22 August, 2019

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Immediate Action By President To Reconcile The Alienated     

By S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

Both content and speed of action taken are heartening to the Tamil psyche. The news item of 15 January, given below connotes much.

Land to legitimate Owners

“President Maithripala Sirisena has advised armed forces chiefs to act fast to release private lands that have no security concerns in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Secretary Defence, B.M.U.D. Basnayake disclosed this yesterday.

Basnayake informed that the tri-forces Commanders had already appointed a committee in that regard and work was underway to ascertain the legitimate owners of lands in those areas.

He further said, President Sirisena had advised him and the three Commanders that apart from sensitive and vulnerable areas and lands that had a direct relevance to the three forces, remaining plots should be returned to the rightful owners.”

President’s Directive

“Release private lands that have no security concerns”, is the advice. What time horizon is encompassed? Is it July 1977 to present day in 2015? Quite correctly is it said that the devil is in the details. Definition and elaboration will be helpful to those affected to set their bearings right. If the widest coverage is envisaged by the government or expected by the people, de-freezing of High Security Zones is a part. Consultation with the two Provincial Councils will clarify issues. The citizens will deem transparency a right. Let the Forces Chiefs present, a fresh citizen-friendly image as a harbinger of the healing process, in both approach and action.

What the Decision Conveys

The President inducted for long in politics at local and national levels, understands well what deprivation of land means to owners. The sense of hurt becomes all too grievous when a particular community is singled out for harsh treatment. Yet more when it follows war defeat and the land is used for military occupation. Action delayed or denied would be a travesty of justice. President has cut the Gordian Knot and got away from many an entanglement.

Maithripala 1High speed means a great deal. President and the higher bureaucracy including in the armed forces, seem to mean business. It is now for them to match delivery against decision. To the Tamils and also the Muslims in the North East, restitution of land rights is higher than concepts of sovereign rights and their inalienability. Their value is certainly not lost on the President. Still more important is the consciousness of both the TNA and the President, of the immense trust that the people have reposed in them. Also very crucial is to dam the despotic herd trying its foray into sacred terrain. Let action on land be the first of many.

One Step Forward Evokes Two in Response

Boycott philosophy, plaintively advanced found a rebuff among the Tamils. TNA went to where power lies to get the land issue resolved. They sought justice for an act of vulgar usurpation. The previous government had punished the powerless because the powerful had flexed its muscle. The President’s proactive approach is a great beginning. The scope will widen with success scored and confidence restored.

People’s power of the Tamils was not fully used. Around 68% cast their vote for the benefit of the community. Dissipation of their power went thoughtlessly into floating mode. It was about 15% or 175,000. Mobilising them to garner more votes and additional seats will give the TNA greater power. It will enable the NDF to exercise greater authority in governance and in the House. By extension, it will make the voice of TNA more audible in the coalition collective.

North and South have no reason to work at cross purposes. One will not subvert the other. When both grow apace, benevolence from the international community will be shared by all. A rosy picture does not become real so easily. Only 90 more days remain. Lord Mountbatten in July, August 1947, had an exclusively printed, spiral bound daily calendar. A 100day calendar for steadfast observance should be on the table of the President and the Prime Minister.

Let not Tamils prepare a long list for the short term. It has only archival relevance.

Short List

The previous government had executed road, rail and power projects which are absolutely commendable. In scale and excellence they are unprecedented. Appreciable results are yet to flow therefrom. Taking them as the very foundation and attraction for investment, two regional institutions are indispensable for the North. To be located therein are; Branch Offices of the Board of Investment and the Urban Development Authority. Their very establishment will convey the bona fides of the New Government in moving northern society away from stagnation.

To maximize the benefits of the billions invested in the North, what is mentioned above is the commencement point.

To Think Large

Insularity is clamped on the war weary Tamils with hoops of steel. Battered by pogroms, constrained by the state, denied educational travel and chaperoned by the military they cannot be otherwise. In one big lurch their imagination has to take flight. To enable it, the newly elected government has a contribution to make. In thinking large, Tamil Nadu shows a way.

Image below, is reputed to be Asia’s largest IT complex, located at Siruseri 25 km from Chennai city. Built by TCS to accommodate a staff of 30,000.

Siva

Another image to do Tamil Nadu proud is an IT and Industrial Complex, 50 km from Chennai and near the Ford car complex. It is the 1500 acre Mahindra World City, Chennai which has Infosys and BMW among several other MNCs and Indian companies. It is home to 25,000 plus employees and professionals.

Siva

Conclusion

Knowing full well that we are light years away, these two are cited to crack our mental constriction. It is thought that precedes plan and action. Policy planning and economic development are in experienced hands, the Prime Minister. Resumption of normalcy was swift in 2002 after the Peace Accord. So was economic growth. Physical infrastructure was in shambles in the North East then. It is fit for takeoff now in the nation. If the concocted divides get eroded, better times can be experienced a quarter century from now.

A relevant quote: “Go thou like the rhinoceros, not turning at the rustling of leaves”.

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Latest comments

  • 3
    27

    Tamil writer demand that they want that Sri lanak all Govt. income- money and capital to be diverted to North and East for Tamils and Muslims reconstruction their land that destroy by LTTE terrorist?

    Sri lankan majority people’s tax payers money that large potion could given Tamils and Muslims ,what else remain for Majority People’s developments of other part of Island?

    Tamil Nadu is origin of Tamil race, writer is very happy about Tamil Nadu development. This is very good for Tamils who enjoy Tamil Nadu?

    What about Separate state of Tamil Nadu for their homeland?

    • 22
      6

      Millory

      “Sri lankan majority people’s tax payers money”

      “large potion could given Tamils and Muslims”

      Could you cite evidence for both your assertions.

      “what else remain for Majority People’s developments of other part of Island?”

      Mahawamsa

      “Tamil Nadu is origin of Tamil race”

      Check your DNA, you will find Sinhala people are closely related to Tamil Nadu Tamils. There your origin also can be traced to Tamil Nadu hence you too have to go back.

      Leave the this land to my people.

      When you go take your brethren Tamils with you.

      “What about Separate state of Tamil Nadu for their homeland?”

      It is up to the Tamil Nadu people to demand separate state. It is none of your business.

      By the way according to your own history your people originated from Venga where an beast copulated with beauty and gave birth to the Sinhala race. Now you have a choice you can either go to Tamil Nadu or Bihar.

      • 7
        0

        Milroy,
        You don’t have to do expensive DNA test. Just go in front of a mirror and check your facial features, hair, and body structure. It is so easy to see South Indian appearing in the mirror.

      • 5
        0

        Millory

        Listen to Anura Kumara Dissanayaka and learn one or two things about people:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ab_ryClPn28

      • 0
        0

        Wow, that was strong. :)

    • 1
      8

      How about the land robbed by Tamils from Sinhalese (1977) and Muslims (1990)?

      When will they get back their land in Jaffna?

      Otherwise it is apartheid. SL will be much worse from the looks of it.

      • 1
        4

        Good point Mr. Sensible Thinker. Hope that your comment would receive the attention of HE MS and Hon. DMS.

      • 1
        3

        Sensible Thinking

        “How about the land robbed by Tamils from Sinhalese (1977) and Muslims (1990)?”

        Where was this imaginary land you talking about.

        This land was stolen from my ancestors by Kallthonies who were from North/Soiuth India.

        When will both Tamil/Sinhala stupid people return them to us?

        “Otherwise it is apartheid.”

        No if all descendants of kallathonies left this island and went back to whence there ancestors came, the question of apartheid wouldn’t arise.

        If you are really opposed apartheid you could abolish citizenship acts and laws governing the land.

    • 12
      1

      Millory,

      The writer has not at all demanded that all Govt. money/income should go to the North East. Why are you so unreasonable? You are partly right saying that the LTTE destroyed the infrastructure in those areas. It is also the war that destroyed them. Sri Lanka as one country, the elected government has the responsibility to rebuild the war ravaged areas and look after the people there.

      Why do you have fear that by developing the North and the East, the other areas of the Sinhalese will be neglected? There is no racial difference between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. Just because the writer has given some examples from Tamil Nadu, it is unreasonable for you to jump on the person. There is no racial difference between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. Racial theories have no scientific foundation. The differences are basically ethnic, to mean socio-cultural. They are important to both/all communities. Therefore try to respect them of all communities, the Sinhalese, the Tamils and the Muslims. Your racial hatred has no place in the modern world.

      • 4
        0

        Dr. Laksiri Fernando

        Thank you for your sane and impartial comment. Colombo Telegraph has made its Contribution towards regime change. With Tissaranee in foremost place, many took upon a share of the task. With supplanting done, demolition of the remnants is next. More challenging is to construct the new as strong and robust.

        Many seem to strain at the leash to engage in this effort. Colombo Telegraph is providing a worthwhile forum for well studied writing. The need for critical observations remains yet a wish. One flippant comment from an aberrant spoilsport like Millory has taken many of his ilk astray.

        You have sought to drive sense into him and to bring the discussion back to its trajectory. Your effort is commendable.

    • 3
      0

      Millory

      You are as confused as your name – which you intended to be Millroy.

      Please unconfused yourself if your want to make sense.

    • 2
      0

      The govt may not have to give more than their monetary share, but most of all it has to let them have the structural freedom the other provinces have:

      ”President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed a 19- member Presidential Task Force for Resettlement, Development and Security in the Northern Province.
      The Presidential directive appointing the Task Force dated May 07, 2009 published in the Gazette yesterday (13). ….
      The Task Force consists of Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunge, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Finance and Planning Ministry Secretary Sumith Abeysinghe, Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Ministry Secretary U L M Haldeen, Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development Ministry Secretary W.K.K.Kumarasiri, Highways and Road Development Ministry Secretary S.Amarasekera, Power and Energy Ministry Secretary M M C Ferdinando, Land and Land Development Ministry Secretary J R W Dissanayake, Health Care and Nutrition Ministry Secretary Dr. Athula Kahandaliyanage, Defence Chief Staff Air Chief Marshal G D Perera, Army Commander Lt.Gen.Sarath Fonseka, Navy Commander Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, Air Force Commander Air Marshall W D R M J Gunatillake, Inspector General of Police Jayantha Wickremarathne, Director General\Department of Civil Defence Rear Admiral S P Weerasekera, Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army\Competent Authority for the Northern Province Maj.Gen.G A Chandrasiri, Former Director General\National Planning Dept. B.Abeygunewardena . ….”
      – Sri Lanka: President appoints new Task Force to rebuild north, 14 May 2009,
      http://reliefweb.int/report/sri-lanka/sri-lanka-president-appoints-new-task-force-rebuild-north

      PTF doesn’t have a single Tamil or representative from the North:

      ’…..The military continued to engage in activities that fall within the remit of a civil administration, ….The military continued to compete economically with small businesses run by conflict-affected people who were trying to become independent of aid. It also reportedly cultivated crops on land which IDPs had been told they could not return to….. Sri Lanka still has no legislation governing IDPs’ protection…..The military leadership continued to control the approval of humanitarian projects in the north through its membership in the *Presidential Task Force for Resettlement, Development and Security in the Northern Province (PTF). The *PTF places particular restrictions on the provision of mental health care and psycho-social activities. Because of government restrictions, no comprehensive assessment has been conducted in conflict-affected areas, and there is no comprehensive data on the needs of the most vulnerable groups.No IDP profiling has been done since 2007. The government, UNHCR and the UN Office for Project Services launched a survey of protracted IDPs in 2011, but the project was abandoned in December 2012 due to obstacles placed on it by the PTF ’’ – Global Overview 2012: People internally displaced by conflict and violence, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, 29 April 2013

    • 2
      0

      Not one, but many retired Sinhalese civil servants told LLRC that the ethnic miorities have been oppressed politically and economically from the time of independence till today. Even tsunami foreign aid wasn’t shared with the ethnic minorities:
      Approaches to equity in post-Tsunami assistance. Sri Lanka: A case study, Mandeep Kaur Grewal(DfID), 2006: ”The Office of the UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery commissioned this review on equity issues arising from post-tsunami response, using Sri Lanka as a case study. Equity is one of the cornerstones of international human rights law, and central to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights…. Most conflict IDPs have received quantitatively and qualitatively less support and more slowly than the support received by tsunami IDPs…. Within the tsunami IDP group, affected communities in the east and, particularly, the north have experienced a slower pace of progress than those in the south and the west of the country. The critical underlying dynamic undermining more equitable outcomes has been that of political will, both on the part of development partners and the government……
      The post-tsunami period in Sri Lanka brought more sharply into focus the serious shortcomings of over-centralized policy development and implementation, although this has long been informally recognized as undermining the prospects for development in Sri Lanka. Policy-makers should benefit from an assessment that demonstrates the practical, daily impact of over-centralisation and provides recommendations (including those that can be implemented within the framework of the constitution) to effectively promote subsidiarity……….
      The best contrasting example of how a lack of subsidiarity has affected district capacity comes from Trincomalee district in the northeast of the island.
      Within several days of the tsunami, Trincomalee’s District Secretary echoed the practice of his counterparts in other tsunami affected districts by engaging with a range of local stakeholders to form a coordination task force. By February 2005, presidential instructions arrived, requiring the District Secretary to seek ministerial approval for each task force meeting, effectively replacing this body with a special Council for the Reconstruction of Trincomalee, which involved approximately 70 members and was headed by ministers based in Colombo. The Council’s creation compromised district coordination efforts while providing no effective alternative, with the new Council meeting fewer than three times over 2005.
      The case exemplifies the arbitrary constraints that have affected the capacity of some districts. The example of the District Secretary(Trincomalee, Northeast Sri Lanka), who was undermined in developing a standard coordination process that other districts were able to implement, contrasts sharply with Hambantota’s housing experience, where conventional bureaucratic norms and systems of accountability were set aside, allowing the district to respond comparatively faster in planning reconstruction.’’

    • 0
      1

      Ado Sonya, you’ve still got the venom in your veins, in the MaRa’s disposition.

    • 5
      3

      I am so VERY SHOCKED why CMB TELEGRAPH have NEGLECTED TO REPORT one of the Major and Key developments in the NORTH the REmoval of the Former Military Governor and the appointment of A Civilian Governor.. Not Long ago The same CMB TELEGRAPH gave extra Cover with (facts and Creative news items) to the MASS ORGANISED protest to replace the Military Governor. And Anandi so called sit in..’ cmb telegraph Described this as a ‘BURNING ISSUE’ and KEy demand of the TNA.. Yet one of these VEry Crucial and Key demands are met.. ANd NOT one word about this matter for the CMB Telegraph readers.. Instaed it give coverage to People in Canada writing letters, MIA interview etc etc??? SO As a Reader of CMB Telegraph (a Very Avid one) why have you not given coverage to this IMPORTANT STORY??? which last year was your main Headlines for months???

    • 1
      1

      Millory Re:S. Sivathasan Write Up

      “Sri lankan majority people’s tax payers money that large potion could given Tamils and Muslims ,what else remain for Majority People’s developments of other part of Island? “

      Good point, but it did not go to the South, It Went to the Rajapaksa Family and overseas to Rajapaksa holdings. Whatever went up North or South was added hefty Rajapaksa Corruption Tax.

      Many Sinhala Buddhists and many non-Sinhala Buddhists were fooled by the Rajapaksa Family Dynasty.[Edited out]

  • 25
    2

    As a Sinhalese I think Northern people should be given their lands immedietly. All those unnecessary HSZ be abolished & land should be released.

    Military should be confined to barracks & the Police should take care of security in civili soceity since the war is over.

    • 1
      7

      S. Sivathasan

      RE: Immediate Action By President To Reconcile The Alienated

      “Both content and speed of action taken are heartening to the Tamil psyche. The news item of 15 January, given below connotes much.”

      “Land to legitimate Owners”

      ““President Maithripala Sirisena has advised armed forces chiefs to act fast to release private lands that have no security concerns in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Secretary Defence, B.M.U.D. Basnayake disclosed this yesterday.”

      Good move for people yo get their ancestral and legitimate lands.

      Will this Apply to expelled Muslims and Sinhalese as well.

      The Irony is that in the Jaffna District 25 to 30% Voted for Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, Generally 20 to 25%, called Mutaals (முட்டாள்)

      ( Compare that to Sinhala in the South abut 53%, Mutaals (முட்டாள்) Voted for Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Average IQ of Sri Lanka is 79 )

      Balance 70 to 75% Voted for Mr, Maitripala Sirisena.

      This proves that there are quite a bit of Tamil Mutaals (முட்டாள்) up North, and perhaps many Muslim Mutaals (முட்டாள்), because of the memories of the Velupillai Prabakaran Maveer Mutaal ( மாவீர் முட்டாள்)

      However, most of the Tamil Mutaals (முட்டாள்),are abroad, and many have just disappeared, They are known by alternate names Cattle, Madu ( மாடு), Donkeys, Kaluthai (கழுதை) etc.

      http://m.tamilcube.com/translation/tamil/

    • 2
      2

      Millitiary should not be confined to barracks. Their presence should be there because of this Basil and Rudrakuran issue is still fresh in mind. John, agree with the rest of your views.

  • 9
    1

    Good thoughts Mr Sivathasan,

    However I do not agree on a Rhinoceros approach to development but prefer a systematic path taking all issues into consideration. Riding roughshod in the guise of development will leave many victimized.

    The need of the moment is to hand over power to civilian rule. Steps are already taking place and hopefully will continue.

    Exclusivity is a two way highway. For inclusivity the Tamils must emerge from the eternal victim mentality and try and be part of the team as well. For starters a good beginning would be to delete Tamil from TNA and just call it National Alliance. I am sure many Muslims as well as Sinhalese would join that party.

    Yes, the lands must be returned to the rightful owners. Yes, those seeking answers to their disappeared kith and kin should be entertained and closure provided. Yes, the military should systematically and speedily reduce their role in civilian rule. The police must be the only institution that need to deal with civilians.

    The myth that LTTE is regrouping played well into the hands of Rajapaksa. We know it was all nonsense. It is time that the playing field is made level and all are invited to play according to the same rules of the game. I hope MS will be brave enough to just do that.

  • 7
    1

    Land is very important to peacent. The peacent even it is a small plot they will recist. All the recorded history revel this. In 1905 russian revolution failed because of appropriation of peasant land. In the Stalin perid collectivation of land recisted by millions and perished. The same happened 1950 in China heavy resistance to the appropriation of land. If it is small land or a big land land owning peasants resit to the end. The same is true for Sinhalese peasant also. Let the history judge.

  • 10
    1

    The war was over five years ago and there is no sign of any resurgence of the LTTE and there cannot be one, either. So, the armed forces should expeditiously hand back the lands taken from the people so the people will have their means of livelihood and live with dignity. In view of the war devastation foreign direct investments in the North and East should be increased. The Chief Minister’s Fund that was earlier denied by the former governor should now be permitted by the new Governor so that whatever possible inflow of funds from the diaspora could be tapped. These funds, after all are audit able and therefore no need for any fear of improper utilisation.

    Sengodan. M

    • 0
      0

      “there is no sign of any resurgence of the LTTE and there cannot be one, either”
      Thanks to the foresight of the government in maintaining the military camps in the North and East.

  • 2
    2

    Without begging for land in SL, why not all Tamils go to developed Tamil Nadu?

    • 0
      0

      I can ask you back as to why all the Sinhalese cannot go back to Orissa? But I won’t ask that. At least after the regime change I thought bigots like you will have a change of heart to accept that the country belongs to all the people who are living there for generations, whether it is 30 or 100 would matter little!

      Sengodan. M

  • 1
    1

    S. Sivathasan

    RE: Immediate Action By President To Reconcile The Alienated

    “Both content and speed of action taken are heartening to the Tamil psyche. The news item of 15 January, given below connotes much.”

    “Land to legitimate Owners”

    ““President Maithripala Sirisena has advised armed forces chiefs to act fast to release private lands that have no security concerns in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Secretary Defence, B.M.U.D. Basnayake disclosed this yesterday.”

    Good move for people yo get their ancestral and legitimate lands.

    Will this Apply to expelled Muslims and Sinhalese as well.

    The Irony is that in the Jaffna District 25 to 30% Voted for Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, Generally 20 to 25%, called Mutaals (முட்டாள்)

    ( Compare that to Sinhala in the South abut 53%, Mutaals (முட்டாள்) Voted for Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Average IQ of Sri Lanka is 79 )

    Balance 70 to 75% Voted for Mr, Maitripala Sirisena.

    This proves that there are quite a bit of Tamil Mutaals (முட்டாள்) up North, and perhaps many Muslim Mutaals (முட்டாள்), because of the memories of the Velupillai Prabakaran Maveer Mutaal ( மாவீர் முட்டாள்)

    However, most of the Tamil Mutaals (முட்டாள்),are abroad, and many have just disappeared, They are known by alternate names Cattle, Madu ( மாடு), Donkeys, Kaluthai (கழுதை) etc.

    http://m.tamilcube.com/translation/tamil/

  • 0
    5

    Why not that Tamils want small country like Sri lanka divided Tamil Eealm separated state.

    What is wrong with which that TNA and LTTE can demand Tamil Nadu for
    self-determination from India? All are Tamil speaking people of World!

    Larger and extensive land a, more natural resources, enough manpower of 75 million population and Possible to build a glorious Tamil civilization! In Tamil Nadu India!

    Tamils of Dravidians that belongs Indian begun to reappraise the history of their tormented land, a reappraisal ripe for wild speculation stretching back into time. Consider the myth of mound-builders of prehistoric India. According to this myth ,a lost Tamil race had settled south India in ancient times, that build civilization. Whose sole remains were the many mounds scattered across the south part of India.

    There is nothing wrong that demand for Tamil Nadu self-determination from in India Republic, that is what DMK, ADMK, VIKO and other now engaging politics in Tamil Nadu ?

    Similar demand by TNA, TULF and other Terror outfits seek from
    Sri lanka. They(TNA) never -ever seek Democracy of ‘good governances’ from that incorrigible politics in South of Island.

    • 2
      0

      Milroy
      Please learn what happened from February 1948 onwards in this island – you may be writing about completely opposite things now.

    • 1
      0

      Milroy,

      A small history lesson from 1948 –

      From 1948, all PMs and presidents did bad things to Tamils. The worst one is Mahinda Rajapaksa.

      Ceylon got its independence in 1948 on the back of the Indian nationalist struggle. Hence it did not go through the process of nation building that a nationalist struggle involves. Instead, it was regarded as a model colony -with an English-educated elite, universal suffrage, and an elected assembly – deserving of self-government.
      These however turned out to be the trappings of capitalist democracy super-imposed on a feudal infrastructure – a democratic top-dressing on a feudal base. But then, colonial capitalism is a hybrid, a mutant. It underdevelops some parts of the country while the part it develops is not consonant with the country’s needs or growth. Nor does it throw up institutions and structures that sustain democracy. Capitalism in the periphery, unlike capitalism at the centre, does not engender an organic relationship between the political, economic and cultural instances. It is a disorganic capitalism that produces disorganic development and a malformed democracy.
      Power, then, was still in the hands of the feudal elite, the landed aristocracy. And almost the first thing that an independent government under D. S. Senanayake, “the father of the nation”, did was to disenfranchise the “plantation Tamils” who were now into their third and fourth generations – thereby establishing a Sinhalese electoral majority in the upcountry areas. This was followed by colonisation schemes that settled Sinhalese peasants in the predominantly Tamil-speaking north-east – thereby changing the ethnic demography of the area. And although elections were on party lines, the parties themselves – with the exception of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) Trotskyists and the Communist Party (CP) – operated on feudal allegiances. Hence the government that ensued was government by dynasty. The first prime minister was succeeded by his son, Dudley Senanayake, and subsequently by his nephew, Sir John Kotelawela and so on. So that the ruling United National Party, (U.N.P.), was more appositely known as the Uncle Nephew Party.
      The breakthrough came in 1956 when the Oxford-educated Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike decided that the only way that a distant relative like him could break into the dynastic succession was to resort to the ethnic politics of language and religion that would guarantee him a ready-made electoral majority. The Sinhala speaking population, after all, amounted to something like 70 per cent (the Tamils around 20 per cent) and they were mostly Buddhists. All he was doing, as a nationalist and patriot was returning power to the people, restituting their ancient rights. And so he came to power on the twin platforms of making Sinhala the official language and Buddhism the state religion. The language policy was to be introduced within 24 hours of his taking office – and all government servants would have to learn to conduct business in Sinhala within a given period if they were to keep their jobs. Sinhala would also constitute the medium of instruction in schools.
      Bandaranaike had struck at the heart of Tamil livelihood and achievement. Coming from the arid north of the country, where nothing grew except children, the Tamil man’s chief industry was the government service, and education, English education, his passport. And Britain’s divide and rule policies encouraged and reinforced the growth of a class of Tamil bureaucrats. So that at independence they were over-represented in the administrative services and the professions.
      Bandaranaike’s policies were meant to put an end to that but, in the event, they degraded the mother tongue of a people who held up Tamil as an ancient language (which it was) and its considerable literature as their bounteous heritage. In protest Tamil leaders staged a mass non-violent sit-down in front of the Houses of Parliament and were beaten up by government-sponsored goondas for their pains – giving meaning to the phrase sitting ducks.
      And there begins the two trajectories of ethnic cleansing: the “legal” and the illegal, the civil and the military, the parliamentary and extra-parliamentary, each overlapping and reinforcing each other. Ethnic cleansing is a process not an isolate, genocide its logical conclusion.
      The prime minister, having divested himself of his Oxford bags for national dress, Christianity for Buddhism, English for Sinhala, was caught now between his social democratic principles and his nationalist practice, and proposed to make Tamil a regional language. But his ministers and the Opposition upped the racist ante and the Buddhist monks, whom Bandaranaike himself was instrumental in bringing out of the monasteries and on to the hustings where their influence was decisive, demanded that he return to his original remit. Peaceful Tamil demonstrations were met with police violence, participants travelling to a Tamil convention in the North in May 1958 were taken off the trains, cars and buses and beaten up by goon squads organised by Sinhalese politicians. Attacks on Tamils in their homes, on the street and work-places right across the country followed. Bandaranaike vacillated and a monk shot him dead. The chickens had come home to roost.
      From then on the pattern of Tamil subjugation was set: racist legislation followed by Tamil resistance, followed by conciliatory government gestures, followed by Opposition rejectionism, followed by anti-Tamil riots instigated by Buddhist priests and politicians, escalating Tamil resistance, and so on – except that the mode of resistance varied and intensified with each tightening of the ethnic-cleansing screw and led to armed struggle and civil war.

      successive Sinhalese-dominated governments that led to the spiralling cycle of repression and resistance. If Mr Bandaranaike had cut out the mother tongue of the Tamils, it was left to Mrs Bandaranaike to bring the Tamils down to their knees – by using the language provision to remove and exclude Tamils from the police, the army, the courts and government service generally, further colonising traditionally Tamil areas of the north-east with Sinhalese from the South, repatriating the already disenfranchised Indian Tamil plantation workers and, more crucially, requiring Tamil students to score higher marks than their Sinhalese counterparts to enter university – on the grounds that Tamils should not continue to be over-represented in higher education and the professions.
      At one stroke, Mrs Bandaranaike had cut the ground from under the feet of Tamil youth. At one stroke she had blighted their future. You take away a people’s language and you take away their identity. You take away their land and you take away their livelihood. You take away their education and you take away their hopes and aspirations. They had seen their parents try reason and reconciliation, but to no avail. They had seen them try non-violent resistance only to be met with violence. They had seen their representatives in the Federal Party running between the government and the Opposition with their electoral begging bowl. And they had seen the Left, the Trotskyists and the CP, who had once stood square against racist laws and for the parity of language, succumb at last to Mrs Bandaranaike’s blandishments of nationalisation in exchange for dropping their call for parity, and join her United Front government.
      The Left in Ceylon, and the Trotskyist LSSP, in particular, had hitherto had a noble history. Formed in the 1930s, during the malaria epidemic and led by doctors, they had set up people’s dispensaries in the villages to treat patients free of charge. They had, along with the CP, politicised the urban working class and engendered a flourishing trade union movement. And in 1953, when the UNP government withdrew its subsidised rice ration at a time of rising food prices, they brought out the country in a hartal (cessation of all work) and drove a beleaguered cabinet into the safety of a ship in the harbour. But 1953 also marks the Left’s failure – for instead of pressing home the advantage, a middle-class leadership took fright at the enormity of its own success, agreed to talks and called off the hartal. The moment of revolution had passed, and from then on Parliament became the Left’s pitch – landing them, as I mentioned before, in Mrs Bandaranaike’s racist government. But the final degradation was yet to come. Asked to frame a new constitution, Dr Colin R de Silva, LSSP historian, now made a constitutional proviso for the repatriation of disenfranchised Tamil plantation workers.

      The degradation of the Left engendered the degradation of the intelligentsia who now turned to middle of the road reformist politics. The Tamil youth looked around and saw no allies in the South. Nothing and no one seemed to work for them. They had only themselves to rely on. They had no choice but to take up arms. (The violence of the violated is never a matter of choice, but a symptom of choicelessness – and often it is a violence that takes on a life of its own and becomes distorted and self-defeating.)

      In 1981 security forces burnt down the Jaffna library, with its “ola” manuscripts and rare literature, the epicentre of Tamil learning and culture. In the same year Gandhiyam, a refugee camp turned farm, set up by a Tamil doctor to restore refugees to some sort of normal life, was over-run by the police – and its organisers killed or imprisoned. In 1983 the Tigers killed thirteen soldiers in Jaffna and the government brought their bodies to Colombo and put them on display before an angry Sinhalese crowd and so provoked “the riots”(pogroms really) that followed culminating in the killing of Tamils prisoners in Welikade jail, awaiting trial under the PTA, by Sinhalese prisoners whose cells the guards forgot to lock!

      That’s when the civil war began in earnest – with each side, the government and the guerrillas, ratcheting up the terror count, with the occasional pause for “talks” or peace mediation, during which each side refurbished its forces and came out more intransigent than ever. The government now added an official military dimension to civil ethnic cleansing by letting loose its private armies to terrorise Tamils and drive them from their homes. Refugee camps were attacked, its inmates killed or driven out, Tamil plantation workers were forcibly taken from their houses and dumped hundreds of miles away by thugs in the pay of the Minister of Industries in trucks provided by him. (The state against its Tamils.)

      But the President’s own actions since the defeat of the Tigers and, more importantly, the political culture that his government, even more than all the previous governments, has created, belies any such democratic outcome. For what has evolved in sixty years of independence is an ethnocentric Sinhala-Buddhist polity reared on falsified history reinforced by feudal customs and myths, with a voting system that seals the ethnic majority in power for ever – while reducing the party system to a war between dynasties, flanked by monks and militias.
      And within that polity the Rajapakse government or, rather cabal (he has three brothers in the cabinet) has instituted a regime of blanket censorship under cover of which it has conducted a ruthless war not just against Tigers but against harmless Tamil civilians, a “war without witness” someone termed it, while feeding the Sinhalese public with government-manufactured facts and seeing off any journalist who dared to criticise the government. (You will all remember the case of Lasantha Wickramatunga, the editor of the Sunday Leader, who sent a letter to his friend President Rajapakse, excoriating him for murders of outspoken journalists and predicting his own at the hands of government thugs. And so it came to pass.)

      What, in sum, we are faced with in my country today, is a brainwashed people, brought up on lies and myths, their intelligentsia told what to think, their journalists forbidden to speak the truth on pain of death, the militarising of civil society and the silencing of all opposition. A nation bound together by the effete ties of language, race and religion has arrived at the cross-roads between parliamentary dictatorship and fascism.

      The above is according to Mr A.Sivanathan.

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    This is a gigantic victory for the LTTE proxy TNA.

    One of the top three demands has been granted.

    No wonder Sivathasan is happy.

    But one snag,,

    My mates from the North say , lot of fisher folk have taken settled in Vellala lands around Army camps, during Prabkaran’s no go Zones.

    These lands are owned by Diasporians.

    When the Army vacate the North, will the Diaspora donate titles to these lands to Fisher Folk ?..

    Will Sira ask the three Forces Commanders to decide on Ms Pillai/ Bunki Moon/ Caameron ,& Harper demands as well ?.

    The last but the most important demand of course can not be hand balled even to the PM with an absolute majority in Parliament.

    Because the 75 % inhabitant population wouldn’t want to see Libyan like War Lords in their Provinces.

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    Land must certainly be returned to more Thamils. N&E must be developed in accordance with all of Sri Lanka in mind.

    But to show pictures of Tamil Nadu prosperity and link it to the N&E truly a shocking and alarming suggestion to many Lankans.

    Also the statement :“Also very crucial is to dam the despotic herd trying its foray into sacred terrain,” shows that Thamils are not ready at all to coalesce with the Sinhalese. Can you blame them then, for being so cautious, even if they truly want to be fair to the Thamils? Remember that all of Sri Lanka is sacred.

  • 2
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    We should all be happy we are putting forward ideas and request to a President who we could talk to who we can reason with.

    This alone is an achievement and a huge victory for all Sri Lankans. The majority of voters in Sri Lanka voted for change we are reaping the benefits of that effort.
    I am confident by time we will reach new heights in all fronts. However there is a parliamentary election around the corner it is our duty that we keep the momentum and vote for the clean politicians who are capable of taking this country forward and who can fight for the rights of the people.

    I am hopeful within now and election time the current Government will do enough to convince the many within the 47.8% to vote with nation building, communal harmony and good governance in mind.
    Lets dump old style politics and change the political culture of Sri Lanka. The kind of dialog taking place now should have happened immediately after May 2009 any way it’s not too late still. We have been saved for that we should extend our gratitude to the 51.28% of voters.

  • 3
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    Above all we need devolution.Then only we can develop our own. Stop state sponsored majority settlement and bulding of Buddhist temples/shrines among us. Right to mourn our deads.

    • 0
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      “Above all we need devolution.Then only we can develop our own. Stop state sponsored majority settlement and bulding of Buddhist temples/shrines among us. Right to mourn our deads”.

      Kailasanathan, the above is rephrased for your convenience, as follows:

      Above all we need revolution.Then only we can cover-up our own (atrocities). Stoop ourselves to the state sponsored majority settlement with bulldogs like Buddhist scruples and thirst qunching wineries among us. Instill the right to mourn on our won putrid deeds. Amen.

  • 3
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    Private land with no strategic value to the tri-forces should certainly be handed back to the owners after establishing legal ownership. That which the tri-forces need should be bought from the legal owners at market + a small premium, and the money paid to them without delay using the principle of ’eminent domain’. If need be more state land in the north should be put at the disposal of the tri-forces.

    It is nice to see the FIRST words of appreciation written by a Tamil intellectual for the immense amounts of taxpayer funds spent on development and repair of infrastructure in the North by MR, that which was destroyed by ‘OUR BOYS’, the LTTE terrorists. As BBS Rep says above the Tamil victimhood mentality must be shed forever. The Provincial councillors in the South are not known for their honesty. Let us hope that the North led by an ex-Supreme Court Judge will be different.

    • 2
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      Ramuuuu

      One can reason out strategic value for every square inch of land, sea and space.

      Hence the need for us to militarise the entire galaxy.

  • 4
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    I am happy to read an excellent article by a distinguished Tamil writer saying that the Maithri government has understood the priorities of the people. You are quite correct in pointing out the need for BOI & UDA representation in Jaffna and to look at what Tamil Nadu has done to improve the living standards of people.

    The Way forward is to connect the major cities by highways which reduce travel time and establish the infrastructure for educated young people to get well paid jobs using broadband technology.

    We need to reduce the number of housemaids leaving Sri Lanka by 20% every year by inviting investments that provide well paid jobs for all Sri Lankans.

  • 2
    1

    Development and connected employment are urgent matters that the PC will
    need to look into. Just imagine the infrastructure expenditure incurred
    in Hambantota alone and the outcome. Any BOI project in N/E must have extra tax holidays if export is involved using Colombo Ports-

    I have suggested directly to the CM/NPC to look into the feasibility
    of converting saline water to fresh water with the help of TN Govt, as
    they have a few desalination projects completed.

  • 0
    2

    The shorty history that declared by Sivanathan of that Tamil discrimination by governing ruling bourgeoisie and their political parties which one side story of Tamil Eealm project.

    What is the Tamils political class objective and that target of belongs Vella cast of Tamils aspirations is quite different; what they want to justification of their struggle for Eealm out-fit to be established of Rogue Tamil separate state in North-East of Sri lanka had been hide by Sivanathan .

    The Idea of a Dravidians as the seedling of Tamils is unique and original contribution of Indian’s, Tamils in Tamil Nadu ,that is an Identity to pseudo history of human origins. Compared to Indian Tamils and Vellla Tamils beliefs in island and view non-Arians as descendants of pre-Arian races ,its intellectual pedigree is quite recent.

    Tamils have suffered persecutions for thousand years in India.
    Well, Tamils of Dravidian clan scattered among other culture and religion, they stand apart from larger society in the practice of their religion and culture. That led to separatism by assure Tamil Eealm that they periodically in INDIA experience persecution because are different land .

    The 20th century witness certain of the most intense outbreaks of
    anti-Sinhalese agenda by Sri-lanka Tamil political class, by and large assist and support by that Indian Tamil Nadu political class.
    I known long before, that is what Political agenda of Tamil’s class which negative attitude towards Sinhalese People since 1949 by FP, TULF and TNA.

    It is quite different political agenda by Tamil Vella cast want SPLIT Sri lanka into pieces, that is another side TNA,TULF and FP party long-term political dream. That is other side of story of Tamil demand misinterprets to public by Dr Sivatahasan .

    The racism and communalism of extremes of Tamil nationalism spread by with 75 Millions Tamil Nadu and North part of Tamils in Sri lanka ,that back by diaspora Tamils in US, UK, EU countries, specially Norway, Malaysia, Australia and Tamil Nadu.
    Their Political tools and organs are Global Tamil Forum (GFT),
    World Tamil Congress(WTC) and Exile-Eealm outfit base in US and support by UK agents working on behalf to be establishment of first round Eelam in Sri Lankan soli.

    Unfortunately according to the argument of these anti-Sinhalese authors ,the continued to commit sin of miscue-generation and that is why TNA send the flood of Sinhala leader for punishment by International courts of war crimes..

    This approach of Tamil writers , we do not understand the glorious Tamil state of TNA ,nor the nature of sin, nor transmission of it to our country.

    These are matters, the which we took from TNA place under after election 2015 January 9th of a nature altogether different from Tamil own and which transcend our present understanding.

    The TNA knowledge of all political agenda is useless to us, as a means of escape from hide Tamil Eealm by Sivatahana.

    All that we are concern to know Tamil Eealm are miserable, corrupt of Tamil politics agenda for separatist state back by Western and Tamil Nadu, but ransomed demand from by country newly elected rulers, that whereof we have wonderful proofs in Sri lanka.

  • 1
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    Millroy…
    What a useless piece of shit is this Millroy!

  • 3
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    Gilgore

    “What a useless piece of shit is this Millroy!”

    He/she/it is a hardcore Sinhala/Buddhists a loner like Jim Soft (dimwit) K A Sumanasekera (Vellala), Banda (Tawfeek basher), Mechanic (Banda’s sidekick), sach, nuisance, wathie, theresa, ……. Thondamanar, …. bla, bla blAbhaya, Lal loo, Ramuuuu ………. Wee Thamil Siva Sankaran Sarma senior journalist, ……

    They are sexually aroused only when they write stupid comment in CT then fake orgasm to boost their ego.

    It is a lifestyle they chose to live.

  • 1
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    Milroy should be charged for propogating racism. The Tamil speaking
    voters wanted a fair treatment which has been non existing since
    Independence. What is wrong to give the lands to the owners? Are they
    not human beings? Why should you bring racist arguements to refute
    a very reasonable request?

    The National Executive Council should be in a position to give more
    clear & definite instructions to the occupiers to release their lands
    as an immediate exercise. ” High Security Zone” is a loose description.
    The Governor, in concurrence with the Chief mininister, should be given
    the responsibility & authority to make a decision- for the approval of the President -aided by the National Executive Council, in this regard.
    The Sinhala peoples are very reasonable so long as they are given the reasons for the decision in this regard. Hon Ministers making impromptu
    anouncements could unnecessarily put the burden on the President.

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