APRC Proposals: Cover for Perpetuating Repressive Structures in the North-East

by Rajan Hoole

There is a disingenuously surreal quality about the President’s discovery that the Provincial Councils Bill of 1987 is the answer to giving the people of the North-East a say in their affairs. We need not detail his and his own party’s opposition to the Indo-Lanka Accord which the JVP used to trigger a bloodbath, whose continuing legacy is a nation wallowing in impunity.

A political settlement is about issues threatening the existence and welfare of minority peoples that have been raised from the time of independence. One is the right to interact with the majority Sinhalese community on terms of equality, particularly in regard to their environment and neighbourhoods with which their economic and cultural lives have for centuries been twined. A key issue is state-aided colonisation, conceived and driven one-sidedly to constrict the economic and political space of Muslims and Tamils, particularly in the East, using administrative measures aided by communal and military violence. More details in the UTHR (J) publication Sri Lanka: The Arrogance of Power.

Pressing isssues

The worst example of this is the Weli Oya Scheme of 1984 that has left scores of Tamil villages in the Mullaitivu and Trincomalee Districts forlorn to this day. Even under the best conditions provincial councils are not going to touch these most pressing issues of a political settlement. Repressive structures of control have steadily made inroads into the East with colonisation and the chauvinistic mindset which inspired it.

The North-East today is mired in impunity. In Jaffna and Batticaloa judicial areas together, the number of reported extra-judicial killings and disappearances exceed 1000 for 2007. In Mutur East supposedly cleared by the security forces, around 40 killings came to the notice of the courts in just 4 months towards the end of 2007. Conscription of children and adults, and rampant lawlessness by the state security apparatus (which includes the Pillayan and Karuna groups) are a daily occurrence in the East. The proposed elections cannot be other than torture and a travesty. Their only purpose is to provide the heavily politicised security apparatus a fig leaf for the pursuit of a military settlement and Sinhalese hegemony.

The East is now a fiefdom of military and ex-military men substituting for administrators. Under the President’s direction, these persons work very closely with fascist outfits such as the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) and Jathika Hela Urumaya, which in turn interact with and direct paramilitary outfits like the Pillayan and Karuna groups.

It was the STF that installed Pillayan in his erstwhile leader Karuna’s Batticaloa office after assaulting his men. It was Pillayan who at the direction of his handlers abducted relatives of local MPs to prevent them voting against the jumbo defence budget. Already the integrity of the parliamentary process is itself in question. Is this devolution for the East?

The democratic space in the North-East has been murderously attacked by the Tigers for many years, which failed to extinguish it. A Tamil democratic opposition learnt to negotiate Tiger terror and challenge it in Sri Lanka and abroad. But this Government and its allies cannot tolerate any dissent from the minorities or anyone else for that matter. Editors have been threatened, a newspaper press burnt and several persons including MPs murdered. Even Sinhalese have become mortally afraid of this government. Then what kind of political package for the North-East is this?

Indian gurantee

The North-East Provincial Council was originally meant to work under an Indian guarantee. That was undermined by both the LTTE and the Sinhalese polity. The demand for the merger arose in the wake of land aggression. Even with the NEPC kept dissolved, the Indo-Lanka Accord remained a reassurance. This was why the Sinhalese extremists could not leave even a toothless merger alone. Discussion of the merger should have been left for a time when all the issues which brought it about were thrashed out-and not dealt with unilaterally to satiate the clamour of Rajapakse’s allies such as the PNM.

Backdoor dealing

Behind the de-merger was also the President’s sordid backdoor deal with Karuna and Devananda, who were promised control of interim administrations for the East and North respectively for 5 years. Its immediate effects were child conscription in Karuna’s name with military complicity and the military takeover of the East resulting in enormous civilian misery. The idea of interim councils is not even original. While Ranil Wickremasinghe was prepared to hand over the people of the North-East to the LTTE in the name of an interim administration, this Government has in mind proteges who are hardly an improvement.

A political settlement should also mean dignity and justice. Instead what is envisaged would entrench repressive structures already in place. It will perpetuate the cover up of the grave crimes now dragging on before the Commission of Inquiry. The purposeful killing of ten Muslim labourers in Pottuvil is one of them. Champika Ranawaka wrote in the Lanka Web Situation Report of 18th July 2002: “To prevent Karuna or Paduman from capturing the Eastern Province, there is a need for a massive Sinhala movement, which we [the Sihala Urumaya] are in the process of building. Pujya Ananda Himi from Ampara district and Pujya Piyatissa Himi from Trincomalee have come forward for this purpose.” He is now a powerful JHU minister with eyes on the East. The ordinary Tamils and Muslims did not count for the LTTE. Would they count any more now? Successive governments which failed to give a genuine political settlement a chance have imposed heavy defence budgets on a whole generation.

President Rajapakse who demands the ordinary people go lean and hungry for a defence overdose, must ask his friend General Musharraf. A current slogan reflecting public anger in Pakistan says, “You and I have died starving, the GHQ (Military) has looted and eaten it all.” [Courtesy: Lakbimanews]

32 Comments »

  1. Estavez said,

    January 27, 2008 @ 9:08 pm

    Dr.Hoole is like me with one difference. He is here nor there like me but airs his views and calls a spade a spade.
    Hats’ off to you dr.Hoole. dr.hoole has been part of the oppressed society whereas I am not.
    The similarity is that we both see a canard when its out in the open.
    Mr.Rajapakshe washed his hands off col.Karuna. He will wash hands off Devnanda in due course as well as with Pilyaan.
    The losers will be eastern tamils and northern tamils. The winners aren’t even Rajapakshes SLFP. It is the JVP/JHU and the hawks in the SL Forces will win the day.
    As for LTTE, it will live to fight another day and this ethnic conflict will not go away without a bang! Those unfortunate innocent civlians who gets fooled by the ruling elite will pay the price for this stupidity.
    As country, Sri Lanka fast moving backwards and soon become the first 4th world country in the world.

  2. Devinda Fernando said,

    January 27, 2008 @ 10:17 pm

    Could this author’s scribblings be more Rank with Rhetoric and unsubstantiated Conjecture…

    First and foremost: There is no NORTH-EAST – there are two provinces, the North and the East… each separate from the other.

    When this author then proceeds to use the Word “State Aided Colonization” what exactly is he referring to? Is Sri Lanka colonizing another country? Did we Attack the Maldives? Have I missed something here??? Its words like “Colonization” that that imply that Sri Lankans are not allowed into certain areas of their OWN country… Let me cut the foreplay for Mr. Hoole and blurt our what this Tiger-Skinned writer is basically saying in veiled terms : For a Sinhalese person to move and live in the North or the East (whether it be Govt aided or not) is “COLONIZATION”. Which means that Sinhalese are not allowed there, they are foreign! They are aliens,…the North and the East are Tamil Only lands….. but for a Tamil to come and live in the South that is the free movement of a Citizen of Sri Lanka… The South is for all Sri Lankans but the North and the East are RESERVED for Sri Lanka’s SPECIAL LITTLE MINORITY. Am I the only one here who sees the Double Standard and Hypocrisy of this whole nonsense? Those that refer to Sinhalese or Muslims moving to the North and the East as ‘Colonists’ are nothing more that Racists! This author, Ranjan Hoole, is nothing more that a Racist playing the Victim Card to lobby the Government for Special Favors and privileges.

    The fact that this government is proposing to Enforce the 13th Amendment which basically is the notion of Equality and thus any Sri Lankan should be allowed to do anything anywhere on the Island,… we have the the Ranjan Hoole’s of the world claiming that Tamils are somehow entitled to MORE than the Sinhalese or Muslims…

    It is time to End Race and Ethnicity based Politics, Enough of this Tamil, Sinhalese, and Muslim categorizations,… Its Sri Lanka, and we are all Sri Lankan…anyone who feels otherwise should consider moving to a different country. The rest of us will get along fine living in Integrated and multicultural neighborhoods.

  3. Canage said,

    January 28, 2008 @ 2:57 am

    Rajan, Now at least you realise what the SL governments have been doing for years. You consider any other alternative than the LTTE? There is bound to be errors and denials by all.

  4. Ratna said,

    January 28, 2008 @ 10:17 am

    Mr.Hoole, at least now you must realize that the best interim solution is to divide the island into two nations. Once each nation settled down and elected their reps, negotiations can begin to unite the nations. (yes, there will be issues with Ltte at first, but once sinhalese soldiers are not there, people will rise against them for democracy).

  5. krish said,

    January 28, 2008 @ 10:19 am

    Hello Devinda Fernando

    We the Tamils do not want to live in the South, for that matter once the Eelam is achieved you will not have any Tamils living in the Sinhalese Territory except for the Tamil ball carriers of the Terrorist Sinhalese Government namely Dogulas, Pillayan Anandasangaree Kadirgamar group and double tongued Muslims. The Tamils moved in their thousands to the south not because they love south but because of state terrorism in the north and east as well as colonization. Did any GOSL develop the North and East so the Tamils can work and take care of their Family? Because of GOSL terror (blessing in disguise) there are about a million Tamils living in the west and Australia. They are not only giving moral and material support to the birth of Eelam but also educating the children. These Children will be backbone of our EElam.
    We the Tamils are different from you the Sinhalese. We have lived in the North and East from before the arrival of Vijaya and Gang.Viyaja went to south India and got Tamil women for his men. So there is no pure Sinhalese race you are half Tamil. You are terrorizing your own blood brothers and sisters. It must be that part of the gene you must have inherited from Viyaja.
    Leave us alone don’t take us along the uncivilized and barbaric behavior you have become. It is people like you who elected the chauvinist MR and his goons who are the sole cause for this lovely island to this plight of begging for the next meal. While MR and his goon’s children and relatives travel and study overseas at the expense of the poor people of Sri-Lanka.
    Look at the rest of Asia they are way ahead of us. We were way ahead of them up to the late fifties; it will take another generation to catch up. A failed state.

  6. Upul said,

    January 28, 2008 @ 10:27 am

    Unlike Kosova and Darfur: The tamils and sinhalese have different langauge, culture, religion, traditional areas and foods.. The tamils are the majority in the northeast and sinhalese majority in the south.. one maojoirty cannot rule a seperate majority.. the serial ethinic riots from the 1950s and 99% sinhal army in tamil areas is a right for UN to intervene

  7. Sam Thambipillai said,

    January 28, 2008 @ 10:39 am

    Whether we like it or not, Sri Lanka is a rebel state, created by a rebel constitution in 1972, unilaterally drafted and declared by the representatives in the South. The North East was annexed to the South, Called Sri Lanka. And the people of the North East rejected this constitution.

    The people of the North East refused to accept the sovereignty of Sri Lanka on them and demonstrated democrataically by non participation in the drafting of the 1972 constitution of Sri Lanka and subsequent rejection, through a self referendum, to create Tamil Eelam in the North East of the former island of Ceylon.

    The APRC is recommending amendment to this rebel constitution of the rebel Sri Lankan state.

    Therefore, It is logical to conclude that the entire exercise is wasteful. Discussing about this wasteful exercise is ludicrous.

    The only reason why it is being proposednow is to divert attention from the murder, disappearances, torture, killing of journalists, displacements, rape and other atrocities perpetuated to the people of North East and to prevent the International criminal court (ICC) from arresting Mahinda Rajapakse and Sarath Fonseks first, to be charged for the genocide of the people of the North East.

  8. Dr. Kodituwakku said,

    January 28, 2008 @ 2:22 pm

    # 2,

    Mr. Devinda Fernando,

    Have you ever visited the eastern province? If you had, then only you would understand why Tamilians and Moslems are long complaining about the “Colonization”.

    Dr. Rajan Hoole is sincere man risking his life to call a Spade is A Spade. He has irritated, LTTE, GOSL and the armed forces alike. His brother Dr.Richard Hoole had to leave the country due to LTTE’s threat.

    Enjoy his writings while he is alive since he has accumulated numerous enemies from every side of this conflict.

    Peace!

  9. dingiri said,

    January 28, 2008 @ 2:42 pm

    To reiterate Devinda Fernando’s point.

    1. Much of the land “colonised” by Sinhalese was previously unoccupied and made habitable only by new irrigation schemes. They were not settled displacing Tamil people or even amongst Tamil people.

    2. There is ample archaeological and historical evidence that these lands were occupied by Sinhalese in former times. It was Sinhalese kings who built Giants Tank and Padaviya tank and the complexes of Tantirimale, Thiriyaya and Digavapi (in addition to 300 or so other sites). So why should these areas be out of bounds to Sinhalese now?

    3. The Entire Eastern province was part of the Kandian Kingdom even in early Dutch times. The Portugese captured Trincomalee from the Sinhalese. It was then re-captured, again by the Sinhalese. When Rajasinha II invited the Dutch they landed in Batticaloa. They were met by the Disava (a Sinhalese official) of Batticaloa and escorted to Kandy. Then how can the Tamils claim now as their exclusive homeland, an area that had a Sinhalese history as recently as 300 years ago? Surely the Sinhalese have at least an equal right to it?

    4. Does a Sinhalese “colonist” have less of a right to settle in Trincomalee or Batticaloa than a Jaffna Tamil or an Indian tamil “colonist”? (And there are lots of them there). How about the Gandhian Movement to settle Indian Tamils in the East and Vanni? and the Jaffna Tamils who settled in Trinco to work for the British? Are they then legitimate? Are the Vanni lands distributed to “Middle Class Tamils” by the Government illegitimate?

    5. If the country has to be carved up in order to give autonomy to its minorities (which I incidentally support) let it be on a fair basis so that all Sri Lankans get an equal share of the land. A merged North and East as an exclusive Tamil homeland gives the rest of us only a quarter of the land that a Tamil would get.

    I would hope that this might help Dr. Hoole and others understand that a grossly unequal land settlement would be impossible for the Sinhalese to accept under any circumstances. Temper your greed a little bit and you will find some support among the Sinhalese.

  10. Devinda Fernando said,

    January 28, 2008 @ 3:45 pm

    *** We the Tamils ***

    Hello Krish,

    You Sir, are not “THE Tamils”, you are ONE TAMIL and you don’t even live in Sri Lanka,…so PLEASE STOP SPEAKING FOR ALL TAMILS!.

    Up country Tamils never moved to the South, they have always been where they are. Same with those in the Western province (Colombo Area). You are IGNORANT, STUPID and FULL OF LTTE Propaganda. If Eelam were created ALL Tamils will not just drop all their belongings, businesses and Wealth and Just move to Eelam… You have no clue, you think this is a game of some kind where Tamils who have made their future and livelihoods in Sri Lanka will suddenly up and catch the next bus to Eelam…

    You Say the GOSL never developed the North and the East? Well Let me ask you this? How can the GoSL develop areas it has no control of? Isn’t that the LTTE’s Job?…Have you asked Prabharkaran why after 25 years he used all your Diaspora Billions of Dollars in contributions to Educate and Set up his family in the UK but not to educate the Children of the North and East? Has he put a single dollar into Investment in Eelam? LOL! You are so delusional, you read Tamilnet.com to see this Eelam that has Never Existed! Have you even been to the North or the East in the past 20 years?!

    Stop pretending to care about Sri Lanka or Sri Lankans, you call me half Tamil…? Fine, do I care? I think that is an honor! I do consider myself a Sri Lankan first and I do consider Tamils my brothers and fellow countrymen…. Unlike you who probably sit there with your Canadian passport crying about Eelam, and wishing you can continue to HATE the Sinhalese.

    You are funding the slaughter of Tamil people at the Hands of other Tamil people! You are just TOO STUPID to realize it. You will never see the Misery and Pain the LTTE have caused Tamil people because IDIOTS like you sit in your comfortable homes in Western countries funding the SELF-INFLICTED GENOCIDE of your OWN PEOPLE.

  11. Devinda Fernando said,

    January 28, 2008 @ 3:49 pm

    *** Whether we like it or not, Sri Lanka is a rebel state, created by a rebel constitution in 1972, unilaterally drafted and declared by the representatives in the South. The North East was annexed to the South, Called Sri Lanka. And the people of the North East rejected this constitution. ***

    Thambipillai,

    Whether YOU like it or not it is Sri Lanka now, and it is Multicultural and Multiethnic. In the South Tamils Live with Sinhalese and Muslims, and soon in the North and the East once the Terroris Menace is removed the same will happen there. There is no More Divisions by Ethnicity – stop living in the 19th Century and embrace the future: ONE SRI LANKA.

    And if you dont like it,..you can continue living as a Canadian or British or Australian or whatever your passport says now… ok machan?

  12. dias said,

    January 28, 2008 @ 5:05 pm

    #2 Devinda Fernando is absolutely correct in suggesting that every square inch of the island of Sri Lanka is the property of all Sri Lankans and not the exclusive domain of a particular ethnic or religious group. He is further correct in suggesting we should view ourselves as Sri Lankans and not in narrow ethno-religious communal terms. Where he is totally incorrect is his assertion that the plan to implement what has already been on the books for 20 years is a suitable framework for the very goal he aspires – building of goodwill between the two communities. At best, the President’s proposition will only provide temporary relief to those suffering in the East and to this extent it is certainly a positive move. But, that should in no way imply that this is a fair proposition for a permanent solution. For that, the government has yet to submit a proposal – and the Tamils’ feeling being “let-down” for the umpteenth time is quite understandable. As ex-US ambassador Ashley Wills recently implied, while any solution that “separates” the nation along ethnic lines is a terrible idea, my frustration is with GoSL’s incapacity to table a solution (and plan) that would give hope to all the communities of the nation. After spending 18 months and 1000’s of man hours, in this endeavor GoSL has clearly failed.

  13. Gee Sampanthan said,

    January 28, 2008 @ 8:13 pm

    So, Mr. Hoole is slowly awakening ,but seems to be half asleep still. For a few, sleep is a permanent state of affairs. Thank God they are in a state of sleep, otherwise they will further add to the already confused state of affairs. Just like many others, it is ok for Mr Hoole to talk from foreign soil. Courage is in really being there and say the same thing…write the same thing. The rest is academic at best…. back stabbing at worst.

    To Devinda Fernando and others like him, it is sad that the Tamils are fighting like this…. I mean most of those who speak Sinhala now were Tamils, not long ago. It will be a great idea if we can live together as one happy family ..but the events of the past , specially all the communal riots and pogroms bordering genocide led to this present mess. Still it will be nice if the country can be united and at peace. To achieve that there has to be some good gesture and proposals from those who enjoy the power. I hope one day there will be that pleasant surprise of a southern consensus towards a peaceful Sri-Lanka for all to enjoy their freedom and democracy…without guns, bombs and violence. For now, there is already too many opinions in the south regarding the APRC document embracing the truncated 13th Amendment. I am sure the same fate as the Banda-Selva , Dudley-Selva pact is waiting for the APRC
    efforts also.

    I will agree with Dr. Kodituwakku, because I have been to the east a few times. There the life is slowly disintegrating. No one is having any doubts about what is going on in the north also. Anyway, worse things happened in other countries and I still have hope that the current mess can be reversed. To achieve that miracle, we need a consensus in the south, but also a consensus in the north. South with a consensus cannot appease a fragmented north. I am not sure if Douglas, AnanthaSangaree and Pillaiyan et el, represent any Tamils. Despite the alignment with LTTE , TNA represents the Tamil electorates and any united south has to talk to TNA and not the Sangarees and Douglases. These are the ones actually dividing the Tamils.

    By the way, I am assuming Devinda Fernando is in Sri-Lanka and not somewhere in Portugal…or UK or USA claiming to be a Tamil refugee from Sri-Lanka.

  14. Ruwan said,

    January 28, 2008 @ 8:15 pm

    Dear Hoole,
    Finally you find the real face of Sinhala Chauvinism.
    Do you still believe that this Sinhala Governments will give any reasonable solution for the Tamil’s grievances.
    If you ask this, you will be treated as a traitor.

    Please, realize the tamil’s position. why they are behind their leadership.

    Thanks for your view.
    Please think twice before do any think against the Tamil leadership.

  15. Sen said,

    January 28, 2008 @ 11:17 pm

    Dingiri, Regarding item 1, “Much of the land “colonised” by Sinhalese was previously unoccupied and made habitable only by new irrigation schemes” – they were not unoccupied, but Muslim and Tamil farmers were chased away from these places by Sinhalese thugs and military with the help of racist and chauvinist SL government. After doing this, now you called it “unoccupied and made habitable only by new irrigation schemes”. A twisted history and archeology.

    Regarding item 2, what were your archaeological and historical evidence? If it is some Buddha statues, can you go and say, Singhalese ruled India as well? As you would find thousands of Buddha statues and artifacts there.

    And on your item 3, the so called Kandyan Kingdome was ruled by Tamil kings from South India for more than two thirds of the history, Even the last king was a Tamil “Kanpan Rajasingan” –these are the missing facts for you to be added.

  16. dingiri said,

    January 29, 2008 @ 6:17 am

    Some Tamils may wish to stay in the South and Some Tamils may wish to move to Eelam. Whats wrong with letting them decide and do what they want? Once the numbers are determined draw the boundaries so the acreage of Tamil Eelam is proportional to its population and only the supremacists on both sides will complain.

    Just read the posts here. These two communities have irreconcilable differences and cannot live together any more. And we need to recognise it for what it is. It is sad but this is how history unfolds. We can only try to make it is as painless as possible.

  17. Sam Thambipillai said,

    January 29, 2008 @ 9:05 am

    Devinda, your idea is open. You would like the Sinhalese to occupy the North and East. This is the reason for the presesnt war by the government, which you support. In plain words it is “occupying some one elses land”.

    Greediness for land is dangerous even Hitler was driven by such tendencies till he was destroyed.

    Tamils living in Britain do not make Britain to be a Tamil country. Similarly , theTamils living in the South do not make Sri Lanka multi cultural. It is the attitude of the people that dtermine it.

    If you ask any Tamil in the South as to whether he feels that to be his country. His or her answer will be a “NO”

  18. upul said,

    January 29, 2008 @ 10:05 am

    there are ancient hindu kovils in the south.. Does it mean that tamils similar to sinhalese (over north east) can claim the south?

  19. Ratna said,

    January 29, 2008 @ 11:36 am

    Only people like Anandasangaree, Devananda, Karuna, Pillaiyan. should reply to dingiri, dias and devinda.

  20. dingiri said,

    January 29, 2008 @ 2:08 pm

    Sen,

    Could you enlightem us on which Racist Sinhalese government chased away Tamils from their villages in order to settle Sinhalese in their lieu? When did this happen? Which government? and Where? Its just another canard to justify serving yourself a disproportionate piece of the pie. Who were the Tamils who were driven away from Inginiyagala, Padaviya etc.? Where did they go to? These lands were opned up by clearing dense forests that existed before. The Tamils lived along the coast in Batticaloa and a few other towns. Were there Tamils living in these forests? In old maps you will see these areas marked as Vadi Rata, and Korales and Pattuwa’s. The Sinhalese roots of all the Tamil place names in the East are well documented. You try to claim former Kandian lands on the basis that the last 4 kings were Nayakkars from Madurai. How did this come about? It was because there wasnt a natural heir to succeed Narendrasinha to the throne so the Kandian chiefs anointed a prince from Madurai. If this means we should surrender our portion of our land rights to VP then Britain should have surrendered to Germany during World War II based on the fact that the British Royal family is of German decent.

    Take the example of the Moslems who are as numerous as the Tamils in the East. Why do they speak Tamil? Its because they too came from Tamil Nadu together with the Tamils of the East. Now when did Moslems first make inroads into Tamil Nadu? It was in the 1600s. So the migration must have occurred sometime after that?

    If all the buddhist ruins in the East were built by Tamils why do they have names like Somawathia, Thanthirimale, Thiriyaya, Deegavapi, Dimbulagala etc? How about the inscriptions on these sites? Are they in Tamil?

    There is no doubt as to the antiquity of Tamils in Sri Lanka. They were there from the begining and the Mahavamsa itself testifies to this. Sena, Guttika, Elara etc. etc. These early inhabitants mixed with whoever who came from North india and over the millennia evolved a separate identity and language — Sinhala. Any race isolated from the parent race for a period of time will evolve new languages, music, danceforms and cultures. Look at the Afrikaners of South Africa. Isolated from Holland for less than 300 years they evolved a new identity with the new language. How did this escape happening to the Tamils? Same language, same dance, same music, same instruments as the parent community.

    I may sound like a mahavamsa bashing Sinhala Buddhist zelot here. But I am not. I dont believe the “who came first” question should have any bearing on how we solve the current issues. I am prepared to concede to the Tamils their fair share of the land to live separately if it could end the current carnage in the North. I even believe the Indian Tamils should get equal land rights in an eventual settlement and join their SL Tamil brothers. I just dont believe that one community should get to keep the lion share while the others have to fight over the scraps. The “Exclusive Traditional Homeland claim” and the “Sinhala Colonisation of Tamil land allegation” are nothing but flagrant attempts to justify this land grab.

    The obstacles to a peaceful settlement are not only the Sinhala Hardliners but also Tamil supremacists who believe it is quite fair to help themself to 4 times as much land as they are prepared to offer the Sinhalese. If you could only reach standpoint where you agree that all Sri Lankans have an equal entitlement to this country whatever their ancestry, then there is some chance we could come to a settlement. People like you only give ammunition to the Sinhala extremists to keep on pursuing this war.

  21. Devinda Fernando said,

    January 29, 2008 @ 3:47 pm

    *** Devinda, your idea is open. You would like the Sinhalese to occupy the North and East. This is the reason for the presesnt war by the government, which you support. In plain words it is “occupying some one elses land”. ***

    Thambi,

    You are DUMBER than a BAG OF HAMMERS…. How can the Sinhalese ‘Occupy’ the North and the East… Are then the 54% – 58% of the total Tamil population of Sri Lanka living in the South OCCUPYIERS OF SINHALA land????? Do you even realize How RETARDED your statement is? Do you Even Realize What a RACIST you are by your Double Standard.

    Why don’t you just go back to Cleaning Toilets or Delivering Pizza, or whatever menial job you do back in Toronto and leave Political Discussions to people who have achieved more than One O-Level to their name…? ok Machan?

  22. Devinda Fernando said,

    January 29, 2008 @ 3:48 pm

    *** Devinda, your idea is open. You would like the Sinhalese to occupy the North and East. This is the reason for the presesnt war by the government, which you support. In plain words it is occupying some one elses land. ***

    Thambi,

    You are DUMBER than a BAG OF HAMMERS…. How can the Sinhalese ‘Occupy’ the North and the East… Are then the 54% – 58% of the total Tamil population of Sri Lanka living in the South OCCUPYIERS OF SINHALA land????? Do you even realize How RETARDED your statement is? Do you Even Realize What a RACIST you are by your Double Standard.

    Why dont you just go back to Cleaning Toilets or Delivering Pizza, or whatever menial job you do back in Toronto and leave Political Discussions to people who have achieved more than One O-Level to their name…? ok Machan?

  23. Devinda Fernando said,

    January 29, 2008 @ 3:52 pm

    *** Where he is totally incorrect is his assertion that the plan to implement what has already been on the books for 20 years is a suitable framework for the very goal he aspires ***

    Dias, quick question to you…

    Is the 13th Amendment sound in principle? YES or NO?

    If No, please state why not.

    If Yes, please do not criticize this government until it has tried and Failed to Make the enforcement work.

    Simple as That.

    20 years ago we were at war,… continued warfare… Obviously the 13th Amendment was going to be difficult to enforce when we’re fighting an Enemy that has thrived off and Encouraged Ethnic and Racial Tensions. You cannot compare the Past to the Present. Please give it time to work.

  24. Devinda Fernando said,

    January 29, 2008 @ 4:16 pm

    *** Have you ever visited the eastern province? If you had, then only you would understand why Tamilians and Moslems are long complaining about the ‘Colonization’. ***

    Dr. Kodituwakku,

    Yes I have visited these areas…as recently as April of 2007. And that is not the point. People can complain about Colonization but is it a legitimate Claim? I challenge you that it is not…just because I complain about something does not necessarily make it so!

    And Dr Hoole’s writing are about as interesting as Watching Paint Dry…. If the LTTE and GOSL are after Him I could not possibly see why…? you say he’s calling a Spade a Spade? Well perhaps if he opened his Eyes and started calling the LTTE as Terrorists then I’m sure he would be all the better off for it…

  25. dingiri said,

    January 29, 2008 @ 6:51 pm

    I just realised that I need to climb down a bit from my high horse on account of Weli Oya. Sinhalese thugs, the Jayawardene Government and the Army seem to have had a role in displacing Tamils from this area who had been living there since 1977 (according to the UTHR report)

    The Padaviya Settlement created in 1956 originally had both Sinhalese and Tamils settlers but the Sinhalese attacked the Tamils during the riots of 1956. Not sure what the situation is now.

    I found this in an old UTHR report which and here is the links to it.

    http://www.uthr.org/bulletins/bul4.htm

  26. Thamilan said,

    January 30, 2008 @ 9:12 am

    Devinda Fernando,

    You lack a lot of knowledge on this ethnic conflict, a racist that you are and your education from the monastery monks who preach about Sinhalese supremacy instead of teaching the ethics of Buddha have certainly damaged you.

    I for one would not waste my time answering your questions and I would encourage others to do the same.

  27. Thamilan said,

    January 30, 2008 @ 9:28 am

    Dingiri,

    Nice questions, instead of asking us you should just straighten your back and do some research. I certainly would not recommended government sources or government influenced sources.

    Let me explain it simple, the Tamil political movement before the armed struggle tried in to bring it to the attention and they failed miserably. Not only did the Sinhalese did not listen; they pretty much went on to do it openly. Tamil militants have succeeded where the politicians failed. They have made a grinding halt to Sinhalese domination in the northeast and made a firm statement that further advance comes at high price. They brought down the absolute arrogance, stand in the international community and they have certainly damaged the economy which sponsored all this mess. They have made sure that the endorsement of Tamil Elam within or outside of Sri Lanka is an inevitable reality.

    With the Tamil Diaspora community armed with money and knowledge, Tamils will rip through the sky in economy and education. Sinhalese on the other hand will be stuck with the massive debt and their crooked politicians unless someone with strong leadership takes the throne.

  28. Devinda Fernando said,

    January 30, 2008 @ 3:22 pm

    ***You lack a lot of knowledge on this ethnic conflict, a racist that you are and your education from the monastery monks who preach about Sinhalese supremacy***

    Thamilan,

    You ARE the Racist here,… I dont have a problem living in the same land as Tamils, but you have a Problem living with Sinhalese for sure… You want a TAMIL ONLY homeland and you call me the Racist!? What Balls you have! You are so Blind as to your OWN Rascism and Hypocrisy. You live in HATE and you Fester it inside yourself because that is the only thing you blame all your troubles on. You are Infectious Human Waste.

    And just to se the record straight I am not a Buddhist… so your assumptions about me are completely false.

  29. Dr. Kodituwakku said,

    January 31, 2008 @ 2:22 am

    Mr. Devinda Fernando,

    Why are you scolding everyone who opposes your view .They have same rights as you do to write in these columns and I’ve come across only one person and that’s you with full of arrogance and vengeance.You are reminding me of Minister/Thug, Mr. Mervyn De Silva and late Minister Dasanayake.

    Please show some decency when you respond to other readers. The web holder is doing a great service of allowing people to comment their opinion and whereas you
    are venting anger towards everyone who diasagree with you. Isn’t this exactly what is happening in our country.

    Our great Island which was once an envy of all other asian neighbours has lost it’s glory as a result of our corrupt leaders. I’ve read it in this web site a while ago from a commentor that Ceylon was #2 after Philippines in asia in mid 1950’s and with in 50 years we have lost to almost to everyone except to Bangladesh, Laos and Cambodia. Our country’s pathetic situation is that we neither have freedom of speech nor press freedom. Whoever contradicts our government version is immediately labeled as a Terrorist or Terrorist Supporter. This label is not exclusively to Sri-Lankans, it includes ieven nternational dignatories like UN staff and our former British Ambassador Mr. Chilcott. Please don’t shoot the messengers they are just commenting and voicing their opinions like you do.

    I want to continue to read your fiery comments and I’m sure there will be many more readers like me want to do the same. So, please be courteous.

    Peace!

  30. Thamilan said,

    January 31, 2008 @ 9:25 am

    Yes, I don’t want to live with the Sinhalese, why? Just one Sinhalese like you is enough to keep the division alive and unfortunately the island is overflowing with the mentality like you. Federalism does not mean separation; get that in your head first. The Tamil politicians have tried enough to convince the Sinhalese to live with the Tamils and to respect their right to equality; unfortunately the Sinhalese have just humiliated their vision and their commitment.

    No one in that island is a Buddhist, they all just claim themselves to be a Buddhist and no one seems to follow the teaching, so what is your point?

  31. ilaya seran senguttuvan said,

    February 14, 2008 @ 12:17 pm

    Dr Kodituwakku,

    You speak peace and sound moderate like many of my decent
    Sinhala friends. Are you the former Education Minister?
    Don’t waste your time educating culture to Devinda Fernando
    and his ilk in these columns. The demented and the abnormal also must live with the normal. Devinda has a right to speak for his
    people – I mean the Sinhalese – assuming he is one because someone in these columns is regularly asking him to vanish to Portugal. Devinda, pls don’t. I enjoy reading you – sometimes.

  32. P Shantikumar said,

    May 13, 2008 @ 7:26 am

    In short, very well done indeed! This is an excellent article that had hitherto escaped my notice. You are right about Musharaff the Pervez. One hopes there would not be another one like him in Pakistan coming to power in the future. There is a need for a political Regional Vision, say, and south of the Himalayas, which would include Pakistan to work towards Regional Stability. When Karuna reneged everyone expected a brutal war to ensue, inflicting further and continued suffering on the already brutalised Tamils. Rajapakse indeed has installed his bootlickers in the east as well as in the north, too frightened to take the risk to conduct a referendum for the merger of the two provinces.

    Karu Jayasuria is attempting what might amount to ‘beatification of a military-adjunct’, whithout even bothering to retrieve the meat-cleaver he buried into to Wickremasinghe’s back last time Jayasuria hugged him fondly. There is blood and gut spilt all over the place, disgusting to watch, to say the least. Hopefully, the Blessed One too would prepare himself to participate in the process of separation. Obviously, such issues as de-colonisation and the merger of north-east provinces are beyond his capability.

    The other one assigned to the north sounds like Rupert Murdoch’s broadband salesman, with his “Sky is the limit,” sales pitch. He also happens to think what is required for the north is more mobile telecommunication masts and there is no need to open the A9. As far as he is concerned freedom of expression and freedom of movement are conspiracies by the oppressed and the downtrodden people like the Cambodians or the Tamils in northern Sri Lanka, as the state. Such freedoms should not therefore be granted.

    One hopes the EPCE had open up an opportunity for the Muslims and Tamils in the east to come closer politically. Otherwise, Sinhala governments, as in the past, would always be tempted to drive a wedge between the two communities. It is quite easily achieved and further more it also helps divide the respective communities themselves internally. Such divide and rule stratagem should not be allowed to be exercised by the government in future.

    Both the Tamil and the Muslim communities should do everything within their power to promote unity within their own communities and between the the two communities, without ever allowing the government to drive wedges in between.

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