20 September, 2020

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The Future Of The Tamils

By Jan Jananayagam

Jan Jananayagam

Jan Jananayagam

Thank you for the opportunity to address the Tamil Writers Guild on the 10th Anniversary of its founding by Mr CJT Thamotheram.

I have been asked to talk on the ‘Future of the Tamils’. I am conscious of the weight of the topic. And of the impossibility of doing it justice in the time available. It is somewhat like the story of the team of blind men touching an elephant and trying to describe it. My comments are in a personal capacity rather than on behalf of Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) because this is a cultural event and some aspects of the topic fall outside of TAGs mandate.

I start with a story. Bear with me, with luck its relevance will become clear.

On the Hawaian Island of Kauai, that is rich in its own sacred traditions, and for its beauty and lushness the Hawaians call it the garden island, on this Island stands a Saivite monastery with some twenty monks most of them American by birth and Caucasian by ethnicity. The monks are prolific writers and it is for this reason that I have chosen their example as relevant to this audience. For it is not widely known among the Tamil Diaspora that they are also publishers and editors of one of the leading English language Hindu magazines – Hinduism Today. Last year they published a book, the ‘Guru Chronicles’ on the history of their Guru Parampara [lineage]. They trace their Parampara to Yogaswami of Jaffna and from him 2000 years back along the Kailasa Parampara.

So this is their story –In the late 1940s, a young man from San Francisco went seeking enlightenment, and at some point in his travels arrived at Yogaswami’s ashram in Jaffna. In time Yogaswami ordained him as a successor – thus a Satguru in his own right – and instructed him to take back his religion to American, ‘go build a bridge’. In another anecdote from a Jaffna disciple, when this disciple visited Yogaswami, some years before he died, he found the Swami in tears. When asked for the reason, the Swami replied that he was crying for the coming tribulations of his people. Thus the monastery and its followers believe that Yogaswami foresaw the civil war and the destruction it would cause. The monks thus see themselves as the spiritual guardians of Yogaswami’s Saivite traditions precisely at a time when their Guru had foreseen great risks to his tradition as well as forced migration that would create a vast Diaspora.

Next to the monastery is being built a hand-carved stone temple in the traditional Chola style. Being a temple to Siva, it is called Iraivan. It is the American founder’s vision that the temple will last a 1000 years, akin to the great pilgrimage centres of Tamil Nadu. And having seen it, I have no doubt that it will.

Now this being a talk on the Tamil people, the question arises – is the monastery Tamil? Having thought on this, I can say this. Firstly ‘As Latin is to the Vatican, so is Tamil to the Kauai Monastery and Temple complex’. It is an intrinsic part of the Tamil heritage.

More importantly Tamil is a culture, perhaps primarily linguistic and the notion of Tamil is defined as a way of life and a value system. It is inclusive of multiple ethnicities and religions.

This is a good point for me to note, that this lecture, which marks the 10th anniversary of the Tamil Writers Guild, is the CJT Thamotheram annual memorial lecture and of course, Mr Thamotheram like many leading Tamil leaders, including Thanthai Chelvanayagam, is of the Christian faith. So in the course of preparing for this, I asked Mr Thamotheram’s son, what had been his father’s aims in founding these institutions – the UK Tamil schools, the Tamil magazine, the Writers Guild where we are today and so on. And so he said ‘ my father saw the Tamil people arriving (in the UK) and he wanted that they should not feel that they were, so to speak, ‘lost souls’.

So I was struck quite deeply by this term – ‘lost souls’. It’s a phrase that resonates fundamentally with a key mission of the monks whom I have taken as my example – to literally transport a foundation –in this instance, spiritual but also cultural to new shores.

Tamil is one of the world’s oldest living classical languages – by this is meant that by its breadth and depth of literature it is considered, along with Latin, Arabic, Ancient Greek, Sanskrit as a classical language, yet it is a living language, spoken daily now across the world. The question before us is this – our language having survived for over 2500 years of attested history ( or 5000+ years of oral history depending on whom you ask)   – can we aspire to have it thrive for a reasonable fraction of that?

The Kauai Monastery Founder, Satguru Sivasubramunyaswami built the Iraivan Temple to last a 1000 years. Where do we as the global Tamil community intend to be in a fraction of that time? Indeed do we intend to be around at all?

Having posed this question about the far future I will not presume to answer it. Instead I will share a few thoughts on distinct but related issues that I see as relevant to the present moment.

The first is this. We tend to see the Tamil nation as centred ‘back there’ in Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka, and like a wheel with spokes we are connected, spiritually, culturally, politically to that centre.

But this model has fundamental risks – we are here, and therefore our spiritual and cultural foundations have to be here: in the present.

It is also only by building that foundation here, can we hope to share it. If we are to share any of our heritage with our British countrymen then it must be home- grown here. The model is thus a circle of equal participants than a wheel with spokes.

Here in Britain, we find ourselves with a choice of identities and need to ask ourselves what is compelling about Tamil and how do our multiple identities co- exist in our own lives. I choose my words in the knowledge that the English identity has much to commend it. It is strong and an enticing one – as we see played out in the Scottish independence debates.

If future generations of Englishmen (or women) are not convinced of the values and contributions of the Tamil heritage, then why must future generations of British Tamils, choose to prioritize elements of their Tamil heritage in their daily lives.

The monastery in Kauai stands out as a luminous example of how core elements of the Tamil heritage can and must be shared with a global community that does not see itself as ethnically Tamil.

In pushing for this decentralized model for our cultural foundations, I am conscious of the crisis in Sri Lanka. Internationalisation is not capitulation. It is an active recognition firstly of the unity of the Tamil people regardless of geographic dispersion and secondly of the benefits and risks of globalisation.

Indeed, in the present political context in the “original home”, Sri Lanka, it is a matter of survival. The Polish Jewish scholar Raphael Lemkin who studied the Nazis said of genocide:

“Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation., except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such plan would be disintegration of political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of  national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belong to such group…” 

TAG (Tamils Against Genocide) as an organization, bases much of its work around Lemkin’s theory of genocide. We are conscious of the ongoing ethnically- motivated destruction not only of individual lives but also of institutions in Sri Lanka.

If our future is guaranteed, and we are confident of it, we would not be today having this talk on the ‘future of the Tamil people’.

The benefit of decentralization is that we build these institutions in relatively safe and geographically diverse spaces – so to destroy them one would have to destroy them simultaneously across a distributed network, which is harder to do. 

So turning now to the immediate risk in Sri Lanka. I do not need to emphasize to this audience the nature of the risk that is posed by Sri Lanka’s strategy of demographic change, its systemic enforced cultural disintegration via military occupation and all that accompanies it. The military’s tentacles reach deep into civilian structures, including schools, its violence, particularly against Tamil women is calculated to erode the foundations of family, social and cultural structures. It is not merely a question of land but also of identity.

I am confident that in the post-2009 years we have decentralized the political institutions of the Tamil nation –diasporic political institutions in London,

Washington, Geneva, Toronto and so on have emerged as crucial drivers. It is in desperation and in recognition of this shift in the centre of gravity in the political battle from the Vanni to the global capitals where the Diaspora lives, that GOSL has sought to ban all major Tamil political groups in “the West”.

In considering this decentralized and internationalized political movement I come to two key challenges that lie before us.

A central challenge of the next few years, one that will shape our future is the uncovering of the truth about the final years of the war – the establishment of an accurate historical narrative.

Because we rightly remain pre-occupied with the physical fallout of 2009 we are yet to come to terms with their historical impact. No catastrophe of such magnitude has been noted in the annals of our oral or written history. Yet the battles of 2009 will shape Tamil identity and politics for centuries to come. 

While a primary impediment to the peaceful co-existence of the Sinhala and Tamil peoples in Sri Lanka remains Sinhala Buddhism’s self-image as owners of the whole island – a second, linked impediment is the absolute lack of a shared understanding among Sinhalese and Tamils of the events of 2009. This is the soft outcome of the project for international justice.

For example, modern Germany and modern Israel have a fairly congruent understanding of what happened in Auschwitz. The Nuremberg trials were part of that journey.

What we realize less is that the truth of 2009 is also important to the identity of British Tamils in Britain. Even as the domestic ban on the LTTE impacted Tamil identity in Britain so will our shared understanding of 2009. Currently there are multiple narratives – some narratives that I can think of are ours, that of the Sinhalese, those of the Foreign Office, other governments and the UN, some of which is no doubt hidden in classified memos. In time a less fragmented narrative must emerge.

The second challenge and my closing observation to you is this. The greatest schism in the Tamil community in Sri Lanka is between those who have and those have not  – a result of the extreme poverty engineered by the Sri Lankan state among the former people of the Vanni and other displaces persons, and of the destruction of family structures.

It follows that in the remittance economy of the Tamil homelands, the divide is between those who are connected to the western Diaspora and those who are not. Those who have family abroad and those who do not. 

This is also the most significant fault-line in the refugee communities now spread across Asia – in South India, Thailand, Malaysia and so on. It is the difference between those who embark on perilous boat journeys and those who escape Sri Lanka by plane.

If there is a single threat to our vision of a globally connected Tamil community – a network that survives trends towards disintegration – it lies in these economic fault-lines.

A critical responsibility of the Western thus is to bridge these fault lines. 

Asylum is an area that TAG has only recently embarked on post 2009. The Diaspora institutions that assist refugees have not built capacity to reach the groups of people that are presently isolated from the Diaspora. Most refugees who arrive in Britain have some family connection here – this is not true for those arriving in Australia, Tamil Nadu – India or Togo.

I leave you with the thought that our institutions need to have both an international vision and capacity – refugee assistance on a broader international scale is a good place to start. 

*Tamil Writers’Guild (TWG) 10th Anniversary – CJT Thamotheram Memorial Lecture – delivered by Jan Jananayagam of Tamils Against Genocide

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Latest comments

  • 15
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    Another one of those Diaspora group, battling hard to keep the struggle alive so that they can further their asylum claims. Still talking about “Tamul Ellam”

    I wonder how this all concurring rich language and culture which said to be 5,000 years old (in the above article) could not produce a single human being who did not crave out a country for them in India or in Asian subcontinent where land could have been so abundantly available he could have claimed as much he wanted.

    To me this looks like a community/civilization which did not have foresight, Since modern India has banned even the uttering of word separatism suddenly woke up, had high hopes that V Paba karan would give them that illusive “Home Land” which they lovingly called “Elam” but the dream was shattered in 2009.

    The article say only after 2009 they have started concentrating on “Asylum”, they talk about LTTE as cuddly puppy dog.

    When will this lot stop whining?

    • 9
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      Ms. Jan Jananayagam is an accomplished woman.

      She is a leading voice in the fancy Tamils Against Genocide (TAG). Believe it or not! Ha..ha!

      However, Ms. Jan Jananayagam on purpose missed all opportunties to lend her two cents worth to yet another highly relavant organisation.

      Tamils Against Child Soldiers (TACS).

      Now, isn’t that mysterious!

      Cheers!

      PS: How about Tamils Against Cyanide Capsule Culture (TACCC) Ms. Jan Jananayagam? How about Tamils Against Suicide Attacks (TASA)? Did you lend your voice to them too? When they were desperate for a voice in the West.

      • 5
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        Bravo Ben! I find it utterly amazing and self-serving that this educated woman can be so utterly uninformed and unbiased. Eelam is not in Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan Tamils are firstly Sri Lankans, like she argues herself for UK Tamils. The longer this idiocracy is maintained the longer people suffer. The TNA agenda and that of the Diaspora leading pro-LTTE groups is one of separatism for an unjust cause. There is no cultural genocide, only cultural suicide in the minds of those who long for something that was never exclusively theirs. The Tamil homeland is India. For reasons of not concern to Sri Lanka they are not allowed to become their own country. With so many Tamils around the world, is there any one single place on the planet that you could all live together as one nation. I think not. Be realistic, self respect from within the hearts of honest human beings. Don’t blame the Sri Lankans for the bad plan gone wrong.

      • 6
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        Ben Hurling

        “How about Tamils Against Suicide Attacks (TASA)?”

        Actually LTTE learned the essence of suicide attacks from Buddhist Kamikaze pilots and improved on it.

        • 2
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          “Actually LTTE learned the essence of suicide attacks from Buddhist Kamikaze pilots and improved on it.”

          True. LTTE improved on it. Indeed.

          Kamikaze pilots delivered clinically targetd suicide attacks during WW11.

          You bet LTTE improved on it.

          Therefore I beg Ms. Jan Jananayagam voice her heartfelt support to follwing brand new die-ass-pora grouping:

          Tamils Against Suicide Attacks Here, There & Everywhere (TASAHTE)

          Cheers!

      • 2
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        ” Ms. Jan Jananayagam is an accomplished woman. “

        Not a patch on cyanide Adele though.

      • 1
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        Ben, incase you are still hadn’t heard, the LTTE is now gone. So genocide remains the major issue for Tamils. Welcome to the 21st century.

    • 5
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      Afzal

      “Another one of those Diaspora group, battling hard to keep the struggle alive so that they can further their asylum claims.”

      You may be right. Following the foot steps of Tamil Asylum seekers Muslims are also staging their own “peaceful protests” in London town according to Colombo Telegraph. Peaceful protests in London work in mysterious ways not just for Tamils, Sinahalese and now Muslims as well.

      “When will this lot stop whining?”

      when Palestinians have liberated their land from occupying Jews. Actually Palestinians are looking up to MR for their liberation as all their Muslim brothers have proven to be just windbags.

      If you really want them to stop whining please urge MR to send his gallant armed forces to liberate Palestinian land. Remember once MR was an ardent supporter of Palestinian cause.

      I am told Tamils will be right behind MR if he really leads the Palestinian to their promised land.

      • 5
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        Native just want to say even Palestinians don’t make so much noise even after so much oppression and injustice. The Tamul Diaspora are cry babies taking every opportunity to fly the tiger flag and claim genocide. It has spread to schools in England as well.
        Sole objective is to further their pending asylum claims.

        On the other hand Muslim protest is about injustice, they are not asylum seekers they are economic migrants where fair number of Singhala Buddhist economic migrants too are residing in many parts of Europe.

        The remittance sent by these people (mostly toilet cleaners as Ela Kolla puts it) is what is making our economy to withstand the down turn and prosper.

        If not for them our land would have been reduced truly to a vadda land worst than Zimbabwe.

        On the other hand sad to say singhala people don’t even know the meaning of protest. 1,000 of youths were killed in the open did we see any protest ? is there a single organization which is demanding the truth and justice ? where are the parents of the killed youths ? no they just take it in stride and turn the other way. They are only capable of rounding some thugs and attack an innocent muslim or a tamil shop with around 300-400 cowards.

        You can see from the responses on this forum to such incidents it’s a minority who condone such acts, the majority in this county are sensible people who are being held to ransom since independence by corrupt rulers which is preventing this country from living up to it’s potential.

        This country has some serious problems, where most of the educated lot have conveniently ignoring.

        You call this a Buddhist Land, but as I said before
        99% of the murders are committed by majority community
        99% of rape committed by majority community
        100% of Soodu polawal & Tabarum owned by majority community.

        I accept the kudu business is being taken over by the “new elite” from Muslim IRC.

        Address these issues Native !

        • 6
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          Afzal

          Since Ela Kolla is your friend, philosopher and guide I may not be able to match his intellect.

          “Native just want to say even Palestinians don’t make so much noise even after so much oppression and injustice.”

          Please subscribe to CNN or Al Jazeera which might give you an opportunity to catch up what had gone on in this world in the last hundreds of years, most importantly in the middle east, particularly to the Palestinians. If you don’t hear their wailing there must be something wrong with your hearing. If you haven’t seen how they suffer, something wrong with your eyes.

          If you couldn’t grasp as to what has been happening to them and how they express their grief then you must be a middle east medieval moron which makes you incapable of empathising with suffering masses.

          • 4
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            Vadda is hurt , out comes his true colors ! which of course is not a surprise.

            • 4
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              Afzal

              “Vadda is hurt , out comes his true colors ! which of course is not a surprise.”

              Since Vedda is not a practitioner of Varnashrama-dharma colour does not matter much. One ought to be colour blind if one is prepared to take on the racists, bigots, hypocrites, …. and morons.

              I am proud to say I am colour blind.

              • 4
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                Good to know that, make sure when you vote “ding” which is Green is on the left side “dong” which is Red is in the right side.

        • 5
          4

          Afzal you Sinkalam:

          You must be shitting in your pants and Enjoy the following

          BJP’s A-listers Hold Slew of Meetings Before Flying to See Narendra Modi

          New Delhi: With exit polls predicting a victory for the BJP and its allies, the party’s top leaders are assembling their strategy for what happens after the results are announced on Friday.

          Here are the 10 latest developments:

          1.
          Narendra Modi, the BJP’s presumptive prime minister, is in his home state of Gujarat today. Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari and BJP chief Rajnath Singh will fly there to consult with him today.

          2.
          Most exit polls show Mr Modi powering the BJP to a majority. (Narendra Modi-led BJP Set For Victory, Exit Polls Show)

          3.
          BJP heavy-hitters were in a series of meetings this morning. Nitin Gadkari met with senior leader Sushma Swaraj, who was initially seen as a member of the club within the BJP that was opposed to Mr Modi being declared the presumptive prime minister. Party veteran LK Advani headed that group.

          4.
          Separately, Mr Jaitley met with Mr Modi’s top aide, Amit Shah, who ran the BJP campaign in Uttar Pradesh. (India Votes 2014: Full coverage)

          5.
          Even if the BJP-led alliance does get more than the 272 seats it needs to form the government, Mr Modi may still want more partners in order to have a stable coalition.

          6.
          Many analysts have predicted he will strike a deal with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and her AIADMK – some polls give her 30 seats.

          7.
          Mr Modi has indicated that he is open to new alliances in a post-election blog. “This is the right time to look ahead. It is a time to connect with each other,” he wrote on Monday. “Let us place people over politics, hope over despair, healing over hurting, inclusion over exclusion and development over divisiveness,” he added. (Narendra Modi blogs on the conclusion of 2014 Lok Sabha Elections)

          8.
          An expression of interest came from the AIADMK today. “Modi is great friend of Jayalalithaa, they may differ politically. If he becomes PM then Madam would like close ties,” said AIADMK leader and former MP K Malaisamy.(Message for Narendra Modi from Tamil Nadu: ‘Madam Would Like Close Ties’)

          9.
          Another regional heavyweight – Naveen Patnaik, chief minister of Odisha – has not ruled out supporting a government led by Mr Modi.

          10.
          On Tuesday, a senior leader from Mr Patnaik’s party, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) said it could offer “conditional support” to a BJP government.

        • 1
          1

          afzal is a toilet cleaner in a foreign land

          • 0
            3

            Ela you are refined now,

            you see u get your comments posted now. CT editor has his work cut out for him.
            Make sure you maintain the standards, I am sure gradually you will drop of the words from you posts.

            This is what bit of education can do imagine what will be the out come if really concentrate !

            • 3
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              Afzal you idiot:

              The Moderator has no problem FLUSHING you out through the Toilet because you stink. You are elas excr.m..t.

            • 1
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              afzal, your education has given you all the skills and competencies to become a pro in toilet cleaning. i’m glad you are good at it

          • 2
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            ela

            How did you manage to FLUSH this one past the Moderator.

            • 2
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              I think u r new here, don’t play with Ela. you don’t know who he is
              specially when u sport a obvious TAMIL name

          • 4
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            ela kolla

            “afzal is a toilet cleaner in a foreign land”

            You have the potential to grow up, don’t waste it.

            By the way whats wrong with toilet cleaning as long it pays the bills. You must learn the principle of an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. What a pity being a Sinhala/Buddhist does not help you with learning.

            You should meet my Elders.

            • 1
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              vedda, you can climb the corporate ladder in toilet cleaning as most of minority suckers do

              • 1
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                ela kolla

                “vedda, you can climb the corporate ladder in toilet cleaning as most of minority suckers do”

                Oh yes they do.

                Lets see, your people who work in Medieval Middle East kingdoms are minorities among the Arabs.

                Your people in the Indian Ocean are minorities in that region unless of course you count entire Tamilnadu population as yours.

                When you meet outsiders who have some idea of decency you are forced to count yourself out. Because your people are in the majority.

                Lets not discuss stupidity, your people are always in the majority.

                Sorry what are we discussing here?

                • 0
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                  vedda, as always you are as good as a lump of shit

                  • 3
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                    ela kolla

                    “vedda, as always you are as good as a lump of shit”

                    Were you playing with it?

          • 0
            0

            “afzal is a toilet cleaner in a foreign land” like your mother and sister in Dubai and Lebanon or is it in USA?.

    • 4
      5

      Afzal you Sinkalam:

      Coward writing under a Muslim name but the message is Sinkalam

      • 6
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        I admire your intelligence, you posses such insight ! where did u master your trade ?

      • 4
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        By the way I don’t waste my “Ding” & “Dong” on lapati kollo like you. I am sure you don’t know what “ding” and “dong” means for that my friend you need to talk to Ela Kolla, he is the master “Ding” “dong” if you think Ela is too raw for you u may approach Mike, who is currently MIA.

    • 1
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      I think you are missing the point of the article. The Tamils in general haven’t craved a separate state for decades. It is only when others impose their language and culture on them that Tamils act – e.g. India in the 50s/60s and Sri Lanka since independence. The point of the article is that Tamil in the internet age has transcended geographical boundaries and race identity. The author seems to pleased that caucasian monks in a hawaii have adopted an originally tamil faith .. and the author seems to be celebrating that. I think its time that sinhala nationalism caught up with the rest of the world.

  • 5
    6

    “Last year they published a book, the ‘Guru Chronicles’ on the history of their Guru Parampara [lineage]. They trace their Parampara to Yogaswami of Jaffna and from him 2000 years back along the Kailasa Parampara.”

    Yogar Swami was born a Roman Catholic and learnt the rudiments of mysticism at a Roman Catholic Church. If you were to trace his guru parampara to 2000 years surely you will end up in Jesus Christ.

    • 5
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      Definitely Yoga Swami was not born a Roman Catholic. His parents were devout Hindus living close to the holy Murugan Temple of Maviddapuram in Jaffna.

      Sengodan. M

      • 4
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        Those who deliberately distort Yoga Swamy’s lineage or Parampara saying that he was a Roman Catholic know what they say is untrue because they have a set agenda to abide by.

        Yoga Swamy was of Hindu origin, and was known as Yoganathan when he attended St.Patricks College Jaffna as a student following the demise of his mother to live under the guardianship of his father’s brother who had converted to Catholism after his marriage to a woman of that faith.
        There is no evidence that Yoganathan or Sathsivam as he was then known had converted to that religion because he was a Guru beyond religion and all religious limitations.
        He was an Enlightened Man.

        • 1
          3

          Uthungan,
          I have come to doubt many of these histories. Your words like agenda and woman for Yogaswamy’s Aunt show a certain anger rather than dispassionate scholarship. What Catholic woman? Your agenda? She is a lady to have brought him up in her house!! This feeds on my doubts.

          You say there is no evidence Yogasami was a Catholic but what is more relevant is whether you have any evidence that he did not convert?

          You yourself admit that he lived with his uncle who was a Catholic. This is a strong indication of his religion, particularly when he was going to St. Patrick’s.

          As Yogasamy he was admittedly holding up all religions. But that was in much later life. From St. Patricks he went to the Vanni where he was a watcher at a government building. It was much later that he sat under a tree in Colombogam and became a Hindu. (This is from a Patrick’s old boy I spoke to).

          There is plenty of evidence that from his uncle’s house Yogasami was nurtured by the Catholic Church and St. Patrick’s College in his youth. These are strong indications he was a Catholic in earlier life as his front-house neighbour and seeshiya in Colombogam in the 1950s asserted (He does not want to be dragged into this controversy). Do you have proof or even indications he was not a Catholic?

          • 1
            1

            You label yourself CYNIC.
            Your contention that Yogaswamy was born a Catholic is understandable and it is clear that you have a motivation to distort a well known fact for your own reasons.That exactly is your agenda.
            It is your problem if you think that you are a scholar and that one and two is four and that woman is not a lady and I do not wish to argue about it.

            • 1
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              “Your contention that Yogaswamy was born a Catholic…”

              Great scholarship indeed! You create a non-existent fact and then attack it. I never claimed that Yogasami was born a Catholic. Things like the wikipedia quietly hide the fact that his adoptive parents were Catholic or that he was nurtured in a Catholic school. I am happy that you at least admit some of these facts.

      • 2
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        Thank you for the information. I am interested in studying the spiritualy that is indegenous to Jaffna.

        At the Toronto Tamil Conference on Saturday I hear there will be a paper on Rev. Yogarsami. Will they post the transcript please for the others to read? Chellappa swami of Jaffna is said to be Yogar’s guru and that he and his Indian guru used to sit in front of the temple in Nallur. Yogarsami’s parents and adoptive parents could only have helped him to choose and practice methods of worship. What was the religious practice he was exposed to/participated in/performed daily? This and if not some environmental or social factor in Jaffna/ Killinochchi could have opened up his potential to touch the transcendent.

        His guru can claim credit only regarding the interpretation of the sami’s experiences and ‘theology’ and techniques unless we are talking of his spirit’s possession. Before meeting his guru who would have spotted his spiritual tendencies or would have helped prepare the ground spiritually? Both parties deserve credit.These can be discerned from saami’s original writings and two pieces of data we can determine these: 1)when and where did he have his first zero or void experience? 2)What was Yogarsami’s immediate position after the illumination mentioned elsewhere in this discourse.

        Maviddapuram’s and Nallur’s spiritual effectiveness can also be discerned. Please post some samples of his writings.I hope the monks of Hawaii can illuminate us.

        Also from Nallur was the Muslim mystic who used to live in Philadelphia. He spoke such beautiful or rather Jaffna town Tamil.He is on the web.

        Canon Somasundaram of St. James’ Nallur Church (nee kodimara changarar of Maaviddapuram) has also been documented in two books and other secondary material as a parallel sanniyasin and his sermons and carnatic-type hymns are still repeated/sung by his hearers from memory.

        Little Nallur is so blest to have had such religious prominence from three world religions simultaneously.
        May be that is why it came to be called Nallur (good village)in the 20th century when it is recorded by the English as Nellur (paddy village)in the previous century. Hope the same religious harmony prevails in these columns in exploring the swamy’s spirituality and background. Jaffna university must lead us in studying these three men.

  • 4
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    Jan Jananayagam says:

    “The first is this. We tend to see the Tamil nation as centred ‘back there’ in Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka, and like a wheel with spokes we are connected, spiritually, culturally, politically to that centre.”

    I wonder how she managed to make the entire Tamilnadu and its population of 80 or so million people disappear in few seconds into her talk.

    She must be either an Indian mystic or a clever magician.

    David CopperfieldDavid Blaine, Penn and Teller, Jerry Sadowitz, Dynamo, Derren Brown, Harry Houdini, …. are few of the best magicians who struck us with Shock and awe.

    Jan Jananayagam has beaten them all.

    Can anyone believe how she has managed to pull this trick without waving her hands or sleight of hand (prestidigitation, legerdemain).

    Must be a wonder kid. She has a bright future in show business.

    I wish her well.

    • 5
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      Native, I think you are being too harsh.
      Tamil Nadu may have 80 million Tamils whereas Sri Lankan Tamil base population is only around 2 million.Butthe Global Tamil diaspora is pre dominantly Sri Lankan Tamils.

      The occssion of her speech is also to remember a Sri Lankan Tamil Scholar CJT.

      So she is referring to Sri Lankan Tamils driven away form thiere home land to all corners of the world by Shinhala racist policies. and I think it’s a beautiful expression to describe the connection of Sri Lanka Tamil diaspora back to their homeland.

      Whereas Tamil Nadu is the rock for Tamil Language and Tamil Culture. And there is a physical link from Tamil North in Sri Lanka to the Tamil South in Inida.

      So she did not make 80 million Tamils in Tamil Nadu just vanish in thin air. On the contrary there is an implied recognition and respect to the origin of the oldest culture and languag of the world

      • 3
        3

        Rajash,
        ‘Tamil Nadu is the rock for Tamil Language and Tamil Culture’ – Why then do the Sri Lankan tamils seek asylum in western countries! Go to your motherland next door.
        ‘Not a single Sri Lankan Tamil was driven away form their home land’ – Those Tamils who dreamt of a separate Eelam homeland sought economic migration as asylum seekers.

        • 5
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          Lanka

          “Why then do the Sri Lankan tamils seek asylum in western countries! Go to your motherland next door.”

          The country is ruled by the Hindians, some of them are Tamil speaking people too. Hindians do not know whether they are coming or going, hence the Tamil speaking Demelas from this island sre going to West.

          In the case of Arya Sinhala/Buddhists asylum seekers they too follow the foot steps of their Demela brethren, straight to Western countries which they abhor. Incidentally Somawansa and his fellow terrorist stayed in Hindia for quite some before they took their onward journey to Capitalist countries.

          Why haven’t the Sinhala/Buddhists Aryans sought asylum in Bihar, Bengal or Tamilnadu? Is their a strategic or philosophical reason for all of them to go west? I am looking at economic reasons. How about you?

          FYI there are about 150,000 Tamils in Tamilnadu who have sought asylum and still continue to live there.

          You should remember Vijaya and his thugs sought asylum in my ancestral land.

        • 5
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          what a stupid statement. Where one wants to emigrate and live is one’s choice.

      • 2
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        Dear Rajash,

        Re “So she is referring to Sri Lankan Tamils driven away form thiere home land to all corners of the world by Shinhala racist policies”

        No Tamil was driven away. So please don’t lie.
        They went of their own accord.

        Those who went to India, the closest refuge, went for two reasons.

        1. Escape from the clutches of Prabahkaran.
        2. Escape from a possible recurrence of the 1983 violence.

        In 1984, thirty Tamils were killed for refusing to join the LTTE’s war effort and their bodies dumped. We also had the Lamp Post killings of Tamils in Jaffna carried out by Tamil terrorists (the victims were tied on lamp posts by barbed wire with placards on or near the body giving the reason for the killing). The bodies were exhibited to intimidate the Tamil public.

        Unless one was a separatist who was willing to fight for the cause, Terrorist dominated areas were not safe for Tamil civilians. Later, when child conscription commenced, it was not safe even for children and families left the Terrorist dominated areas to keep their children safe.

        Those who went elsewhere, further afield, went also for two reasons.

        1. The opportunity to better their economic situation.
        2. Escape from the LTTE.

        This group were economic opportunists and was running away from the LTTE. All the rhetoric is eye wash, designed to attract sympathy.

        The Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, the Sri Mahabodhi in Anuradhapura (A Bo tree with a recorded history of over 2 millennia) and the Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak) are the three most venerated shrines of Lanka’s Buddhists. Lanka’s population is 70% Buddhist.

        In May 14, 1985 the LTTE attacked the Sri Mahabodhi and massacred 146 people, Monks, novice monks (who are children), men, women and children. This indiscriminate massacre, the largest to date, was meant to trigger another pogrom similar to 1983. Although the calculated provocation was sufficient to trigger a conflagration greater than the 1983 pogrom it did not happen.

        This was clear indication that 1983 was not going to repeat.

        In 1987 the Central Bus stand in Colombo was bombed. 116 civilians men women and children were killed and many more wounded. There was no retaliation.

        In 1996 the Central Bank was bombed and attacked with RPG’s killing 91 civilians.

        Later that year a packed office train was bombed during peak traffic. Four suitcase bombs were placed in 4 carriages and simultaneously set off causing carnage and mayhem. 64 civilians were killed and 400 wounded. Dehiwalla borders Wellawatta (Colombo 6) which is densely populated by Tamils but no retaliation occurred.

        In 1998 the Temple of the Tooth was attacked with two trucks laden with 400kg bombs. 16 people were killed. This time the crowds that gathered around the Temple burnt down 3 cars and a Hindu cultural center in Kandy. The violence did not spread. This again was a calculated provocation expecting a repeat of 1983. The LTTE was proscribed the following day.

        In 2006 during a period of ceasefire a bus was attacked with 2 claymore mines in Kebethigollawa. 68 Sinhalese (men, women and infants) died. No retaliation.

        I have only used a representative sample of the many attacks on civilians targets by the LTTE to illustrate my point.

        That the Tamil Diaspora that you represent are a callous, self centered, heartless lot is underlined by the fact that No effective protest was made by you against the LTTE’s use of Child soldiers (9 years onwards), though you made a hue and cry doing death fasts and blocking highways waving terrorist flags supporting the LTTE.

        The economic refugees did not care a cent about the Tamils back home. Their actions speak louder than words.

        Kind Regards,
        OTC

        • 2
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          bla bla bla

          • 2
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            Dear Rajash,

            I am not writing to convince you but to expose you and your propaganda.

            Inability to defend what you write confirms that what you wrote was indefensible fabricated propaganda.

            The data I used is factual. Hence no one can challenge them.

            It is a FACT that Tamils had no safety within the LTTE held area unless they were prepared to fight for the LTTE.

            The ONLY area that had comparative safety in Lanka, was in the South, amongst the Sinhalese. I said comparatively because if you were important to the LTTE they would have assassinated you even when in the South as they did with many Tamils such as TULF’s Neelan Tiruchelvam, MP.

            Any Tamil NOT SUPPORTIVE of the war had to leave the LTTE area. They had no CHOICE in the matter.

            If Ms Jan Jananayagam’s parents stayed in the North, she definitely would have ended up as a LTTE child soldier and become Cannon fodder. Hence they moved away from LTTE’s clutches. First to the South then overseas to a Capitalist country as economic refugees. It was a case of opportunism for Mr and Mrs Jananayagam and the need to safeguard their child from the LTTE.

            It was the same for you and the rest of the Tamil Diaspora who were not prepared to fight Prabahkaran’s war or to sacrifice their children to the LTTE. However you HAPPILY watched while Children of Other Parents were condemned to death without even a murmur of protest.

            You suckered the immigration officers of Capitalist Countries by saying you are compelled to leave Lanka due to persecution. But what you did not tell them was that the persecution was coming from the Murderous Prabahkaran’s LTTE.

            That was clever, kill two birds with one stone.

            Truth is difficult to contest with cooked up propaganda Rajash.

            Kind Regards,
            OTC

            • 3
              1

              Nice propaganda Off the bluff. Refugees reached in TN clearly told that they cannot stay with sinhala racists. In recent survey even after elemination of LTTE, they expressed not to return to sinha racists land like yours, Dont fool. You will be fooled.

              • 3
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                manisekaran

                The recent arrival of Tamil asylum seekers from this island had raised a number of questions.

                Are they refugees fleeing from real or perceived persecution?

                Are they they being planted by Gota’s unintelligent tools?

                The refugees look posh.

                Hindians reported to have announced that all those who claim asylum and arrive from this island would be treated as Kallathonies. If its true the land which has a history of accepting diverse people (including persecuted Jews and others Bhahai)into its borders (melting pot) for millennia had suddenly found it unacceptable.

                Hindians are increasingly buying and consciously accepting western ideas and definitions which is an affront to its long established heritage.

                The people of India should remain true to itself, not aping other countries.

                • 1
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                  Hindians are hypocrites, if it suits their interest, they take Dalai lama , if it does not serve any benefit they will ask him to be quiet or quit, they empower LTTE or ditch. Thats how the section of Hindhians are always. I agree with you.

              • 2
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                Dear manisekaran,

                If what I have written is propaganda and not fact it should be easy for you to take my points one by one and logically destroy them.

                That you have not ventured to do so proves who is doing propaganda.

                I do hope you are brave enough to take up my challenge and prove me wrong.

                Kind Regards,
                OTC

      • 2
        1

        Rajash,

        Re “And there is a physical link from Tamil North in Sri Lanka to the Tamil South in Inida.”

        What physical Link?
        There is non above the waterline.

        Kind Regards,
        OTC

    • 3
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      Dear Native,

      They want to screw you man…

      Who wants to holiday in Tamil Nadu, to practice culture , heritage and of course the ‘Gurus”.

      Do they have Torrington , square, Marine Drive, Waters Edge and the R & R to take a break after their intensive cultural rituals and practices and indulge in a few worldly pleasure such as cool power walk and a cold beer in a hip restaurant,

      After all your native land soon have the same facilities as their Diaspora lands and it will be a home away from home…

  • 4
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    ”….the Swami replied that he was crying for the coming tribulations of his people. Thus the monastery and its followers believe that Yogaswami foresaw the civil war and the destruction it would cause”.

    The Gods of all Religions were deaf and blind to the agonies of the poor Vanni Mann. The same Gods never questioned the SL Army or the vultures of VP on their crimes on powerless.

    Even yogaswami had had nothing but some jots of tears on the Vanniyans. God Shiva must have informed him that Soorya Thevan (Sun God) was powerful in those forest land of the Vanni and therefore he too was powerless.

    The real representative of the Hindu Tamils Mr.Karunanidhi clearly showed the world …the real face of any Tamil leader.

    ..and some of the very important task that VP undertook during his thuggery days to promote an independent state of Gundaas…..were..

    1.Building new Hindu Temples anywhere and everywhere to make money and to keep people in darkness.
    2.Aquiring the existing famous temples to generate more income…and thus the almighty multy Hindu Gods were serving VP.

    In jaffna…the number of temples in a single village would tell you the number of casts in the village. VP …in all his revolutions …never wanted to eradicate that cruel social injustice…did he !!?

    3.Creating Tamil schools to create a network for extortion…I mean to organise a list of Tamil Families ..from whom ..later ..the Vultures of VP collected millions and Billions to put them all on the street.

    …and now…Ms Jananayagam speaks about a Hawaian Tamil Monastry….mmm…who knows that, KP – the holy Buddhist and his holiest Buddhist master Gotta – the guardian of Saint Gnanasara Thera might make a visit to this asram. For, whatever is decided by my Jaffna man should be considered as Tamil nationalism and an effort to find Tamil Ealam….of course..at the expenses of the Vanni man’s blood.

    What a hypocrisy…..!!?

  • 1
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    The sum total of it, if you care to look at the wide issue in perspective, is the Lankan Tamil issue cannot be wished away.
    The over-financed military machine let loose on the Lankan Tamil Nation so subtly, to gradually weaken and destroy the LTN – will collapse in due course. The excessively financed Ministry of Defence when there is no war of threat of it in sight is the weapon chosen to achieve this purpose. This delusion of a possible Tiger resurrection is one more shallow instrument to fool the confused and hungry Sinhala Nation. The determination and will of the unarmed Lankan Tamils in the island and their resolute kit and kin in the diaspora will keep the flame of justice to Tamils alive.

    The only way out is for the majority Sinhala Nation and Govt to come with an acceptable formulae for both communities to live peacefully and work towards shared prosperity. The starting point is to abandon the trickery and enable the democratically and overwhelmingly elected NPC to function forthwith and effectively. It is not a favour Tamils ask from the Rajapakse family. That is an obligation of the Sinhala people and Govt that cannot be denied indefinitely. Needless to emphasise there will be no peace nor normalcy in Sri Lanka so long as the Tamil Nation is kept in chains.

    Backlash

    • 2
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      The elusive tamil nation is at the bottom of Nandikadal.

    • 1
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      Dear Backlash,

      Re “The only way out is for the majority Sinhala Nation and Govt to come with an acceptable formulae for both communities to live peacefully and work towards shared prosperity”

      How about Undiluted Equitable Equality as a Just solution?

      BTW, Is that pseudonym indicative of a threat?

      Kind Regards,
      OTC

      • 1
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        You cant serve a jsutice to your own people, and talikng about utophia dream. What the crap is that “Undiluted Equitable Equality “?

        • 1
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          Dear Manisekeran,

          Re ” What the crap is that “Undiluted Equitable Equality “?”

          A brainwashed separatist would not know that of course!

          Look the words up in an English Dictionary and re engage in the discussion after that.

          Kind Regards,
          OTC

          • 2
            1

            Brainwashed separatist? That is lot a better than brainwashed sinhala racist like you. My simple question, when you cant serve a justice to your own people who were killed recently in weliveriya ( Read TG article to know the truth), how are you saying that you will provide “equitable equality?”, cite an incident where atleast one culprit was punished for july 1983 riots. If you did not care for the lives of Tamil what you write here is nothing but an cunning ploy to decive Tamils. You people have been doing since many years to them!

            • 1
              1

              Dear Manisekaran,

              Racism did not start with either Weliveriya or the 1983 pogrom. Racism surfaced in 20th century amongst the Tamil political leadership.

              It surfaced within the Tamil Community in 1939.
              Racism was introduced to politics by the founder of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, the brilliant but Racist Lawyer, G. G. Ponnambalam.

              There were Riots in 1871, 1923, 1929 and 1931 before the first Sinhala Tamil Riots took place in 1939 (after a Hate Speech by GGP).

              ALL THOSE RIOTS WERE AMONGST TAMILS

              Can you explain why that was?
              Was it to deliver JUSTICE to the Tamil Polity at large?

              I have set out more details here. https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/why-the-ltte-was-defeated/comment-page-1/#comment-1260534

              Read it before you post again.

              Re “If you did not care for the lives of Tamil”

              But we did care for the Tamils, that’s why the Sinhalese and the Burghers gave refuge to Tamils under siege when doing so endangered them, their families and properties as well.

              We safe guarded our Tamil neighbours, friends and colleagues within our own houses, fed and cared for them for weeks until they could be delivered to safety.

              I am sure you know this but is too much of an ingrate to admit it.

              Read the UTHR(J) or ask Dr Rajasingham Narendran who writes to CT, to rediscover the truth.

              Kind Regards,
              OTC

      • 1
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        Thank you OTC. A honest, genuine and meaningful formula of equality can be a splendid starting point. Why has this been delayed and played about with for the past 6 years?

        The pseudonym is an indication that imposition of the unacceptable will be resisted, despite our disadvantage in numbers. Threat is not part of our psyche and ancient culture.
        Non-violence, compassion and brotherly feelings are at the core of our tradition which other religions, beliefs and spiritual philosophies have learnt from.

        Backlash

        • 0
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          Dear Backlash,

          Re “A honest, genuine and meaningful formula of equality can be a splendid starting point. Why has this been delayed and played about with for the past 6 years?”

          In the first place, the demands made from the rest of the population should be equitable. If these demands are inequitable then an ideological conflict occurs because no one will agree to such demands if their natural sense of justice is violated.

          The aspirations of one section of the populace should not infringe on the aspirations of the rest as long as those aspirations are equitable.

          Therein lies the answer to your question.

          Kind Regards,
          OTC

        • 1
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          Backlash

          You need to scratch the surface know the true nature of OTC! His term of equality and justice is all about Sri Lankan population is distributed throughout the island on the basis of national population ratio. This insidious mischief is to render the Tamils politically and geographically insignificant. This is what OTC is all about!

          • 2
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            Burning_Issue

            “This insidious mischief is to render the Tamils politically and geographically insignificant.”

            As a result of Sinhala/Buddhist Ethnic Fascism, next target is the Muslims.

  • 2
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    If Tamils continue to believe in Tamil homeland nonsense they have NO future in SL.

    Muslims are the largest minority already when SL Tamils and Indian Tamils are taken separately. Raja cooked the numbers to save himself from genocide claims.

    Tamils are the Dodos of 21st century.

    Racism is the downfall of Tamils.

    • 3
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      TamilsAreDodos

      “Racism is the downfall of Tamils”

      You mean Sinhala/Buddhist racism caused the downfall of Tamils?

      • 0
        0

        Tamil racism is the racism in built in Tamils.

        Look they have no country of their own. Why? Tamils’ racism.

        TamilsAreDodos!

        • 1
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          TamilsAreDodos

          “Tamil racism is the racism in built in Tamils.”

          Tamils and Sinhala/Buddhists are born racists. This is expected of them as they share their common gene, they express their respective racist traits slightly different style.

          LTTE, JVP, SLFP, UNP,….. armed forces, Sinhala/Buddhist monks, bureaucracy are some of the tools in their armory.

          For instance you are a Sinhala speaking Demela, who distances himself/herself from his/her Tamil brethren and Demela roots.

  • 1
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    Jan,

    All religions are absurd. You as a writer and thinker should know that.

    All monks, all swamis, all priests, all mullahs are charlatans who prey on the ignorance of the masses. Religion is nothing but a profitable business. Religions can be excused for carrying out their successful albeit nefarious activities if only such businesses are benign.In reality religion has proved to be anything but harmless.

    No one so far has convinced me that religion is not a divisive force, that religion is not destructive, that religion is not a tool that the wicked and the powerful use for despicable purposes, and those monks, mullahs, swamis and priests do not lead their blissfully faithful flock to self destruct.

    So Jan, as a writer and thinker you should be the last person to further pull the Hindu (or for that matter any religion) wool over the mesmerised eyes of the pathetic Tamil earthlings.

    • 1
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      I think this generalisation is wrong. No religion per se is evil, its those who practise them. The sinhala monks of Sri Lanka and the monks of Burma are extremists who do not tolerate others. Buddhism at its core is one of the most liberal religions on the planet. Similarly there are Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and Christian fanatics. To follow a faith of one’s choosing is a fundamental human right – one that has been denied to non-Buddhists in Sri Lanka for too long. Reform is long over due.

  • 1
    3

    Stupid Rev Devil is now talking about Jaffna man and Vanni man as if he is concerned more about one than the other.he appears to be a Sinhala Buddhist chauvinist who treats others like dirt. Why does he not talk about the poor Sinhala rural kids who fought in the army and died in the war when the fat upper class Sinhala- Buddhists indulged in their victory parade.

  • 2
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 2
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    No future……………….
    IC did not voice out when LTTE aided & abetted by the Western Block, HR Orgs, Journalists, INGOs, catholic Church were recruiting Tamil Youth & Children for a senseless war…

    Today, they are all voicing against Boko Haram to release girls kidnapped by them but did not when LTTE were doing it.

    This why there is no future for Tamils because of the pro LTTE Diaspora’s actions. in the past.

    • 2
      1

      thonda

      “IC did not voice out when LTTE aided & abetted by the Western Block, HR Orgs, Journalists, INGOs, catholic Church were recruiting Tamil Youth & Children for a senseless war…”

      You have short and selective memory. There have been many statements by IC. Go check Google.

    • 1
      1

      Well said.

      LTTE did SL a GREAT FAVOR by recruiting Tamil children.

      By sending Tamil kids to war they destroyed the Tamil future (if any).

      There should be a Tamil group in the lines of BOKO HARAM!!

      Tamils are DOOMED.

  • 1
    0

    By the same token the racist sri lankan state did the Tamils a great favour by creating a Tamil Diaspora, whose combined wealth is now greater than the GDP of that banana republic called Sri Lanka. And by the way the longer that sri lanka remains a racist shit hole the poorer they will become compared to the wealth of any one (Tamil or Sinhalese) who is entrepreneurial and successful in the West. The beauty of karma is that Sri Lanka needs to stop its anti -tamil racism before it can become prosperous.

  • 0
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    Thank you Speaker.
    Future of Tamils depend on Tamils themselves.Ot has now come to point of Genocide of Tamil race.So only way Tamils can survive is to get back the Tamil Kingdom from the Sinhalese.Otherwise Tamils will be extinct in a few years time.

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