Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Close Your Eyes

An open letter to Badula Jayaserkara

by Roy Ratnavel, March 16, 2009

Despite the barnacles of cynicism which resolutely encrust my hull, your pungent comments seem to belong under the jeopardy heading “Things which no longer have any relevance whatsoever.”...

For us, given all that death and destruction your government has been inflicting on our people and the pain that they are going through – we can’t stand it. We are sleepless, we worry too much. Those horrific images keep us up at night. We need something to turn off our brains, but only for a short time, not for a long time like in your case. Because every time we doze, our people catch blows to their nose by your government.

The United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner recently stated, at least 2,800 Tamils have been killed by the war conducted by Sri Lanka within past few weeks alone. Amidst all this deaths of our innocent kith and kin, there is a ghost who keeps talking to the collective Tamil conscience through the mouth of Bandula Jayasekara [Open your eyes, Daily Mirror, March 12, 2009]. This ghost of a brutal ethnic past casts a long shadow, even across many oceans and mountains, all the way from Sri Lanka to the cheerful streets of Canada.

Bandula Jayasekara
Bandula Jayasekara

Mr. Jayasekara, you have requested us Tamils to “Open our eyes,” challenged us, and asked the silly question: “Do you have to live in chains here in Toronto?” You accused us of being part of a political witch-hunt, and declared yourself someone innocent of the charge. It would be easier to sympathize with you had you not been so ready with your earlier campaigns of vilification against your so-called fellow ‘countrymen.’ As such, I am compelled to respond to your drivel, on behalf of like-minded Tamils in Canada, and want to point out areas where you have been – let's be charitable – and say “brain-dead.”

It is unconscionable to see such an paid peon like you, who continues to pontificate with empty lines and catch phrases when scores of innocent Tamils are brutally killed every day by the very regime you represent. You are a sad little charlatan who proves only one thing – that is, you can get away with saying the most extraordinary statements against a persecuted minority and bend the truth in this country if you will just get yourself called ‘Consul General.’ I mean, who would, even at the Daily Mirror, have invited such a little toad like you to tell us that the attacks on Tamils are justified to eradicate terrorism? This is the pinnacle of Sri Lankan fakery and deceit.

Despite the barnacles of cynicism which resolutely encrust my hull, your pungent comments seem to belong under the jeopardy heading “Things which no longer have any relevance whatsoever.” With do all respect, your article sounded like it was written by someone whose intelligence level equals that of Sean Penn's character in "I Am Sam" after inhaling paint fumes – as such, it doesn’t pass for an intelligent debate. But congratulations, unlike your previous disasters, this time at least you have remembered to run a spell-check on your article before releasing it – remarkable indeed.

One of the most serious of the mistakes you have made in your set of arguments is , to be frank, such a schoolboy howler as to make a fool of the efforts that you have made. You assert in your comment, to our amazement, that “I know that most of you are not allowed to move freely and even talk to members of other communities even here in Toronto.” Well we have one bit of advice for you: you fool your friends, and we will fool ours. Is that fair?

Having said that, we would like to know what premium stuff you have been smoking. We mean, this stuff must turn off your brain. For us, given all that death and destruction your government has been inflicting on our people and the pain that they are going through – we can’t stand it. We are sleepless, we worry too much. Those horrific images keep us up at night. We need something to turn off our brains, but only for a short time, not for a long time like in your case. Because every time we doze, our people catch blows to their nose by your government.

If the world had listened to us Tamils, if the world had listened to Bishop Desmond Tutu and former President Jimmy Carter – both whom you want to paint as some kind of corrupt terrorists –, if the world had listened to them and not the anti-terror movement in Sri Lanka, you would not be in this disaster that you are in today. Bandula, this is the mother of all smokescreens. You are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you support, Sri Lankan atrocities against Tamils.

I want to put this in the context where I believe it ought to be. On the very first paragraph of your document about diaspora Tamils, you assert that “Do you listen to your heartbeat, the pulse of the people or the barrel of hidden guns pointed at your head?” This is false. We had no guns pointed on our head, at least not since the time we left Sri Lanka. Now you are killing our people in Eelam at will. By no stretch of the English language can that be described as "The time has come and we all can hear the bells of freedom.”

We have given our heart and soul to oppose the policy that you promote. We gave our sweat equity to try to stop the mass killing of Tamils by your government under the guise of a ‘war on terror.’ This war has killed many thousands, most of them children, most of whom died before they even knew that they were Tamils, but they died for no other reason other than that they were Tamils with the misfortune to born at this time. We gave our heart and soul to stop you from committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Eelam. And, we tell the world that your case for the war was a pack of lies and based on deception.

We tell the world, contrary to your claims; safe zones are anything but safe. We tell the world, contrary to your claims, that Sri Lanka had no constitution to protect Tamils. We tell the world, contrary to your claims, that Sri Lanka is a murderous, scurrilous state. We tell the world, contrary to your claims, that the Tamils will resist a Sri Lankan invasion of their land and that the fall of Sri Lanka would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.

Yeah, in your words “Let us look ahead.” So, let us move ahead. When it's all over, and you're packing up your bags and heading back to Sri Lanka, what will be your biggest regret? Not being able to see anymore the sight of the abused innocent Tamils in the North? The presence of your horrible little personality in democratic Canada is offensive to very, very many of us who have some regard for truth, morality, and justice. A person like you – in our opinion – should not be writing to newspapers in self-righteous indignation – instead, should be out in the streets of Colombo, shouting and hollering with a cardboard sign around your neck and selling newspapers from a stand. And, the day will come. We will make sure of that.

Let me ask you this: If someone was planning to murder a group of people, and they called you to help them do this, and you said no you wouldn't directly help them – but then made statements to hide this crime, and you also didn’t call 911 to inform the police that someone was going to commit a crime, do you think you would have committed a crime? Of course, you would have!

I am sure you are familiar with Adolf Eichmann. Let us refresh your memory. Eichmann did not have his hands directly in the killing of the Jews, but he ensured the smooth running of the efficient killing infrastructure that enabled the Nazi genocide. Adolf Eichmann is as guilty as Adolf Hitler. Bandula, you have Tamils’ blood on your hands. This feeling is definitely widely shared by Tamils in Canada.

We gather from your comments that you don’t get out much. Probably never once even visited IKEA in Toronto? But, you managed to manipulate your way into the Canadian government with money from the Sri Lankan government that is committing genocide today. We get the feeling that when you are put away for crimes against humanity, you won't miss much by not having spent an entire Saturday afternoon assembling a Swedish bookcase.

The country behind you said you have been fighting ‘terrorism.’ In fact, all the while, the real fight you have been conducting was the fight against the Tamils, to see how fast you could eliminate Tamils from Sri Lanka. We got news for you Bandula, Sri Lanka is an evil state, and you know it. You, by design or negligence, allowed this to happen – and it is time for you to resign. The cock has crowed for the last time. At the very least, your mother deserves better.

Your vitriol comment is a brief and by no means complete description of how Sinhalese think about Tamil legitimacy in Sri Lanka. If you find it congenial with your action, that is great. If you don't, or you are uncomfortable with it, or it does not fit your moral compass, then you probably should not be taking this course of action.

We would love nothing better than to live in peace and harmony while sharing the once beautiful and tranquil nation called Sri Lanka with our Sinhalease brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, when we are threatened and abused, then it is often difficult for us to entertain such an option. Our goal is not to destroy Sri Lanka, rather to construct a territory that has the potential to yield freedom and democracy for Tamils and the generations to come. Until we achieve that goal, we will be marching on a path towards that goal, whether you agree or not.

There is no law in life or nature that says great stupidity like yours must be tolerated with impunity. Having said all that, Mr. Jeyasekara, you are probably wondering what we think of you? Allow us to demonstrate – please close your eyes, now what do you see? Nothing!

Regards,

Roy Ratnavel

A Canadian Tamil for Justice