16 May, 2021

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Sinhalese-Tamil Ethnic Nationalism In Real Terms

By Daya Gamage

Daya Gamage

There is a tendency among academics and others commenting on the separatist war in Sri Lanka to see Tamil nationalism as largely a function of inter-ethnic relations and majoritarian politics within the confines of the island.  In this view, a Tamil ethno-political identity was engendered and amplified in the post-colonial era by discrimination and persecution by the majority community, which is commonly depicted as being driven by a domineering, exclusivist nationalism. 

Scholar Neil DeVotta in his “Sinhalese Buddhist Nationalist Ideology: Implications for Politics and Conflict Resolution in Sri Lanka,” explained in 2007, during the brutal end-game of the war, the roots of the conflict lay in a supremacist ideology based on an ethnic identity that is inextricably fused with Buddhism : 

“. . . Political Buddhism and Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism have created the nationalist ideology currently prevalent in government and in the predominantly Sinhalese Buddhist society.  Adherents to this nationalist ideology insist on expanding and perpetuating Sinhalese-Buddhist supremacy within a unitary state; creating rules, laws, and structures that institutionalize such supremacy; and attacking those who disagree with this agenda.  For those who have bought into it, this ideology is sacrosanct and hence nonnegotiable. . . Although such dogmatism may promote political participation, . . . it undermines civil society and fosters illiberalism.”

One problem with this line of analysis is that it often veers into a kind of reductionism that seeks the roots of nationalism and exclusivist aggression within the history and doctrines of religion rather than in social structure, competing economic and political interests, and the architecture of the state. 

Tamil writers in particular tend to blame Tamil rejection of a unified Sri Lankan state on “Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism.” As the respected Tamil academic Ratnajeevan Hoole has expressed it, “The focus on minorities as the agents of secession is . . . misplaced. The principal threat to the unity of the nation is the chauvinism of the majority.” One does not have to defend Sinhalese nationalism to understand that it is a product, at least in part, of the historic memory of centuries of existential threats from larger and more powerful Hindu polities from just across the Palk Strait. Some recent writers have been critical of Sinhalese nationalism for vaunting Sri Lankan sovereignty and unity, but many nations would consider these to be fundamental and legitimate pillars of patriotism. Other scholars recognize that both Hindu and Buddhist nationalisms have been reactive, i.e., both developed as defensive shields against perceived threats from the other.   

This more aggressive interpretation of Buddhist doctrine is not shared by most Sri Lankan Buddhists. By way of comparison, the Sri Lankan government does not enforce institutionalized systems of discrimination and human rights abuses against any of its ethnic minorities the way the Israeli government does toward its Arab citizens, especially in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Despite decades of ethnic conflict, there have been no calls in Sri Lanka for the kind of ethnic cleansing of Tamil-majority areas that has been carried out by Buddhist-majority Bhutan against Nepali ethnics and Myanmar against Muslim Rohingyas. Nor has the Sinhala-majority state subjected its Tamil-majority provinces to the kind of military occupation and repression that India has instituted in Muslim-majority Kashmir.  In Pakistan, security forces have been free for years to use kidnapping, torture and extrajudicial killing to suppress defenders, real or imagined, of the rights of the Baloch people. And, despite centuries of Tamil-Sinhalese co-existence in Sri Lanka, Tamils there have not suffered the long-term pressures for cultural assimilation that the government of Thailand has applied to its minority hill tribes, ethnic language communities and Muslims. 

Nearly 50 percent of Sri Lanka’s Tamils live in Sinhalese-majority districts in the south, where they own property and carry out their occupations peacefully. Statistics show that Sri Lankan Tamils constitute 29 percent of residents in the Colombo Municipal Area, where they enjoy all the facilities and advantages of urban dwellers. In the greater Colombo area both Sri Lankan and Indian Tamils own some three-quarters of the retail shops and small businesses, and have nearly controlling interests in the import-export trades.  Tamils of Indian Origin constitute around 2 percent of the capital area, and Muslims nearly 24 percent. After the 1983 anti-Tamil pogrom, when blood banks appealed for blood donations—mostly to treat Tamil victims—close to 90 percent of those who volunteered to donate were Sinhalese. During the war the Sinhalese community as a whole was almost unbelievably restrained, not reacting vindictively when LTTE terrorists penetrated the South, murdered Buddhist monks and villagers, massacred 146 pilgrims, and attacked several bus loads of school children and the most sacred Buddhist shrine in the country, the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy.  Although not often mentioned, it is remarkable that there have been no anti-Tamil riots since 1983.  And despite the anti-minority rhetoric of Sinhalese hardliners, Sri Lanka has not suffered from the kind of institutionalized racism that in the United States led to the attempted genocide of indigenous Americans, the murder of Hispanic immigrants, and centuries of violent enslavement, segregation and disenfranchisement of African Americans. Sri Lankan police do not shoot Tamil civilians to death with the same regularity that U.S. police shoot unarmed American Blacks.

The Sinhalese population as a whole did not feel threatened even when the fighting in the North and East led to an exodus of Tamils (now numbering 50 percent of the total community) into southern Sinhalese-majority districts. Because of this religious self-confidence among Buddhists, radical Sinhalese nationalists, who inveigh against alleged threats from Hindus, Christians and Muslims, have not achieved wide political traction in Sri Lanka.

Post-colonial Sinhalese politicians did much to shake Tamil confidence in the fairness of the democratic system, but Tamil nationalists were predisposed even before independence to abandon a unified Sri Lankan state in favor of separation and even merger with their co-ethnics in India.  A leading Tamil legislator, S.J.V. Chelvanayakam declared in the first parliament in September 1947 (some five months before independence) that “If Ceylon is fighting to secede from the British Empire, why should not the Tamil people if they feel like it, secede from the rest of the country,” documented in 111 Hansard, Official Parliamentary Record, November 26, 1947, column 232. This represented the beginning of the vicious cycle of action and over-reaction that has bedeviled ethnic relations and Sri Lankan national politics since independence.  Tamil elites, unwilling to accept a diminution of the advantages they enjoyed under the British, rejected the compromises of party politics to demand devolution of power that would permit them to preserve their status and influence, at least among the Tamils. Sinhalese leaders, on the other hand, unwilling to forego the political advantages of majoritarian politics, bridled at Tamil threats of secession and refused to compromise on power sharing.

S.J.V. Chelvanayakam, rejected attempts by the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) to work with the Sinhalese parties. Chelvanayakam, impressed by the Islamic separatist and Dravidisthan movements in India, declared that Sri Lanka’s Tamils “could not wait one moment without fighting for the creation of the Tamil state.”  Spurning inter-ethnic cooperation and the “loaves of office” in a Sinhala-led government, Chelvanayakam led a group of dissidents out of the ACTC in 1949 and founded the Sri Lanka Tamil State Party (Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi), or ITAK in its Tamil acronym. Significantly, Chelvanayakam’s party gave itself the moderate-sounding English language name of Federal Party, which suggested that it sought only Tamil self-governance within a federal system. G.G. Ponnambalam accused Chelvanayakam of “attempting to foist on the Tamil people a party whose very name shows that it was formed to deceive and mislead the people and that the terms [it uses for a Tamil homeland] connote an entity clothed with the absolute attributes of sovereignty.” While ITAK leaders denied any such deceptive intent, the founding principle of the ITAK in 1949 made it clear that the freedom and self-respect of the “Tamil nation” could be guaranteed only through their having their “own autonomous state [with] self-government and self-determination.” This use of ambiguous language, especially in English, to define their political goals became a standard feature of Tamil separatists’ campaigns to win international support, and persisted through the last days of the LTTE. 

Two respected scholars who have done field research in Sri Lanka have described this dynamic. British historian Jane Russell, writing about the Jaffna Vellalars and their rejection of democratic politics within a unified Sri Lanka, opined that “as they were unwilling or unable to recognize the democratic rights of certain [lower-caste] members of their own linguistic-religious community, their inability to recognize the legal sanction of a democratic majority was therefore not wholly unjustified.” (Jane Russell, Communal Politics under the Donoughmore Constitution, 1931-1947, Colombo: Tissara Publishers, 1982). American anthropologist Brian Pfaffenberger has written about the “ancient patterns of caste and regional discrimination favoring the powerful and conservative Vellalar caste of Jaffna” and how they motivated secessionism. “While Tamil separatists by no means aim to renew the ancient forms of Vellalar predominance, it is nonetheless true that the cultural conservatism that helps to justify the separatist drive is insidiously tied to the legacy of Vellalar domination.” (Brian Pfaffenberger, The Sri Lankan Tamils: Ethnicity and Identity. Boulder: Westview Press, 1994).

It is indicative of the extent to which the activism of elite Tamils was driven more by caste privilege than inter-religious tensions that Chelvanayakam was raised and identified as a Protestant Christian.

The general election in Sri Lanka in August 2020 was an overwhelming display of majority power. An SLPP-led coalition won 145 of the 225 seats in parliament. The older of two parties representing Tamil interests, the Tamil National Alliance, won 10 seats. The Sinhalese-dominated UNP, the longest established party in the country, suffered a split over leadership and won only a single seat. This outcome appeared to be the in-built Sinhalese Nationalism among the majority Sinhalese used in a democratic fashion rather than engaged in a pogrom. The absence of anti-Tamil pogrom since 1983 was clearly reflected in the two nationwide elections in 2019 and 2020 in a different manner. The electoral results appear to have been driven by the enhancement of nationalist feeling among the Sinhalese to a long advocacy of devolution, federalism and separatism, at some stage peaceful and other times brutal. It is true that Gotabaya Rajapaksa is credited with leading the defeat of the LTTE, but landslide Sinhalese support for his candidacy was a vote for that Sinhalese Nationalism rather than a show of force against the Tamils. 

What has changed fundamentally in the national landscape of Sinhalese-Tamil relations is that the divisive issue of secession has been eliminated for all practical purposes. Sri Lanka’s Tamils in the North want to reconstruct their lives rather than press for independence, and the Sinhalese do not have secessionism to fear as a minority rallying cry. 

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Latest comments

  • 4
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    Strange the article leaves out Tamil Nadu which houses 90% of world Tamils!

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      “Because of this religious self-confidence among Buddhists, radical Sinhalese nationalists, who inveigh against alleged threats from Hindus, Christians and Muslims, have not achieved wide political traction in Sri Lanka.”
      Really, Mr.Gamage? If they haven’t achieved “wide political traction”, who are these crackpots like Weerasekara, Kamal Gunaratne, and Jayasumana who are running the country now?
      Oh, I just realized that you don’t live here like us plebs, but prefer to inhabit the more salubrious USA.

  • 5
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    An accurate portrayal of the ground reality since and immediately prior to the Independence.
    .
    What is now needed is to move forward with a frank discourse on the EXISTING demographic distribution. It is time the Tamil polity realized that they can’t eat the cake and have it too. They have to acknowledge that they can’t remain ostriches anymore over the fact that +50% Tamils (Tamil speaking people) consider Sinhala Buddhist society is far more conducive for peaceful living than a Tamil only enclave notwithstanding the distant, dismal memory of 1983.
    .
    However if the Tamil political class desires a ethnic configuration according their whims and fancies they must begin with the Tamils themselves.
    I WOULD ADVISE TNA TO CARRY OUT A DETERMINED PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN AMONG THE TAMILS LIVING ‘OUTSIDE’ NORTH EAST.

    Soma

  • 7
    5

    I don’t know if Ceylon pharmacies and supermarkets have ran out of mouthwash, Lot of bad breath & foul smell.. When Rajiv came, JR’s honor guard attempted kill him. He was made a parliamentarian by Sinhalese. But the guy who honked to Chinese Defense Minister is already in the hand of CIDs. The guy, smartly avoided touching the pending war crime Accusation in Geneva and their initiation of colleting evidences. Using that weakness, Dragon is spewing fire and burning the Sinhala nation Lankawe, but this guy is playing fiddle with Zero Casualty talk. Anything he talks is utter lies.
    “Sri Lanka’s Tamils in the North want to reconstruct their lives rather than press for independence, ”
    First time, after first winning of majority seats in Tamil area, the new Avatar of Federal Party(TNA) has seen major setback in 2020 election. Strong Independence advocating parties have taken large chunk from Federal Party. ICG forecasted this trend, as early as in 2017.
    In US all states are called “States”; In India all states are called “States”. Lankawe supreme court has given the verdict that “Federal Party’s Federalism is not separatism”. If this guy does not want to accept the court, he can have the floor next to Ranjan Ramanayake’s reserved for him.

    • 4
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      Mallaiyuran,
      “Lankawe supreme court has given the verdict that “Federal Party’s Federalism is not separatism”

      The Supreme Court’s verdict ‘Federal Party’s Federalism is not separatism’ is irrelevant now. In 1976, Tamil politicians gave up Federal System and passed Batakotte Resolution proposing to create a separate State for the descendants of Dravidians brought to Yapanaya by Portuguese and declared war against Sinhala Nation. Tamils massacred Sinhalayo and fought the war with Sri Lanka Armed Forces for three decades and lost.
      After losing the war, these separatists are begging Sinhalayo to give something for them instead of accepting the defeat and live with Native Sinhalayo in a Unitary State. After a war, the winner dictates the terms for the loser.

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        Eagle,
        Where is this Batakotte that you keep talking about? Is it near Panaturai or Kalturai? Or is it close to Maturai?

    • 4
      4

      Malliuran,

      Your handle has an apt meaning in SL language.

      So what happened to the federal party? Even if you get federal the central government will be Sinhala.

  • 9
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    Though Robert Knox said Sinhalese are cursed with lower cunningness, but the misunderstands it with gifted intelligence, it was the Western researchist told that Sinhalese are Aryans.
    Jane Russell wrote her book about before freedom. Britain willingly introduced the unitary constitution to get Trinco, but at the end, it took only the Sinhala branding on the back, when its properties in Lankawe were nationalized.
    I don’t know what this guy is thinking of of him. Sinhala Buddhist’s annual celebration of pogroms were not stopped by JR, after the 1983, he declared if Tamils are starved more the Sinhalese would be happy and thus, he invited more to take place. But it was stopped by Leader Pirapaharan by tit for that. My way is not that but I 100% agree with leader Pirapaharan on that only, for having saved many Tamils’ lives and properties. After the killing 150,000 in Mullivaaikkaal and ending up in UNHRC, Geneva, Lankawe’s Appe Aanduwa stopped targeting Tamils overtly, (though the war without witness is continuing at Tamils; this is recoded by many INGOs and reports are being submitted to UNHRC, continuously. Author should read those to know where Lankawe fame stand within IC.)

  • 8
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    This guy probably doesn’t read news on a contemporary basis. Aanduwa, in the fashion of one at time, being satisfied of having ended the history of Tamils, started with Muslims, who were used as mercenary forces to save the Sinhala Lankawe. After 2009, all riots were mainly targeted on Muslims; from metropolitan Fashion Bug-s to villages’ street corner smoke shops, restaurants,… it were all Muslim businesses set on fire. Tamil bashing was not the main technique in 2019-2020 elections, but it was Muslim Bashing. Hafeez Hisbullah, PC like Muslim VIPs are in prison without any reason because of this.
    Aanduwa’s propped up two urgent matters to cover up Covid 19 & Pong Cing downfall are, (1.) Investigation drama of Muslim’s terrorist planting bombs on Tamils’ and Foreign tourists’ location and (2.) Muslim women wearing full cover. The 4/21 was organized, funded, and staged by Citanta-Yahapalanaya (or SLFP-UNP) crook politicians. That is the one gave 2/3 to Royals in 2020. Muslim progressive activists have been asking to reform the MMDA and enable them to have upper hand in the community. But Aanduwa is forcing an un-Islamic law on Ceylon Muslim women. Again, the progressive activists have been saying face covering is not Islamic, though head covering exist, but they want themselves to educate their community slipping into cultural and civilizational backwardness, rather than Aanduwas passing anti-Islamic laws.

  • 9
    2

    These strange species of Sinhala Intellectuals always explain they do all crimes in the world, because Americans did war crime in Muslim middle east. Beyond any Zero Casualty truth in that talk, it is not an argument at all. There are many people centric, democratic & human right laws in practice in many western worlds. Further, other Lankawe friends like China, Russia, Cuba like countries is known atheist countries, not secular nations, unlike Western Democracies. Next to explicit Sinhala Buddhist fanatism mentioned in Lankawe Buddhist constitution, it is only ME countries have religious constitutions. But Lankawe only has MMDA, PTO, Sinhala Only, Standardization……..this guy again fall on the same pit of blaming centuries old American internal wars. What that honestly means is he is explaining that Sinhala Buddhists are 300-500 years behind in American civilizational advancement. That is why this 2500-year-old, tribal society is now practicing what Americans did 500 years ago. western democratic countries banning facial cover has negligible effect on their willingness to uphold democratic, human rights law. Lankawe, a country accused of genocide one minority in Geneva is now banning another minority’s perceived religious practices is nothing but racism; nor security precaution.

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      Mallaiyuran,
      “That is why this 2500-year-old, tribal society is now practicing what Americans did 500 years ago.”
      —-
      Sinhala Buddhists who cherish with an advanced civilization never acted like a tribal society and practiced what Americans did 500 years ago. It was Dravida invaders from Hindusthan that practiced what Europeans did in America starting from 3rd Century BC by massacring Native Sinhalayo who lived in North and East of the country. During European colonial rule Dravidians did not invade Sinhale but after British left they went back to their old habit and did ethnic cleansing of Native Sinhalayo by massacring Sinhala men, women, children and unborn babies using suicide bombers, claymore bombs, AK47s and chemical weapons for three decades to grab their land.

  • 6
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    Sinhalese need to learn from our old colonial masters on how to govern other people. When the anglo- Saxons invaded Briton there were already Celtic people inhabiting the island. This group now known as the English quickly destroyed the cultures of the Scots and Welsh. Forced a new language on then then dragged these groups to invade and occupy Ireland. Today Irish, Welsh and Scots speak English instead of their own language. Tamils and Muslims should have been forced to speak Sinhalese 40 years ago. Now it’s too late. One language, one nation.

  • 4
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    Daya Gamage, Thank you very much for telling the true situation on relationship between Native Sinhalayo in Sinhale>Ceylon>Sri Lanka and Dravidians (Tamils after 1911) who were brought to Sinhale by colonial rulers to the racists in this forum and the International Community that is misled by Tamil Diaspora and separatist Tamil politicians by telling blatant lies about post-Independent Governments of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Armed Forces and Sinhala Buddhists.

    I suggest you wear a helmet because there will be a shower of brickbats.

  • 10
    3

    DG, is clearly stating what a typical Sinhala Buddhist view of the ethnic issues in SL. “Nor has the Sinhala-majority state subjected its Tamil-majority provinces to the kind of military occupation and repression”—-
    I don’t agree with the above statement by DG.
    GoSL still allocate HUGE portion of the GDP on the Defence. Most of the defence forces are kept in the North and East of SL. They play a role to keep a check on activities of Tamil civilians. This they feel as if Defence Forces are using ‘their knee to throttle the necks of SL Tamils’. They feel as if they are living in a “OPEN PRISON” where their lands and livelihoods are DEPRIVED.
    In 1983, the Tamil political Prisoners were tortured and killed by the Sinhalese while the Prison Guards stood idle. Most Tamil lives,houses & businesses were destroyed. Burning of Jaffna Library was an act by Defence Forces, hurts the Tamils HUGELY.It is an unpardonable OFFENCE.
    It is really sad that we did not have a Jinnah to ask for a separate state for Tamils.
    Had the pact between SJVC and SWRDB been implemented, we would be living in prosperity and peace like in Canada. Canadians value the contributions of the migrated Tamil refugees and it was a huge loss to SL.

  • 7
    5

    An apologist for state sponsored Sinhalese racism against the island’s Tamils and the war crimes committed on them and their continuing marginalization. Yes keep on denying with cock and bull stories and excuses about what the west did in the Middle East or Western Asia so its fine for the Sinhalese also to commit war crimes. Pathetic

  • 4
    0

    This essayist is comparing incomparables.

    In the USA institutionalised racism is against the American Blacks.

    I

  • 4
    1

    This essayist is comparing incomparables., to build up a case to show that the Tamils are better off than American Blacks.
    Strange for someone who has read Neil DeVotta!

  • 4
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    “What has changed fundamentally in the national landscape of Sinhalese-Tamil relations is that the divisive issue of secession has been eliminated for all practical purposes. Sri Lanka’s Tamils in the North want to reconstruct their lives rather than press for independence, and the Sinhalese do not have secessionism to fear as a minority rallying cry.”
    Mr. Daya Gamage,
    What has changed in the national landscape of Sinhalese-Muslims relations after Easter Bombing?
    Do you know who organised that bomb?
    You may have eliminated the issue of secession for all practical purposes temporarily but do you know how long will it last. Further you have opened another issue permanently which is a threat to not only Tamils and Muslims but also Sinhalese with the secession of China state.

  • 4
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    Mr. Gamage,

    Long before SJV Chelvanayagam thought in terms of self-determination, Anagarika Dharmapala had aroused the Sinhalese masses with his talk about a non-existent and laughable ‘Aryan’ ancestry, and his bipolar disorder driven manic assertions about the “superiority” of Sinhalese Buddhism. So it is not Neil DeVotta and Ratnajeevan Hoole who are indulging in reductionism.

    As for ‘historic’ memory, the notion that a people who claim that they came from far away Bihar, West Bengal, or present-day Bangladesh, would have more claim to an island that is within swimming distance of the cradle of a large sea-faring Tamil civilization in the mainland, defies common sense and reason. It is the adoption of such enduring but irrational myths among a large section of the Sinhalese polity that remains at the root of the Sinhala-Tamil conflict in Sri Lanka.

  • 1
    0

    Ajith.

    By getting close to China, Indians, eventually will add one more State to their existing 28 states.

    Sinhala-Tamil ethnic Nationalism in real terms would take another Avatar minus ethnicity, even though Nostradamus missed out on this prediction!

  • 1
    0

    The author of this article is recycling ad nauseam the lies Eagle Eye dishes out on a daily basis. The writer has twisted and massaged facts and figures to suit his version of history.

    Ceylon would not have gained independence if not for the votes cast by Tamil legislators for the Independence Bill presented by DS Senanayake in 1946. Gullible Tamil legislators reposed trust in DS Senanayake not knowing his ulterior motive and subterfuges, His infamous pronouncement that no harm will befall the Tamils at the hands of the Sinhalese was a sugar-coated pill to entice the Tamils to vote for the bill.

    After duping the Tamils and taking them for a ride, he passed the Citizenship Act of 28 in 1948 which deprived 800,000 Hill Country Tamils. Following year by a simple amendment to the Ceylon (Parliamentary Elections) Amendment Act no. 48 of 1949 he stripped Hill Country Tamils of their franchise as well. This is nothing but blatant Sinhala racism.

    SJV Chelvanayakam was not the author of the concept of federalism. Long before him, SWRD Bandaranaike has advocated federalism in 1926 in a series of speeches he made in Jaffna. Later the Kandyan League put demanded three federal states one for the Kandyan Sinhalese, one for the Low Country Sinhalese, and another for the Tamils inhabiting North and East both before the Donourmore and Soulbury Commissions. 1/2

    • 0
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      Thanga
      Are there more Sinhalese living in North East than Tamils (Tamil speaking people) living outside North East? Just for information.

      Soma

  • 1
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    Tongue in cheek the writer had the temerity to claim, “Some recent writers have been critical of Sinhalese nationalism for vaunting Sri Lankan sovereignty and unity, but many nations would consider these to be fundamental and legitimate pillars of patriotism.”

    This is a blatant and ingenious attempt to whitewash Sinhalese racism as Sinhalese patriotism.
    Since independence through a series of legislative acts has colonized the North East with Sinhalese under the guise of settling landless peasants!

    The Gal Oya, Allai-Kantalai, Morawewa, Manal Aru (renamed as Weli Oya) colonization schemes were meant to alter the demography of the Tamil population. 2/2

  • 1
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    Tongue in cheek the writer had the temerity to claim, “Some recent writers have been critical of Sinhalese nationalism for vaunting Sri Lankan sovereignty and unity, but many nations would consider these to be fundamental and legitimate pillars of patriotism.”
    This is a blatant and naive attempt to whitewash Sinhalese racism as Sinhalese patriotism.
    Since independence through a series of legislative and administrative diktat, the government has colonized the North East with Sinhalese under the guise of settling landless peasants!
    The Gal Oya, Allai-Kantalai, Morawewa, Manal Aru (renamed as Weli Oya) colonization schemes were meant to alter the demography of the Tamil population.
    In 1946 at the time of independence Tamils constituted 136,059 (48.75%) of the population in the Eastern province while the Sinhalese population was only 23,145 (8.40%). According to the 2012 census, the Tamil population was only 617,295 (39.79%) while the Sinhalese population took a quantum leap of 359,136 (23.59%) people. This is an almost seven-fold increase compared to 1946.
    As already stated, the increase is solely due to state-aided and planned Sinhalese colonization of the Eastern province. The process of colonizing the traditional and historical habitat of Tamils homeland is ongoing. In the East, the Archeological Department and the Heritage Task Force appointed by the President are engaged in grabbing private lands belonging to the Tamil people.

  • 1
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    Thanga
    Are there more Sinhalese living in North East than Tamils (Tamil speaking people) living outside North East? Just for information?

    The answer is a definite yes. Here are the census figures for Tamils and Sinhalese from 1946 to 2012.

    In 1946 at the time of independence Tamils constituted 136,059 (48.75%) of the population in the Eastern province while the Sinhalese population was only 23,145 (8.40%). According to the 2012 census, the Tamil population was only 617,295 (39.79%) while the Sinhalese population took a quantum leap of 359,136 (23.59%) people. This is an almost seven-fold increase compared to 1946.

    There are well over 27042 Sinhalese in the North. The majority from Mullaithivu (8,851) and Vavuniya South (17,191). There are about 1,000 Sinhalese in the Jaffna district.

    The number of Tamils living outside the Northeast, mainly in the Colombo district, is 673,648 (29.66%). This figure excludes Tamils of Indian origin. DG claimed 50% of Ceylon Tamils outside the Northeast. That is a lie. In all the population of Ceylon Tamils amount to 2, 271,121 (11.14%)

  • 0
    0

    Are there more Sinhalese living in North East than Tamils (Tamil speaking people) living outside North East? Just for information?
    Soma

    The answer is a definite yes. Here are the census figures for Tamils and Sinhalese from 1946 to 2012.

    In 1946 at the time of independence Tamils constituted 136,059 (48.75%) of the population in the Eastern province while the Sinhalese population was only 23,145 (8.40%). According to the 2012 census, the Tamil population was only 617,295 (39.79%) while the Sinhalese population took a quantum leap of 359,136 (23.59%) people. This is an almost seven-fold increase compared to 1946.

    There are well over 27042 Sinhalese in the North. The majority from Mullaithivu (8,851) and Vavuniya South (17,191). There are about 1,000 Sinhalese in the Jaffna district.

    The number of Tamils living outside the Northeast, mainly in the Colombo district, is 673,648 (29.66%). This figure excludes Tamils of Indian origin. DG claimed 50% of Ceylon Tamils outside the Northeast. That is a lie. In all the population of Ceylon Tamils amount to 2, 271,121 (11.14%)

  • 1
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    Mr Gamage

    “By way of comparison, the Sri Lankan government does not enforce institutionalized systems of discrimination and human rights abuses against any of its ethnic minorities the way the Israeli government does toward its Arab citizens, especially in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.”
    You are living in a different plant.

    • 0
      0

      “You are living in a different plant”
      You are living in a different planet.

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