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Sinhala and Tamil: Let’s get together and reconcile

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These are troubling times for Tamils worldwide and many are either in a state of shock or denial.

The situation is made worse by the chauvinist, triumphalist crowing by some (NOT ALL) Sinhalese on the one hand and equally chauvinistic, unrealistic utterances by some (NOT ALL) Tamils.

In a noteworthy departure from this trend there was an email being circulated that spoke a different language. A language of realism and reconciliation.

Five different people forwarded it to me. There were also many people trying to post it as a comment on my blog.

One person who forwarded it said:

“DBS, I would appreciate if you could take a look at this letter and if you think its worth it please publish. It’s a perspective that has long been silent (although a tad Colombo middle class). There needs to be space for these views as well…”

I held on to it last week though my views too tallied greatly with those sentiments expressed in this letter.

I wanted to verify the “authenticity” of this letter as I knew there were many epistles being circulated by propagandists on either side of the ethnic divide.

I spoke to the author Mohan Segaram directly by telephone and got my confirmation.

Mohan who left Sri Lanka in 1988 is now in Australia.

He told me that this letter was not written by him for public consumption.

He had simply penned his thoughts in a letter and sent it to a few of his friends.

“I wasnot trying to peddle any line. I just wanted to share my thoughts” he said.

“But due to the power of cyberspace, it has got a very wide audience” Mohan chuckled.

I told Mohan that his viewpoint was much needed at this time when reconciliation, inter-ethnic understanding and Sinhala-Tamil unity were urgently needed.

I sought and obtained his approval to post it on my blog.

It was only last week that I posted a comment by a Kurdish nationalist Shexmus Amed on this blog.

It was amusing and at times irritating to see some of the commentators alleging that there was no “Shexmus Amed” and it was I writing under a “nom de guerre”.

I hope nobody starts saying Mohan Segaram is an alias for DBS Jeyaraj.

[Pics: By HumanityAshore]

I think the views expressed by Mohan Segaram need to be heard at this juncture.

I do hope it will generate much light and stimulate a positive, constructive exchange of views.

Here it is then -d.b.s.jeyaraj

Subject: Lets Get Together and Reconcile

Hi Friends,

I write this with a lot of sadness, relief and hope, form what has happened in the past few months. As a Tamil, (and proud to be one) I deeply feel that together, we can build the burnt bridges and pave a path to peace, happiness, equality and prosperity for us and for the future generations to come.

We cannot forget what happened for the past three decades, however we need to put aside our emotions, despair and remember those lives, which were lost in bloody war in the name of “equality”. We (Tamils) have to now reconcile and win the trust of the nation. For decades, we have been secretive, unpredictable and uncompromising. Sure enough, we were discriminated in the past, deprived of our equal rights and treated unfairly. Now we have to give the nation a chance to prove that, it is not the case.

We have to let go of the past and not react to our feelings in an irrational and selfish way. We talk about the 1953 era, of the riots and how the Tamils were discriminated and treated badly. In 1953, the whole world was a different place and had a different attitude. In America blacks could not go in to a restaurant or a supermarket or attend a white school, the aborigines in Australia did not have any rights. Now America has a black president, and the Aborigines have equal rights; we Tamils now have to give it a chance for change to happen in our motherland. We are hanging on to views and ideologies, which formed thirty years ago, which are not appropriate anymore. I think that, in the past 20 years we have created a doubt in the minds of the Sinhalese and the nation, making them wonder weather every other Tamil is a Tamil Tiger or not.

Prior, to 1988, before I left to Australia, I remember after a rugby game at Longden Place and a few (in my context) drinks at the club, going home in the early hours of the morning, my only fear was whether I will be stopped and breathalysed and charged for DUI. In the later years in my many trips to SL, the fear was whether I would be subject to harassment because of my Tamil name. Why do you think it is so? Is it not because of the war, the suicide bombings? All of this distrust of Tamils started after the war began. So, did we not create this for ourselves? This is not only happening to the Tamils, in fact if you send money to the US or visit the US bearing an Arabic name, you are scrutinised vigorously, which began after “9/11”. The Arabic world calls it “discrimination”.

In 1983, the news of the death of 13 soldiers sparked an organised riot, and over 2000 Tamils lost their lives and over 100,000 Tamils were displaced. The nation soon realised that it should not have let it happen, and the wider community shared the same sentiment.

In 1996 a raid on a Military camp in Mullaitivu by the Tigers, 1,500 soldiers were killed, yet there was no repeat of 1983, or for that matter since 1983 several thousands soldiers have lost their lives and we did not see a repeat of 1983.

We talk about “Genocide”, which is a very powerful and compelling word. No doubt, that many women and children have lost their lives, but one has to remember in every war, innocent people loose their lives. There is blame on both the armed forces and the Tigers.

Let’s not be the judge of that, let the appropriate organisations investigate and report the findings.

The Tamil Diaspora and number of organisations are having protest marches and their websites are relentlessly publishing calls for the IC to intervene about the mistreatment and harassment of the civilians.

However much we are angry and anxious, we must have patients and let the government, UN and the other aid organisation to embark on the huge task ahead of them to relocate, resettle and reconcile the civilian casualties.

We have been having protest marches for decades around the world. Has one head of state or a member of a parliament took a flight and gone to Sri Lanka and discussed the problem with the authorities? I do not think so. The IC will mention our plea in their speeches, or talk about it when the next election comes around.

Does the IC know the differences between Jayasinghe and Jayasingham? It is up to us reconcile and rebuild friendships.

What has happened in the past has happened; we cannot turn back the clock. The truth of what happened in the battle zones will only surface, if the victims have no fear in revealing the truth. From this point, onwards it is up to us to make sure that this is possible. We should regain the trust and the sympathy of the grater community.

We Tamils started this war his was never an option. For thirty years, we have fought a bloody war with no results. Are we going to continue this for another thirty years? No. We, have lost too much, the nation has lost too much. It is time to take a step back and think sensibly putting aside our emotions and pride.

The Tamil Diaspora and community leaders, spokespersons and organisations are calling for the Tamil community to “re-group and realise our leaders dream”, after three decades of war, is it not the time now to wake up from that dream? They say now that the Tigers are defeated that we will be systematically eradicated, as there is no one to protect us. We should stop speculating of what the future holds for the Tamils in Sri Lanka and need to get these myths out of our heads and win the trust of the nation we should responsibly publish and circulate articles and news items, or even refrain from doing so until the displaced civilians are settled. Now we need to concentrate and work closely with those who are in SL to help the refugees.

In the past, few days there are reports that, during the celebrations following the government’s victory over the Tigers, that many Tamil businesses were forced to give money towards the celebrations, and this news is from “Reliable sources”. This may be true may not be true, however when we hear such news we need to think rationally and responsibly before we spread it around, Sometimes, in times of sadness, desperation and anxiety the, truth is often exaggerated and taken out of context. We all remember, back in SL at a big match we generally have a “hat collection” to pay for our celebrations. This has been a culture. Every Christmas, New-year, Vesak or during Vel Festival, the garbage collectors, the postal workers etc go house-to-house collecting money for celebrations. It is not an unusually thing to happen. The people who have not experience this should not be alarmed and portrait such incidents as “discrimination and harassment”.

I ask those who receive this mail, to support me in achieving a united and equal Sri Lanka for all who were born there. One day I wish to return to the country of my birth and live as an equal citizen in peace and harmony.

How can you help? Tamils should reach out to the Sinhalese and speak about the grievance you have, and ask them to help you achieve security and equality. My, Sinhalese friends should reach out to a Tamil and unconditionally trust them and help them achieve security and equality. We, Tamils have to realise that this is the only nation that Sinhalese is spoken, and we should respect that, win their trust and respect in return.

Cheers,

Mohan Sekaram

Related: Let’s get together and reconcile: Two Sinhala responses

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358 Comments

  1. Hello everybody

    Mohan Sekaram has written this with his heart

    People on the same wavelength can respond accordingly

    This is simply an attempt to reach out across the divide.

    This is not a clinical analysis or pontificating thesis on ethnic relations

    As I’ve said in my intro ,Mr. Mohan Sekaram did not write this as an article for public consumption.

    As he explained to me it was a personal mail with his thoughts that he sent to a few friends.

    Thanks to the power of cyberspace it got spread around.

    Many people sent it to me for posting. I contacted Mr. Sekaram to check the bonafides and also sought his permission to post it on my blog

    I must emphasise here that it was I and not him who wanted to post it on this blog.

    I have explained it in my intro but some people are accusing him of approaching me to get it published. Please stop that and if you have any decency apologise to him

    Some also say that Mr. Sekaram sent it to me because he knew that I was of the same mindset. Now there is nothing wrong in sending something to be published if the writer knows the editor is of the same mindset. It happens all the time and it’s not something wrong as implied.

    But again the point is that Mr. Segaram did not send it. I wanted to post it.

    In this I have no hidden agenda. I do want reconciliation, inter -ethnic understanding and Sinhala – Tamil amity to be restored. So anything like this is most welcome

    But I find some Tamil hawks trying to hector Mr. Sekaram over his mail.

    They are quizzing him like a criminal and expect him to answer all their bombastic questions

    A few are trying to divert the potential here for a friendly, healthy dialogue into a confrontational harangue.

    This is not the purpose of this posting

    Please dont expect Mr. Sekaram to answer your loaded questions.

    Also he has expressed his thoughts as one who lived in Colombo and is now abroad

    Narturally he has a “colombo”perspective and his mail was directed at those of his ilk

    He cannot be expected to voice North – Eastern sentiments. (Is there a uniform viewpoint for north and east?)

    Please try and empathise with the feelings he’s expressed (if you can)

    If possible try and have a discussion focusing on how we can destroy acrimony and foster harmony

    If you cant then thats OK too

    If you want please express your disagreement in mild, friendly terms

    But please stop your bullish bullying approach

    Dont use this forum to badger him with your hard line comments

    I am writing this response as a standard one to be used for comments of a certain type.

    But I must say this

    If such comments continue they will not be accommodated

    No bullshitting.Please.

    DBSJ

  2. It’s nice to see some rational statements on both sides of the divide. the war is over, it is now time for reconciliation and rebuilding our country as Sri Lankans not Sinhala or Tamil. Bravo to Mohan Sekaram.

  3. Majority of Tamils will accept a meaningful power sharing.Will the government pave the way for that or give in to Sinhala hard liners.only time will tell

  4. Hi DBJ,
    In fact I read Mohan’s letter before it was posted on your site. I share the same sentiment. We have spent last so many decades talking of the past. Now its time for us to think how we should recocile and learn how we should learn to live together.
    Just immagine many years ago if the black community would have taken up the arms I do not think Obama would have become the President of USA.
    As mentioned not all Sinhalese are racist so as not all the Tamils are racist. Lots of issues can be settle amicably by having genuine dialog. After independece our leaders tried to get equal rights to Tamils by ahimsa mean. and subsequently last few decades was wasted by having arms strugle at the cost of very many lives of both Sinhalese and Tamils.
    One should sit back and think what was the reason for the failure of the two methods.I think basic problem is total mistrust and fear as well as established suspicion on each other in the minds of both Sinhalese and Tamils.
    NOW ITS TIME FOR RECONCILIATION. I urge the the Tamil diaspora not to create another myehm by promoting more hatred amongst Sinhala and Tamil community by some of their action.

  5. Highly appreciated !

    Let this message travel to nook and corner of the world and become the cause of solidarity among the warring minds to shape a Srilanka.

    Thanks to you Mr.Mohan Sekaram for airing these sincere thoughts of you.

    And also to you Mr. DBS for sharing this great piece .

  6. Well written Mohan,
    Ireally really appreciate your thoughts.
    Yes, as you said, It is time to take a step back and think sensibly putting aside our emotions and pride.

  7. At last a real human. Let us shed all our language, religion identities and learn to live together. Respect each other as fellow human.

    While attending a conference when I said I am a Tamil a foreign participant next to me jumped up to say “Tiger” !!

    This happened after Rajiv’s assasination in an engineering college in Jaipur. All first year students were requested to introduce themselves to the Dean. When my neighbour’s son had introduced himself as Sri Lankan Tamil, the Dean (jokingly) asked him not to come near to shake hands.

    At check-points the Tamils are always looked up with suspicion.

    Houses are not let if you are from North. This suspicion must be removed and trust must be won.

    An eye for eye will make all blind. Eelam ideology is like a doctor saying ” operation success but patient died”. We need many many more Mohan Sekarams not to look at the problems but to look at the solutions.

    God bless both Mohan Sekaram & DBS.

  8. this man makes a lot of sense. let’s hope for peace and equality in lanka. its our country after all.

  9. Thank you Mr. Sekaram for your timely and very touching article. There are many things in your article I would agree with you in a heart beat. However there are things I totally don’t agree with you hence this long post.
    There is no need to say that you resided in the south all those years you lived in Sri Lanka (I beg to differ). However, I would like to point out a few facts for your kind consideration so that when you pen your next article/letter you would be better informed, I hope.

    1. In 1996 when 1500 hundred army were killed in Mullaitivu why do you think there wasn’t a repeat of 1983? Because, the Sinhala knew very well what the repercussions would be that time. Pulenthiran has taught them a lesson that they wouldn’t have forgotten by then.

    2. Why do you think they have started harassing the Tamil people in south again now? They have harassed some young girls in Colombo recently and asked who would come for their safety now? I know you would challenge my “source” but just imagine what those thugs who burned the Jaffna library and thwart the Tamils from South in 1983 are capable of doing.

    3. Do you expect those Singhala media to report these incidents taking place in the south? Do you really believe they are “that civilized” yet? Just look at what happened in front of the Canadian embassy. What action has GOSL taken against those Sinhala thugs who were involved in that sort of uncivilized terrorism?

    4. Do you expect this “democratic” GOSL to carry out an independent investigation and come up with a results? Well, I know you are saying we are not living in the 1956 world; I agree. Then what happened to the independent investigation carried out on the “Chemmani Massacre”? Krishanthy rape & murder? M.P Raviraj Assasination? Assassination of M.P Pararajasingham? T.Maheswaran? …. and the list goes on…. Now, you get the idea?

    I am sure you know the history of our struggle and no need to repeat it here; it didn’t start with violence when Selvanayagam has protested with hunger strike. You and me know what the Sinhala’s response was.

    My friend, when you compare Rev. Martin Luther King’ s struggle in the US and Aborigines in Aussie, perhaps you could’ve included India’s struggle against British too. However, all these struggles were against “Gentlemen” who later learned their mistakes and acted in a civilized manner. Whereas the Tamils in Sri Lanka are struggling against the most ruthless, inhumane and uncivilized totalitarian regime.

    Keep dreaming and Sinhala will treat you with equality.
    My dear fellow Thamizha, there is no shortage for fantasy in this world. I would like to end my post with a quote from one of the most beloved president, Hon. Bill Clinton:
    “Democracy is not about majority rule, but about minority rights”.

    I am not surprised at all why you chose DBSJ to publish your writing because you know that your thoughts are well in line with his.

    Mr. DBSJ: I really hope you would post my comment without any editing.
    Thank you!

    ===================

    DBSJ RESPONDS:
    Hello everybody

    Mohan Sekaram has written this with his heart

    People on the same wavelength can respond accordingly

    This is simply an attempt to reach out across the divide.

    This is not a clinical analysis or pontificating thesis on ethnic relations

    As I’ve said in my intro ,Mr. Mohan Sekaram did not write this as an article for public consumption.

    As he explained to me it was a personal mail with his thoughts that he sent to a few friends.

    Thanks to the power of cyberspace it got spread around.

    Many people sent it to me for posting. I contacted Mr. Sekaram to check the bonafides and also sought his permission to post it on my blog

    I must emphasise here that it was I and not him who wanted to post it on this blog.

    I have explained it in my intro but some people are accusing him of approaching me to get it published. Please stop that and if you have any decency apologise to him

    Some also say that Mr. Sekaram sent it to me because he knew that I was of the same mindset. Now there is nothing wrong in sending something to be published if the writer knows the editor is of the same mindset. It happens all the time and it’s not something wrong as implied.

    But again the point is that Mr. Segaram did not send it. I wanted to post it.

    In this I have no hidden agenda. I do want reconciliation, inter -ethnic understanding and Sinhala – Tamil amity to be restored. So anything like this is most welcome

    But I find some Tamil hawks trying to hector Mr. Sekaram over his mail.

    They are quizzing him like a criminal and expect him to answer all their bombastic questions

    A few are trying to divert the potential here for a friendly, healthy dialogue into a confrontational harangue.

    This is not the purpose of this posting

    Please dont expect Mr. Sekaram to answer your loaded questions.

    Also he has expressed his thoughts as one who lived in Colombo and is now abroad

    Narturally he has a “colombo”perspective and his mail was directed at those of his ilk

    He cannot be expected to voice North – Eastern sentiments. (Is there a uniform viewpoint for north and east?)

    Please try and empathise with the feelings he’s expressed (if you can)

    If possible try and have a discussion focusing on how we can destroy acrimony and foster harmony

    If you cant then thats OK too

    If you want please express your disagreement in mild, friendly terms

    But please stop your bullish bullying approach

    Dont use this forum to badger him with your hard line comments

    I am writing this response as a standard one to be used for comments of a certain type.

    But I must say this

    If such comments continue they will not be accommodated

    No bullshitting.Please.

  10. very informative article…hats off to Mohan Sekaram …We must reconcile and both sides come together without force but by heart and love

  11. There is a time for everything. I believe given the length of this struggle and the effect it has had on many people two things are for certain a) The shock and thus grieving process of the tamils will take atleast a year to subside. b) The gloating of the SL state machinery and the majority in SL will also continue for sometime. But will be less than that of the Tamil’s grieving.

    Urging people to not grieve or tone down the celebratory mood will not help.

    With time this too will work itself out.

  12. Dear Mohan, what you have written is like a beacon of hope, THNAK YOU. I hope that most others would see what you are ‘saying’. But, I am skeptical, the ‘divide’ is way too deep and sharp. However, what we can do is trying, and keep trying. The position you are calling for is a very difficult one to occupy right now, for most it’s easy to be on one side and blame the other. The position you are calling for demands a heavy dose of responsibility and ‘self-surgery’. I really do hope that you would NOT be misread and called a traitor, as it happens always when one tries to be critical without being partisan. THANK YOU again.

  13. I am not opposing to give the SL government and the Singhalese people to give a chance to see if they have changed in the last 30 years. But I highly doubt that from how the SL government verged the war and killed all the innocent Tamil people.

  14. // I think that, in the past 20 years we have created a doubt in the minds of the Sinhalese and the nation, making them wonder weather every other Tamil is a Tamil Tiger or not.//

    Within these long 30 years, primitive mind set of LTTE has successfully infiltrated their narrow nationalistic ideology in to the tender ages living away from the conflict area.

    So it was LTTE agenda to make every Tamil a tiger ( a money giving sympathizer in the name of eelam ) and it was partially successful.

    LTTE was incapable of moving further step from their militarily occupied position.

    So the actual Eelam project was either dumped or vanished from the core of LTTE mind but was kept alive in overseas to exhort money in that name.

    The Eelam was realized in air conditioned bunkers.

    While, Gun and propaganda – with these two machines the outit converted inland young tamils as fighters and overseas tamil’s money for guns in their kith & kins hands.

    The core LTTE protectively lived along sabotaging any chances to disturb this status quo.

    That barbaric terror OUTFIT was not FIT for tamils so OUT now. REMOVE THAT SYMBOL ALSO.

    I sincerely hope all propaganda victims will do individual soul searching to find out what they want for peaceful co existence in every part of the world .

  15. Although I do agree that now Tamils have to think of other means than a military one to secure their rights. I disagree with some statements this writer had made.

    Ill list them in the order they appear in the letter

    ^^ that’s rubbish. We Tamils were no more and no less ‘secretive’ or ‘unpredictable/uncompromising’ (I wonder what the writer means by ‘unpredictable’ ) than any other community in this island. And i really hope the writer does not mean our firm stand on equal rights for our language/fundamental rights as ‘uncompromising’.

    ^^ that is akin to comparing apples to oranges. I do not remember the blacks being repeatedly on the receiving end of government sponsored pogroms. In fact there were no pogroms against them.

    ^^ this claim would have been amusing if not for how seriously offensive and insulting it is. The Write claims that the mistrust against Tamils began AFTER the tiger’s came to be. This is absurd and totally wrong as the mistrust against Tamils started right after independence, so did the discrimination. It seems that the writer is totally unaware of the issue he is writing about. Tamils were distrusted only after the Tiger’s came to be? My foot.

    Uhmnn..you mean the same government that killed 20 000 civilians in the past few months in its ‘humanitarian’ mission? Yeah’ right.

    ^^ ah the money collected for the ‘victory’ celebration was similar to the Hat collection huh? . well guess what; I am a Royalist, my dad was a Royalist, and my granddad was a Royalist too. And yes we went on hat collection. Yet everyone who gave us money, (even the girls in Ladies college who used to give generously whenever we jump the wall and go inside for hat collection) gave it willingly. No one was forcing them. Those who did not give feared no retaliation. This is certainly not the case in these victory celebrations. Those who do not give are called ‘traitors’ and ‘terrorists’. Those who do not fly the ‘national flag’ are branded terrorists too.

    The writer seems to be living in La La land, totally removed from the ground reality.

    This letter is insulting and offensive’in addition to being factually incorrect.’I really hope that it comes off as such only because of his ignorance and not because of some ulterior motive’

  16. Although I do agree that now Tamils have to think of other means than a military one to secure their rights. I disagree with some statements this writer had made.

    Ill list them in the order they appear in the letter

    For decades, we have been secretive, unpredictable and uncompromising.””

    ^^ that’s rubbish. We Tamils were no more and no less “secretive” or “unpredictable/uncompromising” (I wonder what the writer means by “unpredictable” ) than any other community in this island. And i really hope the writer does not mean our firm stand on equal rights for our language/fundamental rights as “uncompromising”.

    ““In America blacks could not go in to a restaurant or a supermarket or attend a white school,”

    ^^ that is akin to comparing apples to oranges. I do not remember the blacks being repeatedly on the receiving end of government sponsored pogroms. In fact there were no pogroms against them.

    ““Why do you think it is so? Is it not because of the war, the suicide bombings? All of this distrust of Tamils started after the war began. So, did we not create this for ourselves? “

    ^^ this claim would have been amusing if not for how seriously offensive and insulting it is. The Write claims that the mistrust against Tamils began AFTER the tiger’s came to be. This is absurd and totally wrong as the mistrust against Tamils started right after independence, so did the discrimination. It seems that the writer is totally unaware of the issue he is writing about. Tamils were distrusted only after the Tiger’s came to be? My foot.

    ““However much we are angry and anxious, we must have patients and let the government, UN and the other aid organisation to embark on the huge task ahead of them to relocate, resettle and reconcile the civilian casualties.”

    Uhmnn..you mean the same government that killed 20 000 civilians in the past few months in its “humanitarian” mission? Yeah…right.

    ““We all remember, back in SL at a big match we generally have a “hat collection” to pay for our celebrations. This has been a culture. Every Christmas, New-year, Vesak or during Vel Festival, the garbage collectors, the postal workers etc go house-to-house collecting money for celebrations. It is not an unusually thing to happen. The people who have not experience this should not be alarmed and portrait such incidents as “discrimination and harassment”.”

    ^^ ah…the money collected for the “victory” celebration was similar to the Hat collection huh? . well guess what; I am a Royalist, my dad was a Royalist, and my granddad was a Royalist too. And yes we went on hat collection. Yet everyone who gave us money, (even the girls in Ladies College who used to give generously whenever we jump the wall and go inside for hat collection) gave it willingly. No one was forcing them. Those who did not give feared no retaliation. This is certainly not the case in these victory celebrations. Those who do not give are called “traitors” and “terrorists”. Those who do not fly the “national flag” are branded terrorists too.

    The writer seems to be living in La La land, totally removed from the ground reality.

    This letter is insulting and offensive…in addition to being factually incorrect.…I really hope that it comes off as such only because of his ignorance and not because of some ulterior motive…

    Mohan really ought to educate himself a lil bit more on matters he wishes to talk about…otherwise he would only showcase his ignorance…..like comparing the blacks to the plight of Tamils.

  17. I wish this message from Mr.Mohan Sekaram opens the eyes wide
    of blind, partially opened and claim to be fully opened.

    It is so good for reading as many times.

    I wish all his dream become true. Because all his dreams are ours.

  18. I know this chap Mohan from school, though I haven’t spoken to him in decades…a jolly fellow, he is. And a Rugby ‘colorsman’ to boot. The only problem with his approach is that while he asks people to forget what happened in the last 30 years, he still recalls the beginning of the latest phase of the war for which he goes back to 1983, and then says Tamils should reach out because the Tigers started it. Yes, he also says Sinhalese should reach out to Tamils, but he hasn’t been as emphatic as he has been in urging the Tamils to reach out, possibly because he sees the Tamils as his own, while asking a Sinhalese to do so might seem like a challenge. Also, this was a regular e-mail to his friends, and I perfectly understand why he needn’t have thought of all possible angles.

    Why is it important to ask the Sinhalese to reach out first? Well, the reason is that it is always the majority’s responsibility to make the minority feel that their lives are not threatened simply due to being a minority. But, with the introduction of Sinhala Only legislation and several riots in the past many decades, the Sri Lankan Govt has made it impossible for a Tamil person to feel safe (even if we count only up to 1983). What happened since 1983 can obviously be blamed on both communities, and I have no argument to defend one or the other, but if you take the whole problem in context, we need a situation where the SL Govt officially recognizes the mistakes it has made (no matter who was president or prime minister), and shows it is serious about extending a friendly hand. At least to address the latter component, the current Prez spoke a few words in Tamil at a public meeting – may be just symbolism, but at least it is a start.

    I do agree however that the Tamils should welcome warmly the hand of friendship. For the Tamils to extend their hand to the Sinhalese at this juncture will be seen by quite a few Sinhalese today as losers trying to make ammends – I have proof of this happening already, so this is certainly not my imagination. It is not a question of pride, but a question of getting the correct start. If the reset button has been hit, let the majority show their willingness to consider the minority as part of its citizenry by extending their hand in friendship.

    And Tamils should give peace a chance, to paraphrase the Beatles. Tamils don’t have a choice now – with such a massive loss, regrouping and re-arming is a lot more expensive and a lot riskier than a simple attempt at letting a new ‘equal recognition’ process work. Give it a chance – if it fails, Tamils will have even more reason to fight for ‘freedom’, but I believe this time around, the SL Govt will try its best to make it work – it too has no choice, unless it is foolish enough to let a golden chance slip away.

    How to get the extremists (the psychologically extreme, not the armed ones) to pull to the center? Well, that’s for another day’s topic.

    Hoping for peace,

    Cheers!

  19. Btw, on the topic of reconciliation.

    Reconciliation happens when people become aware of and accept the things that happened in the first place…especially the issues and events that caused the separation in the first place.

    Reconciliation would never happen if one side beats the other senseless and then says “ok lets reconcile’. There can be no true reconciliation when one sides gets away scot free while the other is thoroughly punished. The tigers were but a result of 30 years of discrimination and state sponsored pogroms. Yes they did despicable things, no one denies that. But the Sinhalese who talk about “reconciliation” generally tend to “demonize” the tigers while venerating the “liberation forces”.

    The so called “liberation forces” and their political head-honchos were the ones who created this problem in the first place. And later on, when the tigers came to be, they used it to continue in the same vein. Now, with the tigers defeated; they want to talk about “reconciliation”. How can there be “reconciliation” when only one side gets punished while the other does not? Who is going to try to soldiers/ generals and politicians for their gross human rights abuses and massacres?

    I believe that the Sinhalese are intelligent enough to see this. There can’t be any “reconciliation” unless the guilty parties on BOTH sides get punished. Right now only the tigers are punished. Most are just simply willing to brush this under the carpet and say “lets live together from now on”…how can one do that when those who started this whole issue in the first place remain free? So yeah…Sinhalese people, if you are “really” interested in reconciliation and in winning the hearts and minds of the Tamils; do throw out your dirty laundry. Otherwise there would never be any reconciliation…it would only be subjugation of the Tamils by the very same people who started this issue….leaving the problems festering.

  20. At the moment we must opt for TINA policy.There is no alternative that is.Whether TNA would allow others to do this is, a big question mark.This is a very hard road to travel,but travel we must.By definition this has to be an inclusive process.Thank you DBSJ for sharing this view.

  21. Mohan,
    I honour the sincerity of your appeal and have no doubt that you have the best intention.

    Unfortunately, however, reconciliation between two groups with such a remarkable history of violence between them, cannot be achieved by a simple appeal for friendship. I really do wish it was that easy. In order for people to get to a point where they can accept the ‘other’, they need first to have been steeped in an ideology of multiculturalism and equal rights.

    In order to do this, there must first be a constitution that declares equal rights as a national law and give it the power of enforcement. Tamils and Sinhalese need to practice the legal observation of equal rights in the daily life of the country before they can see and accept each other as equals with equal rights to the land.

    Also, the education system of the country and the media must saturate the nation with this ideology of equal rights and the ethics of multiculturalism.

    You ask for a reconciliation between Sinhalese and Tamil, yet that is coming out of your sense of the inferiority of Tamil claim to equal rights in Sri Lanka. You say that Tamils must accept that Sri Lanka is the only nation in the world that speaks Sinhalese. You are forgetting that Sri Lanka is also the only nation in the world that speaks Sri Lankan Tamil (just as Quebecois French is spoken only in Canada). Sri Lanka is the home of the Tamil people who have lived there as equally as it is the home of the Sinhalese–never mind if they are a minority there. They have lived there for centuries.

    In calling for a reconciliation, you ask the Tamils to acknowledge how Tamils and the Tigers caused the war and depleted the country. Yes, they played an important role in it. But who will acknowledge the violent Sinhala nationalism that caused the emergence of the Tigers and led to the demand for separatism? Who will acknowledge that there were a thousand Tamil lives taken for every Sinhalese life lost?

    Yes, after 1983, there were no massacres of Tamils by Sinhalese. But that was not due to changing times and a drop in Sinhalese nationalism. It was due to fear of the Tigers, plain and simple.

    From what I can see, your idea of Sinhalese-Tamil reconciliation is that the Tamils must hang their heads in shame and accept that they don’t deserve equal rights.

    For true reconciliation to happen, equal rights is non-negotiable. This ideology is not something that comes from the past–it is the very latest idea, that of an authentic multiculturalism that has emerged from progressive cultural and political studies from the late 1980s, as a response to globalisation. Due to these new ideas of the nation, Britain, America and Australia are no longer allowed to consider themselves as “white” nations. It was in 2008, not the 1950s or even 1980s, that white Americans could see a Black man as their president, even if Blacks are a minority in the country. Yet you seem to think that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala nation. Your ideology goes back to the past, to the idea that a nation has a fixed ethnic or racial identity based on its majority.

    The world has changed. Citizenship, not majority race or language or ethnicity, ultimately determines the character of a nation. If Sri Lanka has non-Sinhalese communities, then it is not a Sinhalese nation.

    I don’t believe in the Tigers or in war, but in diplomacy and the law. To advocate that Sri Lankan Tamils must drop their pride now would be fatal. They must have sufficient pride to insist on equal rights in the law.

    Yes, we should help the displaced Tamils in the camps and also help them to return to their homes. But we should not ignore the possibility that the Sri Lankan government may have carried out genocide and may still be engaged in this. An independent inquiry must be done on this. Only when we have the truth (whatever it may be) can reconciliation proceed. Remember South Africa? It was only when the whites confessed to their activities that the Blacks were in a position to forgive them.

    If Tamils find through the inquiry that there was no genocide on the part of the Sri Lankan government, then they will be in a position to truly trust and reconcile with the Sinhalese.

    Such an inquiry will also inevitably reveal that there were Sinhalese who also fought to the death for justice for Tamils and helped them during the war. This too will help reconciliation between the communities.

    If Tamils don’t insist on truth before reconciliation (by peaceful means), as an absolute condition for reconciliation, then they can kiss goodbye to ever enjoying equality in Sri Lanka. At the very most, they will be ‘tolerated’ by the Sinhalese. They won’t have Sinhalese respect.

    Tamils worldwide have a responsibility to pursue the truth. Thousands of Tamils have died in the war. That is an undisputed fact. Most of them were terribly poor and unable to flee the country’s violence. They did not die fighting for equality–they were struggling to survive, to live. The diaspora, who escaped this end and escaped to comfortable lives abroad, must stand up for these poor Tamils in their death. It will be our way of saying that these dead Tamils were human beings too, that their lives were precious too–just like ours. We can’t forget them.

    Also, those Tamils who managed to survive the war deserve not just our humanitarian aid, but our efforts to make sure they have a viable future within Sri Lanka.

    Tamils in the diaspora cannot now do only what is convenient for them. Mohan, you say you want to go back to Sri Lanka one day and live as an equal among Sinhalese. Your desire is not an important issue here. You left the country. Let us think about the needs of the Tamils left behind. For that we need to invoke and address the law.

  22. To compare the tamils in Sri Lanka to the Aboriginal People of Australia and the blacks of America before civil rights, is ridiculous ! Yes there has been some harrasment by the police through the last 30 years but any rational Sri Lankan will tell you that the Police is a disgrace to the uniform they wear.

    I like the rest of the article but I don’t think the time for “reconciliation” has come only because the LTTE has been supposedly distroyed.

    Let’s dismiss this period from our minds and go back to the way we were…no man was judged by his ethnicity but by his behaviour and characteristics. After all that is what the Lord Buddha preached !

  23. Hi DBS and Mohan,

    I have already written a paper titled “The new Tamil reality”. I sent it to DBS yesterday. My views are pretty clear. Unless the two races reconcile they are doomed forever. There are no winners in conflict and only losers.

    Unfortunately I am not sure we have leaders on either side of the spectrum who are capable of doing it. Furthermore the expatriate population on both sides are polarised. This is causing even bigger grief.

    Regards

    Ajith

  24. It is refreshing to know that the silent majority of Tamil Diaspora is becoming vocal and sensible proposition such as this is circulating among them. However, the Tamil TV stations and websites continue to broadcast the images during the exodus by displaced people from the LTTE controlled area, death & destruction during the earlier air raids and so on – continue sow the hatred in the hearts of Tamils against Sinhalese people and the Government. Talk shows, panel discussions and dramas continue to portray that coexistence with Sinhalese in the island is an impossible proposition.
    Suspicions and mistrust between Tamil and Sinhalese are so much deep rooted that it will take generations to heal provided that they are not inflamed by the politicians on both sides. There are two major elements that will hamper the reintegration of these two communities:
    1. Superiority of Tamils, especially Jaffna Tamils that they are a distinct race in this island, that has an undisputable rights to rule themselves and it is not negotiable to allow integration of other races in their traditional homeland.
    2. Nationalist attitude of Sinhalese who will create all forms of safeguards against other races to dominate in the areas of governance, religion and language.
    Even though Mohan suggests that the above noted feelings are of 1953 mindset it is very mush alive in the minds of current intellectuals from both communities. The best that could be achieved is that both north and south of the country to be economically developed and integrated with the world economy and to minimize the political interference between the two so that racial sentiments are kept under control.
    In the modern world order colonization and invasion are not confined to keep the land under occupation but to make it economically dependent and conversion of culture. Post LTTE Sri Lanka will see more of this from both India and the western nations.

  25. Mohan’s writing is very sensible because he now understands that all communities have aspirations & fears. Al these moderate opinions are surfacing a bit late in the day but better late than never (DBS is the only such tamil civilian voice i can remember). If this thinking was given prominence earlier over revenge the tamils could have held their heads high today instead of living in sadness.

    Tamils should give the GOSL another chance to reconcile with them before blowing things out of proportion & plotting with the west again. they must understand that there are tens of other communities living here as was highlighted at the independence day celebrations at the BMICH. this includes west african & portugese descendants who speak their own languages.

    all of these communities must feel free & at home in sri lanka. the biggest aspiration that all communities & individuals have today is to get out of poverty. povery breeds hatred & racial hatred is a good outlet to vent the fury of the deprived.

    But the LTTE plan to bomb sri lanka into poverty using the race vehicle & get seperation will never work. in fact the exact opposite has happened as is evident. just compare wellawatte & the living standards of its inhabitants to killinochi & its inhabitants today.

    therefore the rich tamil community leaders who live in luxury abroad & in colombo have an obligation to invest & contribute to the north east instead of planning to destroy the whole country.

  26. The best characterization I can give of Mr. Sekaran is that of a hopeless idealist. I am not saying that because he suggests reconciliation is the right path. I am saying that because the ground situation speaks volumes about why Tamils have no reason to trust the Sinhalese Government at this juncture.

    I would ask Mr. Sekaran, did Mahinda Rajapakse admit to a single Tamil civilian casualty during his victory speech?

    I would ask Mr. Sekaran, did Mahinda Rajapakse visit a single IDP camp and personally meet with a single IDP?

    I would ask Mr. Sekaran, is a political solution remotely possible given the racist nature of comments made by SLFP allies, for example Champika Ranawake, and the failure to admonish them on the part of the President? Please Mr. Sekaran, tell us how long an Australian Parliamentarian would last if he said that the country belonged to white Australians.

    I would ask Mr. Sekaran, that at the present juncture, is colonization of traditional Tamil lands not going on or going on in the East at a frenetic pace?

    I would ask Mr. Sekaran, did Mahinda Rajapakse not recently appoint a 19-man reconstruction committee for the North, comprised of 100% Sinhala-Buddhists?

    I would ask Mr. Sekaran, is there any justification to keep 250,000 Tamils in detention camps, when the Government claims the LTTE will not and cannot ever rise again? Does this not imply some form of collective punishment upon Tamils? As for the so-called landmine excuse, those who are doing the mining say mines are not a threat… 70% of the land is in fact safe.

    I would ask Mr. Sekaran, why did Mano Ganeshan claim that 1500 Tamil youth were taken from IDP camps and sent to secret detention centers all around the country?

    I would ask Mr. Sekaran, is any Tamil person on the island free to move about the island at their discretion without being harassed? The citizens of Nazi-occupied countries, such as in France and Poland, had more freedom of mobility than do the Tamils now.

    Please Mr. Sekaran, answer these questions before trying to whitewash 60 years of Sinhala-Buddhist fundamentalism. Mr. Sekaran and I both know that in the West, the majority goes out of its way to accommodate the minorities… I suggest Mr. Sekaran keep that basic principle in mind before sending out any more e-mails that are totally out of touch with reality.

    ===============

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Hello everybody

    Mohan Sekaram has written this with his heart

    People on the same wavelength can respond accordingly

    This is simply an attempt to reach out across the divide.

    This is not a clinical analysis or pontificating thesis on ethnic relations

    As I’ve said in my intro ,Mr. Mohan Sekaram did not write this as an article for public consumption.

    As he explained to me it was a personal mail with his thoughts that he sent to a few friends.

    Thanks to the power of cyberspace it got spread around.

    Many people sent it to me for posting. I contacted Mr. Sekaram to check the bonafides and also sought his permission to post it on my blog

    I must emphasise here that it was I and not him who wanted to post it on this blog.

    I have explained it in my intro but some people are accusing him of approaching me to get it published. Please stop that and if you have any decency apologise to him

    Some also say that Mr. Sekaram sent it to me because he knew that I was of the same mindset. Now there is nothing wrong in sending something to be published if the writer knows the editor is of the same mindset. It happens all the time and it’s not something wrong as implied.

    But again the point is that Mr. Segaram did not send it. I wanted to post it.

    In this I have no hidden agenda. I do want reconciliation, inter -ethnic understanding and Sinhala – Tamil amity to be restored. So anything like this is most welcome

    But I find some Tamil hawks trying to hector Mr. Sekaram over his mail.

    They are quizzing him like a criminal and expect him to answer all their bombastic questions

    A few are trying to divert the potential here for a friendly, healthy dialogue into a confrontational harangue.

    This is not the purpose of this posting

    Please dont expect Mr. Sekaram to answer your loaded questions.

    Also he has expressed his thoughts as one who lived in Colombo and is now abroad

    Narturally he has a “colombo”perspective and his mail was directed at those of his ilk

    He cannot be expected to voice North – Eastern sentiments. (Is there a uniform viewpoint for north and east?)

    Please try and empathise with the feelings he’s expressed (if you can)

    If possible try and have a discussion focusing on how we can destroy acrimony and foster harmony

    If you cant then thats OK too

    If you want please express your disagreement in mild, friendly terms

    But please stop your bullish bullying approach

    Dont use this forum to badger him with your hard line comments

    I am writing this response as a standard one to be used for comments of a certain type.

    But I must say this

    If such comments continue they will not be accommodated

    No bullshitting.Please.

  27. Great letter. Excellent point about 83 not repeating itself — that is proof that the rioting (also the 58 and 77 ones) was organized by those in power. JR’s assertion that the 83 riots were a spontaneous Sinhala reaction to the murder of 13 soldiers was an insult to Sinhala masses. His thugs organized it, and those of us who were at the receiving end of it know it. Spontaneous Sinhala reaction was to protect their Tamil friends, risking their own lives. When the equivalent thing took place in Jaffna, i.e. the Tigers chasing out the Muslims, the Tamil population there couldn’t lift a finger in support of those poor people. At first, Tigers here in Oslo flatly denied anything like that happened; When more data was produced they just said “they deserved it”.

    Mohan’s point about waking up from these dream and looking to the future is brilliant.

    All these years Tamil politics has been one of an oppari politics (‘oppari’ is the way you cry at a funeral), amplifying real and perceived problems to the point that at every stage we made our position worse that it was before. If one critically looks at the list of grievances we quote, underlying them there is just one that was really problematic: that of parliamentary representation. Deliberate colonizations of areas that returned Tamils to parliament meant that these representations were slowly being eroded. But we have to recognize that the electoral system is now different (well, the whole world is different, to start with) — it is a much fairer proportional system in which the major political parties NEED the minorities. Tamils of recent Indian origin and Muslims in SL have far higher political power through the system than the Jaffna Tamils who opted to play the separatist card. There is a lot to catchup. There is a guy with my name (no relation) in parliament who does a fantastic job – he wouldn’t be there if not for the PR system (ditto Maheswaran who was murdered). These two guys did a far better job of representing the Tamils in parliament than the separatists holding on to the tail of the Tigers. So, there is fantastic space to “wake up from the dream”, as Mohan says, and work towards a better politics — not based on ethnicity or on the idea of who settled in which parts of the island first, but on the development of the whole of the country. Lets read what Amartya Sen and Kumari Jaywardena have written about post-independence achievements of Sri Lanka in some areas like education, infant mortality rates etc, achievements to which Tamils and Sinhalese alike made good contributions, and build on them. Lets recognize the areas we failed in, and work on them — we didn’t manage to build a single yard of railway line since the British left, no?

    As a first step in waking up from the dream, lets call on all parties with the word Eelam in their name to delete it (telo, eprlf, epdp etc), and tell them to take out membership of the major political parties of the country.

  28. Mohan,
    That was brilliant and touching.

    Though I am a Indian Tamil living in Tamilnadu,I can perfectly understand what you mean to say.Afterall we still look at our Muslim brother’s and sister’s with a lot of suspicion – a few handful mindless people have created this situation for them.

    DBS,
    Thanks for providing space on your web to host this letter.

    Unfortunately, a few will equate the non-occurance of Black July to the presence of the Tiger’s.

    As long as such people remain it will be very hard for harmony to prevail.

    But at this crucial juncture,I would love to know what those innocent people herded inside those camps think about their more illustrious diaspora brother’s who claim to represent them and are raising their voices for them.

    I believe soulfully that the people lodged in those camps would want the diaspora to mind their business and keep quiet so that these people can return to normalcy.

    Afterall it wasnt it the money that poured from the diaspora which led to the present situation of these people?

  29. These comment are genuine and heartfelt. They reflect the feelings of most Colombo Tamils (that I know). But the take of northern Tamils and eastern Tamils (at least those that I know) are completely different. Their fears and apprehension are completely different. This email does not address their dreams.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    As I’ve said in my intro ,Mr. Sekaram did not write this as an article for public consumption.

    As he explained to me it was a personal mail with his thoughts that he sent to a few friends.

    Thanks to the power of cyberspace it got spread around.

    Many people sent it to me for posting. I contacted Mr. Sekaram to check the bonafides and also sought his permission to post it on my blog

    I must emphasise here that it was I and not him who wanted to post it on this blog.

    I have explained it in my intro but some people are accusing him of approaching me to get it published. Please stop that and if you have any decency aplogise to him

    Some also say that Mr. Sekaram sent it to me because he knew that I was of the same mindset. Now there is nothing wrong in sending something to be published if the writer knows the editor is of the same mindset. It haqppens all the time and it’s not something wrong as implied.

    But again the point is that Mr. Segaran did not send it. I wanted to post it.

    In this I have no hidden agenda. I do want reconciliation, inter -ethnic understanding and Sinhala – Tamil amity to be restored. So anythin like this is most welcome

    But I find some Tamil hawks trying to hector Mr. Sekaram over his mail.

    They are quizzing him like a criminal and expect him to answer all their bombastic questions

    A few are trying to divert the potential here for a friendly, healthy dialogue into a confrontational harangue.

    This is not the purpose of this posting

    Please dont expect Mr. Sekaram to answer your loaded questions.

    Also he has expressed his thoughts as one who lived in Colombo and is now abroad

    Narturally he has a “colombo”perspective and his mail was directed at those of his ilk

    He cannot be expected to voice North – Eastern sentiments. Is there a uniform viewpoint for north and east?)

    Please try and empathise with the feelings he’s expressed (if you can)

    If possible try and have a discussion focusing on how we can destroy acrimony and foster harmony

    If you cant then thats OK too

    If you want please express your disagreement in mild, friendly terms

    But please stop your bullish bullying approach

    But dont use this forum to badger him with your hard line comments

    I am writing this response as a standard one to be used for comments of a certain type.

    But I must say this

    If such comments continue they will not be accommodated

    No bullshitting.

  30. I totally agree with the message. At least for the sake of future generations. As a Tamil, I understand the sadness and despair felt by most of the Tamils around the world. But enough is enough! For Tamils of Srilanka, there is no option but to deal with the majority. Let me very clear, there is no one to help us, neither Tamilnadu nor U.K. The dinky island of Srilanka is nobody ‘strategic interest’. We are not Kosovo, we are similar to Dafur, every western country talks about us, but will not take any substantial action.

    Many opportunities for peace were lost in the past, let us be pragmatic this time. Look at EU, countries with different rich cultures coming together have common system of regulations, but also have mutual respect for identity and language. Diaspora has to slow down, stop the divisive rhetoric! It is not your kid’s future that is at steak. Give peace and future a chance.

    Having said, I must disagree with Mohan about having patients with situation in the camps. Well UN is not there! These people are suffering each and every day. Why can’t the state treat these people as humans and allow UN aid to flow?

  31. Mr. Jeyaraj, thank you so much for publishing this letter. I’m so happy to see that Tamils do understand that all the sinhalese are not racists.

    so many bad things happened during the past 30 years. Both Sinhalese and Tamil civilians suffered, directly or indirectly. This may be the last opportunity we have got to put an end to this suffering. True that we have to seek justice for all those civilians who died, not last few months, but past 30 years. but if we keep on focussing on that we will go blind to the opportunities at our hand.

    Dear Tamil friends, let’s join hands and beat racism.
    It’s time all of us got together and bui

  32. Hi DBS,

    Thanks for publishing. The need of the hour is to have more people like Mohan S sharing this knid of view point – collectively our love for each other between the two communities is greater thean the deviding power of a minority with chauvinistic feelings and attitudes.

    Lastly, I know who Mohan is in Sydeny. So this is the real thing – not a “Shexmus Amed”… he he

    How come you never met Shexmus Amed in Sydney?heh,heh,heh………..DBSJ

  33. Good sentiment.
    If most people think this way, the future will be good.
    The problem will be if any significant portion of either side doesn’t think this way. . . .
    I’m pessimistic (and cert. don’t invest my $$ in Sri Lanka), but I hope for the best (and a day when I will feel comfortable investing there–but–you know what they say–“fool me once,” . . .) So, I guess that in reality I agree with Sekaram politically, but I need more evidence of decreased Sinhala chauvinism before I put in m $$ there as a bet to make profits. (I am a bad Tamil expatriate to some, b/c I am not now trying to help my people–I am trying to make $$ for myself–well–suffice it to say that I have had too many “encounters” with the LTTE (especially when I was in Toronto–thanks be to Murugan that I got to USA) to respond to anyone claiming to represent the “Tamils” with anything other than a gun (luckily, I live in USA, so I have guns!!)).

  34. This is a timely article. I personally share Mohan’s views and thank DBS for publishing it.

  35. Thanks Mohan!

    I was delighted to read such a positive article from a member of Tamil Diaspora, whom I think is the sole hurdle between the reconciliation of native Sinhala & Tamil communities of Sri lanka.

    There have been a flood activities and statements driven by racial hatred and animorsity towards Sinhalese committed by the Tamil diaspora in the recent weeks. As a Sinhalese I thought the best thing to do is to allow the time to heal the fires burning in their hearts which is understandable. Hope they will soon realize that they have a better future forward in a united country along with Sinhalese, Muslims & Upcountry Tamils, with whom they have more similarities than differences.
    I am confident that there will be a day when all people in Sri Lanka are proud to be called Sri lankan. I know that because I have had so many Tamil friends from Jaffna with whom I have learnt at school & university and worked with later in my carrier. We always get along with each other very well to the extent that I was convinced that the war we HAD (what a relief to put it to past tense) was not a war of ordinary Sinhalese or Tamils, but someone elses.
    As a Sinhalese living in the south I assure any Tamil outside SL that 99% Sinhalese are not racist and they are looking towards a common future with Tamils.
    In my 28 years of life I had great hopes of a peaceful future twice. That is when peace talks began by Ranil and now after LTTE was militarily defeated by LTTE.
    In the previous occasion LTTE disgustingly humiliated all of us who had faith in peace talks by killing intelligence officers and EPDP members. Now I hope that this time it will not be lost due to the arrogant animorsity of Tamil diaspora. (TD)
    If TD is not willing to participate in the Nothern reconstruction programme, the biggest help they can do to SL tamils is to forget them, so that we can lookafter them. (as it is happening now)
    If KP releases all those billions of dollars of LTTE assets to the development of Tamils in North, the lives of these IDPs will be transformed to the standards of developed nations.
    But I do not think that will happen as TD is arrogant, racist and brutal that they have no compassion towards their own people. Their only goal in life seem to be to destroy Sinhalese whom they imagine as devils. (thanks to utterly wrong news articles they publish in their own media) But in reality it is these devils who protect/ feed Tamils in the entire island.
    I have always being amused by the way these TD guys go on Mahawansha bashing. I have never read it and do not think it has anything to do with war. If anyone doubt our history, what they should do is to visit our ancient cities of Anuradhapura & polonnaruwa and see hard evidence.
    For your information I would say that present day Sinhalese are not worried about their past but looking towards a future where our youth will be well educated in IT & other technologies so that they can find employment in SL or abroad. Present day Buddhists are not worried whether this is the promised land or not but whether we are following true teachings of the Buddha. I have several friends who left their engineering careers and entered priest hood at jungle monasteries where they dedicate their lives for meditation in search of truth. They never harm any living thing even in thought. There is a revival of True Buddhism in SL which is good for everybody. I feel disgusted to see how TD find pleasure in demonizing buddhist monks.
    At the end of the day we Sri Lankans are resolved a beautiful/united/just/democratic nation where all of us can live happily. I am sure that is the dream of all Tamils living in SL. It would be easier to achieve this goal if TD helps us. But even if they tried to derail that process, we are determined to achieve that. Power of our determination was proven when we defeated LTTE while TD was burning themselves in protest!
    So it is the TD to decide whether to continue burning themselves in the fire of hatred and waste their money or to help their kith and kin build a peaceful, prosperous and liberal society in that beautiful Serendib island in the Indian ocean!

  36. Thanks Jeyaraj for publishing this article. I believe this should be the spirit of all Lankans.

    This is the plea that our President has made towards all Citizens of Sri Lanka. He said in his Speech that there is no more 5 Ethnic groups (Singhalese, Tamil, Muslims, Burgers and Moors) in Sri Lanka but only 02 – those who love this Nation and those who don’t.

    Today, as Sri Lankans living in Sri Lanka, there truly is freedom and rights for all peoples, Singhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burgers. If at all there were discrimination’s then all of us ethnic groups suffered together.

    I know for sure and do have proof that the Mahinda Rajapakshe govt. has done more for our Tamil Brethren outside the southern areas than he has for any other Ethnic group.

    The Tamil Estate workers in most parts of the Country were given 7 – 25 perches of land with ownership per family together with Rs35,000/- to start building decent houses. It was not Thondaman that looked into their grievances, but Mahinda Rajapakshe.

    I know that he has a Dream, a noble Dream to unite all Sri Lankans under One Nation and One Flag!

    I do hope that many Sri Lankans will agree and unite on this one note.

    Thanks Mohan Sekram for such noble thoughts!

  37. [ few grammar correction made]

    Thanks Mohan!

    I was delighted to read such a positive article from a member of Tamil Diaspora, whom I think is the sole hurdle between the reconciliation of native Sinhala & Tamil communities of Sri lanka.

    There have been a flood of activities and statements driven by racial hatred and animorsity towards Sinhalese committed by the Tamil diaspora in the recent weeks. As a Sinhalese I thought the best thing to do is to allow the time to heal the fires burning in their hearts which is understandable. Hope they will soon realize that they have a better future forward in a united country along with Sinhalese, Muslims & Upcountry Tamils, with whom they have more similarities than differences.
    I am confident that there will be a day when all people in Sri Lanka are proud to be called Sri lankan. I know that because I have had so many Tamil friends from Jaffna with whom I have learnt at school & university and worked with later in my carrier. We always get along with each other very well to the extent that I was convinced that the war we HAD (what a relief to put it to past tense) was not a war of ordinary Sinhalese or Tamils, but someone elses.
    As a Sinhalese living in the south I assure any Tamil outside SL that 99% Sinhalese are not racist and they are looking towards a common future with Tamils.
    In my 28 years of life I had great hopes of a peaceful future twice. That is when peace talks began by Ranil and now after LTTE was militarily defeated by LTTE.
    In the previous occasion LTTE disgustingly humiliated all of us who had faith in peace talks by killing intelligence officers and EPDP members. Now I hope that this time it will not be lost due to the arrogant animorsity of Tamil diaspora. (TD)
    If TD is not willing to participate in the Nothern reconstruction programme, the biggest help they can do to SL tamils is to forget them, so that we can lookafter them. (as it is happening now)
    If KP releases all those billions of dollars of LTTE assets to the development of Tamils in North, the lives of these IDPs will be transformed to the standards of developed nations.
    But I do not think that will happen as TD is arrogant, racist and brutal that they have no compassion towards their own people. Their only goal in life seem to be to destroy Sinhalese whom they imagine as devils. (thanks to utterly wrong news articles they publish in their own media) But in reality it is these devils who protect/ feed Tamils in the entire island.
    I have always being amused by the way these TD guys go on Mahawansha bashing. I have never read it and do not think it has anything to do with war. If anyone doubt our history, what they should do is to visit our ancient cities of Anuradhapura & polonnaruwa and see hard evidence.
    For your information I would say that present day Sinhalese are not worried about their past but looking towards a future where our youth will be well educated in IT & other technologies so that they can find employment in SL or abroad. Present day Buddhists are not worried whether this is the promised land or not but whether we are following true teachings of the Buddha. I have several friends who left their engineering careers and entered priest hood at jungle monasteries where they dedicate their lives for meditation in search of truth. They never harm any living thing even in thought. There is a revival of True Buddhism in SL which is good for everybody. I feel disgusted to see how TD find pleasure in demonizing buddhist monks.
    At the end of the day we Sri Lankans are resolved to build a beautiful/united/just/democratic nation where all of us can live happily. I am sure that is the dream of all Tamils living in SL. It would be easier to achieve this goal if TD helps us. But even if they tried to derail that process, we are determined to achieve that. Power of our determination was proven when we defeated LTTE while TD was burning themselves in protest!
    So it is the TD to decide whether to continue burning themselves in the fire of hatred and waste their money or to help their kith and kin build a peaceful, prosperous and liberal society in that beautiful Serendib island in the Indian ocean!

  38. The writer belongs to the present day “arm chair commentators” however very encouraging.

    The Govt. knows the Jayasinghe from Jayasingham and it is not for the IC to know them. If the Defence Ministry alone is unable to differentiate this as sri Lankans even
    at this stage – why speak of a mode for reconciliation.

    The solution has to be home-grown -not even the
    seed has been planted, but under-hand moves
    continue to be made within the Govts. Political
    alliances.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:
    As I’ve said in my intro ,Mr. Sekaram did not write this as an article for public consumption.

    As he explained to me it was a personal mail with his thoughts that he sent to a few friends.

    Thanks to the power of cyberspace it got spread around.

    Many people sent it to me for posting. I contacted Mr. Sekaram to check the bonafides and also sought his permission to post it on my blog

    I must emphasise here that it was I and not him who wanted to post it on this blog.

    I have explained it in my intro but some people are accusing him of approaching me to get it published. Please stop that and if you have any decency aplogise to him

    Some also say that Mr. Sekaram sent it to me because he knew that I was of the same mindset. Now there is nothing wrong in sending something to be published if the writer knows the editor is of the same mindset. It haqppens all the time and it’s not something wrong as implied.

    But again the point is that Mr. Segaran did not send it. I wanted to post it.

    In this I have no hidden agenda. I do want reconciliation, inter -ethnic understanding and Sinhala – Tamil amity to be restored. So anythin like this is most welcome

    But I find some Tamil hawks trying to hector Mr. Sekaram over his mail.

    They are quizzing him like a criminal and expect him to answer all their bombastic questions

    A few are trying to divert the potential here for a friendly, healthy dialogue into a confrontational harangue.

    This is not the purpose of this posting

    Please dont expect Mr. Sekaram to answer your loaded questions.

    Also he has expressed his thoughts as one who lived in Colombo and is now abroad

    Narturally he has a “colombo”perspective and his mail was directed at those of his ilk

    He cannot be expected to voice North – Eastern sentiments. Is there a uniform viewpoint for north and east?)

    Please try and empathise with the feelings he’s expressed (if you can)

    If possible try and have a discussion focusing on how we can destroy acrimony and foster harmony

    If you cant then thats OK too

    If you want please express your disagreement in mild, friendly terms

    But please stop your bullish bullying approach

    But dont use this forum to badger him with your hard line comments

    I am writing this response as a standard one to be used for comments of a certain type.

    But I must say this

    If such comments continue they will not be accommodated

    No bullshitting.

  39. Very nicely done. Indeed the real truth and moving forward. One nation one country and no need for more blood shed.

  40. To continue on this note, I too believe that the day has already dawned for a ” Nawa Sri Lanka”.

    I truly believe that all peoples will be united as Sri Lankans and have the freedom to live and work in this island.

    And if there is Oppression, Suppression or Terror, then it is and will be affected by all Lankans.

    Living in Colombo Suburbs, I know it to be true, we live together as Sri Lankans despite ethnic diversity.

    When I look at the Tamil/Muslim community around me, they are well off, educated, businessmen holding very high Govt. posts, frankly speaking I prefer going to a Tamil or Muslim shop since the level of cordiality received is excellent!

    Today I see that Tamils/Muslims/ Singhalese living in all parts of Sri Lanka except the Northern areas which were only recently liberated from the LTTE, do have equal rights or are equally oppressed.

    Now this is the truth.
    Of course, if there is any indication that any of the above ethnic groups have or have had any affiliation with the LTTE, they are taken for questioning and held under tight security.

    I know that many Sinhalese have been arrested and refused bail.

    So, right now yes, the Tamils need rights, the Tamils living in the North in the LTTE (now liberated) territory need to have the basic conditions of life met first and this as a matter of sheer urgency.

    Its very sad, in the name of claiming rights for the Tamils, the LTTE and Prabakaran only succeeded in snatching away not only the rights of the Northern Tamils, but their right to life as well.

    Their cities were turned to war houses and Ammunition dumps and their children turned to destructive weapons against the wishes of their parents by the LTTE.

    This era is gone. Its over.

    Lets forget the past and build the future together as Sri Lankans united under One Nation and One Flag!

  41. Hi DBS

    DELETED

    Your comments are inhuman. Change your views or change your pseudonym…….DBSJ

  42. I am a Sinhalese lived under the pain of witnessing the suffering of Tamil people since 83. I repeatedly told my Sinhalese friends that when it comes to innocent non combatants there was no difference between a Sinhalese and a Tamil to me. I told aloud in open forums , as a govt officer i would only consider the merits in selection of employees. I said that is the service I can render to our next generation. A peace loving Sinhalese was in a singularly disadvantages position in conversation with a Tamil. For to say “let us live in one country” simply meant let us leave the things as they are. I opined against a Elam because, human nature being what it is , I feared, that would the beginning of the greatest bloodshed in human history. I reluctantly supported the war against LTTE for I thought LTTE has brought this enormous suffering on a group of people and this should come to a halt at any cost. DBSJ once articulated my thoughts in a writeup at the 32nd anniversary of LTTE. He understated the case. Finally LTTE committed mass suicide leaving even no males to support the destitute families, let alone producing the next generation.

    Please diaspora, give the suffering Tamil people a respite, let them heal their physical wounds at least before you organise the so called “next phase”. Let us feed them for the moment. Send some food, clothes, medicine to them. If our govt is not corporative send it through ICRC or some such organisation.

    For heavens sake be REALISTIC. The maxim you followed ”end justifies means” has a limit – the threshold of survival.

  43. I think this sort of reconciliation will only solve the problem in the short term. To have long term peace, a political settlement is necessary. Otherwise, we will be back to 1948 again, and the vicious cycle of violence will continue. While I hope for peace to prevail, only time will tell the future of the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

  44. DELETED

    Sorry but I feel the tone and content of your comments is inappropriate………….DBSJ

  45. These adjectives ‘ secretive, unpredictable and uncompromising’ were the nature of the supremo of the OUT FIT which was the sole representatives of the Tamils. So it was extended to the whole free of cost.

  46. DBSJ, This is the most dissapointing and lame posting on your blog so far.

    All what MS is saying is lost its “use by value”. This reaching out should have ideally happened 50 – 30 years ago. Many pacts made with the SL govt were ditched and were all futile attempts. What makes him think this approach will succeed now? Particularly when the hardline SL government is cock a hoop?

    At this juncture what is required is healing. Healing can come only with truth being revealed about the last three months of the war. The deaths of many civilians has left a indelible mark on the psychy of the Tamils. Once this is done and responsibility to the excesses is accepted then we can think of reaching out. Because reaching now will be met with “on your face laugh!”.

    Do not get me wrong, I am no supporter of LTTE. I think they high jacked a legitimate cause of the Tamils through sheer power of the gun and screwed up in the process.

    However, it is absurd to think reaching out now would make things right. It would only make the Tamils subservient . Once the healing has taken place through acceptance of responsiblity to civilian deaths then reaching out can be practical.

    I can see that MS has some doubts about the civilian deaths during the last few months. But I have no doubts about the civilian deaths largely due to SL bombardment. Of course LTTE is too responsible, but what else would you expect from a org like that?

    DBSJ RESPONDS:
    As I’ve said in my intro ,Mr. Sekaram did not write this as an article for public consumption.

    As he explained to me it was a personal mail with his thoughts that he sent to a few friends.

    Thanks to the power of cyberspace it got spread around.

    Many people sent it to me for posting. I contacted Mr. Sekaram to check the bonafides and also sought his permission to post it on my blog

    I must emphasise here that it was I and not him who wanted to post it on this blog.

    I have explained it in my intro but some people are accusing him of approaching me to get it published. Please stop that and if you have any decency aplogise to him

    Some also say that Mr. Sekaram sent it to me because he knew that I was of the same mindset. Now there is nothing wrong in sending something to be published if the writer knows the editor is of the same mindset. It haqppens all the time and it’s not something wrong as implied.

    But again the point is that Mr. Segaran did not send it. I wanted to post it.

    In this I have no hidden agenda. I do want reconciliation, inter -ethnic understanding and Sinhala – Tamil amity to be restored. So anythin like this is most welcome

    But I find some Tamil hawks trying to hector Mr. Sekaram over his mail.

    They are quizzing him like a criminal and expect him to answer all their bombastic questions

    A few are trying to divert the potential here for a friendly, healthy dialogue into a confrontational harangue.

    This is not the purpose of this posting

    Please dont expect Mr. Sekaram to answer your loaded questions.

    Also he has expressed his thoughts as one who lived in Colombo and is now abroad

    Narturally he has a “colombo”perspective and his mail was directed at those of his ilk

    He cannot be expected to voice North – Eastern sentiments. Is there a uniform viewpoint for north and east?)

    Please try and empathise with the feelings he’s expressed (if you can)

    If possible try and have a discussion focusing on how we can destroy acrimony and foster harmony

    If you cant then thats OK too

    If you want please express your disagreement in mild, friendly terms

    But please stop your bullish bullying approach

    But dont use this forum to badger him with your hard line comments

    I am writing this response as a standard one to be used for comments of a certain type.

    But I must say this

    If such comments continue they will not be accommodated

    No bullshitting.

  47. First of all he just accepts and put whole responsibility to the war on Tamil. We know very well the the violence was instigated by Police and Singalese mob in first place.

    Reconciliation of any sort is far a way for sri lanka. They not even ready to face that fact the 20,000 civilians died in last 3 months, and 300,000 in refuge camps.

    just want to know if Singalese are celiberating thiis ? why the Tamils not doing the same ?
    How many people who burned people alive in 83 has been jailed ? Where is justice for tamil’s ?

    There has never been any justice for Tamils in Sri Lanka. When that happens , we can start reconciliation.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:
    As I’ve said in my intro ,Mr. Sekaram did not write this as an article for public consumption.

    As he explained to me it was a personal mail with his thoughts that he sent to a few friends.

    Thanks to the power of cyberspace it got spread around.

    Many people sent it to me for posting. I contacted Mr. Sekaram to check the bonafides and also sought his permission to post it on my blog

    I must emphasise here that it was I and not him who wanted to post it on this blog.

    I have explained it in my intro but some people are accusing him of approaching me to get it published. Please stop that and if you have any decency aplogise to him

    Some also say that Mr. Sekaram sent it to me because he knew that I was of the same mindset. Now there is nothing wrong in sending something to be published if the writer knows the editor is of the same mindset. It haqppens all the time and it’s not something wrong as implied.

    But again the point is that Mr. Segaran did not send it. I wanted to post it.

    In this I have no hidden agenda. I do want reconciliation, inter -ethnic understanding and Sinhala – Tamil amity to be restored. So anythin like this is most welcome

    But I find some Tamil hawks trying to hector Mr. Sekaram over his mail.

    They are quizzing him like a criminal and expect him to answer all their bombastic questions

    A few are trying to divert the potential here for a friendly, healthy dialogue into a confrontational harangue.

    This is not the purpose of this posting

    Please dont expect Mr. Sekaram to answer your loaded questions.

    Also he has expressed his thoughts as one who lived in Colombo and is now abroad

    Narturally he has a “colombo”perspective and his mail was directed at those of his ilk

    He cannot be expected to voice North – Eastern sentiments. Is there a uniform viewpoint for north and east?)

    Please try and empathise with the feelings he’s expressed (if you can)

    If possible try and have a discussion focusing on how we can destroy acrimony and foster harmony

    If you cant then thats OK too

    If you want please express your disagreement in mild, friendly terms

    But please stop your bullish bullying approach

    But dont use this forum to badger him with your hard line comments

    I am writing this response as a standard one to be used for comments of a certain type.

    But I must say this

    If such comments continue they will not be accommodated

    No bullshitting.

  48. I had also received this and was in the process of drafting a reply that would do justice to the extent of well being he had created in so many hearts. His letter moved me to tears. Speaking for myself, a sinhala buddhist, I cannot imagine a Sri Lanka or my life without the tamils. Where would I be without all my wonderful tamil friends who have stood by me through the years, giggled together till our sides ached and wept with me when life seemed tot have let us down. I remember the trips to Jaffna and taking my breath in when the train went over elephant pass. How colourless life would have been without pongal, deewali, tamil weddings or the invariably complicated mixed weddings, vel and how can I forget the steaming hot thosai that found its way to our house from Mrs. Pillai next door the moment she heard my voice. It may be easier to live with those who are of the same community, same, religion, same whatever but oh one is so much the poorer for it. A lot of wrong has been done and there is a lot of hurt but as long as there is an appreciation of how much richer we would all be with each other and NOT separate from each other we can rebuild stronger than ever. Thank you Mohan for your warmth, generosity, forgiveness and for being a true Sri Lankan

    Thank You for this response.Its touching and written from the heart…….DBSJ

  49. # 17. Mr. Ulysses & similar ones

    People would prefer to see the heart of Mr.Mohan like people rather than brain of intelligentsia at this hour.

    Don’t attempt on any word to word examination of what he said. The message is crystal clear .

    If you want to do the exercise of the kind you wrote please do the post mortem on LTTE activities or on the one written by Shexmus Amed who wished re emergence of armed struggle to Srilankan people. Whether you approve or not , that would be a ideal subject for critical analysis.

    Again, the message is pretty clear :

    forget the past ,

    let your heart speak

    and not your brain which might be storing 2000000000000000 years chronological events happened in Srilanka .

    Well said Pramod. Heart must speak to heart…….DBSJ

  50. Hey Ho! DBSJ

    I certainly do not accuse you of any hidden agenda! Far from it I think you posting it is important and good. Same goes for MS – he has voiced an opinion and I respect that even though I think he pretty naive.

    My point is healing must take place and that can come only with responsibility to the atrocities. The the “reaching out” MAY bear fruits if done under equal status.

    You got the standard response for comments of a certain type……….DBSJ

  51. Yes, I am only one of the many Sinhalese that share the same sentiments as Tamara # 49.

    This about separation and division is/was in the ‘Political past’ ..its now over! No more!!!

    Our Nation is known to forgive and forget the past and reconcile and move on ..one good example is the JVP, with all the terror they inflicted on all Ethnic gruops ..its now all forgotten and forgiven ..now they are represented in Parliament ..and have nothing to say!

    The Tamil/Muslim Political parties are also represented in parliament.

    All are welcome to discuss ones grievances in Parliament.

    I do hope that sane people like Jeyaraj/Mohan will one day ‘Come back to the Land’ and represent the Sri Lankan grievances, not just for the Tamils, but also for the Muslims/Burgers/Moors and the Sinhalese!

  52. Great article!

    Short-sighted politicians from both sides have brought the people of this country much heartache and despair. Many Sinhala people shudder with anguish at the thought of the 83 riots. I believe the 83 riots were politically motivated and orchestrated by a very few barbarians who ran this country. I appeal to our tamil brother and sisters … please know this… the majority of the sinhala people are not racist. We don’t want to treat you any differently and we apologize to you for any suffering caused. Let’s not forget that despite the heinous acts committed by some during the 83 riots, there were many Sinhala people who risked their lives to protect their tamil brothers and sisters. We are all one people. Let’s try and work through the pain and begin to trust each other. This is our country. Let’s build bridges and embrace each other with understanding, forgiveness and compassion.

  53. I really appreciate your views Mohan. Hopefully there will be more like you would emerge from the silent community (as they call it) soon rather than later.

    Although some of your statements are factually incorrect, I see your point of wanting to move on and rebuild Sri Lanka together. For that reason, I want to be positive too rather merely getting facts right.

    You have directed your views mostly towards Tamils. Rightly so. Now, all I am waiting for is someone from our Sinhalese side to do the same. One would expect at least 3 letters (similar to yours) if go by the statics.

    As a Tamil, i am proud of your views, after all all not all the Tamils are Tigers so lets not be treated any different to others in Colombo or anywhere else (I am sorry there is no excuse)

    I agree 100% with your below statement,

    “We, Tamils have to realize that this is the only nation that Sinhalese is spoken, and we should respect that, win their trust and respect in return.”

    I would add one more thing that we should also help to preserve their culture and the language for it is our duty but it is only possible if we are ALLOWED to do so.

    You mentioned about how Tamils should “Regain the trust”, “Win the trust”, etc. I believe that this point should be more directed towards the “WINNING SIDE” for they have he greater power in this country, so far. It is called INTITIATIVE.

    Nevertheless, I share your views with whole heart and I thanks DBSJ for publishing it.

  54. The author, Mohan, clearly outline the ONLY viable path towards peace, progress and prosperity. However, the process of reconciliation can be a long and arduous one especially after several years of bloody conflict which resulted in almost everyone in or from Sri Lanka being a direct or indirect victim.

    My father was a government employee who during his career was posted to many areas dominated by Sinhalese. Consequently, I had the golden opportunity to mingle and interact with Sinhalese from a very young age. My family even adopted a Sinhalese boy. Some of my relatives married Sinhalese. The person we employed to drive our car (I refuse to call him “driver”) cried when we were leaving Sri Lanka. In fact he was the last person I said goodbye to at the Katunayake airport.

    My point, the “ordinary” and the “average” person is pretty much the same everywhere with a set of generic like, dislikes, goals, aspirations etc. What is needed at the moment is visionary leadership emerging from both sides and moving positively and forcefully towards reconciliation. But unfortunately the ground realities are rather depressing.

  55. Great article. I could not make it through this article
    without my eyes brimming with tears.

    Peace for all.

  56. I have many good Tamil friends in Colombo and who openly express themselves about their grievances and its no strange thing to mention that they undergo hardships at the check points and are suspected to be terrorists, simply because of of their nationality, which I think can not be ruled out( though not acceptable) at a time of war and midst of many suicide bombings,.

    I think majority of the Sinhalese deeply regret of organized riots that took place in 1983, which was the darkest period of our recent history, and want to live with Tamils in Harmony in this country. Thats why not a single Tamil was harmed not only after Mullaithivu army camp debacle, but also after numerous bomb attacks in Colombo, which killed thousands of innocent civilians.

    I also think greater majority of Sinhalese HATE their politicians, who does nothing to their people and country, hence have no hesitation in realizing Tamils hate them more than we do.

    I feel, in an ever changing world, with market economy and stronger private sector, our own languages, politicians, geographic demarcations, ethnicity and religions have become less important than ever.

    Therefore its good to note few moderate Tamils expressing views like above and trying to promote Ethnic Harmony that hatred, so that all of us can live in this country together!!

  57. Mohan
    You are a tru Sri Lankan
    As a Singhalese, I strongly agreed with you.
    Shal we all get together and built a Strong Sri Lanka
    as proud Sri Lankans
    I hope in near future Sri Lankan president/Leader will be the Sri Lankan not a tamil, singhala or muslim

    Jay

  58. Congratulations Mohan for such bold sentiments. Thank you DBS for having courage to publish it.

    It is high time that both communities forgive and forget the past and try to build a new nation. As a Sinhalese I am ashamed of the communal riots against fellow Tamils since late 1950s and specially in 1983. However subsequent actions of LTTE has only pushed the moderate Sinhalese to be radicals, probably similar to what happened to Tamils.

    The highlight of Mohan’s story is his strength and courage to analyze and accept mistakes of his own community. It is only such realization by both communities that will heal the past wounds.

    I can also relate one incident. When the SL army captured Jaffna, it was mentioned that Prof Thurairajah a well known academic Engineer has helped LTTE to build underground bunkers by designing them. One of my Sinhalese friends, an Engineer, was infuriated and told me `we garlanded him with gold sovereigns at University of Peradeniya and he is now doing this’.

    I related this story to my boss who was a close Sinhalese friend of Prof Turairajah. His reply was ` what else do you want him to do. After teaching so many Sinhalese students, his house was attacked in 1983 and he was dumped in a refugee camp like a common criminal.’ Ever since I have always tried to understand the ethnic problem in a more mature manner.

    What we need to realize is that both communities have suffered during the past. If we all can get together and work harder, Sri Lanka can easily be a developed country within a very short period of time. All the money and resources wasted on this senseless war by both could have achieved miracles.

    Hope that at least now we can all work together and build our country so that one day we can proudly call ourselves Sri Lankans.

  59. Mohan my thoughts and you thoughts are same. But to avoid future riots etc, in the long term, Tamils need a reasonable settlement and most of the singala friends will accept this.

    I hope Mr Rajapaksa will deal this matter genuinely to bring peace and solidarity in Srilanka.if he does he will be in the history for the good reason, not only in Srilanka but also through out the world…

  60. Fantastic work for peace by the writer.

    Residing from Batticaloa. I would urge all the Tamils to extend their goodwill to the Muslims.

    During the pre war era ? we both the communities lived so closely and cooperatively.

    Example is my uncle (well known ayurvedic doctor late Karalasingham Ayya) grew up in a Muslim family.

    We Tamils have been pushed to commit so many atrocities to the Muslim community in the east.

    Same way, we have faced the re-action also.

    Good news is Pillayan is being recognized by Muslims without suspicion. (this is not to glorify him, just to express the truth)

    Especially he handled competently the riot (subsequent to Shanthan?s demise) and the Longstanding land issues.

    Both rulings were in favour of the Muslims. The response is Muslims have started to employ Tamil workers.

    The way forward looks very bright.

    “Kizhakku Veluthathamma.Keelvaanam Sivanthathammaa.Kathiravan varavaik Kandu Kamalamuham Malarnthathammaa”. Thanks for the good news ……….DBSJ

  61. Being a sinhalese, I couldn’t have explained my own sentiments better. I think we, the like minded expatriates and profesionals should get organized and make our case.

    Believe me, there are more sinhalese, tamils, and muslims than we think who share these views.

    DBS/Mohan: If you want to initiate getting all these folks organized, count me in. I am just an email away.

  62. Many thanks DBS and Mohan for yours articles
    Keep on writing. I’m pretty sure majority of Sinhalese and Tamil communities would be really appreciated your thoughts and feelings. I am a Sinhalese and; I honored your vision and I’ll contribute to achieve our ultimate common goal “Peace” for everyone how bone in SRI LANKA. This land belongs to all of us. This is our mother Land. (Our = Tamil or Sinhalese or Muslim or burgher; how bone in this Land)
    Thanks
    Rohitha

  63. Mohan has expressed my sentiments as well. I just have to add one more thought. We Singhalese also has to earn the trust of our Tamil brothers. I hope we will get to gether and work this out. Failure is just not an option.

  64. It takes two to tango.

    To Mohan Sekaram and the like minded people, count me in as a friend.

  65. We can only hope. There are Tamils/Sinhalese in Sri Lanka/World who wants peace but it is a dream. The Sinhalese given their history killed Tamils with delight and the Buddhist clergy encouraged it along with the majority of the Sinhalese politicians. There is the silent majority who wouldn’t say anything. The Sinhalese Govts never prosecuted a Sinhalese for the crimes against Tamils from 1958 to 1983. The Sinhalese accept the pogroms of the 1950s, 1970s and 1983. If reconcilliation has to happen few things need to happen before hand. Firstly, let the international organisations come in and confirm if war crimes have been committed or not. Secondly, take action against all those people who robbed and killed Tamils in the South for the past 60 years. Thirdly, return the properties appropriated after 1983 back to the rightful owners(Tamil).
    Mohan, your thoughts are good but I am not very optimistic. There may be a handful of Sinhalese
    who will agree with you but the majority and the Buddhist clergy will not.

  66. Congartulations Mohan. This is spot on.

    Yoy have said what I realy wanted to say.

    Tamil diaspora must satart thinking of intergartion not seperation for a change.

  67. An olive branch with ripe sentiments that I fear, withered on the vine in the climate of the last weeks.

  68. An article pregnant with hopes that were maybe stillborn in the bloody passage of two weeks gone.

    Justice demands a full inquest first.

  69. DSBJ – Earlier, many turned to you and to your columns, to get a balanced view of what is happenening. Many read your articles from earlier times because they were mostly impartial, and easy to read.

    Also, many sinhalese wanted a tamil view of the whole issue and there was a vaccum for tamil perspective.

    Now that war reeporting is over, many trust you and want you to take a role in bridging the gap between the two communitiees. I am sure you understand that. You colums atrrat the most number of postings and is a good barometer of the present Sri Lankan society.

    You have a big role to play by publishing such articles and also different view points. But most importantly, you have to use your positin to bridge the gap as well as be a voice to those who now need a voice. I

  70. 71. Seelan –

    according to what i hear the most prosperous region in the east is vakarai. it is pedominantly muslim & very pro army for obvious reasons.

    but i hope that the Batticaloa guys will compete & overtake them soon. this kind of healthy competition has to be encouraged instead of claymore competitions which are unhealthy.

  71. DSBJ –
    Earlier, many turned to you and to your columns, to get a balanced view of what was happenening. Many read your articles because they perceived them to be impartial, and easy to read.

    Many sinhalese wanted a Tamil view of the whole issue and there was a vaccum for a Tamil perspective. There aren’t many journelists who contribute to English newspapers for obvious reasons.

    Now that war reeporting is over, many on both side have come to trust you and they want you to take a role in bridging the gap between the two communitiees. I am sure you understand that there is an urgent need for that . You columns attract the most number of postings and is a good barometer of the present Sri Lankan society.

    You have a big role to play by publishing such articles and also different view points. But most importantly, you have to use your positin, to bridge the gap as well as be a voice to those who now need a voice. I do not know how you could do that.

    I dont know either. I can only speak truth to power through writing………DBSJ

  72. Talk of reconciliation ethnic harmony and unity among all communities are all well and good , I say. But for all this to happen we need a Nelson Mandela like figure to emerge in Sri Lanka to make them a reality.

    There should be a new flag so all communities would embrace and be proud of and a national anthem in both sinhala and tamil , these should be the first steps towards a truly united Sri Lanka.

  73. Dearest Mohan and DBSJ

    I being a Sinhalese, your letter touched the bottom of my heart. I sincerely hope and believe that majority of Tamils do think like Mohan.

    We know that Prabhakaran is a megalomaniac killer who likes to take the path of destruction instead of peace. But I do not think that over 20,000 of LTTE carders are/were similar minded. There should be a reason for this organization to be sustained for so long. I think following story is a prime example for this.

    I re-produce this article from a Sinhalese newspaper dated 31st June 2009. Unfortunately the veracity of the report cannot be established but I believe the events described in the article are closer to the truth.

    The story is of former Spokesperson of LTTE P. Nadesan. We all know that he was a police constable of Sri Lanka Police attached to many stations in and around Colombo. During 80s he fell in love with a Sinhalese girl from Matara (who used to work in the police). Against strong objections from the girls family, they both got married. Alas, the girl was disowned by the family and considered dead by her own father. Only reason? She married a Tamil.

    What would have being the feeling of any self respecting person had this happened to him. Similarly Nadesan would have felt really sad. Thinking of it, isnt it that we Sinhalese have thrown Nadesan to become what he became? Had the family of the girl accepted she being married to Nadesan, things would have being different for Nadesan family and they be living in Colombo or Matara even to date.

    There are many similar stories which would have led to this war. But lets forget what has have happened in the past and lets look forward for e better and brighter future.
    Its time for Sinhalese to show concern for Tamils. There are over 300,000 displaced Tamils who need our help. Lets get together in helping them.

  74. This is a sentiment that could be called as of a silent srilankans’.

    It is hard to accept the reality. But the life is so cruel the realty may be forced upon us.

    If one expects to arrive in SriLanka and as he going through the airport everybody speaks in Tamil and posters every where in tamil language and a general sentiment in the island is that we should treat the minority sinhalese with equal rights as they have been discriminated for so many years,
    then we are going to be in for a rough ride.

    The discrimantion is everywhere we as people fight for a survival and for better deal. I challenge anybody to show a country today where the discrimination and prejudice is absent. It is the law of the land that gurantees the status without the discrimination and prejudice.
    The people have to exercise these rights to make sure their entitlement earn it.

    One more thing,
    it will really help the cause if SriLankan tamils would learn to draw the line between TamilNadu and SriLanka.

    I agree with the writer that its time to put aside the bikkering and start working together for a better future.

    Born as a sinhalese, a tamil or a muslim was not a choice given to us

    Why don’t we strive to be a SrIlankan by chioce rather than fighting to be someone with no choice!!!

  75. Hi Jay ,
    this is a very good point and thanks Mohan. please keep on writing. the reality is the majority of tamils in Sri lanka are happy to live together with Singhalese and other coomunities. I am sure the majority of the singhalese also feel the same. the problem is some tamil diaspora. they are still holding the LTTE’s flag. I came from Vanni. I was born in Palamathalan. when I was a little boy, there are lot of singhalese fisherman used to come and stay in this coastal town. my family had lot of singhalese friends. infact we did not know the difference between the singhala and tamil people. most of the Vanni people were like this. we always had a good relationship with singhala people. I am sorry to say this,but some selfish Jaffna people and their opportunistic politicians were responsible for this “Eelam concept. I remember when Mr Amirthalingham and his wife were talking about killing the Singhala soldiers during the election campaign and after the election they were dining with President Jeyawardana. but unfortunately now our vanni people were the ones suffered a lot. also some of the Singhalese politicians and Budhist Monks were responsible for the violance against the tamils. we had enough and we don’t want any more war. the most difficult part is, we both communities need to learn to live together. other wise the third party will involve in our matter and make things worse. I have lost most of my immediate family members and two of my nephews were in the so called rehabilitation camps( both of them were forefully recruited by LTTE ). Now I have nothing to with this country. I don’t want to go back and see my birth place which was ruined by this meanigless war.

  76. Thirty years of Ahimsa couldn’t achieve anything for Tamils, thirty years of armed resistance at least could bring something for Tamils, it is because of that, it is escalated to the level that the whole world knows the problem of Tamils. The article was very touchy but the reality’..before focusing our attention on last 30 years of battle, we have to go way back’.our Ahimsa war by elected Representative of the Tamils. What happened with Ahimsa it only achieved more and more colonization. Sinhalese Sri Lankans or for that matter majority Sinhalese dominated SLG was not willing or ready to give anything to Tamils. We have to remember that IC only hated the method adopted by LTTE, but not what they stood for, and the grievances of Tamils.

    Reconciliation won’t come from victims, it has to come from the victors’..if the hand of friendship extended is sincere and genuine no doubt Tamils will be willing to forget and forgive the past and grab the hand of friendship, though it’s extremely difficult. I am a Tamil and I am proud about it, no one can ask me to shed my identity to become a Sri Lankan, until I really feel I am a Sri Lankan. When you really feel Sri Lankan nothing else matters. But it has to come gradually without any force. An atmosphere conducive to such a feeling has to be created by the majority, when your identity is threatened it is natural it will fire back. How to create a non-threatening atmosphere? By colonization, intimidation, brutal force?

    Few months ago I met a gentleman at a Business conference, I couldn’t guess if he was a South Indian, Sri Lankan, Malaysian or Guyanese. He introduced himself as, ‘I am Vishal, I am an Indian and I am a Software Engineer and you’,’ and held out his hand. I introduced myself in response, ‘I am Maran, I am a Ceylon Tamil, I am an exporter.’ Sensing I looked puzzled he volunteered, ‘I am a Tamil from Chennai.’ After about an hour when we became familiar over a coffee, I asked him, ‘how come you didn’t tell me you are a Tamil,’ and he answered gently, ‘Yes, I am a Tamil, and am proud about it, but first I am an Indian.’ I was wondering, what happened to Sri Lanka, why we couldn’t achieve that Sri Lankan identity. Suppose if I were the one to introduce myself to Vishal, I would have definitely said I was a Sri Lankan Tamil first, before anything else.

    Yes, in India the Tamils have no fear that their identity is going to be stolen, erased or reprogrammed. They have their own Tamil Nadu with all the powers. There were Tamil Indian Governor General (Late Rajaji), Tamil President ( Dr. Abdul Kallam ). Kingmaker (Late Kamaraj Nadar), and there were other Dravidian Prime Ministers.

    It is true that if you have an Arabic name, or if you wear Hijab, people look at you with suspicion, but for that reason, no Muslims anywhere around the world are ready to bow down and change their identity. The more you humiliate them, the more you suspect them, the more they become united, the more they become stronger.

    They say Sinhalese are majority with minority complex, and Tamils are minority with majority complex. It is not true. The truth is Sinhalese are majority with minority complex, and Tamils are minority with minority complex. Minority can’t change the minority complex of Majority, but majority can easily change the minority complex of the minority by dispelling the fears of minority.

    If a genuine Federal set up is offered, a true Sri Lankan identity will blossom.

    Sri Lankan Sinhalese outside Sri Lanka should start working on a genuine Federal offer to Tamils. A statesman, not a politician should come out of Sinhalese majority, Sri Lanka can’t afford anymore on color changing politicians, country is bleeding, and it is going to bleed more until the Sinhalese and Tamils of Sri Lanka perished together. The ball is in Sinhalese court’.do they have the nerve to think outside the box?

  77. I feel that I know Mohan, I mean in my heart, not that I knew him personally. These are the people I knew, I know and I want to know in the future. Dear DBSJ, if you would let him know my email.
    And Mohan, I’ll hug you any day! if you can, I mean, if you have free time off work, please come to Sri Lanka. I am a Singhalese (if anyone wants to emphasize a race, that is) and I have come to Sri Lanka. Wish you and your family health, wealth and happiness!
    Thank you DBSJ!

  78. Yes, Tamils after had gone through such a horrific experience, no matter whether LTTE or GOSL is right or wrong, would like to end their sufferings and reconcile with Sinhalese to mend their future.
    In the current world order, though there are so many Sinhalease and Tamils think alike Mohan the author of this letter, how the war in Sri-lanka was handled with mass murder and the use of banned weapons of mass destruction and the failure of the UN and international bodies to uphold the principals which they were created for and the erosion of the democratic principals and the use of extra judicial methods, white vans, plot and deceit in diplomacy and accords in SriLanka, leads one to think what does RECONCILATION mean in its true sense. Is it subjugation to the majoritarian rule or is it living in par with dignity? The time has to answer whether there going to be a permanent peace or a lull before a storm.

  79. DBS, You mentioned about some chauvinist sinhalese, I am not sure you referred it to the people in SL who lit fire crackers in the streets. I do not at all consider it as a racist or chauvinst act. They celebrated freedom from the worlds most racist terror group, and I am sorry to hear if someone consider it as an anti tamil act.

    When Wijeweera was killed we saw the same behaviour, when president Premadasa was assasinated people took to streets to celebrate, it is the same sinhalese people, not tamils.

    My view is all Sri Lankans regardless of their race should have celebrated the demise of LTTE; unfortunately I am aware it is not the reality as even so called right thinking Tamils all over world would consider it as their own defeat. I think as long as that attitude remains in their minds, reconcilliaation would remain a distant dream.

  80. Thank you both Mr Sekaram voicing these refreshing sentiments, and for Mr DBSJ for publishing them here.

    I hope moderates and sensible minds in Sri Lanka (and outside) start making their voices heard.

    We must not forget the past entirely. It holds many lessons which help to shape our future. But the past should not become a stumbling block for moving forward.

    As someone born right when the war started , it seemed almost a “Twilight Zone” experience for me when I heard the war was over. The war was the unchanging background landscape during my childhood and seemed almost surreal to actually imagine the country I grew up in was NOT one. I would hear parents and grandparents talk for the “older days”- an almost mythic story-telling, unattainable and long gone.
    I understand there are so many issues that need to be addressed, but the war that was etched in my mind as something that would never go away is indeed largely done with.
    Talking with older relatives, I sometimes feel they still have certain preconceived notions on what is to be “Sinhalese” or “Tamil” in Sri Lanka. Of course, they have been shaped by their own experiences, but I think that some of these divisive thoughts should be put away with. Call it the naivete of youth, but being suspicious and wary of the other ethnic group is what I feel has been the root cause that has dragged this country through madness. A new Sri Lankan identity needs to be forged, but not one drawn out by ethnicity. Culture,religion and language should be tools to enrich a society, not create divisions.

    It’s a new century, let’s move on and leave Sri Lanka a better place for future generations.

  81. Great article i salute u.Its people like u the world needs.we dont need crazy racist people of any kind they may be appearing falsly for human rights or spreading lies and hatred or giving lectures about who lived longer in sri lanka and similar stuff.it is a balanced mind set and aslo compromise that we need atfer all every ones blood is red not any other color.

  82. Thank you Mohan for the article.

    You said: “Now we have to give the nation a chance to prove that, it is not the case.”
    I think we’ve given enough time to the nation to prove this. There are many people came to power, none of them cared about the Minorities to date.

    Giving another chance to the Nation will create another July 83 and May 2009.
    Power of LTTE prevented the repeat of 1983, not the Nation prevented it.

    Sorry but it’s my opinion.

  83. While Mohan’s intentions seems to be good, And there a lot of good Sinhalese and Tamils who are open minded to solve the conflict, Tamils like me have little or no trust in the present government(That has lot of selfish Politicians regardless of their language/religion) to achieve anything sensible. The government has blood (Not just Tamils’ blood, Sinhalese blood too like Lasantha) dripping from its hands.

    But on a positive note, you guys can try to use Facebook to communicate the idea as well as a website with public profiles of individuals supporting it.

  84. Hi Dave,

    I e-mailed you about week ago. Not sure you got it…could you please acknowledge.

    Chaminda.

  85. Good thoughts very well put into words, can’t agree more with what’s said about the change in the sinhalese with respect to Mulathiwu incident.

    Simple solution, Acceptance by tamils of the Sinhala Buddhist Culture as the primary culture in Sri Lanka would solve the friction between the two ethinicities. Not being ready to accept the above fact has caused all these mayhem. LTTE is just another stage of the unacceptance. LTTE is gone, but the problem is still there.

  86. Dear Mohan Sekaram,
    I read your letter with pain.
    As Sri Lankan from the Sinhalese community, I personally feel that the time has come to reconcile for Sinhalese and Tamils. Praising your e-mail or asking others to follow your path may generate some enmity towards you by the folks who did not well understand the history of Sri Lanka.
    We are part of the problem directly or indirectly involved in the past and should take the responsibility for the mess we created; pointing fingers at each other will bring us nowhere. Time has come to work together to rebuild this nation together. There is no doubt in my mind that we all need to come together and forget the past for the sake of our children.

    Leaving Sri Lanka was not an easy task and many of us had no choice, there is no reason to talk about all those bad memories and passing them onto the next generation because today we are faced with a choice. The President of Sri Lanka has spoken; we together can push him to keep the promise remain untouched by the extremist influences for the sake of our next generation.
    When our children are intellectually matured enough to understand the history of Sri Lanka and her neighbor India’s role and involvement in the past to future, they will eventually have the ability to understand it better than us. We just have to guide them how to come out of this mess rather than fuelling the fear and hate in their unpolluted minds. Lets try together to make a momentum that could go beyond our lives for the benefit of our children and their future in Sri Lanka.

  87. Hi DBSJ,

    Mohan Seagarm has very well captured my feelings about the situation in SL. As a child growing up in the North, like many, my family too had to endure sufferings brought on by all parties including the other militant groups and IPKF. However, I don’t think revenge or ‘regrouping’ to continue the armed struggle will mean the end to the sufferings of the people (especially Tamils) of Sri Lanka. I am no historian or political expert, but I have always felt and still do (strongly) that the language that everyone in Sri Lanka as well as Tamil or Sinhalese expatriots should be speaking is ‘trust and reconcilliation’ . Nothing is permanent in this world. And, “nothing is lost in this universe”

  88. I don’t see why a single tamil in this world is against the idea of getting equal rights with singhalease.
    What If you think for just one minute and remeber the past and present history, is this even possible?
    I seriously doubt.
    Eventhough I accept that the damage from the war is unacceptably high, the decent life tamils still have in Srilanka is because of this war, otherwise tamils should have been living like
    Red Indians in USA
    Aborigines in Australia
    If tamils fail to take the freedom struggle in right direction, in few decades tamils will be like Red Indians or Aborigines.

  89. Many thanks DBS and Mohan. It is great to see sensible rational comments emanating from both sides of the divide. It’s imperative that we, Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims & Burghers try to build a strong SRI LANKAN identity. In my opinion “Linguistic Nationalism” has wreaked havoc and heaped great misery, destruction on all SRI ANKANS. If people of diverse cultures, religions, cast and language can have one country, one identity in India why can’t we Tamils and Sinhaleese build a strong SRI LANKAN identity!! Dear All, lets work towards that and develop a prosperous SRI LANKA where all can live in peace, dignity and equality.

  90. Another armed struggle for rights and equality should be vigorously avoided. War has devastating consequences and the SL Tamil community has endured decades of armed struggle only to be left in a weaker position.

    Compromise is the key. If the GOSL refuses to alter its current path, there are other avenues to alleviate grievances. Too many have died and so much has been lost, war is simply not a viable option.

  91. “There have been a flood activities and statements driven by racial hatred and animorsity towards Sinhalese committed by the Tamil diaspora in the recent weeks.”

    I beg to differ with the above comment. The Tamil diaspora as a whole does not have any antipathy towards the Sinhalese community.

    The problem lies exclusively with the Sri Lankan Government which has institutionalized racism and discrimination by means of its armed forces, police, etc. I realize many of you in the South have been carefully sheltered from the various excesses in the North and even East. So to some extent, your ignorance is justified.

    For those who are truly interested in reconciliation, the process begins and ends with a political solution. Since you are the majority community, you are the deciding factor in elections. I urge you to pick your politicians more carefully in the future. I also urge you to think beyond the box for a change; do not look at Provincial Councils, look at federalism which is far superior to the PC’s. Yes, there are many Tamils, even pro-LTTE, who will settle for something less than an independent state… but it should be one where we are free to run our own affairs without the presence of armed soldiers and armed paramilitaries everywhere. As the majority community, the onus is on you to institute these changes. In the absence of a viable political solution, and I do not mean Provincial Councils, all your good intentions and goodwill will evaporate in smoke. Therefore, in the interests of maintaining long-term sustainable peace, it is critical that you implement such changes as soon as possible.

  92. There is a guy, who says his 3 generations were Royalist, and he say that Mohan writes rubbish. Well, whoever this Ulysses is, but none of his 3 generations should not have been Royalists, and if he can prove that, I would give him a slap for calling Mohan’s letter is offensive. Come to the match next year and tell us that you are Ulysses, I dare you!

    Mohan has the right to his opinion, and that there are people like Ulysses, no one can have their own opinion, and that’s why we have problems for last 30 years, and in the future. So, Ulysses, don’t come to Sri Lanka, for you don’t deserve it, but Mohan deserves the world!

    Why should my friend, colleague, neighbor, anyone I see in the street, in the shop, anywhere in OUR Sri Lanka be a Singhalese, Tamil, Muslim, Malay, Burgher or whatever? Why can’t he be MY countryman, My Sri Lankan?

    Do you think, Muttaiah Muralidaran is a Tamil for us, or Sanath Jayasuriya a Singhalese for us? No, Ulysses, they are OUR people!

    Sorry, but you are NOT, and you are NOT a Royalist!

    Every citizen in OUR country MUST be our countryman. Period!

    May I ask all Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka, don’t ever think of yourself as a 2nd class citizen, there is no NEED for you to think that way! Keep your head up, YOU are a Sri Lankan! And remember that ALL Sri Lankans, who live abroad are less than 2nd class citizens in those countries! (Sorry, Mohan, I know you live abroad.)

  93. Dear Mohan,

    I am a Sinhalese from Southern part of Sri Lanka and you made my heart relaxed a lot by speaking from your heart. So far the majority of what we were reading from our Tamil brethren was full of anger, frustration, arrogance and exaggeration. Many vested elements incorporated the above mentalities of Tamils in professional contexts creating utter misleading among both parties and gave a devastating blow to the attempt of true reconciliation.

    You have very tenderly and cleverly cleared the mess of mixing past and present. Many vested elements and extremists used the horrible past to create a future with the same or more horror for all of us. Once this type of conflict starts it would soon go into snow balling without giving any opportunity to see the reality due to its rapid growth of size and critical dynamics.

    If we forget what happened “purely due war”… we could understand how simple we have to be to initiate reconciliation. I thank you for correctly appreciating Sinhalese for their neutral behavior in later provocations by the LTTE. These factors have been deliberately depressed by vested media professionals with a view to promote separation. I have genuinely felt that Tamils could not move as fast as Sinhalese towards changing attitudes and dropping old baggage. Tamils have to correct this in the reconciliation process since Sinhalese often feel them as a threat that “may appear in future” since their being the global majority. Your words from heart would eliminate that fear drought from them.

    Regardless of the direct war effect of feeling every Tamil as a Tiger, Sinhalese should be appreciated for the simple fact that Tamils live with a dignity running major business in key Southern cities like Galle… Our Tamil brothers should make the same situation for Sinhalese to settle and live in Jaffna without seeing the ghosts of colonizing….. In a reconciled Sri Lanka administrative boundaries should not be based on ethnicity thus no body should feel being threatened by seeing your neighbor is from a different ethnicity.

    Just to add you remarkable comparison facts of realities……If we recall what happened in 71 and 88…..more than 100,000 Sinhalese were killed by so called “Sinhala Army”…The same jubilation were seen when the leader of JVP was killed (with less intensity)….And when President Premadasa was killed by LTTE , it was mainly the Sinhalese who lighted crackers and made “Kiribath”…..So please understand it’s the nature of expressing “relief” by the vast majority of all innocent people….and please do not let vested media to attribute that to pure ethnic divisions. In this context Tamils as a community have no reasons to hate President Rajapaksha, Mr. Gotabhaya or General Fonseka.

    As a Sinhalese I can say majority of us do not have any hard feeling of our Tamil brothers living in dignity and equity with us in Sri Lanka where as you would not pose a threat to the existence of Sinhalese as the majority (which is obvious fact and nothing for you to worry). The Diaspora’s threat of re grouping and Tamil Nadu’s pledges for Ealam would simply ruin the reconciliation. Instead of spreading hate against Sinhalese who are ready to reconcile, the Diaspora should immediately try Adela Balasignhem in courts for converting feminism of Tamil girls in to virgin killers…..Today she is well off in London…and intelligent Tamils should ask themselves if this would be the case if she trained girls for Al Quida….

    Sinahalese and Tamils have many things in common in day to day living…..Please understand who our real enemies are ….. Please don’t be a cat’s paw of those enemies to pose threat to Sinhalese again….This is a historical opportunity…..Please don’t miss or mess it…… (The same message goes to the Sinhalese but I am confident to say that they would not miss or mess it just as they supported the eradication of LTTE)

    Once again may the Triple Gem Bless Mohan and you will be remembered for this historic posting in a reconciled Sri Lanka.

  94. Hats off to you!! I have the same mind set as yours.
    An eye to eye concept will only leave people blind. Let us not forget the thousands who died in this war on both sides. Let us rebuild a new Lanka. One way to achieve harmony is to educate all in English and make Sinhala and Tamil as the second language.
    In my work place I see people from Indian, Chinese and African origin sitting at one table and having lunch. Guess from which country they are. Mauritius! Only language they all speak is French – which is the first language for all of them. What a beauty!
    So I strongly believe a common language would be the first step towards a united SriLanka.
    Don’t you all?

  95. Any legitimate questions raised in this forum are not necessariliy BS. With respect, I disagree with you Mr. DBS Jeyaraj on your claims.
    Well… I somewhat agree with the author’s point of view along with some other comments made here in this forum. But I have my opinion as well.
    The ruthless murderers (aka politicians of SL) and the military leaders should be tried in the international court first for their war crimes. THEN ONLY any reconciliation process can take place UNDER EQUAL RIGHTS. After all, there has to be some form of accountability for all these attrocities against the innocent Tamil civilians. Don’t you agree that the justice should prevail? The Tigers are punished for their wrong doing and it’s time for the culprits on the other side to be punished as well? Otherwise, what democracy are we talking about here?
    When the reconciliation start to take place, the native Tamils can work with Singhalese to form a “puthu Ilankai” or a “New Ceylon” instead of “nawa Sri Lanka”. I would vote for “New Ceylon”. Wouldn’t that be more fair since more than one race is living in that Island (and if you talk about equality to all)?
    Thank you MS for your bold initiative.

  96. Dear Mr Sekaram
    A marvelous effort and I so wish what you have written could bear fruit but that could only happen in an “ideal World” which today’s sri lanka bears no semblance to.
    In an ideal world the likes of DBSJ and Lasantha would be free to do what they are good at doing sitting in their offices in downtown colombo. Tamil War Lords would not be all mighty powerful, The rantings and ravings of champika and udaya will not be tollerated, tamils living in colombo would not have to carry their police registration papers everywhere they go in fear of arbitrary detention….. need I say more?

    As a sinhalese, I have many tamil friends and some of them are very nationalistic and similarly a very few of my sinhalese friends tend to believe that tamils should not hold positions of prominance in the south… but at the end of the day there are many of us who are happy to get along with our brothers and sisters of all communities.

    But for such harmony to flourish the ruling party should set about a framework where all citizens are treated equally and their equality should be guarenteed by law.

    Would this happen in practice in Sri Lanka? ……… Very doubtful

  97. Hi DBS,

    You mentioned in your article “The situation is made worse by the chauvinist, triumphalist crowing by some (NOT ALL) Sinhalese …” While this might be true, but the mindset of the ones in power is the one that matters. Now, with all the international calls for investigations into war crimes, the chauvinists in power will try to protect them at all costs. The bitter truth is that while fighting the Tamils, the majority Sinhalese have created a callous monster in the present Government. Look what happened to journalist Poddala Jayantha today. On what grounds was he attacked? So, I am not optimistic about the situation in Sri Lanka. It is true the Tamils have suffered the brunt of recent violence. However, even sinhelese will be suffering at the hands of their own chauvinist in the near future. I am sorry to say this, but Sri Lanka is doomed forever!

  98. But how ?

    Diaspora involvement appears to have brought little but disaster for Tamils in SL

    Western involvement is suspect because of high levels of Thamil activism in those countries. INGO’s don’t help much except put the GOSL on the defensive and raise it’s level of belligerence to everyones detriment

    “Lets get Along” is a good.. but should more fingers be allowed to be poked into the unfortunate pie that SL has become ? Or should it be left alone to muddle through as best it can ?

  99. A really good article, a piece of art actually …so humans do live in this planet earth…I wonder if the rest of the animals can digest the content of this letter for the greater good.

  100. DBSJ,

    I am very delighted with the success of your blog.

    People from all walk of life making their comments heard here and sharing their life experience and views freely without fear.

    Interestingly, moderate voices became louder and clear now. Absolutely, it is a desirable outcome. Hardcore elements still exist in all races. With the demise of LTTE, Moderate Tamil leaders will take control of Tamil politics slowly and surely. Unfortunately, hardcore elements in GOSL became stronger owing to the success of their military campaign against LTTE.

    Reconciliation should begin with resettlement of IDPs. Longer it takes; harder it would become the reconciliation process.

    Murugan Comments 58

    “I totally agree with the author. I want to believe it was that simple. But I am sceptical.”
    I do share your view. But, we have to give it a go. I know we have been trying for many years.

    Already, an initiative taken by some Sinhalese and Tamils in Sydney. They have organised a fund raising dinner for the war orphan children.

    It is not simply Tamils reaching out to Sinhalese and vice versa. There should be some political process to quarantee equal rights for all in SL. If we don’t achieve this, all our effort will be in vain. No doubt, we will have good relationship with some Sinhalese and vice versa in our personal capacity, but not as community.

    Shanthi Kris,

    For god sake, please behave yourself. You are asking Tamils to give chance to GOSL. After killing 20,000 people, we have given a chance to GOSL with more than 300,000 IDPS. How they are being treated? If GOSL is not willing to take care of them leave the task to IC. GOSL is not prepared for both. It is like asking Sinhalese “give a chance to LTTE”.

  101. 114. Ashatar Junaid

    The animals live better in forest.

    The tigers and lions live amicably in their provinces.

  102. Dear readers,

    At this juncture I would like to say a few words about the hospitality of the majority Sinhalese people.

    I can say that I am the only Tamilian from Tamilnadu
    who has toured almost all parts of Sri Lanka.

    During my tours, even though I had fear and suspicion in my mind about the Sinhalese people, I did face no hostility from any one. An unknown Sinhalese gentleman invited me to his house and I had lunch at his house in Galle. He took me around the town in his scooter to see the devastations caused by the tsunami. What I would like to say is even though the Tamils can’t so easily forget what has happened to them in the recent past,at least for their posterity both communities should find an amicable solution.

    Mr Mohan Sekaram’s article is really worth reading
    and I request the readers to avoid adversary and
    rhetoric comments. .

  103. # 87 sundaram says :

    // I have lost most of my immediate family members and two of my nephews were in the so called rehabilitation camps( both of them were forefully recruited by LTTE ). Now I have nothing to with this country. I don’t want to go back and see my birth place which was ruined by this meanigless war. //

    No words of consolation to you Sundaram.. because my words can not go so deep to reach your wounds. Just say sorry to read this.

  104. I think in order to move on we need first be honest and accept the things that happened. Yes there was discrimination. No the LTTE was not the answer. Thanks Mohan for a brilliant article. I think we have done enough damage to ourself and Sri Lanka. Let the people in the middle ground now be heard. Those that are the true majority. Those who believe in justice, equality and prosperity for everyone in Sri Lanka.

  105. Reply to #105 Ariya

    Its amusing to see people attacking a person’s character when they fail to challenge the points the aforementioned makes. You, sadly seem to be doing exactly that.

    “”There is a guy, who says his 3 generations were Royalist, and he say that Mohan writes rubbish. Well, whoever this Ulysses is, but none of his 3 generations should not have been Royalists, and if he can prove that, I would give him a slap for calling Mohan’s letter is offensive. Come to the match next year and tell us that you are Ulysses, I dare you!””

    Maybe i should not feed trolls, but just for the record, yes I am a Royalist and i challenge you sir, to ask me ANYTHING about that school and its environs.

    Maybe some facts which would only be known to Royalists would jog your memory. for starters, how about the sectional head for year 10? known by everyone as “jill Kota”…or the portly and stern mr Coorey who eats a whole packet of mixture by himself during the big match?

    or maybe about the small milk-bar/short-eats stand near the corner of Rajakeeya mawatha or Garfield’s right in front of the main gate?..or the English teacher Ms Rathwatte ..or the ever popular Mrs Artigalle 😛 . how about the prefects room with its ever closed windows and doors? i can answer any question you have about Royal because I’m A Royalist. and if you really were one; you would know by now that the stuff i told you now is true. Ive played hide and seek in the lower school area and tennis in the tennis court…i know the whole school as well as the back of my hand:). Ask me ANY question you like about it, even about the smallest of nooks and crannies; i assure you that i will be able to answer 🙂

    so , now what? will you slap yourself on the back for doubting my word? and no..ill pass on the “coming to the Big Match and telling you that i’m Ulysses” cos i value my life dearly :). its a sad sad day indeed..when even royalists fall prey to nationalist propaganda…lol any dissent = terrorist.

    and in case you missed my comment about hat collection , don’t tell me that it does not happen. And my fiance is Sinhalese, so enough with the “ah you are all racist” insinuation already.

    Ok, having disproved your claim; lets come back to the topic

    You seem to be setting up quite a straw man here.
    I respect the freedom of speech. Everyone has the right to express what they think. in fact i would defend Mohans right to express himself with my life, if need be. But that does not mean i have to agree with what he says. accepting one’s freedom to speak/express is quite different from agreeing with what they have to say.

    I was appalled at the factual inaccuracy of Mohan’s writings hence i replied; listing the ones which were not true. Anyone with half an iota of understanding about the Lankan civil conflict would know that Discrimination/Distrust against/of Tamils began way way before the advent of Armed militants. Yet apparently Mohan is not aware of this fact. well if he is not aware of it., fine, its not my job to educate each and every person. But if one were to put such an incorrect view to paper, i have all the right to point it out.

    Btw, what’s your take on my second post (# 23). I don’t have any problem living in a United Srilanka if it treats both communities as Equal(and no pls don’t even start on “nah nah nah they are all treated as equal” katha without reading what i have to say in post #23)

    PS:
    Hi DBSJ, i posted a reply to #57 (by Pramod) , I’m yet to see it here even after a couple of hours. Just letting you know, because ive seem the forum acting strangely once in a while

  106. This may be one of the Sekaram brothers that I knew from Kandy. And I think his heartfelt sentiments are quite welcome in these troubled times. If this is the Sekaram that I know, we also went to the same school in Kandy where many different races (Burger, Chinese, Malays, Moors, Sinhalese, Tamils, and also many foreign nationals) lived and got along together in almost perfect harmony. If one day all of Sri Lanka can be like this, I might consider packing my bags and coming back home.
    I hope that we the Sinhalese and the present government realize that the true strength and potential of Sri Lanka lies in the diversity and the unity of all its people. We should turn back and correct the mistakes that past governments made, and bring back an atmosphere of equality for all, where each and every citizen will feel proud to call themselves Sri Lankan.
    And most of the problems that we have now and in the past are due to poverty and underdevelopment – especially in the North & East. When I was a teenager I remember going by car to visit some of my relations in Jaffna. And I still remember how neglected it was compared to some parts of the South. Past SL governments did not do enough to develop the North & East. And even if we wanted to, for almost 30 years these places could not be developed due to the uncertainties of war. But now that the war is over we should do our utmost to develop these areas. Emphasis should be on job creation and the alleviation of poverty. Now without spending all these money on arms, let us use this money wisely to bring up these underdeveloped areas from the North to the South.
    To all those who think we cannot live together, I say – we will, and we must. There is no other way. India will never allow a separate state in SL for the Tamils. And the Sinhalese can never live happy and secure lives when other communities feel downtrodden and live neglected lives. We are not that different from each other. And the little differences we have are definitely a plus. Some of my best friends are my best friends because they were a wee bit different than I…..
    Thanks to Mano for writing this. And also our thanks to Mr. DBS Jeyaraj for publishing it in this much viewed forum.

    Sinho.

  107. Rather a sensible article. Mr. Mohan Segaram is a person with reconciliation in his heart so he is much more conciliatory in some respects than I would be.

    In 1983, the news of the death of 13 soldiers sparked an organised riot, and over 2000 Tamils lost their lives and over 100,000 Tamils were displaced. The nation soon realised that it should not have let it happen, and the wider community shared the same sentiment.

    The ambush didn’t ‘spark the riot’. It merely provided a convenient excuse for government goons to do what they had been planning for a considerable time. History has treated Jayawardene too well. Whereas Wijeweera and Prabakharian met the ignominous death their atrocities so richly deserved the equally vile Jayawardene whose deliberate and planned inaction in July 1983 caused the couple of hundred thousand deaths Lanka has suffered since was given a state funeral.

    Neither the ‘community’ nor the ‘nation’ changed its mind. It was never in favour of such atrocities, though racist scum such as Cyril Matthew were able to flourish for some time before dying off.

    As Mohan has said, what has changed since the 70s and 80s is the collapse of Sinhalese extremism. It is only alive and kicking, like its Tamil equivalent, in the diaspora. You’ll find even the most thuggish ministers, such as Mervyn de Silva, no longer use it. Indeed, if you look at the recruitment propaganda for the armed forces now and in the 90s under Chandrika, you’ll see that appeals to Sinhalese nationalism are much less than before.

    His point about collections for the celebrations are accurate. I regularly get asked to contribute to everything from church festivals to music shows to Poson stalls (the latter being somewhat cheeky since where I live is 99% Catholic and I think the nearest Buddist is three kilometers away, but apparently the local lads thought it was a good idea anyway). Funnily enough it seems nobody has asked this time, so either they’ve taken Mahinda at his word and decided that as a white tiger I wouldn’t want to celebrate, or, as I suspect, the ‘spontaneous’ celebrations are government organized and much less common in outstation).

  108. Dear DBS, let me quote the verses from Gitanjali which you posted earlier on independence day.

    “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
    Where knowledge is free;
    Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic wars;
    Where words come out from the depth of truth;
    Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
    Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
    Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action-
    Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake”.

    My GOD, help Srilanaka to awake !

  109. Hi! Mohan have som great thoughts about our future, I envy him that I don’t have the same thoughts and feeling.

    I strolongly belive that one day, there will be a day when sinhala, muslim & tamils will sit togheter around a table in brotherhood. But I fear that time is not within reach.

    I also belive the first step against reconsilation is justice. Those who murdered tamils must be sentenced, regardless if they where Tamiltigers or Army soldiers. If there is no justice, revenge will be a feeling among the vitcims.

  110. Dear Mohan,

    Whilst reading your excellent article, I could not help but think that seeds of reconciliation have been sowed in far away website for our children to harvest the fruits of peace and prosperity.

    Poetry aside, let me also tell you that there are large number of Sinhala (Muslim and other ethnicities) that are eager to grab this opportunity of a generation, to reach out to our Tamil brothers and sisters. This may be the only way for us to do justice – (if that was ever possible!), to the thousands of lives lost.

    In my mind (again Colombo perspective) ignorance plays a huge part in dividing people. In that regard, I’m really pleased about the cross language learning in Sri Lankan now (i.e. every Sinhala student must learn Tamil and every Tamil student must leaver Sinhala). When I grew up, I did not know any Tamil, nor did I have any Tamils friends. So I assumed they are all bad – constantly wishing destruction on us. It’s only after meeting my first Tamil friends in uni/office and after going to their homes & after having meals, and of course consuming alcoholic beverages in moderation (unlike Mohan !), that it dawned on my – these bastards (I mean this in the nicest possible way) are just like me !! They just speak a different language. So what?

    So guys, as the President said – No more minorities, there are people who love Sri Lanka and there are people who don’t. Lets hope that the ones that love Sri Lanka, can get together and build a multi-ethnic country that thrives on our differences – just like our Cricket Team !!

  111. Hi,
    Nice article, very nice to read,
    I very much doubt about its value in real world (real Sri Lanka).
    It is very difficult for a Tamil
    who ran for life in the shades of mangroves, who wrote a letter saying his innocent son is a “terroist” and paid Rs 17.50 bullet charges to STF to release the body to became a “peace loving Gentleman” that soon.
    Nobody againgst for rights of singalese and their language.
    what we ask is to live this only life with same respect. Afterall we all are so called Humans

  112. I do not know Mohan but his e-mail happened to come my way on 27-5-09 through a friend and I promptly passed it on to some of my friends and relatives.

    Reconciliation and forgiveness is the only way out if both communities in the island are to progrerss and prosper.
    .
    It is gratifying to note that this chain is burgeoning.The host of this site deserves an applause for his advise to the authors of some hawkish posts.

  113. Living in peace and harmony in Sri Lanka sounds like such a wonderful thing. This can ONLY be achieved WHEN and IF Tamils have completely equal rights in Sri Lanka. This is for the singhala-buddhist dominated government to decide since Tamils have no say in anything.

    It’s funny how people put their hearts on their sleeves and write articles like this knowing that Tamil people have had their lives made a living nightmare and just want to brush it all under the carpet and start afresh!

    If the government of Sri Lanka can’t give equal rights to Tamils, then forget about peace and harmony! The only way we will get any say there is to have an appropriate number of Tamil people in Goverment too, but we all know that’s never going to happen…you have to be either Singhala or Buddhist to even be a politician there! Do Tamils fall into either category
    Reality speaks for itself mate..

  114. Yes! In-fact this is a similar view of all peace loving Sri Lankan. But we can’t simply let the killers out of the hook. We can’t say that ‘what has happened in the past has happened’. Especially in the recent past how many thousands of innocent civilians had been killed by the armed forces. I know that LTTE put those people on the risk; but Government did not treat these people as our own citizens. Government fought the war not only eradicate LTTE but crusade against the minorities Tamils in general and establish a Sinhalese-Buddhist state and erase all semblance of pluralism. I think we have to bring this killer Government to the justice first. We have to speed up the process of rehabilitation and resettlement of our people who displaced and living in IDP camp. Then only we can think about the political reconciliation.

    My opinion majority of Sinhalese people always favour to the peace with minorities Tamils. They clearly understood and wiling to share the power with Tamils. But some section of chauvinist Sinhalese and Buddhist clergy have been big obstacle to the peace. Even S.W.R.D .Bandaranaike said to the Buddhist clergy when he tear-up the pact signed with S.J.V Chelvanayakam ‘ If you are against this pact I would certainly tear it up but it will jeopardise the future of the country .You have to think about it’ . I hope we both side so far realised that how true this sentence was. Even in the recent history, I believe that leaders like Premadasa, Ranil, & Chandrika had genuine intension to resolve the conflict through the power sharing concept. But unfortunately they did not have the guts to implement any political model with out the support of the ‘Askiriya Pedam’. I think still the situation not changed. I can not see any such a leader who can convince ‘Askiriya Peedam’ for this regard. I think Sinhalese community should unite to-gather and willing to share the power with Tamil community. That day is not too far. Failure to seize the opportunity can mean condemning another generation to conflict.

    I think still we need a third party mediation to facilitate the peace negotiations. India is ideal country on this regard. Even though we understand India’s policy towards Sri Lanka, India has moral duty to secure the Sri Lankan Tamils and they could have been resolved this conflict simply. Because of the LTTE, they punished all the Tamil population. This is what all the Tamils feelings from the whole world. India should take seriously about this ‘feelings’. Because, as an organisation LTTE never be a threat to India’s internal security. But the ‘feelings’ of these Tamils can be go against India if India again underestimate Sri Lankan Tamils long lasting plights, grievance and hardships. India should come forward with a right political solution which could bring durable peace to Sri Lankan Tamils and whole country. There will be a great ‘oppose’ to this task from the Sri Lankan Government and some vocal section of Singhalese & Buddhist monks; but India should use its influence to over come this. I am sure the whole world will support India on this regard.

  115. I have a few comments on DBS ‘S blogs from time to time.I am a northern Srilankan origin Tamil .My life was saved in Ragama by a good friend Rohan Jeyasinghe during the 1983 riots.My brother,s life was saved by his pion Sunil Liyanage in railway head quarters Marathana. where he was working in july 1983. My friend Krishnanand’s life was saved by a Muslim friend Imitiaz of Dehiwala(He gave his prayer cap for him to wear on his long walk from Ratmalana Singer to his house in Bambalapitiya flats.)Another freind Maheswaran was killed in the same walk from Ratmalana to Wellawatte on that fateful day of july 1983.I myself was assaulted in a Jaffna suburb called Colombuthurai by SL millitary when I was walking down the road one December morning singing Thiruvampavai to wake up the folks to go temple to pray.
    All these mixed experience never made me feel bitter about any body or take up arms or even advocate violence.I married an Indian non Tamilian.Even today I Support a Girl who brouht us up during our formative years (She happend to be a Punchirala Punchi Manika.)She still lives in our house in Jaffna.Doesn’t speak a word of Sihalese all she Knows is tamil as she grew up with us. God please let us look at each other as human beings .Not as Sinhalese,Tamil,Black,White etc.
    Let us all give each other a chance to correct course.Do good even the other person is vicious this will one day change his or her attitude. I may sound like some religious fanatic .I am not .I am just a regular person with emotions and short comings.

    ===========

    Thank you for sharing this Peace. I am not punning with your name but I do feel you “have the peace that passeth understanding down in your heart” (its from a hymn)……..DBSJ

  116. Re: 129. Tamil

    “If the government of Sri Lanka can’t give equal rights to Tamils, then forget about peace and harmony! The only way we will get any say there is to have an appropriate number of Tamil people in Goverment too, but we all know that’s never going to happen”

    On which planet you live,
    Tamils do have equal rights in SriLanka. They want to be more than equal.

    There were tamil ministers in GOSL. Guess who killed them. LTTE.
    As for the TNA? They are tamils alright, but not sure who they are serving, Tamils or TamilNadu.

  117. After reading Mohan’s thoughts, I sincerely asked myself ‘would that be enough’? Will it bring the yearned peace? Can a defeated nation and its people bring change in the land? Only the victorious can bring the change.

    King Ashoka comes to my mind.

    He won many battles. After the war in Kalinga, he changed. With his change, the kingdom changed.

    He gave the golden period of Indian history.

  118. Rightsteps, Mohan & DBS, in these troubled times.

    I too have been, in my little way, trying to get both my Sinhalese & Tamil friends to look past grievancies and past mistakes and take middle moral ground. The people I speak to are mostly Buddhist, Hindu & Christians. But I find that most can sadly apply a different morality when it comes to this conflict, quite the opposite of what these great religions teach us. If only we abide by what our great religions teach us.!Interestingly most athiests and socialists tread the middle ground, I think?

    I think what the tamils expect is magnanimity and even mercy from the Victors. Justice would of course go a long way in healing wounds. Are the Sinhalese capable?

    The Tamils should realise the realities in the ground and evolve accordingly. I think what is needed is Unity and realism. I firmly believe the means that are employed, need to be pure to achieve a just end. Else the end is not worth achieving. (Gandhi, remember him, whose most tamils adore?)

    The Sinhalese need to look past the self appointed undemocratic LTTE, and realise that in most instances the tamils (lately) had no choice. They must also realise that most tamils in the North & East have not even met an ordinary Sinhalese, only those wearing jackboots. They should envision the morality and honesty displayed by our politicians and the armed forces, and see things from the minority point of view. They should realise that what a tamil ultimately wants is only some form of Federalism not a seperate country Ealam, which which is only a bargaining point. I am not saying some Tamils (or even most of those from the North & East )dreat of Ealam. Surely that is not on the tab;e now.

    The bottom line is if all sides commit to justice an fair play – the result should suit all sides. But can we rise above out petty differences and misconceptions?

    My fellow Lankans, for a start see the problem from the others point of view, setting aside self and self interst for a moment. Please also realise that the lack of freedom and openess in the South is the beginning of another cancer that cannot be excised the way LTTE was isolated and cut off. Beware of the ealy warning signs!

    In the words of Gitanjali.. (quoted earlier)

    I pray let my country awake…

  119. (EDITED)

    Hold an election and ask the people their choice Stop enslaving tamils again and again.

  120. We are two brothers of a family, born in this paradise Island
    Let us share and care, because it is our land
    There is no my land, your land, and traditional homeland
    There is only one brand, so united we stand

    I am the big one, you are the little one
    I am always first, you shall be second best
    If you challenge me, you will have none
    Work with me, I will pick first and share the rest

    I will take care of you, do not have worry
    I will give you toys that are no fun to me
    If I snatch them back, do not be sorry
    That is how a united family is meant to be

    You shall play with me whenever I ask
    You shall sit in a corner whenever I command
    I will beat you up if you do not finish my task
    I will beat you up even if you do as I demand

    You shall not scream or call mom and dad
    You can not sit alone, because there is no room for you upstairs
    You shall not cry out loud, because I will look bad – but
    You shall have the right to shed tears, and only tears

    =========

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    It’s a well constructed poem with rhyme, meter and of course its very meaningful. You have brought out the relationship between the powerful and powerless when the strong suppresses the weak.

    I felt this is applicable broadly to the oppressor and oppressed in several spheres like Majority – minority, race, religion, caste, region, Big country -small country.

    In Sri Lanka it does apply to some extent to the “Mahajathiya” and “Sulujathiya” but it can also be seen as illustrative of the intra – ethnic as well as inter – ethnic relationship. The LTTE at its hey day was as oppressive to those who did not toe their line.Likewise this regime is also turning oppressive towards those perceived as dissenters

    Much as I am impressed by your realism I would also be very happy if you could go beyond these barriers and write a poem about what COULD be rather than on what PREVAILS. Can you imagine the future in a poem. A future where the sword would be turned into a ploughshare and the lambs will lie down by the lions.

    What we imagine today can be real tomorrow.

    Let us shed tears but let them be tears of joy.

  121. i am a sinhalese and read the letter. i felt that this letter was written by a person who has a mentality that is very advanced for an asian, that includes all asians. but i also felt a little shamed as a sinhalese to find that we have not been a worthy majority in our country. what ever it is he is right about everything. i think it is a mindset that we asians need to develop to progress without emotions getting in the way. i think if we take a sinhalese and a tamil individually we get along great , but it seems like we have a problem existing as communities. both tamils and sinhalese in my opinion are the most cultured people in the world. like you said sir lets try to build our country. as for mr jayraj, i think you have the tallent to bridge the gap with your penmanship.

  122. Yes Mohan. I am agreeing with you. Why we are fighting. We have born in one country. Why we cant get to gather and help each other, why we cant live like a one nation. There are marriage between Sinhala and Tamil. I have lots of friends like that. We dont have any problem with Tamil. They are helping me when I need help and when I can help them I do help them. We call each other brother, sister, uncle, aunt. Not because they are my relative, because of the respect.

    Both the government and the LTTE did mistakes. Forget the past. Work together and build our country. I am with you.

  123. Dear DBS and Mano

    I am one of the recepients of the mail which
    Mano described as ” friends” he initially posted his letteer to. I now regret for forwarding this letter (which I did with bona fide intentions) to many of my friends as I am a firm believer that bothTamil and Sinhala community can live in harmony and if if we work towards one goal we can thrive. Mano’s intentions were genuine, and as DBS says comes from his heart. I feel sad when i see some comments atatcking Mano’s true intentions. These comments are still attemting to provoke the racism and aiming another black era.

    ————-
    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Not to worry Rajith.

    I was also troubled at the start when nasty comments attacking Mohan viciously were posted and that is why I posted a comment myself explaining some matters.

    But as more and more comments were posted I only felt happy about posting Mohan’s letter. It has evoked a lot of positive responses from different people.

    I think many are responding with their hearts and that is all that matters for now.

    If this can make even a small difference I will be elated and so will Mohan Segaram .

  124. These voices have been kept cilenced for 30 years by those who didn’t want to stop the war. This is our problem and WE have to get to gather to find a solution. Don’t ever trust international community. They are the root cause of the the problem.
    DBSJ take the steering. We have a long journey to go. You are on right track.

  125. Hi Mohan,

    Timely piece. Here is what I think as a Singhalese. I will keep my singhaleseness, with all its strengths and weaknesses, mythology and history etc. and you keep your tamilness with all its culture. But both should be subordinate to the idea of Sri Lankanness, with its multitude of ethnic and religious groups. I can’t think of a Sri Lanka without it’s tamils, the muslims and the other smaller groups; I can’t think of a Sri Lanka without its temples, churches, mosques and kovils.

    With regard to tamil rights; please continue agitating peacefully. No more blood.

  126. Mohan’s letter is good and has touched a sensitive spot amongst lots of people. People in Colombo know how the different ethhnic groups worked and still do without animosity. This situation was so in other parts too untill the ‘killing culture’ crept in. The tamil people in Sri Lanka as well as the Diaspora must realise that they have been taken for a ride, for the last 30 years or so.

    When they were losing all their intelectuals/ leaders, one by one they should have realised the path that they were being directed towards. Anyway, this is not the time for looking back, but time to move forward.

    Race based politics has to stop. Tamils, Muslims all other groups should come in to politics from the two main parties. They can keep the tags and identities for cultural/religious activities.
    Just think of Obama. If he came in to politics via a black party, the most he would have aspired to and obtained would have been the Governor post of a majority African American State. Becuase the African Americans, Hispanics and all others are integrated in to the main parties, they can move forward.
    People must start thinking in terms of Sri Lankans.
    Another case in point is India. Ask any Indian, before they are are Gujarati, Hindi or whatever, or whether they are Congress, BJP or whatever, they are proud Indians. We can learn from them.

  127. I totally agree with what # 109 Rajah said

    “””But I have my opinion as well.
    The ruthless murderers (aka politicians of SL) and the military leaders should be tried in the international court first for their war crimes. THEN ONLY any reconciliation process can take place UNDER EQUAL RIGHTS. After all, there has to be some form of accountability for all these atrocities against the innocent Tamil civilians. Dont you agree that the justice should prevail? The Tigers are punished for their wrong doing and its time for the culprits on the other side to be punished as well? Otherwise, what democracy are we talking about here?”””

    There cannot be any reconciliation unless guilty parties on BOTH sides are punished. The tigers have been done away with and now the culprits on the other side will have to face the Music.

    An international Criminal court with third party mediation can help solve most of the animosity by bringing those responsible for war crimes to justice.

    and lets hope, for the sake of the country that the GOSl agrees to this ,(unlike the “investigation” it carried out about the massacre of the 17 aid workers..) The Sinhalese people who really care about long lasting Unity and prosperity of this country ought to support this endeavor as it would convince the Tamils that they are not being dictated to, by the victors.

    also one has to tread carefully when reading comments like “there are only two kinds of people in this island, those who love it, and those who dont” .

    who decides this? the president? 😛

    When von Stauffenberg and his group plotted against Hitler and the Nazi regime, they were summarily executed. And strangely enough, they were reviled even AFTER the Nazi’s were defeated. Their families were treated as Traitors by most of the Germans in the post WW2 era Germany. In the late 50s the government had a court hearing that proved beyond doubt that these were real patriots who had the interest of their country at heart when they went against Hitler.

    The situation in Lanka is the same. Those in the Government have to pay for the war crimes and human rights abuses they have committed before people can think of reconciliation. In fact this would be integral part of the reconciliatory process. The only way to make the Tamil community ..any community..to feel part of a country is to treat them equally. especially in the law an order/justice issues.

    how many Sinhalese are willing to do this? therein lies the choice… of Lanka becoming a unitary country, or failing yet again. So, those who “really love the country” would be the ones who would strive to see criminals from BOTH sides punished for their actions.

    justice denied would only create more problems
    the Poison tree by William Blake comes to mind

    I was angry with my friend:
    I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
    I was angry with my foe:
    I told it not, my wrath did grow.

    And I watered it in fears,
    Night and morning with my tears;
    And I sunned it with smiles,
    And with soft deceitful wiles.

    Lets hope the Sinhalese brothers and sisters are willing to do their share, by punishing the criminals in their camp to make reconciliation a reality. Anyone who really loves their country owes it to themselves to make this come to pass

  128. the very reason starting of the conflict was discrimination against minorities.yes true and that was more than 45 years a go.at that time blacks in u.s.a were not allowed to sit with the whites .but the black did took arms for a brief period mohan.but it was not a major issue.couse they implemented equal rights to all concept and the blacks fought for it politically .you must not fight for separate state for eelam .eelam means independence.
    eelam for all people in sri lanka.that is equal rights to every one with out any discrimination .we cant afford to divide and rule this only discriminates more.

  129. Dear Mohan,
    All will appreciate your reasonable thinking.The IC
    is not going to help us. They have their own agendas.
    We have to look into our problems and get them
    solved ourselves.Thanks.Rajah

  130. DBSJ
    I thoought until this time you are neutral. but now only understand you are unti tamil. You can live safetly in canada. How the poor tamils live with together with singaleese. The letter written by different person. but you posted the comment most of them support the letter. So you support the fact after 100000 tamils died. If srilankans think tamils are thier people they couldn’t killed that many people. No singaleese aginst Government. All of them agree this exept few.. We don’t ask singala country . Tamils only ask our land. Look singapoor How small, How they develop? Then why can’t singalees give the tamil’s land? It is not meaning to we ask their country. They can have their country we can have our country.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Kamal,

    It is difficult to be neutral between good and bad or right and wrong.

    I dont know where you live but I had to stay on in Canada only due to escalating problems in Sri Lanka.

    It is my fervent desire that the problems should end in the land of my birth. My intention is to do whatever I can to help resolve them.

    I dont think Mr. Mohan Segaram or I deny that Tamils face a lot of problems in Sri Lanka. But I think we have to gradually overcome them through non – violent methods.

    I also know there is chauvinism among sections of the Sinhala people too. But again I feel that we Tamils also need to re – orient our attitude and approach in dealing with this.

    I dream of transcending the present and as I’ve often said my vision is for a United, Pluralistic, Egalitarian Sri Lanka.

    I dont know whether it will be a reality during my lifetime but I just want to try.

    Just one more thing

    Either by choice or necessity more Tamils live in the seven Sinhala majority provinces than the Tamil majority Northern and Eastern provinces.

    This is the reality at present.

    “Ilangai” Thamils are unique to this Island and are an integral part of Sri Lanka

    As I often say our destiny is inextricably inter – twined with that of the Sinhalese

  131. DBS and mohan

    This is the best article published in your site or cyberspace in a long while . we have to all reach out to the other waiting for one party or the other to make the fist move will doom it .

    Like Mohan said ,I dare say nobody knows the difference between a jayasinghe and a jayasingham .. lol

  132. DBSJ,

    There is NO moral difference between you and VP.

    Shame on you.

    ————

    I am puzzled. Is there an “immoral” difference then? Please enlighten me……..DBSJ

  133. It is great to witness the existence of people like Mohan.

    Well done mohan

    Also it reminds me the days that we enjoyed Thal Ra with our Jaffna mates during Uni holidays……

  134. Interesting point of view.

    I confess that I was one of those Tamils shared MS point of view until a couple of months ago. I grew up in Kandy, went to a leading private school, hated the war, hoped for peace but left Srilanka as I could not see any hope for economic growth nor peace. (I even supported the Srilankan Cricket team, and never missed a game when they travelled to my capital city downunder!)

    I have now changed. The final phase of the war and the ferocity in which it was fought firmly instilled the belief in me that Tamils and Sinhalease are different nations. The continuing celebrations, V-day parades etc are only reaffirming my belief.

    I am waiting for the GOSL to prove me wrong, as the ball is in their court. I am ready to reconcile if the truth is established. Al Gores suggestion for the Srilankan conflict, in his book Assault on Reason, where he sees mistrust between the two communities for centuries as the main sticking point, and he urges the two communities to consider outside the box solutions. Al Gore recommends a Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a starting point for lasting peace, as used in South Africa, after the apartheid era. More details on TRC can be found in http://www.doj.gov.za/trc/
    I cannot see the exuberant GOSL is in any hurry to establish such initiatives, but in contrary they are trying to conceal the truth in the hope of ruling by military occupation, and only sawing the seeds for future Tamil rebellions.

    Let us hope for lasting peace with dignity.

  135. Thank you for publishing the liberal comments on the article. Wish more could come from the IDP’s both in Vanni and other parts of the country.

  136. I am not Ltte supporter. but tamil suppoter.I like all tamils want to become tamil supporter like singaleese behave singala supporter.Ltte become terrerist only after the government terrerism. They did bomb blassed after governmnt bombed on Kovils, civilians houses and schools. Why singaleese understand This jet? Look singaleese how they united to win tamils. why you can’t DBJ? You must write tamils rights, If you are neutral, I dont support what all Ltte did. But I appreciate their freedom mind being as a tamil. How many terrible situation we have in our live. How we can forget easily? It is hard jeyaraj. Please you have to think about it. Rajiv Gandhi family cant forget killing of Rajiv Gandhi. Thatwhy they helped Srilankan. How Tamils can forget every thing after killing 100000 Tamils. Most of the Tamils all over the world like this situation. Even in Srilanka Most of the tamils now understand the behaviour of singaleese after wining the war. They now only understand the Ltte power.

  137. There is no further compromise and space for reconciliation. Our soldiers have liberated this Buddhist land from the terrorist.

    We will build Pansala in every corner of the street in North and East. If you guys need compromise….sorry you are tapping the wrong door.

    Also, we don?t want you foreign tamils here in our land. This is ours and and you people can stay in Canada or Europe.

    ———
    Nice try “Sarath”. But excuse me er your slip is showing………..DBSJ

  138. This is a good starting point and I like the issues addressed there.

    My vision is for a united and egalitarian Sri Lanka where everyone is judged on merit, not on race/religion etc

    First, now both Sinhalese and Tamils should get together and first have to investigate what opportunities and services are not available to Tamils. As the docunet points out, going back to 1956 etc is useless. We should take those memories as lessons for both Tamils and Sinhalese. In that we need to accept that successive Sri Lankan governments and Sinhala politicians (greedy politicians) did so much damage to bring about a group like LTTE. But today, it is different.

    Once we understand what exactly is missing for Tamils (as opposed to other Sri Lankans) we should work out a solution for that bearing in mind, what is important is EQUAL rights – nothing more nothing less.

    To my thinking, what is required is to create an environment where everyone is able to live and work anywhere in Sri Lanka and everyone is judged based on merit, not based on race. Race, creed, region are immaterial.

    We need to move away from many things to do with races/ethnicities. In this context, I would like to see race-based political parties to vanish. This goes to JHU too. Only political parties should be the ones with multi-racial representation.

    Other important thing is for the government to introduce an Equal Opportunity Legislation where every Sri Lankan is free to do anything and is judged on merit, but not on race. Anti-discrimination type legislation is absolutely essential too.

    Enacting such laws as well as practising those are absolutely important and to my thinking that is what we need.

    In that way, one day a Tamil will become the President on Sri Lanka, not because he/she is a Tamil, but because that person has the best policies for Sri Lanka’s prosperity. That day people will not look at one’s race.

    I like what the President said, there are no more minorities in Sri Lanka. Equal rights for all, nothing more, nothing less.

  139. I wish they (UN, The world, even Sinhalese) will hold a referendum.

    Do the Sinhalese have the heart and guts to ask the Tamils what they want in a democratic way?

    Hold a referendum and let Tamils decide their destiny. If all of you guys think that majority of Tamils want reconciliation with Sinhalese, why fear a referendum.

    We cannot forget what happened in the past six decades. If we are ignorant of sixty year history of Tamils in Sri Lanka,(Tamils have two thousand years of history in Sri Lanka) then what can I say, we want the Tamils to learn the same again. Reconciliation it did not happen over the sixty years, we wish it to happen now. Sinhalese are celebrating the victory (over the Tamils) with their president.

    As long as the Sinhalese think that the whole island is theirs, and do not accept another nation in it, there will be no respect for the Tamils and no reconciliation. I do not want to be a minority. I belong to a nation. That is Tamil nation.

  140. I was born in Jaffna, and in fact lived there for 20 years, and then later moved to Colombo and lived there. I also made some great sinhalese friends.
    I hate both the LTTE and the SL army. (Both bring me fear)
    However I am surprised to find myself agreeing to most (not all) of what MS has written. I think it is time we let ourselves listen to thoughts like these.
    Well done MS

  141. I share the writers views as a Sinhalese. It is time to reconcile. Sinhalese are not racists. People in south celebrated the great relief; no more LTTE. In 1989 they celebrated “no more Premadasa” in the same fashion. Sinhalese are ready to live in harmony with Tamils and Muslims who can think like Sri Lankans. Sinhalese wanted to live in peace with Tamils. That is why Chandrika came to power. That is why people had lots of hopes when Ranil initiated peace talks. Some people has commented that Sinhalese did not harm after 1983 (even in 1983 it was government sponsored thugs who carried out the riots, I do not call them Sinhalese) because they were afraid of LTTE. That is nothing but nonsense. LTTE bombed southern Sinhalese hoping to create another riot, but failed.

    I should thank my farther who bought me Tamil alphabet book when I was a kid about 30 years back. This shaped the way I think about Tamils. In year 2000 I had an opportunity learn Tamil from vice principal of Bambalapitiya Hindu College. I have a great respect to her. That is the way to reconcile, Sinhalese should start learning Tamil and vis versa. This will help to rebuild the trust in my opinion.

    I am visiting Sri Lanka before end of this year. I am eagerly waiting to do my contribution help in resettling the displaced Tamils. Another hope in my mind is to provide assistance to a displaced Tamil child for his or her education. For sure I know there are so many Sinhalese who think the same way like me.

    Tamil diaspora, please stop carrying chips on your shoulders. work for reconcile.

  142. Great and very practical letter. As a Sinhalese I agree with him 100%. The enough is enough As sri Lankan we need to solve our problems with in us. Real respect to Tamils of Sinhalese never come through force but friendship and reconciliation. We need to forget the bitter and shameful past and look forwards a peaceful future so that our children (Sinhala & Tamil ) can live a prosperous life in Sri Lanka. Didnt we loose very intelligent and cable people from both sides?… now enough is neough

  143. This was really moving, well done! A few more writers like you and we may yet bridge this divide

  144. Congratulations to both Mohan and DBS.
    Take heart, but there are many who feel the same way but remain silent leaving the centre stage to rabid racists (from both sides). What we need a catalyst to bring them out in to the open.
    In the meantime, I remain hidden behind my nom de pax.

  145. Its easy to talk about reconciliation and forgiveness. The solution to the problem lies in the hands of GOSL. Till a amicable solution is found to the just demands of the Tamils this is going to go on.

  146. Sinhala people are of North Indian origin and speak the southernmost Indo-Aryan language – Sinhala. They cannot speak or understand Dravidian Tamil and vice versa. There is clear proof of Sinhala civilization in Sri Lanka going back over 25 centuries and Mahavamsa is a wonderful historical record as the Germans who first translated it expressed. By careful study of the current Tamil spoken in Jaffna it is clear that it diverts from that of Tamil Nadu only by a few centuries at most. Sinhalese have a clear stake to the country and the average Sinhala person understands that. These are hard facts and the best thing for the Tamil people is to forget forging a separate state, reconcile to the fact that their history is shorter in the island, and through hard work earn the respect of the Sinhala people. As shown in the last few weeks militancy will not work, and the regional realities favor the Sinhala people. That may be hard to swallow for some Tamil diehards but the best they can do is start another militancy and finally be completely defeated not just as LTTE but as Tamils. The government will not wait to see another militancy emerge so any new efforts will mean early and complete annihilation.

  147. Wow
    It is so refreshing to see so many positive thoughts…
    It gives me hope

    Happiness comes from within. And it comes from helping others in need.

    We have a golden opportunity to help the IDP. So lets all get together as Sri Lankans and help them. They need food, clothes and more importantly our unconditional love and compassion.

    Then, we can continue to hold hands and march forward together and resolve our problems by talking to one another….

    This is so important – if not for us, for the future generations. Teach them how to forgive and teach them compassion. Please refrain from teaching them hatred.
    Thank you

  148. Great letter mohan, hope we can have a “few drinks” at longden place soon. I’m sinhalese…… who cares?

  149. re: 129: Tamil

    The only way we will get any say there is to have an appropriate number of Tamil people in Goverment too,

    the tigers killing tamil politicians didn’t help huh?

    it’s time to move on, I’m not asking you to forget what happened but work together for a brighter future.

  150. mr jayraj
    i am a sinhalese. recently, i watched a documentary about the jaffna library. it was burned by the sinhalese. and after watching that documentary i was thinking about that all night i finally realized the gravity of that incident. i think the tamils will never forgive the sinhalese for that. but think about this point, i think the british built that library to cause friction between tamils and sinhalese. if some country come to american and invade u.s and give the high government positions to blacks and , build a library that looks almost like the white house , what will the blacks do , they will probably store all their literiture and important documents in that library. now when this invader leaves they give the power of the government to majority whites, what do you think is going to happen sooner or later( i am not comparing whites and blacks to sinhalese or tamils , its an example). so in my opinion tamils should understand the conaiving aspect of the british. having said that i am a shame as a sinhalese for what happened. please forgive us for that disgraceful act. also mr jayraj can you write about the jaffna library and your take on that.

  151. DBS,

    Is there a way to get those who are in BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera to read this letter?. The war is over. Both Tamils and Singalese (at least the majority of them) want peace and reconceliation. Spreading hate will not help anybody.

    Can somebody ask BBC to give peace a chance?. Mohan’s letter will be a good starting point.

  152. If you insist on equal rights based on ethnicity then we will end up with another war soon.

    If there are any discrimination in government policy or rule of law that can be addressed immediately. Bias and other attitudes will take more time to address.

    I am sure the Sinhala people are not 100% virtuous and the Tamils must accept that they are not 100% virtuous either and this goes to other ethno-religious groups as well.

    The Sri Lankan identity is by which the state addresses the people. In front of LAW and ALL other procedures the state uses everyone has to be equal. Irrespective of ones ethnicity, sub-ethnicity(caste), world-view, socio-economic status.

    If we go down the power sharing, devolution,federalism based on ethnic distribution we will never have stability.

    This conflict dragged on for so long because of the Thimpu Principles (1985).

    The Tamil community has to find things that are common socially, economically, politically with other ethno-religious groups in the country and learn to live like everyone else.

    THe Sinhala people have problems…WHo do they complain to……..There were many Sinhala youths massacred during 1989-90 was there a UN investigation….OR was there even talk of UN intervention……..

    Tamils and other numerical minorities have to treat and take the WHOLE country as well as the people living in the country as their OWN and their OWN homeland. If you try to demarcate this area is mine I do what I like to do without your interference then this proble will never end……

  153. R Maran, you mentioned,

    “An initiative taken by some Sinhalese and Tamils in Sydney. They have organised a fund raising dinner for the war orphan children”

    Where about in Sydney, do you know? Can you please share some information, I am sure a lot of us would like to join the cause.

    Or does anyone knows anything about it?

    This forum is an excellent platform to to spread the TRUTH and bring everyone to gather to face the reality.

    I value everyone’s honest opinions.

    Thanks and I know I am ready to LISTEN even more.

  154. Sinhalese and Tamils can not live together anymore. SL Government has made irrepairable damage to the Tamils. Tamil’s freedom struggle looks slow because their mouths are silenced with the guns. They would be killed if they use the word Eelam.

    This struggle will start all over again in different dimension in which Tamils need not control land and do their own administration.

    I think Rajabakse Family does not understand the consequences of their Genocide, will return on their own language very soon.

    Tamils with Scars will not forgive this.

  155. It’s a good article.
    But, It’s unable to see any positive signals from President & Peoples(Sinhalese) yet.
    It’s resposibility of tamil jounalists and leaders to take positive actions. Do the positive moves to reach this message to People, President & Government Administrations. And another major responsibility is to convince the tamil international network to accept this.
    And another big truth is the number of MP seats is the only weapon deciding the goverments policies in the future(After Mahinda Rajapaksa). We all tamils should get together and make one poltical party. By negotiating our MP seats we could be able to decide the goverment. We shold look at the positive ways to influence. Such as Big inverstments on Real estate, Get into the Miltry & Police, Get into the education & Administration. All Tamils dispora should support to achieve this.

  156. #167 una

    /”but think about this point, i think the british built that library to cause friction between tamils and sinhalese. if some country come to american and invade u.s and give the high government positions to blacks and , build a library that looks almost like the white house , what will the blacks do , they will probably store all their literiture and important documents in that library. now when this invader leaves they give the power of the government to majority whites, what do you think is going to happen sooner or later( i am not comparing whites and blacks to sinhalese or tamils , its an example). so in my opinion tamils should understand the conaiving aspect of the british. having said that i am a shame as a sinhalese for what happened. please forgive us for that disgraceful act. also mr jayraj can you write about the jaffna library and your take on that.”//

    it would be nice if you get your facts straight first before putting your “oh the Brits Favored the Tamils” spin on this issue too. The Jaffna library was NOT built by the Brits but by the Tamils themselves.

    “sigh”

  157. No Sinhalese seems to advocate for Equal justice even though they talk about “being equal” and “reconciliation” ad nauseum

    There cant be any reconciliation unless guilty parties in both sides are punished for their crimes. unless one knows what transpired, the same mistakes would be repeated. one of the guilty party has been done away with, the other should be brought before courts so justice would be served.

    (refer to # 23, #143)

  158. i. m exservicemen living in canada .
    sekeram is true srilankan i love his view i like to ask desapora timils are they enjoy equal rights in western countries. still hidden racism is there in all those countries but is not correct

    our audio visual media and authors also 50%responsible for trhis problem because of using wrong terms like south, north and sinhalese tamil or muslim we all are srilankan even when we are living in western countries most of our people can not represent as srilankan inted of saying srilankan used to say tamil or sinhalease we have to make this correct this problem wascreated by tamil and sinhala politician only ordinarry people are innocent and they are not educated in the past so politician misled them easily now is not easy

    to do so majority of sinhalease still accept tamil as friends .good example you can see rather than tamil ordinary sinhalese contributing for displaced tamil . tamil live in western countries
    mis led by properganda machine of LTTE finally tamil destroy tamil rather than sinhalease so time has come foget the past lets live to gether as srilankan rather than tamuil or sinhaleses not only for tamil but sinhalease also dont have fair low and order in sl

  159. We must reconcile. And it must begin today. But please! please! let us not be GLIB about it. Can you talk reconciliation to someone’s face while continuing to violate the rest of him !!!

    We here various stories, but find them easy to gloss over, by terming them propaganda. This one is real, it is hands on. I personally know a young man who has been studying in Colombo for the last few years, He did not have news of his family, finally got news that thay are at the Chettikulam camp. With relief he went to meet them. His excitement turned to despair very quickly. A few days prior to his visit the army has taken two of his sisters from the camp. Sure! you are thinking they must be suspects. Should they not have an equal opportunity in our minds to be considered innocent. Should the Army not be accountable? Should the family at least know, where they are being taken? Where they are being held? and what the process ahead of them would be. When unknown the fears of safety, abuse and rape are natural.

    Mohan, you seem a nice Colombo guy, who wants the country to get back to the innocence that we lost. Like you I too played rugby, had great friends belonging to the majority, and as a tamil was perplexed as to why these idiots in the North were making things so difficult for us in the South, when we find the southerner amicable and friendly much of the time. So I did my Civic duty to the country during the ceasefire of 02 in visiting the North and the Vanni with the intention to win them over to the main stream. I sat and listened to peoples stories, from prior to 83, from the earlier tamil villages of Manal Aru, now Weli oya. What I found was a systematic,scheme to change demographics, to change identities,to get people to fit into a mono-culture. Not a common one, but an imposed one.

    The issues are real. We Tamils, however should have continued to agitate using non-violent methods. But hey!
    When it comes to reconciliation it is not about us Colombo Tamils, but about the North and the East. Those who are now kept behind barbed wire, not allowed outside access. With whom anybody can do anything because information is not known, or if it is known it is will come out only at the cost of another life.

    If we want to go towards reconciliation, there is some work that has to be done prior. You cannot heal a wound by saying it is not there!

  160. Dear DBSJ

    I appreciate very much the contribution you are making towards building bridges between our too communities. I may be posting this in the wrong place and I would not mind your publishing it .But I am trying to draw your attention to boondi.lk, an website run by Sinhala youngsters. (Perhaps you may be already knowing about them.) The very day I sent URLs of both, your blog and boondi.lk to a Tamil friend of mine in Mississauga, (He was always a moderate person and was fairly new to the cyberspace) , boondi.lk published a Sinhala translation of an article of yours scanned from “Ravaya”. I am considering myself as very fortunate to have got in touch with boondi.lk published mainly in Sinhala but speaking on behalf of the Tamil community of Sri Lanka in a very effective way. It discusses the ethnic issue using all tools available to them. It cannot be a coincidence that I came across boondi.lk and your web at the same post war period. May it be the sign of Sri Lanka’s moderates winning the ultimate war, the one against hatred, chauvinism and extremism. I think internet has saved masses from the influence of polarized media monsters with ulterior political and financial motives. I invite you to have a sneak peek to it.

    Thanks and Best Regards

    Harsha Mutucumarana

    416-265-9126

  161. I entrirely agree with Mr.Mohan Segaram.In fact I properagted the same sentiments ever since I started face to face dialogues with Sinhala friends during early 90s when I diplaced from Jaffna and settled in Colombo.
    I found many factors that caused This Tamil -Sinhala divide. One of them is ‘Suya bhasha’ Education brought about communication difficuties which resulted in huge Noth-South polarisation.

    I am a Management lecturer. I teach my students about synergy(syncronised Energy).2+2’= 5. when Giant multi nationals are merging together to get the maximum beneifit from Synergy why should we de-merger the Lanka plc.What are we going to achieve.
    Now is the time to think .
    Tamils and the sinhalese should decide whether they want put the past behind and develop our country so that both Singhalese and tamils can benefits or keep on wasting our time and money for none.
    Tamil Dispora should ask a question to them self wther they eqaully treated in thier countries where they sought Asylum.
    Discrimination is always there all over the world throughout the history interms of sex,religion Race , caste or policical ideology. But there are structures and mechanism are now available to challenge those dicrimination.
    If we carefully analyse we can conclude the root cause of our problem is lack of economic resources that can be equally shared. For example standardisation is due to shortage of Univeristies rather than due to deliberate dicscrimination by singhala government.
    I am sure the money spent on war by both side is enough to build universities in each districts in Srilanka.
    Therefore, Lets think rationally than emotionally.
    As Mohan mentioned world has moved very fast from the time of ‘Thanthai Selva’- We need a pradigm shift in thinking.

  162. Re: 154 Sarath,

    Ane manda sarath… which cave r u coming out from? R u joking or r these ur true feelings?

    I too am a sinhalese and i can’t believe the extent of ur racism. v had enough with this war and don’t want to take our country backwards again. The relationship between sinhalese and tamils has become very fragile due to countless government funded celebrations and civillian deaths. Don’t make things worse with foolish thoughts. If u don’t have any good thing to say, please i’m down on my knees begging u, keep silent.

  163. You defeated an organization that participated in peace talks representing an ethnic group for last 25 years to resolve this issue all the way from Thimpu.

    Now you are organizing extravagant celebration in Colombo to celebrate the victory that you crushed your negotiating partners ruthlessly.

    So this is a clear indication that you did not participate in the negotiating table genuinely in the past.

    No one with the genuine interest in resolving the issue will celebrate when the negotiating partners ruthlessly murdered.

    Another, why do you keep those three selfless doctors served in Vanni still in the Jail. This is another ruthless act.

    You are the majority so you can physically silence the Tamils in the short term but Tamils with Scars will not forgive you at all in the history.

    This means my question is when is the Srilanka going to maximize and exceed the GDP? I believe not in the near future until the root cause is eradicated that can be by means of separation.

    Separation is not an untouchable word. It has worked in East Timor.

  164. This is a response to Sakthi’s comment #89.
    An hounourable solution to the Tamil ethnic grievances was offered to Tamils on a platter in 1987 by Rajiv Gandhi; A provincial council with a merged north and east, to have a Tamil Chief Minister and to develop the traditional Tamil areas. But what happened? The so called sole representative of the Tamil people, killed him and threw away the provincial council solution. Why? The minority has a majority complex and Tamils were not prepared to accept anything short of independent Eelam.
    Now after the demise of LTTE and a colossal number of Tamil civilians are killed you say that the victor should extend the hands of friendship towards the loser. This is already happening and the 13th amendment which is already enshrined in the constitution is ready to be implemented in the north. Are Tamils ready to accept this positive approach by the victor or will you tow the line of challenging this Government at the international court of justice for human rights violations or continue to agitate for a separate Eelam through demonstrations in the western capitals?
    Coming back to the article, Mohan who was brought up in Colombo, has got a seasoned heart on how to integrate with other communities, where as many Tamils who are born and brought up in north and east are not. They need to be educated in racial harmony and Sinhalese traders and merchants should be allowed to conduct business in Jaffna and Batticaloa and their families should be allowed to settle in these areas. Racial harmony will be a reality only when a country unites in economic integration from north to south like what the Indian poet Bharathy said:
    Gankai Nathipurathu Kothumai Pandam Kaveri Vetrilaiku Maru Seivom (we will exchange the wheat meal from Ganges river basin to the betel leaves from Kaveri river basin). In Sri Lankan context we should exchange the paddy from Mahaveli river basin to tobacco from Point Pedro in the north.
    I agree with Sakthi that “If a genuine Federal set up is offered, a true Sri Lankan identity will blossom” but the ball is not only in Sinhalese court but it is also in the court of more than one million Tamil Diaspora.

  165. What is the point of talking about reconciliation when half the Tamils are locked up and the other half in Colombo are getting attacked? Come you guys are just dreaming.

    Stop the killing first – all of it. Tamil and Sinhalese. Stop the arrests, stop the beatings and abductions. Why do you want to be moderate about murder?

    What about Poddala Jayantha?

    It’s got to STOP!

  166. It is an interesting read. However browsing the comments I get the impression that we are a long long long….. way from even embarking on a meaningful reconcilation process.
    Responsibility now lies with the majority and remember rhetoric will be seen as what it is – a rhetoric.
    What we need right now is a sincere leadership to start this difficult process of developing the trust between the two sides. So what we need is action not rhetoric and do not leave it to the politicians. Take your little step towards this goal. We, individuals should take the lead.

  167. Yes, war is over. Let us accept the Tamils are lost the war, as Prez said there is on Minorities in Sri Lanka. What I was expected is a humble victory acceptance from Leaders of our land and the majority. Sadly I couldn’t see light at end of the tunnel but I smell another tunnel ahead. The majorities and leaders are in July 1983 mood (teaching a lesson to Tamils) the amount of hatred and superiority complex is tremendously increased amongst the majorities which I dont blame them but the leaders and media. Please come and see by yourself (as I did and beginning regret) whether this side is green or not

  168. Hey Ulysses,

    I can feel your venom and bitterness all the way here in Australia. Is it too much to ask to at least bury the past – for at least a little while – and give peace a chance?.

  169. Article is nice but still there is a will to live seperatley and it is too early. This even could be the new strategy to mellow down the patriotic Sri Lanka and go for EEalm through the back door.
    Can not be trusted as all Tamils talk of million year culture their superiority and the newly written Sri Lanka history as they imagine for Lanka.
    There is no way 12% of a country dictate to the rest or ask for anything special. If Tamils are genuine they can come and live among us in villages in the south and they would welcome us to line in the north.
    I say this is all “Paper planes”.

  170. #153. Kamal | June 1st, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    /// I am not Ltte supporter. ……….
    . Rajiv Gandhi family cant forget killing of Rajiv Gandhi. Thatwhy they helped Srilankan. How Tamils can forget every thing after killing 100000 Tamils. ///

    You are not LTTE supporter .. Very good of you. At least in one sentence you are not that. All believed.

    But you are another victim of a propaganda .

    Like many, you believe that Gandhi family could not forget Rajiv assassination and so they helped Srilnaka in vengeance.

    Now you understand this …
    India tacitly approved Srilankan war against LTTE for the elimination of LTTE .

    Because LTTE was the main stumbling block for regional stability . India like to see a stable neighborhood .
    Forget the past.

    Don’t assume Indian external policies are formulated overnight or based on personal interests of those sit on the top. Only thing is it is little bit bureaucratic.

    For an example, Karunanidhi was making huge cry over the Srilankan issue and passed a resolution in assembly. He announced resignation of MPs and MLAs in protest.

    But when he was summoned and briefed why India is not intervening in the Srilankan affairs, he became silent and did the necessary to curb the street violence started in Chennai by few.

    India is not a big fool to have policies of revenge and retaliation.

    The OPPARI style attempts by the propaganda machines did n’t work this time, so you blame every one in the neighborhood ?

  171. The JRJ government for whatever reason did away with the subject of history from our educational system. Ranil wickramasinghe was the education minister. This is a criminal act . It can be compared to the burning down of the jaffna library & the unwillingness/inability to control the 83 riots. Where there is no history there is no present & future. The general population starts to think that they have been dropped from the sky & have no roots. They start behaving like outside boarders & not citizens with a duty. Although the subject has been revived a whole generation have not benefited. History is interlinked with archeology with one complementing the other. This topic is a hotbed of controversy & serious disagreements between the sinhala & tamils exist. But running away from the controversy & evidence is no solution. The school children should be taught the subject based on existing evidence & made to learn & respect each other’s history. It has to start at the primary level. If the kids are taught hatred from their childhood they grow up learning hatred. These kids in adulthood will feel victimized historically & pass on the hatred to their children. A never ending cycle. All kids should be taught the history of india, tamil nadu as well as sri lanka. At least the basics of the first two. I am talking about the recorded history recognized by the respected internationally chartered institutions & not racist web sites..

    Archeologists such as Dr. Rasanayagam are controversially rejected by most tamils. It’s the duty of tamil scholars to present fresh evidence & disprove him without challenging the existing evidence meaninglessly & propagating violence as a substitute.

    both communities share a whole heap of culture in common as is evident. Almost all sinhala buddhist businesses as well as homes display the Buddha as well as Hindu gods. The Buddhists have a particularly high regard for hinduism as can be seen from their attendance at kovils no matter how many bombs are detonated by the LTTE.

    I know of a sinhala Buddhist LTTE bomb victim who survived with injuries. his astrologer (a very famous so called Sinhala Buddhist racist) advised him to go to a famous Hindu kovil & offer poojas for 4 consecutive weeks because his “time was bad”. The bomb victim spent a packet & did exactly as he was told. The astrologer has assured the bomb victim that he’s now safe. all three parties are now happy. (the victim, the astrologer & the kurukkal). of course lightening never strikes the same place twice. This kind of incident proves that all are mad & some are lunatics/sadists. It is the lunatics/sadists who kill when they cannot express themselves or cannot face facts. The rest of the populace is normal (which means they are just plain mad).

    thalaivar claimed the sinhala will forget very fast. He forgot to add that they forgive even faster. Look at karuna & pilleyan. I am sure the northern councils will be full of ex LTTE people like them in the future. I have NEVER heard a single sinhala civilian, politician or Buddhist priest say “let’s boycott tamil shops or tamil run businesses & products” ever. If somebody ever tries to whip up that kind of hatred by any chance I am sure the sinhala people will rebel & do the exact opposite. the tamil business income will go thru the roof. The sinhala will support MR but they know where to draw the line.

    Maybe it’s Buddhism or could be some other reason. But somehow the Sinhala Buddhists simply do not conquest or hate. They are supposed to be slack & easy going up to a certain limit as the british noted. It maybe a good exercise for LTTE supporters to compare the privileges & rights tamils enjoy in other countries & compare them with sri lanka. For example the official tamil language status. The LTTE supporters should also read about the allied bombings (including Hiroshima & nagasaki) in WW2 & its japanese & german casualties. These casualty figures should be eye openers for those who shout about tamil genocide & expect the westerners to save them.

    After WW2 It was JRJ who spoke for the Japanese & asked the allied countries for forgiveness. At that time japan was poor & had nothing to offer us. Today the germans & japanese have forgiven & have moved forward to be the technological wonders of the world. There are invaluable lessons to be learnt in these chains of events. That’s why history is so important.

  172. LTTE and Prabha gambled like a hard core gambler in front of a slot machine.
    He won a lot and lost a bit, but never knew when to STOP,the common blunder commited by addicted gambler.
    Untill he lost every thing including thousands of innocents lives and at the end his own.
    Sad point here is ,a people known for their hard working, honest and inteligent approch to life called TAMILS bankrolled him, some willingly and others unwillingly.
    On the other end the Sinhaleas who tried to stop this gambing habit of LTTE, first by force, then by apeasment finally found a ruthless but can do attitude president who closed the casino .HOW? By burning it. DO You know the name of that place?Sri lanka!!

    It’s now time for every one to open wide our eyes and see who are the losers.The innocent Tamils as much as innocent Sinhales.
    Our familly jewellery is pawned to the lenders , IMF,WB and al. our lives are in ruines, country in shambles, and every body is suffering.So don’t expect any winners from the out come of this dirty war.

    Now do we continue on the same path or correct course and come together to pull ourselves out of this?
    The answer is in you.& me.

    Thanks for Mohan & DBJ for giving their alternative prespectives.Yes, I agree with them.

    P:S: If Tamils & Sinhales who live in the western countries have too much of cash to throw away, they should play russian roullet in their countrys of residence, not incite poor Srilankans to go back to bad old habits.

  173. Thanks DBS & Mohan,
    I have read Mohan’s email as well as his Sinhalese friend’s reply. Both touched my heart…It’s time to move on.
    DBSJ did a good job by publishing Mohan’s comments with his permission. Dear readers, Do not shoot the messenger. Mohan’s original email was intended to address his group of friends. I wish SL tamil & sinhala politicians have the same vision.

  174. Hello Mohan and DBS
    I want to let you know I am with you on this quest. I promise to do all I can, to reconsile and trust and much more. This is my pledge to our Nation. Our Nation with YOU and ME.

  175. heylo there ulysis

    /*
    No Sinhalese seems to advocate for Equal justice even though they talk about “being equal” and “reconciliation” ad nauseum
    */

    good observation. the Sinhalaese will agree there was a fair degree of Sinhala involvement in the problem initially. but then he would say your people killed my people. he would go on to say, when we tried to fix the problem your people still kept killing my people. then my people went and killed yours.

    so at the end of the day its an even keel. we are all square and justice served all around in the battlefield. what does this mean? this means autonomy as some tamils initially envisaged may not materialise. it would have only made sense if there was still injustice to Tamil people. in its place there shall be something more meaningful that promote co-existence and equality. yay we all win!

    cheers

  176. This is a section from our constitution. Should explain the state of affairs to you.
    I rest my case.

  177. 9. The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).

  178. “Press freedom campaigner beaten as Sri Lanka tries to silence the media”-Times on line 2.06.09

    Do u all still think reconciliation? DBS,Mohan – Day dream. What Chelvanayagam said God help Tamils. Was Chelva a Tamil Tiger?

  179. DBS,
    Thanks for publishing the email from Mohan. It is wonderful to see that many people share these sentiments as well. After the war has ended, Sri Lanka has the opportunity to emerge as a viable force in Asia. We can unite and make it work for all. I am sinhalese and have several close tamil friends and feel that all races and religions can co-exist as Sri Lankans.

  180. I agree with Mohan. He can be proud of being a Tamil and I can be proud of being a Sinhalese. That is our right. However, our ethnicity shoud not stand against we both being srilankans. Irrespective of our ethnic background, we all should have equal opportunities to education, health and legal rights and as far as I know this has been clearly stated in the Constitution. Every efforts should be taken to implement theses rights but all over the world there are numerous occasions where these equal rights are not delievered to the letter. We in Australia, a No1 democracy in the world can see many evidence where ‘fair go’ is not practiced. That is the nature of individual behaviour rather than ethnocentric diescrimination.

  181. I think It is completely None sense of talking of reconciliation Whiles suffering of tamils is still continuing.
    Reconciliation means forgetting the past , not the present !
    First India and Sri lanka should give justice and compensation ( development + autonomy) for the suffering of tamils. Put an immidiate end to the suffering and give anmisty to the LTTE fighters , as they are anyway citizens of Sri lanka who fought for thier “country”.

    Then We can talk about friendship and reconcilliation… Asking tamils for reconcilliation while they are subject to abuses is asking them to accept those abuses…

  182. 143. Ulysses

    I hate to diaasapoint u. thalaivar has reversed the tamils back to pre 1956 level.

    earlier tamils had a choice. now they have only one choice & that’s peace. as for the revenge, HR, & genocide circus i get the feeling that

  183. 143. Ulysses

    I hate to diaasapoint u. thalaivar has reversed the tamils back to pre 1956 level.

    earlier tamils had a choice. now they have absolutely no choice. they have lost everything & are at the mercy of the sinhala government.

    as for the revenge, HR & war crime circus i get the feeling that GOSL will go for the final kill & win that one too. right now they are putting pressure on UK to charge adele balasingham because they have plenty of evidence against her. UK & scotland yard will be in a really embarassing position if GOSL can prove that their country has been used to propogate terrorism against a nation that has not harmed them in any way. they will have to act.

    she is supposed to be leading the UK LTTE front while living in a 500,000 pound sterling mansion in surrey or somewhere. now we know where the diaspora money goes. the GOSL will go after all the other LTTE leaders based in other western host nations as well.

    seems the captured LTTE cadres have talked & exposed everybody. there will be much more to come in the near future. the western governments will find it difficult to evade this controversy.

  184. Too early to reconcile to trust or for anything. The ‘Superior race’ with 80 million world wide with extra intelligence and all round clever guys and girls will never want to live peacefully with the Sinhala ‘modayas’. FORGET IT. Pull the other one it has got bells on. Good try though.

  185. Mohan Sekaram represent the original thinking of our region that existed for thousands of years.

    Before the arrival of western powers most people in our region co-existed in our region.

    During the Mogul period Muslims & Hindus lived peacefully in Indian.

    People in ancient Indus Valley civilisation didn’t even know what warfare was.

  186. I think Mr Kopallapillai is very angry about the fact people are detained in IDP camps without reason.But Govt says there are land mines not suitable for resettlement. If people die by mines again you will say SL army kill innocent people.GOSL also want to weed out LTTE in the camp. If the enrire muslim community can be chased out from Jaffna over night just because few muslim gave ‘tips’ to army. It can be equally accepteble to detain 250 000 for 5000 suspected LTTE.Do be hyppocrats.Don’t expect Mahinda to visit camp. Our people through food parcel at him when he went to see tsunami vitims at Point pedro hospital.At the time he was just a powerless primeminister did nithing ‘harm’.Now He is the sculprit of the so called massacre . will he take the risk?.Be sensible in your demand man.
    Pls dont think that I support Srilankan regime’s attrocities. But let’s not forget our own brothers who took arms for an independent land were burnt live in many part in Jaffna for egostic political power.But the problem with Tamils is we are hyppocrats. If LTTE does any thing inhuman we keep silence when the opposition does anything againt that is violation of human rights genocide … so on.

  187. Hi

    Some interesting views on this topic. The article is very well written and makes a lot more sense than most of the baseless allegations levelled at Mohan and also the Sri Lanka government / Sinhala people.

    Let me start by saying something first – I am not Sinhalese. I am a Muslim and I travel extensively around the world on business. At all airports in the West, I am treated with suspicion when they see my name. Generally interrogated more than the white man, or anyone else in the customs queue. However, I understand as the world is worried at the moment about Muslim extremists and the havoc caused globally – so naturally, people tend to check you more than usual. It would not help the cause against Muslims globally if I entered a country and took up arms because the immigration officer didn’t treat me the same way as he did the other people who passed customs control before me. There will always be suspicion until the entire race can be trusted. People will always generalize. Therefore, you cannot expect the security forces at check points or airports or the camps to automatically assume you are innocent and let you go without at least a question or two being asked. This is not discrimination, its in the interest of national security to protect ALL our people.

    What happened in 1983 was a direct result of what happened in Jaffna. True, the government did not bring it under control as fast as they should have and they are to blame for this. The Sinhala only policies of Bandaranaike were and are wrong and these all need to be changed politically and not with the use of a machine gun, claymore mine, suicide bomb or a sorry excuse for an airplane.

    However, I am living in Sri Lanka. I am a Muslim. I am part of a large population which constitutes almost 15% of the country’s population (which, incidentally is close to the total tamil population in the country).

    However, you will not see me or any of my fellow Muslims pushing to make Arabic a national language. Likewise, Tamils in France and England will not push the French or British Governments to make Tamil a national language. Why the duplicity? Why all this only in Sri Lanka? In general, the country is ruled by the majority with representation from the minorities POLITICALLY to sort out their issues and not through a TERRORIST organization.

    Also, a lot of diaspora talk about Genocide. True, there have been tamil casualties in the war. This is collateral damage – unacceptable as it is. However, it is not the Sri Lanka government who went and put the innocent civilians with the tigers, it was the tigers holding the civilians as hostages to save their own lives. So, who are the saviors of the tamil people? If, as everyone says, the Sri Lankan government was not bothered about Civilian casualties, the easiest thing to do would have been to carpet bomb the whole area so that the tigers + the 200,000 civilians could have been eliminated. As you all know, this was not the case. OPEN YOUR EYES.
    Further, when it comes to genocide, who was it that massacred hundreds of Muslims in the North and East? The LTTE. Who came down to Colombo and bombed innocent Sinhala / Muslim and Tamil people? The LTTE. Who massacred Sinhala PILGRIMS in Anuradhapura? The LTTE. So what is this genocide the diaspora are talking about? The genocide was done by the LTTE. Jaffna was a bustling city with Sinhalese / Tamils and Muslims who co existing side by side. The LTTE killed Tamils and Muslims and thereby ensured that the remaining population of these two races would flee to the South to protect their lives. Please dont give me this bull shit about genocide as it was the LTTE who started it. The Sri Lanka government has NOT and will NOT eliminate the tamil people.

    Yes, people are in IDP camps now. Conditions are tough. People are trying to do what they can (along with he govt) to ensure that the refugees are fed and clothed. It is a mammoth task. However, staying in these camps for a few months perhaps is necessary to weed out the remaining LTTE cadre hiding among the civilians. Once this process is complete, the North and East de-mined and the infrastructure built, I am confident that the government would let people go back to their homes. The diaspora living in Western countries and screaming from the luxury of their sofas should put their money where their mouth is and help the innocent tamil civilians in the camps instead of funding a terrorist organization – either by force or by choice.

    These are only my thoughts – and in no way is this meant to be against all tamils. I am just expressing my thoughts about the LTTE / the people who fund the LTTE and who are brainwashed by their message.

  188. The people who are adamant to say that first ‘punishment’ then only ‘reconciliation ‘ may understand this.

    The demand for justice looks logical and reasonable.

    But is not practical to achieve or follow at least in the present circumstances or scenario.

    We are not civilized collectively to evolve to have an international conscience till now. Every country is acting on its priorities and opportunities. There is no impartial investigation possible at least with any international body. The world was polarized and it continues to be so.

    Every crime committed under the guise of democracy is difficult to be investigated and get the real culprits punished.

    It is easy to do with a military ruler. Dislodge him and try him in a Kangaroo court and hang him.

    But it is quite difficult to catch JR.Jayawardhane, George Bush, Narendra Modi, the congress politicians responsible for anti sikh riots etc etc.

    Because apparently they all act with impunity .

    The only possible way is giving reply through ballots. Regardless of caste, religion,race, language, all should join a main stream. To get another Govt elected with a clear mandate for inquiring war crimes etc.

    It is not easy as long as divide is there. Politicians are clever to keep it. That is why politics is one step above muscle power & intelligence.

    All can work on same plat form fighting for freedom of expression (press) and to end human right violations.

    Solidarity will automatically evolve if the efforts are sincere.

  189. Hi Mr DBS

    thanks for publishing this letter, i must thank Mr Mohan,#

    Been a Sinhalese and the fomer SL military person, I must say we should put a STOP to division….we have wasted 34 years of our time fighting …lost many brave young tamils & Singhaleese..now is the time to understand each other and forgive each other ……. we dont need westerners to give advice….because we singhalese & tamils are working most of the western organisations…..so we can put our country back on track ……..i hope it will happen very soon………..

  190. Ulysses,
    At first I was sadenned to learn that you are a Royalist.
    But later I thought that being a Royalist u may be fearlessly guarding what you believe in.
    But one thing I know from my experience at Royal is that even though you may support a Tamil ealam, you will not go their to live. I am proven correct when I learnt that ur fiance is a sinhalese. So u r not a racist.
    But the point here man we have to find a way to get on with whether we like or not.
    According to your description we have been at royal in same era. So you should understand that the Sinhala youth of your age has done nothing against your people. Although we feel sorry for 1983, burning of Jaffna library etc., we cannot change the history. If you want to punish those u have to punish Kalinga Magha who destroyed sinhala civilization as well. It will never end. If you seek to punish socalled warcrimes, you will have to punish Tamil diaspora who supported brutal terrorism of LTTE as well.
    If a Sinhalese youth want to hate tamils they have millions of reasons to do so thanks to the acts of LTTE.
    So what is necessary at this point of time is to discover the avenues to find peace, justice and prosperity to all Sri Lankans without depending on politicians to do that.

  191. Higly appreciated !
    Mr. Mohan Sekaram, i thank you so much for voicing yourself out the truth.

    what is needed to be done is to heal the wound that many of us were carrying for such along time. I was so scared to come to colombo , to travel by train or bus because of bombs.

    Whenever i saw a thamoul lady or a man in the bus or the train i had been always so suspicious of them and prayed god to keep me alive until the end of the journey. I am TRUELY ASHAMED about having such an impression towards thamouls and i do apologize for that. But as sinhalese we have gone alot of these things in our day today lives which utimately led to the mistrust of every thamoul.

    I am very appreciative of this : “Tamils should reach out to the Sinhalese and speak about the grievance you have, and ask them to help you achieve security and equality. My, Sinhalese friends should reach out to a Tamil and unconditionally trust them and help them achieve security and equality” .

    To Mr . Saram and Mr. DBSJ :

    Another thing i want to tell you sirs, is that i have personnaly noticed that a lot of thamouls do not feel for the country. They do not even like to stand up for the National Anthem ; when we ask they why do not you pay respect just as we do to our National Anthem , they say they do not know how to sing, ior they say that it is not in tamil or keep seated which is so outragous.
    I think, they need to feel for the National Anthem first and foremost and respect it. No where in the world they play the national anthem in two languages.

    Why do they feel so inferrier to pay respect to the National Anthem of the country they live in. Isn’t it PATHETIC sir?

  192. Ev’rybody’s talking about
    Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
    This-ism, that-ism
    Isn’t it the most
    All we are saying is give peace a chance
    All we are saying is give peace a chance

    Ev’rybody’s talking about
    Ministers, Sinisters, Banisters and canisters,
    Bishops and Fishops and Rabbis and Pop eyes,
    And bye bye, bye byes.
    All we are saying is give peace a chance
    All we are saying is give peace a chance

    Let me tell you now
    Ev’rybody’s talking about
    Revolution, Evolution, Mastication, Flagelolation, Regulations.
    Integrations, Meditations, United Nations, Congratulations
    All we are saying is give peace a chance
    All we are saying is give peace a chance

    Oh Let’s stick to it
    Ev’rybody’s talking about
    John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary, Tommy smothers, Bob Dylan,
    Tommy Cooper, Derek Tayor, Norman Mailer, Alan Ginsberg, Hare Krishna,
    Hare Krishna
    All we are saying is give peace a chance
    All we are saying is give peace a chance

    John Lennon – Give Peace a Chance

    http://video.google.com.au/videosearch?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&hs=y75&q=John+Lennon+-+Give+Peace+a+chance+Lyrics&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=4fIkSrqjHoOBkQXkoozaBg&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&resnum=4&ct=title#

    =============

    Thanks For this Ravin. Revives memories of the old days when as youngsters we wanted peace in the world. Now we yearn for durable, genuine peace in Sri Lanka………DBSJ

  193. A well written letter by Mohan, I cannot better it in any way. However let me say something about my humble understanding of all this

    Being a Tamil educated both in Colombo and in Jaffna in Tamil medium, I feel that our selfish behaviour must seize right away to find an everlasting peace in our Mother land.

    What is language it is only a tool to communicate with fellow human, computers only understand machine language but yet we arent complacent to benefit from it. If we can learn German, English, French and many other languages to survive out side our mother land & reap the benefits of it, I dont see any problem in learning Sinhalese, just look at our neighbouring country India how many languages are spoken and how people from different religious believe trying to live in harmony, until the bloody politician provoke them for their material benefits.

    Take Jaffna many schools there are mostly governed by cast & religious divide. There was a Maha Vidyalayam called the MAVADI just off the main street a stone through away from the greats of St Patrick, Holy Family Convent and St Johns, the parents & students of Mavadi aspiration were to study at St Patricks and such other elite educational establishment but yet the society had a place for them, isnt this a type of discrimination? Further in UK and in other countries, we annually have get together to collect funds for our schools, I never understood why cant we all get together and have a grand function to collect funds for all the schools in Jaffna?

    Now lets look closely of the real truth, in my year there were around 30 students studying maths, similarly there were science and commerce, in all there were around 90 students in total of which, in any term exams only 3 from each class will study hard to achieve the right results to be first in class, yet the entire 90 of us claimed that because of the Sinhalese discrimination we were deprived the university entrance in our mother land. Is this justice or self proclaimed excuse to conceal our failures?

    Lets take Colombo and other important cities in the South, most of the well established school had a Tamil stream, we had our share of the name calling & fights, but when it came to school rivalry we all united as one! This is what society is all about; please give the younger generation a chance to live what we dreamt of.

    I would like to end this buy saying Expectation is the cause of all disappointments and Behaviour breeds Behaviour,

    Thanks for the publisher and Mohan for provoking our conscious and thanks for all the positive comments, I like to view the glass half full and for those who have contributed negative comments, my profound sadness if you or your loved ones had been affected by what had happened/happening in Sri Lanka, but you are the only person who can forget and forgive those who have committed those atrocities. No one is born evil its only the society that make them who they are.

  194. Comment # 71,

    I wrote about a new dawn in the east with the new leadership.

    the best part by Pillayan was getting along with Muslims.

    Just a while ago, I read a news article saying that a further fraction has been created in the TMVP.

    Sivageetha has been convinced by Karuna to join SLFP.

    Frustrating.

  195. First of all lets thank Mohan and DBS to initiate this important blog discussion. There are thousands of blogs and almost all are portraying one side or the other. Even if the other side tried to inject different view, the other opinion or view is shot down with out hearing or counter and rational reasoning in those blogs. Therefore, it is important to have a blog in which we need to hear both sides of the argument in a civilised, rational and logical way, so that one side can influence, persuade and make the other side to understand their point of view and reasoning. In any conflict, even in domestic ( family) dispute/conflict, there are two sides to a story. Unless, each side is prepared to listen and understand the other sides view, concern, fear and aspirations, we will not ever resolve the differences/conflict; definitely not by military means. Now, we have a small window of opportunity to do this.

    Let me now get to the essence of Mohans e-mail ( I still want to maintain this as a private e-mail rather than an article ), I agree with the sentiment. Even, I dont agree some of his explanation and reasoning why we should turn a page and think beyond the the box.
    Past few months have been very traumatic and trouble some for all Tamils around the world. Tamils have suffered injustice, violence, intimidation, all forms of abuses over the past 50 years. It is very heart breaking to see hundred of thousands of Tamils herded from place to place like cattle, carrying a few personal belonging and carrying their wounded relatives. Women, children and elderly were treated without dignity in violation of all basic human rights of these people. This has scared all of us and we need to ask ourselves, some very difficult questions.

    For some, LTTE is a terrorist organisation, for few others freedom fighters, for others protector of Tamils. But for all Tamils, LTTE symbolise the aspiration of Tamils, for freedom and dignity. Overwhelming majority deplore the methods used by LTTE and kept our silence in the hope the organisation will reform itself. In this believe, we didnt question the vision, strategy, conduct and execution by LTTE leadership over years. That was a monumental mistake by Tamils, all over the world. The causes that created LTTE and their original demands of equal rights and equal status for Tamils are all remains to be addressed. Until, these issues are addressed and resolved to Tamils satisfaction, LTTE will remain as the aspiration of Tamils.

    The last few days have been extremely difficult time for Tamils, watching the unfolding of events. Our emotions are running high. We will mourn and have our memorials in the coming days. But, to have learned many lessons over this extraordinary journey so far. To move the struggle forward, we need to learn lessons and change our approach to achieve our goals. We owe to the all those people who have sacrificed their lives to achieve our dreams.

    All of us have obligations and duty to care for those people who have been herded from place to place and now in intern camps like prisoners and treated like criminals without the basic human need ( not forgetting all others who have been displaced years ago). We are indebted to all the people who have given their lives and suffered immensely over the years in this struggle. We need to make some course correction to our struggle and we need to listen to the voices and need from the ground and not try to impose our agenda. This is the best remedy and samarpanam to all those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. In this, the urgent need is to provide the humanitarian support for all those IDPs and make their voices heard. We need to put a side all other consideration and focus on this, enormous task in the short time. Lets unite to safe and support these people, put a side all our difference and opinions and lets safe these people from starvation, malnutrition and most importantly without voice. Let them have their voice to express their desires and opinions.

    In parallel, lets start long reconciliation process. Unless, we reconcile among us and with other communities, our struggle will fail. Listening, understanding others views/desires and accommodating, persuading, negotiating and compromising is all part of reconciliation process. Without forgetting the past, we need to learn the lessons from the past, but, need to able to move forward in our struggle.
    We need to understand the view/concerns/desires of other communities in this process. Similarly, I ask the other communities to do the same.

    There are many comments about what they think the next step. What I didnt see is all communities ( meaning Govt., political parties, civil society etc) owning upto their responsibility for the past and do the necessary thing ( as one Sinhala blogger said, he and many of is friends are ashamed of what happened in 1983);own upto the responsibility, apologise and redress that mistake. This has to be from all sides. Not to blame the other side or finger pointing. We should allow them the space and time to accept the responsibility in good faith.

    I am confident if we all be humble and be open and frank, prepared to listen, try to understand others point of view and open to be persuaded, over time, the wounds will heal and justice, freedom and dignity to all communities will be won over.

  196. Thanks DBS for posting Mohan’s letter. And Mohan, whoever you are, bless your kind heart!

    For those who want to find fault with details of Mohan’s letter, all I can say is please don’t loose sight of the forest for the trees. What he was able to do was help us remember something we had long forgotten. To make us remember a time when the word “community” meant Sri Lankan and not its component Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim or Burgher parts. To keep in mind how delicate the fabric of society really can be. To remind us that we, and only WE THE PEOPLE, have the power to turn this around (in any case that’s what I got from it!).

    The reaching out to each other is an essential starting point. I don’t want to read too much into his letter but I don’t believe Mohan was naive in believing that this reaching out alone will sort everything out. It is just the beginning. It doesn’t mean that we are all going to hold hands and sing “Kumbhaya my lord” and everything will be put right. On the contrary, this reaching out is the process for reconciliation that will help us forge a renewed bond so strong that no slimy politician will ever be able to break with an appeal to base instincts.

    Commentators Belle #25 and Dinesh Gopalapillai #30 have valid points, although I feel that if we continue to cast this problem as being one between Tamils and GOSL, then by default we will be forced to have to live with solutions devised by GOSL alone. But isn’t this Mohan’s point? That we should be standing shoulder to shoulder and demanding a just and equal society for all Sri Lankans! It is not the politicians, journalists, or only the Tamils, or only the Sinhalese that have the solutions. We are at a similar crossroads as when decisions were made by our past politicians (SWRD, JR et al) that took us down the road to hell. Their short-term political interests ripped apart OUR social fabric, and if we are not careful, the current bunch of loveable nuts will do the same. It is exactly at this moment that WE (Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher etc.) need to be vigilant.

    Dinesh #30 is right, there is a land grab taking place in the East, and the Reconstruction Task Force for the North is headed by none other than Basil Rajapakse aka 10%, with no Tamil representation whatsoever; Belle #25 is also right when he says that “equal rights is non-negotiable” – the question is where do we start? Mohan on his part has helped dispel some of the LTTE propaganda and has opened a space for a sensible discussion among the Sri Lankan and, specifically, Tamil community. Concurrently, we need a commitment from the rest to fight for “security and equality” for the Tamil people. I believe Mohan has indeed shown us the way forward to ensure that WE the people will never be fooled again by what can be termed the real minority – the war mongers, the hate peddlers and cash-and-grab gangsters.

    The success of the greatest battle that WE as a people face is to fight to end the land grab in the East (and to make sure it doesn’t start in the North); to ensure that the IDPs are looked after and are returned to their homes as quickly as possible; to make sure that the Northern Rehabilitation Task Force has Tamil representation; that the civilian deaths are accounted for; that a public process is convened to discuss the real grievances of the Tamil people and to find solutions that are lasting; to demilitarise and rehabilitate soldiers and combatants alike…. and the list goes on. It all starts from us “normal” people reaching out to each other and demanding for security, equality and justice.

    As Bob Dylan puts it….

    Come gather ’round people
    Wherever you roam
    And admit that the waters
    Around you have grown
    And accept it that soon
    You’ll be drenched to the bone.
    If your time to you
    Is worth savin’
    Then you better start swimmin’
    Or you’ll sink like a stone
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    Come writers and critics
    Who prophesize with your pen
    And keep your eyes wide
    The chance won’t come again
    And don’t speak too soon
    For the wheel’s still in spin
    And there’s no tellin’ who
    That it’s namin’.
    For the loser now
    Will be later to win
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    Come senators, congressmen
    Please heed the call
    Don’t stand in the doorway
    Don’t block up the hall
    For he that gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled
    There’s a battle outside
    And it is ragin’.
    It’ll soon shake your windows
    And rattle your walls
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And don’t criticize
    What you can’t understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command
    Your old road is
    Rapidly agin’.
    Please get out of the new one
    If you can’t lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    The line it is drawn
    The curse it is cast
    The slow one now
    Will later be fast
    As the present now
    Will later be past
    The order is
    Rapidly fadin’.
    And the first one now
    Will later be last
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    ——-

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Good for you Georgie!

    Somebody else posted John’s “give peace a chance” and now you’ve put Dylan’s “times they are a changin”.

    I am going down memory lane right now

    When we empathised with these universal sentiments those days did we ever imagine how Sri Lanka was going to be?

    What about some one posting Bob’s “blowin in the wind” too

    Go ahead make my day please

  197. A very well written letter! A great message of hope and peace, some may say it is unrealistic or too optimistic, I’d say it could be, but I see in it a solution.

    Time for acknowledgment and reports etc. are over, and just wouldn’t help or change anythinglet’s face it! I totally agree that Tamil causalties haven’t been acknowledged by sl president and that is a terrbile sensation for Tamils, but there will always be the same claims on the other side, not that they are always equal or true, far from that…

    THE FACT is that there’s no end to that kind of thinking, which once again, leads nowhere!

    Its not about clinical exatitude of this letter, but the message behind it which is honourable and makes people forget or get closure on the past!

    Thank you for posting this, I deeply intend using ALL of your coments which i spent hours reading to spread a new message of peace by my means (which is music)!

    We should make use of the power of not only the Internet, but music, videos etc. in a way to build a better SRI-LANKA.

    express yourself

  198. To:
    167. una | June 2nd, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Your assumption that the burnt Jaffna library was built during British time is wrong. It was built after 1948. You can not put the blame on British for every thing that went wrong under SLFP or UNP, dominated leadership since 1948.

  199. This letter makes an interesting read. It is as valuable as all the other opinions here. Nothing more and nothing less. It is only a viewpoint. It is upto the majority to decide whether they validate it or not.

    At present, we tamils are a defeated community. Our pride has been hurt. We have lost immensely in terms of man power, our community and traditional homeland. We have no option but to find an alternate way. This applies whether one was an LTTE supporter or not. So I think whether by choice or not, tamils will compromise.

    Are the majority community willing to do the same? I have read several comments here affirming reconciliation and cohesiveness. How many of these sinhala friends would be willing to put that in paper? Lobby their govt? Recognise they too have to compromise. I have yet to see that. I understand your reasons why you wouldnt be vocal. You would go the say way as Lasantha.

    First step would be separating the religion from the state. Sri Lanka is not a sinhala buddhist country. It should be a secular multi ethnic nation. No religion should be afforded a foremost place. I dont buy this notion of patriots and non-patriots. It is a multi ethnic country. Tamils, Muslims and Burgers have every right as the Sinhala population.

    The will is not there in the govt or the people to change. Change is difficult and laborious. There is no incentive. Tamils can easily be contained in internment camps. The rest dispersed in small communities interspersed with Sinhala settlements. The ones who can, will flee the country. This is the status quo at present and politicians are cashing in. SO WHO HAS THE WILL TO MAKE THE CHANGE?

    In this war on terror, people of Sri Lanka have surrendered their democratic rights. They have none. Politicians and the military dictate the rule of law. The govt can make people disappear, kill thousands. There will be no investigations or international outrage. Sri Lankan govt has just demonstrated that.

    Future for Sri Lanka is not bright under the current circumstances. In fact all Sri Lankans should despair when we have killed thousands of our own since the 70s (including Tamil and Sinhala youths).

    Good Luck!

  200. I am now living in Colombo (and very very happy to be here).
    Interestingly I share Mohan’s point of view very much.

    I believe the original forwarder refers to this article as “a tad Colombo middle class” and that could explain why I can agree with this article, given that I am also one of those Tamils. I am a little embarrassed to express my feelings as I have not been tainted by any real discrimination (very young when I left and it was before ’83) and therefore I feel many times I have no real right to do so. I am sure most Tamils would not consider this particular group to be Tamil at all. But yet we are Tamils nevertheless and can offer a lot to the current Tamil situation simply by virtue of the fact that we do have Tamil names and background.

    I had a recent e-mail conversation with I suppose a fairly well known ‘elite’ Colombo Tamil and LTTE supporter named Wakely Paul. Now I have never figured out his motive for why he supported for the LTTE, given that he lived in Colombo during most of his middle adult years (up to 40 or so) and enjoyed the high life, seemingly like no others. It certainly looked like they had it all at least from my eyes as a young boy. Wakely was also sent to Cambridge and Stanford by his rich parents and suffered very little for his Tamil ethnicity. He left in the early 70s, not because of Sinhala Nationalism, but to follow his American wife to America.

    Sadly Wakely passed away a few months ago and his last e-mail to me was very much filled with regret.
    He very much was interested in my views of life experiences as a repatriated Sri Lankan back in Colombo. He envied my move back to the country that had all the wonderful memories for him. He even mentioned in the e-mail how much he would love to return if not for the fact that he was a known LTTE supporter.
    I only mention this case because he was a fun loving Sri Lankan from Colombo who never had a happier time in his life than when he was here. Yet he died a bitter and sad man and supported a cause he could not possibly understand.

    How many more of us have acquired hate like this when we have little genuine reason? How about the young ones who have never set foot on this land but yet support the cause. The young ones that I saw on TV on Front street waving Tiger flags or photographs of Praba.

    I think Mohan’s message should be read by the young Diaspora demographic and hopefully inspire them break away from the COMMUNITY and come here and find out the truths however painful or hopeful for themselves.
    If any of you are reading this, I urge you to take a sabbatical and come here. Speak to the Sinhalese, Muslims and Tamils in the South. Speak the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims in the East. Come with me to the Vanni when I am allowed. It will be painful, but it will be the truth. I will guarantee you one thing. We will be able to help in some small and positive way.

  201. I am from far south of Sri Lanka and my parents had their business in north. My father died there in 1983 and my brothers ran the business until 1984. Events took place in last few months in Sri Lanka took my memory back to those days when we used to go on holidays to north. My father spent most of his life there. He knew every one in the area and they were his friends. When I read comments written by some tamil people, I wonder why they think that they have been discriminated and harrassed by Sinhala people. We never saw them or treated them as second class citizens. Until LTTE tookover, there was no difference in facilities and oppotunities available to the people in far north and far south of the country.

    My family had very good friends in north as my father lived there for more than fifty years. I wish one day we can go there, without any fear and visit them. I will never forget their hospitality and their friendship although we had to leave everything behind and return to south in an unexpected way. But we never hated them for that either.

    I appreciate the courage shown by Mr Sekaram in writing such a letter.

  202. Thank you DBSJ for having this forum. It is very interesting to read different opinions and I am very happy to see lot of my Sinhala brothers extending their hand of friendship to our Tamil brothers. Both our communities have suffered
    untold hardships.

    One of the biggest mistakes done by our politicians was to
    do away with English although their children were taught
    English. As you can see if we did not know English, we could not have communicated with each other even in this forum. In Singapore everything is done in English, and even Lee Kwan Yu suggested that the solution for Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem is to teach everyone English. In my opinion he is spot on.

    I hope our leaders take this great man’s advice and teach English to every Sri Lankan. While English will help our people to communicate with each other, it will help them in
    every other facet of life in this computer age and in this global village.

  203. Now we all know that VP and other top guns of the LTTE is no more. I don’t think high flying KP can collect the remaing pieces other than encashing the LTTE loot. So, this is the end of the Tamil uprising. Unfortunately VP has made too many blunders. Killing of Rajiv Gandhi was a cardinal sin. Further more VP preffered to deal with Mahinda Rajapaksha, rather than Ranil who opted for a peaceful settlement for our problems. VP has got what he has asked for.

  204. You are correct Mr Segaram but it will take some time to build up the friedship between Sinhala and Tamil people because of due to LTTe’s barberic actions many of Sinhala community see every Tamil as a suicide bomber.I dont blame Sinhala people for that because of everybody loves their life. But see the other side also.How many Tamil people living South ? Why do they live outside so called EElam? Forget the past and specially Tamil diaspora living overseas and their propaganda and get unite behind Sri Laqnka flag.

  205. Good one DBSJ!! Thank you.
    There are lot of similar e-mails floating around these days, but most tilted towards either side one way or the other. I think this was the best I read so far!!.
    Is there a possibility that you can allow direct postings from your site to Facebook? It will give much wider audience to your writing, which I think is certainly a need of the moment.
    Cheers

  206. Great post, this is the need of the hour.

    As a person living in Sri Lanka (unlike most pundits who comment here), I see a different situation. Tamils are natural suspects of the armed forces and that sucks.

    However, tamils enjoy equal opportunities in work, education and anything else in Colombo and other urban areas. This is not 1956 or 1975 for that matter. It is 2009 and the Sri Lankan people have changed. This is mostly due to the change in the economics and partly to the reducing importance/reliance on the Govt. for every day life.

    Skimmed through some comments and I keep coming across the issue of discrimination against tamils after independence.

    From a different perspective, what happened was the Sinhalese were marginalized by British colonial rule and they wanted back what they lost. A majority of the people having no access to education or government jobs was the issue.

    The sinhala only policy was to appease these concerns of the majority of the citizens of the country. In hindsight that was a really wrong move, but as always when you want a ‘symbolic’ win, you always aim for something that is big and more than you need which ends up being a bad choice.

    Eelam is again the same story. You need to be ensured and gain the perception that you now ‘suddenly’ have new and rights and powers. If you pause for a bit, you’ll realize that Eelam is not what you want but something much less dramatic.

    Peace and reconciliation is what everyone wants.

    Try to drop you extremist hats for 10 mins and have a think if that is possible at all. You might surprise yourself.

  207. To Mr. Jeyaraj

    First of all i thank you for the great effort you put through to bring about light through all forms of darkness.

    I was able to read this e-mail from Mr.Mohan before this post. In that there was a reply from one of Mr. Mohan’s Singhalese friends attached too. I think it would be really helpful to bring about more light if u can post that too after confirming with Mr. Mohan and the respective Singhalese person. I can forward the mail to you if necessary.

    Thank you.

  208. Mohan Sekaram seems to be a nice chap with good intentions but the problem is that he is extremely uninformed.

    Thus his suggestions for the way reconcilliation should proceed fall flat – and this can be picked up in many of the comments being made (both pro and con).

    Reconciliation cannot happen unless it is built on Truth (hence The Truth and Reconciliation Commission), and on top of that there needs to be the a sense of REAL hope that justice will not only follow in view of what has happened but that it will prevail in any future eventuality.

    The Truth & Justice also requires that people be properly informed.

    Much has already been said so I will just mention two points:
    Mohan Sekaram seems to be saying that it is the Tamils who are to blame for whatever has befallen them and makes no mention of the Sinhala-Buddhist extremism issue.

    Relatedly, Mohan Sekaram says “We, Tamils have to realise that this is the only nation that Sinhalese is spoken, and we should respect that”.
    But has any Tamil ever denied that? Tamils have always accepted that fact without question.
    However, just because Sinhala is native to Lanka it by no means follows that therefore Lanka belongs to the Sinhalese, less the Sinhala-Buddhist.
    Telugu is native to India, so is Hindi, Marathi etc etc. That does not mean that only one of them can lay claim to India does it?
    If there is to be proper reconcilliation the Sinhala-Buddhist must accept that Lanka belongs to the Lankan Tamils too.

  209. Dear Mohan, DBSJ,

    A tear fell from my eyes when I read your article. If i was close I would give you a hug.

    Somehow you managed to put into pen what I was embarrassed to talk about that we did suspect Tamils not knowing whether they supported LTTE or not. The fact that LTTE unleashed violence was breeding grounds for this mistrust.

    In office when we employed two Tamil ladies ALL of us stopped talking about the war – out of respect and fear that we would hurt their feelings. When over lunch a young tamil lady said that VP was only a soldier I didn’t bring the subject up again. Though it didn’t do anything to the relationship.

    I hope and pray that you would be blessed for your thoughts and intention of peaceful co-existence.

    God bless you both.

  210. I am no Sri Lankan nor am I emotionally attached to Sri Lanka, but my childhood dream is still unchanged, that Sri Lanka becomes the home for all peace and harmony loving people. If all people learn to think like Mohan, Living that dream should be possible.

    Good luck all

  211. In my previous posting, I mistook Mohan for Mano. My apologies. Mano was the elder brother. We never called him Mohan back then. He was known to all of us as “Cuckoo”. He had a big heart even back then. And I feel privileged not only to have slept under the same roof at Alison, but also to have slept right next to his bed. Cuckoo, where ever you are, may god bless you for rising up in these troubled times and bringing us all together.
    Sinho.

  212. Thoughts of reconciliation along Mohan’s lines only applies to moderate Sinhalese and Tamils who can think to some extent beyond racial and religious lines.
    We have seen many Sinhalese supporting the position of the analogy ” To kill some sharks we have to kill all the fishes “. Now they say sorry since we didn’t have any alternative, let us forget the past and let us reconcile. How about asking the Govt, to stop the witch hunt and release and resettle those who are still languishing in the camps. That will be a good start.
    The Tigers might have been gone but the Lions are still hunting in packs including their own.( i.e. Poddala Jayantha )
    Unless we get rid of the ruling goons or hold them accountable for the crimes, peace would be just an elusive concept for all of us.
    Many Tamils including the die-hards are conceding that LTTE made huge blunders by being too violent and arrogant.
    At the same time they are equally convinced that there is no hope as long as the present Govt. continues its act of rocking the cradle while pinching the baby. That is to put mildly.
    Lets try an experiment, will the concerned citizens organize a huge march for peace through those who are still doing the victory lapses. I bet, you dare not since it is not possible as the atmosphere of fear is still lingering. It will be for a long time to come unless the Sinhalese realize they are in the grips of yet another terror and make efforts to end it.
    Although a handful of thugs backed by powerful politicians will continue to create havoc the ultimate power lies in your hands.
    Sooner the better for all of us.

  213. Heart touching article….

    At times, i wondered when will the Sinhalese and Tamils just forget their differences & get together !! But after reading many of the comments, I’ve realised how ignorant I’ve been !! ( May be because i was born abroad and raised there). . .

    Actually, I kinda feel relieved, to say the least, by reading all your wonderful comments ( excluding racist comments by some) and of course, this great article..

    Well, I personaly feel that socialising with our fellow countrymen, will help us understand the value of inter faith harmony and nurturing the younger generation, abouth the benefits of living in harmony,irrespective of the ethnicity . . . .

    I hope we all get together as one, keepin aside our differences, and move the nation forward… !!!

    PEACE LOVING SRILANKAN TAMIL ;

  214. Dear Mr. Mohan

    I was very happy to read your views in the letter which reflects those of my husband, a tamil himself. He is so disappointed with the Tamil diaspora who does not have a clue about the improvements we have made since when the issues arose and the ones that left recently, have hidden agendas up their sleeve, like getting asylum etc. etc. But then. there are others like his own father, who does not find anything wrong with Prabakaran, which though I do love him, honestly, finds so irksome. For the reason that he has never really been victimised for being a Tamil (other than some village thugs who came in search of him during the 1983 riots, because of their own personal agendas, and were turned back by some other Sinhalese themselves. All his children were educated in government universities and are doing very well. My husband does ask him if given a choice between his children going to the university and joining Tamil tigers what would Appa chose, which leaves him without an answer and makes him angry. My point is, some of these Tamils who support Tamil ealam are so irrational like him. More than 98% of my sinhalese friends who speaks on the subject (the educated middle/upper class of the country) are so supportive of identifying the rights of the Tamil and in my opinion, they are already identified in the constitution and we just need to implement some of them. I have lived in London and knew of second generation Tamil youths who does not have a clue about Sri Lanka and still thinks that the situation is what it was when their parents left the country. (They were so surprised to see that I use an electronic organiser, having left the country only a few months back, and know the words of the latest song of the Pussycat Dolls.!!) Still they are ardent of the Tamil cause and insist on a separate ealam! They cannot speak tamil, most of them. What right do they have to decide what happens to Sri Lanka I do not understand with that mentality!!!

    My respect to you Mr. Mohan for speaking out what you honestly think.!!!

  215. I have German friend, who went to Edinburgh to spend two semesters there in 1994 and she was around 22 yrs of age at that time. The Germans lost the 2nd world war already in 1949, 45 yrs back. My friend was welcomed warmly from the Scottish and the English. And after they became kind of friends the natives trusted themselves to put forward the following question: “how is it to belong to a nation which lost two world wars? or indirectly how is it to be a loser?”
    She answered: “thank God we lost those wars, and now we have become a more friendly and wealthy country with full of enthusiastic and peace loving people”.
    Germany turned out to a wealthy and powerful player in the world (within 30 yrs after the utterly devastating war) because it learned out of the past and recognized its mistakes. Though it was humiliated, it was grateful to the help offered from the one-time enemies, the allies. The allies were winning the war but not revenging. The majority of the Germans feels ashamed of the genocide on the Jews and would revolt against such crimes today.
    I think we Tamils and Sinhalese can learn something from the past and would learn to forgive and to accept each other. I wish the politicians and the influential Tamil-diaspora would not be very egoistic in putting forward their interests. It is the Singhalese and the Tamils in Sri Lanka have to live with each other in Sri Lanka. Do not throw away every hope of a peaceful coexistence for these people. Please let them try it. A war has only loser.

  216. [[[ 194. CruelTruth

    The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).]]]

    ABOVE ATET

  217. Dear CruelTruth

    /*
    9. The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana,
    */

    Don’t be scared of labels. Dhamma is universal and applicable to all. Its universal since there are no extra terrestrials involved for you to worship and depend on. YOU alone are responsible for your salvation. Let me put the Dhamma in a nutshell.

    1 – Morality
    2 – Mastery of the mind
    3 – Wisdom that everything is impermanent

    Remember that last point. Tamil was an identity you accidentally born into. You will pass on one day since its all impermanent. Why suffer attaching yourself to something so transient? Become 1 & 2 then you begin understanding 3. This is it! now was this threatening to you?

  218. Thanks MS for the great ideas. we really need people like you to take our mission forward for a united SL. This country is a paradise but certainly not for people who has ran away and making harsh comments on Sinhalese community.

    I have so many Tamil friends , they are very nice people some times better than our own people. we live in Harmony we never feel that they are Tamils and we are Sinhalease.

    some have posted comments about Sinhalese people which is totally unacceptable. where were all these people who talk about Tamils being harassed? when your own people got shot by ruthless LTTE for trying to leave their territory.
    I have an incident to share with all of you. a sister of my school time good friend originally from Urumpurai Jaffna who lives in canada now, has got shot by LTTE. this is her own version and was brought to one of Colombo Hospital. No relations, no friends, no so called Tamil Diaspora who displays so many protests in western world to help her. it was only few of Suja friends who took care of her. she didn’t have clothes,absolutely nothing as her belongings. still we visit her to the hospital every visiting hours , we have contacted the relevant authorities to find her husband and the 2 kids, whom she missed after she was shot. don’t worry we will do our duty to her to the maximum. we will take care of her not by having protest marches but by being there for her when she doesn’t have anyone.
    Tamil Diaspora, you have a huge obligation towards these IDPs. they have so many needs, help them rather than having protests all over the world. what have you done up to now. did you ever bother to send them a packet of milk powder. think about it. they need all our support to rebuild their lives. we, the Sinhalese will certainly do our duty and we will continue to support them till they establish themselves. we as Sri Lankans have a huge responsibility towards our own people in North and East.

    don’t destroy our lives by trying to start another ruthless 30 years of suffering. we lived here with fear and worry. LTTE destroyed the Tamil community and their aspirations. they killed their own Tamils for their own well being. how many innocent civilians got killed in the bomb blasts including the suicide bomber who is also a Tamil youth. how many innocent Sinhalese, Tamils Muslims got killed in several bomb blats in Colombo and suburbs? put together how many lives were destroyed by these separatists war.

    we want to live in Harmony. we are a one nation. there is no differences.

  219. Great idea and it is a sensible way of thinking to bring about reconciliation between Sinhalese and Tamils.

    But to put this in paractice is a herculian task. Majority Sihalese (Past and present politicians) are the architects of spreading hatredness towards tamils. Such hatredness is deeply rooted in the minds of Sinhalese.

    It is my view that the majority should take the leading role to bring about reconciliation between tamils and Sinhalese. The reason being they are the one who created a situation for young tamils to follow non-violent path.

    As per Mohan if we (Sihalease and Tamils)can reach a reconciliation it would be wonderfull. It will be good for every citizen of srilanka and god for the country too.

    “May god bless for good things to happen in Srilanka”.

  220. [[[ 194. CruelTruth

    The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).]]]

    above statement is justified. buddhism has to be protected because it is more endangered than the other religions. buddhists protect other religions automatically by worshipping them. The lord Buddha has said “worshipping those who deserve to be worshipped is a meritorious deed”. Lots of Buddhists have no problem in going to churches & lighting candles etc, while almost all go to hindu kovils. I am sure they would have gone to pray inside mosques if they were allowed in. since buddhists rely on karma & have to save themselves they have to rely on outside parties for favours & forgiveness. Only the people who truly believe in the power of their own deeds & karma abstain. But being human, in times of crisis most tend to search for favours & forgiveness from gods. That’s why almost all temples have kovils inside them.

    In sri lanka I’ve heard Buddhists claim “this church has powers, that kovil has powers or this temple has powers”. The only thing I have not heard is “this mosque has powers”. Because of this they are prime targets for conversion. But they never go around tying to convert others. That’s why Buddhism has to be safeguarded.

  221. Punhinda. super way to put it.

    When i saw this post, i was curious to see the comments section and checking it every day. Because the “commenters” here is a sample group for all the Tamils and Sinhalese in the world.

    I expected the tamils to be suspicious and reluctant on this as they have been let down a few times (I am an 1983 victim and I had nothing do with North or east till 83). But I know for a fact that tamils are hoping for a united, peaceful, equal sri lanka. Every one know people in North and East don’t care about seperate land or any thing. All they want is peace, food, shelter, education, and every thing else that an average Joe and Jane wants.

    Now for Sinhalese, I was hoping Sinhalese would tolerate any tamil’s comment that shows distrust (which would have been come out even as racial) and come back with assurance rather than hatred and thats exactly what they are doing. Punhinda is a good example. Salute to you Sir.

  222. Sekaram has a good mind no doubt.But for traumatized minds forgetting is not in their control it may take another 30 years.
    Anger frustration and suppression of emotions lead to more dangerous emotions like revenge.
    Rebels are born from it.
    Sekaram ,good hearted people like YOU who caN WORK compromising the government HAVE to return immediately to Srilanka to change the minds of the sinhala rulers , help the pathetic people to come out of trauma .

  223. People who talk about reconciliation after ensuring the slaughter of 30–50,000 innocent Tamil people, abducting and torturing another 25,000 and keeping 280,000 in internement camps are living in cuckoo land.

    For, it is like saying, ” I have a gun to your head, I have killed all your relatives and friends. Out of mercy, I have let you live, but you have no choice but to live at my mercy. Now reconcile or…!”

    Those who talk about reconciliation must not ignore the enormity of evil that the current regime has perpetrated; those who are aligned to this regime in any way, by ‘consorting with evil’ as Mr. Rajasingham Narendran puts it albeit for his own agenda, have forfeited their right to ask Tamil people for reconciliation. That cannot change until they, as the people who elected and supported this regime, take tangible steps to eliminate this evil. That means putting the criminals at the top of this regime, including some who write on this blog from Geneva, behind bars; that means regime change; that means repudiating loudly and clearly, the claims by Mr. Fonseka that Sri Lanka belongs to the Sinhalese and minorities are at their mercy; that means showing not just in words but by deeds that the Tamils do not need to fear for their security; that means stopping the harassment , arbitrary arrests and detention of Tamil civilians everywhere in Sri lanka; that means releasing and compensating journalists like Tissainayagam; as well as compensating the widows of other journalists murdered, including Lasantha Wickrematunga; that means releasing, resettling in their own lands and compensating the IDPs in internment camps for infringing their fundamental rights to live free of arbitrary detention and internment.

    Simply joining Sinhalese at the watering hole or playgrounds and saying “machang we are all friends”, by ignoring the evil all around us, as Mr. Segaram is essentially doing in so many words, is not reconciliation.

  224. Dear DBSJ,

    I am a Sri Lankan (first) Sinhalese(second) presently living in Europe. I received this e-mail from a friend(a Sri Lankan Malay) before I saw this posting, along with birthday greetings from friends and family. I want to say from the bottom of my heart that this message of hope is the best birthday present I could ever receive.

    I just have one thing to comment on. It is a pity you did not include Mr. Cicil Fonseka’s response, where he asks the Sinhalese people to apologize for the atrocities committed during the 83 riots.

    I was 9 years old at the time, when over fifty of my family’s Tamil friends hid from the viloience in our home, including our neighbours who climbed over the walls dividing our properties. Although to be Sinhalese at that time was something I was ashamed of, I am proud to this day to be a member of a family who stood up for what is right. I was too young to realise it then, but in my father I witnessed the most heroic act I have ever seen first hand. He drove around in his car in the middle of the riots, to various parts of the city, picking up our Tamil friends and their families, so he could bring them to safety, to our house. The same house outside which a suicide bomber blew himself up in 2001. To this day I cannot look at the “Sal” tree in our garden without thinking of the man’s arm hanging over one of its branches.
    This is in no way aimed to make the Sinhalese feel better about what happened or to gloss over the great suffering of the Tamil people, but just to to emphasize that many Sinhalese people despised the crimes of 83.

    This war has taken so much from all of us but undeniably the Tamil people suffered the greatest. So for the sake of the child who saw her neighbour’s house burning, for the sake of the thousands who lost their lives, for the sake of all the pain and suffering endured in the last thirty years, I want to say: “I am truly and profoundly Sorry.” That we let what happened in 83 happen is the biggest mistake the Sinhalese made. That both Sinhalese and Tamils have suffered for it, constitutes the darkest chapter of Sri Lanka’s recent history. Now, we have the opportunity to close it and begin a new one of hope and goodwill, I hope and pray we can do this and rebuild a better Sri Lanka for all her people.

    Kindest Regards,

    Ruki

    Thanks Ruki. The Cicil Fonseka letter is also posted separately……..DBSJ

  225. Dear DBSJ, I feel mad when I read the comments from a guy Ulysses, who calls himself a Royalist, even though I shouldn’t be. Let me tell you, I cannot guarantee that I might not smash his face, if I see him at the Big match. Well, now, I am becoming like him, sorry!

    And Ulysses, I don’t care whether you were at College, but youare NOT a Royalist, and most probably not even human. Period!

    Sorry, Mohan, there are nut cases everywhere, so we have to live with such cases.

    I am not an idealist, but I’d like to be. i like to live, work, talk, joke with humans, who breathe air, not some fumes.

    See, this Ulysses got me angry, and I don’t want to be angry, why should I?. everyday, I meet Tamil people and the only problem I have is that I never learnt Tamil language. But does it really matter, we speak, and smile, so we understand each other. And thank whatever God that is there, that we can smile!

    I know, it is not democratic to request you, DBSJ, not to publish this Ulysses’ comments, but we could be better of not wasting valuable forum area for such hate-filled words!

    And, Mohan, you own the world! Thank you!

  226. I would love to embrace Sinhalese as our brothers & sisters but the wounds too fresh and painful to reconcile. I find this article and some of its contents are distasteful at this juncture.

  227. reply to #185 Amos

    Hey Ulysses,

    I can feel your venom and bitterness all the way here in Australia. Is it too much to ask to at least bury the past – for at least a little while – and give peace a chance?.

    interesting. seems like my posts flew right over your head. I don’t want to waste my time replying to people who have difficulty comprehending plain english or those who are not willing to accept any idea but their own. Call me names till you are blue in the face, if that would be of any help. 🙂

    reply to # 200. shanthi krish

    I hate to disappoint you too :), what makes you think i care two hoots about Tigers getting prosecuted? LOL
    you are barking up the wrong tree mate.

    try as you might, you would have a hard time defending the GOSL from the same fate. whats good for the goose is also good for the gander 🙂

  228. Reply to #192 Panhinda

    Hi there Panhinda

    //
    “good observation. the Sinhalaese will agree there was a fair degree of Sinhala involvement in the problem initially. but then he would say your people killed my people. he would go on to say, when we tried to fix the problem your people still kept killing my people. then my people went and killed yours.

    so at the end of the day its an even keel. we are all square and justice served all around in the battlefield. what does this mean? this means autonomy as some tamils initially envisaged may not materialise. it would have only made sense if there was still injustice to Tamil people. in its place there shall be something more meaningful that promote co-existence and equality. yay we all win!

    cheers”//

    not really.

    In law, anyone committing a crime because another committed something similar, its no excuse. Both parties get punished for their crimes.

    Therefore, the Even Keel claim would not stick. especially now that one of the offending parties ( the offending party that came to be as a response to the offenses it underwent ) Now the latter is done away with, yet the former remains. so how can one claim its even?

    lets look at this way.

    there are two tribes of cavemen. tribe A and tribe B
    Trive A attacks Tribe B. After a few decades Tribe B attacks Tribe A too. Both Tribes trade blows, back and forth. Tribe A finally destroys Tribe B. Now only Tribe A remains. is this what you would call “even keel”?
    seems Very lopsided to me 🙂

    i hope this example underscores what im trying to get across. Just because Tribe A won, it does not mean Tribe A is absolved of its guilt. all it did was to destroy the opposing party. Justice remains to be served to Tribe A.

    so yep, as opposed to what you claim; there is still grave injustice ..or rather Justice denied to the Tamil people.

    I hope this post was clear:)

    (PS: ok before someone starts to confuse my examples of Tribe A and Tribe B with Sinhalese public and the Tamil public, let me extrapolate on it. Tribe A = Lankan government/military Tribe B = LTTE)

  229. Why do they feel so inferrier to pay respect to the National Anthem of the country they live in. Isn’t it PATHETIC sir?

    Quite justifiable in my opinion. The way to get round the problem is to do what the Spanish do, and have a national anthem without any words.

  230. Hello everyone, I respect the intro by DBS. Mohan wrote this article not for public consumption. He has expressed his views and vission about Sri Lanka clearly in this writing. Everyone is entitle for their personal opinion and that opinion should not be seen as an offensive material by another. Mohan’s views would have been credited and well taken right after signing the MOU in 2002. Now the country is very deeply divided with a military victory at an alarming human cost. We can build the houses those were destroyed, re-construct bridges, plant forests and trees but can we bring back the lost lives? Can we give back the limbs those people lost? The government absolutely has no mandate to resolve any genuine issue faced by Tamils in Sri Lanka. No responsible government will celebrate while its own citizens are grieving and mourning for the loss of lives of their loved ones.
    They are talking about the victory. Victory over whom and what? It was too sad that the innocent Tamils had to be sandwiched in between the forces and the LTTE. The first cassuality of a war is truth and the next is frail and innocents and SL is not exception for that.
    Sure we need peace and reconciliation but who should reconcile with whom? I think the will to live together and to think SL is our country is passed. The governemnt is planning to eradicate the democratically elected TNA Tamil MP’s from the parliament. NGO’s and even MP’s have no access to the so called refugee camps. If the government is genuine and serious in addressing the fundamental problems of Tamils, let them formulate a political frame work to devolve the powers to fulfill the asprations of the oppressed. Our people peacefully faught for justice and freedom and it was denied. Please don’t think that Tamils took up the arms for no reasons. I agree with Mohan in saying that we cannot live on a 30 year old dream. We have to wake up and face the reality in order to achieve freedom to our people. I think
    1) The GOSL should reach out to Tamil people with an opn heart.
    2) The Sinhalese should understand and accept the injustice was caused to Tamils by various governments
    3) Put forth a proposal on the table to solve the issue
    4) Get the feed back from all communities in the Island
    5)Have a referendum in North and East
    6) If it is a solution whithin united SL, engage Tamils in the forces and let the Tamil regiments to secure tamil areas and make them feel that they are citizens of SL
    7) Reach out to diaspora with open heart and ask their suport on reconstruction.
    8) If all these issues are addressed there will be real peace and reconciliation in SL.

    GOD bless all and GOD bless our nation

  231. etc. etc.

    How many years can a mountain exist
    Before it’s washed to the sea?
    Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some people exist
    Before they’re allowed to be free?
    Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a man turn his head,
    Pretending he just doesn’t see?

    The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

    How many times must a man look up
    Before he can see the sky?
    Yes, ‘n’ how many ears must one man have
    Before he can hear people cry?
    Yes, ‘n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
    That too many people have died?

    The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

    Have a nice day buddy : )

    Thanks Georgie but I think you’ve missed the first verse……….DBSJ

  232. Reply to #108, Harshe

    /////Ulysses,
    At first I was sadenned to learn that you are a Royalist.
    But later I thought that being a Royalist u may be fearlessly guarding what you believe in.
    But one thing I know from my experience at Royal is that even though you may support a Tamil ealam, you will not go their to live. I am proven correct when I learnt that ur fiance is a sinhalese. So u r not a racist.
    But the point here man we have to find a way to get on with whether we like or not.
    According to your description we have been at royal in same era. So you should understand that the Sinhala youth of your age has done nothing against your people. Although we feel sorry for 1983, burning of Jaffna library etc., we cannot change the history. If you want to punish those u have to punish Kalinga Magha who destroyed sinhala civilization as well. It will never end. If you seek to punish socalled warcrimes, you will have to punish Tamil diaspora who supported brutal terrorism of LTTE as well.
    If a Sinhalese youth want to hate tamils they have millions of reasons to do so thanks to the acts of LTTE.
    So what is necessary at this point of time is to discover the avenues to find peace, justice and prosperity to all Sri Lankans without depending on politicians to do that.
    ///

    Hi there Harshe, fellow Royalist

    Allow me congratulate you for your post, its a breath of fresh air in a stifling environment.

    I’m really glad that you saw what many failed to see in my posts. My posts were about upholding the values of equality and justice, which I believe in, as a person and as a Royalist.

    You are also correct in assuming that i was not a supporter of Tamil Eelam(i do not deny that those who advocate for it have as much claim for it as those who advocated for majority rule in Lanka), but neither do i live in Lanka, because right now its a Far cry from what i would like it to be. . I do however support a form of government where all races are treated Equal. Right now such a government does not exist in Lanka

    mate, i do agree, from my own experience at Royal that the majority of the Sinhalese students there don’t hold anything against Tamils, and neither do we. And before I continue on with the rest of the post; let me say unequivocally that I will stand up for the rights of everyone; regardless of what community they are from, because I believe that human rights and justice transcend petty racial and ethnic barriers. If a Sinhalese or a Muslim has a grievance ..or is denied justice; I will speak up for them too.This is not about race or religion but about working towards the same goal

    as for 1983 and the Jaffna library, we all know that history cannot be changed, but what really irked me when i talked to some of my Sinhalese friends is their lack of knowledge about this whole ethnic conflict. Would you believe me if i said that the majority of the Sinhalese think that this whole civil war thing started after 1983? Astonishingly, a large number of them seem to subscribe to such an erroneous view. One of the main stumbling blocks for reconciliation between the communities is the lack of understanding about the origins of this civil strife.

    No one is asking anyone to go back into the depths of history to avenge centuries old grievances, but to solve the ones that expressly contributed to the current civil strife in this island . You bring the kalinga magha example, and Im sure Tamils might bring back the Destruction of the Hoilest of Hindu temples, the Thiru Koneshwaram temple by King Mahasena in response. (the Mahavamsa attests to this). (Interestingly the fact that Mahasena “the Great” destroyed this temple is omitted from the history textbooks which on the other hand wax much about the destruction of Buddhist Stupa’s by Tamil kings..but lets come back to that topic of textbooks later). I agree that bringing back ancient rivalries would further no purpose; but that does not include the ones which are current. Its impossible for everyone to say “ok lets drop everything now and move on as if nothing happened’…especially when millions have been affected by this and are still being affected.

    I do not agree with the “You have to punish the Tamil Diaspora for Supporting the LTTE if we were to punish the government argument”. Because that reasoning does not hold any water. If we were to prosecute those who backed one of the parties that carried out crimes, then we have to punish those who supported the other party that did the same too. So by your same logic, all those who voted for, and paid Taxes to the lankan government are liable to be prosecuted. We all know that it’s silly. Hence we have to concentrate on those who carried out these crimes…both the Gosl and the LTTE. The LTTE, as everyone knows, has been done away with. So apparently they have been punished for their crimes, this leaves the other in need of prosecution. At least the GOSL/Military would have a proper trial, a courtesy they failed to show to the Tigers.
    Its not possible for those affected in the Tamil side to reconcile if justice is denied for them.

    After WW2, the Germans included the recent events and its causes/results in their school curricula. What better way to promote harmony and reconciliation than educating the younger generation about what transpired? Would you believe, that even after 60 years of ethnic strife..and especially even after 30 years of civil war, the Lankan History text books don’t even talk about it??? Why is that? Don’t you guys think that this is exceedingly strange? While on the other hand, one sees copious amounts of material on these textbooks about “king Duttagemunu” and “king mahasena”..the former glorified for his battle against a Tamil king…by all means probably the most Just King who ever ruled this island; and the latter whitewashed of all his actions against the Tamils(rem the part about the Koneshwaram temple). These history textbooks twist history in a way that leaves little to e desired, especially the newer ones. The country now is filled with Quack doctors and pseudo scientists who impose their own agendas on the impressionable minds of the kids.

    Let me tell you about a few conversations I had with my Sinhalese friends…it underscores the result of active propaganda from the government, through the media and other means of communication.

    One of my Sinhalese friends told me “The Tamils do not get enough food in the affected areas because the Tigers are using the food sent there in place of sandbags for bunkers!!…the Tv even showed the soldiers displaying such a captured bunker that used bags of lentils and Soya meat used in such a manner!! ”. I was flabbergasted, and doubly so. Because anyone with even the basic knowledge about ballistics would know that this is nothing but hogwash. Why is sand used to fill the sandbags that protect bunkers and stuff? Because the sand particles are both minute AND strong enough to exert progressive drag on any projectile entering a sandbag, effectively stopping it. A bag of lentils and Soya meat, on the other hand are made up of bigger…much much bigger particles and would offer no such resistance to a projectile. The projectile can easily displace these big particles and exit on the other side. Its really sad that the Sinhalese masses are fed such blatantly obvious propaganda by the government and they are unable to discern it…

    Also a lot of my Sinhalse friends do not see anything wrong about giving the pride of the place to Buddhism (look at the comment by panhinda #236, its In the same vein). How can the minorities feel part of this nation if one religion is given prominence over the rest? Is it any wonder that they are being treated as second class citizens? When the constitution itself supports such actions… How can Buddhism be given priority? . After all, its not even native to this island. Most Buddhists tend to forget that they are converts too….yet who converted about 23 centuries ago.

    Look at the statement by Sarath Fonseka…he stated that “This is a Sinhala Buddhist country”. In any other secular democracy; he would have been sacked pronto. But Not only was he asked to even apologize or take back what eh said…he was actively defended by the Government. Is this what we term as Equal rights and non-discrimination?

    Another good example is that of Una, poster number #167….who apparently watched a documentary on the Jaffna library but did not know that it was Built by Tamils and Not by the British…he even puts forth a theory based on that. One would have just rolled one’s eyes at such comments if not for the fact that such false ideas played and still play a huge part in the civil strife.

    Last but not the least, ive had a lot of my Sinhalese friends tell me “but the Tamils attacked the Dalada Maligawa, our holiest place”. I told them that its not Tamils as a whole, but the tigers. Yet when I also told them that even decades before the advent of the civil war, dozens of Hindu temples have been decimated by the rioters or the military…they are totally unaware of it/or do not even want to believe me. They are also unaware that the holiest temple of the Hindus, the Koneshwaram temple was vandalized by the soldiers who were garrisoned there and around its environs. The Ketheshwaram temple was partly dismantled so the military can build defensive structures from the stones taken from the temple. These are all documented events with ample evidence. Yet the Sinhalese populous is not even aware of such events. What does this show? It shows how much this “civil war” has been stage managed by the GOSl .

    What really hurt me is that when I voice these inconvenient truths, I was called a “terrorist” or a “tiger supporter”. The Lankan president and the successive ones had instilled the ‘you are either with us, or against us” doctrine so much so that it as become ingrained into the brains of many. Just because I spoke the facts I was called a terrorist, even though they all knew I never advocated for a separate state. This is why I know the “there are only two people, those who love the country and those who don’t” statement by mahinda to be the lie it is. Who will decide who loves the country and who does not?
    If advocating for justice and equality, for facts instead of propaganda is the hallmark of a person who “hates the country”, then im left wondering what kind of a ‘country” mahinda proposes? It seems to have all the ingredients for a totalitarian regime where any criticism against the government is branded as terrorism.

    This is a far cry from the morals my parents thought me as a kid..its a far cry from what my school Royal college stands for. Therefore as a Royalist and as a person who really loves this island I believe it’s my right and my responsibility to stand up for those rights.
    I might be called a terrorist for speaking such inconvenient truths, but history will absolve me. I’ve played in the sady beaches, listened/watched to wonderful music and dramas at Lionel Wendt…visited rural areas in the south and in the north ..seen how innocent and moral the common people are…been to temples….both Hindu and Buddhist …and mosques too. Ive eaten Kiribath and Pongal….and Muskets too. A lot of people may dislike me for pointing out these inconvenient truths, but as Ender from Orson Scot Cards ‘keeper of memories” and “The speaker for the dead”, I have to do my duty to this island. History will prove me right the same way it proved von Stauffenberg right.

    Therefore the only way forward is to educate the public on both sides about what happened. One cannot “move forward” from a position of ignorance. People who do not understand what happened are bound to repeat the same mistakes. Let both communities be informed about what transpired. And let no one be denied recourse to justice. I will willingly work towards a united country as long as everyone is treated as equal, and as long as no one is left wanting, either in justice or opportunity.

    Let us all be ‘Truly” free and Equal. One day we might even earn the right to call this lovely island Serendib again, not just textually but with our hearts as well..and mean it too!

    PS: lol this post is long and I don’t have any time on my hand to edit any spelling errors I might have made, so do ignore those minor mistakes

  233. I couldn’t disagree more with Mohan.

    (EDITED)

    The Tamils in this Island have been living in here for atleast as long as the Sinhalese. We have clearly defined areas which

    have been inhabited and ruled by Tamils since the beginning of human habitation here. We are a very distinct culture and

    ethnic group and have every right to secede from the Majority Sinhalese if and when we see fit. The decision is ours and

    ours alone. It is not dependent on the Sinhalese being “good” or “bad”. The right of separation is recognized by the UN as

    well.
    The LTTE was formed after decades of oppression by the Sinhalese, and the failure of the Srilankan State to honor even the

    very limited agreements it came into with various Tamil Leaders. Discriminative laws were legislated, tamil areas colonized

    and many “riots” unleashed on the helpless Tamil population by successive (Sinhala) governments before the LTTE was even

    formed.The reason I mention these past events is to demonstrate the fact that the persecution of Tamils in the Island is a

    continuous process and not one that is limited to the past or present.

    It’s true that there have been no riots in the south after 1983. The lesson learnt by the Sinhalese at this occasion is not

    that they should not massacre their tamil neighbors but that they should not do it in full view of the international

    community, but out of sight in the north and east.There have been a hundred thousand Tamil civilians murdered by the “govt”

    and it’s forces since 1983; the number of Sinhala civilians killed by the Tigers in the corresponding period would not be

    more than a few hundred.The jubilation and celebrations in the south that followed horrendous slaughter of Tamils in the

    Vanni (blaming the Tigers for this outrage (human shields and other fancy words) is so absurd in so many levels that I

    wouldn’t bother to comment on it) in the past few weeks should have dispelled any illusion anybody had about any future for

    the Tamils in a ‘united’ SriLanka.
    The attempt by some Tamils to figure out “what went wrong”, and saying that we too are responsible for the mess, is a

    reaction typically seen in abuse victims.It’s like a battered wife saying “it’s my fault that my husband beat me, I made the

    curry too spicey” and “my husband is nice, he helped bandage me after bashing me”. We have to get out of this victim

    mentality and see what we can do to carry the struggle forward to it’s conclusion, a country we Tamils can call our own.

  234. A mother has her arms wrapped around the silent body of her son. The tears that well from the same blood that once turned into milk to nurture the delicate fingers that pulled on her hair as she nursed him, pours out in a futile effort to quench the blazing fires of war. Her reality is blurred between the soft warm memories of the past and shrapnel and bullet ridden body of her son’s corpse. Her soul is melting away into tears cleansing the dirt covered body that she once used to bathe with so much caring and love. Who has won? She is searching for that answer…

  235. Mr. Segaram has put in to writing what many of us are thinking. Hats off to him!

    I would just like to point out that it was mentioned that he is a “Colombo” Tamil and that his views are of that ilk. the Tamils in the Northern and Eastern areas (NOT ALL, like you would say Mr.DBS) have a different view. they view all Sinhalese as enemies and blood thirsty monsters. (isn’t this the picture that the diaspora is trying to portray about the Sinhala people to the IC?)

    this is only because for the past thirty years a whole generation in the North and East has grown up not knowing any ordinary Sinhalese citizens.
    My grandfather (A Tamil) had many friends who were Sinhalese. he was well respected by his son-in-law’s parents ( KANDYAN SINHALESE!!) and vice versa because Sinhalese and Tamils of that generation interacted with each other and had mutual understanding and respect for each other.

    this is what we must bring back to build our proud nation, mutual understanding and respect. like Mr Segaram says, Tamils must put aside complaining about past grievances and give the nation a chance to put things right.

    Mr. Jeyaraj, it would be a great service if you could translate mr. Segaram’s article in to Tamil and circulate among the diaspora. I personally know people who are so ignorant and narrow minded, that they could do with a good dose of common sense like this! Hopefully it will give them something to think about.

  236. Mohan you are true srilankan mate!!!!!!!!!! i think you me and sooooo many srilankans.. almost 98% deep down think like you. Respect without hidden addenda. Trust 100% we will be THE NATION IN NO TIME …
    ONE FLAG, ONE COUNTRY, ONE NATION, WE ALL ARE SRILANKAN, WE ARE UNIQE… Comon people say sorry to each other, lets start say sorry to the first guy that we meet out side the street, whether its in new malden high street, welawate mathara , Sydney , NY or Toronto , hug the first one meet say sorry…. dont forget we are so deferent to any other nation..

  237. I have a request to make of the diaspora reading this website.

    Could someone do a translation into Sinhala and Tamil of John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance”, with appropriate rewording?

    Unfortunately like most diaspora youth, my command of Sinhala and Tamil language is limited.

    Would it be possible to follow that up with a recording to be posted on Youtube? I can get it posted throughout Facebook and myspace

  238. How many roads must a man walk down
    Before you call him a man?
    Yes, n how many seas must a white dove sail
    Before she sleeps in the sand?
    Yes, n how many times must the cannon balls fly
    Before theyre forever banned?
    The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,
    The answer is blowin in the wind.

    How many times must a man look up
    Before he can see the sky?
    Yes, n how many ears must one man have
    Before he can hear people cry?
    Yes, n how many deaths will it take till he knows
    That too many people have died?
    The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,
    The answer is blowin in the wind.

    How many years can a mountain exist
    Before its washed to the sea?
    Yes, n how many years can some people exist
    Before theyre allowed to be free?
    Yes, n how many times can a man turn his head,
    Pretending he just doesnt see?
    The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,
    The answer is blowin in the wind.

    Bob Dylan – Blowin’ in the Wind

    Hope this made your day DBSJ, though methinks no-one need post a Dirty Harry link. 😉

    ———–

    Thanks a lot for making my day Ravin. Nope I dont think a dirty harry link needs to be posted as according to Clint Eastwood “a good man knows his limitishuns”………….DBSJ

  239. Pingback: We have seen enough Burning Bridges. Let’s Start Building Bridges |

  240. A very good letter from a Tamil and a Sinhalese. It is an open appeal to both communities to reconcile and forget the past and unite as brothers and sisters of one family & help to build the nation. This is a very good idea and I strongly support this good sentiments expressed by both. But on big questions is will the unscrupulous politicians allow us to forgive and forget one another and start a new life. I doubt very much. Look at what Mahinda is doing now declaring three days holiday for schools and have elaborate plans to celebrate the victory. Won’t this act hurt the Tamils who are already very much hurt and sad about everything that happen to them in the last few years? Is it necessary for these celebrations now? When Tamil refugees in Manik Farm or the other internment camps are not even provided with the basic amenities. They don’t have enough food to eat, cloth to wear or given proper medical care. Women, men and children are languishing in a most appalling conditions in those camps. Will a responsible leader who is the President of the country will have this celebrations to take place when thousand of his own subjects are in misery and anguish. Does not mater what race, religion or color he or she is they are all belongs to the same country and the President is for every one. Don’t you think instead of this victory celebrations he should have organized mass rehabilitation campaign getting all the people in the South and other parts of the country including all the ministers, government officials and even soldiers to visit the camps and help the people over there? They could have provided food parcels, given cloths and drinking water bottles and made friends with the people in the camp. If this government does this type humanitarian service to all the Tamils suffering in those camps then the we could be proud to say that every one whether a Sinhalese or a Tamil have hope for reconciliation and march forward together for a happy and prosperous future of the country. In the absence of the real change to our hearts and minds we are not going to achieve anything. People can write hundreds of good article and letters the wicked minds will never get any lessons from the past .

  241. This person writes very eloquently, and is so pragmatic and hopeful, a lesson to all humanity. I wish all of those people writing to dateline would take some advice from this person. Too much anger and bitterness still exists. Bitterness contaminates all lives, the past is past we cannot go back, we cannot undo, all one can do with that is feed the anger that is within and destroy yourselves. People are ignorant, why join them, every single person has a choice to be happy now or to live in the past, let us all let go of anger and have peace within our selves.

  242. reply to #236 Panhinda (which in turn is a reply to CruelTruth)


    /////////
    Dear CruelTruth

    /*
    9. The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana,
    */

    Dont be scared of labels. Dhamma is universal and applicable to all. Its universal since there are no extra terrestrials involved for you to worship and depend on. YOU alone are responsible for your salvation. Let me put the Dhamma in a nutshell.

    1 – Morality
    2 – Mastery of the mind
    3 – Wisdom that everything is impermanent

    Remember that last point. Tamil was an identity you accidentally born into. You will pass on one day since its all impermanent. Why suffer attaching yourself to something so transient? Become 1 & 2 then you begin understanding 3. This is it! now was this threatening to you?

    //////

    Panhindas reply is a prime example of the ills that ail this country. Panhinda justifies Buddhism being given the pride of the place in the constitution. How can anyone justify ANY religion or people being given prominence over others and at the same time expect the others to feel oh so equal? One would expect such common sense to be universal, but apparently its in short supply.

    It pains me to see that he even brings in Buddhism to justify this travesty of Justice. Dhamma might be universal and it might not be universal. Thats not the issue here. The issue is about one religion being put on a pedestal. How can one dictate what the other should believe in (or not believe in)? Panhinda, who gave you the right? Chances are that CruelTruth is a Hindu, So teaching a Hindu about Dharma is akin to teaching a bird to fly.lol. but thats beside the point.

    This is what Ive been trying to make people see, not me alone but many here as well. Who gave Panhinda the right to choose whats best for others?. This reminds me of the recent drive in Lanka to ban Beef altogether. Couple of my Sinhalese friends are all for it. I was flabbergasted to learn about this drive to ban Beef. (Im a Hindu and a vegetarian so it does not affect me in Any way).This law would victimize the Muslims and the Christians , along with anyone else who eats beef. Not to mention people who make a living by selling these stuff. While on a philosophical level I can understand the reasoning behind the ban on Beef, I fail to understand how its proponents automatically assume that their worldview is the one everyone in the country should accept. When I quizzed one of the proponents about the fate of the Muslims, I was told Well they can import it from abroad. Should one laugh or cry at such an idiotic reply? Would they accept if the Muslims were to say everyone ought to grow a beard because not doing so would impinge on our religious doctrine?

    The reasoning behind the aforementioned ban is no different from the one behind the Buddhism one. The Majority or at least a sizable portion of the majority sees nothing wrong or discriminatory about imposing their own beliefs and lifestyles on the rest.

    Its high time this is redressed. People who are really interested in reconciliation and unity ought to take a long hard look at things they take for granted. We would either be fully equal, or not equal. There are no levels in equality.

  243. for those younger readers perhaps not in Sri Lanka there is a serialised feature under http://www.dailynews.lk features which gives a chronology of LTTE atrocities. Some of you may say this is one sided and do not reflect atrocities by SLA. The reason i am giving this link is for you to understand the horror we as ordinary citizens were subject to. And also to understand the relief we felt when the war with LTTE was over.

    I agree that July 1983 saw the worst – I myself had a tamil friend on my bike who I took to safety. I do not blame him if I see him amongst the many protestors in western countries now.

    As many say we cannot live in the past both communities MUST get on. War is not the way.

    Let peace be born.

  244. TIME HAS COME FOR THE SINHALESE TO GIVE A HAND TO THE TAMIL BROTHERS AND SISTERS WHO ARE DISPLACED IN THE NORTH.

    EVERY TAMIL IS NOT AN LTTE. i HAVE SO MANY TAMIL FRIENDS NOT JUST FRIENDS BUT BEST FRIENDS.

    MAY BE THE DIASPORA CONTRIBUTED AND NURTURED THEM WILLINGLY OR UNWILLINGLY DUE TO VARIOUS REASONS , BUT IT IS OUR BOUNDEN DUTY TO UNITE TAMILS AND SINHALESE.

    IMAGINE THE GOOD OLD DAYS WE USED TO SHARE. WE USED TO GO TO JAFFNA, POINT PEDRO KKS AND VADAMARACHCHI FOR GOOD FRIEND GANESH’S WEDDING.

    Lets pray for a better and vibrant Sri Lanka, which was the envy of the east.

    Lets build up that great country with unity.

    Tamil brothers and sisters please think twice and come forward with open arms. This applies to my Sinhalese brothers and sisters as well.

  245. Ok, Ulysses, you say you were a Royalist,and i am sorry that you were. You shouldn’t have walked on those corridors, or any corridors at all.
    Tel us, Ulysses, do you love Adele Balasingham, your compatriot Aussie?
    Would you like Tamil schoolchildren to carry cyanide capsules around their necks, carry AK47 rifles, while you have a nice home in Oz?
    Do you want Tamil schoolchildren NOT to go to school, but go to the battle field?
    Do you want Tamil young women to blast themselves, while you have a beer?
    Tell us, Ulysses, if you are ‘such” a brave man(?) to write venomous words in this democratic forum, why didn’t you leave your cool beer and fought it out in the Nandikuddal lagoon?
    You opted for the young Tamils to fight and die for cowards like you?
    Is that it, aren’t you a paper tiger? (No offense to animal tigers!)

    Have you any respect for the poor innocent abducted tamil schoolchildren, who didn’t even know where they were shooting? Who didn’t know why they have to die at such a young age (baby age)?

    Would you, brave Ulyssess “donate” one of your children for the “cause”? Would you?

    So, respect the innocent Tamil schoolchildren, who died without knowing why, because of people(?) like you sitting cosily, sipping beer!

    Man, you are not EVEN a Tamil, if you are happy that such Tamil schoolchildren died instead of listening to I-Pod like your children!

    You are not even human!

    Mohan, sorry for the outburst!

  246. repy to Ariya #245

    ///
    Dear DBSJ, I feel mad when I read the comments from a guy Ulysses, who calls himself a Royalist, even though I shouldnt be. Let me tell you, I cannot guarantee that I might not smash his face, if I see him at the Big match. Well, now, I am becoming like him, sorry!

    And Ulysses, I dont care whether you were at College, but youare NOT a Royalist, and most probably not even human. Period!

    Sorry, Mohan, there are nut cases everywhere, so we have to live with such cases.

    I am not an idealist, but Id like to be. i like to live, work, talk, joke with humans, who breathe air, not some fumes.

    See, this Ulysses got me angry, and I dont want to be angry, why should I?. everyday, I meet Tamil people and the only problem I have is that I never learnt Tamil language. But does it really matter, we speak, and smile, so we understand each other. And thank whatever God that is there, that we can smile!

    I know, it is not democratic to request you, DBSJ, not to publish this Ulysses comments, but we could be better of not wasting valuable forum area for such hate-filled words!

    ////

    First you claimed i’m not a Royalist, and when proven otherwise now you claim you want to bash my face in.
    🙂

    I know that i ask inconvenient questions, but that’s because those questions have to be asked. If not we will have folk like you who profess to be all for unity in diversity while harboring a dictatorial attitude towards any question/view that contradict yours.

    we have seen enough bloodshed and ruin in this country because of such attitudes and unless we do away with them we will fail as a nation. Its easy to mouth the politically correct terms such as “living in peace and harmony”..”treating each other like brother’s and sisters” while not willing to change one’s views on how ‘things ought to be”

    who are you Ariya to decide whats best for me, or my neighbor or your neighbor? this is supposed to be a democracy and people are free to express their views. how very not Royalist of you to stifle any dissent, especially one that very moderate and helpful towards reconciliation. or maybe you do not like it because your version of reconciliation seems to be the continuation of the status quo

    your personal attacks just underscore how unfit you are to be called a Royalist. It actually makes me feel embarrassed for your sake…resorting to such petty name calling and physical threats. I would suggest that you read the school song again

    “We will learn of of books and men, and learn to play the game”

    mere books will not grant you all knowledge. you should have the human element, as the School song says; you should learn about people too. And pray do leave the dictatorial tone off, ..or maybe keep on calling me “you are not a Royalist”, because it lame, coming from you. You sir, have neither the manners nor the broadness of vision required of those who passed out of the hallowed institution. Pls don’t desecrate its name with further diatribes . And needless to say, this is but polite request, you are free to do in any manner you see fit.

    PS:
    DBSJ, thank you again for allowing people speak their heart (excluding the unparliamentary ones of course). this meeting of minds would surely bear fruit. Lets hope this hastens the advent of a truly equal and multicultural Lanka where everyone can live as brothers and sisters.

  247. Mohan,

    Very well written Sir! I never met you, but know your brother & SIL very well. They were guests at my homecoming too. I even met Ranjith (your SIL’s BIL) when he came last time. Our paths never crossed because I was mostly away from SL before you left. I also meet your school mates Ravi( of bookie fame) and Kalu ( of The “Total Project” was a “Turtle Failure” fame) and I meet for a drink at least twice a week.

    Hey Ulysses,

    Calm down will you? Why are you so adamant about having a few heads at the end of a few sticks? Is that the priority now? You say the LTTE leadership is no more and it’s only the GOSL & SLA should be prosecuted.

    The killing machine of the LTTE became what it was largely because of the likes of you (The blindly funding Diaspora). Aiding and abetting terrorism is also a crime, and the Diaspora did that openly. WE SAY FORGET IT, CAN YOU?

    Remember CP Richards of the Roy-Tho Centenary fame? He (A Tamil) lost an eye in the Central Bank Bomb blast. Where is the justice for his lost eye, and thousands of other innocent civilians murdered in the most brutal fashion by the LTTE? However, if common sense prevails we shall not seek an eye for an eye.

    Hiran Muttiah (Rugby Captain) and S Nithyanandan, who Captained every cricket team from under 12 to Under-17, were from my batch at Royal. You cannot complain about RC surely, because there’s a clear case of equal opportunity there. And another Royalist, Dr. Pradeep Jeganathan was a batch junior to me. If I remember right Pradeep studied in the Sinhala medium. Please click on the following link to read an interesting interview of his,

    http://www.pjeganathan.org/south-paw/2009/5/17/sri-lankas-conflict-an-interview-with-pact-part-iii.html

    FLOREAT SRI LANKA!

    154. Sarath ..

    Ado, Mole hilakda? You should stick to wanking reading Mahawansa .
    Wena monawahari kiyawala tikak igena ganing Macho… Kaliyuga kaleta oyage adahas paranai!

    David,

    Thank you again. This one is for you my friend!

    How many roads must a man walk down
    Before you call him a man?
    Yes, n how many seas must a white dove sail
    Before she sleeps in the sand?
    Yes, n how many times must the cannon balls fly
    Before theyre forever banned?
    The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,
    The answer is blowin in the wind.

    How many times must a man look up
    Before he can see the sky?
    Yes, n how many ears must one man have
    Before he can hear people cry?
    Yes, n how many deaths will it take till he knows
    That too many people have died?
    The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,
    The answer is blowin in the wind.

    How many years can a mountain exist
    Before its washed to the sea?
    Yes, n how many years can some people exist
    Before theyre allowed to be free?
    Yes, n how many times can a man turn his head,
    Pretending he just doesnt see?
    The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,
    The answer is blowin in the wind.

  248. Mr. Sekaram,
    Thanks for writing your heart out.
    I think most of the people afraid of the truth.
    But frankly I think you missed a lot.
    I am a Sinhalese.
    To tell you the truth we have done lots of wrong doings against our Tamil friends.
    Specially our politicians.
    Our mistakes cost us thousands of lives.
    I hope to god that we can put all this things in the bitter past and move ahead.
    We have to understand that this country belongs to all of us.
    Not only to sinhalese.
    We need some guidance to stir out of this.
    Lets hope that our politicians have the courage to face the truth.

  249. Dear DBSJ: Firstly, hanks for the post. I read this email via private circulation before I found it posted here.

    What an inspiring and moving email.! I had to wipe my eyes before continuing reading. Mohan’s sentiments I beleive are shared by most of the ‘Sri Lankan middle class’. But they are not very vocal about it. Especially the Sinhala faction. But this is the time to be break the silence.

    I know every Sinhala person is sad and sorry for what happened in ’83. I was only six but I rememebr how my Aunts living in Wellawatta had bedrooms full of fellow Tamils living with them at that time.

    We truley are sorry for what happened.
    This is the time to reconcile and rebuild. If we let this chance slip by, hstory will not forgive us. We have to push the government to bring lasting peace. We should push the government to ensure autonomy to the Tamils.

    And us, the majority Sinhala people needs to learn to trust and treat the Tamil brothers & sisters the same way we treat fellow Sinahala and Muslim friends. Actually, the law of the land gaurantees equal rights to all. It is us people that do not put it to practice. Maybe in that sense, we have a lot more to do than the Government.

    Mohan, Thanks again for this letter. Please keep writing.

    (EDITED)

    Sorry Thilan but right now I am uneasy about any “patriotism” tests?……DBSJ

  250. reply to
    #266. Ariya

    ///
    Ok, Ulysses, you say you were a Royalist,and i am sorry that you were. You shouldn’t have walked on those corridors, or any corridors at all.
    Tel us, Ulysses, do you love Adele Balasingham, your compatriot Aussie?
    Would you like Tamil schoolchildren to carry cyanide capsules around their necks, carry AK47 rifles, while you have a nice home in Oz?
    Do you want Tamil schoolchildren NOT to go to school, but go to the battle field?
    Do you want Tamil young women to blast themselves, while you have a beer?
    Tell us, Ulysses, if you are ’such” a brave man(?) to write venomous words in this democratic forum, why didn’t you leave your cool beer and fought it out in the Nandikuddal lagoon?
    You opted for the young Tamils to fight and die for cowards like you?
    Is that it, aren’t you a paper tiger? (No offense to animal tigers!)

    Have you any respect for the poor innocent abducted tamil schoolchildren, who didn’t even know where they were shooting? Who didn’t know why they have to die at such a young age (baby age)?

    Would you, brave Ulyssess “donate” one of your children for the “cause”? Would you?

    So, respect the innocent Tamil schoolchildren, who died without knowing why, because of people(?) like you sitting cosily, sipping beer!

    Man, you are not EVEN a Tamil, if you are happy that such Tamil schoolchildren died instead of listening to I-Pod like your children!

    You are not even human!

    Mohan, sorry for the outburst!

    ok this post has passed the line from silly to insulting.

    i have but two words for you, ill repeat them a few times lest you miss them.

    assumptions assumptions assumptions

    strawmen strawmen strawmen

    you “assume” that I supported the Tigers or a seperate tamil ealam. pray tell me how you came up with such evidence? did a little bird wispher in your year? cos try as i might, im yet to find any such claim in my previous posts.

    in fact ive actually said the opposite, in my reply to the post by shanthi krish (#200)

    my reply to her can be found in in #247 where i clearly state

    //I hate to disappoint you too :), what makes you think i care two hoots about Tigers getting prosecuted? LOL
    you are barking up the wrong tree mate.//

    ^^ thats my reply to her; check it if you dont believe it.

    lol and instead of reading whats written you jump to conclusions and then jump to high heaven. read before you post, this applies not just to this forum but to life in general. might also reduce your high blood pressure a bit

    so simply stop setting up strawmen and reply to the questions/ideas i put forth or contribute something constructive, apart from the “im going to bash your face in” , “im ashamed” etc etc comments

    if not kindly refrain from wasting my time. thank you

    ———
    Ulysses , I think its time to end your odyssey and get back to Ithaca and Penelope……..DBSJ

  251. David,

    Soon after posting Blowing in the Wind, I realised I have been beaten to it by two others. Here’s another one of my all time favourites.

    The road is long
    With many a winding turn
    That leads us to who knows where
    Who knows when
    But I’m strong
    Strong enough to carry him
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

    So on we go
    His welfare is of my concern
    No burden is he to bear
    We’ll get there
    For I know
    He would not encumber me
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

    If I’m laden at all
    I’m laden with sadness
    That everyone’s heart
    Isn’t filled with the gladness
    Of love for one another

    It’s a long, long road
    From which there is no return
    While we’re on the way to there
    Why not share
    And the load
    Doesn’t weigh me down at all
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

    He’s my brother
    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother…

    Thank You for this………..DBSJ

  252. Reply to #268

    Hi there, Forget-The-past

    I think you ought to read post #252 (my reply to Harshe, yet another Royalist) Before you jump to any conclusions.

    I believe that post 252 just got posted due to some delays, hence ill refrain from replying to your unfounded and may i say..offensive accusations. especially the ones that you made about me supposedly supporting the tigers/funding them. But ill give you the benefit of the doubt because as the old saying goes..all what it takes is a ‘word and a (hand)shake” between those who went to Royal. Take your time to read and then tell me if your post to me was way off the mark or not .

    and just ignore my replies to Ariya, that guy has a penchant for setting up strawmen …im done replying to him.

    Btw, thanks for the link, i just browsed through it and it seems to be very interesting reading. im going to read it after this post.

    PS:
    btw the blowing in the wind poem was in the English lit textbook for O/Ls, its one of my all time favorites.

    another interesting poem that is very relevant to the plight of our country now is the “Poison Tree” By William Blake. It talks about the ills that arise when people are not honest/open to each other.

    A Poison Tree
    William Blake


    I was angry with my friend:
    I told my wrath, my wrath did end.

    I was angry with my foe;
    I told it not, my wrath did grow.

    And I water’d it in fears,
    Night & morning with my tears;
    And I sunned it with my smiles
    And with soft deceitful wiles.

    And it grew both day and night,
    Till it bore an apple bright;
    And my foe beheld it shine,
    And he knew that it was mine,

    And into my garden stole
    When the night had veil’d the pole:
    In the morning glad I see
    My foe outstretch’d beneath the tree

  253. Jay Chambers, Sinhala people are of south indian ancestry (most are), sinhala scripts are similar as dravidian scripts telugu and kannada. At least for the script part, why don’t you go to wikipedia and check.
    Sinhalese scripts have no resemblance to North-Indian scripts.

    gamage m, hats off to you. But most are not like you.

    Ulysses, THANK YOU. Keep up the good work.

  254. “150. jj | June 1st, 2009 at 10:17 pm
    By mingling with Sinhalese our average IQ is getting lower.
    That is why we want seperate state”

    —-

    I can see people like you are the ones who were responsible for the conflict from the Tamil side. You will not be entertained anymore & shall never be taken seriously.

    Comments such as this gives this unease to call myself Tamil. I guess my Sinhala brother has to tell me here how to deal with characters like these (Other than say ,hound these buggers and let out a big HOOO).

    Quite frankly people like you JJ should never be allowed to sit at our tables.

  255. I fully agree with Mr Sekeram, he has eloquently expressed a sentiment shared by many moderate Sinhalese and Tamils alike. On a personal level we should reach out from both sides of this perceived ethnic divide with respect and amity towards our fellow Sri Lankan regardless of race or religion.

  256. ///Ulysses , I think its time to end your odyssey and get back to Ithaca and Penelope……..DBSJ///

    unfortunately Penelope is quite far from me atm. would require some fancy footwork to get there unless i have a teleportation device handy; lest I be detained by Circe 🙂

    but jokes aside…am i being politely shown the door?

    Make the most of Circe then and dont resist the sirens……………DBSJ

  257. Reply to #150 JJ

    ///By mingling with Sinhalese our average IQ is getting lower.
    That is why we want seperate state”
    ///

    JJ I think you need to get your head out of whatever stinking well you have stuck itself in. Im ashamed to even think that you are a fellow Tamil.

    Thank you WellaBoy for bringing guys like this comment to the fore. I totally second your post

  258. No worrries DBSJ. I wasn’t really expecting you to publish it. But call the ‘test’ any other name. I am sure most commenting here will answer ‘YES’ to all. I think anyone thinking like Mohan must be a patriot.

  259. VP is supposed to be from the “Karaiver”caste. Most of the Southern coastal town sinhala people are from the “Karawa”caste.

    Is it possible for these two caste’s to be the same?

  260. This guy JJ should not worry about his IQ getting lower. Is there a minus value for IQ?

    Ulysses,
    Yes, you have not admitted anywhere of funding LTTE, That was my assumption, if I am wrong my apologies.
    It doesn’t help when the likes of you start by saying, “We need to see the bad guy’s prosecuted before anything else”. I do not know the exact number of causalities in the last few days but neither does you. We believe what we like to believe.
    The soldiers choice is simple. Kill or be killed. Not only civilians they sometimes shoot their own. That is war. Gota says 6200 soldiers died, but I think the number is much higher. I am just glad it’s over. The same way I was glad when the JVP insurgence was crushed. I being a Sinhalese, did not demand justice for the relatives of poor Sinhala youth who were killed as collateral. And I do not feel guilty about that either.

    Nice poem.

    When did you leave RC? It’s a pity if your son is not given the op to be a 4th gen Royalist.
    .

  261. dear friend ,
    thanks for writing the real situation here
    all sri lankan tamils in the other part of the world should uderstand theis reality.
    unfotunately some of our tamil friends still with terrorist mentality .
    they have criticized mohan’s article in baseless

  262. Hi Mohan,

    Its was a great joy to read your heart. Please send this to all places possible and lets make this land a better one for all of us.

  263. Cicil and Chaturanga and many others are humble and magnanimous in their words and owning up to their responsibility and put of their hands. I salute all of you and this is the start of the reconciliation process. Reconciliation has several strands, dimension and levels. So, this is a very small step in one of these strand and hope this will trigger other strands and expand to other dimensions.
    Having said that I have two concerns about these blogs.

    First, from the comments and responses, it seems the participants of the blog are a very elite group, primarily from Colombo/Kandy who happen to know each other, either at school or work and social gatherings in the past. Due to the situation prevailed after 1983, they have lost contact and getting reconciled. I appreciate this and welcome the 1st step. However, what is bothering me most of the “owning up” is about 1983 which is primarily a “Colombo affair”. This was a dreadful event and rightly they apologized. Since, many of them didn’t mention about all the other state sponsored violence, I am questioning whether this is just an elite group which was together before 1983 and that event has put a barrier among them and now, they are trying to raise the curtain. I have no problem with it. But, this can’t bring reconciliation among the communities at large, unless we widen this to take responsibility for all events over the past 30 years ( all sides ). It is well and good for ordinary people, mainly living outside the country, to do this as you can relate to each other; Mohan and others. How about all the thousands of people who suffered over the years. I have to say I haven’t seen any evidence to this yet in this blog. Bloggers, prove me wrong on this.

    Second aspect is, reconciliation can only be sustained when people fell that justice has been done for the atrocities committed by all sides. This aspect is not expressed forcefully by the majority in the blog. This concerns me and the atrocities committed against ordinary people will be forgotten in the name of reconciliation by few of us. For LTTE, they have paid the ultimate price. But, on the state side what we see is congratulatory and victory celebrations and no accountability. So, let’s take this to the next step. Let the people in power to “own up” to the responsibility for the events. To start with, let me make a plea to people who have influence with the ruling elite to make this 1st step as Mohan and few of us have taken. So, I call upon Dayan Jayatilleka who writes in these blogs and write in his own capacity also to “own up”.

  264. #236. Panhinda:
    “Dhamma in a nutshell.
    1 – Morality
    2 – Mastery of the mind
    3 – Wisdom that everything is impermanent”

    This is excellent … and how true!
    How could anyone find this threatening in the slightest?

    BUT the probelm in Lanka is that it is NOT practiced by those vociferous extremists who preach it.
    Rather these venomous hypocrites do the very opposite – I hesitate to insult wolves by calling them wolves in sheep’s clothing: perhaps ‘demonics in dharmic garb’ is more appropriate.

    Now this is very threatening and scary!!

    And this Ulysses chap seems to have some very relevant things to say – fight the good fight!

  265. ///// #

    129. Tamil | June 1st, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Living in peace and harmony in Sri Lanka sounds like such a wonderful thing. This can ONLY be achieved WHEN and IF Tamils have completely equal rights in Sri Lanka. This is for the singhala-buddhist dominated government to decide since Tamils have no say in anything.

    It’s funny how people put their hearts on their sleeves and write articles like this knowing that Tamil people have had their lives made a living nightmare and just want to brush it all under the carpet and start afresh!

    If the government of Sri Lanka can’t give equal rights to Tamils, then forget about peace and harmony! The only way we will get any say there is to have an appropriate number of Tamil people in Goverment too, but we all know that’s never going to happen…you have to be either Singhala or Buddhist to even be a politician there! Do Tamils fall into either category
    Reality speaks for itself mate.. /////

    I’m very sorry you feel this way ..if you are in SL, you will know that there are many Tamil/Muslim people in our Parliament ..and of course there are MANY Tamil/Muslim Politicians who are loved by all ..!

    Somewhere down the line ..the Tamils outside the Country seems to be very misled about Sri Lanka today!

  266. //// 23. Ulysses | June 1st, 2009 at 2:11 am ////

    Ulysses,
    I feel very sorry for you ..I take it when I address you, I address all LTTE Tamils.

    So, in the name of procuring ‘rights’ for the Tamil people ..how come you took away the ‘rights’ of the Tamils in the North including their ‘right to life’. For sure the Tamils in Colombo, estates and all other parts of Sri Lanka are living well ..they are educated, holding top Govt. posts, businesses etc. Their rights have been met due to the mere reason that were/are are living in the areas that the LTTE did not claim.

    It is the Tamils who lived under LTTE rule in the former LTTE held areas that suffered ..they had NO rights. You gave them NO right …so, for who’s rights are you now crying aloud for ..!

  267. Dear Ulssys,

    /*
    How can anyone justify ANY religion or people being given prominence over others and at the same time expect the others to feel oh so equal?
    */

    You based your entire response on the wrong assumption. Buddhism is not a religion. It devoid of god. Its simply laws of nature. Therefore the constitution is already secular.

    Don’t wait go and discover yourself. Find yourself the nearest Vippassana mediation center run by Mr. Goenka. He is himself a Hindu. He will show you the way. Link below also have translation in Tamil,

    http://dhamma.org/

    cheers.

  268. Now we have a tamil speaking President,
    may be it is not a bad idea to have a few lines in the national anthem in tamil too, as they do in South Africa which is sung in about three languages. That is a good start for reconciliation.

  269. I still believe in Eelam which means another name for Sri Lanka (that’s what we studied at college).
    Let us keep our religion at our prayer room, language at our dinning room and our culture at our sitting hall but to learn to respect fellow Lankan religion, language & culture. Come out as Sri Lankan NOT as winners or looser of war and rebuild our nation. Let us celebrate “victory day” by opening all the doors (not to mention ROADS) and not to call holiday (and road closed) on victory day / National Day but work hard on everyday to improve our economy/ family/ community.
    Let us whole heartily say “SORRY” to fellow countryman and mother lanka and begin a new Lanka.
    on behalf of my community please accept my apology

  270. Well done Ulysses #252 ( A MUST READ FOR EVERYONE), your views are factual and more comprehensive than the original authors…
    I live in England and share your views, NOT a LTTE supporter, but stand for justice

  271. It was great to see some of the comments from well informed Tamils and sinhalese people. Of those some are truly from their souls.

    Yet these strong views are so different from each other. The more facts we know the easier it gets in terms of understanding each other but our core values still fail to win the majority from our kith and kin. But we shall respect all views as they are from our respected brothers and sisters

    From the articles and comments many argued that there is a need for reconcilliation

    For that to happen, if there is such a thing to be expected from the government, shouldn’t there be initial steps such as

    1) The abusers (intentionally or unintentionally-as they say collateral damage) to say sorry to the wounded and have some sympathy when celebrating the win by the SLA and the regional superpowers
    2) Allow independent agencies to investigate and clear any doubts about serious ongoing violations. The raping, abductions, torture, coercion, all of these against the Tamils and others who question the SLG.
    3) Allow the independent media and NGO’s now that terrorism is over
    4) Release those kept in the barbed wired cages
    5) Able to question the validity of the appointment of reconstruction committee for the north with 100 % sinhala budhist people. Isn’t it a pathetic attempt by the government who says that Tamils in SL are given equality.

    Come on guys, these are Tamils rights as human beings. For those who want to give the SLG a chance to prove that they are different, that there is going to be equality and justice, then why don’t we ask these basic human rights and let the SLG prove themselves. Rather than just words why can’t the government to speck with their actions.

    For Mohan (whose intentions may be noble) and those who identify with his notion of giving a chance to the changed majority mentality, this is the time for a chance to test their dreams of reconciliation. It may come true, and if any of them convinced the government of taking the basic initial steps for speedy reconciliation and freedom of the detained people in Wanni, I will be the first to commend their thoughts, deeds and actions.

    May be you have the mindset to do something to change the government to release those people and allow media and NGO’s in the region NOW.

    To all those people who cried while reading the article from MS, and the Sinhalese people who welcomed that article from fellow Tamils, please show your passion in action. Please do the right thing and show that you truly want to reconcile the Tamils. They have been so brutalised, discriminated, abused, that may be of the past but reported to be still happening in the camps.

    Sincere (heart felt) good luck guys, Time is running out.

  272. Well said gentlemen, this is the echo of all the peace loving citizens of my beloved motherland. Now the bloody war is over and terrorism and seperatism has been totally wiped out, we have to swing into action by bridging the gaps, create communal harmony, inter-ethnic understanding to create a lasting peace and co-existance in SL.
    O God almighty! it is enough our country had for more than three decades! it is generation of war we had suffered from. Those who were born between 1977,83 to the very end of the beginning of 2009, have witnessed the carnage and always suspected the commom Tamils as tigers or seperatisits and the Sinhalese from the Tamils’ point of view are chauvinists. I don’t blame them. They have no choice left but stuffed with ill-thoughts, terror leadership, illusionized seperate homeland, ill treatment by each other, suspicion and isolation have led this generation to a great deal of frustration. With this defeat of terrorists let’s we all hope of a sigh of relief and peace.

    A bit of word for our dear leaders. In the name of God, we do not want another era of terrorism in our country. It is a curse, a scourge on my soil. Please act swiftly to resurrect and address the grievences of the suffering (Tamil) masses. They too are the people of this soil. They are Sri Lankans. Now they have been liberated from the clutches of the deadly jaws of terrorists. Make them feel you will provide with the much needed solace. Take them out of the barbed wire fences Let them breathe the fresh air of freedom. Everything depends in your hands and your move towards their rehabilitation. They are farmers and agriculturists and you can cash on their experience and expertise to enhance our agricultural sector. Never allow them to idle. Because an ‘idle’s mind is a devil’s workshop’ More and new cruel ideas will make them rise up again. Like a tree that provides shelter to all walks, kindly take this as an example and reunite both the communities. Make them smile and feel easy. Make Vijaya and Vijayan shake hands, hug and share happiness. My dear leaders, it is an enormous task that is being given in your hands. Use this best opportunity. We welcome building harbours and erecting bridges. However, we need to build the bridge that narrows the gap between the communities and harbour that harbours communal harmony. Over to you leaders! show your colours and dedication. Make our history tell your achivements for years to come.

    I appeal to all my bretheren, whichever ethnicity they belong to, come forward, forgive and forget all the bitter and cruel past and join hands to build a nation of trust, love, peace and harmony. Let’s give our children, the upcoming generation, the leaders of the future,our beloved motherland is the best place on this planet to live. Like you, I am extremely proud to be a true and peaceloving Sri Lankan.

  273. dbsj refers to him as Mohan Sekeram ! We knew him as Mohan Sahayam who dummied his way past the best to score many a try for his college,the CR & FC and finally, Mother Lanka. It is not surprising that a sportsman of his calibre and impeccable credentials should write in a manner that brings sanity to this debate.It is a must read for all Sri Lankans who seek peace through respect for each other irrespective of race,religion or caste. And to
    achieve this peace, what Mohan is trying to say is – one cannot clap with one hand – two hands are needed. One Sinhalese and the other a Tamil !

    It is also of relevance here to commend the responses on this page to Mohan’s letter. Apart from comments from a bigoted few all were well worth reading.

    ——-

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Mohan Sahayam and Mohan Sekaram are different though their first names are the same.Both were at Trinity in different eras and excelled in Rugger. Your reference To Mohan Sahayam revives memories. Who can forget the famous “Sahayam Specials”?Wonder where he is now?

  274. Listen, Ulysses, this is not a question of Royalists or non-Royalists, but this is THE question of our motherland. We, the people of our motherland, are the people of our motherland. Who live in this little island ARE Sri Lankans, and that’s all there is to it.
    You are NOT the type that should live on OUR motherland, that’s all. You love to have a conflict, we don’t. Some Tamils might think that they are discriminated, and some Singhalese might think the same way, but does that mean we have to have a war and try to separate?
    What for?
    Are we going to have Singhalese Cricket Team, or Tamil Cricket Team? do you think Murali would bowl differently, and Sanath would bat differently?

    And what about Royal College? Do you want a Tamil Royal College, and Singhalese Royal College, Muslim Royal, or Burgher Royal?

    Come on, man this is Sri Lanka and we have to be together. Do you understand? TOGETHER!

    You left, remember? Others stayed back, right? Did Murali go away? All these shops at Wella, Kotahena, Armour St, etc, etc stayed back. The Thosai kade in Galle is still there. All the thosai kades are still here and more are opening everywhere.

    But you left, Ulysses, while others stayed back.
    You left and what right you have about this country?
    This is the country of all who can have the will to stay here and try their best to make it better and better!

    That’s why I say that you are NOT a Royalist, you don’t have the Royal spirit! You are a disgrace!

    The idea is; Let’s get together and reconcile!

    (And you started with telling us that your 3 generations were Royalists, sort of better human beings, eh?)

    I am a Royalist too, and tell me; Can we have a big match without Thomians?

    And can we have Sri Lanka without all our people, whatever the ethnicity?

    And why are you there in Oz? Come back and prove yourself, prove that you can work for this little island and make it better!

    And if you want to sit in OZ and try to disorganize this country, then don’t write.
    Do you have conflicts at work there in Oz? I have strong feeling that you do! I think you were a loner at College too.

    Either write about how to bring about peace, give examples and methods how to be together and make this country great.

    Yes, learn from the past, but don’t drag it to the present.
    We need peace and harmony here. We don’t need any more conflicts here. Enough!
    Its time to reconcile and go forward!
    And if you want to live in the past, that’s your right, but don’t pull others into your past.

    Ariya you say Ulysses is not fit to be in Lanka and then ask him to return from OZ…….DBSJ

  275. reply to #181

    Forget the past

    No apologies needed. I’ve never funded the tigers nor advocated for a separate state. I’ts very common in lanka now, to claim views which are not popular/inconvenient to be from the mouths of “terrorists’, “traitors” etc etc. Nope, I’m not saying that you did this, but as you might have seen, some in this forum have made a habit out of it. Those people don’t want to get out of their comfort zone…they are all for saying the right words but not following them through with deeds.

    As long as people feel that they are denied justice; they will not be willing to reconcile, at least not in their hearts. The poem by William Blake I posted is very apt for the situation the country is facing now. If we are really friends, we would talk about our grievances to each other and settle them amicably. But if we were to just hide the real grievances and just act as if its all A-Ok, we run the risk of undermining any bridges that could be built across the communities. I know that face-saving is a big thing in the Sinhalese community( as its in ours too) but What I tell my sinhalese friends is that by prosecuting the culprits in their ranks, they would not be losing face but gaining respect. Face-saving only works when what one tries to hide is not known…if its known already..why try to sweep it under the carpet? Lets do the right thing and without a doubt this country would be able to attain its proper place.

    Im not talking about prosecuting the common soldiers, because most are but poor southern kids who joined the army in order to feed their families. But there are some who obviously relish killing civilians, especially those in power/command. Even though we might not agree about the casualty count in the last few months, by all accounts in the 5 figures. What’s wrong with punishing those who perpetrated human rights abuses? What better way to ensure that the minorities feel that they are part of the country? This is not just my view, but that of most Tamils ive talked to too. They are all willing to be part of a unitary nation as long as they are treated equally. One is Equal or one is not, there are no shades of equality.

    To cut a long post short, ive pretty much posted what I would be saying here in post #248. pls refer to it

    Ps: I would gladly send my kids there one fine day if the country turns out to be what I hope it to be.

  276. Reply to #289. Kumari Nayakaratne, Kalubowila.

    Dont jump to conclusions without reading all my posts.

    Furthermore you seem to be living in a la la land…. if one were to take your comments seriously.
    you must be living a VERY insulated life , …or are blind even though you can see

    🙂

  277. Reply to #285 Sumathra

    Very well said. The points you raised in your post are what made me write my first post in this thread. Even though im From Colombo, Unlike Mohan I had relatives in the north and was not living a life insulated from reality. While Mohan’s letter is very good and heartfelt, it does not speak for everyone, therefore i welcome your posts and the pertinent points you raised.

    We(everyone in this island) have to look at the big picture and not via a narrow glass, lest we get tunnel vision. otherwise we would be like the five blind men, who feel an elephant and come to drastically different conclusions.

  278. N2

    /*
    BUT the probelm in Lanka is that it is NOT practiced by those vociferous extremists who preach it.
    */

    dont worry i will ensue we get there.

  279. Reply to # 290. Panhinda
    //////

    Dear Ulssys,

    /*
    How can anyone justify ANY religion or people being given prominence over others and at the same time expect the others to feel oh so equal?
    */

    You based your entire response on the wrong assumption. Buddhism is not a religion. It devoid of god. Its simply laws of nature. Therefore the constitution is already secular.

    Don’t wait go and discover yourself. Find yourself the nearest Vippassana mediation center run by Mr. Goenka. He is himself a Hindu. He will show you the way. Link below also have translation in Tamil,

    http://dhamma.org/

    cheers.

    ////

    My response was to the point. The only mistake(?) i made was to call Buddhism a religion. Even if we were to call it “X” or “Y” it matters not because the crux of the matter is that “X” is given prominence over the rest.

    and its not limited to religion/philosophy/way of life either, its applicable to Anything that’s imposed on people.

    if say for example, the GOSL were to decree , ” Black shoes will be given foremost place in the constitution” , its wrong too, because those who do not wear/don’t like to wear Black shoes are being discriminated against.

    so pls go back and read my reply again, and reply to the issue itself……. pls don’t nitpick over semantics 🙂

  280. Reply to #187

    ///
    Forget-the-past and Ulysses: Hello — I’ve been reading your posts, and this whole thread with interest. Its nice to see people try to find common, middle ground
    ///

    Hi there Dr. Jeganathan.

    I’m somewhat new to this blog, but am hooked already. As you said ,I too believe that such constructive dialogue would certainly be beneficial to everyone.

    Btw, I liked the interview of yours Forget-The-past pointed me to. It was very interesting to read indeed.

  281. A brilliant piece. Just the need of the hour. I too sympathize wholeheartedly with our Tamil Brethren.

    I also believe lending a hand of friendship is not enough. As a nation it should be our prime duty to resettle the IDPs, develop the NE, provide equal opportunities for the Tamil children and MOST importantly grant an acceptable political solution to the Tamils. If as a people we believe in this, then the Govt in power will definitely follow suit. Then and then only will there be true victory.

    BUT I shall not say sorry because I cannot be held accountable for the actions of a few murderous megalomaniacs just because they happen to be Sinhalese, in just the same way as I cannot hold Tamils responsible for the many acts of terrorism committed by the LTTE.

    We are a people, a nation, You and me. We belong together. Join hands to create a chorus that will silence the voices of extremism and bring back the glory of yesterday.

    I may also add that in as much as we have all lost dearly, any attempts at international war crimes tribunals or even the hint of support for seperation is only going to create mistrust. If anyone wants a fight there are still many takers here. No one wants to put fresh fuel to a fire we all need to extinguish.

  282. dear ulysis,

    /*
    Even if we were to call it “X” or “Y” it matters not because the crux of the matter is that “X” is given prominence over the rest.
    */

    x and y must belong to same group for comparison. how can one ompare apples with bananas? its a preposterous proposition.

    constitution aims to equliase disparate groups in society. vulnerable sections of society gets special mention such as pregnant mothers etc. some constitutions even advocate affirmative action for minorities. for example 50/50 proposal by GGP was one such proposal.

    similiarly there is a perception among few people dhamma is too valuable to be lost to society. some think it needs extra protection considering there are organised religious groups preying on ignorant sections of the society. constitution aims to allay such fears. you need to embrace this in the spirit in which the statement was made. ignorant few made political millage out of something seemingly innocent.

  283. Reply to #306 by Panhinda

    ///x and y must belong to same group for comparison. how can one ompare apples with bananas? its a preposterous proposition.///

    The common denominator between X and Y is that they are both “forced” upon the rest of the country by the majority. Therefore its certainly not a comparison between apples and oranges as you claim.

    ////constitution aims to equliase disparate groups in society. vulnerable sections of society gets special mention such as pregnant mothers etc. some constitutions even advocate affirmative action for minorities. for example 50/50 proposal by GGP was one such proposal.////

    Are you saying that Buddhism is somehow more vulnerable than Hinduism, islam or Christianity? get real! if not, why are those other religions not given this so called “special mention”. ?

    tis but blatant hypocrisy. 🙂

    ////similiarly there is a perception among few people dhamma is too valuable to be lost to society. some think it needs extra protection considering there are organised religious groups preying on ignorant sections of the society. constitution aims to allay such fears. you need to embrace this in the spirit in which the statement was made. ignorant few made political millage out of something seemingly innocent.////

    Similarly there was a perception amongst a few people that Sinhalese should be made the ‘national language” we all know what that did to the country dont we?

    in the same vein , some in Nazi Germany and Apartheid era South Africa believed that miscegenation ought to be banned. Does that mean they are right? 🙂

    I dont care what some people “think”…i care if it democratic or not. The prominence given to Buddhism In the Lankan Constitution is a prime example of the marginalization and discrimination towards/of the minority.

    The constitution is not there to Allay “someone’s” “fears while impinging on the fundamental rights of the rest.
    And i love how you say “ignorant few made political mileage out of this’. Very nice Panhinda, with people like you this country would Never be a peaceful one. Im sure that you would also claim that those who talk against this discriminatory policy are people who do not love their country. I Just hope that fellow Sinhalese are not like you, because this is certainly NOT the way to reconcile the communities.

    I ask other Sinhalese who read this post for your take on this matter.

  284. Ulysses, Your comments are great. You should become a Tamil spokesperson and/or send your articles to all forums and news sites. You certainly do bring up Tamils point of view as to how things are in Sri Lanka.

    General comments : Bhuddisim came from India, so does Hinduism, so does Sinhalese, so does Tamils. So does Muslims. In the end we all Sri Lankans are product of India. Not sure why Sinhalese dominated Government and military discriminated and killed Tamils.

    Also another point to those who talk of territorial integrity, what is the big deal ?
    During the last few hundred years Sri Lanka was ruled by Europeans, before that it was a split kingdom or ruled by Cholas of India.

    Apart from 1947 1983, there may be few other occasions (Parakiramabhau) where Sri Lanka was one country. In case if it become a split country again in the far future, dont worry about it too much. We just have to get used to it like our ancestors.

    As we know USSR split, Eritrea became independent, so does East Timor. Things happen, not worth loosing your life for it until someone start occupying your own land. Sinhalese being a larger population there is no way Tamils are going to occupy all Sinhalese areas.

    In any case, Tamils of Sri Lanka should be happy with a separate state (Northern province only) as in California or Tamil Nadu. Hence I am proposing Thamilarin Thaagam Thamileela Maanilam. It translates to Tamils is thirst is state of Tamil Eelam. State as in California or Tamil Nadu.

  285. Reconciliation have to come from both side, you can’t do it while sinhala rajabaksa regime committed war crimes which is never heard of in the modern era.

    Slaughter of thousand of civilians, victory speeches, caged up innocent civilians as trophies, ethnic cleaning and parading of dead bodies.

    Don’t you think it is enough to call a genocide, they are just holding it back of a complete annihilation, because of the international pressure, if you don’t put more pressure on the Rajabaksa regime, Tamil’s will be simply vanished from lanka.

    Please Don’t defend the Lankan genocidal campaign. Bring it to the wider world know about the atrocities they committed. Justice has to be achieved, give humanity a chance in this critical juncture.

  286. dear ulysses,

    /*
    I don�t care what �some� people “think”…i care if it democratic or not. The prominence given to Buddhism In the Lankan Constitution is a prime example of the marginalization and discrimination towards/of the minority.
    */

    fear is never rational. so does the the fear buddhism need constitutional protection. i said before it was only a perception by some.

    you are quite correct to air your views. as a stake holder you have every right to challenge the status quo. what you now need to make a case and present it just like you have. start a peaceful campaign so that your proposal appeal to many people as possible. you need patience above all. things will change depending on the energy and creativity you put in.

    if you don’t succeed then accept its the will of the people and move on. there is no need to get ones knickers in a twist considering there wont be buddhists knocking on your door asking you to convert. nor will it make you any less worthy or equal as a citizen. then you need to ask yourself the question whether its more productive to use your energy focusing on far more worthwhile pastimes such as eradicating poverty etc.

  287. Thank you Ian, I’m just trying to make people think in a logical/commonsense way, rather than be swayed by the passions of their heart.

    even though I’m flattered that you would think so, I’m not interested in being a spokesperson for anyone. Neither is it my area of expertise. I’m sure there are much more qualified and willing people for such a responsible and demanding position.

    Having said that, the reason i post in these forum/thread is that i believe that i should put forth my views on this matter. The fact that this is a moderated thread helps, as I’ve seen many a forum degenerate into invective and pettiness.

    As one who grew up with Sinhalese and Tamils, yet also had strong connections to those in the north, I can understand(i don’t claim to understand everything..most) arguments from both sides of the divide. One of the main causes of this civil conflict; especially the continuation of this is the creation of false reasoning. Those who pander such “truths” continue to undermine any reconciliatory process.

    As i’ve repeated in my posts; true reconciliation happens only when this poisonous miasma is cleared. Educating the people on the reality is a must. Anything built on quasi-truths and nationalistic drivel is bound to fail. I try to ask questions which many don’t want asked. They do not like it because it puts into question many things/ideals/notions they took for granted. as you can see, the prominence given to Buddhism in the constitution is not seen by many as something that is “wrong”. They are unable to wrap their minds around it. Its due to generations of subtle/passive conditioning.

    People have to really look into themselves and question a lot of those notions they hold dear. In Hinduism and Buddhism, enlightenment is attained not by “divine” will but through introspection. I would ask people on both side of the divide to look into your selves. Test each and every notion that you hold sacrosanct. Answers are not “given” to us. they are within each and every one of us.

    those who claim to know, know not. those who know that they do not know, know .

  288. Dear Ulysses, Panhinda, Mohan, DBSJ, Ariya,
    Can someone explain me what it mean “Guardian of the Sinhalese nation”. If I got it right person who guards only Sinhala nation then whom shall Tamils, Muslims, and minorities go for their guarding, another Praba, Osama etc? Well I am not getting it……
    Shall we come out from these kind of glorifing a person and Strengthen the process called democracy.

  289. Hello Dr. Jeganathan,

    In case you are wondering, I spoke to you at Stallions tent this year. I am the short, fair, bearded guy with a huge beer belly. I said I couldn’t recognize you without your black square specs you used to wear during school days.

    Ulysses,

    Congrat’s. You have made this thread pretty much your own!

    I was a student at RMIT, Melbourne in the early nineties. I could never think of migrating to Australia. Not only because of the racist attitude of the uneducated youth I encountered while on public transport, mostly because I am somebody in this beutiful country of ours.

    Do the Aussies treat you better than us Sri Lankans?

  290. Ulysses, To my eyes you will make a great spokes person. I know you are not and dont want to be.

    If people cant live with your comments (just comments), how are they planning to reconcile. It is a worry.

    As you wrote a great saying comes to my mind – The most distinctive mark of a cultured mind is the ability to take anothers point of view, to put ones self in anothers place, and see life and its problems from a point of view different from ones own.

  291. Hi Forget the past

    nah, the higher number of posts i made are but a confluence of me having a few of relatively free days and my typing speed , nothing more 🙂

    I was but a very small kid in the early 90s…And nope, i do not live in Australia. I had my higher education in America after graduating from royal.

    I did not have any problem except for once here in the US, I replied back and they shut up. As for you wanting to live in Lanka, i would like to ask this. Why do you think i spend so much time posting in this thread if i did not care about it? Therein lies the answer.

    I care about it as much as you do, but i do not want to let my birthright, to live as an equal in my own country, be influenced by politicians who have their own agendas. As i keep on saying in this thread….there are no shades of Equality, one is either Equal or one is not.
    Maybe i care more about this country than many of the self professed patriots”. I’ve probably been to the same places you have been to, and experienced the same joy at the beauty of the island as you would have
    but somehow Im not yet a “true” lankan in the minds of many, because i question the status Quo

    As for Lankans treating me bad, lets not get into it; but ive been called a “terrorist” by some of my friends (those whom i thought were friends) for even suggesting that we remove the special status given to Buddhism in the constitution. It was doubly hurtful, because that made me realize that a lot of such “friends” are only “friendly” as long as i don’t ask such inconvenient questions. Its amazing that even highly educated people can fall prey to such nationalistic views. Whats your take on the place Buddhism has on the constitution?

    There was this funny incident…well it was funny yet sad. I was talking to one of my friends about natural beauty and to emphasize my point i quoted from Wendy Whatmore’s “The island Spell” . My friend said “Cant you quote from a Srilankan Poet than from some foreigners poem”…she sounded very annoyed…saying that its because of western supporters like me that the country is in such a mess and i was thinking “damn..this is idiotic beyond belief” …yet this is what the younger generation is facing now…thanks to religio ethnic propaganda thats rampant nowadays. They would rather have me quote a srilankan poet who sings about the islands beauty than anyone else. How silly is that? This is why I totally distrust the there are only two kinds of people, those who love the country and those who dont argument. Its a lie yet so many, even those in this forum fall prey to it. Yes. I agree that it sounds very nicebut those who subscribe to it dont realize how such terms are measured. Whats the measuring stick? Who will measure whom? Is it some tangible thing that can be isolated and measured in the first place? These are questions people dont ask

    For all the talk about reconciliation.mahinda accepted the honour Guardian of the Sinhalese nation from the Buddhist Clergy. This does not bode well at allanyone who is really for reconciliation would have refused such a tribute. But I dont even want to start talking about that guy.(thank you Tranquility(#313) for letting me know about this event)

    Sometimes I wonder if I posting here would make any differenceI dont think it made any difference anyways but one has to try.

    Reply to #315, ian

    Yes I worry as well.Thats why I keep on posting here. Probably its an exercise in futility
    I like that saying you quoted. Its very true indeed. Thank you

  292. Very good article. 100 % I agree with it.

    I am also living in Colombo for more than 15 years after my higher studies in Peradeniya. What a wonderful life we had in Pera with our Sinhalese friends.

    I still remember one incident where we went on a batch trip. At one check point all the Tamils were asked to get down from the bus for checking. But our Sinhalese batch mates fought with the police at the check point and never allowed them to check us. Their simple reason is they are our batch mates and students. No need for checking.

    Also, I am in the private sector, and I have not seen any discrimination in jobs, promotions or in any other things. They assess you skills and talent. Thats all.

    I stronlly belevicve taht the issues has been exceggarated and people went on taking up arms didn’t hav e any alternative and also higher ranks were give good facilities which they can’t even imaging in a democratic socity, weer the reasons.

  293. Ulysses,

    Yes, the Buddhist line by successive governments since Premadasa’s is insensitive towards the non-Buddhists.

    However, I will not think of migrating, or waging war on these issues if I was not a Buddhist.

  294. According to Sarath Silva the chief justice of Srilanka, about Tamils internment camps.”They cannot expect justice from the law of the country”.

    He also said he may be penalized for revealing it, by the authorities, hopefully he will not change his stance following the pressure from the Rajabaksa regime.

    Tamils, who are living in Colombo and other western countries, don’t pretend and try to paint a rosier picture to the wider world about Lanka, while your own bloods are suffering in these internment camps.

    This regime has to be tried for its war crimes in front of war crime tribunals for its genocidal campaign against the Tamils.

    But the UN says both LTTE and Govt may have committed war crimes………..DBSJ

  295. Those Tamils from Colombo, if they think they can really reconcile with sinhalese, please do so, but not in expense of the other less fortunate Tamils living in north and east.

    Good suggestion you can even form a social clubs and, talk about cricket,rugby and other sociable things, but unfortunately you don’t represent the wider Tamil community.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    There are no more self – appointed sole representtives of the Tamil people.

    Each and every Tamil is representative of the Tamil community.

    If Tamils of the diaspora can claim to be representing Tamils why cant the Tamils in Colombo also do so?

    You call yourself a Tamil but pour contempt on a segment of the Tamil people and say they dont speak for the wider Tamil commuity?

    Who gave you the right to determine who is Tamil and who is not?

  296. I respect you DBS, but the point I am trying to make is some ignorant people damaging the, changing world media and states sympathetic approach towards Tamils by portraying the life in colombo.

    Absolutely no divisions between colombo and diaspora, I know a lot Tamil people living in colombo going through a lot of hardship for long time in the hands of the successive sinhala rulers, unfortunately they they can’t criticise the regime in colombo.

    It is not about representing, it is all about participating. We collectively bring about the less fortunate Tamils peoples suffering in the hand of the successive sinhala regimes to the wider international audience.

    Thank you for your efforts.

  297. My deepest respect to DBSJEYARAJ and MOHAN.

    Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.

    (Translated from the Bhagavad-gita, Bhaktivedanta, 2006, p.193).

  298. Mohan Sekaram’s views are very constructive and laudable indeed; in fact this kind of conciliatory approach is exactly what Sri lanka needs if it is to recover from this brutal experience.

    The, reality, however, is quite different! When journalists and human rights activists continue to be threatened openly and attacked brutally, I get the impression that we are trying to stage that incisive work, Hamlet, whilst excluding the Prince of Denmark, so to speak.

    In my opinion, the Prince of Denmark is the Sri Lankan Government. Until such time as it wakes up to the fact that it could lose the Peace, we’d be merely exchanging empty platitudes.

    Is DBSJ free to go back to Sri Lanka and continue writing in this vein? I doubt it very much! If he is indeed free to do so, I’ll join him gladly. We should not forget that the ordinary man on the street has no influence on, or blame for the promulgation and application of draconian laws designed to stifle dissent. That is the domain of the Sri Lankan Government

  299. Brilliant. If most of us could agree and prove the society that there are some people who love to live their life in harmony with the loved ones, Sekaram would be a Proud Sri Lankan.

  300. Reply to #318//////////Ulysses,

    Yes, the Buddhist line by successive governments since Premadasa’s is insensitive towards the non-Buddhists.

    However, I will not think of migrating, or waging war on these issues if I was not a Buddhist.///////

    Forget-the-past

    that example is but one i used to point out that the problem is systemic, and not even understood by many who want to “reconcile’ . How can even people think of reconciling when they haven’t even made an effort to understand what the issues are? seems to me that those who are for reconciliation don’t have any viable plan; except to just say “lets reconcile” etc etc

  301. reply to #320 Tamil

    Machan, not all Colombo Tamils are removed from reality as Mohan is(even though i agree that his intentions were honest and good matured. ).

    @ DBSJ
    but the point Tamil made is valid though, the one about trying the guilty parties for war crimes. I don’t care if the Tigers are tried; cos they and the gosl are bosoms buddies when it comes to such violations.

    so as you said; UN states that both committed war crimes, so why is only one party punished(done away with) while the other remains Scot free?

  302. A very good view, but obviously written from a high level. There is nothing to hide that we have lost huge amount of our Tamils and Sinhalese sisters and brothers. The struggle did turn out to satisfy a single mans power hunger and consequently lost so many lives within our own country. We (Tamils) have been left with no direction, now with NO political leaders to take us forward. All real political leaders were killed by LTTE and or other so called fighters. At this juncture we have none to lead us or direct us. LTTE never expected this to happen and relied on external sources to keep the pressure on SL govt and we all lost (Tamils and Sinhalese)
    Where do we go from here..
    As Mohan states the nature and life are different to what it was in 1958 and or 1983. We have to analyse the situation and modify our demands and grow with real world politics. If we do not understand the world politics then we will not live, which happened to LTTE. As we all know, loss of Anton Bs was the nail on the coffin for LTTE. He was the key to manage the external resources for LTTE which kept the pressure on SL Gov, poured money in to LTTE and kept India at bay.
    We need to understand the best ways to manage the situation and move forward. We, Tamils have no leaders; the existing so called Tamil leaders SHOULD stop blaming the SL Gov or LTTE for their own sake of publicity. This is NOT going to help anyone or specially Sri Lanka as a whole community and country

  303. Reoly to # 326. Ulysses

    I agree with you. You have some valid points. But you should put forward your arguments in calm manner. Please don’t let your aggressiveness supersede the substance.

    Me too a genuine victim of what has been happening in SL. But, still, I would like to consider the Singhalese as my sisters and brothers. If we antagonise them the purpose of being in this forum may be lost.

    Thanks

    Ram

  304. reply to #329 Ragavan

    im at a loss to understand what you found aggressive in my post. pray do let me know, because try as i might i fail to see them.

    if you took the time to read my previous posts, you will see that i have discussed these issues in detail, the most recent post of mine is but a small one, and mainly meant as a reply to another poster.

  305. #302. Panhinda: ” dont worry i will ensue we get there”

    “WE”? Who is “we”?
    And how do “we” propose going about ensuring that Buddhism is indeed genuinely practiced in Lanka?
    And how do “we” propose eradicating (since they cannot be calmed) the vociferous Sinhala-Buddhist extremists who are the obstacle to Buddhism and its preservation?

    Do you know why there is a Siam Chapter?

    The Lankan Sinhala Buddhists were so corrupt and destructive to Buddhism then that the King of the time got rid of them and brought some Thai/Siamese Buddhist monks to restart things.

    Again it is clear that Sinhala-Buddhism and Buddhism are as chalk and cheese.
    Seems like it is fated that there will always be mismatch between Sinhala Buddhists and Buddhism!

    I note with great interest that Mahinda Rajapakse accepted the title ‘Guardian of the SINHALA Nation’, from SINHALA-Buddhist monkdom..

  306. #302 Panhinda: ” dont worry i will ensue we get there”

    “WE”? Who is “we”?
    And how do “we” propose going about ensuring that Buddhism is indeed genuinely practiced in Lanka?
    And how do “we” propose eradicating (since they cannot be calmed) the vociferous Sinhala-Buddhist extremists who are the obstacle to Buddhism and its preservation?

    Do you know why there is a Siam Chapter?

    The Lankan Sinhala Buddhists were so corrupt and destructive to Buddhism then that the King of the time got rid of them and brought some Thai/Siamese Buddhist monks to restart things.

    Again it is clear that Sinhala-Buddhism and Buddhism are as chalk and cheese.
    Seems like it is fated that there will always be mismatch between Sinhala Buddhists and Buddhism!

    I note with great interest that Mahinda Rajapakse accepted the title ‘Guardian of the SINHALA Nation’, from SINHALA-Buddhist monkdom..

  307. Mohan may not have all the facts correct. People can argue about what is stated but his intention is very clear and one that every Sri Lankan should wish for and push for. Lot of things have happened over the years since independence or even prior to that and each can blame the other for what has happened and not happened and where we are today. It is not going to take us anywhere.

    Even LTTE as an organisiation like many other outfits that started in the mid 70s may have been compelled into violence with an intention of winning rights for Tamils but did it change somewhere down the line. Over the years LTTE became all powerful and had many opportunities to negotiate from a position of strength. But they achieved nothing. Over the years they became more a stumbling block for a possible solution? Action and inaction by them makes me think that way. In my view violence in any manner who ever commits it for whatever reasons is against humanity and cannot be condoned and is definitely not the solution to the problems

    Now that the element of LTTE is no longer in the equation we should all give it a fresh start .Be it Tamils (Especially those still in SL like myself ) and the other communities in SL ( I mean all Sri Lankans ) will never want to go through anything we have had to go through in the last 25 plus years. A whole generation has seen nothing but misery.

    It is not going to be easy as said. It is time that the euphoria of the victory should pave way for more meaningful steps to find solutions. All involved who can make it possible must be sincere in doing so not just limiting it to the words uttered on Platforms , Meetings and News Conferences. Those in power must take the same bold steps as they did in handling the war over petty communal politics and meet the aspiration of every Sri Lankan to live with Self Respect, Dignity , Equality & Free. At the same time the Tamil Diaspora in the world over must make it conducive for such action than merely protesting in Western Capitals , at times violently and making things more complicated.

    Those fanning hatred amongst communities must be handled in the same manner the terrorists are handled. They are more vicious than those armed with weapons !!!

    This is the best time and maybe the only opportunity we will have. This was once a beautiful country with loveable people and I sincerely hope we will all put a side our differences and get together and make it once more that same beautiful and peaceful country where all the communities respected each other .

  308. UN states that both committed war crimes, so why is only one party punished(done away with) while the other remains Scot free?

    The UN doesn’t state both sides committed war crimes; it states that whether they had or not should be investigated.

    Frankly the investigation against the GOSL is unlikely to lead to anything. Firstly you’d have to prove that the GOSL’s actions went against Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention, and I wouldn’t like to be the lawyer trying to make that stick. You’d have to prove that the killing of the civilians was entirely unnecessary and that the LTTE could have been defeated militarily without any civilian casualties, and that the Lankan government was fully aware of that. And then there is the question of who would prosecute. Lanka is not signed up to the ICC so any prosecution would have to be on the recommendation of the UN Security Council, and the recent Geneva vote suggests that is rather unlikely.

  309. # 334. Stephen Jones

    The question here is whether the GOSL had committed war crime or not. Why do you resist an independent inquiry? GOSL is not only dominated but it is a Singhala government in fact. Srilankan Army is the Singhalese Army. Singhalese and Tamils have been fighting for centuries. Therefore there are genuine chances for a war crime or Genocide being committed by GOSL. Whether you like it or not the war was between two races. When there are enough grounds to believe for a possible war crime was committed it is important for a impartial investigation to gain the confidence of Tamil.

    Please look at the IDP camps. Another gross Human Right violation. GOSL doesn’t provide the basic facility or allow any other interested parties help the IDPs. May I say the IDPs are the concentration camps? Look at the IDPs. Sick and suffering from injuries without medication. This is endorsed by the chief Justice Sarah N Silva.

    I ask a question…..Is this a true Buddhist nation?… Is the GOSL a legitimate governing body?

    Please don’t put the Sault in the wound. This act has created lot of anchor among the Tamils and sows the seed of hate. This may create another VP. I pray there shouldn’t, be another VP.

    PS: in the history…… Nanthamitra had committed war crime as he massacred Tamils no sooner Duddugamunu defeated Ellalan or Ellara.

  310. Pingback: » Peace e-mail from Mohan

  311. “1983”
    Some who have left SL in mid-80s to early-90s define Sinhala-Tamil interactions what happened in 1983.

    The Sinhalese expats of that era may have had little interaction with Tamils, and still have a distrust.

    Children of many Tamil expats have learnt to hate. They have a bitter resentment towards Sinhalese simply based on what their parents have told them. MIA is a case in point, and she goes around spreading ludicrous stories like “Sinhalese can get away with anything in Sri Lanka. No sinhalese have been imprisoned for 60 yrs”, etc.

    Atleast CHILDREN of Diaspora must be given a chance to open their minds and hearts and see for themselves…

  312. “TAMIL HARASSMENT in SRI LANKA”

    …Tamils were harassed at military checkpoints…
    …Tamils died in government aerial bombings and shelling in LTTE held areas…
    … some Tamils were arrested and questioned often….

    These are undeniable facts.

    BUT.
    All of these happened due to LTTE.
    What ever harassment Tamil faced in Govt areas was solely due security checks in the face of LTTE threats. Same with the arrests and questioning. Shelling was due to war against the LTTE. No LTTE means no such threat, hence no reason for innocent Tamils to feel threatened.

    Any suspicion of Tamil people by sinhalese people or soldiers was due to the threat of suicide bombings.
    Imagine a soldier stopping a suspicious vehicle or checking a person – he would wonder if it would be the last moment of his life, and think about his wife and children. That was the look on his face. Its the same with other people on the bus or train.

    Without the LTTE threat, without the threat of suicide bombings… ALL THIS WILL CHANGE.

  313. #334. Stephen Jones, seems to be getting muddled up with legal technicalities – and even then his opininion has no certainty.

    The sentencing does not matter!
    But the TRUTH must be laid bare – the sentence will take care of itself.

    #335. Ragavan as the author Mahanama of the Mahavamsa says, all those killings were for the serene joy and pleasure of the pious!!

    BUT Mahanama too was just like the present day SInhala-Buddhist monks – so we must question the accuracy of his writing.

    It was around Mahanama’s time (600 AD or so) that the Sinhala-Buddhist began seeing themselves as an identity. But even that waned after a while. And Mahanama does not insist on the Sinhala side of things at all!

    Mahanama distorted the conflict between Ellalan and Duttugemunu for his own political purposes.
    Duttugemunu was of Pandyan ancestry and Ellalan was Chola.
    All that happened then was the Pandya Chola conflicts being played out in Lanka since the Pandyans believed that they had rights to Lanka as it was they who had established the Lankan throne at the time of the semi-mythical Vijaya.

  314. of course your are thinking in good way! in the world no one simply believe in another human! the problem started with unilateral constitution changes from Ceylon to Sri lanka. so if sri Lankans really like to find the reconciliation they can simply give rights for all the human who born so call island of Indian ocean! if not then don’t please dream for nothing! Dont start to once again nonsense to leave the people in grave! In that island humans already suffered a lot cause of pity diplomacies!

  315. Whether Tamils like it or no, Buddhism will retain it’s position in Sri Lanka’s constitution. Tamils can spend their time screaming and shouting against Buddhism and Buddhists but that is not going to solve any of their problems. Buddhism will be re-introduced to the north and it will be granted space there just as Hinduism flourishes in southern Sri Lanka. Before pointing fingers at Buddhists, Tamils should ask themselves whether they have been practicing Hinduism. Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus have provided more suicide bombers to the world than the more than 1 billion Muslims. So I guess Hinduism and Tamil Hinduism are like chalk and cheese? As long as Tamils harbour hatred towards the culture, language and religion of the Sinhalese people they will not have peace.

  316. Dear Mohan/DBS,

    It is 2.00 AM here in Melbourne, and I have read Mohan’s article and comments left by each and every reader. My conclusion is simple majority of Srilankans want to reconcile and rebuild the country from decades of war and distruction and everyone supports coexistance whithin a united Srilanka. However, I would like to emphasize, although Mohan’s article is an eye opener to all Srilankan’s there is much more background work to be done by everyone to acheive what we want whithin a united Srilanka.

    1) Political solution with devolution of power (including police and some legal) should be (13th Amendment)introduced to rule throughout the country.

    2) We should all accept one president/one national anthem,one flag and one armed forces under one cosntitution).

    3) The most important suggestion,is to make all communities accepted and represented in the democratic process by appointing two priminsiter’s one each to be represented from the Tamil community and the Muslim community to be under one executive president.I know most of sinhala extremists will and may not agree with this but this is to genuinely reconcile with diadvantages happen to the minorities in the past and to win there support for the future. This will show eveyone how far as a nation we are willing to walk the walk or we only talk the talk.

    4) I strongly believe, Tamils need to have good strong positive thinking democratic leaders like eg: Mohan.S (late Mr,Kadiragarman would have been invavaluable in today’s context) and should preseurise the Srilankan govt, for a lasting political solution.

    5) Finally, only a stable strong government and a leadership could bring a solid political solution to the Tamils in Srilanka.(leadership should be able to withstand any opposition from extreme sinhala parties).The current government and leadership is capable of acheiving it and needed to be given uncrompomised support by all parties.

    DBS, this is the second time I am writing a comment in your website first was when you wrote on “Tigers on a Dunkirk ype evacuation” then I mentioned this war will come to an end very soon and you should use your writing skills and strategic thinking to find the best political solution for Srilanka. I think it is now the right time to start a good brainstorming in this issue and influence GOSL with the best solution.

  317. Hats off to mr. Mohan,you are a true gentlman who understand the reality.There are no winners in this war.Only looses they all are srilankans.
    For me there was no minority and there won’t be in the future.We all are equal and srilankans.

  318. # 341. Janesh

    I never said Tamils truly follow Hinduism or denied the factor that suicide bombers were Hindus. I never said Tamils harbour hatred towards the culture, language and religion of the Sinhalese people. We don’t hate Bhuddism. Prove me if I said so.

    Even I am not against the for Bhuddism re-introduced to the north. If some one wants to follow that is their wish. Why should I interfere into individuals freedam.

    You have gone out of the subject matter and try to spin in the wrong direction.

    What I am raising is the question of equality. This is a question of equality for every one..

    Few in your calibre create the problem for rest of the Singhalese community.

    WHY CAN’T YOU ACCEPT ALL ARE EQUAL? WHY DO YOU EXPECT SPECIAL TREATMENT FOR BHUDDISM OVER OTHER RELIGIO?

    HOW CAN YOU SAY ALL THE SRILANKAN CITIZENS ARE EQUAL?

    YES AS YOU SAID……. NOT ONLY TAMILS BUT NO WILL HAVE PEACE.

  319. # 342. Jude Irugalbandara

    Dear Jude

    This is the first time I hear some real positive thoughts such as develution of power from a fellow Srilankan. I am so proud to say that you are my fellow citizen.

    Thanks for the practical solutions. I do agree with you except two priministers. I stronly advicate for eqiality. Therefore two PM might be a disadvantage for Singhla people. No solution should be a disadvantage for Singalese. Any Tamil can be a PM or president if he or she is elected by the whole country.

    One constituetion is fine. But the constitution should promote equality. Ie the special status provided for Bhudism must be removed. (FYI I am a Tamil but practice Zen Bhudism still I would like to see this happening).

    One president/one national anthem,one flag – All fine and accepted though we may have to modify slightly in order to be more diverse. Do you mind it?

    Sadly your suggestions would not be accepted by the majority of the Singhala Buddists. Please read the comments of Janesh # 341. Fortunately you are in Oz. If you were here you can expect another WHITE VAN at your door steps.

    We need people in your caliber.

    Thanks

    Ragavan

    PS: type quickly in rush. Some spelling mistakes are there pls Ignore.

  320. This Mohan Sekaram has one good clear mind… im a fan of him(put up a fan club on FB!)
    well im a sinhalese(very proud one too…) and im a doctor in profession…i have muslims n tamils as my neighbors n have several dozens of tamil brothers as my best of friends both from my school n Uni….

    We have experienced the bitterness of this war for 3 decades n now its over…Now its time for both of us, tamils n sinhalese, to get together (as Mohan rightly say) n develop trust n harmony, further more for the betterment of the sri lankan nation………. For a start,
    lets get together n make sure that we can give the tamil brothers n sisters, displaced in the north ,a better future!!!!!
    bless u all sri lankans..!

  321. #341. Janesh: “Whether Tamils like it or no, Buddhism will retain it’s position in Sri Lanka’s constitution. Tamils can spend their time screaming and shouting against Buddhism and Buddhists but that is not going to solve any of their problems. Buddhism will be re-introduced to the north”

    Here is the problem displayed by Janesh in public for all to see: abject ignorance!

    For these ignorant Sinhala-Buddhist patriots the whole issue is about Tamils being against ‘Buddhism’ while the Sinhalese (as Sinhala-Buddhists) are the protectors of ‘Buddhism’ meaning SInhala-Buddhism.

    And it is highly telling that Mahinda Rajapakse accepted that he is the protector of the Sinhalese and it was the Sinhala-Buddhists monks who ‘honoured’ him as such. This is in the same vein of ignorance displayed by Janesh.

    These ignoramuses do not know that if not for the Tamil and other South Indian Buddhists there would be no Buddhism in Lanka.
    And indeed Buddhism and Hinduism are quite compatible. In fact Radhakrishnan (ex-prime minister of India) considered the Buddha to be a good Hindu!
    Tamils have absolutely no problem with Buddhism.
    The problem is the Sinhala-Buddhist mentality displayed here and elsewhere that victimises Tamils on the basis of ignorance.

    Lots of people do want to get on in peace but how do we get over this major obstacle (as displayed by Janesh, Sinhala-Buddhist monks and the person who sees himself as the President and protector of the Sinhala-Buddhist)??

  322. Dear Friends,

    I take this opportunity to thank all those Noble present and the past human beings of Sri-Lanka for their assistance in Peace building and reconciliation.

    Let me mention one of them, only one, otherwise my comment will be too long and I have to write other things as well:

    Brigadier Larry Wijeratne –

    The one and the only Sinhalese high ranking Army officer ever to enjoy tremendous support and respect from the northern Tamils, especially of Point Pedro area for his Noble service.

    He was indeed Gem of a man, who won Tamils Hearts and minds with his services.

    For peace to succeed in Sri-Lanka and for Tamils to feel equal citizens, the government should immediately work on following issues:

    1) The easing of the restrictions imposed on IDP camps. This will enable relief agencies as well as any one wish to help, to provide assistance to the dire needy.

    2) Release the elderly, sick and women and children immediately so they can go on with their lives. When asked Dr. Kohona, he gave this answer.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8083505.stm

    3)Induct Tamils in to the armed forces and the police. Diluting the armed forces will prevent them from perpetrating atrocities against the Tamil civilians and also will enable local communities to communicate effectively in their own language.

    Here is an example of Navys brutality in Mannar in 2006

    This was published in the June 14th, 2006 Morning Leader newspaper..
    http://transcurrents.com/tamiliana/archives/180

    As for police, its imperative that Tamils and Muslims should be recruited immediately. There are almost none exist in the North and the east while the majority of the population is Tamil speaking.

    4)Stop the witch hunt and lets forgive and forget the past and march forward.

    5)Provide incentives for the displaced persons to get back to their original places and dismantle the High Security Zones. This will not only make people to get back their lost houses in these area and also will bring back our Colombo Fort area back to life”.

    Hope to see Sri-Lanka get back to the Glorious Ceylon era in very near future. The “Ceylon” era was the shining moment of our country’s history. There was ethnic harmony, people were selected on merit, rupee was almost at par with the sterling pound, we were envy of our neighbours due to our high standards of living and to top it all, Ceylon gave aid to United Kingdom after WW 11!

    Peace on earth!

  323. Time has come for Rethinking.
    I talked to one of my Tamil friends, who is currently working for NGO in Vanni said “About 40 to 50 seriously injured children are brought from Vanni to Borrela Hospital. Sinhalese nurses are caring very well and showing their love to these kids.” In general, people (Tamils / Sinhalease) have good qualities. But politicians (Tamils / Sinhalease) do not have good qualities. Usually politicians have their own agenda.

  324. R Pathmanathan,

    Thanks for your informative post and it is especially relieving to know of good people in the SL army such as the Brigadier Larry Wijeratne you mention.

    However unfortunately there are the likes of Palitha Kohona.
    A ‘Ceylon’ may be possible but only if Palitha Kohona and his likes are put away in mental asylums.

  325. Hi Author of Letter,

    I am one of the eye witness of 1983 Tamil Genocide and I have been hearing from my parents and grand parents , how many times they have been going through mental torture if they didn’t experience the real genocide happening in front of their eyes. As I have been an eye witness of many atrocities on the 25th of that Black july 1983,disguising myself as a Muslim to escape, escaping from a Sinhalese thugs coming after to snatch my jewels , dodging the thugs to capture me by hiding myself between the floor of the CTB bus and seats; how would those people and their relatives who got tortured and murdered by putting burning tyers around their neck and by massacring with chemical weapons feel about todays situation. Wound of Tamilians have not even been cured yet, you are aiming arrows on the wounds of Tamils.

    There will be no reconciliation between Tamils and Sinhalese till Tamils get their own land and kingdom. That is for sure. We need our share of power. Only Tamils who go behind the government’s backs are people paid by government of bribes or they are threatened by defense secretary.

    Tamils are at the very moment mentally tortured, defenseless and no freedom to speak about their own feelings in Sri Lanka. There is no democracy, It’s dictatorship of Rajapakse brothers. If Gothapaya orders to massacre the surrendering LTTE and bulldoze the injured and dead and bury civilians alive how can you reconcile with Sinhalese.

    Why Universities are closing one by one? Don’t you get the 1983 smell of riots in Sri Lanka at present, don’t you remember fellow students killed Tamil undergraduates? Censorship and dictatorship go together , but not Ahimsa and dharma.

  326. Hi All,

    I am not against what Mohan said. Infact I meet couple of my sinhala friends and having drinks with them almost every week. (I am in australia) This untrust was started by Sinhala / Tamil politicians. They want to devide us for their own benefit for their survival. To me more than 70% of Tamil or Sinhalese never meet each other in their life time. Their votes goes to these politicians. Our personal friendships will not help to stop any sinhala politicians discriminating us. I agree that at individual level lot of Sinhala friends will help more than what our Tamil friends do. But can these sinhala friends be able to stop colonisation or change tamil home land names? Definitely not. A good example is first lady of Sri Lanka went with Bo branch to Jaffna immediately after the war ends. If she want reconciliation atleast she should visit to a hindu temple in Jaffna. In summary individual friendship will not stop systamatic erasing of our homeland (north & east).

  327. Dear Vanessa N,

    You have a point when you say reconciliation is not possible when the state is in a huge hurry to establish the sinhala budhist writ all over the island. So, I think what tamils should focus on two strategies now. One at a collective level and the other at a personal level.

    1. Let’s keep this dialogue going and construct a “critical mass” someday in the future, based on ahimsa, righteousness, and mantaining a moral high gorund. The objective will be to engage with the powerful players such as the GOSL, IC (who have yet to prove thier potency), the emerging tamil leadership etc, to push for basic human rights of all tamils.

    2. Simultaneously we need to strengthen our personal network of Tamil/Sinhala/muslim/burgher friends and contacts, and endeavour to work of reconciliation at a personal level.

    Mohan’ s article has got us going. Let’s continue the Journey.

    Would love to hear your comments.

  328. I feel that the trouble with Sinhalese is that they cannot understand federalism. Still MR is not willing to go on the way to Federalism. Solheim has categorically stated that the Sri Lankan government was not willing to give federalism. Why waste time with people who cannot open their wyes and pretending to be sleeping. This war will nbever finish unless federalism is achieved. A thug and criminal lke MR is not going to give that.

  329. Hi,

    Mr. M.Sekaram, thank you for the wonderful article. It reflects your sincere sentiments from the core of your heart.
    I totally agree with you and believe EGALITARIANISM MUST be inculcated/instilled in one and all I mean all Srilankans irrespective of Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim or to what ever community they/we belong to. If not you cannot uproot the mentality that prevail in most of the people of our country.
    Further, i believe that this is the grim result of the colonnial era politics that stemmed down ethnic conflict – first within the parliament and then among the people. This was the ulterior motive of the british to gun down a nation that was uprising against their rule. so they thought it best if they could bring in racial conflict (donnomore and soulberry constitutions)through a constitutional system. unfortunately our leaders fell prey to their tactics and the whole nation suffered.
    Yes, we must now forget what happened in the past as the saying goes- let things by gone , be gone. And we must look forward to the future with a positive, optimistic outlook treating each and everyone equally contrary to what was/is prevalent
    I am a Sinhala budhist married to a Tamil and we have children. our children were sent to International schools simply because we felt that they will find it untenable to be in Sinhal medium classes with a tamil surname. (This is because I do not know tamil and the point was that i could not have been able to help them with thier studies if they were in the tamil stream. For that matter, even my husband is not fluent in his tamil as he too has studied in the sinhala medium- result of 1958 riots when his parents decided to educate them in sinhala) I must say there is so much discrimination that has to be wiped out from the grass root level.
    Anyway, i feel , at least now, that there will be peace and harmony in this beautiful island and our children will have a better standing in their motherland where they will be treated with equality. Many a times we planned to migrate but dropped the idea as the case will be the same elsewhere as we will be second class citizens in that part of the world. won’t we?

    Finally , may i thank Mr. Sekaram for his wonderful article that i beileve poured out his genuine and innate feelings, and MR. Jeyaraj for posting on this blog so that we were able to read and comment.
    I hope and pray that all who read this article will think in the same wave lengths of Mr. Sekaram.

    Thank you

  330. Hi,

    Please excuse any spelling/typing mistakes as i typed my comment in haste.

    Thanks.

    Not to worry.Its your thoughts that matter and they are wonderful…………DBSJ

  331. Please count me in for any activity/participation of communal harmony.
    We need to gettogether at least now. All human beings are my brothers and sisters. Forget the past and look to the future.
    We have to be together and coax all politicians to toe the line. No one can get into corruption or claim any place of land as their own. Everyone belongs to this world and no one need to carve out pieces as their own.
    Our leaders need to listen to pleas by their people without any discrimination. If we all stand as one – at least the majority- we can make a change.
    I hope this venture will go great guns.
    All the best.
    theja

  332. I am a Tamil from Tamil Nadu. I loved tamil and hated other peoples and their languages. But my love towards tamil has increased a lot after I stoped hating other languages. From my experience I found that when I learned many languages I got more and more affection with tamil. Learning other’s languages help you to love others.

    As a tamil we have lot of affection with Sri Lankan Tamils. But You Sri Lankan Tamils need more affection from sinhales than from us. Learn sinhala language. love their language, make friendship with sinhalese, live together.Your country will be very nice and which is my dream land if you people both tamils and sinhalese live together.

    Our forfathers Pandiyas married their girls with Sinhalese king Vijaya and sinhales king Kajabahu attended the function of temple deddication to Kannahi conducted by Cheran Chenkuttuvan. Both srilankan tamils and sinhalese are our historical relatives one is sahotharar (brothers) and other is machans (sister’s husband).

    From my inner heart I am telling you people will live together and by seeing that we tamil nadu tamils will be jelous.

    Arul Amalan
    Tamil married a TULU girl

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