On the Aftermath of the Eviction and Being a Moderate

It finally seems that all the protests and the public outcry against the eviction have caused the Government to do something about it:

In a new turn of events to the drama surrounding the eviction of Tamil lodge dwellers from Colombo last week, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake yesterday expressed regrets to the hundreds of Tamils for their eviction from the city, saying it was a ‘big mistake’ by the government.

This ‘apology’ is one that I am heartily glad for, though we still wait for the release of arbitrarily remanded individuals.

Plenty of bloggers in our little Kottu community were quite disturbed about the evictions, which was quite heartening. It shows that there are people who still have not been deadened by this protracted conflict. But surprisingly and sadly, a few bloggers were angered by our stand. Angered so in fact, as to point fingers at bloggers and accuse others of ltte propaganda. Since when has the act of getting upset at unfair treatment been a bad thing?

Everyone knows that the LTTE is doing wrong. They are quite obviously a terrorist group. They commit acts of destruction, instigate armed conflict, kidnappings and so on. But the democratically elected Government has different responsibilities. Using the tactics of a terrorist organization against its citizens is not an option.

As RD says in a comment:

In theory the GOSL is a democratically elected government and the fundamental pillars of democracy are supposed to be liberty and freedom. That’s where I think the big difference lies between its actions and those committed by the LTTE.

The reason why the eviction caused so much commotion was because it happened in the heart of Colombo, and at our door steps as it were. If it were a security procedure to ensure the safety of Colombo, then it should have been focused on all lodgers staying in Colombo without a reason and not simply Tamils. Here is where the crux of the matter lies. A forced eviction of only Tamils for vague security reasons.

It is strange how people jump on your back when you state that peace is better than war. It makes one scratch one’s head and wonder if peace means something different in different languages. Being a moderate seems to be a new bad word too.

A comment by ‘Goran’ states sarcastically  :

A lot of the posts were hurried ones jotted up so that the authors could claim with shrill voices “look at me! I am a “moderate” too! Yay! Pat me on the back and **** me off!”

In a Buddhist country, moderate has become an insult? What ever happened to the middle path? What ever happened to conciliation? Buddhism is a religion that advocates peace and moderation, and yet those who try and practice moderation become a target.

Despite what anyone says, I don’t believe violence can be legitimate or justified. If a ‘peacenik’ is one for peace, then hell, I will become a ‘peacenik’. If a moderate advocates moderation and detests war, then I will be a moderate.  Peace is never easy, but that does not mean we will give up on it.

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12 comments
  1. Sri Lankan said:

    Suck my chocolate salty balls.

  2. //Since when has the act of getting upset at unfair treatment been a bad thing?\\

    🙂 Problem is, you don’t “get upset” for “ALL” unfair treatment, and you tend to “get upset” only for a “selected” unfair treatments. If some one read my post from top to bottom, (without any prejudices like you did) he might realize, I haven’t said the move by the police was right at any point. It was unfair treatment, and I “got upset” too. But, I “pointed the finger” at those who only “got upset” for this small issue, but not “get upset” for more brutal violation of human rights in this country.

    And, I know you will publish this comment, and delete after few days, like you did for some of the earlier comments I made on your blog 🙂 You are very smart in that! No one notice that you moderate comments (of opposite opinions) 😉

  3. galleblogger said:

    welcome to the peacenik club! peaceniks forever!

    p.s. reminder: being a peacenik doesn’t necessarily mean always peaceFUL, FUCK the nazi warmongers! (LTTE included)

    galle “peacenik “blogger

  4. janusis said:

    A bit too much harsh language on this topic. But if i delete them then I will be accused of comment moderation.. So better keep em on.

    @ VIC, normally I would respect and give credence to any blogger no matter if their opinion does not concur with mine. But you, my friend, I have to dismiss solely for your baseless accusations peppered with smilies. I have never deleted comments on my blog unless they were spam or maybe profanity far worse than what the ‘Sri Lankan’ commented above. Unless you were a spammer, I would not delete your comments. So either your comment ever made it to my blog, or you are mistaking my blog for something else.
    As for opposite opinions, if you ever bothered to read my blog, you will find that not all those who comment agree with me.

    I do get upset for ‘all’ unfair treatment. I just do not have as much time to write a post for every thing i get upset about, as you suggest I should. I write about what ever catches my attention, whatever I feel should be written about, and whatever topic that has been discussed but that I have a different opinion on. If a topic has been dealt with according to my ideas, I usually do not write about it.

  5. //I write about what ever catches my attention\\

    In marketing there’s a concept called “selective attention”. You pay attention to those things that interests you. It’s natural human behaviour. Nothing wrong. Read more about it. 9And read about selective distortion too)

    //I just do not have as much time to write a post for every thing i get upset about, as you suggest I should\\

    I don’t suggest that. And I do agree that we all are lacking time to blog about everything which happens around us. But, my question was, why the so called “humantarians” (Including you) as an entire unit, don’t have “any time” to write something about human rights violation by LTTE, but every one suddenly find “time” to write some thing about sending 376 people back to their homes? Co-incidence? 🙂

    And finally, sorry about the comment deletion part. May be I have mistaken you with some other “humantarian”. Because you all sounds pretty simmilar, so I can’t keep a track of on who’s blog I’m commenting 🙂

  6. @ ViC

    “But, my question was, why the so called “humantarians” (Including you) as an entire unit, don’t have “any time” to write something about human rights violation by LTTE”

    Doesn’t everybody know about it?

    @ Janusis:

    “In a Buddhist country, moderate has become an insult? What ever happened to the middle path? What ever happened to conciliation? Buddhism is a religion that advocates peace and moderation, and yet those who try and practice moderation become a target.”

    They say, Christianity is the religion of love. But in Germany, our “Christian” parties are the most hateful and racist beneath nationalists. All over the world it’s the same: Politicians praise religion – as long as it’s useful for their secular concerns.

  7. galleblogger said:

    i dont agree with all this modration stuff, i nowadays, seeing the turn things have taken, actually think it’s time to start SHOUTING. most of the biggest war crimes, ethnic cleansing etc.in the world were/are carried out in silence akin to complicity by the masses at national and international level. i mean look at the pathetic response from the diplomatic circles, un, ambassadors (the stupid japanese Wankashi even supported the latest move!?!?!) etc… they should be SHOUTING, threatining to close down embassies, threatening sanctions in order to stop the war and the human rights violations, all kinds of stuff, but no, they r like the politicos, tied to their fucking chairs.
    i also think being “moderate” in terms gives an impression of weakness to you adversaries, let them know you are fucking pissed off, you know? (at least in the areas of the country where u can, i.e. not kilinochchi, it’s wouldn’t be very healthy i suppose)
    they will listen after that, dont you worry, they’ll shit their pants and be afraid of losing their jobs/support/priviliges/etcetc…
    p.s. sorry about the foul language, dont ban me coz of it, but i’m fucking pissed off. hahahahha!

    btw, seeing that vic and just another couple of other great geniuses
    (which are a minority like the tamils, hahahhhahha!) supports the gosl move against the tamil lodgers and all kinds of other stuff, why dont u do the same to him/them? REMOVE him! hahhahhahahahhah!

  8. your argument that eviction was based on ethnicity does not hold water. there are hundreds of thousand of tamils in colombo, there are 15000+ tamils in lodges, and 5000 in lodges examined that day. in other words 376 were selected on other grounds; they lacked of identification and were unable to give a reason to stay here. this was not a secret. but you chose to ignore all that. that is why i say you are exaggerating

    “Using the tactics of a terrorist organization against its citizens is not an option.”
    good. but did government use terrorist tactics? do explain what you mean by that. be more specific

    “Everyone knows that the LTTE is doing wrong. They are quite obviously a terrorist group. They commit acts of destruction, instigate armed conflict, kidnappings and so on. But the democratically elected Government has different responsibilities”
    excellent opinions
    but do tell if you prefer a peace that will leave ltte ( quite an evil group as you describe) in power? should a democratic government responsibly allow ltte to rule part of sri lanka committing all those atrocities and violating right? isn’t government bc it is a democratic one duty bound to defeat ltte? and given the nature of ltte ( as you describe it) wouldn’t that require violence ? since you have such excellent opinions as the ones i quoted above i suppose you would have difficulty in giving your opinion on these questions.

    “It is strange how people jump on your back when you state that peace is better than war. It makes one scratch one’s head and wonder if peace means something different in different languages. Being a moderate seems to be a new bad word too.”
    peace can mean differnt things. for instance you can have a ‘peace’ without human rights, justice, freedom, and democracy. as would be the case if ltte remains in existence and ‘peace’ is concluded with them. may be ‘moderates’ who advocate such a peace is should be abused.

  9. janusis said:

    @VIC,
    As bloggers we all have selective attention, depending on the information we come across and the time constraints we have. The only way a blog could stop being selectively attentive is if it were to become a newspaper, which would involve more people and resources and is mostly impossible. As for selective distortion, I am afraid that applies to the both of us. We cant have the pot calling the kettle black, now can we…
    Another thing. We all know the LTTE is wrong. You want me to state it unambiguously? fine.

    The LTTE is wrong.

    So that means that all the acts of terrorism they commit is wrong. And there is enough and more writing about that. But what some ‘humanitarians’ do, is write about matters that attract less attention. (Granted, I didn’t know this topic would escalate so much.) The GoSL is a democratically elected body and as such has a greater responsibility. While everyone knows that terrorists are unlawful, what should not happen is the Government itself, the so called law-keepers, committing such acts. THAT is why I write about it.

    @Simon,
    Yes, I am afraid you are right. Christianity, Islam, and everything else. As soon as you try and mix religion with politics, everything goes haywire.

    @ Sittingnut,
    But also sittingnut, the government did admit that a mistake had been made. They wouldn’t admit such a thing unless they had no solid reason with which to defend their actions. Also, what do they police mean by lack of id. A lot of Tamils who have Jaffna IDs are often treated more severely, even if they have spent most of their lives in Colombo. This I have witnessed.
    Instead of packing them all off to camps up North within half an hour, further investigation should have taken place. Then if they could find adequate evidence, any ‘spies’ could be detained. If any of them were LTTE, what would be the use of sending them back home with a slap on the wrist?

    As for the question of tactics, the LTTE displaced many Muslims from the North. The Government, on a smaller scale is displacing Tamils whom they are unsure about.

    I never said the road to peace would be an easy one. Personally, I was never for a divided country. But if a single state is impossible to maintain, then a compromise has to be made. The LTTE as they are right now, are neither a good governing body nor a proper representative of the Tamil people. Through judicious use of pressure and negotiations a proper system of government and federalism could be created. (Don’t expect me to map it all out here. I am not the APC) Would that there were a De Klerk and Mandela here..

    No one should be abused. No matter what they advocate. If you were born a Tamil, you would probably have different view points. It’s easy to have a yearning for ‘legitimate violence’ when you are part of an ethnic majority. Also, there is no peace without human rights, justice and freedom. Those all have to be incorporated, that will take time. It has been done before (in other countries) and can be done again.

    @ gallblogger,
    Maybe you are right dude. Maybe trying to couch arguments in ‘moderation’ is not working. All we get is moderate venom and moderate threats. But if I were to yell, they would call me a peacenik extremist. No win situation eh?
    (And no, I wont ban you. I may be a moderate, but I am not a moderator..)

  10. janusis said:

    P.S.
    About my argument not holding water…
    It is not only the Tamil terrorist that cause us problems. There are the Sinhalese crack dealers, thieves, the local mafia, and the Sinhalese terrorists. All of them are a threat to our security? Why weren’t they kicked out?

  11. When we were kids living on the edge of a huge tea estate in the South our constant playmates out of school were the children of the ‘coolies’ living in the ‘lines’ one roomed housing with one common well & lavotory provided by their ‘white master’.
    Those kids taught us to count in Tamil, their games, some common words & terms,tho’ we used Sinhala as our medium of conversation.and never thought of them as any different from us except that they were poor. That made no difference to our relationships.
    In school there was no differentiation between us and our schoolmates who came from affluent Tamil families who could afford to send their children to those fee levying schools of the time. We had fun while we played, studied & were also punished for mischief we did together.Nobody felt superior or inferior or different from the other; Sinhala, Muslim Tamil we were young, growing up together.
    Jaffna was another of the many fascinating places to visit, in our small beautiful island. Can we visit that place with my grandkids when we come back home on a visit? I am not a politician nor a diplomat, only someone living outside our Island dreaming of the return to sanity and the ideal society for the next generation to live in.Is this too much to ask of the peple who are in charge of the Country & the others who are bent on separation ?
    Could someone convince us that we are asking for too much?
    I am only asking.

  12. AnferTuto said:

    Hola faretaste
    mekodinosad

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