23 October, 2017

A Look Back With Fresh Hope

By Devanesan Nesiah and Rajan Hoole

Dr. Devanesan Nesiah

Dr. Rajan Hoole

Many Sri Lankans trace the ethnic problem back to the movement for ‘Sinhala Only’ and the passage of the Official Language Act in 1956. In fact, the problem needs to be traced back to at least the first year of Independence in which over one million people of recent Indian origin but well settled in the plantation districts, were deprived of citizenship and voting rights. Perhaps the conflicts need to be traced further back to the anti-Muslim riots of 1915. Curiously, the Sri Lankan Tamil leadership (with a few exceptions) as well as the Muslim leadership were supportive of the acts against the Up Country Tamils, and the Sri Lankan Tamil leadership was also indifferent to the plight of the Muslim victims of the 1915 riots.  In fact, in the first general election after Up Country Tamils were deprived of citizenship and franchise rights, the Tamil party which opposed these acts was routed in the North and East. In the years that followed, Up Country Tamils have faced discrimination on many fronts; moreover, in all the anti-Tamil pogroms they were the most vulnerable and suffered greatly.

When Justice ceases to be the Mainspring of Law

One of the main themes in our paper is that while the Citizenship Acts were a great injustice inflicted on the Up Country Tamils, we did far more long term harm to ourselves. It is fear of justice that our national leaders manifested in the run up to independence. The independence constitution was a coup by an unrepresentative State Council that scuppered elections due in early 1941 with British connivance, and functioned like Jayewardene’s long parliament. India’s poets Bharathy and Tagore and leaders, particularly Gandhi, Ambedkar and Nehru, reflected and spoke with deep conviction on means of justice for the diverse multitudes in independent India. Such voices here were ominously stilled in the torpor of the 1940s.

The Ceylon Constitution (Order in Council), or the Soulbury Constitution, approved by the State Council in November 1945 had the provision 37 (f) that reserved for the Governor the right to withhold his assent from any bill that invokes serious apprehensions of injustice or oppression in any ‘racial or religious community’. However the Sinhalese nationalist leaders, were then all sweetness and there was a general belief that 37 (f) which would lapse when the British left was amply covered by Section 29, which barred discriminatory legislation.

This expectation was legitimate as Roman law, which forms the base of our legal system, places great emphasis on the written law. In the Roman tradition, as in monarchical France, judges were instruments rather than interpreters of the law. Whence, Judge Sivagnanasunderam of the Kegalle District Court declared the Citizenship Act ultra vires the Constitution as violating Section 29. Prime Minister Senanayake despaired enough to seek advice from Sir Ivor Jennings.

In 1951the Supreme Court, which deemed itself more capable than the ‘inferior court’ of ‘rendering complete and effectual justice,’ held that the Citizenship and Franchise Acts were unassailable as acts of parliament as they were linguistically compatible ‘and, therefore, their practical effect and the motive for their enactment are irrelevant.’ S.J.V. Chelvanayakam and S. Nadesan had pleaded without effect that ‘The point is what the statute does and not what it says.’ 

The Privy Council in 1953 supported the Supreme Court’s ruling. Not because it deemed the impugned Acts good, but it was to do with the Roman distinction between Natural Law and what the French jurist Jean Domat called Arbitrary Law. The first was divine and universal and the latter man-made and often unjust, such as slavery. By the 18th Century, English courts discouraged slavery as having no precedent in English law, but requiring legislative provision as a positive or Arbitrary Law. While England fought shy of bad laws, they were allowed as positive laws in the Dominions, whose Whites Only legal systems became the panacea for our leaders. The Privy Council saw our Citizenship Act as a positive law acceptable among a nation of deficient people.

The nullification of the legal protection of the minorities was in effect the suicide of our judiciary. The Sinhala Only Act was passed in the same spirit of crude majoritarianism. But a singular judicial rebellion occurred, which we have successfully buried. As the Kegalle District Court’s judgment was in response to K.G. Nair’s appeal to restore his franchise, Kodeeswaran appealed for his salary increments denied under Sinhala Only.

Judge O.L. de Kretzer’s ruling on 24th April 1964 was devastating to the Government. In ruling Sinhala Only to be bad in law, he brought us back to our roots in Roman law. Contrary to the 1951 Supreme Court’s ruling that the practical effect of a law and motivations for its enactment are irrelevant, de Kretzer ruled that that ‘the purpose of an Act must be found in its natural operation and effect’ and it therefore violated Section 29, our written law.

De Kretzer could not be ignored as he was a senior judge due for promotion to the Supreme Court. It took a supposedly progressive government, whose intellectual veneer was provided by the Left, to evade the legal issue by inserting Sinhala Only as a positive law in the 1972 Constitution. Way back in 1940, Legal Secretary Drayton, who understood prudent limits to positive law, warned the State Council that to take away the franchise of Up Country Tamils given under the law in the Donoughmore Constitution would be a grave matter.

How grave we now know in hindsight. Drayton’s warning was lost on Jayewardene, who turned repressive positive laws into an art of governance from 1978. The PTA, the deprivation of Mrs. Bandaranaike’s civic rights and his long parliament are examples. As for our sovereignty, the cause of decades of bloodletting and hot air, China’s control of the port and environs in Hambantota has disturbing echoes of the British consolidation of Hong Kong in 1898. 

Attorney General Rose in supporting the Citizenship Act, stated, “In Ceylon, as in England, an administratively discriminatory Act is not an infringement of the Constitution.” In using this proposition to expunge cursorily Up Country Tamils from the electoral rolls, we lost all sense of shame. It was part of the colonial framework of administrative impunity, which routinely recruited whites to positions over well-qualified natives. British administrators were at least careful not to use it retroactively to deprive someone of a legally acquired right as the vote.

The old time administrator who thought through problems, and was answerable for his actions has disappeared. They became mediocre creatures of ministers and cronies in the hierarchy; used to implement, outside the law, racially discriminatory measures in public appointments and university admissions. Those familiar with the decay of our university system know the futility of seeking remedy in our courts for abuse of power by vice chancellors and administrators. Administrators are routinely expected to lie for their superiors or face unpleasant repercussions.   

District Judges Sivagnanasunderam and de Kretzer, who were exceptional to cross swords with the judicial and political hierarchy, are forgotten figures in our legal history. While their crucial judgments stand vindicated, they remain hard to get hold of. The substance of de Kretzer’s ruling cited is from Dr. Nihal Jayawickrema’s 2016 Dr. P.R. Anthonis memorial lecture, a welcome tribute from a misunderstood contemporary.

The saga of Up Country Tamils ties up with our current pathological fear of foreign judges. One could safely say that judges with a scholarly reputation, which they are anxious to protect, would seldom go wrong. The broader implications and responsibilities of Justice, as Cicero understood, call upon us to be world citizens: “And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal; and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times.” That is the great Roman law tradition we have lost.

It was this tradition that amidst pressures of colonialism in the Eighteenth Century, impelled courts in Britain and France towards blindness to race and colour. There is much we could have learnt from them, which sadly, we have not. We must remember that the Up Country Tamils ironically remained British subjects long after being robbed of Ceylon citizenship. 

Affirmative Action/Reverse Discrimination

The Up-Country Tamils yet display characteristics attributed by Nigerian anthropologist John U. Ogbu to “Involuntary Minorities” across the globe in a publication in 1991*. Their social indicators on issues such as education, literacy, employment, health, mortality rates and a range of other factors remain significantly lower than the rest of the population. The Up Country Tamils need an array of affirmative action and reverse discrimination programs including quota intakes into selected educational and training institutions as well as employment categories for a limited period, say for a decade or so, and extra preference in selection to colonization and village expansion schemes. Although this community has been predominantly engaged in plantation agriculture, they have been deliberately and systematically excluded from colonization and village expansion schemes from 1935 contrary to assurances given under the Donoughmore Constitution of 1931 and the 1923 pact with India. They (citizens by registration) have also been excluded from policies allowing the landless to acquire land through regularization of encroachments, even though very large numbers of other communities (citizens by descent) have become possessors of land through that process.

For any affirmative action and reverse discrimination programs to be effective, the Up Country Tamils need to maintain a distinctive identity for some years. The ultimate objective, of course, should be to merge the transient census categories of so called “Indian Tamils” and of so called “Sri Lankan Tamils.”  In all this it is important to work out programs in consultation with Up Country Tamils and their leaders.

*Immigrant and Involuntary Minorities in Comparative Perspective” in Margret A Gibson and John U Ogbu (eds). Minority Status and Schooling, New York and London: Garland Publishing.

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Latest comments

  • 6
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    The Hill Country, more specifically the Uva Province, is my area. Yes, the ” Tamils of Recent Origin” who live in this area are a terribly neglected lot.

    Thanks to the two learned men from Jaffna who are writing so well on behalf of these people. Yes, they have to integrate with the rest of the country. I’m not much bothered whether it is their geographical location, religion, or language that is going to be considered their most important feature.

    • 4
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      After the end of second world war, the worst act of ethnic cleansing in the world is the deportation of Tamils of recent Indian origin from Srilanka to India. from the time elections was held in Srilanka, it had been the clamour of Kandyan Sinhalese that their areas are being represented by these Tamils. In 1947, seven electorates in Central and Uva provinces elected Tamils and this was resented. Soon after independence, the first act passed by the government was to disenfranchise these Tamils, so that in future they could not elect anyone of their community to parliament. Though after removing their voting rights, the number of voters in these constituencies became less, the number of seats were retained, and even in the delimitation process of 1960, to take the total number of people in an electorate, their heads were counted. This became a mockery as some electorates had only half the average size of other electorates. Sinhala governments were not satisfied with that and tried to deport all of them back to India. Nehru quite rightly refused to accept them back, and after his death, Shastri a well known anti-Tamil racist was lobbied and the pact was signed to deport half of them amounting to one million. Though it was agreed to give citizenship back to the remaining half, Sinhala governments did not honour it, delaying the process. Subsequently after the 1983 riots when this matter was highlighted internationally, that JR government granted citizenship to all remaining Tamils of recent Indian origin. During this period they had no access to education, health, housing or land benefits that other communities enjoyed. Also they could not get an ID card or Passport to get employment in sectors other than plantation or to travel abroad. Even now the situation as not much improved though there being several MPS of their community collaborating with governments.

      • 0
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        Dr G.S.
        “deportation of Tamils of RECENT Indian origin from Srilanka to India.”
        RECENT Indian origin means they are citizens India , correct? How did they become “stateless” can you explain Dr G.S.?
        Soma

        • 3
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          somass ji clever dick

          When was the first Sri Lankan/Ceylon citizenship Act passed and came into effect?

          • 0
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            Native, I have been always wondering when did the Tamils of RECENT Indian Origin lost their Indian citizenship.
            Soma

            • 3
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              The concept of Indian citizenship came only after their independence in 1947. before that they were all British citizens and had the right to travel and settle in any part of the British empire. So these Tamils never had Indian citizenship in order to lose it. It is unfortunate that Sinhala racism is clouding your brain like many others of your kind to think and act rationally. Could you explain when did Vijaya and gang lose their Indian citizenship and be illegal immigrants.

              • 0
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                Dr G.S.
                “So these Tamils never had Indian citizenship in order to lose it.”
                These Tamils never had Sri Lankan citizenship in order to be disenfranchised.
                Your argumentclearly shows that it is not our responsibility to retain them once the British are gone. They have to go back home or sort it out with the British like the Ugandan Indians desenfranchised by Idi Amin.
                Soma

                • 2
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                  Soma please do not display your ignorance. Idi Amin did not disenfranchise any Indians. These Indians retained British citizenship at independence and were continuing to remain in Uganda and fleecing the country. It is these Indians with British passports who were expelled and that is the reason why they all of them landed in UK and not India. Since they held British citizenship, UK could not refuse immigration to them to settle in UK. One of the condition of granting of independence is that all those who are citizens of that country other than who wish to leave, should be retained as citizens. This is so in other countries like Malaysia and Burma. If the Sinhala leaders were honest, they should have settled that matter before British left. They did not do so, as they feared that it would start a conflict and independence would have been delayed. They waited till British left and did this dastardly thing.

            • 2
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              somass ji clever dick
              ——–

              When was the first Sri Lankan/Ceylon citizenship Act passed and came into effect?

              Did the Sinhala/Buddhist fascists have a concept of citizenship before the arrival of British? During the British Colonial rule, Tamils of Malaya, Ceylon, …… were British subjects so were the Sinhalese.

              Read the following:

              Citizenship law, nationalism and the theft of enjoyment: a post-colonial narrative

              Roshan De Silva Wijeyeratne
              Pages 59 – 60

              Conclusion

              The Sinhalese narrative on citizenship and its attendant legislation
              is a ‘tale of ethnic roots’ (Zizek 1993: 232), the articulation of a
              ‘myth of … Origins’ (Zizek 1993: 232). Its function is that of
              displacement, an ‘ideological fossil created retroactive1yj (Zizek
              1993: 232) by nationalist discourse ‘in order to blur’ (Zizek 1993:
              232) or mask over the antagonism inherent in the Sinhalese
              Buddhist nation itse1f(Zizek 1993: 232). The categoryof’Ceylon
              citizenship’ reveals the fact that the IndianTamil other was never
              excluded, but never included either. The failure to exclude the
              other and its continued insistence as an excessive moment that
              guarantees the very (im)possibility of citizenship ensures that
              citizenship can have no self-constituting foundation and yet remains
              ‘unable to accommodate the difference’ (Perrin 1996:
              107) that is the other. Ifcitizenship devoid of’ethnic roots’ could
              ever be established, such a realisation would paradoxically signal
              its dissolution as citizenship would leave behind any relation to
              the other.
              Drawing an analogy between my earlier discussion ofthe
              relation between the Tamil other as an experience at the ‘limit’ of
              the ‘Sinhala nation’, the ‘limit’ of citizenship, the other, can
              similarly ‘be understood as insurpassable; as a line which crosses
              [citizenship] and which redraws itself every time it is crossed’
              (Perrin 1996: 107, my interpolation). Citizenship in Sri Lanka
              is confronted by the (im)possibility of forgetting the other, and
              yet paradoxically it is in this (im) possible forgetting that
              citizenship may be said to have a beginning, but a beginning
              that cannot consign the other to the past (Perrin 1996: 108-9).

            • 2
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              somass ji

              The concept of Citizenship was first underpinned by the Ceylon Citizenship Act 1948. Prior to the Act Sinhalese and Tamils irrespective of their domicile in any part of empire were all subject of the British king/queen.
              ——–
              When your Kallathonie ancestors arrived on the shores of this island there was no passport control, border force, Visa, citizenship issues, ……. You consider yourself lucky.

        • 1
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          Somass the Kandyan Radala and many of the so called low country upper Govigamma , as well as the Sinhalese Karawa, Salagamma, Durawa , Hunu, Hali ETC now making up half the present Sinhalese population or even slightly more, are all also Tamils of recent Indian origin. Just because they converted to Buddhism or Catholicism and now speak Sinhalese , they are spared. Now these Sinhalese speaking Tamils of recent Indian origin are the biggest anti Tamils. You see them everywhere here, in politics, in the armed forces/police , there is one nasty woman in Lankaweb , a Sinhalese speaking Tamil of recent Indian origin , posting lies and misinformation, now they have been joined by other Tamil of recent Indian origin like the Colombo Chetties and Baratha ( Paravans) along the west coast. May be we should be deport all of them back to their homeland Tamil Nadu. This may include you and many of the anti Tamil bloggers here.

          • 0
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            R.S.S.S
            I don’t have to counter any of your facts, suppositions, arguments above as my consistent position is Sri Lanka should not be devided along ethnic and religious lines. It is TNA who insists that Tamils must be recognised as a distinct ethnic entity running counter to all what you have stated above.
            Soma
            Soma

            • 1
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              somass ji

              “It is TNA who insists that Tamils must be recognised as a distinct ethnic entity running counter to all what you have stated above.”

              Is it so?

              Will you revisit public racist Anagarika’s speeches, 1915 riots, 1956 language laws, the position of Buddhism in Constitution, every other statement by the Assgiria, ….

              In case if you din’t know please read Chapter II

              CHAPTER II – BUDDHISM

              Buddhism.

              9. The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).

        • 0
          1

          Yes they are selectively citizens of India despite living in the island for more than a century , as they retained their Tamil identity, but not half the Sinhalese population and the vast majority of the so called Sri Lankan Moors( Moor Indeed) , who also arrived from the same areas in South India, a century or two before them and in the case of the Muslims more or less at the same time as them. They also should be deported back to India.

          • 4
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            Dear Rohan,

            I’m not sure that you’ve got the picture quite right. I must confess that I’m handicapped by the fact that, knowing no Tamil myself, I cannot understand some of the things said by Tamils to each other in Tamil.

            Yes, one of the tragedies is that “Estate Tamils” didn’t support the leftists who were quite sincere in the 1950s, but instead voted en bloc for the UNP. They were also “selectively citizens of India” – at that time. This is no longer the case.

            “Real . . . Sharma” you are right that depending on how thoughts about Parliamentary Representation are presented, the Sinhalese will think on the parochial lines outlined by you. What you say about the Eastern Province has some truth, but are the minorities so badly under-represented today? Soma, don’t you think that your reasoning is a bit extreme?

            It would certainly help us all if we stopped being so suspicious of one another! And see what a mess is now revealed by this Bond Fiasco. Well, “fiasco” or tragedy for which all of non-politicians are paying?

        • 3
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          Mr. Soma,
          There were no citizens of India before 1948, nor citizens of Ceylon.
          All were Empire citizens who were free to move (in theory at least) to and from any British possession.
          Even before that, anybody from anywhere could come in, swear allegiance to the king, and make themselves at home. This includes the ancestors of many commentators on this forum.

        • 2
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          Dear Soma, please come out of your Sinhala racist mentality. Srilanka was part of British empire which included India, Malaysia, South Africa, Fiji, Guyana and many more. Residents of all these countries were British citizens. Those in Srilanka born before independence, including me were British citizens. At that time people moved from one of these countries to another freely. My old relatives used to say that they just go to Colombo Harbour and take a ship to Singapore, like you taking a train to go somewhere. At independence all of them opted for Ceylon citizenship, including my parents. Some Tamils in Malaysia and many Indians in Africa opted to retain British citizenship and reaped the benefits. So the movement of Tamils from India to Srilanka is a legal process and they too were British citizens and became Ceylon citizens at independence. It is this Ceylon citizenship that was taken away from them by the racist Sinhala state and made stateless. British realised that they had done a wrong to these Tamils and saw to that this state does not befall Tamils and Chinese in Malaysia when they granted independence to Malaysia. It is surprising that when Idi Amin was called a racist for expelling Gujeratis who were holding British passports and fleecing the country, Sinhala leaders who expelled these Tamils who had toiled for the country, after striping off their Srilanka citizenship, were not called racists.

          • 0
            1

            Dr G.S.
            “Sinhala leaders who expelled these Tamils who had toiled for the country, after striping off their Srilanka citizenship, were not called racists.”
            Correction:
            //
            Sinhala AND TAMIL leaders who expelled..
            …….//
            You keep slipping Dr.G.S..
            Soma

            • 2
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              Again you are wrong. Some Tamil leaders voted for the disenfranchisement of these Tamils due to personal reasons to hang on to power, and also not all Sinhala leaders voted for it. Rest of the Tamil leaders as well as Sinhala leftists opposed it. No Tamil leader was involved in the expulsion of these Indians. It was done by all Sinhala leaders headed by SLFP government supported by UNP and leftists. I am very clear on this and it is you who is slipping.

          • 0
            2

            Dr G.S.
            “Tamils from India to Srilanka is a LEGAL process and they too were British citizens and became Ceylon citizens at independence”

            Legal process under whose law? Law of the colonial occupiers who would use the captured land as their backyard, displace the native inhabitants and settle others from other captured areas to uproot existing vegetation and cultivate anything of their choice?
            Dr GS, this way you can even argue that their kith and kin who were left behind in India have the right to migrate to Sri Lanka even now. It is upto the original inhabitants of the area who should decide whether to accept the new immigrants who were brought in by the occupiers or not. They don’t have to accept the arguments you keep pushing on behalf of others who happened to be of the same language, cultute and religion? If they happened to be from African colonies of the British would you argue the same way? Appealing to fairness on humanitarian grounds is one thing but talking about ‘legal ‘ rights is going too far. Enlightened Tamil leaders at the time agreed on this position.
            Soma

            Soma

            • 3
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              Soma, under which legal process, Vijaya and his bandits the first historically recorded Kallathonis who were Indians, were allowed to settle in Srilanka. You cannot have double standards between those illegal immigrants who landed in Srilanka without the permission of the then rulers, and these people from Tamil Nadu who arrived in the country legally with full permission of British rulers. Several of these Tamils while working to develop the country and bring revenue, lost their lives, unlike Vijaya and his rogue cronies who killed the then ruler and usurped their land. Be ashamed of your self for what your ancestors did.

      • 2
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        Dr, Sankaralingham the Sinhalese do not want Tamils , especially recent Indian origin estate Tamils electing Tamils in Sinhalese areas. This even after living in these areas for more than 150 years and producing most of the island’s foreign exchange and wealth. With the help of anti Tamils in India, forcibly deported more than half of these Indian origin estate Tamils to India, a strange land to them. Even now Tamil representation is deliberately kept to a minimum , despite large amounts of Tamils living in Colombo and in the Central and Uva provinces. However in the Tamil areas they have done the opposite. Have used the resources of the state, army and the police to illegally settle hundreds of thousands of Sinhalese in ethnically cleansed Tamil lands in the north and east, deliberately changed the original Tamil place names and history and are using these Sinhalese to elect Sinhalese members to deliberately reduce Tamil representation in these areas and to marginalise them. Look what has happened in the ancient Tamil east. Large scale state sponsored illegal Sinhalese colonisation has marginalised the actual owners of the east the Tamils and have now made the Sinhalese and another fairly recent immigrant group to the east the Muslims powerful.

    • 0
      1

      Now, Tamils in North have their country, next they want something for upcountry Tamils. Just let the Tea estartes dry on its own. Because, Sinhala people lived here even before Tea estates. LEt Indians go back to India. first who gave citizenship to those Tamils except brining for coolie – labour ? Why when British brought Tamils, Sinhale is bound to keep them. Did Tamils or India or British have any agreements with the Sinhala govt ?. Even Tamil politicians were against Indian Tamils.

  • 1
    0

    There is a proverb, முதற் கோணல் முற்றும் கோணல். Literally, once the beginning is crooked the entirety gets crooked. The way we handled the more than one million people of recent Indian origin at independence was the forerunner of things to come. Oh, they did come! Yet, we continue to dismiss the lessons of history.

  • 1
    2

    “For any affirmative action and reverse discrimination programs to be effective, the Up Country Tamils need to maintain a distinctive identity for some years. The ultimate objective, of course, should be to merge the transient census categories of so called “Indian Tamils” and of so called “Sri Lankan Tamils.”  In all this it is important to work out programs in consultation with Up Country Tamils and their leaders.:”
    I hope every Sinhalese reads this and thoroghly grasp the implications. Here are the contours of future Ealam map being drawn in Tamil political class boardrooms at the present moment.
    I am forwarding a copy of this article to Mahayanakas.
    Soma

    • 3
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      somass ji

      “I am forwarding a copy of this article to Mahayanakas.”

      Make sure you send a copy to the Assgiria too.

      • 3
        0

        Soma what can Mahanayakes do against International decision. When India did the parippu drop in 1897, they all hid under their beds. They will repeat it very soon.

    • 3
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      Soma: “………..the contours of future Ealam map being drawn in Tamil political class boardrooms at the present moment……………”
      You are jumping the gun here. Surely is this the view of a SINGLE commenter but is it extrapolateable?
      Soma goes on: ” I am forwarding a copy of this article to Mahayanakas”
      The Sangha may attach importance to your views but they never addressed the issues of Lankan minorities. Can you see this anomaly?

  • 1
    0

    We all have wasted more than good enough time talking and arguing about this never ending racial, religious and political issues prevailing in Lanka for a very long time…too long it is !

    It’s time we just stop this nonsense and get on with a normal human life like the others who moved around, migrated to various countries for various reasons, working hard, educating themselves, their children, consciously doing their work, improving the country they live in, sharing the benefits with respect while enjoying their hard earned money, peaceful life, full freedom enjoyed by every one, irrespective of their origin, cast or creed. No country belongs to any particular people, these days in this global context.

    Why can’t we do that and improve our status, work hard for our country where ever we live at present ?

    If the old rot politicians are not going to change things like discriminatory laws about language, religion, university entrance, employment etc., the younger generation must take over gradually and make things happen in a fair and equal manner.
    When Lankans migrate to other countries, they follow the non discriminatory rules of the country, work hard and live happily with peace, harmony and dignity. Why can’t we all do the same in our own country of birth without talking and arguing about some (rotten) fake fantasy stories about Mahawansa, Ramayana or Mahabharatha and waste our precious time, without doing anything good for us or the country ?

  • 3
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    Thank you Nesiah and Hoole for the article aimed at the fair-minded. Unfortunately the sentence “…………… the first year of Independence in which over one million people of recent Indian origin but well settled in the plantation districts, were deprived of citizenship and voting rights…………..” is being nit-picked.
    The more accurate description is “…….. people of Indian origin but well settled in the plantation districts OVER SEVERAL GENERATIONS, were deprived of citizenship and voting rights……..”.

  • 0
    1

    Rajan Hoole: YOu are very dishonest. Go back to the times when Brith thought of LEaving India because it was too much for them to handle India. Britain was almost bankrupt. There is nothing much to loot from Sri lanka. At that time, when Tamils found that Sri lanka is going to get independance, Tamils wanted their own country. that is some where around 1910. go back to that era. At that time, even muslims were badgering sinhala buddhists. both Tamils and Muslims thought they could handle sinhala buddhists and British would give them both what they want.

  • 1
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    All Tamils has the right of the land both side of water in between them. That is the right ,no law can deny it. The island of Seran thievu has been never one country. Like the plain south of Himalayas was never been one country. What you call India Now will not last long. It will fragment. And so the sri Lanka will fragment. The Tamil country will come as One. That is nature and history. human gungingness can’t win.
    if there is a river , It wouldn’t divide the people in to two country. They cross the river both ways and the language and culture is same. one upon a time Rameswaram was under Jaffna Kings. Tamils had land and property in Cithamparam , Malabar and in Eelam concurrently.

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