RIGHT OF RESPONSE TO VISVAJIT SRIRAMRAJAN writing to THE DIPLOMAT on Post-War Sri Lanka
“Post-War Sri Lanka: Fractured and unjust for Tamils’ is the article appearing on TheDiplomat by Visvajit Sriramrajan on 15 May 2020. The article is replete in conjecture, abound in unsubstantiated allegations and completely distorting the situation in Sri Lanka. We presume readers who have little or no background knowledge of Sri Lanka will be misled by such propaganda//disinformation and wish to correct the distortions allowing people to question these lies with counter arguments and balanced reasoning.
Questions posed to Visvajit Sriramrajan
- You speak of a Mullaivaikkal massacre of nearly 50,000 Tamils – while all LTTE were Tamils, all Tamils were not LTTE so we would like to ask you, whether you are referring to the massacre of LTTE or civilians? If civilians, provide data of names of the dead or at least a police complaint by their families. If LTTE, they were given 3 chances to lay down arms and surrender but they rejected and declared they would fight till their last man. In an armed conflict, the two parties battled it out and one side lost and the other side won.
- You say the Tamils are discriminated – please provide examples where legislatively and constitutionally Tamils are discriminated where legislatively and constitutionally the majority is not. Give examples where only Tamils exclusively are discriminated because they are Tamils
- You say that Tamils have been subjugated because of Gotabaya Rajapakse coming to power – he has been in power not even 6 months. Can you please cite where and how Tamils have been subjugated? Let us know so we can look into this
- You say Rajapakse’s ‘orchestrated the Tamil genocide’ – wow, you are using genocide term which has a major connotation. Can you then explain how Tamil population is increasing if there is supposed to be ‘genocide’ of Tamils! This is really a strange scenario to understand.
- You say there is ‘high level of militarization’ in the North & East – can you please provide some previous articles of yours complaining about LTTE running a defacto state in the very areas you now claim are being militarized? Did you have no issue with LTTE ruling the areas with their guns?
- You are making major statements and we hope that you can substantiate these with facts and evidence sans sensationalism.
- You say Tamils are reprimanded for commemorating their deceased – correction. Tamils are prohibited from commemorating LTTE because LTTE is banned – would US allow open commemoration of Bin Laden? Besides didn’t LTTE prohibit Tamil mothers commemorating Tamil militant group members that LTTE killed? Wasn’t Mahaveer Naal only for LTTE war heroes and not to commemorate members of other Tamil militant groups that LTTE killed? Hope you can provide a response to this. LTTE remains banned in Sri Lanka, India, US, UK, EU and 32 countries still.
- You mentioned ‘enforced disappearances’ – now isn’t it strange that the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons has received only 23,586 complaints of missing covering period from 1983 and out of this 23,586 missing 5000 are missing soldiers … so now where is your hundreds and thousands of missing??? Surely, if they were missing their names should have been logged.
- The crocodile story of Tamils being bed to the crocodiles another classic case of imagination going wild – you should seriously think twice about listening to that former minister who apparently had hired 2 convicts to disguise themselves and appear on tv and were paid to lie. There’s an ongoing court case against them now! Pl follow that and by the way can you also tell us where these 2 paid convicts said that Tamils were fed to crocodiles – we cannot remember these 2 stating that…. Hope you include this in your next article.
- You say Sri Lanka has not been tried for ‘heinous war crimes’ can you first give evidence of crimes – its been 11 years now and you people drum war crimes but produce some names of the supposed to be 40,000 dead (give a list of their names – then we can check if they were born even) you can even say 1million killed by it means nothing if there are no evidence of dead with at least a dead body. But the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission did declare 22,247 LTTE dead (now you cannot put this number as civilian)
- You seriously have to get your facts straight – Easter Sunday mass murder resulted in over 300 innocent people getting killed. It was a Christian/Catholic event – why should Sinhala Buddhists go attacking anyone for murders taking place inside churches and hotels?
- You mention the burning of the Jaffna Library in 1981 – well the UNP leader apologized for it as it was done by UNP thugs but Tamils have no problem in voting for UNP and continue to do so. So much for the anger for burning the library. The LTTE attacked the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi killing 146 worshipping Buddhists in 1986. LTTE also attacked Kattankudy mosque in 1990 killing 147 Muslims praying. LTTE also attacked the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy in 1998.
- You speak of vandalism and property demolition – have you taken stock of how many Tamil houses the LTTE took over from Tamils who did not support LTTE? Did you also do up a list of Tamils killed by LTTE starting from 1975 with the assassination of Jaffna Mayor Alfred Duraiappah. How about the assassination of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, by LTTE – he was also a Tamil! You appear to suffer selective memory! We can provide you a very long list of Tamils killed by LTTE but this excludes the LTTE and other Tamil militant groups killed by LTTE for defying orders — on top of that list would be Mahaththaya who was LTTE deputy leader, killed by Prabakaran after much torture!
- Given that you are clueless about the ancient heritage and archaeological Buddhist sites in the North and East of Sri Lanka, this would require another essay to provide all details. Simply parroting what propagandists say does not help at all. What needs to be added is that no one is looking down on Tamil culture in fact there are plenty of Sinhalese who respect the Hindu gods & take part in Hindu events.
- Sorry to correct you again – Sri Lanka’s conflict was no civil war – it was a terrorist conflict proved by the fact that LTTE killed scores of Tamils including foreigners.
- A fact that none many wishes to acknowledge is that after LTTE defeat when Tamils discovered Prabakaran’s parents in their 80s were about to be attacked and the Sri Lankan Army had to remove them to safety – when they died later none of Prabakarans children or anyone in the LTTE attended the funeral. This was how they treated the parents of Prabakaran! The State looked after and fed them till they died.
- Good that you raised the question of funds. As per Janes Intelligence LTTE was making $300m annual profits as far back as 2004 – how many roads, schools, libraries, parks did LTTE build? We can show you that LTTE built plenty of bunkers but did not even provide electricity to people of the Vanni who got electricity for the first time after almost 25 years with the end of the conflict.
- You should really look at how North looked under LTTE that ruled it since 1980s and what North looks like now after the defeat of LTTE – its an amazing place, so beautiful and blooming. The farmers are growing vegetables and fruits and people are getting on with their lives. Only people like you are feeding lies and crocodile jokes!
- The extent of your lies is unbelievable. Citing isolated cases and creating lies. We too can make a fuss about paid advertisement by Tamils saying only Tamils to respond for renting/lease of houses! How discriminatory is that. This too was removed after raising complaint.
- There was no such act called Sinhala Only Act. The Official Language Act of 1956 which was to come into effect only in 1964. It was to address the historical grievances of the Sinhalese and had nothing to do with Tamils. Besides can you prove that Tamil language had official status administratively under colonial rule from 1505 onwards? Only then can you claim a grievance to Tamil language. Sinhalese was used prior to that as state language and that got changed after colonial take over. This was what was being addressed in 1956.
- You speak of Tamils as inferior —- thank you for the opportunity to highlight to the readers how the same PM in 1957 brought the Social Disabilities Act enabling low caste Tamils to gain education. What did the elite and high class/caste Tamil leaders do – they travelled all the way to London by ship to beg the British to disallow the act. So who didn’t want their own people to gain education? The Tamils. Please read about this and find out the truth for yourselves. These same Tamil leaders even begged the British to encode caste into the electoral system. They wanted their own people to remain low caste, poor and uneducated. Today, they have the audacity to refer to the Sinhalese as discriminating them. This is so because they want to hide what they did and continue to do to their own people via the caste system.
- You speak of Tamils receiving government letters in Sinhalese – well hello, we too have received letters in Tamil… but we don’t go complaining to the world for administrative hiccups
- We would really love to accept your Mullaivaikkal massacre fairytale if it comes with some sort of believable evidence – like the names of the supposed to be dead. Let’s see that happening first. Without proof of dead bodies, no dead persons names, no skeletons — just wailing ‘massacre’ ‘genocide’ are people so stupid to believe. Any rational thinking person’s automatically want to have facts and statistics and evidence. The mystery to us is why you people are not providing this.
The editors of TheDiplomat, we hope your media ethics include asking the fundamental question – how believable are these stories. Why not ask yourself, if genocide is supposed to have been committed, there must be a major reduction in Tamil population. Just check the statistics. There is no such reduction. How fair is it to provide podium for lies?
The crocodile story really takes the cake! But this is no laughing matter. No entities can be allowed to drum lies and ridicule a country and denigrate its armed forces. LTTE killed Sinhalese, Muslims, Tamils and even Foreigners. We can provide long lists of the LTTE killings and the LTTE attacks on public property.
How come this author has not touched on the freedom that Sri Lanka provided to the Tamil children who were kidnapped by LTTE from their parents and turned into brutal murderers. These children were denied their fundamental rights to education and to obtain the love of their parents. Their entire youth and childhood was robbed by LTTE.
On 18 May 2009 with LTTE’s defeat, the Tamil children were saved from becoming child soldiers. Their parents did not have to fear their children would get kidnapped. They didn’t have to hide them in underground bunkers inside their homes. This itself was a major victory for Tamils. No one has yet counted how many Tamil children LTTE killed by turning them into child soldiers. No one in Tamil Diaspora are speaking for these LTTE child soldiers because they were plucked from poor and low caste homes and their parents were too poor and too afraid to complain against the LTTE. They cried their loss of loved one’s alone. But today, the 594 child soldiers that surrendered in May 2009 to the Army were given a presidential pardon and returned to school. They held a pen instead of a gun and they were guided to find their paths in life. They have become artists, farmers, singers and actors. Gokulan is the singing sensation that all Sri Lankans love – he was a former child soldier. He lost his 2 brothers to LTTE and his sister was also recruited by LTTE during the last stages but thankfully she survived and has returned to her family.
We can provide enough of happy stories for readers than the jokes of crocodile lies by this author.
Shenali D Waduge