The Sheer Madness of it All

By Niro Dissanayake

There’s a photo of a dead man on the Tamilnet website today. He is lying on the road, with his head in a pool of his own blood. He’s wearing a simple white shirt and black trousers, but is neatly dressed and well groomed. On his wrist there is an inexpensive watch he probably strapped on before taking a look at himself in a mirror that morning.

There is what looks like a folder of notes by his left hand. According to the article he is a private tuition teacher. The article doesn’t go to any more detail, except that he was shot while he was enjoying a cup of tea, by an ‘unidentified’ gunman.

Why was he murdered I don’t know. Who murdered him, again I have no answer. Was it because of his political beliefs or someone he angered in the course of his all too brief life? Is it because he supported the LTTE, the army killed him or armed groups killed him or paramilitary group or whatever you want to call them were responsible, or was he killed by the LTTE? I don’t know. It is not important.

What is important is that this was another human being, who was murdered because his beliefs did not fit in with his killers beliefs, and who shot him in cold blood while he was having a cup of tea.

This was a man just like anyone of reading this who had hopes and dreams. Someone who probably had family that loved him and that he loved in turn.

In Sri Lanka there are countless deaths like this each day. It might be a group of students on the beach, or farmers in the field, a couple sleeping on the floor of their house with their two children ‘protected’ between them, a soldier on patrol, a woman with bombs strapped around her, a politician enjoying an evening swim, or a man in a bunker protecting a line which no man can see, a family squeezed into a three wheeler, a group of ‘untouchable’ young labourers having a party and good time on their way to the next venue, or someone praying in a house of worship. Why did all these people die?

Do you want to go through the list and differentiate and say ‘oh yes the students were Tamil, those farmers in the field were Singhalese or the devotee was a Muslim’.

Would you like to stand in front of their bodies, and not look at them from the safety of a distant computer screens, and stick nice little white labels on what is left of their bodies, describing their ethnicities?

Do you want to go and break the news to a father and a mother, a wife or a husband, or son or a daughter, be they Singhalese, Tamils or Muslims that their loved ones will not be coming home tonight?

Would even the most rabid JHU member or the apologist TNA MP, the trigger-happy soldier, the black tiger, the crooked politician, the armchair analyst or indeed the ‘my hands are clean’ web posting expatriate writer, wish to do that? To look them in the eye and say ‘your child did not agree with what I believe in, so they deserved to die’.

In Singhalese we say ‘egalan okkoma apema minissu kiyala hageema athi karanna oney’ – translated ‘you must develop the feeling that they all are our people’. All of them – all of us, living in this cesspool we created in the paradise that was our country. We are all one people with hopes, dreams, and aspirations. These may differ, but understand they are just as important to the next person as they are to you.

War is forced upon us and I do not see a way out. But do not keep score. We killed five tigers today or ten soldiers yesterday, or the five farmers deserved to die because of the six students who were shot last week or it doesn’t matter they were killed because they were Tamil, Singhalese or Muslim. You are only brutalizing yourself by doing so, and worst, you twist the minds of the future generations by passing on your fractured
beliefs.

Ask yourself was this worth the price of all those lives lost in the genocides and the massacres, the ethnic cleansings, the suicide bombers or the aerial bombardments, and those lives that will be lost?

Was it worth even the single life of that nicely groomed teacher who dressed carefully, and strapped on his humble watch, said goodbye to his family, promising that he will be back home later in the evening, and strode out of his front door on his way to teach children, but was destined to die that day.

The teachers name was Selvarasa Kirithas, age only 35. I don’t know him. I never met him. I don’t know what he believed in, whom he supported, or why he was killed. But I mourn his passing and will always strive to understand that it is all ‘Apema Minnissu’ that will die in the coming days. Not someone else in a distant country I know nothing of. I dread the madness about to engulf us all.

May at least our children find the peace we never seem destined to have in our lifetimes and may they never repeat the mistakes that we have made and learn to live with one another, with mutual respect, empathy and understanding.

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165 Comments

  1. Keheliya Rambukwela’s’ Kehel mala’ pronouncements are like telling the tigers ” Hey remove the dust in your eyes” before talks but what this fool can’t see is the big beam in their own eye. Blaming the tigers for everything is the theme of the sinhala majority for survival. If the sinhala people and their leaders think that they have the power to wipe out the tiger terrorism is it any wonder they will keep on continuing to mouth out their resentment just to discredit them. The many attempts they made on wiping out the tigers have ended up in their own severe losses and now even with the US involvement they are still not strong to take them one on one. That is the very reason to spoil the tiger’s name on a global basis. If the government is strong to wipe out the tigers it would be anybody’s guess as to by now they would have done it even without the foreign involvement. But due to their weaknesses, failures and proven losses they are now on a different path of attack and that is to discredit the unbeatable LTTE force by trying their level best to draw in world support to wipe them out by calling them terrorists. But the tamils are vigilant to the sinhala plots and would cry on top of the world and expose this sinhala cruelty to the whole world. The sinhala leaders will have no where to hide after being finally exposed. That is what they are going to reap in the coming days.

  2. America would not have forgotten what happened in vietnam and perhaps do not want that to recur in tamil Eelam. Their support to the sinhala evil forces trained and taught to fight the tigers in typical animaal slaying styles as the tortures done to afganistani’s and iraqui’s,they may want the tamils of srilanka to continue to be massacred just for seeking human rights to live in their homes and lands and seas with peace and dignity. Boucher’s latest condemnation of the tigers and trying his level best to distance the tigers from the tamil population is a dastardly act of autocracy practiced by America under the name of democracy. The continuing cry of tamils all over the world for a solution to the sixty year old problem and twety years of displaced suffering tamils is no concern for them. To be a strong supporter of the genocidal Mahinda government is the line they would like to tow and in case of war they vow to take the side of the genocidal government of srilanka.The mean low standards of srilanka is an endorsement as the right way to go by the USA by their encouragement. The rise and fall of empires have happened in this world’s history and so be it with America and it’s days of fall are predictable owing to low tactics in solving human problems calling itself as a true democratic nation blessed by God . God is no more in their scenario but the devil has taken away their sense of compassion like that of the sinhala buddhists.

  3. A ‘Sinhala-Buddhist’ is NOT a Real Buddhist, but a hypocrite.
    Real Buddhism is UNIVERSAL.
    And a Real Buddhist may find that they were born Sinhalese, Tamil, Gujarati, Afghani, French, etc, and even American, but they will not identify with it for ego gratification.
    The problem with Sri Lankan Sinhala politics is a mix of nationalism and religious hypocrisy based on craving for power. And the problem with many Sri Lankan Tamil politicians is that they are opportunists who crave recognition and benefits from those who are in power.
    A Real Buddhist believes in lIVE AND LET LIVE whether Sinhalese or Tamil or anyone else.
    And a Real Buddhist also will NOT discredit and slander anyone just to protect their own ego interests.

  4. The JVP is so desperate to gain political prominency it’s lowbred leaders try many gimmicks from time to time to show forth their hipocricy to be as genuine patriots of the majority sinhala buddhists of srilanka. Somawansa Amerasinghe an exile resident of London currently as the leader of JVP and partner of Mahinda government is telling the LTTE to surrender it’s arms before talks and would want a war with tigers rather talks with the true belief that tigers could be defeated under his leading. In case everything goes wrong he is still having a haven to run and hide in London but what about the peasant supporters who got cheated by him and where do they go?. This nasty politician some how or other wants to capture power even by a military coup is his main goal. He probaply wants to be srilanka president first and then would want to conquer the british empire also if greed would lead him into. The JVP has in the three insurrections it carried out in srilanka has been without a fundamental cause but the greed to capture power only and now that they are in the ruling main stream their coup-de-tat can be the most understandable next move for this nasty power hungry politician living in exile in London but want to conquer presidency in srilanka. Somawansa,Weerawansa and the whole JVP are planning for an easy uprising during this period of instability that is existing in the country.

  5. It is time for the occupying forces to leave the tamil homelands immediately as the tigers cannot and will not tolerate the continuing attrocities committed by these uncivilised barbarian genocidal forces. The LTTE has been given the rightful guardianship of Eelam tamils and as their bounden duty the forces will be forced to leave or failing to leave they will be destryed by the angry tigers. If this warning is not heeded then the action on the ground will prove the fierceness of the battle that will rage. Tamils together with the tigers would wish that these forces would leave on their own before they are forced out. The time has come for the tamils to reclaim their homes,lands and seas in a quick battle against the enemy and the Eelam declaration will follow with all Eelam supporters locally and internationally. If Montenegro with six hundred thousand people can have their own independance what is expected of thirty two hundred thosand tamils to be an independant nation free from sinhala agression and tyranny.

  6. Mahinda Rajapakse who pretends to be a real buddhist is making buddhism a mockery of uncompromising , uncompassionate and inhuman kind of religion that is producing a low mean society of sinhala buddhists in srilanka. This mean president is lobbying the whole world to ban the tigers and sending his lobbyists and spending heavily on these lobby groups and on the other hand is telling the tigers that even if the whole world bans them he is willing to talk to them. He is thinking the tamils and tigers could be continued to be cheated like the past sixty years of sinhala rulership that denied all the rights of tamils and now is slaying them with impunity with American and EU support and still expects to talk. JVP is totally opposed to talks and want a war but Mahinda is telling that war is not and never will be his option. Mahinda is trying his level best to stay in the pedastel of power with JVP support but JVP is not willing to join him because of his reneging on the CHINTANA ideals as is portrayed by Mahinda to hoodwink the world. The latest voices about recognising a tamil government is seemingly on the cards of USA and EU but are they willing to recognise the de-facto Tamil Eelam that is already in existence or is it another ploy to keep the LTTE from their last battle to free their lands ,homes and sea from the genocidal sinhala government occupying forces. If EU and USA are sincere in their proclamations they should take a poll to find out what the tamils want and whom they desire as their leadership and how the Tamil Eelam could be incorporated into the union of united nations and to give tamils the freedom they seek. On the contrary they can stop supporting the sinhala chauvinists and allow the tamils to fight back for their rights,homes and lands and seas.

  7. Srilanka the former Ceylon was a British colony up until 1948. The Independance that was given under the donoghmore constitution through a representative of the British Empire as the Governor general under whose administration the entire country was brought under one administration guaranteeing the protection of all minority rights and under no circumstances was that guranteed minority rights could be compromised or taken away by manipulation of the constitution. But the successive sinhala governments have violated the original constitution and brought amendments and changes that finally reduced the minority tamils to stateless and secondary citizens. The subsequent constitutions that were drafted were purely by the sinhala polity without the consent of the tamils and the freedom of constitutional guarantees have been taken away from the tamils in a systematic transformation that eventually made the constitution as only protecting the rights of sinhala only and giving the prominency to Buddhism. Now since the same Queen is in Office in Britain she and the British Empire has a moral right to set the record straight and intervene to remedy the current stalemate that ensued without any tamil voices heard and been made secondary in their quest for freedom from sinhala domination. The tamils want to have their own government of the tamils by the tamils and for the tamils and that is the democratic right of every nation on earth which is totally denied to the tamils of srilanka numbering three and half million peoples. If montenegro with six hundred and fifty thousand people can have their independance by their choice by poll what is the delay in the tamils not falling in line for their freedon from sinhala chuvinism and attrocities after their bitter sixty year experience of being cheated by the sinhala mean polity.

  8. A real Buddhist will not practice deceit – Did the LTTE really explode the claymore mines in Welisara? If LTTE did it how did they miss their intended target (Navy) so badly? How can a civilian bus be mistaken for Navy transport? So was this meant to spoil the chances of real peace by someone playing games with other peoples lives? Whoever did it did not care about casualties as long as it was part of their game of power-politics.
    A real Buddhist also will not threaten anyone – See “Mahinda’s real chinthana” article.
    A real Buddhist will want to REDUCE suffering – Current political thinking is only INCREASING the suffering of everyone both Sinhala and Tamil. Tamil suffering is greater now but Sinhala suffering will also increase further if this ANTI-BUDDHIST POLITICS continues. The two civilians might have even died. Is this fair? Is this compassion? Is this Buddhist loving-kindness? NO. NO. NO!

  9. The sinhala thugs and killers are scott free roaming the streets committing series of tamil killings and are protected by the government whereas innocent tamils are behind bars for as many as seven or more years arrested for no reasons other than suspicion and are sometimes tortured and killed inside the corridors of governmnet confinements and cells as on a regular basis. An ashmatic patient tamil girl died in negombo jail for the callous disregard for not providing her with the emergency medical help she needed. Another woman had to deliver her baby in a three wheeler on her way to the maternity hospital when her pleadings did not give the check point army men to listen to her pleas and birth pangs. This type of animal brutality is leashed on tamil civilians and being the commander-in-chief of the country and forces Mahinda calls himself a righteous and true buddhist. He has proved himself to be a determined tamil killer in every step of the way during the past six months of his presidency. In srilanka real criminals are considered as good buddhists and innocent tamils are all labelled as tigers after being killed by the thugs and forces of Mahinda government. The IC, EU and USA still are not condemning the sinhala government for the attrocities it is committing to the innocent tamils but are supportive of the government against the tamils.

  10. Looks like real Buddhism is reaching an end in Sri Lanka.
    Why?
    See the article “Taming the Tigers” by Mahinda Rajapakse in the Wall Street Journal 1/June/2006.
    Mahinda wants to involve the Westerners in actively fighting the Tigers.
    But of course the Westerners have their own interests which the buffalo Mahinda does not understand.
    So Sri Lanka will be RECOLONISED and Buddhism will be made into a tourist attraction.
    So END of real Buddhism and any value left in Sinhala culture.
    Does Mahinda Rajapakse the President of Sri Lanka care? Ha Ha Ha… He and his friends get to stay in power pretending that he has to fight the Tigers rather than make REAL peace efforts.
    It is very very sad that Mahinda’s chinthana is not anywhere near Niro’s chinthana, it is the opposite.

  11. Not since WW11 and the Nazi Propoganda Machine has there been so much blatant Misinformation , as is being disseminated by the GOSL and it’s cohorts in the Press and other Media. The GOSL has even set up it’s Own Propoganda Machine in the guise of the Department of Government Information.
    In fact if one were to compare the present GOSL and the Nazi Regime, one would find many similarities. Hitler needed a Scapegoat for Germany’s Misery’s in the 1930’s and the Jews were an easy Target. MR and those before Him, needed a Scapegoat for all the ‘Ills’ befalling SL, and the Tamils were an obvious choice.
    The Nazi’s slaughtered the Jews with impunity, just as now Innocent Civilians, even ‘babes in arms’, are being Slaughtered by the SLA, and the Paramilitaries that they Support, without a voice of protest from the IC. The GOSL says that it is the LTTE who are responsible, even when the SLMM have confirmed that the SLA and others have clearly been involved.
    There are of course Investigations, but who are these Investigators? Sinhalese of course, so no member of the SLA is ever going to be prosecuted, and Tamil Witnesses are to Frightened to give Evidence, in case they suddenly Disappear.
    When is the IC going to realize that the GOSL is Undoubtably ‘Rascist to the Core’? Are they, the IC, going to Stand by and watch like they did in the 1930’s? Have they No Conscience? Bush & Blair for all Their Ponificating, are Presiding over the Decimation of the Tamils of SL.
    The LTTE are Not Terrorists, they are FREEDOM FIGHTERS, just as the ANC were in South Africa, with Nelson Mandela as Their Leader. Not that Prabhakaran is on a par with Nelson Mandela, far from it. The ANC were Labelled Terrorists then, but the IC appear to have conveniently Forgotten that Part of History.
    Wake Up World, otherwise Disaster Threatens for the Tamil Peoples of SL.

  12. Not since WW11 and the Nazi Propoganda Machine has there been so much blatant Misinformation , as is being disseminated by the GOSL and it’s cohorts in the Press and other Media. The GOSL has even set up it’s Own Propoganda Machine in the guise of the Department of Government Information.
    In fact if one were to compare the present GOSL and the Nazi Regime, one would find many similarities. Hitler needed a Scapegoat for Germany’s Misery’s in the 1930’s and the Jews were an easy Target. MR and those before Him, needed a Scapegoat for all the ‘Ills’ befalling SL, and the Tamils were an obvious choice.
    The Nazi’s slaughtered the Jews with impunity, just as now Innocent Civilians, even ‘babes in arms’, are being Slaughtered by the SLA, and the Paramilitaries that they Support, without a voice of protest from the IC. The GOSL says that it is the LTTE who are responsible, even when the SLMM have confirmed that the SLA and others have clearly been involved.
    There are of course Investigations, but who are these Investigators? Sinhalese of course, so no member of the SLA is ever going to be prosecuted, and Tamil Witnesses are to Frightened to give Evidence, in case they suddenly Disappear.
    When is the IC going to realize that the GOSL is Undoubtably ‘Rascist to the Core’? Are they, the IC, going to Stand by and watch like they did in the 1930’s? Have they No Conscience? Bush & Blair for all Their Ponificating, are Presiding over the Decimation of the Tamils of SL.
    The LTTE are Not Terrorists, they are FREEDOM FIGHTERS, just as the ANC were in South Africa, with Nelson Mandela as Their Leader. Not that Prabhakaran is on a par with Nelson Mandela, far from it. The ANC were Labelled Terrorists then, but the IC appear to have conveniently Forgotten that Part of History.
    Wake Up World, otherwise Disaster Threatens for the Tamil Peoples of SL.Threatens.

  13. Where do the Karuna Faction obtain their Arms and Ammunition? Obviously not from their former colleagues in the LTTE, and they haven’t the Logistical Organization to purchase such items themselves. So it’s plain for anyone to see, that they are being supplied by the SLA with the Full Connivance of MR and His GSOL. Reminiscent of the Quislings and their support from the Nazi’s in WW11.

  14. As time goes on and atrocities increase more and more NORMAL EVERYDAY people around the world are becoming convinced the LTTE are NOT mindless Terrorists, but are REALLY Freedom Fighters. This is direct a result of Mahinda’s chinthana.
    BUT the political bigshots of the world keep repeating the opposite and give Mahinda Rajapakse the President of Sri Lanka a small pat from time to time to keep him on their side to get what they want.
    Mahinda Rajapakse was even allowed to write in the Wall Street Journal 1/June/2006 and this must have completely flattered him. So now Mahinda may SELL OFF not only any PEACE chances, but also Sri Lanka itself and all its people to the highest Western bidder.

  15. Our (Sinhalese,Tamils,Moors,Malays and Burghers) problem is that we do not know anything at all. First thing is we all are human beings before we can call ourselves either in racial or religous classfication. These human beings do not need demarcated lands to call they are belonged to us or we must govern this area by ourselves. In the ancient times there were strong people like todays mafia leaders for example people like Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar who ruled different differnt lands after gaining power over those people who lived in those areas. So the injustice kept on growing. If we are to solve the problem in Sri Lanka we must see ourselves in the human perspective rather than racial or religious perspective as the current leaders are doing back home. And that the reason they call it Sinhala Buddhist, Tamil Eelam or Hela Urumaya. Do away with calling nations, having nationalistic or religious attitudes then we will be living in paradise in peace and harmony.

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