30 September, 2022


Multi-Ethnic, Multi-Religious, Multiple-Laws Yield Reconciliation Or Rupture?

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Here’s a challenge: name a country that is mono-ethnic, mono-religious and monolithic in terms of political beliefs. There are none. In Sri Lanka we have Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and other communities. Some are Buddhists, some are Hindus, some are Christians of various denominations, and some are Muslims. There are atheists other than Buddhists and there are those who do not belong to any of the aforementioned religious communities. So yes, we are ‘multi-ethnic’ and ‘multi-religious’.

Does this mean that the fact should be enshrined in a Constitution? Not necessarily.

One does not state the obvious in such documents. One does not say, for example, ‘Sri Lanka is an island’, ‘there are men and women living in Sri Lanka’ or ‘Sri Lanka has a population stratified along multiple lines such as class, gender, caste, affiliation to the ruling party’ etc.

However, if one is fanatical about ‘fact’ and proposes a multiethnic and/or multi-religious interjection, then the numbers and percentages should be included too, just for purposes of clarity. Multi-ethnic and multi-religious without percentage-note can after all imply a population equally divided into various ethnic and religious communities. That’s misleading and mischievous.

The above is mere preamble to the issue that is to be discussed: the issue of multiple systems of law in a single country. It appears that people have been more fascinated by the trivial (for example, the national flag and associated politics, and whether or not there should be constitutional provision for the national anthem to be sung in multiple languages). Flag and anthems did not share birthdays with the emergence of a coherent state (whenever you want to date that particular birthing).

Laws also change, but a coherent, consistent corpus of rules and regulations governing all public engagements in the main is a non-negotiable for political stability and social well-being.

It is the absence that is problematic and it is the abuse of the relevant lacuna that makes for and exacerbates inter-communal tension.

In these days of ‘reconciliation’ we see some disturbing trends. First, there is the fascination with the blame game. Thrown in the totally out of proportion and scandalously selective efforts to pick and choose which parties to name, shame, incarcerate and more, yields not reconciliation but further entrenchment of antipathies. Then there is, again in the name of reconciliation, a tendency to sweep under the carpet various chauvinistic moves by extreme elements in particular communities, either by deliberate squashing of news (censorship by authorities plus self-censorship by well-meaning media personnel) or downright spin. ‘Wilpattu’ comes to mind and more recently, ‘Madawala’.

So we have ‘reconciliation’ now? No.

What we have is one kind of extremism ‘untouched’ [මුස්ලිම් අන්තවාදය නොසැලී පෙරට — Muslim extremism (and even fundamentalism) ever forward undeterred] and another kind [let’s say ‘Sinhala Extremism’] going underground. This is the argument that anti-Sinhala, anti-Buddhist commentators often use when explaining/justifying Tamil extremism/terrorism, isn’t it? Now what if some Sinhala extremists wrote to Muslim teachers in schools where the majority of students are Sinhalese saying ‘leave right now!’? Wouldn’t the same people who rant and rave against ‘Sinhala Buddhist extremism’ and who are conspicuously silent on Wilpattu and Madawala call for the මඩුවලිගේ (maduvaligaya or the stingray tail)? Wouldn’t the argument be ‘this is scuttling reconciliation and must be nipped at the bud!’?

What has all this got to do with the notion ‘one country, one law’ though? Everything.

In short those who make the ‘multi-ethnic, multi-religious’ claim must also endorse the notion of equality before the law. If you have different rules for different people, you don’t get ‘equality’ do you?

Identity assertion in culture-specific ways is all fine and indeed should be encouraged and celebrated. No one says ‘don’t fast on Fridays’ or ‘don’t observe sil on Poya). What is pertinent is the classic limitation of freedom: ends where the other person’s nose begins. That limiting point has to be agreed upon and scripted into the rule book. This is why countries have both the freedom of association and also an overarching corpus of laws. You can have you club and club rules but these never supersede state and the law.

In other words we cannot have reconciliation that means anything if we have different systems of law for different communities. If Thesavalamai Law is accepted, as is Sharia (or some diluted form of it) and also Kandyan law, what’s to stop any random gathering of people (say, undergraduates who justify ragging by calling it ‘subculture’) demanding that they be governed only by rules they make for themselves? They can all say ‘these are customs’ so let us be protected by the premises on which customary laws have been enacted.

A few years ago, C.V. Wigneswaran (then Justice), delivering the inaugural Kanthiah Sivanantham Memorial Oration vociferously defended the Thesawalamai law and even argued, following Dr H.W. Thambiah that it protects non-Tamils who purchase property in the Northern Province. If such laws help strengthen community-integrity and if community-integrity is held sacrosanct by the champions of multi-ethnic-multi-religious in the reconciliation mafia (shall we call it?), then a case could be made for the entire country to be covered by the Thesawalamai law with respect to preemption in property acquisition. Similarly, we can theoretically envisage a country that is governed by Sharia. That however, should come from agreement obtained through available democratic means.

Of course the argument to defer to laws based on cultural specificity, the much-celebrated customary laws, will not be wished away. However there is celebration of specificity and there is the abuse of specificity, for example treating it as a refuge or an alibi to get away with much mischief. Being multi-ethnic and multi-religious does not mean we live in tightly contained ethnic or religious enclaves. We don’t, period. We live in a capitalist system. It’s all about ‘free markets’ officially (only some can both demand and supply and therefore have an undisputed comparative edge when it comes to determining price, for instance). Identity-barriers are unceremoniously pushed aside by the operations of markets.

If inter-community harmony is what is desired then most certainly sensitivity to what’s held sacrosanct by each community is important. On the other hand, you cannot demand sensitivity in the name of reconciliation and that hide behind sensitivity when you go around chopping other people’s noses so you can more room to throw your arms around more ‘freely’.

If, for example, fundamental rights pertaining to the notion of equality are contradicted by the ‘customary laws’ of a particular community, what do you do? Do you say ‘let’s ignore it because we want to affirm religious and ethnic cultural specificity’? Are you saying ‘equal rights for people of all communities is fine, but equal right for women vis-à-vis men takes us to no-no territory’?

These are no doubt sensitive issues. They need to be debated and not shoved into footnote or, worse, ignored. Right now are in Ignorance Land. That’s a convenience. It doesn’t yield reconciliation but produces and exacerbates antipathy and downright idiocy.

In the end if it is all about forging a common national identity (‘common’, remember the word and say it again and again, ‘common, common, common’) then we have to revisit specificity and difference on all counts and obtain a commonality for the overall ‘common’ rule book: The Law. If we are too embarrassed or nervous or downright wimpy about it, then let’s drop this whole multi-ethnic, multi-religious circus. We either do that or we become serious about it. Otherwise we are playing lowest-common-denominator politics and that’s hardly celebratory when you consider what’s being talked about is national integration, reconciliation, peace and wellbeing for everyone now and forevermore!

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  • 12

    This was written in 2003

    “If they want to appease the souls of the past politicians, they should know that most of them had advocated federalism as a solution. The late Prime Minister S.W.D.R.Bandaranaike in 1926; Dr.Colvin R.De Silva and Dr. N.M. Perera during the days that the Federal party put forward the idea in the early fifties; Mr. J.R. Jayawardena after he left office as President in an interview with a newsman; and Mr.Gamini Dissanayake, ex-Minister and Presidential candidate, according to an article titled “Gamini’s last testament was Federalism” by Dr.Jehan Perera of the National Peace Council.

    It’s The Constitution, Stupid. Can we not change it in the interest of Peace with Justice, Dignity and Equality for everyone on the island? “

    It’s the Constitution, Stupid by M. Nadarajan

    When the current US president’s father, the first President Bush, tried to get re-elected the catch phrase “It’s The Economy, Stupid” was used effectively to defeat him, blaming the state of the country’s economy on him.

    The current problems in Sri Lanka are being blamed on the Constitution. So, one could say, “It’s The Constitution, Stupid.” Nobody seems to like the present Constitution, except when they are in power, but everyone tries to hide behind one or more of its clauses as excuses for not doing something that will solve the ethnic problem. If noone likes the Constitution or some sections of it, everyone should get together and confine it to the dustbin of history, and come up with a new constitution that everyone finds acceptable.

    The Constitution is for all the people living in the island. If people are serious about establishing a Sri Lankan nation, with a Sri Lankan identity and citizenship, they should accept the truth that the country and its people are multi ethnic, multi cultural, multi lingual and multi religious. Everyone should be treated with equality in every respect, with justice, and dignity, with safety of life, limb and property. That is the surest way of preserving the territorial and emotional integrity, unity and sovereignty of the nation. These are not achieved by giving one section of the population privileges, which others do not enjoy. That is the surest way, as we have seen, of creating division and dissension. The majority of the Sinhalese people have what is known as the “Mahavamsa Mentality,” which makes them think that they are the chosen race, that the whole island is their country, that their religion should be the foremost religion of the country and that others are there at their sufferance. If everyone accepts that others, too, belong to the country and have to be treated as equals, then it is not difficult to draw up an entirely new Constitution embodying all the attributes mentioned earlier and acceptable to all the people.

    Before the advent of the Colonial powers Sinhalese and Tamils lived separately and had separate kingdoms, except for a few years at a time under Indian Tamil occupation, or as the result of internal conquests. Under Portuguese, Dutch and the early part of British rule, the two Sinhalese Kingdoms and the Tamil Kingdom were administered separately. It was only in 1833 that the three units were brought under one administration. During the latter part of British rule communalism raised its ugly head. When the British gave independence in 1948, on the basis of dubious undertakings given by senior Sinhalese leaders that they would treat minorities with equality and justice, the British introduced the Soulbury Constitution named after the Chairman of the Commission, Lord Soulbury. This Constitution, also called the 1948 Constitution, had some entrenched clauses. Section 29(2) guaranteed equality of treatment and opportunity to people of all communities and religions. A Constitution excluding this section could not be created.

    In addition, under Section 29 (4), to amend or abolish the Constitution, a 2/3 majority and a Royal Assent to do so were needed. Also, under that Constitution, Parliament alone had the power to make laws. Appeals against the decisions of the Supreme Court could be made to the Privy Council. A second chamber called the Senate was also established. Chairman Lord Soulbury made comments several years later that had he known how things would turn out, he would have recommended a federal Constitution.

    Within a few months after independence, the majority of upcountry Tamils, brought by the British to work on the plantations since the early 1800s and who were entitled to vote and had 7 elected representatives in Parliament, were disenfranchised. Virtually overnight the Tamil representation in Parliament was reduced by 40 %. In 1972, in order to change the Constitution and without following the provisions for change in the 1948 Constitution, a ruse was adopted by providing for elections to Parliament to also double up as a “Constituent Assembly”(CA) with power to replace the existing Constitution. The CA was merely a political body at best, and not a legislative body. Parliament was the only body authorized to legislate at that time. Besides, the needed Royal Assent to alter the existing Constitution was not obtained.

    After protesting, the Tamil representatives walked out without participating further in the CA’s deliberations. Notable changes in the new 1972 Constitution over the 1948 Constitution were: the elimination of the Senate, the elimination of Section 29 that gave protection to minorities and appeals to the Privy Council. The country was made a republic and Buddhism the foremost religion with certain privileges. Prior to the enactment of the illegal 1972 Constitution, Sinhalese had been made the only official language, a Sinhalese Anthem was made the National Anthem, and a Buddhist flag, with a begrudged two small stripes to represent minorities, was made the National flag. Discrimination against Tamil students trying to enter the University was officially introduced. Discrimination in employment and in development of Tamil areas took place and there were a number of communal attacks on Tamils.

    At the 1977 general elections Mr. J.R. Jayawardena, who promised redress to Tamil grievances, was elected Prime Minister with a 5/6 majority, based on such promises. He then sought to replace the illegal 1972 Constitution with one of his own, thus carrying the taint of illegality to the new Constitution. Much was expected by the Tamils from J.R. because he had a thumping 5/6th majority and could have sorted out many of the problems suffered by the Tamils. He introduced the 1978 Constitution and brought in the Executive Presidential system of government. With this Constitution the President became the Chief Executive with an unlimited amount of power and also became the Chief of the Armed Services. J.R. then got elected as the all-powerful President. In addition, in the 1978 Constitution, the first-past-the-post system of elections of the British was changed to a hybrid proportional representation system. The Tamils protested again and did not participate in the drafting of the 1978 Constitution.

    After years of trying negotiations and signing of pacts with governments in power – which were torn up due to protests by the major Sinhalese party in opposition (the two major Sinhalese parties took turns in doing this) – and trying parliamentary and non-violent Gandhi-type Satyagraha, the Tamil people, as a last resort and in desperation, gave an overwhelming mandate to their elected representatives at the 1977 elections to ask for a separate state. When the new Parliament was installed under the 1978 Constitution the Tamil representatives refused to take oaths eschewing requests for a separate state, and were expelled from Parliament.

    There are two major Sinhalese parties in Sri Lanka, the United National Party (UNP) of the Senanayakes and Jayawardena, (uncle of the present Prime Minister) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party of the Bandaranaikes (the parents of the Current President). Officials of both parties have been motivated by politics alone – there have been no Statesmen or Stateswomen in Sri Lanka. The 1978 Constitution is so manipulated that it is almost impossible for any one party to get a 2/3rd majority. Even a simple majority has been possible only with coalitions with one or the other of the smaller parties.

    The Trotskyite Party stalwart Dr.Colvin R De Silva, the architect of the 1972 constitution, described the 1978 Constitution as “a Presidential Dictatorship covered with a cloth of democracy.” His colleague Dr. N. M. Perera was the first to suggest the removal of the Executive Presidency. Lalith Athulathmudali, a powerful Defense Minister in the UNP and Presidential aspirant, and Gamini Dissnayake, a powerful Minister in the UNP and presidential candidate endorsed that view. So did the Marxist party, the JVP. The current President, when she campaigned in the 1994 Presidential election, took an oath in front of the people to do away with the executive Presidency if she was elected. However, when she tasted power in office she forgot all about this promise. Who then wants the executive Presidency to stay? It is said that just before her term of office expires the current President would want to abolish it since she would have finished two terms and cannot be elected again. She would attempt to concentrate power in the hands of the prime minister and seek that position for herself. The current prime minister is said to want the executive Presidency for himself.

    Legal experts are of the view that, under the 1948 Constitution, Parliament was not barred from delegating some powers irrevocably and finally to regional bodies (as for example in the abrogated B-C Pact), whereas under the unitary Constitutions of 1972 and 1978 Parliament has to retain continuous control over the powers it delegates.

    On the question of how this problem should be settled, the LTTE had been seeking to get a separate State to fulfill the mandate given to their representatives by the Tamils as far back as 1977. They do not want an inch of Sinhalese homeland. They wanted a separate state in their own homeland. The existence of this homeland was recognized in the pacts between the Tamil and Sinhalese leaders in 1959 and 1965, which were both unilaterally abrogated by the Sinhalese leaders; was demonstrated by the fact that, during communal pogroms against Tamils, Tamil refugees have been sent to the North and East and Sinhalese refugees to the rest of the country for safety; and was explicitly mentioned in the Indo- Sri Lanka Accord signed by then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of India and President Jayawardena of Sri Lanka as the historical habitat of the Tamil-Speaking people of Sri Lanka..

    Since the war started 17,700 of the Tiger fighting force have died. Over 25,000 members of the security forces have been killed. Tamil homelands have been devastated, and over 50,000 Tamil civilians have been killed. Though the media has been using a figure of 65,000 killed, the truth is close to over 90,000. The highest numbers I have seen mentioned are by the Prime Minister and the political head of the LTTE, both of whom mentioned a figure of “over 80,000 killed.” The Tamil people have suffered all kinds of privations and have been tortured, raped, and killed without inquest under the Emergency and the Prevention of Terrorism Acts, which have been described by an International Jurist as the worst kind of legislation in the civilized world, including apartheid South Africa. Over 800,000 Tamils have left the country as external refugees and close to a million became internal refugees displaced multiple number of times—figures mentioned by the President not long ago. The LTTE is speaking from a position of military strength. Yet, in the interest of peace, they have opted for a system of internal self-determination within one country. Perhaps they made this big concession too early in the negotiations.

    The President had been saying for years that she is interested in peace at any cost, though she proceeded with an illogical “war for peace.” She had at one time said that what she proposed was “a federal system in all but name.” She is the one who first invited the Norwegians as facilitators. In her latest pronouncement she says she will support the peace process and that her “commitment to peace is total.” This is despite her chastising the Prime Minister for conceding too much to the LTTE. Having criticized the proposals of the LTTE, she now says that she would consider their proposals along with her draft Constitution of 2000 and the government’s proposals of July. How much can we depend on her to compromise? Having said all this she is about to sign a MOU with the JVP, which is opposed to peace or any concession to the Tamils. Just talking for the sake of talking is not going to take anyone anywhere. Is there a possibility of arriving at a solution?

    The Prime Minister received a mandate at the last elections to seek peace based on his party’s manifesto. On being elected Prime Minister he said that this was the last chance for peace and that “everything other than separation is on the table.” Did he mean what he said? He need not have gone for a safety net if he meant what he said. Trying to please everyone who has nothing to do with the country may be dangerous. They all have their own agenda. What happened to Sikkim and Bhutan? Does he want the same to happen to Sri Lanka?

    When one looks at the statements of the three players – the President, the Prime Minister and the LTTE – one would think that peace on the basis of a federal type of government is acceptable to all of them. Even if that is the final solution, there has to be some interim arrangement, as envisaged by both the current Prime Minister and the President. The former had mentioned an Interim Administration headed by the LTTE in his election manifesto, and in his pronouncements after elections. When she was first elected the latter said that she would give an Interim Administration to the LTTE for a period of ten years.

    The LTTE has made a major concession and has spelt out, for the first time, their ideas for a solution, starting with an Interim Self Governing Authority. Every one knows what the outcome would be if this problem is not solved. We do not have to repeat it here. Would the President or the Prime Minister want to get back to that situation? They need to take explicit action to keep the peace process moving forward toward a permanent solution.

    If they want to appease the souls of the past politicians, they should know that most of them had advocated federalism as a solution. The late Prime Minister S.W.D.R.Bandaranaike in 1926; Dr.Colvin R.De Silva and Dr. N.M. Perera during the days that the Federal party put forward the idea in the early fifties; Mr. J.R. Jayawardena after he left office as President in an interview with a newsman; and Mr.Gamini Dissanayake, ex-Minister and Presidential candidate, according to an article titled “Gamini’s last testament was Federalism” by Dr.Jehan Perera of the National Peace Council.

    It’s The Constitution, Stupid. Can we not change it in the interest of Peace with Justice, Dignity and Equality for everyone on the island?

    • 8

      Malinda Seneviratne

      RE: Multi-Ethnic, Multi-Religious, Multiple-Laws Yield Reconciliation Or Rupture?

      If the United states of America can be multi ethnic , Multi Religious with Multiple cultures, ans still be a superpower with an average IQ if 98, why cannot Sri Lanka, the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, occupied by the Paras cannot do it?

      Is it the separation of Church and State in the Constitution or it it the IQ of 79?

      Do you really need the foremost place for Buddhism? Has anybody attained Nibbana or Nirvanna yet?

      National IQ Scores – Country Rankings


      The intelligence scores came from work carried out earlier this decade by Richard Lynn, a British psychologist, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish political scientist, who analysed IQ studies from 113 countries, and from subsequent work by Jelte Wicherts, a Dutch psychologist.

      Singapure 108

      USA 98

      Sri Lanka 79

      Mozambique 64

      • 6

        We can write a lot but we can change his punnakku brand.

        Malinda S will never change it. he too belong to the category kapuwath maruwath loyala to MR. The kind of fraction will ruin this nation/country. They cant see it beyond. What happeend to Mr KNOWALL these days, none other than Mr Dayan Jayathilaka. He is cornered by everyone as of now. Balloth ekka lagala, ticks problem he has been experiencing these days.

        • 8

          Weather it is a Sinhala elite educated in Royal/Ananda, Peradeniya/Colombo, Oxford/Cambridge, Harvard/Yale, etc or the uneducated Sinhala village coconut plucker/toddy taper or trishaw driver, there is hardly any difference when it comes to habits, attitude, behavior, and thinking. They all have the same low mentality and narrow mindedness. Sometimes I feel that the coconut pluckers are much more intelligent than the so called ‘Educated’. It is their inherent nature. Malinda Seneviratne is one good example.

          • 1


            YOU HAVE ARTICUALTED IT WELL. This Malinda and that Dayan have become laughig stocks of the day.

            that is the nature of lankens… they simply dont have patience even if majority folks are blessed by a philosophy which promotes only non-violence (Budhism).

      • 0

        Why are you trolling here with some stupid bullshit IQ and vomiting it again and again?get a life man. What is your IQ. Are you thinking from your rectum? CT SHOULD REVIEW POSTINGS.

  • 5

    thesavalame should be banned….muslims should not be allowed to practice polygamy in the name of their crazy religion, muslims should not be allowed to have separate banking, separate courts, separate attire, halaal food,sharia law…..etc

    • 6

      Polygamy is reasonable only in countries where female population is double,treble, four times etc.etc. than males.

      During prophet Mohamad’s time there must have been high female population so he had prescribed polygamy. It’s invalid in today’s context.

      • 3


        “During prophet Mohamad’s time there must have been high female population so he had prescribed polygamy. It’s invalid in today’s context. “

        1. Before Prophet Mohamed’s time, there was no limit. The man got as many wives he could afford.

        2. During Prophet Mohamed’s time, the number of wives was limited to 4. Apparently the Prophet did not want a few women grabbing all the women.

        3. Still, the Women were consider chattel, like slaves and transferred from the guardian to the Man upon marriage, There was no lower limit for marriage. Women’s written permission , and sometimes even verbal permission is not obtained.

        4. There were conditions for marrying. Like One Cannot marry the sister, mother etc.

        Still the first cousin marriages and second cousin marriages were allowed.

        This resulted in severe in-breeding, with the resulting birth defects and decreases IQ generation after generation. After 50 generations, the Muslim IQs are probably 10 to 15 points lower.

        Cousin Marriage in Islam


        Due to the actions of Prophet Muhammad and the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, marriage between cousins is explicitly allowed and even encouraged in Islam. The Qur’an itself does not discourage or forbid this practice in any way. In fact it implicitly allows it, as seen in chapter 4 verse 23:

        Prohibited to you (For marriage) are:- Your mothers, daughters, sisters; father’s sisters, Mother’s sisters; brother’s daughters, sister’s daughters; foster-mothers (Who gave you suck), foster-sisters; your wives’ mothers; your step-daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom ye have gone in,- no prohibition if ye have not gone in;- (Those who have been) wives of your sons proceeding from your loins; and two sisters in wedlock at one and the same time, except for what is past; for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful;-
        Qur’an 4:23

        So everyone besides these relatives named can be married. Such marriages in Muslim majority countries are often preferred and even encouraged in some regions. This is in contrast with China, India. most of the United States and some other nations where cousin-marriage is against the law and regarded as incest.

        Even though there is some debate on this issue, scientists tend to agree it is genetically unhealthy. There are other problems with cousin marriages. According to the Hanafi school of legists, a man may give his daughter in marriage to his brother’s son without her consent. This goes against free will which results in unhappy marriages.


        Half of world’s Muslims are inbred due to generations of incest


        Here’s an explanation for Islamic terrorism that’s never proffered:

        Insanity and Stupidity

        A never-spoken-about problem with Muslims is their inbreeding as a result of their long and deeply-ingrained practice of marrying first cousins — a practice that has been prohibited in the Judeo-Christian tradition since the days of Moses.

        More than 7 years ago, the UK’s environment minister Phil Woolas had sounded the alarm about this “very sensitive” issue that is “rarely debated”. Referring to the culture of arranged marriages between cousins in the Muslim immigrant community, Woolas said: “If you have a child with your cousin the likelihood is there’ll be a genetic problem.”

        Woolas, whose views are supported by medical experts, said most cases occur in immigrant families from rural Pakistan, where up to half of all marriages involve first cousins. Woolas said: “If you talk to any primary care worker they will tell you that levels of disability among the . . . Pakistani population are higher than the general population. And everybody knows it’s caused by first cousin marriage.”

        The problem is made worse by generational inbreeding. As Woolas put it, “Many of the parents themselves and many of the public spokespeople are themselves products of first cousin marriages.” That would explain why research for BBC2’s Newsnight in November 2005 showed that British Pakistanis accounted for 3.4% of all births but 30% of all British children with recessive genetic disorders.

        Indeed, an entry in Wikipedia confirms that “Cousin marriages in Muslim majority countries are often preferred and even encouraged in some regions,” and points to the fact that prophet Muhammad himself had married cousins.

        But the problem isn’t exclusive to Pakistani Muslims as Woolas seems to imply, but is pandemic among Muslims across the world.

    • 10


      “thesavalame should be banned”

      What is it and why should anyone ban it?

      “muslims should not be allowed to practice polygamy in the name of their crazy religion, “

      But you don’t mind having a side dish wherever you are. Tell us why polygamy is wrong?

      “muslims should not be allowed to have separate banking, separate courts, separate attire, halaal food,sharia law…..etc”

      Would you also like to ban Sunnath, Haj, Ramadan, Vattilappam,kottu roti, ..?

      • 4

        Native Vedda:-

        “But you don’t mind having a side dish wherever you are. Tell us why polygamy is wrong”

        Islam has made it Legal. Followers of Other Religions Practise it in Secret!

        • 2


          Islam has made it legal for males only, that’s what’s wrong.

          Where’s justice, Where’s equality for women?

          Why hasn’t Islam given that privilege for females to marry 4 men, in a society where males and females make approximately fifty-fifty.

          Islam should have made it 1 for 1 or 4 (or any number) for 4 (any number) to assure justice.

          That may be the reason for the availability of side dishes.

      • 6

        This Native Veddha’s disguise is coming apart faster than a 16 year old Muslim virgin’s hajab in front of a 65 yr old Thambi!

        He is launching terrorist attacks on Sinhala Buddhists and Sri Lanka, hiding behind this cowardly pseudonym, thinking we don’t know who he is.

        His thoppiya is rotating faster than the above mentioned old thambi’s p.top and he should shut up soon.

      • 4

        stupid vedda, you are wasting CT space with your gibberish

    • 1

      Inda Bow Bow

      Apply same to yourself and your creed without smelling behind the bitches.

  • 8

    Sir Pon. Ramanathan was the foster parent of the Sinhalese. Will there be a Sinhala Leader a foster parent of the Tamils?

    By C.V. Vivekananthan Attorney-at-law.

    President JR Jayawardena in his Address delivered on the life and work of Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan at the Vivekananda Society Colombo on November 30, 1991, reminded the audience that ‘Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan was even called the Tamil who was the foster parent of the Sinhalese’.

    JRJ said that ‘In the riots of 1915, the Sinhalese who were Buddhists were jailed and heavy fines imposed before they were released, if they were released at all. Some of them were shot without a judicial trial, the most notorious being the shooting of Pedris’. ‘D.S. Senanayake, the first Prime Minister of Free Ceylon was not even permitted to perform his ablutions or change his clothes. He was bundled into a vehicle and taken away’.

    JRJ lamented that ‘no foreign leader or country came to our aid. The Press was silent’ and he said that ‘one voice and one alone was heard in the Legislature and outside it, that of Ponnambalam Ramanathan. Ramanathan read over 120 petitions from the heart-broken relatives of the murdered and the jailed. His tone never faltered: his writings conveyed his feelings of horror and despair’.

    JRJ observed that ‘in his second phase, as an elected Legislator, Ramanathan single- handed saved the Sinhala race from destruction citing again what happened to the Anglo- Saxons, the Normans, the Assyrians, the Greecians and the Romans. He did this now by taking on single-handed the worst exhibition of British Imperialism as displayed by the 1915 Martial Law atrocities directed solely against the Sinhalese.’


    ‘At the setting of the Sun and in the Morning, we will remember him’, so declared

    The great patriot, E.W. Perera said that ‘In 1915, when the Sinhalese were without a friend, Ramanathan went to their rescue. Then, it was Ramanathan who manfully and strenuously did all he possibly could, as the one Ceylonese Member to vindicate the Sinhalese and help them in their great agony and in their great travail’

    A.E. Goonesinghe, the popular Labour Leader said that ‘Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan, who had collected a lot of material on the sordid activities of the Englishmen in the name of Martial Law, repaired to England, braving the seas at the time, the First World War was on’. He said further that ‘The history of Martial Law in Ceylon cannot be concluded without mentioning the part played by that great man Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan, who stood like a colossus alone in the Legislative Council of the Sinhalese nation. I was present in the gallery on that day in September 1915, when Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan spoke for several hours. With tears in his eyes, he described the brutalities committed by Englishmen with impunity under the name of British justice. He said it was not justice but downright murder by the ruling race and it was an act of misgovernment for the ruling race to ignore all these atrocities. No Sinhalese who had heard Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan in defence of the Sinhalese people in the Legislative Council that day will ever raise his hand, or say anything against the Tamil race. The actions of the Sinhalese in 1958 against the Tamils make me ashamed as a Sinhalese, and I decried them then and ever after. This hatred and contempt engendered by designing politicians against our own brothers, the Tamils must cease.’

    Lo! What happened to the Tamils in the succeeding years?

    Despite Goonesinghe’s plea the Tamils had to face periodical pogroms at the sun-set and in the morning. The high sounding claptraps of the Sinhalese leaders have so far failed to give leadership to the Tamils to provide and implement constitutional mechanism to accommodate the reasonable expectations of the Tamils. Their democratic view was not even given a modicum of respect. There were promises and agreements made from time to time by the Sinhalese leaders but all of them were reneged. Reneging has become the traditional behaviour of the Sinhala Nation. There has been an ocean of events, demonstrating such reneging, thereby leaving the Tamils in the lurch.

    As early as 1918 Sinhala leaders agreed in writing dated 7TH December 1918 to actively support a provision for the reservation of a seat to the Tamils in the Western Province so long as the electorate remained territorial but later they repudiated their solemn agreement.

    The minorities wanted a statutory provision to include minorities in the Cabinet of Ministers but the Soulbury Commissioners declined to include such a provision in the Constitution as the Sinhala leaders gave a solemn undertaking that in forming a Government, they would ‘offer a proportion of the portfolios to representatives of the minorities’. This solemn promise was reneged continuously and deliberately for about nine years commencing from the year 1956, with the formation of government by Bandaranaike to the beginning of the year 1965. During this period no Tamil was included in the Cabinet of Ministers. Even to day no meaningful ministerial portfolio has been given to the North, East Tamils.

    In the year 1946 the Delimitation Commission recommended representation for ‘Indian Tamils’. The electorates of Balangoda and Baddulla were each given two seats in the hope that ‘the minority Indian Tamils would be sufficiently strong to give them one seat each’. The General Elections held in 1947 had seven Members of Parliament to represent ‘the Indian Tamils’ but soon after the independence, the Citizenship Act and an Amendment to the Parliamentary Elections Ordinance were enacted, bullying the legislative scheme provided by the Soulbury Constitution. These two Acts disfranchised the Indian Estate workers who had been living in this country for more than three generations.

    Section 29 of the Soulbury Constitution created a set of safeguards. However, the successive governments from 1947 to 1972 have dismantled even the constitutional safeguards of the minorities provided in the Soulbury Constitution.

    The Select Committee, appointed by the State Council, gave a Report to make Sinhalese and Tamil as Official Languages. Sessional Papers were published from 1946 to 1953 but no steps were taken to implement both languages as official languages. In 1956, the Sinhala Nation repudiated the Select Committee Report and Section 29 of the Soulbury Constitution by enacting Act No.33 of 1956 making Sinhala, only the official language. What was worse, even the Senate was also abolished without providing alternative provisions to promote the interests of the minorities.

    In 1957 BC Pact was signed, setting out proposals to resolve the problems of the Tamils. The implementation of the Pact could have found a reasonable solution for the ethnic dispute. The Sinhala Nation was up in arms and the pact was torn into shreds.

    The March 1960 General Elections produced a hung parliament. Since the SLFP, led by C.P. de Silva, gave an oral undertaking to revive the BC Pact, FP decided to support SLFP to form the government. However, the then Governor General did not appoint C.P. de Silva as Prime Minister but called Dudley Senanayake to form the Government. On the basis of the undertaking given by SLFP, FP joined the SLFP and defeated the government of Dudley Senanayake. The July 1960 General Elections gave an overwhelming SLFP majority and Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the first woman Prime Minister. After the hour of victory, the solemn promise was not honoured.

    In 1965 Elections, though UNP became victorious, it required support from FP to form the government. Dudley said ‘I have been in politics for thirty years. I have never gone back on my promise’ and consequently Dudley Senanayake-Chelvanayakam Pact was signed. In terms of this pact certain ‘proposals for the establishment of District Councils under absolute direction and control of the Central Government’ was published on 3RD June 1968 and subsequently the District Councils Bill was gazetted.

    The District Councils Bill was opposed by the joint protest march organized by SLFP, LSSP and CP. The Bill was dropped like a hot plate and the pact was abandoned.

    The tenure of the SLEFP government from 1970 to 1977 witnessed the negative effects of the standardization and quota system of education on the Tamils and denied opportunities of the Tamils for government jobs. Wither the Tamils!!

    In the manifesto of the UNP for 1977 General Elections, it was promised that the party would ‘take all possible steps to remedy the grievances of the Tamils in such fields as, education, colonization, use of Tamil language and employment in the public and semi-public corporations’. In 1977 the UNP swept to power but the promises made in the manifesto were never honoured.

    In the 1977 General Elections, though TULF received a mandate from the Tamils to establish Tamil Eelam, they accepted the Office of the Leader of the Opposition under the unitary Constitutions of 1972 and 1978. They worked towards decentralization of power within a unitary structure. They fully endorsed the Prevention of Terrorism Act and accepted District Development Councils as an alternate to Tamil Eelam. The Government promised to include in the DDC Act sufficient powers to satisfy the Tamils. However, the DDC Act did not contain any such powers and despite the protest of the Tamil Youth Amirthalingam endorsed the Act stating that the President has agreed to give such powers by necessary amendments.

    In June 1981 DDC Election was held and during its campaign, the Jaffna Library containing 95,000 volumes, market area, Jaffna MP’s house and adjoining four houses, TULF party headquarters, all were burnt to ashes.

    Senator Nadarjah from TULF was elected Chairman of the Council but after about year he resigned from his Chairmanship stating that he did not have even the minimum power to ‘purchase table and chairs’ for the Council and thereafter the elections for DDC was never held. The solutions offered by the Sinhala Nation to the problems of the Tamils were not implemented and the Tamils were left high and dry.

    The killing of thirteen soldiers by LTTE triggered as a catalyst for murder and arson against the Tamils. It was given undue publicity and thereby aroused the feeling of the Sinhalese against the Tamils. In retaliation, purportedly the army shot more than seventy persons dead, including children and the old. Not a word was uttered of this incident. Had it been given equal publicity, it would have assuaged the hysteria of the Sinhalese and arrested the holocaust. The Government did deliberately fail in its obligations to protect the life and property of the Tamils.

    The Tamils by their franchise elected TULF Members to Parliament. The Government was obliged to protect the right of such franchise but by the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution the representations of the Tamils in Parliament were taken away. Tamil nationalism arose as a logical consequence of reneging all promises and agreements by the Sinhala Nation.

    Consequent to the Indo – Sri Lanka Pact 13TH Amendment to the Constitution was gazetted. It had two parts: one part was in regard to the Official Language and the other part to provide decentralization of powers through Provincial Council system.

    The Bill contained an amendment to Article 18 of the Chapter IV of the Constitution to read as: Article 18 (2) – ‘Tamil shall also be an official language;, and Article 18 (4) — ‘Parliament shall by law provide for the implementation of provisions of this Chapter’.

    The way the Article 18 (2) was worded gave the impression that Parliament would enact legislation to implement the use of Tamil Language as the Language of Administration (Article 22), Language of Legislation (Article 23) and Language of the Courts (Article 24). What was requisite were constitutional amendments of Articles 22,
    23 and 24 of the Constitution. It appeared that JRJ had discreetly made a ploy to relegate the constitutional status of the Tamil Language to be governed by legislation.

    India brought necessary pressure on JRJ and consequently the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution was brought in on 17TH December 1988 by which the anomalies in regard to the constitutional status of the Tamil Language, so created by the 13TH Amendment to the Constitution were rectified.

    On 24TH January 2008 the APRC presented a set of proposals to the President. Clause 4:1 of the aforesaid Proposals states that ‘the Government should take immediate steps to ensure that Parliament enacts laws to provide for the full implementation of Chapter IV of the Constitution’. It brings out succinctly that APRC too wants to relegate the constitutional provision for the use of Tamil Language even after the 16TH Amendment. It is political deceit. Dr. Colvin R de Silva, who was one time a protagonist of parity of status, said that ‘One language two nations, two languages one nation’ destroyed Article 29 of the Soulbury Constitution and brought the Sinhala only Act the Constitution and took away all the safeguards provided by the said Article 29. One wonders whether the same ploy is now being practised.

    The plight of the Tamils today is worse than that of the Sinhalese during the Martial Law debacle. Ever since 1956 the Tamils have been shedding blood for the only reason that they were agitating for their legitimate rights. The fate of the Sinhalese during the darkest days of Martial Law of 1915 had been the fate of the Tamils during the darkest days of the 1958 to 1983 riots and the War that ended in May 2009, rendering 350,000 IDPs. Then, there was one noble Tamil, Sir Pon. Ramanathan who stood bravely to defend the rights of the Sinhalese. No Sinhala leader has so far stood up to defend the rights of the Tamils. Will there ever be a Sinhala leader a foster parent of the Tamils to regain for them their legitimate rights?

  • 12

    A man who has once studied at Harward presumes, multiple laws could lead to rupture ? Why the kind of men work for MR agendas is beyond my undestanding.

    Good luck MS – you woudl never change your stance.. it is in your genetics.

    • 3


      have NOT you heard that ” Baluwalige ada arinna bahane – you cant straighten the dog s tail –
      That may be a most fit here even if those guys may have had the chance to go to such renowed colleges, they would never change their attitudes. That inherit. The kind of nature is very common in lankan folks- among the academics too, the feature is contrast. No cure is there for that. I believe, developing countries stay stagnated due to the reasons, not because of any invasions or total isolation being made by western world – as that paranoid Chapa Bandara insists.. I hate lanken to misguide by chapa bandaras.

  • 2

    A timely written article. Thanks MS and CT for publishing this.

  • 13

    Straight from the horse’s mouth:

    “Then there is,… a tendency to sweep under the carpet various chauvinistic moves by extreme elements in particular communities, either by deliberate squashing of news (censorship by authorities plus self-censorship by well-meaning media personnel) or downright spin”.

    Isn’t this what you practiced as Editor of the Nation?

    Your sanctimony knows no bounds, does it?

  • 11

    What an expression of supremacy ridiculing the plea for minority rights.
    If the people of the calibre of Malinda Senivaratne, Bandula Jeyasejara can resort to below the belt personal attacks, and not giving an enlightened fair analysis what future SL has.

    This trend reminds me of the 1950 s and 60 s when in many of the office parties, hostel get togethers singing baila songs like ” thosai kade masala vade ….” & ” thambige polle adhare..” to ridicule the minorities were common.

    Melinda and the likes are treating the Chief Ministers of N & E as equals ?
    If they are wrong in what way they are wrong and what are the corrective measures as per the construction.

    Why the Governors of N & E differ from other governors in allowing the Chief Ministers to carry out their duties ?

    • 10

      Non PhD

      Malinda Seneviratne is a Sinhala Buddhist chauvanist.

      He was one the persones sent to Geneva in 2012 to defend Rajapaksa.

      One cannot expect this caliber of people to be honest to their heart.

      Malinda is worse than extreme Buddhist monks. He is another Wimal Weerawansa.

      • 0

        [Edited out]

  • 8

    The writer of this article does not seem to be clear as to what is reconciliation.

    Reconciliation is only between the offender and the offended.

    Reconciliation is a process whereby the offender either recognises his offence voluntarily or is found guilty by a judicial process.

    When the guilty offender, expresses remorsefulness at the 0ffence and asks for forgiveness from the offended, and when the offended person agrees to forgive the offence and the offended, reconciliation is complete and the animosity ceases to exist; resulting in healing, restoration and peace.

    Blame game by political parties could be an attempt to reconcile good and evil done between them. But it is not ethnic reconciliation.

    Ethnic reconciliation is simply between the offended Tamils and the Sinhalese who caused the offence. It does not involve multiple laws.

  • 8

    Sinhala-Buddhist will never learn. They think beating up on minorities will pave the way towards their status that this is a “Buddhist country”. Little do they realize that they are dragging themselves down along with the minorities. Torture, kidnapping,murder and arrests of political opponents,editors and minority activists are the norm in this country. The world is studying the behaviour pattern of the Srilankan Sinhala-Buddhists. It is not very different from the style of the Buddhists in Myanmar. The sooner the people realize this the better will be the future of this country. Otherwise we will all go down.

  • 6

    This Author Malinda Seniveratne has a lot to learn. Why is it not important in Sri Lanka to teach Social science and Humanitarian as subjects in schools. It is important for Sri Lanka writers and Journalists not to show this kind of grievance discriminately. It is very sad there are few honest and capable Journalists and Academics to do good brainstorming to help the Decision makers even at important times. Most of them look like writing for a selfish purpose and not for a good Governance. This kind of Journalism has been encouraged for a long time for dirty politics. It is sad it is still happening. It will be very difficult for the good Governance to overcome a long time lapse in good decision making. This will be a good excuse if the new good Government decided to betray the International Community.

  • 3

    This will be straight over the heads of Yahaalana suckers.

    Everything revolves around the MOU among Batalanda Ranil, Bodh Sira and Suren Surendran on behalf of the TNA.

    You may call anything but it has to have the core demands of the Vellalas since Vadukkodai.

    Muslims as usual exploit any situation to their maximum benefit.

    The World Economic Conference which is in progress at the moment in KL stated three things which they want to pursue to bring their nations to prosperity, equality and happiness going forward.

    That is to lift the living standards of the great inhabitant population there who are the poor.

    These areb Education, Infrastructure and Innovation.

    What do have now after the West put Bodhi Sira and Batalanda to give us Yahapalanaya.

    No Infrastructure, No Education and No Innovation unless one counts the Yahapalana Bond Trading as Innovation.

    Instead we are creating a Multi Cultural Accharu if the Lal report of Batalanda Ranil kicks off.

    It is sort of a Malay Pickle I guess..

    • 6

      KASmaalam KA Sumanasekera

      “No Innovation unless one counts the Yahapalana Bond Trading as Innovation.”

      What innovation we are talking about, by the way since 1948? Could you list all your innovations.

      Please take your own time to respond to this silly question.

      • 0

        Dear Native,

        Bodhi Sira wouldn’t know Innovation even if he trips over one.

        I just got a copy of your mate Mahendran’s total tab for the 15 months since Batalanda brought him all the way from the Diaspora in Singapore.

        His food alone has cost LKR 10,000 a day every day for the 15 months.

        For a bloke who is normally on Dosai and Sambar with an Ulundu Vaddai as a side, it is a bit rich don’t you think?.

        What does he eat?. Halal Eye fillet with Herb Butter every night?With Hennesey XO as an appertiff?.

        Does he put the Missus Gin & Tonic also on the same tab. Otherwise how can he rack up so much, even if our Yahapalana suckers in the Income Tax bracket pick up the Bill?.

        That is what is what innovation is all about,

        With the 2.65 % in to the family trust on LKR billion, the Singaporean has taken Financial Innovation to a different level.

        • 5

          KASmaalam KA Sumanasekera

          Could you list all innovation that you are proud of and has patent on them (excluding Pancha Maha Balavegya, Sinha Le, Kotty Le, Sinha flag, Kotty flag, Sinhala/Buddhism, Sinhala Only, JVP, LTTE, JHU, BBS, ……………….)

        • 1

          K A Sumanasekera,Rs 10k a day for food is damm high even if you order all 3 meals from a 5 star hotel

          Please can you show us the evidence that you have if not please dont say things out of your head as you anyway dont have credibility so if you dont give us proof no one will believe you machan

  • 10

    /Malinda Seneviratne is a Sinhala Buddhist chauvanist. /

    /The writer of this article does not seem to be clear as to what is reconciliation./

    Well, he is trying real hard to keep himself relevant in the world. People have given up on him, Mahindapala (many responses to his verbal cholera was a feedback on a feedback), Michael Roberts, Dayan Jayatilleka and such.

    Poor bugger, have mercy on him!

  • 2

    Tamil politicians, almost entirely belong to Wellala caste talk about discrimination against Tamils by majority Sinhalese and asking for equality and justice. Before they make this allegation, they should look at their backyard.

    According to Gajalakshmi Paramasivam (www.slguardian.org/2015/10/why-karuna-joined-the-tulf) “In terms of social culture-Batticaloa Tamils rank lower than Trinco Tamils and higher than Hill country Tamils in the mind of the Jaffna Tamils”. Here Paramasivam put Jaffna Tamils in to one basket as if they are a group that has equality among them. This is not true. Low caste Tamils that comprise about 60% are considered inferior human beings by the high caste Wellala Tamils. Thesawalame is there to prevent land passing on even to low caste Tamils. Muslims are also looked down upon by Tamils, though they speak Tamil. I have no idea where Sinhalese stand in this hierarchy. Probably right at the bottom.

    The unequal and unjust situation prevailing in Jaffna can be understood by these statements in the Report on Public Representation on Constitutional Reforms.

    “Some marginalised caste associations and individuals mainly in Jaffna also opposed giving police powers to the higher caste dominated Northern Provincial Council” pp.55-56

    “Marginalised caste groups and associations and individuals, mainly from Jaffna, also opposed the giving of land powers to the high caste dominated Northern Provincial Council” p.60

    I understand that the number schools segregated on the basis of caste is increasing in Jaffna after the defeat of LTTE. Although Prbhakaran massacred thousand of Muslims, Tamils and Sinhalese, his effort to eliminate caste based discrimination in Tamil society is something that we should admire.

    So, get the shit in your arse cleaned before saying others that you have shit in your arse!!

  • 4

    this article is a bitter pill to swallow for yamapalane suckers and minority scums. this article clearly shows who the extremists, terrorists and separatists are. they are none other than tamils and muslims.

  • 8

    These are bunch of racists work under the cover of journalists.

    These chauvanists worked as Editors and diplomats under dictator Rajapaksas government.

    Now they are jobless working on BBS agenda.

    They have no policy and know no politics. They are waiting for another communal riots for looting.

  • 2

    “Thousands and thousands visiting ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa is no longer news. He is arguably the most loved post-Independence leader this country has known” said Malinda in one of his loyal articles.

    The Mahinda-Factor is growing larger each passing day.

  • 0

    The personal laws of the Kandyans, Jaffna Tamils (not all Tamils) and Muslims apply only to marriage, personal property and succession. The ragging example shows the writer’s ignorance.

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