“Thamby, Ingratitude Is Not Part Of Our Culture….”

By Dr Kan Chandradeva

The degradation of socio-economic and healthcare structure in the Northeast (NE) is devastating. At present thousands of our people in the NE are undergoing intolerable levels of hardship: no food, no drinking water, no healthcare, no basic sanitation, no shelter, no security, no economy, no transport, no education and our values and lives are brutalised everyday by the occupiers but our people are so scared to even make a complaint for the fear of reprisals.

During the last two years alone over 5000 thousand people have been killed. Our people have been rooted out from their ancestral lands by decree. There is an epidemic of severe malnutrition among children. About three years ago, the UN reported that 60% of children in the NE were severely malnourished (30% in the rest of the island). The incidence of severe malnutrition has rocketed recently to 85-95% in areas under siege in the NE according to the local healthcare workers. The devastation continues unabated.

In the light of these unprecedented events in our homeland, I have been thinking about an old man frequently nowadays for what he said to me two decades ago: let me share my feelings with you.

I visited Sri Lanka to see my family in April 1988. Just to recap the events around that time, you may know that the IPKF arrived in July 1987 and the IPKF-LTTE conflict started 2 months later in October. When I arrived, the South was in turmoil due to the JVP violence but the NE was in relative peace besides sporadic outbreak of violence between IPKF & LTTE.

One fine day I went to the Trincomalee bus stand to catch a CTB bus (state transport system) to Jaffna. I was flabbergasted to see a brand new bus at the stand. I asked the driver as to how they managed to get a brand new bus, because the GOSL had the habit of allocating only second-hand or used buses to the bus depots in the NE. The driver said to me proudly, ‘India has donated a number of brand new buses to Sri Lanka, on the condition that these buses should ply only in the NE and this is one of the buses donated by India’. I was delighted with his explanation and told myself that we would no longer be second-class citizens in our homeland.

The journey was comfortable and gave a sense of security as there were numerous IPKF check-points along the route. As you know on this very route Tamils had been burnt alive in their vehicles on a number of occasions by the Sinhala mobs when there was ethnic conflict and tension in the island.

Having arrived in Jaffna safely, a few days later I went to Nallur to meet some friends. There was pandemonium and I saw people fleeing from a burning bus. I tried to find out what was going on. An elderly man, who was shaky and visibly angry, approached me and whispered in my ears in English.

‘Thamby, Ingratitude is not our culture… this was one of the buses donated to us by India. The boys have set fire to this simply because this bus was donated by India. Thamby, our future generation will have to pay a big price for these boys’ stupid and ungrateful behaviour’. I wanted to continue the conversation but he nodded his head to say bye and moved away quietly. I think he must have realised that he had violated the curfew on his freedom of speech for a moment.

Is this the price we are paying at present in the NE as he predicted two decades ago?

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37 Comments

  1. Yes it is the price we are paying. Unfortunately while in the past ingratitude was not a part of our culture, it is today. This is because our community has been ripped apart by violence, war and pure and simple hatred. Hatred not only towards the Singhalese and Muslims, but towards our own people as well. The government and the LTTE are hell bent on their war and as long as that continues Tamils will continue to suffer.

  2. Yes, our great boys burnt the trains also and permanently removed the railway tracks beyond Vavuniya in 1984-85. That was given to us by the British neary a 100 years ago.

    Then shot down the passenger airplane also in later 1990s. It not ingratitude thamby…. It is the physical protection given to Thamby.

  3. in a war like situation, youngsters react according to that particular moment. In that fraction of moment people don’t think of gratitude or ingratitude, instead they react. All of us are do in our family life too.

    I am not justifying violence but going back to 25 year and analyzing not going to bring back anything. Lets leave this episode to historians and to future to justify what was right and wrong.

    At the moment we should concentrate all of our energy writing letters to our congressman, MPs and senator from respective countries as I am doing right now. I am encouraging the writer to write more about the suffering of the eastern Tamils and bring back to light.

    Honestly I am from Trinco and when I read this article i could able to go into author’s shoe and experience it since I know where the bus stand and also the Nallur temple are located.

    I am proud of the writer, who is from Trinco and able to write the suffering our people but I don’t wish him to be historian and waste his writing skills and talent that we all need desperately at this moment of time put into explain for our eastern Tamils desperate situation.

    it is not what hapen after burning a bus . it is what hapen when we got a place to call home after our own country India refused to take us. no matter what sri lanka and its nastion gave us aplace to call home . all we have to do was make it one like home

  4. Chandra:

    The reality is that all people in Sri Lanka lived well as friends. Once the dvisive oppurtunistic politicians played started playing the race, cast , religion game the nation of Sri Lanka wnet down the toilet. As long as the LTTE , corrupted self serving Sinhala and Tamil, Muslim poiliticians are around development for the suffering masses will be a dream. The one thing I can say for now is probably Batticoloa will have the best oppurtinity for more development now that LTTE does not have any control over the lives of the cvilians. Perhaps it is time for the ecnomically advantaged (Dr. Chandradeva), lovers of the people of the East get together and contribute to the needs of the people. I have heard some thing to the effect ” Instead of complaining about the darkness – light-up one Canlde”. I am sure many candles will be lit up at the end.

  5. Street protests which often turn violent with damage/burning of vehicles,storefronts etc. are common in most countries where citizenry protest against perceived injustices.

    The “boys” were protesting against the IPKF atrocities which india tried to make them forget by providing new buses ! !

    Earler JVP burned CTB buses on July 29 1987 to protest the Indo/Lanka “Accord” which JRJ pretended to accept and persuaded Rajiv Ghandi to send the indian army to “disarm” the LTTE.
    Had this happened,the SLArmy would have massacred the “boys” at leisure after the indians had left – this was known to the “boys”.

    If Rajiv had continued what his mother did, tamils would have achieved equality of status as citizens.

    Even now india is assisting the SLArmed forces.

  6. This whole thing is a stupid drama played by the LTTE and each and every elected government of Sri lanka from 1948. These bastards from both sides use all sri lankans, their lives, economy, culture and morals and values as their playing fields.

    Just think for a minute… All innocent people from North to South and East to West in every ethnic group has suffering and continues to suffer from this stupdiest war in the whole world.

    All these humble people from every corner of Sri Lanka are forced or manipulated to be just spectators and take on all the burden.

    Especially we should think of the North East Tamil population and culture. It is a such a human disaster that even the average North East Tamil person (mainly living abroad) is confused to realize the reality of the grave situation faced by their culture and generations.

    Just go back to 1970. Jaffna been the third largest city in Sri Lanka. Thriving economy with brilliant businessman launching their businesses in to every corner of Sri lanka. Trains, buses, electricity, telephones, city water. You name it ….. It was there. Best schools, Best academic staff, universities, best hospitals, best doctors, best farmers ….

    Look now what the LTTE, Government of Sri Lanka and even some other militant groups has left there. Just ruins… Land going even backwards than 1000 years. People dispursed in all corners of the world. This successful hard working people are forced to live like refugees in one form or another.

    Look at the rest of the country. The people suffering from top to bottom of the war. When I left Sri Lanka in 1999 the 1 Canadian dollar is Rs. 42/=. Today 1 canadian dollar is Rs. 106/=. The economic fall down in the international stage is more than 100%. People are mislead and manipulated like reprogammable micro chips.

    Now who to blame……. Lets face it….

    We should blame ourselves. Whether Tamil or Sinhalese or Muslim we should blame ourselves. It our silence and taking stupid side of either LTTE or this group or that group or government of Sri Lanka.

    Do we want to save this island called Sri Lanka where we all were born some time back….

    Then we should get together and make a single strong voice loudly and clearly… “STOP THE STUPID WAR NOW…..”

    1. We want rationale and reasonable people from NE and rest of the country to sit down and propose the federal system for implementation. Not the LTTE, or Government of Sri Lanka or JVP or Buddhist priests.

    2. Make a new security force consisting of recurits from current Sri Lankan forces and LTTE in to unity force who can take over the security of NE. So that army can vacate the current camps and also LTTE too cannot pose a threat. Chase both LTTE and army from NE. Let this new unity force of both ex-LTTE and ex-army be answerable for the above federal system implemenation committee under above 1 and to international community. Let this new unity force give the assurance that neither ex-LTTE or ex-army will raise another gun in NE.

    3. Let cultivate reality, reasonable co-existance and reasonable fairness in living. There is nothing called 100% practically implemented co-existance or fairness. There will be minor discrimination always. We all face it every day either in any form of gender, religion, race, age, skin color. Can anyone say that a single day in our lives where we have not seen minor discrimination or witness it. Either in Sri Lanka or Canada or USA or Germany or Europe or what ever the corner of the world. We have to get realistic in the sake of millions of poor people sufferning in Sri Lanka in every corner. They dont have the ease like us to sit in front of 50″ Plasma T.V’s and talk about minor discrimination by LTTE or Government of Sri Lanka. Not to mention how much discrimination we go through in Canada day to day.. Aha !!!!.

    Solution is viable…. If we forced them to run and replace with realistic fairness and co-existance. Or we can always continue to be spectators as we have done so far.

    I am a Sri Lankan and my race is Sinhalese and my religon is buddhist. Dont lable me as a Sinhalese extremist or person talking against Tamil Nationalism has shown by the LTTE.

    We got to get realistic and aim for reasonable fairness and reasonable co-existance or let the war machine run.

  7. All Sri Lankans are suffering because of this racial madness. There is insecurity in all parts of the country including the south of the country. It is accepted that the people of the N&E are the worst affected by this insecurity.

    What the people of Sri Lanka have to realise is that there has to be security and fairness for all communities, otherwise there won’t be any security for anyone. Basically IT IS SECURITY ALL OR SECURITY FOR NONE. Untill we as a nation realise this simple fact our children and grandchildren and the generations to come will suffer.

  8. Nathan, Canada

    I am afraid I do not agree with some of your comments:

    The LTTE accepted the IS agreement: in return got millions of rupees from India, posed to camera surrendering some of their weapons, accepted the majority seats in the Northeast provincial and submitted the names accordingly for these seats. If the LTTE had not accepted the ISA, I do not think the LTTE should have accepted to all this. 2 months later, even though the IPKF did not kill a single cadre or civilian, the LTTE still fatally attacked the IPKF with landmines. You might argue the LTTE leader was detained in Delhi and forced to accept etc. But any leader is expected face such scenarios during any struggle. If VP had not accepted the ISA he should have said so firmly to the Indians and refused to accept any conditions for his release.

    As you know Nelson Mandela is a great leader. The apartheid South Africa on numerous occasions offered to release him from prison on conditions but NM refused to accept any conditions. Even after 27 years he came out of the prison as a free man without accepting any conditions. On the contrary, if MN had accepted the conditions (ceasing armed struggle and surrendering weapons were some of the conditions) for his release and two months later if NM had planted landmines and fatally attacked the SA armed forces…..do you think the whole world would have accepted him today as the most admirable statesman?

    This is where I became disillusioned with the LTTE. I still believe the ISA gave the most promising opportunity to solve our problem and this golden opportunity was single-handedly scuttled by the LTTE: mind you every Tamil political party and every Tamil militant group accepted the ISA. The LTTE accepted and then did a ‘U’ turn 2 months later and brought nothing but catastrophe and calamity to our homeland.

    Now VP leads an organisation that has been banned outright in 30 powerful democratic countries and the leader himself is hunted by the Interpol on murder charges. I wish we had a leader like Nelson Mandela.

  9. People are suffering. Most of the suffering is experienced by NE people, be it Tamils, Muslims or Singhalese. We can analyse the past and say this is where we went wrong and so and so should have done like this and should not have done like that. The past is not in our control.

    But what about today, is there room to change now instead of using the past to justify the current trend of envents or are we to wait and think we should have done somthing differently 15 years from now ? What’s wrong with us Sri lankan’s ? We talk of boys, now it’s boys and girls and all are dying from all sides. And now we have advanced to the next stage, kidnappings extortion has become an industry. LTTE did this for a long time, while some contributed willingly to the cause of Ealam, there were many occasions where extortion was done on direct or implied threat. Now it has gone mainstream, the so called establishement too has joined the bandwagon.

    LTTE expelled Muslims from Jaffna and now GOSL is doing the same. You can lablel it anyway you like, forced eviction or ethnic cleansing etc. But what it bascially boils down to is not respecting/treating other souls the way you liked to be respected/treated by others.

    Look at the web forums, blogs, newspapers and what do we have, justifications for violance from both sides. Yes we do see talk on peace too, but that too is more often used as a tool to win more ground from both sides than for genuine peace.

    Let us change ourselves, at whatever cost do not justify violance, be it from GOSL, LTTE, SLA, Karuna or from any other side. Violance is violance and there is no justification for that. Moment you remove this differentiation you will allways keep on justifying to suit the situation.
    The resolution first has to come from within us Sri Lankans, we have to change our attitude towards each other. If this cyle continues this will go further and soon Tamils will fight Tamils and Singhalese will fight Singhalese and Muslim will fight mulsim. Sri Lanka is the God given Paradise to us, do not damn it to the Hell on earth with our hatred towards each other.

  10. D Perera (UAE)

    I very much appreciate views. Critical analysis of the past is vital for us to have a future. Unless the past mistakes and blunders are accepted and recognised, the current cycle of calamity of will go on unabated. I hope you read my proposal for normalcy on this forum. Any views on that?

  11. Here we are talking about the BUS.

    What about the people that have been killed by IPKF and by SLA. If you want to kill LTTE go and Kill them, only them, but not innocent People like my Grand Dad and My Uncle. My Grand dad was 70 years of age when he run over by IPKF’s Tank in Jaffna, and my Uncle, he was 44 years of age when SLA killed him. When we got his body it was three pieces. Why they killing us like this, all the messages here saying that is only Because of LTTE. What about before LTTE.

    Why from 1948 all the riots towards Tamils and why Sinhela only laws and why Sinhela SRI in your cars and Why all the Tamil land owners been pushed out from the east and the North West. Why the changes in the university clearance, why two third majority in the Parliament. These all happened before the LTTE. Think about the poor Sinhela families who are loosing son and daughters on the front line because of the non human politicians.

    If the Tamils never united and say by one voice ,that is our bad luck and our doomed.

    Thanks and think

  12. Sash:
    I am extremely sad to read your posting and for this very reason I am convinced that this cycle of violence must come to an end at the earliest. During the last 2 yrs alone over 5000 people have been killed.

    During our struggle at one stage armed resistance was justified, let there be no question about that, but when opportunities came up we should grasped it.

    I did not mean to mourn about the material (bus) loss in this paper but I wanted to highlight the MESSAGE came out of that old gentleman’s mouth and mind. Violence will never solve our problem; will only create more and more misery to us. It is our resposibility to bring carnage to an end for the sake of our children.

  13. Annpan (Canada)

    I was present at one of the buses burning incident. It was a messy and chaotic incident. We were all panicking and jumping through the windows and running away from the bus as hard as we can. Yes at the beginning I was angry and disappointed to see a nice bus burning. I will never forget that bus ride, it was so good and never felt it before in my life like that.

    Then it struck me that what LTTE did was the right. After doing all the damage to our people with GOSL, India used these buses as a damage control. Sure, as this old man, ordinary people won’t see this but it would have been a big mistake on LTTE if they missed the real intention of India.

    Dr. Chandar, I agree that ingratitude is not in out culture; however, India’s buses were a great insult to us and there is noting to show our gratitude about it. New buses may have made you and people like you forget the betrayal of India but there a big percentage of us still have plenty of something that is very much in Tamil Culture is Dignity.

  14. Dr. Kan Chandradeva,

    You seem to be fixed with the past. Its fruitless to point fingers, and you were only a visitor at that time to understand the feeling of the youth. I do agree the East hasn’t seen the brutality of the fourth largest Army. There was a feeling of huge let down, and most of the Tamils knew India delivered a *monkey justice* to the whole Lanka.

    There was a huge mystery regarding ‘1987 Indo-Lanka’ and not the whole deal was made public that made the Tamils more suspicious of what Indians had signed on behalf of Sri Lankan Tamils. We Tamils even feared that our saviour had sold us out.

    Indians didn’t intervene to help Tamils, but themselves, therefore, no question of ‘Ingratitude’. For their geo-political reasons, India wants to put a cap on the level of rights Tamils can have in the Island. India continues to refuse to recognise the Tamil’s right to self determination. Only different between Sinhala government, Indian government is that the level of (rights) power they are willing to delegate to Tamils.

    *Panchtandra Story.

  15. D. Perera (UAE)

    I agree with you violence is voilence.

    As Shash put it in a nice way, what happened to tamils since independence (1948) to 1977?

    My father a tamil govt servant, in 1958 sent as a refugee by ship from colombo to Jaffna without even a change cloth.

    In 1977, our whole tamil family was sent as refugees to Jaffna from Colombo by ship.

    My best tamil friend, eldest of three children in the family gave up his engineering studies and joined the militant group in 1983, because he couldn’t continue his studies in Peradeniya. He wasn’t able to attend his mother’s funeral, when she passed away in Srilanka, while he was in India.

    Violence was forced on tamils. Let treat us as humans. What we will achieve by hatered? One of the highest literacy rate in the region, see what is happening now? Leave NE tamils, look at high school pass rate among sinhala students in the so-called peaceful govt controlled Sinhala south is about 50%?

    Our average life span is around 60 yrs. The whole generation is lost due to power mongering politicians. Why live and let others live in peace.

    Everyone knows who are mostly affected by this war, innocent people without money and or power, tamils, sinhalese, muslims …………

    At this point, unless people mainly live outside NE change their attitue towards tamils and rise against opportunistic ploticians and foreign countries that beautiful island will be hell.

    Hope sinhala people will change and peace will be restored.

  16. All my sinhala friends,

    Let’s all agree on one point.

    None of you won’t be even talking about any solution to tamils, may be living peacefully even somewhere in NE Srilanka with your family, friends and relatives. Tamils would have been completely wiped out from SL long ago if there is no LTTE or “boys”.
    That doesn’t mean I totally agree with LTTE what they have done so far.

  17. Suresh M

    There is no doubt that India would have had their own interests while intervening in Srilankan in 1988.

    However it is the generally we Tamils who wanted them to intervene.

    Pl remember during 1983 riots when the violence against Tamils were continuing with the help of SL forces and Ministers, India put her army on red alert and thinking of sending troops to Srilanka. Then JR called for help from many countries including US and UK to defend Indian intervention. That courageous move by late Indira Ghandi only helped to control the riots.
    So how can you say India did not intervene to help Tamils?

    Even during 1977 riots when Morarjee Desai was Indian Prime Minister he expressed concern about the riots.

    Apart from India, who had the power to get the North and East merged? Is that not to help the Tamils?

    I do agree that fourth largest army has killed hundred of civilians in Jaffna during the start of war.
    But the small Srilankan Army(one of the small army) has done at least ten times more damage even in north . What about matters like Chemmani graveyard? Under the nose of which Army the invaluable Jaffna library was burned? What about Kumuthini ferry masscare?
    What about the Valvettithurai massacre? In Kokkadichchloai in Batti, when two SL army soldiers were killed they took revenge by killing more than hundred villagers at ponit blank range and shot pregnant mothers at their belly. Do you think IPKF would have done like that? What is the ratio of explosives dropped from Air when comparing Indian and Srilankan Army during the same period of duration?

    SL army imposed tough economical embargo and restricted all the essential medicines to Wanni and Jaffna in late 90s.
    But during Indian Army’s time even pen torch batteries were available at normal price at shops, and Trains plied between Jaffna and Colombo.

    Indian Army did not have the experience of facing the kind of civil war they faced in Jaffna. So initially there have been many army excess. But within about 6 months they drastically improved.

    I do not say that India is perfect and their Army did a wonderful job. But for we, the Tamils they were much better than Sinhalese army who cared Tamils like dogs.

    I plead you to deeply analyze the truth and not to be biased. Pl remember that we are now helpless. We are only left with bad, and the worst to choose.

  18. Dear Annpan and Suresh M

    I wish to know whether the contents of your posting as above are the views of the LTTE as well?

  19. For DR KC (Author of this message)!

    Thanks for your concern about my and your Tamil People. But please remember something. If we Tamil ask LTTE to stop attacking army and stop campaign for Tamil state with out any solution, then what will happen?

    We Tamil can achieve so many in short time far grater than sinhala people. ‘BUT’ we never will achieve any thing better in Sri Lankan politics ,we will always remain second class citizen, then the sinhela jealousy will turn on Tamil because of the Tamils financial goals. Then some of our boys will start fighting against Sri Lankan Government. Now you know we will be ground zero again.

    that is why I am begging all the Tamils in all over the world please and please forget about your differences and dreams , may be I am younger than you people, for the sake of the next generation of Tamils and poor sinhala families please ….please be one voice for the Tamils and peace in Sri lank.

    I have some sinhala friends who always saying that, they ready to compromise but not the government. Few weeks ago one of my English friend’s girl friend went to Maldives on the way to Maldives she got sick and admitted in Sri Lankan hospital. Few nurses went to her and begging for money, now she saying that she never ever go to Sri Lanka even some one give me 1bilion dollars. Look how our country is going. Why can be a two state solution and we can build our country that never begged world bang and outer country for m money. When he told me,” all day I was upset”

  20. Dear Sundaram

    Many thanks for your mail with full of real facts.

    I am not against the LTTE but I am extremely angry about the complexity of the mess we are in and I hold the LTTE leadership for taking my people down the path of self-destruction.

    The LTTE grabbed an ideal and tailor-made freedom struggle from Mr Amirthalingam and now we can see how they have messed it up.

    Here in the west we are doing everything under the sun to save the lives of old people in their 80s, but in the NE young men and women in their tender age are dying in large numbers every day in vain – this gives me enormous pain.

    There are large number of people out there with the mirror image of yours, but for some reason they do not seem to air their opinion.

  21. Hi Sundaram,

    Thank you for your decent reply. I am not anti, or pro India, but pro Sri Lanka. Sound funny isn’t it. India or any States has no permanent friends, but permanent interest.

    When ‘Indian’ Tamils were made stateless, or 1958 anti-Tamil riots, or even 1977, Delhi effectively did nothing. When late. SJV got frustrated with successive Sri Lankan governments, he seek an audience with officials in Delhi, no single door had opened for him, but in 1983, Amirthalingam and his fellow TULF members were welcomed housed in India as guests of the State for a long time. This was because; Lanka had been following the footstep of India, until 1977. 1977 election that brought JR to the power, and Mrs. Gandhi came was back in 1981. This was in the peak of cold war, and JR was following a pro-west line, but Mrs. Gandhi was in Soviet camp. India used us Tamils to get her national interest guarded in Sri Lanka against U.S.

    If you recall a few published a few items were made known in regards to 1987 Indo-Lanka agreement. Some them were (1) Set-up a Provincial Government (N_E)
    (2) Temporary merger of N-E (3) Disarming the Tamil militants (4) No Air port, Port, or Land facilities leased to any other countries or national media without the consent of Delhi.

    Now, (1), (2), and (3) are not fulfilled. You could blame it on LTTE, but (4) can the Sri Lankan Government even touch. Do you think India will remain silent? Now N-E merger has been nullified by Supreme courts, what did India do? Do you think if Rajapakse’s regime lease out Trinco harbor to China, India is going to be silent? Or do you think if Sri Lanka Government cancels the lease with Bharate Oil that has leased the Oil storage facilities in China bay, India is going to be silent? Net beneficiary of our conflict is India, and we both Sinhalese and Tamils are the net losers. May Tamils lose the most? Let’s not fool ourselves. We Tamils, still have to be united in our struggle, this is our self interest as a community, and we ought to guard them.

  22. Why was there no courtmartial for the indian soldiers who carried out the Jaffna Hospital Massacre ? In the british army such soldiers would have been shot after inquiry by the Judge Advocate General. This atrocity is unique in the history of warfare.
    This unpunished massacre by the indians encouraged the SLArmys’s impunity which goes on even now – even yesterday, two civilians were shot dead between two army sentry points 400 metres apart in jaffna.
    The magistrate has deplored the loss of evidence from the site & from earlier murder sites.
    I am aghast that there are ‘apologists and sympathisers’ for the IPKF & what they did.
    ALL sinhala polity DO NOT wish to grant Equality of Status as citizens to ALL minorities, not only the tamils. Does anyone remember the shortlived Equal Opportunities Bill – even sinhala schoolchildren in colombo schools were persuaded to protest on the streets!
    Tamils merely want EQUALITY in ALL aspects of life and governance and nothing more. But this has been denied since 1948.

  23. Dear Suresh M

    I never wanted or meant my postings to be sarcastic. My apologies if have felt it that way.

    Patriotism:
    My patriotism is firmly embedded in my homeland. My affection to Britain (which adopted me as an equal citizen) and India (which I always looked to as our natural safety net) is much stronger than my patriotism towards Sri Lanka. Unless SL accepts me and my people as equal citizens I’ll find it very difficult harbour the sense of being a Sri Lankan. SL has committed numerous barbaric crimes against us; the worst crime is Welikande massacre. The assailants did not come from out side, the people who were there within the four walls of prison became murderers, and still the GOSL has not charged a single person. How can I feel I am ‘pro-Sri Lankan’?

    You say India poked her nose into problem but I do not agree with that. India was dragged into this struggle by us. VP fled and took refuge in India the same day after Alfred Thuraiappa was —, and then VP took fighters to India for training. This is how India became dragged into this and as the conflict intensified thousands of refugees fled to India. So if one agrees to your argument that India created problem in SL, then you have to accept the fact that VP acted as an Indian agent to create problems in Sri Lanka.

    Amirthalingam strongly believed in Cyprus-style solution (so do I, still) to our conflict and he played a highly effective political manoeuvres. He did not trust or expect the GOSL to come up with a viable solution or honour it. Because of his diplomacy India was made to engineer a political solution.

    Indo-Sri Lanka accord (ISA):
    I do not think you can blame India for its inaction about the de-merger.
    ISA was accepted by all Tamil politicians and militants. The LTTE too accepted it: got millions of rupees from India, the LTTE got majority seats in the Interim NE Provincial Council etc. I strongly urge you to read the chapter 9 in The Broken Palmyra; you can access it free online via google.

    When you accept an agreement you agree to all the clauses in it. ISA stipulates about the NE merger and also it requests the militants to disarm. The ISA virtually became null and void when the LTTE fatally attacked the IPKF in Oct 87 (even though not a single civilian or a cadre was killed by the IPKF) by virtue of the fact that the LTTE had been the major stakeholder in the proposed interim NEPC. How can you blame India for the de-merger now?

    The ISA brought us the most favourable opportunity to solve the problem and if this had not been messed up the NEPC would have now evolved into a self-governing unit. Over 70000 people would not have perished.

    You say we should be united in our struggle but the question is who is going to lead us? How can I say an organisation that has been banned by over 30 democratic countries and whose leader is hunted by Interpol on murder charges, unite and lead us?

    I feel we have a leadership vacuum and I look to TNA to unite and lead us in this very difficult time.

  24. Nathan Canada:

    Of course, we should demand judicial action against the IPKF soldiers who carried the Jaffna Hosptal massacre.

    We should also demand judicial action against the militant and his masters who ordered him to carry out a fatal hand grenade attack at the IPKF, and when he was chased by the IPKF ran into hospital and escaped. This incident was followed by the death of 17 people when the IPKF searched for the assailant in the hospital.

    We should also demand that all the accused men in the Rajiv Ghandhi’s murder trial be apprehended and tried as required by the rule of law.

    I hope you would agree with my position on these issues

  25. You guys wasting your time here. Because Tamils never unite in any ways. DR KC ( Kan Chandradeva) is more sympathies to North India than his own people. (If he Tamil) and never says what is the long lasting solution for Tamils in Sri Lanka.

    God help us all.

  26. Doctor,

    You asked:
    “I wish to know whether the contents of your posting as above are the views of the LTTE as well?”

    I saw in one of your replies, you mentioned the book ‘The Broken Palmyra’. Whit all do respect, ‘The Broken Palmyra’ is not the only book written about Sri Lankan ethnic problem. There are tons of books available on the same subject. With your question and your mention of this book shows me that you are really in search of this so-called ‘views of the LTTE’. Doctor, I know some people here in Canada, who hold ‘The Broken Palmyra’ as a Bible, for some reasons they are just too attached to the book and they don’t want to even consider reading other books. I just hope that you are not one of them and you won’t find this ‘views of the LTTE’ in that book. Please try to read some of the books by Anton Balasingham, they will not only give you a broader understanding of the problem but also shed some lights on the ‘views of the LTTE’.

    Having said that, I assuming that you are serious and the answer to you question is ‘no’, what I wrote was my own personal opinion.

  27. Dear Sash

    My proposal to the conflict:

    The need of the hour is to bring some normalcy in the NE (please see my paper on, ‘my views and proposal to bring normalcy’ at Federalidea.

    If the LTTE wants to be called themselves as the sole representatives of Eelam Tamils, it should endeavour to come out of international (India in particular) isolation and proscription. Only then the LTTE can become a progressive force.

    Once the LTTE has demonstrated and convinced the IC that it is acredible player in searching a political solution, the peace process will be reinvigorated. In this environment, the LTTE should go for peace talks in good faith to work out a solution based on federal principle because the IC stipules that this problem could be resolved along this line. If GOSL still remains evasive and obstructive in settling for a federal solution, then the IC is very likely to realise the need to recognise our right to self-determination.

    Supreme sacrifice of over 500 fighters brought about the Indo-Sri Lanka accord, but the LTTE messed it up. Death of over 20,000 fighters brought about the current CFA. The LTTE got more bad name during the current CFA than at any other time. The biggest shortfall of the current CFA:
    (1)presence of the SLAF in the streets of the NE
    (2)absence of armed international peace keeping force
    (3)unhindered access to weapons by the LTTE and other militants in the NE

    Unless the above issues are looked into and implimented there will never be peace in the NE. Please note (3) does not mean that the LTTE should surrender the arms at present but the LTTE has to do some thing tangible to force the SLAF into the barracks.

  28. Yes KC, I can clearly see you position, but I see you don’t have an ounce of diplomacy in your writtings.

  29. Dr.KC, I was under the impression that blood is thicker than the water. But it appears it is the other way in your case based on your last post.

    A historical correction, as far as I remember the number of deaths from IPKF massacre inside the Jaffna General (teaching) hospital is 52 with 17 staffs including two physicians.

    Could you spell out the difference between the massacre of17 aid workers of ACF in Trinco by Srilanka Armed forces and 17 staffs of Jaffna Hospital by IPKF?

  30. Dear Suresh M,
    Thanks for your response.

    1. I do not accept that peak of the cold war was during the time of India’s intervention in 80s. The peak of the cold war was in late 60s and 70s. By 80s India gradually started to shift towards US. So cold war was not the major reasons but could be one of the reasons for Indian action.

    The major reasons for Indian involvement are:

    1.1. Continuous appeal from TULF leaders who were considered the sole representatives during that time for Indian help from 1977 to 1987. They persuaded Tamil Nadu also to do so. Tamil Nadu govt. too pressed Delhi to interfere.

    In fact A.Amirthalingam sent a letter to India stating that SL Tamils would be rather happy to be under Indian rule than facing the genocide by SL army

    1.2 I read from papers that though Indira Ghandi was initially reluctant to interfere on SL Tamil’s issues and it was Mr M Sivasithamparam who used his skills to convince Indra Ghandi about the necessity to interfere. (When M Siva died LTTE gave him an official funeral)

    1.3. Mr Vaikunthavasan (who managed to find his way to a UN meeting in 1979 to raise the voice for SL Tamil) sent the evidences of Valvettiturai massacre to Indira Ghandi when she was in opposition. Indira Ghandi was reportedly horrified by the incidents and replied that if she came to power she would try to help Tamils to find a solution.

    1.4.After 1983 about 100,000 refugees from NE lanka fled to India. There were frequent hartals paralyzing Chennai. Few burnt themselves to death. International media gave wide coverage to the hardships of Tamils. So no wonder India as a responsible power in the region felt that she should do some thing to save us.

    2.
    2.1 So India interfered but fighting started within months between LTTE and them. At the beginning India would have thought that that was a dispute between father and son and could be solved soon. Even while fighting was going on there were negotiations on a few times between IPKF and LTTE for a compromise. Tamil nadu politicians reportedly tried to ease the situation. But all efforts failed and fighting continued.

    2.2 Despite all these India apparently had respect for LTTE leadership. Because on couple of occasions IPKF reportedly surrounded the hideouts of LTTE leaders but orders came from the top to not to proceed further. This is a fact those of us who wholeheartedly criticize India should take note of.

    2.3 But things turned very bad when LTTE and SL govt. came to terms and SL Army helped the former to fight against IPKF. India lost lot of money and distinguished officers.

    2.4 We who were hard pressing for many years for the Indians to come, later attacked them and told that we lankans can solve our problem, you get out of our land. So India suffered its worst humiliation and VP Singh called back the IPKF.

    2.5 Then the killing of Rajiv. (probably to prevent him winning the election, and another intervention) Because of these India later not even prepared to listen to SL Tamils or about their sufferings until recently.

    2.6 Tamils’reps(LTTE) and SL govt. were responsible for the practical abrogation of ISA and we have no moral right to find what we have gained from that.

    2.7 With the killing of the Rajiv, any hope of reviving ISA has also been killed and ISA became irrelevant. So it is meaningless to refer to that and find out who were net loser and winner etc. (Your no.1, 2, 3& 4)

    2.8 Had the IPKF continued for few more years and all the parties accepted the ISA then a permanent merger of N & E and an Indian model of federalism would have materialized.

    3.
    3.1 Were the ISA still there, it would not have been possible for SL to take steps affecting Indian interests, which are: (A). Signing defense treaty with US,paving the way for their troops to use the facilities in SL and joint exercise with US.
    (B). Inviting China to oil exploration Mannar(at the door step of India) and developing Hambantota harbour with Chinese help. (C). Alleged visits by Pakistani Defense Officials.

    All these steps were not in line with the once existed ISA.

    So India who was not responsible for the abrogation of ISA seems to be net loser to some extent, which is contrary to what you tried to say.

    4.2 SL would not give its ports to another country on a permanent basis for military purposes because that is not in the SL interest too, apart from antagonizing India. At this stage SL would take any serious move to damage Indian interests badly. That is good diplomacy for a small country.

    5.
    5.1 I do not say that India has always been Right and always Great. I doubt if the current Indian Politicians have a good insight of SL crises.

    5.2 Few of the many reasons for LTTE to reject ISA would have been to: (A). Not to depend on India but to stand on our own legs. (B). in expectation of better federal model than in India or a separate state. (C). To have sole control of entire N & E.

    If these are true, how much more of price we will have to pay in terms of lifes of young boys & girls? Can we achieve that?
    How long that will take?

    Meanwhile SL is going ahead with their program to destroy the basis for a homeland in East and see that there will not be a ground for N & E merger in future.

  31. Correction to my posting on 04 July.
    Para.4.2 ,03rd line shoul read as “At this stage SL would not take any serious move to damage indian interests.”

  32. Re: Comments of Nathan on 01 July

    1. I mourn the deaths in Jaffna hospital by IPKF.

    2. Also the deaths of about 300 cadres of TELO killed in Jaffna in 1986 within about 5 days gives me a big pain in my heart. It was reported that many of them were begging not to be killed during that incident. But they were mercilessly killed. Why should not we think about that also? There were many similar cases in Wanni and East too.

    3. May be the TELO cadres were undisciplined. But it was a big crime to kill all of them. They all cannot be punished like that because of the mistakes of few of their leaders. Most of them could have been captured alive and rehabilitated.

    4. You have said that Indian armys’ actions have encouraged SL army to do the killings of civilians. Then what about the Valvettithurai carnage and Kumuthuni ferry massacre, which happened before IPKF? Which party did encourage that? The deaths in these two cases were many times more than those in the hospital tragedy?

    5. Considering the number Indian soldiers being killed by the hit & run tactics during those times, even if there is an independent court martial the soldiers actually shot might have been acquitted in hospital case. Because, the attackers of the Indian soldiers were said to be taking cover in the hospital. Only the over all commander could have been found guilty. But he too could have been acquitted because of the unfamiliar situation in a different country and the unforeseen circumstance.

    6. But for the cases like Kumuthini ferry massacre, Muthur Action Farm killings and Bindunuwewa masscre the killers would have faced death penalty if an independent inquiry is carried out.

    7. If Nathan wants to criticize India there are much better reasons he could have posted here.
    Those are:
    A. During the last 6 months of IPKF period, EPRLF & ENDLF forcibly recruited young men, which is a serious human right violation, which Indian army was well aware of, but did not stop.
    B. On couple of times India spread the false news that LTTE leader was killed

    C. When Norway started to involve in SL issue India was not happy at the beginning. Because that would set a precedent for Kashmir issue. Though Pakistan has been trying for a third party mediation in Kashmir, India deadly opposed that. At the beginning India tried to restrict Norway’s role as a facilitator and not as a mediator.

    There are few more things like this someone can write if he/she wants to discredit India.

  33. Sach, Most Tamils blindly state this. District basis for Univercity Admission affected not only to Tamils. Sinhalese in Colombo and Sinhalese in kandy could not get places in Univercity even though had better results. Someone from Gampaha who had tution all alone went to univercity when we stuck in our homes. I am one of the thousands Sinhalese students who missed out. My sister is another. We both studied in leading Colombo schools. so stop saying that happened only to Tamils students. You guys do that all the time. It was foolish Idea of Sirimavo Government I agree. Because jaffna schools are better than anywhare else you suffered. So as we.
    Now in SL Tamil is a state language as Sinhalese. Jaffna univercity is Mono ethnic. Baticalo have own univercity.
    And Dr Khan c, No point of balming LTTE. LTTE is a byproduct of Sinhala and Tamil Nationalism ably helped by India. Blaming LTTE or prabhakaran is pointless. It is not tehreal cause.
    What we need?
    Three states – pre colonial – Jaffna Kingdom, Kandy and Western (Sithawaka kingdom). If South want one thay can have that to call Rununa. then 4 states with own Police force and government. In UK style. Most of my Sinhala friends agree to that solution and we should puch for it. Sinhala and tamil nationalists are few but holding rest to ransom.
    We receive discrimination even in UK in canada etc. So we cannot stop that overnight in SL. But we can try.

  34. Dear Sundarum

    Very well done, Sir.

    The depth of your knowledge and the way you have critically analysed our past history is breathtaking. Your qualified criticism about the conduct of the IPKF clearly shows your integrity.

    I can very well remember how Mr Amithalingam worked so hard to convince New Delhi that Eelam Tamils needed the blessing and support of India for their very survival.

    During the last couple of years I have been expressing my views to put the LTTE on the tract. It is my conviction that if the LTTE behaves like a responsible and progressive force, many thousands of precious lives of our children in their tender age can be preserved and I have no doubt that this boost the image of the LTEE among the international community.

    Very sadly I begin to feel that the intransigent LTTE is hell bent on going down the regressive path of self-destruction. I feel very, very sad.

  35. All of us have analised the history of the conflict. The past is past. So, what now?
    The SLArmy is hell bent on annihilating the LTTE.The government is saying that it is for a negotiated settlement, only to please the International Community.If talks are to begin, the LTTE insists on the CFA being honored and previous pledges mada at talks be fulfilled by the government, but the government ignores this completely.
    If the LTTE disarms voluntarily, all of them will be eliminated – problem solved – no further action needed !
    So the war will go on.

  36. Dear Dr KC,

    Heaps of Thanks for your appreciations.

    Also my thanks for your self and everyone who wrote comments.

    Every one who commented here has a feeling for our community.

    Most of your opinion is mine as well.

    I am also extremely sad about the situation in our motherland

    I also thank DBS for publishing our comments, arguments and counter arguments, which would help us to understand the issues better.

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