The Sinhalese in Jaffna face problems merely because of them being Sinhala
Posted on January 8th, 2014

(Translation of an interview of Ven Akmeemana Dayarathne thero had with Eric Gamini Jinapriya published in Sunday Divaina of 29th Dec 2013 by Ranjith Soysa))

 On  24th of  November in Irida Divaina , M.A.Sumanthran, MP has stated that still it is  a problem to know definitely  whether the Sinhalese who have arrived in Navakuuli were displaced due to war or not.

Therefore, we decided to seek the comments from Ven Akmeemana Dayarratne thero who is involved  in the resettlement of the Sinhalese in the North.

Question- What is the position of the Sinhlaese who were resettled in Jaffna?

Answer- Now 4 years have elapsed after the war in the Northern Province. The steps have been taken to resettle the Tamil people and the LTTE cadres too. Towards this end the Government, NGOs and the army have extended maximum support.  They have also assisted in a big way to uplift the standard of living of the community.  The settlers have been given agricultural implements, seed material and also every assistance to market their products. We have no problems with these efforts to help these people. That is what is meant by empowering the people. Not only in Jaffna, everywhere in Sri Lanka theTamil people do enjoy decent living standards. Therefore, the Tamils do nor encounter any problems merely because they are Tamils.

But, it is clear that the Sinhalese who are planning to re-settle in Jaffna do have a problem merely because of being Sinhalese. We know that there is a large Buddhist area in the North. Therefore, we believe that there had been a large Sinhala population in the North and by the time the incidents in ‘83 took place there were nearly 17,000 Sinhalese families living in these areas. They were involved in among others in running   bakeries, jewellery shops etc. Among them were the ones who migrated from the South as well as others who were born there. The Sinhala Maha Vidyalya where they received education is still can be seen in Jaffna.

Even though there were 17,000 Sinhala families living in Jaffna to date neither the government nor a NGO had helped a single Sinhala family to re-settle in the North. As at present the regional power is in the hands of Tamil leaders. They and the Muslim leaders talk of the concerns of the Tamils and the Muslims. We are happy that they are interested   in their own communities. But, it is indeed surprising to note that even the Sinhala leaders air their views on the Tamil and Muslim people but dare not speak about the plight of the Sinhalese. There are no leaders to speak about the Sinhalese . The Sinhalese have become helpless in their own country of birth. The pathetic situation was created due to the non ”recognition of the plight of the Sinhalese by those who are responsible for the local and national politics as well as the NGOS. They have failed provide them with lands to resettle and help them to build house including assistance to lead a normal life.

But, we have observed that the political extremism is in operation and all facilities are provide to the Tamil people while the Sinhalese are neglected. There are reports that the assistance will be extended to the Muslim people too. But, we can say that not a single house had been given to a person of Sinhala origin

The Sinhalese people who were ousted from the North were returning after the war in the expectation of re-settling In their own lands but they had to stay at Duriupph stadium. At that stage no one from the Government or the Opposition came forward to help them. We volunteered to feed them and provide them with bare facilities.

There was a state land of Housing Authority at Navakkuli junction and it was utilized to provide temporary housing to these helpless victims of the system. As Buddhist, monks we inquired from the settlers what they wanted. They requested for a community hall and also a place to worship. As the practice of one’s religion is a basic human right a small Buddhist temple was established and we invited a monk to reside. Subsequently, a bomb was exploded at this temple and we would like state categorically that this incident was promoted by the TNA politicians. There were threats aimed at these people indicating that they must leave the area urgently as there is no place for the Siinhalese in this area. That is why I wish reiterate that there is a problem for the Sinhalese in the North of the country because they are of Sinhala origin.

We complained officially to the authorities about the bomb explosion and the threats to the people. To date. No one has been apprehended. We would like to ask about the rights of the Sinhalese and what happened to the laws protecting the civilians? We have built 5 houses so far and we request the authorities to allocate 10-15 perches per family at Navakkuli.

Question- Didn’t the Chief Minister of the Northern Province in his inaugural address mentioned that he invited the Sinhalese people who were driven out to come and settle themselves In the North?

Answer- If Mr Wigneswaran says such things it is good. But, the effort they put into resettling the Tamils and the Muslims does not seem be applicable in the case of the Sinhalese. If they really wanted they could have an advertisement in a newspaper inviting the Sinhalese who were driven away during the LTTE ruling to come back. If they did that the people could have submitted their documents such as the birth certificates, deeds etc . According to reports there had been 17,000 Sinhalese families in the North.  We request that these people be allowed to claim their properties and live in the North.

Question- Without waiting for action on the part of Mr Wiigneswaran these people can furnish the documents to the authorities?

Answer- We have submitted the documents to the Ministry of Defence. We as members of a nationalist movement we are representing these people. Mr Wigneswaran is only a person of a provincial government under the central government. The central government could have brought to the attention of the provincial government the issue of resettlement of the Sinhalese people in Navakulli. The TNA knows about the people in Navakulli and it is strange if the Chief Minister does not know about them. If his request for the Sinhalese to return to the North was genuine he could have taken some measures to help the people in Navakkuli. His silence is indicative of the fact that he is neither interested  nor enthusiastic in the resettlement of the Sinhalese.

Question- Isn’t it possible for the affected people to furnish the documents to the Chief Minister?

Answer- Definitely we will attend to the issue. But, what I am stressing is that we should not be expected to keep on passing the ball from one to another. The leaders who are entrusted with the responsibility to rule should handle the tasks with authority.

Question- Some are of the view that the Sinhlalese people were living on rented and leased lands .Did they live in the land owned by them?

Answer- There are documents relating to their ownership. We can submit these documents.

Question- Where are the people who were ousted from Jaffna are living now?

Answer- In areas such as Anuradhapura, Kekirwa, Mihintale living with friends and relations.

Question- What is the position of the lands in the North where they were living earlier?

Answer- They have enquired about their property before they were housed at Durriapah stadium. These lands have been taken over by the Tamils. The affected people had not opted to have disputes with the interlopers but have returned to Durriapah stadium. It is the responsibility of the authorities to provide lands for the affected.

 

28 Responses to “The Sinhalese in Jaffna face problems merely because of them being Sinhala”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Tamils have NO RIGHT to stop Sinhalese or the SL army settling down in Jaffna.

    How dare these bloody racists deny Sinhalese their homeland!

    How many Tamils are living in Colombo? Prove they were displaced from Colombo in 1983 riots. NONE of them can!

    Why this double standards. Shame on you the govt. for letting down Sinhalese of Jaffna.

  2. mjaya Says:

    If Tamils can settle in Walla and Colombo why can’t Sinhalese settle in Jaffna?

    Tamil racism is the cancer and vermin of Sri Lanka.

    Also there is a huge protest outside the US embassy now.

    The gov was completely silent about Stephen Rapp visit (typical of a napunsaka gov.) But the patriots cannot be fooled forever. We have no hope from this gov, (much less from Ranil, JVP and SF).

    WE NEED A NEW PATRIOTIC LEADERSHIP.

  3. SA Kumar Says:

    If Tamils can settle in Walla and Colombo why can’t Sinhalese settle in Jaffna? Fully agreed , Please buy from us , We give for less than market value or exchange of any of your land in South !!!

    We welcome Sinhala Bakery open in Aspaththi (hospital) Road soon !!! War finished 5 Years , Where you our Chinhala Sakotharayas !!!!

    Please Well Come , Jalpanam Unkalai Varavedvirathu ( Well come to Jaffna ) !!!

    Anpudan (with love)
    Hela Demilaya (Eelath Thamilan)!

  4. Senevirath Says:

    s.a.k

    u say well come to jafna as if Jaffna is yours

    vinaswaram has said that sr lanka is not a Buddhist country MAHINDA IS LETTING THEM TO GO TOOFAR HE EVEN WANTS MORE TIME TO SOLVE TAMIL PROBLEMS.. TAMIL PROBLEM IS HOW TO HAVE A SEPARATE STATE. NO SOLUTION

  5. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    What stands out in this article is the success of both the Hindu Tamils and the Muslim community in efficiently claiming lands and repulsing the Sinhalese people. The repulse coming from the Tamils. If that is the case then the second power of Sri Lanka need to play a crucial role in helping the Sinhalese of this northern area claim back their lands and help others who wish to settle in the northern and eastern provinces.
    Since an example is given that even a newly built Vihara was bombed means that in the initial stage the Sinhalese who do go back to the north they need some form of security. Their Viharas too need security, and security does not have to be an expensive endeavor.
    If the Buddhist Sanga steps in to help the Sinhalese settle on lands they once lived including assisting other Sinhalese who wish to live in these areas no law would be violated and the Buddhist Sanga would be doing what the religious leaders of the Hindu Tamils and Muslims are already doing. As far as security here in the US security cameras and systems which are not that expensive be set up at least in the new Viharas. Train some Sinhalese this vocation and take up the leadership which is lacking in the government.
    By doing this it would elevate the Buddhist Sanga as a genuine alternative to the government and elevate the role of Buddhism as a force against the evils of bigotry, racism, and hatred that denies the Sinhalese of their rightful claims.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    GoSL has been cornered and silenced by FALSE War Crimes charges. It is time for the general population who want justice done in the North, and the Sanga with help from the Law enforcement authorities, to take some strong and sensible action (none violent) to allow all others (Sinhela & other people) to settle in the North.

    The North was never an exclusively Tamil area, historically speaking. Same for the East. We do not see the how Tamil leaders can justify a Tamil only North, historically or otherwise.

    Also, that mostTamil people feel secure among others (as opposed to a Tamil only North), is proven by the fact that most Tamils at present live in areas other than the North.

    Question: If the North is exclusively for Tamil people, then the rest of Lanka should be exclusively Sinhela & others, with no Tamil people ?

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    Fran,

    Sometimes non violent movements ALONE are NOT sufficient. I HATE senseless violence but sometimes there is JUST NO other way to TAME Tamil racist terrorists. It is very unfortunate Tamil racists are like this.

    e.g. War in SL.

    ALL govt.s tried SO MANY non violent things to resolve it but failed. Ultimately violence worked the miracle!

    e.g. Tamil racist attacks on Sinhalese STOPPED after responding with equally violent attacks

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    Tamil UNARMED PEACEFUL racists are HELL BENT on destroying SL.

    What is GOSL doing? Nothing! Sometimes tough action is needed. But the GOSL is fearful of taking tough action against these VERMIN.

    “[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 January 2014, 17:06 GMT]
    After having caused massive deaths and disappearances on the Tamil civilian population during the times of war, the Sri Lankan State now continues to commit acts of structural genocide in the Tamil land. This aims at causing demographic and identity change, ethnic subordination and dilution of Tamils political power, the Bishop of Mannaar Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph told the visiting US diplomat on Wednesday. The visiting delegation was primarily interested in the details of the ‘war crimes’ during the final months of the war, according to Mannaar Bishop. Mr Rapp was told that an international investigation was necessary, not to punish any individual, but to create a conducive environment, which would in turn cause an attitudinal change on the part of the Sri Lankan State.

    The delegation also met Northern Provincial Council (NPC) councillor Mrs Ananthi Sasitharan, who personally witnessed Sri Lanka military taking away her husband, Mr Elilan, a political leader of the LTTE, at the end the Vanni War in May 2009.

    Talking to media, Ananthi said she had described to the visiting US delegation that what took place in Vanni was was a genocidal onslaught. She urged delivery of political justice to the nation of Eezham Tamils. The burning issue of attending the plight of missing persons families should be a top priority she said.

    The Bishop of Mannaar said that he had described what he witnessed from the people of Vanni, especially how cluster bombs were fired at civilians inside the Chuthanthirapuram No Fire Zone, where LTTE was not present. He also explained how the so-called air shots of aerial bombs from the war planes claimed the lives of many people. The civilians have also complained about the deployment of chemical weapons from July 2008, when it was used at Akkaraayan.”

  9. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo,

    Use the Law rather than violence. Violence begets violence. It is better stop Causes of conflict before it blows out of proportion.

    All facts must be proven before printing by the Press in question. Each item has to be taken by GoSl authorities separately and weighed for the truth and if not true and provable, the press printing the false items must be taken to Courts for libel and damages claimed. If acts done were within the Law during conflicts/wars, then there are no War Crimes. Also, at the height of a war, no one is going to refer to the book of rules – it is a matter of kill or be killed.

    For instance, if Mr Sasitharan was a political leader member of the ltte, then he would have been arrested. That would have been done by any military anywhere in the world, however painful it would have been for Mrs Sasitharan.

    What I notice about complaints to foreign VIPs inquiring into the war with the ltte is that Tamil women complain of their pain about their missing loved ones (pain of loss). When wars happen, loss of life happens. It is tragic, whether ltte lives or military lives. The best we can do now is to move forward, help the living of both sides, and see to it that this type of conflict never ever happens in Lanka again. That is why I am against off loading of illegal migrants into Lanka.

    If the GoSL presses the ltte members who are alive with War Crimes charges, then what has TNA etc to say of that ?

  10. SA Kumar Says:

    Senevirath, say well come to jafna as if Jaffna is yours- ok Jaffna is belogs to you , Please Well come ! or you want me to say Please come !

    Jalpanam Unkalai Varavedkirathu – means Jaffa Well coming you !

  11. Lorenzo Says:

    Fran,

    There are 3 problems with relying on LAW alone.

    1. CONFLICT – SL law conflicts with international law AS IT IS APPLIED. That is why we cannot GRILL TNA.
    2. POOR IMPLEMENTATION – in ANY 3rd world country
    3. LOOPHOLES – any law has them

    Law must be complemented with non-nonviolent means. That WORKED in SL. Why change it?

    ALL countries spend MUCH MORE on their military than on law enforcement. Doesn’t it say something.

  12. Fran Diaz Says:

    contd.

    An illegal migrant does not know the culture, history or language of the country. They are preyed upon by unscrupulous elements to do ‘the dirty work’. They are hapless victims and know no peace of mind. It is unfair by them. Those who come into the country illegally must have some support within the country.

    The Law of the land must be altered to make those who bring in illegal migrants guilty of Criminal Activity with heavy penalties such as seizure of property and long prison terms.

  13. Fran Diaz Says:

    Also address the fact why they leave their country of birth. Almost always they have been discriminated against (such as in Caste/poverty issues), and do bear some grudges and hatreds – that is, they may almost always be already psychologically damaged – a pitiful human state. Can Lanka handle such problems ???!!

  14. Lorenzo Says:

    SL can all problems through law AND NON-NONVIOLENT means.

    Not one without the other.

    e.g. A kitchen has a cooker AND a fridge! Not just a fridge.

  15. Nanda Says:

    Mjaya,
    When will the Napunsaka Government develop tools again ? In 2008-2009 they were clearly visible.

    Now the Napunsakas showing off their tools to us.
    1. Kasippu Joeseph
    2. TNA old dogs
    3. Even Nondi Pillay woman
    4. Even Ananthi Sasitharan woman – who allwed her to become a PC member ?

    Why didn’t the Napunsaka parliament with 2/3 majority couldn’t get rid of the decease called “PC counsil syndrome”.
    Bloody terrorist is give the honourary name “councillor” thanks to our shrunk tools.

  16. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo,

    To handle social problems : Law & Non-Violence are a good combo !!

  17. Lorenzo Says:

    Fran,

    NO WAY!

    War was a major social, etc. problem. It was handled by war (non-nonviolent means).

    “hitha honda gaani hemathaama budding”.

  18. Lorenzo Says:

    Nanda,

    Looks like Kasippu Joseph is illegally married to Ananthi (she is a widow).

  19. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo,

    What caused war in Sri Lanka ?

    Some 500 yrs of Colonisation and the Cold War gave HOPE to Tamil Separatists that they could form Eelam. This was used mainly during the Cold War times and enhanced to suit Cold War players. Hopes of Eelam were grown by both local Tamil leaders as well as some Tamil Nadu leaders plus Cold War players. Now the Cold War is finished and that card can’t be played any more.

    Next, the 13-A imposed by India during Cold War times was brought into play for Separatism. This ended in war with the ltte.

    I would conclude that Colonsation & the Cold War led to War with Separatists.

    Next scenario for Eelam : Since the formation of SAARC, the main item that allowed Hope of Eelam is lax SAARC law of easy entry into Lanka by SAARC citizens. Tamil entry in large numbers were first through indentured labor (Dutch & British) some one and half million Tamil people brought in for the tea & tobacco industries. After Independence, the latest ruse is through SAARC easy entry regulations. This keeps the fires of Eelam burning. So the best thing to do is to remove the SAARC rule of ‘visa on entry’ and next claiming Asylum. If the Ministry concerned is too weak to handle it, put the Armed Forces in charge of illegal migrants and their deportation and PREVENTION of future illegal entrants.

    First and foremost, the Parliament (not just GoSL) must recognize that there IS a problem with illegal migrants. Of course, both GoSL and the main Opposition party, the UNP, are kept off balance with FALSE War Crimes charges for GoSL and party infighting for the UNP ! Who is pulling the puppet on the strings (Lanka) here for Separatism ? !

  20. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo,

    Re the Law, you say :

    1. CONFLICT – SL law conflicts with international law AS IT IS APPLIED. That is why we cannot GRILL TNA.
    2. POOR IMPLEMENTATION – in ANY 3rd world country
    3. LOOPHOLES – any law has them

    All of the above is only partly true.
    What are we of Lanka aiming for ? We are aiming for some social Stability here as that is absolutely necessary for Development. There are other pillars to support Stability, but the Law is the main support for Stability. Development cannot take place in a de-stabilized country. In Lanka de-stabilization is due to Separatism. So, address SEPARATISM, and how to get rid of that.

    Re what you say here :

    (1) CONFLICT – SL law conflicts with international law AS IT IS APPLIED. That is why we cannot GRILL TNA. Remedy: All ethnic & religion based political parties have to be removed by Parliament and only National political parties allowed to contest elections. This is for sheer survival.
    The Sinhela people have to contend with minorities who have massive support from abroad. There is no other way for the
    Sinhela people to protect their land and culture.
    Also, a National Govt. would better serve Lanka as a whole.

    (2) Poor implementation – in any 3rd world country. Remedy: Poor implementation is Unacceptable. If Development has to happen, implementation of the law is important. Implementation of 6-A is important as we have now identified Separatism as the main cause to derail Development.

    (3) Loopholes – any law has them. Remedy : Close Loopholes, one by one, re Separatism, which causes instability most of all and de-rails Development.

    Add:

    (1) SAARC rule of ‘visa on entry’ inimical to Lanka Development plans.

    How has India circumventing the SAARC rule of ‘visa on entry’ for SAARC citizens ?

    In Lanka too the Law can and must be changed & applied judiciously for Security measures which are paramount. The SAARC rule must be thrown out or else Lanka will suffer through constant Separatist wars. With constant imbalance due to Separatism, Lanka will not Develop in the true sense.

    (2) In present times, the CKD issue is bad enough. That is a type of war too, through health issues. Clean water a must.
    Protective gear (galoshes & gloves) a must for paddy farmers.

    Comments on above welcome, from anyone.

  21. Fran Diaz Says:

    * First, the Parliament of Lanka (not just the GoSL) has to recognize that there IS a problem with illegal migrants
    and that action has to be taken to stop it.
    * Next, if the Ministry cannot handle the matter of deporting them, hand over this section to the Armed Forces of Lanka.
    * Also pass legislation that the SAARC rule of ‘Visa on Entry’ for SAARC citizens is no longer available in Lanka, same as in India.

    Lanka PARLIAMENT : Govern well – it is possible.

  22. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Lorenzo: “I HATE senseless violence but sometimes there is JUST NO other way to TAME Tamil racist terrorists.” I fully agree. There is a saying “In order to secure peace one must be ready to wage war”. Peace is not given it is taken.

  23. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo & BW,

    Preventive Care to PREVENT escalation of a bad situation re Security is the best method. For such Prevention, let us use the Law.

    For instance, there is this escalating situation re illegal migrants mainly from the SE Asian region. Why not stop it in a legal manner instead of waiting to wage future wars with more Separatists ?

    To this end, SAARC rule allowing freedom of entry into Lanka (visa on arrival) must be removed. Also granting of Asylum in Lanka to illegal migrants. Let us keep in mind that there are some 11 Million Tamil people in Tamil Nadu under the Scheduled Castes System. Caste is well and alive in Tamil Nadu and there are millions looking for escape from that. Also, poverty in all SAARC countries plus Global Warming making the Maldivian islands vulnerable with rising sea levels. I have written on this subject many times to these columns. It is better for Muslim folk to go to Muslim countries. It is better for Tamils of TN to sort out their problems in TN itself. If anyone from Lanka can help by going to those places, that is fine, provided these people are not brought physically to Lanka.

    PREVENTION WISER THAN CURE.

  24. Lorenzo Says:

    Fran,

    Law ALONE CANNOT prevent war, illegal migration, separatism, etc.

    I have explained and you agreed they are PARTLY true. That IS another loophole ENOUGH for all these dirt.

    How did SL achieve peace? BY WAR!

    When Chelva, etc. were creating violence, what could the law do? Nothing! They KNEW the law. But one bullet could have ended them.

    Same with VP. he was ARRESTED for killing Alfred Duraiappah but released due to lack of evidence. A bullet could have saved SL.

    Prevention is BEST achieved by controlled violence coupled with law. Where one lacks the other will fill the void.

    As I said before ALL countries spend MORE on militaries THAN on law enforcement!! For a good reason.

  25. Fran Diaz Says:

    Nope, I disagree with you, Lorenzo !

    When War was absolutely necessary, we had one War to remove the ltte. As I said before, Lanka was a victim of Colonisation, Cold War & Caste. Lanka was a victim of other peoples wars that led to a war of our own. That war was due to all of those things plus Tamil Separatism (started off on Caste matters). Now that is over. Now it is time for PREVENTIVE CARE (mainly the LAW) so that WAR IS NOT NECESSARY IN THE FUTURE.

  26. Fran Diaz Says:

    Nowadays, how do other Democracies manage ? – Preventive Care !!

  27. Lorenzo Says:

    Fran,

    Preventive care includes use of violence.

    LTTE did us a favor by ELIMINATING these 4 best friends of Kasippu Joseph Goebbels. Just imagine the dirt we have to put up with IF they were alive today.

    This is PREVENTION AT ITS BEST!

    Lets not get into the “hitha honda gani hemathaama budding” syndrome. Lets leave the use of violence to take care of violent problems.

    Israel is at the forefront of using surgical violence to keep peace. We MUST follow. Otherwise our enemies will.

    1. “COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, SEPT. 28, 2007 (Zenit.org).- A 40-year-old Catholic priest who was delivering aid to displaced refugees is the latest victim of Sri Lanka’s two-decade civil war.

    Father Nicholaspillai Packiyaranjith, coordinator of Jesuit Refugee Service in the northeastern district of Mannar, was killed when a bomb exploded, reported Aid to the Church in Need.

    The blast took place on Poonery Road in the Kilinochi district early Wednesday evening, killing Father Packiyaranjith. The priest was on his way to assist people in a refugee camp and an orphanage in Vidathalvu.”

    2. “APRIL 21, 2008. A Jaffna diocese priest active in promoting human rights was killed on April 20 by a mine explosion on his way back to his church after offering Sunday Mass in a parish sub-station.

    Father Mariampillai Xavier Karunaratnam was driving the car and reportedly died instantly of head wounds in the explosion at 12:30 p.m. on the Mallavi-Vavunikulam Road, about 75 kilometers south of Jaffna. The jungle area, known as the Vanni, is under the control of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

    An unnamed layperson traveling with Father Karunaratnam received critical injuries and was brought to a hospital.

    According to a Church official at the bishop´s house in Jaffna, 300 kilometers north of Colombo, the Tamil priest was killed while returning for his midday meal at Our Lady of Good Health Parish in Vavunikulam, a farming village. He had offered Mass at the church in Mankulam, about 12 kilometers away.

    The priest´s body was taken first to nearby St. Theresa´s Church in Kilinochchi. His funeral and burial in Vavunikulam are scheduled for April 22. Thousands of people are reported to have flocked to the church to pay their respects.

    Father Karunaratnam was founder and chairman of North-East Secretariat on Human Rights (NESOHR) and offered trauma counseling to war victims and those who suffered due to the 2004 tsunami. He looked after cases of displaced people in the Kilinochchi area. NESOHR handles human rights violations against Tamil people in the north and east, where the ethnic minority community is concentrated.

    Born on April 12, 1951, in Jaffna, he was ordained a priest in 1989. In addition to his work with NESOHR, he chaired the NGO Consortium, an umbrella group for NGOs in Jaffna, and also filed stories for Radio Veritas, the shortwave station run by the Federation of Asian Bishops´ Conferences.

    The vicar general said the late priest´s performed an essential service for the Catholics and other communities, “because he raised his voice every time there was any (human rights) violation.”

    James Singarayar, 67, a retired Catholic teacher, also told UCA News from Jaffna that the late priest brought all rights violations to the attention of the world community. He was “a guardian and a strength for the victimized,” Singarayar said.

    Two parliamentarians who were members of NESOHR were killed in 2005. “Father Karunaratnam is the third victim,” Singarayar told UCA News.

    Both government forces and the Tamil rebels have denied responsibility for the priest´s death. According to a state report, the LTTE should be held responsible for the killing as it happened in their area of control. The LTTE claims government forces are at fault.”

  28. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo,

    These are all incidents from the Cold War times that I keep mentioning. Both sides of the Cold War players operated on Lanka soil. Who killed whom in those times, no one really knows.

    Let go of the past. Let’s preserve the future for our children – in peace.

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