The Sri Lankan army is essentially Sinhalese and it has an inherent hatred for Tamils
P C Vinoj Kumar
29 May 2015
Not all Sinhalese are evil. Neither is every Tamil a saint. But the fact remains that every soldier in the Sri Lankan army who fought the war against the LTTE during 2008-2009 was a Sinhalese.
This background information is essential for any non-Tamil to understand how the Sri Lankan army can be so brutal against its own civilians. In Sri Lanka, Tamils are not treated on par with the Sinhalese. They are not inducted into the army, which is almost a 100 percent Sinhalese force.
Horrific footage: Channel 4 footage shows a Lankan soldier getting ready to shoot a suspected Tamil militant in cold blood
Are there any Tamils in the force at all? The then Sri Lankan deputy high commissioner in Chennai P M Amza refused to reveal the number of Tamils in the Lankan army when I sought the information from him in an email interview in 2007. I was a correspondent with Tehelka then.
Having reported on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue for many years, I have noticed the deep-seated prejudice that most Sinhalese harbour against Tamils.
In April 2009, Harinder Baweja, Tehelka’s Editor, Investigations, asked me to rush to Colombo to check out the ground situation as the war was entering its final stages.
I applied for a visa. They kept me on tenterhooks for over a week. Sri Lankan consulate officials in Chennai asked me to contact their foreign ministry office in Colombo. I spoke with many officials, but nothing worked.
Harinder did not understand what was happening. She kept saying that many Indian journalists had already landed in Colombo. Why then I was being denied a visa?
It was true that Colombo rolled out the red carpet to many Indian journalists, but most of them toed the army line. They flew in army helicopters to the war front, and reported what the Lankan officials told them.
My reporting on the Lankan issue had always been fair. I spoke to both sides - the Tamil militants and the army - which the Lankan officials did not apparently like. Was it the reason I was denied a visa? Or was it simply because I was a Tamil myself?
Forget that. The point is, Colombo is a spoilt brat. She only wants good things said about her. She wants to be caressed and fondled at all times. She has been fed and pampered by India and China, who have an eye on her assets - which includes her strategic geographical position. She lives on their money. Like overbearing mistresses she has now come to believe that she can get away with anything, even mass murder.
Nothing like this has been seen on television before.
But Colombo has made a grave mistake in overestimating the influence of her friends. She has always been dim witted. India and China cannot go beyond a certain limit to save her.
There is mounting evidence of Colombo’s war crimes. Channel 4, a British TV channel, which has aired horrifying video footage of the brutal acts of Sinhalese soldiers in the past, recently showed more clips that provide fresh evidence to haul up Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa before the International Criminal Court on charges of war crime.
The new footages show naked bodies of Tamil women, who seem to have been sexually abused before being killed. Lewd remarks from the soldiers like, “I really want to cut her tits off, if no one was around,” bring out the beastly nature of the government forces.
International community is losing its patience with Colombo with each passing day.
Responding to the Channel 4 footage, Britain’s foreign office minister Alistair Burt has said: “Since the end of the conflict the UK has called for an independent, thorough and credible investigation of the allegations that war crimes were committed during the hostilities and the UK Government expects to see progress by the end of the year.
If the Sri Lankan government does not respond we will support the international community in revisiting all options available to press the Sri Lankan Government to fulfil its obligations.”
Seeing a man from US dying of AIDS at a time when nothing much was known of the syndrome, changed Glory Alexander’s outlook. It made the doctor start Asha Foundation many years later to serve HIV positive people, says Kavita Kanan Chandra
Touched by the death of hundreds of snakes in a flood, a school boy started planting trees. Now, 36 years later, we have a forest in that island on the Brahmaputra. Partho Burman tells us Jadav Payeng’s story of determination and dedication
A well-oiled transport company with 1300 vehicles and 4000 employees, Parveen Travels started with just one cab in 1980. Its founder A Afzal, in a free-wheeling chat with P C Vinoj Kumar, says that he has no other interests outside business
Straddling a job in the skies and a mission on the ground, Captain Indraani Singh demonstrates how one person can be the change through spreading education, empowerment and employment among those who need it the most. Partho Burman reports
A group of first generation graduates are mentoring rural school students, who are also first generation learners in Tamil Nadu, by imparting life skills and building their confidence, through an NGO, Vazhai. P C Vinoj Kumar meets the mentors
As summer sets in and the quest to find a salubrious getaway begins, if it is the well known beaten names that cross your mind, Renuka Singh suggests seven quiet and offbeat hill stations that are not too far from places that you might know
When Rajesh Kumar Sharma went to see how Metro Rail work was progressing near the Yamuna station, he realized that poor children had no school to attend. So he set up ‘Under the Bridge School’. Partho Burman meets the educator extraordinaire
Inspired by a man making sandals out of used tyres in the US, Jay Rege and Jothsna came to India to turn eco-conscious shoemakers, launching ‘Paaduks’. The social entrepreneurs also share their profit with their cobblers, says Rohan Potdar
If the word Goa evokes just images of raves, read on, you may end up in the land of sandy wonders soon. For, Renuka Singh’s list of the top 10 beaches informs us that Goa has something on offer for everyone, including those seeking solitude