23 October, 2021

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The Politics & Economics Of Frontierland

By Rajan Hoole

Dr. Rajan Hoole

Dr. Rajan Hoole

The Dress Rehearsal In Trincomalee – Part II

By the 1970s, and certainly more so by the 80s, serious doubts had begun to be expressed the world over about the viability of agricultural schemes involving the transplantation of huge populations under centralised direction, giant reservoirs, deforestation and the accompanying unplanned migration. Their political and social consequences, whether planned or unplanned, deliberate or accidental, have tended towards causing conflict. The late Mahee Wickremaratne was a civil servant who worked on the Gal Oya scheme and later, on the Mahaveli scheme. In a private conversation, he commented on the fate of some of the Tamil and Muslim villages that were already there in the area of the Gal Oya scheme – called earlier the Pattipalai Aru scheme. He observed that in order to attract settlers, the villages constructed under the scheme were recipients of modern infrastructure and other facilities, while the older villages (including Sinhalese ones) already there were neglected. It is known that they suffered also in terms of representation and the language in which they were served changed from Tamil to Sinhalese.

Further, there were unforeseen environmental changes resulting from drastic topographical transformation. Padaviya reservoir often runs short of water due to adverse changes in rainfall. The Muslim and Tamil farmers in the Kantalai-Thampalakamam area were getting their water from the Kantalai reservoir long before the scheme was implemented in the 1950s. They are now mainly at the lower end of the scheme. They complain of not being given enough water when there is a lack of rain, and being flooded out by water released from the reservoir when there is an excess of rain.

What was perhaps most defective about these schemes was that they came from the vision of an authoritarian ruling class trying to recreate their idea of a feudal past. Instinctively,
it led to distorting their own historical antecedents and adapting to an era of universal franchise a power structure in which they saw themselves as aristocratic benefactors. The legitimisation of this scheme of things was based on the historical reading of Sri Lanka in ancient times as a prosperous unitary state, ruled centrally by benevolent kings who built and maintained reservoirs and fostered Buddhism.

As a corollary, the ruling class developed an uneasiness and even antipathy, towards those who would not, or could not, fit into this scheme of things – particularly the Tamils. The very diverse and involved reasons why the ancient hydraulic system broke down are hardly understood. Yet, ruling class ideology as reflected in school history books provided a simple answer – Tamil invaders from India in the Middle Ages.

Although Sri Lanka at the time of independence had acquired considerable modernity – particularly in health and education – its political vision and direction was feudal. Its massive investment in colonisation schemes was made possible by the labour of Plantation Tamils who then brought in more than 70% of this country’s foreign earnings. Their reward was to be disenfranchised and virtually made serfs.

Even as value for money, these colonisation schemes were dubious. They were carried out at the expense of building infrastructure for a modern nation and, for example, of furthering science education in the Sinhalese South. For the colonists themselves things soured after one generation when with an expanded family, the land had to be split up into smaller plots. In the mid-1990s market conditions did not favour profitability and a number of suicides by farmers were reported in the Polonnaruwa area.

Under Sri Lanka’s centralised administrative system, colonisation activity conferred on a single minister enormous powers over resources and land alienation without local and long-term interests being taken into account. To suppose that the country’s prosperity hinged on building huge reservoirs wherever possible and transplanting populations, simply because there were ruins of large reservoirs, which were in use between 300 AD and 1200 AD and abandoned thereafter, is to say the least, a dubious proposition.

The ambitious Mahaveli River Diversion Scheme which was originally to be of 30 years duration, provided opportunity to correct defects as they became apparent. This was compressed by Jayewardene’s government of 1977 into 5 years at a cost of about USD 2 billion, and Gamini Dissanayake was placed in charge. Now it is done. A recent study by the Ministry of Forestry and Environment and the Mahaveli Development Authority found Victoria, Kotmale, Rantambe, Randenigala and Polgolla reservoirs choking with silt. Rantambe is the worst affected, having silted by 56% in 9 years, followed by Polgolla (47%). The rest, taken together lost more than 2 million cubic metres (1500-acre feet) of capacity. The main cause is said to be an unforeseen level of deforestation in the upper catchment areas. In consequence the hydro-power anticipated is reduced and maintenance (because of silt) becomes costly (Shanika Sriyananda in the Sunday Observer 5.12.1999). Managing the system now requires huge unplanned costs. It is a story resembling the recent political history of Sri Lanka.

Ariya Abeysinghe in his book The Accelerated Mahaveli Programme (Quest 105, Centre for Society & Religion, Colombo, 1990) deals with economic phenomena in colonised areas. A significant feature mentioned is that of hidden tenancy. This results when a farmer is unable to make ends meet or repay his loans and his land is in effect given on rent or ceded unofficially to a provider of capital. The owner thus often becomes a paid labourer in his own land. This was found to be by 1990, 30 to 40% in Mahaveli lands settled in the 70s, and 5 to 10% in recent settlements. The trend is clear.

This trend of a new entrepreneurial class emerging from the peasantry by accumulating land from their pauperised counterparts and consolidating larger holdings, is described by Abeysinghe as ‘Intensification of land use and higher output’. From a point of view that lays emphasis almost wholly on the productivity of land, it is a favourable development. But on the other hand, as a means to social upliftment, it seems almost cynical to give someone land in the knowledge that in a few years he would likely be a pauper, having no control over the land that is nominally his.

The parents may accept pauperisation, but what of sons and daughters who experience only hopelessness and alienation? The colonies thus became principal recruiting grounds for the armed forces and also, for the JVP anti-state rebels. The JVP rebels targetted the local political establishment of the new elite and the land owning classes, who in turn provided the security forces with lists of suspected rebels and other political opponents. The swelling of the security forces with recruits from impoverished youth of the colonies, resulted from the need to fight a Tamil insurgency tied up very much with the violence and fears engendered by these very same colonisation schemes.

*To be continued..

*From Rajan Hoole‘s “Sri Lanka: Arrogance of Power – Myth, Decadence and Murder” published in Jan. 2001. Thanks to Rajan for giving us permission to republish. To read earlier parts click here

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  • 2
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    A considerable extent of land in the Welikanda area of the Maheveli scheme and probably elsewhere are in reality owned by powerful politicians in the name of proxies.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 3
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      At the tender age of 10 years, we were told by our Sinhala class mates at Royal College that Tamils will be driven out to make way for a Sinhala mono-ethnic Srilanka viz Indian Tamils to India and Ceylon Tamils into Jaffna peninsula guarded by a ring of army camps, and the rest of the land to be colonised by Sinhalese. The deportation of one million Tamils of recent Indian origin and murder and ethnic cleansing of Tamils in various parts of Srilanka specially eastern province and border areas of northern province to reduce the Tamil population are part and parcel of this program. Suggestion of N.Q. Dias in 1961 to break the successful satyagraha campaign and the refusal of the present government to reduce the presence of security personnel, return the occupied lands to Tamils, and denying police and land powers to Tamils which is in the constitution, is a thinking on these lines.

  • 2
    5

    /*
    What was perhaps most defective about these schemes was that they came from the vision of an authoritarian ruling class trying to recreate their idea of a feudal past.
    */

    Almost certainly,

    “It has far higher aims in view, namely to keep alive and propagate these precious ideals throughout Ceylon, Southern India and the Tamil Colonies, to promote the union and solidarity of Tamilakam, the Tamil Land. We should keep alive and propagate these ideals throughout Ceylon and promote the union and solidarity of what we have been proud to call Tamil Eelam… All this requires heavy outlay of money for which I trust the Tamil Community, and especially its wealthier members here and in the Federated Malay States, will contribute liberally.”

    Ponnambalam Arunachalam – year 1922

    When a Sinhala leader claims the island ruled by benevolent kings who built and maintained reservoirs and fostered Buddhism there is an element of truth to it.

    I do not see any legitimacy when a Tamil slave recently freed from shackles claim the island was part of “Tamilakam” however.

    /*
    The legitimisation of this scheme of things was based on the historical reading of Sri Lanka in ancient times as a prosperous unitary state,
    */

    Unitary/Federal states are a recent innovation. Unitary or Federal states are built over ethnicities that had a feudal past.

    The states are national or sub-national. Each State unit preside over areas previously existed as a contiguous ethic formation.

    The area where Tamil ethnicity historically existed as a contiguous ethnic formation is now a single unitary sub-state of India called Tamil Nadu.

    The area where German ethnicity historically existed as a contiguous ethnic formation is now a single unitary sub-state of EU called Germany.

    EU and India are similar in that they are union of states. Just as the state of Germany is part of EU, Tamil state is part of Indian union. The level of sovereignty each enjoy is contract between the union and the nation state.

    The area where Sinhala ethnicity historically existed as a contiguous ethnic formation is now a single unitary nation-state called Ceylon. Sinhala state stands alone as a nation state by itself.

    There are no ‘historical Tamil habitation’ in Ceylon that amounts to a Tamil nation.

    The problem has been not Sinhala assertion of a Sinhala state. The problem has always been Tamils who shipped to Ceylon trying to assert themselves as a “nation” since 1922 when they aren’t.

    • 4
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      De Silva

      Today you are hearing Ponnambalam Arunachalam voice from 1922 in your head.

      Could you cite your reference, not from Jaffna history, not from war monger Dayan Jayatilleka (recycled in Island, Ceylon Today, CT, Nation,….) not from tamilnation, but from original source.

      OTC, Anpu, Dr. Rajasingham Narendran, … have access to copy of the original book (Speeches and writings of Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam – CT also has a scanned copy).

    • 2
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      Dear Mr. de Silva,
      Thanks for stating openly what you believe. My understanding of history, as a closer look at our own would indicate, is that our received legacy has been a pluralistic one through the centuries AD and before, as for example the strong cultural influence of South India, particularly Kerala, on the south of Lanka from before the early centuries AD.

      How complex the picture is can be discerned from moving outside our neighbourhood. As you have mentioned Germany, an idea of the complexity of ethnic formations could be gleaned from

      Chapter CHAPTER nine: The Decline of the Nation State
      and the End of the Rights of Man in

      The Origins of
      Totalitarianism

      by HANNAH ARENDT

      https://monoskop.org/images/4/4e/Arendt_Hannah_The_Origins_of_Totalitarianism_1962.pdf

      • 2
        1

        Hello Rajan Hoole,

        The island was certainly had a mix of ethnicities. Although Tamils took cyanide and committed suicide for 30 odd years not because they were missing pluralistic society were they?

        They were killing themselves and others with a belief Sinhala people had taken away their homeland.

        It started when a Tamil leader claimed Tamils lost sovereignty after Portuguese occupation.

        I read the chapter from the book you have attached. Correct me if I am wrong. You seem to be drawing a parallel between Jewish persecution by the Nazi with that of Tamil situation in Ceylon That example is so incredibly wrong at so many levels.

        I am surprised someone of your academic standing could even think in that fashion.

        • 1
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          Dear Mr. de Silva,
          My reason for suggesting Arendt was your claim of an an area where Germans existed as a contiguous ethnic formation. Ethnic formations have been assembling and reassembling from generation to generation.

          Arendt describes the situation after the 1st World War when Europe was to be remade according to Woodrow Wilson’s belief that linguistic identities constituted the most natural nations – a problem that was to a large extent held in check when the people lived under the Austro-Hungarian or Russian Empires. The following quote from Arendt illustrates the problem:

          “Neither the League of Nations nor the Minority Treaties would have
          prevented the newly established states from more or less forcefully assimilating their minorities. The strongest factor against assimilation was the numerical and cultural weakness of the so-called state peoples. The Russian or the Jewish minority in Poland did not feel Polish culture to be superior to its own and neither was particularly impressed by the fact that Poles formed roughly 60 per cent of Poland’s population.”

          There were hardly any contiguous areas for any ethnic group. In Germany for example, you could easily check that Brandenburg, Pomerania and East Prussia were largely occupied by Slavs and Balts and were brought into Prussia by conquest. Under Hitler’s ideology, they were portrayed as ardent Aryans.

          I suggest that the demand for a Tamil state had more to do with Pluralism under threat in post-independence Ceylon – as illustrated by organised ethnic violence – but it became self-destructive in the absence of introspection. There was no notion of a nation state in Portugese times, it has far more to do with Woodrow Wilson and the 20th Century.

          • 0
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            An omission: when the people lived under the Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman or Russian Empires

            • 0
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              Dear Rajan Hoole,

              Well, the Tamil people in Ceylon have grappled with this question for a while. Do Tamils currently assembled in Ceylon constitute a nation or are they a minority?

              A nation of people generally regared as having rights to land they occupy whereas minorities do not.

              Woodrow Wilson idea linguistic identity formation of nations is a good starting point. Although sustainability needs to be considered too.

              An important second qualitification of “nation” in my opition is longevity of its existence. Lack of history normally suggests the enviorenment was not conducinve in the past for a national lingustic formation.

              It could be due to a multitude of factors from the history, security, economy, geography and the kind of neigbhourhood it resides. None of these has been kind to Tamils. The barries that exist naturally are far more formidable than barriers created by man.

              Despite the odds the Tamils have persisted. I think persistence is a good quality to have. Although the cost and potential benefits of persisting always reach a tipping point. What comes after the tipping point outweigh benefits. I think the Tamils have gone beyond that tipping point. Persisting has taken them backwards beyond the starting point back into negative territory.

              Another important factor to consider is what gave rise to this question. I have suggested in a comment below, the nation idea is a relic of Communal Representation.

              From 1930 – 1948 the Tamil leadership was equal to Sinhala in terms of power they held under communal representation. The equation changed after universal adult franchise.

              The idea Sinhala nation and Tamil nation emerged as a reaction to Tamil leadership losing its privilege of been equal to Sinhala leadership in the power they held.

              What needs to be considered is communal representation was an instrument used by the British to divide the colony along ethic lines and keep them competing whilst they reap the benefit.

              The mistake the Tamil leadership made was not letting go of communal representation that gave them additional power unsupported by the electorate.

  • 1
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    Can someone explain me how this ‘disenfranchisement’ made the estate Tamils ‘stateless’. When did they lose the Indian citizenship? I mean did India, at any time, strip them off their Indian citizenship?

    Soma

    • 4
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      Soma,

      The indentures Indian labour , including those who were brought were brought to serve also in the South, were brought by our colonial rulers. They stayed and when the British left had voting rights. This was right and a compensation for sweat and blood they shed and hardships they faced. We were wrong in disenfranchising those in the hill country and yet spoke Tamil, because DSS feared they will vote enmasse for the LSSP.

      Those Tamils who were brought to the South and had become Sinhalese, were gladly accepted and warmly embraced. They dominate in the army, trades and the government services today. Look up what their family names were 60 years back.

      Let the Tamils be Tamils and give them the elbow room to thrive and live with self respect.

      Dr.RN

      • 0
        4

        Yanne koheda? Malle pol.

        Sirima-Shastri pact was based on the admission by India of their Indian nationality?

        They never became ‘stateless’.

        Doctor, why were they reluctant go back to India which was free from colonial rule at the time. Let us admit one thing. No other group Of people lead such a pathetic menial life. Yet they still prefer to live in Sri Lanka among the Sinhalese rather than sharing their own language, culture and religion in their motherland. Can you help me to understand this paradox.

        Soma

        • 0
          0

          Soma,

          Please answer the following question:

          How many former Sri Lankans-Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim or other- will forsake their acquired citizenship in the. West and return to Sri Lanka to live their lives and those of their children here?

          Isn’t it because they can lead a better life there? Isn’t it because they have established roots wherever they live now?

          I did not like the Sirima-Shastri deal then and hate it now. What right had these governments to play with the lives of the poorest of people who chose to live in this country , in order to lead a marginally better life. They also were the poorest of the poor in this country and the most exploited.

          Dr.RN

          • 0
            0

            Dr. NR, reading this comment I felt immensely proud as a Sinhalese. Am I not entitled to feel so when you say that this incomprehensible life of estate Tamils among the Sinhalese is better than living among their own kith and kin sharing their own language,culture and religion?

            One of my oft repeated comments here on CT is that the day I observe any tendency among the Tamils (Tamil speaking people) presently living among the Sinhalese to relocate themselves into North/East I will feel ashamed as a Sinhalese and begin actively supporting a separate political unit for Tamils (Tamil speaking people)

            Thanks

            Soma

            • 0
              0

              Dear Soma,

              Your dream of the Tamils living in the South, relocating to the North and East,may be not far off to come true, seeing and listening to what the ‘Yellow robed thug’ said to the Tamil Grama Seveka in Batticaloa! This type of words are being heard loud and clear from many quarters.

              Seeing the Police inaction, the law and order situation is not what we expected under this so-called Yahapalanaya government.

              Our President is finding scapegoat in the independent commissions and the police, instead of blaming himself. He is asking them to dance a tango with their hands and legs tied. Sirisena is fast becoming a major liability. We may have major riots once again, because of the stupidity, he has become prone to display. What can we expect from a president who sends off his law-breaking son to the U.K, to condole with the Speaker on his behalf. Who bore the expenses? Was it the State?
              Dr.RN

              • 1
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                Dr.RN

                Sorry for late viewing of the video.

                I have no place to hide my face.

                TNA should table this in the parliament, demand comments from the minister in charge of Police as well as both PM and the President, or walk out if the the speaker response is negative for the request.

                Who is following Buddha’s words? The priest or the audience I wonder.

                Soma

        • 0
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          Soma,

          I did not use the word ‘Stateless’ . Why is my comment ‘Kohede tanner, Malle pol’. The Tamil?

          Dr.RN

      • 0
        0

        Rajasingham,

        “Let the Tamils be Tamils and give them the elbow room to thrive and live with self respect.”

        African Americans (once “the Blacks”) did not have to plead for “elbow room to thrive and live with self respect.” They were able to convince the larger, rational majority to help them rightfully and jointly realize the true light of Democracy.

        The fact that it did not eradicate vestigial racism does not matter – extremism, by definition, is reality and unavoidable. One can only hope to marginalize it, not eradicate it.

        The proud history of the U.S. is that the majority saw the “rights and wrongs” and jointly embraced the equality notion firmly in its constitution. And that despite dealing with historically abducted and slaved minority from across an ocean thousands of miles apart, and that done mostly by a third country, the “Great” (really?) Britain!

        But you think the Tamils who have a rich history spanning thousands of years in Sri Lanka have to “beg for elbow room” now? That is no better than the diametrically opposite view of “taking by force” that the uneducated youth tried for four decades.

        Ever thought of working to enlighten and to work with the majority until they realize the “rights and wrongs” in civility and its critical role towards national advancement over time as Kwan Lee realized pointed out more than sixty years ago?

        Ever thought of effectively neutralizing the political power that that finds its fuel only by increasingly nurturing racism?

        Neither beg no steal(take by force) – aspire to rightfully earn it!

      • 0
        0

        Dear Dr NR

        Kumar is right. You don’t have to beg for elbow room. You are 100% equal with us in all respects and it is not charity but your birth right. The moment you start talking about separate enclaves based on race and religion things get messy. I will throw my lot with you for all your demands which are non political. Absolute equality in all respects – that is what we have to jointly struggle for. Let us throw away this chicken and egg argument over who started racism.

        Soma

        • 0
          0

          Soma,

          Who is talking about enclaves? I am referring to the nine provinces that existed before independence. I do not want government interference to change demographics anywhere in this island. Voluntary movements of people of whatever kind to anywhere in the island is acceptable.

          Did you watch the video of a Yellow Robed Thug condemning a Tamil Grama Sevaka in rank filth in the presence of a senior police officer? Did you see how the Tamils witnessing it, behaved? Is the robed thug’S behavior acceptable to you? Can a Tamil speak thus in any Province in the so-called South?

          Will the decent Sinhalese in this country condemn this behavior out right without justifications?

          Will this government promptly order legal action against this thug? The video of this incident is proof enough.

          Is’nt this because the government-sponsored Sinhala colonists feel and have been made to feel they are a protected species, above the law? It was very evident from 1958 onwards. Tarzie ] Vittachy documented this very well in his book ‘Emergency’ 58′.

          I oppose separation for economic and other pragmatic reasons. However, I demand that the minorities be empowered as equal citizens and their locational and cultural identity protected.

          I am not begging for elbow room, but demanding it as a right!

          Mahatma Gandhi, did not beg for India’s freedom, but demanded it as her right. I find much meaning in his words and deeds.

          Dr.RN

          • 0
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            Rajasinham,

            Mahathma Ghandhi did not plead the British to provide “elbow” room for the Indians – he demanded out right freedom for the entire nation of Indians from the clutches of British control.

            Why should Tamils who have lived spread among the entire Island for centuries over centuries now need to plead for elbow room – is it so that you could have your El Dorado dream come true in a secluded comfort, never mind what happens to all other Tamils? Your selfishness seem not to have changed since your delegate meeting with the Maharajah!

    • 5
      0

      somaaasss

      “When did they lose the Indian citizenship? I mean did India, at any time, strip them off their Indian citizenship? “

      When did your kallathonie ancestors lose their Indian citizenship?

      India never passed a specific citizenship act to disown or exclude you. So why aren’t you going back?

      In fact Hindians believe they are the natural guardians of this little islanders.

  • 1
    1

    De Silvia,

    Sir P.Arunachalam, according to T. Sabaratnam, also went on to say, ” Under heavy pressure from the progressive youth he decided to form another organization to serve his wider view of serving the Tamils and the country. He founded the Ceylon Tamil League on September 15, 1923. In Tamil it was named Ilangai Tamil Makkal Sangam.

    Addressing the inaugural sessions Arunachalam said,

    There is no need for me to speak at length, as the Committee’s Report sets forth fully the League’s work and aims and ideals. The League was brought into existence by political necessity, but politics is not its raison-d’etre. It has far higher aims in my view, namely to keep alive and propagate those Tamil ideals which have through the ages have made the Tamils what they are, to keep alive and propagate these previous ideals throughout Ceylon, Southern India and the Tamil colonies to promote the union and solidarity of Tamilakam, the Tamil land…

    But the Tamils are not going to abandon the proud duty and privilege of service to all our brothers of every race and creed. But we object strongly being bullied or terrorized, we object to being underdogs of anybody, We mean to make ourselves strong to defend ourselves and strong also to work for the common good.”

    According to Sabaratnam, this address reflected the struggle that was going in Arunachalam’s mind. He was talking in the same breath about serving Sri Lanka and about Tamilakam. But he did not live to explain his views. He went on a pilgrimage to the Hindu temples in Tamil Nadu. He died in Madurai on January 9, 1924.

    Quoting K.M,De Silvia , T.Sabaratnam also emphasizes that the Manning reforms were aimed at dividing the Sinhalese and Tamils, in order to consolidate British rule.

    The same game is played by our politicians and our media to this day.

    Dr.RN

    Dr. a

  • 1
    1

    Hello Dr. Rajasingaham

    What Tamil leadership underwent is not unique in post colonial scenarios elsewhere. Minority leaders in India and South Africa underwent similar experiences.

    Colonial regimes do not seek peoples mandate to form leadership. Its authoritarian. People are selected to leadership positions in the colony often on strategic decisions rather than popularity.

    Moslems in India were given equal weight as that of a Hindu. Similarly Tamils in Ceylon were given equal weight as Sinhala at governance. It was known as communal representation.

    When the transition happens the minority leader loses equal weighting with power as leaders are chosen on a popular mandate.

    Different minority leaders faced the challenge differently.

    Ali-Jinnah who was Moslem leader sought to partition India. Without partition of India, given the number of Hindus involved, Ali Jihhah would be lucky to get even a cabinet position. The partition was perhaps fair given India had a Mogul Empire and a Hindu Empire before colonization.

    The white minority leadership decided to bring in Aparthied without giving anything to the majority mandate. The system white minority leadership chose here is not fair at all.

    The quote above wrt “Tamilkam” and “Tamil Eeelam” most likely Ponnamblam Ramanathan plan how to achieve equal weighting to Tamil leadership in a post colonial era.

  • 1
    0

    Hello. De Silva,

    I have always advocated equal citizenship and other rights that devolve to every citizen in a democracy. Every indentifiable group of citizens would then have the equality they desire and deserve as citizens. However, the constitution and the governance that results from it cannot be majoritarian. The will of the majority cannot be and should not be imposed on the minorities and particularly on matters that are inimical to the minorities.

    As minorities we are not trying impose our will on the majority . We as a minority community cannot live forever under the Damocle’ssword of rank communalism.

    Do not quote words from the past that have no meanings outside the context of the past, to confuse issues. We stand communally divided as people’s now and are being increasingly polarized by insipid and rankerous party poltics now. Our politicians are reducing all of us to nonentities , while going their merry way. We are boxing against shadows, while being blind to where we are being dragged.

    Dr.RN

    • 0
      0

      Rajasingham,

      Pleading with the majority to grant some “elbow room” to minorities counts as “always advocating equal citizenship and other rights that devolve to every citizen in a democracy?”

      Is that what you did as a “delegate to MR’s dungeon”?

      Please begin to think straight – you are old enough and educated enough!

  • 5
    0

    De Silva

    “Without partition of India, given the number of Hindus involved, Ali Jihhah would be lucky to get even a cabinet position.”

    Now you are hearing Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s voice in your head.

    Gandhi assured/offered Jinnah the premiership of post independent India, and asked him to name his own cabinet. The British through a Muslim student at Cambridge put the idea of Muslim Pakistan to Ali Jinnah (The Nehrus and the Gandhis: An Indian Dynasty by Tariq Ali)

    Jinnah who gave up politics and settled down in London went back and fought his corner to establish his Muslim state. Watch out what you write about Pakistan, it is not jaffnahistory.

    “The partition was perhaps fair given India had a Mogul Empire and a Hindu Empire before colonization.”

    Therefore you agree that Tamils should also have their own separate state because this island too had several kingdoms and ruled by mainly Indian descendants.

    Lets see what you are going to hear next.

  • 3
    0

    Native.

    De Silva always hears the voice of Vibushana,when he types in the CT.

    • 2
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      Plato.

      “De Silva always hears the voice of Vibushana,when he types in the CT.”

      I agree that De Silva always hears the voice of Vibushana, however, you must always remember Vibushna is a living Tamil Sangam scholar.

      Vibushna once or twice wrote Tamil Sangam literature was a suspect. Can you challenge him on his specialist field? I bet you can’t.

  • 0
    0

    Thanks Mr De Silva,NV and Dr RN for the Very interesting debate and I am happy that it is being conducted in a very civilized manner.

    Thanks to all especially to Mr De Silva.Mr Silva I hope that you continue to respond in a similar manner.

    I very much like to have access to the writings of Ponnambalam brothers on the national question.

    I do not believe Sir P.Arunachalam ever referred to a separate Tamil Eelam.

    If at all It was Prof C.Suntharalingam,The maverick former MP for vavunia. who coined this term with the spelling “Tamil Eylom”.

    I too had a copy of T. Sabaratnam’s book on Sir Pon Ramanathan, but lost it during the disturbances

    • 2
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      Sri.Krish

      Check the link below:

      http://noolaham.net/project/39/3812/3812.pdf for Ponnambalam Arunachalam (1853 -1924) which contains a short list of his bibliography on pages 26 and 27.

      Speeches and Writings ; of Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam

      Studies and Translations Philosophical and Religious By Sir Ponnampalam Arunachalam

  • 0
    0

    Author of this worthy article should be appreciated by all means as it has gone into the real reasons for the present day pathetic situation prevailing in this country. The past leaders, customarily had been accused of for the problems but sadly there is no remedial measures taken by the present leader.

  • 1
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    Hello All,

    Both Ali Jinnah and Ponnamblam Ramanathan were effectively consuming 50% of the power on account of their ethnicity.

    Their respective ethnic groups were only producing circa 15% of the GDP even though they were consuming 50% of the power. Their share of power is therefore not sustainable.

    Post independence Ponnabalam Ramanathan and Ali Jinnah could feel a drop in their power from 50% to 15%.

    Both the Tamil and Moghul cause has been to restore that 50% they lost post independence. That is why you see Tamils running here and there screaming “Majoritism is bad” etc. The Tamils do not want to be treated like a minority.

    The Moghuls of India are not indigenous. They originated from central Asian regions. The are people of Genghis Khan clan. So why are the British giving an equal weighting to a Moguls when they know its Hindu whom should be given full power across India?

    The British are a tiny country who rules 2/3 of the planet. They avoided confrontation as much as possible. The way they do that is by a regime that only Machiavelli can be proud.

    It involved things like bribing and setting up one ethnic group against the other. For example, they did not conquer Ceylon militarity. They bribed a chief Minster of the king and took advantage of the fall out.

    So it was the British who gives Ponnablam Ramanathan and Ali Jinnah 50% of the power and takes them away. They setup both parties for failure. Although neither Ponnablam Ramanathan nor Ali Jinnah fault the British.

    There would have been British maneuvering behind the scenes where they encourage, rouse and engage in subliminal campaign to create a completive environment where the rivals are each others throats when they enjoy the windfall.

    The British follow this formula in Ireland, Ceylon, India and even Burma. I am pretty certain when the Britsh MPs get together in private they have a good chuckle about their Machiavelli. I think its time Paksitani and Tamils wake up and realise their folly.

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    “The very diverse and involved reasons why the ancient hydraulic system broke down are hardly understood. Yet, ruling class ideology as reflected in school history books provided a simple answer – Tamil invaders from India in the Middle Ages.”
    This and the preceding text are very much true.

    But one cannot deny the significant role of South India invasions. Some were by aggressive rulers of South India. But many were by mercenaries and political allies on the invitation of local rivals to the throne. That pattern survived well into the early colonial era leading to inviting a potential aggressor to overcome an occupying aggressor.

    The illusion that Tamil rulers of South India were one united political entity is a mistake that many Tamil readers of history as well as their Sinhalese counterparts make.
    The Tamil rulers of South India then were at each others throats in much the same way the Tamil nationalist leaders are today.

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    I enjoy reading the serialization of this book and thank CT for doing this. Is this book still available for purchase in Colombo ? Can the author or a reader please advise ? Thank you.

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      Not available. Try copying on to you r hard disk. The author is not interested in making money.

      Have you seen his “Palmyra Fallen” advertised here, and sold at Vijitha Yapa, Bambalapitiya (Price 1,500/=). I fear even that may be sold out now, unless the author has some.

      Agree with your praise.

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