23 May, 2019

Blog

Democracy Undermined By Discrimination

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole –

Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Racial Discrimination

March 21 is “The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.” The Election Commission (EC) celebrates such key dates on the international calendar as pertain to elections and the franchise. I have been asked to write on this because some still entertain doubts as to how racial discrimination relates to holding free and fair elections.

To quote the Tupac Shakur, The power is in the people and the politics we address. We must all protest the discrimination our rulers engage in.

Money-Power Discrimination

The EC considers money leading to undue influence, or power, in elections as disadvantaging poorly-funded candidates. We are tackling the money-power nexus in politics through a new Bill limiting campaign finance. It awaits cabinet approval before Parliament’s approval. 

Money-Power politics is older than our 1931 Donoughmore reforms. In 1879, when the Governor appointed our representatives, Kumari Jayawardena (Nobodies to Somebodies: The Rise of the Colonial Bourgeoisie in Sri Lanka, Zed Books, London, 2002, p. 219) indicates why the then British Governor favoured Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan, “the Greatest Ceylonese of all times” according to  DS. Senanayake. Ramanathan’s family bought his seat on the legislature by improperly lending money to British Governors and Colonial Secretaries who were sent back to the UK in punishment!  

Caste Discrimination

Loss of franchise through violent caste discrimination also blights our democracy despite the Donoughmore reforms. Caste discrimination, at fundamental levels of individual and community identities, denies equal electoral opportunities to aspiring politicians of depressed castes. Nira Wickramasinghe (Sri Lanka in the Modern Age: A History, Oxford, 2014, p. 150) says of the 1936 elections, that the candidate for the Kegalle seat,

“whose electorate consisted of a large percentage of members of ‘depressed castes’, claimed that headmen who were relatives of his opponent practiced ‘intimidation, coercion, abuse and assault’ on his person. The same allegations were made for the neighbouring constituency of Dedigama.”

The outgoing Northern Provincial Council of 38 members hosted only two of depressed caste. 

From Power Consolidation to Elimination of Tamils

As Wickramasinghe further noted (ibid.) “The 1936 elections consolidated the recapture of power by Sinhala-Buddhist politicians.” Post-independence, upcountry Tamils who regularly voted, were stripped of their citizenship. Electoral seat numbers computed even thereafter used their head-count, thereby permitting minority Sinhalese among them to be elected.

From the 1990s to 2009 the Tamil community of the North-East was stripped of its franchise when the LTTE forbade voting on pain of death. It suited the government because it allowed unqualified stooges to be elected on fewer than 10 votes sometimes, and sit on the cabinet giving the government the claim of being national. The then Election Department found it safe to certify the absurd result. I was told “No written complaint was received.” 

Unsatisfied by these gains, the state apparatus continues to eliminate Tamils. The promises to the UNHRC to implement reconciliation and try perpetrators of international crimes – state soldiers who murdered non-militant Tamils – were to spare the state from imminent war-crimes trials by the international community. Now we see it was a farce with the President threatening to withdraw from UNHRC Resolution 30/1, saying no solider will be punished. The investigations into the ‘Trincomalee 11’ are yet another farce enacted for this month’s UNHRC sessions – Colombo Telegraph reports (11.03.2019) that the President asked the Attorney General not to arrest the suspected naval commander.

Today Sinhalese politicians must show communal venom and bare their fangs at Tamils to win like the President interfering with the normal course of the law. Even Lakshman Kiriella, with many Tamils in his electorate, had to promise Parliament that foreign judges will not be used in war-crimes prosecutions. It follows that, as in the Janasansadaya case (SC/FR430/2005), without foreign judges convictions for torture will be suspended by local judges under what the local Supreme Court permitted in the guise of ‘judicial discretion’.

In the systemic alienation of Tamils in our struggle for justice and electoral participation, the essence of democracy is eroded. 

Colonization

“Mrs. P.S.M. Charles, Esq.”  2008.10.01 –  2012.05.15 as listed by the Vavuniya District Secretariat

Another big story of Tamil elimination is in the neighbouring colonization schemes of Kelebogaswewa, Namalgama, and Karuwalagaswewa. From D.S. Senanayake’s time Sinhalese citizens, including prisoners, have been moved into the Northeast in organized colonization. Tamil objections are not to Sinhalese living in our midst, as often claimed, but to the government giving state lands and funds to Sinhalese doing so. In Mullaithivu, Trinco, and other well-known cases, the government has also handed over private lands to resettle Sinhalese while Tamils are violently thrust into under-resourced camps and settlements. 

Consider the Vavuniya settlement, Boogaswewa. It lies in thick jungle in a 20-hectare corridor overlapping Vavuniya and Anuradhapura. Such settlements had once been majority Tamil. Those not massacred, were evacuated during the war because of the army’s misbegotten assumption that all Tamils were Tigers. Post-war, 2010 onwards, about 3,000 Sinhalese were brought in on the pretext of refugee resettlement on funds for the displaced (i.e. mainly Tamils). Pointing to a larger conspiracy, controlling key water resources, all ponds are on lands now reserved by forestry authorities.

Should the EC care? Elections Distorted, Democracy Undermined

Aside from diluting local communities’ votes to democratically voice and influence issues affecting them, a key goal of colonization is that MPs representing the settlers are Sinhalese, and to that end the settlers must vote in their new settlements.

There were two problems faced by those behind this evil project. One, the Government Agents (GAs) are, on the presumption of integrity, the Chief Returning Officers (CROs) whom the EC appoints for each district. The GA also has power to alienate crown lands to the fake refugees. Two, it is election officials who register voters. So?

Ms. P.S.M. Charles, then-GA/Vavuniya, handled the 2010 elections dutifully. It is perhaps because ofher unwillingness to bow down to unlawfully exercised authority that she was sacked last year as DG Customs. Her Minister had to reinstate her under public outcry. Given her toughness, she had to go.  

The new GA brought in to replace Ms. Charles got to work quickly; my officials in Vavuniya say that he bypassed normal accounting procedures and distributed land and relief directly to the alleged re-settlers. The crucial position of Commissioner General of Elections (CGE) under us is currently vacant. It requires election experience, which that GA has. A CGE carries the protocol rank of Secretary. Still a GA, we expect him to apply if we advertised. Should he, I am advised that refusing to appoint him based on the testimony of officials who will not testify in court, places the EC in legal jeopardy. So the EC is under pressure not to advertise the position to outsiders to look for the best Sri Lankan. 

Around 2010, our Vavuniya Election Officials reflected their largely Tamil electors. Vavuniya’s then-Security Forces Commander, a Sinhalese Roman Catholic, wrote a letter to the then-Department of Elections. He asked we remove our senior Tamil officials in Vavuniya. He also wanted all non-Sinhalese planning officials, like AGAs, gone. Such a move, aside from its blatant abuse of power, placed linguistic and cultural barriers to the people’s electoral rights and EC’s services. We did not accede.

With such political meddling, some GAs failed us during the 2015 elections. When the party in government demanded voter information from CROs, many North-East GAs pressured our officials for that information. This abuse came to light when a brave official refused. 

Our fourth wave of colonization has corrupted democracy. 

Evidence

All this can be dismissed as imagined or created by me. Not, however, the second problem that the perpetrators of this communalist colonization conspiracy faced. That paper trail from the Security Forces Commander to transfer Tamils, removes deniability. Voter records are another paper trail. 

Voter Records Testify to the Un-reported War on Tamils

As Sinhalese settlers were bought in, the army ensured Tamils who independently resettled in their own homes were beaten up and chased off, as were outsider witnesses. But the un-reported war on Tamils is witnessed in EC records. My officials say that well after the forced settlement, they were forced to register as voters those colonists whose “home-addresses” were in the settlements.

Here is the story of Boogaswewa in Vavuniya District, Vavuniya South DS Division, Pirappammadu GS Division in 1989 — a then-inconsequential mixed village of 63 voters, fully abandoned by 2000, slowly resettled entirely by Sinhalese and explosive growth after transferring Ms. Charles out in 2012. Then split twice, and parts moved to Anuradhapura in 2017, giving me no data after 2016.

Anuradhapura-Vavuniya Boundary with Vavuniya South Villages Vanishing into Anuradhapura

Rice Christianity to Throne Buddhism.

Many nationalists, attempting another way to discriminate, aver that Christians converted for rice, weakening Christian election candidatures. So this is an era of “Throne Buddhists.” To capture state power we must be Buddhists. The Tamil Nayakkar Kings of Kandy had perfected this art of being Tamil Saivites in their palace-homes, and patrons of Buddhism outside. 

Both SWRD Bandaranaike and JR Jayewardene did the same – born and brought up as Anglicans, they took to Buddhism and soon held the reins of power. The inimical pressure to deny ones minority faith also shows in the devoutly Catholic Ms. Charles, sporting a pottu and holy ash in her portrait. 

However, the old religion, Hinduism, has a hold on many. Ranil Wickremesinghe is pictured in the unstitched verti and Tamil shawl in India worshipping as a devout Hindu. Mahinda Rajapaksa misses no chance to crack coconuts in Hindu temples.

Why do these gentlemen, so attracted by Hinduism to go all the way to India to worship as Hindus, object to Hindus in the North-East? Why do their governments uproot Hindus, deny them their franchise, and re-label their temples Buddhist?

Let us end discrimination. Let all speak our language of choice and follow our true faith. We need those freedoms for democracy to work and to choose rulers based on ability and integrity, whatever their faith, language, and domicile.

In the meantime, nobody in Sri Lanka believes our rulers when they claim to address discrimination. They annually lie to the UNHRC promising to implement Resolution 30/1. Can the UNHRC not see? Or is theirs also a charade enacted for us? Enough with the lies!! These matters concern all Sri Lankans – Sinhalese, Tamils, and Muslims – unless we want to empower our rulers to kill us with impunity and prevent the appointment of our best as CGE.

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Latest comments

  • 4
    6

    This is completely vomiting toxic stuff. If you are so honest and genuine, why just Like Tamils in Vishvamadu did to an Army officer, don’t take you on their shoulders. Why LTTE students in the Yapanaya University do not invite for a Talk on something such as “Why Yapanaya is still not Evangelist”

  • 2
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 1
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 7
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    Although Prof. Hoole’s specialization is in the area of Electrical Engineering, he makes references to books on the subject, indicating that he can be an all rounder. But alas! Some publications may not have the same credence as that of others referred to by the Prof. He goes on to talk of Ms. Charles sporting a Pottu. To me that is an unkind cut. Unlike others, Ms. Charles has the guts to face any kind of unwanted opposition and would not bend to pressures. So her sporting a Pottu is her choice and definitely not an act of bending to “Hindu majoritarianism”. While the Prof. quotes about various acts of discrimination, the population as a whole has stood up for what is good irrespective of one’s origins. An example of the yesteryear is the election of Mr. Freeman to our legislature by the people of Anuradhapura. Recently all concerned stood for Ms. Charles, a leader par-excellence. Her attempted denigration was considered a crime which heaven and earth could not bear. Even in the best of democracies where Prof. Hoole once resided and taught all kinds of gimmicks take place effectively to dilute democracy. So, my appeal to Prof. Hoole is not to make a tale of woo all the time but innovate or adapt methods of other localities so that greater justice can prevail in the society. Prof! I know you can be of immense service to the country of you apply yourself towards it.

    • 7
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      GS
      Christians had a ‘thing’ about wearing the pottu a few decades ago.
      Times have changed.
      Pottu is seen more as fashion than anything else. Not all use the ‘kunkumam’ powder. Sticker pottus are convenient and fashionable. Also, many Sinhalese wear the pottu on occasion.
      *
      Some obsessions are hard to cure.

    • 4
      3

      Dear Good Sense,
      .
      Prof. Hoole is a wonderful guy, and he’s done, is doing, and (insha Allah!) will do a lot of good to us, and to our country. I think that you also grant that.
      .
      I read this article in the early hours of this morning, but didn’t bother to make what would have been the first comment. Had I made it, it would have been almost the same as what you have written. But yours has been written better. That talk about “pottus” is quite unnecessary. Haven’t many of us told him that already? But what’s the use? He seems to have been born incorrigible; for all that he’s otherwise a near perfect guy. Mrs Charles, forgive him, for he knows not what he does.
      .
      No point trying to reform him. For 67 years he’s had a perfect elder brother, Dr Rajan Hoole, around for him to emulate. Please read his comment some way below this.
      .
      Some guys like Suranga G., Eagle Eye, and Kumar R, will always troll. Let them; no point wasting time on that. Just now, I did read Suranga and I posted a riposte. Let’s preserve our resources to fight their leaders in the form of the Rajapaksas.

      • 6
        2

        Sinhala_Man,
        .
        Seeking favouritism is just as evil as practicing discrimination. Even worse is when one seeks favouritism that surely undermines the rights of his own struggling community!
        .
        Can you or Jeevan explain what circumstances lead to MR promising to intervene to have Jeevan appointed as VC of UOJ? Wasn’t the gullible Jeevan hoodwinked by the “VC-carrot on a stick” into supporting MR at the expense of the Tamil’s fairness struggle? If that is not the case, can either of you give one rational explanation as to what else would prompt MR to promise Jeevan the VC post?
        .
        Your faked fawning over the Hooles with some mystical “good”, “honest”, “great” labels, and repeating them over and over is possibly rooted in some fraternal obligation you have rather than anything material or factual. Your high-praises remain just pointless, empty rhetoric lacking in even the tiniest of validation. For instance, you repeatedly bleat “he has done so many great things for the country.” I asked you name just one – and you have no answer!
        .
        Educators (even retired ones!) have the responsibility to educate – not obfuscate.

    • 2
      2

      Prof. Pointed out the holy ash and pottu combination – you are selectively speaking of only the pottu as if she’s making a fashion statement.

    • 2
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      Pottu is part of Tamil culture and not necessarily a part of Hindu culture. Of course the differentiating line is very thin. It is really silly for one to make an issue of such trivial things!

  • 14
    5

    Jeevan,
    .
    When exactly did you discover that discrimination is rampant in Sri Lanka?
    .
    Your attempts to paint yourself now as championing democratic governance sans racial or other discrimination rings hollow only because of your recent-past support of MR/Gota regime even as they practiced the worst kind of racial discrimination – stretched as far as random mass killings of the “other” race!
    .
    And, all the while, you were a strong ardent supporter of that murderous regime up until you came to realize MR was just taking you down a garden path – the inevitable Condom treatment, after he had, thanks to your help, got all the cover he needed from international condemnation!
    .
    If that is not the case, could you explain the simple and direct question ”what exactly was the circumstance that led to MR assuring to intervene to get you appointed as VC at UOJ?”

    PS: You truly have a lot to learn about Hinduism! Fundamentally, Hinduism does not practice any form of restrictive exclusivity. You don’t have to “become” a Hindu to practice Hinduism – nor can the highest of priests or any other throw you out of being a Hindu. Sigh!!

  • 5
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    “The Muslim population in Pulmoaddai has complained of Sinhala colonisation in surrounding areas, particularly since the end of the armed conflict in 2009. The expansion of Sinhala settlements, including along the B60 road and on land owned by Muslims, has alarmed the local population and increased tensions. The proliferation of military camps and Buddhist temples, on top of the settlements, are perceived by locals to be part of a wider effort to Sinhalise the region – dividing the previously contiguous Tamil-speaking populations on the Mullai-Trinco border.
    The area is home to the Buddhist monk Thilakawansa Nayaka, a native of Hambantota currently based in Arisimalai, just south of Pulmoaddai town. According to Muslim and Tamil residents, the monk is behind the establishment of the Buddhist temples and Sinhala settlements in the region. He is currently engaged in appropriating land in Pulmoaddai and Thennaimaravaadi for the purpose of constructing Buddhist structures.” https://sangam.org/sinhalization-of-the-north-east-pulmoaddai/

  • 11
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    The paper trail the author mentions goes back to Minister Gamini Dissanaike’s Gazette notification of 15th April 1988 declaring Weli Oya a Special Area under the Mahaveli Authority. However, the operation under JOSSOP with an administrative officer, Bandaragoda, in charge, was set in motion in late 1984 (http://www.uthr.org/SpecialReports/spreport5.htm ). It was done without a paper trail (my Arrogance of Power). The Tamils were ordered by loudspeaker to move out.
    Jeoffrey Gunasekera who was in charge of Pallekele Prison in 1984 was asked to offer incentives to recruit Sinhalese prisoners to move to Kent and Dollar Farms from where the Tamils had been previously evicted. He advised them that they would get these promised benefits only when their prison terms end – if they are alive (Island 3 April 2013). He added, as human beings like us, they should not be offered the impossible. The major massacre to clear Tamils from the area, who were then harvesting their fields, was undertaken on 15th February 1985 (Palmyra Fallen).
    This story parallels the horrendous manner in which both elite Sinhalese and Tamil nationalists have been treating the vulnerable sections of their population. Both groups have been romping around like headless chickens destroying their country and people. The Sinhalese sent to populate the area today will not face the LTTE but are up against an even more potent malignancy – Chronic Kidney Disease.
    How little the State has learnt is evident from the fact of a headless government still ordering the Army high command to settle poor Sinhalese in the area. The arrival of the Indian Army gave this programme a check in 1987, but the LTTE went to war against it and the Tamil elite subsequently fell in line. Mullivaykkal was the final act of this headless nationalism.

    • 7
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      “The arrival of the Indian Army gave this programme a check in 1987, but the LTTE went to war against it and the Tamil elite subsequently fell in line.”
      *
      Lesson: The IPKF should have been allowed to rule the NE?

      • 6
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        Oh come on SJ: Why pick a line out of context and throw a mocking question?
        “The arrival of the Indian army gave this programme a check…” is a perfectly valid observation which does not imply that RH wishes/wished the IPKF to rule the NE. In the preceding paragraph he writes “…horrendous manner in which both elite Sinhalese and Tamil nationalists have been treating the vulnerable sections of their population…” which seems fairly accurate to me. Does it not to you?

        • 2
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          L
          Nice to hear from you after a long time.
          India is busy buying members of the elite in the North to create the impression that it is a defender of Tamil interests.
          That is where the relevance is.
          *
          Please read the Broken Palmyra with care.
          There was a review written soon after it was published that drew attention to its soft corner for the IPKF. (The publication of the magazine that carried the review was blocked for nearly one year by persons close to the publishers of the book.)

  • 4
    1

    It is evident that a ‘NO CONFIDENCE’ motion has been passed by both the government and the opposition on Lord Buddha. They seem to have confidence in Hindu Gods, thus they are begging for favours from Thirupathy. Now Thirupathy God has a problem. In that he is in a predicament, in selecting the right person to rule Srilanka. Both are equally good or equally bad .Will they keep to their promise to ‘bribe’ the god in question.? May be he will select the person with a ‘heavy weight’ as they are obliged to give money to match their “body weight”.
    Then Nadu-udaya Sivane Pootri– En Nattavarukkum Irava Pootri

  • 7
    9

    Prof. Hoole, What a joke to say Sinhala people who lived with Vedda Eththo in this country for thousands of years colonized their own country. It is like saying English people colonized England. You probably are a descendant of slaves brought to this country by Portuguese and Dutch who does not know the history of Sinhale.
    North-East of the country is where Sinhala civilization flourished. Sinhala kingdoms Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa were in that part of the country. Sinhalayo build one of the most advanced irrigation system with hundreds of man-made reservoirs. Bloody Dravidian barbarians from Hindusthan invaded this country and destroyed those kingdoms killing civilians, burning settlements and looting. It was Dravidians who colonized land of Sinhalayo. After Portuguese and Dutch colonized this country, Sinhalayo had to fight against them and much of the North-East of the country turned into jungle. Then Portuguese and Dutch colonial parasites brought thousands and thousands of Dravidian slaves from Hindusthan to cultivate tobacco and indigo in Yapanaya area. By the time Parangi came Yapanaya was inhabited by Sinhalayo and Muslims with few remnants of invading Dravidians but the demography changed completely as a result of bringing slaves from Hindusthan.
    British renovated few irrigation systems destroyed by Dravidians in 1930’s and invited Demalu to settle but scared of malaria they refused to come. Then land was given to Sinhalayo. Same thing happened when Hon. D.S.Senanayake started settlement schemes, wrongly named as Colonization Schemes by B.H.Farmer who was brain washed by Demala bureaucrats. Even Hon.D.S Senanayake wanted to give land to Demalu but they were scared to come because of malaria. Brave Sinhalayo went and cleared the jungle and established settlements. Now Demalu say Sinhalayo colonized their land. What bloody nonsense.
    ———-
    If you want to live in this country study the history of Sinhale and write.

  • 1
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    This covers from 1911-2014 with pictures and interactive maps http://www.sinhalisation.com/

  • 4
    5

    Only power the Sinhalese have is majority, nothing else. From 80 percent, it has come down to 60.
    ,
    Would a thriving race decrease in number? If Sinhalese had more power would the demography in our capital will be as shown below?
    ,
    In terms of religion, 31.4% are affiliated with Islam, 31.2% are Buddhist, 22.6% follow Hinduism, and about 14% are affiliated with some form of Christianity.
    ,
    In a country can we have designated areas for each race? What happened to the Sinhalese and the Muslims in the North?
    ,
    Who is fighting for power, based on caste mainly? Do you think the poor care much about who is in power and what is his or her caste?
    ,
    Try to understand. The Tamil diaspora is only after a conflict for financial gains. The West and the UN are after the same thing.
    ,
    LTTE were the dogs of them. Don’t think like one. Use your brain to avoid conflict and thrive together as one. It’s high time for good people of both sides to forgive and forget.

    • 5
      4

      Dear Suranga Gunasekera,
      .
      Untruthful Sinhalese, and untruthful Buddhists, are a disgrace to all of us. How can anyone possibly live with dishonest people like you?
      .
      Your figures are all wrong. If you submitted statistics for the demography of the Greater Colombo area, they have been rightly edited out by CT. Why do you troll like this? I see nothing like “forget and forgive” in what you write. CT ought to edit out entire comments like yours.
      .
      We should be ashamed of the fact that we have made life for Hindus so impossible that their percentage has come down drastically owing to emigration. Oh, and we did murder quite a few of them for all that some guys like Gotler and you deny it.
      .
      Muslim figures aren’t anything as high as you say that they are. It is true that their percentage has gone up, but our Sinhalese numbers are increasing more. Why can’t we be more constructive? Male Muslim MPs are refusing to reform MMDA. If our MPs who are non-Muslims force legislation through parliament making their marriage rules the same as that of everybody else, I would rejoice, and so would an overwhelming majority of Muslim women – and some Muslim men. Right now an infant Muslim (of either sex) could legally be married off to an old man. It is not even the wife who has to enter into a marriage contract; her father signs for her. It is not so even in Muslim majority countries.
      .
      You have also exaggerated the number of Christians. Your figures don’t add upto 100%. Rightly so. Why should everybody have a religion? If your comments come from a guy following a religion, it would certainly be better if nobody had a religion. No, I don’t advocate the actual banning of religion. How can we? It’s such a personal thing. Every human needs a system of values – else we could relegate them to the class of “non-human animals”.
      .
      If there is a mirror handy, please look in it; you may find a dog looking at you.

      .

      • 6
        2

        Dear Sinhala_man,
        ,
        A person’s soul is their mirror. What ever I wrote before was written truthfully.
        ,
        I think you are mistaken. Read again and you will find the demography shown was only for Colombo.
        ,
        God loves every one without discrimination and even you. Be more constructive if your mirror permits you.
        ,
        You need courage to speak the truth. Don’t play into the hands of the evil, by playing the fit-in game.
        ,
        Don’t say anything out of fear. Fear of rejection, future, persecution etc.
        God is the unending fountain of love. Fear doesn’t come from God and neither does hate.
        ,
        Life happens. You can’t change others. “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
        ,
        Good luck

        • 5
          2

          Dear Suranga Gunasekera,
          .
          Yes, some hours after posting my comment I realised that the demographics that you had given were “only for Cololmbo”. When that is realised your argument is rather more rational.
          .
          Whether the Sinhalese were ever as high as 80%, I doubt. Easy to check, but I’m getting sleepy at 4.00 a.m. But what I have to apologise for really is the quite strident tone; you have scored by adopting a much softer tone. Thanks.

          • 5
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            👍

        • 1
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          Continuing . . . .

          All communities must put a brake on population increases; a couple may produce two children to replace them, but not any more. Obviously the replacement level may be pushed up from 2.0 to 2.2 or so to make up for those who will not have children.
          .
          I must confess that I’ve been doing some re-thinking.
          .
          One must ignore the lunatic fringe, but what I have noted during the last four years is that some rational people seem to believe that during the period of the Portuguese and the Dutch lots of Tamils were brought in to work on tobacco and cinnamon cultivations, and swelled the numbers in the North. This is new to me.
          .
          Let me acknowledge two things: First, the attutudes that I had imagined were real came from a guy (that’s me!)whose world-views were subconsciously formed in childhood. Secondly, I know that one mustn’t imagine that quoting Wikipedia is intellectually sufficient.
          .
          On the other hand, very few do I see accepting that we are all of South Indian origin, essentially Dravidians. I must hasten to add that nobody looking at my roots would conclude that I’m of “recent Indian Arrival”. It’s just that all of us Sinhalese “look South Indian in every way”. Those Aryan myths have already done us immense harm.

    • 4
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      Dear Suranga,
      .
      Your demographic percentages are wrong.
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Sri_Lanka#Religion

      I have no idea where you picked them up, I am well aware of the facts that are read under Wik is also not the latest. Anyways, those numbers are approximately correct.
      But your numbers are really far from the them. Please check it again.
      :
      You may be right, mostly, you come with some good comments. Unfortunately, you have gone wrong on the numbers this time.

      • 2
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        Dear friend,
        ,
        I accept I’m not perfect or near to that.
        ,
        http://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/colombo-population/
        ,
        Hope this will help.
        ,
        Thank you kindly.

        • 1
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          Dear Suranga,
          .
          Having got over that bit of misunderstanding where I (carelessly) imagined that the figures you gave us for Colombo I thought you meant for the country, let me ask you how accurate your opening statement was:
          .
          “Sinhalese . . . from 80 percent, it has come down to 60.”
          .
          How does that square with this?
          .
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Sri_Lanka
          .
          I had never thought it necessary to question those figures. Even now they seem all right. So according to those figures, we Sinhalese have gone up from 66.91% in 1881 to 74.90% in 2011.
          .
          Tamils down from 24.90% to 15.27% in the same period.
          .
          Explanations: The Sirima-Shastri Pact was signed in October 1964. Repatriations, now when did they actually take place? I have vivid memories of horrendous screaming in “up-country” railway stations about 1968 to 1971. There was, of course a change of government in 1970.
          .
          Next was the exodos of mainly “Ceylon Tamils” from 1983 to date. On the other hand, from the 1970s up to 2019, the emigration of Sinhalese has become an incresing trend. Economic migration taking away the best genes.
          .
          “Moor” population has gone up from 6.69% to 9.30%. This is worrying. Exaggerated by some, but why can’t Muslim men accept reform of MMDA? Christchurch three days ago is a reminder of what we don’t want happening.
          .
          These are the three communities that matter – I think that we could ignore the other minute communities. However, we’ve just been looking at percentages. What about gross overpopulation of the entire planet? Sri Lanka’s population has leapt from 2,759,700 to almost 22 million.

        • 1
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          Dear Suranga,
          .
          Something that misled me was your separating paragraphs using commas. I use “full stops” which I feel are less confusing.
          .
          There are others who use asterisks – * – for the purpose.
          .
          Think it over: you have yourselves used a thumbs up to thank me (and accept) my apology.

  • 6
    2

    The Holy Ash is an exclusively Hindu symbol but not so the Pottu, or ‘bindi’ as it is known in India. Many women wear a pottu on the forehead for cosmetic reasons, treating it as an item of makeup. Women also use the pottu to proclaim their civil status. If they use the red ‘kumkum’ or saffron powder it means they are married women, if they use a lacquer or sticker pottu, they are unmarried, and if they don’t wear a pottu or wear a black one, they are widows. The pottu is a cultural symbol and should not be viewed exclusively as a symbol of Hinduism. Any woman can wear a pottu, as there is no law against it, and it can actually make a woman look more attractive.

    What really mystifies me is why people who object to our women wearing the pottu think it is perfectly acceptable for women to sport lipstick and nail polish, which are alien Western imports!

    • 2
      2

      The Pottu or Bindi is worn by Tamil Christian women now as a cultural to express their Tamil identity and not as a religious symbol , however it is a custom that originates from their recent Hindu ancestry. What Professor Hoole states is correct but Sinhalese other than a few like Sinhala man are denying this truth and are coming here and posting fake history and statistics. . Lands of the Tamils and Tamil Muslims in the north and east, especially Hindu places of worship, are being appropriated by Sinhalese Buddhist Fascists , with all sorts of concocted history and lies. This is being supported by the Sri Lankan state, The Sinhalese establishment, the racist lying archaeological department ,that is now seems to be manned by Sinhalese Buddhist Fascists and not real historians or genuine archeologists , the occupying Sinhalese armed forces who are there not for land or order but to facilitate this Sinhalisation of the ancient Tamil north and east.

      • 3
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        As someone pointed out quite some time ago, there is only one kind of Archaeology in Sri Lanka and that is Sinhala Buddhist Archaeology!

  • 3
    1

    The winners in Lankan ‘democratic elections’ did, do and will play the language/religion-divide in one form or another.
    Discrimination was, is and will be there.

  • 6
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    What happened to your Raghavan being fired story. how about you bullying not much educated police constables because they are not as capable and powerful as you. Is that discrimination or bullying.

  • 2
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    I wonder Mrs Charles gave her permission to Mr Wonderful to discuss about her personal choices in public forums or not. If not then she should take him to court to teach a lesson to a fake champion of civil rights.
    [edited out]

    • 3
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      Aney, you are so wonderfully naive, no? Have you not been following events? She has no chance in court, I tell you, because he will turn up with a textbook on Electromagnetism!!

  • 0
    0

    Mr. Hoole. The Nayakas were not Tamils. The Tamils who claim that the Nayakas who ruled the Sinhalese kingdom of Kandy were Tamil should watch this video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weYLhPE9Wfc
    As the video clearly shows the Tamils never considered the Nayakas as Tamils and the Nayakas never considered themselves Tamils. Most of it is just propaganda constructed by Nam Tamilar’s Seeman, who is accusing the Nayakas and Telegu people of various crimes and trying to involve the Sinhalese also in his allegations, but the point is that this video shows the relationship between the Tamils and the Nayakas and clearly proves that the Tamils always considered the Nayakas as foreigners. So how come the Nayakas suddenly became Tamils when they came to the Sinhalese city of Kandy? Sinhalese referred to the Nayakas as Demala, Andhra Demala and Vaduga or Vadiga (derived from the Tamil word Vadugar for Telugus). Demala being a blanket term used for any south Indian and sometimes used to denote any foreigner. Another thing that this video proves is that there is no distinction between Tamils in this island and the Tamils of Tamilnadu, in other words, Tamils here are a relatively recent diaspora of Tamilnadu.
     
    As for the relationship between Telugus and Tamils: Telegus have lived in Tamilnadu for centuries and comprises a good 10% of the population. Although they have lived in Tamilnadu for centuries they are not proficient in Tamil. Even today there is a lot of tension between the Telugus and Tamils. Eg. Balakrishna Reddy who is a Telugu and also minister in Tamilnadu cannot speak Tamil properly nor can he read or write Tamil (Ref. article id=1528505#3064281 in Dinamalar paper).

  • 0
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    For some unknown obnoxious reason the Tamils try to claim that the Nayaka kings who became Sinhalese kings were Tamils. Maybe the Tamils think that they can lay claim on the hill country too? As the video above and all literature from Tamilnadu show, the Nayakas were most certainly not Tamils, infact there was much animosity between the Nayakas and the Tamils, and it is highly doubtful that the Nayaka kings in Kandy were even thoroughly proficient in Tamil. Proof of this can be seen also in the documents regarding the expulsion of Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe’s relatives by the British. When the Nayaka relatives of Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe were deported in 1815, among the persons who signed the documents, 30 persons signed in Telegu while only 16 signed in Tamil, and only one Nayaka relative of the king signed in Sinhalese (a total 68 persons were deported in two batches).
     
    Also the Tamils try to present Kandy as having a huge Tamil-speaking population consisting of Nayakas and Tamils, but the real situation is that there were hardly any Tamils in all of the hill country, and the total number of Nayakas would have been less than 200 (Ref. “A Critical Edition of Tamil Documents Relating to the Deportation of Sri Vikrama Rajasimha’s Relatives ” by S. Thananjayarajasingham). There might have been some south Indians (Telugus, Tamils etc) in the country, other than the relatives of the king, but they were most certainly not many. The first census done by the British in 1824 show that there were almost only Sinhalese in the hill country. The hill country was more or less a homogeneous Sinhalese area until the British started importing plantation Tamils and other Indians.

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