25 October, 2020

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Vadamarachchi: Was President JR A traitor? – Part II

By Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

History is bunk – Henry Ford

I am writing this second part of my article because the first clearly required clarifications and expansion at certain points. The most important matter requiring clarification concerns the question whether President JR was justified in caving in to the Indian demand that military operations be stopped at Vadamarachchi and not be extended into Jaffna. He declared that he had no option other than giving in to the Indian demand because the rest of the international community had abandoned Sri Lanka. I would acknowledge that that reason constituted strong justification – indeed unanswerable justification – for what he did, in terms of the information available to the public at that time. Rather than suffer the horrors of an Indian invasion, with all its unforeseeable consequences, it was obviously better to reach accommodation with India about a peaceful solution to the ethnic problem and get the IPKF to deal with the LTTE rebellion.

JR’s justification revolves around one point: the abandonment of Sri Lanka by the international community, which made this country totally vulnerable to India. On this a clarification of the utmost importance has to be made. The international community did abandon us, it is true, but that was on the question of the air drop and on nothing else. The invasion of our air space was an act of aggression, but it was not condemned by the international community. Only Japan demurred by holding that India had committed an act of transgression, meaning that it had violated international law but not in a way that amounted to aggression. The reason for that position was of course quite clear. The turning away of the Indian flotilla bearing food stocks followed by the symbolic air drop focused the international mind on the possibly mortal danger of food scarcity in the North. The air drop was therefore seen as bearing a humanitarian import, and therefore at the worst it was transgression and not aggression.

JR Jayewardene Lalith Athulathmudali and RajivThe case for our troops to proceed to Jaffna after the successful Vadamarachchi operation, in defiance of India, was not presented to the international community at all. What would have been the outcome if it was? A pointer to the answer was provided by the reactions of the Ambassadors of India’s other neighbors to the dispatch of IPKF troops into Sri Lanka. Usually Ambassadors are very reticent about saying anything that might seem even remotely critical of the host Government. The then Secretary W.T. Jayasinghe and I as second-in-command found that on the contrary the South Asian Ambassadors made it quite clear that their Governments were very upset by the Indian troops coming in at our invitation, that by that action we had let the whole South Asian region down, and that very probably the Indian troops would never leave Sri Lanka. If such was the reaction over Indian troops coming into Sri Lanka at our invitation, what would the reaction have been if Indian troops had invaded Sri Lanka?

What about the possible reactions of the rest of the international community? I have already made the essential points on that subject in my last article. The international community cannot take away the primordial duty of any government to put down a rebellion by any means, including military means. That follows from the principle that the very raison d’être of the state is that it should have a monopoly of the means of violence. As I pointed out in my last article the collateral damage that would have been unavoidable in taking Jaffna could have been contained within reasonable limits. I cannot think of any sound reason on which the international community could have denied the Sri Lankan Government its primordial duty of continuing the war to end the LTTE rebellion. Under the circumstances I find it very difficult to believe that India would have dared to invade Sri Lanka if President JR had stood his ground.

But there is the contrary argument that power is the ultimate determinant in international relations: therefore, if President JR rejected the Indian ultimatum and allowed our troops to proceed towards Jaffna, India which was already the de facto regional great power with some claim to regard Sri Lanka as part of its turf, would have invaded this powerless country with uncertain but certainly horrible consequences. The analogy cited in connection with that argument is the establishment of Bangladesh in 1971, which involved the breakup of Pakistan. That country had as its very close ally the most powerful country in the world, the US, and it also had very special relations with China which was notoriously the antagonist of India. But neither of those powers would take anything more than token action to help Pakistan. In fact Sri Lanka did more for Pakistan by allowing its armed forces personnel to transit through Colombo in civvies. Therefore, in bowing to the Indian ultimatum, President JR acted in a way that any responsible Sri Lankan leader would have.

However, the analogy with Bangladesh is invalid, and hardly any serious analyst of international relations will take it seriously. The point is that morality does count in international relations. It has always done so – at least to some extent – and in the post-Second World War world it has counted far more than ever before in human history. I happen to have at hand the book The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916 to 1931 by Adam Tooze, a brilliant scholarly work that shows how earnest the big powers of that time were in trying to build a new world order in which there would be no more wars. The quest for that became far more earnest after the Second World War because it was realized that after a third world war there might be no world left at all. So, in the contemporary world, the factor of morality counts far more in international relations than ever before, and what went wrong for Pakistan in the moral dimension was that the atrocities perpetrated by its armed forces turned international opinion against it to a very serious extent. The Beatles performed at Trafalgar Square to raise money for the Bangladesh independence struggle and Andre Malraux, great novelist and former Cultural Affairs Minister of de Gaulle, actually wanted to go to Bangladesh and fight for it. Refugees poured into India by the hundred thousand, two million in all, and even so Indira Gandhi spent around eleven months in stoking up international opinion against Pakistan before getting her armed forces to intervene. The analogy with the Sri Lankan situation in 1987 is surely ridiculous. If President JR had rejected the Indian diktat the situation would have been this: the Government of a small country, constituting no danger to any other, merely wanted to exercise its primordial duty in putting down an armed rebellion by military means. India would never have dared to invade Sri Lanka over that.

So the notion that President JR caved in to the Indian demand because he had no other option, the international community having abandoned us, was certainly an erroneous one. Was there some other explanation? It somehow came to be believed widely that the real reason why our troops did not proceed to Jaffna after Vadamarachchi was that according to an authoritative military assessment our troops could take Jaffna but would not be able to keep it. Somehow it has been in my mind that the officer who made that assessment was none other than General Cyril Ranatunge. According to the details given in K.M. de Silva’s book General Ranatunge would have been about the last person to make such an assessment. It was the failure to follow up his Vadamarachchi victory with a further campaign that led to the postponement of the victory over the LTTE by twenty two years, resulting finally in 100,000 deaths most of which could have been avoided.

*To be continued..

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  • 6
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    “I am writing this second part of my article because the first clearly required clarifications”

    This is absolutely hilarious.

    The foot note says to be continued.

    so Part 3 to clarify Part 2 and so on…

    when are you going to stop man

    • 3
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      Izeth Hussain is writing so much that it is beginning to appear like trash.

      [Edited out]

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      I am surprised that this person once served the foreign ministry. Either he has no clue about the international affairs or his thinking is bigoted. It is well known that students with high IQ end up as doctors, engineers or in various scientific fields, while some who are unlucky end up as lawyers, accountants or in various financial professions. It is only those with lesser IQ end up in administrative service or diplomatic service. There are two contributors to Colombo Telegraph who were in the diplomatic service and reading their stuff goes to prove that they are of low IQ.

      First of all they must understand that sovereignty of Srilanka is not absolute, but intricately linked to security concerns of India. Whether they like it or not, India considers Srilanka as it’s vassal state, and want Srilanka not to do anything against its wishes. JR tried to be funny and he was humbled with this airdrop. Premadasa tried to be funny and the SAARC meeting was boycotted by majority of members and suffered humiliation. Now Mahinda tried to be funny by going behind China and he has been punished. Same thing happened to President of Maldives when he tried to side line India, and now he is in prison. Prabaharan tried to be funny and was eliminated.

      It is common knowledge that two thugs do not fight. If one feels that he cannot defeat the other he will either not get involved or if by chance they are in the scene, they will quietly slip away to prevent them losing face among the supporters. The same rule applies to super powers in the world. When Nato was dismembering Yugoslavia, Russia kept away despite both being of Slav ethnicity and communists. When Chinese embassy in Belgrade was accidentally bombed, China did not open the mouth. When US was dismembering Sudan, China which had developed close connection, kept away.This would have happened if India invaded Srilanka in 1987. It is the super thinking of JR that converted a hostile invasion into a friendly invasion and prevented humiliation.

      India at no stage wanted to dismember Srilanka, but to use the Tamil problem to bring Srilanka to it’s knees. If India wanted to create Eelam, no one in the world could prevent it. Cyprus was invaded by Turkey 35 years ago and is occupying the northern part, and except some protests, no country is bothered about it. If Srilanka had hot headed Presidents like Premadasa or Mahinda in a situation like in 1987, they would have confronted India with disastrous results. Indian Foreign policy is controlled by North Indian racists and corrupt individuals. Srilanka is a foreign policy failure for India which has been appeasing Srilanka with not much reciprocal benefit.

      • 1
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        I am addressing this to the general reader and not to Dr GS for reasons that I will give further down. First of all I want to correct his misinformation – he seems to be incapable of uttering the truth – that students with high IQ go into the sciences and end up as doctors, engineers etc, and not in the administration. That is a phenomenon of recent decades. At the time I joined the Foreign Service in 1953 the best and brightest went both into the arts and the sciences and chose to go into the administration.
        The reason why I am not addressing this to him is that I won’t waste my time in dialogue with a quasi lunatic. The fact that he is a quasi lunatic is shown by his refusing to answer my two questions which arise out of his constant characterization of me as fool, stupid, and imbecile. The two questions are these: one, if I am an imbecile, how is it that the Island and the CT continue to publish me? Two, if I am an imbecile, how is it that Dr Devanesan Nesiah declares that he agrees with ninety nine per cent of what I write? – IH

        • 1
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          What happened to your articles on “Sinhala Lunatic fringe anti Muslim Racism” and “Muslim lunatic fringe anti Tamil Racism”

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        Dr GS makes a very arrogant and careless assumption. The whole point about having a high IQ and being ‘top of the class is that you hold all the cards and enjoy pick of all the options. You choose what you will, and not everyone cares for the rigours of medicine, science and engineering. There are equally satisfying and demanding challenges out there, and thankfully many of the best and brightest do take them. Indeed there was a time that our Civil Service and Foreign Ministry had a fair number who could easily hold their own against any all-comer.

        We may disagree with Mr Izeth Hussain; and this will happen if you had a ringside seat in a different position, and saw things from another angle, but it is an incontestable fact the Mr Hussain too had a ringside seat, and does have an absolute right to share his take and present his views.

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          I will explain to you my stand dear Spring Koha.
          25 years ago, I was discussing about the inadequacy of the 13th Amendment with a Sinhala friend of mine who was a Chartered Accountant. He told me “India does not want the ethnic problem settled, because if it is settled, Srilanka will prosper and India does not want a Prosperous country in it’s back yard. The other neighbours like Pakistan, Bangladesh or Nepal had no chance to become rich. Is this not a brilliant analysis, coming out of an accountant who wanted to do Medicine and failing which settled for accountancy. I can not expect any such thing from foreign office numb skulls whether present or past. There may be cases like Ronnie De Mel, Gamini Corea or Jayantha Danapala, in administrative, financial or diplomatic services, but that is exception than norm.

  • 4
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    i feel Izeth Hussain is wrong to say that JR could have got away with taking Jaffna ignoring India at that time,it was not possible to do so as India was very vocal in what they wanted Sri Lanka to do and they sent Mirage jets over Jaffna to drop Parippu,Sri Lanka could never stand upto india millitarily

    If by chance the Indians did invade the country none of the other countries at that time would have come to our help other than make strong statements!

    All this coud have been avoided if that cunning old fox JRJ acted wisely and didnt allow thr 83 riots to get out of control his actions ended in the whose country going in flames for 30 years at great human cost and misery

  • 6
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    Izeth Hussain,
    While being in the Foreign Ministry were you not aware of the developments of Wahabbism in the Eastern Province especially at Kathankudy. You have also avoided the fact that When G.Parthasarathy tabled the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord at the General Assembly, it was applauded by the UN member States. One of the main objectives of India was to monitor the activities of Wahabbists in the Eastern Province as Sri Lanka was not well equipped to tackle Islamic terrorism also. Strictly speaking JR had become a victim of circumstances on account of his arrogance.

    • 6
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      Citizen

      “While being in the Foreign Ministry were you not aware of the developments of Wahabbism in the Eastern Province especially at Kathankudy.”

      You mean the Islamic Republic of Kattankudy?

      • 5
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        Native Vedda

        “While being in the Foreign Ministry were you not aware of the developments of Wahabbism in the Eastern Province especially at Kathankudy.”

        “You mean the Islamic Republic of Kattankudy?”

        CORRECTION:

        You mean the Iblisic, Satanic Republic of Kattankudy?

        It was like calling Sri Lanka Democratic when Gotabbel and Marabel were running the country, when it was a family dictatorship.

        1. Wahhabism is NOT Islam. Those who follow Wahhabism are called Wahhabis. It is called Iblism, Satanism, Shaitanism, Luciferianism, that is followed by Wahhabis and it’s clones, and was followed by many Christian sects as well.

        Wahhabis are NOT Muslims. They called Muslims who follow Islam Apostates and non-Muslims, and killed them. Remember the Christian Inquisition especially the Spanish Inquisition, as to how they called some people Apostates and killed them or burned at the stake?

        Same idea. History repeats itself here. You may call it the Wahhabi Inquisition, guided by the Satan. Iblis.

        Hadith of Najd
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadith_of_Najd
        Text of the hadith

        According to two narrations in Sahih Bukhari, Muhammad asks Allah to bless the areas of Bilad al-Sham (Syria) and Yemen. When his companions said “Our Najd as well,” he replied: “There will appear earthquakes and afflictions, and from there will come out the side of the head (e.g. horns) of Satan.”[1][2] In a similar narration, Muhammad again asked Allah to bless the areas Medina, Mecca, Sham, and Yemen and, when asked specifically to bless Najd, repeated similar comments about there being earthquakes, trials, tribulations, and the horns of Satan.[3][4]

        “Christian” Inquisition

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inquisition

        The Inquisition is[1] a group of institutions within the judicial system of the Roman Catholic Church whose aim is to combat heresy. It started in 12th-century France to combat religious sectarianism, in particular the Cathars and the Waldensians. Other groups which were investigated later include the Spiritual Franciscans, the Hussites (followers of Jan Hus) and Beguines. Beginning in the 1250s, inquisitors were generally chosen from members of the Dominican Order, to replace the earlier practice of using local clergy as judges.[2] The term Medieval Inquisition covers these courts up through the 14th century.

        In the Late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, the concept and scope of the Inquisition was significantly expanded in response to the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation. Its geographic scope was expanded to other European countries,[3] resulting in the Spanish Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition. Those two kingdoms in particular operated inquisitorial courts throughout their respective empires (Spanish and Portuguese) in the Americas (resulting in the Peruvian Inquisition and Mexican Inquisition), Asia, and Africa.[4] One particular focus of the Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions was the issue of Jewish anusim and Muslim converts to Catholicism, partly because these minority groups were more numerous in Spain and Portugal than in many other parts of Europe, and partly because they were often considered suspect due to the assumption that they had secretly reverted to their previous religions.

        Except within the Papal States, the institution of the Inquisition was abolished in the early 19th century, after the Napoleonic wars in Europe and after the Spanish American wars of independence in the Americas. The institution survived as part of the Roman Curia, but in 1904 was given the new name of “Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office”. In 1965 it became the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

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    Now tell us dear and venerable Izeth, have you now abandoned your profound insight that JR hated Sinhala – Buddhists or do you now believe that not only he, but Cyril Ranatunge also did? Has Prof Karl G not shed any insight upon this?

    Your repetition of the “I was second in command” this time leads to the worry that you may have caught a bit of the DJ disease. Hope it does not grow to the scale of the afffliction he suffers from.

    [Edited out]

  • 5
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    Izeth Hussain

    RE: Vadamarachchi: Was President JR A traitor? – Part II

    “The most important matter requiring clarification concerns the question whether President JR was justified in caving in to the Indian demand that military operations be stopped at Vadamarachchi and not be extended into Jaffna”

    No. JR was NOT a Traitor. He was a Pragmatist. He knew Realpolitik. He knew the situation of Sri Lanka, and what would have happened if the Indians came by force. He must have known about Cyprus and Bangla Desh. He was cunning enough to get the Indians to fight the LTTE.

    On the other hand, President Premadasa was not astute enough to get the Indians to defeat the LTTE, and ultimately paid the price for NOT being clever.

  • 3
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    “So the notion that President JR caved in to the Indian demand because he had no other option, the international community having abandoned us, was certainly an erroneous one.”
    Hussain has a point there.Even though no govt openly spoke in support of Sri Lanka, -even Pakistan spoke guardedly -the international media stood by Sri Lanka to the hilt when India violted Si Lanka’s airspace.(A collection of articles/reports in the intl.media published by me for journalists in France was placed at the Royal Asiatic Society Library in Colombo).
    The journalists who were taken to observe the so called “Misery- Code” (Mercy) operation over Jaffna peninsula saw evidence that preparations had been made well in advance for a military intervention in Sri Lanka. This would be clear if one reads in between lines, Le Monde Correspondent Patrice Claude’s very detailed account of the final operation. [Also, Washington Post].In fact, the Indian govt had LIED when it said that the contents of the sealed packages carried in the Antanov transport aircraft were shown to journalists.Patrice did not open an argument with Indian authorities over it but his clear statement that the contents of ALL the packages which bore the logo “Kawnpur Ordunungs Factory” were NOT shown to them is enough evidence that the Indian govt.lied.Furthermore, Patrice Claude says that the hatch of the plane opened before it reached Jaffna proper and dropped part of the cargo over what he calls “Dharmapuram” area which was under LTTE control.
    The point which arises from the Le Monde report is if there was if Indian govt tried to hide anything. Did part of the air drop contain arms for terrorists? The response here even from the Sri Lankan media was to laugh it out calling it “Parippu drop.” We missed the opportunity to expose India. We were shy to even call it aggression and use the sympathy shown by the international media to mount a media campaign against India.
    India was getting ready for this intervention from the time of July 1983 riots.It built up a refugee exodus to India as an alibi for intervention. That was the answer to the international community.( I think a similar alibi was used to intervene in East Pakistan)
    I have written elsewhere how Indian labourers were collected from plantations including our own family plantations, and carried away in lorries to swell the exodus.Even my former house-boy from an Estate went to India not once but twice as a REFUGE.On both occasions he came to say Good Bye to me but had the good humour to tell me that he was taking some Tvs and electric equipment for his then Indian employer who ran a well known Printing press in Union Place for estate supplies, and he would be back soon.The boy even told me how he burnt some old unwanted papers outside the Press in order that the boss could claim compensation!

    The then Foreign Minister Hammed told me that my friend Natwar Singh, (also Hussain’s old colleague), then (Deputy?)Minister of External affairs who was in the company of Minister Chidambaram told him that “We would invade you”.Hameed had said, “alright.If that be the case, we are ready with our own brand of warfare.”(He meant guerilla war). In the light of these, I wonder if the old fox invited Indian troops with a purpose in mind, i.e, to involve them in a long war with the monster that India herself created.These are some preliminary thoughts.
    Bandu

    • 4
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      Bandu de Silva

      the old codger is talking a load of bollocks.

      From the beginning the only concern that the Hindians had was their security interest in their backyard, which included preventing this island was being divided.

      ” Hameed had said, “alright.If that be the case, we are ready with our own brand of warfare.”(He meant guerilla war). “

      Bravo to Hameed. Did he consider other measures that Hindians could have imposed?

      The best line of defense was “not creating a condition in which neighbour would not find any excuse to interfere”.

      I wonder why Hameed was reluctant to launch a Guerrilla warfare against the occupying Innocent People Killing Force (IPKF) in the North East and which was found raping, looting, killing innocent people,….. as its mission in this island.

      It was left to the terrorists to reclaim the sovereignty and pride of this “COUNTRY”.

      “In the light of these, I wonder if the old fox invited Indian troops with a purpose in mind, i.e, to involve them in a long war with the monster that India herself created.”

      Just accept it, the old fox was cornered. He became a prisoner his own circumstances.

      And the destruction continued for the next 22 years until the Hindians themselves finally decided to finish off the LTTE, and they did. Everything else is incidental to the history.

      The little islander must know one’s place in this region.

      Please remember “If the elephants fight, the grass gets trampled and if the elephants make love, the grass still gets trampled” as African say.

      • 3
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        Native
        Hopefully, Mr Silva will be able to substantiate his theories on JR’s actions.

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          Ken robert

          These old codgers are completely removed from as to what really happened in those dark days of Hindian machination.

          Have you had time to browse through the index of the Hugh Nevill collection?

          Here is more info on Hugh Nevill:

          An Addendum to Hugh Nevill Collection of Sinhala Verse (Kavi)

          http://www.lib.sjp.ac.lk/Documents/
          Past%20Publications/V.3%20No.1&2%20January%20-%20July%201989/Article%2019.pdf

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            Native

            Thanks for the collection. Here is some thing that might stir your interest.
            http://www.nation.lk/edition/fine/item/38291-revisiting-the-sins-of-leslie-gunawardana-with-kno-dharmadasa.html

            In essence, DR discusses the merits of Prof LG’s conclusions on
            1. Prof LG was wrong to conclude the Vallipuram inscriptions contains tamil words. In fact this could have come sanskrit or Pali(concept of aryanisation of tamil), Prof LG was wrong to assume that Aya is the only word available to describe chief(Etc), other variants ariya, ayya, ayira.

            2. Sinhala as a language came into being only in the 8th or 9th centuries AD. Evidence of sinhala antiquity was based on the so called buddhaghosha’s uttering in sihalabhasha to Pali transilation of Buddhist canon.

            See more at: http://www.nation.lk/edition/fine/item/38291-revisiting-the-sins-of-leslie-gunawardana-with-kno-dharmadasa.html#sthash.AizqhQvw.dpuf

            Have you read L S Cousin’s review on the buddhist schools and the spread of buddhism. Very interesting read. It elegantly argues against the translation from sihalabasa to pali
            link
            http://www.academia.edu/1417367/On_the_Vibhajjav%C4%81dins_The_Mahi%E1%B9%83s%C4%81saka_Dhammaguttaka_Kassapiya_and_Tambapa%E1%B9%87%E1%B9%87iya_branches_of_the_ancient_Theriyas

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              ken Robert

              Thanks for the info and the links.

              I am not sure as to why Prof K N O Dharmadasa would stoop to Irathinavalli’s level. In this thrice blessed Lanka, anything and everything is possible. KNO D also wrote an appreciation after RALH G’s death. Sinhala/Buddhist nationalists would do anything to maintain their credentials.

              Please find a number of papers published by R A L H Gunawardana

              http://www.dlib.pdn.ac.lk/archive/browse?type=author&value=Gunawardana%2C+R.+A.+L.+H

              1975 The Analysis of Pre-Colonial Social Formations in Asia in the Writings of Karl Marx

              1987 The Ancient sluice at the Madrd Oya Reservoir: Experimentation in Sri Lankan Trasitions of Hydraulic Engineering

              1984 Cistern Sluices and Piston Sluices ( Some Observations on Types of Sluices and Methods of Water Distribtion in Precolonial Sri Lanka)

              1978 Immersion as Therapy:Archaeolgical and Literary Evidence on an Aspect of Medical Practice in Precolonial Sri lanka

              1976 The Kinsmen of the Buddha: Myth as Political Charter in the Ancient and Early Medieval Kingdoms of Sri Lanka

              1979 The People of the Lion: The Sinhala Identity and Ideology in History and Historiography

              1981 Sri Lankan Ship in China

              http://www.dlib.pdn.ac.lk/archive/simple-search?query=Goonawardana&submit=Go

              2001 Recent Discoveries of Buddhist Manuscripts in Afghanistan

              Links to K N O Dharmadasa’s published papers:

              1975 Creolization, Legend and History : an Aspect of the History of the Veddas of Sri Lanka

              1990 Dayananda Ekanatha Hettiarachchi (1909-1989)

              1989 The people of the lion : ethnic identity, ideology and historical revisionism in contemporary Sri Lanka

              1976 Place – Names and Ethnic Interests : The Case of Tirukonamalai

              1990 The writings of Dayananda Ekanatha Hettiarachchi (1933-1981)

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              Ken

              Sorry missed the links to K N O Dharmadasa:

              http://www.dlib.pdn.ac.lk/archive/browse?type=author&value=Dharmadasa%2C+K.+N.+O.

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                Native
                Thank you for the links. I apologise to IH for digressing from his topic.
                I think spread of buddhism probably holds the key to understand the concepts of Indo-aryan isolate and antiquity of sinhala.

                It looks like indo aryan language took a stronghold in srilanka in comparison to south India because of rapidity of sea transport. (L. S cousins).Language may or may not have be predated the spread of buddhism,it looks like buddhism took a stronghold in srilanka in spite of onslaughts from south India, However language ( spoken) may have been the same for south India and srilanka in the beginning. ELu needs further investigations

                However, To call sinhala has continuous presence form 2500 years ago needs further evidence for a number of reasons
                1. There is not enough evidence to suggest that buddhist canon was translated from sihala bhasa to Pali, this is substantiated by absence of any dravidian translation of buddhist canon, presence of original brammi inscriptions in south india, instead of dravidian forms.

                2. In Fact, there is evidence to suggest that original sinhala script( 6-9th century) was based on pallava grantha script.

                Let us not forget that srilanka has a rich buddhist presence since third century BC, However, there is evidence from Buddhist canons to suggest that they benefitted from the association with south indian monasteries ( may be from Vana vaasa in Karnataka and then in late 6th century AD from Kanci or kanchipuram.

                I remember, KNOD in his defence against RLG wrote that there was no firm evidence to suggest continuous presence of sinhala form 2500 years ago. I don’t understand why he changed his position and Why can’t he objectively see the associations with south india.

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                  Ken

                  Thanks

                  I will come back to you later.

                  Prof Sunil Ariyaratne is of the opinion that Buddhism was brought to this island directly from South India.

                  Some years ago he wrote a book titled Dhamila Bouthama. The book is not available in the shops. I understand that he is prevented from publishing a second edition due to pressure from Sinhala/Buddhist bigots. I am still trying to buy a copy. My friend the Old Codger does not have any useful tips on the book.

                • 1
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                  Hi Ken,

                  I suggest you read “Historical Phonology of Sinhala” by Dr W.S. Karunatillake. Basically we can trace the evolution of Sinhala via inscriptions that date back to ~200 BCE.

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                    Thanks wije

                    I need to get hold of that book. I have one his books called ‘Link’ where he did not specifically say there is continuos presence of sinhala.

                    One can not deny that brammi scripts bear the shared ancestry between tamil and sinhala. What is not clear to me is when did the transformation into sinhala took place. Prof LG said it happened in the latter part of the first millenium. Prof KNOD vehemently opposes this conclusion.

                    According to prof Bandusena Gunasekara in his book called evolution of sinhala script, he argues the written script came in the latter part of first millenium concurring with Prof LG. According to language experts a language is considered developed when it has the written format as well as strong literary culture. Sinhala language can not live in the shadow of Pali literature to make its claim for antiquity.

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                      Ken, I’m not sure I understand your interest in script which is not very relevant in discussing the features of a language itself. Both Sinhala and Tamil started with Brahmi script, but the modern script today for either language does not have a direct link with Brahmi.

                      The fact that both languages used Brahmi script does not indicate a shared ancestry although there was cross-pollination in terms of vocabulary and some grammar.

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        Native Veddha,
        You are correct. The old fox was really cornered after the Thimpu Talks. A.C.S.Hameed was helpless.

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      Dear Bandu, Thank you very much for your detailed information. I am particularly interested in your information that there is evidence pointing to preparations being made well in advance for Indian military intervention. The reason why I am particularly interested is that in the third part of my article I will express my conviction that the reason why JR was not agreeable to extending the Vadamarachchi operation was that he had already engaged in a conspiracy with India and the US, the results of which conspiracy were the Peace Accords and the IPKF troops coming here.
      I hope that you write some detailed articles taking off on the information you have provided above. They should be of national importance, – Hus

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      It is amusing to see two old foreign ministry toothless war horses engaged in that old game of “you scratch my back and I yours” Is this largely because they do not have much to do and with much time in their hands. Their “counsel” “wisdom” and “valuable experiences” apparently are not wanted either by the Govts of Rajapakse or Maitripala.

      The usually courteous and accurate Mr. Bandula de Silva in what he calls “these are some prelimary thoughts” unloads a load of bull on his clear dislike of India, some Indian leaders and Tamilnadu. This is an area he will find his dear friend Hus sharing common ground with him.

      De Silva enthusiastically engages in deliberate distortion of the Bangladeshi war events (1971) His prejudice of India is clearly exposed as he writes “Indian Govt lied|” (twice)
      “We missed the opportunity to expose India” and this sensational story of Natwar Singh telling Hameed in the company of P. Chidambaram “we will invade you” All this hotpotch clearly to malign India – a fond pastime of some of the more initiated giving into political analysis and writing habit here. To India, I suspect, this is nothing but the dog barking at the moon far, far away while wetting the nearest tree.

      As to De Silva’s claim “I think a similar alibi was used to intervene in East Pakistan” I think the object is to poison the minds of Sinhala and other Sri Lankan readers it was India – and India alone –
      that divided the relatively young country of Pakistan – for India’s own mischievous purposes. I notice some Lankans – particularly Muslims – believe this story to this day. But the reality is in the General Elections held in non-contiguous Pakistan (West and East) the Awami League Party lead by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in winning 160 seats trounced Zulfikar Ali Bhuttons PPP – 71 seats. Per then Constitution of Pakistan Rahman, holding the larger number of seats in the Pakistani Parliament, should have been called upon to form the government as Prime Minister. But Bhutto and the West Pakistan Army – to both of whom East Pakistanis were inferior and nothing more than domestic servants – would have none of it. It was when Yahya Khan and the Pakistani army started killing East Pakistanis by the
      multiple hundreds of thousands Mujibur Rahman and the Mukthi Bhahini pleaded to India to save them. Indira Gandhi readily obliged – perhaps it served her parochial interests more.

      So let us stop blaming India for the inevitable division of then pre-1971. The truth is Pakistan verily divided itself by its own folly.

      De Silva’s yarns of his domestic servant doing Tamasha trips to Tamilnadu and that of Natwar Singh threatening to “invade you” are all stories which even those famed marines will laugh at.

      Kettikaran

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      One donkey praising another donkey. With this load of rubbish, now I know why the Srilanka foreign service was a disgrace.

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    Isn’t it interesting that the US which gave us the Monroe doctrine, last week denied ‘spheres of influence’ to any OTHER state big or small, as if that was within it’s remit to do.. It is also pertinent that on previous occasions it has referred to ‘an Indian sphere of influence’ within which Sri Lanka was meant to fall. Was it merely attempting to cultivate a ‘friendship’ with the unaligned India ?

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      Ramuuuuuuuuuu

      “It is also pertinent that on previous occasions it has referred to ‘an Indian sphere of influence’ within which Sri Lanka was meant to fall.”

      It is not for USA to decide.

      Hindia never stopped interfering in this island for good or bad. Actually America learnt to respect Hindia albeit grudgingly since Bangladesh was carved out of Pakistan and then JR was forced to relinquish this islands sovereignty to his mother country by signing away whatever was left of its dignity in 1987.

      “Was it merely attempting to cultivate a ‘friendship’ with the unaligned India ?”

      USA India military to military cooperation commenced in 1995 and not yesterday. Whether both are in love, yet to be seen. Relationships between countries are built to sustain “shared interests” and on perceived threat.

      USA will support Hindia what Hindians believe to be good for this country as seen during the war and since then. Therefore you are rest assured MR/Gota and his armed forces would not be executed for committing war crimes. MR always said whatever he did during the war he did for Hindia and the US agreed with him.

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    I remember JR replying to the critics when the IPKF arrived on Srilankan soil on 29th July 1987. He said dont look at a gift horse in the mouth.His intention was to get India to do the dirty work for him.

    So,in retrospect,what JR did was to take two steps behind to take one step forward.
    The 20th century Fox knew all about Discretion being the better part of Valour!

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    Dear Hus,
    Thank you for your suggestion. I would like to re-read Patrice Claude’s Report which he wrote after travelling in the Antanov transport aircraft which was accompanied by two missile carrying fighter planes with orders to shoot if there was any resistance.Patrice was also taken with other journalists to Air Force command centres in India’s southern command.So he wrote with intimate knowledge and with the usual finesse and nuances typical of French journalism, notably that of Le Monde. Patrce continued as Le Monde’s Grand Reporter. I read his writings a few years back also.As I wished to be thorough, I tried to contact him to tease his brain over the air-drop affair, (1)his observation that contrary to what the Indian govt.stated, the contents of sealed packets dropped over the Jaffna peninsula were NOT shown to journalists; (2).the hatch of the plane was opened before the plane approached Jaffna and dropped part of cargo over what he was called Dharmapuram. His observation that this area was under LTTE is important. Patrice did not express an opinion over these two points but the evidence of 1 &2 above, leaves the reader guessing. The question is was there an understanding with LTTE over the air drop, if not collusion?
    I tried to reach Patrice at Le Monde for a chat over these points and my inference that preparations for an air-borne military type of intervention but failed.I have to look up the Le Monde record which I gave to Royal Asiatic Society Library,the wrong place, as I now conceive,was the wrong place from the point of view of relevance and retrieval facilities now lacking there. (The ideal repository would have been the JR Jayewardene Cutural Centre both from the point of relevance, and excellent digitised documentation work there available under a professional librarian and supporting staff). I shall endevour to follow this up as I wish to be “thorough” as the German’s say, before I write again rather than depend on memory.
    Incidentally, no fear! “Old codgers still have some grey-matter in their upstairs.Keep on writing.
    Bandu

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      Mr BDS
      Expert in Hugh Neville collection

      no fear! “Old codgers still have some grey-matter in their upstairs.Keep on writing.

      I can tell you that although the brain loses neurons ( brain cells) with aging, the neural networks do get better compensating for the the cell loss.

      I can sense your understudy ( young padawan DR) is certainly excelling in promoting sinhala supremacy.

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    Whatever the truth about President JRJ’s decision, the way things panned out was to Sri Lanka’s benefit. The LTTE may have been defeated in Jaffna in 1987. But India would have continued to meddle in our affairs if not for the lesson they learned at the hands of their creation – the LTTE. The Tamils also learned a lesson from the so called I(PK)F. Something they seem to have forgotten these days.

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    Dear Hus,
    as i see, we have now arrived at the following positions;1) The usually held position that Sri Lanka was (Is) within the region of India’s security influence and there was (is) no escape from it.
    (2) Indian threats to militarily intervene were real and JR had no alternative and perceived it so, and decided to yield (A)to India’s claimed humanitarian act of food drops; (B) to offer peace, stop troops taking over Jaffna after Vadamarachchi success and accept Indian forces.(actually India has made out that troops were sent out at JR’s request. Here capturing Jaffna was seen as a slur on the entire “Tamilakam” by both sides reminiscent of Sapumal Kumaraya’s victory in the 15th century. The appearance earlier of posters in the Capital comparing Auruddha Ratwatte to Prince Sapumal after the victory in Jaffna should remind us of the Sinhalese perception on the significance of Jaffna.
    (3)the notion that President JR caved in to the Indian demand because he had no other option, the international community having abandoned us, was certainly an erroneous one. in support of which conjecture, the idea that there was a fear that the armed forces would not be able to hold on to the territory if Jaffna was conquered is postulated but it is debunked.(Hussain). The arguments used in support are the Commanding Officer Cyril Ranatunge’s observation cited by KM de Silva. That itself may not be convincing.
    (4)the evidence cited (by me) that JR conceived that there was a real threat of an Indian military intervention or was made to believe so. Two sources were used to substantiate this proposition, namely, the French Journalist, Patrice Claude’s report on the so called food drop affair; and General Harikirat Singh’s reminiscences. The latter notes that when he got orders to take over the command of troops being sent to Sri Lanka almost immediately, things were almost ready but he delayed departure by a few hours. It would appear that between Rajiv Gandhi relaying JR’s so called request “inviting” Indian troops and the dispatch of troops no time was lost. There was not even a lapse of 48 hours the most. This is unimaginable for an operation which finally involved the deployment of over 100,000 Indian troops (the figure was much higher according to French intelligence passed on to me by the then French Foreign Minister) and a vast array of military hardware and naval ships, unless the Indian army thought it was a matter of a few day’s job for it. Such was India’s own assessment of the superiority of the Indian armed forces.
    The troop deployment was higher than what the Soviet Union deployed in Afghanistan at anyone time which was 85,000 to 102,000. This is a question that the French Minister put to me when he asked me “Why so many troops”. They seemed to be very much concerned as they considered Sri Lanka’s vital importance in the sea-lanes through which the world’s bulk of oil passed through. I even got the impression that judging from the statistics of Indian troop deployment, the French might be thinking if the Indian troops might not leave at all without effecting a permanent deal for Tamils of North and the East, and India might even post a permanent presence of troops to ensure its implication. It might not have led to total war as in former East Pakistan where the Pakistan army was strong because Sri Lanka had no worthwhile armed forces or military hardware. (The French are familiar with deployment of their own troops in trouble spots in Africa).
    That situation was finally avoided due to a number of extraneous circumstances like India’s unexpected long-involvement in the war in Sri Lanka;the change of govts in India and President Premadasa’s uncompromising stand on the IPKF leaving.
    (5) The idea that the Old fox trying to trap Indians by involving them in a protracted war with the Tamil terrorist groups.

    (6) A point that has not been taken into account in JR’s decision is the appearance of the JVP insurrection and also a possible split in the govt if the Premadasa faction got strong.Dixit’s book “Assignment Colombo” shows how JR feared the possibility of a Coup on top of JVP trouble. Dixit was asked to speak to the First Lady about the President’s safety.So while troops were being sent to North and East,an Indian Naval flotilla appeared in the sea near Colombo and was ready to take the President to safety in case of a danger to his life.If Dixit’s account is true, (it was not contradicted) that shows that the Indians were working from all directions to instil fear in JR’s mind and look for India for support. The net rsult was India was gaining all round.
    This is then an alternative to my asking id the old fox was trying to trap the Indians in a protracted war with the Tamil terrorist groups.
    These are some preliminary points I would like to discuss further.
    Bandu

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      The US coup expert General Vernon A. Walters was seen hanging out with military and other officials in Colombo a few years prior to Hindian invasion of this island.

      Let me see if I could jog old codgers’memory on villages of Thoduwawa (800 acres), Iranwila (200 acres) in Nathandiya, Trincomalee oil farms, builing rest and recreation facilities foreign troops, ………….. all during cold war era.

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      Bandu de Silva,
      Have you forgotten that India was acting within the scope of Chapter 6 of the United Nations Charter. Indian threat to militarily intervene has been twisted. India was concerned of growing Islamic terrorism in the East. America knew that Sri Lanka was not well equipped to tackle Islamic terrorism in the East like India.

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    On Indian intervention in 1987, former leading journalist and commentator on International Affairs,Mervyn de Silva wrote in Times of India of March 31 1989 that it was Mani Dixit, a key policy maker and architect of the [Sri Lanka] accord, who described the Indian exercise in a lecture to a defence institute, as a “projection of Indian power” to demonstrate to neighbours that they cannot undermine Indian security interests and hope to get away with it. Thus, the learned journalist concluded, the popular Indian claim that this was a benign intervention that has served its basic objectives is spurious debating society logic. He further observed that India had not imposed its military will and disarmed the Tigers and it has not forced president R. Premadasa to yield. The “intervention by invitation” is a see-through, moral dress. The invitation card was printed in India and air-dropped by Mirage fighters that invaded Sri Lankan airspace. Besides, the intervention began in the early ‘80s when Tigers were trained in Raw camps.
    “This intervention does the greatest damage by casting doubts on what remains of modern India’s finest diplomatic triumph, its successful reconciliation of realpolitick with the moral imperative.India played the world’s conscience keeper while pursuing its own national and regional interests – from Kashmir to Bangaladesh, Sikkim to Goa and Sri Lanka – with a cold blooded efficiency that has earned the secret respect of the neighbourhood. Until its potential attributes of power were realized, the moral dimension, nonalignment, helped it acquire a world role. In Sri Lanka it lost its balance”, concluded the writer.
    I am not taking Mervyn’s observations as sacrosanct but it should be noted that they were published in the leading Indian newspaper and were not contested by anyone. The arguments were well fortified with citations from Dixit, who was later India’s Foreign Secretary and Security adviser after retirement. Nor was Mervyn questioned on this during his address to the India International Centre in 1989. In fact, his paper along with his other papers were published by the ICES with an introduction by Radhika Commraswamy who was the Centre’s Director.
    P.S.:With the invitation card came down sealed packages in polythene covers bearing the logo “Kawnpour Ordunungs Factory” which were dropped over Dharmapuram controlled by LTTE,as observed by the Le Monde Grand Reporter Patrice Claude who travelled with Washington Post reporter in the Antanov transport which dropped the cargo.Patrice Claude was emphatic that the packages were not shown to journalists contrary to the assertions made by the Indian authorities. Who was lying then? Why is Kettikaran disturbed over that? Why doesn’t he ask the question why the Indian govt did not issue a denial or explanation? Would he like to call it an in-exactitude rather than a lie? Doesn’t he expose his India bias? We are analysing evidence and not taking sides.Interpretations can vary according to one’s background and knowledge.

    On East Pakistan one may argue till cows come home but isn’t Dixit’s own explanation that “projection of Indian power” [was]to demonstrate to neighbours that they cannot undermine Indian security interests and hope to get away with it, enough to explain India’s military intervention there. Yes, as Mervyn would have said the invitation card was “Printed” in India and carried as a banner by invading Indian troops in East Pakistan.

    The allegation of spinning yarns about the presence of a hidden hand in bloating up the refugee exodus to India, I can give Kettikaran the name of my former Indian house boy and the name of the Indian-owned printing press at union place where he worked,and where our family got estate printing supplies for several decades.The boy was a very sharp fellow, knew every Police Intelligence Office was, claimed I was he boss there to exact free rides in Taxis. He disappeared from the scene after his second India visit. As for Natwar Singh, telling Hammed that India would invade,this was privileged information but now historically important.I was not alone when Hameed said it. My Counsellor and other Diplomatic staff were present.
    if one peruses the documents carefully, rather than erroneously and malignantly mixing up polemics/rhetoric as logic or conjectures, one will see that discussions (associated with kite-flying invasion-threats) during the December 1986 visit of Natwar Singh,state minister of External Affairs and Minister Chidambaram,(leader),was the turning point in the dialogue between India and Sri Lanka.The letter handed over to President JRJ by Dixit on 9th February clearly made it that India would not be able to resume discussions as long as military operations by SL armed forces continued. I did not put it beyond Natwar having known him for over three years when we were third secretaries together in Beijing, of his propensity to be a loose canon.His book “curtain raisers ” is enough to expose him.
    it is from then on wards that pressure started building up against Sri Lanka and the continuation of Vadamarachchi trust was stopped. (President’s letter to Indian PM dated 13 February 1987 refers).
    Note:If personal communications/interviews with persons holding responsible positions are to be excluded then much of per-reviewed writings by serious scholars throughout the world has to be rejected.
    Bandu

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      Bandu de Silva

      “Mani Dixit, a key policy maker and architect of the [Sri Lanka] accord, who described the Indian exercise in a lecture to a defence institute, as a “projection of Indian power” to demonstrate to neighbours that they cannot undermine Indian security interests and hope to get away with it.”

      This is what I said in my previous comment:

      From the beginning the only concern that the Hindians had was their security interest in their backyard, which included preventing this island was being divided.

      Native Vedda
      May 30, 2015 at 10:19 pm

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      Thanks Bandu for the information you are providing. Re your last sentence – I hold that our ex-diplomats have a moral obligation to come out with what they know about what actually transpired over issues of great importance to the nation= IH

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      I have some regard and respect to Mr. Bandula de Silva not to subject him to further contradiction to what I have already commented.

      Lawyer S.C. Chandrahasan, running a highly respected and credible NGO in Chennai – recognised both by GoI’s of India and S. Lanka – maintains credible records of records of immigrants – to and fro – from the Sri Lankan seas. A visit to his office and a chat with him makes it clear the lakhs of people involved were not pawns in some sort of an imagined 5th column game. These are real people whose only concern was to escape the war in the North-East and save their lives. From a neutral perspective, if India wanted to flex her muscles she would have done it during Nehru’s time when Ceylon de-franchised nearly a million voting Ceylonese in the 1948 period or when Hector Kobbekaduwa, in what is suspected to be fits of his racial prejudice and an anti-Thondaman stance. Kobbekaduwa’s venom rendered a very large number of “Indian” estate workers, by design many believe, paupers during Mrs. B’s rule of 1970-77. Many of them were seen in the streets of the Western Province during that time. India has the right to take action to protect her security interests in the region. This, of course, can well be interpreted in different ways – depending on who is making the charges. Sometimes leaders in the region can be irrational as in that case where Premadasa had foolishly threatened Indian HC Mehrotra he “will invade India” if the Indian troops (here courtesy and invitation of his earlier boss JRJ) are not withdrawn. We now know Premadasa made the irresponsible threat because he was under mortal funk from the JVP/Wijeweera’s killer hordes at the time.

      As to De Silva’s servant, Chandrahasan’s outfit will be able to take action if he wishes to provide the name of his domestic and the Printing establishment at Union Place to SCS in Chennai.

      About De Silva’s comments on Natwar Singh, now that the event is over
      the mandatory period of 20 years, I believe he is now free to make public his “privileged” information. Natwar Singh recently did this when he published his memoirs that upset the Sonia Gandhi family on much more explosive issues of grave concern to the latter.

      The senior diplomat may be assured I do not respond with a pro-Indian bias but in the interest of maintaining a balance. There are too many
      instances of manufactured “information” – privileged and otherwise – calculated to derail friendly Indo-Lankan relations. Let it be known there are still many in the country interested in seeing India and Sri Lanka living in peace and friendship – free of calumny and innuendo.

      Kettikaran

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    Alright, If Kettikaran says he does not write with a pro-Indian bias, I am prepared to accept it on his word even though one might see his readiness to take up positions favouring India,like fr example, his interpretation of the background to Indian intervention in East Pakistan in preference to a balanced judgment. There is the alternate proposition furnished by one of India’s top officials,Dixit, who very much influenced Indian policy making later which I quoted earlier, which need to be taken into account for a balanced assessment.Yes, in the case of East Pakistan, India’s security and territorial integrity was threatened in the eastern sector, where there was an armed insurrection in Assam and Nagaland and from where rebels were going over to China and East Pakistan for arms training and to procure arms using the Burmese corridor. Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi had to visit Yangoon to appeal to Gen. Ne Win to stop this movement of rebels and arms. Because of this vulnerable situation, India could not make a big issue over several hundred thousand Indians in Myanmar who were being kicked out by Ne win without any compensation or permitting them to take away any assets.(Prof.Dutt:”Indian Foreign Policy”) This was in dire contrast to the position India had taken over Indian population in Sri Lanka. Wasn’t that securiy/teritorial integrity issue enough reason for India to intervene to dismember Pakistan?
    By the same token shouldn’t I ask Kettikaran to view my assertion on India’s role in Sri Lanka in particular, with an open-mindedness rather than saying, as he did in his pieces of 1st June 2015,that I was “unloading a load of bull on his clear dislike of India, some Indian leaders and Tamilnadu…”?
    No. I would not ask for a quid pro quo to settle an important issue like this.Now that he has dropped the initial venom and come down to a reasonable level,- a level playing field, so to say – I could ask him to have a second look at the four interventions I have made so far and assess them outside the tunnel vision he subjected them earlier. He would then find that I myself do not harbour any prejudice against India- I still have very close friends in the Indian establishment,including Vice-President, Hamid Ansari,- but have been analysing evidence as they should be subjected to objective scrutiny.

    I do not wish to impose my personal experience with the Indian house-boy as typifying the refugee exodus issue. More than that, the case of the estate labourers being collected at midnight even from areas like my village where there was never any friction between estate Tamils and the Sinhalese but only joint Trade Union action from 1940s,should be a pointer to the presence of vested interest working behind under cover of genuine refugees.What the house-boys’ incident itself points to is the emergence of a commercial element trying to benefit from the situation to export valuable household equipment which were rare in India, or alternatively, lure more people to join the refugee bandwagon with the inducement. This should not be surprising when, as reported, even the returning Indian troops went loaded with household goods acquired in Sri Lanka.This is usual human nature.I saw this happening in Kuwait in 1990 when foreign refugees, some Sri Lankans and some Bangladeshis and others came out loaded with household goods, including brand new motor vehicles, pilfered from Kuwaiti houses and business places.

    As for Prez R Premadasa, I do not know if he ever made a threat to invade India.If he did, it is most hillarious and foolish.I associated Mr Premadasa closely since he became Prime Minister.I did not find him to be such a foolish man but I know that he did everything possible to get India to withdraw the troops, including refusal to participate in SAARC Summit, as I remember. Perhaps, Malhotra got it wrong or wanted to ridicule him.Some Indian ambassadors were deaf as I knew.Here is a case where we should not go by what an Indian High Commissioner wrote after retirement.Is there evidence that he reported the matter to New Delhi and how ND responded? Then only we can go into the matter.
    Bandu

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      “As for Prez R Premadasa, I do not know if he ever made a threat to invade India.If he did, it is most hillarious and foolish.I associated Mr Premadasa closely since he became Prime Minister”.
      Bandu de Silva,
      Can you give an account as to who was instrumental for the Naval rating to assault the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi after signing the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord. Why paid the Naval rating to do such a foolish thing. He cannot invade India, but what about this foolish act. How was the Naval rating placed in that position, which was originally meant for one Mahendran from the navy.

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        What Citizen says is interesting. It was well known the ambitious Premadasa was trying to cut the ground under JRJ during the 1987 period to oust JRJ – with the help of Maru Sira’s close connections with the JVP. Let us not fool ourselves the Indians may not be aware of this interplay within the then higher UNP Cabinet ranks.

        Kettikaran

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          Kettikaran

          Premadasa was in contact with Hindian Embassy through one of his associates. The aim was to find out from Hindians whether JVP had any plan to target get him.

          This was published in Island by one of his close associates.

          There had been too many permutations and combinations, too many strategies and counter strategies, too many off the record briefing and disinformation.

          All those machinations landed this island in dire state.

          All strategies end in tears.

          No one knows who actually killed Premadasa, Lalith, Kathigamar, …..

          Nostalgia often leads to idle speculation.

          J. Paul Getty

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      “…I could ask him to have a second look at the four interventions I have made so far and assess them ….”

      If I am to give you a brief response to this, it will be – this country and all its people suffered and are suffering for JRJ’s ego trips and miscalculations at that time. JRJ secured his 5/6th landslide in 1977. On the way to that he used Premadasa, irresponsibly and quite unnecessarily, to insult Indira G on the “Cow and Calf” indignity. When she swept back to power the chemistry between the two would not synthesize – that despite delegating Athulathmudali to Delhi to make peace. She was committed to the Indo-Soviet Treaty and knew the Americans will use JRJ to undermine her. They trapped JRJ with a White House Banquet – throwing in Frank Sinatra personally doing his and JRJ’s favourite “I’ll do it my way”
      The otherwise politically astute JRJ figured it all wrong if he thought the US will back him on a come hell or high water situation in his bickerings with Indira G. When the crunch came and JRJ desperately tried to reach the Americans during his 7/83 nightmare, the final advise to JRJ from the State Dept was “settle it with New Delhi” It was downhill to JRJ from then on. Uncle Sam stayed put because the smart Americans knews their friend JRJ had burnt his boat. India was a bigger prize for the USA – in the emerging South Asia scene where experts predicted the coming of China soon. Your friend the late journo Mervyn de Silva agreed with this assessment since he and I spent many evenings together in the late 1980s. On one occasion he came back from “Braemar” with a box of Havana Cigars – courtesy Fidel himself. And yet Mervyn could not be seduced by JRJ. He was honourable to the core.

      So, good Sir, come out of your Indian-prejudice. I am not suggesting Indians are total saints. They are not. As Kissinger was to repeat
      “there is no such thing as permanent friends – but permanent interests” JRJ slipped out there and this generation paid for the sin.

      BTW- I have always responded to you with courtesy and in a dignified manner. With all respect, allow me to remind you in such a relationship there should be no room for the usage of such unnecessary and provocative expletives as “initial venom” and “tunnel vision”

      Good-day

      Kettikaran

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    If speculation is the word one may even go to the extent of asking who bumped off Premadasa? Who planted Babu at Sucharita? Why so spectacular an end? Wild speculation is a dangerous thing!
    Bandu

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      You have an anti Tamil and anti Indian agenda and to suit it you are twisting the truth. It is well known that Premadasa gave money and arms to LTTE to fight IPKF. Premadasa was against Indo-Lanka accord to give autonomy to Tamils and the presence of IPKF. Both Athulathmudali and Premadasa did not attend the signing of the accord. Premadasa did not attend the dinner in the evening though Athulathmudali did. The naval rating who assaulted Rajiv Gandhi was pardoned by Premadasa when he became President, giving rise to speculation that he may be behind the incident. I know about the transaction Premadasa had with LTTE, because my late first cousin was an intermediary. Money in foreign currency was paid to LTTE by Shanmugam / Balasubramaniam brothers who were supporters of Premadasa. After the Premadasa LTTE honeymoon was over, they were arrested by Police and remanded. They had confessed everything to the Police about Premadasa’s involvement. Premadasa got both of them bailed out and subsequently got them bumped off to cover up his crime. After IPKF left Premadasa started to behave differently.
      There was a strong rumour in Colombo that Premadasa in addition to a foreign intelligence agency was involved financially in the contract to kill Rajiv Gandhi by LTTE.He was snubbed by India when he organised SAARC conference in Colombo. This made him to realise that he cannot confront India without being humiliated. He went to India telling people on Srilanka that he is going to Buddha Gaya, but in fact after visiting Buddha Gaya he went to Delhi and met the officials. He surrendered to India and agreed not to antagonise. This news was leaked out to LTTE, who then decided to get rid of Premadasa for double crossing. Babu is plant by LTTE, who knew the weaknesses of Premadasa. Behaviour of Sirisena Cooray in the days immediately prior to and after the assassination of Premadasa gives rise to some suspicion whether Sirisena Cooray had some deal with LTTE. Sirisena Cooray was reprimanded by Premadasa for killing Athulathmudali and since then Sirisena Cooray was not happy with Premadasa.

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        Dr. G.S.

        Interesting. You will note to some here most of what others say is
        “speculation” and what they say is the holy truth.

        I did not know Sirisena Cooray went to the University here. All I know is he was a manager of Cinema Theatres in Colombo – owned by
        the Gardiners – hardly the stuff Varsity Graduates go for.I wonder why the JVP and the Left speculated then he was the virtual Godfather of the Colombo underworld – calling him Marusira. I hope I am not asked to produce Affidavits to maintain this common knowledge.

        Kettikaran

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      “…who bumped off Premadasa? Who planted Babu at Sucharita?…”
      Indeed. Also who was behind the Thotalanga bombing, the Athulathmudali killing, the Rajiv G killing, the Kadirgamar killing??? Those were times when governance, infiltration, security matters were topsy turvey. JRJ’s PTA rendered the laws of the land to fall silent. The usual suspects – the LTTE – may have lent their “expertise” for some of them. It was known they were preparing to boost their war chest an enterprise in which principles and morality have little space. From what is known of them, they would have come to a deal even with the devil himself if there was something in it serving their wider objectives.

      As to the ringing comment “speculation is a dangerous thing” how indeed can one disagree. Mr. Bandu de Silva himself indulges in this extensively while, for good orders sake, in his enthusiasm to nail the Delhi wallahs he brings in the late Mervyn de S and the Le Monde Correspondent – for good measure.

      Kettikaran

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    Mr.Bandu De Silva.

    Mohideen was the cook of President Premadasa. Babu apparently was a guy who came
    from nowhere! Mohideen and Bahu became chums.Like in Indian Movies. Babu used to throw lavish parties to Mohideen and his friends who happened to be also Policeman.
    The day before the assasination,Sirisena Cooray was seen having a long conversation with Mohideen at Sucharita! Not a normal practice.

    The place of the Bomb attack was washed post haste before any FORENSIC study!
    The role of Sirisena Cooray is still a mystery.RAW also cannot be ruled out?
    The prime suspect of-course is the LTTE,SINCE IT WAS A SUICIDE ATTACK!?

    Wheels within Wheels

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    Pygmalion

    You are onto something.

    Is there a connection between Lalith who was killed previously and Premadasa’s assasination?

    Babu was a Brahmin and his family wanted to perform last rites as soon as possible according to Braminical practices. His body was released within days of his death though the security forces has all the powers to dispose the body themselves. Babu’s body was hastily handed over to his family.

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    Pigmation,
    Thank you. You have hit the nail on the head by bringing others into the picture of speculation including RAW, but I am disturbed that you have brought in Sirsena Cooray who served Mr.Premadasa with unfailing devotion into the same vortex.
    Siri was my very close friend from my days in the Universty of Ceylon in Colombo. That is from the time his brother Nandasena was the Municipal council member representing Suduwella ward where I was bordered.My relationship with Siri had nothing to do with politics. In fact,we were in opposite camps, with me a rabid Marxist, as far as politics was concerned.Ours was a human relationship.Many of my friends were close associates of Siri.I can say he was a gentleman to the core as far as his relations with friends were concerned. I hold no candle to him about his politics.When In returned from China, he arranged for me to give a series of lectures on China in his small room a new Olympia theat re. I was given the only chair and others sat on the floor.That included the erstwhile Mr Shaul Hameed who was a novice to politics then but was to be my boss (Minister) later.
    He was deeply indebted to Mr/R.Premadasa who brought him to lime light in politics. Premadasa was responsible for appointing him High Commissioner to Singapore in order to to expose him for higher stakes later.He was selected as Mayoral candidate and he won. Later he was appointed Minister of Housing & Construction etc.which was Premadasa’s pet area. That should emphasise how much he trusted him. After Prez Premadsa’s death, I remember Mrs.Hema Premadasa directing the accusing finger at Siri when she found her husband’s personal coffers were empty. I knew this was unfair by a man who served Premadasa obediently and warmth and knew who really benefited from Premadasa’s largesse.
    Mohideen, who was Premadasa’s personal valet and groom and played many roles, was a very powerful person.I recall when I was Ambassador to France and went to London to call on Prime Minister Premadasa in his hotel, Wijeyedasa, Secretary and Burus, the Police Officer directed me to Mohidden to arrange the meeting.Premadasa came out of the room just at that moment and greeted me and asked me to sit on the sofa with him and thereafter took me along with him in his vehice to the Buddhist temple where he was meeting the sRI Lankans and explained to them why he opposed the proposed Agreement with India over the Tamil question. The gist of all this is that many people looked to Mohideen for contacts etc with Mr.Premadasa. To be seen with him was no crime or sin. If the idea is to suggest that Siri had any role in the death of Prez Premadasa this the most preposterous suggestion one can think of. Even now, Siri is closely associated with Sajith’s politics.This is what I know and I thought I should defend him as a friend by exposing what I know.If anyone has evidence to the contrary, he/she may disclose them. But it is criminal to implicate people through sheer speculation.
    Bandu

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    Pygmalion,
    Lest I be misunderstood, let me make a small clarification.Mrs Hema Premadasa’s suspicion over Siri was purely in respect of Premadasa legacy, as he had left almost nothing for her.In fact, those who were very close to Premadasa know that personal relations between Mr.Premadasa and his wife were not what they should have been.That is to put it mildly.He had even asked his officials not to address her as “Madam”. This may be an incorrect interpretation by the person who told me who was a very trusted close associate of Mr.Premadasa. Wijayadasa says in his book that the Preisdent prohibited the forms of address “Excellency” (Utumano) for him and “Madam” for the First Lady.
    Bandu

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      Premadasa met with his death one week after Athulathmudali was killed. It is a fact that during this one week Sirisena Cooray was estranged from Premadasa, because Premadasa suspected Sirisena Cooray together with his son-in-law, as being behind assassination of Athulathmudali.

      LTTE had been a convenient scape goat for everything. LTTE also kept quiet without denying it, to gain popularity among Tamils.

      After expulsion from UNP over impeachment failure, Athulathmudali formed his own party DUNF and was a thorn in the Premadasa government. Premadasa hated Gamini Dissanayake, but had a soft corner for Athulathmudali, whom he wanted somehow to bring into his camp. Premadasa had no hand in the murder of Athulathmudali.

      When Athulathmudali applied for the Kirilapone playground for his fateful meeting, he was denied it, and given a corner near Mugalan
      Road junction. LTTE could not have done it.

      Policemen were assigned for the meeting by OIC Kirulapone, but at the last minute, OIC was transferred and police security withdrawn. LTTE could not have done it.

      When the meeting was on in slight drizzle, lights in the area were switched off. It is known that the street lights in Colombo was operated centrally, and LTTE could not have done it.

      All these point out the assassination was pre-planned by some powerful element in the government.

      Witnesses have described that assassin came up to the stage and shot Athulathmudali point blank. Athulathmudali’s body guard returned fire on the assassin who ran away.People had been searching the area for the assassin, but could not apprehend him.

      Strangely next day a dead body was found with an ID card claiming to be one Ranganathan. There has not been any blood trail from the stage where shooting took place and where the dead body was found, leading to the suspicion that the body was planted later.

      The said Ranganathan was arrested by EPDP cadres of Douglas Devananda from a lodge in Kotahena a few days before and held in their custody, till ransom was paid to them by his relatives. How is it that this person could have committed the murder.

      Body guard who saw the assassin, went into hiding together with his weapon. It was clear that the bullet found in Ranganathan’s body, was not fired from the weapon of the body guard. A few days later body guard surfaces with the gun used to kill Ranganathan as his, claiming he fired from it, and identifying Ranganathan as the assassin.

      Are these not giving room for suspicion of foul play. This case has been deliberately sabotaged to protect the perpetrators. Sirisena Cooray is not that innocent as what he is being portrayed.

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    Mr.Bandu De Silva.

    Thank you for your clarification.

    On that fateful May Day when Premadasa was assasinated all sorts of theories abounded for several days after that. You may recall that the place was washed off immediately.who gave the orders was the question uppermost in the minds of the Public.Mrs.Premadasa cold shouldering Sirisena Cooray also was a cause for wild accusations.As you may know,relationships between SC and Mrs P.was far from cordial even prior to this incident.Premadasa,to his credit never let down SC and continued to place trust in him.,notwithstanding his wife.
    I was by know means suggesting that SC had a hand in this.Besides,without Premadasa SC could not have furthered his career in Politics.Perhaps,as Native has raised another issue relating to the Assassination of Lalith,just 7 days prior to May day another dimension is thrown up.
    Pl.rest assured like so many others in the country,i am only speculating.

    When SWRD was assassinated there was a group who speculated that it was Ossie Corea who did it.
    Cheers.

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    Pygmalion,
    Thanks for the clarification of your position about Sirisena Cooray on the allegation of his involvement in Premadasa murder affair. I see that Sankaraligam has tried to reason out that Cooray was not happy with Premadasa for blaming him of killing of Athulatmudali and he got LTTE with whom he was in touch, to do the job.This is very far-fledged and beyond reasonable logic, considering how close the relationship between the President and Cooray was.

    The sequence of events leading to the respective assassinations of Athulathmudali and Premadasa can be woven to fit into a more coherent picture.Bradman Werakoon who was very close to Premadasa himself raised this matter in his book “Rendering Unto Caesar”,2004. While noting that a wave of hatred against Premadasa had begun in which slogans were scrolled on the city’s walls that it was Premadasa or his friends who had murdered Lalith Athulathmudali, passed no judgment in linking the two events in the absence of a properly constituted investigation.On the contrary, Illankai Tamil Sangam of USA, was trying to clear the LTTE and pass the responsibility to a section within UNP for the murder of Premadasa. (Sachi Sri Kantha writing under pseudonym and his own name).
    Bradman also saw less reasons to implicate the LTTE.
    If one leaves out the connection with the Athulathmudali murder and LTTE involvement, who remains on the scene? You had mentioned RAW as the other likely contender; but how they could be brought into the scene has not been gone into. Curiously, Sachi Sri Kantha has gone to the extent of suggesting a Premadasa link in the murder of Rajiv Gandhi by aligning himself with a foreign agency!That is speculation going to seed! On the contrary, Subramaniaumsamy, former Indian Minister of Justice is still accusing South Indian leadership of involvement and going scot-free.

    To make the speculation picture complete, one should fully examine the prospects of a RAW involvement. Then one can put all this speculation aside and agree with Bradman Weerakoon that “in the absence of a public commission…Premadasa’s killing will continue to be regarded as another of the unsolved murders of this particularly murky period of our modern history.”
    Bandu

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    Native.

    You type…….No one knows who actually killed Premadasa,Lalith and Kadirgamar….

    Officially:LTTE.

    ACTUALLY:Even the LTTE would have not known,apart from being presently surprised.

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      Lalith Atulathmudali by a UNP strong man and his son-in-law, who thought that they are helping Premadasa.

      Premadasa by LTTE for double crossing.

      Lakshman Kadirgamar by a SLFP strong man who thought that Kadirgamar is a threat to him for the Presidency.

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    Oops! I am sorry.Presently should be replaced by Pleasantly.

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