18 September, 2019

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Reconsidering Ethnic Reconciliation

By Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

The essential precondition without which there can be no ethnic reconciliation worth the name is a political solution to the ethnic problem. Yet we hardly hear anything about it these days while the focus is almost entirely on ethnic reconciliation. Some time ago Tamils who seemed to be well-informed were assured that an understanding had been reached between the TNA and the Government about a political solution but nothing definite has been heard about it up to now. We all know that the problem is not so much that of reaching an understanding at an elite political level but that of selling it to the Sinhalese masses who have a deep enduring allergy to devolution on an ethic basis. So, it appears that a solution can be found only through a very radical modification of 13 A or by jettisoning it altogether. But that will not be acceptable to our Tamils who have long been fixated on the idea that the only solution has to be on the basis of a very wide measure of devolution on an ethnic basis. However the Tamils will have no alternative to accepting a solution on an entirely different basis if India agrees to that, while jettisoning 13 A altogether.

What I am driving at is that what we have on our hands is not a purely indigenous Tamil ethnic problem but an Indo-Sri Lanka Tamil ethnic problem, in which India arguably plays not an ancillary but a key role. I will refer to two recent developments as pointing to that fact. What happened recently at Jaffna University was a clash between Tamil and Sinhalese students, not an affray in which the latter were beaten up by the former. Yet the available details suggest strongly that it was a remarkably one-sided affray. The Tamil students began it all by attacking the Sinhalese ones; the latter sought to hide themselves and were ferreted out by the former; the five students who were injured, one seriously, were all Sinhalese; the student ring-leader sought by the police was a Tamil; and the Sinhalese students have been refusing to resume their studies there because of fear of further attacks. Those are the available reported facts. Assuming that they are accurate, it seems remarkable that members of the conquered, the Tamils, went on the offensive against members of the conqueror, the Sinhalese who furthermore have been relishing their triumphalist role in the North since 2009. Those remarkable facts point to the sense of strength that our Tamils as a whole seem to drive from the Tamil Nadu/ India factor: they are in a minority in Sri Lanka but they are part of a majority regionally, and that numerical disequilibrium, they seem to believe, is going to count in their favor some day – in favor, that is, of Eelam.

The other development I have in mind is the proposal of the Northern Provincial Council for a memorandum of understanding with the Government on the sharing of the Moragahakanda waters. It was the subject of a very important editorial in the Island of August 1, which I see has also been reproduced in a website. Irrigation is on the Concurrent List, a constitutionally grey area which carries much potential for contention – which in this case can be expected to assume an ethnic form. In my view it is a good example to show why devolution on an ethnic basis can be expected to aggravate the ethnic problem, not solve it. Anyway, what is of particular interest for the purpose of this article is the following sentence in the editorial about the TNA controlled NPC: “It never misses an opportunity to give expression to its antipathy towards the state and that practice has put paid to the country’s reconciliation efforts under the new government”. I must add that the NPC Chief Minister in particular has acquired something like notoriety for his injudiciously belligerent posturing over the ethnic problem. That is partly an expression of a burning Tamil sense of injustice – with which I am totally in sympathy. But behind it there is also a consciousness of the power of the Tamil Nadu/India factor.

I doubt very much that India will agree to jettison 13 A unless – a very unlikely eventuality – powerful members of the international community persuade it to do so after recognizing that devolution on the basis of ethnicity will almost certainly aggravate the problem, not solve it. What options are left to us? To find the answer we have to ask what ethnic problems are about. They are about perceptions of discrimination among ethnic minorities, perceptions that they are not being given fair and equal treatment. Discrimination is the core of the problem, it is discrimination that has to be eliminated, and that can be done without resort to any devolution as in the case of immigrant minorities in the West. The Tamil objection to that is that they are not an immigrant minority in Sri Lanka but a national minority with a right to self-determination, inclusive of a right to set up a separate state. But nothing in what I am proposing precludes their engaging in a glorious struggle to exercise their right of self-determination, which incidentally the international community does not recognize as a right outside a colonial context. In the meanwhile let us proceed to enact the legislation and set up the institutions to secure their rights, as in Britain, Canada and other Western countries. There is nothing inimical to legitimate Tamil interests in what I am proposing. Let them continue their glorious struggle for self-determination; let us engage in the relatively inglorious struggle to secure for them the rights recognized by the international community.

I come now to the crucial question. The proposal I am making may be sound at a theoretical level, but will effective action be taken? I believe that attitudinal changes are necessary as a pre-condition for effective action. In my article Against nonsense on reconciliation I urged that both the Sinhalese and the Tamil sides should acknowledge their own transgressions and stop blaming only the other side. Nothing can be gained by continuing to demonize the other side. In particular I wanted the Sinhalese side to acknowledge that they were responsible for starting the war: discrimination taken to a grotesque extreme was followed by State terrorism from 1977 to 1983, which made a violent rebellion unavoidable. I want them now to acknowledge that to regard the ethnic war in terms of LTTE terrorism and nothing more than that is untenable, indeed ridiculous.

Over the decades I have written more than one article arguing that case, and I must declare that as far as I can recall I have not used the term “terrorist” about the LTTE even once. I consider that it would be superfluous to write a further article on that subject, the case being simple, straightforward, irrefutable. There are now more than a hundred definitions of terrorism, and there can be hundreds more without finality ever being reached. But there is broad consensus on one point: terrorism involves the killing of innocent civilian non-combatants. That certainly fits the Pettah bomb, the Maradana bomb, the Sacred Bo Tree massacre etc but it is ridiculous to pretend that the quarter century war consisted only of that kind of terrorist action. It was war, and the horrible truth is that it was a war of national liberation, “horrible” because the LTTE stood for the most retrograde kind of ethno- nationalism that led to the Nazis in Germany and today to the apartheid Zionists of Israel.

The preceding paragraph would explain what looks like a schizophrenic attitude among Western countries towards the LTTE: on the one hand they have been ready enough to declare the LTTE a prohibited terrorist group while on the other hand they have allowed it much latitude to carry out its operations. Most Sri Lankans see that as the expression of hypocrisy and double standards on the part of Westerners who cannot forgive us for having “won the war against terrorism” contrary to their expectations. The explanation is really this: the West recognized that the LTTE was guilty of horrendous terrorist crimes, but it also recognized the LTTE as a nationalist movement though its nationalism was of a very horrible order. Anyway the important point is that if we continue to hold that the LTTE was a purely terrorist movement, that we have had a terrorist problem and not an ethnic problem, and that the war was a war against terrorism, there will be no ethnic reconciliation, not this year nor next year, nor even in a thousand years. We need to stop nonsense about terrorism, as part of the attitudinal changes from which a political solution can grow, instead of having solutions imposed on us by ignorant interfering foreign busybodies.

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Latest comments

  • 2
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    Rajash

    Where are you?

    Please don’t hide yourself from Izath. I am depending on you to face him down.

    Be a man.

    • 0
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      Native V
      I am tired of Izeth
      I need to recharge my battery.
      .

  • 2
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    The proposal of the Northern Provincial Council for a memorandum of understanding with the Government on the sharing of the Moragahakanda waters.

    Water is an issue every when ever there is boarder wars. So, Tamils need to nclude this right now in order to separate their assets in case Tamils separate as a nation.

  • 1
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    It makes me so frustrated and filled with anxiety , When i think of what the christians and muslims will go through at their death bed , while they both live in illusion, the Christian awaits for anti Christ and Muslim awaits for Dajjal the the false messiah .

    Here it is already is present taking billions for a ride , the media , the computer , the internet .

    where images, real time videos, voices , anything and everything can be edited . still the fools of extremist, tribalism with all modern day technology still want to to hang to the the Myths of past mythology .

    you are the worse pathetic pagans of current times , may you have the most miserable death.

  • 3
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    Izeth,

    You are trying your maximum to create problems between Tamils and Sinhalese in support of ISIS.

    • 2
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      Izeth,

      Yes, ISIS follows the Devil, Satan, Iblis and funded by Wahhabi Saudi Arabia.

      Amarasiri knows that Izeth is against Wahhabis, Salafis, and their Clones, despite the ignorance shown by some, primarily due to their Low IQ’s.

      Jubilation in Syria’s Manbij as ISIS loses control of key city
      By Angela Dewan and Hamdi Alkhshalin.

      Now the People can live without the Wahhabi-Salafi Devils, Satan and Iblis.

      http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/13/middleeast/syria-isis-manbij/

      (CNN)Manbij residents finally freed from the stranglehold of ISIS occupation celebrated in the streets Saturday, cutting off beards, burning niqabs and smoking cigarettes, things they weren’t allowed to do during the terror group’s two-year rule over the city.

      Jubilation broke out in many neighborhoods after ISIS militants lost control of Manbij to U.S.-backed rebels, and the Pentagon said the center of the city was liberated.

      The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab forces backed by the United States, has battled to take control of Manbij in northern Syria since May and hundreds have been freed in this latest mission, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
      Many can hardly believe they are finally rid of the Islamist militants’ rule. Dozens of women in black niqabs — the full-body coverings which are similar to burqas but leave the eyes exposed — were photographed being freed by the armed rebels, many of them carrying babies, overwhelmed and in tears. One woman was seen hugging an armed female Kurdish soldier.

      Footage from Kurdistan 24 showed people cheering and dancing in the streets.
      A man pointed to an outside area and described it as an ISIS execution site.
      “Here they used to execute people and hung their heads here and leave it for three days. They would execute people for anything, using the excuse he did not believe,” he told Kurdistan 24.

      A woman made the peace sign with both hands and she expressed her relief.
      “Thank God we are happy my brother. Thank God we got rid of ISIS. May God hold them to account,” she said.

  • 5
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    The writes seems to have too much time on his hands and seems to have gotten stuck in the same tune.

    The no. of times I have read the following statement (or very similar) from the author is probably over ten instances.

    “What I am driving at is that what we have on our hands is not a purely indigenous Tamil ethnic problem but an Indo-Sri Lanka Tamil ethnic problem, in which India arguably plays not an ancillary but a key role. “

    • 2
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      Perriappa

      “The writes seems to have too much time on his hands and seems to have gotten stuck in the same tune.”

      The writer should focus more on the Devil, Satan, Iblis, Mara Followers, Wahaabis, Salafis, and theit Clones ISIS etc. who are under the command of Devil, Satan Iblis and Mara to destroy mankind, the Devil’s, Satan’s, Iblis’es mandate.

      Now and then he can focus on the Para who are going after each others throars, in the Pristine Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

      Who are Sri Lanka’s Indigenous Wanniya-laeto?

      http://vedda.org/1-who.htm

  • 6
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    Dear Izeth,
    I wonder what sort of a diplomtic servant you were, who seems to be unaware of the global situation. Ethnic type of devolution is working well in India and Pakistan and also in Canada with Quebec independence movement and in UK with Scottish independence movement. Your skewed logic is due to your anti-Tamil mindset. I do not think international community is going to force Tamils to accept a solution different from what they had prescribed to other conflicts on the basis of justice.

    In the case of Pakistan, Baluchis do not like Sindhis, Sindhis do not like Punjabis, Punjabis do not like Pathans and all of them do not like Biharis who are immigrants from India at the time of partition. They say that the country is remaining in one piece because of ethnic based devolution. A Pakistani doctor told me that when they have group dinners at home, they invite only their community, and if they have a friend from one of the other communities, they invite him separately.

    • 1
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      Dr. Gnana

      You are perfectly right. This theocratic State of Pakistan can scarcely be a united nation. The only factor they agree with is in their single and fond goal of destroying India. Their Islamic Atomic Bomb was developed after many years of hard work for this specific purpose. This Bomb was developed under the leadership of that corrupt and rogue scientist A.Q. Khan, banned by the global scientific community, for bringing a bad name to the global atomic-research community. But, as that incidence of hiding Osama Bin Laden for years within Pakistan proved, the Pakistani army and political heads can be easily bought.

      As Jinnah had expressed his fears to many close friends, can the idea of Pakistan hold as a State for long? The equation can change if Pakistan concentrates on developing the country instead of spending their time and resources in conspiring 24×7 against India. It certainly does Pakistan no good to realise while India builds and exports cars, buses, trucks and tractors Pakistan is unable even to build a 3-wheeler.

      Pandaranayagam

  • 2
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    Izeth Hussain

    RE: Reconsidering Ethnic Reconciliation- Among the Paras in Lanka

    “The essential precondition without which there can be no ethnic reconciliation worth the name is a political solution to the ethnic problem”

    Thanks. Well stated. However, what prevents it?

    “Yet we hardly hear anything about it these days while the focus is almost entirely on ethnic reconciliation. Some time ago Tamils who seemed to be well-informed were assured that an understanding had been reached between the TNA and the Government about a political solution but nothing definite has been heard about it up to now”

    Why?

    “What I am driving at is that what we have on our hands is not a purely indigenous Tamil ethnic problem but an Indo-Sri Lanka Tamil ethnic problem, in which India arguably plays not an ancillary but a key role. “

    However, you the core-problem is that the Para-Sinhala believe that Lanka, the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, belongs to them only, and that all the others are Paras, Foreigners, strangers, in the Land conveniently forgetting that the Sinhala are Paras too from India, Hindia, Baharat. Para-Sinhala Double Standards and the Para=Tamils also want emulate their Para-Cousins.

    Mitochondrial DNA history of Sri Lankan ethnic people: their relations within the island and with the Indian subcontinental populations.

    Through a comparison with the mtDNA HVS-1 and part of HVS-2 of Indian database, both Tamils and Sinhalese clusters were affiliated with Indian subcontinent populations than Vedda people who are believed to be the native population of the island of Sri Lanka

    http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v59/n1/full/jhg2013112a.html

    Everything else you have written falls under the above categories.

    Amarasiri wishers that ALL the writers begin to call a spade a spade, and Paras, Paras. After all, there is support for the above statement.

    The Vedda Tribe

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f89NuukY32U

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      Salaam Alaikum Amar Asri (Ahmed from gampola)

      As expected you will never let go an opportunity to “BAD-Mouth” the gracious Sinhela-Buddhists who offered your forefathers from South India, a chance to settle down in our land SWARNA LANKA which my cousins of Sinhela breed named as Sri Lanka. You have said;

      “However, you the core-problem is that the Para-Sinhala believe that Lanka, the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, belongs to them only, and that all the others are Paras, Foreigners, strangers, in the Land conveniently forgetting that the Sinhala are Paras too from India, Hindia, Baharat. Para-Sinhala Double Standards and the Para=Tamils also want emulate their Para-Cousins.”

      I do not know when you will be able to free yourself from ignorance. But let me repeat the following;

      Let me remind again Amar naana, that our indigenous people do belong to “HELA” clan; Only difference is that they opted to remain as “HELA” and preferred not to follow (the mainstream) founders of the nation; Sinha + Hela (SINHELA). We continued our way of life in very remote rural SWARNA-LANKA in isolation to protect our noble way of life for many centuries. Later on majority of us migrated to SINHELA (Our cousins) communities and became part and parcel of the founders of the nation. Also there were many inter-marriages between SINHELA and indigenous HELA people. That is the reason for the dwindling numbers of indigenous people in Sri Lanka.
      There are too many commonalities between SINHELA and indigenous HELA people; Prominent among them are; Religious Practices of Buddhism, Ayurvedic traditions, Food and Beverage traditions. Despite the dubious efforts of certain missionaries of western religions we have remained as ardent and devout Buddhists. I invite you to religious ceremonies at Mahiyanganya, Muthiyanganaya and certain days at Daladha Maligawa to witness the devotion of Indigenous people to Buddhism.

      Therefore, Amar naana, it is better if you do not display your ignorance in the public domain. Founders of this nation; SINHELA have been too flexible and too kind to the illegal immigrants (Kalla thonis) from southern India especially your forefathers but they did not expect you to engage in a campaign to dispute their origin, insult their religion and desecrate Buddhist sacred places. Shame on you.

      Amar naana, do not respond to this message as I do not have any appetite to engage you in any exchange.

      Maa Salama

      Aadivaasi Kiribanda Aththo

      • 2
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        Aadivasi Kiribanda Attho

        Read the response on another post.

        Stick to the subject matter. Why ad hominems? Face the Truth! Don’t behave like the Catholic Church did like the Sun going around the Earth is true. Myths, need support, just like scientific hypotheses and theories. Hela is a myth. See the reference.

        (Ad hominem (Latin for “to the man” or “to the person”), short for argumentum ad hominem, is a logical fallacy in which an argument is rebutted by attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.)

        Are the Native Veddah Aethho, the real original Natives of Lanka, and all others Paras in the Land? The data says so.

        Mitochondrial DNA history of Sri Lankan ethnic people: their relations within the island and with the Indian subcontinental populations

        Journal of Human Genetics (2014) 59, 28–36; doi:10.1038/jhg.2013.112; published online 7 November 2013.

        Abstract:

        Through a comparison with the mtDNA HVS-1 and part of HVS-2 of Indian database, both Tamils and Sinhalese clusters were affiliated with Indian subcontinent populations than Vedda people who are believed to be the native population of the island of Sri Lanka.

        Discussion:

        This study demonstrates the mtDNA genetic relationships among five main recognized ethnic groups on the island of Sri Lanka, as well as their affiliations with several ethnic people of the Greater Indian subcontinent. All the island populations, except some subgroups of the Vedda, form close genetic affiliations among themselves and with majority of the groups from the mainland suggesting the origin of the majority of the island population on the Indian mainland. No definite association of the Sinhalese with any specific ethnic or linguistic groups of India was, however, detected in this study; thus, their exact immediate origin on the mainland remains yet to be confirmed.

        There is no clear genetic separation based on the PCA map between Sinhalese and Tamils, and between Up- and Low-country Sinhalese of Sri Lanka. The latter phenomenon suggests a recent division of the Sinhalese into Up- and Low-country, the fact confirmed on a historical ground.31 For the groups represented in this study, majority of the Up-country Sinhalese formed closer association among themselves than did their Low-country ethnic counterparts. This is to a certain degree explicable in a light of the isolation-by-distance; the Up-country Sinhalese groups are more geographically proximal with each other than do their Low-country counterparts. However, the closer association of the Up-country Sinhalese with the Sri Lankan Tamils than with the Indian Tamils is not in agreement with the geographic distances among them. Despite recent habitation of the Indian Tamils in proximity of the Up-country Sinhalese, the Indian Tamils might have admixed, during the long distant past, more with Sri Lankan Tamils, who have lived on the island longer than their Indian ethnic counterparts.32, 33

        The genetic distinctiveness of the Vedda people on the island of Sri Lanka, as reported in this study, confirm previous results based on the analyses of nuclear markers.11, 12, 13 The markedly higher frequencies of the haplogroup R30b/R8a1a3 in all Vedda subgroups than in other Sri Lankan populations is compatible with a hypothesis that all the Vedda subgroups would have shared a common origin. The greatest inter-population genetic diversity observed among the Vedda subgroups coupled with their relatively low haplotype and nucleotide diversity would reflect greater effect of the genetic drift in the Vedda than in other ethnic groups of Sri Lanka. The pattern of genetic differentiation observed in the Vedda is a characteristic also observed in various other aboriginal populations of the world with their relatively small subgroups experiencing a long history of separation.34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 Such population history was also proposed for the Vedda based on the anatomical analysis.10 Much greater genetic similarities with Sinhalese, and to a lesser degree with Sri Lankan Tamils, observed in some Vedda subgroups (VA-Dam, VA-Hen and VA-Pol) in comparison with other subgroups of the same ethnic category (VA-Rat and VA-Dal) suggests that the pattern of genetic admixture between older inhabitants (Vedda) and more recent newcomers (Sinhalese and Tamils) on the island was truly heterogeneous. Advance admixture of VA-Dam, VA-Hen and VA-Pol with other ethnic populations on the island is confirmed by the presence of several shared sub-haplogroups (M33a1, D, R5a and U7a) among them that are not found in VA-Rat and Va-Dal. The reduced intrapopulation genetic diversity observed among subgroups of the Vedda is most likely a result of severe genetic drift associated with the practice of endogamy among small-sized villages during the long distant past, a phenomenon with firm historical evidence.

        http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v59/n1/full/jhg2013112a.html

      • 2
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        Aadivasi Kiribanda Attho

        Stop ad hominems. Stick to the argument, and provide credible support for your beliefs and hypotheses.

        Are the Para-Sinhala trying to piggy back over the Native Veddah Aethho?

        “Also there were many inter-marriages between SINHELA and indigenous HELA people. That is the reason for the dwindling numbers of indigenous people in Sri Lanka. There are too many commonalities between SINHELA and indigenous HELA people; Prominent among them are; Religious Practices of Buddhism, Ayurvedic traditions, Food and Beverage traditions.”

        The Problem Amarasiri has with the HELA hypothesis you are advocating is that it is not supported by the DNA analysis of Native Veddah Aethho, Sinhala and Sri Lankan Tamils. This was not mentioned in the Dipawamsa or Mahawamsa, which took its materials from Dipawmsa and Attha Katha, the oral tradition.

        If you believe that the Sun goes around the Earth, please provide credible data. Joshua’s Revelation in the Bible (Joshua 10:13) won’t cut it, in this day and age.

        The Natve Veddaj aethho are truly the Natives of Lanka, not the Sinhala, Tamils or the So-called Hela. The DNA data support this view,.

        Are the Sri Lankan Tamils are Hela as well? There is very little difference in DNA analysis.

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

        Veddas are also mentioned in Robert Knox’s history of his captivity by the King of Kandy in the 17th century. Knox described them as “wild men”, but also said there was a “tamer sort”, and that the latter sometimes served in the king’s army.

        The original religion of Veddas is animism. The Sinhalized interior Veddahs follow a mix of animism and nominal Buddhism; whereas the Tamilized east coast Veddahs follow a mix of animism and nominal Hinduism due to Brahminical sanskritsation , which is known as folk Hinduism among anthropologists.

        Genetics[edit]
        A recent genetic study has found Vedda people to probably be earliest inhabitants of Sri Lanka.[15] The Vedda people’s mitochondrial sequences were found to be more related to the Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamils than to the Indian Tamils.[16]

        According to Ranaweera et al (2013) :

        http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v59/n1/full/jhg2013112a.html

        “From the phylogenetic, principal coordinate and analysis of molecular variance results, the Vedda occupied a position separated from all other ethnic people of the island, who formed relatively close affiliations among themselves, suggesting a separate origin of the former. The haplotypes and analysis of molecular variance revealed that Vedda people’s mitochondrial sequences are more related to the Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamils’ than the Indian Tamils’ sequences.”

        “It has been hypothesized that the Vedda was probably the earliest inhabitants of the area … dated tentatively to 37 000 YBP, were discovered from the cave site, Fahien-lena,8 on the island, with their association with the present-day Vedda people proposed on a comparative anatomical ground … Vedda population has the lowest proportion of shared haplotypes among their subgroups (63%) indicating their greater genetic diversity among subgroups … Vedda people had the lowest frequency of haplogroup M (17.33%). It is quite astonishing to see such a lower frequency of M haplogroup in the Vedda population … This is probably due to the effect of genetic drift in the smaller population of Vedda … Vedda people … showed relatively high frequencies of haplogroup R (45.33 … Haplogroup U was mostly found in Vedda (29.33%) … Low frequency of M haplogroup and high frequencies of R and U haplogroups were found to be the unique characteristics of Vedda … All the island populations, except some subgroups of the Vedda, form close genetic affiliations among themselves and with majority of the groups from the mainland suggesting the origin of the majority of the island population on the Indian mainland.”

        http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Vedda.aspx

        Linguistic Affiliation. Only faint traces of what might once have been a distinct Vedda language have been detected. Contemporary Veddas speak colloquial forms of either Sinhala or Tamil, depending on which of the two main ethnic groups predominates in their local area. The Bintenne and Anuradhapura Veddas mostly speak Sinhala, which is an Indo-European language, while the Coast Veddas speak Tamil, which is Dravidian. Peculiarities in the speech patterns of the Veddas can be attributed to their relative isolation, low level of formal education, and low socioeconomic status.

        Religious Beliefs. The religious beliefs of the Veddas overlap considerably with those of Sinhalese villagers, who are predominantly Buddhists, and with those of Tamil villagers, who are mostly Hindus. All worship a hierarchical pantheon of deities, to whom offerings are made in the hope of gaining favors or relief from suffering. As described by the Seligmanns, the Bintenne Veddas had no knowledge of Buddhism. Their religion was apparently based on worship of Recently deceased ancestors, various local demons, and other minor gods. In contrast, the Anuradhapura Veddas describe themselves as Buddhists, although their participation in Buddhist rites is infrequent. The Coast Veddas are more influenced by their Hindu Tamil neighbors and engage in various forms of temple worship associated with Hindu deities, as well as propitiating local deities and demon spirits. The pantheon extends from locally resident spirits and demons whose disposition is generally malevolent to powerful and benevolent, but more remote, major gods.

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          AMIR ASIRY

          You took two feet length of this page to reply kiribanda aththoe comment with your cut and paste or copy and paste actions. but failed to mentioned some in that Internet article that how adivasi people who were hunters and gathers lived in western slops of the Island procured essential ingredients of human body Salts. they were believed to be traveled distance of forty to sixty kilometers to the south and south western coast. with dada mas or dried flesh in order to procure salts and vinegar.to do that transaction there should be producers of those items.who were they.they were yakkas main components of hela people.they are the ones who supplied cinnamons to kings of Egypt in prehistoric era. as such vannila aththo , hela yakkas and rakshs were original inhabitant of this land. they lived here with helping each other. Vannila aththo brought them ingenuous medicines like dried vanival gata, polpala and took medicinal knowledge from them.long before Avurvegic system came here.when quote some thing type whole story not small part that support your para theory. .

      • 2
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        Aadivasi Kiribanda Attho

        Question: Who are Sri Lanka’s Indigenous Wanniya-laeto?

        The Hela Hypothesis is not supported by the DNA Data. There were a few sprinklings, admixtures, but the characterization of Sinhala, Tamils and Others as Para-Sinhala, Para-Tamils, Para-Muslims and other Paras is correct.

        Native Veddah Aethho.

        http://vedda.org/1-who.htm

        Sri Lanka’s indigenous inhabitants, the Veddas — or Wanniya-laeto (‘forest-dwellers’) as they call themselves — preserve a direct line of descent from the island’s original Neolithic community dating from at least 16,000 BC and probably far earlier according to current scientific opinion.1

        Even today, the surviving Wanniya-laeto community retains much of its own distinctive cyclic worldview, prehistoric cultural memory, and time-tested knowledge of their semi-evergreen dry monsoon forest habitat that has enabled their ancestor-revering culture to meet the diverse challenges to their collective identity and survival.

        With the impending extinction of Wanniya-laeto culture, however, Sri Lanka and the world stand to lose a rich body of indigenous lore and living ecological wisdom that is urgently needed for the sustainable future of the rest of mankind.

        Historically, for the past twenty-five centuries or more Sri Lanka’s indigenous community has been buffeted by successive waves of immigration and colonization that began with the arrival of the Sinhalese from North India in the 5th century BC. Consequently, the Wanniyalaeto have repeatedly been forced to choose between two alternative survival strategies: either to be assimilated into other cultures or to retreat ever further into a shrinking forest habitat.

        In the course of history, uncounted thousands of these original inhabitants of the wanni (dry monsoon forest) have been more or less absorbed into mainstream Sinhala society (as in the North Central and Uva provinces) or Tamil society (as on the East Coast). Today only a few remaining Wanniya-laeto still manage to preserve their cultural identity and traditional lifestyle despite relentless pressure from the surrounding dominant communities.

        What does the Modern DNA studies show?

        The Native Veddah Aethho are the original inhabitants of the Land, well before the Paras, Para-Sinhala, Para-Tamils, Para-Muslims Para-Portuguese, ad other Paras came.

        http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v59/n1/full/jhg2013112a.html

        Anura Kumara Dissanayaka Explains the Ethinic and Religious mix of Sri Lanka

        https://www.facebook.com/viharamaramahadavi/videos/623155837843452/

  • 4
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    “We all know that the problem is not so much that of reaching an understanding at an elite political level but that of selling it to the Sinhalese masses who have a deep enduring allergy to devolution on an ethic basis.”

    Well said Izeth Hussain;

    The Sad Situation is that Racism has been so Ingrained in the Mind of the ‘Sinhalese masses’ since ‘ Sinhala Only’ and ‘Ape Aanduva’, that it will take another 60 years to alter that Mindset!

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      Hamlet

      “The Sad Situation is that Racism has been so Ingrained in the Mind of the ‘Sinhalese masses’ since ‘ Sinhala Only’ and ‘Ape Aanduva’, that it will take another 60 years to alter that Mindset! “

      You hit the nail on the head.

      Bertrand Russel said, “95% of the solution, is identifying the problem”

      This has been ingrained by the tales of Mahawansa Chronicles and the Myths, imbibed to the Sinhala Buddhists from a very young age at school, at home and at the temple, claiming that all the non-Sinhala are Paras, Para-deshis, foreigners, strangers in the Land, which truly belongs to the original natives, the Native Veddah Aethho.

      So, having identified the problem, as the Para-Sinhala calling the Para-Tmils, Para-Muslims and other Paras as Paras, excluding them, the message should be sent that yes, the Sinhala are Paras, just like the other Paras, Para-Tamils , Para-Muslims and others

      Only the Native Veddah Aethho are not Paras.

      It will be very helpful to refer to the Sinhala, Tamils and Muslims as Para-Sinhala, Para-Tamils and Para-Muslims respectively, to drive home the fact that they are Paras,foreigners in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

      The Homeland of the Paras is India, Hindia, Baharat, (Tamil Nadu and Orissa).

      http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v59/n1/full/jhg2013112a.html

      Amarasiri wishers that ALL the writers begin to call a spade a spade, and Paras, Paras. After all, there is support for the above statement.

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    There is NO conceivable solution to the Tamil ethnic problem.

    Soma

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      somass

      “There is NO conceivable solution to the Tamil ethnic problem.”

      Its never been a Tamil ethnic problem. On the contrary its been a Sinhala/Buddhist problem imposed on rest of the people.

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        Native Vedda

        ” On the contrary its been a Sinhala/Buddhist problem imposed on rest of the people.”

        Say: On the contrary its been a Para-Sinhala, Para-Sinhala “Buddhist” problem imposed on rest of the Para-people, in the land of Native Veddah Aethho.

        ALL the Paras should get back to their Para-Homeland, India, Hindia, Baharat.

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    “The essential precondition without which there can be no ethnic reconciliation worth the name is a political solution to the ethnic problem. Yet we hardly hear anything about it these days while the focus is almost entirely on ethnic reconciliation.”

    Is this not the correct way forward ?

    After all the most durable political solution would be the one that meets the aspirations and acceptance of all the key ethnic groups and must therefore necessarily be endogenously generated. An exogenous solution designed to meet the aspirations of local politicians and foreign interests, imposed rather forcefully on the people, using the message that it will ensure ethnic reconciliation, is doomed to failure much like the controversial 13A.

    As a people, our collective primary goal must be to strengthen our national identity. If we do not have a strong common identity, we cannot be a strong nation. When we look at each other, we should see persons who are equally strong in their ‘Sri Lankan-ness’.

    Unfortunately, our efforts to date to revamp our perceptions of ourselves as being Sri Lankan Buddhists/Hindus/Christians/Muslims to being Buddhist/Hindu/Christian/Muslim Sri Lankans have been hampered by two crippling factors – the ‘empathy deficit disorder’ that most are afflicted with and the ‘zero-sum’ mentality that we bring to bear on discussions and discourses pertaining to the modalities of ethnic reconciliation.

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    Izeth is exhibiting his speciality i.e. writing what certain section of Lankans wants to hear.

    He says that we have an Indo-Sri Lanka Tamil ethnic problem. In mid fifties Sinhala Marikkar of SWRD B cabinet went round saying that India is about to invade with help from Tamils. Izeth pedals the same subliminal message.

    Izeth sagaciously suggests that there can be no reconciliation without a political solution. But he brings in the Jaffna University student brawl garnished with “reported facts”. What the hell has this to do with reconciliation? Of course there is the subliminal message “How dare Tamil students retaliate against Sinhalese students”.

    He has to sing the LTTE song and he brays “LTTE stood for the most retrograde kind of ethno- nationalism that led to the Nazis in Germany and today to the apartheid Zionists of Israel”. Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate (the late) Elie Weisel in his website covered the misery of the Mullivaikal massacre – did not mention a word about LTTE.

    Well well Izeth, is your flock increasing?

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    [Edited out]

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    Izeth Naana; you said;

    “We all know that the problem is not so much that of reaching an understanding at an elite political level but that of selling it to the Sinhalese masses who have a deep enduring allergy to devolution on an ethic basis.”

    My dear fellow you have got it all twisted and wrong, that is the effect when you run errands for the so called political elites in Sri Lanka, by the way most of them live inside or in the periphery of Cinnamon garden, which I am very familiar with. Running errands for the elites does not justify your theory that “you (Muslims) will be able to reach an agreement with political elites on how to divide the country of Sinhala-Buddhists on the basis of demographic characteristics, Language, religion and residential area.” Dream on nana; The elites that you are referring are on their way out (not willingly but will be shown the exit door) and we the Sinhala-Buddhists understand their game very well.

    Secondly; you are referring to an “Allergy”, my dear fellow what are you thinking all this time, as I said you have got it wrong. The Sinhala Buddhists are not occupying any land or fiefdom or kingdom belong to any Non-Sinhala Buddhist; Specifically the Tamil speaking Minority. You belong to that group. Have your forefathers ever told you that they were brought up in a Muslim Fiefdom or Kingdom of Sri Lanka. I believe they were pre occupied in hiding their illegal status in the country of Sinhala-Buddhists. Your theory of devolving power has no merit as we the Sinhala-Buddhists have not occupied anything belong to you.

    Let me give you a simple example; Georgia was an independent state but it was occupied sometime back by Soviet Union or USSR, Georgians wanted devolution of power on the basis of ethnicity (It was a legitimate claim because Georgia was an independent state prior to joining USSR) USSR rejected the idea and there were some skirmishes including war and the final result was Georgia was let go on their own.

    Another wonderful example would be East Timor, previously occupied by Portugal and Indonesia. At least read these cases and improve your knowledge without fabricating and keep on spinning stories to satisfy your unsuspecting Muslim readers.

    Hey Izeth nana, I hope you got it this time, so my question is; Are we, the Sinhala Buddhist occupying any territory belong to you?, or did you read somewhere that Muslim fiefdom has joined Sinhala Buddhist country SWARNA LANKA to form a federation known as Sri Lanka?

    Allergy is in your community, you the communal bigots have the audacity to insult Sinhala-Buddhists because you were running errands for the so-called Political Elites.

    So please avoid your B…S…arguments and enjoy the life without scuttling troubles in our wonderful Buddhist country.

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    Keep it up Izeth. Forget about UN, forget about the International community, and just come out of the shell and deliver your sermon. Let the world follow you and only you and nothing else for Sri Lanka’s problems. Keep going.

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      Richard

      ” Let the world follow you and only you and nothing else for Sri Lanka’s problems. Keep going. “

      “Identifying the Problem is 95% of the Solution” -Bertrand Russel.

      The core of Sri Lanka’s problems are due to the Para-Sinhala not accepting that they are Para-Sinhala, and all others, Para-Tamils, Para-Muslims etc. are Paras, when the Para-Sinhala themselves are Paras, in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, based on DNA evidence.

      To get around the Para-Sinhala issue, they now call themselves, HELA, Hela.

      To call Para-Hela, may make it closer to the TRUTH.

      A Para is Para, independent of any terminology used. The Catholic Church that trick, for the need to go around the Sun, per Joshua, but the facts and data told a different story.

      Who are Sri Lanka’s Indigenous Wanniya-laeto?

      http://vedda.org/1-who.htm

      The Homeland of the Paras is India, Hindia, Baharat, (Tamil Nadu and Orissa).

      http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v59/n1/full/jhg2013112a.html

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    Readers could not be blamed if they expected something on animals this week. After all, it was birds last week following a series of boring zilch on Tamils, India and what not, masquerading as political analysis, from the controversial pen of our friend Izeth Hussian. But this week Izeth H swings back to ethnic reconciliation – again, for the umpteenth time.

    Incidentally, one cannot ignore the man’s foul intent while pretending to be a peace-maker as he pessimistically uses the expression “the nonsense of ethnic reconciliation” betraying bad faith. A strange breed of a peace-maker indeed.

    This time he coins a new expression – an Indo-Lankan Tamil ethnic problem – a bit of acharu (pickle) – if you like. Hussain, once more, seeks to blame India for all our ills. He demands why India does not jettison 13A. As an ex-senior diplomat, he must accept India was invited to help solve a problem which several SL Governments of different political persuasions could not do for decades. 13A – a core part of the Indo-Lankan Agreement (1987) – solemnly signed by two sovereign governments. Even a Desk Officer in the Foreign Ministry knows this cannot be jettisoned abruptly.

    Hussein proceeds to demonstrate his anti-Tamil stance as he refers to the recent Jaffna Univerisity incident. He has no compunction at all in blaming “Tamil students began it all” with absolutely no consideration of the events. The truth appears to be some radical Sinhala students, after earlier approving the programme, came back to insist Kandyan dancing also be included. This, a few minutes before the opening ceremony!!! As this new demand came to the fore, there was speculation in well-informed sources in Jaffna at the time, quizzingly as to who prompted this sudden demand. It is an open secret the Sinhala army is believed to be well behind this sudden demand by the Sinhala students. It is well known the Yahapaalanaya regime was pressured by the UN and the international community to cause the gradual reduction of the presence of the army in Jaffna – 7 years after the war. This was one of the foremost demands of Jaffna Tamil civil society. This move towards reconciliation by the government can only be sabotaged by a major issue – and one was, therefore, created by poisoning the minds of the Sinhalese in the country by a partisan Sinhala media. One of the questions the Tamil side asks is how did many Kandyan dancers, drums and dress appear to fast?

    Hussein continues to show his anti-Tamil venom using the provocative expression “conquered Tamils” – which even the Sinhalese do not. Why does this ageing man continue to show his anti-Tamil toxicity?

    In his well known mischief of inflaming Sinhala-Tamil relations he reminds Sinhalese ”of strength that our Tamils as a whole seem to derive from the Tamil Nadu/India factor “they are in a minority in Sri Lanka but they are part of a majority regionally, and that numerical disequilibrium, they seem to believe, is going to count in their favor some day – in favor, that is, of Eelam” Fortunately, the Sinhalese do not appear to attach much significance to Hussain’s weekly wailing or his calculated to work the Sinhalese against the Tamils.

    Why does this self-proclaimed peace maker take the trouble to remind the Sinhalese of the horrors of “the Pettah bomb, the Maradana bomb, the Sacred Bo Tree massacre” without balancing the equation by referring to at least just as many from the far larger numbers of similar group violence against Tamils during the period of the War.

    Mercifully, the man makes a concession to the Tamils by describing their uprising as “it was a war of national liberation” which is what the world saw it for as long as it lasted.

    Incidentally, Hussain seems to have slipped up in his anxiety to please Muslims in the country with the usual anti-Israel-Jew poison by referring to a non-existent “apartheid Zionists of Israel”??? If Hussain knows at least the basics of today’s Israel he will appreciate the modern State of Israel is far from that which practises Apartheid. Not only are there many Jewish Ethiopians, Eritreans and Indians but from many other coloured races too – all living in equality of race and creed. Please have the decency to give the State of Israel the fairness that it deserves.

    Hussain has so far failed in convincing the readership of his credentials to be pro-Tamil – despite many weak efforts. But one must appreciate his endeavour to give Tamil Nationalism its due as he grudgingly concedes “let us secure for them their rights after VERY HORRIBLE order” (My emphasis on this English student of Prof. Ludowyke)

    Backlash

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      Backlash

      Both Izeth and You are forgetting the Elephant in the room. The Sinhala Buddhist Ideology, as per Dipawamsa and Mahawamsa that says ALL the Paras in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, are Paras, except the Sinhala, even though the history and genetics clearly shows that BOTH Sinhala sand Tamils and Others are Paras, Foreigners, in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

      This was the core-basis for the conflicts since 1948. The Sinhala have been claiming that they are Hela, as per Sin-Hela, and if so the Ta,ils are Demala or Dema-Hela as well.The DNA evidence do that support the Hela Mythologist and hypothesis.

      Through a comparison with the mtDNA HVS-1 and part of HVS-2 of Indian database, both Tamils and Sinhalese clusters were affiliated with Indian subcontinent populations than Vedda people who are believed to be the native population of the island of Sri Lanka.

      http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v59/n1/full/jhg2013112a.html

      Sri Lanka’s Indigenous Wanniya-laeto: A Case History

      Sri Lanka’s indigenous inhabitants, the Veddas or Wanniya-laeto (‘forest-dwellers’) as they call themselves, preserve a direct line of descent from the island’s original Neolithic community dating from at least 14,000 BC and probably far earlier according to current scientific opinion.1 Even today, the surviving Wanniya-laeto community retains much of its own distinctive cyclic worldview, prehistoric cultural memory, and time-tested knowledge of their semi-evergreen dry monsoon forest habitat that has enabled their ancestor-revering culture to meet the diverse challenges to their collective identity and survival. With the impending extinction of Wanniya-laeto culture, however, Sri Lanka and the world stand to lose a rich body of indigenous lore and living ecological wisdom that is urgently needed for the sustainable future of the rest of mankind.

      http://vedda.org/wanniyalaeto.htm

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        Dear Amarasiri

        Kuveni’s yakshas were the original settlers is not questioned.
        But in the then undivided land – between present S.India and Sri Lanka – (over 9,000 years ago) the humans here and across the present Straits came from the same origins. That is to say our local Veddahs come from the same stock across the North. In many more ways both current Sinhalese and Tamils came from the same gene pool. The Sinhala deniers now are beginning to accept this compelling historical fact.

        All others here – Indian Tamils, Burghers, Malays, Sindhis, Borhas, Keralites are new arrivals. They accept this and do not try to distort history. All of them are undeniably welcome part of the Lankan State. The exception being Muslims, who have a fetish in inventing instant history. They now like to pretend they are of Arabic origin. And, if China reaches its potential in the next few centuries it is likely Muslims here laying claim they are of Chinese stock.

        BTW, why is your ideological twin Izeth nana silent now. We know he has been restrained by the Muslim leadership for his provocative, irresponsible and reckless position against Tamils. But the poor man at least should be given the freedom to burp a word or two – now and then. He is so much fun when he is out of his leash.

        Backlash

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    A question to all people who have provided such scholarly commentary:
    How it that term describing the indigenous people of the Island –Vedda — is obviously derived the Tamil Vedar or Vedavar which means “hunters”?

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    Whoever talk or write on so called ethnic issue here use words discrimination and genocide but here writer never used that two wards. I appreciate him so much for that.If one can go through university entrance senses since inception of medical,engineering and science faculties here in our country you may find definition for discrimination. before independence under colonial rule Sinhalese Buddhists were not allowed to register their birth with name their real ancestry ones by so called human right champions specially north and east.when Sinhalese agitated and partly got remedies minorities and Sinhalese with European mind set fabricate all sort of stories against Sinhalese Buddhists. Evan they insult and defame historical Buddhists literature like mahawamsa. Mahawamsa like any other religions literature designed and written by group of monks in order to popularized Buddhism in general and deeply dip Theravada sect belief into minds of monks and people with animistic belief. it has done nothing wrong.to dip some thing into minds some conditions are essential like patriotism, proudness being somebody or some thing. that was what mahawamsa writers did.people of other religions did same. some gone to the extent of asking followers to kill or destroy others. all Abrahamic religion propagate that but mahawansa did nothing but tried to create patriotism and proudness being theravada Buddhists. that is essential to continuation of Buddhism as per Mahawamsa writers belief.other religions writers wrote their literature the way they thought appropriate to achieve their collective goals but here that is not the case. collective goals was to rescue animistic mindset of people and continuation of Buddhists order within this Island. any thing wrong with it.

    anyway as writer very correctly described this so called ethnic issue not a local issue. it is the Indian political issue . we can see how Indian politicians play with this issue specially south Indian politicians when elections are nearing in center as well as regionals.

    As such we have to find out what the so called discriminations are and take remedial actions to correct them. otherwise it may be a political issue at Indian political platform forever.

    if Tamils want more than that they have to go to tamilnadu their traditional historical home land and fight Indian center for independence tamilnadu

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    Ranjith,

    Your blabbering that goes as comment is highly misplaced. Like many in the country, you misinform yourself of the core Sinhala-Tamil conflict. Allow me give you my humble take.

    “..anyway as writer very correctly described this so called ethnic issue not a local issue. it is the Indian political issue. we can see how Indian politicians play with this issue specially south Indian politicians when elections are nearing in center as well as regionals…”

    I have visited and lived in Tamilnadu periodically. I have followed the politics there since the 1970s. Please inform yourself, then and even in the 1980s-2000s, the Ceylon/Sri Lankan Tamil matter was not a major
    or seminal State-wide election issue. There were small electorates in the deep South of the State where caste politicians play a role, the issue was mentioned only in passing. This still continues, like in the case of Vaiko and a few small time TN politicos.

    However, sympathy for the SL State and Armed forces inflicted HR crimes against Tamil civilians always engages wide interest. Still it is never an election-winning issue. It has always remained and is an emotional issue. It was very much so in recent decades when Jayalalitha-Karunanidhi alternatively shared power in the State.

    Please do not be mislead by racial-bigot half-wits masquerading as Thinkers, Political Analysts and Philosophers.

    Backlash

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