Faultlines in Navi Pillay’s report to UNHRC
Posted on March 3rd, 2014

H.L. D. Mahindapala

 The anti-Sri Lankan resolution sponsored USA, UK and India ” the three prime movers — will rely essentially on the report presented by Navy Pillay, the High Commissioner of UNHRC. It is likely that other nations too will be influenced by it.  In the following analysis addressed to Ms. Pillay, the former Editor of The Observer, H. L. D. Mahindapala, exposes the failure of Ms. Pillay to deal with the central issues fairly and comprehensively.  It also exposes the partisan approach of Ms. Pillay which accuses only Sri Lanka and not the violations  of human  rights by India, one  of the prime movers of the anti-Sri Lankan resolution.

 Mahindapala told Ceylon Today that there isn’t a sari or a turban big enough to hide India’s hypocrisy. He added:  “Navi  Pillay too is playing an unacceptable role in focusing disproportionately on Sri Lanka. She is very quick to pick on Mahinda Rajapaksa from little Lanka but not Manmohan Singh or Narendra Modi of Himalayan India. If Modi becomes the next prime minister of India will she take on Modi for massacreing the Muslims of Gujarat, Modi’s state?”

 Here’s the full text of Mahindapala’s letter addressed to Navi  Pillay:

 Ms. Navi Pillay

High Commissioner for Human Rights



 Dear Madam,

                                        Comments on the report of the UN High Commissioner,  Ms. Navi Pillay. titled Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka

 I read with interest your report titled Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka presented to the twenty-fifth session of Human Rights Council in Geneva (February 24, 2014). 

I welcome the detailed report and I wish to  add that I agree with some of the critical parts which are accurate. 

In particular I wish to state that I agree with a central  allegation enunciated in your report. You state: “The Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) has, however, failed to ensure independent and credible investigation into the past violations of the international humanitarian  and human rights law.” This judgmental statement targeting Sri Lanka comes from the summary of your report. If there is one criterion by which the validity, morality and the legality of your report can be judged it is in this critical standard which you have stated with clarity.  I wish to underscore the phrase “the past violations of the international humanitarian  and human rights law”. I shall deal with this aspect of “the past” as I go along. 

 I wish also to state that the title which broadly covers the promotion of reconciliation and accountability without setting a time limit is also quite appropriate. I take it to mean that “reconciliation and accountability” go hand in hand and a comprehensive accountability of the past violations of the international humanitarian  and human rights law” is a sine qua non for reconciliation.

 I consider your statement ” namely, “The Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) has, however, failed to ensure independent and credible investigation into the past violations of the international humanitarian  and human rights law” ” as  a critical standard laid  down by you to map the future of course of action in Sri Lanka. The prime movers of this anti-Sri Lankan resolution ” i.e., USA, UK and India ” too will be influenced essentially by the contents and the standards laid down in your report. This makes it clear that the three prime movers and you work in tandem to enforce the common political objectives pursued collectively in the name of achieving justice and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. In other words, your report has laid down the ground work for the three prime movers to pursue their objective of imposing an “independent international inquiry” into “the past violations of the international humanitarian  and human rights law”.

 As the chief guardian of human rights I believe that this standard is to be applied universally without exception. I also believe that “the past” referred to in your report is not confined to an arbitrary cut-off date which would automatically exonerate some violators of international humanitarian and human rights law who intervened militarily to combat the Tamil Tiger terrorists. So it is imperative that “the past” referred to you in the report should be defined unequivocally. This is also necessary because there seems to be a conflict of opinion on this issue between the GOSL and the prime movers of the resolution and, of course, UNHRC ” i.e., while the GOSL rejects the arbitrary cut-off date referred in the UNHRC resolution the prime movers are determined to confine their “independent international inquiry” only to the last few months. In the interests of peace, reconciliation and accountability it is best to clarify whether there should be a cut-off date to determine “the past” or not.

 A realistic view of  the relevant, historical past should begin from May 14, 1976 when the  Tamil leadership, assembled in Vadukoddai, declared war against the nation, leading  to crimes against peace and violations  of human rights. It is classified as the longest running war in Asia because the  declaration of war in Vadukoddai by the Tamil leadership on May 14, 1976 unleashed Tamil violence which ended after 33years on May 18, 2009. So the past consists of the 33 years (give or take a few days) and any independent and credible investigation into the past violations must cover the entire 33 years without exception to achieve the goals of (1)  justice for all victims of the war; (2) accountability that can hold all those responsible for the violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in the 33-year-old war and (3) achieving comprehensive reconciliation and peace. Anything shorter than the 33 years would amount to a distortion of the meaning of the word “past” as it chops off the body and head of the past, leaving only the tail end ” and that too the hairy bits of the tail end. Your report, quite rightly, is focused on “the past violations of the international humanitarian  and human rights law” which can mean by any rational deduction the entire 33 years.

 However, despite your statement in the summary quoted above,  it is somewhat disconcerting to note that your report takes a very limited and unrealistic view of the past. It does not go beyond the last stages of war which, at the most, does not stretch beyond the last eight months ” i.e., from September 2008 to May 2009 as seen in various other reports.

 You would agree that the time-frame in your report has “failed to ensure independent and credible investigation into the past” beyond this limited period. I wish to argue that it would be impossible to “ensure independent and credible investigation into the past” if “the past” is arbitrarily limited to just a few months in the last stages. Since the past of this longest running war in Asia goes back to 33 years any credible or independent report must necessarily cover the entire period and not confine itself to an arbitrary cut-off date that cannot be justified by any rational yardstick. .

 To begin with, this limited time-frame is unfair by all  the victims of this futile war. If, as implied in your report, the aim is to get justice for the victims of the war then you automatically cut off the claims and concerns of the other victims who suffered during the previous 32 years and four months, by limiting the investigations to the last few months. The imbalance in this selective methodology will not contribute to either restore justice to all victims or help to advance reconciliation as the direct and immediate  impact of this move leads to exonerating key military actors who had violated international humanitarian and  human rights law of any responsibility or accountability. Besides, there is no precedent to judge a long-drawn war only by the last stage. If the main purpose of the resolution initiated by the three prime movers is to bring  to book those responsible for violations of international humanitarian and human rights law then natural justice demands that all those  who violated the rules of engagement in the war in “the past”, which goes as far back as 33 years, should be held accountable. But if the period of investigation is confined to the last stage then it would automatically exonerate some of the guilty actors whose political and military interventions ” not to mention excesses —  led to serious violations of the international humanitarian  and human rights law in the preceding 32 years and four months.

 Consider, for instance, how this applies to the 33-year-old war in Sri Lanka. The facts of the case are simple: Two militaries fought the Tamil Tiger terrorists: 1. the Sri Lankan forces and 2. the Indian forces. There is evidence to conclude that , both forces violated human rights law in combatting “the deadliest terrorist outfit of the world” (FBI).  However, “the past”, as defined in your report, includes only the last phase in which the GOSL crushed the Tamil Tiger terrorists and not the Indian Government forces which fought the Tamil Tigers fiercely between 1987 ” 1990, three years in all. This is the fundamental flaw in your report. The selected time-frame targets only GOSL and not the Indian forces. The massive campaign of INGOs, international media, Tamil Diaspora and Western Foreign Offices too have taken this narrow view of focusing only on the last phase as if the previous years were fought by India, for instance, with roses without thorns.

 What is needed right now is to restore a balance to this one-sided view.

 This requires a critical questioning primarily of the validity of the arbitrary time-frame:

  1. 1.     Can the Commissioner of Human Rights  “ensure independent and credible investigation into the past violations of the international humanitarian  and human rights law” if the focus is only on the last sector of the past?
  2. 2.     Can the Commissioner of Human Rights provide a rational explanation as to why the Indian atrocities committed during its military intervention in Sri Lanka ( 1987 ” 1990) are excluded and why only the Sri Lankan military actions are included in the proposed independent investigations? 
  3. 3.     Can the Commissioner of Human Rights serving the global citizenry, without fear of favour, act selectively to target only one set of violations of human rights and not the other? Is this a deliberate strategy adopted by the High Commissioner, acting  jointly with the prime movers of the anti-Sri Lankan resolution, USA, UK and India, to divert attention from the documented role of India in violating international humanitarian and human right law in order to target only Sri Lanka?
  4. 4.     What moral or  legal rights has the High Commissioner to exclude the Indian forces in any independent and credible inquiry when they were the first foreign military interventionists who marched into Sri Lanka to defang and tame the Tamil Tiger terrorists ” the very terrorist forces who were initially trained, financed and directed by India’s RAW (the equivalent of CIA) and exported to destabilize Sri Lanka? The IPKF operated from 1987 to 1990 on Sri Lankan soil. Their record of massacres, plunder, rape and other violations of international humanitarian and human rights law is well documented by I/NGOs and by Indian and Tamil eye-witnesses.  
  5. 5.     Shocked by the horrors of the Indian atrocities in Sri Lanka, the former Defence Minister, George Fernandez, condemned it as “India’s Vietnam” and also as “India’s My Lai.”
  6. 6.     The irony is that India, a violator of international humanitarian and human rights law on Sri Lankan territory, is now posing as a defender of humanitarian and human rights law pointing an accusing finger at Sri Lanka. How genuine is India’s  concern for human rights when she has had no compunction in violating human rights in Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Bangladesh, not to mention its own territory? For instance, Mr.  Narendra Modi,  the prime ministerial candidate in the coming election, was denied a visa by USA, one of the movers of the UNHRC Resolution, for his role in the massacre of Muslims in his  state of Gujarat. So why should India be exonerated when her war crimes on Sri Lankan soil are rated on the same level as that of My Lai in Vietnam by its own Defence Minister?
  7. 7.     Besides, neither the Indian Army nor the Indian government has held any inquiry into the criminal activities of its forces on Sri Lankan territory. Here’s what the Head of the Intelligence Unit of the Indian forces in Sri Lanka, Col. R. Hariharan, said recently on this issue: He said: “There are a few issues involved in analyzing the allegations of atrocities by Indian troops after 25 years. In COIN (Counter Insurgent Operations) operations there are always innocent civilians killed, usually described as collateral damage in the fire-fight between two sides. This happened in Sri Lanka also. But there were specific instances where serious allegations were levelled. I remember two of them: massacre of patients and doctors by troops in Jaffna teaching hospital and retributive killings in an ambush in Valvettithurai. I think both the Army leadership and Government (of India) failed to institute transparent investigations to get at the truth and disprove them or punish the culprits. But in 1987-88 human rights was not a big issue worldwide as it is now. India was no exception to this. Bigger killings were taking place in Afghanistan where the US was fighting a proxy war against Soviets. India itself did not pay much attention to human rights accusations against it. But all this is hindsight wisdom.” (International Law Journal of London,  Interviewer Parasaran Rangarajan, Editor — ” Feb. 6, 2014). Needless to say, that this is a damning statement of India’s role in Sri Lanka by its own Chief of Intelligence Officer. Doesn’t natural justice demand that India should first hold its own impartial inquiries before pointing an accusing finger at Sri Lanka? Why doesn’t India, the super power  of the SAARC region, set the example for the others like Sri Lanka to follow? (Please see attached  document revealing Indian atrocities in Sri Lanka.)
  8. 8.     Col. Hariharan’s statement cited above is by far the most authoritative eye-witness account of the atrocities committed by the Indian forces. It is more than an eye-witness account. It is an official condemnation delivered by the highest ranking Intelligence Officer of the IPKF who was in Sri Lanka between 1987 — 1990. In the light of the available evidence can the High Commissioner for UNHRC selectively brush aside the authoritative accounts of the Indian war crimes and focus only on the Sri Lankan forces? If so on what grounds?
  9. 9.     If “the Army leadership and Government (of India) failed to institute transparent investigations to get at the truth and disprove them or punish the culprits” should not the international community and the Human Rights Commissioner move without any further delay a resolution to hold an independent and credible investigations into the atrocities committed by the Indian Forces?
  10. 10.                        In the light of the evidence staring in the face of UNHRC can the delegates vote only for an independent investigation into the actions of the Sri Lankan forces in the last phase, or should the Council members deal with the violations of international humanitarian and human rights law comprehensively, going into “the past” that run into 33 years?
  11. 11.                        The war ended on May 18, 2009. On May 26, 2009 the UN High Commissioner addressed the UNHRC demanding action against the Sri Lanka. As shown in the evidence cited above, India committed violations of international humanitarian and human rights law 25 years ago. Why has the High Commissioner who moved swiftly within eight days against Sri Lanka failed to take up the issue of Indian  atrocities committed on Sri Lankan soil  even after 25 years? Or is justice at the UNHRC something like kissing that goes by favour?
  12. 12.                        Will UNHRC, acting on the available evidence, withdraw the resolution against Sri Lanka and present a more comprehensive one which would include the atrocities committed by the Indian forces too?
  13. 13.                        The High Commissioner accuses the GOSL of not having the “political will” to achieve truth and justice. The current Presidential Commission in Sri Lanka inquiring into abduction and disappearances from June 10th, 1990 to May 2009 have reported that witnesses are coming forward ready to give evidence on the atrocities committed by the Indian forces. But the mandated time period (June 10th 1990 to May 2009) doesn’t go far enough to include the Indian atrocities highlighted by the Tamil victims in their petitions to the Presidential Commission. This poses a serious moral question to the UNHRC and the three prime movers of the anti-Sri Lankan resolution which is: Is the UNHRC willing to either withdraw or amend the resolution to include the Indian atrocities committed during the three-year period of 1987 ” 1990? Will it also advise the GOSL to extend the cut- off date to go beyond 1990 into the entire period of the war, going back to 1976 when the war was declared by the Tamil leadership?
  14. 14.                        A commitment by the UNHRC to comprehensively investigate all the violations committed during the entire period of 33 years will confirm the genuine commitment of the prime movers and the UNHRC High Commissioner to deliver “the truth and justice”. Truth and justice cannot come  out of a short period of a long war. Anything short of a comprehensive investigation, covering the entirety of the war, from beginning to end, will be a partisan move to accuse only Sri Lanka and exonerate India. In the absence of such a credible international process should Sri Lanka alone be sacrificed on the altar of the high priests of morality consisting mainly of the  prime movers ” one of whom is India, also a perpetrator of crimes against the people of Sri Lanka?
  15. 15.                         Last but not the least, is the demand by the UNHRC High Commissioner in her report to take action against the LTTE agents who were released by the GOSL and rehabilitated.  Is this an act that is influenced by compassionate human rights or is it an act dictated by the barbaric doctrine of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth? If this  kind of vindictive politics is driving the CEO of human rights should we be surprised by the Nobel Peace Prize winning President of America sitting down every Tuesday with his deadly apparatchiks to pick who should live and who should die without due  process?

 In the interest of promoting reconciliation and justice I shall thank you to kindly respond to this  e-mail dealing with what I consider to be the central issue confronting UNHRC in the post-conflict era in Sri Lanka.  I  wish to assure you that your objective and dispassionate response will enhance not only your stature as a fair and independent judge and guardian of human rights issues but also that of UNHRC which is coming under critical fire from diverse  sources.

 Awaiting an early reply

 Yours sincerely

 H.L. D. Mahindapala

Editor, The Observer (1990 ” 1994)

President, Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association (1991 ” 1993)

Secretary-General, South Asia Media Association (1993 -1994)

 P.S: I apologise for sending the incomplete draft earlier. It was the computer devil at work.  Please consider this as the definitive presentation by me for you to respond.


 Here is the abridged version  of the human rights  violations committed by the Indian Peace Keeping Force:

 India as Mediator

 by Old Jaffna Man

 The Indian Army came with the designation Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) but when they left it was felt that they were a Indian People Killing Force. There were no people to send them off in Trincomalee and no one to receive them when they landed in Madras.

 Civilians Massacred by IPKF

 Jaffna Hospital:- Perhaps the worst atrocity committed by the IPKF was the massacre of 68 innocent civilians inside the Jaffna Teaching Hospital in Oct. 1987.

 The names of the people massacred are:- Dr. A. Sivapathasuntheram, Dr. M. K.Ganesharatnam, Dr. Parimelalahar, Mrs. Vadivelu, Matron, Mrs. Leelawathie, Nurse, Mrs. Sivapakiam, Nurse, Mrs. Ramanathan, Nurse, Mr. Shanmugalingam, Ambulance Driver, Mr. Kanagalingam, Telephone Operator, Mr. Krishnarajah, Works Supervisor, Mr. Selvarajah, Works Supervisor, Eleven (11) Minor employees and forty six (46)

patients. One of the doctors killed was a Consultant Paediatrician and he was coming down the stairs wearing his cloak and with his stethoscope. When he saw the Indian soldier, he shouted “Doctor, but Was shot down.

 Duraiswamy brothers :- On the way to the hospital, the soldiers passed the ancestral home of late Sir Waithilingarn Duraisamy, Speaker in the State Council. Two of his sons, retired and past 70 years, were residing in their ancestral home next to the Jaffna Clock Tower. One was R. Duraiswamy (SLAS) Retd. Secretary. Ministry of Local Government and M. Duraiwswamy Retd. Staff Officer Bank of Ceylon. Both were shot and killed.

 Sivasubramaniam Family:- Mr. S. Sivasubramaniam, retired Director of Irrigation (now designated Director General), his wife, Mrs. Sivasubramaniam, retired teacher and their only son, a brilliant boy who had studied at St. John’s College, scored 4A’s in the GCE (AL) and was in the second year of Medical College.

 Mr. Sivasubramaniam was a personal friend, a quiet soft spoken gentleman, brilliant in his professional field. His entire family was erased from the face of the earth.

 Chief Justice Sharvananda’s sister and her family :– Chief Justice S. Sharvananda’s sister, her husband, son and two domestic helpers were shot dead. Justice Sharvananda, far from attending his sister’s funeral, did not even know for over one week that his sister and family had perished. There was blanket censorship over what was being done to the Tamils in Jaffna.

 Other Civilians Killed in Jaffna:- Prof. P. Chandrasekeram, University of Jaffna, Dr. R. W. Crossette Thambiah (must have been 80 at the time), Dr. Selvaratnam Former DMO Maskeliya, Dr. S. Pararajasingham JMO, L. F. M. Samuel Rtd. Teacher (St. Thomas College, Mt. Lavinia & Royal College, Colombo – older Thomians and Royalists might remember him), K. J. Sambanthar Retd. DLO & Asst.

Land Commissioner, Jaffna, Mrs. S. Sivanandaraja (mother), Mohanraj (son) Technical Officer, Irrigation Dept., Mrs. Krishnam, Mrs. M. Sebastiampillai, Mrs. N. R. Thuriappa, Mrs. V. Ruthiralingam, C. S. Aaron.

 Urumpirai:- A. Subramanium Attorney at Law, Mr. & Mrs. Pancharatnam, Rtd. Teachers, K. Navaratnam Rtd. Divisional Supdt. of Post Offices, S. Nadarajah, Formerly SLBC, Tamil Service, P. Arooran , M. Nadaraja, S. Rasanayagam Rtd. Credit Controller CCC Ltd.

 Anaikoddai:- Mrs. M. Weerasegaram Pillai, (Mother), Pillai Yasotha Weerasegararn (Daughter), Mrs. S. Thanapalasingham (Mother) Miss N. Thanapalasingham. (Daughter) S. Kulasegerampillai, Retd. Station Master, Mrs. M. Arumugam Mrs. R. Gnanamuttu, A. Candappu Rtd. State Officer, S. Selvaranee.

 Pirampadi, Kokuvil etc.:- A large number of civilians were killed in Pirampadi and Kokuvil and buried in mass graves. The whole matter requires a book to do full justice. Among those who managed to escape was late Justice K. Palakidner, who was then High Court judge Jaffna, his wife and two daughters.

 More than our relatives, we mourn the death of the elder son of the chief priest of our temple, Subramaniya Kurukkal. He performed the ancient Hindu marriage ceremony for me and my wife in 1962. Young Kannan Iyer, 28 years old, very fair, very handsome, well versed in Sanskrit and Hindu neethi and also a fully qualified Accountant, managing his own Accounting firm in Jaffna told his father to stay at home and that he would go by bicycle by a circuitous route to the temple to light the lamps.

 Instead of going to the temple, he went to heaven. He was shot just outside their gate and as it was raining heavily and the curfew was in force, nobody discovered what had happened till the following day. Twenty six persons lost their lives in my village alone, during the Indian army’s campaign to gain control of Jaffna Peninsula in October-November 1987.”

 Rape by Indian Soldiers

 The IPKF Operation in Jaffna did not stop with massacres of civilians. A large number of women were raped. The following quotation is taken from Prof. Daya Somasundaram’s book Scarred Minds – The Psychological Impact of War on Sri Lankan Tamils. Prof. Daya Somasundararn is the Professor of Psychiatry in the University of Jaffna.

” Although the total number of rapes during the Indian army operations are not known, it seemed to reach epidemic proportions. It has been verified that quite a large number, ranging from young girls who had just attained puberty to old women well past the menopause stage, were brutally raped.

 Rape became common in the context of total war as it obtained in the months of October to December (1987), when all the customary discipline and restraint operative in the army disappeared.

 The public was seen as being too sympathetic to the Tigers, harbouring and helping them against the Indian army. Thus terror became an instrument of control, a punishment for the lack of support and a lesson to the public.

 But rape was much more gruesome as it was aimed specifically at women. It was carried out with considerable brutality and impersonality, where the victims were publicly defeminised and destroyed.

 The screams and pleading of a young, attractive girl, whom three soldiers were trying to rape at gun point, still echoes in my ears. She fell at their feet and begged, ‘Please, brother, shoot me, but don’t do this…’ Fortunately for her, her pleading got through to an officer who took pity and let her go, after slapping her. A young rape victim in Tinnavelly immediately attempted to commit suicide by jumping into a well.

 Inside our village temple, where people had gathered as refugees, young village girls were molested by the Indian soldiers. Dr. W. Paramanathan, great grandson of Proctor V. Casipillai who had rebuilt the temple in 1900, after its destruction during the Portugese occupation, was an eye witness. “My blood boiled;

but I was helpless” he told me. In fact, being a young man, he was taken out twice to be shot as a Tiger and only the strong pleadings of his aunt Miss K. Charavanamuttu, retired Principal of Vadamarachchy Hindu Ladies College saved his life. Dr. Paramanathan has migrated to the United States and is living there.

 Plunder by IPKF

 The 21 day curfew proved to be a golden opportunity- to the Indian soldiers. They broke into every house, broke open every almyrah and stole the valuables inside. As everyone knows, all Jaffna Tamil Hindu women wear a lot of gold jewellery. When they had to flee at half an hour’s notice, they could not remove all their valuables. When the families returned, they found their gold jewellery, imported watches and Parker pens missing. In 1987, India was still a closed economy and these imported items were not available in India. Not merely the soldiers, even the officers helped themselves. This is what the Island of 22 Feb. 1988 reported.

 “IPKF Major Returning to India Apprehended – Alleged Contraband Jewellery:

 A Major of the IPKF who is said to have returned to India from Jaffna on a month’s holiday is alleged to have been apprehended at Chandigarh airport with having carried jewellery believed to be contraband.

 A news report appearing in the “Rani Weekly” of January 31, 1988 published in Tamil Nadu state that this Major serving in Jaffna had flown to Madras by plane and then to Chandigarh in Punjab on a month’s holiday. The Police there had searched him like any other passenger and found in his possession 100 sovereigns of jewellery consisting of bangles, broken chains, necklaces etc”.

 The story states “The Police suspect that he might have snatched them from Sri Lankan Tamils. But he says they were bought by him. The magazine asks, “if they were bought by him, could the jewellery be broken in pieces?”

 India’s My Lai – the Valvettiturai Massacre

 On 2 August 1989, the so called Indian Peace Keeping Force deliberately killed over 50 Tamil civilians in Valvettiturai in the Jaffna Peninsula in a massacre that was later described as India’s Mylai.

 David Housego reported in the London Financial Times on 17 August 1989:

 “On… Tuesday I was the first western reporter to visit Valvettiturai, a small coastal town near Jaffna, where Indian troops carried out reprisals on August 2 after the Tamil Tigers, the -Tamil guerrilla movement, ambushed one of their patrols close to the main square, killing six Indian soldiers and wounding several, others.

 After 4 1/2 hours of walking around the town and questioning many people, it becomes clear that angered soldiers deliberately shot dead unarmed civilians, burnt a large number of houses, and brutally beat many of the boys and men they caught.

 The local Citizens Committee has identified 52 bodies and says that over 120 houses were burnt – making it by far the worst atrocity alleged against Indian troops in the two years they have been in Sri Lanka.

 Most of the killings took place in the hours after the ambush, but the burning and ransacking continued , for another two days while Valvettiturai was under curfew and surrounded by Indian troops.

 What is also certain is that the official Indian explanation for the deaths – that civilians were caught in crossfire in the wake of the ambush – has no credibility. Mr. S. Selvendra, the president of the Citizens Committee and a chartered accountant, is calling for a public inquiry.

 Almost a fortnight after the event, a smell of charred remains hangs over Velvettiturai. Of the 15,000 people perhaps half have left in fear or despair. Many who remain are distraught over the loss of relatives or belongings, and uncertain how to begin again or where. What seems to have happened an August 2 is that two patrols of Indian Peace keeping Force (IPKF) troops about 30 men in all approached the centre of the town on foot in parallel columns at about 11.15 in the morning. This was market time, when the streets were most crowded. They were ambushed by firing from the roof and the street. Six soldiers were killed and 13 injured, including an officer…

 What follows are abbreviated eyewitness’ accounts of four particular incidents that occurred after the ambush.

 Mr. N. Senthivadivel, 50, was in his photographer’s shop overlooking the square when the firing began. He threw himself to the ground. Later he was taken out and made to sit cross legged with about 25 people on the square. From there he saw soldiers set fire to some of the shops and throw kerosene to add to the flames.

 At about 2 p.m. a soldier came along and said in broken English that he was going to shoot them. Two jeeps arrived and firing began. The soldier then turned round to those seated and fired on them. Two people, Mrs. K. Sivapackiyam, a washerwoman, and Mr. K. Thangarajah were killed and 10 more injured.

 S. Rajeswary, 52, is the wife of the head of the divisional land survey office. After the firing about 50 people sought shelter in her house well over 200 yards from the square – because it has a concrete roof and thus offers protection against shelling.

 About 1.30 p.m., four soldiers broke into the house. She came out of the kitchen into the hall with her husband; they were holding their hands up. She pleaded with her husband not to step forward but he advanced to speak to the soldiers. They shot him. They then called for the other men and shot four of them.

 After that they sprayed bullets killing four more people and injuring nine. Apart from her husband, Mrs. Rajeswary also lost her eldest son, 28, who was trapped in his shop which had been set on fire.

 Mr. A R. Sivaguru., 68, a retired postmaster. With some 70 other people – he took shelter in the house of Mr. Sivaganesh which also has a concrete roof. About 4 p.m., some six soldiers climbed over the back wall of the house and entered the courtyard.

Women fell at their feet crying and pleading with them not to shoot but were kicked aside.

 A sergeant then separated off the young men ages ranging from 18-35 and told them to sit in front of the cow shed next to the house. The soldiers then fired on them, killing four. When one woman screamed at her husband’s death she was told to be silent otherwise she would be killed.

 Mr. Nadarajah Anantharaj, principal of a local school and secretary of the Citizen’s Committee, still bears the mark on his face of wounds he received. This account of his treatment at the Udupiddy IPKP camp nearby is taken from his sworn affidavit. “There (at the camp) I saw many people who came along with me bleeding and crying. Four Sikh soldiers then started beating me with heavy wooden rods and with their fists.

 “One soldier dashed my head against the wall. One soldier pressed a wooden rod on my throat and was standing on the rod which was preventing my breathing. At that time I heard a voice shouting “Kill him, kill him.” I was almost losing consciousness when I managed to push the rod on my throat away, toppling the person who was standing on it.

 Why did the Indians respond so brutally? Part of the answer is that their troops have been under great strain in the Vadamaratchi region, with isolated patrols coming under fire and the Tigers firing rockets into the IPKF camp. This has left officers and men with nerves on edge.

 Were the killings and the brutality the result of soldiers running amok or did they have the approval of their officers? With substantial reinforcements brought into Velvettiturai in the wake of the ambush, officers were certainly present in the town during the shooting and the burning of homes. Some inhabitants believe that senior officers gave their tacit approval to the reprisals, if not more.

 One of my informants claimed that he had heard a senior officer say in anger not long before “I will burn Point Pedro” (a neighbouring town where there has also been trouble). “I will kill everybody.’ This may have been ill chosen words of intimidation not meant literally…”

 George Fernandez, Indian Opposition M.P. one time Cabinet Minister and later Defence Minister commented a few months later:

 “When in early August, 1987, 1 had said that Mr. Rajiv Gandhi’s military adventure in Sri Lanka would be India’s Viet Nam, I had not anticipated that India’s Viet Nam would also have its own My Lai. Of course, I was aware and I had also said repeatedly that soldiers everywhere alike, their training and the rigours of their life, not to speak of the brutalisation caused by war, making them behave in the most inhuman ways when under pressure.

 Now, in Velvettiturai, the Indian army has enacted its My Lai. London’s Daily Telegraph commenting editorially on the barbarism exhibited by the Indian army in Velvettiturai says that, if anything “this massacre is worse than My Lai. Then American troops simply ran amok. In the Sri Lankan village, the Indians seem to have beenmore systematic; the victims being forced to lie down, and then shot in the back”.

 Valvettiturai was uncovered by David Housego, the Delhi-based correspondent of London’s Financial Times who visited the scene of the massacre 13 days after the black deed had been done on August 2. His report appeared in his paper on August 17, though London’s Telegraph had carried on August 13 a story on the incident from its New Delhi correspondent, Jeremy Gavron, based on the information that was already circulating in India’s capital.

 The Indian press – a miniscule section of it – caught up with it only on September 3, with a report by Rita Sebastian in the Indian Express. In fact, there was a planned black out of the news of Velvettiturai by the Indian government, in which a large section of the Indian press was only too happy to collude. The armed forces are India’ s most sacred cow at the best of times, but when they indulge in atrocities, they are more so…” (Tamil Weekly,  November 13 ” 19, 2005)

16 Responses to “Faultlines in Navi Pillay’s report to UNHRC”

  1. S de Silva Says:

    Well Said HLDM! No one says it better!! From all this the action needed is actually an ACTION against Navi Pillai- – Like a statement of “No confidence” in her ability to perform her job impartially owing to the ‘conflict of interests’ on her part. Sri Lanka must demand the UN to appoint another competent non-Tamil person in her place. Also the Tamil Navi Pillai is not the person for this task as much as no Muslim will be allowed by the US to investigate the HR issues in Israel – S de Silva – London

  2. Ratanapala Says:

    What about the LTTE atrocities during this period? They too should be investigated along with the perpetrators, funding institutions and the LTTE abroad.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Pee-illey will not respond. She KNOWS she is pro-LTTE. As long as the BIGGEST DONORS to UNHRC (USA and EU) are happy with her MEEKLY PERFORMANCE she will stay.

  4. Senevirath Says:

    Lorenzo please send some “”POLPALA”” to pee- illey

  5. Nanda Says:

    POLPALA shall be taken with NEELAMULLIYA, which then will be the best cleansing method of “kidneys”.

  6. Lorenzo Says:


    Reminds me what happened to MR trying to help Nobama.

    2 years ago MR gave “peenas” oil to Nobama to cure his sunusitis and headaches. Having used it for 2 years with no luck, Nobama called MR and blamed him for DECEIVEING Nobama AGAIN (first on the HR issue then on the oil).

    MR: That can’t be Nobama. It works on me.
    Nobama: Well, it didn’t for me.
    MR: How did you use it?
    Nobama: You said it is “peenas” oil so I applied it on the penis.
    MR: Yako! You put it on your head not the penis!

  7. stanley perera Says:

    GoSL is spineless to take pillai woman and Usa to Haigh. Wy can’t GoSL file a petition against the baseless allegations. Win or lose atleast they are being intimidated. As long as Gulop the American decoy is holding the responsible position any action against the USA is only a day dream. This chap is not concerned of the territorial intergity and the soverignity of the country. She will be right attitude is because gulp is bought over by the american dollars. When is he going to cross over next? We have to wait and see untill MR government falls. Then not only gulp all those rouge ministers together with a bunch of corrupt politicos will join them. All Kuddos in Battaramulla shi. house will also join them including kudupm’s son.

  8. Christie Says:

    The most important things in this issue are
    1) Nawanatham Pillai is another Indian colonial parasite from South Africa like all the Indians in Sri Lanka or Fiji etc.
    2) It is India, Indian colonial parasites and vermin who direct US and UK.

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    Last year 132 Tamil racist Catholic priests begged UNHRC to grill SL.

    Govt took no action. So this year it has risen to 205.

    Where are the patriots with power?

    Led by Kasippu Joseph Goebbels as usual.

    205 Tamil Christian clergy from North and East ;

    1.Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph, Catholic Bishop of Mannar
    2.Rev. Fr. V. A. Justin, omi, Trincomalee
    3.Rev. Sr. M. Tharcilla, hfc, Mannar
    4.Rev. Fr. S. Arul Sutharson, omi, Mannar
    5.Rev. Bro. M. Deloshan Rajeeva, omi, Jaffna
    6.Rev. Fr. A. V. Alfred, omi, Mannar
    7.Rev. Fr. A. Xavier Croos, Mannar
    8.Rev. Fr. Terrance Fernando, Vavuniya
    9.Rev. Fr. Desmond Angelo, Vavuniya
    10.Rev. Fr. M. Nirmalaraj, Vavuniya
    11.Rev. Fr. Anthony Bala, Jaffna
    12.Rev. Fr. P. Jesurajah, Mannar
    13.Rev. Fr. Reginald, cr, Jaffna
    14.Rev. Bro. J. Anthony Sosai, Mannar
    15.Rev. Fr. S. C. Vaz, Mannar
    16.Rev. Sr. Prista, Batticaloa
    17.Rev. Fr. Sugnaraj Croos, Mannar
    18.Rev. Fr. Bosco, cr, Jaffna
    19.Rev. Fr. Lawrence Leon, Mannar
    20.Rev. Fr. A. Luckston De Silva, Mannar
    21.Rev. Fr. G. A. Arulraj Croos, Mannar
    22.Rev. Sr. Christine Croos, fmm, Mannar
    23.Rev. Fr. J. Dunstun, Vavuniya
    24.Rev. Sr. Mariatharani, Vavuniya
    25.Rev. Fr. M.G. Camillus, Jaffna
    26.Rev. Fr. J.S.A. Mariathas, Jaffna
    27.Rev. Fr. D. V. Patrick, omi, Mannar
    28.Rev. Fr. M. Mariasuthan, cr, Vavuniya
    29.Rev. Fr. M.P. Peter Manohar, Mannar
    30.Rev. Fr. I.C. Ferdinand, cr, Jaffna
    31.Rev. Fr. J. Denystan, Vavuniya
    32.Rev. Sr. Juliana Kulas, Mannar
    33.Rev. Sr. Mary Theresa, Batticaloa
    34.Rev. Sr. J. Ragal, Vavuniya
    35.Rev. Sr. Jeyam, Vavuniya
    36.Rev. Fr. A. Jesuraj Silva, Mannar
    37.Rev. Sr. Jacintha, Kilinochchi
    38.Rev. Sr. Sylvia, Kilinochchi
    39.Rev. Fr. Terrance, Mannar
    40.Rev. Sr. Emma, Vavuniya
    41.Rev. Fr. Francis Jeyam, Vavuniya
    42.Rev. Fr. S. Balendran, Jaffna
    43.Rev. Sr. Hilary Fernando, scjm, Vavuniya
    44.Rev. Fr. A. Sahayanathan, ivd, Mannar
    45.Rev. Sr. Marietta, Vavuniya
    46.Rev. Fr. T. Navaratnam, Vavuniya
    47.Rev. Sr. Fatima, rgs, Mannar
    48.Rev. Sr. Jacintha, scjm, Kilinochchi
    49.Rev. Sr. Aquina Joseph, Mannar
    50.Rev. Fr. S. Stephen Rajah, Mannar
    51.Rev. Fr. S. Mariathas Leon, Mannar
    52.Rev. Sr. Mildred Pedrupillai, Mannar
    53.Rev. Sr. Amalie, Mannar
    54.Rev. Sr. M. Julia, Mannar
    55.Rev. Fr. M. R. Figurado, Mannar
    56.Rev. Fr. A. Arulanandam, cr, Vavuniya
    57.Rev. Fr. Macmilen, Jaffna
    58.Rev. Fr. Rajeswaran, cr, Jaffna
    59.Rev. Fr. Nevins Peries, Mannar
    60.Rev. Fr. Mathanraj, omi, Vavuniya
    61.Rev. Sr. Salome Moraes, Mannar
    62.Rev. Fr. Douglas Milton Logu, Mannar
    63.Rev. Sr. V. S. Celestine, Mannar
    64.Rev. Fr. Albanraj, Mannar
    65.Rev. Fr. Sebastian Croos, Jaffna
    66.Rev. Sr. Rene, Mannar
    67.Rev. Sr. Rohini, Mannar
    68.Rev. Fr. F. J. Gnanaraj Croos, Mannar
    69.Rev. Fr. S. V. Avithappar, Mannar
    70.Rev. Fr. A. Celestine Mascringhe, omi, Jaffna
    71.Rev. Sr. Sakunthala, op, Mannar
    72.Rev. Sr. Maria Goretti, scjm, Vavuniya
    73.Rev. Fr. Fr. A. M. Stephen, cr, Vavuniya
    74.Rev. Fr. S. M. Devarajah, Mannar
    75.Rev. Sr. Rosalind, Mannar
    76.Rev. Sr. Doreen, Mannar
    77.Rev. Sr. Kosala, Mannar
    78.Rev. Sr. M. Christeena, ac, Mannar
    79.Rev. Bro. Francis Mark Ignatius, Mannar
    80.Rev. Sr. Marsilla, Mannar
    81.Rev. Sr. Herman, Vavuniya
    82.Rev. Sr. Judesala, Vavuniya
    83.Rev. Sr. Marian, Vavuniya
    84.Rev. Sr. Rosy, Vavuniya
    85.Rev. Sr. Shanthy, Vavuniya
    86.Rev. Sr. Sebo, Vavuniya
    87.Rev. Sr. Malarvily, Vavuniya
    88.Rev. Sr. Victoire, Vavuniya
    89.Rev. Sr. Jane, Vavuniya
    90.Rev. Sr. Theresa, Vavuniya
    91.Rev. Sr. Rita, Vavuniya
    92.Rev. Sr. Perinpamalar, Vavuniya
    93.Rev. Sr. Antoinita, Vavuniya
    94.Rev. Fr. A. Sebamalai, Vavuniya
    95.Rev. Fr. J. B. Devarajah, Vavuniya
    96.Rev. Fr. V. Yogeswaran SJ, Trincomalee
    97.Rev. N. Prabahar, Trincomalee
    98.Rev.Fr. Antonthas Morais SJ, Trincomalee
    99.Rev. Sujithar Sivanayagam, Trincomalee
    100.Rev. Fr. T. Jeevaraj SJ, Batticaloa
    101.Rev. Fr. Elil Rajendram SJ, Vavuniya
    102.Rev. Fr. Jeevaraj, sj, Batticaloa
    103.Rev. Fr. John Joseph Mary, sj, Batticaloa
    104.Rev. Fr. A. Ahilaraj, sj, Batticaloa
    105.Rev. Fr. T. Sahayanathan, sj, Batticaloa
    106.Rev. Fr. A. Lawrence, sj, Batticaloa
    107.Rev. Fr. Saminathan, Batticaloa
    108.Rev. Fr. A. Arulanantham, Batticaloa
    109.Rev. Fr. T. A. Julian, Batticaloa
    110.Rev. Fr. Ambrose, Batticaloa
    111.Rev. Fr. Douglas James, Batticaloa
    112.Rev. Fr. Alex Robert, Batticaloa
    113.Rev. Fr. J. S. Morasus, Batticaloa
    114.Rev. Fr. Ravikanth cmf, Batticaloa
    115.Rev. Fr. K. Mariathasan, Batticaloa
    116.Rev. Fr. Laconz Figurado, Mannar
    117.Rev. Fr. Jeyabalan Croos, Mannar
    118.Rev. Fr. Sebamalai Emmanuel, Mannar
    119.Rev. Fr. Augustin Pushparajah, Mannar
    120.Rev. Fr. L. Gnanathicam, Mannar
    121.Rev. Fr. Pancras Jordan, Mannar
    122.Rev. Fr. S. Vasanthan, Jaffna
    123.Rev. Fr. S. Roy Ferdinand, Jaffna
    124.Rev. Fr. A.J. Jeeyaseelan, Jaffna
    125.Rev. Fr. T. Raviraj, Jaffna
    126.Rev. Fr. S. V.B. Mangalarajah, Jaffna
    127.Rev. Deacon. Varathan OMI, Jaffna
    128.Rev. Fr. T. Quinson, Jaffna
    129.Rev. Fr. R.H. Sahayhanayagam, Jaffna
    130.Rev. Fr. M. Nixon Collin, Jaffna
    131.Rev. Fr. P. Pathinathar. Jaffna
    132.Rev. Fr. A. Augustine, Jaffna
    133.Rev. Ravichchandran, Jaffna
    134.Rev. Fr. Mary Joseph, Jaffna
    135.Rev. Fr. Punithakumar, Jaffna
    136.Rev. Sr. Patricia Joseph, Jaffna
    137.Rev. Sr. Rosemary Mudiyappar, Jaffna
    138.Rev. Sr. Michel Joseph, Jaffna
    139.Rev. Sr. Fabian Andrespillai, Jaffna
    140.Rev. Sr. Johnsy Anthony Morais, Jaffna
    141.Rev. Sr. Jasintha Marie, Jaffna
    142.Rev. Sr. Daniela, Jaffna
    143.Rev. Sr. Ranjani B., Jaffna
    144.Rev. Sr. Virgine C., Jaffna
    145.Rev. Sr. Paulina S., Jaffna
    146.Rev. Sr. Anges S., Jaffna
    147.Rev. Sr. Theelas, Jaffna
    148.Rev. Sr. Stephanic, Jaffna
    149.Rev. Sr. Marietta,Jaffna
    150.Rev. Sr. Therese, Jaffna
    151.Rev. Sr. Carmala, Jaffna
    152.Rev. Sr. Dorathy, Jaffna
    153.Rev. Sr. Rina, Jaffna
    154.Rev. Sr. Marina, Jaffna
    155.Rev. Sr. Elsy, Jaffna
    156.Rev. Sr. Anista, Jaffna
    157.Rev. Sr. Sylvia, Jaffna
    158.Rev. Sr. Angelma, Jaffna
    159.Rev. Sr. Grace, Jaffna
    160.Rev. Sr. Paula, Jaffna
    161.Rev. Sr. Iniga, Jaffna
    162.Rev. Sr. T.P. Latha, Jaffna
    163.Rev. Sr. K. Rita, Jaffna
    164.Rev. Sr. Jacintha, Jaffna
    165.Rev. Sr. Emmanuel, Jaffna
    166.Rev. Sr. Vinoline, Jaffna
    167.Rev. Sr. Anushala, Jaffna
    168.Rev. Sr. Pricilla, Jaffna
    169.Rev. Sr. Chithera, Jaffna
    170.Rev. Sr. Lucina, Jaffna
    171.Rev. Sr. Emerita, Jaffna
    172.Rev. Sr. Mariagorretti, Jaffna
    173.Rev. Sr. Virgi, Jaffna
    174.Rev. Sr. S.P. Grace, Jaffna
    175.Rev. Sr. Geraldine, Jaffna
    176.Rev. Sr. Virginia, Jaffna
    177.Rev. Sr. Manuela, Jaffna
    178.Rev. Sr. Caroline, Jaffna
    179.Rev. Fr. Peduru Arulnathan, omi, Jaffna
    180.Rev. Fr. Santhiyogu Christy Joy Fernando omi, Jaffna
    181.Rev. Fr. John Saminathar Rene Beeshmanomi, Jaffna
    182.Rev. Fr. T. Jeno Harance omi, Jaffna
    183.Rev. Fr. Pathinathan Sathiyaseelan omi, Jaffna
    184.Rev. Fr. Sebamalai Anpurasa, omi, Jaffna
    185.Rev. Fr. T. Anson Regikumar, omi, Jaffna
    186.Rev. Fr. Paul Jeyanthan Pachchek, omi, Jaffna
    187.Rev. Fr. James Pathinathar, Jaffna
    188.Rev. Fr. Nasarajah, Jaffna
    189.Rev. Fr. Roshan, Jaffna
    190.Rev. Fr. Kirubaharan Jaffna
    191.Rev. Fr. Denny Calistus, Mannar
    192.Rev. Fr. Leo Armstrong, Jaffna
    193.Rev. Fr. Elmo Arulnesan, Jaffna
    194.Rev. Fr. Arulthasan, Jaffna
    195.Rev. Fr. X.W. James, Jaffna
    196.Rev. Fr. Nesanayagam, Jaffna
    197.Rev. Fr. M. I. Thayakaran, Jaffna
    198.Rev. Fr. Canisiusraj, Jaffna
    199.Rev. Fr. Sylvester, Jaffna
    200.Rev. Fr. A. J. Yavis, Kilinochchi
    201.Rev. Fr. Brian, Jaffna
    202.Rev. Fr. Eugene Amalaraj, omi, Vavuniya
    203.Rev. Fr. P. Anthony Jesuthasan, omi, Vavuniya
    204.Rev. Fr. T. Vasantharasa, omi, Vavuniya
    205.Rev. Fr. S. Philip Ranjanakumar, omi, Vavuniya

  10. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Excellent coverage of what the Indian Peace Keeping force did in Sri Lanka. It would compliment what the Tamil Tigers also did since they were trained by Indian forces to do them and funded by India. Regarding the funding of a terrorist group which then did acts of genocide, Sri Lanka should demand compensation from India in addition to demanding that India be placed on the human rights violations list regarding the Sri Lankan war.

  11. Fran Diaz Says:

    Cold Wars and Tamil Caste wars were fought on Sri Lanka soil. Ms Navi Pillai, committed to eradicate Institutionalized Discrimination got her ideas in a twist that Sri Lanka is guilty of such crimes ! She has to now let go of this old fashioned idea of hers as Mr Modi is due to come in with 100 Smart cities which will surely eradicate most of the caste scourge.

    She has to back track fast on her old fashioned ideas of creating caste free zone, Eelam, for Tamils in Sri Lanka. Same for the Catholic church.

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    It is Tamil Elam problem that is affecting Tamils not so much caste wars or cold wars.

    Kasippu Joseph Goebbels is a LOW CASTE Tamil but he has joined HIGH CASTE Tamils to call for Tamil Elam.

    One silver lining is TRINCO BISHOP and the BATTI BISHOP are not on the list.

    When Modi becomes Endian PM, Hindu fundamentalist “Shiv Sena Shri Lanka” will run amok in northern SL claimed by Tamils to be a Hindu region.

    “Shiv Sena Shri Lanka” obviously has nothing to do with Endian Shiv Sena but who can prove it!! A violent RIFT between Tamil Hindus and Tamil Catholics will do the job.

  13. Fran Diaz Says:


    Tamil Caste issues & Cold War/s are/were the foundations/support systems for formation of Eelam (if it ever happens). Without those issues, Eelam is not possible – the passion is lacking without those issues. No backers for Eelam without those issues.

    We hope that all problems in the North are resolved peacefully. After all, all are just simply human beings with common problems. More friction will only create more problems.

    Church & Hindu systems have common ground in Teachings of Christ and the Four Great Yogas & the Bhagavad Gita.

  14. Fran Diaz Says:

    A few more thoughts :

    One of the Smart cities in Tamil Nadu can be named “Eelam”. All the truly desired elements of Eelam will be there with no attendant problems.

    Tamil leaders will have an important part to play in the re-organisation/re-aligning of society in the North, removing artificial alienation, helping them all to blend in with the rest of society in Sri Lanka, including Colombo & Cinnamon Gardens, of course.
    They will determine whether the North is with Mother Lanka or Tamil Nadu. We are waiting ….

  15. Nanda Says:

    Why not Sri Lanka change the name to “Eelam” , led by our best president Mahinda Ayya ?
    Bijjeswaran can be the Prime minister. Fat woman Jeyalalita can be the governor.

  16. Lorenzo Says:



    Anti Sinhala nonsense by Tamils DID have its origins in caste problems but NOW ALL Tamils are united when it comes to Tamil Elam.

    “We hope that all problems in the North are resolved peacefully. After all, all are just simply human beings with common problems. More friction will only create more problems.”

    ALL problems are created by humans. Not animals. IF it were animals then we MUST use peaceful means. Humans are different. They should NOT try to divide the nation. If they do that is a VIOLENT act. Violence MUST be used against them as we did 1983 to 2009 resulting in PEACE.

    How many PEACE PROCESSES we had! What happened? War.
    One proper war brought us peace.

    In the case of Tamils,


    “Church & Hindu systems have common ground in Teachings of Christ and the Four Great Yogas & the Bhagavad Gita.”

    They VASTLY differ. NO ONE follows them to the letter so they are not relevent to bring people together.

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