Truth before Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Countering Truth with Lies

My father Brian Senewiratne is still promoting his “dozen DVDs” as a vital effort to counter the “disinformation campaign of the Sri Lankan government”. In Canada this year, he said the Tamil expatriates should support his effort by copying and distributing his DVDs at their own expense. This is despite his home-made DVDs being available free on YouTube for many years, with very few views and fewer likes.

The Sri Lankan government did not engage in a disinformation campaign. Brian Senewiratne did. He began this campaign in 2006 after he was invited by the expatriate Tamil organization Ilankai Tamil Sangam to speak at their Annual General Meeting in the USA. At the meeting, he suggested that what was needed was a video presentation about Sri Lanka to provide background to the conflict, and then offered to produce such a video, accepting donations for the promised DVDs.

When he got back to Australia he investigated how much it would cost to make the videos professionally, writing to the Tamil expatiates in the Tamilnet and Sangam websites that it would have cost $4,000 each which would have “sent him to the wall”. Instead, he decided to make the videos unprofessionally himself, using his own video camera and the assistance of his elderly wife to turn the camera on and off. The clumsy propaganda videos took the form of lectures to an empty room in the dark, where he pointed to slides projected onto their living room wall. Into these monologues he had one of his ex-students insert photos and later short videos from the LTTE (Tamil Tiger) propaganda archives.

Brian Senewiratne made several versions of the video between 2006 and 2009, to which he gave what he thought would be catchy titles: “The New Killing Fields of Asia”, “The Future of the Tamils at Stake”, “Sri Lanka: Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, Violation of International Law” etc. The 13 “DVDs” also included recordings of speeches he gave to LTTE-supporting audiences between 2006 and 2009. After his side lost the war, he has continued promoting these DVDs and even in 2018 he has urged the Tamil expatriates in Canada that one of the things they needed to do to achieve “peace and justice” in Sri Lanka is to distribute his writings and DVDs.

Brian Senewiratne’s Political Agenda

Brian Senewiratne maintained for several decades that he had no political agenda or anything to gain from his involvement in the “Tamil struggle”. This was to increase his credibility, and he made many derogatory comments about politicians and disparaged them as a group. He also made much of being of Sinhalese ethnicity (though he knows little of the language), being a “Christian” (though he doesn’t go to Church or read the Bible) and his genetic relationship with the political Bandaranaike family, which he has denounced and defamed since the 1980s. He was routinely introduced for speeches and interviews as “the cousin of President Chandrika Kumaratunga” (they are second cousins) and then proceeded to attack her and her parents, saying that he “couldn’t help being born into the Bandaranaike family” but he was. He also denigrated the other Sri Lankan and Australian political leaders, but his greatest venom was directed at the Bandaranaike family and later the Rajapaksa family.

Revealing the lie of this denial of personal political aspirations, in 2008 Brian Senewiratne declared his ambition to be made the Foundation Professor of Medicine in a new University of Tamil Eelam if the LTTE won the war. This was to a staged, flag-waving crowd of thousands of Tamil Sri Lankans in Toronto, Canada, organized by the LTTE-supporting Tamil Diaspora, After the war was ended with the defeat of the LTTE, he accepted a political position as the “sole Sinhala senator” in the LTTE-supporting ‘Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam’ (TGTE), headed by the New York-based refugee lawyer Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, who calls himself the “Prime Minister” of the TGTE. An uncharismatic man, he was the LTTE’s lawyer and negotiator during the war. Rudrakumaran still flies the LTTE flag on his desk in his YouTube presentations and gives propaganda speeches in a shrill monotone in Tamil and English, issues “press releases” and makes a general fool of himself, since no one sensible takes the TGTE seriously.

Vexatious Litigation by the TGTE

It appears that the TGTE believes that offense is the best form of defence. This expatriate organization has led the misguided campaign to refer Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court for supposed “genocide” of Tamils since 1948, when the nation gained its independence from Britain. Brian Senewiratne, a long-time member of Amnesty International (he used to hold AI meetings in his house in Brisbane during the war), trained at the University of London and Cambridge in the 1950s. Britain provided a base for the Tamil Tiger propaganda machine, which was headquartered in London, initially at the Tamil Information Centre, back in the 1980s.

After the war ended with the military defeat of his side, Brian Senewiratne convinced the TGTE to employ the Australian-British barrister Geoffrey Robertson, to prepare vexatious charges against the Sri Lankan political and military leadership, charging them with “genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity”. Robertson made video presentations for the TGTE which were posted on YouTube, with little response from viewers. Back in 2009, at the end of the war, Brian Senewiratne had told a crowd of young Tamil Sri Lankans in Sydney, in speech through a megaphone, that he knew Robertson very well and that “he will charge these blaggards and drag them to the International Criminal Court”. As it turned out, Robertson was prepared to accept the case, but not pro bono. The TGTE still flies the LTTE flag at its functions and continues to glorify the Tamil Tigers and their leader, Prabakaran.

The first step to Truth and Reconciliation is truth. The truth is that the Tamil Tigers, with international backing, notably from India and Britain, declared war on the sovereign nation of Sri Lanka. It was a war of offense, and it is a war crime to start a war. It is also said that truth is the first casualty of war. However, the truth about the Tamil Tigers is emerging from first-hand accounts of their many victims. The loudest voices are not usually the wisest. This certainly applies to the shouting propagandists and apologists for the Tamil Tigers.

Why I spell Singhala with a ‘g’ (සිංහල)

‘Microsoft Word accepts both Singhalese and Sinhalese as acceptable spellings for people who speak the Singhala language. However, it does not accept the spelling ‘Singhala’ as opposed to Sinhala without the ‘g’.

There is a big semantic difference between ‘sing’ and ‘sin’ in the English language. Sin is a synonym for evil. People who sin are sinners. People who sing are singers, and Singhalese people love to sing. They have sung since ancient times and their poetry and oral history have been sung in towns. villages and Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka for more than two thousand years.

The spelling of the Singhala language without a g is at odds with the Singhala spelling of the word:

සිංහල

සිංහ – Singha – Lion

“සිං” is ‘sing’ not sin

The generous and cosmopolitan among the Britishers said that the natives of Ceylon spoke in a “sing-song voice”, but the racists among the British despised people “jabbering” in languages they didn’t understand. The Britsh brought the Anglican Church to Sri Lanka and also gave permission for American missionaries to teach that Hinduism and Buddhism were ignorant supersitions, and the only “good” songs were hymns and carols. Native songs and dances were discouraged. The beat of the African drums came to symbolise rebellion of the “restless natives”, who had to understand only enough English to understand the “riot act” when it was read out to them – in English.

The English (Anglican) Church and Catholic (Roman) Church talk a lot about sin, and sin is another word for evil. In Australia, the Aboriginal childen were taken by the rival churches and ‘educated’ in the mission schools, where they were forced to learn rudimentary English, enough to work as labourers and housemaids but not enough to aspire to university, or a well-paying job. They were actively prevented from speaking their numerous beautiful native languages at school, under threat of punishment. They were told that the ancient wisdom of their elders was superstitious nonsense and that they would only go to “heaven” of they believed in the Doctrine of the Trinity and that Jesus was God. If they ‘sinned’ against the Ten Commandments as interpreted by the relevant chuches and their White missionary-teachers they would go to “hell”, a horrific place of eternal punishment, where they would “gnash their teeth in agony for ever and ever”.

The treatment of the ‘civilized’ natives of Ceylon by the British was not as brutal as the treatment of Australian Aborigines, and efforts were made by the missionaries and British universities to undertand and translate the ancient Indian and Sri Lankan languages and scripts. This was done with the help of the Buddhist and Hindu clergy and intelligensia, as well as the political, academic and business leaders, who were keen to learn English and acquire positions of relative power in the colonial administration. There was a lot of interest in Sanskrit, but the British and Europeans divided the Singhalese and Tamils of Sri Lanka as belonging to fundamentally different “races”. The Tamils were said to be Dravidian, but the Singhalese were said to be Aryan, like themselves. This was based on the differences between Singhala and Tamil regarding the influence of Sanskrit. Singhala is said to be derived from the North Indian languages of Pali and Sanskrit, while Tamil is a Dravidian language – which originally meant any of the several South Indian languages (including Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada), These have variable influences from Sanskrit, which is the Hindu liturgical language.

Modern DNA studies have shown the Singhalese and Tamils of Sri Lanka to be closely related, and more closely related than either group to Indians (from the south or north). The Tamils and Singhalese may have distinct languages and culture, but they are the same race and Europeans were wrong about their doctrines about Aryans and Dravidians. It is true, however, that Sanskrit is related to most of the European languages, something that was noticed by European monk-scholars of the Catholic Church in the 1600s, when they first travelled to India and tried to learn Sanskrit from the Brahmins. The Western scholars found common words and linguistic similarity between Sanskrit and the European classical languages of Greek and Latin. This led to a debate about where the Indo-European language family originated, a matter that hasn’t yet been settled. It is generally accepted that though Sanskrit developed in North India and became the holy language of Hinduism, it is related to the rest of the Indo-European, formerly called the Indo-Aryan, language family.

However languages are not the same as races. People of different races can learn the same language. There are many unsolved mysteries that will be elucidated when more people have their DNA tested. I have had mine done by a Canadian company (Genebase).

My family tree on Genebase includes more than 6000 people, mostly uploaded by a distant relative of mine, who I have never met (but we linked family trees since I was already on his extensive, but inaccurate, family tree) . Genebase compares DNA analyses from Indigenous populations around the world, with many groups from India but none from Sri Lanka. This limits the conclusions I can reach from the result that my Tamil mother’s mitochondrial DNA (maternal lineage) traces from the Sindhi Province in Pakistan (home to the Indus-Saraswati Civilization) combined with genetic input from Central India. It is an interesting result, though.

My Singhalese father’s paternal line shows commonalities, according to the DNA analysis, with populations of Indians in Malaysia and populations of Central India, Iran and the Middle-East. Neiher of my parents showed commonalities with European, African, Chinese or South American populations. However, the database is limited to 300 or so studies, and Australian Aboriginal and other Australians, as well as Sri Lankan veddhas and Sri Lankans (whether Singhalese, Tamil or Muslim) were not studied

It took me some years to identify myself as a Sri Lankan rather than a ‘Ceylonese’. Like many English-speaking expatriates I was attached to the name Ceylon. But now I see myself as a Sri Lankan Australian, with heritage and ancestry that is both Tamil and Singhalese. With a g. And I am learning the beautiful languages of my ancestors from my Facebook friends and Linkedin connections, both Tamil and Singhala. With a g. Thanks to all those who have helped me.

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Evidence against Princess Alexandra Hospital, Wooloongabba, Brisbane

via Threats by the PA Hospital

Brian Senewiratne Collecting War Porn

I just confronted my father with collecting war porn.

I rang my parents’ home, where my father, Brian Senewiratne, has just returned after being awarded the second “Nelson Mandela Memorial Prize” by the TGTE. The TGTE is the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, a front for the LTTE or Tamil Tigers, headed by the LTTE’s lawyer Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran who assumes the title of “Prime Minister”. Brian Senewiratne was appointed a senator by Rudrakumaran in 2010 when the organization was first formed from the American, British, European, Australian and Canadian vestiges of the Tamil Tigers international operations. The award was presented to a small audience of “Canadian Tamils” (as opposed to Tamil Canadians) in Toronto, Canada. The first time the Nelson Mandela Award was awarded (last year) it was given to the South African lawyer Yasmin Sooka, who Brian Senewiratne quotes extensively in his propaganda. He has also urged the employment of Sooka by the TGTE in a YouTube presentation he posted on his own YouTube channel in 2015.

I addressed my father before he could hang up the phone:

“I remember now. You were collecting atrocity photos on your computer during the war.”

“Oh, bugger off”. he grunted and hung up the phone.

This was the second time I have rung my parents’ house this morning. The first time I asked “Hello Amma?” and my father, who had picked up the phone but not answered it shouted to my mother, Kamalini:

“Camel, it’s that bugger again. Do you want to speak to him?”

My mother came to the phone and I told her I wanted to discuss Winston Panchacharam’s book (titled Genocide in Sri Lanka) that my father made a big show of “presenting” to Professor Ramu Manivannan at the TGTE’s award night on Saturday 15 April. I watched it on the internet and was shocked by what I saw. Since then, things have been falling into place and I realised that my father has been collecting “war porn”, short for “war pornography”.

I saw some of his collection of photos when I accessed one of his computers in 2007, but didn’t look at them in detail. They were graphic and disturbing photos of dead people and I wasn’t interested in looking at them. There were lots of them and he has several old computers. I had been asked to use the computer to access my mother’s emails for her, and didn’t realise the significance of the photos. Now I do.

I asked my mother yesterday to ask my father, who refused to speak to me on the phone (or in person) about Winston Panchacharam’s book after watching him explaining that he had all five copies of the book in existence and was “presenting” them, whenever he himself received “awards” from the TGTE to the TGTE’s inner circle – namely Usha Sriskandarajah and Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, who he describes as “close friends” of his. They are also among the last remaining supporters of the LTTE.

My mother said she had “heard of” Panchacharam but pretended not to know anything about the book that her husband had made a show of presenting to Manivannan on Saturday. She is lying to protect him and I told her so. I told her he had claimed on Saturday to have met Nelson Mandela, which she and I know to be one of his many lies. “Maybe he did, I don’t know”. She does. She knows that if he met Nelson Mandela he would have been boasting about it, rather than boasting about meeting Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

I am sorry to people of Sri Lanka and also the Tamil community in Canada and around the world for my father’s behaviour, and not realising the full extent of his crimes earlier. I am still discovering more and will keep you posted. Please watch the video “Brian Senewiratne, the LTTE and Dr Panchacharam’s Book” on YouTube (the site of the Holistic University of Brisbane).

I have also contacted Ramu Manivannan, Usha Sri Skandarajah and Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran asking that the copies of Dr Panchacharam’s book that Brian Senewiratne gave them be forwarded to the University of Colombo, the Peradeniya University and University of Jaffna for forensic study, which I am prepared to be involved in.

With One Voice “Peace” (protest song)

words and music by Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam Arya Chakravarti, 2004

recorded in 2006

 

WITH ONE VOICE ‘PEACE’

 

Looking at the sunshine

But kept in the dark

The weatherman said it would be fine

Another glossy, casual remark

‘Cause a new war looms and we’ve seen it all before

A new war looms and we’ve seen it all before

 

The TV talks up the conflict again

It showed the friendly soldiers and some were weeping

It slowed the lonely viewers already sleeping

Said the special correspondent ‘the soldiers are despondent’

This time the administration has acted without consent

And its time to voice some real dissent

 

‘Cause a new war looms and we’ve seen it all before

A new war looms and we’ve seen it all before

 

No longer hypnotised by lies

The masses mobilized

To stop the growth of arms in the skies

The masses have been mobilized

 

They dance and march and wave placards

The poets and the singing bards

They say with one voice “No War!”

They say with one voice “Peace!”

They say with one voice “Peace!”