30 November, 2020

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Self-Determination And The Russian People Of Ukraine

By Veluppillai Thangavelu

Veluppillai Thangavelu

Veluppillai Thangavelu

Extending the Right of Self-determination to Russian People of Ukraine is the Best Solution

Close on the heels of Crimea‘s voluntary annexation with the Russian Federation after holding a referendum on the basis of the inherent right of people to self determination, Ukraine is in turmoil once again. The Russian people who dominate the south – eastern parts of Ukraine are demanding the same right of self determination to either join the Russian Federation or declare out right independence.

The Russian “separatists” have seized more than dozen towns and cities and even TV stations   since protests broke out in April this year.  They are most active in  Donestk, Lugansk, Slavyansk and Kharkov cities.  Ironically, the Russian separatists are adopting the same tactics used by pro-European protesters who occupied government buildings and ultimately forced President Yanukovich to flee the country. Since Yanukovich’s ouster, Kiev’s interim government has faced a wave of protests in the predominantly Russian-speaking east.

On April 16th the Ukrainian authorities began what they called an anti-terrorist operation. It ended in humiliation when two columns of armoured vehicles were stopped by local civilians backed by rebel militiamen. Faced with the choice of having to kill civilians and then probably getting killed themselves, the soldiers capitulated. One column was allowed to leave but the soldiers of the other lost their vehicles and arms, and some 40 soldiers were put on buses and sent back to Kiev the capital.

There is fear in Western capitals that Russia is going to repeat “The Crimean scenario” in south-eastern Ukraine as well.  In Crimea it is the Russian Special Forces stripped of identifying insignia who successfully took control of the military and civil installations in the entire peninsula.

The US is chiding Russia for alleged interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine, but it supports the Ukrainian nationalists who usurped power unconstitutionally in Kiev supports them with much more than friendly words and gestures.

According to US,   Russia is behind the turmoil that is rocking the eastern part of Ukraine.  The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has declared that Russia is not going to repeat the Crimean scenario. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said  that Moscow does not want to invade eastern and southern Ukraine and denied the presence of any soldiers or spies there. In an interview to Gazeta.ru he said “I think what happened in Crimea turned out to be a big shock for Western partners. They can’t tolerate it. And they see the same scenario in south-eastern Ukraine.”  Faced with increasing broader sanctions by the US as well as EU, this may be an attempt by Russia to defuse the tense situation in eastern Ukraine.

According to Ryabkov, the Kiev authorities should give people from south-eastern Ukraine a chance to participate in shaping the future of their own country. “It’s a normal desire to decide your country’s future. It is the basis of any democratic process,” he added.

Ryabkov said he doesn’t consider the protesters in Slavyansk and Donetsk, in Donetsk Region, as separatists. “These are the people who insist on their rights, including the right to their language and access to information,” he said. Although the Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has not exactly  spelt out the words “self determination” that is what he is implying. As in the case of Crimea, he wants Kiev to allow the Russian people who form the majority in the south – eastern parts of Ukraine the right of self determination to decide their political destiny.

Russia Defence Chief has assured US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel that Russia would not invade Ukraine. But Ukraine’s acting government thinks otherwise. It accuses Russia of orchestrating the unrest which Russia could use as a pretext to invade Ukraine.  Anything  seems possible these days. But, if the Russians do annex parts of Ukraine it will primarily because of political and military considerations and not because of any concerns about economy.

Country Profile

At this point in order to understand the stand off between Kiev and the Russian people of south – eastern Ukraine, it is helpful to look at   Ukraine’s country profile.

Region                                    –                    Eastern Europe
Surface area                            –                   603,500 sq.kms
Population in 2001                  –                   48.416   million
Ukrainians                                –               37.541 million (77.5%)
Russians                                  –                 8.344 million (17.2%)
Others (Moldavians/Romanians etc)  –        2.531
Capital city and population in 2011       –     Kiev (2.829 million)
United Nations membership date          –      24 October 1945
GDP: Gross Domestic Product (million current US$) 2011    –   US 165 billion
Per capita income   (2010)                  –         US 6,700
Official language                                  –        Ukrainian
Spoken                                               –        Ukrainian, Russian, others
Currency                                 –                   Hryvnia (UAH)

Coup d’état in Kiev

What triggered the current turmoil and political crisis? In November 2013, widespread protests broke out in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. These protests responded to President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision to back out of a plan to sign a far-reaching agreement with the European Union (EU). The plan would have established a closer political and economic relationship with the EU and signalled Ukraine’s interest in joining the 28 nation bloc. Pro-EU Ukrainians took to the streets, hoping that Yanukovich would retract his decision. He did not and instead signed a $15 billion trade deal with Russia. Pro-EU demonstrators rejected Yanukovich’s decision to deepen Ukraine’s ties with Russia and continued their demonstrations. Moscow had controlled the territory of present-day Ukraine for centuries, up until 1991, and many protesters did not want to see hard-won gains, specifically those tied to political and economic independence, undone.

In November, 10123 President Yanukovich responded by using the police and the security forces to suppress the uprising. The security forces  used violence and intimidation tactics in their crackdowns against demonstrators. In January 2014, Yanukovich’s government implemented anti-democratic legislation restricting political dissent. The legislation banned the installation of tents and stages in public spaces, criminalized the use of masks and helmets at protests, and outlawed the slandering of government officials. Facing immense public pressure and criticism from the international community, the government repealed the laws just two weeks after they had been enacted. Anti-Yanukovich demonstrations and fears about Russia’s sway over Ukraine continued. In late February, the violence reached an all-time high with rising death tolls among protesters and the police. Under growing pressure, Yanukovich fled Kiev and the parliament voted to oust him from government.  This has brought the importance of the Ukraine to the center stage of the world’s political scene.

Russia accused USA and Germany of   financing and directing the coup d’état and installing a pro-Western puppet regime.  Many independent observers tend to agree with Russia.

The pro-EU protests quickly came to be called the Euromaidan movement. The protesters were mainly from Kiev and western Ukraine and include, among others students, workers, retirees, entrepreneurs, and journalists. These protesters’ demands extend far beyond establishing a stronger partnership with the EU and center around human rights, freedom and democracy. Other groups, such as right-wing neo – Nazi Right Sector have carried out their own anti-Yanukovich demonstrations. Russia has accused the Right Sector nationalists as fascists and reactionaries. According to Russia, the  Right Sector  still has a stranglehold on the interim government installed after the fall of Yanukovich.  It  has labelled pro-EU Ukrainian demonstrators as “extremists” and condemned these protesters for staging a constitution coup d’état to oust  President Yanukovich.

Which Way? EU or Russia?

There is no unanimity whether  Ukraine should  follow a European path or establish closer ties with Russia.  Following the ouster of Yanukocich tens of thousands     in  Ukraine  have participated in rallies that not only signal their support for Yanukovich, but also a preference for continued strong ties with Russia. Many pro-Yanukovich demonstrators are from the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine—regions that are the base of Yanukovich’s support, the location of major industries, and where Russian language  is more commonly spoken. Most pro-Yanukovich protesters reject the idea of a far-reaching partnership with the EU, fearing that such an agreement would do more harm than good to the Ukrainian economy and the people.

Yanukovich’s decision to break off an agreement with the EU took  many European leaders  by surprise. Why did Yanukovich back out of a deal that was five years in the making? EU members have identified Russia as  the culprit and  criticized Russia for exerting economic and political pressure on  Ukraine and for meddling in Ukraine’s  internal affairs.

Officially, Russia claims  that it has a policy of non-intervention in Ukrainian politics. That it has no plans to invade Ukraine. However, Russia is interested in keeping Ukraine within its sphere of influence for security reasons.  Russia’s natural gas pipelines cuts across Ukraine and Ukraine itself is a major market for Russian gas. Nearly 25% of the European Union’s natural gas comes from Russia and 80% of that gas passes through the Ukraine. Russia supplied gas to Ukraine at less than the market price, but this concession has since been withdrawn. It has also withdrawn the offer of US15 billion financial aid to Ukraine to tide over financial collapse.

Ukraine was once a hub for the Soviet Union’s most advanced nuclear missiles and military technology. A former secret nuclear missile base in Ukraine has been turned into a museum.

Ukraine   also possesses a formidable military -industrial complex. If the Ukraine were to join the European Union and perhaps even NATO, someday, this would constitute a major national security threat to the Russia. In which event the Cuban Missile Crisis, in reverse, will look tame by comparison.

The turmoil in Ukraine is part of a wider strategic battle between the West and Russia to control Ukraine with its 48 million people and natural resources. Ukraine is the largest country in Europe next to Russia. Three former states Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have joined NATO and after the annexation of Crimea NATO is holding joint exercises with Azerbaijan, Armenia and Moldova.  The US has responded to the pleas from Eastern Europe by reinforcing NATO air force and ground troops in the Baltic countries. US has also dispatched aircraft to Poland and Canada 6 fighter jets to NATO.

Ukraine was the economic hub of the former Soviet Union and its atomic arsenals.  Politically, Russia does not want Ukraine to form stronger ties with the EU. Russia  despite all the widening  sanctions imposed  by US, Canada and EU doesn’t want to break relations with either the EU, or the US. However, war of words has escalated between Russia and US.   US Secretary of State Kerry blasted Sergei Lavrov for being “a big, fat, un-reset-button liar.”

Geneva Agreement

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, his acting Ukrainian counterpart, Andriy Deshchytsia, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and diplomats  held  emergency talks  that lasted several hours in Geneva  on April 17th  to “de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine.” An   Agreement was reached by Russia, US, EU, Ukraine  and a  joint statement was  issued  saying  all sides have agreed to  take steps to reduce  tensions and ensuring the security of all Ukrainians. The Agreement further called for all illegal armed groups to be disarmed, all illegally seized buildings to be returned to their legitimate owners and all occupied public spaces to be vacated. It promised amnesty for protesters who leave buildings and give up their weapons, apart from those convicted of capital crimes, adding that it also urges a halt to violence in Ukraine and condemns all extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-Semitism, in the country.

But, the hopes that the agreement generated on April 17th would lead to an early resolution of the Ukrainian crisis have been swiftly dashed. The agreement remains on paper only.  Denis Pushilin, the chairman of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, speaking in the region’s occupied administration building, said that Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister “did not sign for us”.

Mr. Pushilin rejected the deal made on their behalf by Russia, saying that the buildings now under the control of his Donetsk Republic would only be vacated after all the buildings occupied in Kiev had been vacated. By this he meant that the new Ukrainian government was illegal and hence it had to disband first, before orders would go out for the same to happen in the Donetsk and the rest of the Donbas region, where anti-government rebels have seized buildings and put up checkpoints.

Meanwhile, both US and Russia resumed their war of words each accusing the other of breaching the terms of the agreement that is reminiscent of the cold war era.

According to Russian Deputy FM, the Kiev authorities and their “puppeteers in Washington and some European capitals” aren’t fulfilling the conditions of the April-17 Geneva agreement. “They [Kiev and the West] claim that we [Russia] aren’t complying with the agreements but they haven’t shown any evidence that they are fulfilling them,” he said. He gave a reminder that the main issue surrounding these agreements is the disarmament of the Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) a neo Nazi  group and freeing seized streets and squares across Ukraine.

Economy

Even before the current turmoil broke out Ukraine’s economy was in bad shape. It has recorded the lowest GDP growth rate among the former Seattleite countries of Soviet Union. The GDP grew just under 50% between 1992 -2013 compared to Armenia which recorded 400% growth during the same period.  After the crisis broke out Ukraine’s economy has taken a hammering. Until mid-January its currency, the hryvnia, was fixed at 8:1 with the dollar; it now trades at about 10:1. Unemployment rate remains at 9% of the population. Foreign Reserves have decreased. The government has recently issued short-term debt at interest rates as high as 15%; this year its bonds have done about as badly as Venezuela’s. Many analysts are worried that the country will soon default on its debt.

The economic turmoil reflects recent political instability. But, Ukraine’s economic problems were long in the making. Dubious economic policy, distaste for reform and endemic corruption have brought the country to its knees. . After the crisis Russia has removed all subsidies extended to Ukraine over purchase of gas. It has threatened to cut off supplies if Ukraine fails to settle mounting bills. A move that would only deepen the financial burden on ordinary people. To off set  losses,  Ukraine has increased the retail gas prices by 50%.  This year alone Ukraine needs to find about $25 billion to finance its large current-account deficit and to meet foreign creditors, including Russia. But the foreign-exchange reserves remain roughly at US$12 billion.

Future of Ukraine? 

What is in store for Ukraine in the future?  Is it possible Russia will still take over parts of south-eastern Ukraine by force? Unfortunately yes: almost anything seems possible these days.  Who dreamt Russia will annex Crimea without firing a shot?  Russia has valid reasons to annex parts of Ukraine for concern over political and military considerations.

Like in Crimea, Russia can invoke the principle of self – determination for the Russian people living in Ukraine.  All peoples have the right to self-determination by virtue of   possessing a well defined historical territory, who share a common language and a common collective and national consciousness. Russian people living in Ukraine fit this definition.

In fact, the application of the principle of peoples right to self-determination saw many countries becoming free including Ukraine. All the 15 satellite states of Soviet Union became independent after the demise of the USSR in 1991. The same with former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The 5 federal states became free on the disintegration of Tito’s Yugoslavia. Recently East Timor, South Sudan, and Kosovo became independent under the same principle of right to self-determination. In fact 23 countries became independent taking the total UN member countries to a record total of 193 at present.

The world has become stronger not weaker after all these countries emerged as free countries.  The principle of right of self determination should be applied to the Kurdish people, Tibetans, Kashmiris, Libyans and Eelam Thamils and other national minorities fighting for the right of self-determination.

Extending   the right of  self-determination to Russian  people of Ukraine who constitute 17.2% of the population  is the best solution to end the crisis! It will bring  peace and prosperity to both  Ukrainians and Russian people. It need not necessarily out right independence, it could be an autonomous state within a federal Ukraine.

A parrot will fly away even if you lock it up in a cage made out of pure gold and feed it with tasty fruits and vegetables.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    2

    The right of self-determination to Tamil speaking population of North East Region is the best solution to end the crisis in Sri Lanka. This will give an opportunity for Sinhalese people of the South to concentrate on the rule of law, independence of justice system and to get rid of all the corruption and to improve the living standard of the people.

    • 0
      2

      Ajith has found the solution! We have free the Sinhalese politicians, who spend most of their time finding a solution for the ethnic crisis, so they may concentrate on the rule of law, independence of justice system and to get rid of all the corruption and to improve the living standard of the people.

      Somehow I thought if the Sinhalese ‘of the south’ concentrated on the rule of law, independence of the justice system and got rid of all the corruption then the crisis will sort itself out. No I Know that it is the other way around.

    • 3
      2

      It is very doubtful whether it will ever dawn on the Mahavansa Buddhists that it will be in their best interest to allow PEACEFUL devolution to the Tamils, and concentrate on the task of building a Dharmishta society in the South, with good governance and respect for the rule of law, after driving out the Meeharakas who have been ruling Sri Lanka from 1931.

  • 1
    1

    I have been insisting in several essays in recent months that secession or formation of new states in modern times has less to do with the right to self-determination, than with modern imperatives like globalization and great power politics. This example again proves the point. The eastern part of Ukraine, where the problems now are, unlike Crimea, is MINORITY Russian,; 28% to 35% in the three relevant provinces, if memory serves me right.

    If this region secedes to form a separate state, or to join Russia, it will NOT be as the choice of a homogeneous Nation. It will be an action that can be better understood in a global and regional context by a NON-HOMOGENEOUS group of people.

    • 0
      0

      Prof. Kumar David,

      The latest celluar genetic studies show clearly and as never before, t the Lankan Tamils are the people of the soil in terms of their relative uniqueness. I use the term ‘relative Uniqueness’ bearing in mind that Homo erectus and Home sapiens originated in East Africa and spread around the globe. The uniqueness comes about as a result of isolated evolution over time, amidst our commonness as humans.

      Should the ‘Lankan Tamils’ seek self determination within a limited area, or seek a share in governance of this country or both, as co-owners? Self-governance within the areas where the lankan Tamils are the majority, while demanding a meaninfulshare in national governance ( a defined role at the centre), should be the road to travel.

      We are not ethnic Indians by any measure! Sri Lanka, as a single state is worth fighting for, however hard it will be. This should be however, a much different Sri lanka than we have now.

      I am a Tamil of the north, born and reared in the south. Both the north and the south are part of my heritage. Similarly, all indications point to the Tamils or proto-Tamils to have been present over all of Sri Lanka in a time gone by, although events and time have concentrated them in the north and east. The present realities cannot however extinguish the primordial reality of Tamils being a people of this island. A successful political solution should deal with this reality, instead of regarding them as unwelcome aliens who have to be tolerated or as some Tamils demand, being isolated.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • 2
    1

    Thangi sees Ukaraine as yet another example of people wanting exercise self determination with relevance to the Sri Lankan situation. I see yet another ethnic group caught between and used as pawns by larger powers who in turn don’t care about that ethnic group. The story of the ages I suppose….

  • 2
    1

    The political principle of self-determination (SD) based on ethnic or sectarian grounds is too complex and vulnerable a criteria to apply on ground. Many insolvable issues emerge depending on the ground situation. In a totally severed geographical area little related to the rest of the body politic the application of SD is easier. This is not the case of the island of Sri Lanka. The particular stumbling block in SL is the real fear among the Sinhala that SD would lead to secession. The narrative of the LTTE establishes this perception.
    Race-based claims for political power have tragic potential. We see this in contemporary SL on both sides of the divide. Onto this ugly state of affairs one observes non-race sectarianism as exemplified by the oxymoron called ‘militant Buddhism.’
    The deep ideological falsity behind race-based campaigns is that race is a myth as today’s DNA sciences have emphasized. Both Tamils and Sinhala should understand that. Religion is a social construction.
    I see no future for Sri Lanka other than as a secular state that leaves both race and religion out of the official reckoning. A new society should be built on the basis of equality and humanity. Let poorer minds adhere privately to race and religion. People have a right to their follies.
    I offer these comments with due regards and respect for my old pal Thangavelu.

    • 0
      0

      You say religion is a social construction. What nonsense; As far as Allah fearing Muslims are concerned, Islam is an absolute way of life with a complete set of instructions.

      So, Before you talk about ‘Militant Buddhism’ you should try understand what Koran tells its believers about un-believers and what should be done to them. Koran tells Muslims how to tax, subjugate, harass and kill non-Muslims. Now, Mullah and Muslim scholars would tells you to read the Koran in correct context. They will point out that Koran advice Muslims to respect non-Muslims. That’s BS. I am telling you, nowhere in the Koran says, what is written in it is valid only to a particular course and event and/or not valid for the future.

    • 0
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      Shyamon,

      I broadly agree with what you have written. Sri Lankan society is extremely tribal and suspicious. It is the politicians who started this situation and the subsequent events exacerbated it with tragic consequences. The Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinism has fully developed and actively in force in all sections of the governance. This tide is hell bent on creating a Sinhala Buddhist state where the Sinhala language and Buddhism are at the helm.

      In this backdrop you say:

      “I see no future for Sri Lanka other than as a secular state that leaves both race and religion out of the official reckoning. A new society should be built on the basis of equality and humanity.”

      I ask, are the Sinhala people capable of building such a nation? Even if they were to do it, on what basis? The Tamils are particular about their language on par with the Sinhala. Where would the Tamil language be in the new nation that you envisage?

      I am not optimistic as you are about such a new nation. I see two scenarios 1. The Sinhala succeed in assimilating the minorities as Sinhala in the long run. 2. Sri Lanka is divided into two as a direct result of intransigent of the Sinhala stupidity.

      Sri Lanka has racism at its base; I do not believe that there will be any change to this scenario in the near future.

  • 2
    3

    Thangavelu says, “All peoples have the right to self-determination by virtue of ….” If the world at large have followed that principle, not just Yugoslavia but very many countries would have been balkanised by now. Scotland is about go for the test, but UK government is doing all the tricks to hang on to it. If allowed to take its course, India no doubt is at least fifty countries by now. So, neo-con backing for balkanization of countries is selective as for everything else to suit their global strategy.

    It is absurd to compare Tamils of Sri Lanka to Russians in Ukraine. Almost all 17.2% of Russian speaking population in Ukraine lives in the East of that country bordering Russia, whereas in Sri Lanka, over 50% of Tamils live outside the so-called ‘Tamil Eelam’.

    To prove their ‘historical territory’, Tamils have been using spats and arguments not physical proof. Sinhalas on the other hand, have been using their 1500 year old chronicles like Mahawamsa backed by monuments and rock edits to prove their historical connection to that territory.

    Colonial records show that Tamils of today in the so-called ‘Tamil Eelam’ and the upcountry are decedents of recent immigrants brought over by colonials to tender their tobacco, tea and other plantations. What more proof for it than these immigrants’ religious, cultural and language affinity to Tamils of India.

    Yalpana Vaipava Malai that cover Tamil history of Sri Lanka was written only in 1736 AD. It was also written on request by the Dutch Colonials. And it refers to Mahawamsa as source material. It is clear that Colonials have deliberately changed the demography in Sri Lanka.

    • 0
      0

      A little now, more later.

  • 2
    2

    minorities can’t enjoy self determination here…this is our country, sinhalese buddhist country….if you minorities need so called self determination they can piss off to shitnadu and camelshitlands…

    moda vedda, amASSiri, gona mike – yeah, THIS IS A SINHALESE BUDDHIST COUNTRY

    • 1
      3

      Your [Edited out] should never have allowed Mahanama to even touch [Edited out]. You are the pathetic little disaster!

      • 2
        0

        navin, you donkey, you can cry louder for ngo money….but you para people will always be second citizens here

      • 0
        0

        navi [Edited out]

    • 1
      0

      ela kolla

      “moda vedda, amASSiri, gona mike – yeah, THIS IS A SINHALESE BUDDHIST COUNTRY”

      This is not Sinhala/Buddhists country.

      Go back to Tamilnadu, Bihar or Orissa if you want to build one.

  • 1
    0

    The right of self determination does not necessarily amount to secession or separation. Nevertheless, self determination whether internal or external could be a precursor to secession. Putin’s agenda does not correspond to that of the aspirations of the Tamils although it provides a precedent. I am subject to correction.Bensen

  • 1
    1

    Ajith,

    “The right of self-determination to Tamil speaking population of North East Region is the best solution to end the crisis in Sri Lanka. “

    Keep dreaming. No matter how hard you try by playing the Tamil speaking card the muslims will never join you buggers.

    You have never ruled East in the past and will never in the future.

    • 1
      0

      Ravi Perera Sinhala speaking Demela

      “You have never ruled East in the past and will never in the future.”

      You mean you are willing to relinquish your claim to the North because you accept the stupid Tamils had a kingdom there in the past.

      How long do you recommend a race should rule a particular region before they could claim it as their own?

      Please refer to past history before you start typing?

      • 0
        1

        Muslims dream for own utopia. They’ll deal with Tamils there under Sharia.

    • 0
      0

      Ravi,

      I don’t need to dream about it. That is the reality. Did you ever dream that your country was not ruled by Sinhalese for nearly 500 years? Did you ever dream you will lose control over North East even after you became the owners of this island? Did Muslim dream that they will become prey for Sinhalese?
      Thinks happen unexpectedly. You never know you may become part of China or part of India in future. Better learn some Hindi or Chinese or Arabic.

  • 2
    0

    I am no human

    They don’t even need Sharia to deal with you lot. They are sending your women folks in coffins, nailed all over their bodies.

    Medieval kingdoms know very well your state and rulers couldn’t do a thing against their countries.

    So pathetic the more bodies you receive the more women you send there to keep men happy and unemployed back home.

    What a bunch of lackadaisical, impotent, ………. self-serving, …..

  • 2
    0

    Banda is off the mark when he says that Thamils are immigrants. He should read the Mahavamsa, the bible of the Sinhala Buddhists carefully not selectively. This question has been answered with facts and figures in this site itself. I quote the comment written by James as recently as April 06, 2014.
    The Mahavamsa states Dutugemunu’s father King KavanTissa the king of Rohana (Kingdom in Southern Sri Lanka) had told Duttugemenu not to invade (Rajarata) the land of the Damilas. He had said, Rohana the region on this side of the river (Southern territory) has enough land. There is evidence in the Mahavamsa that the Northern territory (Rajarata) was occupied by the Tamils. It says, Duttugemenu had to conquer not just one Tamil king (Ellara) but 32 Tamil Chieftains around the Anuradhapura principality alone. He also killed around sixty thousand Tamils in the war. How could there be 32 Tamil chieftains in the area of Anuradhapura alone and sixty thousand Tamils any Tamil settlements (Demel-gam-bim) in Anuradhapura? In the 17th centuries, when Robert Knox, the English prisoner in the Kingdom of Kandy made his escape through Anuradhapura into the Dutch occupied Northwest, he found that, fluent though he was in Sinhala, he could not converse with the inhabitants of the Anuradhapura region as the people there spoke the Malabar language (Tamil). When he managed to communicate to them through sign language about his plight, they exclaimed, ‘Tombrane’(Tamil, tampirane, meaning ‘Oh,God’), with amazement. Even the rendering of the name Anuradhapura by Knox as Anarodgburro is obviously from the colloquial Tamil form Anra’japuram/Anracapuram, still used among SL Tamils. Knox, in fact, clearly states that the territory of Anarodgburro is inhabited by Tamils; It is a vast great plain, the like I never saw in all that Island….This plain is encompassed round with woods, and small towns among them on every side, inhabited by Malabars, a distinct people from the Chingulayes.(pg.276,KI’s book). Also, PANDARA VANNIYAN was a Tamil chief from the Vanni region who was known as ONE OF LAST NATIVE CHIEF TO CHALLENGE THE BRITISH RULE in the Island nation of Sri Lanka. His grandson is Pannirukaran Mylvaganam. Kulasegaram Vairamuthu Pandaravanniyan was the last king of Vanni. Here is what Hugh Cleghorn said: ‘Two different nations, from very ancient times have divided between them the possession of the island.. First the Cingalese inhabiting the interior of the country, in its southern and western parts, from the river Wallouve to that of Chilow, and secondly the Malabars who possess the northern and eastern districts. These two nations differ entirely in their religion, language and manners. Not only HUGH CLEGHORN but many colonial officers and historians have said the same. Jacob Burnand, a Swiss soldier in the service of the Dutch and later the English, was the governor of Batticaloa between 1784 and 1794. In 1798 he composes a ‘memoir’ on the North and Northeast, in which he locates the origins of the Sinhalese in Siam and mentions that from time immemorial Sinhalese and Tamils had divided the rule of the island between the two of them. Commenting on the provenance of the Tamil and Sinhalese languages the Dutch Predikant, Philippus Baldaeus who was in the Island during the mid17th century asserts, ‘It is to be observed that in Ceylon they not only speak the Cinghalesche but also the Malabaarsche languages, the former from Negombo to Colombo, Caleture, Berbering, Alican, Gale, Belligamme, Matura, Donders etc., But in all other parts of the Island which are contiguous to the coromandel coast Malabaarsche is the prevailing language. he above view is also corroborated by the Governor Rjklof Van Goens account dated 1675.
    Let us have a peep at recent history. In 1919 the Sinhalese leaders found that unless they made their request for territorial representation unanimously, the British were not going to grant their request. So they approached Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam, founder and first President of Ceylon National Congress, gave him written undertaking that a seat would be reserved for the Tamils in Colombo, and requested him to talk to the Jaffna Association, which preferred communal representation to territorial representation.
    1921 Constitution granted territorial representation. Once the supremacy of the majority community was ensured in the legislature the Sinhalese leaders Sir James Peiris and E.J.Samarawickreme reneged on their pledge. Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam was denied a seat for Tamils in Colombo was refused. Apart from saying that they were not bound by their written promise since they no longer held the offices they earlier held when promising, they also said “You Tamils are yourselves the majority in your two provinces. Why should you have seats in Colombo?” Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam quitted the CNC, denouncing it as a party representing mainly a section of the Sinhalese. So Banda is proving he is worse that Samarawickreme and James Peiris!
    The Sinhalese people of Negombo, Chilaw and Puttalam were Thamil Catholic paravars brought from Thamil Nadu by the Portuguese for security reasons. Edmund Peiris (born 27 Dec 1897 , died 4 Sep 1989 ) )who was the local Bishop was instrumental in changing the medium of education from Thamil to Sinhalese. Soon these Catholic Thamils lost their ethnic identity and count themselves as Sinhalese.
    It is the Buddhist monks who gave Thamil Buddhists the Sinhalese identity in the 8th century by creating a language based on Elu (the native language) Pali, Sanskrit and Thamil. The war between Duttugemenu and Ellara was not a war between Thamils and “Sinhalese” it was a war between Thamil Hindus and Thamil/Nagar Buddhists. Thamil soldiers were found in both Ellara and Duttugemenu armies. The Mahavamsa says clearly Duttugemenu was a Naga prince both from his paternal and maternal sides. There were no Sinhalese or Sinhalese language in his time.

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      “Banda is off the mark when he says that Thamils are immigrants.”

      Not only is he off the mark,he looks like an idiot after the history lesson you gave him.Who knows he himself might have some malabar(colonialist term for all people of south indian origin) ancestry somewhere and now hollering about his sinhalese ethnicity.

      Good one thanga.It was really refreshing to read your excerpts of history.That is why i also consider this small island as a pol sambol of ethnicity and we have to only do some changes to the devolution of powers to peacefully live in it.The same people with different language and religion can easily live together as long as they don’t trample each others toes and are allowed to manage their own affairs without central government interference and control all the time.

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    If Tamilians in SL start what the Russian minority is doing in east Ukraine, there will be no Tamil spared in Colombo!

    Try your luck fools.

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    Sorry, the declation “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development” is taken from PART 1, Article 1 of the INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS. This principle is also recognized in Part 1, Article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Both these Covenants came into force in 1976. Earlier it was explicitly embraced by US President Woodrow Wilson, by Lenin and others, and became the guiding principle for the reconstruction of Europe following World War I. The principle was incorporated into the 1941 Atlantic Charter and the Dumbarton Oaks proposals which evolved into the United Nations Charter. Its inclusion in the UN Charter marks the universal recognition of the principle as fundamental to the maintenance of friendly relations and peace among states.

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    Ajith,

    “I don’t need to dream about it. That is the reality”

    North yes, though that too seem to be slipping from you. East has never and will never.

    “Did Muslim dream that they will become prey for Sinhalese?

    Muslims have not and will not become the target of the wider sinhala community. Infact they became victims of the Tamil leadership.
    Muslim leaders have played their cards beaustifully in the face of bodu bala sena ballas.

    “You never know you may become part of China or part of India in future. Better learn some Hindi or Chinese or Arabic.”

    China doubtful, India there is a possibilty with Sri Lanka being the sinhala state of India (Though this too is unlikely in the forseeable future). Hindi is a beautiful musical language and I do speak a bit

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      SL becoming part of India?? No chance. There is enough trouble in India already!! By the way you dont need to speak/write Hindi to be an Indian citizen, majority in South India(TN, AP, Kerala, Karnataka) dont speak Hindi and that’s the major reason why film industry of south especially Tamil and Telugu Film Industry is in good health.

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      “Muslims have not and will not become the target of the wider sinhala community.”
      This is what Muslim parliamentarians says to the Boss of the Nation and Boss of the BBS. This regime has the mandate from 75% of the wider Sinhala community. In other words 75% of the Sinhala community supports BBS actions against Muslims.

      “We the Muslim parliamentarians wish to bring to your Excellency’s kind attention the continued hate campaign, intimidation and threats to Muslims, carried out by some Buddhist extremist elements of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), Sihala Ravaya and Ravana Balakaya organisations.”

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    Ajith,

    “This is what Muslim parliamentarians says to the Boss of the Nation and Boss of the BBS. This regime has the mandate from 75% of the wider Sinhala community. In other words 75% of the Sinhala community supports BBS actions against Muslims.”

    Where did you get the number 75% from. You Tamil buggers are waiting with hope to see the Muslims being attacked like 1983.

    Sorry bro it won’t happen..

    Muslims will never throw in their lot with you Tamils.

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    Thanga,

    “I quote the comment written by James as recently as April 06, 2014. The Mahavamsa states Dutugemunu’s father King KavanTissa the king of Rohana (Kingdom in Southern Sri Lanka) had told Duttugemenu not to invade (Rajarata) the land of the Damilas. He had said, Rohana the region on this side of the river (Southern territory) has enough land. There is evidence in the Mahavamsa that the Northern territory (Rajarata) was occupied by the Tamils.”

    Dutugemunus father opposed but his mother was very much in favour of the sons mission. We also saw this during the latest war with the LTTE where one of the parents opposed the son joining the Army while one parent was in favour. Dutugemus father opposed because of his concerns for the sons security and not because Anuradhapura or the rajarat belonged to the Tamils.

    “It says, Duttugemenu had to conquer not just one Tamil king (Ellara) but 32 Tamil Chieftains around the Anuradhapura principality alone. He also killed around sixty thousand Tamils in the war. How could there be 32 Tamil chieftains in the area of Anuradhapura alone and sixty thousand Tamils any Tamil settlements (Demel-gam-bim) in Anuradhapura? “

    British Ruled the whole of Sri Lanak for two centuries. It was by might but not by right. Your argument that 60,000 Tamils were killed can not be taken as evidence to show that there were tamil gam bim historically.
    Today in the central hills there are over a million Tamils. Can there presence be interpreted as proof for historial tamil gam bim in the central hills. There were invasions from South India from Time to time and the Tamil kings did rule rajarata by might. Along with the Kings came their soldiers and the other settlers.

    You also give Robert Knox and the other Colonial soldiers statements as evidence to back your homeland claim.According to Robert Knox in the 17th century even Anuradhapura was known with a Tamil Name.
    according to this man Tamils had a kingdom extended from Present day Negambo to Walawe River in the south.
    If this statement is true, King Dutugemunu the most celebrated of the sinhala kings is also a Tamil. There are Tamils who believe that Dutugemnu was a Tamil (Certainly the ones in this forum).

    You guys are full of illusions, just like the invincibility of your Sun god and his goons, Tamils ruled all the way up to Madagskar, Tamils can invent a nuclear bomb etc.

    The war between Duttugemenu and Ellara was not a war between Thamils and “Sinhalese” it was a war between Thamil Hindus and Thamil/Nagar Buddhists”

    Talking about King Dutugemunu he was more closer to Hela tribes than Sinhala. It is the hela tribes that evolved into sinhala over a period of time . Wether you call Hela or Sinhala it is the same people at a different stage of the evolution process. In another 2000 years the sinhala race could well be known under another name. As you know cultures evolve I mean most cultures. Similarly the Hindi language in India has evolved from Pali.

    “The Sinhalese people of Negombo, Chilaw and Puttalam were Thamil Catholic paravars brought from Thamil Nadu by the Portuguese for security reasons”

    True to some extend. Not all but some. especially closer to the sea. Over a period of time they have been naturalised. You see this process taking place with the estate Tamils too. The Estate Tamils in Kalutara, Matugama , Matara have been mostly sinhaliced but some still carry the Tamil names. The estate Tamils in Ratnapura, Kandy , Badulla speak sinhala without the Tamil accent. With time they too will be naturalised. This is not a phenomenon limited to Sri Lanka. There are many Poles and pother eastern Europeans in the UK who have now naturalized and also taken English names. There are many Telugu people in Tamil Nadu who have been absorbed into the Tamil culture

    You will have to work really hard to convince the International community on the bogus traditional Tamil homeland concept. You have so far failed and will continue to fail because you buggers have not got solid evidence.

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      Ravi,

      “not because Anuradhapura or the rajarat belonged to the Tamils. “

      Please provide evidence.

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    Anpu,

    Walk around Anuradhapura and you will have plenty of evidence. You buggers at the back of the mind have the whole country as your target not just the North and East

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      Ravi,

      Since May 2009, Rajapakse brothers and their cronies are building Viharas all over N & E and soon you will call them evidence!!!!

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      Ravi Perera the Sinhala speaking Demela

      “You buggers at the back of the mind have the whole country as your target not just the North and East”

      In case if you have missed part of the history, let me clarify crucial point here, the whole island was/is known as Eelam according Tamil tradition.

      VP called his Tamil “land” Tamil Eelam.

      Therefore you can call your Sinhala land Sinhala Eelam.

      However the whole island will remain as Veddah land.

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    Anpu,

    “Since May 2009, Rajapakse brothers and their cronies are building Viharas all over N & E and soon you will call them evidence!!!! “

    The ancient historical ones certainly is part of evidence.

    In the East there is no need to give the new viharas as evidence, since we already have places like Thiriyaya, seruvilla chaiitaya, Deegavapi etc.

    In the North the viharas have to be backed up by large scale sinhala settlements which I hear is taking place now.

    Any way keep fighting and dream of owning Sri Lanka

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    Vedda,

    Are you jobless

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      Ravi Perera Sinhala speaking Demela

      “Are you jobless”

      What do you think and why do you ask?

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    The turmoil in east and south Ukraine has now morphed into a bloody shooting war. In Odesa at least 42 people died when army unit set it on fire. This is easily the biggest toll since about 100 people were killed in Kiev protests that toppled pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich in February.

    Odesa is located in the southwest of Ukraine, far from the eastern areas held by the rebels and far from the Russian frontier where Moscow has amassed forces. But it is close to Moldova’s Transdniestria region, where Russia also has troops.

    The spread of violence to Odesa expands the zone of unrest across the breadth of southern and eastern Ukraine.

    The interim Ukraine government which lacks legitimacy and the pro-Russian protesters are resorting to the same tactics as those who toppled pro-Russian president Yanukovich. The Ukrainian government is calling the pro-Russian protesters as “separatist” and “terrorists” words that are used by Sri Lankan government in dealing with the just struggle of Thamils for autonomy. This problem cannot be wished away unless Ukraine and its backers give the Russian people a chance to freely decide their political destiny. That can be done only through a referendum. The US that bombed Serbia and carved out Kosovo after a referendum should not be seen as following double standards in regard to Russians who want to break away from Ukraine. If the US, EU and NATO persist in their folly one can expect Russian armed forces marching into south-eastern Ukraine claiming they want to save Russian people in Ukraine from getting slaughtered by the Ukrainian army.

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