6 July, 2022

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Thamils Should Not Lose Heart, But Fight Back Peacefully

By Veluppillai Thangavelu

Veluppillai Thangavelu

President Mahinda Rajapaksa is holding Sri Lanka’s  65th independence anniversary celebration with pomp  and gaiety  in Trincomalee this year. The choice of  Trincomalee,  a once predominantly Thamil dominated district as the venue should not be lost in the cry for justice.

At the time of independence in 1948  the Thamils constituted 44.51 (33,795) of the population in Trincomalee as compared to Muslims 30.58  (23,219) and Sinhalese 15.29 (11,606) but today the demography has been drastically altered. The Thamils now (2012) constitute only  30.6 (115,549) Muslims 40.4 (152,854) and Sinhalese 27.0  (101,991). There is no need to explain why the Thamil population declined so dramatically. In 1827 the Thamils constituted 81.80  (15,663) of the population, the Muslims only 16.90 (3,245) and Sinhalese a mere 1.3 (250). The Muslims between 1981 and 2012 have more than doubled their numbers from 75,039 to 152,854 (11.08)  as seen in the following Table 1:

*2001 Census was only carried out partially in Trincomalee district

Independence for the Thamils have meant slow liquidation of their identity as a Nation  that  lived in well defined territory with their own language, arts, culture, customs and heritage. They have been living in the Northeast historically for several centuries.

On February 4, 1948  2  million Thamils of Ceylon exchanged their white masters (British) for the brown sahibs the Sinhalese. It was like jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, would not have gained independence from Britain without the support and consent of the Thamil people. That was   exactly what happened on that fateful day! Thamil legislators trusting D.S.Senanayake almost voted with their feet  giving a 4/5 majority  for the constitutional recommendations.   These constitutional recommendations were largely those of the 1944 Board of Ministers’ draft, a document reflecting the influence of D.S. Senanayake behind the scene  and his main advisor, Sir Ivor Jennings. It ushered in Dominion status and Independence to Sri Lanka then Ceylon in 1948.

On the eve of the arrival of Soulbury Commissioners,   D.S.Senanayake  master-minded the appointment of Arunachalam Mahadeva to the Pan Sinhala Board of Ministers  as the Minister of Home Affairs to project a “Ceylonese” vision for Sri Lanka, i.e., co-operation of all the ethnic and minority religious groups. It was a diplomatic coup by Senanayake and the Commissioners fell for the ruse ignoring past history.

The Thamil Congress, led by Ponnambalam,  argued  for  50-50 representation, an artificial  concept doomed to failure in the face of   “one man-one vote” concept thoroughly accepted in European liberalism. However, the Kandyan Sinhalese were more pragmatic and wiser. They proposed a Federal scheme where the Up-country region, the Low-country, and the North would be three federal states. Their suggestions were rejected by the commissioners who found no merit in the federal proposals.

In fact,  it was the Thamil leaders like Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan (1851-1930) and Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam (1853-1924) who fearlessly spearheaded the struggle for constitutional reforms that led to independence from colonial yoke.

However, the Ponnambalam brothers in their evening of life realised that the Sinhalese politicians have let them down the garden path and taken them for a ride to advance the interests of the majority community at the expense of the Thamil people. Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan foresaw that the democratic principle of one-person one vote in a heterogeneous society would ultimately lead to tyranny of  the majority.

In a speech to the Legislative Council during the debate on the Donoughmore Reforms, Mr. Ramanathan appears the precursor of the Thamils demand for a sovereign state of Thamil Eelam.

“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 ask what happened in the Dominion of Canada? The officials concerned said, it is an impossible situation…. Let us give these French descendants one form of government and let us give the 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 Arunachalam Ponnambalam who first (1923) exhorted the Thamils that –

“they should work towards promoting the union and solidarity of what we have been proud to call THAMIL EELAM. We desire to preserve our individuality as a people, to make ourselves worthy of inheritance. We are not enamoured about the cosmopolitanism which would make us neither fish, fowl nor red-herring.”

D.S.Senanayake, the first Prime Minister of independent Ceylon, gave the following solemn promise to the Thamil and other minority communities “no harm need you (non-Sinhalese) fear at our hands (Sinhalese) in a free Lanka.” He was speaking in the State Council in October 1945 when all the Thamil members had unanimously voted for the acceptance of the Soulbury constitution in a White Paper.

“Do you want to be governed from London or do you want, as Ceylon, to help govern Ceylon? On behalf of the (Ceylon National) Congress (founded by Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam in 1919) and on my behalf, I give the minority communities the sincere assurance that no harm need you fear at our hands in a free Lanka.”

But in 1948, the very year of Independence, D.S.Senanayake blatantly went back on the promise and bared his true colours as an unrepentant  champion of Sinhala chauvinism by depriving one million Thamils of their citizenship.

The Citizenship Act No.18 was unique in that it denied citizenship to a person born in the country before or after 1948 unless, at least, his father was born in or was a citizen of Sri Lanka. The following year, the same Thamils were deprived of their franchise rights by a simple amendment to the  Parliamentary Elections Ordinance  that stated only citizens  have the right to vote in elections. This  reduced Thamils representation in Parliament  from 33 in 1948 to a mere 20 in 1952.

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

It might be informative at this stage to recapitulate the history of the National conflict between the Thamil Nation and the Sinhala Nation.

National Conflict Between the Thamil Nation and the Sinhala Nation

The Thamils and the Sinhalese are divided on the basis of territory, language, religion, and culture. The enmity between the Thamils and the Sinhalese go back to at least two centuries before Christ.

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 Thamil King Ellalan and unified the whole of Ceylon. Though Buddhism infinitely values human life as being the one and only condition from which nibbana (salvation) could be attained, Mahavamsa made a virtue of killing in defence of Buddhism. This 5th century AD chronicle  has been used to raise the cry of Race, Land and Faith by the Sinhalese-Buddhist chauvinistic forces during the past  years.

The Mahavamsa has perpetrated the myth that Sinhalese-Buddhists are a chosen people with the special mission of preserving the Buddhist religion in Sri Lanka. Dr.Walpola Rahula, a scholar monk, wrote “for more than two millennia the Sinhalese have been inspired that they were a nation brought into being for the definite purpose of carrying the torch lit by Buddha.”

In Mahavamsa tradition the Thamils are considered  unbelievers, villains and invaders. It is the Mahavamsa theory that the Island as a whole belongs to the Sinhalese Buddhists only, and that there is no place or only second class status for Thamils. This Mahavamsa tradition is the root cause of the present conflict between the Thamil Nation and the Sinhala Nation.

Those who wish to see an end to the national question  would have to take into consideration the Mahavamsa mind-set. For it is the Mahavamsa mode of thinking which has influenced all the rulers, especially the governments of post independence Ceylon.

Broken Promises and Pacts

The planned state-aided colonization of Thamil traditional Homelands, the Sinhala Only Act, the recognition of Buddhism as the state religion, the lion flag as the national flag, the national anthem and the stubborn insistence on a unitary constitution are manifestations of the Mahavamsa mind-set deeply embedded in the Sinhalese psyche. Initiatives in the past to settle the national question  by the signing of the Bandaranaike -Chelvanayakam pact (1957), Dudley SenanayakeChelvanayakam pact (1965), and the Indo-Ceylon Accord (1987) failed because of this single factor.

Colonization

Through  systematic state-aided Sinhalese colonisation of the traditional homelands of the Thamils, the demographic profile of the Thamils has been drastically altered. In the Eastern Province, the once majority Thamil community (53.54  in 1921) has been reduced to a minority 39.79 in 2012 (42.06 in 1981) whereas the percentage of Sinhalese rose from 4.53  in 1921 to a staggering 23.15 in 2012 (24.99 in 1981).

TABLE 2

Island wide the Thamil population also declined steeply from 26.69 in 1901 to 15.37 in 2012 as shown by the following Table 3:

In 1946 the  Thamils (both Ceylon and Thamils of Indian origin) constituted 22.75  (1,514,300) and Sinhalese 69.41 (4,620,500), but in 2011 the Thamil population declined to 15.37  (3,113,247) while the Sinhalese population rose to 74.88 (15,173,820). This decline is reflected in the dilution of their parliamentary representation as the following  Table 4 shows:

The repatriation of  525,000 Thamils  of Indian origin  in the seventies reduced their population from 1,174,900 in 1971 to 818,700 in 1981.

Sinhala Army  of Occupation

There are more than 265 Sri Lankan army, naval and air force camps (about 90 of total camps in Sri Lanka) scattered throughout the North and East.  In the North alone there are army camps in 153 Grama Niladhari Divisions.  Out of a total of 20 Divisions 17 are stationed in the North (15) and East (2) consisting of  more than 150,000 soldiers. Along A9 highway there are over 30 army camps. The heartland of  Vanni is dotted with army cantonments, army camps, naval and air force bases. The army has taken to cultivation on lands previously owned by the Thamil people in a big way.

West of the Iranamadu Tank  and  East of the A-9 highway 25 acres of land are being cultivated by the army with vegetables; in Theravil, almost 150 acres of  land are being cultivated by the army with fruit trees, in Vellamkulam, about 600 acres of land are being cultivated by the army with cadjunuts,  in Mukkombu 100 acres of land are being cultivated by the army with coconuts; in Chunnavil, 600 acres of lands are being cultivated by the army with cadjunuts.  These are all in  Vanni. A large extent of paddy fields under village tanks are being cultivated by the army. The army is engaging in all these activities in lands previously owned by Thamils.  These areas are out of bounds for civilians.

In Murugandy a mega housing scheme consisting of 10,000 houses covering 12,000 acres of fertile land previously owned by Thamil peasants is ready for occupation by army personnel.  The housing scheme  built by Chinese is complete with all infra-structural facilities like roads, schools, hospitals, water, electricity etc. The displaced Thamils have been asked to fend for themselves in welfare centres.

In the Jaffna peninsula a  total of 716 private properties are under occupation by the army. Out of these, 378 lands are with houses, 283 are plain lands and 46 lands are business buildings. The SLA has also seized 9 public lands for its use outside the HSZ. Further 253 lands are under the control of the Sri Lanka Navy, 123 of these are with houses, 104 plain lands, 7 lands with commercial buildings and 19 public lands. 64 lands are under the control of the Sri Lanka Police, 57 of these lands are with houses, 5 plain lands and at least one with a commercial building. Now, the SL military is seeking to legalise the seizure to enable itself to establish permanent cantonments in Jaffna.

2013 Budget The 2013 budget envisages a 13.5 percent increase in spending from 2.22 trillion rupees to 2.52 trillion rupees (US$19.5 billion). Total Projected Income for year 2013 Rs. 1,280.00 Billion resulting in a Budget Deficit of Rs. 1,240.00 Billion. In 2012 the budget deficit was Rs 468 billion.

Like in the past years a major chunk of the budget is allocated for the Defence and Urban Development Ministry with 289.5 billion rupees. The amount is an increase of nearly Rs. 60 billion from last year’s allocations of 229.9 billion rupees, an increase of 26.  The Ministry of  Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms  has been allocated  a pittance of  Rs.500 million!

The total maximum borrowing for 2013 has been increased by 12.6 percent from 2012 to 1.3 trillion. The debt repayment expenditure in 2013 will rise to 1,154 billion rupees ($US9.1 billion) from 914 billion rupees in 2012, a 26 percent increase. Total outstanding loans were 6,262 billion rupees, a 23 percent increase over the previous year. Of that total, external foreign currency loans accounted for 2,981 billion rupees, up by nearly 33 .

Sri Lanka is maintaining the largest army in the world on a per capita basis. Sri Lanka’s population of 21 million has a standing army of 500,000. Ninety-five percent of the army consists of  Sinhalese.  This means that there is a soldier  for every 42  persons in the population. India has an army of  1.13  million and a population of 1020 million, which means a ratio of one soldier to 916 people. On the Sri Lankan ratio India has to have a standing army of 10.2 million.

There are  144 government MPs in Parliament out whom 68  are Ministers and 28 are  Deputy  Ministers.  It cost around Rs. 400 million per Minister per month (about 3 million US dollars). The government also proposes to appoint 25 District Ministers. That will escalate the number of Ministers to 121 leaving only 23 ordinary MPs. The tragedy is Mahinda Rajapaksa gets away with jumbo cabinet, corruption, nepotism and authoritinism  without much ado.

Human Rights Violations

In its Word Report  the Human Rights Watch slammed the  Sri Lankan government claiming ” Sri Lanka continued its assault on civil society and failed to take meaningful steps towards accountability for war crimes during the country’s armed conflict that ended in 2009.

There was no fundamental progress on key human rights issues in Sri Lanka over the past year, Human Rights Watch said. Overly broad detention powers remained in place under various laws and regulations, leaving several thousand people detained without charge. State security forces committed arbitrary arrests and torture, including sexual assault, against ethnic minority Thamils. Repatriated Thamils allegedly linked to the defeated Liberation Tigers of Thamil Eelam (LTTE) were at particular risk, Human Rights Watch research found. While the Thamil population in the north benefitted from greater access by humanitarian groups, the military presence kept living conditions from being normalized.

“The Sri Lankan government needs to address the many problems that undermine basic rights for people in the war-torn North and East,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Justice and accountability for abuses, an end to torture in detention, and ending constraints on basic liberties continue to prove elusive for the Thamil population.”

The UN Human Rights Council, responding to the government’s prolonged failure to investigate alleged laws of war violations, adopted a resolution in March 2012 calling on Sri Lanka to take all necessary steps to ensure justice and accountability.

“UN member states have made it clear through the Human Rights Council resolution in March and the Universal Periodic Review hearings in November that Sri Lanka needs to make fast and meaningful progress on its rights commitments,” Adams said. “The Sri Lankan government should recognize that its past stalling tactics have run their course and that it will need to take real action.”

President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his siblings continued the trend of recent years to accumulate power at the expense of democratic institutions, including the judiciary, and constrict free speech and association. The government targeted civil society through threats and surveillance. Statements by government officials and government-controlled media named and threatened human rights defenders who called for accountability for wartime abuses or criticized other government policies.

“There is ample evidence that Sri Lanka’s current government acts to serve its own interests at great cost to democratic institutions and equal treatment of all communities,” said Adams.

“When a government fails to protect the rights of its citizens, the need for international action increases,” Adams said. “The international community in 2012 focused renewed attention on Sri Lanka, and given the lack of progress on accountability and the shrinking political space, should continue to do so.”

But for Mahinda Rajapaksa it is business as usual. He has sacked the Chief Justice Dr.Shirani Bandaranayke with minimum fall out. The  unprecedented constitutional crisis elicited only  a yawn.  It has not made any dent on the popularity of the government. Mahinda Rajapaksa  continues to ride on the wave of Sinhala nationalism.  The black coated fraternity which threatened not to recognize any new Chief Justice  has  now fallen in line. 

The government unlike last time, is taking things easy about the forthcoming 22 nd sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva in March, 2013. No Ministers will take wings to Geneva only diplomats will attend. Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris says Sri Lanka will lobby enough votes to defeat US resolution.  He  is confident that unlike last time  India will support Sri Lanka.

There is no progress in the implementation of the LLRC recommendations. The Army says it will not withdraw from North and East. In fact the army is building more bases and refusing to dismantle the HSZs it is occupying. The Thamils IDPs in their thousands continue to languish in camps and welfare centres. In short militarization, Sinhalization and Budhistization of the North and East continue merrily.

Not withstanding the fact that the Thamils are in the political doldrums, economic stagnation and social strangulation since independence, we should not lose heart  but fight back peacefully  to regain our lost freedom and dignity.  It may not be within our  power, may not be in our time,  but if  we choose to stand firm, unrelenting and continue to resist we shall prevail one day.

*Veluppillai Thangavelu is a Tamil Canadian of Thamil Eelam origin. His native village is Colombothurai in the outskirts of Jaffna Municipality. He was born on February 10, 1933  in a modest farming family. 

He joined the Government Clerical Service in 1952. Later he joined the Local Government Service as an Accountant and served in Jaffna Municipal Council (1966-1972) Batticaloa Municipal Council (1972-1973) Dehiwela Mt. Lavania Municipal Council (1973-1977) and Colombo Municipal Council (1977-1980). He was also acting Municipal Commissioner (1967-1968) of Jaffna Municipality. In 1980 he joined the Bauchi State (Nigeria) Audit department as Principal Auditor. In 1987 he resigned his post and migrated to Canada and joined A. A. Jamal Associates, Chartered Accountants, Markham as an Auditor. He retired in 1995. 

He is the author of Sothidap Puraddu(Astrology is Fraud) which was released in Thamil Nadu in 2006 by Periyaar Dravidar Kazhakam and in Canada in 1997. This book (700 pages) in Thamil is the first to comprehensively debunk astrology as a pseudo  science with facts and figures.

Thangavelu is the President of Thamil Creative Writers Association (TCWA) founded in 2002.

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Truly a dedicated Labour of Love for the Tamil Nation by a senior
    citizen. The records and statistical data will be valuable to any
    serious student of the National Question. The Colonisation Scheme,
    set in Motion by DSS during the late 1940s in surreptitious form,
    was calculated to alter the demographic pattern in the Tamil dominated areas of the North East. This is now being nakedly pursued by the Rajapakses paying total disregard to law or justice.
    The message is “Yes. We are stealing your land and handing it over to our Sinhala friends and relatives – no matter if you have the ownership deeds or not. There is nothing you can do about it” attitude.
    Simultaneously, the regime gives misleading signs of negotiating with the Tamil leadership for power-sharing – an effort to hoodwink donors and the international community.

    That, in brief, is the state of the country and the fate of the Tamils.
    The story of the Muslins, now in large numbers, is no better.

    Senguttuvan

    • 0
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      Senguttuvan

      “Simultaneously, the regime gives misleading signs of negotiating with the Tamil leadership for power-sharing – an effort to hoodwink donors and the international community.”

      He is not going to pretend anymore.

      This is what Hindu reported yesterday:

      “Ruling out granting minority Tamils of the North any political autonomy as a solution to the three-decades-long ethnic conflict, he said when people lived together in unity there should be no racial or religious differentiation. “It is not practical for this country to have different administrations based on ethnicity. The solution is to live together in this country with equal rights for all communities,” he said.”

      The job is well done with or without the Southern consensus.

  • 0
    0

    Tamils would do well to rebuild their strength and resources without getting involved in unecessary conflict. If you can unite and build your community, no one will be able to prevent that. It is useless expecting anything better from the govt other than empty words and promises.

    • 0
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      Safa

      ” If you can unite and build your community, no one will be able to prevent that.”

      If people are left to their own devices, they are capable of performing wonders.

      In South Asia and particularly in Sri Lanka, the state, its rulers and their cronies use, misuse, abuse their powers to prevent people from constructively engaging in nation building.

      However much people try, particularly when under complete militarisation and licensing Raj (10%,20%…) nothing could be constructively built.

  • 0
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    Ponnambalam asked 50 % , Sambandan is willing to settle for 30 %, Is there much differenc?.

    However more important is the current stats,with respect to the all important or most fundamental of any human rights.

    That is to get at least one square mael a day and provide the same to the dependants.

    Our Private sector which is the fastest perhaps in growth, in our neck of the woods can not ge enough Thamilians from Colombo and outer to fill white collar positions.

    Obviously their English skills are in big demand.

    Most these Private enterprises are owned by Thamilians and they are no small fry.

    Professor Hoole is lobbying, although in a rather strange way for dual Passports for Diasporians.

    Perhaps this is to get in to the booming Private Sector or perhaps not.

    Other Diasporians are quite happy to come over, sell their real estate and perhaps have a Ayrvedic Massage or relaxation.

    Jaffna Uni is getting back to its old glory, Not the glory under the LTTE.

    More campuses are coming up to satisfy the severe demand after the 30 year National Service.

    TNA , the self appointed guardians of the 30% are travelling the World with all expenses paid.

    What is there really to “Fight”?.

    No wonder the writer is advising non violent Fights.

    • 0
      0

      K.A Sumanasekera:

      “What is there really to “Fight”?.”

      It is you that all of us have to fight, non violently of course.

      “TNA , the self appointed guardians of the 30% are travelling the World with all expenses paid.”

      If TNA is fighting for 30%, it means they are fighting for the Sinhala speaking as well. According to your past statistics the majority is 75% or sometimes 90%. Then of course TNA should be fighting for 25% or 10%. How does your mathematical logic work here?

      Can I safely conclude in your abstract mathematical realm, 25=10=30?

      It is interesting.

      • 0
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        Native,

        It is thirty three and three quaters to be precise.Isn’t it?.

        • 0
          0

          K.A Sumanasekera

          How?

          I am not very good at maths.

          • 0
            0

            I can see that. If you are not good in this basic mathamatics who is going to take you seriously. Even Karuna Pillaiyan and Kp can work this out. Try Goata he may be able to help you out

            • 0
              0

              Lanka Liar

              ” If you are not good in this basic mathamatics who is going to take you seriously.”

              I expect no one to take me seriously.

              Could you sort this mathematical riddle authored by K.A Sumanasekera that 25=10=30=33 3/4.

              I am not the one who cracked Fermat’s Last Theorem it is British mathematician Andrew Wiles.

              Please help me to solve Sumanasekera’s illogical theorem.

  • 0
    0

    Dear Mr. Thangavelu,
    I Must first of all Thank you for this article. Very interesting, informative, good research and good narrative of some of the events.
    A well written thesis. Good Luck and may Peace be with You.

    The subject of Tamils is currently the best bait useable for political survival, power grabbing and to extend the life of divisions to create patriotism in our great country hence a resolution is a very big question.

    Many of us, don’t see the history as it should and learn from it. No one at the leadership level seems to accept the contributions made by the Tamils or for that matter any minorities. What our people have done, Whether we accept or not, have been selfish, jealous, have fake pride, cultivated animosity , divided further the already divided population and basically Killed it to point of no return. No leader after the Independence looked at then Ceylon and planned it for prosperity in 30, 60 ,100 years, all these rascals were interested in positions, fame and passing the baton within the family circles, looted the country and the poor masses are sucking the bones.

    No doubt Tamils have suffered, some of it is their own fault, no foresight , again division amongst themselves too , contributed to their downfall. Whilst I say this I must say that I value the culture, Language and their contribution to the land, country and its society. I still wonder the plight of the mixed married between the Sinhalese and the Tamils, how and where they fit in this fabrication is a subject for another day. As the History goes, King Elara as I would put it was a just and a reasonable king, it was King Gemunu who rebelled against him (various versions have been given on both sides for the rebellion)and was successful in defeating the old king, of course King Gemunu united the 3 states and governed as one Lanka, it is also written that he had a monument built for King Elara and people had to pay respects when they pass that place, would King Gemunu do a gesture like that if King Elara was a useless or a racial king ? again no one talks about the General of the Elara’s Army was King Gemunu’s Uncle !. But the need of the hour is to take stock of the situation and rethink of solutions to the basic fabric of society, and how they could co-exists with one another, it is interesting that you mentioned about the Kandian proposals of the 3 states solution, I believe Mr Ranil Wickeramasinghe (A reasonable intellectual President, we would never have) once was looking at that seriously as a co habitat solution, but the current political environment or the Political culture would not permit such solutions even though a greater good would come out of it.

    Many contributors to this web site would dispute or write different versions of their philosophies’ and would claim that Tamils must go back to where they came from – mainly India I believe, but sadly nobody wants to remind these people they may be also be descendants some 50,000 trades people (experts I am told) who came across to this Island ( Free pass not Kalla Thoni) back in King Asoka’s time when Buddhism was brought to this country after 150 years of Buddha passing away. It is believed that they intermarried the then locals and lived in this Island, and their generations are everywhere in Sri Lanka. I am sure that 50,000 would have by now multiplied to minimum 10-12 million , wont it after 2150 years ?. What would happen to these people if they were identified as Indian Origin, or maybe as they now claim they have become Sri Lankans over generations, this is the same theory with Tamils , for centuries they lived in this Island, they have an identity, a culture and a religion( some parts of it has been borrowed our own purpose ) why on earth are these people not accepting the fact that all of us a Sri Lankans born in this blessed land and get on with life and create a peaceful country for the future generations and live peacefully side by side .

    The fact is we have a problem, the worst is we have neglected the problem and without resolving this we are conveniently continually using it to our gain. I fear that what goes around comes around as the old saying goes. Most or All the governing leaders sometimes think we are on the top of the world and everything is under control but least they realise that they are sitting on a massive volcano. Either we solve this within ourselves – (Not like what DS did in 1948) or someone else will, if that happens it will be painful for both parties.

    • 0
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      Watching With Patience says:

      “Many contributors to this web site would dispute or write different versions of their philosophies’ and would claim that Tamils must go back to where they came from – mainly India”

      I have been saying the above for donkey’s years and I believe in it. The only difference is that when the Tamils go I want them to take their Sinhala brethren with them for both people are the descendants of Kallathonies from North South India.

      Most importantly both people share their DNA with South Indian Tamils and all of them are irredeemably stupid.

  • 0
    0

    Very useful and informative piece and persuasive arguments as well. While appreciating that colonization was a systematic and racist policy of the successive Colombo regimes, in looking forward, as sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and other ethnic groups how these facts about deliberate changes to ethnic mix in geographical areas will help us in escaping from these divisive politics that the elite class, drawn from all ethnic groups trap us in ?

    That doesn’t mean we must ignore your past, but as long as we think as Tamils and Sinhalese, it is easier for the political and other elite to keep us from talking together.

    What they are doing in the North and East, pushing out Tamil civilians to marginal areas is deplorable. While they ask Sinhalese to wave the Lion Flag, the regime doesn’t spare the members from any ethnic group – Sinhala or others – when it has set its eyes on prime properties say the famous laundrywatte close to kollupitiya polwatta temple.

    While the above two can’t be compared, only the most hypocritical and naive will believe any of our regimes want to protect Sinhala and direct their wrath only on other ethnic groups, as evidenced by the mass graves in Matale (88, 89) and Pudumathalan (09).

  • 0
    0

    I wonder why the writer has spelt Tamil as “Thamil”. Is this an effort to conform to how the word is pronounced in Tamil? I remember R Premadasa also wanted Sri Lanka to be spelt “Shri Lanka” to emphasise the pronunciation in Sinhala.

    Ethnic identity seems important for people, mostly when they feel discriminated against, and feel inferior not by choice but by some form of enforcement or assertion.

    If all communities have equal status and are treated equally, rather than as “majority race” and “minority community” then this need for asserting one’s ethnic identity would hardly arise.

    Now that the “Tigers” seem to have been “vanquished” there is a stupid sense of euphoria and hubris that ignores stark realities on the ground.

    There are now signs that the Muslims and aggrieved Tamils will use several means (not necessarily peaceful or benign)in order to reassert themselves at the cost of all communities alike….

  • 0
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    On a historic note, I wish to state that the war between Duttu Gemenu and Ellalan is not a war between Sinhalese and Thamil for the simple reason there were no Sinhalese then.

    King Duttu Gemenu was a Naga Prince from both his paternal and maternal side. His father was Kakavana Tissa (Kakavanna Theesan) who is the son of Abaya. Duttu Gemenu’s mother was a Naga princess (Viharama Devi the daughter of Naga King Kelanithissa) who ruled Kalyani (Keleniya).

    Kakavanna Tissa was a great-grandson of King Devanampiya’s youngest brother Mahanaga. King Devanampiya was the first Naga king to be converted to Buddhism.

    King Pandukabhaya’s son was Mutasiva, king of Anuradhapura. Devanampiya Tissa was the second son of Mutasiva, next king of Anuradhapura. Mahanaga was the brother of King Devanampiya Tissa. Mahanaga was second in line to the throne. One of the wives of King Devanam Piyatissa decided to kill Mahanaga in order to get the crown to her son. Mahanaga fled to Ruhuna and founded a new kingdom there. After Mahanaga, his son Yatthalayaka Tissa became the King of Rohana. After Yatthlayaka Tissa, his son Goetabhaya (Abhaya) became the ruler of Rohana. After Abhaya, his son KakaVanna Tissa became the ruler of Ruhuna.

    To substantiate my statement let me quote an extract from an article titled “A Response “Mahavamsa Mentality”; Can the charge of “Racism” levelled against the chronicle be sustained? by J.L. Devananda that appeared in the blog http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/1886. He says:

    “The kings belonging to the Tissa and Lambakarana dynasties that ruled the ancient Buddhist kingdom of Anuradhapura were Prakrit speaking Nagas. Duttugemenu, the national hero of Sri Lanka, was a Naga king belonging to the Tissa dynasty. His mother Vihara Maha Devi was the daughter of the Naga king of Kelaniya, and his father Kavan Tissa, was the great grandson of Maha Naga, who established a kingdom in Mahagama in Rohana. Maha Naga’s older brother, Devanampiya Tissa, a contemporary of Emperor Asoka, was the first king of the Tissa dynasty. Some of the Tissa kings who proudly bore Naga clan names were Khallata Naga (Dutugemunu’s nephew), Cora Naga, who was one of the many victims poisoned to death by the amorous Queen Anula, Mahadathika Maha Naga and Ila Naga. Yasa Lalaka Tissa was the last king of the first dynasty that ruled the Anuradhapura kingdom.”
    So the war between Duttu Gemenu was not a war between Sinhalese and Thamils, but a war between Buddhist Naga and Hindu Thamil king. That is why Ellalan’s army general was an uncle of Duttugemenu and many Thamils were leading Duttu Gemenu’s army.
    Mahavamsa is a chronicle intended to generate ’serene joy and emotion’ in the pious. Each chapter of the Mahavamsa and its sequel the Culavamsa ends with the postscript “Here ends the … chapter, called ‘…….’. The Mahavaamsa was written unmistakenly from the Buddhist standpoint extolling the so-called victories of Buddhist Nagas over the Thamil kings. The ‘Sinhalese’ collective consciousness did not emerge till the 8th century AD. The Sinhalese are a mixed race and converts from Hinduism as can be seen from their names like Bandaranayakes (Pandarams), Senanayakes, Rajaratnas, Wijeratnas, Karunaratnas etc. Even names like Ratwatta (Rathavathayan) , Aluvihara (surveyor), Ehelopola (Frontier guard) Pilimattalawa (Chief Poet) Keppetipola, Battependi, Adikaram, Arasakulratna (Gem of the kings) Tennakone (King of the south) Weerakone (Brave King) etc. are corruptions of pure Thamil names. Battependi is the corrupted Thamil name பட்டங்கட்டி (Village Headman). Even place names that end with suffixes like •gala, •gama, •goda or gode, •kulama, •mulla, •pitiya, •pola, •wela or wila are derivatives of Thamil names. (Read http://www.sangam.org/2011/08/Aryan_Theory.php)

    Th Sinhalese Karawe, Salagama and Durawe castes came from Thamil Nadu between the 15th and 17th centuries AD. They were brought by the
    Portuguese and Dutch.

    So the myth that Duttu Gemenu was a Sinhalese and he fought the Thamil king Ellalan should be laid rest. Duttu Gemenu simply wanted the throne of Anuradhapura ruled by his ancestors.

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      So the myth that Duttu Gemenu was a Sinhalese and he fought the Thamil king Ellalan should be laid rest. Duttu Gemenu simply wanted the throne of Anuradhapura ruled by his ancestors.

      If Nagas of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa were not ancestors of Sinhalese, from where did Sinhalese come to be? Note that according to J.L.Devananda, not even Parakramabahu of Polonnaruwa is a Sinhala king.

      When Indian Tamils have colonized “Sinhala homeland” and half of Sri Lankan Tamil population is living in Colombo, what is wrong in settling Sinhalese in otherwise unused state owned lands in North and East provinces? Saying Sinhalese are welcome to settle in North and East by themselves is a ruse.

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        Navin

        Its you again.

        “If Nagas of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa were not ancestors of Sinhalese, from where did Sinhalese come to be?”

        They came all the way from Sinhapura (Venga) by Kallathonies.

        “When Indian Tamils have colonized “Sinhala homeland””

        There was no Sinhala homeland but was known as Kandyan kingdom under British rule. Tamils didn’t colonise Kandyan kingdom but were brought to the island as guest workers when the Sinhala/Buddhists refused to work in these estates because they found it hard work under harsh working conditions. The guest workers built the economy, toiled and died. Later they were made stateless.

        More over the last few “Sinhala kings” were Kallathonies from Tamilnadu. If a king was a Tamil it should have been named Tamil kingdom and not Sinhala homeland. In fact there were attempts to crown Siamese to the throne. Sinhala/Buddhist could not find a fellow Sinhala/Buddhist to rule the kingdom but were prepared to live under Nayakers of Madura and Siamese prince.

        Then the British built your economy and the infra structures found and published your Mahawamsa and unearthed your history. The last war against your colonial master was waged by Veddahs under Veddah general while the Sinhala/Budhhist men were hiding behind their women folks betraying their own people.

        “what is wrong in settling Sinhalese in otherwise unused state owned lands in North and East provinces? “

        I thought by now you would have yourself worked out the answer to your stupid question. Well think about it I may be able to help you find answer on another occasion.

        I want both Tamils and Sinhalese out of my ancestral land. How soon can you vacate? Sooner the better hence this will solve your problem once and for all. Once both of you are out of my land I do not have to deal with stupid questions such as yours.

        I am wondering whether your vocabulary and knowledge of the island is limited to reading SPURista’s journals.

        Let us deal with other matters.

        What did you do to help find the arsonists who burnt down Jaffna Library and stole ola manuscripts and books?

        Did you help the deranged former/serving army men who suffer from PTDS and how? Are you aware of the fact that there were 400 veterans who have committed suicide in the past few years?

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          Tamils didn’t colonize Kandyan kingdom but were brought to the island as guest workers

          Fantastic! Do you know whether Brits brought them here in business class or coach? Nowadays when they deport unwanted guests in UK, they simply put them in cattle class. I only wish that these quintessential British gentlemen of the yore had taken back with them their guests when they left SL. Besides, how nice it must be for Brits to invite guests to countries that do not belong to them?

          the Sinhala/Buddhists refused to work in these estates because they found it hard work under harsh working conditions.

          They refused work because they didn’t want to work for the foreign invaders. If they are incapable of hard work, then they must have been helped by Kallathonies when they built up Anuradhapura & Polonnaruwa civilizations as well. Oh but wait, according to J.L.Devananda, it wasn’t Sinhalese who cultivated A & P but Yakksha and Nagas no eh?

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            Navin

            “Tamils didn’t colonize Kandyan kingdom but were brought to the island as guest workers”

            Please fact check this issue with your eminent historians Champika, Nalin, Kamalika, Weerawansa,……..and others. You might learn something.

            ” I only wish that these quintessential British gentlemen of the yore had taken back with them their guests when they left SL. “

            Excellent idea, the British should have taken them back to their homeland in South India. I was not even born at the time when the British left my ancestral island. Otherwise I would have insisted they took these people away from my land dump them where they belonged to as DS did what he did in 1948.

            “If they are incapable of hard work, then they must have been helped by Kallathonies when they built up Anuradhapura & Polonnaruwa civilizations as well.”

            Kallathonies did help the other Kallathonies build all these structures including the estate sector. You won’t believe if I said Veddahs helped in many of these construction projects.

            Please do refer to Prof K N O Dharmadasa’s “The Survival of the Veddas of Sri Lanka” He is not part of LTTE loving Diaspora.

            Actually Veddas helped Duttahagamini to build great Mahathupa in Anuradhapura, maybe that Duttahagamini could not find the right skilled hardworking Sinhala/Buddhists in the island.

            There were many occasions in which South Indian skilled workers (Guest workers) were brought to my island even during Vijaya’s period (Mahawamsa). Guest workers travelling to my land is not a problem and probably my people would have welcome them. Once the job is done they were expected to leave. The problem arises when Kallathonies coming to my land and occupying it and behaving as if they were the chosen people to rule this island. You are one who descended from those illegal immigrants.

            “it wasn’t Sinhalese who cultivated A & P but Yakksha and Nagas no eh?”

            Why not them?

            What is your comment on Matale skeletons? I know you have nothing to do with it.

            Were they the victims of SJV, Amir, LTTE, Tamil Diaspora, Overseas exiled Tamil/Sinhal journalist axis of evil, USA, UK, ……IC?

            Innocent Sinhala people could have committed mass suicide and dug a pit and buried themselves or buried themselves and then committed mass suicide.

            I suppose the Sinhala/Buddhists state has nothing to do with it therefore and expect no comments from you.

            Do you agree that it was LTTE which under VP destroyed the Jaffna library in 1981?

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          Navin

          One more issue the Matale skeletons,

          What is your take on these skeletons?

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        Is this Duttu Gamunu not Mahinda’s grand dad?

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      Ok where does Mahinda come from

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        Lanka Liar

        “Ok where does Mahinda come from”

        Some say he is a descendant of Telungu Desam.

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    Thangavelu concludes his well researched article by these remarks:

    “Not withstanding the fact that the Thamils are in the political doldrums, economic stagnation and social strangulation since independence, we should not lose heart but fight back peacefully to regain our lost freedom and dignity. It may not be within our power, may not be in our time, but if we choose to stand firm, unrelenting and continue to resist we shall prevail one day.”

    The fight by the Tamils for the past 65 years since independence has not yielded any success. Peaceful protests led by a set of Tamil leaders who were more keen on keeping their Parliamentary seats warm never produced any result. Armed rebellion by the Tamil youths made the Sinhala rulers to at least think about acceding to some of the demands of the Tamils. But,the unrealistic demand for ‘Tamil Eelam or nothing’ by the LTTE leader has led to the defeat of Tamils and created the present situation where Tamils have no hope of returnning at least to the position they were in the seventies.

    Now Tamils cannot claim ownership of the entire North East provinces as their homeland. Politically, economically and demographically Tamils in the Eastern Province have been pushed to third place, behind the Muslims,and Sinhalese. While the Tamils in the East were helping Prabaharan to fight a useless war in his pursuit of Tamil Eelam, Muslims aligned with the ruling parties to gain political power and pushed out the Tamils. They illegally encroached on vast stretches of state lands in the East and these land areas have now become Muslim villages. If you do not believe me go to Batticaloa and you will see only Muslims on the long stretch of former bushlands on both sides of the Polonnaruwa-Batticaloa road from Welikande to Ottamavadi. The Muslim politicians have now succeeded in attaching this vast stretch of land to Muslim AGA Divisions. Again visit the Tamil villages and Muslim villages in the East and you will see how these Muslim villages have been developed. I will not blame the Muslims or the Muslim politicians for this. I will only blame the Eastern Province Tamils for foolishly going behind political parties and armed groups led by Northern Tamils who were on a collision course with the Sri Lankan state and the Sinhalese. Before the advent of Tamil political parties led or dominated by Northern leaders, Tamils in the East, particularly the Batticaloa Tamils, elected as their representatives to the state legislatures only those who contested from national parties or stood as independents. GG Ponnambalam’s Congress Party could not break this trend. It was Thamil Arasu Katchi led by Chelvanayagam which first managed to win a seat from the Batticaloa district. Even then Batticaloa district elected people like Ethirmanasingham, Thambirajah, Devanayagam and Rajan Selvanayagam who contested either as independents or as UNP candidates. All that changed when LTTE gained ascendency.

    If there is to be a revival of the political fortunes of the Eastern Tamils, they should either form their own separate political party or align with one or the other national party. Voting for TNA or other Tamil parties led or dominated by Northern leaders will only help the Muslims to further consolidate their political power at the expense of Tamils. Eastern Province Tamils have a separate identity. This identity was lost with the advent of Tamil political parties and groups dominated by Northern Tamils. There is no harm in aligning with the Northern Tamils over some issues but throwing their lot with Tamil parties dominated by Northern Tamils will be disastrous for the Eastern Tamils.

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    The continuation of this type of selective story telling only strengthens the resolve of Sinhalese to maintain their defensive readiness at the peak level at all times. The slightest slakening would result in Sinhalese ending up in the sea south of Mirissa with the blue whales (as Dutugemunu feared when he was just 7 years old).

    According to Thangavelu, Sinhalese have fallen from the sky (yet became by far the largest community in SL).

    The biggest demographic change in this country was engineered by the British & the Dutch in bringing Tamil plantation workers for tobacco & tea/rubber industry. The permanent loss suffered by Sinhala peasants (& their suffering to date) as a result was a non event to these fellows.

    Another point these guys do not mention is the massive demographic change taken place in Colombo and it’s environs due to large scale migration of Northerners to the South during conflict period. Should they go back?

    The far sighted actions of DSS at least prevented a bigger calamity. Prabhakaran was able to ethically cleanse only the North because of it. Otherwise he would have cleared the East and entered up country too. The lesson is that what DSS initiated in the East needs to be extended to North too. Hope MR will do it.

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      Hela

      The biggest demographic changes took place over 2,500 years. We lost our ancestral land to both land grabbing Kallathonies Sinhapurian from Venga and Dravidians from Harappa.

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      Dear Hela,

      The Sinhalese will remain the majority for a very long time, not only because they are already overwhelmingly ahead in numbers, but also because they are a dynamic community with the ability to absorb others within their fold and make them their own. This dynamism is also manifest in their language and culture.

      Please do not raise the Dutigemunu dream spectre whenever the Tamils, who yet feel quite insecure, assert their claims to be co- owners of this land. We have each other within us as peoples. We share a large number of genes, use common words in our languages, eat similar food and share related cultures and religions. We both have common origins. We have been forged in the same furnace or cast in the same mould, although with time we have painted ourselves differently.

      The attempts to Sinhalize Tamil place names should be resisted by men like you. This has been a process unfolding for a long time. When I see place names like Pallawi being changed to Pallawiya or Udappu to Uddapuwa, I feel sad. We are not only destroying historical realities, but our shared heritage. We are destroying symbols that remind us our shared heritage wantonly and foolishly. When most Tamils see this, they feel there are insidious forces orchestrated and supported by the government at work to deny them their historicity. The Tamils have also become so paranoid that they do not understand the significance of the beautiful new Murugan temple that has been built in Kakkapally, near Chilaw and its significance for the new Sri Lanka that is tying hard to emerge.

      Old place names, whether Sinhala or Tamil, should be restored, if their historicity – provable and not imagined-can be established by a commission of learned persons. This should be an essential step in the reconciliation process. Police stations and railway stations should not be places where name changes begin. When we deny history, we deny our own authenticity.

      Most Tamils, including me are ‘ Hela’ too!

      Further, yes South Indian labour-not all Tamils, were brought into work in the plantation industies by our colonial rulers. But many of these people have added to the number of Sinhalese in the island and significant Sinhala castes today. Vijaya also brought in thousands from India into Lanka and we continue to import our royalty and their consorts from India in pre-colonial times. Our kings also imported soldiers from South India to fight on their behalf.

      Many of these recent converts to the Sinhala identitity dominate the armed forces and helped defeat the LTTE menace. It was a war where converted Tamils fought the original Tamils and won. Tamils also fought Tamils in the Dutugemunu – Elara war. The tea and rubber planatation sector has been served well by imported Tamils. The Tamils have served this country well as originals or as imports. Sir P. Ramanathan and Sir P. Arunachalam were sons of recent Tamil immigrants. They are yet feathers in Sri Lanka’s cap.

      Let us come together to forge a common Sri Lankan identity even now, while appreciating and accomodating the differences. This is the only worthwhile tribute we can pay to all the lives we have sacrificed over several decades, including the last war. We have shed enough blood to feed the animal within us for at least a thousand years. Please let us all learn our lesson of history that we have to first identify ourselves as humans. Let us also stop parroting old history, of which we know very little, especially the dynamics, and start resolving the issues that confront us as communities and Sri Lankans in the post-war scenario.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        An after thought :

        It is saddening that I had to write the above comment almost four years after the end of bloody war that left its mark on everyone in Sri Lanka.

        Dr.R.N

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        Thanks Dr R.N. for the response.

        The idealist in me tend to agree with many sentiments expressed by you.

        Then the realist in me sees one lonely Tamil voice trying to express common sense among hundreds of Tamils who still dream of creating an ethnically cleansed mono ethnic enclave in the North East and dismember this country.

        Yet, you speak of “original” Tamil vs “converted” Tamil with a false sense of supriority indicating a mindset subverted by 60+ years of false propaganda.

        The dynamism of Sinhala nation mentioned by you should indicate to all the open minded and liberal nature of Sinhalese. That’s why they willingly accepted those who came to the island (imported or otherwise) into their fold including the cultural practices and beliefs during pre colonial times. An important factor was that those who came immediately identified & integrated themselves with the local population. Understanding this liberal Sinhala mindset is the key (not threatening them and labelling them with derogatory terms). Instead Tamils try to get around the former colonial masters & India to threaten and punish Sinhalese. The divisions have been heightened during post colonial era mainly due to Tamils falling prey to the colonialist divide & rule policy thus creating the earlier mentioned false sense of superiority & treating Sinhalese as modayas.

        The population numbers you mentioned doesn’t make much sense in the larger regional context which explains Sinhala affinity to blue whales & the Indian Ocean south of Mirissa as was Dutugemunu all those long years ago. A quotation from RM Karthick, said to be a research scholar at the University of Essex may explain the Sinhala predicament better. He says “The diplomats in the Tamil diaspora here need to use to their full extent the soft power they have. Any geo-political calculation for the island does not take place without taking the Tamil diaspora and Tamil Nadu, one of the economically dominant states in India, into account. Tamils, as a whole, are a politically and economically vibrant community, with far global reach……”. In this numbers game, it is indeed a miracle that Sinhalese survived for this long.

        Comming back to both the idealist & realist in me….. I am still searching for the critical mass of Tamils who want to “come together to forge a common Sri Lankan identity even now, while appreciating and accomodating the differences” with not much convincing indications.

        Till then we have to continue our fight for survival as was the case for the past 2,000+ years. In that context, furthering the DSS strategy under MR may be the only limited option available. As you are, it is saddening to comment in this way almost four years after such a destructive conflict. Though I must say that I was heartened somewhat by the friendliness of ordinary Tamil folk during a recent visit to Jaffna & vanni.

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          Dear Hela ,
          The voice of most Tamils in Sri Lanka, particularly of those affected by the last war is, ” Please leave us alone”. This voice of resignation or desperation is not heard by the Tamil politicians or publicised in the media. The Tamils here in Sri Lanka at large want to be left alone to be humans first and Tamils second, because thy were born so and brought up so. These Tamils are not interested in the Mahavamsa, their history or their origins. This voice must be heard now.

          Further, Sri Lankan Tamils were until the late 1950′ s very conscious of their Lankan identity and considered themselves a distinct entity from the Tamils in India. The Indian Tamils were considered a 5th column and worse than a stomach ache. The marriage of their children to Indian Tamils were viewed with much distaste. This was the reality, however we may judge it now

          The Tamil Diaspora at large also maintains an identity distinct from that of the Indian Tamil Diaspora and is very much more vigorous in trying to preserve their Tamilness and Sri Lankanness, amidst heavy odds. Scratch the surface of a Lankan Tamil member of the Diaspora and you will find a patriotic Sri Lankan lurking below.

          It is the Sri Lankan state that alienated the Tamils to the extent it has and the Tamil politicians who abetted this effort with their emotive sloganeering. Although the LTTE was succoured by India, it was always suspicious of India’s intentions. This was a reflection of the Sri Lankan Tamil psyche. It is the Sri Lankan state that drove the Tamils into the hands of the Indians and the west.

          The Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka are the natural allies of the Sinhalese. The Tamils both indigenous and of so-called recent Indian origin should be treated as equals in every way and their identity respected. The Tamils instinctively feel this land is their own as much as that of the Sinhalese. This feeling of belonging made them give birth to a prolonged war. The war failed because those who fought in the name of the Tamils betrayed the Tamil ethos and strayed beyond the goals envisaged by the Tamils.

          The indigenous Tamils are as Hela as the Sinhalese claim to be and each has the other in them. The Tamils are the inheritors also of an ancient and rich language and culture. The north and east version of spoken Tamil is considered much purer than the Tamil spoken in India.

          It is up to the Sinhalese to take the Tamils into their trust and loving embrace. A confident and resurgent Tamils will make this nation proud and will become the natural allies they should be of the Sinhalese. Let the Hela concept also take the Tamils into its fold.

          Dr.Rajasingham Naredran

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      Hela

      “According to Thangavelu, Sinhalese have fallen from the sky (yet became by far the largest community in SL).”

      I disagree with Thangavelu however according to Mahawamsa Sinhalese came to my ancestral island by Kallathonies. Finding the island attractive paradise, they invited more of their fellow Sinhapurian from Venga and their Tamil brethren from South India.

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        Native Vedda,

        Even the Veddas , who are related to the aborigines in Australia, the negroids in the Andaman and Nicobarese Islands and the Adivasis in South India, were part of the first wave of humanoids who walked out of Africa, crossed the Indian subcontinent and found a home in Lanka. They are the last vesiges of the history and today have been reduced to acting the imagined role of Veddas. Lanka also was at one time a part of the Indian subcontinental landmass. There were also other people-Rakshsas of Ramayana fame and the Nagas, whose symbols are ubiquitous in Sri Lanka and the Yakshas who were Kuveni’s people- who were also occupying our land at one time. We are not a unique people in any way. We are a pickle of many strands in human evolution coming together. We are a pickle yet in the making. A Chinese strand may also manifest in our features soon. The Rajapakse family already displays the Malay strand in our makeup. We are all however African in a primordial sense, including the white and yellow races.

        The purity we believe we have genetically or culturally is the greatest hoax perpetrated on us. We are utter stupids to believe this hoax in this age of science.

        Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

          Great stuff.

          “The purity we believe we have genetically or culturally is the greatest hoax perpetrated on us. We are utter stupids to believe this hoax in this age of science.”

          If it is hoax, could you let the Sinhala/Buddhist know about their deceptions.

          This only reminds me of “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive” and applies to both the Sinhalese and Tamils.

          “We are all however African in a primordial sense, including the white and yellow races.”

          Yet the Tamils and Sinhalese don’t like their children marrying or sleeping with Blacks, descendants of their ancestors. I like Tamil/Sinhala hypocrisy.

          Whilst you are there can you get MR to remove all school text books which tells the story of “Aryan Sinhala people” coming to my ancestral land and building a unitary trisinhala state? This can be the starting point for revised history writing.

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            Hey Vedda,

            This is pure BS. Anyone identifying him/her as a Sinha Buddhist is immediately labelled as a racist or a chauvanist. Of course the intentions of such labelling is clear.

            There was no one anywhere in the world called Sinhala to come to this island to establish a sinhala state. Sinhala is a nation evolved by people of all persuations living in this country joining together to build a unique identity of the islanders. Veddas are said to be decendents of Kuveni of yakka tribe who are a constituent of the four helas. So veddas are not unique. They are part of us and many of them have joined mainstream sinhala community.

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              Hela says:

              “Veddas are said to be decendents of Kuveni of yakka tribe who are a constituent of the four helas. So veddas are not unique. They are part of us and many of them have joined mainstream sinhala community.”

              Who says so? Mahawamsa?

              Would you like me to believe everything what Mahawamsa says?

              Please note victors always write their own version of history and mete our their own form of justice.

              In that process Mahanama has immensely contributed to your perverted version of history of the island.

              Now we are told Jaffna Library was destroyed by LTTE, this is victor’s version of library history written within 30 years of the cultural genocide.

              You say:

              “There was no one anywhere in the world called Sinhala to come to this island to establish a sinhala state.”

              Please let me learn from you. Could you give a brief history of Sinhala (Buddhists) people. There are many versions floated in the island. I would like to hear from you which version of origin of Sinhala race do you subscribe to and why?

              You think you know who you are.

              We know who we are.

              Therefore, please refrain from imposing your version of history on my people.

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          Dr R.N.,

          Yet you speak of “original” Tamils and “converted” Tamils with a sense of superiority.

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            Dear Hela,

            No sense of superiority was intended. It was the opposite – a sense of equality or commonality. We are the same, regardless of how we have painted our selves. Even the original Hela / Ela Tamils came across the mainland and crossed into Lanka across a land link or the sea. They are Tamils today, but may have been something else when they first came in. This applies to the Sinhalese too. Languages, cultures and identities are constantly evolving and branching. All our roots are in Africa, where the its ape stood up on two legs.

            Dr.R.N.

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              Correction: — where the first ape stood up on two legs.

              Dr.R.N

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    Hey All,

    There is no point taking this garbage now. Just integrated with other communities just like the muslims did in Sri Lanka. The whole issue with this OLD SCHOOL bloks like the writer is they lived in Sri Lanka 40 years ago and misguided the youth in N&E to fight a war that will never over untill 2009.

    Mate , get a life or give the tamil youth a new life …they are dam fed-up with the crap that you fellows preaching from developed countries.

    These Tamil kids had to fight because of clowns like you. If you really love your race, just go N&E and just SPONSOR a TAMIL student (Give them books, educational meterial, shcool bags etc.). I’m sure you will not do that.. cos you want them to suffer..

    Stop this bull crap , and help the Tamils who need help. They are not asking 50-50 or 50-30 or a elam. They just want to send their kids to good schools, just like you did.

    You fools will pay for those sins…soon.

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    In the 1970’ and 1980’s the Sri Lankan President J R Jayewardene established a good relationship with the United States of America, in order to develop Sri Lanka; however, during this period India was leaning towards Russia and felt threaten by the Sri Lankan government’s action. Therefore, India was a British colony and applied the same strategy as their Western Masters do when they are in trouble. India applied divide and conquer strategy as their Western Masters. The Indian Central Government created the Tamil Armed groups to keep Sri Lanka under its wings, and also to undermine the Tamils who are well established in India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Malaysia. The Indian Central Government always felt threaten by the Tamil Nadu, because the Tamil Nadu has been always different compare to the other states in India. The Tamil Nadu never approved Hindi as a mandatory second language, and the Congress and the BJP political parties do not have influence in Tamil Nadu either.
    The DMK president M. Karunanidhi always has been a proud Tamil, and wanted to have a separate country for the Tamils. However, the Indian Central Government was too smart for him; it created the Tamil armed groups in order to squeeze the Tamils’ aspiration, and stopped the Tamils going alone to have their own country. The Tamil Armed groups have taken the Tamils backward beyond any Tamil’s imagination. Knowingly or Unknowingly the Tamil Nadu politicians are faithful to the Indian Central Government than to the Sri Lankan Tamils. The Tamils Diaspora leaders are faithful to their Western Masters than to the Sri Lankan Tamils. The Westerners are developing the Western Countries using the Tamils. Therefore, I urge the Sri Lankan Tamil leaders to work with the Sri Lankan government to give better life to all Sri Lankans.
    “Strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered”. Once you have eliminated the Shepherd, then you can do whatever you want with the sheep, because the shepherd is not there to look after the sheep. This is what happening to the Tamils. India created the LTTE and eliminated the Tamils leaders, now India and the Westerners are using the Tamils to fulfil their interests. The Sri Lankan Tamils future is not looking good at all. The Tamils who have the knowledge can’t help the Tamils, because the Indians and the Westerners will never allow the smart Tamils to lead the Tamils. If they do, then they can’t use the Tamils to fulfil their own interests. I personally believe that the Tamils need a strong leadership before even think about political autonomy. I believe that the government wouldn’t give any autonomy to the Tamils while the Tamil leaders are under the grip of the Indians and the Westerners who have encouraged and supported the bloody war for thirty years.

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    Hi Thanga, I am in Scarborough. Whatever it is, you have given an interesting analysis. I may be read your article about 1/4. I have a quick question for you how about Muslim population expansion don’t you think its a threat? You are worried about only in “Sinhalese”
    Thanga I believed long ago during JR pundit’s time, that Prabakaran should have been dealt with weapons that only language he understood don’t you?
    Like wise I believe that North and east should be marginalized with a balanced population so that no body can claim that this is ours or this is yours but srilanka is ours. If you interested keep a chat I like you. my email jaya25@gmail.com. Live you long Thanga. Dinesh

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      Dinu

      ” have a quick question for you how about Muslim population expansion don’t you think its a threat?”

      Your question amounts to a “public scrutiny of their private parts”. However you have an interesting contribution to this forum.

      You say:

      “Like wise I believe that North and east should be marginalized with a balanced population so that no body can claim that this is ours or this is yours but srilanka is ours.”

      Excellent idea I welcome the principle behind it not the practice.

      As part of South Asia and the island is populated by kallathonies from time immemorial, mostly from North and South of India, I suggest we bring more immigrants from Gujarat, Bihar, Assam, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Bhutan, Maldives, Burma,……..and marginalise the present population so that no body can claim that this is ours or this is yours but srilanka is ours, within South Asia.

      Its is a good idea to build a potpourri of people rather than accepting the domination of Tamils and monolithic Sinhalese.

      To this end please advise Sri Lankan state to:

      Amend its citizenship laws

      Amend their Land laws.

      Amend constitutional provision on language, accommodate all languages spoken by the new arrivals.

      Amend the constitution which give undue prominence to Buddha Sasana.

      Allocate sufficient funds for the relocation and rehabilitation of new arrivals.

      There are other things which we can discuss later.

      Very good idea how come I never thought of it?

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        Actually I agree with this. This is a good idea we should try this out

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      Dinu,

      If either the Sinhalese and/or Tamils are worried about the alleged Muslim population expansion, they should out breed them. Considering the Sinhalese are about 70 percent of the population, even if about 20 percent of this 70 percent out bred the Muslims, the Muslim numbers could be contained at the present 9 percent! This presumes the Sinhalese can afford to feed the extra mouths in their families at present cost of living levels. They should demand that the government bring down the COL drastically to permit the Sinhalese to prevent the Muslims taking over the Island!

      The Tamils also should take the opportunity to actively breed, provided the COL is brought down, to make up for the numbers who have migrated and have died!

      I am reminded of the slogan of the peaceniks of the 1960s , ” Make love not war”.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

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        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        “I am reminded of the slogan of the peaceniks of the 1960s , ” Make love not war”.”

        I am glad you mention this slogan. I am a great believer you need to make love for peace.

        There is a huge difference between making love and having sex. Making love is the holistic approach to human relation on the other hand having sex is mere physical exercise.

        The stupid Sinhalese and stupid Tamils do not know the difference between the two. They prefer the latter.

        No wonder Lankans are in the ivy leak in sex abuse and offence.

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    If reader Antony Peter is convinced only India divided us because JRJ took a pro-US attitude during 1970-80, this may not necessarily be an accurate reading of our imposed fate. We managed to divide ourselves rather ruinously from the late 1950s with the Sinhala Only virus, that exploded into enormous political power in 1956. Instead of being magnanimous in victory SWRDs power-drunk crowd took a patently anti-racial and anti-religious line. Result – the once racially-religiously tranquil and plural Pearl of the Indian Ocean collapsed under its own weight of narrow prejudice – only because man was vile. If what we saw in the last 6 years is an indication of things to come the semi-literate Rajapakses will take us all, Sinhalese included, to the depths of hell. We are already in its doorstep.

    Here’s what a respected senior ex-bureaucrat, academic-thinker and social activist Dr Devanesan Nesiah noted recently “ethnic animosity is worse than what it has been in the last half century..no credible attempt has been made in recent years to promote reconciliation..If the President gives a lead, it seems unlikely there will be any effective opposition to Tamil language rights being established – nor to the promotion of ethnic reconciliation” That, Sir, is the considered view of a former Chairman of the respected
    think-tank MARGA. You will note simultaneously a notorious rogue monk is busy massaging the ego of pseudo-Buddhist hordes with an Addendum to the historic Mahawamsa. The question is who is destroying the country?

    Senguttuvan

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    FOR ALL THE SUFFERINGS AND LOSSES TAMILS HAVE UNDERGONE TAMIL POLITICIANS ARE RESPONSIBLE, THEY ARE THE PEOPLE WHO SET THE TAMILS AGAINST SINHALESE BY CONSTANTLY BRAINWASHING YOUNG TAMIL MINDS AGAINST SINHALESE. PRABHAKARAN IS A BY PRODUCT OF CHELVANAYAKAM’S ANTI SINGHALA CAMPAIGN.IT IS VERY SIMPLE TO DESTROY A FOREST BY SETTING FIRE TO IT BUT GROWING A BEAUTIFUL FOREST NEEDS LOT OF TIME AND EFFORT.AT LEAST NOW TAMIL POLITICIANS SHOULD STOP MISLEADIND YOUNG TAMILS.REALITY IS TAMILS SHOULD ACHIEVE PROGRESS IN ALL SPHERES TOGETHER AND ALONG WITH SINGHALESE IN HARMONY.

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      GUNADASA

      Please tell us how exactly did Tamil Politicians brainwash Tamils?

      Did CHELVANAYAKAM

      Set Fire to your beautiful forest?
      kill Muslims in 1915?
      make nearly a million Tamils stateless?
      organise riots in 1956, 58, 61, 77, 83,..against Sinhala people?
      pass the Sinhala only act?
      shoot and kill SWRD Banda?
      participate in the 1971 JVP terrorism which killed 18,000 innocent Sinhala youth?
      draft the 1972 & 1978 constitution?
      organise 1987 to 1991 JVP terrorism which killed 130,000 innocent Sinhalese?
      Did he invite IPKF to kill, rape and torture innocent Tamil
      contribute to corruption and impunity culture?

      I have another million and one question for you.

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    I was not going to comment here but just could not keep away reading illogical lies by frustrated people.

    Starting from the 3rd century BCE, Buddhist monks of the Mahavihara maintained chronicles of Sri Lankan history. In his Mahawamsa, Mahathera Mahanama covered Sri Lanka history from 543 BCE to 361. Chulawamsa covered it from the 4th century to 1815. No one deny each chapter ends with writing “serene joy of the pious” for kings were the patrons of Mahavihara.

    However, I must insist that if not for Mahawamsa neither Vedda would ever have heard of Kuweni or her legendary story nor Thanga or J.L. Devananda or any other Tamil would have heard of Elara or Ellalan and his fight with Dutu Gamunu for them to criticize it today.

    I remember Bandu Silva has appropriately countered J.L.Devananda’s ‘Mahawamsa mindset’ in the same DBSJ’s blog that Thanga refers. Bandu Silva says, Mahavamsa has been invaluable for historians to synchronize dates of Maurya emperor Asoka, the Seleucids and Alexander the Great and contemporary royal dynasties in the Indian subcontinent. In addition, excavations in Sanchi and other locations in India confirm the Mahavamsa account of the Empire of Asoka. So says various other scholars for trueness of Mahawamsa.

    For obvious reasons Tamils could not produce a chronicle like Mahawamsa. When Vellahlas brought by first Dutch and then British to grow their tobacco became English educated and prominent under British Raj and aimed to rule the country they carried this chip on their shoulders. Though Tamils aspired leadership to new Ceylonese nation, they realized Tamils lack historical connection to Ceylon.

    G. G. Ponnambalam was perhaps the first to attack Mahawamsa ever. After one-man one vote was offered in 1930s, he and his pears realized their aim for minority rule is over. He wanted to anchor a historical fix for Tamils in Ceylon. He said most of the Sinhala kings, including Vijaya, Kasyapa, and Parakramabahu mentioned there were Tamils. He also said Sinhalas were “a race of hybrids” and an offshoot of the Tamils (Russell, p. 154). As for me, I just cannot understand the mentality of the man. Anyway, first ever race riot was had been the outcome. So, Thanga, predicament you are in today are makings of your own leaders.

    Just a few years back, Madalakapuwa ex MP Ariyanandan said that Ravana was a Tamil and Tamils has a 5000-year history in Lanka. But neither he nor Thanga nor J.L Devananda ever explained reasons for lack of Tamil monuments and rock edits to prove their point of view. They never explained why a Tamil has written no chronicle like Mahawamsa even though Tamils even claim genius Buddhaghosa was a Tamil.

    Now Thanga says; Dutu Gamunu was a Naga and “The ‘Sinhalese’ collective consciousness did not emerge till the 8th century AD.” However, Oxford scholar and monk Nanmoli says in the introduction to his English translation of ‘Vissuddhimagga’ that its writer Bhaddantacariya Buddhaghosa arrived in Lanka during reign of King Mahanama (412-434) to study large volume of Sinhala commentary of tripitaka and synthesize in to a single commentary composed in the Pali language. How could such complicated commentaries were written in Sinhala had ‘‘Sinhalese’ collective consciousness did not emerge till the 8th century’?

    Thanga, whether you believed it or not, I am sure, you have read the history of Padukabhaya. You can watch the story as a film here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwcJFRcGiW8 Devananda and you can believe Sinhalas are just six generations old. Whet her Sinhalas were there at the time by name or not, we seriously believe Mahawamsa Attakatha started at that time and ‘Mahawamsa mindset’ started to ingrain in our ancestors mind for us gradually to evolve as Sinhalas. That is what matters to us. You can agitate yourself but cannot change it. Besides, reading history is back in the school curriculum once again. So ‘Mahawamsa mindset’ will remain with us.

    Devananda says “British who re-discovered the Mahavamsa in the early 20th century and their so called European ‘Pali Scholars’ misinterpreted it thereby creating another myth known as Arya-Sinhala.” If Devananda was right, no monk would have known Pail at that time to understand Mahawamsa and Brits thought monks Pali. Yet, we all know that Pirivenas were learning centres at the time and Migettuwatte Gunananda Thera born in 1823 gained proficiency in Buddhism and oriental languages the learned the Bible and Christian doctrine and engaged in famous public debate with Rev. D.J. Gogerly of the Wesleyan mission published Christian Pragnapthi in 1849 known as Panadura wadaya.

    Truth is in 1826, an Englishman named George Turnour went all the way to a temple that is said to have founded one hundred and fifty years before the birth of Christ in Mulgirigala to find Mahawamsa and translate it to English and later to few other languages as well.
    Leela

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      Leela

      Mahawansa Mahanama also wrote about Vijaya clan and their social practices as one of bestiality, parricide and incestuous relation between siblings of opposite sex. He extended his perverted history of Mahawamsa to Kuveini’s children. Her son and daughter were depicted as having incestuous relation because Mahanama made sure both were married to each other in the jungle.

      Was Mahanama Thero a pervert? It appears the Sinhala/Buddhist monks who follow his foot steps are perverts too?

      Have you actually read Mahawamsa and enjoyed it?

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        Mr Vedda,
        To be honest, I haven’t read Mahawamsa from A to Z, but I have a hard copy of a Sinhala translation and read enough of it to learn the essence of our history.

        In my opinion, other than the types of J L Devananda and Thanga, no other reads Mahawamsa to learn Buddhism. There is no Buddhism called Sinhala Buddhism. That was a imagine by types of Devananda to realize their ulterior motives. There are enough Sinhala books written by learned Sinhala monks and layman for Sinhalas to learn Buddha Dhamma.

        Needless to say, when reading the parts of ‘incestuous relationship’ you have mentioned, voluptuous and perverted thoughts or joys hadn’t come to my mind because my aim was to acquire historical knowledge. If you would please quote those perverted pages and paras for me to read and visualize thoughts of Mahathera Mahanama and monks of today, I shall go through them again.

        I must tell you though, I have read A to Z of the Bibles and the Koran. If you like, I can tell you the verses and explain to you how the Load had blessed Abraham and his sister (wife) in detail.
        Leela

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          Leela

          Oh you read Sinhala “version” of the Mahawamsa? Good why is it different from Geiger’s translation?

          I believe Mahawamsa is a book written by a pervert for perverts for their perverted sexual gratification at least in part.

          You say:

          “There is no Buddhism called Sinhala Buddhism.”

          I hate to agree with you however Sinhala/Buddhists believe, act and destroy Buddhism by being Sinhala/Buddist. Who are these Sinhala/Buddhists?

          I am sorry Leela I misunderstood you being an expert on Mhawamsa.

          The Bible and the Koran did not justify the destruction of my people and land grabbing.

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            Mr. Vedda,
            I see you imagine things and keep posing question after question for everyone, but do not answer a single question for them.

            How do you (Vedda) know your history and that of Tamils and Sinhalas?

            If you think Sinhala copy of Mahawamsa is different in essence to Geiger’s translation I see no point arguing with you. Isn’t it silly for you to think I am an expert of Mahawamsa when I have said I am not even a historian.

            Do you know at least how many Veddas are there today for you to persistently and stupidly demand Tamils and Sinhalas leave Lanka.
            Leela

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              Leela

              “If you think Sinhala copy of Mahawamsa is different in essence to Geiger’s translation I see no point arguing with you.”

              Its true no point in arguing. So why are we arguing in the first place. Recently a Sinhala Buddhist policeman published a book and he concluded that LTTE set the fire to the library. This is the kind of revisionist history Sinhalese love to write and read. Therefore I am bit skeptical about anything Sinhalese or for that matter Tamil.

              “How do you (Vedda) know your history and that of Tamils and Sinhalas?”

              Its not about Vedda knowing their own history, its about intellectual honesty about the writer. Sinhala/Buddhists and intellectual honesty don’t mix. Even the recent Vedda history is being blacked out from main stream media. Please do some research before you question Veddas.

              “I see you imagine things”

              Of course I do imagine things as I am not brain dead yet. If I am not I should see a Vedda doctors.

              “Do you know at least how many Veddas are there today for you to persistently and stupidly demand Tamils and Sinhalas leave Lanka.”

              I am not stupid but bit thick that should not stop me from demanding my ancestral land back. Would you allow an alien to occupy your property. Surely you will demand he/she vacated the property.

              You haven’t told me or given me a reason as to why you should be allow to live in my ancestral land, which was grabbed by deception, overwhelming violence, and justified by Mahawamsa.

              Vedda’s population does not determine the ownership of island. I am only demanding what is rightfully ours.

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              Mr Vedda,
              I can now see that you start accusing as others for lack of intellectual honesty for you to dodge questions that you yourself have enlivened. Otherwise, what does intellect or intellectual honesty have to do with simple questions?

              My Question were about history and answers should have been straightforward and historical. May be I was just naive to have faith in you to pose you such questions. You carry on ranting about your ridiculous and absurd demand that none takes notice of from where ever you live.

              Wish you a nice ego trip.
              Leela

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      Leela,

      I welcome back the real Leela.

      The USA is not what it was when the Red Indians (now Native Americans) rode their horses dressed in their feathers and skins, and the buffaloes ( bison) roamed the plains. Whether the small pox infested blankets distributed to the natives killed off millions of them, is anecdotal now. Europe is not what it was during Greek or Roman ascendency and India is not what it was during Asoka’s time. This is true of all countries. Why should this country be mired in a history of which we know very little, but continue to make a mountain out of a mole hill? The Mahavamsa is a valuable document that gives us a glympse into a distant past. It is also a document that reveals the author’s scholarship, attitudes, beliefs and biases. It is however not the blueprint for our future. Sinhalese and Tamils can debate the Mahavamsa till kingdom come, but it will not help us chart our future. Such debates can only obstruct our path to progress.

      Is it not time to envision a future based on current realities? Let us write on what our future as a nation should be and how we can accommodate our communal diversity within an overarching Sri Lankan identity. The debate should be centred on the vision each one of us can expound. The likes of Leela, Devananda, Thangavelu, Sumanasekara, Ratnajeevan Hoole, Rajan Philips, Senguttuwan, should move the discussion and debate in this positive direction. I come scholars of the calibre of Gananath Obeysekera will join the discussion.

      We are falling back into old habits, so soon after the war. This does not bode well for this country. Please help set this country back on a rational and hence enlightened track.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        Dr. Rajasingham Narendran,

        If Tamils want to control North, then they better admit Sinhala people to those areas. As long as it remains exclusively Tamil territory, Sinhalese will hold on to North as tightly as they could. You cannot blame them. There are sizable Tamil populations in the South. When British created plantations they introduced Indian Tamils to areas where Sinhalese were living. Indian Tamils are not going back and I’m not asking that they do. If Tamils are living in large numbers in the South, why not Sinhalese in the North. Why is this absurd rage the moment a Sinhala village is created in the North? I don’t blame MR for not holding elections in the North or stationing the military there given the way TNA and others are acting. I also support very much his policy of settling Sinhalese in the North come hell or high water. There is no need to alter Tamil heritage, evict Tamils from their lands, change place names to Sinhala or make Tamils a minority in the North. What is needed is to introduce a substantial Sinhala presence.

        All these chaps from Thangavelu to J.L.Devananda and others are talking about projections of history at best and rewriting it at worst to justify total Tamil control of North and East. When considering that Sinhalese are the numerical majority in the country, that they are Buddhists, have an advanced language, literature, arts and crafts, it cannot be that they have NO relation what so ever to people who built up the majestic civilizations of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa and practiced Buddhism as claimed by Devananda and repeated here by Thangavelu. A & P civilizations were not confined to present day provincial boundaries of North Central province. Throughout history kingdoms have come and gone and their boundaries have shifted back and forth so there is absolutely no point in trying to establish that no Sinhalese lived in so and so areas of the country. Yes, Sinhalese or their ancestors, call them Nagas or Yakksha or any other beast you like, may have not lived in some parts of the country during certain periods of time but that doesn’t mean they didn’t live in adjacent parts of the country or Tamils had exclusive control over parts where they lived. I’m not denying Tamil presence in the country throughout and beyond known history; just asserting right of Sinhalese to live in the North/East. Whether Tamils lived side by side with ancestors of Sinhalese, or whether they are the descendants of migrants from South India at different times or whether they are the same Nagas who took to Hinduism is irrelevant to me. What matters to me is just because I’m a Buddhists and speak Sinhala today, Tamils or anyone else should not be allowed to keep me and other 15 million or so like me off North/East of this country.

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          Yea Dogtor you are right Tamils are living in the South. Did they create a Tamil village. Similarly Sinhalease too have been living and can be living in the north. But when they get sick they may need your services dogtor.

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          Navin,
          I am an advocate of the proposition that Sri Lanka belongs to everyone. I have no objections to the Sinhalese coming to live in the north. This implies some prerequisites:

          1. The Tamils are guranteed the safety and security of both person and property all over Sri Lanka. They should not feel anymore that they need safe haven/enclaves ( a myth after the LTTE interlude)

          2. There is no deliberate attempt by the state or other organizations to undermine / destroy the Tamil characteristics of the north and east, and the historical place of the Tamils in the island.

          3. The movement of the Sinhalese to the north is a voluntary process and is not state or organization sponsored. Clear policies must be laid down in relation to government sponsored colonization schemes, in order not to change the demographic patterns in an area in favour of the Sinhalese. This should not be interpretted that the Sinhalese are unwelcome as colonists.

          4. Tamils fears, in view of past history is understood and tangibly assuaged. Tamils should be convinced that they are equal and valued citizens in Sri Lanka. Tamils should be factored in as important players in the governance of this country

          Many Sinhalese are moving into the urban centres in the north in search of opportunities. Some are even bringing their families over. In fact many Tamils are now seeking Sinhala workers from the south to work in the construction industry. Many Sinhalese are seeking investment opportunities in the north. In the Jaffna peninsula there is a dire dirth of skilled and disciplined workers. This vacuum is attracting workers from the south, the hill-country and the east. Many Tamil shop keepers in Jaffna are learning to speak Sinhala. The Sinhalese working in Jaffna are also learning to speak Tamil. Mutual needs are fertilizing this phenomenon. I welcome this, as it is natural development. This phenomenon is bound to expand, with the tendency for many young Tamils to seek pastures abroad by hook or by crook.

          Not withstanding political grandstanding, the people are beginning to get closer. This is quite discernible.

          Tamils should be trusted and the Sinhalese should become trustable and vice versa, if we are to come out of the communal cauldron kept on the boil by politicians and some political activists, on both sides of the communal divide.

          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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            Dr. RN,

            I agree with what you have highlighted except (3).
            In (4), you say that Tamils should be factored as important players in governance of the country.
            What I ask is that conditions should be created that Sinhalese will play a similar role in the governance of North/East provinces. Since there is little Sinhala presence at the moment in the North/East, some changes will have to be made to the demography through government sponsored colonization schemes.
            While you have said many Sinhalese are moving by themselves, I do not believe that such movement will be sufficient particularly, within a short time span
            to create a significant Sinhala presence in the North. Besides, intimidation by Tamil political groups can easily stifle such tendencies. This is the assurance to the Sinhalese that any power devolution will not result in separation and their rights to N/E of the country will be protected. Modalities of such colonization can be worked out between government and Tamil politicians. Reconciliation must go both ways. However, it seems Thangavelu and ISS likes will accept no such deal!

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              Navin

              “I do not believe that such movement will be sufficient particularly, within a short time span.

              Your Sinhala/Buddhists can swap land with your Tamil brethren in the North East. If you really want a level playing field for the Tamils please import more guest workers from Tamilnadu.

              There is an alternative, you could swap land with Tamils if you go back to Bengal or Bihar. Tamilnadu Tamils may not mind Sinhala Bengalis living among them.

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              Navin,

              Thanks. The Sinhalese are almost one third of the population in the east and they are playing a significant political role. As to the north, Sinhala numbers should not be increased by state intervention or by deliberate design. This will be counterproductive. The economic development of the north and the demand for skills and personnel should be primary forces that should drive Sinhala migration to the north. The Sinhalese will then be a much sought after people in the north. This will be win win situation for both communities. This may also reduce the Tamil presence in the South, as many Tamils will also return to live there.

              Unless you trust the Tamils they will not trust you. If devolution is the answer to share power, evolve mechanism to forestall any separatist tendencies. India has done so quite effectively. Further, permanent armed forces bases that are being set up all over the north as in the other provinces, would help control any attempts at separation in the bud.

              The other option is to create mechanisms to effectively share power at the centre with the minorities. This would eliminate any chance of separatism using its ugly head.

              Most importantly , if the minorities are made to not only feel , but experience equal rights in every way and are provided equal opportunities, they will not even dream of separation. There will be nothing to forestall in that scenario.

              Solutions are simple and easy to find, if we set our minds to it.

              Dr. Rajasingham. Narendran.

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        Dr. Rajasingham Narendran,
        I must have burned a fair bit of calories walking the length and breath of my rubber and coconut land and wading across my paddy fields today while thinking about your proposition. I even slept thinking about it on it last night. But I just couldn’t think a starting point to start a dialogue with the people you have in mind for they have their aspirations and goal set well ahead.

        Reading your comments for several years however, I knew you are a Tamil nationalist just like them but unlike them, you are a realist. So long as one is not a racist, I see nothing wrong being a nationalist. Racists think they are superior to others. We do not. If most Tamils leaders were realists like you, ordinary Tamils would not be in the mess they are in today. But the problem for you as Hela says here is, you are just a one sparrow and one sparrow does not make a summer. We have seen contentious views of Diaspora Tamils when hordes of them have confronted you on various blogs, and even damned you for upholding conciliatory gestures towards the government and opposed project Eelam.

        On the other hand, reading what Devananda, Thangavelu and Ratnajeevan have been writing, I doubt they can get in to your boat ever. “It is clear to me that some form of separation is the only answer,” and “We need our own territories where we can decide our matters by ourselves. Such territorial division is good for all of us, be it through federalism or outright separation.” Those are Hooles words he advised Canadians for Peace in Toronto, on August 17, 2008. As for ISS, at least one can start a dialogue. With others, one can only wave their flag.

        I may not have written it here every time that I have agreed with your comments but I must say, I tend to agree even with your criticism at times when I took it as constructive. As I said before you should have been in the TNA team and not Sumanthiran for it is realism and practicality that matters at discussions at this stage not law. With you their, I am sure we would have reached somewhere by now. But as it is they wanted the cake and eat it as well.

        It is important to stress about Sinhala psyche here to start a dialogue. I have not come across any Sinhalas in my village and elsewhere who berate Tamils or their culture. How could they, they all line up with Tamils together at Munneswaran, Katharagama etc in one line to offer pujas and seek blessings from same Gods through Tamil Pusaries.
        Leela

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          Leela,

          Thanks for your much pondered response. Most Tamils are ready to link hands with the Sinhalese , Muslims,and the Veddas, and march towards a reconciled and better governed Sri Lanka, provided there is a will from all sides, especially in the ruling or hoping to rule political establishments, to do so. The immediate actions required are:

          1. A presidential order permitting the singing of the approved Tamil version of the national anthem on all official occasions, will be grand gesture in this direction.

          2.Immediate presidential action to uncrown elected and non- elected men of choice dominating over the north, would be also welcome. The beaurocracy in the north should be permitted to function without this unnecessary , perverted, corrupt and undemocratic political interference. The more the president is seen hugging and holding hands with persons most Tamils abhor, the more he becomes delegitimised. This is also in terms of the whole country.

          3. The president should set forth in Lear terms his vision for a united Sri Lanka, where the minorities will have a legitimised role in governance.

          4. All Tamil village names recently Sinhalized to be restored and appoint a ntional commission to authorise such changes through consultation and on the basis of recorded historical facts.

          The president cannot be seen any longer to be running with the hare and hunting with the foxes. He has disappointed me and many who had hope for good sense to prevail in him, by the propensity to play the above mutually incompatible roles. He has perfected this propensity into a much reviled game. He is now neither hare nor fox and is hence floundering. Praying at famous places of worship will not absolve him of missing God-given opportunities to do what is right and vital for this country and all her people. The people- every single one of them- should be the Gods the president should be trying to please and lead in an exemplarary manner.

          Let the president lead an open crusade against chauvinism, bigotry and inter- and Intra communal hatred and pass a constitutional amendment to punish such offences with the maximum penalty possible.

          I hope you will lend your voice to make these simple requests a crusade.

          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    THERE ARE PLENTY OF JOBS IN THE FORCES OF SRI LANKA.

    WAITERS, GARDENERS, FARMERS, COOKS, CATERERS, ROAD BUILDERS, BRIDGE BUILDERS, HOTEL BUILDERS, TEACHERS, TOILET CLEANERS, ETC,ETC!!!!

    THIS IS THE ONLY EMPLOYMENT AVAILABLE IN THIS LAND LIKE NO OTHER.

    THE PRESIDENT WILL BE THE EMPLOYER.

    POPULATION WILL BE THE EMPLOYEES.

    GOD BLESS SRI LANKA, NAMO NAMO MATHA.

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      No it is
      Lie Lanka Matha

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    GOD CREATED ONLY ONE COUPLE FIRST IN THE NAME OF ADAM AND EVE THEIR OFFSPRINGS MADE HUMANITY OF TODAY THIS BELIEF IS SHARED BY JEWS CHRISTIANS AND MOSLEMS ALIKE WHAT HAS HAPPNED HERE WHAT ELSE IF NOT INCEST.YOU MUST ASK THOSE PEOPLE WHETHER THEY ENJOY READING THE OLD TESTAMENT BECAUSE BEGINING OF HUMAN RACE IS INCESTUOS. YOU CAN PARDON SINGHABAHU AND SINGHA SEEVALEE FOR THEIR BEHAVIOR BECAUSE THEY WERE HALF ANIMAL HALF HUMAN AND KUVENI,S CHILDREN MOTHERED BY A JUNGLE WOMAN WHEN YOU CONSIDER THE VERY LARGE INCIDENCE OF INCESTUOUS BEHAVIOR SPECIALY IN THE WESTERN WORLD AND IN ASIAN COUNTRIES TOO IN THIS VERY ENLIGHTENED TIMES.NO NEWS COMES FROM ARAB WORLD DUE TO IRON CURTAIN NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE ANY BETTER.SO MY TAMIL BROTHER THINK WHERE WE ALL ARE STANDING.

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      No according to Mahinder Chindanaya God created one family that is Rajapakse family. Then he created the white van and the rest.

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    Navin – I Believe J.L. Devananda is a Buddhist Sinhala Don with a record of long research in his chosen field of expertise. The last time I met him at the Tamil Sangam at Wellawatta, Colombo he was looking for sponsors for an important publication. Men of learning, like Galileo, holding on to their belief and research against
    tremendous odds is rare in today’s consumer-inclined material world.

    Senguttuvan

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    History has it DSS (1947) only PRESUMED, as it turned out erroneously, “Indian Tamils” here MAY vote against the UNP and for the Leftists and, therefore, de-franchised a million voting citizens. That single act was to contain the seeds of the division of the country later – to be exacerbated by the more destructive Sinhala Only misadventure of 1956. It looks like the Rajapakses fear, rightly or wrongly, things will go against them in Geneva and have, therefore, by omission or commission, caused the provocative and uncivilised attack on the home of the Indian Consul in Jaffna yesterday. They cannot feign innocence because this is said to have occurred during the day when the Police and Army are swarming all over Jaffna. Alarming.

    Senguttuvan

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    A question has been posed if the kings who ruled Anuradhapura were of Naga origin, from where did the Sinhalese came from heaven? The answer is Sinhalese race evolved by process of fusion between the indigenous Nagas, Yakkhas and Thamils and immigrants from Bengal and Orissa. The process is called Sinhalization. The landing of Vijaya with his 700 followers is a symbolic presentation of the migration of settlers from Bengal and Orissa to Sri Lanka. By a process of assimilation of the indigenous population a distinct Sinhala race evolved in course of time. With Buddhism becoming the dominant religion all those who followed Buddhism started identifying themselves as Sinhalese by the 8th century AD. Buddhist monks contributed to the evolvement of the language, including script which closely resembles Telugu language. It must be noted there is no reference to Sinhalese in the 6th century Mahavamsa. Only the word Sihala meaning lion appears twice in the Mahavamsa.
    From the 7th century there was a revival of the Saiva Bhakti cult in Thamil Nadu. This resulted in internecine clash between Thamil Buddhists and Thamil Saivaites. Eventually, the Saiva Bhakti cult triumphed over Buddhism and that forced many Thamil Buddhists to flee Thamil Nadu and take sanctuary in Ceylon. They eventually became Sinhalese.
    A concrete case of the assimilation of Catholic Thamils into Catholic Sinhalese took place during the occupation of North by the Portuguese and the Dutch.
    During Portuguese and Dutch occupation the boundaries of the Jaffna Kingdom and the Sinhalese Kingdoms remained more or less intact. To them the division is North and South. It is the British who in 1833 amalgamated the North and the South for administrative convenience.
    ‘TWO DIFFERENT NATIONS, from the very ancient period have divided the island, first the Sinhalese, with the SOUTHERN and WESTERN parts from the river Wallouve to that of CHILLAW and secondly the Malabars, (Thamils), in the NORTHERN and EASTERN districts which extend from the west coast of the island, from PUTTALAM to MANNAR in the west, southwards up to the limits of KUMANA or the river KUKBUKKAN OYA, that separated Batticaloa from the southern Sinhalese districts of Matara'(p,49-Sri Lanka, the Fractured Island-Mohan Ram).’

    In this connection it is interesting to read page 229 of CCB,Vol:III, containing a report by Roman Catholic Bishop C.Bonnand dated 20th July 1854 AD addressed to Pope Pius IX arising of the dispute that had arisen about the boundaries of the two Vicariates of North and South of Ceylon. This reads as follows,

    ‘… while the conversion of the inhabitants of the Vicariates of Jaffnapatnam is difficult because from the Mission of Chilaw as far as Jaffnapatnam the inhabitants are Thamils by race and Hindu by religion’.Hence it would be seen that the division of the country for Catholic administration was based ‘according to people and languages instead according to territory’.(CCB,p 168,VoLIII).

    The division was, The Sacred congregation may propose that Colombo be in one part, and Kandy and Negombo in the other, that is, drawing the line of division from Negombo in the West to Batticaloa in the East, both towns included in the Northern region. It would be seen according to the above report there were Thamil Catholics in Marawila, Bolawatte, Katuneriya, Ninamaddama and Sindatri in the year 1854′.(CCB,p236,Vol:111). This does not include the Thamil Hindus who were domiciled in the said area.

    ‘ A garden situated at Charlieparmundel in the district of Calpentyn belonging to the society of the Roman Catholic Missionaries and surveyed by me on the request of the Reverend Constancio Gomes.

    Bounded on the North by the garden and Wasti(waste) Ground of Nachemutto Motayen(Nachchimuththu Moothaiyan) and by the garden of Nayacadoo Police Vidane Manoel Pille, (Nayakattu police vithanai Manuel pIllai) on the South by the garden wasti ground and Paddi fulo of Sinnrambi Cangani Thinavepille (Sinnathamby Kangani Thinavelpillai). On the east by the lake and on the west the sand wasti ground. Containing 38 acres, 3 roods and 20 20/25 sq.perches.

    Surveyed 15 December 1829
    signed R. Vare Gruster, District Surveyor
    Surveyor Generals office, Colombo, 20th Jan:1830 (‘CCB,p267, Vol:iii).

    The above testifies to the fact that Thamils were domiciled in the said areas and that the instrument of the title-deeds of the estate of Charleparmundel is in Thamil and was read in 27 May 1854′.(CCB,pp 267 & 268, Vol:lll). There is also proof that properties in Chilaw, Mundel and further down south at Kalalgoda, north of Hendala, in the western province have there title-deeds written in Thamil by Thamil Notaries, which proves that the civil administration of these areas were by the Kings of Jaffnapattinam.

    This is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many such properties where the title-deeds have been written in Thamil which proves that these lands were ruled by the Thamils from ancient times. A diligent search of the Land Registry offices would unearth this fact much to the embarrassment to the Government in power. The above known facts justify the position that these were the lands of the Thamils and their homeland which have been subsequently colonised by governments on the west coast from time to time by foisting draconian laws and forced the Thamils to the Sinhala way of life. These Thamils now speak Sinhala and have adopted the customs, dress of the Sinhalese, but nothing has changed the fact that the title-deeds to their properties and those of the Sinhalese are in Thamil.
    The most famous or notorious case of transformation of Thamils into Sinhalese was carried out by Bishop Edmund Peiris . When the Chilaw Diocese was carved out of the Northern diocese a substantial concentration of Catholics along the Western seaboard were Thamil Bharathas or `Parathavar`.

    Peiris came out with the nomenclature `Thamil Speaking Sinhalese` in relation to the Bharatha community and projected the line that their medium of instruction should be Sinhala. So 48 Thamil medium schools and Thamil streams in schools became Sinhala overnight. It was cultural genocide. The grandchildren began speaking Sinhala while the grandparents spoke Thamil. The parents were caught in between. Former Arch Bishop Nicholas Marcus Fernando`s mother from Mundal was LITERATE IN Thamil ONLY. The son used to correspond in Thamil with the mother.

    The transformation of Bharatha identity from Sinhala to Thamil through education is a phenomenal example of a majority assimilating a minority. Mercifully the Bharathas of Vankalai and Pesalai coming under the Northern diocese were free of this `Sinhalaisation` and REMAIN FIERCELY PROUD ThamilS. The tragic aspect of this identity conversion was the silent acceptance of this perversion of justice by Thamil Catholics in the name of religion.
    When I was attached to the Municipal Council of Dehiwela – Mt.Lavania in the late seventties as Chief Acountant a resident gentleman came to see for a favour. He wanted extention of time to pay his electicity bill. He gave me the bill and I was astounded to read his name Veerapuli written on it. That was the time there were heightened tensions between the Thamils and the Sinhalese and Inspector Bastiampillai has just been killed in an ambush in Murunkan by the Tigers. I asked him whether he understood the meaning of his name. He answered yes and went on to say they were a small community of goldsmiths who came from Thamil Nadu and settled down in the South, but eventually became Sinhalese Buddhists. So this is how the Sinhalese became the majority community in Ceylon. Prof. C. Sundaralingam once told me that 75% of Sinhalese were one time Thamils.

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      Thangavelu,
      L
      The ‘ Adangaathamilan ( the untamable) Suntharalingam’ s daughter donated the large extent of land on the A9 in Vavuniya inherited from him to the Sri Lankan armed forces! Part of this land is now the Vavuniya airbase. The rhetoric, emotive words and a visionless approach from visionless men have led us to where we are now. The people of Vavuniya were wise to vote him out. If he had divided the land and distributed it among the poor people in the area ,instead of bequething it to his daughter, they would have prospered and we would have less cause to complain of highly visible militarisation. Similarly, there are yet vast extents of valuable land owned by the ‘ Pancha ( five) ‘Lingham’ brothers that now lie unclaimed in Mullaitivu. Can you explain how this family came to possess these lands? Most of these are army occupied now! Dog in the Manger attitudes and misuse of power by Tamil politicians, who were big on words and small minded in actions, have led the Tamils to where they are now. Men whose rhetoric had no effect even on their immediate progeny and property acquisitions methods questionable, should not be taken seriously and used to bolster your arguments. Further, the fact that many Sinhalese in Jaffna became Tamils over time and there were a sizeable number of Sinhalese resident in the peninsula- Thenmaraatchchi in particular- has been ignored in your one sided narrative on Tamil history.

      Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran was/is the cheer leader of the Sinhala chauvinistic establishment during the war. He used his vitrolic pen to demonize the LTTE. He is one of those optimist who thought manna will fall once the LTTE is defeated and the war comes to end. Today the Thamil people are reeling under the jackboot of an exclusive army which has grabbed ancestral lands of the Thamil. Mahinda Hathurusinghe like the colonial governors demands honours at temple festivals, college sport events, College prize givings etc. The only exception is funeral homes. Rajasingham says “If Tamils want to control North, then they better admit Sinhala people to those areas. As long as it remains exclusively Tamil territory, Sinhalese will hold on to North as tightly as they could. You cannot blame them. There are sizable Tamil populations in the South. When British created plantations they introduced Indian Tamils to areas where Sinhalese were living. Indian Tamils are not going back and I’m not asking that they do. If Tamils are living in large numbers in the South, why not Sinhalese in the North. Why is this absurd rage the moment a Sinhala village is created in the North?.” This is a childish question. Nobody is against Sinhalese migrating to the North or East. What we are opposed is the deliberate and planned state aided Sinhala colonization of traditional Thamil homeland to alter the demography drastically as is the case in the eastern provinces. At Kaithday the government is building over 150 stone houses to Sinhalese from the South where as Thamil IDPs are languishing in tarpaulin huts in the jungles of Vanni. The Thamils living in the south do so without state sponsoring them. Anyway there are no Thamils from Mount Lavania Colombo to Matara. The few Thamil businessmen domiciled in those towns have been driven out during the racial riots.

    He also says “I don’t blame MR for not holding elections in the North or stationing the military there given the way TNA and others are acting. I also support very much his policy of settling Sinhalese in the North come hell or high water. There is no need to alter Tamil heritage, evict Tamils from their lands, change place names to Sinhala or make Tamils a minority in the North. What is needed is to introduce a substantial Sinhala presence” which shows his true colours. A Thamil Quisling serving his new found masters. He is the only Thamil as far I know who supports the policy of settlement of Sinhalese in the North come hell or high water. I am least surprised knowing his track record of licking the boots of the Sinhalese rulers.

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      Thangavelu says:

      “He used his vitrolic pen to demonize the LTTE.”

      I am sorry LTTE didn’t need others to demonise itself. It did splendidly well in the 25 years of its own atrocities.

      You say:

      “Today the Thamil people are reeling under the jackboot of an exclusive army which has grabbed ancestral lands of the Thamil.”

      Its true, however Thamils also were reeling under crouching tigers paw.

      My people have almost lost every square inch of their island to Kallathoni Sinhalese and Tamils.

      It is neither Tamil nor Sinhala land. It is my ancestral land. Both people will be better off if they went back to their mother land India and I prefer them fighting their unfinished war in Tamilnadu or Bhiar.

      When you go please take your Sinhala brethren with you.

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      The comment you attribute to Dr. RN, was written by me.

      —-

      Nobody is against Sinhalese migrating to the North or East. What we are opposed is the deliberate and planned state aided Sinhala colonization of traditional Thamil homeland to alter the demography drastically as is the case in the eastern provinces.

      —-

      You can stop repeating the Mantra that you are not against Sinhalese settling in Tamil homeland by **themselves**. There are no takers for that here in SL; may be in Geneva.

      Given the rancor directed at them by Tamil politicians, Sinhalese by themselves will not move to North/East or move before Tamils make arrangements to permanently stop it. You know this very well and that is exactly why you are so bold in inviting Sinhalese but vehemently oppose government sponsored colonization.

      Its is their right, not a privilege, to settle wherever they want in the country and that includes so called Tamil homeland. So they don’t need an invitation or welcome letter from anyone.

      Since things will not change by themselves, there needs to be state sponsored scheme to settle Sinhala people in North/East. We are not asking that Tamils be reduced to a minority in the North or its culture and heritage be altered in anyway. Just that things be changed from present status quo, so that Sinhala people will also play an important role in the economy and politics of those provinces BEFORE Tamils start running that part of the country.

      If Tamils can settle in large numbers in other parts of the country, if Tamils can be invited to settle in places where Sinhala dominate, better learn to put up with it when others settle in areas where Tamils predominate and that results in change of demography. Whether Tamils move by themselves or are settled by a foreign power what difference does that make? Its the number of people that are left in the new area that matters in the long run. There could be and should be safe guards as Dr. RN has suggested so that settling Sinhalese in the North/East do not affect the day to day lives of the Tamils who are already there.

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        Navin,

        Please pass this UN guidelines to would be land grabbers once you have studied and understood the content. Those who respect land rights and believe in principles need not to read.

        RESPECTING LAND AND RESOURCE RIGHTS

        UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES

        The guidelines will be based on seven broad principles, developed by the World Bank and U.N. bodies ¿ the FAO, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

        (The principles were laid out in a January 2010 publication by the four bodies and are summarised below.

        Governments and investors must:

        1. Respect existing rights to land

        This applies to both use and ownership rights, whether statutory or customary, primary or secondary, formal or informal, group or individual.

        “There are few areas truly ‘unoccupied’ or ‘unclaimed’,” the publication says. “Frequently land classified as such is in fact subject to long-standing rights of use, access and management based on custom.”

        Ways to ensure all rights to land are respected include paying the holders of the rights fairly and promptly, and allowing any disputes to be resolved via independent channels.

        Particular attention should be paid to lands abandoned by their owners or users due to conflict or a natural disaster and which may be reclaimed later, and to the land rights of often-neglected herders, women and indigenous groups.

        2. Ensure investments prevent hunger

        If a land lease or acquisition threatens the supply of food for those who lived off the land previously, policy-makers must provide them with job opportunities outside farming.

        Also, “attention should be given to improving the people¿s ability to purchase food by … generating downstream employment in packing sheds, processing operations, or ancillary services such as handling, transport or marketing”, the paper says.

        Another way to prevent a land lease contributing to a food crisis in the host country is to write provisions into investment agreements that prevent the export of large amounts of food from that country under specific market conditions.

        3. Make processes for investing in land transparent, and work on improving business, legal and regulatory conditions

        Lack of transparency creates distrust, leads to allegations of corruption and fuels conflicts, the publication says.

        Its recommendations include making all relevant information – such as requests for land, key features of prospective investments and potential tax revenues – publicly available, and regularly auditing institutions that handle the selection and transfer of land to investors.

        As examples of good practice, the paper cites websites in Cambodia and Sudan that provide information on investors¿ requests for land and the digitising of land records in India which has reduced corruption and increased the number of deals.

        Many land investors say they are reluctant to put money into countries with constricting business rules and biased or weak enforcement of policies. Dialogue between investors, governments and other affected people can help improve the investment environment.

        4. Consult all those materially affected, and record and enforce the resulting agreements

        If the people affected by a land deal are not consulted, they are likely to become worse-off.

        They could, for instance, lose their rights to a plot of land without due compensation, see their surrounding environment deteriorate, lose access to a culturally important area or miss out on possible profits from the land – all of which can lead to conflict, the paper says. They should be given the opportunity to turn down land investors.

        5. Ensure projects respect the rule of law and industry best practice, and are economically viable

        Investors should “strive not only to increase shareholder value but also to generate significant and tangible benefits for the project area, affected communities and host country”.

        6. Work to generate positive and fairly distributed social effects

        Neither governments nor investors tend to focus on the social effects of investments in land. Yet even economically viable projects can have negative social consequences by forcing people to relocate without due compensation, for example, or if local elites capture all the economic benefits.

        Governments and investors should collaborate to make sure their land deals produce social benefits such as improvements in infrastructure, transfers of technology and expertise, and job creation.

        The publication cites the Sichuan Urban Development Project as an example of how to compensate fairly people who are asked to leave their farmland.

        The farmers were consulted before the project started, and as a result, the government committed to provide them for life with the same amount of income they used to derive from their land and gave them access to training courses to help them find new jobs.

        7. Analyse and minimise negative environmental impacts

        Investors have little incentive to take into account their projects’ impacts on natural resources and the environment outside the immediate project area or beyond its lifespan. Regulators – local, national or global – should therefore ensure investors prevent negative environmental effects, such as reduced access to water for local people or worse soil quality.

        The paper recommends conducting an independent analysis of possible environmental impacts of a land project before it is approved; reclaiming or increasing productivity of areas already used rather than clearing new land; choosing a production system that uses natural resources most efficiently; and monitoring the project’s effects during its implementation.)

        Extended version can be found on FAO, IFAD, UNCTAD and the World Bank websites.

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        Navin,

        Thanks for pointing out the malicious misquote. There has been no apology forthcoming subsequent to you pointing out the error. Hence my assumption that it is malicious. Senguttuwan of course derives much pleasure from the misquote and alludes to plagiarism of some sort. I cannot make sense of hid remark.

        I of course am opposed to holding the northern PC elections any time soon. My reasons have been clearly stated else where. I may be undermining the unholy Tamil cause many are trying to promote rather stridently and stealthily in recent times, as Senguttuwan alleges in a convoluted manner. I am definitely crusading against the camouflaged schemes of the TGTE, GTF , BTF and their supporters, to establish a Tamil Eelam, hook or by crook, even at the expense of the war devastated Tamils.

        Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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      Thangavelu,

      Which chauvinist establishment are you carrying the flag for from far away Canada ? ” Today the Tamils are reeling under the jack boot of the army ” ? I do not not know whether to call this a hyperbole, fairy tale , a horror story or fiction! It is this type of emotive rhetoric that has led the Tamils to the lowest ebb in their history. The Tamils are beginning to sleep well after a very long time and taking the first steps towards regaining their basic right to be humans. This truth cannot be denied and is visible to see for any one who is ready to see it. Your calling me names or defining my motives , bother me least nor do they change facts. If my vitriolic writing helped destroy the LTTE in even a small way, I am glad I was destined to play that role.

      Political opinions should never remain frozen. They should respond to circumstances, events, expectations, trends and results. Tactics tshould evolve in response to results. There is a time to co-operate, argue, debate or fight. However, these should be always anchored in truth and facts. Responses based on unruth and exaggerations will never lead to solutions. Ossified opinions and expectations frozen in the past, will not take people any where. Decisions about the future must be based on recognition of current facts. There are events that unfold in a nation that need to be supported and there are others that need to be opposed. This is what democracy is about. Unless a people are ready to adapt , change and learn lessons for the future from the past and a repetitive history of responses that had dragged them to what could be defined only as hell, they will have no hope.

      Living in a dreamworld will only deliver us cuckoland. False illusions can only end in the explosion of delusions such as that exploded in our face at Nanthikadal.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

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        Mr.Thangavelu,

        Please read the following link and the quote from the concluding remarks:

        http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/7883

        “Need to rethink & reframe the NQ
        The Tamil diaspora is continuing to play a role. However, I believe the dominant actors in the diaspora need to rethink their political stand and strategy in the light of the political realities back home. One key question is how to strengthen the negotiating position of the party chosen as their representative by the majority of the Tamil people in the NE. It is also important to understand that the NQ is bigger than the question of the rights of the Tamil and Muslim peoples in the NE.
        It encompasses the rights of the upcountry Tamils, and Tamils and Muslims living in the South. It is important to reach out to all these groups which have their grievances as Tamil speaking communities. It is equally important to connect directly to the Sinhalese people and make them aware of the divisive and iniquitous consequences and the undemocratic character of ethno-majoritarianism and of the common cause all peoples of Lanka have in the struggle for democracy and human well-being.
        My reading of the realities back home tells me that there is an urgent need to rethink and explore how the NQ can be reframed with a view to mobilise a broader democratic alliance in the country to struggle for a political solution, durable peace and human freedoms. The point I want to make is that the NQ has not been standing still all these years. It has been changing under the impact of successive governments’ policies and programmes, certain actions of the LTTE and other militant movements, and more significantly under the impact of the protracted war. I have already talked about the changes in ethno-demographics and spatial realities in the NE.
        Most of these changes may not be reversible and the need of the hour is to prevent further expansion of ethnically motivated state-aided colonisation. This along with a call for demilitarisation must be articulated as a democratic demand and linked to the democratic demands of the other groups mentioned before.
        Permit me to return to a point I made a moment ago. Letting diverse ethnic and cultural identities exist, interact and blossom is the fundamental premise for imagining and developing a transcendent overarching unity and identity. I suggest this can be a basis for a dialogue across ethnic and religious divides towards building a principled and broader democratic alliance in Lanka.
        The problem with the state is not only its ethnocratic character. Its authoritarianism and militarism, the politicisation of the judiciary and the bureaucracy, and the government’s economic policy that heaps hardships on the working people while serving the interests of corporate capital which is engaged in, among other things, land grabbing in different parts of the country, are all matters of deep concern for wider sections of the Lankan society across ethnic and other divides.
        Therein lies the potential for a broader political alliance which I believe deserves our serious attention. The struggle for a political solution to the NQ cannot move ahead in isolation from the other struggles for democratic rights and without the support and solidarity of the progressive forces. Admittedly, building and sustaining a broad political alliance is a major challenge.
        This needs to be addressed urgently in broad forums in the country and outside. It is not my intention to offer a political manifesto. My appeal is for a critical, including a self-critical, reflection in order to better understand the current realities and move forward politically. It is in this spirit I say that we need to rethink and reframe the NQ.
        I look forward to a fruitful discussion. Thank you.”

        NQ= National Question

        Does this make sense to especially those who makes popularity surveys based on reader comments?

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    Dear Mr Thangavelu:

    I have said this before. The Tamil Nation knows who is who amongst them and the antecedents of most of the major commentators/writers.
    There is nothing to stop a Tamil from taking a position of pacifism
    for the sake of eventual peace. But deliberately harming the cause
    of the Tamil struggle to advance personal fortunes is bound to be
    exposed sooner than later. I notice some who sang hossanas of the
    clearly crooked until recently have now changed their opinions – and I welcome this.

    The racist regime plans to gradually liquidate the Tamil Nation becomes clear when the Big Boss, once again, gave us an inkling of what’s on at Trinco on Feb 4. The very insistence of Trinco as the Venue has its own message for the fture. The destruction of the Tamil primacy in the EP is almost complete with only India coming to our assistance. The plans now are to overwhelm the Tamils in the North – by all means that will be declared fair. We will betray posterity if we do not unite and resist this massive conspiracy at ethnic and demographic genocide. I have no ill-will against the beguiled who railed against us in recent times. There is much they can help us with their learning, their love of the Tamil culture and, hopefully, Nation.

    Senguttuvan

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    Don’t tell me, Navin, plagiarism too is part of the literary armour
    of the omniscient one – now exposed and under attack from many quarters. Lesser mortals, as is alleged, draw their material from “gossip, rumour and innuendo”

    Senguttuvan

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    I give below a very recent article by Prof. Michael Roberts, where current realities and the validity of theory of traditional homelands in terms of concrete evidence available currently are discussed in depth. This could be consider a reposte to Thangavelu’s thesis from an acclaimed historian and keen observer of contemporary events.

    http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/mixed-messages-and-dangerous-oversimplification-in-president-rajapaksas-independence-day-speech/#more-8498

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    “The comment you attribute to Dr. RN, was written by me” said Navin on Feb 12 (7.10 pm) That’s plagiarism. So for, Pete’s sake, why call me names.

    Senguttuvan

    —-

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      Plagiarism is to steal ideas, passages, etc from someone else’s work and present them as one’s own. Where is the plagiarism in this instance? Mr. Thangavelu has attributed what was written by Navin to me. This is not plagiarism, but a serious mistake. In the absence of an apology it becomes a deliberate act of mischief. When viewed against the thrust of Thangavelu’s related comment and the language used, it can be interpreted also as perverse and akin to setting fire to Hanuman’s- the messenger’s- tail, when the message was unpalatable.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran.

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    Michael Roberts, brought into the debate as some sort of Referee, is like bringing the fox to the chicken run in search of safety for them in the farm. Doubtless, the man has a record of learning but equally notorious is he for taking sides in the National Question – notwithstanding his obvious affection to Cricketer Muralidharan. I know some who think Roberts portrays Murali to hide his known ample anti-Tamil bias.

    “Some meaningful devolution for the Northern Province is a requisite for appeasement of an embittered body of people” recommends this gracious referee – ignoring the tenanble legitimacy of Tamil claims in the Eastern Province. Even a younger academic with less experience will immediately concede Tamil supremacy to the EP is defined by the Tamil language and culture. He wants even this small concession to the Tamil Nation only “because they have been through tempestuous times since 1972” What a neutral academic to be quoted by someone arguing to reclaim his legitimacy to speak seriously for the Tamil cause.

    Roberts begins his comments with a patent untruth. Speaking of the Feb 04 speech of the President at Trinco he refers to all 3 communities living in harmony there – while proclaiming “Rajapakse majesticity” – the first time the man has been elevated to such imperial heights.
    The fact is Tamils and Muslims have been living in fear and tension in the area for years. Roberts prefers not to speak of the violence associated with the nocturnal imposition of the Buddhist Statue in the centre of town by those unruly 3 wheelers association. Tamil property in the town has been stolen by the dozens and their primacy in the fish market reduced years ago – by State-aided force. These somehow have not engaged the attention of this scholar.

    In a strange twist of logic Roberts claims “the defeat of the LTTE negates the North-East Project” whereby he betrays his bias in favour of the Sinhala side of the argument. The fact is the Rajapakses are losing sleep in the fear of the re-emergence of militancy in the Tamil areas – only because they are creating the conditions for it.

    While making reference to “2 distinct nations” in the island, Roberts claims Muslims have dis-associated themselves from the “Tamil-speaking reality” in the 1940s. Roberts might educate himself SLMC’s Hakeem and friends are harping, both to the Tamil leadership here and in Tamilnadu, this very fact in their current campaign for unity among the Tamil-speaking people – now under imminent threat all over the island. Similarly, following July 1983 the late Badi-ud-din took a delegation of Muslims to meet Karunanidhi and other Tamilnadu leaders to remind them “Lankan Muslims are Tamil speaking people too”

    Not surprisingly, whatever put forward in support of the Tamil cause by the late AJ Wilson and Prof Pathmanathan are “absurdities” to this pseudo-Sinhala Buddhist champion in his nuanced article.

    Faced with irrefutable historical evidence Roberts grudgingly acknowledges Tamil supremacy in the EP but quickly adds this is only “in the littoral areas and not in the hinterland” The prejudice in the man is further exposed as he is forced to agree to the presence of Tamils Kings in the EP. Yetg he cannot resist his prejudice in noting “they owed allegiance to the superior sovereignty (whatever that is) of the King of Kandy. The icing of the cake is wherever he finds the Tamil presence and history cannot be disputed, he is quick to point out they could be Sinhalese who could have become Tamil.

    The trouble with Roberts is his pieces are more Tomes. One has to be in a several-months long voyage on the QE2 to read these – with hundreds of footnotes. But carry on, Professor, for better or for worse, we will read you though necessarily not agree with you.

    Senguttuvan

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      Senguttuwan,

      Your comment on Michael Roberts’s article, misses the kernel and seeks the chaf. It sounds like ‘ Kohethe Yanne ? Malley Pol’ in Sinhala or its equivalent in Tamil ‘ Vattukottaikku poura walli enna? kottaiparkku irrandu thuttu’.
      Please comment on Michael’s observations on MR’s stance on the minority issues and the evidence he has cited against the theory of traditional Tamil homeland encompassingi the entirety of the east. His allusion to the Brahmi script inscription and proto-Sinhala also merit attention. As I had said Michael Roberts is not only a historian, but is also a person trying to read what is current.

      Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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    Narendran,

    Don’t try to teach Sinhalese to others. You have a long way to go.
    It is Koheda yanney. Ditto on plagiarism.

    We know this Historian Roberts and his “learning” I have proved his
    nonsense and know this is not to your liking.

    Mr Thangavelu is an old man and deserves the courtesy of a salutation, which you have denied to him. I had a different opinion of your culture.

    Senguttuvan

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      Senguttuwan,

      What you think of me or my culture does not least bother me. The manner in which the Sinhala proverb was written in English, depends on how each one of us pronounces it. My literacy in Sinhala is not in question, but how the proverbs in both Sinhala and Tamil, appropriately describe your response to Prof. Roberts’s article. What you have described as my attempt to teach Sinhalese, nonsense and my dislike , are once again attempts at misdirecting the discussion. You have not proved anything. What you have attempted is to throw dust on issues of serious concern.

      Further, all old wine is not good wine! Respect for age is not earned by a year count alone, but by reflecting a wisdom, maturity , equanimity and language that goes with it. Do not try to personalise and trivialise issues that are crucial to the Tamils and the Sri Lankan nation.

      Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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    Thangavelu’s attack on Dr.Rajasingham Narendran is unwarranted. He is among the few SL Tamils who openly criticised LTTE’s terrorism when other Tamil elders like Thangavelu remained silent. They failed to tell Prabaharan that he was on a dangerous path when his boys and girls terrorised the Sinhalese, Muslims and Tamils alike. It is this absence of criticism from the Tamils that emboldened Prabaharan to continue in the path of self destruction.

    I do not think Dr RN is after any post or position from MR and I believe he does not need any such favours from the SL government. Thangavelu, a man in the evening of his life perhaps wanting to die in his country of birth , should not be heard calling another well meaning Tamil a ‘boot licker’ or ‘traitor’.

    Thangavelu should realize that had Prabaharan listened to the Indians, Norwegians, Japanese, Americans and Europeans, Tamil people would not have been made to live ‘under the jack boot of an exclusive army’ as he laments. At least had Prabaharan went along with Rajiv Gandhi, Tamils would not be where they are now.

    I ask Thangavelu and other members of the Tamil diaspora, who are crying foul at perceived Sinhala domination of the North East, to better ‘shut up’ and leave the SL Tamils alone. Allow the SL Tamils find an amicable solution internally. Don’t harass the Tamil leaders in Sri Lanka and impose your will on them.

    The Americans and the Europeans or Navin Pillai will not help make MR mend his ways. India is the only hope and I believe New Delhi will still be able to make MR understand that he should settle the Tamil problem. But, what the rabble rousers in Tamil Nadu are doing there will not help New Delhi to take any rational approach in getting Colombo to agree to an acceptable solution. Even India cannot and will not be able to impose a solution on Sri Lanka as it did in the past, but it can certainly persuade MR to reach an accommodation with the SL Tamil leaders.

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    Dr. Narendran:

    Whether I have met some of Roberts’ nuanced falsehood is a matter of opinion between you and I. Please point out which of my comments you find unacceptable. I maintain Roberts’ has a tendency to confuse and obfuscate serious Sinhala readers to gain their attention by twisting historical facts. His narrow target is clear – when he uses the term “Majestically” on one who has been attacked both by friend and foe both here and abroad for bad, corrupt and dangerous governance. This learned “historian” is one who got into a controversy in Adelaide calling the Burghers Mulattos – an expression specific to mixed races in the Americas.

    One also wonders why you do not mention established and neutral historians-archeologists-anthropologists like Prof. Gananath Obeysekera, Sudarshan Seneviratne, Shiran Deraniyagala in support of the ancient presence of Tamils in what is generally described and accepted as Tamil majority lands in the island. These learned gentlemen have produced much material in support of history as it
    occurred rather than fashion it to tailor current political demands.

    I am sorry, but not entirely surprised, another accomplished commentator in these pages uses strong language warning others
    to keep away from commenting on issues concerning the Tamil Nation.
    Such narrow attitudes are regrettable when the educated and “leaders” in the EP have been unable or unwilling to stop EP Tamils from slipping into 2nd and 3rd positions in what was their role as by far the numerically largest community for millenia. In circumstances such as this, it is not restricting voices in support, whether from within or outside, that will help the cause finding wider expose, expression and eventual support for resolution on the side of justice – but, I venture to suggest, more of it. While there are individuals and a few groups with narrow and personal agendas in the diaspora one cannot deny it is the consistent voice, the organisation, the enterprise and the energy of committed sources in the diaspora that keeps the struggle alive and brings support from important countries. Most of them do not want to return permanently and participate in politics in the NEP. All they fight for, it appears to me, is the prevention of slow and steady death of the race via State-aided projects to initially reduce the Tamils to a minrity with the final objective of the total elimination of all traces of all that is Tamil in this island home of ours. Here I repeat I do not and will not support a Separate Country or Eelam. I am for regaining justice, reason and rights of all “stolen” villages, land and property that was the rightful property of the Tamil Nation in the island.

    Senguttuvan

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    Senguttuwan,

    I am reluctantly responding . Please study the community-wise population distribution map and the references to how the map of the Kandyan Kingdom of old was redrawn by the British and the lands of the Kandyan Kingdom were allocated to the UVA, Sabaragamuwa and the Eastern Province, in Roberts’s article. This information drawn from other studies.

    Dr. R.N

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