How the British Exploited Sri Lanka

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By J.B. Müller
Posted on May 26th, 2012

The Sri Lankan Diaspora overseas (mainly in Australia , Britain , Canada , New Zealand and the USA ) eagerly and indiscriminately absorbs everything appearing about their Motherland in the international print and electronic media. All what is done is done in the naïve belief that there isn’t a spin on the news and that it is completely unbiased and objective. Nothing could be further from the truth! Of course, expatriates would like to believe that the BBC, VOA, Deutsche Welle, and CNN, and others are feeding their hungry and even curious minds with the unadulterated truth.

It might be useful for those in the Diaspora to know, understand and acknowledge that Sri Lankans are no longer Eurocentric Anglophiles having at long last seen through the various Anglo-Saxon-Celtic ploys to continue their domination and exploitation by other, indirect means. No longer are Sri Lankans willing to regard their erstwhile masters as ‘superior’ beings with a ‘higher’ civilization to which they should slavishly defer. Those ‘good old days’ are gone and good riddance!

Sri Lanka is a very old country with a long history of civilization and a matured polity unlike some ‘Johnny-come-lately’ countries with hardly 500 years of history. The latter period of its history was marred by 443 years of European exploitation, each European power building on its predecessors to refine its instruments of exploitation. The British were the worst and the bloodiest when it came to merciless brutality as is evidenced by the manner in which it quelled the uprising of the Kandyans between 1818 and 1822. It committed genocide before that word was coined by slaughtering every man, woman, and child (including babes suckling at the breast!) in the Uva Province . That province comprised of the present Badulla and Moneragala Districts is yet to recover and is just now being developed by government. The Colonial Office 54 series of documents available at the Public Records Office in London holds all the General Orders issued by Lt. Gen. Sir Robert Brownrigg, governor and c-in-c, to Maj. General Hay McDowall and the correspondence with the Colonial Secretary, the Earl of Bathurst. (The Great Rebellion of 1818 by Prof. Tennekoon Vimalananda, Five Volumes, Gunasena Historical Series, Colombo, 1970)

In 1823 the British began selling Crown Land at two shillings an acre to British entrepreneurs—first, to cultivate cinchona [from which quinine is obtained], then coffee, then tea and rubber—from which they made huge profits for 149 years—and Mincing Lane and the members of the London Stock Exchange prospered beyond the dreams of avarice. (Land Reform Commission Report by Colvin R. de Silva, tabled in Parliament)

They created a huge ethnic and social problem by transporting indentured [Tamil] labour from the Ramnad district of Madras Presidency (present day Tamil Nadu). These helpless people were auctioned off at Matale like the African slaves at Charleston , SC , and families were cruelly torn apart. They reached Matale walking over 100 miles from Talaimannar along a route that came to be known as the ‘Skeleton Road’ because of the numbers that had perished by the wayside from hunger, thirst, snakebite, attack by wild beasts, cholera, dysentery, and what-have-you. Their tragedy has been carefully documented by Donovan Moldrich in his ‘Bitter Berry Bondage’—the story of the 19th century coffee workers in Sri Lanka . Another Burgher author, Lorna Ruth Wright, OAM, wrote “Just another shade of Brown” which graphically details the sexual exploitation of the women plantation workers [by the English] and the creation of the Eurasian Community (disowned by their very prim and proper British fathers!) Many authors domestic and foreign have written about what colonialism did to Sri Lanka (Ceylon up to 1972) and it is a wonder that the people of this country tolerated what was done to them for so long, so patiently. (‘Bitter Berry Bondage’ by Donovan R. Moldrich and ‘Just another shade of brown’ by Lorna R. Wright)

Father Paul Caspersz, SJ, head of Satyodaya, Kandy , has been labouring amongst the Tamil plantation workers of Indian origin for decades and has written extensively about how these human beings have been mercilessly exploited. They have lived in sub-human conditions for over one hundred years and their emancipation has been a long and hard struggle to restore to them their intrinsic dignity as human beings. (Satyodaya Centre, Kandy , sri Lanka )

When I was working at the then Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation as a Relief Announcer on the Commercial Service I distinctly remember reading a sign affixed to the gate of a British Club facing the Dutch Burgher Union headquarters which said: “Natives and dogs NOT allowed.” This was in 1969! I phoned friends working on the ‘Ceylon Daily News’ and they sent a photographer round to snap a picture. It was published and shortly thereafter the Government ordered the Club to take down the offending notice. Do any self-respecting people endowed with inherent dignity have to tolerate such barefaced arrogance?

Britain was one of the most ‘successful’ imperial powers on earth and they created a worldwide empire (on which the sun never set because it was everywhere on the globe) and bled its colonies. London is such a magnificent city despite its foul weather because it has risen, literally, on the blood, sweat and tears of countless millions in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Australia . In their imperial schema of things Australia produced the wool, New Zealand the milk, Malaya the rubber, Ceylon the tea, Rhodesia the tobacco, South Africa the diamonds and gold, Mauritius the sugar, West Africa the cocoa and so on—to the great delight of those who sat in London and counted their pounds, shillings and pence. They didn’t mind exploiting their own in the textile mills of Lancashire and the coal mines of Scotland . [Charles Dickens]. The exported their poor Scots, Irish, and Welsh to all these colonies to supervise the black, brown and yellow natives [and the ‘half-caste’ Eurasian offspring known as Burghers, Anglos and even bastards]. The slightest rumble from their workers and the Redcoats (now Khakied) were there to shoot their b***s off!

Look at the Burghers. The British looked down on them with great disdain classifying them as ‘half-castes’ and included them amongst the indigenous population. In 1796 they issued the Burghers an ultimatum—learn English or leave. Many who had the means went to Batavia (modern Jakarta ). The others stayed and learned the new tongue. Very soon, these Burghers knew better English than the British themselves and were therefore enlisted in that great corps of clerks that they employed. These Burghers also learned how to play cricket and challenged the British to a one-day on Galle Face Green. They were superciliously asked what the name of their ‘club’ was to which a Burgher sharply retorted: “Nondescripts Cricket Club, Sir!” The name stuck. The club still exists (from 1889). So do the ‘nondescript’ Burghers. The entire British establishment including the ‘shoppies’ turned out one fine Sunday morning to watch these half-caste upstarts being licked. The imperial governor himself came and occupied the clubhouse that now stands before the Taj Samudra Hotel. Well, to cut a long story short, the Burgher ‘nondescripts’ beat the British who were ‘hoist with their own petard!’ They were learning, ever so painfully, that other people were not only their equals but could also better them in many spheres and they learned this lesson on this Island.(People Inbetween by Michael Roberts, Ismeth Raheem, Percy Colin-Thômé, Sarvodaya, Ratmalana, 1989).

There is no land on the globe that the British touched that has not been left with a wholly untenable legacy of problems: India with Pakistan have Kashmir; the Holy land has Jewish Israel contending with Arab Palestine; the Cypriots are divided between the Greeks and the Turks; Africa is an indescribable mess. Glaring problems were created on the North American continent with the marginalization of the native Amerindian and Inuit peoples not to mention the stand-off between Blacks and Whites. In Australia the original inhabitants, the aborigines were decimated and then marginalized whilst their land was robbed from them by white colonists. It is a despicable record of man’s inhumanity to man carried forward on the specious premise that ‘White is Right’ and because they had a head-start in the practice of barbarism! What is even more despicable is that their so-called ‘Christianity’ condoned their barefaced discrimination and unfettered brutality.

Today, these Anglo-Saxon-Celts pontificate to the whole world about human rights—yes, fundamental human rights which they denied millions from the 16th to the 20th centuries of the Common Era. They sanctimoniously presume to interfere in the internal affairs of countries that attempt to stand-up to their bullying (amply exposed by Wiki-Leaks). The ongoing bloodletting in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate their manifest hypocrisy.

They left behind what were basically alien concepts, structures, systems, and constitutions that have confused and confuted the peoples they formerly ruled. They uprooted and deliberately destroyed indigenous systems that had endured for millennia and which the indigenous people were comfortable with. Today, the peoples of these lands are divided into innumerable factions and cliques contending bloodily for command and control in the name of the ‘democracy’ they left behind. They are happy with what they see because it is a continuation of their ‘divide et imperia’ or ‘divide and rule’ policy. It is easy to manipulate and exploit those who are divided!

Sri Lanka’s problems which some expatriates gleefully point out (as a justification for their living overseas) is a damaging inheritance bequeathed by the departing British to a class of indigenous people brainwashed and nurtured by them in their own image: the English-speaking Middle Classes represented by several leading families of Low-country upstarts and Up-country traitors. These families have lick-spittle hangers-on who have attained some upward social mobility and the privileges that go with that mobility and occupy the second and third tiers of governance. Whether they inhabit the governing party or the Opposition or their sundry and various coalition cohorts they have become the ‘corrupt of the earth.’

The decent and law-abiding majority are a patient, tolerant and hospitable people (sometimes referred to as the ‘broad masses’) who have taken much abuse. If you believe the many travellers who passed through, they are a giving and forgiving people. If we are to trust the historical record, these gentle, hard-working people have been driven to and fro by the Pandyans, Cholas, Cheras, Pallavas and Javakas; then, by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British—each, in turn, more subtly brutal than the previous. Ever since 1186, when the indigenous polity began disintegrating with the breakdown of central authority [and fissiparous tendencies manifested themselves], there has been a traumatic crisis that is yet to come to a conclusion. We know that history works in cycles and that that conclusion will come, perhaps unobtrusively or dramatically to sweep away the detritus of several centuries.

True civilization does not consist of the worship of science & technology or the tinsel and glitter of modernity or of roads, railways, harbours, airports, and the frenzied rush one might be bemused by. It consists of the maturity and wisdom gained through the practice of virtue, the development of good moral character, to decent family life and values, the unswerving commitment to social justice and equity. This also means and implies the practice and active pursuit of harmlessness and a belief in the sacredness of all life—all mankind is of one blood. The serene tranquillity of spirit thus attained is a universal norm that needs no sectarian labels. This is the civilization that grew and was nurtured on this Island for centuries until rudely and repeatedly disturbed. It is yet the goal of those who appreciate the intrinsic beauty of Nature rather than that of soulless concrete, glass and steel.

Let’s discuss this further if you are minded to,

jb.muller@gmail.com

Sri Lanka accuses US of human rights abuses just before resolution

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COLOMBO, March 2011 (Xinhua) — Just days before a U.S. sponsored resolution will be taken up against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Sri Lankan government has strongly accused the United States of committing human rights abuses, a minister said here on Monday.

Cabinet Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that there were reports that the United States had killed civilians during its military operations in Afghanistan and noted that most countries were overlooking such abuses and yet making allegations against countries like Sri Lanka.

“Despite all this, the Sri Lankan government will not be shaken by such allegations and will instead continue with its policies for the country,” Abeywardena said.

The U.S. sponsored resolution was submitted before the UNHRC in Geneva last week after the document was initially circulated among Council members.

The draft resolution titled “Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka” is still open for amendments before it is discussed at the Council and debated on next week.

The resolution notes the UN High Commissioner for Human Right’ s call for an independent and credible international investigation into alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in Sri Lanka

It also expressed concern at the alleged continuing reports of violations of human rights in Sri Lanka, including enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings, torture, violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, as well as intimidation of and reprisals against human rights defenders, members of civil society and journalists, and threats to judicial independence and the rule of law.

Already countries such as the European Union, Canada and UK have voiced their strong opinion stating that they will vote against the island nation when the final resolution is submitted.

Editor: Fang Yang

Ranking Member of US Foreign Affairs Subcommittee questions Blake on Double Standards in US Foreign Policy toward Sri Lanka

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Ranking member of US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Congressman Eni F.H. Faleomavaega on Tuesday (Feb 26) expressed his deep concerns over the double standards applied in the US foreign policy toward Sri Lanka.  Speaking at the committee hearing on “The Rebalance to Asia: Why South Asia Matters” , the congressman underscored that US should find a better way forward than using UN resolutions to
improve its relationships with a strategically important country such as  Sri Lanka .
Republican Party congressional representative Steve Chabot from Ohio currently chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Asia and Pacific. Ranking member Eni F.H. Faleomavaega is a Democratic Party congressional representative from American Samoa. US Assistant Secretary of State , Bureau for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake and Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau East Asian and Pacific Affairs Joseph Y. Yun provided testimonies during the hearing .
Following is the portion of Congressman Eni F.H. Faleomavaega’s statement related to Sri Lanka:
“Regarding Sri Lanka Mr. Chairman I agree with the Kerry-Lugar  congressional report which declares we need to re chart US strategy in Sri Lanka beyond humanitarian and political reforms .”

Eni Faleomavaega

“inconsistent policies lead to a loss of credibility for the United States” Eni Faleomavaega
“The US simply cannot afford to lose Sri Lanka due to its strategic importance. Last week I had the privilege of visiting Sri Lanka and met with president Rajapaksa for more than 2 hours . I also met with governor of the Northern Province.  And personally visited Jaffna because I wanted to see for myself the post conflict developments since 2009,when Sri Lanka finally became the first country in the world to eradicate  terrorism on its own soil,  by defeating the Tamil Tigers – which remains listed as a terrorist organization by 32 countries including our own country Mr. Chairman, India , Canada and the members of the European Union , and dubbed by the FBI as one of the most ruthless terrorist organizations in the world.”
“After a 30-year terrorist conflict or war the challenges Sri Lankan government faces are enormous. But the strides the Government has made to rebuild in a way that establishes lasting peace and equality for all citizens should be firmly acknowledged.”
“The United States should join Australia in praising the work that Sri Lankan government has done in the North and East of the Island in such a short period since the war. As Australian deputy opposition leader Julie Bishops and the parliamentary delegation she led recently, stated on their visit.”
“Regrettably in the resolution it intendeds  to submit again to the United Nations Human Rights council, the  US fails to mention one , not even one positive development for Sri Lanka . Such failures suggest that the United States is not being even handed when it comes to dealing with sensitive human rights issues across the globe.”
“And I am Mr. Chairman, deeply concerned that our inconsistent policies which lead to a loss of credibility  for the United States which would negatively impact our relations in the Asia Pacific region for years to come.”
“So I call upon my government , the United States of America to find a better way forward rather than using United Nations resolutions to destabilize developing nations like Sri Lanka while ignoring human rights Abuses in nations like Indonesia , where our geological strategic and military interests supersede our Human Rights Agenda.”
“The US led United Nations  resolution should also be withdrawn for focusing only on the last few months of the war and failing to acknowledge therefore almost 30 years, Mr. Chairman, the Tamil Tigers hacked to death innocent men , women and children in Sri Lanka, carried out some 378 suicide attacks more than any other terrorist organization in the world.”
“We also do not need to criticize Sri Lanka for borrowing money from China. And by the way I was there Mr. Chairman . In terms of our ability to provide assistance to these third world countries, China  was able to provide Sri Lanka with 500 million dollars of low interest loans, for them to rebuild their sea port as well as a brand new international airport that I was there to witness….”
During the Question and Answer period, Sri Lanka was brought up on two occasions. First, Chairman of the Sub Committee Congressman Steve Chabot focused the first portion of his allotted time to the U.S. involvement in Sri Lanka.
Congressman Chabot asserted that attempts at reconciliation have been disappointing in many respects – particularly with leaders talking about repealing the 13th amendment. He suggested that the U.S. policy has not been successful in bringing reconciliation to fruition. He would urge the Government of Sri Lanka  to move towards a more genuine reconciliation with the Tamil community, and inquired as to what steps the U.S. Administration was taking to that effect.
In his response, Assistant Secretary Robert Blake reiterated prior statements on the U.S. position regarding Sri Lanka. He maintained that the U.S. supports the domestic Sri Lankan process (manifest in the LLRC) with the understanding that there would be rapid progress thereafter.
Secretary Blake suggested that progress on implementation of the LLRC recommendations has been slow and that the Administration is disappointed that the government of Sri Lanka  has failed to take a number of steps toward political reconciliation, including not proceeding with elections in the Northern province for provincial councils in the near four years since the end of the conflict, and little progress on devolution of power. He also raised concerned with a backward trend on democracy, referencing the impeachment of the Chief Justice, the concerns with regard to the 13th amendment, etc.
Secretary  Blake confirmed that the Administration proposes continued diplomatic and additional pressure from the upcoming resolution at the UNHRC to support implementation of LLRC recommendations and progress on reconciliation within Sri Lanka’s own domestic process.
Secondly, Ranking Member Faleomavaega reiterated a number of his points from his opening remarks, raising concern over the double standard with which the U.S. Administration seems to approach human rights in the context of its foreign policy.
The following is the transcripts of the discussion between Congressman Eni F.H.Faleomavaega and US Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake:
Rep. Faleomavaega:
“I do want to say to Secretary Blake, this is not in any way a personal attack on you , but I do want to follow up on the Chairmen’s questioning about the situation in Sri Lanka .”
“I have mentioned in my statement about the double standards that we are applying  in as afar as violation of Human Rights and the sense that I have is why is the most powerful country in the world picking on a small little country like Sri Lanka- the size of West Virginia , 60,000 square miles with only 3 million people- and  yet  in Sri Lanka we are talking about 21 million people living there.”
“The serious question that I have is that for 27 or 29 years this country was in the state of civil war. It is not a conflict.  It is not the question of the Tamil people asking for more autonomy.  We have to understand not all Tamils are members of this terrorist organization called the LTTE or the Tamil Tigers, that our government along with  32 other countries also categorized as a terrorist organization.”
“And in the process you are talking about for 27 years some eighty  to hundred thousand Sri Lankans ended up dead. Lot of innocent men ,women and children”.
“What I am trying to seek here is that there also was a country that had civil war. It was the United States of America, for four years we ended up with 600,000 of our soldiers died form that terrible conflict. Ant it was not the question of Southern States asking for more autonomy. They wanted to secede,  pull away from the mother country , just like the Tamil Tigers wanted to do in their efforts  in seeking this war against the Government .”
“My concern here is that we a looking at such a small little sequence, of this two  or three months that now we are questioning . And the reason why we have this resolution before the United Nations Human Rights Council, but forgetting the fact for 29 years that Sri Lankan government has had to deal with this terrorist organization that I just could not believe the atrocities that were committed by these people.”
“And now overnight we just thought that we’ve got to hit this resolution against them this is where my concern with double standards.”
“Our government to the 10 year period that we were in war in Vietnam . In Vietnam Mr. Secretary, let’s ask the tens and thousands of women and children innocent civilians that we exposed to Agent Orange , when we were there for the ten year period . Let’s ask the people in Laos and Cambodia for the six million pounds of cluster bombs we dropped there, and these countered never declared war on us.”
“Where is the consistency in our standards as far as Human Rights are concerned . We are pointing the finger at this little country Sri Lanka. and  the thing that perhaps may be we need to clean up our own backyard , as suggested may be we be little more consistent , if we are going to do it against Sri Lanka. Let’s make sure that we are clean ourselves.”
“So I just need your comment on that  as I ‘ve got  only one minute left on this”
Secretary Blake:
“Well Thank you Mr. Ranking Member, let me just say, with respect to the LTTE we fully agree. The United States was one of the very first countries to declare the LTTE one of the foreign terrorist organizations. And we have a long line of public statements and other condemnations that we issue for the terrible acts of terrorism that they are responsible for.”
“We also took concrete actions to help Sri Lanka . We gave our them Radar systems. So they would be able to detect the LTTE.”
Rep. Faleomavaega:
“In fact helped the Sri Lankan government to fight against the Navy that the Tamil Tigers had.
Secretary Blake:
“Exactly , We certainly took a very uncompromising view with respect to the LTTE. But again at the very end of the war, the question is what happened to those ten to forty thousand civilians who were killed.”
“I think everybody in Sri Lanka believe there needs to be closure on that question.  Closure needs to be achieved through this Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission process. It’s a domestic process so it should have the support of the government. And we hope that would continue. That’s the purpose of this resolution. But there needs to be justice Mr. Chairman,  for there to be closure  and for there needs  to be reconciliation between these two communities .  So, that’s what we are trying to achieve”
Rep. Faleomavaega:
“I know I‘ve only got, ten more seconds Mr. Secretary. I just want to say, that was part of the subject that I discussed personally with the president of Sri Lanka, and he is concerned. In fact, he is spending more time on the Northern Province , and all the amount of resources their trying to do, to make this as part of the reconciliation  process.”
“Thank you Mr. Chairman.”
You can find the Video at the below link:

Tamil colonisation of Sinhela Motherland, Sri Lanka

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Tamil invation of Sri lanka

The TNA, the Armed Forces and the Tamils in North

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TNA Sri lankan news

I thought of responding to the article published in Sunday Leader on 16th Dec 2012 titled “ Plight of resettled IDP’s, striving make ends meet”. The article has been written by Niranjala Ariyawansa and Chrishanthi Christoper and mentions the “concerns” of the TNA MP’s Sumanthiran and Premachandran. What has been implied by their allegations was that IDP’s in North are not properly looked after, continuous harassment of Tamils by the Army, land mine story is a bluff, presence of “unnecessary” large cantonments of army in the north etc.
As an officer who was in service from the beginning to the end of war and now a Member of Parliament representing East, I view the above “concerns” of the TNA as contemptuous if not hilarious. With my experience I do not think that the TNA, today, has any moral right to speak about the Tamils or to grumble about their welfare. In the absence of that moral right, one can easily understand that their consistent treacherous attempt to paint a wrong picture in the eyes of the international community as above is to undermine the economy of Sri Lanka, to dissuade investment, persuade tourists to boycott the country, reduce volumes of international trade and to strike at the root of the economy in Sri Lanka which is at the moment vibrant.
It is interesting to ask a few questions from the TNA members who cry their hearts out about the plight of the Tamils in the Northern peninsula. Did they ever condemn, whenever the LTTE killed the reputed Tamils like  Neelan Thiruchelvam, Amirthalingam, Thangathurai, Laxman Kadiragaman ? Did they ever protest against, when the Tamil MP Yogeshwaran was killed and his wife who became the Mayor too was assassinated? What was their response when the LTTE systematically destroyed the entire democratic leadership of Tamils as above?   None. They always stood by the LTTE and consequently the reputation of being a ‘proxy” of that terrorist organization.
The TNA today is very critical about the Army who had entered the Jaffna university to prevent certain  elements commemorating Prabaharan/ LTTE cadres killed during the war. It should be remembered that during the “Peace accord” how the LTTE regularly entered all the schools in Jaffna and forcibly took away students for protest marches during school hours. When some school principals objected to it, they were brutally assaulted in front of the school children and some were even killed. Where were Sumanthiran and Premachandran at that time? What was their response towards those innocent Tamil children whose education was consistently disrupted by the LTTE in the above manner?
The Army entered Jaffna University to prevent certain elements, backed by TNA, instigating the students to commemorate the ruthless killer Prabaharan, who was responsible for the devastation of the country including the Tamil nation. A terrorist is a terrorist whether he appears as a beggar, businessman, lecturer or a student. LTTE is banned in many countries and even the FBI has branded LTTE as amongst the most dangerous and deadly extremists in the world. Hence commemorating those who were killed in that organization is also an act related to terrorism. Army went in to stop that. Would the US President Barak Obama or Secretary of State Hilary Clinton allow students to light lamps to commemorate Bin Laden and his Al Qaida members inside the Washington university? It should be reminded that in Germany, since World War ii, no German commemorates Hitler, who killed millions of innocent Jews, even though he was the Head of the State at one time.
There were not even crocodile tears from the TNA when the  LTTE , during the “ peace time” , forcibly conscripted children, heavily taxed the businessmen, extorted money from the families whose loved ones were employed abroad, and made poor shop keepers to commit suicide because they were unable to keep up with the tax demands. During the final phase of the war, what was the response of the TNA when LTTE opened fire and killed many Tamils, mostly the aged and women, who were trying to escape into government controlled area? What has Sumanthiran got to say about the innocent Tamil boy, 12 yrs, whose both legs were chopped off by the terrorists when he was running into the arms of his parents? Only a terrorist or a terrorist sympathizer could abstain from condemning such a barbaric act, and we know Sumanthiran and Premachandran did abstain.
On the other hand it was the army who rescued hundreds of Tamils including pregnant women risking their own lives. Many women army soldiers were killed whilst trying to save genuine innocent Tamil women, knowing that there were suicide cadres among them. During the last stage at Nandikadal, when Prabaharan was keeping hundreds of Tamils around him as a human shield, our army advanced to the target across the mine field, knowing that they would lose their legs/lives, in order to prevent civilian casualties. They could have easily fired Arty shells or mortars and destroyed Prabaharan together with the civilians without entering the mine field. That supreme sacrifice on the part of the soldiers, which has no parallel in any part of  the world, was for the sake of their Tamil brethren.
When talking about Tamil welfare , it is interesting to note that one of TNA members, like “ Sakvithi” , fraudulently collected money from the Tamils through “Sabra” financial company promising huge interest and a few of them committed suicide unable to get their money back. Another member of TNA, pushed innocent Tamils towards Mullivaikkal to protect Prabaharan and later escaped through a Red Cross vehicle with a large some of money. Hence, when considering all above, who has the moral right to speak and work for Tamils? TNA or the  Army?
Tamils always lived with the Sinhalese in harmony. With the defeat of LTTE,  Sinhalese, Muslims and Tamils enjoyed the dividends of peace for the past 3 years and now there are attempts to disrupt that by a few extremist politicians and LTTE activists operating overseas. Recently, four men arrested by Tamil Nadu who were planning a revival of an LTTE youth group. Recruitment done by a terrorist called Nadiyavan who is operating from Norway. In this background what does TNA do? It is poisoning the minds of Tamil youth so that they will be vulnerable and ready for recruitment by Nediyavan who bring them to Tamil Nadu, train them, and send them back to Sri Lanka to conduct acts of terrorism. Intelligence clearly says that TNA extremist politicians are criticizing, radicalizing and militarizing young Tamil minds for Nediyavan to exploit them. Hence it is not hard to guess whether TNA is the savior or a destroyer of the Tamil Nation.
With regards to the alledged “ plight” of the IDP’s, I would like to briefly mention the following. The important post conflict development challenges the government faced were, demining approx 5000 square kilometers, resettlement of 297000 IDP s, rehabilitation of 12000 LTTE carders and reintegrated into society and reconstruction and economic development.
As it retreated, the LTTE had laid a large quantity of anti tank mines, anti personnel mines, and Improvised Explosive Devices ( IED). Swiftly demining them was a big challenge. Army with a few NGOs  have by now removed 469,000 anti personnel mines, 390,000 IEDs and 1400 anti tank mines. Did TNA, which says demining is a bluff, offer even a cup of tea or a glass of water to a soldier who worked on it for the Tamils to resettle and live safely? If the efforts of TNA is genuine and if TNA still says that demining is a bluff, they must spend a few days with the soldiers who still work in agri areas, paddy fields, forests etc looking for mines for the sake of Tamil families.
No sooner the war was over, the Presidential Task Force was set up for Resettlement and Reconstruction in the North, headed by Hon Basil Rajapaksha. The government also launched a program titled “Northern Spring” to undertake large development projects in North.
The mammoth task and the challenge was looking after approx 300,000 IDP’s. The challenge was to provide them with food, medicine, water, sanitation, security etc which was excellently accomplished with the District Committees, Line Ministries, UN agencies, NGO’s and Armed Forces. Many visiting dignitaries and Heads of UN Agencies who have visited Manik farm and other centers had commended Hon Basil Rajapaksha, and have appreciated the government efforts in treating IDP’s with safety and dignity.
As at today, 142,300 families have been settled, and the balance will be completed by mid 2013. TNA is collecting colossal amounts of funds from the Tamils living abroad and sympathetic front groups operating in Western soil to politicize, radicalize and mobilize Tamil youth in Sri Lanka to revive terrorism. It is considered prudent to inquire from TNA, who today cry for the welfare of Tamils, as to whether they have spent even 20 rupees from that money to give a cup of yoghurt to a innocent child in a refugee camp.  Instead of helping the government’s effort to serve the innocent Tamils, they still attempt to sabotage same by various means for petty political gains and this time with a person called a Professor in Geology.
This professor says “every morning when the innocent Tamil in North wakes up what he sees is a gun/armed soldier, ….Army may seize the land not the hearts”. I wonder where this professor was before May 2009. What does he think, during that period, the innocent Tamil in North saw when he woke up in the morning? LTTE “boys” clad like angels, carrying colored balloons and kites in hand, asking the children to come and play hide and seek? If he was in Europe in a lavish villa at that time, he must tell this sentiment to the Tamil people in Kilinochchi . They would definitely tell him to go somewhere and dig for minerals without wasting time. It is not hard to understand that this professor is trying to gain some “cheap” popularity among Tamils, after found himself to be a miserable failure as a lecturer.
Railway ceased to function since 1990 as LTTE destroyed the railway track. Repairing this infrastructure which was critical is underway and it will be completed by mid 2013. By now most of the roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, drinking wells etc have been constructed and electricity provided. Since May 2009,  Rs 123,304 million has been spent in North, confirmed by all the GA’s.  No government has spent that kind of money in North to date. The provincial allocation is 5.1 billion rupees, the highest allocation and TNA knows it because they attend the DDC meeting in the North.
To day in the North nine hundred  schools are functioning, with 260,000 students and 13,967 teachers. It is said that when compared to other countries under similar circumstances, the achievements of SL government in restoring the damage done for 30 years in just 3-4 yrs is highly commendable. In that regard this was what, the UN special Adviser for counter terrorism, Maj Gen (Rtd)  Dr. Douglas Stone USA had to say at the last Defence Meeting held in Colombo. “ I want to congratulate your country that has taken on an objective of 3 decades and then in 3 years done something that the rest of the globe needs to hear about. There are very few, less than a handful of other nations, who have done that and done it as well as you have”
Today we have seen an economic renaissance in the Northern  province which is growing at 22% of the economy, when the average for the rest of the island is about 8%. That itself is enough proof of the development in North.
In world war ii , the city of  Dresdon in Germany was destroyed completely by Britain, killing civilians and that was to break the morale of the Germans. Also the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was to bring the war to an end. That type of “Strategy” was never adopted by the H E the President or the Secretary Defence. The war in Sri Lanka was a“Humanitarian operation” to rescue the innocents from the clutches of  LTTE , to release an oppressed people from the doldrums of terror, and to lead a life that was built upon dignity, freedom and fairness. Zero casualties was the motto. The total number of servicemen   killed (26,000)  and  wounded (14,000) could have been easily reduced to a greater extent if the armed forces were not “considerate” about innocent Tamil lives and that kind of noble sacrifice/attitude/behavior from an army  has  no comparison in the whole world.
There is considerable misunderstanding, deliberately created by TNA, on the nature of the armed forces and their relationship to Sri Lanka community. There is no disparity of treatment meted out to Tamils in North. There is army presence in some form in every part of the country. Jaffna is no exemption.
The army’s role what the TNA is trying to paint in the eyes of the International Community, is far from truth. Like in any part in Sri Lanka , military is now a part of community in Jaffna whose role is to defend, protect and to help to nation build. Sri Lanka military has been able to speed up development at a rapid pace to enable the area to “catch up” on the aspects that held her back due to terrorism.
The army was instrumental in building roads, bridges. She alone had built more than 2000 houses for the IDP’s. Army did the demining for the people to resettle. Army repaired and renovated many schools and it is heartening to note that in important school events such as price giving, the school principals invite a senior army officer as the Chief Guest or Guest of Honor to show their gratitude, obviously much to the envy of TNA. Hence the presence of the army in Jaffna has become not just desirable but indispensible.
Sri Lanka army also must be commended for conceiving, designing, and implementing   a very successful rehabilitation model. It resulted in total reintegration of 11,000 ex LTTE’ers to society within just 3 years. Also 212 ex LTTE ers have been already selected for university education and they  will  be  doctors, engineers, lawyers, accountants etc in a few years. Beneficiaries of marriageable age too were not deprived of their civic rights. Matrimony according to their wishes was facilitated irrespective of their level of radicalization. Peace villages were established to facilitate re unification of married ones who were undergoing rehabilitation in different centers. This is how the army treat the men/women whom they fought and from whom they got killed and maimed. Not a word of appreciation from TNA.
The country including Jaffna now has transformed itself from a nation at war to a country that is amongst most peaceful , secure and stable in the world.
The President of Janatha Party  of India, Dr. Subramanium Swami says that Tamil after Tamil tell him that they now are happy, that their children are not going to be forcibly recruited by LTTE, that they can go to schools and colleges, that their money , their pay cheques, is not sliced by extortion, that there’s no uncertainty. There is a breath of fresh air, that they are now breathing and they want this to continue.
The armed forces in Jaffna are fully committed to let the Tamils enjoy that “freedom” without any interruption. They will ensure that no one will regroup and engage in any terror activities in the area. The army has freed the people from terror, brought normalcy to area, developed the infrastructure, resettled them and provided them with security. Hence they have more right to be in the North than anyone else including the TNA whose contribution to the freedom, security and welfare of the Tamils is disgracefully negligible or zero when compared to that of the army.
Rear  Admiral (Rtd) Dr. Sarath Weerasekera Member of Parliament