25 October, 2021

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Video: Rebuilding Sri Lanka – Former Child Soldier Niromi And Gordon Weiss

On The World, Jane Hutcheon discusses the process of reconciliation in Sri Lanka with former UN spokesman Gordon Weiss and former child soldier Niromi De Soyza.

Watch here the  ABC News interview

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    Thanks for the interview. We can understand how the Australian ruling party and opposition use the plight of the people for the political gain. We can see clearly the human rights violations in Sri Lanka.It is very disturbing to see how the minorities are facing challenges. The issue is much more deeper than the Asylum issue.

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      DIASPORA LTTE ACTIVISTS POSING AS HUMAN RIGHTS CHAMPIONS

      dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/17912

      maybe CMB telegraph should publish this article..as there will never be justice to all, when the other side is unacconted for.

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      Hmm Gordon and Neromi.. reminds me of mg ramachandran and jayalalitha and we all know how they shared more than their propaganda. how low will we tamilean’s go. to take revenge on Lanka???

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    Jane Hutcheon should be commended for trying her best to steer the interview neutral despite the two obviously biased guests who have a conflict of interest in the matter as a large number of copies of their poorly written books still remain unsold.

    Only the “white-guilt” would believe the cock-and-bull story of Niromi. First of all no Tamil in the North of Sri Lanka would have the name Niromi De Soyza. If that is her real name, she is from the South where there was no reason to join the LTTE. If she is a Tamil as she clamis she should be of mixed parentage. Secondly she is lying through her teeth about her alleged involvement with the LTTE: 1) No child would join the LTTE voluntarily – let alone an “affluent famaily”; 2) LTTE would never send away anyone who came forward to join by saying, “you are too young, go back to school”; 3) You just can’t quit the LTTE just because you want to turn your life around. They will recapture you or will simply kill you. Niromi’s bush-league attempt to dispel the image of LTTE’s coercion in child recruitment is embarrassingly transparent.

    Then she says the western governments including Australia should know the Tamils in Sri Lanka have problems as they have been coming as refugees in large numbers. Immigration officials in these countries must be laughing their asses off as they know very well that from early 90s onwards the majority of those refugees came with stories of persecution by the LTTE and not the GOSL.

    As for Gordon Weiss, his one statement says it all. Taken aback by the unexpected question by the smart Hutcheon how he knows what is actually going on in Sri Lanka while being outside the country, he blurts out, “Oh, I have my network.” Gordon, we know all about the “network.”

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      Ajay

      “these countries must be laughing their asses off”

      Really, how do they do it?

      ” from early 90s onwards the majority of those refugees came with stories of persecution by the LTTE and not the GOSL.”

      Since I live in a deep, deep, deep jungle this is news to me. However, could you site reference to your sweeping claim?

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        Since you are living deep, deep, deep in a jungle in your mom’s basement get out and go and speak to some Jaffna people and soon you will find out. And after they speak to you, you can see them “laughing their asses off” at you.

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        Is this deep deep jungle is called india? Don’t you think you should come out now from your ridiculous charade ?

        Why insult real vadda? I said vadda since it is the real name that derive from Sanskrit and not from a fake (vedda) that does not know how to pronounce the real name any way.

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          Uruwarige Booruwa is talking about the urban jungle.

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      @Ajay your talking like the proverbial idiot here !

      while she maybe biased to an extreme please note that

      i) Her name has a Sinhalese surname because she is married to one now!

      ii) she joined in mid 1980’s when many children from affluent families joined from a sense of idealism and adventure and many quite shortly afterwards

      iii)at that time LTTE or the other groups did not have forced conscription and certainly didn’t want to rub the affluent people in the wrong way hence their children were let off,like in the Army it was less affluent kids who suffered the most!

      If you care to read her book http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Tamil_Tigress.html?id=XQdukyYkdBcC&redir_esc=y

      you can clearly see that in it she has writen about many LTTE atrocities and questions their real motives

      Rather than knowing your facts dont talk bull mate,esp the stupid comment about her surname being Sinhalese!!!!! (I’m sure you would have heard of many inter-marriages between Army guys and ex Tiger girls even now,that is post 2009!!!)

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        Probono Pub

        You smart guy should not lose your cool because that only validates my assertions. Also you have made it worse for “Niromi” as I’m going to out her even more.

        First of all you don’t even seem to know that “Niromi De Soyza” is a nom de plume (assumed name) as she herself has stated previously on many occasions on Australian TV. She had said she assumed that name in honour of Richard De Soysa, the famed TV personality who was killed during Premadasa regime. Are you also making the bizarre claim that now her husband also has the same last name “De Soyza”? Maybe she liked the name “De Soyza” so much she found a man with the same name and married him. (Poiyai Sonnaalum Poruntha Sol = Even lies should be told appropriately)

        My point in raising the name as an issue was to question why she is hiding behind an assumed name – even in interviews. If she wants to represent a Tamil Tigress in her writing why is she doing it with a Sinhalese assumed name. Doesn’t this amount to the misappropriation of the voice of young Tamil girls already victimized by the LTTE. Can’t she assume a Tamil name? The name “Niromi De Soyza” is inappropriate to tell the story of a Tamil Tigress. That was my point. Yes, Sinhalese and Tamils are intermarrying (from much earlier times than post-2009 if you don’t know) and Tamils do have Sinhalese last names and vice versa). But why choose an obviously inappropriate pseudonym for the task at hand?

        But the more important question is why is she using a pseudonym in the first place not only for her writing but also in her public appearances? If she is afraid to reveal her identity, who is she afraid of – the Tigers, the government? Or is the alleged fear a ruse to keep her identity hidden for if her true identity is revealed she will be exposed as a phoney and her story a sham?

        Knowledgeable people have already pointed out several inconsistencies in the novel that cast doubt on the authenticity of Niromi’s story and I don’t want to repeat them here. But please check them out, especially:

        1. Michael Roberts, “A Captivating Fiction with a Political Slant?” Sri Lanka Guardian, Aug 2011

        2. Michael Roberts, “Forbidden Fruits, Niromi De Soyza’s “Tamil Tigress,” Noumi Kouri and Helen Demidenko? Ground Views 31 Aug 2011

        Next, regarding child recruitment, I’m talking about children under the age of 12. (I was not talking about Niromi’s politically correct and make-it-look-good-for-LTTE story of joining at 17 – the age of consent.) Can children under the age of 12 join “from a sense of idealism and adventure” as you claim? Are you saying there was no forced conscription in mid 80s and yet the parents couldn’t stop their under-12 children joining the murderous LTTE?

        And you are absolutely right when you say the LTTE “certainly didn’t want to rub the affluent people in the wrong way hence their children were let off,like in the Army it was less affluent kids who suffered the most!” I cannot agree with you more. That is the sad truth. I know personally many cases where the cunning, affluent Jaffna middle class parents were able to buy their children’s freedom with the money sent by their fat relatives in the diaspora. The children who were used and abused and finally sacrificed as the deadly Black Tigers, suicide killers and ordinary cannon fodder were children of the “lower” castes from Jaffna, poor people from the Wanni and Eastern Province, and most tragically the children of Up-Country estate Tamils who had migrated to the Wanni in the 70s.

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          Hey Ajay

          About the name De Soyza being a an alias is correct as stated by you which i found when i did a bit of further reading on this

          But the rest if what you say is not correct as in the period that she was in the tigers from 1986 onwards there were no forced recruitments at all and young kids did join the terras after being cajoled into joining them by showing them rambo movies in villages and showing then guns and giving them lifts in modern pick ups and jeeps (all hijacked from Govt and pvt organisations!)

          The incidents she tells of in the book correspond to the real ones of that period if you dont believe me do read DBS Jeyarajs blog as well

          You can see her pics and family pics taken when she joined the terras in her book,do spare a few hundreds of ruppees and order it Ajay

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            Probono

            As far as I’m concerned Niromi De Soyza lost all her credibility once it was revealed she had embellished her story to suit the propaganda needs of the LTTE lobby and publisher’s need to keep the story fine-tuned. The story of the December 1987 “ambush” with which she opens her narrative is factually wrong as pointed out by Michael Roberts and many others. She says her platoon was attacked by the government forces at a time when these forces were not engaged in any fighting with the LTTE. It was the IPKF that was fighting the Tigers in the north and east since October of that year.

            Roberts says, “such profound ignorance suggests that she was not in Sri Lanka then and that her tale is a fabrication fashioned without adequate homework.”

            Roberts goes on to explain the possible “reasons that induced de Soyza to obscure the fact that this fire-fight was against the IPKF. The alleged autobiography was finalized in 2010/11 in a context where the Western media has targeted Sri Lanka as an Ogre guilty of war crimes. To place Indian troops behind the guns that threatened her platoon would tarnish her goals.”

            “These goals include an explicit desire to show Australians that the boat people who had begun to arrive off the coast of their continent were not economic refugees, but worthy asylum seekers fleeing persecution. She told Throsby that her tale was in line with the revelations provided by the Channel Four documentary Killing Fields and the Moon Panel of Experts. “I knew that when the Tamil Tigers were caught by the soldiers those things would happen they would be shot in the head, raped, tortured all of those things …It was nothing new.”[xxii] To complicate this propaganda pitch by placing the IPKF in the first chapter would spoil her intent.”

            Another reason I don’t believe her is her reluctance to reveal her true identity as I have already argued. Is it because she fears it would reveal she is a phoney and her story is fake? Again let me quote Roberts:

            “There is no earthly reason why she cannot reveal her identity. Her assertion in interviews that “her personal safety” would be endangered is just so much nonsense, a massive conceit. Where Australians buy this argument, they only reveal their simple-minded thinking and the degree of indoctrination they have absorbed from the propaganda juggernaut of Tiger International.”

            Michael Roberts, “Forbidden Fruits, Niromi De Soyza’s “Tamil Tigress,” Noumi Kouri and Helen Demidenko? Ground Views 31 Aug 2011

            Other than that I have no problem with “Niromi De Soyza.”

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              Probono

              Also please see the excellent expose of Niromi De Soyza as a fraud by M. Sarvananthan: “Outing a Counterfeit Guerrilla: A tale of lies by Tamil Tigress Niromi de Soyza”
              Groundviews
              19 Nov, 2011

              It’s worth quoting his conclusion:

              “I could empathise with the rank and file of the Tamil Tigers. I have undertaken a survey of over one-hundred former guerrillas for an INGO in late-2010. I have been helping former guerrillas find jobs in the private sector. But I cannot empathise with dupers, imposters, and scammers masquerading as noble warriors. My suspicion is that there is a group/s of people behind Niromi’s “personal story” book, which is at least partly a fundraising scam.”

              “It is the responsibility of the appropriate authorities in Australia (and beyond) to get to the bottom of this apparently well-conceived and well-concealed scam.”

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          Richard’s surname was spelt with a Z and it was a matter of great pride that Z was maintained.

          So that one is wrong as well !

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            Don Quixote

            I stand corrected for putting an “S” instead of “Z” in Richard de Zoysa’s name. However I share this mistake with Niromi hersef and many others who wrote about her pseudonym.

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        Hmm how many Tamils fought with the JVP… Or how many Tamil Formally women soldiers fought against LTTE from Col Karuna Faction.. yet Gordon and the now Australian dolled Neromi have forgoten their voices… self respect properganda my Tamilean Nallur backside

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    Niromi De Soyza proves her true self. What a miserable effort at misleading the Australian public about the dispicable reality of LTTE Child Soldiers. Trying nicely to gloss over, what was a horrific crime committed against Tamil children of Sri Lanka for so long. Involving so many children. By the so called “Sole Reps” of Sri Lankan Tamils and “The Sun God”. One would have expected the opposite from a woman who has seen it all. If true.

    If not for smart interventions by the moderator these two highly biased panelists whould have painted Sri Lanka black with great ease.

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    @Ajay

    You are an idiot. There were plenty of young kids who happily joined the LTTE and other groups in the early 80s…and there were plenty of LTTErs who also quit the organisation and got married or left the country. I am sure some of the other people commenting here will verify this. Of course, there were plenty of instances when the LTTE shot and killed or imprisoned those who tried to leave the organisation especially in the latter stages of the war. Get your facts correct.

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      Dunce

      I don’t know what you mean by “kids.” I’m talking about children under the age of 12. Can a child under the age of 12 “happily join the LTTE”? If they did as you say, maybe they wanted to play with guns. On the second point you are absolutely right. There were many instances I personally know of where the Jaffna middle class parents were able to buy freedom for their children from the LTTE with money sent by their fat relatives in the diaspora.

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      PresiDunce Bean says:

      “@Ajay You are an idiot”

      What did make you to think he was an idiot?

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        Native Vedda AKA Vedi** Boy

        Tisahamy addressing a large audience (numbering 4 people) in 1936 in the jungles of Mahiyangana on a bright summer day proclaimed “a Vedda who doesn’t leave his cave is like a vedi** full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

        vedi** – a sneaky blast from the rear

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          @Ajay aka Mr.David Blocker, why is it that you only use your real name when commenting on anything to do with the armed forces? But use names like Ajay, Brian Du Bois Gilbert and Robert of Locksley and much recently as Siva Sankaran Sarma when commenting on other posts?

          Of course in recent times you have dropped the names Brian Du Bois Gilbert and Robert of Locksley and only stick to Ajay and Siva Sankaran Sarma. In the past when you commented as Mr.David Blocker there used to be a black and white profile pic of your beautiful bald visage but not anymore. Are you worried about more and more people getting to know the face of the individual who unashamedly white washes the government and the armed forces??

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            Hey Namalie

            You wasted your precious time in coming up with this nonsensical assertion. How can one expect you to write something sensible with such research skills. Can’t you at least notice the sharp difference in the writing styles (vocabulary, grammar, syntax, etc.) and substance between me and the eminent writers with whom you are confusing me.

            Why don’t you put your time and efforts to better use so that you can upgrade yourself to commenting on the original article rather than commenting on comments on comments ad infinitum.

            This is a quirk you seems to be sharing with the Vedi boy. Another character flaw you share with Vedi is assuming things that you know nothing about.

            Anyway my question to you is why did you get worked up when Vedi boy’s rearguard activity was under scrutiny? By any chance do you share the same ass with Vedi boy? Please enlighten me, otherwise it’s going to keep me awake all night.

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            Lol, everybody who calls you a retard isn’t me, Normally Pukapasse. Unlike you, I am not a coward to hide behind any other names. If I want to call you a retard, I will, and I stand by my comments with my name. Grow up, since you can’t grow a brain.

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            Oh, and I’m sure you miss seeing my face, since you seem to be whining and moaning about it on every thread. Please, go to my twitter account and download it, frame it, and enjoy it, with my compliments :D

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    There is money to be made. Thats what Niromi & Gordon are doing just like the ltte rump overseas and then make up stories of human right abuses.

    Sri Lanka & the LTTE have become vehicle for these people, the ltte rump, the INGOs & NGOs to make money.

    Also overseas media need to sensationalise stories to sell to the reader.
    Jane Huthecheon aired it. Gordon & Niromi sensationalised it gullible aussies bought it & politicians made a noise of it to garner votes except Julie Bishop,
    This is a never ending circus and a money churning industry.

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      These are the Sinhala Born again Buddhist rump who deny at the drop of a hat of Human Rights Violations, after the God fathers America and India helped MR to dupe the LTTE and also violating rights of many a Tamil other than those like KP, Karuna and Pillayan for their gain. It is plain and simple these Born again Buddhists are making their money robbibg this country as the Rajapaksas, pointing the fingure at others working for the dead LTTE. In order for the Sri Lankans devoid of division to live peacefully all this rump should be eliminated. They have no right to live in society as much as the LTTE. Really speaking the LTTE was born due to these Born again Sinhala Buddhist rump.

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        Gamini
        This is like ‘chicken and egg situation’.Many arguments are there about which came first. Chelvanayagam wanted separate state even before the Independence.He formed ‘Tamil Arasu Kachchi’ – Tamil State Party in 1947.What was the reason for this? Asking for a separate state even before independence.Chelva implanted the racist separate state theory when all communities were living peacefully.He is equally responsible for the mess we are in now.

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    Niromi is a fake child soldier. Those who know the ways of LTTE claim that she could not have been an LTTE recruit. LTTE never recruited any one without testing them first. This Niromi coming from a well to do family would not have been an LTTE recruit or target.

    Niromi was apparently telling tall stories possibly based on what some of her friends who joined LTTE had in turn related to her.

    Some gullible Australians believed her story and given her celibrity status.

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      she is telling the truth about being in the LTTE she and her friend running away to join the LTTE casued quite a scandal in the middle class society in Jaffna of the mid 1980’s!

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    Niromi, ha ha, you are intimidated and sacred by the email from SL people living in australia when you had the gun in your hand as a child and go and killing innocent people do you think those people were joy and safe because you were killing them from one bullet, do you think general public in australia are do not have brains to believe your story.

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    It is sad to read the hate messages.Niromi’s class mates are still living around the globe. One of my friends who studied with Niromi de soyza ( pen name) in the school in Northern Sri Lanka. How can the critics simply deny by saying ” a fake child solider” . I was told that Niromi and her Friend Ajanthi’s story was known to many students who studied in late 80’s in Chundikuli Girls College, Holy Family Convent and St.John’s college.

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    Well done Niromi. You spoke from the heart. listeners can discern. We know some of the critics are jealous about your success and crying for the limelight. My advice to you is ignore them.

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    I have interviewed child soldiers and researched into the issue. Niromi does not appear to be one?? let her substantiate her claim. A child or adolescent (<18yrs) who cannot comprehend recruitment nor give consent to recruitment to kill other people cannot be recruited even with consent! would the Australian government recruit a toy gun carrying toddler or even a15 year old against the UNCRC. Therefore the whole issue of playing to a white gallery for fame and money is what it is. I believe in human rights for minorities. In this situation a third party is trying to exploit the situation to sell their books. Although the diaspora LTTE may know that the claim is probably false, they would keep quiet as long as it is to their advantage.
    I am writing this not to challenge issues of human rights violations if any since transparency and accountability are important points. I just want to point out that this is a bogus child soldier!

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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/

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    None of these people live in SLK; one is a foreigner and the other one has abandoned SLK – both talking to another foreigner. Therefore it does not matter what they say about how to reconcile; it is irrelevant.
    Tamil people in SLK have reconciled and benefiting from the peace dividends, picking up progress from where it was left behind 30-years ago during the divisional and destructive campaign stage managed by foreigners and executed by Prabhakaran. It is up to the local Tamil politicians now to seal the reconcilliation with the other ethnic groups; the dialogue between them will be the more meaningful one that would lead to better relationships.
    The strange phenomenon among the wider population is that despite this sort of rabble rousers’ and stirers’ activities, ethnic intermarriages take place in SLK. They, as well as those cross-ethnic divide friends live pretty normal lives.

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