30 October, 2020

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Northern Province Nominations Set And The Democracy

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

The TNA List (Officially the Federal Party List) – A Break

The Northern PC nominations have been finalized by the major parties. The TNA has already filed papers.

The TNA Jaffna District list consists of a) Federal Party – C.V. Wigneswaran, C.V.K. Sivagnanam, S. Suhirthan, A. Ananthi, S. Paranchothi, S. Sivayoham, R. Arnold and for the breakaway Vinayagamoorthy-wing of the Tamil Congress  in the TNA S. Sayanthan; b) TELO – M. Sivajilingam, V. Kanaharatnam, S. Kugathas; c) PLOTE – Tharmalingam Sitharthan, B. Kajatheepan d) TULF – Thambipillai Thambirasa, Kanthapoo Tharmalingam e) EPRLF – S. Sarveswaran, S. Ainkaranesan, R. Jeyasekaram, N.V. Suppiramaniam.

What is great for the TNA is its break from the past with only 3 Vellalas and very qualified low-castes on the list. The swing towards minorities had been so strong that the TNA was searching for Vellala candidates. Retired Management Dean M. Nadarajasundaram was approached but he declined.  Also positively there are three women, Vaddukoddai’s Ananthi (the wife of the LTTE’s the late Elilan) and a teacher each from Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi.  One of the latter is a Vice Principal and a Christian, probably Roman Catholic.

LTTE Ghosts

However, after the electoral rout of staunch LTTE backing MPs Gajendrakumar Ponnabalam, S. Gajendran and Padmini Sithambaranathan in 2010, the candidature of Ananthi is risky and unwise. She was brought in on the insistence of Kilinochchi-based MP Sivagnanam Sritharan. Her candidature questions the TNA’s claimed break with its LTTE past. She may win because of sympathy over how her husband was killed and his regional Trincomalee support which may then be wrongly construed as a vote for the LTTE. I hope Mr. R. Samapanthan and Justice Wigneswaran are alive to this issue.

In the old electorate days a party could pick a safe seat and place a woman or minority candidate there as a sure winner. Now with preferences there is no such assurance. For example in the local government elections where all preference votes could go to one candidate, educated communities were able to plan and get one of their own elected. Minorities and even women are rarely so well-organized.

The TNA has led by example on the representation of minorities. Given the new system it cannot do more. It is probably counter-productive for it to now at this stage ask for a particular person to be elected. So it is up to the people now.

Plans to include a Muslim on the Jaffna list seem to have gone awry as a result of lack of space because of many with strong claims staking their rights. As a result a Muslim Candidate will appear on the Mannar District TNA List.

The Islands and TNA Complacency

Unrepresented are the islands off Jaffna where Devananda’s armed men have previously murdered and chopped off the arm of TNA men going there to campaign and the courts have pliantly given bail to the assailants letting them go to London and live there in comfort. I hope that the TNA has not given up on the islands. If so that would be good news for Devananda.

Another danger for the TNA is its complacency partly seen in the neglect of the islands where they should make an issue of the rule by EPDP thugs, force a police escort and campaign vigorously in the presence of monitors despite all the dangers that would attend such a course. That is the leadership people expect. Instead the ground level complaint is that

“They came for the weekend, looked at their houses for repairs and returned to Colombo after filing papers. Only Mavai Senathirajah is expected to come back. They need to come, talk to the people and work for a victory instead of banking on a sure win while leading comfortable lives in Colombo. A victory is sure but it will not be as impressive a rout of the UPFA as it ought to be.”

The UPFA

The UPFA list seems to have been divided with 10 for Douglas Devananda’s EPDP supporters and 9 for Angajan Ramanthan’s SLFP supporters among whom he has been asked to include 2 from Sri TELO. This is a clear win within the UPFA for Devananda.

The Devananda list has been announced as follows: Former MPs Sinnathurai Thavaraja and K. Kamal, Jaffna Organizer I. Srirangeswaran, Vadamaratchi Organizer S. Balakrishnan, A. Soosaimuthu, former Director of Education Sundaram Divakalala, A. Augustine, Siharam journalist K. Rushankan, and the Plamyra Development Board’s S. Ganeshan.

Sundaram Divakalala is a prize catch in a party of marginal people but Divakalala has undermined himself, it is said, by sending feelers first to see if he can be on the Federal Party list. He has a teacher-training program and want jobs for his trainees or his and his program’s credibility will be gone.

Sri Lankan Democracy

In the meantime the JVP’s Sunil Handunnetti accused the intelligence services of grilling its Northern PC candidates on why they are contesting. It is good for a change to have Sinhalese joining Tamils in their routine accusations which go ignored. For example after TNA candidates Sayanthan and LTTE Elilan’s wife Ananthi Sashitharan had filed their nominations, the army had gone to their homes to grill them. The English language media seems to have ignored the episode.

That is Sri Lankan democracy.

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    I wonder when Ratnajeevan will rid of his paranoia about caste?

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      This is a good article..
      The TNA has always behaved like ABSENTEE LAND LORDS – and focused on politiking and constitutional tinkering in Colombo, rather than living and working with the people they claim to represent and working for SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE PEOPLE.
      After the war, TNA should have set up an organization/think tank for northern development – to identify people’s development PRIORITIES and a post-war development plan focused on HOMES AND LIVELIHOOD reconstruction and recovery, aid coordination, project monitoring and evaluation.
      Vgneswaran still would need to build a competent development administrative structure to help the PEOPLE (humanitarian needs first!) of the north, and make this a priority after winning the election -rather than focusing on constitutional tinkering which is all the TNA seems to do..

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      Exactly I was thinking the same, very displeasing dividingwith nonsense caste factor like vellala and non-vellala.

      Sir, Please stop.

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        Caste does not bother me. We all are equal. This Prof should write about his family background. Why did they become Christians? I am not against any religion.

      • 0
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        Caste doesn’t bother the people who are on top;
        Hoole is doing a very good thing in bringing out the ugly discrimination which is the basis of Hindu society. There used to be strident, honest articles by Sabastian Rasalingam explaining how this cancer was the basis whereby our people were ruled by the absantee landlords living in Colombo. I haven’t seen anything from him recently.

        Ponanambalam Ramanathan wanted to install caste as a part of the constitution and lobbied the British for it in the 1030s until he died. The Vaddukkoddai resolution under the TULF has wanted to install race as a part of the constitution and was ready to fight a war, where 7% of the people were irresponsible cast into harms war against a huge 70% Sinhalese nation by the Rudrakumarans, Pauls, Chelvanayagams Naganathans and other Karuvakaddu lawyers.
        Those same idiot Karuvakaddu lawyers are now again running the TNA, and their actions can jeopardize the inter-ethnic harmony that exists in Colombo and other areas in the south where Tamils live happily. The babalapitiya Hindu temple and the Wellawatte temple have thrived very well and our culture and language are very safe here.
        I for one am NOT INTERESTED in the “exclusive homelands” doctrine and believe that our homeland is everywhere in Sri Lanka. The same goes for the Sinhalese and the Muslims. The TNA has to issue a manifesto and EXPLICTLY DISTANCE ITSELF for such apartheid-like policies that S. J. V. Chelvanayagam picked up in 1949 and 1950s when the South Afrikans were developing the “living-apart”(apartheid) concept.

        This time the Periah Dorai class has nominated some of the underlings to run for provincial elections. That is a good sign. However, I think the Wigneswaran-Sampathan types think that their clout is strong enough to keep these underlings in tow even if they are elected. They should be proved wrong. Just as the haughty Ponnambalams had to come down to worship the feet of the Ambattars and others, Tamilchelvans and Velvettithuai types like Prabhakaran, the Wigneswarans and Sumanthirans have to be brought down to respect their so called “underlings” from the “lower castes”. I salute Hoole for bringing out the caste issue.

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        It’s funny, Tamils want to say, ‘Oh the Sinahlese have been oppressing us for generations, we need a chance to be independent.’ But when it comes to low-caste people looking for equality, suddenly eveyone wants to say, ‘there’s no problem here!’

        Why don’t you guys actually go to Jaffna or Kilinochchi or something where people who have had no money for a thousand years b/c upper caste people have taken it all. They need a hand getting up as well. It’s good the Prof Hoole is atleast noticing the things Lankan Tamils have long thought beneath them. Also good that low-caste people are finally getting a chance to lead us.

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      Mr.Hoole is obsessed with caste and “his” religion. In each and every article he boasts about his “high caste”,relationship to SJV,Dharmalingam,etc…etc.
      Never before in Srilankan Tamil history has a single person boasted so much about his clan.

  • 0
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    What is now needed is a manifesto. A manifesto outlining what is going to be achieved and how its going to be achieved by the end of term.

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    Hopefully the NPC election will be held on schedule and the TNA will be elected. Once settled down I think they must seriously consider contesting in all areas of Sri Lanka with the aim of becoming a national party, even if initially there will be setbacks. There is a tremendous yearning in the south for principled politics. Currently in the south corruption and racism dominate, and the appeal of decent, right thinking people is not heard by the Rajapaksas.

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    ‘LTTE Elilan’s wife Ananthi Sashitharan had filed their nominations, the army had gone to their homes to grill them.’

    Thank you SL army for doing your job. Anyone who was connected to the LTTE, one of the ruthless terrorist organizations in the world should be asked the reason she/he wants to contest in an election, especially when such an election is being held in in one of the areas the terrorist fought to gain 100% control of and make it a separate land.

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    How can you tell who on the list is what caste? Do the names have clue?

    • 0
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      No, this hoole need [Edited out].

    • 0
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      No, names don’t reveal caste.
      But if you are a Tamil, and if you know the society, then
      you can easily find out. This si possible even in expat communities.
      Go to Scarborough in Toronto where the vast majority of Tamil immigrants live. I am told that there are a huge number of Hindu temples (Kovils), and you would ask, why waste so much money when one or two big temples might suffice. The whole point is, EVEN IN A FOREIGN land where equality is guaranteed by law, Hindu practice ensures that people of distinct castes go to distinct Kovils; the lower castes cannot enter the Kovils of the upper castes; they cannot even draw water from the wells (owned by the upper caste people). if you are a very low caste person a shop keeper may not let you in to even buy groceries, except by the backdoor, or in the night, as other customers should not know that such people are allowed in. During the hay-days of the Federal Party, they covertly ensured that only upper caste children could go to “good schools”.

      Even in Toronto, a little observation, even by an outside anthropologist would be enough to determine the level of caste practice extent among Canadian Tamils.
      In Jaffna, Hoole does not need to do all that. His family comes from a very high caste who certainly practiced caste discrimination, and every high caste Tamil must know to recognize the lower castes so that they can discriminate against them. Even the christian churches in Jaffna ensures that the upper echelons of the church hierarchy are from the high castes.
      The lower the caste of a person, the more polluting even his presence is deemed to be. So, until societal homogenization occurs, most Tamils would know who is who.

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        I don’t believe the multiple temples in Toronto/London are caste based. Several of them sprung up due to personality clashes. DO you actually have evidence (even anecdotal) that particular temples are for particular castes? List them, I will go and check one by one.

        (But I do know that caste is still an issue among Tamils, I salute Hoole for raising it at every opportunity he gets. We as a society have to face it and eradicate it; Problems don’t go away just by pretending they don’t exist).

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          Sorry I live in Dehwelai-MtLavinia area and not Toronto. This is what I
          heard from various people, and read from an article by a Sathi Sachithanadan a couple of years ago.

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      Sandy: I
      wondring the same thing: How does Hoole know the caste-membership of every candidate?It is possible to guess the casteof some among the Sinhalses from their names, but this not the case in Jaffna.
      Mr.Hoole is able to decipher castefrom his postion in American University. A real mystery…

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    I am seeing an undercurrent of intra-party tension within the TNA. Not the best environment for upholding the rights of the Tamil peoples…. sad.

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      Arjuna go to tamil ealam, and you will know how tamils are waiting to teach good lesson for this terrorist Sinhala budhist govt. Tamils are clear, TNA will win massively if its free and fair. Dont believe this nutty hooles and so called diaspora tamil idiots…

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    Vicious, coming from a person who prides himself in being a Christian. A clear case of cutting one’s nose to spite the face.This is the 21st.century. Bensen

    • 0
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      Bensen Burner
      We are glad that you figured out this 21st century, you idiot!

  • 0
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    The professor is implying that only the educated low caste are on par with the Vellalas.

    The ex Captives’ kids were denied three decades of education and schooling.

    That is nearly a whole generation of uneducated inhabitants in the North.

    They would have to wait a long time to get a at least a few of their children into the TNA Class.which is going to rule them soon.

    Without an education, they wouldn’t even get into the TNA Police or the Land Bank.

    Hope the ex captive mums and dads are made to understand this before they tick the TNA box on the ballot paper.

  • 0
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    I cant believe that Prof Hoole-the son and grandson of Anglican priests-is still talking caste! He should be ashamed of himself.

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      Prof. Hoole is [Edited out]

      He often uses caste and religion as a tactics in his writings with the view of dividing people.
      The religion and caste are sensitive issues and you can manipulate easily. For example, it is only a few educated Sinhalese who used uneducated Sinhala masses and using Buddhism to create the havoc in this nation for the past six decades. We didn’t have such cruelty six decades before in the name of religion.

      Caste was a major problem among Tamils compared to Sinhala in the past but thank to the LTTE who made to understand the injustice caste system.

      Tamils who lived in the North East is fully aware the threat faced by the Sinhala states. We all know and experienced how our follow civilians were massacred in the day light. We were made to suffer under constant bombardment, shelling and blocking the food and medicine. How many of our brothers and sisters are taken away from us and never return. Sinhala state or military never look at the caste or religion when they massacred our relatives. Even after end of war we are not free to move our lands are forcefully occupied and there is no law and order. Corruption is widespread and there is no Tamil policeman in our areas.

      We need law and order. We need our lands. We need our police. We need freedom to speech, freedom of movement, freedom of justice, freedom from corruption. We need unity.

      Dear Prof. Hoole please keep away from dividing us!

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        The LTTE did NOT wipe out caste system. It used the caste system. It was the age-old tradition of bowing to authority instilled by the caste maanittattanman attitude மானிடத்தன்மன்that produced by the caste Dharma that enabled Prabhakaran to become a supreme Thalivar. The first set of people lynched by the LTTE as “government spies” were low caste Tamils who were hung on lamp posts. Those low-caste tamils had good reason to be against their upper-caste masters and so they could be used by the army easily as informants. Once the LTTE usurped power by killing the Amithalingams and canagaratnams etc., all the people with means moved to the south or went abroad. The left-over poor were mostly the low caste people with little influence or money to buy themselves out, and I know how those people became the cannon fodder for LTTE battles and had to face state terror as well as LTTE horror.

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          You are wrong. LTTE never used caste system. There is no relationship between caste and the lamp post killings of government spies. You are contradict yourself by saying that lower cast people were used by government as spies. LTTE leader is not from the so called upper-caste. It is the leftist party (communist party) that used the caste system to get the votes from the so called lower caste people. In fact most of the leftist party leaders are from upper-caste people.

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            I am not wrong. Read 13/07/1984 Daily Mirror and related news items in the local newspapers with headlines like “Killing of low-caste Tamils continue””Cangaroo court executes thrre harijan youth” etc right into November 1984.

  • 0
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    At last the regime has made up its mind. The Elections to all 3 PC’s –
    according to the EC – is due on September 21, 2013. It’s intriguing why
    there was so much of cloak and dagger here.

    Senguttuvan

  • 0
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    Another wonderful article by Prof. Hoole. If one reads his articles,it will be obvious that the prof isn’t dividing based on caste but is pointing out that our outdated beliefs of caste is what’s holding us back from progressing. Well done, Professor!

  • 0
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    Endia plans to DIVIDE Tamil Nadu into 3 parts – Tamil Nadu, Kongu Nadu and Tondai Nadu

    EXCELLENT!! Divide them and rule them.

    LTTE Seeman and Ramadoss have already praised the idea. A divided Tamil Nadu will be weak and we can manage it better.

    Endia has realized the DANGER power devolution to LARGE units. Yesterday Endia created Telagana out of Andra Pradesh breaking the big state into 2 smaller states.

    Endia plans to create 22 NEW small states to DIVIVE AND RULE.

    So Endia IS BREAKING UP and they are doing something about it.

    SL should divide northern province into 3 parts – Jaffna, Vanni -west and Vanni – east.

  • 0
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    Jeevan, so there is no candidates from your sakiliar caste who are converted to Protestant to get perks from Suddha?

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