10 August, 2022


Lothian Inspirations For A Cheated Tribe

By Mahesan Niranjan

Prof. Mahesan Niranjan

Prof. Mahesan Niranjan

On some occasions, my friend and regular drinking partner, the Sri Lankan Tamil fellow Sivapuranam Thevaram, puts on his Tamil hat and sees issues from that angle. It gives a view of a people put in a position of not being part of our country, feeling cheated by the political process since independence. Though the frequency of these occasions is in proportion to the number of pints of Peroni we down, his thoughts are instructive. Yesterday was a special occasion for this. Not only were we in a two for the price of one happy hour in our Bridgetown joint, we were also talking about the Scottish independence referendum.

Now why would some members of one tribe in Sri Lanka feel they do not belong? Why would they think of themselves as a separate `nation,’ with the implication of a right to self-determination, to which the other tribe would readily express profound objections?

Let us review the political process a little.

Members of the Southern political class often accept – either yielding to internal or external pressure, or due to goodness of the heart — that the Northerners face problems in the way governance of our country is set up. They agree that some form of devolution of power to regions – be it province, district council, town or village – allowing local decision making is a good idea. They recognize such arrangements have worked well elsewhere. “Let us devolve power in X, Y and Z to regions instead of an entirely centralized structure,” they suggest in pacts, proposals and commission reports.

When they sit down to work out the details however, the proverbial Devil raises its ugly head.

Campaigners“We cannot give X,” they discover, “because you will gang up with your friend Hanuman (monkey God across the Palk Strait) and push us into the sea.”

“We cannot give Y,” they discover, “because you will gang up with your diaspora cousins and push us into the sea.”

“We cannot give Z,” they discover, “because you will gang up with your friends in NGOs and push us into the sea.”

This entrenched fear of being pushed into the sea has its roots in ancient mythology, reinforced via recent history and election speeches. It is a good vote winner.

None of X, Y or Z being feasible, a sort of embarrassment sets in, and is dealt with in an ingenious way: denial. The abuse of the mathematical technique of proof by contradiction helps. “I have a friend from the North. He has no problem. So what problems are you talking about?”

“QED,” said Thevaram, mocking the proof, and taking another long sip of his Peroni.

Quod Erat Demonstrandum?” I expanded the acronym, showing off a bit of Latin.

“Quite Easily Done,” he says, wiping off the froth from his lower lips.

“But what is the Lothian connection, machan (buddy/mate)?” I asked, bringing him back to the hot topic of the day. “Do you see a parallel between the aspirations of the Northerners in the British Isles and the Northerners in our country?”

After all, the Scots, with a clear identity as a nation, linked by long history and admirable values they hold, are exercising their right of self-determination enshrined in International Law. If the North of the British Isles can be mature enough to choose their political destiny, why not the North of Sri Lanka? Why is objection to that so emphatic?

“The similarity of the Scots to the North of Sri Lanka is not what matters, machan,” Thevaram explained, “what matters is the difference in maturity in the South!”

“Look at examples of partition in our parts of the world,” he continued, broadening out a little. “What happened when India and Pakistan split? The Hindus and Muslims immediately assumed the right response was to carryout mass murder, didn’t they?” “Yeah, I have read about such large scale killings over the partitions of Sudan, and in the separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan,” I agreed. “That is the point machan, you hold a referendum in the North of Sri Lanka, the Mahaweli will turn red with blood,” he paraphrased from the `Rivers of Blood’ speech of Enoch Powell from a few decades ago.

This was said in a forceful way, reminding me of similar sentiments expressed and executed by Junius Richard Jayawardane in 1977 and 1983. Thevaram knew precisely what buttons to press to win in arguments with me.

“But why is that not happening in the British Isles?” I queried. “The Southerners seem just OK with the Northerners going their way. “If they want to go, good luck to them,” being the popular attitude.”

“That is the political maturity I am talking about, machan,” Thevaram said. “Around the time of the formation of the Union, their tribes were also good at massacring each other, just like ours. The formation of the Union was followed by cruel suppression including the banning of language, dress and music. Their behaviour then was far worse than ours now.”

“But just see what happened in the three hundred years since. They prospered economically and matured in the exercise of democracy,” said Thevaram, neglecting for the sake of his argument much of the evils committed in far-away lands to achieve that economic prosperity. “And you have to remember that the Northerners made enormous contributions to that advancement machan,” and went on to list several examples.



“Think of their economist Adam Smith, who defined the fundamental principles of markets. Or their engineer James Watt who made efficient steam engines. Or the scientist James Clarke Maxwell, whose work forms the foundations of radio wave propagation. Or the philosopher David Hume from whose analysis we understand bits about the basis of human nature. Or the mathematician John Napier, whose discovery of the logarithmic scale transformed multiplication into addition. Or the sportsman Andy Murray, cheered on by everyone in the Island – Northerners and Southerners with equal enthusiasm.

“And let me give you a recent example,” he continued energetically, “when the war criminal Tony Blair chose to invade Iraq after deceiving Parliament with lies, who walked out of his cabinet?” “Of course,” I agreed, remembering Robin Cook, then British Foreign Secretary, who, with a broad mind and competence at applied statistics, declared that the national dish of Great Britain had to be the Tandoori Chicken.

“Over the centuries, the Scots engaged fully with the Union, playing a full part in its success, while Scottish nationalism took a back-seat.”

peroni“Did it take a back-seat, or were they hiding it under the kilt,” I joked.

“The respect they earned by contributing to the whole, they are now cashing in as local decision making power for the parts,” Thevaram concluded, “It is an asset worth investing in.”

“So you see, throughout these three hundred years, the Island as a whole, particularly the South, matured in its approach to democratic governance. And, mind you, though what you hear in headlines is about their central government, their governance has substantial devolution to the regions,” he claimed. “Policing, schools, hospitals, garbage collection and filling pot holes in roads are all done locally and partly paid by local taxation. Funds to enhance trade and industrial development are devolved to regional offices whose prioritization rules take into account local opportunities. Their universities are autonomous and suffer very little direct interference from central government. Even more, land usage and planning permissions for buildings are local decisions.”

It was quite a long list. I had not noticed that so much local governance was happening around me. Perhaps he is right that the political maturity in the South comes from a governance structure that already includes local decision making as a feature people have developed the maturity to accept.

Contrast that with the heavily centralized governance we are used to back in our country. I had indeed observed that in my youth at HillTop University. A professor there is usually reluctant to make decisions. “What will the Head of Department say?” The Head of Department is equally shy. “What would the Dean say?” The Dean is not going to make decisions. “What might he Vice Chancellor say?” And the chain can go on and on, right up to that single point of failure.

We have not evolved ways to devolve power, set up rules within which officials and rule-makers of local government can operate in an autonomous manner. Instead, we believe that any local decision making can only lead to one thing: ganging up with Hanuman, NGOs and cousins to push us into the sea.

Some here might have been energetic enough to read Mavai Senathirajah’s green speech at the recent ITAK meeting. “Green?” you ask. Yes, much of it is recycled from the Seventies. Patience is needed to wade through it. (The speech was so boring that he himself got tired halfway and had to get someone else to read it.) Yet, one piece of information in it stands out: that even within the local governance arrangement we have in our country – enshrined in Law, as our President recently pointed out — four fifths of the budget allocated to the Northern Province is controlled from the Ministry for Economic Development. Such total reversal of any sense of devolving is what the Divineguma bill did — something over which our Chief Justice was thrown out of her job.

Back in the Bridgetown pub, “so, what lessons should we learn from the Scottish referendum, machan? I asked Thevaram.

“Look, after thirty years of suffering a war, or twice that long of cheating by the political class, whichever you prefer to put emphasis on, the Tamils of Sri Lanka need a better deal. But that deal can only come about as a side effect of a better deal for everyone in the Island,” he said.

“Come on,” I challenged, “You mean the Tamils of Sri Lanka should now work towards the betterment of the whole of Sri Lanka – also with the help of Hanuman, diaspora and NGOs? And are you suggesting they should wait three hundred years for a better deal?”“Oh no, not three hundred, it is a much faster world today, machan,” he said about the timescales.

“And besides,” Thevaram said in a firm voice, “all other options have been explored – unsuccessfully.”

“QED, machan” he said, thumping the table with his empty Peroni glass.

Quod Erat Demonstrandum?”

“Quite Easily Done!”

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Latest comments

  • 2

    Tamil tribal thinking!

    • 2


      He is taking exactly about modayas like you who are the cause of the problem:

      It’s a pity that there are millions of fellows like you in that little island.

      There are thousands of educated fellows like you in this category, Dayan and Rajiva come to my mind immediately!

  • 3

    why not use the Irish as an example . This has nothing about pushing any one off the island , even though if praba succeeded who knows what would have happened . when for 30 years there was a brutal war I think the attitude is justified .

    • 0

      Did not you have your punnakku? Please change the brand – nowaways, there are enough new suppliers.

      • 1

        What is your brand of punnaku ? It is Canadian ?



    • 2


      “even though if praba succeeded who knows what would have happened”

      MR would have hired him to do a few odd jobs during the elections or when it become necessary. Of course for a small fees and no need for fleet of white vans.

    • 0

      Take what he means..he is not talking for seperatism. He is asking tamils to join with the sinhalese and build a better country for all…do you want to drag tamil tribals here as well?

      The reality is sinhala intellectuals have not really fought this sinhala tribalism problem. what do Sinhalese lose in providing tamils power devolution and creating a tamil speaking sri lanka in north and east?
      the question is what has sinhala ppl and leadership done for tamils to make them realise they have a future here? even as a sinhalese i have doubts about our future in SL

  • 2

    It is easy to talk BS.

    Why scots had to wait three centuries to ask for independence ?

    Economic conditions.

    It is now long time since the UK went bankrupt. They live because of the hugh loot, they have, that was stolen during the powerful colonial master days.

    It is the same thing in Sinhale. Northern people talked only Tamils because at that time, Tamilnadu was just 16 KM away while Colombo was 250 KMs away. Now, why now so many Tamils have moved to the South.

    Then you don’t talk about how, centuries ago, Tamil – dravidasthan concept began in south india when the colonial missionaries invaded the country and how that socialist and tribal politics raised head among Tamils in Sri lanka.

  • 1

    .”they are here to push us into the sea”…… this is the fear of Sinhalese.

    It’s not the Tamils, but the Tsunami that’s going to push Sinhalese into the sea, and the Tamilnadu Tamils are going to help the Sinhalese.


  • 2

    I was quite taken back by a claim by Rajan Hoole once. He said Indian Tamils were settled in the districts surrounding Jaffna. A human rampart was created in an apparent bid to protect caste purity of Jaffna Tamils. The Indian Tamils were however not allowed to enter Jaffna proper. I did not believe it until I saw this picture.


    We know of Mono-theism. Jaffna has shown plenty of that chasing the 75,000 Moslems from there in 24 hours etc. There is also a severe case of Caste purism. Jaffna fears not only non-Tamils, they fear Tamil “out castes” too.

    It will be a dim view to say Jaffna Mono-theism and Caste purism was not the main driving force behind the xenophobic Jaffna violence we saw for the last 60 years.

    Lets face it, there are 9 provinces in Sri Lanka. Out of 9 its only the northern politician who has such caste purity issues. Karuna alias Mulathiran of Batticloa, claimed they were dragged into war by the politicians in the north and most will believe him.

    The constant clamoring by Jaffna politician has been to entrench Caste-purism and Mono-theism using devolution with a view to expand that to the East too. So the option Ceylon has is either the 8 provinces adopt the standard set by Jaffna – or it must be other way around.

    • 0


      Jaffna tamils are casteist. But they have now learnt their caste doesnt matter actually. The gover sponsored violence in 83 did not leave high caste tamils alone. The sinhala state and leaders have brought the tamils in north to a state that caste is immaterial to them.
      Why pointing at tamil’s caste when sinhala people have a lot to do? If Tamils are not well integrated in SL, it is SL’s loss. when are you going to solve this issue? Isnt 50+ years more than enough to drag this issue?
      What can Sinhala people achieve by not providing a political solution? Make jaffna sinhala? Even in sinhala psyche jaffna is sinhala. I dont buy their historical theories but north in SL is Tamil in character.

      Do you think we can change these things?

      Sinhala people should realise, we need to make peace with tamils. And we need to solve these problems 100% and never to rise again. Sinhala people will not have an exclusive island to them, we have to share with others.

  • 6

    It is a sensible conclusion to reach – that Sri Lankan Tamils should work towards the betterment of the whole of Sri Lanka, together with India, the NGOs and the Diaspora. This could mean a revival of Tamil language and culture throughout the island, and not just in the north and east. Tamils should be allowed to sing the national anthem in Tamil, too, though it would be good for them to learn the Sinhalese version as well.

  • 2

    Er…the massive fact of membership of Europe provides an entirely different perspective to the ‘loss’ of Scotland, as does the absence of an enormous country with a Scottish speaking landmass adjacent to Scotland.

    So, maybe in a several hundred years, if SAARC has become an EU-type entity generating a South Asian consciousness, AND Tamil Nadu shifts to Nepal or Sri Lanka moves closer to the Antarctic, we can have this discussion about Southern maturity.

    Until then, let’s get real.

    • 5

      Dr Jekyll Hides

      behind the absence of EU in South Asia and blames Tamilnadu for being situated in close proximity to this island.

      He hopes one day “Tamil Nadu shifts to Nepal or Sri Lanka moves closer to the Antarctic” then can we have this discussion.

      The only shift required in this island is shedding Mahawamsa Majoritarian mindset and move towards complete democratisation of the entire state.

      How long this self confessed war monger and war crime denier shamelessly support the status quo?

      Hyde is not going to help the people either.


      over to you?

      • 3


        The political reality is that the Sinhala Buddhist identity is not simply a creation of the Mahavamsa, rather, the Mahavamsa was a reflection of that identity and helped to consolidate it. Sixty million Tamils across 30 miles of water is no Mahavamsa myth but a reality. The fears that the Sinhalese had (and continue to have) are not irrational, they are in fact deeply rooted, rooted not only in the ancient myths (invasion theory, etc) but also in a majority-minority complex that will never disappear. Evil Sinhala political leaders (including Anagarika Dharamapala and the Buddhist monks) were responsible for this fear, they were hoodwinking the Sinhala masses by exploiting irrational fears. The so called ‘educated’ such as DJ is no exception.

        • 4


          If Sinhala/Buddhists suffer from fear they should seek mass psychotherapy.

          Dr Jekyll Hyde are the ones who help sustain fear.

          • 3

            The last four Nayakkar (Waduga dynasty) kings of Sri Lanka were South Indians from the ruling family of Mudurai in Tamil Nadu. They were invited by the Sinhalese aristocrats to rule the Kandyan kingdom.

            Where was this so called FEAR at that time?

            As Mohamed says it was the dirty politicians who created this fear and people like Dayan are sustaining it.

            • 1

              “Where was this so called FEAR at that time?” (Siva)

              No fears as long as the blood is “royal”. Kallathoni blood was not “royal” and therefore, Kallathoni from TN were not and will not be welcome.

              • 1


                Are you talking about Vijay and his 700 men who came in a boat (Kallathoni) from India?

        • 0

          I dont know about such fears. As far as i know the only fear sinhala nationalists have is about islamisation (real or unreal).

          At the beginning of independance Sinhala people dislike the estate tamil presence in central parts. That was the reason for sending them back to india. But today the very same estate tamils is a sought after labour force among sinhalese. You will not find a big sinhala shop in colombo suburbs without employing estate tamils.

          See the same ppl what they considered as a threat is now a resource.
          About Dharmapala

          He was never anti Tamil. Actually the ones who faced his contempt were Muslims and Christians. Dharmapala disliked beef eating, one reason for his dislike towards muslims and christians. Actually he wsa fond of Tamil Hindus.

    • 4

      I think interference into Sri Lanka from the big neighbour came more from Delhi than from Chennai. Delhi trained Tamil rebels; Delhi forced JR’s hands into signing the Accord that brought in the IPKF; Delhi helped Sri Lanka win the war against the Tigers; (it is said) Delhi offered money to rebel groups to carry out the massacre at Anuradhapura (all except one apparently declined the offer). True, Tamil-speaking Tamil Nadu was a place where rebels could hide easily and they got help from MRG etc — but mostly it was with Delhi’s blessings. The support Tamils get from Tamil Nadu is mostly empty rhetoric, the best example of which is the 2009 fast unto death by Karunanithi, well timed between his breakfast and lunch, as someone wrote in this forum!

      Wouldn’t you agree that substantial contribution to Delhi’s change of heart (from supporting the rebels to actively helping the SL Government destroy them) came from a Tamil man working hard for the betterment of the whole of Sri Lanka — something the author advances towards the end of the pub conversation?

      • 3


        “True, Tamil-speaking Tamil Nadu was a place where rebels could hide easily and they got help from MRG etc”

        MGR was only obeying orders from New Delhi.

    • 1

      Southern maturity

      I think it is nothing but inferiority complex. It is quite easy to blame Tamil Nadu for the ills of lanka. But Srilankan politicians continue to prostitute our countrymen’s future. I do not expect pseudo doctors to understand the message of reconciliation from Prof MN.

      • 2

        ken Robert

        “But Srilankan politicians continue to prostitute our countrymen’s future.”

        They invite foreigners to grope this country.

  • 2

    Well, our Chakaradathar kept the stage really entertaining with his solo for few minutes. As all other Chakadaththaar’s solos, it was really interesting to watch. But, as he said Mavai had only 1970’s talks in the FP’s 13th conventions, his talks and techniques too are already tested and failed. The Palaiya kallu, puthiya monthaiyil,(old wine in new bottle) presented as solo.

    Before we look at his solo, we just cannot miss the new phenomena that the CT is glowing with. It looks like CT will be soon the main media of the Lanka. I never bothered to check CT on Alexia. But, I think, their management may not have missed. They must be happily watching and enjoying the upward curve. Right after the Royal Government declared that it is spending in vain tax payer money to counter the Tamils champagne, CT is mushroomed with writing and comments. I am not just suggesting that the Royal Government has moved it palace to the CT’s camp. I hear even PM Rudra Kumaran and his colleagues are doubling their effort all over the Medias. They are in full tune as they heard that Royal Government is in full swing to spend in Campaign and Champagne. It appears CT is not going be only a force in deciding the 2015 election, even much more of the countries near future too. That is not what a conclusion steaming from Niranjan’s solo. It is because the Royal Government, their opponents and the Freedom seeking Diasporas have sought the CT as their arbitrator. Thickness of the clouds surrounded the sky tells that this rain will beat even the Nova’s time flood, when the entire water drain down here. I am happy about that. But if the CT’s market raises that much and they change their mind and charge a membership fee, Niranjan’s fee will be paid by the Royal Government. People like me may have to look at the roof.
    Like the “past is past”, “future in the CT is future” too. So, at least for now, we can talk about solo of Niranjan free.

    Up to last five hundred years back, even tiny countries like Netherlands, Belgium, and Finland in west Europe have been capturing much larger countries than them all over the world and ruling them. Germany, the largest in that hemisphere missed it. It took about 400 years to Germany to show that ailing feeling on Jews and other European countries. The lucky statement of Niranjan’s Thevaaram looks like correct in pointing out that Lanka was quickly showed what it took from European countries for last 500 years on Tamils within 60 years.
    Niranjan just overstated the Sinhala political leaders claims that Sinhalese are feared of they are being pushed into sea. Niranjan tried a lot to discount the Mahavamsa Modaya’s greed of securing the island for them. By merging the political leaders’ fraud and Mahavamsa Modayas’ greed as one, he brought sincerity into the Mahavamsa Modaya’s political ambitions. He is clearly stating in his Satan’s Thevaaram, that the Mahavamsa Modaya’s have chased the Tamils out of Lanka, within 60 years’ time, which took Germany to 500 years to chase Jews out of Europe. If he is denying that is not what he said, then he is just denying that holocaust is not true and Jews were not chased out of Europe.

    According to his Thevaaram in the solo, the life today’s is fast. The Royal Government is falling down with ever increasing speed into autocracy. This was not the history of Great Briton. In its’ 1000 years of history, it kept growing like a redwood tree. It did not have the Mahavamsa Bags and baggage of the sons of a lion. Within 500 years they started to show disbelief in the “Earth is flat” story, the rest of the Europe had already carried it for 1500 years. Soon, Briton dropped out the pope. But the Lankan the reed, for over 2500 years, bending and twisting on the Dutugemu’s Kasiyapps’ legacy of destroying their fathers. It is funny to watch, in his Satan’s Thevaaram, Niranjan is singing that the reed is going start to grow straight and catch up with a redwood tree. Even in the olden days, when India a creating the marvelous Nalanda with its Buddhism, Lanka the reed was creating Mahavamsa with its Buddhism. That is the path their crooked thinking goes. Instead of employing good Tamil doctors and engineers, after chasing them to foreign lands, Royal Government has brought back Niranjan, Karuna etc who ran to Britain and making them Ministers and political campaigners. This is how the Lanka the reed is growing as a redwood.

    Last three hundred years, Briton showed a substantial growth in moving from autocracy to Democracy. Niranjan’s bosses have shown impressive growth in going from democracy to autocracy. His Satan Thevaaram appears to be correct, at least on one thing, it is no need to wait for another 2000 years, the life is too fast in Lanka, so, like the way handed over the Colombo to Portuguese and Kandy to Britain, .with in another 5 or 6 years, their internal struggle will hand over Lanka to China. About thirty years ago their JR almost very successfully handed over to India; but LTTE stood in between and destroyed it.

    Niranjan’s masters have been conducting the 1956, 1958, 1977 &1983 genocide communal riots. Tamils observed the patterns and put a halt under the leadership of Pirapharan. (Blake, who misunderstood the Lankan politics, destroyed that protection.) But the Mahavamsa Modays’ political leaders understood the hedge Pirapakaran had put in place. This is too hard to understand to the puny brain of the Professor Niranjan. He is trying to scare the Tamils with the 1956….1983, a dead past old technique. I do not know if the King or the the Nirajan’s masters failed to mention this to him. What happened in 20012 march was the King threatened Sampanthan that if he goes to Geneva Colombo will have another genocide communal trouble. Of cause, because of this threat, he could not go to Geneva at that time, but he went to Geneva and showed to King that he is not scared of those third grade threats. (And of cause too, fighting against them is the fighting for freedom. Further, on that year, TNA’s Suresh and Sritharan went to Geneva.) Because of that Royal Government’s mistake, Niranjan is trying to show that failed blackmailing again to keep the Tamils shut their mouth.
    Again the good old Prof. is misunderstanding the circumstances that West Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sudan got their freedoms. Pakistan had upper hand in in the freedom time because of the Briton wanted to split them and India. So they killed as many as Hindus possible. This idiot is trying show it as India’s mistake which sought the separation and suffered by it.
    Bangladesh fought for the freedom and paid the price for the freedom. It did not wait 300 years like Scotland. Freedom does not come free. America fought for it from Briton. Vietnam fought for it from America (technically). Every patriotic soul died on this earth will look down on this uneducated prof., if he says it is worthless to fight for the freedom, stay as slaves until your masters let you go free. By the same token this, clown is trying to tell the world, if an oppressor come to take over your country don’t fight back, let him capture and then one day he will let you go. Fuhrer this empty head’s advice for the mothers and the wives of the north, who seeks the release of the loved ones from the Royal Government prison, “do no annoy the government, wait until Mahavamsa Modayas get matured, then they will your people out”. Does this guy even saying to one not to spend his money or resources on a doctor and wait until the disease go away? America did not wait Bin laden to get mature, but sought after his and finish the job.
    Sudan’s case is completely different. It is a matter for UN. Everything happening there is, mainly, UN’s mistake. But the people on the earth are not twice shy when they got burned twice.

    This type of people who does not know the difference between the oranges apples cannot be taught the difference between the disease and allergy, there the first one needs immune booster as medicine and the latter one needs immune suppressant. Can this kind of indifferent PhD Doctors are capable of prescribing a political solution to the circumstances of the Tamils’ pain.

    The learned professor has faced a mind block. So he is exporting that to diaspora too. He is, with article contends himself as he had tried everything, (or at least he could not imagine what else Tamils can think of). Well, Tamils have not. The current diplomatic war is not the end of Tamils’ idea, if had not received their freedom. They are not going to this slave, puny brain slave professor, seeking Ideas. England did not ask Scotland to seek mandate to go free. Even that is part of their 300 years’ of struggle. As Satan saying in in the Thevaaram, England is not saying Scotland to go on its own. The People’s government of England is doing everything within a civilized government can do. This uneducated professor is a ugly little liar too. Twisting what is happening in England to secure his payroll. This man is facing media censure to find out what is happening in Kilinochchi. But Tamils not facing media censure to find out what is happening in England. So this drunkard solo is not going to fool the Tamils with his bogus impression techniques.

    • 3

      I don’t see anything objectionable in what Niranjan says.
      He adopts a certain literary style, in the manner of ‘Dear Me’ by Peter Ustinov. Bridgetown = Cam”bridge”. Hilltop = Peradeniya.
      Mahesan Niranajn = Sivapuranam Thevaram.

      The basic reality is that those who equate self-determination with a separate country are going to have to wait for several decades, if not centuries. It was always a delusion of some Tamil ultra nationalists to think that in the modern world, they could secure a separate country by an armed struggle–and that with a leader who was clearly mentally ill and thought nothing of killing off any dissenter– when powerful countries, including India and the US were arraigned against it.

      Look at the Kurds. Even Obama said that the autonomous region of Kurdistan is the only “island of decency” in that part of the world of mass murders, beheadings and chemical warfare. While the US understood the suffering of the Kurds, especially due to Saddam’s chemical weapons use against them (which was a lot worse than what happened to Tamil people in the Vanni), and sought to create a protectorate for them by air defense, the US won’t deviate from its self-interest in keeping Turkey–a NATO member, on its side.

      So, given the vehement objections of Turkey against an independent Kurdistan, the US won’t support it, despite Kurds’ support and sacrifices for US operations in the middle east. It has been a history of being used and discarded, the Kurds often say. The US will insist that the autonomous region of Kurdistan will stay within Iraq; the Kurds in Iran, Syria and Turkey will be on their own.

      So the ultra-nationalists should stop their wishful thinking.

      On the other hand, when self-determination is understood to be Federalism within a united Sri Lanka, it is entirely sensible. Sinhalese people’s paranoia about Federalism cannot be allowed to whittle it down. Let them see a shrink for their fears or find a leader who acts as a collective shrink.

      For a start, while insisting on accountability for war crimes via the UNHRC, let Tamils do introspection about the mindless violence of the LTTE, no matter what the provocations were from the mobs and armed forces of various SL regimes, condemn it and never resort to violence again, show the world by actions that they are a people of decency deserving of a Federal solution. ( Justice W. at the ITAK convention in Vavuniya has cautioned youths against violence and separatism, which hasn’t got sufficient public attention). Then help it succeed despite having to fight severe constraints imposed by the Center.

      If this region becomes prosperous, sooner or later, share the wealth with other parts of Sri Lanka, especially the poorest regions of the South. If the Sinhalese polity still hasn’t changed and insists on continuing the bullying and pogroms, then maybe the world will take a second look at other options….

      • 0


        The Tamils problem, now, is with UNHRC. Niranjan can do nothing about that. Many, including Royal Governments diplomats and others, have indicated that the SriLankan problem is unlikely returning back from UNHRC. “If the Sinhalese polity still hasn’t changed and insists on continuing the bullying and pogroms, then maybe the world will take a second look at other options.” Reed has not grown up for last 2500 years. Well, in realty, things are little ahead of your slow phase.

        After unsuccessfully attempting to explain the Federalism to Sinhalese at Galle Face in 1956, SJV started to move to, inch by inch, and reached the Vaddukkodai 1976. The Federal States was not Tamils’ call. It was a technique used before 1948 by Sinhalese leaders like SWRD to prevent the British split the country. So as an alternative for separate country, GG took one step back from EElam and asked for 50/50. SJV took further one step back and asked for federal state, thinking they would come down and support him as that was a proposal advocated by Sinhala leaders. But the Sinhalese branded him as separatist and eventuality terrorist too. Amirthalingam took one step back and went with India for whatever they would agree with JR. Rajiv’s agreement with JR was 13A. That is many step behind the Federal State. 13A was invalidated by Divinikumba and CJ Shirani was scarified for that. For this reason, (supporting Tamils’ legislation) UNP refused to fight against her removal. Now the PSC is waiting to remove the 13A. Nimal Siripala is waiting to check Modi’s pulse. They appear to be happy with Modi’s inability of going above China and interfere with Lanka. So, soon the 13A will be gone. After all these, if you think there is somebody going bring the Federal state in a silver plate to Tamils, that story is not worth to discuss.

        When you say India and America, you forget their countries also can have a leaders, once in a while, not representing their people, like the King not reflecting the Lanka. Neither Sonia nor Bush reflected their people. The election results removed them indicated that. Indira Gandhi did not leave India a defenseless country like the way Sonia left. Bush caused the biggest pain to American. So I just do not want waste time on calling Sonia’s and Bush’s personal whimsies as their countries’ defense or political stands. America has been turned around a lot from the time Bush left. In India, Just now Sonia left. As and when Modi collects his real experiencing with the Lankan Royal government, the facts about the Lankan Governments can be presented to him. That time he will move fast, just like Indira Gandhi gave up Srima’s personal friendship and went head on head with JR. Modi has to change or he too will destroy the India’s defense. As that is a matter for the feature, I leave it there. We can talk about it when more news comes out of India.

        A last word about Niranjan’s essay. Apparently you misunderstand it.
        Thevaaram is nowhere in his name. Others are a forcefully connected here. But Thevaaram not even the slightest. Thevaaram means Garland of Songs to the God. There is no indication of that in his name.

        He brought the Thevaaram as sarcasm to insult Hindus. If you Google you will find out that when Berkeley University Professor George was asked by Tamils to defend at Indian parliament that the Tamil as a classical language, in his statement, one the reason he sighted to his arguments is the status of Thevaarams. He sighted these have nothing to do with Sanskrit or any other materials appearing in any language. As just some scripts of literature, their standing is above many workings that are appearing in any language. As far as Tamils are concerned, the Holiness of Thevaaram is above Vedas. “Gnana-Sampanthar, who is one of the four composed the Thevaarams is saying that the Tamil mantra “Namachchivayaa” appearing in Thevaarams is more superior than Vedas. “Veedam Naankilum maipporulaavathu naathan naamam Naachchivayave”. This drunkard, to insult the feelings of Hindus, he used it so sarcastically throughout his entire essay. His attitude of looking at Hindus as such a waste-able item alone is trumpeting out his innocence; after all he is a learned professor who has a moral obligation to understand the cultural feelings of the students come to learn under him.

        I am not in comprehension of your ostensible phrase “Ultra-Nationalists”. I would think that you are refereeing the peoples who are appealing to the international community to solve the Lanka problem by separating the two countries as they are unsuccessful from the day they given freedom by forcefully uniting them. You may not able to understand their position. But it does not seems to be a difficult thing for me. Whatever they are asking is to suspend the 6th amendment and conduct a referendum and see the Tamils wish. I do not see any “Ultra” or “Intra” in that request. I know they think the result will be better than the Vaddukkodai convention. As the TNA’s last election result was much better than the Vaddukkodai conventions, I agree with their expectation.

        Niranjan agree the life is fast these days. Scotland has got a chance of having the referendum after 300 years. GG started the call for the solutions in 1930. Almost 85,100 years have passed. Is it too early to call for referendum in Niranjan’s fast world? What is Niranjan meaning by fast? For 300 years, a 299 years would become fast? Is that all?

        You are staying away from the Niranjan’s essay and postulating your idea in completely different fashion.

        In Niranjan essay, he is nowhere discussing a suitable solutions for Tamils. He has not mentioned of Federal States as a solution anywhere in his essay. He is saying the Tamils should just shut up and work for Lanka if they want a separate state in 299 years (if that is his fast phased action). This is exactly the same technique, Dayan once earlier mentioned, when the King promised to Indian heads and Diplomats “Tamils will get the 13 +”. It is not that the 13+ has no meaning, 13+ means nothing can be given to Tamils. This congruence between Niranjan and the King is reinforcing the opinion that Niranjan browed his essay from defense department.

        Niranjan’s renewed appearance is about the new “gala pola” that the money Royal government is spending on PR firms. Royal Government is heavily spending on defense lawyers for the MPCS commission of missing persons and PR firms to counter the Diaspora. To escape form these criticism, Royal Government is using free forums and cheap chaps, temporarily. Cheap chaps Niranjan like fellows will be used until Uva election is over. After that, he is unlikely showing up like this again. The the Royal Government will return back to the expensive defense lawyers and PR firms.

        • 1

          Well said, Mallaiyuran. Thank you for the best ever illustration of the intellectual basis of Tamil nationalism seen in this forum!

  • 3

    Argh well……we’d have to wait 300 years just like the Brits did.

  • 3

    Fear destroys. It is fear that makes us hang on to things we value, sometimes a little too tightly like crushing a beautiful butterfly in our haste to behold it in our hands.

    Fear suffocates. It is fear that prevents Sinhalese and Tamils who have much in common from speaking honestly with each other. So much left unsaid (for fear of being labeled as traitor, collaborator etc.) makes us choke. This fear prevents liberating each group of its own intra-group problems such as castism, classism, and religious intolerance.

    Fear cannot be alleviated until it’s set free – like the butterfly – to flutter freely and openly. The first step would be to articulate each group’s fears and listen to the other group’s without interruptions and defensiveness. Once thus released, perhaps we can see how our group’s fears mirror the other’s and perhaps in that recognition lies the answer.

  • 0

    Comparison of Scotsman and Jaffnaman

    It took the scotsman 700 years to go to a referendum for self determination after their famous victory against the English at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314.Jaffna man could be wondering, How long it should take to part ways at least from a administrative perspective, after the year of 2000 ( battle of Elephant pass) .

    I thank for the interesting comments by sinhalese buddhist(SB) to shed the fear. I think it is paramount that we need to do that for the sake of healing and nation building. However, I think it is crystal clear to everyone that apprehensions of either parties will not wane in the present pathological political system.

    Furthermore, SB wondered about the strong aura of ‘self’ of Jaffna man in previous columns. I think that has both negative and positive aspects. I am biased to think that this self ( selfishness) is seen out of proportion in this present political climate.

    I enjoy reading Prof Niranjan’s writing, because I could fathom its literary value with my bird brain.

  • 1

    Vellala CM has spent only 300 Million and 1.1 Billion is waiting in the kitty,

    These of course are all LKRs and allocated by the Ravanas in the South.

    And the CM says he can’t develop the North because he has no powers..

    The powers he wants are his own TNA Police and Titles to all Govt land in the North.

    Until then he says he is unable to do development.


    Is he waiting for Ms Pillai’s Investigation to find Rajapaksas guilty.and help the Opposition to take over and grant him the Police Powers and the the Land Bank.

    NGOs and Hanumans of course have been putting in a lot of overtime for the past 5 years to help Ms Pillai and the Opposition.

    Peroni on tap sounds good, Two for the price of one in Happy Hour makes it sound even better.

    But any EU piss taste better than that Pommy shit…Theva probably will agree..

  • 0

    The Indian media personnel who visited the island recently had ONLY good words to say about the development occurring throughout the island. It is interesting that even Prof Niranjan’s friend has come to realise that progress is ONLY possible by cooperation, no doubt with a bit of prodding from him. It is sad that the Chief Minister up north does not have such a wise head to advise him.

    • 2


      “The Indian media personnel who visited the island recently had ONLY good words to say about the development occurring throughout the island.”

      The Hindian media would do everything what they are asked to do by Hindian establishment.

      They did wonderfully well when Hindians decided to propel LTTE to the top when the establishment selected LTTE as its key agent of destabilisation in this island.

      Grow up.

  • 1

    Vellala CM Wigneswaran’s new car costs LKR 10 Million…

    The Govt handed him the keys through the Governor only a few days ago..

    Plus another LKR 6 Million set of wheels to a Provincial Minister under the CM.

    Even Diaspora dudes will be reluctant to fork out this sort of dough unless they can claim it from the Tax office.

    Wonder what Dr Niranjan’s mate Theva would say about this after a few pints of Peroni in the Happy Hour…

    • 1

      I saw Vellala CM Wigneswaran was racing in his new Lamborghini with a hand bitten suthu girl near to Dalada Malihava. I am right K.A. ? Is the fellow I spotted in Lamborghini is your Vellala?

      You idiot don’t know his Vella way of dealing. He did not accept the car. It is used for NPC uses. Though he is long long long long…….over due for a decent car, he seems to be scared that the car delivered by defense department might have planted with secret cameras and spying Mic.phones. Some talked to me said now his concerned of people coming and going to him after this car. As he is on 24 hours camera watch by Royal Army, he seems to be worried of what happened to the ones who met Navipilley, Cameron and other foreign dignitaries might start to happen to the ones come to meet him. (Ending up in prison like Jeyakumari and her child is different, but disappearing in the thin air is horrible.) Though this is uplifting his status from CM to foreign dignitaries, he does not want peoples innocently hurts them, though meeting Cameron, Navipilley can not be avoided. He is not a Modaya like you just to passively belive the Royal govement’s defense department.

      Tell your defense department to pay attention when they write the scripts for you. Tell them not to write that makes to look like a mouth widely opened foolish child in front of other commentators after you post MOD’s scripts.

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