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How and why the army fired on IDP’s at Menik Farm

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by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

September 26th 2009 saw an altercation erupting between Internally displaced persons (IDP) “detained” at the Menik Farm IDP camp at Chettikulam and members of the Sri Lanka Army deployed in the area.

While the defence ministry spokesperson Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara and the media center for national security (MCNS) have provided “official” versions of what had supposedly happened independent probing by this writer reveals that the official story is rather inaccurate on key areas. Neither does it provide a clear picture of what had happened.

There was no “escape” attempt by a group of IDP’s as stated by official sources and picked up by sections of the media. It is also incorrect that there was an attempt by the IDP’s to throw a hand grenade at the soldiers.

Speaking to informed sources both official and unofficial this writer was able to glean a rough idea of what had actually happened.

Security arrangements and procedures are comparatively relaxed at the camps situated in zones one, two and three. The IDP’s in these camps are mainly those who fled the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) area in the penultimate rather than final stages of the war.

The facilities at these camps are somewhat better than in other camps and are often displayed to visiting dignitaries as “showcases”.

Contrary to reports in the media inmates of the three camps are allowed to move to and from one to another in a “controlled” fashion. There is no total ban on movement. There is in fact a “land corridor” inter-linking all three camps in zone 1,2 & 3.

A limited number of people can move from one camp to another at specific times through authorized entry/ exit points. This allows inmates of one camp to interact with family, relatives and friends in another camp. Some trade and barter is also done.

On Saturday September 26th a group of people in Zone one known as Anandacooomaraswamy welfare village had gone to zone two known as Ramanathan welfare village to sell firewood.

Since authorized access was on a limited scale these “vendors” had moved in through unauthorized entry points to enter the zone two camp. These IDP’s began returning to their camp at dusk.

The IDP firewood vendors who had slipped in through unauthorized routes in singles and pairs and at different times were now returning in one group.

The Army sentries alerted because of the sizable numbers arrived at the spot at about 6. 15 pm. There was a dispute between some of the IDP’s and the soldiers.

While the soldiers maintained that the IDP’s were using unauthorized entry/exit points the IDP’s insisted that their movement was through authorized points.

Also the soldiers had mistakenly thought that some IDP’s were trying to escape clandestinely and wanted to arrest them. This led to a heated argument and some IDP’s proficient in Sinhala had used obsecene language on the soldiers.

More soldiers arrived on the scene in an excited state and surrounded the IDP’s. Seeing the commotion a large number of IDP’s also converged on the spot encircling the soldiers.

Since some of these IDP’s had a few firewood logs in their hands the soldiers assumed wrongly that a mob was going to attack them with wooden poles. They got further excited.

Previously soldiers had been clearly instructed not to use firearms on IDPS and to physically tackle any miscreant if and when the necessity arose. But Soldiers sharing a threat perception began brandishing their firearms.

This aroused angry reactions in the IDP crowd that was fast turning hostile. A few started pelting stones at the soldiers.

At this point one soldier fired into the air to disperse the crowd. This gave the wrong signal to others and a few shots were fired into the crowd.

Panic stricken the IDP’s fled from the scene but at least six people including two children and a woman sustained injuries. Of these three were of a minor nature.

The two children aged three and six received treatment at the Medecins sans frontiers (MSF) hospital at Chettykulam. The six year old girl Nidharshika was later transferred to the accident ward at Vavuniya hospital.

Meanwhile more soldiers arrived at the camps and took away some people suspected of involvement in the incident.

Nineteen of these persons were handed over to the Police on the charges of attempting to escape from the camp, attacking the army with clubs and stones and trying to lob a grenade.

The information available to this writer indicates that there was no attempt to escape and no attempts to assault the soldiers. There was however heated exchange of words and some stone throwing.

The charge of an attempt to throw a grenade appears to be a total fabrication by army officials. It is seen as a ruse to justify the firing upon unarmed civilians by the soldiers.

In a further development on Sunday September 27th a contingent of soldiers swooped down on the Anandacoomaraswamy welfare village in the morning.

All inmates were ordered to remain within their tents while hundreds of soldiers went on a search mission from tent to tent. The operation lasted for eight hours from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm.

The soldiers had told IDP’s that they were searching for grenades and firearms and also for those who had escaped after attacking the army on Sunday.

The people were unable to partake of meals or drink while the eight hour operation was on.

An undisclosed number of persons suspected to have been involved in the incident were taken away for questioning.

This in essence is what transpired at the Menik farm IDP camps as opposed to the official versions trotted out by authorities.

The incident is seen as a flashpoint of simmering tensions between the forcibly detained large IDP population and their guards.

The Sri Lankan government has once again received negative publicity over the incident.

The official version that soldiers fired on those attempting to escape has once again highlighted the fact that hundreds of thousands of people are being held forcibly under armed guard at internment camps and that unarmed civilians are being fired upon by armed soldiers to quell escape attempts.

DBS Jeyaraj can be reached at dbsjeyaraj@yahoo.com

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140 Comments

  1. I suspected as much when I saw Colombo newspapers saying army fired at IDP escapees that something was not correct. Thanks to this article I get the real picture and whole truth. Good work DBS. We want more accounts like this please

  2. Once again a very fine article reconstructing events by Jeyaraj

    The IDP’s cant be kept detained under armed guard like this. More and more incidents like this will definitely happen in the future

    Govt must re-settle them speedily

  3. Its an unfortunate incident.

    Thanks for telling us what really happened DBS

    This is not the first time army spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara has lied and this wont be the last either.

    Govt is getting very bad image due to inept handling of situation.

  4. Jeyaraj,

    U mean to say the 6 year kid and other little kids surrounded the soldiers and pelted stones???

    Where have I said that kids surrounded the soldiers and threw stones?………….DBSJ

  5. Thanks, now we have another version. Its reminds me of Tamil Movie 12B.

    I think you should see Akiro Kurosawa’s “Rashomon”………….DBSJ

  6. Reconsiliation in SriLanka will start or end in these IDP camps…

    Since the ‘End of the War’ Tamils have seen no signs of hope in Srilanka.

    Until Truth and Freedom is established – we shall protest world over.

    SRILANAKA, LET MY PEOPLE GO……

  7. There is frustration on all sides. No one wants to be in the IDP camps. The Soldiers want to go home.
    The Govt should seriously take a new look at this situation.
    Thanks DBSJ for this insight.

  8. Having read both versions, it appears the military response has been more restrained than usual and it is good .

    There are elements among the civilians who will cause mischief at every opportunity.After living under a brutal terror group some of these people will take a long time to change their attitudes, especially towards the soldiers.

    Tamilians living comfortably in foriegn lands should help these people materially to get their lives back to normal

    Efforts to tarnish the government is not going to help the IDPs.So far nothing concrete has come from the Tamil diaspora to help these unfortunate people,

    Fair minded people would like to see the well off Tamils overseas get together and work with the government to help resettle them.

    People who formed the TRO to help the Tigers should also show the same enthusiasm and help the victims now.

  9. Dear DBS, Thank you for exposing the Liers Soverin Republic of Srilanka, is beeing Ruled by Liers and Co.
    Udaya Nanayakara is one of the small fish/lier in the company.

  10. Dear DBS,

    Thank you for your version of the events which is more believable.

    Why do you think the SL government is holding IDPs against their will in these camps? What is the Goverments motives behind this? Your opinion, as sesoned jounalist, would be much appreciated.

  11. What we can do to get these people to release from welfare camps? Mangala and Ranil are helpless and useless. They are cunning and using this to gain publicity only. They are happy that government is keeping IDPS in camps. So are LTTE supporters. We Sinhalese who supported this government and forces to annihilate LTTE should rise now and fight against this unjust and unfair treatment of Tamil civilians. It i is is up to us and we should do it now. I asked people like Devinda and other Sinhalese to think over this.

  12. The Government is doing its best to look after the IDPs despite all logistical difficulties in managing such large numbers. The restraint displayed by the Armed forces are commendable. The charged atmosphere in such a situation cannot be avoided and one should understand the heightened feelings amongst the IDPs who are under severe stress. What one gleans from the official version is that these IDPs are detained against their will under armed guard. This the authorities should try to allay as quickly as possible. With official bungling we witness in all things, Sri Lanka getting further tarnished cannot be avoided. Commend DBS for giving this version which appears somewhat plausible. THANTRI

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    I am not trying to GIVE a plausible version. I am only trying to present what really happened after checking out independently. If you think it is PLAUSIBLE then that’s fine. If not that’s also fine. It does not matter to me as I have done my work.That’s all that matters to me

  13. Gamaya,

    If u are reallya sinhala… i shall change my thinking that all sinhalese are racist and bad…

    Your comment is indicative of your ignorance about the Sinhala people……….DBSJ

  14. Thanks DBS for your information.

    I still have doubt on the incident in which you said women and children were injured. Basil rajapaksa promised no discrimination. I dont think it happened. Lets wait and see.

  15. All these problems for IDP’s was due to megalomaniac Pirapaharan and his followers.He’s gone but people like IDP”s continue to suffer

  16. Compare to very hardline tamil and Sinhala Koti (Eg-Wickramabahu & Mangala) your views are very unbiased.(of course 60 to 40 bias which is quite acceptable considering Ch4 & BBC Ha)
    Even this story U not tried to sling mud to govt. and gain some mialge to LTTE diaspora. U just explain what was happened according to your information. Most liberal Sinahala people in SL really appreciate you and following your articles with interest. Hope you continue the same way rather than surrender to ruthless tamil diaspora who are very powerful in Canada!~!!

  17. .
    Who are these people to argue with the Sinhalese soldiers?
    How come they throw stones at Soldiers?
    Have you ever seen animals in the zoo argue or throw stones at Sinhala soldiers?
    After all these are ‘visitors’ to the island.
    Must shoot them all.
    🙂

  18. When people are detained like this such incidents are bound to happen. Govt has to take full resposibilty for the situation.

  19. Thanks for the investigative piece of journalism DBSJ.
    The botom line has to be to clear the IDP camps ASAP.

    About this specific incident,
    Assuming this is the truth, here is what the govt should have done:

    1. Explain the actual situation. It is nothing more than human error. Soldiers are not wrong to assume a large mob coming to them with pieces of fire wood as having hostile intentions.

    2. Investigate and recognise who paniced and fired at the crowd. There is no chain of command here. It is merely individuals acting on their own.

    3. Give councelling and additional training to them to avoid unnecessary panic which is dangerous for someone baring arms.

    Instead, govt fabrication and misinformation has been spun off by media into a negative outlook on the govt. GOSL should really appoint a good PR firm to handle these things.

    Having said that, I can assure you a group of people even in colombo and even all of them Sinhala Buddhists, approached some army personnel in a mob baring firewood and shouting in filth would get a similar treatment…

  20. When I begin reading the article, initilally, I thought DBJS is heading towards his usual conclusion that both sides are equally wrong.

    But, this time DBSJ tilt towards fairness – What happened? Is the destruction of LTTE has soften DBSJ’s stands on Tamils?

    I am what I am. Only tigers say I am anti -Tamil. Your prejudice is your problem………DBSJ

  21. there is always two sides of a story..i hope DBS got it right this time…….writers always want;s us to listen to only their side of the story..it’s upto the readers to be wise and act inteligently.

    Whatever made you think that writers want you to listen only to their story?naaa!…….DBSJ

  22. My immediate impression was, both sides were responsible for the heat, and not unexpected with such large numbers.

  23. Thank you DBSJ for being consistent in telling the truth. Seems like the army was a bit restrained this time, but it by no means excuses firing upon unarmed civilians.

    So many unacceptable things have happened and are still happening. Which I assume, if you think, is appropriate will expose when the time comes.

    Keep writing!
    Blessings

  24. Were you there to write ‘the account’ like this? …..

    Dont write jokes.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    So shooting civilians is a joke to you? Does anyone need to be at the spot to know the truth? Seymour Hersh had not even been to Vietnam when he exposed the Mylai massacre from USA. Have you asked Brig.Udaya Nanayakkara whether he was at the spot?

  25. Baldwin,

    You are cunningly asking the diaspora to spend money, so that the “government” , I mean the “people in power” can pilfer the money donated by UN, US, UK, Australia and other countries!!! Are you one of those people who has a hand in the pie?
    This is like the wolf crying over the sheep getting wet!!!!!! In fact you are admitting that the Government has no obligation to care for them, but has the RIGHT TO ILL TREAT THEM!!!!

    If Sri Lankan Government has agreed to the ISGA(interim Self Governing Authority) when the peace talks were going on, The diaspora Tamils would have looked after the Tamils and Sri Lanka would have become “little Singapore”

    Even now if the government gives some kind of autonomy to the North and East, the diaspora Tamils will make the North and East the envy of the world!!!! At least let them go home so that the their kith and kin will look after them.

    The government is so venomous, it does not even want to distribute the aid sent by the diaspora Tamils!! Can you explain why? Can you explain why they installed bank machines in a hurry even before installing toilets in the “concentration camps” Do you know how much money came from the diaspora to those machines? How much money goes to the “goon squad” aligned to the government in the form of ransom demanded from the Tamils in Colombo and other places by arresting innocent civilians and demanding money?

  26. This holding the Tamils as refugees in their own land in IDP’s will breed more hostility towards the government. Efforts should be made to resettle them at the earliest. As long as these people are kept in the camps the SL govt will be losing the moral high ground.

  27. World is siletnt not because of India but because of racist Tamil Diasporra. World know what their motives are. That is why they still believe government is not wrong to hold civilians until security forces are confident of weeding out all LTTE carders and total clearing of liberated areas from hidde weapons and landmines.

    If Government release people without completing these tasks, it would be amount to giving LTTE and racist Tamil diasporra another chance to regroup and use hidden weapons against Sri Lanka

  28. 1. IDPs are all not just civilians.
    A ) Hard core Terras
    B) LTTE carders
    C) LTTE die hard fans
    D) Ltte fans
    E) LTTE victime = real IDPs

    SL Army is handling a very difficult situation under very difficult socio / political / economical circumstances.

    These PPl has been brain washed for decades.
    It will be not an easy mission to resettle these PPl accordingly.
    Then U have Dispora Elam fans seeking every oppertunity to destroy the very same Lanka they were bought up to.

    All this fake struggle has bought this mass on Tamils & other SLANS by their fascist Tmail leaders.

    TNA is a good example of it.

  29. Hi DBS, Good article – your version of events is in esence a detailed more reflective account.

    I appreciate your writing as it gives people a chance to read articles towards the middle of two right wing extremist forces the LTTE and the SL Government. People like you are a rare thing these days!

    Ps Comment 11 Baldwin – read the comments on transcurrents.com regarding the article of Rajaratnam – you’ll gain an idea of the Tamil Disaporas diverse
    viewpoints about contributing to Sri Lanka!

  30. Why is the Srilankan media (whether private or public) not presents news neutrally like you?If you watch other media channels(outside SRL) they don’t hesitate to bring up news in a neutralistic manner?Also present an Article on the frequent skirmishes between SLN and Indian Navy and truth behind it.

  31. Mr.Writer,

    Having read both sides of the story I find both versions are biased and inaccurate. What you say is your version of the incident but you were not present when this happened. You must have collected this information from the IDPs which can also not be accurate as much as the government version you say is not accurate.

    So it is left to each one’s conjecture.

    It is NOT conjecture but you can believe what you WANT to believe……….DBSJ

  32. How DBS know exactly what happed without ficsicaly been in SL. He is living in Scarboro, Ontario, Canada . Can we believe DBS ?

    No problem.It’s up to you.Take it or leave it……….DBSJ

  33. 11. Baldwin

    “After living under a brutal terror group some of these people will take a long time to change their attitudes, especially towards the soldiers.”

    I don’t think you know how these people lived under LTTE. Contrary to what you have been told, people lived a peacefull live and were free to do whatever they wanted. There was no corruption or crimes, the only issue they had was occasional aerial bombings or shelling from the government side. This is why they still resent your forces.

    Rajan, how long will people like you keep lying about LTTE and people?……….DBSJ

  34. No food and drink (for infants, little children, pregnant women and others) for 8 hrs? What about the ICRC,
    many humanitarian organisations, many NGOs etc the PM told Asia Society in New York? Is this as true as the Hon’ble Mhainda Samarasinghe assuring the world via Al-Jazeera and the electronic meda “not a single drop of blood was shed” during the May incidents in the War Zone?
    Do our rulers realise we have fastly gained a reputation as congenital liars?

    ISS

  35. Hi!
    It seems you are trying to defence the sri lanken goverment and members of Sri Lanka Army. Your intention is to destroy Tamil dignity.

    Td
    keeran

    It is obvious that you have not understood anything. Try again if you can……….DBSJ

  36. Since the war began 30 years ago we are hearing creative stories like this through the official spokespersons of the government. I consider any official statement with suspicion as the truth always remain swept under the carpet.

    Having denied the democratic rights of the people, the government is jockying on the innocent and most vulnerable Tamil civilian population in the camps.

    Your effort to unravel the truth is laudatory.

  37. Nothing new in this article. This is the way the Srilankan State reporting for last 30 years, and makeing the Sinhalese population blind. That is what the majority still able to live in a imagin world. Baldwin’s comment in no 11 is pathetic. Because the assisitence sent by the diasphora nearly six month back is still with the Goverment and the GOS is very clear about its own stand to not to allow any one to reach IDPs.That is why it is keeping the International relife agencies, opposition political parties and media away form this heven created by the MR(Thanks to ‘Hindu” Ram)So Srilankan goverment is the barrier which is stopping Tamils reaching Sinhalese, IDPs reaching diasphora.If the Sinhalese miss the last chance to think about this reality, see the acuality with their own eyes then keeping the natition as a whole is impossible.

  38. any one making a scene should have been shot dead

    Juliet, Oh Juliet, where art thou? Our Romeo is in dire need of thee……….DBSJ

  39. How can a journalist like you sit in Tornoto and give wrong information about what happening in the camps.Please go to Srilanka and see how our president rule the country.
    He has given more freedom to tamils then sinhalese.Go and see how Tamils live in Colombo. please if you have guts go to colombo and write the truth.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    When I write something you agree with then I am praised for my ability to write the truth about Lanka from Toronto. All praise for me then.When I write something you disagree with then I am questioned about how I can write from Toronto about what’s happening there.

    But Newspaper Editors trust me enough to let me write from Toronto on Sri Lankan matters to Sri Lankan newspapers published in Colombo despite having a staff based there.You got the point?

    In any case Does anyone need to be at the spot to know the truth? Seymour Hersh had not even been to Vietnam when he exposed the Mylai massacre from USA. Have you asked Brig.Udaya Nanayakkara whether he was at the spot before issuing statements?

    By the way even if I go to Sri Lanka I wont be allowed that side of Medawachiya. So I wont be able to see the IDP camps at all. Why take all the trouble to go to Sri Lanka and stay in Colombo when I am able to get information from where I am now?

    And about having GUTS to go to Sri Lanka? I have enough common sense NOT to go to Sri Lanka right now. I suppose you’ve heard of Keith Noyahrs abduction, Lasantha Wickrematunge’s murder and Tissainayagams jail sentence. What do you have in mind for me?

    And one more thing. I think the climate in Sri Lanka will be conducive for me to go if and when Mahinda, Gotabhaya and Basil go about Colombo without holding up traffic

  40. Quote from article:
    ‘This led to a heated argument and some IDP’s proficient in Sinhala had used obsecene language on the soldiers.’
    —————————————————-
    This is funny. I dont speak Sinhala very well, but i can use bad language in Sinhalese very well.
    Sinhalese is a superb language for cussing.
    I even knew a guy from the Maldives that came to Sri Lanka for a short term. He did not speak Sinhala obviously, but he learnt the all important swear words in Sinhalese and was very fluent in it.

  41. 11. Baldwin
    After living under a brutal terror group some of these people will take a long time to change their attitudes, especially towards the soldiers.
    —————————————————————
    The GOSL soldiers are not famous for their discipline.
    Not only high number of deserters, but also rape.
    Why do you think the Sri Lankan army delegation of the UN, got chased out of Haiti? You might want to check into the rape allegations there.
    I know several people who complained that army men had gone into tamil houses to loot jewellery. This was especially common when people fled houses during shelling incidents.
    Complaints of rape on not only women but also on children was very common.
    State armies across the globe behave in disgusting manner when the tape is not rolling. Sri Lankan army is right up there with the worst.

  42. 10. Dilshan F
    ————————-
    Im sure the soldiers want to go home.
    But i doubt that the GOSL is going to let them.
    When the GOSL wants to recruit an extra 100,000 more into the army.

  43. 13. Kavi | September 29th, 2009 at 4:23 am

    Let me give you some answers:

    The GOSL is worried that the IDPs might give some vital information to the local & international media on the war crimes;

    The GOSL is worried that the IDPs who witnessed war crimes are easy recruits to carry out suicide attacks on the inner circle of the GOSL;

    By keeping them in the camps the chauvunistic elements of the GOSL feels that the ethnic cleansing or alteration of Vanni can be effectively carried out;

    The IDPs can be prevented from voting in the event of a presidential/parliamentary election;

    The army feels that they can extract more and more ransom from the IDPs for their release;

    Subduing the Tamils and weaning off their resolve to sustain freedom struggle;

    Manifestation of Sinhala supremacy;

    These people remained in the LTTE area despite the request by the GOSL to come into the army controlled area, hence it is an act of revenge by the GOSL;

    And the list continues………

  44. 12. smahen,
    GOSL has been lying since the country gained independance from Britain.
    Some leopards dont change their spots.
    Although these guys are too fat to be leopards

  45. You have explained it. I believe it is the right version. And I am glad that former cadres did not make an attempt on the soldiers. As to the soldiers over-reacting, it is understandable knowing the tactics of the LTTE supporting diaspora. At least no was seriously injured or dead. You can see the LTTE loving diaspora members taking advantage over the incident, making their comments here.

  46. We Tamils are being killed or captured and put in prisons everywhere. Whether we are in the sea (Tamilnadu) or in our ancient lands in Tamil Eelam.

  47. THANK YOU VERY MUCH AGAIN for reveling the TRUTH.
    We Tamils are being killed or captured and put in prisons everywhere. Whether we are in the sea (Tamilnadu) or in our ancient lands in Tamil Eelam.

    “Sri Lankan ARMY did manage to SLAUGHTER more than FIFTY thousand TAMIL civilians including women and CHILDREN within few months time. Banned weapons like CLUSTER BOMBS and phosphorous bombs were used against the innocents”. (DEATH and destruction in a TERROR ISLAND , Richard Dixon, Telegraph .co.uk. – 12 July 2009)

  48. 52. Ms Vani Kumar, London, UK,
    The tamils can make a huge difference if they stop fighting amongst themselves due to caste politics. First those High caste idiots should stop going around asking ‘Evveedam’ or ‘endha Ooru’ to every other tamil they come across.
    Unity is vital at this point. Or there is no hope.

  49. Hi DSBJ

    Is there anyway you could have a counter so that we could find out how many read your article. It seems that more and more read your articles because they do not trust anyone else.

    There seems to be a minority in both communities who still do not understand reality from fiction.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:
    “It seems that more and more read your articles because they do not trust anyone else”

    Leo ,thanks a lot. That’s nice to hear but I dont think it’s quite true. But yes more and more people are reading .

    We do have a sitemeter from which we gauge visits and pageviews of both http://www.transcurrents.com & http://www.dbsjeyaraj.com on an hourly,daily, weekly and monthly basis. We also track to see from where the last 100 visits are coming from including the country.

    We dont have a count for each article or post but only have for the site or blog on the whole.

    Our hits usually average five digits daily and six digits weekly. But if we dont post anything new for a while the traffic drops. On a few occasions when there’s something very very interesting the traffic soars

  50. And one more thing. I think the climate in Sri Lanka will be conducive for me to go if and when Mahinda, Gotabhaya and Basil go about Colombo without holding up traffic

    If you apply the same yardstick to their successors I think you will have a long wait.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    I didn’t say anything about successors. As for the waiting it’s ok. As John Milton said “They also SERVE who stand and WAIT. I ain’t doing nothing while WAITING you know. So like Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha I CAN WAIT

  51. DBSJ, I thank you so much for writing the truth. The fabricated story of the army officials is disgusting.

    This incident somehow reminds me of one of your earlier observations “precipice of disaster”

    Comment # 21 is nauseating.

    I think you’ve misunderstood the black humour in comment #21…………DBSJ

  52. Thanks again DBS.
    Was the war fought to free the Tamils or to Captrure them?. Reading the various news articles from the “free Press” and also much from the ‘Captive” press about the great soldiers and how wonderful they are and the service given to the nation etc etc. It would appear that the Govt of SL is frightened of the Military establishment. The soldierds did their job in fighting the war and ridding the country of the LTTE. Many Armies world over have fought to preserve their borders this is the function of the Military establishment. Why is this Govt going on and on about the Greatness of the soldiers.??. Is the Maha Rajaya running scared of the Military establishment. ?. The task of the soldier is to protect the Country and hence its citizens. In the case of SL its now become a case of wrecking vengence on unarmed, disillusioned civilians.
    Has anyone out there seen a recent “Hi ” magazine wich has a Picture of a Commondo on the cover??. Lovely advert for the nation eh?.
    The unasked question is ” What now for the Military; what do we do with such a battle tested defence force”. Financially SL will go broke maitaining this Military at this level. Within 2 years the existing weaponry will be obsolte and require replacement.
    I probably digressed form DBS’s subject; however the broader thinking was needed.
    Thanks DBS and others. Please people discuss without racists comments.!

  53. When a writer resident in a foreign land half way across the world tries to write about events in our country one has to take it with a pinch of salt. Certain articles about the LTTE etc are top notch, however articles like this about events which are known only to a few people need to be taken with a pinch of salt! No offense meant!

    None (offence)taken but go easy on the salt will you ,bad for blood pressure……..DBSJ

  54. Great to see this.

    Great thing i can see that here is how singhalase mindset…. 🙂 When DBSJ wrote abt LTTE, VP, Pottu and all. they were ready to believe even he wrote from canada. But, for this small news…… they could not accept….

    So, How we can expect meaningful solution from these people… just start thing all tamils….

  55. DBS, Lasantha was a tabloid journalist who had irritated everyone in the country virtually. Gotabhaya had already taken legal action and (legally) silenced him, so there was no motive. Regardsing Thissa, the sri lankan judicial system is still free of large scale corruption, so if the judge found the guy guilty then he would have been guilty. Dont forget that the judiciary acquited the Sundar Oli editor of all charges. So my guess is that Thissa would have been under the pay of the LTTE.

    You make me wanna puke………………..DBSJ

  56. People give me a break, do not talk about the past ( Sep 26 2009 is past), discuss present and future, our smart PM proclaimed at UN.
    Sorry, present has just passed too, you missed it.
    We control the future and let it slip in to the past, what is your problem people, a few thousand so called human getting killed, another few hundred thousand thrown behind the barbed wire to give all of us freedom.
    I can understand this very well because I was educated in Sri lanka, I can read and write.

    We will follow the wonderful dystopia and finally we are free.

    Freedom is slavery
    war is peace
    Ignorance is strength
    “Orwell 1984”

  57. AS USUAL DBS SIMPLY EXPOSED HIMSELF FROM BEING BIASED.
    U HAVE NO GUTS TO FACE THE PUBLIC. WHICH IS WHY U ALWAYS ACT AS A COWARD.

    I write under my own name and regularly face the public. Do you “dp”?……DBSJ

  58. I hope this true version of events gets widespread publication as it deserves.

    I cannot still believe there are people who are still defending the illegal detention of the IDPs. The truth is they are being held hostage by the GoSL, nothing less. I also cannot believe there are those who are attempting to dismiss this incident as a minor and “unfortunate” one. If this had happened in the south and the Army or the Police had shot 6 Sinhala civillians, they probably would have been charged with attempted murder. But this is Sri Lanka and justice works differently for Tamil victims and that is the truth.

  59. Thanks for the balanced writeup DBS. This has more details than any other article that I had seen. Unfortunately this was something waiting to happen. I hope everyone understands that faster these people are resettled in their original towns/villages, better it will be everyone.

  60. Dear DBS,

    Thanks for your rejoinder. I said your version was ‘plausible’ because you yourself stated, “Speaking to informed sources both official and unofficial this writer was able to glean a rough idea of what had actually happened”.
    I presume, you wrote your account based on the “rough idea” and not necessarily on actual facts as you probably would not have been able to get eye witness reports. This is not to counter your version but to emphasize that it is more acceptable than the offiicial version. Thanks. THANTRI

  61. Hi DBSJ

    Thanks for the article. We need more articles like this. People should know what is happening to IDP. Three hundred thousand peoples’ fate is confined to these camps. This is the present situation, which is very pathetic. International community must continously pressure Sri Lankan government to settle this immediately. The situation will become worse when the monsoon starts.

    All the tamils must unite together and give voice to these people. Once they are settledown, we must find ways to help them to restart their lives.

  62. This article is well researched. The other articles I read on this subject are just the Govt version or at least lean towards the govt. version and I dont see sufficient investigation done. Congratulations on your hard work DBS.
    Humans and even animals cant be suppressed all the time. They want freedom and the more you suppress, the tendency to revolt is more intense.
    I remember my father had a Bull Terrier, fed well, kept clean and given all the comforts it needed, but always chained except in the evening when my father is at home. One day it broke its chain jumped over the wall and killed two chickens of our next door neighbour. People got panicked and all ran inside the house and locked their rooms. No one was able to calm him. I have to rush to my fathers shop and get him down to tie him again. After receiving many complains from our neighbours, Peddler the Bull terrier was adopted by my uncle who lived in Horawapotana and Peddler tried to fight with a Wild Boar and died.
    This article reminds me this story.
    The whole article is revolving on suppression of people, fear and the result is revolt. IDPs feel that they are kept prisoners for no fault of theirs. They are victims. Unless the Govt. takes immediate action to resettle them we will see more incidents like my Peddler the Bull Terrier.
    We will also see a section of the IDPS who got used to sleep the whole day and get three meals a day for sleeping, get into their comfort zone and prefer to live as an IDP for ever and will be a burden to Sri Lanka as unproductive labour.
    There is no point in going on blaming the LTTE. That is only reactive. That will not give a solution. Diaspora can play a minimal role only. We all know what happened to Captain Ali and the goods. We also know what USA did when a Muslim country (I think Dubai or Saudi King, I am not sure) donated after the 9/11. Further the Diaspora is now very reluctant to donate any money as they fear whether it will reach the IDPs. Or how much will reach them.
    It is best for the Govt. and the civil society to work together and find a speedy recovery.
    Ratnam Ganesh.

  63. DBJ Good article as always.

    No one wants the camps. It is however the reality. Everyone knows the reason for the camps. LTTE was cruel and beyond anyone’s imagination. It is a known fact that they brainwashed and forced Tamils – women, elders and children – to fight their senseless war. As a result government can’t rule anyone out. They need to filter out those who needs to be tried and those that needs to be rehabilitated. I hope the government speeds up the process and resettle the innocent people as soon as possible. Meanwhile, I think the hate mongering diaspora who contributed to the evil war that claimed 80,000 lives should shut the **** up and stay out of this without getting more blood in their hands. Rest of us in Sri Lanka – both Sinhalese and Tamils – can then put the past behind and work towards to reconciliation and peace.

  64. The comment of Balwin # 11 makes sense.

    Diaspora Tamils are also responsible for the miserable plight of these people.Conservative estimates of the money fed to the LTTE by the overseas Tamils amounts to at least several Billion US Dollars.None of this money seems to have been used to o improve the living standards of the civilians.

    The pathetic pictures of, malnourished women and children eacaping from the Tigers,carrying their belongings in suitcases or boxes on their heads, proves it.

    The diaspora Tamils should forget the LTTE and do something to absolve themselves from the injustice done to these people.

    There is no better way to do this than helping these innocent civilians with money to build their houses schools ,hospitals and recreational facilities which were denied to them by the LTTE.

  65. These very IDP were under the open detention of LTTE for over 25 years with the fear of getting abduct their children every night and i dont think anyone of them had a good sleep for last 25 years if they had children. Now why cant they just wait for 3 to 4 month more till they are been resettle in their own lands. Moreover now they do not need to be fear that their children would be abducted.

    Meanwhile i do understand their fustration as well by been in lookedup situation, but they have to think of the past 25years of life and bit compromise.

  66. It seems that there are many incidents like these are happening in the Camp that no one has any clue about that are good and mostly bad. I have heard incidents such as:

    When the final batch of people were flooding from the war zone into the hands of the Armed Forces waiting for them, all who were part of the LTTE were required to line up in a different line then the others. A couple, the man disabled pretty much waist down (I believe just one leg) as he was a former fighter, the women who was also a former fighter who was discharged from LTTE during the CFA (they both married during the peaceful time) along with their baby lined up with those who were part of the LTTE. A Sinhalese solider who knew Tamil came up to her and quietly told her not to be stupid. He told them both to get in the other line as this is not the line to be standing with a child. He warned them that they both will be separated along with the child and helped them get into the other line.

    Another incident was inside the camp where some soldiers were sexually abusing the women. The boys (old and young) decided to do something about it. Caught some of the soldiers when they were in a small group, surrounded them and beat the hell out of them.

    There are mentions (a friend who has a relative in the camp told him)o f many methods being used to make them forget what happened like playing Tamil Gana songs for 24/7, depriving them of proper sleep with it and so on.

  67. Lets hear your story on the killing of the captured LTTE soldiers released by Channel 4. I am sure you are enlightened by your contacts by now.

    If I were running Channel 4 I would not have released such a clip without being sure of its authenticity.But channel 4 has released it.Very unprofessional………..DBSJ

  68. “If I were running Channel 4 I would not have released such a clip without being sure of its authenticity.But channel 4 has released it.Very unprofessional???..DBSJ”

    I wouldn’t balme Channel 4. I think they did thier best to verify the authenticity. I am sure if the Sri Lankan governement gave them enough space they would have took that space to verify it, even now there is no space to prove it is fake which only seems to insist that the video is authentic which is just problemetic for the Sinhalese extremist and the government. Channel 4 maintained thier professionalism to the best. I think the final line should be that it is very undemocractic of a so called democratic government to do what they are doing to the local and international media.

    If I were running Channel 4 I would not have released such a clip without being sure of its authenticity.But channel 4 has released it.Very unprofessional………..DBSJ

  69. Even If the video released by the channel 4 was authentic without any doubt, I am 100% sure that GOSL would have denied and claimed that it is a fake!!!! Judging by the conduct of SL forces for the last 60 years, people will not doubt the authenticity of the clip!!!!

    Have the GOSL ever done any investigations into any allegations of murder, torture, kidnapping, ransom demanding etc. etc. This is true for cases involving sinhalese victims as well.!!!

    If I were running Channel 4 I would not have released such a clip without being sure of its authenticity.But channel 4 has released it.Very unprofessional………..DBSJ

  70. I was not aware that Journalist living outside the country/ Journalist for democracy in Sri lanka are unprofessional enough to release an unauthentic video to channel 4, it is illuminating. I think SL is smart enough to prevent journalist from doing the job or exile them. also, in my opinion SL is doing a great job in doing what they intend to do, as it seem they read the world correctly. It is unfortunate for people of Sri lanka but it is bad luck.

    If I were running Channel 4 I would not have released such a clip without being sure of its authenticity.But channel 4 has released it.Very unprofessional………..DBSJ

  71. 80. Fran | September 30th, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    I think what DBSJ says about the clip is that the channel 4 should have obtained experts’ opinion on the autheticity before it was telecast. He does not mean to say that the clip is fake. Even the inner circle of the GOSL knows that this clip is genuine – they are simply playing the dirty game yet again that they have been playing for 60 yrs!!

  72. ur article are informative.but when some one criticize ur writing in the comment section then only u r giving response to the article.shall we take like this ” arent u a recipient or u cant take the criticism of ur writing ?except few comments

    I am sorry but I am unable to comprehend what you are saying. Can you elaborate please?……DBSJ

  73. UN Rep in Srilanka: GENEVA (29 September 2009) —

    “Restoration of freedom of movement for more than 250,000 internally displaced persons held in closed camps in Northern Sri Lanka is becoming a matter of urgency, and I remain very concerned about the very slow pace of releases,” the Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Walter Kaelin, highlighted at the end of a three-day return visit to Sri Lanka.

    LET MY PEOPLE GO….

  74. 81. anpan:

    fake. Even the inner circle of the GOSL knows that this clip is genuine – they are simply playing the dirty game yet again that they have been playing for 60 yrs!!

    Or really? Then I suppose Dr. CR de Silva and other technicians who gave evidence are part of this inner circle. Your blind hatred towards SLA and GOSL is simply astonishing!

    You are lamenting about the fate that befell on few LTTE cadres but you conveniently forget how those very same LTTE cadres chose to chop, slice and dice Sinhalese civilians in border villages in the bygone days when they ruled the land. Not women, not children or even infants were spared by LTTE at the time.

    Then of course what about those 800 policemen who were asked to first dig their graves, stand in line in front of the pit, and then shot in the head one by one along the line. I’m pretty sure channel 4 would not have aired a video of that nor would you have bothered to shed a tear on behalf of those poor souls.

  75. The bottom line of this sad account (of clash between the stressed-out IDPs and ever suspicious soldiers) is the DELAY TO RESETTLE IDPs in their original habitat.

    Let us admit. The number of IDPs are large. The vast lands that were controlled by the then LTTE is large. Heavily mined, totally destructed infrastructure(homes, shops, roads, water tanks, electricity lines, schools, hospitals…) and the non-existent administrative machinery in the liberated areas in Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi is again very large. Reconstruction needs time with a lot of resources.

    On top of all, skeletons of would be LTTE suicide cadres roam free within IDP camps and outside. The vengeance of remaining LTTE members + Mavir families are still at large.

    On the flip side, there are a few personnel of INGO/NGO’s who have dubious intents to flame the separatist agenda of the LTTE, for the fact that the mere prolonging of the conflict is their sustanance.

    Equally, there are vultures on the Government side who are out there to make a killing out of the aid and reconstruction funds.

    The people in charge of the area under the Government administrative structure (DS, GS, Police, Officers, Clerks, Drivers, Peons and all Line Ministries) are stressed out with passage of each day.

    Sadly the north is so remote from Colombo, the dry climate, lack of transport, and possibly the decades of alienation has not made Sinhalese or Muslims living below Anuradhapura to be helpful enough at a time when poor Tamil IDPs are seeking assistance. Compare this to the enthusiasm to help Tsunami victims along the southern coastal belt?

    Not to under-mention, politicians of the opposition, sections of the media and HR groups are glorifying events to suit their agenda of sensationalism. Government propagandists will count them at equal vigor often with lies.

    Given all the above, it’s a herculean task to resettle these IDP’s at a speed that we all would like to see.

    The issue of physical comfort to the IDPs though vastly improved since May2009, may not be ideal than at their original places of living. However, the psychological impact of being in open prisons (just like the then LTTE controlled land) for IDPs is stressful, fearful and above all uncertainty of future livelihood is frustrating.

    Likewise, the soldiers who man these IDP camps are under constant instructions, to be fair, friendly but firm.

    So given the background as laid above, it’s no wonder that intermittent clashes such as the one DBS puts into account will recur more frequently in future. All these days, there was fire underneath the ash, but with this incident on the 26the of September, it has come out.

    When will this spiral of hate plus misery end? My guess is that it will not be for many years or else till the last IDP is settled in his/her postal address where prior to the end of war. Sooner the better.

    My fingers are crossed !

  76. 85. Navin | September 30th, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    You have got the wrong end of the stick. I never, never defended the terrorist acts of the LTTE.

    But here we are discussing the behavior sovereign and democratic state. A state cannot and should not indulge in terrorist acts.

  77. The following comment is commended to all right thinking people of Sri Lanka.
    In any democracy the ”right thinking” common person is always silent. And they are the majority but ineffective till someone leads them.

    ” 14. gamaya | September 29th, 2009 at 4:51 am:
    We Sinhalese who supported this government and forces to annihilate LTTE should rise now and fight against this unjust and unfair treatment of Tamil civilians. It i is is up to us and we should do it now.”.

  78. A journalist that has the wherewithal to deal with
    what is happening in Vavaniya is three months
    late !

    Did this shooting happen 3 months ago MAHENDRA a.k.a ARDEHAM?…………..DBSJ

  79. I was just thinking; these guys were under the LTTE those days, and I can’t imagine that anyone of them even uttered a word in anger at the LTTE cadres. Now they can even sell some firewood. True, they are under security and under suspicion somewhat.

    Now, what if they tried successfully stand against the LTTE those days, how would their fate would be? Would they be beaten and killed or just taken away and handed over to Police for inciting a fight, or pelting stones?

    My friend, who had been to Kilinochchi in the heyday of the LTTE says that she had seen the LTTE ‘policemen’ with long sticks and beaten whoever they wished. What do you think, DBSJ about that? I don’t know, for I’ve never been to Killinochchi.

  80. Chocka @16. I believe I am a real Sinhalese because I speak Sinhala, mother and father are from Kandy and Matara. Although I am sure somewhere along the line we were mixed with Tamils too from Mother’s side. (Sinhala speaking Tamils). I don’t think Modern Sri lankan nation anywhere close to Pure Tamil and Pure Sinhalese. We are from mixed blood than most people think we are. I sometimes think we Sinhalese are from original Dravidian people mixed up with Northern Indian Invaders (Vijaya) who then developed a different language mixed with Tamil, Telingu, Malayalam, Sanskrit and Hindi.

    Can I say I am Sinhalese – Yes Originated from sri Lanka.

    and Thanks to DBSJ to sticking up for us.

  81. Hi David,
    this article brought an other verbal fight between some singhala and tamil readers. some of my relatives are in the IDP camps. To be honest, Sri lankan army is far more discipline than Indian army. but I does not mean they are angels. I am one of the Tamil diaspora supported the Government when it defeated the LTTE. because LTTE gave so much of trouble to my family during their golden days. I can understand the Government point of view that they need to screen the LTTE personal. but the Government should resettle the innocent civilans as soon as possible. this IDP isssue can back fire the GOSL. there are people in both communities have extreme views but as a Government , it has a responsible to look after every citizen of this country. we don’t want an other terrorist group emerge from our community. our people want to live peacefully with other communities. our democratic rights were denied by the LTTE and we were treated like slaves by this terrorist group. now our people want to go back their normal life. My kind request to the GOSL is “please give them a chance.’ also my humble opinion is, tamils should not rely on western world or any other international community to solve their problem. others will create more problem rather than solving the problem. creating a dispora eelam will create more suffering to our people and to our nation. please help to build up this country rather than to destroy it.

  82. There was a short window of opportunity soon after these people fled from the hell that was the NFZ to befriend them and win them over. Even the ex-LTTE cadres would have been so demoralised and only glad to have escaped with their lives. A well thought out hearts and minds campaign and resettlement plan would have succeeded in winning them over and convincing them of the futility of armed resistance.

    However this opportunity is lost now. The relief of having escaped with their lives has inevitably turned to intense bitterness at their prolonged detention. The government will reap the rewards in time to come. After winning the war it seems to be stubbornly following the road to self destruction rather than mending fences and relationships and moving on.

  83. thanks for clearing that one up dbsj, before wild rumours start to fly around. i don’t like that stone throwing incident, when there are so many women and children in the camp. looks like there are are some mischief makers too trying to create trouble. the government shoudn’t fall into the trap.

  84. Hi DBS, What a brilliant article.. You shold continue to write like this. It is amazing. You are showing your colours.

  85. Thank you gamaya and dingiri for sensible and truthful comments. If only the advisers of MR think like these two, the country would not have have come to this plight!!!! Even now it is not late.

  86. I do not think unarmed civilians throw stones at soldiers just for the fun of it. No doubt it is a “flashpoint” of simmering tensions between the captors and the captives.

    Murphy’s law states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

  87. good article fits the bill and logical according to facts from else where…i still think the soldiers handled the situation much better than most armies from other countries.

  88. accoeding to Gotabhaya, Mrs Clinton is unprofessional Diplomat. Her rape talk shows that she is wrongly informed by LTTE diaspora.

  89. #11 Baldwin,

    > Fair minded people would like to see the well off Tamils overseas get together and work with the government to help resettle them

    Fair minded, my a$$! Do you know the amount of money the Govt and its goons in the South looted from the consignments that went for tsunami relief? And now you want more money so that police constables can wash their 4x4s with bottled water? You won’t get a penny from the diaspora for IDP resettlements. You have already made money off of the Diaspora by demanding ransoms to release those in IDP camps, why would you need relief money?

    Tha Tamil goons aligning with the Govt thugs and those in Govt making money off of the IDPs will suffer one day, but until then I would like them to bring out their begging bowl and go to China and Myanmar and ask for donations.

  90. 103. Panadurapakshaya:

    So GOSL is so ill behaved Diaspora are not comfortable making their part of the contribution towards this country to its government unlike other ordinary citizens who pay taxes. They are probably waiting for GOSL to adhere to transnational standards before they start chipping in.

    However, this same Diaspora have no problem contributing towards anyone who says he is for separate Tamil Eelam even if he happens to be a terrorist!’

    You know, we are not total morons…

  91. If only the IDP’s had gone to the other camp with authorised access nothing of this would have happened. I think the army in this kind of scenario and after going through hell with Prabakaran has acted with restraint. DBSJ you article seems very plausible and we need balanced articles showing the real story. You cant really blame either side. and you cant avoid this kind of situation 100%. The IDP’s are also in a difficult mental state. The army naturally suspects them at all time. Sri Lanka needs help in cash and kind to speed the resettlemet process.

  92. Sunil P (#102,)
    what is your intention?

    Today Clinton is UNPROFESSIONAL tomorow pope, why, one day your Budha is going to be UNPROFESSIONAL… TheUNPROFESSIONAL act is talking about human rights violations in SL.

  93. #104 Navin

    Finally I agree fully with you. You guys are not total morons, as you claim. Professional panhandler status is not achievable for total morons.

    Do you see extortion and fleecing as reconciliatory gestures and commendable virtues?

    It is your intention to make the diaspora voiceless like the IDPs. Whatever the diaspora says is discredited by people like you as baseless and nonsense. But you want the diaspora to pay the bill.

    In your scheme, the benefactor should be at the mercy of the beneficiary.

  94. Sanjeewa,

    The “ruthless tamil diaspora” in Canada…
    The majority of Tamil diaspora in Canada are post Black July immigrants or refugees so what do you expect of them .. Loyalty to the nation they perceive as having driven them out?

    CH4 & BBC biased…
    Sri Lanka is almost invisible to the U.S. press. President Obama has even commented about his preference of the BCC as a news source due to the U.S. media’s love of out of context sound bites and emotional/outrageous headlines.

  95. Her rape talk shows that she is wrongly informed by LTTE diaspora.I very much doubt she was talking about the recent conflict. Widespread rapes by Sinhalese troops in the eighties are well documented and it is probably these she was referring to.

  96. # 105 Navin:

    You are not total morons, but somewhat morons…who said anything about wanting to send money to separatist movements? Do you think simply because some diaspora supported the ideals of the tigers everyone supported them? On the other hand, not a single Govt agent supported the money we were trying to send our people for tsunami relief – instead all belonging to the Govt and its supporting goons looted the money which the Tamils sent from abroad. Remember the tax that the Govt wanted to levy on the money that was coming in for tsunami relief?

    All reliable reports that came in indicated that out of the 250,000 Tamils living in Toronto only about 12,000 protested consistently and argued for the listing of the ban for tigers. If you are not moronic as you claim, try to come to a proper conclusion from these numbers.

    We know the guilt you go through – the so called tax paying public in the South. At least try to help the IDPs – after all, the army is looting the IDPs anyway, so “what goes around comes around” and you will be richer for the experience.

  97. to comment 111-stephen jones

    i think she was talking about the current conflict. hilary is not a yesterdays woman , to be talking of the eighties. the government has only itself to blame, if because of the news blackout, assumptions are made about 3what happened. now the onus is on the government to disprove what she says i saw this coming long ago, with the lack o transparency in the conduct of the war. now the tamils need not prove anything. the government has to disprove all allegations. the age old maxim of you are not guilty unless proved beyond reasonable doupht, does not apply any more, thanks to gota.

  98. Let us all pray for people who are suffering in these camps
    It is a human tragedy . it does not matter they are Indians or Lankans or Bosnians or Burmese

    Since we are human beings ( whether christians or Budhists or Muslims or Jews) we all feel sad when people are treated badly and when they are treated inhumanly

    It is my humble opinion world is loosing patience with Lanka
    Lanka almost lost its credibilty . Some countries are thinking of total restrictions of Lankan imports
    Many human rights organizations support this
    I can see many western people are talking about Lanka the same way people talked about Rwanda some years ago

    Still world feel They did not do much to help Tutsis
    when Hutus massacred Tutsis in thousands
    You do not need to be a Tutsi to fell sad or upset for Tutsis.You just need to be a human being to feel sad and upset when injustice happen to people

    Only If a person will have hatred when a person becomes inhuman ( it is sad there are people behave like aninals) Not sure it is due to the food we eat . When you eat lot of meat you could become like an animal. I do not eat meat

    . You see Lanka talk on major news papers in USA or UK atleat once a month

    Recently Hillary made statment in the UN about the abuse by Lankan soldiers
    Srilanka is a dangerous place like Somalia or Rwanda or Congo ( people are disaappeared or killed all over . This happens to Sinhalese and Tamils)

    I met Lankans ( both sinhalse and Thamils) who are so amazing kind people . I know in my heart There are lots of wonderful sinhalese and Thamils living in Lanka.
    I am sure People can live peacefully respecting each other loving each other in lanka

    God bless

  99. #104 Navin

    Finally I agree fully with you. You guys are not total morons, as you claim. Professional panhandler status is not achievable for total morons.

    Fine. We are professional panhandlers but who the hell are you then? A former panhandler turned Canadian? Look Mr. when you look down upon us you are also looking down upon yourself.

    Do you see extortion and fleecing as reconciliatory gestures and commendable virtues?

    It is your intention to make the diaspora voiceless like the IDPs. Whatever the diaspora says is discredited by people like you as baseless and nonsense. But you want the diaspora to pay the bill.

    In your scheme, the benefactor should be at the mercy of the beneficiary.

    You are always complaining no matter what. For you everything about this country is wrong.
    Yes there are quite a lot of things that are wrong about it but one can neither make them
    all right at once nor wait till they are all rectified to proceed with other things.
    Your bar is set way too high. If there is an army whether Sinhalese or Tamil or American
    or Sri Lankan there will be some miscreants. When a government is in charge of a project
    it will drag on and on and inefficiency is name of the game. Where politicians are involved
    there will be corruption and fraud. But to dress all that up as a Sinhalese discriminating
    against Tamil and something as unique to Sri Lanka or advocate collective punishment
    only goes on to show your own hatred towards this country and your own desire to take revenge and
    nothing else. Your own inability to tolerate the weakness of this government and accept
    that its a greater entity than you are further proof. You as citizen of this country have
    to corporate with the government. If you expect the government to take the initiative
    that’s not going to happen, for the government is the collective representation
    of all its people. Where as you are only one such person. If the government is wrong
    then its your duty to make it right but it should be constructive criticism from within
    but not from outside. The more you lean towards the West or Tamil Nadu the more you
    go on to show that you are not Sri Lankan but something else. Well, you may
    ask what if criticism from within is not permitted, then you should first work for that.

  100. There should be police instead of Army around the camp. Army can man an outer perimeter. In the absence of enough police, why not arm the soldiers with tear gas and rubber bullets to deal with law and order situations? This is sad.

  101. Armies are not geared to tackle law enforcement situations like this. Perhaps using some Tamil speaking Police and then giving training to the jittery army which is still in battle mode will help? In Iraq, hundreds of innocent Iraqis were killed at check points by jittery white Christian soldiers. These young lads have had immense psychological pressures on them. They probably see an enemy everywhere just like the White Christian American soldiers did in Iraq.. Best solution is a faster processing of the innocents, making camps smaller with better facilities and then having the police with riot squad gear as the first line of defense. Tamil pride, Tiger defiance etc is probably still part of the refugee mentality too. Sadly the government and the army which was viewed as saviours is now being looked as detention enforcers.. Best is to speed up the processing of Tigers; separating them out faster and letting the people go back even if there are land mines.. I am saddened but remember armies are not trained to handle riots. Yes even if Sinhala Buddhists in COlombo brandished firewood or used filth the army would have reacted the same way. Dont forget way back on Jan 8th 1966 Dambarawe Thero was shot and killed on Turret Road by the police. i was tear gassed and I remember distinctly the sorry and crying at Mrs. B’s flat on Turret Road when the priests robes were brought by hundreds of people.

    IP Marlon Von Haght killed Weerasuriya at Peradeniya etc.. and dont forget the thousands of sinhala buddhists killed in the terror-counter terror days of JVP violence during the Premedasa years. Starting with the JR years.

    Armies including American Christian armies are trained to kill; Tigers were trained to kill as well. I am NOT defending the issue but asking people to realize why these things happen. Sinhalese and Tamils both have a lot of violent thugs amongst them.

    Keep writing DBSJ; you are better than the government liars and the Tiger liars and Tiger fascists on any given day. As Voltaire said “I may not agree with you, but I defend to my death your RIGHT to say it”. Tiger Tamils prevented you from telling the truth. And dont let government thugs prevent you from telling the truth either. I get more balanced news from you than from TigerNet or DailyNoose.

  102. In comment # 117, Roger says : Best is to speed up the processing of Tigers; separating them out faster.

    Well as you know, that is easier said than done. GOSL has to rely on feedback from members of public, from those in camps and also via interrogating captured LTTE cadres, to identify Tigers in the camps. It is bound to be a very slow process.

    Im surprised that to this day, GOSL have not implemented National ID cards with photos and fingerprints for all its citizens, like what Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Oman and UAE have done as a security measure.

  103. further to my comment 113, i may be wrong that hilary was alluding to the current conflict. after srilanka lodged a protest over her words, the US state dept has clariified that it has no evidence of rape for the 2006 to 2009 period.

    however there are well documented rape cases that have been passed to human rights organisations during the chandrika regime. this might be what she was referring to when lumping us with the balkans and burma.

  104. comment 118
    “I�m surprised that to this day, GOSL have not implemented National ID cards with photos and fingerprints for all its citizens, like what Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Oman and UAE have done as a security measure.”

    GOSL does have a national ID card with the photo. We are not advanced enough to have figerprints…..
    The IDPs do not have these ID cards since they were living under terrorist control for nearly 30 years. The LTTE did have an advanced ID card forging facility but these cards were only given to suicide bombers to coem to Colombo and blow themselves up. The terrorsists’ Maaverrar families did have an ID card identifying them as such but in the last days of Velu P these cards were floating in the Nandikudal lagoon….in teh end all the terrorists/seperatists became “innocent civilians”.
    Unfortunately terrorists don’t have the word terrorist tatooted on their forheads so it’s a slow process weeding them out. That’s why the IDPs are still in the camps. After 30 yaers of terrorism it’s not a simple case of “let my people go”

  105. In comment 120 citizensl says : We are not advanced enough to have fingerprints…..

    Singapore and Malaysia have issued ID cards with fingerprints for all its citizens since the 1950s so you don’t need advanced technology to implement it. Two sets of fingerprints are taken using an ink pad – one set goes on the ID card and the other set is kept in the government records.

    In the 1950s, the cards were more or less similar to the current SL ID cards – you could for example, have the photo and the individual’s name and address in front and the fingerprints at the back with the whole card being laminated. It has proved to be invaluable in correctly identifying people.

    Technology has since improved and now you have chip based cards where the individual’s data is stored in an electronic chip, making it more difficult to forge.

  106. talking about the army, interestng article on trouble brewing at the top

    A senior official at the Presidential Secretariat told Lanka News Web that Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka has rejected the additional appointment given to him as Sports Ministry Secretary by the President.

    The official said General Fonseka earlier rejected several requests made by the President for him to take over as secretary of either the Export Development Ministry or the Power and Energy Ministry.

    The official also said the conflict between Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and General Sarath Fonseka has further intensified due to changes made by Major General Shavendra Silva to Fonseka’s photographs at the Army exhibition at BMICH following Gotabhaya’s orders.

    Angered by the politicization of the exhibition at the BMICH to mark the 60th anniversary of the Army, General Fonseka had voiced his disproval to the President against the lowly act of sidelining his photographs at the exhibition.

    Disturbed by the news, the President had summoned the Defence Secretary and severely reprimanded him and had asked Major General Shavendra Silva and Army Chief, Lt. General Jagath Jayasuriya to apologize to General Fonseka.

    In order to resolve the dispute, the President had also sent his secretary, Lalith Weeratunge to meet with General Fonseka.

    Hearing that the discussion had been a failure, the president had on Wednesday (7) invited General Fonseka to join him on a tour to inspect the Hambantota Port Development project.

    The official from the Presidential Secretariat said that General Fonseka had responded by saying he would not attend any political event as long as he adorned the military uniform.

    A senior Army officer close to General Fonseka said that although the President is trying to demean him by appointing him to a Ministry like he did with Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda, General Fonseka would not agree to it as he did not have a mania to hold positions.

    However, he said that General Fonseka was planning on taking a firm decision against the constant harassment suffered by him from the Defence Secretary.

    He added that General Fonseka would make the announcement after he returns to the country, as he is planning to leave travel overseas for three weeks at the end of the month.

  107. DBSJ

    followng my earlier comment, what is gen. fonseka’s attitude to the IDP’s? is he supporive of their internment or is gota the culprit?

    the significance of this is the the “firm decision” he is going to make maybe to contest the presidential election. if so there is a very good chance he may win. he is more popular than mahinda’s corrupt government. people want srilanka to get cleaned up once and for all, with disinfectant etc. what is the significance to the tamils if this happens? are we better off or worse off, or same.

    Both Gota & Sarath are on the same wavelength on IDP issue……DBSJ

  108. shankar:

    Regardless of what the news papers say, I doubt very much whether there is any misunderstanding bertween GR & SF. These two together won a war and they both graduated from same college and served in the Army at the same time. They have a long history and neither is a politician. On the contrary there are enough people with wested interests to publish such crap just to satisfy there own urge to see trouble between these people if not for nothing else. For instance Mangy is one such example. Mangy has lost all his senses to his own hatred towards Mahinda to the point where he would even form a league with the devil (may be he already has) if it helps to bring down MR. Well, there was a time when he was not that bad a person but now he is totally wasted. His weakness was his own inability to tackle rejection.

    Furthermore, SF would never succeed as a politician for his heavy handed approach doesn’t work in politics. Politics is a different ball game altogether from fighting a war and running a government is very different from running a military. Honesty is not the only requirement to succeed in politics. I would be surprised if SF thinks he can be the president of this country and be successful as a politician. However, I believe someday VK may enter politics and he may indeed do a good job as well.

  109. navin

    never underestimate people. eg-obama.

    if you are a born leader, you can be sucessful in anything, be it politics, business or military. i’am not pulling for sarath, because i don’t know much about him, except during the war, but i believe he has a clean record where honesty is concerned, and that will help him if he decides to enter politics. you will admit that people are just fed up of the corruption in politics. they might want a change.

    who is VK?

  110. navin

    further to my earlier comment, there is too many artcles and news going around, to discount the tension between gota and sarath, as crap.

    there is no smoke without a fire they say.

    the rajapakshe’s are definitely worried about fonseka.

  111. 125. shankar:

    VK= Vasantha Karannagoda.

    VK is more diplomatic and not a sledge hammer like SF. or even GR for that matter. IMHO, neither GR nor SF will succeed in politics.

    Well, in the case of Obama, we have to wait and see whether the guy will deliver as he promised or whether he will simply shy away once he begins to feel the pressure. So far it looks more like the latter. Look at the way he has handled Israel, Gaza, Pakistan, Iran etc.

  112. navin

    i certainly would like a sledgehammer at the moment. but of course within a democratic frame work so that when the use by date is over, you can just throw it away.

    don’t forget that lee kuan yew was a sledgehammer, and to a certain extent mahathir mohammed.

    see where singapore and malaysia are at the moment, and where are we.

    take your mind back to independence, and see where were we and where were they.

    i would like a sledgehammer to smash the following

    1. armed groups{nearly finished}
    2. underworld {ongoing}
    3. corruption

    the people have waited long enough, patiently for the diplomatic way of doing things, and got a load of shit only on their heads, since independence.

  113. # 128 Shankar says : see where singapore and malaysia are at the moment, and where are we.

    Peoples attitudes and mindsets need to change radically into more progressive ones.

    SL leaders failed to emphasise job creation – why is SL still importing cars? Why not tell all car manufacturers that if they want to sell cars in SL, they need to locally assemble them, gradually increasing the local content annually, and impose hefty import duties on imported cars.

    Because they failed to create jobs, Marxism & nationalization of private enterprise got popular in SL and further ruined the economy. Fighting over a small economic cake, rather than focusing on increasing the size of the cake, indirectly led to the JVP and LTTE uprisings. If people had decent jobs to go to, chances of anti Tamil riots happening is considerably reduced.

    When there is a perception of a large earnings differential between a minority coummunity and the majority community, social tensions easily occur and which can be exploited by unscrupulous politicians.

    This can happen anywhere and not just in SL, as the links below suggest:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesian_riots_of_May_1998

    http://www.sundaytribune.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=3781476

    People need to understand that GOSL has limited funds and cannot support a bloated civil service, nor build and run enough universities and technical colleges for all eligible students. Yet we still find many are still objecting to the set up of private universities.

    How about reducing the number of public holidays?What SL needs is a visionary, benevolant dictator.

  114. Both Gota & Sarath are on the same wavelength on IDP issue……DBSJ

    The attitude of Army Commander, Jagath Jayasuriya, seems considerably more sensible. It does seem that the military is run by a couple of Illuminati, who having won the war are now going to do their damn best to lose the peace.

  115. why is SL still importing cars? Why not tell all car manufacturers that if they want to sell cars in SL, they need to locally assemble them, gradually increasing the local content annually, and impose hefty import duties on imported cars.

    Back to the 1970s, import substitution.

    It will actually cost more in foreign exchange to buy the cars in parts and assemble them here. All you’re suggesting is a neat money earner for government cronies. And with the tax on cars above 100% who can afford to buy one anyway?

  116. the following article gives the reasons for the tension between the rajapakshe’s and fonseka. he seems to be taking all the credit for himself, like as if gota did not exist. he should acknowledge it was a team effort.

    “Just a day before he was told to relinquish office, Gen. Fonseka was at a felicitation ceremony at his alma mater, Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda. It was held on July 10. There, Gen. Fonseka declared that whilst President Rajapaksa had given the political leadership to the war against the LTTE, it was he who gave it the military leadership. Gen. Fonseka had repeated the same remarks at several public fora causing ripples in other quarters. Some complained this was “I, me and myself” syndrome over a task that was a team effort.”

    “The highest levels of Government believe that the Opposition is in touch with a somewhat embittered Gen. Fonseka, who feels he has been shabbily treated by the Government after he had delivered the goods for it. Many say that his utterances and behaviour were the cause for his own downfall. Equally, the Government is uneasy. One top runger in the Rajapaksa administration put the Government’s predicament aptly saying “miniha nathuwath baa; athuwatha baa” (one can’t be with him – or without him). At these highest levels of Government it is believed that the Opposition is not so much interested in making Gen. Fonseka the Common Opposition Presidential candidate but to make him a source of nuisance and embarrassment to the Rajapaksa Presidency in the run up for a second-term Presidential election.”

  117. In comment # 131, Steven Jones said: It will actually cost more in foreign exchange to buy the cars in parts and assemble them here.

    It will cost more if you import ALL parts, but not if some of the parts are manufactured locally using local labour. That is why many S.E. Asian nations including Vietnam have started local assembly of not only cars, but almost all consumer goods like fans, fridges, TVs, PCs etc.

    http://www.aseanaffairs.com/vietnam_daily_news_updates/automotive/nissan_to_start_making_cars_in_vietnam_next_year

    http://paultan.org/2006/04/13/possible-tata-indica-local-assembly/

    A car has thousands of parts and if SL encourages local assembly of cars and motor cycles their sub-suppliers will set up plants in SL thus creating numerous jobs. To protect this industry you discourage the import of fully built up cars via import duties. Diversification of the ecomomy away from agriculture and textiles is one of the secrets of sucess of many S.E Asian nations in uplifting their people.

  118. 132. shankar:

    I honestly don’t know what’s going on between SF and GR. But one thing that I have observed over the years is that whoever writes ST political column is biased towards UNP. SF’s problem is his big mouth. GR is aware of this and also knows how to handle it. It was GR that intervened when SF bashed TN MPs as political jokers for instance. Its hard to believe that SF would go against GR. Nah, he cannot be that stupid. However, if he were to do that he would go from been hero to zero in one instance.

  119. A car has thousands of parts and if SL encourages local assembly of cars and motor cycles their sub-suppliers will set up plants in SL thus creating numerous jobs. To protect this industry you discourage the import of fully built up cars via import duties.

    The country tried all this rubbish in the seventies. Large amounts of foreign exchange went on importing machinery which then assembled goods from parts that cost more than the whole thing assembled.

    You seem to have fallen for the broken window fallacy. If a fridge can be imported for 40,000 then paying 45,000 rupees to import the parts and another 15,000 rupees to a Lankan factory to assemble them has not created wealth, it has pissed away 20,000 rupees.

    There might just be a Lankan market for a three-wheeler or a motorbike but the free-trade agreement with India ditches that idea.

  120. In comment # 135 Stephen Jones says : Large amounts of foreign exchange went on importing machinery ………

    In the first place why are you worrying about large amounts of foreign exchange that went to import machinery? SL citizens should not be worrying about this UNLESS it is government owned companies that is importing machinery using taxpayers money. Assembly of products should be done by private companies like Toyota, Honda etc at their own risk.

    I do not know why industralization in SL failed in the seventies, but I would guess that the manner it which they implemented it had something to do with it.

    GOSL must have a clear policy that anyone who wants to deal in cars, must have them assembled locally. No exceptions. You must NEVER have a situation where one or two companies, like in the case of SL Micro cars today, are allowed to assemble cars and at the same time other dealers are allowed to import new or used cars and sell them at prevailing prices. When Micro cars is the only assembler, sub-suppliers will not find it profitable to set up plants in SL, and hence Micro has to import virtually all its components, making it an uphill battle for Micro to stay competitive. For this industry to grow, GOSL has to protect this industry by discouraging imports via duties.

    When you have so many companies like Toyota, Honda, Ford, Mazda, VW, Kia etc assembling cars locally, market competition will ensure that the cars are sold at affordable prices. The same principle applies to all consumer products like fridges etc.

  121. So what you want is the government to make the consumer pay more so that a select few of its cronies can charge double the normal price of a car to sell an inferior product, that will probably never get off the assembly line since the only way your crackpot idea will work is if you ban the import of car parts and everybody sits around and waits for five years whilst Lanka buys outdated machine tools and assembly lines from Romania or Egypt.

  122. with regard to car manufacturing, i think a country must utilise its human resources on areas in which it has comparative advantages over other countries. manufacturing certainly isn;t one of those for us, because countries with large populations can always do those cheaper than us. we should concentrate on niches where we have a comparative advantage.

    1. tourism. not only beaches. the country has so much to offer within a few hours of travel.

    2. strategic location. we should develop the ports and a strong merchent marine fleet, to become a seafaring nation, as we are surrounded by seas.

    3. exploiting fishing and marine resources.

    4. tea industry.

    5. as a gateway to india. i will be easier for people to do business through us with india , than to waste their time and energy going throgh that vast and diverse country.

  123. There was an incident of firing at the IDPs, which is not denied. The forcible detention of a huge number of people, after an internal war, however justified for a short term, cannot continue for ever. The fear of remnants of LTTE elements should not cloud the Srilankan government’s thinking. Detaining such a large number of people will breed more problems for them than the problems that they want to avoid by this measure. The government should win over the losers. In the long run, the best anti-dote against chauvinism is showing magnanimity to the minority by the majority. Let the government complete the screening of the people detained in the camps and dismantle them so that they go back to their own places. No human being would be normal in a controlled atmosphere.

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