Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home  >Tamils - a Trans State Nation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam  > Indictment against Sri Lanka > Censorship, Disinformation & Murder of Journalists > Bindunuwewa and after - A Response to the Sinhala owned Sri Lanka 'Island'

Censorship, Disinformation & Murder of Journalists

Bindunuwewa and after - 
A Response to the Sri Lanka 'Island'

Canada, 31 October 2000

The Editor, The Island, Colombo.

Dear Sir,

This refers to your editorial "Bindunuwewa and after" (The Island � October 31, 2000). You began your editorial exceptionally well. You came down heavily on the clumsy "government propagandists talking of an �unseen hand� being behind the violence at Bindunuwewa". No doubt that even you... could not stomach the foolish logic of the servile government propagandists. Those with even a modicum of intelligence who read the editorial and the news stories will reject the "unseen hand" conspiracy theory out of hand.

Knowing your role as a flagship of Sinhala racism, I thought sanity had at last returned to your head. But my expectation was short lived. Half way through, you relapsed into your usual self and showed your true colours.

You appear to assert that the entire Sinhalese people should not be blamed for the horrible massacre that took place. Here, I will agree with you. At the same time, let us also examine the various sections of the Sinhala people who were involved in this "ghastly incident" as you put it  (not cold-blooded murder?). 

Firstly, there were the police who were all Sinhalese. According to the statement put out by the Bandarawela police "no action was taken to open fire to avoid 'people' being killed. " The result was that more than 30 Tamil political detainees were cut and chopped to pieces and burnt alive by these very same 'people' under the noses of the Police. The Police did not even fire into the air to scare away the killers. They were accomplices to the crime.

Secondly the army which again is 99% Sinhalese and which provides round the clock security to the thousands of Sinhalese settlements in the Northeast, failed to save the lives and limbs of just fifty odd young men in official custody. . The armed forces cannot shake off responsibility because the camp was under the charge of Lieut. Ajith Abeyratne of the Army during and before the killing.

"We are certain that interested parties were behind the incident," Army chief, General Lionel Balagalle told the journalists, but the unanswered question is what was the army doing whilst the Tamil detainees were slaughtered?

Thirdly, it is patently clear that elements belonging to the Sinhala racist outfits like the National Sangha Council, the National Movement Against Terrorism, the Sinhala Vera Vidahana, the Sinhala Arakshaka Sanvidhanaya and the umbrella 'National Joint Committee' had a hand in collecting and instigating the crowd to commit these murders.

These outfits have worked over time to drag the Sinhalese into a primitive, barbaric, uncivilised society based on hatred, animosity, confrontation and hostility against other communities by instigating communalism and promoting Sinhala chauvinism.

Fourthly, the eerie silence and failure on the part of the Buddhist clergy, notably the Mahanayake Theras of the Asgiriya and Malwatta chapters, to condemn the killings amounts to acquiescence by default.

Thus a cross section of the Sinhalese society has directly and indirectly taken part in this orgy of violence.

You have taken umbrage at the "English Sunday paper of the state propaganda machine" for attempting to portray the Sinhalese as being beasts!

We all know the Mahavamsa story about the fictional origin of Vijaya. Vijaya's father killed his father - a lion - and hence he was considered a descendent of a beast.

"At the Government farm at Hingurakgoda, too, the Tamils were slaughtered that night. One woman in sheer terror embraced her two children and jumped into a well. The rioters were enjoying themselves thoroughly. They ripped open the belly of a woman eight months pregnant, and left her, to bleed to death. First estimates of the mass murders on that night were frightening: 150-200 was a quick guess on the basis of forty families on an average four each." (Tarzie Vittachi: Emergency 1958 - The Story of the Ceylon Race Riots, Andre Deutsch, London 1958)

So, if you wish to fault any one calling the Sinhalese, descendants of beasts you should blame the author of Mahavamsa.

"A tourist told yesterday how she watched in horror as a Sinhala mob deliberately burned alive a bus load of Tamils... Mrs.Eli Skarstein, back home in Stavanger, Norway, told how she and her 15 year old daughter, Kristin, witnessed one massacre. 'A mini bus full of Tamils were forced to stop in front of us in Colombo' she said. A Sinhalese mob poured petrol over the bus and set it on fire. They blocked the car door and prevented the Tamils from leaving the vehicle. 'Hundreds of spectators watched as about 20 Tamils were burned to death'. Mrs. Skarstein added: 'We can't believe the official casualty figures. Hundreds may be thousands must have been killed already." (London Daily Express, 29th August 1983)

But looking at the history of the brutal violence unleashed by the Sinhala thugs, goons, army and the police against the Tamils (in 1915 against the Muslims), one may wonder whether the story may have some credence. Burning Tamils alive, cut-opening the bellies of pregnant Tamil women, gouging the eyes of the dead and stacking their bodies in front of the stature of Buddha and drinking the blood of the dead are hardly the hall marks of civilized beings.

(1)Five infants, 42 children under ten, 85 women and 28 old persons totaling 184 villagers were murdered by the SLA on 9 September 1990 at Sathurukkondaan.

According to the Presidential commission report an eyewitness who is the sole survivor giving evidence said, " The soldiers set upon the pregnant woman. As one of them stripped her naked, she screamed. The second sliced her belly with a sword. She fell down, blood spurting out. They cut her breasts and finally her throat. She rolled into the pit. Then came the turn of the second woman, also pregnant".

(2)Twenty-four (24) Tamils were murdered by army personnel at Kumarapuram on Sunday 11 February 1996. Sinhala soldiers in army trucks descended at in the Kiliveddi area of the Trincomalee district and fired at that inside indiscriminately.

They were killed because they were Tamils.

Mr. Editor, such gruesome atrocities of which neither the pen can write nor the tongue can speak, could be multiplied hundred fold. 

Since 1995, President Chandrika and her Sinhala armed forces have wrought violence, death, destruction, displacement, hunger, disease and starvation on the Tamil people far worse than during the time of her father, mother, Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake, Presidents Jayawardene, Premadasa, and Wijetunge all combined. 

...But unfortunately while you count meticulously the deaths of Sinhalese you don�t want to count the 75,000 Tamils killed by the Sinhala armed forces.

You make the tall claim "how restrained the Sinhalese have been during the past 18 years despite the continuous massacre of the Sinhalese people and the atrocities of the LTTE". ... This is the ominous threat held out to the Tamils by the Editor of The Island...You ad nauseum call the LTTE "terrorists" to conceal the terrorism of the majority Sinhalese.



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