By R. Sampanthan –
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa,
President Socialist Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka,
Establishment of a Presidential Task Force for Archeological Heritage Management in the EASTERN PROVINCE, as per proclamation published in Gazette Extraordinary Number 2178/17 of June 02 2020
I write with reference to the above matter.
Initially I wish to make the following observations.
1. Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic, multi lingual, multi religious, multi-cultural pluralistic society.
2. Sri Lanka comprises of Nine (9) province of which the Eastern Province is one.
3. The Eastern Province has been a multi ethnic province though the majority has always been predominantly Tamil speaking.
4. In its composition the Task Force is Pan Sinhala. The manner of its composition clearly indicates that it is meant to serve the interests of one community – the Sinhalese, and one religion – Buddhism who it must be admitted are the majority in the country.
5. It would be pertinent to raise the question, why other provinces have been left out, why other communities and other religions have been left out.
As a Sri Lankan Tamil and as a devout Hindu, my concerns are aroused, because of the deep roots the Tamil Hindu people have not merely in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, but also in the whole country.
The eminent Sri Lankan Historian P E Pieris has in his historical works stated that “Long before the arrival of Vijaya there were in Lanka five recognized Isvarams of Lord Siva which claimed and received the adoration of all India. These were Tirukketiswaram near Mahatittha, Munnisswaram dominating Salawatta and the Pearl Fishery, Tondeswaram near Mantota, Tirukkoneswaram opposite the great Bay of Koddiyar and Nakuleswaram near Kankesanturai”. Two of these Ishvarams were in the Northern Province one in the Eastern Province one in the Western Province and yet another one in the Southern Province. It is significant that according to P E Pieris this renowned historian these recognized Ishvarams of Lord Siva which received the adoration of all India existed in different parts of Sri Lanka long before the arrival of Vijaya. Vijaya is believed to be the precursor of the Sinhala race.
Since the proclamation pertains to the Eastern Province I will now refer to Thirukoneshwaram the Ishvaram of Lord Siva referred to above which is situated at Trincomalee in the Eastern Province. Thirukoneshwaram is referred to as Dakshana Kailas in the Puranas. This renowned Temple of Lord Siva had three Gopurams. One on either side abutting the sea and one in the Centre, on the site presently comprising the Fort Frederic. The main Mandapam is believed to have comprised of one thousand (1000) pillars. Father Queyroz Priest and Historian of the Portuguese period has said in his writings – “The Pagoda of Triquilimale was at this time the Rome of the Gentiles of the Orient, and more frequented by pilgrims than that of Ramanacoir near the shoals of Chilao, and that of Xilavarao, eight leagues from Nagapatao, and that of Canjavarao, two days journey from S. Thome and Tripiti and Tremel in Bisnaga and Jagarpati in Orixa, and Vixante in Bengal, which are the most frequented in these days by the Gentiles” – This statement by a catholic priest / historian of the Portuguese period that Thirukoneswaram situated at Trincomalee in the Eastern Province was venerated more and frequented more than the prominent temples in South India, establishes how renowned the Temple was – The Thirukoneswaram temple was ruthlessly destroyed by Portuguese Viceroy Constantine De Saa when he took possession of the port of Trincomalee in 1622 A D. The material of the Temple was used to construct Fort Fredric, at the same site, and stone slabs of the temple are yet in the vicinity and embedded in the adjoining sea.
The then Prime Minister of India Shri Charan Singh visited Thirukoneswaram during the Presidency of His Excellency JR Jeyewardne. I was amongst those who received him at the Thirukoneswaram Temple on arrival as Member of Parliament for the area. The words uttered by him when he alighted from the vehicle on arrival were “I have come to Dakshana Killas” – meaning I have come to the Southern abode of the Lord Siva. The Northern abode of the Lord Siva Uthara Kailas is believed to be in the Himalayas North of India.
It is also necessary to state certain facts pertaining to Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Amparai and the Eastern Province. It is well known that since Independence in 1947 there had been strenuous efforts to convert Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Amparai and the Eastern Province into majority Sinhala speaking areas. Several Land Settlement schemes – Colonization – settling of the majority community in large numbers on newly irrigated Land in the Eastern Province, particularly in the Amparai and Trincomalee Districts in violation of the Laws of the Land and the Bandaranaike – Chelvanayakam Pact and the Dadley Senanayake – Chelvanayakam Pact were intensively carried out. In areas of such Sinhala settlement, new electoral and administrative divisions were demarcated so as to strengthen the Sinhala speaking people and to weaken the Tamil speaking people.
I attach herewith a statement setting out the figures of population in the Eastern Province and in the three Districts in the Eastern Province – Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai between 1827 and 1981. I am not giving any figures after 1981, as since the commencement of violence in 1983 which continued for several decades, people have been substantially displaced, and no statistics can be relied upon as being genuine or accurate.
From the attached statement it is clear that between 1947 (independence) and 1981, last census while the national increase in the Sinhala population was 238%, the Sinhala population in the Eastern Province increased by 883%. In the same period, the Sinhala population in the Trincomalee District increased by 549.73% and in the Amparai District by over 1250%. This was entirely caused by colonization – settling of Sinhalese from outside the North East on Land in the Eastern province.
The Northern and Eastern Provinces adjoining each other are majority Tamil speaking and have a Tamil Linguistic contiguity. Under the Indo Sri Lanka Agreement of 29th July 1987, on the basis that they were areas of historical habitation of the Tamil speaking people these areas were merged together to form one unit of devolution. There had been strong efforts to disrupt the reality that the two provinces are linguistically contiguous and have a Tamil speaking majority in every one of the districts in the Northern and Eastern provinces and in the entirety of the Northern and Eastern provinces.
The breaking up of the Tamil linguistic continuity between the Eastern and Northern provinces has been an objective of majoritarian political leadership for a long time. A new system was created under the Mahavelli Development Program designated system “L” under which system though no water had been diverted under Mahavelli to the North as yet, Land was alienated to persons from the majority community from outside the North East on the boundary of the North East in an area called “Manal Aru” or “Welioya” and institutional arrangements set up to facilitate this program. These efforts are a continuing process. The bifurcation of Tamil Linguistic contiguity in the North – East could not however succeed due to the existence of traditional Tamil villages which had been historically inhabited by Tamil people.
Violence was practiced against such Tamil people – Tamil people living in a village called Thennamaravaddy on the Northern most border of Trincomalee District were attacked. Some were killed their homes burnt and destroyed and they were driven out in December 1984. They took up residence in the adjoining Mullaitivu District and only some of them have returned to their own village Thennamarvaddy.
These facts demonstrate the extent to which action was taken to terminate the linguistic contiguity between the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Strong resistance on behalf of the Tamil speaking people and ground realities have prevented this happening thus far.
There are places of much veneration to Hindus situated outside the North East. “Kathirgamam” the most venerated shrine of Lord Muruga deep in the south. “Muneeswaram” one of the ancient Temples of Lord Siva referred to above situated in the West. “Thondeswaram” an ancient Temple of Lord Siva, said to have been in existence in south Sri Lanka prior to the advent of Vijaya the precursor of the Sinhala race. This ancient temple is now said to be in ruins. Why has the Archeological Department not taken any steps to protect and preserve the ruins of this ancient Hindu temple. There are also several other Hindu Temples all over the country which Tamil Hindus venerate.
The Archeological Department has unfortunately earned for itself the reputation of promoting only one religion and being harmful to the legitimate interests of the other religions.
There are functioning Buddhist Temples in the Eastern Province with inscriptions in Tamil. There are ruins of Buddhist temples with inscriptions in Tamil. These are all ancient inscriptions suggesting that at some period of time in the past Tamil Hindus followed the teachings of Lord Buddha. Lord Buddha was never against Hinduism. He is believed to have endeavored to purify Hinduism.
Why has the Archeological Department failed to make these matters public and educate all the people in regard to these facts. Would it not help to promote goodwill trust and harmony between the Buddhist and Hindu people. It is such failures on the part of the Archeological Department that raise legitimate scepticsm about the manner of their functioning and create the impression of there being sectarian.
It must be remembered by all concerned that Lord Buddha did not preach or practice the aggressive policies sought to be pursued by some now in his name. If His teachings were followed by those who claim to follow him, Sri Lanka would be a paradise of peace and tranquility.
Amongst the tasks entrusted to the Task Force is “To Identify the extent of Land that should be allocated for such archeological sites and take necessary measures to allocate them properly and legally”.
This Task raises several issues. Laws prevail in the country pertaining to the allocation of State Land. State Land and its allocation has been the most contentious issue in the country, since the achievement of Independence.
Several facts stated earlier in this letter clearly indicate the injustice that has been perpetrated on the Tamil speaking people in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
What is sought to be achieved by the above task being entrusted to the Task Force is to consolidate all that has happened thus far, and take further action to settle more Sinhalese at such sites in such identified extents of Land in the guise of protecting, preserving and promoting Buddhism, and thereby convert the Eastern Province and as much as possible of the Northern Province into majority Sinhalese Areas also severing the linguistic contiguity between the Northern and Eastern Provinces. This would be a travesty of justice with dangerous and harmful consequences and should be avoided.
No one objects to the protection, preservation and promotion of Buddhism. If anyone is acting in violation of the Law, relating to any Buddhist site the severest action should be taken, in regard to such conduct. Existing Law enforcement institutions should perform this task. Buddhist Temples and Monuments exist on Lands adequate for that purpose. They have so existed for centuries, for very long. No additional Land is required to fulfill that purpose. Additional Land is required by individuals who want to convert these areas into Sinhala Buddhist areas, populated by Sinhala Buddhist Citizens, violating the occupational and residential current and future needs of Tamil and Tamil speaking people who have lived on these areas from time immemorial, the Tamil Hindu people from long before the advent of Vijaya the precursor of the Sinhala race.
We wish to clearly state that without any new Land being taken over whatever needs to be done to protect, preserve and foster Buddhism can be done. That would ensure the maintenance of goodwill and harmony amongst all people.
We would request that the matters referred to in this letter be given your earnest consideration and appropriate action taken accordingly.
With my regards
Leader Tamil National Alliance
Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa
Karikalan S. Navaratnam / June 17, 2020
Mr.Sampanthan’s letter captures the anxiety and apprehension of the Tamil people. His appeal may not strike a responsive chord with a rabid racist, whose regime seeks the total liquidation of our people. Just A cry in the wilderness -may not penetrate the cranium of the Rajapaksas. Neither can we, in our desperation, seek to invoke divine intervention! Sinhala-Buddhist tribal forces, including the mainstream media, are hell bent on accelerating the process of Tamil annihilation. Tamil leadership must find a mechanism to urgently invoke international intervention against the structural genocide.
Ajith / June 17, 2020
I agree with you. The Sinhala Buddhist racists never bother about history or facts. They play different games to cheat Sinhala, Tamil and Muslims. They have now a different tactics compared to 2005 to 2015. Gotabaya is not a talker but a planner and implementor. Mahinda is a a cheater. Recently Mahinda said to international media (not to Sinhala media) about working together with TNA to find a solution. Mahindanada talked to a Tamil media (not to Sinhala media) about giving land and police posts to Tamils. This is a period of election. So, Mahinda is showing that he has changed because he needs support of Tamils to get two third majority to change the constitution to establish a permanent dictatorship. On the hand, Gota is militarise and Sinhalese whole country to get more votes from Sinhala. In the same time, India promised a big money to Gotabaya, USA agreed to give more money to Gota to implement MCC. China is a underground player give money and arms for sale of Srilanka. Tamils and Muslims now need a different path for their safety and existence in their homeland. Just talking is not enough. Real ground action is necessary by united Tamils and Muslims in the North East.
old codger / June 17, 2020
Mr. Sambandan can write very eloquent letters, but nothing will happen. But there is no need to worry too much. This is simply a diversion to keep the patriots busy. Nothing much will happen, except for producing a lot of hot air, going by the performance of other Gota task forces.
The economy is about to collapse, and yelling at Central bankers to print money or digging for ancient bricks is not going to stop it. The man is in deep shit and he knows it.
whywhy / June 17, 2020
old codger ,
” Too much of anything , good for nothing.” There’s no point trying
to fool the patriots with outdated tricks ! Corrupting the minds of
narrow minded racist voters can not travel too far before breaking
down with 1950 engines that have no spares in the market ! Make
money or quit ! No more circuses ! Task force may not be anti
minority and could be precursor to anti Sinhalese ! What they wanted
is what is in the making in different names . The majority of the
majority has been trained to be allergic to peace which is foolish .
Mallaiyuran / June 18, 2020
“Tamil leadership must find a mechanism to urgently invoke international intervention against the structural genocide. “
Thanks Naratnam. I have not read any Diaspora Group talking on this but talking about international politics. We, as one minority like American Blacks, should support their cause. Americans with their freedom fight brought an end to European slave trade on their land. American leaders brought an end to slavery with 13A with Civil war. 10% of the white population died in that war. 13A now strengthened in may ways now. Affirmative action gives more opportunities to blacks than whites. Many Players, Actors and officials and Cosby like black leaders advice black youth to use opportunities. But we the Lankawe snow ball of Tamil rights is ever accelerating seeded rolling down. Irrlevent at what lvel American blacks and we are, we need to support the black cuase. We like many Obamas and Powell, Jackson, Magic Johnson come out of them. You stressed the point I like. from 1948 t
Mallaiyuran / June 18, 2020
Ignore his please. Incomplete comment. Erroneous posting by accident.
Mallaiyuran / June 18, 2020
“Tamil leadership must find a mechanism to urgently invoke international intervention against the structural genocide. “
Thanks Navaratnam. That is a point I like to make the Diaspora Tamils to understand. Sampanthar Aiya should do his part and we need to do our part. This is a humanitarian request to IC. This is diplomatic agitation. Our diaspora leaders must abundantly clear how they are going to prepare Diaspora for this agitation. In our path, there is no door breaking. They should not remind those for diaspora activists accidentally or even as metaphorically. Our activist should not long to match Brigadier Priyanka on that path.
I have not read any Diaspora Group talking on Presidential Task Force for East. It a subject even American Ambassador wondered how could it be equal to all when one province only is selected to implement out of nine provinces. But our Diaspora organizations are writing thundery essays on George Floyd murder. Avai said the Moon doesn’t clear its black sports but sending light to earth clear its darkness. Avai took Moon as example because Moon is no match for Sun. America has declared it as the democratic guardian and spend in billions in that.
Mallaiyuran / June 18, 2020
We, who are a minority similar to American Blacks, should support their cause. But Americans are not idling or stagnated or regressing unlike Sinhala Buddhists government on the black’s rights. White Americans, with their freedom fight, brought an end to European slave trades on their land. American leaders brought an end to local slavery with 13A, with Civil war. 10% of the white population died in that war. 13A now strengthened in many ways. We know where American 13A going and our 13A going is.(Somewhere I read in an easy that if Lincoln becomes alive today, he would be listed as one within the white supremacist. Readers may remember Lincoln gave his life for this 13A.) Lankawe scrapped Soulbury’s S29 and went for Indian Pakistani Citizenship act, Sinhala Only Act and standardization of Tamils (specifically targeting Tamil student’s) studies. (I too am one of those who affected by standardization. So unlike those who didn’t get that opportunity either, I show my gratitude for North American countries for accommodating me.) In contrast to Lankawe, American Affirmative action gives more opportunities to minorities than whites. Many famous black Players, Actors and officials and Cosby like black leaders advice black youths to use opportunities as a way to compete with whites. But in Lankawe, the snow ball of Tamils’ rights is ever accelerating speeded rolling down.
Mallaiyuran / June 18, 2020
The Presidential Task Force on Eastern province Archeology is another Standardization or Sinhala Only or Citizenship act. It is really heart breaking to see the Diasporas ignoring this matter. Irrelevant at what level American blacks and we are, we need to support the black’s cause. We like many Obamas, Powells, Jacksons, and Magic Johnsons come out of them. But American constitution remain still as magnificent constitution, which not just put America on the world leadership, but allowing blacks and other minorities fight for their rights and keep progressing. I came to these North American countries believing them to give us fair treatment. If I had thought like Gunaratnam, shouldn’t I have gone to Cuba or USSR or China? Even Gunaratnam didn’t go to Cuba, but went to Australia. But we know what Lankawe did to the UN’s Muslim refugees. If we are going to guide our diaspora, we can’ join with Gunaratnam, but with open hearted, face the criticisms on us. We should not go to level like Gunaratnam to compare America with Lankawe.
GATAM / June 18, 2020
That is not a permanent solution. Only permanent solution is to split the island into Sinhala only nation, Tamil only nation and Muslim only nation. Like the Pakistan-Bangladesh split or the India-Pakistan split on the Pakistan side. No Tamils in Colombo and no Sinhalese in Jaffna. Since Muslims are OK with “Sinhala Only” they may opt to live in the Sinhala nation with their territory added.
Do you agree? If not, you have no option than put up with it. Have the cake or eat the cake but not both. I’m OK with any permanent resolution.
Ari / June 18, 2020
GATAM, you are more cleverer than this, for like any rational person you too would always chose to err on the middle path that is equitable non domineering and the righteous one that brings peace to all! It certainly does not have to be a solution that separates people, if that was the case why almost every country on this planet is on the jugular of the other! If only we can be more rational and sensible without giving into extremist views, then the search for a mutually beneficial lasting solution, to what might otherwise appear to be an intractable problem, can be found!.Remember, neither you, nor me or those extremists are on this planet forever, we are all in this transitional phase of our karmic cycles!
kali / June 17, 2020
Establishment Of A Presidential Task Force For Archeological Heritage Management
*** You are wasting your time writing these articles as there are takers. Gotha is not interested as he is hell bent on Colonisation and with the Task Force soon East will be Colonised by Sinkalams. and all the Tamil heritage will be destroyed . The task force has already claimed its first high profile victim. “ RAJEEVA” . Many more will follow as any one who challenges or questions Gotha will be Sacrificed. I am sure you are living in fear.
For me the only Country that can check Gotha is Modo but he is proving to be week as we can see that China is flexing its muscles.
So I ask you to see Mr.Balachandran and ask him to make a representation to Mr.Modi to change the course of history.
westham / June 17, 2020
Trinco was known as gokkana or gona pabbatha in Buddhist literature. The Smith classical dictionary of the 1890’s translates pabbatha as Spartana. Trico area is rife with Ravana lore and is the ancient home of the nagas. Sinhalese are descendants of the nagas as are the Tamils. The sole difference being that sinhalese survived the cataclysm that inundated the land. While the Tamils returned much later after the waters had receded. This is the Lanka of the Ramayana which lies beneath the Indian Ocean, except for islands like Maldives, Seychelles and Sri Lanka. These facts are documented by the royal ceylon asiatic society of Brition and Ireland in 19th and 20th century. Its archives are in Colombo. Tamils can go read them. American colleges digitized all of these records along with the publications of the royal society of Bengal and Madras. The are available online for free.
Ari / June 17, 2020
Trincomalee, has been known as Kokannam, Thirukkonamali, Thirumalai, Thirikonamalai etc by Tamils. Tamils are not against archaeology per se, but driving it the way it has been since independence with the complete domination of the department by those Sinhalese and the monks who are so determined to rewrite history by falsifying archaeological findings to twist and rewrite the history of this island in general and north east in particular, to claim it as belonging to the Sinhalese to further their cause. Why not have equal and wholly academic representation in the department, if it was so purely an academical exercise in finding the facts about the history of this island! They would not do it because that would subvert their whole agenda!
Rajash / June 17, 2020
“We need to secure our country’s heritage and protect it for our future generations, that’s why the President established this Task Force following a request made by the Buddhist Sunga. We don’t limit this protection to Buddhist and archaeological sites, we will protect sites of all communities, may they be Hindu, Islamic or another religion,” Gunaratne stated.”
Will the future generation have a country?
“we will protect sites of all communities, may they be Hindu, Islamic or another religion,” Gunaratne stated.”
read all these sites will be converted in to Buddhist sites
Eagle Eye / June 17, 2020
President Gotabhaya Rajapakshe,
This man is:
• An architect of Wadukkodei Resolution aimed at creating a separate State for the descendants of Dravida slaves brought by Portuguese to Yapanaya to work in tobacco plantations.
• A person who encouraged Demalu (Tamils) to take arms to achieve the objective of creating a separate State called Elam.
• A supporter of Tamil terrorist organization LTTE that slaughtered Sinhalayo for three decades and caused immeasurable damage to the economy.
• A person who has not given up the idea of creating a separate State carving out North-East of the country where Sinhala Kingdoms Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa existed using a bogus claim ‘Traditional Homeland’.
• A tray Tor as far as Sinhalayo who are the Native people are concerned.
Therefore, just throw his letter to the dustbin.
SJ / June 20, 2020
Check your fats:
Was Sampanthan an MP in 1976?
Eagle Eye / June 17, 2020
The history of Sinhale did not start from the day colonial parasites started importing Dravida slaves from Hindusthan to work in their plantations. Therefore the data that Sambandan have presented have no use.
North-East of the country is where Sinhala Kingdoms Anuradhapura (377 BC – 1017AD) and Polonnaruwa (1056 AD – 1310 AD) existed and from where Sinhala Kings ruled the whole country. So the people in that area was almost 100% Sinhala. The biggest threat to these Sinhala Kingdoms were Dravidian (Demala) invaders from Hindusthan. For short periods, the invaders occupied these areas but failed to establish a permanent foothold. Sinhala Kings chased away Demala War Lords but allowed some Demalu to stay. So the small number of Demalu who lived in Sinhale before colonial rulers imported millions of Dravida slaves were the descendants of those Demalu who were allowed to stay by Sinhala Kings.
All most all Demala people in the North are descendants of Dravida slaves brought by colonial parasites. Until Sinhalayo gave these Demalu citizenship by Registration in Sinhale they were aliens. Hence, these guys have no right to claim North-East as their ‘Traditional Homeland’ and demand a separate State for them.
old codger / June 17, 2020
“Sinhala Kingdoms Anuradhapura (377 BC – 1017AD) and Polonnaruwa (1056 AD – 1310 AD) existed and from where Sinhala Kings ruled the whole country. “
What Sinhala kings? Vijaya the Bengali and his Pandyan queen? Parakrama bahu and his Indian parents? I can give you a lot more names. Please, please, Mr.EE, stop making a fool of yourself in public. Ask your grandchildren to Google up the names of “Sinhala” kings, their wives, and parents.
“All most all Demala people in the North are descendants of Dravida slaves brought by colonial parasites.”
If you don’t know, these same parasites imported your very own ancestors, to plant cinnamon and coconut .They were not allowed into the Sangha until the parasites took them to Burma for ordination.
srikrish / June 17, 2020
Is it an appeal for divine intervention?
Empty slogans that had not worked in the past.
It is an impotent call in the wilderness!
Another leader called for prayer
Will it convert into votes?.
After 70 years,
The Tamils have come to a dead end
But there is a way out!
Agnos / June 17, 2020
What is the way out?
Nathan / June 18, 2020
Agnos, How do you find time for such rubbish. By now, you must know whom to ignore and when.
srikrish / June 18, 2020
Even when we unite all Tamils under one banner, we are only 12% excluding upcountry Tamils and Muslims.
When we call all Tamils to unite under one banner, we automatically encourage Sinhalese also to unite.
The result will be disaster at least to the Tamils.
This is actually, what happened in the 2019 Presidential election. The result is Gotabaya Rajapakse elected with a massive majority.
Let us look at history at least for enlightenment.
The Ceylon Citizenship Acts were passed in August 1948.Among those opposed were more Sinhala MPS than Tamil MPs.
The Official Language Acts was passed in June 1956 with more Sinhala MPS voting against than the number of Tamil MPs.
Both bills were passed with simple majority not two third majority even though Sinhalese are more than two third population wise.
Most Sinhalese then did not vote on communal lines.
Many Sinhalese supported the 1961 non- violent campaign conducted by the Federal Party.
As time passed when our voices became more and more strident and consequently, the racist among Sinhalese increased by leaps and bounds.
Did not we-the Tamils, unknowingly contributed to this phenomenon.
We are driving more and Sinhalese to the racist camp.
Now look at the international arena.
srikrish / June 19, 2020
Continuation on my earlier comment on the way out for the Tamils
The Vietnam War was not won in the battlefield of Vietnamese soil alone . It had an international dimension.
It was not confined to one race or one country. The appeal was to world conscience.
Public opinion was the target.
The campuses and streets all over the world was the battlefield.
Non violent peaceful protests were the powerful weapons.
It raised the conscience of the world against the unjust war.
The result was the defeat of the most powerful country in the world.
The “Black lives matters” also now being fought peacefully with the active participation of all nationalities-whites and non whites..
Victory is assured even if not now but latter in our lifetime.
If our struggle is genuine for justice and equality and is conducted in a peaceful nonviolent and dignified manner, without any animosity against anyone- not even against Sinhalese, with even Sinhalese joining in and our movement will draw strength with majority support locally and internationally and it will be a win-win situation for all of us
Agnos / June 20, 2020
The Vietnam war and the Black Lives Matter movements are not comparable to the Tamil issue. Both of those involved a major super power, thereby gaining attention from the world. The Vietnamese had the support of big powers like Russia and China. Blacks are not complaining about losing their lands but are continuing their struggles that started a few centuries ago. That they are still fighting shows that previous struggles didn’t fully succeed, thereby undercutting your argument. It took centuries for the white society in America to evolve to the point where many whites are awakened to the reality of racism in their communities. Blacks have largely adopted the religions and customs of their oppressors, making it easier speak in a common framework.
Sinhalese society hasn’t evolved in the same way; far from becoming more enlightened in support of better rights for other communities in their midst, they are emboldened to be more fascistic toward them than before.
Agnos / June 20, 2020
And no amount of support for the Palestinians internationally has forced Israel to move toward accommodation.
I don’t disagree that the Tamil people have to build up their relationships with the upcountry Tamils, Muslims and non-racist Sinhalese in a modernizing secular coalition that is focused on better rights for the aggrieved parties. That should be the near term action item of Tamil politicians and civil society.
But if Sinhalese society shows no sign of evolving toward a more just SL, and continues to be in stubborn denial of Tamil’s history and place in SL, should the Tamils just put up with the racism and erosion of their rights, and wait endlessly for the Sinhalese to find their inner ‘shrinks’ and evolve? What if it takes two more centuries? I think Tamils, especially the diaspora, should also cultivate stronger relationships with India and other countries in case things worsen further and external intervention is what will work.
srikrish / June 21, 2020
I think we are on the same wave length.
I mean to say that Sinhalese are not our enemies.
Even the racist Sinhalese we must try to wwin over, not to drive them further to be arch racist.
we must engage with our neighbors with a positive mindset.
Winning an argument should not be our objective because it is not a court of Law..
Built up relationship!
Agnos / June 22, 2020
Up to a point. Keep in mind that such relationships didn’t save Taraki Sivaram or Kumar Ponnambalam, or countless others who were murdered in 1983. Many Tamils married Sinhalese and even they weren’t spared. But we can indeed try to take approaches that are different from the past.
srikrish / June 22, 2020
Who killed Taraki Sivaram?
These are the results of communal politics
I want both Sinhalease and Tamils to traverse a different path
Let us stretch our hands of friendship unconditionally!
The result will be dramatic!
No killing! no enemies !
Vietnam War- A lot of Americans supported Vietnamese
“Black lives matter”Whites also participate in the
A clean non violent peaceful joint demonstrations conducted by Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims for peace with dignity,justice, equality and fairness,!
Agnos / June 23, 2020
You can live in your dreamland, but irreconcilable differences that affect many aspects of life–language issues, a place to live, basic physical safety, ability to work, an economic life–cannot be wished away by ‘stretch[ing] our hands of friendship unconditionally.’
Palestinians are asking for magicians like you to come and solve their irreconcilable problems by using non-violent and peaceful means, via “friendship.”
But if you can find enough Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims to join you in protests on behalf of everyone’s grievances, by all means go ahead and organize them. Maybe if what starts small grows into a movement, that can work, but I am grounded in hard realities not in fantasies of friendship and brotherhood.
Your understanding of Americans, the black lives matter movements and the Vietnam War is also rooted in fantasy. What you describe was far from the reality.
SJ / June 22, 2020
Kumar Ponnambalam was not killed because of his ethnicity but because he rubbed someone in a key position the wrong way.
He survived irritating Premadasa (and Prabakaran before him).
Sivaram was targetted by a pro-government Tamil group.
Most killings of Tamil politicians and journalists, sadly, was by Tamils.
There were very few targetted killings in the 1983 mayhem. If at all some Tamil leaders were arranged safe passage out of the country by reputedly communal Sinhalese politicians.
Thiagarajah Venugopal / June 22, 2020
“Did not we-the Tamils, unknowingly contributed to this phenomenon” I disagree.
We tamils were taken for a ride by a bunch of Tamil lawyers based on misinformation and irrelevant cooked up concerns/not addressing economic development through planning/cooperation for Nation building. When the Tamils started kicking them all out at the ballots came the thuggery/threads/name callings/killings not put down by the armed forces/law enforcement from 1948 to pre 1977 elections..FP/TULF/TNA (PLOTE/TELO/LTTE).trained in India killed each other for the past 50 years along with all other innocent majority Tamils/Sinhalese/Muslims and taken us all to the gutters.
Mr Sampanthan should write a letter to Mr Modi asking why India did not give the Citizenship to 200 000 Sri Lankan refugees for for the past 50 years under the International Law would be his time well spent. All Sri Lankans will live wherever they want period. He explain to the world how PLOTE/TELP/TULF/FP/ITAK were saved by the SL armed forces for the past 30 years..and now he write this letter….what did he write when fellow Tamil politicians were being gunned down under the TULF leadership instructions.?
Plato / June 18, 2020
Firstly, this letter of Hon.R. Sampanthan to President Rajapakse is like pouring water on a Ducks Tail.
Secondly, neither the President nor most if not all of the members of this Task Force would have ever heard of the name Sir.Paul Pieris- A Scholar of repute from a Sinhala Aristocratic background.
Thirdly, colonisation of the Eastern Province to change its demographic composition had its beginnings at the turn of Independence 1947!.
a] Paddipalai Aru became Galoya. This was the start.
b] Creation of the Amparai Electorate in 1960.
c] Creation of the Amparai District in 1963.
d] Creation of the new electorate of Seruvila, in the Trinco District in 1977.
The aforesaid projects commenced long before the call for a separate state and as such it was by no means tied up with the political stand of the Tamil leadership in 1977.
The uneasy relationship between the Tamils and Muslims in recent times would have also prompted this Archaeological exercise, in the Eastern Province.
This is by no means an enterprise to divert attention of the Sinhala people away from the economic crisis awaiting the country in the post Covid-19 scenario!
Native Vedda / June 18, 2020
“This is by no means an enterprise to divert attention of the Sinhala people away from the economic crisis awaiting the country in the post Covid-19 scenario!”
So what is it?
GATAM / June 18, 2020
The same comparison can be done to Colombo City. SL Tamil population in the City was just 5% in 1911. Now it is 30%. A massive 6 times increase. If Colombo is multi-ethnic, Jaffna and Batticalo must also be multi-ethnic. If the island is one nation anyone should be able to live anywhere in the island.
Otherwise we should peacefully split the island into Sinhala Only nation, Tamil only nation and Muslim only nation (or Muslims can live in any country of their choice without their own nation if they so wish).
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Ari / June 18, 2020
Like most Sinhalese, you too pretend not to understand the point Tamils have been consistently making since independence. Free movement of people is not opposed by Tamils, what Tamils are against is the State sponsored colonisation aimed at altering the ethnic composition to make Tamil speaking people a minority in the East, to carry forward the post independence racists agenda of the Sinhala political parties of all hues and the Sangha! Can you point to a State sponsored colonisation of Tamils outside North East or even in Colombo city? So, please don’t try to project your futile arguments to justify Sinhala colonisation by the State.
SJ / June 22, 2020
Jaffna and other urban centres will fast be multi-ethnic if only the state will invest in developing the areas industrially and commercially.
Plato / June 18, 2020
I was highlighting STATE SPONSORED COLONISATION with the motive of changing Demographic composition.
The Tamils in Colombo City were not colonised . They came over for a number of reasons: Employment, displacement as a result of the war and other such reasons.
Besides, the Cities all over the world London, New York etc etc have a large concentration of minority ethnic groups.