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Tiruchelvam, Tigers and the Tamil “Traitor” Tragedy

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by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Ten years ago on the morning of July 29, an unknown ‘human bomb’ exploded at the Rosemead Place-Kynsey Road junction. The suicide attack resulted in the death of Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam.

In a few seconds of madness the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had murdered the foremost intellectual in contemporary Tamil politics.

[Neelan Tiruchelvam]

The void created is yet to be filled. It is particularly felt at this juncture as the Sri Lankan Tamils flounder in a rudderless,leaking boat on choppy waters deprived of able sailors to steer boat safely ashore.

“Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in Mankind,” wrote the metaphysical poet John Donne.

The ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka has extracted a heavy human toll.

In my personal capacity as a Sri Lankan Tamil and in my professional capacity as a journalist , I have lost count of the number of people related or known to me who have encountered violent deaths.

But no man’s death as a result of the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka has diminished me as that of Neelan Tiruchelvam a decade ago.

NEELAKANDAN

Neelakandan Tiruchelvam, well-known as Neelan or Dr. Neelan, strove ceaselessly to achieve a peaceful solution to the Tamils issue. He dedicated himself to that cause with a sense of purpose.

Although he could have easily enjoyed a lucrative academic or professional career abroad,he chose to remain in Colombo through very trying circumstances and pursued his vision of a lasting political settlement where all communities, including that of his own, the Sri Lankan Tamils, coexisted with justice, dignity and peace.

In that context, his death is an irreparable loss to the country in particular and humanity in general.

The positive and constructive endeavours of Neelan remained unknown to the Tamil world while the abrasive yet negative play-acting of others received undeserved praise.

The widespread grief and condemnation expressed by a spectrum of human rights organisations at his killing demonstrated the extent of his contacts and was a tribute to his untiring yet unpublicised efforts on behalf of the Tamil people.

Although a citizen of the world in every sense Neelan also felt deeply about the plight of “our people” as he would refer to the Tamils when talking to me. It was this concern about the Tamil predicament and the yearning to do something meaningful about it that drew me closer to him.

At the same time Neelan was not ethno-centric and realised fully that ultimately a solution acceptable to all sections of the people had to be found.

RELATIONSHIP

I had a close personal relationship with Neelan. He was my friend, philosopher and guide. He was greatly instrumental in moulding my career. He was in a sense my political mentor.

I will always remain grateful for the advice, knowledge ,assistance and help provided by him during various phases of my life.

Neelan and his wife Sithie were like an elder brother and sister to me. I was one of the last persons to speak to him on that fateful day. I spoke with him on the telephone from Toronto for 50 minutes from 7.50 am until 8.40 am (Sri Lankan time). I used to call him regularly those days.
Usually he winds up the conversation after a while saying “you are going to run up a massive phone bill”. But on that day he was in a mood to talk and was pensively reflective .When I ended the conversation he seemed a little surprised.

Thirty-Five minutes later Neelan was killed at 9.15 a.m on his way to office at Kynsey terrace as the assassin waiting for him near the Kynsey road-Rosemead place junction threw himself upon his vehicle.

When the office aide Rajah rang me from Colombo to convey the tragic news I could not believe it. “I spoke to him only a little while ago” I wailed. Sadly the loyal Rajah too is no more having passed away a year ago.

Whenever I cautioned Neelan about his safety he had a fatalistic attitude about death. “No one can prevent it when it happens, we just have to go on doing what we have to do,” he told me once.

He also seemed to have a premonition about how he was going to die. “There are countless vehicles in Colombo now. There is a traffic jam at every junction. All security measures become a mockery if my car is held up. None of the police assigned for my safety will be able to do anything.”

How pr ophetic were those words. The lone assassin slipped easily between vehicles held up at the traffic snarl at Rosemead Place and blew himself up.

RESPONSIBILITY

The LTTE in customary fashion has neither claimed credit nor denied responsibility for the despicable crime. Yet two factors point significantly to the involvement of the Tigers in the murder.

Firstly , the human bomb had become the trademark of an LTTE-type assassination. In this instance the modus operandi bore the Tiger stamp conclusively.

The second and more important factor was the consistent hostility displayed by the LTTE towards Neelan Tiruchelvam. Tiger-controlled media organs in Sri Lanka and abroad had attacked him for many years.

Tiger propagandists and LTTE fellow travellers were blatantly transparent in their criticism of Neelan even after he was killed.

In fact I had an acrimonious exchange with the late Kumar Ponnambalam in the columns of “Sunday Times” in the process of defending Neelan after his death.

The LTTE and its supporters were critical of the constitutional reforms proposals, known generally as the devolution package, which sought to find a solution to the decades-old ethnic strife.

PROPOSALS

The legal, constitutional and political expertise of Neelan Tiruchelvam along with that of Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris contributed greatly to the formulation of the package in 1995.

While Sinhala hardliners accused him of promoting separatism by trying to push through the devolution package, the LTTE and its cohorts charged him of betraying Tamil interests.

These contrasting allegations made by the hawks on both sides were proof enough that Neelan Tiruchelvam was on the right track in seeking a negotiated settlement that would provide maximum devolution within the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka.

As for LTTE propaganda, Tiruchelvam had been the most reviled Tamil politician and pet object of hate. The LTTE’s poet laureate, Puthuvai Rathinadurai, writing under the pseudonym “Viyasan”, had constantly referred to him as a throgi (traitor), who clung to President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s munthanai (free end of the saree) and who must be destroyed.

As stated earlier Neelan’s fault in Tiger eyes was the co-authoring of a set of constitutional reform proposals with Prof. G. L. Peiris. These proposals released on August 3,1995 were described as the “GL-Neelan package” by sections of the media.

These proposals were hailed as the most progressive breakthrough in the political sphere of resolving the Tamil national question.

Within a few days of the package details appearing in the newspapers, the LTTE summoned a press conference on Aug 11th 1995 at their Chundikuli headquarters in Jaffna. It was held by the LTTE’s political adviser Anton Stanislaus Balasingham and LTTE’s Political Wing Head Suppiah Paramu Tamilselvan.

Balasingham condemned the package even though it had not been submitted to the Tigers formally .Rejecting the package as an act of treachery against Tamils, Balasingham went on to say-

“The Government is operating with an absurd and ridiculous scheme that proposes a political solution to Tamils and a military solution to the Tamil Tigers. This scheme is based on a misconceived fantasy that the LTTE and the Tamil people could be separated by enticing the Tamils with a devolution package.”

CAMPAIGN

That was the green light!Thereafter the vicious campaign against Neelan began in the Tamil and even sections of the English media.

He was called a traitor to the Tamil community because he participated in a positive exercise of constitution making instead of rabble rousing like some other Tamil sycophants of the LTTE.

Few bothered to analyse the package constructively. Despite its shortcomings the GL-Neelan package was the best possible scheme of power sharing to be evolved in post-independence Sri Lanka.

As Neelan himself said “the proposals of August 3,1995 represented the boldest attempt to redress the imbalance in the relationship between the different ethnic groups through devolution of power to the regions.”

Neelan with characteristic modesty and disdain for hogging the limelight played down his involvement in the August 3 proposals known as the “GL-Neelan” package. In private and in fora that mattered, Neelan stoutly defended the package.

He would often lament that much of the mud slung at him in Tamil circles was “ill-informed” and without any grasp of what the package was all about.

He was very proud of the package but accepted that it had its shortcomings from a Tamil point of view. What he felt was that the package was the best possible as a starting point.

A particular source of satisfaction was the proposed change of the unitary state into a union of regions. He felt that if there was a Tamil consensus around it and the LTTE lent its bargaining clout the package could be enhanced further.

Alas!That was not to be and the LTTE campaign sought to undermine the package as a complete sell-out.

PACKAGE

With the LTTE taking up cudgels against the package and the war intensifying, the Chandrika Kumaratunga government too altered its approach. Naturally, Neelan was placed in an unenviable position while his critics became increasingly strident.

On the other hand, the original package itself underwent a series of revisions. The end result of all this was the systematic whittling down of the original package to which Neelan had contributed immensely.

The August 3 1995 package lost much of its lustre when presented formally as government proposals on January 16,1996.The Parliamentary select committee proceedings saw the devolution proposals being diluted further when tabled as a white paper on October 24, 1997.

It was against this dismal backdrop that the LTTE assassinated Neelan. After Neelan’s death, the devolution package he conceptualised in its original form was further eroded.

In the short-lived honeymoon period between the PA and UNP the devolution proposals got reduced in scope and scale . Choksy was responsible for much of that.

With Neelan’s demise there was no one from the Tamil side to contribute positively to this exercise. Ultimately a caricature of the original Neelan package came to parliament but even the TULF would not support it now.

Kumaratunga in her address to parliament lavished her gratitude to Choksy but omitted to even mention Neelan’s name despite his having paid the supreme sacrifice. And then the UNP did a somersault and refused to support the bill co-drafted by it.

Years later the political scenario changed drastically. The LTTE entered a peace process with the UNP and began talking to a ‘Sinhala’ government about power sharing.

Lo and behold! The chief government negotiator was none other than G.L. Peiris with whom Neelan had engaged in constitution making, years ago.The Tiger chief negotiator was the very same Balasingham who dismissed the ‘GL-Neelan’ package derisively earlier.

The GOSL-LTTE talks achieved a significant breakthrough in Norway when the negotiating parties decided to “explore” a federal solution. Despite this advance, the talks thereafter failed to follow through with this in subsequent meetings.

REVELATION

Meanwhile Anton Balasingham made a startling revelation on March 11, 2003 when he spoke at the ceremonial opening of an LTTE bank (vaippagam) at Kilinochchi. The speech was reported in full in the Jaffna based “Uthayan” of March 13 2003. Here is the relevant excerpt-

“1995 aam aandu Neelan Thiruchelvam arasamaipputh thirutha varaipu ondrai samarppithhaar. Athu sariyaana varaipu.Athu etkakkoodiyathu. Aanaal pinnar 2000 aam aandu antha varaipin adippadayil Chandrika oru thirutha varaipai samarppithaar.Antha varaipu Neelan Thiruchelvathin varaipin oru araikkuraiyaana oru thokuthiyaagum.”

(Neelan Tiruchelvam presented in 1995 a draft amending the constitution.That was a correct draft. That was acceptable. But later in 2000 Chandrika submitted an amended version based on that draft. This one was only a half-baked version of the earlier draft by Neelan Tiruchelvam)

After vilifying Neelan as a traitor and the August 3rd 1995 devolution package as an act of treachery for years the LTTE was now acknowledging the merits of Neelan’s draft . After condemning the “GL-Neelan” package, Balasingham was now praising it. The wheel had turned full cycle.

Even though Neelan was vindicated in a way, the brightest star in the Tamil political firmament was no more and nothing could ever bring him back. The loss to his family, friends, colleagues and associates is irreplaceable. So too is the loss to his community, country, humanity at large and the intellectual realm.

When replying to his critics after Neelan’s assassination I wrote that with the passage of time his positive contribution would be acknowledged by the Tamils.

SCENARIO

In the aftermath of the LTTE’s “reappraisal” of Neelan’s constitutionalism I wrote in 2003 of two possible future scenarios.

“As time progresses two possible scenarios could unfold. Positively the LTTE after fits and starts could really enter the negotiating process in a meaningful manner. If and when that highly unlikely occurrence does happen, the original scheme of devolution as drafted by Neelan in association with GL could very well be a starting point. Apart from a few modifications particularly in terms of the devolutionary unit, that original draft needs little addition. Against such a backdrop Neelan’s reputation will no longer remain tarnished in the eyes of certain segments of the Tamil people.”

“In a negative light, the Tigers could continue to be intransigent and inflexible in their quest for Tamil Eelam. This could result in war. Initially the LTTE could have the upper hand and Colombo’s position shaky. As time goes on, the international community could rally round Colombo in a way never seen before. The prospects are endless. Ultimately the fortunes of the LTTE could turn for the worse. If that happens, the Tamil cause by extension would be weakened considerably. The Tamil plight would be terrible. In that context the wisdom and foresight of people like Neelan and their positive contribution to the Tamil people would be realised fully.”

Recent events have shown the emergence of the negative scenario envisaged by me in 2003. The intransigent LTTE continued with war and ultimately paid the price with the entire world backing the Sri Lankan Government .The Tamils are in dire straits. Even the 13th amendment is under threat.The wisdom and foresight of people like Neelan who tried hard to bring about a just settlement earlier is being realised and appreciated.

Whatever the future of the Tamil people, Neelan and all those killed under the pretext of alleged treachery will not be resurrected physically. Neelan was a man who respected the sanctity of life as supreme.

He felt strongly that it was the most fundamental right of all as all other rights were meaningless to a lifeless person. Neelan was concerned about the growing intolerance and violence among the Tamil community itself.

During the emergency debate of June 15th 1999 Tiruchelvam stated-

“We cannot glorify death whether in the battlefield or otherwise. We, on the other hand, must celebrate life, and are fiercely committed to protecting and securing the sanctity of life, which is the most fundamental value without which all other rights and freedoms become meaningless.”

PHENOMENON

The glorification of death and the justification of political violence was abhorrent to him. It is pertinent therefore to ponder on this virulent phenomenon within the Tamil community at a time of remembering Neelan.

[A.Amirthalingam]

The political violence that destroyed Neelan, Amirthalingam, Sri Sabaratnam, Padmanabha , Subathiran and hundreds of others is explicitly and implicitly justified by the perpetrators as being necessary to ensure Tamil unity and take forward the struggle for Tamil equality.

The tendency is to view all those holding or perceived to be holding different political opinions to that of the dominant one in vogue as being traitors. Dissidence is equated with treachery.
Mythology and history is convoluted and signs of real or imaginary betrayals are portrayed as the causes for the downfall of those depicted as ‘heroes.’ Ravanan had his Vibeeshanan; Kattabomman his Ettappan; and Sankiliyan his Kakkai Vanniyan.

In contemporary times, the evolution and growth of representative democracy in Sri Lanka has seen the term ‘throgi’ or traitor being bandied about liberally and rather loosely. Politicians of all communities have at times accused their rivals of being traitors to the people or their just causes.

This phenomenon however has been more pronounced and deeply embedded amidst the Sri Lankan Tamil polity. Ever since universal franchise and territorial representation shattered the Tamil self-perception of being equal to the Sinhala ‘numerical’ majority, the nature of Tamil politics underwent transformation.

The underlying thread of Tamil politics became political emancipation. Be it balanced representation, responsive cooperation, federalism, regional autonomy or separatism-it was the discourse of Tamil liberation that dominated the polity.

The growing community consciousness and the high premium placed on ethnic solidarity created a situation where the people at large were expected to strike common course on political issues. ‘Ottrumai’ or unity became the dominant cry.

It was seen as the most convenient mode of mobilising votes for a particular party on an ethnic basis. It was also easy to label any Tamil involved with Sinhala dominated parties be they nationalist or leftist as being collaborationist with negative connotations.

Thus, anyone differing or seen as deviating from whatever dominant political opinion within the Tamils was depicted as betraying the cause and community. They were described as weeds that had to be ‘weeded out’ (kalaieduppu).

TRAITORS

In the early days this weeding out of political rivals depicted as traitors was strictly electoral. They had to be defeated at the polls and nothing more. It was also easier to undermine those in power through this type of propaganda.

So G.G. Ponnambalam and the Tamil Congress got the better of Sir Arunachalam Mahadeva and the UNP Tamils by calling those who supported the Soulbury Constitution traitors.

Then it became Ponnambalam’s turn to be called traitor by S.J.V. Chelvanayagam and the federalists after he became a minister in D.S. Senanayake’s cabinet.

When Chelvanayagam and the FP became ensconced in Dudley Senanayake’s national government, former Kayts MP V. Navaratnam broke ranks and formed the Tamil Freedom Party .
His criticism of the FP as traitors did not carry much conviction because of the high esteem in which Chelva was held.

Earlier it was difficult to brand the Samasamajists and Communists as traitors by the Tamil nationalist parties because of the very progressive stance taken by the left on the national and language question.

After the left changed course and joined forces with the SLFP and adopted the “Masala Vadai” line it became easier to ‘traitorise’ them too.

The practice of demonising political adversaries as traitors took a qualitative turn in the 1970-77 period.

The fiery Tamil poet Kasi Anandan thundered in 1972 that none of the six Tamil MPs who supported the Republican Constitution of 1972 should die of natural causes.

[Alfred Durayappah]

It also became clear that some Tamil politicians like the popular Jaffna Mayor Alfred Durayappah would be difficult to defeat politically because of widespread people support.

Durayappah was continuously described as traitor in the TULF organ Suthanthiran. He was portrayed as the cause for all problems affecting Tamils and that his elimination would usher in a new dawn for the Tamils.

Impressionable young Tamil minds got the message. Durayappah was gunned down in July 1975. Later Prabhakaran was to call it his first “military” operation. None of the TULF leaders condemned Durayappah’s killing then.

KILLINGS

Since then the spate of political killings within the Tamil community has not ceased .

Tamil policemen, suspected informants, Tamil activists of the SLFP etc. were killed as traitors. After 1977 it became the turn of UNP Tamils to be killed.

Then Tiger guns turned on the TULF and ex-Kopay MP, Aalalasundaram was shot and injured in 1982. It was only then that Amirthalingam issued a hard-hitting statement saying “after biting the goat and cow the animal had now bitten a human.”

As the Tamil liberation struggle ‘progressed’ the militants began calling the TULF leaders traitors. Soon many were killed.

Amirthalingam who had described many a political opponent as being traitor was killed and unfairly accused as traitor himself.

The guns also began turning sideways and inwards.

Soon there was fratricidal warfare among the Tamil groups. Organisations were dubbed wholesale as traitors by the LTTE and were prohibited from the Tamil areas. Massive killings of rival groups followed.

When the Indian Army was here and war with the LTTE erupted several tigers were killed by groups toeing the Indian line like EPRLF, ENDLF and TELO.

When the Indian Army left the tigers massacred wholesale those members of the pro – India Tamil National Army.

Both sides described each other as traitors of the Tamil cause.

This practice continued.

REVERSED

The LTTE killed more than 60 members of organisations like the EPDP and EPRLF after the ceasefire of 2002. They were branded as traitors.

Later the roles reversed and Tamil “paramilitary” groups aligned with the state killed many Tamils suspected of LTTE links as “enemies of the state”.

‘Traitorisation’ turned inwards too. Former LTTE Deputy Leader, Gopalaswamy Mahendrarajah alias Mahattaya who went public in denouncing Amirthalingam as a traitor was himself later executed by the Tiger supremo.

Mahattaya too was now called traitor and charged with conspiracy to overthrow Pirapaharan. More than 150 of his supporters were also killed as traitors.

The revolt of former eastern tiger commander Vinayagamoorthy Muraleetharan in March 2004 saw the “mainstream” LTTE executing a large number of “rebel” cadres as traitors.

Soon Karuna allied with the State and unleashed violence against Praba loyalists dubbing them traitors of the east.

The LTTE has killed a number of people within and outside the movement as suspected traitors over the years. It is in the neo-fascist nature of the LTTE to discover more and more new traitors on a regular basis.

Anyone seen as holding different opinion or not toeing the line was easily labelled traitor. There were numerous instances of many being wrongfully accused and executed.

TRAGEDY

Even in a post-Prabhakaran situation the LTTE tendency to demonise those with different viewpoints as traitors continues. Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias KP and his supporters are called traitors by those opposing him.

This malady afflicting Tamils has resulted in countless people being killed as traitors. This is a Tamil tragedy for which others cannot be blamed. There is an urgent need for serious introspection.

The Tamil people must address this issue that is literally and metaphorically killing the community.

Sanctity of human life and tolerance of political divergence are very necessary for the healthy future of the Tamils. Neelan Tiruchelvam was firmly devoted to these ideals. Ultimately Tiruchelvam himself became a victim to the on-going Tamil “traitor” Tragedy.

Even as sad memories of his tragic death are re-kindled this column hopes and prays that those values like the sanctity of life held most sacred by Neelan are reestablished among the Tamils again.

DBS Jeyaraj can be reached at dbsjeyaraj2005@yahoo.com
DBS Jeyaraj……………….July 30th 2009

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130 Comments

  1. I am copying just one sentence that you wrote for Hindu newspaper after Neelan’s Death in 1999,

    “In the case of the LTTE, Neelan Tiruchelvam had tremendous sympathy for its cadres although he was totally against its overall objective and methods.”

    It is very simple, when someone trying to acheive something, whoever acts against it becomes legitimate target. That is what heppen to Neelan.

  2. Dear DBS

    You’ve written this from your heart.

    For people like me who cheered our side as heroes and jeered the other side as traitors your article tugs at heartstrings of conscience.

    Yes the process of “traitorisation” as you describe it has literally and metaphorically killed the brightest and best. Prime example of that is Neelan.

    In a world where loyalty is so opportunistic your constant allegiance to Neelan’s memory and defiant defence of a man labelled as traitor by the LTTE was always commendable.You are true and bold.

    As you stated now the anti – KP camp is busy calling people traitors. I only hope this will not lead to a spree of killing within the Diaspora

    Please continue with your good work and I pray to the almighty that we Tamils stop this traitorisation for ever.

    Thank you for your kind words. Mikka nandri………………DBSJ

  3. Mr. Jeyaraj

    I endorse the views of Thillaiambalam in full.

    I am personally aware that Dr. Tiruchelvam has helped a lot of people of all communities. But very few of them admit this openly or acknowledge him.

    What I like about you Mr. Jeyaraj is that you are one of the few Tamils who always expressed your gratitude and appreciation of what he did.

    I note with admiration your exchange of words with late Kumar Ponnambalam in defence of Neelan at a time when the TULF cowards simply kept quiet.

    Loyalty is indeed praiseworthy.

    Neelan’s loss is irreplaceable for Tamils. History will vindicate Tiruchelvam.

    Thank you for your kind words. Mikka nandri………………DBSJ

  4. It is not fair to call the LTTE neo-fascists. First of all, we must remember that parliamentary democracy does not work in Sri Lanka. If Neelan Tiruchelvam was the only hope Tamils ever had, that speaks volumes in and of itself.Continuing on, if parliamentary democracy does not work, it does not mean that the struggle for equality will cease. It means that the struggle will take other forms. So, whatever opinion one has of the LTTE, one cannot discard the fact that its coming was INEVITABLE. The rise of the Nazis was not inevitable. They actually contested and won elections. The choice to wage war on Europe was a conscious decision on their part. On the other hand, the Tamil people had no choice. They were attacked from all sides. Everyday brought a new hell. In such circumstances, fighting back is the rational choice. The confusion with fascism probably has to do with some of the methods the LTTE utilized. Lack of civil liberties, suicide bombs, etc. Let us remember though, that except for a few farcical ceasefires not meant to last anyway, there was still no one (other than the Tamil people) willing to give the LTTE a chance.

    Ultimately, we cannot conclude based on just methods used in extremely tenuous circumstances, that the LTTE truly embodied fascism as an ideology. If it so happened that they were rulers of a State in which curtailment of civil liberties was the norm, if they made plans to wage war on sovereign nations outside of the Tamil Eelam borders, if their Parliament was filled with religious zealots advocating racial supremacy, if their schoolbooks were written with distorted versions of history to degrade another race, and if their military expenditure was uniquely tailored to accommodate the objective of waging war on unprovoked nations and peoples, then yes, we can conclude that they were a fascist organization. But please, do not choke a man and when he violently resists, call him a fascist. The true fascists – we know who they are – have always had plenty of breathing room.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Fascism has many forms depending on specific situations. The German , Italian models were of one kind. Those models need not be replicated in full for an entity to be called fascist.Some right- wingers of modern Europe also have a fascist element in their ideology. Likewise the JHU has elements of fascist ideology. The JVP has shades of “National socialism”. All these organizations would vehemently deny they are fascist and argue.

    Dinesh Gopalapillai, you are one person who frequents this blog and other websites always defending the indefensible LTTE. I have identified you as a shameless tiger propagandist without an iota of remorse for the conduct of LTTE. Ironically people like you exploit the right of free speech ,comment and expression to engage in tiger propaganda while the LTTE denied these rights to others in the past.

    Ideological content alone is not the criterion to determine whether one is fascist or not. Methods adopted play a very big part. As for the LTTE I called it “neo-fascist” because the tiger fascism is of a particular kind.

    There was a time when I defended the LTTE when others called it fascist.I too said their methods were “authoritarian and intolerant” but that does not make them fascist. But not any more

    The more and more I read about Hitler and Mussolini the more I recognize similiarities with Praba.The LTTE practised a unique brand of “neo-fascism” as deemed appropriate to prevailing realities of Sri Lanka.
    Mercifully the “canvas” available for Praba was small and limited. Otherwise the effect would have been terrible. Interestingly the LTTE had a “Hold” over the Diaspora that Hitler & Mussolini did not have
    I was once preparing a lengthy piece on the LTTE’s neo-fascism. I gave up the idea after the tiger defeat. I don’t know whether any good can come of it being written now

    But when tiger propagandists like you attempt to paint a positive version of the LTTE without evincing any regret for the perlous state the tigers have plunged the Tamils into I have second thoughts.

  5. Slight error: the second paragraph should read as “If it so happened that they were rulers of an internationally recognized State.” This point is very important.

    DBSJRESPONDS:

    Thank God for that. If the LTTE was ever rulers of an internationally recognized state the world would have seen a unique form of fascism in practice as state ideology.

  6. Superb article, well written & articulated . I wish we have more writers of your calibre in our Tamil diaspora to educate our masses of the real truth & in turn engage in productive dialouge with th SL Govt.

  7. Jeyaraj, Thanks for this nice article as always. A lot of my friends from Tamil nadu have started reading your blog and now they are able to see the other side. Earlier, they all blindly sided with the LTTE. After visiting your site, they are clearly able to see both sides and judge for themselves. Thanks a lot Jeyaraj. Your blog and the wonderful comments that follow are so important for us to understand what is going on in the world today. Keep up the good work.

    Thank you Swathy and I havent forgotten your request to write on Tamil Nadu also………DBSJ

  8. Now, I am clear that the death of the LTTE leader and the defeat of the LTTE is a good thing for Tamils. Pirabakaran wouldn’t have let any reasonable Tamil to voice his opinion, yet alone work with the government to formulate a decent solution.

  9. I am glad that you have put this sorry record in writing, sparing no one.It was Amirthalingam who was very vigorous in bringing the idea of “traitor” to the public paltforms in the fifties and early sixties.Anyone who disagreed with them FP line was branded a traitor and compared to Kaskai Vanniya. etc.He was to fall victim to this name-calling himself.From vilolent speech to violent action, it turned out, was but a short step.
    I think you missed Kathiravetpillai’s verbal exceeses as Mrs Amirthalingams’s.Indeed verbal excesses and fake posturings in heroics in the safe enviorement of the Jaffna peninsula was their standard operating mode.
    Keep up the good work of honest and informed jounalism.
    RK

  10. Sad fate of thamil people, Only divine intervetion save thamil people. I can only cry nothing i can do.

  11. Sir ,you are one of best writer in Sri Lankan affairs you give too many details, thanks for that ,,,,

  12. It is the killing of Neelan Thiruchelvam that caused Bill Clinton (Neelan’s classmate from Harvard) to ban the LTTE as a terrorist organization. The Tamils paid dearly for this grave error by the torchbearers for the tamil cause. The stupidity of LTTE can only be rivaled by the SL Govt today. Executing anyone (including the journalists) for their opinions that differ from the Govt’s official line is as crass and tribalistic as the LTTE in its methods. When will the brownies learn the art of administration, negotiation and diplomacy? Or are we doomed to kill our brothers and sisters like our tribalistic forebears.

  13. There are two things common in all thease issues.That is hate and greed.Or In sinhala its called LOBA /DVESHA.Funny thing is all human beings are having it in every thing they do,even children and very educated people to street people.May be refraining from thase two is the real middle path.

    However thankyou DBS everyday I learn something new from you but there is no right answer to the question .Isnt it?

  14. Neelan was classmate of mine along with Billy boy Clinton. We use to call him Blue boy True-chelvam. I appreciate writing this piece on his 10th death anniversary. It is quite sad that your country has deteriorated to a militaristic state these days, from what I read and hear. The country’s President says one thing and does something else – speaking from both sides of his mouth, as we say here. Tamils like our Blueboy should form a coalition and then address the issues with well-meaning people on the other side. By trying to accomplish anything single-handedly is a very difficult thing.

    Sleep in peace, my friend.

  15. The tribute to Neelan is all and well. However, It is not fair to call the LTTE neo-fascists. First of all, we must remember that parliamentary democracy does not work in Sri Lanka. If Neelan Tiruchelvam was the only hope Tamils ever had, that speaks volumes in and of itself.Continuing on, if parliamentary democracy does not work, it does not mean that the struggle for equality will cease. It means that the struggle will take other forms. So, whatever opinion one has of the LTTE, one cannot discard the fact that its coming was INEVITABLE. The rise of the Nazis was not inevitable. They actually contested and won elections. The choice to wage war on Europe was a conscious decision on their part. On the other hand, the Tamil people had no choice. They were attacked from all sides. Everyday brought a new hell. In such circumstances, fighting back is the rational choice. The confusion with fascism probably has to do with some of the methods the LTTE utilized. Lack of civil liberties, suicide bombs, etc. Let us remember though, that except for a few farcical ceasefires not meant to last anyway, there was still no one (other than the Tamil people) willing to give the LTTE a chance.

    Ultimately, we cannot conclude based on just methods used in extremely tenuous circumstances, that the LTTE truly embodied fascism as an ideology. If it so happened that they were rulers of an internationally recognized State in which curtailment of civil liberties was the norm, if they made plans to wage war on sovereign nations outside of the Tamil Eelam borders, if their Parliament was filled with religious zealots advocating racial supremacy, if their schoolbooks were written with distorted versions of history to degrade another race, and if their military expenditure was uniquely tailored to accommodate the objective of waging war on unprovoked nations and peoples, then yes, we can conclude that they were a fascist organization. But please, do not choke a man and when he violently resists, call him a fascist. The true fascists – we know who they are – have always had plenty of breathing room.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    Gopalapillai , you are a tiger propgandist masquerading as an independent commentator using the right of free expression that was denied by you and others of your ilk when the LTTE was inpower.

    This article spoke of how the LTTE vilified Neelan as traitor and killed him and how the tigers praised him later. The article also focussed on “traitorisation” in the Tamil community. You being a tiger propgandist maintain silence on those matters and only harp on the LTTE being called “neo-fascist”.How shameful

    THE LTTE PRACTISED A UNIQUE FORM OF FASCISM WHICH I CALL NEO-FASCISM FOR NOW. MERCIFULLY THE LTTE NEVER HAD LEGITIMATE STATE POWER. HAD IT HAPPENED WE WOULD HAVE SEEN A BRAND OF FASCISM PUTTING HITLER AND MUSSOLINI IN THE SHADE

    By the way has anyone ever said Neelan was the only hope Tamils ever had? Only tiger propaganists like you coninue to claim that Prabhakaran was the only hope the Tamils had. That’s why the tigers killed all others .

    You note sarcastically that the “tribute to Neelan is all and well”. At least we pay tribute to Neelan openly year after year. Why have you and other tigers not paid tribute to Prabhakaran and other senior tigers so far? How pathetic.

    Hitler and Mussolini were deified when in power. But then what happened? What an eerie similiarity in the end of fascist dictators.

  16. Thanks to remember us about Neelan Tiruchelvam ‘s death. It’s great tragedy for tamil community and beyond that for all the people who respect human’s life . Now We are award of that. Killing intellectuals and politicians is not the solution neither for LTTE nor for SL gov. But why didn’t you talk about the killing of G.G Kumar Ponnambalam ?

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    When Kumar was killed on January 5th 2000 I wrote an article for old times sake. There was a time when I was close to Kumar but all that changed after he became a tiger acolyte. After Neelan’s death Kumar entered into a totally unnecessary debate with me when I wrote a tribute to Neelan.

    Still I wrote an article on Kumar after his death and another article condemning the Chandrika govt for kumars murder and urging that the killers be brought to trial.

    I dont write about Kumar because if I do then I have to criticise him strongly. Unless absolutely necessary I avoid criticising people who are no more.Also if I write about Kumar I may have to write about the way in which his killers “lured” him to death. That would not be complimentary to him.

    More importantly I dont have to write about people like Kumar because there are enough tiger supporters to write about people like him. But it is people like neelan that few Tamils write about openly due to fear of tigers. Also my bond with Neelan is strong and I owe a great deal to him.That’s why I write about Neelan and not Kumar.

    Besides this article focused on Tamils killed as traitors by Tamils. Kumar was killed by agents of the state. But of course Kumar played a big part in vilifying “Neelan” as traitor before and after his death.Kumar died within six months of Neelan’s death

  17. Yes we are wrong and need to correct our path from May 18th of 2009. But my question is before all this political murder happen from Alfered Thuraiappa , Did we manage to get any political solution in practical than ‘Tamil eelam’ ?

    I am afraid this is going to happen again. Wait and see,
    working with sinhalese never get our political rights to exercise in our land in your life time. One thing you forget to mention is first ‘Traitor’ Tragedy start from S.W.R.D Bandaranayaka and even sinhala buddist monk did this.

    Bandaranayaka is a main reason for civil war. His language policies first started Tamil Nationalism then
    every time Tamils rise through powerful leadership S.J.V.Selvanayakam (1958) A.Amirthalingam (1977)
    V.Pirabakaran (1983) Sinhala anti- tamil riots brutally
    applied to innocent tamil civilians. So, Murdering for political purpose and violence actually started by sinhala politicians,Buddist Monks and sinhala racist.

    Thats why I hate Srilanka politics than any other countries. This political murder culture still continue not
    only political leaders that you mentioned but also hundreds of innocent journalist and thousand of innocent civilians . Are they all “Traitor” ?

    Simply Srilanka state is not only lost confidence in negotiating but also maintaining the basic human rights and the standard political principals.

    Please dont use the pseudonym “Sanakkiyan”. You are insulting Kautilya ………….DBSJ

  18. The cost of this” traitor culture” is a country without proper leaders of stature.
    Reincarnations of Polpot and VP are still around and carrying on with business as usual is SL among all communities.
    What is needed is mass educational campaign .Foster diversities and cherish them.Be it political,ethnic,religious etc.Constructive criticism should be encouraged and entertained.That is the norm in mature civilized society.Until then talking of civilization and culture is nothing but hypocrisy.

  19. It is a sad moment for all Sri Lankans, when lives are taken away in the name of “Traitor”. It is not only individual but India, Norway and US are considered as Traitors. Tamils who left the country were considered as Traitors. This is the reason LTTE and Eelam Thamils lost all friends.

    LTTE did not focus on the Unity of Tamils but division in the name of liberation. Sadly, they brought distruction to their own people.

    DBS, The price will be too high if we don’t accept openess and unite as one community, even at this late stage. Like said, we need to address this issue, but who ever speaks out will be considered as a traitor. The world is changing, we can’t be at the receiving end without a true democratic leader.

  20. Very good article. It is my fervent view that splinter parties with communal ideas will keep the country divided for ever. The two party system will work well for the country. Let the Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims and everyone else join their choice of Party and fight within those parties for equal rights, Human Rights etc. Once a strong two party system is established all splinter parties , communal or otherwise will have no relevance.

  21. “This malady afflicting Tamils has resulted in countless people being killed as traitors. This is a Tamil tragedy for which others cannot be blamed. There is an urgent need for serious introspection.

    The Tamil people must address this issue that is literally and metaphorically killing the community. ”

    From now onwards “TRAITOR” should be proclaimed as prohibited word among the Tamil community.

    One colorless light beam enters the prism and scatters out various color rays. Tamil interest and its sprit have shone and has manifested in different ways through different personalities at different times.

    Let all bygones are be bygones and let Tamils be more cultured to accept different points of view in a cohesive and respectful manner. Let the richness of the Tamil literary values adorn our life and thoughts.

    None other than the ill fate that now Tamils has suffered is the hardest lesson one could learn for pointing fingers and there by creating traitors among our self. If one starts to call the other ‘TRAITOR’ for holding different opinion, the discussion and dialog between them ceases and it derails the human relationship, thus we become separated by narrow domestic walls. For all better reason REFRAIN from calling the other with different opinion as TRAITOR and respectfully place your counter arguments diligently and courageously. That should be the code of conduct of the civilized Tamil Diaspora.

  22. When I clicked the button the name ASOKA was there hence I am resumitting

    RAM

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    “This malady afflicting Tamils has resulted in countless people being killed as traitors. This is a Tamil tragedy for which others cannot be blamed. There is an urgent need for serious introspection.

    The Tamil people must address this issue that is literally and metaphorically killing the community.”

    From now onwards “TRAITOR” should be proclaimed as prohibited word among the Tamil community.

    One colorless light beam enters the prism and scatters out various color rays. Tamil interest and its sprit have shone and has manifested in different ways through different personalities at different times.

    Let all bygones are be bygones and let Tamils be more cultured to accept different points of view in a cohesive and respectful manner. Let the richness of the Tamil literary values adorn our life and thoughts.

    None other than the ill fate that now Tamils has suffered is the hardest lesson one could learn for pointing fingers and there by creating traitors among our self. If one starts to call the other ‘TRAITOR’ for holding different opinion, the discussion and dialog between them ceases and it derails the human relationship, thus we become separated by narrow domestic walls. For all better reason REFRAIN from calling the other with different opinion as TRAITOR and respectfully place your counter arguments diligently and courageously. That should be the code of conduct of the civilized Tamil Diaspora.

  23. That Panadurapakshaya Idiot is scolding the GOSL.

    He does not acknowledge the fact that Tamil killer culture saying every one a “Traitor” is terminated. GOSL will never allow that one to come again.

    Tamils should thank GOSL for giving them the voice. NOw, at least, they can talk freely.

  24. I am a sinhala buddhist from Matara. We had many sinhala relatives running bakeries in the North prior to 1958.

    The first thing is that tamils sinhalese and others must determined to live together. If there are injustices inequalities we must resort to democratic means and be non-violent. Many sinhalese feel that they are a minority in the region and remind the collapse of peaceful kingdoms due to invasion from southern India.
    So they live in fear too.

    All citizens must be equal and have equal opportunities. For any discussion on constitutional changes that should be accepted by all ethnic groups.
    Equality in everthing. It should be made to feel everywhere. Anybody can live anywhere, buy lands anywhere, do business anywhere; the Government and the neighbours shall provide the protection if a tamil is living in sinhala areas and a sinhala is living in a tamil areas.

    You see sinhala bakers chased out of Jaffna, Sinhala university students chased out of Jaffna but tamils live
    and study in all over the country. That should be the way. Sinhalese must learn tamil. Even promote inter marriages like buddhist temples having kovils on all temples.

    The educated, intellectuals and journalists must be careful not to hurt the feelings of a community. In fact it should be enshrined in the Constitution and the criminal code as hate crimes or racial crimes with severe punishments.

    We must not allow any monoehnic groups or parties to carry out actvities in Sri Lanaka. It should be banned.

    During our times at U of Peradeniya if anyone utters something against a community or a religion we regarded it as an uncivilized gesture. There was no diferenece between tamils and sinhalese and a hanful of muslims at that time.

    Ranjith.

  25. Thanks DBSJ for this heartfelt article about our fallen intellectuals.

    ——
    [ “This malady afflicting Tamils has resulted in countless people being killed as traitors. This is a Tamil tragedy for which others cannot be blamed. There is an urgent need for serious introspection.]

    [“The Tamil people must address this issue that is literally and metaphorically killing the community. “]
    —————————-
    You are absolutely right! INTROSPECTION is exactly what Sri Lankan Tamils need rather than foolishly blaming others as the ONLY source of all our miseries and losses.

    ———————–
    [“Any mans death diminishes me because I am involved in Mankind,’ wrote the metaphysical poet John Donne. ]
    ———————
    I’ve always felt that the tragic deaths of so many intellectuals within the Tamil speaking community have diminished us greatly and profoundly. Sadly, some of us are still in the same mindset as they were some 30 years ago – they are full of hatred, revenge, too emotional, and refuse to learn from the past regrettable mistakes. What is worse, even some of the so called community leaders, Tamil media, and the so called political experts take great pleasure in labelling anyone with opposing views as ( ‘throki’) traitors.

    The sick mentality of eliminating anyone who has a different point of view have eroded our society and have prevented us from becoming a progressive one. I wonder how much we as Sri Lankan Tamils have contributed to the betterment of our society, to the country, and to the world in the realm of science, mathematics, philosophy, medicine, astronomy, etc. We have lost precious lives and wasted precious years in blaming the other community for mistreating us, but we have hardly ever attempted to revolt against any mistreatment of Tamils towards Tamils OR Tamils towards other SL communities. We still have the despicable dowry system silently hurting the fabric of our society (a relative of mine told me today about a marriage proposal finalized between two IDP families where Brides family who is not rich at all – agreed to pay 3 LAKHS to the Bridegroom) This is not the only societal issue that Tamils are facing even in this 21st century. Women are still treated as inferior to men in many respects. We still have the caste system alive and well. List goes on .

  26. Dinesh Gopalapillai #5 & 18

    It is ridiculous to argue that the LTTE was not fascist. At its deepest level, fascism and fascist ideology involves two essential conditions: 1. Dependence on ideologies of race, and 2. the use of killing/violence/incarceration to allow only one politics to dominate and to stamp out dissenting views. LTTE fascism was a fascism of an oppressed minority but it was no less a fascism because nobody was allowed to dissent under threat of violence, not even the Tamils who it claimed to represent. Nobody elected the LTTE but all SL Tamils were forced to accept it as the Tamils representative. Its central ideological demand of a Tamil Eelam was based not only on marginalisation and oppression by a Sinhalese-dominated state, but also on the ideology of Tamil supremacy, and that a nation had to be monocultural or monoracial. How different is that from Hitler?

    I will go along with the view that it was Sinhalese chauvinism and racism of SL governments that brought the Tigers into being. I can also understand why Tamil Eelam might be the first political goal of a rebellion group–that it was a dream caused by Sinhalese exclusion of Tamils. But to carry on demanding Tamil Eelam even when there were opportunities for Tamils to negotiate for equal rights within a unitary state formation , when many Tamils even wanted it–that is fascism. Even now, the LTTE wants Tamil Eelam.

    Although the SL government was criminal in sacrificing Tamil civilians in the war against the Tigers, LTTE too has to bear the responsibility for making it possible for that Tamil genocide to happen. It was the Tiger intransigency on the Tamil Eelam demand that led to the final battle where innocent Tamils were finally sacrificed to Prabhakaran’s cause. The Tigers, having attained power, could have resolved the Tamil question long ago and given Tamils a chance to peacefully coexist in a multicultural state. It chose ALWAYS AND TO THE END to hold the Tamils hostage to its own racialist ambitions.

    DBSJ is right to say that if Prabhakaran had gotten his Tamil Eelam, it would have been run as a totalitarian state. VP always thought he had the monopoly on truth. How else would he rule the new Tamil nation but with an iron fist?

    The reformed LTTE’s continued demand for Eelam will ensure that SL Tamils never find peace. Peace and equal rights can only come with IC support against a manipulative Sinhalese-dominated state. The Eelam demand will get in the way of this because the IC cannot legitimately demand the break up of a nation–it can only negotiate for fair minority representation, equal rights and humanitarian treatment of displaced Tamils.

    However, while I say that LTTE was fascist, I also maintain that the current SL state is a fascist state.

  27. In a negative light, the Tigers could continue to be intransigent and inflexible in their quest for Tamil Eelam. This could result in war. Initially the LTTE could have the upper hand and Colombos position shaky. As time goes on, the international community could rally round Colombo in a way never seen before. The prospects are endless. Ultimately the fortunes of the LTTE could turn for the worse. If that happens, the Tamil cause by extension would be weakened considerably. The Tamil plight would be terrible. In that context the wisdom and foresight of people like Neelan and their positive contribution to the Tamil people would be realised fully.

    DBS, it is amazing that one could be this prophetic.

  28. Every word of this column is extraordinary dramatic, disturbing provoking.

    We need a history book collating all the details of this conflict, telling the stories of the Tiruchelvam’s and Ponnambalams, that the public depends on you to voice, worthy of your prodigious talent and integrity as a journalist.

  29. Well said Mr.Jeyaraj. Continue to write in the samy way. Wish the people who supported LTTE will have courage to change their atttitude towards the srilankan tamil issue.

  30. Its a relief to see this course correction taking place from and within the Tamil community.
    I am not sure how long it will take to effect the changes.May be generations!!!
    That is the extent of damage done by the communal hatred sawn by educated( yet Stupid( I mean it)) Tamil leaders like Amirthalingam.
    As a kid of 13yrs old I still remember the speach made by MP Amirthalingam in Parliament before boycotting it.
    With the kind of mandate and number of parliamentary representations they had in 1977 a wise leadership thank Amirhtalingam could have done much more progressive work.
    I remember the equally vocal reply by the chief whip of the Government side MP Ananda Tissa de Alwis highlighting how the ‘Great Sapumal Kumaraya’ ( Price Sapumal) went from Kotte to Jaffna and conqured the Chakrwarthi or woever the War lord in history.
    Well the trading of insults and allegations were carried out with rapidly alarming rate.
    There were no leaders with a vision to see a nation building with equal opportunities for all.
    The fact that one community is a lesser head count should not men they should have lesser rights!!!!
    Again having said that that shouldnot be a TRUMPF to that community to vouch for unresonable demands and immediately call it descrimination when denied those.
    Isn’t this the rerality that we should confront today.
    I would like this dialogue to move in this vein so that Tamils themselves can see where it went wrong like the demand for ’50-50′ representation.
    When denied started communalism and hate based politics and asserting to seperate and so forth.
    The GENESIS of the Fankensteine Monster the LTTE.
    At least somehow the MONSTER is destroyed.
    Now everybody take a deep breath, relax and think through.
    Make Hoest and honorable effort to reconcile in the name of fallen Noble men of all communities.
    In this light I see the Contribution of DBS is a glimmer of hope and a beacon call.
    Congradulations DBS on your honest efforts on this front.

    Ajith Boralugoda

  31. You are on the correct path Mr J.Please try to educate the pro LTTErs in the Diaspora that the only homeland for Tamils and Sinhalese alike is SriLanka.Now you can get this message across with out fear or intimidation from the” Boys:

    Tamils and Sinhalese living in Western counties will always be second class citizens.Having a Canadian or an Australian passport does not make you a Canadian or an Aussie.For example if you say you are a Canadian ,the true Canadians will look at you with a smile and ask you what country you are from. Same is the case in Australia or else where.
    If you say you are from the transnational home land of Tamil Eezam the foreigners will think that you are a fruit cake.

    SriLanka will always be there to call home as long as you do not cause trouble.This is the case especially now after the destructive events of the past thirty years.

    KP is the smartest member of the inner circle of the LTTE. That is why he is still around.He at least pretends to rid himself of any LTTE ways of operations for obvious reasons. Preaching non violence is good as long as you practice it.

    LTTE brutally eliminated a good number of descent people who genuienely cared for the well being of their brethren.But did not have the balls to admit the responsibility , as their main game was to hood wink the Western World.

    Tamil People who live overseas, who can influence public opinions should get together and convince their community that the only way to solve any problems is to have a constructive engagement with the government.

    Tamil community in SriLanka has realised it and sooner the similar minded overseas Tamils join them, more expedient will be the process of reconciliation.This will be the best homage for the good people who lost their lives at the hands of VP.

  32. Now is the time that a great Tamil leader like Neelan would have helped the Tamils. Alas, the murderous LTTE got rid of all such men and now the Tamil people have been reduced to a leaderless bunch. How very sad is that.
    I’m a Sinhalese and I welcomed the annihilation of the LTTE with my whole heart because they were nothing more than murderers. There was no place for them anywhere.
    But, now I want the Tamils to live in dignity and peace in SL. Sadly, it seems that there no Tamil leaders left to be vocal and strong and fight for a fair deal with the Rajapaksa govt. Hopefully, the Tamil diaspora will take a long inward look at their past actions and the repercussions those actions brought. Hopefully they will act with more sense and dignity.

  33. #15

    The LTTE was banned in the US in 1997, well before Neelan’s death in 1999.

    #17 Mr. Huey,

    Clinton never attended Harvard. He went to Georgetown, Yale and Oxford. You are obviously bluffing.

  34. be it past,present ot future, dont think tamils will ever get it, still talking about race base tribal solutions, if u have problem with the center make fight to make it more accommodating, not exclusive rights based on race

  35. We are talking something different. Sorry!

    “One of the employees at Swarnawahini television channel in Sri Lanka was badly assaulted by his company’s Managing Director yesterday evening.” No media attention!!!

    We think that employees of Swarnawahini, including Jackson Anthony and others should leave this company.

    It is important to understand that the Sri Lankans (Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims or others) didn’t hurt any baby elephants other than the guy at Temple of Tooth. We all think that the Dentist to the Tooth should be punished.

    In real sense we don’t think that the TOOTH is there or the Buddhist monks (Malwathu and Asgiri) are on drugs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Dear Mr. Jayarajah,

    I also wrote a letter to the Hot Springs endosing the editorial it carried. It was not complementary to Neelan at all. I was to regret a lot later on about my article and the great MAN we lost in Neelan Thiruchelam. I am still ashamed of that perticular contribution of myne

    Five years ago I strongly advised the Leadership of the LTTE to present the same constitution crafted by Neelan as a solution to the national question. This was broadly supported by an influncial section of the British Diospora. We had no reply. You are right we are yet to produse an intellect of his callibure.

    We the Hindu Tamils have exised with the Buddist Sinhaleese for neaely two thousand years. These five decades has been an abberent periord which has brutalised us all of that blessed land and degraded us beyond belief.

    Pleas keep going. You write a lot of sence. We all desperatly need this.

    Hope I will meet you again

    Dr. N. Satchi – Liverpool UK.

  37. dbs
    you are doing yeoman service to the tamil community by writing.keep on writing. success is 10 per cent inspiration and 90 per cent pespiration. the pen is always greater than the sword.
    to my tamil brethren-please do not kill or hurt tamils anymore or for that matter any innocent sinhalese. learn to accomadate other peoples views without getting all hot under the collar. they may be wrong, you may be right or vice versa. views also change over time as we learn more thogh people hate to admit they were wrong and eat humble pie. we are all human and can make mistakes. how many of us have got it ight everytime we make decisions on our personal lives. so from now on let us become a more mature community and stop once and for all fighting among ourselves. even recently 2 teenage KP supporters have been killed in toronto. when a tamil kills another tamil doesnt he feel bad.

  38. Dear DBSJ, You wrote in your response to one typical LTTE fanatic as follows “I was once preparing a lengthy piece on the LTTE’s neo-fascism. I gave up the idea after the tiger defeat. I don’t know whether any good can come of it being written now”. Below is a kind request: .

    I think it will benefit hundreds if not thousands of people like me to gain more political insight in to what we chose to accept from LTTE because we feared to talk back and ask questions. It will teach us how wrong we were to let down the innocent Tamils for the love of our lives. The fate that befell the Tamils back home and indeed all Tmails is a result of every Tamil’s faialure to query the acts and omissions of LTTE. I personally feel guilty for allowing this to happen. I am sure there will be many a person who feels this way.

    I am positive some of those blind believers of LTTE’s preaching will also benefit (if they have the ability to look back at things and change course as required). You gave up the idea after the Tiger defeat. Tiger is dead but their ideology is still deeply embedded in the disapora Tamils’ minds. Tamils back home cannot look forward to a future unless these so called diaspora tamils wake up (or at least shut up).

    My request is that, if you find the time, you should write on LTTE’s neo-fascism, for this is political literature for many contemporary Tamils and generations to come.

    Best wishes!!
    Panangkottai Thamizan

  39. He didn’t deserve the kind of death, i completly agree with you. But i don’t want argue who killed him.

    Two things i want to share, If Neelan is realy concernede about the Tamils well being, he should have consulted the LTTE, because they were leading the fight against the oppressive sinhala regeme at that time or approached the consent of the ordinary Tamils. This is the curse of the Tamils they cannot be united as a single voice, he simply fell into the trap, Chandrika set to divide the Tamils.

    The other fact is, if he wanted to exibit his intelectual side of him, he should have completed his project, submitte by Chandrika and get what he was agred to do the project and get out of the limelight. Like GL Peris did.

    We need unity, once we are united,an able sailor will rise to steer the boat safely ashore.

  40. The talks about 13th amendment of Sri Lanka’s constitution, solving the ethnic conflict through home grown solutions and solve the conflict within the framework of existing unitary form are nothing but to hoodwink the global community and Tamils and thereby satisfy the Sinhala general public in order for the politicians to stay in power.
    However, all these events will further distance the Tamils and to make the Tamils believe that they will have no choice but to support the LTTE’s agenda to achieve independent Tamil Eelam. And until such a meaningful political solution is found fulfilling the demands of Tamils, political and security unrest will remain active on the island, taking heavy toll on its economy and lives.
    A durable solution to the ‘ethnic question’ is almost certain to involve greater regional autonomy, something which can benefit people of all communities. Many Sinhalese members of the political elite in Colombo would much rather grab resources for themselves and their cronies than use these to pay for better education and healthcare for the poor in the deep South of Sri Lanka.
    Such devolution need not be a threat to ‘unity’. Numerous countries have vigorous local democracy, unlike the over-centralised system in Sri Lanka, and this has helped rather than hindered a sense of common purpose. Suppressing local distinctiveness and imposing control from afar only fuels resentment and leads to poor decision-making: politicians and bureaucrats running things from a distance, with little understanding of local conditions or accountability to local people, can all too easily make costly blunders.
    With the above two paragraphs in mind please read below and comment:
    The best political solution to address the problems faced by various sections of the Sri Lankan society – particularly the poor, the politically weak and the “minorities” who do not carry any “political weight” – would be to DILUTE the powers of all elected representatives of the people by separating the various powers of the Parliament and by horizontally empowering different sets of people’s representatives elected on different area basis to administer the different sets of the separated powers at different locations.
    It has to be “sharing of power” HORIZONTALLY where each and every set of representatives would be in the SAME LEVEL as equals and in par and NOT VERTICALLY, where one set of representatives would be above (more powerful than) the other, which is the normal adopted practice when talking of devolution, in this power-hungry world. It is because “devolution of power” has been evolved “vertically”, we have all the trouble in this power-hungry world. So, for sustainable peace it should not be the present form of “devolution of power” but “dilution of powers” or “meaningful sharing of powers” in such a way that no single person or single set of people’s representatives be “superior” to another.
    This system would help to eradicate injustice, discrimination, bribery and corruption – the four pillars of an evil society – and help to establish the “Rule of Law” and “Rule by ALL” for sustainable peace, tranquility and prosperity and a pleasant harmonious living with dignity and respect for all the inhabitants in the country. Everyone must have “equal” powers, rights, duties and responsibilities and most importantly everyone should be deemed “equal” and treated “equally” before the law not only on paper but also practically – be it the Head of State, The Chief Justice or the voiceless and weightless poor of the poorest in the country

  41. Dr. Neelan Thiruchelvam’s face in the above image resembles with that of actor Nasar of Tamil cinema.

    Actor Nasar is a vibrant actor .

  42. What you’ve not mentioned is the role of Ranil and the UNP in opposing Neelan’s package.

    It’s been standard in Lanka since 1956. The government proposes a compromise and the opposition oppose it. Faced with the loss of votes amongst Sinhala hardliners the government backs down.

  43. Awsome.

    It’s very refreshing to know you,one of our own,still excist
    who know how to present a story.
    i think,in genaral,we have issues with communicating with others both in conveying and receiving messages.unless these realized induvidualy,the brutality of looking down on our own will continue.

    keep up the good work.

  44. Alfred Durayappah, Aimrthalingam, Yogeswaran and Neelan were killed by the LTTE.

    Richard de Soysa, Keerthi De Alwis (Rupavahini), Kumar Ponnambalam, Sivaram (alias Taraki) and Nimalarajan (BBC) and most recently Lasantha were murdered on the orders of the govertments in power.

    The governments in Sri Lanka totally abhor dissent.

    The first lot mentioned here were intellectuals although I agree Neelan is by far the superior in intellect and education.

    There is absolutely no difference between the governments of Sri Lanka and the LTTE.

    One is state terrorism and the other militant.

    Sri Lanka is a laughing stock since while it happens to be a Buddhist country which according to Lord Buddha should abhor the killing of even one microbe its priests bless the warriors to go out and kill.

    Could someone tell me whether I am insane in voicing my thoughts.

  45. Excellent Article. Any group that’s trying to create
    an “in” and an “out” group will resort to using the word traitor. Hence the current upheavels with Mahinda and his coterie of sycophants creating “in” and “out” groups.

    The LTTE were nothing more than a bunch of fascists with no ideology besides the deification and the idolatory of their “Great Leader”. Since the killing of Duraiappah they had lost all the moral high ground.

    The Tamil community at large should blame it self for the rise of the LTTE. They were a product of a thought process that was current in those times (the 70’s) where the world was full of revolutionaries of all stripes and “Tamil opression” was a revolution awaiting its revolutionary. Unfortunately instead of a Gandhi the Tamil populace threw up a rotund Hitler in the form of VP as their revolutionary.

    Dr. Thiruchelvam would have been by far a better choice.

    Thanks DBSJ for your wonderful articles.

  46. I do not justify the killing of Neelan so as with the killing of thousands of Tamils and other races. I do admire Neelan’s academic achievement and earning a reputation in the western liberal circles.

    However, I won’t say Neelan is champion of Tamil rights. People tend to forget that Neelan is dealing with consecutive Sri lnkan governments from 1977 and he miserably failed in convincing the people from the Sri Lankan he was dealing with. It is true that he came up with a good constitution and which had been watered down and has never implemented, while he was alive or after his death.

    I agree Neelan is a successful academic, but I must sat he is a failed leader.

  47. Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam’s death deeply saddened me when it happened and it still does to this day. How different things would be had he been alive today! On can only wonder in saddness. -Noel

  48. If Neelan was alive now he would have been made to “disappear” in a white van abduction by Mahinda and Gota malli.

  49. DBS,

    In your article you’ve mentioned openly about Neelan and yourself

    RELATIONSHIP
    I had a close personal relationship with Neelan. He was my friend, philosopher and guide. He was greatly instrumental in moulding my career. He was in a sense my political mentor.

    I will always remain grateful for the advice, knowledge ,assistance and help provided by him during various phases of my life.

    Neelan and his wife Sithie were like an elder brother and sister to me.

    I want to say that my regard for you went up a great deal after reading it. Very few people in this world openly acknowledge help and advice given by a man killed by the tigers and express gratitude publicly. You have done that many times in the past and you’ve done it again this time.

    This is very touching and revealing.

    Hats off to you DBS

    regards,

    Cholan

  50. DBSJ I am curious to know, there were rumours reported throughout the Colombo press that Prabakaran’s mental health in addition to his physical health was not all that good, and perhaps has not been for a long time.

    I think ideology i.e neofascism is important in understanding the motivations and actions of leaders, but then so is their mental state and how this may be affected by illness and disease. In any court of law, great weight is given to psychiatric evalution in understanding the motives and behaviour of the charged.

    I am curious to know if you were privy to any of Praba’s medical history and if this may have had any bearing on his judgement and thinking, particularly as he got older and particularly in the latter stages of the conflict.

    Of course Praba’s health may make no difference to the judgement of history, but it does further underscore the point you make above about neo-fascism, the bankruptcy of a system built on dictatorial despotic one-man rule where people are expected to blindly follow or else….

    Interesting query RSW but I guess I’ll keep mum for now.Sorry!……….DBSJ

  51. to comment 56-rs. wickremasinghe

    wicks,
    just look closely at prabaharans eyes. then you will know whether he was mad or not. the eyes are the windows to the soul. look closely into a persons eyes and throgh it the traits are very clear. if you look into the eyes of a deer what do you see. gentleness. a creature that will not harm anything, but quietly lives throgh its day. look into the eyes of carnivorous animals such as the tiger, what do you see.ferociusness. if you look at the lion, a little less ferocious and laid back, but still the same , dangerous. when dealing with people also, same thing the eyes. shifty characters cannot be trusted. better not annoy people with fierce looking eyes. some guys have perpetually angry eyes, and you can see they have a grouse against the world. better to avoid them altogether. when marrying a woman look for gentle eyes of a deer, but when looking for a mistress look for seductive eyes of a vixen

    hitler had very fascinating eyes, thogh overall he looked a clown. people were mesmerized by his eyes. prabaharan too had fascinating piercing eyes. a complex character with big ideas. we know hitler was mad. draw your own conclusions.

  52. #26 – ShriLankan:

    do you even know how to read in English? I have squarely blamed the LTTE as I did the GOSL – both are killers. What do you think “Tamils paid dearly for this grave error by the torchbearers for the tamil cause” meant?

    You say: “NOw, at least, they can talk freely”. Is this why journalists are either beaten up or killed?

    Who is the idiot now?

  53. #49

    “Could someone tell me whether I am insane in voicing my thoughts.”

    Yes, you are. No, you are not… have I driven you crazy yet?

    First and foremost you should stop throwing religion around. Someone could find a Christian leader (just look at South America) and say the same thing you have said about Buddhism. According to Christ.. blah blah blah.. but look at what so and so is doing.

    Stick to the point. Yes, LTTE is a bunch of killers without a cause (no, Ealam was not cause enough to kill your own people) and the Govt is also a bunch of killers for knocking out those who have differences of opinion.

    You cannot blame the Govt for killing the Tigers or even the public that was between the army and the Tigers because Army had a job to do. Every army in every country will end up killing some civilians – that’s a given. But, it is because they enjoy killing civilians – yes, some do enjoy raping the women (Stud brigade), but that’s how the army is anywhere in the world. Was IPKF any different?

    But, we do and can blame the Govt for knowing out journalists, politicians or even the members of the public that voices any dissention.

    I hope your sanity has returned by now…please continue posting your Theva Vaakkugal (divine words), Ms Thevanayagam.

  54. For years, I have been thinking Neelan could be innocent, and probably he did not want to become a yesman to LTTE. That is why , perhaps ,he was murdered.

    However, I do not believe that the Indian newspaper the Hindu is a genuine news paper. So if they had published some article denouncing Neelan’s murder , it was only because it matched their agenda.

    Sorry for going sideways; We a lot of ex-Sri Lanka Tamils miss Neelan, and other slain people.

  55. Nr1 ,Nr2 Perpetrators/ provocators/ runners/ root causers of this tragedy/ vicious cycle among innocent people…..we knew who is who…!!! Any right hearted persons knew the truth and true history…!!! Still many of them are active …They never change!Never listen!Never act truely!We all knew!Only God do miracles!!!

    You must write a history book soon!!!

  56. >>Besides this article focused on Tamils killed as traitors by Tamils. Kumar was killed by agents of the state. But of course Kumar played a big part in vilifying “Neelan” as traitor before and after his death.Kumar died within six months of Neelan’s death

    Dear DBS, do you think it is ‘accidental’ Kumar was killed within 6 months??

    Please read the articles I wrote then……….DBSJ

  57. >10. Wijeyanathan | July 31st, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Now, I am clear that the death of the LTTE leader and the defeat of the LTTE is a good thing for Tamils. Pirabakaran wouldn’t have let any reasonable Tamil to voice his opinion, yet alone work with the government to formulate a decent soluti

    ———-

    Wije

    Do you think the 300,000 behind barbed wire are better now?
    Remember, an evil does not justify another, possibly worse one.

  58. Panadurapakshaya No59

    I firmly believe my sanity is beyond question after reading your comment.

    Your bravado in saying that the army has license to kill and it is a given they should kill not withstanding religious beliefs.

    The point I am making is the more we allow these murderers and make excuses for them the more we would descend to the levels of animals and we’d be regressing to our primitive roots.

    Sri Lanka is already 75 percent there.

    It is up to the civil society to rise up against killings in any form or for any cause.

  59. As news editor of Weekend Express, I received Neelan’s articles on the amendments to the SL constitution on a regular basis and I found them worthy of publication.

    At the same time I could not help thinking he would have served Tamils better had he at least engaged with them at grassroots.

    The LTTE at some point were listening to him. Somewhere along the line he gave up communication with the ordinary Tamils and chose to surround himself with intellectuals.

    There’s saying in Tamil, `eadduch churaikkai karikku uthavathu’.

    Translated, ` The picture of a gourd is no use in making a curry’.

  60. Very well written DBSJ.

    I will tell you something. I am not ashamed to say
    that I love reading this blog for the simple reason that
    you guys have got such high class English. These were
    the Tamil people we knew when we were kids. I am glad
    that there are still some remaining after all those killings
    of the Tamil intelectuals by that uneducated terrorist VP.
    So have hope, and when everything is settled all those educated Tamil friends can come over here and help
    to lift other Tamil peoples’ lives and in turn help the whole of
    Sri Lanka. Let by gones be by gones and look to the future.

    I want to say one more thing and that is once I read that
    one blogger was saying to another ( or attacking or bullying)
    “you don’t know even how to make a sentence, so get out
    from this blog”. I think that is worng because it is not the
    level of English that matters. What matters is the content
    of the blog and if we can understand what the writer is trying to say, that is enough.

    So guys, keep writing those fabulous essays or whatever
    you call it and we will keep reading them and improve our English.

    The problem with that moron VP was that he could not
    understand all this intelectual jargon, and he started killing them.

    By the way, why don’t you publish a photo of yourself
    DBSJ.?. I am sure lot of your readers would like to put a face
    for you.

    There is an image in the Daily Mirror Columns section…………DBSJ

  61. Very good article. I am crying after reading this.

    By the way, who is this “Nirgunan Tiruchelvam” writing on cricket.

    That’s Neelan’s elder son………….DBSJ

  62. It looks like you are raising your right hand for KP.

    Looks like you are up to your old antics as usual…………….DBSJ

  63. Not many people know Kumar’s integrity. Kumar apeared free of charge for journalists in court. He spoke frankly and did not hide behind euphemisms nor did he want to curry favour with the govt.s in power.

    You can approach Kumar any time of day or night and he will be there.

    I do not want to name names but there were many journalists kumar helped to get out of prison through his influence in the army, CID and police force.

    His stinginess is legendary but then he never exploited anybody nor did he expect any favours from those in power.

    Contrary to popular belief he is very much an astute lawyer and he was fearless in defending Tamils. Remember Kokkadicholai commission. He appeared before a three member judge panel for those massacred in Kokkadicholai.

    H was not paid a cent.

    The govt killed him for exposing human rights.

    Neelan and Kumar are both heroes Tamils should cherish.

  64. i started following the tamil struggle in srilanka only fron 2004,so i didn’t know about these incidents that happened in the 90’s.only from articles like these,am getting to know the incidents
    my humble respects for dr.neelan.i pray for the well being of his family members.

    �Any man�s death diminishes me because I am involved in Mankind,�

    if this is the case why no srilankan journalist has written an article[in english may be] about the thousands of tamil civilians killed in no fire zone this year.i wonder whether all of them find it right to kill women and children kept as human shields[according to some commentators] by ltte.

  65. The only fearless warrior who almost acheived the goal Tamizh Eezham was Pirapaharan. Like the great chola warrior that he was, he was not afraid to die for his belief. If he was a coward he could have left on one of his planes, but he stood his ground and fought till the last.

  66. C an anybody in this forum or out side list down special problems facing Tamil People in Sri Lanka other than other Communities make the population?

  67. to comment 72-tamilpriyan

    so what is this UNHCR{jaffna based} commision report that he and his son were mercilessly tortured, and his son was killed in front of him. when i see the body without the headscarf i see a big gash made by an axe. i see fear in his face. the knuckles are not visible.. according to the initial defence report he was captured with his bodygaurds when they ran out of ammunition. then later the government changed the version to shot dead while battle was raging. he was clean shaven.probably because he was taken to MR.
    if this is true , then how come he got so many to swallow cyanide, and commit suicide, but surrendered.
    doesnt this contradict your version of his courage.
    the only thing i see in his favour is this UNHCR report could be false. it begs belief that MR would not have paraded him and as usual said that he was shot trying to escape. everyone who is captured by the governmen is shot trying to escape. anyway before we stat making eulogies lets clear this up first.

  68. # 64

    “…army has license to kill and it is a given they should kill..”

    why do you think any country has an army? What you are trying to do is apply principles of universal love to individual countries who are plagued with wars. I am all for universal love and non-violence, but this is the wrong forum for that. We operate under the assumption that undesirable people will come to power time and again and those who are already in power will try to oppose such elements. Sometimes, it works well – if you questioned the U.S. Army for going after Hitler, you’d be considered insane – and even you might agree! If the U.S. did not go to war, the world order would have been different today – I am not arguing whether it is right or wrong, but am impressing upon you that this is how things are. There will be two sides to a war, and both sides will kill each other. Where is the question of licensing for such acts?

    You have to decide one way or the other – do you want armies for every country or do you not? If you say there should be no armies anywhere in the world, then yes, it flows logically that SL should not have had an army and we should all be bhajan/hymn singing individuals meditating to glory, but unfortunately this situation would soon lead to another where anyone with a cane in the country will quickly rise to power.

    On the other hand, if you think armies are necessary, then you have no moral ground to deny Sri Lanka an army. And if we have an army, why wouldn’t we use it when there is unrest? What did you expect – the army would ask all the tigers to stand to the left and the public to stand to the right and then fire to the left alone? And you think VP would have obliged?

    Most of Tamils’ problems are that they are confused completely. VP did not make it easy on the Tamil people either. By confusing the Tamils with the Tigers, people did not know who they were supporting and the audience to this drama did not know whom to blame, because targeting one group would affect the other as well. This is the confusion that leads to blaming the army – Tamils think civilians are dying, and the army thinks they are killing the tigers, while the fact is not just the tigers and the civilians but even the army had deaths.

    If you maintain the same rules universally, you wouldn’t be insane some times and sane at other times.

  69. DBSJ,
    Thank you for another excellent article. This time it is about someone who was very close to you. What was your emotional state learning “Neelan” was gone on that morning, knowing that you just spoke to him? I am sure you wouldn’t have slept for several days..

    You have written so many articles since early 80’s and have an excellent grasp of the conflict on both sides of the poltical spectrum. Have you thought of writing a book on SL conflict? please…please.. please… There is already a huge DBSJ following on this site…

    Thanks

  70. with regard to my comment 75, i made a mistake. it is not UNHCR report but the universty teachers human rights {jaffna based} report i was referring to.

  71. I am rather appalled by your failure to abide by proper journalistic standards. In any event, I am not the first one to admonish you in this regard.

    I would also advise you that you cannot hope to build bridges by demonizing the LTTE. Their absence has created a vacuum that will only make the homeland ideal that much stronger. It is in your interest to tread lightly.

    – Dinesh Gopalapillai

    As Billy Bunter of Greyfriars would chuckle “heh,heh,heh,heh”……………….DBSJ

  72. Pearl (#69) reminds us kindly of Kumar. Neelan and Kumar P were brilliant and well endowed men who would have enriched any society, anywhere. If there was one area in which both these men agree upon (you know they didnt in almost everything else) that was a passionate desire to bring to an end to the long and shared pain of the Lankan Tamil people; an unquenchable thirst to bring happiness to all of us. In that regard we have lost two eyes of the Tamil struggle. No wonder the struggle lost its sight at the latter stages. While Neelan was calm, well poised and collected Kumar would appear restless and never hesitate to call a spade a spade Compared to other politicians across the board in the country both men were scrupulously honest and did not have to enter politics (the family business as one famous woman unabashedly accepted) to make money or to improve their material wealth. Kumar inherited fabulous wealth and had well over 15 Mercedes Benz cars in his stables at Queens Road. Neelan was certainly far from being in want and was wealthy in his own way. I failed on many occasions to get Kumar to look at Neelans politics in perspective. Both adored their fathers and remained loyal to their different political paths. I was more sad and angry when he did not sufficiently bemoan Neelans death a few hours after the gruesome tragedy. When I was ready to leave for the office one morning I heard of the bomb and thought it was at Cambridge Terrace the office of Ranil. Kumar was one of those who lived in the vicinity and so I called him. He said he too felt it was closer to Royal but was not sure. In a few minutes he called me (that is something he unfailingly did) and said the bomb had gone off at the PMs office at Flower Road. He said I should know more by then because some bodies were lying close to the house of a daughter of one of the Amarasuriyas my friends. I was shocked to get a call from another friend a few hours later confirming Kumar was killed at Ramakrishna Terrace. Pearl tells us of the many instances where he refused to accept fees. He was endowed with many great qualities and latterly became very religious. I still hope Yoga will enter politics because Kumars is respected by Tamils everywhere. It may not be entirely wrong to state Gajen got in at Jaffna because of Kumars name. I remember the day we were both together at a Peace Conference in Kandy where the other Panelists were Tissa Wijeratne, GL Peiris, Radhika and Kumar. I remember how a woman rudely and crudely interrupted and insulted Kumar during question time for she accused him of trying to break way. But he took this well and smilingly and in his characteristic humour said All right, my dear, I will not leave you The entire Queens Hotel Hall, including the woman, laughed and clapped for the delightful repartee. The woman went out to join the higher ranks of the Bench. I dont know Gajendrakumar as well as I do the mother and I know she carries Kumars resolve and undying passion for the Tamil people. How wonderful it would have been for all of us if Neelan and Kumar travelled on the same trajectory. I am reminded of Prof . Savitri
    Gunasekera, who was then, I believe, VC/Colombo University – in a memorial to Neelan said How I wish I was asked here to speak when Neelan was alive words that are relevant today in the Lankan Tamil world for both these brilliant men who will remain in our memories for long.

    ISS

  73. he,he,he,he,he indeed…

    Perhaps breaking one leg was not enough? Then again, you are only a clown with a pen; murdering you would have served little purpose.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    My,my what a brave,bold pseudo-tiger warrior living safely in the west and issuing death threats under pseudonyms from a false e-mail address.

    Despite assassination attempts ,assaults, abuse, death threats, hatemail, anonymous calls, slander,vilification,intimidation etc from the likes of you I’m still here writing what I want to write under my own name.

    But what’s a brave fighter who gangs up and breaks the legs of outnumbered and unarmed scribes doing here? Surely clowns with guns should have been elsewhere fighting to the death like Theepan?

    but I forgot you are only a coward pretending to be a hero,no?tee hee!

    Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh

  74. Pearl 69 & ISS 85

    Thanks for writing about Kumar.

    “Both these brilliant men who will remain in our memories for long”

  75. My Dear Mr. Jeyaraj

    You ask Why did I not go to the Wanni and fight to the very end?

    I am not an idiot like Velupillai Pirapaharan.

    Had I gone there my body would have been lying on the banks of Nandhikadal lagoon with a split skull.

    Am I not clever staying in the west and threatening people on the internet like a great hero?

    Will you not agree that I am smarter than VP?

    What a pathetic cowardly creature you are…….heh, heh, heh, heh,,,,,,,,,,,DBSJ

  76. Dinesh

    You are a coward. Frustrated because Jeyaraj refused to give you a pulpit to express your megalomaniacal tendencies, you like so many other cowards resort to threatening our valued members of civil society.

    We have seen how much amateur propagandist nonsense makes up your understanding of this conflict and its history. On the contrary it is you who belong in the bottom trawling netherworld among the Al Qaeda and neonazi websites.

    Your homeland ideal is dead and buried you nitwit, the more you advocate violence for it, the more the international community will join hands around Sri Lanka to push you into oblivion.

  77. RSW

    We Diaspora Tamils believe in smartpower. That’s why we operate abroad and not in our homeland.your khaki – clad goons couldn’t kill us all in the Vanni war because we were all here.

    Mark my words the homeland concept will gather unstoppable momentum.we’ll definitely get our homeland you’ll live to see it

    Mr. Dinesh Gopalapillai

  78. Am I not clever staying in the west and threatening people on the internet like a great hero?

    Will you not agree that I am smarter than VP?

    What a pathetic cowardly creature you are…….heh, heh, heh, heh,,,,,,,,,,,DBSJ

    I suspect he’s taking the piss. Still one does have to admire a talented troll.

  79. Keep shouting Dinesh the canyon is large and loooneeeeleeeee.

    Already your leaders are talking conciliation and non-violence both inside and outside Sri Lanka.

    You will live to see the humiliation of Tamils IN Sri Lanka spurn you and others of your ilk steeped in pathological hatred.

  80. Dinesh (#86)..I have read your interventions in this blog with interest. You articulate some thoughts of the Tamils well. I am sad you descend to levels beneath your grain in this personal and bodily threat. I thought this beastly culture died and was buried in the sands of Nandhikadal mid-May. Tamils throughout our ancient history have built a culture of healthy debate and democratic traditions of a very high order. Revenge, blood debt are not part of our tradition. This must not be sacrificed or veered away from. There are times I feel DBSJ has been unfair in refusing to publish some of my views but this is his blog and he has a right what to offer prominence and what not. But he provides us with space to air our views in contentious issues where Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and many others actively participate. This necessary feature of a democratic society is denied to us for sometime in Sri Lanka where the Press/media, with few exceptions, is gagged. Where sycophants sit in chairs too big for them. One notices increasing participation here of advisors to GoSL and I know TW/TC is read seriously and regularly read by sources within the government well versed in English (sadly, this is somewhat limited in the present lot) Thoughts of causing harm to such a man cannot spring from a healthy mind. I am afraid I have caused you some offence but my greater concern is that of a healthy and wider debate in search of peace, unity and a dignified future for all communities in Illangai via the civilised medium of democratic debate – consultation compromise and consensus – if you like

    ISS.

  81. hi dbs
    i am worried about many of our murdered intellectuals who were amongst us including neelan anyhow past is past lets build our nation

  82. Dinesh 90

    Keep writing those silly blogs and the more you write those,
    more the readers of this blog will find out what a silly person
    you are. Compare your writings with others’ writings, and
    they are poles apart. DBSJ knows that you are shooting
    yourself on your foot, and that is why he is publishing them
    without deleting.

    Please do yourself and the Tamil diaspora a favour
    by not been silly.

    Bye Dinesh or whoever you are.

  83. to comment 90-dinesh

    why is mahinda encouraging canada to take all the IDP’s? if what you say is true and the diaspora is so effective then why is he trying to increse the diaspora. he does not take the diaspora seriously. that is the answer. what is the diaspora? is it an organisation? if so who is its head?. who are the officebearers?.who are the members? can the members change the head and office bearers in an election. are members views taken into consideration when formulating policy or is it policy on the go by a vociferous few. is it merely the tigers tail?. these are the questions that you have to ask and answer before grandly talking about a poweful diaspora. mahinda will gladly want all the tamils in srilanka to become the diaspora so that he can colonise the whole country with sinhalese. so first get yourself organized properly because so far the diaspora have been miserable in their effectiveness. money is not everything. organisation is also important

  84. comment 86-dinesh
    it is sickening to see you gloating over some goons breaking jeyaraj’s leg. has jeyaraj ever commited violence.if he had, then maybe retaliation could be justified. just because he wrote something that somebody did not like, does that justify a physical attack. he has always told the truth. what is wrong in that.
    what happenned to the ltte was i believe the wrath of god. finally the almighty ran out of patience. you obviously are an atheist at heart, even though you might profess to have a religion.

  85. To Dinesh Gopalapillai #83 #86 #88 #90

    ‘SARUGUPPULIKAL’ like yourself are not a fool, not a coward, not an idiot, BUT are simply beyond rehabilitation, Mr. Dinesh Gopalapillai!

    Keep believing in your ‘BLUFFING-POWER’. Oh I am sorry what was that “smartpower”? Keep doing the PITHATTRAL amongst your fellow laughing stocks living comfortably in the West rememberring the pithattral song “nampunkal thamil eelam nalai kidaikum …” After all the Tamils have been wiped from Sri Lanka, you can delightly try to govern the VANNI FORESTS from the comfort of your chair here!

    Your unstoppable preaching of violence is amazing! How do you do that people? Do you not have something called conscience? I am also amazed at how some Tamils like you can continue to behave like this with NO slightest regard for any human life or the enormous suffering of the people back home.

  86. Dear DBS,

    On a personal note, after witting such great piece of work, please stop getting into a street-fight with a brain-washed (I would preferably say, brainless or headless chicken) Dinesh �Goooo�palapillai. �A dog is (desperately) barking against the Mountain� � no harm is expected.

    In fact, by posting such out-dated thoughts (or should I say �dead ideologies of Mullivaikkal�?), Dinesh Gopalapillai has (inadvertently) identified himself as a reclusive idiot.

    There are many outcasts like Dinesh Gopalapillais and David Poopalapillais out there, � you may not want to pick your pen for these headless chickens � they will be dead soon, of course, by masturbating in their dreamlands.

    Sathyan

    Thanks Sathyan but in fairness to David Poopalapillai I must say that he is not involved here…….DBSJ

  87. Comment 90 # Dinesh Gopalapillai

    “Mark my words the homeland concept will gather unstoppable momentum.we’ll definitely get our homeland you’ll live to see it”

    Behold ! The first passport authority of Tamil Ealam . Mr. Dinesh Gopalapillai ! (nick name “heh heh heh heh)

    Macha,can i apply a Visa in advance?

  88. dbsj

    When the TIME comes you won’t escape ;I wonder what your conscience will tell you at that time.

    Hats off to Dinesh Gopalapillai and the others who are trying hard to reveal the truth about our struggle.

    Have you got the guts to make this comment appear?

    Does it need guts to post stuoid comments under bogus names here?………..DBSJ

  89. Hi DBS,

    This article is an eye opener. When I was 8 yrs old and when Alfred Durayappah was murdered, I remember rejoicing not knowing the meaning of “traitor”.
    It was later, much later when the TULF members were killed and called traitors I realised the illusion I had during my childhood.
    Whoever opposes “my” believes are traitors!!. This has been the tamil politics. Still is.. as the Mr. Dinesh Gopalapillai is showing us with his comments.
    (Why does he call himself “Mr.” it will not make any difference if he calls himself “honorable” or for that matter ” National leader”.

    Anyway It is a great article and timely too.
    Please continue to sow the seeds of tolerance and knowledge…
    Let us hope the future will be better for Tamils and all Srilankans.

  90. This forum affords us the opportunity to present our views (regardless of where they lie in the spectrum) on the ethnic conflict to a larger audience (on either side of the divide). I have learnt a lot, and in some cases modified my views, by reading articles and comments posted here. I as a member of Tamil diaspora and as a victim of the war want to listen to the views of everyone especially those of our Sinhala and Muslim brethren who hold opinions diametrically opposed to ours. DBS and this forum has provided the right platform for that.

    I am appalled this forum is being abused by a few to issue threats (however hollow) and advocate violence. This is a side effect (collateral damage, if you will) of the cult(ure) of violence that had been infused into the Tamil society over the last 30 years in the name of liberation.
    It is time to move on from the ways of the past.

  91. to #109: Curious George

    Brian Seniviratne who wrote the article has long been known to be a Tamil supporter – as always, once a person takes a side, his credibility is shot. In the article he demonstrates it fully by merely writing everything negative about the SL Govt. Surely, the Govt is to blame for a lot of very harsh actions that made the Tamils suffer, but one should not take that in isolation and say the SL Govt is the only one to blame. The Tigers have done equally horrible things (even to their own people) and we should balance our views of one with the other.

    My point is, as I say in comment #77, we need to be certain to apply universally accepted and reasonable rules to all sides. Only then will you arrive at a sustainable solution. Instead, people either throw mud on the Tigers or at the Govt of SL, thinking we live in a unilateral world where either a side is black or white. It’s neither. We all live in shades of gray.

    Also, Brian Seniviratne’s ideas on how to solve the problem is also not good – by imposing economic sanctions, we will also starve the Tamils. I have my own ideas, but don’t have the time or the space to write them. Some day…

  92. to comment 109- curious george

    thanks for that website.i think all tamils should have it in there favourites. it wil be useful in the future. all those who are supposed to be leading the diaspora , please take note of this article.

  93. Analyze each killing committed by the LTTE and ignore the thousands killed by the legitimate government of Sri Lanka.

    What has been the role of pro-tiger Tamil Nadu Tamils like you in our tragedy?……..DBSJ

  94. All human life are equal and no excuse for any murder, Dr. Neelan and other Tamils would have been alive if government did not allow the conflict to escalate to the point a fascist regime like LTTE dictate terms to others, also if Tamils were not passive to allow LTTE to do whatever they want.

    Neelan Thuruchelvam will be missed for sure. Hope there are some Tamils out there to instill values to Tamil society. There were plenty of other Tamils killed by LTTE for very little reason, eg. Rajini Thiranagama, Thangathurai, and also former mayor of Jaffna. GOSL fascism is no better either, killing Raviraj, Lasantha, Richard De Zoysa, Sivaram, etc.

  95. Hi DBS,

    You said if you were to write about Kumar Ponnambalam you would have to reveal how he was lured by the killers. It is common knowledge in Colombo that he was practising vulgarity when the killers got hold of him. Since the victims were Sinhalese we think Kumar P got what he deserved.

  96. # 108 Pandurapakshaya

    Thanks. I respect your opinion.

    In this tragic time, disagreements should not divide us.

    Please share your thoughts whenever you get time.

  97. “This malady afflicting Tamils has resulted in countless people being killed as traitors. This is a Tamil tragedy for which others cannot be blamed. There is an urgent need for serious introspection.
    The Tamil people must address this issue that is literally and metaphorically killing the community.”……

    The above statement says it all.

    As a Tamil community we are at the cross roads right at the moment without knowing where to go and when to move on. The path we are going to take, depends on the
    diaspora. Financing the Organisation without questioning has proven wrong in the past. I hope they think twice in the future.

    “after biting the goat and cow the animal had now bitten a human.”………

    Late Mr. Amirthalingam also started to oppose when he knew it will come to him as well.

    Dear Mr. Jeyaraj
    If our leaders have condemned the killings right from the beginning do you think we would have been in a better position?

    I still dont think so, which also reminds me the writing of Prof. Sivanandan ” If they come for the Tamils in the morning they will come for the sinhalease in the night”

    saba

  98. comment 116 -seelan
    neelan does not look like gemini at all neelan is very pleasant looking. gemini was a crybaby. from the beginning of the show to the end tears will pour down his face. he must have had always a bucket of onions at hand. please stop comparing our neelan to these tamilnadu actors.

  99. Thank you so much for the article particularly because of the sensible responses – in the main – that you encouraged.
    I can remember the death of Neelan. Yet another life of someone I knew messed up or cut short by the madness that continues to grip Sri Lanka. However I remember what really apalled me at the time was the approval of the crime by my moderate Tamil friends, even when we were together in private. Now 10 years later the majority of your Tamil respondents have come to recognise the idiocy of so much that the LTTE did. I won’t ask why, but just be grateful.
    I hope in another ten years time my moderate Sinhalese friends, who contort themselves with amazing ease in support of this Government’s idiocy, will be equally enlightened. However I only hope that Sinhalese, of whatever political hue, do not have to go through the agonies that Tamils have experienced in the last ten years to see the light.
    Although I am a pacifist, I am glad that one of the three sets of thugs who make life a misery for Tamils is now out of the equation. If the other two groups, the Government and their various armed Tamil political stooges, could be persuaded to leave peacefully, not only Tamils but all Sri Lankans might have an opportunity to breathe.
    I forgot to mention – I’m an optimist as well.

  100. DBS had served Tamils for many years. I think he can speak for Tamils

    This guy is trustworthy of being journalist.

  101. though a singhalese, i have read many articles of you Mr.Jeyaraj.Most were very interesting. so is this article.one thing, if you can do anything to soothen the minds of dividede people in our beloved motherland? just think about it.

  102. Thanks Dinesh for your comments.

    You have confirmed the fascist elements of LTTE ideology.

    I beleive DBS was pointing out the same in this article.

    Good work Dinesh, please do keep posting, it might help our younger generation to understand the “TRUE LTTE” and change their mind to a right path.

  103. The LTTE are not angels.
    But Sinhalese who mock Eelam concept need to be very careful. It is not something to make fun of. It is a heartfelt thing to alot of people from North and East. And when they see you guys mock like ‘your peelam dream is over’ ‘ask for eelam in canada’
    you will only further divide the people. I hope you realise this.
    Your ancestors did the same thing after the British left and the tamils protested peacefully (after being chased out of civil service).
    It was the same mocking attitude that gave some tamils the determination to pick guns up.
    So you guys keep this in mind.
    You might not agree with Eelam. But by making fun of it and callings its believers terrorists will set stage for future problems.

  104. Mr DBS I do appreciate your writings,but remember Tamil are slaves in SL without LTTE

    Oh really and I suppose being slaves of the LTTE is all right ah?……….DBSJ

  105. Mr.Jeyaraj you are a unbiased writer.You just write out the truth from your heart.But even after eliminating LTTE why is there an uneasy situation in Lanka? Please reply.

  106. Dear Mr.DBSJ,

    I entered into this page when I gave the terms DBS Jayaraj the traitor since some Tamil magazines of South India have included your name also in the traitors list. This article made me to realize the innumerable sufferings the Eazham Tamil community has undergone. I pray to the almighty that this traitorisation should stop at least now in my brothern Sri Lankan Tamil community and the Tamil community all over the world live in peace.

    Any way, the means followed by LTTE may be wrong but cause and objective for which they fought is correct. As one of the readers have written GoSL also facilitates indiscriminate killings which should be condemned by the Internnational Community. How Gandhi and Netaji are for India, moderators like Neelan and Amirthalingam are on one side and Prabhakaran is on other side. Let the past be past and let us hope for the best in the future.

    IC, India and china should consider the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka and persusde the GoSL for a permanent settlement so that the Tamils of Sri Lanka will not go for another armed struggle.

    Regards,
    Dr.P.Yogesh
    Assistant Professor,
    Dept of Computer Science and Engineering,
    Anna University, Chennai-25, India.

  107. Thank you DBSJ,
    I am so proud to have an intellectual like you amongst Sri Lankans. We need many more DBSJs. A precise account of the truth and tribute to a great soul.
    At this juncture I urge the diaspora who are claiming Tamil Eelam put themselves in the shoe or slippers of the people who live in the North and East of Sri Lanka and ask themself what are their immediate needs. The answer is simple “a normal peaceful life with basic amneties”. I am so glad to learn that people in the East and North are much more contended now than before under the terrorism of LTTE though the mouth pieces of LTTE in Canada is painting a gloomy picture on the life of the Tamils in Sri Lanke contrary to the truth.
    Thirty years have passed and the prime developmental period of children who were born in north and east have been destroyed where as the life of the children of the diaspora is entirely different with more than the basic needs.
    I would like to ask these individuals not to mess around with the life of these poor individuals back home . Enough is enough, let them too have a decent life.

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