By H. L. D. Mahindapala –
December 18, 1949, which happened to be a Sunday, has been ignored by social scientists who should have evaluated it critically, at least for its bloody consequences which ended eventually in Nandikadal. It was the day on which Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK), Tamil State Party disguised as Federal Party) was launched officially. It was the day on which S. J. V. Chelvanayakam delivered his presidential address of the newly formed Tamil separatist party, expressing fears of the Tamils being wiped out by the majoritarian rule of the Sinhalese, thereby setting the tone and the future direction of Tamil politics. These fears expressed in his speech will be examined in detail later in another article.
It was the day that Chelvanayakam set out officially to carve out a political career of his own after he broke away from G. G. Ponnambalam, the acknowledged Tamil leader of the day heading the All-Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC). That was the day he laid his imprint on the sands of Jaffna aiming to be the Jinnah of Jaffna. More importantly, it was the day on which Chelvanayakam spelt out publicly his separatist ideology for the first time to the Tamils as a manifesto of his divisive politics.
The new ideology of separatism contained in Chelvanayakam’s speech signaled the climax of mono-ethnic extremism of the Vellahlas that has been creeping up incrementally in the 20s and 30s. Resistance to break up a nation is inevitable in any political context. Separatism and violence are inseparable. In the historical context of Sri Lanka it was an ideology that could be pursued only through violence, as proved by the evolving events. And the Maradana speech which contained all the seeds of separatism exploded eventually in inevitable violence, particularly after it was revised and directed towards militarism in the Vadukoddai Resolution of May 1976.
Though the Maradana speech claimed to have laid down reasons and the conditions for a federal state it was couched in deceptive ambiguity, leaving it wide open for “little now and more later” policy enunciated by Chelvanayakam (p.128 – S.J. V. Chelvanayakam and the Crisis of Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism, 1947 – 1977, A Political Biography, A. Jeyaratnam Wilson. Lake House Bookshop, 1993).. The leap-frogging that went from one extra seat in the 20s to 50-50 in the 30s and to federalism in the ‘40s confirmed the ”little now and more later” policy of the Jaffna manipulators aiming at separatism. The next step was separatism (Eelam) which came predictably in the Vadukoddai Resolution of 1976. The decisive leap into separatism, disguised initially as federalism, was taken on December 18, 1949 which deserves serious attention, considering that it opened up a whole new chapter in Jaffna Tamil politics.
Chelvanayakam’s Maradana speech was published by ITAK as “Booklet Series No.1”. The cover presented the speech as “the Presidential Address of Mr. S. J. V. Chelvanayakam, K.C., Member of Parliament, delivered at The Inaugural and First Business meeting of THE ILLANKAI TAMIL ARASU KADCHI (The Federal Freedom Party of Tamil-speaking People of Ceylon) on 18th December, 1949 at the G.C. S. U. Hall, Colombo – Price Cts. 50”. Chelvanayakam’s calculated speech contained merely the seminal outline of Tamil separatist politics which was to blow up later into a devastating movement, marginalizing even the Marxist revolutionaries of various shades – from Trotskyism to Maoism.
However, at the time it was delivered it fizzled out as a non-event as far as the mainstream media reportage went. On the evening of Monday 19th December, 1949, only the Times of Ceylon ran a couple of paragraphs in one of its inside pages recording the event at Maradana. Then on page 5 of The Times of Ceylon of December 27th 1949 the following letter was published in response to Chelvanaykam’s speech:
Mr. S. J. V. Chelvanayakam, K.C., M.P., seems to be in great fear that the Tamil community will be wiped off the face of Ceylon.
It should be clear to all, who have the well-being of the Tamils at heart, that such a catastrophe can never happen. I would refer Mr. Chelvanayakam to the Civil List, the General Clerical Service Seniority List, and other similar publications. They show the exact position. What more does he want?
(Signed) Friend of Tamils.
This letter refers to the disproportionate share of jobs that the English-educated Tamils of Jaffna held in government service. It was the biggest growth industry of the time and Tamils of Jaffna – mainly the English-educated Vellahlas – formed a formidable force in the ranks of government service. It was also meant to indicate that the Tamils were a privileged community holding not only disproportionate share but also key jobs in the upper echelons of government service and the fears expressed by Chelvanayakam at Maradana were contrary to stark realities of the day. The cry of discrimination, based essentially on the share of jobs in government service, (this will be examined later) was one of the main issues on which Chelvanayakam raised his fears to drive Northern Tamils to the extreme point of separatism.
Chelvanayakam’s launch of ITAK, it must be noted, was also a non-event in the political landscape. Nor was it an earth-shattering event in Jaffna. By and large, the public was indifferent to the first public outburst of separatism led by Chelvanayakam. It was a time when the Marxists were the most vociferous and dominant force both in trade unions and electoral politics. No one expected the Maradana event staged by Chelvanayakam to be the cataclysmic force that exploded in the post-Vadukoddai violence.
The Maradana speech was the prelude to the Vadukoddai Resolution which was adopted unanimously by the Jaffna Tamil leadership on May 14, 1976. The Vadukoddai Resolution fleshed out the overall framework of peninsular politics adumbrated earlier in Maradana. It is the Maradana ideology that eventually wound its way to Nandikadal. The road from Maradana (1949) to Nandikadal (2009), which was repaired and reinforced in Vadukoddai (1976), ran through rivers of blood. It ran for sixty years – years spent in futility when non-violent paths were open for the Tamils of Jaffna to achieve their reasonable demands in the democratic mainstream.
The events that unraveled from the Maradana speech have proved that neither separatism nor its concomitant violence was necessary, as seen in the conduct of other minorities who managed their differences with the majority Sinhalese through non-violent politics. The self-destructive Tamil violence originated from their ill-conceived, ill-fated decision taken at Vadukoddai to declare war against the nation.
After the total collapse of the armed separatist movement in Nandikadal (2009) the leaders of the Tamil community are now proclaiming that they have abandoned separatist politics and they are for a united Sri Lanka with, of course, 13 plus. If, after taking the violent route from Maradana to Nandikadal, they have returned now to square one plus 13, why did the Tamil leaders, including the present leadership in TNA, back the Tamil Pol Pot who was their chosen instrument to implement the Maradana-Vadukoddai declarations? Doesn’t it make the violent phase of Tamil politics the work of misguided Tamil leaders who overrated their power to dictate terms to the nation?
All the machinations of the Jaffna political elite culminated in producing Velupillai Prabhakaran, “a pathological killer” (Prof.James Jupp, Australian National University). Ironically, his victims were mainly Tamils. Tamil leaders are on record saying that Prabhakaran killed more Tamils than all the others forces put together. What is more, the Tamil elite were happy to follow his lead and surrender their rights to Prabhakaran’s one-man rule without questioning. The few who dared to resist him were either eliminated or hunted relentlessly by his trained assassins. Despite their claim to be intellectually superior to others the entire Tamil leadership embraced the brutal violence of Tamil Pol Pot who came out of the Maradana-Vadukoddai political culture. Prabhakaran was hailed by the Tamil elite, particularly by those in the Catholic Church and the Diaspora, as the legitimate flag-bearer of the Maradana-Vadukoddai ideology.
Tragically, the fog of ideological myths blinded them to the grim realities facing the Tamils. They literally refused to read, understand and grapple with the realities of the times. They implicitly and slavishly relied on “the invincible power” of a single fanatic who knew only how to kill and not to negotiate with a flexible skill to achieve his goal. . They put all their eggs in one basket and the violence generated by the Maradana-Vadukoddai ideology boomeranged and crushed them in Nandikadal. There is no one to blame except the Tamils who have an unquenchable thirst to believe in their myths manufactured to chase elusive mirages (e.g: Eelams) that were doomed to perish before their own eyes.
Maradana and Vadukoddai proved to be fatal to the Tamils. They were hoisted by their own petard. They thought that they were riding a winning political horse that would take them to Eelam. But the wild, unmanageable horse they rode took them to Nandikadal instead. The sagacity and the capacity of the Tamil leadership to lead their people responsibly and non-violently would have been confirmed if they avoided the turns they took to mono-ethnic extremism in Maradana and Vadukoddai. But in hindsight it is now obvious that the English-educated Vellahla leadership, obsessed by an unwarranted sense of arrogance, intransigence and superiority, took the wrong turns in Maradana and Vadukoddai.
In Maradana Chelvanayakam took the first wrong turn to nowhere. In Vadukoddai, unaware of the frightening forces of terror he was unleashing, he went through the wording with a fine comb and endorsed violence, blaming the Sinhalese and declaring war after, mark you, having “gain(ed) some rights, if not all of what we experienced, throughout the method of cooperation,” as stated by S.M. Rasamanickam, in his 1969 presidential address to the Federal Party.(p. 111 – Ibid, Wilson). Rasamanickam was summing up the political experiences and the positive outcomes gained by the Federal Party in joining the Dudley Senanayake government. Prof. Wilson went further and concluded that “the period of Dudley Senanayake’s ‘National Government’, 1965 – 70, marked the golden years of Sinhala Tamil reconciliation.” (Ibid – p. 111). This gives the lie to the Tamil separatists’ claim that there was no political space for them to win their rights within the democratic mainstream of Sri Lankan politics dominated by the Sinhala majority. (More of this later.)
Prior to December 18, 1949 the Tamils of the North had no cohesive nationalist movement / ideology aimed at achieving a separate state. There were vague rumblings but there was no organized political structure, nor a formidable movement or a defined ideology, even vaguely, to divide the nation on ethnic lines. A movement that could move the masses against another community needed an ideology. Jaffna needed a bonding ideology to unite the internal fissiparous forces coming apart on casteist lines. Jaffna was threatened by internal caste divisions that were beginning to raise its head, slowly but surely, against the crumbling Vellahla ancien regime clinging on to their feudalistic and colonial privileges. And there was none, other than the “50-50” cry raised by G. G. Ponnambalam, the acknowledged leader who shot into prominence in the ‘30a exploiting anti-Sinhala-Buddhist racism.
Ethnic politics rose to a new level of intensity when Ponnambalam formed his All-Ceylon Tamil Congress in 1944. This political organization reinforced the rising forces of mono-ethnic extremism in the north. He had escalated the demands of the Tamils from one extra seat in the Legislature carved out from the Sinhala-dominated Western province, in addition to the seats given to them in the Tamil-dominated north, to a fifty per cent share of power to the 12% Tamils in the north. Though he disguised this demand to represent all the minorities – the Tamils in the Eastern and Central Hills, the Burghers, the Moors the Malays and even the Europeans who were considered a part of the minorities at the time, – none of them fell in line with him on this demand. So it remained essentially as a 50% share for the 12% Tamils of the north.
Besides, at a time when colonized countries were battling for independence on the rising waves of nationalism Ponnambalam led campaigns focused on giving weightage to the minorities on a percentage basis. The futility of this campaign of percentage politics was highlighted by Prof. A. J. Wilson when he wrote: “G. G. Ponnambalam spearheaded the demand for balance representation for the minority communities (known as ‘fifty-fifty’), this implied a communally based legislature with 50 per cent of the seats for all the minorities – Ceylon Tamils, Indian Tamils, Malays, Moors, Burghers and Europeans – and 50 per cent for the Sinhalese. However, this was not supported beyond a large section of the Ceylon Tamils of the Jaffna peninsula and Colombo. The Eastern Province Tamil representatives in the State Council were not in favour of it, and the Indian Tamils were not definitely committed. The Muslims under T. B. Jayah’s leadership expressed qualified approval, but other prominent Muslim leaders did not accept the formula as a solution. Finally the Governor Sir. Andrew Caldecott, in his Reforms Despatch to the Colonial office in 1938, refused to endorse it, It received a mortal blow when one of the fifty-fifty group, Arunachalam Mahadeva, broke ranks on being elected to the Donoughmore Board of Ministers and declared that, as far as the imperial government was concerned, it was” as dead as a dodo.” (p.12 — Wilson ) .
The refusal of other communities to tag along with Ponnambalam’s “fifty-fifty” led to the natural death of his campaign which never really got off the ground. Eventually Ponnambalam joined the first national government led by D. S. Senanayake and forgot about his “outrageous” demand for a share of fifty per cent to 12% Jaffna Tamils. Like Chelvanayakam’s Eelam movement it was doomed to fail. The two acknowledged leaders of the Jaffna-led movements failed to take Tamils anywhere near their promised goals. While other Tamil-speaking minorities – the Indian Tamils and the Muslims – cooperated with the majority and resolved their differences, the Tamil leadership went berserk, believing in myths manufactured by them to prop up their mono-ethnic fantasies. .
The “fifty-fifty” claim was essentially a political ruse by the Tamil leadership to grab a disproportionate share of power to the casteist elite of the 12% minority of Tamils in the North. This obsession to grab an undue share of power to an elitist majority of the Jaffna Tamil minority has been the bane of inter-ethnic relations that led to the Maradana speech and finally to Nandikadal. All Tamil politics, driven by the Jaffna Tamil leadership (unlike the other minority leaders), has been bedeviled by a refusal to co-exist with the other communities in the democratic mainstream. Obsessed by the arrogance of ethnic superiority (Jaffnaites considered themselves to be superior even to the Batticoloa Tamils and the Indian “coolies” in the hill country) they insisted perennially on a disproportionate share of jobs in government service, seats in the legislature, political power and territory.
More importantly, when the waves of nationalism rising against colonialism were sweeping Afro-Asia in the post-World War II period the Tamil leadership was with the Sinhala nationalists / memorialists jointly campaigning for national independence. The Tamil separatist ideology was manufactured late in the day, after Sri Lanka gained independence. S. J. V. Chelvanayakam acknowledged the absence of a nationalist movement in his Maradana speech. He said : “The solution by way of a separate autonomous state for the Tamil speaking areas was a new idea to which people had not given much thought.” (p.283 – Tamil Person and State, Pictorial, Michael Roberts, which reproduces the full text of the original Presidential speech of Chelvanayakam at the inaugural meeting of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi, (ITAK) held at the Government Clerical Service Union (GCSU) Hall, in Maradana, Colombo — Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2014.)
Even at this late stage, the separatist movement launched by Chelvanayakam in Maradana did not catch fire as a passionate nationalist movement – ideologically, organizationally/structurally or demographically — to achieve goals of separatism. In other words, the idea of nationalism remained as an alien concept to the Tamils in 1949. Chelvanayakam’s aim to be the Jinnah of Jaffna received a severe blow when he lost his seat in the parliamentary elections of 1952. But in his Maradana speech he had laid the seeds that were to steer Jaffna politics to Nandikadal. At Maradana his aim was to mobilize thee English-educated, Saivite, Jaffna Vellahlas (ESJVs) elite to mono-ethnic extremism. He succeeded in that. There was no returning back to sanity from Maradana.
It gathered a momentum of its own and raced to its nemesis in Nandikadal. From its origins in the 20s to grab an additional seat in the Western Province, on top of the seats allocated to the Jaffna Tamils in the North, it morphed into a claim of “50-50” in the 30s. In the forties Chelvanayakam took it to the extreme of demanding a separate state (disguised initially as federalism) in his inaugural speech at Maradana. He restructured the Maradana outline to a more broader concept of Eelam in Vadukoddai in May 14, 1976. At Vadukoddai he decided to opt out of the democratic stream and take up arms. This so-called Gandhi of Jaffna went all out to embrace militarism.
The rest, of course, is history written in the blood, sweat, tears and graves of the Tamil people.. They paid the price for his misguided politics that took them nowhere.
To be continued..
Solon / December 1, 2014
Mahindapala, the racist, is at again, with his distortions, out of context conclusions, half truths and lies.
Pearl Thevanayagam, I challenge you to come to his rescue again:
aratai / December 1, 2014
What a name? Mahinda-Pala.
Lanka liar / December 1, 2014
Ma Hinde r Pala
Lanka Liar / December 1, 2014
His actual name is Mahin Dumb Palam
Ram / December 1, 2014
The racist is NOT Mahindapala, but Chelvanayagam and all his adherants. They are still with us today.
Native Vedda / December 1, 2014
“Chelvanayakam’s Maradana Speech (1949) Paved The Path To Nandikadal (2009)”
SJV told VP in 1949 to go to Nandikadal and die there in 2009. And VP listened and did die in 2009.
What a marvelous leader and an obeying soldier.
Lanka Liar / December 1, 2014
So says Mahinda Palla. Please believe him he does not lie He is a Sri Lankan
Native Vedda / December 1, 2014
“Please believe him he does not lie He is a Sri Lankan”
Then he must be a Aryan Sinhala/Buddhist.
Ravi / December 1, 2014
There is no such thing as an Aryan Sinhala/Buddhist…
In 1995, a research project carried out by Dr. R. Jayasekara and his team from the Human Genetics unit, Faculty Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Department of Human Genetics, University of New Castle collected blood samples in Colombo and surrounding areas from 102 Sinhalese, 100 Tamils, 103 Burghers, 100 Muslims (Moors) and 103 Muslims (Malays) who were healthy, normal and unrelated individuals. Altogether 608 blood samples were collected and transported by air to the department of Human Genetics. University of New Castle. In the final analysis, the Sinhalese and the Tamil Population of Sri Lanka appear to be the descendants of a single genetic group that had occupied this country. The DNA of Tamil Nadu Tamils is matching the Sinhalese, Sri Lankan Tamils and Muslims (Moors). There are no indications to believe that the Sinhalese are direct descendants of North Indians (Aryans) and Sri Lankan Muslims (Moors) are the direct descendants of Arabs.
Mark / December 1, 2014
The biggest joke in Sri Lanka is neither the Sri Lankan Tamils (North & East) nor the Sinhalese (up & low country) or the Muslims (Moors even with Tamil mother tongue) want to accept the fact that they are descendants of Tamil Nadu Tamils (a single genetic group) even when the medical research proves it with enough evidence. Adopting or getting converted to a North Indian or Middle Eastern religion, language and culture will not change their DNA or Genetic marker/code.
Native Vedda / December 2, 2014
Ravi & Mark
I wouldn’t go that far to prove their close affinity. I have a simple observation, that both Tamils and Sinhalese self destructive stupids. Hence they share the same gene as the South Indians (probably the stupid gene M20).
Javi. / December 3, 2014
even the traffic on M20 is a total disaster- volume vs length of duration of time.
Buruvas Buro puros churos tea kadde vadde kahate across the street.
ken Robert / December 4, 2014
Prof RJ’s research is was done while I was a medical student. The archeogenetics is a new specialist area, The current research done by Lanka Ranaweera et al using analysis of Mitochondrial genomes of Srilankans shows
1. Considerable number of maternal lineages of Sri Lanka (i.e. all Srilankan ethnic groups)are shared with India, more precisely with southern part of India
2. The maternal genetic structuring of Srilanka is shaped by both ethnicity and geography.
3. Vedda is not likely a genetic isolate and shares their lineages with their neighbours ( i.e. south India).
(copied from the commentary by Gyaneshwer Chaubey leading researcher in this field)
http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v59/n1/pdf/jhg2013112a.pdf ( original article)
commentary by Gyaneshwer Chaubey(GC)
I could not find a full link, however abstract is available
Journal of Human Genetics (2014) 59, 61–63; doi:10.1038/jhg.2013.122; published online 21 November 2013
PS: GC describes this study as a land mark study looking at the pattern of distributions of various haplogroups in Srilanka. He further states that this study lack higher resolutions of mtDNA, therefore it is not useful to build a timeline for the haplogroups.
Javi. / December 3, 2014
but there is very much evidence that some were mercenaries some slaves to toil the land and most hora oru, ultimately segrgating into caste work and who can do what so the nutmeg growers and merchants under command had to drive the portugese away back to Goa- while the satakayas you see of them today.
Just to point out the Germans the authors of Aryan (at least the present day context) have confirmed on radio that research scientifically confirmed they originated from africa and similarly the jews from ethiopia.
Aryan is a typical fallacy which grew with hitlerian momentum and fell with a thud. (thel kiyane gahe del. like laxmi and her Dell kid but not the brainy old mans.)
Kumar / December 1, 2014
I only read the heading and the last sentence of this article which is more than enough to judge that this HDL Mahindapala is a top class joker and this article must be absolutely hilarious if someone bothers to read.
His head line “Chelvanayakam’s Maradana Speech (1949) Paved The Path To Nandikadal (2009)” sounds like the Tamil struggle for freedom has permanently ended at Nandikadal. If the Sinhalese like HDL Mahindapala think that the Tamil freedom struggle ended at Nandikaddal, they are worse than the worst fools in this world. It may have started with SJV Chelvanayakam (peacefully at domestic level because he only believed in non-violence) but failed, then it was followed by V Prabaharan violently which also failed. However, today it has become an international issue (many countries are involved) and it is still continuing at a different level with a different strategy (talking of a referendum like ‘Kosovo’). Nandikadal was just one phase of the Tamil freedom struggle that ended paving way for another in a different format/level.
At the end of his article, HDL Mahindapala says, “the rest, of course, is history written in the blood, sweat, tears and graves of the Tamil people. They paid the price for his misguided politics that took them nowhere.”
This is another joke. What he is trying to imply here is that ONLY the Tamil people paid the price with blood, sweat, tears, and graves for 30 long years where as the Sinhalese and others were having a merry time during the 30 year war. LOL
The majority community paid an even higher price and still paying and will be paying in the future as well not only domestically but also globally for cheating the Tamils and denying their rights.
S J V Chelvanayagam who is known as the Gandhi of Sri Lankan Tamils has been pleading and signing agreements after agreements with the Sinhala leadership but they were only thrown into waste paper baskets. For almost 35 years the Sinhala leaders cheated him and told the world that the Tamils have no problem. It is only after V Prabaharan, at least one Sinhala leader from the majority community (after Indian intervention) openly accepted Federalism as a solution and today it is internationally accepted.
Anpu / December 1, 2014
You [Edited out] Mahindapala. How much Rajapkse is paying you.
Anpu / December 1, 2014
It all started before Mr Chelvanayakam.
Mahavamsa mindset and people like Anagariga Dharmabala are the root causes.
Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, would not have gained independence from British without the support and consent of the Thamil people. In fact it was Thamil leaders like Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan (1851-1930) and Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam (1853-1924) who fearlessly spearheaded the struggle for constitutional reforms that led to independence. However, the Ponnambalam brothers in their evening of life realised that Sinhalese politicians have cleverly used them to usurp political power for themselves at the expense of Thamil people. Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan foresaw clearly that the democratic principle of one person one vote in a heterogeneous society would ultimately lead to tyranny by the Sinhalese majority.
After independence, Sinhalese leaders starting from DSS did not keep their promises.
Jim softy / December 1, 2014
Sinhala people should have got together with some of those JAffna -tobacco farmer Vellahla Tamils to exploit and subjugate other tamils.
In India, castes are legal.
Native Vedda / December 1, 2014
“In India, castes are legal.”
Therefore you will be comfortable living there. Please go.
Anpu / December 1, 2014
“The Sinhalese and Tamils did not have any problems in Sri Lanka till the late 19th century. It is not a surprise that half the Sinhala aristocracy signed the Kandyan Convention in Tamil.
It was only in the 19th century AD, the British discovered the Mahavamsa. The first printed edition and English translation of the Mahavansha was published in 1837 by George Turnour, an historian and officer of the Ceylon Civil Service. A German translation of Mahavansha was completed by Wilhelm Geiger in 1912. This was then translated into English by Mabel Haynes Bode, and the English translation was revised by Geiger.
Due to the uncritical acceptance of the Mahavamsa by the British after discovering it in the 19th century AD, a new perspective of the ancient history of the island began to develop. The view that the Sinhalese were ‘Aryans’, and ‘proper inhabitants’ of the island in ancient times and that the Tamils were ‘Dravidians’, and ‘invaders’ came to dominate British historical writings. The most influential figure in this field was the great German Ideologist, Max Muller.
Don David Hewavitarana better known as Anagarika Dharmapala along with Don Niculas Gunawardhana aka Hikkaduwa Sri Sumangala and a few other Sinhala scholars in late 19th century Sri Lanka took up Max Muller’s theories and injected a RACIALIST content into Sinhala nationalist thinking.
Anagarika Dharmapala was the God father of Sinhala Buddhist racism in Sri Lanka. Through his racist publications such as the ‘Sinhala Bauddhaya’, ‘Sinhala Jatiya’, and the ‘Mahabodhi Journal’ during the period between 1909 to 1915, he propagated the Mahavamsa as the Orthodox Theravada Buddhist doctrine of the Sinhala Buddhists.
His anti-Tamil and anti-Muslim propaganda during that time was the beginning of the Sinhala Buddhist racism in Sri Lanka.
His virulent attacks on Muslims and Tamils led to his internment in Calcutta by the British in 1915.
He called the Sinhala Buddhists as the only unique race with a pure Aryan blood and all others as impure and illegal immigrants. He was such a strong racist like the Nazi German Hitler. It was due to him, and his followers including the Maha Sangha are the main cause for the enmity, hatred, death and destruction of our people and our country today.”
Anpu / December 1, 2014
What is the meaning of Mahin-da-pala?
An In-depth Interview with former Supreme Court Judge CV Wigneswaran (15th Dec 2011)
” many Sinhalese have forgotten or have been made to forget the fact that Tamils occupied this country even before the birth of the Sinhalese language. Their progeny in the North and East are therefore entitled to their unfettered individuality.
Q: As a respected member of the Tamil community, what are your views on the efforts at political reconciliation and development?
I do not see any possible solution to the ethnic conflict immediately, unless extraneous pressure, inland or foreign, compels the powers that be to relent. This applies to both the government as well as the opposition. Majority community parties are not interested in any solution and want to maintain the supremacy of the majority community through their language and religion.
Except for a handful of persons like Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratne, Mr.Weliamuna and a few others the majority of Sinhala masses do not want a solution.
Let me explain why I make such a sweeping statement.
Around 1919, the Sinhalese leaders found that unless they made their request for territorial representation unanimously the British were not going to grant their request. So they approached Sir P. Arunachalam, gave him written undertaking that a seat would be reserved for the Tamils in Colombo, and requested him to talk to the Jaffna Association, which preferred communal representation to territorial representation. In the cause of creating a well- knit united Ceylonese polity he was able to get the Jaffna Association to consent to territorial representation. He had implicit trust in the Sinhalese leaders. The request to the Queen was thereafter unanimous and the 1921 Constitution granted their request for territorial representation. Once the supremacy of the majority community was ensured in the Legislature the Sinhalese leaders Sir James Peiris and E.J.Samarawickreme retracted. A seat for Tamils in Colombo was refused. The reason they gave was significant. Apart from saying that they were not bound by their written promise since they no longer held the offices they earlier held when promising, they also said “You Tamils are yourselves the majority in your two provinces. Why should you have seats in Colombo?”
This meant they recognised the individuality of the Ceylonese Tamil Community who had occupied the two provinces, North and East, from pre-historic times. It was such recognition that made S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike passing out from the Oxford University to recommend a federal constitution for Ceylon. The Tamils did not accept this idea favourably since they were scattered throughout the island while being rooted in the North and East and were doing well.
Thereafter the majority community made use of the whip-hand they had got by virtue of the legal instrument of territorial representation, to discriminate against the minorities especially the Tamils. Under the Donoughmore Constitution the numerical strength of the majority community led to the formation of the Pan Sinhala Cabinet. After the Pan Sinhala Government of the 1930s we see them depriving the franchise of the Up Country Tamils in the 1940s. Then in the 1950s the Sinhala Only Act deprived many Tamils of their government jobs. Early 1970s saw standardisation in education, which deprived many Tamils of their higher education.
Throughout this period the state was colonising areas traditionally Tamil speaking with outsiders without giving first preference to the people of those areas. The demography of the two provinces traditionally Tamil speaking was being calculatedly changed. The 1972 and 1978 Constitutions centralised power in the hands of the majority community. Now there is de facto Army rule in the North and East.
Should there be not civilian over-sight in these areas? Does not democracy mean civilian management of local areas? How long is the military going to stay in the North and East? For ever?
For all this, the Soulbury Constitution of 1947 was secular. It did not indicate a unitary structure. It had an inclusive approach. It recognised the multi-ethnic nature of our society and inserted the all important provision of Section 29. Our 1972 Constitution, which had no mandate to change the 1947 Constitution and no participation from the elected representatives of the Tamils of North and East, got rid of Section 29, giving no akin provision instead, made Buddhism State Religion and approved of the Sinhala Only Act earlier passed thus ushering in officially the supremacy of the majority community.
Having got so far do you mean to say any Government of the majority community would consent to settle the issues of the minorities? They would want the minorities to creep around the stem if they wanted any succour and that too individual favours. Look at our budget. Highest for the military. After the war, is it human security that needs precedence or state security?
What has prevented the State from granting the legitimate expectations of the people of the North and East that they be allowed to look after their affairs undisturbed by outside forces? Root causes which gave rise to violence among the Tamil youth still remain unattended to.
None of the Political Settlements reached with the leaders of the Tamils have been given effect to. Bandaranaike – Chelvanayagam Pact, Dudley Senanayake-Chelvanayagam Pact, Regional Councils’ Legislation under J.R. Jayewardene have been abrogated. The present President, if I remember right in January 2010, gave an assurance to the Prime Minister of India that he would work along the lines of the Thirteenth Amendment plus. The Thirteenth Amendment is a dead letter today.
Now tell me Ayesha! Do you think any majority community based Government, with a history such as this, would consent to grant rights to the Tamil speaking people, unless internationally or locally pressured?
Q: What exactly does the Tamil community want?
Simple. The Tamil-speaking people want to look after their affairs themselves. In legal terminology that is the right of self-determination. They want to be governed in the North and East in their language. They want to go back to the land of their forefathers from temporary living quarters provided by whomsoever. They want their security, law and order to be in the hands of their siblings and progeny not in the hands of outsiders.
They want their lands and properties to be administered by themselves; not by outsiders. They want to elect their own representatives without being dictated to by outside agencies, military power or financial power or administrative power. They need to preserve their language, culture, religions and their way of life without outsiders building statues and vihares in their midst with military might. They need to be freed from mercenaries amongst their midst who plunder and rob at the instigation of outside agencies.
All these are not rights which the Tamil speaking people have concocted for themselves. Any people who have certain identities of their own are entitled to ask for self-determination in terms of the international covenants.
My suggestion is that a federal constitution is the best for our country so that the individuality of each community, major or minor, with its distinguishing identities, could be allowed to grow side by side with each other under one flag. Separation is what Prabhakaran asked. Federalism is what the non-violent Chelvanayagam asked! If need be you need not use the word ‘federalism’ since already it had gathered the status of a dirty word. But the maximum devolution to the periphery without a structural opportunity for interference from the centre should appease the Tamils.
Of course the Indo-Lanka Accord could be a starting point. After all it was an international agreement. But fundamental changes in governance, constitutional process, judicial process, in public administration and local government need to be effected and most importantly reforms in the security sector need to be placed in position if this country is to progress democratically.”
sach / December 3, 2014
Concepts like self determinations are out dated political concepts.
“many Sinhalese have forgotten or have been made to forget the fact that Tamils occupied this country even before the birth of the Sinhalese language. Their progeny in the North and East are therefore entitled to their unfettered individuality.”
Then give me a single tamil book that you can call indigenous prior to 1600 s? why is the evidence for a tamil indegenous kingdom so meager?
What tamils point out is the dravidian origin of the sinhala poeple, but it does not show any tamil presence in SL from old period.
Anpu / December 3, 2014
“What tamils point out is the dravidian origin of the sinhala poeple, but it does not show any tamil presence in SL from old period. “
Find some good history book.
sach / December 4, 2014
Almost all the arguments put forward by tamils when it comes to history is dravidian origins of sinhala people.
Native Vedda / December 4, 2014
Why don’t you recommend Mahawamsa, the first few chapters.
Leave the genetic studies to the scientist and the learned.
sach / December 5, 2014
but mahawamsa is non sense ne.. why depend on it? nothing else?
Anpu / December 2, 2014
Please read this article by Professor A Jeyaratnam Wilson is Emeritus Professor of Political Science, University of New Brunswick since 1972. Previously he held the founding chair in political science at the University of Peeradeniya.
“To go back a little into history. I am of the view that the Tamil disaster really began at the time of the formation of the Ceylon National Congress in the good year 1919. Prior to the convening of this Congress, Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam who was one of the founder- members of the Congress used his enormous prestige to persuade and negotiate with the principal Tamil organizations, the Jaffna Association and the Ceylon Tamil Maha Jana Sabhai and to join in the venture the participate in the work of setting up the organization. Prior to this arrangement, Sir Ponnambalam Arunchalam had entered into an agreement in December 1918 with Messrs James Peiris and E.J. Samarawickarna, influential Sinhalese political leaders at the time to concede the Tamil demand for a Tamil seat in the Western Province if not one in Colombo town. When the matter came up for ratification before the Ceylon National Congress at its annual sessions, the Working Committee of the Congress without any explanation postponed consideration of this agreement. The matter was left to die a slow death in the years thereafter. Then on 28 June 1925, the delegates of the Congress’s Executive Committee led by MR.C.E.Corea, one of the leading liberals at the time and Mr. W. Duraiswamy concluded a treaty on the distribution of seats in the entire island on the a ratio of 2:1. The agreement was referred to as the Mahendra House Agreement. These were the beginnings of the Agreements, Understandings and Pacts that came to be signed and unilaterally abrogated by the Sinhala leadership in future years. Again the Sinhala leaders were reluctant and hesitant to proceed with the implementation. Sir P. Arunachalam was deeply distressed over the failure once again of the Congress to proceed with implementing the Agreement. The excuse given by their leaders was by no means convincing. They argued that it was unfair for the natural majority (the Sinhalese) in the island to be deprived of their due rights. They obviously saw in the demands of the Tamils a further attempt by the Tamils to have themselves recognized as one of the two founding peoples of the Island. These attempts at accommodation were as I said earlier only the incipient signs of a Sinhala unwillingness to enter into a consociational overarching understanding with their elitist Tamil counterparts. But this was never to be. Arunachalam’s residence at the time, Ponklar, and Ramanathan’s Sukhasthan were then the powerhouses of inter-ethnic diplomacy in Ceylon. In later year it came to be Tintagel and Horagolla. Mr. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s residences, and Woodlands D.S. Senanayake’s residences, During the 1920s, political activity was mainly confined to Ponklar and Sukhasthan as well as Queen’s House. During this entire period, the Governor for most of the time, Sir. Willam Manning, a masterful negotiator, kept all the minority communities elite’s and their Sinhala counterparts on their toes. It was ultimately Governor Manning’s formula to prevent the Sinhala members outvoting the combined strength of the minorities in the Legislative Council that became the basis of the Fifty Fifty demand of G.G. Ponnambalam and his All Ceylon Tamil Congress in the nineteen thirties and nineteen forties. ” http://www.tamilcanadian.com/eelam/hrights/?cat=19&id=1000627
sach / December 3, 2014
Before copy pasting from propaganda sites one should verify the account.
1. Brits might have discovered Mahavamsa in 19 century but Sinhala masses especially buddhists were well aware of it and aware of the things in mahavamsa. Only an idiot with NO knowledge about sinhala customs and folk lore would say what you have said. Sinhala did not need brits to find mahavamsa, they already knew it.
2. Dharmapala was not a racist and he did not even have a following. the very reason he left SL saying he will never ever come to SL again. He was a fighter for the oppressed native people. he did nt like the attitude of SInhala ppl and wanted them to change. But he did not have a following. When he was kept in india and not being allowed to return, it was Arunachalam who said to the brits “You can send him here, he has no takers here”.
3. There is no record of Dharmapala being anti tamil. Rather he had reasons for being pro tamil because he was vehemently against beef eating. He was very anti christian and anti Muslim.
4. Dharmapala fought against the apathy of Sinhala people and their eagerness to adopt western ways leaving their traditions.
Learn about things before you talk too much
Anpu / December 3, 2014
“Learn about things before you talk too much ” It applies to very well.
sach / December 4, 2014
when ever i am presented with unknown things i learn about it from various sources unlike many commentators. Knowledge about Dharmapala came like that.
why dont you try the same for a change?
Native Vedda / December 4, 2014
“It applies to very well.”
“It is so pleasant to come across people more stupid than ourselves. We love them at once for being so.”
― Jerome K. Jerome, Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow
Do you love sach? If you don’t you should.
sach / December 5, 2014
The only thing this Aswer can do is calling others stupid and running away with his ‘mahavamsa’ controversy. Other than that he has no point in what he says.
If you can give a learned response only then barge into adults conversations.
And come out with your real ethnicity, why hide behind a vaddha? Are you that much ashamed of your origins?
Burning Issue / December 3, 2014
It is clear that you have a high regard for Anagariga Tharmapala; I have no problem with that. However, on the same token, you must accept that Tamils also have a high regard for SJVC.
The difference between Dharmapala and SJVC is that SJVC was not anti anyone. He simply stood for the democratic rights of the Tamil people!Hope you understand this!
sach / December 4, 2014
See i have not commented about SJVC because i am not knowledgeable on him. I am in a learning process and will learn about tamil leaders in the past. But hindsight does not suggest he was a pure person not anti to anyone.
sach / December 4, 2014
You reject Tamil diaspora’s hand in sustaining this war and prolonging human suffering
You reject Tamil politicians work in making this a mess (Read RN’s comment how Amirthalingam played with SL conflict)
You reject present TNA role in making reconciliation and problem solving difficult
You reject every wrong your people did and ask others to look into their problem…
punchinilame / December 1, 2014
If the Sinhala majority only must decide its fate in politics, then why
should this happen today????:-
CREATION OF DUPLICATE BALLOT PAPERS
“A lathe machine at Welisara Navy Camp has been dismantled and an imported printing machine is being placed there instead, say sources at the camp. This location has been declared out-of-bound for the naval ratings. Coordinator in this task is a Rajapaksa, Navy officer and the second son of the Commanding Officer ..”
Joseph Pillai / December 1, 2014
Could we have a link to or a transcript of SJV’s actual speech so that we could make up our own minds about its contents and intent? Mr Mahindapala’s article seems to be the product of of a deeply predudiced mind and borders on calumny.
Anpu / December 1, 2014
Please see below Anpu December 1, 2014 at 5:38 am
Amarasiri / December 1, 2014
H. L. D. Mahindapala –
WW2 Ended in 1945. Now We are in 1950. it is now the Cold War against the Soviet Dictatorship.
LTTE Ended in 2009. Now We are in 1950. it is now the Cold War Against the Medamulana MaRa family Dictatorship.
Anpu / December 1, 2014
“Chelvanayakam was unhappy with this mud slinging match. He felt that the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, the organization hastily brought together just before the visit of the Soulbury Commission, was not enough to meet the needs of the changing scene. He persuaded his followers that a new party svas needed to preach their new message: federalism.
The new party named Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (The Federal Party of Ceylon) was inaugurated at 9.30 am on 18 December 1949 at the Government Clerical Servants’ Union Hall, Maradana. Naganathan, one of the conveners, welcomed the supporters and proposed that Chelvanayakam take the chair. Vanniasingham, the other convener seconded and the proposal was uananimously adopted.
Tracing the history of Ceylon from ancient times, Chelvanayakam said that the two nationalities the Sinhalese and the Tamils had lived in separate territories till the advent of the Portuguese. But now the people in power were talking only about the Sinhala nation as if it was the only one in Ceylon. And though during certain periods of historv Sinhalese kings had ruled Tamil areas a. d Tamil kmgs the Sinhala areas, that did not derogate from tne Sinhalese or Tamils their sovereignty. However, most of tile tints Talnil areas were completely independent of Sinhalese rule and were fully independent till tne British brought thc entire country under a unified single administration in 1833.
‘The Britishers and the local reformists failed to realist the basic fact that Ceylon is not a homogenous state. It is a country inhabited by two separate nations the Sinhalese and the Tamils. The British model of unitary system, imposed by the colonial rulers, is totally unsuited. It is to the credit of the Taming leaders that they realised the inherent dangers of the unitary system. But they only concentrated in reducing the extent of the danger by advocating communal representation and balanced representation. But they failed to pay attention to the removal of the danger. The remedy thee were able to foresee was getting a better representation for the Tamils and other minorities. They failed to work out an alternate constitutional structure,” Chelvanayakam said.
He then traced the political history of Ceylon since I 83 3 and showed how the Tamil share in the government had been progressively reduced. He said, “We were first denied our share in the government. Next our electoral strength was reduced by the denial of citizenship to OUf Indian Tamil brethren. Then they started reducing our territory bv stateaided Colonization. The federal structure Ovid get the Tamils their legitimate share in the government and put an end to the Sinhala attempt to grab our territory.”
In conclusion, (Chelvanayaliam said, “The Upcountry Tamils have been made political outcasts. They have been made destitute. Winning back their citizenship rights would a cornerstone policy of the party we have founded today”
Naganathan moved the resolution for tile ~~or,llatlon of vhe nexv party.
The resolution read.
“This gathering of active workers in the cause of freedom for the Tamil speaking people in Ceylon, here met in conference at the GCSU Hall, Maradana, on the 18th December 1949, deeply conscious of the inferiority in status to which the Tamil speaking people in Ceylon are being increasingly reduced under the present unitary system of government which system of government is irrational and totally unsuited to a multi linguistic country and fully alive to the implications of the dangers inherent in the legislative and administrative policy of the government, which policy is manifestly detrimental to the future existence of the Tamil speaking people in the island as free and self respecting citizens and clearly realising that the only fair and democratic solution to these fundamental problems (consistent with the Island’s unity) is the establishment of an Autonomous State for the Tamil speaking people of Ceylon within the structure of a Federal Union of Ceylon, hereby resolve to constitute itself as the llankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi and become the framework of the National Organisation of the Tamil speaking people of Ceylon, pledged to strive increasingly for the attainment of their goal of self government based on the principle of self determination of the Tamil speaking nation of the island.”
A motion calling for the adoption of a draft interim constitution was also passed. The policy objectives contained in the constitution were:
(a) The recognition of the right of every Tamil speaking individual who has made Ceylon his home to full citizenship rights;
(b) The regeneration and unification of the Tamil speaking people of Ceylon by the removal of all forms of social inequalities and injustices, in particular that of untouchability which exists among a section of the people;
(c) The realisation of a socialist economy with equality of opportunity for education and employment without regard to caste, creed, race or sex;
(d) The promotion and maintenance of goodwill and friendship with the Sinhalese people in the interests of Federal unity and progress.
Kautilya / December 1, 2014
December 18, 1949, which happened to be a Sunday, has been ignored by social scientists who should have evaluated it critically,
Mr. Mahindapala should read the many articles written by the tamil writer Sebastinn Rasalingam and then he will see that this topic has NOT been ignored.
Much of what Mahindapala says is old hat and can be found, in a complementary presentation, by the socially under-privileged Tamil writer, Rasalingam in his English (and some Tamil) writings.
However, what is needed is the attention of a serious historian of the empirical school. This may have to wait for some time because history cannot be done properly in the aftermath of a 30-year war.
Navajeevan Kingsley / December 1, 2014
THIS BUGGER MAHINDAPALA COMES UP WITH LOT OF GARBAGE. JABBERWOCKY!. THIS BEGGAR HAS ALWAYS BEEN A SINHALA-BUDDHIST RACIST TO THE CORE.
Ambedkhar Reborn / December 1, 2014
“The rest of course, is history written in the blood, sweat, tears, and graves of the Tamil people..They paid the price for misguided politics that took them no where .”
Is it really the history Mr H L D Mahindapala – Goigama Walave from the South. ? Do you read Srilankan Sunday Times Matrimonial sections ? If you read you will understand the cast systems in SL very well.
Please answer these questions if you are so good in the SL history of 20th and 21st century :
1. Why Ponbampalam Arunachalam left All Ceylon Congress ?
2. When 1947 citizenship act was brought in which minority groups were affected ?
3. Why SWRD left UNP and formed a new party ?
4. Why he chose Sinhala as the only official language and promised to implement within 24 hours of coming to power ?
5.Why he signed a pact with Chelva even though he had 2/3 rd majority ?
6.Why the pact was aborted ?
7. Why LSSP which stood for Sama Samaja wrote the 1972 constitution leaving out Salisbury Provision to protect the minimum rights of the minorities ?
8. What happened to Durley – Chelva pact ?
9. What happened to Rajiv JR Indo Lanka pact ?
10. Why Premadasa gave arms to the rebels and asked I P K F ?
11. Under what promise by Rajapakse the rebels prevented majority of the Tamils not to vote for Ranil or refrain from voting ?
12.were both uprising by the Sinhalese Youths instigated by SJ V C ?
13. How many riots you had against Tamils ? How many Tamils were killed since independence ?
14. Who created BBS and to go violent against Muslims ?
Burning Issue / December 1, 2014
What does this spurious character say to the fact that it was the Kandians who demanded federalism well before the Tamils uttered a word in this regard? Why does he not talk about the Sinhala Buddhist chronic insecurity that Anagariga Tharmapala drummed into the Sinhala psyche?
sach / December 3, 2014
i have replied to you in this regard. Not that i disagree with your whole point, but it is wrong to say Anagarika Dharmapala instilled insecurity in Sinhala minds. It is your ignorance of him and sinhala nationalistic movement.
Dharmapala was against the english speaking sinhala elite that subjugated the local ppl and he was against Christians and Muslims. Especially he witnessed how Muslim immigrants during Brits period and started getting hold of Colombo. It was what he was against.
Dharmapala was a person who advocated joining with indian federation. he did not instill any fear psychosis rather made the public to fight against imperialistic forces
Burning Issue / December 4, 2014
There have been many scholarly works carried out on the subject of sinhala Buddhist insecurity. It is generally accepted that there were many factors contributed to this situation but chief among them was the contribution made by Anagariga Tharmapala.
On the subject of Muslims taking over colombo during colonial time and Tharmapala’ s objection is very interesting indeed. You say he was anti English speaking elite, Christians and Muslims. But do you realise that when the Portuguese arrived the Muslims were virtually ruling colombo. It was the Christian Portuguese who pushed the Muslims out of colombo!
One thing you cannot do is that to cover up the Sinhala Buddhist insecurity that played havoc in our country. It is the Sinhala Buddhist who singlehandedly ruined the country because they could not live harmoniously with others. In order to remedy this, you first need to recognise that you Sinhala Buddhisst have a problem!
sach / December 4, 2014
As usual burning issue’s ‘everyone else is wrong, we are blameless’ illness.
The so called scholarly works about Sinhala Buddhist insecurity comes from Tamil eelamist or tamil nationalist lobbies. They are not scholarly works but tamil narratives and attempts to make it the dominant narrative. Please provide me an example on the subject which can be really consider as a scholarly work.
Please describe how Anagarika Dharmapala was a chief in inculcating insecurity. Normally the famous Tamil narrative of Sinhala insecurity is that they will be taken over by india. As I said before Anagarika Dharmapala was a supporter of joining a larger indian federation. Ask RN about this, I have seen he himself mentioned this in this forum .
How does large scale immigration of Muslim trading communities from india during British period has any relevance to the muslim partnerships with kotte king during Kotte period? It is not rocket science to understand that native people will dislike immigrants from a different country come and take away their place. It is not unique to Sinhala and it is not racist, it is just natural. During British period large scale muslim trading communities came and settled in Colombo. When the natives were pushed out, Dharmapala did the right thing according to that time.
Have you seen Colombo during pre portugese period to say it was virtually muslim? As most of your claims on history this is also based on here say and your favorite tamil narrative. There were very strong trading relationships between kotte and seasonal muslim traders. But claiming Colombo was virtually muslim is preposterous. Even in late 1800s Colombo was predominantly Sinhala.
I very much know and acknowledge the Sinhala racism and how it was shaped, but I do not agree with and go by the tamil narrative which tamils want to make the dominant narrative. Many Sinhala acknowledge the wrongs by Sinhala leaders and the need to introspection. When MR had NPC elections there was not a single protest by Sinhalese against that.
Because Sinhalese have learnt a lot, tamils haven’t. It is not me or Sinhalese who need lessons from people like you that we have a problem, it is actually Tamils who need to realize the problem that is in them. I haven’t seen any tamil who has been able to describe this problem within Tamils, rather the ones who reject every fault of them.
Get out of your high horse.
Burning Issue / December 5, 2014
“As usual burning issue’s ‘everyone else is wrong, we are blameless’illness.”
The reality is that you represent the majority and I represent one of the minority communities. It is a primordial belief that minorities suffer from inherent insecurity, and the Tamil community is no exception. However, what is unfathomable is the conspicuous Sinhala Buddhist insecurity! Today, the Sinhala Buddhists are the overwhelming majority, and there is no basis for them to feel insecure. It must be issues that emanated form the colonial past the precipitate such a situation. Anagariga Tharmapala was championing the Sinhala Buddhist Course and his rhetorical language is available on the public domain for all to see. His legacy is being used as a catalyst to promote bigotry and fear into the Sinhala Buddhist community.
“The so called scholarly works about Sinhala Buddhist insecurity comes from Tamil eelamist or tamil nationalist lobbies.”
This is a pathetic talk Such! There are many Sinhala Scholars researched on this very subject. You need to open your eyes and read objectively. Read the book “Sinhala Buddhist Fundamentalism and Minority Identities in Sri Lanka” It is available on the following website:
If you do not want to buy the book, here is a link where you can read it online:
Here is another reference point for you ponder about; I have carefully avoided materials authored by the Tamils or Muslims!
Some excerpts from the link above:
“The defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009 by the Sri Lankan State and the subsequent unfolding of the Rajapaksas’ dynastic project has precipitated an extraordinary resurgence in Sinhalese (Buddhist) nationalism both within civil society and as an State (hereafter ‘Sinhalese State’) that President Rajapaksa is fashioning draws on the symbolic capital proffered by the fetishised cultural forms of Sinhalese nationalism and has been highly successful in consolidating a monopoly on the means of force within the island, focusing on the military and existential encompassment of the Tamil people.”
“My analysis of this moment of constitution-making seeks to contextualise it within its conditions of possibility. The 1972 Constitution is replete with a particular cultural inheritance: when held in front of a mirror its reflection is a testament to the primordial consciousness of Sinhalese nationalism. It is merely one moment that speaks or rather refracts the ontological ground of the cosmic order of Sinhalese Buddhism.”
The 1972 constitution stands as a testament to the extent of the Sinhala Buddhist Insecurity! The chief among the racist provisions is the prominence given to Buddhism and state’s duty to protect and foster it. The second damaging provision is the removal of clause 29 that was instilled to protect the minorities. How can one explain such a one-sided constitution predicated on the whim and fancy of the majority, and recklessly ignoring pleas from the minorities and the moderate Sinhala?
Burning Issue / December 5, 2014
“Anagarika Dharmapala unleashed forces that to this day reverberate not only in his country of birth but offshore as well. He was born to an incipient Buddhist Revival movement in the middle of the 19th Century but then found himself championing it in the first half of the 20th Century to the great delight of Buddhists everywhere. The Buddhist Revival movements in India, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand owe a great deal to the pioneering efforts of Anagarika Dharmapala. The Buddhist nationalist movements in Sri Lanka of Brahmachari Walisinghe Harischandra, Sinhala Maha Sabha of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, the Buddhist National Revolution of 1956 and the Bauddha Jathika Balavegaya (BJB) of L.H. Mettananda have their genesis in the foundation laid by Dharmapala.”
Burning Issue / December 5, 2014
“How does large scale immigration of Muslim trading communities from india during British period has any relevance to the muslim partnerships with kotte king during Kotte period?”
I was pointing out the paradox that Anagariga Dharmapala disliked the Christians, and the Portuguese in fact neutralized the influence of the Muslims in Colombo.
“It is not rocket science to understand that native people will dislike immigrants from a different country come and take away their place.”
It is strange that, the Buddhism came from India and why didn’t they dislike it?
“Have you seen Colombo during pre portugese period to say it was virtually muslim? As most of your claims on history this is also based on here say and your favorite tamil narrative.”
Such, this subject was debated on Groundviews sometime back, a prominent member of that forum called Wejeyapala pointed to this irony. It is a pity that he has disappeared from all the forums.
“Many Sinhala acknowledge the wrongs by Sinhala leaders and the need to introspection. When MR had NPC elections there was not a single protest by Sinhalese against that.”
Please save your crocodile tears. The NPC elections were a smokescreen, and it has no substance! Why don’t the Sinhala masses protest that the NPC do not espouse powers?
“Because Sinhalese have learnt a lot, tamils haven’t.”
The Sinhala have leaned to use the weakness of the Tamils after May 2009 to permanently subjugate them!
On the subject of me not criticizing the Tamil Nationalism and the modus operandi employed by the LTTE, you have no idea as to what I have been saying both on these forums and on Groundviews. I criticized Amirthalingham for his fiery speaches leading upto the 1977 general elections. I categorically criticized the Vaddukoddai Resolution. I completely loathed the concept of suicide bombing and child conscription. I voiced my opposition to the tiger flag waving diaspora protesters. I supported call for a genuine introspection among the Tamils. I said that the GFT is a big mistake.
However, I support the position taken by the present Tamil leadership, the TNA. I vehemently oppose your view that the TNA put obstacles to progress in terms of reconciliation. In fact, TNA made things easier for the Sinhala to accommodate the Tamils by denouncing violence and separatism. They have submitted a set of proposals and invited the government to initiatives towards constructive bilateral negotiations. It is evident that MR has practically found it difficult to deal with the position taken by the TNA. MR would have preferred that TNA had taken a hardline stance thus making his position much easier!
Native Vedda / December 4, 2014
Please read the following article on the nasty little Aryan Anagarika Dharmapala (the homeless one) racist.
Burning Issue / December 5, 2014
Thanks Native; it is an interesting reading. The British thought Tharmapala was a homosexual who had an axe to grind about something, and did not take him seriously. In reality, he in fact set the wheels in motion for the hardliners to use his legacy as a catalyst for their exclusive Sinhala agenda.
sach / December 5, 2014
Care to explain how he set the wheels?
Dharmapala (though not blameless) took the leadership for an oppressed people. He was a character required for an oppressed people under an imperial rule. Imperials did ethnic engineering, demographic changes in the natives land, took their resources and made them mere spectators of the whole robbery of their land.
The natives who were being out numbered and robbed did not have anyone to stand for them. The educated sinhala elite was useless just a tool at the hands of imperialists.
The natives needed a leader, Dharmapala was one.
You did not know before that Dharmapala actually supported joining indian federation so kept on saying ‘he inculcated insecurity’, but when given facts ran away.
Anagarika is not a racist but a person who came to stand up for the oppressed natives. His words might be tough, but that was what he was.
For your information there are schools for children started by Dharmapala still functioning in Bihar. This year Indian gover issued a stamp commemorating him.
sach / December 5, 2014
This Aswer brings out letters from that Eelamist Sachi Sri. Wonder how a person who has chosen a ‘neutral’ name has such affiliation with LTTE propaganda people. :D speaks for the nature of the people..
The Tamils though want to twist the history of Sinhalese have several limitations. Though they have english education, international connections and some education, they lack the knowledge of Sinhala folk lore, Pali language, etc. So when they lie, an educated or a learned sinhala can catch it.
The ‘Arya’ that Anagarika Dharmapala uses can (probably) be the Pali word Arya. That is understood by the fact, Dharmapala use Arya and not Aryan. In Pali Ariya means great and noble. In Buddhism, the good living is named as ‘Arya Ashtangika Magga/Marga’. Its meaning is ‘noble’ and it has no connection to any race. As a buddhist activist, more than a sinhala nationalist he has used the term ‘Arya’. Just because Hitler had a fascination with Aryan, it does not make Arya in Pali the same Aryan of Hitler.
And Aswer, you can check Micheal ROberts article on how Prabhakaran venerated Hitler, immitated Hitler salute and even a keen reader of Mein Kempf.
soma / December 1, 2014
The most significant lesson the Sinhalese should remember for the eternity is what followed the Ranil-Prabakaran pact. Even after such a concessional offer wherein one third of the territory was surrendered on a platter as a prelude to further negotiations Tamils decided to go for the jugular and finish off the job assuming it was the most oppotune moment for creating Ealam within the shortest possible time at whatever the cost in blood.
It is the responsibility of the writers like you to keep this memory alive and inscribe in the rock of history so that the same misadventure will never ever be attempted again.
Lanka Liar / December 1, 2014
Great journalist from Sri Lanka. Just missed out on the Presidential Lap top award. They will give him a mouse next time I mean Presidential Mouse.