Colombo Telegraph

Tamil Leaders Betrayed By Successive Sinhalese Leaders & The Genocide Of Tamils 

By Kumarathasan Rasingam

Kumarathasan Rasingam

A note from the No Fire Zone [Book by Kass Ghayouri]

Dr. Varatharajan who was on duty inside the ‘NO FIRE ZONE” during the genocidal war laments: 

“That night I cried,
Tamil civilians died,
Dead bodies I eyed,
I did not have pride,
There was no war guide,
Tamils forced to hide,
The Sri Lankan army lied,
Took the media for a ride,
It was a Tamil genocide,
By laws they did not abide,    -Page 166

“It was heart wrenching to see women and children perish with shelling wounds. The army encroached upon Tamil villages killing thousands of men, women and children. My heart froze Sri Lanka became a frozen country with ultimate hatred.” Page 150

It is to be noted that Tamil leaders like Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan [1851-1930] and Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam [1853-1924] fearlessly spearheaded the struggle for constitutional reforms that led to the independence of Ceylon [Now Sri Lanka] from the British on February 04, 1948. 

The Ponnambalam brothers in their evening of life realized that the Sinhalese politicians have let them down the garden path and taken them and the Tamils for a ride to advance the interests of the majority Sinhalese community. 

In a speech to the Legislative Council during the debate on the Donoughmore Reforms, Sir Ramanathan appears the precursor of the Tamils demand for a sovereign state of Tamil Eelam.

He argued “Why did the Donoughmore Commissioners not study Ireland, which is next door to them? They [Irish] said that we are one lot and you are another. We cannot work together. We must have separate governments. Then I asked what happened in the Dominion of Canada? The Official concerned said, it is an impossible situation … Let us give these French descendants one form of government and let us give other people another form of government – forms of government suitable to the interests of each of these great big communities . Why did the Commissioners think of that?”

It was Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam who first [1923] exhorted the Tamils that – “They should work towards promoting the union and solidarity of what we have been proud call TAMIL EELAM. We are not enamoured about the cosmopolitanism which would make us neither fish, fowl nor red-herring.”

The Tamils and the Sinhalese are divided on the basis of territory, language, culture etc. 

The Mahavamsa, a Buddhist chronicle written in the 6th century AD by a Buddhist monk portrays the Naga King Dutugemunu as the National Hero who defeated the Tamil King Ellalan and unified the whole Ceylon. This Mahavamsa made a virtue of killing in defence of Buddhism. This chronicle has been used to raise the cry of Race, Land and Faith by the Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinistic forces during the past several years.

D.S. Senanayake, the first Prime Minister of independent Ceylon [Now Sri Lanka] gave the following solemn promise to the Tamil and other minority communities “No harm need you [non-Sinhalese] fear at our hands [Sinhalese in a free [Ceylon]Sri Lanka.” He was speaking in the State Council in October 1945 when all the Tamil members have unanimously voted for the acceptance of the Lord Soulbury Constitution in a White paper. 

In 1948 the very year of Independence, DS Senanayake, the Sinhala Prime Minister blatantly went back on the promise and bared his true colours as an unrepentant champion of Sinhala Chauvinism by depriving one million Tamils of their citizenship. 

The Citizenship Act No. 18 of 1948 opened the floodgates to further legislative and administrative acts, which robbed Tamils of their language, education and employment rights. 

In 1956 Late Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike introduced the Sinhala only Act. 

Abrogated Pacts, Accords, Pledges 

Bandaranaike/Chelvanayakam Pact:  [July 25, 1957]

The Pact was signed between SWRD Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and SJV Chelvanayakam Tamil leader on July 25, 1957. It was later abrogated within less than a year on April 09, 1958 due to the opposition to the Pact by the Buddhist Clergy and the Opposition Party [United National Party [UNP] 

Dudly/Chelvanayakam Pact [March 24, 1965]

This Pact [D-C Pact] was put down on paper and signed by Dudly Senanayake and SJV Chelvanayakam on March 24, 1965, which received opposition from the Opposition Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the Buddhist Clergy was torn down. 

Indo/Sri Lanka Accord [July 29, 1987]

This Accord drafted and signed by the President of Sri Lanka  JR Jayewardene and the Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi without any consultation with the Tamil leaders or with the freedom fighters for Tamil Eelam. [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam]

The trouble with putting the cart before the horse is that the cart does not move. The agreement that was signed on the 29th of July 1987 failed to address itself to the central issues of the Tamil struggle, which were crystallised in the joint and unanimous stand of the Tamil militant movement at Thimpu in August 1985:

‘It is our considered view that any meaningful solution to the Tamil national question must be based on the following four cardinal principles

1. the recognition of the Tamils of Ceylon as a nation

2. the recognition of an identified homeland for the Tamils in Ceylon

3. recognition of the right of self determination of the Tamil nation

4. the recognition of the right to citizenship and the fundamental rights all Tamils who look upon the island as their country”

The recognition of the Tamil people as a nation was central to the struggle of the Tamil people. The Thimpu Declaration sought to question openly and directly the claims of an exaggerated Sinhala nationalism which had for decades sought to masquerade as a ‘Sri Lankan nationalism’ and which had sought to ‘assimilate’ and ‘integrate’ the Tamil people into a so called ‘Sri Lankan nationality’ by denying the existence of not only the Tamil nation but also the Sinhala nation in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan government’s record on investigating serious human rights is poor and impunity has been a persistent problem. There have been serious ongoing violations of human rights and a backlog of cases of enforced disappearance and unlawful killings that run to tens of thousands, as described for example, in the 2008 Human Rights Watch report “Recurring Nightmare.” Despite this track record, there have been only a small number of prosecutions. 

Past efforts to address violations through the establishment of ad-hoc mechanisms in Sri Lanka, such as Presidential Commissions of inquiry have proved no results, either in providing information or in leading to prosecutions. To address abuses associated with the war, there is an urgent need for an Independent, International Commission of Inquiry in to the credible allegations of laws of war violations, including possible war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, illegitimate detentions and usage of banned Chemical weapons and usage of Cluster Bombs. 

The prosperity of a nation depends on self-determination of the people; political, economical or sociological. In Sri Lanka Tamils are denied this aspect of the basic tenets of the social contract. The world cannot prosper if people are subjected to non constitutional difficulties such as what is happening in Sri Lanka.

Ethnic cleansing and the grand master plan of all is to flush out all other religions, and nationalities and linguistics out of Sri Lanka to create a secular mono-ethnic 100% Buddhist Sinhalese nation of Sri Lanka. 

This is the dream and aim of the Maha Sanga and Mahanayakas who are the real power centers in Sri Lanka politics. 

It is the prime duty of the United Nations, International Community and Civil Society to fight against this racism, fanaticism, feudalism that affects the minority communities in a democratic country who have no voice or ruled under draconian laws that prevents them to protest for their survival in that country [eg; Sri Lanka]

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