21 October, 2017

C. Suntharalingam – Part II: Grandfather’s Letters

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Three Vantage Views

Before reading Grandfather’ Letters, I had an anecdotal view of C. Suntharalingam (CS). In 1958 as a six year old, I was terrified when classmates talked of Sinhalese marching to Jaffna to slaughter us. CS (in the climax of the book) held the line in Vavuniya, distributing unlicensed-guns and placing dynamite in culverts. One day as lorry-loads of men careened down Chemmany Road Nallur to Vavuniya, I ran alongside the convoy behind senior boys (including our Sinhalese baker’s sons) shouting “Thamilarukku Jai” (Victory to Tamils), wondering what the Hindi word jai meant.

Our high opinion of CS was formed from such experiences. When a Tamil Hindu is clever, Tamil society was ready to adulate him regardless of his principles. Both CS and Ponnambalam fell in this mould.

CS’s brilliance was unquestioned. His eccentricity was well known. The only academic blot seems his 8 years doing his MA Oxford. Although I like him for his forthrightness, his awareness of his own intelligence comes through as arrogance.  His brilliant genes show through when his grandchildren  and even great grandchildren got admission to Cambridge and Stanford from Colombo, even as the granddaughters Gnanalakshmi and Dhaniyalakshmi Gnanalingam admitted to engineering degrees, suppressed their talents and chose science degrees close to home.

Then I married, Gnanalakshmi’s close friend growing up in Colpetty. Gnanalakshmi believed religiously in living by the Hindu Shastras. Through my wife and common friends in Colpetty I had another window into their lives.

Now I have a third view which CS sought to project through his letters to his grandchildren. The claim in the introduction that Ceylon got independence without bloodshed with CS’s mathematical manoeuvring perhaps is the grandson’s excess in excusable exuberant affection. I will examine some of the glaring contradictions.

Caste

CS readily admits his admiration for and association with Sir Pon Ramanathan  who opposed equal seating and the franchise for the oppressed castes, and yet is passed off as a national hero. In the 1960s when oppressed castes were denied entry to Maviddapuram Temple, CS vigorously stood with the oppressors although he had no claims on the temple. As a result, Prof. Bryan Pfaffenberger labelled CS “a caste fanatic.”

Chellappah Suntharalingam

In the book’s first letter, to Gnanalakshmi, he advises her that he rejected proposals to women with fat dowries and fatter physiques, and that she must “choose someone after your own heart, of your standing and of your caste, and don’t commit yourself to any proposal without speaking to me first.” We see the attitude continuing when granddaughter Dhanyalakshmi fell in love with an IIT qualified Lankan they considered not up to their standard. A Colombo Librarian from the family even tried to use security guards to prevent the suitor from entering the university. To no avail, however. Dhanya married privately with the help of an aunt. She is happy. 

The book reveals that of CS’s father’s three brothers, one converted to Roman Catholicism “may be for his job and for his bride,” returning to Hinduism later. Another married an Indian Tamil from the estates “for beauty.” Both were cast out by CS’s parents.

In his letter to grandson Prof. Gnanalingam Anandalingam, CS boasts of “the position in the social order in which your Appah’s parents belonged.” That is himself. After describing their caste, he gives the purpose of his communication: to know that “life is influenced by heredity and the early environment of home life and home gossip.” Anandalingam, despite the advice, home life and home gossip, married a Catholic Malayaali. Curiously, after advising the difficulties of arranging marriage to children if one marries below caste, CS urges Anandalingam to value men by their intrinsic worth rather than their parentage.

Hindu Orthodoxy

CS witnesses to his faith in astrology when he describes to Gnanalakshmi his own father going to the best astrologer in Jaffna to cast his first son’s horoscope. The astrologer forecasts that there will be five children in all but he would die before any of them reached manhood and that the first would not live beyond his early manhood. CS then adds, every word proved by events to be correct.  In contrast, however, even CS in his 70s had shown his palm to my wife telling her, “See. My lifeline says I would have died in my sixties. But I will live to 90.” And he almost did, to 89+!

According to CS’s relations, his mother was a widow with five young sons finding it difficult to make ends meet. She thereupon married a rich man for the second time, who educated the children in Colombo. If this is so, the second marriage of CS’s mother is a serious violation of Hindu orthodoxy. There is no mention of this in the book. CS, in contrast, says that his uncles collected incomes from her properties and gave it to her for her children’s education.

Christian Bashing Tamil Militancy

The greatest value of this book is CS’s description of the 1958 riots. He puts down Tarzie Vitachi’s Emergency 58, which has been reprinted and distributed by many Tamils: “It did not contain a true account of the racial riots in the Northern area,” says CS. The book needs reading for his contrarian views.

That CS was an extremist in Tamil matters is accepted. Unwittingly admitted, perhaps, is that his electoral losses were reversed only after DS Senanayake urged Sinhalese in the Vavuniya-Mullaitivu-Mannar area to vote for him. His ego puts his regular losses to “cash, cassock, and crookishness”, despite his formation by Christian schools. After the initial glamour of his resignation, he continued to be defeated, presumably because he opposed the FP: when asked to be present at their convention, he thundered, “I would have no truck with the Federal Policy, plan, or program.” It is at odds with his attempted parliamentary motion detailed in the book for Tamils to separate.

CS studied at Christian schools – CMS Kopay Christian College, St. John’s (where he presumably studied mathematics under my grandfather the Rev. Canon S.S. Somasundram previously of Maviddapuram Temple), and St. Joseph’s – won a scripture prize at St. John’s, was a teacher at St. Joseph’s (a position for which Christians were almost exclusively preferred), and was a member of Interim and Organizing Committees of the Student Christian Movement House at University College London in 1917. Did he, like his uncle, move into Christianity and then revert to Hinduism? In the last chapter he says his 5 years in England almost made him a Roman Catholic, but that transformed him into a modern Hindu. Roman Catholicism in the UK while dabbling with the Protestant SCM? A modern Hindu looking at his lifeline?

It has been said that CS’s children had no interest in politics. Gnanalingam’s harsh words about Ponnambalam, however, show his strong political feelings. Moreover, after my return to Sri Lanka in 1995, I got a letter from Anandalingam whom I am yet to meet, abusing me at length for not supporting the LTTE. He seemed to think that a Tamil returning to Sri Lanka was a public message that all is good for Tamils here, whereas I wanted to assert my right to Sri Lanka as home. It would seem that CS’s fanaticism lives on at least in one grandson.

Some Tall Claims?

I have heard it commonly said that CS was Queen Elizabeth’s tutor in mathematics. CS does not mention it in his biography or letters. The only references I have seen are in Anandalingam’s Wikipedia page and a review by Chelavathamby Maniccavasagar (best known for writing exaggerated biographies of Tamil Nationalists) in the Daily News (16 Feb. 2012) and Deirdre McConnell in Colombo Telegraph (21 Feb. 2012).

When CS left the UK in 1931, the Queen was hardly 5 years old.

CS claims he “introduced the [Ceylon] Engineering Faculty” in 1925, although it was not formed until 1954. He was one of the few to oppose the appointment of Sir Ivor Jennings and resigned his chair in 1940 when Jennings was selected to succeeded Principal Robert Marrs, although Jennings is considered the best VC we have had. CS thought a Welshman with no knowledge of Ceylon was inappropriate. He also objected later to Jennings’ vision of the university at Peradeniya, arguing it would be a White Elephant. CS admits that the Governor prevented him from continuing his part in the controversy – that is, asked not to speak on the subject.

Production Issues

On p. 120 CS refers to “hoodlums leaders.” On p. 42 is the phrase “about he being a Thamil”. I think “he” should be “his”. On the word Thamil, I think he is off. If we Tamils can Tamilise Englishman to Aangileyan, I think the English too can Anglicize Thamil to Tamil.  Other issues concern his interchangeable use of the correct “Yours affectionately” versus the incorrect “Yours Affectionately.” Similarly “Northern” for “northern” in mid-sentence. These are just a few of the language mistakes in the book, whose early pages are unnumbered. An index would have been helpful. The grandchildren called CS “Appah” and their father “Aiyah”. Until one gets used to it, these references are confusing, especially when one does not know the named addressees of the letters.

Editor Anjalendran

The editor of Grandfather’s Letters, Chelvadurai Anjalendran (son of CS’s second daughter Lingawathie),  is a much-sought-after architect in Colombo. The book (David Robson, Anjalendran – Architect of Sri Lanka, Tuttle, 2009) is just about him. Anjalendran was a friend at Moratuwa whose charm and kindness girls found endearing. I recall lunch hour when he would lie on a long table in a chronic cap with six or so girls standing around him feeling safe with him, adjusting his cap and engaging in banter.

Anjalendran entered a major political controversy when in a New York Interview, he stated that “I was born a Tamil but I am a Sri Lankan and I have had every opportunity to engage in my profession and to achieve the heights of excellence as I have done. Nobody stood in my way. There was no discrimination. …. The LTTE was not really fighting for the rights of Tamils at all.”

I wonder if his first cousin Anandalingam, harangued him too. Anjalendran, however, seems to be the only grandchild to share CS’s love for Ceylon and make a successful life here.

Suntharalingam is a villain to many Sinhalese because of his separatism so he is not a National Hero, like Ramanathan who too was a caste fanatic. And villain to Tamils because of his enmity towards the Federal Party. So he is not Thanthai (Father, as Chelvanayagam is), although he was the first separatist. His being caste conscious has never mattered to Tamils as clear from Navalar and Ramanathan, our heroes. So why is he not feted the way lesser beings are?

The book is an important window to one of Sri Lanka’s most colourful, intelligent, and even lovable characters as he wanted us to see him.

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Latest comments

  • 3
    1

    If you do not know Jaffna Tamil it is your problem not the authors. All the Tamils in 20th century called their father Aiya and grand father Apps nothing confusing about it.

    • 1
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      “All the Tamils in 20th century called their father Aiya and grand father Apps nothing confusing about it.”

      Not the logical people among the Hindus, Christians, Muslims or other Tamils elsewhere in the world who understood Tamil.

      Simply appa (father) and appappah (father’s father).

      • 1
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        Papa for father is Anglo version of the papa.Throughout Jaffna Aiya was the word for father. Whoever who lived in Jaffna may not the black whites called their father “aiya’. My generation and the next generation throughout Havana did so. Current generation only changed to Anglo version.
        Language is not logical it is custom and usage.

      • 2
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        No very common even now in rural Jaffna for Tamils to call their father Aiya. This is how I called my father. Aiya

    • 4
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      Aiyaa is the equivalent of Sir, and it was customary in many English upper middle class families probably until early 20th century to address the father as Sir.
      It could be a carry over from there.
      It is not known practice in South India.

      Parents call the son “Thambi”. That is not logical either.
      Language is fundamentally logical but cannot be all logic. That is what makes it fun.

      • 2
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        SJ even in parts of Andhra and Tamil Nadu the father was addressed as Aiya.
        Aiya in Dravidian/Tamil means older person a person of respect. This why the Sinhalese use the term Aiya for older brother. Tamil Brahmins are called Aiyar as a term of respect
        For your information the Sinhalese word for younger sister Nangi comes from the Dravidian/Tamil word Nangai meaning a young woman.

        • 0
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          For curiosity, which part of Tamilnadu?
          I never came across ‘aiyaa’ for father in any South Indian Tamil fiction that I read in 65 years or used by any of my SI Tamil acquaintances..
          I am not conversant in Telugu.

          I am not fully convinced about the source of Sinhala ‘aiyaa’. Then ‘malli’ poses a problem.

          In Malayaalam ‘achchan’ is a term for father. That agrees with ayyan in Tamil.

        • 0
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          “Tamil Brahmins are called Aiyar as a term of respect.”
          Explain the root in Tamil if u can

          This word comes from St. Thoma Christianity into Tamil Nadu, like Mukurtham etc.

          Tamils were animists, Jain, vedic, budhist, Nestorian and Thoma christians, then Siva-ites and muslims.

    • 0
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      Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

      RE: C. Suntharalingam – Part II: Grandfather’s Letters

      “His being caste conscious has never mattered to Tamils as clear from Navalar and Ramanathan, our heroes. So why is he not feted the way lesser beings are?”

      Thanks for the write up. Looks like C. Suntharalingam was-bathed in castism with its roots in the Hindu caste system.

      “His being caste conscious has never mattered to Tamils..” has its roots in Hinduism, and the Hindu Tamils accept it as part of the religion, perhaps as religion, “obligation”.

      If Tamils, want to shed the Hindu cast system, they need to become Tamil Buddhists, not the current Sinhala “Buddhist” version of Buddhism. After all, Buddhaghosa was a Tamil from Tamil Nadu, even though he was originally from Andra Pradesh. Looks like CS and many “upper” caste Tamils never read Buddhaghosa’s writings.

      Buddhaghoṣa (Thai: พระพุทธโฆษาจารย์, Chinese: 覺音/佛音) was a 5th-century Indian Theravada Buddhist commentator and scholar. His best-known work is the Visuddhimagga “Path of Purification”, a comprehensive summary and analysis of the Theravada understanding of the Buddha’s path to liberation. The interpretations provided by Buddhaghosa have generally constituted the orthodox understanding of Theravada scriptures since at least the 12th century CE. He is generally recognized by both Western scholars and Theravadins as the most important commentator of the Theravada.[

      The Mahavamsa records that Buddhaghosa was born into a Brahmin family in the kingdom of Magadha. He is said to have been born near Bodh Gaya, and to have been a master of the Vedas, traveling through India engaging in philosophical debates. Only upon encountering a Buddhist monk named Revata was Buddhaghosa bested in debate, first being defeated in a dispute over the meaning of a Vedic doctrine and then being confounded by the presentation of a teaching from the Abhidhamma. Impressed, Buddhaghosa became a bhikkhu (Buddhist monk) and undertook the study of the Tipiṭaka and its commentaries. On finding a text for which the commentary had been lost in India, Buddhaghosa determined to travel to Sri Lanka to study a Sinhalese commentary that was believed to have been preserved.

  • 4
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    “His brilliant genes show through when his grandchildren and even great grandchildren got admission to Cambridge and Stanford from Colombo, even as the granddaughters Gnanalakshmi and Dhaniyalakshmi Gnanalingam admitted to engineering degrees, suppressed their talents and chose science degrees close to home.”

    Mrs. Gnanalingam was a first class in Mathematics and was at Cambridge too. She was an excellent teacher at Ladies’ College, close to home, But alas! her own two well behaved Cambridge type and handsome sons at Royal proved to be a great source of attraction and distraction at the USIS library opposite, to many of her students.

    Anyhow, the sons are supposed to get their brains from their mother’s side and the daughters, from the father’s. So the secret of brilliant sons is owed also to genetic selection in wives. CS’s advice on heredity must have stemmed from the observations of his own sweet mother and borne fruit in his progeny’s time.

    I guess CS’s eccentricity part comes simply from being born a Jaffna Tamil, where each man is king (by appointment- to manage his wife’s dowry by their shastras) and totally inexplicable when it comes to collective decision-making.

  • 7
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    Thank GOD, Mr C. Suntharalingam was not born or lived during UTHR’s period.

    Certainly, UTHR would have made him as a terrorist, killer, horreur for he stood on his policy.

    The people who can’t understand the plight of their own people is lecturing others about C Sunthralingam.

    There are better people to write about Nobel C Suntharalingam.

    Shame on UTHR.

    • 10
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      The Hooles used the UTHR and all possible ways to destroy the boys that were fighting for the rights of the Tamils, yes, they were not perfect and made many mistakes and not rightful but some of them were required. The Hooles played a very damaging and disturbing roles in that, and the Tamils’ history will have references to such people.

    • 1
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      UTHR (JAFFNA)

      The reports are research publications of the UTHR (JAFFNA) had only members from the Jaffna University could be members. That was nearly all faculty members and UTHR (JAFFNA) was first chaired by VC Prof. Thurairajah.

      Jaffna people and their history knowledge! Then they talk without reading.

      • 4
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        …UTHR (JAFFNA)… only members from the Jaffna University could be members.

        That was for a brief period.

        I remember when the UTHR(J) declared war on Thurairajah for not yielding to their pressure.

        • 2
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          UTHR

          PROF. THURAIRAJAH VC WAS NATIONAL CO_CHAIRMAN OF UTHR WTH PROF.
          SRIYANANDA.

          Ask Dr. Sriyananda or the Samasamajists.

          Reminds me of the movie “The Passion of Christ”.

          Oh the betrayers and the deniers and the obfuscators at the Jaffna University.

          Jaffna people don’t read. Then they talk.

        • 2
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          Attacks on Thurairajah appeared in print accusing him of playing ball with you know who after he de-recognized the UTHR.
          There we other charges too, now conveniently forgotten.
          It went on for a while.

      • 5
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        In late 90s, a letter was circulated by VC Prof Thurairajah clearly said that the Jaffna University has nothing to do with UTHR.

        Now what these new stories!

        Do go into the archives of the VCs in the Jaffna University.

        Article about Mr C Sutharalingam is motive of diverting the people minds towards the old generation.

        Total hypocracy.

        UTHR did a serious damaga to people of Tamil Eelam. Today UTHR people are living luxury and writing about Suntharalingam is unacceptable.

      • 4
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        Visa: “…… UTHR (JAFFNA) was first chaired by VC Prof. Thurairajah.”

        TOTALLY UNTRUE UNTRE UNTRUE in other words a blatant lie. Prof. Thurairajah has publicly denied any knowledge of University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna).

        UTHR(Jaffna) came into existence well before the Thurairajah era. It was a group from the upper privileged class. Their patrons were opposed to the evolution of Tamil liberation movements. They quickly passed the use by date and became virtually an association of two or three persons. They never had a registered office, AGM or anything like that. But the two person UTHR (Jaffna) marketed the title overseas and got a sympathetic hearing.

        UTHR (Jaffna) served a purpose but it is cowardly to continue using the name.

  • 3
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    Dear Professor Hoole,

    Good writing about Tamil politics and recent history.

    I have also read the “Cinnamon Gardens” a novel written by Shayam Selvadurai. He has also mentioned some of these Tamil political matters in his novel.

  • 5
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    Mr.Ratnajeevan,
    How many of your class mates or school mates are from lower cast than yours ?
    Even if you had few of them as classmates or schoolmates were you friendly with them ? How many non Christian friends you had in school and university ?

    What are your views about Catholic Schools and Hindu Schools in the North and East of SL.?
    Do you know that these Catholic and Hindu Schools provided more opportunities to people fron poor background or from low casts ?

    Do you know Catholic and Hindu Schools did not breed elitism or supremacy ?

    SL has come a long way since 1944 free education introduced by Kannagara and scocial mobility was on the rise.
    Unfortunately the 2 leading political parties took the majority in the wrong direction. Now SL is in a mess because of corrupted politicians from all the parties and corrupted religious priests from all the religions.

  • 8
    1

    Hoole confirms his cantankerous character. Much of it stems from the fact that he is a Jaffna Christian. There is a general problem with the community. Their existence as a group that adopted a religion that was foreign and assumed the greatness of the foreign ruler sets them apart from the Tamils of whatever caste who resisted the English and later, like Prabhakaran, himself a man from a non-Vellala caste, resisted the Sinhalese. Then, there is the added difficulty that the Jaffna guys think that Christians are low caste and that was the reason for their conversion. Hoole is careful to drop hints that he is high caste connecting him with some Cannon with Mavidapuram. There is also the problem of colour-that they are usually darker. All this gives them a chip on their collective shoulders. Their sense of alienation is redeemed only through insulting the successful figures among the Tamils. This Hoole, the coolie, has sought to do in the case of C Suntheralingam all the while casting aspersions on people of the younger generation who are also models of success, Anandalingam having been Dean of the Business School at Imperial College and Anjalendran a renowned architect etc, etc.

    No defence of CS is necessary. He was an outstanding man of his generation, with all his imperfections. He did resist temple entry. But, the Act on Temple Entry was an effort of Tamil leaders, Hindus and well as Christians. Many temples opened doors voluntarily. In the days of CS, caste was stronger. It has progressively declined. The LTTE had leaders from the very lowest castes whose orders were implicitly obeyed.

    This thing about caste that Hoole is entering is dangerous country. He had better put an end to it. It will not stop once it is stirred up and the Christians would not want the matter to be agitated, not by a man like Hoole who seems to have acquired a reputation as a difficult man on all fronts among all communities.

    It is best to avoid this nonsense that this fool has entered. Christian angels would fear to tread such an area.

    • 1
      1

      Maha Sinhalam, Rajan,

      Prof Hoole is referring his writings to factual documents. Why don’t you encourage rational discussions? Challenge the writings instead of denigrating him personally. Jaffna man has his obvious shortcomings but SJV, a Christian was regarded as the Father -‘Thanthai’ – of the whole Tamil speaking community and was held at highest esteem. Intolerance to alternative views led to the demise of the liberation struggle. LTTE did more damage to itself than all its opponents put together.

  • 8
    0

    Dear Hoole, Don’t disrespect CS. He was born in the 19th century and had his own values which were valid at that time which may not appear to be realistic today. He is true that you must marry at your social level and caste. I have seen many failed marriages because they were of different social levels.

    CS’s entire family is brilliant.His son Gnanalingam and his sons Arjavalingam and Anandalingam were all Turnour prize winners at Royal College. Anandalingam was Dean at Imperial College Business School, London and University of Maryland. This is a great achievement for Sri Lanka.

    Don’t express disrespect or hatred for a religion due to past customs or due to some people at Jaffna University. There will be always good and bad people in every religion or community. You need to accept that.

    As a devout Hindu with many christian relations such as Mathers, Hooles, Arnold, Page etc., I believe that we should not discriminate people on caste. This has not come from God or hinduism but a social disorder. I will explain it – Cleanliness is key to Hinduism. That is why we have to bathe and wear clean clothes and go to temple. Girls having mensuration cannot go to temple. If we attend a funeral we come home bathe and wash the clothes we wore and don’t go to temple for 24 hours. As low caste people are people with lack of education and may lack cleanliness could be the reason why they are denied temple entry (this would have been the situation centuries ago and moved from generation to generation).

    You may be aware of some of these customs, as you would have been the Chief Trustee of Mavidapuram Kandasamy Temple if not your grandfather Sangarapillai Somasundaram didn’t convert to Christianity and become Cannon Samuel Sangarapillai Somasundaram. Similarly, Lakshman Kadirgamar would have been Trustee of the Siva Temple in Point Pedro if not for his grandfather Karthigeyan Kathirgamar converting to christianity. All religions are great and I am against conversion utilising a person’s misfortune or weakness. As a Hindu, I do service and help in money and kind to all irrespective of their ethnicity or religion and never even talk of religion leave alone converting them to Hinduism. I only expect to wash my karma with good deeds and nothing else.

    • 9
      1

      Caste is indefensible. The better elements in Tamil Saivaism have not defended caste. Of the sixty three Tamil Saints there is the story of Nandanar, a low caste man, excluded from entering temples. Kannapan is a hunter and is said to have been higher, according to Manikavsagar, than any of the other saints in devotion to Shiva. Auvaiyar said there were only two castes-those who give and those who do not give. In every age, Tamils have produced men who have agitated against caste, in our time Periyar and Prabhakaran. There is no way that caste can be defended. It must be rooted out. Period.

      But, Hoole is not about caste. He simply wants to deride a community for personal reasons. He is a venomous man spitting poison into an otherwise placid pool. If anyone was denied positions on the basis of religion, it is wrong. Tamils have had Christian leaders. SJV Chelvanayagam is still the Father of the Tamil Nation and is referred to as Thanthai. He is Christian. Naganathan was MP for Nallur. He was Catholic. Possibly, Sumanthiran would be the next leader. He is Christian.

      As you say, all of us have Christian relatives. Some of them have slave names taken from the English. But, we have lived them well, gone to churches for their functions, shared in each others religious festivities and will continue to do so, despite Hoole and his gratuitous derision of Sutheralingam who lived in a bygone age when caste was stronger. Christian churches had pews meant for castes in Jaffna around that time.

      Let us hope that Hoole pursues his personal vendettas- he seems to have many- in a manner that does not provoke enmity among the two Tamil religious communities.

      • 2
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        How did Nanthan die? He was thrown into the flames.
        Why did the non-Brahmin saints of Saivaism have to struggle hard to prove themselves and the Dalits even suffer pain and humiliation while the Brahmins had it easy.

        Appar and Ramanujar for different political reasons made alliances with the depressed communities.
        There were many in later times who campaigned against caste discrimination. The Siththar tradition was an admirable beginning, but faded out..

        Brahmininc Hinduism is based on the Varna system. Dalits fall outside it and are thus untouchable.

        Let us be humble. Our ancestors did wrong. It is for us to put things right.

        • 2
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          Caste is a pernicious system. It can never be condoned. The point simply is that there was always an effort to reform it within the Tamil community. Buddha also sought to reform it but its presence in Buddhist communities attests to the failure of the reform.

          In Jaffna, we do not follow Brahminic Hinduism. Vellalas are shudras too.

          It is unnecessary for Hoole to make the CS the instrument for purveying his venom against the Saivites.

          Temple entry was a movement that was taken up by Tamil leaders. The Temple Entry Act was a private members’ Act sponsored by Tamil leaders. Nira Wickremasinghe in her history book points to the production of a play, Kandan Karunai, to convey the message that the consort of Murugan of Mavidapuram, Valli was a veddah woman. The other consort was not. Nira adverts to the role played by Sanmugathasan and the leftist leaders.

          This movement to eradicate caste which is Brahminic must continue. Saivites are conscious of the better traditions of their ancient religion.

          Man has always been hierarchical. It is so in the Anglican church and other churches. This has been an evil that has afflictted many societies. Because of the Brahminical texts, it has affected Hinduism quite more deeply.

        • 1
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          The Sithars’s tradition is the essence of Siddantha which is the zenith of Hindu philosophy where there is no God, saint, temple or caste.
          But that tradition sadly became misunderstood, unpopular, dwindled and faded out with the influence of Brahmanism and popular belief in superstitious idol worship and in astrologcal predictions.

        • 2
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          The Buddha rejected Brahminic thought which is the basis of today’s Hinduisms.
          The Varna system evolved in a historical context. It was perhaps a blend of race/tribe and class.
          Manu Smrithi codified it. It was very discriminatory. Untouchability came in later and affected the Panchamas are outcasts outside the 4-tier system.

          We need to eliminate caste discrimination of any form not because any bigot uses it to ridicule us. There are plenty of them doing it on CT.

          Let us ask ourselves: Is it necessary? Is it fair? Is it rational? Is it just? Is it beneficial to the community?
          If we act correctly, what other say is immaterial.

        • 0
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          Whether Nandanar was thrown into the flames is a matter of conjecture. It appears in more modern plays. No one denies that our ancestors did wrong.

          Many consider that Yogar Swami was in the Siddhar tradition. There is a book on Siddhars of Eelam.

          “Our ancestors” were not a single collective. They had many opinions. There was a long and strong tradition opposing caste.

          We have a duty to ensure that that tradition triumphs.

          • 0
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            How did he merge with Shiva?
            The man died after Siva dharshanam.
            Any theories that fit reason?
            For sure, if he survived he was a danger to Brahmin authority,

    • 0
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      Arjavalingam is founder Galleon Group with Raj Rajaratnam. Brilliant of course.

      • 0
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        Yes, he was. But he left Galleon long before any alleged insider trading. So your insinuation has no merit.

  • 3
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    When CS died, the Queen did send a floral wreath for his funeral. At that time, this news was mentioned in the local newspapers. So I believe there was some sort of a relationship with the queen, though tutoring her was probably an exaggeration, given her age at that time.

    • 0
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      Agnos
      Tamil life thrives on myth.
      Do not spoil the fun by hinting at the truth.

    • 0
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      Sending a wreath to her Minister in her pre-independence government would have been routine. It would have been done by officials

      I will not read too much into it.

  • 6
    1

    This is not review nor is it a fair account of Suntheralinam’s complex life. More of a hatchet job full of the usual egomaniacal self-references.

  • 5
    0

    Dear Hoole, Don’t disrespect CS. He was born in the 19th century and had his own values which were valid at that time which may not appear to be realistic today. He is true that you must marry at your social level and caste. I have seen many failed marriages because they were of different social levels.

    CS’s entire family is brilliant.His son Gnanalingam and his sons Arjavalingam and Anandalingam were all Turnour prize winners at Royal College. Anandalingam was Dean at Imperial College Business School, London and University of Maryland. This is a great achievement for Sri Lanka.

    Don’t express disrespect or hatred for a religion due to past customs or due to some people at Jaffna University. There will be always good and bad people in every religion or community. You need to accept that.

    As a devout Hindu with many christian relations such as Mathers, Hooles, Arnold, Page etc., I believe that we should not discriminate people on caste. This has not come from God or hinduism but a social disorder. I will explain it – Cleanliness is key to Hinduism. That is why we have to bathe and wear clean clothes and go to temple. Girls having mensuration cannot go to temple. If we attend a funeral we come home bathe and wash the clothes we wore and don’t go to temple for 24 hours. As low caste people are people with lack of education and may lack cleanliness could be the reason why they are denied temple entry (this would have been the situation centuries ago and moved from generation to generation).

  • 4
    6

    Surely, the author of the review did not deserve the harsh and insulting attacks above. There is nothing written there to belittle CS. If his facts are wrong they could have been challenged without the use of insult or hyperbole.

    Where the author speculates on CS dabbling in Christianity, it is not offensive except to those who think that a growing up youth must proceed in one straight obsessive direction.

    Attempts to make out that the author is out of touch with the ordinary Tamil people, are by those who do not know him. He studied in mission schools that admitted the humblest. About half or a third of his class at St. John’s would have been Hindus from Ariyalai. He now lives among them.

    Dragging the UTHR, with which the author had mainly a family connection,out of history to attack him points to these critics as being from an elite who were mainly emotionally concerned with Tamil nationalism and have been left stranded by the ebb of the myth; and its heroes who failed, but having hardly any concern for those whose lives were destroyed.

    • 4
      1

      Why do you want to be so apologetic about brutish behaviour. Hoole has unnecessarily dragged into the picture the lives of two ladies probably peacefully sojourning somewhere overseas. He has given salacious reminiscences of Anjalendran and six girls, very much in the mode of an early description in the CT of girls bathing by the roadside in Kattubedde- evidence that he is a nut. He never met Anandalingam but has things to say about him. Do you want to say that this is all done in innocence and not with a sense of prudery.

  • 8
    1

    (1)All these Christian converts – did they love Christianity or they loved the benefits of becoming Christians.
    (2) In my school I had Christian low caste friends. What about Hoole writing about caste within Christians. Perhaps a Finite Element Analaysis about that.

    • 1
      8

      (1)All these Christian converts – did they love Christianity or they loved the benefits of becoming Christians.

      THEY SUFFER PERSECUTION FROM THE HINDUS because they love Christ. Those who were true Christians remain Christians despite this persecution by the Hindus at the highest levels.

      Jaffna was all Christian under the Dutch. Study the records. Only the Chothtu Christians reverted to Hinduism when Wilberforce’s freedom of conscience was enacted here by the British. For no religion can touch the hearts of Jaffna Tamils.

      Chothu Christians are now the so called high caste Hindus. Compare with Tamil Naadu Just their color will give them away.

      Twisting the truth is the name of the game now-Jaffna University is the head quarters,

      • 8
        0

        Dear S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

        You are writing nonsense to please your friends in the South.

        You seems to be an educated person but your knowldge on history is nil.

        “Jaffna was all Christian under the Dutch”. They were converts!

  • 4
    2

    Twisting the truth does not always need headquarters.
    It happens here quite liberally.
    Each twists just about enough to serve his/her needs— some have bigger needs and they twist a lot.

    The global headquarters for twisting controls the international media.

  • 5
    1

    There is little review of the book except for a few comments on claims made.
    Much is reminiscing by the writer on other matters, as on several earlier occasions.

    An impression has been created that SJVC was a genuine champion of the cause of the Hill Country Tamils.
    The FP was founded on the citizenship issue.
    But at its first opportunity (in the course of talks with SWRDB in 1957) the FP dumped its demand for citizenship for the disenfranchised. The demand was never revived.
    (Also, I cannot understand why SJVC & Co did not part company with the ACTC the day it decided to join government.)

    In 1964 the FP bitterly opposed the Sirima-Shastri Pact.
    Once in government in 1965 it facilitated passage of legislation to ‘repatriate’ the Hill Country Tamils. (SJVC was bitterly criticized for this treachery by his erstwhile colleague V Navaratnam who said that GGP only joined a UNP regime which disenfranchised them, while SJVC collaborated to drive them to India.)

    As for why Sundaralingam, his role in enabling DSS to form an all Sinhalese cabinet proves intellectual skills but amoral politics. His conduct during the struggle against caste oppression was deplorable as was that of Amirthalingam who denounced the struggle in Parliament.

    They were all creatures of their class, caste and social climate. Some were more progressive than others in one or more ways (like Arunachalam compared to Ramanathan).
    One cannot be judged based on a single criterion.

    The Jaffna Youth Congress was a historic exception for the conservative Jaffna Peninsula. It inspired the population for a few years.
    Educated Christians played an undeniably big role in it, and in encouraging the battle against caste discrimination. The Vellala Christian community as a whole was not particularly better than its Saivite counterpart.

  • 1
    1

    I still remember vividly a photograph that appeared on the front page of the Sinhala daily ‘Dinamina’, when I was little. One professor Sundaralingam (Professor of Mathematics at Preadeniya Uni?) was standing straight at the door step of a Kovil in white Vetti and ash stripes on forehead with a big club in hand to chase away the low castes. Is it this Sundaralingam someone please enlighten me.

    Does the name ‘Sundaralingam’ mean beautiful penis?

    Thanks

    Soma

    • 4
      0

      The answer to both questions of the liberal Soma is yes. Except, the reference to the male organ has to be interpreted in a more philosophical sense.

      Remember, while the caste-Hindu eccentric CS was behaving in what we would today call legally and morally as unacceptable in those early 60s he was successfully challenged by another high Caste-Hindu – the able gentleman-Policeman SP R. Sundaralingam, who probably is reading this now. Those were the days when we had strong laws, respected and obeyed by all. Long before Buddhist Sinhala majoritarianism rendered all of us and our excellent laws poor – to the pathetic levels they are today.

      Backlash

      • 1
        0

        Thanks Backlash. Can you please reconfirm that he was the Professor of Mathematics at the University of Peradeniya at the time. If so how come Dr Hoole failed to mention this very significant fact. If not how did this association retained in my memory I wonder.

        A little bit more about philosophy behind a beautiful penis would be immensely interesting, if only you have time.

        Soma

        • 0
          0

          Soma

          The Hooles can speak more competently, and, indeed also other readers qualified to comment, if CS taught at Peradeniya at that time. From the media in the 1960s, as student I recall colourful Philip G in Parliament arguing spiritedly with the pugnacious CS in many fronts – while at the same time conceding he (CS) was good as Professor of Mathematics.

          As to the Lingam, as I noted earlier there are different interpretations in the ancient Hindu tradition in the great land of Bharath – North and South. One that I remember is Shiva is identified with Creation (Padaithal) Krishna with Protection (Kaathal) and Yama with Destruction (Aliththal) There are many more tenable interpretations by Hindu scholars. Googling extensively will help you in your welcome intellectual curiosity.

          Backlash

    • 3
      0

      Sundram- Lingam both are considered as Sanskrit words, now, though apparently Sundram has a clear Tamil sound. Sundra-Lingam is second derivative, that is “beautiful (Shiva) Lingam”- that is “Beautiful Shiva”. There is no connection between Annlingam(penis) and SundraLingam, though they sound similar. They are like pig-pen and writing pen, completely in different angles. Sivalingam is the indicator of Shiva. It is not Shiva or Shiva’s male part. Aann-lingam is male part.

      Lingam is not penis. Not at all! Its meaning is completely different. Lingam cannot generate meaning standing alone. It denotes any model, indicator or representation. If it’s used as Aann-lingam it can mean penis. Grammatically Penn-Lingam is also correct. In Tamil, for my knowledge, there are no words for penis, vagina, rape….. Tamils culturally do not use those words as freely we use them in English. My guess is, if any existed, those words might have been dropped out. When I was studying biology, the use of Sanskrit had become out dated. So instead of Aann-Lingam, they were using “Aann Kuri”.
      Sivalingam is crude or rough statue of Shiva’s sitting Yogi Position without any detail. Shiva’s detailed body was drawn using clay in Indus Valley time. Shiva drawn in the clay was abandoned during the Aryan invasion. Shiva was not a God until at that time. Indra, Rudra, Brahma….. were installed as Aryan gods at various times. But when Shiva reappeared as Gods, stone architecture had started to appear. Shivalingam was made to represent the Yogi in meditation, with the underdeveloped new technology. That was the first Hindu stone architecture. That is not Shiva; only a lingam (model). But real Shiva statues, resembling Indus Valley clay drawing appeared, some time later. The antiquity makes the Shivalingam more precise (holier or superior) than Shiva statues, which are only casual.

  • 3
    0

    Avaricious Tamils who were all Hindus in the north and east converted to Chrisianity to get favours,education and jobs from the whiter masters and not for love of Christ.Those who became Christian simply imitated the white masters assumed whiteman’s English names.

    Caste among the Tamils was the by product of their primitive feeling of superiority which emotions they cannot civilize.

    • 1
      0

      Annonymous

      “Caste among the Tamils was the by product of their primitive feeling of superiority which emotions they cannot civilize.”

      Is that why the Sinhala/Buddhists periodically beat them up, kill them, burn their properties, rape their women folks, ….. and destroy their collection of old books and ola manuscripts? All because the Sinhala/Buddhists tirelessly civilize them.

      As highly civilised human species you have the right to civilise the Tamils. Keep them on their correct path.

    • 1
      0

      Are their white masters around still giving jobs? So why would Christians in such a hostile Hindu environment as Jaffna not revert to Hinduism? Where the Head of a University puts in writing to her boss that Christians cannot hold high positions in Jaffna?

      Because they love Christ more than the VC job to convert.

      Mulup poosanikkayi sotril maraikkirathu pola.

      Buddha said not to lie. Not so in Hinduism perhaps.

      • 0
        0

        They are not as clever like SWRD Bandranayake.

        Soma

    • 1
      0

      “Avaricious Tamils who were all Hindus in the north and east converted to Chrisianity to get favours,education and jobs from the whiter masters and not for love of Christ.”

      If so:

      Why are they not becoming Hindus again now to get favours, education and jobs from their black masters/brown mixed race first lady now?

      Humbug!

  • 1
    1

    He has reverted to getting on his hobby horse, that is, caste and religion. He is unlikely to get out of that mania. CS is no more and there’s no use criticizing him any longer.

    • 1
      0

      But it is good to know that the man who coined Eelam (Eylom as he spelled it) had no space for the oppressed castes. Good to dethrone him.

      Or do you want to protect his undeserved status as the original Tamil nationalist-Ealamist?

      • 0
        0

        LTTE’s idealist Navaratnam.

        That was not Suntharalingam legal (defense) argument in that case. He argued it was a private property, the owner had the right to determine who enter, who doesn’t. Unfortunately the other side was the owners, (Brahmin Family) who decided that who can enter was purely based on castes. That against a bill earlier FP have had passed in parliament. Bill had provided the entrance refusal cannot be based purely on castes, even if the temple was private property. Now you see the government is not allowing Wilpattu resettles, claiming it government property. That was the base for his defense too. ITAK was able to establish it was a caste based case, not private property based case. The funny thing was, before the case flared up, we all did know though not very close by, but the oppressed casted from other places have been peacefully entering the temple and praying.

        Suntharalingam was exclusively temple owner’s (the Brahmin Family) lawyer. (Temple was built by Tissa Ukkira Cholan-Madurai). CS did not represent the Vellala, whom many times understood by Southerners as the Tamils Castiest Racists, by the effort of the government funded propagandists. He did not come to KKS for election, but came on to prove his legal prowess and decided to stand for election, eventually. That appeared to be solid representation of Lawyer-Client representation. But, Shanmuganathan could not officially represent anybody.

        Other than Keerimalai and Maviddapuram, there were extremely few temples owned by Brahmin families that time in North. Northern Brahmins are not Tamils Castiest Racist. Because they were very few family (many are poor too), I am sure the parents must have been having difficulties getting their children giving off to marriage. Though officially they do not marry with others, they never had ability to stop love marriages.

  • 1
    0

    Soma you are outdated. Suntheralingam was Professor of Mathematics at the Ceylon University College (this is before University of Ceylon came into being in 1948 and now the university of Colombo). Suntheralingam was born in 1895 and how could he have been at Peradeniya which was designed by Sir Patrick Abercombie in early 1950’s who also designed Central London. You are trying to portray Suntheralingam as a violent man. It must have been a cartoon by celebrated cartoonists like Collette, Wijesoma or Opatha. DIG R. Suntheralingam who was SP Jaffna at the time knows all the episode what happened at the temple. Anyway I don’t offend you for your ignorance but appreciate you have asked to be enlightened. Suntheralingam will be a name associated with Lord Shiva (Lord Saman in buddhism)

    • 1
      0

      I think the Sinhalese call Adam’s Peak Samanalakanda, the Cartographer Ptolemy Uli Pada and Manimekalai as Samanoli. If you are right, would it not have been more natural for the Tamil Nadu author of the latter to use the name Sivanoli?

    • 0
      0

      Siva, please refer to the comment by Backlash above (Backlash
      April 20, 2017 at 9:18 pm) in response to my query.
      I assure you it was not a cartoon but a real photo of a well known Tamil personality at the time. I only wanted to clear my curiosity.

      Perhaps Dr. Hoole might be able to shed some light on this episode.

      Soma

  • 2
    1

    Dear Prof.Ratnajeevan,

    Thanks for your excellent article. You have done well. Ofcourse your acidic snippets are to be expected,

    As you are aware ,19th century Jaffna Tamils got caught up in a special time warp. They just emerged fom Dutch Christian evanjelism and waded straight into the strict orthodox Hinduism preached by Navalar,

    Navalar had his own firebrand orthodox views , many of which are not at all admissible in Hinduism. But, cooped up in closed Jaffna society Navalar attained the status of a Moses. I am aware of this as my ancestors were his students and desciples.

    Mr.Sundaralingam was an eminent example.His western education did not extend to reading far and wide about Hinduism.Anyway he was a giant in his own way,intellectually.

    Only once I saw him in 1960’s at Mullaithivu rest house demolishing a big plate of mutton curry all alone. It must have been more than 1/2 kilo !!

    Later I studied about him and came to the conclusion that his intellectual superiority and high caste status would have been the driving forces of his life.

    You, yourself had beent at St.John’s College,Jaffna like myself and would have across similar examples in school life.I certainly came acroos such types.

  • 2
    1

    We badly need reviews like this. The Suntharalingam family has put out a book with several apparently incorrect claims — Queens tutor, mother supporting Suntha and bros from her money, man with D.S. Senanayake, Ealamist voting against Indians. He lived only recently and was supporting caste. He failed when his grandchildren divorced, married outside system, etc.

    A good review must bring out the exaggerations in the book and compare with his real life. We can’t argue that those were different time. The claims are being made today in 2016 book. We do not want this propaganda to win.

    I am grateful for having my knowledge improved.

    I read 4 other reviews. Radhika Coomarasamy, Ponnuthurai Sarvan, Uyangoda and others too. They all say good book. Clearly not true after this review.

    Reviewer must review for the reader to tell whether to buy the book to read or ignore it. Loyalty must be to us not author. We need review like this to do what reviews must do.

  • 1
    1

    Mama S,

    ‘Cantankerous’, ‘venomous’ etc … you might quickly run through the vocabulary of denunciation. About the two ladies, nothing offensive, their experience was common and human enough and things seem to have worked out well for them.

    Mama, you seem to have lived in a time and age where a growing up youth had to pretend that he lived like a hermit in splendid Himalayan isolation and forbore to touch a pretty young maiden even with a barge pole. But who can deny that during our university days, girls were the spice of life? And our wise mothers who were conscious of this reality kept warning us, ‘safety in numbers’!

    Girls identified boys whom they could trust and had fewer inhibitions about their company or in indulging in some light banter with them. That is all the writer has said about Anjalendran, who would no doubt accept it as a compliment in the spirit in which it was meant. There is nothing ‘salacious’ about it except to a dirty mind.

    Mama, we may be both getting old, but let the young enjoy themselves within limits. I have indulged in some hyperbole about old times. But I don’t think university life was ever very different. We occasionally hear gossip about an uncle’s earlier attachment to one, whom circumstances decreed, he could not marry. Let us keep young at heart, be clean in mind and keep your denunciatory vocabulary for a more suitable occasion.

  • 11
    0

    My grandfather was prevented from entering the Maviddapuram temple by C. Suntharalingam and his wooden club. CS today, will have to prevent granddaughter Dhanyalakshmi and her (supposedly) low caste husband Premakumar, and granddaughter Stanford Anandalakshmi and her half Chinese half Indian husband from entering the same temple. You reap what you sow! Ironically Dhanyalakshmi and Premakumar now feel that both Stanford graduate son Sunthar and daughter Indu have married below their educational qualifications.
    The now supposedly caste conscious Anandalingam got nephew Sunthar a master’s degree place without a scholarship at University of Pennsylvania and hoped that Sunthar will marry his daughter – which did not happen.
    Thankfully, today there is no caste discrimination at temples in Jaffna.

    • 6
      2

      Vicky
      Thanks for saying some of these things.
      Sadly not all temples.
      There is a category of ‘private’ temples that still discriminate.

    • 5
      0

      Vicky,

      “Thankfully, today there is no caste discrimination at temples in Jaffna.”

      I am sad to point out this is not the case in some temples in the peninsula.

      I can understand the old habits among the common masses but people like CS and some professionals with good education from reputable universities also encourage this despicable conduct. This is partly due to many who turn a blind eye to the social sinfulness.

      Discrimination based on birth – colour, race, gender and caste – must be made a criminal offence as in some civilised countries.

      It’s pointed out that even some candidates in the race to the top administrative job at the university of Jaffna openly promote casteism.

    • 0
      0

      Is Anandalingam not a Catholic now? Would the mother who insisted on Anandalingam’s conversion allow their daughter to marry a Hindu? Or are all these good caste Tamils (as they describe themselves) willing to convert to maximize advantage?

      • 4
        0

        So if Anand is now brother in Christ, Hoole should forgive the letter and have tea with him.

        Simbly curious, Is he Kerala Syrian Orthodox? Then you can’t become one even by conversion or marriage, you have to be born one. Caste.

      • 1
        0

        Wow! Prof. Deepa Anandalingam is better than any Jaffna Tamil woman.

        Deepa Ollapally Associate Director, the Sigur Center for Asian Studies on Tamil issues in SL

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3k7mInefg8A

  • 1
    6

    I think Hoole’s point here and elsewhere that there is an anti-christian streak in Jaffna is proved by these comments

    • 0
      0

      There is caste problem in North-East. Progress is painstakingly slow, because Sinhala Appe Aanduwa wants that stay at the level to keep them in the arrangement of one manage other so at the end Aanduwa has to manage the remaining one. Cost wise very cheap, and the blames go to Tamils.

      So, there may be one or two points, but then the other point is, if there is any point in author’s endeavors on that matter, author doesn’t get the point that he is trying to bring out on this matter. That is Suntharalingam and Shanmugathasan always remained at the media level, could not go beyond to catch the minds of relevant castes people they attempted to represent. V. Ponnambalam is also no different. FP, TULF & TNA have been always unchallengeable on elections. Caste and religious politics cannot even dream in North. Inserting a MMDA within Tamils is not easy.

      So far author failed to reconcile with university administration, NPC, Appe Aanduwa and his old colleagues, EPDP to get support for Jaffna VC. But his hero SJV taught Tamil Hindu crowds the politics.(Until standardization, he was success in that with Muslims too- then Muslim Leadership broke up with him for their perks.) So the point is, Author may have to explain the reason for his failure and his idol, SJV’s success.

      Suntharalingam backstabbed on oppressed castes in favors of Vellala. Suntharalingam backstabbed the upcountry Tamils in favors of North-East. The lesson author has to learn is, he would turn out to be sincere to his writing rather than following Suntharalingam and Shanmugathasan’s path and face the same failure he too. If he is in backstabbing on one religion in favors of another, on his bed, at his last days, he may request the nurse to label it “C.SUNTHARALINGAM”.

  • 4
    1

    One cannot explain every thing with the streak theory.

  • 3
    1

    S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole’s article has very little review of the book but a lot about himself. He must realise that his narcissism shows and is pretty ugly. Such people have very little administrative/managerial acumen. No wonder he was not welcomed as VC Jaffna University. Enough of the man Hoole.

    Elementary research shows that the Suntharalingam’s family are great achievers and have this competitive steak in them – as evidenced by his siblings and descendants. Perhaps a report card will read:
    Brilliant mind (in the commonly accepted sense),
    He was somewhat eccentric but lacked common sense,
    He enjoyed swimming against the wind,
    He needed to be in the limelight – (but so are many others for
    example xxxxx fill the xxxxx)
    He foresaw the parlous direction the country was going – no doubt
    helped by the new found fad “democracy”.

    My elders tell me that at an early fifties political meeting, Senator Nadesan referred to Suntharalingam as a rogue Vanni buffalo. Agree with Nadesan – may be unkind. His dedication to bridle the growth of the infamous injustice is beyond reproach.

    My elders tell me that Suntharalingam not opposed to temple entry but the way this was imposed – sort of rubbing in that Tamils only have this caste system. This theme is being exploited even now by the likes of Izeth, Mahindapala.

    What the hell has the popularity of grandson with females got to do with Suntharalingam? Some one has worked on the pedigree of the spouses of great-grand children. And of course there is this newly created Hindu/Christian divide being used.

    Several commenters have descended to spreading unsubstantiated rumors about Suntharalingam’s children, grand-children and great-grand-children. For example a twit brought Galleon in. One idiot suggested that low caste are inherently unclean.

    Suntharalingam was the first to start a Tamil liberation movement.

    • 0
      0

      “My elders tell me that Suntharalingam not opposed to temple entry “

      A suck up talking Shop. Only people who have caste troubles, people who have race troubles up their ancestry go around brandishig a baton.

      When they say Suntharalingam. M. A. (Oxon) brandishing a baton and physically using it on a the marginalized it is against the very principles of Oxford University or any Uni for that matter.

      This is a thadi shame on the College. Those who were victims must write to Oxford University must appeal for a repeal of his degree.

      You must act or perish.

      When Sri Satkunarajah comes (God Forbid) the game will continue just to get a step up for himself.

      • 1
        0

        Oxon,

        “When Sri Satkunarajah comes (God Forbid) the game will continue just to get a step up for himself.”

        He and many others want to use a baton to force people into the temples not to keep them out. Whether they identify out castes as people is another matter.

    • 0
      0

      “Several commenters have descended to spreading unsubstantiated rumors about Suntharalingam’s children, grand-children and great-grand-children. For example a twit brought Galleon in.”

      Unsubstantiated rumors? Who?

      The Galleon Group was one of the largest hedge fund management firms in the world, … Founded, 1997. Founder, Raj Rajaratnam Ari Arjavalingam … “Former Galleon Trader Franz Tudor Key to Galleon Case”. Dealbreaker.

      Tell Wikipedia to correct its site then.

      He is Jaffna Tamil’s Bill Gates now. Guess never been to America

      • 1
        0

        I remember that Arjavalingam left Galleon long before the start of any alleged insider trading at the firm. So don’t make unsubstantiated allegations.

        • 0
          0

          Unsubstantiated allegations? What?

          Co -Founder? Brilliant?

          • 0
            0

            I thought you were being sarcastic and insinuating that the Galleon affiliation implied fraud because of the allegations concerning insider trading that came later. If you didn’t mean to be sarcastic, then you can ignore my comment.

            • 1
              0

              Agnos has made it clear that not everyone in Galleon is necessarily crooked.

              But all those Lankans who invested with Galleon and lost the hard-earned bribes are.

              Commenter Galleon is too thick to realize that his insinuations are unfounded.

        • 1
          0

          When Indrajit K took over as Governor CBSL too they used the same tar brush.
          Galleon is a bad name. So are many more businesses. Not all partners are crooks.
          It is nasty to throw charges without evidence at people who cannot defend themselves against each loose tongue.
          In another country the anonymity cover could be blown and one would be dragged to courts for defamation.

  • 0
    6

    I feel pity for the Lingam family. Despite academic brilliance, they had to work hard, spend most of their life overseas and compete with the best in the world and still earn peanuts. Take for example Anandalingam winner of Turner prize at Royal College (for best all round student)with degrees from Cambridge University and a Phd from Harvard University (two of the top universities in the world) and been Professor at the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania he earned USD 324,000 per year as Dean at Smith School, University of Maryland. But compare with other Royalists like Ken Balendra and Susantha Ratnayake who may have only the GCE O/Ls (and definitely good sporting backgrounds) but earn much more as Chairman of John Keells both in terms of remuneration and shareholdings/ investment income.

    This is why an overseas education and migration is not always beneficial. Better live in Sri Lanka with Maithripala and Ranil, along with MaRa and Gota!!!

    • 3
      0

      Your tongue-in-cheek comment comparing Anandalingam to Ken Balendra and other Royalists reminded me of something else.

      While Anandalingam has good experience as an academic administrator, from the perspective of research contributions, inventions, etc., two other Royalists, Ajit P.Yoganathan and Kumar Wickramasinghe, have been admitted to the National Academy of Engineering in the US. These two are the only Sri Lankans ever admitted to the NAE.

      I am personally familiar with the work of some NAE members at Stanford whose claims are very much questionable, so I don’t always hold accolades like NAE membership sacrosanct, but it shows there are many different aspects to excellence, and different ways of measuring it.

    • 0
      0

      R
      What is the case pleaded here?
      Money is the only measure of success?

      If a premature school leaver turns out to be a greater ‘success’ than a learned person, and we are to generalize the ‘logic’, what is the lesson for us?
      Close down all universities and all upper school?

  • 7
    1

    A person who got tutored in Colombo, by Dhanya (Dhanyalakshmi) in the mid 1980s told me that she was shamelessly boasting about her family background, when looking for a “highly intelligent and high social standing” Tamil Hindu groom for her younger sister in California, (Stanford) Anandalakshmi now known as Ani Gnanalingam. Dhanya would aggressively boast about how great a man her grandfather was, during her maths tution class. Ani Gnanalingam looked down on the SL Tamil men at Stanford, and went against her parents’ wishes to marry, the half Chinese half Indian, Kim (Prasenjit) Gupta.

    Dhanya got kicked out of her parents’ home at Abdul Caffoor Mawatha, Colpetty, in 1981, and then married her neighbor, the printing press operator/manager, Thirunavukarasu Premakumar. This was the scandal of the year, in Colombo Tamil society.
    Anandalingam has boasted during interviews published on the web, that his role model was his grandfather, the great CS!

    If all these conceited grandchildren have admitted that CS had some serious flaws (especially caste issue and temple entry), I will not be writing this comment today. My grandfather, family members and thousands of others suffered physical and mental abuse, from CS and other so called high caste hindus in 1960s Jaffna, during the temple entry crisis.

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      “If all these conceited grandchildren have admitted that CS had some serious flaws (especially caste issue and temple entry), I will not be writing this comment today.”

      Or me. We had to stomach their stupid pride.

      The other girl no better. She was at Peradeniya Maths Department. Never spoke to Tamil batchas at the Sc. Faculty. She looked at us as if we were all lepers and even wore layers to protect herself from us. I think She believes she was born at Buckingham Palace. They said she wanted to marry in Cambridge so we did not waste our time trying to talk. She then left Peradeniya and apparently ended up in Colombo Uni and dropped a bombshell- “we won’t even drink a drop of water in their house” (Avayinda veetila oru thuli thanneer kooda kudickcka maattom” is a very much primitive caste insult.) He did not deserve that at all. He was the best Mathematician we had, no caste issues there. He was Christian or Catholic or something. His students were all so hurt. I cannot understand how anybody who enters Uni dont want to make friends at least with their own batchmates at least out of intellectual curiosity or for simple manners.. There were other Colombo girls in our batch too. May be Einstein’s inverse equation specifically applies here.

      I do not even understand why Mr. and Mrs. Gnanalingam brought up their daughters on such false boasts. So out of touch with the Tamil people. No wonder they are all marrying outside. They are not Tamils anymore.

      Now this Mr. Anjalendran goes and puts them all in print presumably to educate another generation of illiterate Tamils who for them are the rest of us.

      They think we are all mad or what?

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        The other girl you mention who initially was the caste fanatic at Peradeniya Maths Department, was child number 2 of Dr. S. Gnanalingam, born around 1955. Name is Pushpalakshmi. Did a Ph.D in maths from a very ordinary Univ in USA. Parents arranged a marriage to Tamil medical specialist in UK whose older brother was a top UK qualified medical specialist in SL. But this woman from day one of the marriage wanted to dominate the husband because she insisted that she was more intelligent than him. So marriage ended quickly.

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          “Gnanalakshmi believed in living by the Hindu shastras”

          Externally perhaps, and in great detail too.

          Why did she walk out of her marriage with her infant child if she religiously lived by the Hindu Shastras? Never heard of women following the shastras and breaking up their family.

          Prof. Hoole, don’t cut too much slack for such a person. Otherwise the young girls reading your column too will get ideas and think that it is ok culture. Once you have a kid, both stay put unless you are beaten or something. Their parents should have never have taken her back and broken that marriage up.

          A Hindu mother even if she is the goddess herself:
          1. thinks first of her child before herself. This lady deprived her child of knowing/enjoyng the affections of his father.

          2. A Hindu wife listens to her husband. “Kallanalum, pullanalum”. Don’t insult our culture.

          Ayn was neither kallu nor pullu. He was a nice fellow at Peradeniya. They treated him badly.

          What for their certificates? She is till as hard-hearted as ever, sadly.

          Ettuch churaikkai karikkuthavaathu- You can’t make curry with a gourd written on paper.

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    Some commnents have appeared (SJ, Rasa, Nadesan, Ponnuthurai) on the University Teachers for Human Rights. Why, K.Pillai, is it cowardly to use that name now?

    Thank you Visa/Visali for the correct record.

    Thuraiarajah did not “derecognize” UTHR as Sivasegaram claims. By now we should know he must have a say on every topic and writes anything he wants without reference to fact. Where is the instrument of de-recognition?

    Prof. Thurairajah was indeed the National Co-Chairman of UTHR with Prof. H. Sriyananda and the Patron of UTHR (Jaffna). The parent UTHR was formed during the JVP insurgency in the South. It was felt important to be national so Thurairajah was roped in as Patron for the Jaffna branch and he in turn asked Rajan Hoole and Sritharan to organize the Jaffna Branch. I recall some 200 academics from Jaffna joined.

    The following resolution was put to the Council of University of Jaffna by agents of the LTTE in their style of English and passed at the 142nd meeting of the Council of University of Jaffna held on January 18, 1992:-

    “It has been brought to the notice of the Council of University of Jaffna that a publication titled ‘Human rights in Jaffna’ has been put out in the name of the University Teachers for Human Rights – Jaffna Branch.

    “The council wishes to inform the public that this publication is neither a publication of the University of Jaffna nor any of its teachers are associated with this publication.
    Signed. Prof.A. Thurairajah Vice – Chancellor.”

    The fact is there was never a publication called “Human Rights in Jaffna.” Insofar as this claim is concerned, therefore, it was totally true that the LTTE stooges brought this claim about a non-existent book to the attention of the Council which neither the university nor teachers of the university had anything to do with.

    Instead of arguing the matter and getting another draft on the “Reports of the UTHR,” Thuraiajah signed this truthful statement which had no meaning, given that there was no such publication. The LTTE went away carrying a statement that was truthful but had no meaning.

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      Dr Jeevan Hoole,

      “Thuraiajah signed this truthful statement which had no meaning, given that there was no such publication. The LTTE went away carrying a statement that was truthful but had no meaning.”

      Amusing. Thank you.

      I expect that somebody takes up what the CM has stated on Jesus so that we can comment.

    • 1
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      “By now we should know (Sivasegaram) must have a say on every topic and writes anything he wants without reference to fact.”

      That is rather rich coming from someone who writes long pieces on many a matter in which his knowledge is a little more than incomplete.

      • 0
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        ” his knowledge is a little more than incomplete.” Even for Auvayar “Kattrathu Kaimmannalavu”.

        That is better than ” without reference to fact.” = total lies from Sivasegaram SJ

        Prof. Hoole has record readership among us academics and our students for some reason.

  • 0
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    It looks like only a few fools (including Marxists who worshiped the LTTE at that time) read “de-registration” of UTHR into that statement in their wishful thinking.

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      If any Marxist did ‘worship’ the LTTE (like VBKarunaratne is accused by some) he/she was as bad as any non-Marxists who did, and as bad as any who played ball with various governments for personal gain.
      If “Thuraiarajah did not “derecognize” UTHR” to the faithful, so be it.
      But Thurairajah consistently dissociated the UTHR(J) from the UoJ and was attacked for that all along. The harsh words that two UTHR(J) members (or was it just one?) had for Thurairajah did not amuse any.

      UTHR(J)’s morality in continuing to use the name was openly challenged several times in the 1990’s; the UTHR(J) did not respond (but for a few personal threats much later).
      That was a degree worse than VB Karunaratne using the name NLF after destroying the NLF alliance, and V Anandasangaree using the name TULF taking advantage of the CBK presidency.(VBK yielded some years later, but too late. VA is holding fast.)

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    Typical Sivasegaram statement:

    “UTHR(J)’s morality in continuing to use the name was openly challenged several times in the 1990’s; the UTHR(J) did not respond (but for a few personal threats much later).”

    He implies that UTHR issued threats. But the phrase is so deliberately bad that he can back out and say that someone else threatened UTHR.

    It is not in the style of UTHR to threaten anyone. I have heard it said that Sivasegaram has justified LTTE murders saying it is an unfortunate but necessary step on the way to Marxist Utopia! The revolutionary method of Mao I suppose.

    PS: According to a comment, he has asked permission from the Council to respond. Is he writing here without that permission then? By writing as SJ he is having it both ways. He is good boy who writes by different names.

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      I was threatened, and the same person assaulted someone at the MIRJE.
      There are witnesses for both.

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