3 August, 2020

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Is There A Way Forward For Reconciliation In A United Sri Lanka?

By G. K. Nathan –

Dr. G. K. Nathan

Looking at our immediate neighbor India and other countries like Canada, Belgium and Switzerland with multilingual, multiethnic and multireligious groups show that there are ways forward to find a constitutional structure to achieve equality and peace by recognizing the differences. All these countries have resolved the differences between communities internally, led by leaders who considered that the integrity of the country is paramount; the majority respected the minority wishes and granted equal rights to all citizens and settled the differences amicably.

Examples of good governance are demonstrated in India and Canada, where they have had as head of the government or as a head of the country people of different ethnic backgrounds which strengthened the integrity of the country. Another evolving and working example is in the United Kingdom, where three ethnic groups Irish, Scottish and Welsh people have their separate governments, soon Scotland will hold a referendum among their people whether they should be an Independent country or not, which demonstrates maturity of the country which is the birth place of modern parliamentary democracy. A similar referendum was held among French speakers of Canada, a couple of decades ago and it is continuing to be a single country. In contrast to earlier examples, Yugoslavia’s failure to find an internal resolution of conflict with different ethnic groups led to division into many countries based on ethnicity, with inevitable external intervention charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Reflection on the outcome in the countries above gives hope as well as raises question with respect to finding reconciliation between Sinhala and Tamil communities in Sri Lanka.

Mythology And Contrary Evidence Of Sri Lanka History

Ongoing Sinhala-Tamil conflict in Sri Lanka, especially in the post independence period, is mainly due to the failure of the Colonial power Britain to recognize the importance of multilingual, multiethnic and multireligious groups in finding an equitable and representative constitutional structure for all communities at the time of Independence in 1948; since then Britain has rectified in their own country giving power to Irish, Scottish and Welsh people. Transferring of power to majority Sinhala community, without inviolable safeguard in the constitution to other communities sew the seed of conflict. “Mahavamsa mythology” is the belief that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country for Sinhala people and associated myths, which was lying dormant during the colonial era within the ruling class of Sinhala leaders, perhaps some of them were Christians who later reverted back to Buddhism in the post Independence era, to appeal to the Sinhala Buddhist masses. This mythology became widely accepted by the people, assisted by the first printed edition and English translation of the Mahavamsa in 1837 by George Turnour, an historian and officer of the Ceylon Civil Service. The political thinking of the British colonialists and the English educated Sinhala political leaders were influenced by this biased mythology.

The Mahavamsa or otherwise known as the “Great Chronicle”, was compiled in the 6th century CE by Mahavihara Buddhist Monk Ven. Mahanama, covering the period from presumptuously landing of Prince Vijaya and his 700 followers from the North West region of India on the coast of Sri Lanka in the year 543 BC to the 4th Century CE. The Mahavamsa and the Buddhist scriptures were both written in Pali language; a layperson listening to the teaching of Buddhist Monks will not be able to differentiate between Buddhists teaching and mythology of the Mahavamsa. Mahavamsa describes the life and time of the Buddhist people and also considered as a part of the Buddhist scriptures and it deals mostly with mythical or supernatural Buddhist history. The believe in the myth by the majority of Sinhala people and the resulting spread of Mahavamsa mentality was used by the Sinhala politicians to advance their political wishes in the post Independence period; which has been the main underlying reason for the start and continuation of conflict in Sri Lanka and their unwillingness to accommodate Tamils as equals. Two other parts of Mahavamsa under names Culavamsa I and II were compiled by Buddhists monks covering the period up to 1815, the year entire Island came under the British rule; the first part covers the period from the 4th Century to 12th Century CE and compiled in the 13th Century CE and the second part by a number of Monks and additional material was added after the fall of the Kandyan Kingdom.

To find reconciliation within a united Sri Lanka, it is important to pursue the truth about the composition of people of Sri Lanka and differentiate it from myths that influence the thinking of the majority of Sinhala people. The recent study by the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) in India points to the possibility that the people of South India and Sri Lanka were once a part of a large group of people who moved to high ground on either sides of “Kumari Kandan” at the time of inundation. This is substantiated by the discovery of ample evidence of drowned cities off Poompuhur in the South East coast of Tamil Nadu. New information emerged immediately preceding the 2004 Tsunami that showed constructions off Mahabalipuram coast, further supports the earlier conclusions. The evidence that there were cities and temples in what is now the sea between Sri Lanka and South India is overwhelming.

The common source for the descendants of people of Sri Lanka is further reinforced by the fact that there is a common gene pool of more than 50% between Sinhala and Tamil people with a small percentage of contribution from Bengalis in the case of Sinhala people; alternatively intermarriage between Sinhala and Tamil people could not have contributed to a high percentage as believed by some, but the common roots look more plausible explanation. For example, the Sinhalese and Tamils have similar cultures in terms of kinship classification, cousin marriage, dress and housing; in some surnames the last letter whether it is a consonant or a vowel determines to which ethnic group the name belongs to. Recognition of common roots could help to put aside the Mahavamsa mentality that has been a stumbling block to the national spirit for so long.

The ancient chronicles of Sri Lanka such as the Dipavamsa compiled in 4th Century CE and Mahavamsa compiled in the 6th Century CE are silent on the subject that Buddhism flourished in South India in ancient times, but an inscription dated 258 BC says that Buddhism was introduced to South India by King Asoka and his son, the Venerable Mahinda, about the same time as the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka. Since then, Buddhism flourished among Tamils and began to decline gradually from about the 7th century CE for many reasons. Buddhism played an enormous role in shaping the mindset of the ancient Tamil people, affecting their aesthetics, politics, literature and philosophy. This explains why a number of Buddhists monuments are found in Tamil Nadu and in North East Sri Lanka too and the Tamil Buddhists literatures talk of interactions between the monks of both countries and it is also said that a Buddhist monk from South India is the author of Culavamsa I.

Mahavamsa mythology is an emotive and controversial subject among Sinhala people; it can only be looked at objectively, when additional archaeological evidence proves otherwise. Contrary to the view held by Sinhala chauvinists that Sri Lanka is the land of Sinhala people, the ancient archaeological evidence in Sri Lanka proves otherwise; Brahmi stone inscriptions, cave writings, Pali chronicles, etc show terms like ‘Dameda’, ‘Damela’, ‘Damila’, ‘Demel’, all referring to Tamils, are mentioned as a group of people living in the island. This proves Tamils lived in Sri Lanka as long as in South India. If the wish of the author of Mahavamsa that it is “compiled for the serene joy and emotion of the pious”, which appears end of every chapter except the last one, is accepted for what it is, peace can usher in the Island of Sri Lanka between Sinhala and Tamil people sooner than later.

Unification Of Administration In The Island And Consequences

History, in last five hundred years is based on independent sources compared to the earlier period mostly the interpretation of Buddhist monks. At the time of arrival of Portuguese, there were three Kingdoms: Sinhala in the South, Tamil in the North and the third one in the central highlands with surrounding regions including Tamil areas called the Kandyan Kingdom; last few rulers of the Kandyan Kingdom were Nayakkars of South India. The Portuguese captured Southern Kingdom in 1505 and the Northern kingdom in 1619, then both fell to the Dutch in 1656 and later ceded to Britain in 1802 that captured the Kandyan Kingdom in 1815; the surrender document was signed in Tamil. Before the fall of Kandyan Kingdom, the Northern and the Southern kingdoms maintained their separate identity and were ruled as separate units, for more than three centuries. Subsequently the Island came under a unified administration in 1833 and it was called Ceylon; prior to unification the first survey map of Sri Lanka was prepared by L.H. Brohier showing five provinces, the first two North and East were called the land of Tamils, the other three South, West and Central were called as land of Sinhala people, surprisingly the names of places on the north central part of the Island were given in Tamil version; also a census was taken on the distribution of population showing overwhelming Tamil population in the North and the East. Later the five provinces were divided into nine; North and East provinces are the Tamil homeland which was referred to by the ancient name Tamil Eelam and the people as Eelam Tamils, generally in the ancient Tamil literatures.

The unification of the Island and establishment of Island wide network of roads and railways promoted mobility of the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim people and resulted in voluntary migration and settlement of people throughout the Island; mostly Tamils for the purpose of employment and Muslims for trade related activities moved Island wide wherever there was opportunity. Tamil people perseverance and hard work accompanied with educational success made British showed preference to employ Tamils in Sri Lanka and as well as in Malaysia and Singapore. Tamils and Muslims successes in their respective chosen paths, sowed the seed of dissent in the minds of the majority Sinhala people, but remained dormant during colonial era.

At the time of Independence of the unified Island two safeguards were incorporated: representation in the parliament of Sinhala majority and other minorities was divided in the ratio of sixty to forty and as a constitutional safe guard an unalterable Section 29(2) was included in the Soulbury constitution. Unfortunately, the safeguard in the constitution did not protect the minorities rights, as intended. Contrary to the expectation of amity, outbreak of Sinhala and Tamil conflict is threatening the unity of the country and a brief summary of what had happened to Upcountry Tamils, Eelam Tamils, Muslims and Burghers (Euro-Asians) are listed below:

  • Immediately after independence, in 1948, the disenfranchisement of Upcountry Tamils, who were brought from Tamil Nadu in the 19th century, reduced the minority representation in the parliament.
  • State aided colonization of Tamil Homeland started in 1949 further reduced the minority representation.
  • Against the consensus prior to Independence that Sinhala and Tamil languages will enjoy equal status, Sinhala Only bill was passed in the parliament in 1956, which brought about the beginning of the fissure between Sinhala and Tamil communities, which has been widening since then.
  • Peaceful Satyagraha by Tamils against imposition of Sinhala Only bill and demanding equal recognition met with the first Island wide pogrom against the Tamils in 1958, later occurred in 1977 and 1983.
  • Repeated pogroms and denial of rights led to large scale migration of Tamils to Western countries and to India; some are victims and others who did not see any future for themselves and their children; a large number of Burghers too left the country. In all more than a million Tamils left the country.
  • Large scale migration, colonization etc had a very adverse impact on the representation of the minorities in the Sri Lanka parliament and the only safeguard Soulbury constitution had denying the two-third majority was breached. The 1972 Republican constitution was proclaimed without the cooperation and consent of Tamils and deleted the unalterable Sections 29(2) safeguarding the rights of minorities. Buddhism, Sinhala language and consequently the majority were given preeminent positions in the constitution, ignoring that Sri Lanka is a multiethnic, multilingual and multireligious country.
  • In 1976 all the Tamil political parties joined together and at the National Convention passed a resolution based on the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; calling for the establishment of Tamil Eelam State based on the right to self-determination inherent to every nation, referred to as “Vaddukkoddai Resolution”. In 1977 Parliamentary Election 82%of the people of Tamil Eelam endorsed the call and aggravated the relationship between Sinhala and Tamil people of the Island.
  • In 1978 another constitution was introduced with presidential system of government further marginalizing Tamil rights and denying equality in the country.
  • The failure of peace efforts by Tamil political parties and continued brutal repression of Tamils’ demands led to the formation of Tamil militant groups with tacit support from India, perhaps due to arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Sri Lanka following the July 1983 pogrom. Many militant groups were formed; Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) emerged as the strongest and fought a vicious war with Sri Lanka army referred to as Eelam war I, II, III and IV for 26 years and hundreds of thousands were killed, without accountability and justice for the victims.
  • The first independent report made on the Sinhala-Tamil conflict of over six decades was that from the Experts Panel appointed by the United Nation Secretary General to report on the last stages of the conflict which ended on 18 May 2009, following the Government declaring victory over the Tamil militants. Experts Panel findings are very disturbing and recommended an Independent International Inquiry to determine the truth on war crimes, crimes against humanity and killing of 40,000 people.
  • In recent time, presence of Mosques in the so called “Buddhist sacred land” has come under attack by the Sinhala chauvinists led by Buddhist monks, while in Tamil Eelam Buddhists places of worship are springing up like mushroom, in some cases replacing Hindu places of worship.

Over the last six decades Sinhala and Tamil people have made a few attempts to resolve the long standing conflict and also once with international participation, all efforts came to nothing; the worst military conflict between the armed forces and LTTE ended on 19 May 2009 with the defeat of LTTE. Since the end of the conflict, to date no progress has been made by the current regime contrary to many promises made to the International leaders. Failure of internal resolution can be attributed to prevailing “Mahavamsa mentality” of majority of Sinhala people. Also Sinhala politicians when in opposition and the minor parties pursuing Sinhala chauvinism exploit the Sinhala masses belief in the mythology learnt from Buddhist monks, to force the political party in power not to deviate from entrenched political views of denying equality and recognition. The challenge for International community is becoming clearer; to achieve reconciliation in Sri Lanka external intervention is urgently needed, first initiative is the UNHRC resolution passed at the 19th session in March 2012.

International Intervention And What Is The Future For Tamils?

International interest during the last stages of the conflict increased because of the news report about the ferocity of the war resulting in numerous deaths of men, women and children who were caught in the cross fire; many world political leaders and humanitarian organizations raised this issue through public statements and direct contact with the President of Sri Lanka. United Nation Secretary General at the conclusion of his visit to Sri Lanka on 23 March 2009 issued a Joint Statement with President Rajapaksa which “underlined the importance of an accountability process” and the Government of Sri Lanka (GSL) agreed that it “will take measures to address those grievances”. Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband and his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner, arrived in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on 29 April 2009 appealed to Sri Lanka to “win the peace” by putting the needs of civilians above its desire to continue its military advance. During the vicious conflict, the US, UK and the EU have issued statements calling for an immediate ceasefire. The Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Conference on Reconstruction and Development on Sri Lanka, Japan, the EU, USA and Norway have gone further, asking the Sri Lankan government to offer amnesty to the LTTE leaders.

The appeal from the world leaders fell on deaf ears; the President Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa succeeded in winning the war, with the full backing of Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran and tactical support from India. Since end of the war between the Sri Lanka armed forces and the LTTE, Experts panel appointed by the United Nation Secretary General has said that alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity had occurred and provided some evidence and called for an Independent International Inquiry. There are number of reports published by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Crisis Group and War without Witness substantiating these allegations. Also Chanel 4 video presentations “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields” and “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields – War Crimes Unpunished” provide sufficient evidence on war crimes and crimes against humanity, now it is up to the International community to device methods to determine the truth so that justice is done to hapless victims of the conflict, knowing that the President Rajapaksa’s strategy is procrastination and do nothing in the hope the world will forget with time, like in many other cases in the past.

Following the declaration by President of Sri Lanka and UN Secretary General, after a long delay, two bodies were set up by the signatories to the agreement. Though both reports have been published one by the Panel of Experts set up by UNSG on 31 March 2011 and Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) set up by President Rajapaksa on 14 December 2011, reports have not been implemented. This would have resulted in acknowledgement, accountability and promoted reconciliation. President Rajapaksa and key personnel in his administration have rejected the above three steps to meet the international standards and practices, instead showing contempt for the accepted process. Failure to implement the recommendations of President Rajapaksa’s Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission casts doubts on their genuine commitment. If the Government of Sri Lanka fails to implement the International calls and direction given by passing of the UNHRC resolution, the other options need to be considered as a matter of importance is the “Vaddukkoddai Resolution” approved by all Tamil political parties and endorsed by 82% of electorate of Tamil Eelam, which falls within the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Implementation of UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka passed at the 19th session is hopefully the beginning of the process to bring about true reconciliation; in the words of Prof. R. Cheran of University of Windsor, there is a need to address three key points; which are paraphrased and expanded by the author of this article as follows:

  • The regime or the state that committed the crimes should not be a party to advance reconciliation: one of the two parties in the conflict is no longer in existence; shouldn’t the other party stand aside?
  • The state or the society need to acknowledge as to what happened, this emphasizes the need for an Independent International Inquiry to know the truth; this approach would be a starting point, similar to the way it was done in South Africa, prior to reconciliation between Black and White South Africa.
  • Two or more communities in the conflict should be willing to engage in genuine reconciliation process with open mind, a recent example is Myanmar making progress with International Intervention.

Achieving the above, depends on the international community driving the process of reconciliation to the logical end, the recent collaboration with the USA, India and Western and South American Nations at the UNHRC 19th session is a hopeful beginning. Also, it is important that leaders of both Sinhala and Tamil communities to come forward; especially from Sinhala Buddhists who can emulate Ms Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, a Buddhist and a Noble Laureate for Peace. She has become a trend setter after more than two decades of incarceration and on her release taking initiative to unite and bring amity among ethnic groups in Myanmar and gaining widespread International recognition. On the contrary, since the military conflict ended on 18 May 2009, Sinhala leaders are being marginalized; differences between the communities are widening to the extent that even a speech about right to self determination met with outburst of opposition from Sinhala Polity.

Inaction of President Rajapaksa’s regime with respect to acknowledgement, accountability, reconciliation and lack of freedom to express views, peacefully, is not reassuring and weakening the case for a United Sri Lanka?

 

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    As far as I know, Canada is bilingual (English and French). It’s Church is called United Church. In other words, all denominations of the Christian Church is represented by the United Church except in Quebec where Majority are French speaking Catholics. Even the Tamils who migrated to Canada must speak English or French. Other wise, they can not find jobs. Tamil women go for men from other cultures, because they have more freedom with those men in comparison to Tamil men.

    Only In Sri Lanka, a poor country which can not afford every luxury is wasting money on Tamil immigrants to work in Tamil. That is an additional expense and, at one point, People have to pay taxes in order to cover the cost of extra language.

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      poor country, small coutry bla bla … are very typical for people like you,

      We don´t have tax payers in SL and you can not compare with west

      For disaster management and rebuilding you need west and NGOs

      To distroy everything you need sinhala chauvinism

      This is your way of life for the last 200 years

      Tell me a single project in SL which is financed from our tax?

      You need some basic education after changing your nickname

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        You are not paying any taxes. So, you can ask every luxury. If you lived in a country where you pay taxes, you want ask this many luxuries saying I can work only in my own language and not in the majority language. In countries where you pay taxes, you don’t have enough time to play DUMB and Tribalist. Instead, you are working six months of the year to pay taxes and next six months for your own purposes.

        You talk about 200 years. By 1950s, British Colonial master had to abandon the colonies because they were going bankrupt. So, when did Sinhale people got their own govt ?

        NGOs are there for conversion and they work their for their financial – supporters. CHURCH – backed NGOs spend only about 4% of what they get for the benefit of the people. The balance they spend for their expenses. See, how FMM cheated. Other than that, western countries give their aids for their benefit. I think, you don’t know what you are talking. Find me a country that gives aids for the true benefit of the aid-reciever and not for the benefit of the donor.

        Why if Sinhale is that bad, Tamils are not moving to Tamilnadu which is their homeland. If Tamils lived in Sinhale why you are so attached to South india and quote everything from South india because you are indian migrants.

        When we say something, you label as chauvanists, racists blah..blah and don’t talk to the point.

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          This Thalaivar seems to be a stupid idiot who is totally ignorant about Sri Lankan people. Eiher he does not know or he has convinently forgotten that the Sinhalese are also immigrants from India and Buddhism was also from India. He needs to read his own history book to know how his forefathers came to the island in a boat from India.

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          You are a typical victim of these thugs running with safran cloths and your idol is this racist, this Patali Rambukkuwa or something similar, who started getting wett trousers when he heard the name LTTE.

          He is proud and threaten Tamils without doing anything at the war front like you.

          Your stupid arguments like Tamils to Tamil Nadu, Muslims o Middle East shows your standard basic education. Even in your own history there are gaps

          Remember, SL´s indigenous people are veddas and not sinhalese

          Will you answer my question please ” Is there any project which in financed by SL govt with our tax?”

          Thank you!

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      Thalaivar

      “Only In Sri Lanka, a poor country which can not afford every luxury is wasting money on Tamil immigrants to work in Tamil.”

      I hate to agree with you.

      I believe you are not a Vedda.

      We have evidence to suggest that except Veddas rest of the people are Kallathonies and were from your mother country India.

      If land grabbing illegal immigrants enjoy the right to work in either Tamil or Sinhalese, wasting colossal sums of money on both languages, only to find more stupid people are out and about than the previous years, then one ought to ask a question is it worth the trouble?

      I suggest we go back to Vedda language and make it the only official language which I believe would bring the costs down and empower the people of the land instead of allowing the Kallathonies to wield power over people.

      Both the Tamils and Sinhalese will still be free in the confines of their homes to use Tamil or Sinhalese.

      We will have to find ways to implement the reasonable use of your respective languages, during the transition.

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    LTTE proxies, TNA has gone to square one declaring that only a TAMIL-SPECIFIC state would work for them. Therefore, except for face saving measures, it is stupid and ignorant if any one in Sri Lanka is thinking about long lasting peaceful living with Tamils.

    As Burma did, IF Sinhale also got rid of all the Tamil – coolies imported from South India by Portugeuse (goa), Dutch (Kerala) and British (from whole South India), Sinhale would not have any Tamil problems now.

    Those Leaders were English speaking kalu- suddhas
    , now Sinhale has become Sri Lanka.

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      Thalaivar, on the contrary as you suggest that the Tamils be repatriated to Goa, Kerala and South India, the Sinhalese who came with Vijaya be repatriated to wherever they came from, because they too have no status in this country. What is sauce for the goose should be also sauce for the gander.

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        Tamils are all over the world. In every country where ever they live, most are obedient citizens or refugees except a handful who are international criminals. Those who work in those countries contribute to the country’s economy unlike in Sri Lanka, they FORCE for everything FREE.

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          Both Sri Lanka and South India were Tamil countries. There was an ancient Adams bridge (see NASA sattalite images) connecting both South India and Sri Lanka. When the Sinhala Vijaya came from India, Tamils were already living in Sri Lanka. The Tamils and Veddas are the original people of Sri Lanka.

          The Sinhalese came and mixed with everything that landed on our shores, with South Indians, with colonials, with malays, with everything and became a majority.

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          You need a therapy, otherwise you will be dangerous even for your sinhalese wife and children, if you have one

          I hope they left you to protect themselves

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        gamini says:

        “the Sinhalese who came with Vijaya be repatriated to wherever they came from,”.

        To be precise, Sinhapura, Lala land, Venga,

        However the Sinhalese also 74 genetic affinity with Tamilnadu Tamils. There you are both stupid people sharing stupid gene, M20.
        The Sinhalese have a choice, either Tamilnadu or Venga.

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          Mr. Native the Sinhalese are descendants of a mixture of origins, including the Tamils. The Sinhalese have derived their Culture from the Indian influence and their Language from Sanscrit and Pali. Even the many names commonly used by the Sinhalese today are Portuguese, shedding the original wasagamas as Appuwas and Naidays. Some have even droped the last part of names as Kulatungam to Kulatunge. This is the stark naked truth.

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          or to Thuuthukudi?

  • 0
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    India is a collection of different states and struggling to work as a country. Take Tamilnadu as Example. What is the rights of 10% of thelugus, who are also South Indians, living in Tamilnadu. Because, all the political parties represent Tamil.

    why this writer is not speaking about USA, UK, Australia, France, Germany to which Tamils show lot of allegiance ?

    With respect to Dambulla incident, WRITER must understand the THESAVALAMEi law is one brought by DUTCH in order to keep Kerala-migrants leaving JAffna. Sri Lankan govt is still allowing that.

    The same way, Sinhala Kings had donated villages around the major temples to the Temple. Those were called “GAMVARA”. Muslims have settled and were allowed to live on such lands and they took it to convert the business tea boutique to a mosque little by little. In other words, they was no ever any registration of a mosque there.

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      Thalaivar:

      “Sinhala Kings had donated villages around the major temples to the Temple. Those were called “GAMVARA””

      So Sinhala Kings appropriated my ancestral land to Temples. And you seem proud about land grabbing.

      Please let me have the details so that I can sue these temples, Viharas, churches, mosques,… to get back my ancestral land.

  • 0
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    This article is complete lies and heresy. Tamils’ origianl land is some where in Sudan. Then they moved to Iraq area from there moved to india.

    • 0
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      Thalivar are you basing your facts in the manner how you have assumed your name.

    • 0
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      This so called Thalaivar ( most probably a punchi kalu banda) has some personal problems, don´t you see this?

  • 0
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    If you want to Sinhala people are Indians, using the same logics. it is fair to say Tamils are Africans and are also monkies.

    • 0
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      Thalaivar jokes apart, your attempt to ridicule the Tamils by comparing them to monkeys, display your hatered towards other human beings and your arguments are baseless. In my opinion you are a low bread JVPer and your standard of the language English is akin to the rest.

  • 0
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    A fair narrative that forms the unresolved National Question.

    If I may, the Indian Tamils de-franchised in 1948 were already enjoying their franchise rights and voted in over 10 MPs in the 1947
    Parliament. By natural law/justice and convention they should have then been integrated into a society to which they have made a lasting contribution through their painful labour under difficult conditions – for over 100 years then. Malaya, S.Africa, Guyana, the Carribean countries made former Indian workers part of their nations is well known. “It took 40 years to get this restored” in the words of the late S. Thondaman. It may also be remembered there was an uproar by Sinhala MPs in Parliament when DSS presented the Citizenship Acts (1947)These citizens/voters were made Stateless only because DSS “suspected” they may support non-UNP Sinhala parties during crucial elections. This assumption was to be proved wrong later because many of them became part of UNP Coalitions (1977) and later part of CBKs and the present Rajapakse Govt.

    Senguttuvan

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      Senguttuvan

      Please clarify some facts about GG Ponna voting for both citizenship.

      Did he actually vote with DSS government for both citizenship acts thereby betraying the Malayaha working class?

      If he did, could you provide some details on the actual vote.

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    Dr. Nathan

    Some very good points here, but I can’t help but notice your bias towards the Tamil side. I will look past that however, as you have made some good points with respect to Sri Lanka’s history.

    Your question is: Is there a way forward for Reconciliation In A United Sri Lanka?

    I’m not quite sure what that means, as I would have thought in a United Sri Lanka anything would be possible. So if what you are asking is ‘is there a way to reconcile and help Sri Lanka move forward as a united country?’, then I think that is a more valid question.

    To me, the answer to that question is definitely yes. But it won’t be easy. The key will be to provide an unbiased education for all our youth. We will need to teach our youth accurate representations of our history, so that they learn their heritage, and true links to eachother. But it is important that we teach without bias, with the objective of unity, as I truly believe a true understanding of Sri Lanka’s history makes the struggles of our past few decades seem extremely wasteful and unnecessary.

    To achieve unity we will also need to educate our youth of unbiased political and social philosophies. We will need to teach them that what matters is not who ‘owns’ the land we live in, rather who lives on it, and ‘how’ they live on it. We will need to teach our youth how to put aside our ‘differences’, which as you have shown are not that many, and to see the fruit in unity. Of course for all of this, we need leaders, and teachers, who have no bias, or vested interest in division.

    I am Sinhalese, and I want to see a ‘united’ Sri Lanka, where people of all ethnicities and religions can live as one. I am not proud of the actions of some of my forefathers, or my fellow Sinhalese of this generation. I can see ignorance driving their flaws. Similarly I also see ignorance driving the hypocrisy of the Tamil leaderships, and diaspora. Neither make me feel particularly proud be Sri Lankan.

    It seems, those in power, those with voices, those with the ability to make the necessary changes to ‘unite’ Sri Lanka, have a vested interest in a divided Sri Lanka. Whether it be the Government of Sri Lanka, or the so called Government of Eelam; they have far more to gain from conflict in Sri Lanka, than unity.

    So while screaming out for peace and unity, those who hold the tools necessary to achieve that peace and unity, continue to fuel division and war. The recent actions of the Government of Sri Lanka, and the Tamil diaspora, are perfect examples of this hypocrisy (at least to anyone who looks at the situation without bias or ignorance).

    So as long as such people continue to hold all the cards, unity and reconciliation in Sri Lanka will not be a reality. But one can always wish for change can’t they? As we have seen in the Middle East, perhaps the corrupt hypocrites will finally be exposed for what they truly are. A new generation of Sri Lankans will rise, sick of the hypocrisies and under handed tactics of their leaders. Our youth will unite as Sri Lankans, and write a new chapter in the history of this small island, and make all that history that came before nothing more than a ‘lesson learnt’.

    Of course such an idea will only send shivers through most who so loudly claim to want ‘unity’ and ‘reconciliation’ in Sri Lanka… They will be trying to come up with as many arguments as possible to try and teach our youths how they tried unity before, and how it didn’t work, because the other side was ‘evil’, and division is the only remaining option, and that it is worth dying for… with the fine print stating ‘so that the elite few of us can continue to reap the rewards of your gullibility hahahahahaaa’

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    Dr. Nathan

    What kind of Dr. are you? When you write this kind of article you should provide academic sources and references for people to verify the facts, otherwise you will lose your credibility. As a Dr. you should know better. All what you have said here, is it mere hearsay or do you have evidence for them? There are thousands of gullible out there who will believe everything you say if you use the title Dr. or Prof. so please be careful when you write.

    There is a Math Prof. at the Kelaniya University (Nalin Silva) who keeps on inventing new history for Sinhalese and Tamils in Sri Lanka. He comes up with brand new history lessons without citing any evidence and thousands of gullible believe him. He uses mathematical/logical/scientific arguments that cannot be applied to a social science subject like history but thousands believe in such psedo-historians and charlatans.

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      Ranjan Alwis says:

      “There is a Math Prof. at the Kelaniya University (Nalin Silva) who keeps on inventing new history for Sinhalese and Tamils in Sri Lanka.”

      You haven’t mentioned Kamalika Pieris, Champika and other popular fiction writers who have great following among the masses.

      I am sorry to bother you. Could you provide me with names of Sinhala authors who write the island’s history with a pinch of intellectual honesty and rigour?

      The ancient irrigation has been re-branded by respected(?) Sinhalese professors as Aryan Sinhalese Hydraulic Civilisation.

      I am bit thick therefore please bear with me.

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      ….you should provide academic sources and references for people to verify the facts…

      Are you suggesting that Michael Roberts is your benchmark?

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    gamini

    I am bit thick and not accustomed to learning. Please take time to educate me in ancient and medieval history. I have few questions for which I don’t have the answers.

    Who are these Sinhalese? How did they become so stupid?
    Who are these Tamils? How did they become so stupid?

    Could you explain to me why the common genetic marker M20 shared by Sinhalese and Tamils have the property of great stupidity?

    Who has the ownership to the island?

    How would you justify the claim that Tamils and Sinhalese have the right to the land more than my people? It seems my people have no right to ownership at all.

    How would you rate the Mahawamsa myth of Vijaya and his goons seeking asylum and then taking over the island over night?

    What is the relationship between the old goons Vijaya and co and the present day rulers?

    I am confused.

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      Mr. Native, I do not believe the present sensory perceptive knowledge based education can help individuals as you. Besides how do you generalise that all Tamils and Sinhalese are stupid, because of a few, who are thus you do not have to look far to identify them.

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        gamini says:

        ” Besides how do you generalise that all Tamils and Sinhalese are stupid, because of a few, who are thus you do not have to look far to identify them.”

        Please give me one reason/example why both people are not stupid?

        The history of past 64 years of post independence stands witness to what I say. What more evidence do you need to confirm that both people Tamils as well as Sinhalese are indeed stupid?

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          Mr. Native, Ceylon started off well with the right people governing. Then the rot set in with the riff raff entering and the Rogue Buddhist Monks usurping the powers for personal advantage. It is this lot that is stupid and have rigged elections periodically to elect themselves with the mediocrity helping, thanks to free education.

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    There wont be reconciliation as long as JHU hardline Singhala Buddhist racist party is with the Govt, actually they should be banned from Politics.

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    The bottom line is Tamils feel very inferior, particularly with respect to Tamils. They are 65 million in the region and Sinhals are 17 million and out of a few millions goes to christians and Muslims who respect not the Sinhala culture but other foreign cultures. They call for “United”.

    Tamils simply don’t have any remorse for the violence they did to other ethnic groups, to the country and to their own. They don’t have remorse to their own because that is how they live. It is highly divided culture by caste and other humans are treated like animals. Tamils are not one homogeneous group. It is every group from South India, Goa, Kerala, Java (indonesia, some Malaysians mixed Sinhala and Muslims who began talking tamil. As I heard true Tamils are ONLY the Tamil speaking- SAIVITES.

    Besides, People us Dr. Prof etc., to fullfil their own lack of self esteem. Otherwise, for the PhD (MD or MBBS is similar) you study one very small problem of one subject. After that you pretends you know every thing in this world. What a ego and what a dumb world.

    Otherwise, what you have written here is complete lies. You Tamils create your own history and your reality and try to force the SL-govt to force that.

    Fortunately, at least some countries have realized the real nature of Tamils. that is why they stop smuggling ships when they leave the port.

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      If you have a flatrate for internet you don´t need to write something. read something, cook something, eat and sleep.

      This will be the best solution for you

      Otherwise you will be your own problem

      I feel really sorry for your wife and kids if they still live with you

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    Tamils know that in every country where they were taken as coolies they just exist, e,g, South Africa, guyana, Malaysia, Fiji. They integrated into that society and became part of the country.

    Even in india, though Tamilnadu Tamils use the name Tamil for everything they follow the same set of rules that other states follow.

    Only in Sri Lanka, Tamils don’t want to know integrate into the society. They want to be special and suprior to Sinhalas.

    Every where else they speak the majority language but not in Sri Lanka.

    It is Tamils began Tribalism, Racism, discrimination since early 1900s. Read the Tamil political history in sri Lanka since 1910.

    Even in Sri Lanka, it is Tamils who robbed banks,began the violence, destroyed the country and killed so many innocents.

    Even Velupille’s relatives are in KERALA and not in Sri Lanka. Every time when Tamils talk about their culture, literature and history, it is the South Indian culture, arts and history they are talking about.

    In Sri Lanka, they FORCE and DEMAND RECONCILIATION when they were the Suicide bombers, black tigers and blew up civilian neighbour hoods.

    Have they ever talked or showed remorse about their violence. NO.

    Because, that is how they live. They treat even their own as Animals.

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      The Coolies/slaves who were brought to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese and the Dutch from South India have become Sinhalese and NOT Tamils. More than 70% of the present day Sinhalese are actually South Indian Tamils, Kerelas, and Telugus brought by the Portugese and the Dutch and settled right from Chilaw to Matara. The Sinhalese population in Sri Lanka became large/majority only after the Portuguese arrival.

      A few Sinhalese pseudo ‘Intellects’ talk as if they have witnessed the Dutch bringing Tamils to Jaffna from South India. While the Tamils ridicule such cheap His-story created by some charlatan for the serene joy of a few non-rational gullible and bigoted Sinhalese chauvinists, even the majority of the Sinhalese do not believe in such stories. This myth was concocted by those who are totally ignorant about Tamils and the Jaffna society.

      The theory (myth) fabricated by a Sinhalese pseudo-scholar Gamani Iriyagolla, (Lawyer cum civil servant), without any recorded proof was “Many Tamils in Jaffna were brought in the 17th century by the Dutch to work in the tobacco plantations”. Later his theory was further modified by naming those imaginary migrants as ‘Vellalar’ and the reason behind the introduction of Thesawalamei Law (adopted from Malabar Muslim Customary Law) by Dutch was to encourage the Vellalar of South India to come and grow tobacco.

      It was Markus Vink, a Dutch historian who first mentioned quoting a Dutch Record, in an article published in the ‘Journal of World History’, the Slave trade was flourishing during the Dutch period (17th century AD). There was a famine in South India during that period and slaves were brought to Sri Lanka and to a few other countries from the Coromandel Coast in South India in 1658-1663, 1670/71-1689/90. Although he mentioned that, ten thousand slaves were settled in the South of Sri Lanka (Colombo, Galle and the entire South West) where cinnamon grew to perfection; he did not say how many were settled in Jaffna.

      Other than for Cinnamon, coffee and coconut plantation in the South, the Dutch also used them for domestic purpose.

      Let me quote from the report of the Dutch writer Markus Vink:
      “In 1661, 10,000 slaves had been put to work by the company and by private individuals on the lands in South-western Ceylon, including 2,000 company slaves. In 1694, the city of Colombo alone had a slave population of 1,761.”

      The Sinhalese population increased exponentially and became a majority in Sri Lanka only after these people brought by the Portuguese and the Dutch assimilated with the local Sinhalese population.
      Only those that the British brought in the 19th century AD and settled in the upcountry (Tea and rubber plantation) did not assimilate with the Sinhalese (even though they were highly discriminated by the Vellalar Tamils) because the British had a different policy/agenda and they maintained it till they left the island in 1948.

      On the other hand, over the course of the centuries, the people from Chera/Kerala who migrated to Sri Lanka have become part of the Sinhala community, adopting local names and Buddhist practices. Given the multiple shared features of the two communities, many have felt it easier to merge with the dominant local groups, rather than to try to maintain separations. In areas such as Lunuwila, Wennappuwa and Marawila, there are many descendants of Kerala migrants who today feel culturally and socially closer to the Sinhala people than they do to the Sri Lankan Tamils.

      It is also believed that the Sinhalese from the castes Karawa (fisherman), Durawa (toddy tapper) and Salagama (cinnamon peeler) were decedents from Kerela who got naturalized (Sinhalized) during the course of time.

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      In Sri Lanka the Tamils know very well that the Sri Lankan Tamils and the Veddas are the original inhabitants of Sri Lanka. From the very ancient time, Tamils had occupied both South India and Sri Lanka. The boat people (Sinhalese) came from India (Singhapura) much later.

      The South Indian coolies (including Tamils) brought by the Portuguese and the Dutch and settled in the South for cinnamon plantation integrated with the Sinhalese and those settled in the North for Tobbaco plantation integrated with the Sri Lankan Tamils. This is exactly what happened even in South Africa, guyana, Malaysia, Fiji, etc. They integrated into that society and became part of the country.

      In Sri Lanka, today a very large part of the Sinhalese are actually the decedents of those people. Today, people like Thalaivar are the decedents (6th generation) of those slaves/coolies. If you check your gene/DNA it will be 90% South Indian (Tamil or Kerela).

      The Sri Lankan Tamils of North and East are actually the ancient people of Lanka just like the Veddas. Just because the Sinhalese who came in a boat from India (Singhapura) became a majority after the arrival of the Portuguese, where as the ancient people (Tamils & Veddas) remained the same that does not mean that the Tamils have to remain under the Sinhalese. Right from the ancient time they were either equal or superior and it continues.

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        Native Tamil says:

        “In Sri Lanka the Tamils know very well that the Sri Lankan Tamils and the Veddas are the original inhabitants of Sri Lanka.”

        I was told Tamils are descendants of Ravana. Now Champika and modern day self celebrated historians hell bent on proving that they are the authentic descendants of Ravana. Come on Native Tamil (from Tamil Nadu?) it appears that the Tamils and Sinhalese are relentlessly striving to prove the obvious that they are simply stupid, not to mention greedy. There are archaeological evidence to prove our existent in the island for more than 31,000 years.

        The island was separated from the Indian sub continent nearly 7,000 years ago. There is no question of existence of a people called in the island.

        The question one should be asking oneself is not when did the Tamils and Sinhalese arrived in the island thereby legitimising their presence in the country but one should be asking oneself when both Kallathonies are going back to their mother country which is India.

        You say:

        ” If you check your gene/DNA it will be 90% South Indian (Tamil or Kerela)”

        You should get your facts right. The Sinhalese share 76% of their genetic marker M20 with their Tamils brethren in Tamil Nadu. It means Native Tamil (you) from Tamil Nadu is closely related to Sinhalese in my ancestral island.

        Tamils and Sinhalese are not the closest relatives of my people. Therefore please stop claiming the right to ownership of my ancestral island.

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      Contrary to all these histories known to us till now, the genetic studies shows that a large percentage of the Sinhalese population in Sri Lanka are actually South Indians. In fact the Sinhalese are more South Indian than even the Sri Lankan Tamils.

      This may be because as Theesan has pointed out, the Portuguese brought South Indians (Tamil & Kerela) and settled in the Southern and western parts of Sri Lanka for fishing and pearl diving (Karawa), for coconut plantation and toddy tapping (Durawa), and for cinnamon plantation and peeling (Salagama). Eventually they integrated/assimilated with the local Sinhalese and got naturalized (became Sinhalese).

      Later, the Dutch brought South Indians and settled in the Southern and western parts of Sri Lanka from Colombo to Galle (ten thousand as per the records) for mainly cinnamon plantation. The Dutch also brought South Indians and settled in the Northern parts of Sri Lanka for tobacco plantation (how many is not known). Eventually, those settled in the South integrated/assimilated with the local Sinhalese and got naturalized (became Sinhalese) while those settled in the North integrated/assimilated with the local Sri Lankan Tamils and got naturalized (became Sri Lankan Tamils).
      Why are you talking only about those that the Dutch settled in the North? Why not talk about those that the Portuguese and the Dutch settled in the South?

      Today the authorities and the Sinhala extremists have suppressed all the genetic study reports and stopped all further studies because they do not want the masses majority to know the actual truth. If the truth is known all these histories will become a myth. The politicians can only survive as long as the people are divided into races, majorities, etc.

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    Tamils taken as coolies and sinhalese as high professionals in western countries. A new story

    We are all unwanted guests outside our hometown.

    Kerala is the homecountry for Vickrama Rajasinghe, hopefully you know who he is.

    I really really feel sorry for you.

    Terms like integration shows you live somewhere in west, most probably in Italy as a high qualified sinhalese man in a mafiosi´s house to clean his garden and your wife as high qualified housemaid working 24 hours

    We are in our own homeland. We need not to integrate. Don´t adapt words from western right wing politicians!

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    Thalaivar, how Tamils integrate or live outside of Sri Lanka is irrelevant to Sri Lanka. Though there is a large contingent of Sri Lankan Tamil expatriates overseas at present who are making a lot of anti-Sri Lanka noise, it is not they who will find a solution for Sri Lanka’s woes. It has to come from within, and it will have to come from all Sri Lankans, not one community.

    The objective of us Sri Lankans should be to lead by example and set an example to the world, rather than justify our faults by pointing at the flaws of other communities. Our benchmark should be the highest, nothing less. If we set ourselves standards of flawed communities, then we will ourselves be flawed, and our present predicament is testament to that.

    Vasu, no matter where you live, you need to integrate. Whether it be with other ethnicities, religions, family backgrounds, schools, towns, companies, we human beings get ‘divided’ into groups at all levels. It is the ability to see past these divisions, and appreciating the red blood and craving for dignity and freedom that runs through all of us, that is integration. Integration is an essential part of being human!

    I understand stereotypes and identities help us think highly of ourselves, and live in blissful ignorance, that is both satisfying and easy. But the results of that blissful ignorance, the division, the conflict, the suffering; are they worth it? Do our future generations really want to be born into all that?

    No matter how much we scream about how amazing ‘our type’ is, and how wrong the ‘others’ are, we are all human beings, with the same desires, such as dignity and freedom for our families and loved ones. Yet we look past that basic human instinct, and give it all up for lazy blissful ignorance, and claim to be willing to die for it! Foolishness, as Native Vedda keeps identifying in our two communities, is far more prevalent amongst us that any of the wisdom or greatness we keep associating with our patriotic identities. Until we start to see that, and until we start to look at our flaws, instead of spending so much time and effort at identifying the flaws of others, we will never achieve a future for our future generations that is worth passing on.

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      Navin, the majority of people like you and I think alike. Unfortunately the minority are organised, hence they try to prevail their ideology on us the majority. The answer to the problem is to live and let live. Intermarriage and co-existance will erase all differences with the passage of time. The root cause of the problem is economic. Therefore the society has to be economically emancipated and nothing else. What is happening at present is the Politicians are the only lot who has economic prosperity. If all have means of survivial without severe hardship, these issues of ethnic and religious will not take centre stage. While we are struggling with the fundamentals, the rest of the world is advancing with better standards of living for their citizens.

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    Native Vedda, My friend:

    GGP was part of DSS’s cabinet and voted for the adoption of both Bills.
    What more, it is said he was even involved in drafting it at the instance of Sir Kanthiah Vaithyanathan – although my friend Dr. Pon Wignarajah denies this. I am sure you may agree in the matter of political evolution one has to engage in a lot of give and take. We cannot hold this single act against GGP who has also done much good to the Tamil cause in his own way. I generally avoided this subject in my many years of close association with my friend the late Kumar P.

    I have the voting details with me somewhere – but I am travelling now.
    There are many sources in the UK who might oblige you with the details.

    Senguttuvan

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      Thanks a lot for your inside into the past.

      I would be grateful if you would please let me have scanned copies of voting details, if it is not too much of a trouble for you.

      I do not hold GG for what he did or did not do in the past. However it was a big blow to the working class people of up country from which they never recovered. Irrespective of race I do care about the people who eak out a living.

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    Kumari Kandam, LOL. This guy must be a “doctor” like Dr Pepper is a “doctor”.

    Then again it’s not surprising to see fairy tales being passed off as history. After all, if you cut these out, Tamils won’t have much of a history left outside Tamil Nadu.

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      Ponniah Mahalingam says:

      “Then again it’s not surprising to see fairy tales being passed off as history.”

      I hate to agree.

      However there is one large chunk of Sinhalese history told and retold in books and school books which is more interesting as myth than history.

      I am not sure whether you and others in this forum would care to look at the Vijaya myth and associated yarn (with your newly discovered rationality of course), which has modern day story lines, including incest, bestiality, parricide,… violence, ……

      Come to think of it the whole so called Tamil/Sinhala history sounds and reads like unending comic novel.

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    Jim Hardy,

    You are ‘spot on’ in yr analysis. Yes unless and until elimination of 3rd grade, low bred fundamentalist criminals such as that Pakkali Champika, Gammanmapila and such likes of Medananda, Atureliya, who put forward the Lord Buddha showing ahimsa, karuna, muditha, apeksa, behind the scenes they raise their robes with filth and animosity towards any peace and reconciliation efforts, and retard the progress of the nation. The only result we are a country who are in pieces with the young generation growing up with hatred and revenge towards their neighbours and colleagues. Luckily many right thinking decent blokes who can see through all these manupilators do not react in such a manner, there is peace, love and joy amongst many races in and around Colombo and in many of the urban areas because of their consciences.

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      Helena, all the right minded should come out and express themselves clearly before the few of the like minded as you have mentioned take this Nation to a point of no return. The Sinhalese should seriously ask themselves whether they would prefer to be subservient to the Tamils or any other race. The answer would be a resolute No. Then is it rational or logical for the Sinhalese to expect the Tamils to be subservient to us the Sinhalese?

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        Gamini, I agree with what you say. But I think we may differ in our ideas of what the majority and minority represent. I have no doubt that a majority of any race would prefer peace over war and division. But a majority of the two races that we are dealing with, the Sinhala and Tamil populations of Sri Lanka, are both so poorly educated, they are easily manipulated with patriotic and fairy tale accounts of History (an issue the Native Vedda keeps raising). Add to that the vested interest of politicians and religious leaders in the ignorance of the masses (as that is what keeps them in power) – and we have the situation we have in Sri Lanka.

        I have spoken with many local residents of Sri Lanka about the challenges we face as a country. But many who live outside of Colombo in particular are extremely patriotic and devout to politically driven patriotic ideas of what Sri Lanka and Buddhism represent, as such, challenging the ‘lies’ spun by the opportunistic politicians and religious leaders is not as easy as it may seem at first. In fact, speaking up against the establishments, is more likely to get us labelled as ‘traitors’ by the masses, and thus vilified or persecuted. Such is the power ignorance of the masses provide our leaders with.

        This is no different to what we have seen in other parts of the world, including the west, where religious and political leaders formed alliances to keep the masses blissfully ignorant and devout. In fact the story of Jesus in the Bible is a great example of this, from 2,000 years ago, where Jesus stands up to the corrupt religious and political leaders, only to be crucified by the roman establishment, under the advice of a religious leader, with the masses cheering on.

        I am not saying the masses in Sri Lanka want war. But I do believe the masses in Sri Lanka are too blissfully ignorant to see what causes their problems, and too patriotic to hear. It is a very frustrating position for those of us who can actually see the truth, and want something better for the people. But this blissful ignorance of the masses stand firmly against us, and them.

        This cycle of ignorant masses blindly following opportunistic leaders seem to be a cancer our society has been stuck with for a number of generations now. You would have thought 30 years of bloody war would have been sufficient to break away from it, but going on some of the things we have witnessed of late in Dambulla etc, it doesn’t seem so. Perhaps the youth uprisings in the Middle East may act as a catalyst to make our youth also question, if their inheritance of war, division and corruption is truly what they want to hand down to their future generations. One way or another, we need something to open the eyes of our masses to the corruption and lies used by our leaders to live in luxury, while the devout and blissfully ignorant masses continue to patriotically suffer.

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          Navin Weeraratne & gamini

          Please read the following quotes which might explain why these two people the Tamils and Sinhalese are determined to remain stupid:

          “The only thing needed for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”

          Edmund Burke

          “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”

          Thomas Jefferson

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    Native Vedda

    I think the problem in Sri Lanka is more to do with those who actually speak up being silenced by others who claim to be in their own side… ;)

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      Mr. Native as Navin says the voices of dissent are silenced and that is one reason they survive. Now if one look at this blog CT a couple of months back was dominated by MR supporters. They ridiculed any who tried to tell the other side of the story. Today we have succeeded in silencing them almost. Here I am reminded of a saying by Napoleon, ‘The world suffers a lot, not because of the violence of the bad people, but because of the silence of the good people’.

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    Gamini’s (June 23) perception needs to gather national support. I am convinced, despite the recent bad blood, most Sinhalese and Tamils want to live together. They realise their future is intertwined with the future of the other. You move towards peace and reconciliation when you realise your good depends of the other. While it is true the Tamils are not entirely without fault, it is the larger Sinhala community that must organise themselves, free themselves from the obstinates within them that has so far prevented their forward march and construct a new society based on mutual respect of the history, culture and the needs of the other. If you will forgive me, let me repeat what a Sinhala senior friend of mine years ago “the Sinhalese are their own enemies”

    Here is a thought from a refreshing academic that might help in this discussion.

    “When you know that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is
    flowing to those who deal not in goods but in favours; when you see
    that men get rich more easily by graft rather than by work, and your
    laws no longer protect you against them but protect them against you,
    you know that your society is doomed.”

    Compared to the dream of Mr. Karunanidhi, some of us dream of a day soon when the Sinhalese and Tamils will break away from their inherent prejudices and walk hand in hand towards that rainbow of lasting peace,
    reconciliation and prosperity. I know we can.

    Senguttuvan

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    For me Helena is D..b and cannot understand the big picture.

    It is Foreign govts (India and USA), Church, and the Tamils living overseas and Tamil politicians who work against Tamils living peacefully. Because all of them probably including Helena want it their way.

    Many articles appear in Colombo Telegraph is evidence for that.

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