DBS Jeyaraj, on dbsjeyaraj.com published a blog post with the same title.
I have been a follower of his blog for sometime and always thought that he presented a balanced view of the problems facing Sri Lanka.
In this particular post, after lamenting about what he claimed is vulgar triumphalism of the Sri Lankans (after the total annihilation on the LTTE in LK) he posts what he claimed to be a letter from a Mr. Upali Cooray- who he says is a well known trade unionist and human rights activist who also happened to be a former stalwart of the Ceylon Mercantile Union and an active member of the Lanka Sama Samaaja Party (LSSP).
Mr. Cooray has written this letter as a response to a Facebook posting by his grandson.
This unnamed grandson had, according to DBSJ, being ‘engulfed by the triumphalist‘ tide and had made some ‘jingoist and triumphalist‘ remarks on Facebook.
The grandson had done an about face and thanked his wise old grandpa for opening his eyes and had urged the grandpa to publish his letter as widely as possible.
This is what DBSJ had done.
Now, after reading this letter I saw a lot of points that I disagreed on.
So as a good web citizen, I posted a comment on DBSJ’s blog.
Dear Mr. Jeyaraj,
Please tell me,
What is ‘vulger’ about celebrating the fact that:
1) Innocent, poor, un-educated Tamils in the North & East of the country not having to worry about their children being abducted by the LTTE to be used as child soldiers after a few weeks training.
2) Sinhla, Tamil, Muslim, and other ethnicities in the rest of the country not having to worry about not being able to return home in one piece because of a LTTE bomb on a bus, train, or some other public place.
3) The whole country being united under one flag after a very long time, under a very strong leader.
4) Being able to look forward to a bright future for Sri Lanka where all nationalities live as one ethnicity called Sri Lankans and fight the war against poverty.
Be honest and please tell me which part of these celebrations are VULGER.
Let me tell you somethings that ARE vulgar.
a) Tamil diaspora sending money to LTTE from UK, Australia, Canada etc. and funding terrorism.
b) Celebrating the fact that Sinhalease have died in a bus bomb, or a train bomb sponsored by your money. The boys have done it again, ah?
c) Approving the deaths (maybe u think it is for a greater good) of brainwashed tamil children as human bombs.
d) Giving your respect to a white tiger (yes, I mean Mrs. Balasinghem living in UK with Tiger money) who garlands child soldiers with cyanide capsules and send them to their deaths.
I hope the Tamil Disapora either comes to their senses or be forever alienated from Sri Lanka!
There is a difference between celebrating and vulgarly celebrating just as there is a difference in vulgrar display of wealth and displaying wealth.
Like beauty even perceptions of vulgarity depend upon the beholder I suppose. Your interpretation of Vulgarity differs from mine
Meanwhile try reading Upali’s letter with an open mind. You may get answers there
This got published along with his usual addition at the end “DBSJ Responds”.
Several other commentors also expressed simillar sentiments, but the vast majority of commentors seemed to agree on what Mr. Cooray was saying.
So I wrote an another comment- a longer one. I took the whole of Mr. Cooray’s letter and pointed out what was wrong with it, line by line.
This didn’t get posted.
I tried again- thinking maybe DBSJ didn’t see my comment or it got lost on the system.
Still he didn’t approve my comment.
So I asked him:
Why are you not posting my comment?
And he said on the blog:
“I am sorry but I am not posting your unfair ,nasty attack on Mr.Upali Cooray……….DBSJ”
So, I posted another comment, which I assumed he wouldn’t publish as well.
—— Comment —————-
What I said was not unfair, or nasty or even an attack.
Why don’t you publish and let the other readers decide for themselves.
What I wrote was a sentence by sentence answer to your Mr. Cooray’s letter, thereby exposing the hollowness in what your Mr. Cooray is saying.
I am disappointed in you DBSJ!
I thought you are mature enough to entertain opposing points of view.
In fact, I intitally thought that DBSJ is a balanced voice among the Sinhalease hating Tamils living outside Lanka.
But now I feel like I have to revise that opinion.
You are just another sulking tiger in dove’s clothing.
Very diplomatic yes, balanced? No.
No need to publish this comment.
I just wanted to tell what I think about you.
—— END: Comment —————-
And now, since I have my own blog, I realized that I can publish the whole thing here, and let the people from whose eyes DBSJ kept this opinion away, see it after all.
This is the comment that DBSJ didn’t want to be seen by his viewers:
—— Comment ———–
Most of you here are harping on how great this Podi Seeya character and saying how we need more of these type of people.
Let me walk through his letter and point a few facts out…
>> Claims such as ‘Sri Lankan Army is the Greatest in the >> World’ are obviously inaccurate.
Or is it?
The SLA completely defeated the “invincible” terrorist LTTE in less than 3 years, when the world super power USA + UK + their allies are still behaving like “a cat who shit on a rock (translation of a Sinhala saying)” after over 6 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan and thousands of civilian and military deaths.
Do you know that one of the main reasons that the US military get into wars periodically is to keep the fighting skills of their soldiers sharp, and to shake up their economy?
You use it or you loose it!
That’s true for military skills as well.
The ultra capable invincible US armies you see in Hollywood movies are not real!
When it comes the time for hand-to-hand combat any novice in the first few weeks of fighting is easy bait. Doesn’t matter how hard you practice inside the camps.
But SLA is not like that!
Because of the high intensity fighting during the last few years, most of the soldiers in the SLA is in the top form.
We do not have troop careers and nuclear missiles and spy satellites yes, but we DO HAVE a committed brave fighting force. For at least another 20 years, no body, including USA or India or even China would be able to fight a ground war with the SLA because we would have commanders who have seen tough action available to command the armies.
Of course bombing the whole country to the stone age is not an option- because, well that would go against the “supposedly high moral standards” of the west.
So yes, Sri Lankan army is the GREATEST IN THE WORLD!
>> According to the government, the operations in the last few months have
>> resulted in the death of over 6000 soldiers.
>> Many more have suffered serious injuries.
Most of these causalities happened because the SLA fought responsibly. If SLA fought like the US or UK armies do in Afghanistan- bomb the hell out of the suspected rebel villages using remotely controlled drones with complete disregard for civilians (of course Madame Clinton can later look meek and say ‘extremely sorry’)- SLA causalities would be much less.
And DBSJ who writes so knowledgeably about the past fighting between the SLA and the LTTE would know that a lot of these causalities happened during the last stage of the fighting because the SLA wanted to minimize civilian deaths.
If you think that these deaths are wasted, go talk to the parents and wives of these dead soldiers. They are sad at their private loss, yes. But they are happy as well. They are happy that their loss is not in vain.
They are PROUD that their sons, husbands were part of the force that brought Sri Lanka under one flag.
And they know that the future history of Sri Lanka will forever remember their deeds.
>> If we compare this to what the Indian peace-keeping force [IPKF] incurred
>> during a two year operation,
>> the figure of 6000 is extremely high.
Well, the LTTE in 1980’s and the LTTE in 2008 are completely two different animals.!
>> At the time the IPKF were ordered to leave Sri Lanka by president Premadasa,
>> egged on by the JVP and some elements of the SLFP, they had surrounded the
>> LTTE leadership and were about to deal a decisive defeat on the LTTE.
>> Yet the IPKF lost just over 1000 soldiers.
Well before the IPKF arrived, and before the Indians violated the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka by dropping Parippu (Dhal) on Jaffna, the SLA itself had surrendered the LTTE and was about to deal a decisive blow to the LTTE!
India rescued their “Made in India LTTE” and then in their turn had to take their errant brat of a son under heal.
>> If one compares other theatres of war such as Iraq and Afghanistan, the casualty rate of the
>> Sri Lankan security forces is extremely high.
>> This of course does not detract from the role the armed forces played in
>> defeating the LTTE and many people
>> may be relieved by the fact the ethnic conflict has at least,
>> for the time being, come to an end.
“Many people may be relieved” – so Mr. Cooray himself, is not relieved, is he?
“For the time being”- so you want it to start it again?
Is Mr. Cooray a real name or is some Tamil Diaspora soul who thinks that since their boys (the LTTE) is no more as a fighting force and that the fight for the “Mythical Tamil rights” are best propagated by other means, play acting the role of the Seeya and the fooldhardy grandson?
>> That is impermissible, however, is to go overboard in assessing the outcome of this armed conflict.
>> Furthermore, this triumphalism fails to recognise the enormous destruction of life and property this
>> conflict engendered, including thousands of civilians who lost their lives.
What fighting doesn’t result in “enormous destruction of life and property”?
And doesn’t the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan cause any civilian causalities?
How about the sanction on Iraq that resulted in untold suffering on civilians?
>> Secondly, your triumphalism fails to consider the deep-rooted problems that gave rise
>> armed rebellion by a section of the Tamil people.
Here we go again…
>> It deleted from history the anti-Tamil riots of 1977,
>> the burning down of the most valuable libraries in Jaffna in 1981.
>> The pogrom of 1983 which resulted in wide-spread attacks of Tamils all over the country
>> and the systematic torture and disappearances that many Tamil activists
>> were subjected to by the security forces.
Jaffna Libray was rebuilt and the opening was prevented by the LTTE
I can understand the LTTE’s sentiments. After all why wouldn’t they want to keep on harping on that old wound for the end of time….
Of course. This war wouldn’t be here if not for some of these incidents.
But after 1983, has any act of racism towards Tamils occurred in Sri Lanka.
DBSJ, I challenge you to list at least a few of them!
Despite the LTTEs best efforts to get the Sinhalease to kill the Tamils living in the South- why do you think they attacked the Temple of the Tooth and the Sri Maha Bodhiya, killed a bus load of monks in Aranthalawa, blew up several coaches in a train at Dehiwala- the Sinhalease stood firm and didn’t resort to communal violence!
It is not pretenders like Mr. Cooray (if he really exists) that stood firm and resisted provocations to communal violence, but the ordinary Sinhalese people LIVING IN Sri Lanka.
It is not difficult to live in UK and preach understanding.
But imagine, the father who sees the son who miraculously survived the blown up bus (courteously of a LTTE Cleome Bomb in Kebitibollawa) only to be gunned down as he run away from the bus by the LTTE. Now imagine his villagers sending relief to the displaced Tamils in IDP camps to help the Tamils.
This is compassion.
>> If we are to resolve this problem what we need today is magnanimity in victory
>> and not trumphalism.
I addressed this in my previous comment and I say again. We have a right to celebrate.
If you (the Tamil Disapora who sent money so that the LTTE can kill Sinhalease and Tamils in SL) are upset that your horse has lost the race- Go Fly a Kite.
Seriously, please Go Fly a Kite
Don’t come here preaching magnanimity.
>> We must extend our hand of friendship to those who we do not necessarily agree with.
>> We must seek reconciliation and not further confrontation.
>> We must listen to their grievances and go half way in meeting their demands.
We are doing that. We were doing that since 1983.
Those who left SL over two decades back are still harboring animosity towards Sinhalease and have poisoned the next generation.
Look what MIA is saying.
Seeing her blogs, twitter feeds etc. it is plain that she hates Sinhalese to the core.
It is the Tamil Diaspora represented by the likes of MIA that should “extend a hand of friendship” to the Sinhalese.
Tamils living in Sri Lanka are already in good terms with the Sinhalese.
I speak from experience. I have many Tamil friends from all walks of life.
>> Besides, your trumphalism is alien to our culture, for instance, after defeating Elara,
>> King Dutugemunu ordered that every horseman must dismount when he reached the
>> tomb of Elara as a mark of respect to very man Dutugemunu had defeated in war.
>> That is the spirit in which we must approach the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka.
In the historic chronicles that mentions this story, it is also mentioned that “Elara was a just King”.
Is Prabakaran a just leader?
Not by any stretch of the imagination.
If Mr. Cooray (if he really exists and is not an imaginary character of some Tamil Diaspora keyboard warrior) says that Prabakaran should be respected for all the deaths and harms he caused his country, his head should be seriously examined.
>> Thirdly, we must not believe that simply because the LTTE has been defeated today,
>> other armed rebellions will not occur in the future.
In your dreams.
SLA would crush any arms rebellions at its inception- nip it in the bud, so to speak.
Like I said, for at least 20 years we would have battle hardened commanders rising up from the ranks. They would crush any armed rebellion as soon as it raises its ugly head.
>> You cannot repress and deprive the rights of any group of people forever.
>> As long as people feel that they do not enjoy equal rights and justice,
>> there will always be people who will organise armed rebellions.
>> It is important to note that there are substantial number of Tamils, in Sri Lanka,
>> Tamil Nad, South Africa, Europe and North America who feel that
>> Tamils in Sri Lanka are second calls citizens,
>> that their life and liberty are at risk.
Mr. Cooray says that many foreign Tamils feel that “Tamils in SL are second class citizens” !
I will tell you who the second class citizens are:
Jaffna Tamils treat the Eastern Tamils as second class citizens.
Both Jaffna Tamils and Eastern Tamils treat the Hill Country Tamils as third class citizens.
And there are different casts of Tamils as well, where you have a chain of N classes of citizens.
All these among Tamils.
Do you know that on average Sinhalease treat Tamils better than how Jaffna Tamils treat Hatton Tamils?
In fact Hill country tamils are more comfortable with the Sinhalease than with the Jaffna and other high cast Tamils.
I bet you knew!
Maybe you yourself feels the same.
>> While some these claims may be exaggerated, the importance is that
>> there is a substantial body of very wealthy people around the globe
>> who would be prepared to bankroll other armed actions to
>> achieve dignity and equal rights.
“may be exaggerated”?
Blown out of proportion is more like it!
And to those vulgar wealthy communalists around the globe, who Mr. Cooray says is willing to bankroll another wave of terrorists- I say, BRING IT ON!
SLA will increase it’s strength by another 100,000 troops. We are getting more equipment.
We are ready.
>> You cannot keep an ethnic minority suppressed permanently by armed force.
Like I said, Tamils are not suppressed in Sri Lanka!
Challenge to Mr. DBSJ:
Write down a list of at least 10 items that indicate how “Tamils are suppressed in Sri Lanka today”.
I am sure you can’t even find 1 item.
What the F**K was the LTTE fighting for?
Is Sri Lanka Sinhala only?
Hell NO. Both Sinhala and Tamil have equal status.
Can’t Tamils buy land in Colombo?
Hell No. In Colombo Sinhalese is a minority!
>> You can see that from the history of the Palestinian struggle.
>> Despite the superior fire power, arms and support of the West , each day,
>> month and year more and more young Palestinians come forward to lay down
>> their lives to achieve justice. Israel can never achieve secure borders or peace
>> by sheer armed might.
Palestinian in not an Ealam and Sri Lanka is not an Israil.
Those vulgar wealthy communalists around the globe, who Mr. Cooray says is willing to bankroll another wave of terrorists, wouldn’t find brain washable Tamil kids in Sri Lanka to carry their guns and bombs. They certainly wouldn’t find any Tamil kids willing to lay down their lives for a lost cause.
>> In any even we cannot afford another costly war.
Actually the next war, if Mr. Coorays wealthy bankrolling friends do manage to materialize it, wouldn’t be costly at all.
SLA gets intelligence from the Sri Lankan Tamils. In fact, we had that support for some time. That is one reason we were able to crush the LTTE completely.
This next hypothetical rising would be nipped in the bud. The treasury wouldn’t feel it at all.
>> Therefore, what we need is not triumpalism but an attempt to understand the grievances
>> of the Tamils and creating an institutional framework for ensuring
>> fairness and equal rights to all communities.
>> Your triumphalism does not recognise the importance
>> of this monumental task facing us.
Well when we say that Tamils have equal rights- what we mean is EQUAL- not MORE and not LESS.
So there is no need to single out Tamils and give them special constitutional rights.
Every single Sri Lankan citizen would have the same rights!
And that institutional framework is already there.
The real monumental task is to fight poverty and corruption.
That will be done in couple of years.
Like the president said, Sri Lanka will be the pride of Asia soon.
>> I was saddened by the nature of the messages you had posted in the Facebook.
>> I thought that you had the strength of character to withstand the chauvinist hysteria
>> that swept through the country after the defeat of the LTTE.
>> Sometimes it is important to swim against the current in order to stand by your moral values.
>> I hope you will reconsider your views and adopt a more sober attitude.
“chauvinist hysteria” is a big phrase!
Does this Mr. Cooray know what it means?
In fact the Tamil Diaspora has switched their catch phrases:
Now “Genocide” is out- it is “Inhuman conditions in internment camps” and “Chauvinist Hysteria”
I know of people who “swim against the current ” just to show to the world that they are different, special. They want to show that they understand what other do not. Most leftist and liberals in Sri Lanka are like that. “I know more than you… I am better … ” is their motto.
>> After all equanimity in the face of both triumph and disaster is the essence of our culture.
>> Our culture and tradition teaches us to adopt an attitude of equanimity in the face of
>> profit and loss, wealth and poverty, disparagement and praise and happiness and
>> unhappiness (Labho Alabho, Ayaso yasocha, Ninda prasnsa, sukancha dukkham).
And now this guy preached scripture.
How do you think the Tamils in Colombo and the rest of the country survived amidst the LTTE’s attempt to engineer communal backlashes against the Tamils by the Sinhalease?
Like I said, after 1983, not a single incident of a communal violence against Tamils by Sinhalease have occurred. How magnanimous do you think we have been.
I hope DBSJ publishes this comment.
—– END: Comment ——