29 September, 2020

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The Fifty–Fifty Interlude: Communalism Or Nationalism?

By Rajan Hoole

Dr. Rajan Hoole

Dr. Rajan Hoole

Revisiting Tamil Self-Determination – Part III

Communalism has wreaked havoc in Lanka. It is embedded in our prejudices and our backwardness. The Sri Lankan political establishment’s complicity in violence against a minority is a scandal that would impede us for years to come, particularly in view of the lack of will to do away with impunity and hold the armed forces to account. Equally culpable are the Tamil leaders who have inflamed passions where a little sympathy and restraint could have cooled them and hindered communalism putting down institutional roots.

The passage of the Donoughmore Bill, which abolished communal representation in December 1929, was received calmly by the Tamils. At the Legislature no Tamil opposed the abolition. With communal representation having been the norm for nearly a century under British colonial rule, gradual change might have been more prudent than to move fast and precipitate conflict. Nevertheless, Sir Waitialingam Duraisamy’s response in the Legislative Council sums up the attitude of the Tamils:

GG Ponnambalam, SJV Chelvanayakam & M Tiruchelvam

GG Ponnambalam, SJV Chelvanayakam & M Tiruchelvam

“Well, although the idea of communal representation originated in the mind of the Government and was nurtured by the Government in spite of representations from the people of the Island, this time the Government spokesmen, the Special Commissioners have dealt the death blow to the idea of communal representation. The one who created it has destroyed it, and you will have noticed that immediately after the publication of the report, how calmly and quietly the people of the Island accepted it and no protest was raised by the Tamil community.” (Communalism or Nationalism – CorN)

‘Poisonous Vapours of Communalism’

For a time it looked as if things would settle down. As explained earlier, with the onset of by-elections resulting from the 1931 boycott in the North, fear of Sinhalese domination and restoration of communal representation became heated issues. In February 1934, K. Balasingam, earlier of the Legislative Council, wrote in his letter to the Tamils of Jaffna, “The attempt on the part of some Tamils to form a minority alliance can only have the effect of welding together the divided sections of the Sinhalese and of inducing them to form a racial bloc.” Balasingam added, “repercussions are felt in Balangoda where old time vandalism and present day hostility to the ‘Demilos’, become election cries. The election cries are quoted as further proof of Sinhalese desire to dominate”.

The Youth Congress (CorN) observed that ‘the political atmosphere of this country is being defiled by the poisonous vapours of communalism’. Barring Sir Waitialingam Duraisamy, who was the speaker in 1939, the other Tamil State Council members were ‘propagating communal hatred among the Tamil masses’ by their demand for communal representation. The landmark event on this score was G.G. Ponnambalam’s marathon speech, in which he erroneously claimed that the Tamils had opposed the Donoughmore reforms. Likewise, communal feelings were being enhanced by some section of the Sinhalese.

While Ponnambalam’s speech is much celebrated and reissued with an eye to current Tamil leadership stakes, The Youth Congress’ timely response ‘Communalism or Nationalism’ is largely forgotten. In fact it predicted with prescience where we were heading.

Unlike the Tamil nationalists who were indifferent to the plight of the Sinhalese peasantry, the Congress through many years of political contact with leaders in the South and the emerging Left saw immediately that 50–50 would add insult to injury. Communalism or Nationalism observed:

“The Sinhalese peasantry are suffering from a scarcity of land and are becoming rapidly pauperised. The business of the island is in the hands of the Europeans and the Indians. The cocoanut industry is the only industry that remains in the hands of the Sinhalese. Even in this more than seventy-five percent of the estates are mortgaged to Indian capitalists. Even in the professions and the Government service Sinhalese occupy a comparatively inferior place. Whatever the reason for this state of affairs the Sinhalese are becoming sensitive to their inferior position and are crudely attempting to reassert their position. In this delicate state of feeling the granting of the 50–50 demand will make them feel that they are to be reduced to a state of political helplessness, and will call forth the most violent reaction. Communal propaganda will be openly carried on by the Sinhalese… The leadership of the Sinhalese will pass into the hands of avowedly communal elements [like the Sinhala Maha Sabha].”

The Congress pointed out that to a section of the Tamils, the absence of balanced representation meant a feeling of insecurity, but certainly not one of injustice. But to the Sinhalese 50-50 triggers an apprehension of injustice ‘which gnaws into one’s very bones and evokes dangerous passions’.

More deplorable was Ponnambalam’s attempt to use the Hill Country Tamils and Muslims to leverage his demands. Speaking at Nawalapitiya in May 1939, he referred to the Sinhalese as a ‘race of hybrids’. The reaction was such that S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was able to establish a branch of the Sinhala Maha Sabha there the following month. Bandaranaike said at the annual Sinhala Maha Sabha conference, “Though we still have enemies like the supporters of Mr. Ponnambalam, they do us more good than harm.” (Jane Russell)

CorN strongly held that the 50-50 quest was a fool’s errand. The Sinhalese were dead against it and if granted would demand its revocation. “But it is possible that they might react in a different way. With the growing self-consciousness, economic difficulties and pauperisation…,[the grant of 50-50] might set aflame the fire of militant anti-imperialism, just as has happened in Palestine as a result of the dumping of Jews into Palestine against the will of the Arabs. The anti-minority and anti-imperialist feelings might get mixed up.”

Colluding with Evil for Petty Favours

Britain at war, with its Empire imperilled, pursued a very different tack. I am told on good authority that the British rulers who were grooming their successors had wanted E.W. Perera out of the running for the country’s leadership. J.R. Jayewardene defeated E.W. Perera, a Christian, in the 1943 by-election for Kelaniya by playing the religious card. For the good part it was E.W. Perera’s braving the perils of war in June 1915 to petition the King in London that ended martial law abuses in dealing with communal violence involving the Sinhalese and Moors. He had further identified himself as a strong Ceylonese nationalist insisting on home rule by voting against the Donoughmore reforms in 1929.

G. G. Ponnambalam tried his utmost to curry-favour with the British authorities, albeit in vain. When the Governor in 1937 ordered the deportation of Anthony Bracegirdle, an Anglo-Australian left trade unionist, Ponnambalam defended the Governor’s use of draconian powers while the State Council censured the deportation by 34 votes to 7.

Ponnambalam’s expectations were illusory. Given 50-50, the Sinhalese who were against it were bound to unite, while mere anti-Sinhalese feeling would not sufficiently bind the minorities to form a stable government. It has, as CorN predicted, been borne out by experience that a united Sinhalese bloc could buy over the minorities with incentives.

A good example is the first post-independence parliament elected in 1947. The UNP formed a minority government having secured 42 out of 95 seats plus a bonus of five appointed members. Yet when it came to the Citizenship Bills which de-citizenized the Tamil plantation labour, the Government won 53 to 35, by getting practically all the minority members and ultimately even Ponnambalam to support the Government. Having seen the leftward drift of plantation labour, the British had colluded with the emerging leadership and kept their position benignly vague in the new Soulbury Constitution. In doing so they bypassed the conditions of contract under which the Indian Tamils were brought: five years of residence qualified them for naturalisation (Somasundaram Nadesan in the Senate, 15 Sept.1948). Section 29(2) of the Constitution, which was meant to protect the minorities against discriminative legislation, proved deceptive. As the Supreme Court and Privy Council interpreted it, it did not provide against administrative discrimination – the Plantation Tamils were simply written off the books administratively. By involving the Plantation labour in his 50-50 agitation and deserting them in 1948 for a cabinet position, Ponnambalam did them a great disservice. The only solid bloc to oppose the legislation was the Left, which too was bought over by the Sinhalese nationalist SLFP in 1964.

CorN pointed out that with declining employment prospects in the Malay States, alienating the Sinhalese with 50-50 would be disastrous for the economic interests of Jaffna, which had fanned out into every remote Sinhalese village. It observed that while holding up the example of Mahatma Gandhi to the Sinhalese leaders, the only lesson [Ponnambalam and cohorts] have learnt from him ‘is not to be loving and good even under provocation but to go about assaulting others and expecting the [victims] to behave like the Mahatma, and [throwing the Mahatma at them when they did not]’.

Ponnambalam mentions in his speech that during Easter 1938 in Nuwara Eliya, a leading Sinhalese representative (Member for Galle), offered the minorities forty percent of the elected seats. And when subsequently asked, the Governor promised no more. CorN asks, “Why did [Ponnambalam] not come to a settlement with the Sinhalese on the basis of forty percent? Did he expect a few seats more? Anyway he was unable to realise that forty percent…voluntarily conceded along with the goodwill of the Sinhalese was far superior to getting a greater number of seats imposed by the British against the will of the Sinhalese.”

Why in place of the 1931 boycott did the Youth Congress not support the Donoughmore reforms with reservations and help consolidate a non-communal course in our Island’s politics? Communalism or Nationalism only offers a partial answer: “What welds the Germans, Italians and French into the Swiss people [apart from the common geographical limit within which they live]?…the achievement of material welfare and progress through common effort of which the visible manifestation is the state and its institutions.” In Ceylon, CorN notes, the state and its institutions are not the visible manifestations of the common effort of the people, but organs through which the Colonial Regime collected taxes, kept down the people and maintained ‘law and order’. The people were kept divided competing for favours from the Governor.

Communalism or Nationalism also cites Nehru from his autobiography on India’s communal problem: “Even under present conditions it should not be difficult to arrive at a political solution, but only if, and it is a big if, the third party (the Colonial Regime) was not present.”

We are reminded of our more recent ‘third party’ intervention in 1999 and how it changed the main political question qualitatively from what the Sinhalese could be persuaded to accept, elusively to what the LTTE would accept. The result is well known.

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  • 10
    0

    This is History as it was NOT taught to us in school. Thank you, Rajan.

    So, The Youth Congress recognised that “The Sinhalese peasantry are suffering from a scarcity of land and are becoming rapidly pauperised. . . . Sinhalese occupy a comparatively inferior place” – and more than that they had even recognised what could happen. They even knew where the majority community would be driven “into the hands of avowedly communal elements [like the Sinhala Maha Sabha].”

    It looks as though they even identified young Bandaranaike’s organisation; Rajan Hoole is such a fastidious writer that I’m sure that the brackets were in the original.

    All this just must be translated in to effective Sinhala!

    • 3
      0

      Square brackets identify matter not in source but implied.

      • 2
        0

        Thanks.

        That’s the convention, is it?

        • 3
          0

          Pleasure
          Yes

    • 3
      8

      Sinhala_man,

      That’s neither here nor there is it.

      Applauding the writer for giving facts that everyone knew for a long time, does not give fair and proper analysis of what’s to be done for the communities in the future.

      It cannot be solved the Swiss way, as Switzerland is surrounded by France, Germany and Italy that give balance to the French, Germans and Italians that reside in Switzerland. Sinhalese, on the other hand have no supporting mother-country.

      Rather than indulging in perversion towards me, give us good argument of how the issue should be otherwise resolved. (as per your retorts to my analysis on “Purity Of Blood, Symbolism & Divide And Rule,” where I was being merely kind and understanding to those insulting me and attempting to keep it light-hearted. You however cowardly used twisted perversion against me).

      Rather than foul ad hominem perversity, tell me if and why you are for federalism and/or land-bridge situation.

      As it is, I am totally against federalism and/or land-bridge, because it will compromise the rights of the vast majority who has suffered most grossly for centuries due to colonial rule.

      • 7
        0

        I’m not an authority on the subject; I think that Dr Rajan Hoole has studied it all pretty well, and I think that he covers the ground so well that all answers will be found in his writing. the article highlights many things that I didn’t realise. “Tamil separatists” (a few of them do exist!) sometimes talk as though only “Tamils” have problems. Also, this is an article that he has written recently; some of what has been appearing earlier constitute chapters from a book written 14 years ago. You would do well to keep that in mind.

        For me to request that you do not equate “Land Bridge” with “Federalism” seems to be common sense.

        Let’s consider just “Federalism”. It has become a word bandied by people normally using only the Sinhala language to mean something unacceptable under any condition. It is equated with separatism. No. I am emphatically for a Sri Lanka in which 22 million or so people live as equals, but where each region will decide how certain matters pertaining to that area will be dealt with as the people immediately concerned see most fit.

        If you respond to this by demanding just how this will be done, I will not reply. I just don’t know enough to be the advocate for devolution; I know only in broad outline that it is desirable.

        The Land Bridge with India is a different matter. In the long term I think that we must have “Nation States” becoming much less important than they are now. I know that the European Union is beset with problems, but despite certain blunders that are inevitable, we must move in the direction of some form of World Government. This is something desirable in the distant future, and I am even less knowledgeable in this area than in the matter of “Federalism”.

        In many respects we are bound up with India; but yes, I, too, treasure some of the things that are unique to Sri Lanka. Also, India is huge. I, too, have a fear of being swallowed up in this huge thing called “India”; and its politics appears more corrupt than ours. On the other hand, my life has almost run its course, and I don’t want to dictate to coming generations what they should be doing. Conversely, I’m concerned that although there is an explosion of the possibility of accessing information, education has taken a nose dive, so that very few young people have a satisfactory awareness of any field of knowledge.

        I am primarily conscious of myself as a human being. Unfortunately, I am fluent in just two languages only. I feel very sorry that I have almost no knowledge of the other language of our country, Tamil. It is to make that very clear that I call myself “Sinhala_Man”.

        I am a bit unlikely to answer any other queries from you. Sorry.

        • 0
          5

          Sinhala_Man,

          Here you have a good sense on why there should not be federalism and land-bridge.

          On the other hand, in your last set of perverse insults towards me (“Purity Of Blood, Symbolism & Divide And Rule”), you were openly ridiculing me when I laid out the stark differences between Nepal ‘s federalism, and any consideration towards Sri Lanka having such a thing.

          I suppose you were having some perverse misogynist fun. Not good at all when we are all seeking to secure a better deal for the Motherland.

          Neither do the Nepal system or Swiss system suit the Lankan reality. Indeed, in no democratic country of the world will a federal system be considered where a similar Lankan situation exists.

          Laying out the facts by Dr. Rajan Hoole doesn’t go far enough to solve any issue. Most of what he writes is common knowledge to the average Sri Lanka. However, it is good that he puts them in perspective for all to collectively realize. It is disappointing that he suggests the Swiss system as a solution because of the stark differences between Switzerland and Sri Lanka.

      • 6
        1

        Federalism is the rights of North & East Tamils and its denial has forced them to seek separation. Tamils may have lost the war but they have not lost their rights to self-determination.

        Whatever you say, nobody can change the demography of North & East of Sri Lanka (Tamil Eelam). At the same time, the Tamils have no intention what so ever (they never had) to take the Sinhala-Buddhist part of Sri Lanka.

        The North & East of Sri Lanka was Tamil, is Tamil and will be Tamil forever. If the Sinhalese continue to deny the rights of Tamils and insist that the whole of Sri Lanka belongs to them, it will only push the Tamil leaders to seek alternative measures like mobilizing large masses, if not all of the Tamil people, for a Non-violent campaign with Direct Action or even go further by calling for a UN sponsored referendum to be held for the North & East Tamils in Sri Lanka to establish a separate state like just like ‘Kosovo’, ‘East Timor’, ‘Montenegro’ and ‘South Sudan’.

        • 1
          7

          Trouble is, what you are proposing will be considered fascist and dictatorial in the international courts.

          Also, as a large number of Tamils live peacefully in the Sinhala areas, your proposal will not hold weight.

          Ethnic tensions occurred over 30 years ago. Majority of Tamils at this time prefer to interact with the South. Those who want a pure Tamil state are a point percentage.

          • 3
            2

            “Trouble is, what you are proposing will be considered fascist and dictatorial in the international courts.”

            The UN and the International community/courts did not consider it as fascist and dictatorial when they sponsored the referendum to establish a separate state in ‘Kosovo’, ‘East Timor’, ‘Montenegro’ and ‘South Sudan’ which were very similar to the situation in Sri Lanka. The principle and fundamental right of self-determination is firmly established under international law and during the past several years, the Tamils’ right to self-determination has received recognition at sessions of the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. The imminence of (Sinhala) violence is referred to as ‘impunity’ by the international community.

            “Ethnic tensions occurred over 30 years ago. Majority of Tamils at this time prefer to interact with the South. Those who want a pure Tamil state are a point percentage.”

            Ha, ha, ha… LOL!

            You are either ignorant or suffering from amnesia.

            The TULF (Tamil United Liberation Front) adopted the Vadukoddai Resolution which put forward an Independent State of Tamil Eelam as being the solution to the problems of the Tamils in 1976. In the 1977 general election, the people of Tamil speaking North & East voted overwhelmingly for a separate Independent State of Tamil Eelam. The international community knows that the entire Tamil population of North & East of Sri Lanka (Tamil Eelam) has already given the mandate for an Independent Tamil State in Sri Lanka in the 1977 election.

            • 0
              6

              Kosovo is surrounded by 3 countries that at as counter-balance.

              Tamil Eelam will have colossal Tamil Nadu pose a grave threat to the very much small one-and-only Sinhala side.

              East Timor is an exclusive Christian area, different from the rest of Islamic Indonesia. Colossal Tamil Nadu is the same religion as Lankan Tamil N&E.

              Montenegro surrounded by three other countries to counterbalance. Sinhala side will not have a counter-balance.

              South Sudan surrounded by three countries to counterbalance. Sinhala side will not have a counter-balance.

              • 6
                0

                Counterbalance??? LOL!

                What Bull crap!

                Go and tell these jokes to those Chinese with a knot in the head (konde bandapu cheenu).

                Now take your pills and go to sleep…

              • 9
                0

                Suresh,

                HEALTH WARNING!

                Whenever Ramona T Fernando forget to take her anti-depressant pills she gets into this forum, if by mistake you engage with her, she will take you round and round the mulberry bush with fairy tales invented from thin air (mostly blatant lies and bogus statistics that she creates) and finally bring you back to square one making you never to engage again (if you are wise enough).

                What she has responded to you above is a very good example of one of her creative invention.
                Take for example,
                “Kosovo is surrounded by 3 countries that act as counter-balance.”

                Utter nonsense and a blatant lie or rather pure hallucination.

                Kosovo is a Muslim majority territory locked in the central Balkan Peninsula in Europe. They would not have suffered so much if they had counter-balance.
                Ramona T Fernando must have seen 3 counter-balancing countries in a wet dreams, LOL!

                This is how she argues, she will make you as crazy as her. Wise people do not engage with such sickos. Please do not risk your health.

                • 0
                  5

                  King Wala Gemba,

                  Aside from your perverse filth that reflects your inability to give intelligent analysis and discussion, I agree that Kosovo is a land-locked country and needed some autonomy.

                  Apart from Muslim Albania bordering them in the SW, any move by Islamists to swamp Serbia and the rest of the former Yugoslavia is of no issue. Islamists are not for invading other countries and prefer to live in their own communities within their own religious cultures. It was the Islamic Kosovo that was severely threatened by the rest of the region.

                  In Sri Lanka’s case, it is the tiny Sinhalese section threated by your gigantuous Tamilian nation who feel that Sri Lanka belonged to them 2,500 years ago.

                  • 3
                    0

                    Dear “ramona therese fernando”

                    Judging by your name, you must be a Christian. Why don’t you emulate the Archbishop of Canterbury and get a DNA test done? I’m sure that half your genes (and mine, too) are from South India, probably :Tamil”.

                    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/09/outpouring-of-respect-for-archbishop-justin-welby-after-dna-pate/

                    It says that there has been an Outpouring of respect for Archbishop Justin Welby after DNA paternity ‘surprise’. All readers will have greater respect for you if you confine yourself to writing about music. Please leave these subjects to people who know, and who CARE!

                    • 4
                      0

                      Definitely I am 1/4 Tamil and much more, Sinhala_Man,……Dalit included.

                    • 4
                      0

                      As per your link: it’s not about genetic tests, but paternal testing. Thank God we can dismiss lies and gossip with paternity tests nowadays. Unfortunately for the archbishop, it went the other way.

                      Just to clarify: I am ½ Burgher, ¼ Sinhalese, ¼ Tamil (guess Sinhalese are part Tamil too genetically, and Tamils are part Sinhalese also- so it balances out). Not sure of the castes, though some say the Tamil and Sinhalese side were Vellela/Govi- though being of a low-caste would have been special for sake of human integrity. But for the Burgher sides, Tamil or Sinhalese were unfortunately Tamil or Sinhalese, whatever the caste. Great to be of modern generation where education and science, and enlightment put all of these things as non-essential.

                    • 3
                      0

                      Dear ramona therese fernando,

                      I appreciate your honesty. But please think more carefully before you write.

                      Perhaps you could comment on this complicated business:

                      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-whited-thomian-sepulchres-the-pharisees-who-cheat/

                      I guess you know that I am the Sinhala_Man!

                    • 2
                      0

                      Dear ramona therese fernando,

                      I appreciate your honesty; but please think more carefully before you write.

                      Perhaps you could comment on this complicated business:

                      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-whited-thomian-sepulchres-the-pharisees-who-cheat/

                      I guess you know that I am the author of that!

          • 3
            1

            Senator Hillary Clinton has argued that the LTTE is not terrorists but freedom fighters and called for UN intervention to allow the Tamils their right to self-determination and to decide their future.

            The “Tamils for Clinton” camp in the US is very active these days in campaigning for the presidential election. The tables are turning in favor of Tamils.

            • 0
              0

              We can never be sure of geo-political strategies. We will rely on the sincerity and honesty of our fellow countrymen.

            • 1
              1

              We Thamizh are still hoping our white master (or in this case, mistress) will deliver us our mythical Demezh Eezham :D LOL :D

              • 0
                0

                Siva sankaran sarma, I always read your comments to fall asleep. Thanks for your wonderful help.

              • 0
                0

                Comedian Sarma,

                Cool mate :D you have done it again! You are such a cool dude :D

        • 6
          0

          I think that the Sinhalese people must go a long way to understand the very real problems that people in the North have; however, I think that you should show the same understanding of our Southern Problems as the Jaffna Youth Congress once displayed.

          I hope that you’ll agree that guys who write as I do are the more moderate people among the Sinhalese, and I think that we are in the majority – until you provoke us!

          I think that your tone is far too argumentative and demanding. Ask for Federalism, showing how all will gain, and display a realisation that checks and balances are necessary, and I feel that we will be able to work out a solution together – but not easily. There must be more give and take; less talk of our own “Rights”, fewer QED demonstrations that we occupy the moral high ground.

          Please help us to help you!

          • 3
            0

            Suresh, this response was meant for you. Please heed “King Wala Gemba’s” advice and distance yourself from “ramona therese fernando”.

            Well, if you really want to engage with her, use her for comic relief.

      • 0
        0

        Ramona,
        Under the façade of unity and accommodation there lay hidden hatred and mistrust,” .They will subscribe to the Chinese plan, and create a mega port city for foreign transaction, while attempting to retain the country spirit.It should be something like the Myanmar plan, but with lesser paranoia and greater acknowledgement of the already commercialized processes in the cities, that should be retained to be in synergy with the heritage of the masses.we hope it is remembered that the Sinhalese turned on each other in the midst of their misery (the result of colonial displacement), and killed even more of their numbers during the insurgencies.
        That might be impossibility, for two different ideologies cannot exist so close to each other under the same flag.

  • 8
    0

    Fascinating and eye opening.

  • 6
    0

    One must be grateful to Rajan Hoole for resurrecting the story of the Youth Congress and its principled stand against the “poisonous vapors” that GGP and his cohorts were spreading among the hapless people of Jaffna.
    He refers to the publication Communalism or Nationalism? published by the Thirumagal Press, Chunnakam. For some reason that I was never able to find out it does not give credit to its authors!It was written mainly by V.Sittampalam(later a stalwart of the Jaffna branch of the LSSP,who died young) and V.Kandiah(later of the Jaffna CP)

  • 6
    0

    A news article says the following. It explains why the Tamil facist Tigers refused to surrender even when the writing was on the wall after they got kicked out of Kilinochchi on January 8th, 2009. They expected the US and India to bail their leaders out. US wanted to bail their leaders out so that they could have leverage like they did in South Sudan(which has now turned out to be a disaster). US will get their naval foothold by hook or by crook. If they cannot get it via Ranil Wickremesinghe, they will get it via Eelam tamils led by their clown self appointed “prime minister” who lives and thrives in the US as an extension of US foreign policy similar to how convicted criminal Chalabi was.

    So here is the factual news item. It shows that LTTE was never going to negotiate and seek peace or shelf their call for Eelam

    Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan who is presently on a tour in the Northern Province had pointed out that despite the request he made to the LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabakaran to enter politics he continued with his militant activities.

    News
    The Leader of the Opposition and the TNA leader R.Sampanthan who was in Kilinochchi a day ago during his tour in the North addressed a meeting in the area and explained his role towards bringing the LTTE leader to the political mainstream sources said.

    Sampanthan said that he had several meetings with the LTTE leader in Kilinochchi to encourage him to give up the arms struggle and enter the political mainstream. ” I told him to engage in politics with the same strength he possessed as a militant leader.” Sampanthan said.

  • 5
    3

    Dr. Rajan Hoole

    RE:The Fifty–Fifty Interlude: Communalism Or Nationalism?

    “Why did [Ponnambalam] not come to a settlement with the Sinhalese on the basis of forty percent? Did he expect a few seats more? Anyway he was unable to realise that forty percent…voluntarily conceded along with the goodwill of the Sinhalese was far superior to getting a greater number of seats imposed by the British against the will of the Sinhalese.”

    ” By involving the Plantation labour in his 50-50 agitation and deserting them in 1948 for a cabinet position, Ponnambalam did them a great disservice. The only solid bloc to oppose the legislation was the Left, which too was bought over by the Sinhalese nationalist SLFP in 1964.”

    The Vellahala Ponnambalam, was looking after his own Vellahala interests, whereas the Sinhala Left had Ethics.

    There were and are two kinds of Tamils, it appears. Their IQs are bimodally distributed. Ponnambalams IQ seems to be close to the origin. Just curious, does the lower hump of the Tamil IQ distribution represent mostly Vellahalas?

    Now getting a better understanding of the bimodal IQ distribution of the Tamils, as published in CT.

    The Story Of Two Graphs drawn by A Tamil Man: By Mahesan Niranjan Onion Prices and Tamil IQ Distributions

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-story-of-two-graphs-drawn-by-a-tamil-man/onioniqdistributions/

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-story-of-two-graphs-drawn-by-a-tamil-man/

  • 5
    3

    Dr. Rajan Hoole

    RE: The Fifty–Fifty Interlude: Communalism Or Nationalism?

    GG Ponnambalam, SJV Chelvanayakam & M Tiruchelvam

    Does this graph say something about this trio, given the recent history of Sri Lanka?

    Onion Prices and Tamil IQ Distributions

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-story-of-two-graphs-drawn-by-a-tamil-man/onioniqdistributions/

  • 8
    2

    A brilliant expose of the wrong decisions taken by Tamil politicians in the lead upto independence and thereafter, despite the wise thoughts of many. The Tamil Youth Congress had very presciently understood the problems confronting the Sinhala peasantry – a majority of the Sinhalese. This was lacking in the prominent Tamil politicians of the yesteryears and is now. Casting the entire Sinhala population as enemies from the Tamil perspective was an unpardonable mistake. This was reciprocated by Sinhla politicians in greater measure. We provided the baton to these elements to beat us with. The lost opportunities by the Tamils are many and to them I will now add the refusal to consider a 40% formula.

    I am also glad to learn of E.W.Perera’s role in convincing the British Crown to withdraw the Msrshall law imposed in the wake of the Sinhals-Mudlim riots. Sir.P. Ramanathan also played a role in getting many prominent Sinhalese connected to these riots released from prison.

    Dr. Rajan Hoole, thanks for presenting our story in a rational and very objective manner.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 4
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      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      “The Tamil Youth Congress had very presciently understood the problems confronting the Sinhala peasantry – a majority of the Sinhalese. This was lacking in the prominent Tamil politicians of the yesteryears and is now. Casting the entire Sinhala population as enemies from the Tamil perspective was an unpardonable mistake. “

      What H L D Mahindapala describes about the Vellahala Castism and Racism, what Izet Hussein describes about Tamil Castism and Racism, the refusal of the Vellahala gang of Castists and Racists to take nothing less than 50/50, not 40/60, and the preference for continued British Imperialism and Colonialism, when the Imperialists themselves did want to continue, all speak volumes to the hypothesis of Vellahala recalcitrance and the need to continue the Vellahala Hegemony, even at the expenses of not gaining independence from the Imperialists.

      What a shame for Tamils and for all Sri Lankans.

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        Here he goes again!

        Just like SWRDB who used the Language bill to advance his political ambition, there were Tamils like GG did the same with 50/50 proposals etc. There was no motives to perpetuate Vellala domination. There was never any organised Vellala campaign unlike the Sinhala Buddhist hegemony. You really need get your facts right!

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          Burning Issue

          “There was no motives to perpetuate Vellala domination. There was never any organised Vellala campaign unlike the Sinhala Buddhist hegemony. You really need get your facts right!”

          If that was the case, then it must be the sheer stupidity of the Tamils, mostly Vellahals, because the controlling Tamils were Vellahalas. The Sinhala Buddhist hegemony was offering 40/60, but the Tamil hegemony wanted 50/50, when the population was less than 50% Tamils, Up Country Tamils and Muslims, and some of them, G G Ponnnambalam wanted the Imperialist hegemony to continue.

          Onion Prices and Tamil IQ Distributions

          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-story-of-two-graphs-drawn-by-a-tamil-man/onioniqdistributions/

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            50/50 was mooted by GG. It is crystal clear that he did this to advance his political ambition. GG was not interested in the Tamil well-being but his own success. Hence, 40/60 was not to his liking; he did not stand to benefit personally. This is the top and bottom of it. You can shout all you like and convolute the caste issues to score cheep points but in reality, GG was on par with WRDSB in terms of political expediency. WRDSB succeeded because he had the numbers on his side under a unitary system.

            By contrast, SJVC was different. He stood for Tamils struggle to find a workable solution. He was critical about some of the Tamils leaders at the time of independence. There were many independent MPs from N&E, and such people were easily bought over by DS along with Tamil Congress that was being led by GG. Yes, the Tamil leadership collectively must accept responsibility for not foreseeing the political ramifications.

            The Vellala caste issues that liberally write about in conjunction with the Tamil political blunders is completely unfathomable. Every seminal event since independence does not support your line of arguing and I do not know as to why you persist!

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              Burning Issue,

              The 50:50 formula meant 50% representation for the Sinhalese and the other 50 % for all minorities, including the Tamils-an arrangement that was untenable in a country thatwassuppised to bea shining example of democracy at work.

              Dr.RN

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                DR RN,

                Thanks for pointing this out. I know about this but am convinced that GG was for himself.

                Amerasiri’s fascination with Vellala is totally unfathomable! It is a fact that there was never an organised campaign to propagate Vellala hegemony; I hope he can show in deeds if I am wrong.

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                  burning

                  GG was thinking he was cleverest person and so could become the PM one day.he did not realise once the british had gone so will the merit system.The sinhalese won’t mind the country going downwards as long as a sinhalese runs the country.nationalistic passions transcend practical inconveniences such as low living standards,thats what GG failed to understand with all his intellectualism,not a practical man.

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        Amarasri:
        You are displaying your ignorance and historical mistakes.
        GGP’s demand.misguided and unenforceable though it was, for 50/50 was not 50% for the Tamil Vellahas but for all Non-Sinhala minorities:Tamils, Muslims,Malayas, Burghers et al.

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    Dear Dr Rajan Hoole

    Thank you for reminding us “..of our more recent ‘third party’ intervention in 1999 “

    In a globalized world there are always third parties. How do we deal with it?
    It’s a good question – do we surrender our sovereignity to the common good of the Global Village, it’s easier for other nations to handle a divided Sri Lanka than an united one, perhaps. Even Britain is seeking to leave the EU, but this is seen as a backwards step. It’s strange how the non-Sinhalase prefer a federal or such a system when the Sinhalese don’t. Who will look after Sinhala aspirations?

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    Thank you Dr Hoole.

    What about this bit of the history?

    Shocked by the openly racist character of the citizenship bills, one of the leading Tamil politicians at the time, S.J.V.Chelvanayagam, said in the State Council, in 1948: “You are now hitting at the weakest section of the Tamils. You are hitting at the innocent and the meek that are labouring in the chill and the cold of the hill-country plantation regions producing your wealth. We will know where we stand when our turn comes next, we will know when the next piece of legislation in this series comes, the one dealing with our language.

    Before that

    In 1928, in the course of the discussion on the Donoughmore Commission proposals in the State Council, D.S.Senanayake famously said:

    “We do not want to get rid of anyone from this Island. Let us live together; let us be citizens of this country and not citizens of any other…. We want the Indians in Ceylon to be Ceylonese; to be domiciled here…. We do not deny them citizenship…. We would welcome the Indians as Ceylonese, but if they have no permanent interests in Ceylon, then let them be Indians; let them look after themselves. They must be either citizens of India or Ceylon…. We do not want to differentiate. We do not want to discriminate. We do not consider Indians as aliens…. We tell them ‘Become part of ourselves, become Ceylonese, and then share in the Government’…. That is our position, and I hope that our friends will not for their own purposes misinterpret us, but will appreciate our real attitude in this matter”.

    But in a matter of months after becoming a dominion, the same Senanayake, now the Prime Minister of the country, turned his guns towards the most exploited and oppressed community in the island, the plantation Tamils, who lived segregated in line house in tea estates, away from the general trend of life without being allowed to settle down in nearby villages. Through Ceylon Citizenship Act no. 18 of 1948 and Indian and Pakistani Residents (Citizenship) Act of 1949, they were stripped of their citizenship rights which were followed by a third act, Ceylon (Parliamentary Elections) Amendment Act, no. 48 of 1949, legalising the denial of their voting rights.

    The bills were blatant violations of Article 29 (2) of the Island’s Constitution drafted by British Soulbury Commission before granting Dominion status. The flimsy provision barred the state from making ‘persons of any community or religion liable to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of other communities or religions are not made liable.’2 Despite the rhetoric, the British Empire let the Senanayke’s Dominion Government act in the way they did, since the colonialists had their own reasons to do so. For an example, from a ‘Top Secret Report’, dated 09th June 1947, sent to the Cabinet jointly by the Chief of the Air Staff Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Chief of the Imperial General Staff and Vice Chief of the Naval Staff concerning ‘Defence Requirements in Ceylon’ stated:

    “There is always a danger of India (especially Congress India) interfering in Ceylonese internal politics and promoting discontent among the powerful Indian minority….Such disorders, however provoked, would have a serious effect upon the working of our service establishments. Although the Ceylon Government should be responsible for internal security, in the event of the situation becoming beyond her capacity to control and our defence interests being threatened, we should reserve the right to introduce forces, and to take action as necessary to protect our interests.”

    As a consequence of the citizenship bills, over 700,000 Tamils became stateless overnight. It was, in fact, the hard labour of the Tamil plantation workers that made a large welfare state possible in the first place. For example, according to official statistical records, the tea production rose to an average 120,000 metric tons in the war years and had peaked in 1948 at137,000 metric tons. ‘….about 40 per cent of gross national income of Ceylon in 1950 was derived from exports and about 30 per cent of gross national expenditure was on imported consumption goods. Nearly 95 per cent of export earnings were from tea, rubber and coconut products’4 while tea remained as the major export crop. The Sri Lankan state generously spent the revenues to launch massive peasant colonisation schemes while providing free education, free health care, free milk feeding, free meals for school children and subsidies on essential goods, whereas the people who generated the revenues were left out as aliens who were denied even the fundamental democratic right of voting. Instead, they were presented as ‘parasites’ intending to oust the ‘Sinhalese out of their traditional areas’ by way of expansion.

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    What is going on now?

    “Withering Hopes” – New Report Raises Concern Sri Lanka’s Window for Reconciliation is Closing

    (Washington, DC; April 20, 2016) A new report by People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) provides details of ongoing militarization and harassment amongst the Tamil population of the North-East of Sri Lanka, over one year after the change in presidency and seven months after the election of the United National Party-led national government.

    Despite positive statements and overtures towards reconciliation by President Maithripala Sirisena’s government, prospects for a sustainable peace on the island are diminishing. The report explores why Sri Lanka’s elusive peace remains out of reach, detailing ongoing human rights violations, the militarization of the North-East, and obfuscation from the government on key issues such as accountability.

    Continuing human rights violations in the North-East include violence and harassment by members of the security forces, occupation of traditional Tamil lands acquired illegally, torture and sexual violence of Tamils, absence of answers for families of the “disappeared,” and the continued detention of Tamil political prisoners without charge. The military remains heavily involved in civilian activities, such as running shops, farms, hotels and even pre-schools.

    “Sri Lanka’s continuing lack of progress on key issues such as accountability and demilitarization throws into question the government’s sincerity and political will to implement the pledges it has made,” PEARL’s Advocacy Director Mario Arulthas said. “The government could have taken strong, concrete measures to build confidence amongst Tamils over the last 15 months, but instead has continued policies in place under the Rajapaksa regime. This is not conducive for accountability and for an end to decades of state-impunity for crimes, both of which are integral to a lasting peace on the island.”

    For Sri Lanka to experience lasting reconciliation between all communities on the island, the grievances of the Tamil people must be addressed. This requires justice for the mass atrocities committed throughout the armed conflict, and significant changes to the Sinhala Buddhist nationalist nature of the state. Sustainable peace and reconciliation will require the government to act meaningfully, expeditiously, and in good faith when addressing Tamils’ legitimate misgivings and distrust, while also educating the Sinhala polity on the need for credible accountability and an inclusive, pluralistic society.

    Sri Lanka must implement a comprehensive transitional justice program in line with international best practices, which includes criminal prosecutions, reparations, institutional reform and truth commissions. But before justice and a political solution can take root, the Government must immediately take steps to de-militarize and stop all ongoing human rights violations against Tamil communities in the North-East.

    The full report is available http://pearlaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/PEARL-Withering-Hopes.pdf. Additional photos are available http://pearlaction.org/gallery/withering-hopes-images-from-the-tamil-homeland/

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    Its curse sinhlese have to live in close proximity to South Indians who were robbing us since King Ravanaa and this tradition continues with thatB’s fishermen daily robbing our fish the tamil problem is a cancer Sinhalese have to live with. No remedy except commit suicide killing cancer as well.

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      Do you really expect such pessimism to be acceptable?

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    “CorN strongly held that the 50-50 quest was a fool’s errand. The Sinhalese were dead against it and if granted would demand its revocation.”

    today the north east merger quest is also like the 50-50 quest.Stupid tamil leadrs always bring out something that the sinhalese can’t give.

    Another fact that tamils must look into is the federalism demand.federalism is okay and is the best way forward for this country,but how do we assuage the fear of the sinhalese of tamilnadu?that is the question that tamils must ask themselves and try to bring a solution that helps the sinhalese get rid of that fear.The sinhalese don’t have a counterbalancing force to assuage their minority complex.If india had a state with more than 50 million bhuddhists then they would not unnecessarily fear federalism.

    i would like the sinhalese to give some ideas as to how to give the maximum autonomy for the north and east unmerged and have no worry about tamilnadu.

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