31 October, 2020

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A Request To Establish A University For The Upcountry Tamils

By S. Sandarasegaram

Prof. S. Sandarasegaram

Prof. S. Sandarasegaram

Tamils of Indian origin numbering about 1.5 million or around 7 percent of the population have been living in this country for the past two hundred years and contributed enormously to the development of the country during this period. They were highly disadvantaged in education since their arrival but now things have improved that they have 20 1AB and 80 ! C schools and two teacher education institutes and a technical institute at Hatton , thanks to the efforts made by late leader S. Thondaman who negotiated with the then government which was waging war with the LTTE. We can witness remarkable progress in their socio-economic conditions, thanks to the intervention of the successive governments of Sri Lanka.

The development of university education during the post independent era in Sri Lanka witnessed the establishment of universities in the North and Eastern Provinces that the Tamils and Muslims in those areas are benefitted by this effort and they are able to establish faculties and centres to preserve and develop their cultures. In fact the universities are helping the socio-economic development of the areas and possess the potential to undertake such task for the well being of the people.

Although there are three universities operating in the plantation provinces the upcountry Tamils have no significant benefit as far as their cultural development is concerned. These universities do not reflect this community in terms of their identity and culture.

As a constituent member of the Sri Lankan multi-ethnic society and a community which continue to contribute to the Sri Lankan economy through its labour a demand has been put forward by few of its

Intellectuals for the establishment of a state university in a selected area in the Nuwara eliya district for them taking the examples of the state universities functioning in the North and Eastern provinces.

Suggestion

In view of the circumstances explained above very briefly it is requested from leaders of good governance to consider the establishment of a university of Highlands for the upcountry Tamils where students from all communities can study.

The proposed university will reflect the cultural ethos of the upcountry Tamils and it should be established at a suitable location in the Nuwara Eliya district. The university could be declared as a reward for this community for their contribution to the development of Sri Lanka during the past decades.

Favourable consideration of this request will go a long way as an attempt to expand state university education in Sri Lanka and accommodating a request made by a disadvantaged community which is also backward in higher education in terms of enrollment and output of graduates. It should be pointed out that whatever measures taken by the state to provide opportunities for disadvantaged sections of the Sri Lankan society, they did not reach this particular community in respect of school education and higher education substantially relative to other communities. For example, university admissions were changed drastically by giving up the principle of merit and it was claimed that the change would benefit the disadvantaged communities. But it is common knowledge that the plantation community was not a beneficiary of such changes and the policy makers at that time (in 1970s) were totally unmindful of this particular disadvantaged community.

An encouraging factor in the process of establishing the proposed university is that late Mr. S. Thandaman and Mr. P. Chandrasegaram showed a lot of interest in this project when we proposed it for the first time about more than a decade ago. But unfortunately both of them passed away before realizing this noble objective.

We feel that the establishment of such a university would pave the way for creating a fresh demand for higher education in the upcountry and result in transformation of this community as a proud and much more effective and inclusive community in joining the emerging knowledge society in Sri Lanka under the great leadership of His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka. This move will go a long way in substantially reducing the sense of grievance and discrimination historically prevailing among these people who were deprived of enormous opportunities for social mobility which was available for other communities since Independence through free education and expansion of educational opportunities with state assistance.

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Latest comments

  • 9
    9

    ‘Although there are three universities operating in the plantation provinces the upcountry Tamils have no significant benefit as far as their cultural development is concerned. These universities do not reflect this community in terms of their identity and culture.’

    So you want the Govt to pay for a university just to reflect Indian Tamil identity and culture? I could understand a college to train young people in engineering and science skills relevant to the tea industry, but this is ridiculous.

    • 5
      5

      These people need to learn to think outside ambitions of building their own little firfdoms and look at contributing to the development of the country.

      As everyone here has been saying, what is the point in starting dedicated universities for estate Tamils when the school education is low in the plantations anyway?

      What is the point in starting so-called “universities” under every coconut palm or tea bush in the country anyway? Are they really universities? Look at the Eastern, UVa and other places.

      We don’t produce quality graduates in these places. They just carry a piece of paper that says they have a degree.

      A university for the plantations is a mad, bad idea nad should not be raised in civilised conversation.

      • 7
        1

        Dear Bunker Buster,

        I was wondering whether to “thumb up” or “thumb down” your comment.

        I’ve given it a “thumb up”.

        Your observations are correct, but your last sentence, in particular, is harsh.

  • 11
    4

    Peradeniya University is in UPCOUNTRY.
    There is Hindu Murugan temple, Church,….

  • 12
    6

    This is an excellent recommendation by the Professor to recompense the tremendous contribution made by the estate workers of Indian origin towards the economic development of the country even while living under dire financial conditions.Many were also stateless persons for many years having even voted at the national general elections in 1947. Their story has been very sad.There have been very few communities in the world so unfairly treated. Bensen

    • 4
      0

      free education is the cure of all the islanders suffering- i presume you are another blighted lefty.

  • 16
    1

    If the Government of Sri Lanka wants to solve the ethnic problem, the first thing they have to do is to make Singhalese,Tamils, Muslims, Indian Tamils, Burghers etc; to study in the same schools.

    • 2
      0

      Thamilan

      “the first thing they have to do is to make Singhalese,Tamils, Muslims, Indian Tamils, Burghers etc; to study in the same schools.”

      I don’t think we have a large enough school to accommodate 4,037,157 students in the same schools.

      • 2
        0

        Native Vedda,

        Agreed.

        If the children today are going to schools based on racism, it is a question of r-organising the schools and have the same curriculum in every school.

        During the ‘native vedda’s’ era didn’t the children grow up together!

      • 2
        0

        NV,

        Many schools in the provinces wee so at one time. I myself have studies in Uva College, Badulla and Christ Church College, Kurunegala. The same situation can be restored. However, our a Universities should be national in character, though now scattered over the island. The universities should definitely become the ethnic melting pots.

        Dr. RN

        • 4
          0

          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

          I myself have attended schools in deep South hence I have no problem with mixed schools.

          However, there are other measures that should be introduced without much difficulty yet the state is in a time warp. There are Sinhala medium schools willing to introduce Tamil as a subject in their curriculum are constrained by lack of resources, including shortage of Tamil teachers.

          The other important and simple initiative is to introduce education in cross culture. You would have noticed that how poorly majority of commentators in this forum are ill informed of each others culture, heritage and history.

          Not many Tamils know about the suffering of innocent people whose kith and kin were killed by the armed forces, police, UNP armed vigilantes, JVP and LTTE.

          Similar ignorance prevails among Sinhalese.

          If a state/country/people want to progress all of them should aim for higher things and work together through common projects (in Science/technology/art/etc).

          Both Tamils and Sinhalese do not understand the meaning of virtuous circle whilst they are masters of dragging each other down.

          Yet I remain cautiously optimistic.

          What can be common national objective/project for the next 20 years.

          American had a dream to sent men to moon and return them safely. People were united on that objective.

          • 3
            0

            Dear NV,

            You are absolutely right. Isolation from each other and the resulting ignorance is a major blight in Sri Lanka.
            I remain eternally hopeful, because the world/universe by its very nature dynamic and is prone to change.
            We have played the blame game too long and it is time we- all in Sri Lanka, recognize that we are playing into the hands of political vultures. We have to break out of our shells to become larvae, pupae and finally the beautiful butterflies we should be.

            I have just returned after spending a week iN a poor village in Senkaladi. The village and the poverty that blights it, have yet destroyed the spirit or the decency of a people. They need help sans politics. They need the fishing rod, not fish. They did a hand to raise then]mselves up and blossom as humans.

            I realized also how elite and Jaffna oriented Tamil politics has been. It has been and is yet, blind to the real needs of the people .

            Dr.RN

          • 3
            0

            Dear NV

            I am happy with your established inclination towards bringing the two major communities together. I know the Writer well and I know Plantation
            politics equally well – having worked with the Plantation leaders for long. What we need, in my humble view, is not more Universities but better quality education. Integration must start right now. It will take another half a century to reach the ethnic, racial and religious harmony we shared in the pre-1950s.

            It was sad to read efforts to plant seeds of hatred in our educational system has reached low levels where, it was reported, in the Sinhala hodiya class the “Kumarodaya” taught the little Sinhala minds “Demala minissu napuru minuss” (Tamils are bad people) It is in that mindset the current generation of “leaders” like Gammanpila, Weerawansa, Ranawake, Gen. Fonseka and the lot have been “educated” This has to change. The Sinhala people – lead by the clergy – must take the lead to unite the two people in sustainable harmony if long-term reconciliation is the idea.

            Sinhala children learning Tamil and vice versa is not difficult. What we must create is the right atmosphere in the country to support this objective. If Prof. Sandrasekeram, in a short time, managed to learn sufficient Japanese (and quality Sinhalese) there is no reason why our children cannot learn each others mother tongue. This is where political leadership comes into play.

            Backlash

        • 1
          0

          Dear Dr.Rajasingham Narendran,

          Was Mr Gerald de Alwis the Principal? He had earlier been at STC, Gurutalawa, and his brother, the late Mr Neville de Alwis, was Warden, S. Thomas’ Mt Lavinia for quite some time.

          Gerald must be pretty old now, but I think that you will find him at School Lane (or is it Temple Lane?), Colombo 3. It’s a very narrow lane quite close to the British Council.

          • 2
            0

            Sinhala_Man.

            Thanks. I remember a Mr. Alwis, but cannot where he was the Principal- Uva College or Christ Church College. I was at Uva front grade-2 to grade-6 and at Christ Church only for one year in grade-7. Both schools were great, but Uva College shaped me.

            Dr.RN

            • 1
              0

              Mr. Gerald De Alwis was the principal of Uva College, Badulla, in the 1960s. Therafter, he worked in the Department of Examinations for a very long time.

              He was an old boy of S. Thomas’ Mount Lavinia, and may have been one of those who moved up to go to Gurutalawa during the second World War. He used to talk about the fact that he had English, Sinhala and Latin for his degree. He taught at S. Thomas’, Bandarawela, for some time with my father. This may have been about the time I was born. The school at that time was the private property of W.T. Keble.

              He then moved to S. Thomas’, Gurutalawa. Dr R.L. Hayman, the Headmaster there, sent him to Cambridge. I think it was for a Diploma in Education. However, Gerald always used to wax eloquent about the fact that Dr F.R. Leavis lectured him there. I am sure that he must have had some lectures from Leavis, but it is unlikely to have been many. Leavis is famous for never having been appointed professor. He was a Reader.

              Dr. Hayman was very disappointed that Gerald did not become head of one of the Thomian schools. Although a very rich man, I believe that he was obsessed with getting himself a government pension. He was on the Board of Governors of S. Thomas’ for a very long time. Incidentally, another of his brothers, Lyn, was in charge of the Dehiwela Zoo for a long. I am sure that if you were to look up Gerald sometime, he will talk to you for hours on end.

              Of more immediate concern is the fact that there was a meeting of the Board of Governors yesterday and they went along with that cheating on the Ides of March. I will have to write my third article now; please comment on it.

              I am dictating this into my tablet, and there may be a few typos as a result.

              • 1
                0

                Sinhala-man,

                Thank you. I left Uva College in Dec’1957. I think I had an occasion to talk to Mr.Alwis once or twice. It was a great school, second to none. I was in Badulla at the end of last December and drove past the school. It is no longer called Uva College. It has become another Maha Vidyalaya.. Our politicians wipe out history with one thoughtless stroke.

                Thank you.’

                Dr.RN

  • 2
    0

    [Edited out]

  • 9
    9

    separate this separate that..if you want to protect indian tamil culture, all of u can take a plan and go to TN. If you want to stay in SL be a Lankan..that is all..

    It is high time the SL gover identify this coming problem and disperse this ethnic ghetto

    • 6
      4

      [separate this separate that..if you want to protect indian tamil culture, all of u can take a plan and go to TN. If you want to stay in SL be a Lankan..that is all..]

      Hello, keep it in your mind you are from sundarban forest, India and have invaded & occupied in Veddha land in the South

      • 5
        2

        Ravi-Telugu

        There is another point. Tamils came to Ceylon by natural process of migration. But the Sinhalese, I mean Vijaya and the 700 thugs, were deported from India and made to drift in the Bay of Bengal and by chance landed here. Otherwise there would not have been all these problems.

        Do you think in such a situation India will ever take Vijaya’s progeny back to India? But I have my doubt.

        • 6
          2

          A clever riposte, that is!

        • 6
          6

          celeo
          You are mistaken to think I have escaped! (CT has not provided a reply link for your post!)
          First, your list does not depict a single “Tamil problem” which I always keep asking for. What you are writing here are all DEMANDS! Anybody can demand anything. Demands are not problems. What you should do is justify your demands by showing me the real problems/reasons an average Tamils faces in their day to day life.

          1. Tamils should be recognized as a nation – A demand – (Why? Just because you say Tamils ruled the north some time back? That is not a “problem” for Tamils it was a weakness of the Tamils. What does that have to do with an average Tamil’s life as a Sri Lankan citizen? Can the Christians of the costal are demand that they should be recognized as a nation? Can the Native Indians of the US demand to recognize their reservations as a Nations within the US? Do you think that will happen?)

          2. Tamils have the rights to self-determination – A demand – (If Sinhalese are oppressing/suppressing the Tamils say how they do that? By crushing Tamil terrorism?)

          3. Tamils should be given Equal rights with respect to state language, state religion, nationhood, education, employment, police powers, land issues, etc. – A demand – (No country has multiple state languages and religions. Translations of languages and full freedom to practice any religion are a right to every citizen of SL. Employment rights are equal to all races of SL. Learning Sinhalese will have an added employment advantage for Tamils. Police powers? Not that quick, needs to win the trust of people.)

          4. State sponsored colonization should be stopped – A demand – (Un utilized land should be used for country’s progress. Any citizen willing to participate in this should be encouraged including Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese. Tamil diaspora moving back to SL and helping in this endeavor is appreciated.)

          5. Occupied genocidal military should be removed and the lands should be given back to the people/owners. – A demand – (That will be done when the threat of terrorism is zero. This is really a good thing for the Tamils in the north where their security is concerned. Tamils who demand this have terror tendencies or support terrorism)

          6. Ethnic cleansing should be stopped. – A demand – (you forgot genocide!! Do you know the meaning of “ethnic cleansing”? Give me evidence of such mass cleansings of Tamils happening after the end of war)

          7. Power and wealth should be equally distributed – A demand – (what, the Tamils are communists now?? Tamil politicians have power on their constituents. Don’t expect police and security power after the 30 year terror reign by Tamils. There are million Tamils who have more wealth than Sinhalese!).

          8. Restore the lost Tamil rights by Federalism. – A demand – (what rights of Tamils have been taken away by the GOSL to have Federalism?)

          It is clear to me that there are no real problems for Tamils of Sri Lanka. The phrase “Tamil problem/ Tamil issues” are fake rhetoric of a few power hungry separatist Tamils. If Tamils need any concessions they have to remove their fighting gloves and start negotiating and negotiating until they succeed. Taking a offensive stance like many Tamil leaders and the diaspora trying to use the UNHRC are going to be fruitless.

          • 2
            2

            Eusense

            When will you Sinhalese learn or will you continue to be ignorant or pretend to be so forever?

            You may call it Tamil demands or Tamil aspirations or whatever and the SL govt. calls it the national question, but for the Tamils, it is the Tamil Problem. If you ask any SL Tamil in Sri Lanka what is the Tamil Problem, he/she will not say we have food problem or water problem or shelter problem, they will come up with what I have listed. This is the Tamil Problem and today not only the UN, US, India and the International community but even the SL government has already accepted it and is looking to solve it.

            If you need to know more about the Tamil Problem, refer to the LLRC report and the UNHRC resolution that the US is working with Sri Lanka to implement. If the Tamil problem is further delayed, all the Tamils (in Sri Lanka and abroad/West) will come to the streets on a large scale protest for a Non-violent campaign with Direct Action similar to what Gandhi did in India or what Martin Luther did in the US which is much more effective than violence/terrorism. There will never be peace in SL until Tamil Problem are solved. As in many countries, even in SL, the Tamils will request the US (from the new President)to involve as a mediator. Let’s wait and see if it is going to be fruitless or not.

            Now, please do not come again and again in all the threads and ask the same question like a blind parrot, ‘what is the Tamil problem’, instead go and refer to the LLRC report.

            • 2
              6

              Celo
              When are you going to add this request for a university for upcountry tamils as a “tamil issue/tamil problem ???
              Don’t be a moron, not only tamils have demands/aspirations also Sinhalese/christians/muslims/gays & lesbians/short & tall people/dark & light skinned people all have all kinds of aspirations. So your tamil problems are nothing nothing to write home about. They are aspirations of looser terrorist. My conclusion is that there are no real problems confined to the tamils. Do not bring up unhrc as that was a consequence of a tamil brutal terror war.
              Don’t talk about Martin Luther King! Tamils have nothing close to what the blacks in the US went through!

              • 4
                2

                eusense

                “My conclusion is that there are no real problems confined to the Tamils.”

                Ha, ha, ha …

                The Sinhalese can’t act like dumb kitten who believes that Ethnic crisis is ‘no real problems’ once they close their eyes to the reality…

                However, we have no worries…

                India is again Stirring the pot by bringing both the Sinhala and Tamil Leaders face to face in their midst…LOL!

                UN has SLAMMED Sri Lanka as the State is Victimizing Tamils for the sole reason of them being Tamils..LOL ! Let’s wait for the June UNHRC Session.

                According to US diplomat Biswal, US is already working with Sri Lanka to implement the resolutions.

                You do not need to break your little brain (if you have one) by asking stupid questions such as ‘what is Tamil problem’. Do not worry, we will not terrorize you anymore, everything will be in mass scale but peaceful. Right now everything is going on well so we are not complaining…! Let’s wait and see.

                BTW, request for a university for Tamils is NOT part of the Tamil problem. Request for the Tamils in Tamil speaking areas to manage their own affairs is a part of the Tamil problem. Hope your pea brain can comprehend.

                • 0
                  3

                  Keep dreaming.Good luck!

            • 0
              6

              After having gone through many articles in CT and researching into this so called ethnic conflict has taught me onething. There is nothing called ethnic crisis what we have is a Vellala project to consolidate their caste hegemony in north and sinhalese taking affirmative actions to get back their homeland.

              • 4
                0

                “”After having gone through many articles in CT and researching into this so called ethnic conflict has taught me onething. “”

                So finally CT is promoting you to the Govia Gamme project??

                real sappthu kollo only fit to run casinos and tea houses with dancing women.sunday sil.

        • 0
          2

          tamils came here as natural process? Invasions and deliberate settlement by the colonials?

          • 3
            0

            Sach

            “tamils came here as natural process? Invasions and deliberate settlement by the colonials?”

            MYTH 1: Tamils came to Sri Lanka as invaders.

            The Sinhalese are brainwashed with the Mahavamsa mind-set to believe the myth that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala-Buddhist country and the non-Sinhala Buddhists (Tamils) are invaders who do not belong to Sri Lanka.

            The so called ‘invasion’ theory that was mentioned in the Mahavamsa (anybody other than the Buddhists were considered invaders) was wrongly interpreted by the European (colonial) Orientalist scholars. Since Buddha was a North Indian, all the North Indians were considered friends whereas the South Indians were considered enemies/invaders.

            However, even the so called ‘invasion’ theory of the Mahavamsa only talks about the replacement of the king (not people) at the Anuradapura kingdom by either a Chola or a Pandya. The Tamil people were already living irrespective of who the king was. And neither the Deepawamsa nor the Mahavamsa or any inscriptions calls the Tamil Kings Sena and Guttika as invaders/outsiders (they were Sri Lankan Tamil horse businessman’s sons).

            With the arrival of Arahat Mahinda, a part of the Tamil Hindus who lived in the island embraced Buddhism. In the 5th century A.D, Ven. Mahanama thero and a group of scholarly Buddhist monks of the Mahavihara in Anuradapura observing two groups of people in the 5th century A.D. – Hindus, speaking Tamil and the converts (Buddhists) speaking the new language (Prakrit) wrote the Mahavamsa with the motive of projecting the Buddhists as a separate ethnic group, ‘the Sinhalese’ (who will protect the Buddhist dharma in the island) and the Tamils who did not convert to Buddhism were projected as ‘invaders’. That is how ‘Sinhala’ originated and became the ‘guardians of Buddhism’ and the non-Buddhist (Tamils) became ‘invaders’. Later, with the mixture of Tamil, Pali and Sanskrit languages, evolved the Sinhala language during 8 century A.D.

            MYTH 2: Dutch settled Tamils in the North for Tobacco plantation.

            Nobody settled anybody in the North & East.

            When the Tamil Vellalar farmers in Jaffna needed labour to grow tobacco, the Dutch sold them a few slaves (few hundreds) brought from South India (Pallar caste).

            However, the main reason for the Portuguese in the 16th century and later Dutch in the 18th century to occupy the island was Cinnamon and not tobacco, and cinnamon grew only in the South. The Dutch settled tens of thousands of Dalit coolies from South India in the Southern parts of Sri Lanka for cinnamon and coconut plantation.

            In order to avoid the caste issue, all those South Indian Dalit adopted Buddhist & Christian religions and eventually got naturalized as Sinhalese. Today their decedents are Sinhala-Buddhists and Sinhala-Christians.

            The so called ‘Sinhala race’ that the scholarly Buddhist monks of the Mahavihara in Anuradapura lead by Ven. Mahanama thero created (to protect Buddhism in the island) became a majority only after the colonials arrived. As explained above, the Portuguese and the Dutch colonized hundreds of thousands of South Indian Dalit in the Southern parts of Sri Lanka as menial labourers/coolies for growing/peeling cinnamon, coconut planting/plucking and toddy tapping. These South Indian Dalit converted to Buddhism and eventually got naturalized as Sinhalese. Otherwise, today either the Tamils or the Veddas would have been the majority in Sri Lanka.

            If you read the Dutch writings, “The World’s Oldest Trade”: Dutch Slavery and Slave Trade in the Indian Ocean in the Seventeenth Century” you will see that the Dutch settled most of them in the South from Colombo to Galle.

            Later, the British settled South Indians in the upcountry for Tea and Rubber plantation. North & East is free from colonial settlements.

            The North & East Tamils are indigenous and natural migrants whereas the father of the Sinhalese (Vijaya and the 700 thugs) were deported from India and made to drift in the Bay of Bengal and by chance landed here.

      • 0
        4

        Are u frm Andhra or TN?

        • 3
          0

          sach ,

          Why do you speak Marathi??

          I understand from EU research papers that you have 28% of the Bangladeshi DNA. like the Pala dynesty.So you copied the national anthem Jana Gana mana..Buddhism without the Wisdom of Asia because you liked Islams belly dancers who came in later. If only you are aware of ladies man Dudley S approval rates for these you would be shocked (I won’t tell you it ain’t my business) but they manage the kappan which no native Sinhala/Tamil likes. You are not big enough to spoil the show towards reasonable living.

    • 6
      1

      Dear Prof
      I welcome your timely proposition
      In the first instance certain facts need to be clarified
      ….
      “We can witness remarkable progress in their socio-economic conditions, thanks to the intervention of the successive governments of Sri Lanka.”
      With due respect the above comment is not only false but covers up a multitude of sins to date. What and where is the remarkable progress?. Is it the few appointments of Grama Nilatharis which is by far below the requirements given the population of 1.5 million or the teachers appointment in those schools you have mentioned.
      For all intense and purposes there has been minimal or zero social mobility as far as these unfortunate citizens are concerned , given the size of the population.
      While the requirement of a university for the Upcountry is necessary, an universal call for the betterment of the secondary education and higher education facilities must take priority. Institutions fully functional with qualified science graduates and state of the art supporting facilities is the need of the hour . You need qualified students in larger numbers from the upcountry population to enter any university in the country. As it is we fail even to produce enough candidates to fill the current quotas of the institutions you have mentioned above in Upcountry .That is the challenge for all of us

  • 18
    0

    Starting Universities without qualified staff has ruined our University system. Universities have been opened according to the pressure from politicians and not on the academic need. Oluvil is a good example when there was already one in Batticoala. Even Rajarata University was opened due to pressure exerted by politicians. What happens is second rate academics get appointed to these far away places and they breed forth rate academics in the system. Even at Anuradhapura medical faculty most professor posts are still vacant since nobody wants to settle there permanently.
    Politicians do more damage to the students from their constituencies by opening regional universities since earlier, at least some of them had the chance of entering main stream Universities such as Peradeniya. Now that opportunity is almost non-existent . What is more important is integration with all communities rather than narrow segregation which forces students to isolation. For example, a student doing chemistry as a subject at Peradeniya gets taught by many Professors but one at Rajarata or Oluvil with no professors. So, politiciains and others who promote regional universities what you have to do is improve your school standards and send them to national universities.

  • 7
    1

    Although any institution set on the basis of race/ethnicity is not the solution to the problems faced by a small country like SL, a university set in the midst of tea plantations will give children of people who have been condemned to some form of slavery and held in bondage generation after generation something more to aspire to and break their shackles.

  • 4
    17

    There is an university in the upcountry already as someome has said in their response. Universities are not just for one community and where other communities can also attend but universities are for the benefit of all communities. There may be universities for Tamil Hindu advancement and preservation of that culture already in Tamil Nadu where those interested persons can attend and benefit from. Remember though, the plantatation workers of Indian Tamil origin worked hard for the mostly for the benefit of thpre British masters and any grieviences for their hard work should be addresses to Westminster/British High Commission. They were brought in to the country without the consent of the Sinhalese and, they had and perhaps still do have the option of settling in their homeland across the Palk Straight. The country can do well without another bunch of Tamil fanatics making another set of demands and those who do know fully well what their northern counterparts ended with. Nothing!

    • 4
      1

      But most of the present day Sinhalese most probably even yours originated from Tamil Nadu not from Bengal or Orissa.
      It is a well known fact and recorded history that around 50% of the present day Sinhalese EG the Karawa Durawa Salagama Hali Hunu and even most of the ancestors of the so called low country and Kandyan aristocrats all have a recent Tamil Nadu origin. Many descended from indentured labour that was imported by the Dutch and Portuguese colonials a few centuries ago, all belonging to the same depressed communities and castes that the Indian origin estate Tamil labourers belong to and were imported by the British into the island a century or two later.
      All your so called Sinhalese Buddhist racist nationalist politicians and hardliners like the Bandaranaike Jayawardene, Wickremesinghe, Kotellawala Ratwattte, Senanayake all beating the anti Tamil drum had recent Tamil ancestors. So what is your problem?

      • 10
        1

        Dear Pau;-Real Siva Sankaran Sarma,

        Why on earth must you keep saying this sort of thing?

        A guy like me accepted all that you’ve said ages ago.

        A guy like “lal” on May 12, 2016 at 5:53 pm will probably NEVER accept it. You’ll merely exasperate the guy in to saying more and sillier things.

        Let sleeping dogs lie!

        • 2
          10

          sinhala man,
          Are you really a Sinhala man or a Tamil in a Sinhalese sheep clothing? You sound like one of these smooth terror supporters. Also, once you went silent after counter posting to one of mine.

          • 9
            0

            Dear Eusense,

            You are not the first to have doubts about my “Sinhaleseness”! I feel that our common humanity ought to take precedence over the universal tendency towards tribalism.

            I have recently written two articles in “Colombo Telegraph” in which my name and photograph actually appear. There is a link to them in the relatively long comment that has been posted below – and not far below:

            Sinhala_Man (on) May 12, 2016 at 10:57 pm

            May I request that you take a look there? It will enable us to be more constructive in what all discussants spout.

            Right now our country has a window of opportunity. Let us make full use of it!

        • 2
          0

          Since a guy like Lal and his ilk keep on repeating everywhere if the island’s indigenous Tamils, who have no connection to Tamil Nadu and the Indian origin Tamils who have now lived in the island for around 200 years and have contributed most to the island’s wealth, must move or return to Tamil Nadu to gain their rights. I will keep om repeating and reminding him and his friends the real origin and ancestral origin of most of modern day Sinhalese. Tamil Nadu and then Tamil Kerala and for most of them it is not in the distant past but just a few centuries ago.
          They thing that by often repeating a lie it becomes the truth. in order for the lie not to become the truth. I will repeat this truth and remind them of their lies

          • 8
            0

            Tit-for-tat rarely brings desired result!

            • 2
              0

              I can see from where you come from and appreciate the thought. However these racists have to be exposed for their lies and false propaganda regarding the Tamils in the island and the real origin. It is not only at this forum but they go to every other forum local and international and post their lies” Sinhalese are truly indigenous to the island and are of pure Aryan origin and the alien Dravidian Tamils are recent invaders from South India or descendants of tea estate coolies, who have now become too big for their boots and are demanding rights in par with the truly indigenous Aryan Sinhalese (sic).
              As proof of this they show the around 80 million Tamils living in Tamil Nadu and the fact that Sinhalese is only spoken in the island so truly indigenous. Many gullible foreigners and even other Sri Lankans who have not read the real history of the island fall for this propaganda. It is only by challenging these racists and exposing them that many foreigners and locals are becoming aware of the real history of the island and have become sympathetic to the island’s Tamils. They do not like this and try to threaten anyone who speaks on behalf of the island’s Tamil population as a terrorist and an LTTE sympathiser. This ploy has also stopped working.
              You can see for yourself the number of people who had stolen my name and identity Siva Sankaran Sarma to post anti Tamil messages at various forums, Local and international. Forcing me to use another indentity Paul

              • 2
                0

                “”You can see for yourself the number of people who had stolen my name and identity Siva Sankaran Sarma to post anti Tamil messages at various forums, Local and international. Forcing me to use another indentity Paul””

                Not this one for f**k sake. I do know more than the history of nadu, lanka europe and its art culture and more but it has been interesting to note where the bandas came from- banda island & nutmeg. They started the SOB issue. But JT’s did the estate tamils on citizenship- so its a dog bites dog thingie and added to it the immigrant islam in the shadow.
                we don’t stab the fallen but never forget the past pleasant or unpleasant because both are the same- event!

                carry on Paul SSS, You doing well countering idiocracies. remember its a global village in a cyber world and idiocracies are many.

  • 13
    1

    Wouldn’t it be better to concentrate in having good primary and secondary education to start with for these children. Once they get this then they can compete with the rest of the country for university education.

  • 15
    2

    Better national universities are the right way to go. But it is too late for that. The fact is that our universities are mainly regional and local The locals enjoy privileges not envisaged at the founding. For example Jaffna resists a Buddhist temple for its Sinhalese students, South Eastern pays Rs. 1.5 lacs a month extra for engineering lecturers but is reserving its first professorship in engineering for a Muslim and turned down a highly qualified Tamil applicant from Papua New Guinea who has since gone to Malaya, Ruhunu insisted that the first Dean of Engineering shall be a Sinhalese, etc.

    Given this system, we cannot tell upcountry Tamils that only national universities are allowed.

    Anyway, Uva Wellasa University as I recall was proposed as a university for upcountry Tamils. What went wrong? First, in our culture of patronage, others took it over and secondly upcountry Tamils did not have qualified people to staff the universities. Even the first Council had only one upcountry Tamil.

    So any new university will also be taken over by others and it is not possible to openly say it is for upcountry Tamils without legislation to that effect. Such legislation is impossible.

    We need to live with the horrible system we have created.

    • 5
      0

      I tend to agree with you. The Professors proposal to me sounds a
      Cart before the Horse matter. I wonder how many Graduates are there
      claiming to hail from the Plantations, in Sri Lanka to-date?

      There are more ways of showing gratitude for the economic benefits
      the State gained over the century from this group of people, which too
      is not possible now after the attitude shown in the last couple of decades by Political Leaders towards a community.

    • 4
      0

      “”So any new university will also be taken over by others and it is not possible to openly say it is for upcountry Tamils without legislation to that effect. Such legislation is impossible.”

      You know, the cure for all this talk is really another good dose of incompetent government.-from MR1 to MR2 in then MR3-MR4

      “”We need to live with the horrible system we have created. “”
      (rather you need to live with the same old rascals you vote to run your lives- because they own you- eggheads)

      Never Say Die!!
      What folk mean by consultation is an imitation of what they see in the UK; pressure groups, lobbyist groups. It’s an unthinking application of UK practices of development without any pruning and modification to suit the circumstances.
      Ideally the country needs libraries in every village with IT terminals of learning then heaven is the limit.
      Remember Windows will not sell operating systems anymore but will be in cloud like Adobe- pay like a cell monthly if access is needed. This cut across teacher issue’s which is outdated and very political. Working men and women are completing their masters online.
      UK takes a little over 10 years to accept a 3D programme(input only 3D) widely in use in the continent- life over here is like that yet we manage by cutting across all lines.

  • 1
    1

    Educations for all! Why is it that every XXXxing thing country is racial!
    Are there universities for Muslims, or Sinhalese?

    • 1
      0

      Srinath,
      There is a University for Buddhist monks.

      • 1
        0

        There is also a Pali University.

        Dr.RN

      • 0
        4

        Because this is Sinhala homeland. where should the sinhalese have universities to protect their culture and study their traditions except in their homeland? In tamil nadu?

        Remember this sinhala is the identity of SL and nothing else

        • 3
          0

          “”Remember this sinhala is the identity of SL and nothing else “”

          ha ha pol watte kurumba Ba ba ba…cluck cluck.

          Estado Neuvo! Fascistas of Asia.
          you will never live long on that begging bowl.

  • 6
    3

    A Tamil University is a great idea would only enhance the separatism we are trying to eliminate. Also, a graduate from a Tamil University would be just as useless as a graduate from a Sinhalese University but marginally less as there are more Tamil businesses and employers in the world. We should be striving for graduate employment in the international market and the international language for that is English. Right now there is an employment drive in UK to employ more doctors with unbelievable salaries but a doctor qualified in Singhalese may be eminently qualified but cannot be employed thus. We could do with a post-graduate course in English for Singhalese and Tamil university graduates.

    • 5
      1

      Sh
      From where did you find out that there are doctors qualified in Sinhalese?

      • 11
        2

        I’ve given you both a “thumbs up” for being well-meaning! In Sri Lanka ALL four year Science degrees are taught in English, but when the graduates come out of the production line, they can’t use the language. I teach IELTS to a few people who aspire to go abroad and are humble enough to come to my unfashionable home.

        Ever heard of “kuppi panthi”? Find out, please.

        • 2
          1

          sinhala man
          You are talking about science graduates. How many Medical graduates after 5 years of study come to you to learn English? SH is talking about our medical graduates who she says “doctor qualified in Singhalese may be eminently qualified but cannot be employed thus”!
          However, I have never heard of any Sri Lankan medical graduate who passed the Medical boards of UK not getting employment based on English language.
          The way she spells Sinhalese (Singhalese) I suspect she is either a Tamil or heavily influenced by Tamil propaganda. Also, I have observed her pro-Tamil terrorist posts many times.

          • 11
            0

            Many of those who come ARE doctors.

            In the Medical Colleges they focus on the content in answer scripts. IELTS insists on the ability to use English in Internationally Intelligible ways.

            I have NOT had a “political chat” with Sylvia Haik (real name). It was recently that my daughter told me that this is the “lady with the Morris Traveller” whom we have met many times in Classic Car rallies. She lives again in Sri Lanka, having been here as a child – on an “Up-country Estate”; I’m not sure where.

            She is British, married to a Dane, and I think that she means well. I’ve never found her to be nastily patronising. I hope that now that I have pointed out all that, you will be able to take from her those insights which are valuable, and ignore the mistakes made by her being “a foreigner”.

            • 5
              0

              Imagine if you had no imagination what would things be like??

              The Riddle of the Sphinx???

              You like Moru??

              Or elocution??

          • 4
            0

            eusense, I was under the impression that Sinhalese was a race and Singhalese was the language. If our doctors still have to qualify in English, what exactly has the Bandranaike’s Sinhala Only policy achieved in the last 60 years except unnecessary resentment. Strangely, I admired the courage of a little nation like David standing up to mighty Goliath. I also admired the world’s first woman Prime Minister and a little known fact that Sri Lanka was one of the first to abolish Capital Punishment. To your mindset, anyone pointing to the unjust treatment of the Tamil people is a pro-Tamil terrorist sympathiser.

          • 6
            0

            eusense,

            “However, I have never heard of any Sri Lankan medical graduate who passed the Medical boards of UK not getting employment based on English language.”

            Joy and Sorrow they are inseparable.Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your table, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

            National Health Service UK is run by a trust controlled by the Government of managers who are clueless about medicine.- Where basic english skills are necessary.

            General Medical Practitioner. or GP are private contractors to the NHS.

            I am yet to see a Sinhala or Tamil readily accepted as a partner in a GP practice started by an English.
            A woman from the vanni (came in 83)spoke good english to many and had over 5 qualifications. But she missed something my parents at Colombo had- Latin and Greek – it helps in medicine science and art too. On the other hand G.G. Ponnambalam QC- was readily accepted because of his fluency in all three.- he did not yield to any white man at Inner Temple.
            Most middle class Anglo Saxons wherever they may be study at least Latin privately.
            If you don’t understand British humour then you cannot move with them and enjoy life as equal.

            Bandas from Banda island the immigrants got rid of the languages so that only they could have it. But nothing is permanent. so the other Bandas like eusence are dreaming of making slaves while the americans are doing so.

      • 7
        0

        SM
        You are dead right on fluency in English.
        A little more than 5 years ago a few physical science degree students approached me for help in Physics and Maths although I did not hold a science degree and was not used to tutoring. The reason was that the lectures in a Colombo District university started in English, then said that they wee more comfortable in Sinhala and, if the class did not mind, they will teach in Sinhala. My young friends, all Tamils, too agreed based on assurance by batch mates that they will help with course material; and they kept their word. But things were not clear whee there was descriptive material and key arguments leading to results. I was able to help them in their first year. I assume that things were better afterwards or they found a better person to help.
        The language skill of many academics is appalling. Their difficulty with English is related to weakness in Sinhala/Tamil grammar.
        As the late Professor of Sinhala Kulasuriya once strikingly remarked “Our language problem is not whether we shouls have Sinhala, Tamai or English. Our problem is that we do not have any language.”

        Kuppi has a strong language dimension as well as a tutory-learning dimension to it.

        Today we have school teachers who know their English but not their science and vice versa.

    • 1
      1

      There are no Sinhalese Universities in Sri Lanka. Are you living in this country?

      • 6
        1

        Relax, man!

        Sylvia is a very nice, well-meaning, elderly Englishwoman, married to a Dane. She’s trying to be helpful.

        Please appreciate people for what they are; don’t pounce on innocent mistakes!

        • 2
          4

          Sinhala man
          Why are you giving slack to this woman? What help do readers get when she post wrong information?
          Look at people who lead a crusade against Sri Lanka drumming false Genocide and ethnic cleansing. They are all English doing for terror money. You want me to believe this kind of information?

    • 5
      1

      Sylvia Haik

      “A Tamil University is a great idea would only enhance the separatism we are trying to eliminate.”

      Really?

      You are not trying to eliminate on the contrary you have been adapting laws and practices that are have been forcing them to enhance separatism.

      On the other hand Hindians have been and will be actively pursuing a policy of non separatism.

      The little islanders should stop claiming to what is not within their grasp, ability nor wisdom.

      • 2
        6

        vedda,
        What a stupid answer!
        Give readers what these “laws and practices that are have been forcing them to enhance separatism.”. Be specific and give enacted laws you are talking about. Please, do not give your personal “demands” like your pal Celeo who responded to my question “what problems/laws of GOSL affect Tamils?”

        • 6
          1

          Nuisance the stupid I

          “Give readers what these “laws and practices that are have been forcing them to enhance separatism.”.

          It is written in Dutch Map Ceylon 1669.

          • 1
            5

            Are you a moron or what??

            • 1
              0

              What a boring slot You cant even buy him Moron.

  • 7
    1

    we can have any faculties to teach any sciences and the proposed university will have to accommodate students and staff from all ethnic groups. all existing universities in SL are opened to all groups while maintaining some identity of the people living around the area. there is nothing wrong in that and if we think in terms of international models we cannot have any universities in the country. most of the criticism leveled against this proposal are almost same that of the ceylon university that was established in 1940s. the proposed university will be like other universities functioning in the N and E provinces. thanks for some valuable comments.
    -s.sandarasegaram

    • 15
      0

      Dear Prof. “s.sandarasegaram”. I think that it is great that you have read the comments and appreciated them. The most valuable may be that by “academic on May 12, 2016 at 4:17 pm”. I think that you are quite right to have raised the issue, but in your main article you have felt the need to fawn before President Maithri. I’m a guy who worked for his victory, and I’m still happy with him, despite what his brother Kumarasinghe is doing in Telecom. Unfortunately everything becomes political here. Maithri’s election does open a window of opportunity, but let us “make haste slowly; they stumble who run (too) fast”. But your clarification has set my mind at ease, somewhat. I saw the article a couple of hours ago, then attended to some other chores, but returned realising just how significant your article is. I’m sure that the responses will top the hundred mark and don’t be too worried about responses like the one from “lal”. There will always be bigots of that sort.

      Thanks for stating this clearly: “. . . the proposed university will have to accommodate students and staff from all ethnic groups.” The last thing that we want are ghettos. Yes, there is a need for positive discrimination in favour of your community. However, the first need is to improve ALL the little schools on the estates. I know that it’s a massive task – “Siva May 12, 2016 at 6:03 pm” has sounded the warning.

      The situation is different from that in the 1940s. If only Up-Country Tamils reach the requisite standard they CAN enter the existing universities. But what a cruel “if only . . .” that is! Any new University that we open must produce graduates of sufficiently high quality to fit in anywhere – as the brave Englishwoman, Sylvia Haik, has stated. I’ve not given her a “thumbs up” yet, because of this slightly naive statement: ” We could do with a post-graduate course in English for Singhalese and Tamil university graduates.” By that stage it is too late – in our society which is all too apt to ridicule the adult who is trying to learn ENGLISH. Any other language, it’s O.K. This language is too tied up with its function as a “social marker”.

      Problems are often more complex than they seem at first. I’ve been wrestling with a problem for half a century, but went public only quite recently:

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-whited-thomian-sepulchres-the-pharisees-who-cheat/

      It takes a long time to solve some of these problems. As you will realise, perhaps with a shock, these problems exist at the other extreme of the spectrum. These are the ranks of the supposed elites. Not many will give it all anything more than a cursory glance: there are too many “worthy” causes, and individuals just don’t have the time to dwell on things that they consider to be “not my business”.

      The problem you highlight is one that is absolutely, vitally, “our business” if we are to have a healthy society, but it will have to be worked out very carefully by you. I wish you well; wish I could help, but I’m now getting on in years, and I don’t know any Tamil.

      Good luck!

  • 4
    0

    as for enhancement of socio-economic conditions of these people i can only say that they are better off in education and some of the other indicators are better than that of 1950s or 60s. it is a relative matter. i do not say that every thing is achieved. whatever the small progress made we have to recognize. i can point out using government statistics about the backwardness of these people. now there are 20 1AB schools and about 80 1Cschools having A/L classes. in 1950s we had to go to jaffna for A/L studies. at that time we did not have a teacher training college or technical institute.the entire upcountry school system is manned by teachers from the area. these developments cannot be denied..we should be grateful to the hundreds of jaffna teachers who did yeoman service under difficult conditions-mainly long distance from their hometown. mostly all the teachers from the upcountry were students of these teachers. jf we have to establish a high quality school education as a pre-condition that should have been the condition for all regions.
    -s.sandarasegaram

  • 3
    5

    The upcountry (Indian) Tamils are descendants of laborers who were brought by British in the 19th century from India to work in tea plantations. They have gained nothing by working generation after generation for low wages to save the Sri Lankan economy. It only made them be ridiculed by the Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamils, who called them with derogatory names. That is why the Sri Lankan Tamils and the upcountry Tamils did not unite as one Tamil race. Today many upcountry Tamils are educating their children in Sinhalese schools. I have heard the Up country Tamils saying they are being treated better by Sinhala people than by the Jaffna Tamils.

    • 9
      0

      Dear Nimal,

      I agree that ONE path to a homogeneous Sri Lankan society is to have everybody adopting Sinhala as their first language. Then there will be no problems of ethnicity . . . – what a wonderful dream to indulge in!

      No, I don’t really think it feasible. I live in a plantation area, and like to think that I’m liberal in my views. The problem is that all too many Up-Country Tamils are like this man:

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/bishop-shantha-francis-and-the-diaspora/

      a crook who drew his dead mother-in-law’s pension for five years! Clever guy, don’t you think?

      By the way, not all crooks get caught the way he did!

      • 3
        0

        There are plenty of countries that have more than one national language and ethnicity that yet coexist in perfect harmony. Look at some of the recent studies done (over a 50 year period) at Stanford on correlation between ethnicity, language, and civil war. None was found – the only correlation was economic.

        • 0
          1

          Sil Redi:

          Because that is what the govt promoted.

          See how it is in indian universities ?

          Sri lanka can not promote anything because politicians are destroying the country every way.

        • 7
          0

          What the two of us are saying is not contradictory.

          One language may simplify interaction within a country, but it is clear that all Sri Lankans must know three languages.

          The simplest to justify is English. We need a world language, and for a multiplicity of reasons that language must be English. Ruled out by me are Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, French and German – plus, obviously, many others!

          Sinhala: Tamils must learn it (in addition to Tamil!) for purposes of survival.

          Tamil: The reasons for Sinhalese to learn Tamil may seem altruistic: it is the only way we can convince the Tamils that we are serious about living in harmony with other social groups in the country. Ultimately, in a sense, it is for our own survival. If we go on the way we have been, the World will wipe us out, owing to sheer exasperation!

          I know only two languages: English and Sinhala.

          It is the growing generation that must be PERSUADED to work at Trilingualism.

    • 2
      2

      This comment coming from a Sinhalese racist like you, who constantly comes here and posts Tamil hate comments is laughable.
      What did you Sinhalese treat the Indian origin Tamils far better than Jaffna Tamils! Oh yes that is why successive Sinhalese led governments from the time of independence, have made them stateless after living in the country for more than 200 years and forcibly deported more than a million of them to India, and then continued to treat then like dirt denying them everything,just like they forcibly chased away and displaced, more than 1.2 million Indigenous Eelam Tamils and killed over 300000 of them.
      They hardly have any contact with the Jaffna Tamils, as more than 99.9% of them live in the Sinhalese areas. So how can Jaffna Tamils ill treat them when they hardly meet or see them? Even the few who tried to move to Tamil areas in the north and east to live a peaceful life, were forcibly deported back to the central province by the Sinhalese armed forces. So Tamil citizens of Indian origin cannot move to Eelam Tamil areas but low life Sinhalese thugs and hard core criminals are encouraged to move in and illegally settle in Tamil areas by the Sinhalese Sri Lankan establishment and armed forces, to deliberately create chaos and change the demography and ethnic balance in the north and east. It is now happening in Batticaloa the Vanni and in Musali area in Mannar.
      It is Sinhalese mobs and thugs on the instigation of Sinhalese politicians that have attacked killed murdered and looted Indian origin Tamils and their properties in the Sinhalese south not the Jaffna Tamils, who are as equally powerless and discriminated as the Indian origin Tamils.
      It is the duty of the Sri Lankan government that is Sinhalese to improve the condition and the standard of education of the Tamil schools in the estate areas and don’t blame the Jaffna Tamils for this. The Sri Lankan government is deliberately keeping these Tamil schools in a very substandard level, so that these Indian Tamil children will be forced to study in Sinhalese schools.
      Like most Sinhalese racists you like to twist the facts and deliberately misinform to justify your genocide and Sinhalisation programmes and want to divide and rule the various Tamil communities in the island by deliberately creating these rifts. Already successful in dividing the Muslim Tamils from the other Tamils and now trying your games between the Indigenous Eelam Tamils from the North East and the Indian origin largely estate Tamils.

      • 0
        5

        If the Sinhalese are so bad why is that “Indian Tamils” did not return to Tamil Nadu? They came to Sri Lanka and worked like slaves for the British. Obviously, life is worse for poor Tamils in Tamil Nadu or in the Northern Province than amongst Sinhalese or else they would leave the “hill country” like they left Tamil Nadu some 150 years ago.Your racist attitude towards the Sinhalese, as did the Chelva, Ponnas and Sunda will get you nowhere. It is always the Sinhalese who are blamed but the British who brought these Tamils to Sri Lanka and treated them like animals are exempt from any blame; for murders, slavery, rape they committed. Those who want to assist Upcountry Tamils at the expense of other communities should invite the UK ambassodor to commit funds to their cause. He/she will do what Pontius Pilate did, no doubt!

        • 3
          0

          More of your extremist Lankaweb lies and propaganda that is concocted by your Tamil origin Karawa female leader?
          Why do they have to move to Tamil Nadu when they have lived here for 200 years? As per you then most of the present day Sinhalese and 99% of the Sri Lankan Muslims also should return to Tamil Nadu and Kerala, as their ancestor arrived from there just a century or tow before the Indian origin estate Tamils arrived.
          These means most of your Lankaweb supporters and bloggers including your female Karawa leader will have to return to Tamil Nadu/Kerala/Southern Andhra. What is good for the estate Tamils is good for them too.

          People who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others. Heard of that saying? Most probably not.

          The reason they are only living in the central province amongst the Sinhalese,is not because they love the Sinhalese but because they have nowhere else to go and know no other form of living.

          They have been plucking tea for generation and deliberately not taught anything else. Even the few who tried to escape this and moved to the Tamil North and East were forcibly returned back to the estates by the Sri Lankan authorities, as they do not want these Tamils to repopulate the north and the east and further strengthen the Tamil identity in the north east but Sinhalese and Muslim low lives to illegally colonise and dilute the Tamil majority in the north east.

          Further they do need these Indian origin Tamil slaves to remain in the estate areas and pluck tea and not move anywhere else to become upwardly mobile. As this is vital for the economy. The lazy Sinhalese will not do it and for the slave wages paid for this work . This is the reason the Sri Lankan government gives them a very sub standard education, as they want them to remain as tea estate labourers or doing other menial jobs. Now they are trying to do the same to the indigenous Eelam Tamils. If anyone wants to escape this learn in Sinhalese and become Sinhalese.

          When are going to stop blaming the British for all the mess that you Sinhalese have made since independence and for your racism and genocidal attitude that has marginalised all the island’s Tamils to third rates in their own land. With racists like you posting lies and demanding all the island’s Tamils to move to Tamil Nadu, ironically from where most of the ancestors of the present day Sinhalese arrived from.

          The British have left the island more than 70 years ago and handed it over to Sinhalese racists like you steeped in the Mahavamse myth and fairy tales. Instead of improving the lives of these people who further enslaved them made their lives, as well as all the other Tamils lives a living hell and made more than a million of them stateless and forcibly deported them to India, as land they had never seen and the rest to work as surfs.

          The British never made them stateless or even treated them half as bad as all Sinhalese led Sri Lankan governments. The British definitely did not sent and organise Sinhalese thugs and hooligans to kill rape loot and burn their lines homes and businesses. Not only their but every Tamils at regular intervals.

          The British are responsible for not safeguarding the Island’s Tamil speaking minorities and not leaving a federal form of government for the ancient historic Tamil areas, just as they found, when they arrived, Instead they created a unitary state that and handed the reigns to a largely racist Sinhalese majority. That is their fault for doing this and must rectify this. However they are not responsible for what followed later and the deep seated Sinhalese racism and genocidal tendencies, that has resulted in the island becoming a basket case from a show case British colony.
          GO and tell your Lankaweb inspired fairy tales to someone else. Or go and cry to your LankaWeb Karawa queen who loves to spin a lot of yarns.

      • 4
        0

        I am a Sinhalese. On behalf of us all (including those like Nimal who will dissociate themselves):

        “mea culpa!”

  • 4
    1

    Srinath Gunaratne,
    I’m ignorant of how the universities like Vidyodaya and Vidiyalankara started or came about.Did any ethnic minority groups opposed it in 1958 or later years upto today ? Can you enlighten me and other CT readers?.

    S.Sandrasegaram,
    I stand corrected but I was told Vidyodaya Privena was the nucleus.
    Is there any equivalent or similar organisation/s available for up country Tamils ? Can UNESCO be urged to initiate some thing along the Vidyodaya Privena line for this up country Tamils, so that they too can have increased social
    mobility through higher education like other Sri Lankans ?

  • 3
    1

    A permanent peace can be found in the Island this way: Kick all the children of the original 700 Vijaya (Thudda Gemunu) Thugs out of the country.

  • 3
    5

    The very title of this post shows the narrow-Mindedness of this writer and it stinks .
    I am a Muslim, and so am I to now demand a Muslim University (as some of my co-religionists have no doubt probably done, perhaps for the east coast, with funding from a crooked un-eduacated Arab sheik, to teach the Sharia law?).

    A University should have no ethnic or racist boundaries. Period.

    Our spiritual head, the Agha Khan (Prince Shah Karim Al Husseini Aga Khan IV) supports education without limiting it to some specific faith or race or some such narrow segregation objectives.

    See what has happened to the Jaffna university, destroyed by ideological politics, Caste discrimination, and personal favoritism. Some one in these columns stated that the tamils cannot even run a university. Such generalized remarks are racist, but what we see is that the present bunch of Tamil leaders in Sri Lanka and their interference in Universities, Central Band (bond scams) etc., show their lack of maturity or corruption of minds.

    • 2
      1

      But you have an exclusive Muslim university in the south east for your immigrant fake Arab Tamil Muslim immigrant community from South India, that came to the Tamil east as asylum seekers and this university hardly takes in students and teachers from other communities. However does not want anything to be given to another fellow immigrant Tamil community from South India, just because they are not Muslim but Hindu or Christian, typical Sri Lankan Muslim mentality, then you people are surprised as to why all the island’s Tamils including the Indian origin do not like you.
      Unlike your introvert selfish immigrant Indian Tamil Muslim community, these Indian origin Tamils have now been in the island for around 200 years and have contributed most to the island’s economy in return they have been the most discriminated and despised people. It is time that something is done for their education and upliftment. What they are asking for is reasonable. What is good for you backstabbing opportunistic community is good for them too.
      You immigrant Muslims from South India will go to any length to see any Tamil community in the island does not prosper. Indigenous Eelam or Indian origin.

    • 3
      0

      Bodin
      There is nothing narrow minded about addressing the higher educational needs of a seriously disadvantaged nationality. Thee are many more reasons in favour of the proposal than presented by the author, and I fear that some of the stronger arguments are absent in the article.
      The proposal is not pleading a case for an institution that is exclusive to one group.

      India has over 40 universities that are Islamic in identity including highly reputed universities. (Thee are many Christian Colleges too.)
      Thee are many universities in the US with religious sect identity.
      Two Buddhist Pirivenas were elevated to university status in 1957 by SWRDB.

      With all due respect to the wisdom of the Agha Khan, I regret to say that he is not the last word in matters of higher education.

      Besides that, there are many things that need to be worked out about of the aims and scope of the proposed university. They need to be done in parallel with the campaign for it.

  • 6
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    Prof. Sendarasegram

    What you really need in the hill country is not a University but a Technical College which will come to cater the required educational inputs for students. Other than Technical, the College should be best suited for defined subjects, related to Tourism, Environment, Hygiene etc., imposing female student`s interest and enhancing further studies at Uni – level, if necessary.
    Midlands in UK, most of the Technical Colleges are in liaison with the British motor car industry; names are plenty, including Rolls Royce, Jaguar.
    The Tea Industry needs innovation and there is lot of financial impetus, e.i, Tea Companies. Why not try to rely on students who will be better suited to build and better their own “line housing”; landscaping beautiful gardens or even machinery and other related to Tea Industry.? Why don’t you lobby the Tea Companies and British interests for guidance?
    Short courses, two years duration, certainly would be applicable, as longer course study infiltrates politics and trouble. Hill country is not influenced much to varied industry owing to vast tea estates and economic cycles restrained owing to this, where, investors haven`t seen avenues for promoting business.
    Present Minister of Local Government has forward a cabinet paper for release of funds, which to be allocated but been hidden for years; a loop hole in the law being observed by a lawyer Minister. So…, there is money for the difference.

    • 5
      1

      Lal
      You need to be careful when you propose Technical Colleges instead of Universities for the upcountry Tamils. Separatist and diaspora Tamils are going to accuse the GOSL of suppressing Tamils of higher education which only the Sinhalese can enjoy.

      • 5
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        The distinction you make is of crucial validity.

        Let the diaspora say what they will. Those who care for the people who live in this country, should take up residence here!

  • 5
    1

    What the plantation Tamils need are ‘ community Colleges’ to provide work skills oriented education. Do not make the mistake the other communities have made. Universities conceptually are institutions that should transcend the narrow and parochial and transcend to the universal in terms composition, objectives, thinking, teaching, research and philosophy ( meaning thoughts that look beyond the known horizon in every field). I do not think we have any university in this country that are worth that identity. What we have a glorified high schools that are White Elephants in every sense of the word. We are pretending we have universities, as we do in many other facets of life.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 3
      1

      I think that Dr RN’s approach is rather condescending.

      Universities did not evolve from some common concept of a university.
      They have evolved in specific contexts based on specific needs.
      Defining the term “university” is defining the term “game”. It is just as difficult to define university as it is to define game.

      I will refer anyone interested in education for communities that have been kept down to read Eugene F. Jr.. Provenzo, ed. “DuBois on Education”.

      It will suffice for me to say that Du Bois (1868-1963) resisted the idea of job specific higher learning for American Blacks.

      His ideas may relieve some of us of our rather blinkered view of education and higher education.

      Education is that whole system of human training within and without the school house walls, which molds and develops men– W.E.B. Du Bois

      • 1
        2

        Sekera,

        Why condescending and blinkered?

        Dr.RN

      • 2
        2

        Condescending because you are seeking to decide what they deserve.
        Blinkered because you display a narrow view of what a university should be.

        • 4
          6

          1. I am not deciding, but recommending. There is a world of a difference between the two.
          2. I am projecting a broad vision of what a university in its truest sense should be. If mine is a narrow view, can you please explain to us, what the broader ideal would be?

          Dr.RN

          • 3
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            “1. I am not deciding, but recommending. There is a world of a difference between the two.”

            there is no difference in your tone to suggest there is a comparative difference. Its almost approving not `suggesting` the least.

            keep on keeping on!

        • 5
          1

          If you like me to reword what I said: what you ‘recommend’ is rather condescending. That was why I suggested Du Bois. He was responding to the kind of ‘recommendations’ on what was good for the Blacks.

          Sorry to say that your projection of a broad vision fails to encompass what universities have been historically or are currently.

          What is expected of a university is contextual. To ‘define’ university (and even Professors once earlier) in some way is your problem not mine. Even dictionaries differ in definitions.

  • 2
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    Yes, expanding University education is very important for economic development and to protect the democracy in the country. I don’t thing that any one will disagree to increase the number of university in Sri Lanka. You see, Malaysia bale to develop relatively high level of human resource because of expansion of university education and same thing happened in South Korea as well. China is also focusing very much on this issue. Why not the learned Sri Lankan are adhere to this move. Any way establishment of any university by the government will be a national university and definitely the UGC will decide the students. Therefore, it is not fully occupy by estate Tamils. But, we also proposing some special study programme like plantation agriculture, persistent of Indian culture along with other studies on tea technology, hydro power, horticulture etc. because the upcountry environment is conducive for such studies. Some of these programme could offer at the postgraduate level studies.

  • 7
    1

    Sendarasegram
    It is a good idea to open up new institutions of higher education. But there are some draw back when you concentrate exclusively for upcountry Tamil population. Any University that is to be inaugurated should be of same standards and caliber of the existing ones. The most important in this respect is the quality and intellectual capacity of the entering students. I have 3 concerns;
    1. will the students be admitted based on merit from the same AL pool who are admitted to other universities?
    2. Can the upcountry Tamils, given the current secondary education level of them, compete and secure admission to the proposed University? If not, the whole purpose of this project is lost.
    3. Wouldn’t it be useful if we introduce technical/vocational training/community colleges for them first?

    • 6
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      “Thumbs up” for that!

      I know that Up-country Tamils are still confined to ghettos, and not because they want it that way. Also, the FACILITIES for schooling that they have are STILL way behind what is provided for other communities.

      However, Education as a whole is a mess! It is a problem worldwide, but our mess beats all problems everywhere.

  • 2
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    Just understand, world’s best universities are not restricted to a particular ethnic group.

    Why Tamils need, even in Little Sri lanka, one Hindu University for Jaffna, One Dalit University for Vanni and one Up country Tamil university for Estate Tamils.

  • 1
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    It’s unfortunate that the erudite people who comment on articles like above try to be abusive and antagonise the author. Prof Sandarasegaram is a well known educationalist in the country. He has done lot of research and written plenty of books and articles on development of education in SL. When a person of such highest calibre proposes a university for the under privileged up- country tamils one has to give a thought to his suggestion. Everyone has the right to raise their own opinion but it should be done in a civilized manner. I’m shocked that most of the comments above are utterly racist. If antagonizing a whole community of people for suggesting a university of their own is civilization then, I’m sorry, our civilization is going backward.

    Upcountry people have always been the backbone of Srilankan economy,the country has benefited from their hard work for decades and decades but no government did anything in return to ameliorate the living standards of these people They toiled in the tea estates for the advancement of Srilanka with the Indian origin tag behind their back.The only good thing the Srilankan government did to them was granting them Srilankan citizenship after long years of struggle.

    In the past two to three decades the view of the upcountry youths have changed.They rightly decided not to follow their parent’s footpath, and they realized the only way to get out of this quagmire is education. With the mere facilities they had in their hands they got educated and started entering universities and those who are not fortunate enough to pursue their education further found jobs in various field and started moving out of the estates.As most of the parents of these education hungry younger generation are not wealthy enough to send their children to the universities in the big cities like Colombo, Jaffna or Kandy. A university in their neighbourhood will immensely help them to educate their children within their limits of earning.

    • 3
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      Asokan & Kavidha
      The University for the Hill Country is not just to churn out graduates from among Hill Country Tamils: It has a deeper purpose. It is about addressing issues of identity, culture and social and economic future among other things.
      It need not, in fact should not, shut itself to outsiders, while focussing on specific matters. It will need academics from other communities and should welcome students of other communities.
      Thee are precedents and parallel developments to support the case for he University.
      More important than debates in for such as CT is good hard work to discuss what the proposed university is about; what the short and long term goals are; and how enthusiasm could be generated both within the community and outside.

      It certainly should be for a bigger purpose than just the career of a few. That is assured by conscious popular involvement, as in the Jaffna Campus in the mid-late 1970’s.

      Not every opponent is elitist or racist. Many have misunderstood the project. It has to be packaged well and campaigned for relentlessly, despite the apathy of Hill Country Tamil leaders.

      Good Luck.

      • 1
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        Sekara,

        I fully agree with you.It should accommoadate students from all over SL,but preferance should be given to the under privileged up country people whether it’s Tamils, Sinhalese or muslims.Let this article be the first step towards the accomplishment of the task ahead.

        Thank you.

    • 0
      4

      If going by ur argument then we will have to have universities in every corner in this country..
      Any child can go to any university in this country. There is no separation.

      Actually this is creeping separatism. From Wiggie’s suggestion regarding upcountry tamils to now this what we see is creeping separatism in SL

      • 1
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        “Actually this is creeping separatism.”

        There should be libraries with
        IT installed in every corner of the nation- that is learning at your doorstep than await old fashioned teaching techniques.
        Today I see immigrant Chinese kids of 3 years in the UK shown mum how to download stuff that she needs on her mobile phone.She is an educated Post Graduate Doctor and is stunned as to how the baby picked it up.

        This is Bandas repeating record which has been played loud and clear by the family then borrowed by JR then over to Passa and Co.

        Anything new??

        While saying this where/whom did the Bandas, JR. ranil, BodhiSira, get their kappan?? you have no idea of trade footsoldier.

        you still hold the flag Palestine my brother while you bite the hand that feeds you in the export market incl tourism??

        You must have many faces like bakamoona vesmoona No??

        You may end up being separated from the island altogether when Colombo Port development turns to subic bay.
        IMF is your only source as China cannot afford bad debt.IMF=USA.
        You shout then(when its subic bay) and find yourselves in a class war- upcountry vs low country- CIA style. You may love it for the loot you plan to take. Happy hunting then for a mercenary.

    • 2
      0

      I commented on this article very early. The discussion has been MUCH more civilised and constructive than I expected it to be.

      One has to start with improved schooling. Thereafter, the University Education that we provide has to be of reasonably high quality. Unless we ensure that, we’ll have lots of frustrated guys protesting that their degree certificates are unrecognised.

      Countering racism is a long and difficult process; ALL of us must be patient.

  • 1
    0

    The article written is a result of years of study and . The racist comments here concludes that there’s definitely a need to consider a deeper intervention into reservation systems if not a separate university the reason being availabily education to the underprivileged. To entirely attack the core idea is rather shocking.

    • 5
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      “”To entirely attack the core idea is rather shocking. “”

      How sad O enlightened One??

      I am satisfied as I am!

      Thinking outside the drudgery of mental arithmetic, then calculators made Bill Gates the man he is- Excel spreadsheets with a bang!
      its american dream american philosophy over a 100 years old.
      Your writer must learn the fundamentals of not mimicking the British Raj because the system at the top cannot be taken for granted at a social level.
      Remember Bill left with a BSc not B.Tech in 5+1 years. Mark followed him and there are many who are not professors by choice who understand the field and play in it earning lucratively.

      Should i emphasis it again nothing like all villages to have library with IT self learning for all ages- guess what Bill funds it from the word go. Mark with 45 Billion charity won’t let you down. Babies learn it over here without any teacher the same way they learnt to switch the radio on.
      It’s a service you will export and that is where the well being comes into play not by consumption.
      ideas have to come with the moola attached or its good for the bankers bin.

      • 4
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        lest i forget.
        Mark Z and wife Chan did throw away $1 billion for a special school into the hands of well meaning school governors and it turned out Zero- bankrupt. So they started own charity.
        You need Uni for theory- time to read at reference library and practicals at uni are white elephants to the state even though students pay high fees.
        only the inferior ones display their qualifications outside the profession.

        Power Corrupts!!

        Abraham Lincoln: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

  • 2
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    Prof.Sandarasegaram initiated this request about ten years ago. But he was not alone; this request has been justified and supported by many academics and educationists and others who are interested in the education of the Hill Country Tamil Community (HCTC) in the media and public meetings. This request was also voiced in the Parliament a few times and as far as I know a token fund for the implementation of this project was allocated in the Budget by a Minister some years ago.
    The HCTC is experiencing a relative social and educational transformations at present compared to their 200 year existence some of which are given below:
    1. Their problems and issues are being strongly voiced in the Parliament very often nowadays by the young HCTC parliamentarians and surprisingly supported by other parties too such as JVP
    2. They show more political awareness in decision making as witnessed in the last general elections where most of them unlike in the past went against their traditional leadership
    3. There are more than 10,000 teachers now from HCTC; almost all the plantation schools have principals from the community; there are about 30 SLEAS officers some of whom are working at the Ministry of Education; there is also representation at the National Institute of Education
    4. There are about 20 academics from this community in the state university system(The five professors including Prof Sandarsegaram produced by HCTC are retired now)
    5. A National College of Education, a Technical/Vocational Education Institute and a Teachers College are functioning in the Plantation area
    6. There is also representation from the community though insignificant, in the national services – Sri Lanka Administrative Service -1, Judiciary Service- 2, Foreign Service-3, Planning Service- 2 ( the numbers are subject to correction and there are about 25 national Services)
    7. The GCE OL & AL results are getting relatively better… a few schools in the Plantation have produced 100% results in the latest GCE OL Examination
    8. More students from HCTC enter the state universities in recent times ,but the participation rate remains less than 1% of the total university student population which is about 100,000
    The above information shows that the HCTC is beginning to awake from its 200 year deep slumber and is struggling to get its reasonable share in the national “cake” which should be appreciated and encouraged by all people who love this country. The establishment of a university may be a “big push” by the government towards the educational development of HCTC which will ultimately liberate the community from its poverty, ignorance and all other social ills and transform it like the other communities in the country.
    Further, this university will be a national university under the UGC and have similar functions and responsibilities like any other state university but can be legally entrusted to look into the special needs of the HCTC . There are hundreds of ways and means that a university can help a historically disadvantaged, backward community within the university legal framework and effectively transform such a community to be an active and vibrant partner in national development.

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