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Demolition of LTTE Memorials by the Rajapaksa Clan

by Sachi Sri Kantha, May 14, 2010

She identified 10 items that represent ‘class’. Item 1: “Class never runs scared.” Item 6: “Class is real. It can’t be faked.” Item 7: “Class is comfortable in its own skin. It never puts on airs.” Item 8: “Class never tries to build itself up by tearing others down. Class is already up and need not strive to look better by making others look worse.” I don’t think that Ann Landers' name rings in the ears of the Rajapaksa clan.

There is a derisive Tamil idiom, ‘Kurankin kai poomaali’ (A garland in a monkey’s hand). It assumes that monkeys are less intelligent than humans. Recent studies in primatology disprove this assumption. Monkeys do have equal intellect to that of humans. On the contrary, some humans possess inferior intelligence to that of monkeys. A good example is the Rajapaksa clan. To honor this clan, I propose an abbreviation, BANKEY (standing for, Blind Aryan Nazis Killing Eelam Youth). Their inferior intellect was revealed by their recent exhibition of demolishing LTTE war memorials in Eelam.

The Lanka Magazine, an ezine of a kind (http://www.lankamagazine.com/news/sri-lanka-must-respect-memory-of-war/ ) posted the following thoughts of Ms. Malathi de Alwis on May 5, 2010, which I found interesting. I presume this is the same individual Malathi de Alwis, a Sinhalese anthropologist. Some excerpts:

“…On 19 March 2010, Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror carried a brief article on its front page startlingly headlined, “Government to wipe out LTTE [Tamil Tiger] landmarks”. The rationale for this, according to the secretary to the ministry of tourism, George Michael, was that the “LTTE and the violence which affected the public during the war should be forgotten”. Fortified with such logic, the government has bulldozed all the LTTE cemeteries in the Wanni and is now proceeding to demolish the homes of Velupillai Prabhakaran and other LTTE leaders. A few weeks back, the Thileepan memorial near the Nallur temple was defaced with the collusion of the Sri Lankan army. While the homes of LTTE leaders will be replaced with hotels and resorts, according to the ministry, we have also witnessed the erection of several state-sponsored “victory monuments” to commemorate the defeat of the LTTE in the north.

I am dismayed by the government’s myopic and misguided understanding of memory, and its brutal disregard for the feelings and emotions of a people who have undergone unimaginable and innumerable horrors for the past three decades. The primary response to the war we endured should not be bulldozings and demolitions and exhortations to forget, but rather to ensure that we never again descend into that hellish abyss. To do this, we need to reflect on the circumstances that led to this war and make sure we do not repeat the mistakes made in previous decades….Bulldozing cemeteries and demolishing homes in the name of development and the promotion of tourism will only further alienate the Tamil citizenry and stall any attempts at reconciliation. Such memorials, in particular, play a crucial role in all societies. They function as repositories of memory, suffering and grief, and often help to translate the unthinkable to the thinkable…”

What was left unsaid in this feature, for proprietory reasons, I venture to present here. Why should one expect the BANKEY Rajapaksa clan to honor the sentiments of Tamils? It wishes to show this world many things at the same time by demolishing the LTTE built war cemeteries; arrogance, egophilia, naked Sachi Sri Kantha at LTTE war memorial 2004triumphalism, Prabhakaran envy, Sinhala honor, Tamil phobia etc. etc. But one thing which they cannot show is a touch of ‘class’. On this, I wish to present a few lines from an excellent essay on ‘Class’ authored by Eppie Lederer aka Ann Landers (1918-2002), the American advice columnist. She identified 10 items that represent ‘class’. Item 1: “Class never runs scared.” Item 6: “Class is real. It can’t be faked.” Item 7: “Class is comfortable in its own skin. It never puts on airs.” Item 8: “Class never tries to build itself up by tearing others down. Class is already up and need not strive to look better by making others look worse.” I don’t think that Ann Landers' name rings in the ears of the Rajapaksa clan.

The traits of the BANKEYs have been deciphered by poet Pattukottai Kalyanasundaram (1930-1959) in a lyric to MGR’s hit movie Mahadevi (1957). The lilting lines of this lyric [Kurukku vazhiyil vaalvu thedidum Kuruttu Ulagamada] with hard consonants that roll like a drum beat. In fact, MGR lip-synching this song plays a hand-held rhythm drum to accentuate the message. I provide below English translations of the first two quatrains of this lyric:

It’s a blind world that gains life in crooked means – It’s a stealing world whose strong arms loot – Thambi, will you learn and react?- Tell a medicine to heal the mind.

It’s a dark world where ignorance covers knowledge – It’s a cruel world where war never takes rest – Thambi, will you learn and react? - Tell a medicine to heal the mind.

In a later line, Kalyanasundaram also made a metaphorical reference to ‘ahantai kuranku’ (ego monkey) and predicted that the fall of these ego monkeys will follow sooner or later. We have already watched the fall of one ego monkey (with the name Sarath Fonseka) within a period of 8 months. Contrary to the message provided by Mr. George Michael, a bucket carrier to the BANKEYs, in these times, let us receive solace and nourishment from the words of Abraham Lincoln’s address at the Gettysburg cemetery on November 19, 1863:

“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to the cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.”

In March 2004, I visited one of the LTTE war memorials and provide a composite visual clip, herewith. In the hearts of many Tamils, sensible Sinhalese like Malathi de Alwis, other victims of aggression and sympathizers to our cause, the young lady whose nom de guerre Muthuchudar (Pearl Flame) with the birth name Marimuthu Mariamma from Chinnasambalan, Ottusuttan, and her companions in the LTTE army will live forever. Her grave stone might have been trampled by the BANKEYs now. But, her death on May 24, 1997 was not in vain as Abe Lincoln had encouraged us 147 years ago.

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