The Sunday Leader

When The “South” Surrenders With Or Without “White Flags”

The famously speculative “white flag” case against SF with FJ continuing on the witness box, cross examined by Defence Counsel is now into controversies more on publication than on FJ’s reporting.

What is this case about? This case has SF as the man who commandeered the war, accused and charged for making provocative statements creating unrest and communal problems in the country and inconveniencing the government. “Inconveniencing the government” by talking of “white flags” and surrender of LTTE men who were later clarified by him, as killed on the battleground.
This would certainly not come up for questioning, as the purpose of this case is not to investigate the circumstances of the death of those non combatant LTTE leaders who, it is said have walked up with white flags to surrender.
Though outside the court case, this accusation over “white flag killings” does raise goose pimples in this regime. Media reports have many high profile personnel implicated in negotiating the “surrender”. Two articles, one by Marie Colvin, a British journalist who, some nine years ago in 2001, wrote about the war from behind the front lines in LTTE controlled areas and the other by an investigative reporter, Andrew Buncombe, who wrote to the Independent from Colombo, are very insightful articles, on “white flags and surrender”.
Marie Colvin’s article — ‘Tigers begged me to broker surrender’ — date lined  May 24, 2009 in the London Sunday Times, was just five days after the war was declared successfully over, by the President. Buncombe’s article — Tamil leaders ‘killed as they tried to surrender’ — was filed just one day after, on May 20, 2009.
This single quote from Buncombe’s article is most intriguing. [Quote] “Mr. Kohona produced a text message stored on his phone which he had sent to the NGO at 8.46am on Sunday, 16 hours before the Norwegian minister had his final conversation with the LTTE leaders. The message – in response to a question from the NGO as to whether the two political leaders would be safe if they gave themselves up – read: “Just walk across to the troops, slowly! With a white flag and comply with instructions carefully. The soldiers are nervous about suicide bombers.” [unquote] The whole article can be accessed from the web at –
This next quote from Marie Colvin’s article is more than intriguing. [Quote] “I told him (Vijey Nambiar – Ban Ki-moon’s Chief of Staff) the Tigers had laid down their arms. He said he had been assured by Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan President, that Nadesan and Pulidevan would be safe in surrendering. All they had to do was “hoist a white flag high”, he said. I asked Nambiar if he should not go north to witness the surrender. He said no, that would not be necessary: the president’s assurances were enough.” [unquote]
And then Colvin writes, [quote] “I was woken at 5 am by a phone call from another Tigers’ contact in Southeast Asia. He had been unable to get through to Nadesan. ‘I think it’s all over,’ he said. ‘I think they’re all dead’.” [unquote] The whole article, is at –
That for now would suffice, as this case is all about SF’s remarks on the issue and not about Nadesan and Pulidevan with about 300 others, carrying “white flags”.

How the “home made” chutney gets its recipe

Walking to the court house, SF says he would not bow down to “hooligans”. Yet both SF and FJ would have anxious moments as humans, in how the case rolls over each day. Meanwhile the regime is on a another rendezvous. This society is now their ball of clay, to make their own designs from. The next two Bills to come up in the legislature, works around such thumbing and kneading of society.
The government is to use a legal provision to have all PCs ratify the bills, to say there is no opposition to their two draft bills, the  Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill 2010 and the Local Authorities (Special Provisions) Bill 2010.
There is immediate response in saying the two bills strengthen the processes for counting and polling in order to ensure the integrity of an election. The mixed system of having “ward” base direct representation with FPP elections, is thought of as making the elected representative more accountable to the people. Yet the whole approach and how the Local Authorities (LA) would be brought under the Colombo centred political authority, deflates all such “integrity” and “close to people” representation. Colombo centred power that takes over LAs removes the validity of the voter, how ever free and fair the election could be. It then gives party secretaries the power to decide on mayors / chairmen and vacancies, reducing “voter importance” to naught, again from Colombo.
These two Bills thus taken together, contradicts the existing political consensus on devolution and power sharing, whether “13 Plus” or “Minus” contradicts the President who says he would find his own “home grown” solution in sharing power. It also contradicts the broad consensus arrived at and written into the “Final Report” of the APRC, handed to the President by its Chairman and Minister, Vitharana, who is now wholly dumb on the issue.
There is no provision in the present Constitution as provided for in Article 04 of List I under the “Ninth Schedule” of the 13th Amendment, for a minister in Colombo to decide on dissolutions and administration of Local Government (LG) bodies. This is a devolved subject to the PCs. In fact, it is irrelevant to have even a minister for LG, as PCs take care of all LAs. But in Colombo, they do swear in ministers for subjects like LG and Co-operatives, portfolios they have no reason to have and interfere in work that PCs have to be held responsible for.
This government’s intentions go beyond such interference. It keeps accumulating power in Colombo and in the hands of the Executive, establishing a regime that would finally control all aspects of governance, under a single ruler. One long leap towards such power accumulation was with the new 18th Amendment that did away with the 17th Amendment. All power in appointing all key positions are now with the sole and mighty power of the Executive, who continues with immunity from judicial inquiry. The first layer of governance has thus been usurped and centralised in the hands of the President.
The third tier in governance, the LA’s will now be grabbed with the two Bills lined up for adoption. Giving powers over LAs to a minister contradicting existing law, provides the regime to have all strings in their hands, to be pulled at, when they want. This needs to be seen in the context of the defence budget which has kept increasing after the war from Rs177 bn in 2009 to Rs.214 bn in 2010. Estimates for 2011 show another increase to Rs. 227 bn.
This needs to be seen in the context of the Defence Ministry being given all urban development powers vested with the UDA and land reclamation and development under the SLLR&DC too. The Coast Conservation Department that had traditionally been a subject under the Fisheries Ministry, is also with the President, listed under Ports and Aviation. All LAs would thus be tied to the defence establishment as well.
Where most get carried away, despite this heavy centralisation of power with defence playing a lead role, is the belief that a strengthened electoral process allowing “ward” based representation, would be more voter friendly and would be responsible to the voter. But history proves otherwise. Single ward, single member representation has never been pro development.
Nominations and elections to such wards have always been on caste, religion or ethnicity, exploited by political parties. Elected members were seen around, but never have they been efficient, town and city planners for village, town or urban councils. They eventually turned out as grass root power nodes controlled by Colombo party bosses, in government or in opposition.
So was it with elected MPs to the old electorate. If they had been “voter friendly” as most wish to believe, this political tragedy under different governments since independence, would not have been as nauseating as this. It is with them that rural poverty expanded. It is with them, communal politics turned into a brutal war. It is them who established this 1978 Constitution.
Their independence is tied to power, vested in Colombo. With a regime that can negate all democracy, they’ll be colourfully dressed dancers in a puppet show. Their allegiance will not be with the voter, but with the regime. What responsibility can the voter expect from such members, though from a “ward”, elected from a free and fair election ? It may not be long, for white flags in the South.

34 Comments for “When The “South” Surrenders With Or Without “White Flags””

  1. LankaLiar

    Just look through your window in case there is a white van at your gate. You are a journalist. a Sri Lankan journalist. you should know what to write and what to not. You know what happened to your friends. White or black flag does-not matter. It is absence of justice and civilization that bothers all. LTTE wanted a part of Sri Lanka now the whole of Sri Lanka is ruled by other countries. This is a new type of demonocarzy only suitable for Sri Lanka.

    • SMD

      Tell me LankaLair exactly Which inches of sri lanka is ruled by which country?

      • LankaLiar

        Every inch is ruled by u know the countries.

        • SMD

          Which countries i’m very interested in knowing. this is of vital importance, who needs advanced radar systems and millions of dollars spent on making sophisticated military hardware to detect an incoming threats. when you got LankaLair lol.

          which countries name them quick!!! who is Somalia? indians? pirates? Tamil tiger terriost? lol quick quick tell me, i work at the National Security Council of Sri lanka. i’m about to make a recommendation for the authorization of military force based on you comment.

          But i do have some doubt to you claim, because you claimed every inch is ruled, i just looked down my street. and only see police officers and sri lankan military personnel. and let me tell you there are no two sources of authority on my street, there is only one that’s the SL military. so i’m going have to call doubt the creditably of your heads magical radar systems. but please let me know ASAP it is of vital importance, we don’t want to be bombing the wrong enemy. and we need to act fast to bring the war to correct enemies shore. i don’t want to fight a war on my street and put the life of my girlfriend and family at danger.


        • LankaLiar

          As expected you didnot keep your word. So May your soul not rest in peace. Most probably you would have lost the target. I heard that NSC dropped a bomb and it fell on a dog yesterday. Please dont try carpet bombing you may blow up your own family or kill more dogs and cattle. If Mervin comes to know this he will tie you to a tree. Wait for our next instruction.

      • Col. SL ARMY

        I’ll tell you which part i ruled by whom. Petroleum based industry goes to India. Automotive – India, Large tenders China and India. Tea – India, Rubber China.
        We can even hatch eggs, Coconut has to be imported, rice vegitable the list goes on. We can’t even do manual labour as they come from India. Garment industry we are only left with a ministry but we buy Indian stuff.
        Have served in the war front almost 18 years of my life I will tell you LTTE always imported their weapons and other war like material but they were almost self sufficient in the local produce. They encouraged people to grow trees, farming and agriculture was a key area LTTE focused. SF once raided a small LTTE compound which looked like a laboratory, it did not look any thing like a military complex. After careful investigation it turned out be their soil testing facility, agrarian research facility where any farmer can get free advise and help increase productivity. Also found study material that are so advanced our Peradeniya University guys took almost 8 months to understand.

        LTTE always played safe with international Govts. If they had indicated to india or china or even US that they will compromise their autonomy they would have won years ago. Even JR offered Praba Chief Minister Post North and East, which he declined. Our fellows will fall for a Montero. Honestly I am proud to be SF soldier but I will always admire their Commitment, Genuineness to the cause & Honesty.

        • SMD

          can you provide some proof about the soil testing facility?

          we import coconuts as i do not want part take in such menial activities. let some slave labor in india do that for me.

          90% of sri lanka automotive industry is Japanese, the remaining 10% is local. 80% of the SUV industry is local. so where do your figures from?

          India grows our tea but we take the profit from the sales? so what? do you think USA cares about who provides the labor or resources to grow their products? the bottom line is who owns the company and who takes the profit. why do you think America bombed Iraq? US companies are in Iraq, using Iraqi labor Iraqi oil and pump tier wells clean dry.

          God bless America, If America wasn’t here i don’t know where the world would be today.

      • LankaLiar

        Good SMD this a reply to your comment. I live in a country which rules Sri Lanka We don’t need to put our soldiers and policeman to rule Sri Lanka. We get Sri Lankans to rule for us. They are easy to buy and cheap.We just give orders and get them done through Sri Lankans. It is cheap that way. No wonder you work in the National Security Council of Sri lanka. Now that you want to bomb and wipe out all those outsiders who rule I will give you the primary location so that you can carry out your operation. It is “National Security Council of Sri lanka.” You can carry out this when you are at work at the National Security Council of Sri lanka. SMD you are the only Sri Lankan who is prepared to lay your life for your country. It looks like we are going to miss you . May your soul rest in peace. Please note one thing target the location properly please don’t hit the innocent cattle and buffallows that are gracing in the paddy fields also MR and co too stays close by and we need them. Now that you will be gone please tell your successor to wait for the next instruction from us Good luck

        • SMD

          what country do you live in? are you trying the say the NSC rules sri lanka? when then no shit. thank you for stating the obviousness.

          and i’m not prepared to lay down my life my country, that’s we have things called high attitude carpet bombers lol. and white phosphorous haha

    • billy

      rnt u aware of the fact that fonseka is in jail, so any frustrated anti lankan can say what ever he likes with this without any fear!

      • LankaLiar

        Fonseka did not ask to be freed even now. He asked for justice. If you ask for justice you become anti Lankan. If you lie you become uncle Lankan.

  2. Saleem

    Kusal Perera, I warn you, not to put your life in danger of president’s henchmen who can abduct, torture or kill without any trace and the police will be made powerless to arrest the real offenders because their head is also appointed by the same almighty.
    APRC, 13A or any law is just to placate the international community until their help is obtained to reach the goal of THE brothers, I dare not name them.

    India is bound to protect the offenders for fear of getting into the grip of China. UN SG and Nambiar have their kith and kin inter twined with the almighty, so, God save our minorities and political opponents.

  3. Thanks Kusal. I know you are real jernalist. good luck.

  4. Creator

    What does it matters white or black flags? They are dead and deserve to die.When they pulled out young bikkhus from Arawantalawe and hacked them with mamothys, knifes while pleading not to kill did it matter? Also killing in dollar/kent farms bombing Dalada Maligawa did it matter of white flags?
    To surrender and come back and kill again?
    Better they are in the grave yard.
    In war there are no gentleman agreements.You die ao get killed.

    • you are the real sihal-budhist hooray……………………

      you want more tamil blood don’t you?

      how anyone can blame all the sinhala rulers!

      they only reflect the majority of the sinhala mind don’t they ?

      sinhalese are very civilaised people in the world don’t they ?

    • LankaLiar

      All those who did this are in the government. Some of them even will come to parliament. If you have law police and a judiciary please use them to arrest them try them and punish them. As you did to SF. If you don’t you become a party to those murders may be you told them to do so. Let us see. You are scared even to arrest them. Instead you are rewarding them with all the luxuries positions and lots of money which you got from kidnapping people.
      You know what those murderers who killed the bikkhus and bombed the Maligawa say – “In war there are no gentleman agreements.You die ao get killed.”
      Decide you are on the side of the bikkhus or the murderers in the government. Also for one moment think of the thousands of innocent mothers children and old who were ruthlessly slaughtered by you know who. They too are alive you are free to use your law police and judiciary to punish them.
      It is not the white or black flag that matters it is the LIEon flag. Keep it flying high.

    • Col. SL ARMY

      Please Keep in mind that even o the last stage of the battle, LTTE still freed all captured soldiers. They could have executed all, as they new that it’s the last day in their life. One of our soldier who was a POW wounded by our artillery fire was treated and released , this happened after the white flag incident. Yes white flag was true.

    • Ela Kolla

      LOL !! Oh almighty creator, I think you meant… Kill or get killed… die or get killed is the same thing.. hehehe..

  5. “Creator” . . . that is an incredible name for a small-minded low-life. What an irony?
    Nonetheless, the Tamils need people like the Creator to be more active in public forums so that the whole world know who the Sinhalese majority are and what the Tamils are up against. Therefore, I thank you for your unsubstantiated but provocative comments.
    Before the Rajapksa regime is done, the whole country would be in ruins. Perhaps that would be the time to reclaim the Tamil homeland with or without minimum bloodshed. That should be ok since the Tamils are perfectly capable of rebuilding the country even with their own resources.
    So gloat without regard or dignity until then.

  6. “Creator” . . . that is an incredible name for a small-minded person . . . ?
    Nonetheless, the Tamils need people like the Creator to be more active in public forums so that the whole world know who the areTamils are up against. Therefore, I thank you for your unsubstantiated but provocative comments.
    Before the Rajapksa regime is done, the whole country would be in ruins. Perhaps that would be the time to reclaim the Tamil homeland without minimum bloodshed. That should be ok since the Tamils are perfectly capable of rebuilding the country in no time even with their own resources.
    So gloat without regard or dignity until then.

  7. hello dear sinhalese,

    the goose has come home to lay it’s eggs! it’s nothing to do with the tamils

    now it’s amongst you guys!

    it was alright when your govt forces masacared innocent tamils including pregnent women , children, elderly , infirm because they were tamils isn’t it

    and it was pathetically accepted by sinhala mases because that is what mahavamsa teaches don’t it ?

    what a hypocrites you sinhalese are why don’t you reform your religious teachings and become civilaized !

    i am not saying anything without evidence remember riots of 1983,1978, 1957,masacare of 2009 !

    if you don’t make peace and apologise for your crime against humanity ‘ethnic cleansing,state sponsoed colonaisation,all the crimes you commit with impunity….

    there will be a day of reconing where every person who inflicted pain will be hunted and brought to justice!

    if the west and the u.n fail to genuinely do this we the tamils will have no option
    but to take the law into our own hands !

    if the law and the international community fail to protect us and our property i think we are within the international law to defend ourselves with whatever
    at our disposal!

    sl govt working on a n agenda (making the entire country a mono ehtnic budhist country).

    tamils have no faith or confidence in the govt,sinhala army,sinhala racist judiciary !

    i want to tell every sinhalese and the govt that the war is over but the battle had just begun…!

    we are more determined than ever to fight for our country and our people

    truth and justice will triumph against lies and evil !

    • Mahinda

      Where was your so called international law when LTTE carried out attacks in Trains and Busses in the South? How many innocents were killed by suicide bombers? God left you guys after committing such crimes against humanity. That was why LTTE had this bitter end. Please don’t blame anybody.

      • LankaLiar

        All those who did are in with the government. Karuna Pillaiyan KP get them if you can. If you toch them you know waht will happen, You are keeping them so you can let them loose to go on ramoage another time. They are all within your reach. Get them try them and send them to jail. Instead of punishing SF one who wanted to erradiacte corruption.

        • Mahinda 1

          SF and FJ were in the same side when the S leader article first published.Then SF wanted to withdrew his comments about white flag day later.Then start bull fighting.The SL govt; had no any interfearance of this.Sunday leader has no credible journalists.From the time from Lasanth It published only the shits.
          Now kusal has found a place worthy for him.Fedrica and you are good team.Only LTTE sympathysers read it( who lives abrode now who ran away from SL to save the life from LTTE terrorists,and good excuse to apply for refugee visa)
          A guys like L.Lier (his name sake) has run out of his daily medication for mentle illness giving us some leasure time afterwork. Good work Liar. keep it up.

    • sira

      Who should appologise? Its the tamils who should. How many inocent civilians did LTTE massarcere? Kent Farm, Central Bank, Aranthalawa, Pettah bus stand Maradana raiway station, Piliyandala etc to name a few. LTTE even killed civilians at Dalada Maligawa, Sri Maha Bodiya, and a mosque in Eastern province venerated by people. What about using the Madhu shrine to as a fortress?

      Chella! go deep in to the past and you may understand that this situation was created by none other than the British Colonialisume who gave every facility to the tamils to rise up against the sinhala majority. Thats the truth.

      • LankaLiar

        Not the Tamils It is Karuna Pillaiya KP Dog Las Shankari they are all involved and still living. Get them and try them if you have the law . You are rewarding them with all that you can give. Shame on the country which rewards murderers.

  8. Gummla

    Dear Kusal,
    Hats off to you, Of course your life is in danger, but that is nothing new to you and many of our friends. MR is yet to be so enterprising to take an insurance on the life of his adversaries.
    The point is that we all must keep the flag flying so that the embers are not dead and can re-kindle to a fire sometime.There are many with you, though at this moment not in massive numbers.
    One has to keep guard but can not be a coward.

  9. Rohan

    why some comments never publish ???

  10. emmanuel

    Well said, chelliah, It is a matter of time before SL and India face upto the reality. Justice will prevail. The top leaders i SL goverment can get the votes by pleasing the the masses in the remote singala villages (by providing clothes etc).But it can not last forever. India will soon find out the mindset of the current SL government. ie, To make the whole country a budist nation by slowly silensing the tamils in the N&E.

  11. Mahinda

    Writer starts with some topic and ends the article with another topic. For me this article seems to be a salad of cooked pieces from various sources and shows no consistency. Is this the creative journalism Kusal?

  12. Ashok

    Elections are not held evryday Kusal but in SL we are talking elections evryday. Is this necessary except that you have to write a column as a journalist ? We must be glad that power will be centralised and that too in Colombo as you say, and not down south though the MR regime seems more slanted towards Southern region’s development for obvious reasons. What use of Executive Presidency and unitary and now unified state if so called LAs have the unfair freedom to autonomy which may possibly be a fruitless act similar to having a PM of the opposition under the Executive President elected from the other party. Just an enactment of the 2002-2004 Ranil -Chandrika rivalry which reminds of cobra and mongoose in politics. Mongoose always wins so does the executive. People have said they want the Executive and that’s how our countrymen use the vote. Universal adult franchise is a failure in this country evidently and clearly from every election commissioner’s report and now famous curious behavior of the present unretirable incumbat of the post. just after the 2009 Presidential poll.It’s not a kusal to talk elections everyday Kusal.

  13. Well said, Chelliah . . !

  14. gamarala

    Here are accounts of persons killed without any flags – black or white.

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