“Sri Lanka Forces – Together for All”. Really?

Does it matter if the child on this commemorative coin is Tamil Sri Lankan, or Muslim Sri Lankan or Sinhalese Sri Lankan? The Sri Lanka Air Force, Army and Navy are running a TV and press campaign at the moment which sports the tagline “Sri Lanka Forces – Together for All”. In Sinhala the tagline is “Api Wenuwen Api”.  I don’t know the tagline in Tamil, or even whether they are running the campaign at all in the Tamil media.

The purpose of the campaign, I assume, is to increase support for the military and thereby, military operations. Perhaps this is also a response to greater intervention by the military in civilian life at checkpoints, housechecks, area searches and no-parking zones, and the resulting need for greater cooperation by the public. 

The 30-second television commercial aims to humanize the three armed forces by depicting three individual service personnel and interactions with their families and the civilian community in general. There is a navy chap who sits on the ground with Muslim civilians while the Muslims eat from a savan. (Interestingly the navy chap does not eat from it). The same chap nods to a Muslim woman as she passes him on the street. An airforce girl is shown helping an old woman up the steps of a Hindu temple. An army serviceman is shown leaving his family, kicking a football with some boys on the street, and getting into a bus where – and this is the culmination of the commercial – a lady notices him and attempts to give up her seat in the bus to him. This all sounds a bit over-the-top, but actually, I think it is a well-made commercial with an excellent catchy soundtrack which ends “apay ekeki may minisa” (this person is one of us). 

I know this commercial will definitely appeal to the Sinhalese community, but I have some concerns: is it being run in Tamil? How do the Tamil and Muslim community react to it? And, most importantly, are the armed forces really for all Sri Lankans? Or, is this just lip service and clever propaganda? (Incidentally, the campaign has been created by Triad – the same advertising agency that handled the People Alliance’s highly effective Rata Perata election campaign).

I would like to believe that the portrayal of the armed forces depicted in the commercial is true. Posts like that of the Benevolent Dictator’s latest blog post would indicate that it is. However, I think most Tamil Sri Lankans would disagree with this. It would now appear that the Muslim community of Pottuvil would also disagree with this. And strongly.

This brings me to my main point. How can we expect Tamil Sri Lankans and Muslim Sri Lankans to respect and trust the Sinhalese-dominated armed forces when the Sri Lankan government makes little attempt to investigate allegations of human rights abuses and extra-judicial killings? If the allegations are true, and the perpetrators go unexposed and unpunished, those criminals remain within the Sri Lanka military and represent it. This not only fosters mistrust of the armed forces among the minorities, it weakens Sri Lanka’s position in the international community. Moreover, it weakens the government’s argument that all of us should live in one country and thereis no need to separate. If our own security forces threaten the security of minorities, and are allowed to get away with it, it is understandable that the minorities will want to govern their own security under a political system that they have more control over.

 If you speak to any Tamil Sri Lankan from Jaffna, you will hear the same story: when an army outpost is attacked, they don’t care who they shoot, they just come out and spray bullets. These incidents may go unreported, but in the media recently, we have seen three major scandals – the 17 NGO workers in Muttur, the aerial bombing of the “orphanage”, and the massacre of 10 Muslim civilians in Pottuvil. Personally, I am not overly upset by the aerial bombing of the “orphanage”, because children being used by the LTTE as cannon fodder is nothing new, and although it is technically illegal under international law, I would prefer for these trainee cadres to be killed now rather than later with a suicide bomber’s jacket strapped to their chest. I don’t buy the theory that these children were not being trained.

However, in the case of the execution of the 17 NGO workers and in the case of the 10 Muslim civilians, I feel that the military may be to blame. Otherwise, why the dragging of feet over the international investigation of the Muttur incident? Why the refusal to have an international investigation into the Pottuvil incident? Why the intimidation of Rauff Hakeem by removal of his six STF security personnel? Why the refusal of the police to grant the SLMM representative access to the sole survivor? Why the overwhelming aggressive response to the STF by the Muslim population of Pottuvil?

Just as more Tamil Sri Lankans should be distancing themselves from the LTTE, these are questions that all Sri Lankans should be now asking. The Sri Lanka forces – are they really together for all?      


24 thoughts on ““Sri Lanka Forces – Together for All”. Really?

  1. True enough. Credit to the GOSL to finally try something in terms of propaganda but is it effective? I’ve commented on the farcial MOD website on my blog previously.

    On the 17 NGO workers and the 10 Muslims, Ravana, you are absolutely correct. I know there will be bloggers jumping on us and accusing us of being ‘LTTE apologists’ but the sad truth is that when the suggestion of a neutral investigator elicits such a violent response from the GOSL, it leaves them open to the accusation that something’s being hidden. While some may trot the tired excuse that a foreign investigator would be partial towards the LTTE, how impartial then is an investigation mandated by the GOSL? How many crimes in public light have been solved by the GOSL? Has any action been taken against the policemen who killed innocent Baloon Sunil? Keheliya Rambukwella chose to miss the woods for the trees by stating that ‘we don’t need foreign investigators! Our policemen are well trained and can solve any crime’ or something to that effect. Dear Keheliya, no one was doubting the competency of the CID or the CCD. It is the independence of any investigating unit that is cause for concern, hence the need for an impartial third party. If the GOSL has nothing to hide, why be afraid?

  2. Perhaps it’s not that important to people like you, but protecting the country’s independence and sovereignty is a big concern for some of us. No country with any dignity would allow foreigners to come and go as they please and investigate our “crimes”. How could someone’s death be so important just because they were Tamil or Muslim. What about thousands of Sinhalese civilians killed at the hands of the LTTE in the last 2 decades. Was there any international outcry about that. Oh no… You’re a racist even if you talk about Sinhalese rights eh?

    FYI, SLMM has now been granted access to the survivor of the Pottuvil massacre and the finger is clearly and squarely pointed at the tigers. Muslims and unwarranted hysterical aggression is certainly not something unique to Sri Lanka. There is absolutely no proof that the STF did it except the assumption that if it happened near an STF camp, they must be responsible. The STF has protected the Muslims in this region for decades and they have no reason at all to kill them. Radical Muslim leaders want a direct confrontation with the Sinhalese and the state forces as they believe they have been disadvantaged due to their indifference in the conflict. While Tamils may get a seperate state thanks to LTTE’s battle, the Muslims would get nothing. This seem to have prompted them to be more hostile and aggressive towards us. The common Muslim in the East is probably poor, uneducated and fanatical about his religion and “ummah” and it’d be easy for a few extremists to lead them to a fight. After all, this is a religion that quite easily advocates murder as the cure for most problems.

    Another funny thing I don’t get it is that, if Sinhalese take to the streets to march against the killings by the LTTE and the government’s indifference, they are rioting against the Tamils and perhaps another 1983 is imminent (Ngots holding their breath in orgasmic ecstasy), but if the Tamils or Muslims go out and start burning Sinhalese shops, they were just innocent peaceful protesters that got shot by the police riot squad. Either way, Sinhalese are at fault.

    Anyway, how do you expect our army to behave in the war. The recent examples from Iraq and Guantanamo Bay shows that our army is much better in treating enemy civilians than those of some other countries in similar situations. Who are you comparing our army against? Where in the world does the perfect army you speak of exist?

  3. The matter is not about independence or sovereignty, a convenient yet laughable excuse put forward by some who fear a STF involvement in these incidents.

    There are also no ‘Radical’ Muslim leaders to speak of, despite accusations to the contrary by both the LTTE and a deceased Venerable Monk, Sri Lanka thankfully does not have any known radical Islamic groups. The notion that ‘radical’ Muslim leaders want a direct confrontation with the Sinhalese is quite stupid, a statement, (despite Sri Lanka having more than it’s share of morons) first heard here. However, given the situation in the East there remains a possibility of an emergence radical Islamic group, which is why this issue should be given the government’s full attention. We don’t want to fight both LTTE and some Al-Qaeda group at the same time.

    Given the situation, IF some STF officials are at fault, which may or may not be the case its better for the government to accept it and follow the due process associated with a crime of this nature. The leader of the SLMC has already made it clear that the questions raised are with regard to the conduct of certain individuals within the STF and not the STF as an institution.

    What’s really funny though is no one has claimed that the anti-LTTE marches conducted by the NMAT for example are ‘rioting’ against the Tamils also there are no reports of any ‘Sinhalese-Shop-Burning’ incidents.

    I am also curious about the concept of ‘enemy civilians’ in the context of the Sri Lankan conflict.

    However, even in the Iraqi Abu-Ghraib incident the guilty parties faced charges and some were found guilty, IF any one in the Sri Lankan armed forces is found guilty of this crime or any crime for that matter, the rule-of-law should apply.

    p.s – some people should really get better sources or stop commenting on things that are ‘distant’ to them.

  4. Thanks Deane for that comment. There is only so much time I have on my hands today and dealing with the comments like that of Just Mal require a lot of patience!

    Just Mal says, “No country with any dignity would allow foreigners to come and go as they please and investigate our ‘crimes’.”

    This is a specious argument because Sri Lanka’s history shows that the government in the past has failed in its duty to protect its citizens. The most notable example is the riots in 1983 which qualifies as government sponsored terrorism. This, and other human rights violations over the course of the war has led to a situation where Tamil Sri Lankans and possibly, now Muslim Sri Lankans, mistrust the government. In a situation where a government investigation has little or no credibility among the stakeholders,an international investigation is justified.

    The difference between Abu Graib and us is that while the perpetrators were publicly exposed and sentenced in the first case, no similar Sri Lankan examples of justice meted out to war criminals come to mind.

  5. Hello Ravana,

    I understand your point of view. You and I have luxury of reviewing military action in our relative comfort. But solder’s point of view is far more deferent.

    Not only SL army ~ US army, Indian army, Royal Army, Sudan Army.. Act the same way when they in combat. (Not French army ~ they usually wait till US army come and save them)..

    I’m not saying it is correct or it is the way to go. But that is the reality.
    Army kills people. They Rape people, and eventually they die.
    It is short unpleasant life. That is why it is not good to take them out of the bankers. But when we do ~ we can’t bitch about it.

    Fire is very useful. We know how to control fire and use them. But still we get burn time to time. If we don’t want to be in cold, we can’t bitch about fire.

    Cars are very useful thing. They have ABS break, Stability control, and curtain air bags. But still Car kills. It is the nature. If we want drag our ass to office, we can’t bitch about cars.

    I was in south in the last JVP era. When I mean south – mean real south like Thangalla, Walasmulla, Hakmana, Kaburupitiya area.
    I see SL army kills old parents because they can’t find the suspected son. Once army vehicle went over a landmine (or something) and killed two solders – they spray all over same way they did in Jaffna. I have heard enough army rape stories in South at that time. One solder happened to be my friend told me – ‘we are going to south to massacre every one there’. I don’t think it is not necessary to recall all my unpleasant memories right now. But you know what I’m talking about.

    My point is – it is unfair when you say SL army kill minorities. If you want to go in that path, please mention Sinhalese killed by the Army too. I hope they are worth mentioning even they happened to be majority.

    Can Sri Lanka control the SL army better? Yes. We can.
    Can US army control US Army better? Yes. They can.
    Should we control them better? Yes. We should.
    But it is Army – not Salvation Army.

  6. About Abu Ghraib thing… Bush passes a bill this week, to overrule the Geneva Convention and give CIA legal rights to toucher prisoners. (Yes. They used deferent words off cause.)
    But reality is Chavez calls Bush ‘the devil’ – and bush said no I’m not and then he went to toucher people.
    So God bless Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo bay prisoners (and every one else we don’t know yet where).
    Shall Democrats call for international investigation?

  7. Sam, you make a valid point that the human rights violations of the army and extra judicial killings has not been restricted to a) the minority population of Sri Lanka and b) the Sri Lankan army itself.

    Yes, during the JVP insurgency era many Sinhalese civilians were killed by the army. There should have been a public outcry about this, but there wasn’t because everyone was afraid of the government at the time. Sri Lanka has evolved since then to a state where the media is relatively free and public expression of opposing views is comparatively safe. This is a good thing, as it one of the fundamental building blocks of a democratic society.

    In this present situation when any civic minded citizen of Sri lanka sees that the government is not interesting in providing justice to a particular group, whether they be Sinhalese Sri Lankans in the South, Tamil Sri Lankans or Muslim Sri Lankans, I think there is a duty to hold the government accountable as responsible citizens.

    I am a Sri Lankan and the suffering of any Sri Lankan is the suffering of my own people. Some people in the Sri Lanka military do not seem to feel the same way, and the government is not doing anything to change this. My problem iis not so much with individual soldiers running berserk, which happens in any military conflict. My problem is that the government is not doing anything effective about it.

    As for the law going to be passed by Bush, please provide a link, because this is the first I’ve heard about it. Even if it’s true, it does not change the fact that he is doing this democratically through the legal system. That is an entirely different situation.

  8. Sam, no one is disputing that the Army killed people in the late eighties. In fact it probably didn’t kill enough people, Podi Athula and his current band of gelled hair cronies. But that is a different story.

    Yes – armies the world over kill. It is a stark reality of war which we cannot escape. The phenomenon of war is of such a nature that ‘war crimes’ will always continue to happey. In rugby, there is punching. There is stamping and trampling. It is accepted, and it goes on. Yet, if the referee sees you he penalises you – because you’re not supposed to do it.

    It’s the same thing here. The army is not supposed to massacre civilians. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but if it does, the GOSL is duty bound to give a penalty against them, so to speak, and perhaps show a yellow card.

    Perhaps Ravana’s question should be less whether the Army is for all Sri Lankans, but more so whether the Government is?

  9. The soldiers responsible for Krishanthy Kumaraswamy’s rape and murder have been convicted and sentenced to death. There are many such examples. You should get your bloody facts right before you say “no similar Sri Lankan examples of justice meted out to war criminals come to mind.”

    War crimes against civilians and combatants are a part of any war. These things do happen. It’s not something unique and exclusive to the Sri Lankan conflict.

    “This is a specious argument because Sri Lanka’s history shows that the government in the past has failed in its duty to protect its citizens. The most notable example is the riots in 1983 which qualifies as government sponsored terrorism.”

    Many more Sinhalese civilians have been killed because the government failed in its duty to protect them from Tamil terrorist groups. Ranil Wickremesinghe’s ceasefire did not mean that the Sinhalese and Muslims could return to the North to live their or claim their property. It didn’t mean that Sinhalese civilians did not continue to be hacked or bombed to death on a regular basis. But for people like you, the government only has a duty to protect the minorities and it only fails when it cannot protect them. The government is equally responsible for letting the Tamils massacre Sinhalese in the North and East while engaging in “peace talks”. It has no right to sacrifice them for “peace”.

    By radical muslims I don’t mean Al Qaeda associated groups. If you follow Sri Lankan politics closely, you should see that mainstream Muslim parties are competing with each other to be more extreme and more racist than the other. Muslim leaders generally feel that they’ve lost out by being peaceful. There’s a very obvious push towards confrontation with the Sinhalese polity. Muslim parties are asking for a seperate representation in the “talks” and a seperate state in the East if one is given to Tamils.

    I don’t bloody care if the STF killed them or not. 10 people is nothing in a war that’s costed over 70000 lives. I’m more interested in damage control. If the government can get away without having any investigation, I’m all for it. I do accept that innocent Sinhalese had to get killed to crush the JVP insurrection and I would accept the killings of innocent Tamils and Muslims by the same token. I feel genuinely sorry that they got killed, but I don’t see any reason to bark around like a rabid dog about it. The government’s main duty is to protect the credibility of the army and STF.

    US would not allow the an international investigation into abuses by its military. No self respecting country should. The investigation into the prison scandal only began when irrevocable and undeniable evidence was presented on the media. Did the US do anything when HR groups and Iraqi civil society was asking for an investigation before the photos were presented? The head of state cannot act like a human rights crusader. Right now, what there is are some unfounded allegations without evidence. The government’s best course of action is to pretend to be concerned and let the fire die out. Only response should be constant and repeated denial and putting the blame on the LTTE. Nothing would ever be proved and there would be no repurcussions. In a few months, it’ll be just paragraph in Amnesty International’s annual report that no one remembers.

    If it happens so that the government is put in a position where it must carry out an investigation into the killings, it should be done. If the LTTE is found to be the guilty party (quite likely as the only survivor says so) it’ll all be fine. If the STF is responsible, a couple of them should be presented to the world as scapegoats and punished harshly as Americans did. Either way, the government comes across as squeaky clean.

  10. Just Mal –

    I did get my facts right, which is why I said “nothing comes to mind.” I’d bet that you had to look on google to find that ONE example that you quoted, because it didn’t “come to mind” for you either.

    Justice must be seen to be done, as well as actually being done, and it certainly does not seem like it is being done at the moment.

    So, you admit that you don’t care if the STF is guilty. You say you only want the government to look squeaky clean. In who’s eyes? In the international community’s eyes, or its own citizens?

    You don’t seem to realise the consequences of the type of government policies you are advocating and the seriousness of ignoring this type of issue.

    It is not just about human rights. It’s about undermining the LTTE’s justification for a separate state. It’s about justifying the labelling of LTTE as terrorists and not as freedom fighters. It’s about keeping them banned abroad and reducing their funding. It’s about winning.

  11. The only government policies I advocate in regard to the Sri Lankan conflict are realpolitik and machiavellianism.

    The government’s objective here should be to preserve the credibility of armed forces. The main issue is PR, not HR. Perhaps it’s important to have the moral high ground against the LTTE by showing that we do not tolerate human rights abuses by our forces while the LTTE encourages it. For this reason, it’s necessary to prosecute a few soldiers once in a while and heavily publicise it. However, it’s necessary to make sure that the reputation of the forces is not tarnished as a result.

  12. Just Mal – how do you propose to ‘prosecute a few soldiers’ and at the same time maintain a squeaky clean image? How?

    By whitewashing those who perpetrate this sort of crime, you fuel the fire of mistrust already raging within the minorities. How is this incident any different to the Muslims in the East, from what 1983 was to the Tamils. You may argue the scales are different, but from someone who claims the lives of 10 people are ‘nothing’ – I would expect nothing less.

    By turning a convenient blind eye to this massacre we are running the risk of repeating the same mistake the gave rise to the birth of the LTTE. We must prevent the Muslim uprise and not foster it.

    The entire issue is that the ELECTED GOSL must be representative of all communities. We cannot say that it should favour the Sinhalese. That – if you cared to listen – is the whole problem.

  13. Oh darling what was 1983 to Tamils? As far as I can see, 1983 was a great blessing for most Tamils. They had the opportunity to migrate to western countries in hordes and packs using 1983 as an excuse.

    Sinhalese did not start 1983. Tamils did. Tamils were not the only ones who suffered in 1983. Many Sinhalese in the North were also massacred. Black July is just a fantasy in the warped minds of ngots, eelamists and their apologists (such as sophist). The riots in 1983 only went on for a few days. The Tamil population in areas where these riots happened has doubled and tripled after 1983. However, virtually no Sinhalese or Muslim civilians are allowed to live in the North after 1983. So who really suffered because of 1983?

    The only thing I’m interested in is minimising the damage it would cause to the STF, if in fact STF has any responsibility as alleged (this is of course unlikely). If the STF is responsible a few soldiers should be charged and convicted. That would convince the detractors that the government does not condone abuse by its forces and would bring them to justice. That’s what the US did when its soldiers were charged. Instead of admitting that there was an institutionalised culture of persecution and torture, it made scapegoats out of a few low ranking soldiers and got away with it.

    As I said it’s not likely that the STF did it. There is no proof. STF does not have a history of attacking and killing Muslim civilians for no apparent reason. There was nothing to be gained by their deaths. The sole survivor says it was done by the LTTE.

    What there is, is a campaign by aggressive Muslim parties (followed by hordes of uneducated and easily influenced Muslims of the east) to have a show of might to increase their bargaining power and to emerge as an independent force. This is just one small chapter of this campaign.

  14. Just Mal,

    You said:

    “Perhaps it’s important to have the moral high ground against the LTTE by showing that we do not tolerate human rights abuses by our forces while the LTTE encourages it. For this reason, it’s necessary to prosecute a few soldiers once in a while and heavily publicise it. However, it’s necessary to make sure that the reputation of the forces is not tarnished as a result.”

    Yes, but that prosecution of soldiers is not happening now, is it? That’s my whole point. As a result, far from maintaining a clean image, our image is as dirty as can be, both nationally as well as internationally. The very fact that the government and the military refuses to publicly cleanse itself of war criminals undermines its credibility.

  15. Just Mal –
    I suggest you educate yourself about what happened in 1983, something which I witnessed with my own eyes.
    What is your source for alleging that the Sinhalese suffered as much in 1983 and that the Tamil Sri Lankans started it? This is a unique viewpoint, that I have never heard before. 🙂
    The thing is, there is no doubt that the government was involved in 1983, and there simply is no excuse for that.
    The below site is one of the most balanced sites I have come across. You may think that it is biased towards the LTTE, but in fact, the LTTE hates this organisation and has killed one of the founders.

  16. I was going to start this comment by calling you an idiot just mal but then I checked out your blog and reaslised that you’re just a kid… you wouldn’t know black July if it came up to you doused you in petrol and set fire to your ignorant ass.

    Just mal take it from people who were there, we saw Sri Lankans being rounded up and shot/burnt/hacked/beaten/throttled (yes it was a veritable cornucopia of brutality) to death by their own neighbours and dare I say it… the SL Army… but you wouldn’t know that, no amount of reading can help you understand what it’s like to smell burning human flesh… to watch someone being killed and knowing that there’s nothing you can do to help them.. you wouldn’t know a damn thing about that.

    The thing is mate it’s easy to dismiss something you never experienced as unimportant, it’s akin to saying that the holocaust was “not a pleasant time” for the jews but they benefitted on the whole because they got to leave Germany. I’ll also wager that not one of the Tamils who migrated in that time did it because they hated Sri Lanka, after all no on wants to leave their home (and like it or not Sri Lanka is as much their home as it is yours) they did it because they didn’t want to die… it’s really that simple.

    ” That’s what the US did when its soldiers were charged. Instead of admitting that there was an institutionalised culture of persecution and torture, it made scapegoats out of a few low ranking soldiers and got away with it.”

    Yeah and what did it do to their image? Not a lot of fucking good… they just happen to have a US$400bn+ defence budget and an economy that is measured in trillions so they really can tell the rest of the world (as Sophist would say) “to go fuck themselves”. Sri Lanka doesn’t quite have that luxury, we can’t afford to lose any more credibilty in the eyes of the world… once that is gone it’s only a matter of time before the LTTE’s international proscription is lifted and they can buy arms and butt fuck us back to the stone age.

  17. “What is your source for alleging that the Sinhalese suffered as much in 1983 and that the Tamil Sri Lankans started it? This is a unique viewpoint, that I have never heard before. :)”

    Perhaps not in the month of July of the year of 1983, but I’m talking about the 23 years after that. Tamils still live in relative peace in areas where this so called Black July was supposed to have occured. In fact the Tamil population in the Colombo and suburbs has increased dramatically in this period. However, Sinhalese are not allowed to live in the North and they are being hacked to death in the East and North Central provinces. In 1983, as well as 2006 a Tamil student can attend any university in Sri Lanka. However, the Jaffna University which is funded by our tax money is exclusively for Tamils.

    Black July was just an over dramatised event that only went on for a few days. The majority of the Tamils who’ve left Sri Lanka for greener pastures are economic migrants. There is no doubt about that. Tamils were not being killed in Colombo after 1983. They could very well have lived in Colombo or anywhere else in the country if the reason for leaving was because they were scared for their lives.

    Tamils started 1983 by killing 13 Sinhalese soldiers. The riots were just another stage of the retaliations and counter retaliations triggered by that. Killings did not start in 1983 nor did they end. Many more Sinhalese have been killed by Tamils after 1983. I don’t see much importance in getting hyped up about this event. It’s mostly fictionalised to support the claims of Tamil asylum seekers. It cannot be compared with the holacaust which was a sustained and continued elimination of a defenceless ethnic group over a long period of time.

  18. It is not true that “Tamils started 1983 by killing 13 Sinhalese soldiers”. The LTTE – an armed group engaged in terrorist activities claiming to be the sole representative of the Tamils killed the 13 soldiers.

    If you don’t differentiate between Tamils and Tamil Tigers then you don’t have a leg to stand on politically. If you don’t differentiate between them, why do you oppose a separate state? Surely, no rational person would want to live in the same neighbourhood as people who would want to kill them? Your statements and what I assume is your political viewpoint of opposing a separate state are not congruent with each other. I suggest you reexamine your position.

  19. From what I understand, Tamil Tigers are Tamils, not Kannadas or Keralese. Considering the support and encouragement it gets from the wider Tamil community, it’s not incorrect to say that Tamils are responsible for LTTE crimes. I’ve never seen any ordinary Tamils regretting the deaths of Sinhalese civilians. Their attitude is the Sinhalese caused the problem so we deserve to be killed.

    I oppose a seperate state simply because I’m a Sinhalese, and likewise I would understand a Tamil wanting a seperate state for real and imagined reasons. An ethnic conflict couldn’t be one between Sinhalese and Tamil Tigers. It’s between Sinhalese and Tamils. I’m not interested in their rights or concerns, just the same as they don’t care about mine.

    In a soccer match you don’t stand in the middle and say let’s be fair and let each other score an equal number of goals, hug each other and go home. You play for the victory of your own team. If you don’t understand this simple concept I’m really sorry for you. You’re not alone though.

  20. The concept is not simple Just Mal. Your mind is. And you are not alone either – so it is necessary that we engage you.

    I suggest you take some time off whatever it is that you do and read the discourse on this very blog between Aadhavan and myself on the subject of your misconception, i.e. – that all Tamils are Tigers.

    You will be surprised JustMal, that an overwhelming majority of Tamils do care about your rights just as they do theirs. You can go on saying I”m a Sinhalese so screw everybody else. You’re more than entitled to do that. However, an elected government especially one elected on the proportional representation system, cannot and must not do that. That is our point. You can shout and cheer while the Army kills people. But if the kill non – combatants the GOSL must take action.

    Your mindset on this matter is unfortunate, but thankfully of no consequence. The GOSL’s however, is.

  21. So, Just Mal, what you are basically saying that your postion is always going to be that the Sinhalese are right, no matter what they do. You also say that you don’t care about Tamil rights and concerns. You see your identity as a Sinhalese as stronger than your identity as a Sri Lankan. So why not let the Tamils have their own federal state. so that they can govern their own rights and concerns? It’s because of opinions like yours that we have this ethnic conflict, because your position is entirely incongruent with the idea that we can all live together in the same country with peace and justice for all.

  22. “Black July was just an over dramatised event that only went on for a few days. The majority of the Tamils who’ve left Sri Lanka for greener pastures are economic migrants.”

    ok justmal now I’m going to call you stupid… Balck July… over dramatized! are you out of your fucking mind? Listen the actual killing spree may not have lasted years or even months but can you even begin to imagine the psychologial scarring from such a trauma… That sort of fear can break anyone, it’s more than enough to cause people to leave.

    Plus don’t for one second think that leaving meant that life was suddenly easy for them… the vast majority who fled didn’t have nice cushy job opportunities waiting for them, it was constant struggle… in fact it was a harder life for them there than it was in SL… economically at least.

    “Considering the support and encouragement it gets from the wider Tamil community, it’s not incorrect to say that Tamils are responsible for LTTE crimes”

    Only as much as you are responsible for the killing of Sri Lankan Tamils in 1983 (oh wait you weren’t even born then.. oh well it’s still your fault)

    “I’m not interested in their rights or concerns”

    We’ll add that to the list then…

    You just don’t get it do you? Your rights and their rights are the same thing you fool, to be not interested in their rights as Sri Lankans is to say that your rights have no meaning as well.

    Frankly if you’ll just admit that all this bitterness and misguided self righteous bullshit is because your tamil ex-girlfriend broke your heart (your blog is not bad by the way… if a bit soppy ) then at least we could all sympathise and get on with life. Chin up buddy there are plenty more to go around.

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