20 June, 2024


Against Devolution

By Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka’s article Chandrika’s call for federalism in the Colombo Telegraph of September 16 is written with his customary verve and the kind of brilliance that is usually described as coruscating but unfortunately it could also read like an ill-tempered diatribe against the former President CBK, for which reason it may not be taken with all the seriousness that it merits. That would be a pity for two reasons. One is that the article addresses the most important question facing the nation today: whether the state should be unitary, federal or quasi-federal. The other is that the article brings out important data, and its arguments are sound, indeed devastating, in challenging conventional wisdom on federalism. It should be required reading for everyone who is really concerned about the future of Sri Lanka.

Some time ago I turned completely against the idea of devolution as the necessary nostrum for our ethnic ills. It is generally agreed that systems of devolution are difficult to operate if there is hostility on one or both sides and there is no sense of a common ground allowing a spirit of mutual accommodativeness. That would certainly apply if racism is a factor in the situation. For long it was assumed that at the core of our ethnic problem was Sinhalese racism and that a solution would ensue once that was surmounted. We never thought of Tamil racism as a serious factor in the problem. To my vast surprise I came to realize in the course of exchanges in the Colombo Telegraph with Tamil Islamophobic racists that Tamil racism is even worse than that of the Sinhalese. I cannot believe therefore that the way to a solution of the ethnic problem can lie through devolution on an ethnic basis. I must make a couple of clarifications before proceeding further: I believe that not the majority but only a segment of the Tamils are racist; I believe also that the Tamils, like other ethnic groups, can ameliorate or even eradicate their racism. However the crucial point is that the racism of even a minority of the members of an ethnic group can queer ethnic relations and make the smooth functioning of a devolutionary system difficult or impossible.

I have in mind a full-length article stating my conclusions about Tamil racism based on my exchanges with Islamophobic Tamil racists over a long period. Here I will deal with comments on my last article, After the attack on Ambassador Ansar, by just one of them, Backlash, who can be regarded as having a broadly representative character. He writes, “This notorious anti-Tamil to whom the LTTE and the Tamil Lankan nation are the same, is naturally against Sinhalese and Tamils coming together”. I have provided details in the past to show that I have been among the most pro-Tamil Sri Lankans, not one of which has been refuted by Backlash or others, but facts don’t matter in the least to the Tamil racists. Nor have I suggested in any way that the LTTE and the Tamils are the same or that I am against the Sinhalese and the Tamils coming together. He writes “Therefore he counsels GOSL ‘no serious dialogue is possible with them’. He is satisfied (Tamils) are impervious to reason and they are devoid f a (sic) a moral sense”. Backlash is lying blatantly in that last sentence. I referred to Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s offer to send a team for discussions with the LTTE clone, the We Tamil movement, and this is what I wrote, “Probably he understands quite well that no serious dialogue is possible with a LTTE clone. I have found that out in the course of my own protracted exchanges with the Tamil Islamophobic racists. Two things have become clear: one is that they are impervious to reason and the other is that they are devoid of a moral sense”. It is clear of course that I am referring to the “Tamil Islamophobic racists” and not to the Tamils as a whole, but Backlash deliberately misinterprets me as targeting the Tamils as a whole. He himself is clearly impervious to reason and is devoid of a moral sense, an example of racism’s terrifying potential to dehumanize and bestialize – to which I referred in my article.

A further example of dehumanization and bestialization is to be found in the following, “He cannot control his wish to see every Tamil dead in the world. For here are his own words ‘extirpate from the face of the earth’. While he has a choice of many gentler words the man chooses a word that calls for the weeding out and complete destruction of a non-existent LTTE (read Tamils)”. He ends with the following sentence, typical of many of his performances in the CT columns: “What an aging deranged moron we have to share the planet with”. His total disregard of facts, which has to be expected of someone who is impervious to reason, is shown by his characterization of the LTTE as “non-existent”: he must most certainly be aware of the US Government’s report of some weeks ago on the LTTE’s continuing activities. And of course he has engaged in bare-faced lying by making it out that I have called for the extermination of all Tamils whereas I have called for the extirpation of only the LTTE and its clones. The case that I have made out for that extirpation – not physical extermination – is surely reasonable. We have a much better chance of moving towards a political solution than ever before. The LTTE that has a horrible record of having brought unparalleled disaster for the Tamil people in 2009 could want to redeem itself by aborting every attempt at a political solution in the hope of establishing Eelam somehow someday. The peace process requires that extirpation.

The reader may well wonder why I bother with someone like Backlash whom I evidently regard as a lunatic. There are several reasons one of which is that he is an ethnolunatic, not just a lunatic. The latter can be put away in an asylum and be prevented from harming others. The ethnolunatic on the other hand can be sane and whole in every way except in inter-ethnic relations and cannot be put away. He can hold high positions in business, the professions, and the State, and he can wreak havoc for the rest of humanity, as has happened pre-eminently in Sri Lanka and a few other places. The ethnolunatic should, if possible, be extirpated as soon as he is detected.

The second reason is that Backlash is almost certainly the servitor of a LTTE clone. His favorite metaphor for my writings is “verbal diarrhea”. That means that every weekend my articles throw him into a paroxysm of rage which has him screaming shxt, shxt, shxt!!! But, unless he is a peculiar sort of masochist, why should the poor man torture himself by persisting in reading me week after week, month after month, year after year, and even decade after decade – at least once he faulted me over details in an article written by me around twenty five years ago! The obviously plausible explanation is that he is the servitor of an institution, and that institution is a LTTE clone such as the We Tamil group: the latter too – by its attack on Ambassador Ansar – showed the characteristics of dehumanization and bestialization, the consequence of imperviousness to reason and absence of moral scruple.

The third reason is that Backlash has a representative capacity, not of the Tamils as a whole but of a significant segment of it. It should be noted that his attacks on me have never been faulted by any Tamil. They echo his views or similar views. Part of the explanation could be through fear that the LTTE clone behind him might murder them for daring to express dissent. Surely an exaggerated fear considering that some time ago Dr Devanesan Nesiah wrote in the Island that he agreed with ninety five percent – or was it ninety nine per cent – of what I wrote, after which he did not come to grief. It is a noteworthy fact that when I came under attack by a notorious Sinhalese racist the majority of the Sinhalese readers were in vociferous support of me: most of them were of the view that that Sinhalese racist was utter scum and that I would be degrading myself by responding to him. But most of the Tamil readers expressed enthusiastic support for that Sinhalese racist! Such details point to the fact that Backlash and the LTTE clones belong to the lunatic fringe. The problem in Sri Lanka however is that on both sides of the ethnic fence the lunatic fringe has a way of sliding into the center, and that indeed has been at the core of our ethnic tragedy for decades. I have to conclude therefore that the Tamils, even more than the Sinhalese, are totally unfit for devolution on an ethnic basis.

I hope to focus on two points in further articles on devolution. One is that the success of federalism in other countries is totally irrelevant to the problem facing us. What we have on our hands is not a purely indigenous Tamil ethnic problem but an Indo-Tamil ethnic problem in which India has been calling the shots. Consequently many of the Sinhalese have an ineradicable fear that devolution will lead ineluctably to Eelam. The Tamils have kept on compounding that fear by their idiotic insistence on their non-existent right to self-determinism that includes the right to establish Eelam. The second point is that the alternative to devolution is democracy. Almost two million Muslims in India are doing well enough without any devolution on the basis of ethnicity. Why should that model not succeed in Sri Lanka?

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Latest comments

  • 7

    Mr. Hussein:

    Almost two million Muslims in India are doing well enough without any devolution on the basis of ethnicity.

    It is correct, More muslims are living in Indian than in Pakisthan.

    If you check the Atlas, some where around 1900, Afghanisthan, Bangladesh, Pakisthan all were India. Only thing was British were not there to draw one map for the whole country. Now it is th enot the same. Muslims are devouring India but slowly.

    • 9

      “Almost two million Muslims in India are doing well enough without any devolution on the basis of ethnicity.”

      India has already carved its country and given 2 separate states for the Muslims (Pakistan and Bangladesh). What else do they want?
      The rest of the Muslims (now multiplied like rabbits into two million) who remained in India are scattered all over and not confined to one region.

      The Tamils in Sri Lanka are confined to one region (North & East), they are a regional/ territorial majority with a clearly defined (Tamil speaking) territory.

      • 3

        Territorial majority,

        Most Sri Lankan Tamils DO NOT live in North and NE. The majority of Sri Lankan Tamils live in the Sinhalese areas in particular Col 7, Col 3, Colombo6 (ie Wellawatta), Kandy and just about everywhere and doing bloody well but always griping to get more and more from the Sinhalese. Wigneswaran is a prime contemporary example of this. He lives in plush Col 7 and wants Tamil Elam. What a bloody crook!
        Ranil (Sinhala modaya) and Mangala will give it to them so that they can stay in power.

        And don’t forget nearly a million Tea estate Tamils also live in the Sinhalese areas (from which the Sinhalese were evicted by the British when land to make coffee and tea estates taken by proclamation).

        Check the 2012 all island Census.

        • 8

          The Sri Lankan Tamils are not scattered all over Sri Lanka. There native homeland is North and East. Other than North and East, they choose to live in the metropolis (Colombo) due to many other reasons. Not only Tamils but everybody likes to live in Colombo because as a unitary state with a central government in Colombo, for everything (work/economic, travel/visa/airport, etc.) one needs to come to Colombo.

          The state excluding investment and development in the Tamil North and East right from independence, the North & East had little prospect of economic life other than state employment which again is mostly outside the Tamil areas.

          If power is devolved and decentralization had taken place right from independence, the Tamils would not have come to Colombo.

          Why don’t you check the all island Census before independence (1948).

  • 4

    At last a sensible and well articulated article by Izzeth Hussein.One must give the man his due when he merits it.

    • 13

      Izeth opens the article by licking Dayan Jayatilleka’s arse.

      The rest is verbal diarrhoea of his racist rants. He is suffering from Tamil phobia.

      His articles have become monotonous vomit of anti Tamil Racism.

      There is no intellectual arguments.

      He is a Poor depressed soul.

      • 4

        Rajash seems to have developed a love hate obsession for Hussein’s writings.Sometimes such people know what is good but deliberately block it out.This is what is referred to as personality disorder.

        • 3

          Ratnasingham – where did you come out from!
          so you are the one who is posting under my name?

  • 0

    [Edited out]

  • 12

    When Mama Sinhalam reads the rantings of this man, mama sinhalam thinks all power to the Boru Bala Sena. His hatred is more consuming than that released by Gnanasuniyam Thero.

  • 3

    Well, its not devolution per se that is the problem. Its what devolution will reinforce.

    What we have with Tamils in Jaffna is a microcosm of the system that prevails in Tamil Nadu. Each party uses Tamil nationalism to monopolize the electorate.

    Over there, the north Indian “Aryans” frequently become the boogeyman who wants to “destroy” the Tamils. Since recently the Sinhala people have become the focus of their attention.

    In Ceylon, Tamil nationalism began with the ACTC. The party that broke away from the Ceylon Congress to form the first Tamil-Only party. Tamil-Eelam was their slogan.

    Wingeswaran’s great Grand uncle and Ganjendran’s great grand father pioneered the first ever mono-ethnic party in Ceylon – ACTC. So that is where the perhaps the present synergy exists.

    In Tamil Nadu DMK vs AIDMK take turns with bigotry. The biggest bigot in that instance wins the election. What happens in Ceylon however, is the biggest bigot totally decimates the rival.

    ACTC decimates the Ceylon congress. ITAK decimates ACTC. The LTTE decimates ITAK etc.

    The new alliance forming in Jaffna is the re-emergence of ACTC. They are following the same recipe as before. They probably hope to decimate ITAK and monopolize the Tamil electorate yet again.

    So as long has Tamil ethnic parties try to monopolise their electorate with nationalism the govt will always be busy baby sitting the problem.

    The way to solve it is by bringing in legislation that ban mono-ethnic parties. The legislation should stipulate a minimum allowed ethnic composition of every political party.

    Without banning mono-ethnic parties the devolution will fail because devolution will re-inforce mono-ethnic nationalism that has been the bane of the country. This means even UNP and SLFP must have good representation of the cross section of ethnicities.

  • 14

    Mr. Izeth Hussain,
    Your articles always intrigue me and I am most disappointed. For a person of your seniority you are doing just the unexpected of what you should be doing. Racism is deeply intertwined among Sri Lankans. It should have been rooted out at least when the civil war was over. The minorities are victimized and helpless and will not be able to do away with grief and suffering without help from the Government and / or outsiders. When you are victimized you are desperate. The situation is racism continues and people like you are pouring oil to the fire. Not only you, there are several Sri Lankans writers still pouring and escalating racism. Unfortunately the new Government even after cosigning the UNHRC agreement is not doing enough and conclusive to go in the direction of its commitment. There are some Sri Lankans with concerns for the future of their children are writing in favor of a federal solution which is also a long time expected solution. Whatever it is the minority is helpless without the Government implementing and bringing a solid Constitution to rid of this shameful racism.
    Those concerned to help the Leaders, the Journalists, advisors, brain stompers must always do their best.
    When you do your best under any circumstance, you will avoid self-judgement, self abuse and regret.
    Unfortunately in Sri Lanka, the politicians do self judgement in major decision making, otherwise they will not be able to come back to power from their racist vote base. It is not different from your writing your self judgement in your articles. Not only you are writing your self judgement, but also you are an extreme rustle rustler in promoting more racism as well.
    If you want to give a judgement, please be impeccable with your words. Write with integrity. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love. Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say or do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.

  • 2

    ” Almost two million Muslims in India are doing well enough without any devolution on the basis of ethnicity. Why should that model not succeed in Sri Lanka?”

    it should be 200 million muslims.next to indonesia,india has the largest amout of muslims.I agree with izzeth on devolution on the basis of ethnicity.Why don’t we just have 5 provinces,north,south,west,east and central,each with a total of 20% of the total land area,with 5 chief ministers.You can have a quasi federal system for each province.So there is no ethnicity based devolved power.The central governemnt MP’s should be reduced to 100 only.main thing is to devolve the central government powers to the provinces and reduce expenses.


    • 1

      okay,let me make an amendment which might make it more palatable.funds to the provinces should be allocated on the basis of area and population.let us assume there is 10 billion rupees to be given to the 5 provincial councils.if area wise only if it is given then each will get 2 billion rupees.If it is a mix of area and population then half of it will be given area wise,so each provincial council will get a guaranteed 1 billion rupees and the northern council will get about 5% of the balance 5 billion based on population which is 250 million,so in total it it will have one and a quarter billion rupees a year.What will wiggie do with that money?buy more verti’s or give it back.

      this way we are channeling the funds into the provinces so that srilanka will get evenly developed.It is like diverting the mahaweli river waters into areas that required it which we did since independence,but when it came to funds we locked it up in colombo while the rest of the country was negelected.

  • 9

    More BBS actions are necessary to open the eyes of these converted Tamil-Hindu Thoppies….

    Today a Thoppi CM (???) is in the East where majority is Tamils …so another Thoppi CM in the North will solve problem.

    Stone age Saudi Government then will build more Mosques…


  • 6

    “Almost two million Muslims in India are doing well enough without any devolution on the basis of ethnicity. …””..Why should that model not succeed in Sri Lanka?”

    old man you are suffering from dementia

    have you forgotten the partition of India?
    here is the link to revive your memory


    don’t you know that there is system of state governments in India. A near devolution.?

    Don’t you know that the Muslims are living in fear in India because of the terrorist Muslims in the neighbouring Pakistan.

    “..Why should that model not succeed in Sri Lanka?”

    again you are suffering from dementia

    don’t you know Sri Lanka has miserably failed for the last 60 odd years since independence as a country?

  • 4

    My Dear Friend,

    Pen is sharper than sward, please use this weapon with care or else you are going to hurt several citizens of Sri Lanka.

    As we grow alder we carry a baugage of past experience and memory is planted.

    In all socitities including yours probably 30% people will be in the right extreams ( in your word racist), we
    Will also have another 30% liberals so rest of the crowd will swing based on trend, media etc.

    If I choose to listen or move with extremes, I will think all Sri Lankans are extreams.

    So as Gods willing good things will happen in our pearle of paradise.

    Please do not make judgments from your past experiences, let the younger generation live and create a wonderful future in Sri Lanka.

    When it comes to Muslims, there are several different races, Malays, South Indian Tamils etc. The conflict is the religion, and focus. Tamils also have different religious practices compared to Muslims and Hindus, Christians and Tamil speaking Muslims.

    We are drawing lines based on language, religion, social status and so..

    Some Tamils in your circle or comments are very extremist views, I would say you may also know Muslims with these views or you may also analyzed the Sri Lankan decentralization based on these events.

    We need to educate people write sence so the extremist do not win the mind of the moderates. This is also your duty to reach the hearts of 40% of moderate citizens.

    I agree Tamil speaking northern Tamil based community you have interacted may be blant and not diplomatic as others, based on these we should not allow extremist win the mind and hearts of our loving citizens of Sri Lanka but promote instead love. I am also sadden Colombo Telegraph has not realized it but it is allowing to spread these writers with extremely focusing on racial extremism in sugar corting.

  • 10

    This converted Hindu Tamil racist Izeth doesn’t know that Muslims in Tamil Naadu called themselves Tamils .


  • 7

    Izeth Hussein,

    Have you converted into Fundamentalism Buddhism?

    Whatever you utter, you are an islamist Fundamentalist and your thoughts are similar to ISIS.

  • 4

    Remember, Islam was introduced to the Indian sub-continent in a very brutal manner. It is not native to the region, the way Buddhism or Hinduism is. This legacy still persists, e.g. division of India, riots in India, conflict in Burma, Kashmir conflict, militant attacks in India, Taliban in Afghanistan, etc. Sri Lanka has been spared from this kind of conflict only because of the sea. Let us be realistic now; if we give the Tamils a federal state, the Muslims will eventually demand something similar. While the Tamil federal state may not be a problem in the long run, can we logically say the same thing about the Muslim one? To re-phrase the question, is there a single Asian nation with a sizable Muslim population that does not harbor some kind of radical element? Even in the Philippines, which is 80% Catholic, there are militant groups that are demanding a separate Caliphate. As I have noted on CT before, while the majority of Muslims do not support indiscriminate violence, it is against their ideology to oppose the spread of Shariah (Islamic Law). In other words, if the ISIS came to Sri Lanka, there would be no opposition from the Muslims here.

    Now, going back to the question of whether Sri Lanka should adapt a federal, quasi-federal, or unitary model. Given that out of the three demographic groups, Muslims are the fastest-growing segment, the answer is clear: a unitary model. I have highlighted what will happen if we give the Tamils a federal state. To re-iterate, a Tamil federal state is fine, but it will not end there, especially if the demographic trends continue as they are.

  • 8

    Izeth there are around 200 million Muslims in India and not 2 million.

    In Sri Lanka, where fake these Arab largely low caste Dravidian Hindu immigrant Indian Tamils who converted to Islam,for political and other economic reasons and also to find favour with the largely anti Tamil Sinhalese population and with their help steal land from the indigenous Eelam Tamils who gave them refuge like in the east and parts of the north, have with the encouragement of these Sinhalese made their religion and not their actual ethnicity as their main identity. In order to do this they have denounced their actual largely low caste immigrant Indian Tamil origin and are now claiming a fake Arab origin for the entire community, that only a very small percentage of them even partially have.

    No where else in the world has a major world religion, followed by hundreds of thousands of millions of people belonging to different cultures races and ethnicity has been made into an ethnicity, just for political purposes to divide and rule the island’s Tamils on the basis of religion caste and region.

    In India like in the rest of the world being a Muslim is not an ethnic identity but a religious identity to which people belonging to different ethnicities in India belong. Other than being Muslim these disparate Muslims groups have nothing else much common with each other. You get Tamil Muslims eg Mariikar, Lebbai, Rawther, Thambi, Kutti, Malayalee Muslims (Mapilla) various types of Gujarathi Muslims(Bohra, Memmon ETC). Muslims from the Hindi belt UP, Bihar ETC. Kahsmiri Muslims who generally very white many with light eyes who look more like western Asians or southern Europeans. Bengali Muslims and Punjabi Muslim. Just like you get Tamil Hindus/Christians. Malayalee Hindu/Christians, Punjabi Hindus, Bengali Muslims/Hindus.

    A Tamil or Malayalee or Punjabi Muslim has more in common with their Hindu or Christian ethnic kin and will identify themselves with them much more, that to an Indian Muslim from a different part of India, speaking a different language and following a different culture. Therefore there is not much unity amongst Indian Muslims. Most of these skirmishes between Hindus and Muslims in India largely occur in the North Indian Hindi belt between the Hindi speaking Hindus and the Urdu(Hindi mixed with Persian/Turkish and Arabic) Speaking Muslims of these regions.

    Most of India’s Muslims are from the Hindi belt. The word Urdu originates from the Turkish word for a military camp” Urdun”. The Mughals or Mongols were originally from Central Asia, hence the word Khan commonly found amongst North Indian Muslims and in Pakistan, Just like Genghis Khan or emperor Kublai Khan of China who was of Mongol origin. Remember now many of the so called Khans are not actual Khans and descended from the Mughal rulers, lots of these so called Khans are descended from low caste North Indian Hindu converts who have now adopted the name Khan.

    In these Mughal army camps the soldiers were a mixture of Arabs, Persians, Central Asian Muslims, Turks and local Indians. The commonly spoken dialect in these army camps, was a mixture of the local Hindi dialect, with the Arabic, Persian and Turkic of these soldiers. This dialect was called Urdun later Urdu meaning the language of the camp. Later this rough crude language of the Mughal army barracks, developed into a very polished refined and rich language and was extensively used in the Mughal courts and was associated with the Muslims of Northern India.

    Common bazaar Hindi and Urdu are more or less the same language just like simple Malayalam and Tamil are. However the more literary languages are different. Hindi has more Sanskrit and now written in the Sanskrit Devanagari script. Whereas Urdu has a lot of Persian. Turkish and Arabic and is now written in a Persian based script, that is derived from Arabic.

    Most of the so called dialogues in Hindi movies and almost 99% of their songs are actually in Urdu and not in Hindi, as it is more polished poetic and beautiful to listen to. The English word Hordes has also the same origin from the Turkish word “Urdun”. When the Ottoman armies were invading the European heartland. These thousands of Ottoman Turkish soldiers in their camps ( Urdun) became the Turkish hordes( Urdun got corrupted to Horde). The origin of the croissant is to celebrate the Islamic Turks not invading and conquering Christian Vienna. It is the Islamic crescent that the Christian Europeans are eating and celebrating.

    Unlike in many other parts of the world, where Muslims live as non homogenous population following different sects of Islam belonging to different ethnic groups and speaking different languages. The Muslims in Sri Lanka were homogenous. Until recently following the same 1000 year old Tamil Sufi Islam that their South Indian ancestors brought from India. Other than small macroscopic minorities of Malay Muslims and Guajarati Borah, 99% of the Sri Lankan Muslims or Moors as they now falsely and shamelessly want to identify themselves are Tamil by ethnicity with just a few hundred families having a little bit or Arab. They all speak a South Indian Muslim Tamil dialect. Only the ones living in the north and east speak proper Sri Lankan Tamil. The rest speak this South Indian Muslim Tamil dialect. Therefore it was easy for them to be identify themselves just by their religion in Sri Lanka, as no other community practised this religion. The Gujarati Shia Muslim Borah and the Malay Muslims were too small and preferred their ethnic identity and did not wish to be identified with these Tamil Muslims in Sri Lanka. Therefore the word Muslim in Sri Lanka became synonymous with these Tamil Muslims and now they subconsciously think being a Muslim is an ethnic identity and there is no diversity, as most of them only see themselves as the only Muslims in their world.

    In other countries there is a diversity amongst the Muslims population. The type of Islamic sect. Sunni Shia Sufi Wahhabi ETC. The ethnic origin and language. EG Iraq, Syria. Shia,Sunni Muslims. Shia Arabs, Sunni Arabs. Kurds speaking Kurdish an Indo European language close to Farsi. Turkomen speaking Turkic. In Malaysia you get Malay Muslims, Tamil Muslims Malayalee Muslims Arab Muslims and North Indian Muslims. In India and Pakistan the same story. All these Muslims speak different languages look different to each other have different origins and cultures and even follow different forms of Islam. SO there is no such thing called a Muslim identity. They are just known as Muslims. Just like anyone following Hinduism is a Hindu or Buddhism is Buddhist or Christianity is Christian. Even in Sri Lanka a Tamil or Sinhalese Christian, identify themselves closely with their fellow Tamil Hindus and Sinhalese Buddhists than with each other.
    So Mr. Izeth you are wrong there is no such thing called a common Muslim identity or ethnicity any where in the world other than in your head and in the heads of most brains washed Tamil Muslims of Sri Lanka, who now have been brain washed to hate their own Tamil identity and consider themselves as Arabs. Just because Muslims in Sri Lanka follow the same of Islam ( at least until recently until Wahhabbism took hold) speak the same language and are all from the same ethnic group, does not mean Muslims in other lands are the same. Just visit India Pakistan Malayasia and many other Muslim lands and see the diversity in the Muslim populations in these regions and they never consider them as one people.
    Even in the so called ISIS and Al Kaida that is preaching a form Arab Sunni Wahhabi extremism that was suited to Arabian deserts in the middle age than to the modern world. There is a hierarchy. They are trying to associate Islam only with the desert Arab culture and in their hierarchy the Sunni Arabs come first. They use the rest of the brainwashed non Arab Muslims as cannon fodder. This is why the non Arab Muslims like the Kurds and the Shia Iranians and even the Shia Arabs hate them. Leave The non Muslim Yazidi Kurds, the Christian Arabs and other ancient Christians like the Assyrians Chaldeans Aramaic Christians( Lord Jesus Christ spoke Aramaic and not Hebrew and there are still small Aramaic speaking Christian communities in Syria Iraq. Aram was the ancient name for Syria) .
    Get your facts correct before spewing your anti Tamil venom here. Remember you and the rest of the Sri Lankan Muslims are also Tamils. Just because their ancestors converted to Islam and some have bit of Arab, does not mean they cease to be Tamils. Use your brains or whatever is left. I am surprised that you ever were a diplomat. Being a Muslim does not make you an Arab. Most Muslims in the world are not Arabs. They are largely in the Indian subcontinent and in Indonesia. Even the Arabs have correctly classified the Sri Lankan Muslims as South Asian coverts. Basically Tamil Hindus who converted to Islam largely around a 700-800 years ago or even more.
    Arabs never came and settled in their thousands either along the coasts of South India or Sri Lanka. A few hundred Arab traders coming to then Tamil South India (modern day Tamil Nadu and Kerala) and coastal Sri Lanka over a span of a few hundred years to trade and then spread Islam, could not have produced around 5 million Muslims in Tamil Nadu another 10 million in Kerala and another 1.9 million in Sri Lanka. May be a few thousand to be generous. Even these would have been half and quarter castes, as they never brought their womenfolk. The rest are all converts, largely from low caste Hindu families. Get real and use your brains. I cannot believe that you were even a diplomat. There is nothing diplomatic about you. You and the rest of Muslims who comment here are only making the Tamils more angry suspicious towards the island’s Muslim Tamils and there motives. Their past and present history, especially in the east does not help.

    • 5

      Hi Real Siva Sankaran Sarma

      I don’t think Izeth deserves such a long reply and explanation.
      He knows all the facts.

      His objective is to incite racial hatred as correctly concluded in your last paragraph.

    • 2

      Real Siva Sankaran Sarma

      where fake these Arab largely low caste Dravidian Hindu immigrant Indian Tamils

      Tamils blame both Sinhalas and Muslims that they are former Tamils. On the other hand, Tamils kill Tamils because of the Caste.

      when they migrate to west they are the best hard working tax payers.

      In India they kill low caste Tamils. In Sinhale, they want eelam.

      What is wrong with Tamils ?

      • 5

        Lots of Sinhalese discriminate and kill other Sinhalese on the basis of caste and religion. The Sinhalese Govigamma will not allow a non Govigamma to be the leader of the Sinhalese and they all have to Buddhist. Christian Bandaranayke Jayawardene and Wickremesinghe became fake Buddhists to win power. Even ModaPakse kept the fact that his wife was Catholic on a very low key and hardly advertised it. Most probably his children are Christians too. Low caste Premadasa was an exception and he was soon bumped off by the Govigamma mafia and the blame as usual conveniently laid on the LTTE. Tamils on the other hand will elect a non Saivite like Chelvanayagam or Naganathan ( both Christians)as their leader, or even a non Vellala like Pirapakaran. Sinhalese will never do this.

        The Govigamma still derogatively call the Sinhalese Karawa, Salagama , Durawa ETc as Demala Jarawa meaning the Tamil dirt of the dirt of the Tamils. Derogatively referring to their recent immigrant low caste Indian Tamil origin, when ironically many of them are also of Tamil origin but being high caste, they think they are above this. Until recently they were not allowed to be ordained or allowed to enter Buddhist temples run by the Govigamma. They had build their own Buddhist temples and start their own sects to ordain Buddhist monks from their castes. Even now the tow major sects will not ordain non Govigamma s monks. Whom are trying to preach. I personal know of many Kandyan Govigamma families who have cut of ties with their children for marrying a Karawa Salagama partner but have maintained relationships with children who married in to Jaffna Vellala families. Shows how caste conscious Sinhalese are.
        Yes the ancient Tamils gave birth tp may people the Malayali Sinhalese Telugu Kannada Sri Lankan Muslims and many other people. Now these people have developed their own identity, many having a ship on their shoulder as the Tamils are still living and thriving , so do not want to admit it and want to destroy them. The Sinhalese and the Sri Lankan Muslims who have been brainwashed by their nasty elite like Izeth to think their Arabs are the worst. The Germans largely gave birth to most of the modern English so do the English now think that they are German or love them?

        • 0

          “Lots of Sinhalese discriminate and kill other Sinhalese on the basis of caste and religion.”

          That is rubbish. Some Sinhalese do caste for marriage, but nothing like Tamils/Hindus.

  • 8

    Pointless the Writer blaming Backlash for contesting him for all
    his (Hussain’s) fabrications. This is natural. Hussain suffers
    an incurable dislike of Tamils – whatever excuse he tries to trot out.
    Hussain’s article is meant to be on Devolution to Tamils but he ends
    up in wasting our time in his personal quarrel with Backlash.
    You crudely call Backlash a lunatic. Isn’t that what those unfortunates held at Angoda call all others.

    Grow up, Mr. Hussain. You are not the only one with intelligence and
    knowledge. Your goose was cooked long ago. No halal there.


  • 2

    Hello Izeth Naana

    You have concluded stating;

    “Almost two million Muslims in India are doing well enough without any devolution on the basis of ethnicity. Why should that model not succeed in Sri Lanka?”

    You are too old and does not understand reality. There are more than ONE HUNDRED and SEVENTY TWO MILLION (172 Million) Muslims in India not TWO million that you have claimed. You are excused for failing memory but I must congratulate for opposing the concept of devolution in Sovereign UNITARY state of Sri Lanka.

    The devolution is a ruse (tactical move) that leads to Federalism, once the Federation is established the next tactical move will be Separation.

    The dirty dubious politicians understand very little about tactical moves and strategic moves.

    Machiavellian politicians currently occupying the seat of power Sri Lanka are blinded by the moves to RETAIN power and enrich themselves.

    The Machiavellian politicians presently leading Joint Opposition (JO) are blinded by various moves launched to REGAIN power and enrich themselves.

    There is no difference between these two dirty Machiavellian camps fighting for “RETAIN POWER” and “REGAIN POWER”. They have brought misery, poverty, bankruptcy and destruction to our beloved country SWARNA LANKA. We have witnessed RETAIN VS REGAIN game since 1953, the team members and their families have scored very well.

    In the meantime, WIGGY and other anti Sinhala-Buddhist forces are having a field day criticizing Sovereignty and Unitary status of our beloved motherland.

    Izeth naana; but remember the Sinhala-Buddhists attempting and fighting to preserve and protect their identity, religion, way of life, traditions, culture and the survival of the Sinhala race are not Racists or Bigots as you have claimed.

    Your attacks on majority Sinhala-Buddhists always have negated the meaning of your wise words.

    October 1st 2016

  • 2

    This kind of ranting and drowning in rigmarole is a sign of dementia. Someone must advise this poor senile gentleman to stop writing about racial and divisive thing repeatedly. He can easily write about our problems with democracy,corruption,crime and human rights which are more important to our society. But his demented brain clings on to the one subject,Racism. It is because of this kind of crazy individuals the Muslims earn a bad name. It is because of people like him that Bodubalasena has sworn to wipe out Muslims.

    He is talking about Tamil Islamaphobia and in some of his articles he implicates India for sowing the seeds of Federalism ideology in SL. What does he know about India? First of all there are about 250 million Muslims in India (Not 2 Million as his demented brain imagines). Tamil Nadu is the home of the thousands of happy Muslims,including the former Governor of all India,Abdul Kalam. The great Kalam called himself a Tamil and was proud of it. He would be shocked to read the divisive writings of this demented author.

  • 5

    Going by the endless diatribe against me in this article, I cannot be blamed if I felt Mr. Izeth Hussain should have called this piece Hussein Vs Backlash. After all, save for a few sentences on Devolution, he wastes most of his time here to inflict ceaseless bile on me. I pity the old warrior with the tiresome ineffective pen continues to visit one disaster after another with his “wisdom”.

    He continues to preach his failed philosophy as he boringly repeats
    “I cannot believe therefore that the way to a solution of the ethnic problem can lie through devolution on an ethnic basis” Hussain is totally oblivious to the reality the Sirisena-Ranil administration thinks otherwise and, has, in fact taken satisfactory steps (going by the pronouncements of the leaders of the TNA) to gradually provide devolutionary features to the Tamils in the Tamil-dominated North-East region without unduly enraging the Sinhala extreme. They now realise, as the late Ven. Sobita Thero reminded the Sinhala electorate recently, the future to unity and reconciliation lies in a platform of greater devolution particularly to the NEP from the Centre. The Nomenclature of such a remedy is immaterial to the Tamil Nation.

    Tamils are not going to be fooled by his continuing plea he is a friend of the Tamils – misquoting Dr. Nesiah, Fr. Emmanuel and others. How can they – for here are his words from his current article “Tamils are totally unfit for devolution on an ethnic basis’’ His emphasis alone betrays his prejudice against the Tamil Nation. Possessed of sophistry by nature and culture, Hussain has for long tried to link the Tamil struggle for rights to inculcate fear among the Sinhalese with the Tamilnadu expansionist bogey. Here he continues this vain attempt as he insists on the presence of “an Indo-Tamil ethnic problem” – which is sheer bunkum. Hussain knows that all too well.

    Mindlessly calling me “certainly the servitor of a LTTE clone” and suggesting the LTTE is after him he continues to exaggerate his own self-importance. I don’t think the LTTE ever had time for someone who may been, in their view, an insignificant nondescript unworthy even of casual attention. How can any Tamil have any regard for a man who tastelessly continues to harp “the Tamils have kept on compounding that fear by their IDIOTIC insistence on their non-existent right to self-determinism that includes the right to establish Eelam” As I pointed out earlier, the Tamil political leadership has long since given up the idea of Eelam. But that does not help Hussain’s campaign to mislead and inflame the Sinhalese. But the bad news for Hussain and his ilk is that the Sinhalese, since then, have graduated to a new reality as, I bring him again – the late much respected and influential Rev. Sobita Thero – reminded the Sinhalese Tamils have been wronged far too long. The Venerable Thero said the Sinhalese, after seven decades, will have to now structure a new path to peace and unity with the Tamils. Therefore, however much Hussain and his fellow travellers try, the Sinhalese will surely make up with the Tamils – sooner than later. Understandably, there will be others waiting in the sidelines to place spokes in the wheel.


    • 3

      Backlash…I am disgusted that the CT editorial is degrading to the gutter by allowing Izeth to personally attack commentators in his article.

      Izeth and other writers of course have the right to post counter comments.

      it’s gutter journalism to dedicate an entire article criticising one commentator under a pseudo headline

      unfortunately the ex diplomats and current diplomats ex politicians and current politicians are of the same low calibre as Izeth.

      That is the curse of Sri Lanka

      • 1


        Should you descend to the low Izzeth has. The fact that “Backlash” has been given the opportunity to sort of reply Hussein’s criticism bears the testimony that CT gives the space for divergent views to be presented. Quite frankly, CT is one of those platforms where this becomes possible. Hussein has every right to present his views as long as journalistic ethics are observed.

        • 1


          point taken.

          But CT should not have in the first place publish an article criticising one specific Blogger.

          Having allowed that they have no choice but to give space to Backlash to respond.

          • 0

            Thank you, Rajash

            CT has extended the courtesy of their spaces to me to respond to Hussain’s deliberate anti-Tamil, ant-Indian posts. I have no personal quarrel with Hussain and recognise his right to his views.
            What I have opposed are his fabrications, falsehoods and provocations. What is more perplexing is the space he gets in a national English daily to promote his mischief. That the daily was founded by a friend, an absolute gentleman and a great Lankan not given into any communal bias ever has to be added.


      • 0


        “unfortunately the ex diplomats and current diplomats ex politicians and current politicians are of the same low calibre as Izeth.”

        How would you have found out this truth had CT decided to refuse publication of Izeth’s typing?

        The more they talk/type the less respect they command. You should be happy that CT’s cunning plan is in fact working.

    • 0

      Hey Backlash;

      You and Izeth Naana are fighting for an idea that will never become reality as long as Sinhala People live on earth.

      Have you forgotten, both you and Izath naana are debating about a land mass, a country established by Sinhala people. It is a sovereign unitary state, it will remain that way until eternity. That is why perhaps your mentor VP tried every possible method to annihilate or marginalize Sinhala people in their own country.

      Leave your bloody ill founded rhetoric to the confines of a mental asylum. Both of you will entertain the occupants of a metal asylum of your choice.

      • 1

        Sinhala Banda

        This mass of land we now call Sri Lanka is older than Kuveni and far older than 2,000 years. So what is this “a country established by Sinhala people” you blabber about. You would never have heard of the “sacred” Mahawansa if not for that British Civil Servant who discovered it for you 150 years ago. Neither would you have a religion if not for the generosity of India. And ditto for the Sinhala language. That is your pedigree.

        I suggest you do a crash-course on the history of this island. You will then learn over different periods of history Tamils and locals ruled it in ancient times. Also remember over 9,000 years there was no sea separating the North of the Island from the South of India. It follows, therefore, heavy and regular traffic from the other side is an undeniable fact of history.

        Pseudo-patriotism and Sinhala Nationalism is one thing but irrevocable history is another, my friend.


        • 1

          “You will then learn over different periods of history Tamils and locals ruled it in ancient times.”

          Tamils are not mentioned in Ramayana, but Veddas are referenced numerous times. Veddas are called as “Rakshas.” So the true inhabitants of the island are the Veddas, everyone else came second. Anyway, Tamils are related to Australian Aborigenes, as shown by numerous genetic studies. Whereas, Sinhalese trace their descent to Orissa.

  • 1

    Sir, what will then be the solution to allow ethnic minorities to take over economic decision making? Will the intellectuals enlighten the ignorant expats like us? Wasn’t the cry for separation a result of violent targeted attacks and real and perceived discrimination in government jobs in a nation where the government continues to be a bloated behemoth of inefficiency and corruption and incompetent? Was it because of University admissions? What role do you think 1983 had on the psyche of people who were above the fray being of the elite Tamils in Colombo who spoke English and never thought they will be attacked? It reminds me of how some Jews also thought they will not be attacked by Hitlers fascists? Sir you live there, please do not allow for more war or hatred between any two communities. Listen to the people who bravely live there and not us expatriates some of whom want to start war again by lobbying powerful governments but will probably never get voted into even a local gramasevaka election in the North and East. What is the feasible alternative? President Rajapakse could have and should have easily been magnanimous and called for a political settlement even while doing the massive rapid development work he engaged in the N and E; new roads; new bridges, new schools; post offices but then some say local people were not included in those projects. Is that true? Why weren’t Tamil businesses allowed to make money or even commissions on those billion rupee projects? Was there no direct employment to Tamil people during those projects: the results of those projects are clear everytime we expats visit Ceylon. I can go to Jaffna in 7 hours in an AC carriage. I can cross great bridges and roads now. Most places are better than deep Sinhala Buddhist southern areas with roads, water and electricity now.

  • 1

    This man keeps ranting on and on about how racist tamils are. Was it Tamils who set Aluthgama on fire?

  • 0

    I too an opposed Federalism leads to separatism for Tamil Eealm.
    That is partition of Island for New Military base in North Part Island by set up that USA-military bases by it is loosing military bases on many places in Asian region.

    These few handful speakers on behalf for ‘partition’ and ‘devolution’ and ‘Federalism’ of the power brokers are behind by the US funded New Pens and script writes by old caucus of moribund journalist!@@@@

    There may be many number of political leaders and Part hatcheries has been already brought over by USA -CIA and Indian -RAW since 2015 January 9th after officially, which MS become head of Puppet Govt. installed in Colombo.

    After few minutes later, that President of MS been to thrown his Elective power by focally an installed minority leader of UNP-_Ranil W…of Christian democracies as Primer of SL by broken all democratic credentials after 1948!

    The minority UNA then become played vital role democracy since 2015 January 9th. That is pave way for “New Federalism” of the “Power devolution” proposed by TNA and their LTTE proxies by fully support of by the USA, UK, EU some counties and Lame duck Japan.

    Power devolution is impossible Sri Lankan civilization is concern; of its as national civilized state exist and survive 2600 without any division of People by ethnic, races and religion basis.

    That is ours fundamental pillar of our nature of State. The nature of State its shape and mode of class composition and roots of ruling governances, are not similar pattern of Capitalist process of beginning state since 1648 after Treaty of Wespaliya.

    The West colonialism and later Imperialism of highest stage of Capitalism of Lenin definition of world order had been discard our nation State by Houses of Hanover, who rule and ruin of Island over 150 years by so-called British Empire !

    We are not ready to accepts Anglo-Saxon democracy state was rule for divided Races, Ethnicity, Cast, Regions and Religions by UK and USA prime interest .

    The proposed Tamil Eealm for Tamil chavnanist is nothing for that partition of Sri Lankan by Race promoted by UK Anglo-Saxon politics of Christian Democracies of UNP Orthodox Parliamentary hegemony dominated by USA and Indians politics of new-colonialism.

    By CBK ‘s and TNA Federalism is New Form of another Puppet Regime is divided Sri lanka , building another that one Christin State in Indian Ocean by the blessing of “God who save America”.

    That is easy access to USA military base in ‘pivot’ Asian expanding by US power hegemony in Monsoon Politics of puppet regime North as well as South of Island——Sri Lanka.

  • 4


    Hon on earth you became a diplomat? In such a small space as that provided in CT there are those who vent their frustration. Sometimes, it all has the ingredients for a good laugh. Surely, you cannot descend to that “low” level of jumping up and down and what does that make you. You won’t even know that the pseudonym used by the commentators belong to Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, etc unless you are privy to information from CT.

    Over the few articles you have written recently, a sort of emotional wreck appears to emerge in your personality that you have become so hungry for ghosts and and had started chasing shadows. Pray tell me how much of what is commented upon in CT become fodder for politicians walking the corridor of power.

    It is rather sad that you have become a laughing stock of late compared to those days when it used to be so heartening to read them. The more you depart from the journalistic culture, the more swords that will be drawn against you. At the end of the day it is not what all those comments label but what you label yourself. When the crab loses its sense, it has already picked its day for its own downfall.

  • 0

    India’s Muslim population is approximately 178 million and they consist of 14.9% of the population.

    J&K is the only Muslim majority state
    Other very large Muslim populations are in Uttar Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal(of course), Bihar, Kerala and Maharastra.

    If you recall Modi Sahib who is now solidly in the US camp out of strategic interests and fears of China, was once persona-non-grata in the USA because of anti Muslim riots in Gujarat during his tenure as CM.

    India has a very strong State Government system with lots of economic decision making left to the state level but it also has a powerful Federal Government which on and off ( during Indira Gandhi’s autocratic days as well as other times due to unrest) put some States under President’s rule.(article 356 of their constitution). It can be imposed for 6 months at a time for 3 years renewed by Lok Sabha(their Parliament) every 6 months. Source below.

    Instances are given here

    How will you like power to be devolved to give maximum economic decision making powers and civil law powers to the people? Why are we engaging in attacks instead of doing some thinking about the long term?

    • 0

      Mano Ratwatte,

      If you will permit me, denying entry to Narendra Modi in the aftermath of the Gujerat incidents was a political one and not an administrative one by the US Govt. They had to make good their mistake. It is sad both Muslims and Hindus died in the unfortunate riots. Modiji and his administration maintain cordial relations both with the US and Chinese Governments and also keep extremists within the Union in check, which we do not.

      I am pleased to note your liberal views in the Federal form of government. Trouble with the Sinhala extreme of the BBS/Ravaya variety is they lack the education and pluralism you lived and experienced in India. I believe you now live safely overseas.


  • 0

    [Edited out]

  • 0

    Are you against two state solution for Palestine and Israel too? Why don’t you write an article about why Muslim extremist Palestinians aren’t ready for a state of their own hence the superior Israel should take over the entire land?

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