allegedly committed by state forces in the last months of the war, containing images verified by the UN.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa fends off the allegations and suggested that Cameron was using the visit to win favour with the Thamil community in the UK.

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative has reminded the Commonwealth that Sri Lanka has a poor rights record when it comes to real accountability, and said the international community must continue to monitor Sri Lanka on its message to mark Human Rights Day which falls on December 10th.  “Previous commissions and investigations have been plagued by government interference and failed to achieve meaningful results and are mostly seen as a government ploy to delay effective criminal investigations. Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) failed to fix responsibility for war crimes and its recommendations remain largely unimplemented,” the CHRI said in its statement.

The Amnesty International was more blunt. In a report issued on November 17 by  Steve Crawshaw, Director of the Office of the Secretary General at AI lambasted the Sri Lankan government for breaking promises. He said “The international community must keep up pressure on the Sri Lankan government to address its human rights crisis in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka may well regret having hosted the Commonwealth summit which has proved a PR disaster for the government. Most of the focus has rightly been on the country’s appalling human rights record.

“The challenge for the international community is now to keep up the pressure on the Sri Lankan government. Those responsible for past violations, including war crimes, must be held accountable and ongoing human rights violations stopped irrespective of rank – victims and survivors must see justice done. The past week has provided clear examples of the government’s repressive tactics.”

The European Union Parliament has passed a resolution stating that the United Nations should initiate an international investigation into allegations of violations of international humanitarian law, if Sri Lanka fails to start one itself, before March 2014. The resolution further called for ” an independent and credible investigation into alleged violations by March 2014, and considers that otherwise the UN should initiate an international investigation”.

The resolution also “notes with concern”, the presence of Sri Lankan armed forces in the island’s former conflict areas, adding that it was “leading to human rights violations including land grabbing… and worrying numbers of reported sexual assaults”. It also referred to the killings of 5 youth in Trincomalee in 2006 and the massacre of 17 Tamil aid workers for the French Charity ACF, who recently blamed the killings on government forces.

However, Sri Lanka’s Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters that the government alone will decide which recommendations will be implemented and by when. Sri Lankan government has already rejected UNHCR Commissioner’s report issued after her visit to Sri Lanka in August saying it is not bound by the report.

A more encouraging news comes from US diplomatic sources. In the face of political dilly dallying and official contempt for UN resolutions by Sri Lanka, US propose to impose economic sanctions against Sri Lanka. A resolution to that effect is to be tabled before the US Congress after the Geneva human rights conference in March, 2014.

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime remains stubborn, defiant, immovable and far removed from forging genuine post-conflict healing and reconciliation. While taking credit for holding the NPC elections, the government is placing road blocks against smooth functioning of the council. The NPC has passed a resolution for the removal of the military governor and replacement with a civilian.

The demolition of partially damaged houses in the area acquired by the army, including Hindu temples has created rift and friction between the government and the NPC.  This is at a time more than 2000 petitioners are claiming legal ownership of   the land in Valikamam North. The land grab makes a mockery of the call for post-war reconciliation by the international community.

CHOGM leaders issued a communiqué agreeing to cooperate on a number of issues, including poverty reduction, trade and youth affairs. The communiqué welcomed the adoption of the historic Commonwealth Charter in December 2012 and its signature by the Head of the Commonwealth on Commonwealth Day in March 2013. They reiterated their commitment to respect, protect and promote the core values set out in the Charter.

In that context, they noted that the people of the Commonwealth, through the Charter, had emphasised the importance of democracy; human rights; international peace and security; tolerance, respect and understanding; freedom of expression; separation of powers; rule of law; good governance; sustainable development; protecting the environment; access to health, education, food and shelter; gender equality; young people; the needs of small and vulnerable states; and the role of civil society. Heads emphasised that these values were interlinked and mutually reinforcing.

These are laudable and welcome principles, but how the CHOGM hopes to follow them under the chairmanship of Mahinda Rajapaksa who is facing accusations a violator of human rights and rule of law and above all a war criminal.

The CHOGM in Colombo will be remembered more for the acrimonious debate over Sri Lanka’s abysmal human rights record during and after the war. The year   2014 will be make or break year for the Sri Lankan government. It has only two choices, comply fully with UN sponsored resolution calling for war crimes investigation, an independent judiciary, respect for rule of law and genuine reconciliation between people or face an international investigation. .

The international community must stand united in its efforts to keep up the  pressure on  Sri Lanka to fully comply with UNHCR resolution and to live up to the core principles and values of the Commonwealth.   Until now, the international community has proved unwilling to use political and economic leverages to promote real peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. There is too much at stake, for too many, and   the international community should not fail to hold   Sri Lanka accountable on human rights issues and other fundamental freedoms.

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Latest comments

  • 8
    3

    This article is good and it reflects the facts.But still it is one sided.Where is the acknwoldgement of crimes commited by LTTE. Where is the committment of global Tamil community in true reconciliation. Sri lankan government is narrow minded and stubborn and is on a self destructive course with impending collison. However,unless the fair minded Tamil intellectuals come together with their like minded in the opposite side and exert pressure to solve this problem , we are more likely to remain polarized and divided. One person who opened his arms like that was Mr Vigneshwaran, Sadly no body seems to be reading his message from the south.But we have to keep trying together to keep our beautiful land in one pieace in which all communities can live with self respect and dignity.

    • 5
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      Priya it is great to read your comments.
      For us, as Sinhalese, all Tamils are LTTE
      All global Tamil community are LTTE
      Now the real LTTE is gone. But we still consider the Tamils and global Tamil community as LTTE. In fact I read recently our respectful Gota is secretly supporting another LTTE organisation with our Fair minded friend KARUNA. at least for the name sake we need LTTE, then only we can continue our business and mission-eliminate the Tamil existence in our land.
      Further , our way of dealing with honest fair minded people in the past since 1948 is very clear. There is no need to say that.

      What we need is cunning /self interested fair minded people like KARUNA, Kathirgamar and even Murali. We welcome them. otherwise your fair minded people are useless. As far as we Sinhalese are concerned they are LTTE.

      even any one raise any fair comments would be labelled as LTTE- isnt that correct? like Channel 4

      say that again- we do not need fair minded people. White van is there for them. But we need people like MURALI, KARUNA, KATHIRGAMAR and many more while our military is concentrating in Tamil home land.

      • 0
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        Dear Sinhala friend (not a Sinhalese)- Your repeated efforts at trying to sound like a Sinhalese is hilarious. Your statements truly do not reflect the Sinhalese mentality that you try to show. With so many Tamils living outside of the Northern and Eastern provinces, more Tamil speaking peoples in Colombo than other groups, how can you expect the world to swallow your childish banter? The only one your fooling is yourself.

    • 4
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      Priya:

      Grow up.

      See how Tamilnadu Tamils solved their problems in India. Instead of Hindi mixed Tamil, they speak English mixed Tamil. Still tribalism and Casteism is nourishing.

      Sri Lanka Tamils hate to move back to Tamilnadu. Instead they like to be a sinking boat floating towards Australian Christmus Island.

      • 0
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        JimSofty

        “Instead they like to be a sinking boat floating towards Australian Christmus Island.”

        The kallathonies are safe as they are with their Sinhalese brethren all the way to Australia.

        Please let us know the basis on which these Sinhala/Tamil kallathonies claim asylum………

      • 2
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        casteism is there throughout all of india infact it is worse in your favourite hindi north indian belt. Infact it is worse in the northern parts of india but you carefully chose to ignore this.

      • 2
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        What is the point you are trying to make by bringing up Tamil Nadu resistance to Hindi?– More Sinhalese are escaping Sri Lanka by whatever means than Tamils, so what is your excuse now?

    • 9
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      Priya:
      Your response is with some social responsibility. To live in peace as a minority, Tamil people must show more responsibility.

      When LLRC was introduced after the model of South Africa, Tamil TNA refused to participate and rediculed the LLRC.

      Tamil political capitol always based on the sufferings of the Tamil people. More sufferings, more votes. So, TNA never … never try to find a solution.

      Further this old man Thangavelu is part of LTTE goons in Canada. He and his LTTE supporters swindled Canadian funds and closed down the Tamil EELAM SOCITY long ago. These people cannot run a social organization for the benefits of the public at the Canadian expense. Then what the hell he barks here?

      When LTTE killed people, this Thangavelu or his LTTE supporters never talk any damn about the so called HUMAN RIGHTS. Now all the LTTE morons and their dollar collectors became human rights howlers.

      Canadian PM banned the LTTE but Thangavelu still cries he support LTTE in meetings!

      • 1
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        When you start off by lying by using a Tamil name despite being non Tamil, your posts are worthless.

        • 0
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          Just because he does not support your views, does not mean he is not a Tamil. Any Tamil who supports the LTTE is not human. They are oblivious to the 30 years of suffering it brought the Sri Lankan Tamils. In your safe little life in Canada you can say anything, but you are of no value to Northern Sri Lankan Tamils. They know you are only trying to secure you position in Canada. Your squirrelly comments are worthless.

      • 1
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        Appuhamy ( Sinananthan) you Sinkalam,

        For your information your Tamil hate Rhetoric is too extreme just like ela kola , Fat ” Mama ” Fuk U Shima and Max Silva. But the difference except for Fat ” Mama” who is now stuck in the Japanese out fit is that the other two at least have the guts and the honesty to reveal their Identity. Even Karuna will be angry with your choice of Name and you must be ashamed of your self. Tamils and Sinhalese will recognise you as a Racist Sinhalese so why don’t you wave the White Flag and surrender we wont shoot you.

        For your information you Idiot:

        Tamils and LTTE are one and the same so don’t waste your time trying to convince the World they are different. LTTE is the embodiment of hope and aspirations of the entire Tamil Population. We are not prepared to bow down to any one or apologise to you lot and what the LTTE have done was in the course of achieving Freedom from your Tyranny. LTTE was made up of people who were not born terrorists but turned in to Freedom Fighters by your Atrocities spanning 64 years . You can go on BRAKING but you cannot BITE any more as your teeth have been pulled out to stop the spread of infection . You are so desperate and we can understand your plight and hear your scream as your Kingdom has crumbled.

    • 1
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      Mr.Thangavelu,

      You forgot Canada. THREE TOP GUNS.

      MR BROTHERS ALREADY PEEING IN THEIR PANTS. THEY ARE USING DIAPERS NOW.

      BR ALREADY IN US FOR TREATEMENT.

    • 1
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      Priya,

      I think you are being naïve and living in a dream world. Sri Lankan history is littered with atrocities against the Tamils over 64 long years . There are no fair minded people amongst Sinhalese and the ones with you can reason are a very Tiny Minority.
      How do you exert pressure on a group of people who are headed by a Born Racist who rules with a Gun. You open your arms and they will stab you in your chest. The so called Crimes committed by the LTTE were in the course of fighting to free ourselves from Tyranny and it was the fault of the Majority who gave birth to LTTE. We are the victims an we have nothing to apologise.
      Accountability comes before Reconciliation and We cannot move on until those who are responsible for the Genocide are punished.

    • 7
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      Priya,I am so happy to read your balanced comments.There are very few people who are really concerned about the ordinary people and really want peace and normalcy in SL.Having said that ,it does not mean that Tamils should not fight for their rights.They should.They should fight to achieve something ,not to lose even what we enjoy.People like Thangavelu are pretending that they are Tamil nationalists and human rights activists.They are number one opportunists.When T was a government servant in SL while Mr.Thirucelvam was a minister,he takes drum sticks and mango from Jaffna and supply it to his masters just to please them and get promotion..Once he moved to Toronto with his sons,he became a Tamil nationalist and collected money for Tigers to buy arms. Now the Tigers have been militarily defeated .Until they died they fought for the cause of Tamil Eelam.No one can deny that.Tigers never trusted TNA leaders and their precursors. They even killed Amirthalingam ,Yogeswaran etc. etc.In a Maaveerar day speech Prapakaran said openly that they killed Amirthalingam for having given up Tamil Eelam. When P was alive,the same T praised Prapakaran and said that Tamil Eelam flag will fly in UN in 2001.Now,T is in charge of TNA branch in Toronto and says that Tigers had given up Eelam.This is shear lie.T is an opportunist.
      T propagated the war in SL.He has grown up sons. Has he ever sent any of his sons to Vanni?He wanted other poor Tamil peoples sons and daughters die,not his.That is why he is selfish.The joke is,he challenged Kasiananthan who was preventing K from going to SL.Who is preventing T from going to SL and settling there?
      Sri lankan government is narrow minded and stubborn………Absolutely correct.The government should have learned a lesson from the past.Once the war was over,the government should have come up with some sort of solution acceptable to moderate Tamils.Forget about the tamil diaspora whether they accept it or not.All they want is war in SL again.Even if the European governments chase them away, they wont land in Tamil area.They might come to sell their properties and go back somewhere else.The government Instead of coming up with a solution, was involved in development in the tamil areas.We need development too.Those who live luxury lives could say that we don’t need development. For the ones who bore the brunt of the war.it is a must .But,without a political solution there is no way you can win the hearts and minds of the Tamil people.The government doesn’t seem to understand that.At the same time we must not forget the betrayal of Sammanthans also.Sampanthan begged Chandrika and got bullet proof car for his own benefit,but refused to support the package in the parliament in Aug.2000. TNA is like the begger who does not want his wound healed. TNA will have no existence once the Tamil issues are settled. They will not be sincerely interested in seeking a meaningful settlement. That is the history of TNA, TULF and Federal Party.

      One person who opened his arms like that was Mr Vigneshwaran,……Priya,some racist elements within the TNA didn’t want Wighneswaran to take oath before MR.W ignored them and took oath before MR.I also welcomed it and thought it was a good start.But,Sivajilingam and others refused to take oath before W and took oath in Mullivaikkaal .What w said before was that, he didn’t believe in boycotts.Whether we like it not ,to run the NPC effectively we have to deal with the government in power.What is happening now?The same W is asking to “change the governor,change the chief secretary,change the DIG…etc…etc…This attitude is definitely not going to work.Had he met MR and requested these changes it could have been easily achieved gradually.Not everything right away.Recently the TNA NPC minister Ainkaranesan arrogantly refused to hoist the national flag at a ceremony in Mannar. It may be recalled that Sammanthan raised national flag with Ranil some time ago.We all know that Sritharan mp praised Prapakaran in parliament and then Sammanthan contradicted his view saying that it was his personal opinion.There are two options for W.One,contradict with Sritharan,Sivajilingam ect…Then W also will be branded as a traitor and will be isolated from the people.Two,toe the line of Sritharan…etc.Then W will become a hero. Mr.W has chosen the second option
      Lets keep trying together to keep our beautiful land in one piece in which all communities can live with self respect and dignity

  • 6
    1

    Priya, we should remember that MR only claimed to have defeated the LTTE militarily, not totally. The rest of the LTTE is alive and well and plotting to get Eelam by stealth using Human Rights issues, Canadian & British votes and so on. That is why the article is one sided.

    • 1
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      What about the LTTE who have joined Rajapaksa regime.

    • 0
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      …By using trumped up human rights issues! The Tamils in the north have every right that Sri Lankan Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims… in the rest of the country have. For 30 years it was the LTTE that prevented them benefiting from those rights. 11,000 LTTE cadres have been given full pardons and job training, an economic growth rate of ca. 20% is being enjoyed in the north compared to ca. 7% in the rest of the country. Each country has its own way of reconciliation, not to be dictated by the West (of which I am from). The ranting and raving of Canandian Diaspora is maligned and offensive.

  • 2
    0

    ‘’ The government has become so powerful within the country that it does not need to listen to anyone within the country. It believes it can do what it likes, even with impunity. It is in this context that international pressure is to be welcomed. It has provided leverage for positive change in the past. An example of such a positive outcome would be the promise made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the prime ministers of India and Japan that the government would hold elections to the Northern Provincial Council’’ – Leverage To Ensure More Power Devolution, Dr Jehan Perera, 15 December 2013, http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2013/12/15/leverage-to-ensure-more-power-devolution/

  • 7
    0

    Thanks. Yes our problem always is and was, the power going to unwanted people.Since independence we have been crying for a leadership of the calibre of Mandela who can see through the superficial narrow minded barriers. Unfortunately the power full was always after one agenda and that was keeping the power for themselves and the powerless was only concerned about regaining the lost power.No body had a proper long term development plan for the well being of the people and the country . In that sense it is unfair to project this as a sole ethnic problem.It has a huge political dimension to that. For the last 70 years politicians have drifted the communities apart and we are in state of shambles for their blunders. There are no two other races similar as Sinhala and Tamil. Our cultures are similar.Our religions share similar values.We hold the same new year together and our last sinhala king was a tamil . We look alike and speak similar languages too. But still kept polarized and divided by the power hungry Shylocks who insist for the ”pound of flesh and nothing but” for their own survival and existence(from both sides). We common people by and large do not have a problem either inside or out side Sri Lanka to live together in peace and harmony and I have personally experianced this.

  • 0
    7

    卐Heil Hitler 卐, the Rajah of Ariya Buddha Sinhalestan.

    • 6
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      You see what you are up against Priya? Generosity and magnanimity can be undone by any single-celled moron.

      • 1
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        Thiru is indeed a one celled moron! Priya, your comments are the best and clearest view of the situation on this page and in most related articles on the internet! Thank you.

    • 3
      0

      You want a Catholic east Timor under the LTTE goons. That never happen@

      • 0
        2

        Sinkalam: Up to now you it was the Hindus and now it is the Catholics . TNA are coming after March 2014.

  • 4
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    Every time when foreigners pressure Sri Lanka, that should be reflected upon Tamils. If Tamils are not in Sri Lanka, there is no point why foreigners should pressure Sri Lanka.

    • 2
      2

      If GOSL and Sinhala Buddhists ditched their supremacist thinking, foreigners wouldn’t be pressuring SL like they are now doing.

    • 0
      3

      Jim Sooty:

      Just think if you lot return to Mahabodhi the Tamils who are the rightful owners of this land can live in peace. So hurry up and leave.

  • 5
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    “Countries normally compete with one another to host international conferences to polish their image and standing. Olympics is one example. Publicity for such events brings in tourists, investments and trade.

    The Commonwealth Conference of Heads of Governments (CHOGM) also serves the same purpose. “

    Another Tamil who wrote to this same site had written that CHOGM was insignificant and inconsequential.

  • 3
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    Even after Mr. Mandela’s Reconciliation process it is the majority black youths who are uneducated, did not gain any skills and are living on the streets.

    • 2
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      A good point neglected by many in the world. Even in todays south africa the racism against blacks is alarming. I have friends who have witnessed racism against blacks in SA restaurants

  • 0
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    to Jim softy

    casteism is there throughout all of india infact it is worse in your favourite hindi north indian belt. Infact it is worse in the northern parts of india but you carefully chose to ignore this.

  • 0
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 1
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      ela kolla

      I too am concerned about Pottu Amman’s where about. Is he sharing a bed with Gota?

  • 4
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    ” Sri Lanka’s war crimes dominated the commonwealth summit. “

    Sri Lanka’s “war crimes” are merely allegations. Repetition of the allegation does not make it any more real, as hoped.

    • 0
      5

      Ram you Sinkalam

      Why don’t you go before the Criminal Court and prove your innocence if you have nothing to hide . Scared are you.

  • 4
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    And who is going to keep up the pressure on the US and UK to answer for their human rights abuses?

    • 0
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      Saracen:

      No one mate. Might is right and if in doubt ask MR.

  • 0
    5

    Mr.Thangavelu,

    You have correctly identified and talked about the contribution by the Western Countries and the impending disaster facing Sinhala Lanka after March 2014. The decision by the UNHCR the Economic Sanction by the USA.
    But you have left out the most Important Country and the likely impact on the Course of events in Sinhala Lanka by that Country which is India. Sri Lankas sovereignty is limited to Indias Security and the only Country which can dictate and enforce policies in Sinhala Lanka is India. I am confident that after March 2014 the Tamil Fortune will take a turn for the better and MR will be taken to the HAGUE.

  • 2
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    Thangavelu is a fanatic anti Sri Lanka LTTE supporter who dons suit and tie even for Tamil functions and TV interviews because of his affinity towards white supremacy. People like him have no sulutions but can only make matters worse by their pen. Does he know that countries that he praises for human rights have blood in their hands killing millions of people, and depriving millions of their livelihoods by unnecessary sanctions just because these countries don’t toe their ideologies. Current news is how they have sent more than 500 spies to other countries to destabilize them. Their own press was muzzled not to publish about these secret operations. Thangavelu should stop praising these oppressors who have a record of colonization, oppression, cultural genocide and economic plunder in those countries incuding Sri Lanka. Most of the problems in Sri lanka as a economically down and socially fractured country are the result of these rapacious westerners. They now unashamedly praech us transparency, equality and human rights! Shame!

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      Rajah- Pakse:

      You bloody Idiot.Thangavelu is not alone as a fanatic Anti Sinhala Lanka LTTE supporter. Almost all the Tamils except you Sinkalam , Criminal Karuna, Looter Douglas are LTTE supporters. So dont talk rubbish. We are not prepared to take your anti Tamil Rhetoric. So put up or Shut up.

      • 0
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        Grrrrrrrrrrr!! he he he!

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        kali

        ” Almost all the Tamils except you Sinkalam , Criminal Karuna, Looter Douglas are LTTE supporters.”

        Isn’t this a sweeping claim?

  • 0
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    ..

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    If only we had a Statesman as our Head of State when the War ended, we would not be in this situation today. God save former Democratic Sri Lanka.

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    I just want to give the picture about this writer to Colombo Telegraph’s readers. [Edited out]

  • 0
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    Thangavelu Ayyah,

    The fact is despite all accusations of war crimes, authoritarian rule, thuggery, intimidation, widespread torture, the white van disappearances, CHOGM still went ahead. Leaders came to Sri Lanka, shook Mahinda Rajapaksa’s hand very warmly, were feted in true Sri Lankan excess and happily trotted back home. DC made appropriate announcements and threats to win Tamil votes back at home and he went his merry way.

    You see despite widespread belief among CT readers and the Tamil Diaspora, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa first trotted off to India and now to the US. No one arrested him as predicted.

    VT Ayyah, don’t wait with bated breath for some miracle to come about following the CHOGM carnival in Sri Lanka. Believe me nothing will come of it.

    Reality is one thing and wishful thinking is another.

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