Replying- The Island Newspaper Item Of 17th May “This Race-War Is More Appalling Than The Dutugamunu-Elara Conflict Five Years After The Civil War.
Posted on May 19th, 2014

Insight By Sunil Kumar

May 18th. 2014
In response to the Island Newspaper Item of 17th May 2014 composed by Mr Kumar David the following summation needs to be broadbased on the overall flavour of the item as a symposium of racism composed by someone who sounds not only like a racist himself but also a sycophant of the now defunct Tamil Tigers bitter in dissapointment that his boys were defeated and now trying to bring in an element of racism perhaps in a feeble attempt to invoke sympathies in a manner akin to flogging a dead horse in an attempt to recussitate it! This becomes painfully obvious on continuation of scrutinising the item where the infra digs against the Rajapaksa Administration also brings to bear the motivation behind it through the disadainful tone of voice raised against the Sinhala Race that over the centuries have waged a very legitimate battle towards preserving identity, culture and the related integrities that have made the Sinhalese a very unique ethnic group in South Asia perhaps dating back even further than the Dutugemunu/Elara confrontation.

The writer’s disillussionments about the Tamil tiger conflict becomes crystal clear when he says in a somewhat confused manner that “The war that ended five years ago was a
race-war. I do not say this as a hard, cold fact; I have no patience
with euphemisms. Let’s call a spade a spade. In my judgement 99% of
Sinhalese longed for the defeat and obliteration of the LTTE and the
death of Prabaharan; 90% were convinced that the Tamils had no problem
and that an armed struggle was unjustified. That’s plain vanilla
Fact-1.”
There need be neither euphemisms nor calling a spade a spade relative to Sinhala expectations of the defeat and obliteratio of the LTTE, the hard cold facts of the matter were that the LTTE were armed insurgents with an agenda to overwhelm a majority Sinhala Nation on behalf of a miniscule minority of Tamils who were favoured by the British during their tenure and  disgruntled in post independent Ceylon/Sri Lanka as some of their privileges were taken away during the majority rule of the Sinhalese.The disgruntlements were also about issues that in all probabilities an entire nation or a greater part thereof  may have been agitated over..

Furthermore the ingrained racist mentality of the Tamils in Sri Lanka by far exceeded those of the Sinhalese at this time and were visibly provoked into retaliation in a need to protect what was their inherant right while the fires of hatred and animosity were conveniently fuelled by sources /forces to whom a Sinhala Tamil ethno conflict appeared to be an ideal platform to launch their own agendas! This is not Vanilla but ice cold reality.

In a manner arrogant beyond reproach the writer then goes on to say ” I also know that at the height of the LTTE’s popularity two-thirds or more of Tamils empathised with it. Tamils were and are convinced that they were and are an oppressed, discriminated minority,
that peaceful attempts and political avenues ended in a blind alley,
and that the LTTE, by taking to arms, wisely or unwisely, was at last
standing up for them. Face it, that’s Tamil opinion; plain vanilla
Fact-2. Whether you are Sinhalese or Tamil face it, most Lankans are
racists.”
While it may be true that two thirds of the Tamils ( once again a miniscule minority in the land) empathised with the Tamil Tiger terrorists there is no justification for them to take up arms within a Sovereign Nation and a Constitution which had laid down their rights and entitlements regardless of their own insecurities as interpreted ( relative to oppression and discrimination to further a cause that imperilled an entire Nation.It also needs to be noted that in all likelihood, given the confidence of the tone of the statement  he too might have been part of the empathising brigade which then brings to light a further perspective on the objective of this item. To portray the Sinhalese as racists and paint an innocence of Tamils towards exonerating them of their provocative and nation destructive objectives through supporting one of the deadliest terror groups the world has ever known. Vanilla Ice Mr David and cold turkey too perhaps!

And Oh Ho Ho!! you have now become an authority on the Mahavamsa and the Dutugamunu-Elara conflict  to evaluate that ” it was not a race-war to
anything like this extent, his purported para-demalu remark
notwithstanding. My understanding of ancient history is drawn from
standard sources and I see nothing akin to today’s racism in the second
century BC. Dutugamunu’s campaign was to unify a fragmented country
and the war with Elara was an element in that strategy. His reign, as
best as I can work out from standard sources, was one of material
prosperity and concord. The period leading up to, and his reign itself
(161-137 BC), cannot be likened to the racism of post-independence
Lanka. The Mahavamsa, put together in the 5th Century AD, projected
what is now know as the Mahavamsa Ideology, backwards to a time in
which it did not belong.”
An assumed evaluation based on concepts put together relative to historical fact at times grossly misinterpreted in a manner of speaking towards a justification of the accusation of racism although to diligent scholars of the Mahavamsa the Elara reign was indeed steeped in racism against the Sinhalese and perhaps of greater intensity than post independence Ceylon/Sri Lanka. A time when a Dravidian Invasive King ruled all of Lanka remenbering the significance of the terms “Golu Muhuda” and “para demalu”part of the evocative and expressive surge prior to Dutu Gemunu’s anti Tamil Campaign where he drove the invading Dravidians towards capitulation.The difference being the nobility in which the respective leaders of the two warring factions conducted themselves in the conflict quite unlike the murderous and rapacious Tamil Tigers who hardly spared a thought towards their own communities in their quest for power once unleashed by their Tamil support who foolishly funded and armed them and in the end fell prey to the mendacities of their champions with little or nothing to show for their trouble! perhaps the best of tyimes for the tamils which eventually became the worst of times towards their ambitions to once again rule Sri Lanka using terrorist pawns who perished miserably!

“Remember the punitive invasion of Raja Raja
Cholan was much later in 993AD and an entirely different story.
Indeed remembered as punitive but of what significance beyond another Chola invasion that never subjugated the proud and resilient Nation of Lanka!


Conversely, post-independence Lanka has witnessed sustained racial tension; what
ended in 2009 was a 25-year race-war. This story of our times is
different for three reasons; its causes and origins, its methods and
prosecution and its present status (the inability of the races to reach
settlement). Let’s take a cold look at the facts and make an assessment
of future prospects on this the fifth anniversary of the victory of
the Sinhalese race over the Tamil race. Yes I know that I am being
deliberately provocative in choice of words, hence my opponents for the
duration of this essay will be sloppy bless-their-hearts do-gooders
and softie liberals without stomach for indigestible facts. The world
is awash with good people, like my lovely aunts, who imagine that
shielding their eyes from evil extinguishes it.
Causes and conduct
.

To suggest being deliberately provocative seems putting it mildly as the objective towards it sticks out like a sore thumb.The Internal armed insurrection by the terrorist Tamil Tigers which ended in 2009 after 25 years was to all intents and purposes a war between two races one in a ruling majority and the other in a puny minority with no justification towards a conflict provoked by them futilely with no possible chance of success beyond what was instigated and supported by a plethora of extraneous Tamils and their supportives globally while stemming mostly from Tamil Nadu and the element of racism perhaps instilled from within this source of apathetic indiscretion towards the sacred sovereignity of the Sinhala Nation gracious at all times towards their Tamil counterparts regardless of the contradictions which despite what transpired and embroiled the nation in mayhem never digressed fron official responsibility towards their well being.There are those in Sri Lanka who tread this line of belief and accept its salient reality!
Post independent Sri Lanka while minimising the powers bestowed upon them by their British Rulers by the Sinhala majority that eventualy replaced them were to a degree restricted as the Brits did see to it in an almost pre meditated manner that their divide and rule concept would remain in the land they relinquished so reluctantly even as the British Raj saw its impending demise and Britannia no more ruled the waves! A Community of minority Tamils who could not co-exist with the majority Sinhalese who did offer many conciliatory extentions of the means to live peacefully within the constitution and the laws of the land albeit repudiated
and chose to rebel towards secession and fight for a just and fair means by their definition towards their existences where there was no need for such as they already existed.
The sloppy do gooders, softie liberals and those lovely aunts of the writer perhaps saw fit to avoid what many term as the axis of evil which stemmed from their side of the divide with no stomach for indigestible facts perhaps but did have the presence of mind towards preventing the indigestion that seems to have caused many of the same ilk as this writer to propagate the main objective of this submission namely a bold attempt to discredit the Sri lankan Administration and veritably ensconced in some foreign domain to moot.
The litany continues as he writes further that:
“I have no intention of inventorying a catechism of complaints and
counter complaints, I will only take stock of matters that obstruct a
political solution or transform the options. Prime place I give to the
state in Lanka which has mutated into a full-fledged Sinhala-State. I
don’t use this identifier today as a term of criticism, simply a
description. To recap quickly, its main features are; a de facto
mono-ethnic government, a literally mono-ethnic armed force, alienation
of Tamils, provisions in the constitution, and probably most important
the hegemonic ideology of state and society. Mutation from the old
comprador order occurred over time from 1948 and reached a zenith and
plateaued before year 2000. The Rajapaksa regime resides on that
plateau and because of its quintessential nature and support structures
it cannot climb down from the gum tree it is foist on.
Jumping across the intermediate lamentations to what is relevant to my topic,
the other key factor is that, for better for worse, the LTTE on behalf
of the Tamils undertook a civil war to secede and form a Tamil state.
The Tamils lost the war but nothing else has changed. The nature of the
state, hegemonic ideology of state and society, and the Tamil
condition of mind (conviction that they are an alienated people) all
remain unaltered; this has no parallel with 161 BC. The Tamils are now
stuck up another gum tree, one they have been driven up; I see no
possibility of their clambering down.
The conduct of
hostilities during the half century of violence, not just war, starting
in the late 1950s (pogroms, military repression, terrorism of many
sorts by both sides, and a no holds barred civil war) and extending to
May 2009, and still persisting in a minor key, has been more virulent
than anything in Lanka’s previous history. Even the brutal scorched
earth policy the British let loose in the Uva after the 1918 rebellion
was not sustained for years and years.
Thus we have two
negative factors; institutional transformations that occurred over half
a century that make an ethnic settlement extremely difficult
(pessimists would say impossible), and secondly scars of conflict that
make forgiveness and reconciliation grim and unlikely. The DNA of the
Rajapaksa Government is such that, in my view, a political settlement
between Sinhalese and Tamil peoples is out of the question so long as
it remains in office. However this piece looks at a long timeframe,
beyond the happy day when this lot is booted out. The question then is:
Once rid of this obstacle and say with a flexible alternative in
office, will ethnic reconciliation and political settlement be
feasible? One-state with internal autonomy, or two living side by side
in peace are both perfectly acceptable. Who cares so long as there is
peace and people are content!
Is there reason to presume
that closure and peace, on either a one-state with devolution, or a
two-state basis is possible in the foreseeable future? Only an
inflexible pedant will assert that both are impossible, but also it is
simple minded to discount the difficulties impeding both. At the risk of
being called a pessimist I veer towards seeing both as difficult, even
after that bright and sunny day on which at last we see the back of
the Rajapaksas. Current events in Ukraine add to my pessimism, but I
must make an assertion before that.
Let me make it
absolutely clear that when the road seems difficult and the path steep,
no way should we abandon the struggle or relax our commitment. In
political as in personal life, at times challenges are grim, at other
times it seems easy, but in either circumstance the grind must go on.
The world can always be made at least a little better, whatever its
current state. But we must approach the task as realists, not wide-eyed
idealists.
Why Ukraine has made me pessimistic
Disaster
was staring the post-coup government in Kiev in the face, unless it
was prepared to relax its refusal to grant autonomy to the three
Russian speaking eastern provinces, Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv.
Differences had been aggravating over many years due to a Centre led
campaign to push the Ukrainian language into prominence putting Russian
speakers, in their opinion, at a disadvantage. When political
instability set in after the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych in
February 2014 these provinces took their opportunity to up the ante and
press their demands. Autonomy was replaced by a demand from federalism
and as confrontation escalated self-determination referendum was held
in Donetsk and Luhansk on 11 May. It secured thumping majorities. The
post-coup government was unable to quickly devolve substantial power
and defuse rising tension because it was under the sway of extremist
forces (Svaboda and Right Sector). The presence of massed Russian troops
on the other side of the border ruled out a crushing military strike
by Kiev against the rebellious provinces.
To my mind the
parallels with Lanka are striking, so are certain crucial differences.
The big difference is that the role of Russia is markedly different
from any potential role of India in Lanka. The boldness and the
declaration of rights by Donetsk and Luhansk and the annexation of
Crimea would have been impossible without tacit Russian support in the
first two and Russian intervention in the third. Unlike in the case of
Lanka, foreign influence in the Ukraine is contradictory and pulling in
different directions ” the West versus Russia.
Many other
parts of the storyline, however, seem weirdly similar; festering
differences on language, (Sinhala-Only, Speak-Ukrainian), stubborn
refusal to devolve power, rising tensions, extremist movements with the
ability to exert veto powers over the government, and the obvious loss
of moral legitimacy of the government in both countries. (In the
Ukraine the post-coup regime in Kiev has no constitutional legitimacy
either). The 90% pro self-determination ballot on 11 May in Donetsk and
Luhansk and the 75% voter turnout, is like a rerun of the TNA’s
performance in the 2013 northern provincial elections.
The ground for pessimism is that Lanka is stuck with the worst of both
worlds. On the one hand, internal conditions are not merely bad, but
worse than Ukraine. Over there they did not fight a 25 year civil-war
and the Ukrainian state was never a rabid mono-ethnic monster. On the
other hand the possibility of a two-state solution is near impossible
in Lanka because there is no way India will play an active
interventionist role as Russia did, both openly (Crimea) and obliquely
in the eastern provinces. This is why most likely we are stuck in a
chasm between the devil and the deep blue sea with no light visible at
either end of the tunnel. A small candle will light up when we get rid
of the Rajapaksas, but that could still be a year or two away.
Indeed despite this bold attempt to discredit  the Sri Lankan Administration
the world needs to view the transformations of Sri Lanka for the better since the Tamil Tiger insurrection on a positive note where no trepidations over analogies with the situation in Crimea unless directed with intended instigation by the writer or any attempt to discredit Sri Lanka as a racist nation are tolerable.

 To the contrary it is now being accredited with the title The Miracle of Asia by those who know and accpet the facts behind the accreditation as well as the transformation from post insurgent Sri Lanka to what she is today.This also incorporates views of the many Tamil Sri Lankans who have chosen gratitude and indebtedness to the Government of Sri Lanka and its astute leader H.E. Mahinda Rajapaksa with no forebearance of malice towards projecting his downfall as he remains the proud  leader of his nation accepted rather than being villified by those who view his accomplishments as unworthy of his status which surely is either abject myopia or unpardonable malice.

4 Responses to “Replying- The Island Newspaper Item Of 17th May “This Race-War Is More Appalling Than The Dutugamunu-Elara Conflict Five Years After The Civil War.”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    The simple explanation is Kumar David is a TAMIL and thinking like a Tamil.

    UNIVERSAL FACT: Only a VERY VERY FEW Tamils are SL patriots or non-racists.

  2. Nanda Says:

    As happened in the past. Tamil invasion and aggression will continue in the future.
    It is up to us to be ready and act diligently. Dutugemunu corrected what was lacking for many years.
    So is Maha Raja Pakse.
    Dutugemunu’s tine, both sides had same technology but superior will power and bravery from Sinhalas to beat the possibly stronger Elara Army. Now we are lagging far behind in fire power and man power. Sheer bravery will not be sufficient.
    If Lanka does not advance fast with rajas or ranees honestly working for the country, we are doomed to fail and fall to invading Tamil army.

  3. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    Don’t think these “Tamil Armies” will mess with Sri Lanka regardless of India’s fire power or man power as there are other powers ever ready to help defend Sri Lanka’s Sovereignity and Territorial Integrity.
    Perhaps the time is right however for Sri Lanka to begin systematically distancing herself from India in a subtle manner and aligning with the powers that are genuinely interested in Sri Lanka’s well being and capable of support towards Sri Lanka’s felt needs which includes National Defence strategy.This just might also be a time appropriate to also consider nuclear power as an option over conventional power( from a deterrent perspective) as there may be many vulnerabilities ahead for Sri Lanka to bolster against where the only threat might come from Tamil Nadu and the lunatics there who seem to be getting carried away with their rhetoric and unsolicited concerns over issues far removed from their jurisdiction with so much in disarray in their own backyard!

  4. jayasiri Says:

    Although we all wish India MUST be kept at arms length & further INDIANIZATION of Sri Lanka has to stop. Our Sinhalese brothers & sisiters ALWAYS say what can we do? This is the main problem their apathy, most Sinhalese feel & they are disheartened.

    Even the recent UDA giving 8 Acres of land FREE to TATA company of India & a minister saying he has already contacted Indian High Comission in Colombo to expedite offering GOSL jobs to Indians. ARE WE that mad to again ENCOURAGE them to come & STAY here for ever.

    Colombo also has a BIG TAMIL problem, everywhere you find TAMILS bu not many Sinhalese. This is not at good in case another race RIOT starts, OUR PEOPLE will be engulfed by Indians & Tamils.

    Athough we write & complain GOSL just carry on regardless, about what is happening to oour country. I FEEL we sould SCRUTINIZE what CENSUS Dept: has done to arrive at these figures of Sinhalese & other minorities in Sti Lanka. SLT telecom company is flooded with Tamils working in ther head offices & they hardly answer in Sinhalese, THEY ONLY answer back in English.

    This just one, but there are govt owned banks managed by tamils who never care what happens to our country, they sit around & hardly do any work………ONLY after 30 days stay I got fed up with Sri Lanka as at the present time……..J

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