22 October, 2019

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North Sri Lanka – Growth And Development

By S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

Investing resources judiciously, creating wealth, consolidating it and distributing it appropriately are prime tasks of governance – Thirukkural.

People with a History

Sangam literature serves the Tamils well in the study of their social and economic history. The better known Chola exploits of a millennium back owe their origin to the Sangam era. The first Tamil Poet Laureate of Tamil Nadu after India got independence was Namakkal Kavignar. He said “We Tamils are legatees to great achievements; let us do all that is appropriate to regain our past glory”. Life affirmation and material prosperity characterized earlier times. Full awareness of it influences their thought and action in both places across the Straits. With such consciousness perhaps Edmund Samarakkody MP speaking in Parliament in 1961 said; “Tamils are a proud people, a people with a history”. Yes, people with a rich heritage will seek to reassert their rights to give the appropriate economic dimension to their aspirations.

What stands in their path and against their forward movement will have to move out of their way. When the Treaty of Versailles heaped humiliation on Germany, Mao Tse Tung as a young revolutionary of age 25, addressed some French leaders in 1918, along these lines – You people think you have done something great. In ten or twenty years war will break out – What a warning it was to those insensitive to the susceptibilities of the defeated and impervious to the inevitable destined to follow. What a parallel it has to the war and its aftermath in Sri Lanka.

Human Resources

The unconventional way in which Japan and Singapore grew in recent times has dazzled the world. The irrepressible energy of the Japanese was duly channeled by good governance to make the economy top notch. The mental energy of a single leader in Singapore has taken the nation to laudable status among first world economies. They have blasted the notion of richness in indigenous natural resources as basic to create more wealth. To them the richest resource was the people to whom modern education was provided and skills imparted. As important or more was the luring of foreign finance together with transfer of technology.

Sri Lanka and the Northern segment are rich in human resources, though yet to be cut, polished and value added. The last three-quarter century has shown the world over, how material wealth can enhance human resources that have remained stagnant for long. For the segment of the North, economic opportunities abroad have opened up possibilities never considered practicable earlier. It is to such material that those in governance owe an obligation to provide the environment for further growth.

Attractions of the Modern

To cite but one area of meaningful and profitable engagement it is tourism. A post Tsunami inspection took my colleague and me in early 2005 to coastal Mullaitivu where we marveled at the tourism potential of NANDIKADAL. How many really know of the incredible tourism resources allowed to lie fallow? Do many Sri Lankans know that Singapore on par with Ceylon in tourism 50 years back gets 15 times as many tourists now? This would show potential but let it not go by default for want of clear thinking. The writer knows as much as any Tamil that education, IT, health, agriculture, food security, infrastructure and housing count for more. What is considered practicable for the bulk of diaspora financing is investing with a modern flavour. Their business like computations will smack of the ultra-modern.

Tamil Diaspora as Investor

With a global perspective World Bank says quite assertively that Diaspora can be a source of capital, investment and technology transfer. International migrants in 2013 estimated at 230 million by WB compose 3% of world population. Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora approximates 30% of its parent community in Sri Lanka. Its earning capacity is therefore disproportionately higher compared to that of 3%. It is further pointed out that recorded remittances received by developing countries at $ 404 billion in 2013 exceeds official aid flows. Capital from Tamils mobilisable abroad and investible in the North is huge. But what flows in as of now is only a fraction.

It comes in disjointed driblets merely to make life tolerable to their near ones. Why such a phenomenon? The prevailing no-war situation has failed to create an environment of calm or repose. The bitterness of war is made to fester. The heavy presence of the military is a constant abrasion to foil any healing of the Southern ulcer. Lest they begin to forget, there is a raucous reminder of it in the annual calendar of celebrations. In the fifties Japanese imports bore the label ‘Made in Occupied Japan’. That was designed to rub insult upon injury. Even without it, General MacArthur blazoned it with his presence. The existence of the military Governor in the North is precisely to reinforce such animosiy. To rub in that the East is no less prostrate than the North, there is a military Governor there as well. The government relishes the thought that a perfect ensemble is in place as a rivet of its despotism.

Why Tamils Recoil

Are learned theses necessary to explain why the diaspora does not invest in the North or in the rest of the country? Whatever goodwill that existed even during the conflict is being dissipated by a single entity –the government. It is doing all within its power not to abate ill feeling but to embed antipathy. What the diaspora thinks is in sync with Tamils throughout the globe. More importantly, it resonates with the feelings of the parent community resident in the land of their birth. It was this unity that brought the jitters and forced a weird theory upon the LLRC. There is a good Tamil diaspora and a bad. A patriotic SL government should entice the former, alienate the latter and marginalize both.

What a strategy; using a wedge to unite! The approach of the government is same as the Britisher’s attitude to India’s aspiration to freedom. Bharathi puts across in memorable words as coming from the white man – “A slave born to labour, how dare you nurture thoughts of being free. Have you known it before? Can you ever use it?” The poet repudiates, “Those robustly intent upon independence, will never settle for anything less. With a keenness for nectar, will they ever waste their breath on toddy?” (read 13A). An effusion of stirring lines decades before independence galvanized the Tamils. With the government standing asininely insensitive to Tamil aspirations, they too will remain equally obdurate. Five years have remained the same and Tamils have little thought of investing nearer home. Yet a change in national consciousness induced by a new leadership can make the difference. In that hope some ideas are outlined.

Investment Climate

When a nation is pressed against the wall it is constrained to go for climate change. Many a state has opted for it and herein we have seen economic progress. Consequent to the climate change, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which started in $ millions in the sixties reached billions in a few decades and then touched $2 trillion in 2007. The slide since then is now getting reversed and in 2013, $ 1.461 trillion was recorded. FDI projected for 2016 is $ 1.8 trillion.

Global FDI stock has now reached $25.5 trillion. Global investment needs are in the order of $ 5 to 7 trillion per year. It is assessed that developing countries need $ 3.3 to 4.5 trillion, which is mainly for basic infrastructure. It may also be noted that in 2013, 54% of FDI inflow was to developing countries. Developing Asia is No. 1 global investment destination – (source: UNCTAD). The significance of FDI to Sri Lanka and inflow from diaspora may be seen in such perspective.

UNCTAD’s Investment Policy (IP) Emphases

Outlining 11 core principles in the area of FDI, the UN body says in 3 of them:

“Investment policies should be developed involving all stakeholders, and embedded in an institutional framework based on the rule of law that adheres to high standards of public governance and ensures predictable, efficient and transparent procedures for investors”.

“In line with each country’s development strategy, investment policy should establish open, stable and predictable entry conditions for investment”.

“Investment policies should provide adequate protection to established investors. The treatment of established investors should be non-discriminatory in nature”. (emphases added)

The most salient are highlighted. How many of them obtain in the Northern Province or in the country? Expected Investments have not measured up to the billions devoted to the reconstruction effort. Tamils know of the energy and resources that have been channeled in more than restituting road and rail infrastructure together with bridges and as relevantly power and communication network. When they are not purposefully utilized to attract foreign inflows or for governmental investment, no worthwhile results follow. We have seen it in recent years.

In the last few years World Fact Book did not even publish the FDI data of Sri Lanka. SL had lost her credibility. WFB wished to retain its name for reliability. Prior to that the information showed an upward variance compared to statistics elsewhere on SL.  Zimbabwe is in the same boat.

Aversion to Northern Development – Why?

Reference to North is the precisely demarcated Northern Province. Statistics are official. Perceptions are not confined to a single ethnic entity. Of late they are very much at variance with official pronouncements. The percipient and the honest accept only what is tenable and credible.

It is sought to examine why the North has not surged from May 2009. The present and the future are inseparable from the past. The germ of constraining one community was well planted in the last century.

It was in full political flush before independence. Its growth was inhibited by the ruling power – the British. Since then it was war by other means – politics – till 1983. “Extension of politics by other means”- war- followed. From 2009 it is war under camouflage. Tamils are not naïve to wish for the fruit of war to fall from defeat. The benefits are scrupulously reserved for the victor. In what form?

In the North a show of development with high visibility structures for visitors. To the gilt cage some shine is added. Life is certainly made more tolerable with easier commuting, good communications and the benefits of electricity. Very little is added to economic progress or employment or the quality of life. They are however no substitute for self-government. The Provincial Council is instituted for the purpose of engaging the people in their own governance. But it is negated through Governor’s government, a single orifice that constricts any meaningful development. Where did the Province stand in 2008, assessed through economic and social criteria? LAST in the country. Where does it stand in 2014? LAST in the country.

When the Province is circumscribed in every respect by central authority and displays only negative features, what is the attraction for foreign or Diaspora investment? Military infestation was irksome to everybody. Para militaries made it worse. High Security Zones had expelled tens of thousands. Iniquitous land misappropriation has added to displacement. There is no resumption of normality and this is not the way to attract investment or development. Tamils are wont to think that this is by intent and design. Making the investment climate hospitable is the first step in drawing investments to the North.

What the Future Holds

A reputed writer in a recent publication of his has expressed a worthwhile and credible viewpoint. Put in my words, a statesman in the mould of Mandela may have the stature to attempt a change of national consciousness among his people (Sinhala). But he must have a higher vision to be worthy of such a mission.

Having said that, he adds that only President Rajapaksa himself personally can find a way out of this impasse. “However, given the elements that comprise Mahinda Rajapaksa’s consciousness, such a transformation in the southern consciousness is not likely to happen. What is more likely is that Rajapaksa will stoke the southern supremacist consciousness in a downward spiral into a deeper and wider conflict”.

It is difficult not to hold with the writer. If that be the reality, Tamils have to be prepared for a long haul to experience the benefits of peace. It would seem that our path to redemption is not laid out in velvet. Government’s proactive policies, responded to by Tamils with investment, development and economic progress can deflect dire prospects.

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Latest comments

  • 13
    13

    North SL is the curse of the country.

    No Muslims. No Singhalese. No “others”, Only Tamils! Curse!

    • 5
      5

      “Pungi Bajao, Lungi Bhagao” (blow the flute and drive the tam`ill)

      Tigers WILL BE dead too!!

    • 4
      5

      Within minutes of the article appearing on CT come your comments. What intellectuality, assimilative capacity and analytical power! If all readers of CT readership are similarly gifted 100 frivolous quips would have been churned out by now. It will be good to inspire all!!

      • 8
        3

        Fathima Fukushima reads your mind quick and far better than most of us.

    • 6
      3

      Fathima Fukushima aka Jim softy is back from mental hospital. M.Sivanathan is missing.

  • 3
    8

    .
    It’s too late now……

    Rajapakse had a choice, Srilankan diaspora (mostly Tamils) or Chinese? and their choice was Chinese.

    And now with India going to be actively involved, we are back to aftermath of 1983.

    :-)

  • 5
    3

    “It was in full political flush before independence. Its growth was inhibited by the ruling power – the British. “

    `Deicide, facticide, fideicide Trinco Tam`ill` style.

    Like all the pseudo must do guiders suck the best and purge rest.- ethnocide.!

    “Tamils are a proud people, a people with a history”.

    That is precisely the fall of Jaffna not Tamil Nadu which can boast if it likes of class above the rest of the world- Boston Brahmins.

    ¬The unconventional way in which Japan and Singapore grew in recent times has dazzled the world.¬

    Both (Japan & Singapore) are from birth Mr, M/s Cleeeen.
    Tam`ill`s have to take the poo to loo first like all you hindus- check unicef in india and hindu culture.Tam`ill` are no better now than Dubai the land of night soil transported by truck .

    The best thing the Brits taught via their missionary schools is Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Not the atu patti elocution of emmanuals- vengeance.

  • 5
    3

    The 2 former public servants Sengu and Siva remind me once again of the race.
    One runs with burst shorts and the other with short bursts.

    The Japanese are born detailers JT’s cannot dream of matching them. Even the Americans use them for the detail in most industry and Italians for design.

    I remember the days 50 years ago when mangoes were packed and sent to Colombo- a concoction of Britishness. The JT’s even today in the rich west for decades running restaurant or groceries won’t do can’t do packing like the Indians Pakistani or Bengali. It takes long to change from tiffin carrier but how long- the will to change??

    Buddhist concept of `mindfulness` will take the country a long way in all it does.

    • 2
      1

      Javi,

      The Tamil diaspora are performing far, far better than what you think! Their resources are ever flourishing and they are able to increase their political clout in the lands of their adoption. It is really sad that the SL government is unable or unwilling to tap this big potential all because of jealousy and the obsession to keep the Tamils subjugated! The people of the South cannot be fooled for long. Days will come soon when the tide will turn against the ruling despots!

      Sengodan. M

  • 4
    7

    Not North only Tamil.

    But North, and East of (Ceylon) Sri Lanka are only for Tamils, and Tamil-Muslims.

  • 6
    5

    Mr.Basil Rajapakse has in his profound wisdom said that the Northern Provincial Council should work within the powers conceded to it at present. The Governor plays the tunes and the NPC,the CM and his Ministers are expected to dance with their feet hobbled! Even the Chief Secretary to the NPC, works for the Governor! To work as advised by Basil Rajapakse could only mean that the NPC, CM and his Ministers should accept being subordinate to the Governor and plan the activities in accordance with the Governor’s (it should be understood that he is carrying out the President’s dictates)wishes and priorities.

    The whole purpose in establishing the PC system has been undermined. The people who were expecting a degree of autonomy to manage their affairs have been tethered to a stake called the Governor and limited to a range within which they can foray. The intent, spirit and content of the 13th amendment is being sabotaged by the present government with blatant disregard to civilized norms.

    Mr. Sivathsan, you are right in saying,”If that be the reality,Tamils have to be prepared for a long haul to experience the benefits of peace”. Peace should mean the right to mind our affairs to the extent permitted to any collection of people living within demarcated boundaries within a State. In our instance this is dictated by the 13th amendment to our constitution. The government has no right to pick and choose what it will implement and what it will not. The government has also no right to sabotage the intent of the 13th amendment using every flimsy ruse it can imagine.

    The Supreme Court has determined that Basil Rajapakse can be the economic Tsar for the rest of Sri Lanka, but not the north. CJ Shirani Rajapakse paid a heavy price for this determination based on the 13th amendment.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 7
      4

      Isn’t it the duty of the Governor in any PC to ensure that the public funds are well spent to develop the province and provide benefits to all inhabitants there regardless of their political affiliations.

      Just imagine what the outcomes would be if the Provinces are allowed to be administered by say Fonseka party, Somawansa Party, Asathh Sally party or even the UNP without the Governor overseeing them and their development programs and activities?.

      TNA is totally anti Government.Right..

      Their agenda is full on skewed towards helping the Opposition party UNP in to power , and hoping to get their Eelaam self rule.

      And please the diaspora by helping Ms Pillai to drag the Armed Forces and the CIC to the Hague if possible.

      And allow the Diaspora to make the North their play ground.

      Will the TNA ever help develop the North under their watch, if those aims are not going to be fulfilled as the first and the top priority.

      • 6
        5

        Mr.Sumanasekera,

        The duty of the Governor is to ensure that there is financial probity, accountability and good governance. Are the Governors in the rest of the country except the north and east exercising this function? If so, why is there so much corruption in these PCs. Do only the PCs in the north and east require such stringent monitoring to ensure financial probity? Why this step motherly treatment, if you consider equality of citizens should be the norm? Who is monitoring the profligacy and bad governance at the level of the central government. There is a proverb in Tamil meaning ‘ The village doctor’s wife died of maggot infestation(Urukku vaithiyan pendil puluthu sethaalaam)!

        It is not the duty of the Governor to determine the program of work of any PC. It is for the people to decide whether they are performing as required. This is the democratic norm.

        Dr.RN

        • 3
          2

          Dr Narendran.

          Do the 300,000 ex captives who were duped in to voting for the TNA know that this 13 A Plus is nothing but getting absolute power for the Vellalas from Wellalwatta and Kurunduwatta to control the poor Dalits in the North?.

          Ms Ananath couldn’t get a gig in the Vellala CM’s Cabinet.

          What programs can they put out to improve their living standards so that they also can live like their new mates in Wellala Gardens going forward..

          Praba’s one time deputy at least looks after the poor orphans and children of Tiger widows.

          What do the Vellalas do except try to bring the Widows to Mullative and even Maradana, hoping the naive Sinhala Buddhists will have a go at them and turn in to a program , so that Ms Pillai can come without a Visa to sort thing out.

          • 4
            2

            Mr.Sumanasekera,

            Why did MR dangle the APRC outcome and the 13th amendment + as a solution until 2010? He promised this to the world and the Tamils. Why did he renege? He constructed a 2/3rd majority to strengthen his sinecure, but did not have the moral timbre to resolve a festering national problem. A stitch in time could have saved nine. See where we are headed now, in terms of the UNHCR inquiry and international concerns. Things can only get worse with time, considering not only the minority issues, but poor and mis governance at the national level. I cannot imagine a man like you can condone this.

            Dr.RN

            • 2
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              Dr RN,

              “a man like you can condone this” – who is this man?
              Thanks

              • 2
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                Anpu,

                The ‘Person’ behind the name is apparently intelligent knowledgeable, well traveled, lives in Wellawatte among Tamils(Probably a Vellalah majority), walks on the beach road and knows his wines. One expects him to be unbiased, objective, fair and wise.

                Dr.RN

            • 3
              2

              Dr Narendran,

              Can any independent minded Srilankan , inhabitant or expat condone the TNA when they push the same LTTE agenda with even more vigour?.

              Did their bosom pal the UNP Ranil faction send anyone to the APRC?

              After the 30 year curse of Terrorism, all inhabitants thought that they will be able to live as equals , and develop the nation so that the long suffering rural and urban population can find employment, educate their children and at least their next generation can break out of the poverty cycle.

              Nothing of that sort is relevant or important to the TNA or their buddy the UNP Ranil Faction.

              It is all about having the TNA Police and the Titles to the Land in the North and even the East if we are to believe the press briefing of the new TNA leader.

              2/3 majority had a common thread which joinedg them together, That is liberate the country from Terrorism.

              Will they unite to give the TNA what they joined together to deny Prabakaran?.

              Current Economic Development, Super Infrastructure , reasonable Hospital Facilities, good Educational facilities right across the land, ample Job opportunities are not important to you guys as much as Ms Pillai and the wishes of the Diaspora.

              I didn’t even mention the peaceful environment in comparison to what we see in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Palestine and now even Pakistan.

              Japanese PM is visiting SL in two weeks ,for the first time in 24 years.

              And you think things are getting worse for the inhabitants because of UNHCR and the concern of Cameron and Harper.

              What do you think our inhabitants say to that?

              If the great majority of the population has a reasonable average income, like in more developed nations, people vote on Economic issues and National issues and not on Race, Caste or and Family names.

              Economically developed Srilanka will eliminate lot of Politicians and Political parties who are thriving on the latter categories….

              ,facilities,

              • 2
                0

                “If the great majority of the population has a reasonable average income, like in more developed nations, people vote on Economic issues and National issues and not on Race, Caste or and Family names.”

                Sumane,

                The vellala asked who this man was and unfortunately you are harping on abstracts and missing the chance to be upward mobile.

                Australia: $50 fine if you don’t vote.
                EU: Almost 50% don’t vote because its the same rotten bollocks.

                Stooping to race, caste, religion and family names is for scoundrels not civilized folk.
                1931 Ceylon (now as Sri Lanka)
                Universal suffrage for all irrespective of race, ethnicity, language, or gender.
                1948 both you stupid stole it in from the hand that feeds you. Wouldent the Deccan (where they belong) squeeze both you northerners and southerners bollocks- they will because its regional issue.
                “Pungi Bajao, Lungi/Sarema Bhagao” (blow the flute and drive the south/north away)Shiv Sena:) Secret Service: S Sumane (does not match)

                Today Chinese women hold the purse strings in the mainland and most divorce (40%)because their marrido was abstract.

                Take great care of the offer.

                Don’t look back by all means but don’t think just do.
                I teach that all men are mad.
                Just like the yanks say it. Deal with it.

                • 2
                  1

                  Javi,

                  You say “deal with it”..

                  They are, under .extremely difficult .conditions.

                  Probably working for the Green Card have toned them and made them wiser.

                  Hundreds of our Dalits are engaged every morning to keep the Wellala Gardens clean.

                  Few hundred more mainly young Dalit Girls are cleaning the shelves of the Arpico super market and helping at the check outs while the well fed Vellala supervisors are watching over in eery isle.

                  This is just in one patch of Colombo, the traditional home turf of Elite, Vellalas and the Anglicans.

                  The same scenario has been duplicated all over and also in many major towns in the South West and the East.

                  With Cargills Mega Shopping Mall in Jaffna even the Dalit girls in the North,now have got a chance to earn a few quid

                  And the Dalit boys who don’t have the privilege to receive Diaspora hand outs, are working hand in hand with the Dalits from the South, making the A9 and KKS Rail line even more comfortable for Vellala Vehicles and Yarl Devi Travellers.

                  Among the countries which you have mentioned , new Australian Dalits working as check out chicks don’t look any different to the Vellalas there for obvious reasons.

                  And that is what we ought to achieve in our Motherland too .so that one can’t pick a Dalit from a Vellala by their appearance.

                  It is the Economy stupid as someone once said, which can make it possible.

                  Not giving in to Vellala Sambnadan to have his own Vellala Police and the keys to the Northern Land Bank.

                  Is that what you mean by upwardly mobile? ,

                  • 0
                    0

                    K.A Sumanasekera ,

                    The bird needs no green card its fully British now with links to the American pie in the sky and an engineering degree from there too I suppose so.

                    `Is that what you mean by upwardly mobile? `

                    yes I never said vertical thinking.;)

                    `the traditional home turf of Elite, Vellalas and the Anglicans.`

                    not really but the wealth seekers like you but the icing on the cake comes from 7 of course like the Cargill’s (Vellala and the Anglicans on conviction) and others in the same area who are wise and content Highest Vellala (I shall not disclose their names, they are traditionally rich from cinnamon garden days)

                    About Dalits and giving them a chance by politically manuvering is not my cup of tea because.. Indira with 30% reserved tried it and I have seen blatant corruption which is not what we wanted by giving them a chance- plus their choice of selection once employed high up the ladder because of qualification (reserved seat) and their un-mindfulness.
                    Obama tried his Social Care but the opposition have got the better of him- most folk are employed on something similar to zero hours contract- hire and fire. i know of many who have worked for Obama and are simply working hard 6-7 days once again as if nothing happened as they have no free medical.
                    You are in that same revolution when our Mathini and her coalition embarked on it now you are in the phase of Mahawamse/Mao stage (UK/US assisted China to fight the Japanese and Stalin helped Mao kill 38 million Chinese so we have Taiwan- then Mao fed the people with 2 eggs per week for family of 8 while he convinced everybody that he needs 2 wives to be like the winter blossom which alone shines in the winter blitz- one old and the other young.;)
                    You need two birds to be cool.

                    • 1
                      1

                      Javi,

                      Good to see you wearing the “lateral thinking” hat.

                      Elite , Vellalas and the Anglicans were given a “positive Handicap” (Is that the correct word ) by Cameron ancestors,

                      And still being well looked after as they oblige to any of their wishes , It is sort of Symbiosis.

                      Can the Dalits catch up with them ?

                      It is near impossible with the 60 year hiatus. .

                      And If you add Praba’s ceontrbution it makes it fully impossible for the inhabitants who didn’t get the chance to become a Diaspora citizen.

                      Perhaps PM Rudra may have demolished those barriers in the Diaspora and they are all the same there at least on your Turf.

                      Sinhala Dalits on the other hand have made some progress in their Vertical mobility .

                      With a BSc Eng or a MD even Dalits are welcome to Vellala Families in the South.

                      But our Dalits who are smart and have the gift of the gab and a bit of descent schooling cann arrange their own and most of them do..

                      Now the process of this Vertical Mobility in the South as taken off really well after Nanthikadal.

                      if you got the time to compare the Economic indicators from 1950 to 2014 in 10 year blocks to make the more comprehendible . you will see a dramatic improvement especially in the last ten year period.

                      That is why the Sinhala Buddhist majority are reluctant to change Regime until the Opposition can show them tangilble evidence that they can do better, than bringing Ms Pillai over, giving ex CJ her Job back, and Vellala TNA the full rights to keep Doughie out.

                    • 0
                      0

                      K.A Sumanasekera ,

                      Spiders building their webs on plants’
                      Life did not take over the globe by combat, but by networking.
                      Taxa of some plants and insects the relationship has become dependent,
                      where the plant species can only be pollinated by one species of insect.

                      Hyperinflation Lankan where will you go then??
                      South African rand and Botswana pula
                      Due to hyperinflation in Zimbabwe in 2006 to 2008, the government of Zimbabwe has allowed circulation of foreign currency since September 2008 and local currency became obsolete since 12 April 2009. Both South African rand and Botswana pula circulate in Zimbabwe.

                      Meat ants protect leaf-hoppers.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbiosis#mediaviewer/File:Common_jassid_nymphs_and_ants02.jpg

              • 2
                2

                Mr. Sumanasekera,

                The LTTE is gone and only its shadow remains. The old TNA, which had many LTTE plants, is not what it was under a merciless VP’s writ. The Tamils in the north and east do not want the LTTE or anything like it back. Why flog a dead or dying horse? The TNA has defined its position clearly, time and again now. Do you have a death wish that the LTTE should be back to justify what this government is doing?

                Further, man does not live by ‘bread’ (meaning material things)alone. He has other aspirations once the need for basic ‘bread’ needs are met. He has to feel free to live as he wants and determine his future, within the ambit of reasonable laws. He does not like every Tom , Dick and Harry (in this instance MR, GR, BR, Douglas, Karuna et.al and their minions)to peep over his fence and tell him how he should pursue his personal and community related aspirations.

                The story of Jayakumari portrays the plight of the Tamils. Why has she not been prosecuted, if she has committed an offence as alleged? Do the interests of her 13 year old daughter count with this government? It is not law that is arbitrarily dispensed that counts, but justice. Justice must also be tempered by higher human values, for it to be just.

                Dr.RN

                • 1
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                  Dr Narendran,

                  Does Karuna and Doughie peep over the parapets in Wellala Gardens to watch how their Vellala mates are going and tell them what to do?.

                  BTW . Aren’t they Tamils too although not in the same caste as Sambandan and Sumanathiran..

                  You say “bread” alone is not enough.

                  Do the 300,000 plus ex captives have enough Bread ?

                  Ms T, the chief lobbyist for the TNA and the UNP Christian Faction said even as late as a few days ago that 70 % of the inhabitant population don’t have enough bread or money to buy it.

                  Do the ex captives now belong to that 30% with enough Bread. .

                  The Vellalas in Colombo didn’t go without bread even when the Dalits in the North were waiting for any left overs from the Govt Rations which were meant for them, but taken away by Prabakran to feed his fighters first.

                  Now they are on Rye Bread to control the sugar levels perhaps after indulging in too much Croissants after Nanthikadal.

                  Don’t they have “other aspiration” too?.

                  Is this TNA Police and the TNA Titles to Homeland real estate going to apply to them too to help .their “other aspirations”?.

                  Or are they happy to continue their lives in Wellala Gardens and “feel free to live as they want and determine their future”….

    • 5
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      Naren, So you guys want your full aspirations whatever that may be or nothing eh.

      • 4
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        Mechanic,

        Only what is intended in the 13th amendment to the constitution, in terms of its spirit and with goodwill and less malice!

        Dr.RN

        • 1
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          Naren, Even Yahweh hadn’t created the universe in a day. So, isn’t it practical to accept what is there and reach full 13A eventually.

          • 3
            1

            Mechanic,

            Why? What is already in the constitution should be given. It is already decades late. It is also peanuts compared to what the LTTE was demanding and fighting for. Is it hard for this government to even concede peanuts?

            Dr.RN

            • 1
              0

              Yes because there can never be a trust relationship with a gun – no police please.

              Yes because both are flawed and frauds (1948 universal suffrage aborted)like hyenas waiting for a thread of hope to keep gnawing the other.

              Better both go mad. and mechanic stop planting leeks because even birds have feelings.

    • 3
      5

      Tamils’ ultimate peace will only be achieved by creating Eelam and not living with the Sinhalese who failed to recognize the Tamils over 60 years..

      • 9
        0

        Shiva

        “Tamils’ ultimate peace will only be achieved by creating Eelam and not living with the Sinhalese who failed to recognize the Tamils over 60 years.. “

        Forget the Sinhalese, frankly can Tamils make peace with themselves?

  • 5
    4

    The Tamil Diaspora have a unique opportunity to invest in Sri Lanka – they can buy land all over the island, within reason and the needs of the government for national security and build enterprises that showcase the richness of Tamil culture. There are complaints that there has been militarization in the north but all reliable reports indicate that there is much less military presence than during the war. If there are less voices raised in support of Tamil Eelam there will be less justification for a military presence. Some military presence is inevitable, though, this soon after a protracted war that fomented in the north.

    The children in the Tiger-controlled north were denied the opportunity to study Sinhalese (and very little English). This can now change and Tamil children are free to learn as many languages as they can. The wealth of the north and of the whole island will grow if the next generation grows up to be multilingual in Tamil, Sinhalese, English, Sanskrit, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, Swahili, Indonesian, Malay, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German and Dutch, at least. Such multilingualism will breed harmony between the races and religions of Sri Lanka and help its citizens understand different national and historical perspectives of Sri Lanka and the wider world. It would make Sri Lanka the language hub of the world.

    But at the same time that some are urging the diaspora to invest in Sri Lanka there is an outspoken segment of the expatriate population who are siding with those who are trying to achieve a total boycott of Sri Lanka. These people need to be stopped or at least ignored.

    • 3
      4

      I should add to my list of languages for Jaffna University and Sri Lanka’s educational system other languages that were introduced to Sri Lanka before the arrival of the Portuguese – Arabic, Farsi, Thai, Cambodian (Khmer) and Burmese. Though the fruits of such multilingualism may take awhile the seeds can be planted now.

    • 6
      3

      If not already. Dr Alagaratnam faces excommunication soon from Rev Emmanuel or Bishop Raiappu…

      • 3
        2

        I do not know Rayappu Joseph or S J Emmanuel and have never supported their political or religious activities. You can’t be excommunicated if you’ve never communicated.

        • 1
          2

          Good on you mate……

      • 0
        0

        Sumane,

        Onna arre ,bounty hunter is saying I don’t know why?

        Kolla hai hui babbly. (happy go lucky)

    • 2
      5

      It would make Sri Lanka the language hub of the world.

      Wow, that is nice, I suppose this is after it becomes the knowledge hub of Asia?

      • 2
        3

        Yes, exactly. Sri Lanka is ideally located geographically to be the knowledge hub of Asia. The problem is lack of knowledge in the first place. And this is a global problem. Australia, where I live would also benefit from promotion of broad multilingualism, which is easy to achieve with the miracles of the Internet.

        A lack of interest in multilingualism by the Sinhalese masses does not mean it cannot be pursued enthusiastically by the government and private sector. Most Australians are not interested in learning any language other than English.

    • 6
      1

      Dr Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam

      “The wealth of the north and of the whole island will grow if the next generation grows up to be multilingual in Tamil, Sinhalese, English, Sanskrit, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, Swahili, Indonesian, Malay, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, French, German and Dutch, at least.”

      It is a great idea, however would you please let the Sinhala/Buddhist Aryan bigots know about the the benefits of being multilingual. Those bigots are bent on building a Sinhala/Buddhist ghetto and there is no way you are going first stop them and reverse the trend.

      The chosen race had chosen a path of destruction long before you and I were born.

      • 6
        2

        .
        NV,
        Almost all Sinhalese knows Tamil: Dosa, Vada, Idly.

        :-)

        • 8
          1

          aratai

          “Almost all Sinhalese knows Tamil: Dosa, Vada, Idly.”

          Those cafes which feed those Sinhala/Buddhists become the first target of their intermittent rage.

        • 1
          0

          And I know Thambili, Pissu, Mahathaya and Nona!

          • 0
            0

            Pulleeee Mahathaya in the seabed like Osama in La lal la eluvenathe (no request)

            Thambili outside the ispiritale (l’Hôpital)

        • 1
          2

          As far as I know dosa, Vada, idly are all South Indian.

          • 7
            0

            Jim softy

            Almost all Sinhala/Buddhist food preparation is based on Kerala/Tamilnadu recipes.

          • 3
            2

            Look up pittu, strain hoppers, hoppers, they are from Kerala as Native has stated.

            • 3
              3

              Dev

              Even recipe for Kevun and Kokkis said to have come from Kerala.

              • 2
                0

                Not really but Dutch Waffels.

            • 6
              1

              Dev

              Here is an article on this subject. This was published in 2008.
              Jimmy has no clue about his past nor his future.

              MD Raghavan has written extensively on this island and published few good books.

              Kerala – similarities and differences

              S. Pathiravitana

              At the Colombo Museum, long years ago, there was an ethnological section under the stewardship of Dr. M.D. Raghavan. He was an Indian from Kerala.

              Idyllic: Kerala backwaters
              As a cub reporter I used to call on him once in a way on my rounds to get what in the newspaper world is called a ‘story.’ Invariably our conversation drifted towards the cultural similarity between the two countries Kerala and Ceylon. Often he expressed surprise at the similarities like, for instance, in the word ‘pettagama.’

              This was the identical article and word used, he said, by the people in Kerala to refer to the family hold all, that contained clothes, jewellery and any other thing that was considered worthy of being put away. The pettagama, I have a feeling, was once an item that could be found in every home. But today it seems to have gone out of use mostly in our urbanised homes and its last rites too performed. Only the collector of odd bits of furniture could be looking for them now.

              As for our cuisine he had tasted, there was absolutely no difference, he said, between the puttu he ate back home and the pittu he ate in Colombo. And so too for the aappa, that morsel with what is called a ‘soft middle and a crisp lacy frill’; the same that he had for breakfast as appam back home.

              Indiappa is another favourite of the two countries, only, they call it idiappam. They also call it noolputtu in some parts of the country, the name sounding very much like a Sinhala name to describe what we call stringhoppers in English.

              They were also the things noted by Dr. Sarachchandra on his two visits to Kerala made at an interval of 35 years. His impressions were published in an article to the Divayina a decade or so ago; now re-published in a collection of his essays called Sara Sangrahaya.

              He mentions here that in the making of these foods the housewives used the same implements as ours; like the hiramane (coconut scraper) the kiri gotta (a strainer made out of rattan) to strain the coconut milk and the indiappa vangediya to press the dough into strings. By the way you may run across Sinhala proper names like Kuruppu and Kannangara in the Kerala media.

              Dr. Sarachchandra has also made a significant comment. He said, whatever may have been the relations between the peoples of these two countries in the past, one significant thing is that of all the states in India today the one that comes closest to our cultural habits is Kerala.

              The past relations between the two countries were, in any case, not too bad either. In our relentless struggles with the Chola kings, Chera, which was how Kerala was known then, often took our side.

              Historian Paranavitana inferring this says that in the epic feat of Gaja Bahu who brought back not only the 12,000 men taken from Lanka but also in addition as compensation 12,000 Indians too, happened to do this only with a little help given by the Chera King Cenkuttuvan.

              He honoured that act not only by attending the consecration of a temple in the Chera country to the goddess Pattini but also by setting up on his return the Pattini cult in Lanka.

              There may have been a lot of commerce from that time between Lanka and Kerala, for by the time of the Gampola period merchants who had come from a place called Vanci (Vanik) and settled in Lanka had got into the good books of our kings.

              Eventually one of them, Sena Lankadhikara, became a powerful minister in the government of Bhuvenaka Bahu III. Our history books also mention that the Alakeswaras who were ruling in the Rayigama country were also of Malayalee descent.

              At the ground level, too, there seems to have been a good understanding between the traders from Kerala who visited the island and the people who had dealings with them. There is a story told by H.C.P. Bell in his Kegalle Report about how some traders from Malaya deshaya, as Kerala was known then, found lodgings in the home of a swordsman on one of their visits.

              Swordsmanship was a sport of our kings who staged these fights as a royal entertainment. Just before this swordsman left home for a contest where he lost his life, he had told his wife who was pregnant that in case he dies the child that is born, whether girl or boy, should be trained in swordsmanship.

              Malaya desaya was well known for its harambakarayo (swordsmen) and the traders offered to take the child that happened to be a girl, for training. The offer was accepted. When the girl returned after training she went in the disguise of a male before the king and offered to fight any swordsman of his choice.

              The story ends with the girl killing her opponent. The king greatly impressed by this performance was even more impressed when she revealed herself as a female and promptly appointed her the Dissawe of her province, the first of her kind in the island.

              Dr Raghavan is reported as having recounted to the Director of the Colombo Museum, P.E.P Deraniyagala, who was writing a research paper on Some Sinhala Combative, Field and Aquatic Sports and Games, that at one time Kerala had imported master swordsmen from Lanka.

              He also told him that a Kerala ballad had a variant version of the story about the female sword fighter. In the Kerala ballad the child who was trained happened to be a boy, not a girl, and the mission entrusted to the boy was to avenge his father’s death that happened through treachery.

              Similarities apart, Dr Sarachchandra also saw differences. Although both countries were subjected to long periods of westernisation it is we who have been swept off our feet but not Kerala, says Sarachchandra. It reminds me of what Mahatma Gandhi remarked once.

              Open all your windows, he said, and let the winds blow in from all four quarters, but don’t get blown away by the wind. Dr Sarachchandra admires the resilience of the Keralites in the face of the waves of westernisation that overran their country, but not the pusillanimity of the English educated Sinhala middle class that went down tamely without a shot being fired.

              If there was any shooting done it was done by the British who eliminated the Kandyan peasantry in the Uva with a genetic cleansing unheard of in our history.

              What he admired in the Keralites is their living up to another Gandhian precept – simple living and high thinking. He had been invited to Kerala to receive an award in memory of their poet. Kumaran Ashan.. He gained much more than the award, he said, by witnessing how that Gandhian principle of simple living and high thinking was in operation.

              Among the invitees to this award ceremony were the Speaker of the Kerala legislature, the Chief Minister and numerous MPs and ministers. Their humility, their love for their language and literature they displayed were clearly evident to him. “I who was watching them,” said Sarachchandra, “felt that they were setting a fine and proud example.

              A minister by the name of Sivanesan discoursed in Malayalam for nearly an hour on the poetical skill of Kumaran Ashan. One of the university professors attending the award ceremony told me that he had never listened before to a more meaningful discourse as he heard today.”

              At times a person, casually dressed in a verti and shirt, was introduced to the visitor from Lanka as a member of the Rajya Sabha. Another. similarly attired, was introduced as a university professor and yet another was introduced as a Maha Kavi (a poet of honour).

              When a verti and shirt clad individual was introduced to Sarachchandra as a Professor of English what came into his mind was the scenario back home in his country.

              There, he said, the Professors of English talk most of the time in English and speak disparagingly of Sinhala and its literature. Between his first and last visits to Kerala he saw no change, he said, in this simple living and high thinking style in Kerala.

              This lack of simple living and high thinking affects our country in a most peculiar way.

              Recently Malinda Seneviratne writing to the Daily Mirror discussed the role of the two categories of thinkers that have been created in this country by academics and journalists; one category being described as ‘native intellectuals’ (Gunadasa Amarasekara and Nalin de Silva).

              The other, presumably, remains a class of ‘non-native intellectuals’ which, of course, is not the name they have chosen for themselves, but is implied when they call the others ‘native intellectuals.’

              The long and short of this division has been to create an impression on the people of this country that we must welcome all things foreign and despise all things native, including dress and language. This is something that Sarachchandra did not see in Kerala and bemoaned our foolishness.

              http://archives.dailynews.lk/2008/02/26/fea03.asp

              • 2
                1

                Thank you, very informative.

              • 1
                0

                “Recently Malinda Seneviratne writing to the Daily Mirror discussed the role of the two categories of thinkers that have been created in this country by academics and journalists;”

                Linda the `fashionable non conformist`- coward!

          • 2
            0

            Jimbo,

            Menticide, facticide,

            Porriki passans, greatest happiness from fermento to bacteriocide and finally to genital-o-cide.

      • 1
        3

        Dear Native,

        How come you are getting cranky since late.

        Alage seems to be an OK bloke He is only trying to drill some sense in to you lot.

        Did you watch the Veddas from Dambana playing backup for our ageing Christian Pop Idol Perera, belting out his latest Aboriginal song to the Colombo Elite , Vellalas and the Anglicans in Colombo..

        And it is going viral on the Net.

        Not bad for a bloke from our Sinhala Buddhist Ghetto.. Right.

        By the way what do you reckon how your new leader Senathiraja will go ?.

        He seems cocksure that Modi is going to get him the TNA Police and the Land Bank even to Assath’s Turf.

        How cool is that?. And the Duals for your mates also on the cards according to his first Interview after being promoted.

        May be he has a plan to fast track the Dalit living standards too , to bring them to be on on par with their cousins in Vellala Gardens..

        Money shouldn’t be a problem with all those funds in the Diaspora coffers.

        How ever Canadian Dollars don’t get a good conversion rate at the Prassana money changers in Wellala Gardens.

  • 1
    4

    dear mr sivathasan,

    i thought i will share the folowing with you:

    Senility

    slowly slowly it slips in
    thoughts once sent to the bin
    seem now more and more
    like pearls from some
    distant esoteric shore
    with access granted only to
    me, me and only me

    • 4
      2

      RVW

      I think I must share a Tamil poem from Sangam literature with you.

      “Art is long, life is short and chores are many. In one’s study be as selective as a swan which savours of the milk, casting aside water”.

      The moral is, without retaining the muck, benefit by the best.

      • 3
        0

        The above saying was said more eloquently by Hippocrates “time is short ,art is long judgement is difficult. But this is is the first time I have heard this from sangam literature.

        However second half of the saying that the swan being able to selectively drink milk from the mixture of milk and water is well known.

        • 0
          0

          Mr Sivathasan

          “one’s study be as selective as a swan which savours of the milk, casting aside water”. The moral is, without retaining the muck, benefit by the best”

          This is possibly a quoatation from Naladiyaar I heard from my teachers many moons ago
          Kalvi karaiyila katpavar naal sila
          mella ninaikit pinni pala-thellithin
          aaranthavaimudan katpave neer oliyap
          paalun kurukit teninthu.
          from naladiyaar 135
          ken robert

      • 1
        0

        The Moral:
        Youth has no age.
        Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.
        – Pablo Picasso(It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.-PP)

    • 3
      0

      RWV (RIP)

      What is your point? Are you finding it difficult to comprehend or do you disagree with what is being written?
      Senility should not be equated with dementia which could potentially happen in sixth decade of life. In fact language skills tend flourish with old age.

      I sincerely hope you have woken from your deep slumber.

      • 4
        1

        ken robert

        You have done well in giving shock treatment to RVW who is no more than sloth embodied. This one has had the brass to foray into unfamiliar territory.

  • 4
    5

    This article is quite misleading. The Northern PC gets the highest financial allocation to develop projects. According to the NPC opp leader, the TNA is not making use of it.

    The TNA clocks in and clocks out at 5.pm sharp without doing any work. Although they go on many overseas junkets at tax payer expense.

    The Asian development back has allocated funds for a water project. The NPC is blocking it because it will become detrimental in case a “Crimea” like situation develop there where water can be cut off. I just don’t know who gave that idea.

  • 2
    2

    lmao , Tamil diaspora will never invest in anything other than mines and missiles , They have no intent other than to use the poor tamils living in the north as cannon fodder . This is why particularly the northern province needs to be made multi racial .

    Cheers

    Abhaya

    • 1
      3

      And Rajapakshes would never invest anything other than Roads.. it is all becuase of commissions in the name of so called development projects. If Tamil or Sinhala diasphora dont invest – it is the govt that to work on that making them clear about the need of investments to the country. How can this week, ballige puthas of your kind only lick the asses of Rajapakshes but not concentrating as to why the Rajapakshes go on strengthening their pockets totally neglecting peo0ples grievances.

      • 2
        2

        ballige puthas of your kind , only sit around like pingutharayas asking for free money .

        Cheers

        Abhaya

  • 3
    1

    Authors lack of articulation why the expatriate tamils will not invest in the current Rajapakse regime had been avoided for a reason. Instead numerical numbers are thrown to show author is well versatile reading, Forbes, Wall street Journal and other number crunching machines. Growth, developments are not the icons of national conciliation. Language, culture and food (self governance) are the key and hallmark of any long lasting developments and growth in any community world wide. Author zig-zags not making the point of the lack of investment by the so called expatriate:
    1) security (just look at an investment made by UK man for more than 200 million dollars a hotel deal taken by Rajapakse man 2) must give 20% upfront to basil to do any business 3) Current laws of SL that governed by Rajapakse that has no recourse for getting the money back once invested and many more specially when you are tamil. Author trying to show that he is from wharton school of business. Here is the breaking news: he is not.

  • 1
    3

    the title of this article should have been PEOPLE WITH HISTORY IN INDIA.

    Because, you talk about Indian history and then come to Sri lanka to talk present.

  • 3
    0

    Forget tamil diaspora investing as long as MR has put a hold on Dual-
    citizenship granted under the 1948 Citizen Act, ad-hoc, since he was
    driven away from UK in Jany. 2011 following the Oxford debacle.

  • 1
    2

    Forget the Tamil diaspora thieves , I cant even get mine back :(

  • 2
    2

    For tamils, only the North is eelam. Tamils history is Chola kingdom and sangam literature. None of those is from Sinhale.

    What a greedy and shameless bunch.

    I can why in India they did not want to talk in Hindi. Yet, they talk English and tamil mixed dialect.

  • 3
    1

    Mr.Sivathasan

    You have given the real story based on the actual ground reality situation. A very analytical and distinguishable part by part report indeed. Under the paragraph dealing negative features for Foreign or Diaspora investment to the North, may I add what Martin Luther King Jr said once “there is neither negative peace nor positive peace but imposed peace bereft of genuine opportunities for peace, is likely to be of little lasting value”.
    Thank you
    Rajeswaran

    • 2
      0

      P.Rajeswaran

      Thank you for a very pertinent quote,

  • 1
    0

    Thinking about the potential of the NE is both exciting and depressing at the same time. It is exciting because the opportunities are truly limitless. Every prospect beckons indeed. As they say, “you can’t keep a good dog down”; I’m certain that the NE cannot be kept hidden from the world mired in poverty and neglect forever. What’s depressing is the sheer wastage of opportunity that is taking place. Every year that goes by is a year wasted in the NE.
     
    The comparison to Singapore is an important one. Even Sinhalese (including MR) want to compare the Sinhalese south to Singapore. Let’s stop and think about the identity of Singapore. Singapore had no natural resources other than a great natural harbor in one of the most strategically important places on earth. Singaporeans are filthy rich because they have shrewdly exploited their location to become a logistics hub and an energy hub. However, the Singaporeans didn’t do all of this alone. Singapore also hosts a key American military base that is one of the most valuable US military assets in Asia. Even Diego Garcia relies on Singapore for supplies and logistics. Make no mistake; Singapore is pro-American, pro-Anglo, and pro-Capitalist. Their currency is the Singapore DOLLAR not the Singapore Yuan or the Singapore rupee. It’s also important to note that the US is very much pro-Singapore. Singapore and Japan (and I think South Korea) are the only Asian countries whose citizens get a visa on arrival in the US.
     
    So the next time we hear a Sri Lankan politician talk about becoming the next Singapore, we should ask them to repair Sri Lankas relationship with the US first!

  • 3
    1

    It is not surprising that more Sinhala chauvinists are now commenting on Sivathasan’s article than before. They all must have read the political column in last Sunday Times and have begun to get the jitters!

    Sengodan. M

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