Thursday, July 28, 2011

According to Norway tender document, in the first phase,(1997-99)an agreement was made between the Norwegian and the SL-govt..!!!

Norwegian ‘peace evaluation’ delayed
July 27, 2011, 9:11 pm

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Norway seems to be reluctant to make public a costly evaluation of its unsuccessful peace efforts in Sri Lanka.

Although Norway initially planned to unveil the final report in the first week of April 2011, ahead of UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s unsubstantiated ‘war crimes’ report, an influential section in the Norwegian government is concerned about the outcome.

Sources told The Island that in view of a spate of revelations made by WikiLeaks with regard to the Norwegian-led peace process since February 2002 the interested parties would not be able to manipulate the Norwegian evaluation. The Norwegian government may not want the report to cause further embarrassment to its allies by exposing sharp discrepancies in the UNSG’s report.

Last Friday’s massacre carried out by 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik, son of a retired Norwegian diplomat couldn’t have come at a worse time for those behind the peace evaluation. International news agencies quoted Norwegian authorities as having said that the assassin’s primary grouse had been the failure on the part of Europe to tackle illegal migration.

Norway in supporting the LTTEwent to the extent of providing secret passage to wanted Sri Lankans to reach Norway.

The Norwegian report is expected to shed light on some key issues, including the LTTE walking away from the negotiating table during Ranil Wickremesinghe’s tenure as the Prime Minister, assassination of the then Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and an attempt to save the lives of top LTTE commanders and their families.

Discrepancies between the Norwegian report and the UNSG’s panel on the final phase of the war on the Vanni east front could place those targeting Sri Lanka on the human rights front in an embarrassing position, sources said.

Christian Michelsen Institute (CMI) based in Bergen, a major recipient of Norwegian funds, led the evaluation of four separate peace efforts by Norway from 1997 to 2009. A nine-member evaluation team comprised CMI’s Gunnar Sorbo, Jonathan Goodhand of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London and seven others, including four Sri Lankans. The identities of all members are not yet known. SOAS is part of London University (UK).

The joint bid by the CMI and SOAS was chosen out of six international ones.

The CMI receives funding through Research Council of Norway (NFR), which in turn is funded by the Norwegian Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.

Gunnar M. Sorbo, who had held several positions in several Norwegian institutions, including NFR and the Agency for International Development now heads the CMI.

The evaluating team interviewed European, US and Indian officials and Sri Lankans. Although the Sri Lankan government declined to assist in the Norwegian inquiry, the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe met Sorbo in Oslo several months ago.

Much as all four Norwegian attempts were inter-connected, the focus of the evaluation was on the third bid (2002 to 2006) supported by the "Tokyo Co-Chairs", comprising the US, EU, Japan and Norway.

According to the tender document calling for the evaluation of the Norwegian role, the total Norwegian development cooperation with Sri Lanka amounted to approximately NOK 2. 5 billion from 1997 – 2009. Out of this, approximately NOK 100 million was allocated to activities aimed at directly supporting the peace process, including the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and the peace secretariats of the parties, meaning the LTTE received a substantial amount of funds.

The Norwegians have divided their engagement here into four phases: 1997-1999, 1999-2002, 2002- 2006 and 2006-2009.

According to the Norwegian tender document, in the first phase, from 1997 to 1999, an agreement was made between the Norwegian and the Sri Lankan government that Norwegian development cooperation should support a negotiated solution to the conflict. Norway had quiet contact with the parties to the conflict.

In the second phase, from 1999 to 2002, the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government requested Norway to be the facilitator. A ceasefire agreement was negotiated. The Nordic civilian monitoring group, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), was established under Norwegian leadership.

In the third phase, from 2002 to 2006, Norway was the facilitator between the parties in six rounds of negotiations, which among others resulted in the parties agreeing to explore a federal solution within a united Sri Lanka.

In the fourth phase, from 2006 to 2009, the escalation of the war put an end to an active Norwegian facilitator role.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Influence can still be seen across SEA region - in the Tamil influences in the Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia & in the Ganesh Gods that guard homes !

Clinton's Southern India Sojourn

Tridivesh Singh Maini
23 July 2011

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's India sojourn went much as expected. There was an emphasis on increasing US-India engagement in numerous spheres, talk of a greater role for India on the world stage, a clear noting of the fact that both countries are natural allies, and also public recognition that their common interests and values outshine the differences between the two countries.

But there were two particularly interesting things about Clinton's stay. First was how this round of US-India engagement has been so dominated by women. Clinton met with Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha Jayaramand Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, while India's ambassador to the United States, Meera Shankar, has played an active role in arranging the visit.

The second interesting point is that the only other placeClinton visited aside from New Delhi was Chennai. Clinton's key engagements included a lecture at the Anna Centenary Library, where she lauded Tamil Nadu for its commendable progress, especially in the realm of education and industrialisation. She also spoke about broader issues, such as the Indo-US partnership, the situation in neighbouring Sri Lanka and the role India can play in stabilising South Asia.

Interestingly, while talking about a larger role for India in the Asia-Pacific region, Clinton invoked Chennai's geographical location and Tamil Nadu's historical links with Southeast Asia.

'There is no better place to speak about Asia-Pacific than Chennai, which looks out onto the Bay of Bengal. Indian traders have sailed these waters for thousands of years and their influence can still be seen across the region - in the Tamil influences in the Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia and in the Ganesha gods that guard homes in Indonesia,' she said.

So why is the Chennai visit noteworthy? For a start, it recognises a new dynamic in India's foreign policy, namely the increasing role of provinces in India's conduct of foreign policy. While once it would have seemed odd for a foreign dignitary to discuss bilateral relations with a third nation with the chief minister of a state, Clinton did precisely this when she discussed the Sri Lankan issue with Jayalalitha.

Second, Clinton's visit to southern India clearly underscores the increasing clout the region has, both economically and politically. No longer is there a sense that foreign policy is framed exclusively through a north Indian way of thinking.

Finally, Clinton's visit was also a reminder of the challenges of tackling the increasing friction between the United States and Pakistan, a reality that's bound to have an impact on the soon to be held foreign minister level talks between India and Pakistan. The arrest of Ghulam Nabi Fai, head of the Kashmiri American Council, by the FBI has only exacerbated the tensions between Washington and Islamabad. This comes on top of Pakistani anger after the US halted $800 million of military aid to Pakistan.

India certainly therefore has its task cut out to ensure that tits cosying up to Washington doesn't impact it's engagement with Pakistan, progress on which is imperative for stability in the region. Achieving this will likely mean that Indian decision makers will have to rely more on instinct than conventional intelligence.

As Otto von Bismarck once stated:

'The best a statesman can do is to listen to the footsteps of God, get hold of the hem of his cloak, and walk with him a few steps of the way'.

(Tridivesh Singh Maini is an Associate Fellow with Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi)


© 2009 Observer Research Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

In the first place did we ever ask you for anything except out dignity and freedom? What you have taken away from us is our dignity and modesty.!!! Moderator to Massey

The message is clean, clear, crisp and loud

The elections in Jaffna and Vanni despite throw aways and threat has sent a very clear message to Rajapaksa and his thieves. We Tamils and ourdignity are not for sale. By the way when you are begging for money from othernations how you can invest money for us, Tamils. In the first place did we ever ask you for anything except out dignity and freedom? What you have taken awayfrom us is our dignity and modesty. That is all you have to give us.

We don’t need your rice and parippu; give them to the poor Singhalese peoplewho voted for you. Secondly what is your reputation? You are known as a criminaland a murderer in the world circle. And they also know that you are the onebehind all these crimes which you committed for personal and politicalpurposes.

You can only fool the world so much and you have done enough of it tobe listed in the hall of great hoaxes and notorious impostors, forgers,swindlers, robbers, and con artist throughout the history. But you have aspecial place in taking over the government of nation, which Al Capone, HowardHughes or John Gotti could not do it. That was incredible.

You and your cronies have openly abused world class institutions. Thattouches the very root of civilization which depends on it. Calling people namesis different from calling institutions as wrong and unethical.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Twenty-Eight Years Gone And Still With “Sinhala Nittaewo”...!!!

Twenty-Eight Years Gone And Still With “Sinhala Nittaewo”

Writing about “Nittaewo” of Ceylon, Fredrick Lewis said, they were more human-like in appearance, short and powerful with large hands and long, hooked nails similar to the talons of an eagle. Hugh Nevill wrote, the Nittaewo lived in small groups of 15 to 20, were savage and they tore into the belly of the prey with their talon like claws. They took away children of the Veddahs and was thus wiped out by Veddahs, say both writers.

Twenty eight years ago this Sunday, most considerate and large hearted Sinhala people, had a harrowing week to begin with, providing shelter and security to the Tamil people who for decades lived in the South, but were pursued by the Sinhala Nittaewo. In marauding groups of 15 to 20, they tore into the belly of the Sri Lankan society, led by Industries Minister Cyril Mathew of President Jayawardena’s UNP government, as popularly claimed.

As architect of Sinhala Buddhist racism in post independent Sri Lanka, Cyril Mathew had by then gone on record saying, [quote] “Any person who reads this book with care will realise that there is a systematic growth of Tamil forces in this country, in opposition to the Sinhala Buddhist culture and the political and economic background of Sri Lanka. As matters now stand, it would be useless to merely say ‘let there be peace.” [unquote] From the book, Sinhalayage Adhisi Hathura (The Unseen Enemy of the Sinhalese) by Cyril Mathew.

Twenty eight years ago, two weeks before the pogrom on Tamil people, President Jayawardena told Ian Ward of the London Daily Telegraph on 11 July 1983, [quote] “I am not worried about the opinion of the Jaffna people now… Now we cannot think of them. Not about their lives or of their opinion about us… The more you put pressure in the North, the happier the Sinhala people will be here…really, if I starve the Tamils out, the Sinhala people will be happy…” [unquote]

Gamini Dissanayake, the Mahaweli Minister was happy speaking the same language. [quote] “Even today, Thondaman has spoken in parliament supporting Mr. Amirthalingam and the struggle of the people in the North for their rights. Our Buddhist priests and Sinhala youths have been enraged by this. We have calmed them with great difficulty. Who attacked you? Sinhalese. Who protected you? Sinhalese. It is we who can attack and protect you.” [unquote] September 5, 1983, addressing the executive committee of the Lanka Jathika Estate Workers’ Union at Siri Kotha.

That was the crude mindset of these Sinhala Nittaewo, who led the pogrom on Tamil people and left a trail of bleeding and putrefying destruction that helped the armed Tamil militancy to justify their claim for a separate Eelam State. They consciously ‘force bled’ the Sri Lankan society to create a Tamil Diaspora in Western countries and a large refugee presence in Tamil Nadu. For 26 years, a formidable segment within this fractured and humiliated Tamil society, expected the LTTE to establish a separate “Thamil Eelam State” to regain their dignity.

It should have been a “lesson learnt” for the Sinhala South, that brute force and arrogant politics, are no answers for political conflicts, when Sri Lanka was pushed into a long, protracted war. That it is the Tamil Diaspora which helped and funded the LTTE, in its armed insurgency, that sought to establish a separate “Thamil Eelam State,” with equally brutality. That it is this same Tamil Diaspora which keeps the war crimes and crimes against humanity as steeled demands against this Rajapaksa regime, the international community can not now trash.

Hillary Rodham Clinton thus became the first US Secretary of State to make an official call on a Tamil Nadu Chief Minister on July 20, and to discuss politics of its neighbour. At the Anna Centenary Library in Chennai, she made it very clear why the US pays so much interest in India.

She said, “We understand that much of the history of the 21st century will be written in Asia. And much of the future of Asia will be shaped by decisions not just by the Indian government, but by governments across India and by the 1.3 billion people who live in this country.” India, according to Madam Clinton, had increased its trade with the US by 20 percent over the past year. India therefore, is in every way an important geo-political ally for the US, in a new emerging Asia. A new Asia, the US would play cautious with China that funds all rogue States in the world.

Jayalalitha as the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, within the political equation that has New Delhi and Colombo on either side, with US pressed to take a position, thus become important to the US in striking a compromise with the New Delhi administration. Madam Clinton therefore told the large and diverse audience at the Anna Centenary Library, “India’s diverse and democratic system can serve as a model for Sri Lanka.

In Chennai and in Tamil Nadu, you can see how much society can achieve when all citizens participate in political and economic life. Every citizen of Sri Lanka deserves the same.” The long and loud applause she received for that single statement on Sri Lanka, explains the sentiments on which Jayalalithaa would now have to work, having made her election rhetoric, an official resolution of the TN State Assembly.

Most unfortunately, all of them, the US, New Delhi and Jayalalithaa have to work with a Sri Lankan regime and a Sinhala majority polity, that do not give much credence to the polemic, “a society can achieve when all citizens participate in political and economic life.” They don’t seem to want to learn lessons from the past and from anywhere else, to seek a secure future. President Rajapaksa himself does not want to prove Prabhakaran right either, by being the “pragmatic Sinhala leader,” Prabhakaran said Mahinda Rajapaksa could be reckoned as, in his “Mahaveer Day” speech on November 27, 2005, just eight days after Rajapaksa was first sworn in as President.

This regime thus continues on “Jayawardene thinking” that is no different to “Mahinda thinking.” Not thinking of the Tamil people. Not thinking about their lives or of their opinion about the Rajapaksa regime. Putting more pressure in the North and making the Sinhala people happier. That’s what President Jayawardene said in 1983 he would start doing and that’s what President Rajapaksa is doing right now. Yet with a difference.

Very much different in war to all Presidents and all regimes from Jayawardene to Kumaratunge, this Rajapaksa regime put in place a brutal war plan that totally uprooted and dislocated people from their villages, beginning from around 2007 July and August, for 22 months. With heavy shelling, mortar and MBRL fire, people from all villages in the West coast in Mannar were collectively driven to the East coast in Mullivaikkal, in Mullaitivu, over this 22 month period. During this period, all the shells, mortars and bombs that rained over Mannar, Killinochchi and Mullaitivu districts, sanitised all that land and left over 280,000 people, old, young and infant, men and women, “caged” as Gordon Weiss says, behind barbed wire camps as “IDPs”. The war had been declared over on May 19, 2009, as a “humanitarian war” with “zero civilian casualty”.

This Sinhala society accepts it as a “liberating war” and the Rajapaksa regime wants it just that way. Therefore, two years after the war, when TNA national list MP, Sumanthiran tables in parliament, a comprehensive report on how the Tamil people are still ill treated, despite what the Rajapaksa regime tells the world on its supposed efforts in “social reconciliation”, the main Opposition parties, the UNP and the JVP do not want to debate and discuss it. They prefer not to even see it. Hence they are yet to make any reference to the Sumanthiran report, in public.

The mainstream media does not want to touch those people’s issues either. There was no front page coverage, no editorial on this human report that talked about the lives of thousands in the North – East, though a single army deserter in Kahawatte, who was killed for blood thirst, had many front page accounts, continuously for days. MP Sumanthiran’s situation report on the plight of the Tamil people in the North and East thus falls far short of the Kahawatte serial killer and goes unseen and unnoticed by the Sinhala South.

None of the issues he records where the security forces, the militarised administration and political complicity robs people of their ancestral land, displaces them of livelihood, continues to keep them under intelligence surveillance and even tinkers with their cultural life, is good enough for the South to talk of. Never good enough for media reporting too. It’s the extension of the “Sinhala Nittaewo” mindset in this whole South, still living after 28 years, with more Mathews, Jayawardene’s and Dissanayake’s holding this regime together.

How far this political power, nurtured on a crude ‘Nittaewo’ mindset could survive, is nevertheless a gnawing question. Hugh Nevill wrote the Veddahs finally decided to corner the ‘Nittaewo’ in a cave and blocked its entrance for many days with a huge fire. Their children had to live for the future, the Veddahs decided. Somewhere, some time, something tips the scales. Marx called it the subjective factor. In the modern Arab world, it was termed the “Arab Spring.” And then, history is written anew.


Rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres return to their future empowered with skills and confidence.!!!

Born again into a life worth living for
Rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres return to their future empowered with skills and confidence
By Chandani Kirinde

Twenty-two-year-old Ramachandran Dushani is days away from leaving the rehabilitation centre for female ex-combatants of the LTTE, at Poonthottam in Vavuniya. She’s happy to be reunited with her parents and sister after more than two years, but her joy is mixed with a feeling of apprehension about how accepting society would be of her, once she returns to her home in Wattakachchi in Kilinochchi.

“I don’t know what to expect when I go home, but I am eager to recommence my studies,” she said. Dushani was taken away forcibly by the LTTE in September, 2007, while she was studying for her Advanced Level examination at Ramanathan College in Kilinochchi.

Commissioner of Rehabilitation, Maj. Gen. Sudantha Ranasinghe. Pic by Gemunu Wellage Rehabilitation Cooperating Officer, Vavuniya, Lt. Col. Manjula Munasinghe
She like many other conscripts, underwent a hurried training of a month-and-a-half, during which, they learnt to use an automatic weapon and homemade bombs, before being deployed on route-clearing operations, as well as to man defence lines in the Mugandi-Vishvamadhu area.

With the war drawing to an end, she crossed over to Government controlled areas, along with her family members, and made her way to the welfare camp in Vavuniya. Later, she surrendered to the security forces, spent three months at Boosa, and two more months at Welikada prisons. She then joined the rehabilitation and reintegration programme, which she will complete by the end of this month.

Dushani says she learnt English, took part in cultural activities and made new friends at the Poonthottam centre. “I want to first do my ALs, then think of what I will do after that,” she said, nervously touching the thin gold chain that has replaced the cyanide capsule that adorned her neck during her days in the LTTE.

For Commissioner of Rehabilitation, Maj. Gen. Sudantha Ranasinghe, it has been a rewarding experience to witness the transformation of battle-hardened combatants into law-abiding citizens of the country.

“Initially, when they came in, it was not very easy, but we were very patient. We were able to bring down their level of radicalisation within three months of starting the programme,” Maj. Gen. Ranasinghe said.
The programme is based on a six-pillar model starting with spiritual, religious and cultural programmes, followed by educational, vocational, livelihood and sports programmes.

“It’s an entirely Sri Lankan model to suit our special situation. It is designed to suit the cultural and religious ethics and norms of the Tamil speaking people of the country. This will not suit even the south,” he said.

Of the 11,664 ex-combatants placed under the rehabilitation and reintegration programme starting with the defeat of the LTTE in May, 2009, 7,969 have returned to their homes, while the remainder are scheduled to end their training programmes in the next few months.

The majority of the LTTE cadres who underwent this programme, had come in with a voluntary surrendee statement and a declaration of their willingness to go through a rehabilitation process. It includes a one-year mandatory programme, extended up to a maximum period of another year, depending on the degree of radicalisation of the cadres.

This picture drawn by a rehabilitated cadre apparently depicts the Tamil diaspora as the dragon trying to destroy a united Sri Lanka. Pic by Lakshman Gunathileke
The programme has afforded many of the former combatants, opportunities they missed because of being drawn into the rebel movement at a young age.

Sri Ranga Rani (38) from Jaffna, had joined the LTTE at the age of 18, while still studying for her ALs. She decided to join the movement after having heard of the harassment, members of the Tamil community were undergoing at the hands of the armed forces. “I worked at the political office of the LTTE and helped publish a newsletter for women,” she said. She briefly left the movement in 1998, only to rejoin in 2000, and stayed on till the war ended in 2009.

Despite her personal losses, having seen her sister, brother-in-law and nephew die during the heavy fighting in the final days of the war, Rani is hopeful of a stable future when she returns to her parent’s home. “Sometimes I feel I did a service being in the LTTE, but sometimes I feel many years of my life were wasted,” she said. She hopes to utilise the skills she’s learnt at the rehabilitation centre when she returns.

“Many of them tell us that this is the first time they have been really free in their lives. There is no animosity among us anymore,” said Rehabilitation Cooperating Officer, Vavuniya, Lt. Col. Manjula Munasinghe said.

While it’s a personal struggle for the thousands who have left the rehabilitation centres to adjust to life in a postwar situation, the programme has been hugely successful in integrating the former LTTE cadres back into society, having geared them with the necessary skills to restart their lives.

The programme has also been extended to the community to create awareness. “We request them to take these people back and accept them by forgetting the past,” Maj. Gen. Ranasinghe concluded.

© Copyright 1996 - 2011 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved

GOSL is now fully awake to the ugly reality of communal violence&would make sure it would not happen again by offering Tamils a political solution.!!!

The trauma of black July Monday, 18 July 2011 00:00

By Gamini Akmeemana

In July 1983, I was working in a Middle Eastern country. When I heard about the anti-Tamil riots in Sri Lanka, I was aware of a catastrophe, even though I was too politically immature then to grasp the full nature of the tragedy and its implications for Sri Lanka in the years to come.

My sympathies for the victims were heartfelt and deep. In 1983, though, I was a very naïve, well-meaning Sinhala Buddhist young man who believed that a limited war could contain the LTTE, and that the government was now fully awake to the ugly reality of communal violence and would make sure it would not happen again by offering the Tamils a satisfactory political deal.

Twenty eight years later, I know better. Let’s not start another round of blame games.

Whatever terrorists do, governments are duty bound to protect their citizens. What I failed to realise back then was that the government shouldn’t have let Black July happen in the first place. After returning home in 1984, I remember telling a Tamil tenant in my neighbourhood how bad I felt about the whole thing. He didn’t even smile. Giving me a blank look, he quickly disappeared indoors.

I felt puzzled then by his behaviour, though now I know that, in his place, I would have done exactly the same thing. But I belonged to the majority, brought up with centrist, conservative political views, well-meaning but complacent, and hardly in a position to put myself in the lot of a persecuted minority, of someone who has had a family member hacked to death and the house burnt down by a ranting mob.

Now I know better. Even though I was never politically connected to any group that could even be remotely called subversive, and lived in the relative safety of central Colombo during the dark years of the 1987-90 terror and disappearances, I learnt then what it was like to be caught up helplessly between warring factions bent on annihilating each other, what it was like to have a friend abducted and disappeared by a death squad (who turned out to be policemen working for presidential security). I learned the hard way that the locked doors of your own house provided no safety if someone has your name in their list purely by mistake as part of a personal vendetta.

There was a period of relative complacency in the 1990s, when Chandrika Kumaratunge became president, vowing to deliver peace and prosperity. Now we all know better.

Especially over the past six years, I have again lived with that lurking fear in the guts, mainly because of my profession of journalism because the grey areas which always existed in freedom of expression have become so murky as to be unfathomable. Being a member of the majority is no longer an insurance policy against wanton personal destruction at the hands of others. That has been my political education over the past thirty years. You are safe as long as you toe the line, but only just so.

When I returned to my home in Colombo Eight in 1984, Borella town and its environs still bore many scars of July 1983. There were gutted houses and buildings along Cotta Road and many of the narrow lanes with whimsical names from the colonial days. The biggest scar was the gutted BCC building with its stricken clock facing Borella town centre. This building was one of the first to be torched by the mob heading from the General Cemetary (or Kanatta, where the cremation of thirteen soldiers killed by the
LTTE in Jaffna sparked off the riots (in reality, not a spontaneous burst of anger but a well-planned ‘pogrom’ involving several top ministers to rid Colombo of its Tamils) towards Maradana through Borella town. The clock bore mute testimony to the tragic hour for many years. Incredibly, no one thought of removing it right into the newmillennium, until the building was finally repainted a few years ago and the old scar of the stricken clock finally removed.

I think that is a perfect symbol of the majority’s insensitivity towards the horrible events of July 1983, of our inability to learn lasting lessons from it. Of the millions who passed Borella town in the intervening years, I wonder how many knew what that clock signified. The symptoms of the malaise are evident when you talk to long-time residents and shop keepers of Borella. Talking to me, none of them has ever mentioned this horrific event, let alone express any regrets.

Then there is the Borella bus stand, another eyesore in an irritatingly bland town without any pretensions to culture (the Punchi theatre down Cotta Road looks like a happy accident). Shared uneasily between the private bus mafia and the decadent state bus service, this rundown bus passenger terminal was the infamous venue of a famous photograph taken in July 1983 – that of a naked Tamil man sitting on the cement step leading to it, covering his face with both hands, while a smiling Sinhala patriot is about to kick him viciously.

This is a remarkable photograph because, as far as I know, no other such bleak photographic evidence of man’s inhumanity to man during Black July exists. Pictures only showed gutted buildings and vehicles. This is because photographers themselves were prime targets of the mobs, and inconspicuous devices such as mobile phone cameras were unknown. This black and white photo was taken in fading light with a flash gun.The man who took it was Chandragupta Amarasinghe, an obscure photographer working for the Communist Party newspaper Aththa at the time.

No one seems to remember him today. Though his photograph has been reprinted many times (though not in the mainstream media), I have never seen him given credit in print.I remember him as a young man with a scraggly beard who went in slippers, carrying his battered old SLR camera in a ragged cloth bag. It may he his sorry appearance which spared him the mob’s wrath. No one knows his wherabouts today, but his unique, brave photograph is as powerful in its own way as Francisco Goya’s famous painting of Napoleon’s soldiers executing Spanish civilians in Madrid or any of those photographs from the days of civil rights struggles in the US or apartheid in South Africa.

But can we be sure that this dark history won’t repeat itself?

courtesy to ''
Copyright © 2010 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tamil people fear none, vote TNA, at the first sign of any violence we will activate our campaign machinery to get the attention of the world.!!!


MAHINDA RAJAPKASA-Is he a murderer, criminal, state terrorist or con-artist?

“Tamil people fear none, vote TNA, at thefirst sign of any violence we will activate our campaign machinery to get theattention of the world and world leaders, it is just click away”

In this election Tami people have to consider one, more of the abovequalities of Mahinda Rajapaksa. This election is watched by all nations to seewhat Tamil people have to say and it is paramount important that the Tamilpeople in North and East vote against this tyrant and his tyranny. Yourvote will decide if economic sanctions will be imposed and he is dragged to theInternational criminal court.

He may promise you the Sun. the Moon and the Stars but he cannot fulfilthem. He needs hard currencies to pay off some debts that have come due and arecoming due. So he has to show the world that Tamil people are with him. As oflast week his foreign reserve is zero, that means hecannot pay foreign suppliers. The Standard Bank, the City Bank and DeutscheBank are hounding for unpaid monies.

What Tamil people must decide is do you want Rice and prippu (lentils)now or freedom and human rights. That choice is you and only you can make it.The choice now you make decide your generations to come. But think this way wehave brought your freedom struggle to the United Nations and to the minds ofthe International community. We are humbly requesting you to give us littlemore time till we bring this tyrant to his kneels at the International tribunal

We know that you have to make practical choices, but do not fear themoment some thing violent happens the UN and the International community willintervene. Our advice is being careful, vote for the TNA candidate so that theyhave leverage at the bargaining table.

Remember that Mahinda Rajapaksa is at your mercy, like how he was atthe mercy of Ranil Wickremesinghe when he was about to be arrested for murders.So he has his weaknesses. He is an insecure and wounded man licking his wounds.He is caught in the snare and only people who can get him off the trap are youand only you.

You have made tremendous sacrifices; this is the moment you are thepeople to make sure that our effort at the international stages continues. Everyone is watching, South India is watching,Tamil Diaspora is watching, Hillary Clinton is just 20 kilometres awaywatching. Therefore fear none, vote with confidence to TNA.

Every Tamil can, with the click of the mouse, make a big difference,Please do it, forward to all who you know Moderator

Massey Subra

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

SL:The danger of moving back from devolution.! If the govt is truly interested in coming out with acceptable solution to the ethnic conflict..!!!

The danger of moving back from devolution
July 18, 2011, 12:00 pm

A soldier in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, SPLA, raises the South Sudan flag at the independence ceremony of South Sudan in Juba, South Sudan, on Saturday July 9, 2011. South Sudan celebrated its first day as an independent nation Saturday, raising its flag for the first time before tens of thousands of cheering citizens elated to reach the end of a 50-year struggle. (AP)

By Jehan Perera

Last week South Sudan became the world’s 193rd independent country and entitled to a seat at the United Nations. The break-up of Sudan came about 55 years after the country became independent of colonial rule. During the colonial period, the north of the country was ruled by Egypt and the south by the British. The fissure between the Arab-majority north and the non-Arab south was one that time did not heal. Soon after Sudan became independent, power to rule the country became vested in the Arab majority north, where more than 75 percent of the country’s population lived. An armed separatist movement began in the south, with the slogans of self rule and independence. South Sudan emerged from long civil war after the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) in Nairobi in January 2005 between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. This eventually led to a referendum in January this year, at which 98.3% of the population of Southern Sudan voted in favour of secession.

Although most Sri Lankans would have an aversion to separatist wars, the country’s government sent senior minister Prof. Tissa Vitarana as its representative to attend the Independence Day celebrations in Juba, the capital of the new country. It is significant that Prof. Vitarana presided over the longest internal Sri Lankan process aimed at achieving a political consensus regarding a political solution to the country’s ethnic conflict. He headed the All Parties Representative Committee that had been established by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to obtain a consensual political solution in 2006. This body met over a hundred times and came up with an elaborate scheme of power sharing and devolution of power that could have satisfied majority and minority ethnic communities. But with the end of the war in May 2009, this report has been off the national radar and perhaps in one of the President’s cupboards.

Unlike the Sudan government, the Sri Lankan government prevailed militarily over its separatist opponent. This has given it the space and time in which to recover, develop economically, achieve reconciliation and put the past behind it. It has also given it the illusion that a political solution that is acceptable to the ethnic minorities as much as to the ethnic majority can be avoided. South Sudan has mass poverty, only 15 percent literacy and its basic infrastructure is in shambles or non-existent. The country it broke away from, Sudan, is also in poor shape with inflation soaring, as food prices rise, and it will have lost about three fourths of its oil income through the loss of South Sudan. By way of contrast, Sri Lanka has a relatively high growth rate of 8 percent, has reached the level of a middle income country, and is trying to boost economic growth still further with ambitious infrastructure development projects. However, the issue of a political solution to the ethnic conflict is no longer being emphasized.

Electoral test

The forthcoming local government elections that will be held in 18 local authorities in the north will provide an indication to the government of its success in winning popular support from the northern Tamil electorate, and one that will negate the need for a political solution. So far the government has failed to obtain this support. At both the Presidential and General elections held after the war victory of May 2009, the government was not successful in obtaining the support of the majority of northern Tamil voters. It failed again at those local authority elections that were held earlier this year in March as well. At a time when the government has come under international scrutiny due to accusations of violations of international law committed in the north in the course of the war, it will be very useful to the government if it is able to show that there is popular support for it from amongst the people in the north.

The importance of the northern electoral verdict explains why the government is giving so much of importance to the elections there in contrast to the other parts of the country where the balance 47 local authority elections are taking place. Several powerful government ministers have been campaigning in the north for days, and the President has also campaigned there. Speaking on the campaign trail, Economics minister Basil Rajapaksa said that the government was spending billions of rupees to develop infrastructure in the north and on clearing land that had been taken over by the military as High Security Zones, but which are now being returned to the people. According to the government media, President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself distributed a large number of water pumps, spray guns, sewing machines, school uniforms, educational material, squatting pans and agricultural equipment to resettled people as immediate livelihood assistance.

At the same time opposition parties campaigning in the north have complained that the government is utilizing the security forces to intimidate their supporters. There was a very bad incident at the very beginning of the election campaign when army personnel in uniforms broke up a meeting of TNA parliamentarians and beat up their government-provided security guards. The JVP has also been complaining that its members have been arrested without legitimate reason by the army and subsequently released due to intervention by the police. The government needs to be concerned that interfering with elections in such a manner can deprive them of their free and fair character, as occurred most infamously at the District Development Council elections of 1981. While electoral victory at any cost might seem a pragmatic calculation to those in power, and an endorsement of the policy of centralization rather than devolution, the past experience of the country should warn against it.

Continuing importance

South Sudan is an example of the problem posed by an ethnic minority which will not go away through the centralization of power. During the period 1972 to 1983, there was a regional autonomy agreement that granted a measure of self-rule to the south. But this was abrogated by the central government which centralized power. It was this act of withdrawing regional autonomy that led to the formation of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement army, which was gradually able to wrest military control over the south. A similar sequence of events can be seen in the case of Eritrea, which separated from Ethiopia in 1993 following long years of war. There too, the autonomy arrangements were unilaterally revoked by the central government. The lesson is that the withdrawal of autonomy that is given to regional and ethnic minorities invariably leads to a strengthening of the separatist impulse.

Thus, even if the government does succeed in winning the elections in the north, it would be dangerous and counter-productive to assume that this gives it the license to abolish or reduce the autonomy already provided to the provinces through the 13th Amendment and the provincial council system. In the context of the international pressures that are relentlessly mounting on the government in regard to human rights violations and war crimes, it would be unwise for the government to seek to undermine the 13th Amendment in any way rather than to strengthen the autonomy arrangements within its mandate. In addition to the long expressed desires of the Tamil people to enjoy greater rights of self-determination in their political lives, it must not be forgotten that the 13th Amendment and provincial council system is an Indian legacy. Today’s Indian government is led by the widow and son of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who pushed for the implementation of the provincial council system in Sri Lanka. India is a key ally of Sri Lanka in facing up to any imposition by the international community.

The visit of Prof. Tissa Vitarana to South Sudan takes on significance because he was the chief architect of the final report of the All Parties Representative Committee. When the government searches for a viable political solution to the ethnic conflict that promotes rather than reverses the devolution of power, this is the document that could form its basis. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been talking about setting up a Parliamentary Select Committee to work out a political solution, but this idea has been criticized as a likely time buying exercise in futility. It has been pointed out that this could lead to another several years of protracted discussion without consensus. If the government is truly interested in coming out with a mutually acceptable solution to the ethnic conflict, it could request the Parliamentary Select Committee it convenes to consider the APRC report as its base and give it a short time frame of three or four months in which to come out with its political solution.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

British TV documentary & United Nations-commissioned report have confirmed long-standing Tamil allegations that the SINHALA Army committed WAR CRIMES!

Sri Lankan atrocities exposed: 'It's like Israel and Palestine'


Tamils mourn the dead in Jaffna.

A British TV documentary and a United Nations-commissioned report have confirmed long-standing Tamil allegations that the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) committed large-scale war crimes in the course of its May 2009 victory over the pro-independence Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Atrocities perpetrated by the army during and after its recapture of the rebel-held areas of Tamil Eelam (Tamil areas in the north and east of Sri Lanka) included shelling civilians, depriving civilians of access to food, water and medicine, executing and torturing prisoners of war, systematic rape and holding civilians in concentration camps.

The Channel 4 documentary, screened in Britain on June 14, catalogued how the army declared “no fire zones” ― areas behind rebel lines that they undertook not to attack if civilians gathered there ― and then bombed them relentlessly when they were overcrowded with displaced people.
Hospitals were targeted after Red Cross workers had supplied the army with their coordinates.

The program included gruesome “trophy footage” shot by Sri Lankan soldiers on their mobile phones. An edited version of some of this footage, showing the beating and shooting of bound, blindfolded prisoners ,was released by Channel 4 in December.

Other footage showed the naked corpses of victims who had been raped and tortured.

Even more shocking than the graphic images was the soundtrack, such as light-hearted banter between soldiers about their rape of women whose corpses they were loading onto a truck.

The documentary’s maker Callum Macrae described it as “probably the most horrific ever to have been broadcast on mainstream television”.

Channel 4 defended screening the footage by pointing to the lack response by Western governments to the UN report, released on April 25, which documented the same war crimes.

In Australia, the documentary was screened by ABC TV’s Four Corners program on July 4.

When Four Corners screened footage two weeks earlier of livestock being kicked and beaten, the revelations were considered serious enough to demand a government response that created widespread economic dislocation in northern Australia and strained Australia’s important trading relationship with Indonesia.

The government’s response to the abuse of Tamils has been more muted, although foreign minister Kevin Rudd did tell ABC radio’s PM on July 5: “No-one watching this program could emerge from that undisturbed and we don’t either.”

Thiru Thiruchchothy, president of Maison du Tamils, the democratically elected council representing France’s 100,000-strong Sri Lankan Tamil community, condemned the UN panel’s report as belated.

He told Green Left Weekly: “The UN can have a report of 250 pages, or whatever it is, but they should first answer why they didn’t do anything when they knew they were about 400,000 people in that territory.

“After two years, UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon, because of pressure from human rights organisations, opened the panel. But he opened a trap for himself because the people can ask: Why did you not stop it?

“He did the same thing in Gaza ... With Gaza he waited untill the end and in Sri Lanka he waited untill the end … This UN report was made just to satisfy the human rights groups.

“But don’t think the human rights groups are going to stop with that. Because the journalists who are really working, like Channel 4, are bringing the truth out.”

Thiruchchothy also criticised the UN report because, like the Goldstone report into Israel’s 2009 assault on Gaza, it tried to even-handedly share the blame for war crimes between the states involved and armed movements resisting them.

This ignores the fact that in both conflicts the state actor killed a much higher number of people than the non-state state actor, as well as the fact that international law holds states more accountable.

“The UN panel put the blame on both sides … But what we feel is that the UN should not criticise the LTTE because the LTTE is not part of the UN, it didn’t sign the UN charter,” he said.

“Sri Lanka is a UN member state. Sri Lanka signed the UN charter … If the UN wants to take action against the LTTE, there should be two countries.

“At the moment there is only one country and that country is Sri Lanka … but as in Gaza they blame both sides. They just want a way out.”

He pointed out that the LTTE emerged in response to state violence. “If these people took up arms, it is because they were pushed to take up arms. They did not do it just like that …

“All these videos that are coming out show that the government did a lot of human rights abuses … They shot people. They raped people. There is proof.

“What happened in 2009 … changed the way the world was seeing the problem. But the problems of the Tamils did not start today, or yesterday, or 30 years before. The problems have been there since independence.

“It was there in 1956, in 1977, before the armed struggle. But the world did not look into it,” he said, referring to two violent government-instigated anti-Tamil pogroms since Sri Lanka’s independence in 1948.

An even more violent pogrom in 1983 drove the Tamil population to generalised armed rebellion.

“The UN says the Tamil diaspora aided Tamil nationalism that pushed the Singhalese [the dominant ethnic group in Sri Lanka] to become nationalist ― it is not true. Singhalese nationalism started in 1915, when they started killing Tamils.

“Singhalese nationalism made Tamils become nationalist. Tamils for a long time were going for a federal system … but Singhalese governments have been adamant since long ago to have one country for one people, one religion, one language.

“We can both live together, side by side. The problem in Sri Lanka is the [Singhalese] Buddhist monks and other groups of people who think it’s their land and no one else's.”

Thiruchchothy’s two brothers were killed in 2009. Surviving family members were among the 300,000 Tamils held in concentration camps after the conflict.

Like 90% of those in the camps, they since been released, but they have been left destitute in Jaffna, the capital of Tamil Eelam, forbidden from returning to their home village where they have farm land.

Thiruchchothy said this experience is typical because the government was settling demobilised soldiers on Tamil land.

“The government is building houses for soldiers. It’s a new method of colonisation.

“They have 100,000 soldiers. If they send them home and say ‘we have no jobs for you’, that would be another problem for the government in the south. They would have to find work for them.

“It easier to give them land in the north and it’s a way of colonising Tamil lands. It’s like with Israel and Palestine.”

- Courtesy Green Left

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TAMILS ARE not provided with adequate resources to restart their war destroyed lives! TAMIL DIASPORA Encountered many obstacles by MR-Govt.!!!

Pluralism of Tamil diaspora gives opening for positive inputs
July 11, 2011, 7:15 pm

Tears roll down the cheeks of a Sri Lankan ethnic Tamil woman as she holds a photograph of her “abducted” family member during a protest in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, June 30, 2011.

by Jehan Perera

Day after day the news that invariably grabs the media headlines is the effort of the Tamil Diaspora to put the Sri Lankan government into more and more difficulty in the international arena on the issue of war crimes. Scarcely a day passes without an account of a big event in which leading politicians in foreign countries get together with the Tamil Diaspora to put pressure on the Sri Lankan government. The most recent such event was an Indian television show that pitted Indian intellectuals and human rights activists, mostly based in Tamil Nadu state in debate with the army spokesman General Ubaya Medawala. Others who featured in the debate included retired Indian army officers, and former Indian and British Foreign Ministers, including David Miliband who has written against the Sri Lankan government’s stance on the last phase of the war.

The matter that was debated on Indian television was the Channel 4 video, for which the government has categorically blamed the Tamil Diaspora. This creates an impression that the Tamil Diaspora in an active and powerful force abroad. The high degree of prominence given in the local media about the activities of the Tamil Diaspora and the threats posed by it, have created an image of a public enemy that threatens the country. The more successful that the Tamil Diaspora is in discrediting the government internationally, the more public support that the government is able to mobilize internally, as it presents itself to be unfairly victimized by some sections of the international community.

There is a perverse sense in which both the Tamil Diaspora and the Sri Lankan government reinforce and strengthen each other as enemies. The Tamil Diaspora leaders who are engaged in anti Sri Lanka activism abroad, continue to find a relevant role in their society that enables them to address the larger society in their countries. The LTTE no longer exists as a military power to give the hope of achieving an independent state of Tamil Eelam. But the determination of the Tamil Diaspora to bring the charge of war crimes against the Sri Lankan government gives them a continued purpose. At the same time, the Sri Lankan government is able to use the international threat posed by the Tamil Diaspora to justify its own restrictions on democratic freedoms on the ground of national security considerations.

Unfortunate reality

It is unfortunate that while the government and Tamil Diaspora duel on the issue of war crimes, the plight of the survivors of the war living in the former war zones does not receive equivalent attention by either party. The energies expended by the Tamil Diaspora on bringing the Sri Lankan government to international justice does not carry over to easing the desperate struggle of the war victims to get on with their lives with even their basic needs satisfied. The plight of these people can be illustrated by the fact that, at the present time, most of them would not ask for political rights, and only for food, clothing, shelter and education for their children. This is in accordance with the basic needs theory of Abraham Maslow, who argued that basic needs have to be satisfied first, before people ask for higher level needs, including political rights. Although the government has ensured the resettlement of most of the war victims in their original places of residence, they have not been provided with adequate resources to restart their war destroyed lives.

There are many factors that would appear to have delayed the recovery process of the war affected people. One is the shortage of resources and the misapplication of the country’s limited resources. The government is cash strapped due to its priorities and unable to grant long promised salary increases to government sector employees, including university teachers who have resorted to trade union action. Although this is no excuse for failing to cater to the most needy section of the country’s population, the government has apportioned little or no resources to channel to the war destroyed areas.

At the same time, the government has strictly limited non governmental agencies, both local and international, from going into the war destroyed areas to help the people. This is on account of its mistrust that non-governmental initiatives will aim at stirring up trouble among the people and put various anti national ideas into their heads. Any non-governmental group, whether NGO or ordinary people, who wish to provide resources directly to the war victims living in the north of the country, cannot do so without obstacles. Instead they have to go through a complicated and time consuming process of getting governmental permission even to do good works for those who desperately need help.

Meeting diaspora

At a recent meeting with a section of the Tamil Diaspora in Europe they expressed the sentiment that they really wanted to support the war victims and war destroyed areas of the country with their financial resources and technical expertise. The main point they wished to stress was that the Tamil Diaspora is not a monolithic one, with one opinion. On the contrary it is a plural society based in different countries and containing within itself a whole range of ideas, just as is the case with the different ethnic communities in Sri Lanka itself. There are some who want above all to punish the Sri Lankan government leaders for what happened in the war, but there are others who want to help those who have been the victims of the war.

The group I met with was a group that was opposite to the stereotype of an anti Sri Lanka Diaspora. They wished to focus on the future as their contribution to the country of their birth. They said they were about as large in numbers as those who were extreme in their Tamil nationalism, though not as well organized. However, they also complained that when they tried to provide assistance to Sri Lanka, they encountered many obstacles put in their path by the government. They referred to the need to get special approval for any project by the Presidential Task Force for the North, which has been criticized in the past for not having any Tamil members on it. The government only partially rectified this problem by appointing two Tamil government servants to this regulatory body.

Today, and especially in the Vanni and eastern districts there is a category of people that is especially weak and marginalized. They have relatively few of their family or relatives living abroad to supply them with economic resources at regular intervals, as is the case with those living in Jaffna or Colombo. As most of them have no access to personal resources, they are in need of official or organizational assistance. At the present time, the official assistance they are receiving is very meager. The war victims need much more if they are to rebuild their lives. But two years after the end of the war, they continue to be left in the lurch.

The Tamil Diaspora would be one important source of economic and human resources for the empowerment of the war victims. They have the resources and the motivation. But for them to be mobilized into action on a large scale, as opposed to a small scale, the enmity between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Diaspora needs to end, which is something still in the indeterminate future. On the other hand, even small scale support by the Tamil Diaspora will be better than nothing for the war victims and needs to be explored by the liberal minded elements on both parties.


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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe flatly denied the Army’s involvement in the alleged attack on a political meeting of the Tamil National Alliance in Jaffna.!!!

Sustainable peace, most important - Major Gen. Hathurusinghe

By Shanika SRIYANANDA in Jaffna

Jaffna, despite a few politically motivated incidents, is peaceful. People are busy attending to their day-to-day activities, while Government officials and soldiers are busy rebuilding Jaffna, which was destroyed by the LTTE.

The Army, which knows the value of peace, after fighting for over 30 years with the world’s most ruthless terrorists - the LTTE- has now become the protectors of the Tamils. “The Army is now on a mission to maintain the hard earned peace. The soldiers know the value of peace more than anyone else. What is important in the post-war scenario is sustainable peace”, Security Forces Commander of Jaffna Maj. Gen. Mahinda Hathurusinghe said.

In an interview with the Sunday Observer, he explained the need for a new political leadership within the people of Jaffna and the Army’s efforts to restore normality, helping to rebuild lives and reducing the crime rate.

“The Army is changing its image. Earlier, our image was that of a fighting army, but now we are the protectors”, he said, adding that the most important and biggest challenge for the Army is to change people’s perceptions as the extremist ideology, though the LTTE was defeated, still prevails in Jaffna.

Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe flatly denied the Army’s involvement in the alleged attack on a political meeting of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in Jaffna.

Following are the excerpts of the interview:

Q: How do you describe the situation in Jaffna?

A: If I put it into one sentence, I can say Jaffna is as peaceful as Colombo. You can enjoy the same peace, harmony and tranquillity found in the South in the North too. It differs with regard to how people pursue it. That definitely varies because 30 years of war against terrorism have provided us many definitions for peace. In my definition, there are two sides to peace - negative peace and positive peace. Negative peace is when people fight each other and you contain it. There you see a state of ‘no war’. There you have peace, but it is not sustainable and needs to be converted to positive peace. That is what the Government is doing at the moment. Positive peace is achieving total peace where the parties to the conflict and those who suffered due to that conflict enjoy equal levels of peace and harmony, which prevailed 30 years ago.

We are now gradually moving into positive peace, but it is not easy as it has many areas such as political, social, religious and ecological. The military, post-war, has a major contribution to make in achieving positive peace. We play a role in all spheres to normalise the lives of people, their livelihood, education and religious activities. Our responsibility at the moment is to help the Government achieve positive peace, making sure it is sustainable peace. Here the Army’s role is vital as we have the organisational and leadership capabilities, technical know-how and human resources to help the Government achieve sustainable peace, which leads to sustainable development.

Definition of peace
Q: What are the challenges the Army is facing in maintaining sustainable peace?

A: When you talk about the North, it is Jaffna. Of the over one million population in the North, over 617,000 people live in Jaffna. When you talk about its people, Ponnambalam Ramanathan, Ponnambalam Arunachalam, Amirthalingam, Prabhakaran and many other prominent Tamil personalities lived in the North. We find intellectuals, university students and a high standard of education in Jaffna. Although we have defeated the LTTE, its ideology still remains and the biggest challenge is changing that mindset.

It is a tedious and difficult process. This is where we are now getting into the process of changing people’s perceptions, their approach towards the Government and the Security Forces and how positively these organisations can help change this picture.

The second challenge is their militant attitude. Although we have successfully completed the rehabilitation of ex-LTTE cadre, the militancy remains as some people have not been exposed to rehabilitation. The latter day battles were fought in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu and there was no serious battle after 1995 in Jaffna. The militant mindset has not been fully tackled. I think time is the best healer and the people need to see the change to believe it.

Today, they are aware of what is going on in Jaffna and what the Government is doing to develop Jaffna and uplift the lives of its people by spending massive amounts of money to develop and restore infrastructure, housing, education, health and livelihoods. I want to say that the suffering these people went for over three decades was not due to the fault of any government, but owing to wrong ideology and wrong initiatives.

We have started changing mindsets among the young population - school and university students - through interaction sessions and programs to mix with children and youth in the South and also by bringing children from the South to the North.

We have to address the educated people in Jaffna. These people have seen the conflict and need to build confidence. They need good political leaders to emerge within them. There is a vacuum for young leaders, who are educated and with a new line of thinking. It is time for them to come forward.

The other challenge is to get the support of religious leaders who can influence the people more towards positive peace. In this sphere, Buddhist and Hindu religious dignitaries can play a major role.

Present situation
Q: If you compare the present situation with that of two years ago, to what extent have the mindsets of people changed?

A: Yes, there is a great improvement. I took over as the Security Forces Commander in December 2009 and we launched a program in March 2010 to engage in civil affairs. Since then, we have carried out many welfare activities for the people.

In 2010, we wanted to gauge the pulse of the people and organised an essay competition in two categories - one for university students and the other for schoolchildren. We received over 250 essays and a team of academics evaluated them. We got them translated to understand the message because the theme was ‘In peace and harmony what we could do’. The response was amazing, how the youth came out with their ideas. They had come out with expressions such as we do not want a separate country’, ‘Teach us Sinhala’ and Colombo must learn Tamil’, ‘Live together’, ‘Give us opportunities to rise’ and ‘We don’t want war any more’. These show that there is a need to get to know each other in the South and the North.

Then we started a Sinhala language teaching course with 80 students. There was a great demand to learn Sinhala, but due to constraints we could accommodate only 80. They had realised that a section of the Tamil diaspora had painted a different picture to them, but now they know that this is their country and they should live together in unity. This is the thinking of the average Jaffna person. Any time at night people can go here and there and nothing extraordinary happens here. The peaceful environment in the South now prevails in Jaffna.

Q: Despite all these positive stories, the crime rate in Jaffna was high a few months ago. Why?

A: Yes, most of the crimes were theft-related. Even people in the smallest houses here have two or three gold sovereigns. Here, the thieves mainly rob gold. We have found that some thieves had come to Jaffna from other areas in Wanni.

According to the Police, there were four robberies, two murders, one case of sexual harassment and nine suicides reported from the Jaffna peninsula.

The Government believes that law and order should be maintained here by the police like in any part of the country. We reduced the number of soldiers providing security in Jaffna. We never wanted the Jaffna town to look like a garrison town. The end result was the rising crime rate. Then people started requesting the Army to come back. The Bishop of Jaffna made a personal request to re-deploy the soldiers. He said he had been checked by soldiers more than five times while travelling, but still he was happy as they helped maintain peace in Jaffna without leaving room for any illegal activities.

Open for investors
Q: Jaffna is now open for investments and some members of the Tamil diaspora are keen to invest their money and knowledge in developing the North. Compared to their contribution to the LTTE, how significant is their contribution now to uplift the living standards of their own people?

A:Yes, I think they can do more for their people. The Tamil diaspora members that I met spend money on their families; they do not invest money here for a common goal. As they are not concerned about helping their own people, the Government is helping these people. The Government spent millions to develop Jaffna earlier and is again pumping a massive amount of money to rebuild the peninsula which was destroyed by the LTTE.

The best example is the water tank and hospital in Kilinochchi which were destroyed by the LTTE. The Government had invested in infrastructure facilities in the North twice or thrice during the past two decades. There is a limit to the support the Government can give to the North, but with all these constraints, the Government is pouring in money to look after the Northern people.

Sections of the Tamil diaspora, which sold false stories on genocide and hegemony to get asylum, send money monthly only for their familiy members here in Jaffna. Other than that, there is no major contribution from them to uplift the lives of the people here.

If they get together, they can make more investments for the betterment of the people of Jaffna. Though they now claim to have paid the LTTE as it was complusory, we have information that some volunteered to fund the day-dream of Prabhakaran. There are a few individuals who prepared forged letters for asylum seeking, charging over Rs. 500,000 per letter.

The Army, who fought hard to restore peace, knows the value of peace better than any one. Therefore, each and every soldier wants to maintain and preserve that hard-earned peace.

If the Jaffna Tamil diaspora really wants to support Tamils, they can invest more in sectors such as education, health, housing and livelihoods.

Q: One major complaint is that the Army still holds properties inside the High Security Zone (HSZ). What is the progress of handing over houses in the HSZ to their legitimate owners?

A: Since March, while the HSZ was in existence, we gave the people access to Thelippalai Hospital, temples and schools including leading schools such as Mahajana College and Union College. There was a HSZ in the Jaffna town which has also been dismantled. Over 40 percent of the HSZs have been released to the people. The remaining areas including the Eastern section of the HSZ will be released soon. We want to ensure that all areas are mine-free before releasing them to the people.

Financial assistance
Q: Those who have resettled in the HSZ request the Government to provide them financial assistance. Is there any plan to look into this request?

A: The Army helped people build houses and clear the overgrown vegetation in Wadamarachchi East and Thannikilappu in the HSZ, but due to various constraints the Army can’t play a major role in Thelippalai in helping them other than clearing the earth bunds that we built earlier. Compared to other areas, people here have rich family members abroad so they don’t want us to get involved in these activities. Most of them want to rebuild their old mansions, but it is not possible for the Army to help them financially. However, the Government is giving them the basic infrastructure facilities and basic grants. This area was released to the public recently and there is time for us to get involved to help them.

Resettling IDPs in Jaffna went on successfully. The Army is playing a major role in constructing houses for them, but not by using money from the Army. We collect money from friends and well-wishers in Colombo to build houses in the HSZ. In a nutshell, people want the Army to be with them.

Q: As the Security Forces Commander, you say that people want the Army to be with them, but there are complaints about the high presence of the Army in Jaffna. What do you have to say?

A: Yes, I agree. I myself thought the Army’s presence was heavy and that outsiders would see Jaffna as a garrison city. It was for this reason that we reduced the Army deployment in Jaffna. The outcome was, as I explained earlier, the crime rate going up and the Police being unable to handle them alone. Though some complain about the high presence of the Army, the majority of Jaffna people want the Army around them as they are used to having soldiers for decades. They are aware of what the Army can and cannot do. That is why the Bishop, all Kurukkals and the Vicar General requested the Army to remain in Jaffna and protect the people.

Role of Army
Q: While ordinary people commend the role of the Army, an allegation was made against the Army for attacking a political meeting of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). How do you say that the Army doesn’t have any involvement in this incident?

A: Yes, this needs a good clarification. This is not the first time the TNA had meetings in Jaffna. If the Army wants to attack them, we could have done it before. A committee has been appointed to look into the incident. As soon as this incident was reported, I ordered the General Officer Commanding of Jaffna Maj. Gen. Walgama to look into it. His initial investigation revealed that no politician was attacked and no one was injured. Not a single vehicle was damaged. I reiterate that there is no involvement of the Army in this incident.

Q: The Government is being accused of Sinhala colonisation in Jaffna by resettling Sinhala families. What is the truth?

A: I strongly refute this allegation. When you consider the population in Jaffna, which is over 617,000, there are only 67 Sinhalese families. This accusation too is absolutely baseless. But some Sinhalese sought their ownership saying that they were displaced in 1983 and need their original land. Those who criticise these actions should come and see the reality.


The Sinhalese, to see what has been done to citizens of their country.!!!

MA(Cantab), MBBChir(Cantab),MBBS (Hons) (Lond) Mt Gravatt East 4122

MD(Lond), FRCP(Lond), FRACP tel (office) 0412114020

Consultant Physician tel (myself) 0419335334


Sri lankan Killing Fields – CH 4 Video

I wonder whether the outstanding documentary put together by UK Ch 4 can be subtitled

a) In Sinhalese for the members of my community, the Sinhalese, to see what has been done to citizens of their country. Although it might appear otherwise, the Tamils are citizens of that country.

Although I am a Sinhalese, a cousin of the former President, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, coming as I do from the dreadful Bandaranaike family (my paternal grandmother was Sir Solomon dias Bandaranaike’s sister), I can neither read nor write Sinhalese. So can someone else do this essential work and do an even more difficult job of circulating it in Sri Lanka, or as it likes to be called, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka? It is crucial that my people see what their government has done in their name. there might be an outrage. I am not sure about this because although my people are not all ethnoreligious chauvinist bigots, they are certainly are moving in that direction as an alarming rate. They MUST see this video and see it in a language they can understand (93% of Sinhalese cannot speak or read English. So subtitles in English is a waste of time.

They have not only got to see the atrocities but also hear the language – ‘mother-fucker’ in particular. As a recipient of this ‘title’ at least twice a week from ‘patriotic’ Sinhalese, there is a particular resonance in me. I am called not only a ‘mother-fucker’ but a ‘mother-fucking Tamil tiger’.

This is not an accurate description of me. I do not (nor have I ever) indulged in this activity, my mother is dead and while she was alive was not subjected to this. I am not a Tamil tiger. If I am, the so is my cousin, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. She cannot be a ‘Sinhala patriot’ and I a ‘Tamil Tiger’. This is genetically not possible. I will be putting a more detailed analysis of the language used in the CH 4 video and on me personally in thousands of hate-mail I have received in the many years I have campaigned for the right of the Tamil people to live with equality, dignity, safety, and now to live at all in the country of their birth – which is what this struggle is all about. if that makes me a Sinhala traitor or a mother-fucking Tiger, so be it.

I have politely informed the thousands of Sinhalese who abuse me daily at all times of the day and night and by email, who have accused me of this activity, that if this is what they do to their mothers, then they have a problem and should call my office for an appointment to see me –medically, I mean, and I will refer them to the appropriate people who deal with such behavior.

This medical service is being provided by me free

2) Into Tamil – NOT for the Tamils in the N&E of Sri Lanka (who have witnessed this first hand and do not need a dvd, subtitled or not, to apprise them of what has happened. You need this tamil subtitling for the Sri Lankan Tamils in the Sinhala South, and most importantly, for the Tamils in ami Nadu – the crucial group who can derail the bunch in Delhi.

3) Into Chinese - so that they can see what their government has done to the Tamils by supplying the heavy weapons to commit the atrocities that the Sinhala army did, which is now in full view, thanks to some very dedicated people in UK CH 4. How the hell you are going to get this into China is another problem but to up-load it is one way. A huge number of Chinese have computers and will soon pick it up.

What else we can do with the CH 4 info I will deal with in a separate article which will appear shortly on and – the usual ‘troublemakers’.

Although the CH 4 video is fantastic, there is in fact more in info on the dvd recorded by me “Sri Lanka. Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, Violation of International Law” and the outstanding book, just released, ‘Genocide in Sri Lanka’. The dvd you can have for free (just send me your postal address), the book you will have to pay for because it is not mine to give, although I do have some 25 copies, with more if I need them. We have all the evidence to hang the lot including a critical LTTE fellow who assassinated 600 Sinhalese policemen who surrendered to him in the East – a war crime if ever there was one. He is a fellow called Karuna Amman currently a Cabinet Minster in The Hon Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government. The Honourable Mr Karuna can be, and must be, charged – like all his fellow cabinet ministers and boss. It is our business to see that that is done. Done it will be, done it must be.

Brian Senewiratne


Wars are now commodities, fought and supplied with outsourced labor." Is Sri Lanka outsourcing its women to pay off its debts?

Outsourcing Sri Lankan Citizens
July 9, 2011, 4:00 pm

By Padraig Colman

In a recent article, I wrote about suicide being linked with family breakdown, alcoholism and sexual abuse. In our village a Muslim girl committed suicide after being gang-raped while working in the Middle East. Another Muslim family we know well seems to be heading for major problems because the mother is always in Dubai. In the seven years we have lived here we have rarely seen her and her daughters have grown up without her. She sends money home, but the husband disappears with the cash and the girls are left to run wild. Her son took poison after an argument with the father at one of his rare encounters with him.

In the June 6 issue of the New Yorker there was a report by Sarah Stillman, in which she described how workers were being recruited under false pretences for attractive jobs away from their homeland. We have often read of unscrupulous people-traffickers linked to mafias in Russia, Albania and Kosovo, traffickers who often take large sums of cash from desperate migrants who end up being forced into slavery and prostitution.

Stillman begins the article with the description of a recruitment drive in Fiji. A number of women, who already had jobs and families, were tempted by the prospect of earning much more in a luxury hotel in Dubai. In fact, they were not bound for Dubai but Iraq and Afghanistan. They had been duped into signing on for what Stillman calls the "Pentagon’s invisible army". The mafia involved in this human trafficking is the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES).

Seventy thousand cooks, cleaners, construction workers, fast-food clerks, electricians, and beauticians from the world’s poorest countries are employed to make sure that U.S. bases are comfortable enclaves providing personnel with "tastes of home". Accountability is hard to establish because contracting chains in Iraq and Afghanistan involve sometimes as many as five or six tiers of subcontracts. These sub-contractors are financed by the American taxpayer but often operate outside the law.

Foreign workers servicing the US military are called TCNs (third-country nationals). Many of them told Stillman that they had wages stolen or withheld, had been injured without compensation, subjected to sexual assault, and held in indentured servitude by their subcontractor bosses. Living quarters were often unventilated container trucks. There have been riots in Pentagon subcontractor camps, some involving more than a thousand workers. At a KBR (formerly Halliburton) subcontractor camp in Baghdad, Ziad Al Karawi, described how a thousand Indian and Sri Lankan men under his supervision slept on crowded floors: "rats and flies attacked us. . . . We had no beds to sleep at or tables to eat at. . . . No communication, no TV, no soap to wash or bathe, no visits from anyone from the company or KBR." "We thought the journalists would come," Imtiyas Sheriff, a thirty-eight-year-old bus driver from Sri Lanka, said. "They call this Operation Iraqi Freedom, but where is our freedom?"

In a question and answer session with Stillman about her article Mark Ratledge remarked that what she described reminded him of British Navy press gangs in the eighteenth century.

Travelling by air to and from Sri Lanka, via Dubai, one often shares the aircraft with armies of Sri Lankan women migrant workers. Sometimes, one notices a disdainful attitude towards them from middleclass Sri Lankan travellers. Nevertheless, the nation glories in the money that these women earn - and remit to their homeland.

It is now the norm for remittances from migrant workers to bear the main burden of containing Sri Lanka’s fiscal deficit. Remittances from migrant workers represent more than nine per cent of GDP. Sri Lanka receives US$ 526 million more in remittances than it does from foreign aid and foreign direct investment combined. These remittances are now a greater source of revenue than tea exports.

Migrant women workers are treated as an export commodity that is marketed to wealthy, oil-producing countries where demand is high and human-rights protection is virtually non-existent. A former Finance Minister, said on the BENCHMARK TV program: "There is no way that we can go on relying on the hard-earned money of three categories of women: the poor women working in the Middle East as well as other countries and remitting their funds, women who work in garment factories and women working on tea estates. The Sri Lankan economy is run by women: they are the money earners for Sri Lanka - the men are just gobbling it up!" The minister has been promoted to a position where he has no influence.

An academic paper (written by a woman) which I had the job of editing, pushed a very positive view of the empowering nature of migration for women. It was a good example of how one can spin statistics to back up an argument. More than one-third of women sampled wanted to work overseas again, which was cited as supporting a positive view of migration. The numbers who suffered ill-treatment were played down; but of those sampled, physical ill-treatment led over 17% to return home, while 6% returned because of excessive workloads and underpayment of wages.

You could say two-thirds (a majority) did not want to work overseas again and almost a quarter suffered ill-treatment or exploitation. The paper did acknowledge the downside of migration - such as higher divorce rates, disruptions to family life, lasting repercussions for children’s personality development (there is evidence of sexual abuse of children who are left without a mother), increased alcoholism and gambling among the men folk.

Where is the female empowerment here?

There is an abundance of evidence provided by organisations such as Caritas’s Mental Health Clinic, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Lebanese NGO Forum, that rape and suicide are serious issues among migrant female workers. The Sri Lankan Government reports that 50 migrant domestic workers return to Sri Lanka "in distress" each day and embassies abroad are flooded with workers complaining of unpaid wages, sexual harassment and overwork.

The number of suicides is increasing. Over a four-year period, 45 Filipinas, 50 Sri Lankans and 105 Ethiopians killed themselves. A pathologist says that in many cases, the corpses were covered in bruises, bites or burns.

HRW says that the Government of Sri Lanka "deserves credit for initiating important steps to manage the outflow of migrant workers and to start providing protections". The Government set up an institutional structure, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment, in 1985, to help workers migrate through legal channels, and to minimise corruption and exploitation by recruitment agencies.

Is this enough? Is it working? Should a nation’s livelihood depend on the sufferings of a group of its citizens? Should a state manage its finances by depending on poor women who are being exploited and their family lives disrupted? If the state is to benefit, it should ensure that its benefactors are well -protected from abuse- and also respected for their contribution.

In the question and answer session with Sarah Stillman, Mark Ratledge commented: "Wars are now commodities, fought and supplied with outsourced labor." Is Sri Lanka outsourcing its women to pay off its debts?


GR/DS: We never interfered with the UNICEF-led Family Tracing and Reunification (FTR) project.!!!

Most missing Tamil children were recruited by LTTE : UNICEF
July 9, 2011, 6:49 pm

Ex-LTTE child soldiers

by Shamindra Ferdinando

A study spearheaded by UNICEF in collaboration with the Northern Provincial Department of Probation and Child Care and Government Agent of Vavuniya has revealed that the majority of complaints received from Tamil speaking parents related to children forcibly recruited by the LTTE.

Of 676 complaints regarding missing children, about 64 per cent related to ex-LTTE child soldiers. UNICEF has facilitated re-unification of 78 children with their families.

UNICEF says it launched the project in Dec. 2009 in response to a spate of tracing requests received since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009. It believes in spite of difficulties in tracking down those listed missing, more children could be found and re-united with their families.

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Island expressed satisfaction that the UN agency had received the required assistance from the Northern Provincial administration. Those shedding crocodile tears for their personal and political gain should throw their weight behind the UNICEF effort to track down missing children, he said.

"We never interfered with the UNICEF-led Family Tracing and Reunification (FTR) project," he declared.

The following are excerpts of the interview:

Q: Who called for the inquiry?

A: UNICEF initiated the project in response to pleas by those trying to locate their children. Recently I had an opportunity to discuss the FTR project with the Colombo-based head of the UNICEF. We really appreciate their intervention and help to locate missing children over the years. In spite of a large scale poster campaign in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, UNICEF received 2,564 tracing applications, including 676 regarding missing children. The rest were adults. There’s no doubt that some of the missing adults were LTTE cadres.

Q: Did those looking for missing children come across any evidence to suggest they fought for the LTTE?

A: According to a UNICEF analysis, the vast majority of those listed as missing were between 16 and 18-years old. But the most important factor is that 64 per cent of those seeking to locate their children alleged the LTTE took them away during war.

Q: Had there been any cases investigated by the UNICEF relating to children missing before eruption of Eelam War IV in Aug. 2006?

A: Had there been a genuine attempt by international and local sponsors of the LTTE at least after the Norway arranged CFA came into operation in Feb. 2002, lives of thousands of children could have been saved. A case in point is the story of a girl and her younger brother taken away by the LTTE from the East to Vanni during Eelam War IV. After the killing of their father in May 2005 in Batticaloa, the LTTE had handed over the children to an orphanage as their mother was away in the Middle East. As the LTTE retreated from the East, it had moved the children to Sencholai before being taken to Vanni East. After the collapse of the LTTE in May 2009, UNICEF had helped their mother, who returned from overseas, to find her children accommodated at orphanages at Vavuniya and Mannar.

Responding to another query, the Defence Secretary said that that the gradual transformation of the LTTE from a hit and run outfit to a conventional fighting formation largely depended on massive recruitment of children to its fighting ranks. Although the UN had raised the issue with the LTTE following protests by Tamil families as well as successive governments, the global community never succeeded in stopping this strategy until Sri Lanka finished off the LTTE in May 2009.

"Child recruitment continued even weeks before the conclusion of the conflict,’’ the Defence Secretary said.

He said that for want of punitive action as well as negligence on the part of those responsible for children’s welfare, the LTTE had an opportunity to build a fighting force comprising of over 30,000 personnel at the onset of Eelam War IV.

"Although during a visit to Sri Lanka in 1998, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Olara Otunnu, obtained an assurance from the LTTE that gave hope for an improvement in the situation of children, the LTTE continued to recruit children in the ensuing three years,’’ Rajapaksa said.

``On a visit to North in Feb. 2001, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Andre Roberfroid met senior representatives of the LTTE to express the UN’s growing concerns. But the LTTE continued recruitment.’’

The Defence Secretary said that the Norwegian arranged CFA backed by the US, EU and Japan, gave the LTTE an opportunity to step up child recruitment under the very noses of Nordic truce monitoring mission.

Those attacking Sri Lanka on the human rights front could easily obtain data relating to complaints received by the Norwegian-led monitoring mission, he said.

"As far as I remember, there were thousands of complaints regarding children and young adults abducted by the LTTE, though they couldn’t intervene," the Defence Secretary said.

Referring to how a European country had intervened to save the life of an EPRLF MP years ago, though the LTTE subsequently killed him and his wife in Colombo, the Defence Secretary said that the bottom line was that those wanting to haul up Sri Lanka before an international war crimes tribunal never wanted to deny the LTTE wherewithal to wage war.

"What Prabhakaran couldn’t have achieved with 100 rounds of heavy artillery he realized by using a brain-washed child suicide cadre. Had the international community brought enough pressure on the LTTE by taking punitive action against its overseas network, which raised funds for procurement of arms, ammunition and equipment, the LTTE would have been forced to scale down child recruitment,’’ Rajapaksa said.

The Defence Secretary suggested that those targeting Sri Lanka on accountability issues, too, should be investigated for their complicity in the LTTE build-up.

Commenting on post-war rehabilitation of ex-LTTE cadres, the Defence Secretary said that Sri Lanka was grateful to International Organization for Migration (IOM) for assisting ex-LTTE cadres. Appreciating assistance extended by the international community in this regard, the Defence Secretary said that Tamil Diaspora should support the project aimed at helping those who once fought for the LTTE. Unfortunately they weren’t interested in helping ex-LTTE cadres but destabilizing post-war Sri Lanka, he said.

Those seeking war crimes investigation here should make a genuine effort to establish the total number of LTTE cadres killed in action during the conflict, including the deployment of the IPKF from July 1987 to March 1990, he said.

They should also establish the number of Tamil speaking people killed in fighting among various Tamil groups.

A section of the international community and the Tamil Diaspora were making a desperate bid to portray all Tamils killed in the conflict as civilians.

"The question is whether the world want us to believe we lost 6,000 officers and men killed and some 30,000 wounded during Eelam War IV fighting civilians," Rajapaksa asked.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

The unjust dishonour of the public servants of the Sinhalese community has been the subject of much comment and dissatisfaction in Ceylon.!!!

A vignette of British Justice in Colonial Ceylon
July 9, 2011, 4:35 pm

This quotation from the book "Riots and Martial Law in Ceylon 1915’’ by Sir P. Ramanathan, K.C., C.MG pertains to the dismissal of Adigar S. N. W. Hulugalle by the British Government during the 1915 riots. P.B. Herath, his son-in-law who was the first Kandyan Civil Servant, was also dismissed and Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan refers to that act of injustice and the sequence leading up to it in the same book. (CS)

"The unjust dishonour of the public servants of the Sinhalese community has been the subject of much comment and dissatisfaction in Ceylon. I would refer to one or two typical cases.

Mr. S. N. W. Hulugalle is a most respected member of the Kandyan Sinhalese community. He began service in 1868, was appointed Ratemahatmaya in 1875, was chosen to represent the Kandyan Sinhalese in the Legislative Council in 1900, and retired from that seat in 1907. In 1903 the rank of Dissawe was conferred on him, and the "still higher rank of Adigar in 1906, while holding the office of Ratemahatmaya, from which he retired in 1913, owing to ill-health and old age. Having served the Government for forty-seven years loyally and efficiently, he was held in the highest esteem by his countrymen.

Soon after the riots ceased, the Government Agent for the North-Western Province requested Adigar Hulugalle to immediately explain why he left the district on or about the 2nd June, and made no attempt to assist the present Ratemahatmaya in keeping order, or to communicate with him (the Government Agent) as to the offer of his services.

The Adigar explained that, when he left Hulugalla on the 30th of May there was not the slightest indication of any disturbance there; that as he had retired from the Government service, and was suffering from the infirmities of old age, no one had requested his aid; that having received an invitation to a wedding at Balapitiya in the Southern Province, he visited, on the way, Mr. Charles de Soysa, at Moratuwa, and attended the wedding on the 1st June; that he signed the marriage register as a witness, returned with Mr. Charles de Soysa to Moratuwa on the 2nd, and proceeded on the 3rd to his daughter’s residence at Vanduragala; that he remained with his daughter till the 13th instant, met the Government Agent on that day, and, in response to his wishes, remained at Maho to help the Ratemahatmaya in preparing returns connected with the riots; and that after that work was over, he went to his daughter at Vanduragala on the 17th June, as her time of parturition required his presence there.

The Government Agent, by his letter of 4th September, 1915, informed him that, as he was absent from the scene of the riots in the Kurnegalle District between the 1st and 13th June, and had failed to assist in suppressing the disturbances, His Excellency the Governor had decided to deprive him of the rank of Adigar. A notification to that effect appeared in the Government Gazette.

Mr. Hulugalle fell a victim to the utterly groundless theory that he was a conspirator with the rioters. Did he leave the district for a fortnight for the purpose of denying to the rioters the pleasure of his presence at the scene of the riots? The Government and its Agent had no eyes to see the absurdity of the suggestion nor the completeness of the reason assigned by Mr. Hulugalle for his absence. He left the district upon an invitation to a marriage fixed months before, was present at it, and signed the marriage register, and stayed at his daughter’s house during her confinement, and readily responded to the call of the Government Agent to go and help the Ratemahatmaya in making up the papers connected with the riots. In the face of this complete explanation, and of the fact that a man close upon seventy years of age, and made more infirm by illness, could not go amongst a band of ruffians and take an active part in the quelling of their disturbances, he was deprived of the great rank which he had earned as a just reward for his lifelong devotion to the King and the Government. What confidence can the people have in Government Agents or Governors who are prepared to depart from justice and righteous judgment without the least concern for truth?

The case of Mr. P. B. Herat, of the Ceylon Civil Service, is also worth mentioning. He was the Police Magistrate of Avissawella, and as such had much to do with the rioters and the Police.

One Mr. Gunawardane, who was the Vidane Arachchi (rural police officer) of Kaluaggala, being charged before a Court Martial with treason and riotously damaging a mosque, some Muhammadan witnesses for the prosecution swore that he came in a motor-car, and gave to the second accused a parcel wrapped in a paper, and went away, and that the second accused distributed the contents of it to some persons in the crowd, who bored holes, and that thereupon some explosions were heard and a mosque was injured. The suggestion was that the first accused handed a packet of dynamite. He denied this in toto, and narrated how he was occupied throughout that day in the work of suppressing the riots. He cited Magistrate Herat and other witnesses to prove his innocence.

The Court Martial rejected the evidence for the defence and found all the four accused guilty, and sentenced them to death. Subsequently, the Governor, upon further enquiry, commuted the death sentences on the second, third and fourth accused to rigorous imprisonment, released the first accused, and directed the prosecution of the four Muhammadans who gave evidence against them for perjury.

But before this remarkable reversal of the case for the prosecution happened, the Government Agent for the Western Province reported to the Governor, on 7th of July, 1915, that all the damage done by the rioters at Puwakpitiya, Avissawella, Talduwa and

Napagama, amounting to Rs. 50,000, was, in his opinion, due to Mr. Herat not dispersing by a timely use of force by the Volunteers and Police, the crowd who caused the damage. Mr. Fraser added, "His constant associations on these days with Proctor de Mel, who is proved to have attended meetings held by Jayatilaka, and such like people, is suspicious."

But Mr. de Mel is the leading lawyer in the district, commanding a great influence over the people by reason of his high character, independence and proficiency in Sinhalese. Mr. Herat explained that there was no other gentleman in the district so powerful for good as he to confer with, and to help him, who was a stranger in Avissawella and carried no weight with the people except that of a Magistrate; and Mr. Jayatilaka is a distinguished Barrister practising in Colombo, whom the Mayor of Colombo had chosen to go and address the people who were coming from Avissawella to Colombo, via Hanwella, for the purpose of helping their fellow-religionists; who were reported to be in fear of massacre by the Muhammadans.

Mr. Herat explained to the Government how he did his very best to pacify the rioters, and how impossible it was with only five armed constables to oppose a crowd of over a thousand persons, whose passions were aroused against the Muhammadans on account of their intolerance and aggression. He said that, if he had ordered the five men to fire on the crowd, they would have clubbed them to death before they could reload their guns. He explained that, to avoid useless provocation and irritation he asked them to put away their guns, and did not think it advisable to let the European planters, who had enlisted as Volunteers, to use their guns; that in doing so, he followed the example of the Police Officers in Colombo; and that Mr. Jackson, the officer in command of the European Volunteers at Avissawella, agreed with him, that, as there was no disturbances at Avissawella that night, and no crowd present, it was not necessary to make a display of armed force.

He further explained that he ordered the release of certain men, who had been arrested as rioters, because he found that the Police could not possibly keep the rioters in confinement without drawing upon themselves the danger of being attacked and done to death by the crowd, and without the police station itself being wrecked. In this order of release, too, he was following the example of the Colombo Police, as reported in that very morning’s newspapers which he had read.

On the 9th of October, 1915, the Colonial Secretary wrote to Mr. Herat as follows;-

"I am directed to state that the Governor in Executive Council has carefully considered the evidence and charges against you, your reply thereto, and the report of the Committee of the Executive Council before which you were examined.

"His Excellency regrets that he has been compelled to come to the conclusion that you have shown yourself to be unfitted for Government appointment, and that it is, therefore, impossible to retain you in the public service.

"In these circumstances he is prepared to accept your resignation, if tendered within seven days. In the event of your not taking advantage of the opportunity now offered to you, it would be necessary to take other steps to terminate your employment under Government. "

Mr. Herat tendered his resignation without prejudice to his cause, and begged for a copy of the report of the Committee of Inquiry of the Executive Council, which the Government however refused to give. .

If the conduct of Mr. Herat deserved the forfeit of his office on the ground that he could have prevented, by the timely use of force by the Volunteers and Police, the damage done by the rioters in the Avissawella District, why has not the Government meted out the same punishment to Mr. Fraser and his Assistant Agents, and to other Police Magistrates, and the Inspector-General of Police, for not dispersing the crowds in other places by timely using the methods prescribed in the eighth chapter of the Criminal Procedure Code."