The War Experience

22 February 2013 06:30 pm - 3     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Facts and not Fiction alone


Many non-Thamil speaking readers would like to know how some writers in the North and elsewhere writing in Thamil have fictionalised some real experiences they have had in the now ceased bitter war that continued for more than three decades in our country.

Gnanam, a monthly literary magazine published in Colombo, has published a big volume of such stories in its 150th issue running to 600 pages. The special issue is Eelaththup Pore Ilakkiyach Chirapithal meaning “Special issue of Lankan War Literature”.

Since I abhor violence and hate war I was naturally disinterested in reading this massive book. However, fortunately for me, the chief editor of this notable magazine - T. Gnanasekeran, who is a physician and a noteworthy creative writer, gave an interview to Karthikayini Subes of the Sunday Thinakkural, where we could cull out some information of the exercise he had undertaken.

The interview was published in the February 10, 2013 issue.

Gnanasekeran believes that there is a genre called ‘War Time Literature” in many languages of the world. I am not sure of that, but I know that there is a kind of Anti-War poetry. Never mind.

Why he thought of compiling such a volume was to show the world that even after 100 years this book would bear witness to the horrible war situation in the Thamil-speaking areas and other places in the island. He prioritised only those stories that depicted the important incidents that took place in the cruel war between the armed forces in the divide.

He explained, the following were some of the themes found in the stories selected:
Writing that reflected true incidents, writing of the experiences of the combatants, writing that was critical of the actions of the militants, the wretched life of people in the  refugee camps, the cruel murders that took place within the walls of the prison houses, the unbearable  existence in the underground dungeons, the loss of valuable lives due to raining of bombs  over them,  the forced chasing of the Muslims from the North, the killing of Muslims, the burning of  the prestigious Yaalpaanam Public library, the psychologically affected people separated by war, the case of a father  denying parentship of a militant due to fright, disconnection of relationship of families due to uprooting, the suppressed crying of a friend seeing his militant friend’s body scattered after his suicide, parents due to fear not accepting corpses in General Hospitals, ethnic based confrontations, the High Security Zones, the disintegration of the family on account of sons taking up to militancy, deaths on the seas, the atrocities of the non-thamil speaking Indian Army, the refugee life of the Muslims, political assassinations, arrests on suspicions, lands full of dead people, headless palms, houses without roofs, people without faces and addresses, people moving like vagabonds from place to place, the camps of the militants, the Army camps, the experiences of Sinhala army personnel, the experiences of the militants and the destroyed  cemeteries.

In other words, these stories can help those of us living in the South of the country to really understand how the people in the north and east in particular had suffered on account of the militants turned terrorists and the oppressive attitudes of some sections of the state armed forces. These battles and severe war took the form of conquering an enemy. Unfortunately racial consciousness took precedence over human understanding.

According to Gnanasekeran, an internationally known bibliographer of Lankan Thamil writing, N Selvarajah  of London had written a 46 page compilation analysing all books  regarding the 30 odd year war.

Whatever said and done this is a valuable document as a source book to understand some agonising aspects of Lankan actualities of life.
sivakumaran.ks @yahoo.com


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  Comments - 3

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  • tjeyar Saturday, 23 February 2013 12:00 AM

    Firstly only 10% Tamils in here and foreign are affected by war.Others r not.even currently also Tamils who r not affected by those seeking asylum for their economic purpose. via DM Android App

    tjeyar Saturday, 23 February 2013 12:00 AM

    as a north Tamil.I know 90% Tamils misuse 10%Tamils grieves who r really affected by those.Even Tamil diaspora don't know how s war. most people seeking asylum in Canada Britain or elsewhere from colombo or north east they have good economic background.This s true. via DM Android App

    tjeyar Saturday, 23 February 2013 12:00 AM

    Most Sri Lankan Tamils to seek asylum and PR in their country tell lies about GOSL and ltte. via DM Android App


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