Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Karuna Amman’s supporter abducts and kills school boy in Jaffna


Chaavakachcheari police recovered Saturday the body of the 17-year-old student who was abducted from his house in Madaththadi in Chaavakachcheari North, Jaffna Peninsula, on 14 March for a ransom of 30 million rupees, from the backyard of a house on Dutch Road in Chaavakachcheari, sources in Jaffna said. The body was recovered from the plantain garden in the backyard of one of the three friends of the victim arrested and detained in Jaffna prison, the sources added.

Unidentified men arriving at the house of Thiruchelvam, a popular merchant in Madaththadi in Chaavakachcheari North abducted his son, Kapilnath, 17, student of a leading educational institution in Jaffna.

The abductors had kept demanding 30 million rupees as ransom to release the boy using various phones from the time of abduction until Monday dawn and had threatened to kill the boy if the money was not paid, according to the merchant.
Sources from the police have revealed that the school boy from Chavakachcheri was abducted to receive ransom money and later killed by one of Karuna Amman’s supporters.

Although the person who had killed the boy has been taken into custody, the mastermind behind the plan it is learnt is still at large.

During the questioning of the man in custody it had been revealed that the boy was abducted killed and his body was buried in the suspect’s compound in Chavakachcheri.

The body of the student was exhumed yesterday and the post mortem was held at the Jaffna Hospital yesterday.

The post mortem report stated that the boy was strangled to death.

Eezham Tamil woman in Tamil Nadu refugee camp burned herself to death


Eezham Tamil woman in Tamil Nadu refugee camp commits suicide due to sexual abuse by 3 policemen.

Tamil woman from Sri Lanka held in the Refugee camp for Sri Lankans in Karoor district in Tamil Nadu died Sunday night in Karoor government hospital where she had been admitted two weeks ago when she had set herself ablaze unable to bear being sexually molested by three Tamil Nadu policemen.
Ms. Kumar Pathmathevi, 28, had said in her statement to a feminist human rights activist that the policemen took her to a private house and molested her instead of taking her to the police station to be interrogated about her husband Kumar who was wanted in a homicide case. Various civil organizations in Jaffna peninsula as well as in Tamil Nadu are in uproar against the police cremating the body of Pathmathevi, against the law of the country.

The three policemen who had sexually molested had warned Pathmathevi not to divulge the incident to anyone and that they will shoot dead her husband Kumar if she did so, according to Pathmathevi’s statement given from her death bed to the human rights activist woman.

The burning of Pathmathevi’s remains which should have been interned by the police has raised suspicion that the three policemen are guilty of the offence alleged.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Corruption under Sinhalese occupation is sky-rocketing

Distilling and selling of illicit liquor (kasippu) flourishes in many parts in Jaffna peninsula as excise and police officers, being bribed, turn a blind eye to this illicit trade which is even provided with men with grenades to guard the kasippu joints, according to accusations raised by civil society sources in Jaffna. Vaddukkoaddai police arrested a youth Saturday at the toddy tavern in Moo’laay under suspicion and recovered a hand grenade in his possession. When produced at Mallaakam courts he testified that he had been posted there to guard the brewers and sellers from the police and excise officers, sources in Jaffna said.

Poor farmers are the customers who fall victims of becoming addicts to this liquor which contains a high amount of methylin which is injurious to health and brings death in some cases.

Kasippu is produced in places near Jaffna town and other rural areas in the peninsula.

A culture of arms prevails in the peninsula which has now embraced illicit distilling and selling of liquor along with the abductions, extortions which had escalated in recent times, the sources further said.

UK is concern about war crimes, deteriorating status of the rule of law and freedom of expression in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is the only country added on the annual human rights report by Britain this year as a country of concern by the Foreign Affairs Committee, according to British Foreign Office. The Annual report on Human Rights 2009 presented 17 March to British Parliament says, ‘Since the last report, we have added one country of concern. We agreed with the Foreign Affairs Committee’s recommendation to include Sri Lanka. This reflects our concern about allegations of serious conflict violations, as well as the deteriorating status of the rule of law and freedom of expression.’

The following are some excerpts of the HR report:

‘Human Rights Council Special Session on Sri Lanka

The EU led efforts in May to call a special session of the HRC in response to the situation in Sri Lanka. We found support for the session from select members of other regional groups who shared our concerns. Together we worked hard on a draft resolution that could be presented to the wider HRC membership, even those with misgivings about the focus on Sri Lanka, as a constructive expression of HRC concern.

In doing so we hoped for a consensus outcome. Sri Lanka, unfortunately, tabled a text with a different purpose, which was passed by majority vote. The UK could not agree with their assessment of the situation and voted against the resolution because it:

• omitted to reaffirm that it is the primary responsibility of the state to ensure protection of the human rights of all persons under its jurisdiction;

• failed to call on the government of Sri Lanka to start an inclusive political process, which would address the legitimate concerns of all of Sri Lanka’s communities; and

• did not address the need to ensure the protection of human rights defenders, journalists and minorities or the right to freedom of expression.

The session, nonetheless, presented an opportunity for many States, UN Special Procedures, and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to put on record the plight of civilians caught up in it. We continue to believe that the situation merited the attention of the UN’s primary human rights body and that it was right to call the session.’

‘Since the end of the conflict we have been calling, along with the EU, for an independent and credible process to address possible violations of IHL. The Sri Lankan government has made little progress.

In October, President Rajapakse announced the formation of a committee to look into a US State Department report on possible violations. In late December, the President extended the deadline for the committee to report until the end of April 2010.’

‘Freedom of Expression

Sri Lanka ranks 162 out of 175 countries in the Reporters without Borders Press Freedom Index 2009. The environment for free expression deteriorated in the early part of 2009 as the conflict intensified.’

‘A Tamil journalist, J S Tissainayagam, was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment on 31 August for charges related to his writing. In addition, Tamil language newspapers (such as Sudar Oli, Uthayan and Valampuri) continue to operate in extremely difficult conditions, with their staff regularly receiving anonymous threats.’

‘Disappearances and Abductions

Reports of abductions and disappearances of civilians continued throughout 2009. In the vast majority of cases the reported victims are Tamil civilians.’

TID interrogates 700 civilians

About seven hundred civilians are being detained by the Terrorism Investigations Division (TID) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Sri Lanka Police under the Emergency Regulations, Colombo media reported quoting TID sources. Most of the detainees were arrested during the last months of the war. The State of Emergency was extended by the dissolved parliament during the first week of this month.

Meanwhile, the dissolved parliament is due to be reconvened on April 6 to extend the State of Emergency for another month.

The new parliament to be elected on April 8 is scheduled to hold its first sitting on April 22, sources said.

‘Sinhala Only’ in Jaffna


‘Sinhala Only’ in a government office opening event in Jaffna.


Local media reporters in Jaffna peninsula staged a walkout Monday from the official opening of Sri Lanka Foreign Employment (SLFE) branch in Nalloor in Jaffna Monday when it was conducted in Sinhalese language only. Tamil Minister Douglas Devananda was also present at the event along with Northern Province Governor, G. A. Chandrasiri. Meanwhile, the Governor and the Minister later participated in the foundation stone laying ceremony for the new building of Jaffna Municipal Council in its original premises. The government is fervent in opening various offices and laying foundation stones for new buildings in an attempt to entice the voters of Jaffna peninsula, civil society circles in Jaffna observed.


President of SLFE Welfare Organization, Kingsley Rananwathe and its Secretary, Susil Srisena had come to Jaffna from Colombo SLFE head office to officially open the branch in Jaffna.

How could an office meant to help the residents of Jaffna district achieve its goals if it cannot conduct its affairs in Tamil, asked local journalists.

The main building of JMC had been blown up during the war in 1985.

Tissainayagam wins British Press award

Senior Tamil Journalist J.S Tissainayagam currently in bail after being incarcerated in Sri Lanka for nearly twenty two months as part of a 20 years in prison sentence, won the prestigious International journalist of the year during the award ceremony held at the Grosvenor Hotel, London, on Tuesday, 23 March. "International journalist of the year recognises the courage of an overseas journalist who has battled against oppression and who has helped a British national newspaper report. Nominees are provided by the Foreign Press Association and the World Association of Newspapers," the British Press Awards website said.

Tissaianyagam was charged under Sri Lanka's draconian anti-terror laws for causing disharmony among ethnic communities by publishing two articles in an online website.

"Although released on bail, Tissa remains afraid for his life and lives in isolation from his family and friends because of this fear. He cannot practice his trade and simply has no life," BBC said quoting one of Tissainayagam's colleagues.

Amnesty International named Tissainayagam as a Prisoner of Conscience, held a vigil in UK in early September 2009, and said "[w]e gathered to protest against the sentencing of Jayaprakash Sittampalam Tissainayagam, known as Tissa to his friends and family, to 20 years ‘vigorous imprisonment’ by the Government of Sri Lanka."

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) honoured Tissainayagam with its 2009 International Press Freedom Awards at a ceremony in November 2009.

Tissainayagam also won the coveted Peter Mackler Award for courageous and ethical journalism, named for a 30-year veteran of Agence France-Presse who died last year, at a ceremony at the National Press Club in US in October 2009

The ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and its allies obstructs opposition

The election campaign activities that were planned to be carried out in the islets of Jaffna by political parties including United National Party (UNP), Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and other independent groups contesting Jaffna electorate Wednesday with police protection were given up at the last minute as Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) men continue to obstruct anyone other than the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and its allies engaging in election campaign in the islets of Jaffna which is held in the complete control of Sri Lanka Navy, sources in Jaffna said.

The election campaign activities in the islets on Wednesday by opposition parties had been announced in the local media Wednesday.

EPDP men who hold monopoly the islets of Jaffna with the assistance of SLN had earlier attacked UNP candidates and supporters who had gone to the islets of Jaffna some days ago.

It is feared that EPDP will carry out election frauds in a large scale in the islets in the forthcoming election as it seems impossible to post their agents in the polling booths in the islets of Jaffna, the political parties and independent groups sources said.

100 Tamil IDPs abducted

Fate of 100 Vanni detainees taken away by SLA not known.

Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers had blind folded one hundred Vanni youths and young family men detained Kaithadi Palmyra Development Board Special IDP detention centre in Jaffna peninsula and taken them away in vehicles in the last one week, according to complaints made by family members of the persons taken away to Jaffna Human Rights Commission (HRC) and International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC). SLA soldiers had taken 70 of the above IDPs in the first instance and 30 in the second, and the SLA authorities refuse to reveal any information of their whereabouts or what had happened to them, the complainants said. The SLA authorities also refuse to reveal the number of IDPs detained in this detention centre, sources in Jaffna said.

A group of Vanni IDPs detained in various camps in Jaffna peninsula had been classified as persons involved in ‘terrorism’ and brought to Kaithadi special detention centre located in the Palmyra Development Board building.

SLA authorities in the above centre had only allowed a few relatives of the detainees to visit them.

The detention centre is in the complete control of SLA.

The wives and parents of the abducted IDPs are in a state of grief and fear for their lives.

Earlier, some Jaffna University students who had come from Vanni to restart their disrupted education had also been arrested and detained in Kaithadi detention centre.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sinhalese soldiers destroy Thileepan memorial


A gang of Sinhalese army soldiers went on rampage , demolishing the memorial pillar of Lt. Col. Thileepan (Rasiah Parthipan) located behind the historic Nalloor Kanthasuvami Koayil on Point Pedro-Nalloor road, residents of the area said. Lt. Col. Thileepan began his fasting on 15 September 1987 in front of the Nalloor Kandasuvami temple placing five demands to the Indian government but died as India failed to meet the demands, on September 26, 1987.

The thugs who demolished Thileepan’s memorial pillar Sunday night have taken the premises into their possession and have started using the memorial pillar to dry their washings, the sources added.

Meanwhile, a large number of Sinhalese traders and vendors have encroached the surroundings of Nalloor temple, with the blessings of Jaffna Municipal Council, where they have erected small stalls and shops.

Though local media and traders had repeatedly complained about this to Jaffna Municipality, but its administration being in the hands of ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), nothing had been done to evacuate the Sinhalese encroachers.

Thileeepan’s statue first erected in 1988 was completely destroyed by Sri Lankan Army (SLA) when it moved in to occupy Jaffna in 1996.

When Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) was implemented in 2002, the statue was reconstructed by the public. However, when clashes erupted between SLA and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Thileepan's photograph and decorative lamps were damaged the by SLA troops on 26 October, 2006.

Thileepan, LTTE's political wing leader for the Jaffna district, soon after the signing of the Indo-Sri Lankan agreement in 1987, fasted unto death in a twelve day campaign after putting forward five demands to the Indian government to meet the aspirations of the Tamil people.

The five demands Lt. Colonel Thileepan put forward to the Indian government were:

• All Tamils detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) should be released.

• The colonization by Sinhalese in Tamil areas under the guise of rehabilitation should be stopped.

• All such rehabilitation should be stopped until an interim government is formed.

• The Sri Lankan government should stop opening new Police stations and camps in the North and Eastern provinces The Sri Lankan army and Police should withdraw from schools in Tamil villages and the weapons given by the Sri Lankan government to 'homeguards' should be withdrawn under the supervision of the Indian army. The people of Jaffna peninsula are in grief over this vandalism of the government in removing traces of freedom fighters who fought to liberate the Tamils, in the North.

The Psychology of Nazism


The Psychology of Nazism - Why Hitler preached racial superiority?

The Nazi movement which did horrifying atrocities to the people was based on racial superiority. Adolf Hitler who was the main architect of the Nazi organization was supported by many intellectuals. Many leaders of the National Socialist German Worker’s Party (Nazi) had many things in common. They all believed in destructive Nazi nightmare of racial hearted and ethnic cleansing. What was the psychology behind such a fascist movement which violated basic human rights? Were they psychologically deviated?

Psychologist Gustave Gilbert analyzed many Nazi leaders like Herman Goering, Albert Speer, von Ribbentrop Rudolf Hob (the commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp) etc during the Nuremberg trials and revealed the inner nature of the Nazis. He found that Nazis lacked empathy. In their personal lives they were good husbands and fathers. They loved their children. But when the dark side of their nature came in to action they could kill tens of thousands of men, women and children in the gas chambers. After committing these crimes their conscience were not shattered. They had no guilty feelings.

Nazi leaders conspired to wage war committed crimes against humanity and felt that they are doing it for the betterment of the German people. They saw other races especially Jews as sub humans. There are many theories beneath Hitler’s anti Semitism. Some Germans believed that they lost the WW1 as a result of the betrayal by the Jewish businessmen who did not support the war efforts. But the truth was there were many Jewish officers who fought for Germany during the Great War. Hitler had personal experience which led to deep mistrust and hatred against Jews.

Hitler’s mother was suffering from a breast cancer and she was dying. When her Jewish doctor broke the bad news to young Hitler he thought that the physician was responsible for her death. Hence hefty anger and prejudice was building inside his mind from young days. He was capable of generalizing this anger and prejudice against the Jewish people. When he came to power Hitler’s leadership caused the Holocaust or the genocide of approximately six million European Jews during the WW2.

Nazis committed atrocities in the occupied territories. In the Eastern Europe especially in the USSR they unleashed horrible aggression. Women were raped in front of their husbands and children, men were killed in masses, and some were driven to forced labor. In all these events their lack of empathy and lack of remorse were pronounced greatly. According to Gustave Gilbert Nazis leaders had a dual nature. Above all they believed that they were doing the right thing.

Based on the interviews of the Nazi leaders Gustave Gilbert published a book called Nuremberg Diary in 1947. These documents disclose the psyche of the Nazi leaders. When the Nazi leader Herman Goering was interviewed by Gustav Gilbert, Goering said: "Of course the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. . . . But after all it is the leaders of the country that determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along."

People can always be brought to the will of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

Goering was obsessed by Hitler’s personality. On one occasion Goering said my conscious is F├╝hrer's (Hitler’s) conscious. They were ready to follow Hitler under any circumstances. Therefore many Nazis leaders shared a common mental structure.

Nazis were able to create a mass hysteria and mass conditioning of the German people. Millions of people believed in Nazi propaganda and adored Hitler. No doubt that Hitler was a charismatic leader and an excellent orator. Gilbert studied the inner nature of Adolf Hitler. In 1950; Gilbert published The Psychology of Dictatorship. In this book, Gilbert made an attempt to portray a profile of the psychological behavior of Adolf Hitler.

Why Hitler preached racial superiority? Has he had any doubts about his origin? Hitler’s grandmother Anna Maria Schicklgruber became pregnant while working as a servant in a Jewish household. Hitler made daring attempts to conceal this factor and had fears that his pure Aryan blood was contaminated. When he was about to be the absolute leader of the Germany one newspaper published an article stating that the shape of Hitler’s nose is more Hungarian than German. Hitler was furious about this article and eventually he hunted the journalist who wrote it. Hitler admired the music of Wagner. Wagner was an anti-Semite.

As a boy Hitler was tormented, humiliated and mocked by his father. Hitler’s father punished him for a slightest mistake he made. When he became an adult leader he ruled the Germany with an iron fist. His aunt Johanna was a schizophrenic patient and little Hitler was terrified by his aunt’s psychotic behavior. In the later years Hitler ordered to terminate every psychiatric person in Germany. He could not stand them.

In his speech in 1937 April Hitler said,

All that concerns me is never to take a step that I might later have to retrace and never to take a step which could damage us in any way. You must understand that I always go as far as I dare and never further. It is vital to have a sixth sense which tells you broadly what you can and cannot do.

Hence Hitler was determined to continue his destructive efforts despite the protests made by the civilized world. He misinterpreted the religion and used it to justify his atrocities against Jewish people. In his autobiography Mein Kampf (P46) Hitler mentions the following statement.

I believe to-day that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator. In standing guard against the Jew I am defending the handiwork of the Lord.

Henry Murray, a prominent personality specialist at Harvard University hypnotized that Hitler was deeply confused about his sexuality. Analyzing the metaphors in his book Mein Kampf, Murray says that Hitler was unable to come to terms with his complex sexuality. Henry Murray claimed that Hitler was both impotent and a "fully fledged masochist". His niece Galee became so tormented by his sexual jealousy and committed suicide. Hitler’s sexual inadequacy may have led to exorbitant cravings for superiority. Lothar Machtan has argued in his book The Hidden Hitler that Hitler was homosexual.

Although Hitler proclaimed that the Third Reich was invincible and would last for thousands of years the system was collapsing in front of his eyes. In the verge of the defeat his passion for Germany changed dramatically. Adolf Hitler issued his infamous "Nero Decree," the order to destroy all German industry and infrastructure. Hitler’s Minister of War Industry Albert Speer sabotaged this auto destructive plan. On 30 April 1945 when the Red Army was advancing Hitler committed suicide with Eva Braun in the F├╝hrerbunker.

Psychology of Nazism demonstrates the savage part of the human nature. Leaders can tune the people and make them hate and terminate other ethnic groups without remorse. When the people are being desensitized they follow the leaders blindly. Influential charismatic negative leadership can bring total chaos to the Humankind.

Following poem reveals the life time suffering of a victim of the Auschwitz concentration camp and the magnitude of trauma caused by the Nazi ideology.

Monday, March 22, 2010

State Terrorism and Absolute Animalism



In the early months of 2009 year, after heavy shelling and artillery attacks in civilian-populated areas in the Wanni, thousands of people had surrendered themselves to the Sri Lanka army in the absence of any alternative to being bombed to death in their homes.

Many of these people had been butchered like cattle, with women raped in army bunkers and then killed. At the time these atrocities began to take place the Human Rights Groups raised the alarm to both civilians and the international community. Civilians were warned about the possibility of being extra-judicially slaughtered by the soldiers of the Sri Lankan army and the message was conveyed to the international community through the media network. The international community turned a (deliberate) blind eye to these incidents, and instead demanded evidence for these supposed massacres, even when it was well aware the Sri Lankan government wasn’t allowing any independent journalists into the war zone.

Now, however, the occurrence and utter brutality of these massacres has been proved beyond any doubt by the Human Rights Groups, with the Sri Lankan military being forced to make some farcical statements in an attempt to cover up their now-exposed tendencies to murder and animalism

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Sinhalese humiliate Jaffna Tamils

I ‘ve read this article and seems to me the Victorious Sinhalese are humiliating the vanquished, dispossessed and disadvantaged Tamils, harass the Tamil girls and vandalize Tamil places of worship while abusing the meager water and other recourses in Jaffna
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It is reported that the people of the North, especially in the Jaffna district, have developed a feeling of dissatisfaction, disaffection and contempt towards the people of the South, who post the end of the war are now engaging in pilgrimage and sightseeing related visits to the North in large numbers, and in the process totally disregarding the need for privacy, encroaching on meagre infrastructure resources and services of the district, causing significant negative impact on the environment/cleanliness and pollution in the area, and behaving in a manner unacceptable by the cultural and religious values of the Northerners.
These negative feelings are expressed in relation to the following issues highlighted in support of the claim;
1. Large and unrestricted numbers of pilgrims are traveling from the South to the Jaffna District especially to visit Naghadhipa, Nallur Kovil, Madhu Church and other places of religious worship and there are no adequate infrastructure facilities for this level of inflow
2. Following the pilgrimage these visitors engage in sightseeing and visit war damaged areas, IDP resettlement areas and places of religious and cultural heritage of the Northerners
3. During the sightseeing tours visitors do not effectively engage with the people of the area, do not respect their need for privacy nor empathise with their present status and enquire and try to extend any help or even express feelings of solidarity as citizens of one nation in brotherhood. They state and look at them in a manner that they feel that they were once captives of the Terror groups, then displaced persons and now destitute looked on by their southern citizens as animals in a cage or helpless people in a hopeless state. These feelings are heightened as the people in the North do not see their plight, lifestyles and challenges of life and livelihoods are shared by the southern brothers and sisters.
4. Large numbers use Duraiappa Stadium and areas in the vicinity and these areas are not capable of providing the necessary housing, waste, sanitation, garbage clearance facilities to the present level of visitors and therefore they use open areas and their resting areas for washing, toilets, cooking and leave the areas totally polluted with garbage, polythene, waste and toilet waste causing great inconvenience to residents
5. These pilgrims indiscriminately use the water and other resources of nearby temples, kovils and Churches and use water for washing, cleaning after toilet use etc without consideration of the cultural and religious values and use of these premises and the state they leave behind after use with no concern for residents who use the same facilities thereafter
6. Visitors who are not actual worshipers crowd temples/kovils during poojah time and crowd out actual users and disturb the sanctity and value of the poojahs
7. These pilgrims use religious places and culturally significant places like the Jaffna Library disrespectfully ( in shoes) and use it for lying down, relaxing and entertainment including some times for consumption of alcohol
8. High Ace Vans are sometimes parked in front of Kovils and other places of cultural significance and visitors have food and at times alcohol and dancing with blaring music disrespecting the places of worship and cultural values
9. Ladies and Young Girls on bicycles are subjected to harassment, whistling, hooting and negative comments by visitors
10. Insensitive behaviours all round by not recognizing and aligning with the the socio-cultural values of Northerners.”

I have not been to the North post war, but vividly remember my post cease fire (2002) visits to Jaffna, Batticaloa, and Trincomalee where I encountered scenes and reactions very different to those described above. Those scenes were of the joyful mingling on equal terms of thousands of visitors and locals. Now, it appears, the meetings are of the victims and the vanquished. The primary fault is with neither the visitors nor the locals but with the manner in which the end of the war was treated by the national leadership and the media. The atmosphere of triumphalism, yet prevailing, is deeply damaging to inter ethnic harmony and to the prospects of healing wounds and reconstructing the Sri Lankan nation. There is much physical construction work but the locals remain disempowered and marginalized.

Under Apartheid, South Africa had been burdened with incomparably greater inter-ethnic hostilities and institutionalized racism and oppression than Sri Lanka ever was. But with the inspired leadership of Mandela, Tutu, and the others, they successfully dislodged those burdens in a manner that few predicted, and achieved a level of success that seemed impossible. Leadership of that quality may not appear anywhere on our planet for decades to come, but can we in Sri Lanka not find ways to bridge our much more modest but yet widening ethnic divides? We surely can, though, sadly, we see very little of even acknowledgement of the problem, still less of meaningful steps to address it. Our problems today are of our own creation and not of meddlesome foreigners or of the Diaspora