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Chauvinist fever following military defeat of LTTE

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U.N.Secretary-General Ban Ki moon has warned of the risk of rising triumphalism in Sri Lanka following the military defeat inflicted upon the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by the Sri Lankan armed forces..

It is quite understandable that people suffering from what they perceived as terrorism would be relieved at the prospect of such acts ceasing and would celebrate what they think is an “end to terrorism”.

At the same time the Rajapakse regime is deriving maximum political mileage out of this victory and is therefore whipping up thinly guised triumphalist fervour to enhance its popularity.

Meanwhile the chauvinist, neo-fascist elements within the majority community are also climbing the pseudo-patriotic bandwagon to bolster its own fortunes and implement its sinister supremacist hidden agenda

Against this backdrop many members of the majority community are being caught up in the dominant spirit of the times. Many decent, level-headed people are wittingly or unwittingly riding the crest of this wave.

In a sense we are witnessing “deja-vu” as the present scenario is a reminder of how the Tamil diaspora celebrated military triumphs of the LTTE through operation “unceasing waves” in 1999-2000.

The silver lining in the current dark cloud is the firm refusal of many members of the Sinhala community to be sucked into this triumphalist current. Some realise that there are immense challenges awaiting the Sri Lankan people and that this vulgar triumphalism may create more problems in the future.

One such person is the well –known trade unionist and human rights activist Upali Cooray. This former stalwart of the Ceylon Mercantile Union was an active member of the Lanka Sama Samaaja Party (LSSP) who later broke away.

Upali Cooray a lawyer now resident in Britain. He is senior lecturer in Law at the Metropolitian University in London. He is also involved with the centre for democracy and justice.

Cooray’s young grand nephew was also one of those engulfed by the triumphalist tide. Observing the jingoist and triumphalist remarks posted by his grand nephew on his facebook the grand uncle wrote him a letter. Stating “it is obvious that you have been swept by the chauvinist fever” Upali proceeded to point out precisely in the letter the inherent dangers of this misplaced triumphalism.

To his credit the grand nephew was not offended by his “podi Seeya’s” missive. Understanding the wisdom outlined in the latter he wrote back thanking Upali Cooray and also said around twenty of his friends had also changed their opinion about the war as a result of the letter.

These letters were forwarded to me by a friend and I felt the points outlined by Upali Cooray deserved greater exposure at the present critical juncture. As such I am posting it in full and parts of the short reply from the grand nephew whose identity is withheld.

I hope this post too would stimulate a healthy discussion and evoke constructive comments. – d.b.s.j

1. Upali Cooray’s Letter

Dear Grand nephew,

I have omitted your name, because the purpose of this letter is not to embarrass or humiliate you. However, my attention has been drawn to the triumphalist and jingoist remarks that you have posted on Facebook. I do not intend to repeat them here but it is obvious that you have been swept by the chauvinist fever following the military defeat of the LTTE. I would have expected a young man of your education and intellect to exercise a more critical analysis of the events of the past few months in Sri Lanka.

Firstly, your trumphalism and jingoism does not accurately reflect the reality. Claims such as ‘Sri Lankan Army is the Greatest in the World’ are obviously inaccurate. According to the government, the operations in the last few months have resulted in the death of over 6000 soldiers. Many more have suffered serious injuries. If we compare this to what the Indian peace-keeping force [IPKF] incurred during a two year operation, the figure of 6000 is extremely high. At the time the IPKF were ordered to leave Sri Lanka by president Premadasa, egged on by the JVP and some elements of the SLFP, they had surrounded the LTTE leadership and were about to deal a decisive defeat on the LTTE. Yet the IPKF lost just over 1000 soldiers. If one compares other theatres of war such as Iraq and Afghanistan, the casualty rate of the Sri Lankan security forces is extremely high. This of course does not detract from the role the armed forces played in defeating the LTTE and many people may be relieved by the fact the ethnic conflict has at least, for the time being, come to an end. That is impermissible, however, is to go overboard in assessing the outcome of this armed conflict. Furthermore, this triumphalism fails to recognise the enormous destruction of life and property this conflict engendered, including thousands of civilians who lost their lives.

Secondly, your triumphalism fails to consider the deep-rooted problems that gave rise armed rebellion by a section of the Tamil people. It deleted from history the anti-Tamil riots of 1977, the burning down of the most valuable libraries in Jaffna in 1981. The pogrom of 1983 which resulted in wide-spread attacks of Tamils all over the country and the systematic torture and disappearances that many Tamil activists were subjected to by the security forces. If we are to resolve this problem what we need today is magnanimity in victory and not trumphalism. We must extend our hand of friendship to those who we do not necessarily agree with. We must seek reconciliation and not further confrontation. We must listen to their grievances and go half way in meeting their demands. Besides, your trumphalism is alien to our culture, for instance, after defeating Elara, King Dutugemunu ordered that every horseman must dismount when he reached the tomb of Elara as a mark of respect to very man Dutugemunu had defeated in war. That is the spirit in which we must approach the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka.

Thirdly, we must not believe that simply because the LTTE has been defeated today, other armed rebellions will not occur in the future. You cannot repress and deprive the rights of any group of people forever. As long as people feel that they do not enjoy equal rights and justice, there will always be people who will organise armed rebellions. It is important to note that there are substantial number of Tamils, in Sri Lanka, Tamil Nad, South Africa, Europe and North America who feel that Tamils in Sri Lanka are second calls citizens, that their life and liberty are at risk. While some these claims may be exaggerated, the importance is that there is a substantial body of very wealthy people around the globe who would be prepared to bankroll other armed actions to achieve dignity and equal rights. You cannot keep an ethnic minority suppressed permanently by armed force. You can see that from the history of the Palestinian struggle. Despite the superior fire power, arms and support of the West , each day, month and year more and more young Palestinians come forward to lay down their lives to achieve justice. Israel can never achieve secure borders or peace by sheer armed might. In any even we cannot afford another costly war. Therefore, what we need is not triumpalism but an attempt to understand the grievances of the Tamils and creating an institutional framework for ensuring fairness and equal rights to all communities. Your triumphalism does not recognise the importance of this monumental task facing us.

I was saddened by the nature of the messages you had posted in the Facebook. I thought that you had the strength of character to withstand the chauvinist hysteria that swept through the country after the defeat of the LTTE. Sometimes it is important to swim against the current in order to stand by your moral values. I hope you will reconsider your views and adopt a more sober attitude. After all equanimity in the face of both triumph and disaster is the essence of our culture. Our culture and tradition teaches us to adopt an attitude of equanimity in the face of profit and loss, wealth and poverty, disparagement and praise and happiness and unhappiness (Labho Alabho, Ayaso yasocha, Ninda prasnsa, sukancha dukkham).

Yours affectionately

Upali Cooray
Podi Seeya (Grand uncle)

2. The Grand Nephews Letter

My dear podi seeya,

I posted that article on Face Book and also on some Sri Lankan face book groups as well.. More than 20 of my friends have changed their opinion which they had towards war, I’m happy I was able to make a change using your article. I think you should publiss it in a newspaper, please consider about that. 🙂

And I would like to thank you again and again for sending that article.. 🙂

Lost of love, (XXXX)-

name with held by Upali Cooray

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147 Comments

  1. Dear Mr.Jeyaraj

    I dont know from where you dig up letters of this kind but I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Reading your letter was an uplifting experience Mr. Cooray.It was like going to Church and listening to an inspiring sermon

    Thank you

  2. I listen to Upali Cooray speak in Canada few years ago.

    He is very sharp and to the point

    No Singala chauvinism in him

    Thanks DBS for this timely post

  3. You can now realise people who praised you in your previous articles, where you criticised LTTE, will gang up against you.

    The country has a curse. Singhala Buddhists (SB) love their hegemony over other ethnic groups but sill like to talk unity and equality.

    I expected a positive change in their attitude but…….no improvement since independence. Now I have lost my hopes. As Tamils are tired of the 30 years of war
    The net battle could be between

    SB Vs Muslims – You can see this has already started in the East. Deepavavi!!!

    Or

    SB Vs Christians – I have read an article (in a SB) suggesting how to get rid of the NRC from south.

    GOD bless SL

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    people who praise me for articles critical of govt also gang up against me when I criticise LTTE. It goes with the territory I guess. One band of hardliners are no better than the other. Whatever the plumage hawks are hawks. One cant claim moral high ground over the other.

    As for your anticipating further strife and conflict between Buddhists – Muslims and Buddhists – Christians I sincerely hope nothing terrible will take place as you seem to expect. Of course there will be some friction and certainly the chauvinism of some Sihala Buddhist champions will make others insecure

    But I think the leaders of the Muslim and Christian communities are more sensible and pragmatic than those who claimed to be leading the Tamils. Hence, I think there wont be any major confrontation and bloodshed as you envisage

    The tragic plight of the bruised, battered Tamil people after years of a pointless, debilitating “armed struggle” is an object lesson

    Inter – ethnic problems cannot be solved by confrontation. Hard as it may be only a mature, co-operative approach based on dialogue and discussion can resolve them.

    It’s a long, hard struggle. But that is the ONLY way out

  4. It is very encouraging to note that there are people among the majority community who see the reality of the situation. I as a Muslim never thought of celebrating due the distress I felt over the death and suffering of civilians and soft core LTTE members as well as members of the armed forces. Such celebrations will not get us anywhere other than gain political mileage for those in power.
    Today we are like a massive funeral house with thousands dead and tens of thousand injured and crippled for life. So there is nothing to celebrate. Only tears to shed and work to be done to help those in need.
    Hope that more of our countrymen understand that it is not fun and frolics for everyone and ultimately the grim realities of this tragedy will confront each and everyone of us. Rome was not built in day but its destruction was swift. So the task of reconstructing battered lives and winning over hearts and minds will be with us for years to come.

  5. Dear Mr Cooray

    People in your calibre are the real assets of our country. Your letter and your Grand Nephews response have touched my heart.

    Thanks

    Ragavan

  6. Celebration or what ever you call it, it is a release phenomenon.
    People who have been suffering for many years might have misdirected the emotions of the Victory. They would have released it upon the innocent Tamils. History would reflect this fact. Ancient or modern. Look at Hiroshima, a nation just was about to surrender was atomized; I think it was a pure release of vengeance for Pearl Harbor.

    This celebration released the anger of suffering; people celebrated the relief of freedom.
    I can’t see why is it wrong? is it wrong to celebrate freedom, with out hurting others. At no point it was misdirected at Tamil brothers. Amidst celebrations the same people collected so much materials and food for the displaced northern community. I think this is a pat of reconciliation.

  7. If all those Upali Cooray’s out there can come out and extend their hands to the Tamil people in the north and east, Sri Lanka will be an island of paradise.
    If not,……… another Myanmar (Burma).
    🙂

  8. What do you mean by “perceived as terrorism” ? The LTTE was nothing but the most ruthless terrorist group this world has ever witnessed (a group which killed civilians, bombed places of religious worship/schools/economic targets/killed clergy/used child soldiers/invented the suicide bomber jacket, resorted to smuggling and sea piracy, the list goes on). As such, celebrating the total annihilation of this barbaric group of tamil terrorists is most justified in my opinion. We are celebrating this occasion knowing what a better life our children will have in the future. For the past 30 years, we have seen nothing but death and destruction thanks to these terrorists who thought they would triumph over the armed forces. It was the LTTE terrorists that made this whole thing to be “perceived as an ethnic problem” to further their own agenda. When reading your articles it is obvious that you are an LTTE supporter who is dejected by the “sudden & unexpected” elimination of the entire group of these terrorists. With it went down the pipe dream of eelam !!! I am no chauvanist but I am extremely happy that my children will be able to live without fear in this country.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Things are not starkly simple as you think they are. There is no black or white but only shades of gray. Much of what the armed forces and para – militaries did is perceived as state terrorism.

    I am happy that your children will be able to live without fear in this country

    I sincerely hope that the children of other parents particularly those from so called “minority” communities can also live without fear in this country

  9. The spirit and intent of Mr.Cooray’s epistle and his grand nephew’s response aptly embody and reflect the truly noble culture that the vast majority of our Sinhala brethren live by even in the face of persistent adversity.

    However, as I repeatedly pointed out in my previous comments the current Lankan political landscape does not readily lend itself to the right and magnanimous approach espoused by the the likes of Mr.Cooray. It does not surprise me that a gentleman of his stature and calibre does not live in Sri Lanka.

    I sincerely hope that well meaning and spirited young people like the grand nephew would come forth and seek leadership roles so that one day, some day, we all could return to and live in peace and harmony in the land that we once called home.

  10. Isn’t it really lovely when words work good magic? If only all people thought the way Cooray does, the world wouldn’t be such a mess.

  11. This was a great letter. He was able change the mind of 20 youngsters. That is good news. What Tamils would like to see is this change in mind transformed in action and developed in to a culture. Equal rights to all citizens must reflect in actions and symbols of the state.

    I have a doubt this problem has been for more than 60years since the removal of voting rights for the section of Tamils in Sri Lanka. There have been numerous opportunities for the Sinhalese to put this right from 1958. However the problem was never resolved. Instead it escalated to an armed struggle by one section of the population in mid 70s. There were more opportunities for the Sinhalese to resolve this issue but was not resolved. Small scale armed struggle escalated to a large scale war not only because of Tamils but also because of Sinhalese not willing to solve this issue.

    Now there have been a lot of calls from Sinhalese reconciliation and understanding the grievances and etc. Why did it wait so long? It might have saved more than 20000 Tamil lives and 6000 Sinhalese lives at least at the last moment.

    This is my view and it might be wrong and I?ll be the first person to be happy if it is proved to be wrong. Sinhalese Buddhist ideology will never accommodate the Tamils as equal citizens in SL. It assumes that there is always a threat to Buddhism and to a lesser extent Sinhalese language if it accommodates Tamils as equals. Therefore this problem actually originated prehistorically will go on for ever in this beautiful island. And continue to ruin the peace and tranquil of all citizens in SL. Even If Sinhalese government kept all Tamils in a camp for ever.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Common sense suggests that both parties could be wrong in a long drawn out dispute.

    Tamils cannot deny that their “leadership” also has blundered.There were many occasions where the Tamil”leaders” failed to respond positively when sincere overtures for peace were made.

    Instead of repeating your long harangues against the “sinhala” side on this site you would do well to do some soul- searching before trying to be a prophet of doom

  12. Dear Mr. Jeyaraj,

    Please tell me,
    What is ‘vulger’ about celebrating the fact that:

    1) Innocent, poor, un-educated Tamils in the North & East of the country not having to worry about their children being abducted by the LTTE to be used as child soldiers after a few weeks training.

    2) Sinhla, Tamil, Muslim, and other ethnicities in the rest of the country not having to worry about not being able to return home in one piece because of a LTTE bomb on a bus, train, or some other public place.

    3) The whole country being united under one flag after a very long time, under a very strong leader.

    4) Being able to look forward to a bright future for Sri Lanka where all nationalities live as one ethnicity called Sri Lankans and fight the war against poverty.

    Be honest and please tell me which part of these celebrations are VULGER.

    Let me tell you somethings that ARE vulgar.
    a) Tamil diaspora sending money to LTTE from UK, Australia, Canada etc. and funding terrorism.

    b) Celebrating the fact that Sinhalease have died in a bus bomb, or a train bomb sponsored by your money. The boys have done it again, ah?

    c) Approving the deaths (maybe u think it is for a greater good) of brainwashed tamil children as human bombs.

    d) Giving your respect to a white tiger (yes, I mean Mrs. Balasinghem living in UK with Tiger money) who garlands child soldiers with cyanide capsules and send them to their deaths.

    I hope the Tamil Disapora either comes to their senses or be forever alienated from Sri Lanka!

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    There is a difference between celebrating and vulgarly celebrating just as there is a difference in vulgrar display of wealth and displaying wealth.

    Like beauty even perceptions of vulgarity depend upon the beholder I suppose. Your interpretation of Vulgarity differs from mine

    Meanwhile try reading Upali’s letter with an open mind. You may get answers there

  13. Dear DBSJ,

    For the majority of us here its simple relief. like my parish priest said today the guns are silent. but that would not mean that white van will disappear or journalists here will be safe. I am not too worried about the journalist as they too write often without facts or verification and mostly the articles are based on their agenda or on others who pay for it. forgive me but my comments here is not about journalists.

    Very very soon the celebrations will die and everybody will come back to earth. Yes there is much debate about kings and kingdoms here. but that too will die soon, though opportunists will whip it up at the correct time. we cannot stop it but we definitely can ignore.

    As ordinary citizens it is our duty to safeguard these fragile times. To nurture peace and to bring about reconciliation. to bring about development to areas of this country that has not seen same. to bring about a new dawn with or without the participation of the government or diaspora.

    The immediate need is to send back the IDP to their own beds. ( I say this as most of know how safe and secure we feel in our own bed when we come back from being away ) even if the room has no roof.
    use this column or blog to achieve this. As human beings it is our duty to ensure that others in this blessed land has freedom and security.

    podi seeya’s letter is valid more valid now than ever. I am sure that despite your fears more podi seeya’s will emerge from this milestone in a chapter of our country’s history.

    God bless you
    DF

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Thank you Dilshan and I do hope Sri Lanka will gradually become a “deiyyange Rata”.

    But I am disappointed about your views on journalists.

    People may agree or disagree with what they write but does that mean society must condone this type of conduct against them ?

    Journalists are citizens too. Like other citizens are they not entitled to the full protection of the laws of the land?

  14. Glad to read a letter from think a-like person across our communities. Let us walk together to acheive equal rights to all communites in United Sri Lanka.

  15. People opted to give up the values necessary to foster democracy. Those values are pluralism, accommodating voice for dissent, a dependable legal frame work, accommodating minority, accountability, press freedom, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and assembly etc.

    People of Srilanka gave away those rights, to defeat the LTTE. When the rights were surrendered to rulers, the ruling elite become dictatorial. When these rights were let to go, it is harder to get back from a tyrant. The tyrant will use the same power vested on him/her/them to suppress the dissent arising from the same people who gave the power to them. This is what happening in SriLanka.
    Today, the war crimes committed haunting the ruling regime. To escape from this conviction, the rulers will have to side equally minded country, like China, Myanmar, Russia etc. This is the reason why MR is making a trip to Myanmar.

    To keep the people in a fog, the rulers have to create more problems. We will see this happening in the future. Eg. First lady went to Jaffna to plant a tree, symbol of Buddhism, to create a division. Unfortunately, when it comes to religion, my fellow people do not bother about anything, such as humanity, democracy etc.
    Buddhism is a religion; it was prevalent in Tamilnadu too. Sangamitta would have landed in Jaffna, a safe passage during early medieval time. That does not mean a traveler can claim lands wherever he/she place his/her feet, like Europeans did .
    This is a time to decide whether, Sinhalese people want peace, want to coexist with Tamil people in SriLanka. Then this is the time to regain the rights lost and bring true democracy to SriLanka.

  16. As long as decent, enlightened Sinhalese like Mr Upali Cooray are around there is a glimmer of hope for our country – now hijacked by Sinhala supremacist bigots.They will harm the wider Sinhala interests as the LTTE armed the Tamil cause by its own hijacking of its leadership.
    Mr Jeyaraj plays a useful and admirable role that in fact should be done by leading players in Mr Mahinda Rajapakse’s administration – and, of course, the “free”
    Press there – now battered into meek submission.

    Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan.

  17. The “Sri Lankan Army” is the greatest (and I will take that to include all three branches of the armed forces) does fail to credit the one person responsible for ensuring the LTTE defeat nobody said would happen and that is Thiruvengadam Velupillai Prabhakaran. First of all his reputation for murdering those previously close to him whom he changed opinion of caused the defection of Karuna. Then, after being handed the East back on a platter by the GOSL which allowed his troops to cross his territory he vindictively pursued those cadres who had joined Karuna after they had gone home thus forcing them into the government’s hands for self protection. And then there was the lunacy in still pursuing a war even though the defection had left him a lot weaker.

    And then there is the diplomatic work Chandrika, Ranil and Kadirgamar put in to get the LTTE banned throughout the western world. This, together, until 2007, with US military co-operation (now banned under the Leahy Act) resulted in the LTTE suffering from a severe shortage of ammunition. When it did have the ammunition it inflicted serious casualties on the Lankan army.

    One thing the GOSL doesn’t seemed to have realized is that it is going to have to go round in the next year or two redoing all of the previous diplomatic work. Western countries aren’t going to unproscribe the LTTE but the LTTE will simply change its name and set up a plethora of front organizations, and these will need banning by the EU, US, Australia, Canada and others. Having been told in Geneva the Lankan government wouldn’t trust them to buy a second-hand car off, they might not be so amenable this time round.

    At present diplomatically Lanka is totally at the mercy of India. This doesn’t present a problem as long as Congress is in power, but it is not the situation of glorious independence that Mahinda claims it to be.

    Incidentally, I don’t think we should be 100% certain about Cooray sprog’s conversion. Annoying elderly well-off relatives in the diaspora is not the done thing, and just as I suspect the claims we see on this forum from LTTE supporters that their relatives in Colombo are having a terrible time might have something to do with the fact that suggesting things aren’t all that bad is no way to increase the remmittances, so it is possible that Cooray very junior is merely mouthing a few platitudes to keep the old coot happy (while cursing giving him access to his Facebook in the first place).

  18. i don’t know about Tamils living comfortably in Western countries, but the Tamil people in Sri Lanka I talk with has a different view. They feel free. They smile, and they talk about having a visit to to Jaffna by bus or by train. Some are bringing their children back to Colombo from their villages. Some say they took their children from Colombo, because they were worried until the children came back from school, for bombs don’t differentiate ethnicity of people, and now Prabakaran is gone, there won’t be bombs.

    Whatever the foreign tamils say, Sri Lankan Tamils have heaved a sigh of relief that Prabakaran and his LTTE is gone. All the Tamils I spoke to believe that the Sri Lankan President will deliver!

  19. being abducted by the LTTE to be used as child soldiers after a few weeks training.

    When that happened in the East the only change appeared to be that they were abducted by the TMVP.

    Isn’t the TMVP of today the LTTE of yesterday?. Only labels and loyalties change….DBSJ

  20. We do not know what his nephew had posted on facebook. If its jingoism and racist, that shd not be encouraged. If it celebrates SL troops we are shd join in.I agree with Mr. Coorays letter on the enormity of the task ahead of us ; rehabilitate and resettle the poor tamil civilians and ensure that tamil Sri Lankans (not the diaspora pls) are able to live with inclusiveness and dignity in Sri Lanka.
    However he should have done that without trying to compare the SL troops to others. Pls remember that LTTE was a very diff group when the IPKF was fighting them. and remember that SL troops themselves were able to corner LTTE in 1987 before the Indian parippu drop with much smaller casualties. The later version of the LTTE has significantly more capabilities due to diaspora funding and was termed the world strongest terrorist group by the FBI and many other journos etc. So by default shd we be happy that we have been able to completely eliminate the LTTE while US is still to finish off the Al Qaeda with all their superpower ; absolutely yes. Pls also note the 100,000 plus civilian casualties in Iraq plus the deaths of about 5000 US troops in Iraq and many more Iraqi troop deaths. plus satelites, missiles and tech used. Pls aknowledge all that in any of your comparisons. All Wars are sad and destructive but we need not be apologists for finising off the cruel suicidal terrorist group. I just saw Mr. Obama plus many others rightly celebrate D-day. Let us not talk about military and human casualties in that war.
    We should talk about tough objectives and tasks we have in front of us and focus on that. But Young Sri Lankans however should also celebrate the valiant troops and further think of giving something back to those who gave the most.

  21. I think Prabakaran is already forgotten by the tamil diaspora. They are talking only about Mia now! But Mia without LTTE will be less popular as a singer, and TNA would look for new alliance, but no one would want the TNA politicians, and finally some sort of a liberal Tamil political alliance would come up, but they would not like to be connected to the Tamil diaspora at all.

    The Tamil diaspora would dissolve, because everyone wants to raise their children and have their own little problems to solve. The new children of Tamil diaspora would be considering themselves as Canadians, Australians, British or Norwegians, for they don’t want to be called aliens in their respective countries, and this diaspora problem will diminish and finish off.

    Sri Lankan people will unite themselves and rebuild the country and be prosperous, with or without the help of overseas former Sri Lankans.

  22. Since a well meaning blogger had adoted my old name .I am using my new name.
    There are many coorays and grand nephews who are always accomedating and modest well wisher .

    I remember the days when Bala Thambu A trade unionist ,( If I am not mistaken of the same trade union)expressing moderate views when the whole tamil psyche was preoccupied with revenge mentality.

    These are well respected fringe operators.What SL needs today is people like Mr.Cooray or Bala Thambus who can capture the imagination of young and old and take them along the path of peace with dignity and equality in a grand scale Sort of social engineering.

    I think all well meaning SL watchers should encourage, support and finance such operations in SL with the intention of having full apparatus including independant print and electronic media ot their own to support in this endevour toward a better NEW SL .

  23. Patavit and Dilshan F said all I wanted to say. I reckon
    everybody should read those two letters again.

    Thank you guys.

  24. Everytime a suicide bomber exploded at a busy place in southern SriLanka, certain sections of tamil community in Scarborough, Canada celebrated the achievement of LTTE.
    Now srilankans celebrate the demise of the tigers.
    I do not see any risk of celebrateing.

    All I see is ‘Thrill of Victory and Agony of Defeat’.
    Evertthing depends on which side you are at any given point in time.

    I am a sinhalese nationalist, I also want everyone in SL treated with dignity and respect regardless of race. Opportunities must be equal to everybody.

    You can also call me a sinhalese chauvnisit, because I am happy to see the end of violence and the end of its creaters.

    If you’ve understood this letter and want to call yourself a chauvinist go ahead…..DBSJ

  25. Thankfully, the Grand Nephew had a wise Podi Seeya. What is the probability of other “nephews” of SL having one? Well, sadly I would say very remote.

    On the contrary, the possibility of other nephews having hardline seeya is very very real.

    There lies the key to peace to Sri Lanka.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    The key to peace also lies in people like you beginning to see glasses as half – full rather than half – empty and doors as half – open than half – shut. Above all doing something worthwhile instead of spreading pessimistic gloom all the time

    Two men looked out from window bars
    one saw the mud the other the stars

  26. Thanks DBS and thanks Upali.

    In communicating with a group of Lankan academics, this is how I tried to argue the against the on-going celebrations in Sri Lanka. I am glad to see that I am not alone:

    ======

    Would we celebrate new year if we had a death in the family?

    Would we light crackers and dance in front of a neighbouring house when we know that they had a death recently?

    What message we give to them if we do so?

    Most Tamils have at least a friend (if not a relative) lost in the recent months. They are mourning NOT THE LTTE BUT their friends and relatives.
    Shouldn’t we go to our respective temples and churches and remember the dead instead of considering it as another cricket world cup win?

    After 24 yrs I still mourn the death of my best friend caught up in a bomb in Colombo! What about the people who lost their loved ones very recently? both Tamils and Sinhalese?
    ==

    Thank you for this Saman………..DBSJ

  27. Dear DBSJ,

    sorry if my comments about journalists was worrying. NO I never meant that society must condone violence whatever the reason. That must never happen. what I meant was two things. knowing what we can change and control as ordinary citizens. ( about white vans and violence against journalists ) and that laws in Sri Lanka are not so strong on defamation ect. Most journalists get away from writing half truths because they know the person hurt by that article will not take action.
    No no violence ever again even if we know that the law that protects us all including journalists is sometimes referred to as an ‘ASS’.

    The most important thing that i was saying was how important it is NOW to get the IDP’s back in their own beds. ( homes )

  28. Hi Mr DBSJ,
    Its me, muthana muthu again. You may dreaming about secular, egalatarian srilanka. I will tell you its only a dream. As you can see all(most) sinhala opinion against any compromise solution for tamils. I totally against ltte, ltte morons completly f***ed up everthing. They missed so many best oppournity to prove srilanka never going to give reasonable tamil aspirations. I really feel tamil ealam is the best solution for tamils. You know one thing tamils enemies are only tamils no body else. If they dont unite, i am afraid they are the loosers.

    Muthu, Tamil Eelam is a dream that has turned into a nightmare.Wake up………….DBSJ

  29. There are some heads in which reason still prevails and a lot with big hearts. A combination of the two are not so common.

    Anyway let this brief period of “triumphalism” pass. Do not get over excited either way.

    Do not take the focus away from the suffering IDPs. I wish to see all diaspora accept the reality they are in the hands of the govt and the primary objective must be to do anything and everything to alleviate their suffering, not another opportunity to spread hatred against Sinhala Buddhists.

  30. Brilliant Letter! I wish some one in GOSL post this letter in the there govt web sites and publish in sinhalese news paper.This letter has the effect of Pandit Nehru’s letters to his daughter Indira Gandhi when he was in the british prison! Indeed Briliiant.

  31. Yes, I agree with Mr. Cooray’s sentiments. There is no denying that celebrations have gone over the limit at times. I too celebrated the defeat of the LTTE but not with fire-crackers and merry making. I’m different and proud of it!. I dont know how we can solve the problem if celebrations continue day after day, week after week, month after month – this will only alienate the tamil commnunity, I fear! The majority sinhalese especially the buddhist (to which I belong) have to admit that there was a problem; being in denial and sweeping it under the carpet is not going to heal any wounds. That is the first step we should take, if there is any hope of reconcilliation. I have a feeling that the government will continue to whip up ‘ nationalistic fever ‘ until the presidential election in November and the general election mid next year – that is a long time. Obviously, getting maximum politcal mileage out of it! No-one can deny that!

  32. Cooray’s message gives us some hope that soon there is going to be permanent peace in Sri Lanka.

  33. Dear Mr Jeyaraj,

    An equally inspiring and realistic post was published by one Asnk(g)a Welika(e)lle in this site a couple of weeks ago. It will be apt for many of us to re-read this piece since it resonates with many of the thinkings of Upali Cooray as wellas Mohan Sekaram.

  34. Hi DBSJ,

    Nice piece!

    I reckon the good old 80-20 rule apples here as well.

    It is very possible that 80% of the chauvanitic feeings and jengoism are expressed by less than 20% of the Sinahal population. In this case the rule must be altered to something like 95-5 I guess.
    🙂

  35. dbsj thank you for posting such letters.as these article most welcome.i have some sri lanka friends who are different faiths.as i believe in mixing with all communities .so you understand each other.as I’m from Colombo what i see the victory was celebrated on a jubilant way.and mind you people are not stupid they understand the government’s propaganda waged by them to harness support for their own political Gaines.

  36. “It’s a long, hard struggle. But that is the ONLY way out”
    I agree 100%. We need more upali to create a Singapore in Sri Lanka.

  37. Some people has argued that the celebrations are all about the great relief people feel about the non existence of LTTE. It is understandable. But the point is, should people allow the government to manipulate that feeling for their political survival. This was the very same thing LTTE did to ordinary Tamil people in past 30 years.

    If the government had the wisdom to foresee the path towards prosperity, peace, unity, it should have asked the people in South to end celebration long before and have led them to win the hearts of Nadarajas and Sellammas in camps. That is the duty of this time of everybody who want to see a prosperous country. How can we turn a blind eye to civilians suffer in camps? How can a Buddhist justify the way these civilians in camps are being taken care of? ( I am not talking about kind of hospitality that offer by a five star hotel here.) How long are we going to celebrate? How long should these people suffer? Moderate Sinhalese please come forward. Let us help them. Let us show them that we can live in harmony. Let us make them feel that they were not defeated. Let us show them that we are going to take care of them like a elder brother taking care of a younger sister.

  38. I apeal to all the Tamils and other minority communities in Sri Lanka and the diaspora to reach men like Upali Cooray and start working with them to achieve peace.There are many people in the Sinhalese community like him.

  39. Reality is that SL Chauvinism will not resolve the issue. Tamils should unite and fight for the freedom all over again without killing any Indian leaders even though they play a jumple game while we have to live that. For sure, Tamil unity will bring the solution not from the SL Governments.

  40. How about introducing nationa service in Sri Lanka, just like in Singapore…not in compact form…just to intergrate the society…any thoughts?

  41. Ku Klux Klan still live in Canada. Canada did not have 30 years of mayhem. So, there will be extremists always what ever the situation is.

  42. Dear DBSJ
    Thank you so much for providing the opportumity to read Upali Coorey’s excellent letter to his nephew. Hope our Sri Lanka news papers copy this and publish for the benefit of their subscribers.

  43. True defeated feelings of tamil terrorists are now comming out!

    Oh now ,Upali Cooray has become a defeated Tamil terrorist, is it?………DBSJ

  44. Hi DBS, Thanks for all your reconciliatory efforts. But i would like to point out a basic thing that Accountability, Transparency and Justice are the prerequisites for any reconcilitation. Until unless that happens there can’t be long lasting peace. I don’t think SriLankan powers are ready for this.

  45. So before advocating reconciliation why not you concentrate on these 3 aspects side by side with reconciliation even though it is very hard.

    What makes you think these are not part of the reconciliation process?……..DBSJ

  46. DBSJ

    We should not be arguing if the glass is half full OR half empty but rather agree that it is BOTH half empty and half full (which is fact) and ask ourselves what we can do with what’s in the glass openly and honestly. The truth it is the same drink in a different glass good only fit to be discarded. Because I am tired of it and can see it miles away. Frankly, it is suffice to say I have been there, experienced that and would only be enticed by the real McCoy. I promise you when the real thing comes you will see me at the fore.

    Oh really? why dont you follow your own advice then instead of being a negativist?……DBSJ

    By the way, I do not see the door as half open but only a slight crack ’cause there is too much heat in the atmosphere.

  47. Perception is reality and it should be said that perception is always subject to change like Upali Cooray’s grand nephew.

    Currently the Sri Lankan leadership is waiting for more donations from the so called donors before they can commit to any real solutions to the ethnic conflict other than what ever MR had to say in his victory speech.

    I didn’t take notice.

    There is no doubt that GOSL is not in a real hurry to volunteer on solving the root causes.

    After defeating the LTTE (rightly so), for them there is no such thing called root cause of the problem.

    It was just terrorism and it has been eliminated.

    At present there is only about 10% of the total pressure is being put on the GOSL to address the real legitimate issues of the minority people.

    The is no doubt about that trapped people in the IDP camps are in real hurry to go home.

    There is no doubt that the Tamil Diaspora is eager than ever before to be revealed that there will never be a forced colonization by the GOSL in Tamil predominant areas.

    In fact, this is a real worry to many because no one can trust as long as the so called chauvinist Buddhists Mr.Gota and Mr.Fonseka dominates Mr MR’s department.

    Can anyone guarantee that THERE WILL BE NO MORE COLONIZATION WITH LONG TERM AIMS TO ERADICATE THE TAMIL POPULATIONS IN THEIR ANSESTRAL LAND?

    If u can, then you have “Really” won the war and more importantly the trust of the Tamil people all around the world. This is the single and biggest issue that has not been paid much attention too.

    If the Government can guarantee that such acts wont happen in the future again (i.e, change of political constitutions), I have no doubt that it will unite the country sooner than perhaps another 60 years later.

    For this is to be possible and be successful, next election is crucial

    More importantly, the main current leader/s of the GOSL must be eliminated one way or another.

    This is the only solution.

    PS:

    Violence breeds violence.
    Violence is a dead end..etc….
    Violence can also be used to eradicate violence according to Gota’s moto.

  48. The nation wide celebrations were a spontenous manifestation of joy over the end of terrorism. Not unlike the exuberance displayed across Europe and America when Nazi Germany was defeated. Therefore, Sri Lankans need not apologise to anyone for feeling grateful and happy over the LTTE’s demise. In fact, if they did not beat drums or dance in the streets it would have have been strange indeed.

  49. Triumphalism with or without the blessings of the SG/UN had to be expected. However, the need of the hour is to put all resources whether from the donor countries, state, local investors, Tamil or Sinhala or Muslim Diaspora to be used for development, to give a breather of equality and assured committment for rights, opening of a political window for the minorities, return of the internally displaced and refugees to their lands of origin, find alternatives for those who cannot be returned so due to whatever reasonable grounds, cease witchunting and other state or para military or underworld initiated violence etc. Is the government or the most affected Tamil community ready for this challenge?

  50. I have to agree with what has been commended by Ragavan

    I would like to share two incidents I faced.

    1st incident in Colombo,

    Once (2 years back) I took a three-wheeler from Battaramulla to Pannipitiya. The driver asked me 250/- rupees and I agreed to pay. When he reached Thalawathugoda junction, he told me to get down and pay the amount. I told him we agreed to go to Pannipitiya. Then he demanded 100/- extra. I refused. He got angry and turned violent. I patted him by my hand and told him not to get so much angry for a small amount. I agreed to get down in Thalawathugoda. He did not calm down and used so much bad words. Luckily and diplomatically, I escaped an assault by him.

    What I want to point out here is this is this inherent hatred and violent nature prevails in most of Sri Lankan hearts and minds.

    2nd incident in Dubai.

    I visited Dubai for some personal requirements and stayed for about 2 months. One day, when I was standing near a petrol station at around 5.30 pm., I saw one Philippines lady shouting at an Indian boy who was an attendant in the petrol station and was busy pumping for another customers car. The boy quickly finished his car and rushed to the lady to attend her. She further raised her voice and barged on the boy for delay in attending her. The boy kept himself under control and pumped the petrol for her car. She paid and left the place.

    I went to the boy and asked him what happened. He tried to reply in English then by his accent I realized, he was from Kerala, India. I told him, since the lady was wrong, he should have shouted back to her and not have attended the lady. or he should have slapped the lady.

    The boy smiled and said. Sir, she is coming right after work, we dont know what kind of pressure she went through during the day. we shouldnt get angry for this kind of things. See, I maintained my temper, now there is no further quarrel. I hugged the boy and wished him all the best.

    These two incidents always remind me the difference in the people who are coming from violent taught community and that of non-violent taught

    It is high time for parents, schoolteachers, religious leaders, community leaders to teach the correct ethics to the younger generation.

  51. please try to keep on being postive jeyaraj – like tyring to bring the 2 communities together which you are doing now. At least our children must live in cohabitation in the future. Our parents in the 60s 70s lived in Shri Lanka without thinking about the race

  52. DBSJ, Because of people like you Tamil people will be able to enlighten from their misery. Others fueling Chauvinism, hatred and racism towards Sinhalese.

  53. There is a factual inaccuracy in Mr.Cooray’s letter. As far as I understand, the SL army casualties total 6000 plus for the three year period beginning 2006 from the MavilAru thing. This is what the defense ministry statement said.Though it’s high, it’s not that bad considering that the US army suffered 4000 plus in a 5 year period with hardly any direct confrontation with Alqaeda. As for IPKF figures, times are different. The fire power and cadre strength of ltte in the 80s was vastly different from that of 2006.

  54. Of course it is important to address if the Tamils have any grievances. However this guy Cooray deliberately attempted to be-little the valiant forces which saved the civilians from LTTE clutch. He can not compare the deaths of the forces in recent battle with IPKF time. LTTE was a immature army at IPKF toimes compare to later stages when they fought with Sri Lankan forces. They (LTTE) did not have the fire power earlier and not a conservative army. It seems this guy Cooray is biased to thye LTTE course than logically and productively reach a conclusion for the benefit of all Sri Lnkans.

  55. It is not being negative and not naive … Shall not be wooed in haste…

    Nobody is wooing you. Take your own sweet time but just stop nattering negativity here…….,DBSJ

  56. Hi DBSJ,

    Yes, good thougts, good ideas and good advise. But what Sri Lanka needs is good statesmanship.

  57. Please try to put something positive Jayaraj – like trying to bring the 2 communities together rather than news items that separate us apart. At least our children must live in cohabitation in the future. You will agree our parents in the 60s 70s lived in Shri Lanka without thinking about the race.

    I hope you will take this in the spirit that it was written

  58. DBSJ: “In a sense we are witnessing “deja-vu” as the present scenario is a reminder of how the Tamil diaspora celebrated military triumphs of the LTTE through operation “unceasing waves” in 1999-2000.”

    Not at all!
    No deja-vu at all!
    The military victories of the LTTE did NOT involve the mas slaughter of many thousands of civilians.
    That is what makes these celebrations that much more vulgar and repugnant.

    Now I would truly like to see Upali Cooray or someone write a similar letter to Mahinda Rajapakse and his gang and would also like to see what kind of reply he/she gets.

  59. Dear Podi Seeya,

    I want to wright this reply to you to convey you my sympathy on your ability to understand the real situation of the Sri Lanka and relavant events.

    Firstly, In your letter you have mentioned that this is not a great victory as 6000 soldiers are dead and many more have injured. Correct but don’t compare these figures with other wars fought by superpowres in Iraq or Afganisthan. You cannot be unaware that in Iraq that many thousands of American and other alied soldiers have died and hundreads of thousands of innocent civilians have died but still no any sight toward the end of the war. But in Sri Lanka despite losses being a small and comparatively ill equiped army have managed to see an end to the so called invisible gurilla movement.

    http://www.iraqbodycount.org/database/

    Again compare with civilian losses, form GOSL figure 3000- 5000 to highly exagerated Times paper figure 20000. and the war is at its end but compare this with Iraq, only documented 10,0000 deaths and counting daily in hundreds.

    http://www.antiwar.com/casualties/

    Do you want me to describe the war in Afghanistan, You will be sad to notice the war in Afghanistan has now spread to Pakistan as well..

    So if you have no any other agenda you should really understand whether this is something to celebrate or no.

    Secondly you have mentioned the root cause of LTTE as 1977, 1981, 1983 anti Tamil riots. What a nice intellectual you are? Have you forgotten Tamil’s 50-50 power claim in 1948. And aren’t you unaware, Prabhakaran’s first murder happened in 1975? Don’t you think, it is very profitable in blaming Sinhalese for the racism of Tamils isn’t it?

    Why do you think Sinhalese had to take arms against Sinhala leaders? That is because problem in Sri Lanka is every ones problem. Not confined to a single ethnic group. That is politicians are not concerned about people. They only concern about coming to power and holding into power. If you are a good Sinhalese you should have reveal the truth not the matters profitable to only.

    I have to disagree with your third point as well. LTTE will not rise ever again as long as Tamils in Sri Lanka remember the events they had to experience in good old LTTE days. The living example is JVP. They are the best Democratic Party we have here in Sri Lanka.

    So Seeya, give-up your profitable writing and focus on solving the real problem by educating politicians on good governance.

    Chuti Putha

  60. Everyone is talking about reconciling. No one is taking any concrete steps to voice for the 300,000 people in the IDP camps. What will happen to their fututre?

  61. i see so many of my tamil friends saying that we should expel MR from presidency. but you should understand that presidential elections are held to elect presidents democratically and you can’t expel a president just as you wish(of course in exceptional cases like what happened to premadasa). who elected this president by the way? MR won, not because sinhalese were very patriotic and wanted a real sinhala buddhist president and voted for him, but because LTTE took a bribe from MR and avoided all the tamils voting in the election. therefore pls don’t blame the sinhalese for the faults of MR.
    he is a very successful politician in his own way, which i find to be a mistery. any president loses popularity some time after being elected. but today he is more popular than the time he was elected. does that mean he is a very good leader? no. but he knows how to maintain his popularity. it’s very simple. everybody should speak good about him and those who speak against him are either LTTE supporters or traitors. who wants to go against the tide and lose their careers, be in jail or die? unfortunate fact is that nobody in sri lanka seems to understand this thuggery. minds of people are brainwashed in such a way that people think that nobody should speak evil about the gov because they won the war.
    i don’t deny the fact that MR was able to provide the political leadership to end the war. anybody accepts that he was the only person who could do that. but a president of a country should be much more than a war warrior.
    look at the newspapers in sri lanka. they spread hatred and revenge into the minds of readers. all the people from UN head to western media who speak against the gov are hated. all the people who speak against the gov in sri lanka should be prosecuted and maximum punishment given. this is the kind of idea given to people from these newspapers. even after 3 weeks post-war, very little is written about reconcilliation. there are no moderate newspapers in sri lanka anymore. either these media personnels r scared to voice the truth and lose their lives or they don’t want to go against the tide and lose popularity.
    the gov along with media are successfully taking the people for a ride and these people have no clue as to where they are lead.
    anybody who visited sri lanka recently should note the alarming cost of living in sri lanka. so at such a difficult time who can spend money on rice for mass scale cooking of kiribath? either supporters of the gov have collected them from the people or the gov has funded them. one of my good friend (a sinhalese) visited sri lanka during the time gov ended war against LTTE. he said the people were fed (instead of offering) kiribath and with the forceful way they behaved he was scared to reject. this was the true scenario. supporters of the politicians were the leaders of these celebrations and even today they keep on celebrating lest people might forget them and won’t vote them the next time.
    it’s very disheartening to see some comments regarding buddhism and buddhist monks. it is no different than blaming islam for al qaeda or taliban. all these people use religion for their political agenda. arousing religeous feelings is a very popular way of winning votes. unfortunately some parties in the gov are using this. few buddhist monks engaged in popular politics are disgracing the whole sangha community.
    my dear friends, this is the 21st century. we have to be more informed. if you look through a blue glass, everything you see is blue. don’t fall prey to the political agendas. our focus should be on establishing democracy for all the people in sri lanka, regardless of the race, religion or caste.

  62. You and your moderate Singhalese and Tamils making reconciliation never demanded free access IDP’s, haven’t call for investigations into war crimes and human rights abuses by both parties. SriLankan powers and those who supported its regime on military solution never gonna heed for these calls. Without Accountability, transperancy and justice the call for reconciliation is like calling the Rape victim to marry the Abuser himself for the sake of reconciliation and peace. Sorry to use these kinda example, but i believe this is the best example for this kinda situation.

    Using wrong examples do not help your argument. Tell me what has your LTTE achieved?….DBSJ

  63. A brilliant and eerily relevant quote comes to mind…

    “Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind is closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar.”

    Actual Writer remains anonymous to date…

    How true… ?

  64. Suppose if i am an IDP and my kin got abused by someone and he is roaming free the system is not accountable and in turn blind and encouraging, i will never ever forget that and make reconciliation for the sake of peace.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    You are not an IDP so please dont “suppose”.. You are a comfortable member of the Tamil diaspora spewing hate and venom from safety. Meanwhile the battered, bruised Tamils there have to co – exist with the Sinhalese and others. Reconciliation is a necessity not a luxury.

  65. DBS LTTE is not mine 🙂 i am very clear in my mind that LTTE is a terrorist organisation that indulged in cowardly acts of killing women and child.

    Oh really!…………….DBSJ

  66. These are important words DBSJ, perhaps the most important you have published, for one reason, the audience of young people.

    Young people, both Tamil and Sinhala are the ones most vulnerable to propagandised sentiments of militarism, nationalism and triumphalism just as they were 40 years ago when this godforsaken nightmare began. Not having lived through the times, they are also the most ignorant of the dark machiavellian machinations, within the halls of power that created this awful history, and the enormous uphill task that lies ahead unpicking it.

    I hope you can write more aimed at this crucial demographic, they will carry the burden of their elders mistakes and the responsibility for lifting it.

    Thank-you for publishing this.

  67. DBSJ

    May I know the reason please why some of my comments deletes in # 66?

    You know why. They were blatantly false and unacceptable…… DBSJ

  68. Comments 13 by Patavit

    I agree with the comments made by Patavit. Sinhalese as well as Tamils should celebrate this victory. The fact that if LTTE remain existence, they
    1. Would kill tens of thousand more Tamil civilians.
    2. Would kill remaining democratic Tamil political leaders.
    3. Another tens of thousands Tamils would become refugees.

  69. Dear DBSJ

    What I try to convey here is that tamils are not ready any reconciliation. Nearly 300,000 tamils have lost everything. We need to provide them atleast some basic needs. That is our priority now. It is matter of life and death issue. Can you go and ask these people now to reconcile with Sinhalese? That is why I mentioned that we need to moblise all the tamils around world to give them the confidence that we are here to uplift them. For that, I need your pen to play big part.

  70. For me you are a collosal, a giant who fight for the underdog. I will always have respect for you.

  71. Comment 56: Seelan – Batti, underlines a very crucial element that needs to be collectively and imminently addressed in any effort to move forward. Decades of deadly conflict has adversely affected the outlook of the society at large. Violence and lack of respect for the traditional civil and cultural norms seems to have gotten ingrained in the social psyche in Sri Lanka. The incident that Seelan pointed out is but yet another stark sign of the societal decadence stemming from years of ethnic conflict, poor governance, economic deterioration and poverty.

    The essence of Mr. Cooray’s lies not in its descriptive part vis-a-vis the conflict but in the prescriptive portion aimed at the solution. That was certainly understood by his grand nephew and several others regardless of any distinction. For so long issues, big and small, in Sri Lanka have been settled not by the merits of reasoned and persuasive arguments but by the barrel of a gun. It is time to collect and compound the goodness in everyone and move forward in a meaningful way. However, given the ground realities, we need a catalyst in the form of visionary leadership (on both sides).

    Unfortunately, in the present political set up, any hope for justice, peace, reconciliation, progress and development seems like castles in air.

    And Mr. Seelan, I am a Batticaloa native as well. In my adopted home of Canada I may have gotten almost everything I wanted and much more, but there is something that little something lacking, that something only the “meen paadum thaen naadam” Batticaloa can provide without measure.

  72. Dear DBSJ,
    Why do yo use words like “what they perceived as terrorism”? What would you call it? Are you trying to say, in your openion it is not terrorism, but some peolpe seem to think so?

    And you say “what they think is an “end to terrorism”. In other words, are you implying, although these people think this is an end it is not?

    I really want to respect you as an impartial, balanced journalist. But sometimes, I get really really confused.

    Anyway, what you say is true. I am in agreement. But the same time, I fail to understand why the Tamil community would think the celebrations in some way are a celebration of defeating Tamils. This makes me very sad.

    What makes me even more sad is to learn that the Tamils in Sri Lanka celebrated the military triumphs of the LTTE. (I do not know if these included the many suicide and other bombings in Colombo. If so, it is extremely sad.) I have never felt like celebrating any civilian killing (which beleive are not intentional) by the security forces.

    Surely, LTTE did more harm to the average Tamil than Army ever did. Or, contrary to what we want to beleive, were the LTTE actually more popular amoung Tamils than any other Democratic Tamil Political Party?

    Thilan,your heart’s in the right place.Dont worry too much about some words. Relax……..DBSJ

  73. ” Inter – ethnic problems cannot be solved by confrontation. Hard as it may be only a mature, co-operative approach based on dialogue and discussion can resolve them.

    It’s a long, hard struggle. But that is the ONLY way out”

    – Amen to that.!

  74. Thank you for this. For what it’s worth, there are many intellectuals like Mr. Upali Cooray even in Sri Lanka; and more importantly, youth like his nephew who has the courage and intellect to reflect, surrender his ego and understand. This is indeed the true nature of our culture.

    The night is darkest just before the dawn…and what has come to pass over the recent past did so under unfortunate circumstances that was a long time coming…moderates, extremists, the international community; truth is we are all responsible for what has happened to this country and her people over the centuries.

    What happens to this country and all her people from this point on too will be define by us. A critical mass of us will determine the path it takes, nothing else regardless of what you may think or who you look forward to blame. The reality that intends to unfold will be what we make it. The reality of the near future will certainly test the most optimistic, but do not loose hope or faith in those who strive to overcome; in you.

    It begins with each and every one of us no matter how ‘far’ or ‘disconnected’ you may seem to be. My appeal is for those who continue to believe in violence as a means to an end and the Sri Lankans who aren’t sensitive or apathetic to the discrimination that [albeit at a lesser extent] continues to take place before us; Please stand up to give reconciliation a chance. I know I ask too much from a mother in the South who’s lost 3 Sons to this conflict or the nine year old in hospital who lost his sibling, parents and his arms to the same. But am I asking too much from you?

  75. Ok.. last comment here. I was about to research into facts mention int he original letter. But noticed 65. Ranjan | June 8th, 2009 at 4:55 am – comments. I have to agree with him on the facts.

    But this does not take away the significance of what he wanted to convey I am still in agreement to that.

    Hmm. about vulgarity. I too think the celebrations by civilians were to an extent overboard. Maybe it could have been more toned down. on the other hand, as I know, no one tried to msiguide this or harm any person through this ‘celebrations’.

    I hoisted the National Flag in front of my house for a week. I sure hope no one thought that was ‘vulgar’.

    I have to add that the deaths of millions of people including millions of Jews in dire conditions have not stopped the Allies celebrating the world war victory even after 60 years…
    this maybe just the way we Humans are. It has nothing to do with race.

  76. We are adults with children, we should be 100% pure Sri Lankan. I teach my kids to be 100% pure Sri Lankans. Please note I also have Tamil blood (Colombo Chetty)but I am pure Sri Lankan.

  77. jingoism is bad, celebration of the end of terror is bad, chauvinism is bad, neo-fascism is bad, deriving maximum political mileage out of this victory is bad, trumphalism is bad & on & on. All bad & no good.
    for this gentleman everything is bad. So what is good? The sinhala should act like unemotional zombies & go underground with dead pan faces instead of celebrating?
    we cannot bow down & accept the views of a retired blood red communist Lanka Sama Samaaja Party (LSSP) member who is now residing in an ultra capitalist country & preaching buddhism from far away. The confusion is obvious. i doubt whether this ex communist (now very capitalist & semingly buddhist) person has ever personally witnessed or experienced the horror of claymore bombs & its victims. (which i have). one must have experienced that horror, carnage & lost personally to really understand the spontaneous celebrations. If not one has experienced nothing. Zero, zilch. no person must even try to comment, let alone criticise the outpouring of joy while living in luxury & total safety thousands of miles away in the west .
    if people like him were right LSSP would have been something today. How many seats can the LSSP win in an election on its own today? Zero. Accepting the advise of the defeated is the road to failure. I prefer the other road.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    I think Upali Cooray’s grand nephew and twenty friends understood clearly what Podi seeya was trying to convey. You need to try harder

    It is because the LSSP stood for parity of status on the language issue and refused to toe the communal line in the fifties and early sixties that the party did not fare well electorally. What you think is scorn is actually a compliment I think

  78. I really need to know what are those discriminations faced by Tamils just because they were Tamils.

  79. For some of the commentators mentioning the victory or the Nazis and the war in Afganistan and Iraq:

    The war that was conducted in Sri Lanka was not an external war against another soverign country. Lot of Govt supporters themselves have mentioned that it is an internal terrorist matter. So why celebrate like you have conquered another nation?

    All that effort and money for celebrations could have gone into helping the IDPs, trying to resettle the tamils. Stop, search, arrests and abductions should have ceased. In fact, these are all going into overdrive. LTTE have been well and truly beaten, there is no leadership. It is a centralised military organisation. Without the head it doesnt survive. So why are you still ‘setha pampai adipathu pol adikireengal?’ Like beating a snake after it is dead. What joy is there in subjugating another proud people like yourselves?

    Together we could have made Sri Lanka envy of South Asia. Do you know how many Tamils and Sinhala peolple hold high positions abroad? About a third of Sri Lankan tamil population is abroad. Most are wealthy and educated. Their resources would be very useful for a country like Sri Lanka. Most would willingly help if they see that their fellow tamils are treated equally there. Until that happens, many would continue to agitate abroad.

    Tamil diaspora supported the LTTE because there was no one else (LTTE eradicated the other groups) standing for their rights. If they had perceived that the SL govt provides equal rights, there is no way in hell, they would have supported LTTE. Just like Sinhala people are doing currently, many tamils surrendered their freedom and souls to the LTTE and turned a blind eye to their actions as long as they delivered freedom to the tamils.

    Dear DBSJ, I dont want a lesson in history and please dont say ‘your LTTE and you supported them, look where they led you.’ Many tamils now realise that LTTE corrupted and bankrupted our just cause. Many tamils accept that our cause has been hi jacked. I sincerely believe many in the diaspora are willing to change engage with the Sinhala community. It is at the precipice that many people find the courage to change. Tamils reached that point 3 weeks ago. We have to change. Tamils are on a cliff edge, LTTE dragged us there and govt is slowly plummeting us.

    Sinhala population havent reached that point yet, so they see no need to change at present. You are still supporting your terrorists. Common decency and brotherhood has not triumphed in Sri Lanka. They have just proved the bigger bully and terrorist can beat the smaller one. SL govt just adapted the methods of the LTTE on a much grander and more elaborate style. LTTE and SL govt are both terrorists. Only difference is one was self appointed guardians of the people and the other was willingly chosen by the people.

    Where are the decent, considerate Sinhala brothers and sisters? Have you all left the country too?

  80. Re: 56 seelan-batti

    in your dubai experience, the boy in the petrol station didn’t say anything to the filipino lady because in countries like UAE women are respected so much that men don’t argue with women. if ever they become rude to a woman and she complains to police, police always takes the side of the woman. so rather than asking for trouble, men keep silent.
    otherwise, UAE is among the countries of middle east with very poor customer service.
    but in these countries, rulers give utmost importance to maintain law and order and people live without fear. unlike ur sri lankan experience, taxi drivers can’t get away fooling passengers. there’s an efficient system where u can complain the relevent authority and punish the driver. this is the difference between dubai and sri lanka.
    even if gov gives a political solution to tamils, unless law and order are maintained there will be little impact.

  81. Dbsj
    After seeing the photos posted in the below website I doubt that a real reconciliation is ever possible. The barbarity is so appaling that only a superhuman effort will bring reconciliation. Perhaps the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. But after all we Srilankans are mere humans
    dharma
    http://www.warwithoutwitness.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=226:sri-lankan-army-war-crime-evidence-photo-srilankan-army-sexually-abusing-tamil-female-combatants-during-bloody-blood-bath-on-vanni-beaches&catid=40:photo

  82. When Bhindranwale the Sikh terrorist in India was sponsoring Khalistan with the the CIA and Pakistan lurking in the background, Indira Gandhi dealt with the problem decisively by even going to the extent of intruding into Amritsar’s Golden Temple where he was holed up with arms and ammunition. That temple was the holiest of holies for the Sikhs. There were no celebrations or marches and flag weaving by her party or her government.She did what she had to do ensure that the Indian Union did not unravel and got on with her job and eventually spilt her blood to ensure separatism was defeated. Khalistan it’s forgotten and Sikhs now do not speak about it any more and there is a Sikh pm elected for the second time with a greater majority. That is India and it is a secular country.

    See the contrast in Sri Lanka.The President and his government are still caught up with speeches, marches and other such meaningless triumphalist flag waving with yellow robed monks blessing the armed forces and so on celebrating victory. Victory over whom ? Which country was defeated and whose land was taken any way ?

    The LTTE terrorist’s have been defeated but it is pathetic to imply that Lankan Tamils have been defeated.

    Instead of addressing urgent problems like re- settling the IDP’s in permanent homes and initiating constitutional measures to treat all peoples of Lanka as equal citizens of Sri Lanka, the President seems to be taking another path,despite all his platitudes and promises to the country.

    Recently in this blog site there was an e-mail by Mohan calling for reconciliation between the Tamils & Sinhalese, which drew immense support and favourable responses from all right thinking people both in Sri Lanka and the diaspora. Mr.Upali Cooray is one amongst them who has transcended the narrow confines of race and religion because he understands that if the country is to prosper and survive as a sovereign nation, that it is imperative for it’s people to have the freedom to speak their language or to follow the religion of their choice or even not do so if they do not want to. Which means that all peoples should be treated as equal by the law of the country and no distinction is made.That is the basis of their birth right and humanity.

    The President and his government have an important task in deciding the fate of the country in this regard. It is this task that should be prioritised. If they take a cue from people like Mr.Upali Cooray and not get bogged down with shows and self deluding panegyrics success will follow.But, will they try?

  83. Its a shame that the Tamil community is not celebrating this victory over terrorism. The Diapsora’s unquestioning sympathy for the Tigers has created a racial wedge. The Tigers fought for a racially pure state and lost. There defeat was a triumph for pluralism. If the diaspora truly cared about the civilians (and not saving the Tigers) it is now time to stand up, speak out, and send help.

  84. According to the government, the operations in the last few months have resulted in the death of over 6000 soldiers. Many more have suffered serious injuries. If “we compare this to what the Indian peace-keeping force [IPKF] incurred during a two year operation, the figure of 6000 is extremely high. At the time the IPKF were ordered to leave Sri Lanka by president Premadasa, egged on by the JVP and some elements of the SLFP, they had surrounded the LTTE leadership and were about to deal a decisive defeat on the LTTE. Yet the IPKF lost just over 1000 soldiers. If one compares other theatres of war such as Iraq and Afghanistan, the casualty rate of the Sri Lankan security forces is extremely high.”

    LTTE at 1990 or taliban terrorists don’t have artilary…..which has caused 85% of the causality to the SLA……But it is obvious that best in the world is a big exaggeration.Although SLA has improved significantly over the past few years

  85. To TD

    Yes, Tamil community should be celebrating the callous murder to 20 000 tamils, loss of limbs to another 20 000 or so. Incarceration of nearly 300 000 civilians, the curtailments of the rights of tamils.

    Many Tamils are glad that LTTE is no more as they no longer represented them but they have even more hatred of the SL govt and the way they have behaved since independence. So excuse me if I am not waving a lion flag in the streets of London. (I did not wave a tiger flag before you start accusing me of Tiger supporter).

    To understand the Tamil psyche, even the tamils who are vehemently against the LTTE, their terrorist methods and actions, did secretly wish that tamils could have a great degree of autonomy and looked to the LTTE as they were powerful. But then the tamils got hoodwinked. Look at many govt allied paramilitaries/tamil parties – they all have eelam in their names.

    Would you have celebrated if it was the other way round??

  86. My dear DSB,

    Thank you very much for publishing mr cooray,s
    letter to his nephew which i think very touching and a
    school of harmonious thoughts that can contribute to our sri lankan society. Triumphalism in sri lanka in my
    thinking in this case is excessive, of course any nation has it,s right be triumphant in a national victory,
    defeating LTTE is a national victory but this sort of
    excessive stance will bring some ill consequences
    in the reconcilliation process also un necessary
    importance to LTTE. if we are to consider all the
    crimes commited by the LTTE against all communities
    since three decades i think many lankans forced in to
    this excessive celeberation. Let,s imagineif it happened otherwise had the LTTE won this eelam war and
    gained the EELAM what do we think? WILL there be no triumphalism? i have no doubt at all surely it will
    spell an unexplicable disaster to the whole country
    knowing the extream compssionate nature of LTTE
    So we can see the point that this kind of victory
    can cause for a triumplism which has unfortunetly
    being excessive.

    knowing those facts i am sure there are many accademics and other educated souls in the society today like,
    mr cooray who swims against this tide of triumplism,
    Alas! majority of our people have not reached such
    accademics level to understand , social, moral and cultural values. if you are to count 1 million people
    would pose i million levels of morals who not allowed
    to have a collective mind even for the benifit of the
    society, bear in mind even the highly educated person
    can fall in to ill thinking. In my openion by taking this malpractice on the face value we can see a horried
    diversion of our society ( here i am talking only
    about our society this is same for any other
    society on earth) i think society should be flexible to
    what mr cooray ,s writtings to his nephew , at least
    worldlywise. According to by belief and uncountable
    experience that there is an SPIRITUAL ASPECT to
    all this problems in the society, but thought by a handfull of people, so our,s is not an exception.
    putting tthe matter in a nutshell, i believe we been
    barred by the INVISIBLE EVIL FORCES who control
    our world, our minds and prevent us understanding
    the reality which i think hard to discuss in this forum.
    it is very plesent to hear mr cooray,s nephew and
    20 of his collegues changed their stance after
    his grandpa,s advice and they able to see the
    bright side of the matter it is also again the
    GOOD KARMA that intervened and helped them to
    understand to exit from the stance where they were.
    finally i like to empahasis the fact that the bad eliments like
    truimplism , gingoism, chaunism exist more or less
    between our two races . Any human or any human
    race who harbours those bad eliments prone to
    preish. Biased propagandas, racial discriminations
    has no place and at the end TRUTH WINS That
    is the ultimate reality THAT HAS PROVEN IN
    FRONT OF OUR OWN EYES. pro sinhala
    and pro ltte DIASPORAS living in exile ought to
    think our own tamil brothers sisters and childrens
    to give their life back distroyed by the evil eliments.
    thanks
    GOD HAS BLESSED LANKA
    AND WILL CONTINUE TO BLESS

  87. I do not condone the rejoicing of death. But I am happy and relieved that the sun god/supreme leader is dead. Am happy and relieved that the LTTE’s military strength has been dismantled. I am extremely sad and mourn the lives of so many innocent people who died in this war – soldiers who laid there lives down to free this country, innocent tamil civilians who were used as cannon fodder by their so called “protectors” – a humanitarian crisis that the LTTE knowingly created, a bloodshed that could have been spared. Where was their love for their people? If the Government is the enemy, what does that make the LTTE? I do not condone everything the Government does but the reality is that in an attempt to free this country of the plague of terrorism, thousands of innocent lives were sacrificed.

    I wouldnt light a firecracker and dance on the streets about this – but in my heart i feel relief and a sense of hope. Ignoring a small minority that engages in what you term “vulgar celebrations”, I understand why others celebrate the dawn of this new era – they are celebrating the end of a war, the end of a 30 year military conflict, the end of terrorism (hopefully). I dont believe that the majority of ppl who rejoice, rejoice the death of innocent tamil civilians. It is these same people who collect as many rations as they can afford and send to the north. Let us not forget that amongst those who rejoice – are mothers who have lost a son to the war, a wife who has lost a husband to a landmine, a daughter who does not know her father. Amongst those who rejoice are fathers who have lost a child to a suicide bomb.
    There has been enough bloodshed in our country – minority, majority, majority minority. We need to move on. We need to heal as a nation.

  88. DBSJ,
    Why are you not posting my comment?

    I am sorry but I am not posting your unfair ,nasty attack on Mr.Upali Cooray……….DBSJ

  89. Dear All,

    I am glad to see that there are learned gentlemen like Mr.Cooray who direct our youth to the right way of thinking. I am also glad there are youth like his nephew and friends who are gracious enough to accept when they have been mistaken. There is hope for our nation yet!

    I have already posted my reactions to Mohan Sekaram’s mail, where he began a warm wave of positivism that has swept over many Sri Lankans all over the world. As a Sinhalese, I was happy to see several other Sinhalese have responded to his message of peace in a constructive way. Triumphant celebrating is not a way forwards but a way backwards. It is a way that all Sri Lankans, whatever our ethnicity, should turn our backs on.

    I too posted messages on Facebook, namely my thoughts on recent events. Today, I posted I that I finally managed to send some money to a group of people taking essentials to the displaced people in the north. I posted this message not to blow my own trumpet, but to encourage others to do what they could as well. Especially, us Sri Lankans who live abroad can do so much, in whatever way we can to financially help our fellow Sri Lankans, who are in dire need.

    I would like to point out that there have also been several constructive postings on Facebook. “We are sorry…” is a sort of Facebook club where people have joined together to add their voices to a long overdue collective apology for the atrocities against the Tamil community in 1983. I joined this group as soon as I saw it and I want to thank whoever thought of it.

    We can all do something, however little, whatever our financial constraints or geographic limitations. THE TIME HAS COME NOT TO CELEBRATE BUT TO REBUILD! To rebuild cities and communities, to rebuild strained ethnic relations, to rebuild corrosive thinking with constructive criticism and most importantly, to help rebuild lives devastated by this war. LET US ALL CHIP IN!!!

    Kindest Regards,

    Ruki

  90. There are many Upali Coorays in the Sinhalese community; the problem is there are not many Upali Coorays in the Tamil community to reach to them.and buld a bridge for the common good of all the Sri Lankans. Unfortunately The Tamil community have always been bent on a course of ‘politics of confrontation’ and not ‘politics of compromise’- and hence this tragedy that the Tamils are facing today. The saddest thing is that it seems to be very easy to appeal to one’s animal instincts that are lurking underneath and bring it to the surface (an easy route for political power and recognition in society) than to appeal to the nobler human instincts of mutual understanding, respect, and reconciliation.
    Sri Lanka would be a prosperous place for all communities – Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims- if the leaders and the people can only face the truth that a body can never be healthy and will only imperatively rot, if one of its limbs is neglected!

  91. Fact of the matter is, the South would not celebrate if 300,000 Sinhalese were locked up in detention camps funded by foreigners.

    Did the South celebrate after the demise of the JVP? NO.

    What these celebrations remind me of are Gothabaya Rajapakse’s attempts to round up thousands of (Northern and Eastern) Tamils in the South and send them back to the North and East on buses.

    Optimist or pessimist, look at the evidence I have presented above, and only one conclusion can be drawn:

    We are indeed two separate nations. We are like India and Pakistan and will probably continue to fight each other for all time to come until one side relents.

  92. Why are ;you so bothered about our victory celebrations. The world war 2 victory has been since 60 years celebrated and will celebrate for ever. Sri lanka eliminated the terrorism for the 1st time in world history. Please let us celebrate the victory for ever
    thanks
    perera

  93. Hi, great article about the different views silently present in SL.i currently reside in SL and belong to the Sinhalese-Buddhist community.These celebrations of the ‘victory’ over the LTTE have gone on too long and have gone on without proper reason.there is,in my humble opinion,no need to jump up and celebrate with free food and fire crackers,while our Tamil brothers and sisters in the North are not receiving adequate food,water,shelter or medical attention.To celebrate something delusional such as winning this ‘war’ is not only,as i implied delusional,but heartless and immoral.if the Great Buddha were to come to this previously beautiful island of ours,he would definitely banish us to hell.Let’s not undermine the loss and suffering of our Tamil brothers and sisters.Instead,let’s help them rebuild because at the end of the day,each Sinhalese person(deep down somewhere)knows that we as a community have failed mankind,sepcifically the Tamils throughout the past 60 years with our chauvinistic thinking.SL is for everyone,not only for Sinhalese Buddhists.Time for change.i hope i will not have to continue being ashamed of being Sinhalese as i have for the past few years,watching how my government has treated the Tamils and Muslims thus far.IN SOLIDARITY!!!

  94. #99: “Sri lanka eliminated the terrorism for the 1st time in world history.”

    If you think becoming lumpen terrorists yourselves
    (see pictures posted by #88) to murder thousands of innocents in the name of fighting terrorism by one man and his small group, and then suppressing the truth, is eliminating terrorism, you don’t know what consequences await the country.

    Surely, it is to suppress and hide this well-known bestiality of SL armed forces that GoSL imposed a blanket ban on media and aid groups. And by celebrating, you are in fact celebrating your own bestiality. I say reconciliation is possible with some people, but not with animals. The LTTE had its own brutality of the fascist kind, but they were never known to indulge in the kind of sexual bestiality the armed forces you celebrate are known for.

    Let us see the Wijesinhas and Jayatillekas contorting themselves to justify such bestiality. Before talking about reconciliation and solutions, Sinhalese and Tamils need to look into their own respective communities, without the extra tension of adding another race into the mix, why there are so many low lives in their communities. A hard thing to do when the ruling clan itself is made entirely of low lives.

  95. ?Reconciliation is a necessity not luxury? great saying I accept. I shall relate a story to explain what reconciliation meant for Sinhalese. Two brothers owned one house the elder brother claimed that that whole house belonged to him because he was older. He will let the younger brother live in that house as long as the younger brother pays rent to him and dose not claim entitlement for the house. The moral of the story is if you are a minority you are not entitle to equal rights in SL, but the majority will let you live at their mercy. This is what the whole world had to say to the Tamils in SL. All this minority rights, self respect and dignity are only for papers and news not for Tamils in SL. Ordinary Tamils need to accept this because few learned and great journalists have already accepted it. This is called pragmatism. If the Tamils become pragmatics then they will not have any dreams and certainly not have nightmares.

    Reconciliation is a whole process based on justice and equality. It is not submission as you wrongly imply……DBSJ

  96. I think its high time that we tamizh eezham people should work hard to get back the former glory to our community.

  97. Heart touching article. I am touched by this post compare to the previous reconsiliation posts. More and more sinhalese people must do this, especially targeting towards young generation.

    I am a Tamil, Podi Seeya convinced me that there is a peaceful future lie ahead for this tear drop island.

    At present Tamils are not in a reconsiliation state. All of us weather(Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims or who ever) must help the 300,000 IDP’s to get on their feet and get back to their rightful home asap. It is a must and it will help to win back many many Tamils in Sri Lanka as well as in Diaspora.

    DBSJ, please post more article about the current situation of the IDP’s. Plight of the civilians may win back many Sinhalese friends.

  98. Hi Mr.DBSJ,
    Thankyou I gave up my dream of separation.
    How any one justify blocking the ship carrying food and essential items for our brothers and sisters living like criminals in inhumane camps. Where you going to see the reconsiliation Mr Dbsj? I never beleived in terrorist ltte or brutal terrorist regime of srilanka. Hope one atleast god will punish this barbaric leaders of srilanka.

  99. Thank God for the Upali Cooray’s of this world!

    A word for Dilshan
    Are you aware that the journalists who have been killed, assaulted and defamed are those who have been standing up for the rights of all Sri Lankans? That they are campaigning for the rights of journalists(not the psuedo kind,who have picked up the pen to add fuel to the ethnic fire) to be able to report on all matters in a fair manner. That they are asking that the Freedom of Information act be introduced, so there would be true transparency at all levels of governance ——so that the ordinary man, such as you will be able to exercise your rights without fear or favour? These people have spent a lot of time and effort campaiging for public service journalism

  100. Thanks DBS for the reproducing Cooray’s letter.

    Let me dig a bit deeper on Cooray and his view point.

    Basically Cooray was an ex-LSSP. His left ideologies have come to the fore with a heavy heart towards minorities in general under his socialist thinking.

    To my understanding it is this so called ‘left’ which really promotes the psycho of ‘secessionism’ all over the world. Every ‘rebel’ in this country has in history had been inspired by LSSP ideology (in the 60/70’s) and that includes Prabhakaran.

    Cooray knowingly or unknowingly attacks chauvinism as the evil against a just social system of governance.

    But Chauvanism be it either sinhala or tamil is a deterent itself in a country like SL which could save SL territorial integrity-sinhala chauv style. As for the tamils, tamil chauv. is the way that they be heard to win justice just short of an independent tamil homeland.

    Chauvanism itself is not an extreme path. But socialism is a stepping stone for fragmenting countries.

    I think you must study the LSSP history before arriving at such sweeping conclusions…….DBSJ

  101. DBS,

    I do not have an iota of hate against the LSSP. NM, Colvin, Philip, Leslie, Bernard and even Ex CP memebers who started as LSSP are truely genuine, gentlemen people compared to the politicians of today.

    I also equally believe their policies especially on the economy at that time of world order was correct. LSSPers did a yeaoman service to this country in terms of worker rights, health legislation (senaka bibile) and even today ex-LSSP vasudeva now with SLIC privatisation. Their good motives for the common masses is unquestionable.

    But what again irks me as I repeat in my comment 108, is their (LSSP) like minded thinking of equal rights for minorities. I never dispute tamils fair share and competitive access to opportunities with the sinhalese, but the Socialist thinking of – right for self determination- baffles me!

    Any minority ethnic group anywhere in the world eg. Tamils in SL, Scottish in Britain or the Zula community in S.Affrica, if planted with the idea of self determination would jump the wagon and campaign for a separate country.

    This is where the Coorays’ and LSSP as I said before is promoting secessionism disgused unknowingly as socialism.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    It is a fallacy to equate right of self – determination automatically with secessionism. Also any “minority” is not entitled to the right of self -determination. There are certain criteria. Besides the concept of self – determination itself is subject to many creative interpretations.External and internal self – determination are some of these

  102. chauvinism ? I am sorry but 30 years is a long time to suffer from a horrific fascist terrorist group like the LTTE . and the price paid as huge in terms of blood . 6280 brave soldiers lost . this is the price of freedom . We never had to fight for freedom and never valued it . I hope this would be a lesson to all sri lankans . Never never take these sacrifices made for granted .

    I read a very interesting interview with Gota . and it was very enlightening . He said he controlled the press on purpose knowing that news of excessive casualties would have changed the minds of the people in the south . Naturally the press as victimized by this process . I cant but admire his clarity of vision . Without him even a great General like Sarath Fonseka could not have delivered us this victory . Clearly the man knew what it took to achieve victory . and we should be thankful for that .

    At the same time as the situation comes back to normal I hope the tight reins that has been applied on the press be released . and Normalcy and press freedom should return . This was the case after the defeat of the JVP . It is pointless defeating a fascist terrorist group like the LTTE if we end up being them .

    Having lived in the west for as long as I have I can understand now why they are incapable of winning the simplest war . and if there is any group of professionals I despise more than the lawyers it has got to be the good for nothing press .

  103. #67 Senadhi,

    I agree with what you said especially regarding buddhism and buddhist monks engaged in politics. I’m a buddhist myself and feel ashamed at times the way some of the poltico monks use religion to suit their poltical agenda. I think its a discredit to the ‘sangah’ like you said – very true.

  104. Just as a lamp wont be bright until lit, we could each hold on to our respective opinion unless we see reason and logic behind the others’ view point.

    Now is the time for the Tamils to explicitly state their genuine grievances and aspirations for political power sharing. I live here in Sri lanka and know well that Sinhalese would genuinely extend their hand of friendship and goodwill in granting the Tamils their rightful place in society.

    I suggest DBSJ opens a forum in which Sinhalese and Tamils could express their opinion on what is desired and their vision of a future Sri Lanka in which we could all live in peace and dignity and try to understand each others’ view point.

  105. these communist advisers who lecture comfortably from far away capitalist west are much poorer intellectually than the capitalists who they used to routinely condemn but take shelter under.

    these negative thinking guys prevented & discouraged poor gullible people from being hard working & enterpreneuring by preaching communism. they taught the mentality of being lazy & jealous by demanding a share of the hard workers productivity. What is really damning is the fact that almost all these communist leaders were landed propreitors or businessmen who covered their assets in limited liability companies.

    “DIYAW, DIYAW, DIYAW” was the slogan these people taught their political followers. (GIVE, GIVE, GIVE). I have witnessed FIRSTHAND that this DIYAW did not apply to their employees. They would not dare. Nor were there any trade unions. Trade unions were unneccessary because the propretors were socialist leaders.

    while the poor gullible socialist thinking citizens with the welfare mentality are getting poorer & still stranded in sri lanka now expect the JVP to deliver them utopia, the LSSP has joined the capitalist GOSL or gone to ultra capitalist countries from where they continue to be negative. Dont do this, dont do that, its bad etc. anybody should be free to do anything he likes democratically except break the law. That includes the diapora demonstrations where they show LTTE flags & break up traffic almost daily. If thats ok for the british & canadians why should the sinhala try to stop it? I never saw a single statement from these LSSP ex politicos (who hate celebrations) condemning acid attacks on students saying do not attack innocent civilians or demonstrations. Its crazy. These guys think child soldiers & acid attacks are a normal part of life while celebrations are abnormal.

    a business minded guy who starts a hotel employing a few people & providing food to the community while spending sleepless nights bulding up his business is more valuable to society than any communist. He will one day build up his business, provide employment & services to the community, be charitable to the sociey & the genuinely needy.

    when is the average citizen going to realise that the country has to be pumped up with triumphalism & got going with new found confidence instead of being stuck in past negative defeatism such as “WE CAN NEVER WIN, CELEBRATE OR DEVELOP”. are we destined to live in sadness? I have heard many tamils ask are we a cursed race? even on foreign TV channels. Instead of plunging the whole country in that type of thinking what sri lankans should do is to be happy, stop complaining & start afresh. With their global numbers & proven capabilities the tamils could do much service to themselves as well as the nation.

    people (regardless of race or party affiliations) who equate triumphalism at the defeat of LTTE as a triumphalism AGAINST THEMSELVES only mean that they supported LTTE terror including child soldiers et al.

    BTW- certain sections of society are naturally deprived & need assistance. Sinhala, tamil, muslim as well as others are included in this segment. It does not mean that LSSP style socialism has to be embraced en masse. Everything that LSSP socialists & trade unions fought for is not bad either. Far from it. People like vasudeva & trade union leaders are a good counter to certain ultra capitalist crooks & racists who break the law & exploit the state unlawfully. These opposition activists are essential to a society if it plans to stay free & democratic. But the fact remains that genuine socialists are good watch dogs but bad rulers.

    Finally, MR cannot fool the sinhala people (if he is planning to) continuously by celebrations at the expense of other pressing concerns. Then as usual the sinhala people will revolt.

  106. # 65. Ranjan,

    Firstly the number of dead on the SL side far exceeds 6000!
    The number of civilans killed and injured by the SL forces is also hugely underplayed by the GOSL.

    # 65. Ranjan: “Secondly you have mentioned the root cause of LTTE as 1977, 1981, 1983 anti Tamil riots. What a nice intellectual you are? Have you forgotten Tamil’s 50-50 power claim in 1948.”

    No! The root cause is the SInhala-Buddhist claim to the whole island of Lanka and that Tamils are merely invaders and so second class citizens etc. The antiTamil riots only gave the LTTE more support and sympathy.

    The 50-50 issue was about 50 for the Sinhalese and 50 for ALL the other minorities put together in order to avoid the consequences of the ignorant claims made by the Sinhala-Buddhist extremists: among the consequences being the anti-Tamil riots.

    Thirdly the JVP are SInhalese/Sinhala-Buddhist thus are regarded by the SInhala-Buddhists as one of them while the Tamils and LTTE are regarded as outsiders. So the two matters cannot be equated.
    Certainly the SL forces killed a very large number of SInhalese youth, BUT did they bomb houses, hospitals, schools and civilians in general because they were in areas considered to be JVP areas?

  107. Hello, DBSJ ,Just thought i will post this for everybody’s Information.

    BRegards

    Angelo

    What a true Sri Lankan. Interesting to read

    In 2005, almost fifty years after he left Oxford, Mr. Lakshman Kadiragamar’s portrait was unveiled at the Oxford Union. This was a great honour bestowed by the Oxford Union on only 15 others in its 183 year history.

    Mr Kadirgamar had this to say about that event;

    ‘……I would like to, if I may, to assume that I could share the honour with the people of my country, Sri Lanka . I had my schooling there, my first university was there, I went to Law College there and by the time I came to Oxford as a postgraduate student, well, I was relatively a matured person. Oxford was the icing on the cake … but the cake was baked at home ……(applause) .’

    Lakshman Kadirgamar

  108. Chauvinism in Sinhala Buddhist SriLanka is not a fever – It is a disease which had plagued us for centuries and we are only trying to treat the symptoms here.

    How could a Tamil want to reconcile and live in a single country when the GOSL turns away an aid ship purely because of its arrogance in ?Victory? and to rub it into the face of the Tamil Diaspora?

    Isn?t this enough proof that Srilanka is a country with two-nations?

    Bring it on DBSJ, let us debate the concept of homeland, theory of self-determination and the right to secede !!

    Comment #109
    Read more in : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-determination

    And the concept of homeland in :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeland

  109. I am yet to read the other comments on your page, but I must say this: Just like Mr Cooray a number of my friend (who happen to be Singhalese including I) wrote on FB re celebrations and that this is not yet the end etc. And when we wrote about as such, there were a number of follow on positive comments by the others. This is one reason that I hope that things will at least work this time around albeit over many deaths (Army, Civilians, LTTE junior carders).

    I will do my small part in the process, in my small way.

    fyi: A few of my friends did link to some of your posts on FB.

  110. I agree with you. i am a person who suported the war. But i do not agree with present celebrations. It is unnecessary and with that we make tamil people feel hapless. The biggest danger to Sri Lanka now comes from JVP and Helaurumay. They will block any political solution to the conflict. I beleive that we should be genuine for finding a political solution by fairly disolving powers. Dear DBSJ, there are Sinhala people who have balanced view on the conflict. Please keep your writing and try to reach to moderate sinhala and tamil. We could live togather peacefully if we make our voice heard. I suggest you to make your articles available in Sinhala as well. We all admire you a lot.

  111. DSB,

    It appears that there is now another Ranjan posting on the blog, so from now on, I will post as Ranjan-Toronto.

    First of all I would like to say to Mr Cooray that it is silly to compare the casualties of GOSL forces against other wars. The fact of the matter is this was a volunteer army, no one was conscripted or drafted to fight, they appears to have done the job that was asked from them with valour, discipline and despite what the Diaspora would want us to believe, dignity and compassion. I for one is grateful for them. Yes, the number of civilian causalities was appalling, but to have continued on and on the war with internationally sponsored ceasefires or pauses or other agendas which appear to have been designed and thought out more with a view to preserve the LTTE leadership would have been far worse. My Cooray also seems to have forgotten that the army could have used their heavy weapons much more intensively and finished the war much quicker and with far less casualties to the GOSL forces.

    However, I still agree with the main thrust of his letter, that please lets stop the celebrations for now. Yes, I understand the need to jump and shout in relief because the war and the associated suicide bombing have at last stopped. However, there are nearly 300000 people in IDP camps in wretched conditions. Lets celebrate when everyone of these have been returned to their towns and villages, when the injured are treated and taken care of and the when the orphaned kids have been provided with love and care that they desperately need. Lets make sure that there is a political solution that treats all people as equal, that the Tamil people and other minorities made to feel that they are a part of this country. Then is the time to celebrate. Not now.

  112. What were the Discriminations Tamils faced just because they were Tamils?
    I kept asking these questions from but no body gave me proper answer.
    The Crux of the issue is 60% of Tamils lives among Sinhalese. Because meeting the legitimate concerns and aspirations of Tamil people to live their lives as equal citizens and with dignity and self-respect is the key. That is why it is important to know what those discriminations are. According to LTTE, They took arms not because discrimination by majority Sinhalese, They believed North and East were Tamil home land and tried to create mono ethnic Tamil home land in North. Now there are no more LTTE, so it is time for the hibernating Tamil leaders to come out give political leadership to Tamils live in Sri Lanka. Post war Sri Lanka will be different. Sri Lanka in the process building a nation again with Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims etc. Now it is up to Tamil leaders to guide I would say NON ENGLISH SPEAKING TAMILS (NEST) to this process. There are the ones who suffered most because of the war, now living in camps. All the English speaking Tamils are either in Colombo or lives happily in foreign countries.

  113. Dear DBS

    You seemed to be well informed about the ground situ in SL. What is you assessment of the life of ordinary people in the East since “liberation”( as this might be a good indicator of what the poeple of the North can expect). What I have heard is that although political “emancipation” has been far from reaity, they enjoy a better standard of living and live (to a large extent) more normalised lives than when under LTTE rule. I am aware there have been incidents of abductions/killings (that happens in Colombo as well)and supposed “colonisation” but if you were to make a broad generalisation, would it be accuate to state that developmental activity has taken place and people are generally better off.

  114. Here is a challenge to my fellow Sinhalese on this forum who are justifying the current cycle of jingoistic celebrations.

    1) Are you prepared to acknowledge the humanity of all of the people living in Sri Lanka irrespective of ethnic, religious and other cultural differences?

    2) Are you willing to acknowledge that our Tamil, Muslim, Burgher and other brothers and sisters should be equal citizens within a secular state?

    As a Sinhalese, I would like to answer “YES”.

    After all, when the Buddha said `May all beings be happy’ he didn’t mean only the Sinhalese.

  115. Norman #121, you ask “What were the Discriminations Tamils faced just because they were Tamils?”

    As a Sinhalese, I am surprised by your question and wouldn’t usually honour it with a response. Either you are wilfully ignorant (or unwilling to acknowledge) the decades of structural violence perpetrated by us on the Tamil people, or your question elides to the fact that little discussion has taken place within the Sinhala public sphere about the root causes of our current crisis.

    In either case I can’t say I am surprised. After all, I have been struggling for years to find a Sinhala word that corresponds to the term “discrimination”. One would have expected that in the context of a long and protracted ethnic conflict, there would have been some word devised to at least explain to the majority of the Sinhala people that the Tamils have claimed discrimination at the hands of the Sinhalese. But the closest I have come to in the dictionary is “venaskam karanawa” which doesn’t adequately capture the meanings associated with the Engliash word “discriminate”.

    In any case, I won’t recount the many instances of “structural violence” perpetrated by us against the Tamils over the years, be they standadisation in education policies, Sinhala only legislation, the many anti-Tamil pogroms etc. etc.

    What I would like to draw your attention to is the everyday violence that the Tamil people face simply for being Tamil. The state, in its entirety, is largely geared towards serving a Sinhala polity. Not only do the Tamil people have to suffer the ignominy of having to lodge police entries in Sinhala, they have to suffer the prejudicial gaze directed at them by all levels of the state bureaucracy. How often is the question asked “Sinhalada demalada?” at check points etc, and can you deny that if one were to say “demala”, that person will be viewed with suspicion and as pariah?

    Have we not heard our friends and colleagues talk about “para demalas” and talk disparagingly of them? Do you not think that these prejudices have no practical import when it comes to job interviews etc?

    Do you truly believe that under most ordinary circumstances, a Tamil can expect equal treatment by state apparatuses (such as the police)? I know of many instances when we Sinhalese have called 119 to merely inform the police that a “Tamil person” is in the area, only for that person to be picked up and verbally harangued by the police (and in some instances, brutally assaulted).

    When people like you ask questions like the above, you are displaying a complete lack of ignorance of the lived experiences of the Tamil people. So for you, and others like you who may pose a similar question, here is the answer and a potential solution.

    If you dare, I challenge you to live your life like a Tamil for one week. Keep your NIC at home. If you are ever stopped at a checkpoint, just say that you are Krishanamoorthy Vaidyanadan, and proclaim proudly that you are Tamil and are happy to be a citizen of Sri Lanka. If they insist on an ID, let them know that you, as a citizen, are enjoying the constitutional right to the freedom of movement guaranteed to all Sri Lankans under our constitution. And do explain to them that an NIC isn’t required to be shown, even under emergency regulations.

    When you go the a bank or any state institution, always look for the Tamil form to fill out. If they don’t have one, insist on one, reminding them that Tamil is one of our official languages. And don’t forget to fill out the form in Tamil either. Of course, you can obtain help to do this from a Tamil friend of yours, of which you must be having many, since Sinhalese like you are privileged to be living in peace and harmony in “machang” terms with lots of Tamils, Muslims and Burghers.

    While you are at it, why not take up residence in Wellawatte for the week? Not only can you enjoy the delights on offer at Greenlands, but can also take up temporary accommodation at a lodge and enjoy the luxuries enjoyed by Tamil people who have moved to Colombo seeking employment, or other business. And please do remember to register yourself with the Wellawatte police while you are at it.

    If you are ever arrested while engaging in these activities (which I highly doubt, because you haven’t broken any laws, and we know that our heroic police are a just lot) please ensure that you give your statement in Tamil. Please insist on doing so, once again reminding them of the official languages act and your right to make a statement in Tamil.

    At the end of the week you will come out of the experience a bit more enlightened, hopefully not too badly bruised nor shaken, and we can recount your lived experiences with a cup of plain tea and a vadai at any restaurant of your choice. My treat.

  116. The celebration is a sign that the Sinhalese DO NOT consider Tamils as their own country men. Who would celebrate of their own people ( Thousands (20K ?) of Tamils and 6000 SLA ) were killed?

    (I would concede that if the roles are reversed, the Tamils would have done the same)

    The air bombing and heavy artillery shelling is another sign that the Sinhalese DO NOT consider Tamils as part of Sri Lanka. Who would bomb and shell their own land filled with thousands of civilians.

    Mr. Upali Cooray wrote this as he realizes the wrong (read true) signals this celebrations are sending to the Tamils. Most of the moderate, anti LTTE Tamils I know, are more than ever convinced that they will never be able to come to any reasonable settlements with the Sinhalese for the long term.

    These celebrations are the writing on the wall for many Tamils. The message is very clear. The GOSL won the war and they are going to devour the spoils. The Tamils will be lucky to get the bones.

    You can spin anyway you want, and call the glass half full, but the reality is that there is only a half a glass of water in there and you are not going to get a sip of it unless there us true devolution.

    Letters like Mr. Cooray’s white washes the tar on the wall. If you are serious about a peaceful Sri Lanka, the sinhalese should start suggesting, a devolution plan or a federal model. We should stop all this touchy feebly discussion, and start working on a plan that will guaranty a peaceful Sri Lanka. The ball is in your court.

    DBSJ – I commend you for giving a space for these discussions. I hope we will move on to talk about the real solution models soon.

  117. #84. shanthi krish
    Mr.Upali Cooray is not retired.He is active and works.
    This very same blood red communist of Lanka Sama Samaaja Party (LSSP) member went to Katragama (when no one ever dared to go and was suicidal) in 1971, met many people there and was able to bring the tiny picture of the beauty queen Prema Manamperi who was sexually tortured not assaulted , dragged on the street ,shot three times in a day at differatnt times and killed by the army. The army got rid of all the photographs and no one was able to get her photo. That photograph was enlarged and was at the CMU head office till I left the country in 1980. I don’t know whether it is there now.
    He went round the globe and protested that every person, regardless of their political opinion and actions are entitled to human and fundamental rights. He campaigned against the killings and disappearances that occurred both in 1971 and 1988-89. He was arrested and detained by the police in Sri Lanka in 1972 for these activities. It was their human rights campaign in 1988-89 that helped Mahinda Rajapakse to present the data he had collected on killings and disappearances during the Premadasa regime. He was also arrested and detained for sometime when he campaigned for workers rights in Balangoda and if I remember correct for the plantation workers too.
    If only people have listened to people like him, today Sri Lanka would have been better than Singapore. They asked for Parity of status.They have forseen this day when the language act was introduced and they asked one language two countries or two languages one country.Now the government of to day accept it. “Sinhala only act of 1956 is a scar in the pages of history– President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga”. [Please refer to transcurrents.com April 2009 issue “Colombo Conference: Meeting Between Diaspora Tamils and the Government of Sri Lanka”] Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma said the samething to day at the opening of a tyre factory.
    So what is good?
    Nothing could be better than reconciliation and find a solution including all communities and equitable for all, that will ensure prescence of justice, absence of war and absence of fear. As he said “creating an institutional framework for ensuring fairness and equal rights to all communities”.

    Ratnam Ganesh.

  118. @116 Naan kadavul
    You say: “when the GOSL turns away an aid ship purely because of its arrogance in ?Victory? and to rub it into the face of the Tamil Diaspora?”

    KadavulE unakku kaN irukkaa??

    If the interest of the Tamil diaspora is really with the suffering Tamil civilians in the Vanni, they would send a ship with a white flag — a flag of peace — rather than with posts in their web site on Eelam and “genocide”. This ship is making a political point, directly antoganising the SL government, so it is to be expected that they will turn it away. It is much to their credit that they turned it away politely, than drill a hole underneath and sink it — a tempting political counter-point. So, either the diaspora is stupid or it is cynical with no actual interest in the sufferings of the Vanni civilians.

    Similarly, those of you who were demonstrating in the UK parliament square and elsewhere before the war ended, if your real interest was with the suffering people, you would have turned up in white dress, waving a white flag. Instead you chose to make it worse for the Vanni Tamils by a determined antoganistic stance in which you waved the flag of the Tigers. That certainly made the GOSL to be ever more determined to “finish it off”, at whatever cost. Clearly, the interest of the diaspora was in making their political statement, than it was with the humanitarian issue of the suffering of the people. Just the same behaviour as those you actually wanted to protect. Yes, your heros who were hiding behind the sarees of old women and babies, who in the end wanted to hang on to their own dear lives, having recommended glorious death, either by cyanide or in the battlefield to other peoples’ children. Tell me, diaspora, why, why, didn’t your leader bite the capsule — after all, when Pulendiran and Kumarappa were caught withouth their capsule, your leader had a suppy smuggled in, didn’t he? Shame, shame!

    Wake up, diaspora, wake up: Urangukinra kumbakarna, ungaL maaya vaaLvellaam, irangukinrathu enru kaaNa ezhunthiraai eZhunthiraai, Karangu pOla vil piditha kaala thoothar kaiyilE, uranguvaai, uranguvaai, inik kidanthu uranguvaai.

    (non- Tamils reading this, I am sorry for writing in Tamil, mine is a beautiful and highly expressive language)

    So, if you, Tamil diaspora, actually care about the suffering people, send some aid directly to the Ramakrishna Mission in Colombo. They are aware what people need in the camps and are able to purchase and send goods. Or send some money to the principal of Ananda College and ask him to organise a lorry load of basic items to be sent to Menik farm. He will do it, efficiently and reliably. The students in that school will help. The people in Vanni need help, and you can help in small ways if you really want to. Many Tamils abroad are helping in small ways like this. Don’t make this antoganistic political point by sending a ship backed by a web-site with an Ealam flag and accusations of genocide — your political point has brought us, Tamils of Sri Lanka, unimaginable misery, thank you very much. Just keep away, you have done enough damage to the people of Vanni, while keeping your own children in safety and comfort. Vanni suffering = diaspora sin!

  119. What is going on now is a classic case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!

    There is a word in German schadenfreude which means deriving pleasure from others misfortune. In Sinhala that would be rachina pathukarala choka baila natamu.

    The fish is rotting from the head down.

  120. A case study on how you snatch defeat from the jaws of victory!

    There is a word in German – schadenfreude – which means deriving pleasure from others misfortune. In Sinhala I guess that would be rachinna pathukarala choka baila natamu!

    The fish is rotting from the head down….

    Oh my people, if only magnanimity were your guide and generosity your compass, we may yet live to see the dawn of tomorrow.

  121. In a previous post I borrowed from Kambar:

    “Urangukinra kumbakarna, ungaL maaya vaaLvellaam, irangukinrathu enru kaaNa ezhunthiraai eZhunthiraai,
    Karangu pOla vil piditha kaala thoothar kaiyilE,
    uranguvaai, uranguvaai, inik kidanthu uranguvaai.”

    How many of you, Tamil diaspora, waving Tiger flag at UK parliament square, willing to impose suffering on Vanni civilians — their children to be sacrificed while yours were at private tuitioins — have read Kambar’s beautiful Raamaayanam? Or how many verses of ThirukkuRaL do you know?

    Keep away from my people if you cann’t understand or translate the above lines from Kambar.

  122. Even today there is a report about a tamil man who was freed from custody by courts, escaping abduction by a black clad gang at pistol point near the courthouse, by running back into the courthouse. He was escorted by lawyers to the police station to make his complaint and be there temporarily for protection overnight,but in the morning when his relatives went to fetch him the police said that he had “left” – and now he is missing.
    Travails of tamils are not yet over.
    LTTE terrorism is now replaced by State Terrorism. IDPs are missing from camps.
    Outsiders are carefully prevented from speaking privately with IDPs.Even last year’s order by supreme court to resettle those displaced much earlier by the High Security Zones, has been ignored. The progress of indictments against more than 600 members of the police and armed forces for human rights abuses as revealed by the lankan delegation to the UN Human Rights Council last year, is not divulged.Nor are progress of indictments against 108 lankan peacekeepers from Haiti,for sexual abuse of haitian females including minors.
    Mr Cooray has all good intentions, but will he address a similar letter to the President?

    Cooray will send a similiar letter to the President if Mahinda was his grand nephew……DBSJ

  123. Thank you Mr. Cooray, for writing this inspiring letter with insight and advice to your nephew and thanks again for DBSJ for making it available for the public.
    Needless to say this is the most post “victory(?)/war” article you have put on your Forum. Many, many thanks to Upali Cooray for mentioning about the Jaffna Tamil Library. We earnestly need broad minded people like you to educate the public through this Forum which we have seen by now, read and commented by many people from all walks of life.

    Thank you “Seelam – Batti”. Your comments #56 was emotional. I openly wept when I read your comments. How our human innocence has been tarnished by these wars and terrorism, not only in Sri Lanka but all around the world.

    Apart from the facts that Upali Cooray mentioned, I also want to frankly suggest to Mr Cooray’s grand nephew, his friends and the people like them, that they DON’T DESERVE any RIGHTS to snobbishly boast about or to be proud of the fight won unless they or their kith and kin risked their own life and served in the army at the battle front. It is NOT like barracking for your country or bragging about your country after a win at Cricket or Rugby match. It is between life and death. Needless to say, this point has been relentlessly pointed out to some TD who lives in overseas comfortably and support the LTTE cadre.

    #89 by R.S Ganeshan

    I fully support the points made by R.S Ganashan. Just look around the world. The root cause for terrorism all around the world is nothing but RELIGIOUS FANATICS. We don’t see us anywhere until this is addressed.

  124. Re comment#133 by Jeyagowri Ganeshan, the people you are talking about, have utmost regard to MIA ( Arulpragasam) and Jan Jananayagam.They will have to google the word kambar to find out ,let alone understand his work!

  125. Comment #130, Jayagowri Ganeshan. “Vanni suffering = diaspora sin!”

    Well said Jayagowri! I hope the Diaspora on the streets whom were waving their Leader’s flag pay for THEIR SINS high time. Over the years, they nourished the Tiger with enough money to go on destroying more lives and now they completed their mission by supporting the Tiger even when it was eating their own people! End product, Vanni suffering = diapora sin.

    Thus, one way those LTTE sympathisers can wash off their sins is by sending their own children (growing up in luxury and comfort) to Vanni camps to help resettle the poor IDP’s whose life they conveniently helped so much to destroy.

    While we the non sympathisers of their beloved LTTE Leader whom were termed “traitors” will chip in whatever small ways we can. At least we do not have big time sins to wash off our hands unlike them!

    By the way, it is also high time the word TRAITOR is permanently removed from the mindsets of the Tamils!

  126. Of all the responses, and there have been many, only two stand out for their honesty, thoughtfullness, blatantly obvious logic and a cracking prose to boot:

    Quid Pro Quo (#126) and Jayagowri Ganeshan (#130) – you rock!!

    I wish these individuals can be invited to write special articles (not just responses) to this blog…

    -Anon

  127. 130. Jayagowri Ganeshan

    In fact, the 8 tonnes of aids were initially prepared mainly for the dying LTTE about a month even before final defeat.

    In my view no one is deserved to die having had nothing to eat for days.No doubt about that. I am talking anyone one.
    Your below comment says:

    “This ship is making a political point, directly antoganising the SL government, so it is to be expected that they will turn it away”

    I agree, however, I think, you and the Sri Lankan government seems to have trouble understanding what LIFE and DEATH situation is all about.

    There is a time to play political games (both sides) and there is a time to respect human beings as human beings. Simple as that.

    The question is WHY WOULD YOU DENY THE MUCH NEEDED FOOD REACHING NEEDY ESPECIALLY WHEN PEOPLE ARE SO HUNGRY AND MALNOURISHED?

    Do you agree. Please no excuse, we are dealing with more than 200 000 people.

    They say; “varratu gowravam” in Tamil. I think its worse than that.

    Frankly the government is so stupid enough, failed to grab the opportunity to show the world/Diaspora its good side (if any) thus reaching out.

    Had they been generous enough in accepting the goods regardless of political differences, you would probably have less pro-LTTE sympathizers protesting the streets of London or Canada.

    Its about turning the heat down not the other way around.

    May be you were right on getting the facts rights but who cares about the fact, really? The “Times” claims to have the “Facts” of about how 20, 000 people got killed in the war. Does any one seems to bother about it?

    After all, you (i think) and I are part of the Diaspora so lets not point the finger at someone. More importantly undermine those who have contributed enormously to the genuine cause by donating so many food item and their time as well.

    We should be highlighting the fact that there are people out there who are willing to help including the Diaspora. And there are people out there who need help. The point is how we can act so that the former can reach the latter.

    What did SL government achieved from this anyway?

    This is just a general observation, no personal attack my friend. I wish we can all be the part of the solution. The problem is what is the likely solution????

  128. #133. Jayagowri Ganeshan:
    “Keep away from my people if you can’t understand or translate the above lines from Kambar.”

    Does this mean that even the most hateful and communal minded persons, if he/she understood these lines are to be allowed to ‘interact’ with Jayagowri Ganeshan’s people?
    And if a person of Tamil heritage who has lived abroad all their lives wishes to know more are they to be rejected for not knowing enough Tamil? Then how will they ever learn?

    Silly mischievous girl!

    The Ramaynam like all great literature belongs to the whole world, same with the Thirukural, and people like Kambar, Thiruvalluvar, Auviar, Kaniyan Poongundran, Shakespeare, Aristotle, Einstein, Jesus, Sakyamuni etc also belong to the whole world.

    You will perhaps observe that in saying the above I am in agreement with Kaniyan Poongundran.
    Tamils on the whole would I think much rather be one of Kaniyan Poongundran’s type of people!

    On the matter of Kambar, little knowledge or partial information are dangerous!
    Where would Kambar be if not for the patronage of the Chola King Rajendra Cholan?
    You have narrow-mindedly focussed on the golden egg and forgotten the goose! That is very silly!

    And it is mischievous to pretend that if not for the Tamil diaspora all would be rosy and well (#130 Jayagowri Ganeshan).
    Whatever the faults and omissions of the Tamil diaspora in the methods employed, nevertheless the attention of the world has been brought to bear on the appalling GOSL inflicted humanitarian situation.

    And how heartless to justify the sending away of the mercy ship at this time!

    It is Jayagowri Ganeshan who should wake up from the illusion and slumber that have covered her!

  129. reply to #140 N2

    you hit the nail on the head mate. I was almost tempted to reply to her, especially about her haranguing the diaspora for their “supposed” lack of knowledge about kamba ramayanam. it brought a smile to my lips…people presume too much nowadays. but i decided to not reply because i did not want to lower myself to such a level and deviate from the topic in hand. thank you for replying though, it touches all the pertinent points

    Ps: i wonder if her kambaramayanam knowledge is the result of listening to “kambavaarithi” or one that’s the result of study. I would like to invite Ms Jayagowri Ganeshan to discuss the pro’s and con’s of such literary works, especially the epics and the anthologies of poems like purananooru and ahananooru in other forums and not on this. i would be glad to share my views on those works of literature, if she is interested, rather than making this forum a stage for those. furthermore, i would also like to remind Ms Jayagowri of the tamil saying “kattrathu kai man alavu, kallaathathu ulakalavu” (what we have learnt is but handful of sand compared to the world of knowledge still out there).

    kind regards
    Ulysses

  130. your display of this letter and the various comments attached are may be good reading. but the reality is the celebration by the victor??? is to reinforce the hand of the victor to continue the annihilation process of the remaining hapless tamils who are refugees in barbed wire encircled camps and the jaffna man living in a virtual prison. so what is the use of a few laudable articles by people of the calibre of cooray

  131. LTTE is no more….
    Hence, Victory is Celebrated….. Understandable
    But why is GoSL still holding 300,000 unarmed civilians as hostages ? Is it part of the celebration too ? Or perhaps humiliation ?
    No other government has held such a large number of people as hostages ever!
    Moreover, Food & Clothing sent to these poor hostages, was sent back by the SL navy. (My English friends couldnt work it out at all !)

    We must have more of Mr.Coorays in the actual think tank structure of SL or face a dark future as writing in blogs will not heal the wounds or find a long term solution.
    Afterall, animals here in England get better treatment than those hostages, and Im sure DBS will agree its the same in his country of domicile.

  132. Rajapakse has his Mahinda Chintanaya for us to know him; SL is for Singalese it seems;& the religion is Budhism; he is willing to give ‘space’ for other religions; he does not realise that he has antagonised 30% of the population with Singala as official language & budhism state religion.
    17% r tamils ie 3.5 million & nearly 1.5 muslims who speak Tamil.
    Surely cannot move forward with 5 million 2nd class citizens; Army Commander has said the Singalese define policy & planning & execution is for them. We Tamils & Muslims have to just live with no say on anything; no wonder no country is pre pared to help with money; the begging for 9 million $ is ignored by the world Bank; the bank has said they should see a visible change in the human rights situation in SL

    But the Rajapakse brothers 5 of them r pocketing the money
    & enriching themselves; a case has been filed agaist Gotha & Basil & Sarath Fonseka; the wheels of justice will slowly spin &
    they will loose their US citizenship & properties& businesses in US

  133. Dear DBSJ,

    ” Hard Talk”

    Could you please bring the contents to your valuable columns [ DBSJ. Web Site], the ” Hard Talk” appearing in the Daily Mirror of our former Minster of Foreign Affairs Mr. Mangala Samaraweera for the befit of our readers.

    Thank You.

  134. Pingback: Comrade Upali Cooray dedicated his life to protection of human rights « In Memory of Upali Cooray

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