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Situation in North-Eastern Sri Lanka: A series of serious concerns

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by M.A. Sumanthiran MP

Hello Friends

The Situation in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka is of interest and concern to the Tamil speaking people in particular and the Country in general. Different persons ,agencies and institutions provide different versions of happenings in the once war-ravaged regions.Needless to say these versions are subject to various interpretations and comments

An armed soldier observes a Hindu festival-pic by: Steve Chao-Courtesy: Al Jazeera

MA Sumanthiran,Tamil National Alliance (TNA) national list MP released a report on the North-eastern situation and tabled it in Parliament on July 7th 2011. This report provided a thorough insight into developments there and was well received.

Now Mr.Sumanthiran who is also a lawyer by profession has released a second report on the north and east. The second report is both a continuation and update on the first report and presents depths of detail on events in the Northern and Eastern Provinces with particular emphasis on the problems and concerns faced by the Tamil speaking people. It is an exhaustive account

The Situation report was tabled in Parliament on Friday October 21st 2011 by Mr. Sumanthiran on behalf of the TNA. I am reproducing it in full on my blog to furnish readers interested and concerned about the Northern and eastern situation with up to date information. I hope it will be of use to many.

So here then is the report tabled by Sumanthiran MP. – DBS Jeyaraj

SITUATION IN NORTH –EASTERN SRI LANKA: A SERIES OF SERIOUS CONCERNS

BY. M.A. SUMANTHIRAN

21 October 2011

1. Introduction

On 7th July 2011 I tabled a report in Parliament detailing the situation in the North and East, highlighting a series of urgent concerns. The following is an update to the previous report and discusses some of the most serious issues that have arisen since or continue to take place in these areas.

A police officer stands guard outside one of the gates of Nallur Murugan Kovil, Sri Lanka's most significant Hindu temple, located in the city of Jaffna-pic by: Steve Chao-courtesy: Al Jazeera

2. Militarization

2.1 Statistics and impact of military presence – Out of a total land mass of 65,619 sq km, Tamil people inhabited 18,880 sq km of land in the North and East, but after May 2009, the defence forces have occupied more than 7,000 sq km of land owned by Tamil people. There is one member of the armed forces for approximately every ten civilians in the Jaffna Peninsula. The heavy presence of the military continues to be the most serious concern in the North and East. More than two years since the conclusion of the war, the government has still failed to facilitate the proper transition of these areas from a situation of conflict to a ‘normal’ environment. As evident in the following sections of the report, the high level of militarization in the North is directly linked to most of the other problems prevalent in the area such as the breakdown in the social fabric, state brutality including sexual assault, land grabs and occupation, problems relating to livelihoods of the people in the area and illegal intrusion into the role of government including administration and dispute settlement.

2.2 Impunity – The prevailing culture of impunity has been a long-standing concern. This is even more so in relation to the issue of state brutality including sexual assault as described later in this report. When an incident is reported and allegations are made against the armed forces, state officials or private persons who are clearly acting under the direct or indirect acquiescence of state officials, it is usually the case that no investigations are carried out. For example, there has been no progress on investigations pertaining to the attack in Alavetti previously tabled. Similarly no progress has been made in investigations over the attack on the editor of the Uthayan newspaper, or the many attacks by ‘grease yakas’ in the North and East. No progress has also been made regarding the assault on residents whose houses were burnt by an armed group almost a year ago.

2.3 Dispute settlement – ­The military is involved in the settlement of disputes with respect to land in the Northern and Eastern provinces. The Land Circular No. 2011/04 issued on 22nd July 2011 establishes certain Committees of Inquiry responsible for resolving disputes regarding state land in the North and East. The committees include in their membership the Area Civil Coordinating Officer and a representative of the relevant Security Commander. Military personnel are also members of an Observation Committee, which is established to assist the Committees of Inquiry.

2.4 Encroachment into economic activity – The military is increasingly involved in economic activity in the North and East. Through it system of checkpoints, the military ensures that its proxies control the transportation of fish from the Northern coastal areas. Large sections of beach front land in the Eastern province have been parceled out to companies which are headed by military officers. The military has established a string of restaurants along the main Jaffna highway. An entire military tourism industry catering to Southern visitors is run by the military establishment. The Navy uses state resources to run ferry services for the Southern tourist industry. Military personnel also run various quasi-commercial enterprises such as shops and salons that are highly irregular and impact negatively on the local economies. By appropriating the limited economic opportunities that might otherwise be used by local residents to bring income and revenue to the fragile local communities, the military is sustaining and reinforcing the cycle of poverty. With the access and advertising support of corporate entities in the South and the unfair benefits of highly subsidized cost structure through the use of state infrastructure the military is distorting and suppressing any attempt at economic recovery in the North. In addition the military has taken several thousands of acres in Killinochchi, Mullativu and Vavuniya for cultivation without due process.

Name board of a Salon managed by 9th Regiment, Sri Lanka Signal Corps, Iranamadu, Killinochchi

This has caused a significant negative impact on the already impoverished civilian population by depriving them of jobs. Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya is reported to have said that steps are being taken to establish permanent Army formations in the North and East with troops on duty even being given permanent houses in those areas. He is reported to have said “Army personnel arriving in those areas for duty are to be provided permanent houses and allowed to engage in cultivation work if they so desire.”

2.5 Intrusion into private lives – Most disturbing is the level of control the military wields over the private lives of the communities in the North and East. Families must inform the army of the guests they receive, their relationship, and the reason and duration of their visit. Any family gathering to celebrate the birth or naming of a child, attainment of puberty of a girl, a wedding or even a death, requires prior permission from the nearest police post. Every village has a “Civilian Affairs Counter” managed by the armed forces where anyone entering a village is required to register themselves. The army must be informed even of community activities such as sports meets. In a recent incident in Chavakachcheri youth participating in a football match were brutally assaulted by the army as they had played on a field without the permission of the army. Moreover the military is now involved in aspects of primary education in Jaffna. The security forces in Jaffna even organized an award ceremony for students obtaining high marks for the Grade 5 scholarship examination. The Civilian Military Co-ordination in Jaffna in its website discusses the very active role it has in civilian life in the North.

2.6 Intrusion into social life – It is common to see the presence of soldiers in all civilian activities including village, temple or church meetings. Churches are required to inform the army of all meetings conducted for its members and a military representative is generally present at meetings as an observer. The military is also involved in deciding on beneficiary lists and taking part in all activities at the community level including meetings to discuss local issues.

3. State brutality

3.1 The ‘Grease Yaka’ phenomenon – There have been several incidents recently in the North, East and other areas of Sri Lanka where ordinary citizens have faced threats to their safety by unidentified individuals who have injured and murdered civilians, and who have commonly come to be known as ‘Grease Yakas’ (Grease Devils). These attacks resulted in mass paranoia, fear and outrage in the North and East including in Jaffna, Puttalam, Mannar, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara. Public protests erupted in response to the widely believed involvement of the police and the armed forces in the ‘grease devils’ phenomenon. In Muttur, on 13th August 2011, a woman was attacked in her own kitchen. The attacker escaped but villagers followed him until he disappeared into a Navy camp. In Batticaloa on 17th August 2011, a girl was attacked and her finger was cut by an unknown man. In Pottuvil, in August 2011 there were similar attacks on several women. There were complaints of similar attacks in Muttur and Kinniya. Protests erupted over the refusal of the police and other authorities to apprehend the suspects. The protests were met with violent retaliation from the authorities, with the military and police arresting and detaining scores of these individuals. In addition to this, the police and military also carried out brutal, humiliating and degrading attacks against these people. The severe brutality with which these assaults were carried out have resulted in serious injuries and even in death. Often, individuals who were not even involved in the protests were arrested and assaulted. The incident in Navaanthurai is the most blatant example of such attacks. Over one hundred and fifty young Tamil men were brutally assaulted, arrested and detained in a night time operation by the army. Twenty of them were very seriously injured as a result of these attacks. Over fifty cases have been filed in the Supreme Court with regard to the attacks carried out in Navanthurai.

3.2 Assault in court premises – The shocking impunity with which members of the police force act is reflected in the brutal assault of an individual that took place recently just outside a court room in the precincts of the court premises in Jaffna, sparking protest by members of the Jaffna Bar. This individual was stripped half naked, dragged out and mercilessly assaulted in the presence of lawyers and members of the public, while judges presided over proceedings nearby.

courtesy: LakbimaNews.lk

3.3 Violent suppression of dissent – Other attacks carried out with impunity in the North by several ‘unidentified’ groups is also a cause of serious concern. The most recent attacks include those against Thavapalan, the leader of the students union of the Jaffna University, and Kuganathan, editor of the Uthayan newspaper. Thavapalan was recently involved in the mobilization of students in democratic protests against the grease-devil threat. The Uthayan newspaper is widely perceived to be critical of the State. Previously a similar attack was carried out against the secretary of TNA MP, Suresh Premachandran. Thus, these attacks are widely seen as attempts to stifle dissent and freedom of expression in the North and East

3.4 Sexual violence – Most disturbing are the increasing number of sexual assaults carried out against women and girls in the Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts, often by government officials and the military. The brutality with which these assaults are carried out is especially disturbing.

Women and girls also face a serious threat due to the labour force from the South being brought in for work on projects taking place in the North. Incidents are reported of women being raped by soldiers, and the victims and their families being too ashamed and afraid to make complaints or file charges. Doctors are being forced by the army to record that perpetrators are ‘unknown’ or ‘unidentified’ persons even though complainants have identified perpetrators, often where the involvement of army personnel is alleged.

3.5 Harassment of communities – Former LTTE cadres are threatened by the army to reveal the identity of those who supported the LTTE. In fear or panic, these former cadres identify individuals with no links to the LTTE, merely to stop being questioned by the army. The newly identified family is then subjected to harassment by the Army. Thus, people in these communities have lost trust in one another as they do not know which of their neighbours is an informer of the police or army. This has led to deep suspicion, destroying close-knit relationships within the community.

3.6 Election related violence and intimidation – Election crimes that took place in Jaffna in the lead up to the recently concluded local authority elections created fear among voters there. Both the TNA and the JVP complained that they were being prevented from carrying out election related activities. Allegations relating to these election crimes were leveled against the government and civil armed forces. Some of the most blatant displays of intimidation were carried out against the TNA. The report tabled by me in July this year documented in detail the attack carried out by a group of military personnel during a meeting in Alavetti, at which 5 TNA MPs were in attendance. Despite the MPs who were present having repeatedly declared both publicly and to the relevant authorities to whom they complained of the incident, that they are able to identify the perpetrators, no progress has been made regarding investigation into this matter. Another disturbing incident was that of the head of a dead dog being fixed onto the gate of one TNA election candidate, and the dog’s body laid out at his doorstep. In addition to this incident, a TNA organizer’s front yard was flooded with sewage water.

British Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Robbie Bulloch met with representatives from the Kalpity fishing community in September 2011-pic: UK in Sri Lanka flickr

4. Loss of livelihood

Communities of Tamil people returning to their homes and attempting to rebuild their lives after the war now find themselves being prevented from pursuing their traditional means of livelihood. In the report tabled by me in July this year, the TNA highlighted several matters of concern relating to livelihood issues.

4.1 Unemployment and resource allocation – Job creation and income generation has received minimal attention from the State despite its central importance to the restoration and sustainability of family and community life. According to the Sri Lanka Central Bank Chairman, a minuscule US$2 million was allocated by the government for livelihood development, much of it in the form of cash for work programmes. Much of the government and donor focus on infrastructure projects do nothing to assist local communities. The limited opportunities available are consistently given to individuals of the labour workforce from the South. Estimates suggest that unemployment in the Northern Province is between 20% to 30% in the Northern Province, compared to a National average of 4.3%.

4.2 Restrictions on Tamil fishing communities in Mullaitivu – Severe restrictions are placed on members of Tamil fishing communities, resulting in a drastic impact on their means of livelihood. The report tabled by me in July of this year detailed the restrictions placed on members of the fishing community in Mullaitivu, especially in the areas of Kokkilaai to Chundikkulam in Kilaakaththai, Maathirikkiraama, Uppumaaveli, Thoondai, Alambil, Semmalai, Naayaaru, Kokkuththoduvaai, and Karunaattukkernee. These restrictions are still in place and of serious concern is the fact that several Sinhala fishermen in the area have received direct permission to fish in this area from the Ministry of Defence. Sinhala fishermen are also permitted to fish for prawns in Nanthikkadal. In addition to such restrictions faced by Tamil individuals in fishing communities in the North and East, these individuals have received no reciprocal permission to engage in fishing in the South. Resentment over such incidents are now becoming apparent, with recent objections from fishing unions in Vadamaarachchi over fishermen from the South occupying their property and also over their fishing practices which adversely impacted fishing in the area.

People returned by the government to Uduththurai in Maruthenkerny (Vadamarachchi East), were soon after evicted from their houses along the coast and placed in transit camps on the other side of the coastal road. These houses are now being occupied by people brought from the South who are permitted by the Ministry of Defence to engage in diving for coral and star fish. Therefore, in addition to the forced eviction from their homes, local members of the fishing community are also unable pursue their traditional livelihood of fishing as the sea bed is being disturbed as a result of diving activities. At a meeting in the Maruthenkerny District Office on the 15th of June 2011 at which Minister Douglas Devananda, and four TNA Members of Parliament were present, members of fishing unions complained that they had been threatened and their consent forcibly obtained for the evictions. They also complained that they had no access to the buildings that had been built for their use.

Diving equipment belonging to people brought from the South in Maruthenkerny

4.3 Raigam saltern – Vehement protests were made by the TNA against the implementation of the Raigam saltern project as far back as 2009. This project was started in September this year in Kuchchaveli, Trincomalee covering 1805 acres of land, despite Hon. Sampanthan raising the issue as far back as December 2009 with the President in the presence of the Hon. Basil Rajapaksa, and being assured then that no such proposal was entertained and no such proposal would be implemented. Hon. Sampanthan raised concerns that the proposal was being entertained without any consultation with him – the MP of the area. In 2010 Hon. Sampanthan again wrote to the President raising concerns that the project would adversely affect livelihoods of over 2500 families, lead to changes in the demographic composition of the area, create resentment among the people in the area and thus detract from reconciliation amongst different peoples. This is especially so as the Kuchchavelli DS division is now the only predominantly Tamil speaking division of the four DS divisions from the predominantly Tamil Kaddukulampattu DRO (Vanniyar) Division that existed when the country gained independence. The other three are Sinhala speaking divisions, two of them becoming such by reason of demographic changes through land settlement.

5. Resettlement

5.1 Progress on resettlement – Progress in the resettlement of Tamil communities displaced due to the war has been extremely slow. According to the government’s own figures as at 1st July 2011, 258,446 had been ‘returned’ or ‘resettled’ from welfare camps, leaving 12,661 in the Kadirgamar, Anandakumarasawmi (Zone 1), Arunachalam (Zone III) IDP camps. The most current figures suggest that only 7,440 persons remain in these camps, insinuating that all others have been returned or resettled. What the statistics do not reveal is that over 200,000 persons in the North and East have not been returned to their places of origin. These persons either continue to be confined in transit camps or have been compelled to take shelter with host families. Such persons include those displaced from Valikamam North in the Jaffna Peninsula, Sampur in the Trincomalee District, and several other areas in the Vanni. It was indicated in the previous report tabled by me in July that several families are unable to return to their homes as large areas of land have been taken by the military for camps and ad hoc ‘High Security Zones’ in Thirumurigandi, Shanthapuram and Indupuram, covering the districts of Mullativu and Killinochchi. These families have not yet been able to return to their homes and continue to live in camps, without the most basic facilities.

Houses in which people have been resettled in the Vanni

Conditions of houses in which people have been resettled in the Vanni

5.2 Move to Kombavil – Even the 7,440 persons who remain in the Menik Farm camps are scheduled to be moved to Kombavil, in the Puthukudiyiruppu Divisional Secretariat, instead of their places of origin. Kombavil is a remote area which lacks adequate infrastructure. The fact that it is located far from the sea affects the livelihoods of the relocated families as the majority of these families are engaged in fishing. The government has suggested that the reasons for this is that those places of origin are either being utilized for business and military purposes or that de-mining activities are still taking place in some areas, such as Puthumaththalan and Mullivaikkal.

5.3 No basic facilities – Communities that have been returned or resettled now find themselves without basic facilities such as housing, sanitation, healthcare and education. Examples include Kokkilai in the Mullaitivu District, and Krishnapuram and Vinayakapuram in the Killinochchi District. In the latter two villages, as many as 170 out of 658 families still live in temporary shelters. The government has also failed to provide food rations to a significant portion of families in need of assistance. Conservative estimates reveal that at least 242 families are in need of assistance, as only 416 persons are currently employed amongst 658 families. However, shockingly, only 128 families receive food rations. Hence at least 114 families who are in dire need of assistance do not receive any assistance. This is only a snapshot of the ground situation in the North and East with respect to newly returned or resettled communities.

5.4 No access to proper health and education – The situation with regard to health and education in these areas is just as appalling. For example, medical officers are known to visit the two villages in Krishnapuram and Vinayakapuram merely once every two weeks. This inadequacy has in fact resulted in avoidable patient deaths, such as the death of a girl on 7th October 2011 as a result of untreated rabies. Another matter of serious concern is the fact that the children of these villages are deprived of secondary education. Such deprivation is completely inconsistent with national standards and is a reflection of the socioeconomic discrimination faced by the people of the North and East.

5.5 Uninhabitable housing in Vadamarachchi East – In Vadamarachchi East, the Government commenced a ‘resettlement’ just before the elections. Previous housing in the area was demolished and the stones obtained from the demolished houses were used in the reconstruction of the new houses. The new constructions were mere shells of houses, where walls were erected and painted, but there were no floors or any facilities within the constructions.

6. Systematic Evictions, Land Grabs and Occupation

6.1 Land grabs and forced evictions – Members of armed forces are forcibly, and often without any explanation, taking over public or private property and land, in areas to which Tamil people are returning after being displaced due to the war. E.g. the Army has closed off the post office, a school and the medical dispensary in the town of Kokkilai in the Mullativu district; the Navy is in occupation of land in the village of Mullilukulam in the Mannar district.

Earlier this month, former residents of Sampur received a letter from the District Secretary’s office stating that under Extraordinary Gazette No. 1538/08 dated 29.01.2008 Sampur East, Sampur West, Soodaikkuda, Sampukkali Kadatkaraichchenai, Kooniththivukkaadu, and Navaraththinapuram, were declared to be ‘Special economic zones’. Accordingly, the people who lived there would have to be relocated in the areas of Seethanavedi, Vembadiththottam, Ilankkanthai, Veeramaanahar (North), Thangapuram and Kuravan Vettuvaan. These residents were asked also to fill out a form sent to them with this letter. The form required the residents to furnish personal information about themselves, supposedly for the purposes of relocation and awarding of compensation.

The Air Force without any authority whatsoever is taking steps to extend the Outer Circular Road, via Thampalakamam, destroying private paddy land belonging to residents of the Grama Niladhari Division of Koyilady in the Thambalagama Divisional Secretariat in the Trincomalee District.

Moreover, no one has been allowed to resettle or cultivate land in Ragamwela, and the only presence in the village is a police checkpoint. People in Panama allege that officials from the Amparai Divisional Secretariat have forcibly taken over 850 acres of land belonging to the Panama villagers. The inhabitants of this village comprise both Sinhala and Tamil communities and their main source of income is derived through farming and fishing.

The issue of Tamil farmers in Muttur, having lands in Paddukadu, Ottu and Muthalaimadu has been previously raised by Hon Sampanthan and also included in the report tabled by myself in July this year. These farmers have lost approximately 1,630 acres of paddy land. Sinhalese farmers with the assistance of home guards have claimed these lands and further claimed that these lands were identified for their use by the Ministry of Defence. There are allegations that certain members of the Buddhist clergy in the area are involved in these incidents. The Tamil farmers have lost yet another season severely impact their livelihoods and has increased levels of poverty. Some farmers have attempted to make police complaints but the police stations in Kanguveli and Muttur are refusing to take their complaints.

6.2 Occupation of schools by army – Several schools are currently under army occupation, including the Keppapilavu GTM school in Keppapilavu, Mulliyawalai, Mullaitivu, the Maththalan R.C.G.T.M. School in Mulliwaikkal, Mullaitivu, Mullivaikkal West K.S.V Mullivaikkal,Mullaitivu Mulliwaikkal East GTM School, Mulliwaikkal Mullaitivu, Vikneshwara Vidiyalayam Pooneryn, Arasaratnam Vidyalayam Manthuvil Puthukkudiyiruppu, Sivanagar Tamil Vidyalayam Puthukkudiyiruppu Mullaitivu, Myliddy, R.C.T.M.S Mylidy, Kankesenthurai.

6.3 Access to irrigation stopped – An irrigation facility from Inginiyagala tank has been denied to more than 2000 acres of paddy cultivated in the Yala season in Tamil areas in the 13th and 14th colony located on the border of the Batticaloa district for the last one month. According to complaints made by farmers at the coordinating meeting of the Vellaave’li Divisional Secretariat, one-month-old crops are facing destruction due to lack of water.

6.4 Tourism Development in Kuchchavelli – There was a proposal to allocate fifty-one blocks of state land for Tourist Development in Kuchchavelli, Trincomalee. By letter dated 16th May 2010 to the President, Hon. Sampanthan stated that he was informed that steps were being taken by the Central government officials to allocate land as per the above proposal. He expressed concerns that no public notification was made of this and the process adopted deliberately attempts to circumvent constitutional provisions pertaining to state land. All persons chosen to receive such valuable state land are from the majority community, while over 95% of the population in the Kuchchavelli DS division, who are Tamil speaking, have long been requesting that these lands be made available to them to facilitate their own residence and occupation. Many of these people are landless.

Despite Hon. Sampanthan having expressed such concerns, and despite the issue being raised in the previous report tabled by me, twenty-five blocks of this land has already been allocated to companies all being run by Sinhalese individuals from the South. Two blocks of this land have already been handed over to these individuals.

6.5 Jaffna lagoon and impact on ground water table – The government has taken over three hundred and fifty acres of coastal marsh land along the Jaffna Lagoon in Kaarainakar, Mandaitheevu and Araali for prawn culture with a Sinhalese workforce brought from the South. Even though this land is claimed to be developed for freshwater prawn culture, the project will ruin the groundwater table in the above places.

7. Creation of sinhala settlements

7.1 Creation of Weli Oya DS Division – Tamil communities in the town of Kokkilai in the Mullaitivu District continue to lose their land to groups of Sinhala people being settled there. Steps are being taken to divide the District of Mullaitivu and create within it the new District Secretariat division of ‘Weli Oya’. Seventy-five houses have reportedly been built exclusively for Sinhalese families who have been settled in the village of Chettikkulam.

7.2 Systematic removal of Tamils from the civil service – Orders have been issued by authorities to have Tamil civil servants removed or transferred from the North and to fill the vacant posts with Sinhala trainee civil servants. One hundred and forty Sinhala civil servants have been relocated to the North as part of this initiative and Tamil civil servants have been ordered to go on compulsory leave. These drastic measures must be viewed in the backdrop of systematic deliberate exclusion of Tamils in the civil service in selection processes, promotions, trainings and development opportunities.

7.3 Places of worship – The rapidly changing demography of the North of Sri Lanka is escalating. The number of Buddhist statues, viharas and stupas on the A9 highway have increased rapidly. A Buddhist Vihara named Mahatota Raja Maha Vihara has come up within 50 meters of the famous Thirukethiswaram temple in Mannar district. Also the armed forces are preventing people from rebuilding original Christian and Hindu places of worship that have been damaged or destroyed. A Buddhist temple is being erected on the site of the Arasadi Pillayar Hindu Kovil. In Kokilai district, Mulaitivu a Hindu Kovil (temple) which was damaged during the war is being demolished and a Buddhist Temple is being erected in that place. Part of the land of the Hospital in Kokilai and part of the land of a post office are being used to construct this Buddhist Temple. Earlier, it was the Pillayar Kovil that was there in that place. The previous report tabled by me in July also highlighted plans to install a statue of the Lord Buddha in Kinniya at a place where seven hot wells and a Pilliyar temple is situated where, for centuries, Hindus have performed certain religious ceremonies. The report also highlighted that Hon. Sampanthan had made a complaint regarding this this issue. The Hindu temple is now destroyed, and a Buddhist statute has been erected in the vicinity on the other side of the hot wells.

A Buddhist flag on the foundation of the Hindu Temple that has now been destroyed

The Buddha statue erected close to where the Hindu temple once stood

7.4 Bringing in a Southern labour force – The government claims that the programme being implemented in the North titled Vadakkin Vasantham (Northern Springs) will result in exceptional progress in the North in the areas of infrastructure development, electricity, water supply and sanitation, agriculture, irrigation, livestock development, inland fisheries, health, solid waste disposal, education, sports, cultural affairs and transportation. However, it is widely believed that the real beneficiaries of this programme will not be the Tamil community living in the North but unemployed Sinhalese youth who will be employed in the projects under this programme that have been handed over to Sinhalese contractors. For example, the reservoir bunds repair and road construction of the A9 road and the secondary road have been handed over to Sinhalese contractors from the South who bring in their own labour force. Only an insignificant number of Tamil labourers are employed by them despite the fact that there are numerous Tamil youth and men who are unemployed in the Vanni.

7.4 Houses and school given to Sinhala communities – The section discussing land grabs and forced evictions undeniably reflects a clear trend of land in Tamil areas being handed over to members of the majority community. The allocations of state land in Kuchchavelli, and land grabs from Tamil farmers in Muttur are stark examples of this. Additionally, houses and other buildings in Tamil areas are also being given to members of the Sinhala community. For example, thirty Sinhalese families have been allocated lands under the Mahaweli Development Land Distribution Scheme in a traditional Tamil village Oamadiyaamadu located in Koa’ralaippattu North DS division in Batticaloa District. A Sinhala medium school was built along the Madhu road, while hundreds of schools for Tamil children in the vicinity are in a state of disarray. Also project to build new houses along a section of the Madhu road was launched with the assistance of state commercial banks. The beneficiaries of these houses are predominantly Sinhalese settlers, as only two houses out of approximately 80 houses proposed under the project are to be given to Tamil families.

Houses built along the Madhu Road by Bank of Ceylon, 50 houses of which 45 are allocated to Sinhala families and 5 to Tamil families

Houses along the Madhu road

7.6 Name boards – The trend of changing Tamil names of roads and towns to Sinhala names continues to be observed. There were several instances of complete removal of Tamil name boards and replacement with name boards only in Sinhala. This practice continues to concern local Tamil communities who view such acts as deliberate attempts to erase their identity. For example, three roads close to the A9 highway in Kanakarayankulam have been given Sinhala names – Kosala Perera road, Anura Perera road, and Rev Yatiravana Vimala Thero Street. The first two names are those of soldiers who took part in the war and the last one is the name of a Buddhist priest. Another example is the renaming of the Omanthai checkpoint as ‘Omantha’. The checkpoint is manned by Sinhala speaking soldiers. The Tamil name boards put up by the Municipal Council of Batticaloa along the border of Kattankudy have been allegedly removed by the police. This has resulted in tension between the Tamil and Muslim communities in the area. Several other examples of such incidents were previously highlighted in the report tabled by me in July this year.

8. Social issues

8.1 Psychological trauma – Reports indicate that the heavy military control and presence in the North has resulted in psychological stress on local communities. The mental trauma experienced during the war thus continues to impact on the community psyche. Reports from mental health workers indicate that not only is the treatment of post-traumatic stress is not a priority for the government. Distressingly, these reports cite some cases where the military has refused to allow counsellors in to reach affected people. Reports even indicate that clear instructions have been received from the government to churches and non-governmental organizations prohibiting the provision of any kind of counseling to those suffering psychologically and emotionally as a result of the war.

8.2 Harassment and molestation of women and girls – There are complaints of harassment and molestation of local women and girls. Many projects employ Sinhalese contractors from the South, who bring in their own labour force. The labour force generally stays near the site next to the villages and has proven to be a threat of molestation and harassment to the local women and girls. Reports also indicate that when such complaints of harassment or molestation are made the complainants are often threatened and sometimes abused by the military personnel concerned. There are also reports of complaints to the police being generally met with inaction when the alleged perpetrators are either the security forces or labourers or workmen from the South.

8.3 Hunger and malnutrition – With soaring levels of unemployment concerns of hunger and malnutrition has become a serious issue. The World Food Programme reflects national assessments of dangerously low levels of food security faced by the population in the North. It is estimated that 60% of the households in the Northern Province are facing food insecurity. Half the households have income of less than USD 1 per day. This is in stark contrast to the Sri Lanka GDP per capita of USD 2399.

8.4 School drop outs – There is a high rate of school dropouts reported in the East, especially in the war affected Vakarai. There are several contributing factors including poverty most likely as a result of loss of livelihoods and also the increase in the number of underage marriages.

8.5 Breakdown of social fabric – There are reports of young Tamil girls becoming pregnant by Sinhalese soldiers. This serious issue is a direct consequence of the high level of militarization. It contributes to the breakdown of the social fabric, whereby young adults are forced to deal with consequent social and economic hardships. A general increase in extra marital affairs, teenage pregnancies, abandonment of children and even suicides are indicators of the social breakdown which will have a long terms impact on the development of communities in these affected areas. The military is also encouraging alcohol abuse and dependency in the community.

8.6 Institutionalization of children – Incidents of infanticide and child abandonment in the North and East were reported throughout 2011. In response to these reports, the government took steps to launch a new programme to ‘assist both mothers and children in the areas.’ However, there have been reports even in the Sinhala media that the new programme intends to remove children from the care of war widows and unwed women in the North and East and institutionalize them. The government is yet to reveal the precise nature and scope of the initiative. However, it is widely accepted that high levels of risk are attached to the institutionalization of children. If there is in fact a covert agenda to arbitrarily and indiscriminately remove children from the care of widows and unwed women in the North and East, the programme would be unconscionable and would flagrantly violate the law applicable to child care and protection.

8.7 Fear psychosis – The various issues faced by communities described above is quickly creating not only resentment among members of the local Tamil community, but even more sinister fears. For example, it is even widely believed that food products sold at the army welfare stores are mixed with drugs that could cause sterility. Such fear is reminiscent of the widespread belief in the days immediately following the war, that female IDPs in Menik farm were being forcibly sterilized. The rampant spreading of such fear reflects the mindset of a society that has been systematically stifled of all forms of expression. Such fear and paranoia also displace the real concerns and problems faced by the community and may result in extremely volatile situation in the area.

9. Legal issues

9.1 Registration of Persons – Five TNA Parliamentarians of the Jaffna district previously filed a fundamental rights application seeking to stop forcible registration of residents of the Jaffna and Kilinochchi districts. In this case, the Attorney General to the Supreme Court in February 2011 to suspend immediately the forcible registration of residents of the Jaffna and Kilinochchi districts by the security forces and Grama Niladharis. Despite this undertaking, registrations of residents are continuing in contempt of Court from as early as 14th March 2011. There are complaints that the Police in Jaffna are circulating forms which require householders to furnish details of persons within their homes. The procedure is now being justified under the Police Ordinance. Grama Niladaris have been instructed to distribute the forms to residents and collect it as soon as possible.
In addition to this, a new registration process is also under way to register and issue entry ID cards for fishermen fishing in the Jaffna Lagoon. All members of families of fishermen have been required to provide photos and personal details to the Navy and Army.

9.2 The land circular – The Land Commissioner General issued a new circular on 22nd July 2011, which exclusively deals with land in the Northern and Eastern provinces. The circular temporarily suspends all distribution of land in the North and East unless lands are distributed for national security and special development projects; provides for the settlement of disputes relating to state land; and most importantly, requires all persons in the North and East, including private land owners to submit ‘ownership application forms’ disclosing all details of their land.

Under the circular, all landowners of the North and East, including private land owners, who do not possess supporting documents, are required to furnish details to the relevant Divisional Secretary or Assistant Government Agent, through the Grama Niladari, within two months. The consequences of not furnishing such details are unknown.

Hence private landowners of the North and East stand to lose title to their lands if they fail to furnish details within two months. The Registration of Title Act No. 21 of 1998 already provides for a process of land registration, which in itself is deeply problematic. However, the circular is presently applied in a manner that circumvents the provisions of even this Act, as no cadastral surveys have been conducted in the Northern Province prior to calling for land claims.

Moreover, competing claims to state lands in the North and East would be decided by two Committees of Inquires and special mediation boards. As mentioned above, military personnel are made part of these Committees of Inquiry. This process for the settlement of disputes clearly violates the Constitution and alienates the judicial power of the people, which is vested exclusively in the judiciary.

The limited information provided to the people regarding the process is another serious concern. The closing date of November 2011 has resulted in confusion and created a sense of panic amongst people in the North and East.

9.3 Prevention of Terrorism Act – On 25th August 2011, H.E. the President declared in Parliament that the state of emergency would be lifted, as terrorism in the country had been eradicated. The President also acknowledged that the ordinary law of the land was sufficient to deal with those who take law into their own hands thereby disturbing peace and stability. These sentiments were repeated at the United Nations General Assembly on 23rd September 2011.

Yet the Minister of Defence issued five new regulations under the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979 (PTA), which respectively deal with the proscription of the LTTE; the proscription of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO); the extension of application of certain emergency regulations; detainees and remandees; and surrendees care and rehabilitation. These regulations clearly violate the constitution by flagrantly infringing the fundamental rights of the people. The regulations also violate the provisions the PTA, as they fall outside the scope of the Act. Tamil persons from the North and East are the worst affected by the regulations. Hence Hon. Mavai Senathirajah, filed a fundamental rights application before the Supreme Court challenging the latter three regulations in particular. The application, however, was dismissed with no apparent reasons recorded. The Supreme Court had previously held that, unlike emergency regulations promulgated under the Public Security Ordinance No. 25 of 1947, PTA regulations cannot restrict any fundamental right in terms of Article 15(7) of the Constitution.

Regulations No. 1 and No. 2 of 2011, which deal with the Proscription of the LTTE and the TRO establish extremely overbroad offences. The regulations make transacting with any organization that is ‘reasonably suspected of being connected with or concerned in’ unlawful activities, an offence—which may even criminalize the provision of legal services. These regulations also permit the President to arbitrarily seize properties in the possession of persons. An inquiry may be held only if the President himself thinks it fit. Even the PTA does not provide for such powers, as section 4 specifies that properties become forfeit only upon a conviction by a court.

Regulations No. 3 of 2011, extended the application of three previous emergency regulations including two that deal with the appointment of persons to exercise, perform and discharge the functions of twenty two local authorities. Such subjects are clearly not within the ambit of the PTA and brazenly violate the franchise rights of the people.

Regulations No. 4 of 2011 deal with detainees and remandees, and strip Magistrates of all discretionary power to order the release of suspects on bail and converts of detentions under emergency regulations into detentions under the PTA. The regulations clearly violate the constitution and facilitate the arbitrary arrest and detention of Tamil persons on ‘preventive’ grounds—which the PTA itself makes no provision for.

Regulations No. 5 of 2011 deals with surrendees care and rehabilitation, a subject falling completely outside the scope of the PTA. The regulations affect the rights of scores of Tamil persons from the North and East who sought to surrender to the armed forces for various reasons. Shockingly, even those who surrendered merely ‘through fear of terrorist activities’ may be detained for up to two years without inquiry. The regulations also compel Magistrates to commit child surrendees to a Child Rehabilitation Centre if ‘there is evidence’ that the child has engaged in armed conflict as a combatant. Such provisions violate the Constitution and Sri Lanka’s international obligations

9.4 Reduction of parliamentary seats – Concerns relating to the decision to reduce the number of parliamentary seats have already been raised by the TNA as a matter of urgent public importance. The total number of members of Parliament elected to the territory covered by the present Jaffna Electoral District in 1977 under the First Past the Post System was eleven. The total number of members of Parliament elected to the Jaffna Electoral District under the proportional representation system at the last General Election was nine. It now appears that this was to further decline to six. This reduction was attributed to the decline in the total number of voters currently registered within the Jaffna Electoral District. In a speech in Parliament Hon. Sampanthan pointed out that this decline was not caused voluntarily, and was in fact a result of the violent and abnormal situation that prevailed within the Jaffna Electoral District due to the war. The TNA also highlighted the fact that the vast majority of the voters within the Jaffna Electoral District are Tamils and that a substantial reduction of their representation in Parliament is not merely a denial of their franchise but also an erosion of their sovereignty.

9.5 NGO secretariat under Ministry of Defence – The NGO Secretariat which was previously operated under the Social Services Ministry and thereafter the Internal Affairs Ministry has been under the purview of the Defence Ministry since mid 2010. Non-governmental organizations are required to submit financial statements, audited reports and work plans on a regular basis the Secretariat. Oversight of a clearly civilian function by the Ministry of Defence is deeply repressive. This is apparent in the restrictions that have been placed on organizations limiting work to specific activities and subject areas. Moreover the monitoring of such organizations mainly working to address human rights and humanitarian concerns, especially in the North and East creates an environment of self censorship and curtails meaningful intervention.

9.6 Death Certificates – A matter of grave concern is the non-issuance of death certificates to many IDPs who have lost relatives and family members in the war. This results in difficulties in relation to title to land and property, and other administrative services. Thus, those who left lost family members and relatives during the war have to, in addition to facing the trauma of such loss, face the additional problems such as the inability to prove title to property. These victims of war, are also compelled to avail themselves of entitlements due to them as a result of having lost such family members or relatives. The Registration of Deaths (Temporary Provisions) Act of 2010 was passed with the intention of simplifying the procedure in relation to issuing death certificates. Its objectives included providing for the registration for the deaths of persons reported missing as a result of terrorist or subversive activity or civil commotion. The Act provides for the issuance of death certificates for those reported missing for at least a year, when the person’s disappearance is attributable to such events. It is unclear, however, if the Act is being implemented, and if not, the reasons for such non implementation.

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107 Comments

  1. Very well documented report by Mr. Sumanthiran MP. Quite informative but distressing. Thank you Mr.Jeyaraj for posting this

  2. Well presented report. Thanks to DBS for giving us a chance to read it

    The TNA visiting USA and Canada must highlight this report in their mission

    I hear Mr.Sambandan will meet Mr. Ban Ki Moon. If so he must give this report to him and urge international intervention

  3. Dear Hon Sumathiran

    I am so glad you decided to use Jeyaraj’s webpage to promote your ideas which are noble. We tamils are a deprived people in Sri Lanka. Sinhalese are harrassing us in every corner . The internatinal world is playing a deaf ear. We fought with arms becasue it was a just war.

  4. Shankar,

    For all unknown human beings (whom we have not yet seen but heard of their names), we’ll give an anthropomorphic visualization. Anthropomorphic visualization I had given to you is my friend Syed Anisuddin (of Hyderabad) who is very good in settling nitty-gritty disputes among our friend circle. He is not only a good leader but also a good team worker. I visualized you in that way since your comments reminded him.

    But now you say that you are a female. Now I think about some of my girl friends during my college days who can match your skills. I am not able to do that immediately. I am trying to erase Anisuddin and I am trying to find out a female friend who will be the anthropomorphic visualization to you.

  5. You know there was a phenomenon recentlly in seas of Vadamarachi. A kind of fish was there for the fishermen for catch. It was relatively close to the shore. It was there for a few days. many fishermen benefitted by this. normaly this kind of fish is not caught near the shores. Usually it is deep sea one.
    It is a sign that god will not give up you. He will feed you like he fed the Israelites in the middle of the desert. He will guide you to prosperity and peace. Believe him and be faithful to God.

  6. TNA is meeting authorities in USA. If there is no aceptance of Thimpo Principles and immediate action to stop the ongoing genocide let door close. When one door cloese another door will open.

  7. Dear DBSJ

    Thank you so much for posting this. As you often pointed out the LTTE has done so much of harm to Tamils and this report by Sumanthiran shows we have long time to sort out the mess

  8. Mr.Sumanthiran,
    I did not read any of what is written here.

    DELETED……………DBSJ

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    No point in reading a “comment” posted by someone on a report that he claims to have not read

  9. Dear Mr Sumitharan

    It is my beleif that only through an armed struggle that Elam can be dawned. Please convey this message to your bretheren including Thambi Anandasangari

    Mano David
    Fomer AGA

  10. Who has the power to resolve these issues ? If SL Government unable to understand NE Tamil speaking civilian problems or inability to provide solution then they need to share the power with democratically elected NE representative to sub-govern the NE Reigon to resolve all the issues and optimise the good results of these native citizens Cultural & Economical life.

  11. This is what happen when you conduct a war. Take Japan as an example, still US Army is there, for what? To prevent an adverse again. Think positively, An Army is a part of a country, you have to deal with the all units of a country. Try to propose to include more Tamils in to Army and be a part of the country and protect it from the common enemy. Not thinking as a team is the problem of Sri Lanka or Eelam right now.

  12. All the problems Tamils face now due to LTTE and Hated pirapakara. Tigers destroyed but damage by LTTE destroying Tamils still

  13. Many thanks to MP. Mr. Sumanthiran for this report and thanks to DBS for posting it

    If not for things like these most Sinhlese like me dont get true picture of actual situation in north and east.

  14. Believe in Karma, it’s going to get you . The evil done by Pirapa and his pulikal was supported by Tamils. Now they paying the price.Karma is a bitch!

  15. Tha report forwared by MP also as same as LTTE demand.
    TNA was LTTE out-fit until defeted by Army.Tamils are nationalist and chavanist in national politics are concern.
    TNA is similar to LTTE armed politics,they demand for separt state. Tamils has been grateed to live, schooling hospitals, jobs, busniess, education ,building hindu kovials and other cultural access to any part of Sri Lanka.
    Why they want separt land ONLY FOR TAMILS.This is untter nonsens.
    If thay cannot live harmony with Sinhelese people can go back to Tamil Nadu as quick as possible.
    Go to UNO and asked SG of UNO to make arragement go Tamil Nadu.That was originial location of Tamils in Sri Lanka. That
    the only solution for TNA-Tamils.

  16. Just War! Where is the justice in killing thousands of innocent women and children of both Tamil, Muslim and Sinhalese origin. There was nothing just abouot the 30 years of terrorism perpetrated by the LTTE. If your supporting the LTTE, then someone will be knocking on your door soon enough.

  17. Print is cheap. Substantiate the evidence. Need to do better than Channel 4 or a trumped up UN band of misfits.

  18. Great information.
    Some one should ask the President when he is planning to solve the problem
    Share with all the world.

  19. please take note, with out security forces tamils can not sleep peacefully in north east.Because lot thieves just thieves.many are blue color and few are white color such as TNA’s

  20. This is a load of absolute crap. Racists like you, the Tamil Nadu Alliance (TNA) and all these lunatics around the world who promote your cause will meet the same end as your dear old Tigers one day.

    You’re either:
    a) stupid
    b) unbelievably ignorant (ignorance is no defence)
    c) malicious to create such fictional garbage with the view to stir up trouble in a peaceful nation

    Good always prevails. You will face justice one day for your crimes. May God have mercy on your soul.

  21. The usual racist tripe by the same old troublemakers. You are insignificant ignorant fools. When you die, your ridiculous lies and ideals will die with you.

  22. Sadly, the report does not have one iota of positive developments. How can we take this as a report other than a political propaganda in pursuit of a political agenda.
    Maybe they arnt any if I were to believe the whole of this report.

  23. There is law called POTA or Prevention of Terrorism Act. There is this guy named GOTA in Colombo. He must be put in jail, under POTA. And so should be his brother Mahinda.

  24. SINGHALESE ARE FORCED TO LIVE WITH TAMILS IN THE SOUTH,THERE IS NO SIGHALESE VILLAGE ANYWHERE IN SOUTH WITHOUT TAMILS MAY BE SOME OF THEM ARE TAMILS OF RECENT INDIAN ORIGIN,BUT FOR ALL PURPOSES THEY ARE HINDU TAMILS AND A PART OF SIHALESE SOCIETY.THROUGHOUT THE LONG HISTORY OF NEARLY 3000 YEARS INVADING TAMIL ARMIES FROM SOUTH INDIA GRABBED THE SINHALESE LANDS IN THE NORTH AND EAST ORIGINALLY BELONGED TO SINGHALESE SANGILY EXPELLED SINGHALESE ENMASS FROM JAFFNA AND KILINOCHCHI AFTER THAT MAD DOG PRAHAKARAN FINISHED IT.NOT ONLY NORTH AND EAST TAMILS ONCE TOOK OVER THE WHOLE COUNTRY WHICH OUR HEROIC KINGS LIBERATED.SINGHALESE NEVER WANTED TO CONVERT TAMILS IN TO BUDDHISMY FORCE AS INVADING POTUGUESE DID PORTUGUESE DESTROYED MANY HINDU TEMPLES,MASSCRED HINDUS IN ORDER TO CONVERT THEM THERE FOR NOW THERE ARE LOT OF CHRISTIANS IN TAMIL AREAS NOW THEY ARE LICKING THE BACKS OF THEIR ONE TIME INVADERS.SINGHALESE EASILY DID NOT GIVE UP TO THE IMPERIALISTS THEY KEPT ON FIGHTING UNTIL THE RITISH ANNEXED KANDY UNDER AN AGREEMENT WITH SINGHALESE TO PROTECT UDDHA SASANA.THAT ALSO WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED IF NOT DUE TO CRASY AND BRUTAL RULE OF SRI WICKRAMA RAJASINGHA WHO WAS A NAYAKKAR TAMIL.AFTERALL SRILANKA IS THE HOME FOR ALL OF US WE MUST LEARN TO SHARE AND LOVE EACH OTHER RATHER THAN FIGHT EACH OTHER.THE MONEY TAMILS SO FAR SPENT TO KILL THE SINGHALESE AND DESTROY THE COUNTRY IF SPENT ON DEVELOPING TAMIL AREAS TAMILS COULD LIVE IN A HEAVEN IN THE NORTH AND EAST BUT TAHT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN AS THEY WILL NERVER SEND MONEY FOR CONSTRUCTION IN THE SAME SPIRIT THEY SPEND MONEY FOR HATEFULL DESTRUCTION THAT IS THE HUMAN NATURE, TO FIND SUPPORTERS TO DO SMETHING BAD IS ALWAYS EASIER THAN FIND SUPPORTERS TO DO SOMETHING GOOD.

  25. Hey Gundasa,

    Tamils are living in south without our army’s or police protection. They are volnurable to Gundas like you. But our sinhalese are colonised with the aid of our security forces.

    Piravahan

  26. Donkeys shouldn’t do dogs Job. In most case SL army not doing their job to fight again foreign enemy as you said but tature their own people. (eg ; when Indian army in NE ,SL army were sleeping under the bed)Police can do all Law & order job therefore you can recruite more Tamils in Tamil Area upto 90% then no need for even 10% of problematic Army in NE. It will make people life easy than current situation.

  27. There are countries without Army too for your information. Ok, keep the army but don’t occupy the public and civilian properties.

  28. MR. GUNARASA, CAN YOU PROVE YOUR FIRST ‘SINGHALESE’ KING WITH EVIDENCE?

    FOR YOUR INFORMATION, HERE IS THE CONCRETE EVIDENCE FOR FIRST LANKAN TAMIL KING IN LAST KNOWN 3000 YEARS HISTORY.

    “The skeletal remains of an Early Iron Age chief were excavated in Anaikoddai, Jaffna. The name ‘Ko Veta’ is engraved in Brahmi script on a seal buried with the skeleton and is assigned by the excavators to the 3rd century BCE. Ko, meaning “King” in Tamil, is comparable to such names as Ko Atan, Ko Putivira and Ko Ra-pumaan occurring in contemporary Tamil Brahmi inscriptions of ancient South India and Egypt”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lankan_Tamil_people#Pre-historic_period

    HAVE A GOOD RE-READ ABOUT WIJAYAN(INDIAN ORIGIN?)STORY TO KNOW WHO ARE THE REAL LAND GRABERS?

  29. Gunadasa,
    Go to sleep, please pray budha never wake you up. You kind of people not to deserve live in this world.

  30. Why are the Sinhalese so mean and evil? Why do they call themselves Buddhist? I am so saddened to read this article.

  31. Gobi, The sole purpose of the article is what you say. The hidden agenda is not to make the Govt take action but to fuel racial hatred. Tamil politicians have been doing this excellently for so long and keep on doing irrespective of who gets hurt. Take for instance the section about unwanted pregnancies. what it says is that Sinhala soldiers are raping tamil you girls left right and center. Now since there are many Army camps all over the country and this happens only in tamil area one asumes that the rape is used a tool in controlling the tamil community. Once this is said many times it becomes the truth for many tamil people.

  32. DBSJ

    I wonder whether kalu’s excessive bovine excreta falls under the category of verbal diarrhea(keeping it going as long as they can regardless of whether anyone is listening)or could it be intellectual masturbation(position of orifice does not matter because crap comes out anyway)?

  33. Mahinda Rajapakse and Thisara Samarasinghe are going to go to jail in Australia. They will never come out of that land, Australia – a law abiding country, at least for 10 years for the massacres commited against the Tamils. Tamils will get justice at last, both of them killed and maimed our comrades and bretheren.

  34. Mr. Gunadasa has said many historical statements. These statements may be true or not. If he wants the country to prosper why should not to the jungle and meditate like Lord Buddhaa – a noble soul who cared for humanity.

    What Mr. G does not realise that we should not live in the past if we want to progress. There may have been several incidents and we should learn from them. What we want in this country a bright future with every one living happily. A frog in the well does not see what is happening in the world. It is better for every Sri Lankan to visit Singapore and stay there for 6 month and study the evolution. Our President has immense powers like the First Prime Minister of Singapore. He did a wonderful job his people – may ruthless sometimes. We had similar people like JR who messed up everything.
    I do not want to write about people living in the north or South. Every one should have the freedom to live amy part of this country. But this should be on his free will but not forced and transferred since this creates problems to both parties. I will Mr Q to imagine what these could be

    I do not the background of Mr, G. All I want to say let us live happily in this beautiful, wonderful country having so many educated, intelligent people to other countries. If we wish this country to get back let our people in Politics attack in just and fair manner. Then we our people abroad will help us to rebuild this country.

    May God help our people to realse. Mr S. has given a good account of what is happening.

  35. Mr. Gunadasa has said many historical statements. These statements may be true or not. If he wants the country to prosper why should not to the jungle and meditate like Lord Buddhaa – a noble soul who cared for humanity.

    What Mr. G does not realise that we should not live in the past if we want to progress. There may have been several incidents and we should learn from them. What we want in this country a bright future with every one living happily. A frog in the well does not see what is happening in the world. It is better for every Sri Lankan to visit Singapore and stay there for 6 month and study the evolution. Our President has immense powers like the First Prime Minister of Singapore. He did a wonderful job his people – may ruthless sometimes. We had similar people like JR who messed up everything.
    I do not want to write about people living in the north or South. Every one should have the freedom to live amy part of this country. But this should be on his free will but not forced and transferred since this creates problems to both parties. I will Mr Q to imagine what these could be

    I do not the background of Mr, G. All I want to say let us live happily in this beautiful, wonderful country having so many educated, intelligent people to other countries. If we wish this country to get back let our people in Politics attack in just and fair manner. Then we our people abroad will help us to rebuild this country.

    May God help our people to realse. Mr S. has given a good account of what is happening.

  36. Han

    If your supporting the LTTE, then someone will be knocking on your door soon enough.
    ——————————————–
    All the things mentioned by sumanthiran,has nothing to do with anyone supporting the LTTE in the past.You can’t dismiss this by talking about what the LTTE did in the past.Why don’t you first read his report carefully,without like saying the darusman report is of no consequence because it was only an advisory report to the UN sec gen.

  37. What should happen to Gadaffi had happened. When ‘What should happen to Rajapakses’ will happen? What should happen to Rajapakses is nothing but what had happened to Gadaffi. Let us give Gadaffi an oppurtunity to demand his 500 million pounds from R’s and destroy their souls for their treacherous activity of not lifting even a finger to save Gadaffi. Once again I stress that what should happen to Gadaffi had happened.

  38. Akni

    What has the LTTE got to do with sumanthiran report?The LTTE is no more as a viable force in srilanka.The srilankan government cannot use the LTTE excuse to keep on heaping additional burdens on a war devastated people.Even mahinda has said that tamils have gone through enough,so it is someone else who is coldblooded organising this i think.

  39. Tamil people are part of the Sri Lankan society and not the Sinhala society. I agree with your comment about living peacefully sharing the resources. But that thinking is not accepted by many Sinhalese and Tamils.

    The past had different formulas of ruling a nation. Why do Sinhalese hang on to the Language based politics which was created by the same Christian invaders?

    Remember VELU SUMANA, a Tamil was the military commander of Dutu Gemunu!

  40. I urge you also to go to the UN and request to be relocated to your original place India. What a load rubbish you are talking about.

  41. Before politicalizing the land problems of Tamils, Sumanthiran must advise his leader Sampanthan not to grab lands belong to Tamils in Trinco. An article appeared in “ThesamNet” how Tamils are intimidated by Sambanthan to leave their lands. Sambanthan is demanding millions from the Tamil residents of Linga Nagar for the land those residents bought from Sinhalese.(read http://thesamnet.co.uk/?p=30204)

    Sambanthan or his party is not for Tamils but to create problems.

    Many TNA memebers are wealthy and invested in other countries. Now they want to make more money and leave the problems to the Tamils. None of the TNA members of Parliament have their families in Sri lanka!

  42. Rightly said so. First of all, he should understand that writting in all capitals is rude and intention to dominate.

  43. Sinhala politicians have been doing this since the independence just to satisfy the racial majority group.

  44. Dear Mani.

    It seem to be that ypu are just get out from the sleeping bed.
    Didn’t you know that when IPK operating here our army was blocked into camps.
    And they prohibited to using fire arms.

    samarasekara

  45. Piravahan says: October 24, 2011 at 2:13 pm Hey Gundasa,Tamils are living in south without our army’s or police protection. They are volnurable to Gundas like you. But our sinhalese are colonised with the aid of our security forces.
    ————–
    Piravahn,

    If tamils can spread all over south and changed population pecentage in south, what the hell taht sinhalees can’t go into their fomer place call North and South.

    Our solders sacrified thair lives and victimising not for shake of tamils benefits.

    samarasekara.

  46. Dear Yogesh Karayalar,

    You and as well as many tamils are not seem to be understanding tha nature of MR,and what strength behind him. Therefore it is not suitable to compare his caree with Gadaffi.

    He is just not like an individual leader but a member of SINHALA BUDDHIST NATIONAL MOVEMENT. The sinhala national flame was lite by late ANAGARIKA DHARMAPALA. Even in India you could vishualise how ANARAGARIKA DHARMAPALA’S influence.

    IN YEAR 2000 late most venarouble AMUNUGUMA RAJAGURU SRI VIPASSI thero, Leader of MALWATTE CHAPETER was giving him a honour as ROHANA JANA RANJANA. and created the budding leader of Sinhala national movement. Actually at this time MR was a just a ordinary parlement memberwho came from south. Hereafter he was starting to to a new way and you all know how its progress. He gathered all sinhala buddhist nationals into one single ambrella. Now it is more less than 60% of the toatal population. It was strenghed to cut off the unfair influence of minorities which poerating since in year 1947.

    Now Sinhala buddhist national movement is so powerfull,and it goes to re gaine their losses. If Mr would vary with this movement what will happend to him? He will be thrown away to aside and the movement will find out another suitable mand.

    Mind you the chier incumbance of Malwatte Chapter Nayake thero recently honoured another budding leader. He too a RAJAPASHE. but not in MR family.

    he is WIJEDASA RAJAPASHE. A normal member of parliment but fighiting against with curruption.

    samarasekara

  47. The article has opinionated views of Mr. S and nothing else. There are no facts we can check. Tamil women are raped he says. Which hospital checked them and came to this conclusion? Tamil People have to register their lands or in 2 months they loose the land. What nonsense! Probably this guys imagination is on the over drive or he has drunk Viagra and there is no female around!!.

    The issue is, if Tamils want to continue to throw any sort of shit on the Singhalese and GOSL, then they will not achieve reconciliation. They will attain a constant state of confrontation. People like Mr. S are well off. People like the Australian Tamil engineer who is currently trying to get MR to courts is a very comfortable well fed fellow just looking at his protruding stomach. But all this giggery pockery has repercussions on the Tamils who opt to live in SL and they are just trying to raise their heads after a disastrous war.

    What all this does is to muddy the waters and increase the antagonism Singhalese have against Tamils and vice versa.

    Some of the things GOSL is doing are because they are very uneasy on the intentions of the Tamils. They therefore want them within their control. The Tamils must realise after 30yrs of bloody conflict which was supported by 95% of the Tamils either actively or passively, arguably this is an expected reaction. BUT what are the Tamils doing to build the trust and confidence so that GOSL will treat them better? Have shit fights every where which does not lead them anywhere but increases the resoluteness of Singhalese to not to give an inch to the Tamils. What a great response!

    I only hope people with Mr S’s mind set are in a minority.

  48. If SL Government unable to understand NE Tamil speaking civilian problems or inability to provide solution

    …………….

    Please do understand SL govt never understand people’s problems. no govt ever have made life easier for the citizens up to now.

    U think others are happily living in the lands out side N&E?

  49. [Despite Hon. Sampanthan having expressed such concerns, and despite the issue being raised in the previous report tabled by me, twenty-five blocks of this land has already been allocated to companies all being run by Sinhalese individuals from the South. Two blocks of this land have already been handed over to these individuals.]

    Has any Tamil entrepreneur tried to acquire these lands for developing purposes and government exclusively refuse because the person is Tamil?

  50. Mr Gunadasa – Are you serious when you say “there is no Sinhalese village in the South without Tamils”
    While there are Tamils living with Sinhalese in the Districts of Colombo, Kandy, Gampaha, Avissawella, Puttalam much of the Hill country there are no appreciable numbers of Tamils elsewhere. Very small numbers in the NCP, NWP and other areas. The situation was totally different prior to 1956. Kudu Mervin openly says Kelaniya – after his Royal arrival – is not for Tamils and Muslims. The shops of Mr Gnanam (St Anthony’s Industries) and Nalim Hadjiar’s Bairaha Farms were
    broken into and closed inspite of representtions to the Police of the area.

    ISS

  51. Dream on, Jack! International Intervention will only happen when every Tamilian has left the Sinhala areas.

  52. What does the LTTE have to do with Sumanthiran’s report? Everything. If not for the LTTE and their murderous leader, Paripaharan, the SL Army would not be in the Tamil areas in the numbers that they are today. Paripaharan wanted war with the Sri Lankan forces and he got what he wanted. So, now live with that legacy. You guys can’t have it both ways. You wanted war, you got it.

    If Paripaharan really cared about his people, he would have transitioned the military campaign into a political one, when he had the Government by it’s throat. Obviously, he was too stupid to comprehend any of that and the entire population of the North and East was subjected to the whims of Ealam War IV. You guys should be thanking the Government of Sri Lanka for rescuing your population from the clutches of this maniac. Of course, you guys are so overwhelmingly blinded by stupidity that you still cry about a dream called “Ealam” from the confines of your Western domiciles. So, please preach your nonsense to people who are stupid and not to people who know the ground reality of what Paripaharan did to the entire country of Sri Lanka for thirty years.

  53. Mahesh says: October 24, 2011 at 7:40 am Doesn’t these acts justify the LTTE?
    ——————
    Dear Mahesh,

    Welcome your fair coment in this regard.
    Now you may givenup to unfairly criticising on SINHALA BUDDHISTS and MAHAWANSA.

    It is good.

    We always welcome fairly criticism but hate of unfair and untruly criticism.

    samarasekara

  54. Baba Loo

    What does the LTTE have to do with Sumanthiran’s report? Everything. If not for the LTTE and their murderous leader, Paripaharan, the SL Army would not be in the Tamil areas in the numbers that they are today
    ———————————-
    You should be in the loo 24/7.Don’t talk like a loose cannon.When you do something wrong you cannot transfer responsibility on to others because they did wrong too.They will be responsible for what they did and you will be responsible for what you did.This was clearly shown by the darusman report where the srilankan government thought that they can airily wave it off because LTTe held the hostages so they can wipe them out with the hostages.It does not work like that in this world except in the loo where the crap comes out.

    Talking about the LTTE’s role in the past for the current hardships unnecessarily imposed by the srilankan government on the tamil people is like saying the muslims should be confiscated of all their oil for what bin laden did.

    You are a classic example of a intellectual masturbator.In case you are wondering with your pea brain what it is.it is something to do with your name which you chose appropriately.Intellectual masturbation is an handy tool used by some arseholes to cover their ignorance.They are people who blabber whatever crap comes out of their frontal orifice.The position of the orifice does not make much difference for such people.Its crap anyway.hence the rightful place for them is the loo 24/7.

  55. Dilshan ferdi

    There must be positive developments because at the last local government elections in the north 91000 people voted for mahinda while 190000 voted for TNA.91000 would not have voted for mahinda unless he had done something positive too.You can’t expect his political opponents ,the TNA to highlight that due you.Where in the world does that happen.

    Sadly what might have been if these negetive developments were not there.While mahinda seems to be winning some people over with development,others are being cheesed off and voting for the TNA because of these negetive developments.TNA can’t be that popular because they have got only double mahinda’s vote with all the baggage he has to carry due to the war.While mahinda has moved away from the war mentality ,his brother is still like winston churchill in warmode and is undermining mahinda.It was a good thing that fonseka was got out of the scene and now the other sledgehammer gota also should be eased out.Their use by date is over once the war is over,unless they genuinely can transform themselves into peace time leaders.I don’t think that possible because they are too old and will be quite set in their ways by now.Kemal Ataturk was able to do it because he was young,and mahinda was always a politician first and foremost and got thrust into a war.I’am worried all the positive things he does which you mention is coming to nought when it comes to elections because of the negetive things gota does.

    It is time that mahinda removed gota from the defence secretary post and ask him to contest a byelection and enter parliament and stand on his own feet and do whatever he wants.Without facing the people and using his brothers powers and undermining him in the process is a cowardly way of trying to serve the people without taking direct responsibilty.Finally everything that gota does falls on mahinda’s head because he is cleverly hiding under his brothers shadow and avoiding direct responsibilty for his actions.

  56. Well said! Hard to disagree with you. But, most of these poor buggers were victims of LTTE too, just like we used to be under JVP ‘comrades’ and deserve some compassion. Nevertheless, the report is full of accusations and negatives, but fail to see any positive developments in the north?

  57. A report that once again proves that the TNA is not fit to lead the Tamils in the north and east of Sri Lanka into a new future. A future dictated by a vicious and prolonged war that has ended just two and a half years ago. A no holds barred war that was fought from the Tamil side to establish an independent Tamil Eelam and a Sri Lankan state to end such a possibility for ever. A war that has devastated the north and east and the people living there. A war that is being fought yet by sections of the Tamil Diaspora on the international front with much vigour for reasons that hold no meaning for those who have to continue living in Sri Lanka.

    The report is superficial, unbalanced, shrill, emotive and full of hyperbole. The intention is not to take the Tamils into a realistic and better future, but push them back into a mindset that precipitated conditions for thirty plus years of misery, that yet continues. This report does not list the achievements of GOSL in the post-war period against the alleged failures. Most of the issues listed are unimportant in the context of the Sri Lanka that is beginning to emerge. They are also irrelevant in the context of what is happening all over Sri Lanka. How can the GOSL deal with a party that excels in hyperbole and grandstanding. The TNA is a party of cheap, vision-less politicians.

    Tamils are being given land in the UVA to set up large Agricultural farms. Tamils are investing in development projects in other areas of Sri Lanka. The armed forces are present all over Sri Lanka, starting from the Katunayake airport. There are more troops in the north and east, because of the war that has just ended. The road development projects being carried out all over Sri Lanka, will reduce travel time and distances between points. These will bring the whole of Sri Lanka together as one nation with time.

    I did not see one word in this report on what the TNA wants the government to do for the war-affected Tamils as individuals and families. This report does not highlight the misery these people endure as a result of the war. The TNA is demanding cake for a people struggling for their daily bread! This report is meant to reinforce the TNA agenda for exclusive areas for the Tamils in Sri Lanka and fertilize its agenda to be the new ‘Master’ of the north and east, come what may.

    It is a tragedy that the TNA is in a position to project the image that it is the new ‘Sole representative’ of the Tamils. It represents neither what the Tamils need now nor the future they have to anticipate and plan for. A separate and exclusive homeland for the Tamils is definitely not part of this future.It will be a great tragedy if the TNA does not accept this reality and is elected to run the northern provincial council at next years elections. As DBSJ has previously written, our future as Tamils has to be intimately linked to those of the Sinhalese (& other peoples) in Sri Lanka.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  58. DBSJ, when you going to stop this type of nonsence tell us.your doing harm bigger than anyone done past for tamils.better stop now or we will make to stop and fullstop. do you know what does mean.we are every where.better you must understand this.poor man Mr DBSJ

    ???????????………………DBSJ

  59. Mr Sumanthiran, while your clinical documentation of the suffering of northern citizens is a very useful illumination of the activities of the state and ruling clan it must be mentioned that common people who are not directly connected with the ruling clan are also suffering to some extent in the South regardless of their linguistic affiliation.

    The common people of the south are unable to identify with your plight even though they suffer some of the same problems. Mervyn Silva, Duminda Silva etc, are oppressing the people just a Karuna and Dougie boy is doing and living it up. People in the south are more confused since Sinhalese politicians are unprincipled and barefaced liars most of the time who tell one thing one day and the exact opposite the next day from the other side. At least Tamil politicians and the old Left are consistent.

    This is not just a Tamil vs Sinhalese problem. This is a problem of injustice to the all the peoples by the ruling class the current mechanism and agencies of the state. Some opposition activists of the JVP and UNP are undergoing the same treatment including land grabs. See the problems in Slave Island and Nugegoda shops. The crazy ideas of Sinhala supremacy and ultra nationalism is harmful to Sinhalese as well as Tamils.

    Just as much as Sinhalese mobs attacked Tamils so did the Sinhalese shelter their Tamil friends. The state has turned against sections of the Sinhala people just as much as it has turned against the Tamils. The so-called Sinhala state also includes Karuna who killed 900 surrendered soldiers. A war criminal by any accounts.

    There is a bunch of Sinhalese out there who are scratching their heads and wondering what the hell is going on and trying to make sense of it all. They did not support the violence of the JVP and they did not support the violence of the Sinhala mobs and they did not support the violence of the LTTE. Neither do they support the Mahavamsa or the concept of the Tamil homeland or the Sinhala homeland. When they see a Tamil they only see a human being.

    Even though we have freehold on land we actually die so in effect we are living on lease until we die. Don’t get too excited about permanent residences of the Sinhalese even it it is state-backed and somewhat artificial. If this country is going to go forward people are going to move all over. Let them till the land in the north if they want to, you teach your people software development or accountancy. They can work in Colombo if they want and buy a house in a suburb. Or go to California and start the next Google and come back and set up a software development center in Jaffna. And buy an entire farm in Kilinochchi to retire in it even. He can employ Sinhala and Tamil workers equally if he wants.

    The problem in Sri Lanka has been narrowly defined in linguistic terms. While the minorities were the target in the early post independence years, it is no longer so. You can see that clearly by what happened to the General. A person by any account that was at the Vanguard of the Sinhala state is now a victim of selective implementation of the law. You as a lawyer probably know more about it.

    If fact after the land reforms started the problem of the state going nuts violating the rights of the citizens ceased to be only a Tamil problem. Other than the fact that only the majority community can curb the state, since they have the political clout, defining the problem in linguistic terms (only) is not going to open the eyes of everyone in the country.

    There is clearly a problem here. Now that violence is not there and the issue of ‘terrorists’ is not there to cloud the issue it is time look at the problem in an overall sense. Going back to violence is not an answer. Free thinking Sinhalese who turned their backs on JVP violence will never support a Tamil violent struggle.

    You cannot fix the state and liberate the people without getting the majority to realize that there is a common problem. So you have to broaden the scope of you activities as a lawmaker of the citizens. You will help your constituency in the north by doing that. I am not saying not to highlight the plight of your constituents. Certainly you should do that. Otherwise the information will also be denied to your Sinhalese speaking brothers, who may want to do something about it. But if the state is the problem you will have to broaden the battle.

  60. “A leaked US diplomatic cable recount details of a meeting the embassy had had with Tamil National Alliance Chairman R. Sampanthan on November 10, 2009. The Colombo Telegraph found the cable from WikiLeaks database. The cable written on November 13, 2009, classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” by the Deputy Chief of Mission Valerie Fowler.

    The US ambassador Patricia A. Butenis wrote “ Sampanthan said President Rajapaksa recently expressed a desire to meet and they did so privately.” “ Sampanthan said the president wanted elections as soon as possible before the ‘war crimes’ issue got any heated, GSP-Plus concessions expired, or the economy got any worse” she further wrote.

    “Sampanthan noted the president’s willingness to meet with Sampanthan and other Tamils, but overall he was not sanguine about the Rajapaksas’ commitment to reconciliation. They had stalled implementation of the 13th amendment and the election season would likely further reduce chances for putting the amendment into effect. Asked what other steps short of the 13th amendment would be important for reconciliation, Sampanthan noted the de-militarization of society and elimination – or at least reduction – of checkpoints, which particularly impacted young Tamil men. Sampanthan also urged the elimination of the Emergency Regulations. With the end of the war and complete defeat of the LTTE, Sampanthan thought there was no longer any justification for extraordinary measures.” the US ambassador wrote.

    The ambassador Butenis wrote “Sampanthan said he wanted to meet with the US diaspora to stress with them the need to be pragmatic and not extreme in finding a political solution to the plight of Tamils, and to encourage them to become more involved in reconstruction and economic development.” “We encouraged him both in making the trip and in pursuing these goals” Butenis further wrote”(Wikileaks).

    The last paragraph makes sense and be the stance the TNA should take in public. What is stated is of utmost priority to the Tamils. This shows that the TNA avoids talking about these issues in public for fear of alienating its Diaspora supporters.

    The preceding paragraphs indicate a pretense at not understanding the consequences-the cross- the Tamils have to bear as a result of the war and how it ended, the modus operandi of the LTTE and the position of the TNA viz-a-viz the LTTE.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  61. Your army never had a guts to fight foreign Army. Only killing over 200 000 innocent unarmed Tamil&Sinhala civilians and thousands of unarmed Indian fisherman .

  62. Gavin – Both Sinhalese and Tamils should be working towards reconciliation – not just the Tami side that you seem to urge. Tamils have no interest to “throw any sort of s.it” or anything else at anybody. That is not in their grain or culture. They simply want to be left alone in their areas to run their affairs – as allowed to all other communities. The problem, so far, is the Sinhala side is refusing this. SLFP-Coalitions refuse this due to their racial-prejudice while the more liberal UNP-Coalition is prevented by the extremists and the Buddhist clergy from allowing this – which they (UNP) probably think cannot be avoided. But for how long? Your being in denial of rape on Tamil girls and women by the army in Tamil areas is just as good as Gotha’s “absolutely no zero casualties” that he boasted to the country and the world He was forced later to eat his own words – adding to his long list of suspect credibility.

    ISS

  63. Yes Mr.TRN I don’t think Sinhalese outside the NE experiencing this serious issues like Sumanthiran MP listed. If you genuinely analyse Gov and Paramiltary behind these issues or create this issues. Not all government do this land grabbing and making certin people life difficult in the world unless they are Gaddafi and Sadam Regime or verse than that.

  64. Shankar:

    Look up the word sycophant, you coward! That is exactly what you are…..Making excuses for a mass murderer. Even the “loo” is not good enough of a place to preach you sycophantic nonsense…..

  65. The Darusman Report, what a farce. This is something you apologists for murderers use to justify the carnage brought on by your murderous, thambi, Paripaharan. You and people like you are directly responsible for the murderous regime of Paripaharan and you want to hide behind Darusman. What a coward!

  66. The Darusman Report; what a farce. This is something you apologists for murderers use to justify the carnage brought on by your murderous, thambi, Paripaharan. You and people like you are directly responsible for the murderous regime of Paripaharan and you want to hide behind Darusman.

  67. You are a great apologist for the LTTE. Should be proud. Paripaharan has a place in hell for you for being a top notch sycophant. You can take Darusman with you as well…..

  68. and loo,please clean up after you masturbate,because your intellectuality dumped on this blog smells too much for us.

  69. Uh Lankan have you done the drive upto Jaffna?..haven’t you come across the countless military establishments depriving the Tamil ppl of their livelihoods?Mullaikulam in Mannar, Jaffna High Security Zones and Sampoor in Trincomalee district have military run shops and plantations– and these are clearly out there for the public to see and you call it “fiction”. And whose lands are these ppl taking?– clearly you haven’t been there.

  70. ISS 

    Which party needs reconciliation currently? Well that party should move towards it. Who is crying foul at every turn and corner? Then that party should try to redress that issue. If Tamils are currently not throwing shit what are they doing right now by making baseless allegations?  The well off engineer Tamil who instituted legal action against MR on his visit to Australia did it just to embarrass the GOSL acting blatantly under prejudice and nothing else. By this legal action, how did he help his own people in SL? The fellow even changed his name to an European sounding one. He even forsaked his Tamil name! but wants to be the hero of his people! What a fake.

    Where is the substantiation of Mr. S’s allegations detailed in this article? Tamils will never be left alone to run their little show after the past history where Jaffna which had those freedoms produced the first Tamil terrorists. Read my comment again please. I did not deny rape but I asked “where is any credible evidence?”  

    I am not bothered whether the Tamils or Singhalese are on the wrong side but if Tamils want to get somewhere, the present attitude of many of their community who still have the LTTE mind set and have a great desire to get revenge for their military defeat at the hands of the Singhalese must change. They also have another option. That is to incite others to another armed confrontation while living in relative comfort and lavishness.

  71. There are many issues which Mr Sumanthiran brings up. The problems listed are very important, however as Dr Narendran points out they come with much hyperbole. Some of the issues are so exaggerated they are plain untrue.

    As an opposition the TNA approach is very effective and laudable. It is doing the job of an opposition well by pointing out the problems it sees for it’s constituents (though some are severely exaggerated). As such were there to be elections soon they would be in a good position to win the entire NE vote as a bloc and thereby form an alliance with the UNP to form a government or join the ally with the SLFP for a term and be included in the government giving it access to more resources. Unfortunately for the TNA and the Tamils of the NE at there is no election imminent, but there are meant to be wide ranging negotiations. Although Mr Devananda might be a thug and inefficient, it would be important to realise he stood by SLFP and MR before the war, when the war was executed and won. As a result he was given the role he has now. At the time TNA was a proxy of the LTTE and the government had no desire to deal with them after the war and tried as hard as they could to win the NE vote at the local council elections.

    As such the approach Mr Sumanthiran is taking by being confrontational is to bring pressure on the UPFA. I am not sure if this pressure is meant to be brought from the international community because this plays into UPFA’s hands because within the Sinhala electorate it plays in the Sinhala chauvinist element’s desire no make no concessions in the negotiations.

    If the TNA thought that the International pressure would lead to better outcomes for it’s constituents it would be the correct approach. However given a lot of that pressure comes from deluded elements in the LTTE rump overseas and it’s similarly hyperbolic claims (Eg. genocidal GOSL etc) those claims are not having much track other than reinforcing the LTTE rump’s own beliefs. If there were to be an independent international inquiry, the international community might be disappointed that the extent of war crimes was only to the summary execution of the operational leaders of the LTTE and not the targeting of civilians even though the innocent civilian casualty numbers were tragically high.

    Also Dr Narendran has a goo AJW and

  72. The underlying spirit of this report is to insist on homeland concept which was the usual line maintain for propaganda purposes in the past. This was not recognised across the country.

    Secondly not to under estimate the law and order issue fail to highlight that there are rivalries among some Tamil groups who try to gain control.
    Therefore just 2 yrs after the war government has to be vigilant and can see they rush lots of things for the sake of development without considering the consequences.

    However if TNA’s line is not perceived to be genuine as their main aim seemed to please the diaspora who are non pragmatic and extreme then MR will be forced by other extremists to pursue non democratic line at the expense of the whole country.

    The key test in post war period is how the law and order is maintained and how strong those institutions are. If they are weak due to political manipulations by past and present leaders it will draw attention internationally. It’s not only Tamil population the general population also suffers due to thuggery, election violence etc as wrong candidates were nominated.
    It appears those incidents haven’t gone unnoticed and Commonwealth Heads forum in Perth recognised situations like SL should be avoided where democracy is at stake. Australia’s approach is more pragmatic as they didn’t want to embarrass guests and make a rift in Commonwealth instead brought up proposals to improve democracy compared to Canada’s approach.

    Now the challenge is with opposition parties UNP/TNA to build the trust with people and bring back democratic values with the help of other commonwealth nations.

  73. Gavin:

    Reading you it is clear you are not the callous 1-2 line commenting type one sometimes finds in these columns. You may be a senior government official (going by your fist name) held in much esteem for the useful comments in matters public via the media. However, if the intention is to prevent your identity being known, I will respect that.

    I am sad one of your learning should ask in, intimidatory and tastless terms, “which party needs reconciliation?” If you belong to that category that brought the National Question to the non-resolvable position it is in, let me assure you Tamils are not in a position of weakness to come crawling for a “a just solution” or permission to live in the ancient land of their forefathers. While the whole world recognizes a great deal of injustice was heaped on the Tamils since 1956 – and continues to do so – as Sumanthiran lists so eloqunelty – you audaciously ask “who is crying foul at every turn?” It is because the appeals of the Tamils are so real and just, this regime is squandering millions of dollars we cannot afford to hire, unconstitutionally and improperly, PR firms in London and Washington just to survive until their term comes to leave governance. It is also for this reason today BBC raised the ante when Zenab Badawi interviewed Brad Adams of A.I. on the Sri Lankan Crisis. If one reads the signs right, the issue will once again be placed on the boil for a resolution which successive Sinhala governments have failed to provide.
    As to this regime, they appear to believe procrastination is the ideal answer as in that old English proverb “he who runs away lives to fight another day”

    If you are interested in the National Question you “ should be bothered whether the Tamils or Sinhalese are on the wrong side” That is the starting point from which one proceeds in search of the ultimate hoped for solution. The LTTE, you refer to with such venom, came into being because of the attitude of people such as the one you demonstrate. That LTTE, that is no more in its earlier ferocity, was simply one minor manifestation of decades old Tamil exasperation in being deliberately denied a solution. That shared pain of all the Tamil people will not die or fade away even if you raise the current 9:1 ratio of the despised and unncessary presence of the army and the civilian population even to 1:1 – a figure close to what Sarath Fonseka had in mind before his “own dear friends” decided to part company with him.

    As to specific instances of rape – by which you probaly mean those Tamil women raped and left to live other than the many who were brutally killed to destroy evidence – this is there for all to see. The Tamil side has listed most of the incidents and made them available to local and foreign bodies of international repute tasked with preventing them. They are obviously far too long to be listed in these pages.

    ISS

  74. Dr.narendran

    The report is superficial, unbalanced, shrill, emotive and full of hyperbole.
    ——————————————–
    I think it is you who is getting shrill and emotive here.

    You say most of the matters listed in the report are unimportant,but you fail to say in what way it is unimportant.

    Come,come sir,you are a doctor of science,i believe.In science we know you just cannot make generalised statements like these without giving proof.The proof is in the pudding they say,and going through your comment i can’t see any pudding at all,only wild allegations against sumanthiran.

    If you could back your claims with for example sumanthiran says this and another example he says this which is ridiclous or something like that,then we could appreciate an unbiased analysis of this report by you.Instead i find shrill and emotive statements such as “The TNA is a party of cheap, vision-less politicians.”etc,etc

    We all know srilankan politicians are cheap and will have to refer the dictionary to see what vision means. Probably they will think it has something to with eyesight and would want to get a better pair of spectacles,if you say to them tha they have no vision.At least we know the TNA politicians don’t go shooting each other in broad daylight. taking the standard of politicians in the south,we can’t expect great shakes from those in the north.maybe a shade better.In the case of sumanthiran,he is not a traditional politician,but a recent one,appointed on the national list i believe and i have more faith in him,than the other TNA politicians.He is from colombo and has had no affiliations to the LTTE and like a breath of fresh air to the party.More educated people like him who have not been politicians previously should be appointed for the tamils.The reason i like new people is,our old politicians have learned a lot of bad habits and can’t change them.It would be better for the government to take on board his critiscisms and get its act together.

    If you want to criticise the report that is your prerogative,but do it in a fashion that we can understand better.The generalised way you go about it and the other aspects you go into that have nothing to do with the report,makes it very difficult to understand where you are coming from.

  75. Shanker,

    Thanks for your scientific comments. I have not gone into details because I have dealt with these in articles or in previous comments. I did not want to repeat what I have been saying previously. My comments are a summary of what I conclude, subsequent to what I have seen over most of the north including Mullaitivu.

    Further, I had also hoped that Mr.Sumanthiran will turn out to be a new breed of Tamil politician. Unfortunately, he is also falling into the old mould. I have through the grape wine that he attempted to assault Mr.Anandasangary at the recent meeting held in New Delhi, for opposing the idea of a Tamil Eelam! I am quite disappointed about this outcome. As to the TNA, as you say they do not go around shooting in broad day light, but they go around laying a lot of land mines-with actions I have described- which are bound to hurt our people again in the future.

    The government to the extent I can see is getting its act together, it is time we, including the TNA get our act together.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    What you reportedly “heard” over the grapevine about Sumanthiran allegedly trying to assault Anandasangaree is not correct.

  76. UN must be sick of us by now.Ban ki must be keeping his fingers crossed that he does not tangle with another eccentric country like srilanka in his second term.UN must be thinking we are nutters by now.By the time they finish with srilanka they will be so exhausted that they won’t be able to deal with another rogue country.

  77. DBSJ,

    I stand to be corrected, if what I heard is wrong. My source has been reliable before. My apologies to Mr.Sumanthiran, if I was wrong.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    There was some friction during a discussion and heated words were exchanged. Later Sumanthiran apologized to Aanandasangaree.Some people have distorted and magnified the incident

  78. You seem to be looking at this whole issue with lot of anger and heart burn. While you are entitled to do so, remember that once one is emotionally involved in any issue, it is very difficult to see the true facts.
    The Singhalese think they won the war and MR won all the elections after with hefty majority, so why should we do anything for the Tamils? Tamils think as you say, they must negotiate as equals. After 30 yrs of war which was supported by 95% of Tamils either directly or indirectly and on may 2009, they lost everything. Their people, lands, future’s devastated. Therefore, things are not equal. This is the reality of life whether you or I like it or not. Therefore I think, If Tamils want a resolution and I think they need it, they must be proactive.

    Think of the Tamils who succeeded with the Singhalese. Example, lakshman Kadiragarma, Thondaman, Muralitharan the bowler, Piyasena MP Ampara, K.C. Nithiyananda, Premadasa’s right hand man paskaralingham etc
    Thondaman did not lick Singhalese feet but got what he wanted from every successive Singhalese government. Piyasena thought, the best way for him to get any privileges for his people is to jump ship. So he did that not knowing what the future would be. But he realized, to have the TNA attitude would be to starve his people. KC was a tough fighter and all the time the dice was loaded against him but he defended the accused (many times , Singhalese) and most times won against Singhalese CAS officers. What did all these people have in common? They were greatly trusted by the Singhalese. Today , how does the Singhalese GOSL get that trust when TNA is proxy LTTE and Tamils are raising the shit on GOSL? Therefore these talks between GOSL and TNA or so called Tamil leadership have become stale mate.

    According to many Tamils like Mr S, they give the impression that Tamils are hounded and shat upon by Singhalese. However, more than 65% of the Tamils live outside their so called traditional area’s together with other races. In Colombo, it’s full of Tamils, Indians and Singhalese are around 28%. These Tamils live in relative contentment. Marriages take place between the races and are very successful. There are thousands of Tamil businessman and professionals who are prospering in SL. I know many old Tamils in wellawatta whose children are all abroad doing very well, but these oldies want to die in SL!!!! So who created this racial issue? Is there one in real terms?

    You say I should be bothered to know who is right. Tamils or Singhalese. Well if you like to dwell in the past, best of luck but all that does is to inflame passions. I have listened to both parties arguing, also read in this blog the same arguments going on endlessly. A total waste of time. Countries that faced wars and calamities often put that aside and start again with a fresh slate. Of course, prejudices linger long but the best is to look forward. To try to judge who is right and wrong will be a disaster.

    Very well stated………….DBSJ

  79. Lakshman – I wish to comment on your observation “…not recognised across the country” If unity and reconciliation is to arrive at all and if a majoirty concensus is the panacea, then we are back to square one. Here is a country where over 75% of the people – and almost 100% of the youth and the post-1956 generation – consider the Tamils as “the other”
    The JHU has made it clear they will oppose any concessions to the Tamils – even if they are reasonable – as “Un-Buddhistic and Un-Sinhala” What happened since 1956 has widened the gap. In the circumstances, even if a good formulae is worked out there can be no majority concensus of the Referendum style.

    That appears to be the grim reality facing all of us. In an environment such as this what we need is a Mandela-LKY type of a Statesman to lead us. The bitter truth there is no such leader around. The nearest to that will be Ranil W,
    CBK, Justice Sarath Silva – but they do not have the popular mandate.

    ISS

  80. Gavin began with the grotesque suggestion if Tamils need reconciliation they should genuflect before the other accordingly – using different words. That is something no Tamil worth his salt will come to terms with. He appears to cover up this obvious gaffe with a load of irrelevancies. Whether he writes in anger or I is a matter of opinion. I am both within and far away not to be swayed emotionally about what happens. It is regretted the man seems to be somewhat faecally inclined, going by his generous use of the inelegant and unnecessary “S” word.

    As to the inequality of Tamils, it is not “things are not equal”in the empirical sense but more things were deliberately made unequal for them – and that is the crux of the issue. There are many who believe Premadasa, Mathew and friends ensured 7/83 also because of the success of the Tamil business community.

    You talk of how safe your friends in Wellawatta are and have been. How many of them ended up in pitiful Refugee Camps then – that included the family of the late C. Renganathan QC? That was by far less beastly to what happened to former Minister C. Kumarasuriyar – also in Wellawatte.

    If you believe Tamils and Tamil businessmen in the South are idyllic today you have a few “thinks” coming your way. How I wish it were so. If that Sinhala Doctor at Karandeniya could be shot to death in cold blood by an ex-deserter Contract killer on some business rivalry, what chance do successful Tamil businessmen have in the South – where, being a Tamil itself, in the eyes of the riff-raff around, is to be a legitimate target. Look at the amount of brutal multiple killings taking all over the country. How safe are the Tamils in the South if we are to once more see the return of 1977/1983? I know the mind of both – because I was both. Most Tamils in the South today live in uncertainty as to what awaits them the next day. This is not because all Sinhalese are bad and congenitally anti-Tamil. This is more because the regime has encouraged a culture of impunity that scares Tamils to death. An impunity that SWRD brought forth in 1956 at Galle Face Green that instead of dissappearing has grown substantially. To some even as a lucrative business. Let me recall to you the words of a visiting scholar-writer “to be a Tamil today in Sri Lanka is to live in fear”

    As to mixed-marriages they are far, far less than before – though I regret this.

    Who indeed want to leave the Motherland if conditions were reasonable – or liveable. Some Tamils left because the State is unable or unwilling to assure the safety of their persons and property enshrined in the Constitution itself. That Grand Scheme that was meant to target the Tamils is now turning inwards needs no metioning.Even Sinhalese are escaping now – juding by the large concentrations in Australia, the UK, the US, Italy, Cyprus and other places. This is not anger of a minority man but the cold reality of the day. When the price of Fuel is further increased and electricity for the lower end goes up – to keep the secret pledges to lenders that resulted in the “oxygen” of loans – social tensions will rise. This will further raise the fears of the more vulnerable sections of the plural community is basic theory.

    That the TNA and other Tamils are pro-active is clearly established by their willingness to engage into discussions – even after decades of broken promises. Still after 11 meetings not even 5% of the issues raised have been solved by the Govt side speaks for itself. The problem is the majority side has so far not yielded. Even that basic facility of the right to run their own Provincial Council is denied to them. The last time they were forced to grant those reasonable concessions was because of a foreign army. The next time, perhaps, will be because of the “lecture” in Perth. If there is a move forward at all, it will not be out of good sense or justice but more due to external pressure.

    Cricketer Muralitharan, his parents and family escaped being burnt alive in 7/83 is probably something you did not know. They escaped being roasted just at the nick of time. KC Nithiyanda did not succeed in the strict sense. He was bitter when he came to me to borrow a few bags of Chicken feed the honourable man badly needed to run his Poulty farm He should have been considered for much more than the Palmyrah Board. Paskaralingam? The less said the better of a controversial man forced to live as a fugitive outside. The Non-Sinhala speaking Piyasena’s nomination to the TNA is a bad error on the part of Sampanthan that he regrets to the day. Kadirgamar? The man could not read or speak Tamil and during much of his lifetime did not wish to be identified as a Tamil. Many members of his family in Jaffna,
    however, are quintessential Tamils joining others in raising their voices loud and clear for justice for the Tamils.

    Thondaman succeeded not because of Sinhala patronage – but in spite of it. “Thondaman trusted by the Sinhalese” My left foot! That eventually came by in the late 90s when they understood the right from the wrong. Before that he was hounded by the press, the clergy and Southern political parties for decades by inflammatory racial cartoons and so forth I am personally aware of how much he was pained by these. Hector Kobbekaduwa would have loved to see him buried alive.

    Both the Rajapakses and the TNA have many a reason to distrust each other. But in the interest of the future they will have to structure a form of co-existence. That is their challenge. I do not suggest TNA are the sole voice of the Lankan Tamil people. But for the moment, they enjoy the overwhelming of the Tamil people and should be encouraged to head the Tamil struggle until the other many enjoining features of democracy are restored in the Tamil-speaking NEP.

    My inclination to dwell in the past is just as much or just as little as anybody else’s. The positive and negative lessons of the past are vital to design the present and the future.

    ISS

  81. The SJVC Statue incident at Trincomalee recently reminds us grimly those main actors of 7/83 – the ruffian in the street out to rob and kill in the name of race/religion, the rotten apples in the Policy-Army and extreme racists – are very much alive and among us. So let us not castigate those among us those dark days of 1958, 1977, 1981 and 1983 can always be made to recur – causes can easily be manufactured by those professional conpiracy-makers.

    ISS

  82. Any oppostion MP in other parts of Sri Lanka could make a similar list in this post war torn country.

    Overseas living Tamils and Sinhales have reduced the culture to few dances and songs.
    My children are unable to read Sri Lankan language.
    I do not blame Australina Govt. for that.

    I feel sad about the whole thing; why these politicians cry for loss of culture in a developing environment.
    With economic progress the same would happen to all Sri Lankans in Sri Lanka.
    Politicians would send their children overseas and expect poor Sri Lankans to preserve culture.

    Politicians are hypocrats.

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  84. They are helping to create another Prabakaran to start resurrection.

    And end up at Nandhikkadal?……….DBSJ

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