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LSSP Did Not Promote Separatism-Upali Cooray: a reply to Channa

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Hello Friends,

The thoughtful letter on the rise of triumphalism in Sri Lanka written by “podi seeya” Upali Cooray to his grand nephew was posted on this blog under the heading “Chauvinist fever following military defeat of LTTE”.

The piece was well-received and evoked a wide range of responses.

Most of them if not all appreciated the analytical advice proffered by Upali Cooray a veteran leftist with a Trotskyite background.

Though I had to edit some comments and respond personally to a few all comments were released with the exception of one that viciously attacked Upali Cooray personally while expressing a contrary viewpoint.

Among the critical comments was one by Channa who argued that chauvinism in some instances was better than socialism because it prevented secession whereas socialism promoted fragmentation.

Channa also criticised the LSSP vehemently.

I felt this attack on the LSSP was unfair and ill-informed.So was his argument about socialism fomenting separatism.

So I responded to Channa (#108) by saying “I think you must study the LSSP history before arriving at such sweeping conclusion…DBSJ”.

Channa responded almost immediately with a second comment (#109).

In that Channa explained that he respected veteran LSSP leaders as gentlemen but reiterated his stance that the LSSP did promote separatism perhaps unwittingly by advocating the right of self-determination.

Channa also repeated his argument that the “Coorays and LSSP were promoting secessionism unknowingly disguised as socialism”.

· Again I responded briefly to Channa (#109)

“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”

Now Mr. Upali Cooray has also sent a lengthy response to Channa . It is a veritable history lesson.

There are many commentators who have expressed contempt about history.

It is my view that history helps us to analyse the past, understand the present and anticipate the future.

It is a sad fact that those who refuse to learn from history are fated to relive it all over again.

So I am carrying Upali Cooray’s response to Channa as a separate post on this blog.

I do feel Upali has been harsh on Channa but I am releasing it in full because Cooray does have the right to respond.

Besides I think the younger readers of this blog need to hear a few home truths.

So here it is friends:


1. I have been ill for a long time and I did not have the time or the inclination to read all the comments that had been made about the letter to my grandnephew. I am heartened by the fact that most people who read my letter-Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim have agreed with my sentiments. Therefore I see little need for a response. However there is one comment that I must deal with because it reveals the nature of people who espouses chauvinism. This is the comment by a gentleman called Channa on 8th June 2009.

2. I have always found that those who espouse chauvinist and ultra-nationalists are often mediocrities that do not know their facts. It is obvious that whatever methodology you employ, once you get your facts wrong, your analysis and conclusions cannot be correct.

3. Although I am not a member of the LSSP (I left the LSSP in 1964 when it decided to go into a coalition with the SLFP), it is important to point out that the accusation that it is the LSSP or socialist ideology that leads to fragmentation of Sri Lanka is a false and baseless charge. It is amusing that the LTTE too attacked the LSSP and the CP for supporting Sinhala supremacy and branded the left leaning EPRLF as Pallan Parayan party.

4. Lets look at the cold facts and see who was responsible for promoting ‘separatism’ and who stood firmly for national independence, unity and territorial integrity. Because of the constraints of space I can only give a few examples:

(a) In the period before and during the 2nd world war all the so-called Sinhala nationalists leaders did not demand independence from the British Raj. It is amusing to see the letters they wrote to their colonial masters pleading that their caste be given more privileges. The only political party that fought for total and unconditional independence from the British was the LSSP. For their forthright position the LSSP was banned and its leaders were arrested and jailed while the great Sinhala leaders collaborated with the imperialists.

(b) After the war they continued to kow tow to the British. Instead of developing the country they maintained a system that only favoured the elite. The Sinhala only Act was eyewash and a cheap gimmick to win votes and not an effort to help the majority of Sinhala people. This elite continued to send their children abroad to be educated in English. The LSSP warned the dangers of adopting the Sinhala only Act. Colvin R de Silva in his famous speech indicated the danger by stating that ‘you could have one language and two nations or two languages and one nation’. The LSSP campaigned to have both languages as official languages. Interestingly enough one of the closest confidantes of President Mahinda Rajapakse, Mr. Dallas Alahapperuma, has recently agreed that Bandaranaike’s move to make Sinhala only as the official language was a mistake and that President Rajapakse has remedied it. Thus it is not the LSSP that stoked the fires of separatism.

(c) In 1978 the LTTE and other Tamil armed groups were small and ineffective. Most of them were treated as a joke. The best recruiting agent for the LTTE was J.R.Jayawardene. Contrary to Channa’s false allegation Prabhakaran was never a leftist or an admirer of leftist ideology. Two erroneous policies were responsible for giving a boost to separatism. First was the campaign of pogroms beginning with 1977, 1981 and 1983. In particular after the pogrom of 1983 thousands of Tamil youth in Colombo flocked to join the armed struggle. The LTTE and other armed other groups had so many people volunteering to join the fight that they found it difficult to absorb them. The other blunder was the attempt to set up a US Base in Trincomalee. This alarmed the Indian government and to teach JR a lesson, the Indians armed and trained the LTTE and others. The LSSP and all other left groups opposed the pogroms and opposed the attempt to establish a Yankee base in Sri Lanka. I do not know where Channa was at the time of the 1983 pogrom. Many of us did our best to protect out Tamil brothers and demonstrate that ordinary Sinhala people do not support these mindless attacks on ordinary Tamils living among us. I can remember the black Friday in July 1983. Few of us had gone to the GCSU Office to ring round people and see what can be done to stop these mindless attacks. The local Buddhist priests in Rajamalwatte were extremely helpful. When we returned to our home we saw a mob chasing a young Tamil. They were hysterical and wanted to tie him to a tree in our front garden and burn him alive. Against the advise of all the people around me I ran to the spot and asked the people to stop this madness. They began to shout at me. Fortunately for me a well-built young man who lived in the house opposite to ours, came out and asked the people to disperse. I had given him a helping hand a few days prior to this incident and he reciprocated by saving the life of this young Tamil, who turned out to be a young schoolboy. But there were many like Channa who was in that mob who wanted to kill and burn alive innocent Tamil people who had lived in the south all their lives. It is they who stoked the fires of separatism and not the LSSP.

(d) After 1987 Indo-Lanka accords, a majority of Tamil groups agreed to accept the 13th amendment and work within a united Sri Lanka. The EPRLF won the North East Provincial Council elections but the Premadasa government refused to provide any funding. The Chief Minister of the NE Provincial Council met Premadasa on no less than 69 occasions and tried to get funds that had already been allocated to operate the Provincial Council. Instead Premadasa armed the LTTE and ordered the Indian troops out when it was on the verge of smashing the LTTE. The LSSP and other left groups opposed this strategy. Premadasa gave separatism a new lease of life.

(e) The final examples I would give is the role played by Ranil Wickremasinghe and the UNP government in 2001 to give unprecedented privileges to the LTTE under the so called Ceasefire agreement. It is not the LSSP that disclosed the names of security forces and supporters who organised undercover operations against the LTTE. It is not the LSSP that provided the LTTE with a powerful transmitters and freedom to roam around anywhere in the country. It is the very Sinhala leaders who lose no opportunity visit every Buddhist temple.

5. Thus the claim that the LSSP (or the socialists) promoted separatism is lie that chauvinists like Channa propagate in order to cover up their own role in creating the conditions for ethnic conflict and separatism. Socialists stand for greater unification and not break up of countries into small states. Sometimes non-socialists understand the importance of larger political entities. For instance Angarika Dharmapala believed that Sri Lanka should be a part of India. It is chauvinists like Channa who sow the seeds of discord and separatism.

6. I attack chauvinism because it is alien not only to socialism but it is also alien to our culture. Lord Buddha did not say ‘Sinhala sathvayo niduk weva nirogi weva, suwapathweva’ (Sinhala beings should be free of misery, free of ill ness and be contented) he said “Siyalu sathvayo niduk weva nirogi weva, suwapathweva”. He did not say that loving compassion (Maitreya) should only extend to your relatives, friends, tribe or ethnic groups. So Channa is not only against socialism but is also against basic human and religious values that all great religious leaders have espoused. Her represents the barbarism or the Nazis and Fascists.

7. Finally, I am not sure whether Channa is your real name. If it is, it is unfortunate because the horseman and trusted Escort of Gautama Buddha was called Channa. In Sri Lanka ruled by Chauvinists neither Channa the horseman nor Gautama Buddha would be welcome because they are ‘paradeskkarayas’ ( Indian foreigners).

– Upali Cooray

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  1. Mr Cooray, let me congratulate you for this really informative letter of yours. One does not find such unbiased and factual articles often nowadays. I hope you have recovered from your recent illness and that you be here with us for a long time to come.

    I too read Channas comments about the socialists. I was tempted to reply to him but did not, because i was under the impression that sometimes no amount of logic and reason would be enough to make people let go of certain views they hold dear, notwithstanding the validity(or the lack of) of those facts. I salute you sir, for trying. When i read this letter i learnt a lot of things i did not know myself. I think that even if this letter were to have no effect on Channa, it would surely enrich many others who read it.

    My grandfather belonged to your era, and he used to tell me that the only people who really cared about the minorities were the socialists. He used to say that they were a world apart from politicians from other parties, not only because of their unswerving support for equality, but also because of their dedication. He used to repeat the Colin R de Silva’s quote you quoted quite often. hardly a socialist politician of yore enriched himself because of his station, something one hardly sees in politicians from other parties. In fact, politics now has become a sure-fire way of making some quick dough.

    you mentioned that a lot of people advocated for special privileges for their castes, i would like to add the drive for a seperate country for the hill country/kandyan Sinhalese that was quite popular in the 40s to it too. These facts are all too “inconvenient” for those in power now. they would rather have the people imbibe their version of how things were.

    last but not the least, most who oppose the socialists do not realize that that the “free education”, ‘free medicare” what we all take for granted were the results of socialist ideals too. one would shudder to think what would have happened if they too were fully privatized, as the likes of Channa would have it.

    on a final note, i would like to say that if we were to reconcile as a nation; we need you or someone like you as our president. the current politicians are nothing but leeches and without someone of your caliber at the helm im afraid we will fail as a nation, again and again because as you have rightly said, unless we learn from history we are bound to repeat it. I belong to the minority community but would gladly have you as the president than anyone else we have right now.

  2. While agreeing with Upali Cooray on most,there were instances that” LEFT”remained silent when Srimavo’s GOSL implemented Standardisation.Peter Kenamen,N M Perrera and Colvin R De Silva all were cabinet ministers when Baddudin Mohamed the then education minister brought this act.
    This, in my mind is the single most reason why the Tamil youth felt they have no hope under united SL.As most tamils viewed higher education as stepping stone towards prosperity.
    Later on there were left leaders like Vasudeva Nanayakara of NSSP who stood for equality and commanded a respectable support from Tamils.
    Dinesh Gunawadena was MEP if my memory serves me right.We all know about his views.
    Tamil left leaders like V.Ponnambalam remained some what ambiguous for a long time.So was Shanmugadasan.
    So it’s erroneous to paint all left leaders with the same brush. There were times even the same leaders have dithered.
    Correct me if I am wrong.

  3. Thanks DBS & Cooray. I think this blog is creating a healthy dialouge among people of different view points which I sincerely believe will help policy makers and the general public.

    Mr Cooray is indeed harsh on me to allege that I’m a sinhala chauvinist and an extremist, but I respect his views as a senior citizen and a person with much experience than me. I agree very much with Mr Coorays 4) a-e insights of historical events. But I refute his personal views on me.

    I wish to put two matters straight that hurt me personally.

    1. I was only a frightened 10year old school boy clinging onto my mothers saree when she valiently took me safe home during the mid day riots in July’83. I saw how opportunist robbers, not sinhala chauvunists (sparing a few dozen) killing innocent tamils to loot shops. That is true because never after 1983, we witnessed a carnage in the south despite the LTTE bombing & killing innocent sinhalese, tamils and muslims all over the south. If Sinhala extremism was a repetitive thing in the minds of the sinhalese, there would have been retaliation but it is not so to date.

    2. My real name is Channa Ranasinghe. I live in Battaramulla. I do not need a cover.

    To touch base, to say that separtism is a by-product of socialist ideals is something I wish to reiterate because Prabhakaran himself said that his organisation is a socialist outfit. Almost all secessionist group around the world like IRA, Basque, Hamas, are left leaning. Contrary to that, Chauvenist/fundamental states such as in the Muslim states ie Middle East. never have separatist tendencies. The only movement is a lone Kurdish voice, but that too is not prominent.

    I am not at all saying that chauvanism is good and socialism is bad in toto. In theory, these concepts must be studied assuming that ‘other factors remain constant’ – just the opposite way of empirical studies.

    Mr Cooray should let me know why former LSSP stalwart Wickremabahu Karunarathna is extremely unpopular. He espouse a socialist view point and concludes that an autonomy for tamils in the N/E is the solution. But he is not taken seriously even by tamils let alone sinhalese in the multi-ethnic Colombo seats!

    Another, LSSP veteran is Prof Tissa Vitarana. Like the educated Bahu, he is struggling to put a ‘package’ out. The gentleman says that they are against breaking up Sri Lanka, but what guarantee do we the sinhalese/ muslims plus non-violent tamils have that the tamil diaspora, the TNA with some NGO’s will not drift away from forming a separate country in the N/E?

    To me the tendency for a separate state is the ‘greed’ to become presidents/primeministers and ministers of a plot of land by politicians. In our case, Prabhakaran, Vaikos, Jananayagams, Sambanthans et al are all driven by that motive. If you analyse their teen and youth at some stage they were inspired by socialist ideals aka LSSP/Trotsky style.

    Simply put, learnered Bahu and Vitharanas do not see that ‘regional autonomy on boundary lines’ ( internal or external self determination as DBS put) is a stepping stone for a separate state like happened to Kosovo. The UN/EU will in no time will accept it because economics say that is easy to do business with smaller states. The Hong Kong example is a another case where the might of Chinese kept it in close politically within the boundaries of China, but yet the Chinese had to cease economic autonomy to the HK people.

    Concludingly, I must say as I said in my comments of 108 & 109 chauvanism had successfully resisted armed separtism in Sri Lanka with the end of the war last month. It is the chauvanist attitude of all sinhalese( Mahinda, Rathnasiri, Dayan J, Sarath F, Wimal, Somawansa & Medhanada thero etc ) and muslims (Athaulla, Ferial, no less muslim businessman) and importantly, a good part of peace loving tamils(Sangaree, Vigneswaran, Deva, Karuna & Rajan H) that gave the psycho-muscle to the armed forces to crush the LTTE.

    If at all there were road blocks, it was the left led by LSSP/CP comrads, bankrupt socialists like Chandrika & Mangala of Sudu Nelum fame along with a handful of NGO academics(like Jehan, Pakiasothy, Radhika, Nimalka…) who said that the war is unwinnable.

    One request to Mr Cooray. Do not paint me as sinhala-buddhist chauvanist who hate tamils. Personlly, I have lot of Wellawatte tamil friends than in my sinhalese Battarmulla, and they are very peace loving people who sigh relief in these post LTTE days. Neither they have left leanings and do not want self determination but need water, housing, education, roads, jobs etc with decentralisation of administrative power. ie Divisional Secratariat level.

    Thanks to you DBS. Also I wish longevity and good health to our comrade Cooray to enlighten us lads.

  4. Mr Cooray,
    An interesting piece of writing by you but I feel you are not painting an accurate picture of history. I feel that with 20-20 hindsight you are trying to justify the action of the leftist parties like LSSP and CP and sanitize their role in the racial debacle that we have in Sri Lanka. Let’s examine your points one by one.

    You say, in the pre-war and during the war era, Sri Lankan nationalists asked for privileges based on based on cast. True, but that was almost inevitable given the very strongly cast based society that prevailed in Ceylon at that time. To say that LSSP did not indulge in cast based politics is disingenuous. In 60, 70s and 80s, pretty much all political parties, including the so called left parties selected and nominated candidates for parliamentary elections based on cast. For example, your great Mr. Colvin R De Silva contested and entered the parliament from an electorate that had majority of the voters that belong to the cast that he is from. This was the reality of the times and the nature of the society at that time. However highly regarded, it would have been almost impossible for Colvin win a parliamentary seat, say in the upcountry Kandian area, just as it would have been equally impossible for say, Mr. T. B. Illangaratne, who was a great politician from Kandy to win a seat down south.

    In hindsight, it is universally accepted by the Singhalese that the Singhala only act of the 50s and the race based university entrance standardization scheme were the two colossal blunders that the governments of the day enacted setting the stage to the birth of militant Tamil movements. You say that LSSP campaigned against the language act. However, when the LSSP was in power in the sixties and seventies, did your party try to revoke the act? No, because that would have been political suicide for your party. Similarly, your party with CP and SLFP were responsible for the university entrance standardization act. A previous poster has already pointed out this fact. So despite your attempts to absolve LSSP from responsibility for the racial divide, I don’t think that the history would judge your party that kindly.

    You correctly have identified the pogroms of 77, 81 and 83 acting as recruiting tools for Tamil militancy. In 77, the UNP had just come in to power, so one could argue that the foundations for the riots in 77 were laid during your party’s tenure in power from 70 to 77. You claim that there was an attempt to set up a US base in Trincomalee and that Indian support for the Tamil militants stems from this. This is a myth. Can you or anyone else provide evidence that then government was trying to give a base to the US in Trinco? Given that just 500 miles to the south, USA has a huge military based in Diago Garcia islands, a US base in Trinco just does not make any sense. Indian anger against Sri Lanka came about from the personal animosity between Indira Gandhi and JR (who once called Indira a cow at an election meeting) and India’s unhappiness at Sri Lanka turning towards a market economy and moving away from the non-aligned nation’s movement and tilting towards the West.

    You have written very movingly about your actions in saving helpless victims from mobs during 83 riots. I am sure every one will applaud your actions. However, I must point out very respectfully, that such acts of compassion and courage were shown by many Singhalese, regardless of their political affiliations. I am not trying to belittle your acts, but I am saying that your actions had nothing to do with your political ideals but had everything to do with the fact that you are a decent human being.

    However, I will say one thing. Your party heavily contributed to the concept of state control over every facet of Sri Lankan society which ultimately led to the breakdown of racial harmony. Under your ideals, the state controlled the how and in which language people got educated. The state controlled the industries, how, when and where jobs were created. Under your party’s ideals, the state decided if one could go out of the country. Under a such controlled economy, coupled with an official language act which said that Singhala is the only official language, are you surprised that Tamil people would have problems finding decent jobs, finding decent ways to educate their kids? Do you agree that under a more liberal free market economy, where it is the private sector that creates jobs and controls more of the economy, there would be more opportunities that would not be based on what language one spoke, but based on who the best person is to do a job.

    Finally, you take a personal dig at Channa, saying that in a Sri Lanka ruled by Chauvinists neither Channa the horseman nor Gautama Buddha would be welcome. I would point out that xenophobia is not an exclusive trait of chauvinists or politicians of non-left persuasion; it is a useful tool that all political parties use to manipulate the common people. The most recent example being the so called “leftist” party of JVP.

    I don’t subscribe to the argument that LSSP (or the socialists) promoted separatism. But I do believe that the LSSP and the socialists, with their highly theoretical ideology of centralized control, were also responsible for laying the foundation for the racial divide that we see in Sri Lanka. The history will say that all political parties, and politicians were responsible for the racial catastrophe that we all have witnessed and gone through. I don’t think history will give a free pass to the LSSP in that respect.

  5. Upali Cooray forgets that it was Colvin who wrote the 1972 constitution which failed to give official status to Tamil language. Also it gave a special status for Buddism but not other religions.

  6. The Tamils and Tamil Speakers in Sri Lanka MUST realise that their destiny lies with the majority in the country the Sinhala-Buddhists.

    If this is realised and they work for themselves and in turn for the benefit of the whole country I do not think ANY problem will arise.









  7. DBSJ is a Tamil journalist who promotes friendship and amity among communities. This article is good but does not foster unity I think. It does not fit here

  8. I enjoyed reading Mr. Cooray’s thoughts. Socialists and leftists the world over are condemned for being too “idealistic” and sometimes for the right reasons and sometimes for obviously wrong ones.

    But relevant to this discussion. Let me be subjective. I am a Tamil who has all along lived in India, in nearly every urban/metropolitan area of the country. I have never felt being an alien in other parts of the country despite being a Tamil proud of his heritage and his linguistic culture.

    In India, a federal solution was made possible after independence and there was similar discontent against Hindi imposition in Tamil Nadu in the mid-1960s. What was instituted there-after was a compromise wherein English became the communicative language between the non-Hindi states and others and also the institution of Tamil as one of many national languages.

    This “concession” and a federal solution (despite a strong centre) eventually ensured that the Tamil speaking areas became an integral part of India and in many ways contributing as much to India’s polity, economy and vitality as any other federal unit.

    That does not mean that everything is hunky-dory with Indian federalism. There is discontent in Kashmir and also in the North-East parts of the country and there was discontent in states such as Punjab. But whenever federalism is strengthened and regional/minority forces demanding exclusive rights or fighting alleged discrimination are accommodated within the federal structure, the problems have generally been resolved democratically. Some festers exist because of historical reasons and mistakes by the Indian state, but a purely military solution has only exacerbated the situation as in Kashmir for example.

    Sorry for the lengthy detour on India, but it is important to note that despite the military defeat of the LTTE, the aspirations of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka and their grievances remain. As Mr. Cooray so rightly points out, these grievances were a consequence of ethnic chauvinism and elitism of the upper class segments of Sri Lankan society and that has achieved a greater zeal because of the actions of the near past by the counter-ethno-nationalist project spearheaded by the LTTE.

    Socialists – genuine ones – make a necessary claim of addressing the discontent among the oppressed/repressed/ disadvantaged sections. They always try to address these concerns politically through institutional structures. My understanding is that the LSSP tried to establish a similar solution to the ethnic /linugistic conflict through institutional means, only to be thwarted by chauvinist likes.

    Vellupillai Prabhakaran was inspired by socialist organisations only to the extent of adopting their military tactics and military organisational abilities – particularly to grow from virtually nothing to a potent guerilla force. He and his organisation never learnt to convert into an inclusive force that gave up claims of exclusivism or exceptionalism and instead adopted chauvinist authoritarianism. To therefore say that LTTE was inspired by socialist ideals is crazy.

    It is my contention that the current solution to the conflict will be a permanent one only when there is enough consideration for the “other” – a concept and philosophy that is inherently leftist. Tendencies of separatism and secessionism are only extinguished if the cause and reason for such tendencies are removed. And that removal will happen only by accommodation and genuine devolution in a democratic manner.

    I hope that wizened people like Mr. Cooray and others are listened to in this climate of triumphalism in Sri Lanka and Tamils and Sinhalese manage to work out a nation that is atleast as federal as India is, if not better.

  9. Thanks Mr Cooray for the political history.

    I was from Jaffna and the only Sinhala politician I ever paid attention was Vasudeva Nanayakara and that was also when I was only 10-11 years old. So I was not aware of these fights between chauvinism, socialism, capitalism etc..

    However may I ask you some hard questions directly?

    1)Who is behind the burning of Jaffna Tamil Library? Was Maha Sanga involved in it?

    2)When it comes to minority rights, who is against it, Maha Sanga or the mainstream politicians?

    3)Do you think SL can ever eliminate the involvement of Maha Sanga in its state affairs?

    4)Did your party ever campaign for getting rid of Maha Sanga in SL’s state affairs?

    I apologise for putting these questions straight forward. However I strongly believe religious involvement in state affairs is deadly. Just look around the world. Christianity came from Judaism. Islam came from Christianity. Still all these countries fight with each other and kill each other for stupid religious reasons.

    I should say that the single root cause for terrorism in whole world currently is due to religious fanatics. Do not get me wrong. I have tremendous respect and admiration of CULTURAL, LINGUISTIC and ARCHITECTURAL aspects of ALL religions around the world. However these religious fanatics LITERALLY believe whatever said in those religious scripts and they create all sorts of problems. Who would want to believe Jesus Christ woke up from death after 3 days??

    I do have great respect for Clergy of any religion. They sacrifice their whole life for serving others. It is very sad their name and character get tarnished all the time because of the actions of a few elements within them.

    I am not accusing Maha Sanga as religious fanatics. However the way GOSL and Maha Sanga behaved after the “victory” was not appropriate at all.

    Let me tell you a story. When we were kids in Jaffna, one of our Aunts tragically got killed by a car at young age. It was a very sad event. We all mourned a lot. But I will never forget the way our dog mourned with us. He didn’t want to eat for many days. His eyes were always moist and sat at the front door and watched us all the time. After a few days, my father got on his bike and rode to the paddy field which was about 7 miles away. When he got down the bike at the field, he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw our dog at his leg. All the way our dog had run behind his bike. Our dog never did this before. He sensed that his master was sad that he had to give him company. Our dog didn’t get back to normal until we kids start laughing and playing.

    I am at lost. Who has the most wisdom? Our four legged friends, or we, people who claimed to have that extra sense than animals or the people who went through all those “spiritual awakening”, “soul searching”, “truth seeking” etc. etc., non-senses training! I don’t want to say anything more to this. My blood still boils when I think of the callousness of those celebrations after the victory without honouring the death and suffering of so many people. Why are they doing all these religios ceremonies, building Viharas in Jaffna etc., in such a hurry?

    The other issue I always think is why SL has public holidays in every Poya days? It is really a laughing matter having more than 26 public holidays in a year and panhandling for Aids. You know, what really annoyed me with these Poya public holidays when I was a student at school and at university, the constant hassle the teachers and students had to go through adjusting the timetables to balance the work missed on these Poya days if these Poya days fell often on a particular day of the week. Whole country is in truth seeking adventure for a whole day in every 28 days. Only the economists would know what the crippling effect of that ratio of (1/28) on a country’s economy.

    To put is simply, problems with Tamils are disunity and lack of practicality. Main problem for Sinhalese (in fact to whole Sri Lanka) is Maha Sanga.

    There won’t be many problems in any Nation if the country is economically sound and treats its people morally and equally. For Sri Lanka to achieve this dream we need to have a visionary leader like Lee Kuan Yew and the abolition of Maha Sanga’s power in state affairs.

    For this to occur we need to have a revolution.

    Come on Boys! Let us start all over again!
    This time no nonsense of Tamil, Sinhala etc. Leave that crap out.
    I’ll bet you. This time all of our SANE brothers will join us. Let us name it.

    “Liberation of Real Workers of Ilanka” – LRWI

    Shout louder, shout harder. Let the UN hear us.

    “We want our work rights”
    “We want to work on Poyas”
    “We want our work rights”
    “We want to work on Poyas”
    “We want our work rights”
    “We want to work on Poyas”

  10. i beleive the main reason why mr. cooray left the lssp was because the lssp joined the government(SLFP),completly ignoring the ideals of the leftist politics.lssp was never for the seperation of s.l.lssp was if iam correct for devolution of power.the jvp who called themselves marxists together with the jhu,with their chauvinist andnationalistic politics would lead to the seperation of s.l. at the same time iwould like to mention there are many tamils,specially from the n.p. who are also chauvinists. the solution for the ethnic problem cannot be dictated by the jaffna tamils only.we have the tamils from the e.p. the s.l.an tamils indian origin,tamils living in the so called sinhale areasand the tamil speaking people namely the muslims.the diaspora tamils should be very carefull in their actions,because they could prevent devolution of power,which in turn would harm the tamils muslims and sinhalese living in s.l.as a dispora s.l. i know only a few would go back to s.l,even if we have a just government,because moneyis important.i look forward and for the start iam for a federal setup in s.l.,because f.setup is just and does not lead to the seperation of s.l. ranjit de mel. s.lankan mindset. ranjit-de-mel@t-online.de

  11. In my opinion the solution should be some thing that create unity rather than more division. In that sense the federal solution will only create further divisions. What is federal? Transferring a set of political powers to a particular set of politicians. How the common people will be benefited by such a solution?

    I think we have to make this country a bitter place for politicians and that will make the country better place for the ordinary people.

    In that sense we need strong laws enforced by the constitution where politicians should have no freedom to abuse power and discriminate against ordinary people. Judiciary, Elections conducts, Police, Media etc should be independent from political interference.

    Politicians should be answerable to each and ever bit of work he/she would do within and without the government. Laws should be enforced by the constitution for politicians to be answerable for its actions and loose political power until proves innocence.

    We should not call ourselves as Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims etc but as Sri Lankas. There should be no utmost place for any religions and at the same time their should be no any place for religious conversions. There should be no any place for laws that discriminate against others such as Kandian laws, Muslim laws or Thesevalame laws. There should be no particular ethnic majority areas. All should learn to live together as one nation and motivated as such.

  12. Dear jay,

    I picked this up from a website, it is rather hilarious and i thought i will post it ,to lighten up things .However please feel free to delete or publish after reading.

    Keep up the great work.

    Take care.
    Angelo (From the city by the sea,)

    As the dream of a separate Tamil Homeland fades away in Sri Lanka; Tamil homeland experts are finding new evidence in Australia’s Northern Territory, which they say was once an ancient Tamil Kingdom. The Northern Territory is home to Australia’s largest population of Aboriginal people,
    the NT offers a rich array of Aboriginal culture with its 40,000 year old traditions – including basket weaving, spear fishing and storytelling.

    Experts found the evidence, as a hiker discovered a well preserved Vada and Dosa parcel buried in a cave. Carbon dating in a German lab has found this package to be atleast 27,000 years old. Tamil historians in Tamil Nadu say rock paintings of short dark men and women, on the cave walls suggest they were Tamils. They say the cave found in the World Heritage site, Kakadu National Park was originally called Kakaduthurai during the Tamil Kingdom. They also say the iconic Uluru was a holy city called Uluruppalam.

    Plans are now underway by the Tamil Diaspora to establish a homeland in Northern Australia and as further evidence surface will be expanded to cover whole of Australia. The new flag will be the same except the soon to be extinct Liberation Tamil Tiger will be replaced with the now extinct Tazmanian Tiger. The most difficult for the rest of the world will be to understand the already difficult aussie accent with a really heavy Ds and Rs in accommodating the influx of white Australians world over.

    Just like what happened in Sri Lanka, major Australian cities’ names during the time of the Tamil kingdom are as followes:


  13. Comment #8, Srinivasan,

    I am an Indian Tamil too and I fully endorse your views on the Indian federalism. However, I don’t think this will fit in SL. I was a proponent of Indian style federal set up in SL till about a year ago but in the last six months, I changed my views after taking a close look at some demographical and geographical facts of SL. Here are the facts.

    1. Area of SL is 65,000 sq.km; Area of TamilNadu is 130,000 sq.km. SL is just half of TN in size.

    2. The NE parts of SL comprise approximately 32% of SL land area, that is 20,000 sq.km. This is approximately equal to the area of 4 southern TN districts of Madurai, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Ramanathapuram but with a much smaller population.

    3. Population of SL is about 20 million. Of this, the Tamil population is about 18% . But what is to be noted here is the demographical distribution. Of this 18%, about 4.5% live in the south and about 5% live in the hill country (Indian or plantation tamils). This leaves only 9% in the NE parts. Approximately 50% of the total population of tamils is outside north and east of SL. In other words, a federal state in the NE will only cover about 10% of the total population of the country. Is this necessary? This is peculiar to SL. In India, we don’t have a situation where 50% of a particular ethnic community lives outside its linguistic state. I don’t think this is the case in any other country as well.

    4. Another pertinent point is, if such a state govt comes into being, will the tamil population living in other parts of the country move in there? Most likely, not. Then, such a situation will only create needless resentment among the majority from a view that a small section of the population is being pampered with. This is much like the majority resentment in India about minority appeasement.

    Therefore, what is needed in SL is more powers to the divisional secretariats. Much like more powers to local bodies like corporations and municipalities in India. The kind of Indian federalism won’t work in SL. No wonder, the Sinhalese hardliners believe that a federal structure will ultimately lead to a separate nation. There is much substance in that fear. But there are two major steps that the SL govt must take immediately. They are (a)implementation of Tamil as an official language in letter and spirit and (b) more political representation to Tamils in proportion to their population. The latter however rests on the unity amongst tamil groups. If all the tamil groups come together and form a single political entity they can easily get their due share.

  14. I submitted a lengthy comment but it seems to have vanished!


    Kumar , Thank you for posting. It was released a few minutes ago.

    You post it at 5.09 am and complain 10 minutes later about it “disappearing”.

    While I understand your impatience you must also realise that one cannot sit at a computer 24 houyrs of the day releasing comments.

    If I am at the computer I release them quickly. Otherwise there is a delay .

    Besides finding time is a big problem for me

    By the way unlike some other sites which receive “funds” from different sources this blog and other websites I am involved with do not get any monertary assistance from anywhere.

    There are a few google ads we run and if one clicks on it we get a “pittance” in return. But very few click on them and we too dont carry many so the financial return is extremely meagre

    Two friends (on the technical, presentation side) and I run these sites as a “labour of love” and due to some sense of commitment.

    We work elsewhere and give of our time .money , energy etc for these.

    In my case apart from working elsewhere I also have to keep on gathering information about current events, write up articles and now keep responding to comments and mails.

    I try to reply mails but the load is heavy and some are delayed or unanswered.

    I apologize for that.

    Some ask questions requiring lengthy detailed answers. I just dont have time and energy to respond.

    Given my health concerns , energy level, financial returns, heavy toll of time, the abuse and threats received it requires immense will power to keep at it

    Sometimes I wonder whether all this is worth it……………..

    Sorry to say all these but it just burst out when I saw your impatient comment.

    I guess I just wanted to tell you that no one is paying me to sit here all day running these sites and blog and not to expect instant attention

  15. Having seen the posts of both Upali & Channa and comments like “…..why is that people like Comrades N.M;Colvin;Pieter ;Shan, Vaithi;Karthgesu; Karals;Bala Tampoe; Vasu; Bahu for that matter the entire Lankan left brigade did not have the support and sympathy of the masses…… I can only think of what the Buddha is said to have thought. It is said:
    “How can it be that Brahma
    Would make a world and keep it miserable,
    Since if all powerful,he leaves it so,
    He is not good,and all that powerful
    He is not God?”

    With that thought I think that I can be content with the fact that the fight for freedom will go on .Many will pay little heed and will argue, quarrel and forget the larger good and be blind to truth, freedom and vision. They will make truce with tyrants and grow tame and will gather up cast rags and shards to wear.

    In the name of law and order, tyranny will try crushing those who will not submit. The very thing that is refuge for the weak and oppressed will be a weapon in the hands of the oppressor, but we will relent not and give up the struggle, otherwise life would be dull.
    The ranks of Upali and DBSJ will grow and advance to final success.

  16. Dear Mr. DBS
    I am an avid reader of your column in this blog as well as newspapers. I have to sadly say that chauvinism rules the roost just now and our people may not see ‘sense’ for a long time to come. Upali Coorays contribution is good but not factually correct at times. I commend the rejoinders by Ranjan – Toronto and Deva who are eye openers.

    Thantrige ( I am a sihalaya by the way )

  17. Channa’s inferance that there were no pograms or even race riots in the South after 1983 is not exactly correct. My belief is, after the Tit for Tat killing in Anuradhapura, the riots at a drop of the hat stopped.

    The Singhalese got the message that the Tamils can hit back too.

    I do not believe in violence for violence sake, my thoughts are that the Tamils did not take the war to the Singhalese in the South, the Singhalese brought the war and aerial bombing North on the Tamils that were retalliated by the weak man’s tools – the suicide bomber.

  18. Channa,

    I suggest you think carefully about why your reply was selected for rebuttal.

    It was because it typifies the thinking of many sinhalese, typically under 40 and male who while denying being racist, and aware of recent Sri Lankan politics are totally ignorant of events in the stream of history. The sad truth is if you were aware of it in the way Mr Cooray and Mr Jeyaraj are, you would not allow your goodwill as a human being to be swept up by the tide of nationalist pride that is at its floods today. You would see how cataclysmically destructive it has been and question rather than endorse the viler instincts of those in power. It is extraordinary that you would claim that chauvinism defeated separatism when it is plainly obvious chauvinism created nurtured this manyheaded hydra that destroyed Sri Lanka. It is not clear what fantasyland you are living in. Are the drugs cut with bleach in Bataramulla?

    If you were aware of history you would not attempt to find a net gain for sinhalese chauvinism (there has only been gross failure), nor would you create false idiotic amateurish dichotomies pitting it against socialism and lumping all progressive apolitical voices such as jehan, or Paikiasothy. This thinking has sinister echoes of Rajapakse’s claim that there are only patriots and non-patriots now.

    I suspect this has happened because like many others believing the war has successfully defeated the LTTE, you now endorse the glowering nationalist and communal arrogance at its emotional heart.

    Many of your interpretations are wrong because of your shortsighted knowledge of history. Prabakaran was the least socialist of all the Tamil leaders, in fact the organisation he modelled was closest to ethno-fascism. This is perhaps the reason why his movement was the most “successful” of all the other militant groups because it addressed Tamil problems as Tamil and ethnic not economic or proletarian. It also avoided it being left in the dustbin of history as socialism came to discredited in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

    Also it the support of the international community that was instrumental in defeating the LTTE. Your Sinhala chauvinism that was the “psycho muscle” of the army was taken from pillar to post for most of the last 26 years by the LTTE until the IC (the West, India and China) stepped into dismantle Tiger networks, provide military intelligence, military hardware and know-how along with diplomatic muscle. Yet in your bizarre disconnected paranoid ramblings you talk of the IC creating Eelam as Hong Kong to do business! Truly comic! Your ignorance and parochialism is breathtaking!

  19. People need to be careful when labeling others as racists and chauvinists. Every person has an attachment to his/her nationality and tries to defend it. IMO defending one’s nationality is not chauvinism but degrading other nationalities in the process is. For example, just before MR’s speech at the Parliament, there was a monk who came on Rupavahini and said that he was able to collect lot of aid for the IDPs from Sinhala area’s but little from Tamil areas. What was his implication– Sinhalese are a more compassionate people than Tamil? Even if there was a disparity in the amount of aid collected from different areas common sense should tell anyone that Sinhalese cannot be any more or less compassionate than Tamil for they are all humans with similar genetic make up!

    When it comes to chauvinism and racism, there is a spectrum of views. It is not black or white. Similarly, when trying to talk about equality between Sinhala and Tamils as ethnicities, there are obvious cases where the two communities are not equal. For example, Sinhala community has made more contribution in building up the ancient Sri Lankan civilization than the Tamil community. Is pointing out this fact an act of chauvinism? Most certainly not! However if one uses it in a way to look down on the Tamils, then that would constitute as an act of chauvinism. Of course this is subtle and people do make mistakes. People like Sarath, Gotabhaya, Ellavalamedhana thero etc. none of these people are politicians. Gotabaya I recall once said that after the war there needs to be a political solution to address the ethnic problem and creating a whole bunch of regional units with more chief ministers and governors etc. may not be the answer. They are speaking for the rights of the majority and there is nothing wrong with it– however they need to be mindful when making statements that they do not degrade or hurt the minority. This is even more complicated since people are not perfect. Hence when speaking about ethnic conflict or anything related, one needs to analyze how it will be received by this imperfect, fragment, deeply emotional society.

    Since there is this danger of one stepping onto other’s toes whenever going through history, some accuse history as the culprit of all this mess and that we should not teach history to our students or that not speak about our history at all. However, this is also a very unwise move for it is history and evolution that constitutes our identities. Both communities have a vibrant history and hence it should never be abandoned. It is easy for more or less uniform communities like Japanese to integrate for their differences are minor but Sinhalese and Tamils need to integrate and learn to respect each other while been fully aware of each others past. Otherwise, it would give rise to a lost generation like VP himself once said about diaspora children.

  20. Who is behind the burning of Jaffna Tamil Library? Was Maha Sanga involved in it?

    It was retaliation by the police to Tamil militants gunning down one of their members.

  21. to comment #17
    what has your tool brought you? refugee camps, IDPs and a “lost generation”. Maybe you should find another tool. e.g.Jeyaraj and his pen.
    there is an old saying those who live by the gun die by the gun…..and a slightly newer saying “the only good terrorist is a dead terrorist”.

  22. Yes Sir. I must agree.

    Opinions are debatable but facts must be dealt with so good on you for defending your side Mr.Cooray.

    However, I feel we are just wasting time here because, from Channa’s comment #, it doesn’t seems like he understood the history throughly. I DON’T CLAIM I KNOW IT ALL. However, at the age of 10, I doubt Channa would’ve known the meaning of word Chauvinism. So I don’t buy when he say, “During the mid day riots in July83. I saw how opportunist robbers, not sinhala chauvunists ”


    Let me not waste time, I think we, ALL OF US, need to accept the past as it is and take responsibility for OUR actions as a NATION and move on.

    Post war scenario, it seems we are heading to the grounds of playing the BLAME game. Not healthy at all.

    Sinhala_Voice #6

    Shouldn’t you just be a “SRILANKAN VOICE” instead? I think your attitude must change, and must change now.

    Do it for the sake of the Nation you love because at the moment you are pointing your figure at others..get the picture?

  23. DBS – Wrt to your response to kumar may be he does not know that you look at all the comments before publishing them. I apologise on behalf of all your readers if it irritated you so much. Your efforts are certainly worth in gold. You provide a balanced and sane view of the happenings and clearly distinguish between facts and opinions. A stellar effort in these times when most of the tamil media even India seem to be hopelessly biased.i.e reporting opinion as news. Do keep writing. Even people who write nasty comments know you are right otherwise why would they visit the blog over and over again !!

  24. Hi DBSJ

    I would always appreciate your amount of work and energy you put in to inform/educate us in this pattern. I will never forget this as along as i live. In fact you probably the only journalist I can trust these days and i must admit, I learned a lot from your blog than anywhere else.

    Please allow me to say a big thank you.

    How do you think we can help you to help us?

    I know a lot of us would like to know and I felt guilty at times for not being able to make a contribution.

    Can you start a newspaper and distribute them all around the world? You bet i wouldn’t miss any.

    All the best. May God bless your family.

    (Please publish this)- The80factor

  25. DBSJ,

    I knew it was early morning Toronto time when I posted my first comment. My impatience was due to the fact that I received no indication that the comment was in line for appearance. When I posted a comment a few weeks ago, the comment immediately appeared with a message underneath “Your comment is under moderation”. However in the latest case I saw nothing of the kind and I thought the comment was lost due to some glitch. I felt the entire effort of keying in the comment had gone waste. Hence the second comment. When the second comment also didn’t show any response of being in line I realized you might have changed the acceptance system. I wanted to key in a third comment saying this but since I wasn’t entirely sure of what happened I decided to wait it out. Sorry, if it provoked you. I am well aware of the timezone constraints and didn’t expect any reply from you.

    Now, a suggestion and request: I know you write for Frontline and occasionally for Hindu. I suggest that you write an op-ed piece in Hindu about the steps the SL govt should take to address the problem and explaining the kind of political and constitutional changes needed to achieve this. I request that you try to get this published in Hindu and not in Frontline simply because of the extent of readership. Also, a large number of Indian politicians including the bigwigs from the national parties in Delhi regularly read op-eds in Hindu. But the same cannot be said of Frontline. This will give a clear picture to many Indian politicians about SL problem.

    Thanks for suggestion but I write for Hindu and/or Frontline only if invited to write……DBSJ

  26. # 3 Channa – I challenge you.

    Read my comments # 9.

    I don’t care about all those “isms”

    Let me challenge you. Answer my following questions one by one frankly.

    1) You said only thugs created problems in 1983 for looting. Then who burnt the Jaffna Library in 81 and created problems at the World Tamil conference in 74. There was anything for looters to loot.

    No one but your Chavunism and Maha Sanga.

    2) Can you challenge me on this?


    Looking forward to your answers.

  27. Thanks to 13. Kumar for his detailed & factual analyis. I too am worried a federal system that some seems to prefer will create more problems while solving some. Anywan only time could tell. Personally I feel regardless of what Tamil diasphora & politicians say, additional powers at DS evel like Kumar suggests can give immediate satisfaction & solutions to problems that most Tamils in these areas have.

    I was involved in some research in the newly clearedareas in the East last year and this is the feeling I got The Tamils I met especially the women were very ambitious and hardworking with an Agricultural background. They had land and were working on mini irrigation projects along with a lot of assistancefrom the STF which were more present than the Army and they wanted assistance and more efficiency at DS level to support their enterprises. I was not representing any govt. agency and went with a whole team of Tamils from that area. SL I beleive they were speaking frankly.

    I would love to hear what others have to say about it. May be some valuable thoughts on why a federal solution is free and fair to all.

    And I hope Chooty putha also gets to read this second post and the comments to it. It will teach him two more very valuable lessons.

    1. Even what the greatest of people, well educated and experienced in life say should not be taken as gospel. Like everybody else, they too will omit information, tell half truths and manipulate your thinking. To arrive at the ‘truth’ you need to listen to at least ten people that talk ‘sense’ regardless of their age.

    2. Some ‘gentlemen’ when bit by a dog will loose thair stature and get down on all four and bite the dog in return.

  28. Also, a comment to 1. Ulysses.
    I read your comments with attention and most of the time admire and value your thoughts.
    But I doubt if Mr. Upali could be a good president. Firstly, no one except MR would have the will to crush LTTE. How he did it is not perfect. But surely, it is much much better than not doing it. Without the defeat of the LTTE, there is no space for reconciliation. I doubt if a president Upali would lead the armed forces in a messy, dirty fight such as this and come out on top.

    So I have a suggestion. MR has an unprecedented opportunity and I beleive the will to put things right. Letsgive him until the end of his term. (By which time his fate would be known) ut it is upto us to push, pull, nudge and adjust his course so that he is always in the right path.

    Also, someone else made comments about his relation ship to Maha Sanga etc. He is a Buddhist. A genuine one. Not someone took up Buddhism for political reasons. So I do not see why he should not take the blessings of the clergy of his religion. Sri Lanka is a multi ethnic, multi cultural coutry. That does not mean all its politicians have to like that too.

  29. for fucks sake shut up all of you and do some thing con structive

    Why dont you start by telling us about the “constructive” things you are doing now?……DBSJ

  30. I apologize for not being on topic here, although I think accusing “socialism” of contributing to the “break up” of the country is ridiculous.

    As a Sinhalese, I am confused by the claim of many other Sinhalese that devolution and self-determination, implemented as a federal political system will lead to the division of the country. Firstly, why do you think so? Secondly, why should we look at this on purely ethnic terms rather than an opportunity to redefine our political system for the benefit of all citizens?

    I would also like to express my sincerest regret and sadness to the Tamil people and all those who suffered during this war, Tamil and Sinhalese. I hope that discussions like the ones we have on this blog would lead to a better country for all of us.

    My best to you all.

  31. Looks like many who make comments here have either not born during certain incidents or didn’t know what went on.
    The Jaffna library was burnt on the last day of the world tamil conference held in Jaffna.This act of arson was by Srilankan police force which was 99.9% from Sinhalese community.This was totally unprovoked and in retaliation for the solidarity shown by Tamil community towards a Tamil cultural event.
    The then Srimavo GOSL didn’t grant visas to many Tamil scholars such as Janarthanam the World tamil federation chair person.
    At that time there was no talk of tamil extremist .

    There were many incidences like this on a smaller scale that the Sinhalese public new nothing about because the mainstream media owned by Lake house and SLBC never were bold enough to tell the truth.

    One such incident would be the ransacking of theJaffna cooperative stores and the shops along hospital road,Jaffna, soon after a friendly football game at St Patricks college.The SL army from Pallaly garrison were the opponents.The St Patrick’s boys won the game .Of course it’s a friendly game.But the SL Millitary went on a rampage all the way to their garrison in Pallaly.
    Now who engineered these two events?
    Not the maha sangha or even the GOSL.It’s a spontaneous reaction of hatred towards another ethnic group.
    Incidence like these were the fuel for fire which consumed SL for the next 30 years.
    Now let us not go back to where we were .Lets all make a commitment to make things right for all and never to go back to the 70s.
    One man who can make all this possible.It will be MR .With his popularity at all time high among the majority community,If he sit down and think like a statesman and take actions which will correct all past misdeeds,He will go in history as the Great hero who United SL both by words and deeds
    .Only time will tell whether this will be the history the future generations read or something else.
    God bless SL.


    I am sorry but you have got the dates mixed up.

    The International Tamil Reserach Conference was held from January 3rd to January 10th 1974.

    On the final day Police tear gassed and baton charged the crowd amid controversial circumstances.

    As the panic stricken crowd fled some people got eloctrocuted due to a loose hanging wire. Another died of a heart attack due to shock.

    Apart from this the Police did not engage in any violence against people or property

    That was that

    The elections to Jaffna District Development Council was being held in 1981.

    On May 31st the TULF was having a public meetig at Nachimarkoviladdy , Jaffna

    Youths from the PLOTE shot in cold blood and injured four policemen on duty at the meeting. Two of them a Sinhala and Tamil cop died in hospital.

    Policemen from outside Jaffna had been brought to Jaffna for special election duty. They were housed in Durayappah Stadium

    These cops went bersek. First they raided a liquor store and got drunk. Thereafter they went on the rampage attacking and looting and burning

    This orgy went on from May 31st to June 1st.

    The greatest crime was the burning of Jaffna library

    Police mobs also burnt the “Eelanaadu” newspaper office,TULF headquarters and the house of Jaffna MP V.Yogeswaran and also his vehicle among other targets.

    !75 copos were chargesheeted but I dont know whether they were punished

  32. #28 responds
    LTTE lost because of its political bankruptcy, military blunder is only secondary,any state military would have won by just sitting around vanni, playing cards for a few years. LTTE fail to turn military fortune into political one. It’s leadership fail to realize that guns are merely a tool to win political rights, guns are not philosophy itself.
    What MR did was, expediting LTTE’s fall at unprecedented human, moral, financial cost by using genocidal method. By doing so, LTTE leadership and its failures were simply replaced by MR regime itself. At the end, loser are not only the tamils but all Sri lankans.

    #31 responds
    I can not agree more. No GOSL since 1948 delivered anything to its citizen who elected them but disaster, divisions and hatred. Governance has been utter mockery and failure.
    Why do we have to keep doing the same nonsense but to clip the power of the government and empower the people by devolving the power maximum to provinces or regions symmetrical and asymmetrically.
    By doing this, chances are that at least one province or region will come out with right formula for success which can be adopted by other provinces.
    After all competition is good as long as constructive and healthy.

  33. Dee Pee (#26),
    Buddhists monks were not involved in burning down of the Jaffna Library. People say it was done by the police angered by the death of one of their men, killed by the militants.

    You imply by the use of the term “Maha Sanga”, that there is a mafia like body of Buddhist priests that control everything in the country. Nothing could be far from the truth. Buddhist monks are as diverse as anybody else in Sri Lanka today. Some are hardliners, some are not. Some are powerful but many are not. Some are very educated and some are not. Some relish in taking part in politics while some are interested only in Buddhist philosophy. Some are even brilliant artists. You are making the same mistake that Singhalese have done in the past labeling everyone that spoke about Tamil rights as LTTE or LTTE supporters. This is the same mentality that has classified Bob Rae, the Canadian MP as an LTTE supporter and prevented him from entering the country.

    I will repeat here a story that I wrote about in a comment to a previous post by DBS. On June 3rd 1987, LTTE stopped a bus with 41 Buddhists priests at Aranthalawa in the East and murdered them all by hacking and gunning them down in one of the most brutal attacks in their thirty year war. The Aranthalawa Rajamaha Viharaya was the temple where the murdered priests lay in state prior to their cremation ceremony. On December 25th 2004, the temple was again full of people, but this time around they were all Tamils who had lost everything in the tsunami the previous day. They had no place to go and the priests at the temple welcomed them, gave them shelter and even cooked food for them. That does not fit your stereotypical image of the “Maha Sanga” – hell bent on wiping Tamils off the face of Sri Lanka, correct? I remember reading a statement made by the chief priests of that temple, who by the way, was the student of one of the priests murdered by the LTTE 14 years earlier in that bus. He said, when asked about the tragic irony of the whole situation, “I feel that this is the best way that I can honor my murdered teacher. I am thankful to the fact that at this point in time, in this tragedy, I am in a position to help the people”.

    So I am telling you, we have to let go of all this stereotyping. Just as we Singhalese should stop regarding you Tamils as all terrorist sympathizers who are demanding a larger than fair share of the society, you should stop thinking of us Singhalese as murderers and thugs who would be very happy to see all Tamils made second class citizens, convert all of you to Buddhism and force you to chant the five Buddhists percepts everyday.

  34. Hello Dbs: it is very inresting and nice to see what people write here. we all try to to build a bridge between the so called diveded communities. Why? because one lotst the other or we always had this thought but afraid to say it.
    I only know one singaleese friend he was the one running the jaffna university guesst houss in Naragenpittiya (I’m not sure I’m spelling it right). What a nice guy. He asked me to take him jaffna, I agreed, but my tamil friends asked me not to do it. I still doubt why? It was in 1995. Now it is 2009. the latest atleast in 2100 we will vist srilanka as we wish as srilankans.we all need to undersatand one thing, love is far better than hate. This is the final oportunity if anyone miss it, then god save srilankans.

  35. Thank you DBSJ, Mr. Cooray, Channa, Rajan, Srinivasan, RS Wickremasinghe for actively paricipating in this healthy discussion, which is the need of the hour….
    As we all know the underlining fact for most of the political, ethno, racial and religous issues is “Finance”,
    which is the fundamental for socialist or capitalist ideals.
    Left, Right, Liberal, Democrat, Capitalist, tamil, sinhala, indian, all but personal, communal, social survival.
    Lets start with
    #6 Sinhala_Voice


    Tamils will as long as they can make their living in that country by their choice, not enforced on them by “-others”


    Compare apple to apples not oranges. Look at Singapore where they are now compare to 1948 tiny land with multi-ethnic population. Even though chinese is a majority, Singapore adopted english, tamil and malay as official languages, notably devloped after de-merger from Malaysia as independent nation and 5th wealthiest country in the world in terms of GDP. Because Malaysia let Singapore to separate and both countries are benefitted as independent nations.


    Yes! of course, first bring your country to international humanitarian standard, establish social infrastructure network, which guarantee food, shelter and clothing to every citizen of that country, then we talk about learning majority language.

    In this globalized economy, tamils or sinhalese who well versed in english have better survival than who only speak their own language. You can’t make even a cent speaking sinhala oustside Srilanka, not tamils, 80 million across globe. Look at even within Srilanka your Sinhala elite society Top military brass to political leaders (US GREEN CARD HOLDERS, ROYAL/THOMIAN, WESTERN EDUCATED) making living on the sacrifice of poor sinhala people and soldiers most of them ony speak sinhalese. So better teach tamil to your fellow countrymen, in future most of your bosses will be tamils from tamilnadu or western countries. Most of your guys and gals will be outsourced to India, eating dosa and vada in madras cafe or bangalore mahal, at least learning tamil will help you to bargain with every vendor in tamilnadu.
    Do not lead Srilanka to disaster by promoting monolinguistic society. Open your mind, adopt “others” into your circle, think globally not like a frog in the well.
    As a human being I want to live in a country where I can survive on my choice, doesn’t matter anywhere in the world.

  36. Please let me answet to comment nr: 6 From Sinhala Voice:

    The Tamils and Tamil Speakers in Sri Lanka MUST realise that their destiny lies with the majority in the country the Sinhala-Buddhists.

    The truth is the majority Sinhala-Buddhists do not think that their destiny lies with the Tamil people. They think that Sri Lanka is belonged to them only. Ask your hero Sarath Fonseka! The majority Sinhala-Buddhists think that the destiny of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka IN THEIR HANDS, This Sinhala-Buddhists mindset is the problem.

    If this is realised and they work for themselves and in turn for the benefit of the whole country I do not think ANY problem will arise.

    Until 1983 Tamil did not harm any Sinhala people. Yes, We work for ourselves and in turn for the benerfit. But the majority Sinhala-Buddhists did not let us to have a peacefull life.


    Your are a typical racist Sinhala-Buddhist. We thought that whole Ilankai (or Sri Lanka) is our home. It is you who Sinhala-Buddhist sent to North and East after killing, bearing and burining our property in the south.

    It is you who Sinhala-Buddhist killed, tortured us even in the Northern and Eastern part of Ilankai and forced to run to Tamil Nadu.

    It is you who Sinhala-Buddhist forced us to go after people like Pirabhakaran.


    Here you are right! Yes, We will always have problem, because the majority Sinhala-Buddhist are racist and they want a 100% Racisit Rebublic of Sri Lanka for Sinhalease only!

    Learning Sinhala have neve been a problem for Tamils. If it is not a Sinhala Only is not forced on us I bet you 100% tamil would have learned Sinhal, even better than you Sinhala-Buddhist .

    If the Budhist tempels not built in our area with the help of Sinhala-Buddhist criminals and armed forces Liorad Buddha would have been an another ‘theivam’ of all the Tamils.

    Since you are racist you do not have chance to know the fact that Tamils had been Buddhist before you, the holy Sinhala-Buddhist of SriLanka’!

    We despised Sinhala language because it is considered by tamils as a language of Sinhala-Buddhist who has been oppressing us for years!

    We despised Sinhala-Buddhism because it is a religion of people who has been oppressing us for years! Could you find a Buddhist monk who voiced for us Tamil in your 2000 (?) years of history?

    In short I want to to tell you Sinhala-Buddhist, on behalf of thiusand and thousan of tamils scatterd all over the world:


    BUT you Sinhala-Buddhist did not allow us!


    BUT you Sinhala-Buddhist did not allow us!

    And I WILL NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER imagine that you will change you Sinhal hegemonist mindset even after 1000 years !

  37. 19) Navin
    Sinhala community has made more contribution in building up the ancient Sri Lankan civilization than the Tamil community
    I disagree with this.
    As far as i know, Sri Lanka was a Hindu country with a hindu civilisation until buddhism came in and took over.
    Many of the Tamil Kings were given Buddhist names and it was claimed as Buddhist Kingdom.
    Sinhalese was derived from Tamil.
    How many Sinhalese have Tamil names which they have altered so it dosent sound too Tamil.
    It is cultural theft. It becomes a crime when people lie about History.
    Same thing happened in Egypt. White man and Arabs stole what was an black African civilisation and lied about the true history of Egypt and who founded it.
    (Read Cheik Anta Diops book on Black Egypt).
    I am sure Mr DBS will respond to this and say arguing about history is futile, i will say that first, the Sinhalese must stop lying about the History of Sri Lanka.
    Anyone with half a brain will know that Hinduism was in Sri Lanka before Buddhism. How can a newer religion formed in Northern India reach lanka before Hinduism which was a around thousands of years longer?

  38. These historical discussions are very interesting.

    But the need of the hour is to free those people in the IDP camps. As long as they are in those dreadful places, Mea Maxima Culpas and hugs and kisses wont change anything.

    The SL President said that there are two types of people, those who love the country and those who dont. (I may be paraphrasing it). I think he is right. There are two types of people: those who love their neighbours and those who dont. The first type, those who love their neighbours irrespective of their race, community, colour, creed and language are, I believe, the majority in Sri Lanka. The second are people who feel that domination of the minority by a majority is norm in a democracy. The sad problem has so far been that the right-thinking majority in both communities kept quiet. Well, its time we come out and say what we think openly.

    So, before we start our hugs and kisses, let us get together, Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims to free those people in the IDP camps. Those children are our children, Sri Lankan children. Those elders are our elders, Sri Lankan elders. No one can justify keeping them there.

    Let all of us say out loud to the Government of Sri Lanka: Let our people go!

  39. Hi Friends,

    I am very new to this blog.
    Have read all opinions with much interest. Glad to note that many Srilankans are participating and all most all of them want Peace in Srilanka.
    I am a British Srilankan and that is all I ever want to say.
    The only Difference I will acknowledge(as my name might not give a clue) is the God made difference, which is I am a female.
    I want Peace in Srilanka, so that my children and grandchildren can grow up in a loving Dharmic society and be good citizens. I also want to grow old in a country which is safe and caring. I do not want to be a prisoner in my own house because there are atrocities taking place aal round me. I am sure that is what every decent Srilankan wants for him/herself and for their family?
    If we want this then we have to follow certain Dharmic rules, otherwise this Peace we all yearn for will never happen.
    1) Stop calling ourselves Sinhalese, Tamils etc. We can say we are Srilankans and we speak Sinhalese or Tamill or whatever. Indians do not say they are Tamils Telugus Malayalees first. We need to get out of this habit.
    2) Sai Baba says, that if we want Peace we need to become Peaceful first, if we want Love we need to become Loving ourselves. What we do not have we cannot offer. We need first to BE then Do and finally
    TELL. The problem with most of us is we want to TELL first.
    I think of one of my favourite saying by Emerson. “What you are shouts so loudly in my ears that I cannot hear what you are saying”
    3) All of us who love our motherland must stop stabbing her and making her bleed further. She has bled enough. What does it matter where you stab her whether it is her Head or the Arms she still will bleed and be in excruciating pain. We wont do it to our mother and whay are we doing it to our motherland? Should we not put her welfare first and come out of our differences to heal her wounds?
    Most of us believe in re-incarnations. A rascist Sinhalese or Tamil could have been the opposite in their previous birth or in their next birth. So who are we. Are we the body, the labels that are attached to us or spiritual beings in a human cover that is perishable?
    There are 2 points of references from which all human beings and even nations act.
    One is LOVE and the other is FEAR.
    We all know what the outcomes of these two emotions are. Unfortunately today the world is full of people and nations who are fearful. If we want a nation which could be a role model to the rest of the world, and Srilanka to become a true Dhamma Deepa let us make a promise today to act from the point of LOVE. Srilanka deserves this.

  40. DBSJ, I think all this is generating healthy discussion but all about the past. No doubt provides interesting reading for historians. Can any of these intellectual people start a conversation about what can be to achieve peace and harmony in Sri Lanka. Divided we would be more exposed to exploitation by third parties.

  41. This is in response to “Sinhala_Voice” who said the following:


    Rajah: Alright, fine. So far so good. Now…


    Rajah: Now this example does not match with what you had written earlier about Tamils treating the entire Sri-Lanka as their homeland. If all of Sri-Lanka are the tamils’ homeland, the concept of “migration” does not arise. So the examples given above are flawed. The tamils have been living in Sri-Lanka, their homeland, for millenia, and many never spoke Sinhalese, and did just fine until 60 years ago. I’m not saying that they should not learn Sinhalese, but if this is their homeland and if they haven’t spoken Sinhalese in their homeland for millenia, forcing them to do so or creating conditions that would force them to do so would again raise the question of whether this indeed is their homeland. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.


    Rajah: That’s completely false. In Canada, there are 2 official languages, English and French. The large majority speak only English, and minority speak French. Those who know only French are not in any way handicapped in Canada, especially in the province of Quebec where they are concentrated. All government services are provided in both languages across the entire country. French, the minority language in no way takes a second place to English. This would be a good example for Sri-Lanka to emulate going forward, although I doubt the chauvinists will let it happen.


    Rajah: First, a lesson in geography, Tamil Nadu is not a country. Secondly, if as you claim the Tamils’ homeland is all of Sri-Lanka, that would make Sri-Lanka a tamil speaking country.

  42. To #47 Ambi

    Lot’s of Peace-making sentiments in your post.

    But I’m confused.

    By expressing a desire for Sri Lanka be a ‘true Dhamma Deepa’ aren’t you saying in effect that Sinhala-Buddhist as a State Ethinicity/Religion is a non-negotiable imperative? Would that not alienate those that were not born Sinhala-Buddhist? Isn’t it this kind of move that caused all this bloodshed to start in the first place (SWRD 1956)?

    Racism is endemic in SL, and I don’t think we even understand the term properly. We define ourselves first by what race/religion we are, and then our caste/pedigree, before we define ourselves by our name! In turn we relate to our fellow Sri Lankans similarly – in terms of their race/religion, then caste or what family they are from, and only then by who they actually are as an individual. You will have noticed that in most civilised countries (such as Britain where I was also born) Sri Lanka would be considered to be an extreme racist society.

    For that reason it’s no wonder we have so much ethnic unrest and mistrust!

    These deep rooted attitudes that stand in the way of healing and reconciliation. While the simple acts of kindness towards the IDP is commendable, that alone is not enough to make lasting change in Sri Lanka.

    We need to eliminate our built-in prejudices, not revere them.

  43. #39. Shivakumar

    19) Navin
    Sinhala community has made more contribution in building up the ancient Sri Lankan civilization than the Tamil community

    I disagree with this.
    As far as i know, Sri Lanka was a Hindu country with a hindu civilisation until buddhism came in and took over.
    Many of the Tamil Kings were given Buddhist names and it was claimed as Buddhist Kingdom.
    Sinhalese was derived from Tamil.
    How many Sinhalese have Tamil names which they have altered so it dosent sound too Tamil.
    It is cultural theft. It becomes a crime when people lie about History.
    Same thing happened in Egypt. White man and Arabs stole what was an black African civilisation and lied about the true history of Egypt and who founded it.
    (Read Cheik Anta Diops book on Black Egypt).
    I am sure Mr DBS will respond to this and say arguing about history is futile, i will say that first, the Sinhalese must stop lying about the History of Sri Lanka.
    Anyone with half a brain will know that Hinduism was in Sri Lanka before Buddhism. How can a newer religion formed in Northern India reach lanka before Hinduism which was a around thousands of years longer?

    Sinhala language and Tamil language are from two completely different language families. Sinhala language is an Indo-Aryan language like Hindi as apposed Tamil which is of Dravidian family. Hence to say that Sinhalese derive from Tamils is false.

    Im truly astonished by your claim that Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, civilization was not built up by the Sinhalese and wasnt based on Buddhist culture. If what you say is true then how do we explain all the great Irrigation schemes, Stupas, Buddhist Monasteries, which are evident in that area to this day? These were not built by the Tamils, nor were they built under the leadership of any Tamil King or a Sinhalese King who was actually a Tamil in disguise. It was the arts and crafts that got transferred along with the introduction of Buddhism during the time of Ashok Empire in India that gave rise to the renaissance of Anuradhapura period.

    Tamils gradually migrated in different ways to Sri Lanka from South India, as soldiers of invading armies, traders, travelers, and so on and integrated with the main stream Buddhist civilization over many hundreds of years during this time. Sri Lankan Tamils of today are the descendents of these people. It is also accepted that at times these Sinhala kings for reasons best known to them, got married to princesses from South India. This was one of the main reasons why the kingdom got weak for any ruler with Tamil background lacked support from the main stream Sinhala Buddhist populace. This phenomenon is not unique to Anuradhapura period. For instance, this how the last king of Kandy came to be a Tamil and that is one of the reasons that made it possible for the British to capture the kingdom.

    There was no ethnic based polarization with North of the country been predominantly Tamil and rest of the country been predominantly Sinhalese during Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa times. Both Sinhalese and Tamils lived in the North at the time. This separation of ethnicities begins at the end of Polonnaruwa period and it is thereafter that regional Tamil rule in Jaffna begins to develop. The relationship between Jaffna rulers and those of the South was an eternal tussle. When the Sinhala ruler was powerful, he subdued the Jaffna ruler and he paid taxes to the Southern king. When the latter was weak, Jaffna rulers ignored the Sothern rulers totally. The last time the Sinhala rulers invaded Jaffna comes during Kotte period, just before Portuguese arrived when the Kotte king sent his forces under the leadership of a Tamil to overthrow the then ruler.

    Both Sinhalese and Tamils need to understand and respect each others roles in history. Neither community can live in denial of others role in its own evolution.

  44. reply to #46 Navin

    I agree with part of your post. As you said, that Tamil and Sinhalese are from different language families. Therefore saying that Sinhalese derives from Tamil is incorrect.

    but one has to only look at the substratum level influence Tamil has on Sinhalese to see influence one has on the other. What i mean by this is the fact that a lot of close kinship terms(linguists usually look at close kinship terms to ascertain how deep a language has been influenced by other) in sinhalese are from Tamil. Sinhalese names for father, grandmother,elder sister, younger sister etc etc are good examples of this. also there are what? nearly a thousand Sinhalese words of Tamil origin? these point to a lasting and in fact substratum level influence by Tamil on Sinhalese.

    In fact this points to something very important, that language and race are not essentially dependent on each other. A Caucasian living in America has the name “josh” (which derives from “Joshuah” ). the name and religion he follows derive from middle eastern Semetic people . does that mean he is also from the middle east? and of semetic stock? nope. it is the result of “cultural/religious diffusion ”

    genetic research has conclusively shown that Tamils and Sinhalese are of the same genetic stock. to claim that

    ///”Tamils gradually migrated in different ways to Sri Lanka from South India, as soldiers of invading armies, traders, travelers, and so on and integrated with the main stream Buddhist civilization over many hundreds of years during this time.”///

    is totally incorrect .
    its the other way around. and what i mean by other way around is not “sinhalese arriving in the island after Tamils” but that a segment of the population converted to Buddhism and due to the religious/cultural diffusion that came with Buddhism, adopted a language and religion that was not native to them.This process would not have been instantaneous, but gradual and might have lasted a couple of centuries even. this clearly explain the survival of many Tamil words in Sinhalese; especially the close kinship terms as well as the genetic affinities.

    If one looks at a person who converts to Islam, he can see that the person adopts some of the cultural/traditional customs of the middle eastern Arabs. he/she might also learn Arabic as well. this is similar to what happened nearly 23 centuries ago in this island. the claim that Tamils Invaded and were somehow relatively newcomers to the island vis-a-vis the Sinhalese is therefore not correct.

    also, Southern india was a bastion of Buddhism/Jainism till the 6th century ad. Some of the ancient Tamil epics have ample evidence to support this. The composer of the “Silappathikaaram” (he was the brother of the Chera king) was a jain, and the sequel to this epic, the “manimekalai” continues on with the story of a Tamil Buddhist nun who goes to Jaffna, on a pilgrimage to the Nagaviharai. There is no mention of Sinhalese Buddhists in Jaffna ,but of Tamil Buddhists in that epic . It underscores and supports the already known facts that a Lot of Tamils were Buddhists at that time. It also stands to reason that much of Buddhas teachings came by the way of southern india than via someone taking a long journey through the sea from northern india.

    only in the latter part of the 6th century Hinduism revived there; mostly due to the bakti movement and the tradition of the wandering bards. It is also during this time that Shankara, from The City of Kanchipuram(TN) went to northern india and revived Hinduism there as well. Btw, the deity known in the south as “Pattini devio” is “Kannagi”, the heroine of the Silappathikaaram. King Gajabahu, who was visiting his Chera counterpart (who was the brother of the Epic’s writer) saw the huge parade/ceremony the Chera king held in honor of Kannagi and decided to bring her worship to his kingdom. the result is Pattini Deviyo. There is a good sinhalese translation of this book by a Buddhist monk, it makes for interesting reading.

    Also, the Kotte kingdom you mentioned, was in fact founded by a Tamil too, Nissanka Alagarkone (alagakonna) from the city of Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu). the term Kotte itself is but derived from the Tamil word ‘kottai’. on a side note, even though the textbooks talk of the army of Arya Chakravarti being defeated in their land-sea invasion, they fail to mention the Kotagama inscription that says just the opposite.

    the names such as tennakon, alagakon, alagaperuma.. etc etc all have clear tamil etymologies.in fact they are pure Tamil names..without any sanskrit influence whatsoever.
    Maybe if both communities were to get to the roots of their history; they would make a good start by telling both sides of the story and not just telling only one side of it. Also they should incorporate recent scientific discoveries(especially the genetic results) to dispel the myths surrounding the origins of these ethnicities.

  45. reply to #28 TCK

    Hi TCK, thank you for your post. i just noticed it. I’ll reply to it tomorrow as i don’t have enough time on my hand now. I’ll rather write a proper reply tomorrow than what i would be able to write if i were to write now . pls bear with me

    Kind regards

  46. I am really impressed by the knowledge and committments of both Cooray and Channa(Comment #3),
    Channa do have the capacity to note several incidents and names which others tend to ignore. As I have commented elsewhere that he, like many Tamils in his age group are the product of the Suyabasha or ‘studying in ones own language; education syatem. Many of us didn’t have the opportunity to interact with the other community and understand them and some still don’t.
    I remember a meeting in 85/86at Colombo Jaycees where the keynote speaker was Dr Colvin and many sinhalese friends questioned him about the real benefits about Suyabasha and blamed it for the prevailing racial tensions. Dr. Colvin however was defending it but many in the audience were not satisfied.
    Tamils blame his 1972 Constitution for removing the few safeguards for the minorities in the Soulboury Constitution. No wonder Cooray left the LSSP.

    I don’t think LTTE ever was a socialist organization. They did publish a booklet where they said their goal was to achieve a Socialisy Eelam (with no elections for certain period!) during Indira Gandhi’s days when India was very close to USSR and Soviet used its veto power to help India’s interference in Sri Lanka during the post 83 riot period. Afterwards thay never even gave lip-service for socialism. In Dr.Colvin’s words they are Petty Booshuas.
    In fact LTTE has crushed couple of leftist tamil guerilla groups(pro Russia and Pro China) and murdered its leaders. I can remember Vijeyananthan and NLFT. Channa is wrong there.

  47. Ulysses is well informed.

    It is very important to separate the ‘jingoistic’ version of history we were taught in post-independence Ceylon from what we now know from the scientific/anthropological discoveries since.

    Before the Human Genome Project of the 1980s, the whole world thought that the different races were something like different species – like dogs and cats are different. The human genome project has shown that all the races (all the people on Earth right now – Asian, African, European, Chinese etc) have a common ancestor who lived in Africa some 150,000 years ago, and we came from Africa around 80,000 years ago. The genetic evidence can pinpoint exactly the path our more recent ancestors took in their journey into the sub-continent and Sri Lanka.

    The ‘division’ of Sinhala and Tamil arose not by genetic/racial criteria but by assimilation – that is, the people who lived in the areas where Tamil was spoken ‘became’ Tamil, and labelled as such by themselves and others. Similarly in the Sinahalese speaking areas. Through successive generations and through conflict (and this is to be expected in any small region were different tribes exist) the two ‘races’ became polarised, further deepening the conviction that we are different ‘races’.

    As Ulysses points out, the anthropological evidence proves that genetically we are the same. That is to be expected because when soldiers travel to new lands they do not bring their women with them (it was common for warring tribes to bring in merceneries from India). Neither do traders. And Kings and Princes import Princesses from other lands.

    From the above it follows that the ‘history’ we were taught (1) needs to be reviewed and revised and (2) needs to be put in perspective. As a child I was taught (by people I respected and had no reason to doubt) that we, the Sinhalese, descended from a Lion – which I learnt was how we were different from the Tamil race. Many people still believe this.

    Navin, there is a huge difference between ‘history we were taught’ and ‘history that we discover’. Having said that, history is irrelevant in deciding what we should do now to rebuild and unite the people of Sri Lanka. The only thing we have right now is … that we are the same people. We now know that. We can now prove that. We should be happy that we now know that. What our ancestor’s thought is of academic interest only – along with the question ‘who was in Sri Lanka first’.

  48. It’s very true by western standards SL is very prejudiced( racially).
    The recent assertions by GOSL Millitary commander SF about the ethnic questions would have landed him in big troubles had he been a commander even In neighbouring Iindia or Malaysia.
    The victory speech of MR with no mention about the sacrifices of the Tamil people and the assertion “No minorities there are those who love this country and those who don’t”,George W Bush influence.The infamous George Bush comment post 9/11 “Either you are with us or with the terrorist”.
    We all know that every day decision making is not as simple and Black and White.Lots of things including emotions play a role.There fore such comments are very naive and many times dangerous.Especially when stated in situation of high emotions such as “Victory speeches”,trerrorist attacks.
    Remember JRJ and Athulath Mudali’s rhetoric during the early 80s “If the tamils want war they will have war”.Hence the july 83 civil riots.
    These Cartessian dualisms leave no room for constructive criticism emminating from well meaning individuals and organisation such as the free press and CPA.
    Channa’s catergorisation of Parkiasothy ,Jehan and Nimalka is the direct effect of such comments. If Channa who lives Battaramulla with”many Tamil friendsin Wellawatte” cann’t make this distinction imagine Appuhami living in Kepitikollawa with no Tamils around him.
    This reminds me of a true story.My friend from Pakistan married a WASP(White Aglo Saxon Protestant).
    unfortunately the relationship was heading south.She filed for divorce.They were married for many years, from time to time they had difficulties.Many times they manage to reconcile.This time was no exception.But what caught my attention was his assertion that if he let her have full access to his Bank account and assets she wouldn’t stay with him.Now two fallacies in these assumptions .One she has the right to claim her share of the assets which will be half no matter what.Two his perception of what is holding them together.
    May be both like each other and should learn to trust each other and form a relationship based on mutual trust, giving,love and unconditional positive regard rather than on false pretence.
    This in my mind should be the tennance of any relationship be it Friendship,Marriage or Ethnic relationship.If we cann’t why pretend.Be magnanimous and let go.Live and let others live peacefully.

  49. Dear DBSJ,

    We have had enough discussion on the nation building and reconciliations.

    Lets get back to the current affairs. We are puzzled with certain things that are happening.

    1. Election in the north
    2. TNA divides
    3. Tamil parties disunity and confusion
    4. Tamil Selvans wife being approached to stand in UPFA ticket
    5. Karunas elevation to vice presidency of SLFP (What is the logic?)
    6. Pillayan and Hishbullah are not seen together in the recent days.

    Many things, we Tamils worried about. Please do investigate and throw some lights.

  50. 48. Ulysses:
    OK. No worries. I will wait. BTW, a small correction. My laste sentence has to be as below:
    That does not mean all its politicians have to BE like that too.

    Without that crucial word, it gives a completely wrong meaning…

  51. people who search for utopian homeland dreams made in heaven should keep this fact in mind.

    EVERYBODY WANTS TO GO TO HEAVEN BUT NOBODY WANTS TO DIE. they expect others to do their dirty work.

    the strongest christian/hindu/buddhist/muslims will rush to the nearest doctor (who could be of another religion) in case of an emergency medical situation. the guy who saves you or your child could be a total non-believer. (according to your religious perception). In short you rush to a total non-beliver to save your life in an emergency without praying to higher powers. OK you can pray. but you could be rushing to a non believer to save your lfe while praying. this applies to people of all religions & races. so it’s all gone crazy even in this modern day & age.

    The amount of money, time & lives that is spent to safeguard these beliefs is mind boggling for the simple reason that almost almost all wars are fought on religious or racial differences. The whole armaments industry of the world rests on the two pillars of race & religion. the moment somebody removes these two differences the arms dealers will go out of business.

    history proves that utopian dreams are just that. dreams. so any person who expects perfect solutions to racial problems has got to be crazy because nobody is perfect & almost everybody is racial / religious at heart. (to varying degrees).

    it’s the survival of the fittest through natural selection as chrles darwin said. the larger majority has always ruled. if anybody expects a small house cat to fight a big lion & win the cat’s nuts. the lion will always win. It’s neither right or wrong. it’s just nature.

    the majority always rules. if anybody is not sure the past 30 years history of sri lanka would be a great case study.

  52. To 45 Haroon

    Whether Dhamma Deepa or Dharmc Society it is all the same to me.
    The majority community who follow Lord Buddha’s teachings need to establish Dharma in Srilanka.
    What is happening and has happened is definitely not Dharmic.
    As a mother I believe in preserving life. As many members have said we need to be courageous and face the truth. Some of us might never be able to do it as we are brain washed by incorrect history.
    My suggestion is let us stop trying to convince the ones who cannot be convinced..
    There is a saying: you can wake up sombody who is jenuinely asleep but not somebody who is pretending to be. We will only waste time and energy if we walk on this path. As DBS says let us put all our energy into helping the IDPs.
    How about the monks, mothers and majority doing a Pada Yatra to the affected area with Love and do some Sava.
    To be able to do this I believe that we have to see the ultimate Truth which is: we are spiritual beings in a human body and we cannot hurt another without hurting ourselves.
    If we want a Srilanka in which people can prosper and be safe, and we love the country then let us put aside the difference and get on with some action.
    It is also good to see the bigger picture too.
    Who has and will benefit from the conflict and arms sales?
    Definitely not Srilankans, but the weapon industry.
    Are we going to be stupid and continue with our differences so that the weapon industry continues to benefit at the cost of us?
    Realy we are at a cross road and need to choose the path we want to walk for the benefit of all and not continue in the destructive path with our inflated egos.

  53. Reply to comment # 2
    Please check your knowledge on University entrance in Sri Lanka. 80% of the students will get in to university by merit, 15% on district basis and 5% will enter with minimum marks with extra curricular activities ( ie. sports. ).Regardless of students ethnic background there talents will fit in to a Normal Distribution. Which means if Check ethnic ratio in a particular university you will find majority Sinhale(80%),Tamils (15%) then others (5%) ( except North and East because LTTE try to create a mono ethnic culture there) There is nothing wrong with the system. If you need more details pleas check with their web sites and you can find out exactly how many Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims graduated on each year.

  54. #54
    You are correct by saying “majority always rules” in Sri lanka so are many other nations supported SL in UN, but
    many countries on the globe got it lot better by ” civilized majority rules”
    May be a dream for some Srilankans. but I still have faith in progressive citizens of Sri lanka.

  55. Well said #55 Ambi. I agree whole heartedly with your message.

    My only small comment is, and it is not your fault, we tend to use the terms in our own religion to describe a general sentiment – for example when you use the term ‘Dharmic’ to mean a ‘righteous and just’ society it exposes a potential deep seated problem with SL society – that it is narrow minded, because we equate ‘righteous and just society’ to mean a Buddhist society. In other words, it is hard for us to regard ‘righteous and just’ as a generic term, not specific only to our religion but also to all other religions, and indeed people who have no religion at all also have a conception of ‘righteous and just’ which is equally valid, believe it or not.

    It proves the point I was making, ie. that we think as a member of our tribe primarily. What I mean is, we do not think as individuals but rather in the way we are conditioned to think and express ourselves ‘as a Sinhala-Buddhist should’ (or as a Tamil-Hindu should). Consequently, I think we have a long way to go before we shed our prejudices, if we ever manage to do at all.

  56. Reply to #56.
    What is mentioned here is history as to what happend in the 70s .Not what is happening today.I think you misunderstood the statement.

  57. Dear Mr Cooray and Channa,
    I was so happy to read Mr Coorays response and Channas gracious reply as well. we all know podi seeyas age and now we know channa too. In my opinion they both agree to disagree. isnt that wonderful? may podi seeya have a healthy life ahead and channa you to.
    DBSJ for this lesson in history as you say to learn from it.

  58. Dear DBSJ,
    My idea is somewhat different. I like to ask whether tamil people use correct strategy to address sinhala mass for a seperate tamil state. I believe that if tamils can understand the mindset of sinhala people(Not leaders), then, they can win as they expected.

  59. To Dee Pee,

    yes DP, you can work overtime on Poya Days and claim overtime allowance..
    it is an extra money for you.

  60. #50. Haroon:

    I’m afraid though I agree with what #47. Ulysses has said I cannot agree with your position towards history.
    #47. Ulysses, has only offered another possibility into the roots of Sri Lankan Tamils. It is accepted fact that when Vijaya landed in Manner, there were different tribes in Sri Lanka. However, I do not recall learning those people as been Tamil. Hence I need to look into the claim made by #47. Ulysses. Nonetheless, you cannot dismiss the contribution made by soldiers, traders and the like who came and settled down in this country for many years. Just because traders do not bring their wives along, doesn’t mean that they won’t introduce their religion and language into this society nor that they would not marry locals. The best example is the Muslim community who are the result of Muslim traders that came to the island.

    Like #47. Ulysses suggested, when teaching history we should clearly state what is disputed and what is not and what the source of information is. Scientific evidence is by no means fool proof. Scientific evidence should be accepted giving due consideration to its limitations. Most importantly, we as individuals should not start providing our own interpretations to history by gluing together bits and pieces of information we
    gather in ways that we see fit. In any case Sri Lankan history provides enough undisputed conclusive evidence for both Sinahalese and Tamils to realize the limits of their hostile positions towards each other– the claim that Sri Lanka belongs to the Sinhalese and Exclusive rights of Tamils for the North and East of
    the country based on the Home Land concept.

    Having said that, history is irrelevant in deciding what we should do now to rebuild and unite the people of Sri Lanka. The only thing we have right now is that we are the same people.

    Unlike Ulysses, to me it seems you seem to look at history as an insignificant script that describes “who came first and who came next”. This is very wrong.
    We can never reconcile these divergent positions taken up by the two communities without making them realize that their positions have no historical justification.
    To simply dismiss the different identities of the two communities by citing scientific evidence and trying to build up a homogeneous population out of two
    different ethnicities just because homogeneous societies elsewhere in the world seem to be doing well, is simply an unnecessary futile exercise. We need not abandon our cultures in order to make peace or alternatively, create ABCDs out of our children. What is needed is that we clearly understand our roots and respect each other. History is not an impediment in anyway to ensure equal rights and freedoms to all people across ethnicities to live and prosper. On the contrary it helps build ethnic harmony.

  61. 54. shanthi krish:

    In today’s world, who do you think are the majority in the context of Sri Lankan ethnic problem? The Sinhalese or the Tamils? Think about it.

  62. Hi Thilan (reply to #28)

    Thank you for giving me the extra time, and also for the clarification.You are right, when i read the last sentence of your post i was a bit perplexed indeed. but later on i inferred from what you said in your previous sentences that there must have been a typo and you must have omitted a “be” . so no worries

    comparing MR and Mr Upali, i would say that IMHO the latter would make a far better president. I can say without equivocation that in my eyes MR is no different from VP. they are as alike as two peas in pod. The methods both used are very similar. MR could have easily won the war with far far fewer civilian casualties if he had wished so, or even cared to take a few measures to try save the civilians. Nearly 20 000 civilians dead in just once week alone, and many more injured does not qualify as a victory…i would not even call it a Pyrrhic victory. in other words, the government caused more civilian casualties in one week than the Tigers did in their entire existence. its food for thought.

    what makes a nation is not how it “defeats” terrorists but how close it is to a democracy. the reasoning given by MR&Co for this astronomical civilian toll is that the tigers were hiding amongst civilians, fine; i agree. but according to the government itself, the ratio of ltte:civilians is 1:50 . So basically what the government did was akin to blowing up a building filled with 50 civilians just because 1 terrorist was hiding there. and not once..but 400 times!. it makes no sense whatsoever. This shows the amazing disregard they showed towards the civilians.

    we all want reconciliation; but at what cost? saying that we do not use heavy weapons/Ariel bombing on the trapped civilians/medical facilities while continuing to do so? detaining 300 000 people against their will under horrible living conditions? during the latter part of the war(when the tigers were confined to the small strip) the military could have easily gone in and finished the job with small arms, as many international human rights groups have said, this is not excusable and amounts to willful slaughter. I’ts nothing but a great turkey shoot.

    In my opinion, allowing MR to supposedly “reconcile” the nation is tantamount to letting Jurgen Stroop rebuild Warsaw! Even thought you might disagree with me on this, i strongly advocate for an international human rights abuses/war crimes inquiry that investigates BOTH sides and punishes the guilty. similar to the Truth and reconciliation commission set up in South Africa. This is not just my view, but that of many moderate Tamils i know of too.

    rather than continuing in the same vein, do read my post #42 in the following thread that shows my take on this issue of MR being in charge of reconciliation


    As for pulling nudging and coercing him…i don’t think i will like to deal with a person who has so much blood in his hands. Also, if recent events are but any indication…we cannot expect any free media in the island for as long as the current lot stays in power. the fate of Jayantha is a case in point.

    on a final note, i have no issues with people practicing their own religion. in fact i welcome it, its part of diversity and would be enriching to us all.But i do have issues with a president accepting a title along the lines of “defender of the Sinhala Buddhist nation”… its like say…the American president being offered the title of “defender of African-American Christian nation” . It certainly would not be conducive to the cohesion of the nation would it? Mr should have rejected such a title, but unsurprisingly, he accepted it. But this is not the first time we have seen such events in this administration. the “this is a sinhala buddhist nation” comment by Sarath Ponseka comes to mind. He was not only not asked to apologize for such a racist remark, but was actively defended by the politicians. it makes one wonder about feasibility of reconciliation. its all nice to “talk” about it, but seems like the government “does” just the opposite. the proof of the pudding is in the eating…

    call me a pessimist; but imho there wont be any true reconciliation under the current government. it will be the same old same old with some pretty icing on the top. They would use the “carrot” that is equal rights and reconciliation along with the “stick” of hooliganism and thuggery against any opposition to bolster their grip on power. After MR chances are that his Bro’s would come to power. there is no light at the end of the tunnel as long as these folks hold sway in parliment. the statement “there are only two kinds of people in lanka, those who love the country and those who don’t” coming from the Mouth of MR heralds an Orwellian nightmare.


  63. thank you mr. jeyaraj for letting us sinhalese know what is really going on in the minds of tamils. through this blog only i got to know how much tamils hate buddhism, buddhist monks and maha wansha. i was surprised to know that they consider maha wansha is false. there are so many sinhalese out there who don’t have a clue about these allegations. even though so many tamils blame sinhalese for trusting maha wansha, please note that it is something they have been taught over generations and no sinhalese has ever doubt its’ validity. through media or any other way, the common man has never heard any accusations against it. so they believe it whole-heartedly. therefore calling sinhalese fools for trusting maha wansha looks unfair. there is a huge communication gap between tamils and sinhalese in sri lanka. sinhalese don’t know what tamils think. they believe what is told to them by the media or the leaders. if there is a doubt regarding the history of sri lanka, let the historians have a healthy discussion about it and let us all know the truth. but it is worthy enough to note that whether sinhalese first came to sri lanka or tamils were already there, MR will still be the president of SL and IDPs will still be in the camps. to me this conflict regarding the history looks like an argument between two regarding whose religion is the best. everyone are seasoned to their way of thinking and nobody will be ready to accept what they have been taught through generations as false. but by attacking one’s religion or race, you can never achieve any reconcilliation. this is true for both sinhalese and tamils. the need of the hour is tackiling problems diplomatically. by arguing i can’t make you think like me. there are things i agree with you and there are things i don’t. but our common goal is same. let’s focus on that. the SL gov should understand that they can’t achieve a lasting peace by cornering tamil diaspora. they should be able to reach out to them since they are also our people. on the other hand, tamil diaspora can’t achieve peace by attacking all sinhalese and buddhist monks as extremists.

    eventhough there’s a good discussion about LSSP’s role in SL politics, what good does it have on today’s crisis? none of the remaining LSSP leaders have a voice. they are not in a position to convince the general public or the gov regarding the solutions to the ethnic conflict. but if anyone can start disccussing how we can tackle JVP and weerawansha’s national party, it is worthwhile. by claiming they are speaking on behalf of the oppressed, poor people of SL, they are doing more harm than good to SL.

  64. A clarification to #63 Navin.

    You are agreeing with exactly what I meant – When I said ‘soldiers etc. didn’t bring their women’ I meant that their genes became part of ours.

    Historians say that large numbers of mercenary soldiers were imported from South India by warring Sinhala leaders.

    Consequently, genetically the Sinhala people have Tamil genes, and vice versa. So when we say ‘Sinahala people’ or ‘Tamil people’ we fail to realise that we are all a mixture of the same genes.

    Unfortunately, in Sri Lanka we are conditioned to think in a ‘racially divided’ manner. So such an idea goes totally against our mindset.

    Here’s a challenge for you. If it is possible to scientifically determine how much genetically Sinahalese you are and how much Tamil you are would you take such a test?

  65. It looks like Cooray is talking facts while Channa is talking things that could be leading facts… No point of arguing trying to compare apple with orage…. both you guys seem telling the truth… Specially Channa’s version is pretty innovative, and interesting as it attract more investigation. What Cooray says is what happened in the history, so it is true as well, but doesn’t contribute much to deny what Channa argue.

    I have experienced some facts…. Socialists we see in Sri Lanka are liberal minded… so they mostly see the opposite of what conservatives see… They welcome rare and even strange ideas to have a go on their ideaology… Rebels and anything look like a rebellion make them excited easily… They don’t believe working hard… Instead always end up becoming a pain in their families while looking angels to the outside society… They take the side of less priviledged, minorities, women factors which can easily make a topic against majority, governing, ruling sector irrespective of its appilicability.

    Under my own observations socialists are more vulnerable ending up as seccionists, naxolites, seperatists and even terrorists as their attention is more towards outside world than own self, which make them look like self less; but only to be found at the end it is what pleases them and it is how they get them selves satisfied, not those around them.

  66. I need to point out few facts.
    In post war Sri Lanka you can expect more stabilized economy. I firmly believed Tamils in north and Sinhalese in south faces the same economic hardships. Most of the problems will resolved in near future.
    Sri Lanka now in process of building a nation with all ethnic groups. As long as minorities accept Sinhala Buddhist culture in Sri Lanka I dont see any problem.
    Hmm lets think! In USA: American Christian Culture, In Canada : Canadian Christian culture. In Sri Lanka Sinhala Buddhist culture .
    If Obama was a Muslim he will never be become a president. I will go beyond this. I do not mind Tamil to be our next president as long as he respect the Sinhala, Buddhist values.
    Some Tamils may disagree with me. But it is the fact. Even tough the British were the root cause of this problem , They accepted this fact and they clearly mentioned this in 1815 Accord signed between Sri Lankan leaders and British king.

    Some readers mentioned about 1983 riots!
    There are no point of arguing 1983 riots ( which is unfortunate, But I can still remember my farther saved his Tamil friends by hiding them in our house and majority Sinhalese protected Tamils.)
    Bottom line is it never happed Again in Sri Lanka regardless of LTTE brutality( The Central bank bomb, Pettah , Dehiwala and even they blasted Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy)

    Please dont dont get upset about Victory celebrations in Sri Lanka. It was spontaneous. Not long ago a famous Tamil restaurant hands over Milk Rice (Kiri Bath) to its customers when LTTE bombed Colombo

    So forget about the Past Try to Understand Group Dynamics. We cannot controlled so many things. Specially if youre a Tamil Diaspora. If you really concern about Innocent Tamils lived in Camps. Please Help Them!. There are lots of Recognized Charities in Sri Lanka. So far bulk of the donations (As per my knowledge) was done by Poor Sinhalese.

    If you living in Canada Do Not Believe in Tamil leader called Poopalasingam. Who lives in a dream world thinking another Tamil uprising in the horizon!
    Please do not forget! LTTE promised to the Tamils: Eelam Or Nothing!
    According to well known sources there will be super military camps in north and east.
    No body will dare to take even Water Pistol against SL Forces.

  67. obviously the vast majority is tamil . but the tamils in sri lanka are very much alone. most of the outsiders are false friends with ulterior motives. most are fund raisers, arms dealers, drug smugglers, NGO’s & active politicians who seem to have different agendas exclusive to themselves. eelam was just a side show.

    The problem is that LTTE could not afford to behave in a cavalier manner like the sri lankan state (which has been UN recognized for 60 years). they were more divided than GOSL. when the LTTE cadres like karuna suddenly defected they left dealing a death blow to the organization. The examples are many. None of the top GOSL or SLA has ever defected to LTTE as far as i know. i know only of POW’s & low level defectors who may have collabarated.

    sri lanka is used to political chaos as a long standing democracy. in sri lanka there is chaos WITHIN political order because there is a proven system in place. LTTE has none. so their first answer to any kind of political opposition is elimination.

    while there have been political killings in sri lankan politics it is still overwhelmingly democratic.

    if u read DBS’s previous articles it’s crystal clear that selfish tamil nadu politicians like vaiko & ramdass used sri lankan tamil money to raise funds for their political gains by whipping up seperatism & eelam.

    but at the last moment they mercilessly scarificed prabhakaran to safeguard their image. not only thalaivar, they even got some nadu tamils to self immolate & commit suicide. Then vaiko tried to get publicity from the dead body by standing by the coffin & proclaiming “this man’s a hero”. which auto suggests that the others who did not self immolate (including vaiko himself) are not heroes! a damning statement if ever there was one. these are the guys who were running the elam show giving false hopes to SL tamils, sent them up the garden path & eroded their image world wide. now almost all are living in sadness. a totally avoidable situation if political sanity had prevailed instead of violent madness. but then prabhakaran had already killed off the cream of the tamil politcal opposition. so what sanity can one expect? eelam was destined to go down hill.

    to top it all off i hear that vaiko is not even from nadu but from some other southern indian state. when is this gullibility going to end?

  68. #65, Ulysses,

    I agree with the general sentiment of your post. However, I think you miss the practicality of the issues at hand.

    1. MR & Co are not the right ones for the job but it’s also true that in the prevailing circumstances they fit the bill better than RW. In India, we jokingly say that since all politicians are scoundrels elect the one that causes the least harm. RW may be less of a crook compared to MR but given the present circumstances MR is the best crook for the job.

    2. I don’t think your idea of a truth and reconciliation commission on the lines of the one in SA would work in SL. You don’t seem to take into account the majority sentiments here. In SA it’s the minority that suppressed the majority but it’s the other way around here. I can understand the pain the SL tamils feel but you should also understand that the 300K inside the fence would just like to get on with their lives. I can give you a parallel in India here. Every Muslim in India feels that Narendra Modi , the CM of Gujarat should be tried for the 2002 Gujarat pogrom in which 3,200 Muslims were killed. But many Hindus think Modi is a great guy. They would resent any move to haul him to courts. Sensing this, now the Muslims themselves say that they should move on and make sure there is no room for such things in future. Yes, I agree life is not fair.

    3. You say diaspora is not at fault. But what intrigued me the most during all those protests was that not even once the protesters ever demanded that ltte should let go of the civilians. What moral high ground does that occupy?

    4. Another intriguing thing I find is that most SL tamils always carry a big chip on their shoulders. Fortunately, we tamilnadu tamils don’t carry that chip. Many SL tamils feel that they are intelectually superior and they are from a superior race. Frankly, most don’t have a very good opinion of Tamilnadu tamils. Whether you admit it or not this is the underlying feeling amongst most SL tamils. Then, is it any surprise that they make fun of Sinhalese? Modaya, mottu chingalavan, free loader, monkey brain – these are some of the choicest words reserved for the Sinhalese. And in turn the sinhalese look for every opportunity to put down the tamils as they resent being labeled as fools.

    4. This is from your comment on Ajith’s blog.
    You say,
    “India, as Ratnaraja rightly said, will reap the results of its current actions in the near future. When China is breathing down its back from the south, east, & north and Pakistan from the west; India would belatedly realize the grave mistake it made. But the dynastic Congress party is a far cry from the noble self it was during the late 40s and early 50s. The current party has neither the vision nor the clarity of thought of the former”

    This is the problem with you guys. You would not listen to India when it asks you to do something but diss India when what it does doesn’t suit you. I am sorry, it’s a two way street. Also, don’t think India is greatly perturbed by China’s influence in Lanka. It’s an irritant and they have plans to live with that. The defense planners in Delhi are fully aware that China, for all its flexing of muscles, won’t mount any major military mission in the next 15-20 years by which time the political equations in Beijing will be different. India simply doesn’t bother about even a Chinese naval base in Hambentotta. It simply doesn’t affect the strategic balance.

  69. Re#72 Kumar, your arguments are so cogent and practical.Your observations about how a large number of SL tamils see India and Indian tamils is so accurate! After all we SL tamils have gone through and going through we have not been any wiser! About the danger china poses to India i have seen some writeups suggesting LTTE would be better friend than China would ever be to India! This again insults the intelligence of Indians in general and Indian tamils in particular.Thanks again Kumar!

  70. To Kumar #72: yes, the Jaffna Tamil man does not have a good impression of the Indian Tamils, and I resent it a lot. The reason for the low impression is that the Jaffna man’s impression of Indians is shaped by the Indian Tamils who work in the Tea Estates of Sri Lanka – poor and uneducated. Hence, the Jaffna Man, who never fails to pat himself on his own back and claim we are like the Jews, thinks Indians are all poor and uneducated. A large part of India was like this until the 70s. Only in the 80s and more so in the 90s did India emerge from its slumber, so it will take time for the Jaffna Man to slowly creep out of his well and see the world for what it is.

    A similar situation also existed in SL – even the Sinhalese were not as educated as the Tamils on a proportional basis (percentage of the total population who spoke our respective languages). This is the reason that many Jaffna Tamils held many high positions in the Govt when the British left. Only after chasing the Tamils out of their high positions in 1983 did the Sinhalese start educating themselves a lot more, and with subsequent racism and prevention of merit in determining promotions (thereby keeping the Tamils at bay), they were able to increase the percentage of educated Sinhalese. Until 1983, the best doctors and surgeons were Tamils. All these people left the island after selling their equipment and private practices to the less than stellar Sinhalese counterparts.

    Undeniable truth, but I know it hurts, as truth always does.

  71. I agree with Norman (69). If the diaspora tamils feel for the IDPs the best they can do is help them directly. I don’t blame them for not trusting GOSL with money and therefore, they can help their closest kith and kin to save them from poverty.

    I hope the diaspora is bold enough not to get caught
    for yet another wild goose chase such as the LTTE
    Government in exile. Do not waste your hard earn money on
    on a lost cause people. Have a good life wherever you are and come and see your relatives and your properties
    when the dust settles. I bet there will not be another Black July in Sri Lanka, which should’nt have happened in the first place. It is beautiful warm weather over here and not like that cold gloomy climate in Scarborough, London and Melbourne, stuck within the four walls during winter.
    When you go out people (locals) look at you in funny way.
    They don’t want you over there, where you don’t have an
    identity. The moment you got into that plane from Colombo Airpot, your identity was lost. You belong here. Sure we all
    suffered during the last 30 years, but that is all over.
    One thing VP did was facilitating some of you people
    to go to a Western country, and for that you all should be grateful, but at what cost.

    Peace for all.

  72. 65. Ulysses : Thanks for the response. You did clarify a lot of things. This is just a response / my opinion of certain things. You do not need to respond unless you want to.

    1. The 20,000 casualty figure has been quoted only by the Times of London using the most dubious and absurd methods. The official UN estimate is 6000. It is still an extremely high death toll. I agree. So for the record, lets say, the civilian casualty figure of the last few months is an unconfirmed & disputed number between 6000-20,000.

    But to compare and say this is far more than what the
    LTTE did to this country/ people is laughable. While certain parties demand war crime investigations now, where was everybody in the last 30 years while the LTTE happily went around their rampage? I do not recall any foreign government or UN demanding an inquiry before. Also, how about the last 4-5 months the LTTE held 300,000 civilians as hostages? It was the SL government that had to do the dirty work to crush the LTTE and rescue them. I am not saying how they did it is perfect. All I am saying is that those who shout ‘war crimes’ now did not do anything to prevent it in the first place. By preventing it I do not mean letting the LTTE go. Preventing it would have been to assist the SL govt. to crush the LTTE without all this civilian deaths.

    2. I know MR is far from perfect. (But have SL or the Tamil / Sinhala community ever had a perfect leader?) But imagine this. If we kick MR out tomorrow, who will take over the leadership of the country? Is there any SL leader from any party right now that can take over the presidency and lead the country? I will tell you no one we have now has the balls. But hopefully in the next 02 years of post war SL someone will emerge.

    If we rush, our shortsightedness will result with a weak government, a weak leadership and a country in disarray that is completely exposed to all influences from foreign countries. MR has to finish what he started. By that I mean, the political solution to this. If not, no one now can do it because everyone will pull to different sides. If he proves he can’t or is not willing, then is the time to change. Now is not. Still a majority of Sinhalese will not see a war crimes tribunal as a fair thing. It can and will be seen as the ‘defeated parties seeking revenge’. It will spiral into another conflict. We have to be patient at this time. It will take some time for a country recovering from 30 years of terrorism to absorb these things.

    3. Which world leader does not have blood in their hands? So if we are not ready to deal with them, we can forget about politics altogether. Plus, several Sri Lankan governments were ready to negotiate with LTTE regardless of the fact that they were bathing in blood and created a river of blood across the country. That itself shows that to achieve what we want, we might have to interact with not so nice people.

    4. Note your comment about the Buddhist title. I think I am in agreement. As to Sarath FONSEKA’s statement, I think it was stupid and silly. He should have apologized. It is a black mark and beneath for some one of his caliber. But if I lost what he did to a terrorist bomb I too would be very bitter. Let’s leave it at that.

    In any case, only time can tell I suppose…

    BTW, I heard in the news that LTTE is restarting their fight for a seperate state. If this goes on and on.., anything we discuss here will be of no use anyway. Because deepdown, in my openion, no one (including me) would feel bad about having a new country for themselves. So this illusive dream will again pull us all to destruction.

    Sad in deed.

  73. 72 Kumar

    I enjoyed reading the facts you presented which are correct and the truth.
    I have always felt that in Srilanka we had a majority with a minority complex and a minority with a superiority complex.
    There is a lot of anger at present against the Indian Govt from the SL Tamil speaking community especially that of Jaffna origin.
    In a way all the support given by India and Tamil Nadu after the 1983 riots have been forgotten. If the roles had been reversed I doubt whether the SL Tamil speaking community would have given the same amount of support to the Indian tamil speaking community. No need to go too far, within SL itself the upcountry Tamil speaking community was not even given any attention by the SL Tamil speaking community.
    The Tamil speaking community should first of all practice some unity among themselves and try and think of all those unfortunate brothers and sisters who are still suffering in the camps and work together with the rest of the country to support and heal them.
    As I have said in my previous mails, unless we bring a spiritual slant (not a religious) to the solutions we will be going in circles. We cannot do the same thing and expect different results as that will be insainty.
    We need to reflect and question our own behaviour and put the country and all it’s citizen’s welfare first.
    Any thought and action that will be dettrimental to the welbing of the people and the country we must try to erradicate from our minds and actions. We should also develop humility to admit our mistakes.
    The suffering people want food shelter safety and to bring up their familiesfree from fear and grow old, as the rest of us want to do.
    Let us please please start putting some practical solutions based on compassion to support our fellow citizens.

  74. reply to #72 Kumar

    Hi Kumar

    You make some good points. ill try to reply to them in the order they were raised.

    reply to point 1

    What makes you think MR & Co are the right ones for the job? and better than say..RW or Upali Cooray? the MR& Co have a stranglehold on each and every democratic instrument in land now. ok, here is a simple test, can anyone publish an article critical/questioning them and expect to stay unharmed?

    reply to point 2

    Kumar, you are missing the point by two counts when you compare the fate of the Gujarai Muslims to Tamils in Lanka

    1) its the mistake of the Gujarati Muslims to not press for justice. how can you list them as an example? just cos some people were content to not do anything we have to follow them?there are Ample examples of people around the world taking governments/regimes/individuals to task for the abuses they underwent.

    2) there are how much?140 MILLION? Muslims in india. there lost, according to your estimate, about 3200. this is such a small % compared to the Tamils lost in the recent years, especially even in the last week of the conflict itself.Im not saying that lives are worth less if the % is less, but 3200 out of 140 MILLION is nothing compared to nearly 20 000 out of a few million.

    3) why not look at the Jewish people. They did not shy from trying and punishing war criminals. not only did they have em punished, but actively seek them out throughout the world. Even recently an accused War criminal was extradited from America to Germany to stand trial for war crimes.

    4) also look at the Bosnian war crimes trials, the casualty figures there were Very similar to the ones in Lanka, albeit less!

    therefore, there is enough precedence for such a move.

    reply to point 3

    where did i say the diaspora is not at fault?

    I did not support the tigers, and im sure there are many sinhalese who did not support the actions of their government. but if we were to claim that the diaspora is guilty, sure, they are as guilty as the people who paid taxes to, and supported the gosl.

    reply to point 4

    chip on the shoulders? i agree that some tamils looked down upon Indian Tamils and Sinhalese in the past. no one denies that. but as #74 jaffna tamil said in his post, its due to the fact that people were living in the little wells they used to live in,those days. But he makes some valid points as to the origin of this so called “superiority” complex, however misguided the complex might have been

    as for tamils calling sinhalese names…Kumar, you seem to know only part of the story, but then again, as someone not from this island its excusable. Its not a one way street at all. some sinhalese called tamils Panagkottai’s and para-damelas. both sides used these derogatory comments at each other. to say that this was in some way responsible for the ethnic conflict is not correct at all

    …many south Asians look down at Caucasians, and even more so at hispanics. (and i mean, indians, indian tamils, sl tamils, sinhalese etc etc when i say south asians). they laugh at how bad the americans suck at education.i’ve seen many Indians Tamils call the hispanics “makkans”. in fact they hardly ever use the term ‘spanish/hispanic”. the Americans on the other hand, make fun of Indians for speaking broken english and for supposedly “stinking of spice”. The South Asians also make fun of the east Asians for being ‘short” and “flat nosed”. the Chinese make fun of the Filipinos by calling them “half breeds”. are all these good things? nope. but does this mean that there is going to be some ethnic conflict because of this? nah!

    reply to point 5

    Kumar, this is not a “problem” with ‘us” but one thats inherently built into the congress party of India.

    but before i start, let me tell you this. No one is angry at the congress run india for not helping when tamils asked for help. but they are angry for openly denying that civilians were killed in huge numbers and for defending GOSL in the recent UN hearing. By actively defending war crimes, india has lost whatever moral high ground it ever had. and yes…i know a lot of indians, both from the north and the south, and i interact with them on and off work every day. the vast majority of them think that what the indian government did was wrong. I agree that im not talking about the intention of some indian villager who hardly ever gets to see both sides of the story, but about people who live abroad and have access to the big picture.

    as for you playing down the threat China poses to India, what more can i say? We all know what became of the Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai policy of Nehru dont we? Why do you think China is building bases all over , in south east and south asian regions? have you heard of the “string of pearls” doctrine of china? if not please read up on it. and btw, what makes you think china would change in 15-20 years? if the tinnamen square is but any indication, things are NOT going to change in 20 years. china , over the years has become more open economically, but certainly retained its totalitarian grip on the people. remember Tibet? hello? The strategy of the congress party run india is to close its eyes like a cat and hope nothing happens!. how did the Americans react when the soviets tried to set up a base in South America? sat back and did nothing?. ok this is not a geopolitics thread so ill stop here. but those who dont learn from history and those who dont look at the big picture are bound to fail. history does not repeat itself, but historical situations reoccur

  75. reply to #76

    Hi Thilan

    thank you for the reply.I’m more than glad to respond to your reply. while reading it i realized that your take on the recent events are somewhat similar to the ones ive heard from some of my sinhalese friends. i respect your views and opinions. the more views and opinions we all have, the better.

    reply to 1

    I agree that the 20,000 number might have been too much, but from what i read from the HRW and Amnesty reports, the actual toll seems to be near that number. but lets not get bogged down with the numbers, as you said.

    Your question regarding the lack of war crimes charges by outside parties during the last 30 years of war is valid. But we have to look at it from a perspective removed from our respective stances. During the last 30 years, the LTTE carried out numerous terrorist attacks, and human rights abuses.The Same was done by the Lankan government. I agree that you might disagree with this viewpoint

    For a sinhalese, a suicide bomber exploding a bomb in a packed market is an act of terrorism. and rightly so. no one can deny it, i totally agree that its terrorism. But for a Tamil in the north and east, Discriminate shelling/ariel bombing of their homes/neighborhood constitute something very similar. the only difference is that the death in the former is created by a suicide bomber, while in the latter, by sophisticated aircraft. the end result is the same. the former is terrorism, and the latter is too.

    The Tigers have massacred innocent sinhalese at the border villages. its terrorism. the massacre of Tamil civilians by armed forces in the border villages is terrorism too. I find that the term “terrorism’ is very selectively employed in srilanka. say for example, if the tigers had aircraft and the ability to fling bombs from the air(i dont mean the takaran ones. but proper jets), would their bombing runs be called terrorism? if so, in what way would their bombing runs be different from the ones carried out by the Gosl? or would those runs be called “collateral damage” ?

    I’ts easy for one side to demonize the other and vice versa and to claim moral superiority. we have to look at the convenient terminology employed and poke them using the sharp knife of critical thinking to see how they measure up against each other. I’m not saying that those who say that the LTTE are terrorist and those who say that the gosl are terrorists are wrong. I’m just saying that both sides should look at the benchmarks they use.

    for outside countries, the tit for tat violence by the LTTE and the GOSl would have looked exactly the same. this is born by the fact that the HRW and the Amnesty International have always criticized BOTH sides throughout the years.one has but to look at their countless reports to see that its true. Now they are calling for an investigation because the last week has seen a lot of barriers being broken in terms of the violence against civilians. it amounts to collective punishment. and even now, those who call for an investigation are not calling for one on GOSL alone, but on BOTH sides. the GOSL is protesting because it has done away with the tigers and is now most probably bear the brunt of this investigation. Im sure that if they round up some LTTE members, they too will be investigated by this commission

    ps: also one should not forget that there was bloodshed in this island for nearly 30 years Before the tigers came into being. i did not see the Gosl taken to task for that during that time, so IMHO i dont think that the western nations are ganging up on lanka something people can use.

    reply to point 2

    I personally do not think that we should start on reconciliation without solving the pressing issues first. unless we lay a firm groundwork that is not stable, i doubt we will be able to build on it. You might disagree with me, but i believe that 2 years is an awfully long time for a person of MR’s caliber to be in power. im sure Poddala Jayantha would agree with me. But sometimes people have to experience the truth to realize it.And i doubt there is any chance of him being hauled to a court while he is in power, so he might as well stay there till people grow sick and tireed of him and kick him out.

    and again, as for the comment about a country recovering from 30 years of terrorism, you fail to notice that the other side also needs to recover fro nearly 60 years of government-terrorism. if we start giving special-excuses for certain segments of the society, where will it stop?

    reply to point 4

    thank you for agreeing with the religion thing, but i still dont see any politicians calling for the removal of the special provision given to Buddhism in the constitution. their willful avoidance of this subject shows how “truly” committed to “reconciliation’ they are. Are they so blind that they cant even see one of the major stumbling blocks to reconciliation still exists in the constitution itself? this is why i tend to be pessimistic about the future

    as for the call for a seperate country again? i have not heard of it. and i don’t think its a big voice right now.but if the government continues its current policies, and that the culprits remain free, what will be the guarantee that such views will not gain prominence again? right now, in my opinion the government of Lanka is squandering a golden oppurtunity.


  76. Thilan

    I did not have much time to edit my reply or correct the typos.I just noticed one. it should have been “indiscriminate shelling” instead of ‘Discriminate”

    ps: also ignore other typos 🙂


  77. Come on people.

    As I said once before on this blog, it is all very interesting to discuss the rights and wrongs of the past. It is healthy and useful etc. I agree.

    But, let us keep our focus on the one issue that is more urgent than anything else at the moment: The IDPs. There are 300,000 people in internment camps in Vanni and there are more such camps in the East as well. Some of those camps have been around for more than 2 years. Forget about the argument about different races and communities, which in the end do not mean a damn thing. As fellow human beings, we can not allow any government to keep its people in camps. Most of these people have their homes or houses of relatives to go to. But they are not allowed. That can not be right under any circumstances, surely.

    As for the person who wrote saying that the Diaspora should help these people etc. I agree. We are willing to do it, wanting to do it, waiting to do it. But we can’t do it when we can not get to them. Please do not ask us to just send the money to a pre-appointed charity saying they will take care of it. Surely, you will agree this is our hard-earned money. We are entitled to send it to a charity of our choice or directly to these people. Facilitate that.

    I would invite you to watch an interview given to Realnews by Ms Sunila Abeyasekara, a prominent human rights activist.
    She confirms that there is no register of the people in these IDP camps. After living in a country all your life, the least a citizen deserves is to be on a list, surely. What is the problem in getting these people registered? Think about it. If your father or mother, brother or sister is caught up in the camps and you do not even know if he/she is alive or dead or wounded. And their names are not even on a register and so they can disappear without a trace. How would you feel?

    The children in the camps are our future generation. There can be absolutely no reason for keeping young children in the camps. A friend of a friend contacted me three days back saying that a charitable organisation in about to take over 130 of the children and asked for help. I readily wrote back and said I would do it and would also start a list of our friends who would also be willing to sponsor these children. One day later, he wrote back and said the transfer has been stopped and so far no explanation has been given. You can imagine the frustration. Also, whenever this sort of thing happens, rumours start to spread as to what the GOSL’s intentions are with these young children. Whenever proper information flow is curtailed, rumours become the only news available. And these rumours are vicious.

    I hear from my friends in Colombo that the good people in the south are collecting money, food etc to send to the IDP camps. Some are helping to put up toilets etc. Thanks people. But, while you are doing these good things, remember these people should not be there in the first place. Most of them should be in their own homes.

    Please campaign for the GOSL to identify the elders, pregnant mothers, young children first and send them back to their villages. They can appeal to the Diaspora to sponsor them on a one to one basis. I am sure there are enough of us willing to do it.

    Would DBSJ start a separate discussion header on this issue alone please? It would help to dedicate a separate discussion just on the issue of IDPs in camps.


  78. #81, JMP,

    You are spot on, especially this part.
    “Please campaign for the GOSL to identify the elders, pregnant mothers, young children first and send them back to their villages.”
    While the GOSL has some legitimate apprehensions about young people they have no business to hold elders, pregnant mothers and young children in camps. I have also read a report that there are a lot of teenage pregnancies amongst the girls in the camps. They say many resorted to this to avoid getting enlisted by the ltte. If this is true it’s a very sad situation. Anyway, what I would suggest is to campaign the UNHRC and UNHCR to press the govt to at least release elders, pregnant women and children. GOSL listens only to UN. It was UN’s sustained campaign that relaxed restrictions on access to those camps by the NGOs.

  79. Kumar

    All if this would have no happened if not that Indian government of yours which you defended oh so mightily in the previous post did not scuttle the United nation’s motion to send an investigation team in the first place.
    Should i remind you which nation was adamantly opposed to the UN’s call for investigation into these abuses?


    you are absolutely right. this is all just a waste of time. we are just wasting our time typing silly replies when nearly 300 000 are languishing in concentration camps. and the term “displaced” persons is an insult because they are being “detained” against their will.

    Even though we do as much as we can to send as much aid as we can to these people, its of no use when people are just disappearing left and right…and many are even Starving. How the HELL can a government detain so many people and not even fail to feed them 3 times a day? Why does it allow soldiers to set shops inside these camps? I heard that a bottle of water is selling for 600Rs! and essentials like half a loaf of bread at astronomical prices too. Even now no INGO’s are allowed into to these camps The only explanation is that it intentionally punishing the people. the same way is shelled them all to kingdom come just so it can kill a few tigers.

    I’m done with trying to “work with” this genocidal government. They do not merit anything less than A ICC trial.it might not happen now. but its sure going to happen one day.

  80. sorry, i made a typo

    i meant”
    “fail to feed them “,

    this entire IDP thing is pure BS and is nothing but collective punishment. a surefire indicator of an oppressive regime. Its no different from the German collective punishment of french villagers during the WW2.

    sorry for this outburst, but this is just too much and no amount of sugar coating by the Gosl can detract from the reality.It is making enemies out of even the moderates, and they don’t even seem to mind! I’m sure its all so fine and dandy to be able to do whatever they please, but one day their karma is just going to catch up.

  81. BTF (British Tamil Forum) have arranged for another demonstration on Saturday the 20th June 2009 to support the IDP (Internally Displaced Peoples). During the time of war between the LTTE and Military, the BTF had more than one and a half month of demonstration and they have totally mislead the people without providing them with proper information regarding the ground reality of LTTE and those who have been victimized by them.

    BTF was unable to do it independently because of LTTE lobbies and their propaganda media like Deepam TV, GTV and IBC

    The question that comes to mind is: is this going to be another meaningless demonstration? As authorities are aware and they are dealing with this issue by giving pressure to the government to improve the IDP conditions and besides this issue has already been brought forward to the media attention.

  82. #78, Ulysses,

    You come across as an idealist. Let’s be more pragmatic here please. India and SL are not matured democracies. They are still evolving. Give them some lee way. You are imposing matured western democratic standards on them. These transformations will take time.

    1. As for MR’s suitability, at times you need a strong arm character to carry out certain agendas. You might have seen comedian Bill Maher’s observation about him wanting a Bush in Obama for certain tasks. This is true of GOSL too. In this case, the task happened to be the elimination of ltte from the scene. You got to be ruthless to certain extent to crush a ruthless organization. You may not agree on this but it’s a fact that so long ltte was on the scene it would be next to impossible for an amicable settlement.

    2. As for Gujju Muslims not pressing, they did indeed campaign successfully and trial is going on with the direct supervision of the supreme court and a few sitting ministers from Modi’s cabinet have already been arrested and put on trial. What I was saying is the question of Modi himself. If Modi is indicted it’s going to upset a lot of people and that will not give room for any reconciliation between hindus and muslims. You have stated clearly that you are not targeting the poor soldiers but the decision makers. But in this case the decision makers are MR, SF and GR. Most ordinary sinhalese look upon them as heroes. If these characters are to be indicted you are going to upset a lot of sinhalese and that’s not the way for any reconciliation. You have to start somewhere. If you keep insisting that you will start only after ideal conditions are restored, I am afraid you are not going to see any real peace in the near future. I said this before and let me say it again. The strategy of GOSL to declare toward the end of the war that they were not going to use heavy artillery was a clever one. In the future, if at all there is a war crimes investigation, the decision makers would say “we did declare that heavy artillery would not be used but it appears that some field commanders didn’t follow this order and violated them. We have no objection whatsoever in prosecuting these people for their violations” Ha ha ha! There you go. So you will be ending up punishing brigadiers and major generals. Please note. I am not condoning the civilian killings but only pointing out that at times some inevitability has to be overlooked. As I said before, in SA it was the minority that oppressed the majority, so a commission was some kind of a release mechanism for the majority but it’s the other way around here. What is more important in the long run for restoration of peace? Is that 80% of the population accommodating 20% or vice versa? If you agree that it’s the former, you have to let go of this war crimes charges. If not, I have nothing to say except that you are not being practical. Your comparisons with Jews, Bosnians etc. are not fit for this situation.

    3. About chip on shoulders: It’s not just the past. Even now, I know for a fact that a lot of SL tamils hold such a view. Some like you and the other poster who correctly identified the origin do not, unfortunately, make the majority in this case. I can give you an example to show how deep rooted it is. When all those protests were going on, one of the local tamil channels in London (karan tv? not sure) held a discussion on the situation and all the participants were youngsters. When a question was asked why US and other world powers were not helping the SL tamils the answer from two youngsters was this. “The eelam tamil community is an intellectually superior race. The US and UK are afraid that if, tomorrow, these people form a nation they might overtake them and that’s the reason they are not helping us”. Others approved this! And this is from a bunch of youngsters, western raised/educated, living in a pluralistic society! You now wonder why the younger diaspora is more radicalized?

    4. As for actions of Indian govt, you can be angry at India for its actions on the world stage but India has very few options due to its domestic compulsions. I am not being sarcastic here but your (the SL tamil community) anger at India can do nothing. Zilch, Nada. Keep the anger boiling. Might be useful for boiling a kettle of water. As for your Indian friends’ anger, all I would say is these people have no idea of the overall picture.

    4. About Chinese threat. Yeah, I know about string of pearls strategy very well. The fact is, India can’t do anything beyond a point in these things except to make sure that they know exactly the magnitude of the threat. This may sound naive but that’s the reality. The money power employed by China in these cases (string of pearls) can’t be matched by India. So, India has to look for ways to deflect the damage than to contain them. Now you see the Indian govt building roads and developing a port (Sittwe port, $103 million) in Myanmar. That’s the reality. There will never be a 1962 again between India and China. Those days are over. Times have changed. As for change in Chinese political equations, yes, I strongly believe that things will be much different in 15 years from now. Don’t forget that we live in information age. You can’t control flow of information beyond a point.

  83. JMPillai is right. It is no point writing lengthy stories about the rights and wrongs of the past and what. happpened about two three thousand years ago. The immediate need is to solve the IDPs problem. Just imagine, people who lived in nice houses are now confined to a small tents.
    Again someone will say this is GOSL’s fault or VP’s fault. The bottom line is about 300,000 of our fellow citizens are going through hell. Mind you this is a Buddhist country. As the above writer said there are people in the south helping in many ways they can. We can sit in our nice little cosy rooms and type about the history of the Tamils and the Sinhalese, but that does’nt solve the immediate needs of the IDPs. As the writer suggested, we should have a discussion about IDPs and find a way of getting this message to the GOSL and the ordinary person in the street and get them to do something constructive. All this intellectual jargon does’nt help the IDPs. I think we had enough of that so far.

    Peace for all.

  84. Thilan/ Ulysses / Kumar,
    The War is over , we all waited for Gov of SL to start Recon and waiting, waiting but we know how GOSL works and dispose things. I am happy to see recon is happening amoungst Sri Lankan. Yes the silent uprising is begins for united Sri Lanka, Let us talk, argue and fight for our rights under the sun but not asking blood.

    BTW, no matter how and howmany killed, each death should be inquired impartially. It is basic human right

  85. I have only been able to read a few comments at random. But, I stumbled upon your reply to Kumar. All of what you said about what you have to go through to run this blog and the website itself did occur to me at least a year ago. I did think that you could not afford to employ someone to assist you even on a part-time basis, judging by the adverts as potential sources of revenue – they cannot generate more than a pittance, as rightly said.

    As JMPillai pointed out the need of the hour is indeed the resettlement of the Vanni populace in time – by this August – so that the people have at least a fighting chance to start cultivating the September season. The Vanni population need to be resettled with appropriate humanitarian assistance for IDPs to settle amongst them, soon afterwards.

    JMPillai again touched on a very SENSITIVE matter of children orphaned being not allowed to be looked after by Tamil charities.

    Is the government attempting to PROSELYTIZE those orphaned children? You see, first they orphan the children and now they want the saffron-clad fascist brigade to proselytize them. Is there no end to the suffering Tamils have to undergo? When will the Tamils be allowed live in Tamil homeland in peace?

    This website and your blog are gaining in popularity amongst the more articulate section of the Tamils and Sinhalese both in Sri Lanka and abroad. As you say, it is a big commitment on your part and your friends who have been kind enough to assist you with commitment and reliability. Given that your health too is not all it could be, you are certainly going to need assistance. It may be a good idea now to stick one of those ecommerce links and ask for donation – after all many people have come to rely on your service and you have got the resources to continue to provide the service. It is only fair users realise the need to provide some financial assistance in to pay for the extra resources required.

  86. Socialism is a failed ideology . so forget about that rubbish .

    No country in the world with a socialist system will develop , so bankrupt socialists should enter Angoda for mental rehabilitation .

  87. Ulysses

    Your comments are far the best and I agree with them all.

    You sounds very realistic so keep it up.

    The fact is that the victory against the Elam War will always be remembered for the killing of innocent people especially towards the end game, unlike what the GOSL is claiming, as a victory against Terrorism.

    Even if the war crimes tribunals fails, for sure, Sri Lanka will have the dark history for years to come because of that.

    The only way to clear these dark spots is to work against them so it is a must.

    Eliminate the so called trio-culprits or bring them to justice

    Change the name of the country

    Change the flag

    Change the national anthem

    Change everything that has that “DARK” spots

    Its time for for NEW NATION building…..the only way for everlasting peace in the Island

  88. Ulysys & Kumar (#86)
    Iam a Tamilian from India. Iam writing to you as you sound reasonable.
    1.Kumar, if you can be appologetic about MR,RAW,IPKF about their high handedness (Under certain circumstances- who is the arbitrator to decide which are those circumstances?)and narrow interest, how can you denay the same to VP? IT is true ltte was not prepared for any thing less than Ealam but what was the offer from the likes of MR?
    2. “…at times some inevitability has to be overlooked…”
    Again how all these concessions and condescention are for One side?? If might is right will there be any reason for any of us to talk??
    3.Chip on Soulders ? Well do you really feel we Indians have any moral right to talk about this? Blacks are bad, whites are bad, Yellows(chinese) are bad, Pakistanis are bad are the normal attitude – regarding Intelligence , no one can beat us in our self apreciation. You are talking about few youngsters from the crowd giving some stupid statement.Our national TV Channels like NDTV, IBN, Times NOW them self have mouthed much more inanities . No single channel showed any understanding of – Leave Srilanka even about Tamilnadu..
    4. We need to be little bit more humble and sympathetic and atleast learn to conseal arrogance as the Chinese. Dismissing Indian friends telling “they do not know the overall picture..” sounds same as those youngsters in UK..
    5.”…I know about string of pearls strategy very well…”. You do not seem to have any doubt about anything under the sun. The question begging is Why the chinese are circling? Is this not because of India hobnobbing with US and accomodating their containment ideas of China? 1962 can not happen again.True because we know India will get mouth full if it try any misadventure. In late 70s and early 80s i used to laugh if some one say USSR will disintegrate!!

  89. Mr. Pk Rajan # 92

    ”how can you denay the same to VP? ”’

    Nothing was denied to VP. He got everything in the end.

    Rajan, You seems to have very esteem regard for your country and fellow beings. Keep it up.

  90. #83, Ulysses,

    “All if this would have no happened if not that Indian government of yours which you defended oh so mightily in the previous post did not scuttle the United nation’s motion to send an investigation team in the first place.
    Should i remind you which nation was adamantly opposed to the UN’s call for investigation into these abuses?”

    Don’t get emotional, please. I need not tell you that when it comes to foreign policy the bottom line for any govt is self interest. India’s self interest at this stage dictates that it vote in favor of SL. This is again the problem with you people. Indian foreign policy is not subservient to SL tamil issue. Sorry, it’s much bigger than that. If necessary, SL tamil issue can be sidelined and this is what happened in this case. India has bigger skeletons in the cupboard than GOSL ,so if you think that India will vote in favor of forcing some other country to open its cupboard, you are sadly mistaken. Morality and emotions don’t play any role in foreign policy. It’s only cold calculated moves. In fact, only in the last decade or so, India is learning this art well. Prior to this, it was mired in the stupid non-alignment gang mentality. In the recent Gaza offensive, US supported Israel knowing fully well that the civilian plight was appalling. Big countries always play like that. Again, bottom line is, self interest.

  91. #92, Rajan,

    “The question begging is Why the chinese are circling? Is this not because of India hobnobbing with US and accomodating their containment ideas of China?”

    That India hobnobbing with US to contain China is the reason for Chinese encircling is a simplistic view. But, surprisingly, many subscribe to this view even though it’s only a minor consideration in Chinese overall strategy. FYI, Karakoram Highway in POK was completed by Chinese in 1998 and the agreement for the development of Gwadar port was entered into in 2001 and the development of Thilawa (Myanmar) port project started in 1999. All this happened much before the US hobnobbing with India. If anybody learned a bigger lesson in the collapse of the USSR it’s the Chinese. They have realized that military might is useless if not supplemented by economic might. So, they embarked on an all out strategy to make sure that Chinese long term energy and transportation needs are fully secured for the foreseeable future. Gwadar secures middle eastern oil supply. Myanmar port helps avoid Malacca straits and Hambantota is a refuelling and replenishment stop for both Malacca and Thilawa routes. Of course, all these will serve as listening posts of Chinese Navy. But their target is US navy Cent com and not India. Frankly, China considers India as an irritant rather than a threat. Both China and India have realized that they cannot militarily subdue each other and both are too big already for skirmishes. That’s why despite all the posturing on Arunachal Pradesh , China is not moving froward much on that. If they get it fine. If not, nothing is lost is their attitude. China desires to be economically on a par with US and its military plans are only supplemental to that. Its apprehensions come from the fact that US would never let anyone reach parity or overtake it economically. Big countries are not going to go to war with each other these days. It’s only economic interests that override anything else.

    For your other points,
    1. I am not covering up for anyone here. I am only defending India’s long term interest. The same concession as to MR/RAW/IPKF (as you put it) was not extended to VP simply because of the fact that he failed to capitalize on opportunities to politically settle the issue.

    2. It’s not might is right. It’s the attitude of the majority in any society. That’s a fact. I brought in the muslim issue in India to underscore the majority mentality. These are perceptions. It’s very difficult to change perception. We all know very well that only a few muslims are trouble makers in India. Has that changed the majority’s apprehension of muslims? You and I do not represent the ordinary joe on the street. The same goes for sinhalese perception of tamils.

    3. I am not talking about Indian attitude here. In fact, Indians are one of the most racist characters in the world. I fully concur with that. But the point is, the SL tamil attitude is causing problems for their existence. If they don’t change it they will be in trouble. We don’t have such a problem in India.

    4. My reply to Ulysses serves well for this also. I am not looking at the issue from the emotional angle of suffering of the tamil race alone. I look at it from the larger angle of long term peace. I, however, fully understand the pain experienced by the likes of Ulysses. They are emotionally disturbed and I can comprehend that. But solutions stemming from emotionally charged anger would not serve the long term interest of anyone.

  92. Thank you friends for agreeing with me on the importance of getting those people back to their homes, especially the elders, pregnant mothers and children.
    Come on, let’s have more and more people agreeing. Let the murmur of a few turn into a tirade of many. Then, the authorities will hear it.

    One small correction, Mr Shanthikumar. I did not say that the children must be looked after by Tamil charities. They can be any charities- provided they are charities that work for the benefit of those children. No narrow nationalistic or communalistic institution should take them and turn them into young people in their own image. That would be a disaster for the children as well as for everyone around.

    I have nothing against charities run by good broadminded Sinhalese people. My wife and I have been helping a particular charity that looks after disabled children in the South for many years. In fact, there is a Sinhalese child directly sponsored by us. We have been doing this right through these troubled times and will continue to do so for a long time to come.

    I am sure I am not alone in recognising the importance of getting these children into safe environments. I know there are good people in all communities. In fact, I think we, the good people are the majority, but we have been keeping quiet lately.

    So, friends, please, let’s have all our voices raised in union. “Let those children go”.


  93. Dear DBS

    Refer to Leo and Alyanee’s comments

    Through your and others articles and the comments by readers we have seen 99% of the comments had one purpose in unity, which is Reconciliation, Peace and Democratic of Sri Lanka”

    You have a wide audience and most of them are good hearted and forward minded people. I would really appreciate if you could lead this discussion platform to build a forum that we can call Sri Lankan Solidarity for Democracy and Peace, or whichever is deemed fit to say. I have a strong feeling that there is much more we can do as a group rather than an individual.

    Currently from what we see, all those one sided media and their lobbies are diverting the people from the reality and it is spreading the hatred feeling rather than bringing people closer and together.
    I would really appreciate if you can bring face to face the Tamils and Singhalese brothers and to help build a democratic Sri Lanka.

  94. Reply to Comments by
    # 35 Ranjan From Toronto
    # 62 Kaushi
    #66 Senadhi

    I guess my dear Sinahala friends got me wrong without reading my Comment # 9 properly.

    If you read my previous post # 76 on (http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/705) you will see my liberal views. Lots of my immediate relatives are married to Sinhalese and I have nothing against moderate Sinhalese.

    What I am critical about is the influence of religious extremism in Sri Lanka. You can see all around the globe that the single root cause for terrorism currently is due to religious extremism. That is why I questioned about the influence of Maha Sangha in Sri Lankan Government.

    We have had enough watching these constant quaking of ?R Regime? and Maha Sangha claiming the ?pre-historic, historic, post-historic? existence of Buddhism in Jaffna and all parts of SL, proving ?Buddhist Superiority? with this and that, and all those religious ceremonies since the end of war. Most people view this as ?Religious Fanaticism?. When high order Theros relentlessly involve in these kinds of activities, obviously Tamils have the right to criticise that these are the people behind all these ethnic problems. Instead of claiming the historical entity of Buddhism in SL and its ?superiority?, why can?t we all learn to respect each others religions and cultures enjoy each others company? Isn?t it the path we should take to re-build our Nation? Buddhist Vihara in Jaffna would have never been vandalized if Tamils were given their rights in the first place. It was certainly a cultural identity we all could have cherished and enjoyed.

    Whenever King MR confers the ordination of Buddhist monks, he always makes sure to mention that SL needs more monks to discipline the country. Well, ?R Regime? recruits more army and more monks to strengthen the military and religious power in politics. Good luck for Democracy in SL!

    Furthermore, what do you think of recruiting children as young as 5 years in to monastic orders which is actively campaigned by MR and his Prime Minister to cope up with the shortage of monks? MR and his PM defend this barbaric act saying that they are saving these young children from poverty by providing them food and lodge! Can ?R Regime? do this to their children or to their grandchildren? Shame on them. Besides being President of SL, King MR?s cabinet post is Minister of ?Religious Affairs and MORAL Upliftment?. Honestly child recruitment of monks is MORALLY much, much worse than recruitment of child soldiers which of course LTTE carried out of desperation. I am not defending LTTE by any means anyway. Right now we are very concerned what those monks in IDP camps are doing to those unfortunate kids. Just because Buddha ordained his son Rahula at very young age DOESN?T make child monk recruitment correct.

    Whole world is going downhill following stupid religious craps in all religions. See what is happening in Iran now. I wish Iran to have a revolution and hang all those Mullahs. 20, 30 years ago Afghanistan was such a liberal secular country with women?s rights and so on. Now see the plight of that country.

    From our house there are churches in all N, E, S and W directions and literally all in-between directions within walking distances. United, 7th Adventist, St. Mary?s, St. Joseph?s, Anglican, First Baptist, last Baptist,…Faction, faction within faction? You name it. I?ll take you there. A British friend visited us went for a walk around our neighbourhood and commented that we live among Devils. I have no clue, what he meant. Churches are to breed devils or to shoo away devils?? People have had enough of problems due to religious craps.

    Lot of people in this Blog discuss history, religion, what is said in what religion etc. etc.. You don?t need to follow any religion to be a good citizen. Being good and bad is as simplest as black and white. It all depends on individual?s upbringing. Whole world should be taught to respect and admire the cultural, linguistic, architectural, and archaeological aspects of ALL religions around the world and leave out other religious craps.

    Why do we even care about history or what is said in what religion? Why can?t we take good things in each religion, culture (and leave the bad things out) and respect each other and enjoy each others company and live peacefully.

    Ulysses, Salute to you for your command of knowledge in history and other world affairs. Have you also read that Jaffna was once Nagapatina pre-historically and ancestors in Jaffna evolved from Naga, the snake!!!! Don?t worry. Our ancestors came to Nagapatna only in 13th century according to our Sinhala brothers. Who knows from which lizard we evolved from? Perhaps we all should accept Darwin?s theory of evolution and get on with our life.

    Once one of my Parkistani friend said, ?Why the hell we all fight with each other. We all look alike and our ancestors were from Indus valley civilization. Shouldn?t look beyond that?. Correctly said.

    SL should give priority for developing the economy of the country instead of promoting Buddhism. That?s why I said we should develop good work ethic by reducing public holidays instead of having all full moon holidays. I lived in Kandy and I know how many Sinhalese go to temple on Poyas. Besides if anyone wants to go to temple, they can do it before or after work and there are enough retired elderly people to participate in religious activities during day time.

    I have heard lot of people saying that now the war has finished, now we need to build our economy and make our country like Singapore. Do you know in Singapore you have to start work early, finish work late and also work on Saturdays with a very few national public holidays in between? I also heard that ?R-Regime? declared 17 th of May as a national public holiday naming ?National Liberation Day?. Good luck for the SL economy!

  95. reply to #86

    You come across as an idealist. Lets be more pragmatic here please. India and SL are not matured democracies. They are still evolving. Give them some lee way. You are imposing matured western democratic standards on them. These transformations will take time.

    whence did advocating justice for tens of thousands of civilians killed become “idealism”. I’m sorry, we do not live in the 1900s, but in the 21st century. Just don’t try to excuse such blatant human rights abuses as actions of governments which are still”evolving” (or whatever you want to call it.) 1948 Ceylon was much more “evolved” than the one we have right now, FYI. Ignorance is not an excuse.

    as for the MR strongman comment, do ends justify the means? when the “end” might trigger more problems than the ones that existed? seems to me that it is you who has a rather naive and simplistic take on world affairs. the srilankan government “won” the “war” but created more enemies, and is doing so every passing day.

    You have to start somewhere. If you keep insisting that you will start only after ideal conditions are restored, I am afraid you are not going to see any real peace in the near future.

    what you mean by “peace” is something that’s imposed on the minority, without their consent. its like trying to marry someone without working out the conflicts/issues they have. its absurd and silly. just because its called “peace” does not make it so. and seriously? “peace” by a guy who just killed more people in a week than the tigers did in their entire existence?

    The strategy of GOSL to declare toward the end of the war that they were not going to use heavy artillery was a clever one. In the future, if at all there is a war crimes investigation, the decision makers would say we did declare that heavy artillery would not be used but it appears that some field commanders didnt follow this order and violated them. We have no objection whatsoever in prosecuting these people for their violations Ha ha ha! There you go. So you will be ending up punishing brigadiers and major generals.

    You need to get the facts straight. the lankan government denied using heavy weapons till irrefutable proof (in the form of satellite pics and HRW, AI reports) came to light. later on they accepted that they were using those weapons. instead of being a “clever” ploy, it simply undermined whatever credibility the government had(if it had any left by that time, that is).

    As for your comment about brigadiers and generals being punished while those who ordered these crimes going unpunished, i would suggest that you look at similar cases around the world, the Serbian war crimes trial, the Kosovo one and others have one thing in common. guess who testified against their “masters”? these so called major generals and brigadier generals. heard of a thing called plea-bargain? or amnesty agreement? If you believe that those military officers will NOT accept amnesty(either full or partial) in return for testifying against their masters; you must be living in LaLa land. There is ample precedence for this around the world, especially for the war crimes tribunals. Btw, did you think that Gothabaya helped the junta by claiming on tv ” Hospitals are legitimate military targets” ? Yet again you seem to display staggering amounts of naivete regarding such issues while preaching everyone else to look at the “global context” etc etc etc . maybe its time to practice what you preach 🙂

    As for your repeated comments about our superiority complex, Rajan has given a very apt reply.

    ///I am not talking about Indian attitude here. In fact, Indians are one of the most racist characters in the world. I fully concur with that. But the point is, the SL tamil attitude is causing problems for their existence. If they dont change it they will be in trouble. We dont have such a problem in India.////

    wait..let me get this straight…you accept that pretty much every single south Asian community has this problem, but “somehow” we lankan Tamils brought upon the problems upon themselves because the opposition was unwilling to take such ribbing?(as if the opposition was not doing the same thing). wow! lol. its like saying “hey, i call you names, you call me names, everybody calls each other names, but you are to blame yourself for the attacks from certain group because it does not like to be called names while it continues to do so”. How childish is that? are you saying that we have to somehow be “subdued” and play a “subservient” role just because the opposition behaves like spoiled brats?. sorry…no cant do. I’m flabbergasted by this recurring theme in your posts..that somehow bad and unsavory behavior should be tolerated. Please stop being an apologist for such actions. Again…we don’t live in the dark ages.

    btw thank you for calling me “emotionally disturbed” or whatever while claiming to be looking at the “big picture” . I can see how well you look at the “long term solutions” by the comments you have made. good luck with that. and while you are at it, why not dismantle the law and order system in every developing country? surely according to you we should not expect those people to behave in a sane and responsible manner right?.

    here is what your “strong arm” man is doing now

    ///The Sri Lankan governments announcement that it was ending its special inquiry into conflict-related abuses underscores the need for an international commission to investigate violations of international law by government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Human Rights Watch said today.

    Sri Lankas presidential commission of inquiry started with a bang and ended with a whimper, said Elaine Pearson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. The need for an international inquiry into abuses by both sides is greater than ever. ////

    I’m sure that you would excuse this too as something thats ok for “developing” countries to do.



    thank you the80Factor, i agree with the points you make, already thanks to the junta Lanka is looked upon as some 3rd world dictatorship. “White terrorists” and “western colonizes” ? seriously? lol if only people would realize the damage the MR&Co is doing to the country.

    # 87 Nissanka

    The immediate need is to solve the IDPs problem. Just imagine, people who lived in nice houses are now confined to a small tents.
    Again someone will say this is GOSLs fault or VPs fault. The bottom line is about 300,000 of our fellow citizens are going through hell. Mind you this is a Buddhist country.//////

    i agree that the IDP’s are the main concern. we have to do everything we can to aid them. but who is keeping them in this position? they are certainly not internally “displaced” people, but “detained” people. the gosl can end this horror in a moment if they were to allow at least the children and the elderly outside these camps. At least they could allow international aid agencies to provide the people with food and shelter, and other aid. why are these things not happening?

    the GOSL will use the suffering of this people as a “cash cow” to rake in money and to divert any call for an investigation into the human rights abuses. Not only have they ruined these people lives, but use the IDP’s as pawns in a game to save their own skins while enriching themselves further.

    PPS: this is not a Buddhist country. and even if you meant it in a philosophical sense, i doubt Buddha would have liked to set foot in this island for the past 60 years.

  96. #99, Ulysses,

    “wow! lol. its like saying “hey, i call you names, you call me names, everybody calls each other names, but you are to blame yourself for the attacks from certain group because it does not like to be called names while it continues to do so”. How childish is that? are you saying that we have to somehow be “subdued” and play a “subservient” role just because the opposition behaves like spoiled brats?. sorry…no cant do.”

    Well, in India, we don’t get killed for calling others names. The south indians call north indians brainless and the northies call southies uncouth loud mouths. But we don’t get killed for this. If you say that you are happy getting killed go ahead. None stopping you. And you conveniently ignored this part of my post.
    “We all know very well that only a few muslims are trouble makers in India. Has that changed the majority’s apprehension of muslims?”

    Majority mentality is the same everywhere. It’s a fact. It can’t be helped if you don’t get it. This is what I meant being practical. Even in enlightened western democracies the majority mentality is inescapable. One example: During Christmas, even if you are not a Christian, you will be gently nudged to celebrate Christmas. Nothing explicit but you can’t deny the underlying connotations.

    “the lankan government denied using heavy weapons till irrefutable proof (in the form of satellite pics and HRW, AI reports) came to light. later on they accepted that they were using those weapons.”

    When and where did they accept? I didn’t read any such reports.
    Well, we are going in circles. Let me stop here.

  97. Hello DBJS & for those who read this website,

    I propose that you should set up a paypal account for receiving donations. I read plenty of news papers and only rarely come across unbiased articles like yours.

    I am for helping you in anyway I can for educating us, the readers and promoting healthy discussions.

    I am sure many who visit this website pay some sort of a news paper company.


    I believe it is our responsibility to look after each other.

    People think about.

  98. Hi David,
    Thank you so much for volunteering your time and energy in providing this wonderful forum for reconciliation. I am sure many would agree with me, the contribution you are making to the Sri Lankan community is immense.

    I have been reading your articles for the past few years with avid interest. You have the correct pulse on what is really going on back home and in the expat community. No wonder you draw a large number of moderates to your site.

    The obvious immediate concern (as also apparent from the many comments) is the Tamil IDP camps. I started writing a comment on helping the IDPs and it turned into a long request/essay of sorts.

    So, I will email it to you now. I really put my heart into writing it. I know I am asking too much, but if you can find time, please read it.

    The personal details about me are in the email.

    The email is sent to dbsjeyaraj@yahoo.com. Please scan for the subject header “Reconciliation: Helping and Healing the Tamils in the IDP Camps”.

    I wrote this comment here to alert you about my email. So if you want, you can delete this comment now. Thanks.
    A Volunteer for Peace

  99. 102.A Volunteer for Peace
    I work for an organisation called canadians for peace.please contact me at canadiansforpeace@gmail.ca
    I do not have a magic wand to bring peace.But we Ihave the will and will g oforward with people lik you.
    Please go to the web:canadiansforpeace.ca

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