3 December, 2020

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Political Participation Of Oppressed Castes & The Need For A Progressive Political Tamil Nationalism

By Thanges Paramsothy

Thanges Paramsothy

Thanges Paramsothy

The question of why a single person from oppressed caste groups could not become as a member of parliament in the last parliamentary election held on 17th August 2015 has not yet been asked or answered. Seven members of parliament from Jaffna electoral division were selected as qualified members according to the population ratio. Among them, a single member is not from the oppressed caste groups, while such caste groups occupy more than half of the Jaffna population. However, only two individuals from oppressed caste, Pallar, out of thirty-eight members have become as members of northern provincial council in the last election held on 21st September 2013.

My recent study conducted in two regions in Jaffna namely Pungudutivu and Mallakam indicates that more than half of the population are from five oppressed caste groups such as Nalavar, Pallar, Paraiyar, Ampattar and Vannar. We do not have Jaffna population breakdown in terms of caste. However, it is quite clear that a large number of people from dominant caste, Vellalar, have migrated overseas using their extended socio-economic and educational networks since the independence of Sri Lanka. The majority of Tamil diaspora population in abroad composed of an overwhelming majority of the Vellalar (Daniel & Thangaraj 1995; McDowell 1996, 1999). This has changed the traditional demographic proportion of Jaffna and made the Vellalar as one of the minorities in numerical terms. The study conducted indicates that the Vellalar population consists of 30% of the population in the two regions. As of 1950s, it was estimated that half of the Jaffna population (50%) was from Vellalar caste (Banks 1960). This shows that 20% of Vellalar population in Jaffna peninsula has migrated to overseas or other part of the country. Even though the findings of the study on the composition of caste population in two regions in Jaffna cannot be simply generalised to the entire Jaffna peninsula, they can be taken as potential samples. It also makes sense due to the overwhelming migration of dominant caste Vellalar to the affluent western countries. Nevertheless, the Vellalar domination has been consistently remaining in Tamil nationalist politics.

The five oppressed castes groups, who are now majority in numerical terms, are in a position to become as potential political leaders in Tamil nationalist politics. Apart from the numerical strength of oppressed castes, they also have a higher record in their educational achievement, socioeconomic mobility. However, they still fail to become as active participants in the Tamil nationalist politics. A number of left movements functioned among Tamils before the armed ethnic conflict had contributed in demolishing “untouchability” to a great extent from Tamil society. However, they did not mobilise the oppressed castes to question/challenge the Vellalar-led Tamil nationalist politics that in number of instances fails to take affirmative actions against internal backwardness and discrimination in terms of caste, gender, class and religion. The question arises why are the oppressed castes unable to enter into the Tamil political mainstream? To what extent does the Vellalar-led Tamil national political system work to include the oppressed caste persons as their potential leaders? In order to answer these questions, we need to analyse the Tamil national political trend and the psyche of both oppressed and dominant caste groups.

Even though some authors see the origin of Tamil nationalism with the Tamil kingdom before the colonial powers and Saiva revivalist Arumukanavalar (Gunasingam1999; Cheran 2009), the Tamil nationalist politics has been increasingly constructed in relation to defensive or reactive nationalism, which denies identifying the existing internal differences. The Tamil nationalist politics throughout its known history systematically avoid seriously looking at its caste-oriented politics, where oppressed castes rarely or never have a leadership position. As the government of Sri Lanka fails to take an affirmative action to the Tamil national question, the Tamil nationalist politics continuously fails to change the traditional caste domination in its political mobilisation. It has a complete blindness on this issue. The internal differences in terms of caste are expected to continue as such whereas the all Tamils are expected uniting them under the Tamil nationalist project. This political mobilisation creates a scenario where a segment of Vellalar and their close associates take upper hand and others particularly the oppressed castes struggle to be part of such politics. The oppressed castes consistently remain as potential voters rather than potential political candidates/leaders.

Apart from the systematic exclusion of oppressed caste in the Tamil nationalist political movement, there is also a lack of awareness/motivation among the oppressed caste groups in articulating their social capital for a betterment of the underprivileged and marginalised groups in particular and Tamils in general. The educated oppressed caste groups for some reason also avoid participating in Tamil nationalist politics. The younger generation of oppressed castes who mobilised upwardly in terms of education and economy see that caste plays a little role in society. However, most of such generation contradicting to their view either avoid identifying them with a particular caste group or pretend that they belong to dominant caste Vellalar. Their attempt is not simply creating a casteless society but rather achieving status in caste ladder/hierarchical order. This in turn supports the Vellalar political leaders to continue their domination in Tamil politics, where the oppressed castes are simply viewers/voters than participants.

As we know, caste struggle against “untouchability” has much longer history than the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. If we count the date, it is one century older in Tamil political and social history. The internal caste differences, which were openly practiced in Tamil areas particularly in Jaffna, had challenged the Vellalar-oriented Tamil political mobilisation. Some Vellalar leaders such as Sivasithamparam, Amirthalingam and Naganathan who contested respectively in Udduppiddy, Vaddukkoddai and Nallur electoral divisions were defeated in the parliamentary election in 1970 due to the opposition of underprivileged caste groups against the Vellalar leaderships. This was also because these Vellalar leaderships were not supportive and in some instances acted against the struggle against castisim, which reached its peak in the 1960s. However, the increasing threat to the notion of homeland (territory), language, citizenship, employment and educational opportunities destroying the nationhood of the Tamil people due to the Southern Sinhala Buddhist extremism and its power were utilised by the Vellalar political leaders in order to unite people under their leadership undermining internal inequality, which went against their political leadership in the previous parliamentary election.

The Sinhala Buddhist extremism threatening to Tamil ethnic identity and political freedom in turn were supportive for those who want to exercise blindness on its own inequality and maltreatment. This was also the period when the oppressed castes and left movements achieved a notable success in demolishing the “untouchability” among Jaffna Tamils. Some authors see the achievement of the struggle against castisim as a symbolic success considering its limitation and boundary (Sivathamby 2007). In order to fulfil the grievances of oppressed castes, “the mobilisation against caste discriminations” also became as part of political manifesto in the Vaddukkoddy election campaign in 1977 along with the demand for a separate Tamil homeland. However, a single step has not yet been taken by such Tamil nationalist leaders in order to fulfil the grievances of oppressed caste groups. They continue their Tamil nationalist project getting a tremendous support from the oppressed caste groups rather than providing an equal opportunity to participate in Tamil nationalist politics.

The Tamil nationalist project led by the Vellalar went to its extreme claiming a separate Tamil state, ‘Tamil Eelam’ due to the failure of their negotiations with Sinhala extremists for a political solution. This has tremendously helped them to achieve uniting all Tamils irrespective of caste, class, religious and gender differences for their political purpose. Those who previously voted against the Vellalar leadership are now forced to vote such political leaders considering the threats to Tamil ethnic identity and its nationhood. The Vellalar Tamil nationalist politics soon capitalised the extreme positions of the Sinhala Buddhist nationalism in order to unite the Tamils under the Vellalar-led Tamil nationalism. However, the Tamil armed groups particularly the LTTE then challenged this caste-oriented politics. Those who were in lower positions in the constructed hierarchical caste order became as leaders taking upper hand in the LTTE movement.

The LTTE movement, which was in power, to some extent had destroyed this political domination within its movement giving leaderships to all caste groups. Thamilchelvan, for example, who was from one of the oppressed caste groups, Ampattar, became as a leader of the political wings in the LTTE movement. Apart from the debate on success, failure and problems in the political mobilisation of the LTTE, it had the negotiating power where people from different social and caste backgrounds became as participants. Soon after the LTTE was defeated, the Tamil politics is once again been dominated by the Vellalar caste in Jaffna. The oppressed castes have a little or no space to become as potential leaders. The criticism against the TNA is that they appoint one person from the oppressed castes as a candidate at every parliamentary election in order to show that they are ‘casteless’ in their selection process of the candidates. However, the past experience shows that the person who was selected as a contesting candidate in the TNA would be as a potential loser than a winner.

The unsolved prolonged Tamil political issue particularly creates a space where the dominant Tamil political party and their appointed candidates from a similar caste or social background to become as leaders. The prolonged political issues and war related wounds once and again support such political leadership. This makes the task much easier in consolidating the sentiment of Tamils towards the Vellalar Tamil national project. It rarely gives an opportunity for those who do not have such backgrounds. In such a context, if the oppressed castes need to have an equal opportunity in accessing to political power, it is also essential to find a long-lasting political solution for the prolonged ethnic conflict.

By saying this, I do not simply motivate caste-based political mobilisation in Tamil nationalist politics, as it is in India. I also strongly believe that the solution for the contemporary conservative Tamil political mobilisation cannot be achieved simply by inducing the caste-based sentiment in Tamil nationalist politics. Such intention may satisfy those who want to divide the cohesion of Tamil political mobilisation. I do not expect to satisfy those who take advantages by dividing people in the line of caste. I also do not see such a space for engaging caste divided politics in the contemporary Jaffna. My concern in this paper is to lead the Tamil nationalist politics as a progressive movement rather than a conservative one bonding with a particular dominant caste, as it is now.

Coming to the point that I made at the beginning even though the oppressed caste groups are numerically high and mobilising themselves upwardly in socio-economic and educational domains, they consistently fail to articulate their social capital in their political participation apart from voting to the Vellalar candidates. This situation needs to be changed. The contemporary Tamil nationalist politics should create such a space where all people irrespective of caste differences participate for a progressive social change. Even though the Tamil politicians particularly the TNA say that they do not see caste in their selection process of candidates as well as supporting a candidate to become as a potential leader, it is not true. They consciously do it in contrast to what they say.


Reference

Cheran, R. (2009) Pathways of Dissent: An Introduction to Tamil Nationalism in Sri Lanka, in R. Cheran (ed) Pathways of Dissent: Tamil Nationalism in Sri Lanka, New Delhi: Sage Publication, pp. Xiii-Xiii.
Daniel, E.Valentine & Thangaraj, Yuvaraj. (1995) ‘Forms, Formations and Transformation of the Tamil Refugee’, in E.V. Daniel & Chr. Knudser, J. (eds), Mistrusting refugees, University of California Press, Los Angeles, pp.225-255.
Gunasingam, M. (1999) Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism: A Study of Its Origins, Sydney: South Asian Study Centre-MV Publications.
McDowell, C. (1996) A Tamil Asylum Diaspora: Sri Lankan Migration, Settlement, and Politics in Switzerland. Oxford: Bergham Books.
McDowell, C. (1999) ‘The Point of No Return: The Politics of the Swiss Tamil Repatriation Agreement’, in Black, R. and Koser, K. (eds) The End of The Refugee Cycle? Refugee Repatriation and Reconstruction, Oxford: Berghahn Books, pp. 126-141.
Sivathamby, K. 2007, ‘Divine Presence and/or Social Prominence: An Inquiry into the Social Role of the Places of Worship Jaffna Tamil Society, in Sivathamby (ed.) Sri Lankan Tamil Society and Politics, Chennai: New Century Book House, Pp.24-56.

*Thanges Paramsothy – PhD Research Student in Anthropology, School of Social Sciences, University of East London, United Kingdom

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Latest comments

  • 5
    4

    Thank you for writing about this sensitive subject well. Our main curse originated to certain extent from importing tamil nadu political strategies to our national politics. Before we realise our mistakes, south took it to another level. Cold war polarised world played a complex role.
    As you have mentioned indian syle cast struggle not benift our people. Solidarity of the people belong to discriminated casts sould be able to persuade,bargain and demand to achieve their potion of the loaf of bread in political power and not settle for picking up the crumbs thrown at them as discribed by Martin Luther King during his struggle againt discrimination.

  • 3
    0

    “”The question of why a single person from oppressed caste groups could not become as a member of parliament in the last parliamentary election held on 17th August 2015 has not yet been asked or answered.””

    If there were no politicians there won’t be `oppressed class` or immigrants in the west.
    In todays west the lower class train to become working class and the working class go to university aspiring to be middle class.

    So what are you aiming at but `charity funding` to create `donkey` `kalide` appointments.- like the hindians faux pas will be your class then.

  • 5
    3

    The less we write on this subject, better for the people living in Jaffna.

    This problem cannot be solved by passing a resolution in parliament.
    It can only be solved by evolution and time.

    Don’t you agree it is better now than during our parents time.

  • 4
    1

    The author should explain how he distinguished/identified “oppressed caste” civilians from the rest during his ‘recent study’.
    What were/are the characteristics of this group?
    Was it the mindset of some citizens towards others, or anything obvious physically.
    Does the Jaffna hospital blood bank accept donations from citizens from all ‘groups’ despite the chance of blood from an ‘oppressed caste’ citizen being used to transfuse a non ‘oppressed group’ member.

    How do elections officials distinguish such ‘oppressed’ citizens?

    Does he admit that ‘oppressed’ – a synonym for ‘caste’ is a belief that exists in minds of men only, and not elsewhere, in Jaffna society.
    During his study, did he partake of even a drink of water from households of ‘oppressed’ citizens – and, if he did, was it held against him by his family members?

    • 1
      4

      justice,

      “The author should explain how he distinguished/identified “oppressed caste” civilians from the rest during his ‘recent study’.”

      Very good question!

      I suggest that the GS in all the villages of Northern Province registers the caste of the villagers and records it on the family card and a new Special Identity Card called SICNP. Children of mixed marriages should be shipped to the Middle East after they become Muslims.

      A likely result of this registration is that 90 % of the population is Vellalah and the rest are Brahmins.

    • 0
      3

      justice,

      “During his study, did he partake of even a drink of water from households of ‘oppressed’ citizens – and, if he did, was it held against him by his family members?”

      The other way to look at this:

      Was Thanges invited in and offered tea by the people claiming to be Vellalah?

  • 2
    3

    Thanges,

    Thank you very much for your article. The information you provide might be a surprise for many outsiders.

    “The question of why a single person from oppressed caste groups could not become as a member of parliament in the last parliamentary election held on 17th August 2015 has not yet been asked or answered. Seven members of parliament from Jaffna electoral division were selected as qualified members according to the population ratio. Among them, a single member is not from the oppressed caste groups, while such caste groups occupy more than half of the Jaffna population.”

    How can you know the caste of the MPs for sure? I have suspected that at least 1-2 are not Vellalah. As you write many want to become Vellalah and this has been going on during generations. Some of the former MPs and MP candidates are not identified as Vellalah by the more conservative Vellalah. There were some outcaste candidates in my area but they were not elected.

    “However, only two individuals from oppressed caste, Pallar, out of thirty-eight members have become as members of northern provincial council in the last election held on 21st September 2013.”

    Again I would like to know what you base this claim on. Two Pallars, Muslims and Sinhalese but are the rest Vellalah?

  • 1
    3

    When slaves defend slavery there is no practcal solution.

    ‘Low casts’ in Hinduism and women in Islam are tough nuts due to that reason.

    Soma

  • 1
    5

    Sri Lanka govt should work against Caste discrimination among Tamils.

    • 1
      0

      Jim Softly!

      What about the Caste discrimination among Sinhalese?

      One of the main factors that determines the politics of the Sinhalese is the Caste system!!

  • 1
    1

    “The criticism against the TNA is that they appoint one person from the oppressed castes as a candidate at every parliamentary election in order to show that they are ‘casteless’ in their selection process of the candidates. However, the past experience shows that the person who was selected as a contesting candidate in the TNA would be as a potential loser than a winner”.

    Thanges, you are certainly right. I think it is well understood among the folks in overseas but not precisely in the peninsula for a great paradigm shift!! A need for visionary personalities to way forward. Good luck!!

  • 4
    3

    Thanges

    I appreciate your writings, as they are very different from other article on CT, and speak to issues often ignored by most writers and commentators here, who I suspect come mainly from the upper echelons of SL society – be they Sinhala or Tamil or Muslim.

    It’s a often the case that minorities hide their dirty laundry, so they can put up a united front. Discrimination can be rampant among the discriminated.

    There are many types of discrimination in SL society, caste being one. I wonder if you approach progressiveness from a multi-ethnic perspective, you might have more luck. i.e. promote the up liftment of the lower socio-economic classes, regardless of ethnicity. I suspect that most of the poor people in Sri Lanka may be from castes that are currently or in the past were considered “low”.

    In my experience, the Sinhalese in general do not care much about “caste” anymore (except perhaps the Kandyans), but yet we do discriminate the lower socio-economic classes, and the non-English speakers.

    I hope that Tamils who are fighting against caste-ism can find parallels with classism, and collaborate with Sri Lankans of other ethnicities to uplift all victims of discrimination.

  • 5
    2

    Mr. Thanges Paramsothy!

    You say that ”Soon after the LTTE was defeated, the Tamil politics is once again been dominated by the Vellalar caste in Jaffna.”

    First of all, will you please tell us who are the “Vellalars” and who are the “oppressed castes”?

    You use the phrase “Oppressed Castes.”

    Mr Thanges Paramsothy! The “Pallars” who were brought from India by the Dutch for the cultivation of dye roots and settled from Karainagar to Vadamaraadchi, Thenlaraadchi along the coastal area do not mix with the Nalavas. They do not have meals or tea at the Nalavas houses.

    When the Dutch gave up the Export of dyed clothes, these Pallas who knew only cultivation started to dig out lime stone beds found in the red soil stretch from Kokuvil to Puloly via Palaly and assisted in farming. Also they started toddy tapping.

    There are no Pallas in the traditional farming areas! There one could find Nalavas only.

    The Nalavas do not accept Paraiyas. Thurumpas, and others. The Nalavas do not get married in the Paraiya caste, Thurumpars, Kadaiyars and other castes.

    There are three divisions in “Paraiyas.”

    Native Paraiyas(the Drum beaters) , Cloth weaving Paraiyas, and Sakkili Paraiyas.The weaving Paraiyas were brought by the Dutch and settled at Chunnakam and other few places.The “Sakkili” Parayaas were brought by the British for scavenging and cleaning.

    Because of this,the Native Paraiyas do not accept the other two. The Weaver Paraiyas do not accept the other!

    Dear Thanges Paramsothy! The Catholic Bishop of Jaffna was from Kadaiyar caste. There are so many Administrators, Pricipals, Professors, Doctors, Engineers etc. from these castes.

    What do you mean by the ‘Oppressed Caste” ?

    Now we come to your “Vellalar” Caste.

    Who are the “vellalars”? Please define it.

    To my knowledge, the Native farmers, Madapallies, Ahambadies, Kallars, Maravars, Devars, Thanakarars, Paratheesues, Paravas, Kal Kotties, Kovias, Saivars, …. all have been made “Vellalars” now.

    The Native Vellars are the minorities among the present Vellalas!The dominants are the Madappallies and Thanakaras. The Native Vellalars do not engage themselves in the Partiamentary poltics!

    Dear Thanges Paramsothy!

    You do not know the history of the Tamil people. In the native agrarian community from the Jaffna peninsula and the North, there was no slave system!

    There were only 4 divisions in that society. The first the Vellalars who knew about the nature, farming, animal husbandry, etc. The second were the “Kovias” who assisted the vellalas in looking after the cattle, farming etc. Third were the artisians- carpenters, black smith etc. The forth one were the manual workers, the Nalavas.

    The ancient Tamil community were the Mahaayaana Buddhsts and there were no Brahmins or Pandarams before the rise of Vijayanager Empire!

    But from 1692 thousands of people from India were brought by Tamil ship traders and sold as “Slaves.” The Dutch authority charged 10 Rix Dollars per head as “Admission Fee.” These slaves in thousands were sold mainly to the Madapalliesand others like Karaiyars and others who had money.

    Please go through the book “Thesavalamai’ (1860) written by MUTTHUKISHNA and other documents to confirm that Karaiyaas and others also had slaves.

    The Dutch administration used “Madapallies” to crush the Native Vellars. Because of that they agreed to register some of these slaves as “Kovias” and some as “Nalavas” as in the Native system and made in the Thesavalamai law of 1707 “Kovias” and “Nalavas” as “Slaves.”

    Thus, among the “Kovias” there were “Native Kovias” and “Registered Kovias” or Slave Kovias. The Native Kovias called the other Kovias as “Vadugar (வடுகர்).”

    Similarly, among the “Nalavas” also, there were two divisions. One the “Native Nalavas” and the other “Slave Nalavas.”

    The native Nalavas called the “Slave Nalavas” as “Registered Nalavas”(பதிவு நளவர்) or “Kulu Nalavas (குழு நளவர்).

    Somewhere after 1970 only, the Native Kovias and native Nalavas started to get married in Vadugas and Kulu Nalavas!

    There was another important group of people called “Paratheesies” (பரதேசிகள்).”

    These are the descendants of the Telungu soldiers of one of the Sankiliyans who ruled Jaffna Kingdom who were settled at Vasavilaan and “Maddivil” in the Jaffna Peninsula.

    Some of these Telungu soldiers brought women for them from South India and some married women from the adjacent villages.

    Because of this, even now the women are honoured in a peculiar way in these places.

    Among the coastal community also, there were a number of divisions. Thimilars, Karaiyas, Mukkuvas, Paravas and Kadaiyas.

    “Thimilars” were the origins among the coastal people. “Paravas” wre actually brought by the Portuguese for pearl harvesting and settled mainly along the western coast.

    The Mukkuvas are also late comers from Kerala.

    Mr. Thanges Paramsothy!

    For you to understand the politics of the Tamils, first of all you must have a clear idea of the social formation of the Tamils of the North. To understand that, you must have a thorough knowledge on history of human settlement in the Jaffna peninsula and Vanni. To understand this you must have through knowledge on the history of South India in addition to the soil, ground layers, availability of the underground and surface water in the Jaffna peninsula and Vanni.

    None of the local and foreign sociologists and historians has carried out a scientific study on the people of Jaffna and north and their politics.

    I hope you will not become one of them!!

    • 0
      4

      A.S. Uthayakumar,

      Thank you for your information and the fact that you appear with your real name.

      “To my knowledge, the Native farmers, Madapallies, Ahambadies, Kallars, Maravars, Devars, Thanakarars, Paratheesues, Paravas, Kal Kotties, Kovias, Saivars, …. all have been made “Vellalars” now. The Native Vellars are the minorities among the present Vellalas!The dominants are the Madappallies and Thanakaras.”

      This is true. It is a Do It Yourself process that became easier because of the conflict.

      “The Native Vellalars do not engage themselves in the Partiamentary poltics!”

      I believe that this is mostly true. Native Vellalah however might be trying to use the others.

      Thanges is still young and has written a short article. I am sure that his thesis will provide us the necessary sources and definitions.

    • 1
      0

      Abimanasingham Sitthawatthai Uthayakumar ,

      ¬¬I hope you will not become one of them!! ¬¬

      you got the social engineer politico by his b***s.

      He wants to know why pigs cant fly when they do.
      Baddhurdin got his mutts in with low grades and this scumbag wants the same.
      The whole world has experimented with this diversity and has come to the conclusion that it is a game for parasites to suck a nation dry. Take India for example 30% reserved for anything and everything. 500 years of european rule was never enough.
      Thanges Paramsothy is like Oliver twist asking for more. rather than working towards quality of life by being attached yet detached.

  • 2
    2

    Thanges,

    I assume that this article is connected to your doctoral thesis and will be part of it. In an article you can make claims like all the MPs are Vellalah and two members of the NPC are Pallar. In a doctoral thesis you have to be able to provide a source.

    “The study conducted indicates that the Vellalar population consists of 30% of the population in the two regions.”

    Maybe you are correct but do we know how many Vellalahs lived in the two regions earlier? I don’t think that there is such information anywhere. All we have are estimates. In the case of Pungudutivu I wonder why would many Vellalahs have lived there in the first place. Was there extensive agriculture there? I admit that I never have visited the place.

    We all have our background that makes our thinking subjective. You should tell readers your caste background because it is bound to influence the way you look at the world.

    In my opinion your background helps to explain why you believe that all the MPs are Vellalah. My background and age explains why I believe that they are not all Vellalah. This is partly because there is no clear definition of what a Vellalah is.

    Maybe there are (only?) two Pallars in the members of the NPC but the remaining Hindu and Christian Tamil members are not all Vellalah. Just look at the religion, names, where they are from and whose relatives they are. Of course your claim is only that there are two Pallars and you write nothing about the others or did I misunderstand you?

    Good luck with you research.

  • 3
    1

    Elected representatives must have the ability to represent the Tamils. Must be educated in our political and economic issues. Any member of any caste can run for election. There is no taboo on caste or religion or sex at the present moment. So why bring caste into this? Then are we going to be proportionate in religion and sex as well? This looks more like “standardization” for university admission.

  • 3
    1

    There are are measures to get rid of caste systems. It takes social, political religious and educational leaders to break the barriers separating people by castes. But certainly one cannot give equal representations for every caste group to sit in the parliament. Next thing you will ask for, may be 2 vellalas, 2 pariahs, 2 dhobies and 2 toddy tappers to be in the NPC. This is the most ridiculous article I have seen.

  • 4
    2

    I see two articles in this weeks C.T by two Tamils, Jayadevan and Paramsothy. Both are intended to divide the Tamils at a critical juncture when we are asking for accountability and rehabilitation for those affected by 30 years of civil war. Our leaders have given their lives for our struggle. Thousands were murdered, raped and kidnapped. This is not the time to crticise TNA and GTF. If you do, then obviously you belong to those who are in the payroll of some Sinhala-Buddhist leaders who are trying their best to divide us.

  • 0
    1

    Sri lankan govt upto now has protected the Caste discrimination.

    I hope some govt take decisions to treat every body the same.

    The first step should be to appoint a governor to that position.

  • 6
    0

    Thankes Paramsothy,

    Having closely observed Jaffna over the past six years, I feel there is an upward mobility from the ranks of the so-called lower castes. Those with good employment and material success , move into Vellahla areas and claim to be Vellahlas! This is sad as the ranks of the Vellahlas are constantly replenished. Unless the successful members of the so-called lower castes take pride in their societal identity and give leadership to their social group, the caste categorization will not be rendered meaningless. Most times the new converts to Vellahlas are more oppressive than the old believers!

    Please consider what I have said as a hypothesis and research on depth.

    Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

    • 2
      0

      Dr. Rajasingham Narendran,

      rightly said.
      this is perfectly true worldwide because of the nature of politics
      the new breeds of politicos are only getting worse from a social point of view because they all are commercial.

  • 1
    0

    Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

    Don’t write nonsense. Do you want to prolong caste system or completely abolish it? You seem to be one of those fellows who wants to do things that benefits your dreaded caste system.

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