Response to Friday Forum “Lessons From Black July And The Recommendations Of The LLRC”
Posted on July 31st, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

Jayantha Dhanapala one time head of the Sri Lanka Peace Secretariat and Rev. Jayasiri T. Peiris has written on behalf of a group known as Friday Forum. Given that the Forum issues periodic statements on selected topics and issues questions emerge as to why some facts have been conveniently omitted.

Friday Forum remembers one incident but ignores 300 LTTE terror attacks

·                  If “Lessons from Black July” 1983 can be remembered by the Forum with “deep regret, shame and sadness” why is there no statement from the Forum on the “sadness” for the villagers of the Kent and Dollar Farms, innocent people and children who were slaughtered, cut to pieces in the most heinous way by the LTTE? Why is there never a statement on LTTE crimes against Sri Lankan civilians killed? Why does the Forum not remember with “sadness” each of the 300 murderous acts of bombings, suicide missions and acts of terror committed over 3 decades “”…” why is there no statement for each of these attacks by the Forum?

·                  We would also like to know what these supposed “hate campaigns” preceding black July were, given that the reason for the riots were put down to the decision to bring 13 soldiers for burial in Colombo that is said to have sparked public outrage?

·                  The Forum may like to refer the Indian Jain Commission report and read the numerous affidavits of those submitting depositions that would prove LTTE and numerous other Tamil militant groups were being armed and trained by India and that 1983 became an excuse to use to camouflage India’s crime of training Sri Lankan militant groups by claiming it was because of the 1983 riots “”…” this was a total fabrication of the truth. LTTE killed Duraiappah in 1972, LTTE bombed the Duraiappah Stadium well before 1983 and started to kill Tamil policemen well before 1983. It does make us wonder exactly who benefitted by the riots because it was certainly not the Sinhalese and this raises more questions about the exact perpetrators of the riots given that the eventual looting of homes and property was committed by riff raffs belonging to all communities even Tamil and Muslims!

·                  Friday Forum after 30 years is remembering just one single event and asking it not to be “repeated” when it is well aware that despite 300 attacks by LTTE directly on Sri Lankan public NOT A SINGLE retaliation against Tamils have taken place. This clearly proves that even 1983 was not anything that the Sinhalese or the Buddhists in particular were responsible or accountable for “”…” so the question is what is Friday Forum’s objective?

·         Mob attacks did take place in 1983. But these mob attacks were part of an organized plan for which the aim was to accuse the Sinhalese of the crime. Against the handful of those who took part in the attacks the majority of the Sinhalese protected their Tamil neighbors. Why is this never highlighted or mentioned? More Sinhalese protected their Tamil neighbors and friends than those who took part in the attack while those who looted were men belonging to all communities including Tamils and Muslims.

·         Friday Forum has also forgotten that not only has the Government provided monetary compensation, the President has publicly apologized in Parliament and at the UN General Assembly.

·         Why has the Friday Forum also omitted from mention the manner the LTTE forcibly evicted 27,000 Sinhalese residents from the North between 1971 and 1981 as well as chasing out 400 Sinhalese students and staff attending the Jaffna University in 1977? Were these events not far before 1983 riots? Why have these not got any statement issued by the Friday Forum?

·         When the Friday Forum enjoys continuously referring to “reconciliation” how can such be possible when the TULF refuses to change its stand on “Vaddukodai Resolution” vis a vis the formation of a separate Tamil state? Was it not the call to take up arms in 1972 to the Tamil youth by the Tamil elders that provided the incentive to take to militancy?

If Friday Forum thinks that by issuing a statement ONLY on “Black July” totally ignoring the human tragedies that resulted from calculated attacks by Tamil tigers we have very little to say to the Forum in their selected bias and it would be good for the Forum to take cognizance of the fact that they are remembering with “sadness” just one incident for which Sinhalese were never directly responsible for totally ignoring the LTTE crimes committed over 3 decades!

 Such a biased stand from so called Colombo intelligentsia is unbecoming of who they are supposed to represent and is a great disservice and injustice to the scores of civilians who perished because of LTTE terrorism. All that we can say is that it is unbecoming of a Forum to conveniently to exclude scores of LTTE crimes while only concentrating on one incident for which the Sinhalese were not directly responsible for.

Friday Forum must respond to Sebastian Rasalingam

What does Jayantha Dhanapala and the Friday Forum have to say to the comments by Sebastian Rasalingam who writes on “The 1983 Black-July pogrom and police inaction”.

o   Mr. Rasalingam says as a Tamil he and his family has always been treated as outcasts by his own Tamil people. He belonging to a “very low caste” and his wife an “estate Tamil” “”…” both treated as rodhis in the eyes of the high caste Tamils forcing him and family to live amongst the Sinhalese who were “friendly and “protective”.

o   He also says that in 1939 Ponnambalam attacked the Sinhalese at a Nawalapitiya meeting calling the Sinhalese “racial half breeds”.

o   He also says that the Tamil leaders were irritated by the Prevention of Social Disabilities Act (No. 21 of 1957) against caste discrimination in 1957 “”…” why would Tamils oppose their own people obtaining school education just because they were outcastes? Was this not the real reason why elite Tamils opposed standardization because they viewed educated low caste Tamils as a threat to their superior rule over their own people?

o   Is it not curious why all the Tamil agitations started ONLY after the 1957 legislation was introduced to allow Tamil outcastes to also obtain education and not in 1956 the year Sinhala Only was introduced. Thus, what is clear is that Tamil agitation began not against Sinhala Only but against the Social Discrimination Legislation of 1957.

o   Mr. Rasalingam also asks why the top hierarchy of the Sri Lankan Police most of whom were Tamil including the IGP were slack in their action?

o   Mr. Rasalingam also raises the same question on all our minds that LTTE was very much active in Colombo and its sympathizers were regularly collecting money from Tamil houses far before 1983 riots took place “”…” thus, it is they who had lists of Tamils in order to collect money from them. Mr. Dhanapala would also like to note that LTTE’s Nadesan who became Prabakaran’s police chief was in charge of the Colombo-Nugegoda area in 1983 and he was well aware of LTTE money-collection program “”…” the only issue was that some Tamils refused to pay and some preferred to openly support the TULF instead of the LTTE. We all know what happens when people do not follow LTTE orders!

o   Mr. Rasalingam says “In my belief, the 1983 pogrom started as a spontaneous Sinhala reaction to the killing of the 13 soldiers by the LTTE. However, the uprising was immediately hijacked by parties (most probably of the LTTE) who had the Tamil-household lists, to intimidate those non-conforming Tamil homes who did not contribute to their Eelam cause. However, they in turn were out-numbered and hijacked by even more horrendous goons, jingoists, sadists etc., who moved in to profit from pure pillage and plunder” and we fully support this statement.

Religious hate campaigns “”…” ignores actions concentrating only on reactions

·                  As regard hate campaigns all that needs to be said is that so long as certain religions use their clout to stop legislation against conversion whilst others use the power of money to make incursions into areas that are held sacred to the oldest indigenous culture and the Government does not make a clear ruling that just as other religions stick to a non-negotiable policy it is unfair to only barter the space of the Buddhists the majority populace will continue to feel threatened and hurt. It is as a result of these incursions and conversions that ill will has taken place and if the heads of these religions are concerned about peaceful co-existence it is they who should put a halt to actions that create and contribute to the reaction. Article 9 gives the place of Buddhism clearly in the Constitution which even the British upheld whilst it guarantees the freedom of other religions but Article 10 cannot prevail by superseding Article 9 or at the crucifixion of Article 9. The current innuendos associated with religious harmony conveniently evade the key issues which have given cause to the dissent. So long as the reasons are not addressed the solution will simply be a plastering. That the Friday Forum is only quoting Article 10 ignoring Article 9 clearly shows that the plot is to work towards liberal sponsored minoritism and its rule over the majority “”…” similar to what prevailed in Vietnam under US puppet Ngo Diem.

Questions to Friday Forum

Given the emphasis on “reconciliation” by gluing LLRC to the statement on Black July, we would like to pose to the Friday Forum and ask :

·         Why does the Friday Forum persist in attempting to bring shame on people who had nothing to do with the mob violence?

·         Give that the Friday Forum are well aware of the fact that the majority Sinhalese protected their Tamil neighbors why is this fact purposely omitted from mention and is it not upto the Friday Forum of intelligentsia to put misconceived notions by portraying the correct picture even after 30 years of lies “”…” why does the Friday Forum wish to join the lies?

·         Why does the Friday Forum not issue statements about the 1971 and 1988-89 insurgencies where thousands of Sinhala youth were killed?

·         Why is the deaths of Sinhalese youth not as “marketable” as those of Tamils?

·         Why has the Friday Forum ignored that Sinhala Buddhists protected their Tamil friends and neighbors?

·         Is the end objective of the Friday Forum to also join the chorus that is using all sorts of dubious means to portray Sinhalese Buddhists as “racists”?

As Mr. Rasalingham rightly says the Black July has become a beggars wound therefore it is time that the correct version of the 1983 is put right instead of using it to subtly attack communities in a bigger gameplan that is being craftily orchestrated for which the Forum head seems to be very much part of.

We hope that Jayantha Dhanapala in 2014 statement on Black July 83 would address at least some of the questions raised above and look forward to Friday Forum statements showing their “sadness” at the deaths of the Aranthalawa student monks, Central Bank bombing, Dollar and Kent farm villagers, scores of villagers brutally massacred, Kebethigollawa bus bomb, Kattankudy mosque massacre, killing of 600 policemen, Dehiwela train bombing, Temple of the Tooth attack, Anuradhapura Sri Maha Bodhi massacre of Buddhists while in daily prayer and scores of other attacks.

We would like to know why Friday Forum has not issued a statement for each of the 300 massacres by the LTTE? Given that it is very obvious that a resurgence of LTTE terror is being plotted using remnants of the LTTE who fled the country assisted by the very sources that had been helping LTTE thrive in Sri Lanka, the Friday Forum will well do to keep abreast of these developments too before jumping to preconceived biased conclusions.

 

 

 

14 Responses to “Response to Friday Forum “Lessons From Black July And The Recommendations Of The LLRC””

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Friday Forum is the NEW FACE of the LTTE with some stupid Sinhalese too.

    This junk group must be totally disregarded from all SL affairs.

    Doing what they OPPOSE is best for SL. Doing what they propose only suits Tamil Elam.

  2. jayasiri Says:

    Thank you.. Shenaili.. NOW these goons who are on LTTE payroll still trying so hard to give a NEW LIFE to LTTE. As HE President had said, all police powers & other important aspects of PCs, will still rest with President, whatever North PC does with their election in 2013.

    So give it up you all LTTE supporters, you failed miserably in fighting WAR assieted BY INDIA your GOD FATHER. What can India do, when each & every politician runs to India as if they are going to a TOILET. Another fact is INDIA doesn’t have enough toilets to use for their own population.

    WHAT is this FRIDAY FORUM some Sinhalese also are in that I understand, to do what to start another war??.. FIRST & FOREMOST Now it is apparent ALLOWING TAMILS to live in COLOMBO, must not be allowed. I know supreme court in LANKA have said NO to driving Tamils away.

    There are many ways of getting RID of this menace called Tamils, Their DOUBLE standards with respect to their OWN LOW CASTE Tamils. But say loud & clear that Sinhalese discriminate them. THIS Is just like Canada & the west blaming Sri Lanka, about accountablity, while Aborigines in Canada still suffer WITHOUT PURE DRINKING WATER, and accountability is clearly shown in Consrvateive senators, who embasseled funds.

    These are DO GOODERS of the world, Tamils & some political leaders of WEST who BOW DOWN to Tamils to get their VOTES come next election. There MUST be a way to deport ALL TAMILS from Colombo & Sinhalese areas, WHERAS Sinhalese can LIVE IN JAFFNA / NORTH & EAST without any hiindrance. This is Sinhalese COUNTRY.

    These acts may be against the thinking of the so called OUTSIDERS who have NO IDEA what Tamils are doing to our Motherland. I feel that protests MUST be carried out at Indian Embassy & other westen embassies in Lanka, so that they will feel the suffering of Sinhalese, WHILE TAMILS are accorded SPECIAL TREATMENT by INDIA & THE WEST.

    I wish other writers, interlectuals like SHENALI, should make it a life long dream to GET RID OF TAMILS from Colombo. COLOMBO belongs to Sinhalese, & any other racial group who abides by our ways & customs.

    ONCE that is settled, TAMILS will not have MUCH say about how we GOVERN SRI LANKA. Thanks again Shenali for this valuable article, hope some of these FORUM dumb DUMBS will listen & respond to your article…~ J

  3. Sirih Says:

    Friday forum run by catholic group… Plenty of evidence to this….

  4. Dilrook Says:

    In Australia there is a similar group called the Reconciliation Forum which is also made up of anti Sri Lankan elements. The Australian Federal government has granted them twenty five thousand dollars which keeps them going. Nothing constructive comes from these groups.

  5. Indrajith Says:

    Jayantha Adhamapala is another hired NGO Kakka. During the last selection of a head for the UN he licked the shoes of then Pope but he failed miserably and then withdrew from the race. Jayantha, you sell your motherland for a few dollars and an UN post. Shame on you, SOB!

  6. Samanthi Says:

    Hi Shenali, I can answer some of your questions posed to the Friday Forum (Freak).

    • Money is paid only to highlight bogus Tamil grievances.
    • Every Sri Lankan knows how the LieTTE and other separatist movements brought death and destructions to Sinhalese, Buddhists but they don’t ask for any special remedies from any source. So it is not profitable to write on them.

  7. Naram Says:

    Shenali, You have highlighted the facts that must be said again and again. We are grateful for your service.

    There were many lessons to tearn from the tortures Sri Lankans wen through in the post colonial period from the Black Englishman who ruled the roost. Progeny of the same set judged sitting in the LLRC.

    Did they place their search light on the birth of the cyanide gangs with the blessing of the Federal Party big Wigs including so called ‘Gandhian’ SJV Chelvanayagam. Then there werw overseas operatives like the Balasingham couple who came to garland the misguided young men and woment with Cyanide necklaces.

    I asked one lady once just after Tsunami whether any of her family circle are afftected. She replied me with good grace ‘They areall here’. I must add she is a solid middle clss individual of Vellala descent.

    I would argue that it was the poor folks Sinhalese and Tamil alike who had to eke out a living in the poorly sericed North, North Central and Eastern provinces,specially border villages of Kebitthigollawa, Weli Oya, Amparai who paid the price both as victims and soldiers, on one side wearing the cyanide capsule at times against their inner beliefs.

  8. Nimal Fernando Says:

    Yet another great piece by Shenali D Waduge. Please keep them coming.

    All Sri Lankans of goodwill need not unduly worry. The need of the hour is to keep the eye on the ball … and
    that is being done, thanks to Sri Lankan patriots who have never lost sight of the larger picture, unlike some
    comfort-seekers in NGOland …

    Forums and hohums will be with us, perhaps for decades, simply because they are lucrative undertakings
    of NGOland.

    Let’s remind such selective sermonisers that Sri Lankans will indeed remember — not with shame, but with
    anger — how a minuscule minority of the minority indulged in ethnic cleansing of the northern province;
    how a pretender to greatness on the world stage called India, funded, trained and armed a terrorist group to
    destabilise a small, sovereign nation; how ‘great’ Britain (still not out of danger of becoming the poor man of
    not-so-rich Europe) sided with a handful of bullies in the so-called international community ….

    All, in the final reckoning, to no avail!

    Sri Lankans — the great majority — will no doubt also remember to remind their elected and much-respected
    leader(s) that there is still some unfinished business ….

    Such as redressing the ethnic-cleansing of the northern province; facilitating the free movement
    and habitation of all Sri Lankans in any part of the nation.

    And since forums seem to be in season, how about a smallish forum of patriotic Sri Lankans (who put their
    intellectual prowess to use only in the national interest) to explore the possibilities of making India
    accountable for being the facilitator of a separatist uprising against Sri Lanka?

    Any member of such a forum will surely be able to get some expert guidance from our good friends in China!

  9. Ratanapala Says:

    July ’83 Riots

    It is common knowledge that it was UNP goondas who attacked and killed Tamils in Colombo during the July ’83 riots. It is also common knowledge that it was the then President J R Jayawardene who allowed the riots to continue unabated for a full day before a curfew was called to stop the rioting. On this day J R Jayawardene was under severe pressure from the army after the killing of the 13 soldiers in Jaffna , to take effective action against the LTTE terrorists in the North. His solution was to use his Goon Squads to attack and kill the Tamil residents in Colombo and other major cities and thereby avert the wrath of the army.

    It is also common knowledge that after his victory at the General Elections in 1977, Jayewardene wanted to remain in power for an extended period, if necessary by terrorizing the general electorate. For this purpose every minister in his administration was encouraged to form and develop their Goon Squads with the idea of intimidating the electorate prior to any subsequent election in Sri Lanka. In this fashion R Premadasa his Prime Minister, Gamini Dissanayake, Lalith Athulathmudali, Christian Ranil Wickramasinghe , Christian Ananda Tissa de Alwis,Cyril Matthew, M H Mohammed and others went on to form their own Goon Squads. These Goon Squads were used most effectively in subsequent elections to intimidate, terrorize, maim or kill political opponents. Viz; the 1980 District Development Council Elections, and the 1982 infamous ” the Pot and the Lamp Referendum.

    How the democracy in Sri Lanka deteriorated during this period is also common knowledge and is a subject that is well researched and documented. These Goon Squads were equipped with electoral lists and they knew in advance where their political opponents lived.

    It is now common knowledge that the mini riot that originated at the Borella Kanatta on the day of the funeral of the 13 soldiers ended at Narahenpita around mid night the same day. Dr AT Ariyaratne can vouch for this statement. However the systematic torching of Tamil trading establishments and residences commenced the following morning at Borella junction. The riots and the burning continued throughout the day through Punchi Borella, Maradana, Pettah and finally on to Fort, and unabated till they reached the Ambal Café in the heart of Fort at 4:00 PM – just a few meters away from where the now infamous President of Sri Lanka had his office. It took Jayewardene 10 hrs to impose a curfew and get his Goons off the streets. Goon Squads armed with electoral lists went from house to house, this time looking for Tamil residents. Goon Squads saved the day for Jayewardene by taking the army who was breathing fire on his scrawny neck. I am a personal witness to this event on this day on my way to work at Ceylon Tobacco Co. from Borella to Kotahena

    Once the curfew was in place, in four consecutive days, four very significant statements were made over the Television – Rupavahini Channel. While a shocked populace waited for the Executive President to address the nation, the UNP government and the Church plotted behind the scenes to place the blame entirely on the shoulders of Sinhalese Buddhists. This is how it was done.

    1. Most Ven Madihe Pannaseeha Maha Nayake Thero was asked to address the Nation first. Naturally the Mahanayake Thero requested the Nation to have patience and be calm. The nation was angry but it was in no mood to go on a killing rampage. By getting him to address the nation J R Jayewardene got the world to believe that the Mahanayake Thero was really addressing the Sinhalese Buddhists and that they were responsible for the pogrom.

    2. The second was made by J R Jayewardene (the man with the professional mourners face)himself, , as the President of Sri Lanka. (According to D B Nihalsinghe it took hours to get JR to be dressed up for the occasion as his professional mourners face could not be put right to address the nation.) He justified the riots as the justifiable anger of the Sinhalese for the killing of the 13 soldiers in Jaffna. Here he clearly laid the blame for the pogrom on the Sinhalese. It must also be noted that UNP Goon Squads and every shade of hooligan, Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim and other took part in the universal phenomenon of looting that followed throughout the island. In many instances old scores were settled, regardless of ethnicity, taking advantage of the deplorable and unfortunate situation.

    3. The third statement was made by R Premadasa the Prime Minister a servant of the Wijewardhana clan. He said that behind the riots was a coup organized by a Naxalite Terror Group. This was a diversionary attempt to put the blame on the pseudo socialist group led by Vijaya Kumaranatunge a potential threat to Premadasa at that time.

    4. The fourth and final statement was made by Ananda Tissa de Alwis the then Minister of Communications and Constitutional Affairs. He said the next stage of the coup would be for Sinhalese Buddhists to attack Sinhalese Christians. His was the voice of the Christian Church who would finally go to convince the world that Sinhalese Buddhists were responsible for the carnage.

    With this they killed two birds; firstly the blame for the pogrom was laid firmly and squarely on Sinhalese Buddhists and secondly they set up the Christians against the Buddhists so they could be suspicious of each other. Sri Lanka Rupavahini should have transcripts of these broadcasts.

    The essence of the above four statements show the way J R Jayewardene, his administration and the Christian Church manipulated the media to put the blame, for the riots by the Goon Squads, on Sinhalese Buddhists. It is doubtful if Ven Madihe Pannaseeha Mahanayake Thero knew how he was manipulated to lay the blame on the Sinhalese Buddhists.

    The subsequent propaganda by the State media and the Christian Church convinced the world that it was the Sinhalese and especially the Sinhalese Buddhist who were responsible for the July ’83 Riots.

    This is how the July ’83 riots were made to happen and then the blame put on Sinhala Buddhists.

  10. Lorenzo Says:

    Too much has been said and written about something TOTALLY UNIMPORTANT – July 1983.

    Go to Colombo and you see more Tamilians than Sinhalese clearly proving how UNIMPORTANT July 1983 is.

    We should DISREGARD this nonsense.

    SLFP and UNP blaming each other is NOT good. One group blames UNP for 1983 while the other group blames the SLFP for 1958. Ultimately Tamils GAIN and blame BOTH for attacking Tamils and justify living under TNA!!!

    NO RIOTS happened in 1958, 1977 and 1983. This is the line we should take.

    What is MORE IMPORTANT is the Black August (August 1977) when Tamils rioted against Sinhalese and PERMANANTLY chased them away from Jaffna. They are STILL NOT resettled!

    And Black August (August 1990) when Tamils rioted against Muslims and PERMANANTLY chased them away from Jaffna. They are STILL NOT resettled!

    Tamilians deny Black Augusts so the others SHOULD deny Black July.
    If Tamilians ACCEPT Black Augusts others can accept Black July. Not otherwise.

    We have to learn the tricks of the propaganda trade. We haven’t yet.

  11. Indrajith Says:

    Lorenzo, this is an excellent strategy. Congratulations!
    However, will singhalese take a serious note of it? I doubt.
    That’s why it is said ‘Sinhalaya Modaya, Kevum Kanna Yodhaya”

  12. SA Kumar Says:

    Indrajith
    That’s why it is said ‘Sinhalaya Modaya, Kevum Kanna Yodhaya”- this what We Demilaya thought until May 2009 but not any more as We have seen our Thesiya Thalaivar with kovanam(under wear) !

  13. Ratanapala Says:

    Let us understand the forces at work.

    Vatican and World Church Evangelical NGO plans to Christianize Asia
    Western imperialism coming back as global free market domination under US capitalist corporatism and WTO
    Christian West’s Balkanization of India plan
    New cold war to restrict China as a world
    Wahabism and Taliban Zaria law expansion
    Tamil country with a UN flag project
    Selective use of R2P as the new western humiliation weapon to break-up countries
    Global warming.

    Unless we understand these forces clearly and how they intermingle to affect the fate of Sri Lanka we cannot move forward in a clear, concise and a proactive way. We cannot forget one aspect or downplay one’s importance in preference for others. Tamil country with a UN Flag is only one aspect.

    The reason for the call for Eelam in Sri Lanka and not in any other country is a result of some of these other factors. The role of the Christian Church and the Christian West in attempting to dismember Sri Lanka can only be ignored at great peril to Sri Lanka. It is because of their support that the Eelam call still lingers!

    India knows Eelam is the beginning of the balkanisation of India and does not welcome it. It is using the Eelam card to keep Sri Lanka in tow. They used Sri Lanka to get rid of Prabhakaran and the LTTE. Now the man and the organisation that wanted Eelam and nothing less is out of the way, they are playing the old trick of beating Sri Lanka with the Tamil Card!

  14. Lorenzo Says:

    Ratanapala,

    Lets NOT divide the Sinhalese who are already weak with DIVISIONS.

    To win the war the govt. got ALL OF THEM TOGETHER. We need that unity to defeat ALL THOSE enemies.

    Tamils and Muslims are MORE united. This is the BIGGEST threat to SL.

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