Food for thought for the Tamil Diaspora

I had lunch with a certain Mr Arunachalam, an Indian Tamil from Madras. The conversation that took place prompted me to write this post.

Sri Lanka is a place for all of us to live in harmony. If anyone, especially the Tamil diaspora thinks that Sri Lanka should be ethnically divided, then, the following is food for though for you. This is also good for those LTTE sympathisers in our country as well as around the world:

Your claim: Sri Lanka is the only place for Tamil Ealam

Fact: Sri Lanka is the ONLY place in the world for the Sinhala race and the Veddahs. Whether you like it or not, they have the right to this land before anyone else. Tamils, on the other hand, have the historical right to Tamil Nadu – and that is where the only Ealam Dreamland should be. Or you may consider Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, Germany, England or Australia – they have been pampering you well, haven’t they?

Claim: North and East are the historical Tamil Homeland

Fact: If you think the North and East belonged to the Tamils historically, think twice. Read the history of Sri Lanka – the truth, not the rubbish you teach in Tamil schools in Germany. Visit Anuradhapura and look at the moonstones: Lankan civilisation began in the North (not in the South) and the Buddhists were there before the Tamils. Many places of worship of significant importance for Buddhists still lie in the North and East, including places such as Nagadveepa and Thiriyaya – which is said to have been built containing relics of the lord Buddha.

Only during the Polonnaruwa regime that the cow was removed from the moonstone as a result of the Hindu influence. That’s the first time ever the Cholas set foot in our island – so how dare you claim that the North and East are the “traditional” land of the Tamils?

Claim: Sinhala Buddhists are committing a Genocide in Sri Lanka
(Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group.)

Fact: There were Sinhala and Muslim communities living in the North and East – not so long ago. Where are they now? Who has systematically eliminated them, chased them out of their own homes? Who has chopped the heads off the infants, split opened pregnant mothers, stamped their wombs, killed every Sinhala person in sight and torched their villages?

Starting from the Kent Farm and Model Farm, the Tamil extremists have eliminated the Sinhala and Muslim communities from the North (and tried in the East too); they attacked temples and mosques, brutally executing monks, priests and innocent people while they were praying. From Aranthalawa, Dimbulagala and Sri Maha Bodhiya to Kandy, the barbaric LTTE terrorists didn’t even spare a temple or a mosque. It’s the Tamil terrorists committing genocide in Sri Lanka, not anyone else!

Claim: Tamils are discriminated in Sri Lanka

Fact: A person from the majority Sinhalese cannot buy a piece of land in the North (prevented by a pact), but the Tamils can buy land anywhere in the country. Statistically speaking, Tamils are occupying more than their share in universities, in the civil service, the government and even in the private sector. From Sea Street to 4th Cross Street, there are certain trades and industries that “belong” to the Tamils, and no Sinhala or Muslim merchant can penetrate that. A closer look at the transformation of Colombo and its suburbs will make any pea-brain understand who is having a better life and who is being pushed aside from the capital city. From Paskaralingam to Kadirgamar to Muralitharan, there are millions of Tamils who have flourished in this country. It is the Sinhala students who cannot attend the Jaffna University or the Eastern University, while the Tamil students enjoy their rights all over the country, including the Peradeniya University in the heartland of the Sinhala Buddhists. Even in Colombo, a Sinhala student is not admitted to any Tamil school, while all the Sinhala schools accept Tamil students.

From education, to civil service, to businesses and private sector, to land-ownership in Colombo – Tamils are enjoying more than their fair share. How would it be possible if there is so-called discrimination against Tamils in Sri Lanka?

Claim: Sri Lankan regime has failed to take care of the North and the East

Fact: Jaffna had been almost on par with Colombo at one time, a thriving cosmopolitan – the second capital of Sri Lanka – before the troubles began. There are many provinces and districts that have been forgotten by the ruling parties – North and East aren’t at the top of that list. Uva, for example did not even have a university until 2 or 3 years ago; Moneragala district is the most deprived in the entire country. The governments have always favoured the Tamils – in order to keep their votes, and as a result, they have been enjoying better benefits than the others in Sri Lanka.

Claim: Tamils get hassled and harassed by the security checks

Fact: The Sinhalese, the Muslims, the Burghers – we all get woken up in the wee hours of the morning, during search operations; we all get our bags, baggage and vehicles checked, we all get harassed – that’s the price the innocent people pay for the environment the stupid LTTE has created. Anyone who fails to produce valid identification or reasonable evidence for whereabouts would get into trouble – unless you are a foreigner (they are the privileged ones in paradise). There are Sinhala and Muslim informants on the LTTE payroll too, so everyone is a ‘suspect’ at a checkpoint. We all go through the same hassle, same agony. But then again, you hardly visit Sri Lanka, so what would you know?

Claim: Sinhalese Buddhists are at War with the Tamils

Fact: Nope, we aren’t. If we did, there wouldn’t have been any Tamils living outside LTTE-controlled areas. Majority of the Tamil population is living outside the LTTE grip; living amongst the other ethnicities in harmony. Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is at war with the terrorists, just like some other democracies around the world. Some LTTE propaganda agents substitute GoSL with Sinhalese Buddhists and LTTE with the Tamils, to leverage certain situations in their favour.

Claim: Some Sinhala Extremist Parties are spreading Sinhala-only ideologies

Fact: Yes, there are extremist elements such as Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU trans. National Sinhala Heritage) – which came to being to counter the extremists such as the LTTE under a political mandate. Tamil extremism is over 50 years old in Sri Lanka while JHU isn’t even 10 years old. JHU, being an extremist, has almost zero influence on the average civil society. Tamils, on the other hand, have “erased” Sinhala from their areas (only Tamil and English exist on the sign boards from the North – out of sight, out of mind?) while the rest of the country treats Tamil as one of the official languages.

Now, who is being extreme and who is breeding extremism in this country?

Claim: Sri Lankan Government has no option but to negotiate with the LTTE

Fact: Sri Lankan Government did not negotiate with the Sinhala Buddhist uprisings in the early 70’s and the late 80’s. The Sinhala terrorists were captured, tortured and killed – and their heads decorated the roadside fences. Their burning bodies were seen in almost every street corner every morning, and over 50,000 youth are still missing to date. That was the Sinhala Buddhist government taking care of the Sinhala Buddhist youth who terrorised the country. The government does NOT have to negotiate with terrorists. The Sri Lankan governments have been too nice, and tolerant, to the Tamil terrorists all these years.

Claim: The international community has a right to involve in the Sri Lankan situation

Fact: The international community has already banned the LTTE – a terror outfit and its sister-concerns. Not even India can ecourage terrorism or division anymore; they too have Mumbai and Kashmir on their agenda. Sadly, it is only a few misguided Tamil businessmen and individuals who support the LTTE around the world trying to lobby a voice for lost cause – they hardly quantify or qualify as the “international community.” BBC and the gullible British elements don’t qualify either. You too will soon see the truth and realise that the Ealam dream was nothing but a painful nightmare.

Claim: LTTE is the only and true voice of the Tamil people

Fact: LTTE does not represent the true Tamils of this country. If they did, why would they eliminate EPRLF, EPDP, EROS and TULF? Weren’t they representing Tamils too? Why would they kill any Tamil voice that was against the LTTE agenda – no matter how big or small the person was? From innocent villagers who were labelled as “traitors” to great statesmen like Lakshaman Kadirgamar, LTTE has killed thousands of its own kith and kin that they were “supposedly” protecting. In fact, the LTTE has killed more innocent Tamils than the number of LTTE militants killed by the Sri Lankan Security Forces. LTTE is not the true voice or the protector of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. It’s just the opposite.

Claim: LTTE is protecting the civilians in their area, if they get out, they would be killed by the Sri Lankan Security Forces. (Also according to LTTE and the BBC)

Fact: Almost all the Tamils in Sri Lanka – except for the ones who are trapped in the current War Zone – live outside the LTTE influence. How come they are not killed? If over 90% of the Tamils are living outside the LTTE held areas, in harmony with the rest of the Sri Lankans, protected and freely, what are they talking about? They would be killed by the military advance if they DON’T leave the LTTE-held areas soon enough.

Claim: Sri Lanka failed to recognise the demands of the Tamils and never offered a political solution

Fact: Sri Lanka did, but sadly the Tamils didn’t recognise the power they had in their hands. The country switched from a 225-seater parliament that represented an MP per electorate to the Provincial Council System to satisfy the demands of the Tamils. This may not have been perfect, but it was a very good beginning. North and East were combined and offered in a silver platter to the terrorist leader twice, but he refused to enter the political stream. LTTE rejected democracy and took up arms, not once, not twice, but many a times. Every “Cease-Fire” ended in LTTE regrouping, re-arming and murdering hundreds of Sinhalese – the Tamil Diaspora that has never set foot in the island should use their brains to understand why the LTTE were NOT acting for the benefit of the ordinary Tamils.

Sri Lanka would have been better off without the high-maintenance Provincial Council System – with a leaner, meaner, accountable and more responsible Parliament. Today we have a white elephant – created for the Tamils, but fed by the rest of the Sri Lankans.

We were a resourceful nation in South Asia, ahead of Singapore on the development curve, once upon a time. Thanks to the idiotic ideologies and stupidities of LTTE, the whole country has gone back in time – in to the stone ages. The roads are still the same width as it were 30 years ago, the currency has depreciated from Rs 16.00 to a US Dollar in 1978 to almost Rs 114.00 to a US Dollar today – a whopping 712% in just 30 years! The country is filled with the maimed and the war-victims – a huge burden on the welfare system for the next few generations to come. Emotional scars would take another zillion years to heal; and I could write another million ways the war has crippled our Paradise.

Most of all, the LTTE cleverly bumped-off all the brains in the political system – leaving the country in the hands of a bunch of imbeciles. We will win the war and restore peace and stability, but we cannot gain the time we lost. We cannot turn back the clock. The world has moved on, leaving us far behind.

In simple, the LTTE morons have shat on the pile of gold that is Sri Lanka. It is going to take a few heavy monsoons to wash away the crap and the stench, and its going to be a hell of a long time before we begin to shine again.


  1. If this is at all representative of the prevailing sinhalese conception of the state of Sri Lanka, it won't take a few heavy monsoons to wash away the crap on that island, it'll take a few more tsunamis.

    Not everyone in the diaspora is proponent of the LTTE. Your ridiculous claims to historical primacy and your outright ignorance of the conditions that preceded the LTTE betray your true feelings.

    Diatribes like this will do much to cement the feeling that the strain of ethnocentric delusion that politicians exploited in the Sinhala population after independence remain as strong as ever. You'll have to work on that if you ever want Sri Lanka to meet even an ounce of its potential.

  2. Wow! Great post and I wholeheartedly agree.

  3. Great post.

    The reality in Sri Lanka is rarely acknowledged by people like this intellectual 'Anon' poster two posts above this.

    They want to blame the Sinhalese for the current state of affairs, forgetting the utter racist nature of that very claim.

    We need to understand how these myths became accepted by nearly everyone, thanks to a very clever and very selfish minority.

    Many of us, particularly the Sinhalese, forget the big picture when accused with discriminating against a minority.

    We forget to point out the everyday reality in Sri Lanka which given the constraints is extremely accommodating of difference.

    Pound for pound we Sri Lankans may be far more tolerant than almost anyone in the world.

    We tend to be brash and loudmouthed but that is rarely translated in to action.

    This has been taken advantage of by some clever Tamil chauvanists probably because of their Mahavansa-envy.

    The pseudo-humanism of some of these closet supremacists is disgusting, but will hurt them more than anyone else.

    Anyways, nothing annoys these self-righteous people more than a taste of their own medicine, like what happened with the LTTE.

    Wijitha, I wonder if this is the right stuff for a chain mail. Why don't you send it out. Many people will find this useful.

  4. hmmm quiet agreed...

    One thing i find in these whole debates is that each side have their own way of arguing by bringing in historical incidents, be it thousands years ago or just two three decades ago...

    Yes we can look back in the past and point the finger and say it wasn't done right or not.

    for example GOSL was the culprit during the 83' and at that point of time there was more than enough reasons for Tamils to take up arms..

    We are all nothing but a snapshot in a historical timeline..just to make things clear; Israel gained their state through terror and submission, but at present it doesn't seem to matter at all because its the Palestinian terrorists who are in the hot seat while Israel is a democratic state...

    So just to make things clear, take it as it is,
    LTTE is a terrorist group, GOSL is at least an elected democracy...i leave the judgment to you...

  5. hm..we can all go blue in the face and hug our tamil workmates and best friends, but the propaganda is still on.

    2nd/ 3rd generation tamils abroad are hell bent on carrying on the ideas of their elders, thinking tamils are being snipered in colombo and such. sigh. Just look at MIA - nominated for both a Grammy and an Oscar this year

    “The situation is systematic genocide, ethnic cleansing,
    “I want my fans to know I’m not tryin’ to be like Bono. Someone Irish talking about what’s going on in Africa. I actually come from there and the fact is that this is happening now. The war has been going on for a long time, but it stepped into the genocide bracket recently with the new President. I lived in Sri Lanka when the campaign for ethnic cleansing started and if I could stop it and see the end of it in my lifetime that would be amazing. I can’t justify my success otherwise. I can’t justify getting nominated for an Oscar or a Grammy, that to me wouldn’t mean anything if I don’t actually get to speak about this. It’s not like I’m trying to sell records, I’m trying to stop the death of 350,000 people this month.”

    350,000 Tamil civilians are trapped behind the front lines and M.I.A., whose family is Tamil, says they’re in a virtual concentration camp. “They’re treated like animals. They don’t have food or shelter and they’ve just been hit by a cyclone and the government hasn’t sent them any aid. It’s just out and out Nazi Germany.”

    The world has heard little of this story, because Sri Lanka is tiny and the war is old and also because the government regulates the news flowing out of the country. “Tamil people are banned from the press,” M.I.A. says, “and there’s no international media allowed into the country. They get shot. The government’s banned any independent observers, media, aid, humanitarian agencies, NGOs—nobody’s allowed in to see what’s going on.” And government dissenters are silenced. In early January a prominent Sri Lankan journalist who was a staunch government critic was driving to work when he was shot and killed by gunmen on motorcycles. M.I.A. says the government has also erased people from existence. “Tamil people were banned from doing the Census report,” she says. “Which means that you could wipe them out and no one would know. You can’t account for how many there are.”

  6. @Acromantula + Surani - thanks. :)

    @Anon 2, thank you for replying to Anon 1.

    @realskullzero, well put. Take it as it is.

    @Dee, yes the propaganda is hurting us and that’s exactly why this post was needed. People outside Sri Lanka don’t know that we all are busy living our lives here in harmony – doesn’t matter if you are a Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslim or a foreigner – we share our workplace, jokes, drinks and we share our lives. People like MIA refuse to look at the rights of the others in this country, they just want to fuel the fire; peace is the last thing in their agenda.

  7. So all the Sinhalese who have been living abroad for years, citizens of the US, UK, other parts of Europe and a substantially large community in Australia what about them? Aren't the pampered too?

    Even though I agree with you on your comments about the LTTE, their atrocities, and that they are not the sole representatives of the Tamil community, your approach to a crisis that has plundered the lives of many innocent civilians is far from desirable. You talk about historical evidence, the same boring stuff that has been talked over the years by Sinhala chauvinists and constantly challenged by the the Tamil chauvinists. This is just meaningless. People like you must come forward to present something different, something new to achieve peace in our little island. In this global age where everyone lives everywhere talking about who came first, who brought civilisation first is only good for intellectual debates and not for life in practice.

    And 'Dee' when you speak about MIA you make the common mistake of tagging all Tamils as pro-LTTE. There is a fairly large community of Tamils in the Diaspora and also in Sri Lanka who fervently believe in peaceful coexistence with the other ethnic communities.

  8. SahaSamvada, please don’t get me wrong. There was a video shop in Manama that used to collect 10% of what the SL Tamils earned every month, when I was there in 1993. Everyone knew it, but no one did anything to stop it. Similar activities take place all over the world, the West is pampering the terrorists and their sympathisers in similar ways – letting them even acquire military technology and air-power. That’s the kind of (tiger-cub) pampering I am talking about. Brain-drain is different, don’t confuse the two issues.

    People like myself are saying just one thing: Sri Lanka is for everyone. No division, no bias, no discrimination. A place for Sri Lankans. Learn to accept reality, and learn to live with a Tamil, Muslim or Sinhala neighbour. We did it in the past, we do it now, and I know we can. Easily. Our unique cultural identities or beliefs will remain, they don’t have to be a hurdle in life.

    We are sick of the war and we hate all those who ruined, and are ruining our country. Be it JVP, JHU, Muslim Congress or LTTE. If finding a solution includes reverting the name to Ceylon, or dropping the minority-stripes from the flag, we are for it. If it requires a new legislation that focuses on resolving the issues and bringing about a national policy, we’d support it.

    We know every Tamil is not an LTTE Sympathiser – we never said it.

    Every Tamil in my island is as Sri Lankan as I am. Sri Lankans have common hope and common dreams, we are an island-full of extraordinary people who are capable of changing the world. We should look forward to what we could achieve through respect and partnership and NOT waste time debating on complex tragedies in the past. We cannot write off people just because they make mistakes; we are not perfect, but we are willing to give our best to turn this island back to its former glory. Together, as one.

    But we would never allow the outsiders to turn our country into another Palestine. And for those propaganda agents I’d say, Respect our rights and we will respect yours.

  9. You say all of that, Serendib Isle, but the tone of your original post does not follow the same moderate tone at all.

    I will go through each of your claims and explain why they are antithetical to your claimed point.

    First - If Sri Lanka is for everyone, and all are equal, why do Sinhalese "have the right to this land before anyone else"?

    Second - Why are you trying to discredit claims of historical Tamil settlement on the Island? What point are you trying to make - perhaps that Tamils have less of a right to live there than you?

    The historical evidence is hardly conclusive (and the considerable debate around it is testament to that), but beyond that there is evidence that both cultures have lived on the island for at least a thousand years. At what point do claims of "i was here first" stop being relevant? If your goal is to foster harmony, why are you again trying to rank ethnicities in this way?

    Third claim - I agree that this doesn't fit the same definition of genocide to the scale we saw in WWII, Rwanda or Darfur. But it must be said that the Tamil population has been reduced significantly during the course of the war due to emigration, death, displacement and so forth.

    The war has had a catastrophic effect particularly on the Tamil population in Sri Lanka, it might not approach genocide but that sort of population reduction over such a short period of time is, at worst, systematic. Important note, though - I haven't seen anyone blame Sinhala Buddhists for this, they blame the Sri Lankan Government (important distinction).

    Claim 4 - Anecdotal evidence from virtually every sector says that Tamils are, in fact, discriminated against in Sri Lanka. This discrimination is direct from authorities - at checkpoints, airports, etc. Your ignorance of this is troublesome. Discrimination in the law is one thing, discrimination that's pervasive in society is another.

    Claim 5 - Currently, the north and east is in shambles. Citing the situation 40 years ago isn't a valid argument today. In the same way that parties may have appealled to Tamils in the past for votes, the party in power now appeals to rural ethnic voters in the south for their votes. The result of this is that they ignore parties that don't favour them (Tamils) in favour of those that do (rural sinhalese in the south). I expect this wlil continue even after the war - it's the inevitable result of a non-federal democratic system that centralizes power.

    Claim 6 - Checkpoints - This claim ignores every last ounce of reality. Yes, everyone is inconvenienced by the impediments on freedom of movement, but not everyone is at such risk of arbitrary detention, bullying or intimidation.

    Generally, chauvanists just defend this as justified considering the nature of the war, i've never actually seen someone just deny it like this, in the face of overwhelming evidence otherwise.

    Claim 7 - To repeat an earlier point, I don't see many places that say this is a war between buddhists and tamils. This conflict has become a war between the government and the LTTE. LTTE propoganda does purposely confuse this, I agree. At the same time, when members of the majority party say things about buddhism being the religion of sri lanka etc, it's easy to get the impression that this war is being fought for religious reasons rather than nationalist.

    Claim 8 - Tamil 'extremism' is actually only about 25 years old. It was the result of decades of marginalization, which you chose, conveniently, not to address.

    Claim 9 - It's clear that the GoSL has many options beyond negotiating with the LTTE. I personally don't think the LTTE would negotiate in good faith at this point. I suppose we're agreed on this point.

    Claim 10 - The international community doesn't have a right, but they do have a responsibility to intervene in any situation where human beings are in danger of mass slaughter. Here, there are hundreds of thousands of people that risk death at the hands of the GoSL and LTTE. Regardless of who is to blame, those people must be protected.

    Your dismissal of the BBC and 'gullible' westerners is a common theme i've seen among sri lankans who support the government unquestionably. I hope this sense of faith gives way to some skepticism following the war or we're in for an increasingly autocratic society. The BBC is respected worldwide, more than most news organizations, for its credibility. Dismissing them reflects poorly on you, not them.

    Claim 11 - Agree with you. The LTTE does not legitimately represent the Tamil people.

    Claim 12 - I don't think the LTTE is protecting anyone. At the same time, people who cross into GoSL held territory are held in guarded camps. They're not allowed to freely travel anywhere in Sri Lanka, they're kept under watch as prisoners. Neither side is protecting these people, they're prisoners whereever they go.

    Claim 13 - Again, history - what is the point of this? The LTTE is unelected and has decided things for the Tamil people whether they liked it or not. How can you hold that against Tamils now?

    Apologies for the very long comment. I'm a member of the diaspora, and I agree with the sentiments you claim to have - that everyone should live equally in a united sri lanka. The Tamil diaspora is huge, and many of us don't support the LTTE. We also don't support the government because they do the same thing that you're doing, they make claims about equality while at the same time sowing the seeds of ethnic division.

    Sarath Fonseka said in October that Sri Lanka was for the Sinhalese and everyone else lives there at their mercy. How can you expect us to support things like that? We support the civilians, Tamil and Sinhalese and all others.

  10. SahaSamvada - Excuse me if my comment seemed as if I was tagging all tamils as pro-ltte. I should know the difference between a supporter and a normal tamil civilian trying to live peacefully.

  11. Anonymous above:
    Thank you for your long comment, I appreciate your view and input.

    a) Tone and manner: My original post was meant for those extremists and LTTE sympathisers. My comments are addressing specific people, anonymous or not, and they are obviously not terrorists. Hence the change of tone.

    b) The world has to accept the fact that Sri Lanka is the origin of the Sinhalese and the Veddahs. There is no debate about that. “I was there first” argument, again, is for those who think this land should be divided. Not for you and I.

    c) Historical evidence is conclusive. Like I said, read the history that’s written in Sri Lanka AND India, verify against the evidence that’s available even today and come to a conclusion yourself. Paali language is dead, but Buddhist gatha’s (verses/hymns) didn’t get warped or distorted; our history (as well as the history of India) is also intact – whether it is written or not. Sorry, I cannot agree with you there.

    d) “But it must be said that the Tamil population has been reduced significantly during the course of the war due to emigration, death, displacement and so forth..” Tamil population in fact has increased in certain areas outside North and East – polarisation if you might call it – in places like Colombo and suburbs (Wellawatte, Dehiwela, Wattala used to be different those days...) and some townships like Haputale, Welimada, Bandarawela and Nuwara-Eliya too.

    My question to the diaspora (and not the Tamils in Sri Lanka), if Tamils like the LTTE and since LTTE “controlled” the North and East for the last 20-odd years, why did the ordinary Tamils had to face emigration, death, displacement and so forth...?

    Claim 4) You are forgetting where the Sinhalese and Tamils are coming from: the Cast System. Discrimination was WITHIN a 50 years ago, and obviously the “other races” were seen differently then – way below the lowest cast of the same kind. We have evolved, the Sinhalese don’t discriminate each other anymore based on cast and creed (except when certain parents look for a groom for the daughters today). The society has evolved, and learnt to accept/foregt the differences, so should the hardcore Tamils and Sinhalese.

    Claim 5) Like I said, Provincial Council System was only the beginning. If we had a perfect system, we wouldn’t have this discussion today. Hardcore Tamils MUST join the political dialogue to improve the system; taking up arms is NOT the solution.

    Claim 6) I have a very dear friend born in Jaffna and I used to travel to the North and East with him - sometimes even with my kids. Trust me, crossing Vavuniya or Kanthale and beyond is not easy for a Sinhalese in his own country. Did you ever stop to think how were we treated by the so called liberators of Tamils???

    At least the Tamils could travel anywhere in the country. The Sinhalese, just couldn’t.

    Claim 7) Agree. I too am against slogans like “this is the land of the Gauthama Buddha” and all that crap; I have expressed my views on that in my previous posts. True Buddhism tolerates and respects other religions, and it is never “practised” the way it is “advertised” in our country.

    Claim 8) Well, let me assure you that EROS was registered in London in 1975. And I know a few Tamil families who lived in the Milepost Avenue (Colpetty) who migrated in the ’60s because they knew there was an extremist under-current gathering pace. Ever since SWRD split our society in to Sinhala and Tamil, there had been trouble – it only came out after the ambush on the soldiers and the Black July in 1983. This problem of extremism goes back a lot longer than 20 years.

    Claim 10) I’m not the only one who says BBC is biased and lost its credibility. Just wonder why the BBC is losing respect internationally. They are not the “news channel of choice” anymore – even the well respected journalists from BBC have ditched the channel. I’d say, let’s wait another 5 years to see who is right on this one, right? :)

    Claim 12) Just imagine opening the flood-gates so that all the terrorists (male, female, young and old) could mingle with the civilians and escape into the mainstream society disguised as IDP’s. It is important to filter-out the militants and ensure civilians are properly managed (identity, residence, documentation and welfare etc) and there is the ICRC supervising these camps. Establishing comfortable residences is not an easy task in a war; but at least these people get the medicare and three square meals a day.

    Yes, there are many other areas that need to be looked into in this crisis – immediate, short term and long term; and lets hope they come in to play the way they should.

    Claim 13) I have many Tamil friends who are near and dear to me. I too make a clear distinction between the terrorists, Tamil Diaspora and the Tamils I mingle with.

    I too do not agree with Sarath Fonseka’s statement, but, if I had escaped an attempt on my life by someone, I too would be very, very pissed off with them for the rest of my life. As a person he is entitled to his opinion, but as a responsible government servant, he should have watched his tongue.

  12. This is a good one for Mr RW who lost elections for 14 times and his followers.....

    Eventhough I too studied in Jaffna in the one and only sinhalese school, I never faced a problem when I was a kid with them. And also I lived in the centre of Achchuweli with the Tamil community and they even treated me like one of their kids by feeding together. Question is who did this damage to our mother land.

    Is it the next super power country? or the west?

    I blame our own people who ruled the country at that time (1983)and also introduced the thugarism for a peace loving nation. I have spent half of my life now with seeing bomb blasts/dead bodies/killings.. enough...Atleast we should be thankful to HE the president and his bro for having a back bone to fight against this menus. And also the poor people who suffered and yet suffering in our poor motherland...(but not the guys who made money from the war and I wish that they should rot in hell)

    Therefore I feel that the time is not too far for us to start a new era and teach the actual history to every kid in the country....then there will be a day where it will be a SL is only for Srilankans...not for traitors....they can live in their apartments/properties by making blood money in the west....

    I think Karuna got a better brain than Piripaharan who is fugitive now.....

    Little message to Mrs Kadiragamar....Madam...with all due respect..your husband gave his life for today and tomorrow for better SL not for a TE.....He should be borne amongst us again.....we lost his brain..


  13. I am linking this to my blog :-) I don't have to pay you for copyrights. Do I ? :-) :-)

  14. Hey Nibras, you don’t have to pay me copyrights; but watch-out for the LTTE; they might want 10% from you too..!!

  15. Well thanks for your clarification 'serendib-isle'. I read you better now.

    I must say that I agree with many points that 'Anonymous' on Feb 4 talks of. Sadly the state of diaspora nationalism has become one of 'guilt-nationalism'; the desperation of trying to do 'something' for those less fortunate ones trapped in a war that has clearly gone out of control. The recent protest in Jaffna by civilians clearly brings out this frustration. Nevertheless, the Tamil diaspora or rather the majority of it has still not woken up to the realisation that Tamil Eezham can never truly emancipate the Tamils and we all know that, hypothetically speaking, Tamil Eezham is won, non of these Tamil Diaspora will go back there permanently leaving the luxuries of living in the West. This is a sad state of affairs. The Tamil diaspora has yet again lost an opportunity to rectify the wrongs made by Tamil leaders in the past by severing support to the LTTE and demanding that they release those innocent civilians trapped in the war zone.

    and 'Dee', thanks for clarifying your point too.

  16. Pls allow me to add my 2 cents worth, not for the sake of it but actually even if one person thought about it I would be happy. I live 20mins by train from London in a relatively quiet town. One side extremely wealthy and the other poor. Down the high street is the typical corner shop found everywhere in England. I go here to buy my cigs. It is owned by Tamil Diaspora and always manned by young Tamil men. Recent conversation (well about three months ago);
    Me: Pack of B&H pls.
    Shop: Talking to someone on speaker phone in Tamil and talking to me at same time.
    You are from Siri Lanka?
    Me: Yes, and you?
    Shop: NO I am from Jaffna. You are from Colombo?
    Me: No Kandy.
    Me: Speechless, pay for cigs and smile away, far, far as possible.
    I am thinking in my mind for good or for bad your brothers are fighting tooth and nail in Sri Lanka and you call it 'SUPERB'?

    Recently I go back and I am wearing my favourite green Vans jacket with Obama badge on one side and big SL flag on the other. Same guy at counter, no longer even looks at my face.

    I smile knowingly, pay for my cigs and gum, whistle the national anthem as I stroll out of the shop.

    I wish it was not a joke, this is life being lost in Sri Lanka, but for the Tamil Diaspora who gives a damn, they live in the comfort of the west.

  17. http://paan-waati.blogspot.com/2009/02/armchair-politics.html

    was going to comment, realised it'll turn out to be too long and made a post instead.

  18. i gotta agree with the author here...people just need to get over the whole im better than you and we were here first ideologies. but one other point i wanna make. LTTE is banned and noted as a terrorist organization all over the world. the govn. is waging a war on terror just like the americans,the israelis,spniards,turks,pakistanis and even the indian. so anyone who claims its some genocide...pls do the following
    (1) watch the news
    (2) read about the history of the conflict
    (3) be logical and ration about what is happening

  19. The LTTE is not banned "all over" the world. It was re-proscribed by the Sri Lankan government only at the end of last year.

    You are right in stating that militant groups were around in the 1970s. However, this cannot be said to be the case decades before, despite for instance bloody pogroms sustained by Tamils in the south during the 1950s etc. Isn't it remarkable therefore, that Sinhalese lived peacefully and freely, (eg. post above), in the Tamil regions in previous decades, while discriminatory laws were passed against the Tamils, and Tamils were massacred in the south at this time?

    Sri Lanka has a rich Tamil heritage that goes back more than a millenium. Contrary to your stereotypical assertion, the history read in the universities of Sri Lanka and written by secular historians and archaeologists also back this up. The school textbooks do not. Which version does one believe?

    Why not take pride in this heritage, in the same way as you take pride in the beauty and richness of the sinhalese language and culture. Did you not feel the horror of the burning of ancient manuscripts in the Jaffna library by the government of Sri Lanka? Did you not feel horror as the ancient Mesopotamian relics were pillaged from the Iraqi museum? Do you not feel horror as you hear about historic Kovils, churches and forts bombed to dust? Why ignore these in favour of mosques and temples? Genetically sinhalese and tamils have been proven scientifically to be indistinguishable. So, this is your heritage too. I would go a step further and say such ancient cultures and languages belong to the world.

    Your post, sadly reflects Sri Lanka. What hope is there if a person of your background and ability to access information writes such diatribe. The leaders of Sri Lanka have left an indelible mark even on you.

  20. @nohope,

    There are two extremes of people – some “generalise everything” while the others “pick and choose” to prove their case point.

    Like I have said earlier, some people are conveniently forgetting the typical behaviour of the Sri Lankan society at large. You are talking about the “harthals” pre-70’s to prove that the Tamils were facing such inconveniences. Let me remind you that our society used to pickup a stone, or a torch, when they won the general election to throw at, or burn down the properties of the members of the losing party(ies). Please don’t isolate the Tamils, we all – Tamil, Muslim, Sinhala, Malay – faced such situations at one time or the other in the past. We all have suffered our fair share, and still continue to do so. “Political Vengeance” is as big as the communal issue; just because the former defence minister’s idiotic son shot some innocent Muslims in Kandy a few years ago, I don’t think Sri Lankan Muslims would take-up arms and ask for an autonomous state in Gampola on the grounds of genocide, would you?

    Like I said, we have managed to forget the differences and move on and evolve with the times – we don’t have the “lower casts” or “rodee’s” anymore. I sincerely hope all Sri Lankans are capable of this (unlike hard-core Tamils such as Prabha – vs Karuna, as you know). We are constantly changing, embracing one another – it is not so difficult for us to build one great nation as one. We have done it in the past, as you too rightfully put.

    I must also remind you that this post is meant to counter-argue those who are “pro-LTTE” and “pro-division” – who seem to totally ignore the other side of the coin. I sincerely hope you are not one of them.

  21. I wish you could give the diaspora a break. We're not all fanaticals of the LTTE! Most people just want an end to all the sufferings of the innocent civilians.

    Reading PP's post should maybe give an inclination of how there is a sense of bias towards those who can read and write what is the "official" language of Sri Lanka.

    DD - I'm also from London and not all shop owners are like that. You can't tar over 100000 Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora with one fucking brush man!

  22. Scrumpulicious, thank you for your comments. However, this is what I said: ”Sri Lanka is a place for all of us to live in harmony. If anyone, especially the Tamil diaspora thinks that Sri Lanka should be ethnically divided, then, the following is food for though for you.”

    PP’s note is just one isolated incident – from Disembarkation Cards at the Airport, to passport application forms and Medical Chits in hospitals; all government documents are printed in Sinhalese and Tamil. Unlike the former LTTE held territory where Sinhala language was TOTALLY erased, the majority of the community has no problem with the language of the minority.

    My feedback on PP’s post that’s linked to this one never got published. on her blog. That’s a different story anyway.

    As for the LTTE activities all around the world - well, let’s say that they wouldn’t have been this strong and influential if they didn’t have any support from the Tamil Diaspora.

  23. Awesome .. It's too bad that many people don't see or hear this side of the story. At least it's what happens here in Canada.

  24. Hey, are you aware that this article is doing the rounds? I got it as an email fwd and thought it looked familiar!

    Congratulations! :-)

  25. PseudoRandom,

    Well, I’m flattered. It was actually anon 2 above who came up with the idea to send it as an email.

    Thanks for the info.


  26. hey, i just saw this. sorry serendib, there never was a comment from you, as far as i'm aware. i was surprised at the silence actually. maybe there was an issue with blogger, maybe it was a problem with the word verification. i can guarantee i didn't delete it, if that's the impression you got.debates of this nature are important imo. if you want to re-publish the comment, that'd be cool. up to you.