The Conflict of Sri Lanka and Tamil Eelam in the island of Ceylon

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Price of Sri Lanka's army expansion is paid in grief



Why do you suppose CUPE-Ontario doesn't pass a resolution demanding a boycott of Sri Lankan academic institutions and an embargo on trade with Sri Lanka? The only explanation i can think of is that Sid Ryan finds the conflict in Sri Lanka to be too boring to get involved in compared to the Middle East.


Well, The Palestinians have educated them while the Tamils have not at the moment. With many of the Tamil youths taking up this cause we hope to replace our previous generation who failed to reach out to our fellow Canadians and organization like CUPE-Ontario. We have members and many of your youths are setting up meetings and so on and updating them on this issue. Lets hope that CUPE-Ontario responds in a positive manner.


York University and the Tamil Students


Flag's terrorism links under question

Police called after Sri Lankan flag set on fire after rally


Circle of Violence - Sri Lanka




We are trying to get the attention of CNN to go to Sri Lanka and report or start digging the media restrictions. Please sign the petition so we can get the truth out of Sri Lanka......We are targeting Anderson Cooper....

Free our Press


Gwynne Dyer:

Sri Lanka After the War
        The greatest mistakes are made on the morrow of the greatest
victories.  Sri Lanka is now approaching a decisive victory in its 26-year
war against Tamil separatism, and it is about to make a very big mistake.

        "While separatist terrorism must be eradicated," wrote Lasantha
Wickrematunge, editor of the Sunday Leader, "it is important to address the
root causes of terrorism, and urge government to view Sri Lanka's ethnic
strife in the context of history and not through the telescope of
terrorism. We have agitated against state terrorism in the so-called war
against terror, and made no secret of our horror that Sri Lanka is the only
country in the world routinely to bomb its own citizens."

        Wickrematunge left that on his computer, to be published if he was
murdered, which he duly was last month. He knew it was going to happen, and
he believed that he knew who would be responsible: the government. Which is
why he addressed President Mahinda Rajapaksa directly in his post-mortem

. . .

        "In the wake of my death," Wickrematunge wrote, "I know you
(President Rajapaksa) will make all the usual sanctimonious noises...but
like all the inquiries you have ordered in the past, nothing will come of
this one. For truth be told, we both know who will be behind my death, but
dare not call his name. [Almost certainly Defence Secretary Gotabaya
Rajapaksa, the president's brother.] Not just my life but yours too depends
on it."

        Like the United States under President Bush, Sri Lanka has ceased
to respect the law in its fight against "terrorism". Since the Tamil
minority began fighting for a separate state in 1983, over 70,000 people
have been killed in Sri Lanka, the majority of them civilians -- and since
President Rajapaksa took power in 2004 fourteen journalists have been
murdered by unknown assailants.

        Rajapaksa is now on the brink of destroying the rebel army, the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ("Tamil Tigers"). Even one year ago they
still controlled some 15,000 sq. km (6,000 sq. mi) in the north and
north-east of the island, where they maintained all the institutions of a
sovereign state. But the relentless offensive of the Sri Lankan army has
now reduced them to only a couple of hundred square kilometres (less than a
hundred square miles) of territory.

        Within a week or two, that will be gone too, and what remains of
the Tamil Tigers will no longer control a pseudo-state. Good riddance, for
they were brutal extremists who killed their own Tamil people, in order to
enforce unquestioning obedience, just as readily as their suicide bombers
killed the majority Sinhalese population. But that doesn't mean that Sri
Lanka can just go back to the kind of country it was before the fighting
began in 1983. The Tamils had a reason to revolt.

        Tamil-speaking Hindus have been part of Sri Lanka's complex ethnic
and religious mosaic for centuries, but they are only 12 percent of the
population. They got along well enough with the Sinhalese-speaking,
Buddhist majority when the island was first united under British imperial
rule in the early 19th century, but after that the relationship went
rapidly downhill.

        The British, in typical divide-and-rule style, favoured the Tamil
minority in education and in civil service jobs. Sinhalese resentment grew
rapidly, and the first Sinhalese-Tamil riots were in 1939. As in the
subsequent bouts of killing, most of the victims were Tamils.

        Once independence arrived in 1948, the Sinhalese used their
majority to pass laws giving members of their own community preference for
university entrance and government jobs, and Sinhala was declared the sole
national language. As Sinhalese and Tamil ethnic nationalism grew more
extreme, some of the riots in the 1960s and 1970s verged on anti-Tamil

        By the late 1970s the process of setting up a shadow Tamil state in
the north and north-east had begun. Open war broke out in 1983, with the
Tamil Tigers rapidly eliminating the rival Tamil separatist groups and
establishing totalitarian control over the population under their rule.

        Twenty-six years later, the Tamil Tigers' army has finally been
crushed, and the Sri Lankan state (in practice, the Sinhalese state) is
triumphant. But the 12 percent of the population who are Tamils will still
not accept unequal status, and they are not going away.

        This is the time when a peace that gives the Tamils equal rights
and autonomous local governments in the areas where they are a majority
could secure the country's future, but it is most unlikely to happen.

        Sinhalese nationalism is as intolerant as ever, and now it is
triumphalist to boot. Moreover, the rapid growth of a "national security
state" under President Rajapakse has undermined democracy and largely
silenced criticism of government policies. The forecast, therefore, is for
a reversion to guerilla war in the north, and continuing campaigns of
murder by both the government and Tamil extremists in the rest of the



Gunmen have attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team on its way to play in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

At least six policemen escorting the team bus were killed, along with a driver. Seven cricketers and an assistant coach were injured.... Our correspondent says security forces will be investigating any connections to al-Qaeda and Taleban militants as well as Kashmiri jihadi groups.



Nice article, but I would argue with some of his points


Hey, about half an hour ago, a small group of marchers (about 20?) came through Ryerson campus with a big sign in support of Tamil rights.  The sign said, "We are not terrorists, we are freedom fighters".

Anyhow, just thought I'd mention it since they passed right under my window. :)  Okay, lunch break is over, back to work with me!


Thanks Michelle.......instant news.....


Opinion: The Crisis Within and the Voice Abroad


The Sri Lankan Tamil issue can be solved relatively quickly if India smartens up. By helping the Sri Lankan government kill Tamil civilians via arms support and training, they are be real counterproductive. Forget Sri Lankan Tamils, the central Indian government has took no action against Sri Lanka for the dozens of Indian Tamil fishermen killed by the Sri Lankan Navy. I mean, COME ON! this is your countrymen getting killed. 

 Another layer of this issue is the class divisions in India; this will be really hard for many others to understand. The Indian government is controlled by the Indian Congress Party which is a pro-Brahmin movement. This movement has historically supported the Indian caste system, they claimed they are past it, but given the fact that only one family (the Gandhi family) have pretty much been running the party since its inception begs me to ask, Is this party for real? India is such a corrupted democracy, it does injustice to the word democracy. 

Some of you might be asking, what is this guy rambling about? you should check out some of the Indian state election results, pretty interesting numbers. Anyways, going back to the point of the Sri Lankan Tamil issue, India has failed repeatedly to bring about any stability to the situation. That is why many Tamils are calling for support from the Western World.

The ironic part of it all is India has the audacity to ask for permanent membership on the UN security council. 

It's Me D

theorangeliberal wrote:
The ironic part of it all is India has the audacity to ask for permanent membership on the UN security council.

From your post it sounds like they'd fit right in! 



While doing some research into the conflict a few years ago, I saw it quoted somewhere that the LTTE has the dubious distinction of having killed more Tamils throughout this conflict than either the Sri Lankan or Indian governments combined.


Did you read this from a Sri Lankan government website because that is just down right hilarious. Thing with this situation is noone has any clue about the actual numbers and both sides have been known to exaggerate. That being said, a general consensus is that the Sri Lankan government has done most of the killing with regard to Tamil civilians, if that wasn't the case there will be no reason for the war to extend this long. I need not go into the specifics on the Sri Lankan government's oppressive nature towards Tamils but even Western media outlets like the BBC are beginning to see the true colours of Sri Lanka now.

And hey if you want scholarly articles regarding this issue, feel free to ask. I have a whole bunch to link.

and to It's Me i just thought about your comment, your right India has all the credentials to join the security council based on the other members' merits lol. 

It's Me D

theorangeliberal wrote:
And hey if you want scholarly articles regarding this issue, feel free to ask. I have a whole bunch to link.

It would be great if you want to put up some links, thanks to thirusuj we've got a downright informative thread going... I'm sure its appreciated by some lurkers Wink


alright i will do so, just need to go to my home computer first lol. I will post them later tonight. Especially glancing through observations made by users like Stockholm.

by the sense of it some users are genuinely misinformed in some issues while others just choose to lambast any substance used to defend a two-state solution for Tamils. I will do my best to answer the questions of those who want to know more regarding the situation in Sri Lanka. 


Yes, I dont know very much about Sri Lanka except that the British brought Tamils there to Ceylon to pick tea in the late 19th century. I'm not sure where those people came from, except that they were Indians from the mainland? The Dutch claimed it before that. I think this is a after effect or legacy issue of British imperialism in general?

[url=][color=red][... plans for military intervention in Sri Lanka[/b][/color][/url]

Wije Dias


Sri Lanka's Sunday Times has revealed plans for a US-led military mission into the island's northern war zone in the guise of evacuating civilians trapped by intense fighting between the army and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

According to the newspaper, the task would be carried out by a Marine Expeditionary Brigade attached to the US Pacific Command (PACOM). The US Navy and Air Force would also be involved. The newspaper reported in its initial article on February 22 that a high-level PACOM team was in Colombo to pave the way for the operation.

No announcement has been made by the Obama administration or the US military, but Sri Lanka's foreign minister, Rohitha Bogollagama, told the Sunday Times that he was aware of the intended US-led "coalition humanitarian task force". Last weekend, the foreign minister told the newspaper that France had also offered assistance to evacuate civilians. India, which had made its own evacuation offer, last week indicated its support for a joint operation.

No agreement has been reached between the government and the LTTE on any evacuation. Both sides are using the trapped civilians as political pawns. The army has been seeking to drive civilians out of the remaining LTTE-held territory, in order to allow for the area's complete levelling. With its back to the wall, the LTTE has called for a ceasefire and talks before any civilians are allowed to leave—a step rejected by the government which is demanding a full, unconditional surrender . . .


I forgot to mention that the majority of Tamils are of Indian nationality. (i beleive around 65 million in India) There were about 3-4 million ethnic Tamils at peak in Sri Lanka at one point but because of the vast number of Tamils who fled Sri Lanka and were killed, this figure is down to probably a million or a little above a million.


Fidel, your definitely right about the British bringing some Indian Tamils to Ceylon for labour but Sri Lankan Tamils have existed in Sri Lanka for thousands of years as did the Sinhalese population. There were three ancient kingdoms, the Jaffna Kingdom (Tamil) and two Sinhala kingdoms (Galle and Kandy). Tamils and Sinhalese actually peacefully co-existed on the island for centuries. It is only after the British came to Sri Lanka, tensions started to mount due to the British trying their best to diverge the two groups to disuay a united front. The British left a huge power vacuum when they left and practically gave absolute power to the Sinhala population. Sri Lanka certainly isn't the first colony who suffered/suffering from this post-colonial trauma; but over the decades the Sinhala majority has oppressed the Tamil population in the north and east. This is a reason why the Brits should be proactive with this situation (and also because of the near 200,000 British Tamils residing in Britain)


Havent the Brits done enough to mess things up already? And now it looks as though the US wants to intervene in the name of the "war on terror"


TVO - The Debate: The Tear Drop Civil War

Fiar or Biased?
Daniel Kitts (senior producer on The Agenda with Steve Paikin)

The Agenda with Steve Paikin (Tuesday, March 03 2009 8:00 PM)

Introduction by Bob Rae

Debate: The Tear Drop Civil War

It's Me D

I haven't had time to watch that full program but it is interesting to read that pro-government folks tried to have the show cancelled for allegedly being being biased in favor of the Tamil perspective (without having seen it) while the response from viewers who had seen the program (in their comments section) cast the show as biased in favour of the government's account. Without having seen it I cannot judge yet but considering the norms in the MSM I think its safe to assume they'd be promoting the Sri Lankan government's version of events.

Whats the deal with Bob Rae and the Tamils? Can anyone tell me a little more about this connection and the Canadian Tamil populations' opinion on Rae? 


He was part of the team that was in Sri Lanka to teach about federation when the Tigers agreed for a federal solution dropping the Tamil people's long standing demand for a completely separate state during the 2002 CFA. I am not sure how much involved he was but he does have a very good knowledge of the conflict for a Canadian politician.

Yes, this is a major issue for him as well since he has a major Tamil Canadian population in his riding that are pretty much at his office everyday to get the Canadian government to act.

The TVO debate was fair in my opinion. I really have to praise Anna for worrying about the civilians all the way instead of the politics. If the debate went more then the 30 minutes, maybe like 2 hours, the Sri Lankan government side would have been nailed to the wall permanently.

I recommend watching the whole program to get an idea of way Sri Lankan counselor general thought this show is not fair even before the actual debate (as well as the pro-government people).

The pro-government rides on "war on Terrorism" but, when we bring up the past, the violations by the governments, the proposals by the Tigers, UN supervised referendum for the Tamil people then they get very uncomfortable.


The Indian government is controlled by the Indian Congress Party which is a pro-Brahmin movement.

I appreciate everything else you've brought to the thread, but I think that's a bit unfair to Congress, which has enacted some affirmative action laws for Dalits and so on. In the context of national politics, they are certainly better on these issues than the racist-based BJP.

I think more to the point India will not act on this issue because the last time it did, Tigers assassinated the Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi. With Rajiv's widow Sonia as president of the Congress party, I can't imagine there's much will to intervene. It would have to be something multilateral, since India can't realistically be expected to act as regional policeman in Sri Lanka (even if that would be a a good thing, which perhaps it would not be). 


I don't want to argue if BJP is racist or not but they are Hindu Nationalists. Which is a threat to all the other religions in India but remarkably they have showed sensitive to their nationalism and actually running the country without hurting other religious sentiments. BJP under the wrong person could be a disaster and I am not very sure about the current head of the BJP.

Congress lost its vision after Indira Ghandi and it is true that they are dominated by pro-Brahmin politics. They are still dominated by pro-Brahmin and worst of all they don't seems to care for the sentiments of many people across India, specifically Tamil Nadu when it comes to the Sri Lankan issue. They would have to bring in some policies that favors dalits to tap into their votes.

First of all I want to bring to the attention that LTTE is one of the accused in Rajiv Ghandi's murder along with many others. Please read the Jain Commission report. Everyone found it easier to blame it on the LTTE and now without any completion of investigation and verdict it has been totally attached to the LTTE. Seriously, what the Indian Army did to the Tamil people in the name of crushing the Tigers were one of the brutal periods of our history. They raped pretty much any women they could get a hold on, which have been a trademark attitude in Kashimir, Assam and many other places that have full blown separatist tendency in India.

Sonia Ghandi taking revenge and her policy on the Tamils could spark the flame for a greater Tamil nation. Which is what exactly seems to be happening in India right now and if the 300 000 people stuck in Mullathievu perish (even half of them) that could be very well be the end of India.

"In the event of Tamil Nadu becoming an independent State there is absolutely no doubt that she will invade Sri Lanka over the Tamil issue" - Hudson Samarasinghe (august 4, 2008)

The failure to implement the Indo-Lanka accord (also see the two letters attached to the accord) and the geo political interest of their adventure in securing the Trimco harbor was a disaster at the expense of so many Tamil lives.

You are also right about India not intervening militarily, but if they don't stop Sri Lanka by using their influence or getting a International Force, which is unlikely, they are in for a serious trouble. They have no choice but to hope that the Tigers start hunting again or Sri Lanka does a miracle to repair the damaged relationship with the Tamils.

Pirabhakaran ‘Returns' To India

The ‘Liberators' Of Tamil Nadu

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

This is disturbing:


An Ontario judge has cleared the way for the extradition of two Canadians wanted in the U.S. on charges of providing support to the Tamil Tigers.


Pattillo told the court that he found there was "some evidence" available that "could convict" the men if they were tried in the United States.



RevolutionPlease wrote:
This is disturbing:

Why?  People are extradiated from Canada to the U.S. all of the time.

They're not facing the death penalty and they'll receive trials just like their co-accused did, not a trip to Guantanamo Bay.  Granted, there are exceptions for political offences, but it looks like the extradition judge felt that they didn't fit them.

It's Me D

A_J wrote:
They're not facing the death penalty and they'll receive trials just like their co-accused did, not a trip to Guantanamo Bay.

Trials for what? Allegedly doing something our governments do openly and without remorse, sending weapons to fuel the conflict in Sri Lanka? Sure put them on trial, right after we put every Western government on trial for committing the same crime these men are accused of on a far more massive scale!

Besides, wtf does this have to do with America??? 


Ze wrote:

The Indian government is controlled by the Indian Congress Party which is a pro-Brahmin movement.

I appreciate everything else you've brought to the thread, but I think that's a bit unfair to Congress, which has enacted some affirmative action laws for Dalits and so on. In the context of national politics, they are certainly better on these issues than the racist-based BJP.

I think more to the point India will not act on this issue because the last time it did, Tigers assassinated the Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi. With Rajiv's widow Sonia as president of the Congress party, I can't imagine there's much will to intervene. It would have to be something multilateral, since India can't realistically be expected to act as regional policeman in Sri Lanka (even if that would be a a good thing, which perhaps it would not be). 

 Maybe I came off a bit rash with regard to the labelling of the Indian Congress as a pro-Brahmin party, but Ze let's be realistic; given the fact many Congress party members have made controversial comments in so called post-"affirmative action" times , some of the election rigging and interesting results in some Indian states, and their party composition and agenda, it is hard to say they are social egalitarians. They are significant remnants of social hiearchy within that party.

 In regard to your comment about how India can't be expected to intervene in this situation. Hey, it was India who gave birth to the Tamil rebel groups like the Tigers in the days of Indira Gandhi by financing them and training them. In all fairness, Rajiv Gandhi's sudden U-Turn in the Sri Lankan situation did not help but India did create elements of this conflict so it must be held accountable for a solution. It can start by not arming the Sri Lankan government. 

Rajiv Gandhi's Sri Lankan policy was a dismal failure because it was a flawed plan from the beginning. How can you call aggressive occupation of Tamil areas in Sri Lanka by the Indian Army a smart decision, even when Sri Lanka and the LTTE both opposed it at one point. If India pursues a logical iniative in Sri Lanka, than I'm sure it won't turn out bad is it did last time. 



How can you call aggressive occupation of Tamil areas in Sri Lanka by the Indian Army a smart decision, even when Sri Lanka and the LTTE both opposed it at one point.

I can't, and I wouldn't. ;)

The point is just that I can't see India under Sonia Gandhi taking the lead here. Whether because they're too shy to act the "regional policeman," or want revenge on the LTTE, or because they're the author of some of the problems, they seem unlikely to intervene on their own.

As far as outside intervention, I'd say the chances are likely still better for someone to attempt to repeat and improve upon the mediation by Norway or for Sri Lanka to see something along the lines of post-tsunami peacemaking in Ache (Indonesia). That is, as long as they learned from [u][url= experience and lessons of Norway's mediation.[/url][/u]


In Sri Lanka, UN Still Withholds Casualty Numbers, Funds Detention Camps

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis


I think Canadian politicians just finished reading the book on the Tamil Eelam/Sri Lanka Conflict!!!!!!

Sri Lankan conflict due to 'repressive' govts: Canada

It will take another 60 years to figure out what to do, by then there won't be anymore Tamils left for any action to be taken.


Wow, that is quite an admission from Peter Kent. The full quote according to AFP: 

Separately, Canadian Foreign Minister Peter Kent said on Thursday the 37-year conflict raging in Sri Lanka was borne out of “repressive” governments in Colombo.

“I am sure all Canadians share the government’s revulsion at the continuing humanitarian catastrophe in Sri Lanka, a civil conflict born of a succession of repressive Sri Lankan governments, which in turn spawned the terrorist organisation known as the Tamil Tigers,” Kent told the House of Commons.


Perhaps he's been reading the excellent novels of Shyam Selvadurai or something; factual reporting has not made much of a dent in Canadian governments before, so I wonder what changed to prompt Kent's admission?


Get tough on Sri Lanka

By: Chris Cobb

Canada needs to tell one of its major aid recipients that dispatching thugs to take care of media critics is unacceptable


Hi guys,

Daniel Kitts from TVO (Senior Producer for the Agenda with Steve Paikin) has decided to continue with the discussion on the conflict in the Island of Ceylon since the debate has attracted more than usual attention and lot more questions are yet to be answered. You can follow the development or contribute.

The Sri Lanka Conversation Continues


It's Me D wrote:

Trials for what?

He is wanted in the U.S. on allegations that he helped buy military software and communication equipment destined for Sri Lanka.

There it is. The US has export controls on some kinds of electronics and software. If you do so anyway without the proper paperwork, you get prosecuted. A model student should be able to figure this out. 


Besides, wtf does this have to do with America??? 

That's where the non-exportable goodies were bought.

It's Me D

Good job cherry picking; always good to have a skill to fall back on in a depression eh Doug?


The Silent Genocide

“Systematic Killing of Tamils by the Sri Lankan Government”

“Looking In-Depth into the Genocide from Various Perspectives”


Organizers: Be:Collective, CESAR, RyeACESS, RSU , RyeTSA and Ryerson Women’s Centre


Date: March 17th, 2009

Place: Thomas Lounge, Ryerson University

55 Gould St. Toronto, ON M5B 1E9



Part #1: Workshops from 5:00PM – 6:30PM

Please Pre-register by visiting: for the following workshops:

Political Struggle

Current Situation

Disability Struggle

Women’s Struggle

Media Freedom

Education Struggle


Part #2: Discussion Panel from 6:30PM to 8:00PM (No registration required)


Join Our Facebook Group: Click Here


Please contact if you have any questions: [email protected]


What are some other ways to market this event? My target is non-Tamils.


The Globe reported "hundreds"?  Um, there were "hundreds" at the corner of Dundas and Yonge alone - I took pictures.  There were THOUSANDS who came out.  Thousands AND thousands.


I think they actually wrote the article without getting out of thier office. There is not much we can do about it.

It's Me D

Wouldn't mater if they were there... I watched a CNN reporter live at the Summit of the Americas misrepresent the numbers there tenfold. He was there on the scene and saw the numbers, he knew he was lying... that's their job.


Canadian Tamils Protest Held on March 16, 2009 

Huge Rush-Hour Tamil Protest Ends Peacefully

Hundreds take part in Tamil protest

Human chain of Tamils circles city core

Toronto Tamils slow traffic in latest Sri Lanka protest

Toronto police to probe whether Tamil protest flags broke law

Tamildeqken Tamildeqken's picture

But ************, who attended Monday's rally, told CBC News the flag is a legitimate symbol of the Tamil people.

I am a Tamil. This is not my flag. Tigers are not my leaders. They are the cause of the current assault on the Tamil people. Tigers have done this before in Jaffna. They cut and ran and mingled among the people when the army came for them. Civilians died.


We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. Martin Luther King Jr


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