30 September, 2020

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“Paradigm Shift Needed In Tamil Thinking”

By Vishwamithra1984 –

The time is long overdue to stop looking for progress through racial or ethnic leaders. Such leaders have too many incentives to promote polarizing attitudes and actions that are counterproductive for minorities and disastrous for the country.” ~Thomas Sowell

Velupullai Prabhakaran had a dream until it turned out to be a terrible nightmare that kept on haunting the forlorn hearts and minds of the people in the North in particular and the majority Sinhalese in the South for nearly thirty punishing years. After many thousands of young men and women have perished, some as fighting soldiers on the battlefields in the North and East and others, innocent civilians, as victims of suicide bombings and indiscriminate slaughter, the dust doesn’t seem to have settled. The two communities, Sinhalese and Tamils, are as divided as ever, more so politically, than in the ordinary spheres of culture and economy. The distrust and lack of empathy for each other in both communities are growing invisibly. The rhetorical utterances, especially those made by Sinhalese Government politicians, are most closely backed by their allies in the clergy but these utterances have become empty words, with more noise than voice; nothing more, nothing less.

Mahinda KapilawastuThis play-acting by both communities is mainly for the consumption of the foreign media and overseas leaders. While portraying themselves to the global marketplace as fair-minded and compassionate, the governing circles, particularly those who are closely identified with the First Family as well as the TNA leadership, are posing to the indigenous audience as diehard nationalists whose only purpose of political existence is the safeguarding and the well-being of their respective communities. Enmeshed in a indirect and intricate socio-political maneuver of nationalistic propaganda, both communities and their respective leaders have been betrothed in a mad rush to drive their peoples to extremes; that extreme seems to be receding further and further into irreconcilable postures adopted by both parties with each successive event or sub-event that is overtaking the speedy flow of politics and legislative process.

The one stark characteristic that divides the two communities and which is really articulated on political platforms, at least in the way each one is perceived by the other, is that they perceive the other in the context of an opposing contender: the victor and the vanquished, winner and loser, majority and minority, Northerner and Southerner, the Army and the terrorist, or to put in plain and simple terms, Sinhalese and Tamils. The centuries-old story of ethnic division and invasion and fighting back and re-conquering the land have driven the people in these two geographical locations to some unspeakable crimes committed in the name of their respective communities; it has woven such a grandiose fabric whose cords, lines and curves depict a tale of utterly lamentable sub-tales of woes and enmities, of jealousies and hatred, of measures and counter-measures, of ‘the land, the race and the faith’ and traditional homeland. Whichever the definition or tagline each argument is associated with, the ultimate goal of reconciliation and meeting of the minds seem to disappear into the inaccessible corners of human interest.

Political leaders of both communities, Sinhalese and Tamils, due to their own parochial motivations, keep pushing the proverbial envelop relentlessly. Prabhakaran from the North embarked on a brutal terror campaign, ostensibly for the creation of a Tamil Ealam, a separate State for Tamils, encompassing an area of nearly two thirds of the country’s coastal areas stretching from Mannar to the southern tip of Arugam Bay, bordering the Kumana birds’ sanctuary. The thirty-year war that resulted as a product of this demand claimed more innocent lives on both sides than those in uniform on the battlefront. Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka in his ‘Long War, Cold Peace‘ book, says thus: “Most wars generate in their aftermath a process of reflection”; especially a war between two communities living in the same land, availing themselves of the same major infrastructure, land and water and due to significant historical factors, with the mindsets that have been nurtured and nourished overtly as well as covertly, yet constantly supervised and monitored by agenda-driven politicians and their devoted lackeys, the ‘reflection process’ that Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka is referring to does not seem to have materialized. If it has, then it is only an extension of the bitterness that has been pulling these two communities apart for centuries. However, the one striking difference between the forces that engendered the setting apart of the two communities was significant in that while the Tamil minority in the North and the East was merely driven by ethnic and language considerations, the Sinhalese were most irrationally and single-mindedly pushed by a unique kind of Buddhism- ‘Sinhalese Buddhism‘.

The ‘Aryan’ shade that ‘sheltered’ our ancient ancestors lent uniqueness as well as an elitist flavor to the invading gang of seven hundred men led by Prince Vijaya, thrown out of their country for being too averse to law and order in Kalinga, now Orissa of India. Although this shade of Aryan-ness was added as recently as the end of the Nineteenth Century or beginning of the Twentieth Century, no religious or political leader would dare contest the validity of this Aryan character that has been ascribed to the Sinhalese. And when this Aryan-ness is coupled with the purity of Theravada Buddhism, the Sinhalese ethnic family assumes almost an impenetrable holiness that is usually reserved for the sublime and great. But the tale gets revoltingly muddy when greed and lust of modern-day pursuits invade life.

From the perspective of the Sinhalese, especially after the dawn of the Twentieth Century, any reconciliation, leave alone recognition of their Tamil brethren as equal and co-partners of the same large family of Ceylonese, vanished at the onset of the notorious Tamil demand for Fifty-Fifty- equal representation in the legislature between the majority Sinhalese and the rest of the minority-communities, Tamils, Muslims and Burghers. The sharp divide that occurred, or more aptly stated, created, by the social and political leaders of the time is continuing to date. With the introduction and enactment of the Swabhasha Policy by S W R D Bandaranaike in 1956 and the forces that this policy unleashed thereafter took care of shaping and defining the national character and its substantive core.

The social degeneration that most of our pundits lament about and the negative and destructive impact the cumulative effects of these changes entailed, gave birth to a nasty and superfluously invincible and impenetrable psyche. The terror war that was embarked upon by the militant Tamil youth in the early Nineteen Eighties with the sole objective of creating a separate State of Ealam only buttressed the divisions and separateness between the two communities. Bodu Bala Sena and other religious Balakayes whose members are openly defying the law of the land and marauding the streets, invading non-Buddhist places of worship and portraying themselves openly as a law unto themselves, all in the name of safeguarding and protecting the Dharma of the Enlightened One, are not a new phenomenon, but an advanced manifestation of the old-school Sinhalese-Buddhist activist in the genre of Metthananda, Rajaratne and Jayasuriya, led by Venerable Baddegama Wimalawansa Thero, and the likes decades ago. Actors have changed but the act is the same and intensity looks more acute because of the very alacrity with which these acts and melodramas are brought to the notice of the public via television and Radio.

The gullible laymen and women are waiting to follow these modern-day messiahs; they are even more obsessed and motivated by a sense of the so-called war-victory that has given them an artificial notion of superiority. And this ‘superior feeling’ among Sinhalese Buddhists is not going to disappear nor is it going to diminish in its superficial luster. In such a tragic but brutally factual context, the Tamil National Alliance, its leaders and Tamils in the North and the East as a whole have no alternative but to adjust though unfortunately, to this newly emerging reality of quasi-permanent Sinhalese overlord-ship and make the necessary grading of their expectations and hopes, their desires and wants and their ambitions and socio-political objectives, both as individuals as well as a collective community.

The Thirteenth Amendment may well be a beginning point for them. But the war-victory with the total massacre of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam and other terrorist organizations has assured that any agitation for anything more and beyond the Thirteenth Amendment would be a futile exercise. A regime change through democratic means, could be one hope for them but given the propensities for ‘Mahindafication’ of Sri Lanka’s body politic and with the apparent attitudes of some of up and coming politicians, it is quite unsafe to make any electoral predictions even in fairly-conducted elections. But any Opposition politician, UNP or otherwise, who wants to outdo the Rajapaksas on the ‘national question’ issue would stand a snowball’s chance in hell to get any votes from the Tamil community.  As such, the need of the hour for the Tamil community may be to work on a long-term basis with the more-understanding segments of the Sinhalese community a la the early part of the last century and make some conciliatory inroads into the present-day Sinhalese psyche.  Such a process could be extremely slow-moving and subject to criticism from both friend and foe but the potential dividends for the Tamil community could be comparatively immense and long-lasting.

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Latest comments

  • 13
    2

    ”Paradigm Shift Needed In Tamil Thinking”
    What about a paradigm shift in Sinhalese thinking?

    • 9
      3

      A good question. The main problem is that the Sinhalese will not concede anything that concedes their ‘Supremacy’ and that is the root cause of the continuing tragedy!

      Sengodan. M

      • 5
        2

        You always says Sinhalese is racist, Sinhalese are not changed, Sinhalese are foolish, Sinhalese arrogant, Sinhalese stupid Sinhalese bad Sinhalese wrong Sinhalese are war mongers so and so.

        For everything Sinhalese is the caused. Nothing wrong with anybody else. So wonderful world……………..

    • 3
      3

      “What about a paradigm shift in Sinhalese thinking?”

      That is what David Cameron told to me. And I told to him what he thinking is a lie.

    • 2
      1

      You are dead right Kuseel, what instantly came to my mind after reading this was that. We as sinhalaya, many among us dont know what they are talking about. See what happened to RW today. He is uncorrupted politician with world recognition for his kind of broad thinking: but MR media units pulled RW into a deep well as the party would not be able to raise its head. It is all because the people are not capable of thinking broadly. Now though signs are there – that RW will manage to work on his future but there are lot more going on against him right at the moment. Most of the lies that have been cemented on him are based on calculated plans. It is all, people in general are easily manipulative by MR kind of tactis. If the average would raise who would ever agree partitioning the country to various sections – no body. Even many tamils would not agree to separate srilanka into several states though a tiny minority would feel the other way around.

    • 1
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      Vishwamithra1984 –

      RE: ”Paradigm Shift Needed In Tamil Thinking”

      “Paradigm Shift Needed In Tamil Thinking” What about a paradigm shift in Sinhalese thinking? ”

      What is needed is simply for the Para-Sinhala and para-Tamils to accept the facts that they are para-Tamils and Para-Sinhala, in the Land of native Veddah, and that they are Illegal Boatmen, Hora-Oru and Kallathonis.

      They need to live as Eglatarian guests in the Land of native Veddah. If not, they need to leave for South India.

    • 1
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      Sorry, Kuseel, I reckon you’ll be stuck with the Sinhala version of Prabahran for many generations to come…!

  • 2
    4

    Sengodan,

    “The main problem is that the Sinhalese will not concede anything that concedes their ‘Supremacy’ and that is the root cause of the continuing tragedy!”

    It is the deep rooted inferiority complex of people like you which is the root cause of all trouble.

    • 5
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      Ravi Perera

      Sinhala speaking Demela

      “It is the deep rooted inferiority complex of people like you which is the root cause of all trouble.”

      It is other way round.

      Though being minority Tamils suffered from superiority complex whereas though majority Sinhala/Buddhist suffer from inferiority complex. All in all both stupid people suffer from complex.

      Add to that Sinhala/Buddhists also suffer from fear psychosis which makes the politician thrive.

      • 3
        1

        The majority with a minotiry complex.
        The minority with a peninsularity mind.

        • 2
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          Rajash

          Have you finish reading Jane Russells book?

          • 2
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            I am half way thru it ..interesting book…

    • 1
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      Seriously Ravi. Gosh!

  • 3
    1

    Ravi,
    “It is the deep rooted inferiority complex of people like you which is the root cause of all trouble”.

    Deep rooted Mahavamsa mentality is the problem.

    • 3
      2

      “Deep rooted Mahawamsa is the problem”
      The Mahawamsa is the source of the problem because it was contrived and configured by Mahanama on lies, legends and myths because he found the Hinayana version of Buddhism had a big problem of being inferior to it’s Mahayana sibling.
      The yellow robed shaven devil dancers in S L are a product of the former.

  • 3
    0

    paradigm shift is needed from both parties and we must both admit to our own fallacies to resolve this issue.One cannot clap with a single hand.

  • 1
    2

    When I read the heading of this article ””Paradigm Shift Needed In Tamil Thinking”
    I thought the arthur is going to suggest that the Sri Lanakn Tamils should think the unthinkable and join India.

    I agree we both Sinhaleas and Tamils need a paradigm shift in thier thinking.

    I quote from Communal Politics by Jane Russell. Leonard Woolf a British Official in Jaffna 1904-06 made this observation the Jaffana man has this “Peninsularity of Mind”…

    …and he maintained a jealous pride in his attachment to the peninsula…

    we need to get out of our Peninsularity of Mind

  • 0
    1

    [Edited out]

  • 1
    2

    anpu,

    “Deep rooted Mahavamsa mentality is the problem”

    Deep rooted mythical homeland mentality is the problem

    • 3
      1

      Ravi learn the true history. ******N&E is our Home land.******

  • 0
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    A good and open hearted comment that should be welcomed. However, no human being should ever submit their fundamental rights to another for political expediency. The rights to justice and freedom. One may not get it – but it should never be sacrificed at the alter of political convenience.

  • 2
    2

    What about Tamil Supremacy? As promoted by the BTF and the GTF? How about the caste system? Do you think that you Tamils are going to treat each one of your Tamil brethren as equals? Or are the Batticaloa and Estate Tamils still inferior to those from the Vanni and Jaffna?

    • 1
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      Don’t you have a caste system among the Sinhalese? Are both Karawas and Govigamas equal? Are upcountry Sinhalese and low country Sinhalese equal?

      Sengodan. M

  • 0
    0

    From me to you Vishwa.

    Great piece, thoughtfully articulated, saying ” as is “.

    The Heading could have been different from the ”Paradigm Shift Needed In Tamil Thinking”.

    The heading primes the reader to put up his/her unconscious blinders, of we have many, don’t we ?.

    Cheers.

  • 1
    1

    Anpu,

    “Ravi learn the true history. ******N&E is our Home land.******”

    Your homeland is Tamil Nadu

    • 2
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      Ravi Perera

      Sinhala speaking Demela

      “Your homeland is Tamil Nadu”

      I hate to agree with you.

      Don’t forget Tamilnadu is your homeland as well.

      Here is something useful for you to trace your ancestry.

      Right and Left Hand castes of Old Madras

      Madras Musings

      November 1 – 15, 2006

      http://madrasmusings.com/older-archives/Vol%2016/Vol%20XVI%20-%20No%2014.pdf

      This article discusses about Idangai (Left hand) and Valangai (Right hand) castes and Vellaikkara padei (mercenary) quoting 11-12th century inscriptions found in this island as well as in your Tamilaham.

      It is a good read.

      The article mentions Eriveera Pattinam where your ancestors would have originated.

  • 1
    1

    Paradigm .. lmao This is not a word they cn even read !! ..

    Cheers

    Abhaya

  • 2
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    Ravi Perera

    For you and your like minded imbeciles who deny the Tamil homeland your rightful place is in a lunatic asylum like angoda. The sinhalese kallathonis can go back to orissa or where ever they came from leaving Eelam to the native dravidian sons of the soil the Tamils. under Modi Tamil homeland is the entire eelam not the north and the east any more.

    • 2
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      piranha

      “The sinhalese kallathonis can go back to orissa or where ever they came from”

      They should and so should you.

      “leaving Eelam to the native dravidian sons of the soil the Tamils.”

      Please note this island belongs to my people. Both Sinhalese and Tamils have their ancestral homeland in Tamilnadu.

      Please go back to Tamilnadu, when you go take your Sinhala brethren with you. I suggest you give priority to Ravi Perera, Abhaya, Banda, Mechanic, Nuisance, sach…………. Thondamanaru, Ela, Maveeran, ……..

    • 0
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      He he… Very nice joke… Tamil homeland…

      You are rela joker Piranha

      • 4
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        Senarath

        “He he… Very nice joke… Tamil homeland… You are rela joker Piranha “

        It is similar to the one I hear almost every other minute, Aryan Sinhala/Buddhist one nation, one people, under one ruler.

        Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer (One people, one empire, one leader).

        Both are equally comical.

  • 1
    1

    Tamils are accursed!

    Unless they stop begging for it, they will get another round of genocide.

  • 1
    1

    Sri Lankan Tamils need rebranding as well. Specially the diaspora need to dump the tiger flag.
    Look how the west is using the Pakistani girl Malala shot by the Taliban.she is being propelled in to the stratosphere of international propaganda against Taliban

    The Tamils have similar icons like Isaipriya and VP’s Son etc and should use them posthumously as the new brand to raise the awareness of the world.
    The tiger flag is out dated and has outlived its purpose and it portrays a negative image.

  • 2
    0

    The author of the article is hiding under a pseudonym perhaps for reason of self-preservation. Like every other Sinhalese chauvinists, including the likes of Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, is sermonizing to the Thamils and not to Sinhalese supremacists. Hence, his one sided advocacy “Paradigm Shift Needed In Tamil Thinking.” Like many others of his like, he manufacturers the historically false claim that “Prabhakaran from the North embarked on a brutal terror campaign, ostensibly for the creation of a Tamil Eelam, a separate State for Tamils, encompassing an area of nearly two thirds of the country’s coastal areas stretching from Mannar to the southern tip of Arugam Bay, bordering the Kumana birds’ sanctuary.” Unfortunately for the writer, it is exactly the area peopled by Thamils for many centuries, even under colonial occupation of Portuguese and Dutch. To the credit to these two colonial powers they did not erase the borders between the Thamil Nation and the Sinhala Nation. The minute by British civil servant Hugh Cleghorn clearly says ‘Two different nations, from very ancient times have divided between them the possession of the island.. First the Cingalese inhabiting the interior of the country, in its southern and western parts, from the river Wallouve to that of Chilow, and secondly the Malabars who possess the northern and eastern districts. These two nations differ entirely in their religion, language and manners. Not only Hugh Cleghorn but many colonial officers and historians have said the same. Jacob Burnand, a Swiss soldier in the service of the Dutch and later the English, was the governor of Batticaloa between 1784 and 1794. In 1798 he composes a ‘memoir’ on the North and Northeast, in which he locates the origins of the Sinhalese in Siam and mentions that from time immemorial Sinhalese and Tamils had divided the rule of the island between the two of them. Commenting on the provenance of the Tamil and Sinhalese languages the Dutch Predikant, Philippus Baldaeus who was in the Island during the mid17th century asserts, ‘It is to be observed that in Ceylon they not only speak the Cinghalesche but also the Malabaarsche languages, the former from Negombo to Colombo, Caleture, Berbering, Alican, Gale, Belligamme, Matura, Donders etc., But in all other parts of the Island which are contiguous to the coromandel coast Malabaarsche is the prevailing language. The above view is also corroborated by the Governor Rjklof Van Goens account dated 1675.”
    So the present day Thamils should not be blamed if their ancestors’ territory encompassed an area of nearly two thirds of the country’s coastal areas stretching from Mannar ……………. It is the British who redrew the borders in 1833. The Sinhalese should thank the British and not their stars for unifying the country and then handing same over on a platter in 1948! Neither S.J.V. Chelvanayakam nor Prabhakaran did not fight for separation. They fought, one non-violently and the other (LTTE)  taking up arms as a last resort and in self-defence for the restoration and reconstitution of the Free, Sovereign, Secular, Socialist State of TAMIL EELAM, based on the right of self determination inherent to every nation.

  • 1
    0

    As long as the Sinhalese have the lion with a sword as the national flag the Thamils should continue to hold the Tiger flag sky high! To the Thamils the Tiger flag holds historical significance.

  • 0
    1

    What IS this change in thinking he is talking about ?

    The change that should happen is for the Tamil DIE – ARSE – Pora to stop being negative and work out a patient and positive plan on how to integrate with the Sinhala and other communities in this County.

    It takes time specially after Tamils’ are identified with destroying the progress of our Country for over 30 years !

  • 0
    2

    Pirana,

    “under Modi Tamil homeland is the entire eelam not the north and the east any more. “

    Now you buggers are waiting for Modi to save you. Keep on dreaming.

    By the way how is the nuclear bomb coming along. Accept man your homeland is Tamil Nadu our is sinhaladveep/Sinhale/Sri Lanka.

    you buggers loku talks

  • 0
    2

    Tamils cry genocide now.

    Tamils will soon cry genitalocide!!

  • 1
    0

    Don Quixote unfairly accuses the Thamil people of destroying the progress of the country for the last 30 years. It is not the Thamil people, but selfish, myopic, power hungry Sinhalese leaders who destroyed the country and continued to do so even now. In Ceylon there are only two languages, yet they chose to declare Sinhala as the Only official language in 1956. It took another 31 years to make Thamil also an official, albeit, half-heartedly. The conflict between the Sinhalese and Thamils took a turn for the worse when Sinhala Only was declared as the only official language in 1956.

    Amparai Kachcheri is functioning only in Sinhala although Non-Thamils constitute 60 .99% (Muslims 282.481 (43.69% and Thamils 112,750 (17.40%). The Sinhalese are in a minority in Amparai despite the planned Sinhala colonization by the government in Colombo.

    Although 13A gave official status to Thamil also as an official language in 1987, in practice it has not been implemented fully. In the North and East Thamil people cannot transact business in their own language. They were made illiterate overnight. Amparai Kachcheri is functioning only in Sinhala although Non-Thamils constitute a majority.

    When persons like Don Quixote blames the Thamils for destroying the country he is resorting to historical revisionism. He must look around to find out who destroyed Sri Lanka. Let him take a hard look at the success story of Singapore, a country that became independent in 1969.

    Singapore is the second smallest country in Asia. However, this tiny city state is ranked as the second most competitive country in the world according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013 done by the World Economic Forum. What made Singapore an economic powerhouse despite of its small size? The biggest factor that contributes to its success is Singapore’s political system, tax policies and it’s education system. Singapore’s education system is rated as the second best in the world.

    The total area of Singapore is just 716.1 km2 ( 276sq. mi). It is smaller than the Jaffna peninsula whose land area including inland water is 1,030 sq.kms. In other words Singapore is just 70% of the size of Jaffna peninsula.
    Singapore’s population is 5,399,200 (2013 estimate). Ethnic wise the Chinese 77%, Malays 14% and Indians 8%. Out of the 8% Indian population, 5% are Thamils.
    English, Mandarin, Malay and Thamil are official languages. When visitors land at the Singapore’s only airport Changi – voted the world’s best – a giant banner greets them in all the four official languages of Singapore. .
    Singapore GDP (ppp) is $327.557 (2012 estimate) billion and per capita income is $61,046! It is in third place and just below Qatar S98,814 and Luxembourg $78,670!
    In contrast Sri Lanka has an area of 65,610 sq.kms (25,332 sq mi) with a population of 20,227,597 (2012 census).
    The ethnic wise distribution is Sinhalese 74.88%, Thamils 15.4% and Muslims 9.2%.
    Sri Lanka GDP (ppp) is S127 billion (2012 estimate) and per capita income is just $6,135.
    In point of fact Singapore per capita income is higher than most Western countries. It is way higher than US $53,101, Canada $43,472, Germany $40,007 and UK $37,307.
    Singapore’s unemployment rate is a mere 1.8 % compared to an average of 7% – 8% in the Western countries like Canada and US.

    The prosperity of Singapore and its booming economy is entirely due to the master stroke of political sagacity by Lee Kuan Yew who laid the foundation for equality and peace among all its citizens. His vision, acute insight and leadership was to build a prosperous and strong country.
    Ceylon gained independence in 1948 while Singapore was founded as a British trading colony in 1819. It joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963 but separated two years later and became independent.
    The smallest country in Southeast Asia, Singapore is one of only a few countries that is also designated as a city state. What is the secret behind Singapore (a city state and not a country) becoming one of the world’s most prosperous countries with strong international trading links (its port is one of the world’s busiest in terms of tonnage handled) and enjoying a per capita GDP higher than that of the leading nations of Western Europe that is the envy of the world?
    When Lee Kuan Yew took over as Prime Minister in 1959, Singapore’s annual per capita income was only $400. Today it is a mini-superpower and an economic power house. Lee Kuan Yew from the word go had a vision to build Singapore. Its constitution guaranteed equality and dignity to every citizen irrespective of ethnicity. He could have if he wanted made Chinese spoken by 75% of the population the official language of Singapore. But he was not stupid like S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike the Oxford educated who to capture power enacted Sinhala Only as the official language within 48 hours of assuming power. Lee Kuan Yew did not hesitate to take unpopular measures when needed.  “I resisted the Chinese Chauvinists who wanted to make the Chinese language the dominant language’.  He chose English language, a neutral language to unite people together.  ‘There would have been endless conflicts, no progress’. His linguistic policy revealed his vision. He is a rare statesman in post-colonial era to acknowledge the contribution of British legacy to the advancement of his country. Never did he with his sense of wisdom dismantle the vestiges of the British colonial relics.
    Lee Kuan Yew who is indisputably the driving force behind Singapore’s success is simple: “The quality of a nation’s manpower resources is the single most important factor determining national competitiveness. It is the people’s innovativeness, entrepreneurship, team work, and their work ethic that gives them that sharp keen edge in competitiveness.” Over to Don Quixote who true to his name mistakes Thamils for destroying the country’s progress.

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