கவனிக்க: இந்த மின்னூலைத் தனிப்பட்ட வாசிப்பு, உசாத்துணைத் தேவைகளுக்கு மட்டுமே பயன்படுத்தலாம். வேறு பயன்பாடுகளுக்கு ஆசிரியரின்/பதிப்புரிமையாளரின் அனுமதி பெறப்பட வேண்டும்.
இது கூகிள் எழுத்துணரியால் தானியக்கமாக உருவாக்கப்பட்ட கோப்பு. இந்த மின்னூல் மெய்ப்புப் பார்க்கப்படவில்லை.
இந்தப் படைப்பின் நூலகப் பக்கத்தினை பார்வையிட பின்வரும் இணைப்புக்குச் செல்லவும்: Tamil Times 1990.12
Vox Not SSN 0266.4488 15 DECEMBER
AWYDD HYNTA: HIC JACKING E SYMBOLS OF HINDUS
An axe-wielding Hindu Holy Warrior
trying to reach God Rama
A KarЛnanici Under fire A Tiger-Hunting
TENTH YEAR OF UNINTE
"I do not agree With a word of what you say, but I defend to the death your right to say it.
O The Mankulam
O Red Cross Protests
at Bombing of Jafna Hospital
O Rival Tamil Groups om anti-LEE Var
OLE: Now a
ODMK Sun Passes
Through a Cloud
A Government-LTTE talks
Human Rights Prize for CRM
2 TAMIL TIMES
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15 DECEMBER 1990
Military debacle at Mankulam. . . . . . . . . . 4.
Govt. uses rival groups against LTTE. . . .5
Jaffna Hospital bombing — ICRC protests.8 ANNU UK/india/S People and Politics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 All other
Medical Centre fired by Muslim mob. ... 10
Riders on the Storm. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 TA
Let the 1000 herbal flowers bloom. . . . . 12 U
waws expressed by contributors are not necessarily fhose of the editor or the publishers
TAMIL TIMES begins its tenth year with this issue commenced publication in October 1981 following tragic events of that year - the burning of the J: library and the July-August anti-Tamilmob violen that year. Our aim was to focus attention on escalating ethnic conflict and the accelerating erc of democratic and human rights in Sri Lanka. expected the journal to adopt a broad perspective strike an objective balance in the presentation of r and views and serve as a forum for the set discussion of the problems confronting the people. intention was to assist in the formulation of infor opinion rather than manipulate opinion.
in our first editorial Comment in October 1987 declared . . . we are determined to ensure that in views and information that we publish are of ge. interest to all Sri Lankans be they Sinhalese, Ta Muslims or Burghers. While we will not hesita comment on political questions, we are resolve remain unaffiliated to any political party. While would endeavour to give as wide a coverag possible to news and information, we are detern to make the TAMIL TIMES the standard bearer fo defence of democracy and human rights and a f for serious discussion of political, social, economic Cultural matters. ... We are dedicated to the r cherished maxim: Facts are sacred, comment is 1
On the issues relating to the ethnic conflict Commented in the Same editorial as follows: "The and tribulations of the Tamil speaking people c Lanka for the last 33 years, the series of tragic traumatic experiences they suffered as a Consequ of frequent communal violence culminating in recent reign of terror unleashed upon the Tamil pe of Jaffna and the contribution of the state appa towards the destruction and devastation of their C ral institutions, the latest round of violence directe the Tamils in the rest of the island rendering thous, destitute and homeless should have by now convi those in authority and others that the Tamil nat question would not simply disappear. Resolute, tive and meaningful steps by way of appropriate just political and constitutional arrangements are for the effective solution of this vexed problem'.
We have tried our best to adhere to the commit and position we adopted in our first evereditorial. l. context of the highly polarised and violently div
TAM TIMES 3
LTTE is now a conventional army. . . . . . 13 SN O266-4488 The Rama Temple claim at Ayodhya... 14
L SUBSCRIPTION Hijacking the symbols of Hinduism. . . . . 15 i Lanka. . . E10/USS2O ountries. . . E15/USS30 ReaderS Forum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Book Review. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 'ublished by WIL TIMES LD DMK Sun passes through a cloud. . . . . . 20 'ဒိuီဒိမ်ပု'ဒိန်း၊ ဒ TD l, SUR ITED KINGOOM News Round Up. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 he: 081-644 0972 The publishers assume no responsibility for return of
unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and artwork.
We the fna *e Of the SiOn We and
6WS iOuS The med
, We 'eWS, neral 'nmils, te tO პd tO
9 3S lined r the
OrLITT and nuch ree ".
We trials f Sri and
9.Ce the ople atuS ultu2d at ands Ced onal DOSiand Vital
nenf the Sive
atmosphere that has prevailed between and within the major communities, the task of maintaining an objective and balanced stance on the major issues that affected the people and country has been a difficult one. We have had to, on the one hand contend with the ever mounting pressure from some sections within the Tamil Community to adopt a partisan stance of favouring one group or the other, and on the other hand the hostility from those in governmental authority who at one time even went to the extent of publishing and Circulating a counterfeit exact replica of TAMIL TIMES containing propaganda material in their favour.
Our opposition to the government's effort to seek a military solution to the ethnic conflict and its repressive methods has continued to be uncompromising. We have sought to focus attention on and place the responsibility upon the government for the grave Violations of democratic and human rights that have occurred over the years.
Our commitment to defend the democratic rights of
the people, including the right to self determination of the Tamil speaking people, was accompanied by an equal Concern for internal democracy, political pluralism and observance of human rights within the Tamil Community itself. It is in this context that we have not hesitated to denounce politically motivated assassinations and arbitrary killings, proscription of one group or party by the other, internecine armed conflicts anong groups, forced recruitment of young Tamils and Suppression of the rights to free expression and association. We subscribe to the view that the aim of any liberation struggle must be to enhance the democratic and human rights enjoyed by the people, and not to deprive them of even the limited ones to which they have already been accustomed.
While party or group loyalists, adherents and advoCates of particular parties or groups may legitimately have their own interests to serve, we have tried to advance the cause of the people in a broader context. Our record has been one of standing up for the people's democratic rights including the right to life, right not to be tortured, right to freedom of expression and the right to freedom of association. We remain Committed to the belief that the people collectively and individually are entitled to the full and unfettered realisation and enjoyment of these internationally recognised rights.
A TA TL TES
- Colombo NeWSletter -
If the overrunning of the strategic
morthern Mankulam Army Camp produced one of the most noteworthy battles won by the LTTE during its "Great Heroes' week ending on Prabhakaranos birthday (26 November), it also turned out to be "the bloodiest battle fought by the Sri Lankan army since the beginning of the conflict' as one senior army official put it. The military debacle at Mankulam has left the army with over a hundred of its men and officers dead or unaccounted for. The rest of the men together with their Commander
escaped by abandoning the camp and .
retreating through dense jungles relentlessly pursued by the Tigers. After overrunning and demolishing the Camp, the Tigers got away with a large quantity of weapons, ammunition, communication equipment and military vehicles. To describe this massive defeat as a mere military “reversal”, as has been done by the State Minister of Defence, Ranjan Wijeratne, is to indulge in a self-defeating exercise in self-deception.
The Mankulam army camp was located at a strategic junction where two important roads meet, one leading to the north towards Elephant Pass - the gateway to Tiger-controlled Jaffna peninsula - and the other eastwards to Mullaitivu. The camp was manned by 312 men and officers belonging to the Gajaba and Wijayaba regiments and commanded by Major Daulagala.
The Tigers began their attack during the night of 22 November with rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and powerful machine guns. They attacked the northern, southern and eastern flanks of the camp with their own 3 Pazilan (Baba) 2000 mortars which have a firing range of 400 to 500 yards. The attack continued till the early hours of 23 November. The Ti
gers, estimated at about 1500, having *
surrounded and virtually cut-off the camp from receiving reinforcements by occupying all possible approach points, also ensured that reinforcements or air cover was not available by helicopters, and this was done by building bunkers in adjoining jungles from where they were able to fire at any helicopter which attempted to land on the heli pad of the camp or nearby.
By the morning of 23 November, the LTTE had captured eight of the army trenches entirely overrunning the north and south of the camp. However, in a major counter-offensive, in which a considerable number of Tigers were killed, the troops re-took the south.
Afthough the State fence claimed that ra the camp was lost with the attack because t been fired at and d Tigers, there is evid that the radio com mained unaffected unt 24 - in fact the north of the army Major Gei kaduwa was in cont Daulagala until that ti sudden radio contact w radio contact was lost ate radio messages w besieged troops at Ma for air support and f evacuate 70 soldiers wounded, but their ple to have fallen on deaf
When questioned a ate air support was no besieged troops, the S Defence explained t could not fly in the vic due to bad weather a
But it is now establis the military helicopt used in connection wit madasa's visit to Jaffn were being used for n lian transport and or idly at Katunayak another at Palaly air ment, the leader of the S. Bandaranaike comp repeatedly stressed til ance of placing all h sively at the disposa forces and begged of y( the use of helicopte civilian purposes. . . It of the highest order t and billions from ou coffers on defence and military aircraft and the use of such aircraft
of our young soldiers country's life'.
Denied adequate air forcements and overw sustained fire power troops and officers wh the LTTE onslaught d the evening of 24 Nove by the Tigers and tre. miles through dense direction of Vavuniya. commenced their atta during the night 24 there was no return fir ing of 25 November the the abandoned army ca following three days, sued the retreating tro jungles and in the ensu
15 DECEMBER 1990
Minister of Dedio contact with in a few hours of he antenna had amaged by the 2nce to suggest munication reil 4pm Saturday ern Commander m. Denzijl Kobbeact with Major me when all of a tas lost. Up until , several desperere sent by the nkulam begging or helicopters to who had been as would appear earS. s to why adequt provided to the State Minister of hat helicopters inity of the camp nd heavy rain. shed that most of ers were being h President PreLa - four of them on-military civihe was standing e airport , and port. In Parliaopposition Mrs. lained, Wehave he vital importelicopters excluof the armed ou to discontinue rs by VIPs for is surely a crime o spend billions r poor nation's the purchase of thereafter deny to save the lives bleeding for our
support or reinhelmed by the
of the Tigers, ho had survived ecamped during ember unnoticed kked nearly six jungles in the
The Tigers re
ck on the camp
e. On the morn2 Tigers entered ump. During the the Tigers purops in the thick ing gun battles,
there were many casualties on both sides. The troops divided into three groups and took their separate escape routes towards Nelikulam, Puliyankulam and Vavuniya.
The Minister of State claimed at a
press conference on 28 November that
273 men and officers had left the Mankulam camp on 24 November. But by 30 November only 117 of the 312 originally at the Mankulam army camp had returned. The official death toll still stands at 32 and the balance 163 still "missing.
Although the government has denied that "unofficial talks with the Tigers have been initiated in London there is a strong unofficial lobby working behind the scenes to pressurise both sides to get back to the negotiating table. With everybody agreed that only a political solution can resolve the issue it seems strange that the military option continues. What has taken on a frightening prospect is the fact that Tamil militant groups who shed their militancy opting for democratic politics, have been handed back their guns. Hundreds of cadres from the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) and People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) are now in the field engaged in military operations with government forces to 'wipe out the Tigers', how successful they are going to be. remains to be seen.
Meanwhile two, Muslim and six Tamil political parties have come together agreeing on a broad framework for power sharing in a merged North-East Province. Sri Lanka Muslim Congress President A.M. Ashraff who spearheads the Muslim lobby for equal status with the Tamils in the merged provinces is determined to wrest as much as possible from the Tamil groups. In sharp contrast is the campaign mounted by Speaker of the Sri Lanka Parliament, M.H. Mohammed for the de-linking of the multi-ethnic Eastern Province from the Tamil dominated Northern Province.
Mohammed argues that a merged North-Eastern Province would spell
the first step to a division of the
country. No durable solution to the North-East problem is possible says Mohammed without consulting the Sinhalese in the Eastern province who are in a minority of 26 percent as against the 33 percent Muslims and 41 percent Tamils. Mohammed is for the three communities in the East together deciding whether they would like to remain linked, with the North as they now do under the controversial Indo-Lanka Accord, or de-link. Mohammed is also not for the holding of a referendum to decide the issue but for de-linking of the provinces through parliament. Ashraff shrugs off Muslim Continued on Paqe 11
15 OECEMBER 1990
Govt. Deploys Rival Tamil Groups Against LTTE
Security forces have been asked to deploy PLOTE, EPDP and TELO cadres to protect Tamil villages in ‘seared areas of the NorthEast. A large number of Tamil refugees still lingered in camps in areas like Thirukkovil fearing to return to their homes because of Muslim home guards. The Special Task Force (STF) operating in that region had been told tọ induct more TELO members to protect those Tamil hamlets and instil confidence into the people so that they would go back to their homes, Plantation Industries Minister and State Minister for Defence, Ranjan Wijeratne disclosed.
Addressing journalists at the weekly cabinet news conference in Colombo, the
Minister said that there
were in fact small antiLTTE groups working with the government to combat the Tigers. But it had now been decided to use such cadres on a more extensive scale to provide protection to Tamil villages. “When I visited Thirukkovil, which is a predominantly Tamil area, recently I saw a number of Tamil refugees who had streamed in from the Weeramunai region, still in camps. They feared to return because of Muslim home guards. I told them that the security forces would ensure that the Muslim home guards conducted themselves properly', Mr Wijeratne said.
Q: PLOTE, EPDP and TELO members are also
working with the go ment? x: -
A: Yes, they are wit Q: The EPDP is in ombo?
A: They are prote their headquarters.
Q: They are armed? A: Yes. Q: Earlier, it was de not to arm these gr. Why has that changed?
A: They know the I guys. I don't want Mu to identify innocent T. and put them in troc They should not be use that purpose. We are TELO and other anti-I groups to identify I cadres.
Q: Isn't the EP cooperating with the ernment on this?
A: They are not coop ing but instead attac me verbally.
Q: But that's mutual A: Naturally. You tho
I will keep quiet when attack?
Q: Were TELO cadri South India also bro back?
A: No, but they are mouring to return. had still not been able t
Q: How many L' members are under de tion?
A: I can't give the fi just now.
Q: So arms had issued to anti-LITTE gro A: They have arms to tect themselves. If they the front we will give a
PLOTE TO HELPARMY
As army units backed by air support probed the dense Wanni jungles to hunt down the LTTE groups which overran the Man kulam army camp, the Government has moved swiftly to strengthen the deployment of rival Tamil militant groups in the north-east with a view to assisting the army.
The People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam PLOTE) has agreed to strengthen its presence in the Wanni area with a view
to assisting the army anc the same time protect Tamil civilian populati militant sources said.
Militant sources in ombo claimed that the C ernment had indicated willingness to allow PLOTE “forces” operatin the Wanni areas to step activities and further pand deployment of tl cadres. Security offic confirmed the deploymen PLOTE cadres and plan send more to the north.
cided bups? een
TTE slims amils uble. d for using TTE TTE
es in ught
claThey io do
Dee ups? prOgo to ΙΥ1S.
Coltovits the in up
heir als t of s to
PLOTE has deployed a substantial number of men in the Wanni areas to assist the army and carry out rehabilitation work. Recently nearly one hundred PLOTE cadres were sent to Batticaloa where they supported government operations against the LTTE, sources said. These sources further said that the PLOTE could further strengthen its Wanni deployment following the arrival of hundreds of men who sought protection in south Indian refugee camps when the LTTE crushed the T a m i l N a tio n a l a r m y (TNA).
Hundreds of PLOTE cadres ... were among mem
Tamil and Muslim Parties Feach ACCOrd
Five Tamil parties and three Muslim parties announced that they have reached a general agreement to satisfy the aspirations of the Muslims in the North and East through a constitutional arrangement to establish a Muslim ethnic council and a Tamil ethnic council with equal status and powers within a merged North-East Province.
The parties also agreed the North-East Provincial Council should consist of two chambers ha ving weighted representation for the minorities.
They added that the question of the Sinhalese in the North-East will be discussed with all other political parties.
Here is the text of the joint press release issued by the All-Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTCF), All-Ceylon Muslim League (ACML), Democratic People's Liberation Front (DPLF), Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), Muslim United Liberation Front (MULF), Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), and Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF). -
“President Ranasinghe Premadasa observed at the APC that he could see the emergence of a consensus within the framework of a North East Province provided that the concerns of the Muslims and the
TAMIL TIMES 5
bers of other Tamil groups who fled to south India when the Indian Government withdrew its last contingent of forces in May last year.
Meanwhile sources said that discussions were continuing in Colombo to allow over fifty cadres of the PLOTE to be repatriated from Male. The Maldivian Government has agreed to release all PLOTE cadres who took part in the abortive coup attempt there.
Sources indicated that the PLOTE leadership could deploy more men in the north if cadres now in Male and south India returned.
- The lsland.
Sinhalese community are satisfactorilly resolved. Consequently, the APC requested the Muslim and Tamil political parties to examine firstly how the interests of Muslims could be safeguarded within the North-East Province.
"The Muslim and Tamil Parties engaged in the APC reached a general agree. ment on how the aspirations of Muslims could be satisfied within the framework of a merged North and East. This was to be achieved by constitutional arrangements for establishment and devolution of power to one Provincial Council for the North-East Province and the establishment of a Muslim ethnic council and a Tamil ethnic council with equal status and powers for the North-East Province. It was also agreed that the Provincial Council should be a bicameral legislature, with the second chamber having weighted representation for the minorities of the region. It was further agreed that the Muslim ethnic council and the Tamil ethnic council vill have under their jurisdiction all the Muslim and Tamil majority AGA divisions (Pradeshiya Sabhas) in the North and East respectively. "The creation of an ethnic oriented AGA division (Pradeshiya Sabhas) would require adjustments to existing AGA divisions, havContinued On Page 6
Cofianused fron Page 5
ing regard to the ethnic structures and the need to include land areas belonging to the respective communities according to their legitimate share. The Muslim and Tamil political parties reached broad agreement on the territorial limit of each of the ethnic councils, the structure, the subjects, functions and powers to be devolved, including finance. The details of the agreement
would be presented to the APC in the form of a report.
Both parties would work further towards strengthening the Provincial Council system by substantially improving the powers and the financial base of these Councils and by significantly adding to the subjects devolved.
"The question of the Sinhalese in the North-East will be discussed with all other political parties'.
MUSLIM-TAMIL ACCORD WELCOMED
"Muslims must not precipitate a situation that will keep the Tamils and Muslims or Muslims and Sinhalese in any state of confrontation forever. The consensus that has been reached must be viewed as a historic achievement of great magnitude. Notwithstanding certain drawbacks or difficulties, every effort must be made to implement these proposals to achieve peace and harmony', the Sri Lanka Katheebs Federation stated in a press communique.
The federation, welcoming the understanding and consensus reached between the Tamil and Muslim parties on devolution of power to a Muslim Provincial Council within a combined Northern and Eastern Province as a positive contribution towards achieving peace between the two communities, states that for nearly five years, the Tamils and Muslims of the Northern and Eastern provinces have been living in fear, suspicion and in a state of confrontation following mili
tant activities directed against the Muslims during this period
“We are glad that following the request of President R. Premadasa, the Muslims and Tamils were able to reach a consensus based on mutual respect for the aspirations of each other.
“We are certain that this
will put back for ever, years
of disillusion ment and agony that the two communities has been undergoing and will be welcomed by all peace loving people.
“The Sri Lanka Katheeb’s Federation expressed confidence that the government will accept the present consensus reached after more than one year of discussion as the best solution to the ethnic crisis that has entangled this country.
"Muslims in the North and East have to live together with the majority Tamils in these two provinces in peace and harmony as much as the Muslims in the South do live in peace and amity with the Sinhala people elsewhere in the country.
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS TO BE STRENGTHENED
The seventeenth amendment to the constitution, expected to be taken up in parliament shortly, has now been gazetted.
The changes proposed, which are wide ranging and strengthen fundamental and other rights of the subject, relate to articles 12, 17,
121 and 122.
Articles 12 and 17, are being replaced, further:
(1) guarantee personal right of access to institutions for the administration of justice;
(2) reinforce the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest by requiring that a person arrested shall be informed in a language which he appears to understand, of the reasons for his arrest, his right to remain silent, his right to retain an attor
15 DECEMBER 1990
ney-at-law and that any statement made by him in
the presence of such attor
ney-at-law will be admissible in court; (3) recognise a person's inherent right to life and his right to liberty and security of person; (4) recognise a citizen's right to freedom of information; (5) extend the rights conferred by articles 12(2) and 14 to persons who are not citizens of Sri Lanka and to whom the Indo-Ceylon Agreement signed on October 30, 1964 apply so long as they are ordinarily resident In Sri Lanka; and to issue of such persons, so long as such issue are ordinarily resident in Sri Lanka; 6) limit the ground on which restrictions may be placed by law, on the exerise and operation of the undamental rights declared by the chapter on funlamental rights; 7) enable a body of persons o make an application under Article 126 on behalf of a person whose funlamental right has been inringed and who suffers rom any social, physical or conomic disability.
Clause 3 amends article
121 of the constitution and the legal effect of this article as amended -
(1) to enable a person to challenge a Bill within two weeks of the publication of the Bill in the Gazette; and (2) to require the Supreme Court to make its determination on a Bill within one month of the filing of a petition challenging such Bil.
Clause 4 amends article 122 of the constitution and the legal effect of this article as amended - (1) to prohibit the use of the urgent Bill procedure in respect of Bills for the amendment of the constitution; (2) to require the Supreme Court to give its determination on the validity of an urgent Bill within 72 hours or such longer period not exceeding eight days as the President may specify.
Clause 5 amends article 126 of the constitution and the legal effect of this article as amended enables a person whose fundamental right is infringed to make an application for relief to the Supreme Court within four months of the infringement and not within one month as is the case now.
Bar Assn. To Take Up 800 Detention Cases
The Bar Association would shortly file 800 fundamental ights applications, in the Supreme Court, on behalf of letainees of the Boosa Damp, a spokesman for the Bar Association said reently.
Already 47 such applicaions have been filed by the Human Rights Committee of the Bar Association.
Lawyers, who were memlers of the Human Rights sommittee, had interviewed hese detainees, and preared affidavits, which bear ubstantial material for filng of rights violation aplications, the spokesman xplained.
Earlier these detainees ad written to the Supreme Sourt, and had appealed to ourt, to in vestigate rhether there are any harges against them, to eep them under detention, nd if there are no charges ramed against them, to dis
charge them from detention.
Upon receipt of these letters the Supreme Court, sought the assistance of the Bar Association, to help court in this matter.
Court advised the Bar Association to interview those detainees and to see whether, what was stated in the letters, was substantial enough to prepare affidavits on behalf of detainees.
The Bar Association, had followed that direction, and interviewed the detainees, and application for rights violation pleas had followed, the spokesman said.
The allegations cited in these 800 applications would be mainly illegal arrest and illegal detention, citing service personnel as respondents, the spokesman added.
The relief sought would be mainly release from detention, rather than compensation, he said.
15 DECEMBER 1990
6 :"تنقیدحیچھ) یحییضخیمہ ,... جمہ، :جہ
Over 80,000 to be Made Redundant
Eighty to ninety thousand public servants are in excess of the required cadre, according to a top Government study.
The Administrative Reforms Committee which looked into the problem of overstaffing in the public sector has estimated that out of about 500,000 people employed by the Government in 26 Ministries, 20 per cent could be reduced without any effect on the quality of the service.
ARC has also recommended the reduction of the number of Central Government Ministries to about 16. In 1988 the government reduced the number of Ministries from 45 to 26.
In implementing some of their recommendations at least five government departments would be scrapped in the future.
It is reliably learnt that the newly-created Policy Division of the Ministry of Public Administration, Provincial Councils and Home Affairs has already identified 46,000 Governmentemployees as redundant.
During the current year alone, sources said Government has set a target to reduce the civil service by 15,000 to 20,000.
This includes an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 public servants reaching retirement age this year. Of this only about 5,000-8,000 are likely to be declared redundant and compensated, sources said.
Meanwhile, aid agencies have warned the government that the problem of over staffing should not be solved merely by transferring them to newly formed Provincial Councils.
MAHARAJAS SEEK GREEN LIGHT FOR PRIVATE TV
The Maharaja Organisation, one of Sri Lanka's largest conglomerates is to seek government approval to launch a new TV channel despite opposition from state-run Rupavahini, it is reported.
If all goes well, Topaz channel seven, will be on the air in Sri Lanka come December.
State Minister for Information, A.J. Ranasinghe told the Sunday Times this issue would be taken up at the discussion on liberalisation of the media, at the next All-Party Conference.
When questioned on Rupavahini's attitude, Mr. Ranasinghe said, "Let them protest. Rupavahini won't be allowed a monopoly. The people will decide and switch on to the channel they want'.
Rupavahini chairman T. Kariyawasam confirmed the move to set up a new channel by the Maharaja Organisation but said Rupavahini was prepared to meet the challenge in the spirit of healthy competition.
The reason for Rupavahini's protest is the claim that
the channel alloted to Topaz was one meant for SLRC.
Officials said the new channel's transmission would initially reach viewers in Colombo and its suburbs and would expand to provide all-island coverage in three months time.
To tune to the new channel, viewers would be required to rent a decoder, an electronic device, from the Maharaja Organisation. The rental is believed to be in the region of Rs. 1,000.
Critics said this channel would only cater for the affluent.
Despite Mr. Ranasinghe's exhortations on press freedom, there will be a tight rein on the new channel.
"The government will have a say in it. Definitely, the government will appoint members to its board. We will insist that they show local programmes and that local people are employed'. he said.
However, he added that a detailed media policy was yet to be drawn up.
Mr. Rana singhe said there would be careful screening of all programmes
TAM TIMES 7
to be telecast.
"They will not be able to show everything they want to. All programmes will be monitored by a committee'.
The new TV channel would have its own news programme, but this too
would be subject to the committee's approval. In addition, the channel which would have a substantial volume of foreign material fed by satellite at their disposal would telecast a film a day among other footage.
Unions Call For Judicial Inquiry
The question of disappeared persons will be a major topic at the two-day workshop the Joint Trade Union Council (JTUC) has organized for 15 and 16 December 1990 in Colombo to discuss the character of demands the JTUC has put forward to the government, the JTUC stated in a press release.
The release stated: The JTUC, the umbrella body comprising 29 trade union centres in the state, corporation and private sectors, feels that the sudden disappearance under mysterious circumstances of political and trade union activists as well as those who hold political views different from those of the powersthat-be is a matter of grave conern not only to their immediate families but, above all, to the entire people of
this country, especially, thé working class movement, as it affects the democratic freedoms of our people.
Several hundreds of persons, including scores of trade union activists, have disappeared overnight from their homes or workplaces or have been abducted in broad daylight over the past few years. Despite persistent calls by local and international human rights bodies, the government has, unfortunately, not taken any meaningfill and effective action so far either to check and bring to a halt these unlawful activities or to find out the real culprits responsible for these operations. People know the identity of the so-called vigilante groups and men in civilian clothes who carry.
out these operations. : 、ダ
1987 JVP “HARD-CORE MEN’ IDENTIFIED
The Jayalath Committee appointed to screen subversive suspects has identified 1987 as hard-core activists heavily involved in a revolt against the Government since 1987.
The Committee is of the view that the Attorney General will have to decide on whether indictment should be filed against the suspects.
An official of the Attorney General's Department said filing of indictment or recommending of charges against these suspects would depend on whether there was sufficient evidence available. Many indictments against subversive suspects had already been filed, the official added. Meanwhile, the Jayalath Committee has also recommended 6,512 persons for rehabilitation to the Commissioner General on the grounds that these persons
have not been fully involved in the revolt against the Government. They are to undergo training in vocational trades in special camps set up for the purpose.
Informed sources however, said these very persons who were undergoing vocational training might also be indicted if the Attorney General's Department found sufficient evidence against them.
It is also learnt that the Attorney General's Department from time to time informs the Jayalath Committee of cases where there is no evidence.
The Jayalath Committee has recommended that 2,885 persons held in custody should be released on the grounds that these persons had not been involved in subversive activity.
Continued on Page 23
8 TAMIL TIMES
Bombing of Jaffna General Hospital - ICRC PrOteStS
The Jaffna General Hospital which had remained closed since the outbreak of the present "war" in June, was reopened on November 8 under the control and responsibility of the international Committee of the Red
Cross. A 350 metre security zone was also declared around the hospital to
ensure that the hospital functioned without being affected by operations by the military or Tamil militants.
"On the following day, 9 November, the Sri Lankan Airforce planes carried out bombing operations in Jaffna which left parts of the hospital damaged. Mr. George Patterson, leader of the ICRC team in Jaffna issued a press statement concerning the incident:-
“Around 7.45am an Air Force plane
circled a number of times over the areas around the Jaffna Teaching Hospital and dropped a bomb in the South Eastern Corner of the Hospital premises near the Hospital i Street — Point Pedro Road Junction. The Hospital was well marked out by the ICRC sign.
Again the same plane circled a number of times and dropped another bomb very close to the hospital and well within the Security Zone area, clearly and visibly marked out by ICRC signs. In this incident a person who was within the ICRC protected Hospital premises sustained injuries. The roofs of as well as windows of four hospital buildings were blown off by this bombing.
“The ICRC officials in Sri Lanka contacted the Sri Lankan authorities immediately to express their strong objection and to obtain assurances against a repetition of such serious violations. The ICRC Team would like to remind that it could continue to carry out its humanitarian activities in the re-commenced Jaffna Teaching Hospital only if the parties concerned respect the Hospital premises and the Security Zone around the Hospital'.
Releasing the above statement, Mr. Patterson also answered questions put to him by the local press. He said that the Government of Sri Lanka had violated the international norms by dropping bombs within the hospital security zone. He also said that without any provocation these bombs have been dropped in places occupied by civilians. "We are actively supervising the Security Zone around the hospital. There are no military bases or camps within this area. Hence the ICRC regards this as a serious violation.
"This is a serious the ICRC and coun international norms ment of Sri Lanka”.
Mr. Patterson furt Government at no tin map of the Security the ICRC and the ter of the agreement s ICRC for the re-oper Teaching Hospital. the Minister of State Ranjan Wijeratne ha that he would give f the efforts of the ICR to the agreement in the functioning of the
"Still such violati place and we cannot tions. If violations o relating to the functi
In Batticaloa District ing concern for 60,0 fled to Paduwankan lagoon after a Tig closed Vantharum September. Many ar jungle and the rair sickness and snakes. have died of snakebi van said local people malaria cases to Batt. tractor in mid-Novem Transport is a conti effective relief. Driv blank to venture int west of the lagoon o munal flashpoints suc and Eravur without ducements. Govern) Yoganathan says ove loa's 400,000 populat fugees and dry ratic people only one week Batticaloa town ren lim merchants are es of Kattankudy and tr noon and the street Tigers move around impunity, triggering vanishing. Seven pol lians were injured w nade was thrown at station on 7 Novem attacks result in imm
Citizens Committ. 1,100 people have dis: ticaloa District since t another 800 in Ampar say 30 men rounded
15 DECEMBER 1990
riolation against .ry, contrary to by the Govern
her said that the ne objected to the one prepared by ms and conditions abmitted by the ing of the Jaffna On the contrary for Defence, Mr. is publicly stated ull cooperation to C and to conform connection with Hospital. ons have taken gnore such violaf the regulations oning of the Hos
, there is mount00 refugees who rai, west of the ger communique loolai camp in 'e camped in the is have brought
Some ten people te at Mylawatta
who brought 20 icaloa hospital by
inuing obstacle to ers refuse point o Tiger territory r to stop at comch as Kattankudy massive cash inment Agent K. r half of Battication are now rens are reaching in three. nains tense. Muscorted in and out ading finishes by is deserted. The the town with incidents and lice and 11 civilhen a hand greBatticaloa police hber and sniper ediate reprisals.
ee Sources Say appeared in Bathe June war and ai. Tiger sources up from villages
pital continue we shall have no alternative except to unilaterally withdraw from this function', said Mr. Patterson. s
"We are not concerned whether this incident is accidental or deliberate. We are concerned that the Agreement has been violated', added Mr. Patterson.
Answering a question that if the Government denies altogether the incident what he had to say, Mr. Patterson also said that the ICRC contacted various government officials at various levels including the Defence Ministry and the Presidential Secretariat. He further said that consequent to the contact made by the ICRC an order had been given to the Military Command in the North by the Joint Operations High Command Office. According to that order the Security Zone area around the Hospital should not be subjected to aerial attacks.
It is clear from this order that the Government had accepted the violation of the Agreement. We shall give a chance to carry on the functioning of the hospital without closing it down, said Mr. Patterson in answer to another question.
between Kallady bridge and Kirankulam were tortured and burnt alive at Arayampathy Army camp in late October. Over 150 men were rounded up in a Special Task Force operation in
Karativu in Amparai District on 18
November but after the local Peace Committee interceded only six were detained.
West of the lagoon is Tiger country where Army patrols tread warily. many are now led by cadres from Tamil group TELO and several soldiers and local TELO commander Ravichandran were killed in an LTTE ambush at Manmunaithurai in early November.
- Sri Lanka Monitor.
Jaffna Pensioners on Verge of Starvation
Pensioners in the Jaffna district are on the verge of starvation as they have
not been paid their pensions since July
1990. The worst affected are those who opted to draw their pensions through Rural Banks in the district. The money circulation in Jaffna has reached the lowest ebb and as a result the bank vaults are practically empty. The Government Agent of Jaffna has announced through the local press that he cannot pay the pensions unless he gets the normal remittance from Colombo. The poor pensioners are being penalised for no fault of theirs, a pensioner states from Jaffna.
15 DECEMBER 1990
HUMAN RIGHTS PRIZE
THE Civil Rights Movement of Sri Lanka has been awarded the prestigious fifth annual Carter-Menil Prize for Human Rights in recognition of the CRM's outstanding contribution to the protection and promotion of human rights in Sri Lanka. Mrs. Suriya Wickremasinghe, Secretary of the CRM was presented with the prize at a ceremony in New York University on World Human Rights Day, 10 December, at which the former President of the USA Jimmy Carter delivered the annual state of human rights address.
The Carter-Menil Foundation for Human Rights was established in 1986 by former President Jimmy Carter and Dominique de Minil, founder and president of the Rothko chapel in Houston. The £1,000,000 prize was divided between the CRM and Comminidades Ethnicas Junam of Guatemala. Many have hailed the award to the CRM as a tribute to the valuable work of the CRM over a period of twenty years.
The CRM was formed following the ill-fated JVP insurrection of April 1971 and the government's repressive response including the enactment of a retroactive law called the Criminal Justices Commission Act. A few leftinclined English educated intellectuals, who were disturbed by the turn of events, gathered together to discuss the situation. The leading lights of this group were Suriya Wickremasinghee, Kumari Jayawardene and Reggi Siriwardene, and they were shortly to be joined by two well knowns - Bishop of Kurunegala Lakshmen Wickremasin g h e a n d Prof. E. d i r w e e r a Sarachandra.
The CRM was formally established with Prof. Sarachandra as President and Reggie Siriwardene as Secretary. Later to join the CRM were many prominent personalities - Bishop Leo Nanayakkara, S. Nadesan QC, Desmond Fernando (presently President of the Bar Association), Prins Gunasekera, D. C. R. Gunawardene, Raja Goonesekera (former Principal of Law College) Neville Samarakoon who later became Chief Justice, etc. The role of the late S. Nadesan QC as lawyer for the CRM in many celebrated civil rights cases deserves special mention. The heavy weights in the left movement did not find the enthusiasm to join the organisation - the main reason being that the LSSP and CP were partners in the coalition government of Mrs. S. Bandaranaike.
In its early days, CRM played a leading role in challenging the validity of the Criminal Justice Commissions Act, the 1972 Constitution imposed by the United Front government and the
Press Council La the state take-ov Group of newspa years, when the e intense and follov the Prevention o CRM took a f sectarian stand abiding commitm human rights.
* LTTE —
THE governmen been "talking, tr. of LTTE spokesm don leader Kr known as Kittu, spokesman Lawl strenuously der that there have b discussions. Havi sent conflict as liberation until E impossible to con sions have beer Anton Balasingh to the LTTE lead a recent intervie possibility of disc solution' while th The governme spokesman, the S fence Ranjan Wij up the position th finish', and deni secret talks with
Despite the del of behind the s spread. In the me Island" of 2 Dece founder former m Arulanantham ( Jaffna and discus LTTE leadership sent met Presider national Affairs A Weerakoon recer sions. Mr. Weera that the discussi they related on civilians in the no
It would seem, that the Tiger lea to join in the cri council for the No. tions with the Sri if India took th direction. Furthe. pressed willingne the EPRLF and E council although remain with the l
Mr. Weerakoon discussions with question of the cr council. A spokes High Commission
TAMIL TIMES 9
w which provided for er of the Lake House pers. In subsequent thnic conflict became ring the enactment of f Terrorism Act, the rthright and nonon the basis of an ent to democratic and
and the LTTE have le or false? A number en, including itS LOnshnakumar, better and its Paris-based tence Thilakar, have lied any suggestion een behind the scenes ng described the prethe 'ultimate war of elam is achieved', it is template that discustaking place. But am, the chief advisor er V. Prabhakaran in w did not rule out the ussions on a 'federal e fighting went on.
nt through its main State Minister for Deeratne has also taken at this is a 'war to the ed any suggestion of the LTTE.
nials, the speculation cene talks is wideantime, "The Sunday ember reports that a member of EROS, Mr. Arular) had visited ised matters with the , and with their connt Premadasa’s Interdvisor, Mr. Bradman tly and held discusakoon has confirmed ions took place, but ly to the plight of orth.
according to Arular, dership was prepared eation of an interim rth-East and negotiaLankan government e first step in that r, the LTTE had ex2ss to accommodate NDLF in the interim the control should LTTE.
has denied that his
Arular covered the eation of an interim sman for the Indian n in Colombo is re
ported to have said, "I am not aware of it. It's the first time that I am hearing of such a thing.
Whether there have been secret or informal or indirect talks about talks or not, or whether Arular's entry into the arena is just a kite flying exercise or not, the suggestion that the LTTE leadership is willing to accommodate the EPRLF as a partner in any arrangement for the North-East seems an utter improbability given the hatred with which the EPRLF is held in LTTE circles.
ár KARUNANIDHI UNDER FIRE
THERE appears to be a sustained campaign against the Chief Minister of the Indian State of Tamil Nadu, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, and well informed circles in Madras speculate that, since the downfall of V.P. Singh's government and assumption to power of Mr. Chandra Shekhar with the support of Congress(I), the campaign has assumed renewed intensity directed at imposing direct rule from Delhi after forcing a dissolution of the DMK led State government.
Mr. M. Karunanidhi has of late been under heavy flak by the press and opposition parties which allege that the Chief Minister had given a free hand to the LTTE to carry on its activities in the State without let or hindrance. Rajiv Gandhi's Congress(I), Bharatya Janatha Party, Jayalalitha's AIADMK and some other opposition parties have joined the bandwagon of targeting Mr. Karunanidhi on this issue. They allege that there has been a deterioration in the law and order situation in Tamil Nadu because of the relaxed approach of the State authorities to LTTE's alleged 'criminal activities'. They cite the killing of EPRLF leaders in Madras, shooting dead a policeman in Ramanathapuram, kidnapping of customs officials and Indian fishermen and the failure of the State
to apprehend and take action against
those responsible as examples of the Chief Minister's turning-blind-eye policy.
Two recently reported incidents which were given wide publicity have added fuel to the fire in this antiKarunanidhi campaign. The first was the kidnapping of 8 Indian customs officials near Point Calismere when their boat was intercepted by armed persons while patrolling the coast of Tamil Nadu, the officials were taken to Punkudutivu island off Jaffna where they were held for a number of days, warned not to interfere and released on 30 November. The other was the statement made by the Chief of Naval Staff designate of the Indian Navy, Vice Admiral L. Ramadas that the navy had confiscated arms and in the last three months there had been
Continued on Page 10
10 TAMIL TIMES
• * * :
Continued from Page 9
several cases of smuggling fuel, clothes and cigarettes; the confiscated boats of the smugglers were handed over to the Customs Controller and the individuals to the police; and about a hundred of those who were handed over during the last two months had been later set free by the State authorities.
On November 7, during the debate on the vote of confidence on V.P. Singh's government, Congress(I) leader Rajiv Gandhi accused the central government of turning a blind eye to DMK's links with the LTTE. On a later date, he alleged that the Tamil Nadu. government was "under the influence of the LTTE'. Recently Tamil Nadu
Congress(I) leader Vazhapadi Rama
murthi charged that over one thousand LTTE cadres had infiltrated into Tamil Nadu "to create confusion in the event of political changes here'.
Hitting back at Rajiv Gandhi, Mr. Karunanidhi told news reporters that it was Mr. Rajiv Gandhi who gave crores of rupees to the LTTE to buy arms and also gave them training camps located in Tamil Nadu. Mr. Gandhi turned against the Tigers because they would not surrender and be his slaves.
Mr. Karunanidhi has also strongly refuted the allegations against his government at a recent meeting with the new Prime Minister and assured him that he and his government would take appropriate measures to maintain law and order in Tamil Nadu. However, the PM's reference in Parliament about the 'deteriorating law and order situation in Tamil Nadu' and his comment that "if the State government did not control the situation, the central government would not remain idle' are being interpreted as an oblique threat aimed at Mr. Karunanidhi's administration.
r TIGER HUNTING
THE activities in Colombo of the government's newly found ally among Tamil militant groups, the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) led by Douglas Devananda who was expelled from the EPRLF in 1986 when he was functioning as its Military Commander in Jaffna, have raised serious concern among many political observers. It seems that government is not only using the EPDP in its “war effort' against the LTTE, but also has given it a free hand to operate in Colombo.
On the night of 22 November, members belonging to the EPDP raided a lodge in Colombo and apprehended seventeen Tamils. No reasons were given for the EPDP's action. On the same day, EPDP cadres are alleged to have interfered with and stopped a group of clergymen from distributing
food and other essentia refugees at the Sarasw balapitya in Colombo. ( day, armed EPDP cadr two women from Bal same Hall and remov cards of nine other w they described as "fur tion'. Knowledgeable ci view that this is part hunting' duty that the g allocated to the EPDP.
★ MEDICAL C K vy SET ON F BYANGRY MUS
THE building housing : tre in Kotahena in Colo Muthukrishna Swami
was set on fire on 23 N angry mob of Muslim swords and clubs withir the centre was declare State Minister for Hinc Devaraj. Hundreds of T gathered at the free Mes the opening ceremony
attacked and chased aw
About 2000 Muslims, had gone in a proce slogans and carrying nouncing attempts to kovil' in the area, and co building after Jumma stormed it. A large nun mostly Tamils were w attack. The building w; close to the Hameed Al lim school.
In a statement issue lent incidents, Sri Muth mi Mission trust alleged had failed to prevent t provide protection evel ance warning had bee Officer in Charge of police station that a gr were preparing to take sion and attack persons Centre.
The statement adde group of Muslims wear and carrying placards a attacked the Free Med ing knives, steel roc bombs. Several of the vic Mission were cut wit sustained serious inju them were warded in th critical condition. After volunteers, the crowd building which had bee porarily pending the ( the fully fledged hospita provide free treatment in the area. They also s where the religious cere tify the site had been p. days earlier. Five m parked inside the prem to a doctor and some of were completely burne
15 DECEMBER 1990
litems to Tamil athy Hall, Bam
Dn the previous
es had detained ticaloa at the ed the identity omen for what ther investigarcles are of the of the "Tiger overnment has
CENTRE IRE SLIM MOB
a Medical Cenmbo run by Sri Mission Trust ovember by an s armed with minutes after d open by the u Affairs P.P. amils who had dical Centre for were violently lay.
mostly youths, ssion shouting banners debuild a hindu nverged on the prayers and nber of persons ounded in the as located very Husseini Mus
after the vioukrishna Swathat the police he attack and n though advn given to the the Kotahena oup of Muslims e out a procesat the Medical
d that a large ing white caps pproached and ical Centre usls and petrol blunteers of the h knives and uries. Four of
he hospital in a
attacking the set fire to the n put up temonstruction of all at the site to to all patients et fire to a hut emony to Sanc2rformed a few notor vehicles ises belonging the volunteers d down. Police
reinforcements and the fire brigade arrived on the scene only after all the damage had been done.
The statement further said that before the ceremony the site was even blessed by the Buddhist clergy and former Justice Minister Nissanka Wijeratne was among many others who participated in the ceremony. One of the doctors engaged by the Centre was a Muslim and the facilities of the centre would be made available free to patients from all communities.
k SECURITY FORCES STALL JVP COMEBACK
SECURITY forces have captured 41year-old Daya Wanniarachchi successor to the leadership of the southern insurgent People's Liberation Front (JVP) press reports from Colombo say. Wanniarachchi, who was jailed with 40 other JVP leadirs in 1972 after an abortive coup, replaced acting leader Somawansa Amarasinghe who has reportedly fled abroad. Amarasinghe was the only member of the JVP politbureau to escape the security forces Operation Combine which smashed the JVP leadership last November. The other six leaders were reportedly killed in police custody.
Wanniarachchi's arrest triggered a series of police raids in Kandy, Tangalle and Anuradhapura where a JVP leader was shot dead on 21 November while trying to escape. Police claim they have now broken JVP attempts to regroup. The JVP are said to have killed 6,500 people in the South since their second insurrection began with the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord in 1987. Government forces have been accused of as many as 50,000 deaths during the same period.
After a European Parliament human rights delegation visited Sri Lanka last month, President Premadasa has set up a Committee headed by International Affairs Advisor Bradman Weerakoon to investigate human rights violations. Observers say the Committee is merely a palliative to allay international concern.
Sri Lanka's Bar Association (BASL) wanted an independent Commission of Enquiry with powers to examine witnesses and make recommendations.
There are still 14,000 youths in Government detention centres in the South in the wake of the JVP insurrection. Mr. Weerakoon has been a voluble supporter of a Presidential Youth Commission report which recommends finite steps for the speedy rehabilitation of the detainees but there is little sign of implementation. The Jayalath Commission set up to screen out 'subversives' among the detainees has so far identified only 1,987 as hard-core JVP.
- Sri Lanka Monitor.
15 DECEMBER 1990
RIDERs on THE s
There are four horsemen who ride the Sri Lankan apocalypse in the NorthEast. The first supervises the daily indiscriminate bombing of defenceless civilians in the Jaffna peninsula by the Sri Lankan Air Force. The second is with the Army in the East applying the same terror tactics that smashed the JVP in the South - routine extrajudicial killings and wholesale disappearances.
The third rides the Tiger military maxim of adi- the diversionary strike designed to provoke first chaos and then retaliation - the massacre of unarmed Sinhalese villagers in border areas, the killing of hundreds of Muslims at prayer in the East in August, the expulsion of 50,000 Muslims from the North last month. Its aim is to inflame and polarise. It is the Tamil civilian who reaps the harvest of retaliation and is reminded why he needs the Tigers.
The fourth is silent. He is the eternal onlooker, the Colombo intellectual, the clergy, the journalist, the NGO protecting project work, the foreign government protecting its investments - the participants who claim to be observers. The letters smuggled out of Jaffna are full of anguish. You must tell the world what is happening to us. What are you doing to help us?”
Earlier this month, Sri Lankan Defence Minister Ranjan Wijeratne gave one of his regular casualty updates for the June war. Some 756 security personnel have been killed and 457 reported missing. Another 1,663 have been wounded. Around 1,642 LTTE cadres had been killed said the Minister and 429 injured. No mention was made of civilian casualties, but for every combatant casualty there are at least two civilians killed or injured, giving total casualties of almost 10,000.
It is difficult to see the bombing of the Jaffna General Hospital this month as an accident when the Air Force has dropped bombs close enough to four other Jaffna hospitals in the last three months to set the occupants fleeing in terror. Expectant mothers miscarry, children marooned on ampu
Tamil Times Wishes all its readers & ContributorS a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year
tated limbs lie What happens run, the old, th
Away from t tion is indiscrir of Churches North this mor na to “London thing moving i. airdropped leaf curfew. But b Bombers flying know what thi Tigers to not a The aim is to b the peninsula a free-for-all fireof war by te theatre of crue
In the East momentum oft the South last in the abortive were willing to you think we a Tamils?', they
Over 100 boi Kalmunai whe early July. Ov from the Van September, all Army are still gers taken t Army camp o shot dead acco escaped with in A pile of 3. found on the be Amparai Dist heads were tak Amparai is th commando Spe For the Tige are heaven-ser tinue to attacl the dry zone ar in the hope of After the Ti lims from the the killings at F in August, th trust the Tami forget the bab: motherʼs arI thousands of M Mannar to Ka forget the hun prayer in Kal philosophy of a Far away in the Jaffna pen wearily gesticu all who pass h thing to eat. B his throat duri attack on fleei village. He wi again. His sile paid for ours.
TAM TIMES 11
screaming in the dark. to those who cannot e sick, the deranged? he hospitals the destruchinate. A World Council lelegation visiting the th likened central Jaff. during the blitz'. Anya target sanctioned by lets declaring indefinite uildings do not move. at 5,000 feet do not y are looking for. The dvertise their positions. omb the civilians out of ind trap the Tigers in a zone. To build a theatre aring down Jaffna. A ltу.
the Army rides the heir macabre success in year where 30,000 died JVP insurrection. “If we kill our own people do re worried about a few will tell you.
dies were burnt outside in the Army arrived in er 150 refugees taken htharumoolai camp in egedly released by the missing. Over 100 villa) the Sathurukondan utside Batticaloa were rding to one man who juries. 2 headless bodies was ach at Akkaraipattu in 'ict, last month. Their en off with a chainsaw. e fiefdom of the police cial Task Force.
rs, the Army's excesses t. The LTTE will conk Sinhalese villages in d pick off Army patrols urther reprisals.
gers drove 50,000 MusNorth last month and ravus and Kattankudy 2 Muslims may never ls again. They will not r who slipped from her his into the sea as uslims fled by boat from lpitiya. They will not dreds gunned down at tankudy. Such is the di.
Point Pedro hospital in Insula, an old man sits lating at his mouth to s bed. He wants someullets smashed most of ng a helicopter gunship g civilians in a nearby l never eat or speak ce is the price he has
- Sri Lanka Monitor.
Continued from Page 4 opposition to the permanentherger of the two provinces as coming from the "puppets' of the ruling United National
Under the provisions of the IndoLanka accord a referendum was to be held one year after elections to a temporarily merged North-East Province. The first date it set out was December 31, 1988. However with the elections to a North-East Provincial Council held only in November 1988 the referendum was postponed to January 19, 1991. On December 5 the referendum was further postponed to August 22, 1991. During the thirteen months of Government-Tiger peace talks the Tigers were insistent that no referendum should be held to decide the North-East issue. Tiger theoretician Anton Balasingham, the chief negotiator for the Tigers said at the time that there was no question of de-linking the two provinces which all Tamil groups have claimed as traditional homelands of the Tamils. Even rival Tamil groups in Colombo have categorically stated that the merger of
the two provinces is not negotiable.
The government, which under the auspices of the All Party Conference convened to resolve the national ques
tion committed itself to arriving at. decisions through consensus, would
still want a de-linking of the two provinces.
A merged North-East is seen in the south as a virtual separation of the country. The government therefore would try its utmost to lobby support in the south for the de-linking of the
With the Muslim leadership divided on the issue, it is possible that opinion could be weighted on the side of the Sinhalese minority in the East who would not want to come under, either Muslim or Tamil domination.
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12 TAMIL TIMES
'Let The Thousand He
Recently some of the National weeklies have published many articles on the complex ethnic question. Frank discussion between various ethnic groups in a free and healthy atmosphere has been absent in this country since independence. This led to the growth of narrow Sinhalese, Tamil and later Muslim nationalism. Sinhalese, Tamil, and Muslim "national identity never developed progressively as a component of greater Sri Lankan nationalism. "Let the thousand herbal flowers of genuine inter-ethnic dialogue bloom to heal the ailment of our Motherland should be our cry today.
All ethnic groups tend to unite. Ethnicity produces the strongest and largest social organization of a particular group, influenced by its socioeconomic and cultural development. This historical process cannot be prevented, if a particular ethnic group has been fortified with geographic contiguity. It may then develop in the direction of Nationhood. This process of development in a multi-ethnic country leads to the demand for Regional autonomy. Some countries respond positively and make necessary constitutional and institutional arrangements to accommodate these developments. A good example is the recent history of Canada. Any attempts to turn the wheel of history will lead to violence and ultimately to the division of the country. The creation of Bangladesh in South Asia is a recent example of this phenomenon.
This process started in Europe during the 19th century when society was in ferment after the Industrial Revolution. With capitalist development, Europe started to shrink. Languages played a major role as the agents of unity of the people, subdivided by feudal administrative boundaries of various kingdoms. The linguistic social groups which had geographic contiguity emerged as nations. Since then the creation of nation-states or federal states became the formula to solve the ethnic problems in multi-ethnic countries. The German people scattered among various feudal kingdoms united and became one nation. The former kingdom of Sweden divided peacefully on ethnic grounds into Sweden and Norway. Switzerland became a Federal State. The experiences of the 19th century Europe is helpful to understand what is taking place in some Third-World countries with a multiethnic character, such as our own Island.
In Sri Lanka two are spoken by four ma namely - Sinhalese, and up-country T Tamils). Among then Tamils enjoy greaterg tiguity. This is the sec ence of strong Sinh nationalism and chau
Sixty percent of Mu: the up-country Tamil in the Sinhalese-domi The rest of the M country Tamils are sp Tamil-dominated Nor provinces.
Around 40 percent are in the Northern a vinces. In the coasta
Amparai district and region of the northerr
A.G. A. Divisions), Mil social and geographic develop their own stro the coastal regions of Muslim regions are cu Tamil A.G.A. division
lims under "Common
their common interest cult task because of distribution, coupled w dent economic activi tion has made them c the then growing Sinh after the Sinhala-Mus
The up-country Ta
migrants to North
This migration startec concentrated in the m of the Northern provi) are living mostly in th with a much lower lev
with native Tamils.
unable to retain the identity in the conte Tamil nationalism.
Up-country Tamils most organized and ethnic group in Sri La tion created by the im the Srima-Shastri pa creasing physical atta Estate Tamil populati implementation of th Act of 1972, major and al riots which took pl the isolated low-grown tea areas led to a three tion of the up-countr wards high-grown tea around Hatton high-la
15 DECEMBER 1990
in Sri Lanka major languages or ethnic groups Famils, Muslims amils (Indian Sinhalese and eographical conet of the emergala and Tamil vinism here.
slims and most of s are spread out nated provinces. uslims and upread over in the th and Eastern
of the Muslims nd Eastern prol regions of the again the coastal most Puttalam and Kalpitiya uslims have the background to ngholds. Even in Amparai district, t into two by the of Thirukovil. organising MusFronts to defend
becomes a diffi
the geographic rith their 'depenties. This situaompromise with ala nationalism, im riots of 1915.
mils are recent East Provinces. | after 1970 and ainland regions nce, Where they ir own enclaves el of integration They are also ir Indian-Tamil xt of a strong
are both the most victimised nka. The situaplementation of ct of 1964, incks against the on following the e Land Reform minor communace - mainly in and mid-grown pronged migraTamils (1) toareas centered nds, (2) towards
South India (3) towards Northern and Eastern provinces.
Because of these trends the upcountry Tamils concentrated mostly in the high-grown areas have developed better territorial contiguity.
Up-country Tamils being the only wholly organized population in the island and because of its connection to a highly important plantation industry are fast developing into a powerful ethnic group.
The Sri Lankan ethnic question is always viewed as a problem between Sinhalese and Tamils only. To ignore the intensity of the problems faced by the Muslims and up-country Tamils is shortsighted. Special arrangements to solve the ethnic problems of the Muslims and up-country Tamils should be evolved. The provincial councils in such areas should be used to cope with this problem.
The real problem we face now is not this historical process itself. The real problem is the lack of understanding of this historical process even on the part of Sri Lankan intellectuals. Our political system and constitution are not elastic enough to accommodate this development. There are no socioeconomic, cultural and political institutions and a national media to regulate this process as a component of a greater Sri Lankan nationalism.
Only a few countries in 19th and early 20th century Europe, escaped nation-state division, through a federal system or similar constitutional changes.
A solution of the national question is one of the primary needs of socioeconomic development of a multiethnic country. The multi-ethnic societies of Europe 'solved' this question by adopting federal structures or by separation.
Most of the newly industrialized countries are either mono-ethnic nation-states like Korea or Hong Kong or countries which adopted appropriate measures to ensure the equality of all ethnic groups, like Singapore is predominantly Chinese. None of the minority ethnic groups have regional strongholds and the possibilities of developing significant resistance against the Chinese majority are limited.
Though poor, the experience of India, a fast-growing industrial power is also important. Jawaharlal Nehru's Congress, controlled by growing national-capitalist elements accepted the creation of linguistic States in India. Even though the Indian system is not a fullfledged federal system it was a wise and timely step to acommodate the development of various ethnic groups in the direction of nationhood within the framework of united India. The most important aspect of the Indian approach is that the Indian intellec
15 OECE BER 1990
tua’s and elite leadership took this de son even after the creation of Pakistan. They had the courage and foresight to read the lessons of history. But in some Third-World countries which have no similar experience of violent division the intelligentsia and the politicians belonging to the ethnic majority, panic when they hear even the word "federation'. They try to take their countries away from history. This is what happened in Pakistan which led to division and Bangladesh. For us too these lessons from the South Asian historical experience are important.
The possibility of Sinhalese and Tamils getting together to exploit other ethnic groups also cannot be neglected. This took place in 1947 in Sri Lanka against the interests of Indian Tamils. History proves such attempts counter-productive.
Consider Yugoslavia. The ethnic groups of Yugoslavia got together and accepted the federal system as the basis of unity. But they left the Albanians at the mercy of the Serbians and they were subsequently oppressed. *Unity' with this type of doublestandard arrangement is not the Unity' built on firm foundations. The present problems of that country and growth of greater Serbian chauvinism are striking examples. (The writer is a well-known Tamil poet and intellectual).
i eficie a dofnaiiCf
My chequefdraft M.O. in Ltd is to the total value o
Nine years when the d of pure mili racted peop serious in
Tamil grou friends, who show that h talking abol illustrated b
The book undergroun is known to on acquiri weapons). I first became of General had been a v known cont
Carl Von C
The Man) cussions on official publ by some of in Jaffna, Jomini’s obs
In the be model was ( encouraged ideas and mantly that large people context of th time.
In the fi paper “Vidu decided to c ist Sinhala now becom apologist of of guerrilla issue of the that after 1 Tigers have al army. "T Prabhakara powerful T Army. He modernize lengthy di maps, on t clear, infor cepts whicl conventiona sive discuss not diminis formation t Tiger's perc through mi
The LTT June this y
TAMIL TIMES 13
The LTTE is Now a Conventional Army
i — by Taraki —
ago in Jaffna, at a time ebate between proponents itarism and those of protle's war had become quite some intellectual circles on the fringes of the armed ps, one of Prabhakaran's ), apparently was eager to is friend knew what he was ut, gave me a handsomely book on military history.
was from one of LTTE's d libraries. (Prabhakaran spend vast sums of money ng books on war and t was in that book that I acquainted with the work Antoine-Henri Jomini. He foluminous writer, a lesser temporary of the famous ausewitz.
kulam attack and the disstrategy in their recent ication, which is prepared their experienced soldiers, reminded one of General servations on war.
aginning the LTTE's role Che Guevara. They keenly
the propagation of his insisted, sometimes ada, the concept of evolving a 's army was wrong in the e Tamil movement, at that
rst issue of their official thalai Pulihal' they even arry an article by a Stalin“revolutionary'- who has e an arch promoter and perestroika – on the merits
warfare. But the latest 'Viduthalai Pulihal' claims 5 years of guerrilla war the now become a conventionhe ambition of our leader n has been to build up a amil National Liberation wants to strengthen and t as much as he can'. The cussion, accompanied by he Fort operation is, it is med by principles and conbelong in discourses on l warfare. That this extenion is quasi-scientific does n the validity of the transhat has taken place in the eption of achieving its goal itary means.
E which began the war in ear is no more a guerrilla
group. It is not only functioning as a conventional force in the north but is also thinking and devising strategy as Ole.
It would be judicious and prudent, at least at this juncture, to reckon with the fact even if they are in the future marginalized by superior fire power
' and overwhelming logistical capabili
ties they would have acquired the know how and the necessary experience to raise and effectively use a conventional army.
The era of the Tiger as a guerrilla strategist is drawing to a close. The fall of Mankulam is another indication of it. A keen student of the LTTE's evolution will find that the conceptual tools that he culled from the writings of Ernesto Che Guevara may not be useful now in understanding their thinking. The book wherein I came upon Jomini may have satisfied the curiosity of a bumbling novice at that time but not the urgent needs of the hit and run tactician.
The strategic planning that seems to have been involved in the siege and assault of the Fort and now in the Mankulam attack has to be assessed. The thinking of the post IPKF Tiger shows a preoccupation with macroplanning and with eliciting the general principles that govern the overall strategy of the security forces.
The LTTE observes that in the north there are three principles that influence the military planning of the generals. The first one is ensuring of supply routes (air, land and sea) to the camps. The second one is having possible and safe lines of withdrawal from camps and detachments, in place. The third one is strengthening camps by relocation and/or addition of troops.
For operating in the north with these three principles governing its actions, until such time when other strategies become possible, the army will have to depend on a certain number of elite troops which have to be moved to different locations according to requirements necessitated by pressures that may unexpectedly develop or to meet pre-planned strategic needs.
Priorities that arise from contingencies are seen to determine, in the short term, the distribution of these troops. The perception of these priorities are, in turn determined by the three generall principles. The army's operations in
Continued on Page 22
14 TAM TIMES
The Ram Janmabhoomitemple issue brought about the do Singh's National Front government. The Bharatiya Janat promised to continue its campaign on the temple iss threatening the very existence of India as a secular state archaeological or historical evidence to prove that Rama w disputed spot or that Babar built the mosque. According ti author of the Ramayana, Rama lived 1,000 years before th yuga in 3200 BC! Nothing found at Ayodhya indicat
THE RAMA TEMPLE cLAMATAY A HISTORICALABERRATIO
At the heart of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute lie two basic questions. First: if indeed Lord Rama existed, was he actually born at that very spot where the disputed shrine now stands? Second: had a temple in his honour actually been built there - reportedly by Vikramaditya, the greatest of the Gupta kingsand was it in fact demolished in 1528 by Mir Baqi, a commander in the army of Babar, the first Mughal emperor, on the latter's orders, and the present mosque built in its place?
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and its allied organisations have no doubt that the answer to both questions is in the affirmative: it is this historical wrong perpetrated by Babar which they want to correct by building the new Rama temple. But what do historians and archæologists say?
The rational answer to the first question was succinctly put by Madhu Limaye: “Only Maharani Scindia and Balasaheb Deoras seem to know the exact spot where Rama was born since, no doubt, they were the midwives who assisted at Rama's birth'. And in fact historians unanimously concur that it is impossible to pinpoint the exact location where a personage who lived so long ago came into the world. Archaeologist H.D. Sankalia, one of those convinced of the historical truth of the events described in the Ramayana, has nevertheless asserted that "it is not possible to pinpoint Rama's birthplace.
Similarly, in their recently published booklet, historians Romila Thapar, S. Gopal and Bipan Chandra relate the experience of Emperor Ashoka, who, just 200 years after the death of Gautama Buddha, installed an inscription at Lumbini, marking it as the Buddha's birthplace. He also reduced taxes in the village. But even Ashoka failed to locate the exact spot where the Buddha took birth.
Indeed the VHP and its supporters have not yet succeeded in unearthing even a single piece of historical evidence to support their contention on this point. Even their sole argument that the people of the region firmly
believe that the dispute on Rama's birthplace tioned. In his investiga R.S. Sharma discovered at least 15-16 mandirs pujaris of which claim ple is the real birthplac An IAS officer, Sh. historian Sushil Shriv University of Allahabac have done much work were invited to undert: vey of Ayodhya to est Janmasthan. Carried days in April 1988, th that ‘seven different pla to be the janmasthans o of which meet each othe one touches the site Masjid’.
Further evidence di VHP contention comes sive 'archaeology of sites' project carried Archaeological Survey mid-seventies. The proj the former ASI dire undertook extensive five towns connect Ramayana — Ayodh apura, Bharadwaj A gram and Chitrakoot . fresh light on the histc wise of the events de Ramayana.
In Ayodhya itself 14 up, including one spot, disputed shrine where dence of civilisation, pie ware, were found date century BC. Some ki however evidence of a ment from that period in the form of brick-b with filters attached, knowledge of hydraulic
If it could be conclusiv that Rama was born in BC or later still, thos have indicated the lo Dasaratha’s (Rama’s (Obviously, the palac been situated close to But that too is a difficul ing to Valmiki, Rama li or 1,000 years before t
15 DECEMBER 1990
Winfall of V.P. na Party has ue which is There is no is born in the Valmiki, the 2 start of Kali es so old a
d shrine stands nas been questions, historian that “there are in Ayodhya the that their teme of Rama’. er Singh, and astava of the l, both of whom on the subject, ake a field surtablish Rama’s out over three a survey found aces turned out f Rama, no two 2r and not even of the Babri
from the masthe Ramayana out by the of India in the ect, initiated by ctor B.B. Lal, excavations in ed with the ya, Sringavershram, Nandi- so as to cast oricity or otherscribed in the
sites were dug just behind the the earliest evi2ces of earthend from the 7th lometres away n urban settlewas discovered built reservoirs revealing some
engineering. rely established the 7th century e ruins might zation of King father) palace. e would have the reservoir). lt task. Accordved in treta yug he present kali
yug began. And kali yug is calculated to have started from 3200 BC. Certainly nothing has been found at Ayodhya to indicate a civilisation going that far back in history.
Another widely held belief is that the Ramayana predates the Mahabharata. Excavations by B.B. Lal around the Mahabharata sites have established that the events described in the epic took place between 800 and 1100 BC. In that case even the water reservoirs would have no relevance to the Ramayana. But there are experts - Lal among them - who argue that in fact it was the Mahabharata's incidents which occurred first. In any case the evidence uncovered at Ayodhya indicates that the first inhabitants there were a simple, almost backward community: unlikely to inhabit the highly developed city of Ayodhya that Valmiki so eloquently describes.
It is this last feature which has led historians like Romila Thapar to speculate that perhaps the 'Ayodhya' mentioned in the epic and the present Ayodhya are two different places altogether. In Buddhist texts, the two principal cities of the Kosala kingdom to which Rama is believed to have belonged - were Shrawasti and Saket. Ayodhya is not mentioned.
There is an amusing local folk tale, recounted by Thapar and the others in their booklet about how Vikramaditya discovered Ayodhya which had disappeared soon after treta yug ended. Vikramaditya met a holy man who showed him where Ayodhya had been located; the king marked the spot but later could not find it again. He was then advised to let loose a cow and a calf and follow them: as soon as they reached Ayodhya milk would spontaneously start flowing from the cow's udders. And sure enough, at a particular spot, the miracle occurred: he decided this spot was the Ram Janmabhoomi. "Thus it is possible that a place which earlier had no historical or religious significance now acquired a religious halo', the historians point out.
On the question of whether a temple was demolished to build the present mosque, the Hindu militant organisations are on slightly firmer ground. The VHP did in fact submit a set of 13 legal-historical documents to Buta Singh in 1988 which reinforced their claim. And even a cursory look at the disputed shrine reveals some curious features, the most striking among them being that this seems to be the only mosque in the world which has no minarets. Minarets are an essential part of any mosque, since it is from these that the muezzin gives his regular call for azan (public prayer).
The local story is that minarets were built by Mir Baqi, but such was the power of Shri Rama that they collapsed immediately afterwards. Every mos
Continued on Page 22
15 DECEMBER 1990
For the last four months, while the rest of the world has been watching with bated breath the drama in the Gulf, the rise in oil prices, the breakdown of communism in Eastern Europe and Mikhail Gorbachev's troubles with perestroika, India's 800 million people have been making a determined bid to opt out of the 20th century.
That, at any rate, is how the intelligentsia and most foreign observers
have interpreted the struggle being
waged by a relatively new, militant Hindu organization, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, to pull down the now disused, 400-year-old Babri mosque at Ayodhya, a sleepy little town in Uttar Pradesh, and replace it with a spanking new temple dedicated to Lord Rama, hero of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana.
They could not be more wrong. Far from opting out, India is entering a period of struggle through which Europe passed 60 years ago, in which a vast, small-business and artisanal class that is threatened by the process of industrialization and the attendant rise of large professionally managed manufacturing and trading concerns, is making a last ditch attempt to seize political power by hijacking the symbols of Hinduism to use as means of political mobilization. Their goal, seldom stated, and not as yet fully understood, is to check the process of industrialization and postpone, if not prevent, their extinction by big business backed by modern technology.
Europeans should be familiar with this struggle, for it was more or less at this stage of their industrialization that Spain, Italy, France and Germany experienced the rise of fascism. India is facing the same threat. The fact that it has successfully allied itself with Hindu revivalism makes the threat an extremely potent one.
In their bid for power the VHP is trying to whip up Hindu chauvinism. The methods it is using are uncannily similar to the techniques of mobilization used by the Nazis in Germany 60 years ago. The Nazis exalted German Aryanism. The VHP stresses "Hindutwa' (literally Hinduness). The Nazis resurrected the swastika, the VHP has a battery of symbols drawn from the Ramayana. For instance its activists are known as the Bajrang Dal, a reference to the army of monkeys that Rama led to defeat Ravana.
The Nazis made skillful use of the German feeling of humiliation at having losu World War I. The VHP is inciting a latent Hindu desire to avenge the defeats suffered by Hindu rulers and the destruction of thousands of temples during 600 years of Muslim rule of northern India. The Nazis converted the acute insecurity bordering on paranoia of the large German lower middle class into a hatred of the Jews. The VHP is converting the economic insecurity of the
new India middle class into anger y ______________-《 །ས་མཆ། -- ܕ --
HJACK - A Last
against the M India's effete spiring with against the H. competition fo the Nazis had VHP has it strength is b men in the ne The dispu another flavou Parishad Lorc asset. He wa defeated Rav Lanka. He is lying point chauvinism.
All Hindus of any convi Ayodha of tod that was the c
There is also Babri Masjid temple that co place of Ram Hindus have t the spot. A seri 75 lives.
But through dispute remair which the rest vious. It flared some Hindus S the dead of nig. Ram exactly b pit, claiming th the ground, bu Uttar Pradesh mosque, barred communities, a the courts whe next 37 years.
Everyone ha in 1986, some managed to g enabled them idol in the mos tion by the Mu needed to conv wide movemen birthplace. It plans to "reloca and build a t would be in the Imam's pulpit i
The VHP's fi tical party who to its ideology Bharatiya Jar known as the the BJP had be the creation of not even acce Pakistan. But brought it even As a result, in t changed its line courting the sec
in the country.
TAMIL TIMES 5
ING THE SYMBOLS OF HINDUISM Ditch Attempt to Seize Political Power
By PREM SHANKAR JHA
uslims, and a distrust of emocracy, which is conthem to discriminate indu majority in a brazen r their votes. And just as their storm troopers, the s Bajrang Dal whose ing raised to a million xt few months. te over Ayodha has r. For the Vishwa Hindu Ram has an invaluable s a warrior king who na, the demon king of therefore the ideal ralfor resurgent Hindu
pelieve, despite the lack ncing proof, that the ay is the same Ayodha pital of Ram's kingdom.
a strong belief that the stands on the site of a immemorated the birth. From time to time, ried to wrest control of ous flare-up in 1855 cost
hout these decades the ned a petty, local one, of of India remained obliup again in 1949, when tole into the mosque in ht and planted an idol of eneath the Imamʼs pulhat it had popped out of ut died down when the government closed the access to it to both the und sent the dispute to re it languished for the
d forgotten about it till, members of the VHP et a court order that to start worship of the Jue. The ensuing agitaslims was just what it ert itself into a nationt in defense of Ram's did so by announcing te' the Babri mosque, emple whose sanctum precise spot where the s now situated.
rst victim was the polise thinking was closest
the mildly revivalist ata (BJP). Formerly Jana Sangh, till 1965, an openly committed to a Hindu state and had pted the creation of
this platform never 10 percent of the vote. he late sixties the party and began assiduously ular, conservative vote
While its share of the vote grew slowly, its acceptability among the intelligentsia, and to the other secular political parties zoomed, and in 1989, it was accepted as a part of the antiCongress combine of parties that agreed not to field candidates against each other in the coming elections. This helped it to obtain its best-ever share of the seats in the Parliament. With 86 out of 526 members, it emerged as the third largest party in the Lok Sabha, and its support became essential for the survival of the V.P. Singh government.
The rise of the VHP began, however, to cut into its support, which came from the very same strata of society that it represented, the new urban middle class. As a result, after resisting its pressure for more than three years, in July this year, the BJP began to turn its back on a quarter of a century of secularisation, and adopted once more the virulently Hindu militant platform of the fifties and early sixties, in order to protect its power. base. This led it to withdraw its support from the V.P. Singh government and bring it down on November 7.
The VHP has already announced that it will renew its struggle to pull down the Babri mosque from December 6. Unlike in October this time it faces a weak and divided government in both New Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, and will fare better. The future does not therefore bode well for India. But despite this there is good reason to believe that India will not go the way of Germany, Spain or Italy, 60 years ago. The country is too diverse. The BJP and the VHP command little support in the south, the east and north-east, and the northern state of Punjab. These acccount for about half of India. Another important brake is provided by the simple majority voting system in which a party must in Indian conditions amass more than 40 percent of the vote to come to power. What is more, smaller parties get a still smaller share of the seats.
Thus to aspire to power the Hindu, Right will, sooner or later, have to court the uncommitted middle voter again. Since the secular and progressive forces that are now headed by V.P. Singh will have to do the same, India is likely, over the next two elections to emerge with a two-coalition party system not unlike the two-party system in Britain. Till then the country will continue to be preoccupied with its own problems, and remain out of sync with the modern world.
(Prem Shankar Jha was information adviser to Prime Minister V.P. Singh.)
- Courtesy of "India Abroad'
6 TAM TIMES
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15 DECEMBER 1990
THE FP AND THE MUSLIM VOTERS
DR. AMEER ALI’s article, “The Muslim Predicamento (Tamil Times, Oct. 1990) sheds a refreshing gleam of light in explaining the currently muddled Tamil-Muslim relationship (and rivalry) in Sri Lanka. I am glad that a Muslim scholar has now come forward to castigate the Muslim leadership which emanated perennially from the commercial and propertied classes of Colombo and adjacent districts, (which also) allied with either the UNP or the SLFP and won as much favours as possible sometimes even at the expense of the disenchanted Tamil community. This view from Dr. Ameer Ali supports what I stated in the Tamil Times of May 1983 in my commentary entitled, "Focus on the Tamil-Speaking Muslims of Sri Lanka”.
However, I wish to raise one objection to Dr. Ameer Ali's insinuations on the motives of S.J.V. Chelvanayakam's leadership.
(1) when Ameer Ali states, "two parties of Tamils without naming the second one, I presume that he refers to the Tamil Congress (TC). If this is the case, it should be reminded that in the post-1956 period, the TC never had any political strength in the Eastern Province. While the FP was a cadrebased party with strong Organisational links in the Eastern Province, the TC remained as an individual-oriented party, after the 1947 election.
(2) The FP did its best to appeal to the Muslim voters of the Eastern Province in the 1956, 1960 (March and July) and 1965 general elections and nominated quite a number of Muslim candidates in the predominantly Muslim constituencies.
(3) Between 1956 and 1965, with the exception of a few like A.L. Abdul Majeed, almost all the notable Eastern Province Muslim MPs entered the parliament as MPs of the FP. The list included the following: Gate Mudaliyar M.S. Kariapper (Kalimunai), M.M. Mustapha (Pottuvil), M.C. Ahamed (Kalmunai) and M.E.H. Mohamed Ali (Mutur). Also, Mashoor Moulana tried to become an MP for Kalmunai by contesting the FP ticket in 1965 and in 1968 (by-election). All these Muslim politicians (after entering the parliament) then joined either the UNP or SLFP to cater their own needs of political advancement. I have already i commented on this “fence-jumping politics' of the Muslim politicians of the Eastern Province in my debate with Fr. Tissa Balasuriya on the 1977 plebiscite vote for Eelam (see, Colombo Tribune. Dec. 31, 1977).
These being Ameer Ali portr which did not aspirations of would state tha MPs who were e (and not the FP betrayed the tr stituency of the
Dept. of Physiol Medical College 3300 Henry Ave Philadelphia, PA
PLEASE publis comments on th lim-Tamil confl: the October issu
While Dr. A Muslim predicar of view is well balanced, the about Mr. Sh. Shanmugaratna side of the story has not said any ties of the Mus their atrocities : ernment control Eastern Provinc
It is not clear atnam ignored story. Is it igno personally belie human rights fi be condemned w ing Tamil violen criminal activit guards is both ductive. This is lem of Tamils a safety of the Societies must
I would like to atnam to LTTE’ the Muslim-Tan the Eastern Pro ministers were the Muslim M seeking military lim-Tamil confli them achieve t Therefore the strong motivatic flict. LTTE has that the Musli only confined to
* led areas and di
controlled areas later left LTTE district did so foi in Eastern Prov the Mannar dist) fact, blamed sor the Eastern Prov ing. From the a LTTE’s stateme dismissed.
the facts, how can 'ay the FP as the party
respect the political the Muslim voters? I at it was the Muslim lected on the FP ticket leadership itself) who ust of the Muslim con
Sachi Sri Kantha ogy & Biochemistry,
of Pennsylvania, :enue,
A 19129, USA.
sh my rather belated e two articles, on Musict, that appeared in Le of Tamil Times.
meer Ali's analysis of ment and Muslim point
considered and well same cannot be said anmugaratnam. Mr. m has taken only one into consideration. He thing about the activilim home guards and against Tamils in govled Tamil areas in the
why Mr. Shanmugarthe Tamil side of the rance or hypocrisy? I lve that violation of "om all quarters must fith full force. Criticisce while condoning the ies of Muslim home cruel and counterproa life and death probnd we who live in the western democratic atter our words with
refer Mr. Shanmugars statement that when mil conflict started in vince some Sri Lankan actually travelling in iddle-East countries ' aid. Naturally Musct would have helped heir objective easily.
government had a In to foment this con
further pointed out m-Tamil conflict was
Government controld not spread to LTTE The Muslims who controlled Mannar fear that the trouble ince will overflow into ict. These Muslims, in ne Muslim leaders in ince formischief makabove it is clear that nts cannot be easily
I am not suggesting that Muslim anxieties and fears should be ignored. On the contrary I believe that Muslim anxiety and dilemma are genuine and must be addressed accordingly. By the same token, I would like to say loudly that the notion that Tamil life can be expended easily, must be deplored.
Cessation of these horrible hostilities and return of peace is a far more preferable alternative and must be pursued by all those in positions of power and influence. It is necessary to impress upon the warring sides, the benefits of a negotiated solution. Above all it is necessary to impress upon the Sinhalese people and their government that the kind of supremacy they held over Tamils, during the past 40 years since the withdrawal of the British, is temporary and cannot be continued any more because the Tamil desire to live in peace with the rest of the men and women of this world is just, legitimate and reasonable. This calls for a fundamental change in attitude and hence difficult to achieve. At the moment it seems that prayers is the best bet for peace. r
24 McKillop Drive Baulkham Hills, NSW 2153 Australia.
OIL IN MANNA.
IT WAS very interesting to read the news item (India West November 9th. 1990) that India's Oil and Natural Gas Commission has agreed to begin oil exploration off Mannar on the Northwest coast of Sri Lanka. India West is published every Friday at 5901 Christie Ave., Suite 301, Emeryville, California 94608, U.S.A.
ONGC struck oil on the Indian side (Tamil Nadu) of the Gulf of Mannar. We Tamils feel there is definitely oil in Mannar area which is 100% Tamil speaking area and is the traditional homeland of the Tamils in the NorthEast Province.
If the ONGC strikes oil in Mannar, then the Sinhalese Buddhist Government of Sri Lanka is going to colonize Mannar with Sinhalese Buddhists, like the way they have done in traditional homelands like Trincomalee, Seruwila, Manal Aru, Amparai, Vavuniya etc. They have changed the Tamil name, Manal Aru, to the Sinhalese name, Weli Oya.
Now Sinhalese Buddhists are Members of Parliament in Seruwila and Amparai. Very soon Trincomalee and Vavuniya will have Sinhalese Members of Parliament. We Tamils will have to jump into the sea as India is now not willing to admit Tamil refugees into Tamil Nadu. We Sri Lankan Tamils appeal to the 65 million
Continued on Page 23
18 TAM TIMES
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15 DECEMBER 1990
Sri Lanka's ethnic problem is a melancholy tale of appalling shortsightedness, mistaken judgements and lost opportunities. It is this aspect of the matter that I wish to stress in writing this foreword to Professor Suriyakumaran's book. For it should no longer be necessary to try to convince people of the necessity of just and reasonable ways of resolving ethnic tensions by appealing only to their moral sense. After three and a half decades of conflict, the cost to the entire nation - majority as well as the minorities - in loss of human lives, loss of resources, and loss of security, stares us in the face. What should be evident now is that it didn't need a high sense of principles to avoid these disasters; prudent self-interest on the part of both rulers and ruled and farsighted leadership would have sufficed to make us take another road. Unfortunately in human history one can be unjust or wicked and not pay for one's sins; but one is never exempted from paying for one's folly.
If we are not to repeat the errors of the past, we must comprehend them and learn their lesson. Throughout the course of our ethnic conflict, there has been a persistent temptation to shuffle off responsibility for our problems on some external and malignant force - whether it was British colonialists dividing and ruling, Christian missionar
Sri Lanka ARTICL||
ies favouring the 1 ist powers consp sovereignty, or In to impose its he danger of these ex help us to shut ol failures and blund an machinations t blamed for our situ always have beer larger power so c that there was a involvement, in on we failed to resc Again enlightened in the absence of a should have conv needed to protec sovereignty by rem divisiveness amo grievances and 1 allowed to accumul made and broken, ) were met with viol evitable followed - intervention and a in both North and
It was not for la each stage of this t always voices prof sanity and wisdom consequences that v went unheeded. A lected in this volum sor Suriyakumarar among their numb seven years. In re
This is a unique book, written by a highly informed and qualified person, on the Sri Lankan Crisis that unfolded ዘገ 83.
Unlike those undertaken with the benefit of hindsight, this book is essentially on events as they took place - what was behind them, what could have been done to prevent them, and what should be done to nerd then.
The Author was one of Sri Lanka's senior most United nations International Civil Servants, and later Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Earlier, while in the (then) Ceylon Administrative Service, he WaS COnnected closely with S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike's ideas on Regional devolution and, specifically, the "B-C Pact of 1957. In this book, he brings to
The Anguish of 83
bear both his nation his international Oui
Never attacking problems, he -
at Warned Of the hC xt predicted, that 'C problem to get e. COndition Will neve could only be witne it is a matter of histc our problem to get r to the loss of all of
it declared, that if v past the militants w Sinhala people will lose thereby'.
In one analysis of points out that "the ( tion required in Regi is an inverse-co-ef gree of true partici government.
TAM TIMES 19
ANGUISH OF '83
s Ethnic Crisis and the Way Out S & AN EPILOGUE 1983-1990
By Prof. C. Suriyakumaran
inorities, imperialring against our ian power seeking 2mony. The great rcises is that they r eyes to our own rs. Today it is Indihat are most often ation. Yet it should apparent, with a ose to our shores, danger of foreign form or another, if ve our problems. self-interest, even concern for justice, unced us that we t our unity and oving the causes of g ourselves. Yet esentments were ate, promises were non-violent appeals ence, until the inseparatism, foreign rmed insurgencies South.
ck of warning. At ragedy there were fering counsels of and predicting the would follow if they Is the articles col2 will show, Profeswas consistently er during the last 'eading these arti
cles (most of which I had already encountered on their first publication) I have been struck by the frequency with which his prophecies and warnings had been borne out by the subsequent course of events. But I do not think the author has brought these pieces together for the satisfaction of saying "I told you so'. The issues discussed in them are still live ones, many of the problems he engages are yet unsolved, and there are ideas and proposals in these pages that are relevant to current matters of debate.
We are not yet out of the wood, as far as the ethnic problem - and the other conflicts that it has brought in its train - are concerned. What we have to show today - after three decades, an uncountable number of deaths, and an immense volume of destruction - is the skeleton of an answer - provincial councils and two official languages. We have still to clothe this skeleton with real flesh and blood. The history of the past is not encouraging; there have been so many attempts at resolution of the problem which failed because proper will was lacking. Will this history be repeated, or will the new decade be a turning point towards a more hopeful future? Professor Suriyakumaran's book is a contribution towards the constructive thinking that can guide us towards the latter alternative.
- Reggie Siriwardena
all experience and OOk. Jersons, but only
ocaust of 83
nce we allow Our ternalized...that disappear. We s thereafter, and ic opportunity for Solved, no doubt s, from outside. 2 go on as in the I not win, but the ose, and all Will
equirements, he agree of Devolunal government, lient of the deation in Central
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20 TAM TIMES
DMK SUN PASSE THROUGHACLOU
Centre's threat to sack Karunanidhi but it signals an end of his happy days
It could be an irritable summer for the DMK government of Tamil Nadu. The
winds of political change sweeping Delhi have had an unsettling effect on the :
hitherto smooth reign of M. Karunanidhi. The doomsdayers got to work the day V.P. Singh, with whom Karumanidhi had a perfect rapport, was voted out of office. The anti-DMK forces even began believing that Karunanidhi's ouster was now a mere formality.
The initial guarded response to the topple talk soon gave way to genuine apprehension in the DMK when Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar made a terse reference to the law and order situation' in Tamil Nadu. Shekhar, who has no love lost for Karunanidhi for having staunchly stood by arch rival V.P. Singh, warned the DMK government on November 16 that "things will take its own course' if it does not get its act together.
That set off alarm bells at Fort St. George; Shekhar's was no rabblerousing political rhetoric. It was virtually a policy statement made in the Lok Sabha where Shekhar was participating in the confidence vote debate.
Karunanidhi, who has had bruising brushes with the Centre earlier, was quick to acknowledge the ominous message. His senior aide and Revenue Minister "Nanjil' K. Manoharan was on the next flight to New Delhi where he met the Prime Minister and convinced him that the law and order situation in Tamil Nadu was well under control and that he should not be carried away by the motivated SOS from anti-DMK forces. Said Manoharan: "The law and order situation, in fact, is much better than most states in the country'.
Manoharan returned with the good news that the Prime Minister and his deputy Devi Lal had assured him that the Centre had no intention of dismissing the DMK government. But it may be too early for the DMK to celebrate the Centre's comedown; the AIADMK led by Jayalalitha would continue to
exert pressure on its ally Congress(I) to keep up the pressure on Karunanidhi
ltischeque-book politicking: Jayala
litha is cashing the IOU from Rajiv Gandhi for the AIADMK's electoral support in Tamil Nadu, and Rajiv will be dangling the IOU before Shekhar for the all-important Congress(I) crutch.
The DMK government has only to
blame itself for the uncomfortable posi
tion it is in. It has been soft-pedalling
Chief Minister, M. Karu
on the thorny issue ( Tamil militants. Time
militants have run riol Nadu only to be exon DMK government. Fir ernment stood expose EPRLF leaders and su massacred in Madras ( by alleged LTTE gun when the chief ministel that the state had the r wraps. Since then the
the Congress(I) have us thorn to prick the DMK
The Congress(I) ren DMK campaign at the time — just when Kar V.P. Singh was on his v Nadu is under the cor gers', charged Rajiv Ga ment on November 7, faced the confidence v between the DMK anc are very clear, Rajiv effect signalling his pa topple the DMK goverr
TNCC(I) president V Ramamurthy picked up
AlADMK leader Ms. Ja
15 DECEMBER 1990
recedes in power
of Sri Lankan and again, the within Tamil erated by the ally, the govd the day 14 upporters were arly this year men. That too was swearing militants under AIADMK and ed the militant
ewed its antimost opportune unanidhi's ally vay out. “Tamil trol of the Tindhi in Parliathe day Singh ote. 'The links the militants added to good rty's resolve to ment.
azahappadi K. the refrain in
Madras. "Over 1,000 militants have infiltrated the state recently to create confusion if and when the government is dismissed', Ramamurthy alleged. Obviously, the Congress(I) was hoping that Shekhar, who had his own scores to settle with the DMK for not backing his power grab, would then do the hatchet job.
Karunanidhi refused to be drawn into a war of words: he left that task to his man Friday and Home Secretary R. Nagarajan. “There have been all sorts of reports in the press about alleged acts of the Tigers. But there has not been a single instance of Tigers coming to Tamil Nadu, Nagarajan countered.
But the chief minister did take off ence when Vice-Admiral L. Ramdas, flag officer commanding-in-chief, eastern naval command and navy chiefdesignate, fired a salvo at the state government. Ramdas who was on a farewell visit to Madras, by design or otherwise, challenged Natarajan's contention that no militant had crossed over to the state. Said the officer: “No militant came here with a band on his head saying he is one'. The sarcasm obviously failed to amuse Karunanidhi.
Ramdas further stirred the murky political scene by disclosing that more than 100 Sri Lankan Tamil Smugglers caught by the navy in the Palk Strait and handed over to the police had been released. "There is one set of rules for sea and another for land', he snapped.
Ram dass broadside certainly blasted a gaping hole in the state government's defence that it has not been soft on the Lankan militants. But then such an outburst by a defence officer on matters political is unprecedented. What rankled the DMK even more was its timing: Ramdas spoke up soon after Rajiv Gandhi's salvoes in Parliament. And, within days of l'affaire Ramdas came Shekhar's blunt talk: DMK-baiters,
were soon attaching a lot of signifi
cance to the sequence of events. Their consensus was: it was the beginning of the end for the Karunanidhi government.
But old warhorse Karunanidhi, having despatched Nanjil Manoharan to guard the flanks, soon launched a counter-attack. Said the chief minister: “It is made to look as if militants have suddenly descended on the state only during my regime. To make a naval officer mouth such opinion is a mischievous political game. He has joined the Congress(I) chorus that the Tigers have a free run in here. There seems to be ulterior motives in all this.
Mercifully, both sides backed out after a frightening replay of the Punjab-J&K face-off seemed imminent. But the DMK government will not be
able to bluster its way out if the Tamil
militants, particularly the Tigers, conContinued on Page 23
15 DECEMBER 1990
O ADMISSIONS to medical college are to be increased to 800 this year, the highest number admitted so far in any year. In the past in spite of high marks, standardisation and limits imposed on the numbers of admissions deprived many students from entering medical colleges, the Minister of Education and Higher Education Mr. Lalith Athulathmudali, disclosed recently.
O AN INDEFINITE curfew was imposed by the government in the districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu from midnight on 20/21 November to prevent or disrupt LTTE's plans to commemorate their "Great Heroes' week commencing 21 November. The airforce also had been dropping leaflets in northern areas warning people not to participate in any demonstrations or meetings or any outdoor activities. The LTTE defied the curfew and held meetings and rallies in several places. LTTE cadres attacked an army bunker in the vicinity of Kankesanthurai in which two soldiers were killed and four were injured. According to government sources three LTTE cadres were killed and a large quantity of weapons and other equipment were captured by the army at Kokkanai in Trincomalee district. Government airforce continued to carry out bombing operations in the Point Pedro and Valvettitharai areas for the last three days. On 21 November, three soldiers were killed at Mawiddapuram, three at Kadduwan and one at Tellipalai in the Jaffna peninsula during clashes with Tigers. In a search operation conducted by the Special Task Force at Karaitivu in the Amparai district, 156 persons were taken into custody of whom the majority were released after investigations, but the others were detained. Donations to the government sponsored National Defence Fund have now exceeded Rs.199 million.
O ABOUT 2000 PERSONS from various parts of the country have written to the Human Rights Committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka in recent weeks complaining that one or more of their family members have 'disappeared', according to the Secretary of the BASL, Mr. H. Warnakulasuriya. The complaints include those from . the north-east of the island as well. Meanwhile a resolution passed by the BASL called upon the government to appoint an independent commission of inquiry to investigate the 'disappearance' of persons from 1 January 1983.
O MINISTER Ranjan Wijeratne told a news conference in Colombo on 22 November that Sri Lanka had agreed to a request from the Maldivian government to take back 67 members of the Tamil militant group, PLOTE, who were involved in the abortive coup attempt to overthrow the Maldivian government in 1988. He said that certain formalities were being worked out before they were brought back. Asked whether these convicted persons would face another trial or be detained to serve their prison sentence, the Minister said maybe we would use them in the war front against the Tigers.
O THE GOVERNMENT, using emergency powers, has confiscated all movable and immovable property of the murdered JVP leaders, Rohana Wijeweera, his wife Chitrangani and other JVP leaders and their family members. The confiscation of the properties were carried out under Emergency (Confiscation of Property) Regulation No.1 of 1990.
O THE NORWEGIAN government has reached agreement with Sri Lanka to provide two grants amounting to 20 million and 15 million Norwegian Kroners (Rs.232 million). Rs. 132 million is made available to support activities in the North-East to cover the cost of transport of food by ship, provision of basic amenities to welfare centres in the east, supply of food and nutritional supplements to displaced families and strengthening transport facilities in the east, and cover the cost of milk food to displaced persons in the north. Rs.100 million is provided for assisting repatriates from the Middle-East due to the Gulf crisis.
TAM TIMES 21
O PRESIDENT PREMADASA made an unannounced visi o to Jaffna on 24 November accompanied by State Ministen for Defence Ranjan Wijeratne and senior military officials even while fierce fighting was continuing between LTTE and government forces in the northern sector. The Presidential party visited Palai, Kankesaturai, Kayts, and Nainativu where security forces would appear to have regained some control from the Tigers. It was reported that the President participated in a number of religious ceremonies including one at the historic Nagadeepa Buddhist temple, and also met leaders of the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party led by Douglas Devananda which is helping the security forces in their war against the LTTE.
O ELEVEN SOLDIERS and two Sinhalese civilians were killed in two separate attacks on 24 November. In the incident at Thirappane between Bakmeegama and Gomarankadawela, LTTE cadres exploded a chain of claymore landmines in which six soldiers of the second battalion of Gemunu Watch were killed and four seriously injured. At Katupotha LTTE cadres stormed an army guard point and shot dead three soldiers and two civilians. In both incidents arms and ammunition belonging to the soldiers were captured and removed away by the LTTE. However, Trincomalee Army Commander Brig. Lucky Wijeratine later claimed that hours after LTTE men had carried out the attack at Thirappane, reinforcements were rushed in and in the course of an encounter at Maguruawewa 22 LTTE men were killed and a large quantity of weapons and ammunition were captured.
O SECURITY FORCES, in a cordon and search operation in the Embilipitiya area, took into custody the chief security officer of the National Paper Corporation's paper mill together with several members of his security staff for alleged connivance with the JVP activities in the past. During a raid in the village of Heendalukkinna in the southern province, three alleged JVP men were killed and several others were arrested. r
O FIVE WOMEN were killed and twelve others were seriously injured as a result of a shell attack on 15 November by the Navy from its camp at Karainagar in northern Jaffna. Many properties were also damaged.
O PROF. CHRISTIE WEERAMANTRY has become the first Sri Lankan to be elected as a judge of the International Court of Justice in The Hague. He won his place following a closely contested election which went into a third round of balloting. The other contestants were from Pakistan, Thailand and the Phillipines. Prof. Weeramantry will serve in the International Court of Justice for a period of nine years from February 1991. . . . .
O THE SRI LANKA Press Council is to be abolished and will be replaced by a Media Commission which would be appointed by the President from a panel of names of eminent persons recommended by a Nominations Commission comprising representatives of all political parties; the 15 member Media Commission which would have a term of five years would be chosen through the mechanism of the Nominations Commission which would forward a list of “men of integrity to the President; the Media Commission would not be under any Minister, but would report directly to the President and Parliament; once appointed, neither a government official, nor a Minister or even the President would be able to issue directions to the Chairman of the MC or any of its functionaries on any matter concerning its work, Presidential Advisor on International Relations, Mr. Bradmon Weerakoon told a press conference in Colombo recently. O REFERRING TO the forced evacuation of Muslims from Mannar, the Bishop of Mannar, Rev. Thomas Soundranayagam said, "The people of Mannar (Tamil, Hindus and Christians) felt it very deeply. They had all been one community until this occurred. When the Muslims left Mannar, the people were really sad and sorry. Still there is a strong feeling among the people that the Muslims should o come back'.
22 TAMIL TIMES
Continued from Page 13
Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Jaffna Fort and Mannar are such examples.
The LTTE observes that elite troops strength was allocated to each of these situations to relocate camps by the coast as in the case of Mullaitivu and Fort or to secure supply and withdrawal lines from the coast as in the case of Thallady where constant efforts were made to link it up to the coast by pushing out of Silavaturai and from Puttalam and by setting up a detachment on the Vankalai coast and now by clearing Mannar island Kilinochchi camp was withdrawn into the one at Elephant Pass.
When the pressure on a decisive point is substantial, political and strategic priorities however crucial they may be are sacrificed and the three principles appear to become the final determinants in the decision making of the field command. It is therefore only logical that the LTTE selected the camp at Mankulam junction if their perception of the army's strategies was such. This is why when the baby brigade struck the men of Mankulam withdrew. After nine
Continued from Page 14
que has a water source — be it a tank or a well - close by, to enable the faithful to engage in ritual washing before commencing their prayers: the Babri
Masjid has none, once again underlin
ing that the place was not originally a mosque site at all. Then there are the five black basalt pillars near the doors of the mosque which, investigations have shown, do not belong to the mosque at all, but must have been remnants of an earlier structure. These pillars even have some idols carved on them: whom they represent is unclear, but certainly Islam prohibits any pictorial representation. Some of the architectural work - such as the casement on some walls, the lotus motifs, the stone lions over an outer door - bear close resemblance to the pattern seen in Rajasthani temples. The disputed shrine has a clearly defined parikrama (a path chalked out for going round the entire structure) - a feature unknown to mosques but common in temples.
In revenue records maintained by the British in the 19th century, the disputed area is referred to as the "masjid-jan masthan. One singular feature however marks all the historical evidence amassed by the VHP: it comes exclusively from British sources. Indeed historians are unanimous in maintaining that not a single record has been found dating from pre-British
years, excerpts from a General Jomini woul put Prabhakaran's "ne strategies in perspecti
"Critics like Clausew the validity of any the to distinguish betwee systems and a theor. Principles were guide infallible mathematic The specific applicatic would vary with the t ing physical and psych that made war a great
The principle of ma mass of an army so as decisive points in a the then to hurl all availab a fraction of the enemy those points, is Jomini simple. Almost withou enemy flanks and sup define the decisive poin army could not survive and to threaten its bas it to fight no matter ho the circumstances. J that beneath the cha modern warfare lay s sality.
times which makes any dispute. Says R.S. Shar proof that there was an was destroyed by Babi Shrivastava: "There is torical evidence...No 'other story about B; intolerance. Most of fought were Muslims - conquest and material His first attacks on Lahore in 1518 and fought Daulat Khan; Panipat in 1526 he d Lodi; he came to Ayod Hindus, but the Patl ruling in Bihar.
Yet another telling from the ASI’s researc not come across any would indicate that Ay bited between the 3rd a ies AD, which encomp period. The entire sto ditya arriving in Ayodh a temple there is thus tionable. And if a temp has vanished without archaeological trace: n Rama or Sita was fou 14 sites dug up in A. other hand, a Jain fig which implies that the to the belief that Ayoc Jain pilgrim centre as first and fourth Jains
Yet again Tulsidas lived all his life in Ayı
15 OECEMBER 1990
nother work on , I think, help v thinking' and
Ez, who doubted ry of war failed in a theory of of principles. to action, not l calculations. n of principles housand changological factors drama. noeuvering the to threaten the atre of war and le forces against force defending admitted, very t exception the ply lines would
ts for attack; an
without supply e would compel w unfavourable omini stressed otic changes in trategic univer
mention of this ma: "There is no y mandir which ar'. Adds Sushil no concrete hisis there any abar’s religious
the kings he - his object was gain, not jehad. India were on 1519, where he in the battle of 2feated Ibrahim hya to fight not hans who were
piece of evidence nes: B.B. Lal did artefact which Odhya was inhaand 11th centurasses the Gupta ry of Vikramanya and building
rendered quesle had existed it leaving a single ot one figure of hd in any of the yodhya. On the urine was found re is some truth hya was once a well, where the aints were born.
was born and
dhya. His exact
Most commanders make bad strategic choices because they are misled by common sense (a phrase not used by Jomini but strongly implied by his endless discussions of historical cases). Attempting to defend territory or a weaker army, they let the enemy decide where, when and how to attack. Uncertain how to protect or exploit several natural lines of operations they hedge their bets by dispersing force among several possibilities.
The uncommon sense of Napoleon and usually of Frederick and of all victorious commanders had always been - says Jomini - to attack with massed forces against some enemy point judged to be 'decisive'. Properly understood, the apparent recklessness of such strategy, which leaves some areas weakened or vulnerable is actually prudence. Aggressive, offensive action deprives the enemy of time to think and act, while superior force at the time and place of battle is the best guarantee of victory. As simple as these formulations may seem, he reiterated them throughout his writing because in the actual conduct of warfare they were so often ignored with disastrous consequences'.
(Courtesy of The Island, 2/12/90)
year of birth is disputed: he was either around 30 years old when Babar passed through Ayodhya or born a few years after the emperor died in 1530. Had there been a major outrage, such as the destruction of the "Ram Janmabhoomi temple' in the very town he resided in, be it during his lifetime or a few years before his birth, would not the author of Fam Charit Manas have written about it somewhere? He has not. There is no complaint against Babar anywhere in his work! Similarly Hsuen Tsang, the Chinese traveller and Buddhist who visited India, has mentioned Ayodhya in his works, calling it a centre of Buddhist culture at that time, full of viharas and stupas. But he makes no mention of any magnificent temple dedicated to Shri Rama.
Historians aver that the worship of Rama as a deity began only around the 13th century AD, with Swami Ramanand, who lived in the 14th century playing the major role in its popularisation. Even so, initially, Ayodhya remained unaffected, with Shaivism being the dominant cult there during the 5th and 16th centuries. It was only thereafter, as Rama worship took over, that temples in the name of Rama, Sita and Hanuman began to spring up all over. A Rama temple constructed as long ago as the VHP supporters claim, the one allegedly destroyed by Mir Baqi, seems to be a historical aberration.
15 DECEMBER 1990
Continued from Page 7
TASK FORCE ON HUMAN RIGHTS
President R. Premadasa has appointed a special task force on human rights to 'monitor and effectively deal with all allegations of human rights violations'.
The eight-member task force is chaired by Mr. Bradman Weerakoon, Presidential Adviser on International Affairs.
Government sources said that the task force was in response to the concern about human rights in the country expressed by Sri Lanka's donor governments at the Paris Aid Consortium
Four police officers, including the HQI, Homagama Police, who are respondents in five fundamental rights cases were warned by the Supreme court yesterday not to interfere with the petitioners or cause any harm to them.
The four police officers were seen outside the Court premises and had in their custody one of the petitioners, Thorake Lakshman at the time the five fundamental rights applications were taken up for hearing last morning by a three-member bench comprising Justices Bandaranayake, Fernando and Kulatunga.
The police officers concerned HQI Homagama Police, Rohan Fernando, and Police Constables Arthur Banda, Nandasena, and Mendis also of the same station are respondents to all five fundamental rights applications pending before the Supreme Court.
The other respondents to
The other members of the task force are R. Paskaralingam, Secretary, Ministry of Finance, SolicitorGeneral Tilak Marapana, Secretary, Ministry of State for Defence, Air ViceMarshall Walter Fernando, Police DIG A.F. Seneviratna, Nihal Rodrigo, Foreign Ministry, K.N. Choksy PC, and Neville Jayaweera (consultant).
The task force 'will monitor all allegations with a view to minimising the occasion for making them'.
Supreme Court W
the applications are SSP, Nugegoda Henry Perera, ASP Homagama, K.H.D. Gunatillake, IGP Ernest Perera and the AttorneyGeneral.
Attorney's M.D.K. Kulatunga, and Nalin Dissanayake, appearing for the five petitioners who were not present in court at the time the matter was taken up, moved to withdraw the five fundamental rights applications which allege illegal arrest, detention and torture of the five petitioners by some officers of the Homagama Police.
At this stage a lawyer watching the interests of the Bar Association in this matter informed Court that four of the petitioners were waiting outside the court as they were 'scared to come in and that the fifth petitioner was seated in a police jeep parked outside court along with some police officers.
It was also brought to the notice of Court that the original proxy giving the Legal
Continued from Page 17
Tamil brothers and sisters in Tamil
Nadu to help us.
ONGC is owned by the Indian Government and Sri Lankan Tamils request that the Indian Government protect the rights of the Tamils and ensure that Mannar area (15 miles from Tamil Nadu) is not colonized by Sinhalese Buddhists from the South.
P.O. Box 2079, Victorville, California 92393, U.S.A.
Continued from F
tinue to operate State.
The police inte ported that non-L have been visitin to try and work ol the LTTE, espec ombo's plans to councils. Two oft Indian shores bec. that the LTTE wo But one chieftai Nadu in disguise know of his visit
TAMIL TIMES 23
$125 Million Loss Due to Gulf Crisis
Sri Lanka'e economic loss due to the crisis in the Persian Gulf will reach an estimated US$ 125 million (about Rs. 5,080 million), senior government officials disclosed recently.
Presidential Adviser on International Affairs, Bradman Weerakoon, who chaired the media briefing in Colombo said that expert estimates indicated that the country's losses could amount to US$ 203 million (about Rs. 8520 million) if the Gulf crisis was prolonged throughout 1991 as well.
arns Police Officers
Aid Centre of the Bar Association the right to appear for the petitioners had not been revoked.
The petitioners and four police officers were thereaf. ter brought into Court by the Registrar of the Supreme Court.
On being questioned by Court four of the petitioners said that HQI Rohan Fernando and the other three police officers, all attached to Homagama police, had after threatening them, obtained their consent in writing to withdraw the applications.
Thorage Lakshman, however, informed court that he consented to the withdrawal of his application because he did not want to clash with the police.
Court directed the Registrar to summon a senior Police Officer in charge of the Homagama area. A short while later SSP Nugegoda, Henry Perera, appered in Court.
i m m e di a tely
Foreign Employment Bureau Chairman, David Soyza said that 72,626 Sri Lankan migrant workers had so far returned from West Asia mainly by air. The flow of returnees had slowed to a trickle in recent weeks, he said.
Mr. Soyza disclosed that Sri Lanka embassy officials in Baghdad had been allowed to enter Kuwait and were currently busy informing Sri Lankans still in the emirate of the availability of flights direct out of Baghdad. Upto 10,000 Sri Lankans may yet be in that country, he said.
SSP Perera, who is also one of the respondents to the five fundamental rights applications said he had no knowledge of what had taken place.
On a directive from Court, Mr. Perera, undertook to direct the respondents to the applications and all police stations under his charge not to interfere with the petitioners.
SSP Perera told Court that the petitioners could inform him if there is any kind of threat in the future and that he would take necessary action.
Four of the petitioners Messrs Ratnayake Wijesiri, K. Gamini Priyakumara, Malikarachige Anura and Pitipana Achige Mahinda informed Court that they wished to pursue with their original applications against the police.
Thorage Lakshman, was given time till January 18, 1991 to consider whether he wished to pursue with his application.
'age 20 Nith impunity in the
ligence wing has reTTE militant leaders g the refugee camps it an alliance against ally in view of Colevive the provincial nem were told to quit use the police feared uld stalk them down. slipped into Tamil and the police got to inly after he had left
Tamil Nadu's shores.
Meanwhile, the police intelligence has it that the Tigers bring their wounded to Tamil Nadu for treatment. Of course, it is a hush-hush operationthe police have not been able to trace the exact local links. But the Tigers' propaganda is overtly active, particularly in Madras. If and when the Congress(I) AIADMK combine forces Shekhar's hand, Karunanidhi would be hard put to explain these goings-on.
- Vincent D'Souza (Courtesy of "The Week')
24 TAMIL TIMES
First 20 words 10. . Each additional word 60p. Charge for Box No. 3
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We congratulate the following couples on their recent marriage. Dr. Ravindran (Ravi) son of Mr. and Mrs. V. Nadarajah of 150 Gorringe Park Avenue, Mitcham, Surrey, U.K. and Nagulini (Meera) daughter of Mr. and Mrs. M. Nadarajan of 44 K. K. S. Road, Kokuvil, Sri Lanka in Salem, South India. On 12. 11.90.
Umamahesh Son of Mr. and Mrs. Mahesa of Amirtha Vasam, Kadaisamy Road, Vannarponnai, Sri Lanka and Vasanthi daughter of Mr. and Mrs. V. Sivarajan of Urumpirai East, Sri Lanka on 2. 12.90 at Highgate Murugan Temple, London N6.
Vijeyakumar son of Mr. and Mrs. Sittampalam of 15 Airlie Bank Road, Moa well. Victoria 3840 and Parimala daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Annamuthu of P.O. Box 6957, Boroko, Papua New Guinea on 6.12.90 at North and West Melbourne Community Health Centre, North Melbourne, Australia.
Miththyran son of Mr. T. Sangaralingem, Retired Principal, Hindu College, Colombo and Mrs. S. Sangaralingem of 121A Hambrough Road, Southall, Middx., U.K. and Methura daughter of the late Mr. S. Markandu and Mrs. A. Markandu of 10 Thomas Clarke Street, Westmead, Sydney on 15. 12.90 at Highgate Murugan Temple, Londorn N6. y
The family of the late Mrs. E.P. Arulanantham wish to thank all friends, relatives and past pupils of Chundikuli and St. John's College, for the messages of sympathy and their presence at the time of their recent bereavement - 3 St. Johns Church Road, FolkeStone. Kent. U.K.
Mr. K.S. Nathan O.C. t. Elizabeth; dear father of Anil; brother of the late manathan and Balasinga Sivagnanam and Rajesw away suddenly on 2011. O81 36O 5893.
Mrs. Sivarathinam Thar the late T. Tharmalingam Superintendent of Post passed away peacefully a On 22. 11.90. She was Pathmalosany Perampai Sivendran MD, FRCS (U. sani Kanagarasa (USA) Thambirajah (USA), Neth jah (Sri Lanka), Nirmalosa (UK), mother-in-law of Dr. (USA), Dr. Thambirajah Dr. Krishnarajah (Dental Dr. Arumainayagam MRC late Manickavasagar, KullaVeerasingam, Tharl Loganathan and sister-in and the late Maivaganan
Alagaratnam - Thavama J. H.A. Alagaratnam,
Paikaianathan (Sydne Kong), Kirupa (London), Chitra (London) and S sister of A.C.J. Eliezer (M Eliezer (Melbourne). Ma (Batticaloa) and of the la mother-in-law of Puva, Yogamani. Sebarajah a died On 25. 1 1.90. Burial ti at the Clarendon Hills Cé
15 DECEMBER 1990
eloved husband of Mohan, Indira, and Navaratnam, Pathm; Mrs Mageswary ary Gomez passed 90 in LOndon – Tel.
malingaam, wife of 1 (Retired Divisional Offices, Sri Lanka) at Southampton U.K. the mother of Mrs. am (Madras), Dr.T. SA), Mrs. Pushpalo, Mrs. Neelalosany, Pralosany Krishnaraany Arumainayagam V. Kanagarasa AMD MD, FRCS (USA), Surgeon, Sri Lanka), P (UK), sister of the Thanabalasingam, makulasingam and -law of Mrs. Rasiah
any, wife of the late loving mother of y), Karuna (Hong Dharma (Chicago), Sumithra (Chicago), elbourne), Prof. C. J. try Anandanayagam te Poomany Nalliah, nam, Malini, Jeya, nd Arunthavanathan ook place on 1. 12.90 2metery, Chicago.
Dr.T.Thambyahpillai (Research Fellow, limperial College, London) who passed away on December 4, 1984.
Six years have gone by:
Slowly, sorrowfully; But we still remember your voice. That smile shall never vanish from our minds;
Inevitably tears will fall,
The days will pass,
Full of grief. Yet we still expect a knock at the door, And you to enter; But that cannot be true, it is just a memory.
So sadly missed and dearly loved by his wife and children, Meenalosani, Sivakamasunthari and Shiyamalanayagi.
Jayam Says His Final Amen
Richard Jeyarajasingam son of the late Mr. & Mrs. Richard of Usan, Mirusu vil, Sri Lanka Said his Final Amen on 27. 11.90 at Gant's Hill, U.K. A former Registrar of the District Court of Sri Lanka, Mr. Jeyarajasingam was held in high esteem in the various District Courts he had served. His death came suddenly while he and his wife were visiting their children in the U.K. During his short stay in England, he identified himself fully with the Eastham Tamil Church and the touching Services at the residence and later at the Easthan Church on 1.12.90 and the Committal rites at the Crematorium were teStimOnlieS to the respect and affection with which he and his wife were held by the Tamil Christian community of East London. In his home in Point Pedro, he was not only a livewire of the Methodist Church but was also known as a Caring and concerned neighbour and citizen, With an unblemished record of public service.
Mr.Jeyarajasingam leaves behind his wife Rachel Ranee (U.K.), children Ranjan (U.K.),
15 DECEMBER 1990
Seelan (Canada), Christabel Shanty (France) and Jayanthy (U.K.), son-in-law Theva, daughters-in-law Vanitha and Darshii grand children Durshan, Doreen, an and Luxmi and a host of relatives and friends to whom he has always been a tower of strength and inspiration.
His life now is a beautiful memory - an example of a husband, father, neighbour and public official who ran his course with honour.
In everloving memory of the late Mr. Kanapathi pillai Navasothy, on the first anniversary of his passing away on 4.1.90. Fondly remembered and sadly missed by his mother Mrs. Parameswary Kanapathipillai; beloved wife Ruparanee; loving children Manivannan, Vathani and Yalini; brothers Sathyamoorthy, Raveenthiran, Kanakeswaran and Vasanthakumaran; and sister Mrs. Eeswary Shanmugapalan - 45 Avarn Road, London SW17 9HB Tel: 081 767 2585.
December 31 8.00pm. Sri Lankans Dance at Copland Community School Hall, Cecil Avenue, Wembley, Middx. For tickets Tel: 081 902 7428/571 3436. January 126.00pm. Aid for Children of Tamil Parents presents "Dinner & Dance' at Hounslow Manor School Hall, Prince Regent Road, Hounslow, Middx. For tickets Tel: 081 423 5946. At The Bhavan Centre, 4A Castletown Road, London W14 9HQ. Tel: 071 381 3O36/4608. Jan. 55.30pm. Discourse on "Ramayana' by Sri Mathoor Krishnamurthi. Jan. 11 7.45pm & Jan. 127.00pm. Bhavan's Founder's Day Celebrations. Jan. 19 5.30pm. Slide Show on "Gandhara Sculpture' by Dr. John Marr. Jan. 26 5.30pm. Lecture on "Ethics in World Religions with particular reference to Sikhism by Dr. Indarjit Singh.
TAMILTALENT 91 (To be held in July 1991) Entries welcome for individual/Group/instrumental/Pop/- Classical/Act/Dance/Fashion Accompaniment and practice available. Tamil Pop New monthly Tamil pop audio cassettes by popular artistes available. £2 (inclusive of packing and postage) Telephone Nihal on 081 640 0271
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Picture Shows N Managing Director Ltd., receiving the na Subasinghe Ge and Ireland.
World Snooke in C
The 17th World Sr were worked off at Colombo from 10th t was the biggest spor in Sri Lanka. Sri L. from 31 countries. , U.K. based travel Mazrocis, the Euro Championships anc George Hodges wa supporting hand.
The first every Sara brated by The Britis gham at Kerrisdale couver on 29th Celebrations COmné was followed by thi The significance c plained in Tamilar followed by special groups. Special dev by the post graduat University of Britis, Fraser University.
The highlight of scintillating perform by Miss Maithili Si and mine reflected feeling of enthusias Culture of the Tanni younger generation ended with a Vote Rajamahendran for which she had pla and the serving of
TAMIL TIMES 25
lays wins Award
Ltd., were presented 'k Award by Air Lanka sales performance in the first agent in the £1 million turnover of 90. Mr. T.T. Puspanandan,
of Rathbone Holidays award from Mr. Prasaneral Manager for U.K.
r Championships olombo
looker Championships Galaderi Meridian Hotel, D24th November 1990. It fing event ever to be held anka hosted 58 players Paradise Sri Lanka, the firm sponsored Stefan pean Champion at the their Sales Manager s in Colombo to give a
Osai in Vancouver
wathy Poosai was cele7 Columbian Iamil SanDommunity Centre, VanSeptember 1990. The nced with "POOSai' and singing of Thevarems. Navarathri' was exd English and this was tems by individuals and )tional songs were sung faculty members of the Columbia and Simon
the evening was the ince of Bharatanatyam gham. Her movements er talents and Created a n for the traditions and particularly among the present. The function thanks to Mrs. Pathma he meticulous manner in ned the whole program rasadam.
Eelam Mother’s Anguished Call
1. For God's sake my dear children, listen to me for a moment; Amidst the noise of bombs and guns, you don't hear my cry of torment I just can't bear to see you fight, brother destroying brother You are all my precious boys; how can you do this to each other? You have formed into many groups, called by many names What difference does it make to me, love you all - the same.
2. My heart once nearly burst with pride, when the world praised your valour; Then you fought side by side and won everyone's favour. You helped us as a Nation, to lift our heads with pride You helped us all to look the world"right in the eye' We laud our darling boys, who lost their lives in the fight; Their names are written in Our hearts, in shining letters of light. For their memory's sake and for the cause for which they died; Dis-card discord, please write and work for what they espied.
3. Seven long years of destruction, Death, Terror and Strife; Enough is enoughl Can't take any more, We're Sick and tired of lifel Because of you the people faced the fury Of two armies, ,-4 y, . . :v What hurts them now, is that you treat them as if they are your enemy They are being killed on every side, in the name of Liberation, Whom are you going to liberate, if you wipe out the Nation? They wonder what life will be like, when your rule is begun, Will the official language be, the language of the gun?
4. It's time to lay down your guns my sons, and plan for tomorrow, Don't let your countrymen live in endless
ar ar SOrrOW. You Will have to change your ways, if you want to regain their trust They are your own kith and kin, win over the love you've lost Come my sons let's once again, try the path of peace Let all intolerance and inhumanity, forthwith and fully cease.
5. Go back to the people boys, let them decide who is to lead Let's have free and fair Elections lads, in tears learnestly plead I hear them sigh in homes and fields, down each and every lane In the Town and Marketplace, it's echoed again and again. I hear the lonely maidens pray, whilst the Elders groan and moan, Oh Godl when will this misery end? When will our boys come home?
- by an anguished Mother
Ramayana - from South East Asia to South London
Having successfully staged Part One of the Ramayana, The Indian Epic, earlier this year, South London Tamil School produced Part,
Two as the main item of the Cultural Evening
held on 24th November 1990. Mr. Richard Gorringe Education Officer, London Borough
of Croydon, who was the chief guest, reiter
ated the Borough's commitment to South London Tamil School which was warmly, Welcomed.
South London Tamil School is privileged to have the services of Mrs. Sivapathasundaram: of Radio Ceylon fame, who produced and directed the play. Under the guidance of Miss Jovani Joseph, a product of Kalakshetra, exquisite dance pieces were added, the music being provided by Mrs. Anandalingam.
Ramayana fame has spread to the far corners of South East Asia and become part of the cultural heritage of many nations. The translation by Kamban is hailed as one of the glories of Tamil literature. Ramayana continues to be an unfailing source of spiritual strength to many and the Tamil community in South London is no exception.
In Part Two, Rama is banished to the forest as a result of a plot by the devious Mantharai. One of Rama's brothers Lakshanana and his wife Sita join him in exile as he refuses to return to Ayodhi until his promise to his father has been fulfilled, although his brother Bharatha, who could have taken the throne, pleads with him to do so.
' Our Nation on Fire:
a Novel Presentation
The Tamil Performing Arts Society is in the process of perfecting a new form of Tamil Theatre in which modern Sri Lankan Tamil Poetry is set to music and used to portray the recent social and political history of the Tamil nation. A Small group of artistes, seven on-stage and three off-stage, using mime, narration, song and simple dance steps, and supported by modernist illustrations projected on to the screen at the back of the stage, bring out the essence of the poetic message. Poems by more than fifteen Sri Lankan poets, including the well known Mahakavi (Rudramoorthy) and Murugiayan who are perhaps the best representatives of the traditionalist style of modern Sri Lankan Tamil poetry and Cheran and Sukumaran who are among those who have taken Tamil free verse to new heights, have been used to portray the life of the people as it was and depicting critically the development of national oppression and the course of the liberation struggle.
The last staging at the George Wood Theatre, Goldsmith College, London SE14 on 8. 12, 1990 was a refined and forceful version which evolved from the early attempts around the end of 1986 and a long way from the less sophisticated attempts by a group of young poets in Jaffna in the early 80's - to perform to the reading of poetry. What needs to be recognized is that this art form has something beautiful and uniquely Sri Lankan Tamilian: about it. It blends two art forms in which Sri Lankan Tamil artistes boldly claim superiority over their counterparts in Tamilnadu, namely modern poetry and modern theatre.
The portrayal of caste oppression by the Sri Lankan armed forces was very effective because of the blend of powerful verse, music
Well sustained charac impressive aspect of the pathasundarum included in Various roles, almost school and her painstaki phantly rewarded. All the the children deserved t received and Dhamya Wig excellent portrayal of Mai were good and the Costu parents had obviously v timing was allowed to go h. this was in true Ramayana
There were two prog music given by students o jah and Mrs. Shashikala
and mime. The best piec however, the one which il lisation of the liberation fo isation of the struggle : politics. The music for m was by Kannan of Jafna
associated with light Tan and Sri Lankan characte music was arranged by Ni was pleasant with only
percussion to accompany successful effort to built material from poets with di grounds and political out!
was selected and arrange the diversity of style and C. This is a remarkable achi
There were of course which I have complained which little Can be done un Tamil audience and the the UK towards the arts Cl is one problem but the set the OverSeas Tamil COmn ter ConCern. Bharatha Na music remain matters of an Arangetram to many is training one's child in the is no lack of patronage sponsorship, even from understand these art form,
$5 DECEMBER 1990
terisation Was an Shov. Mrs. Sivain the performance, every pupil in the g work was triumchildren deserved he applause they neswaran gave an tharai. The props mes beautiful and worked hard. The aywire but perhaps theatre tradition
rammes Of VOCal f Mrs. Kala YogaraKothandapani. Mrs.
Saraswathy Nadarajah produced two programmes of instrumental music, a veena recitall and an orchestra. All these were of a very high standard.
The P.T.A. produced "Londoninalai Sellathurai" adopting a rhythmical folk-drama style. The hilarious outbursts repeatedly elicited from the audience was a temptation to dismiss the play as a mere farce but Mr. Yogaraja, producer and chief performer, incorporated many ideas relating to the lifestyle of expatriates that merit serious thought. He was ably assisted by many colleagues on and off stage. The audience stayed the course until late evening and thoroughly enjoyed the
ce in my view was lustrated the brutarces by the militarat the expense of ost of the material who has been long ni music of quality r. The rest Of the amala. The singing a harmonium and 7. Overall, it was a d a theme Out of ifferent SOCial backOOks. The material
2d to create unity in ontent of the poetry. evement in itself.
Some flaws, about f earlier and about til the attitude Of the Tamil community in hanges. Punctuality of cultural values of unity causes greartyam and Karnatic social prestige and the ultimate goal in Se art formS. There
and support and those who do not S, which more often
than not, are imitations and tiresome repetitions of what has been developed long ago.
There are, of course, Creative ContributionS,
but few and far between. What is Sad is that the hearts and minds of the vast majority of the OverSeas Tamils are hooked to the obscenity called the Tamil movie. Many are so opiated by the 'video' that they cannot see the relationship between art and life. The sensitive minority too have failed to encourage the few art forms which can have a distinctive Sri Lankan Tamil character. Overseas Tamils talk proudly about the great Tamil tradition of iyal, isai and Kuuththu and here is theatre which blends all three of then,
but very few even want to know about it. If the Tamil community thinks that teaching their children Tamil on Sundays, going to the occasional music or dance recital and regularly watching Tamil video movies will preserve their cultural identity, that will soon be an identity not worth preserving. It may be far better for that identity to perish or be assimilated into the Western culture than survive as something which no Tamil could proudly say is his or her own.
What is at One and the same time heartening and saddening is the fact that serious Tamil theatre in London is being supported not by people with financial resources but by those without. The majority of the artistes involved with Tamil theatre are casual enployees who have to sacrifice a day's wage to make the performance possible. The overseas Tamil community owes to itself the duty of supporting in every possible way the financial resources to support not just a few amateur groups but several professional groups. There is potential to attract the native British communities. The other ethnic groups in the UK are exploring their artistic potential. ls it not time that the Tamils did?
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Te: O81861 1103 Fax: OB18614893 Pager: 081 840 7000 (O745782)
We offer a Complete building and Taintenance Service Extensions O Conversions O Brickwork O Roofing
Other General Building Work O Plumbing/Central Heating
We also offer O Overgrown garden clearance O Light remowals O Fencing & Paving O Household rubbish clearance
InSUrance & Grant WOrk Lindertaken
C. Wood WorfT O Dry Rot CP Damp & Condensation Confro)
30 years gшаrалtee Please phone for free survey and report
LONDON SCHOOL OF BUSINESS STUDIES (LSBS)
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COURSE LIST CACA : Chartered Association of Certified Accountants CIMA : Chartered Institute of Management. Accountants IDPM : Institute of Data Processing Management ABAC : Association of Business & Administrative Computing AAT : Associaticorn of Accounting Technicians ACP : Association of Computer Professionals CTT : Computer Technology Training ACEA : Associatiun of Cost and Executive Accountant:5
LONDON BASED COURSES * If Yill are living versitas you may travel to London to attend any of the above courses, Successful candidates will be issued with an admission letter. This letter may be used for foreign exchange and for U.K., Wisapurposes, * If you are living in the U.K. you may discuss your future study plans and the student visa status with the Principal of LSBS, Please ring to make an appointment.
DISTANCE LEARNING COURSES
Alternatively you may decide to stay at horne and enrol for a ReadeT COLLITSE.
For firther details terte da:-
The Registrar, LSBS,
3rd Floor, 1-5 Bath Street, London EC1V90, U.K. Tel: 031-336 1053071-4902506 Fax: 08133G 105MO71-4902504
Sri Lankan and South indian CUİSine at itS beS
The Season's greetings and a
Good Wishes for the coming year from
67. Sydenham Road, London SE-2E
le: O81-676 8641