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Remembering Lakshman Kadirgamar on Fifth Anniversary of his Death

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By D.B.S.Jeyaraj

(Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was killed on August 12th 2005. This article written in August 2005 for “The Sunday Leader” is reproduced here to commemorate the fifth anniversary of his death.It has been shortened)

Lakshman Kadirgamar ~ (April 12, 1932 – August 12, 2005)

Independence dawned for Sri Lanka then Ceylon on February 4th 1948. The union jack was lowered and the national flag raised at the stroke of midnight. Even as the flag fluttered proudly four young athletes carrying flaming torches entered the square and ran up the steps of Independence hall. Together they lit the lamp of freedom.

The quartet comprised members of the four major communities of the Island . The sixteen year old youth representing the Tamils was Lakshman Kadirgamar.That instance may not have been the proudest moment in Lakshmans life as he was destined to achieve glory in many spheres of life. But on that day as a new nation made its tryst with destiny Kadirgamar played a role that he never ever played again.

At the dawn of Independence the Tamils perceived themselves jubilantly as an integral part of the Country. Lakshman Kadirgamar personified the Tamil people in that ceremony. He Was Tamil and he was Ceylonese (Sri Lankan). There was no conflict here. In later years this harmony was ruined as the serpent of racism entered the garden of Eden. Kadirgamar himself was to be caught up later in this dilemma of ethnicity and nationality and pay the supreme price.

The man who carried the torch of independence as a representative of the Tamils is a man whom the self – imposed sole representatives of the Tamil people and their minions loved to hate. So intense was their hatred that the name Kadirgamar itself was featured in tiger and pro – tiger discourse as a word for traitor. Ettappan who betrayed Kattabhomman to the British, Kakkai Vanniyan who betrayed Sankiliyan to the Portugese were words used to depict traitors earlier. In recent times the assassinated Jaffna mayor Duraiappa’s name was used. Nowadays they use Kadirgamar. Now that they have killed him another “thurogi” has to be discovered and vilified.

The name Kadirgamar is unique to Sri Lankan Tamils. Lord Muruga or Skanda in Kathirgamam or Kataragama is the most sacred place of Hindu worship in Sri Lanka . Names such as Kadirgamar, Kathirgamanathan, Kathirgamathamby, Kathirgamasegaram etc are derived from the deity of Kathirgamam. Names like these are seldom found in Tamil Nadu.

It is indeed interesting that a name like Kadirgamar should be borne by some members of the Christian faith in Sri Lanka . This is because some Tamils continued to retain their Tamil “Hinduistic” names even after conversion. Others took on English and American names as surnames.

Lakshman Kadirgamar belonged to a Protestant Christian family of Jaffna Tamil Vellala origin. The founder of this christianised Kadirgamar family was a native of Puloly West called Karthigeyan Kadirgamar. His staunch Hindu family renovated and was involved in managing the Point Pedro Sivan temple at one time.

Karthigeyan’s first cousin Eliyathamby during colonial times was an Adhigar in Batticaloa. It is said that Adhigar road in Batticaloa was named after him.

Karthigeyan took on the name Christian after baptism but retained the Kadirgamar name. He served as the first Ceylonese Registrar – General of the Supreme Court. His wife was the daughter of Rev. Francis Ashbury of Vaddukkoddai. The Ashbury family was one of the earliest converts to Protestant Christianity in Jaffna . The Kadirgamar family through the Ashbury Connection, as once asserted by Bishop Kulendran of the CSI Church, can claim unbroken continuity from the first protestant converts with the founding of the American mission in the early decades of the 19th century.

Karthigeyan’s eldest son Samuel Jebaratnam Christian (SJC) Kadirgamar was the man who established the Kadirgamar family in Colombo . He studied at St. Thomas College travelling to Mutwal from Jaffna by boat. One of his dormitory mates was a lad called Wilson . Both found themselves quarrelling eternally.

The STC Warden at the time resolved it in typical English public school fashion. Both were asked to don boxing gloves and slog it out in the ring with the warden as referee. At the end of it both became firm friends for life. Both became proctors and set up the law firm Kadirgamar and Wilson in Colombo .

SJC Kadirgamar married Edith Rosemand Parimalam Mather the daughter of Edward Mather of Manipay. The Mathers apparently were engaged in commerce and traded in imported products. Two of Lakshman’s uncles were christian ministers. The Rev. JWA Kadirgamar on his paternal side and Rev. BCD Mather on his maternal side were pastors. This Christian heritage is something which cannot be obliterated despite Lakshman’s latter day Theosophy of the Olcott variety.

Incidently the assassin or assassins using the Thalayasingham residence to snipe at Kadirgamar had carried a cricket bag with the name of Sri Lankan cricketer Russel Arnold written on it. Russel Arnold himself is a nephew of Lakshman being the grandson of BCD Mather.

While talking of cricketers it may be recalled that the Thalayasinghams too were excellent cricketers at Royal. Lakshman called “Thalaya” captained the team in 1966 when the unbeaten Thomian team was led by Anura Tennekoon nicknamed “Ataya”. Lakshmans brothers Sahadevan opened batting for Royal in 1968 and Jayantha opened bowling in 1969 – 70.

Lakshman Kadirgamar born on April 12th 1932 was the youngest of six children. The eldest SJC (jnr) or Sam Kadirgamar was the well known Queens Counsel. Selvanathan or Bhai Kadirgamar a major in the army later emigrated to the USA . Rajan was the former Sri Lankan Navy commander. Thirumalan or Mana Kadirgamar was a planter who died early meeting with a motor accident in Dickoya. With Lakshmans death none of the brothers are now among the living. The only sibling alive is his eldest sister Eeswari who married Dr. AMD Richards.

While all his brothers were educated at Royal only Lakshman went to Trinity presumably due to the war where he studied from 1942 to 1950. He won many awards while at Trinity including the Dr Andreas Nell Memorial Prize for Ceylon History- Napier Clavering Prize for English and the Ryde Gold Medal for the best all round student in 1950.

In sports he got cricket colours and was Cricket Captain -1950. Rugby Colours-1949. Athletics Colours-1949 and Trinity Lion 1950. He came first at Public Schools, and broke the record in the 110m hurdles (15.7 seconds) in 1949. He won the Duncan White Challenge Cup-1949 De Soysa Challenge Cup-1949. was Senior Prefect in 1949.

He entered the Peradeniya University and read for an LLB degree there. While an undergrad he won the All Ceylon 110m hurdles title in 1951 and 1952. All India inter University 110m hurdles title and set records at Ahamedabad in 1951 and Allahabad in 1952. He was also Member of the cricket teams of the University of Ceylon and later Balliol College, University of Oxford becoming an Oxford Blue in Cricket.

After getting his Bachelors degree in law Kadirgamar passed the Advocates final first in order of merit. He then served as secretary to Justice ENA Gratiaen. He later went to England becoming a Barrister of the Inner Temple and entering Balliol College Oxford.

He made history in Oxford getting elected as President of the Oxford Union. Four Sri Lankans have been Presidents. They are Kadirgamar (Trinity) Athulathmudali (Royal) Noordeen (STC) and Jeyasundharie Wilson (Methodist). Jeya Wilson the only woman President from Sri Lanka is a niece of the late Prof. AJ Wilson.

In 1958 during the communal violence Lakshman Kadirgamar when interviewed by the media said that SWRD Bandaranaike was only a “politician” and not a “statesman” because of the violence. The next year Lakshman was instrumental in getting a portrait of SWRD hung up.

The tradition is that any Union President who becomes head of state gets a bust. Since SWRD was only treasurer of the union he got a portrait. SWRD however was assassinated a few dayss before he was to visit Oxford for the ceremony. In his absence it was left to Lakshman to do the honours.

Many years later Lakshman Kadirgamar’s portrait was unveiled at the Oxford Union on March 18, 2005 by Rt. Hon Lord Chris Patten of Barnes CH, Chancellor of the University of Oxford . In the 183-year history of the Oxford Union he is the fifteenth office bearer whose bust or portrait is displayed in the Union building. Kadirgamar was also made Hon. Master of the Inner Temple-1995 -the second Asian to be made so after former Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman.

While at Balliol Kadirgamar married an artist Angela Malik of French – Pakistani descent. He had two children. The daughter is Ajitha Perera now resident in Boston . She was a well – known media personality in Sri Lanka during the eighties and nineties.

Her son Keira Perera is Kadirgamar’s only grandson. Kadirgamar’s son an architecht is in Sri Lanka. He was named Sriraghavan JebaratnamChristian but is generally known as Ragee.

In later years Kadirgamar divorced his first wife. He married again in 1996. He married Suganthi Wijeysuriya a lawyer and senior partner at the law firm FJ and G de Saram. Their wedding was a private one with Chandrika Kumaratunga and Gamani Corea being the attesting witnesses.

After returning to Sri Lanka in the sixties from Oxford Lakshman Kadirgamar went about building a lucrative law practice. At the same time he began exploring prospects of a political career too.

It is interesting to note that Kadirgamar at that time was contemplating a political future as an elected MP from the North. He was ardently wooed by both the Federal Party and Tamil Congress. Though he never joined those parties or participated in actively in politics Kadirgamar interacted closely with Tamil politicians like SJV Chelvanayagam, GG Ponnambalam, M. Tiruchelvam, EMV Naganathan. M. Balasundaram etc.

He also made several visits to Jaffna during this time. One objective was to rediscover his roots. Another was to scout around for a prospective electorate. Though his own family was now Colombo based there were several others of the extended Kadirgamar family in Jaffna .

He was also a keen student of history and very much interested in that of the Jafna kingdom. Though his pro – tiger critics chide him as an ignoramus in the history and traditions of Jaffna people who have heard him speak on the subject are amazed at his knowledge and insight. There are few with Kadirgamar’s knowledge of Jaffna history in the tiger camp.

During one of his Jaffna trips in the sixties Kadirgamar addressed the Jaffna YMCA on an interesting theme. His lecture was titled “From Plato to Sirimavo”. When excerpts of that lecture were carried in newspapers Mrs. Bandaranaike was reportedly annoyed.

Years later she herself telephoned Lakshman inviting him to join her daughter President Chandrika Kumaratunga cabinet of which the grand old lady was Prime Minister. She added her voice then to numerous others urging Kadirgamar to enter active politics.

What led Kadirgamar to give up ideas of entering politics in the sixties and then do so thirty years later in the nineties?

Sir Arunachalam Mahadeva son of Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam once lamented that when universal franchise was introduced he had to go “far” to Jaffna in search of a constituency though he had lived for the greater part of his life in Colombo . This was Lakshman Kadirgamar’s dilemma too when he began toying with the idea of entering Parliament. Though the multi – member constituencies of Colombo Central (3) and Colombo South (2) were carved out that way to provide for Tamil representation things never turned out that way.

The upper and upper middle class voters of Colombo South preferred JR Jayewardene of the UNP and to a lesser extent Bernard Soysa of the LSSP over and above any Tamil candidate.

The lower middle class and working class Tamils of Colombo Central cast their votes for Pieter Keuneman and later Ranasinghe Premadasa. Bala Tampoe in 1960 and MS Sellasamy in 1977 failed to win.

Yet Sellasamy won later in 1989 under proportionate representation for the entire City. P Devarajan, R Yogarajan, Mano Ganesan and even Thiyagarajah Maheswaran have demonstrated that elected Tamil representation is possible in Colombo .

This was not the situation in the sixties. With GG Ponnambalam and SJV Chelvanayagam evincing an interest in enticing the oxonian prodigy to their ranks young Lakshman like A Mahadeva before him had to look Northwards.

He had accompanied Justice EFN Gratiaen as secretary on several trips to Jaffna in the fifties. Being secretary to the Judge was a reward for his academic brilliance in law. Apparently an arrangement had been worked out by Prof. Nadarajah in this respect with Gratiaen. Shinya was the predecessor to Kadirgamar in this post.It was as Gratiaen’s secretary that Kadirgamar played a small role in getting HL de Silva join the Attorney – Generals department.

These trips to Jaffna kindled his enthusiasm for discovering his roots. He also read up vividly on Jaffna history and familiarised himself of the evolution and growth of Jaffna .

This grasp of history may have played a part in Kadirgamars attitude towards separatism. No true intellectual could accept the half – baked versions of history propagated by both the pro and anti – eelam forces. Later in the sixties he began visiting Jaffna again prospecting for a constituency.

The prospective candidate’s enthusiasm however was short lived for two reasons.

One was that his discovery of the state of politics in the North. Tamil nationalism had risen to the fore and demanded pandering to that concept by prospective candidates. This narrow nationalism was not to his liking.

Besides he was unable to even speak Tamil to the extent of making political speeches.Also despite his ancestry there were no firm roots in Jaffna . It was doubtful that Lakshman could face the hustle and bustle of Jaffna politics let alone win .

His Jaffna based Cousins gave him their candid views on his political prospects in Jaffna . Lakshman realised that his political chances in the peninsula were slimmer than the Isthmus of Aanai Iravu ( Elephant Pass ).

He was further discouraged in his political ambition by his elder brothers in Colombo , Sam JC Kadirgamar the lawyer and Rajanathan (Rajan) Kadirgamar the Naval Commander. Both advised him to drop his political ambition and concentrate on his law.. Their father SJC (snr) had established a lucrative practice in Colombo and was also the founder president of the Ceylon Legal Society.

Lakshman heeded the advice of his brothers and cousins and began focusing on the law. There are some of Lakshman’s relatives who believe that he would have never entered politics had his two elder brothers been alive. Both Rajan and Sam had passed away before Lakshman entered politics in 1994.

Kadirgamar then settled down firmly in Colombo and began building up a solid practice.He specialised in commercial, industrial, labour and administrative law.

Then came the JVP insurgency of 1971. this had a profound impact on Lakshman. Though not affected directly the JVP revolt made Lakshman feel that he should go abroad. He felt that life in Lanka was going to turn worse with the advent of the JVP. How very prophetic!

But ironically enough the very same Lakshman who left Sri Lanka due to the JVP found himself on the best of terms with the “rathu sahodarayas” 33 years later. The JVP found in Lakshman a sincere friend and guide while Lakshman recognized a “like – mindedness” on some issues.

Lakshman relocated to Britain . He pursued a legal career from 1971 to 74 during which he showed keen interest in human rights. In 1973 he was the special representative of Amnesty International investigating the Buddhist – Catholic violence in Vietnam .

In 1976 he became consultant to the International Labour Organization (ILO)in Geneva . In 1978 he joined the World Intellectual property organization (WIPO) and served as its director till 1988.He was the virtual adviser on intellectual property to developing nations of Asia – pacific.

He also travelled widely. In the early eighties he was in an airplane that crashed in Greece . He survived miraculously by jumping through the emergency exit. He broke several bones and was bed – ridden for three months.

While Lakshman was abroad he received a powerful invitation in 1977 from Lalith Athulathmudali and HW Jayewardene to return and take up politics as a “green elephant”. HW was I believe Lakshman’s senior during his apprenticeship.

Lakshman turned it down.One reason was that he was looking forward to brighter prospects in the UNO. In this however he was to be disappointed badly.

This disappointment and the fact that his daughter Ajitha had returned to Sri Lanka to become a well – known media personality impelled Lakshman to go back home. This he did in 1988.

He returned to Colombo and re- established his legal practice again. He concentrated as earlier on industrial. labour and commercial law and of course intellectual property law.

Another less known fact was that Kadirgamar also was a discreet consultant avoiding limelight in a number of cases affecting Tamildetainees. He also proffered legal advice to some Tamils affected in the violence in procuring compensation. This was in association with a human rights organization. There are some Tamil human rights lawyers who are aware of this but will not dare articulate it for fear of offending the tigers intent on vilifying Lakshman

The “second coming” of Chandrika Kumaratunga to Sri Lanka in the early nineties heralded a new dawn for ethno – politics in the Country. There were high hopes that a negotiated settlement to the ethnic crisis was in sight. It was a period of idealistic fervour.

It was in such a climate that Kadirgamar decided to enter politics in support of Kumaratunga. Earlier Athulathmudali had renewed his invitation in 88 – 89 too but Kadirgamar declined gracefully not wishing to join the tarnished UNP.

Lakshman deciding to join the SLFP in 1994 was a significant development as his family on account of its class character had been staunch UNP loyalists. Elder brother Sam Kadirgamar was the chief counting agent of Dudley Senanayake in 1965.

Sam was offered an ambassadorship to Moscow which he declined.It was said that had Dudley returned to power in 1970 Sam may have been Justice Minister. Retired Naval chief Rajan Kadirgamar too was a corporation chairman in the JR regime.

Initially the person who persuaded Kadirgamar to join politics was the late Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam of the TULF. He was ably supported by the lawyer Manouri Muttetuwegama – wife of Sarath(CP) and daughter of Colvin(LSSP) – in this mission.

One of Lakshmans relatives,former Bank of Ceylon chairman Rajan Asirwatham also influenced him in this regard. Lakshman was placed on the SLFP national list. The other big name coming into politics from academia was Gamini Lakshman Peiris. Both Peiris and Kadirgamar played a big part in winning over voters to the SLFP from what is considered the traditional UNP constituency.

The only Tamil candidate on the SLFP with a chance of winning the hustings was lawyer Ketheeswaran in the Wanni. Kethees was the former TULF Urban council chairman in Vavuniya. But he did not win. So Kumaratunga had to appoint one Tamil as national list MP. This naturally was Lakshman.

Thus one from the Kadirgamar family became a Member of Parliament. The dominant professional strands in the family were law, christian clergyhood, teaching and service in the armed forces.Now for the first time an active full – time politician emerged.

The new government had a majority of one through Up Country Tamil MP Chandrasekharan. He and Kadirgamar were the two Tamil representatives initially. Kumaratunga offered them both deputy – minister posts as she wanted to restrict her cabinet to twenty.

Chandrasekharan accepted but not Kadir. Lakshman who rarely projected himself as a Tamil did so then. He pointed out that his community would consider it an insult if he was only to be given a deputy – ministership. Chandrika agreed. It was a choice of Justice or Foreign Affairs. Lakshman wanted the latter. He was immensely equipped for it.

Kadirgamar proved subsequently that he was the best man for the job.In the post – independence years Defence and External affairs portfolios were the preserve of the Prime Minister. It was under JRJ in 1977 that a departure was made and ACS Hameed became foreign minister.

It is broadly acknowledged that Kadirgamar was the best foreign minister the Country ever had. To Sinhala hawks Kadirgamar was the best foreign minister because he spearheaded an anti – tiger drive. But the man’s greatness was in clearing up the augean stables in the ministry due mainly to the cronyism of Hameed and Tyronne Fernando.

It was another Tamil Sir Kandiah Vaithiyanathan as permanent secretary who set up a modern foreign service after Independence . It was Lakshman Kadirgamar who restructured and professionalised the service. Those who worked with him from Permanent secretary to peon would vouch for this.

It was unfortunate indeed that in later years he was unable to check the interference of his spouse Suganthi in affairs of the ministry. Thanks to her there are blemishes in what was a career of ability and integrity.

Another of his achievements as foreign minister was restoring good relations with India eroded greatly under Jayewardene and Premadasa. Of course Indo – Lanka relations were always good under the Bandaranaike dynasty but the role of Kadirgamar cannot be discounted in this.

Many including this columnist have mocked Kadirgamar’s undue haste in paying pooja to any new dispensation in New Delhi like some vassal state. But it cannot be denied that the New Delhi – Colombo relationship changed in favour of the latter in recent years. A brief comparison would suffice as illustration.

In 1987 when JR’s troops took Vadamaratchi and were ready to take Jaffna India engaged in the famous airdrop to deter that. In 2000 when VP’s boys took Elephant Pass and were ready to take Jaffna the same India exerted its influence and stopped that. Kadirgamar then convalescing in New Delhi played a very important yet unpublicised role in that.

But the powers that be wanting to show that it was the might of the armed forces which prevented Jaffna falling did not highlight the India factor. The tigers too kept mum for obvious reasons.

It must be pointed out that Kadirgamar’s affinity towards India and recognition of its pivotal importance in the region was based on enlightened self – interest with emotional underpinnings.

Lakshmans father was an admirer of Mahatma Gandhi .

He was chairman of a reception committee and presided over a meeting attended by the Mahatma in 1927 when Lakshman was yet unborn.. Lakshmans mother Parimalam requested Gandhi for his autograph. The Mahatma looking mischievously at the bright silk saree worn by her refused and told her that he would do so only if she wore “ghaddar” (homespun cloth). She did not get her autograph then.

Incidently she died early when Lakshman was only eight. It was his elder sister Eeswary who looked after him in the early years in maternal fashion. Years after her death Parimalam’s expensive “Koorai” or bridal saree underwent an exalted transformation. When the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India was formed in 1947 and Sabapathy Kulendiran was consecrated as its first bishop SJC Kadirgamar donated the Bishops throne now at the Vaddukkoddai Cathedral.

This throne which this columnist has seen personally was made out of good old Jaffna palmyrah though it looks like polished ebony. The Koorai saree was used to cover seating and the footstool. Years later Sam Kadirgamar got a velvet cover made for it.

Apart from this link with the Mahatma, I am also told that two of Lakshman’s close relatives had close Indian links.One had been a disciple of the Mahatma at Sabarmathy Ashram and another a student at Tagores Shanti Nikhetan. In that sense Lakshman too continued this historic link with India .

Apart from the political aspects there was the spiritual aspect bordering on the personal. In Lakshmans intellectual and spiritual journey Indian philosophical thought became heavily influential. Lakshman had evolved into an inter – faith person. He was greatly enamoured of India’s greatest son Gauthama Buddha and this was no pretension caused by contemporary political compulsions.

This point was touched on by the historian and Lakshmans first cousin Seelan Kadirgamar at his memorial service.This is what he reportedly observed “His (Lakshman) religious convictions perceiving common values in the four great religions, has struck a responsive chord in me as among others, and I wish to affirm in the strongest terms have nothing to do with his assumption of office. As a student of Indian history I place him in the great tradition in Indian history from Asoka to Akbar, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Tagore and Gandhi – inclusive and not exclusive”.

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  1. I have lots of regard for Mr.Kadirgamar and proud as a Tamil of his accomplishments

    But I must say I was disappointed that he did not speak out against the discrimination meted out to Tamils

    DBS thanks for reviving memories

  2. Pingback: dbsjeyaraj.com » Remembering Lakshman Kadirgamar on Fifth … University Intro

  3. My Dear God Minister Mervin Silva
    You are our hero, the only Minister who went to the masses. My dear honourable Sir, we miss you so much. Please come back, especially to Kelaniya, if not we are all in the dark
    Yours sincerely
    Mangala Premarathne

  4. why did Thalyasingham killed Kaidr? What was the motive? This is a million dollar question.

    Thalayasingham did NOT kill Kadirgamar………..DBSJ

  5. Absolutely facinating. You constantly amaze me DBS. Is there any subject related Sri Lanka that you do not know of?

    Lakshman Kadirgamar is one politician that I always though that Sinhalese would vote to be the Prime Minister or the President of the country. Sinhalese have so much affection for him and I have never ever heard anyone saying anything bad about him. In the dog-eat-dog Sl politics, that is indeed an achievement. But I guess we will never know now.

    When I look at how much we have lost from both communities over the last so many years to ethnic madness I feel like crying.

    I never made the connection that our distingushed former navy commander was his brother. I guess that we did have Tamils as very high ranking officers in the armed forces (and in the Police) will come as a surprise to many young Tamils and to th eIndians reading this blog.

  6. Kadirgamar sir could have become Prime minister. Chandrika madam and JVP wanted it. Man who undercut Kadirgamar was Mahinda Rajapaksa

  7. I never thought India had a role in preventing the fall of Jaffna to the Tigers. I am surprised by that.

    Probably the Tigers abandoned their plans to capture Jaffna because they wanted to build bridges with India….may be I don’t know.

    But how could they build bridges? They had burnt the bridge when they assassinated Rajiv Gandhi.

    India probably didn’t like the Tigers to take on the Jaffna, because then they would be closer to the Koodangulam, Kalpakkam, Sri Hari Kota etc.

  8. //But the powers that be wanting to show that it was the might of the armed forces which prevented Jaffna falling did not highlight the India factor. The tigers too kept mum for obvious reasons//

    ahh….The India factor.I know a lot many people are going to critisize you for bringing out the fact that it was India that prevented Jaffna from falling and saved the lives of thousand’s of soldiers.Ironically,for some reason,the reversal at Jaffna is credited to help rendered by Pakistant,interms of firepower supplied

    DBS will you be writing an article with complete coverage on the India angle to the Srilanka issue – including India’s hidden role in the final war \ KP’s “arrest” if one might call it etc?


    The firepower from Pakistan particularly the Multi-barrel rocket launchers came a little later after the LTTE had “suspended” the militqry drive.

    India sent out feelers to LTTE that they may have to evacuate Sri Lankan soldiers by sea if necessary from Jaffna. Colombo had asked New Delhi for assistance in this regard. LTTE got jittery that India may come in militarily and began withdrawing from Thenmaratchy

    The Janaka Perera – Sarath Fonseka combine then unleashed barrages of artillery fire on Thenmaratchy areas AFTER the LTTE had vacated. This was simply to terrify, cause destruction and send out a signal

    Later the LTTE launched “Unceasing waves” -4 in an offensive against the Army on the Kilaly-Eluthumadduvaal-Nagar Kovil axis.It was beaten back and the LTTE does not “talk” of “Oyatha Alaigal – 4.

  9. even “Kerosene” Maheswaran
    common DBS anna , you are a very respected write .
    Please write like Late Maheswaran ( once man dead all his bad side die with him – MR Ratha said )


    This article was written in August 2005 and is reproduced here. At the time of writing Thiyagarajah Maheswaran was alive and I referred to him as Kerosene then. I have criticised him openly when he was alive particularly when he was in power during the UNP regime of 2001-2004. This reference was NOT made now but five years ago

    Having said that I will remove that description Kerosene later tonight in deference to your feelings. This article is about Kadirgamar not about Maheswaran so that deletion wont make any difference

  10. Kadir is my hero and the Obama we could have had in Sri Lanka…

    His killing is one of the greatest crimes LTTE committed to Sri Lanka

  11. Jeyaraj

    This makes fascinating reading. Your insight into the Kadirgamar pedigree is amazing

    My question is why is the statue erected for Kadirgamar still gathering dust at greenpath?

    If the Sinhalese are indeed grateful for services rendered by him then why are none agitating on this matter on behalf of their hero?

  12. Thank you very much for your contribution about the late Lakshman Kadirgamar.You are performing a commendable task. Only journalists like you can know the reasons for the failure of the Sinhalese and Tamil communities to understand each other’s thoughts and feelings is due primarily to a large extent a fault of the mainstream press……

  13. What is your opinion Sir?
    Like Kadirgamar and KP Tamils covert to Buddhism will bring solution to Sri Lankan Tamils issues?

  14. Thanks Mr dbsj,
    Tell me Mr kathir ever accepted tamils discriminated in srilanka? I will tell you thease vellala cowards mostly responsible for our people suffering, i know you will never going to accept…my self come from this rascals, from ramanathan to amirthalingam responsible for this.

  15. I hope u know kathirgamar cannot spreak even Tamil fluently and he was not a hindu(thats not an issue). He was not even married to a Tamil . He has never spoken for the tamils. He never spoke for tamils and was playing for the tunes of sinhala chavunists. I admired for his intellect. But hed never used that for his people.

    Kadirgamar not breast fed tamil milk by tamil mother like myself

  16. Good one again DBSJ,

    Kadir and Jeyaraj F are the two tamil politicians who appealed to the masses at a national level than sticking to a narrow ethnic mindset..

    Re: Mani/ Navin on previous thread,

    Maha does indeed mean great..But the word ‘Vansa’ has been misinterpreted here…’Wansha/Wansam’ does mean race/ caste..However in Sinhala and Pali, ‘Vansa’ also means story/ chronicle..

    So Mahavansa means ‘Greater chronicle’..Similarly are other books, Chulavansa (Lesser chronicle), Daladavansa (Chronicle of the tooth relic), Elu aththanagalu vansa (Chronicle of the (Sin)hela of Aththanagalla)..

    It’s quite easy to interprete words to fit your own twisted theories isn’t it?

  17. It is true that he is an accomplished person. He was an elite Tamil and had never represented ordinary Tamils. We have never heard his voice during 1983. He even can’t speak Tamil like other elite Tamils. Majority of Tamils have no sympathy for him.

  18. Dear All,

    Thanks DBSJ for this tribute / insight on the life and background of the Late Kadirgama.

    Guys have a look at his face. This man was a true son of Sri Lanka. he loved his roots and was respected by all communities.

    I firmly believe that if you are a Human Being with qualities that should belong to human ness there is no race to which you belong. If Kadirgama was in Britain he would be loved by the British. So here is a man brutally gunned down for what? for being in a position of foreign minister? Why not kill Murali for being the best bowler this country ever had? Such was the thinking of the LTTE. That is why WE HATE the LTTE, not because of the bombs but of the senseless killings in the name of EELAM.

    God Bless Kadir and may his soul rest eternally in peace. I know Kadir grandson Ragee, Ragee if you read this know that your grandfather was loved and missed by so many.

  19. Dear DBSJ anna,
    I can’t imagine that how you can remember all these events. Simply superb. Many thanks anna. Please post more of your articles. The way you are writing your articles are just amazing. Please carry on…


  20. Unfortunately Nalini has forgotten history.At the time of K’s assassination Chandrika was not on good terms with him as he was having closer contact with the JVPers.
    JVP was anathema to her as they were trying to topple her govt.
    She has also forgotten that it was Mahinda who made the funeral oration on behalf of the Govt.
    Mr.K is revered and respected by all of us.He was a statesman and not a petty politician.
    tesman and not a petty politician.

  21. //
    It is interesting to note that Kadirgamar at that time was contemplating a political future as an elected MP from the North.

    This narrow nationalism was not to his liking.

    Besides he was unable to even speak Tamil to the extent of making political speeches.Also despite his ancestry there were no firm roots in Jaffna .

    Though not affected directly the JVP revolt made Lakshman feel that he should go abroad. Lakshman relocated to Britain .

    Kadirgamar declined gracefully not wishing to join the tarnished UNP.

    Lakshman turned it down.One reason was that he was looking forward to brighter prospects in the UNO. In this however he was to be disappointed badly.

    Lakshman deciding to join the SLFP in 1994 was a significant development as his family on account of its class character had been staunch UNP loyalists.

    Lakshman who rarely projected himself as a Tamil did so then. He pointed out that his community would consider it an insult if he was only to be given a deputy – ministership.

    Kadirgamar’s undue haste in paying pooja to any new dispensation in New Delhi like some vassal state.

    ok, this is nothing but yet another elite like in any other society, who is cut and removed from the roots, quick to identify opportunities, ready to be subservient to the power centers , prepared to leave the country anytime, proud of not being “narrow nationalists” but claim their connections whenever suits them.

    Going by the number of fast spreading CBSE schools in TN (that promotes Hindu-Hindi paradigm for India), we are well on our way to create many more Kadirgamars, who are tailormade to serve their “majoritarian nationalist” masters.

  22. This was muders that probabaly topped a downward spiral of LTTE terror. Yet I think sections within GoSL was somehow involved in this operation.

  23. It is only seldom, people with prowess in both physical and intellectual abilities appear on the scene.Thee late Mr Kadiragarmer seems to be one of such rare breeds.

    Had he not fallen to a LTTE sniper, he would have been the first Tamil PM in Srilanka.

  24. Kadirgarmer was more of COndeleeza Rice variety than Obama. Most African maericans dont think much of Condeleeza Rice. So dont Many Tamils of Kadir.
    It doest take away his acheovements thoughh.

  25. Mr. Kadirgamar is the best tamil politician we had undoubtedly, and probably the best politician all times in SL regardless of background.

    What most other tamil politicians didn’t hv in comparison to Kadir was they always brought up their ‘Tamil’ identity into politics which only helped offending their sinhala counterparts who in turn started doing it.

    If all tamil politicians served their areas (which were naturally consist of majority tamils) without arousing the racial feelings, SL would hv not gone thro’ the path of bloody war.

    I still remember Ajitha Kadirgamar who was an English announcer in TV. She was such a beauty.

  26. In a way there were two Lakshman Kadirgamars. The private one – young athlete, cricketer and then lawyer in training who devilled under EFN Gratien also because of his family connections. In the times he was growing up it was the done thing to hog the Brits and their way of living and outlook. And so he did to gain the necessary acceptance for his own social and professional upward mobility. There was no space here for the learning of Tamil or the embryonic Tamil nationalism that was a counter to the majoritarianism in its infancy that was lurking. It would be grossly unfair to fault him if he then figured Identifying oneself with Tamil nationalism in the horizon then would have been unwise. Jennings brought in the entrenched Clause of 29C fearing the inevitable rise of communalism. Both Sinhala and Tamil nationalisms were gaining adulthood as he was securing his.

    After his return from the UK and Geneva by which time his brother Sam was an established QC with a plum assured job at the venerable Ceylon Tobacco – probably No.1 in the private sector. LK had to settle for the next tier. He painstakingly built his reputation as an Opinions Lawyer and was also sought out in matters of Commerce, Intellectual Property and so forth. I was at the lecture of the 3 ex-OxUnion Presidents at the YMCA – the subject as I recall “Sri Lanka – 10 years from now” where he was clearly pessimistic of the country’s future – as an examination of his speech will confirm. There was little indication of having explored a political career then or earlier. He said if one looked at the country 10 years ago and that day one is apprehensive if our territorial integrity can be maintained ten years hence. Yet, such a man did see he has an assured place in the political firmament when he looked at it afresh in the 1990s – egged on certainly by GLP. Neelan and Rajan Asirwatham.

    The other is the LK that belongs to the public domain and is now history. Seelan knows better as he is very much an insider.

    The gentleman of sartorial excellence was light years of his colleagues in the Cabinet – save a few like GLP – in international affairs and that concerning knotty issues of the law. When he was interviewed on BBC and other networks he brought dignity and pride not only to his Motherland but to all non-caucasian countries of the English-speaking world to whom it is 2nd language. His after-dinner ex-tempore address in England (2004?) enroute home from the UN to both Test teams will be remembered as one that enriched the English language itself. He spoke in lighter vein of Cricket and politics that evening. Etched in my memory are these words of his that day “You did not lose to England. You lost to the rain and to M/s Duckworth and Lewis… They won by a Hair ….Cricketers unite the country while politicians divide it…Cricketers work hard while politicians pretend to do so…Cricketers are disciplined whereas the word discipline is unknown to politicians in any language itself” Those who felled this giant of a man did not merely kill an individual. They destroyed a veritable edifice of learning, knowledge and jurisprudence. A part of the country that enriched us all and which belonged to all communities died that day.

    These solemn times when we pay tribute to his memory are not the ideal to speak of his role for the Tamil people in the difficult times he was a minister and what they think of him during those times when they need him most. But perhaps equal publicity will be provided later so that the readership gets a balanced view of the nuances involved. Who actually killed him remains a mystery but in a country where every rumour is a fact the usual culprit is swiftly apportioned the blame.


    There is no mystery.There is no rumour being fact.The LTTE killed him……….DBSJ

  27. D.B.S.J.

    excelent written, but, you miss one significant point taht he was having kidney re plant operation and the donetor was a budhist monk.

  28. Hej dbs
    What about the link between Rajan Kadirgamar(Jaffna college) and Luxman Kadirgamar. Are they cousins?

    Yes.Children of two brothers……..DBSJ

  29. DBSJ: “The firepower from Pakistan particularly the Multi-barrel rocket launchers came a little later after the LTTE had “suspended” the militqry drive.”

    This is not entirely true, IMO. It was the Pakistani MBRL’s that were used against the Tigers once they’d moved back to the Kilali-Muhamalai-Nagarkovil line, but if I remember correctly, the first MBRLs used in the defence of Jaffna were Ukranian, and were accompanied by a Ukranian artillery officer who gave a speech to SL Army troops at Jaffna, urging them to fight. It was these MBRLs that were used against Thennamarachchi — the Tigers’ first experience with the infamous Steel Rain. There weren’t enough of these weapons to have halted the Tigers on their own, but the latter didn’t realise how few of the MBRLs the SL Army possessed. The few were concentrated on Thennamarachchi, and the LTTE abandoned it. Once the Pakistani MBRLs arrived, the SL Army had enough to stop any frontal attack. This was the beginning of the stalemate across the Muhamalai-Nagarkovil line, which SF and Gotabhaya later dubbed the National Front to fool VP into thinking that this was the most important battlefield. VP believed this for a long time, and invested many troops to hold it, right up to the point that that TF1 (58th Div) cut the A9 in January 2009, outflanking Paranthan and Elephant Pass in one stroke (http://blacklightarrow.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/the-advance-to-mullaitivu-phase-2/).

    India’s offer to evacuate SL Army troops from Jaffna would hardly have discouraged the Tigers as it would have effectively abandoned the peninsula to them. Palaly too would then have fallen.

    ISS, have you not heard of Occam’s Razor? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor)

  30. // 3. Vimal | August 11th, 2010 at 7:29 am
    Honestly what is there to remember about this man?//

    Who else you want to remember my friend???

  31. I’ve same opinion as Mr.Kirishnapilai # 1 have. I’m so sorry to criticise the dead man. But I don’t see him as roll model in public life. DBS said that once he mention that “SWRD Bandaranaike was only a “politician” and not a “statesman””. But he is nothing other than highly educated and faithful servant to his Government. SWRD did many things to the sake of his own people but Luxman did nothing as far as I know. We know that GG, Alfred, Kumarasooriyar, Thiyagarajah, Thevanayagam, Rasathurai, Neelan even Douglas, Karuna & KP did at least something for their people while collaborating with the Government but Luxman never address our people’s plight in any point in time. He born as Tamil but not live as Tamil. Whatever it is I don’t agree the way he killed. I pray for him rest in peace!

  32. The fact that Sri Lankan Tamils are a cursed lot was proved with the assasination of Lakshman Kadirgamar by Tamil hands.

  33. I read this article then when publised in 2005. Feelings of sadness of losing a statesman and a pride of his achievemnets is same today.

    We respect him for what he was and done to his country.

    DBSJ it will be great if you could publish an article of LK (if any) about the history of Jaffna untwisted.

    Many will appriciate the truth and our generation will greatly benefit by understanding the correct version of the history .

  34. I admire Mr. Kadirgamar for his intellectual ability and his accomplishment. But the reality was, he was an elite and had never cared for ordinary Tamils.

    Probably, this was the reason as to why he was appointed as a foreign minister of Sri Lanka. He was instrumental in getting the Tigers banned as a Terrorist Organization in the western world.

    As far as the Tamil people are concerned, he was a successfully SriLankan who represented the concerns of Sinahala people.

  35. And here is a can opener.

    Did any one pay the LTTE ( in cash ) for Kadirs death ?

    Didn’t the JVP want Kadir to be the next Presidential Candidate ? and you know who blocked this , screaming at CBK in unpublishable language.

    Considering that MR paid the LTTE for getting him elected, could it be possible that some one paid some one to get the job done.

    What do you folks think ?

    Thanks for the article on Kadir, DBS, he was the best and the brightest.

    Nobody in parliament spoke when Kadir rose to speak. A true Son of the Soil.


  36. Lakshman Kadirgamar is by far the most brilliant and principled politician Sri lanka ever produced. (Irrespective of Tamil/Sinhala/Muslim/Burger/Malay)
    And DBS Jeyaraj is the most brilliant journalist Sri Lanka have ever produced.(Irrespective of the medium English/Sinhala/Tamil)

  37. I’m so sorry to bring the unrelated topic here.

    I saw the(Not Read) DBS’s interview with KP in Tamil at “Thesamnet” website. That interview was translated by R-Sethuraman and re-produced with the curtsey of “Tamil Mirror”. I think they had DBS’s permission to re-produced in Tamil and correctly translated them. The reason I’m writing here is, I think we should encourage and appreciate these sort of authentic re-productions in proper way. Because there are lots and lots of Tamil people have no access to proper Tamil News or Articles. These people specially living overseas are relay on to the free Tamil papers available in Tamil shops and propaganda TV channels in Tamil. These innocent people have been twisted by their biased stories and kept away from the reality. Virtually they are living in the dark . Last few days I watch a Tamil TV they tiled the program as “Can KP change the Tamil’s destiny?” (something like that) based on DBS’s interview(Part1) with KP but manipulate the story and discussing like KP insult LTTE martyrs and so and so. But I don’t remember anything like that on the interview. There are lot of Tamils who can-not read or write in English; are living inside and outside of SL. By reading and watching biased Tamil news and articles, they might go to the wrong direction again. If we are concern about these vulnerable people; we should help them to access to the right materials in Tamil. Whoever can do this, please do it in a right way.


    Nobody has got any “Permission” from me to translate it in Tamil and post or publish. This is what they do all the time. Some at least translate it honestly and attribute it to me as the original writer

    But there are many pro-tiger media who use my stuff in their organs without even attributing. Some distort it in translating to suit their agenda. Their problem is that I should not get “credit” for anything

    This interview was obtained for the “Daily Mirror” English daily. It was also posted on my blog.

    The “Tamil Mirror” is part of the Daily Mirror group. So they have taken it from DM and translated it albeit with slight modification

    The translation is accurate and because it was “Tamil mirror” they have attributed it to me and also posted the original column title from DM

    I have no problem with the “Tamil Mirror” because they will translate without distortion and attribute it to me

    But some other websites are not decent

    This Thesam guys will publish this interview without my permission and then let “readers” comment in the most atrocious way. Every “posterior aperture” will be allowed to write “bovine excreta” about me and/or KP. This is their journalism.

    I m afraid I dont share your opinion about websites like Thesam. It engages in third -grade journalism while pretending to be first-grade.

  38. In a BBC hard talk interview, interviewer mentioned that Kidir also from Tamil monority, but Kadir replied that ” When I was born it was given”. The way he replied made me think that he didn’t want to identify him as Tamil. His actions as FM also made me think he was not a Tamil. He was a good servent for his masters not for the justice. He could have won the hearts and minds of Tamils as well as LTTE by his actions and communication with Tamils.

  39. Thank you, David Blacker, for sharing your learning with me. Believe me I am satisfied I have not commited “plurality without necessity” – if you care to read my comments again. When Capt Charles Gnanakone was taken in under a blaze of media blitzkreig the intention was to create public hatred of him as a Tiger cell. When he was released after a few months of illegal incarceration the alleged culpability of the Tigers did not have a leg to stand on – as that high-profile defense P.C. said. He (Gnananakone) still thinks of suing GoSL, as I learn. By the way, with your own army background you will know more. How far is the speculation there was a senior army man in the household? Did LK come within the scope of Coleridge’s conclusion …” they are all but ministers of love and feed his sacred flame” The Bard, in the role of psycho-analyst was spot on again in that “uneasy lies the head” stuff. Politics at the higher level is not only becoming murkier – but deadly dangerous as well.


  40. # 20 Mahavansa

    O venerable one…I salute you.

    Maha Vamsa is a “Chronicle of the Superior Race” that glorifies Racial Superiority and promotes Race Hate.

    Various writers have called into question the morality of the account given in the Mahavamsa, where king Dutthagamani regrets his actions in killing the king Elara and his troops.

    The Mahavamsa equates the killing of the Tamils as being on par with the killing of “sinners and wild beasts”, and the Dutthagamani’s sorrow and regret are assuaged.

    I detest such documents as much as I detest LTTE propaganda.

    Such hate-creeds have left Sri Lanka with a bloodied history. Only by expunging the hate-filled parts, can SL move ahead to better times.

  41. LK was a man of great stature. People of his caliber, honesty and dignity are rare even among the general populace let alone among the politicians. I often wonder how educated a man took the shots that finally killed him– had that imbecile even completed the 8th grade? May he rest in peace.

  42. 47. Mani:

    Various writers have called into question the morality of the account given in the Mahavamsa, where king Dutthagamani regrets his actions in killing the king Elara and his troops.
    The Mahavamsa equates the killing of the Tamils as being on par with the killing of “sinners and wild beasts”, and the Dutthagamani’s sorrow and regret are assuaged.

    Oh my my……………. please do continue to educate us …

    You yourself speak volumes of your own personality. Hence there is no need for me to elaborate any further.

    The problem is not any superiority complex associated with Mahavansa but your own inferiority complex.

  43. Comment 46,

    Mr ISS does a good job of covering up for Tiger death squads.

    From Duraiappa to Kadiraragarmer there are many victims , mainly eminent, capable and leadership material, who were eliminated either directly by VP or by his death squads.

    The details of the murder and the the method in which it was executed clearly indicate that .it was the work of the LTTE by meticulous planning over a long period.

    How ridiculous it is to ignore these facts and suggest that the killing was done by some murky political hierarchy.

    The Western consulates in countries like Srilanka which have full strength Intelligence squads, will use these incidents to the fullest, to demolish the political hierarchy specially the politicians who are against their interests if they get involved.in killing of this nature.

  44. 47. Mani, reading your comment I felt sorry for you. Even more so for the many ignorant readers who will take what you said at face value and do harm onto themselves and many others. To understand that comment in the Mahavansa you have to know the teachings of the Gautama Buddha. Only if you read Bhikku Badhi’s translations in Engligh or Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thera’s explanations in Sinhala will you know the difference. Except for the minute few who walk in the Noble Eightfold Path, you and I and everyone else, if we care to look within, are full of hatred, delusion, ignorance, cravings, yearnings etc and are not very different to sinners and wild beasts. People of the world will take this comment as racist, but not one in the Dhamma. Mani, did you get to read Prof. Nalin de Silva’s most recent article The end of politics of the Tamil elite? What are your thoughts on it?

  45. #38 Mavady

    “We know that GG, Alfred, Kumarasooriyar, Thiyagarajah, Thevanayagam, Rasathurai, Neelan even Douglas, Karuna & KP did at least something for their people”

    I agree with your comments but suggest little correction. Douglas, Karuna and KP had shown their courage and dedication to Tamil race when the entire race was humiliated(1983).

  46. #45 Shalini,

    ‘When I was born it was given’ Kadir statement is true for us all. We do not choose our race, you are born into it. What he meant was what i said. he preferred to be a true human being first without taking a hardline stand of being part of any race. We all have the same blood same illness ect. We all feel love and pain. Being tamil does not have to mean that you need to Hate the Singhalese or Love extremism. IN my Opinion kadir was loved by many tamil speaking people. The fact that he was loved by other races do not belittle his tamil heritage one bit. Hope you can understand this.

  47. 47 mani

    mahawansa is the oldest history book in the world which was writtenby venarable mahanama thero. you better to go to the web page call mahawansa then you could visualise the history book.

    it did not mension the tamils as wild beast. what said was pointing out one of buddhist saying that people would not believe samyak dustry (better thinking) are definitely falling in to the hell by their daeth. for your convience herewith i quated the relavant paragraph form mahawanda. `From this deed arises no hindrance in thy way to heaven. Only one and a half human beings have been slain here by thee, O lord of men. The one had come unto the (three) refuges, the other had taken on himself the five precepts.[30] Unbelievers and men of evil life were the rest, not more to be esteemed than beasts. But as for thee, thou wilt bring glory to the doctrine of the Buddha in manifold ways; therefore cast away care from thy heart, O ruler of men!’

  48. #47 Mani,

    Think you have offended a few here. I am very conversant with the Mahavamsa, but I cannot believe what you say.
    Most ancient text has to be taken not piece by piece but by the total extent of the referred para. It is the same for the bible too. There are many who would take 3 John in the bible and say that being Christian will bring you prosperity , not understanding that these works are translated into English after being Translated from another language.
    Given time I would read the Mahawamsa. There is no right thinking person here who would refer to any other race as Sinners and Wild beasts without looking inwards first.

  49. 54. samarasekara

    Unbelievers and men of evil life were the rest, not more to be esteemed than beasts.


    It is enough if a man thinks good, speaks good and acts good.

    No need for any religion. Religion is needed to keep in place people who can’t follow these simple precepts in life.

    What were the views of Lord Budha regarding God.

    Does unbelievers here mean atheists.

    If it means atheists then Budha was not one. Budha was also not one who believed in God, if my knowledge about him is correct.

    He was an agnostic.

    Then whom does this term unbeliever refer to?

    Does it mean that atheists do not have any right to life?

    Whether you feel for the fellow human beings. that is the question. if you feel then you are a human being and you need to be treated as one.

    If any religious text says that you are a beast simply because that you are an unbeliever then it is wrong, illegal and sin in the eyes of Dharma.

  50. ISS, I’ve not heard the story about a senior Army officer being in the house — I assume you mean LK’s house and not the assassins’ — but I see nothing unusual about a senior Army officer being at the FM’s house.

    Occam’s Razor is translated as “the simplest explanation is usually the correct one”, and while your suggestion that LK’s murderers weren’t the Tigers isn’t impossible, there’s nothing to really support that theory beyond fanciful speculation — much like the unfounded speculation that President Premadasa murdered Lt Gen Denzil Kobekkaduwa.

    To all of you who claim that LK wasn’t really a Tamil or that he didn’t do anything for the Tamil people, I ask you this — who cares? He was SL’s foreign minister and his duty was to the SL people, not just the Tamils as you demand.

  51. # 56. Mahesh

    In this context, an Article in Tamil guradian claims Tamils are viewed as sub human in mahasamsa

    Tamils and native peoples of Sri Lanka, were labelled “demons” in the Mahavamsa, and contemporary Tamils are labelled as terrorists and terrorist sympathisers.

    The approach is personified in Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapakse. As he explained to the BBC: “I have only two groups – people who are fighting terror and the terrorists. Either you are a terrorist or you are a person who is fighting terrorists”

    Tamil civilian population of the Vanni, who are clearly not fighting the terrorists, are terrorists. Presumably the Tamil people of Jaffna are also terrorists as are the Tamils in the South.

    This would explain why, for example, Tamil newspaper editor, Mr Vithyatharan was a terrorist. Equally, members of the Tamil Diaspora are also terrorists.

  52. It if fascinating to read comments posted on the mahavamsa and atheism and theories on who was responsible for LK’s death etc.

    After all human history is full of episodes recounting human fears and misery.But why should we dwell on them continuously ?

    Is it not time to put all these behind and ponder a while by asking ourselves some uncomfortable questions based on the mistakes and our omissions and commissions of the past. Like our responsibilities and vision for the future as responsible citizens, our values and the strengthening of democratic traditions in our country,the role of the state and governance etc.

    Sixty two years after our so called independence we are still in the doldrums struggling to develop and improve our living standards and to be free from hunger and disease.But we still find ourselves still stuck with the despair of prejudice,communal politics and religious differences and debating as to who is right as to what the Buddha said or not while dark clouds loom on the horizon with rising prices dwindling living standards diminishing incomes,scarce resources and so on……is in’t this tragic?

  53. 56, dear mahesh,

    my basic task was recorect many 47 about mahawansa.

    Therefore I attached the relavent paragrah from mahawansa. after the victory, king dutugamunu was worried about the killing that took place in the battle field. it did not means that all victims are tamils. king elara’s army was not comprised with tamils but more or less sinhala peoples also there. you know one of his comander nandimithra was a sinhala man.

    as far as concern about religious part in your written in the para it was one of buddha’s saying,

    we are not capable enought to give any interpretation of that because we have no ability do so, but another buddha can do. only what we can do is trying to understand what buddha was saying.

    Buddha said that people (irrespective of race) who accequred dasa akusal are definetly going to the hell by their death.
    as far as concern about whild beast they too in one type of hell where there are not enough room for accequiring dasa kusal . therefore the tendency of their re birth is again go to the hell.
    as far as concern about gods the buddhists are only people in the world that not asking the salvasion from the them but give kusal to the gods.

    I think this short explanation too enough.

  54. DBSJ # 44

    Thanks for sharing the information. I do glance through most of the Tamil News Web sites but not take them all as credible. I know many cowboys picking information from you and claiming as their Journalism. I’ve great admire of your writings and accuracy of the information you gather in right time. Say an example, when Mr Jeathevan (London) put under custody by Castro (LTTE) few years back, nobody including his close family & friends didn’t know that what was happening or what has happened to him until you reveal the story A to Z.

    I like to see that your productions should reach all sort of people hand. I know that your Tamil Publication was banded by LTTE in Canada. Because they always want to keep our people in “coma” stage. I think this post-war period if someone willing to re-produced your articles in Tamil – with your permission and without any manipulation – would be great as our people can get real picture of the prevailing situation as well as ongoing politics

  55. David Blackers account of the MBRL use is correct, the late Janaka Perera was a family friend of mine.

    DBSJ – great article, keep it up 🙂

  56. 60. samarasekara

    In this world there are believers, non believers and agnostics, some who do not care about God, after life etc..

    Those who do not care about God can also be good.

    Many may not even care for heaven or hell.

    One example was Shaheed Bhagat Singh. He was an atheist.

    He wrote a letter to his father stating that, those who believed in God and after life can hope to get reward in heaven or after life.

    Since I do not believe in those things for me my existence comes to an end as soon as they hang me in the gallows.

    I didn’t do anything with the intention of getting any reward or so.

    Then what is the fate of the people like Bhagat Singh.

    The people like Bhagat Singh are also condemned, is it so.

    There was one Maharishi called Jabalai mentioned in the Ramayana.

    he was an atheist. He was given the status of Maharishi by the scriptures.

    For those who say they will go to heaven can you prove that there is heaven.

    When such is the case how can one condemn all the people other than those who follow their ideology.

  57. Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar and Mutiah Muralitharan are once life time genious, we would able to see in our life time.

    It is sad and very sad to see some of our tamil brothers and sisters are trying to disgrace these calibre of greats for silly things like they are not willing to speak tamil or some other thing which come out of their mind due to inferiority complex they have.

  58. As always very informative and I learned a lot. Amazing research.

    How come his children Ajitha and Keira named Pereras ?.

    Thanks DBSJ

    Ajitha married a Perera………DBSJ

  59. Talking of people not attributing your name but publish the material written by DBSJ that “August” journal uthayan never mentioned your name but somewhere in the middle of the KP interview,it says “canadavilulla innayath thalamonritkku allitha paetti”.How low these people can go? I wonder!

  60. ….. This is because some Tamils continued to retain their Tamil “Hinduistic” names even after conversion. Others took on English and American names as surnames….

    I have heard by the seniors of our community that the English names (westernised names) were given in honour of the sponsors (sponsors family names) to a local after conversion and it happened to both Tamil and Sinhala communities.
    This is why we have all the names like Kingsbury, Worthington,Daniels, Blanchard (French),carpenters, De Saram, Fernando (Portugese) Beadle, Black, etc etc
    is this true ??

  61. Dear all commenters, people like him never remember, you know why, selfish,only intresting their own benifits never look after born and red ethinics.

  62. Many thanks for this informative article.

    This a great man loved and respected by entire country.
    Reading this is useful for both Sinhalese and Tamils. We were luckey to have him as our foreign minister during the most difficult times. He deserves a big thank from all of us.

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