25 June, 2021

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If 19 Is To Equal 13 +

By Malinda Seneviratne –

Malinda Seneviratne

According to National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa a petition to get the 13th Amendment abrogated was held back considering the current tensions between the Judiciary and Legislature.  Talks with the UNP and SLFP suggest that there are few takers for dogmatic positions on the 13th Amendment.  Even the leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), R. Sampanthan, while holding fast to ‘devolution’, has expressed a willingness to go for re-demarcation of unit, i.e. three or four zones instead of the present nine provinces.

Sampanthan has warned that repealing the 13th ‘could cause grave and irreparable damage to the country’s future’.   It is heartening that the TNA leader, even at this late hour, is concerned about the country’s future.   Indeed his re-demarcation proposal amounts to a radical political shift from the previous fascination with white-lines or those provincial boundaries based on a map drawn by colonial rulers.   A re-demarcation, though, would necessarily amount to ‘modification’ and/or ‘nullification’ of the 13th, an eventuality that Sampanthan opposes.  It is best that these ‘concerns’ are treated as the business-as-usual rhetorical of a politician and something that should not be allowed to rob the ‘statesman-like’ suggestion that the TNA leader has made in his interventions during the Budget Debate.

Sampanthan is of course erroneous when he says ‘the 13th is the only constitutional provision that recognizes diversity’.  All it does is legitimate the work of a frivolous map-maker later used by Eelamist myth-mongers for their own purposes.  Communities are not held by maps, and fall out of provincial boundary.  The recognition of difference, as in the existence of different communities and people with different religious faiths, finds more than adequate mention in the constitution.  The only major differentiation that the constitution is silent on is that of class.

Still, Sampanthan does make a valid point about efficiency in resource allocation.  The 13th has seen enormous sums of money going waste, mostly to maintain the provincial councils rather than alleviating the conditions of the citizenry.  Moreover, the current lines rebel against contemporary economic thinking given anomalies of resource endowment across regions.  A re-demarcation then must correct for these inequalities.  In other words, logic and science as opposed to political expediency and untenable ethnic ‘enclaving’ should guide the cartographer.   It would logically take us to Ruhunu, Maya and Pihiti, an option which even in these communal politicking times should be considered.

What would result is ‘horizontal democratization’ as some have put it, provided of course that the devolved complement of powers exceed what is contained in the 13th.  Provided, also, that the power of the citizen to participate in decision-making is enhanced in the process.  For example, devolving the power to exercise strong-arm tactics and be dismissive of manifesto post-election from center to province won’t make things easier for anyone but the politicians.

The trick then would be to follow such re-demarcation as per a 13+ formula with vertical democratization which includes measure to correct current institutional flaws, ensure greater transparency and obtain greater degrees of accountability.  Ideally, the two processes, vertical and horizontal, can be sought through a single amendment or better still a new, that is a third, republican constitution, but this may not be the proper time. Insistence on a double-push might kill both.

As of now, justice for all in the matter of having a meaningful say in designing laws and policies that affect people’s lives depend more on largesse than on constitutional provision.  That’s not a flaw in the 13th Amendment but the 1978 Constitution.

So if we have to go with ‘first-things-first’, then 13+ must necessarily pick up the Sampanthan proposal.  To make it really a ‘plus’ amendment, though, the vertical ‘re-demarcation’ if you will of power lines has to be pushed for.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com .

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    Malinda Seneviratne is writing nonsense when he says, “All it does is legitimate the work of a frivolous map-maker later used by Eelamist myth-mongers for their own purposes”.

    The British did not make the Ceylon map for fun as what the SinhalaBuddhist racists believe and the British did not change the demography either. They created the maps as per prevailing ground situation during their time. What they clearly observed and experienced during their period was that, in the island of Sri Lanka, there were two different Nations (Sinhalese and Tamils) having two different languages, religions, cultures, and living in two well defined and clearly and naturally demarcated (with thick jungles, lakes, river, etc) land areas with their own kingdoms within their traditional lands. The Tamils lived as a majority within their separate land area (North & East) and the Sinhalese also lived as a majority within their land area (South, West & Central). The British, on seeing the naturally existing borders of the two ethnic groups used their technology to demarcate them as two separate regions (occupied by two separate ethnic groups) and created the maps for the first time somewhere in the 1800s. In their map published in England, the area that constituted the traditional homeland of the Tamils is unmistakably shown to extend from Chilaw northward and eastward to a point near Madawchchi; south of Padavil Kulam extending to the Trincomalee district; and the Batticaloa district down to the mouth of the Walawa Ganga in the south. Until independence (1948), the demography of the country was as per the map what the so called “frivolous map-maker” created.

    Even the Unitary State was the creation of the British. Throughout the history, Sri Lanka had never been a unitary state. Even after the European colonialists (Portuguese, Dutch and British) arrived, until the British united the Tamil speaking North to the Sinhala speaking South in 1833 for their convenience in administration, the Tamil speaking areas remained a federal region. The Colebrooke commissioners presented the recommendations in 1832, suggesting the creation of one government with one centralized, unitary form of administration under a governor in Colombo. The British did this without the consent of the people, and in doing so ended the hopes for a North & East Tamil or an Upcountry Sinhalese as a distinct political entity, something that no conqueror had managed to do throughout the history of Sri Lanka.

    Some people falsely believe that King Dutugemunu united the Northern Kingdom of Anuradapura to the Southern Kingdom of Rohana. Even if we assume it as the truth, it lasted only a few years. Within the relatively short period of 34 years after Dutugemunu’s death, five Tamils Pulahattha, Bahiya, Panayamaraka, Pilayamaraka and Dathika took over the reins. The Tamils moved from Anuradapura to Jaffna and established the Jaffna kingdom only during the 13th century AD. Even during the recent past, in 17th century AD (colonial period), Rajarata (Anuradapura) was inhabited by Tamils as per the book written by Robert Knox (Robert Knox in the Kandyan Kingdom, Ed. E.F.C.Ludowyk, p 50). Throughout history (until 1833), Sri Lanka always had a federal setup, either Northern kingdom (Anuradapura) and Southern kingdom (Rohana), or Ruhunu/Maya/Pihiti, or Kandy/Kotte/Jaffna, or the Provinces under the colonials as per the existing demography what the so called “frivolous map-maker” created.

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      Thanks for this Eelamist version of Sri Lankan History. A not so clever ruse to grab 35% of the land for a mere 11.8%. Your “history” unfortunately will have to be backed up by archaeological and epigraphic evidence were it to stand up and taken seriously. There is plenty of evidence to show that Both Trincomalee and Batticaloa were fully integrated regions of the Kandian kingdom and there are records of the battles fought with the Dutch and Portugese over them. When Robert Knox landed in Trincomalee there was no doubt among the people there where he should be conducted to. It was not to Jaffna but to Kandy. When the Dutch Admiral Spitzbergen landed in Batticaloa there was no doubt where he was to be conducted to. It was Kandy.

      There was however a newly independent Tamil kingdom in Jaffna (since Parakramabahu VI’s reign ended in 1475) when the Portugese arrived. Although it didnt extend far beyond the peninsula and Mannar. Even Madhu belonged to the Kandian King as it was he who granted the catholics permission to move their church there when they were being persecuted by the Dutch. In the early British Maps even Mullevaikkal (the scene of the final battle) is named Mulawella. Poonaryn is named Pannegama. Even Welikamam in the Peninsula is named Weligama. So its quite evident how the demography changed during the colonial period.

      So I would advice supporters of Tamil lebensraum to do their homework first, mug up on their history and archaelogy before making fanciful demands for grossly superior land rights. If you want to understand Sinhala anger you need to look at your proposed land grab which secures 4 times as much land per capita for Tamils than what you are prepared to yield to the Sinhalese. (More than a tad Greed?) All based on a highly contentious history with little or no archaelogy or written evidence to back it up.

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        My dear Dingiri fellow,

        You seem to be an even bigger joker. What archaeological and epigraphic evidence are you talking about? Where is the archaeological evidence for any counter claims?

        When Robert Knox and his crew arrived at Trincomalee, they were taken prisoner by Raja Sinha’s men all the way to Kandy.

        It is true that a large part of the Eastern province came under the Kandyan Kingdom (not Jaffna), but it makes no difference to the Tamil position in regard to the inhabitancy of the Eastern province. The Tamils would have had and yet have no objection what so ever to the benevolent and accommodating rule of the kandyan kings whether they were Kalinga (from Orissa) or Nayakkar (from Madurai, Tamil Nadu), and see no inconsistency in the Tamil claim to the Eastern province (Tamil speaking region) even under the Kandyan rule.

        Throughout my life, I have never come across a Sinhala person or family that claimed an Eastern province habitancy or origin. If you speak to the Sinhalese living in the Eastern province, each one of them will say that their grandfather or great grandfather is from the South (colonized by the government after 1948) where as there are any number of Tamils and Muslims who hail from the East and proudly proclaim their habitancy.

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        “In the early British Maps Mullevaikkal = Mulawella, Poonaryn = Pannegama and Welikamam = Weligama”.

        The above is absolutely hilarious.
        Now which frivolous map-maker created the early British Maps?
        Have you seen it? Can you give a link to see the early British Maps?

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          It is an old print of I have in my possesion. I wish I could send it to you. Drawn and engraved by J. Rapkin, Print by John Tallis & Company London & New York.

          Archaeology: Nagadipa, Kantharodai, Thanthirimale, Thiriyaya – Girihaduseya, Welgam Wehera, Kanthale Tank, Padaviya Tank, Giants Tank, Gokanna Chaitya, Lanka Patuna, Seruvavila, Nuwaragala, Rajagala, Lahugala Magul Maha Vihara, Muhudu Maha Vihare, Digavapi, Kudumbigala and at least 200 more according to the archaelogical survey.

          And here is a snippet for you from Seligman’s The Veddas which can be downloaded from the Web at http://www.scribd.com/doc/27702773/Seligman-The-Veddas-1911

          “…Veddas are also mentioned in an old family record translated by Nevill which he terms the Nadu Kadu Chronicle and which he considers cannot be later than the sixteenth century. Footnote: The Report reached me that a valuable record existed, Kept in heriditary and exclusive possession by an old family in the district of Nadu Kadu. Nadu Kadu is the modern Tamil name of the Na-deniya or Naga-divayina, of the Eastern Province of Ceylon, and is situated to the south of Batticaloa…. The record evidently refers to a time when this district was depopulated of its former Sinhalese land-owners and all cultivation of rice had been abandoned.It tells of how a band of Sinhalese took up these lands and redeemed them preserving friendly relations with the Veddas in the forests and Malabars and Mukkuvars on the coast.

          The record is said to have been in Sinhalse, but was translated into Tamil by the ancestors of the family from whom I procured it, the heriditary managers of the Thiru Kovil temple. They said that during the guerilla warfare between the English and the Vanni Chiefs and Dissavas of the Uva and Vellassa, the Sinhalese villagers of the district migrated (?were deported) to the Kandian hills and their place was filled up by emigrants from Jaffna, Tamil Vellalans. Hence the Sinhalese record became useless and was translated. It bears on its face the proof of this translation in many odd changes and expressions….

          Later in the book in a section relating to coastal veddas. Seligman mentions that they had all adopted the Tamil tongue and intermingled with Tamils who had settled on the coast. When asked if they could speak the old Vedda tongue, a few old veddahs mentioned they could but what they spoke was a “quaint form of Sinhalese”. So a pretty clear picture of former Sinhala speaking Veddas adopting the Tamil language and ways of the new settlers.

          So much for your vast Tamil Nation in the East and Vanni that existed from time immemorial! I can quote more. Tennant, Woolf, John Still, H.C.P Bell but this post is getting long. So will leave it for you read up and find out for your own edification. :-)

          I generally dont agree with Seneviratne and his Sinhala Nationalist agenda. But there is an equal and opposite greediness. And that is Tamil Nationalism. Granting devolution based on 3 or 4 provinces, North, Tamil East and Moslem East where land devolved is in proportion to the population that lives in it is one way out of the quagmire. But obviously this falls short of the avarice and ambitions of the Tamil Nationalist.

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          Ha, ha, haaaa……..
          This guy Dingiri is extremely funny. He is talking about Sinhala speaking Veddhas in the East.

          Man, Veddhas NEVER spoke Sinhala. Veddhas are Veddhas, Sinhalese are Sinhalese and Tamils are Tamils (each have their own language). There were a few inter-marriages between Sinhalese and Veddhas and that is how some Veddhas started speaking Sinhala. The Eastern province was inhabited by Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and Veddhas (NOT Sinhalese). Today even the Burghers and Veddhas in the East speak Tamil. The Sinhalese were settled in the East by the DS Senanayake government only after 1948.

          All these you have written are stories (fiction) written by some story tellers. There is no proper evidence to prove any of them.

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        There is enough land for Sinhala need, but there is not enough land for Sinhala greed.

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          Perhaps the greedy ones are those who cannot share equally..:-)

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      Myth-buster

      You say:

      “there were two different Nations (Sinhalese and Tamils) having two different languages, religions, cultures, and living in two well defined and clearly and naturally demarcated (with thick jungles, lakes, river, etc) land areas with their own kingdoms within their traditional lands.”

      You have conveniently forgot to mention that these two people shared the common stupid gene with Tamilnadu Tamils, genetic marker M20.

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    By trying to repeal the 13th amendment as per the agenda of the Sinhala-Buddhist racists (JHU & NFF), this government is going to fall into a huge ditch. This may also be the hidden agenda of India and USA. They also want this government to make such big blunders so that they can directly interfere in Sri Lankan internal affairs in the name of protecting the minority rights. This government is making blunders over and over and not learning anything from it. Right from independence the Tamils had been fighting (peacefully and violently) for a federal state. Repealing the 13th amendment is going to make things even worst. This government is trying to create another Palestine in Sri Lanka (a never ending conflict between Tamils and Sinhalese) which will only pull down the country to the drains and help India and the West to directly interfere.

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    EVEN THE LAST SO CALLED KANDIAN KING WAS A TAMIL. IT WAS ALSO A TAMIL KINGDON, THE LAST KINGDOM BEFORE BRITISH. I rest my case that the Whole Island of Ceylon is a THAMIL LAND, STOLED BY THE SINHALA.

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      Ravi,

      Even though the kandyan kings were either Kalinga (from Orissa) or Nayakkar (from Madurai, Tamil Nadu), the last four Raja Sinhas (kandyan kings) were Tamils from Madurai, even though the Kandyan aristocrats (example Rathwatte, Ehelepola) wrote and spoke Tamil, the Kandyan kingdom was not known as a Tamil Kingdom. Both Tamils (East) and Sinhales were living in the Kandyan kingdom.

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        Suresh Kumar

        You say:

        “Both Tamils (East) and Sinhales were living in the Kandyan kingdom.”

        Could you cite material evidence.

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      :-) :-) By the same argument the British Queen is German. So they should have capitulated to Hitler in 1939. We are under no illusion that you would one day like to make Palastinians out of us. i.e. cram us into an overcrowded corner of the country!

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        dingiri

        “you would one day like to make Palastinians out of us. i.e. cram us into an overcrowded corner of the country”

        Who did give you the idea that the Palestinians desperate to come to my ancestral land and settle down here?

        If you feel the country is overcrowded you are free to go back to Sinhapura. Please go and live comfortably among your Sinhapurians. I assure you that I will not stop you from leaving.

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    Hello Sinhala Modayoos,
    You don’t go backward, but civilized people usually go forward. What are you going to achive Modayoos by removing 13 Amendment? Stop treating Tamils second class citizens again, modayoos and help start another war. Given them equal place and let them rule Noth and East Under United Srilanka through Meaningfull Develution of Powers.

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      That is precisely what I am advocating. Meaningfull devolution for Tamils and Moslems with Police + Land powers. But to a representative and proportionate portion of the country. Is that not the Equality you desire?

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    Malinda Seneviratne should study history under a proper guru. This man is a disgrace. A typical Sinhla chauvinist buffoon.Debacle of Asia

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      His present gurus are Prof. Nalin de pissa and Dentist Gunadasa A, both are insane.

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    Dingri and Suresh Kumar

    Both of you from respective stupid races are discussing about my people based on Sudda’s history.

    Dingri

    after reading Seligman’s book on my people you think you are the authority on our history.

    Suresh Kumar

    What have you learned about my people which gives you the authority to lump our people into your current political agenda?

    Both Dingri and Suresh are sample specimen of land grabbers.

    Both have a perverted sense of history aimed at land grabbing, colonising, denying livelihood, and eventual assimilation of my people into your stupid race.

    Please don’t drag us into your stupid games which brings misery to my people.

    Go back to your respective nations in India and continue your land grabbing. The corporate India is ready and willing to support your greed.

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    Bogus Vedda,

    As someone with documented Vedda liniage I can tell you that Seligman was just in time to document the last of the freely roaming clan of pure veddahs, the Danigala veddas in the EP. I would recommend that you read his work and also Spittel’s “Vanished trails” and “Savage sanctuary” before further exposing your ignorance. I will therefore leave you with another quote from Seligman.

    “….Since the above was written we have learnt from Mr. Parker that he regards the Kandian Sinhalese as essentially Veddas with an infusion of foreign blood, and this view is stated in Ancient Ceylon…” “… That this influence was however of importance is shown by the fact that the families of the present aristocracy of the Vedda country are proud of their Vedda descent which is equally acknowledged by themselves and the less wild Veddas. Thus Mr. R. W. Bibile pointed out that long ago his people were Veddas and certain of his ancestors had settled down and intermarried so as to be classed as Sinhalese..”

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      dingiri

      I have nothing to expose except my amudey.

      Bogus Sinhala race now wants to own part of our own history conveniently citing sudda’s version.

      Man you belong to the Aryan race go home. When you go take your Tamil brothers with you.

      If your brothers don’t like Tamilnadu drop them in Balochistan. You can comfortably settle down in Sinhapura.

      The distance between Sinhapura and Balochistan will keep you both apart.

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      Dingiri,

      The latest genetic study/DNA tests shows that the Sinhalese have Nothing to do with the Veddhas. The Sinhalese are migrants from India.
      The veddhas are the only original people of Sri Lanka. Others are all migrants. Read your history, the Sinhalese and Buddhism came from India. Seligman must be another joker just like you. One suddha writes that the Sinhalese are Indo-Aryans, another Suddha says they are Veddhas, do not trust what these Suddhas write. They are making you guys fools, remember they even called you modayas.

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        :-) So is it your contentions that it is impossible for a band of North Indians who arrived 2500 years ago to have intermingled with the indegenous people? Can you send me the link to where the results of this “latest genetic study/DNA tests” are published? How many Veddas did they find to test their DNA? :-).

        We agree wholeheartedly with your G.G. Ponnambalam who called the Sinhalese a “Mongrel Race”.We are indeed a mongrel race and proud of it!!

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          Dingiri,

          What you are saying here is totally against what is written in the Mahavamsa. According to Mahavamsa, the North India Imigrants Vijay married a Veddha (Yakka) woman Quweni but he killed her and the children escaped into the jungles. The Veddhas (Yakkas) were enemies of North Indians. Later, Vijaya and his men brought women from the Madurai Kingdom of South India (today Tamil Nadu). It is the decendents of those North Indians and the South Indians are called the Sinhalese. There is NO Veddha connection what so ever.

          Today there are several genetic studies done on the SL population, you can find them in google, there is not even a 5% genetic connection between the Sinhales and the Veddhas but there is more than 50% genetic connection between the Sinhalese and the South Indian Tamils. Google is the best to find them.

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    dingiri proudly agrees:

    “G.G. Ponnambalam who called the Sinhalese a “Mongrel Race”.”

    I disagree with GG Ponna. Sinhalese are not Mongrel Race but they are stupid people because they share the same Tamilnadu gene pool.

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    Ravisays:

    “but there is more than 50% genetic connection between the Sinhalese and the South Indian Tamils. Google is the best to find them.”

    The Tamil Sinhala genetic affinity is 74% or more. Check your facts.

    Therefore I expect both the Tamils Sinhalese to quit my ancestral land sooner than later.

    How soon can you relocate?

    I can arrange kallathonies for you to get a hitch back to India. Please let me know when both of you are ready.

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