26 July, 2017

Ezhuka Tamil: The New Reality – No Threat To Anyone

By Usha S Sri-Skanda Rajah

Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

Democracy is the belief in freedom and equality between people, or a system of government based on this belief, in which power is either held by elected representatives or directly by the people themselves.” – The Cambridge Dictionary

What happened on the 24th of September 2016, was a magnificent exercise in democracy, more profoundly a mobilisation of people for a higher purpose, a dynamic display of people power, with a tempo raising, awe-inspiring slogan, ‘EzhukaTamil’ (‘AriseTamil’) – now seen as the new reality and what must, and is, and will be the oh so confident and convincing pathway for Tamils in attaining their aspirations for equal rights and self governance in the island once called Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka.

Clothed in peace, ‘EzhukaTamil’, is ironically the ‘weapon’ of the future, the only vehicle available for the Tamil speaking people to articulate their aspirations, towards realizing a permanent political solution and to achieving the long eluding reconciliation with their Sinhala brethren, leading to harmony and prosperity for all.

There’s nothing to lose but everything to gain by ‘EzhukaTamil’.

The movement is not against you; it’s not against anyone.

As articulated so eloquently on that day, with much clarity, truth and resolve, by the consummate statesman and gentleman that he is, the former Justice of the Supreme Court, presently Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council and co- chair of the Tamil People’s Council (TPC), ‘EzhukaTamil’ rally, in his words, was not convened to provoke any animosity against anyone at all but to underscore the Tamil speaking people’s fundamental rights and to show their peaceful resistance to all forms of tyranny unleashed against them and to make known to the international community, their legitimate political aspirations – the Chief Minister in his speech covering the whole gamut of serious concerns that the Tamil people have.

The organisation behind ‘EzhukaTamil’, TPC . whose brainchild it is, should be commended for what it achieved that day. TPC, a non-partisan entity of 35 members – comprising, “experts from all areas including religious leaders, professionals, civil societies and political parties,” from the North-East, has as its co-chairs, apart from the Chief Minister, Dr P Lakshman, Consultant Cardiologist at the Teaching Hospital, Jaffna and Mr. T Vasantharajah, the secretary of the Batticaloa Civil Society.

The TPC have come together, according to their profile, “to look into the Tamil people’s wellbeing, safety and integrity.” It was inaugurated on 19.12.2015, pledging, “to function with truthfulness, righteousness and with no ulterior motive so that a conducive situation is established for the Tamil people.”

It was incredible how well the rally was conducted – for us watching live on our computer screens overseas, it was unbelievable, just the logistics alone – it was fascinating to see how masterfully it was accomplished. I was impressed how it went without any untoward incident and how well behaved the crowd was and that there was no visible sign of any need for crowd control.

One had to pinch oneself to see the Chief Minister, addressing the throngs of people who had spilled over the Jaffna esplanade conservatively estimated at around fifteen to twenty thousand, possibly more. Referring to them as people gathered, in the main, to unanimously state publicly their demands for fundamental rights, to express their opposition to the oppressive measures taken against them and to broadcast to the world what their objectives are politically – he made one thing clear – that ‘EzhukaTamil’ wasn’t against anyone:

“The ‘EzhukaTamil’ rally is neither against the regime nor the powers that be; neither is it against the central government, nor our Sinhalese brothers and sisters; nor the Buddhist Sangha, it’s not even against the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi, who have expressed support for our policies, in fact many of them being present here, the only difference of opinion centering round the issue of whether the timing was most opportune,” the Chief Minister said, reiterating that no amount of engagement in parliament or through provincial councils would equal the enormous strength people power can wield in their journey towards securing their rights (the Chief Minister tackled very persuasively the question of timing later in his speech) .

‘EzhukaTamil’ must be understood for what it truly stands for. What each and every person should do is to listen to the Chief Minister’s speech to know the concerns the Tamil people have and how justified, fair and lawful their demands are and why ‘EzhukaTamil’ had to be.

Taking time to understand is a courtesy every Sinhalese must show to the Tamil people.

Mindless hawkish elements, must be informed, this is not war declared, far from it – those hawks who, “ruthlessly pursued a military solution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict with no concern for civilian safety,” should stop giving the wrong interpretation to pursue their own ends, arousing bad feelings, against what is essentially a cry, a people’s plea for rights.

No, this is not “extremism” raising its head as some Sinhala extremist politicians and religious fanatics would try to portray, idiotically fanning the flames of Sinhala Buddhist bigotry..

Nothing much can be gained to convince those who think the Chief Minister should be jailed – falsely alleging that he’s expressed hatred against Lord Buddha and Buddhism and breached the constitution, obstructing free movement and freedom of worship..the same applies to those who erroneously claim the whole island is Buddha’s Sacred land and that the Chief Minister should be outlawed with his contingent to India together with bag and baggage, forgetting their own claim according to the Mahavamsa, that they are descendents of Vijaya and his 700 bandits outlawed by India who drifted to the island from where else – nowhere but India.

It is critically important that Sinhalese Buddhists try to understand the sensitivities relating to this deeply polarising and often misunderstood issue of forced ‘Buddhisisation’ of the North and East, that’s inextricably linked with forced colonisation, both backed by the state. They should stop listening to those who are wilfully misconstruing what the Chief Minister said at the rally relating to the erection of Buddhist statues and viharas in non-Buddhist areas – what he said or didn’t say, creating a controversy, which prompted him quite correctly to explain in Sinhalese, at a sports event, with the President in attendance – the Chief Minister thought it important to clarify the Tamil position relating to Buddhist statues mushrooming in far too many places in the North-East where there were very few Buddhists living. This kind of activity is seen by most Tamils as a strategy intended essentially to increase Sinhala colonisation activities to blur the demography in the area, which is a real concern for the Tamils.

In my view the push for integration by Sinhala politicians, manifested in state sponsored colonisation together with the militarisation of the North and East with the army involved in civic activities, will result in the disintegration of the Tamil Nation: Looking at the demographical changes that have taken taken place over the years it is a justifiable concern. Taking the Eastern province alone, according to the 1881census, the Sinhala population was initially 5,947 that’s now grown to 359,136 persons according to the 2012 census.

In terms of the Northern province, the Sinhala population, going by the 1881 census grew from 1,379 to 32,331 persons under the 2012 census.

In addition more importantly, according to the article that appeared in the Colombo Telegraph written in July 2012, the number of security personnel in the Northern province number around 198,000 with one security personnel for every 5 civilians:

“Given that 75% of the army’s divisions are stationed in the Northern Province, in addition to other formations such as task forces and independent brigades and regimental units, it is not unreasonable to assume that at least 60% of the army, i e, approximately 1,80,000 personnel, are stationed across the Northern Province…..

Of course these figures are for the Jaffna peninsula and the islands alone.

However one must add to this 1,80,000, the share of personnel from the navy, the air force, civil defence forces, intelligence and the police, including the special task force, etc, based in the north. Assuming that the combined presence of all these latter entities accounts for 10% of the army’s strength (18,000), again a very conservative estimate, this makes for a total of 1,98,000 security personnel in the province. This amounts to a ratio of 1 security personnel for every 5.04 civilians in the Northern Province or a force density of around 198.4 security personnel per 1,000 civilian population.”

The concerns Tamils have are further exacerbated by how the general landscape has changed in the Tamil areas with security personnel and their families vigorously involved in civic, economic, religious, cultural, agricultural and educational activities with parallel infrastructure being built around this to maintain this never decreasing but fast growing security community, bolstering its activities and needs. Use of alcohol, substance abuse and prostitution is increasing – leading to increased suspicion that these are being promoted and manipulated to weaken and destroy the culture and heritage of the Tamil people.

Any argument comparing this to that of the concentration of Tamil people in the capital Colombo from time immemorial, who are well established and owning property and businesses just like the Sinhalese, is insane. No one is claiming those areas to be territorial units of the Tamil Nation, only the North and East alone, comprising 8 districts.

‘EzhukaTamil’ shouldn’t pose a threat to Tamil politicians, who might be afraid and unwittingly believe the wind has been taken off their sails, thinking unjustly that their position is not secure, that the conveners have political ambitions intended to depose them. Rather, it would be better if Tamil lawmakers realise that having people power behind them, during a challenging time such as now, is indispensible, when they have to deliver to the Tamil people the mandate received, especially in the wake of a new Sri Lanka constitution being drafted as we speak.

Whilst, this is true, (the point about delivery on the Tamil side I mean), the trials and tribulations of Tamil politicians since independence, having to work with an insensitive, unwilling and uncooperative bunch, called the Sinhala Buddhist establishment, is also so very true. Only a few days ago Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe seemed to break the vow of secrecy that members of the sub committees appointed to help draft the new Sri Lanka constitution signed up to, by announcing publicly and most incorrectly that all parties, and even TNA agreed to Buddhism having the foremost place in the constitution, when contrary to that, TNA believed in a secular constitution giving equal place to all religions practiced in the island. It’s heartening to hear M A Sumanthiran MP release a video to clarify TNA’s true position, showing the kind of leadership Tamil people expect from their representatives. Further, his public condemnation of the draft legislation written to replace the ‘Prevention of Terrorism Act’ (PTA) was also welcome, comparing it to, “old wine in a new bottle.”

Similarly, the opposition leader R Sampanthan’s defence of both the ‘EzhukuTamil’ rally and the Chief Minister in parliament is another encouraging sign that Tamil politicians who may have been wavering, whether to stand behind this manifestation of people power, because they were involved in the reconciliation process, are seeing the light, that they need the people’s backing in their deliberations and engagement with their Sinhala counterparts as they undertake the task of securing Tamil rights for posterity. It is the way to go – building solidarity among Tamils is key, as the narrative that matters – the fight for the right to self-determination is moved along to fruition with people power.

There are those who sadly do not think ‘EzhukaTamil’ achieved a massive victory for the Tamil people because nothing has been realized yet. On the contrary, in truth, the courage shown by the people, under military occupation, leaving war-fatigue, loss, injury and misery behind them, in coming out of their shell and rallying – embracing non- violence and sworn to democratic principles, must not be under-estimated..Sinhala regimes aren’t going to give us our rights on a silver platter, amidst pomp and pageantry, jubilantly jumping up with drums beating and all.

‘EzhukaTamil’ will be there for the long haul, if it has to. Hope it won’t be long..

No need to worry about the likes of whom who regretfully perpetuate an inferiority complex among the Tamil people, by saying the Chief Minister unbeknown to him is actually a plant of the Sinhala Buddhist racist bigots, who want to create enmity towards the more reasonable among the Sinhalese, that this could further distance the Sinhala people and hurt their feelings, forcing the Tamil people towards subscribing to failure once again – believing this gives fodder to the Sinhala media which relishes with its tongue out, waiting for such instances which exacerbate racial hatred, taking the Tamil people on their next path to destruction..I am not saying this, some losers did.

It is a pain to hear those who think that the Tamil people haven’t adequately made their aspirations known to the Sinhala people! What an outrageous claim for some Tamils to think not enough is being done to talk, to negotiate when considering the numerous broken pacts and the failed peace process which are a testament to the patience of the Tamil people. It’s important for people know that the TPC have expressed a strong desire for a substantive discussion, emphasising the, “need for a political agreement prior to a constitutional enactment.” It’s not known if the TNA members on the steering committee of the Constitutional Assembly have engaged in talks with the TPC on their ‘final proposals’, a great model that must be considered in its entirety along with TNA’s proposals in the constitution drafting process – a meeting of minds and a united front by the Tamils avoiding any fallout is such a priority at this crucial hour.

Let’s not forget the resolution to turn the Sri Lankan parliament into a Constitutional Assembly introduced by Ranil Wickremesinghe in January was adopted in March, sadly, minus the section in the original resolution, which talked of, “providing a constitutional resolution of the Tamil national question.”

All politicians and cabinet ministers who say, “Sri Lanka will be a unitary state,” and there would be no stopping to establishing more military camps in the Tamil areas are once again making the same mistakes their colleagues and predecessors made that would necessarily create an impasse which is quite definitely detrimental to all the players. Rejecting any move to continuing a unitary constitution, the TPC has prepared a document containing “final proposals” for, “finding a political solution to the ‘Tamil National Question'”. It’s a fully comprehensive and substantive document, a must, must read, describing the framework upon which a federal constitution must be written, the relationship and the division of power between the ‘Federation” and the ‘States’, extensively listing the powers devolved to the States including fiscal, land and police powers and powers to attract and entertain and control foreign investments. The proposals have at the outset expressed the, “need for a political agreement prior to a constitutional enactment,” which illustrate how much the Tamil people want their demands heard before Sri Lanka’s 4th constitution is enacted:

“THE NEED FOR A POLITICAL AGREEMENT PRIOR TO A CONSTITUTIONAL ENACTMENT:

The finding of a political solution cannot be a mere constitution writing exercise. The root cause of the national conflict is Sri Lanka being a Sinhala-Buddhist Nation State – a State that is identified with a single nation and demos and has a hierarchical structure with the Sinhala Buddhist Nation that sits on the top of the hierarchy. This hierarchy is represented in the unitary character of the State. Both major parties in the South (SLFP and UNP) stand by a Sinhala Buddhist unitary State, which is unacceptable to all shades of Tamil public opinion. It would not be possible to engage in a constitution making exercise without agreeing to the basic vision of the State. For Sri Lanka to become a secular non-hierarchical State, the Sinhala Buddhist polity will have to recognize that there needs to be a new social contract drawn between the Tamil Nation and the Sinhala Nation in Sri Lanka through which would emerge a new State – a new plurinational Sri Lanka. This would mean recognizing the Tamil People’s uniqueness and their right to self-determination and recognition of the political aspirations of the Muslims and Up Country Tamils. The 13th amendment to the present Constitution failed not just by the fact that it was set within a unitary framework and because of its flawed institutional design but also because of a conception of a hierarchical state with Sinhala Buddhist Nation at its helm. Even a federal Constitution would not be workable unless the hierarchical conception of the State is altered. Hence we insist on the pre-constitutional recognition of the Tamil Nationhood and self-determination in a new constitutional scheme. It is from such a political vision that a new Constitution can be enacted. In the absence of such an understanding a constitutional process will, like in all previous instances be majoritarian and unilateral and bound to fail. We think that a pre-constitutional agreement in the form of a treaty (like the Dayton Agreement and the Good Friday Agreement) is necessary prior to the constitution making process. The treaty should inter alia recognize the Tamil nation’s right to self-determination, its sovereignty and constituent power and its traditional homeland in the areas of historical habitation of the Tamil people. The treaty should provide that in the event of the arrangements being unilaterally abrogated by the numerically larger Sinhala Buddhist majority and its political representatives and in the absence of any other alternatives, the Tamil people may decide to hold a referendum to further determine their political status. This treaty which we think should be underwritten by a third party (foreign governments such as the US/India or the UN) will help to bring international/external guarantee to the durability of the solution arrived at, beyond the contours of a constitution that otherwise rests within the domain of domestic law. This agreement should also spell out inter alia measures to be taken for accountability and justice, address issues relating to disappearances, release of political prisoners, release of land occupied by the Armed forces in the North-East, demilitarization, state-sponsored colonization, security sector reforms and contain guarantees of non-recurrence. It would be impossible to create a safe and open environment for the discussion of these political/constitutional issues without creating the above enabling conditions in the North-East. “

Again the declaration at the ‘EzhukaTamil’ rally, listing the demands of the Tamil people, states: “It’s disconcerting to the Tamil people that the new constitution is being drafted in utmost secrecy. The report which followed the consultations for the new constitution also completely failed to include the genuine political aspirations of the Tamil people. An open, public and democratic consultation process should be allowed before the drafting of the proposed constitution. Discussion for a new constitution cannot be held under the present oppressive structures. We stress that the Prevention of Terrorism Act should be repealed and demilitarization carried out immediately for an open dialogue on the constitution to be held in the North and East.

Meanwhile I can now easily and constructively respond to Mahendran Thiruvarangan’s contention in the Colombo Telegraph that the ‘EzhukaTamil’ movement in their pursuit to achieving self-determination have a skewed vision by alienating the Muslim community. At the outset, “EzhukaTamil’ is a movement to mobilise peacefully to fight for equal rights for all Tamil speaking people, rejecting any kind of religious divide between Hindu Christian, Buddhist or Muslim. TPC have in their proposals provisions for the Muslim Community, the Sinhalese living in the North-East State, as well as for the up-country Tamils. Under Section 5, which sets out the ‘system of governance’, section 5.1. provides that, “Sri Lanka shall be a Federal Republic,” and 5.2. provides that, “there shall be two tiers of government; the Federation and the State,” TPC’s ‘final proposals‘ also provides a ‘note’ which explains an intention for discussions with the Muslim Community, “with regard to accommodating their interests and aspirations in an institutional form within the merged NorthEast:

We recognize the distinctive political character of the Muslim Community in the North-East. We are committed to discussing with the Muslim Community any proposal they put forward with regard to accommodating their interests and aspirations in an institutional form within the merged NorthEast. b) Sinhalese living in the North-East State shall enjoy all rights enshrined in the Constitution and the laws additionally to be enacted by the North-East State Assembly through its own enactments on human rights. c) We similarly express our commitment to the rights of the Up-Country Tamils to a measure of institutional rights that safeguard their collective interest in their areas of habitation. We are absolutely committed to working with Up-Country political parties and civil societies in this regard.

Come on board I say to the Muslim community.

So listen understand and hold your peace who mistakenly fear “EzhukaTamil’ is some form of separatist rancour, a terrorist threat, a breach of peace – be informed this is but an advocacy movement, for securing among other, the inalienable fundamental right to self determination for the Tamil speaking people, enshrined in the United Nations Treaties and Declarations.

Under the ‘final proposals’ of the TPC, section 1.3 provides, “the Tamil Nation’s territorial unit shall be the Northern and Eastern Provinces as demarcated by the 1978 Constitution, being the areas of historical habitation of the Tamils,” and 1.4. provides, “Tamil people are a distinct Nation with the inalienable right to self-determination.”

It must be noted that the TPC has included a pledge, making a commitment to, “a united and undivided Sri Lanka,” provided further under section 1.4 that, “the Tamil Nation pledges its commitment to a united and undivided Sri Lanka which respects and affirms the right to self- determination of the Tamils.”

So to be honest I would appeal to the Tamil people, those hesitating to rally behind ‘EzhukaTamil’ to believe in it and espouse it both back home and in the Diaspora. While Sri Lanka is involved in constitutional reform, and busy drafting a new constitution, all Tamils must concern themselves, treating it as their sacred duty, to be diligent and more importantly engaged in the ensuing discussion pertaining to the making of the constitution, the outcome of which is of paramount and critical importance to the Tamil people – in which their destiny would be decided. By that I mean, where their rights and powers will be entrenched in Sri Lanka’s constitution!

While Tamil politicians stand perplexed and helpless, just consider what is at stake when a Sinhala Buddhist constitution would be imposed on the Tamil people like the last three (more so the last two) constitutions before it. The old but dressed up 13th Amendment governing the powers and functions of the existing provinces in the island, that’s been found to be toothless and woefully lacking in real autonomy based not on self- determination, will not do at all for Tamils. But that’s what the Sinhala Buddhist establishment would do – stuff it down our throats whether we like it or not, through a choking Sinhala majoritarian stranglehold facilitated by an island wide referendum.

In the event of an island wide referendum on a Sinhala Buddhist constitution, the question we should be asking is, who do you think will win, and we must know the answer to that? Even if the SLFP and UNP are split, and a two thirds majority would be difficult to achieve, the question put forward in the referendum would unlikely be something the Tamil people could vote for, again giving their vote away like they do in every general election only to be further oppressed and enslaved.

I appeal to the Tamil people to mobilise and rally behind the people power movement, ‘EzhukaTamil’ and join the clarion call for self-governance founded on four basic tenets: Tamils as a distinct Nation, Tamil Sovereignty, Right to Self-determination and Federalism.

Please do not let Tamil rights be determined by someone else. Please do not let Tamil rights be compromised. I said it here and I am saying it again, building solidarity among Tamils is key, as the narrative that matters to us – the fight for the right to self-determination is moved along to fruition with people power.

There’s also a huge problem for the Sinhalese politicians too, it’s to do with their conscience. Something they have to grapple with and can’t postpone. i.e. relating to establishing a truly independent domestic inquiry with the inclusion of foreign judges and prosecutors, one they signed up to plus ensuring Tamils enjoy the right to self-determination just as much as the Sinhalese – under a federation.

Get ready for a tumultuous ride Tamil people as we confront the challenge of constitution making by the Sinhalese, but fortunately there’s ‘EzhukaTamil’, a manifestation of mammoth Tamil people power rising up for fundamental rights, the new reality, the only vehicle open to Tamils, clothed in peace, the ‘weapon’ of the future, right in our palm.

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  • 8
    10

    “shouldn’t pose a threat to Tamil politicians, who might be afraid and unwittingly believe the wind has been taken off their sails, thinking unjustly that their position is not secure, that the conveners have political ambitions intended to depose them”

    Either by hook or crook this writer will try to poison the minds of Tamil people. This time by crook; the above is very familiar rhetoric of LTTE, that was exactly what they said when organizing a very crafty and vile terrorist organization; LTTE. I wonder why you have failed to honor your political mentor; VP’s wish and command. You know what I meant. Devious individuals like you do not allow Tamil majority to build bridges to majority Sinhala people and live amicably.

    • 15
      6

      Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah types:

      “There’s nothing to lose but everything to gain by ‘EzhukaTamil’”

      Of course Tamils have nothing to lose, as I see it the psychopath VP had made sure that the Tamils should be left with nothing that they could call theirs, including their habitat, dignity, resources, simple daily life, ….. and large number of widows and orphans.

      Have you ever felt the need to draft a statement of gain and loss of this VP’s enterprise of war for well over 25 years?

      Could you let us know political, social, economic, and financial state of affairs,on 19 May 2009.

      It requires a balance sheet to be drawn up on that date so that the CT readers can audit it and see if it was a profitable enterprise.

      • 6
        6

        Native Vedda;

        Well said and thank you.

        • 11
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          The solution to the Tamil problem is long overdue and even this Yahapalana government does not look capable of solving it.

          This is the right time for the Tamils to wake up and act. As a first step, ‘EzhukaTamil’ (‘AriseTamil’) is a very good move (in the right direction) by the Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran. He should be commended for forming the Tamil Peoples’ Council (TPC) and organizing the ‘EzhukaTamil’ protest in order to find solutions to the problems that the Tamil speaking people in the country (especially N & E) are facing. Next time, not only Wigneswaran but all the Tamil politicians and the entire Tamil community should rise and protest.

          Wigneswaran’s campaign very clearly shows that the Sri Lankan Tamils have lost their patience. Unlike the armed struggle (militancy-cum-terrorism), the repetition of non-violent campaigns with Direct Action will have full International support and sometimes direct interference. We had very moderate leaders like SJV Chelvanayagam, we had extreme militant leaders like V Prabakaran and now we have a non-militant not-so-moderate leader C V Wigneswaran to continue our struggle for self-determination and state sponsored colonization.

          When it comes to non-violent campaigns, the Non-Violent Direct Action exemplified several decades ago by the Civil Rights Movement under Martin Luther King in the USA is a very practical alternative technique to militancy-cum-terrorism. There are several features in this strategy which are positive and relevant to the Tamil people everywhere.

          Firstly, it will involve large masses, if not all, of the Tamil people. Secondly, it will preclude the enormous waste of resources in the purchase of arms, which could be far better spent in rehabilitating the North and East, presently lying in ruins. It also provides a less unethical, less immoral and certainly less mortal route to the same experience of involvement – and it is open to every Tamil.

          Non-violence with Direct Action is not naive, but a rough factor for real politic based on careful study of human psychology. It will enable the Tamils and the parties to appeal with confidence to the conscience of the international community, as expressed in international law, world opinion and international institutions. It will realistically facilitate an UN-sponsored armistice and UN-supervised referendum that will hand back the traditional Tamil lands to the Tamil people.

          Every opportunity should be grasped by the Tamil people, parties and organizations alike to establish links with the International community (including India) and also with groups of enlightened Sinhalese opinion that perceive the good of all implicit in breaking the hold of the present Sinhala ruling class over the affairs of the country, defeating majoritarianism and replacing the present Unitarianism and centrist structure of government by a new confederative structure or consociation of nationalities. This, in a plural society such as ours, is the only suitable vehicle for democracy, according parity, equality and tolerance at all levels of government and society and culture and liberating the down-trodden and oppressed, whether Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher or other, so that they may live in peace, dignity and concord, without either class or ethnic bias and where there is scope for all without the one subsuming the other.

          • 5
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            Several kingdoms existed in the island before the colonial invasion. Right from after the fall of Jaffna Kingdom in 1624 to the Portuguese, and then to the Dutch, and the British, the Tamil speaking territory remained as a federal state up to 1833. After the fall of Kandy kingdom to the British, only after 1833, the British integrated all the federal states and made them into one unitary state (for their convenience in administration).

            From the day the Sri Lankan Tamils lost their rights to the Sinhalese (via British at independence in 1948) the moderate Tamil politicians had been asking for a federal state (that existed until the British removed it in 1833) in a non-violent/peaceful manner for more than 30 years. The Sinhalese came up with several pacts and promises but finally gave nothing to the Tamils other than breaking their promises, cheating the Tamils, and unleashing violence on their non-violent/peaceful campaigns. This forced the Tamils to seek for separation to form a separate country for Tamils which ended up in a war 30 years war making the country lose not only lives but also the economy. At independence in 1948 Sri Lanka was the second best economy in Asia, today it is one of the worst. All because of the foolishness of the Sinhalese in not giving the Tamils their due rights.

            The Tamils cannot continue within a unitary state anymore. They need to get back to their original federal state as it was before the British united it. The Tamils may have lost the war but they have not lost their rights to federalism or self-determination. Federalism is NOT separation and it is the rights of North & East Tamils who live as a majority in a separate Tamil speaking territory. The principle and fundamental right of self-determination is firmly established under international law and during the past several years, the Tamils’ right to self-determination has received recognition at sessions of the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva.

            Even 7 years after the war ended, the Sinhalese are not willing to give the Tamils their due rights. The Sinhalese by doing so has totally lost the trust of the SL Tamils. The Tamils should NEVER EVER negotiate with the Sinhalese anymore for a solution (self-determination, federalism, etc.) without involving a powerful country like US as the mediator. Let us wait for Hilary Clinton to win the US election and then let us appeal to her (the new US government) to be the mediator in negotiating with the Sinhala government to solve the Tamil problem.

            • 2
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              You are right Siva.

              A deal with Tamils might solve some problems, but knowing the past (So many agreements were torn to pieces, so many promises and action plans were made, none were implemented), the Tamils should not go and make deals with the government without the presence of a third party (a country like US).

            • 5
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              Right from the day the British gave Sri Lanka independence and handed over the entire country including the historical Tamil homeland to the Sinhala leaders, the Sinhala leadership had a hidden agenda. They wanted to transform the multi-ethnic Sri Lanka into a mono-ethnic (Sinhala-Buddhist) country. The first Sinhala leader, DS Senanayake started the Sinhalization process by colonizing the Sinhalese in Tamil areas, changing the Tamil area names into Sinhala names and systematically dilute their (Tamil) strength until finally they all assimilate/naturalize and become Sinhalese.

              Even Dr. Colvin R. De Silva who once professed the famous dictum “one language two nations, two languages one nation” made the Tamil people second class citizens through the 1972 constitution of which he was the architect.

              By introducing the 1972 Republican Constitution, it was the Sinhalese leadership, and no one else, who are to blame for inspiring the Tamil regional majority to officially demand a separate Tamil state (Tamil Eelam) in 1977. This was further influenced by their denial of equal rights (it robbed the minorities of even the scanty safeguards against discrimination) under the law to the minorities, evidenced by their deliberate exclusion of the provisions of Section 29 of the Soulbury Constitution (introduced at independence in 1948).

              To prove Tamil opinion rejecting the 1972 constitution, SJV Chelvanayakam resigned his parliamentary seat and won a by-election. The Tamil United Front (TUF) was also formed in May 1972. This became the TULF in May 1976. After leading the most favored Tamil political party and struggling for federal solution for more than 25 years that found no success with Sinhala leadership, SJV Chelvanayakam ultimately presided over the Vaddukkoaddai Resolution that called for Tamil independence (separate state) in 1976.

              On the other hand, in 1972, dozens of Tamil youth were arrested and incarcerated for putting up black flags (against the 1972 constitution). Those arrests in 1972 did not help stabilize the situation but it created the Tamil militancy, it created the TNT (Tamil New Tigers) and its leader Prabakaran.

            • 5
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              Self-determination is not a de-stabilizing concept, Self-determination and democracy go hand in hand. If democracy means the rule of the people, by the people, for the people, then the principle of self-determination secures that no one people may rule another.

              Despite the fact that the principle and fundamental right of self-determination is firmly established under international law, consideration of the Tamil people’s right to self-determination and, importantly, the outright denial of this right for many decades are frequently omitted in discourse pertaining to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.

      • 8
        10

        For you in your semi-detached house somewhere in the western world, this is a semi-reincarnation of Prabakaran. ‘How much money do you want?’ you diaspora-types say but someone on the ground must do the dirty work whilst you cheer from your velour settee.

        The death of the most brutal terrorist has left you with nothing – no one to bomb innocent civilians, no one to massacre entire village – how boring is this? You say. Here is old Viggi giving a bit of hope and trying to grow a small but dangerous striped tail.

        Get real – there is more than adequate autonomy for a minority and a level playing field throughout the country. There never will be any more of the dastardly killers or even those who will try to emulate them in the future.

        Read it and get used to it as you trudge to the nearest supermarket in the snow.

        • 6
          2

          It must be TERRIBLE for the so called Sinhala-Buddhist ‘Patriots’ these days…LOL !

          ‘Eluga Tamil’, UNSG’s Genocide comment & Hillary as US President are series of bad omen that is precursor to events that is gonna screw the pariah state Lanka…!

          SL’s ultimate Nightmare…LOL !

          “The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine!”

      • 1
        5

        Dear Native,

        Where have you been mate..

        On their way to rolling Rajapakasa, didn’t your mates on CT boast that Suren Surendran and his British Diaspora alone contribute 20 Billion to Cameron’s GDP.

        It is serious money even in Yahapalana LKR..

        And I didn’t check how much Usha , Ridra Diaspora pump in to Obama’s GDP.

        And then you have two Billionaires in just 2 years of Yahapalanaya, both sailing in Singapore, when they don’t advice your mate Batalanada Ranil, how to make more money.

        That is only the monetary side.. Right.

        Then what about the two Million Jaffna Tamils who are now full blown British, American and European..

        And you reckon Pira didn’t leave a good legacy..

        • 8
          1

          KASmaalam KA Sumanasekera

          “And you reckon Pira didn’t leave a good legacy..”

          VP the psychopath left very very good legacy for MR, two elections on a row, a war victory, unlimited power, unlimited wealth including VP’s Gold and cash, …………

          It was a sound on the part of MR when he invested in LTTE controlled vote bank.

          When the fees to rig election was paid to VP in 2005, many of his supporters (b***s carriers) argued that it was VP’s finest diplomatic move, getting money from Sinhalese to hammer them.

          Many tell me MR was seen “laughing all the way to foreign banks”

  • 8
    5

    Ezhugu Tamil started with the DMK in India.When DMK won power in the state they forgot about Ezhugu Tamil and joined the Central Government. When will the Tamil politicians in Sri Lanka wake up, join the Central Government and bring the communities together.

    • 6
      0

      This Ezhuka Thamil (Arise Tamil) processions and rally is the very first attempt after the war by one of the Tamil leaders in mobilizing the Tamil masses for a Non-violent campaign. If the Yahapalana government also fails to solve the Tamil problem, then not only Wigneswaran but the entire Tamil leadership should follow what the joint opposition did recently, involve all the Tamil people in tens of thousands and walk/march from the North to the East from Jaffna to Batticaloa and show the world that the Tamil speaking people are united in seeking a solution and also against the actions of the Sinhala-Buddhist government.

  • 5
    11

    Last time it was Vellala Wiggy’s Hero who told the Tamils to Rise..

    And the Yahapalana sucking PAYE Tax Payers will soon have to pay the Tiger widows full pensions.

    And reparations for the missing.

    That is in addition to the LKR 5 Billion they already have paid the Diaspora Mahendran and his SIL for the first twelve months of Yahapalana service..

  • 7
    12

    Democracy is the belief in freedom and equality between people, or a system of government based on this belief, in which power is either held by elected representatives or directly by the people themselves.” – The Cambridge Dictionary

    LTTE rump Talk Democracy.

    Shamless people. You can talk democracy from Britain. How much you did right at the place ? Young children got shot for refusing to become child soldiers. girls were raped and brain washed to become suicide bombers. Then some of your friends, I suppose, came and rewarded them with the Cyanide capsule.

    Tamils are really shamless people with no self respect for them.

    See how wigneswaran, he was enjoying the Sinhala – hospitality all his life. Now he is the Leader of the born again – LTTE.

    • 7
      2

      Jim Shitty, you filthy mongrel if you have 100s of hoodlums in orange garbs called Buddhist monks, we can also have a few to counter the attack from filth such as you.

  • 11
    13

    This writer is in cuckoo land. This Ezuka Tamil Project is the revival of the Eelam Project all over again This is how it all started in 1976 and fortunately, for us Tamils as well, ended in May 2009.It should be buried permanently as eminent writers such as Izeth Hussain advocate.

  • 11
    10

    This silly women got nice comfortable life in abroad with the expenses of so many lively hood.the more problems you get in our soil they get more sympathy from rich countries and bring the entire family easily.

    People like her spoiling the future of Tamil people in particular.she was enjoying when watching from her computer in luxury.

    First lift up the lively hood of the shattered people.how many of them don’t know what’s the next plate is.children don’t have basics their roof is only rusted thakaram.now your children may wait for Xmas ….

    They have done it in very wrong time.They put uncle Sam and Sums in very critical situation.how can they go for negotiation.all these LTTE rumps wants to destroy the peace.

    This TPC was created by disgrace GG”s grandson and rejected Suresh and guardian of VP family.they got backing of English crazy of thamils living in adopted countries. They all treated as 2nd class anyway but law may say orther.

    Jaffna is with euro dollars pounds that dosent mean all these north and east are same.do you know if put more cinema halls in Jaffna you will get more crowds than your Wiggi’s muscle testing.it was like a carnival than a sympathise march.lot of motor carts.

  • 5
    3

    It is counterproductive for those involved with the TGTE in any shape or form, to talk on behalf of the TPC.

    • 2
      2

      Agnos,

      “It is counterproductive for those involved with the TGTE in any shape or form, to talk on behalf of the TPC.”

      I agree with you. Both groups are desperate for publicity and power.

  • 7
    9

    Its known as religious freedom you donkey.

    Agents from the Vatican state, Saudi and Church of England are allowed to setup camp everywhere in the island. They then begin to sell their wares. Its like an open market.

    Each temple addresses the problem by proposing their own method of salvation to people. The best proposal simply wins.

    So if you are Tamil then you need to show how/why worshipping Shiva’s Lingam can bring them full of benefits.

    You have to fear the Buddhist temple not on the side of road but just a click away on the Internet these days.

    An example is here -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkqz7il2U7w

    So if you want your Hindus stay Hindu, treat them with respect and remove your filthy caste system for example.

    You win this battle by winning over hearts and minds not by stopping Buddhist temples being built.

    • 13
      10

      De Silva the Salagmma Sinhalised descendent of Indian Tamil slave labour. If you want to build temples in the north and east b y all means do so on legally purchased land. No one will object but not on stolen and ethnically cleansed privately owned lands or on the premises of destroyed Hindu temples, like the racist Sinhalese establishment and armed forces are now doing. Understood dimwit. This why people are objecting to.

    • 5
      0

      INSTALLATION OF BUDDHA STATUES IN THE NORTH & EAST IS FOR ILLEGAL LAND GRAB.

      It is obvious to anyone with a modicum of intelligence that erecting Buddha statues in Non-Buddhist North & East predominantly occupied by Hindus and Muslims is not meant for worship or veneration. In every case of statue installation the modus-operandi is to grab the lands of the Tamil speaking people and change the demography of the region. First, a Buddha`s statue is installed which is then followed by Buddhist monk (s) taking residence nearby. Since the monks need the support of lay Sinhalese for their survival, illegal Sinhala thugs are brought in from the south to form a new colony. The Police and army ably aid and abet such illegal settlements. Along with Sinhala-Buddhist politicians, saffron-robed Ayatollahs and Brigades of Buddhist monks are in the front-line of all illegal colonization in the Northeast. They have personally led hordes of illegal Sinhalese to settle in the historic habitation of the Tamil speaking people.

    • 0
      0

      “”So if you want your Hindus stay Hindu, treat them with respect and remove your filthy caste system for example””

      YOU STINK!!

      Hasn#t the Buddhist Radala Govigama given you a shot up the spine??
      Colombo Govi Buddhist parents with good family background seek partner of similar status for their elder daughter, Even Canaduian qualified can’t find living in the box anti-social in the west.
      http://archives.sundayobserver.lk/2016/05/22/c_brides.asp

      About our daughter. She is 29+ Canadian citizen and is professionally qualified. We Sinhala parents in Canada are looking for a professionally qualified, honest, TT/NS son for her. He should be willing to settle down in Canada. Please reply *******************
      B69830

  • 6
    3

    Usha,

    “Meanwhile I can now easily and constructively respond”

    Do you now officially represent the TPC as their spokesperson? Are you sure that they agree with your opinions? I am happy that they now manage to involve more women in their struggle if you are their representative. Please activate the war widows also.

    “the only vehicle available for the Tamil speaking people”

    What about your outfit (I forgot the name of it) and all the politicians we have elected? The TPC consists of many wannabee politicians who were rejected by the voters.

    “reiterating that no amount of engagement in parliament or through provincial councils would equal the enormous strength people power can wield in their journey towards securing their rights”

    I am sure that your opinion makes our politicians happy.

    “forced ‘Buddhisisation’ of the North and East” and “forced colonisation”

    Can you please provide independent sources for these claims? I found on Wikipedia that the only district in the NP that has more Sinhalese in 2012 than before was Mullaitivu and even there the change was marginal. It is, of course, possible that the statistics have been manipulated or that after 2012 Sinhalese were “forced” to move here. I believe you when you provide an objective source instead of repeating this claim. Can the UN send somebody to count the Sinhalese please? I have met one Sinhalese doctor who was sent by Mahinda to work at JTH but she is the only forced migrant I have ever encountered.

    Why is there a need to force Sinhalese to move here?

    “in the North-East where there were very few Buddhists living.”

    What about the 359,136 in EP and 32,331 in NP? Very few?

    Do you and TPC have any comment on the Siva Senai and the demand for Hindu dominance in Tamil politics and society?

    • 9
      5

      All recent imports deliberately settled on stolen Tamil lands in the past 6o years. There are enough and more Buddhist temples in the areas where these Sinhalese settlers are. The South of Vavuniya in the north and in the Amparai electorate and Gomarankadawela division in the Trincomallee area in the east.
      However now these Buddhist temples and Budda statues are now being built in other parts of the north and east, where there are hardly any Sinhalese. Only Hindus Christians and Muslims. These also built on stolen private lands ad on the premised of Hindu temples. Everyone knows what comes next. Budda statues and Buddhist temples first and them Sinhalese settlers next.
      This was the same ploy that was used previously to settle Sinhalese in the north and east. Especially in the Trincomalee district, where there were hardly any Sinhalese. A Budda statue gets installed out of nowhere under a bo tree. Then a fence is built round it. Then gradually A Buddhist priest appears from nowhere with a bunch of Sinhalese racists thugs and hooligans to start terrorising the local Tamil population and they are given support by the Sinhalese police and armed forces. Next a Buddhist temple and them thousands of Sinhalese colonists and settlers to support the newly installed Buddhist temple and monks.
      One Lone racist Sinhalese wolf appears gradually followed by lots of Sinhalese wolf packs, that starts devouring and preying on the hapless local Tamils. These Sinhalese wolf packs are then declared protected species by the ruling Sinhalese establishment and armed forces and are allowed to prey on the local Tamils and devour them, so that more and more Sinhalese wolf packs can appear.

  • 10
    10

    Usha

    Let me give you some advise as a fellow sufferer. NEVER read these comments. They always come from half a dozen people whose coments are the same whatever you write.

    you are doing a fantastic job. let not these adverse comments upset you. i have been down this road many times. it is now like pouring water on a duck’s back

    i don’t give a damn

    kind regards
    Brian Senewiratne

    • 6
      3

      That’s why you are my hero Dr Brian Senewiratne, you felt my anguish over disturbing comments made here by some people who don’t know me, from so far, without my even talking to you about it!

    • 4
      3

      Dr Brian,

      “Let me give you some advise as a fellow sufferer.”

      My advice is that you both learn to share the sources you are using in your articles. Educated readers are not going to believe you unless you can give a source. Some days ago I asked you to provide your sources for the claims you made in an article. You never replied. Why?

      Be happy. Somebody is reading what you post.

  • 6
    3

    Usha you have writing speaks the sufferings the #Tamils have gone through & the #TamilArising ! I am sure those who are writing against have to be ignored !!! You have done a wonderful job & you should write more & more often !!! #EzhugaTamizh !

  • 3
    6

    “Get ready for a tumultuous ride Tamil people as we confront the challenge of constitution making by the Sinhalese, but fortunately there’s ‘EzhukaTamil’, a manifestation of mammoth Tamil people power rising up for fundamental rights, the new reality, the only vehicle open to Tamils, clothed in peace, the ‘weapon’ of the future, right in our palm.”

    All words no substance. Hey woman, what fundamental right that you do not enjoy in Sri Lanka. At least name one fundamental right; all Sri Lankans irrespective their of ethnicity enjoy the same rights. I as a Sinhala-Buddhist do not get any preferential treatment at all.

    You have been encouraging innocent Tamils to be violent to ensure your politicians’ survival. As a remnant of LTTE propaganda machine, I understand your role. You are a curse to innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka.

    • 5
      1

      Sinhala Bandaranayakam

      “Hey woman, what fundamental right that you do not enjoy in Sri Lanka. At least name one fundamental right;”

      You haven’t actually read her typing instead you saw two bumps on her chest. You are another male chauvinist pig.

      “all Sri Lankans irrespective their of ethnicity enjoy the same rights. I as a Sinhala-Buddhist do not get any preferential treatment at all.”

      Can you list all those fundamental rights you mentioned above?

  • 7
    3

    Usha!
    What you have written are all facts inherent in the minds of every Tamil and which are being denied by this government. Ezhuga Tamizh is such a success which should be continued ever after until the aspirations (The TNA uses this word very often in platforms)) , I say the demands are met. I urge the Tamil diaspora in other parts of the world should at the same time hold the same event , Ezhuga Tamizh. It is noted that that such an event was held in Canada on the 1st of October. This event should be held wherever the Tamils are living but on the same day. The outside world should come to know about the grievances , the Tamils are still undergoing as this crafty government had shown the International Community that this government is doing everything towards reconciliation. The president while addressing at the UN meeting in New York , said that in his 20 months period ,he had made the International Community to change their attitude towards Sri Lanka favourably. They do not see Sri Lanka with hatred and enmity any more. The Tamil Nation should not forget that this remark , the president made this remark due to the support given by the TNA leadership to the Sirisena government. The TNA should support the TPC in the North or they should resign from their parliamentary seats forthwith. The Tamils who elected them should put forward this demand on the TNA leadership.
    In the speech made by Mr Vigneshwaran and others voiced the demand for a federal form of government in the New Constitution but a suspicion arose in everybody’s mind that it will not happen. When the press asked the opinion of Mr. Sumanthiran of the TNA, this is what he uttered with his foul mouth.” Over 60 years the Tamils were cheated over and over again. It doesn’t matter if we are cheated once again this time.” This is the position of the Tamils at present with a pathetic Tamil leadership.

    • 1
      1

      Appreciate your comment – Thank you Sir!

  • 2
    1

    “Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa men have named you,
    You are so like the lady with the tempting smile.
    Do you smile to tempt a lover Mona Lisa
    Or is it your way to hide a broken heart.

    Ohhhhh

    • 0
      5

      [Edited out]

      • 1
        0

        @Kumaran – thank you for the alert – CT

  • 13
    1

    The message from the Ezhuga Thamil was to all concerned, especially to the International Community, enough is enough, there will never be an agreed home grown solution to the Tamil National Question.

    This drafting of the new constitution is nothing more than to delay and deviate from the UN HRC resolution, and to confuse, fool and to make believe, that “we” are progressing to achieve something. What about the implementation of the UN HRC resolution, report due in March.

    There will be nothing in the constitution to meet the aspirations of Tamils to live with respect, in safety and with dignity or equality under a unitary undivided majoritarian chauvinistic Sri Lanka.

    Even if there is an ounce of power sharing, it will never go past a 2/3 majority in parliament, and it will be crushed in a referendum.
    This government’s use-by date is over.

    Ezhuga Tamil means that there is only one option for the Tamils, Independent Separate State of Tamil Eelam. Ask the people in the NE for confirmation through a UN conducted referendum, for confirmation.

    Manicka Vasagar

    • 2
      7

      Manicka Vasagar,

      “Even if there is an ounce of power sharing, it will never go past a 2/3 majority in parliament, and it will be crushed in a referendum.”

      I share your opinion.

      “Ezhuga Tamil means that there is only one option for the Tamils, Independent Separate State of Tamil Eelam.”

      I have read this several times yesterday and today. Is this your personal opinion or the official statement of a group? Who do you represent?

      “Ask the people in the NE for confirmation through a UN conducted referendum, for confirmation.”

      Who should ask for this referendum? The TPC? Usha? Why would the UN listen to a request from a cultural organization like the TPC? Why don’t you send an official request yourself or together with Usha and her (your?) outfit?

      Have you ever studied the Constitution and PTA? The relevant sections for unitary state and separatism?

  • 5
    3

    There is an adage in Tamil “arivilarku uraipavar avarilum pethayar”. Translated it means that those who try to advice fools must be greater fools. We know that all Sinhala regimes have committed crimes against Tamils and thereby to all humanity. They are refusing to hold an International Inquiry (II)and the world is trying to advice them to comply with international rules and decorum. They know that their position is untenable still they think they can manage. They are trying all tricks in their bag to win. It is only a beggar’s dream. The Sinhala state will be regarded an international pariah if they do not show magnanimity.

    Any Tamil traitors who try to spoil the Tamils bright future have to be hounded out politically through ahimsa.

    Educated people like Usha should address international fora. She should write an open letter to Nidya who is in Sri-Lanka now rather than wasting her time energy and talent.

    • 4
      3

      Dr C P Thiagarajah

      “Educated people like Usha should address international fora.”

      Could you define “educated people”.

      • 7
        6

        Could you define “educated people”.

        A Vedda will never understand so just stick to your jungle.

  • 7
    2

    i completely agree with what Anandmutty, Sellam, Manicka Vasagar and Dr C.P.Thiagarajah have written. i loved that Tamil adage cited by Dr Thiagarajah. Not being a Tamil i am glad that he has translated it for the likes of myself.
    My response to all this is that if the facts we state (and Usha has – consistently and persistently) offends those who need to be offended, we have done a good job.
    Lord Reith, the founder of the BBC, said “There are some whom it is our duty to offend” That is what i have done for years.

    Usha, just keep going. If people go mad reading what you write, let them go mad.
    Having read all of what you have written and listened to you many times, as i said at a meeting in Canada, you are the greatest writer of recent time. Don’t loose your cool and shed tears because if you do, these jokers who cannot write two sentences that make sense, will win. We simply cannot allow that. There are enough of them in Sri Lankan politics and, of course, on the streets, some in yellow-robes who have been the curse in Sri Lanka.

    I am currently writing an article “Sri Lanka Peace with justice is what is needed” – not peace that only means a silencing of guns.
    Once published, i can already see the adverse comments that will come, they have come for years. I will be disappointed if they don’t because what i would have written would not have been that effective.

    Much admiration

    Brian Senewiratne

    • 1
      0

      Dr Brian,

      “Ezhuga Tamil means that there is only one option for the Tamils, Independent Separate State of Tamil Eelam”

      “i completely agree with what Anandmutty, Sellam, Manicka Vasagar and Dr C.P.Thiagarajah have written”

      Do you completely agree with what Vasagar wrote about Tamil Eelam? If you do that in my opinion explains why your outfit is to my best knowledge still on the terrorist list in Sri Lanka.

      “i can already see the adverse comments that will come”

      I expect an educated man like you to understand that you should provide references for the readers who doubt the information you want to share with others.

      Since you and Usha have not replied to my requests regarding references/sources I continue to discredit what you wrote.

      Please try to be shorter and more interesting next time. Feel free to share this advice with Usha.

      I don’t think that the TPC appreciates what you and Usha have done on CT.

  • 6
    1

    It is very difficult to change the mindset of Buddhist Sinhalese who believes that Sri Lanka is only belongs to them. they will never ever wake up and see the system of government in other civilized democratic countries where they share power and prosper;
    without unity there will never ever be a self-sufficient government. All racist governments are now bankrupt and controlled by foreign influence. The poor people will become poor and poor and the ruling elite will plunder the country like the previous regime.
    Wake up Sri Lankans.

  • 1
    4

    Usha,

    I am still expecting your reply providing your reliable independent sources for the claims I took up earlier.

    I wish to add the following:

    “reiterating that no amount of engagement in parliament or through provincial councils would equal the enormous strength people power can wield in their journey towards securing their rights”

    Do you know of the PS level politicians? Why did you forget them?

    “I believe you when you provide an objective source instead of repeating this claim.”

    Should be these claims instead of this claim.

  • 6
    3

    Usha,
    Well written article. These mad dogs will keep on barking as usual and they will continue to do so even in their death-bed.

  • 4
    4

    Usha

    While appearing to support the peaceful rally of the Tamil people under the “Eluka Thamil”, you have by your following statement exposed what you LTTE Tamils are really after.

    ” I appeal to the Tamil people to mobilise and rally behind the people power movement, ‘EzhukaTamil’ and join the clarion call for self-governance founded on four basic tenets: Tamils as a distinct Nation, Tamil Sovereignty, Right to Self-determination and Federalism.”

    The unmistakable clarion call of the LTTE Tamils is the call for a distinct nation, namely, a separate Tamil Eelam state. This comes out clearly from your above statement.

    I do not think CM Vigneswaran or the TPC are after a separate state. The “distinct nation” principle is contrary to federalism sought by the CM or TPC or for that matter the main Tamil party TNA.

    You and your other co-LTTE Tamils having failed to achieve Tamil Eelam through the armed struggle are now trying to hijack a peaceful movement that grew out of frustrations of the Tamils from the North East over the past seven years after the defeat of LTTE. Eluga Thamil movement is only calling for a reasonable solution to the Tamil problem under a federal system of government within a unified country.

    It is strange that you are now lending support for federalism, but did you ever take this federalism message to your leader Prabaharan? Had people like you and Rudrakumaran extended their support to the stand taken by Anton Balasingham at the peace talks accepting a federal solution, things might have changed. Anton Balasingham was left alone to defend the agreement he entered into with the Sri Lankan peace delegation along with Karuna for a federal solution. He was simply side-stepped by your leader Prabaharan and replaced with Tamilselvan. And you, the so-called intellectual LTTE Tamils, applauded what Prabaharan did.

    As a concerned Tamil, I ask you not to write or say anything about Eluka Thamil movement. Your writings and statements will be fodder to the Sinhala extremists to paint the Eluka Thamil movement as a movement organised and run by the LTTE remnants living abroad to divide the country and create a separate state.

  • 7
    5

    Naga
    It’s quite obvious you haven’t read my article at all. You are not only making all kinds of assumptions but talking big and preaching nonsense. Your audacity is something else but pitifully not equal to your intelligence Quotient.

    Prabhaharan reluctantly but actually agreed to federalism, suspending the cry for separation, I say reluctantly because he knew that the moment Tamils lower their expectations the scoundrels would end up agreeing to nothing. God knows, true to his word, the conversation on ‘federalism never took place – the other party never came to the table with truth in their hearts. Stop blaming the Tamils for everything and read the final proposals of the TPC (link given in my article), section 1.4 where “distinct nation” is mentioned and keep your peace!

    http://tamilpeoplescouncil.org/Press%20Release(19-12-2015)/Final%20Proposals%20of%20TPC(10-Apr-2016).pdf

    Calling for recognition of Tamils as a “distinct nation” is not asking for separation at all. I can’t teach you the ABCs of constitutional law.

    I know I am wasting my time with you. About my stance on Eelam – wait for my article!

    • 3
      3

      Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

      Your link to TPC’s final proposal is dead.

      “I know I am wasting my time with you. About my stance on Eelam – wait for my article!”

      Therefore you should try harder to convince the readers. If its difficult for you, why should the readers waste their time reading your articles?

      “Prabhaharan reluctantly but actually agreed to federalism, suspending the cry for separation,”

      Could we see any video evidence to prove the above.

      I suppose you don’t consider our readers as if they were born yesterday.

      How could he go back on his word and accept less than Tamil Eelam when he had already assigned one of his bodyguards to follow him with a petrol can which was meant to be used for burning him (alive or dead)the moment he stopped fighting for separate state?

      His spin doctors said many things to many people.

      • 2
        0

        Native Vedda,

        “Therefore you should try harder to convince the readers. If its difficult for you, why should the readers waste their time reading your articles?”

        I have tried to give similar advice than you for Dr Brian and Usha. They should understand that readers want shorter and more interesting articles than their latest on CT.

        I cannot speak for others but Dr Brian and Usha should include references and update what they are writing. In my opinion they have been repeating the same during many years despite major changes in Sri Lanka and usually give no sources. Maybe they are out of touch with local reality?

      • 1
        1

        The final proposals can be found in this link – I have given the link in my article as well. Please ignore the link gave in my reply to Naga, it says, “page not found.”

        http://tamilpeoplescouncil.org/Press%20Release(19-12-2015)/Final%20Proposals%20of%20TPC(10-Apr-2016).pdf

        • 0
          0

          [Edited out]

    • 2
      1

      Usha,

      “About my stance on Eelam – wait for my article!”

      Will it be your personal opinion or a statement from your outfit?

      I hope that I will not have to repeat my humble request for references again when you write.

      Why do you think that people not known to you cannot comment on what you write? Where is the logic? How do you know who comments?

    • 0
      2

      “Prabhaharan reluctantly but actually agreed to federalism, suspending the cry for separation, I say reluctantly because he knew that the moment Tamils lower their expectations the scoundrels would end up agreeing to nothing.”

      Is that why the LTTE took out Neelan T, the best chance Tamils had for federalism? What about CBK, they gave her a glass eye. Face the facts, the LTTE wiped out all proponents of a democratic solution; Amirthalingam/Rajiv Gandhi/Neelan T, Lakshman K.

      • 0
        0

        “”Is that why the LTTE took out Neelan T, the best chance Tamils had for federalism? What about CBK, they gave her a glass eye. Face the facts, the LTTE wiped out all proponents of a democratic solution; Amirthalingam/Rajiv Gandhi/Neelan T, Lakshman K.””

        OUTSIDER, sc/st,

        Crusader, Toad-
        A Flatulence Fascist Bigots socially selective accusations,
        model before ICC.

  • 3
    4

    Dear Mrs Sri-Skanda Rajah/Dr Brian Seneviratne, thanks for the views expressed. Please do not ignore one important dimension to this question: prolonged conflict, usually in pursuit of some political ideology or political utopia, ALWAYS destroys a people. If you have some time, please make a trip to the West Bank/Gaza Region and you will see the net result of prolonged conflict. That is precisely why Mr Arafat, tried to settle for something less than what his people demanded. Even at the risk/expense of being branded a ‘traitor’ Mr Arafat went for a ‘lesser settlement’ because he saw what the conflict was doing to his people. By undermining Mr Arafat the way they did (empty rhetoric), Hamaz, in my humble view, did a tremendous amount of damage to the welfare of the Palestinian people- the evidence is there to see in the streets of Gaza and West bank to this day.

    The parallels are dangerously close to the Thamil issues in Sri Lanka. The impact of 30+ years of conflict is palpable in all aspects of life in the North East. If you doubt what I say, Please pay a visit to some of the Schools in the NE or talk to people who are involved with Schools and school children. That is precisely why Mr Sambandan and Mr Sumanthiran are trying to wean the Thamil people away from ‘sectarianism’ and the concept of ‘homelands’. What ‘Ezuha Thamil’ did, was to give credibility/voice to people who may want to label Mr Sambandan and Mr Sumanthiran as traitors to the ’cause’. Public opinion – once unleashed, cannot be controlled. That is why ‘Ezuha Thamil’ was wrong and an unpardonable offence against the welfare of Thamil people in Sri Lanka.
    Professor Mahesh Nirmalan
    University of Manchester.

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      Dear prof,
      Pls read the comment by Thanga in this article https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/engagement-in-north-brings-encouraging-results/
      You are living in a different world. Come to the real world.

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        Dear ANBU, what is the real World you refer to my friend? The real World I see in the NE is one where there is a real possibility of the Thamil people being utterly marginalised by a range of factors including drugs, kerala ganja, alcohol, lack of respect for authority and the general backwardness in academic, sporting, linguistic and social skills. In this context I see a group of people trying to settle the issue -even if the solution proposed is less than what the Community at large wants, and another group trying to take the community back to the “Aanda Paramparai…..” days. Rhetoric and emotional speeches are easy to make, but the reality my friend is that the World at large and India in particular have NO interest in supporting sectarianism. Where does that leave us?……worth a thougt.
        Another novel dimension to the new reality is the emergence of militant ‘Saivaism’ – orthodoxy cloaked as “Culture”….please reflect on where prolonged conflict is taking us. The enemy is within each one of us my friend…..no point blaming everyone else.
        Best wishes
        Mahesh

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          Dear Prof,
          “The real World I see in the NE is one where ..”

          You missed SINHALISATION.

          Kathirgamam sinhalised long time ago.

          “Navatkuli the entry point to Jaffna city now adorns this Sinhala housing scheme. Mark the name. “Sinhala Ravaya” village ” KUSAL PERERA

          Murukandy kovil maintenance is take over by the armed forces

          http://sangam.org/btf-land-grab-cultural-genocide-tamils-homeland-sri-lanka/

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      You are very wrong Professor when you write that Ezhgu Tamizh was wrong and an unpardonable offence against the welfare of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka.. Are you not aware that the welfare of the Tamils were lost since the British left Sri Lanka in 1947. There were few leading selfish Tamils enjoyed some privileges from the Sinhalese governments over time. It was Mr. Chelvanayagam who steadfastedly agitated for self determination for the Tamils. He too failed after several pacts made with Sinhala leaders. Finally Vaddukoddai resolution for Eelam came to pass. But he also said that only the God can help the Tamils. Even God didn’t help the Tamils. Hard power too failed. Now the North is under siege by 150,000 Sri Lankan armed forces. Private lands are grabbed in the name of security. Tamil Political prisoners have not been released, the whereabouts of those who surrendered to the armed forces are not known. These are the few demands made by the TPC under the banner of Ezhuga Tamizh slogan. These are the demands originally made by TNA lead by Mr. Sambanthan . He failed to achieve these demands even with the support he is giving the government in the name of the Tamil people . He is silent now after raising the National flag and bowed before it. Mr. Sambanthan and Mr. Sumanthiran attended the Independence Day celebrations which no other Tamil leaders ever attended and boycotted it. The Tamils have to get their lands back . Mr. Vigneshwaran is echoing the voices of the ever suffering Tamils in the North and East.

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    I wish to endorse the sober and rational comments by Naga and Prof. Mahesh Nirmalan. It is refreshing to note that there are many Tamils among us who can think dispassionately and sensibly. The TPC is an outfit formed by those who lost the elections held in August, 2015. Although it is claimed that the outfit is apolitical, it is indeed a political outfit. This outfit is hanging on to the coattails of Chief Minister Wigneswaran for survival. The rally concentrated on demands that are dear to the hearts of every Tamil. For instance, the TNA is demanding autonomy for the Northeast based on the principle of right to self-determination. The TNA do not stand for the division of the country. It stands for a federal structure so that Tamils can live with dignity and peace in their historical habitat sans division of the country. These demands have widespread support among the Tamil people living in the Northeast as demonstrated by the results of the elections held to parliament, provincial council and Local government bodies since the end of the war in May, 2009.
    The TNA has said that it agrees with the demands put forward by the TPC, but where the TNA differs is the TIMING.

    The success of the rally only confirmed the widespread dissatisfaction and frustration of the Tamil people over re-settlement of IDPs, failure to release all lands occupied by the armed forces, the construction of Buddhist viharas and Buddhist statues in places where there are no Sinhalese Buddhists etc. Such constructions are under taken by the army at public expense. The government has not taken concrete and meaningful efforts to help the war widows numbering about 89,000 (39,000 in the North and 40,000 in the East according to government figures) war widows.
    The army in the North had constructed luxury hotels, restaurants, swimming pools, health resorts, golf courses, cricket grounds. The army is even engaged in growing vegetables, dairy farms and fishing. The army uses the 2,000 odd ex LTTE cadres to do the menial jobs under the guise of forming a Civil Defence Force.
    I am not saying this government has not done anything. There is much difference between life under ex President Mahinda Rajapaksa and at present. Space for political discourse has expanded. The army is not breathing down the necks of the people morning and night which was the case under the previous regime. Police powers have been taken off the army and the army top brasses don’t insist the public to invite them for social events like wedding, sports meet, temple festivals and be garlanded.
    What Usha and Brian who are TGTE senators and now living in the political wilderness chasing the factious Utopia of Tamil Eelam see some hope after the rally. Unfortunately, the Sinhalese nationalists on the other side of the divide are giving enough ammunition to fire back.
    Added is the fact the President, Prime Minister and other Ministers are not speaking in one voice on a solution to the National Question each contradicting the other. The Prime Minister claimed all parties have agreed to give Buddhism foremost place and state protection under the proposed constitution. But TNA spokesman M.A.Sumanthiran promptly denied the news story. Anyway, let me remind the President and the Prime Minister that this is the last opportunity to find an equitable solution to the long running conflict between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. If the government cannot come to terms with the moderate TNA leadership, then like in the past the Tamil extremists on this side of the divide will take over. No one wish such a prospective.

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      This person Thangavelu who I looked up to as a mentor at one time, who was nasty and virtually called me all kinds of names just because I expressed a wish that the bullets and gun be removed from the Tiger flag is now calling Brian and me, “TGTE Senators now living in the political wilderness chasing the factious Utopia of Tamil Eelam see some hope after the rally.” Now Eelam has become a bad word for him! He’s now agreeing with Naga in this forum who mistakenly says calling for the recognition of Tamils as a distinct nation is equal to calling for separation. It’s laughable how he writes, “if the government cannot come to terms with the moderate TNA leadership, then like in the past the Tamil extremists on this side of the divide will take over.” This is exactly what I was afraid of – that the TNA would point to non-TNA people as extremists and terrorists to try to get some paltry concessions from the Sinhala establishment, brilliant – I even tweeted about it – my fears are not unfounded hearing it from the founding member of TNA Canada! Look who’s calling others extremists!? Strange how some people are trying hard to erase their stripes!

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        Dear Mrs Sri-Skanda Rajah, you have taken on a public role in one of the most sensitive topics of our times. In this context there is no point feeling sorry/sad about adverse comments that are made by readers…..they all have their own reasons and motives. But what matters is how our beliefs, writings and actions could trigger a cascade of emotions that can take an entire community down the ‘garden path’ once more. The ‘Ezuga Thamil’ demonstration is qualitatively no different to the mass procession organised by the LTTE against the IPKF soon after that mass suicide of Kumarappa/Pulendran and co., just before the fighting started and its consequences are well recorded in history.

        Leadership, in my view, is not blindly following what the majority say but rather trying to shape the thoughts and actions of the majority (who have no doubt been hurt and maimed by this prolonged conflict) through reason. In my view that is what the current TNA leadership – at least Mr Sambandan and Mr Sumanthiran, are attempting to do. I agree that it is easy to undermine their position and in the process damage their attempts to arrive at a settlement that would secure the safety, cultural identity and honor of the Thamil people TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY . Please consider the fact that we are a generation that have done our politics through the ‘Traitor’ label. Thiyagarajah, Neelan, Amirthalingam, Yogeswaran, Rajini, Anandarajah….the list is endless. Having given them that label for trying to compromise on the ‘promised land’ or promoting an alternate world-view we are now looking into the abyss trying to give the same label to many more people whose only fault is trying their best to settle the issue within the current Geo-political realities of the World/Region. That is what you and your friends in North America should be reflecting upon.
        Thanks and Best wishes
        Mahesh Nirmalan

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          Mahesh Nirmalan

          Your reply seems to indicate you haven’t read my article just like Naga – I had to tell Naga what I thought of his comment – I can see you have come to his aid.

          No one is trying to undermine or damage Samapanthan’s and Sumanthiran’s efforts. Read my article. I have written about their predicament working with their uncooperative Sinhala counterparts. When they show leadership, we are proud of them and are indeed sensitive to and appreciative of the trials and tribulations they go through. Please read my article again, a courtesy you must show me before rushing to judge me!

          In my view Ezhuka Tamil will help not harm the efforts made by the Tamil lawmakers. They should consider the ‘final proposals’ of the TPC – a fine document that’s comprehensive and substantial with a great vision. There should be a meeting of minds, so critical to achieve our ends. United we stand, divided we fall.

          In my view, Ezhuka Tamil a manifestation of people power, should be seen as a cry for help, a people’s plea for self determination and recognition as a distinct nation among other – the Tamil lawmakers and the international community must stand with them and stand by them, the Muslims must come on board – their aspirations must be given recognition and “institutional form” as TPC believe!

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            Dear Mrs Sri Skandarajah, thanks.
            Since Jan 2014, I have travelled very extensively all over Sri Lanka including the NE. The cry I heard was not for “mass mobilisation” or for the demonstration of “Peoples’ power”. We have had enough and more of such demonstrations since the 70s…..and they have taken us no where. This is the time for rebuilding and healing a broken Society. They need limbs, livelihoods, rehabilitation and opportunities for a rounded education to prevent the decline in all measurable indices of welbeing. More conflict, in the form of political agitation and mass mobilisation does not enable that. Please read the recent writings of Kambavarithi Jeyaraj- a man who has dedicated his life to Thamil and Thamil literature on the effect such agitational politics on ordinary life. Please listen to the proceedings of a recent meeting in Vavuniya where Mr Mavai Senathirajah and Mr Sumanthiran were subject to the most horrible forms of abuse…..these are the direct consequences of ‘Ezuha Thamil’.

            What we think should happen in the wake of such demonstrations of ‘Peoples power’ and what actually happens are two very different things…..that’s the point I am trying to make. BTW, I assure you that I have read your article more than once and it’s not my intention to come to the rescue of any commentator.
            Best wishes
            Mahesh

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              The Tamil people want to forget the bitter past and lead normal lives. The government tells that they have liberated the Tamils from the clutches of the LTTE. What is the use of the military victory if the Tamil people in the North are denied their normal lives? This is a very serious issue. The Tamils would be led towards a catastrophe if they do not arise and raise a voice against this Sinhala-Buddhist administration. Harassing the Tamil people in the North who have already undergone immense trauma is against national unity as well as humanitarianism. What right has the government to terrorize a community that lives in the same country?

              The entire world is talking about the past Tamil genocide, war crimes, human rights abuse and crimes against humanity but nobody is talking about the present, the retaliation/revenge and human rights abuse that is taking place right now in the North, the innocent Tamil people who are silently suffering in the hands of the government that wants to convert the whole country into Buddhist and eventually Sinhala. What the previous Rajapakshe regime did openly, the present Yahapalana regime is doing silently.

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              Dear Prof,

              Mr Sampanthan and co are working hard. No doubt in that.
              They should tell us clearly what are the negotiating for.

              Saying Tamil needs more powers is not enough http://tamildiplomat.com/tamils-need-powers-negotiations-progress-says-mawai/ .
              Are they negotiating for Thamil Arasu? What Thamil Arasu means?
              Or are they fighting for federal system? what kind of federal system?
              What happened to 13a?

              Have you read their election manifesto? Are they sticking to the manifesto?

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              Dear Mahesh Nirmalan
              Many in the Diaspora and me included are doing a lot individually and collectively to help organisations and individuals providing funding towards the education and livelihood of our people in the North and East. Trust me, I put my money where my mouth is – I am not all words, believe me, we don’t blow our trumpet but my whole life revolves around helping people. I am talking about it, so that you’ll know from where I am coming from! I didn’t come to Canada as a refugee, we couldn’t return after my husband retired from an international bank because of our stance – my husband had to leave at age 19 after the 1958 riots – interrupting his studies at Colombo U, he saved 90 ppl from Sinhala mob violence from near death! He returned after his PhD wishing to live in unity but then the JVP insurrection landed him in further problems.

              As much as I want to help to lift the quality of life of the Tamil people, I am also equally passionate about self governance – only Tamils have the best interests of Tamils. It was wrong for anyone to physically abuse Tamil politicians. That’s a no no in my book – but sometimes it’s difficult to avoid heated arguments because of the volatility of the issues. But please don’t blame it on EzhukaTamil! If TNA and TPC work together, that would be ideal! I am praying for that! I genuinely want real autonomy for Tamils to move forward and put forward a united front in our quest for self-governance – is that a sin? I thought my article came across calling for a meeting of minds! How did you see it?!

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                Dear Mrs Sri- Skanda Rajah, Thanks. I have tremendous respect for people who think of the well-being of others in general, and those who are willing to put their money where their mouth is in particular. In this context I have nothing but sheer respect for the dreams and aspirations that motivate you and your Husband. I wish you guys well from the very bottom of my heart. Believe me, I mean it most sincerely.

                You may think of me as stupid, unrealistic or even naive for what I am about to write, but nevertheless these have to be said in a public forum such as this. The reason I want to say this is the sheer guilt that I (and people like myself) have in not being bold enough to speak out in the late 80s after the days of the Indo-Lanka accord…..a silence born out of cowardice and a silence that led thousands of my fellow citizens to their death at Nandikadal. The guilt is oppressing and hence these views have to be expressed.

                I, like you, want the Thamils in Sri Lanka to prosper as proud citizens – proud of their language, proud of their music, proud of their literature, proud of their culture and proud of what they are as a people. But I want them to be all these within the context of a “Sri Lankan Thamil” identity, IN THAT ORDER. I want them to be proud of “Kona mamalai Amarndare” (The Lord who dwells in Koneswaram- 6th Century AD) or “Ketheesaraththane” (The lord who dwells in Ketheeswaram, 6th Century AD)….while singing “Disa wawai Sigiriyai mageth Urumayai” (Tissa Wawa and Sigiriya are part of my own heritage) with equal pride….you may call it naive, but this is precisely what motivates me. This cannot be achieved by promoting the sectarianism, regionalism and cultural orthodoxy that have formed the pillars of Thamil politics for the past 50 years or so.

                If we seek a solution based on Federalism in a merged NE province, I am sure we can agree that this problem will drag on for another 50 years or more. At the end of this period, (and going by our collective experience during the past 50 years), there will surely be nothing worthwhile left that you or I will find worth defending…..please visit the streets of Bethlehem in the West Bank and you will know what I mean…..prolonged conflict will ALWAYS destroy a people. That is why we have to be moderate in our demands and our demands must take into account the following political realities.

                1. Many Thamils from the NE currently live and work outside these two provinces. They have no desire to return – unless of course they are forced out.
                2. The Thamil people living in the Hill country in the Uva/Central/Western provinces are an integral part of the Thamil society and their issues/problems/development cannot be addressed through a NE based Regional mindset/solution
                3. The demography of the Eastern province has changed dramatically and cannot be undone except through a massive blood bath.
                4. The Muslims, do not want to be part of a merged NE Unit as they feel that they are a separate ethnic group in the country and want to be treated as such
                5. World in general and India in particular have no appetite for sectarianism, tribalism and cultural orthodoxy. No cardboard hero from Thamil Nadu- not Vaiko, not Seeman, not Nedumaran can change this…..without engineering another massive blood bath that will potentially stain the entire Region

                These are the facts that we have to face up to, when we seek a settlement. That is precisely why the Indo-Lanka accord went for the PC system to ensure the safety and cultural identity of the Thamil people. Of course changes – such as a second chamber and devolution of land powers, are necessary to prevent the erosion of the powers originally envisaged by its proponents. Police powers, in my humble view, cannot be part of the devolution agenda as having 9 Police forces – controlled by nine different chief ministers, is not desirable. Police force must be controlled by an independent commission.

                Now we as a community have a choice. We can either face up to and accept the above realities (and support the current TNA leadership in their path to moderation) or we can go on for another 50 years finding ‘Nottais’ or providing ‘Viyakkiyanams’ against the PC system and the pragmatic wisdom of the likes of Mr Amirthalingam and Mr Parthasarathy…..the choice is ours. But lets not have any illusions on what will be left at the end of this period…..believe me it will not be something you, I, your children or my children will be proud of.

                Thanks a million for providing the forum to express my views on the matter.
                Best wishes
                Mahesh

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                  “”You may think of me as stupid, unrealistic or even naive for what I am about to write, but nevertheless these have to be said in a public forum such as this. “”

                  Look at yourself and your own village people- bonded by pride, bonded by fear, bonded by determination but never honestly bonded together as one people.
                  They work outside like the southerner who has taken over the west and island because there is no development in the north and east.

                  How stupid that you don’t discuss this in your own home newsroom??

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                    Dear Rajamahal, thanks. What is my ‘own home news room’ or ‘your own village people’? Do you mean Thangodai? Karainagar?, Uthayan?, Veerakesari?, Daily news?……not sure what you mean. Please elaborate.
                    Mahesh

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        correction:
        “TGTE Senators now living in the political wilderness chasing the factious Utopia of Tamil Eelam (who) see some hope after the rally.”

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        Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

        These kind of people (past scholars), now retired & jobless can be easily bought by the SL racist politicians for a reasonably good price. Unfortunately, most of this kind, when they become jobless, they make use of their past credibility/popularity, academic titles, etc to write crooked and dishonest articles by twisting and turning the facts to satisfy their pay masters. You can see a few of this kind here on CT, compare what they said then and what they are saying now (after becoming jobless), there is no consistency, and they sometimes contradict themselves. The problem is, as long as they get paid handsomely, they do not want to even think (become blind) that they have totally lost their credibility among those who once respected them.

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    CM Vigneswaran made the speech with a good intension but neither he nor the author of this article foresaw the reactions of extremists and media of the south and hence the need to explain and reassure that no one will lose anything or no one was intended to be hurt.

    When JO and its members are looking for holes to poke their nose and arouse communal feelings among their supporters,Tamil leaders must be extra ordinarily vigilant. Anything said in favour of finding a solution to the ethnic problem or about heavy presence of the military in north and east and the civilian activities of the latter will be twisted to look like undermining the state security. Of course, eviction of civilians from their houses and cultivation of their lands and involvement of the military in civilian activities have nothing to do with state security nor have the military employed for such roles. But the JO has no other means of creating havoc in the country and thereby topple the government to set up an undemocratic familial rule as experienced during the 9 years since December 2005.

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    Ideas of sharing water also was in air that time

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    This old man he played one
    He played nick nack on my drum
    With a nick nack paddy whack
    Give a dog a bone
    This old man came rolling home.

    If all is going well and the future is looking bright under his co-sponsored leadership, why is this old man not go back to his own village in the North or East with fresh clothing and use his wisdom and political acumen, live and mobilise his village man and accept his bone and roll over? He should take the lead.

    This Thanga old man is talking about the TIMING, this after electing the new good-government and 21 months of promises.

    He wants Eelam to be buried first, rather than give the other side of the divide enough ammunition to fire back to bury us alive.

    He is telling us ” what more do you want” ???

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      What happened to the old man Veluppillai Thangavelu? The man who refused to remove the guns from the Tiger flag is now trying to erase his stripes? Is somebody in SL supplying him his daily bread?

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    Usha’s previous article in CT relates to this one.

    She sets out clearly the problems/aspirations of Tamils as a part of the Democratic Socialist State.

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    Usha

    It is time that you LTTE Tamils shut up and let the TNA, Wigneswaran and other Tamil leaders and people in Sri Lanka work out a solution to the Tamil problem.

    Usha, tell me what your actual contribution for the struggle of the Tamils had been. Perhaps the only contribution that people like you who escaped to the West and settled down permanently to lead comfortable lives is the funding you all provided to LTTE to continue a no-win war against the Sri Lankan government.

    Tamils like you and the LTTE had failed the Tamils and led the Tamils to their total disaster.

    After all these seven years of hopelessness, the Tamil leaders in Sri Lanka are now trying to pick up the pieces and engage with the Sri Lankan government to find an honourably solution to their problems. Unfortunately, you LTTE people are trying to disrupt their efforts.

    You say that calling for the recognition of Tamils as a distinct nation is not separation. However, the moment the word ‘nation’ is mentioned it is interpreted by the Sinhalese as separation. It is true that TPC in their final proposals talk about the Tamil nation, but, at the same time they say they are prepared to agree to a federal solution. This is where they are contradicting themselves. That is why I stated that the “distinct nation” principle is contrary to federalism sought by the CM or TPC or for that matter the main Tamil party TNA

    If you base your argument for the recognition of Tamils as a nation on the existence of a Tamil nation before the arrival of Portuguese, then you cannot ask for a Tamil state for the whole of North East Sri Lanka. The Jaffna Kingdom that existed before the arrival of the Portuguese was confined to the North alone and it did not extend to the East. East was part of the Sinhala Kandyan Kingdom. You LTTE Tamils had been carrying on this fallacious argument that a Tamil nation existed in the whole of the present Northern and Eastern provinces before the arrival of the colonial powers.

    There is no going back to what existed before the arrival of the Portuguese. That is not possible in Sri Lanka or in any other countries that came into existence with the end of the colonial rule of the British. The reality today is that there is just one country, that is, Sri Lanka.

    Further, the right to self-determination is being repeatedly argued by the Tamil parties. Though the principle of self-determination is recognised in the UN Charter and in UN General Assembly resolution, this had been applied only in the context of decolonisation. Communities which have a better claim for self-determination than the Tamils like the Kurds, Basques, Biafrans, Kashmiris, Chechnyans, Turkish Cypriots etc. never succeeded in getting their separate states. Right to self-determination is confined to people under colonial domination and foreign occupation. People of East Timor who were fighting against the occupation of Indonesia were the last people to be granted statehood under this principle. Some may cite the example of Kosovo but Kosovo is not universally recognised as a separate state. World community will never accept the demands of the Tamils for statehood.There is no point in Tamils asking for self-determination and no country in the world will listen to the Tamils.

    Usha, you should tell us why Prabaharan, though he controlled sizeable chunks of North East Sri Lanka, did not declare an independent state of Tamil Eelam. Obviously he knew very well that no country in the world would have come forward to recognise his Tamil Eelam.

    Instead of clinging to theories of nation and self-determination, Tamils of the North East will have to think of what is possible and achievable given the fact that Sinhalese do not want to hear even the word federalism. What is possible is the strengthening of the provincial council system with devolution of more powers and a merger of the Northern Province with a demarcated Eastern Province consisting of predominantly Tamil areas of the East.

    It is doubtful that East as it is demarcated today will be merged with the North in any new constitutional arrangement. Personally I do not see any prospect of the present geographical areas of Northern and Eastern provinces being joined together. Apart from the opposition from the Sinhalese, Muslims will never agree to it.

    What is possible is a re-definition of the provincial boundaries of the Eastern Province where predominantly Sinhalese areas like Ampara are excluded, creation of separate administrative units for predominantly Muslim areas of the Ampara and Batticaloa districts and merging of the rest of the predominantly Tamil areas of the East with the Northern Province.

    You mentioned that Prabaharan reluctantly agreed to federalism suspending the cry for separation. If he had really intended to give up his call for Tamil Eelam, he should not have rejected Rajiv Gandhi’s solution. Had he agreed with Rajiv Gandhi, Tamils would have had the whole of North East Sri Lanka as a semi-autonomous province with more devolved powers.

    Prabaharan had two golden opportunities to settle the Tamil problem when first India intervened and then when peace talks were started under Norway’s mediation. He not only missed these opportunities but continued with his suicidal mission that cost the lives of thousands of innocent Tamils.

    You asked me to wait for your article describing your stance on Eelam. Do you think I am stupid to wait for your article knowing very well what trash you will be writing?

    I only wrote my comments to this article only to ask you to desist from writing in support of the Eluga Thamil movement. The reason, as I mentioned previously, is that any support extended by LTTE Tamils like you will be used by the Sinhala extremists to portray the Eluga Thamil movement as part of a new LTTE strategy to create a separate state.

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      Naga
      You are bad for Tamils, your ignorance about ‘distinct nation’, ‘self-determination’ and about the peace process and all round untruths and woeful pessimism would destroy the last ounce of self esteem Tamils have got – hope no one takes you seriously, otherwise we’d be condemned to enslavement forever! I regret replying you. We live to learn!
      So now I see in your first line, you’ve included the Chief Minister as a person capable of reaching a solution!
      No argument there!
      By the way I didn’t runaway!

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        Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

        You are doing an excellent job. I hope you must have read all the 70 comments made here by the readers, some in favor and some against. Please take up the main issues out of these comments and include/address them in your next article.

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      Naga,

      “The reason, as I mentioned previously, is that any support extended by LTTE Tamils like you will be used by the Sinhala extremists to portray the Eluga Thamil movement as part of a new LTTE strategy to create a separate state.”

      I wouldn’t worry too much about the outfit of Usha. Who really cares about what a small powerless group in exile thinks? I believe that this outfit only exists on CT and the articles of Usha and Dr Brian.

      Let us be nice with them and keep their pathetic illusion of power and E-Eelam.

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        “Eluga Thamil movement as part of a new LTTE strategy to create a separate state.”

        You are terribly wrong. The only Tamils who wanted a separate state was the LTTE. Now after Jan.8. 2015 all changed and even the Opposition Leader of Todays’ parliament is held by a Tamil (TNA). Let us have a United Sri Lanka. Look at Australia. There are 5 States under one Commonwealth Govt. It is running very smoothly and unitedly. Even Wigneswaran is not for separation but they fight for equality and fraternity. In his Eluga Thamil speech he never mentioned anything about a separate state. There’s nothing wrong in it. The Sinhalese are suffering of fear syndrome and want to show their Sinhala Chauvinism. They still want to live in the past due to mistakes created by the British.

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