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Visiting the I.D.P. camps: A subjective experience

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Hello Friends,

It was on July 22nd that I posted an article by Lilani Jayatilaka on this blog with my heading “A Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Sri Lanka”?.

As I stated in my introduction the article in question had appeared in the “Sunday Island” of July 12th 2009 under the heading “Healing Memories:Lessons to be learnt from the South African Experience”.

Here is what I wrote then-“There was an excellent article offering much food for thought in the “Sunday Island” of July 12th 2009 by Lilani Jayatilaka that focused on the lessons of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”

The article was inspired by Bishop Desmond Tutu’s book “No Future Without Forgiveness”. The book is on the findings of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission which Bishop Tutu chaired.
Lilani who is experienced in counseling emphasises how important it is for the people of this land to speak out about their grief, suffering and sorrow.

Reading and re-reading this article was an uplifting experience for me and I want to share it with you all.”

The article did result in making people think and there were quite a lot of comments. Some of these expressed very clear thoughts.

Still I was sorry that many who commented seemed to have either missed what Lilani was trying to say or misunderstood her.

An erudite observer who is perhaps Lilani’s “best friend” said it best in a personal e-mail to me.

I am excerpting the relevant paragraph here without revealing the writer’s identity.

“Reading some of the responses it is clear that some of those who had responded have not understood Lilani’s point correctly.

She was not for a moment suggesting (anyone who reads the article carefully will realise this) that there exists parallels between apartheid South Africa and post-LTTE Sri lanka!

She felt that giving people a chance to speak the truth about the conflict will lead to healing which in turn will lead to forgiveness and reconciliation at a later date.

For healing to take place, the truth must first come out.

That’s the basic point of her article which some of her ‘critics and detractors’ appear to have missed.

So long as the detractors fight with words and not with bombs and guns, that’s okay, right?”

Personally I do think it was a pity that some did not grasp the finer points of that article which I thought was very relevant and uplifting.

Her quoting Shakespeare from “Macbeth” summed up the need for such a commission-

As Shakespeare says in Macbeth, “Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak/Whispers the o’er-fraught heart, and bids it break”. The ability to tell one’s story, to know that one is being listened to without judgment or condemnation, brings healing to the sufferer.

Now Lilani Jayatilaka has written another essay.

As a Psychological counsellor Lilani was part of a group that visited three Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Vavuniya from July 16th-July 18th.

[Internally Displaced Persons at the Manik Farm camp wait for the arrival of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon-23/May/2009. Vavuniya. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe]

She has now written a “record” her “impressions” after that visit.

Lilani makes it a point to emphasise that these impressions are the result of her subjective experience.

In her opening paragraph she says-

“All experiences are subjective. And so I realized when nine of us visited some of the IDP camps last week and found that each of us had different feelings and observations about the experience. Perhaps this is because every experience is viewed through the prism of our personalities, value systems, cultural and educational orientations as well as our own life experiences.

This may also be the reason why there are such diametrically opposing views expressed about the conditions in the IDP camps, for while some feel that the refugees are very well looked after, others feel that their conditions are dismal. All that I will attempt to do here is to describe my own observations, thoughts and feelings during my visit to the IDP camps”.

Once again I found the article illuminating. It provides a different perspective about the prevailing situation.

I hope readers interested in the actual situation of IDP camps would gain fresh insight from Lilani’s impressions. And please keep in mind her emphasis on these impressions being a subjective experience-dbsj

[This picture taken on July 7, 2009, shows a Sri Lankan Tamil child displaced by fighting between troops and Tamil Tiger rebels, at a makeshift hospital inside a camp complex where they are held by authorities at Cheddikulam-Getty Images]

A record of my impressions of the IDP camps

By Lilani Jayatilaka

All experiences are subjective. And so I realized when nine of us visited some of the IDP camps last week and found that each of us had different feelings and observations about the experience. Perhaps this is because every experience is viewed through the prism of our personalities, value systems, cultural and educational orientations as well as our own life experiences. This may also be the reason why there are such diametrically opposing views expressed about the conditions in the IDP camps, for while some feel that the refugees are very well looked after, others feel that their conditions are dismal. All that I will attempt to do here is to describe my own observations, thoughts and feelings during my visit to the IDP camps.

I was one of five lay people of different religions and faiths, who joined a group of Catholic nuns on a mission of mercy. Like many others in the South belonging to every religion and denomination, these nuns had been hard at work gathering clothes, food items and other essential in order to ease the suffering of the displaced people in the North. On this occasion however, they were working in conjunction with a group of young school leavers to provide 1,300 families at Sumathipuram camp with what were referred to as “friendship packages”. Since the government was supplying the camps with basic food items, each of these packages consisted of a bucket, a sarong, a dress, several pairs of slippers, siddhalepa, condiments, soaps, a towel, sanitary towels and toothpaste for each family. Some of the items in the package would have been used up in a week and would have barely scratched the surface of their needs. Still, as they say, something is better than nothing and even this something cost a tidy sum!

We left during the early hours of Thursday 16th July for the long drive to Vavuniya. Gradually the vegetation changed from lush greenery to dry scrub land. As we drew closer and closer to our destination I grew silent as I took in the scenes of neglect and devastation. It reminded me of a similar excursion to Matara that many of us in this very same group, undertook in the aftermath of the Tsunami, though it is difficult to compare the horrendous devastation we witnessed then along the southern coast with the desolate landscape that now lay before us. As a child, I had traveled overland through Vavuniya to Jaffna. However, I had no clear memories of the land that I was traversing, but felt very strongly that however dry and bare the landscape may have been before the war, there could not then have been this sense of sadness and defeat permeating the very landscape.

Tragedy

I was struck by the notion that tragedy leaves its imprint even on the very soil and that it would take a long time indeed for the Tamil people to regain a sense of dignity and pride in themselves. There might be some who might deem this a good thing. For they reason that as long as the Tamil people remain demoralized, they will not pose a challenge or a threat to the country. But the very converse is true. Just as a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so too the nation will thrive only when its religious and ethnic minorities as well as its marginalized classes are strengthened and allowed to live and function as equal citizens in this land.

As I looked out I took in the scenes that whizzed past my window: the few, stray, emaciated cattle and goats grazing listlessly among the dry brown vegetation; the broken, straggly fences made of palmyrah leaves behind which were the dilapidated huts of the people, some of whom could be seen working in their fields under the scorching heat of the sun. Some fields looked parched and dry, the stalks of paddy standing up like dry brown twigs in caked mud, while others looked green, though even this green did not look as vivid and bright as do the paddy fields in the South, but had a deeper, somber hue, not displeasing to the eye. I caught a glimpse of a people struggling to eke out a living from this harsh landscape and felt an immense sadness for their plight. I realized anew and in a concrete manner that the Tamil people were in a worse plight now than they had ever been before the LTTE took to arms.

I pondered for the umpteenth time what the 30 years of war had achieved, at the cost of enormous suffering and many lives lost in every corner of this land from “Dondra Head to Point Pedro”. History is the story of the victor, they say. The loser concedes to the victor territory, power and morale. The IDPs are the losers even though they did not themselves wage war. They are the flotsam and jetsam cast up on the shore as the army and the LTTE fought to the finish. Thus the IDPs in the North of Sri Lanka are dispossessed of their lands, powerless and demoralized, waiting for charitable hand outs from the South, waiting to be released from their prisons (for they are prisons, as long as they are not allowed to move freely in or out of them), waiting to be reconnected with missing members of their families, waiting, in other words, as they have waited for the past 30 years, for normalcy to return.

At Medawachchiya we were delayed for an hour and a half as our documents and our vehicle were subjected to scrutiny. After a few wrong turns, we eventually found our way to the convent at Chettikulam where we unloaded some of the goods we had brought from Colombo. The entrance to this convent was piled high with toys and other goods destined for the camps. However even without taking stock, we could see that these goods would not have been sufficient to scratch the surface of the needs of even one of the smaller camps. The nuns in this convent, who belonged to both the Sinhala and Tamil communities, then told us of their experiences in the camps.

[In this June 8, 2009 photograph, an internally displaced ethnic Tamil civilian walks with the help of crutches at a camp for displaced in Manik Farm-AP pic]

Menik farm

They explained to us that the Menik farm complex housed the older and larger camps in which most of the refugees were to be found. Some of these camps carried names like Ramanathan and Arunachalam, names that were ironic reminders of those very different sites of residence in the idyllic surroundings of Peradeniya. Compared to these camps, some of which housed as many as 45,000 people, the Sumathipuram, Dharmapuram and Veerapuram camps which had been set up fairly recently, had much fewer numbers, somewhere between 7,500 and 10,000 people in each. People were being shuffled about in these camps as the authorities traced members of the same family and re housed them together.

Tracing the families of 300,000 displaced people, located in several different camps, is a gargantuan task, especially in the context that concurrent arrangements had to be made to meet the daily needs of the refugees. To the inmates at these camps however, the process must seem agonizingly slow as they wait anxiously for news of members of their family. Some of the nuns had arranged for the collection and distribution of fresh milk to some 800 children in two of the camps. How did they pay for this, I wondered? One said that she receives funds from her brothers and sisters abroad and that she utilizes these funds to purchase essential goods for the refugees. Mostly, of course, there is the influx of goods from caring people in the South and from the outside world. The list of requirements seemed endless: the little children needed toys and milk in limitless quantities; the young teenagers needed clothes (as is the case with young people, everywhere) and books; and of course, there was the on-going requirement for the daily needs of life for all the people in the camps. The basic food items were being provided by the state, but every other need had to be met by others. The nuns had a practical, hands-on approach to solving these problems. When they were told of a need, they tried to meet this need, moving heaven and earth in order to do so until the next need engrossed their attention. I wondered how long it would be before they reached the point of exhaustion, but they obviously had not reached it as yet.

From Chettikulam, we drove on to the Puvarasankulam convent where we were to stay for the duration of our visit to Vavuniya. This convent provides a refuge for unwed mothers and orphaned children from the poorer segments of society. While the nuns stayed on in the convent, we, the five lay people in our group walked towards the large and airy building which housed the children. As soon as we walked in there, we were immediately surrounded by bright eyed little girls who wrested our bags from our hands and carried them upstairs to the airy, sprawling room in which we fashioned make shift beds for ourselves. I could not help but make comparisons between the lives of these children and those of our more privileged children in Colombo.
Feelings of contentment.

They lived away from their brothers and sisters in the convent during term time; they had no TV, computers or toys (expensive or otherwise) to speak of; their daily routine was regimented-with regular prayer sessions, two hours of study after school and another two hours before bed time, as well as household chores which included helping in the kitchen, mopping the huge expanse of floor space on their hands and knees as well as tending and watering the large garden. In between all this they had a few hours of play, in which they tore round the back garden in a burst of high spirits. Yet, when I asked them whether they were happy to stay here away from their families, they all chorused yes, even the littlest among them. The reason they gave me was that here they had lots of children to play with. However I suspect that getting three square meals a day must also have had something to do with their feelings of contentment.

After breakfast the next morning, we left for Chettikulam, where the Sumathipuram camp is located. However, before we could enter the precincts of the camp we had to join forces with the other half of this enterprise-the young school leavers from Colombo, who had been instrumental in making all the organizational arrangements, as well as in parceling the “friendship package” for each family. We were to rendezvous in Chettikulam, so while we awaited their arrival from Colombo, we went to another convent in Chettikulam where we picked up a nun, who could secure our entry into two other camps-the Dharmapuram and Kovaransankulam camps.

When we finally reached the Sumathipuram camp, it was mid- morning. As we drove up to the entrance to the camp in our small convoy of vehicles, I took in the barbed wire fencing surrounding rows and rows of what looked like plastic tents. I was told later on that these were not made entirely of plastic but of some kind of canvas, though the roof may have been made of plastic. As we stepped out, we were subjected to the scorching rays of the sun and inhaled the dust-laden air whipped up by a stiff breeze. The Colonel in charge of the camp said that though we had been told that there were 1,300 families in this camp, it had since increased to 1,800, as more families had been re-united. Though this was good news, it was a setback to us as we had brought only 1,300 packages. Still, we left these with the Colonel, who said that he would take charge of distributing them among the families, as otherwise there would be a stampede to collect these items.

We then piled back into our van while he and another army officer on a motorbike, took us on a guided tour of the camp. Some people stood outside their tents and watched silently as we drove past, while others went about their business, chatting to one another, tending their children or trekking to the water pump to collect water in buckets. We knew that access to the camps was restricted. We had been told that visiting relatives were not allowed inside the camps but were permitted to communicate with their families from outside the fence. I looked for evidence of this and saw a makeshift hut at the perimeter of the camp where a few people sat on rough wooden benches placed on either side of the fence and talked to each other. I felt both sad and angry at the sight.

My feelings of sadness were fairly uncomplicated, for I was sad that many who are innocent and powerless are treated with some suspicion, their daily lives fraught with the fear of harassment and the basic human need for nest-building, that is, for keeping one’s loved ones safe and secure under one roof, denied them. My feelings of anger however, were more confused and complicated, for I did not know who could or should be blamed for this state of affairs.

There is, for instance, the question of who was immediately and who was ultimately responsible for this state of affairs.

To trace the source of ultimate responsibility however would be akin to opening up a Russian doll, each one leading to another, and then to another. It would prove an impossible task, for it is a hotly-debated and contentious issue on which very few agree.

It can be said however, that extremist violence itself is, arguably, a symptom of the disease, not the disease itself. The disease is a sickness within the body politic of the nation, which successive governments failed to address in a meaningful manner, and which has led to several armed insurrections in the recent past, two in the South and a protracted one in the North.

The sources of immediate responsibility however, are the Army and the government who oversee the arrangements at the camp. The state is on a ‘weeding-out’ operation to root out terrorism. It has to be done: the country cannot afford the human, political and economic costs of another war. However it must be remembered that the LTTE itself is a spent force. To reason that because the LTTE was made up almost entirely of Tamils from the North, that all Tamils from the North must therefore be treated as possible LTTE suspects, is to reason fallaciously. It must not be forgotten that the IDPs are civilians who were trapped between a rock and a hard place. However late in the day, they responded to the invitation of the state and turned to it for succour and help. How the state treats the IDPs who are in its care will have far-reaching consequences for future relations between the two communities. The state should not leave room for speculation that the refuge it offered the IDPs as it fled the grasp of the Tiger, is akin to the invitation issued by the spider when it asked the fly to come into its parlour!

From Sumathipuram we proceeded to the Dharmapuram camp where the retired major in charge of the camp made us welcome. He spoke to us of his anxiety to promote the well-being of the refugees and of the arrangements he had made to make sure that the children in the camp received uninterrupted schooling. He also gave us carte blanche to wander at our will and talk to the people. Happily, and contrary to our expectations, most people in the camp seemed relatively cheerful. Their sudden release from the overriding fear of imminent death or disablement and the resultant sense of physical safety were reason enough for their relaxed demeanour. However, when we spoke to them, they all expressed an anxiety to get back to their homes and to their occupations. When I asked them whether their homes were still intact, they said that though their homes had been demolished, they would rebuild, once they got back home. One man I spoke to complained about the lack of variety in their diet, for they are given rice, dhal, brinjals and pumpkin for every meal, every day. His words of complaint were however accompanied by a smile, as if he were conscious of the irony of complaining about the lack of variety in his diet when, just a short while ago, he had had barely enough to eat to keep body and soul together. I asked him what he would like to eat and he replied “Bread” with a wry smile. I found out later on that he was a baker by profession!

Another told me that he had lost his parents as well as his brother and his wife as they all tried to escape from the Wanni, and was now very much alone in the world. One woman whispered to me that her young 14-year old son had been taken away and she was anxious for news of him. Reading between the lines, I surmised that her son was a possible LTTE suspect and as such had been taken in for questioning. I looked at her and recognized the pain that is familiar to all mothers, in her eyes. What could I say to her? I murmured some words of comfort but could do little else to soothe her pain.

We were soon surrounded by a group of men and women, each anxious to share their experiences. We just want to talk, they told me. But I could not linger. Our group was moving ahead and they called out to me to hurry up. Regretfully I hurried on to catch up with the rest. One fact that struck me forcefully as they all crowded around me was that none of them smelled unclean. In fact, we had passed some of the makeshift aluminium toilets on our way, and had not noticed any stench emanating from them. I do not know what the conditions are in the larger camps, but in these smaller, newer camps there seems to be an adequate supply of food and water.

As I hurried, I kept my eyes on the ground, as the stumps of trees which had been felled when the area had been cleared to house the refugees, were sticking up from the ground. This was another reason why there was an urgent need for footwear, though I saw many little ones running around barefooted. I caught up with the rest near the tents of their makeshift school. Five large tents were being utilized as a school. Soon we were surrounded by young girls and boys of different ages, who came out of their tents to speak to us. The children who were sitting their Ordinary Level Examinations this year, were concerned that they were not getting adequate tutoring especially in Mathematics and Science. Others made a request for more exercise books. When I asked them whether they have enough to eat, they said yes. One little girl who was about 10 years old said that prior to coming to the camp, she had slept in a bunker to escape the shelling, and used to fall asleep through fear, though her stomach was empty. At that time, she had subsisted on just one meal a day. Now she had three meals a day.

After going back to the Chettikulam nunnery for lunch, we had time to visit one more camp. Because a request had been made for bread, arrangements were made to purchase 150 buns and take these to the next camp at Kovarasankulam. This camp was located in the premises of the Kovarasankulam school. The Major in charge of the camp was a humane and kindly being, who jokingly told us to stay on at the camp site and help the people. As we stepped out of our vehicle, we were surrounded by a body of people who wanted to talk to us and we were struck once again, by the up-beat quality in their facial expressions and stance. One old woman kept embracing us and stroking our faces. Another, carrying a little toddler, told me that the child in her arms was the son of her injured son who had lost a leg due to shell injury. He and his wife were housed at another camp while she stayed on here to look after the little one.

The stories they shared with us were tragic, but as I had noted before at the Dharmapuram camp, they did not seem beaten down or depressed. As we had buns to distribute among the little ones, the Major asked the parents to take their little ones to the school hall and seat them in orderly rows on the floor of the stage. We were dismayed then to find that there were many more children than there were buns to go around. We managed to give a bun to every child seated on the stage, but there were others milling about in the hall who had to go without. The Major told us that these children were extremely well behaved and would not clamour for anything, unlike most other children. This we saw for ourselves, as they all sat quietly until we placed the bun in their hands. None of them reached out with their hands or even asked for one, if they had been inadvertently overlooked. One such little one sat with tears running silently down his cheeks, because he had been accidentally bypassed. Luckily this was rectified fairly quickly. The thought went through my mind that perhaps this kind of unnaturally good behaviour was the result of the trauma they had undergone in the recent past.

As we prepared to leave the camp, a sweet-faced, sixteen-year old found her way through the crush and spoke to me. I asked her, by way of conversation, whether she was still studying. She replied that she had completed her Ordinary Level Examinations. When I asked her whether she wanted to continue her studies, she shook her head vigorously. I want to go out she said and pointed towards the gates of the camp, an image that has left a cameo–like imprint in the recesses of my mind.

[The residents of the Manik Farm camp of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) wait the arrival of the United Nations Secretary-General-23/May/2009. Vavuniya. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe.]

DBS Jeyaraj can be reached at dbsjeyaraj@yahoo.com

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101 Comments

  1. Dear Lilani

    Thank you very much for writing this

    And Jeyaraj thank you for posting this

    This is the best I’ve read on the IDP situation so far.

  2. The writer has captured the true plight of the Tamil people. I want to highlight a few paragraphs from her article here

    “I was struck by the notion that tragedy leaves its imprint even on the very soil and that it would take a long time indeed for the Tamil people to regain a sense of dignity and pride in themselves. There might be some who might deem this a good thing. For they reason that as long as the Tamil people remain demoralized, they will not pose a challenge or a threat to the country. But the very converse is true. Just as a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so too the nation will thrive only when its religious and ethnic minorities as well as its marginalized classes are strengthened and allowed to live and function as equal citizens in this land.

    As I looked out I took in the scenes that whizzed past my window: the few, stray, emaciated cattle and goats grazing listlessly among the dry brown vegetation; the broken, straggly fences made of palmyrah leaves behind which were the dilapidated huts of the people, some of whom could be seen working in their fields under the scorching heat of the sun. Some fields looked parched and dry, the stalks of paddy standing up like dry brown twigs in caked mud, while others looked green, though even this green did not look as vivid and bright as do the paddy fields in the South, but had a deeper, somber hue, not displeasing to the eye. I caught a glimpse of a people struggling to eke out a living from this harsh landscape and felt an immense sadness for their plight. I realized anew and in a concrete manner that the Tamil people were in a worse plight now than they had ever been before the LTTE took to arms.

    I pondered for the umpteenth time what the 30 years of war had achieved, at the cost of enormous suffering and many lives lost in every corner of this land from “Dondra Head to Point Pedro”. History is the story of the victor, they say. The loser concedes to the victor territory, power and morale. The IDPs are the losers even though they did not themselves wage war. They are the flotsam and jetsam cast up on the shore as the army and the LTTE fought to the finish. Thus the IDPs in the North of Sri Lanka are dispossessed of their lands, powerless and demoralized, waiting for charitable hand outs from the South, waiting to be released from their prisons (for they are prisons, as long as they are not allowed to move freely in or out of them), waiting to be reconnected with missing members of their families, waiting, in other words, as they have waited for the past 30 years, for normalcy to return.”

    Very, very good Lilani. Almighty’s blessings on you

  3. Lilani Jayatilaka has covered new ground in this anecdotal account. It is of course her subjective experience. It is our good fortune that her “subjectiveness” has surpassed many other “Objective” accounts

    DBS, it is remarkable how you select insightful articles like this to post on your blog. The DBSJ blog and transcurrents.com website are doing great work in promoting inter-ethnic understanding and fostering racial harmony

    Congratz and keep up the good work please

  4. “One such little one sat with tears running silently down his cheeks, because he had been accidentally bypassed.”

    Leaves an everlasting imprint, somewhere deep down.
    Quite difficult to read further ….

  5. Wow absolutely touching and realy well organized as the writer has given us a third eye to how these camps are, the stories of the people and most amazingly their feelings and the IDP experience.very descriptive and very well written.great piece.

  6. Lilani,
    You have earned a special place in many hearts .Your ability to see human suffering and sense human pain, has given you a place next to many gods a hindu believes in.
    This is the quality that every human should have .
    The Major who showed tender love and care to his camp inmates is another example of an enlightened soul.
    He realized that this is the way to heal the wounds. A few kind words a pat in the back,a shoulder to cry.Material need of course come second.
    This should be the approach towards entire process of post war reconciliation.
    As a trained counselor, Lilani has the educational background to see the merits of this approach.

    The big picture is, the younger generation should incorporate such values of caring for fellow human being .Then and only then we will not bring harm to each other like what we did to each other since 1948.

    Towards this goal every persons who has this wisdom should use the mass media to spread this message.Irrespective of our religious or ethnic background.
    Thanks DBSJ on a reproduction that touched my soul.

  7. Frankly, I am a somewhat relieved after reading this account vis-a-vis the conditions in certain IDP camps. At least in what the author witnessed, the conditions do not seem to be so appalling as often reported. However, cozied in a picturesque Canadian suburb enjoying all the rights, privileges and prosperity that this wonderful country has to offer without measure, I have no, moral or otherwise, standing to comment on the levels of (dis)comfort experienced by our brethren in the camps. However, this is certainly akin to captivity. A naked attempt by the establishment to inextricably alter the ethnic balance to the detriment of Tamils. All the hoopla about rehabilitation, screening, demining etc. are just eye wash. The regime will never let this people go.

    The strategy seems rather simple. First, the existing conditions in the camps will invariably contribute to an unhealthy populace with a much lower life expectancy. Then by a process of natural selection the reproductive rates/birthrates will fall. And given the circumstances the phenomenon is mostly likely to transcend generations contributing to a drastic reduction in the Tamil population in a couple of decades. So the result, they would have taken out (so to speak) another 50,000 Tamils without a single shot being fired.

    The next phase: the regime will actively promote emigration. At least on paper, those in the camps qualify for refugee status in various foreign jurisdictions. Plus many of them have a support base, if not a sibling, at least in one western nation. This certainly presents the optimal catalyst for emigration. With only one way out people will just take it.

    The diaspora will never return. Ok, it is a nobrainer. I am not talking about just the Tamils settled in the west, those 100K languishing in camps in India are also part of this equation. They are not coming back either. In fact, they will not be allowed to return. They will be in India for a long long time. The succeeding generations will be assimilated by the local population. For instance, most of those “Sri Lankan” Tamils who were born in India or grew up there speak Tamil with an Indian accent. Many have married locals. The process of Indianisation is much slower than that of westernisation but it is definitely happening.

    Sooner than later government “archaeologists” and “scholars” will discover “artefacts from eons ago” to buttress the Sinhala claim on Tamil land. Sinhala settlements will crop up all over from Ampara to Jaffna. Oh, do not forget about the 150K soldiers (plus their families) who will be garrisoned in Tamil areas. 25 years hence, we will be extremely lucky to be at even 5% of the total. We the Tamils can scream till our lungs burst or walk in demonstrations till we drop. But the world will not do a thing.

    Sorry to be so pessimistic amids all the talk of reconciliation, new beginning etc. But extrapolating from the past and existing conditions I could not see it any other way.

  8. I don’t know what to say… I am voiceless.. Oh god… I hope that War criminal responsible for this will rotten in the hell.

  9. I was just numb after reading this.

    What the international community is doing about this? MR & CO, are they human or blood sucking leeches?

    When their thirst for Tamil blood will end? We have never seen such butchers in our 2000 year history.

    Karma will get these people one day.

  10. Dear Lilani and DBS

    Many many thanks for this candid no nonsense article. what touched me first was author’s word that our opinions are subjective. Very true. Buddha said our views are coloured due to our background, thought process, environment etc etc.

    However this is truly an article written by the heart. Being a Singhalese with very very close Tamil friends, my heart bleeds for these people. However the Singhalese government is weary of the northern Tamils and their sympathies to LTTE. This is the crux of the issue. Until the Tamil’s establish some confidence in the Singhalese ruling class, it is difficult to perceive there is be harmony and peace. In this aspect, LTTE arms smugger KP is right. But how genuine is he is another issue.
    I have some problems in my mind in understanding some issues which I shall be thankful if some one explains.

    How is it that in Colombo district Singhalese are around 25% while the Tamils and other races outnumber them but every one lives in harmony?

    How is it that my friends parents continue to live in wellawatta, refusing to join their children abroad and wants to die in wellawatta where they may get attacked by the murderous Singhalese?
    How is it that terrorism started in Jaffna where comparatively the Tamils were very well off (because I lived there in the 70’s I know) when it didn’t start in the east or among the tea estate Tamils who were the poorest of the poor?

    Does the elitist Tamils realise there are many many Singhalese area’s where people live in utter poverty( because I have been there & seen it) and some Tamils talk of equal rights when these Singhalese even don’t think about these abstract things but how to get their next meal?
    I just cannot comprehend these facts.

  11. R Maran(#9),

    You say:

    “I don’t know what to say “I am voiceless.. Oh god” I hope that War criminal responsible for this will rotten in the hell.”

    He is already rotting in hell.

    He is waiting for you to join along with other diaspora who funded his diabolical project on earth.

  12. Dear Lilani and DBS

    Many many thanks for this candid no nonsense article. what touched me first was author’s word that our opinions are subjective. Very true. Buddha said our views are coloured due to our background, thought process, environment etc etc

    However this is truly an article written by the heart. Being a Singhalese with very very close Tamil friends, my heart bleeds for these people. However the Singhalese government is weary of the northern Tamils and their sympathies to LTTE. This is the crux of the issue. Until the Tamil’s establish some confidence in the Singhalese ruling class, it is difficult to perceive there is be harmony and peace. In this aspect, LTTE arms smugger KP is right. But how genuine is he is another issue.
    I have some problems in my mind in understanding some issues which I shall be thankful if some one explains.

    How is it that in Colombo district Singhalese are around 25% while the Tamils and other races outnumber them but every one lives in harmony?
    How is it that my friends parents continue to live in wellawatta, refusing to join their children abroad and wants to die in wellawatta where they may get attacked by the murderous Singhalese?
    How is it that terrorism started in Jaffna where comparatively the Tamils were very well off (because I lived there in the 70’s I know) when it didn’t start in the east or among the tea estate Tamils who were the poorest of the poor?

    Does the elitist Tamils realise there are many many Singhalese area’s where people live in utter poverty( because I have been there & seen it) and some Tamils talk of equal rights when these Singhalese even don’t think about these abstract things but how to get their next meal?
    I just cannot comprehend these facts.

  13. to comment 7
    “””Sooner than later government �archaeologists� and �scholars� will discover �artefacts from eons ago� to buttress the Sinhala claim on Tamil land. Sinhala settlements will crop up all over from Ampara to Jaffna. Oh, do not forget about the 150K soldiers (plus their families) who will be garrisoned in Tamil areas. 25 years hence, we will be extremely lucky to be at even 5% of the total. We the Tamils can scream till our lungs burst or walk in demonstrations till we drop. But the world will not do a thing. “”

    Fantastic idea, hope this happens soon.
    You diaspora guys need to realize that there is no such thing as “Thamizh” land or “sinhalam” land or “muslim” land. Sri-Lanka belongs to all sri-lankans.
    As long as you diaspora refugees continue to think that the north and east belongs exclusively to tamizhs, we will continue to have major problems.
    Your terrorists fought for this concept and your terrorists LOST. and let me point out that this is why the IDPs are in the camps….
    If you diaspora guys want a “tamil” exclusive land you are welcome to create one in Scarborough (i’m told it’s 75% tamil now), will you ask for 50-50 representation in the canadian parliament soon? and when will you ethnically cleanse the “canadians” from scarborough?

    as for the article- great job by DBS as usual….the IDP situation is tough….but the government has asked for 6 months time resettle most of them and hopefully this will. and hopefully they will be resettled in “Sri-Lanka” not in this so-called mythical mono-ethnic “thamizh” land……

    I didn’t write this article.I’ve only posted it. This was written by Lilani Jayatilaka………….DBSJ

  14. Finally untold truth coming out to light. Slowly all Singhalese will understand Tamils plight.

    We all clearly know tamils are not against for those Singhalese people live in utter poverty but unfortunately Singhalese dominated government are against Tamils equal rights. This article and around 300,000 Tamils detained at camps proofed that

    I hope their responsibility to heal this IDP’s and resettle them in their original places and rebuild their houses which were destroyed. Srilankan government has to give compensation for relatives of killed and badly wounded families.

    Why ICRC or UN monitoring group are still not allowed to the camp to help and access their needs? Are they treated equally as other srilankan citizen? Are all prisoner of the war treated by international law?

    .

  15. 13. DAya

    I never funded LTTE.

    I always wanted to see VP dead. That doesn’t necessarily mean I wanted to replace war criminal VP with war criminal MR.

  16. The ‘patriots’ justify a war displacing hundreds of thousands, denounces well-intentioned Western attempts to avert this as meddling and imperialistic, then takes a begging bowl to the West asking them to take financial responsibility for their humanitarian crisis.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8180817.stm

    Where are the ardent motherlanka morons saying the West should mind their own business now they ardently want the business of aid?

  17. Dear Jeyaraj
    I have been a Science/Maths teacher first in Jaffna(70s) and then in London(80s and 90s). I wish to go and teach the kids who are going to sit the GCE O. Please pass my email to Lilani.

  18. Tamil people paid a heavy cost ! these people need freedom , they need justice not revenge.
    Who ever did this crime to them should be brought to the justice and punished: this is the only way to heal the wounds.
    Investigations should be done to find out what happened , to find out the culprits where LTTE or Sri lankan regime .. or both…We shoudl not wait another 26 years like for Black July….as this will give enough time for another VP to come….

  19. #14 Don.

    My friend, I wish I didn’t have to say this, but in these circumstances you have to be a Tamil to realize what we have to endure. An example from my life, just to illustrate the point. In 1986 my family and the entire neighbourhood were chased out of our homes (in Batticaloa). Subsequently, government forces occupied a number of the houses, including ours. Our pleas for the return of our property fell into deaf years. We approached even the courts for recourse but to no avail. To this day SLA occupies the house. I know of many people from all over the North-East with similar stories. But to be fair I must also say that while the LTTEers were ruling the roast they had no qualm about taking over others’ properties.

    I agree that abject poverty is an island wide issue. But it can be rectified by proper government policy and through individual effort (as has been proven in the West). The core of the issue is all about the right to live with dignity, to be treated with respect, to be able to practice and cherish our culture and to live in peace. Interestingly all these points, inter alia, have been noted by the author Lilani Jayatilaka.

    With people of noble intentions such as Ms.Jayatilaka and, regular contributors to this blog, Dilshan F and RS Wickramasinghe (among others) still reinforcing the point there is a flicker of hope, however faint at this juncture, for reconciliation and peaceful coexistence.

    BTW according to Wiki Sinhalese constitute 41% of the population in Colombo, not 25% as you indicated.

  20. Lilani has captured the situation very well. I spoke with a set of friends recently who went (all sinhalese volunteers) to the IDP camps. They were all doctors and had a similar experience. I asked them to write up their experience and circulate as a lot of people want to know the real situation and there are many foreign media organisations with an agenda that is out to always paint the worst picture. These acts by the media organisations will create problems for those who are wroking hard to better the situation. At one of the camps (where Mahaveevar families are kept) inmates have demanded money to translate (tamil to english/sinhala) and had agreed to work without a pay only after the doctor’s got up to leave. They had come across only a handful of children (less than 20) who had been clinical malnourished. Some of the health facilities are better than what is available in the south. Most of the people had a positive approach, with relief for being alive and having 3 meals a day. Apologise for the lack details, but hopefully one of the doctor’s will write up their experience and I will have it published within this forum.
    Thanks DBSJ.

  21. Man’s inhumanity to his fellow man at apogee. There was so much outrage expressed at that baby elephant being separated from her mother in Kandy and the Sinhala and other media went to town on this ‘and quite rightly so. We are humans, after all’ aren’t we?

    And bleeding Buddhist hearts in the main, one would want to add. But tens of thousands of mothers were heartlessly separated from their children (boys) between the ages of 5 – 12 in the IDP Camps. I will not buy the Keheliya Rambukwella/Yapa’s theory they were ‘terrorist suspects’ and this action by the Army/State is right. And then there were many girls, Some said to be exceptionally fair and pretty, aged between 13- 18 with no known links to militant movements and yet separated from their parents – not seen or heard of since. It is heartening there are army men of kind and humane disposition – as the Major and retired Brigadier Ms Jayatilake met with. Yet, the mass of the detainees continue to suffer indignation and pain. The Govt is said to suggest there could be anything between 2,000 to 5,000 potential LTTErs in the camps. If that is the case, why not release all the rest forthwith and avoid the global condemnation that is now our lot.

    What is the need to indicate ‘a further’ 6 months? Let us remember these are civilians possibly once held by LTTE by force and who responded to the Govt’s call to join them with much hope. And they are now held indefinitely (the English expression ‘from frying pan to the fire’ has its own Tamil and Sinhala village analogy here) Elsewhere we read the now all-powerful Defence Secy/Gen.

    Gothabaya Rajapakse in an interview to a foreign journalist says ‘we need urgent and large funds to take care of the IDPs’ And yet sources within and outside Sri Lanka say the IDPs are held not because they are a security threat, which they accuse is a latter concoction. According to them, the real reason is that the high-spending State does not have funds to run the essential day to day affairs of Govt even for a month and so holds these poor children, men and women while using as much pressure as possible on the outside world to bail them out on the false pretext. Where is the real truth here?

    This has to be viewed with the boastful dismissal of Cabraal of the CBSL and then of course, the Big Chief “we don’t need the IMF loan and we are not going down on our knees. We now have the funds” etc., and then we see the Govt signing everything put before them just to save their souls.

    The writer expresses the shared feelings of all Tamils ‘those within the camp, outside in the country and indeed outside in the world whose thoughts every hour are with their helpless kith and kin languishing for reasons they know not ‘It will take a long time indeed for the Tamil people to regain a sense of pride in themselves’ Yes. Indeed but they will not be forgotten by the Tamils here, in the diaspora and elsewhere. We read today that great musician A.R. Rahman has publicly broken down in Chennai in public while speaking of the plight of Tamils here and so a large part of the Tamil people there. Clearly, by no means is the issue over.

    Ms Jayatilake’s thoughts find accord with those who study the Lankan issue seriously ‘the regime will never leg these people go’ Of course, M/s Devananda, Karuna and friends who see a sea of opportunity of making money having these people held (Nalla kasuda, was what a cartoon said) for it is said they, in connivance, with some bad eggs in the Camp management are in a racket freeing those who come out with big cash (LTTE or not does not count here) Sometimes I wonder if the Christian Sinhalese are more humane than their Buddhist counter-parts or, at least, they appear to possess less arsenic. As my earlier comments on the baby elephant suggests, here is a regime lead by a man compared (and seems to relish this) to God and who likes to think of him as the most humane around but nevertheless inflicting pain of the most unimaginable magnitude on children, women, men, the sick, the maimed, the hungry,the diseased and the elderly. Is this a case of the most despicable form of schadenfreude in intensity?

    ISS

  22. #15 Citizensl

    Thanks you for your comments. You seem to be toeing the line propagated by the Rajapakse clan. Statistically speaking, the “Sri Lanka for all” would simply, in due course, deprive Tamils, Muslims and all other minorities of proper representation in parliament and other corridors of power. Lets for argument sake assume that Tamils are dispersed all over the island and living peacefully with their Sinhala brethren. Lets extend the line of thinking further to assume that there are only about 15% Tamils in every electoral district (for simplicity, we apply the national ethnic proportions locally). Then it goes without saying Tamils or any minority for that matter will not be able to elect directly even a single representative from among their own. They will now have to be at the mercy of the big parties to gain due representation via the national or nominated list. Evidently the system is inherently biased and unfair.

    WRT Scarborough, your numbers are way off the mark. No, Tamils do not make up 75% of the population there 20% may be more realistic. And no the Tamils in Canada or Australia or any other western country do not have to worry about due or undue representation for they enjoy enviable levels of rights, freedoms, privileges and prosperity that could not even be dreamt of in Sri Lanka.

    Yes, now that there is unfeterred maneuverability and a world that turn a blind eye to anything, nothing prevents the regime from evicting Tamils from their houses and long established settlements and disperse them all over. Our Muslim brethren had to suffer a similar fate under the draconian LTTE rule. Our hapless Tamil brethren are now silently awaiting the impending doom. God help us.

  23. However much the government denies, the reports coming out from these camps indicate the physical and mental trauma these helpless people are going through. It is evident that their basic human rights are being violated. Moreover they are being touted by the government as a means of attracting foreign aid into the country. The LOI to the IMF says as much. To what extent they will benefit from this 2.6 Bn USD is yet to be seen.
    Which brings us to the big question: Is there any mechanism for their relief or redress? Unfortunately NOT it seems. Especially in Sri Lanka which is third world democracy, where the power of the executive over rules even the Chief Justice and Judicial system. Similar situations have arisen in other Asian countries notably Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Iran etc. In some of those countries there were popular movements against unpopular regimes resulting in their overthrow. In others the regimes have been able to suppress and overcome these protests.
    In Sri Lanka the government is riding on a huge wave of popularity generated by the defeat of the LTTE and return of the country to a semblance of normalcy. The masses in their support and veneration of the government seem ready to overlook any extra judicial actions against sections of the population. For instance take the case of the rather obvious murders of underworld characters by the Police. These have been committed rather blatantly with the full knowledge and consent of the regime and there is no one to question or speak on behalf of such people. This type of cowboy justice is being dished out selectively to those who do not kowtow with government politicians. Similarly in the case of the media, there is a deathly silence regarding the death of so many journalists over the last few years. As with the case of the IDPs there are many who know, but few who have the courage to express their regret and remorse leave alone condemnation at their fate. Rather there are many sycophants who ridicule and play down such obvious injustices in order to curry favour with those in power.
    Does democracy mean governance at the expense of the human rights of minority segments and individuals? It seems that in the yearning to be rid of the scourge of terrorism and to develop our country we are collectively as a nation, prepared to approve each and every action taken by the Government. To be deaf and blind to the pain and suffering of other human beings is not becoming of humanity. Before being patriots we need to be human beings.

  24. Punitham,

    A very noble gesture. I wish there were more like you.

    As gleaned from the article (and witnessed by me), it is the people the South that are contributing (what little they can) to the relief of the IDPs.

    Where is the rich diaspora (that funded much of the LTTE terror machine) at this time of need? Especially since their money directly contributed to the plight of these unfortunate people.

    This all the more shocking considering the obvious organizational potential within the comminity as witnessed during the demontrations.

  25. dbs

    can you find out the situation outside the camps too. one IDP has mentioned to lilani that there house is destroyed, but they want to go and rebuild. is it the same for everybody. if so it is going to be a collossal task to resettle. and where are they going to find money to rebuild their homes. it would be wise for the government to use this opportunity to plan out the villages properly. in southern rural areas it has been haphazard building without any planning. people have built their houses, in the middle of their farms, thus streching the infrastucture to its limits.

  26. Their crime to be in isolated and fenced camps is that they witnessed crimes.

    Who knows the whole truth were finished.

    Now it is the turn of those who know partial truth.

    who knows nothing can spare their life.

  27. Dear fellow human beings,

    as long as you can remember , you are there where you are now.

    Prey to God for collective amnesia.

  28. funny how the great Buddhists of Sri Lanka voiced their opposition to the separation of a few baby elephants from their mother but hold no qualms regarding the separation of Tamil children from their mothers. What a great society.

  29. Lilani seems as unbiased as a human being can be-she is not pulling for any particular political party. This is the information the worlds needs to get-I hope this article gets the widest possible coverage.

  30. Comment No:11.
    Don.

    I have some problems in my mind in understanding some issues which I shall be thankful if some one explains.
    Singhalese are around 25% while the Tamils and other races outnumber them but every one lives in harmony?


    It is very common world over to see Minorities and Immigrants flock arround the Capital (including business capital) than the majority community and hence Colombo is not an exception.As far as Sri Lanka is concerned, it started with the introduction of merchant capital and the beginning of the plantaion sector.Tamils showed willingness to work hard and the colonial Governments used them successfully in Banking and other administrative sectors to serve the plantation trade.

    Everyone do not live in harmony.How can people live in harmony when there are scearches conducted regularly,Arbitary arrests, detention and pack them back to Jaffna or Baticaloa whenever a senior official want them out?

    I lived in Colombo for many years.But we always lived in fear of any riots etc.It is not the ordinary people who start the communal flare but the state itself, whenever they want to divert the attention of the mass.People live in Colombo for employment,safety etc.Now some people are returning back.

    How is it that my friends parents continue to live in wellawatta, refusing to join their children abroad and wants to die in wellawatta where they may get attacked by the murderous Singhalese?

    It is very simple to understand that.Why did your friends did not live in Colombo where as their parents live there? They refuse to join their children for various reasons.

    May be they have assets in Sri Lanka and have to be there;The climate does not agree with them; May be it is difficult to maintain them abroad as elders require help.One of the family member do not want the elders here and I can go on listing many reasons.

    =

    How is it that terrorism started in Jaffna where comparatively the Tamils were very well off (because I lived there in the 70�s I know) when it didn�t start in the east or among the tea estate Tamils who were the poorest of the poor?

    The poorest of the poor can�t afford proper education or do not vie for better white collar jobs.They depend on their ablity to do physical hard work for their survival.

    Therefore it is the middle class that have to fight and the poor people trapped in between.The upper class have their money to send thir children abroad and educate them.The people in the north invest on education more than the people in the east because they depend more on agriculture.

    Terrorism started because peaceful negotiations failed and also some countries tried to use it meet their own ends.

    Does the elitist Tamils realise there are many many Singhalese area�s where people live in utter poverty( because I have been there & seen it) and some Tamils talk of equal rights when these Singhalese even don�t think about these abstract things but how to get their next meal?

    Equal rights and poverty are different in that a nation shall treat all its members as equal be it Tamils or any community.All people shall join together and help the government to address poverty realistically. Therfore if the question of equal rights are solved first,then all will join hands.

    This unbiased article is well written and this blog promotes such thinking.It is high time now for people to think of reality.

  31. This unbiased article is well written and this blog promotes such thinking.It is high time now for people to think of reality.

  32. DBSJ, thank you so much for reproducing this article. what amazes me most is the fact that this kind of articles never seem to appear in sinhala newspapers, for that matter not even in Divaina, which is also published from the same publishing house. from the editorial to news items, it’s all about the number of tiger suspects captured from the camps, how LTTE is re-organizing outside the country and how foreign countries had provided high-tech equipment to the LTTE. please request lilani to publish the sinhala translation of this article in a sinhala news paper.

    from what i read in newspapers in SL, what i understand is that the gov’s main objective is avoiding re-emergence of LTTE or any other armed struggle. they obviously feel threatened with the news about re-grouping of LTTE. there is a fear psychosis among ordinary sinhalese as well that unless all the tigers are captured from the camps, they might re-group with the aid from KP.

    but what is most disheartning is the fact that little/no news regarding humanitarian aspects of these IDP’s appear in sinhala newspapers. that’s why sinhalese cry about baby elephants but not about children seperated from mothers in IDP camps. simply they don’t know or they are made to look away due to fear psychosis i mentioned above.

    as RS Wicks rightly said the gov accuses western gov’s regarding interference on internal matters in one hand and asks for massive aids on the other hand. there’s no foreign policy nor any diplomacy in dealing with other countries. there’s very little we can expect from this gov and it’s tamil allies. given the present situation, considering the nature of tamil and muslim politicians, even if a political solution is given to N&E, i doubt whether civillians of those areas will really benefit.

  33. Navin,

    I don’t know about your personal perceptions, but when I observe a society lavishing sympathy on a separated elephant family and simultaneously suffer from the inability to project feelings of the same brand of sympathy for fellow humans, it leads me to conclude that the society exhibits some “psycho” behavior. Of course that is only my perception of today’s realities. Perhaps in your books, or for that matter, the books of the Sinhalese majority, Tamil families are simply not worth the sympathy accorded to animal families. I have news for you and that blood soaked monster you call a president, Tamil children also cry when separated from their mothers. They are no less human than Sinhalese children. If the Tamils are paying for the crimes of the LTTE and vp, as according to Karma, I wonder what future awaits a society that imprisons and separates families, purely on an ethnic basis. I’m not advocating violence or another endless war, but according to the religion the majority community adheres to, the Sinhalese people will eventually reap what they’ve sown. Sorry for the lengthy post, the observation has just been on my mind.

  34. DAya | August 2nd, 2009 at 10:56 pm
    >He is already rotting in hell.
    >He is waiting for you to join along with other diaspora who funded his diabolical project on earth.

    Oh no, he and his family is ruling Lanka !

  35. to comment 26-singhe

    you are asking why the diaspora are not contributing. let me ask you why did the government turn back the ship filled with items for the IDPs. it is the first time in history that a ship full of items for the needy has been turned back by a sovereign government. how does the diaspora deal with an eccentric government like this on matters of aid. is it a message being sent to the diaspora “we dont want all these milk powders etc, just put a cheque into mahinda’s hambantota account”.

  36. #38 Anonymous:

    If it thrills you to accuse the Sinhalese, the Buddhist, the President, the Defense Secretary, the Army Commander, etc. etc. for all the misery of Tamil people today, please be my guest! It is a futile exercise for me to try to convince you otherwise. The sooner you start thinking rationally, the sooner we can all cleanup this mess. Until then, we just carry on…

  37. I all ways beleived problem with sinhalease they never ever going to use their tiny brain. They allways love fools running their affairs and belive them. Navin one of them. Such an ignorent man.

  38. With such a busy life, we tend to get involved with the current issues that we tend to easily forget the past.

    In addition to 350,000 IDP, there are already more than 150000 people in the refugees camps in north and east for more than 15 years.

    AND

    03.08.09 marked the 19th anniversary of Kathankody Mosque massacre of Innocent civilians.

  39. 38 Annonymous

    You don’t have to go too far my friend to see how people
    love animals than humans. Just look at the westerners
    how they love their dogs. Many of these dogs live better
    lives than most of the natives in those countries.
    eg. Canadian natives, Aborogines in Australia, American
    native indians, Gypsies in Europe and the list goes on.
    Therefore, please don’t blame the Sinhala people for loving
    an animal. Besides, we are doing as much as possible for
    the IDPs. What are you doing. Have you done any help.
    Well, now you will say that is the responsiblity of the SL
    Govt, but when you sent money for the LTTE to buy
    killing machines you were so happy to do it.

    As I have said before so many times, there are other
    people living in SL in worst conditions. Sinhala, Tamil
    & Muslim people living in those Cadjan huts around
    Colombo and other major cities don’t know where the
    next meal coming from.

    Two months ago, these people were a human shield.
    So which one is better ?. To live as a human shield or
    living in the camp knowing that you are not going to be
    blown into pieces. Very soon these people will be back
    in their own homes. Have a bit of patience. You waited
    for thirty years and it is not even three months, people
    started critisizing SLG. Where were you all these years.
    Do not blame SL for the sake of blaming. We have saved
    these people from the clutches of the worst terrorists
    in the world.

    God bless you all.

  40. Thank you DSBJeyaraj for the coverage of Lilani Jayatilaka’s report. What is astounding is the discipline of the children amidst total adversity. The plight of the child overlooked when buns were distributed – he just sat with tears running silently down his cheeks. If this doesn’t move you to tears, nothing will.

  41. Thanks DBS for this article by Lilani,
    I get from most replies us Sinhalese are relieved by this gentle article devoid of hatemongering. But we are not living as IDps, nor is the diaspora and the Colombo Tamils. So can we be releived and say all is well and go to sleep.

    Sometimes I wonder whether it was best to have given Eelam rather than have this situation. But then my heart also says no.

    So where do we go from here.

    Obviousely the IDPs MUST return to their own beds. we will be discussing this here at length.

    How long do they stand to get handouts like beggars? These are proud people. They need to be given back their dignity.

    How happy can a camp be. yes perhaps better than a bunker. but for how long.

    For all they have suffered, for all they have lost they need to get back on their feet back to the proud people they were. Even if they were to fight for eelam again. Send them back.

    For those who dislike MR – I dont agree with them. All this suffering is the cause of the disapora and the LTTE. MR only fought a war and now there is only one.
    But this is politics.

    like the little girl who looked to the camp gates we too should be looking at the camp gate to ensure that everybody gets out.

    For all those who help without asking why – no doubt that the lord will bless in abundance.

    For those of you who are here to critise and blame the GOSL get a grip and do something of benefit to the community. your bantering about IMF and other matters are not relevant.

    All you neede to do was to read Lilani’s article and have a little tear fall down you cheeks.

    For those of us who are able willing but cannot. Pray – that the IDP will have love laughter and happiness someday soon.

    We Srilankans have come across through the Tsunami , we need to get across the IDP hurdle.

  42. To have one in captivity and calling for visitors subjective comments whether the one in captivity is looked after well or not is a basic human error objectively.

  43. 40. shankar:

    Based on your previous postings, I don’t understand why you even ask the question why the government turned back Captain Ali? The aid ship was more a political drama than an exercise to send aid to the people. If diaspora wanted to send aid they would have left aside their differences and cooperated with the government at least on this ONE matter. But they didn’t do that, didn’t they? Instead, they made the matter into a yet another one of their many campaigns against the government to get it to stop the war. Vaiko, said during the last stages of war, that Tamils should not be evacuated from the war zone without ensuring a permanent ceasefire. Its pretty clear whose welfare he was concerned about in that statement. Similarly, if there is anything that Captain Ali drama shows, that is what the priorities of diaspora are, welfare of the IDPs or their own politics.

  44. 43. R.Veera:

    Yes, Mr. Veera. There are so many things wrong with the Sinhalese. Unlike Tamils, we don’t have brains. Even the ones we have we don’t know how to use them. We are ignorant. We elected a monster as our president. We bombed Tamil villages for pure pleasure during the last battle with the LTTE. We suffer from sadism to the point where we love keeping Tamils in horrible camps. We are Buddhist but we are more concerned about elephants than about SL Tamils and their children. The list goes on and on and on… what more can I say…

  45. Anonymous
    Interesting post about karmic forces, SInhalas and elephant families. If one were to follow your argument to one of it’s logical conclusions, are we then to assume that a portion of Tamil people, i.e. those languishing in the camps are paying their karmic dues for the acts of the LTTE ?
    Have they reaped what the Tamils did sow ?
    Or do you have a different explanation for this ?
    Just an observation, that’s all

  46. 45. Nissanka and 49. Navin

    i do agree with you two.

    Yes i’d also like to ask the diaspora tamils “what realy have you done for these imprisoned souls other than attacking the SLG the sinhalese and also blogging? ”
    (other than captain ali which was obviously before these “CAMPS”).

  47. #40 Shankar

    Please keep two things in mind with respect to my post: 1. I am not a supporter of this government and will not defend them. 2. My post was directed towards those in the Diaspora who funded the LTTE.

    As far as the Captain Ali example you chose, in my opinion, it is irrelevant. That was a political ploy while the war was still under way. The supplies were intended for the LTTE (and the civilians trapped by them) during the last stages of fighting. But I do agree with you that the government should have accepted this aid even though it was initially sent to its enemy.

    As far as any complaints former LTTE supporters may have dealing with the present government, they only have themselves to blame since it was their LTTE which, in essence, elected this government.

    My post was relating to how we can all help the IDPs at a person-to-person level, as is happening, to some degree, already. The former LTTE supporters are very conspicuous by their absence in this time of need.

  48. Navin,

    I do not blame the Sinhalese for all problems of the SL Tamil community. The unchecked support extended to an armed struggle by the Tamil Diaspora is deplorable considering the devastating consequences that innocent civilians on the ground suffered. The LTTE played a major role in the terrible position of those Tamil IDPs. But lets not kid ourselves, the GOSL is a racist institution that utilizes sleazy minority politicians to divert attention away from human rights violations. Do you really think that if these people were released, they would turn to guns and start another war? Do you believe that separating families will result in peace? I’m thinking rationally, war is not an option and it should never have been adopted as a path to liberation but we can thank our friendly neighbor India for the sudden growth of Tamil militancy. I just don’t understand the rationale behind locking thousands behind barbed wires and separating families as a means to identify militants. Don’t make excuses, the arbitrary imprisonment of helpless civilians that have already endured intense sorrow is not productive or rationale unless you and the GOSL adhere to racist rationale.

    mercator,

    Those Tamil IDPs are paying for the crimes of the both the LTTE and the Tamil Diaspora. The Tamil Diaspora have also paid for their unchecked confidence and support for the LTTE. Essentially every Tamil expatriate I encounter has lost a relative, either in May or some time during the conflict. Those departed will not return and the sacrifice of thousands has amounted to an even more weakened position. What more punishment can Tamils endure? The LTTE and its survival for 30 years can be attributed to the crimes committed by the Sinhalese. Thousands of Sinhalese civilians and soldiers perished due to the LTTE. The LTTE was the creation of Sinhalese crimes against Tamils. Frankly, it was the Tamil response to the brutality of the Armed Forces. Now the Sinhalese majority have locked up thousands of helpless civilians who have endured an unimaginable war. Eventually this action will come back to haunt the Sinhalese, just as the post-independence brutality created the LTTE. Just as the LTTE’s excesses caused their own demise. It will all come back to balance the equation.

  49. Thankyou Navin you are very smart sinhala. Accept your bloods weaknesses. Now your turn educate them and try to advice them, how to use body part call brain.
    thankyou.

  50. to comment 50 -navin

    didnt the captain ali come after the end of the war. i may be mistaken. if it came after the war as i thoght it did what is the justification for the government to turn it back. if the war was going on i can understand that they cannot concentrate on unloading these items. there again it is for starving people and should have been appreciated by the government. what is the poliical stunt here.it is a simple matter of sending some items for the war ravaged tamils. I did not go into that much details into this case at that time, but i only remember being quite shocked.
    with regarding to the vaiko mob i agree with you. they were only trying to save the ltte. tamilnadu people are now very smart and gave them a fitting reply at the election.

  51. Nissanka ,

    I also don’t have to go that far to see people living with dignity and freedom. See how the westerners live in 2009, they don’t lock ethnic minorities in militarily administered barbed wired camps, and conduct mass arbitrary arrests? I’m blaming the Sinhalese for loving animals but I’m offended at the inability to project the same sympathy and love for fellow human beings. Why are you even diverting the attention to the short-comings of western nations, I suppose it is difficult to defend the illogical detention of thousands on an ethnic basis. Why do you assume I sent money to the LTTE? The Tamil diaspora would have no problem providing the necessary financial assistance for rebuilding the NorthEast. The problem centers around the detention of thousands. If the Tamil Diaspora and international community unconditionally fund these camps, there will be three consequences:
    1) The unnecessary continuation of these camps.
    2) Indirectly fund the same Armed Forces that are known to commit human rights violations
    3) Highly unlikely that most funds will reach their intended destination. The country is riddled with corruption, there is no accountability.

    Those people supposedly living in worse conditions have not just been through a war unseen on this land for generations. You would not spill this garbage if it was thousands of Sinhalese behind barbed wires. You’re type would advocate some sort of holy war to rescue those imprisoned.

    Obviously they weren’t good human shields, the government had no reservation in slaughtering civilians. It is an improvement from imminent death, but there is still no accountability. Why aren’t these camps open to international observers? Why is the military still in complete control of civilian camps? I haven’t been around for long but I never advocated war over peace and I never justified crimes against Sinhalese civilians in the name of liberation. Blaming for the sake of blaming? I’m pointing fingers because thousands of innocent civilians are wrongly imprisoned. Worst terrorists in the world? If you think there is any difference between the LTTE and the government, you are truly lost, there are no clean hands in this conflict.

  52. #40, Shankar. I have mentioned many times that you cannot get a boat load it and send it here. The Capt Ali was supposed to be sent before the war eneded. All of us know that this is a drama using the plight of the IDP to get milage in the EU and western coutries for the IDP – yes? NO. This was a stunt to collect more money for the LTTE and the Diaspora.

    Ask those organisations whether they sent stuff again?
    Check the local people helping. they are helping without ceasing.

    These are the true angels as mentioned in Lilani’s article

  53. Navin I got an another billiant suggestion, Choose any tamil as your leader, He or She will run a country effectivly and country will be a heaven on earth. Your leaders ruined the country for 60 years, let give us a chance. Dont let ruin another 60 years.

  54. >>Navin | August 4th, 2009 at 11:31 am
    Yes, Mr. Veera. There are so many things wrong with the Sinhalese. Unlike Tamils, we don’t have brains. Even the ones we have we don’t know how to use them. We are ignorant. We elected a monster as our president. We bombed Tamil villages for pure pleasure during the last battle with the LTTE. We suffer from sadism to the point where we love keeping Tamils in horrible camps. We are Buddhist but we are more concerned about elephants than about SL Tamils and their children. The list goes on and on and on… what more can I say

    I agree everything except the ‘brain’ part. I spen nearly 20 years of my life with Sinhalese. So I can certainly say that all but the brain thingy above is true.

  55. >>45. Nissanka | August 4th, 2009 at 6:47 am
    You don’t have to go too far my friend to see how people love animals than humans. Just look at the westerners how they love their dogs. .Therefore, please don’t blame the Sinhala people for loving an animal

    Nissanka, I do not blame SInhalese (or westerners) for loving animals. However I blame Sinhalese (or Tamils or westerners) if they love just the animals and do not care much about people.

    It is true that, here in Auatralia, you will see if a cat is in distress, there will be people immediately on spot to address it. However, the same person who cares the cat would not care 2 cents for a homeless man (Whether aborigine, while, black or brown or yellow). What a hypocracy.

  56. Dear R Maran(#17)

    If you said what you have said in #17 while he was living he would have sent you there before he went there.

  57. No Sinhalese or a person of any race, religion or caste can have any justification for keeping people in camps. I for my self is cerain that within next couple of months these people will be resettled. The president has said so many times that this will happen before December. If something needs tobe done to ensure that the killings is not repeated it needs to be done. Not because that benefits Sinhalese because it was mostly innocent people in NE (Tamils/Muslims/Sinhalese) that mostly suffered for 30 years because of the war and any chances of that repeating should be minimised as much as possible.

    Meanwhile the tamil diaspora too should their utmost to make the life of the IDPs more pleasent now and the future. With the kind of money they paid to LTTE a fraction of that would help many innocents. How about working with the government to build houses for the people who hae lost their dwellings. That would do a world of good than splitting hairs on a temporary IDP issue.

    Apart from the tamil diaspora the other Sri Lankan diaspora, and also the people in Sri Lanka Sinhalese, Tamils, Moslems living in the luxary of their own homes and can afford to spare some funds should get together to build good homes to the set of our brothers and sisters who suffered immense hardships for 30 years.

    Api Wenuwen Api campaign should be extended to build homes to our tamil brothers in NE who have lost their homes. The Api includes Sri Lankans and not only members of the armed forces or Sinhalese. Person of every community who consider themsleves a Sri Lankan is an ‘Api’

  58. to comment 59-dilshan F

    sendin back a shipload of essential items gives the wrong signals to the diaspora , whatever the circcumstances may be. many diaspora are leading busy lives and are not actively involved with this ethnic matter. but they do care.
    another problem is the lack of transparency in the camps. even now stories are coming out that about 50000 inmates have escaped by paying rupees 100000 to 1000000. there are former ltte members too who have escaped and are now in foreign countries. how can you expect the diaspora to fund camps riddled with corruption. to bar international observers and then say fund it please is like asking someone to pour water into a bucket with a hole.
    the third problem is these people have been imprisoned against their will. can you tell me how much of money you and other sinhalese have contributed in the form of donations to the prisons with criminals in srilanka.

  59. to # 18: RS Wickramasinghe

    “…denounces well-intentioned Western attempts to avert this as meddling and imperialistic, then takes a begging bowl to the West asking them to take financial responsibility for their humanitarian crisis”

    Man, I hope you are a Sinhalese chap, because being a Tamil, it is easy for me to see this, but for a Sinhalese to admit it – my hats off to you. Why isn’t this obvious to those making crass statements from Colombo, the seat of SL Govt?

    I have read many of your comments in the past – you have been exemplary.

    I am going to India on a vacation, but I am avoiding taking the Sri Lanka Airways because it has a transit in Colombo – I am that afraid of the country now. You’d think with the war over, one would be safer, but no sir. I am very afraid, though I have not even donated money to Tamil charities (except the one that has Sinhalese on their board), leave alone to the Tigers, but yet, I am afraid. Now, my ticket is going to cost more because I am touching down in other countries, but that’s OK – better than spending the night on the 4th floor with goons accusing me of links to the tigers.

    With so much distaste towards Govt actions in a post-war scenario, I was pretty sure I would not be friends with Sinhalese again. I am even distancing myself from the ones I had, but you provide the last glimmer of hope.

    Keep batting, my friend..

    god speed.

  60. to comment 66-panadurapakshaya

    are you originally from panadura. strange that you say you are a tamil because your name sounds sinhalese. how come you got a name like that. reminds me of the great king pandukabhaya who ruled from 437BC to 367BC when anuradhaura was the capitlal. he founded the city of anurathapura and constructed the Jaya Wewa and Gamini Wewa. if you delve into your lineage you might find a few surprises.
    as for your fright to spend 4 hours in the BIA, dont you thing that ou are stretching it a bit. not 4 hours , you can spend even 4 months in srilanka. nobody will harass you if your hands are clean. i can assure you that, take it or leave it.
    a coward dies many times but a brave man dies only once. we all have to go one day so whats the point of dying every day. dont you think that you are taking a risk by going in the plane. see how many planes have crashed into the sea. just imagine you are looking out of the window and the plane is hurtling towards the sea. the sea is getting closer and closer……………

  61. ‘One such little one sat with tears running silently down his cheeks, because he had been accidentally bypassed’…….this encapsulated the whole article in one sentence. Thank you for sharing this.

    How can one get funds to the Sisters in Cheddikulam, Puvarasankulam etc as they are able to get supplies to the most needy and would also would be accountable persons by their vocation. Is there a bank account set up for this ?

  62. One must fully understand that the tamil people in these camps are not completely innocent. Every one of them has willingly or unwillingly contributed to the LTTE’s coffers and is responsible for every bullet that killed our sri lankan soldiers. Why arent people concerned about how much the security forces lost to destroy the LTTE, how many fathers will never see their sons again. Well the IDP people will need some releif, but this is infact divine retribution for the crime of supporting a terrorist organisation. One cant forget the arrogance of certain tamils when talking about their “boys” and how they relished when the LTTE planes attacked colombo. A lot of attitudes of the tamils will have to change for peace.

  63. Anonymous 58

    Excuse me Sir, in case if you haven’t watched the world news
    for the last five years the westeners have done enough
    atrocities in Iraq although they love their dogs. They wouldn’t treat their dogs like the way they treated some Iraqis.
    Just imagine what will happen to you if you try to fight
    for Scarborough as your homeland in Canada. You mention
    about barb wire, and I don’t have to tell you that barb wire is a common thing used everywhere in SL. I got barb wire around my garden too.

    Bye for now.

  64. #66

    Thank-you for your kind words. I don’t identify being sinhalese with the GoSl. If I were Zimbabwean would I support Robert Mugabe? There are many many Sinhalese I have encountered, especially in Sri Lanka, and more there than their better fed and kept counterparts in the West, who can see through the veil of lies put up by the Rajapakse regime, but feel helpless to do anything about it. Many more are ignorant and have formed hardened opinions in a news vacuum with only suicide bombs and assassinations to guide them. Inspite of that many of those would have supported a Federal state solution 4 years ago, desperate to end things one way or another. Now the other has been seen to work.

    It is now up to the international community to put the kaibosh on the GoSl to meet all its obligations.

    In spite of what has happened the work of renewing the age old amity between the two communities at the grassroots MUST continue. Sri Lanka had a real taste of this in 1990’s on the back of what globalisation promised all communities. If you have children I would as you to think what example distancing yourself from people on the basis of race or politics, in Sri Lanka, would send to them. Also remember that to younger diaspora such as myself, alot of these Tamil/Sinhala divisions are meaningless and have largely broken down which is the manner in which things should have happened in SL two generation ago.

    As for your plane trip, remember flying Sri Lankan you can be sure never to be seated next to Dinesh Gopalapillai.

  65. #65 shankar,
    To tell you frankly. the shipload you are laking about is 17 containers. which could have been sent by any vessel. its 14 day sailing from europe. As much as you say sending back the ship sent wrong signals, sending it in the first place sent the wrong signals.!. withouit the diaspora 17 containers the GOSL airlifted food parcels about 60,000 the first day the civilians came in. thereafter dry rations were sent with smaller kitchen equipment. now there are small cmmunal and individual kichens.

    I do not understand the ‘transparency’ you are talking about. read Lilani’s article. if you want write or email to her to find out whats going on. you say LTTE has paid money and excaped. well good for them as they wont be in a camp now will they.

    Do you think that international observers are clean and that they are super clean and have no agenda? what happened to the Norwegians? Whay are you wanting to monitor. how do you think the catholic nuns are helping? by monitoring are fanning up hatred?

    they are doing what is required help and reconciliation.
    there are a lot of sinhales and other communites doing more than their share in helping selflessly. Who do you think they will remember. the diaspora?

    to answer your last question – no. I have never funded or given money to any prison in Sri lanka. Prisons are for people with criminal conviction.

    For the IDP ‘s to go back there has to be homes and civilian structure. you may think that this is a punishment, but everyday more LTTE arms are dug up and hardcore LTTE members arrested.

    I have confidence that the IDP’s will be back in thier home before long.

    <any agree that the GOSL is doing their best and doing a good job. But that doesnt mean that a camp is a happy place.

    my heart is with those IDP;s and their wish to be back home..

  66. Truth and reconcilliation is a fine sentiment. In South Africa it happened hand in hand with structural changes in governance. Nothing of that kind of change has happened in SL.
    Therefore I am obliged to think that this shall serve no purpose than to make some bleeding hear liberals to feel good about themselves than any actual changes.

  67. Nissanka,

    Once again we are back to the westerners are also evil argument. Do you understand that by uttering such poor excuses for the inhumane behavior of the GOSL, you are admitting to the crimes? Why is it that if westerners kill Iraqis, its OK for Sri Lanka to kill Tamils, its own citizens? Why would I fight for Scarborough as a Tamil homeland? Although the concept of multiculturalism may be difficult for your ethnocentric mind to fathom, Canada does not need to discriminate against ethnic minorities or unleash its military to solve internal political matters. Canada belongs to all its citizens, we do not have army commanders declaring that Canada belongs exclusively to the French or English. Canada is quite frankly a far better nation than Sri Lanka in all respects. Yes barbed wires are a common site in Sri Lanka, along with guns, bullets, dead bodies lying on the road, ethnic hatred, etc. I hope that garden you mentioned is not a mass grave for the victims of institutionalized state terrorism.

  68. In comment #68, Mark asks: How can one get funds to the Sisters in Cheddikulam, Puvarasankulam etc

    Do a Google search for : Donations for IDPs in Sri Lanka.

    You will come across numerous organisations local and international, including some christian aid groups, that are trying to help these IDPs.

  69. comment 69
    “One must fully understand that the tamil people in these camps are not completely innocent. Every one of them has willingly or unwillingly contributed to the LTTE’s coffers and is responsible for every bullet that killed our sri lankan soldiers. Why arent people concerned about how much the security forces lost to destroy the LTTE, how many fathers will never see their sons again. Well the IDP people will need some releif, but this is infact divine retribution for the crime of supporting a terrorist organisation. One cant forget the arrogance of certain tamils when talking about their “boys” and how they relished when the LTTE planes attacked colombo. A lot of attitudes of the tamils will have to change for peace.”

    Interesting point of view…..more i think about it, true enough. lets explore this further-the tamizh community supported terrorism for 30 years because of their greed for a mono ethinic tamizh only land. the diaspora will whine and complain about 83 and 56 but over the last 30 years they’ve been nurturing a bunch of terrorists (fyi the bhoys killed quite a lot of thamizhs as well)…..

    the IDPS are in the camps because the terrorist filth that the diaspora funded are hiding in the camps and they need to be weeded out. nobody in Sri-lanka (thamizhs, sinhlalas or muslims) want the terrorists filth to re-group. The diaspora living in luxury in the west want the terrorism to continue…..but the diaspora is irrelevant aren’t they? they are no longer sri-lankans but canadian/australian/british refugees…..sri-lankans don’t need to pay any attention to those that funded the sun god now do we?

    the government has asked for 6 months to resettle the IDPs (and hopefully to weed out the terrorists)…..so fair enough….the IDPs went behind the sun god looking for a mythical tamizh eezham for 30 years, now they need to stay in the camps for 6 months. tough situation but this is what happens when a community supports terrorism. life’s tough isn’t it? the choice for the tamizhs (living in sri-lanka) is simple….support terrorism again or maybe try living as sri-lankans….

    so how about giving government the 6 months they asked for? after all you gave the sun god 30 years. and remember mahinda was the sun god’s choice for president (for the low low sum of 180 million rupeees).

    some of the tamizhs need to realize the ground situation…tamizh terrorism LOST….that’s what normal sri-lankans know….they don’t care about 83 or 56, what we remember is that tamizhs were terrorists for the last 30 years…..what the tamizhs do now will shape the next 30 years…..more terrorism or peace. I’m sure some diaapora guy will complain about state terrorism but life’s tough isn’t it? that’s what it took to wipe out your sun god.

    “A lot of attitudes of the tamils will have to change for peace”……..hmm words to think about?

  70. 74 Anonymous

    All I can say to you is please read 76 Citizens and that is my
    answer to you.

    Bye for now

  71. to comment 69 john silva

    so for you the little boy whose face had tears pouring down when bypassed for a bun, is not completely innocent.
    since you have no emphathy for people, i dont blame you for that. it is part of the cromosones in your DNA which was passed from your parents to you, for which you are not responsible. those who know you will also verify this. your attitude is not something specific to tamils , but to all people and iam sure you are not a popular person. thank god most sinhalese are not that.

    you also say everyone has willingly or unwillingly contributed to ltte coffers. so those who are forced to pay at gunpoint are also not innocent. those who are dragged to fight for the ltte at gunpoint are also not innocent. did you willingly or unwillingly pay your taxes all this time. do you condone every governments actions because you paid taxes.

    you call this divine retribution. what do you think the tsunami was. what do you think the earthquake in china was within 6 months of the tibetan upising. what do you think what happenned to the ltte was. so you think that creating pain and suffering for this people will not result in divine retribution to those responsible, because it is divine retribution for them for supporting the ltte. only time will tell whether you are right or i am right. we will wait and see.

  72. DBSJ
    Is it true that the judicial commission Re: Chenkolai aerial bombing, discharged the airforce comprehensively based on evidence in your site.
    Your writing is taken as biblical! LOL

    ha!haha!!hahaha!!!hahahaahaa!!!!.Like you I/m laughing out loud too………….DBSJ

  73. Well, time is 01:55 hour 07th August 2009 in Singapore time.. just got back home after a night out to read the “KP chapter” also now comes to end..in Bangkok

    Lets all together and close that HORROR FICTION forever and get together as Srilankans…

  74. latest news say that the man the sun god called the kazhuthai has been arrested in bangkok.
    question now is what will the remaining kazhuthais do???

  75. #76 – citizens

    There are two sides of the story, you are only talking about what you have perceived from what you had been told/seen. You say that we, the tamils, were terrorists and lost the fight. For us, the government and its forces have terrorised us for more than 30 years, the singalese people have terrorised us even before that. Your terrorism created our terrorism.

    You may won over us, but don’t forget why LTTE was created and why these tamils supported them. LTTE exploited your short commings. Now if you want punish these people because they fought back, who is going to punish you and your government? Who is going to punish perpertrators of the anti-tamil riots.

    I agree with you that tamils have to change, it’s not worth it to fight and lose lives. But you need to change as well. Don’t kill these people because so and so.. don’t torture them because so and so. Because if you do, you are still being terrorist and it’s just a matter of time another war comes along.

    So let’s just all accept what we did wrong, and move on. Let’s just play some cricket and drink some beer. Let’s go to the beach and party. And let these IDPs have their basic rights.

  76. So some IDPs have been released. But notice that these guys are being sent to the East and Jafna. Now, how on earth people from these places ended up in Vanni? Jafna ok I can understand, some of those who ran from the peninsula along with the LTTE in 1996 might not have returned. But Batti and Amparai? Well, to me it is pretty obvious as black and white: our people are being systematically uprooted from their land and dispersed all over. This has always been my fear (comment #24). Now it has come to pass.

  77. # 45 Nissanka

    Coming as it does, especially when GOSL is begging and getting western aid, your allusion to westerner love of dogs is intriguing.

    No wonder why west is giving aid.

    Bottom line : Do not go too far.

  78. Pingback: A battle over, but the war goes on… | Asiri’s Web-log

  79. I was in Sri Lanka recently.
    Stayed in Colombo.
    I was deeply disappointed with the ignorance some of my friends there display towards the tamils.
    I did not hear one single comment condemning the slaughter of tens of thousands of tamil civilians.
    One ignoramus went as far as to say that it was the LTTE that was using heavy artillery to kill thousands of its own tamil people.
    It really makes me wonder what kind of idiots fill the country (outside the conflict zone).
    All i kept hearing was how the North had been ‘liberated’ and how the Tamil civilians are now in heaven.
    I was almost sick listening to them.
    I gave them a slight reminder that this is not the reality of the situation. But did not argue with them too much as it is not safe in Sri Lanka to show sympathy towards Tamil suffering. The white van might appear at anytime.
    One particular friend claimed that LTTE was the start of the problems in Sri Lanka.
    I had to educate him about the mistreatment tamils suffered throughout 1950s and 60s PRIOR to LTTE arrival.
    He initially denied it and claimed i was lying. After i told him about some of my family and friends that died in racial riots againts Tamils he went silent.
    It just goes to show how much ignorance exists in Sri Lanka.
    So the bottom line is that with such ignorance abound in the country, there is not going to be any sort of healing or unity soon.
    Also the nature of silencing the truth in Sri Lanka means that the truth about Sri Lanka and the efforts to unite the country must come from abroad.
    And by the way. I am not pro LTTE. Because i dont believe in partitioning the Island. However i will speak out about the mistreatment and structural genocide of Tamils.

  80. One other thing that is of vital importance is that the Mahavamsa needs to be internationally debunked and proven to a bunch of lies to demonise the tamil people.
    Because so much of the problems in the ethnic divide is directly connected to this nonsense of a literature.
    It wont need rocket scientists to debunk.
    The concept that Buddhism was in Sri Lanka before Saivam (dravidian hinduism) is ridiculous. Saivam was a culture that permeated much of Asia thousands of years before buddhism arrived on the scene.
    So how is it possible for Buddhism to be in Sri Lanka first? A newer religion that was formed in the North of India supposed to be in SL before Saivam?
    I dont think so.
    The way i see it,
    Buddhist missionaries came to Sri Lanka and succeeded in converting large numbers of Saiva tamils to Buddhism. The best example of this was the King Mahanagar (also known as Dhaiva Nambeeya Theesan). Mahanagar father was Mootha Sivan.
    Mahanagar converted to Buddhism. But that does not make him a different race from Tamils. This is what people need to understand.
    The Sinhalese call him and his father Tissa and Muddhe Sive. But this does not suddenly change their racial and religious ancestry.
    ————-
    So why am i talking about this? Because it is absolutely VITAL to debunk the Mahavamsa so that its lies will not be promoted as a weapon against the Tamils.
    It is due to lies from this Mahavamsa that we hear people like that JHU member say that Saiva Tamils dont belong in Sri Lanka. Aswell as Army commander Fonseka.

  81. Thank you , Lilani for such a candid account of the conditions in the ‘internment camps’ (my words!) in the Wanni. In fact, I found the article even more revealing reading between the lines. Good job!

    The concept of TRUTH and RECONCILIATION is also subjective. The socio-historical context of a country is what determines whether it is workable. I personally feel that what is required first to heal this country is a change in ATTITUDES. How does one culture group see the other? How much does one culture stereo-type the other? What are some of the negative images one culture group has of the other? What are some of the age-old myths and prejudices that could be rectified? Aren’t a lot of conflicts within countries brought about by focussing almost exclusively on the differences between its cultures, rather than the similarities between them? Isn’t it plain stupidity to refer to Tamils as ‘those Dravidian invaders’, especially when it is known that at least 50-60% of today’s ‘Sinhalese’ themselves are of the same stock?

    Recent events in that country show that we are quite a ways from showing mutual respect and love. One cannot help but notice the lack of proper leadership or statesmanship today. I am told that huge billboards are everywhere, exhorting the people to rally under one flag, and extolling the virtues of having vanquished an ‘enemy’. Nowhere is a sign or poster that calls for the Sinhalese to respect the rights of minorities as equal citizens under the rule of law. Attitude adjustment is the need of the hour. Once this is (hopefully) achieved, TRUTH and RECONCILIATION will follow.
    Sri Lankans are at the crossroads again. Much damage control work needs to be done. For a start, the majority community should take tangible and sincere steps to allay the fears of the minorities. Post-independence injustices meted out to Tamil-speaking people should not be allowed to continue. The minorities, for their part, should also contribute their share toward nation-buidling. There should be no room for extremism on both sides. These are small steps that can bring giant dividends. I am still hopeful that lasting peace will come to this island.

    Peace to all.

  82. comment 90
    “One other thing that is of vital importance is that the Mahavamsa needs to be internationally debunked ”

    fantastic idea, now how about debunking the lies in the bagawant geetha, the ramayana, the bible, the old testament, the koran, mein kampf and the bigraphy of the sun god (did you know that there are rumors that the sun god had syphilis?) as well. That will solve all the problems of humanity now wouldn’t it.

    why don’t you stop trying to do the impossible and try something easier. like changing tamizh attitudes that they are superior to everyone else and they need to live in an ethically cleansed tamizh only north and east. or how about something simpler- change the attitude that a thamizh brahmin is racially and morally superior to an eastern tamizh.

    change starts from you….how about changing some tamizh attitudes first….

  83. Well said UGK.

    The true colors of the extremists must be exposed.

    I am sorry to hear about the personal loss you have suffered.

    May God give you the strength in this tragic period.

  84. 93. citizensl ,
    Idiot. why do i have to keep seeing these tangent arguments from so many Sinhalese who respond to me.
    If the Indian government promoted the Ramayana seriously and claimed it as fact, they would commit Genocide on the Dravidian peoples of India. Because the Ramayana was essentially written by a bunch of Aryans who wanted to demonise dravidian people.
    This is similar to how Mahavamsa works.
    But the Sri Lankan government and its die hard supporters are using the fairy tale mahavamsa CONSTANTLY as evidence to demonise and encourage oppression of tamils.
    Dont insult my intelligence.
    Much of the Sinhalese hateful mindset towards tamils in this 21st century is connected to what their parents tell them in their homes about Mahavamsa.
    I hear people called Mahinda the ‘Next Dutugemunu’.
    As a Tamil i find this gravely insulting and racist. I know exactly what the reason is for calling Mahinda ‘dutugemunu’.
    And also proves to me that this is not a war against LTTE but a racist campaign against the Tamils as a whole.
    This is why that Mahavamsa needs to be debunked.
    There is no need to debunk Ramayana because no government in the world is using Ramayana to justify Genocide.
    The Clowns in Sri lanka like to use some fairy tale as a motivation for genocide and oppression. I wonder if they believe that a lion pregnated the princess to create the Sinhala race also?

  85. It is unfortunate that LTTE wanted to create a Tamil only Eelam. But as i have tireless said before, this is all a reaction and a symptom to a problem engineered by the Sinhalese.
    By taking the symptom and claiming it as the cause of the problem, you are acting as a disinfo agent

  86. change starts from you….how about changing some tamizh attitudes first….
    —————————————————–
    The ball is in the court of the Majority in Sri Lanka.
    First stop calling tamils invaders and barbarians who dont belong in Sri Lanka (due to the Mahavamsa).
    Then when tamils are convinced this nonsense is not being promoted, they might relax and accept united Sri Lanka.

  87. comment 97
    “First stop calling tamils invaders and barbarians who dont belong in Sri Lanka (due to the Mahavamsa).
    Then when tamils are convinced this nonsense is not being promoted, they might relax and accept united Sri Lanka.”

    Tamizhs belong in Sri-Lanka…..but filthy terrorists and eelamists do NOT belong in Sri-Lanka.
    When normal Sri-Lankans are convinced that the -Tamizh only North and East concept from which muslims and sinhalese will be ethnically cleansed- is not being promoted by you daispora guys then we might relax and chill out….
    let me point the LTTE filth that you diaspora guys funded, nurtured and bred still hasn’t given up terrorism and the eelam concept that is why the IDPs are still in the camps (to weed out the terrorist filth)….if the LTTE were to publicly give up terrorism and the eezham concept and apologise to all Sri-Lankans then the IDP camp will no longer be neccessary.
    can you convince your bhoys to stop acting like animals and to give up terrorism?

  88. 98. citizensl ,
    You are a hypocrite.
    You keep throwing that term terrorist at LTTE all the time.
    And you cleverly worm your way out of the fact that riots and humiliation were inflicted on tamils right from the 1950s and the army continued killing more after the war started.
    First admit that your GOSL is a state terrorist.
    If i am a Palestinian, i wont give an Inch to Israelis who keep calling Hamas Terrorist and ignoring the state terrorism the government commits.

  89. comment 99
    “You keep throwing that term terrorist at LTTE all the time.”

    that is because as far the entire world is concerned the LTTE that you diaspora funded and nurtured are NOTHING more than filthy TERRORISTS.
    most of diaspora are living in a mythical peelam if you don’t realize the fact that the LTTE were the worst terrorist animals the world had ever seen.
    and end of the day what did the LTTE terrorism achieve for the peelamists? Velu P achieving Peelam along the banks of the Nandi Kudal lagoon after holding 300,000 tamizhs as human shields….is that the peelam you wanted?

  90. Dear DBSJ
    I Had read the article earlier at the SAAG forum website too. Some questions that need to be addressed – Now that the local elections in the North and the east of the Country have been held and elected representatives have assumed office, how much longer before the IDPs return Home? Shouldnt there be a time bound programme for return of the IDPs as and when the reconstruction work in the areas are nearing completion? I would like to hear your guessestimate !!

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