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Tamils should consider course correction

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by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Toronto is home to the largest concentration of Sri Lankan Tamils (250,000 plus) outside that Island.

Thousands of Tamil Canadians, mainly youths, have participated in rallies, processions, vigils, picketing, street demonstrations, sit-ins, fasts, slogan-shouting and the blocking of traffic at peak hours.

[May 13-pic by vipez]

Primarily, it is an effort to draw attention to the worsening humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka.

More than 50,000 Tamil civilians are entrapped on a coastal strip in the North.

They are virtual “hostages” of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) an organization proscribed as “terrorist” by Canada.

After fighting for decades the armed forces are poised to overrun the cornered tigers.

The Tamil tigers as they are known are waging a fierce war to establish an Independent state, “Tamil Eelam”.

Protests in Toronto and Ottawa are but part of a concerted global campaign by the Tamil diaspora. The underlying cause is the civilian predicament back “home”.

There are daily reports of civilians being killed and injured by aerial bombardment and artillery shelling. Nearly 200,000 civilians were recently displaced and are housed in IDP camps under abysmal conditions.

In this situation , the concern and anxiety of Canadian Tamils for their kith and kin are understandable. They want Ottawa to exert pressure on Colombo and prevent the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe.

Problematic here, are the methods adopted to bring about intervention by the Canadian Government.

Strident protests are becoming a public nuisance . Motorists and pedestrians are inconvenienced greatly.

Demonstrators are increasingly on a collision course with the Police. Besieging Gardiner expressway on Sunday was dangerously controversial.

Instead of winning sympathy from mainstream Toronto, the abrasive protests are incurring resentment and hostility.

Complicating matters further is the identification with the banned LTTE, Carrying tiger flags and chanting slogans for the LTTE raise doubts about a hidden agenda.

Are the protests concerned about the civilian plight alone or getting a reprieve for the LTTE also?

In any case linking the protests to the tigers is proving counter-productive as neither the Conservatives nor the Liberals want to be identified with a banned outfit.

There is also the fact that Canada has little clout with Sri Lanka.We are not a major trading partner or aid-giver. Canada is not on the UN security council.

Perhaps it’s time for Canadian Tamils to review the situation realistically and do a course correction.

[PDF File: This opinion piece appeared in Metro News-Toronto of May 15th 2009]

I can be reached on
Email: dbsjeyaraj@yahoo.com

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146 Comments

  1. quite short unlike your earlier posts DBS

    This was written specifically for Metronews within their limi of 400 words -…………DBSJ

  2. I hope they do a course correction as you suggest.

    I think it’s too late now. Events have overtaken-…………. DBSJ

  3. Oh sorry DBS. I get it now. You wrote this for metronews first. They carry only short articles

  4. Torontorians (Canadians) and Canadian Media did not do anything to help peace loving Dalai Lama and Tibetians during Olympic Protests, but for Tamils at least got some attention.
    🙂

  5. DBS,

    do you know if there is a rough estimate of how many showed up at the protest? perhaps set against the SL Tamil population of the GTA?

    you know like few others the costs and consequences of being set upon from all sides but it is going to happen, albeit attenuated by the norms of western civilization, to those diaspora tamils with no patience for tiger boosting or flippant justifications for pulping the skulls of trapped civilians.

    What rhetorical strategy would you advise for such people? We have no friends as it stands now.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    I dont know what you mean by rhetorical strategy. as for “advice” that’s what I’ve been doing for years and years now. All that I got in return was violence and vilification. After being called traitor for simply telling the truth in the long – term interests of the Tamils and calling upon the LTTE to give up an unwinnable war for an unrealistic gaol I find myself being asked now to tender “advice” by some at least. What I have learnt through painful experience is that one can only advise those who realise that they need advice. There’s no point in advising those who think nothing is wrong with them and only others are to blame for their predicament

  6. DBSJ, Your article in Metro news is silent about the Sri Lankan govt’s approach to finish the war through a carnage and bloodbath of civilians. As a journalist you should not to be biased nor try to conceal the truth.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Mr. Devan

    This piece was written for the Metro News within a limit of 400 words. The editors wanted a focus on Toronto protests with some context. This is not an article explaining the conflict to Torontonians. It was an attempt and only an attempt to focus on the protests. It is not a detailed analysis.

    You will note that a lot of facts are not mentioned in the piece due to space constraint. For instance I have not written about how the LTTE is keeping civilians who want to leave in their area by force. I have not written about how the LTTE shoots and assaults civilians for trying to escape. I have also not written about how these shameful diaspora demonstrations do not say anything about tiger atrocities.

    I hope at least now you understand what space constraints are

    As for being biased or not writing the truth it is ONLY because I wrote the TRUTH that your LTTE goons assaulted me in front of my wife and broke my head and leg. It is ONLY because I wrote the TRUTH that LTTE goons intimidated Tamil shopkeepers and advertisers in Toronto and forced me to close down the Tamil weekly I was editing here. It is ONLY because I write the TRUTH that your LTTE fellow travellers keep on harassing and vilifying me as a Traitor.

    Also you write about carnage and bloodbath. But then is it due to only one party or both parties?

    Just for your information I am now collecting lots of information from Tamils who escaped from LTTE areas. You know what? They are full of anger against the LTTE. The tales they tell about how the tigers treated their own people are horrifying.

    I will write about it very soon

    And I do hope you will take the lead in praising me for being unbiased and telling the whole truth then.

  7. Hi DBS,

    I think you should be part of any post-conflict peace negotiation process done by GoSL. Your view are very balanced and will certainly be able to add great value and insight to the process.

  8. DBS states that,
    More than 50,000 Tamil civilians . . . .are virtual “hostages” of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) an organization proscribed as “terrorist” by Canada.

    Where are the Tami lawyers in this issue? Why we do not see any of them in any of the protests. We do not see them in law courts also. Do they have a statement at least. Will they make a call to the LTTE to release these Tamil civilians or they fear to do that also.

  9. Jeyaraj,

    stop worrying about this candian EElam road pooper. next week they will be back to 24 x 7 cleaning jobs 🙂

  10. I read the article on this evening on the subway-short and concise.

    I think you were tactful, and keeping with the word-limit, it got the message across.

    Everyone can pick on “you left this out,that out…etc.” but for the general populous it hit the main points.

    I hope to see more..

  11. Ottawa sounds like a nice place for Eelam, Don’t you think so DBS?… since the tamils have failed in Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Mauritius etc

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Pol Sambola,

    Your taunt masquerading as a comment is one more indicator of the Sinhala supremacist triumphalist odour polluting the atmosphere right now.

    Moreover your statement also shows you are an ignorant buffoon with scanty knowledge about the Tamil national question in Sri Lanka. It shows you havent grasped anything about Canada. It shows you dont have any idea about the wise and statesmanlike manner in which India resolved Tamil separatism. It shows you dont know anything at all about the history of Malaysia, Mauritius or any other former British, French, Dutch or Portugese colony in which Tamils form a sizeable community.

    All what this shows is that not only are you colossally ignorant but also crassly insensitive to gloat and taunt people when their kith and kin are being massacred.

    Your asking me directly shows how little you know about me.

    But one thing is clear.

    It is people like you who are examples of majoiritarian chauvinism. You all are those responsible for Sri Lanka going down the slippery slope.

    Even now you have learnt nothing believing in utter stupidity that the war has been won and the Tamil national question resolved.

    I like pol sambola (Thengai sambal) But when the coconut is stale the sambol is rotten , smelly and inedible

  12. Dear Mr DBS,

    I have already seen similar sentiment express above but I would also like to repeat the same again. You should be invited to be part of how the SL wants build peace in future. I hope to read your thoughts in the coming months and years.

    Thank you……….. DBSJ

  13. Why can’t SL government leave tamils alone? SL government killed many civilans and they say LTTE terrorist, so government can kill anyone if they want, they are not terrorist. What is this world? there is no ethical or professionalism in this world. Specailly goverment who killed people, they are the one must be punished and executed.

  14. [ “we have no friends as it stands now”]
    whose fault is that?
    who failed to reform themselves even when they should have been able to read the writing on the wall?
    who eliminated all those with the ability to represent us?
    who didn’t know to stop when they were as far ahead as they would ever be?
    who just didn’t know how to think?
    Who had absolutely no idea of what the consequences of their actions would be, but did them anyway?
    who was it, that repeatedly kept playing into their enemy’s hands, even though their enemy wasn’t very bright either?
    Who kept shooting the all the well-meaning messengers with negative feed-back until the only feed-back they were getting was all positive for them?

    we have no friends because we unable to disagree with those who did all of the above blunders, amicably, without incurring the wrath of their self appointed “right thinking” supporters.

    ” A true friend is one who will let you know when you need a shower”
    who didn’t listen to people like DBSJ?

  15. DBS.

    (EDITED)

    I think tamil people have become the object of expense for all sides. So in this sprit is why i think a UN mission is the only hope for tamil people.

  16. Shelling story is nonsense; people with no common sense will buy it. What does SL government gain from shelling? If the government did not care about these people it can finish this war in hours. They do not do it because of the people. LTTE on the other hand will kill people to its advantage and that is what they do all the time. So, the LTTE must have shelled this so called hospital and also the so called doctor is suspicious to have been with the LTTE. What truth you expect from anyone who is under the gun of LTTE even if he is a doctor.

    (EDITED)

    This protest for nothing other than to save LTTE, let those in Sri Lanka to decide for them, just appreciate your new country, there is no future for Tamils if LTTE ins alive in Sri Lanka. Everyone except you guys know it, proofs will come in near future.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:
    It is a fact that civilians have been shelled and bombed regularly by the armed forces . There are hundreds of people transported by ICRC ship receiving treatment in govt hospitals.

    What is debatable is whether it was intentional or unintentional and the number of civilian casualties. Also some of these people were attacked by the LTTE. Even now the civilians are suffering as the army is moving in.

    History is written by the victors and there is every chance that govt propagandists will put new “spins” after they seize all tiger territory. But in spite of propaganda there is something called the truth though in this post – modernist society we can always argue “Whose Truth”?

    You links to defence ministry sources were deleted as we do not encourage propaganda as far as possible. We delete links to Tamilnet also

  17. Dear DBSJ,

    Your articles have won hearts and minds of lot of people that I know of. They xonsistently presented balanced analysis all the time. I have read in numerous occasions where you have mentioned that “Tigers (LTTE) are down but not out”.

    I would like to know what your opinion about it is, given that the news coming from SL indicates that they will be out within days.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    I wrote that when the war was in progress and when some people were writing off LTTE pre-maturely. I emphasised then that there was much fight left in the LTTE. I had also written that given the overwhelming military superiority of the armed forces the end was inevitable but that the tigers would resist fiercely till the last as opposed to some analysts saying the LTTE was going to give up. Even now the LTTE is still fighting hard despite the odds stacked against it.

    I would have been proud of their determination and defiance but for two factors.

    One – because it was totally unnecessary and there was no need for the LTTE and by extension the Tamils to be in this sad situation, The LTTE let the gun guide its politics and this is the result.

    Two – the LTTE will go down in disgrace because of its refusal to let the civilians go and the brutal manner in which it prevents them from doing so. The “heroism” of the LTTE’s last stand is utterly de-valued by its resorting to a hostage situation and usage of civilians as human shields.

    I am collecting information from people who have ecaped from the LTTE and almost all of them are really angry and disgusted about LTTE. As I wrote earlier the real defeat for the LTTE was not on the military front but in losing the hearts and minds of the Tamil people who lived under LTTE administration for nearly two decades

  18. DBS, Have you noticed one common thing between real LTTE and LTTE supporters in canada. This is disrepect for other people. What you are experiencing in Canada is just a tiny bit what we have been experiencing in Sri lanka. No wonder peace loving canadians are furious about red flag carriers in their cities.

  19. “Tamils should consider course correction”

    Mind correction too…….

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    That goes for Sinhalese like you too.You specifically need a pseudonym correction ……… DBSJ

  20. DBS,
    You are being very polite by not saying anything about the huge influx of Tamil refujees into Canada who are living on Welfare benefits etc etc. I truly believe that Protests and Crocodile tears are aimed at ensuring that their Refujee claims will not get tossed out and they will be deported.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    I think you are way out of line in saying this. For onething the tally of welfare recipients has steadily decreased since the days of Mike Harris. The overwhelming majority of demonstrators are youths born in Canada or who came at an early age.They have no need of welfare as you erroneously charge

    Please do not insult those youths and students. Many of them are sacrificing their studies to demonstrate. some are losing their income or suffering a loss in earnings to participate. Most of these youths are not engaged in these protests for personal gain

    I am very proud of these youths for their passion, dedication, courage , resilience and energy. I think of my youth when I see them.

    It is also very remarkable that these second generation diasporic youths should display such concern for the land of their origin and its people.

    What I am sad about and disapporove of is their colossal stupidity in identifying with the LTTE, their unrealistic demands to Ottawa and their unacceptable methods at times in their demonstrations.

    I think these youths represent all that is fine and good in the Tamil people. They are our future. They have a very constructive role to play in the upliftment of the Tamil people. I fervently hope they will do an urgent course correction. Just as I constantly asked the LTTE to transform I ask these youths to correct their course

  21. DBS, your response to one Devan moved me to tears. I keep company with few Tamil friends. It is very difficult to convince them that it is the TRUTH in the end that will liberate people. Tamilnet has done great harm to Tamil Diaspora in manipulating the truth. I do not want to punish Prbakaran or Rajapaksha. I wish to see some thing along the lines of ” Truth and Justice Commission” in South Africa. Let our posterity know the TRUTH.

  22. Why do you “EDIT” some of the comments? Hurts your cause?

    Because to EDIT is my prerogative. Also Tell me sir, what or which is my “Cause”? ………… DBSJ

  23. DBS,
    I think you will have a bigger role to play in the coming years to bring the hearts and minds of sinhala and tamil communities both abroad and in SL.

    I doubt there are many people who could play an effective role in that regard.

    I also also live about 500 miles south of where you live and hope you will have better stories to tell about my people back home in SL………

  24. I am a Sinhalese and closely following your writing for long time. I cant understand why Tamil Dispora are so blind and why they cant see the reality. Where are all those moderate tamils ??? LTTE doing a huge injustice to Tamils and doing a unreparable damage to Tamils as a ethenic group.

  25. TIGERS ARE THE CAUSE OF ALL THE PROBLEM. WHAT YOU SAY IS RIGHT. THEY KILLED OUR PEACE LOVING LEADERS WHO HAD THE FORTHRIGHT TO ATTTAIN ELAM WITHOUT BLOOD SHED WITH TOEING THE LINE WITH INDIA LIKE A. AMIRTHALINGAM.INDIAN PEACE KEEPERS WERE PROVOKED BY THESE IDIOTS.THEY EVEN KICKED THEM OUT WITH THE HELP OF ANOTHER SINHALA CHAUVINIST PREMADASA .THEY ARE NOT DIPLOMATIC SINCE THEY ARE NOT EDUCATED. SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW. WE WOULD HAVE ATTAINED ELAM LONG AGO HAD THE PROPER LEADERS HAVE LEL US . EVEN OBAMA KNOWS ABOUT THESE IDIOTS WHO HAD DISGRACED THE TAMILS THAT’S WHY HE WANTS THEM TO LAY DOWN THE ARMS. I FEEL SORRY FOR THE MASSACRE OF INNOCENT CIVILIANS BY THE SINHALA RACIST FORECES , WHICH I AM SURE PAY THE PRICE ONE DAY, MAY BE SOON.

  26. And by the way, I am a sinhalese who consider sri lankan tamils as “my people”. For those tamils who did not have a chance to closely associate a sinhalese, you will find most of the sinhalese feel the same way as I do towards the tamils. I think what SL needs going forward is a framework people can call themselves “Sri Lankans” first and then the other idenitifiers (ethinic, cultural or political) to become secondary. I think most of my Indian friends identify themselves as “Indians” first (“deshis?”).

    To accomplish this in SL of course is going to be an uphill task. But failure to do so will only see the history repeating itself in a few decades again…

  27. HOW CAN YOU DBSJ COLLECT INFORMATION FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE FLED THE WAR ZONE(WHO ARE NOT ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE IDP CAMPS) FROM CANADA? FAMILIES IN SRI LANKA ARE UNABLE TO EVEN TO TALK TO THEM(IDP) UNLESS OVER THE RAZOR WIRE FENCE(PERSONAL EXPERIENCE).
    IDP’S ARE TERRIFIED THAT THE ARMY IS MONITORING THEIR TELEPHONE CONVERSATIONS.

    HOWEVER I HAVE TO ADMIT YOU HAVE A DIFFERENT OUT LOOK ABOUT THE “TAMIL” PROBLEM.
    THIS I AM SAYING AS I HAVE BEEN ONE OF YOUR READERS WHO HAVE FOLLOWED YOUR WRITINGS OVER 25YRS,WHEN YOU WROTE FOR THE ISLAND PAPER.I CAN STILL REMEMBER YOUR INTERVIEW WITH YOGI IN 1987 PRIOR TO LTTE/IPKF WAR.
    DEJAVU?

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    I dont know what you mean about deja vu?

    I hope you are not suggesting that I be arrested and locked up on the 4th floor of the CID bldg like what they did in Sri Lanka?

    You have recalled the Island interview in 1987 and it does bring back memories..It was not with Yogi but with former LTTE deputy leader Mahathaya and it appeared just after the IPKF – LTTE war began

    Apart from the interview I exposed the deaths and injuries caused to civilians by IPKF. Until then the Indian High Commission was having press conferences regularly in Colombo claiming that only tigers were being killed and civilians were not being harmed.

    After my revelations in “The Island” the IHC suspended those press conferences. But they pressured JR to arrest me so as to prevent further revelations.

    About getting information from IDP’s wait and see will you?

  28. If the Canadian Tamils love their brotheren in Sri Lanka, they should contribute to the support of the IDP’s like how the Singhalese in the south and the Muslims are doing. By protesting on the streets of Canada you are only supporting the Terreorists to cintinue their terror on the trapped Civilian Shield.

  29. DBS,
    What happened to the APRC process, do you have some latest news form your “sources” ? You did a good job of selling that to DAMILS behalf of your moderate sinhala friends. Where are they now ?
    Tamils changed course long time ago either MODDAI or KIRUTHA.
    Either eelam or nothing. If you win you have your country back after 400 years. If you loose, turn the clock back to 16th century and watch a movie.
    I suggest Brave heart.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    You are blind to reality like your pseudonym “Kurudan” or blind man. The Tamils have been led to disaster by you and your hero VP.

    The APRC is in better shape than the LTTE. What happened Kurudaa?

    Just go and talk to the people fleeing the Wanni and you will know (if you have a heart) what they the people who lived for decades under LTTE in the “State – in – Formation” think and feel about “eelam or nothing”.

    You know something your words are coming true.

    There is no EELAM and we the Tamils will have NOTHING. Thanks to the LTTE and acolytes like you

    “Braveheart” with Mel Gibson is not for the likes of you “Vaaichol veerar”(vocal warriors) who enjoy diasporic delights with your offspring while urging the poor child conscripts of LTTE to fight on and die for “eelam or nothing”.

    The best option for you is to go to Africa or the zoo closest to you and bury your head in the sand with an Ostrich to keep you company.

    If you still insist on seeing a movie you should see “the killing fields” about the Khmer Rouge and its atrocities. You will of course applaud the Pol Potists. Where is the Tamil “pol pot” now?

  30. Dear DBS

    I think if the Tamil Diaspora is genuinely concerned about the pathetic plight of their fellow brethren in No Fire Zone .They should be taking measures to exert pressure on GOSL and on Tamil tigers as well.

    They should try to obtain a ceasefire from the GOSL and obtain a commitment from tigers to release the civilians.

    If the Diaspora does this they will have more credibility.

  31. I admire your stance but the LTTE suporting party and the opposite end will ridicule people of the middle path. in SL there aren’t many in the middle, most only see one side of the story.

    I can see this in comments like why does SLgov kill tamils. they probably don’t know anything about JVP during late 90 when people in the south and western province got disappeared and next day their heads found on fences or burnt inside tires. where was your concern for freedom fighters then. the fact is premadas government finished the JVP(terrorist). that’s the only way to fight terror. Srilankans know this and want to do the same to LTTE, there will be civilian casualties. I’m not approving shelling civilians by the forces but they will won’t shell innocent civilians deliberately, at least this what I believe. the LTTE supporting Diaspora people are too aggressive to take any corrective action as they are stupidly stubborn and don’t think that anything is wrong with them, they are full of hate for Singhalese, the most venomous hatful lot I’v ever seen. there is no liberation for these haters except from within them selves

  32. Dear DBSJ, I agree with what you are saying…
    This is a comment I posted for Toronto Star editorial on May 12th…

    http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/632619

    As a Tamil Canadian, I wish Prime Minister Stephen Harper has done a little bit more and shown a little more sympathy towards dying innocent civilians in Sri Lanka. However, I believe Tamil Canadians have largely failed to bring the plight to the fore front due to the unreasonable demands they put forward to Canadian Government and protests that inconvenience Torontonians.

    There is no justification for inconveniencing Torontonians because a rogue government and rebel movement have brought misery on the people they ‘fight’ for. Canada is the only diaspora country where this ‘side show’ takes place. Canada largely follows US steps in foreign policy, and Tamil Canadians should place demands that could go about being addressed jointly. Instead unreasonable and inconsistent demands were put forward by Tamil Canadians. I apologize to all Canadians for all the inconvenience; please bear with us for the misguidance a few among us.

  33. Dear Friend D.B., I am very glad to hear a balanced voice from a pro Tamil rulling class representative and a Journalist like you.I can under stand your pain and sorrows which are ,you have to face in the past to save the TRUTH. But the majority of the people will appreciate and recognize your duty .
    It is very very important matter to collect the present situation and the real thinking of the Vanni people because who are more genuine than the Jaffna hegemonic or the opportunist diaspora. I hope that your work is very valuable for the assement of the society to continue the future activities in favour of the people..

  34. I think protests are counter productive. I recently took part in a protest AGAINST LTTE in Melbourne. Towards the end our tamil friends started carrying LTTE flags in the Melbourne city. which lead to some violance. There had been so many Tamil rallies in Melbourne, we never heard of Sinhalese confronting or antogonising the protestors. I would appreciate the same freedom of speech for Sinhalese as well.

    On the other hand Sinhalese guys did not have to pull the LTTE flags from cars. They should have had a little bit more brains to understand that the LTTE protester are carrying the LTTE flags on the same day to provoke Sinhalese protesters and not to fall into their trap.

    On a different note, I thinks Sri Lankan tamils actually won some rights within the country because they took up arms. I do not think “Provincial councils” would have come into effect if not for the armed struggle. Even at the time (19888-1989) we sinhalese danced “denga’ against the provincial councils. But to day we accept devolution of powers through provincial councils. It is unfortunate that Tamils never got the chance to celebrate such victory, because LTTE kept fighting for un achievable Elam. (Just out of whack, had the tamils spent all the money spent on war, on someone like Mr. Kadiragamer , they could have made him the president and got him to rule the whole country instead of just north and east)

    The military victory of the SL army would not have been possible if not for the sound leadership of Rajapaksa family. Sinhalese (Sri lankans in this matter) did not have a good leader for 30 years who would stand up and fight for the “Honor of SRILANKA”. Our leaders were dependent on the west and had to dance to their tunes. During the process Tamils got this unrealistic hope that they can win ELAM. We have 20 million people in Sri Lanka, lets say 15 million are Sinhalese…. out of that there will be at least 1 million sinhalese who would be willing to die for the teritorial integrity of the country, Therefore no western country can force (to create) Elam in Sri Lanka.

    I have to say there is no excuse for Sinhalese for what happened in in 1983. I was only 9 years old then and I will never forget the violance I saw that day. I was also unfortunate to witness the Central bank bombing in 1996. We need to understand that both sides have a lot of wounds and they need healing.

    LTTE has gone too far and there is no turning back for them, SL government will have no option but to fight until LTTE is finished (whether its going to be 48 hours more or 48 more years).

    It is now time for us to let the history rest in peace and work on reconcilliation and reconstruction. May sound cliche….. but we can build this country for every one to live in harmony. We do live in harmony in Colombo, why cannot we do the same all around the country.

    During the 30 years of war both Sinhalese and Tamils lost lives, both sinhalese and tamils lost lives of soldiers, combatants as well civilians and thats past! As for the present, tamils definitely made their point on their grivences and sinhalese got their victory against terrorists.

  35. Dear DBSJ, Just thought I share Joe Fiorito’s column in Toronto star titled:

    “Sometimes price of freedom is gloriously inconvenient”

    http://www.thestar.com/comment/columnists/article/632765

    and I made the following comment for his wonderful oped piece:

    Hope in humanity and peace:

    Dear Joe, Thank you for the wonderful ‘Canadian’ piece. The world has hope in humanity and peace because of Canadians just like you. I am a Tamil Canadian, and however I don’t agree with the protest methods of some of the Tamil Canadians. Particularly when inconveniencing Torontonians.

  36. Dear DBS,

    I have been following your articles for more that two years. You are in fact one I like to read even holding far different views from you. Do you think people like you deal directly with SL government now since it has overwhelming support majority sinhalese and whatever solution you can come with will sellable to the majority? That is to say Ranil found it was hard sell his ideas un sellable as he is identifying too much with minorities thus most would not support him? In fact I feel he gave in too much to LTTE and them roam free which was backfired against him.

  37. DBS,
    As a long-term reader and fan of your writing, let me first commend you for your contributions over the years. This is not about the 95% I agree with but the 5% I don’t.

    Like everyone else from across the spectrum(s), you too need to evolve. Over the years, you have often worn a bit too tightly the hat of a Tamil nationalist. Perhaps, the most disappointing example of this was your quoting of seemingly exaggerated numbers from the so-called government doctors etc in the safe zone etc. My sense was that there was more than a tinge of disappointment that the armed Tamil nationalist struggle was ending although you aren’t been a fan of the Tigers themselves.

    I am sure you were primarily motivated by the pathetic humanitarian tragedy. And I am not in any way trying to absolve the government of its actions but you paid very little heed to fact that the SLA, which could have pulverized the remaining Tigers in a matter of a few hours, were taking weeks because of concern for civilians. Some of your writing in the last few weeks, to put in a nutshell, do not stand up against the high quality, we have come to expect of you over the years.

    As you are aware, there are very few “quality” journalists still covering the conflicts. Most are “hacks” of one type or another. You are one of the few left from a dying breed. Therefore, the resultant expectations are also greater.

    I look forward to reading your interviews with escaped IDPs. Their story must be told. Wherever the chips may fall.

    Looking forward, all of us, need to work hard to create a new Sri Lankan identity. One that embraces the legitimate aspirations of all Sri Lankans, that is neither the dominant ideology of one group or the fantasized radicalism of another.

    One last thought: stop pounding this idea of federalism. Waste of time. Stop using phrases that are distinctly polarizing. It is said that in negotations, one must avoid positions (eg. federal vs unitary) and focus on common interests (meaningful devolution within a united Sri Lanka).

    I hope you will take this feedback constructively without being defensive.

    Regards.

  38. ‘Tamils should consider course correction’

    This heading is regarding Tamil Diaspora’s protests. But I think Sri Lankan Tamils should consider course correction regarding the problems they face in the country as a community. As a minority they must try to learn Sinhalese language as a tool to integrate with the majority as same as they do in their adopted countries. They must collaborate with other communities of the country to sort out discrepancies. It is natural Sri Lankans to be happy about the military defeat of Tigers. But we now have a greater responsibility to create a fair society who respects each other. Media including newspapers has a greater responsibility to lead the nation to the future. People like DBJS must keep their good work up.

  39. DBS,
    I can not agree with you more on what you have said . I really lik y our response to pol sambol. You said what had to be said and to the point.

    SL TV channels have reported that 5 doctors have come out of the NFZ with a large number of civilians from Karaimulli Vaikal South. It would be interesting to hear what they say as they are the people who have seen the real situation in terms of injured and the dead.

  40. Although the Tamil Diaspora does have some influence, we alone cannot bring this massacre to an end. The UN Security Council will not pass any resolutions against Sri Lanka because of China and Russia, two permanent seat members. The only tangible course of action for Western Tamils is to lobby our governments to impose economic and military sanctions against the GOSL. The only player who can halt the current bloodbath is India, but this war is being conducted with India’s silent approval. Tamil Nadu is probably the only force that can produce tangible results, but unfortunately our brothers and sisters in India are useless.

  41. DBS,

    I had the same opinion as you about the methods adopted by the Tamil protests. Not any more. After two longs years of peaceful demonstrations, I’ve realized that the Conservatives are really taking revenge on Tamils for the consecutive election defeats in Toronto.

    Tamils have been abiding the law to get their message across for last couple of years by signing millions of petitions, emailing the MPs, holding candle vigils, and organizing rallies. But the Conservative Government refuses to take any meaningful action to stop the killings in Sri Lanka.

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon called for ceasefire through statements. The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, made a day trip to Sri Lankan Capital and called for ceasefire in a politest way possible. Oda said Canada was not considering any consequences as a result of Sri Lanka’s refusal to call a ceasefire. Calling for cease-fire without any consequences is like adding bacteria to Tamils’ wounds.

    Tamil Tigers are bad, but they are far-far-far-far better than the Sri Lankan Government, Karuna, Pillayan, Douglas, Anandasangari and other so called “Tamil leaders”. Sri Lankan Government forces killed more than 100,000 innocent civilians. Tigers on the other hand killed may be less than 2,000 civilians. Numbers do matter, not the method. State terrorism is the worst form of terrorism.

    Regardless of Tamils existence in Canada, the Conservative Government has should have already exercised its international responsibilities, especially the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle.

    Conservatives have been claiming that the Tamil flags are preventing them from communicating with the Toronto Tamils. But, when the election comes, the Conservatives will go to every single Tamil home to beg for their vote. During the election time the Tamil flag is not an issue for them.

    Tamils owe big time to Canada for saving more than 250,000 Tamils from the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. But Tamils owe nothing to the Conservative Government.

  42. Dear DBSJ,

    I am surprised that a few days ago I sent a round of mails recommending your site/writings to my friends prompting you as “the most brave Tamil journalist I have ever seen”.

    And I got a few responses as well endorsing my claim.

    Now I see how accurate it was.

    A point of difference; you feel proud of those Tamil youth in Toronto, I feel very sorry about them (also all Tamils who have been taken for ride by the LTTE)

  43. Jeyaraj,
    You have done many “course-corrections” within your so-called “journalistic-career”. So speak only for yourself.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    The hallmark of wisdom is to know when you are wrong and correct yourself. No person is always right and it is best that such a person corrects course.

    Of course, I have done many course corrections , not only in my journalistic careeer but also in my private and personal life. Such correctins have done me immense good.

    The times that I did not correct my course due to pride, anger and stubbornness have all mademe suffer ultimately. So I will always do course corrections

    If you realise that you’ve taken the wrong exit on the highway and are heading towards a wrong destination will you persist in going on or correct your course?

    But of course you must first accept you are going the wrong way. Otherwise you will go on nowhere thinking you are going somewhere?

    In Tamil there is a proverb ” Muthalaiyum Moorkanum Kondathu Vidaan” (the crocodile and obstinate man will not let go of what it has) I can now add “Vision 8: to that

  44. Hello DBSJ,

    I am a Jaffna born Sinhalese whose best friend is a Jaffna born Tamil. I remember how my family sheltered some Tamils in 1983. Lot of people from both races have been hurt along the way. I want to believe that most Sri Lankans has the capacity to see beyond the race we were born to. What can people like us do to change the ugly path our country has been heading for nearly 30 years? How do we help those hurt most to move on? Any practical thoughts?

  45. # 11. sunshine,

    Just mark this post…a lot more Sri Lankans have to wash dishes in Libya, Lebanon, Korea and Singapore to gap the delay in $2 billion from IMF and when the troops come home and have nothing else to do.

  46. Mr. Jeyaraj,

    First of all, as a Sinhalese, I would like to apoligize for posters like #13. It seems like I’ve been apoligizing for that type since 1983.

    As far the protests go, I would like to give you my perspective. I’ve lived in Canada almost my whole life (37 years). While I’ve seen racism and experienced racism by Canadians, but I’ve never seen and heard the type of racism that I’ve witnessed as a result of these protests.

    I don’t advertise my background to anyone (there hasn’t been much to brag about for a long time) and comments I here about Tamils are the worst I’ve ever heard about any community. Even with acqaintances who know that I’m “the other type of Sri Lankan” feel free to denegrate Tamil Canadians in my presence, buying the media spin that this is a Tamil vs. Sinhalese war.

    In the end, I find myself defending Tamils, saying that I have Tamil relatives and family friends and we don’t all hate each other. This becomes tougher when these protesters shout slogans about racist Sinhalese perpetrating genocide against Tamils.

    I would like to talk to these protesters, especially the young ones, and ask if they really hate Sinhalese people that much. Have they ever met one of these people they are demonizing to the world?

    I wish that the majority of other Sri Lankans (Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslim, Burgher etc..) who don’t feel this hate could somehow get that message out. But I’ve grown up in Canada with very little contact with the Sri Lankan community (other than family).

    Or maybe the protesters are right and Sri Lankans, here and in Sri Lanka, have gone through too much to ever trust each other again.

    I’m sorry for the long post.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:
    I understand your feelings and appreciate this post very much and I am sure most readers will, too. Thank You

    I agree that the divide is really deep but it’s not so wide. We can bridge this gap with a plank of appropriate gestures now and with passage of time can fill the pit to reduce the depth.

    One silver lining I see is the gathering momentum of support and aid in the south to help alleviate needs of the IDP’s.

    Much depends on the govt’s action. It must reach out to Tamils and not let hardliners in South dominate.

    Let us also not let the diaspora , sinhala and Tamil, fool us. I think there are more hawks abroad than in Lanka

    There is a divide here and the younger generations are even more divided.Many of the Tamils here are those affected directly by violence. In those families feelings will be very hard.

    The pronouncements made by some southern leaders do not contribure positively.

    Realistically one cannot expect much harmony between people whose “armies” are fighting it out

    But again we must not lose hope or generalise.

    There are many instances of Sinhala – Tamil relations not being eroded at a personal level.

    There are also instances of youths in the diaspora both Sinhala and Tamil reaching out to each other.

    I think there is always hope for a country where the Sinhala buddhists venerate Nagadeepa in the north and Tamil hindus venerate Kathirgamam in the south

  47. Dear DBS,

    There would be no Israel if the Jewish diaspora had performed a “course correction”. Weren’t the future leaders of Isreal [Shalom, Y. Rabin] part of what was at one point considered “terrorist” movements by the occupying British?

    The diaspora should be very proud that the younger generation yearn for Tamil freedom in Sri Lanka. Desperate times call for desperate tactics. I agree with you though that it is a slippery slope with regard to these tactics [such as blocking the Gardiner]. I suspect though that this was guided by frustration rather than a coordinated plan.

    However, we should not discourage such passion. It is these people who will grow up to be assertive Tamil leaders.

    Here’s where a large course correction is needed in the mentality of those who have self appointed themselves to speak for Tamil Canadians:

    We must organize ourselves democratically akin to the jewish and islamic congresses. Then only, we can have some real political clout. We have wasted the last 20 years without an effective grassroots raised political lobby. This has led to miniscule representation [one city councillor] in all 3 levels of government here, much disproportionate to both our size and wealth.

    I am sure you will agree that we have to adapt to western democratic principles in order to build a sustainable, credible, and effective lobby for the Tamil diaspora in canada.

    It is never late.

    After all, the Jewish diaspora built the state of Israel despite much worse odds after a 2000 year struggle. Our struggle is still young.

    Like much of the determined youth who walked up the spadina on-ramp, most of my Tamil friends never grew up in Sri Lanka. We developed a sense of Tamil identity from the stories of persecution that our parents relate to us and confirmed by the actions of the sri lankan [and Indian] state even now. This is why I reiterate that loss of LTTE is by no means the end of the struggle. These hard times are uniting us more than anyone realizes or want to admit to. Its a good thing. Let’s build on it!

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Dear Mahesan

    When we were young Mr. V. Navaratnam of the Federal Party broke away and formed the Thamilar Suyatchi Kazhagham (Tamil Self – rule party). It had a newspaper “Viduthalai” (liberation )

    Navaratnam did a transliteration of Leon Uris’s famous novel “Exodus” for the paper. It was serialised as “Namakkendroru Naadu” ( A country of our own” . That electrified us. Later I read the English original and all other novels by Uris.

    Why I say this is just to tell you that the Jewish diaspora was a shining example to our generation also. There is nothing new. But there cannot be an exact parallel and I think you will know why.

    All that I can do is to reproduce a response made by me to another youth who commented from Britain in another article on this blog.

    Take it or leave it

    Here it is –

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    I realise how angry you are because I’ve been through that phase. When the SLFP -LSSP – CP govt of Mrs. Bandaranaike brought standardisation I was a 1st year AL student in Jaffna. We were angry. So we marched in protest. 15,000 students marched. It was the largest student demonstration ever seen in Jaffna.

    We burnt effigies but it was non – violent.But nothing happened.So we were angry.We thought the world would have taken note if we had engaged in violence.

    We also looked at our history. At that time I like many of my generation ( By the way I am only six months elder to Prabhakaran. He and I were born in 1954) looked at our history.

    Sadly the history we learnt of post – independence politics was through the Federal Party and Tamil Congress politicians. The FP paper “Suthanthiran” was our bible. Fiery poets like Kasi Anandan were our heroes.

    The history we learnt through Tamil oriented politics was one – sided. But we didn’t realise it then. What we thought then was that the non – violent protests by our moderate leaders had not worked. The Sinhala govts will never recognize our rights. This is what we thought then

    So we thought that a separate state – Tamil Eelam – was the solution. We felt that only an armed struggle will achieve it.

    We were contemptuous of the older generation. We thought they had failed miserably. We ridiculed them.

    I think of the arguments I had with my father, uncles and schoolmasters now and I cry. How harsh I was. How cocksure I was that we the youth had the solution for our troubles.We thought the older generation was a cowardly one. We were the brave ones.

    I dont want to go on and on. But the armed struggle developed and took its own course.

    And where are we now?

    Our homeland is ravaged. You will not know of what Jaffna meant to us and other North – Eastern regions meant to others from those places. But today we are internally displaced in our own land. We cannot go to our own homes. Another component including you and I are now part of the global Tamil diaspora.

    How I yearn to tread barefoot on that sandy soil. To listen to the koel cooing in the mango tree. To see those red and black “kundumani”. to see the lagoon and those waterbirds. To feel the monsoon breeze.To smell the fragrance of the jasmine. to see the well – sweep go up and down. to eat stringhoppers on a fresh banana or lotus leaf. to cycle and cycle and cycle through those fields and plains. To sit in a sweat – smelling theatre and whistle and clap at a Tamil movie there. To buy6 freshly caught fish at the beach itself and cook and eat it. To see the parrots flocking and chirping. To bathe in Keerimalai tank. To sit on top of the Ther mandapam at the Nunuvil Pillaiyar kovil in my mothers village and gaze serenely on the Thamaraikulam. To buy titbits at the Kovitsanthai one of two evening markets in the Vadamaratchi area. BUT——————

    What have we done? we fought for a homeland and lost our home. We wanted a silk verti and lost our loin cloth also.

    Our economy is destroyed. Our social fabric is torn apart. our culture is eroded. our values (tamils had great values those days) are distorted. we have become a nation of refugees and displaced.Those days our politicians called us second class citizens but now we are third class .

    The armed struggle reached its zenith and we were within reach of a solution. Not separation but a federal or confederal set up provided the LTTE transformed itself and used its military strength as bargaining power at the negotiationg table.

    It was missed and in the process we antagonized the international community. The LTTE helped elect this racist Rajapakse regime. Instead of reading the international situation correctly the LTTE mishandled it. Thus the struggle is now confined to a tiny littoral in Mullaitheevu and the world just ignores us except for token gestures and words.

    That is where we are now. Rockbottom.

    But I see you guys the youths and students being emotionally manipulated without even realising what’s happening. You personally may be acting on your own or thinking that you are acting on your own but I know for a fact that there are “people” behind the scenes. May be one of these days I may write more in detail about this if I feel that it will be of any use.

    But in your anger and courage and passion to help our beleaguered people and the sacrificial spirit with which you are ready to adopt reckless confrontation to achieve your goal I see the past and recognize the ghost of my generation decades ago.

    Sadly I see this diaspora generation also going on the wrong path to achieve the objective and in the process doing irredeemable harm to itself as we did to ourselves.

    With the wisdom of hindsight and an awareness gained only through painful, bitter experience I see these diaspora youths who are the future of our people embarking on a suicidal course with what they think is a noble cause and following a path which they are sure will lead them to their destination.

    Such is the energy and arrogance of youth and suddenly I feel old.Really old.

    I would like to wish you well and stand shoulder to shoulder with you but I cannot do that because I dont want to encourage the youth to follow a wrong course of action. Besides I know these measures will not yield expected results in the west.

    So that is why I write and risk being the target of your wrath. But whatever the risk I believe in speaking truth to power even student and youth and diaspora power.

    Let me end by recalling a Tamil proverb repeated by my father to me those days.

    “Sirupillai Velanmai Vilainthaalum Veedu Vanthu Searathu” (The farming done by little children will not reach home even if the paddy ripens to growth)

    The key word here is “Vilainthaalum”.

  48. we as Tamils must not have sympathy for these terrorist as i have personally observe how the poor displaced people are cursing them .its about time that we don’t use tamil tiger terrorist rather we use tiger terrorist.omitting the beautiful name tamil.and now if you really care for us.least you can do is provide relief material for the destitute

  49. I thing you didn’t come from tamil woman womb

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Maternity is always a FACT. It is only paternity that is a matter of OPINION. But then you dont need me to tell you about bastards. I am sure you have first – hand knowledge about that

  50. Some Tamil gentlemen commenting only they can be abusive, as LTTE became the sole representatives of Tamil People. Only LTTE can kill anyone at will, and blast scores of innocent people by planting bombs in population centers. But the LTTE leadership live in luxioury, like Soosai handing his wife 600,000 rupees and 2 Kg Gold to flea to government controlled area with her children and other members of Mahavir family. Some Tamils do not know they are there to be seen and not be heard by the LTTE, because they are not the valid cast.

  51. May be the Toronto police is cursing the Canadian High Commission of Sri Lanka, for allowing such numbers of troublemen to cross-over to Canada !!!

  52. Some of my Tamil brethren cannot remember at the beginning the LTTE only killed Tamil people. The Lamp Post murders in Jaffna was legendary. What DBS talking is valid, the LTTE cannot accept dissenting views. But they want government of Sri Lanka to accept dissenting views. Most of the Tamil writers worried about Tamil casualties only blame the government of Sri Lanka. But the main culprit on the issue is LTTE for holding innocent Tamil civilians as a human shield for their own safety. If LTTE agree to give up weapons and willing to enter main stream democratic politics everything will be over. The government of Sri Lanka has the capability to rehabilitate the misguided Tamil youth. They did it with JVP Sinhalese youth before. Just give up the weapons and surrender to government if they are interested in safety of the Tamil people.

  53. Dear DBS
    I am a regular reader of yours.
    Sena de Silva
    —————————————————————–These are some of my observations concerning the recent events in Sri Lanka
    These are very disturbing days. We are used to claims and counterclaims, denials etc,etc. but the human suffering goes on and on.
    What I am wondering is all this necessary, when are we going to have normal senses.
    It is regrettable that ethnic violence is a part of normal events of South Asia.
    Ethnic violence of Sri Lanka commenced in 1956 and reached its peak in 83 riots.
    From then onwards the Tamil liberation fighters entered the scene and very soon LTTE assumed the role of the sole liberator.
    Up to mid 80s the attacks on Tamils were usually of reprisal or tit for tat by the Sinhala mobs with or without the blessings of the security elements.
    Ltte started launching attacks on the security elements as well as unprovoked attacks on Sinhala civilians in the form of village massacres, bus, train, car, parcel, claymore, human suicide wearing bombers and all sorts of other bombs on civilians. These attacks finally brought the label to LTTE as a terrorist out fit with wide ranging proscriptions worldwide.
    As these attacks continued, the reprisal s by the Sinhala community and the security outfits gradually reduced to the extent that even a case serious bombing did not result in a backlash.
    LTTE succeeded in making a successful series of Dien Bien Pu type overrunnings of a number of major military camps and a number of spectacular attacks on the south.
    At the high point of strength the LTTE did not thought about converting the gains to an acceptable political gain.
    State security machine gradually learned from the past lessons and steadily made a comeback and now we see the end of that process.
    I agree the people in the North and the East has unresolved issues based primarily on the language.
    Is the armed struggle is the only way to resolve them?
    LTTE being a super militant group has unlimited funds, weapons and excellent command and control. What happened at the end of ( Eelam war 4) ELW4. Should they take the set back now and gear for the next ELW5?
    In my opinion the situation of SL now is different from the days of 83 and beyond. People are not rabidly communal now. It is the time for thinking of an acceptable devolution in the context of SL setting.
    What is the meaning of context of SL setting, well one has to understand the SL not a 5 star democracy although it is printed in the official name of the country. I remember some time back the veteran journalist C.A.Chandraprema (author of the JVP Insurrection 1987) wrote that SL is fully qualified to be a member of the OAU (Organization of African Unity).
    Sri Lankan political culture is definitely sub Saharan, and we have to accept this reality whether we like it or not.
    Then our ability of conflict resolution is extremely low as a nation. This is a place the even doctors and nurses resort to lightning strikes without any regard to loss of the patients over trivial issues.
    Where we are now at post ELW4 stage, if the major elements could agree to proceed to a set up administration in the N & E like the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union, there could be stability, no killings, progress & development etc possible.
    It is important to redraw the political parameters and to establish principles for avoiding further armed conflict.
    If anything is achieved for the Tamils to live peacefully, and feel as equal citizens of the country, sacrificing LTTE and its leaders may be worth and it could be considered LTTE has achieved what it wanted not by winning the war but by loosing thus evoking the consciousness of the world and Sri Lankan masses.
    Or are we to get back to a next phase of ELW5?

  54. Mr.DBSJ,

    I know , once you were very close to Dr. Neelan T who was a decent human being . Despite the fact LTTE blew Dr. NT into pieces, and unimaginable misery and disgrace that the LTTE brought upon Srilankan Tamils living in Sri Lanka and abroad , you seem to have a soft corner for the LTTE. Is it something racially motivated or you also believe that LTTE military success(once upon a time) produced some kind of a “macho ” power for all Srilankan Tamils as many of the so called educated, pro-democracy Tamils who are living abroad very reluctantly admit.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    You dont deserve an answer. Go in peace Avi! Go elsewhere and do shadow boxing!

  55. By carrying Tiger flag to the protests, we have ensured that no Canadian – government agent, or civilian – wants to have anything to do with our cries for help.

    The rest of the world is looking the other way as Tamils are being slaughtered, because of the LTTE.

    If we protested without the Tiger flags we would have gained sympathy and response from official and unofficial channels. But when you go in carrying a Tiger flag, everyone just dismisses the protest as terrorist support.

    Why does it seem so hard for people to understand this?

  56. DBS, your views are brilliant. I used to follow your comments on Sunday Times and later in Canadian papers. However, I did not know you were silenced by LTTE. How come this issue had not hit the headlines? The LTTE who is talking about Lasantha Wickramathunge, what a dis-service not highlighting DBS’s plight.

    (EDITED)

    But LTTE guys make a mockery of journalistic freedom by attacking the government. I do not blame the average Tamil living in Toronto who is exposed to 24/7 Tamil radio, and ethnic Tamil newspapers. The LTTE mastered suicide bombing for which the west or anybody has no mechanism to face. Then now they have shown to the world how terrorist groups can hold civilians as a human shield for their own protection.

    They are also showing the Canadian government how they can dis-obey laws of the land by carrying flags of a banned terrorist movement. By blocking and holding innocent civilians in Ottawa and Toronto they are twisting the arms of various levels of governments to appease LTTE wishes. Canadian government and law enforcements agencies should apply the law and apprehend the culprits and penalize them for their rash conduct.

    If they are so passionate about Sri Lankan issues they should be returned home to help the Tamil population. Perhaps it is time to open their refugee claims and find out how they entered Canada with a sobbing storey of LTTE atrocities.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Raju, I wrote only for a month in Sunday Times. So you couldn’t have followed my articles closely there.

    The closure of my paper was in 1996. The incident received publicity in some Sri Lankan,Indian and British journals and in Globe and Mail and Mccleans in Canada

    I have edited out your uncharitable references to Lasantha Wickrematunge.

  57. dear DBSJ

    three of my cousins all of them are under sixteen who lived in Thunukkai took by these LTTE murderers and died for maniac Prabhakaran. By the way I am from Point Pedro. I live in Toronto. We all must work for people who suffered a lot and who live in IDP camps. As a best journalist DBSJ you can do a lot for this course.

  58. The long week end has put lots of police officers on the road to track traffic offences. I have seen motorists being pulled for very minor offences and given hefty tickets. Now these sorry motorists also getting penalised from their insurance companies. But the Tamil protesters are breaking all the laws of the land, and law enforcement agencies are helpless. It is a shame how low politics can get when some politicians put their two cents worth to align with the Tamil Tigers for a few votes. The current Liberal party leader is no Stanger to Tamil conflict. His colleague at Harvard Mr. Neelam Thiruchelvam who became a Minister in Sri Lankan government was gunned down by LTTE. Micheal Ignatief went to Sri Lanka to deliver an Eulogy. But when it comes to current Tamil protests he seems to be helpless because of votes. Looking after and helping the Tamils are always welcome. That should be the duty of any politician to look after his or her constituents. But for a petty party gain, allowing Canadian Tamils to run wild have to be stopped by all politicians and law enforcement agencies. I can see the freedoms and democratic values we value in Canada will disappear from our horizon with this kind of conduct by a group of citizens.

  59. Hi DBS,

    You must have waited a long time to expresss your true feelings candidly. I loved your responses to some of the brash comments written by the readers.

    The manner in which the GOSL concluded this war left a bad taste even in the minds of non LTTE supporters.(like moi).

    I am hopefull that with the positive electoral changes that are taking place in South India, this legitimate struggle of Tamils will find new legs to march on.(Even without the LTTE).

    Successive governments in Sri Lanka have in the past solved their JVP uprisinngs with brutal suppression. As the victors of this war the Sinhalese Majority will return to its staus quo very soon.

    The LTTE did its part with in its own misquided way with the best intentions for the people. Once the LTTE is a non entity, and once they are not on the terror list of western governemnts, the Tamils will regroup and with the new found sympathy from TN and the funding of the diaspora achieve what they have sacrificed so much for.

    As for the LTTE Leadership, I have no sympathy but admiration only for the way they fought against all odds.

    Your recent analysis of events in Vanni or Toronto is bang on.

    I agree that the means employed by the LTTE do not justify the End but do not forget how brutal the Sinhalese thugs were in 1983 and how much harm the SLA has done to inocent tamils in the past. (My comments are not addressed to the decent non racist Sinhalese honourable sinhalese).

    RS

  60. . . . . . . .. . . . . .I am gradually understanding why Tamils in diaspora having so much hate with Sinhalese. They have invested enough in the Eelam illusion of having separate state in tiny Sri Lanka. The rage and hatred is part and a parcel of the Ealam dream. The innocent Tamil hostages forced to pay the price of this illusion. What the diaspora have done with with their lives?

    They (Diaspora) sent the cheques every month to LTTE to buy weapons and to keep moving the unlealistic dream. No developements done for last three decades for the areas by LTTE where the Tamils largely living. I doubt if the diaspora acively recommmended the LTTE to force the developments for the areas.

    Yes, DBS; I fully agree with you and it is need to change the course of Tamil dispora to start sending money to develop the areas as well as alleviating the poverty of the victims of of their lith and kin.

    Unless the Sinhalese and Muslims started living with them, the separation will continue and keep the fire burning. The post war ear should start with the trust and mutual understanding. Sinhalese are cultuarally closer to our Tamil brothers/ sisters compare to the Indian Tamils to Sri Lankan Tamils. If the Tamils can happily live with Sinhalese in Colombo, I do not see a problem if a Sinhalese can live in Jaffna and it will be a strength to all the people.

    . . . . . . . Let’s be tunited under one flag, one country, one expectation and a one nation as Sri Lankan to help the most unfortunate people trapped in the island. This will be the only way to be out of colonial attitude of west to cretae a new and independant country .

  61. Dear DBS,
    We know many people in Sri Lanka and around the world ,regularly read your articles. I beleive both sinhalese and Tamils need more moderate leaders and statements. Not the politicians. I have many tamil friends and some times they talk about discrimination. But they do not have own experiences about discriminations. Some incidents they were discribing related to political influences and bribs. Those things are common to asian democracies. One day we have to change those too.
    When you have a time , please write some thing about your very own experiences on discriminations which you faced in Sri Lanka. It will educate people like me who belonged to younger Sri Lankan generation. Thank you. Wickrama.

  62. This comment is about the comment #47: just because your hard earned $s were wasted in a lost EELAM( that never was) do not think the hard earned $s coming from the sinhalese are wasted!

    They are used to feed poor and needy.Yes there are poor families who send their mothers. fathers , wives, sisters and brothers to middle east or whereever they can make just a little more money for what they do, there is no harm in it.
    But the fact is every cent of those moneys are put to good use to the respective families and the Country on a macro scale.
    The Diaspora Tamils are sending their money down the drain!!!
    I can see you gleefully admit after bootlicking your white masters in the west have ( or almost) managed to block the IMF loan.
    Never mind the Sri Lanka got a leadership Brave , Courageous and Wisdome to overcome anything given the fact that we just managed to scale the LTTE mountain!!!!.

    Those Nordic friends of you tamils had scared the rats like Ranil and Chandrika and had a field day of killing and maiming the innocent Singhales who had no clue about your conspirecies around the world to create and EELAM in the North and the East of Sri Lanka.

    So who cares about them? Not you probably the blind diaspora Tamils.

    (EDITED)

    regards,

    – Ajith Botalugoda

  63. DBS

    Your analysis on the protesting young Tamil Canadians is touching.
    You are suggesting a course correction but will the goal be the same? Or is it some thing different?
    Will it be still two countries which should be pursued with more sophisticated strategy rather than blunt terrorism? Or is there a possibility in the post LTTE Sri Lanka that the Sinhalese and the Tamils will be able to live side by side with out suspecting each other as one nation?
    I am trying to find out what you are advocating in this regard through your writings and yet it is not clear to me.
    Bear with me if you have made it clear and I have missed it. Or just disregard if it is too early to say or too direct to ask.

    What ever it is keep on doing what you are doing now because it is only you are doing it..

  64. Finally a rational thought from toronto.
    A few cents worth of thoughts from me.

    I was in killinochchi during the tsunami as part of a medical team. Meeting with the authorities we were astounded that there was only one MBBS qualified doctor for a population of 200,000 in mulativu and 5 for a population of 500,000 in killinochchi. I would not rely too much on the ‘doctor’ source of mullativu. Most likely that there would be only one doctor for the whole district even now. Are you certain you are speaking to a qualified doctor or a pretender. There is also a tamil eelam health service with medical personnel. please verify your source before you quote them.

    The tamil eelam concept no doubt had its justifications and the LTTE stepped in to fill a void. However this terror organization has gone far beyond its boundaries. It has outlived its purpose and descecrated its founding prociples. there is no tamil leaderhip in the whole country thanks to the LTTE. They have all been killed or silenced. There will be a huge vacuum of tamil leadership for the next generation thanks to these diaspora funded murderers.

    Most of the diaspora experienced the 1983 riots. I was only a child then but am deeply ashamed of this. However they are wrong to say that this is the general attitude of the Sinhalese. It was a shameful one off incident incited by thugs and a stupid government. How many sinhalese actually took part in this? Can we say that india is utterly racial and murderous just because hindus killed so many muslims and sikhs during riots? The sad part is that the diaspora still live in 1983 whilst the rest of the world has passed by. Tamils in the rest of the island enjoy the luxury of equal rights and freedom living in the midst of sihnhalese. most of the businesses are run by tamils or muslims and sinhalese are willing customers and friends. Do you think that if a tamil homeland is created, they would go there? A tamil was my room mate when I was in med school and we are the best of friends. My godmother is tamil. I am offended when you write these comments about a racist sri lankan community.

    When infants and women are murdered and their villages burnt, we blame the terrorists and not the tamils. We as a community have learnt to identify the two separately. How many backlashes do you think there were post 1983? none!!

    Sri Lanka is a country gripped by terrorism. When the JVP took to arms in the late 80s, the government killed about 60,000 sinhalese, 90 percent of whom were innocent youths with no connection. There wasnt a single protest from the tamil diaspora because they were all sinhalese who died. there were youths tortured and burnt on tyres each morning and beheaded bodies with heads kept on roundabouts as warning to the rest. Werent these your brethren? Lets face it, we have an extremely racist tamil diaspora. Did anyone protest when LTTE attacked sinhalese villages? Is it because they are sinhalese and therefore deserve to die? They were innocent farmer and fishermen families for god sake!

    Lets face it. LTTE is a terrorist outfit made of tamil speaking people. They hide among the innocent civilians and carry out suicide bombings in the rest of the country. The government has to put a stop to this. Therefore it has to bring in preventive measures some of which may be quite cumbersome. Vehicles are stopped at numerous roadblocks and checked. We are now used to this. The cops are also not the most polite of people and we have evolved to accept that. If you are tamil then you are prone to more questions than others. Can it be any other way? If the LTTE stops bombing buses and trains and politicians and are only a conventional army, then these measures are not necessary. However terrorists are cowards and hide behind civillians. In the 80s, there were numerous house checks. If you were tamil, you were released – because the JVP was sinhalese! If you were sinhalese you were detained! could this be racism?

    The LTTE has killed more tamils than its enemy and shamelessly continue to do so. They have trapped their own brethren and shoot at them when they attempt to escape. 99 percent of tamils live in the rest of the country and the propaganda machine expects the world to beleive that these 10,000 civillians are staying back with the LTTE because they are afraid of the sinhalese army. My 3year old kid wouldn’t believe that. The Black sea tiger leader’s family was caught escaping by sea with a huge load of money. Prabhakaran’s family is already abroad. So their families are treated differenly. Could that be their hard earned money? It is LTTE money financed by the diaspora. These terrorist leaders led a luxury lifestyle at the expense of the diaspora whom they hoodwinked. They were murderous conmen who were uneducated and unskilled in anything else. Do you think any of the top leadership could have prospered and sent their kids to foreign universities if not for this terrorism? Would they have even got a job cleaning a swimming pool rather than owning one? They ran a business and they ran it well. Hats off to them.

    The LTTE will be destroyed in the next few days. They ruined this island of paradise and their tamil brethren. The diaspora are even further away from their dream of eelam than when they started the remote controlled war in the 70s. One can understand their frustration and their demonstrations and sympathise with them – who have been hoodwinked for three decades.

  65. Hi
    DBS
    I am a person entering the welfare camp regularly and meeting the people directly .i knew what they underwent for the last 2 years from they start to recruit people forcefully.what they said is they had a excellent life before that period.No one had any single complaints.
    What i am asking you is that you didn’t see all these problems are due to Indian bureaucracy which want to manipulate Sri Lanka . For that only they wanted some armed groups in north with some puppets leaders.
    when some body oppose that they developed a master plan and they are discharging that very systematically.
    First Jaffna was taken,(Before that they tried a major split) Then they switched on to a piece drama,
    before they enter in to completion of the final stage, they succeeded a major split ,finally to kill a person they are staging a blood bath.

    I don’t a politico/even a sympathizer of any cause.
    I am Tamil want to live peacefully in this country.
    What i am asking you all who made vaddukoddai resolution?and why they made it ?
    My fater said about many agrements .
    why they made it ?
    Are those need eradicated?
    My dearest DBS please come to Sri Lanka and visit
    Poovarasan kulam hospital whre nearly 8000 people treated for Chiken pox and to date 2000 people are there( Do you know it could be world record).
    Are you agree a military rule in democrcy?
    we are going to live under nearly 1,50,000 guns for atleast for the next 20 years.
    will you send your relative to that sort of place to live?
    I hate guns,i hope you too.Do you believe will there be a real democracy in N& east with 1,50,000 guns?
    Do not waste your valuable time in writing the tragedy things happened in the past few months if you want to account ,please account for both parties?
    Why dint you ask all the masters who gave arms to Tamil youths, to make a real democracy in N& E?
    SG

    DBSJ RESPONDS:
    I didn’t see one word from you about the LTTE and Prabhakaran . Always someone else is blamed. Why dont you write an honest account here of how the LTTE treated Tamil civilians?

  66. the tamils who organised these protests blocking highways etc, must think of the people waiting in the queue to enter canada. what if the canadian people think enough is enough, and dont want anymore tamils. those who are already in coundn’t care less. let me look for that word in the dictionary—ah here it is “selfish”

  67. comment #46. The ugly path you mentioned was started by the sinhalese more than half a century before(1956)!! Why don’t you ask your President to stop bombing the civilians first, then we can think of “moving on”

    comment #40 Vijitha Pasqual #40. Are you saying that your Govt. in Sri Lanka will not kill Tamils if they learn Sinhala? Is that the reason of all the abduction, torture, killings and disppearances of Tamils are about

    Comment #39. The government was not pulverising the LTTE, but pulverising the innocent civilians! If they are not guilty of Genocide, they should have allowed independent oblserver into the war zone and the concentration camps(not the guided tours please). Quality journalists are killed , imprisoned or exciled by your President!!

  68. Dear D.B.S, You are doing the right thing.
    I know that your great work interrupted by LTTE terrorist VVT gang in Canada.
    I hope you will tell what was happened to Tamils in Vanni, and LTTE’s inhuman activities, Also I wish you will work together with other journalists .

    Please and Thank You

  69. DELETED

    You should be careful in displaying your venomous thoughts. You could be charged for a hate crime.Hatemongers are not welcome here………….DBSJ

  70. Though this article covers Toronto, it is true with regard to all demonstrations in London,Paris,Berlin,Copenhegen,, and also Chennai. Before every demonstration a sensational and often false news item is circulated, just to draw the crowd. The last protest was proceeded by the news item about a Catholic Priest going to a Army Commander’s house in Kurunagale and seeing the commander with blood stained clothes and accidentaly seeing some tamil youths’ bodies with some organs removed. A website previously unheard of was quoted as the source. After the end of the protest there was no mention about that incident and the website too vanished , These students and youths together with their parents are thus manipulated into these campaigns and the flags and portraits are thrust into their unwitting hands .It seems some individuals are using these poeple to show their cloud to the politicians in these Countries and make political mileage for themselves. In several instances the protests were called of or changed after these ‘individuals’ had some private meetings with some Politicians and these ‘students’ were left fuming. It reminds me of the Kankanees who brought the estate labourers from India
    under false promises and put them through hard labour in order to curry favors with the British Estate Durais.

    Speakimg of the people escaping, there was a news regarding the capture of a boat containg Soosai’s and Sutha Master’s wifes and teen aged children. There is also rumours that they gave some information and according to it, after the May 9th shelling and bombardment Soosai and some ‘big’ leaders were lost in contact. Lets wait for the good/bad news.

  71. Tamils have the equal or more rights, as a minority, to live in Sri Lanka. They would have achieved these rights long time ago in a non violent and peaceful manner. The civilised leaders of Tamils were killed by the mob. The former Prime Minisiter of India, Rajive Ghandi, who tried to help them in achieving their just cause was killed by the mob. These hooligans in streets do not represent Tamil cause. They would have not be in Cadnada if not for their Beloved Leader. Now is the payback time to save him not the hostages.

  72. Dear DBS,
    Thank you for your voice of sanity in a world gone mad. It is only UTHRJ and yourself who write anything worth reading. I hope you will continue to write impartial and factual articles for years to come.

  73. I do not intend to read this megalomaniac blog again. lol

    The pleasure is all mine……………….DBSJ

  74. If Canada wants to act then it can set precedence in so many ways. This is a moral issue for the Canadian Government. LTTE is banned terrorist organization in Canada, well how about SLG/SLA? I don’t see any difference between these groups, but international community is treating them differently.
    I’m shocked to see that SLG managed to commit so many atrocities, without even suggesting any solution to the minority issue. And the entire IC is not holding SLG responsibility on this issue. There have been calls for LTTE to surrender, but they fail to mention what’s next for the minority. For good or bad reasons, only India had any substantial influence on the ethnic issue. Politically bankrupt LTTE managed to screw that up. Others were merely restricted to statements.

    I’m tired of hearing this “kumbaya” attitude! Everything will be good once few hundred carders along few thousand innocent civilians are killed! Of course there will be a major leadership vacuum and SLG will milk this situation to the maximum. Get ready to kiss goodbye to “federal Idea”.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Federal Idea? The LTTE killed it long ago. Literally and metaphorically. Amir,Yoges, Neelan the list of federalists killed by LTTE is endless. The time for federalism was for the LTTE to follow through sincerely the pledge they made in Oslo to “explore federalism”. They should have used their bargaining power then. Now what is there?

  75. Dear DBS,
    You are human being. That is why you are writing truth always. Even many four legs animals will hear human voice but some two legs animals will not. Please write continuously.

  76. I am no longer caring about my ethnic identity or social background given the vicious developments in my homeland. I have been convinced to give up Buddhism and all other issues that has separated myself unwillingly from the other Sri Lankan communities.

    There is no one who can claim the country to be solely theirs and this strengthened my preference to ban religious motivated political parties, design a new flag with an equal setting and colors and the abolishing of the executive presidency besides encouraging a federal set up that will spread the wealth and development equally outside the currently unfairly benefits for the Western Province.

    This only can realizes equality and justice to the current injustice that have been done against the minorities on the island. Lets not alter history that will exclusively state that the Veddhas are the original and sovereign inhabitants of the island instead of the irresponsible claims made by political and military individuals.

    There needs to be respect and understanding for the factual historical existence that explain the current realities and must be the starter for a fair and understandable process of reconciliation to lay the foundation for a new beginning with a sustained foundation for the challenges yet to come.

    If Buddha really could care about our island, he would have averted this bloodbath and would have definitely asked for peace and equal rights for those whom are not Buddhist.
    Unfortunately Sri Lankan Buddhist leaders and politicians have a long time ago abandoned the true spirit and peaceful mindset of Buddha which underlines the current reality.

    Many in the Diaspora are unhappy about their background at the moment, given the ongoing situation in their homeland. This is a natural mentally observed process which divided them and made them desperate in their search for the inner peace that they are looking for.

    We as Sri Lankans should not blame them or others but instead look to our own participation in the current realities and alter our own mindset that can only allow that needed transformation and process of reconciliation.

  77. DBSJ
    Thank you. We have to look for the future and do what best for the people in Sri Lanka. Everyone suffered. It breaks my heart to hear there are children, People lost in the lagoon as they try to escape fighting. It breaks my heart to hear the soldgers are marching in to known death, for the country to bring about peace. I wish and pray for a miracle.. miracle that will bring justice to all people.. I am hopeful of that miracle. I hope it is not naive or immature of me for hoping for a better future for us and our children.. Sri Lankan

    I hope people like you will take major part in making it happen.

  78. First ,it is Sri lanka’s good fortune that you lot have left its shores for good.With the traffic jams we find in Sri Lanka if the Tamil protesters used the same methods of protests,it would have been days before people reached their homes or get to see their loved ones.Tell us DBs what is the more worsening human crisis you are referring to ? Is it not the case that the real worsening crisis the refusal of the your hero Prabhakaran’s to not release the men ,women , children and infants he is holding hostage in the vain hope of some white knight in shining armour coming to his rescue and that of his cohorts on the wave of support generated by the Sri lanka Army massacring 50,000 civilians.A very nice hope indeed for the LTTE and its Grand Canadian supporters who happen to be Tamils as well.Your comments remind me of the British comedy Fawlty Towers episode titled the “GERMANS” “don’t mention the war”.What do you take your Canadian compatriots for ,baboons who have stepped off the trees the other night.Protests or no protests the Canadian people know,based on what they write in blogs about the problems the Tamils are causing in Canada,that all Tamils in Canada are an extension of the LTTE and will put the survival of Prabhakaran before even a few hundred thousand Tamils being killed.There is no need to hoodwink the Canadian people by being discreet about the real purpose of the protests and trying to separate the Tamils from the LTTE.”The Cat’s out of the bag”!. How ironic , “The CAT…..Couldn’t have found a better analogy

    machang Sunil, you need a course correction urgently……………DBSJ

  79. Good work DBS. You must promote moderate ideas not thamil nationalism. Ethnic nationalism is bound to fail. Your articles are good so keep it up, be balanced. We respect you for being able to stand up to tigers and govt equally.

  80. DBS,

    I read your articles and of course find them balanced.

    On the question of Tamil rights, one thing that I grapple with is the issue of equal rights.
    I do not think any Sinhalese (I believe almost all) opposes to that if that’s the problem for Tamils’ struggle.

    However, my question, I am sure others too, is to find out exactly what are the rights that Tamils currently do not have in Sri Lanka compared to Sinhala and Muslims (being the other majority groups). Mind you, we cant forget Muslims here either.

    We should not go back to 1956. Thats pointless. I agree those days certain wrongs were done and politicians were to blame for those. Therefore, I do not want to comment on those days.

    Arent we Sri Lankans (Tamils/Sinhalese) more the wiser now?

    For example, these Tamil diasporas live in western countries and are perfectly happy to be there and live like a minority. Why cant they do it in Sri Lanka? Arent they experiencing some discrimination in those countries?

    But in a post-conflict and united Sri Lanka, if Tamils are targeted unfairly for anything, that will be wrong. Those are the fights we need to take up going forward. Shoudnt we promote the Sri Lankan identity within such a frawework?

    Mind you, there are grievances for Sinhalese and Muslims too. SL being a poor country cant satisfy everyone to give everyone a job and make everyone comfortable.

    We cant give people jobs/land/services just because they are Tamils/Sinhalese etc. Ethnicity should not be a determinant for anything; it is the merit principle which should count.

    Shouldnt it be the issue that we should address i.e. everyone to live in SL peacefully, but no one should get more, and no one should get less.

    Have I missed anything here?

  81. LTTE has lost the war and the creditability. The tamils all over the world have to realise now that LTTE cannot bring anything and they should stop supporting them. Instead, the have to help the tamil people in Srilanka by rebuilding the tamil nation economically. The Sinhalese has to play equal role by accodamating tamils and giving them the equal rights. By doing so, SriLanka will come a prosperous country. i fee that this is the best lesson we have learnt from this bloody war. We do not another war like this in the future. All of them are lossers in this war.

  82. Jeyaraj Demala Huththige Putha enna epa lankawa peththe

    Demellu Keri Sakkili

    Amma Hoka

    Are you trying to teach Tamils how to demonstrate? You want to ceate a separate nation in my mother land? Wesige Putha

  83. Thank you JBS for your mostly balance writting. This one is a true picture.

    Tamil Diaspora, most of them are LTTE puppets. I hate LTTE, so I am increasingly becoming a person against Tamil diaspora. I sad and warry for that.

    But fortunatly, I still feel tamils live in Sri Lanka are my country men. That is true whether people believe or not.

    I like to hear as many as many LTTE’r dead, but I don’t want to see young Tamils dead like that, they are sons and daughters of tamil parents. I am sorry. May be DBS writing would help oneday to resolve this problem.

    I have good understanding when Sinhalese thinks and feels like sinhalese and Tamils like Tamils, for me nothing wrong with that. You feel proud who you are. People need to learn respect that.

    I have lived sometime in Vavuniya in my childhood. For me there is no difference in Tamils and Sinhalese’s culture. They can easily live together.

    But I am aware that there are nationalities and religions in the world who find very difficulty live together (like hindu and muslims, arabs and westerns etc).

    But suprisingly, Tamils and Sinhalese easily find comportable themselves with any other nationality. That is something blessing, that is how our harts are, that is how we are born. We have character of adaptability and acceptance.

    To my openion, problems between us are far easily and politically can be solved. They are not more often mental or moral issues, am I right ?

    Tamil diaspora, you stop propagating hate between us. That is realy bad for our children (more correctly on tamil children, I don’t think Sinhala people brainwash their children with racism like tamil diaspora does, which is really bad, our children have to live together).

    Thanks DBS.

  84. Dear DBS,

    The demise of LTTE actually presents with more promising opportunities than ever before.

    I agree, no politically shrewd people would go for that kind of “all-or-nothing” strategy.

    Required now is not glorifying or bashing the tigers , but to look at the way forward.

    Change of course has been already tried by SL tamil polity over several decades –
    from satyagriha to federalism to terrorism – but nothing worked.

    This time when you change the current course, you should try something that has not been tried.

    Some strategy worth considering are:

    As opposed to “all-or-nothing” strategy, both the options , the aim as well as the default, should be fairly favorable and acceptable.
    I suggest, the SL tamil leaders declare the following and hold on to it consistently.

    Unitedly they must state that SL tamils are fully in favor of any one of the TWO following outcomes.

    1) AIM:

    Devolution thru APRC – WITH the following conditions;

    -To fully include UNP as well as TNA in its deliberations along with other tamil and muslim parties.
    -Independent observers in the panel to keep clear of any undue govt interventions.
    -Constitutional guarantees to “future proof” the devolved items.
    – Allow some underwriters, preferably India to ensure the setup works as desired – for the next 33 years.

    SL Govt has to prove itself in doing the above in 5 years.
    If not, the second option to be invoked by the SL tamil polity.

    2) DEFAULT:

    NESL to join India as one another state.

    This is not that difficult as one may think.
    Infact this is more doable than the creation of eelam
    or even extracting the rights from the tough sinhala polity.
    Let us see why and how.

    – All major indian parties concurr on the autonomy for tamils.
    They are not averse to any solution sans ltte terrorism and triggers of seperatism in India.
    There will be a rapid buildup of support from the larger Indian polity to the cause of SLTamils
    (provided SL fails on option 1)

    – TN parties pledged support even to Eelam this election, which was really not in their control.
    however pushing for creation of new indian state, is very much in their purview. They control central governments.
    Provided they had the consensus and support of SL tamils, it can definitely be pushed through by TN.

    – World has been watching the SL’s entire war episode and its HR violations.
    So, in the event of SL not being sincere toward political solutions,
    there is no extra lobbying of IC seperately required to convince them.

    – TN raising voice in support of NESL will not be viewed by indian polity with suspicion of seperatism,
    because this time TN can afford to show themselves patriotic (in bringing more land to India)

    However all the above will not be viable without SL tamils asking for it.

    what are the benefits:

    Readily comes with Land, police and revenue. Need not beg anyone.
    State govt is responsible for education and industrialization.
    Language rights guaranteed.
    Safety from foreign threats and encroachments.
    Excellent opportunities for the diaspora participation in rebuilding NE.
    Diaspora from western countries can claim PIO rights in India. (people of indian origin).
    Ride on “India wave” in an “asian century”.

    About the use of the term ‘federalism’:
    In SL, the word is an anathema where as in India,
    the states are not really federal in strict sense.
    So this has been intentionally avoided in the above discussion.

    Challenges:

    Unity among SL tamil leaders. – a very rare commodity.
    Stop harping on the differences between pro-ltte and anti-ltte groups.
    It doesnt make any difference as the ltte is already down, but reduces the combined power of SLtamils.
    Bury the hatchet for the sake of common good.
    Participation of Moderates and intellectuals. – however they shouldnot form their own groups.
    Instead should act as a glue to bring together the existing leaders of all hues.
    It is practically very difficult and time-consuming to wash away all the existing political groups and
    to create fresh groups that would dominate the new scene.
    Articulate the various options in the light of changing realities and emerging opportunities.
    Engage in “active politics”, that ltte ignored to its peril.
    Establish relations with major indian parties like Congress,BJP and communists.
    Remain neutral to all parties. Dont take sides.
    Maintain links with major TN parties , not only the fringe ones that ltte entertained.
    The smaller ones may be useful at times but will not bring about the actual results.
    The new political formulation should openly regret Rajiv’s assasination to India on behalf of all SL tamils.

    Diaspora should build on its resources and influences on western govts.
    Keep awareness of SL issues among the latest generation in diaspora.
    Maintain all legitimate businesses even after ltte and increase the economics clout.
    Continue to pool in the funds toward the cause of NESL people. This time there is no terrorism to fund.
    So this can be done in a transparent manner with a professionally managed body.
    Create a “safety net” to prevent SL govt dispensing a “less-than-honorable” settlement in the name of pseudo-democracy.

  85. Dear DBS,

    Apologies for asking question outside the topic. Do you know how many non-combatants are trapped in side the encircled zone? Any chance of you providing a quick account of what’s happening now?

    Kosala

  86. Hello Jeyaraj,

    I am a Sinhala Sri Lankan and share much of your views base on me reading your articles. I appalude the reply you gave to that idiot called “pol sambola”. People like him on both sides of this conflict cause it to drag on.

    I believe that people like you and I are the conner stones to a better Sri Lanka. We see the write and the wrong of both parties in this conflict.

    I wish to learn more of the history of this conflict starting from British occpuation to Independence of Sri Lanka and to the present.

  87. Hello Jeyaraj,

    I am a Sinhala Sri Lankan and share much of your views base on me reading your articles. I appalude the reply you gave to that idiot called “pol sambola”. People like him on both sides of this conflict cause it to drag on.

    I believe that people like you and I are the conner stones to a better Sri Lanka. We see the write and the wrong of both parties in this conflict.

    I wish to learn more of the history of this conflict starting from British occpuation to Independence of Sri Lanka and to the present. I believe you can educate me correctly for I am still looking into the past to gather the real truth.

    Please let me know how I can get intouch with you.

    Hi ,my e-mail is dbsjeyaraj@yahoo.com………………DBSJ

  88. Than you DBS for providing a platform to discuss alternative view points.

    It’s worrying reading the thoughts of some Sinhala people about how the Tamils in Sri lanka should behave in future.These are the thoughts going back to 1956, which paved the way for separatist war and are resurfacing again.The Sinhala people should understand even though the Tamils are a minority in Sri Lanka the 60 million Tamils exert more influence on them culturally. As long as the Tamils feel that they are being discriminated by the majority Sinhala people, Sri Lanka will not be peaceful.Imagine the hundred of thousands of people who have experienced/witnessed this war without witness and they would be angry with the LTTE and would have hatred for the army.There are no victors nor vanqiushed in a civil war.

  89. Correction on my previous post

    Than you DBS for providing a platform to discuss alternative view points.

    It’s worrying reading the thoughts of some Sinhala people about how the Tamils in Sri lanka should behave in future.These are the thoughts going back to 1956, which paved the way for separatist war and are resurfacing again.The Sinhala people should understand even though the Tamils are a minority in Sri Lanka the 60 million Tamils in India exert more influence on them culturally. As long as the Tamils feel that they are being discriminated by the majority Sinhala people, Sri Lanka will not be peaceful.Imagine the hundred of thousands of people who have experienced/witnessed this war without witness and they would be angry with the LTTE and would have hatred for the army.There are no victors nor vanqiushed in a civil war.

  90. I agree with shehan @ #9. I truly think you are needed in the restructuring process. If you get this great chance, please do not forget that there are some Tamils living in the Eastern part of Sri Lanka and they too need some attention.

    Keep up your great job. Your sufferings made you stronger and wise. Hats off to you DBS!

    I dont think I will get any opportunity like that but my concern for the East will always be there……. DBSJ

  91. comment 55 -zenzil

    a nice analysis. your question eelam war 5 or peace will be decided by mahinda. eelam war 4 was thrust on him by pirabaharan due to the constant violations of the ceasefire agreement. well it was almost like the ltte was telling him come on come on we are ready for you. well, they underestimated him and got a bellyfull. now we have to see what he is going to do. is he going to make the correct decisions or is he going to be like his predescesors make the wrong decisions. it is in his hands only. if like previous leaders if he thinks the problem will fade away over time if you do nothing, then he will be sadly mistaken and there will be eelam war 5. if he tackles the problem head on and makes courageous decisions on the political front then there will be everlasting peace. so what do you think he is going to do? this is the question you should ask yourself. the answer my friend will decide the fate of this country.

  92. Since course correction is being mentioned. I am going to provide three links since I believe educating ourselves on other insurgencies etc. is essential. I don’t know if people will bother to read it.

    In Ireland or Palestine, strength in unity
    Ken Foley, The Electronic Intifada, 11 May 2009

    Unity Comes First

    Good Morning Hamas

    An unrelated comment. I think the Canadian media is taking the easy way out. Not making the effort as professionals to provide content that informs and therefore the onus is on the “diaspora” consisting of amateurs and passionate volunteers to somehow to shoulder this responsibility. It is telling that they asked you to speak particularly on this topic when you have experience on reporting on critical matters regarding the conflict.

  93. Hi Jeyaraj (by the way, I did not know your first name is David!). Please give this message to the Tamil Diaspora:

    LTTE is gone. A new dawn for Shri Lanka, my beloved motherland (formally Sinhale). I am the happiest man on Earth, after the LTTE is gone. Tamils can live in my Sinhale as equals but please don’t try violence again. If they want a Tamil Homeland, go and ask India to create same in Tamilnadu. Again, dear Tamil brethren, violence will not be tolerated, (especially under the able Rajapakshes).

    Diaspora, if you contribute money to LTTE anymore you will be prosecuted by the western countries. So please be careful. Lets live long ever after as good happy people.

  94. And the other issue is yes the LTTE is banned and yes it is probably unwise to antagonise the Canadian people by showing support for a banned organisation.

    But the other side of the coin is this: Should the Canadian government have banned this organisation in the first place in the interests of peace and encouraging dialogue between parties? Did the banning escalate polarisation between groups and an escalation of the conflict?

    Only time will tell whose interests these bans have served. I can only predict by looking at other similar cases and the future looks bleak.

  95. DBSJ,

    Thanks for being the sane, impartial, and moderate voice the last few months. Your reports reflected the TRUTH about the carnage perpetrated by both sides of the divide. I am truly saddened to hear about the heavy price you had to pay for writing the TRUTH. It appears that some of us humans have not evolved to the point of accepting our faults and weaknesses. I suppose the same are no different from the neanderthals that we evolved from.

    I echo the sentiments of the other writers that you should be part of a commission whose charter is to seek a just, fair, and equitable political solution to the crisis. A solution where every Sri Lankan can live in dignity and peace, sans humiliation and intimidation in any shape or form. I look forward to hearing your views in the months to come.

  96. Hi DBS,
    I appreciate your comments. About the protesters carrying LTTE flags cannot be considered a serious threat or so since it is the message we carry and not the appearance. What do you say?
    Regards
    chelvashan

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Dear Chelvashan

    You are right in saying the message and not the appearance counts. But in practice it does. That’s why we go to job interviews smartly dressed. As Canada’s media guru Marshall Mcluhan observed famously “the medium is the message”.

    The tiger flag is not a threat to Canada or for that matter anyone. It’s the symbolism that matters. When Canada has banned the LTTE (we can always keep arguing whether the ban was justified or not)we have to abide by the law.

    People can always ask that the ban be lifted but as long as it is in force it has to be respected. We can ask that the ban on smoking in restaurants be lifted. But as long as the law is there we must abide by it .

    It is not correct to demonstrate with symbols of a banned outfit and then expect canadian politicians and officials to respond.

    If you want a positive response from some one do you wear attire that is likely to offend that person?

    After weeks of demonstrations no credible or worthwhile response has come.

    Actually the demos have diverted attention AWAY from the humanitarian catastrohe of civilians getting killed and injured

  97. I see lot of comments from both Sinhalese and Tamils in this blog and there is one element missing, so I thought I’ll fill it – that is the average Sinhalese is not racist but genuinely loving and caring. I am a Tamil currently living overseas. I grew up in the East and have been treated badly and with suspicion many times by the police/military. I studied and worked in Sinhalese areas and could barely speak Sinhalese. But I have no hatred towards Sinhalese and would anyday trust my life in the hands of a Sinhalese person. I have seen the good and bad sides of both Tamils and Sinhalese, and I can vouch with all honesty that more than 9 out of every 10 Sinhalese that I have ever known have no racism in them. There is no desire in the Sinhalese to dominate or persecute Tamils. There are definitely some very small minority who are racist, including some odd characters like JR who happened to be in power, but they don’t represent the average Sinhalese. With all the anti-Tamil stand of Jathika Hela Urumaya and JVP, and the LTTE attacks in Colombo and atrocities against Sinhalese villagers, the JVP and JHU got less than 1% of votes in the Sinhala dominated areas. If Sinhalese label all Tamils as terrorists or racists, how hurtful it would be. So the Tamils, at least the educated ones, should stop branding Sinhalese as racists – especially those Tamils who have never lived in Colombo or any Sinhalese areas or have hardly known any Sinhalese in a personal way.

  98. Keep up the good work and keep the world informed of what is going on in the SL war zone.
    I wonder whether the GoSL website portrays a true picture of the situation over there.
    People have a right to know the truth and make their own judgments.

  99. Dear Mr Jeyaraj

    I admire you for having the courage to face attacks from both sides!

    I have 1 question and 1 comment.

    Question; I agree Tamils need a course correction, but to which course should they move to (I could not discern this from your writings except that both the LTTE & govt are wrong)?

    My comment is that it seems that Tamils have already tried all the courses available with no success – the Federal Party tried democratic politics in the 40’s & 50’s and failed, TULF tried civil right/ civil disobedience in the 60′ & 70’s and failed , the LTTE (plus TELO, PLOTE, EPRLF) tried war and have eventually failed, getting India involved failed. Even the likes of Anandasangaree & Devananda who always side with the government of the day have failed on the two key issues (language & security). The Muslims & Indian Tamils have also always tried to work with the govt but are little better off in regards to being first class citizens.

    The only course not tried by the Tamils is mass conversion to Sinhalese/ Buddhism.

    So, to which course should the Tamils (re-)embark?

  100. I want to correct the impression of a number of Singhalese posters that have made comments about how the Tamil Diaspora hates us. Having lived with the Tamil Diaspora for almost 30 years here in Toronto I think I should write a few things about us and them. They don’t hate us. On a personal level I deal with Tamils everyday. I meet them at work, I see them on the subways and busses and I go to their shops to buy stuff. There are very few Singhalese shops to get Sri Lankan stuff here. You can get even Singhalese videos and CDs in these Tamil shops. At all these places, I have always been treated with nothing but kindness and respect. No one has come to me and said that I was a Singhalese murderer helping to kill Tamils in Sri Lanka. Me and my family gets invited to their houses for dinners, birthdays and parties, likewise my Tamil friends get invited to my house all the time. Let me tell you a story that happened about two years ago. Me and my wife were invited to a dance organized by a section of the Tamil community. Out of about three hundred people present, there were about 5-6 Singhalese there. After the dinner they started to play music for dancing. To my utter surprise, among other types of music, they played Singhalese bila. And we were all dancing away. So I commented to one of the guys that while it was so nice to hear the bila music, I did not expect that at a Tamil function. The answer I got from him was “Have you ever tried to dance to a classical Tamil tune?”

    So on a personal level we get on well with each other. On a community level, things are not that smooth –especially during the last year. There is tension. They have picketed our community social functions. The Tamil community is very active politically and as a result the city and provincial politics are naturally biased towards them. The Singhalese side of the story does not get disseminated well. It does not help that Sri Lankan government does not or can not find people who are articulate enough and who are experienced in western media to tell the government side of the story in the western world. We know that there is millions of dollars of funs are collected for Tigers. The most concerning thing is that there is new generation of Tamil youth, who are well educated and well versed in western culture coming up. Unfortunately, these young bright people but with minds that are easily manipulated, most of them who have never even been to Sri Lanka, get all their impressions and information from their parents, who for the most part have not moved beyond 1983. These young people are getting a totally distorted picture of the mother country.

    So my impression is that it is never black and white. It is always various shades of grey. Having lived here for this long, I have been given a chance to observe and interact with my fellow Tamil brothers and sisters in a manner that I would never have been able if I had lived in Sri Lanka. The saddest observation is, there is not much difference between us and them. One wonders why we had to go at each other like this for the last 30 years. They enjoy the same stuff that we enjoy, they want the same things in life for them and their families as we do. They are not out to destroy Singhalese and Buddhism and create a greater Tamil empire that spans Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.

    Lastly I want to write here, what a white guy, who understand Sri Lanka very well having interacted with the country for a long time said to me the other day. He said that when he looked at us Singhalese and Tamils, he wanted to get hold of us and bang our heads together till we come to our senses because looking from outside, he could not see any difference between us. My reply to him was that we have been banging our heads together without any outside help pretty well for some time now. Lets hope that we have banged some sense into our heads in the process.

  101. Tamils may be weakened militarily, but nothing changed on the ground.

    What choice you have
    Turn the clock back to 1956 or 1974 and start
    live life.

    OR

    Turn the clock back to 16th century and live life.

    My nephews and nieces who born in canada, preached me how to be canadian are on the streets now, I am NOT. Those kids, preached me (in 2003) why tamils could not live with sinhalese just we canadians live with italians, chinese, romanians, greek…. are on the streets. G

    So
    Pick a date folks
    16th century, 1974, 1956…. and life your life

  102. Diaspora & Levers of Powers

    I agree with your observation that ‘Adangap Pattru’ is becoming an irritant to general public. Comments on Toronto Star are testimonial for how many people consider ongoing blockades as intrusions to daily lives of Torontonians.

    The difficultly is powerty of ideas as to how to pull leavers of powers. All protest forms are same as Tamils observed since 1958…Satyagraha, Fasting, Road blockades, storming public buildings etc. Nothing produced results.

    Few intellectuals approached power centres in western capitals but their initiatives were hijacked by militant sections.

    Any thoughts on how to do a ‘Course Correction’ that will produce results?

    Aathavan.
    P.S. Following your writings from ‘Behind the cadjan Curtain’ days…appreciate your contribution to Tamils.

  103. DBS,

    May be I spoke too soon in (#81)? I am just getting news that the Scarborough Buddhist Temple on Kingston Rd. has been set on fire last night. Fortunately the damage appears to be not very much, but this does not bode well for the future.

  104. hey chaps,

    A publication in Jaffna called Yalpanam Malawai (YPM) published during 1930’s that identified history of Tamils as having common history with others in the island. It even claimed Tamil ancestry linked to King Wijeya. Veracity of these claims matters little. What matter is Tamils saw themselves as having a common history that of rest of the population. Many other commonality can be found If this avenue was explored further. Unfortunately an American Missionary question in a national newspaper why Tamils have no history of their own. After this people like Rasalingam wrote of the existence of a separate Eelam etc.

    From that point onwards it seems imagination started running wild in certain people. V. Navatarnam of FP whom I beleive was a key person giving motivation for a violent struggle for a separate state, Navarantam also said Tamil inscriptions were found among Egyptian Pyramids etc.

    Sure there was discrimination. However, the response seems utterly disproportionate. Its this because the violent campaign lead by Velupillai is linked very little to any discrimination.

  105. DBS Jeyaraj,
    You always claim that it is stupid for the Tamils to associate themselves with the LTTE but if they don’t elect the LTTE as their representative whom will represent them at the peace talks? Who is going to fight for the rights of Tamils and get the deal they want? What if its not the LTTE then is it going to be the traitor Karuna or Douglas? Jeyaraj you must realize that ultimately a resolution for the Tamils must involve the LTTE due to the fact that they make up a significant part of the Tamil struggle for freedom. Besides democratic societies, such as Canada must operate on the basis of the “voice of the majority”. By looking at these protests it must be evident to you that a majority of the Tamils support the LTTE therefore should not Ottawa opens its eyes and look further into the issue rather than ignore it. Also if Tamils didn’t associate themselves with the LTTE wouldn’t that make Ottawa think that Tamil Canadians also believe the LTTE to be terrorists when in fact they don’t. Furthermore, in your articles you seem to be taking a tone that suggests that the LTTE are terrorists but you must keep in mind that leaders the world has before categorized as terrorists have later been declared otherwise by the international community. For example, Arafat and Mandela were classified as terrorists during the courses of their freedom struggle but in the end were they not given the Nobel Peace Prize? Therefore Jeyaraj you should try to maintain a neutral stance in your articles and not represent the chauvinistic beliefs of the Sinhalese government.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:
    I think its a waste of time to reply people like you who have either not understood what I’ve been writing or pretend not to understand. Anyway most of your questions are now becoming redundant due to ground realities.

  106. I hope I will hear lot more criticism of LTTE because they are loosing now, some educated tamils might say to drop the word of “LTTE” not only the flag. Because we always wanted to be in the winning side.
    For generations our educated tamils wanted to please the (sinhala) rulers just for their own benifit. some have even helped in formulating legislations against tamils. (I thing I don’t need to give examples).
    A LTTE carder, either in suicide mission or fought in the front line inspite of knowing he/she will not return, did that for nothing but they thought that it will help his/her people (WE) to live in better future.
    What the basic thing we tamils should know atleast to show graduate.

  107. Dear DBS,

    Thank you for speaking the truth, despite being shunned by some in your community. As someone who is often shunned by my own community (black) for speaking the truth about our problems I understand where you are coming from. Shame on the cowards who assaulted you in front of your family, yet hide behind free speech to advance their pro-LTTE views. As another poster said, I truly hope that you are involved in the post-war peace process that will lead to justice for Tamil people in Sri Lanka. Keep up the good work and continue to stay safe.

    Thank You………. DBSJ

  108. Hi ! DBS,

    I am aregular reader of your artcles.As a good friend I am proud of you for giving desrervibg comments to some of the writers.All are making issues saying that their relatives are killed etc.I should say that we are the people who should say as the brutal movement first assasination is from my family and in a place of worship.None of his sjblings has mentioned or made an issue,
    I was in Srilanka in February and March for 17 days,I went to Kathrgamam ofcourse there was routine ckecking and on my entire trip only in 3 places.Only in Matara a ofiicer who was fluent in English asked me weather I had any hardship or harassament by the security forces.I said no and he asked me why some Canadians when they go back give a false picture.His approach was so polite.
    I hope the trend will change and that there will be peace.The protest is too much and I hope some sensible leader will educate and stop this issue.

  109. DBS Jeyaraj says,
    Tamils should consider course correction.

    I am asking all the tamils: Are you willing to consider a course correction?

    DBS called for a course correction of LTTE, many moons ago and LTTE delivered the course correction with interest, scars of which he carries forever.

    The driving force of the tamils in Canada will not allow the change of the course.
    In my opinion, the reason behind this is, the leaders are not interested in the SriLankan tamils welfare rather more focused on establishing an Eelam.
    DBS says,
    Toronto is home to the largest concentration of Sri Lankan Tamils (250,000 plus) outside that Island.

    This is more than the numbers of tamil IDPs from the northern war front.
    It is apparent this many tamils are taken hostage by the tamilleaders in Canada, just the same way they are held back in the war zone by the LTTE leaders.

    More protests the tamils conduct on the streets of Toronto, more knowledgeable the canadians become on the srilankan issue.

    Unfortunately, what the canadians learn from these protests do not favour the tamils themselves.

    The SriLankan gov must thankful for the services of these protest organisers.

    What a hypocracy!!!

    Do the tamils need liberation regardless of where the reside?

  110. I think DBSJ and Ratnajeevan Hoole need to be part of any post coflict deal in Sri Lanka. They understand all the complexities of the Sri Lankan issue and have consistantly shown their honesty and integrity in their writings. I as a Sinhalese will gladly vote for either of them as President of Sri Lanka. However, sadly, only demagogues have any chance of getting elected in Sri Lanka.

  111. Misguided tamil diaspora, especially the youth ,need proper guidence and leadership. They should realise LTTE is, or is it was, a curse to Sri Lankan tamils, not their saviour. They brought only destruction and misery to tamils. I think moderate and right thinking, such as DBS can take the initiative of showing proper direction to these misinformed youth. How they could help their brothers and sisters in SL is not by holding demonstrations with LTTE flags, or attacking Buddhist temples and Sinhalese shops, but trying to provide some assitance to those who fled the LTTE area.

    It is not too late, Tamils , Sinhalese and other communities in SL should now focus on developing this potentially prosperous country. They can live peacefully, It is sinhala doctors and nurses who look after injured tamils in camps, Sinhalese are not against ordinary tamils. LTTE killed a Sinhala university student, they killed a sinhala doctor who worked in a hospital in East treating tamils. Not a single tamil doctor or a tamil university student was hurt by sinhalese. Those who demonstrate in Toronto or London and attack temples either not aware of these facts ot simply does not want to know how these two communities live together.

  112. Dear DBS,
    We rearly see people belong to different communities responding to a humble writer like you in this way. Some have hopes on you and some needs more clarifications and some are expecting a laeding role from you etc. That reflects there is a vacume for a person in this calibre in our Sri Lankan community. At least think to start a monthly magazine in english and tamil. Somebody told me, you did a community radio programe with Gamini long time ago. Is that true? Thanks.

    Wickrama

  113. LTTE diaspora & families would never risk living in eelam under a despot like thalaivar. they would rather live under GOSL than thalaivar. the would call him sungod, but they know where to draw the line. they would never admit it but it’s the gospel truth. thus the most vital entity (diaspora) is actually completely absent from the scene of the drama.

    To fill the vacuum they recruit a very reluctant & helpless substitute by force. this substitute is the tamil peasant & their kids who actually has no say whatsoever in anything pertaining to eelam. they are treated like lifeless zombies by the diaspora & expected to behave as such. they have no choice but to sacrifice everything & deliver eelam for LTTE diaspora. those who resist being zombies are labeled traitors & get shot.

    the amount of weapons & explosives supplied by diaspora contrasts sharply with the total lack of infra structure for the benefit of tamil civilians. All i see is rows & rows of graves. the zombie factor is proven.

    Western based LTTE Diaspora obviously looks down upon the tamil peasants who are expected to deliver their eelam. Their lives are not worth tuppence. A terrible irony. The whole concept of LTTE liberation is thus flawed & impractical.

  114. Hey

    85. Gamaethige Nissanka ,

    Mole hoda nathi modaya, kata tiwunata gonek wage hasirenne epa. DBS ge mulu liumama kiyawala
    balapan . . nathnam moleta parissanayak karaganin.

    Sakkiliyek wenne upatin neme, karan kiyana weda
    valin.

  115. Yes DBS,

    Take care and keep up the ongoing excellent work with the current ongoing truthfulness, vigor and resilience. They may some day want to appoint you as a co-chairman of a truth and reconciliation committee or council. Dont bother to accept it as you have already done enough for the majority of dumbos on all sides. Hope you take this comment in the spirit its meant to encourage your very active role in re-educating and very human repartee as well as releasing apparently all the comments that are good, bad and ugly. As most are under bogus names its OK to delete and conserve your energy for better tasks as some have suggested.

    As for me who is a decade elder to you but came through a similar cultural path being born in the north and raised in the south:-

    The core issues to be considered RE Singhalese, Tamil probs are follows:-

    1. None of us chose to be born as a Tamil or Singhalese. Its an accident to be neither proud of nor ashamed of but accept it as an accidental fact of life like our DNA. Like-wise we did not choose are parents, relatives, and place of birth, religion, language, cast or clan. The truth that may be ugly is that we are all by-products of our parents pleasures and cultural pressures, who are here to make the best of a bad bargain.

    2. In the 70’s and 80’s approximately 90,000 Singhalese were killed during the so-call Che Guevara or JVP insurrection but to-date the official figures are only 70,000 Tamils and the majority of them Tamils and some Singhalese were killed by the LTTE. There are many who claim that the LTTE has killed far more Tamils in wholesale killings post 83 by acts of omissions & commissions than all the 56 and after retail Tamils killings by the Singhalese state and its propulsion agencies.

    3. The above is evidence that the issues are more economic than racial or national as not all but most Tamils & Singhalese claim it to be. Nationalism is yet another garb like religion, sex, caste or class to gain power, control, authority and advantage over other groups of people over their status and for their wealth and goodies as well as take revenge for these differences that were used to oppress socially and economically be they be both perceived and/or actual.

    Mcs

  116. so it is over…..the tamil’s sun god will rise in hell tomorrow. he who lives by the gun dies by the gun….and another saying is that the only good terrorist is a dead terrorist.
    the sun god led the tamils up the garden path….look what’s happened now…..tamils are refugees in toronto, IDPs in the wanni and human shields for the sun god in the NFZ…and on top of that the so called liberators fired on blew up the civilian tamils trying to escape their imprisonment at the hands of the sun god…..this is what the diaspora funded….filthy genocidal terrorists yet not a cent to feed the IDPs….what a shame…..
    my enduring image of the sun god is that of him sitting in his little inflatable pool…..defence.lk still has the pics take a look if the diaspora can take time off from burning temples in canada.
    i feel sorry for canada…all these terrorist thugs running around can’t be good for the canadians.
    and in closing we can thank the sun god for one…..selling the tamil votes for Rs 180 million so that finally we got a president who knew how to deal with filthy terrorists….what a master stroke from the sun god….thank you sun god….may you have a little inflatable pool in the after life….
    finally we have a country free of filthy terrorists…..maybe the diaspora will fund another monster but we have learned how to deal with terorists…..
    DB i look forward to reading your eulogy on the sun god…hope you will write one….might be lesson in their for every one to sri lankan and diasporans.

  117. Why do you pulish comments like #85? What purpose does it serve? Please let this blog for humans not for animals.

    Just trying to see whether “shaming” can bring about a course correction……….DBSJ

  118. Dear DBS,
    Over the past 6 months I have been reading your blog. Thank you for the balanced, accurate reporting.

    I have watched this brutal conflict unravel and the sad plight of thousands of civilians. I was stunned to see that most of the Tamil diaspora voiced their concerns for the civilians, while openly supporting LTTE. Where are the Tamils who have a genuine concern for the people of Sri Lanka (Tamil and Sinhala) without any politial agenda? How can Sinhalese and Tamils in the diaspora come together to jointly condemn abuse of power and civil rights in Sri Lanka? I see no hope after witnessing events in North America and Europe over the past few months.
    Aravinda

  119. DBSJ,
    Your mention of Nunuvil temple, Kovit Santhai and Thamaraikulam brought up my own memories of that area where I grew up. Many of my relatives are still in that area.

    On the issue at hand, let the youths continue to protest without Tiger flags, without violating any laws or severely inconvenincing local people who have no reason to get involved in our problems other than as a purely humanitarian issue.

    Let me remind the youths that if Tamils were in a much better position, would they have cared a lot for the suffering of the people of sub-Saharan Africa? Would they take to the streets to save the people of Darfur from genocide? And if we can’t care enough about the African people ourselves, why should westerners who know nothing about our problems, spend their time and energy on it?

    These youths need to be mindful of human nature and be tactful about what they can and cannot achieve politically.

    I believe that the irrational actions of the LTTE during and after the ceasefire starting in 2002 might have had to do with, at least in part, bad advice from some Tamils in the Diaspora, who took themselves seriously and had delusions of grandeur about being ‘wise advisors.’ I had argued with some of them vigorously and pointed out that by not keeping the pressure on the LTTE to transform and instead irrationally putting their faith in the ‘mystique’ of VP to do whatever he wanted , they were committing a grave crime against the innocent people who would bear the brunt of any military action by the GoSL.

    These days, when I meet the same people at some protests, they are rather subdued and shell-shocked and cannot even look me in the face because virtually every word of criticism and every warning I made then has become true. But being proved correct in views is not something that gives one satisfaction when it comes with such unimaginable suffering.

  120. Dear DBSJ,
    I am a sinhalese and see your articles as well balanced. Ignore people like polsambal among sinhalese and people like Prabha among tamils. Both are of the same mould. Now that Prabha has taken the cyanide as per the rumours, we have to think only of how to prevent another Prabha popping up. The only solution is to look forward, look at the indian model of devolution which will give the tamil asiprations while keeping the country intact. Yes, you and Anandasangaree need to be a part of any committee that is going to draw up plans for a future better Sri Lanka.

  121. Moda Gamaethige Nissanka (comment 85),

    You are a shamefull man…

    Why are we giving space for the mentally sick people Nissanka. It doesn’t serve anything. There are extremist-foolish on any side. Their words will only make apart Nations.

    We shouldn’t give chance to these kind of racist people.

  122. It is about time. Had they considered a course correction 20 years ago we could have avoided this bloodbath today. Instead they conveniently supported LTTE in every step of the way endorsing every action. The theme of “Genocide” has been the usual banner ever since they commenced their first protest. The internanational community realised that it was nothing but propoganda. Now, they find it hard to sell the message to IC, which reminds me of the story of the boy who cried wolf.

  123. My sincere plea to the demonstrators:

    I admire and have a great of respect for the demonstrators but please do not carry or display the LTTE flags of guns and bullets; do not display the picture of VP.

  124. You are simply a fool.

    And you sir, are living in a fool’s paradise……………..DBSJ

  125. Hi, I am an Indian Tamil from Tamilnadu. What has struck me as exceptional, all through these months of cacophony over the Eelam issue, is that there has not been one voice here which has contradicted the sterotyping of the Sihnalese as a blood-thirsty, unjust race. Not the leading magazines (Aananda Vikatan, Kumudam etc), or the political figures, or the film celebrities who wear dark glasses and fast for 7 hours.

    After all, we are alike in so many respects- our skins, features, cultures, and so on (why, I could even understand half the filth spewed forth by comment #87 😀 )

    In this setting, reconciliatory voices like #100 and #103, who establish the basic human decency of both races, need to be amplified so the root cause of terrorism, namely xenophobia, is removed. Hope they are widely heard here by the Tamils of Tamilnadu, India as well.

    May your tribe increase!

  126. Dear DBS;

    I have been reading your articles ardnetly over years just becuase of their unbiased views and precise facts.

    Most Canadians I met were stunned by the lack of sensitivity of the Tamil protestors towards Torontonians. I was amazed to see they have closed down the Gardiner Expressway, which could have been fatal to patients who were being transported to hospitals.

    Nandana

  127. Ranjan 103

    All you have said about the Tamil/Sinhala relationship I agree 100%. I have very good Tamil friends for years.

    But Tamils are tired at the way they are treated suspiciously every where. Tamils who have sinhalese friends or who holds good jobs can get over this suspicion and get things done. But poor Tamil people who comes to Colombo or any where outside Jaffna, finds it hard to survive. They would have forgotten the 1983, but there are other painful reminders happening every day. What do you say to the Chemmani mass graves? the murder of the innocent 5 students in Trincomalee,? murder of the 17 aid workers,?several abductions and murders in the heart of Colombo? (Professor Ravindra Nath, Pararajasekaram, Raviraj, Maheswarn and several others). You don’t see the carnage of the aerial bombings done in Navaly church, bombing of the school in Nagarkovil, Chencholai. There is a black out on the atrocities committed to Tamils in Jaffna. You only see what is happening in Colombo and the Govt. propaganda.

    Currently the way the govt. is killing the civilians in the safe zone. The way the IDP camps are run. People are herded like animals, families are seperated deliberately. No freedom of movement or expression.

    Until law and order is restored in Sri Lanka and every citizen irrespective of their ethnicity is treated equally, there will not be peace and harmony in Sri Lanka.

  128. [‘tamil tigers are tamils too
    we will carry their flags’]
    we could debate forever whether it was justified or not. But the fact remains that the ltte is a banned entity in canada, and the flag looks too similar to the ltte’s flag for most politicians’ liking. So if you want to be heard, leave the flag at home. Also, none of the protesters, as far as i know, have taken the trouble to point out the differences between the the flag they are carrying and the ltte flag. I suspect many of them, themselves, don’t know the differences. I , personally prefer a flag that includes the 2 symbols of the Tamils, a rising sun int he background and a tiger, not just the head but a whole tiger, in the foreground. I suggest all the tamils come up with another flag that looks sufficiently dis-similar to the ltte’s flag to placate those whose help you seek. Get this through your thick heads, “the ltte is banned in canada

  129. re: my previous post above:
    Don’t get me wrong. If the ltte deserved to be banned, so did the Govt of SL and also the armed forces of SL. . The Harper govt, together with the EU, have blood on their hands by emboldening the GOSL by this act , So do all previous canadian govts for providing aid to the GOSL thereby freeing vasts sums of money to be spent on the military while being intransigent..

    What the ltte failed to understand was that the GOSL was a “state player” and they were not. They should have acted accordingly and not have played into their enemies’ hands by refraining from the counterproductive and expensive political assassinations and other non-legitimate targets.
    When a prime minister, for instance, is killed, he/she would get replaced by another one – the ltte should have found this out after the 1st assassination.
    Also, rajiv was probably the most sympathetic of the indian PMs to the tamils’ cause. Ltte, after you had got thousands of your own cardres killed in fighting and managing to kill about a thousand of the IPKF, thereby having taught Rajiv a very expensive lesson, Why, on earth, would you kill the very person you have just finished teaching a lesson to? At least give an opportunity to demonstrate if the lesson had bean learnt. Didn’t you know that you would have to start from scratch with the person who follows?
    VP, if not the ltte, you became incorrigible, a liability to the tamils, therefore you needed to go.
    If only only you had quit when you were ahead.

  130. Comment #85 – DBS why do you publish such comments without editing – He proof why tamil national question is not answered for the last 61 years?

    Comment # 13 – Another idiot, why this war is dragging for so long, Superb response by you DBS.

    In cricket metaphor, home series may be over, foreiegn series starts with talented players and team Srilanka to face on oppostion.

  131. I highly appreciate your literary skill and your bravery to go for the truth. I’m wondering if you have a post war scenario concept and how to help the remaining IDPs after the war. I’m a foreigner who wants to get involved in addressing the needs and concerns of the IDP’s and other human rignt victimes. thnx in advance

  132. I disagree with Ranjan. Sinhalese and Tamils look different in physical features. Sinhalese are fair and bigger made than Tamils. On average Tamils are of very dark skin colour. Their eating habits are different. Sinhalese use less chilies and more coconut milk. Most Tamil men wear moustache whereas Sinhalese men do not. Tamil women wear jewlary in ear and also put pottu.

    You display great prejudice and inability to see beyond ethnic stereotypes………….DBSJ

  133. If the comment 85. Gamaethige Nissanka -nissangama7@hotmail.com | May 16th, 2009 at 5:42 am

    was written by a real sinhalese(not an imposter) I do not want to call myself a sinhalese.

    What a disgusting filth you have unleashed, shows your inner hatred towards the mankind.

    Whoever you are, you deserve a place with Prabakaran.

  134. Whatever said and done Jeyaraj.com is publishing Sinhala comments too. It is not all one sided. I am specifically impressed about 2 of his articles – Theelipan’s death and the demise of Prabhakaran (though Prabha’s death is yet to be confirmed). Lankaweb is publishing utter lies. Yesterday they said Prabha surrendered to Army, now they say Prabha and 196 body guards committed suicide while traversing the lagoon! Asian Tribune is also not true, once they said (some months ago) Prabha had fled the country, Sri Lanka, and now they say Prabha is dead!. Of them all I trust the source of Jeyaraj.com

  135. DBS,
    I am referring to comment 136. why do you allow such stupid comments. Is it any wonder that Tamils are asking for a seperate state.

    According to him some Sri Lankans who prefer to eat western food cease to be sinhalese or Tamil. The people who have got out of Sri Lanka wear western clothes cease to be Sri Lankan. His own President who wears a mustache cease to be Sinhalese. I have seen in one family one is fair, one is dark.

    Sinhalese language is a mixture of several Indian languages including Tamil.

  136. DBSJs columns provide a gloves-off atmosphere for both Sinhalese and Tamils to express their gut feelings. Save for those atavistic and sick comments such as one community is dark and fat and the other is fair and nice etc., and those in base Sinhala and Tamil vulgar language, the common denominator appears to be one in which most Sinhalese and Tamils want to start afresh in a climate of forgive and forget. To that extent Tamilweek/DBSJ have contributed immensely to that noble effort to regain our ethnic equilibrium. Assuming VP is gone and LTTE is no longer is as previously potent, does this automatically bring us peace and prosperity that all of us need and desire? Certainly not. However, the occasion and the mood is just right to begin re-making of the State and a single Nation. Is this possible in todays context? The Buddhist clerical hierarchy will demand its pound of flesh and the Buddhist Sinhala extremist political groupings will only settle for the much criticized Sarath Fonsekas doctrine This is a Buddhist Sinhala majority country. Minorities can live here only if they behave This is not only his voice but the shared policy of this dangerous cabal. Are we mature and strong enough to ask our clerics Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim to remain in their places of worship; in the performances of their traditional functions outside and keep out of airports to bless Cricketers; Govt office openings; swearing in of Cabinet Ministers etc., This was never there earlier and we were no less Buddhist or Sinhalese. Religion has to be a private affair if we are to politically mature. The sooner we separate religion from politics the better. I am not against a priest taking to politics but that should be for politics only. Priests trying to convert politics to fit into a religious agenda is the height of hypocracy. LTTE gone is not the end of the struggle for Tamils for their rights to run their political affairs, their language rights and so on. Until this is addressed, the struggle will recommence under different leaderships and political groupings. The TNA is there in Parlkiament to talk for the Tamils.You simply cannot wish the problem away as we foolishly did since 1956. The malady today is far worse than it was in the 1950s. Events of recent months have made it far deeper with greater global ramifications. It requires wise and able political leadership to show the way. The country is also broke as can be seen from the unheard of CoL. Seer fish (kg) at Rs.1,200; Rice/Rs100; Sugar/Rs95; Chicken/Rs400; small fish/Rs150; Average vegetables/Rs50. Even the upper middle class and rich complain this is beyond them. What about the poor working class and the marginalized already dealt a death blow by inflation? What are we going to do with nearly 150,000-200,000 men in uniform who will become redundant after the war. The thought a fair portion of them becoming part of the armed underworld is frightening. An armed Bank robbery in the heart of Colombo recently carried out by an army officer and the son of a DIG stealing over Rs15 million is not the first we have seen in recent times and neither will it will be the last. Our oor mariakade type of diplomacy and language of our leaders have earned us a lot of powerful enemies in the world with many of them calling for the country and leadership to be ostracized. Do we have what it takes to overcome the many challenging situations or has Mahinda Chintanaya done us in?

    Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan

  137. I disagree with Ranjan. Sinhalese and Tamils look different in physical features. Sinhalese are fair and bigger made than Tamils. On average Tamils are of very dark skin colour. Their eating habits are different. Sinhalese use less chilies and more coconut milk. Most Tamil men wear moustache whereas Sinhalese men do not.

    Ah, if only national stereotypes were true! My first girlfriend was Swedish. According to the stereotype she should have been blonde with big boobs. Unfortunately she had black hair and was as flat as a pancake.

  138. re your response to comment 99.

    It is not illegal to carry the flag with the tiger symbol that the demonstrators carry.
    http://lrrp.wordpress.com/2008/02/07/tamil-eelam-flag-to-represent-tamil-students/
    http://www.tamilguardian.com/article.asp?articleid=2243

    I think the main point that should be driven home is should the protesters have thought of a more effective mode of raising awareness of the humanitarian catastrophe faced by the Tamil people.

    But that is what we learn from living in a free country. You cannot control everything. We are not talking about North korea or even Sri lanka. It is canada or Australia or Britain or Norway etc. So those who did not like the Eelam flag should have focused their energies in a positive way and tried to find an alternative path to raising awareness. I will say I was one of those people who did not go on those demonstrations because of that symbol. To me more than the tiger…I find it depressing because it is almost a reflection of the Sri lankan state and its ridiculous flag….not an alternative. However, I defend and respect the right of both those people to go on a demonstration with their flag and express what they feel. The humanitarian issue is utmost in my mind and I refrain on engaging in such discussions and focus on driving home the issue of the plight of the trapped civilians caught in the cross fire. I don’t want to impose my personal prejudices on those who want to fly their flag.

    I admit this is a personal prejudice because there are other national flags from reputed, peace loving countries with pretty unattractive, violent symbolism and yet I don’t think I would think twice sometimes when standing next to them.

    Read the translation of the french national anthem and you will see what I mean.
    http://french.about.com/library/weekly/aa071400ma.htm

    I do wish Sri lankan people, both Sinhalese and Tamil would be more reasonable and rational about this issue and focus on other more productive things. It is even more depressing to see Tamils resorting to so much pettiness and backbiting when our people are being massacred.

    And I too and have reduced myself to investing valuable time on this. What can I say?? What hope do we have if we are reduced to this level of discourse???

  139. As a very liberal Sri Lankan, I find it very difficult to understand how the Diaspora (and especially the youth of the Diaspora who in most instances have never even visited Sri Lanka) have become so extremists in their views. This may be applied to both Sinhalese and Tamil communities in the Diaspora. Now there emerges talks of the war for Eelam rekinded and being led by the diaspora – I find it as cowardly an act (and even more so) as that of the Colombo elite speaking in support of the war when sitting in the luxury of their a/c’d homes. At least us in Colombo experience the results of the war albeit not so closely as the poor civilians who were trapped in the no fire zone and is now in ‘refugee camps’. It is of no direct benefit to them. Why can’t they just assist us in trying to achieve peace and equal rights for the minorities instead of further stirring the pot whilst they stay away at a safe distance?

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