Letter re 'Something is Rotten in the State of Sri Lanka'

by Dr. Nadesan

Dear Editor, 

Please permit me to express my view pertaining to the above article by DBS Jeyaraj, http://www.sangam.org/articles/view2/?uid=1075 .  I have been a keen follower of DBS for the many years when he has written about Tamil problems.  At one stage I even mistook him for Taraki and thought both were the same.  DBS appeared very analytical, precise and reasonable.

As time went on DBS' writing became different and he became more a philosopher, a person who is keen to rehabilitate the violent Tamils.  He tried to educate the Tamils that, after all, the majority Sinhalese are reasonable people and they are not against the Tamils getting their "basic" or even "very basic" rights.  Some of them even spoke of "concessions" to the Tamils.  DBS implied that, if not for the LTTE, the Tamil "problem" may have been easily resolved by strengthening the majority good Sinhalese.

The irony of it is that even people like Anandasangary, who is affectionately referred to as 'Sangary' (or 'Sour Grapes Sangary' by Sachi), and Douglas Devananda supported this view and - worst still - worked closely with the Sinhala racist elements to undermine the Tamil cause.  You throw some crumbs and there are people to go against their conscience.  I wonder whether Devananda could have ever become a minister if not for the LTTE.  Had he not gone against the conscience of the majority Tamil people would there be any such perks for him in Colombo?  Because Sangary fell out with the LTTE he is going behind the elements who are opposed to the Tamil cause.  Recently I read of a very racist Bikkhu saying that, if the Joint Mechanism is put into action, then "ape Ananadasangary and Devananda mahathmaya" may not be even able to go the east.  What a love, what a concern for the two dhemalu!  It is a big joke after all and, in recent times, the bikkhus are declaring in no uncertain terms that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country.  Then, where do the analyst and the stooges stand? 

Kadirgamar's case is understandable, he has never been elected by the people: he is a nominated MP by President Chandrika and the position is given to him for him to say what the Sinhalese want him to say.  He is paid to do that and he is no way obliged to the Tamils and the Tamils never elected him.  Simply because he is a dhemalu from Jaffna, that does not mean that he should not undertake an assignment to destroy the Tamils.  Even the little connection he had, he has severed by marrying a Sinhalese after divorcing his Tamil wife. 

I remember Mr. Rajasuriar in 1983 (one time telecom minister with Mrs. Bandaranayake), when he was attacked by the Sinhala thugs, had to run for his life in his sarong along Galle Road.  What happened to Inspector Bastiampillai, who laid his life for the Sinhalese by fighting the Tamil militancy in Murungan?  His house was burnt down in 1983 and his wife and children had to go to the temple to be fed by Tamils.

What made me to write this little letter is the contents of DBS' above article.  He has been advising the Tamils to give up violence, allow freedom of speech and expression and let the majority good Sinhalese give all the "concessions" to the Tamils.  He has outright condemned Tamil violence and, since of late, he never has referred to the origin of ethnic violence in Sri Lanka.  He has carried on as if the Tamils are the violent lot who never want peace or never believe in solving the problems by dialogue.  He even justified Karuna's action as an expression of freedom and independence.  He puts out various theories, but as very rightly mentioned by the editor, he never gave an answer, an alternative, or a solution.

Is there anyone with an alternative, Sangary or Douglas... can they come out with something?  Can they fast unto death in front of a Hindu temple in Colombo to get what they want, similar to what the bikkhu got recently? 

Whatever has happened, the above article reflects a change of heart in the thinking of DBS.  Suddenly he says that something is rotten with SL, the majority Sinhalese are racist and their racism is deep in their hearts and they will never agree to Tamil rights.  He even goes on to say how Amirthalingam was beaten up in Galle Face when they sat in satyagraha. 

Whatever the destiny for the Tamils in Sri Lanka, my mind is at ease when I read my one-time popular and sensible writer and analyst of the Tamil problem having gone one full circle and come back to terms with reality. 

Who wants violence, who wants war?  All human beings want peace and harmony and self-respect.  Peace, harmony and self respect will not come to Tamils through Sangary, Douglas or through the "mighty pen" of DBS unless all of us see logic and face the reality.  If the large good Sinhala majority, as claimed by DBS, cannot protect the life and limb of the small minority of Tamils from the smallest minority of the Sinhala racists, then there is no point talking about the large good majority.

Dr. Nadesan was a consultant judicial medical officer in Sri Lanka for many years and has seen much of the turmoil in the south with his very eyes.

He moved to Malaysia in 1995 as a professor in Forensic Pathology with the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur and is now in New Castle, Australia since Feb this year as a senior specialist in forensic pathlogy.  He have spoken about the tamil problem and violence in general in many national and international conferences and presented the prestigious Medico-Legal Society's Dr. WDL Fernando Memorial Oration in 2004 in Colombo entitled "Violence and Society."

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Posted June 24, 2005