18 September, 2021

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Politically Driven Policy Which Spelt Disaster For The Nation – The Story Of Standardisation

By Ranjan Abayasekara –

We have all heard of ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’. We have not heard of ‘the ton of bricks that crushed the camel’. The book, The Story of Standardisation, has in its subtitle the words, ‘the Decapitation of the Tamil People’! These words clearly indicate to the reader the thesis presented in the book, which has been awaiting publication for about forty years. The Story it details is of government policies which grievously harmed the Tamil minority of Sri Lanka’s populace.

The book is quite unusual in many ways. There is no author – it only has an editor, Professor S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole. The articles comprising nine chapters by unnamed writers have been penned some decades ago. The editor has written what is labelled a Preface, but this is no ordinary preface. It comprises about 30 pages, the single longest section of the book. The nine chapters take up just over 100 pages and the eleven appendices about 100 pages. It is a pity that the authorship of the chapters cannot be disclosed even after all these years – many contributors are probably deceased by now; most would have feared to put name to their writing.

Taken together they make up a document which presents how the policy & practice of Standardisation affected Tamil students unfairly leading rapidly to their alienation. Protest marches followed soon after, eventually leading to calls for a separate state, and great tragedy lay in wait for the community. As we know, greater tragedy for the whole country was to follow, due to a separatist war that lasted about 30 years, and the entire nation paid a heavy price.

The main proposition is expressed in the Preface. The supporting writings are in the chapters and further documentation in the appendices. Throughout the text footnotes are provided, usually quoting references such as Hansard & scholarly articles. A few footnotes are personal comments by the editor. Some of these could be considered inappropriate.

The Rt. Rev. Dushantha Rodrigo receiving the first copy at the author’s home in Nallur (10.08.2021)

 

The editor has stated that he was adversely affected by standardisation of examination marks first carried out on the 1969 GCE Advanced Level results. This barred his 1970 admission to the University of Ceylon’s Faculty of Engineering in Peradeniya. Featured are anecdotes of his experiences describing issues faced by the Tamil population. Reading the preface one can sense the feelings of injustice and discrimination that have shadowed him along life’s road. The standardisation he experienced would have been ‘a ton of bricks’ in comparison with other slights. He does not attribute all negative outcomes to Sinhalese people holding power, but names Tamil persons in authority who, in his eyes, served the interests of the majority.

In attempting to present the issue and policy which caused harm to a group which included himself, personal feelings have at times invaded the writing to its detriment. There is relevant and also some irrelevant information. One can feel the writer’s angst, recording various experiences which created a sense of alienation from the country of his birth. Descriptions of the effects of discriminatory actions and how they impacted individuals add poignancy even after many years. The rupture of friendships due to myths circulated against one community by the other is portrayed.    

The overall impression that the book is based on verifiable documents, many of them included in the book, is somewhat tarnished when occasionally reference is made to facts/figures ‘from memory’. Figures quoted from unreliable memory could likely have been verified/corrected by sourcing archival material. Factual errors also can creep in to the text. For example, Peradeniya’s Engineering Faculty commenced for first year students in December 1970 and not April 1971.

It was not standardisation of marks alone, but the originally gained grade being lowered that added to the injustice. Some personal examples illustrate the trauma for a student who did his best, obtained very good results and could not obtain university admission due to his ethnicity. Other personal episodes shockingly imply that once the secretive system was taken inside the Ministry of Education offices, alteration of marks probably was happening and ‘help’ given to those with the right contacts, to have their children admitted to university, or even record higher grades in the GCE O/L examination.     

The chapters and appendices take the reader back in time. The writings talk of conditions that prevailed in 1980s Sri Lanka and earlier. They portray a country not long emerged from Colonial rule and not yet having developed its own institutions. They highlight some of the very unequal realities that prevailed in the country’s education system. These contributed to the emergence of an ‘unfair’ cry by the majority, which led to the remedial action of standardisation, which led to the ‘unfair’ cry by a minority.

The release of 1969 GCE Advanced Level results in 1970 occurred shortly before a newly elected government took office. This was the starting point for the “standardisation issue” which was to run its tortuous course in following years, affecting many students who were due to get a place in university. Chapter 7 gives details of the system which was put in place to find a political solution to the problem of minority numbers being higher than majority numbers. Different ‘cut out’ marks were used to admit students of the two language streams based on an unusual application of the word standardisation. 

The nexus between politics and university admissions is illustrated by the fact that changes implemented in the 1970-76 period were overturned after the change of government in 1977. The promised changes were implemented but soon changed again due to political imperatives. The variations in university admission guidelines tried out by different higher education bodies, set up by successive governments are detailed. Reports by committees appointed to investigate allegations, study and report on best policy are also featured.

Is this book relevant now? Would it reopen old wounds and cause more anguish? Is communal populism and ethnic distrust too established in our land that no civilised dialogue is possible? Are there no intellectuals to debate & analyse the moral & ethical bases of such policies?  Hopefully there are those who can digest the facts portrayed and, in modern times where discrimination is recognised clearer than in decades past, be able to distil the essence of what sadly happened.

The details how the Standardisation system was formulated & implemented, and a few years later the District Quota system, will be an eye opener to most readers. In fact many, like myself who lived through those years, and even had the system applied to our own marks, did not know details of these systems. District Quotas were supposed to help the poorer areas. Using District Population as the basis for allocating places – not actual numbers of students appearing from each district for exams – created lop sided admission quotas. Some districts got allocations which could not be filled. All this left room for undesirable practices, and of course grievous injustice towards students who had qualified from one district left out while their places were distributed elsewhere. Jaffna District suffered even more by District Quotas – as shown by the tables.

One must remember that it was in April 1971 that the first JVP uprising occurred mainly due to lack of opportunities for the larger mass of Sinhala youth in the South. The majority community youth too had grievances that also led to national tragedy. Hopefully the book will enable people of goodwill of both communities, who love the country, to take a step back from confrontation and a step forward in sober contemplation.

Many tables and figures of University admissions are contained in the text. They would be useful for those using this book, and referenced original sources, for scholarly analysis. The selection of writings featured in the chapters show the chronologically changing scene in the field of education in the nation. The conditions – historical, geographical, socio-economic – contributed to the pattern of advantage/disadvantage. Good American Missionary Schools were concentrated in the North and other well equipped schools in the West. Hence, the inequalities were glaring when it came to University admission numbers.   

The conditions that existed at independence had English as the lingua franca of the country. The University admission system with raw marks as basis for entry may be considered the ideal system. It was ideal certainly for those who’d had an English education. With emergence of the national languages and large numbers completing secondary education in Sinhala & Tamil, the picture changed. Thousands now hoped to gain entry to university. The wide disparity in the standard of education at schools spread around the country exacerbated the situation.   

The editor, having held important positions in the Sri Lankan public sector, knows about the workings of government. The expressions of distaste for unsavoury practices reveal his love for motherland, and the determination to have this book published must be viewed in this light. The impulse he feels to end unethical practices in Sri Lanka is commendable. He could with his qualifications live a comfortable life overseas, but has chosen to live in his birthplace and express aspirations for better days. He does not see his own ethnic group through rose tinted glasses and mentions its own discriminatory practices. 

Ultimately, the book outlines a tragedy of a country that promised much when it obtained independence in 1948. It is even more tragic that the very institution, the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya which was created in the centre of the country to be a place where the nation’s most intellectually gifted could be brought together from all its corners, to form lifelong friendships and forge a multi-ethnic, united & blessed nation, was the place whose basis for admission became a confrontational issue, which led to catastrophic outcomes.     

Higher education in SriLanka has changed much since the era featured in the book. Large numbers, even from non urban areas, now find means to study abroad. The war for a separate state and the violence/instability of the JVP era led to a diaspora of all ethnic groups. Sri Lanka now has fifteen universities, not a mere four. In addition there are private institutions affiliated to overseas universities, technical colleges & foreign professional bodies. 

The whole sad saga of standardisation would have tarnished Sri Lanka’s image in the worldwide University fraternity. However products of our universities have prior to 1970 and since, filled many foreign universities’ academic staff ranks with distinction. The use of English also has grown and hopefully with communication lines open between the intelligentsia of both communities, lessons learnt will help prevent such debacles.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    7

    Within the last two months we have had enunciations of the the Tamil and Sinhalese viewpoints by writers who have got themselves very emotionally involved in the subject. Professor Hoole draws heavily on his own experiences.
    .
    So does Dr M.M. Janapriya in two “articles” (the first is a letter to some others):
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/a-letter-to-the-us-senate-committee-re-the-resolution-on-recognizing-traditional-tamil-homeland-in-sri-lanka/
    .
    The second is a reply to the criticisms voiced there:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/a-letter-to-the-us-senate-a-common-reply-to-the-many-responses/
    .
    Since these important people have got so heavily involved in these matters, it is important that we humbler people make efforts to be rational. Let me hope that frivolous comments are few.

    • 13
      1

      In this (allegedly) thrice-blessed land, innocuous English words have completely different meanings. “Humanitarian Operation” and “Standardisation” are prime examples.

    • 8
      0

      The publication of “The Story of Standardization” is a wonderful news with all scattered facts in a snapshot of a sorry saga.

      Congratulations! Professor Ratnajeevan Hoole for a great work.

    • 1
      0

      You cannot compare Prof Hoole with Dr. Janapriya. Prof. Hoole was affected by not being admitted to Peradeniya University despite having the required marks, while Dr. Janapriya was affected by being surrounded by host of Tamil students who got there by merit. While Prof Hoole has provided facts to substantiate his grievance, Dr. Janapriya falsified figures to give credibility to his assertion. He would never have expected me to possess the list of my batch mates and execute the knockout punch when I revealed the breakdown according to ethnicity.

  • 2
    17

    It should have been ethnicity based standardization and not district based. Then it is fair.

    Every community pays taxes so every community must get their fair share.

    Fearing war is not the way to do policy. Wars can be won.

    • 5
      2

      Ranjan Abayasekara,

      I still have not read the book. I make this comment based on what you have written in this article.

      “There is no author – it only has an editor, Professor S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole. The articles comprising nine chapters by unnamed writers have been penned some decades ago”

      Why do you want the names of the authors? Is it to find the ethnicity of the authors and to make your inferences based on the ethnicity?

      The articles are there in black and white and this anonymity allows readers to study objectively and come to their own conclusions.

      What is important is not who said it but what he said?

    • 1
      4

      Wrong.

      Soma

      • 1
        0

        soman

        Why are you in an Excited State, or being in a state of excitation?
        Any new relationship, did you experience new new positions, any encounter with saffron … , … ?

    • 3
      2

      C
      A war can have a winner and a loser– at times both losers, never both winners.

      • 1
        0

        SJ,

        Why Not? Win-Win situation is the desirable outcome

        • 0
          3

          of a war?

    • 1
      0

      GATAM,
      Original discrimination was ethnic based. In 1971 the law was passed to remove meritocracy for admission to sought after courses like medicine and engineering. It said Tamils must score higher mark than the others. The quota system was introduced in 1974 to discriminate against Tamils in a systematic way.

  • 14
    1

    Ranjan, thanks for introducing the book and not being biased in doing so. Just the fact it took 40 years or so to get to print says a lot about the country than the book. Reason to not to name authors is obvious that there are communities still denied of their right to free speech. Standardisation not only decapitate Tamils but later became a primary cause in decapitating the nation. It further denied the right to study and there by hopes/dreams and future. Instead of further developing education and health our governments connived and came up with this discriminating system. I have heard of quotas for communities elsewhere but never for districts. Instead of building some schools and providing facilities our govt came up with the list of rich and poor. By no means North and East were rich and the students elected were affluent. There were many who came from poor families worked hard and hoped to change their destiny were rejected. Even after 40 years the situation is still the same where there is nothing to depend other than education. We also have to keep in mind SWRD’s Sinhala only was a precursor to Srima’s standardisation. You also mentioned about those Lankans in foreign countries filling up academic positions, what if those countries had such discriminatory policies as standardisation ??

    • 9
      0

      Dear chiv and Dusty,
      .
      I’m painfully aware of the huge injustice done to a community of millions. Will you ever be able to to forgive us?
      .
      However, there could well have been many instances of cheating: not just by Tamil examiners, but by “Sinhalese”, “Christians”, “Muslims”, etc. The book is out at last; I’m glad. Not so glad when Prof. Hoole’s “Navalar Book” came out!
      .
      About cheating, every individual case that is reported must be investigated. I did some proof-reading for Prof. Hoole. There’s a long footnote in this book about how I increased a mark of 16 to 67 in the re-scrutiny of the not very important A. Level General English subject – it’s a relatively easy paper which all candidates are expected to sit, but many don’t. Candidate’s “Admired Person”: Veluppillai Prabhkaran.
      .
      Dusty, some things puzzle me. Is “Jayampathy” a typo for “Janapriya”. It is important for us to understand that even the most sincere persons may hold mistaken views. I had a 90-minute chat with Dr Janapriya on the 7th. Who is MLK?
      .
      Possible cheating here on Saturday:
      .
      https://www.stcboba.org/messages.dz
      .
      You may see some things there, even without the pw.

  • 7
    2

    Mr. Sinhala Man, Prof. Hoole seems to hold His Lordship in great honor. Therefore I believe that he must be prepared for the attacks and may even rejoice. The Bible says not to hide scared of the reviling and slanders when men say all manner of things for defending justice. It says to rejoice. Let us participate in the pain of Hoole in standing up for justice.

    The sons of Judas (SJ’s) may even say there was no standardisation just because. But debate is healthy. What hurts is not the words of the enemies but the silence of friends (also see MLK).

    Mr. Jayampathy’s article is in all probability no coincidence as one may assume. A draft of this book was in circulation probably leaked by printers even before that. He was trying to whitewash the painful reality that destroyed a whole community.

    • 2
      4

      Dusty:
      “The sons of Judas (SJ’s)”
      *
      Does Judas’ father’s name or village name start with an S?

  • 15
    0

    My 2 brothers (Now one an Engineer and the other a Doctor) were affected by standardization and District quota system. Though they did well in G.C.E.(A,L,), they failed to get admission to Universities in their first attempt.
    The marginalization of Tamils in Sri Lanka (Then Ceylon) in all fields commenced in 1956 and continues even today.
    A Tamil boy studied in a rural school in English medium and passed in his G.C.E.(O.L) in 1955 at the age of 16. Due to poverty at home, lack of facilities to continue studies in the village and proper guidance, he was looking for an opportunity to join Government service. 17 was the qualifying age to get employment then. 5 days after his 17th birthday, seeing a gazette advertisement, he applied for the post of a clerk in a closed Department, sat for a competitive exam in Jaffna, faced an interview in Colombo and appointed in November, 1956 at the Head Office in Colombo.
    (To continue)

  • 16
    0

    ( Continued)
    Later, he learnt from his senior Officers working there, that almost 1,200 candidates applied and sat for the competitive exam in 4 centers, 100 were called for the interview, 50 were selected, that the boy was the first in the written test, but placed 7th after interview, and that 6 from the majority community had succeeded him in seniority. At the interview he was only questioned about his Sinhala knowledge and qualification and the boy had replied in the negative.
    2 1/2 years later, he applied and sat for another competitive examination for selection of officers for field duties. Here too, he had to face an interview in English. For questions about Sinhala knowledge, the boy gave positive answers. In the written exam and after interview, he maintained his first place. He had to undergo one year field training, face an exam on completion of training and again topped the rank.
    He lost 2 salary increments due to his failure to sit for the Sinhala Proficiency Examinations. But these increments were later restored on political agitations and technical grounds.
    (To continue)

  • 14
    0

    (Continued)
    As a field officer, he had to pass in 3 subjects in the Departmental junior exam. The first time, he sat, he failed in one subject though he got the highest marks in the other 2 subjects. That year, the Department had requested the candidates to answer the questions in English or Sinhala. Everyone who wrote in Sinhala had passed while all those who wrote in English had been failed. Protests by the failed students fell in deaf ears. Next year he passed that subject with the highest marks and completed his exam.
    Next year, he sat for the Departmental senior exam, conducted by London University, passed the examination and promoted to the next rank. He got two more promotions and at the time of his retirement in 1999, at the age of 60, was the third senior Officer in the closed Department that employs about 10,000 employees. During his 42 1/2 years career, he was discriminated in promotions and scholarships. Otherwise, he would have been the Head of the Department at his time of retirement.
    ( To continue )

  • 13
    0

    ( Continued )
    Even now, he has two issues with the Department of Pensions and no action is taken on his several letters in English. Probably they are not understood by and are confined to waste paper basket. Even appeals to higher authorities had not brought him redress.
    To end the story, the boy is myself.
    Vela

    • 9
      1

      Thanks, Vela.
      .
      I believe you.
      .
      But even I have suffered discrimination – so I feel.
      .
      There’s much work still to be done!
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 48 3111 444V) aka Sinhala_Man, who doesn’t know any Tamil

    • 3
      18

      Vela,
      Sinhalayo can write several books on how Tamils oppressed and discriminated them by dominating the Public Service during British rule and even after Sinhalayo gained Independence .
      Now Sinhalayo in the North and East Provinces complain that they face discrimination by Tamils and Muslims who work in Government Offices.

      • 12
        2

        Who are your so called sinhalyo? .
        .
        We are thogh born to the race, some of us are very clear how they abuse their powers mostly not respecting prevailing laws. And there is lots of shortcomings in the prevailing law and order. Just look at how those police act before protesting teachers. That says everything about our so called sinhalyo. Today the situation is very similar to a mad soldier took a powerful weapon.Gota the executioner of the nation is believed to have challenged health specialists about their recommendations on go for an immediate lock down considering the rapid ly increasing death numbers. Medamulana ballige puthas would never treat people going by facts. 🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🤨🤨🤨🤨🤨

      • 8
        2

        Evil uneducated AH like you will never understand the meaning or the impact of standardisation. What kind of discrimination are you hearing from N and E , is it that cheap arrack is not available ???

    • 11
      1

      Vela, thank you so much for writing your own experience My heart goes out to you and those like you, who were discriminated by the own country and people. I am amazed by the resilience, grit and determination you showed in overcoming all that hurdles thrown through out your career Unfortunately many such victims just couldn’t make it as you. This is exactly I wrote in my comment. Youths from North and East were not all affluent and worked so hard to see achieve nothing. People may try coming up with excuses in justifying discrimination, the truth is this country dosen’t deserve people like you.

    • 9
      2

      Dear Vela,
      .
      thanks so much revealing all these to us. You have been doing a great job. I really appreciate you the kind of adding the kind of truths on this platform.
      My wish is more of you be encouraged, should come forward and educate the readership would help improvement of awareness of the readers. People regardless of the race, religion or any other barriers, should raise the question themselves, if not today when ?
      :
      The problem of our people has been – they dont seem to have guts yet to stand against injustice, even if their lovely ones would have been caught by it.
      :
      In Europe, if a person would break social distancing, that will MOSTLY become a big issue today. Civil courage is existing.
      .
      Super markets would not respect if anyone (regardless of the person be them migrants and indegenous) people as a whole would stand against the injustice.

  • 3
    11

    During British rule, Native Sinhalayo were oppressed and discriminated by Brits while a small section of Tamil community got privileges under their divide and rule policy. That group in Yapanaya enjoyed best education facilities in the country while rest of the country, except Colombo had very poor education facilities. Improving education facilities within a short period is no easy task. The challenge the Governments that came to power after Independence faced was whether to allow the status quo to remain allowing people from that small group from the Tamil community in Yapanaya to occupy more than 60% of the places in Medical College, Engineering and Science Faculties or do something for the benefit of Native Sinhalayo, particularly Buddhist who are the majority in the country that was oppressed by colonial rulers for nearly 450 years.
    Standardization was the solution they found. People from that small group in Tamil community lost some opportunities but standardization gave the opportunity for Tamils who lived outside Yapanaya to enter University. Standardization also had a negative effect on Sinhalayo and Burghers in Colombo.

    • 5
      5

      Hello Eagle Eye,
      Thanks for your response.
      It is the upcountry Sinhalese who lost most during colonial rule. Their land was confiscated and converted to tea estates and Sinhalese were asked to work on land that was previously owned by them.
      The Kandyan Peasantry Commission (KPC) was established to address some of the injustices.
      I have not seen any research on the impact of the KPC.

      • 8
        1

        Sunil,
        You have forgotten the Plantation Tamils. Can you remember, you Bunchy and I had a discussion about this as students? I agree that the Kandyan Sinhalese suffered immensely. But the Kandyan elite and Low Country investors cooperated with the British in expanding the Plantation economy and prospering from it. It was when the Plantation Tamils were also to receive the vote under the Donoughmore reforms that these same people started shedding crocodile tears for the Kandyan Peasantry and painting the Plantation Tamils, without whom the economy would have crashed, as alien parasites. In his moderate phase George E. de Silva said in the State Council that the problem of electoral conflict could be solved by having separate electorates for the Plantation Tamils and Kandyan Sinhalese, but was ignored. Our only struggle in the approach of independence was to wipe out the electoral influence of the Plantation Tamils on whose labour we lived. It was a resounding success. We are now paying with our loss of democracy and impartial legal institutions.

        • 4
          0

          Rajan,
          Thanks for the response Rajan!
          I certainly remember those discussions we had.
          My views are still the same.
          Plantation Tamils were never brought into (perhaps never allowed into) mainstream politics. I entirely agree that it is the plantation sector with the cheap Plantation Tamils’ labour (effectively indentured labour) that supported the country.
          Sinhalese and Tamil elites were not enthusiastic about the rights of the Plantation Tamils. Sinhalese would see the Plantation Tamils as a legacy of colonialism while Tamil elite considered Plantation Tamils as inferior. Correct me if I am wrong.
          Kandyan Peasantry stands out as one group that suffered the greatest injustice by the British.
          You say we are now paying with our loss of democracy and impartial legal institutions.
          I would argue that it was JR who destroyed democracy and created an all-powerful political class with no impartial legal institutions (checks and balances).
          Rajapakshas are the greatest beneficiaries of JR’s actions. When JR was setting out the powers of the ‘president’, some UNP lawyers were not comfortable with what he was proposing. Nobody dared to disagree and eventually, the new constitution was enacted.
          Contrast JR’s approach with the process adopted for the change of the constitution during Mrs B’s government.

          • 4
            0

            Continued..

            You might remember the discussion at the Faculty of Engineering on the drafting of the new constitution for Sri Lanka towards the latter part of 1971.
            Dr. Colvin R De Silva was the advocate while Prof A J Wilson presented many arguments against the constitution. The trigger for the change of the constitution was the 1971 uprising.
            It is JR who destroyed democracy and the independence of the judiciary. Nobody will change the present constitution unless there is a concerted effort by all citizens. Sadly, Sri Lankan voters are idiots.

            • 5
              0

              Dear Sunil Abeyratne,
              .
              I first became conscious of you when you came to the assistance of your friend, Dr Janapriya. You at first received a lot of flack from us, but you persisted, and won our respect because you are not only truthful, but also balanced and display a sense of responsibility.
              .
              You may remember my violent disagreement with Janaps, but we continue now to have long phone chats. He’s an honest man, but people need to talk to him, so that he realises that there are many aspects to this complex problem. I haven’t had a chat with Janaps since this review appeared. He wasn’t going to buy this book, because he “reads little.”
              .
              We’ll never be able to change impulsive Jeevan, but fortunately he’s an extrovert who interacts with many, so he gets told some things. As for Rajan, there you have a serious reader and a thinker.
              .
              Interacting like this, we may at least begin to understand many of the problems, even if we can’t solve them. That’ll happen.
              .
              How to influence voters? I’m at a loss!
              .

              • 1
                2

                Sinhala_Man,
                I am still awaiting your explanation on the manner ‘bigotry’ is applied to Dr Janapriya’s piece!
                Dr Janapriya does not need any person’s support to express and elaborate upon his views. I reiterate that what he raised on university admissions was accurate.
                I find it strange that you were offended to the point where you characterised Dr Janapriya a ‘bigot’ and proposed to vent ‘your fury’ on me for my response.

                It is not my intention to proffer advice to any party, particularly to adults who form opinions based on their education and experience. Nor am I willing to open old wounds on standardisation.
                Suffice it to say that many readers characterise other readers who have different views as ‘racists’.

                • 0
                  0

                  Dear Sunil,
                  .
                  I’m too tired to go into all that now.
                  .
                  I hope that you will continue to contribute comments because they are balanced and well-thought out.
                  .
                  For now let me allow you to suggest terms gentler than “bigotry” and “racist”. I would still contend that Dr Janapriya’s views on Sinhala-Tamil relations are unacceptable to me. This observation is made taking into account not just what he’s written in these two articles, but also what we’ve told each other in long telephone conversations. I intend meeting him when these lockdowns are over.
                  .
                  I respect him well enough for many other qualities that he possesses.

            • 5
              0

              Sunil,
              I agree that the Kandyan peasantry suffered greatly. Many were scattered to Bintenne after the 1818 rebellion. In the brutalities against the natives a section of the Kandyan ‘nobility’ played a notorious role. John Davy in his book has mentioned in this connection Eknelligodde Dissawe.
              It is not a healthy exercise to compare the sufferings of different peoples. The Plantation Tamils brought here too were uprooted, suffered heavy loss of life and were long denied basic amenities such as decent education. The leaders of independent Ceylon very badly wanted their labour without giving them any rights or land. In 1965 Tea provided 65 % of our foreign earnings.
              It is true that the Tamil elite at independence wanted the Tamil Congress to cooperate with Senanayake. If not for Chelvanayakam, the party might have voted for the Citizenship Act. In the event five of the Party’s seven MPs abstained from voting.
              Our legal institutions and law were corrupted by the time of independence. To cut a long story short, in order to meet any legal challenge to the Citizenship Act the chief justices were selected with great care to ensure conformity. In 1954 Chief Justice Alan Rose was kicked out by PM Kotelawala for his judgment adverse to the Government in the Theja Gunawardena case. Such was the rulers’ respect for the judiciary.

              • 4
                0

                Rajan,
                Thanks for providing details of our history that I did not know!
                BTW, I still have your final year examination papers (1971), which travelled with me across a few countries.
                These papers may be of sentimental value to you and I am quite happy to post these to you.

          • 2
            0

            Dear SA,
            .
            “Sinhalese and Tamil elites were not enthusiastic about the rights of the Plantation Tamils”
            .
            Not providing due rights to plantation tamils should be more than enough CW nations to understand the levels of sinhala racism being metastasized in our hell (though it is narually a Shangri-La to us expats and european tourists., but leaders have made it a hell).
            .
            Btw, if any foreigner would stay longer than 8 years in EUrope, he or she would be entitled to obtain the citizenship; I believe this is the same for Ausies and other develped countries. I wonder our leaders to delay the rights of those plantation tamils. Recalling my past in SL, I happened to go and see them in Hanthane ( in late 80ties or so).

        • 1
          4

          Rajan Hoole,
          Native Sinhalayo did not starve before British introduce tea.
          Tea plantations brought two disasters to Sinhale/Ceylon; environmental and social. Both these disasters have produced irreversible damage to this country.
          —-
          “Plantation Tamils on whose labour we lived.”

          • 6
            0

            Eagle Eye,
            Some things in history are hard to reverse. Robert Knox did not find the Kandyans starving. Given the kingdom’s connections to South India, the Northern Province through which they traded with India and the East whose administration they oversaw, many of them spoke good Tamil. Without the British coming, Ceylon would have been as much as the Dutch had left it. Not one country, but practically three: The South, the Kandyan Kingdom, and the latter loosely connected to territories of the Vanniyar chieftains in the North and East, and the North closely linked to South India by seaborne trade. But alas, the British came and using revenue from the plantations, left us with a railway network and a centralised administration. We have to live with it as best as we can. The extent of quarrelling was totally unwanted.

            • 3
              0

              Thanks for bringing up Robert Knox. He did not find the people suffering from poverty. He found that the ruler was a tyrant. He also found that the Vanni chief taxed the people more but was not as tyrannical. Knox had also observed that the Vanni chief was friendlier towards the Kandy king than to the Dutch. For those who find Robert Knox’s book boring, I recommend an article recently posted in sangam.org website.
              Coastal areas then were ruled by the Dutch. By the time Robert Knox escaped from Kandy the entire coastal area had come under the Dutch and Kandy became a landlocked kingdom.
              Apparently the Dutch exacted such heavy tax from people that Jaffna people sent a letter to the Kandy King to invade Jaffna and they will help him.

      • 4
        0

        SA
        Most of the tea estates were in uninhabited land.
        Where people lost land was in Kandy and Matale districts.
        The KPC addressed serious grievances like infrastructure, especially roads, but not land planted to tea. It did a good job though.
        Nationalisation of estates started in 1972. But there was no return of land to any locals.
        Landlessness was partly resolved by colonization schemes. A good part of the peasantry in NCP were from the Central Province.

        • 3
          0

          SJ,
          Thanks.
          Yes the KPC was not intended to acquire land that was planted.
          I did not know that the peasantry in the NCP were from the Central Province.

    • 3
      0

      Eagle Eye,

      You had raised many valid points and need a response.

      Education facilities for secondary education was satisfactory in almost all major towns in Sri Lanka prior to 1970.-Colombo, Jaffna , Kandy, Galle and a few more towns had excellent schools.

      The elites in Sri Lanka focused more on Arts and humanities and entry to the then prestigious Ceylon Civil Service and law was the longing at the expense of science-based professions.

      Those who obtained first class in universities with a good command of English became civil servants and lawyers.

      In the meantime around the time the country became independent in Jaffna, the village elites were satisfied with clerical jobs for their sons in order to get good dowry.

      Large number of Tamils entered clerical service and other similar services and the Jaffna society was contented and happy.

      The first attack after the Sinhala only of 1956 was on the clerical and allied service and hardly any Tamils were recruited after 1956.Thus discrimination was hidden . it came as lightning and thunder to Tamils hitherto enjoying a peaceful life and the future looked bleak.

      However when one door is closed another door opened, the Tamils realized that there was hardly any discrimination in higher education and the admissions were solely on merit.

  • 6
    10

    Tamils who talk about discrimination by Native Sinhalayo turn a blind eye to how Tamils discriminate against their own people.
    • When British wanted to give voting rights to people above 21 years, some Tamils objected to that and told British not to give voting rights to all Tamils.
    • When the Sinhala Government passed Social Disabilities Act in 1957 enabling low caste Tamils to enter schools for the first time, some Tamils went all the way to UK to beg the Privy Council to annul that.
    • Although all Tamils who live in Sri Lanka are of Indian origin, Tamils in the North look down upon Tamils in plantations considering them as low castes and maintain the distinction by categorizing them as ‘Indian Tamils’ and those in the North as ‘Ceylon Tamils’.
    • During the war when ‘Ranaviruwo’ took injured Tamils to a Kovil to treat them, the Poosari had refused to take them in because they belong to low caste.

    Bible says:
    “Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to notice the beam in your own eye?”

    • 10
      2

      Stop lying. There should be a limit to your stupidity and racism. Only become older but not wiser. Still full of anti Tamil venom but ironically married to a Tamil woman. Constantly posting lies and misinformation. Either you are senile and demented or think constantly repeating the same lie on and on will make it the truth. The British never favoured the Tamil people . If they had the Tamil people in the island will not be in this position. They have always favoured the Sinhalese, but used the Tamils for their hard work. The native Jaffna Tamils for white collar jobs not only in the island but also in India ( Madras Presidency) Malaysia and Singapore and the Indian Tamil peasants for their brawn and were sent to various British colonies like Ceylon, Malaysia, South Africa and other places to toil and earn lots of profits for the British empire. In 1948 they gave the hapless Tamils on a platter to the Sinhalese racists , without their consent. They did not have a referendum to ask what the Tamils wanted. They had no right to have done this but did not care

      • 10
        1

        They either should have divided the island like the found in 1820 into its Sinhalese and Tamil parts( they did that in India and created a country called Pakistan that never existed ) or created a federal form of government, safeguarding the island’s Tamil people’s rights. Indigenous and Indian origin who had now lived in the island for more than 100 years.
        The British opened a lot of schools in the Sinhalese south and very few in the north. Most of the schools in the north were opened by American missionaries or Hindu schools that were opened by Arumuga Navalar. In the south, only rich Sinhalese feudal families and the coastal Sinhalese Karawa and other Catholic/Protectant Sinhalese communities took advantage of these schools and got a western education. The rest of the Sinhalese did not want this education 1) They were far more feudal in their society than the Sri Lankan Tamils and the Buddhist priests then as now had a stranglehold on them. They advised the Sinhalese peasants and rural and urban low classes not enroll in these schools as they will become westernized and converted to Christianity. 2) The Sinhalese occupied 2/3 of the island and largely lived in the wet zone that was very green and fertile. This made their existence very easy, therefore the need get a western education was not a priority for them.

        • 9
          1

          The Tamils on the other hand lived in the more arid parts of the country and life was hard for them. Further the Hindu Brahmin priests never had much influence on them or a stranglehold on them. Tamils were further not that adverse to the Christian faith and getting converted, as Christianity had been with them, from the time of ST. Thomas. A western education was a ticket to a better life for most Tamils and they took to it in large numbers. This is all. Still trying to blame the British even after 70 years of independence for all the mistakes that had been committed in the name of Sinhalese Buddhism.
          The British also had to compensate the Sri Lankan Tamils, for what they did to them. They had merged their nation, that had been separate, with the Sinhalese nations down south in 1833 to create a new colony called Ceylon. From a 100% majority in the north and east, they had now become minority in this newly formed colony, where the Sinhalese who were only confined to the southern, western and central parts of the island for the past 2400 years, and had no peep in the core Tamil areas in the north and east, have now become the majority in the whole island, that later would lead to the current tragic situation for the indigenous Eelam Tamils from the NE of the island.

          • 9
            1

            Further the capital and center of administration for this newly formed colony became Colombo and all further development was only centered only around this area or in the southern Sinhalese areas. Far from the Tamil areas and even now it is the same. The British felt that they had put the Tamils at a disadvantage due to these moves and had to compensate them. They had lost their nation and the center of administration and all development had shifted to the Sinhalese south, especially around Colombo, forcing many Tamils, even now to relocate for employment.

            Standardization was a deliberate move to deny Tamils higher education, employment and even developing themselves as a people. It was deliberately calculated to keep them as uneducated peasant fodder and lowly skilled labour, for the Sinhalese and Muslims. Just like what the white supremacists did to the Black African population in South Africa . Envisaged by a racist Sinhalese woman of recent Tamil Naicker origin and her government and implemented by a backstabbing treacherous Muslim Minister. I personally know within the same school in Colombo, even after standardization, Tamil students with higher grades, were not offered anything. Not even basic science coursed, whilst Sinhalese and Muslims students with far lower grades were being offered prestigious coursed like Medicine, Dentistry , Engineering ETC. Strange as some of these Muslim students were studying in the same Tamil medium class as the Tamils too.

            • 10
              1

              Out of the three colonial powers that ruled the whole or parts of the island, the British had done the most damage to the Tamil people both in India and in the island. In modern Kerala, in the 1820s, the British India company at the behest of their Namboothiri Brahmin allies, deliberately destroyed the ancient western Chera Tamil dialect that was called Malayalam or Malabar Tamil, written in the Tamil script, that was then the language of more than 85% of Kerala’s population and made the highly Sanskritized Grantha Bhasha or Grantham, written in the Tulu based Tilgari script, only confined to these North Indian origin immigrant Namboothiri Brahmins and some of their half caste Nair off shoots as the official language of Kerala and cunningly renamed it as Malayalam ( the name for local Tamil dialect), As a sop to the Dravidian majority introduced a lot of Tamil words into this new Malayalam. Even the powerful ancient Syrian Christian church of Kerala, that was using Tamil, until the 1800s was forced to used this new highly Sanskritized Grantha Malayalam, now written in Tilgari. Very few people in Kerala are now aware of what the British did to them. All because the Dravidian masses were against the British rule .

              • 9
                1

                In Sri Lanka or Ceylon they amalgamated the Eelam Tamil areas and nation with the Sinhalese areas and nation down south to create a new colony called Ceylon and destroyed the Eelam Tamil nation and gave the Sinhalese power over them in 1948. Even the Portuguese and Dutch colonial powers, who were also quire cruel did not do this. They were aware that the island’s Tamils were a separate people and nation from the Sinhalese from ancient times and made their areas a separate colony from the Sinhalese areas they controlled. The British deliberately did the opposite and then promoted the Mahavams myth, that the Sinhalese were Aryans and true owners of the land and still overtly and covertly support the Sinhalese and their structural genocide on the island’s Tamils. Only just mouth concerns about the plight of the island’s Tamils but did everything to destroy them. If the Sinhalese were ruling the whole island and the Tamils , since ancient times then at least to same extent can justify their stand but they never had until the British arrived and created Ceylon in 1833 and then handed the power only to the Sinhalese majority and left.

              • 3
                0

                British East India Company and not British Company.

    • 11
      3

      Eagle Eye is cooking up: “When the Sinhala Government passed Social Disabilities Act in 1957 enabling low caste Tamils to enter schools for the first time …”

      I was in school in Jaffna before 1957. Nearly all my classmates were of the so called low castes with a few from the artisan and musician castes.

      The Jaffna Tamil — Ceylon Tamil distinction is from the government, not from us.

      I suspect that if one finds the time to research Eahle Eye’s claims they will not stand up.

      • 0
        0

        JM
        The Social Disabilities Act resulted in many changes.
        But EE’s claims are blind to history.
        *
        The ‘untouchables’ had organized themselves since the time of the Jaffna Youth Congress and had campaigned for rights.
        Free education and compulsory education made an impact, yet access to education was limited by various social factors.
        Data on highest academic achievement by caste, family income and literacy of parents will be revealing.
        *
        I know how backward schools are in certain parts of Jaffna.
        When a child just passed the Grade-5 ‘scholarship’ examination in a school in Puththur, well into this century, the whole community celebrated, for it was the first time it happened there.
        I have visited a few schools and have some idea of the handicaps certain communities face.

  • 5
    12

    Prof. Hoole has wasted his time and energy to produce a book on an issue that arose about 50 years ago and had a negative effect on less than 1% of the people and less than 5% of the Tamil population in the country. A large majority of Sinhala and Tamil people got benefitted from standardization.
    Trying to link standardization and demand for a separate State is nonsense. Separatism was in the agenda of Tamil politicians at the time British ruled Sinhale. The LTTE carders who terrorized the country to create a separate State had no effect of standardization. Those who had an effect did not fight.

    • 12
      2

      Evil, “Prof. Hoole has wasted his time and energy to produce a book”, whereas your parents wasted their time and energy in creating you.

  • 4
    8

    Standardisation was purely a socialist move.
    Privileged class would always argue this way.

    Soma

    • 5
      2

      S
      What is socialist about pushing up the average mark foe a group of students?
      Was it in any way a means-tested equal opportunity adjustment.
      Who were the beneficiaries?
      *
      The GCE-AL result was a most unfortunate freak as I have explained here earlier.
      The government did something out of desperation and in haste. Had it not done something to placate the Sinhalese, there would have been riots.
      But steps could have been taken with wider consultation and less clumsily. Unfortunately there was bad blood between the FP and the UF that would have obstructed compromise.
      *
      Some readily blame the UF government for its action.
      Both UNP (to FP’s embarrassment) and JVP were ready to pounce on the opportunity to turn the Sinhalese against the government.
      *
      What is sad is that, on both sides, people view issues from angles representing their own (at best group) immediate interests. As a result, the broader picture gets lost in the acrimony.
      Can anyone on either side of the debate suggest a feasible alternative that would have been fair compromise?
      How would even think in such terms?
      We lack such vision and therefore indulge in tribal warfare.
      Anyone deviating from the sectarian narrative is branded a traitor (as two Peradeniya Sinhalese academics were in 1970).

      • 3
        0

        correction:
        How many would even think in such terms?
        We lack such vision and therefore indulge in tribal warfare.

        • 2
          1

          Holding of year 5 scholarship examination continuously year after year for admission to prestigious schools in urban areas is clear proof of inequality in educational facilities.
          The gap between good and bad schools continues to widen.
          Why not standardize schools for university admissions? Still it will not be level playing criteria!

      • 3
        0

        SJ
        Hard to counter your view point.
        However even today if the government decides to reserve 10% of uni admissions to upcountry tea estate students in view of their pathetic economic standard on what grounds would you object to that?
        (Government will have to face the wrath of the Sinhalese because they are TAMILS, not because they are poor)
        You say “What is socialist about pushing UP the average mark for a group of students?
        Isn’t it the same thing as pushing DOWN the average mark for a group of DISADVANTAGED students?
        Hypothetically, if Australian or Canadian governments decide to push DOWN the uni entry requirements for native people would you say that is pushing UP the requirements for white students and therefore unfair ?
        .
        By the way does India “constitutionally” recognise some people as low cast and reserve employment quotas for them to counter the social handicap they are faced with?
        If true isn’t that grossly unfair by others?

        Soma

        • 1
          0

          Soma
          Reservation is sensible when it is for the socially handicapped.
          The beneficiaries of standardization were members of higher strata.
          Reservation by itself is no answer.There are other matters that need to be addressed before one can find enough HCT people to fill their quota.
          They are still not recognized as a distinct nationality on par with N&E Tamils and Muslims.
          Most still have no right to land or housing.
          Their settlements are not elevated to ‘village’ status.
          Most of them have no postal address.
          Think about it.

    • 6
      1

      Soman, is SOCIALISM the new term for discrimination. Seems like you were one of the beneficiary. I agree with SJ but he says “govt did because otherwise there would have been riots” regardless there were plenty after it. Alternate to standardisation is plain and simple , develop education and health sector further, which is the most rational step expected from any decent government. After taking all our resources if British could still develop the education and health sector , I am sure any govt could have done the same or even better. Singapore did and even India to certain extent achieved. Whereas our government gave free education to all with not enough schools to attend. This is what Soman calls as SOCIALISM.

      • 2
        3

        Chiv, SJ
        .
        May I have your opinion on the following from Wickepedia:
        .
        “Reservation is a system of affirmative action in India that provides historically disadvantaged groups representation in education, employment and politics. Based on provisions in the Indian Constitution, it allows the Indian government to set reserved quotas or seats, which lower the qualifications needed in exams, job openings etc. for “socially and educationally backward citizens.”
        .
        Mark the words “which lower the qualifications needed in exams”

        Soma

        • 4
          0

          Soma,
          The reservation system in India , like the one in the US, is for backward social and religious communities like tribals, backward castes, and minorities including even some Roman Catholics. It is not for the advantage of the majority. Our system is more like the Bhumiputhra system in Malaysia, which seeks to give Malays a larger share of the economy. It has failed so far, as it has here. One’s attitude to work is something that is inculcated by one’s community, and that is something that cannot be legislated. That’s why 70% of the export economy is still run by minorities here. Standardisation has given us educated idiots like Padeniya, Weerasekera, Jayasumana or Seetha Arambepola.Capable people of international standard who could have helped the country have fled. Our loss is Canada’s and Australia’s gain.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_153_of_the_Constitution_of_Malaysia

          • 3
            4

            old codger,
            The situation in Malaya was exactly the same as in Sinhale. British oppressed Malays who were the Native people of that country and gave privileges to Chinese who came to Malaya as refugees and Tamils taken as laborers. Mahathir Mohamed introduced ‘Bhumiputra’ to give due place to Native Malays. For Tamils anything that has gone against them is a failure. In Sinhale, Native Sinhalayo could not get the full benefit because of Tamil terrorism that ruined the economy.
            —–
            “Our system is more like the Bhumiputhra system in Malaysia, which seeks to give Malays a larger share of the economy. It has failed so far, as it has here.”

            • 2
              1

              Eagle,
              Are the Malays any better off now? Do they control the economy ?
              Neither do the Sinhala Buddhists control the economy here.

          • 4
            6

            old codger,
            Free education given to Tamils produced racist separatists and terrorists.

            “Standardisation has given us educated idiots like Padeniya, Weerasekera, Jayasumana or Seetha Arambepola.”

          • 1
            2

            Old codger,
            I have a faint memory that there were even some socialist minded Tamils who agreed with standardisation at the time similar to some Tamil politicians agreeing with repatriation of estate Tamils.
            Can you help?

            Soma

            • 0
              1

              Which ‘socialist minder’ Tamil?
              I know of one who made a good case for positive discrimination based on standard of school.
              There were beneficiaries of the ‘District Quota’ modification (initially suggested by Keunenman, I think).
              What was needed was not done:
              Building more schools than admitting too many to reputed schools.
              Improving all schools to have good science education.
              Ensuring a good school within cycling distance for every child.

              • 0
                1

                SJ
                Building more and well equipped schools and universities is the answer is no brainer ( an innovative idea which Chiv came up with first.)
                Same thing applies to price control of essential commodities by government.

                Soma

                • 0
                  0

                  Soma,
                  “Building more and well equipped schools and universities is the answer is no brainer”
                  Yes, but how can a government do that, and at the same time pay salaries and pensions to an armed force bigger than the UK’s?
                  Either the Army can be used to suppress uppity Tamils, or the state can be toppled by unemployed ex- Ranaviruwos. What to do?

                • 1
                  0

                  What have we done in 50 years since standardization?
                  Every other country in Asia has built better schools with better science teaching by well equipped laboratories, and without overcrowding.
                  We have destroyed laboratory teaching. I have come across several students who have not seen a laboratory thermometer until stepping into my laboratory.
                  A tenth of the subject teaching schedule in Year 1 is allocated to expose students to basic instruments that they should have been familiar with at school.
                  You do not need sophisticated equipment but creative teachers and a little state support to work miracles.

      • 1
        3

        Chiv
        .
        “Alternate to standardisation is plain and simple , develop education and health sector further, which is the most rational step expected from any decent government”
        WHAT A BRILLIANT IDEA.
        I wish drafters of Indian Constitution sought your advice before they inserted the words “scheduled castes”.

        Soma

        • 5
          1

          Read again Soman, India is gradually getting rid of the system. Constitution when drafted quota would have been the recommendation, but what happened after was to abuse for political purposes, electoral gains and thereby discriminate the deserving ones. End result the whole country including the disadvantaged suffered , brain drain.It is not a brilliant idea but a sensible one. There are many countries who adopted such policies and succeeded. May be Lankans would have not heard such things.

          • 1
            2

            Chiv
            You are reasoning against “continuation” of a quota system, not introduction initially as a quick measure. I am with you.
            You don’t blame the initial Indian Constitution, do you?
            .
            Socialism is a failure is another debate.
            I empathise with socialists of bygone era for I always believe that it was done with good intention.
            Sirimavo herself sacrificed about 5,000 acres when she limited land ownership to 50.
            .
            I say again ‘standardisation’ was a socialist move WHICH THE TAMIL SEPARATISTS MADE USE OF TO INCITE THE YOUTH.

            Soma

    • 0
      0

      soman

      As far as SJ is concerned anything and everything what Siri Mao did was excellent politics, remedial, socialist, …… basically brilliant.

      If she did’t do it UNP would have used it. Yet Siri Mao was an exceptionally good leader. He always sticks to his principled position, Siri Mao and Mao could do no harm to people.

  • 2
    0

    SJ,

    Why Not? Win-Win situation is the desirable outcome

  • 4
    0

    Hello,
    I am from Sydney Australia. Born in Jaffna to Christian family and brough up as a Caatholic and married a Sinhal Buddhist from deep down south.
    My wife is a full blown Christian by her own choice and run a women’s Ministry here for the last 9 years.

    My wife and I are interested in buyin Professor Hoole’s book.
    How can I get a copy.

    May God Bless You
    Soundra

    • 1
      1

      May you attain Nibbana.

      Soma

      • 0
        0

        soman

        “May you attain Nibbana.”

        Even before he or she is dead?????

  • 4
    0

    Soma, I agree that quota system exist in India. I also agree people who are disadvantaged needs to be lifted. I would prefer that being done by improving their quality of life through development than a quota system. Say if quota is what is going to lift those people it should be done without sacrificing some one else future. Also there has to be a time period where such reservation should be applied.( not indefinite) Progress should be reviewed and if needed modified. In India such quota system is now gradually being eliminated and replaced by a common NITE ( entry exam like in other countries) where candidates are selected on merit only. In medicine this is in process for last 3 to 4 years, and this system is gradually being introduced to every other field.(including post graduation studies)

    • 2
      0

      Chiv,

      It is not NIET but NEET- Abbreviation for NATIONAL ELIGIBILITY CUM ENTRANCE TEST .

      It is an examination conducted in India in several languages mainly for medical related entrance examination to medical colleges.

      The subjects tested are Biology, Physics and Chemistry.

      Several states in India including Tamil Nadu are opposed to this test.

      • 3
        0

        Srikrish, thanks for correcting me. I believe now that these exams are conducted successfully for last 3 to 4 years, the system is to stay. I am told soon it will be expanded to engineering and few other major courses. True some states oppose it and TN is most vociferous among all. In my opinion it is more to do with politics and resistance to change. The alternate was few under privileged benefited some managed to get by merit and rest slots were for payment/bidding. This just made the the gap between poor and rich/inequality much wider. With the NEET now financial gains for colleges have been severely restricted. (the course fees are fixed too). Also people need to keep in mind the quota for under privileged later found ways to religion, cast —etc. (abused by politicians). From what I know, protest from candidates are much less compared to politicians.

  • 3
    2

    There is no doubt that standardisation policy (language based) that was introduced in 1969 had still have an impact on the country along with some other policies created with political motives such as Sinhala only act, Prevention of Terrorism Act etc. Still such policies are generated with political motives. You can argue for and against standardisation but when it joins with the political motivation it brings conflicts and it can lead to not only war but also complete principles of governance such as equality, rule of law and justice. Unfortunately, we have not learnt anything.
    The invasion of Europeans before five centuries is not the fault of Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims who were living in this island prior to this invasion. We never invited them to rule us or colonise but they were militarily powerful and we have no option other than accepting them. They made rules to this country, they introduced their educational system and they employed us to govern the country and it is not our fault. Tamils took more education and more employment, not against Sinhalese or any other. When they left, more Tamil doctors, more Tamil Government servants, more in the military.
    Before the Europeans, this island had some sort of sharing the power based on the ethnic distribution.

    • 4
      3

      Ajith,
      Do not try to cook up stories. There was no power sharing in Sinhale based on the ethnic distribution before Europeans came . For short periods Dravida invaders controlled northern part of the country but most of them were chased away. However, there were remnants of those invaders in the country at the time Europeans came.
      —-
      “Before the Europeans, this island had some sort of sharing the power based on the ethnic distribution.”

      • 0
        1

        Ajith is rewriting history.

        Soma

        • 2
          0

          soman

          “Ajith is rewriting history.”

          Then he must be a Sinhala/Buddhist historian, archaeologist, media man and woman, a diplomat, …………………………….

      • 2
        0

        Eagle,
        If the King was of Tamil origin, isn’t that power sharing? Why did Ratwatte sign the Kandyan convention in Tamil?
        Why are the names of places like Negombo, Colombo, Panadura, etc of Tamil origin?

    • 3
      0

      Correct but neither it was the fault of the Tamils, as to what happened and for taking up to western education and its benefits than the Sinhalese or even the Muslims did, for them to gang up and create all these nasty laws and policies that deliberately discriminated and marginalized the Tamils and even stole around 30% of their land after independence, with various state aided colonisation schemes to deliberately settle out of area Sinhalese on ethnically cleansed Tamil lands, especially in the east. The worst is these Sri Lankan Muslims or Moors, who are in reality are ethnic immigrant Indian Tamil convers to Islam with a dash of Arab, were the co partners of the Sinhalese in this anti Tamil genocidal dance. All in the name of Islam and an imagined concocted Arab origin, that only a few of them partially had. Before the arrival of the European powers to the island, they had taken refuge in the then Tamil parts of the island , when they left their original South Indian homeland, either as refugees or as traders. Later when the Portuguese started to kill them and persecute them , it was largely again to the Tamil east they fled and were given refuge , as fellow Tamils. However within a few generations, they repaid this kind act of the Tamils with treachery and are now even trying to steal their lands.

      • 3
        0

        It was not the Sinhalese or Muslims who lost the most out of this European colonization, the Muslims never had a nation or not even allowed to own land until the British repealed this law. It was the Tamils who lost the most or everything because of the this European colonization. The Sinhalese and the Muslims ultimately gained. The Sinhalese gained independence and their nation plus the Tamil lands to the north and east thanks to the British. The Muslims given lots of opportunity joined Sinhalese racist and steal Tamil lands, that was never theirs in the first place and all sorts of perks given to them by the Sinhalese at the expense of the Tamils .
        It was the Tamils who lost the most or everything because of the this European colonization. The Sinhalese and the Muslims ultimately gained. The Sinhalese gained independence and their nation plus the Tamil lands to the north and east thanks to the British. The Muslims given lots of opportunity joined Sinhalese racist and steal Tamil lands, that was never theirs in the first place and all sorts of perks given to them by the Sinhalese at the expense of the Tamils .

        • 3
          0

          Over 550 Hindu temples were destroyed by the Portuguese, the British took large chunks of their historic lands and gave them to the Sinhalese( north west Puttlam.Chilaw.Negombo) Pathavi Kulam ( Padaviya) in the north and ThambanKadavai(Tamankaduwa) in east. Later in 1833 they merged the Eelam Tamil nation with the Sinhalese areas down south to create a new colony called Ceylon and made the Tamils loose their nation and become a minority and the Sinhalese who were only confined to the south a majority in the whole island, leading to the current catastrophic situation for the island’s Tamils, when the British gave power only to the Sinhalese majority in 1948 and left. What they should have done was develop education and schools throughout the island and had a 20-30% quota for talented disadvantaged students from poor, rural and backward areas, irrespective of ethnicity, until this was achieved. Instead to deliberately marginalize and disadvantage the island’s Tamils, even the poor ones and from the rural disadvantaged areas, they introduced language and ethnic based standardization and later district quotas, that were done deliberately to keep the Tamil intake to prestigious courses to the bare minimum, whilst giving undue advantage to largely rich and affluent Sinhalese and Muslims .

    • 3
      0

      Ajith,
      “We never invited them to rule us or colonise but they were militarily powerful and we have no option other than accepting them.”
      Actually we did. Bhuvaneka Bahu invited the Portuguese to fight his brothers. The Europeans simply took advantage of our disunity and stupid leaders

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        Correct it was only the Tamil Jaffna kingdom, that fought against the Portuguese and lost. Over 500 Sinhalese mercenaries fought with the Portuguese against the Tamils. Later the Sinhalese invited the Dutch into the island to oust the Portuguese and then the British to oust the Ditch. The so called Kandyan Sinhalese aristocracy later played a treacherous part in the fall of the Kandyan kingdom. They advised the British on how to enter the mountainous kingdom of Kandy, the secret pathways ETC. The reason was they did not like the Tamil king and thought the British will help them to oust the Tamil Naicker king and one of them will them be then elected to be the king of Kandy. The British like all European colonial powers had other ideas. What a joke to so called Kandyan Sinhalese aristocracy were as much as Tamil as their king. This is the reason half of them signed the Kandyan convention in Tamil and this includes the ancestor of one of the most anti Tamil Prime Ministers in the island. Srimavo Bandaranaike. Who with her Muslim minister Badudeen Mohammed introduced standardization and then district basis, to deliberately deny Tamil youth higher education.

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          R25
          You can be amusing without even trying.

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            Glad that you found me amusing, as I find you sad and pathetic, that also without trying.

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              Even this is pretty amusing stuff.

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              SJ does seem to loose the relevancy of the discussion.

              I have now distinctly and explicitly noticed it two articles.

              However, SJ’a appreciation for China is without even thinking.

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            Portuguese, like Sinhalese, burnt perhaps the only library cum museum called ‘Sarasuvathy Mahal’ within Nallur Iraasathaani (where Royal court and palace were at that time).

            This is the main reason that Tamils are not with any historical document of history of the Tamils in the Island by Tamils themselves.

            The ministerial palace is still there and there is specific purpose for the location, which is next to Satta Nathar Koyil (Lord Siva as Lingam & Paarvathi as full bodied female statue in separate karoovalam for each, meaning Lord of the justice in practice ( and laws literally) ). It is NOT Sattai Nathar as some idiotic, Tamil history novices are claiming.

            The Koyil gets its name because of specific practice of the ministers (with King on special occasions) took the Kingdom’s book of Law to the Koyil and performed Saiva religious rituals for blessing the Kingdom, people and King and their ancestors before starting the administration daily.

            It might as well amusing for you.

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        old codger

        “Bhuvaneka Bahu invited the Portuguese to fight his brothers. The Europeans simply took advantage of our disunity and stupid leaders”

        Of course the genetically related stupid brothers fought. The Chinese are taking over the land, state and the bureaucracy. In many cases they are buying out the loyalties of functionaries.

        Any chance of Palitha Kohona being transferred to Sultanate of New Delhi?

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    Chiv,

    It is not NIET but NEET- Abbreviation for NATIONAL ELIGIBILITY CUM ENTRANCE TEST .

    It is an examination conducted in India in several languages mainly for medical related entrance examination to medical colleges.

    The subjects tested are Biology, Physics and Chemistry.

    Several states in India including Tamil Nadu are opposed to this test.

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    Meddling with raw marks commenced in 1970 for 1969 GCE Advanced Level examination.

    It was ethnic basis- by adding more marks arbitrarily to Sinhalese candidates for admission to medical and Engineering Faculties. Next Year onwards it was media wise and after 1977 came merit, +district basis +underprivileged districts and the z score came in much later.

    Whatever the system , it was to ensure only limited number of Tamils entering the prestigious faculties.

    When it was found that the percentage of students eligible for admission to Arts faculty is very much less merit system was followed for admission to arts faculty.

    Only z score could be classified as standardization respectably. But even here much more transparency is needed.

    Now the objective has been achieved and Tamils have been brought to their knees.

    Now there is a clamor for reintroducing merit system exclusively for admission to prestigious faculties.

    Alas, if they did so not a single Tamil student could enter either medical or engineering faculties.

    That is the tragedy.

    The Tamils will be compelled to plead for district basis for admission as a merciful act.

    History has travelled a full circle.

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