20 May, 2019

Blog

Tamil Question: Is It Between The Leaders Or The People?

By Vishwamithra1984

“Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorism

Let us not constrain ourselves to the arguments and debates bandied about by so-called pundits. Most of these self-proclaimed pundits, University academics, professionals and leadership groups usually are almost always wrong or late in understanding the real reasons behind a knotty issue that has been irking our nation- Sri Lankan nation- for quite a long time. A long, long time indeed. The Tamil Question and its multiple facets, ranging from Tamil homeland, discrimination at all levels of civil life, independence of movement, assembly and speech to University entrance anomalies, are all deeply rooted in a fundamental premise of being treated as second-class citizens in a country whose Constitution enshrines clauses and chapters upholding and protecting all minorities as equal before the law.Wigneswaran Mahinda

Whether any Sinhalese agrees or not, the writer, a Sinhalese Buddhist, most unequivocally writes and affirms that it is beyond any shadow of doubt or suspicion that the notion of that mal-treatment of our minorities is a fact. The inbred thinking of the majority Sinhalese is fundamentally flawed. That flaw is shared by all majority communities of the human family. In the context of nation states and racial demarcations, it has been observed that power of the majority almost always prevails. However, in modern history- excluding, of course, the countries that were ruled by colonial powers of the British Empire and other imperial powers such as the Portuguese and Dutch- South Africa, until the White-minority rule eventually gave up under severest of international pressure, was the last country where a majority was ruled by an under-numbered minority.

Furthermore, the Palestinian issue which has been festering for more than six decades remains an exception to this socio-political dynamic. In fact, largely the Arab-related unrest in the world, dominated by ISIS and Al Qaida, could be traced to this rotting wound of the Palestinian people. The Western powers led by the USA have chosen to ignore that fact but are paying a very steep price for this unilateral policy of theirs as is evidenced in the last few weeks in France, Germany and Brussels.

Nevertheless, the Tamil Question, as I like to describe it in the context of the Sri Lankan problem with the dominant minority in the North, cannot be equated to any ethnic issue prevailing in the global arena. Yet the fundamentals of the issue remain quite similar to some of the ethno-socio issues dominating the world-stage. Perversion of historical facts and portraying such perversions as historical specifics is at the core of these issues. While the Sinhalese majority is holding on to their historical records as true and authentic, the minority Tamils are persistent with their own claims that the landmass falling within the Northern and East Provinces of Sri Lanka is exclusively their homeland, and this dichotomous spectacle is keeping the protagonists of the two communities apart. The people at large of both communities may have already got tired of the debates and arguments for and against each position. The overwhelming pressure on the leaders of Sinhalese as well as Tamil communities has had a manifest effect on them and their stoic allegiance to their respective positions has contributed to driving a sizeable section of both peoples to their respective fringes. This became evident in the context of the Tamils in the emergence of militants who eventually turned out as terror groups such as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) and other Tamil terrorist armies. On the other hand the Sinhalese fringe groups rallied around Bodu Bala Sena and Ravana Balaya and like-minded organizations.

It may also be true that these fringe groups’ endurance as active agitators, especially among Sinhalese people, is essentially of temporary nature. They tend to spring up only as and when some controversial issue or issues emerge in the socio-political horizon. Nevertheless, the Tamil agitations, as seen in the past, have had a more enduring lifecycle. Some bigoted journalists and ill-informed writers who hold a ‘pro-Sinhalese’ viewpoint may be engaged in a thoroughly destructive campaign to throw the proverbial baby with the bathwater. Being a caste-ridden community whose values and social measures are weighed in terms of the various tiers of that caste ladder each person or family occupies, Tamils are not second to Sinhalese. The very hierarchy of our Buddhist clergy and its conduct in which monks are ordained is inexcusable. The various divisions amongst the sects or Nikayas is founded and practiced strictly in accordance with the caste of each family and the newcomer to the clergy is accepted or rejected by the same measure. This practice on the part of the Siam Nikaya hierarchy is diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Buddha who they themselves claim to be the first religious leader who denounced the caste system that prevailed in India during his time.

Bigotry is amply displayed by both sides of the aisle. The serene shrine rooms in Buddhist temples have been despicably desecrated by caste classifications. On the other hand, some Hindu Kovils still remain temples of taboo for the so-called low caste Tamils.

Absence of mutual empathy on the part of both communities is an undeniable fact. If it is so, one would see how difficult it is to bring these two communities together to the same table to arrive at a middle ground where both communities can co-exist and argue and debate as co-equal partners. Doggedly holding on to one’s unsustainable position would not bring any results, results that would harness some resolutions aimed at peaceful co-existence of the two communities. In this effort, how far has each set of leaders travelled? The answer is hardly any. Starting from the aborted Thimpu Talks in the Nineteen Eighties, the leaders of the two parties have failed to travel to the middle ground. Compromise sounds terrible in the context of negotiation. Its inherently negative connotation retards the advance of any party that is willing to travel towards the middle ground. It makes the traveler look weak and spineless in the eyes of his or her followers.

This happens because the leadership of these fringe groups is rotten from top to bottom. Suzy Kassem, a relatively young American writer, film director, philosopher, author, and poet of Egyptian heritage in her book, ‘Rise Up and Salute the Sun’ wrote thus: “Most importantly, a great leader must serve the best interests of the people first… Human life should never be sacrificed for monetary profit. There are no exceptions. In addition, a leader should always be open to criticism, not silencing dissent. Any leader who does not tolerate criticism from the public is afraid of their dirty hands to be revealed under heavy light. And such a leader is dangerous, because they only feel secure in the darkness. Only a leader who is free from corruption welcomes scrutiny; for scrutiny allows a good leader to be an even greater leader”.

Leadership of men is not a light weight. Its awesome burden can cause its carrier to succumb when confronted with uncommon impediments. It can crush a weak-kneed carrier and make him look like an uncommon man carrying an uncommon weight. That exceptional leadership, both among the Sinhalese and Tamil ranks, is lacking today. A leader should not shy away from appealing to his own ethnic group and convince them that middle ground is not betrayal of a people and their traditions; on the contrary, it is the strength of determined leadership; only the weak cannot travel to the middle. Our history books may glorify military victories and conquests, but as Chanakya, the ancient sage of Political Science said ‘the primary duty of a leader is to make his people free of fear’. Conquests have been achieved and countries annexed, but the free spirit of a people cannot be arrested and kept behind steel bars.

The sun that rises from the East and sets on the West sees no color; it sees no gender and any sexual preferences. Its rays fall on every human being without discrimination. The hands that till the land, the feet that tread its pathways in search of greener meadows to feed a hungry family and the spine that carries centuries-old traditions of peaceful living and compassionate care has to triumph. Any racially-motivated alternative to such a burdensome journey, whether led by violence or not, might bring about short-term gains, but eventually will have to give way to middle-grounders whose tireless feet and unbent knees had carried the burden of leadership without fear or fervor. That leadership which is not frightened by scandal and checkmated by corruption will ultimately stand the test of time. Then the socio-political landscape of our nation would change forever.

The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 10
    1

    [Edited out], Tamils rule their own affairs…matter…no sinhala Buddhist medieval idiots ruling us…

  • 1
    12

    In Sri lanka, 30% are not sinhala. When what ever the percentage of Christians/Catholics are, Sinhala buddhist percentage is evern lesser.

    Muslims, Tamils, christians or catholics are recent introductions.

    When above is the truth, how about the same situation in other countries of the world except in India thoroughout its entire it it was multi everything.

    What is the sinhala – buddhist civilization and its existence ?

  • 10
    0

    One of the funniest younger days memories of lot of matured Snhalese people is “Eating THOSE (Dosa) in Tamil restaurants and running away without paying”.. This was funny and heroic act most of us did as kids..
    But .. But.. Had anybody ate at Sinhalese Resturant and ran away? Could it be funny or heroic thing for Sinhalese kids? Think.. Why we did it only in Tamil Dosa restaurants ? ..
    This feeling of separation or outsiders was in our subconscious planted by our loving and respected adults?
    Anybody disagree?

  • 1
    13

    As per international community the Tamils ( unarmed non state Tamils) are The defeated in war hence has no rights for anything. It is rational to use any explicit and tacit weapons against unarmed non state Tamils. They are slaves until they win.No one is going to bother about the Tamils . be quiet and endure.

  • 6
    14

    You …. 1984 have stated;

    “Whether any Sinhalese agrees or not, the writer, a Sinhalese Buddhist, most unequivocally writes and affirms that it is beyond any shadow of doubt or suspicion that the notion of that mal-treatment of our minorities is a fact. The inbred thinking of the majority Sinhalese is fundamentally flawed. That flaw is shared by all majority communities of the human family. In the context of nation states and racial demarcations, it has been observed that power of the majority almost always prevails.”

    Judging by the above comment, it seems you have pretended that you know the root causes behind the ethnic animosity between Tamils and Sinhala people. Also you have said you are a “Sinhalese Buddhist”. My dear fellow, the wife of Balasingham Nadesan, LTTE POLICE CHIEF also made a similar claim. You are nothing but a “Trojan Horse”; and a lousy and clumsy Trojan horse. I was born way before you and we the SINHALA PEOPLE never, ever ill treated our Tamil brothers and sisters either in the school, university or work place. We never experienced any differences, in fact we were accustomed to celebrate our differences until the NON-SINHALA and NON-BUDDHIST bastards started to introduce political traps to improve their electability. Pioneers of these devious plans were SWRD BANDARANAIKE and JR JAYAWARDENE Both of them known NON-SINHALA and NON-BUDDHISTS. So please stop disseminating wrong information due to your ignorance and blame the SINHALA PEOPLE.

    • 14
      2

      “”the NON-SINHALA and NON-BUDDHIST bastards””

      Village bumpkin you were in reality hiding in a pumpkin.

      Presently you are on the left track but that track changes in January.

      Along with the muslims, sinhala buddhist have elected recurring thieves to head the state from 1948.

      Watch your head as the ceiling is being lowered.

      • 2
        9

        Hey Simon;

        You have said;

        “Village bumpkin you were in reality hiding in a pumpkin.”

        Have you heard the phrase;

        “Do not judge the book by its cover”

        My dear fellow, Am I to assume that you are a Jewish person from Israel or Palestine. If that is the case, do not talk about Sri Lankan affairs. When you don’t have any thing to say with substance avoid name calling. All non Sinhala and non Buddhists are NOT Bastards, but those who (well known Elites) tricked the Sinhala Buddhists through various deceptive policies and proclamations are bastards.

        By the way I do represent “village bumpkins” brought up in the best and the biggest circles in the city. But do not forget that majority of Sri Lankans are “village bumpkins” and also they are Buddhists.

        • 7
          1

          “” If that is the case, do not talk about Sri Lankan affairs.””

          International begging bowl- Higanno Buranava (beggars are barking)

          “” All non Sinhala and non Buddhists are NOT Bastards, but those who (well known Elites) tricked the Sinhala Buddhists through various deceptive policies and proclamations are bastards. “”

          Dalit! You are asking for 30% SC/ST seats?? Dr. Badiudin Mahmud gave that to the stupid seyabala

          “” By the way I do represent “village bumpkins” brought up in the best and the biggest circles in the city. But do not forget that majority of Sri Lankans are “village bumpkins” and also they are Buddhists.”

          Higanno!! Ha ha Moddayo!

    • 4
      1

      Sinhala Banda:

      I appreciate your apprehension and, yes, it is true and a well-known fact that SWRD couldn’t even write sinhala when he became PM. But the pertinent question is, who fell for these chameleons and voted for them – sinhala donkeys like you and it is happening to this day. Your Mahinda mama is another charade. You tell this truth to your own sinhala people, they will kick you out and castigate you. Want to take a bet?

  • 7
    1

    The only way we can reconcile and be a model nation, is to cast aside our past- both the glory and the gore- and make a new beginning towards an enlightened future. We are obsessed with a past-recent, medieval and ancient; reconstructed, invented and unprincipled- to an extent that we have lost track of what the real would have been. We are mired in the muck we have produced.

    Unless we decide to wash off this muck as individuals and as a body politic, we will drown in it quite soon. We should be ashamed of where we are now- shining on the outside with borrowed feathers, but rotten to the core inside. We are an adharmic nation almost to the last person and have no qualms about it!

    I was born into a nation of largely good men and women, but am near to leaving a nation dominated by despicable men and women, forever.

    It is a calamity, wrought by unprincipled, opportunistic and corrupt politics, enshrined and enthroned by the basest of men and women- both high and low born- in my life time. They rule the roost yet.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Dr.

    • 2
      3

      Are you day dreaming Dr.Narendran?

    • 1
      3

      Rajasingham,

      You write “I was born into a nation of largely good men and women, but am near to leaving a nation dominated by despicable men and women, forever. “

      You seem rather irreconcilably despondent now than you were three years ago while MR was in power. Frankly, then you expressed substantially salubrious sentiments on the nations wellbeing, cheerleading for MR regime, despite the hundreds of thousands remaining denied of basic human rights blocked behind barbed wires. You appealed for the Diaspora to desist from appealing for international intervention for human right abuses, and asked them to instead open their purses generously for the regime that was ransacking the country, hoarding and siphoning off wealth off shores.
      Are you suggesting that MR needs to be brought back, to replace the current “despicable men and women” who disappoint you so much vis-à-vis MR regime?

  • 6
    0

    Delighted to read the above analytical writeup.
    Objective is very good. But when it comes to enlightenment how many Sri Lankans particularly thise from the majority communuty will read in English ? Any Tamil & Sinmhalese versions ?

    Can Visvamithras brew be equivalent or 3/4 equivalent to HEINEKEN (as the latter reaches to parts of the body where other brews can not reach ) ?

    PS : Wait & see what Ven Goigama Sumane comments about his pet topic “Cast” ?

  • 8
    3

    “While the Sinhalese majority is holding on to their historical records as true and authentic, the minority Tamils are persistent with their own claims that the landmass falling within the Northern and East Provinces of Sri Lanka is exclusively their homeland,… “

    There is one big difference between the Tamil and Sinhala claims. The Tamils are not claiming any Sinhala majority lands, even in areas in the South where Tamils have migrated from the North and the East (starting from colonial days) and settled in large numbers, the power lies with the Sinhalese and there is absolutely no threat or challenge to that power. However, it is the Sinhalese who have since days of independence have refused to accommodate Tamils’ claims of homeland and refuse to give the Tamils any modicum of power to run their own affairs in their lands. This IS the primary blocker in resolving the ‘Tamil Question’, the refusal of Sinhala leaders to step back from wanting full control, it is called hegemony.

  • 8
    0

    Elected leaders did indeed compromise and signed pacts since 1948.
    1.BC pact
    2. DC pact
    3. JRJ- Rajeev pact

    The so called people to people relationship had their share too
    1956,1959; 1963, 1965, 1977, 1983 and so on.

    In my opinion Clergy to oeopkw relah

  • 10
    1

    Vishwamithra,

    “Nevertheless, the Tamil Question, as I like to describe it in the context of the Sri Lankan problem with the dominant minority in the North, cannot be equated to any ethnic issue prevailing in the global arena… Perversion of historical facts and portraying such perversions as historical specifics is at the core of these issues.”

    It could be somewhat equated with the situation in Rwanda because, like Sri Lanka, it too was a colony.

    The Tutsi were said to have originated from Ethiopia. In similar vein, the Tamils were said to have originated from India.

    The Hutus believed that the intellectual superiority of the Tutsis was because of their exposure to Coptic Christianity. The Sinhalese believed that the intellectual superiority of the Tamils, at least when it came to a command of English, was because of their exposure to American missionaries.

    The Hutus believed that they were the “native” majority. They had claims against a “foreign” minority – the Tutsi. Similarly, the Sinhalese believe that they are the “native” majority. They had claims against a “foreign” minority – the Tamils.

    Some Hutu ideologies want to send back the Tutsi to where they come from, Ethiopia. Some Sinhala ideologies want to send back the Tamils to where they come from, Tamil Nadu.

    During the 1959 Rwandan Revolution, Hutus began killing Tutsi, forcing more than 100,000 to seek refuge in neighbouring countries. Cycles of violence followed, with exiled Tutsi attacking from neighbouring countries. In 1983, Sinhalese carried out a slaughter of the Tamils, forcing more than 100,000 to seek refuge in neighbouring Tamil Nadu. Cycles of violence followed, with exiled Tamil groups attacking from neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

    Unless we rid ourselves of the notions of Sinhalese and Tamils as static, culturally differentiated categories denoting ancestral animosities, we will miss the critical factor behind Mullivaikal: the manufacturing of ethnic hatred by regime ideologies.

    Unlike Vishwamithra, I believe that the Tamil Question lies primarily in the people and not in the leaders. If not, why would the large majority of the Sinhalese (two-thirds) vote for Mahinda Rajapaksa at the last election?

    I will leave you will the following remark that Hayek gave Anthony Fisher.

    Fisher: I share all your worries and concerns as expressed in The Road to
    Serfdom and I’m going to go into politics and put it all right.

    Hayek: No you’re not! Society’s course will be changed only by a change in
    ideas. First you must reach the intellectuals, the teachers and writers,
    with reasoned argument. It will be their influence on society which will
    prevail, and the politicians will follow.

  • 5
    2

    Let the leaders elected by the people take forward and present to the people to decide at the referendum.

    Sri Lankan’s are big time arm chair talkers and good wreckers and the Sri Lankan media too is a real rubble rousing horribly.

    • 6
      0

      In happy nations (people are happy) around the world there is less of god and more of goodness.
      In poor nations (people are unhappy) around the world there is more of god and more fraud.
      dishonest people vying for position vote for poo party.
      1948 onwards lanka has voted for the warlords you see today while the rest is all but self glorification. Lankans always ready to hop a boat or plane to reside in another nation.
      80% villagers led by manipulators of the bath parcel….
      When a company is broke it must be sold or it enters Somali phase.
      (presently on IMF rescue package…for how long from next year??)

  • 6
    1

    I agree or disagree with Vishvamithra, in essence the Tamil question should be resolved, otherwise the Nation has to face its consequences. The past is important but the future is more important than past. The reality is that this island belongs to the people who live legitimately which includes Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims irrespective of who came first or who came last. Those who claim the ownership of this land now were helpless and backboneless to defend this country and to keep their ownership for more than 500 years from foregin invaders and rulers. In otherwords, the so called owners of this land lost their ownership and now this land is not belong to those who owned 500 years before. The independece was not fought back. It was a concession given to us at the mercy of independent movement by India. Yes we had indepence movement that consisted of Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. Not single leader of this island since 1948 realised this reality. Even after continuous bloodbaths in this land, the leaders have not made any attempt to resolve the Tamil problem that was created since 1948. Will there be a leader to recognise the reality?

  • 3
    13

    The writer has expressed the same sentiments expressed by former President Chandrika Bandaranaike; Another individual that was responsible for turning SriLanka into a FAILED STATE. I wonder whether he is authentic or representing another devious group that always compromised the traditional values of the Sinhala People.

  • 8
    4

    Leaders ??!! What are you saying?!! Leaders are men like Mandela. These are, Tamil and Sinhala mere politicians!!

    • 5
      10

      Kumaran;

      Agree with you 100%; and I may add our politicians are worst than mafia bosses, they have turned politics in Sri Lanka to be a trading activity that makes them FILTHY RICH at the expense of citizens. The writer is spinning a concocted story with misinformation to get into the good books of unsuspecting voters. The guy has displayed his ignorance of the real facts and immaturity.

  • 0
    9

    Mr. Sambanthan:

    Why Only Rajoththama Sambandan and tobacco farmer wiggy are Tamil Leaders ?

    Why none of the Dalit Tamils can not become Address the Tamil question ?

  • 2
    11

    Let ‘s first analyse our problem first:

    1. The Tamils and Tamil speakers are against the Sinhalese saying that the whole country is not there for the sinhala majority to rule.

    The reason is : That the Tamils are a majority in the Northern and the Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka.

    So the Tamils are against a majoritarian state for WHOLE of Sri Lanka where the majority is Sinhala and Sinhala Buddhist specifically.

    Whilst their (Tamil) solution is to CREATE a similar Majoritarian state in the Northern+Eastern provinces joined together to form one contiguous majority Tamil land mass.

    It is at this stage, good to note that the MOST mulitcultural , multi-racial , multi-religious/worldview areas within Sri Lanka are the areas of the so called Sinhala areas.

    Actually , there is NO place for the Sinhalese or Sinhala-Buddhists in Sri Lanka defined as is it for the Tamils in the 13th Amendment.

    This is one of the weakeness of the 13th amendment from a sinhala point of view. As it is there is NO place for Sinhala people in Sri Lanka……..

    The Tamils want a majoritarian entity in the Northern and Eastern Provinces….BUT OPPOSE a Sinhala Majority Sri Lankan state claiming discrimination…..

    So a defined Tamil state in Northern and Eastern province requires a Sinhala state to be defined by legislation similar to the 13th amendment.

    • 8
      1

      singala_voice,

      Suggest you study the political history of Switzerland and you will know all about multiculturalism and
      how it is practised there.

      • 2
        9

        Dear sir ,

        DEAL WITH THE PROBLEM AT HAND.

        DON’T TRY TO INTRODUCE MODELS THAT SUIT YOUR END GAME PLEASE.

        LET’S BE OPEN MINDED ABOUT THE PROBLEM AT LEAST.

        • 6
          0

          kay Sinha Le the Swiss cannot be compared because they are nomads unlike you gass gembo.
          The Swiss have no God and are rich .
          Sinhaa Le has god and are begging and murdering unlike Swiss.

          But until Dali Lama and Thailand are convinced you are Buddhist then your Lankava are extreme left communist swollen heads.

          The island has been populated by plantation workers with no heritage.
          Buddhist are Schedule Caste Schedule tribes- is this what you are trying to pluck for self?? Learn Hindi the official language for Lanka or commit suicide..lathi charge..

        • 0
          0

          Dear ‘Sinhala’, Sir,

          The ‘problem at hand’ is giving devolution of power to the minorities to make Sri Lanka great again and Swiss
          model is one good example where four nationalities speaking four
          different languages ,live in peace and Harmony in a country smaller than ours.The majority people should deal with the problem
          ‘open mindedly’ as you said, instead harbouring communal feelings.

    • 3
      11

      Are you living in a “DREAMLAND” or a “NEVERLAND”. Your comments shows you are not present in Sri Lanka with an iota of knowledge about the demographics of Sri Lanka.
      My dear friend majority of Tamil Speaking Hindus and Tamil Speaking Christians and Tamil Speaking Muslims live among SINHALA PEOPLE in Southern Sri Lanka. Furthermore, There has never been any land demarcated based on ethnicity in Sri Lanka.
      Bloody dirty politicians have given various definitions in order to intimidate and keep the SINHALA majority at bay. If SINHALA Buddhist get together and insist on regaining our birthrights, there will not be any more Maithripalas, Rajapaksas, Bandaranaikes and Wickramasinghes, Sambandans, Anura Kumaras, Hakeems, Ranawakes and Wiggys /Weerawansas appearing as the saviors of Sinhala and Tamil Speaking people. These fellows and their cohorts will be thrown into the dustbin of our history. Sinhala Majority and Tamil Speaking minority will be able to live in peace, harmony with mutual respect for culture and traditions of each other.No more wars and no more corruption driven economy and society. In fact there will not be any BBS and Ravanas. The writer is dead scared of that situation, that is why he has got into a blame game with unfounded and bogus information.
      We need to have our own version of “MODHI” who has brought respect for India, Hindus and harmony between Hindus and Muslims.

    • 2
      0

      There is a Sinhala state, it is called “Sri Lanka”.

  • 2
    0

    Absolute,positive and active secularism more in tune with that spelt out in the Indian case of S.R.Bommai-V-Union of India(1994) 6 SCC 1 in spite of Hindus making a huge majority of the population of India with a federal form of government like theirs without Article 356 may be the minimum prescription for a peaceful Sri Lanka.

  • 6
    0

    Vishwamithra!

    The is no middle way as you suggest for both communities to come to terms to. The basic demands made by the Tamils was power sharing by way of a federal form of government which was suggested by SWRD. Bandaranyake initially after his arrival from Oxford. This federal form of government is Sri Lanka would bring unity among both communities and the build up of a nation, all jointly. The majority minority complex and the power hungry politicians won’t allow such move. If you could view the interview Daily Mirror had with the Northern Chief Minister very lately, the Sinhala people would understand the feelings of the Tamil nation.
    I doubt very much the expectations of the Tamil people would be met by the Sinhalese. This will go on for ever. The best solution is to leave to the Tamils of the North to decide on their fate by way of a Referendum either to secede from the rest of the country or to remain under majority rule.

    • 1
      2

      Sellam

      “the Sinhala people would understand the feelings of the Tamil nation. “

      Does the ‘Tamil Nation’ include all Tamil speaking people in the island irrespective of their religion or date of arrival? Or only Hindu and Christian Tamils in the North? Tamils who practice Islam are asking for a separate political unit in the East. What is your take on that?

      Soma

  • 5
    0

    The title: “Tamil Question: Is It Between The Leaders Or The People?”

    An impression has been created over past seven decades or so that there is a “Tamil Question” and vishwamithra1984 subconsciously uses this term in the title.

    In 1948 about a million people were disenfranchised. They were multi-generational Lankans (then Ceylonese) but they spoke Tamil.
    In 1956 Sinhala was made the only official language
    There were major pogroms against Tamils in 1958, 1977 and in 1983. No prosecution ever took place.
    In 1981 the Jaffna Library was set on fire by goons led by army and police. No prosecution.
    In 2012 the then GoSL under pressure from Sinhala goons agreed to remove a Mosque and a Hindu temple from Dambulla town.
    In 2014 there was the Aluthgama pogrom against Muslims. The perpetrators are Tarzan-thumping their chest but no prosecution.
    Over the past few decades several churches have been set on fire.
    Can go on and on.

    So do we have a “Sinhala Question?”. And………Yes “Between Sinhala Leaders”

    Of course we have a Lankan predicament – having to lead a day-to-day existence on loans, hand outs and remittances from Lankans slaving in Middle East.

  • 1
    0

    When will the Sinhala politicians have the courage and the honesty to say that Federalism is out of the question for the near future?

    Good governance demands that any change to the constitution of the type envisaged to solve the “question” needs to be approved by a refererendum. This will undoubtedly result in a lot of social and political turmoil, with all sorts of contentious issues and accusations flying around just as in the article. I don’t think we are ready.

    It is not a matter of homelands, it’s about peace and justice for all Sri Lankans. What if the Tamils never had any homelands – would that change anything?

    What happenned to patience?

    Patience to wait for the UN inquiry to take its course. I don’t like the resolution either, but our democratically elected government agreed to it.

    Patience for economic development in all areas of the country.

    Patience for the current political culture to undergo a transformation at the next election.

  • 1
    0

    Sinhala_voice,
    Yes we can have a well defined autonomous Tamil Nation in the Northeast and a similar Sinhala Nation including all other provinces and both Nations can form a strong single United Country. There can be a single sub unit for Muslims in the East and for Tamils in the Upcountry.If not Swiss form of Constitution may be considered because every citizen in the country has a say in every single important question through a referendum. Incidentally in the last commune(Municipal) elections in Lausanne, the winter Olympics city and the 4th largest city in Swiss, a person of Ceylon Tamil origin (born before 1948 in Jaffna) was the 4th among 100 party Socialist candidates.If he has got 169 votes more he would have defeated all the other Swiss candidates of his party including the wife of the Party Socialist Secretary.He served as a Pharmacist in Sri Lanka before being thrown out of Sri Lanka in 1983 when he was serving in Kandy General Hospital as a Pharmacist.He was well versed in Sinhala. His son is now a Heart Surgeon in the same city and the first person of Sri Lankan origin to be qualified so. Due to 1983 pogrom against Tamils our country lost a Pharmacist and a future Heart surgeon.

  • 0
    0

    dear Wishwamithra, congratulations on your well reasoned and bold treatise.It is a sign of better things to come. Whatever said, the credit for the abolition of the caste system to a great system must go the LTTE. It is healthy sign indeed to see such papers being released. Bensen

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.