10 December, 2019

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Will Not The Tears, Shed By The Oppressed Become Sharp Instruments To Wear The Monarch’s Wealth Away?

By Veluppillai Thangavelu

Veluppillai Thangavelu

Recently organizations representing the mothers and relatives of those who involuntarily (forced) disappeared, after the war, marked the thousandth day of their demonstration, rallies, road-side campaign etc. During this long period, the mothers have demanded the government to produce their sons and daughters handed over to the army at Omanthai military camp during rounding up of suspected militants as well as those who surrendered on May 18, 2009. They sought answers to the nagging questions “What happened to our loved ones, in most cases, we ourselves handed them to the armed forces” from the government, UNHRC and foreign diplomats.

Amnesty International defines Victims of enforced disappearance are people who have literally disappeared; from their loved ones and their community. They go missing when state officials (or someone acting with state consent) grab them from the street or from their homes and then deny it, or refuse to say where they are. Sometimes disappearances may be committed by armed non-state actors, like armed opposition groups. And it is always a crime under international law.

Enforced disappearance is frequently used as a strategy to spread terror among people. The feeling of insecurity and fear it generates is not limited to the close relatives of the disappeared but also affects communities as a whole.

The affected persons strongly believe, perhaps naively, that their beloved ones are still alive and they are kept in clandestine military detention cells/centres/camps.

When ex-Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was confronted by angry parents who wanted to know the whereabouts of their loved ones, he was truthful about the disappeared. In his answer, Ranil said that the government had made every effort to trace the missing detainees in army custody but found none.

He then said the missing persons must be presumed dead. This answer only helped to worsen the already highly charged emotive atmosphere. 

Today, Gotabaya Rajapaksa who was the Defence Secretary during the war had won the presidential race on the SLPP platform with an impressive majority. This has raked up those awful and nightmarish memories about the enforced missing persons. For years since 2009 May, the relatives of the missing persons are pointing fingers at Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the person responsible for execution-style murders of LTTE leaders/cadres/civilians who surrendered to the army some with white flags. The White flag surrender was facilitated by President Mahinda and Basil Rajapaksa. Those who surrendered with white flags were advised to hold the flags high so that the soldiers can see them at a distance.

So far,  despite the promise by the previous Government, no one has been held accountable for extrajudicial killings during the war. But the mothers and relatives of the missing persons hold Gotabaya Rajapaksa accountable in his capacity as the Defence Secretary. Those he is only the Defence Secretary, he was virtually the Defence Minister as well. He alone took decisions regarding the overall war strategy against the LTTE.  Mahinda Rajapaksa was Defence Minister in name only.

As Defence Secretary Gotabaya directed all military operations and gave orders to the  Commanders in the field bypassing the Army Commander. This was disclosed by Sarath Fonseka many times. As the person who directed the entire war machinery, Gotabaya Rajapaksa is accused of ordering torture, rape and abductions and murders of thousands of Tamils.

When Rajapaksas (Gotabaya, Mahinda and Namal) went to the North for election campaign relatives of involuntarily disappeared persons held a protest rally before the Nallur Murugan temple.  They have also been protesting against the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) for not doing anything about the missing persons. They are displaying US and EU flags in the hope of drawing enlisting support of those countries.

During his election campaign, Gotabaya Rajapaksa has studiously avoided giving interviews to the press knowing well that many upsetting questions will be fired at him about missing persons, extra-judicial killings and LTTE surrendees who went missing after the surrender.

At the first press conference held at Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo on 16 October 2019, a grinning Gotabaya Rajapaksa dodged questions about enforced disappearances and missing surrendees. He struggled to answer tough questions thrown by journalists and forced to acknowledge the military leadership of Sarath Fonseka. He denied Paranagama Commission findings of ‘missing’ persons.

Challenged repeatedly about those LTTE cadres who went missing after surrender to the 58 Division, President Gotabaya who had previously claimed credit for the military victory denied any role in the management of the victory and its outcome and tried to pass the blame on to the Army  Commanding officers in the field!

When pressed further about a large number of detainees and missing persons, Gotabaya Rajapaksa claimed credit for the rehabilitation of all of them.

His manifesto launched on 25 October 2019, inter-alia, said “Even though we took steps to pardon, rehabilitate and release 13,784 Tiger members who surrendered with arms, such steps were not taken in relation to soldiers who faced different accusations related to the wartime. It further said steps were taken to “systematically rehabilitate and reintegrate” into society not only soldiers but also members of the Tamil Tigers who are facing different accusations related to the war. But the affected families say they saw their relatives taken away in buses by soldiers but never seen again.

Sri Lanka’s government ordered Tamil rebels and any civilians with remote relations to the rebel group to surrender after they were boxed inside a narrow strip of land in the final days of the war on May 18.  2009.

While Gotabaya Rajapaksa claims the government released 13,784 LTTE surrendees, his manifesto does not talk about the missing. He told reporters that no one had disappeared other than those who participated in active combat, and that included thousands of soldiers. He urged people to forget the past and move on.

Here is how the questions and answers went during the press meet according to the Daily News dated October 16, 2019 –

Q: What happened to the people who surrendered to the security forces since you were leading the military at that time? Could you please tell us what happened to the people who surrendered? Where are they?

A: You are mistaken I think, I was not leading the Army.

Q: Your brother was?

A: No! No! The Army was led by the Army commander

Q: You were the defence secretary, what will you tell the people who ask that question?

A: About 13,784 surrendered and they were rehabilitated and reintegrated into society. They were given employment in the Civil Security Force and some of them were recruited in the military as well. We had one of the most successful rehabilitation programmes. Even foreign observers commended our programmes.

Q: Does that mean that there are no missing persons?

A: Even in the military, over 4,000 officers and soldiers went missing during the war in the battlefield. Once, I went to Jaffna Fort and even we couldn’t recover the bodies of the military personnel. People are missing. Similarly, a number of soldiers are missing.

Q: Some say those who surrendered did not return? So are they lying?

A: No! Somebody can say that but that is an allegation. We had a commission on this. There were no cases like that.

Q: Even the Paranagama Commission of your time said there were such cases

A: I don’t think so.

Q: It was said that various census and statistical surveys were conducted which came out with numbers. What was the process that you had in mind to carry this forward?

A: You are talking all the time about the past. Ask about the future. If you concentrate on the future, it is better I think.

Q: But can you move on without addressing the past?

A: Yeah sure, can move on.

Questioned about the UN Human Rights Council resolutions, especially 30/1 of 2015,  Gotabaya Rajapaksa repeatedly described the UNHCR resolutions as “illegal”, but said that if elected to power he would work with the UN and human rights organisations in resolving contentious issues.

On  01 December 2014, the Government Information Department said that 12,030 rehabilitated former LTTE cadres have already been reintegrated into society. It also stated that a majority of the rehabilitated ex-cadres have been granted employment in both the public and private sectors.

The then Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Minister DEW Gunasekera had said the number put through rehabilitation is 11,969 LTTE cadres who surrendered to the Security Forces.  He expressed these views at the meeting held in the Sri Lanka Leftists’ Movement Batticaloa District Office.

Ignoring the minor discrepancies in the figures given out by different sources,  it will appear about 12,000 LTTE cadres surrendered to the army after the war came to an end on May 19, 2009. However, there is significant difference between  Ministry of Rehabilitation 12,000 and the figure 13,784  given by President Rajapaksa in his manifesto.

In 2018 two former Ministers from the Rajapaksa administration acknowledged that those who surrendered to the military had been killed while in protected custody.  OMP chair Saliya Peiris has said that he requested the list of surrendees from the authorities, but he never received any list.  In 2016, a senior military commander revealed in courts that the 58 Division, which is accused of committing war crimes, is in possession of a list of those who surrendered to the security forces. The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 58 Division of the Sri Lanka Army, Major General Kavinda Chanakya Gunawardena told Mullaitivu Magistrate Court that his division holds a list of all the LTTE cadres who surrendered to the military.

In an explosive interview with The Sunday Leader General Fonseka, the then Army Commander said he had no information communicated to him in the final days of the war that three key LTTE leaders had opted to surrender to Sri Lanka’s armed forces as the battle drew to a bloody finish. He told Frederica Jansz that Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed a key ground commander in the north that all LTTE leaders must be killed and not allowed to surrender. Later, under pressure, Sarath Fonseka retracted his statement.

The 30/1 UN resolution titled, ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ was co-sponsored by the present Sri Lankan government.

“We will work with UN and Human Rights organisations as well in solving issues but the resolution is not something we signed,” presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa said.

When asked about the rights of ethnic minorities, however, the presidential candidate emphasised the need for the economic upliftment of minority areas.

The controversy surrounding the exact number of cadres of the LTTE  who surrendered to the Sri Lanka Army during the final stages of the war, has resurfaced with the claim by Sri Lanka Army that LTTE cadres had not surrendered to them while families of missing LTTE cadres insist  they handed over their sons and daughters to the Army camp at Omanthai.

The Army had made this claim in response to a Right to Information (RTI) application submitted by a journalist seeking information on LTTE cadres who reportedly surrendered to the military during the final stages of the war.

The blatantly false response has stirred emotions among the families of missing persons, former LTTE cadres as well as Tamil politicians. A former LTTE cadre Chandralingam alias Thulasi who surrendered to the Army and underwent rehabilitation told the weekly English newspaper The Sunday Morning that there was no doubt LTTE cadres did surrender directly to the army.

The Office of the Missing Persons (OMP) estimates that at least 21,000 have disappeared from the predominantly Tamil north and east during the war. “Families and civil society representatives in the districts made a number of recommendations that the OMP will take forward, including the use of mobile offices for more remote areas, prioritisation of the cases of persons who have reported to have surrendered to the military in May 2009 and then disappeared and the need for immediate relief,” OMP stated in its interim report in August 2018.

OMP chair Saliya Peiris has said that he requested the list of surrendees from the authorities. In 2016, a senior military commander revealed in courts that the 58 Division, which is accused of committing war crimes, is in possession of a list of those who surrendered to the security forces.

The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 58 Division of the Sri Lanka Army, Major General Kavinda Chanakya Gunawardena told Mullaitivu Magistrate Court that his division holds a list of all the Tamil Tiger rebels who surrendered to the military. However, the commander failed to provide the document in court.

An Army Court of Inquiry (COI) established by post-war military commander Jagath Jayasuriya in 2012 also acknowledged that the military did indeed capture LTTE cadres.

“The Sri Lanka Army had acted in a very professional manner taking very elaborate measures to avoid civilian casualties and all persons, including captured/surrendered LTTE cadres,” said the COI report.

The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) appointed by Sri Lanka’s wartime president registered in 2011 a total of 53 LTTE cadres who surrendered during the final days of the war and were alleged to have disappeared.

I have written articles on the extra-judicial murder of those LTTE leaders who surrendered with White flags. The surrender was facilitated by Mahinda Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa. They were told to hold the flag high so that the soldiers can see them. On the morning of May 18, 2009, when B. Nadesan Head of the LTTE Political Wing, Seevaratnam Pulithevan of the LTTE Peace Secretariat and Col. Ramesh (Ilango)  Head of the LTTE Police Force approached the 58 division at Vadduvaakal along with about 300 LTTE cadres and civilians they were gun down! Some of them like Nadesan, Pulithevan and Col. Ramesh (Ilango) were tortured before being killed. ing them. Their bullet-ridden and tortured bodies were seen lying on the ground.

On the same day in the evening middle-ranking  LTTE cadres (some of them non-combatants) like Elilan, Yogi, Balakumar. Poet Rathnathurai, Thilakar and others surrendered to the army. They were taken in CTB buses for a ‘short inquiry’ in the presence of their spouses and friends. Fr. Joseph Francis, a Catholic Priest,  took down the names of the surrendees and then seen boarding a bus. After that fateful day, they all went missing. A photograph showing Balakumar and his son seated what seems to be a military camp appeared in the media.

I have given more details and list of surrendees in my articles I wrote and published previously by Colombo Telegraph.

(1)  LTTE Cadres Surrender – Army Brigadier Atapattu Is Lying Through His Teeth.

(2)  LTTE Cadres Who Surrendered To The Army: Where Are They?

(3) Notwithstanding Denial by Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, Thousands of Missing Persons Could Not Have Vanished into Thin Air

In the face of overwhelming evidence, it is an exercise in futility for the Army to deny that no LTTE cadre surrendered to the army. Or the story Army only facilitated in handing over the LTTE cadres to the Officials of the Ministry of Rehabilitation.

At least four individuals are privy to the truth. They are Gotabaya Rajapaksa then Defence Secretary, Mythripala Sirisena then Acting Defence Minister, Shavendra Silva and Kamal Gunaratne Commanding officers of the 53rd and 58 Army Division that took part in the last stages of the war. Interestingly Gotabaya Rajapaksa is now the President, Shavendra Silva promoted as Army Commander by the previous government and Kamal Gunaratne appointed as Secretary to the Defence Ministry. All of them together can solve the riddle and put at rest the thousands of relatives of the missing persons who continue to be engaged in roadside protests.

Though President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said UNHRC Resolution 30/1 which called for the establishment of a credible justice process that includes the establishment of a special ‘hybrid court’ to investigate war crimes committed by those responsible  won’t recognize  the agreement the government co-sponsored to investigate alleged war crimes during the nation’s civil war.  “We will always work with the United Nations, but I can’t recognize what they have signed” with past Sri Lankan governments, Rajapaksa said at a news conference held on October 15,  2019.

Newly appointed Foreign Minister, Dinesh Gunawardena had  said that the new government will review Resolution 30/1 entitled ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.’ President Gotabaaya is reported to have instructed his ministers to review all agreements signed during the UNF government and renegotiate them if they violate the constitution. When in opposition the SLPP attacked Resolution 30/1 as a sellout.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) spokesperson said the government’s plan to review United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Resolution 30/1, ‘for promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights’ in Sri Lanka would have serious repercussions for the country at the international level.

Families of the disappeared in Vavuniya condemned Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s denial of hundreds of cases of disappearances of surrendered Tamils after the end of the war. Staging a rally at their roadside spot in Vavuniya town they slammed the “various opinions that have been expressed with the aim of sabotaging [our] struggle.”

“We are not asking about the children who were killed by the Sri Lankan army’s bombings,” the families said referring to Rajapaksa’s comments that war-time deaths could lead to missing bodies. “We are asking for the children we handed over to the army at the Omanthai checkpoint in the days after the war ended.”

“We have all the evidence. How can people say that there was no such [surrendering] incident in Sri Lanka when we are the eyewitnesses?”

Defying UNHRC’s demands for accountability, justice and rule of law are bound to set Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his government on a collision course with the Western countries who sponsored Resolution 30/1. No wonder these countries have not extended the customary pleasantries following his appointment as  President.  He has earned a name for him for his autocratic leadership style in the past.

Let me conclude by a quote from Kural, a book on  ethics and morality and  praised for its universality and non-denominational nature, on the subject “The Cruel Sceptre”. 

Will, not the tears, shed by  the oppressed  become

Sharp instruments to wear the monarch’s wealth away? (Kural 555)

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Latest comments

  • 12
    3

    Eelam EELAM or genuinely concerned Citizen of Sri Lanka or living in the west.

  • 6
    11

    Thank you Thanga for the article.

    Sinhalease politicians started treating Tamils badly from Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan days.

    It is getting worse and worse. If you draw a graph “Singhalese politicians treatment of Tamils” against “time” graph is going up and up. It never went down. In other words Tamils are loosing all the time.

    Can you see any end to this?
    If yes, when will it end?

    • 0
      1

      Anpu
      That’s because it’s always about you guys and nothing else. It’s always why aren’t these politicians talking about tamils? why aren’t they giving anything to tamils? why aren’t they giving us our own country? it’s never about Sri Lanka it’s just about tamils.

  • 5
    10

    What an article dear Mr. Thangavelu and I am sure you burnt night oil enough to write this up.
    thank you.

  • 3
    2

    Prof Manivanan

    “Tamil politics requires self-discovery of political, economic, educational, professional and strategic resources at disposal both at home and abroad. Tamils are more prolific, articulate and better placed than the Rajapaksas at this moment of history to speak truth. But they need a simple and strategic shift in their posture. Tamils have for long shown their back to the seas while demanding for concessions from Colombo and the time has come for surveying the vast ocean before them with the self belief in their rich and long history as a seafaring culture. The course of shift will become real only when Tamils stop begging for solutions from India and demonstrate the rare courage and determination to invite India as a trusted partner. Indian Ocean offers many new opportunities in the 21st Century and the Indo-Pacific paradigm will bring more countries on board.”

    http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/node/2540

    • 4
      0

      Prof Suryanarayan

      ““What we call the beginning” T S Eliot wrote years ago “is often the end”. “And to make an end is a beginning. The end is where we start from”. In the beginning of this essay, I referred to Gandhiji’s visit to Ceylon in 1927. Let me conclude the essay with another statement of Gandhiji. Speaking in the Nalanda Mahavidyalaya he appealed to the students to follow the teachings of the Buddha: “If you do not represent the teachings of the Buddha in your own lives, you having belonged to this institution will be considered useless … You can reproduce the central teaching of the Gautama in your own lives… He gave us the unadulterated law of mercy –and he insisted upon purity of life”. Gandhiji was deeply pained by the growing canker of communalism in the island, but he held out the hope that if the Ceylonese adhered to the Master’s teachings, to quote Gandhiji again, you “can outstrip us and set an example”.

      http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/node/2542

  • 13
    2

    “Will, not the tears, shed by the oppressed become Sharp instruments to wear the monarch’s wealth away? (Kural 555)”

    It works both ways. Those who were hard done by your dear leader VP, would consider Gota’s then brutal approach as a necessity. After all, only a bully could put down another bully. And he did in the most brutal manner. Gota too would suffer in time for his excesses thanks to his many victims.

    Talking about the tears shed by the oppressed, individuals within TNA privately stated that SL, much like Cambodia, may take years to bring those who are responsible to justice. And the previous administration with which TNA collaborated, dragged its feet when it comes to complying with what it signed up to for fear of losing their hold on power. A man who should have been confined to the dustbin of history is back in charge. The collective blunder of the previous administration is partly responsible for our present predicament. TNA needs to come to terms with the role it played or failed to play in the past.

    Having said that we are probably entering another another dark chapter in SL history. Only time would tell.

  • 1
    11

    ‘ O Christ of the five wounds,
    Who look’dst through the dark to
    the face of Thy mother !
    consider I pray,
    How we common mothers
    stand desolate….’
    ( Elizabeth Barrett Browning )

  • 13
    2

    It is ironic that Thangavelu, former Vice President of the World Tamil Movement (banned by the Canadian government as an LTTE front organization and fund raiser), should now shed crocodile tears. The Sri Lankan army did break international humanitarian law. So did the LTTE and in a far worse manner. The LTTE killed Tamils trying to flee its human shield in Mullivaikal and Nandikadal. It killed Tamil youth who avoided conscription. It killed Tamil politicians, including Neelan Tiruchelvam. It brought untold suffering to the Tamils. Any criticism of the Sri Lankan army has to be matched by criticism of the LTTE. This Thangavelu dishonestly chooses not to do.

  • 5
    1

    Sorry to hear about your LTTE Cadres who have gone missing…

    As you yourself says Dr Ranil and his mates have been trying to not only find your missing LTTE Cadres, but they also wanted to punish Nanadasena for War Murders even without finding the Bodies.

    What you should do now is get Dr Ranil to divulge what ever he found about these missing LTTE Cadres during his hard work in the North with the TNA in the last 4 years, ,
    Specially in the last three months to persuade the your brethren in the North and the East not to vote for Nandasena , manly because he is a Sinhala Buddhist.

    And if you send a delegation with that Information to help the TNA Sampathar and Abraham to campaign in the South about the injustices to your people during Mr Pirahaparan’s reign,.our
    suckers in the South may vote for Dr Ranil’s TEAM in this round .

    And make Dr Ranil the PM so Dr Ranil can help you with all your needs , plus specially the demands of the TNA Leaders Messers Sampathar and Sivajilingam as well , along with the information and good compensation for the Missing.
    Unfortunately Dr Ranil even as the next PM won’t be able to drag Nanafasena to Court , because of his immunity.
    But Dr Ranil may be able to nail him after 2025. if you blokes still keep harping about those injustices to the LTTE..

    • 3
      0

      KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

      “Sorry to hear about your LTTE Cadres who have gone missing…”

      You must be plain stupid.
      Why couldn’t the armed forces stage accidents for each or the missing LTTE cadres as in the case of Wasim Thajudeen?

      The question is what happened to the innocent people who were missing or forced to disappear between 5th April 1971 and 9th January 2015?
      Any idea?
      I just want to gently remind you it was the weeping widow who was in total control between 1970 and 1977, …… later her corrupted cousin was in charge of the security forces for many years from 1994 until he was sacked by her daughter, ….

      There is no difference between kola(කොළ) and nil (නිල්) when it comes to killing and forced disappearances.

      Has the president or the prime minister offered you a job, may be as a contact point for corruption, man of backhanders, Binami, money mule, ……………. ?

  • 2
    9

    Don’t compare the LTTE a non-state Actor with Sri Lanka a sovereign state committed to upholding international norms and standards in conducting the war against the LTTE.

    The UN rejected claims by the government that during the last months it undertook a “humanitarian rescue operation” with a policy of “zero civilian casualties.” Hence its recommendation to commence international investigation against alleged/suspected human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Recently, the government admitted that in the last months of fighting, 9,000 people were killed. The question is whether this figure includes over 500 LTTE cadres (some non-combatants) who surrendered to the army on May 18, 2009. It is time the Sri Lankan government comes clean instead of continued denial of an obvious truth!

    Tamil Tigers recognized Sri Lanka’s independence and the Sinhalese the majority’s legitimacy in the country, though they demanded the establishment of an independent Tamil state in their traditional habitat alongside the independent Sinhalese state. In contrast, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad have frequently called for the destruction of the State of Israel and they continue to refuse to recognize its right to exist.

    The LTTE was the only non-state actor in the world with a military, sea and (lesser) air capability and ran a de facto government. It deserved to be treated differently from other terrorist formations.

    The LTTE never executed prisoners of war except shooting to death a handful of army prisoners. Sri Lankan government has arrested LTTE cadres who carried out the shooting. But Sri Lanka is denying the summary executions of LTTE surrendees in their hundreds on May 18. 2009. That is where the difference is. UBHRC Resolution 30/1 wants international investigation against BOTH both parties to the conflict. After co-sponsoring the Resolution 30/1, the newly elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says the resolution is “illegal.”

    • 6
      2

      What rubbish Thanga. Your are splitting hairs. The LTTE killed many many Tamils, not to mention others. Who cares if they did or didn’t execute political prisoners – they murdered many. And you were part of that raising funds for them!

    • 3
      1

      Thanga

      What about resolutions against western army’s that committed atrocities in Afganistan, Iraq, vietnam?

      Is the UN only making a big noise concerning the so called 3 rd world armys ?

      How about taking on Trump and Puttin? Hmmm…….

      • 2
        5

        This is colombotelegraph. Go to afganistantelegraph.

  • 9
    1

    Velu .

    People like you should be held accountable for prolonging the ethnic conflict.

    Thousand of civilians were killed because of this conflict that should not have happened.
    Tamil, Muslim, Sinhala, foreign tourists’.

    We all know that people like you profited from this conflict.

    So please keep out of this and let the Tamils living in Sri Lanka shape their own destiny through dialog with the democratically elected government of Sri Lanka.

    Colombo is a truly cosmopolitan city with many Tamils calling it their home.

    The Tamils have made a significant contriburion to Sri Lanka and they have good qualities that are an example to all.

    Humble, hardworking, intelligent and civic minded Tamil culture is a jewell in the fabiric of Sri Lankan society.

    Winning a Civil War is not easy but winning the hearts and minds of people is very very difficult.

    However we should never ever give up on this and it is a moral duty of any prevailing government to build bridges and win the trust of all citizens.

  • 2
    7

    Eat the carrot. Forget the stick – there is no way you can punnish the Sinhalese without Tamils facing a bigger share.

    Soma

    • 5
      0

      Soma,
      It is all started by Sinhalese politicians who call themselves Buddhists. If the practice(d) Buddhism we would be a leading country in all kinds of ways.

    • 4
      0

      somass

      “there is no way you can punnish the Sinhalese without Tamils facing a bigger share.”

      The Sinhala/Buddhists are very experienced and capable of punishing themselves and others. Yet again they have confirmed it in the recent presidential elections. They are both masochists as well as sadists. Perhaps being both gives them sexual pleasure.

  • 3
    0

    Thanga,

    Any time scale for this?

    “We also openly exchanged views on reconciliation in Sri Lanka. President Rajapaksa told me about his inclusive political outlook on ethnic harmony. I am confident that the Government of Sri Lanka will carry forward the process of reconciliation, to fulfill the aspirations of the Tamils for equality, justice, peace and respect. It also includes the implementation of the 13th amendment. India will become a trusted partner for development throughout Sri Lanka including North and East.” https://mea.gov.in/Speeches-Statements.htm?dtl%2F32126%2FTranslation_of_Press_Statement_by_Prime_Minister_during_State_Visit_of_President_of_Sri_Lanka_to_India

  • 5
    3

    I weep for the sorrow of the mothers whose sons disappeared after being handed over to the winning armed forces. Their sorrow must be mitigated with a proper admission of wrong-doing and appropriate compensation. Reparations are part of restorative justice when wars end with a winner and loser. There is no purpose served in commenting on “tit-for-tat” measures where the LTTE committed horrendous crimes against civilians and prisoners. All wars are brutal, and killing is the main objective, despite Warsaw protocols etc and rules of engagement. Classic recent examples are the massacres in Iraq and Afghanistan. All parties to the former conflict in Sri Lanka must work together to resolve outstanding issues. Denial and delaying will merely exacerbate issues and perhaps ignite future conflicts. Justice must be served to all. That alone will bring respect and credibility. Politicians should never be allowed to divide communities and maintain ongoing conflicts for their own selfish ends.

    • 1
      4

      ‘ I weep for the sorrow of the mothers..’
      At least ONE weeps..
      Thank you and God Bless you.

  • 0
    6

    LTTE also committed war crimes but not on the scale compared the Sri Lankan armed forces. That is why Resolution 30/1 calls for an international investigation with judges, prosecutors, investigators and lawyers. Why is the government refusing to hold the investigation if they have nothing to fear?

    The mothers of enforced missing persons are asking a simple question. What happened to the boys and girls handed over to the army at Omanthai camp? What happened to the LTTE cadres and civilians who surrendered to the 53 Division and 58Division at Vadduvakal on May 18, 2009?

    The answer that LTTE killed more Tamils than the Sinhalese is a puerile one. The simple fact is the LTTE still remains popular with the ordinary Tamil people. They died for a cause, not for personal reasons. On the other hand, the people have rejected Mahinda Rajapaksa’s claim he liberated the Tamil people from the clutches of the LTTE! by voting against him and his party decisively. At the just-concluded parliamentary election, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa polled only 6.24% in the Jaffna electorate, 12.27% in Vanni and 12.68 % in Batticaloa where the Tamils are in a majority. In fact, President Gotabaya lost all the 5 electoral districts in the Northeast as well as the Nuwara Eliya electoral district. That is a damning indictment of the Government’s Sinhala – Buddhist majoritarian policy. It is frightening to hear President Gotabaya of a country who claims to be a technocrat speaking in terms of Sinhalese Buddhists, Tamil and Muslim minorities. Undoubtedly he cast himself as the guardian of the Sinhalese Buddhists.

  • 5
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    Those who cannot put aside the memories of the Tamil Tiger war should learn a lesson from the Germans. Millions of them, including the famous Six Army perished in winter in Stalingrad, in the sub zero arctic weather that engulfed the region. Surrendees were summarily shot or marched to the gulags of Siberia. When the Berlin wall fell and access to the Russian landscape became possible tens of thousands of people went in search of their sons, husbands and fathers but only a few returned from the Russian prisons. The whereabouts of millions could not be accounted for. The loved one are now getting old and dying and soon the memories of those missing will go to grave with them.

    The people of northern Lanka should realize that they do not have a better fate than those Germans. In fact the Tamil Tigers were the worlds most ruthless terrorists and anyone in the North and parts of the East of Lanka were easily forced by the Tigers to join them of suffer terrible consequences. This was the result of some Tamils, especially the Tamil elite, deciding to address grievances by supporting terror, and finally terror morphed into a full-fledged state of terror with a leader and some international recognition. Somehow, despite those temporary wins the Tigers lost the battle and these missing persons are the collateral damage. The relatives should light a candle and try to forget the past. At least Ranil Wicks who is rarely laudable deserves some praise if he bluntly told the people to forget the past. Someone should tell the people the story of Stalingrad Germans and many other such instances of grief in the World Wars, etc.

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      ‘ be blunt..light a candle and forget the past..tell them German war stories..’
      Such wisdom and sensitivity to heartbroken mothers weeping for their children…!

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        The Tamils did reject the Rajapakses. That however is not an endorsement of the LTTE. Who said that the LTTE is genuinely popular amongst the Tamils? Not in Sri Lanka! You Thanga haven’t been here in decades to know how we feel. In 1995, the LTTE held the people in Jaffna as a human shield. This was repeated in Vakarai in 2006 and in the Vanni in 2009. People were not allowed to leave. We were subject to enormous suffering on account of the LTTE. They broke the ceasefires of 1987, 1990, 1995 and 2006. It was the Tamils who died. There is malice and evil in you, Thangavelu, to twist matters. I pity the mothers whose sons were killed by the LTTE.

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