20 October, 2021

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Chelva – The Patriarch Of A Persecuted People

By Karikalan S. Navaratnam

Karikalan S. Navaratnam

44th  Death Anniversary of S.J.V. Chelvanayakam was on 26th April 2021

Mr. S.J.V. Chelvanayakam (Chelva) passed away on 26th April 1977. He was born in Ipoh, Malaya (now, Malaysia) on 31st March 1898. He was one of the founding fathers of Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK), which spearheaded the Tamils’ struggle against persecution and majoritarian oppression by successive pan-Sinhala governments in Ceylon (now, Sri Lanka ). ITAK’s prime political objective was to secure regional autonomy for the Tamil-speaking habitats of Northern-Eastern Provinces under a Federal structure of government. For this reason ITAK was also called ‘the Federal Party’ (FP), mainly by the media and the Southern politicians. Chelva was the father figure and the moral force of the campaign for freedom from Sinhala suzerainty.  Since he epitomised the core values of the Tamil crusade for freedom, equality and justice, Chelva was – and is still – adored by Eelam Tamils and the global Tamil fraternity as “Thanthai Chelva”.

1947-General Election

At the 1947 General Elections Chelva was elected as M.P. for Kankesanthurai (KKS) electorate from the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) Party, led by  G.G. Ponnambalam  (GGP). GGP himself was elected M.P for Jaffna. That was the maiden General Election held under the Soulbury Constitution and the ACTC, with 7  M.Ps emerged as the main mouthpiece of ‘Ceylon’ Tamils while the Ceylon-Indian Congress (later, in 1950, rechristened as “Ceylon Workers Congress”) led by Mr. S. Thondaman, with 7 M.Ps, remained the sole representative voice of the hill-country Tamils  (“Malayaha” Tamils).

S.J.V. Chelvanayakam

New Masters!

On 4th February 1948, Ceylon attained ‘independence’. It was only a changing of the guards – rather, the masters.  Sinhala Leaders, utilizing their racial numerical strength and exploiting the misplaced trust of Tamil leaders, assumed the role of new masters and became the sole arbiters of the affairs of the country. In the process, Tamils were relegated to live as second/third class citizens. The ‘blessed’ independence had unleashed evil forces of ultranationalist ethnocrats who were determined to brutalize the body politic of this country, maybe, till doomsday !.

Legislative assaults

Our first Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake, ostensibly called ‘the Father of the Nation’, had ulterior plans to politically eviscerate the ethnic Tamils. He started off auspiciously with deadly legislative assaults on Malayaha Tamils, rendering about one million Tamils stateless. Three pieces of legislation, Ceylon Citizenship Act of 1948, Indian and Pakistani Residents (Citizenship) Act of 1949  and the Ceylon (Parliamentary Elections) Amendment Act of 1949 effectively stripped the Malayaha Tamils  of their citizenship and franchise. As a direct consequence, their  seven M.Ps lost their seats overnight and, as a corollary, Sinhala representation in Parliament increased by 7 additional seats.

Advent of ITAK – Federal Party

When GGP, with his other M.Ps, struck a deal with D.S. Senanayake, accepted Ministries and supported these legislations in Parliament, two M.Ps –  S.J.V. Chelvanayagam and  C.Vanniasingham (Kopay M.P.) together with Dr. E.M.V. Naganathan  (then, a Senator) protested against this betrayal and  broke away from the ACTC. On 18 Dec. 1949, Chelva and his colleagues launched the ITAK (Federal Party) at the GCSU hall in Colombo.

At this inaugural meeting, Chelva enunciated the ITAK vision for a Federal State:

This is then the solution that we ask for: a Federal constitution for Ceylon consisting of an autonomous Tamil speaking province and an autonomous Sinhalese province with a Central Government common to both. This is the minimum provision necessary to prevent the smaller Tamil-speaking nation from extinction, or of being absorbed by the larger nation…… A federal constitution is an ideal worthy of being achieved and works no injustice to anybody and certainly not to the Sinhalese people……We have no misgivings about the difficulty of the task ahead of us. The task must be done and can be done.”

Gal Oya colonization

Further, Chelva recounted the government’s various measures which politically debilitated the Tamils and posed an existential threat to them. He sounded an alarm on state-sponsored Sinhala colonization under Gal-Oya scheme as the thin end of the wedge. Tamils feared that Sinhala colonization would change the demographic structure of Tamil areas and render them minorities –an endangered species – in their own habitats. The Gal-Oya project had its savage spin-off:

Gal Oya massacre

1956 Gal Oya massacre was the first organized slaughter of Tamils in independent Ceylon. Sinhalese colonists and Gal Oya Development Board employees commandeered government vehicles, and weapons and went on a killing spree. The carnage continued for five days, from 11 June 1956, claiming the lives of over 150 Tamils. Gal-Oya killings followed on the heels of another attack on Tamils in Colombo on 5th June.

Chelva  defeated

At the 1952 General Election, the FP suffered severe defeat at the hands of the ACTC, which was a UNP surrogate in the North. The pro-government ‘ThinakaranTamil daily from Lake House carried the lead story in banner headlines:

Samashdikku  Saavumani” (‘Death knell  for Federalism’). Even Chelva himself lost his KKS seat to a UNP proxy S. Natesan, who was backed by ACTC. It was agrim spectre for the fledgeling Federal Party. Mercifully for the FP, even in the midst of dense darkness, there were two sparks that flashed across the Tamil political firmament – one in the North and the other in the East. In Kopay electorate (North), sitting M.P.  Vanniasingam won by a narrow margin of 210 votes and in Trincomalee (East), N.R. Rajavarothayam won by 586 votes. For Chelva and his colleagues the die was cast, and there was no turning back.

1956 Elections

At the 1956 General election, even as SLFP-MEP swept the polls in the South,  the FP emerged victorious in North-East Provinces. Henceforth, until 2020, either the FP or FP-led political configurations – be it the TULF or the TNA – remained the dominant voice of the Tamils. (BTW: Courtesy, Sampanthan-Sumanthiran-Senathirajah troika’s treacherous ‘Yahapalanaya’ cohabitation (2015-19), TNA lost its clout by 2020) . Tamil citizenry at large, cutting across partisan, regional or religious barriers, pledged their loyalty to Chelva and accepted him as their sole leader. It is to their credit, that they have resolutely remained as a secular nation. Chelva had been a practising Christian and it was never an inhibiting issue for his faithful flock – multitude of Hindus who constituted the majority of the Tamils.

Galle Face ‘Satyagraha

In response to anti-Tamil measures introduced by ethnocratic rulers, the FP organized resistance campaigns following the Gandhian creed. On 5th June 1956 when SWRD introduced the ‘Sinhala Only’ Bill in Parliament, FP conducted a Satyagraha’ (Sit-in) protest on the Galle Face Green, just across the (old) Parliament building. Hundreds of them, including Chelva, other M.Ps, Rev. Father Thaninayagam and party volunteers were engaged in silent peaceful protest. Even as armed police officers surrounded them and kept watch, scores of hoodlums led by K.M.P. Rajaratne (Welimada M.P)  set upon them and beat them up. The mob attacked the ‘Satyagrahis’ with clubs, cudgels and stones and robbed them of their money, rings, wrist watches etc. Chelva’s  son Manoharan, a bystander – who intervened only to help the ‘battered and  bleeding’ volunteers to be taken to hospital – was pounced on and beaten up. Chelva remained stoically  silent watching the attacks on his son. A ‘cannibal’ from among the hoodlums had bitten off a piece from the ear of a party stalwart, Chelliah,  from Thunnalai, Karaveddy. Dr. E.M.V. Naganathan, attacked and stripped to his underwear, was chased down to the Galle Face Hotel. Some volunteers were carried bodily and dumped into the Beira Lake nearby. In full riot gear, the Police passively watched the ‘fun’ !

Wounds of war’

Thereafter, the mob invaded the downtown area and embarked on a looting spree attacking Tamil stores and business outlets. Parliament was in session debating the ‘Sinhala Only’ Bill. When Amirthalingam M.P. entered the chamber, with a head bandage for injuries sustained during the morning attacks, Prime Minister SWRD mockingly greeted him with the words, “Wounds of War!”. 

Emergency ‘58

The 1958 (22-29 May) anti-Tamil pogrom executed by savage mobs in liaison with rabid racist elements of ‘Pancha Maha Balavegaya’, claimed the lives and limbs of over a thousand Tamils, besides countless incidents of rape, arson and looting. Award-winning journalist Tarzie Vittachi, in his ‘Emergency ’58 gives a detailed account of the gruesome events. The gory incidents are too many and are too distressing to recount here. While the carnage had deepened the division between the Sinhala-Tamil communities, some articulate sections of Tamils blamed the FP for their grief and losses. To Chelva, the brutal experience was baptism by fire.’ Evidently, even in the shadows of despair Chelva had emerged unscathed. Let’s see what Tarzie Vittachi  says: 

“Only one shred of prestige still remained—the indestructible reputation for integrity that Federal Leader S. J. V. Chelvanayakam had earned. Even in the face of such an overwhelming adversity, this reputation held.” ( per Emergency ’58 )

Arrests & Detention

In the wake of the 1958 pogrom, the FP was proscribed and Chelva and Dr. Naganathan were placed under House Arrest while the other M.Ps were detained at Gall Face Hotel. Speaking of detention, in 1958  Chelva had served two weeks jail term in Batticaloa jail for participating in the anti-Sri campaign. In 1961, when Mrs. Bandaranaike sought to intensify the exclusive use of Sinhala in all areas of administration including as the ‘Courts Language’ throughout the island, the FP launched a Civil Disobedience Campaign in protest. The ‘Satyagraha’ which started on 20th Feb. 1961 went on- I guess- for over three months, paralysing the civil administration in North-East Provinces. On the 1st day of the campaign in front of the Jaffna Kachcheri, SP Arndt gave orders to his riot squad: “Hammer them out”. Many satyagrahis, including Amirthalingam, Dr. Naganathan, and lawyer S. Nadarajah (later, a Senator) suffered severe injuries.

Panagoda detention

The satyagraha was broken up using brute force. Chelva and other participants were arrested and detained in the Army Cantonment building at Panagoda. While under detention, the government allowed Chelva to proceed to London for urgent medical treatment. If I may strike a personal note, as a young student I have had the privilege of being detained at Panagoda with Chelva and others. Previously, in 1958, I had also participated in the anti-Sri campaign and spent a day in Jaffna police custody.

Spartan life of a Q.C

In his heyday, Chelva was one of the leaders of the legal profession – had received silk as a King’s Counsel (since 1952, a Q.C.). As a civil lawyer he had a lucrative practice, mostly pitted against legal luminaries like H.V. Perera K.C. in the Superior Courts. Chelva had spent a fortune on party activities.  Perhaps, he was the only Q.C. who had lived throughout in a rented house, in Colombo. I had seen him commuting by CTB bus between Parliament and home. The introduction of Sri’ vehicle numbers was in 1958. Until his last days, the only vehicle he owned was an old CY or CN series car. An anecdote: Chelva had a (Sinhala) driver working for him for many years. The driver took pride in working for a VIP, driving him around to meet VVIPs at high-end places. But, he had a nagging grudge – the poor condition of the vehicle and his friends had been teasing him and making fun out of it. He had brought it to the notice of Mrs. Chelva. But, his boss had dismissed the complaint with a smile.

Breach of faith

With a view to resolving the ethnic issue, Chelva had entered into solemn agreements with successive Sinhala leaders, based on implicit trust. To his dismay, they were unilaterally abrogated or abandoned by the government leaders. It has always been a foul history of betrayal and breach of faith on the part of Sinhala leaders. Bandaranaike-Chelvanayagam Pact (1957), SLFP – FP  Understanding (1960), Dudley-Chelva Agreement (1965) are typical examples.

After 1960 (March) General Election, UNP formed a minority government under Dudley. FP refused to support Dudley to stabilize his government. SLFP, under its leader C.P. de Silva, asked for FP support  to form a government, promising to revive and implement the BC Pact.  Chelva refused, saying, “We have lost everything. Let’s now save at least our honour.” However, he was ready to oust the Dudley government and the understanding was that SLFP leaders would address the Tamil issue on the basis of BC Pact, after a fresh election. Dudley government was defeated in April 1960. By this time, Srimavo had got ready to assume SLFP leadership. At the 1960 July Election SLFP won 75 seats and the FP 16 seats (in a House of 151 seats). Now that Srimavo had got enough seats to cobble up a SLFP government of Sinhala nationalists, she ditched the SLFP-FP talks, damned the Tamil demands and proceeded to strengthen her Sinhala base. 

Trust deficit

Thus, Sinhala leaders’ treacherous traits were daunting. Their subsequent manoeuvres seeking to wriggle out of the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord and dilute the 13A (after promising to provide for 13+), repudiation of Ban-ki-Moon -Mahinda Joint Communique on Accountability, gimmicks at the UNHRC, brazenly reneging on previous Geneva commitments etc. have created a miasma of distrust and has gradually led to the trust deficit ever undermining Sinhala-Tamil relationship.

Conclusion

From my teen years I have had the good fortune of personally associating with FP leaders – initially with Mr. C. Vanniasingam. He was the life-wire of the FP, until his premature death at 47 (1959) . Dr. Naganathan had treated me like his own son. Mr. Amirthalingam and other frontline leaders had treated me with lot of affection. Aside from them, Chelva had a different, distinct personality. By a fortuitous bond, I had come under the spell of Chelva. On several occasions I had accompanied him to outlying areas for campaigns. When I was called to the Bar, my friends organized a get-together at Wellawatte and Chelva had graced the occasion with his presence and blessed me.  His sagely leadership, resolute spirit, and selfless service for the emancipation of our people have carved out a niche for him in the annals of Tamil history. His  political manifesto is still relevant and defines the aspirations of the Tamils. From his heavenly abode, Chelva continues to inspire his persecuted people.

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Latest comments

  • 4
    14

    Chelva a racist Tamil similar to Anagarika Dharmapala on the Sinhala Buddhist camp.

    • 9
      14

      May be for a Sinhalese racist for you? No winder you call yourself Wimpy. Unlike the South Indian immigrant origin Catholic born homeless one who was preaching delusional racist superiority , Chelvanayagam never preached racism or marginalization for discrimination of other people. He only fought for the just rights of the oppressed Tamils. This may be racism for Sinhalese racists.

    • 3
      9

      Whimpy Kid

      “Chelva a racist Tamil similar to Anagarika Dharmapala on the Sinhala Buddhist camp.”

      Let me have his speeches/writings as proof please.
      Don’t bother with Anagarika’s speeches and writing as I have access to most of his rant.

  • 8
    8

    Sobering and necessary recollection of history and a key figure there of.

  • 13
    10

    Citizenship Act was not racist, as it targeted only plantation workers, not Tamils specifically. Since these people were brought here forcibly by colonialists for low-wage indentured servitude, why didn’t Britain or Holland offer them citizenship to make amends? What is the reason for opposition to Sinhala Only? In Germany, the national language is German, in Sweden, Swedish, in France, French, etc. What will happen if Tamils go to these countries and demand Tamil be a national language?

    • 4
      9

      Lester,
      .
      Don’t cherry-pick countries.

      .
      It is very difficult to carry on a discussion with Lester who respects the need for neither Truth nor Accuracy.
      .
      Elsewhere, yesterday, he had said that there is no difference between first and second.
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/arguing-with-racists/comment-page-1/#comment-2391050
      .
      The fact is that Tamil (in additon to Sinhala) is an “Official Language” in Sri Lanka. Your not wanting it is a different matter. I want it, although my knowledge is near zero. I’ve found this:
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_multilingual_countries_and_regions
      .
      To be truthful, let me direct your attention to the very top of that blog. Wikipedia tells you that the article is unsatisfactory. A note dated March 2021 tells you that its accuracy is disputed. In Singapore, Tamil is an official language. Dozens of countries have more than one official language; this could be further discussed, but I’d like to pause there for now.
      .
      English is designated a “Link Langauge” in Sri Lanka’s Constitution. I’m not checking each and every statement I make. Please point out if there is any inaccuracy in what I say.

      • 9
        2

        Sinhala_Man,

        “I want it, although my knowledge is near zero.”

        I agree, your knowledge of anything is close to zero. You are the same fool who said Rayappu Joseph had the same level of conviction as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, even though (according to you) Rayappu preferred to keep these to himself, while Bonhoeffer was executed in the concentration camp for speaking out against social injustice. Tamil is an official language in Singapore, but that does not mean anyone other than Tamils speak it. For Sinhalese to learn Tamil is a complete waste of time; they are better off learning English or Mandarin. For Tamils to learn Sinhala makes sense, as it is the language of the majority. You cannot run a business and expect a good profit if you are unable to communicate with the customer base. Muslims followed this advice and are doing very well economically today.

    • 2
      0

      Continued
      .
      To be more practical, think of the Languages available at Sri Lankan A. Levels: Sinhala, Tamil and English have really difficult “First Language” papers (with a Literary bent).
      .
      Ten other languages are now available: Pali, Sanskrit, Arabic, Malay, French, German, Russian, Hindi, Chinese, and Japanese. The level of proficiency expected in the last eight are what would prevail at Grade Two in those countries. Pali and Sanskrit are treated as “Dead Languages”.
      .
      In 1967, one of my classmates actually did Greek and Latin. They are no longer available.
      .
      So, you see, English has a special status, as you would expect. Firs language proficiency is expected.
      .
      To forestall misunderstanding let me tell you that all A. Level candidates are required to sit the relatively easy “General English” papers. Getting through those papers doesn’t allow a candidate to claim a pass in A. Level English, although it is of some use to the average student.

    • 10
      5

      “What will happen if Tamils go to these countries and demand Tamil be a national language?”

      The Germans, Swedes and French will shove a Toilet plunger on their heads and ask them to get back to work.

  • 8
    13

    Jester Thamizh is native to the island and Eezham Thamizh have a much older history in the island than the so called Chingkallams, most of whom are descended from fairly recent immigrants from South India. Just like the estate Thamizh. So why were they not deported back to India too? Do the Chingkallams also demand Chingkalla language when they migrate to these lands? You really indeed are a Jester but a very racist one

    • 13
      10

      No one believes your fake history, no matter how many times you write it. Tamils arrived on the island after Sinhalese. Sinhalese are a combination of the indigenous people and newcomers from Bengal/Orissa. The indigenous people were not Dravidian, as there is no genetic link between Veddas and Tamils.

      • 8
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        Jester neither do the Chingkallams have any genetic link with the Vedda. If the indigenous people were not Dravidian what were they? Please do not post rubbish. Other than one gerrymandered genetic test done in Colombo . All other DNA tests on the Chingkallams produce the same result . The Chingkallams are largely descended from Indian Thamizh and the so called Bengal/Orissa element in them is minor . The Chingkalla language only evolved after the arrival of Buddhism and the Pali/Prakrit language that came with it. The biggest contributor the Chingkalla language is Thamizh. Even now despite all the deliberate Sanskritization to prove Chingkallam is Indo Aryan 35-40% of Chingkalla vocabulary is derived from Thamizh. Its grammar, lexicon, syntax and alphabet is purely derived from Thamizh. Go and read what reputed Chingkalla historians and archeologists have wriiten . The Vedda are the original inhabitants of the island who crossed over from South India during prehistoric times and after then arrived Dravidian Thamizh and semi Thamizh speaking Naga and Yakka tribes from South India. This is why you see the Vedda were influenced by them and worshipped Thamizh god Lord Murgan, who the Chingkallams also worship as their war god, proving their Thamizh origin.

        • 13
          9

          Tiger Kutti,

          Refer to the UK study “HLA analysis of Sri Lankan Sinhalese predicts North Indian origin” from the “International Journal of Immunogenetics.”

          Summary

          The origin of the Sinhalese population of Sri Lanka is debated. We subtyped HLA‐A*02 in 101 Sinhalese and observed a preponderance of the rare allele HLA‐A*0211 which was similar to reported frequencies in northern India. Taken with low‐resolution typing for the remaining A, B, C, DR and DQ alleles, these data suggest a North Indian origin for the Sri Lankan Sinhalese.

          Keep barking your nonsense without factual evidence. There are more Portugese words in Sinhala than Tamil words. Does that mean Sinhalese are descended from Portugese?

          • 7
            12

            Oh yes the so called UK study done by some unknown professor during the Rajapakse era at the University of Colombo. Deliberately to refute all the findings that the Chingkallams are largely of Thamizh descent. Even as per your Mahavamsa fairy tale , other than the original migration of the so called Prince Vijajya and his 500 band of outlaws, all other migration to the island came from then Thamizh South India. Even this so called Prince and his 500 merry men had to go to the Thamizh Pandian country to obtain brides. Why did they not go to North India and obtain brides? Every one knows half the present day Chingkallams are descended from the South Indian indentured slave labour who were imported into the island during the Portuguese and Dutch era to do menia, work and to work in the huge southern spice estates. In addition to this the local Yakka population who largely converted to Buddhism and evolved as Chingkallams were also Dravidian speaking semi or proto Thamizh Elu. All this Dravidian Thamil ancestry and yet according to Chingkalla racists like you , Chinglkalams are Aryan. Cannot accept the obvious truth. Everything about the Chingkallams reek of Thamizh. As for the Chingkalla language please go and read what eminent Chingkalla historians and linguists have written. You are an out and out Chingkalla racist

          • 4
            10

            Lester,
            Who did this study? Can you get this UK scientists here to talk with them. Did they migrate from Lankawe? FYI:There is no pure North Indians. 80% of Indians’ content is Dravidian.
            (How did you get an English nickname? You dropped out your Sinhala Buddhist name to convince that you are not a Sinhala Buddhist racist? )

    • 2
      8

      Pandi Kutti,
      I challenged the blatant lies that you say several times with facts but you keep on repeating this rubbish. Probably as a descendant of a coolie brought to Sinhale by colonial rulers you must be getting some sort of a ‘Kick’ by repeating these lies.

    • 1
      2

      @PK
      When will you stop being just blatant racist? . You are degrading Tamils by speaking in this illiterate way. It’s 2021 but you still live in 1956. How old are you?. When your generation dies Sri Lanka will finally have peace. Both Sinhalese and Tamils of your generation preached racism to no end. And still makes them racist by igniting nonsense. You are truly pathetic. Your life is nothing but hate.

  • 6
    11

    S.J.V. Chelvanayagam Q.C. a leading Silk of the day passed away just a few months before the July 1977 General Elections where JRJ WON A LANDSLIDE VICTORY capturing 4/5 th of the seats in Parliament. The effects of that victory is still felt after 44years!

    The portrait of S.J.V. ADORNS THE MAIN HALL of S.T.C. Mt.Lavinia along with that of D.S.,DUDLEY. AND S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike. and a whole host of luminaries of a past generation.

    After leaving college, he obtained a Science degree of the University of London[ External since there were no Universities in Ceylon/Srilanka] and rejoined as a Teacher for a short while before he went over to Wesley college.
    Having entered Law College he passed out as an Advocate of the Supreme Court and within a short spell became a leading Silk of the day.

    But, alas he threw all that away to establish the Federal Party. His time,Energy,money all went towards the cause that he had espoused.

    If the B.C.Pact and the later Dudley- Chelva Pact was given a chance, the history of this country would have taken a positive political trajectory.
    No Armed Revolt, No Indian Intervention and there would have evolved a Home spun solution to the National Question.

    Srilanka is akin to a Sandwich now, pressed between India and China.

    • 2
      6

      Plato,
      “Home spun solution to the National Question.”

      What is the National Question?

      • 5
        8

        I would condescend to reply, first time ever though.

        Read the article by Edmund Samarakody: The National question in Srilanka.

        Also the Bibliographical Guide by Ian Goonetileke [Former Librarian University of Peradeniya ] ;July 1983 and the National Question in Srilanka.

        There are a whole host of others. But this should suffice.
        I dont want you to be choked with reading intellectual stuff. Take it in doses.
        Cheers!

      • 0
        4

        Eagle Eye
        .
        Once a tourist asked me this question
        I told him +50% of Tamils are occupying Sinhala majority areas and they refuse to go to a proposed Tamil only Homeland.

        Soma

        • 1
          4

          Soma
          Be fair.
          Had the N&E been developed through investment by successive governments, you would have today a sizeable Sinhalese population there that would be living in harmony with Tamils there.

      • 3
        10

        Eagle,
        The National Question is, why is there favouritism towards Tamils ? Why do they get all the top jobs, while Sinhalayo patriots run essential services like garbage collection? Very unfair! I am talking about Canada of course.

  • 4
    6

    SJVC shot to fame not for denouncing the citizenship legislation. He lost badly in KKS in 1952 as did Naganathan in Jaffna. Vanniyasingam won by a slim majority. Trincomalee was won more comfortably. The FP did not contest south of Trincomalee.
    *
    The concept of Tamil Speaking People was creditable, but was it followed up?
    *
    The FP had a larger territorial base than the ACTC, but its Federal State excluded the Hill Country Tamils, who were the justification for the founding of the Party.
    The proposed Federal state had no provision for the vast majority of Muslims and N&E Tamils resident outside the two provinces.
    The FP had effectively dumped the citizenship issue by 1957.
    And what were the issues on which it contested elections since 1956? Only language.
    *
    What kind of leadership did the FP offer a persecuted people?
    There are no rational answers but sentimental trivia doing the rounds.
    Sentiment has long dominated Tamil politics since 1956, even after the militants displaced the parliamentary leadership.
    There is a long long way to go.

    • 1
      0

      SJ

      “There is a long long way to go.” Which way to go? have you got a road map?

      Thanks

  • 12
    5

    “He started off auspiciously with deadly legislative assaults on Malayaha Tamils, rendering about one million Tamils stateless.”

    How many Tamils were actually deported? That is what actually matters. The author, who endorses separatism, refuses to provide this important fact. He also fails to mention that by the 1990’s, almost all of these Indian Tamils were given full citizenship. The author also fails to mention that Ponnambalam Ramanathan opposed universal franchise (voting rights) for the Indian Tamils:

    “However, the very concept of universal franchise was anathema to most of the political leaders of that era. Ponnambalam Ramanathan, a highly respected leader, opposed universal franchise as he felt that the caste system was an integral part of the Hindu way of life,[14] and led a delegation to London seeking to legally enshrine the caste hierarchy, and dethrone universal franchise.”

    Here you can see the real Jaffna Tamil attitude to the Indian Tamils. Until the Sinhalese passed the “Citizenship Act”, Indian Tamils were just low caste buggers who should not have the same rights as Vellalars.

    • 6
      10

      Lester,
      “How many Tamils were actually deported? That is what actually matters. The author, who endorses separatism, refuses to provide this important fact. He also fails to mention that by the 1990’s, almost all of these Indian Tamils were given full citizenship. “
      Do you really have to lie to win arguments? 280,000 people were repatriated under the Sirima-Shastri pact. If you can’t prove your fake history without outright lies, why not keep quiet?
      Grow up. This is an adult forum.

      • 12
        6

        Old Codger,

        There were 1,123,000 Indian Tamils in Ceylon/Sri Lanka in 1936. By your numbers, only 25% were deported. Did they teach you statistics in the LTTE training camp?

        • 7
          11

          Lester,
          If you want to know how many Indian Tamils were in the island, that’s what you should ask. If you ask how many were repatriated, you will get 280,000. Looks like the LTTE training camp teaches better English than the post-box “university” which accepted you as a refugee student.

          • 8
            7

            Old Codger,

            Looks like your brain power has fallen into the same state of dementia as Thalaivar in his bunker. Only 25% of Indian Tamils were deported as a result of the Citizenship Act, not all Tamils. 25% is not grounds for “racism.”

            FYI: it was the LTTE who were involved in human smuggling. Thala thel refugee business was very good for lawyers like the author, as the refugees needed to make up lies about being tortured and persecuted in order to claim asylum.

            • 6
              10

              Lester,
              Get caught lying, escape in a smoke screen. No wonder the Eelamists run rings around you fake patriots.

              • 10
                2

                Old Codger,

                Yes, you Eelamists suffer from selective amnesia. Giving useless statistics without any context. That is why your leadership was buried at Nanthikadal. Extra thala thel for Surangani!

            • 5
              10

              Lester,
              “He also fails to mention that by the 1990’s, almost all of these Indian Tamils were given full citizenship. “
              In 1962, there were nearly 975,000 people, classified by Ceylon as “Indian nationals” and by India as “stateless.
              So in your esteemed opinion, 280000 is 25% of 975,000? Didn’t the hole-in-the-wall uni even teach you basic maths? Or even to read?
              Do you know what “pathetic” means ?

              • 8
                1

                Codger,

                The Citizenship Act was passed in 1948, not 1962.

                ” By 1936, Indian Tamils numbered 1,123,000, 15.3 percent of the total population in 1936,[4] and many of them were non-citizens of Ceylon.”

                Please take your medication before posting. Dementia is a serious condition. Have a nice day.

                • 3
                  1

                  Lester,
                  Obviously you don’t know the difference between the Sirima-Shastri pact and the Citizenship Act. Pathetic!
                  Is it surprising that you have a Tamil as your boss?

                  • 1
                    3

                    Codger,

                    You have reading comprehension difficulties, a clear sign of advanced Alzheimer’s or dementia. The author clearly says, ““He started off auspiciously with deadly legislative assaults on Malayaha Tamils, rendering about one million Tamils stateless.” This is a clear reference to SWRD and the Citizenship Act, not Sirima-Shastri pact. The question remains, how many Tamils were deported as a result of the Citizenship Act? The answer is zero. Another foolish attempt by Eelamists to distort statistics.

                    • 2
                      0

                      Dear Lester,

                      this is for you

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WP5IskXLTVE

                      My doubts are becoming clear today… nobody else, cattle thieves should be behind EASTER SUNDAY mass killings.

                    • 0
                      0

                      Lester,
                      This is what YOU wrote: “He also fails to mention that by the 1990’s, almost all of these Indian Tamils were given full citizenship.”
                      Don’t try to put up smokescreens. Be honest. Grow up. BTW, how much do you pay your pals to give you green thumbs? It must be a big slice off your meagre salary. How pathetic!

        • 1
          0

          L
          The population of the country was just under 6 million. If you add to the 1.123 million ‘Indian Tamils’ the Ceylon Tamils, Moors (that was what they were called), Malays and Burghers, the Sinhalese population would be around 60%.
          How did it reach 70% in 1948?

      • 1
        2

        Dear old codger
        You are a man knowledgeable in history.
        Did Chelva join hands with Ponna for demanding 50-50?

        Soma

        • 3
          10

          Soma,
          I have no idea. You should ask SJ.

          • 3
            10

            Soma,
            But I do know two interesting things:
            1. SWRD proposed a 3 way Federal State, Upcountry Sinhala, Low country Sinhala, and Tamil.
            2. JR proposed that we should join India as a state after Independence.
            Either or both of these were good ideas, but didn’t suit those who wanted a monopoly on power.

          • 1
            0

            Ponnambalam made his 50:50 demand the State Council in March 1939, and repeated it when he gave evidence to the Soulbury Commission in February 1945.
            The Tamil Congress led by Ponnambalam was formed in August 1944, and Chelvanayakam was a founder member.
            *
            Technically Chelvanayakam was party to the 50:50 demand.
            In reality the FP founded by him, Vanniyasingam and others distanced itself from 50-50 so that FP activists even ridiculed Ponnambalam for that demand.

        • 2
          10

          soman

          “Did Chelva join hands with Ponna for demanding 50-50?”

          Who told you Ponna demanded 50-50?
          By the way joined hands with Chelva to pass the Vattukkottai Resolution.
          At this age you should tech us history, instead you are teaching us parochialism, racism, fascism, …..
          Wake up soma, wake up.

  • 4
    8

    Karikalan S. Navaratnam
    “He was one of the founding fathers of Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK), which spearheaded the Tamils’ struggle against persecution and majoritarian oppression by successive pan-Sinhala governments in Ceylon (now, Sri Lanka ).”

    Chelvanayakam formed the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kachchi (toned down as Federal Party in English) in 1949, soon after Sinhalayo gained Independence from British rule, which had as its hidden agenda the establishment of a separate state. The idea of separatism emerged at the time Sinhale/Ceylon was ruled by British and not after Sinhale/Ceylon gained Independence. During British rule, Tamils smuggled arms and ammunition from India. For what?
    At the time Chelvanayakam formed the Federal Party, Vellala Tamils were the most privileged community in Sinhale/Ceylon dominating the Public Service. There was no persecution or oppression of Tamils by majority Sinhalayo at that time. Vellala Tamils who were with British and held almost all top Government jobs during British rule helped British to oppress Native Sinhala Buddhists.

    • 5
      12

      Eagle ‘dumb ass’ Eye, Sinhalayo gained independence from from the Brits?

      Oh really, while the southerners fought for independence, what were the northerners doing? Sitting there drinking toddy? Do you know who these folks were?
      -Ponnambalam Arunachalam
      -Ponnambalam Ramanathan
      -M. C. Siddi Lebbe

      Does it matter now? Racist humbugs like you will always have this country divided?

      • 11
        3

        TCFTN,
        Ponnambalam Arunachalam was not even living at the time Ceylon got independence from the British.

        His contributions were mainly for the welfare of Workers and also for the creation of the University of Ceylon.

        He did nothing for the independence. Being the slimy Tamil he is, he opposed communal representation in the legislative council. A disguised method to the rob Sinhalese community of representation.

      • 11
        3

        Do you want to know what Ponnambalam Ramanathan was famous for?

        He opposed Universal franchise and wanted the right vote exclusively reserved for the Vellalar community. LOL. Not a bad Tamil, masquerading as a friend of the Sinhalese.

        But to give the man some credit, he indeed was instrumental in getting the Sinhalese leaders released from jail after the 1915 race Riots.

        But that too is seen as a ploy of first obtaining the trust of the Sinhalese with the intention of backstabbing later on. Something we’ve seen in quite a few Tamils.

      • 2
        11

        Eagle
        “During British rule, Tamils smuggled arms and ammunition from India. For what?”
        Really, that was some achievement! Just like the Sinhalese who smuggled elephants and mobile phones during British rule? Why leave out the Sinhalayo who smuggled railway engines in fishing boats?

    • 2
      8

      Mr Karikalan Navaratnam has given the exact date on which the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kachchi Party was formed – 18 Dec. 1949 – and told us the steps that led to it.
      .
      That was about 22 months after Independence, which may now seem a relatively short time, but much that was unsavoury had been done by then by other people.
      .
      This was forced upon S.J.V. Chelvanayakam; not all the people of the Northern Province realised the significance of the betrayals by the D.S. Senanayake government, and by G.G. Ponnambalam. Chelvanayakam actually lost his KKS seat at the next elections to a UNP backed candidate.
      .
      Please see a reference to this development seen from a different perspective by Professor Charles Sarvan in this article where comments are still possible:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/arguing-with-racists/
      .
      When discussing, please genuinely exchange ideas, and once a position has been established accept it, and don’t go back to chanting provocative slogans.

    • 2
      10

      Eagle,
      “During British rule, Tamils smuggled arms and ammunition from India. For what?”
      Really, that was some achievement! Just like the Sinhalese who smuggled elephants and mobile phones during British rule? Why leave out the Sinhalayo who smuggled railway engines in fishing boats?

  • 2
    4

    Sinhalayo did not persecute or oppress Tamils but Vellala Tamils persecute and oppress non-Vellala Tamils (Dalits) in Yapanaya even now. What did these Tamils who talk about persecution and oppression of Tamils by Native Sinhalayo do to eliminate caste-based persecution and oppression of Dalits?

  • 2
    5

    • Vellala Tamil politicians went all the way to UK to beg the Privy Council to annul the Social Disabilities Act passed in 1957 by the Sinhala Government enabling low caste Tamils to enter schools for the first time.
    • Vellala Tamils opposed Standardization and Quota System introduced by Sinhala Government that benefited Tamils outside Yapanaya.
    • Vellala Tamils consider Tamils in plantations brought to Sinhale by British as a different kind of Tamils and go on maintaining the distinction by categorizing them as ‘Indian Tamils’ and those in the North as ‘Ceylon Tamils’. All Tamils who live in Sinhale/Sri Lanka are of Indian origin.

    • 0
      0

      EE
      “Vellala Tamil politicians went all the way to UK to beg the Privy Council to annul the Social Disabilities Act passed in 1957 by the Sinhala Government enabling low caste Tamils to enter schools for the first time”
      *
      Please give it a rest.
      The Social Disabilities Act of 1957 was proposed in Parliament by Rajavarothayam MP Trincomalee (1952-1963) on the prompting of SWRDB (who did not want it to be suspected of a hidden agenda) and with the consent of the FP.
      *
      Standardization did not help any Tamil anywhere.
      District quota system was equally opposed by Sinhalese in Colombo as it hurt them a well.

  • 3
    5

    SJV Chelvanayakam was born in Malaya and entered Sinhale illegally during British rule. He followed GG Ponnambalam who ignited the first Sinhala-Tamil clash by giving a racially charged speech at Nawalapitiya in 1939 denigrating the Sinhala-Buddhist culture, its history and the people.
    Chelvanayakam took a leading role in passing the Batakotte Resolution proposing to establish a separate State for the descendants of Tamils brought to Yapanaya by Portuguese based on a bogus claim ‘Traditional Homeland’ and urging Tamils to take up arms and fight until their objective is achieved leading to the formation of Tamil terrorist organization LTTE that massacred Sinhalayo for three decades to grab a part of their country to create the separate State. Tamil terrorism that lasted for three decades ruined this country.

    • 10
      3

      Eagle Eye,

      “He followed GG Ponnambalam who ignited the first Sinhala-Tamil clash by giving a racially charged speech at Nawalapitiya in 1939 denigrating the Sinhala-Buddhist culture, its history and the people.”

      GG Ponnambalam was a charlatan who wanted 50-50 equal parliamentary representation. In which country of the world does 12% of the population enjoy 50% representation with an 88% majority? These kinds of foolish demands are why the early Tamil politicians were never able to reach a political compromise with the majority.

      • 2
        10

        Lester,
        “GG Ponnambalam was a charlatan who wanted 50-50 equal parliamentary representation”
        Considering that majority rule has brought the country to a position where even “patriots ” like you don’t want to live here, 50-50 would have been a good idea.

        • 2
          11

          old codger

          Has Jester explained how 50:50 scheme works?
          I am sure he hasn’t got a clue.

      • 1
        0

        Lester
        Is GGP any worse a charlatan than his Sinhalese counterparts, especially DSS?

        • 5
          1

          SJ,

          I asked the question earlier, no separatist could answer: in which country of the world does a 12% or so minority enjoy 50% representation in equal weight to an 80% majority?

          • 1
            2

            Lester,
            “in which country of the world does a 12% or so minority enjoy 50% representation ?”
            Since your Nandasena Deviyo is about to make the country the first to ban chemical fertilizers, what’s wrong with being the first to implement 50-50?
            Your inanities only go to prove that 50-50 would have been a very good idea

          • 1
            0

            Lester
            50-50 was first asked for at a time when the Sinhalese were around 67% of the population.
            So it was not as unfair as you make out. also, it was meant to be proportionate among minorities.
            That, however, would not have been a stable arrangement as it would have eventually led to resentment and trouble.
            Also remember that 50-50 was not upheld by all Tamil leaders.
            *
            There were Sinhalese leaders who offered 60-40 instead of 50-50. (That is roughly what one will arrive at by a square root proportion I guess.)
            *
            Assuring a larger than proportional representation for Malays, Burghers and the Aththo was fair. The constitution allowed 6%, but left out the Aththo. That was, however, abused by every elected government.

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