Arun Siddharth – “I was silenced for 30 years – hear my story”


“I have a long narrative to tell that I could not tell for 30 years. I know the sadness of being silenced for 30 years. Our society is not safe for disagreements. That was the society I was living in. The French philosopher Voltaire says “even though I do not agree with your opinion, I will defend to the death your right to say it” This philosophy appealed to me because I was living in an extreme society & I now realize the essence of Voltaire’s quote. The person who has gone through harsh times values the good. When we formed the Jaffna Civil Society, we decided that we would agree to disagree. I lived in a society of disagreement, however, when I came to Colombo, I observed the same. I see a society unwilling to accept the opinion of others. This is a weak society. Whoever was holding power over us – whether in a totalitarian, autocratic, dictatorship society, those who ruled with guns, even those who were following democratic principles did the same. It is disappointing to live in such a society. If anyone doesn’t like what I am saying, I am prepared to listen to what is right, If anyone has a better argument than me & can convince me, I am ready to listen.


When I was a teenager, my hero was Prabakaran. I am not ashamed to say this. I thought he was my hero, because I had not seen a Sinhalese. When we were playing, LTTE used to come in cabs & put up screens & show us incidents – burning of the Jaffna library, July 83 riots, bombing refugee camp in Navali. After showing these incidents the LTTE tells us “our enemy is the Sinhalese” because of Sinhalese we are struggling to survive” “Sinhalese are evil animals” and calls us to join the struggle to fight the Sinhalese.


As I had not met a single Sinhalese, I thought what LTTE was saying was right. We were young, we did not know anything outside of our village, so we believed LTTE.


My mother was a teacher so I was fortunate to be able to read books about world revolutions. I read about what happened to Palestine, how PLO was formed, what was Hamas, what happened in Cuba, who was Che Guevera, who was Ho Chi Minh. While reading these books I came to realize that what was taking place in Sri Lanka was not a revolution. Che Guevera says that true revolution is non-violent but he too took up arms. We were told that LTTE & other Tamil groups were taking up arms against “Sinhala” State oppression. We were always told that we had to fight against “Sinhala Buddhist” mega racism.

I want to know how Sinhala & Buddhism came into their definition of “racism”.

 This thought has been drilled into our minds that even our children echo the sentiments.


Then we were told, this was an ethnic conflict. We asked ourselves this question. Is there a conflict between ethnicities. During the conflict, to escape harm, we ran towards the Sinhala areas. If two different ethnic groups were in conflict, why would we run towards the Sinhalese? We came to realize these “issues” were created to fulfill other people’s interests. These had been nicely programmed into an industry. “Ethnic conflict” was an industry to some & they utilized it to the fullest. They used the theme of “ethnic conflict” to make money. All wars begin with lies. We were shown lies while a group made money from wars. They marketed the conflict. Then another team came with “peace”. This was also marketed.


I was recently invited to speak at a good governance forum. I do not go prepared. When the question of “ethnic conflict” was posed, I replied that I did not see any conflict between ethnicities (Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher, Adiwasi, Africans or Chinese living in Sri Lanka) But all of us have issues. I told the forum that I have some specific problems to address. I am from Jaffna, I was born in Jaffna, I studied in Jaffna & I am still living in Jaffna.


There was a doctor who was a panelist at this forum who got upset with my opinion. The people who accused me of being impulsive in sentiment were now showing the same traits. Most times, we get excluded from forums by these “educated” people claiming we are not educated, we don’t have qualifications, we don’t know English, we don’t know how to behave etc. This doctor questioned the organizing committee about who invited Arun Siddharth to the forum.  The doctor writes to the organizing committee accusing me of being a member of AAVA sword gang, transporting ganja, indulging in extortions, having pending cases against me. This is the doctor who was going international claiming Sri Lanka had an ethnic conflict, I am also told that he gives briefings to the US State Dept once a week. This doctor is the one who regularly runs to the courts for constitutional changes. The organizers called me & told me not to take this personally. However, this was another case of injustice to me. I told the organizers that I wished to reply to the allegations. I replied to the doctor, that he may be having second hand information about me & requested a 10 minute meeting to sit & talk to the doctor to set the story straight. He did not reply & instead he said he was quitting the group. All the Sinhalese in the group supported me & claimed that I brought out the true story in Jaffna. The other Tamil lady in the group writes to me & says I declared an open war on high caste Tamils. In so saying, she admitted her high caste mentality. She was living over 20 years in the UK and has now come to represent the Tamils in Sri Lanka. This is how NGOs represent people.”

Arun next shows the 2022 UN Report on the Caste factor in North Sri Lanka.

“The Govt has not responded to the report – either denied its contents or informed of investigating further. The Tamil politicians that campaign using UN reports about war crimes are also silent. There is a possibility that the UN may be trying to use the caste as a new marketing strategy.”

Arun shows the 1957 Prevention Social Disabilities Act.

“Why should there be an Act if there is no caste problem. None of the provisions in the Act has been implemented but the 1987 Indo-Lanka Accord & 13A has been enacted. This caste problem is over 2000 years old.


Let us imagine that 13A is given – will the woman who is denied water because of her caste, get water? Will any of the existing caste problems be solved.


Elilan’s wife claims, her husband surrendered with white flags & he is missing & she has filed a habeas corpus. I went with our files of missing but was told that the habeas corpus can only be filed against the State. Where is the justice for our missing.


The old lady in the video, has lost 4 sons to LTTE, 3 were tortured in LTTE torture chambers, the 4thson suffers kidney problems. The mother is without food. The father/husband committed suicide because he was unable to bear what happened to his children.

I am very emotional at this stage. I denounce armed conflict & solving problems by arms. I got scared during the aragalaya because violence was not a solution. But where are the solutions to our problems.


The TNA cannot provide any solution. The TNA are tiger nominated agents. LTTE was TNT – Tamil New Tigers in 1972 and became LTTE in 1976 after murdering Alfred Duraiappah. The 1976 Vaddukoddair Resolution resulted in giving low caste Tamils arms & we were put to death. We didn’t have land, education, money or understanding & because of this the elite Tamils pushed us to our death giving arms. Ponnambalam, Malaysian Chelvanayagam & the Colombo living Tamils took over the Political power. But will TNA solve the caste problems if 13A is given?


We are always the target. I cannot own a land because of my caste – my name denotes my caste. They have given themselves high caste names & we are identified with low caste names.


All of these conflicts are choreographed by India. During the Indo-Pak war, India did not want Pakistan to refuel in Sri Lanka. Similarly, India objects to Chinese ships docking in Sri Lanka, however, India violated Sri Lanka’s territory & dropped parippu – isn’t this a war crime, Indian soldiers fired and killed our people inside the Jaffna hospital, my relation also died with 80 other people.


Can India who committed these crimes present a solution? This is not a home-grown solution. Now they are trying to create a new problem as neo-colonialism agenda is going. India has introduced digital-classrooms and is teaching Hindi, but we should be learning Sinhala not Hindi. We are being separated from the Sinhalese, and are being taught Hindithere is Shiv Sena, RSS, BJP all have branches in Jaffna. There is only an Indian embassy in Jaffna, why is only India being allowed an embassy. Who is controlling the decisions? What is happening to this country?


The main reason for all our problems – is the location of our country. If we were located somewhere else, we will not have this problem. This is the truth. We are being controlled not by our own but by outsiders.


The aragalaya supporters say that all had smart phones & used this to chase an elected President. What has happened is – the phone has been using the aragalaya supporters to do what was planned.This is how we are being monitored in Jaffna. When we pay for cable tv we see only Indian channels. Our people do not hear a word of Sinhalese or see any Sinhalese.


Arun shows a newspaper published in Jaffna, the editor he says is a close associate of Anton Balasingham. It was from him that Reuters, BBC got the details of Anton Balasinghams death. During the Rambukkana incident only 1 person died, but his column claims 4 persons were killed & 4 persons photos are also shown. This was false news. But 90% people will believe this news & no action has been taken against him.


Our problem has nothing to do with 13A – 13A is only being used to create an unnecessary problem. If India wants to solve problems – why don’t they first solve the problems in Nagalanda, Missoram or Kashmir? All round India, states are seeking self-determination, why doesn’t India give independence to these first? But India has constitutionally prevented separation in India but trying to separate Sri Lanka. India took over Sikkim in one day. Therefore, Indian foreign policy is very dangerous. Indian intelligence is very dangerous. They are the one’s who are controlling Sri Lanka’s North & East. We need to have our own external intelligence agency to handle these threats. If we do not address this external threat, there is likely to be another conflict using North & East.


We are sad that we have not been able to contribute to the development of Sri Lanka for over 40 years. There are a lot of Tamils in Jaffna, who feel they belong to this country & want to develop this country. We have no links to the Tamil leaders who claim to represent us. The world that our elders showed us, no longer exists.


I would like to ask Wigneswaran’s son who is married to a Sinhalese girl, what his opinion is.

I would like to ask Sumanthirans son who is married to a Sinhalese girl what is opinion is.


What will happen is these foreign educated children of the present politicians will return to Sri Lanka & try to rule over us & tell us how we should live.


We are not ready for any more political oppression/terrorism. There are still some groups who are secretly holding arms.


All the struggles are for power. If I am involved in an aragalaya and I am the theoretician and the originator of the agenda, I should be the one to benefit. If I am representing my people, I am representing by sacrificing my life and therefore I, Arun Siddharth wants to secure power and we are ready to talk with anyone/any party. If anyone can present facts & proof to our questions then we are ready to accept & engage in dialogue/discussion.


Listen to the entire speech by Arun Siddharth –


 Shenali D Waduge


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