24 June, 2024

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President, Politicians & The National Question

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

“Paci vanthidap paththum paranthu pom”, are the immortal words from the grand old lady of Tamil poetry, Awwai, who lived sometime during the Sangam era (600 BCE – 300 CE), which simply means that when hunger pervades, all ten features of humanity would evaporate and disappear. According to her, those features were, a sense of shame (maanam), caste consciousness (kulam), education (kalvi), strength (vannmai), intelligence (arivudamai), philanthropy (thaanam), religious faith (thavam), personal status (uyarchchi), jealousy (thaalaanmai) and sexual lust (kaamam). Of this list, the second element of caste consciousness could be interpreted broadly to include communal consciousness, which in the context of present Sri Lanka is most appropriate. Is not communalism or ethnonationalism the bane of this country and the underlying cause for the economic disaster experienced now? 

It is therefore not unreasonable to argue that it is the agony and horror of economic misery and hunger caused by financial bankruptcy and collapse of the economy that appear to have melted the hearts of hardline Sinhala-Buddhist ethnonationalists to allow President Ranil Wickremesinghe (RW) to proceed with his initiative to find permanent solution to the decades old national question. That there is also added pressure from international community and institutions that want an early resolution to this vexed question before extending economic and financial assistance, strengthens RW’s urgency. To his credit therefore, he has chosen the right time to bring the national question to the centre stage of public discussion. But will he succeed is the sixty-four thousand dollars question.   

While targeting the centenary year 2048 for realizing his economic dream of transforming Sri Lanka into a technologically advanced and export oriented economic paradise competing and hobnobbing with members of the First World family, he has now set the 2023 Independence Day, to resolve the national question. And to start the ball rolling, he called the leading members of all political parties that are represented in the parliament for their constructive proposals and contributions. Although it was only a preliminary step along a difficult journey, it was regrettable that JVP of all parties, which should have taken the lead in those deliberations decided to keep away from them. Why its leaders took that decision is mindboggling to say the least and the party owes a plausible explanation to the public.  

However, from what could be gleaned from published reports the immediate reaction to RW’s opening salvo, seems to be one of cautious optimism. Except for a couple of dissenting voices from one or two recalcitrant parliamentarians, even the usual suspects from the saffron army who would have normally fired the first shot against any move towards reconciliation with Tamils has surprisingly kept their silence. Is this a sign of blessing or calm before storm?

Be that as it may, the entire stature and content of the national question has changed substantially from its initial days, when the focus was solely on the Tamil community and that too minus its upcountry segment.  Today, and since 2009, with Muslims and upcountry Tamils raising their own grievances against Sinhala-Buddhist majoritarianism, and being led by their own set of leaders, the so-called Tamil National question has metamorphosed into a Minorities National question. This tripartite division within the minorities and their conflicting demands would certainly provide opportunities to hardliners from the majority community to divide and rule. That may be one of the reasons for the muted opposition so far to RW’s reconciliation initiative. Or, it may be and as indicated earlier, people are so preoccupied with the daily struggle of feeding, clothing and shelter that they do not care what happens to the national question. 

But the real difficulty in finding any solution to the ethnic issue lies in the politics surrounding it. What makes RW to believe that a bunch of politicians including himself, who had enjoyed the benefits of ethnonationalism for decades would now change their minds and contribute to a solution that would permanently deprive them of those benefits? Isn’t it like asking for advice from a robber to stop robbery?    

The ethnic issue was engineered by politicians for reasons of political power and with support from ethnonationalists, particularly from the Sinhala-Buddhist variety. The capture and maintenance of that power later became an avenue for accumulating personal wealth and prestige under the cover of national development. The constitutions that were designed from time-to-time ennobled ethnonationalism, and provided its upholders with social licensing to do whatever they liked and in the manner they liked. All state machineries including the judiciary were subjugated to serve the needs of politicians. There was no accountability, except at periodic polls in which the same ethnonationalism decided the victor. Ethnonationalism is part of the SYSYTEM and that SYSTEM continued for decades until a new generation of awakened youth called for SYSTEMIC CHANGE. Now, having denied such a radical change and taken precautions to prevent any recurrence of such a demand, RW wants the same politicians to find solution to eradicate permanently an ideology that benefited them immensely for decades. Will they genuinely concede to his demand or plan their own countermoves to sabotage his initiative only time would tell.

Had RW been sincere in his determination to resolve the national question he should have formed a partnership with that youth group which began its aragalaya with an a-political and a-ethnic stamp. This author will continue to argue that this was a missed opportunity caused by a total misunderstanding of the real thinking and motivations of a new generation of young men and women in this country. This is a generation that is in constant touch with its counterparts in the rest of the world and realize how the world outside is responding to the creative thoughts and demands of its members. This intergenerational global divide with political implications, and the need for a gender balanced and intergenerational parliament in this country to tackle issued like the Minorities National Question is still not well understood by RW and his political team. On a different occasion the Governor of CBSL Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe stressed the point that with or without IMF medium and long-term reforms are an absolute necessity to pull the country out of its mess. Resolving the national question permanently requires more than a short-term effort and involves radical SYSTEMIC CHANGE. It has to be at least part of a medium-term reform agenda.  

That agenda requires popular support and the new generation of young men and women is the vehicle that could work to generate that support. By suppressing the aragalaya movement with force, RW missed an opportunity to solicit the backing of this generation in undertaking fundamental reforms that would change the SYSTEM and helped ethnic reconciliation efforts. His olive branch at the Royal is too little and too late. He is now forced to turn to his own kind in the parliament for help. 

The resolution requires statesmanship on both sides, which is sadly in absence. It therefore needs the involvement of an elite of patriotic and humanist negotiators with Chanakya talent to settle this question. The new generation is intelligent enough to rally behind such a group. Such talented people are available in the community but they are outside politics. By not picking them and leaving negotiations to politicians RW has shot his foot. 

*Dr. Ameer Ali, Murdoch Business School, Murdoch University, W. Australia

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Latest comments

  • 10
    2

    Is not communalism or ethnonationalism the bane of this country and the underlying cause for the economic disaster experienced now? – Ameer Ali.
    No amount of emphasis could convey the actuality of the above assertion.
    I am glad that I have been always of the same wavelength!
    My wavelength recedes on, ‘to allow President Ranil Wickremesinghe to proceed with his initiative to find permanent solution to the decades old national question’.
    I trust neither the hardliners nor the President.
    No amount of pressure from international community would convince me that the leopards will change their spots. I am willing to double the sixty-four thousand dollars!

    • 13
      4

      If Ranil could or really really wanted …….. he would’ve solved this minor problem in a jiffy. It’s another talkfest by Ranil to buy him more time ……… so he can fulfil his livelong desire to be president at least for 1001 days

      Native, ever heard of Scheherazade? ……… Ranil is telling Tamils stories in the night ……… without the ending. …….. to keep himself alive for the next night.

      It’s like the woman who gets OC to the height of O ……… but holds him back at the exact moment of release to prolong the agony/ecstasy – depends on how you view thangs: to Ranil supporters it’s ecstasy, to his detractors it’s agony. ….. Ranil has always done that to his “true believers” and detractors alike.

      Lanka’s problems are more than just Lanka ……. the whole world is in a very bad place ……. in the developed world debt to GDP is over 400% ……. and a major part of it is household debt. The inflation is rising and to tame it, interest rates are rising.


      This guy gives the smorgasbord of problems the world is facing …… even if you don’t agree with his suggested solutions, one has to agree the problems exist and are real. …….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADh6QTp8798&t=8s

      Hope you can understand; I can’t ………… https://carnegieendowment.org/chinafinancialmarkets/86397

      • 9
        1

        nimal fernando

        Thanks for introducing Dr Dooms to this forum.
        This is the first instant I am hearing Dr Dooms message.
        When did you start focusing on doom and gloom?
        Thanks anyway, its an interesting analysis.

        According to Nouriel Roubini no country free from Megathreats including China. Let us see how SJ is going to present this threat (perception?) and how it is going to effect China, ….. Because China has decent policies …….

        • 6
          4

          “even the usual suspects from the saffron army who would have normally fired the first shot against any move towards reconciliation with Tamils has surprisingly kept their silence.”
          I do hope devious Ranil isn’t about to offer them free electricity in return for keeping quiet. That would be shooting himself in the foot.
          Still, recent happenings such as the crackdown on indiscipline in the Universities indicate which way the wind is blowing.

      • 7
        2

        No IMF bail out for Rani
        SLPP marriage of convinence.

        Hold elections

        Get ligitimate government.

        Untill then nothing happens.

        How can a failed leader like Ranil rescue SL ?

    • 6
      12

      “No amount of pressure from international community would convince me that the leopards will change their spots. “
      Why would they bother to convince you are me or even AA?
      You forgot the stripes of the tiger. That animal is just as stubborn as its relative.

  • 1
    5

    NF. This all sound gobbledygook to me but not to you, MF, LM, S_M etc., though.

  • 7
    1

    I don’t know whether the initiation for resolving or finding the solution by RW is real or not. But so far there was only one session with many political parties together just listening and nodding. Only we heard from TNA what do they expect to such as release of political prisoners, what happened to those who surrendered to the Govt at the end of war, and full implementation of 13th amendment and finding a political solution based on federalism. So far none of the major political parties including UNP, SLPP did not say anything. It looks like they are waiting for opportunity to put the blame on others if the President fail to achieve any solution.

    President may come up saying that I tried my best but others don’t agree with me! (creating a situation to divide)

  • 6
    6

    Awwai, who lived sometime during the Sangam era (600 BCE – 300 CE)
    There were more than one poetesses by the name ‘Avvai’.
    Literature of the Sangam period starts later than 600 BC, and the Avvai of that period did not compose the lines cited. The language, style and values represented correspond to a much later period.
    I wonder why he had to bend over backwards to reinterpret ‘kulam’ (or caste) as communal consciousness.
    *
    Turning to the claim “Is not communalism or ethnonationalism the bane of this country and the underlying cause for the economic disaster experienced now? “–
    Communalism is the bane of the whole of South Asia, but nowhere the cause of economic disaster.
    Racist countries have thrived economically for centuries.
    Oversimplifying issues and pinning problems on a single factor will not help us understand them correctly.

  • 6
    4

    ” Today, and since 2009, with Muslims and upcountry Tamils raising their own grievances against Sinhala-Buddhist majoritarianism, and being led by their own set of leaders, the so-called Tamil National question has metamorphosed into a Minorities National question. “
    *
    Thank you for conceding the point that there are three Tamil speaking nationalities, something that a Marxist party on the North insisted on in the early 1990s.
    The position taken by that party was that the national question has to be seen as one of 4 nationalities and the right of several other national minorities to recognition as distinct ethnic groups.
    This throws out of the window the federal solution put forward by the FP in 1949 and revived by Tamil nationalist lately.

  • 13
    2

    Thank you, Dr Ameer Ali and another good article by you. It is such a pleasure to generally read your and Tisaranee Gunasekera’s articles or columns here. Yes all three Tamil or Tamil-speaking minority communities the indigenous Sri Lankan or Eelam Tamils from the north and east, the estate origin or Malayaka Tamils, and the Sri Lankan Moors or Tamil Muslims, should be united and stand together to win their just rights, from the very ethnocentric largely racist Sinhalese Buddhist state, that has successfully divided and then used one Tamil/Tamil speaking community against the other, using religion, origin, region and ruled and stored large parts of our homeland, especially in the east. Let us not allow religion or slightly mixed western Asian or another origin amongst some of us, to divide and quarrel amongst us, and make the Sinhalese, use these minor divisions, to win, deny our just human rights, as people of this nation too and rule over us.

    • 14
      2

      United we stand, divided we will all perish and make Sinhalese Buddhist Fascism and racism win and ultimately ruin the nation. After all, the island’s three major Tamil communities, are close brother/sister people, originating from the same people, speaking the same language, now practising different religions, with some of us with slightly different origins from the rest but this is a minor difference. If we realize this and fight and negotiate as fellow brothers and sisters, respecting each other’s differences and many similarities, we will win. We need enlightened Tamil Muslim/Moors like you to speak on behalf of the island’s Muslims and not some religious bigots or hardliners, who are bent on dividing the Tamil people in the name of religion and Arabism.

      • 6
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        Siva sankaram,

        “United we stand, divided we will all perish and make Sinhalese Buddhist Fascism and racism win and ultimately ruin the nation. After all, the island’s three major Tamil communities, are close brother/sister people, originating from the same people”

        You are so kind……

        Best way to demonstrate your brotherhood is to have a few Muslims contesting under TNA and also holding senior positions in a united Tamil speaking front.

        You can only dream man…

        • 8
          1

          Chingkallam speaking South Indian origin Thamizh pear. Please research before posting. Muslims have contested under TULF and TNA banners. Please read this.
          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/tnas-two-bonus-seats-to-a-muslim-and-to-a-woman-and-not-to-anandasangari/
          However many Muslim politicians and elite down south and in the east for their own selfish political power and economic agenda, deliberately create divisions between the island’s Thamizh and Muslim Thamizh, using religion, alien Arabic language, culture, and a fake, hardly non-existent Arab origin, to brainwash the island’s Thamizh Muslim masses to hate their actual Thamizh ethnicity and origin It is not only the island’s Muslim elite and politicians but the Sri Lankan state has also used these as a tool to divide and rule the island’s Thamizh. Especially in the east, use Islamic hardliners and opportunists, like the Mannar Shaitan and the Gonni Billah in the east, who openly promised/boasted the convert the ancient Eezham Thamizh Hindu east to some pathetic carbon copy Gulf Arab Islamic homeland. Yes, there should be equal rights for all three Thamizh communities but just like the island’s Chingkallams the ancient history and homeland of the native indigenous Eezham Thamizh should be recognized.

          • 4
            1

            The TNA even fielded a Sinhalese in Amparai not long ago.
            Elections are dodgy business.

          • 2
            7

            Pandi Kutto,

            “homeland of the native indigenous Eezham Thamizh should be recognized.”

            There is no ancient Tamil homeland in Sinhale. Your homeland is Tamil Nadu.
            Whatever the origins of Lankan Muslims, the fact remains they are a different group. Even if the sinhala leadership agrees to put East under Tamil Rule, the Muslims will not agree. Sinhala leadership did have a role in driving a wedge between Muslims and Tamils. Anyway for you to have a federal state which would include East you need the Muslim support. You can get the TNA to give some prominent positions to Muslims. That would be good starting point.
            Good luck

            • 8
              0

              RAVIPERERA

              “Your homeland is Tamil Nadu.”

              So is yours.

              “Sinhala leadership did have a role in driving a wedge between Muslims and Tamils. “

              Instead of driving a wedge between Muslims and Tamils the great Conqueror inserted a huge wedge between his both thighs, and secretly flew away, no other country would grand him refuge, ultimately he had to rely on Ranil to give him a home.

              Even at this pathetic stage your arrogance and stupidity get the best out of the stupid Sinhale. Tamil Nadu is feeding you, Hindians are providing fuel, medicine, …. Now Chinese are clothing your school children, feeding you with 10,000 metric tonnes of rice, …. The great Sinhale is caught by its b***s by numerous creditors, ……………………. yet you talk bull.

              RAVIPERERA
              You should stop digging if you want to get out of the pit.
              It appears you seems to have driven a wedge between your thighs before Rajapaksas, Champika, Weerasekere, Wimal, …….Dinesh, …… Do you think Tamilnadu (your ancestral homeland) should help you to walk properly, ..?

              • 0
                5

                veddo,

                “Even at this pathetic stage your arrogance and stupidity get the best out of the stupid Sinhale.”

                Stupidy reached a climax in 2009. Still hurts isnt it…

                • 3
                  0

                  RAVIPERERA

                  “Stupidy reached a climax in 2009. Still hurts isnt it…”

                  Sinhala/Buddhist stupidity started with the public racist Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala, yet to peak in the meantime you know who is hurting, if not ask any children who will tell you what is to be to go to school on empty stomach.

                  All right VP won the war for Rajapaksas however the unnecessary war is also partly responsible the present pathetic state of this island.

                  It took 30 years and 350,000 stupid men, crooks, genocidal armed forces with the support of Hindian, supplies from China, Pakistan, …… most importantly great help from VP, to wipe out Bata Wearing Child Soldiers. On the other hand the glorious war winning president was chased out from his presidential palace, and from this island without a shot being fired. So you won the war but lost all hopes, your distant cousin Stalin is willing to feed you.

                  You should carry the usual begging bowl when you visit diplomatic community in Colombo. Keep begging. Children need food medicine, …… clothe, exercise books, …

        • 6
          0

          “Best way to demonstrate your brotherhood is to have a few Muslims contesting under TNA and also holding senior positions in a united Tamil speaking front.”
          Ithink TNA tried to include not only Muslims but also Sinhalese as well.

          • 0
            9

            Your thinking is incorrect. Anyway can start again with the new elections. Make sure a few premium positions are given to Muslims in TNA

            • 3
              0

              RP,
              What is your correct thinking about the major so called National Political parties make sure that they give few positions such as defence or Finance Minister or Prime Minister?

              • 0
                0

                We have

                • 0
                  0

                  RP
                  Which party you represent I wonder.

            • 1
              0

              Mara style Bribes or inducement!?? Good.

          • 0
            0

            “I think TNA tried to include not only Muslims but also Sinhalese as well.”
            Not just try, it did. (I think that I mentioned the Sinhalse candidate recently, but not where. So it is a try for you. Both candidates succeeded. The sums went right. But the Sinhalese MP crossed over to the Rajapaksa camp. The northern Muslim stayed with the TNA.)
            *
            Why the inclusion you may wonder.
            Just to fetch a few extra votes to win a seat.
            The FP/TULF/TNA cares not two hoots about the problems of not just the other three nationalities, but a large section of the Tamils. That drives them to EPDP, and even the UNP & SLFP.

        • 2
          0

          Why not read political history first? FP, TNA, TULF had Muslim MP’s and contestants

  • 6
    3

    Dr. AA,

    I was looking at Twitter activity during the Aragalaya, and saw many wealthy people–business leaders and retired international cricketers — supporting it. But as soon as RW was President, they were happy to return to their old lives. It is true many youths were idealistic, but without behind-the-scenes support, which requires some wealth and power, it wouldn’t have succeeded in sending Gota home. As you know, subsequent attempts at another Aragalaya largely fizzled out. Youth idealism among a section of the youth alone is not going to solve the problems of minorities.

    • 5
      2

      “…and saw many wealthy people–business leaders and retired international cricketers — supporting it [Aragalaya]”
      Did that not send out a message?
      What is so surprising about these people being ” happy to return to their old lives” when RW became president?
      *
      “…subsequent attempts at another Aragalaya largely fizzled out”— attempts by whom?
      The next Aragalaya, I am sure, will not be a banquet by the seashore.

    • 4
      13

      Agnos,

      There are valid reasons for Aragalya to fizzle out. Main aim was to get Gota Out.
      Ranil was the best bet out of the existing politicians.Besides people realise continuous agitations are not going to solve the existing issues. When ever JVP and Anthare bastards join they can really ruin anything. That’s exactly what happened.
      Another thing the sinhala people realised was that a substantial number of protestors were Tamils for obvious reasons. (There were some Tamils who were holding placards asking the Sinhala settlements to be dismantled)

    • 7
      1

      Agnos

      “Youth idealism among a section of the youth alone is not going to solve the problems of minorities.”

      Alright, how about old age cynicism?
      Do you think SJ’s old age cynicism could?

  • 10
    0

    I am at a loss to comprehend how these “Leaders” of Political Parties have forgotten this very same Ranil W chaired a similar meeting when he was the PM in the “Yahapalanaya” Government.

    Didn’t Ranil W say the same things to these “Leaders” at that meeting viz – “Submit your proposals”? Why didn’t these “Leaders” remind Ranil W of those written proposals and asked him to open his drawers and clean the dust that got collected and table those for a review? Even JVP who was “Absent” from the present meeting submitted their proposals. During those meetings Chaired by Ranil W as the PM, JVP asked specifically to table UNP’s proposals, and if I remember correctly, Ranil said (as reported): ” I agree with what all decide” and refrained from any commitments.

    Today the very same man, (RW) is in “Chair” in a different capacity and saying the same thing- “Submit your proposals”. Isn’t that a “Comedy” or rather more a “PLOY” played as always accustomed to? What a “TEAM” of “HOODWINKERS” we have in our Parliament!

    • 0
      0

      Simon,
      Cannot agree more??!!??
      A stark naked truth has just struck me on this matter??!!??
      Please enlighten me if you could, or disagree with my views!!
      I am earnestly trying to discern and differentiate RW the exalted Executive President (ADI KARU) and the most Honourable M P for Kalutara North (whatever his name is?) but popularly known as “RATHTHARANG”, immortalized and memorable due to gold chain snatching of South coast Railways!!??
      Both are not similar and strangely identical asking the same never ending QUESTION???
      WHAT IS THE VOID IN THE MINORITIES RIGHTS, TIME AND AGAIN!!?
      Slimy as they ever come!???? Wasting time of others and using deception to delay and deflect without doing their homework, read the past reports of Commissions, committees and agreements, which are gathering dust!!!
      Probably, RW is in the same boat as Raththaran, and unable to comprehend the contents of the past reports – some may be in English but mostly in Sinhala?? In what language did RW do his LLB at Colombo University and Colombo Law College!!???
      Or may for all purposes a Synthetic like our national flower NAMAL!!!
      BIRS OF THE SAME FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER!!!??? No wounder, duty of care and protection being afforded??!!??

      • 1
        0

        Mahi: Thanks. You have understood the caliber of these vagabonds in Parliament. I can understand those “Chain Snatchers” and the likes operating in keeping with their “Professional Skills”. But how do you comprehend the behavior and action of the so-called “Professionals” in Parliament? I am completely disgusted with the way they act. That is why I am so critical of TNA and its higher-ranking politicians like Sanpanthan, Sumanthiram, and the team. Just see how they debated Rani’s Budget and in the end when it came to voting they refrained from voting. What HYPOCRISY was that? Now they RELY on a “ROUGE” that has LED THEM DOWN for years and years to “SOLVE” the problems faced by people in North and East within a matter of “Two” months. Is Ranil a “MESSIAH”? In my opinion, all these “Bastards” must be kicked out. Period.

  • 2
    0

    Dear Writer,
    .
    “Hence the intervention of an elite of patriotic and humanitarian negotiators of Chanakya’s caliber is needed to resolve this issue.”

    Do we have the qualities you mentioned above in the Sri Lankan nation?

    You are overestimating the youth of Sri Lanka, but the truth is…. including the first time voters, the youth in general, not long ago, did not they come together to support the most known serial killer, a stupid person as the President of this country?, was that not the real big reasoning behind today s unexpected political setbacks in the country ?
    :
    tbc

    • 2
      0

      cont.
      .
      Sri Lankan elections are unique and they succeeded them through racsm propaganda, sympathy, western invasion related conspiracy theories, or by myths being sowed by sinhala-stupid-buddhism.

      In such a country, filled with idiots than significant portions of intelligent people, what is left for the need of the hour is to rebuild the society within shorter period of time, and prepare the voter mentality by feeding and educating them properly.

      • 2
        2

        LM. My grandfather (maternal) used to tell me you can see the needles stuck in other’s eyes but you cannot see the rafter stuck in yours. LM, I think it is high time for you that you throw yourself in front of a mirror. I do not know you have the capacity and time develop these harangue besides Nil Manel.

  • 2
    2

    Thank you Dr. Ameer Ali. A nice presentation

    • 0
      0

      KSN
      Nice presentation, yes.
      Any views on the content?

  • 5
    2

    Muslims should consider themselves as Tamils and should not be obstructing the ethnic reconciliation.
    I have a doubt that RW is trying to make his CURRENT illegal position legitimate by winning the presidency election in 2023. The barbaric islanders will never thrive

    • 0
      6

      Naman,

      “Muslims should consider themselves as Tamils and should not be obstructing the ethnic reconciliation.”

      Oh you are so sweet…

      • 6
        1

        RAVIPERERA

        “Oh you are so sweet…”

        You are too sweet.
        Muslims, Tamils and Sinhalese should consider themselves as South Indians and pack their bags and go back to their ancestral land in South India. That would be just about right.

        • 0
          4

          No the home of Sinhalese in Sinhale. Thalyas can go to Tamil Nadu

          • 1
            0

            Sinhale! where is that? Some forest in the Odisha tribal belt? It is not Sinhale but Chingkallam meaning the copper or red land in Thamizh. Chikappu/Chem( red) or Cheppu( copper) +Alam ( meaning land or sliver of land) = Chingkallam, just like Cheralam or Keralam, or Puttalam. It has a meaning in Thamizh and the ancient Thamizh or semi-Thamizh-speaking(Elu) Dravidian tribes( Yakka and Naga) who inhabited the island were called Chingkallavar. Sinhala is a Prakritized version of this ancient Thamizh name and has nothing to do with North India or a lion. The Thamizh population down the south of the island converted to Buddhism on a large scale and gradually corrupted their Thamizh with the Pali and Sanskrit of Buddhism, gradually a new language emerged in this area and Thamizh Chingkallam became Prakritized to Sinhala to describe these people and their land. Just like the ancient Thamizh word Malayalam to describe the western Chera Thamizh dialect, is now being used to describe and call the new ethnicity that emerged from these ancient Chera Malayal Thamizh and their western Thamizh dialect.

            • 1
              0

              Another word for Thamizh Chingkallam is Eezham( meaning land of the toddy or metal) and the Thamizh or semi-Thamizh-speaking population was also called Eezhava or Eelavar. The language was Elu which when Prakritized became Hela or old Chingkallam. Even now traditional Sri Lankan Thamizh dialects are also called Eelavam. Thamizh Nadu is not the ancestral homeland of most Eezham Thamizh but the ancestral homeland of the so-called Sri Lankan Moors and most of the present-day Chingkallams. From your name, you have definitely descended from one of these recent imports from Thamizh Nadu now Chingkallam speaking and beating the anti-Thamil drum.

          • 2
            0

            RAVIPERERA

            “Thalyas can go to Tamil Nadu”

            If that is the case then you should go first.
            Stalin your long lost cousin has promised to help and accommodate all Sri Lankan refugees. He has ordered his functionaries to treat them humanly.

            You need food, medicine, ……. electricity, etc.
            These are provided free of charge to all refugees from Sri Lanka.

  • 4
    1

    Dr.Ameer ALI — You have explained very well in your article how the Sri Lankan politicians of all parties; representing different communities are playing politics to be in power as well as to stay in power at the expense of the people of Sri Lanka. All these leaders especially Mahinda, Sirisena, Ranil, or any others representing the majority community are not sincere about solving the problems faced by minorities since 1948. I.M.F. is reluctant to loan any more credit facilities until Sri Lanka implements at least some of the promises agreed with the U. N. O. and others in the past, this kind of drama would prevail.

  • 2
    0

    ‘Aragalaya Movement’ looks like been
    strangled and permanently silenced by the crooked political rulers. The ‘Killing Apparatuses’ of R & R regime are STILL very active and hence any hope of good governance is futile.
    If any citizen of SL possesses the knowledge of the CRIMES committed by the parliamentarians or their golayas, there lives are constantly under threat.

  • 0
    0

    “Had RW been sincere … he should have formed a partnership with that youth group which began its aragalaya with an a-political and a-ethnic (sic) stamp. This author will continue to argue that this was a missed opportunity caused by a total misunderstanding of the real thinking and motivations of a new generation of young men and women in this country.
    *
    The author will continue to live in his cloud cuckoo land about the Aragalaya he adores, which is now a perished substance. Its rich sponsors and reasonably well off followers have long abandoned ship.
    What certain residual forces are likely to do seems unknown to him.
    I dare him to try his forecasts on that unknown.
    RW seems to fear that this section is a serious threat to his plans. He is targetting it.

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    The National Question .. same old same old red herring
    Minorities, don’t get fooled by this ageing crafty fox . .. It’s obvious he’s running out of ideas. You have to be bullocks to believe this is a genuine desire to solve our national question.

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      “The National Question .. same old same old red herring” Minorities, “”
      The National Question is not minorities problem. The national question is: Do we need democracy or Dictatorship. Even though we called that we are “independent” and democratic ” we actually have a dictatorship in the name of democracy and we only elect one or two families who are representatives of external powers. We still have Senanayaka or Bandaranaiyaka and Rajapaksa family representing West or East. They have more powers than even Military Dictators. The national question is whether we need to continue with the family dictatorship or we need to change this system which is the people rule for people of this country.

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    Would it put you at ease and unruffle some of those feathers if I called it the Ethnic issue?
    And, any issue be it ethnic, national or economic, we need the right people in Parliament making decisions for the good of the whole country not for their personal gain, as you pointed out, continuing a family dynasty or consolidating their grip on power.
    In other words we need an accountable government and a fearless independent civil service with b…s who’ll stand up to politicians and not become their mere puppets.
    To trigger a genuine change , first somebody’s got to pump a dose of right education into the brains of those gullible Sinhala voters.(no disrespect here to my amazing Sinhala folk) At the last count there were about 7 million of them and that’s a lot.

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