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The case against military justice for Sarath Fonseka

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by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

It is not merely of some importance but is of fundamental importance, that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.” – Lord Chief Justice Hewart in Rex vs Sussex Justices Ex parte Macarthy

The above mentioned observation by British Lord Chief Justice Hewart has become famous over the years as an aphorism espousing and emphasising the importance of appearance in meting out justice.It is not only important to ensure justice but equally necessary to demonstrate clearly that Justice appears to have been done.

“A Salute to the Nation” posters of the Common Opposition Presidential Candidate General Sarath Fonseka are posted in Mannar Island, North Western Province of Sri Lanka Pic: humanityAshore flickr

When I began writing this article on Thursday February 25th my intention was to argue that retired four star General and defeated Presidential elections candidate Sarath Fonseka should not be court-martialled by a military tribunal.

It was in a sense an extension and further elaboration of what I had stressed in my previous column for “Daily Mirror” of February 12th 2010 headlined “Were the General and JVP involved in a coup conspiracy”?.

In that piece I wrote as follows-

“However far-fetched the possibility may seem the Government is well within its rights to investigate the matter thoroughly and discover the truth.

If there has really been a conspiracy involving Sarath Fonseka, serving army officers, ex-military personnel, deserters and sections of the JVP to stage a military coup and capture state power through gun barrels then those found guilty should certainly be meted out punitive justice.

But the Government should go the extra mile in ensuring that due process is followed in probing the alleged conspiracy. Already the ways and means adopted in the investigation have caused serious doubts whether due process is being followed.

More importantly if the Govt opines that the “conspiracy theory” is valid then it must charge all those allegedly involved in a civil court under the Penal code with open access to the media and public during trial proceedings.

Otherwise it would smack of a vendetta trial by a Kangaroo court.

The Govt must firmly adhere to the principles of natural justice. It must also remember that Justice should not only be done but also should appear to have been done.”

Press Briefing

In that context my column this week was to be a continuation of my viewpoint that Sarath Fonseka should not be tried under military law and instead be given a fair trial in a civil court under the penal code.

While I was writing came the news about an announcement by Cabinet minister Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris at a media briefing.

Prof.Peiris who is perhaps the foremost authority on matters legal in the Rajapaksa government said that Retired Gen.Sarath Fonseka will be charged within the next two weeks for offences committed under the Penal Code and the Foreign Exchange Control Act in addition to facing charges under the Army Act.

G.L. Peiris told the news conference that General Fonseka would also be charged in connection with deals entered into with the commercial firm ‘Hicorp’.

He further said the government was also preparing to file sedition charges against General Fonseka whose actions had allegedly caused unrest among the rank and file in the military and for harbouring army deserters.

The account appearing in the “Daily Mirror”web edition on which I have relied states clearly that Sarath Fonseka apart from being charged under the Penal code and Foreign exchange control act will also be facing charges in due course under the Army act too.

Some other news reports however have displayd some ambiguity in this respect and create an impression that Fonseka will only be charged in a civil court and not in a military tribunal as envisaged earlier.

If this were true then it would mean a remarkable change in the Government’s position towards Sarath Fonseka.

Military and Civil

It was only two weeks ago that Defence secretary and Presidential sibling Gotabaya Rajapaksa told Ravi Velloor of Singapore-based “Straits Times” that the Government was looking at both a military and civil trial for the retired General.

Against that backdrop it does appear that the Govt intends to proceed along both fronts and that Fonseka will have to face military and civil court proceedings.

If on the other hand the Govt has indeed jettisoned its earlier intention of trying Fonseka under military law then there is no necessity for this column to argue a case against a military trial for Sarath Fonseka.

That prospect seems unlikely at this juncture and the Prof. Peiris press conference seems to be an attempt to deflect some of the criticism away on this count by announcing with fanfare a trial against Fonseka under the penal code and exchange control laws.

Even though General Fonseka has refused to co-operate with the authorities in the military tribunal proceedings against him the Government seems determined to proceed on course and subject him to military justice in addition to civil court action.

I do hope there is a change of mind in this but until then I shall continue to call upon the Rajapaksa regime to abandon its project of court-martialling Fonseka and proceed only with a civil courts case or cases if deemed necessary.

Military Trial

Let me state at the outset that my objection to a military trial for Fonseka is not in terms of law or facts. Many of those in the Fonseka camp have argued that the retired Geneal cannot be tried under military law because he is now a civilian.

Fonseka himself takes up that position strongly.He resisted arrest by the military Police on that count and volunteered to surrender himself to the Police. This was refused and Fonseka was taken away in a very humiliating manner.

Fonseka is being detained within the Naval headquarters complex. The Army commander Lt.Gen Jagath Jayasuriya has instructed his chief of staff ,Maj-Gen Daya Ratnayake to hold an inquiry and compile a summary of evidence into allegations against the erstwhile army commander.

Fonseka was asked to be present at the inquiry.This would have given him an opportunity to cross-examine or question witnesses and present his own standpoint to the inquiring authority.But Fonseka took up the position that the Army had no right to subject him to military proceedings as he was now a civilian.

Ratnayake therefore is going ahead with his task and is recording testimony from military and civilian persons.In a bid to keep Fonseka informed inquiry proceedings are relayed via a loudspeaker in his chalet though he himself is not physically present.

But again the defiant four-star General refuses to listen and has been seen plugging his thumbs into his ears in a demonstrative gesture signalling his refusal to listen. He has also reportedly kicked and damaged the amplifier.

Military Law

Fonseka’s conduct is perectly logical given his basic stance that he is now a civilian exempt from military law. The ex-army chief contends that he relinquished army office in mid-July 2009 and henceforth acquired civilian status.

Acting perhaps on sound legal advice the General takes great pains to exhibit his unambiguous dismissal of the preliminary military proceedings currently underway.

He adamantly refuses to play any part-active or passive-in military-oriented legal proceedings and steadfastly demand a civil trial . His non-compliance with the summary of evidence exercise is therefore logical.

The Govt on the other hand insists that Fonseka is indeed subject to military law and cites related legal provisions. Basically the Govt holds that Fonseka retired only in Mid-November 2009 and that he remains bound by military law until mid-May 2010. Apparently a retired officer is subject to military law up to six months after retirement.

These legal issues are likely to be thrashed out in open court when the next hearing of Fonseka’s fundamental rights petition is held by the Supreme court on April 26th. But when the preliminary hearing took place on February 23rd the courts declined to provide immediate relief by suspending his arrest and detention or order his release.

Apart from the question of law Fonseka and his supporters have also disputed the facts as presented by the Govt. It must be noted that there are no formal charges so far either in a military tribunal or civil court.

Provost Marshall

However the Provost Marshall Brigadier Jagath Wijesiri read out some charges against Fonseka when the military police went to arrest him. But those were charges into which Fonseka was to be questioned in order to gather further evidence.Unless adequate evidence is garnered those charges would not amount to an indictment.

There have also been reports in the media about offences allegedly committed by Sarath Fonseka. Statements to this effect too have been made by some officials particularly the President and his brother the defence secretary.

It appears that the investigations are about Fonseka’s alleged involvement or complicity in a coup conspiracy,assassination plot, disaffection among military ranks, engaging in politics while in uniform, Sedition,killings ,fraudulence in military purchases,and exchange control violations etc.

From Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s media interviews and the press conference of Prof. Peiris it is possible to infer that Fonseka will be charged in a civil court for certain offences and in a military tribunal for others. In military parlance the General will undergo double envelopement.

There is no doubt that Fonseka and supporters will contest the govt in this respect by challenging the legality and substantive basis of charges. It will be up to the courts to decide on these questions and act accordingly.

Due Process

There are also reasonable doubts as to whether due process will be adopted if and when Fonseka is charged under military law.

Some defenders of the military proceeding option have gone to town asserting that military justice is not second to civil justice and that Fonseka will get a free and fair trial even if court-martialled.They also point out that legal remedies such as resort to appeal court are available.

Despite the enthusiastic endorsement of military justice by some there is a widespread school of thought which opines that due process will be enacted only if Fonseka faces trial in a civil court.

From US Asst secretary of state for South Asia Robert Blake to British shadow foreign minister Liam Fox world opinion at large has called for civil court proceedings.

It is in such a scenario that this columnist re-iterates his viewpoint that there should be no military trial for Sarath Fonseka.Let me outline my reasons.

As stated earlier my objection is not in terms of law or fact. It may be that the govt is absolutely justified by law to try Fonseka before a military tribunal. It may also be that the Govt has incontrovertible proof of Fonseka’s “guilt” in the offences alleged against him.

But my objection is not in terms of law or fact but on perception. As in politics perception at times counts far more than reality. Justice Hewart’s pithy comment sums this up well.

It is very necessary for the enactment of justice that the appearance of it being enacted is maintained.Justice should not only be done but be seen as being done.

This aphorism is arguably the crux of the concept of open justice.Related to the concept of open justice is the observation made by Lord Bowen that….”Judges, like Caesar’s wife, should be above suspicion”. The open justice principle is also enhanced by Lord Atkin’s comment “Justice is not a cloistered virtue.”

Open Justice

The principle of Open Justice was defined succinctly in a public address by JJ Spiegelman,Chief justice of New South Wales in Australia. Spiegelman said-

“The principle that justice must be seen to be done-to which I will refer as the principle of open justice-is one of the most pervasive axioms of the administration of justice in our legal system. It informs and energises the most fundamental aspects of our procedure and is the origin, in whole or in part, of numerous substantive rules. It operates subject only to the overriding obligation of a court to deliver justice according to law.

Australian public debate has a tendency to ignore such fundamental principles, in the same way as we fail to appreciate the skill embedded in the engineering infrastructure which ensures that if you flick a switch, the lights go on or, if you turn a tap, water pours out. No-one thinks about it. We take it for granted”.

A crucial element in the principle of open justice is justice being seen to be done or appearing to have been done. To whom should this apply? To whom should justice appear to be done? Who should see justice as being done?

Spiegelman answers thus-

“I use the word “justice” to mean fair outcomes arrived at by fair procedures. To whom must justice, in this sense, appear to be done? The observer is not a party, not even the accused in a criminal trial.13
The relevant observer is always the “fair minded observer”, acting “reasonably”.

Acceptance by such an observer, should also demand acceptance by a fair minded party”

Now in the case of General Sarath Fonseka how would a fair-minded, reasonable observer view what is going on and the attempts to charge him in a military tribunal?

Before answering that let me draw attention to the well-established and accepted principles of natural justice. The principle of open justice and the twin principles of natural justice are related and inter-twined in most instances. They complement and re-inforce each other.

Natural Justice

The two fundamental principles of natural justice are “Nobody shall be a judge in his own cause” (nemo judex in causa sua) and “hear the other side” (audi alteram partem)

In essence these principles seek to ensure that there should be no bias or conflict of interest or duties in judgement and that a fair opportunity be given to a person facing trial to present one’s own case.

Basically the principles of natural justice evolved under common law as a check and counter to the arbitrary exercise of state power. The natural justice principles are adhered to not only in judicial matters but also in executive and administrative affairs.

In the instance of Sarath Fonseka being tried by a military tribunal one has to take note of the circumstances and apply the principles of open justice and natural justice. Though the actual trial or court-martial has not occurred the preliminary proceedings have begun.

It is learnt that President Rajapakse sought an opinion from the Attorney-General on whether available evidence indicates a prima facie case for arresting and detaining Fonseka. Receiving an affirmative response the commander in chief of the Armed forces instructed his army commander to go ahead.

It was under the orders of Army chief Lt. Gen Jayasiriya that Major-General Sumit Manawadu and Brigadier Jagath Wijesiri seized Sarath Fonseka on February 8th.

Now the chief of staff Maj-Gen Daya Ratnayake is conducting an inquiry where a summary of evidence against Fonseka relating to alleged offences under Army law is being compiled.

When Ratnayake submits a report Jayasuriya will decide upon court-martial proceedings.It is possible that the commander would consult both the Army’s Judge Advocate-General as well as the Attorney-General on this before action.

Given the recent sequence of events it is very likely that a military tribunal would try Sarath Fonseka in the near future. It would indeed be an “agni pareeksha” or trial by fire.

Military Justice

The proponents of military justice for Sarath Fonseka have reacted sharply to criticism of a military trial by passionately articulating the virtues of military justice. Some would have us believe that military justice is the best in the world and that there is no finer judicial exercise than a military court-martial.

This columnist has no opinion on those arguments. I am not questioning the military justice procedures. I am also not casting aspersions about the military officers involved in the exercise.

I am prepared to accept for argument’s sake that all military officials involved in the Fonseka affair would act fairly and squarely without the slightest animus or prejudice towards Fonseka. They may all be officers and Gentlemen acting without rancour or malice towards Fonseka and are discharging their duties with detachment keeping only the best interests of the Army and Country at heart.

What is at stake here is how such a military trial would be perceived under current realities and circumstances. What would be the perception of the “reasonable,fair-minded observer”? would such an observer opine that justice is being or has been done in terms of the principles of open and natural justice?

As stated before the military may be acting very honourably and dispassionately in this but do recent events project such an impression to the average person?Will the “reasonable, fair-minded” person be convinced that justice is being done to Fonseka?

According to the letter of the law Sarath Fonseka may still be bound by Army law but in actual terms the former Army commander has acquired civilian status. Furthermore he is now a political personality. Fonseka is the culmination and expression of a long process where the military has been irredeemably politicised.

With Fonseka throwing in his beret into the presidential elections ring the climate was transformed. Fonseka’s abrasive style of campaigning compounded the situation further. While many ex-army officers as well as serving military personnel were supportive of Fonseka several high-ranking officers got alienated from their former chief.

Loggerheads

The Army as an institution particularly the official hierarchy was at loggerheads with the General. This became public knowledge through a two-way process. Fonseka on the one hand criticised the commander in chief, defence secretary, army commander,national security adviser, chief of defence staff and several high-ranking army officers.He even threatened court-martial action against many.

On the other hand the defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa , army commander Jagath Jayasuriya and several top generals including majors –general Shavendra Silva, Prasanna Silva, Kamal Gunaratne, Prasad Samarasinghe, Kapila Hendavitharana and Udaya Nanayakkara spoke out against the General implicitly and explicitly in the media.

These bitter exchanges proved beyond doubt to the people at large that the military was now highly politicised. The rapid course of post –presidential poll events confirmed that opinion further. The Hotel in which Fonseka was staying at was surrounded by a military contingent; several ex-army officers involved in the General’s election campaign were arrested. Some high-ranking army officers suspected of being Fonseka loyalists were sent on compulsory retirement. A few were arrested .The climx was Fonseka’s arrest where the General was forcibly removed from his office by army personnel.

Thus it is now common knowledge that the Army as an institution is hostile to the former army commander. Individual officers may be sympathetic but officially the Army is seen as being estranged from the General. It is against this backdrop that legal action under Army law is being contemplated.

The military top brass may be acting honourably but will the “fair-minded, reasonable” observer or for that matter the proverbial man in the street opine that Fonseka will get justice in a military tribunal?

Let us look at Fonseka the man in the military dock. How does the military as an institution relate to him now?

Acrimonious

Fonseka took on the supreme commander of the armed forces at the presidential stakes and conducted an acrimonious campaign against him and family members.He threatened to jail him if elected to office.

Now the tables have turned and Mahinda Rajapaksa holds the reins of power. It may be that the President is truly a great soul and is acting without any ill-will towards Fonseka but will the ordinary masses be convinced of that ?

Likewise Fonseka has been having a well-publicised running battle with Gotabaya and threatened him too with dire consequences. Now Fonseka lies in the dust as a defeated foe and the Defence secretary rides high. He is the most powerful man in the defence establishment. Though I am not saying he is doing so , the fact remains that Gotabaya can get the military top brass to do what he desires through coercion or coaxing.

In media interviews the defence secretary emphasises that action is being taken against Fonseka due to the ex-army chief’s acts of omission and commission and not because of a vendetta campaign. Gotabaya may be 100% truthful in saying this but the acid test is whether the world at large will perceive it so.

Jagath Jayasuriya

Then comes the Army. Let’s look at the military. It was the Army commander Jagath Jayasuriya who ordered that Fonseka be arrested.He did so after getting the green light from the president who reportedly obtained advice to that effect from the Attorney-General. On one level there is absolutely no problem in all this. Everyone is doing their duty keeping the best interests of the country and army.

But on another level there is a problem. Fonseka displayed great hostility towards Jayasuriya while in service and even got his aide de camp arrested. He was apparently gunning for Jayasuriya himself. After Jayasuriya became army chief Fonseka complained bitterly against him to the President. He also ridiculed him publicly as a “holding” officer unfot to lead the Army. Jayasuriya was compelled to defend himself publicly.

Now about his arrest. Who were the senior officers who arrested him? Military Police head or Provost Marshall Brig. Jagath Wijesiri and Colombo district operations commander Maj-Gen Sumith Manawadu. Both were following orders. But again there is a personal element here.

Jagath Wijesiri

Brig. Wijesiri held the post of Provost Marshall a few years ago. There was an incident where an army vehicle driven by an officer met with an accident. In the vehicle was an attractive woman army deserter. Wijesiri then a Colonel did his duty by investigating the incident. He discovered that the vehicle was being driven to a particular location for a rendezvous with a top army officer.

The Army commander of the day Sarath Fonseka took keen interest in the matter and tried to suppress the investigation.Wijesiri was transferred out to Trincomalee as a transit camp commandant. A Fonseka loyalist Brig. Bimal Dias was made provost marshall. The course of internal military justice was perverted.

Furthermore Wijesiri was treated unfairly for doing his duty.His promotion was withheld and was about to be compulsorily retired. An inquiry was held into an incident where Wijesiri was accused of transporting a cow illegally in an army vehicle.Wijesiri petitioned the Supreme Court seeking justice.

He clarified the “cow” incident to the satisfaction of the Supreme court. Courts restored his withheld promotion and subsequently Wijesirii became a brigadier.He was made Provost marshall again only some weeks ago.

Sumith Manawadu

In the case of Maj- Gen Sumith Manawadu he served as planning director at the Army headquarters under Sarath Fonseka. At that time he was a Fonseka favourite and appointed as general officer commanding of 57 division. But there was some friction with Fonseka and soon Manawadu was transferred from “Command” stream to “Common” stream.

Within army circles this was akin to a demotion . Manawadu was restricted to inconsequential administrative functions.

After Fonseka quit the army Manawadu was restored to former glory as operations commander ,Colombo and promoted as major-general.It was Manawadu who supervised the military action of surrounding Hotel Lakeside-Cinnamon where Fonseka was holed up with his associates.

Later both Fonseka’s daughter and wife were to charge that Manwadu had been penalised by the General for lapses on the battlefield and was now seeking revenge. Manawadu was subsequently involved in the controversial arrest of Sarath Fonseka.

Daya Ratnayake

Last but not least is the chief of staff Major-General Daya Ratnayaka. He was tasked by the Army commander to question Fonseka and procure a summary of evidence into charges against him. But Fonseka has refused to cooperate. Interestingly there is a history of friction between Fonseka and Ratnayaka too.

Sarath Fonseka was injured seriously in April 2005 when a woman suicide bomber exploded herself within army headquarters premises. The doughty general fought for his life on the hospital bed and miraculously survived. It was when Fonseka was in hospital that the Maavil Aaru battle took place. After protracted fighting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) retreated. The entire area came under Army control.

Daya Ratnayaka was responsible for publishing a special volume to mark the Maavil aaru victory. Since Nanda Mallawaratchy was the acting army commander in Fonseka’s absence and played a part in the Maavil Aaru war he was given due recognition in the special volume.

Fonseka upon resuming charge as commander was livid with fury at Ratnayake for acknowledging Mallawaratchi’s role. He was harssed and due promotions were withheld. At one stage Ratnayake wanted to quit the army but held on because of personal intervention by Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Today Fonseka has fallen from grace while Ratnayaka has got his well-deserved elevation. Fate has decreed Rtnayake being in charge of the Fonseka inquiry.

Hostile History

It is interesting in a way that the four top army officers involved in the arrest,detention and inquiry of Fonseka have a “hostile history” with him.This does not necessarily mean that they have deep-seated animosity towards him and would abuse or misuse their powers to deny fairplay and justice to Fonseka.

But against this backdrop it would be rather difficult for any “fair-minded,reasonable” observer to conclude that Fonseka is receiving justice. As for the average onlooker there will be very little doubt in his or her perception that Fonseka is being fixed by the government and army hierarchy.

A harsh truth is that Fonseka through his cantankerous personality and abrasive attitude has earned many , many enemies among the Army top brass. This extends to even retired superiors and contemporaries.

His ill-advised election pronouncements have stirred up great resentment among many army officers. Thus the army top brass is perceived as being hostile to Fonseka institutionally as well as on an individual basis.

This phenomenon has to be viewed in conjunction with the “witch-hunt” against suspected sympathisers and cronies of Fonseka in the upper echelons of the army.

It is obvious that army officers seen as pro- Fonseka run the risk of being victimised and penalised. The reverse side to this is that those seen as anti-Fonseka could receive career-boosting rewards.

In this atmosphere where ill- will towards Fonseka runs deep within the army establishment there will be misgivings and doubts in the people’s perception that he would indeed receive proper military justice. The dice seems loaded , the playing field is not level and the cardpack seems stacked against him.

Impartiality

Even if the military trial is conducted with absolute impartiality any adverse decision is very likely to be viewed as being prejudiced. Even if all the evidence necessitates such a decision the perception of people would be different.The army trying Fonseka under present circumstances will be seen as biased against the ex-army chief.

There is also the non-cooperative attitude of Fonseka towards military procedures. He refuses to comply with procedures and has not availed of the legal avenues to put his case across.

His side of the story is not heard and the legal procedures so far amount to unilateral proceedings. While it is correct that Fonseka was given an opportunity to voice his case the fact remains that his voice is voluntarily silent. Thus the adage that both sides should be heard is followed in the breach here.

In such a situation a trial under military law would not be seen as justice being done. It would not appear as justice to the “fair-minded, reasonable” observer.The principles of open justice and natural justice are being violated here.

Ironically the best way in which people would believe that military justice was fair would be for Fonseka to be absolved of all guilt and cleared of all charges.Only then will people be convinced that justice has been done. This however is an extremely remote possibility.

Judiciary

This does not mean that no legal action should be taken against Fonseka.It only means that due process should be followed and justice should be seen as being done. For this Fonseka must be charged in a civil court under normal laws.

The question may arise as to whether Fonseka would receive a fair trial in civil courts. Despite some flaws in the judicial system out judiciary has by and large demonstrated a vibrant independence. The Sarath Silva phase is now over and the judiciary is proving its mettle in many instances.

A significant development in recent times has been the sturdy independence displayed by some of our lower courts. The disgraceful , partisan attitude of the Police has been frequently checked and balanced by some of our magistrates and judges.

Disgusting Police attempts to ban political meetings and marches, efforts to muzzle the media etc have been foiled on many occasions by courts. In recent times many ex- army personnel associated with Fonseka who were arbitrarily arrested by the Police have been discharged by courts.

Therefore the chances are far greater for Fonseka to receive justice if he is charged in an open , civil court. More importantly the perception that justice indeed is being done would be enhanced and strengthened.

Since the Govt has been taking the high ground that it has no personal animus towards Fonseka it can easily dispense with the military justice option. Doing so would restore much of its eroded credibility on this issue.

Perception

What the government has failed to realise is that Fonseka is no longer an army officer in public perception. Technically he may be bound by military law still but the reality is that Fonseka has now metamorphosed into a civilian political leader. Rightly or wrongly 4. 18 million people voted for him. The Government must respect those voters who are equal citizens of Sri Lanka.

I am not saying he should be simply released but if there is indeed a “case” against him then it should be conducted in open court with public and media access. He should be treated as a civilian leader who won the confidence and trust of nearly 40% of the voters within four months. The applicability of military law does not matter here.

The persistent efforts of the Govt to try him under military law or both civil and military law evokes suspicion that it is indeed a vendetta against the General. Kafkaesque shades are visible in the seeming desire to fix Fonseka under both systems of law. There is suspicion that the verdict seems to have been issued and the trial will only be a façade to arrive at a foregone conclusion. This is veritably Kafkaesque!

President Rajapaksa would surely know that many people voted for him because they were disgusted at Fonseka issuing threats against the Rajapaksa brothers saying he would punish them when he won the presidency. This aroused negative sentiments as our people are not in favour of political opponents being victimised. Now the roles are reversed.

Vengeance

A vast majority of our people are not in favour of Fonseka being victimised in revenge. This includes many who voted for Mahinda too. The least that the President could do is to make people feel that justice is being done and vengeance is not being wrought against the General.

Mahinda Rajapaksa is the undisputed victor in the electoral duel with Fonseka. It is imperative therefore that he dispels all suspicion that “victor’s justice” is being meted out.

Above all the Government must recognize the crucial difference between legality and legitimacy. Whatever the government does to Fonseka may be “legal” but would it be seen as “legitimate”?

DBS Jeyaraj can be reached at dbsjeyaraj2005@yahoo.com

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212 Comments

  1. You make a well-reasoned out sound argument against Sarath Fonseka being tried under military law but I doubt very much the govt adhering to it. The Rajapakshe regime is determined to extract revenge from Fonseka. They will not relent. But good of you to try though

  2. Very good article with lots of facts DBS

    The ‘history of hostility” between Fonseka and Jayasuriya, Wijesiri, Manawadu and Ratnayake was very interesting and illuminating

    I agree with you that a military trial in this situation will lack all credibility. But the Rajapaksas are hell-bent on teaching the general a lesson. They wont budge

  3. DBS

    you have eloquently argued your case against military justice for Sarath Fonseka. But as you have said it is victor’s justice that’s being done now

    If Fonseka is charged in civil courts he may get away free. But in a military court he has absolutely no chance

    That’s why the Medamulana clan will go ahead with a military trial

  4. Under the present political and military culture in Sri Lanka all politicians and military high rank officers can be “legally” charged under the corruption and foreign exchange laws such as Hicops and possession of foreign currency more than $2,000. If you are with MR you are “leglly”clean and if you are against you are “legally” charged.

    As for the charges of treason all those retired army officers who were arrested as accomplices were released by the court due to no evidence. Now there are new charges such as harbouring defectors and talking to opposition politicians while he was in the army.

    Therefore, arrest of Fonseka is “legal” and all other politicians and military high rank officers including Gothabaya, basil, Jagath Jayasuriya are “legally” clean. Either you are with us or you are with criminals.

    Can’t you still see that it is a political vendetta against SF for having decided to defect from the MR camp?

  5. Dear Mr. DBSJ

    Why are you so much worried about Fonseka’s trial? If he had done something wrong, he should be tried according to the laws of the country.

    I would be happy if this same law is applied to Rajapaksha and his siblings who committed more crimes, taking away the lives of many innocent people.

    They were the people behind the murders of so many innocent people.

    In the case of Fonseka, he was only contemplating an act of conspiracy and murder of Rajapaksha, but the latter has ‘accomplished’ the mission – a criminal act.

    You once mentioned in your comments, that Rajapaskha had become the President by paying enormous amount of money to the LTTE. That is why LTTE enforced a boycott.. That itself is illegal and he had to be taken to the court and juctice be applied to them even before it is applied to Fonseka.
    Thanks

    Dr. Kathir

  6. .What you are suggesting all may be good in an unblemished world. The intentions SF and his cohorts had is unbelievable. You must accept the decent this general has brought to the ranks of the army. It may look acceptable to the opposition who is hell bent to bring down the government, but that is only in the short run. Most of the bloated Sri Lanka Army has very young men mostly not more than 2 years in the service. With such a back ground SF behaving like this should be death with harshly in Army terms. Moreover he was ruthless in application of Army powers against the officers whom dislike. It is coming to light that during the tenure of his office as Army Commander he cleared his own personal files of any adverse comments, court marshals he faced. This is something only a low grade person will attempt to clear his name. Then all this money connections does not show that he has been a Mr. Clean. If he moved to Cinnamon Grand in the wee hours of Election Day for innocent intentions as his claim, why did he dismantle the security system in the hotel during this occupation? He cannot be clean has he claim, he got to be tried under regular legal procedure available to every citizen of this country.

  7. The writer DBS(D.B.S.Jeyaraj) is a person who is refined,well connected,and respected by the Sri Lankan inteletuals for his prowess in writing ianalysis n English language.These are the kind of people whose advice should be followed by the rulers, But that will not happen in Lanka.

  8. If Government is so much for justice, how come there are so many unpunished law breakers within government supporters? People know that main reason for SF and others arrest was coup conspiracy. Where is it now?

    This is pure vengeance.
    May triple Jem Blessings come upon SF!

  9. What Fonseka did to the armed forces with the White Flag affair, and threatening to take the Government before war crimes tribunal in Geneva in unforgivable. He being the Commander of the Army at that time, these statements amount to Sedition and betrayel and subversion. Yes he should be Court Martialled.

  10. You are a talented writer. But simple facts are SF may have done certain things wrong.But It is obvious to the entire world that Rajapakse clan has done same wrong things in million time worse way.If you look at his lockers I am sure you will find billions . Thay are scared of SF. he is pruning to become a dictator by suppressing oposition and making journalist to disapper. All who praise them knowingly or unknowingly will repent for what they are doing now in the future

  11. I have been a keen reader of your articles in the past, but this particular article baffles me. You seem to be going all over the map.

    I am surprised to note that you seem to omit court proceedings, such as in the Hague aginst Miosovic where the court found that even though he abstained from the proceedings, the court heard all relevent testomeny against him. I personally feel that Gen. Sarath Fonseka, maybe due to his injuries from the bomb blasts or other medical conditions suffer from multiple personality disorders. In fact i did write to the news media during the elections that this fact should be investigated, when i read so many contradictory and incredible statements he uttered after his elevation from army commander to CDS. I feel that the actions taken against him are justifiable and democratic. I am a Canadian citizen, just like you, so i know what it is when you fall foul of the law. Let the Sri Lankan law take its course and let the chips fall where it should.

  12. DBS I agree with you whole-heartedly about a military trial being Legal but not legitimate.

    The US war on Iraq was legal but not legitimate

    JR Jayewardena depriving Mrs. Bandaranaike of civic rights, extending Parliament through referendum, imprisoning Vijay Kumaranatunga were all legal but were certainly illegitimate
    You have given sound advice to the Rajapaksa regime

    But it’s like casting pearls before swine

    Still, keep trying DBS

  13. Very good article as usal. However I was reminded of the military trial of Ali Bhutto. Where he refused to take part in the military trial. His lawyers apparently advised him not to cross-examine the witnesses against him. However after the verdict he had been reportedly accusing the lawyers of misleading him. I hope such a scenario will not be enacted here as well.

  14. # 14 cicero,

    The point here is people like DBSJ are needed and masses have to ensure the leaders heed to those ‘pearls being cast’.

    Throughout my secondary schooling, I was very disturbed the way Mrs. B’s civic rights was taken away. I was powerless to even cast a vote then, but each year went my, and I’d be reminded of it as, there is one year less for Mrs. B. without civic rights.

    Then at the time of JR extending parliament thru referendum, I was voting age and voted ‘NO’.

    And to experience the polity of Vijaya Kumaranatunga I was not in Sri Lanka. But he would have made much difference for all Sri Lankans today.

    Although I base this comment on ‘my’ experiences, I guess the slide down the slippery slope means that people have to demand and expect high return from politicians and hold them accountable.

    But if we try to put in what ‘USA is doing in Iraq’ into this context, it only tells that one has not learned anything from ‘our’ ordeal and history and to set in the drive to the correct course for all masses. After all this one rational the powers in Sri Lanka too are telling hide their misdeeds.

  15. DBS used to write on Tamil matters only those days and I and many others thought he could only write on that topic. But no he writes on national issues and has shown that he is knowledgable on that too. This article is proof of that

  16. Just to add DBS.I request you to keep writing more on national issues. I think many readers will support me in this

  17. Nice try DBS but wont work
    The Rajapaksa govt is having a military court-martial because that is the best way to fix Fonseka. As you pointed out the civil courts are releasing all the ex-army supporters of Sarath arrested as coup conspirators

    So the only way to ensure conviction of Fonseka is to try him in a military tribunal prejudiced against him and convict him

    Thats why your well presented article wont have any impact on this govt

  18. I like to read your articles because you bring some unknown/hidden facts to the surface. But this paticular article is rubbish and the argument is rediculous.

    If Fonseka has done wrong thing while he was in the army and if the military law is still applicable for such actions, it is perfectly right bringing him to a military court. If someone want to bring him to a civil court, firstly, it is wrong because penal code or any other civil law may not be applicable to the wrong doings that come under the military offences. Secondaly, if some talk about the public perception, that person is already biased to one side. No body can enforce law if the legal authorities have to look into the public perception first.

    It is the government responsibility to ensure that there would not be further split of the army or it is not infested with the infested politics in the land. The Fonseka adventure should be the first and last in the Sri Lankan military. If not the future of the country will be in danger.

    It’s a pity you’ve not grasped what I was trying to say. But please keep reading……………DBSJ

  19. Mahinda and Gota arranged for military trial to frame up the General and put him away in jail. You are now trying to make them change that plan. The brothers wont like this. Careful DBS

  20. DBS

    thanks for revelation about personal animosity between Wijesiri,Manawadu and Fonseka. No wonder they dragged him out to detention from office. Gota must have deliberately assigned them to do this knowing they will be very hard on the general

  21. Very good article indeed.
    I was wondering whether it was the government that was involved in a “coup” on the election night.SF was in a hotel,election results not known at the time and SF was surrounded by the army.If SF became the winner Government could have taken SF into custody and run a military government against people’s wish headed by MR similar to military rule in Burma.
    DBSJ I would like to see your analysis on that matter.

  22. and threatening to take the Government before war crimes tribunal in Geneva in unforgivable

    He didn’t do anything of the sort of course.

  23. Hello DBS,

    This is a good article from a point of view of one angle, But resent international events will show the application of Millitary courts and tribunals, look at the Turkish incident where senior military officers are charged with conspiracy, Then look at the Israel same thing happened there are so many contemporary events. Normally military law applies to military people like Fonseka. Mahinda is not a army guy to be tried under military law, and no one has proved that he has taken bribes, even helping Hambantota incident was dismissed by Supreme court. Most of the people who has said Rajapaksa has to be tried should be having good evidence to prove that he has done corrupt things. Do you think Sri Lankan opposition would not do any thing if they have good evidence for this. It is a simple fact that if Sarath was in US army and did some thing like this (Announcing he will go to interntional courts against the President or Government) he will surely get the Lethal injection on high treason charges. Luckily this guy belonged to Sri Lankan army getting away from every thing !!!!!!!!!! Sarath is a big time fool he took a big gamble he thought of what happen he win but never looked at what happen if he loose !!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Thanks DBS for info about problem between the general and Manawadu and Wijesiri.It is obvious they were selected by Gota to fix Fonseka brutally. Just like how he picked Jayasuriya to be commander because he had fallen out with Fonseka

  25. SF escaped the justice since Semmani days because Prabaharan was bigger perpetrator and govt wanted to finish him off the job. Now time up for his judgment day .SF woven his own web and caught in it .He is a Sinhala Prabahan in his own right. No tears for him

  26. To be honest ,under the present political and law enforcement ethics Srilanka has become the laughing stock of the world. Your elaborated article show evidence, that Sarath Fonseka has crossed the line as a disciplined Army General. At the final phase of the Presidential election campaigne he was surrounded by army deserters in a famous city hotel, what was that drama if innocent?.Then he acted as a mad general than a defeated cadidate.Then his appeal to the courts was rejected because there are evidence to hold him further.There is a law in the country and even President is not above the LAW to crusify Mr fonseka. Anyhow the world is watching with intrest to see how justice system in Srilanka is working. Any person with trace of intelligence will not think that Sarath fonseka shuold be hailed as a hero and let him go.
    .
    Can we play party politics in a serious situtation where military was in disarray and was serios disruption of law and order. Sarath Fonseka is not Important if his actions are posing danger to the country.Let Justice be done to Fonseka.The way he behaved was disrespectful and disgraceful to SriLanka.

  27. The point DBS is making here is not whether Sarath Fonseka is guilty or whether he is bound by military law. What he is saying is that the govt will be accused of a vendetta if it goes ahead with military court martial. He suggests that the govt can retain much credibility if it charges him in a civil court under ordinary laws and conducts an open trial with access to te public and media. He emphasises the principle of open justice where justice must manifestly be seen to be done. He also wants principles of natural justice enforced. I concur with DBS on this

    Unfortunately many of the commentators here do not seem to have understood what DBS advocates. This is unfortunate

  28. We have had great military leaders who rose to the top in politics such as Sir John Kotelawala. I hope there will be more in the future too. Sarath Fonseka has made it very difficult for an ex-military person to do an honorable entry into politics. To clean up their act the court martial should be the first hurdle for Sarath.

  29. Yes.. ARMY is a institute full of revenge, stabling back, and specially among officers got a some kind of a over proud situation relevant to Intake they had been enlisted..This was the nature of ARMY.. (GOTA Vs SF ) (SF Vs JJ ) from the top brace to bottom of the rank..

    But one thins SF did was.. break this funny culture and bring the officers and even others ranks to higher level to perform the Ellam war IV. It works..

    some say SF is hero..some say tractor.. at the end bottom line is he did what others can not do for 30 years..

    are we going to say SF is foolish…hard to think so.. great military generals all ways start with a battle and end the war..SF took his image on the life.. for new job..well this may be the 1st battles of the total war.. unless government kill him.

    Finnaly Prabakarn was wrong for every thing..but one thing he said very correct.. “Sinhalese kind of a people that can forget any thing with in a week or over a cricket match”

    That’s why.. Sri Lanka cannot getup..

  30. The thrust of this article is not whether Sarath Fonseka is guilty or not but whether the process by which he is to be tried is credible or not.

    I endorse Mr.Jeyaraj’s viewpoint in this

  31. Fonseka was an unwise scapegoat acting for the JVP and so has had to bear the brunt for his folly. It was the JVP that conspired and organized army deserter cadres in all towns in Sri Lanka to jump into action if Rajapakse won by a small margin. Rajapakse and Gotabhaya would not be alive today if that had happened. Fonseka by his bullying and arrogant nature coveted the situation he now is in.

    If in the right context of Military Law he has violated it he should surely stand trial not withstanding popular opinion or pressure from the outside world, mainly from those Sri Lanka bashing Western world. Merely because some in the military hierarchy do not like him that should not prevent a military trial. Fonseka’s refusal to speak or listen is because he has been advised by his lawyers who very well know that he himself does not know what he says. In his confusion he is likely to indict himself on the charges against him.

    To NOT try him in military court for the simple reason that he entered politics and contested for the Presidency is not ‘Justice done or justice appeared to be done”. It works both ways. There may be doubts about a fair trial, but that is only a doubt and that should not be a reason to argue for abandonment of a military trial provided it is within the law. Let us all let the law prevail instead of casting aspersions about its delivery.

  32. Hi Jay,

    Very informative piece as usual. I agree with you that military justice should not be meted out to General Fonseka.But then does Mahinda care about preserving his credibility?

  33. I have read your article. I like to add to that. Rajapakse government had proved to the world that they have committed a crime against U.N. Convention against torture by the method, used to arrest Fonseka and the way the Government treating him. Rajapakse think that he won the battle but he lost it. The world knows that Gotabaya taking revenge from Fonseka. But the Rajapkse government doesn’t know that the fate they will face in the coming months. The world community will be taking action against them by bringing war crime tribunal very soon. World will take this as a example against the Rajapakse. We will see how the Rajapakse will answer when they are accused for war crimes .

  34. 25. Stephen Jones | February 26th, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    and threatening to take the Government before war crimes tribunal in Geneva in unforgivable

    He didn’t do anything of the sort of course.

    No he _dId_.

    Unless one advocates an international war crimes tribunal for SLA, why would be willing to testify against one? Furthermore, he implied in more than one occasion during the election campaign that GR committed war crimes and that he would not protect him. What a bastard!

  35. Hi Jayraj,

    Fonseka is nothing but a piece of … . Very soon Fonseka’s dramma will come to an end. People will forget very soon about this traitor. I still can’t imaging why Gota wanted to place him on the top of the army. Gota must be punished for appointing such a fool and a lunatic to the highest post of the army.

    Charles

  36. Principle of natural justice and open justice are very broad and not al all clearly defined in full context. Therefore it leaves open to the debater say what ever he thinks his perception of it. However, DBS has shown without doubt that a court marshal is not justifiable due to bias. BUT due to the very nature of offences which were committed while SF was a serving officer and given that law says he can be brought under charge within 6 months of leaving the service, it is NOT unjustifiable to do so. We need to understand that military law is particularly suited for offences committed by military and under military situation which a civil court may not be able to fully comprehend. Therefore if we leave out the BIAS, the most appropriate way to conduct a trail for military offences is a military tribunal.

    Then for offences done under civilian situation, it must be a civil procedure which the government is doing and is correct.

    Law does NOT recognise perception of the common man on the street. If we equate law to that level, common man will have to run the courts which is both impractical and gives rise to lawlessness. Law to have appeared to be done as well as justice met, is probably taken out of context. Law is so complex that many cases cannot appear to be justifiable to the common man as he does not understand the principles of law. For instance, a group of youths who gang raped a girl recently in the west were acquitted because the evidence was terrible. But there was a hue and cry from public as the law did not appear to be done. So does this “appear to be done” theory we apply and make the accused guilty without evidence?

    Then the question is asked as how this military trial be perceived in the free world among free thinking ethical and moral people of this world. The question itself is fundamentally flawed because my perception of truth and justice is different to another. Therefore to judge by perception is opening an open ended debate where debaters can argue till cows come home without any concrete result.

    However, the consolation is a military judgment at a CM can be challenged in a civil court. However also we got to remind ourselves that the law is an ass and many times I have seen it does not uphold the virtuous or moral or ethical rights of people because most of the so called protectors of the law , the lawyers & judges do not have high ideals.

  37. Sir,
    One more elaborate article of national importance. The Government should proceed with prudence in this sensitive issue of handling the ex-general. There is a Thirukural “kunam nadi kutram nadi avatrul mikai nadi mikka kolal”. (one should be judged by his qualities which weighs much) The Government as well as the Military is responsible for trouncing the LTTE who destablished the Country for the past thirty years. What the Government should do is to rehabilitate the displaced people and arouse confidence in their minds. The Government should not waste its energy in petty things like this kind of vendetta even though it is warranted under the given circumstances. Due recognition should be given to Sri Sarath Fonseka also with all his faults, who is also instrumental in bring an end to the LTTE, which will give international appreciation (right thinking people) to the the President. Let Srilanka once more prosper.
    I want to read the tamizh translation of your jottings. Hence I request that at the end of your jotting you can give the “links” where readers can get tamizh translation.
    R. Govindarajan

  38. DEAR MR JEYRAJ, I AM A SRILNKAN AND WRITING THIS FROM AUSTRALIA. WHO IS THIS SO CALLED PROF GL. HE IS A ARSE HOLE. HE HAS NO RIGHT TO COMMENT ON JUDICIAL MATTERS .HI IS A TRADE MINISTER. IS HE THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE ??. THIS ARSE HOLE HAS NO JOB EXCEPT TO MAKE UNWARRANTED COMMENTS.

    I HAVE NOT HEARD ANY TITLE SUCH AS ‘PROF OF LAW ‘ IN THIS MODERN WORLD. THE IDIOTS IN SRILANKA THINKS THAT THIS SO CALLED PROF’S ARE GREAT GUYS. IN THIS SIDE OF THE WORLD WE DO NOT CARE PROF OR PHD TITLES SINCE WE KNOW WHAT THEY ARE CAPABLE OFF !..THESE ARE ONLY PAPAER QUALIFICATIONS !!!!!!!

    Prof.GL peiris is a 1st class honours Law graduate from Colombo University who later became Dean of Law faculty there. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and has a Ph D in law…………..DBSJ

  39. Dear DBS,
    I enjoy reading your articles but I don’t agree with you sometimes. In this article of yours, you have argued with valid points why SF should not be tried by the Army, at the same time you talk about discipline. This is where I am confused. Army regulations are different to civilian laws and they are there for a reason and this law was not brought into effect SF and as a Commander and with a 40 year service in the army, I expect SF to be aware of these rules. If any govt. in the world favours one person due to the pressure from people or other countries, then it would be very unfair for others. The second reason is the Army personnel will do anything in the future knowing that they can get away as this case will set precedent. That will confuse many and the strict army discipline will be useless. SF and the team have the opportunity to prove that SF is innocence and as the whole world is watching they can make a case if he was unfairly treated. I don’t believe the same countries crying foul will change due to pressure if they are in the same situation.

    Therefore DBS, I don’t believe anyone should be exempted from the existing laws as it will set a very dangerous situation for not only the Army but other forces as well.

  40. Despite all the allegations and charges the main reason for the arrest and detention of SF is that he dared to challenge Rajapakse. We see enough and more people in the Military and Political establishment who are guilty of similiar or worse go scott free as well as enjoy the patronage and support of the highest in the land all because they nod their heads in unision and sing the praises of the self styled monarch.

    So a patriot is declared traitor all because of that stubborn streak and determination which helped win the war. Charges are yet to be framed and it seems the military and govt are fishing for evidence.

    Also there is an element of caution which suggest that the govt does not want to have a public trial which could turn into a showcase to reveal all the misodings of the military / political estbalishment. After all it is not a crime or against the security act to reveal crimes committed against the nation.

    So now the Govt have caught the crocodile by the tail and cannot let go. Probably they will try to incarcerate him so that the secrets known to him are kept top secret. SF the shrewd tactician he is has already taken neccesary steps to reveal all this in case of his untimely death.

  41. DEATH CERTIFICATE OF DEMOCRACY IN SRILANKA

    Name= Democracy in Sri Lanka
    Born ON = 04 th Feb 1948
    Passed Away ON= 26 Jan 2010

    Hapily lived until 1977, After 77 she was suffering from ‘Anti Democratic Syndrome’ , it was critical for the past few years.

    On the last few days she was struggeling with death, for the preventation from suffering Dr Dayananda Dissanayaka gave her an Euthenasia Injection to terminate the life and rest in peace. According to Dr Dissanayaka’s post mortam speech , at the last stages she suffered from so many complications such as massive vote rigging , heavy mis use of state assets including state media and officials, politicising of Armed forces and use of its officers, threatning to Election Officers at counting and poling stations and chased them away , abducting and murdering jounalists and opposition voters etc.,

    It was reported that Dr Dissanayaka who is said to be back bornless doctor had so many problems in treating her, including, shortage of skills, medicine and equipment, heavy influences from dictatorship etc.,

    State Funeral will be held in Rajagiriya Colombo on 08th April 2010.

  42. this man work as a petrol shed console oprator in U.S.A now worth billions just working for rajapaksa govt as a cabinet mininister for few years.

  43. The fallout from this debacle on the nation irrespective of the outcome – for years to come – has not been computed. Irrespective of the formulae used, it is bound to be substantial leading to further polarization among the Sinhalese, international isolation, and increased discredit of the Rajapaksa administration. Only Mr. Rajapaksa with the extraordinary powers vested in the Presidency has the capacity to instantly bring this matter to a complete closure, let’s hope he has the wisdom to do so.

  44. Rajapaksas (Especially Gota.R) will not allow SF to survive with all four pieces.One fine day he will end up like Prageeth Ekanaligida.

  45. Senior Attorney-at-Law Uapli Senaratne commenting on General Sarath Fonseka’s arrest said the retired General was taken into custody by the Military Police in Terms of Section 57 of Army Act.

    Any person subject to Military Law commits an offence thereafter ceases to be a person subject to Military Law he still can be taken into and kept in military custody and tried and punished for an offence by a Court Martial.

    This is provided that he shall not be so tried after the lapse of six months from the date of the commission of such offence unless such offence is the offence of mutiny, desertion or fraudulent enlistment.

    Senaratne said that “MUTINY” is defined in Black’s Law Dictionary as uprising against authority. Court Martial is convened in Terms of part 9 of the Army Act and how it is held is set out in the Court Martial general and district regulations. Summary of evidence will be served on the General for his views, comments and defence before the trial is held.

    Since I have attended number of Court Martial inquiries, Senaratne said that he was quite aware as to how these Court Martials are held and the respect with which the accused are treated before a Court Martial. At the Court Martial the Judge Advocate deals with the law and explains to the panel regarding the legal aspects and there is a prosecutor who prosecutes at the Court Martial.

    The accused can be defended by any lawyer of his choice, Upali Senaratne said.

  46. Sri Lanka army officers remanded over ‘coup plot’

    A Sri Lankan court has ordered that six army officers suspected of plotting to overthrow the government should remain in custody.

    The officers appeared before Colombo Chief Magistrate Champa Janaki Rajaratne on Friday.

    The government has accused one of the suspects of being involved in the assassination of Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickramathunga last year.

    The six are all sympathetic to detained opposition leader Gen Sarath Fonseka.

    He lost presidential elections in January to President Mahinda Rajapaksa and now faces possible military and civilian charges.

    Accusations rejected

    The authorities accuse Gen Fonseka of having worked with what they call anti-government forces, but no specific charges against him have been brought.

    In a joint statement to the magistrate on Friday, all six suspects rejected the accusations against them and denied being involved in any crime.

    Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) officials told the court that it was essential to keep them in custody while their investigations continued.

    The court remanded the six until 26 March.

    At least 53 supporters of Gen Fonseka, many of them serving or retired military officials, were arrested by police after he lost the 26 January presidential election.

    The courts have released at least 23 of them.
    BBC

  47. Manawadu led oiur soldiers to mayhem and the real reasin for his transfer.Chief of Staff chandrasiri was ignored and Jayasuriya was appointed as commander over 9 more people. Prasad Samarasinghe benifited from going to UK Sri lankan High Commission. Daya Ratnayake and so many have been used by the Government to court marshall process of the General when General himself has reprimanded them when in service for their wrong doing. can he ever get Justice. He will only get Bull shit and not Justice.

    It is so unfortunate to observe that the government approach to this issue. You wait and see teh People Power will raise its heads very soon. JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL THEN.

  48. What Natural Justice or Fair Justice the Tamils have got from the hands of the Sinhalese right from 1948.

    What justice they got for the various pogroms, Jaffna library burning, for the Welikade, for the gouging of the eyes of the Kuttimani, for the aerial bombardment of the civilian areas etc etc.

    For the Tamils the justice should not only be done but also seen to be done by the Almighty.

  49. Hi David,
    Do you ever sleep? Good analysis though! SF is being held as a matter of expedience. A Lot of people are talking about due judicial process. It remains to be seen to what extend the judicial process has been interfered with, although there is a fair indication of where it is going.

  50. Court martials are almost always bias. Ask any army officer. Usually punshment is already decided even before a court martial is started. The judge advocate is under the command of the Army Commander. Just like the CJ post is decided by the president the post of judge advocate in the army is decided by the Commander. The tradition is that most senior person in the army legal department is appointed as the judge advocate.

    Currently there are two women officers holding the most senior posts. But few days before Sarath Fonseka was arrested there roles were reversed by the army commander. Director Legal became the Judge advocate and the vice versa. The reason?? The previous judge advocate was seen as friendly towards the former army commander. So you could see that gov and the Gen Jayasooriya has done their ground work before arresting SF. The judgment is anybodies guess!

    99% of the military courts verdicts are overturned by civil courts when challenged. Ref to Brig Wijesiri’s case. Most of the court martials are against poor soldiers and they hardly challenge it.

    Usually what happens is that commander or the senior officer ask the army legal department whether punishing somebody is legal or not. If the legal department says yes he is punished. The advise of the legal department is not always correct. The reason is simple. There are no clever lawyers in the army. If you are clever you won’t join the army! There are only old lawyers in the army.

  51. Unless one advocates an international war crimes tribunal for SLA, why would be willing to testify against one? Furthermore, he implied in more than one occasion during the election campaign that GR committed war crimes and that he would not protect him. What a bastard!

    He was asked in an interview if he would testify before a duly constituted international war crimes tribunal. He answered he would. If he had answered no he would have committed a crime under Sri Lankan law, as he would be if he protected GR for war crimes as you seem to suggest.

  52. 56. Mahesh:-What Natural Justice or Fair Justice the Tamils have got from the hands of the Sinhalese right from 1948.
    ——————————————
    Mate we can argue about the atrocities commited by both parties till the cows come home and we can all live hating one another and blaming each other. If that is going to be your forward path, so be it. But look at history as it often repeat itself. The USA bombed Germany and Japan to submission in WW2, but at the end, it was USA which built these countries up to the current level. Does the current Japs or Germans go on bucketing USA endlessly for the war crimes they had committed?

    41. Chandra | PROF GL. HE IS A ARSE HOLE.!!!!!!!
    ——————————————-
    Mate, you are displaying your ignorance. DBS is right. He is probably the most educated Lawyer in SL. One cannot get a doctorate in constitutional law by bull sh..ing. However in this case, the gentleman may be doing something very very immoral and unethical by supporting the MR regime in the persecution of SF. But on the other hand he may be genuinely convinced that SF has broken the law.

    58. nandana :-99% of the military courts verdicts are overturned by civil courts when challenged.
    ——————————————————
    I am not sure of the 99% but a large number are overturned as I have stated also in my previous submission.

  53. He was asked in an interview if he would testify before a duly constituted international war crimes tribunal. He answered he would. If he had answered no he would have committed a crime under Sri Lankan law, as he would be if he protected GR for war crimes as you seem to suggest.

    For man who said he didn’t understand the legal provision of CDS post, surely it cannot be that he answered YES taking into account all the legal nuances.

    SF was asked that question knowing quite well the rift between him and the government with the objective of using his defection to fix GR and MR. Chances are he may have been offered a deal by the UN or US for testifying against GOSL. Given the stupidity he has displayed recently he is quite capable of doing that.

    I hope we can agree that if the west is genuinely interested in prosecuting war crimes they should start with themselves rather than this country. Furthermore, what is a war crime when committed by GOSL is mere collateral damage when done by US or NATO. Besides, if GR was indeed guilty of war crimes, there would be a whole lot fewer Tamils left in the North. In this context, the stand taken by SF is nothing but treason.

  54. 60. Don

    Mate we can argue about the atrocities commited by both parties till the cows come home and we can all live hating one another and blaming each other. If that is going to be your forward path, so be it. But look at history as it often repeat itself. The USA bombed Germany and Japan to submission in WW2, but at the end, it was USA which built these countries up to the current level. Does the current Japs or Germans go on bucketing USA endlessly for the war crimes they had committed?
    —————————————————-

    First do something man. You people are only good at killing Tamils by passing various acts. Do something and then talk man. Till then only think what you can do to win their heart. Now you have won their land only, not their hearts.

  55. 62. Mahesh:

    First do something man. You people are only good at killing Tamils by passing various acts. Do something and then talk man. Till then only think what you can do to win their heart. Now you have won their land only, not their hearts.

    Since when did N&E become their lands?

    If Tamils want the Sinhalese to win their hearts they can wait for a long long time. For every backlash by the Sinhalese against Tamils you will find a similar incident by the Tamils against Sinhalese. So their hands are as dirty as those of the Sinhalese if not more for during colonial times it is they who conspired against the majority with the British.

    You can either try to understand why after colonial times two communities who lived peacefully for over 2000 years suddenly became acrimonious against each other or you can keep singing your song that Tamils are peace loving people who are been killed and maimed by brutish Sinhalese and praying to the western gods to do justice.

  56. dear jey,
    i agree with your assesment that there appears to be a conflict of interest where four officers have been connected to sf positively or negatively.in the ongoing case in india regarding government of india vs anil dhirubai ambani group some judges excused themselves becoz they held reliance company shares becoz they felt conflict of interest would play a role or atleast it will be perceived as so.it is a world wide phenomena in the court of justice judges should not have conflict of interest unfortunately in third world though court functions,lawyers argue,witnesses appear (some dont becoz they know that they will be killed if they tell the truth) and accused is heard and he is given legal access a semblance of justice only takes place.it is quite apparent in india many history sheeters are killed by police in extra judicial encounters for the simple reason that it is virtually impossible to nail them judicially.this brings into question why justice has prevailed in western countries or rather rule of law continues to prevail whereas in developing societies it does not appear so.it s becoz the society has to become democratic tolerant of dissent and criticism this will have an impact on democratic as well as judicial system which benefits the society as a whole. as long as this does not happen courts will continue to be kangaroo courts where vindictiveness will prevail not genuine justice.

  57. dear jey,
    sorry to comment again and bother you.this is with reference to navin who has asked when north and east had become their lands alluding to tamils obviously.sinhalese since independence have been rather paranoid of tamils hence they have been subjected to discrimination,riots,violence,denial of basic rights that culminated in the emergance of vellupillai prabakaran and now that vp has gone sinhalese can rejoice but does not mean that they should not introspect.it is their society which was responsible for the violence unleashed against tamils for a simple reason that they wanted same rights enjoyed by sinhalese.navin i guess u r referring to retaliation by tamil tigers against sinhalese for the killings of tamils an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind thus said mahathma gandhi he was right in this conflict no one has been gainer.tamils have lost a lot so have sinhalese it is high time that sinhalese introspect and give tamils equal rights.north and east wll continue to be the traditional homeland of tamils that does not mean it is not part of sri lanka i hope navin understands this.

  58. 65. jagan sriram:

    Make no mistake that N & E is not just the homeland of the Tamils but is also part of the homeland of the Sinhalese.

  59. 63. Navin

    Navin, I appreciate your boldness. You came out open revealing your true colours.

    I only wish the entire sinhala community comes out openly like this.

    Then the world will know the plight of the Tamils at your hands and some solution to the Tamils will come.

    Keep it up man. Encourage all your friends to continue to think like this and continue to discriminate against Tamils. That is your true nature.

  60. DBS,
    You have put forward a rather strong argument as to why SF should be tried under civilian law. Part of you argument is based on the current ground realities and the political climate.

    To me the issues are simple. If SF broke military law while serving in the Army, he should face a court martial, as this is allowed up to 6 months of leaving the services. The fact that the government did not do so immediately after he retired tells you that the government was sensitive to the public perception and accusations that they tried to prevent a contender from running.

    I think the situation got worse by the utterly ridiculous statements made by SF threating pretty much everyone who said anything against him with court martial, jail and worse. Here was a guy, let lose on the political arena that he had absolutely no knowledge or interest in, completely deceived by a bunch of scheming politicians, who fooled the him by bringing in rent-a-crowds for meetings and all kinds of opinion polls which really had no meaning. Once he appeared in public, one really saw who he actually was – a fouled mouthed, ego maniac utterly devoid of any shred of charisma with a set of economic policies that no one but a JVPer living in 19th century could have come up with.

    I think in the coming elections, the best weapon that MR and the government could use is Fonseka himself. If MR is smart, he will let the general go, allow him to campaign for the opposition freely. Because every time he opens his mouth he puts both of his feet in there very firmly.

  61. 60. Don ,63. Navin ,

    Mates, If Tamils have given your current argument in 1999 after Elephant pass, and Katunayaka, what world have been your answer?

    You and your government have been crying terrorism all over the world for many years and begged for help from West and the world for years. Now you have got what you wanted (you think ) and thrown the west like a used condom.

    Tamils have changed their way of freedom struggle to different action plan now you want us to forget what you have done to us and mate with you. If you have a short memory span For that we can’t help it. Even when you talk of history you have been only looking or reading partially.

    Is it too much for your intelectually chalanged Mahavamsa mind set mind to comprehend the whole world history of freedom strugles? Even your own history?

    And You can’t supress a Nation/People’s queast for freedom with your military machine or by starving the people FOR EVER.
    Because we understand well that It is your fear psychosis which led you to supress the Tamils and their land from developement . And you tried to bully us out of fear. This made the developement of LTTE and V.P.
    Even now post-war you have neither changed nor developed any courage to change. Your are still fear full that is why you are not prepared give equality and compet equally. ( we understand well the psychology of a bully) (You can see What your President is doing even after winning the election )

    Donot equate American to Sinhalees and world war11 to that of Eelam war. It will revel your ignarance.

  62. 65. jagan sriram | February 28th, 2010 at 3:39 am
    dear jey,
    sorry to comment again and bother you.this is with reference to navin who has asked when north and east had become their lands alluding to tamils obviously.sinhalese since independence have been rather paranoid of tamils

    Sinhalese only knows or achieved to kill Tamils but they like to suck up to Indians pakis Iranians.

  63. 60. Don ,63. Navin

    ,” it was USA which built these countries up to the current level. Does the current Japs or Germans go on bucketing USA endlessly for the war crimes they had committed?”

    Dear Sinhala Mates,
    Why are you running away from the truth? If we are going to build a healthy long lasting friendship we canot have a relationship built on lies and hiding the truth.

    We as Tamils and for that mater even Tigers did not deny that druring this asymetrical war they bombed Srilankan capital etc. You are still dening. Your ministers instructed and over seen bombing and burning down of Jaffna library ( I have seen It with my own eyes Lalith Athulathmudali and Cyril Mathews sporting a base ball cap.) If your leaders So called educated and democretically elected have done in the past you only talk about terrorism by Tigers (who canot go Oxford and get educated like you minister or Your presiden’s son to UK) .but not wanting to talk about SL army and Sinhala terrorism.

    If we are going to forget the past and to build a foward thinking future first of all find the truth on both sides. And we need an umpire or a refree why can’t it be UN.

    Are you dening the were no war crimes comited by your Gov or military ?. If yes Then why accept Tigers also did not commit any terrorism ? Is that possible or acceptible to your mind?

    What your Secretary of Defence told arrogantly recently to a Singapore media. No body is going to investigate warcrimes in Srilanka or any where else and I am not going to allow it.

    Do you think we can be mates in one country any more???? I leave it to you to answer

  64. What is the point of having Military Rules and Regulations if these are not used.Srilankan Army now is one of the biggest and strongest in our region on a per capita basis.Strict enforcement of rules and regulations are more important now than ever before.

    Fonseka,s prognosis does not look healthy according to the leaked information in the evidence dossier that has been just completed.And that only relates to the misconduct whilst still in uniform

    The breaking of exchange control regulations ,holding large sums of undeclared foreign currencies are obviously punishable offences under civil law. Fonseka and his family members must be brought before civil courts to face these charges as well.

    On top of these serious offences ,the revelations coming from the CID investigations are a remarkable list of suspicious illegal deeds by Fonseka and his close allies.The designated Defence secretary of Fonseka Ranil regime is a convicted crimianal who is on an extradition warrant by Belgian courts.

    Another close aide, an ex General is gone under ground with millions of Rupees given by Fonseka.

    These are only a few among a list of other unbelievable deeds of Fonseka and his coalition.

    Ranil the designated exec. PM would not even talk to Fonseka now.

    Even the best buddy and the architect of this deal of the century in Srilankan politics the brilliant Mangala has hung him out to dry and taken refuge under the elephant.

    According to non government main English daily’s in Colombo it looks to me that only Somawansa and his few JVP are the only suckers left to carry the can.

    Thank God that the majority Sinhala citizens did not get sucked in.

  65. In the Sri Lankan context, will it make any difference whether SF be tried in a military court or in the normal process. If he survives the trial, his fate is already sealed. So do not bother too much over these legal niceties.

    If DBSJ is correct, then the the most learned Prof Pieries also shall know that and he would have distance himself from the military government. Who knows as to what is going to happen one day to Prof Pieries at the hands of Rajapakse brothers.

    They all are bunch of criminals. So why you all bothering too much. go and have a life at the beach.

  66. Nicely done, A DECEPTIVE headline to get evryone to read it and then a systematic blackening of Fonseka’s name and redemption for the anti Fonseka camp whos names have been carefully noted by the public due to SOMETHING of value coming from our 4th estate !

    Sorry about it but you can’t convince me !

    Dont be sorry.Not to worry. Why would I waste my time trying to straighten a mongrel’s tail……DBSJ

  67. If there is adequate evidence to find SF guilty of the charges levelled gainst him or at some stage that will be levelled gainst him, then, whether it be a Court Martial or a Criminal Court constituted for the civilians, he will , in the end be found guilty. However, as this APPEARS to be a long term political strategy, it is advisable to try him before a civilian court. As it is a better political strategy that may attract more votes.

    But if there is not enough evidence to find him guilty, in the given circumstances, given the individuals involved in the investigations, political strategy would dictate that he be tried by a Court Martial, for then, a conviction will be guaranteed. But this political strategy will be executed at the expense of votes at the up coming general elections.

    Some perceived the Presidential Election results as a dark cloud, but most certainly therein lies a silver lining . A choice between two evils. The lesser of the two evils may have won.

    It is the media’s role to write about jokers who should not be voted in and the individuals who should be voted in at the next elections. My view is that , as a rule the pole vaulters should not be voted in and the individuals who possess a blemished reputation should not be voted in. The media has the biggest duty to guide the voters during this period.

  68. If SF has so many enemies in the army someone from the other forces has to head the court martial proceedings. But SF had also condemned the Navy and Air Force in the past. So we have to bring somebody else from another country but again SF has critizised many countries and some countries are being suspected of his pals and the arguements can go on.

    And the matter becomes more complicated if the Trial by Media pattern goes on. If all the Judges and civilians who read the elaborate articles on his case are disqualified from being Judges or Juries in his trial, military or otherwise, he would benefit unfairly. As the matter is in front of the Court /s now, its best to wait and see.

    From a political perspective, the court martial rulings could cashier him and he would be called just Fonseka instead of General Fonseka and thus lose his clout amongst the masses. That would harm him more politically than any severe punishments envisaged from the Civil or Crimimal Courts and thats probably the reason they are going for him in both fronts.

  69. 72. panamkottai:- friend, you have become very emotional in this debate. It is better to be logical. If you read my previous submission, I am admitting that both sides committed crimes. Not one side.

    You say tigers are truthful unlike the Sinhalese. So did they admit the killing of Rajive, Kadiragarma or Neelan? They opted for peace in 2002 and from the next day started collecting arms and building bunkers. They conned several cease fires and finally when they were beaten, they wanted a ceasefire which GOSL refused!!.

    You say Sinhala leaders are educated in oxford. Well look at the children of the Federal party politicians and other Tamil pollies you will find the situation not better. I can remember my Tamil friends telling the names of the politicians and what their children are doing when all the time, these politicians were telling the Tamils don’t learn Sinhala etc etc Some of their children were getting educated in UK and I met one of them!

    War crimes were committed by both sides and the Tamil LTTE killed their own Tamil leaders. Are you denying that? They were the most ruthless terrorist organization in the world and the majority Tamils supported them thinking they will attain dream of Eelam. When they failed, now there is another story as how cruel the GOSL was! When LTTE was going on a killing rampage, there were no war crimes committed? Why didn’t we even hear the moderate Tamil voices? Recently a Tamil lady told me how her daughter who wanted to be a doctor was taken away while she was kicked to the ground by LTTE and in 3 months the girl was dead. What crimes were these?

    Prabakaran was given the north and east on a platter by Chandrika but he rejected it and as gratitude tried to kill her. She is living with one eye for the rest of her life. Then she got Neelan Thiruchelvam and Proff G.L. Pieris to make the 13th amendment to give more autonomy to Tamils. LTTE Tamils killed a great man, Neelan. RW with whom TNA joined hands recently opposed the amendment. Even in recent times. TNA, the proxy of LTTE, to get revenge from MR for the defeat of LTTE supported SF against him and lost. At least they should not have taken sides as DBS once stated. What does this show?

    Mate, it is easy to throw sh..t at the Sinhalese but this shows the Tamils also got it very very wrong. Even when Anton Balasingham was trying to persuade VP to take a moderate stand he refused & that cooked his goose.
    So before you try to fling mud at others, why don’t you try to clean your own back yard? I don’t think the Sinhalese are worried if Tamils don’t become mates with them for peace but I can tell you that many of my Tamil friends in SL just want that. So that may mean you people don’t live in SL and have no clue to the ground situation. Many Tamils living in the luxury of the west do not know the feelings of their brothers in SL.

  70. Comment 72.

    Murder of civilians in peace time is more serious than killings in combat during war.
    If you are so serious about an investigation into GOSL, your diaspora can set an example by investigating all the LTTE killings of civilians, starting from Mr Alfred Duraiappa.
    And issue public apologies individually with appropriate compenstion to their families and pay with LTTE funds hoarded in Foreign lands, before the GOSL get their hands on them.
    Then you will have the moral high ground to ask the GOSL to investigate any civilian deaths during the last stages of the war.
    This is a better strategy than going behind Fonsekas and Millibands. As Gotabaya Rajapaksa correctly said Srilanka on their watch will never bow down to outsiders.

  71. I read this article in DM 1st.

    You have proven your point beyond any doubt why SF should be tried in civil courts not militiary.

    Yet the small brains of the Rjapakse’s will not accept to go back in thier foolish decision… ‘political blunder’ as some writer puts it.

    hope many SLankans will have enough intelligence to percieve your points in the argument.

    From my experience over the past 25 yrs or more SL voter had been impulsive than been rational in casting thier vote…. so same pattern will continue this time too.

  72. Having read the SLAF role in the fight against the LTTE. I can’t believe how pathetic and stupid the Srilankan leaders were until the arrival of Rajapaksa.

    SLAFwas given antiquated aircraft whilst the LTTE built up a formidable Navy ,Army and an Air capability.Under Ranil’s CFA. the military build up and the fortification of defences were carried out with total impunity and the added protection of theEuropean Peace Keepers.

    Amongst all these favors to the LTTE. Fonseka lead a brave fight against all odds. The LRPF took the fight to the tigers effectively.

    The leadership and the tactics of Fonseka after Rajapkasa took over is legendary. He is a hero without doubt.

    However this brave man was consumed by anger jealousy greed and revenge. The politicians who were on the verge of extinction , took advantage of this man’s confused state of mind and used him as a pawn to save their positions.

    Now he has been abandoned by the main backers because they know that he is an electoral liability.

    If Fonseka apologizes to the nation for his misguided deeds over the last few months.and express publicly his desire to retire as a non political person. I am sure the majority of Sinhalese will forgive him and even respect him for his part in the war against terrorism.

    If he continues his silly ways there won’t be any difference in the outcome whether he faces a Military or civil court.You don’ need forensic experts to prove his misconduct while in uniform.and after.

  73. 78. Don

    Why dont the sinhalese not feel that they discrimanated against the tamils by passing sinhala only, standardisation, jaffna library, many pogroms 1983. bc-dc pact and their annulment.

    dont the sinhalese dont have any dirt in their hands. what about the budhist monks. their role is also very substantial. first these came then came the vp.

    if you are sincere then you will also talk about your mistakes.

    if the tamils living in sri lanka do not want to live with you then sinhalese have to worry. you said that sinhalese will not worry. that is wrong.

    a substantial portion of the island was in the hands of the tamils before the arrival of dutch.

    tamils have been ruling off and on even the entire island. the tamil influence is there throughout the length and breadth of the island.

    nobody will accept that the sinhalese are the absolute masters of the entire island and they can force their culture on the other minorities.

    why dont you comment on this sir. when you enacted sinhala only act and standardisation you also legitimised genocide. why dont you also comment on that also sir.

    if husband and wife have unresolvable grievances they can divorce then why cant the tamils separate from your country. for this reason atleast the sinhalese should try to patch up with the tamils. leave alone patching up, i dont find any sense of remorse for the past by the sinhalese. may be one or two may be exception but the majority who are posting views here are only like that.

    you cant throw all the blame at the feet of the tamils and the vp. no sane person will accept that.

  74. Ex Lankan ,
    You have short memory pal, Various Tamil militants including LTTE did not kill during peace time they decleared a liberation war against Sinhala occupiers and its collobrates since early 1970s. And during this time also ther were some colateral damage to Tamils and civilians as well.

    But befoe that what war the sinhala Thugs and goons like you and your Government , Sl army etc waged aganst Tamil civilians on the streets and Tamil homes and Tamils business, in Srilanka.? How many people you have killed, raped, homes, temples and business looted,or burned since 1948? Think pal think if you have a brain.

  75. Dear Sinhalese:(Don,81. TCK ,Ex Lankan ,Kalu Albert,Navin )

    Tamils killings since 1948 to 1970s were not civilin deaths in peace time in your dictonary) Remember in 1977 after the elcetions JRJ Your president decleared a war on Tamils If you want war you will have war if you want peace you will have peace.

    I read the following in this blog comments earlier very eloquently put it. I have copied it for you with some editing for your information.

    I understand that you are upset by us. Indeed, it appears that you are quite upset, even angry.

    Today, it is the Tamil Diaspora and International community yesterday “barbarism of LTTE terrorism”, before it was the Federal party, even before that it was the “favouritism of the British”. It appears that Tamils, who could achieve equality and who, therefore, could live, upset you.

    Indeed, every few years you seem to become upset by us. You were upset in 1956, in 1958, in 1961 and in 1977 and went on acts of arson, rape, pillage, murder and plain barbarity and we were scornfully asked to go to the Federal party for help.

    Of course, dear Sinhalese, long before there was a Tamil tiger, we the Tamil people – upset you. And we go back a long way in the history of Sinhala upset. We upset the “Great” Sinhala King Dutugemunu and you still use his “history” to teach your young ones to be more upset by us.

    Reds are upset and monks are upset. The radical Sinhalese are upset and the gentle “Sinhalese moderates” are upset. We upset the Sinhala Hamudawa who massacred tens of thousands of us; we upset the Sinhala police who, collaborated with rioters and killed, burnt and slaughtered untold numbers of us.

    And it is because we became so upset over upsetting you, dear Sinhalese, that we decided to leave you – in a manner of speaking – and establish a Tamil state. The reasoning was that living in close contact with you, as resident-strangers, we upset you, irritate you and disturb you. What better notion, then, than to leave you (and thus love you) – and have you love us and so, we decided to come home – home to the same land we were driven to in 1983.
    Having left you and your pogroms and riots, having taken our leave from you to live alone in our own little state of Tamil Eelam, we continue to upset you.

    Well, dear Sinhalese, consider the reaction of a normal Tamil from Tamil Eelam:

    In 1956 and 1958 and 1961 and 1977, there was no “Tamil terrorism” to impede peace between Tamils and Sinhalese. Indeed, there was no Kotias (Tigers) to upset anybody. Nevertheless, the same Sinhalese slaughtered thousands of Tamils in Hingurakgoda, Polonnaruwa, Minneriya and Colombo. Indeed, in 1958 so many Tamil men, women and children were mercilessly hunted down in Polonaruwa Sugar plantation.

    Dear Sinhalese, why did you massacre hundreds of Tamils in one day in 1958? Why did you carry out the1977 pogrom and made 75,000 refugees. Could it have been your anger over Tiger terrorism in 2007? And why were thousands of Tamil men, women and children slaughtered in pogroms between 1956-83? Was it because Sinhalese were upset over Tiger terrorism in 1996?

    The same twisted faces, the same hate, the same cry of “para demala” (foreign Tamils!) that we hear and see today, were seen and heard then. The same people, the same dream – Sinhala Buddhism only. What you failed to do yesterday, you dream of today.

    Dear Sinhalese, you stood by and cheered on when the Sinhala police burnt down our beloved Jaffna library in 1981.
    You stood by when Sinhala police massacred attendees at an International Tamil Cultural event in Jaffna.

    You contributed and stood by in 1983 genocide, wildly cheered by wild mobs in every Sinhala town and city in your land.

    You have massacred 40000 Tamil civilians and incarcerated nearly 3 hundred thousand Tamil civilian without adequate basic facilities to live under barbed wire fences.

    Still you were not satisfied and you were up set by the Tigers who were up set by you and tried to give you a taste of your own medicine to you.

    Now the Tigers are out, still you are upset by the Tamil Diaspora, International none governmental organisations and any one who talks of Tamil killings,war crimes, rights, Justice, equality, Peace, Etc.

    It looks as you got upset umpteen times in the past and now you do not know why and against what or whom to get upset and your upset all the time with every think. And you are not only beginning to get upset with your self but disseminating lies about every thing and body up set you Including UN , common wealth officers in where your Government is a member. I donot know weather you will be in peace with you even if all the Tamils were exterminated.

  76. SF must now realise that it is a totally different ball game in politics. He needs to deviate from his military attitude if he wants to succeed in his political career. Prof. G.L. Pieris is an interesting character who was famously branded as “Package Pappa” after he drafted his devolution package which was rejected by the LTTE and heavily criticized by some of his own party members. He might be a legal expert but I doubt he has ever practised law unlike the legendary Dr Colvin R De Silva. A person who is accused of attempting to overthrow the government is now being charged under the exchange control act. What a farce, Professor?

  77. Re: Comment 53:

    The Army Act applies only to persons in military service. This is clear when one reads the several provisions of the Army Act. As mentioned in Comment 53 the only exception to the above is found in Sec. 57 of the Army Act. It provides that if a person in military service commits an offense and thereafter ceases to be in military service, he can however be tried under the Army Act provided that such action is taken within a period of six months from the date of commission of the offense. This section further provides that there no such time limit for the offense of mutiny, desertion or fraudulent enlistment, meaning that service personnel who have left the Army can still be tried for the said offenses without any limitation of time.

    It is also interesting to note that the offenses for which a person in military service can be punished under the Army Act are clearly listed under the Act along with the scale of punishment. These are offenses which serving military personnel are likely to commit in the discharge of one’s duties and not offenses that an ex-military officer or one who had tendered his resignation (and awaiting till it became effective) can ever be expected to commit.

    Supposing Sarath Fonseka had committed an offense under the Army Act, the Army will necessarily have to establish that the time period of 6 months had not elapsed from the date of commission of the offense to the date he was taken into Army custody, in order to take action against him under Sec. 57 considering his status as a non-military person.

    To find out whether the Army is still within the time period under Sec. 57, it is necessary to find out the offense for which Sarath Fonseka is being charged (i.e. an offense punishable under the Army Act) and when exactly that offense was committed. It is even more interesting to note that the Army is yet to serve Sarath Fonseka with a charge sheet, which is a clear violation of the provisions of the Army Act as it specifically provides that the accused should be informed of the charges within 48 hours of being taken into custody.

    If the Army cannot pin him down under the limited application of Sec. 57, would it be possible for them to try him for the offense of ‘mutiny’? Since there is no clear definition for ‘mutiny’ under our Army Act, one can seek guidance from the United States Military Code of Justice which defines ‘mutiny’ as follows:

    Art. 94. (§ 894.) 2004 Mutiny or Sedition.

    (a) Any person subject to this code (chapter) who—

    (1) with intent to usurp or override lawful military authority, refuses, in concert with any other person, to obey orders or otherwise do his duty or creates any violence or disturbance is guilty of mutiny;
    (2) with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of lawful civil authority, creates, in concert with any other person, revolt, violence, or other disturbance against that authority is guilty of sedition;
    (3) fails to do his utmost to prevent and suppress a mutiny or sedition being committed in his presence, or fails to take all reasonable means to inform his superior commissioned officer or commanding officer of a mutiny or sedition which he knows or has reason to believe is taking place, is guilty of a failure to suppress or report a mutiny or sedition.

    A similar interpretation is given under the British Army Act of 1955.

    Therefore, it is clear that there should have been some POSITIVE ACTION against the government or the President by the accused, by way of an uprising, disobeying orders, creating a disturbance or by some other violence or by the failure to suppress a mutiny. There is certainly no such proof against a 4 star General who served the Army with valour!

    Sarath Fonseka is a decorated war hero, whose resignation was accepted by the President and who was given a farewell by the Army which he served for 40 years. If there was even the slightest doubt of him having carried out a ‘mutiny’ (which is not easy to hide from the general public), he would not have been allowed to leave the Army nor would it have been possible for him to contest the Presidential election!

    Considering the limited application of the Army Act to an ex-military person and the service rendered by General Sarath Fonseka, it is obvious that the Army in trying to court martial him, is either being mislead by wrong advice or is deliberately disregarding the advice of knowledgeable people in order to go ahead with its ‘witch hunt’.

    It is unfortunate that due to the misguided actions of a few, the country at large and its reputation will suffer in the international arena. This ‘witch hunt’ may even be the beginning of a series of such revenge pay backs or settling of scores in the future, as nobody, not even a ruler can hold the whip forever.

  78. #83 Mahesh

    I thought this blog was about General Fonseka’s legal issues. But let my try to address some of your comments.

    I think everyone needs to talk about their own mistakes. You say, Buddhist monks came first before VP. No they did not. Original sin came at the independence negotiations when your politicians demanded 50-50 representation. The mistrust began there.

    You say Buddhist monks role in fermenting ethnic unrest is substantial. I don’t think so. It was the politicians – both Singhala and Tamil, that bears a substantial responsibility for this mess.

    Nobody is forcing Singhala culture on the Tamils. Tamil media, Tamil culture has always had its place in the Sri Lankan society. When you say that we Singhalese is forcing our culture on you Tamils, can you show one instance when Tamil culture has been suppressed? Did the Singhalese ever ban a Tamil radio station or banned the publication of Tamil books and suppressed Tamil art and crafts? On the other hand, it is the reverse. Do you know how many Singhalese kids learn Bartha Natyam? Would you call that suppression of Tamil culture in Sri Lanka. Do you realize that a Singhalese person was the one and only to ever address the UN general assembly in Tamil? If Singhalese are hell bent on irradicating the Tamil culture from the island, I must say after 60 years, we must be really bad at doing that.

    You talk about Singhala only act and Standardization. Yes they were discriminatory. But they have been repealed. Yes, the Jaffna library was a huge tragedy which should not have happened. But to say that that was a part of a systematic effort by the Singhalese to destroy Tamil culture is absurd. I suggest that you read the account of this that DBS published on this very same blog some time ago.

    I don’t think anyone is asking that the Singhalese be accepted as absolute masters of the island. I think what most people want is a society where everyone is treated equally. The only person that came out and openly said that recently was General Fonseka but your local Tamil politicians had absolutely no problem in working with him. That goes to show the nature of the politicians that we have – whether they are Singhalese or Tamil they will use and manipulate you.

    You throw the term “genocide” very freely, which is a fashionable thing for the Tamil Diaspora to do these days. Given that most of the Sri Lankan Tamil population lives and works among the Singhalese and not in those “so called Traditional Tamil areas”, your claim is just a hollow propaganda mantra used to hoodwink the Western countries. It is also an insult to the Jews who perished by the millions in the German concentration camps and it is also an insult to the memory of the nearly a million Rwandan’s that were killed in the 90s.

    If the husband and wife have irresolvable grievances they do divorce. However they do not separate the house into two separate areas and try to live there under one roof with a wall dividing house in the middle. Try saying that Singhalese and Tamils have irresolvable differences to the hundreds of thousands of Tamils that live and work in the Singhalese areas and see what they say.

    All this is not to say that Sri Lanka is a paradise of ethnic relations. There are problems, they are not small or simple. However, they will not be resolved by screaming “genocide” at every turn.

  79. Dear Panamkottai (85), I am not upset and I am sure the others too.In fact I have never been happier than now regarding the future of Srilanka and its citizens although I don,t have any material interests there.

    More Tamil brothers and sisters live in Colombo than the North and East combined.In fact if not for your Eelaam ,the Colombo population would be 90 percent Tamil instead of 70..
    Besides Doctors.Engineers and Accountants would have been doing the jobs which they are qualified for instead of working as porters,cleaners and factory hands.

    Srilanka belongs to the people who live there. The rest including myself who have taken foreign citizenships have no right to dictate what is good or bad for them.

    Sinhalese never go around calling Tamil people names unlike what we experience in white man’s land. Some of my teachers were young grads from Jaffnna who did not know a word of Sinhala even thogh they were attached to schools in thhe South.
    Of course things changed with the brutal and inhuman acts of your beloved outfit.Still the general population did not go and attack innocent Tamils despite your exaggerated claims.
    Mind you there were no incidents since 1983.
    Also you ought to remember every Sinhalese reprisal although totally unacceptable resulted from actions by trouble makers acting on behalf of the politicians and later directly by Prabakaran.

  80. # 83 Mahesh

    I like the way you are verbally whipping to make the commentators accept the violence inflicted on the Tamils by the barbarians during the period prior to the formation of LTTE.

    Let us see if any one of these guys here on the blog accept fully the violence perpetrated against the Tamils before the inception of LTTE.

    As always, what they will come up with is irrational arguments which reveals not only stupidity , but their stubbornness and arrogance as well.

  81. Dear DBS, I would be grateful if you would permit this (hopefully) “reasonable, fair-minded” person to intervene in the ongoing discussion with a series of personal observations.

    1) Is Sarath Fonseka guilty of planning a coup d’etat? Quite probable.

    2) Is Sarath Fonseka guilty of corruption (in its many forms)? Quite probable

    3) Is Sarath Fonseka likely to receive a fair hearing through a military court martial? No

    4) Is Sarath Fonseka likely to receive a fair hearing through a civilian legal process? Unsure

    5) Would SF have been charged with *ANY* offence had he continued to support MR? Definitely no

    6) Would all the charges against SF be dropped if he were to switch political allegiance in favour of the govt tomorrow? Emphatically yes

    7) Are the charges against SF, then, the manifestation of a political vendetta? Most definitely yes

    8) What would all this say, then, about the scope for truth, justice and liberty in Sri Lanka? You decide.

  82. 85. panamkottai:- I just cannot see the fruitfulness of having any dialog with you under the racial tones you address. You have conveniently side stepped the issues I have raised and quoted some propaganda article probably from the Tamil Tigers. I do not wish to cast pearls before swine.

    86. Liyanage:- Yes you are probably correct. Colvin R Desilva was a constitutional lawyer among other things and was proficient in arguing his case on his feet, a quality old “musket” (as the boys used to call G.L.Pieris when he was in school) lacked. However, it is quite possible to charge SF violating exchange control regulations under civil law and charge for over throw of government under military law or even under civil law. He can be charged under many counts no problem because GOSL has got unlimited funds for these adventures.

  83. 87. Rathnavali :-Therefore, it is clear that there should have been some POSITIVE ACTION against the government or the President by the accused, by way of an uprising, disobeying orders, creating a disturbance or by some other violence or by the failure to suppress a mutiny. There is certainly no such proof against a 4 star General who served the Army with valour!
    ——————————————————–

    I am glad you wrote.

    Firstly I believe SF was given charges or the reasons of his arrest and under what act it was done by the arresting officer. It was supposed to have read out to him. Whether this fulfills the requirement of the law I do not know.

    Secondly, there would be statements I believe which would be presented by GOSL from people who will say SF and his supporters were trying to take over the government after the elections & their awareness of these actions & preparations such as the catch of arms found near a Colombo temple, ex commandoes gathered at a particular place awaiting further instructions from SF etc. Whether these would fulfill the POSITIVE ACTION I do not know.

    Can you pl advice?

  84. #82-Kukul Charlie

    If Fonseka apologizes to the nation for his misguided deeds over the last few months.and express publicly his desire to retire as a non political person. I am sure the majority of Sinhalese will forgive him and even respect him for his part in the war against terrorism.
    —————————————————————————-

    What you say does not add up. 4.2 million Srilankans consisting of 40 per cent of the voters sure do not need that apology. If you look at the contribution made to government coffers by that 40 per cent then probably it might be more than 60 per cent. You have to also take into consideration the regime using all state resources at its disposal and also imprisoning the elections commissioner and his family in the presidential compound on the election day and the day after, according to the sydney morning Herald article.

    I agree with you that he made a few statements like an idiot, but i believe he did it to defend himself against the Rajapakshes rather than an attack on the country. His 40 year track record speaks for itself.

    However iam not a supporter of him. His grandiose plans of increasing the armed forces to 400000 was the exact opposite of the direction we should be taking in the future. Since independence we have had a lot of well meaning idiots who have taken this country backwards and he would have joined that list. Also iam not sure of his mental stability. If indeed the man is not quite right in the head what he is going through now will only make it worse. The government should let bygones be bygones and not hound him and let him live the rest of his life peacefully. That is the least they can do for a war hero however misguided he may be.

    I don’t think this will happen because forgiveness has never been in the vocabulary of our politicians. If Mahinda does that he will be the first to deviate from vengeful politics.

  85. However the killing of the 14 journalists and the beatings the others received is very troubling. Those who did it have to be brought to justice. That is the least that the people can do for them. It will be a grave mistake if the people think that those episodes can be allowed to pass over.

    If the people want to be continously ignorant of what is happening in their own country, then sure forget about what happened to the jounalists. You can’t have the cake and eat it too. Who is going to feed you the information if you let them get killed.

  86. It’s funny reading some of these comments and how they seemed to end up with Sinhala Tamil issue, when the article they are responding to is nothing about that issue… Other than the write is a well balanced Tamil journalist, there’s nothing in the article about SInhala Tamil agendas… I guess some things never change!

    To me reading this article only tells me one thing.. actually confirms that SF is a pure Egomaniacal BRUTE, who was hell bent over going after anyone who didn’t do what he sees as right. It clearly states that these officers involved in his arrest, getting evidence etc. were treated wrongly by SF, while they were doing their job. It wasn’t like they were ill treated for doing something wrong. THEY DID THEIR JOB HONOURABLY.

    So a point can also be made that why do we now suddenly think they would be doing something wrong like taking revenge, just because it happens to be SF, their former commander who is on the opposite side. Can these HONOURABLE MEN be just doing their job as they did before, when SF came after them?

    I see DBSJ’s point that Justice not only needs to be served but also be seen as being done. His point is by having these Officers involved it looks as if it’s a witch hunt, by the same people who were wronged by SF. So what is the other option, have him tried by the ones who favour SF? Besides if we tried to look for OFFICER in the SL Army who was NOT wronged by this BRUTE of a General, the chances are that it will be a very long and tiring search, as the ones I know have nothing good to say about him.

    It all depends how you look at it… Some would call this witch hunting, revenge by the people who were wronged by SF.. while other would say it’s ironic, befitting or even Karma at work. After all what goes around seems to have finally come around to greet General SF!

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    The whole point in this article is that in the interests of credibility Fonseka should not be ubjected to military justice.If he is to be tried (IF and only IF)it should be in a civil ourt under civil and not military law. Tyhere should be open access to the public and media.

  87. “Pahara minihek” and “Kalaweddek”. ” Oo pitipasse paththen avilla, kanuwe dige ei danagahagena magen samawa illanna.

    Great words from the man who failed to grab the Presidency. $527,000 in cash, landrover defenders, unpaid satellite phone bills over 2million rupees bilking the Army making private calls on state expense to US, luxury vehicles costing way more than salary possible in US, BMW, Range Rover and Hummer, all that the JVP touted as coming from an honest man fit to be President.

    What goes around comes around. This man’s super ego and mean spiritedness is well known. His attempts to slam Ranil Wickremesinghe in order to get his extension and his commandership when Chandrika was President is well known. Chandrika’s reaction to him was well known(a cad who will soon be sitting on my seat) and his reaction to her is also well known(that bloody bitch I will fix her, ) and fix her he did once he curried favour with Gotabaya R to get what he wanted. He did not stop at anything. There is no level he did not stoop down to. He removed Chandriaks’s security, He got Shanta Kottegoda Kicked out. His appetite for women and his rape issue was on file that is what caused Chandrika K to react so negatively to him in 2005. But then her hatred of Mahinda R got the better of her and she shamelessly endorsed SF to get some favours in case SF won. It did not happen.

    This man is not a gentleman. That is why he never could have got the VSV . Ask Keith Noyahr the story.

    Why has SF or his wife or family not been able to explain the $527,000 to people because of all the people he claimed he was honest. We know the govt is full of crooks but if the person who wanted to become President (and then now wants to become our PM) is also tainted. corrupt and arrogant beyond belief who are the people going to vote for? Not the jokers in the JVP; At least RW is honest but he is a loser.. So we are caught between a rock, a hardplace and a cruel hot plate now..

    What was Hashan’s role in laundering money? or in HiCorp?

  88. SF must tell the truth about how Mahinda and Gotabaya helped him and sent 4 COmmandos to protect his family and paid $1500 per each child. He must also explain how that suicide cadre woman got close to him. Why was the main suspect killed in custody? Claimed to have hung himself. This man is extremely vindictive and has serious PTSD. IF he won, MR would have been killed. His hatred for GR came as a result of GR not allowing his ego to go unchecked and not allowing him to grab power.

    Where did the money come from ? The arms deals? the house in USA? paid cash or mortgage? 3 cars?

  89. Inside scoop!!!
    SF fate will depends on present political situation. MR has great influance over militory. He may change and order for Civil trial for SF.

  90. Dear Tamil Friends (Self imposed exiles)

    How many people you think got killed in 83, is it a 50000, 100000, million like in Rewanda. It is less than 3000. In fact looking at the death certificates its 485. How many managed to flee the country from Katunayake airport through predominantly Sinhalese areas because of Sinhalese majority most of whom are humane who protected you. My family got involved in protecting Rajani Thiranagames family during that time, but finally LTTE killed her. What happend in 83 is very bad no one should be treated that way. But same thing happend in Jaffna also during April to May 1983 before the July violance, Business belong to Sinhalese were torched, Sinhalese people were chased away. I can remember I was with my father in one of our shops located in Morawewa area, some sinhalese families came and took refuge there.

  91. 85. panamkottai:

    Please save your tears, exaggerations, half truths and blatant lies for the likes of Brown, Milband and Clinton. You will have to do better than this if you want to make your case with the Sinhalese. Sinhalese do not want to live with you anymore than you want to live with them.
    You are very much welcome to establish a Tamil state but you cannot do that on land that also belongs to Sinhalese.

    I do not justify nor deny violence against Tamils by the Sinhalese and government turning a blind eye when it should have done its duty protect its citizens and their property. Its only a matter of time before Gal Oya (1956), 1958 riots, 1977 riots, Jaffna library (1981), Black July (1983), Welikada (1983), Kalutara (1997), Bindunuwewa (2000) all took place when under colonial influence a 12% minority comes to dominate nearly 60% of the civil service and suddenly the colonial masters are no more to bump up their clout against 75% strong majority… these and other like Sinhala only Act are not mere actions by the Sinhalese against Tamils but reactions by the Sinhalese against Tamils. Sinhalese and their politicians have now realized wrongs on their side. I’m not even going to attempt
    to drive home this point with you. Tamils can either realize that and make things up with the Sinhalese or go after white masters in search of a by gone era. The choice is yours.

    Intimidating the Sinhalese was what put you in this predicament. Surely it cannot be your way out. Its a pity that many of you do not see it that way even after 30 years of terrorism against the majority.

  92. #88-Ranjan from Toronto

    You talk about Singhala only act and Standardization. Yes they were discriminatory. But they have been repealed. Yes, the Jaffna library was a huge tragedy which should not have happened. But to say that that was a part of a systematic effort by the Singhalese to destroy Tamil culture is absurd
    ———————————————————————————————-
    Can you tell me when exactly Sinhala only Act and standardisation has been repealed?

    Can you tell me whether the University admissions are determined by merit and merit only?

    With regard to the jaffna library the sinhalese are not responsible, but the government certainly is. If you don’t call that destroying culture, i wonder what is. Priceless historical records were destroyed. If it was not an attack on culture why target the Library. They could have targeted the public toilets and burnt it down.

    ——————————————————————————-

    101-Navin
    Its only a matter of time before Gal Oya (1956), 1958 riots, 1977 riots, Jaffna library (1981), Black July (1983), Welikada (1983), Kalutara (1997), Bindunuwewa (2000) all took place when under colonial influence a 12% minority comes to dominate nearly 60% of the civil service and suddenly the colonial masters are no more to bump up their clout against 75% strong majority… these and other like Sinhala only Act are not mere actions by the Sinhalese against Tamils but reactions by the Sinhalese against Tamils.

    Intimidating the Sinhalese was what put you in this predicament
    ————————————————————————————–

    Thanks for listing out astrocities commited by sucessive governments on tamils, but to say that it is a reaction for a 12 % minority dominating 60 per cent civil service is like telling hitting a person is justified for failing to say good morning sir.

    Any way by the time we came to the July 83 riots , that 60 per cent was long gone due to systematic discrimination since independence, and instead of one of the finest civil service’s in Asia we became one of the worst. All the countries that were backwaters at that time like Korea, taiwan, malaysia, singapore etc surged ahead leaving us standing.

    That civil service you condemn was admission through an high standard civil service examination. Now the admission requirements are a high standard of boot licking, political patronage and being friends or connected to the correct people. By world standard we will be ranked as one of the worst whereas at the time of independence and shortly after that we were one of the best.

    Why don’t we have a admission test requirement for basic IQ for public service. Iam not implying this will create more opportunities for tamils, because i don’t think when it boils down to IQ there is much difference in the 2 communities. IQ is more than enough because making people swot and cram stuff is not the way to go in the modern world.

    In fact we can go one step further and land the 3 hour IQ teat on all those in the public service including the parlimentarians and tell them to move over and give a chance to others for the sake of the country, if they fail the test.

    I can visualise some of our ministers and parlimentarians looking at the diagrams with balls and dots and all , and dreaming of their soccer days and saying ” methena thiyenne bole mokadda. IQ test kiyala apiva rawatannda balanawa. Meka football ekak ne.”

    As for intimidating the sinhalese that you mention can you list it out, the same way you listed out the atrocities commited against the tamils, so that we can set one against the other and see whether who is in debit and credit.

  93. 102. shankar:

    Administrative service was just one indicator of kind of suppression Sinhalese had been subjected to at the time. When an external power puts a minority on top of a majority, the moment the external influence is withdrawn, the majority is going to clamp down hard on the minority. That’s what happened when the British left. Sinhala only act, standardization are attempts by the majority to regain its lost ground. When there is accumulated animosity it is easily turned into violence. Then one thing leads to another and violence increases in ferocity each cycle.

    I’m not arguing about the qualify of the civil service. I’m arguing about how its ethnic composition came to be what it was. Surely, its superior quality could not have been because Tamil civil servants are better than Sinhalese. Such an ethnic imbalance whether in civil service or in undergraduate population cannot be created overnight but after decades of discriminatory policies.

    Before standardization in 1970 the Tamil student population in engineering for instance has been as high as 45%. Hence two cut-off marks, a higher one for Tamil medium and lower one for Sinhala were set to rectify this imbalance. The district based quota system first came in 1974. Today, the university admissions are handled on 55% all island merit and 45% district basis quota system– may be its the other way around. This form of admission though percentages may have been different came into effect after 1978 when language based standardization was abandoned. There is nothing wrong with 100% district basis quota system for students from all parts of the island are equally intelligent. The problem is they do not have equal opportunities. Hence in the same way its wrong to disqualify a candidate from less developed district for not been able to compete with a candidate from a more developed district, once a candidate puts lot of effort into his education it is unfortunate if he cannot make anything out of it. There are no easy solutions to these problems and people must understand these rather than label them as discriminatory practices.

    Sinhala Only Act was introduced in 1956. This was amended in 1958 to allow the use of the Tamil language for instruction, admission to public service and administration in N & E provinces. 1978 constitution identified Sinhala as the official language but called both Tamil and Sinhala national languages whatever the latter meant. Then 1987 along with 13th amendment both Tamil and Sinhala were made official languages restoring parity of status.

  94. 90. nostradmus

    Thanks for the comments. I never really wanted to comment harshly in this blog. Only when the overwhelming majority of the Sinhalese who write their views so one sidedly and put all the blame on the Tamils that I get angry.

    As you said rightly, a sense of arrogance is there in them. They do not feel remorse for the wrongs they have committed on the Tamils.

    Above all they say you Tamils you have Tamil Nadu and therefore you go back to Tamil Nadu.

    That is wrong. A person living in a country for a period of 10-15 years acquires natural citizenship of that country. His son or daughter can stand up for the top political office and become the CEO of that country.

    But to say that the Tamils living for centuries in Sri Lanka as Para Damela and asking them to go back is atrocious.

    Even the plantation Tamils are living there for more than a century or atleast for many decades.

    I again dont like the way the Budhist clergy is involving themselves in this politics. They are monks and their duty is to attain nature of Budha.

    Why should they involve in politics..

    They are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

    Mixing politics and religion is a dangerous.

    These are some of the things which make me angry and make me write the way I do.

    Hope things change quickly and I am able to see my Tamil kith and kin happy in the near future.

  95. Comment 102,

    Tamil children study in Tamil medium and the highest achievers get admitted as same as the Sinhalese. Isn’t that MERIT BASED SELECTION ?

    As a natter of fact the standardization is the only avenue for the North and East kids to get into university courtesy of your undisputed leader VP.

  96. District based quotas are to make the University education a level playing ground across the country.

    A student attending a leading school in Colombo has a totally different standard of resources for his or her education than a student in a remote part of the East or the South.Standardization is to iron out this difference and it has nothing to do with the level of intelligence.One must have a some level of intelligence to sit for the AL exam.

    This is widely practiced even in the first word countries with respect to University admissions.

  97. #103- Navin
    There is nothing wrong with 100% district basis quota system for students from all parts of the island are equally intelligent. The problem is they do not have equal opportunities.
    —————————————————————————————–

    Thanks for clearing that one up about the standardisation and sinhala only act. You seem to have a detailed knowledge of these areas.

    I still have a problem about the university admissions. I’am the old fashioned type who still believes in fairness and merit.

    When you say there is nothing wrong with district quota, i wonder how a student let us say for arguments sake feels getting 70 percent and denied entry, while another with 50 percent gets the slot. These are just ball park figures becaause i don’t know the real one. How do we know the difference of 20 per cent justifies the anomaly in facilities. It could be by let us say working through a computer model 10 per cent to be more accurate. These figures are determined i suppose by some genius in the Education Dept.

    So you can see the practical difficulties involved when you ditch the merit system. It gives rise to reverse discrimination and private sector will i’am sure be reluctant to employ these graduate because there will be a perception that they are of poor quality, which may not be true, but you see every action has a reaction. They may not accept your contention that everybody all over the island is equally intelligent unless it is proven to them. As a result the government will have to find them jobs, creating strains on an already bloated public service due to having to find jobs for their supporters. what is the point in churning out unemployable graduates, other than to create anger and frustration when they think of their wasted years shattered hopes.

    As for equal opportunities, let us see what a kid from a less developed are needs to compete with a kid from a more developed area. Though i refer to this as more developed areas compared to developed countries and semi developed countries our so called developed areas are laughable.

    1. He needs a above average IQ. Nothing can be done about that other than to give a brain transplant.

    2. He needs a good school with good facilities and teachers. Why don’t we give that for him either by building it which is an investment for the future or tranferring kids with great potential to good schools on scholarships. Malaysia embarked on that path in a big way long ago and even went to the extent of building hostels for students. China is doing it now. Srilanka also had this some time ago but it was only for a very few highly intelligent characters who after they were transferred used to whack 4 A’s at the Adv level.
    I personally prefer building and investing for the future option because it becomes a permanent asset in the future, instead of all the white elephants and wastage we have at the moment.

    3. Electricity in his home for him or her to study.This is anyway a basic need to that should be anyway provided.

    4. The best of school books and materials. This can be easily provided to the students by the goverment. These can be reused anyway by the government buying it back off the students at a discounted rate.

    5. A good nutritious meal in the school so that the students can concentrate on their studies without belly aches.

    Now all these things are possible Navin except the first one. You have to only eliminate waste and corruption and hey presto you have the money for it.

  98. 102 Shankar:

    Language based standardization for university entry was done away with many years ago. I have said this in this blog before, it was not only Tamil students who were discriminated against by standardization and district quota system. I know, because I was in the first batch to enter the university under this scheme in 1975. There were many that year from Colombo district who had marks at the A-levels just below my marks. They did not get admission. At the same time there were Tamil students who entered university from Mannar and Vanni schools who had much lesser marks. The discrimination was against Jaffna and Colombo. This was an issue between privileged and under-privileged that the Tamil politicians turned into a racial issue, because that was easy money for them.

    Remember the drum beats of racial hatred was beaten not only by Singhalese politicians. Tamils politicians also played that beat very well.

    To argue that Singhalese are trying to wipe the Tamils of Sri Lanka off the face of the island is silly and absurd. If that was true, there would not be any Tamil schools in the country. There would not be any Tamil newspapers, radio and TV stations. All Tamil students would be taught in Singhalese and there would not be any Hindu kovils and temples in the island. Every single government document, sign post including national passport and currency notes have Tamil language text on them. Is that the action of a government hell bent on wiping Tamils of Sri Lanka?

  99. 102-108 Shankar, Navin,
    Kukul Charlie & Rajan from Toronto

    Whatever the reasonings and rationalizations made for the ‘standardization’, one cannot deny the fact that it all besed on ethnic discrimination and the frustration after many unsuccesful attempts to incerase the Number of Majority Students in the admissions in Medical & Enginering Faculties. If we observe the sequence of events.

    1. Nationalization and Subjugation of Missionery Schools
    2.Doing away English as common medium of instructions and marking exam papers separately in each language, with exceptions made later to Muslims & Mixed Parentage Students.
    3. Doing away with Practical exams at Peradeniya for Botany, Zoology, Physics and Chemistry and substituting it with multiple choice questions.
    4. Making a major portion of the Science Papers as Mutiple choice questions
    5.Ethnic Quota System,later changed due to much criticisms to District wise standardization with conditions such as the students should have studied and lived in the district for atleast 3 years-which led to lots of corruption and making many GSNs and officials including Punch Card operators at Malay Street becoming filthy rich,
    6. Creating Centralized marking centres in Colombo instead of sending answer scripts to examiners.
    5. Introducing a percentage on merit admissions, only after some rich Colombo based Parents went to Courts.

    If the ratio of Majority Sinhalese :Minority Tamils increased in 1 or 2 above we would not have seen 3 and so forth
    What we need is a real change of mind and if one considers everyone as equal in one country, and look at them without suspicion and let the best person wins, then it does not matter who enters the University and who is recruited to the Government jobs. That is the true mark of a Unitary State.

  100. Re: the following comment # 93 of Don –

    Secondly, there would be statements I believe which would be presented by GOSL from people who will say SF and his supporters were trying to take over the government after the elections & their awareness of these actions & preparations such as the catch of arms found near a Colombo temple, ex commandoes gathered at a particular place awaiting further instructions from SF etc. Whether these would fulfill the POSITIVE ACTION I do not know.
    —————————————————————————-

    If “SF and his supporters were trying to take over the government after the elections”, then he cannot be found fault for violating the Army Act. He started campaigning as a civilian and was very much so, after the elections. As pointed out earlier, the Army Act applies to persons in military service.

    Finally, if the Army is still framing charges and gathering evidence, it is difficult to conclude what kind of a charge sheet they may have read out to him, when they took him into custody.

    By analyzing the legal position we can see how and to what extent people in authority will try to bend the law to suit their own needs. Whether SF deserves such degrading treatment is not the issue, as DBSJ so correctly points out, justice should not only be done, it should manifestly be seen to be done.

  101. # 88 Ranjan from Toronto

    Burning of Jaffna Library was Singhalese idea of building a bonfire and it has everything to do with the promotion and enrichment of Tamil culture.

    Does this sound absurd to you Mr. Ranjan from Toronto ?

  102. Re comment 41, (I quote), “Prof.GL peiris is a 1st class honours Law graduate from Colombo University who later became Dean of Law faculty there. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and has a Ph D in law…………..DBSJ”

    It saddens me that someone with such an academic background and ability has literally sold his soul to the devil. He is so power hungry and wants to be in the limelight will sell his principles. I can understand the power hungry family and mervyns of this world having no scruples as they are a bunch of uneduated thugs, but surely one expects more from GL.

    I think someday he will die in a traffic accident, as he keeps crossing from one side to the other far too often – and the sole reason is power power power and prominenece.

    (The other who despite his upbringing and education who disappointed me was Lalith Athulathmudali).

  103. #109 Puma
    Your points are all valid.
    There were frustrations about the inability of the government to increase the number of students from the majority community in the Engineering and medical Faculties. However the reason for under representation of Singhalese in these areas was not due to any intellectual superiority of Tamil students over Singhalese students, but basically due to the fact that barring few elite schools in Colombo, Kandy and Gall, the educational facilities available to the majority community were basic at the best and almost rudimentary when you considered the rural, village schools.

    For whatever reason, most/best education facilities were established in Jaffna area during the colonial time. Some say it was a conspiracy by the colonial powers but I would say that it was just a historical coincident.

    The government had to deal with this imbalance as no country in the world will allow a situation to continue where a small racial minority group dominating the professional services and civil administration. You have many examples in the world. Removal of Chinese from Vietnam, Bumiputra movement in Malaysia, exodus of Indians from East Africa and etc. Hell, in South Africa they even have a racial quota system for their national cricket team. So the government of the day had two choices. One, to bring racially based quotas, or somehow provide enough opportunities for everyone to go to university. They opted for the easy way out without realizing what devastating implications that decision would have 20 years down the road.

    However, all this is history. As many have pointed out, there is no more a racially based standardization scheme. Anyone can be educated in any language they want. You go to any big city/town in Sri Lanka, you now find ‘International” schools that educate students in English and prepares students for foreign universities – I am sure it is no different in Jaffna too. At this moment, there are more than 8000 Sri Lankan students in Australia alone in high schools and universities (according to an Australian government web site).

    In an ideal world, the best qualified person will get selected for a given opportunity. However, we do not have an ideal world, where everyone gets that chance to be the best qualified person because facilities are not distributed equally. That is why there are affirmative action plans in practically every corner of this world.

    DBS, I am still wondering how a blog on Sarath Fonseka’s legal issues turned into to a debate on Sri Lanka’s education system. However, this is a subject that comes up over an over on this blog, may be time for you to do a proper write up?

  104. 111. Nostradamus

    Burning of Jaffna library was and is a tragedy. However, it was not a part of a grand plan to wipe Tamil culture off the face of Sri Lanka.

  105. HELLO DBSJ!!!!,
    I am extremely sorry about the place to comment here. you can delete this if not appropriate. Please Write about the SWAMY NITHIYANANDA!!!!. We all know you extraordinary analysis skills. This would help all the people trying to spend money and time on this SWAMY. Please bring something to light!!!!!. THANKS a lot and please consider this kind request!!!!!.
    Best wishes and long live DBS!!!
    Raji

  106. Mahinda &Gota Rajapaksha are doing great injustice to our heroic general. I James Thenuwara challenge the Rajapakshas to prove me wrong.Unlike others I am not afraid to say so boldly and openly.I hereby give my address openly so that the Rajapakshas can come and get me. I promise you all it wont be easy to get me.Try and see

    DBS -please dont delete this message or the address given below. I am not afraid of the brothers

    James Thenuwara
    “Seth Paya”
    318 Menerigama
    Negambo
    Sri Lanka

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    I have advised you earlier to seek medical treatment. I am carrying your comment and “address” iin full to humour you. I dont think this is a genuine address. But please do look after yourself

  107. #118-Thenuwara

    Thenuwara does not reside in Negombo because he does not know how to spell it. A person living there would have written it so many times.

    DBSJ, don’t lose any sleep over his welfare.

  108. -108 Shankar, Navin,
    Kukul Charlie & Rajan from Toronto,
    If the educational institutions in Sinhala areas were not adequate a responsible government should improve the educational institutions in the areas rather than destroying the better institutions in Tamil areas. And make them disadvantageous.

    Tamil areas did not have a single University until 1970s. You have discriminated Tamils in education and employment because you say colonial powers discriminated the Sinhala.

    The truth of the matter was north is a very dry land with poor rain fall and it was extremely had to cultivate the land in the south where Sinhala was populated those days had good rain fall and easy to cultivate and Sinhalas did not want to change their way of live and did not volunteer to get educated.

    Although there were there were few Christian missionary schools developed by colonialists there were lots of Tamil,Hindu schools were founded by indigenous Tamils using their own wealth and as during that time Hindus were converted to Christianity by the missionary schools. To counter this conversion Hindu Tamil school were built. For an example my great grand father founded 3 Tamil Hindu schools and managed with his own wealth in our village. ( kindergarten, primary and secondary schools) which were later managed by my grand father followed by my uncle. Most of the teachers taught in that school were themselves studied there and some were given free scholarships given by my grand father.
    Until the sinhala government Nationalised in the 60s without a single cent of compensation.

    These schools have given to the country numerous GAs, Qcs, Engineers ,doctors,lawers,Judges, teachers proffesors, and government sevents and many more even before nationalisation. Some of them fought agains the colonialist to gain Independence to The Island.
    While my forefathers were building the schools with their wealth for the good of people your forefathers wree eating kiribath (rice) for breakfast ,lunch and dinner and sleept well. Once Independence came up your fathers and uncles woke up and started to get Jelous and angree and from 1948 on wards started loot ,kill,rape the tamils and the rest is history which you knew well and now trying to hide.

  109. Navin,
    If what Sinhala have done repeatedly to Tamils were not intimidation then what was intimidation. What is logic to your sordid mind is Sinhala can intimidate Tamils or any one else in the world but no one should intimidate back. You could not even understand why Tamil militancy started even at this juncture.

    “Sinhalese and their politicians have now realized wrongs on their side”.
    Where is the evidence your Just bulffing “pal”.
    “Intimidating the Sinhalese was what put you in this predicament. Surely it cannot be your way out. Its a pity that many of you do not see it that way even after 30 years of terrorism against the majority”

    92. Don,
    If any one is going to take your words credible what are your comments re Navins. Donot brand any Tamils views which is not agreeable with you as Tiger propaganda like your governments partting. During the time Tigers fighting you and your gov were saying majority of the diaspora Tamils does not support Lttes policy EELAM but because of Ltte’s intimidation only they were suporting . But now LTTE is out You and SLGOV are saying all the diaspora and Tamils organisations are ltters.

  110. Navin,
    If what Sinhala have done repeatedly to Tamils were not intimidation then what was intimidation. What is logic to your sordid mind is Sinhala can intimidate Tamils or any one else in the world but no one should intimidate back. You could not even understand why Tamil militancy started even at this juncture.

    “Sinhalese and their politicians have now realized wrongs on their side”.
    Where is the evidence your Just bulffing “pal”.
    “Intimidating the Sinhalese was what put you in this predicament. Surely it cannot be your way out. Its a pity that many of you do not see it that way even after 30 years of terrorism against the majority”

    92. Don,
    If any one is going to take your words credible what are your comments re Navins. Donot brand any Tamils views which is not agreeable with you as Tiger propaganda like your governments partting. During the time Tigers fighting you and your gov were saying majority of the diaspora Tamils does not support Lttes policy EELAM but because of Ltte’s intimidation only they were suporting .
    But now LTTE is out You and SLGOV are saying all the diaspora and Tamils organisations are ltte supportes.

  111. I dont think this is a genuine address. But please do look after yourself

    Well, he’s not in the telephone directory; I’ve just checked.

    ‘Menerigama is a long way from Negombo.

    There is a Menerigama Place in Mt. Lavinia, but I know of no street or area with that name in Negombo.

  112. Original sin came at the independence negotiations when your politicians demanded 50-50 representation. The mistrust began there.

    The 50-50 demand was for Sinhalese against all other minorities combined. As the actual proportion was 60-40, it was not totally unhinged.

    The British replied with the two-thirds rule in the Soulbury Consitution, which would have given a fair degree of protection. But then Ponammbulam and the Burghers supported the disenfranchisement of the Estate Tamils, which reduced the minority representation to under a third.

  113. Comment 118,

    You don’t need to worry sunshine.

    Rajapaksas have big fish to fry than looking for maggots.

  114. #124-Stephen Jones

    Thanks for that. Very illuminating. That fellow Ponnambalam can be categorised as a traitor. He is the cause of most of our woes. The tamils problem should have been sorted out with the British the way Jinnah and Periyar did.I wish we had some one like Periyar instead of that intellectual idiot Ponnambam, who would not have been swayed by anything and would have been steadfast in his beliefs.

    The sinhalese have suffered a lot with dud leaders and so have we. The country has to just hope and pray we get good ones in the future.

  115. 122. panamkottai:

    If what Sinhala have done repeatedly to Tamils were not intimidation then what was intimidation. What is logic to your sordid mind is Sinhala can intimidate Tamils or any one else in the world but no one should intimidate back. You could not even understand why Tamil militancy started even at this juncture.

    How many Tamils got killed when your boys murdered 13 soldiers in 1983? How many Tamils would have gotten killed had Sinhalese gone on rampage as in 83 when your boys murdered around 150 Sinhalese devotes in Anuradhapura massacre in 1985? Now why did they not do that if they thought intimidating the Tamils was the way forward? That’s just one example.

    No I don’t understand why Tamil militancy started. Could you please tell me? But wait, esteemed Eelam Tamils like you should not waste your valuable time talking to sordid uneducated Sinhalese like myself.
    Please do keep intimidating the Sinhalese and see where you can get by doing that. I’m sure Diaspora has no intention of abandoning that path anytime soon anyway.

  116. 117. Rajaji

    We should not stoop down to the level of SunTV(India) or Nakeeran, who may have their own agenda or animosity.

    We are living in an era of Bill Clinton, David Letterman, Tiger Woods, Desmond Connell, Hubert O’Conner, Adam Giambrone, ND Tiwari, Sarath Fonseka and many more.

  117. 121. panamkottai:-

    92. Don,If any one is going to take your words credible what are your comments re Navins. Donot brand any Tamils views which is not agreeable with you as Tiger propaganda like your governments partting. During the time Tigers fighting you and your gov were saying majority of the diaspora Tamils does not support Lttes policy EELAM but because of Ltte’s intimidation only they were suporting . But now LTTE is out You and SLGOV are saying all the diaspora and Tamils organisations are ltters.
    ——————————————————-

    I wish I can explain more but time does not permit. People like Navin, Ratnavali, Rangan from Toronto Talk logic and are good contributors to this blog. However Navin is his own man & I have no business to comment on his contribution except to say most of the time I do agree with all the three people I have mentioned earlier.

    I also think you have very little knowledge about SriLanka, Tamils and this conflict. May be because you haven’t lived there very long. Experience of SL, its various ethnic groups and their behavior is important to understand this issue in correct dimension.

    You say I and MY government said this or that but I did not say what you are saying and this government is not mine. Infact I have never ever supported any politicians even when I was in SL although I worked closely with two Top leader of SL in a professional capacity and found them like all pollies, corrupt, liers, deceptive and immoral. Even in the west, pollies are the same. But with my intimate knowledge of the Tamil people who form my best friends, I can say most of them supported the LTTE for the dream of a separate state and a separate Tamil identity although some of them did not support the blood letting. Of course these people continue to be my valued friends!

  118. 122. panamkottai

    LTTE is out in Sri Lanka but definitely not out in the Diaspora. For example, they are still controlling almost every Tamil organization in Toronto. I am sure you are well aware about the Tamil newspaper whose office was vandalized by the LTTE thugs just because the editor had the gall to talk to GOSL. And GTF is another LTTE front that has delusions about resurrecting the “struggle” in Sri Lanka. I guess the Diaspora heroes have no issue with the concept of ellam as long as it is some one else’s blood that is being spilled.

    #120 “Tamil areas did not have a single University until 1970s” That is the silliest statement that I have seen. Jaffna university must be the ONLY university in the world that is 100% Tamil. I don’t think you would get that even in India. Not only it has been 100% Tamil since you guys chased away all the non-Tamil students soon after it was started, it has been 100% funded by the government for its entire existence. How is that for wiping Tamil culture off Sri Lanka as you have been saying?

  119. How many Tamils got killed when your boys murdered 13 soldiers in 1983? How many Tamils would have gotten killed had Sinhalese gone on rampage as in 83 when your boys murdered around 150 Sinhalese devotes in Anuradhapura massacre in 1985? Now why did they not do that if they thought intimidating the Tamils was the way forward? That’s just one example.
    ———————————————————-

    Before 1983 you people were regularly going on rampage year after year.

    After the rise of the LTTE suddenly, whether due to any co incidence or otherwise the rampages almost stopped.

    Also after 1983 the world was looking at you. You were afraid of the world opinion and didn’t go on rampage as before.

    Only because you touched Anuradhapura I am writing this.

    I don’t support terrorism. But honestly tell me if all the actions of the budhist monks are right.

    Why are not they confining themselves to meditation. Why are they dabbling in politics.

    Recently also there was a report that two veddas were assaulted by the monks in the public in broad day light.

    Again when SF was arrested there was a picture which showed one monk talking in agitating manner with an army officer.

    Can a monk do that?

    If he was not a monk was he any rowdy clad in the robes of a monk?

    Again when the budhist clergy when they indulge in politics then don’t they become a political target for any terrorist organization?

    A government has the option to take on the political target politically and the military target militarily.

    A terrorist retaliates militarily for both the political target as well as the military target.

    The clergy and the government are both hand in gloves in allowing the story of Duttagamunu and Elara in your school text books and thereby poisoning the minds of the children.

  120. 124. Stephen Jones:

    Sinhalese to minorities ratio is NOT 60-40.

    According to 1981 census Sinhalese are 73.8%, Sri Lankan Tamil 12.6%, Muslims 7.2% and Indian Tamils 5.1%.

    I don’t know why you overlooked the ~14% difference when it is comparable to 12.6% of Sri Lankan Tamils.

  121. well written jeyaraj. could you also throw some light on the internal refugees in sri lanka suffering much hardship. thats is more urgent and i think some readers will agree.

    please write more about the lives of the common people of sri lanka esp those who are still poor and dispossesed. it doesnt matter whether they are tamils, sinhalese or muslims.

    thank you

  122. 131. Mahesh
    You question the action of Buddhist monks. Now personally I don’t like monks in politics myself, but consider the facts.

    1. They are citizens of the country. They have the right to be involved in politics if they wanted.

    2. Buddhism does not forbid them from doing politics.

    3. Look at what is happening around the world. Roman Catholics have their own country – the Vatican. Islamic mullahs run many countries. Evangelical Christians are very influential in US politics – especially in the Republican party. In Latin America, left leaning Catholic priests were in the fore front of many revolutions in the 60s and 70s. Catholic priests were very active in Poland against the communist regime.

    So don’t think Buddhist monks in politics is some thing special or unique.

  123. 130. Ranjan from Toronto,

    “#120 “Tamil areas did not have a single University until 1970s” That is the silliest statement that I have seen.”

    By saying you have proved either you do not konw what a university means or you donot know when Jaffna university was started. why not do some research in history of Srilankan universities?

    127. Navin |

    “when your boys murdered around 150 Sinhalese devotes in Anuradhapura massacre in 1985? Now why did they not do that if they thought intimidating the Tamils was the way forward? That’s just one example”

    .The reson the Sinhalees thugs did not re start violence agains Tamils after 1983 pogram was They realised Tamils have started to develope their army to give you back in kind ( FEAR OF TAMILA GORILA ARMY AT THAT TIME). And also Your government wanted to paint a terorist picture to the Tamil liberation struggle and the world eyes were on Srilanka. (As all previous violence against Tamils were organised by SL GOV.)

    The reson as I understand Sinhala nation feels fear and jelas of Tamils as most of the sinhalese know tamils are very hardworking, honest, trust worthy people with very high morale values and ambitions so they canot compeet with them equally if given equality and parity in The Island of Srilanka. That fear made them to bully Tamils to submision. This was my expericence learned during my live in Srilanka During 50s,60s,70,and early 80s and also during my univerity live in there.

    Even majority of the sinhala undergraduates made us to feel like. Although my room mates while I was in the uni were sinhala students. I don’t deny there are few minority sinhalees are good and understanding friends and feel for the Tamils. I am talking of the majority who elected and keep on electing these SL Governments.

    I have still good sinhala friends and colleagues who support my views.

  124. 129. Don

    “If your leaders So called educated and democretically elected have done in the past you only talk about terrorism by Tigers (who canot go Oxford and get educated like you minister or Your presiden’s son to UK) .but not wanting to talk about SL army and Sinhala terrorism.”

    Here I was refering to the LTTE carders who could not go to Oxford have been doing violence which may understandable to those who have seen the minister Lalith Athulatmudali who was a president of Oxford union had presided and supervised some horrific violence in Jaffna where I was present and eye witnesed this incident of Burning jaffna library. ( once FEw years ago in Europe

  125. #132-navin

    Sinhalese to minorities ratio is NOT 60-40
    —————————————————————-

    Stephen was referring to the period when the 50-50 demand was made, not 1981.

    Strange that the Sinhalese percentage increased from 60 per cent to 74 so quickly. Might be due to the repatriation of Indian tamils.

  126. Regarding Bhuddhist monks getting involved in politics an important factor has been overlooked. Historically Sinhalese culture has been such that the kings have got the advice of the monks when they make decisions. So the monks have had a prominent role in shaping sinhala history. This is part and parcel of sinhalese culture and as we all know culture cannot be changed easily. There is no point getting annoyed with the monks. They feel it is their duty to take part in the major decisions affecting the country.

  127. 135. panamkottai:

    The reson the Sinhalees thugs did not re start violence agains Tamils after 1983 pogram was They realised Tamils have started to develope their army to give you back in kind ( FEAR OF TAMILA GORILA ARMY AT THAT TIME).

    Could you please think for a moment and try to find out if Tamils can kill Sinhalese why the Sinhalese cannot kill Tamils? If killing Sinhalese could stop them from killing you, then why did LTTE got completely wiped out even after killing so many Sinhalese?

    The problem is not the Sinhalese but your giant size ego. It was the problem in the 50s it is still the problem in 2010.

    The reson as I understand Sinhala nation feels fear and jelas of Tamils as most of the sinhalese know tamils are very hardworking, honest, trust worthy people with very high morale values and ambitions so they canot compeet with them equally if given equality and parity in The Island of Srilanka. That fear made them to bully Tamils to submision. This was my expericence learned during my live in Srilanka During 50s,60s,70,and early 80s and also during my univerity live in there.

    I feel sorry for you.

    I have still good sinhala friends and colleagues who support my views.

    Sure why not. The Colombo cocktail circuits will also support your views.

  128. 134. Ranjan from Toronto

    That may be true in parts.

    In the West the Church may have a very big following but the people and the society are very tolerant and secular.

    Of course they do expect the people from other faith to respect their faith. But they do tolerate.

    They do not concoct stories like the duttagamunu and the elara and permanently poison the minds of the people.

    Mixing religion and politics is bad. the west is keeping the religious leaders at an arms length.

    A monks main duty is to meditate and realize Budha hood.

    Then why should he indulge in politics. If he wanted to indulge in politics then he could enter into politics straightaway. Why should he become a monk and then influence the politics.

    Again in one of your earlier postings you were referring about genocide.

    For your information i am giving the link for the genocide laws in wikipedia.

    You were talking about the genocide in respect of the jews and the rwandan happenings.

    Why not talk about srebrenka

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

  129. #87-Rathnavali

    a clear violation of the provisions of the Army Act as it specifically provides that the accused should be informed of the charges within 48 hours of being taken into custody.
    ————————————————————————–
    You are right. They have arrested a man without any charges for weeks now, let alone 48 hours. Therefore the arrest is illegal. How do you expect him to know the charges when Gota himself does not know it. Here are some excerpts from Gota’s interview with Inderjit Bhadwar

    “Inderjit Bhadwar: Under what specific charges did your government arrest Gen. Fonseka?

    Gotabhaya Rajapaksa: I cannot talk about specific charges because the summary of evidence preceding the charge sheet is now being prepared by the military authorities under specific rules of procedure that guarantee due process and a fair trial. That is the work of the prosecutor”

    The prosecutor should have done his homework before arresting. Since he has violated the army act there should not be a court martial. Fonseka’s lawyer should take this matter up in civil courts and get him released and file action for compensation.

    The chap arresting reading out some bullshit is not valid, when the Defence secretary himself does not know the charges. He should be given it in writing. The courts have to only ask Fonseka whether he was informed of the charges, and he has to only say no and the prosecutions case is thrown out. It is upto them to prove that Fonseka has been informed of the charges not vise versa.

    therefore in addition to compensation a case can also be filed for human rights abuse for the pain and suffering caused due to illegal incarceration and humiliation due to assault during arrest.

  130. 135. panamkottai

    “The reson as I understand Sinhala nation feels fear and jelas of Tamils as most of the sinhalese know tamils are very hardworking, honest, trust worthy people with very high morale values and ambitions so they canot compeet with them equally if given equality and parity in The Island of Srilanka.”
    —————————————————————-

    Mate, this exactly is the racial superiority garbage that you guys got in to this mess. One had hoped that time spent outside Sri Lanka would have got you out of the superiority mindset but I guess that is too much to ask for. I don’t want to get too personal here but one would think that somebody who thinks that I can not compete with him equally because I am Singhalese would at least know how to write two sentences of correct grammar and know the correct spelling to the word compete.

    As for your supposedly Singhalese friends, do they get down on their knees and greet you when you meet them?

  131. 137. shankar:

    Interesting point. Due to repatriation Indian Tamil population got cut down by about 50% between 1960-80. Some Indian Tamils are also said to have been included among the Sri Lankan Tamils after they were granted citizenship in times of census. However, even before all that in 1946 still the numbers are: Sinhalese 69.41%, SL Tamil 11.02% and Indian Tamil 11.73%.

  132. 141 – Shanker.

    I am not sure whether you have read the two UNP parliamentary member’s statements to the effect that t Fonseka gave them mobile phones and discussed how to roll over the President while .Fonseka was still an Army officer.

    I am sure there must be other violations of the code of behavior that the ex General has violated in addition to the dogey deals of selling Army vehicles to relatives and sitting on tender boards that sanctioned Army purchases trougha company that has his family’s business interests .

    I am sure the government has some legal brains at least as good as your.s to instruct the Army to arrest him. Also I am sure they would know what they are in for if they did not have sufficient legal grounds for his arrest.

    The Defence Secretary is not going to divulge to a journo what the charges are when the Army has not completed their investigative procedure to frame charges accordind to the Military Procedure.

  133. 141 – Shanker.

    I am not sure whether you have read the two UNP parliamentary member’s statements to the effect that t Fonseka gave them mobile phones and discussed how to roll over the President while .Fonseka was still an Army officer.

    I am sure there must be other violations of the code of behavior that the ex General has violated in addition to the doggy deals of selling Army vehicles to relatives and sitting on tender boards that sanctioned Army purchases through a company that has his family’s business interests .

    I am sure the government has some legal brains at least as good as your.s to instruct the Army to arrest him. Also I am sure they would know what they are in for if they did not have sufficient legal grounds for his arrest.

    The Defence Secretary is not going to divulge to a journo what the charges are when the Army has not completed their investigative procedure to frame charges according to the Military Procedure.

  134. 136. panamkottai:- Mate just because one is educated and other not, it does not mean educated people refrain from violence. People resort to it because there can be some trigger. When 13 soldiers were killed 1983, there was a back lash against Tamils. Because VP provided that trigger. Whether 13 Sinhala lives can be equated to hundreds of Tamil lives that were lost is inconsequential. Tamil’s were killed in Welikada because Sinhalese could not get their hands on the LTTE and therefore they thought these guys at Welikada are good enough for the pay back. I do not support these acts but we got to look at it within context. There are many Tamils who tell me that LTTE leaders in white flags should not have been killed but when LTTE killed people, they were not worried whether there were white flags or black ones, they just killed indiscriminately. But MR just gave the LTTE what they deserved although I am not a supporter of MR or any Sinhala politician. Remember violence brings forth more violence. Only compassion can quell anger and revenge. Tamils future is in their hands & the way their leaders handle the current situation will spell out their forward progress. As some die hard Sinhalese would say (but not me) if Tamils want peace so be it or another war if they so wish. If Tamils use their brain, just as any one of us, then we would always get what we want provided we are willing to be reasonable.

    Today, Sinhalese are in the north and Tamils are in Anuradhapura. Isn’t this the best for SL? Some Tamils have told me that they are renting their houses and sheds to Sinhalese who are coming as tourists to Jaffna and making good money. Isn’t that good? Better than killing each other? But if you think of the old stories and rev yourself up, you will live in the past for ever in anger. Your spirit will not rest.

  135. 138. shankar and 134. Ranjan from Toronto

    In India also there were Rajguru and other Rishis who guided the Kings by laying the rules for Governance.

    But it is not so like in Sri Lanka.

    No doubt that Kings seldom went against the wishes of the Rishis and the Kings had the responsibility to obey the dictates of the Rishis.

    There were few conditions to that.

    Bahu Jana Hithaya bahu jana sukhaya.

    For the comfort of the many and for the happiness of the many.

    All the actions of the Rishis should be in congruence with the shastras.

    The words of the Rishis should lead to the happiness and the well being of the society at large.

    It should not lead to discordant notes and especially it should not inflame the passions of people to commit genocide.

    Here large doesn’t mean majority.

    A Rishi could enter into politics temporarily for the benefit of the society at large and not to benefit any one particular ethnic or religious group.

    He can enter politics temporarily to uphold Dharma.

    They were called Raja Rishis.

    Again Dharma shastras do not give the Rishis absolute powers over the King.

    The King has the responsibility to see that the monks live within the rules prescribed by the shastras and if they trespass them he has the duty to punish them.

    If you see the Rishis as law givers and the Kings as executives and the courts as judiciary no one institution superseded the other two.

    There are checks and balances.

    in the context of the Sri Lanka monks feel they are above law, probably they are outlaws.

    Examples are numerous like the beating of the Veddas and the rowdy like behavior of a man in the garb of monk.

    There should be checks and balances.

    If the Sinhalese society doesn’t have checks and balances and doesn’t want to have any checks and balances it is their privilege.

    Tamils cannot suffer for that.

    Let the Sinhalese live in whatever manner they want.

    Let the monks behave like rowdies, let the government look the other way.

    Why kill Tamils. Why don’t you insulate the Tamils from this hopeless cycle?

  136. #108-Ranjan from Toronto

    To argue that Singhalese are trying to wipe the Tamils of Sri Lanka off the face of the island is silly and absurd
    ———————————————————————-
    Who said that? We were i believe arguing about standardisation, Sinhala only act , district quotas and the incident of burning of the jaffna library. You must be arguing with yourself over destroying the tamils.

    I agree with you that there was no systematic attacks on Tamil culture and i find that culture is well tolerated by sucessive governments.

    Unfortunately the burning of the library must have sparked a fear that first it was the language, then higher education and now culture. The governments have been the chief recruiters for the LTTE. When the government started behaving well and the LTTE started to behaving badly towards the tamil people the recruitment became a trickle and dried up.

    The lesson from all this is that the government has to behave properly and set an example to the people. Otherwise they will lose the respect and others will fill the vacumm.Governments have been always trying to take short cuts to fix problems instead of implementing permanent solutions which will give a strong foundation for the country. Just imagine what will happen to a building without a strong foundation.

  137. Prof Palitha Kohanna is denied for his Presentation At Univ of Toronto ” War Crimes ” were cited

  138. comment 135
    “The reson as I understand Sinhala nation feels fear and jelas of Tamils as most of the sinhalese know tamils are very hardworking, honest, trust worthy people with very high morale values and ambitions so they canot compeet with them equally if given equality and parity in The Island of Srilanka. ”

    trustworthy? really? how can you diaaspora chaps be considered trustworthy when you say you are having a fast and then go eat a Big Mac…..next time you diasspora chaps have fast unto death don’t eat Big Macs on the sly.

  139. Reading many of your previous comments i believe your a thomian. The big match starts on thursday. Why not write something on it?

  140. #145-Kukul Charlie

    You have missed the point. I was talking about the 48 hour deadline to inform of the charges, not the charges itself. Many cases are thrown out in the courts due to technicality and i was wondering why Fonseka’s lawyer was not going in that direction, which is the easiest. the Army Act will be a fully binding legal document and you can’t just ignore its provisions with disdain, just because you have got used to a life like that of ignoring the law.

    As for the charges itself i will come back to you on that when i have the time.

  141. #148 Shankar
    You never said that, but some others did. I was responding to those.

    I have said it before on this blog. Jaffna library was a monumental tragedy. What was lost there will never be replaced. I had a little more than a casual connection to that place, through my late father who had tears in his eyes when he had heard what happened.

    One can only hope that we will never repeat such things.

  142. 147. Mahesh

    Personally I don’t believe that the Buddhist monks (or any religious teacher) should take part in civil politics, which by nature is a very dirty game. However, they have the same right as anyone else to be in politics. Normally I am the last to defend our Sangha but I want to point out a few facts.

    You call the monks rowdies, outlaws and many other names. There are many Sanghas who deserve that, but don’t paint everybody with that same brush. Nothing is balck and white in this world, there are always various shades of gray. I will give you just one example.

    Remember what happened on 2 June 1987 at Aranthalawa? 33 Buddhist Monks killed in utter cold blood by the LTTE. Then remember what happened on 26th December 2004 after the tsunami? There were 600 Tamil families rendered homeless by the tsunami being cared in the same temple that most of the murdered Buddhists monks came from. In fact the Tamil families were sheltering in the same hall that the slain monks bodies had been placed in.

    “These Tamil people came running to the temple asking for shelter hours after the incident and I wasted no time to look into their urgent needs,” says Ven Kirindiwela Somarathana Thera, the Chief Incumbent at the temple and the senior student of the slain Ven Indasara Nayaka Thera.

    “I strongly believe that I am honouring my slain teacher in the best possible manner. Nature has given us an opportunity to practice our respective religions in a more meaningful manner,” said Somarathana Thera.

    Do I need to say more?

  143. Instead of arguing about the past rights and wrongs why don’t you guys start a discussion on how to devolve power to regions.

    For starters, I suggest that the country should have only four regions – North East. North West , South East and South West. Each region with approximately 25 % of the total population. Four independent regional governments to administer Education, Health, Police, Local Infrastructure, Fisheries and Land Management in each province..

    Miliatry Forces Federal Police, Aviation, Taxation Foreign affairs , Monetary and Fiscal regulation and Judiciary under the central government.

    Executive President as the head of state as same as now elected by the whole population.

    This will eliminate race based homelands for ever. Provide efficient government with responsibility and competitiveness and hopefully good governance.

    A two third majority to the ruling party ,which is most probable at the up coming elections will be a good start to embark on a radical overhaul in the new century.

  144. DEAR ALL
    Ush……..
    Surgeon (UN) has come
    He knows what to do.
    Let us pray for the safety of the twins
    Thank you.
    SIVASI

  145. 154. Ranjan from Toronto

    “I strongly believe that I am honouring my slain teacher in the best possible manner. Nature has given us an opportunity to practice our respective religions in a more meaningful manner,” said Somarathana Thera.

    Do I need to say more?
    ——————————————————————-

    If everybody were like that then it will be good. You said that the whole world is not black and white. It has lot of shades of grey.

    But There are some sinhalese who post in this blog who paint all the Tamils as terrorists.

    Left to them, I suppose, they would love to paint even Tamil Nadu Tamils also as terrorists. Is that right?

    It pains me to call the monks the rowdies and outlaws etc.

    But facts are some times stubborn.

    Remember it was not a Tamil who killed your President. It was a monk. I mean Bandaranaicka.

    If you had read my post you will find that I was not against anybody including monks indulging in politics.

    There are times when they have to enter into politics, may be temporarily, for the good of the many and the welfare of the many.

    Here many means general public and not Sinhalese alone.

    Again I have seen photos of monks in battle field, blessing soldiers and also blessing their weapons?

    As you cited the behaviour of the Aranthalawa monk, their must be scores of Tamil gestures gone unsung.

    Tamils are also good people. I am not a Tamilian and I live here with my Tamil brethren. i love them. They also love me as a human being.

    Tamil is a rich language. Next to Sanskrit it is an ancient language. One life time is not enough to study all the shades of the language.

    I love to present the Book Tirukkural to all my friends from other states in India.

    Tirukkual is called the Book for the entire world.

    There are besides this other literatures of the Tamils.

    DBSJ why don’t you write an article about Tirukkural and other Sangam literatures and also about the sinhalese literature.

  146. Sinhalese to minorities ratio is NOT 60-40.
    According to 1981 census …

    As has been pointed out there are 40 years difference between 1940 and 1981. The difference in numbers came about because of the disenfranchizement of half the Indian Tamils, and the massive exodus of the Burghers (and a considerable number of Tamils) after the Sinhala only provisions came into effect in the 1960s

  147. There was no 1941 census. Looking at the figures for the 31 and 46 censuses the proportion seems to have been around 65-35.

  148. Here is an excerpt from an interview Inderjit Bhadwar had with Gota which gives an indication of the charge facing Fonseka in the Military court.

    “Q: But because there are no specifics so far, this has the appearance of a personal vendetta.

    A: Not at all. Most people are probably unaware of the damage done by the general to our military while he was in uniform, particularly in the way he entered politics.

    Q: What do you mean by political activities? And why the seeming haste to arrest him?

    A: While he was CDS he was talking to commanders, senior officers, and there were complaints of a few soldiers saying he was asking them to work for him. He was clearly using the military for political purposes”

    So it looks like from this interview the the only charge the ex-general is going to face in the military court is the fact that before he discarded his uniform he indulged in political activities. And face it he will, i can gurantee that.
    Once the Rajapakshe’s decide on something end of story.

    Strange that Gota did not speak of any corruption charges. He was only talking about the politicising of the military untill he was asked this question

    “Q: There were corruption charges against him when he was army commander that he was using his position to influence officers in the army to purchase arms from his son in law Danuna Tilekeratne’s company HiCorp International. Why didn’t you arrest him then?

    A: Well, the details are only now coming out because there’s been a falling out among the suspects.”

    So maybe this is also on the table, but he did not seem to be interested in it until it was specifically pointed out to him.

    It is clear that the government is seperating alleged offences during his period in the army and after retiring. So it is well within the law to do that. Here are some more excerpts from the interview

    “Q: Aren’t there other very serious allegations that the general was planning a coup and assassination of the President and his family?

    A: Well, those are covered under civilian law and are the subject to procedures of criminal investigations which are a separate procedure. The general’s arrest is in connection with offences he committed while he was in uniform”

    So it is clear that the serious charge is coming under the civilian court.

    Overall when you look at it that way i feel it is fair except the manner of arrest, not giving the charges in writing within 48 hours, and keeping him locked up.

    So is a man to be punished for a so called crime even before he is charged, let alone broght before a military court. What kind of justice is that to lock up a presidential candidate who got 40 percent of the peoples vote, even before he is tried by military courts, and that too before a parliamentary election due in April. What kind of democracy is this? This is a bullshit African democracy, what with the elections commissioner and his family also being locked up during the presidential elections. What is the problem in releasing him so that he can organise his party for the elections. So are we to say that we are going to have a free and fair election with a man who got 40 per cent of the votes locked up.

    This is going to bacfire on the government. At least 500000 votes that were cast for mahinda is going to go the other way or not vote at all.

    He can kiss goodbye to his two third majority unless he rigs this one too. The most the UPFA and its allies will get is 50-55 per cent of the vote.

    DBSJ, i don’t have any problem with the man being charged seperately in the 2 courts. Surely as the Army commander he should have known if he commits an offence in uniform he will be charged under the Army Act.
    I agree with what you say that justice would not seem to be done, but i think some readers pointed out that he can appeal to the civilian courts. After all these are not the very serious charges.

  149. 158-159. Stephen Jones:

    Under 50-50 which first came in 1918, Tamils asked 25% for themselves 50% which would have gone for Indian Tamils. Though they were very benevolent about sacrificing the majority representation, they made sure they retain their true percentage. Clearly, this is a case of “what is mine is mine … what is yours let’s negotiate.”

    Even if we forget all that, using the Indian Tamil population to justify 50-50 demand is very wrong.
    Indian Tamils were introduced to the island not more than 100 years ago and that again without any consent from the Sinhalese. Not to mention the fact that they were settled in Sinhalese dominated land and not in Tamil majority areas. Unlike Sinhalese who have historical connection to N & E (in spite of which Tamils have the audacity say it’s theirs and only they can call the shots), Indian Tamils are total aliens to this land.

    Then after penalizing them once by taking away their lands and changing demography without their consent, now you are using the changed demography to penalize them yet again by using reduced demography to justify cutting down their representation in legislature from 65% to 50% where as the true difference is close to 25%.

    You are using the result of one disputed decision as the justification/proof for another questionable decision.

  150. The ‘Indian Tamils’ have been in Sri Lanka more than a hundred and fifty years and yet Navin still considers them interlopers.

    Note he totally fails to consider the existence of the Muslims and the Burghers.

    It’s this kind of racism that has brought Sri Lanka to the mess it’s in now.

  151. 163. Stephen Jones:

    Introduction of Indian Tamil to this country has created serious problems for the Sinhalese and to be aware of them and there consequences is not racism. To say that it is racism is plain ignorance. Sinhalese should be well aware of such good Samaritans and decide for themselves what is racism and what is pragmatism.

    Burgers, Muslims, Tamils and foreigners can and will assume the moral high ground since nothing is coming out of their own pockets.

    People like you using, Indian Tamils to justify decisions later on that have other more far reaching consequences is one example of what happens if Sinhalese do not act cautiously.

    Indian Tamils were introduced to the country by the British and if the Sinhalese after independence determine that they must leave there is nothing wrong with it because Sinhalese are not bound to accept anything and everything the British felt like dumping here without any conditions.

    Even though Indian Tamils have been here for 100 years one important fact you are conveniently leaving out is that Sri Lanka was under the British rule over most of it.

  152. 163. Stephen Jones:

    Note he totally fails to consider the existence of the Muslims and the Burghers.

    Not at all, under the 50-50 deal it was suggested that we increase their representation 8% (5% Muslisms + 3% others) to 25%. The whole idea is so wild its not worth discussing.

  153. Comment 160 and 161,

    I am glad, at least Shanker is standing by her man for even his best man and the anointed Executive Prine Minister has ditched him .

    Anyone who read that interview would have realized how naive this ex General was when it comes to Military Laws and Regulations.

    Don’t worry Shanker ,there are more charges pending and rightly so.

    Our democracy is doing very well thank you and leave the African people to mind their own business.

    The problem you guys have is that you think you are superior to anyone else not only in Srilanka but elsewhere as well, except the Western mobs who back the Tamil diaspora.

    Cyber Ranil’s software is not going to prevent the UNP voters abandoning him in the numbers that you are talking about.

    Already Seven leading UNP contestants are planning to join Rajapksa team after the election despite the supposed to be water tight no cross over agreements with Cyber Ranil. This info comes from the intelligence reports of the diaspora friendly Western Consulates, according to the news reports in Fonseka friendly tabloids.

  154. Navin

    Indian tamils are here because of the tea estates and nothing else. I believe under the sirima -shastri pact 50 per cent were sent off. The balance 50 per cent also would have been sent off if not for the tea estates. Today if you go to the hill country you see a never ending beautiful carpet of tea bushes. The british and the indian tamils added value to the land.

    Sirima would have thought if i send the balance 50 per cent indian tamils off will the sinhalese do this type of work, and sadly realised they would not. This is exactly what is happening in western countries too. By the white people becoming picky and choosy the tough and menial jobs are given to migrants. Then the whites complain there are too many migrants. You can’t have the cake and eat it.

    In a nutshell indian tamils have contributed a lot for this country for hardly anything in return and deserve to be here as permanent citizens. As for the land you mention that they have taken from the sinhalese go and see the deeds whether it is in their name. They have been put in government lands not lands owned by any sinhalese.

    However i agree with you that people who point out these matters should not be considered as racists, because the points you mention also such as that they were brought by a colonial power, not by the people of the country is also valid. There are no shades of black and white in these matters only shades of grey. The same thing was done in fiji, carribean, guyana, mauritius, seychelles etc. Everyone has moved on from these colonial times and are now only worried about the future, not what happened in the past.

  155. #166-Shiela

    The problem you guys have is that you think you are superior to anyone
    ———————————————————————
    Shiela is having inferiority complex. This is what happens if between the ages 1 to 10 when the child loses his or her self esteem due to either child abuse or being put down by the parents or teachers. The child must be made to feel important otherwise they will grow up into a Shiela. You must always praise them and say how clever they are.

  156. Interesting discussion about the Indian Tamil labor force in the Sri Lankan tea plantations. Few observations.

    1. It is a fact that they were brought in by the British, with no input from the locals and then settled on lands that were forcibly taken over by the British from the original native Singhalese. That was ethnic cleansing pure and simple, 100s of years before the term was invented. In is interesting also to observe that people who scream about Singhalese colonizing the so called traditional Tamil lands in North and East have absolutely nothing to say about the forced colanization of the traditional Kandian lands by the Indian Tamils.

    2. They (Indian Tamils) have been in the country for such a long time, and have contributed immensely to the economy, they deserve a place in the Sri Lankan society. They deserve Sri Lankan citizenship.

    3. They were ignored, despised and disregard by the Jaffna Tamils, who though and STILL thinks that they are inferior. I have been told by Jaffna Tamils that they would rather see their children marry Singhalese rather than what they called “Estate” Tamils. In fact most Indian Tamils from up-country would say that their experiences with the Singhalese have been much better than with the Jaffna Tamils. Anybody surprised that despite 30 years of war, there were no major separatist sentiment among the Indian Tamils?

  157. Fonseka bought binoculars for the Army at US 575.50 each from the son in law, when well recognized Military suppliers quoted as low as US $ 100 each.

    To top it all the documents supplied by the son in law to prove their credentials are all forged according to the Australian company that they were purporting to represent.

    Fonseka seems to me as a very caring father in law.

  158. #155-Appuhamy

    For starters, I suggest that the country should have only four regions – North East. North West , South East and South West. Each region with approximately 25 % of the total population
    ————————————————————————-
    i agree with your concept except the modification to 5 regions, North, south, east, west and central.

    The reason i like the change is

    1. Calling something northeast and northwest is a bit confusing, because we don’t know where it overlaps.

    2. Having equal populations is not necessary. We are a overpopulated country and trying to spread out the population is better. making it geographically equal regions and developing all the 5 regions North, south , east, west and central in a manner so that there is no major discrepancies in infrastructure will result in the population migrating from more conjested areas to less conjested ones. For this you have to take funds from the regions that have more population such as the west and allocate it to the others.

    3. The courts have declared that amalgamation of the north and east is unconstitutional. Also though you state according to your proposal race based homeland is out, by amalgamating the north and east it is still in i think as a traditional homeland of the tamils. It is better to make the whole country as the traditional homeland of everybody. That way we can eliminate race based politics in future. I believe that the north and east should be settled with sinhalese in the same proportion that the tamils are settled in vis a vis the sinhalese outside the north and east.

  159. Comment 175.
    Shanker if you were close to me I would have given you a big hug and kiss. At last someone has at least acknowledged my silly comments.
    I missed one point though in my earlier comment and that is the 5h region which is the capital territory encompassing the Parliament, Central Bank Presidents House and the other major institutions.. It is totally under the federal government similar to the model in Australia.

    I think redrawing the boundariesis also an option, but increasing the population which obviously amounts to moving Sinhalese in to the North and the South will be exploited as colonization as usual.
    On the other hand my suggestion will avoid the colonization doctrine.

    I think we are just dreaming. But if more and more people start to think along these lines Srilanka will be a better place for everyone and the politicians won’t be able to hood wink the masses with their pathetic lies.

  160. Illuminating article DBS,Thank you.However your information looks incomplete without details of the would-be judges sitting on the Court Martial proceedings. If you were able to show with similar clarity, reasons for those judges also to be vengeful towards SF then you would have convinced everybody that justice would not be seen to be done.It may be that when you first wrote this article the judges may not have been named for the DBS we have come to know would surely have not missed out on this important point.

  161. 167 Shankar

    In response to your 167 Ranjan from Toronto in his 173 said the British brought Tamil labor force from India to work in the Tea plantations in Sri Lanka.

    Why the British did not use the Sinhalese labor force ? Your candid opinion is eagerly solicited.

  162. #177-Yassus De Silva

    There are no civilian judges in court martial proceedings. Military officers will be the judges and we won’t know what took place because it is all closed door proceedings. In Fonseka’s case i think 3 learned major generals have been appointed to judge him. Don’t worry they will have more legal knowledge than former chief justice sarath silva. They are going through at the moment an intensive 20 hour a day crash course at the law college ably assisted by judge Gothabaya.

  163. #178-Nostradamus

    Why the British did not use the Sinhalese labor force
    ————————————————————————–
    The sinhalese peasant was a farmer. He feels it is beneath his dignity to work as a labourer. He has his plot of land and though poor is proud to be a farmer. Even now it is the same. Try buying acres of land and see whether you can get farmers to come and work for you. In addition to this only an idiot will work for the pittance offered by the British. The Indian tamils were bonded labourers little better than slave labour. They were not idiots but they did not have much choice anyway. They worked in apalling conditions and many died when clearing the malaria infested forests. Therefore this was not ethnic cleansing as Ranjan from toronto pointed out. When shankar from st. bridgets has the time she will give a detailed clarification on this so called ethnic cleansing business pointed out by ranjan from toronto.

  164. 178. nostradamus

    One of the reasons that has been cited by historians for British not employing Singhalese in the tea estates is that they refused to work as laborers on the same lands that were stolen from them. Some also say that this was in retaliation against the Uva uprising of 1817-1818. Apparently during this time complete Kandyan villages were destroyed and people were forced to flee. In fact some argue that some of the so called indigenous people (Veddas) were actually Kandyan Singhalese who abandoned their villages during this time and took to the jungle to escape the British forces.

    By settling these Indian Tamils who were essentially loyal to their British masters among the isolated Kandyan villages that dotted the countryside, Brits ensured that the ethnic mix of the area was changed and chances of further insurrections were slim.

    What is interesting here is that the situation in the lower country rubber and coconut estates seems to have been somewhat different. In these areas, you do get a lot of Singhalese in the labor force in the estates. This also is consistent with the fact that in the coastal areas, the population (which was multi-ethnic to start with) did cooperate much more with the foreign forces, thus escaped wholesale destruction of villages and societies.

  165. By settling these Indian Tamils who were essentially loyal to their British masters among the isolated Kandyan villages that dotted the countryside, Brits ensured that the ethnic mix of the area was changed and chances of further insurrections were slim.

    Your timescale’s all wrong. The British didn’t even start the coffee plantations, let alone the tea plantations, until decades after the Uva rebellion was put down.

    The land taken from the Sinhalese under the waste lands act was bascally land used for chena cultivation. The Sinhalese farmer would have had less land to rotate, but there was not a surplus of labour for working on the plantations.

    Whenever power has been taken away from plantation owners the plantation economy collapsed. Working on a plantation was not, and is not, a pleasant experience.

  166. Sarath silva has his own interpretation of the Army Act. Here are some excerpts from an article of what it is.

    “The key test, in the former CJ’s opinion, was to ensure whether the subject – in this case General Fonseka – was subject to Military Law.
    According to Sarath Silva, there was no complexity in deciding who exactly was subject to Military law. Part VII of the Army Act notes them to be as a) All Officers and Soldiers of the regular force; b) All officers and soldiers of the Regular Reserve volunteer Force. Additionally Section 8 deals extensively with the Army Commander. The term Officer is defined precisely in section 162 to mean “an officer commissioned as an officer of the army”.
    Analysis of the relevant sections would reveal that the Army Commander is neither a commissioned officer nor an enlisted soldier. In fact, under section 8 of the Act, the President shall appoint ” a fit and proper” person to command the Army. In effect, it follows that the Army Commander can be a civilian. ”

    The problem i have with this interpretation is though the president can appoint a civilian in this case he has not done so. He appointed a army officer though Sarath Silva if he was the president would have probably appointed a civilian, and that must be the reason he is not the president, thank god.

    And as for a commissioned officer, no point in making a mountain out of a molehill about this term.It is merely a military officer who holds a commission, a formal government document which vests power in the individual to whom it is issued. Typically, commissions are issued by the head of state. In the modern era, commissions are awarded on the basis of merit, to people who have completed officer training

    So according to sarath silva, Fonseka is not an Army Officer and has not received Officer training. The reason he beat tubby on the battlefield was maybe because tubby also was in the same boat.

  167. DBSJ, WHY DID YOU FORGET TO SAY,’ GENERAL , CEASER’S WIFE MUST NOT ONLY BE FAITHFUL, BUT MUST BE BEYOND REPROACH!

    THANKS FOR ALL YOUR CONTRIBUTONS, FOR WHETHER I AGREE OR NOT, THERE IS NO OTHER KULTOOR TAMIL-SINHALESE FORUM TO MATCH DEAR.

  168. #173-Ranjan from Toronto

    1. It is a fact that they were brought in by the British, with no input from the locals and then settled on lands that were forcibly taken over by the British from the original native Singhalese. That was ethnic cleansing pure and simple, 100s of years before the term was invented.
    —————————————————————————–
    First of all let us see what is ethnic cleansing. The official United Nations definition of ethnic cleansing is “rendering an area ethnically homogeneous by using force or intimidation to remove from a given area persons of another ethnic or religious group.”
    Intimidation is behavior which would cause a person fear of injury or harm

    Now let us look at some historical facts to get a clear picture of what happenned.

    1. In the mid 1830’s the British began experimenting with many plantation crops. The first coffee plantation was opened in the kandyan hill region. Within 15 years one of the crops coffee became so sucessful that it transformed the countrys economy from subsistence crops to plantation agriculture.

    2.The problem of limited availability of land for coffee estates was solved when the British government sold lands that it had acquired from the Kandyan kings.

    3. The coffee plantation system faced a serious labor shortage. Among the Sinhalese, a peasant cultivator of paddy land held a much higher status than a landless laborer. In addition, the low wages paid to hired workers failed to attract the Kandyan peasant, and the peak season for harvesting plantation coffee usually coincided with the peasant’s own harvest. Moreover, population pressure and underemployment were not acute until the twentieth century. To compensate for this scarcity of native workers, an inexpensive and almost inexhaustible supply of labor was found among the Tamils in southern India. They were recruited for the coffee-harvesting season and migrated to and from Sri Lanka, often amid great hardships.

    4. The initial capital for coffee cultivation was provided by British civilian and military officials resident in kandy and they behaved more like coffee planters than government officials. This led to serious abuses, however, culminating in an 1840 ordinance that made it virtually impossible for a Kandyan peasant to prove that his land was not truly crown land and thus subject to expropriation and resale to coffee interests. In this period, more than 80,000 hectares of Kandyan land were appropriated and sold as crown lands.

    So Ranjan you were quite right that a great injustice was perpetrated on the poor kandyan peasant but see whether it falls under the definition of ethnic cleansing. It did not make the area homogenous because there were no 2 ethnic groups there in the first place. the Indian tamils were brought only for the harvesting season and went back. They were also used for clearing up 100000 hectares of rain forests for coffee plantation. Many of them died in the malaria infested forests.
    If the british had acquired the lands and settled the tamils on it then probably it could be considered ethnic cleansing. In this case they only planted the coffee on it and brought the tamils for harvesting and sent them back.
    Even bhuddhist temple lands were not spared and acquired for coffee plantations.

    Even though the initial capital was put in by the british government officials as time went on one third of these coffee plantations were controlled by srilankans.

    5. In 1869 a devastating leaf disease struck the coffee plantations destroying the coffee industry within fifteen years. Planters desperately searched for a substitute crop. Climatic conditions for tea was excellent in the hill country.

    6.The first tea plantation was started in 1867. The tea estates needed a completely different type of labor force than had been required during the coffee era. Tea was harvested throughout the year and required a permanent labor force. Indian Tamil immigrants settled on the estates.

    So you see ranjan it was only after 30 years after coffee started the indian labour force were settled in srilanka on a permanet basis. The 80000 hectares acquired for coffee from the kandyan peasantry would have mostly tea bushes and a little space for line rooms for these people. in addition to this as i mentioned in point 2 land acquired from the kandyan kings was first used for coffee and subsequently for tea, and also 100000 hectares of rainforest that was cleared with the blood ,sweat and tears of these people, which now all Srilankans enjoy.

    .

  169. Dear all

    I feel story of Madduma Bandara will guide us in this context.
    As I am not so conversant in English
    Can any one write the story of Madduma Bandara in this column?
    Is Madduma Bandara still living in our Heart?
    Parathy

  170. 167. shankar:

    Indian tamils are here because of the tea estates and nothing else. I believe under the sirima -shastri pact 50 per cent were sent off. The balance 50 per cent also would have been sent off if not for the tea estates.

    Indian Tamils were brought here for labor and nothing else. I agree with you on that. However, we are not discussing any sinister motives of Indian Tamils but the implications of British bringing them here and what should have been done about them after independence. For example, Stephen Jones is using their presence here to argue for 50-50!!!

    Repatriation of Indian Tamils made tea industry suffer at the time and the government would have considered retaining a sufficient number to make sure the industry did not collapse.

    Today if you go to the hill country you see a never ending beautiful carpet of tea bushes. The british and the indian tamils added value to the land.

    Before the British came, our economy was geared towards producing what we needed. The administration sponsored cultivation of paddy not tea or rubber. The British turned our economy into growing what they needed and importing what they produced. I have a hard time understanding that as adding value to our land.

    It is true that today the tea industry is a major contributor towards our economy but it was something that was forced upon us for the benefit of the British and nothing more. Same goes for the roads and railways. If the British were so good, then why the hell did we tried so hard to get rid of them?

    Sirima would have thought if i send the balance 50 per cent indian tamils off will the sinhalese do this type of work, and sadly realised they would not. This is exactly what is happening in western countries too. By the white people becoming picky and choosy the tough and menial jobs are given to migrants. Then the whites complain there are too many migrants. You can’t have the cake and eat it.

    Hence the logical thing to have done was to assess how many Indian Tamils were necessary to keep the tea industry afloat and send back the rest. It sounds immoral but had the British taken Sinhalese to TN to work in tea plantations there, the same equation would have applied and all Tamils who are labeling Sinhalese as racist here would have applauded at the decision.

    In a nutshell indian tamils have contributed a lot for this country for hardly anything in return and deserve to be here as permanent citizens.

    FYI there is no Malaria in Nuwara Eliya. The climate is too cold for mosquito to bread and mountainous terrain make water flow rather than collect. There is Malaria in the Uva province however.

    Indian Tamils came here without the consent of the locals. Thus the locals have the right to decide whether or not they are going to keep them here. They have contributed towards the economy but how them been here affect towards the future of local community is paramount to everything else. After all, we are not asking them be sent to the gas chamber like they did in Germany but they be resettled in their “homeland” among their own people with government assistance. Stephen Jones’s arguments are just a taste of things to come. Thanks to JR’s greed for power, Sinhalese screwed up their only chance to have had them repatriated and now it’s too late.

    As for the land you mention that they have taken from the sinhalese go and see the deeds whether it is in their name. They have been put in government lands not lands owned by any sinhalese.

    You are quite right. The British asked the Sinhalese to show deeds and any land without a deed was deemed as belonging to the government. What deeds do you think those Sinhalese had to land that had been passed on from generation to generation?

  171. Dear all,
    I feel story of Madduma Bandara will help us to balance our sense of justice at this tempered situation
    Madduma Bandara was only Eight years old. His elder brother was eleven. He had a baby sister too.
    One day they had been called o the palace. He was thinking. ‘Why is no one smiling with us today?
    On other days when I came with My Father Ehelepola Nilame, People talked me; they stroked my head and asked me many questions. Today they are only looking at me’.
    He looked around. His Mother was trying to show that she was not crying. He saw her dry here tears, twice. His brother too looked frightened. His big eyes were full of tears. His lips were quivering.
    Suddenly he heard his father’s name. The king was talking about him. His father had done something wrong. He had betrayed the country. How he could be? He knew his father. He was a good man. He loved his father, and his father loved him. So what had he done?
    Maddima Bandara thought hard. “I will die for my father. I will die for my family. I will dye for my country.”He had never seen anyone die. Once He had seen a little bird dead. It looked as if it was sleeping. Madduma Bandara had picked the dead bird. It had been in his hand, its feathers soft to his touch. Then he had laid the bird down under a flowering bush and covered it with flowers that had fallen.
    Madduma Bandara looked up from his thoughts. His brother was sobbing. People were all looking at them.
    “Look elder brother, I will shoe you how to die” he said and walked up to the man clad in red.
    There was silence. The man looked at the King. Others looked at the King too. “Kill him, the brat, His father’s a traitor”. The king ordered. “No! he ‘s not,” said madduma Bandara. “Kill me for his sake”
    The man lifted up his sword. All the people looked at the brave boy and then the boy was no more;
    Only his body was there. His head had fallen apart,
    Copied from Grade seven English pupil’s book
    Does the little boy still live in our hearts?
    Parathy

  172. For example, Stephen Jones is using their presence here to argue for 50-50!!!

    Yea, terrible isn’t it, suggesting that people whose parents had been born in the country should have any political rights.

  173. After all, we are not asking them be sent to the gas chamber like they did in Germany but they be resettled in their “homeland” among their own people with government assistance

    Ethnic cleansing like in ex-Yugoslavia. You know, you sound like something the LTTE lackeys in the diaspora describe to justify foreign intervention.

  174. parathy, madduma bandara’s reincarnation is Thenuwara. He has also dared the rajapakshe bros to get him and cut his head if they can, and has even given his address in negombo on this blog. He says he is prepared to sacrifice himself for sarath fonseka.

    mahinda is the reincarnation of Dutugemunu. Prabhaharan was the reincartion of karikala cholan.
    Gota is the reincarnation of prince Vijaya.
    Shankar is the reincarnation of a cigar smoking woman.

  175. 187. Navin

    It sounds immoral but had the British taken Sinhalese to TN to work in tea plantations there, the same equation would have applied and all Tamils who are labeling Sinhalese as racist here would have applauded at the decision.
    —————————————————-

    In India, Tamils are everywhere. Not only that the North Indians are also in Tamil Nadu.

    many of the Tamil politicians are not of Tamil Nadu.

    There are Maharashtrians, Sowrashtrians, Kannadigas, Telugu and other people are in Tamil Nadu, living for ages.

    Nobody calls to repatriate them to their home states.

    Infact one of the greatest hero kattabomman had his roots in Andhra.

    A popular Tamils King by name Raja Desingh, is actually a Rajput Tej Singh.

    The Chalukya cholas like Kulothunga’s are having their roots in Andhra and Maharashtra.

    There are ballads sung in honor of these Kings in Tamil Nadu.

    you are displaying a narrow mentality.

    That is your privilege.

    They the Plantation Tamils have been residing in your country for decades.

    By that way they would be eligible for natural citizenship in your country.

    Even if you assume that they were only settled by the British and the locals, that is Sinhalese had every right to send them back to their native place, Tamil Nadu you did a very poor job.

    You passed a resolution stating that a plantation tamil, who had not left the shores of sri lanka for 12 years is eligible for settlement in Sri lanka.

    Even if he had visited the Tamil Nadu for only a few days in those 12 years he would be disqualified.

    That was a crude way of doing it.

    Even a criminal sentenced to life term gets parole. These were not criminals and yet they were treated shabbily than a convicted criminal.

    Justice must not only be done. It should be seen to be being done. That concept has to take better roots in your country.

    There are Tamils all over the world, doing various jobs.

    Tamils still are living all over the world.

    Even to assuage your feelings the sirima-sastri pact was inked.

    After that atleast people should not talk about them as aliens. Legally they are now full fledged sri lankans.

    ———————————————————

    The British asked the Sinhalese to show deeds and any land without a deed was deemed as belonging to the government. What deeds do you think those Sinhalese had to land that had been passed on from generation to generation?

    ————————————————————-

    Suppose a person does not have a deed how can he say that the land belongs to him?

    When some people had deeds and some people didn’t have deeds then does it not say that they were encroaching upon the govt lands.

    Didn’t your Kings know that system of land administration? Was that system not practiced in your country?

    Then there would have been anarchy. Today you will till your lands tomorrow some body will come and drive you away and take over your lands.

    Was the Kings administration so poor in your country? I feel sorry for that.

  176. Ranjan, also i will give you a future scenario of what can happen just like the indian tamils brought here.

    Now there is lot of development going on with chinese aid. China is insisting on using its own workers and mahinda has agreed. He says he does not care who builds the infrastucture as long as it is built. Fair enough, though unlike the coffee plantations era we have plenty of unemployed here. Just like the tea plantations the country will enjoy the benefits of that infrastucture even after mahinda is long dead and gone, but just like the indian tamils you can’t have the cake and eat it too. There will be costs but if the benefits are substantially more , go ahead, but if the costs are more than the benefits?

    First the chinese workers come on a temporary basis. Many sinhalese will be displaced due to the development and relocated. The chinese will have temporary quarters where the sinhalese were originally.
    Now before you start jumping up and down hollering ethnic cleansing i would remind you about the points i raised about the coffee plantations.
    Then the chinese will say they need to have their families with them as there stay becomes more or less permaneent because of the never ending development or they might decide to get local women and settle down here. Now before navin starts to jump up and down hollering they should be sent back, i would like to remind him sinhalese history has evolved the same way with keralites and tamils coming and settling here intermarrying with locals. How did the salagama and karawa caste originate?

    So we might have a chinese community or a mixed one here, so what. The whole country is going to enjoy that infrastucture for decades, and these people are hard working types who will always be a asset to the country.

    If we get down lazy people or thugs then we will go downhill further, but if we dilute our gene pool the proper way we will progress. In fact we should send out the lazy and thuggish types out of the country and replenish them with hardworking peaceful types, then we can become a singapore or switzerland quickly.

  177. #187-Navin

    Your quote” It is true that today the tea industry is a major contributor towards our economy but it was something that was forced upon us for the benefit of the British and nothing more. Same goes for the roads and rail” unquote
    ————————————————————————————————–
    navin, you yourself admit it is a major contributor.Why are you worried whether it was forced on us or not?Be practical.Same for the roads and railways. If we can use it who cares who built it. In fact mahinda has the same attitude. He is a practical man. He said he does not care who builds infrastructure whether it is indians or chinese as long as it is built. I totally agree with him on his emphasis on infrastructute. Just like the tea estates and roads and railways the british built to service them, long after mahinda is dead and gone generations of srilankans will be enjoying the infrastructure that he built. So if we have to give some favours to the indians and chinese in return, as long as the benefits are much more than the cost then it is worth it. You can’t have everything in life without giving anything in return.
    ————————————————————————————–

    Your quote”Indian Tamils came here without the consent of the locals” unquote
    ————————————————————————–

    navin, has anybody ever come to srilanka with the consent of the locals. Did vijaya come with the consent of the veddahs. did the cholas come and create a kingdom with the consent of the sinhalese. Whenever the sinhalese kings got down tamils to fight for them and settled them here did they get the consent of the locals.
    You know how the salagama caste was formed. When the local priests refused to do the rites for the kings coronation he abducted priests from kerala and their clan subsequently settled here. How did the karawe caste form. When the king of kotte wanted to attack the jaffna kingdom he got down from kerala warriors to fight for him who subsequently settled here. Do you think the king had a referendum or something when granting them citizenship. The rulers or their nobles always had their way just like the british and bugger the peoples consent as far as they are concerned. The kandyan nobles even thrust a tamil king on the kandyan people. How would those proud peasants have felt.

    So navin i suggest you shed off your anti british feelings which are subsequently turning on those poor estate people, now that you can’t get at the british. The british may not have been perfect but they gave some lasting benefits to this country, which our own rulers with a few exceptions like parakramabahu, gajabahu etc, did not. Our rulers were always fighting and bickering among themselves and that trait has been passed down and they are still at it.

    As for your contention that why did we want to get rid of the british if they were so good, the answer is national pride is at stake. Nobody likes to be ruled by somebody else. same applies for the tamils too. For a people who ruled themselves for centuries it must be pretty galling to be ruled by the sinhalese. At least the sinhala rulers if they had anything called a brain in their head should have realised it and been careful how they deal with the tamils after independence. Instead they went on heaping insult after insult on a people who had their own kingdom. The sinhalese should have been thankful that due to indian independence from britain they not only got back their kandyan and kotte kingdoms on a platter, but also got the jaffna kingdom too. They should have gone on nehru’s path and stiched up the country properly but instead went in the opposite direction.

    As for Stephen jones whom you mention often as arguing for ponnambalams 50:50, i didn’t see him arguing anything. He was merely pointing out the demographic structure at that time.

  178. 190. Stephen Jones

    Yea, terrible isn’t it, suggesting that people whose parents had been born in the country should have any political rights.

    If you want to argue with me, come clean and argue to the point. Please leave you slogans for the likes of Brown and Milband.

    Before anyone gets political rights, one must get the citizenship. I’m arguing against giving citizenship for Indian Tamils because that alters the demography of this country in a way that is unfavorable to the Sinhalese. I’m not discussing their political rights for that is not relevant to the question of citizenship. Your views on 50-50 deal only goes on to show that my speculations are correct.

    It isn’t just the Tamils who need security for their ethnic identity but so do the Sinhalese. If settling Sinhalese in what is Tamil dominated areas can generate so much controversy even when Sinhalese have inhibited the areas clearly for many years, trying to settle an alien population in the middle of Sinhalese heartland that again not a few villages here and there but a whole population equal to that of Sri Lankan Tamils is not acceptable– period.

    Ethnic cleansing like in ex-Yugoslavia. You know, you sound like something the LTTE lackeys in the diaspora describe to justify foreign intervention.

    How can requesting aliens to leave be ethnic cleansing? Its simply sorting out a mess created by the British. It doesn’t hurt the Indian Tamils. It may be a convenience for Indian Tamils to stay here but its a whole lot more trouble for the Sinhalese.

    You can label me a racist for all you like. Perhaps you may win an award from some US or UK based ethnic studies body. BUT, just because Sinhalese are the majority, their lands, rights and ethnic composition are not give aways for Tamils or Burgers like you or the British to plunder as they see fit. In a country where those who speak for majority are racist and those who speak for minorities are human rights crusaders I’m more than willing to be a racist.

  179. #193: Shankar,

    I have no issue with you or anyone else who says that the Indian Tamils who were brought here for work deserves the Sri Lankan citizenship. They have made an immense contribution to the country while getting nothing in return. They deserve our support, sympathy and if they wish so, they full deserve the Sri Lankan citizenship.

    But on should also acknowledge the fact that in order to make way for the coffee/tea plantations/economy, a large number of people were uprooted. These plantations were not just hacked out of uninhabited jungles; they absorbed the surrounding villages as well. Many lands were stolen from the locals on the pretext that they did not have deeds. Someone in an earlier comment says that it is the local’s fault if they did not have deeds. That is a silly thing to say. Most of the land ownership in ancient Sri Lanka was not based on written deeds. That is just a colonial process. Similarly, there was no marriage registration system in the country before the colonial powers with their Christian religion descended on the country. Does that mean all the marriages that happened then were illegal?

    One also should acknowledge that it is not just Singhalese that tried to push out the Indian Tamils and pretend that they do not exist Most Jaffna Tamils did not and still do not want anything to do with the so called “Estate Tamils”. At least the Singhales has the excuse of saying that they are on our land. Now what is the Jaffna Tamil’s excuse? When Sirima-Shastri pact was signed on the status of the Indian Tamils was there any significant protest in Jaffna? Please enlighten me.

    The current Chinese situation is different. They are in the country to do a specific job and the expectation is that they will leave once that is done. People understand that and accept that. However, if Mahinda had said that we are getting 5000 Chinese to build the port and after the construction they are going to settle down in Hambanthota and we are giving them citizenship, I don’t think people would have been happy.

    I know very well how certain costal casts originated in Sri Lanka. We don’t know how the “locals” reacted to these migrations at that time, whether they were happy or unhappy about it. But over the generations and time they have assimilated and these days no one is demanding that all Karawa’s to go back to Kerala. For your interest, I know pretty well from which village in Kerala my ancestors arrived in Ambalangoda many many generations ago. The record of their migration is written up in the old Dutch court records that are archived at the Galle courts.

    As far as I am concerned, there only a very few pure Singhalese or pure Tamils in Sri Lanka, we are all a mix, a beautiful masala. We just happen to speak two different languages. That is why to me, all this is utter nonsense.

  180. Navin

    How Can you Singala Thugs chase away Tamils from their Own Land settle your Gammayo ‘s and thuhgs in the Tamils Own Home land. Why you bulldozed houses with hard earned money and make it so called HSZ. . I challange you – Try to do that in your South Singala Area . Can you do. Bloody begging Singala community.Only Hamadurus begged those days . Now they go in Mercedez. Poor Sinhalese peasants are grabbing Prosperous Tamil Land. How many Sinhales are own Properties in Englad OZ Canada or elsewhere? Are they being chased away by the citizen ofthat countries.Dont argue like a typica Sinhala Modaya

  181. 196. Ranjan from Toronto

    Someone in an earlier comment says that it is the local’s fault if they did not have deeds. That is a silly thing to say. Most of the land ownership in ancient Sri Lanka was not based on written deeds.
    ———————————————————

    There would have been anarchy if there was no system of land registration. In any civilized country there will be records. If you do not have records to prove your title then you are supposed to be an intruder. And also all the land that does not belong to anybody belongs to the govt automatically because the govt has the first right on all the resources.

    Don’t compare marriage with the land registration. In the marriage there is a ritual and there are the relatives of the bride and the groom. They could testify it.

  182. With the government rejecting a visa for R&B singer Akon to perform in Sri Lanka over the visuals in one his videos which degrades Buddhism, Daily Mirror online got the views of the people on the move.

    How about Buddhist monk’s thugeery on stretts, damaging Tamils property womanizing in the Temoles- Is it NOt disgraceful to Buddhism. HiK Zak

  183. Lord Buddha is an Indian. So many worship this Indian, kill for the sake of this Indian, attack followers of other religions for the sake of this Indian and oppose people who are of Indian origin who have been residing in Sri Lanka for generations from being granted Sri Lankan citizensip. This shows the irony of being an Indian Buddhist Sinhalese .

  184. 194. shankar:

    As for Stephen jones whom you mention often as arguing for ponnambalams 50:50, i didn’t see him arguing anything. He was merely pointing out the demographic structure at that time.

    Exactly. The point is it is wrong to use the demographic structure at the time to justify 50-50!

    Due to presence of Indian Tamils the Sinhalese percentage was just 66% as apposed to 73% today. Jones was arguing reduction in representation for Sinhalse due to 50-50 would thus be a mere 10% (he approximated 66 with 60) and not 23%.

    That is a cunning way to prune political rights of the Sinhalese. First you introduce enough aliens without the consent of the majority. Then you say look, Sinhalese are no longer in clear majority so lets do 50-50!@#$%^&*.

  185. The purpose of the 50-50 demand was to prevent the Sinhalese from using their majority to trample on the rights of the minorities, as indeed they have done and are still doing.

    As for Navin’s wish to expel a couple of million people who have lived in Lanka for generations it is the kind of thing that would be viewed as maniacal if for example it were proposed in Australia and the UK. Does Navin think the Australians have the right to throw out all the Sri Lankans living there?

  186. The current Chinese situation is different. They are in the country to do a specific job and the expectation is that they will leave once that is done. People understand that and accept that.

    The fact that infrastructure projects are being built in Lanka with Chinese Labour is a scandal.

  187. Mahinda is copying the British. He is building the infrastructure where it suits him, not where it suits the country.

    What good is a second airport at Hambantota when the first is woefully underused?

    What about the Katuyanake-Colombo express road that we have been waiting for for fifteen years?

  188. Navin,

    Indian plantation workers though illiterate and in pathetic conditions in Srilanka are living in peace with Sinhalese.

    You are racist not because you support the majority.

    You are racist because you are against people from another race even though they live in harmony and cause no harm to the majority Sinhalese.

  189. # 200. Surane

    I agree. Sinhalese dont have a religion of their own, worship an indian Lord Buddah. but boast about their culture and kingdoms. what a joke !!!

  190. 201. Navin

    First you introduce enough aliens without the consent of the majority. Then you say look, Sinhalese are no longer in clear majority so lets do 50-50!@#$%^&*

    ————————————————-

    Navin you want to play the number game. Even to assauge your feelings that the sirima-sastri pact was signed. It is not fair to talk about the Plantation Tamils as aliens even after this.

    After the July 1983, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi said she wanted to militarily interfere in sri lanka. She said she hesitated just because she was worried about the fate of the Plantation Tamils at that time.

    The plantation Tamils have helped you by their presence at that time.

  191. 202. Stephen Jones:

    I have heard the story why the Tamils proposed 50-50. 201 and others were to prove that your use of ethnic ratios to justify 50-50 was wrong.

    Long before Sinhalese started trampling on rights of Tamils, their own rights were trampled endlessly, by the British and Tamils were part of the game– don’t forget that before standardization 45% of engineering undergraduates were “local” Tamils and post independence civil service was 60% Tamil– all these people had been drawn from a community less than 12%.

    When it was proposed to atomic bomb Japan, did the US view that as maniacal? Forget about then, what about US now? Today the Australians won’t touch the Tamil refugees with a ten foot long pole. This is not a couple of million people we are talking but a few dozen. What’s more they quickly changed UN guidelines on refugees to not be obligated to accommodate these people in their country. Yet, you believe Australians would have faired better than Sinhalese had they been in the same shoes… well, suite yourself.

    If we live in an ideal world, having Indian Tamils would not have been a problem. However, given the ethnic tensions between Sinhalese and local Tamils, it was wise, justified and reasonable for Sinhalese to have campaigned that Indian Tamils be relocated to their country. Been born in a country does not automatically make you a citizen of that country– go read the present immigration laws of UK.

    Even today, Sinhalese before they sympathize with the Indian Tamils they better worry about their own survival. Indian Tamils can look to Indira to save their ass, but when the time comes its only the man upstairs Sinhalese have to turn for help! Without understanding the problem from the Sinhalese perspective and just associating racism with everything will take you no where.

    This is my last post.

  192. 209. Navin

    Without understanding the problem from the Sinhalese perspective and just associating racism with everything will take you no where.

    This is my last post.

    —————————————————

    You should also understand the problem from the perspective of others. When the agreement was signed between the Srima and sastri and it is in force why are you raking up the citizenship rights of the plantation tamils.

    If you want to revisit the sirima-sastri accord then there are scores of people in India who will want to scrap the sirima-sastri accord and also other accords like kachateevu etc.

    If we are going to scrap accords then it will only lead to anarchy.

    Be accomodative man.

    Also do not sound the last post. That is for the retreating army to do or it is generally done for the fallen soldiers.

    Come back man. Have spirit.

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