22 March, 2019

Blog

The Politics Of Persuasion – An Evaluation

By Ana Pararajasingham –

Ana Pararajasingham

“Politics is about power. Power is about people” ~ James Margach, The Anatomy of Power (1979)

Although, it is just over eight years since the armed conflict between the Sri Lankan state and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was brought to an end, the root cause that gave rise to the brutal war remains unresolved. Nor has been there any progress in addressing the consequences of the armed conflict. Significant parts of the Tamil homeland are under army occupation; an investigation to identify the perpetrators of war crimes is yet to commence and Tamil political prisoners continue to languish in jails where torture is routine. Meanwhile, the spectre of ‘disappearances’ haunt the Tamil people as former LTTE fighters and those suspected to have had links to the organisation are systemically hunted down.

Background

Not surprisingly, the demise of the LTTE resulted in Tamil leadership coming to reside with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which, since its inception in 2001, had worked in tandem with the LTTE. In the wake of the LTTE’s defeat, the TNA adopted what has been described as a ‘pragmatic approach’ to deal with the Sri Lankan Government by basing its demand on the premise that the Government is likely to concede ‘little’ rather than more. The party therefore sought to frame its demand within the concept of shared sovereignty coupled with a gradualist approach to improve on its initital  demands. These demands were based on the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution introduced under the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord of 1987. As this amendment included a clause that called for certain powers to be devolved to a single entity dominated by Tamil speakers, it required the merger of the Tamil dominated Northern and Eastern Provinces into a single unit-the Northeast Province. However, in 2006, this particular clause was deemed ultra vires by the Sri Lankan Supreme Court which ordered that the Northeast Province be demerged into a Northern and Eastern Province.

More to the point, the 13th amendment is inherently incapable of devolving any real power to the Provincial Council because it contains a provision that ensures ultimate political power resides not with the Chief Minister or the Provincial Councillors but with the Governor of the Province-an appointee of the President. The role of the Chief Minister is limited ‘to ‘aid and advice’ the Provincial Governor in the exercise of his functions. Hence, the characterisation of the 13th amendment as ‘a constitutional sleight of hand.’ Other inadequacies of the 13th amendment stem from several subjects being kept out of even the Provincial Governor’s powers, let alone the Provincial Council.

Well aware of the limitations of the 13th amendment, the TNA sought to rely on the goodwill of the Sri Lankan state, India and the US-led-West to realise its goals by improving on the 13th amendment. Presumably, these included addressing the matter of political power being exercised by Colombo via the Governor and expanding the subjects coming under the purview of the Provincial Council. 

In early 2010, some members of the TNA broke away from the party arguing that the party was not being true to its ideals and had forfeited its principles.  The breakaway group called itself the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) and rejected the 13th amendment as a starting point for any negotiations. The terminology used by the TNA and TNPF were similar, they both emphasised self-determination. However, the TNPF did not compromise on earlier positions taken by Tamil political parties within the confines of the sixth amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution precluding Tamil independence. TNPF’s demand therefore was for a new constitution on the basis that Sri Lanka comprises two nations.  More importantly, TNPF subscribed to the view that since the Tamil people’s struggle for self-determination had been exploited by the international actors (the US-led West, India and China) to further their own interests, Sri Lanka’s Tamils should take advantage of this to secure a truly federalist constitution.  In an interview, the leader of the TNPF, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, went on to expand on this theme by suggesting that the Tamil people need to formulate a foreign policy of their own to deal with the international actors.

Not surprisingly, the international actors (India and the West) found TNA’s stand helpful because it made it easier for them to manage Colombo, their primary objective. Although TNPF’s grasp of the international dimensions underpinning the conflict was accurate, the party was ineffective in communicating its policies.

TNA was helped by the widely held notion that it was an LTTE proxy. Then there were those who found TNA’s pragmatic approach to their liking and that of the TNPF too theoretical and too confronting. The TNA also had the advantage in building its profile among the people because Uthayan, the most popular daily in the North was owned and managed by one of its own parliamentarians. Many believed that by breaking away from the TNA, the TNPF had weakened the Tamil polity.

Consequently, it was the TNA that emerged as the main political party of Sri Lanka’s Tamils.

The Politics of Persuasion

The primary approach of the TNA was informed by the twin assumptions that it was necessary to allay Sinhala fears of Tamil separatism and Tamils had little countervailing power to bargain with the Sinhala leadership.  Then there was  the  belief that Washington with its ‘Liberal Peace Agenda’ and New Delhi with whom TNA’s leader Rajavaraothayam Sampanthan enjoyed a ‘special relationship’ would help persuade Colombo agree to a meaningful power-sharing arrangement with the Tamil people. Driven by this belief, the TNA threw its support behind the New Delhi and Washington orchestrated ‘regime change’ to dislodge Rajapaksa. Once the new regime came into existence, the TNA in pursuit of its cooperative approach participated in Sri Lanka’s independence celebrations on 4 February 2015. It was the first time since 1972 that a party representing the Tamil people of the Northeast had participated in such an event. Party leader Sampanthan explained the reason for the participation as one designed to

‘send a signal to the Sri Lankan people and the country to seek their constructive support to resolve the problems of the Tamil people and their participation was an indication of their reposing of trust in   the leaders of the new government of a commitment to address the problems of the Tamil people in the right spirit.’

TNA’s next step was to ask the Tamil people permit TNA handle negotiations with the Government and not rock the boat. This particular request did not go down well with the ordinary people who demanded that the party spell out its position openly. Then there was the need to counter the TNPF, whose demands were in line with the aspirations of the common people. To make matters even more difficult, the Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council, a TNA appointee, Wigneswaran, appeared to support the views of the TNPF while distancing himself from any direct dealings with the TNPF. Faced with the general elections in August 2015, TNA upped the ante.

On 15 May 2015, during a televised debate with the TNPF’s Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, TNA’s Mathiyaparanam Sumanthiran, revealed that the TNA had an ‘understanding’ with the Sri Lankan President to provide the Tamils with a measure of autonomy ‘outside the unitary constitution amounting to federalism in substance’. In July 2015, TNA announced that a new constitution was needed to address the ‘Tamil question’. TNA’s election manifesto emphasised self-determination, the merger of the Northern and Eastern provinces and power sharing arrangements based on a federal structure. Addressing the media in Jaffna, Sumanthiran articulated that the TNA’s manifesto had gone beyond the Thimpu principles  to accommodate the Oslo Declaration (a joint declaration by the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government in December 2002 agreeing to explore a solution on the principle of internal self-determination within a united Sri Lanka). TNA’s election campaign was well received because by reiterating its commitment to ‘Thimpu Principles’ and its readiness to embrace the ‘Oslo Declarations’, it left no doubts about its commitment to a truly federal resolution to the conflict.  There was more than a hint during TNA’s campaign that a new constitution was indeed in the offing. Unsurprisingly, in the pre-dominantly Tamil Northeast, the TNA swept the polls with 16 seats. Its election strategy was, no doubt, a resounding success.

TNA’s hope for a new constitution addressing Tamil concerns appeared to be on track when the Sri Lankan Parliament, on 9 March 2016, agreed to transform Parliament into a Constitutional Assembly with the power to draft a new Constitution. But by end of 2016, it was clear that Colombo’s political establishment had lost its enthusiasm for a new constitution. In November 2016, TNA’s Sumanthiran, frustrated by these developments and the government’s reluctance to move beyond the 13th amendment, announced that the TNA’s conciliatory approach should not be taken as ‘a sign of weaknesses.  This was ironical because TNA’s entire approach from the very beginning was based on a perception of weakness – a party devoid of any countervailing power. It is argued that it was this perception of weakness that prevented TNA from factoring into its approach strategies to counter the all too common practice of the ruling Sinhala party blaming Sinhala opposition to back down on its promises to the Tamil people. Instead, TNA relied on a conciliatory approach and the belief that the international community would intervene to persuade Colombo resolve its longstanding conflict with the Tamil people.

Is this assumption by the TNA of the Tamils as a people completely devoid of countervailing power, accurate? In the wake of the LTTE’s crushing defeat, the victorious Rajapaksa Government was not one to seek political accommodation with the Tamil people. Instead, the approach was to further militarise the Tamil region. In 2013, $US 2.2 billion was allocated towards defence expenditure, a twenty-six per cent increase from 2012. The purpose was to saturate the Tamil Homeland with a large military presence and keep the population subjugated. As a consequence, the ratio of all military and paramilitary personnel to civilians rose to be close to the 1:5 ratio. Rajapaksa regime, particularly after its victory over the Tamil Tigers was marked by a complete absence of the rule of law. Arbitrary arrests and ‘disappearances’ were common, intimidation of political opponents was routine. The army was engaged in a well-orchestrated campaign to terrorise the Tamil population into submission. It was during this period that thousands of young Tamils fled the country seeking asylum in Europe, Australia and neighbouring India. In 2012, of the 17,000 people who arrived by boats seeking asylum in Australia, 6,500 were from Sri Lanka.  Indeed, many of these young Tamils left the island from ports under the control of the Sri Lankan navy aided and abetted by the Sri Lankan authorities determined to ethnically cleanse the Tamil region. In this environment, TNA’s inclination to assume that the Tamil people had little voice and no countervailing power to bargain is understandable. It therefore relied on the US-led campaign to exploit war crimes committed during the latter stages of the war to exert pressure on Rajapaksa believing this might either cause Rajapaksa to seek accommodation with the Tamil people or bring about a regime change that would result in a government more likely to address the Tamil question. Washington’s primary motive to bring about a regime change was driven by Sri Lanka’s strategic drift towards China that held consequences for the U.S.   Similarly, New Delhi was perturbed by Colombo’s clear preference for Beijing over New Delhi. Both New Delhi and Washington were dictated by self-interests in bringing about a regime change. Tamil support was crucial to bring about a new regime. TNA obliged, but did little to take advantage of the situation to extract promises from the global powers (Washington and New Delhi) to publicly commit their support for self-rule for the Tamil homeland. It is argued that such a step would have helped TNA build its countervailing power in the form of international recognition of Tamil right to self-determination, albeit ‘internal’. TNA clearly missed out on this opportunity.

The TNA also missed out on the opportunity to build its countervailing power immediately following the regime change in early 2015. On the immediate term, the change of government resulted in an easing of the oppressive conditions that had prevailed under the previous regime. TNA had the opportunity during this period to mobilise mass support around self-rule, return of lands occupied by the army and the disappearances of young Tamils suspected to have had links with the Tamil Tigers. History teaches us that mass mobilisation can cause governments, especially those who are under the close scrutiny of international bodies to heed their voices. Such a mobilisation might have even found support amongst the liberal Sinhalese, but more importantly it had the potential to cause neighbouring Tamil Nadu take a more proactive stance in taking up the issue.

It is argued that the TNA, dependent on New Delhi’s ‘good offices’, purposely refrained from mass mobilisation because it was not in New Delhi’s interest to have Tamil Nadu take up the issue. New Delhi is understandably averse to its domestic politics influencing its foreign policy. It explains the Northern Provincial Council’s Chief Minister Wigneswaran’s behaviour during the early days when he was very much part of the triumvirate comprising Sampanthan, Sumanthiran and himself. In September 2013, Wigneswaran, chided Tamil Nadu politicians for intervening in Sri Lanka’s ‘internal’ affairs which he compared to a home where the husband and wife are having a fight and went on to say: “We will fight, but sometimes we come together. The next door neighbour must not come and say ‘you must divorce, you must divorce’. That is not your business.”  No doubt, at that point Wigneswaran shared the belief that relying on the good will of New Delhi was the way to obtain concessions from Colombo.

However, Wigneswaran’s actions since then have gone some way in building the countervailing power of the Tamil people through mass mobilisation. This has to date involved passing a resolution in the Northern Provincial Council identifying the Sri Lankan state as a perpetrator of genocide, initiating events like ‘Eluga Thamil’, joining in the commemoration of the Mulivaikal massacre and openly articulating the Tamil cause. Wigneswaran’s transformation is attributable to his move to the North as its Chief Minister and his exposure to ground realities. Wigneswaran’s actions since then can be understood as an attempt to tap into the strong sentiments of the people to build a countervailing force.

Unfortunately, TNA’s approach of relying on the good will of the Sri Lankan political establishment and the international actors alone while eschewing direct engagement with the Tamil people has not helped the party. 

With the benefit of hindsight, it can be argued that TNA has become a prisoner of its own approach proving the Tamil truism ‘Mudhal Konal, Mutrum Konal ‘(If crooked at first, it will be so throughout). However, such an argument would imply that the entire approach of the TNA was flawed. This is not the case. TNA’s attempt to allay Sinhala fears by not adopting a confrontationist position is a positive attribute in view of the party’s pursuit of a negotiated political resolution.  TNA can become stronger by engaging strategically with the international actors and mobilising the people around its political agenda as spelt out in its 2015 election manifesto.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 5
    15

    If BBS wrote this article, the whoe anti-Sri lankan Brigade would come out in full force. Why Don’t Tamils go back to their motherland, just 16 miles away. Why Sinhala people are not moving to South India and create Similar problems. why those Tamils who moved to Western countries do not have the same problems. whether they are coolies or not, they ptretned they are doing fine Only in sinhale, Tamils want part of the country. Why ?. The govt is too chicken ? Even if Indian and Tamilnadu influece the politicians, it is the 10% of Tamils that decides final outcome. why Southen politicians are too chicken.

    • 10
      4

      Dim wit

      it is you who is occupying the Homeland of the Tamils illegally go back to orissa or where ever you came from

      • 8
        1

        It is increasingly been proved that Srilanka belong to Dravidians and not to any others claiming to be Aryans, Bengalis or Arabs. This shows that the propaganda carried out by Sinhala racists about ancient facts about Srilanka is utterly false.
        1. Geological – Tamil Nadu and Srilanka were a continuous land mass 5000 years ago till they were separated by sea upheaval. NASA has recently confirmed it and both NASA and Indian oceanology institute have stated a land mass with civilisation is lying buried between Srilanka and Tamil Nadu. This is sure to be explored in the future and truth exposed about Dravidian presence in this region and beyond.
        2. Genetic – Two recent studies have discovered that the core genetic material in Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims is South Indian, putting to rest racist claims of Sinhalese as Aryans and Muslims as Arabs. Also Bengali theory of Sinhalese is put into question as Bengali genetic input in Tamils is higher than that in Sinhalese. Undoubtedly the original people of Srilanka are Veddhas and original population of Tamil Nadu are Adhi Vasis, who have the same genetic make up denoting that even in ancient times the same people lived in both sides of the divide. Moreover genetic studies have proved that genetically Sinhalese are closer to Indian Tamils than Ceylon Tamils and are totally different from Veddhas.

      • 7
        2

        3. Archaeological – Several urn burial sites, hall mark of Dravidian civilisation have been unearthed in Srilanka including the latest one near Galewela. Also ancient pottery dating to over 3000 years have been discovered at many sites in Northern main land similar to those found in Tamil Nadu denoting that the same people lived in both sides of the divide. Recently an entire ancient city was unearthed in Madurai which is similar to Indus Valley civilisation. If archaeological surveys are done with modern equipment, similar artefacts will be found in Srilanka too.
        4. Linguistic – The original language that was spoken in Srilanka is Elu which belongs to Dravidian family and considered as proto-Tamil. The earliest stone inscription in Sinhala so far unearthed is dated as 7th Century, while several Tamil stone inscription dating to 2000 years have been discovered, including few in eastern province. Tamil has been used in administration and communication in Srilanka several centuries before Sinhala evolved.
        5. Demography – First historically recorded Kallathonies are Vijaya and his gang of 700. There is no corroborative account in Indian history or folklore about a prince being exiled, which means that this episode is either entirely cooked up or Vijaya and his gang were commoner garden criminals who were banished. From time to time there had been immigration of people from India mainly from south and also from east, who have been absorbed into both Sinhala and Tamil community. The Tamilised descendants of Veddhas are the rightful owners of eastern province. A seat of power of these people has been found in Kathiraveli to seal the issue.

        • 2
          9

          Poda porikki to vaiko nadu!
          “I am, first and foremost, a citizen of Sri Lanka. I don’t carry labels of race or religion, or any other label. I would say, quite simply, that I have grown up with the philosophy that I am probably…a citizen of the world.”— Lakshman Kadirgamar

          • 4
            0

            Thullkan Marrikar is a caste name belonging to Tamil Muslims from Tamil Nadu and part of Kerala . You get back to your South Indian homeland Thullkan

          • 1
            0

            marrikar Thamby

            Lakshman kadigama is a citizen of a planet called Planet of Looney traitors galore.

        • 0
          5

          The earliest stone inscription in Sinhala so far unearthed is dated as 7th Century, while several Tamil stone inscription dating to 2000 years have been discovered, including few in eastern province.////

          The earliest Sinhala inscription is found in 3 BC. And the sinhala inscriptions show the evolution of Sinhala letters. For eaxmple since 2-3 AD we could see the addition of letter for Aa sound (A-Apple) which is unique to Sinhala and absent in Tamil even to this day. Apart from that -sha- is also began to appear in old inscriptions which is again absent today in tamil.

          There is a book called Ceylanica inscriptions maintained and complied by Archeological dept since the time of British. Go and study them before spreading lies around.

          The typical Tamil mental disorder- Mythomania, creating and legitimizing myths for political agenda….

          • 3
            0

            ” For eaxmple since 2-3 AD we could see the addition of letter for Aa sound (A-Apple) which is unique to Sinhala and absent in Tamil even to this day.”

            A, Apple, Apple Computers, Adam and Eve with the apple … etc…………….. all came from Sinhala/Buddhism.
            Bloody hell.

            • 0
              2

              Well No wonder with comprehension skills like this you believe the laughable eelam history!
              Aa sound appeared in old inscriptions in 2-3 ADs, Tamils still doesnt have it

        • 0
          4

          Now lets take your own explanation. You say,
          1. Sri Lanka was inhabited by Dravidians from the beginning and Vijaya story is a hoax..OK
          2. Sinhalese are Dravidian and related to Indian tamils even more than Tamils in SL ( who are in fact Malayalis brought by Dutch)

          So, does not your own explanation prove our point?

          • 3
            0

            “who are in fact Malayalis brought by Dutch”

            All the Tamils and Malayalis brought by Dutch were settled in the South for cinnamon and coconut plantation. Today they have become Sinhala-Buddhists. There are no Malayalis in the North.

        • 3
          0

          The Dravidians who moved to the Southern parts of the sub-continent would have easily occupied both South India and Sri Lanka (just a walking distance on the Adams/RamaSethu Bridge). The South Indian Tamil (Chola, Chera, Pandya, Pallava), Telugu (Vijayanagara) and Orissa (Kalinga) are Dravidians. Kalinga was one of the earliest Dravidian countries to be Aryanised/Prakritised in speech. It is important to note that though Aryanised/Prakritised in speech they are Dravidian people.

          Similarly, Tambapanni (presently Sri Lanka) was also inhabited by the Dravidian tribes Nagas and Yakkas. (As per historians, Nagas were also moving back and forth between Sri Lanka and South India).

          Everything changed in Sri Lanka only after the arrival of Emperor Asoka’s missionary monks lead by Arahat Mahinda who converted King Muta Siva’s son Prince Thissa to Buddhism. A large number of the Dravidian tribes in the island embraced Asoka’s Buddhism, Aryanised/Prakritised their speech, learned to write using Asoka Bhrami script, adopted Asoka’s Lion symbol (Indian Lion) and the Dhamma Chakra (also called the Asoka Chakra), accepted the Asoka Buddhist culture and implemented Asoka’s technology to build Stupas, Chaitya, Viharas, Sangharama, and so on. Later, those who moved towards the South of Anuradapura/Rajarata created their own language Sinhala (because they were isolated from others) whereas those who moved towards the North of Anuradapura closer to the Tamil mainland continued to use the Tamil language due to the influence from across the palk strait with free movement due to the Rama Setu bridge.

          The Sinhalese still worshipping the Dravidian (Hindu) Gods/deities while calling themselves Buddhists indicates their original Dravidian roots. It is important to note that both Sinhalese and Tamils are Dravidian from the same tribes/stock but the language was changed to either Indo-Aryan (Sinhala) or remained Dravidian (Tamil).

          • 0
            2

            so sinhalese are dravidians now what does this have with eelam? I asked this prof what evidences he has for a old tamil kingdom in north and everytime he hides with tails behind

  • 2
    10

    “Strategically engaging with international actors” and pressurizing this Govt on either accountability or federalism with former Defence Minister Tilak Marapona as Foreign Minister, Wasantha Senanayaka as deputy FM, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe as Justice Minister, the monks issuing strident warnings…and elections on the horizon?

    Good luck with that…:))

    • 8
      1

      Yes, all of the above gentlemen are die- hard Sinhala Patriots( to use a politically correct term) who may not want to bend the knee. But so was JR Jayawardene who bent it when dictated by Dixit.

    • 3
      0

      Born pessimist!
      You are just another pathetic thickhead school teacher like the ones you oppose.
      [Edited out] I do not believe that the Tamils will find a solution to their numerous problems and in the same spirit Sri Lanka will be in an abyss with the worst yet to come.

  • 7
    1

    Theoretically you may be right 75 %.
    But the reality since 1956 is the majority of the majority is the only power that determines the future of SL using the 2 party system or coalitions.
    Minorities have no say even if they are part of any coalition govenments or oppositions. Out of the minorities Muslims managed to extract more political benefits or previlages and that trend will continue.
    The so called progressive left parties whether they are part of any coalition or part of opposition too have to go along with the Maha Sangha who controls or influence the 2 main parties.

    SWRD could not save the Tamils with BC pact and so was Dudley with his DC pact.
    As SJVC once said ” only God can save the Tamils in SL ” after the 1970 GE. Rathu Sahotharaya Colvin made it doubly sure even the God/s have no say by introducing the 1972 Constitution and delibrately taking away the special provisions.
    Subsequently JR’s Dhamica Samajaya, MR’s war for peace were gimmicks to hoodwink the IC ( China has always with GOSL ) including India.

    Tamils are doomed in SL even Lord Buddha can not bring political awakening among the majority.
    In the name of Sinhala Buddhism Wijeyadasa Rajapakse will protect the MR regime and bring them back to power soon.

  • 3
    5

    I think all UNP idiots should read this specially that ultra idiot Ben Hurling. The yahapalanaya was nothing about catching thieves if you still believe and not the work of people. It is a regime change orchestrated to bring out a partisan constitution by India and US ( west in general).

    1. TNA or Tamil separatism is still alive.
    2. If they wanted MR out, MR must be doing something right.

  • 5
    3

    Jim Softy & Sach ,
    Anakarika Dharmapala spent his last days ( fairly long ) in his home land India. I mean Buddha Gaya India. Why din’t the Indian Brhamin say Dharmapala to go back to South India ( say Kanchi ) or Southern Sri Lanka say Puttalam ?

    Can you tell me ,Anakarika Dharmapala left this world as which human based on Buddhism ?

    When are you both planning to go back to your home land in North India by travelling from Mathakal in Jaffna by Kallathony to a South Indian port and then by overland to Kanchi -Nalanda -Kalinga -Buddha Gaya ?

    What a joke Kallathonis like you telling others to go back to South India !

    When both of you are going to send back DJ to Portugal ?

    Is he another exception because he changed his sir name from de Silva to a Kandyan name Jeyatilleke and create his own definitions for smart patriotism and soverignity of SL by excluding all non sinhala buddhists ?

    • 0
      4

      Probably because Dharmapala did not create mythical stories about a sinhala homeland in India and did not work for a separate state.

    • 4
      0

      He was creating mythical stories about Sinhalese being pure Aryans , when the vast majority of the present day Sinhalese are descended from recently migrated low caste Indian Tamils, who were imported into the island by the Portuguese and Dutch colonials, and settled along the western and southern littorals to fish climb trees to pluck coconuts or tap toddy and to do all sorts of other menial work like working in the Cinnamon estates. Their Sinhalised Buddhist and Catholic descendants are the present day Sinhalese Karawa, Salagamma, Durawa, Hunu, Hali Etc now making up 50% of the present day Sinhalese population. Anagarika Dharmapala belonged to the Durawa community and he was no Aryan but a low caste immigrant Sinhalised Tamil . Just like Shanali, Nalin Dayan , Weerawansa , All now beating the anti Tamil drum at various forums and calling themselves Aryans. The rest of the Sinhalese are a mixture of Indigenous and Indian Tamils as well as other Indigenous tribes that converted to Buddhism, who got slightly mixed with a few immigrants from NE India. This is why the Sinhalese DNA is 70% Indian Tamils . The Sri Lankan Muslims are not Arabs but ethnic Indian Tamils ( largely low caste) who converted to Islam and migrated to the island again a few centuries ago. There is a little bit of Arab amongst a few hundred families that is all. This does not make the Sinhalese Aryan or the Sri Lankan Muslims Arabs. They are both Dravidian Tamils who now practice another religion and in the case of the Sinhalese speak another language. Recently they have found archaeological remains 6000 years old in the Vavuniya district.

  • 6
    2

    Dear JIM Sorry?
    Clean you head first
    ( . Why Don’t Tamils go back to their motherland, just 16 miles away.) What an idiot are you ?.
    People like you do not have moral at all ..you are a real racist? You should be allowed to write at CT .?
    If you say that you Sinhalese ‘re only inhabits of this island you are wrong ..you are wrong 100% ..
    Read hsotry book of Sri Lanka before 3000 years ago ..all historical evidence suggests Sri Lanka was ruled by Tamil and Sinhalese kings..that is history now.
    Come now to see some practical comparison..
    One Sinhalese scholar went to Bangladesh to read for his PhD..topic was comparative study between Bagaladesh and Srilanka in culture, tradition and language..
    He finds that people of Bsngol and Sri Lanka are same in many ways ..40% of Bangol language and Sinhalese are same ..
    It means he proves that you people migrated from Bay of Bangol.?.
    I do not say but your Proffs say that..
    Do not say nonsense in this C.T news .
    You have been using this paper to spread hatred among all communities.
    You think 75 millions of Tamils in the world is scared of racist BBS of s few hundreds.

  • 0
    10

    The country of the Veddas and Sinhala people were invaded by Tamils from Hindusthan, Portuguese, Dutch and British. Tamils from Hindusthan invaded this country at least 17 times during the last 2000 years. The most recent invasion to capture land was led by Prabhakaran. Now using the Provincial Councils imposed by Rajiv Gandhi, Vignaswaran is asking land rights to the NPC. He has no right to ask Land Rights because he is a descendant of:

    1. Tamil invader from South India who could not be chased away due to arrival of Portuguese; or
    2. Tamil slave brought to Sri Lanka from India by Portuguese, Dutch and British bastards; or
    3. Kallathoni who entered illegally when there were no immigration control.

    It was Sinhalese who fought against the invaders and shed blood to protect this country. The land of the country belong to all the people. There is no way land should be carved out to certain ethnic groups. The notion that North-Eastern part of the country is the traditional homeland of Tamils is sheer BS. In Jaffna peninsula there are hundreds of archeological sites to prove that Sinhala Buddhists lived there for thousands of years. Tamils got a foothold in Jaffna peninsula due to arrival of Portuguese. Even at that point Sinhala soldiers sent by King Senerath fought against Portuguese, not Tamils. If King Senerath did not send a Sinhalese army under the command of Mudaliar Atapattu to Jaffna, probably Portuguese would have wiped out Tamils in Jaffna. It is a pity that King Senerath did not allow that to happen. This is the first blunder he did. The second is allowing Muslims to settle down in interior parts of the country when Portuguese tried to wipe them out. Now Sinhalese are paying a price for those blunders.

    • 2
      0

      Eagle blinded in both Eyes

      “The country of the Veddas and Sinhala people were invaded by Tamils from Hindusthan, Portuguese, Dutch and British. “

      The island belongs to Veddhas.
      What have the kallathonie Sinhalese and kallthonie Tamils got to do with the island?

    • 2
      1

      “1. Tamils got a foothold in Jaffna peninsula due to arrival of Portuguese.
      2. If King Senerath did not send a Sinhalese army under the command of Mudaliar Atapattu to Jaffna, probably Portuguese would have wiped out Tamils in Jaffna.”

      Two blind statements by Blind Eagle, first statement contradicting the second. No wonder the Portuguese called these fellows Modayass.

      • 2
        0

        Jamis Banda

        A total of 3,000 Sinhala mercenaries known as the Lascarin helped the Portuguese to capture Jaffna and another 15,400 Sinhala Lascarins were used in an failed attempt to invade Kandy.

        In addition a large number of South Indians were brought to this island to fight the foreigners in the North as well as the Kandy kingdom.

    • 3
      0

      Blind Eagle,

      The Dimwit with a bird brain who cannot see beyond his nose…

      Lanka was the country of the Veddas (Yakka) and the Tamils (Naga). It was invaded by Kallathoni Vijay and his men who came in a boat from Hindusthan (note that Kallathoni is a Tamil word for illegal immigrants). Today, the Hindusthan invader kallathoni Vijay’s descendants are calling themselves Sinhalese. Vijay’s people (Sinhalese) came from Hindusthan and Buddhism also came from Hindusthan.
      In Jaffna peninsula there are hundreds of archaeological sites to prove that Tamil Buddhists lived there in the past. Sinhalese became a majority in Sri Lanka due to arrival of Portuguese and the Dutch.

    • 1
      0

      Blind Eagle

      Tamil slaves brought to Sri Lanka from India by Portuguese, and Dutch are today Sinhala-Buddhists. Check your DNA if you have any doubts.

    • 4
      0

      Eagle Eye

      Bhuvanekabahu VI (Chempaha Perumal aka Sapumal Kumaraya) the adopted son of Parakrama Bahu VI captured the Jaffna Kingdom in 1450. During his rule in Jaffna, he built the premier shrine of Hindu worship – the Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil (he did not build any Buddhist temple) for the people of Jaffna peninsula. The Tamils of Jaffna are still invoking his name and singing thevarams to him in the Nallur Kovil before the temple procession of Lord Murukan.

      As per your argument, if the Portuguese, Dutch and British brought Tamils to Sri Lanka, that means before the European colonials came, the people of Jaffna during the 13th Century AD should have been non-Tamils (Sinhalese). In that case Sapumal Kumaraya should have built a Buddhist temple for the majority (Sinhalese) and NOT a Hindu temple in the heart of Jaffna. Why did he build the Hindu Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil in the 13th Century AD for the so called Sinhalese of Jaffna?

      • 0
        1

        Because at that time there were tamils in North, back in 13 AD. Now does that sound like a 2000 years old Tamil kingdom? And see how Jaffna came under the Kotte kingdom!

  • 2
    0

    It is interesting if we look at the corresponding provisions in the Indian Constitution.

    The Indian Constitution stipulates that

    “The executive power in the Indian Union is with the President and the Prime Minister and Cabinet is to “aid and advice” the President “.
    and that
    “The executive power of the states rest with the States and the Chief Minister and the Board of Ministers are to ‘aid and advice’ the Governor”.
    The entire 13A is a carbon copy of the corresponding Provisions in the Indian Constitution.

    However, the Provincial Council Act No 42 of 1987 is a different kettle of fish that gives unlimited powers to the Governor in the Administration and Finance of the Provincial Council.

    The context in India and Sri Lanka or the political environment in these two countries are vastly different.

    In India politicians of various persuasions, Judiciary and civil servants throughout India are in favour of the constitutional provisions whereas the same could not said about the politicians, Judiciary and the public servants in Sri Lanka who blocks implementation of the constitution without any shame.

    The Provincial Council Act No 42 of 1987 is only an Act of Parliament that could be amended by a simple majority in Parliament and this could be easily done by the present Parliament. UNP and TNA combined alone have absolute majority.
    Since formulating a new constitution with 2/3 majority and referendum is impossible under the present circumstances, the government has to compromise with a new amendment as they did with the 19A When they found out abolition of executive presidency is out of question.

    The 13A without any amendment that includes Police and Land powers along with a watered dowm Provincial Council Act No 42 of 1987 will satisfy the minority demand as a viable political solution to a great extent.

    Let us go for a realistic achievable solution to the vexed ethnic problem.

    Think for out of the Box solutions !

  • 4
    1

    Eagle eye ..
    Check your eyes in through historical spectacle.
    The island of Veddas is invaded by people of bay of Bangol…why do not you accept this fact …it is not shame to accept it ..late President said when he visited Bangladesh…he went to some part of Bangladesh to see his ancestors birth places ..
    Do you agree now about it ..
    All are Sri Lankan now.
    Normans of French invaded England?
    Scots of Scotland migrated into England
    Greek and many nationals mixed us in England
    Do people of England say such thing as you say
    Forget about all now mind mentality and establish Lankan indentity

  • 0
    2

    “On 15 May 2015, during a televised debate with the TNPF’s Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, TNA’s Mathiyaparanam Sumanthiran, revealed that the TNA had an ‘understanding’ with the Sri Lankan President to provide the Tamils with a measure of autonomy ‘outside the unitary constitution amounting to federalism in substance’.

    Mr. President, Is this true?

  • 0
    0

    Ana Pararajasingham’s “The Politics Of Persuasion – An Evaluation” is very persuasive.
    The just concluded (or partially concluded” RK episode shows that the infamous Lankan language/religion divide is but a useful too gain power.
    Ana starts with a quote off “The Anatomy of Power (1979)” by James Margach “Politics is about power. Power is about people”
    A little bit outdated! People are easily persuaded – look at Trump, Brexit!

  • 1
    4

    Shut the f**k up. Enough of these greedy pigs doing write ups about nothing. Sri Lankans have far worse problems than those imagined grievances by a bunch of self-obssessed Tamil politicians. Who are Tamils after all ? A hanful of minorities demanding privileges over and above those other long suffering citizens due to terrorism brought on by these very same Tamils. There are enough problems with poverty and natural disasters with the added maladministration of politicians in charge as well.

    • 5
      0

      Woody

      “Sri Lankans have far worse problems than those imagined grievances by a bunch of self-obssessed Tamil politicians.”

      Unfortunately I agree that you are one of the worst problem that Sri Lankan’s have now.


      “There are enough problems with poverty and natural disasters with the added maladministration of politicians in charge as well.”

      Well you should have thought about it in the last 69 years or since 1956. The country has been ruled by Sinhala/Buddhist fascists since 1956 hence its only reasonable if you make an effort to ask those were in total control of the state and its institutions.

      Why did they fail even though they had the state resources, majoritarian corrupt power, men and material?

      Please come back and let us know the answers.

  • 0
    1

    Sankaran and Sankaralingam, Why don’t you give references to what you claim? As long as you two and also others cannot substantiate your claims with scholarly references, all you say will be just a whole heap worthless of nonsense. How many times, and how many people have asked both of you to give references, but no references are given.

    PLEASE GIVE REFERENCES FOR THE DIVERSE STUDIES YOU SAY EXIST.

    No amount of genetic studies or fake and flawed theories are going to prove anything else than the historical Tamil homeland is in Tamil Nadu.

  • 0
    0

    Sankaran wrote:”This is why the Sinhalese DNA is 70% Indian Tamils” . Which is why? What is this mysterious Indian Tamil DNA? Do you think it is even possible to define such an Indian Tamil DNA let alone find some special DNA specific to only Indian Tamils?? If anybody could then that would be the most sensational discovery.

    I cannot find any study which states what you say, so my conclusion is that no such “DNA” studies exists, as long as you do not provide references. So please provide the reference to this study.

    ◘ WHERE DID YOU GET THIS NUMBER 70%?
    ◘ PLEASE GIVE REFERENCE(S).
    ◘ WHAT IS THIS GENETIC STUDY?

    FYI, nobody needs DNA studies to know that the Tamils in Sri Lanka, are a relatively recent diaspora of Tamil Nadu, and no serious scholar even considers that Tamils in Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu are two different people. Tamils are Tamils whether they are in Sri Lanka or Tamil Nadu, with the same history, culture and language. Absolutely everything you base your identity is from Tamil Nadu. The Ceylon Tamil identity is a secondary identity, which started forming only recently. You are not even decided about what to call yourself – Ceylon Tamils or Sri Lankan Tamils or Eelam Tamils, and you have diverse theories for the meanings and etymologies for each of these words used in the front too.

    • 1
      0

      Punchi( pea) brain

      Do a google search by putting ” Gautam Kshatriya” on Sinhala DNA you dim wit will get the answer.

  • 0
    1

    Gnana Sankaralingam, PLEASE GIVE REFERENCES to the two recent genetic studies you are mentioning.

    This is the — 3rd time I am asking you —. You are mentioning 2 recent genetic studies which have supposedly “discovered that the core genetic material in Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims is South Indian..”. If the Dr. in your name, means doctor of medicine, then you most certainly missed the whole part on basic genetics, human genetics and population genetics, not to mention virology, in medical school. I simply know that there are no such genetic studies, since no scholar is going to use the term “core genetic material” in this context. [ For the specially interested – “Core genetic material” is a term occasionally used in virology to differentiate between the DNA / RNA (which is contained in the core) of the virus, and the host cell or its own newly produced DNA/RNA, when the virus replicates. “Core genetic material” simply means all of the genetic material, if one uses it in connection with humans, it would mean the 46 chromosomes. I have read hundreds of articles and books on this subject, and have never ever come across the term “Core genetic material” used in this context ]. If we let that rest, no studies have mentioned anything about “Core genetic material” of the Sinhalese. Maybe you know better, because you know of some mysterious genetic studies, which talk of some special “core genetic material” of Sinhalese, Muslims and Tamils, not present in other people. So, please give the references to these two genetic studies only you seem to know of. If you don’t that proves that you have just made this up, just like the rest of your claims.

    • 2
      0

      Your thinking is sadly being clouded by racial bias against South Indians. Not only me, but several others have said in these columns about the results of the genetic studies done on Tamils (Ceylon & Indian), Sinhalese and Muslims. What does it matter who does the study as long it follows the internationally accepted procedure and the result is endorsed by independent intellectual community. For your information both studies were conduced by teams led by Sinhala scholars. The first one by Medical faculty of Colombo University with Newcastle University UK and the second by Science Faulty of Colombo University with Bangkok University. Not only genetic, but geological and archaeological evidences are present to prove that one and the same people lived in both sides of the divide. You can goggle and find out about these two DNA studies on Srilankan population. Please note that NASA and Indian institute of Oceanology have stated that a landmass with ancient civilisation is submerged under the sea connecting Srilanka and Tamil Nadu. This is sure to be unearthed with modern technology to put to rest Sinhala racist propaganda.

  • 0
    0

    Sankaralingam, Why should I Google? Why can’t you just give the references to the studies you quote? Any honest person would give the references when referring to studies, and at least have the decency to give the references when asked. You are asking me to Google!

    As I have stated earlier, Tamils and Sinhalese are of the same racial stock, therefore there cannot be any racial bias or differences between us. You are the one who seems to think that there are racial differences between us, and you are projecting your own prejudices to me or anyone who opposes your bogus homeland theories. These Tamil homeland theories do not make sense at all and they are not supported by any scholarly studies. This is why you do not give specific references, but keep on posting diffuse statements about some study or what somebody had said. You can’t just invent history or genetic studies/inscriptions/landmasses in the ocean, and anybody who questions you, is automatically labelled having racial predujices. This is just a maneuver to divert the discussion into some non-existant racial predujices to avoid answering the pertinent questions. The dispute is not about race at all, as you very well know, but about historical territories of the Tamils and Sinhalese, and this dispute is very recent, because even in the 19th century Tamils always maintained that they came from Tamilnadu and settled here. It was only in the 20th century that the Tamils started rejecting their true history and started claiming that they are a different type of Tamils and are indigenous to this island. To support this bogus claim, history of the the island is attempted distorted, fortunately the Sinhalese and Tamils have a solid and proven history, which proves that the Tamil territory was in Tamilakam(Tamilnadu).

    • 1
      0

      Please come out of your racist position. It is good to know that you are accepting that both Tamils and Sinhalese are of the same stock. Sadly this is not what majority of Sinhalese believe. They are still dreaming of Aryan / Gujerati / Bengali ancestry and denying any South Indian connection. The land mass of present day Srilanka was contiguous with Tamil Nadu and which got separated by sea upheaval, and it is now proved that the same people lived on both sides of the divide. Similar to how Malayalees were developed from Tamil roots, Sinhalese also evolved the same way. Please impress upon the government to undertake archaeological surveys in Srilanka to reveal the truth. It is said that Sinhala archaeology lies superficial while Tamil archaeology lies deep, which can be unearthed using modern equipment.

    • 0
      0

      Punchi Point, I have a ‘punchi’ difficulty. Your looked credible up to a point, and then failed to be convincing.
      *
      Let me take your, ‘ … about historical territories of the Tamils and Sinhalese, and this dispute is very recent, because even in the 19th century Tamils always maintained that they came from Tamilnadu and settled here. It was only in the 20th century that the Tamils started rejecting their true history and started claiming that they are a different type of Tamils and are indigenous to this island’, line of argument.
      *
      For easy assimilation, let me suggest that we split your line of argument into two parts:
      1) even in the 19th century Tamils always maintained that they came from Tamilnadu and settled here.
      2) only in the 20th century that the Tamils started rejecting their true history and started claiming that they are a different type of Tamils and are indigenous to this island.
      *
      Let me take (1) above.
      This is news to me! (Not because it cannot be true, but because I am hearing it for the first time).
      I would like to believe you for continuing with the discussion. But, I have my doubts that you would be able to establish your ‘invention’!
      *
      Now, let me face your assault (2).
      You flinch not when you say that ‘the Tamils started rejecting their true history’.
      My memory may not serve me well, but my historian K M de Silva may not agree with you. Which is your ‘true’ history? Please quote it first.
      *
      There are centuries old Hindu temples all over Sri Lanka, not just in the North and East. Was it not Tamils who worshipped there?
      *
      …. …. .

  • 0
    0

    Since you have asked me to Google, I have googled. My previous comment with a direct link to the search results have not been posted by CT. You can do the Google search yourself.

    Google search:
    “Core genetic material” Sinhalese Tamils Muslims

    There are 8 results. They are all your own posts. This amply shows that there are no such genetic studies as you have claimed repeatedly in your postings saying “Two recent studies have discovered that the core genetic material in Sinhalese……

    So I have proven beyond any doubt that there are no genetic studies, recent or old, which says what you have been claiming. And genetic studies are not going to prove what you want to prove, because whatever the genetic studies say about Sinhalese, the Tamils in Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu are still the exact same people, sharing a common language and culture and history. Please also note that the tribal people of Tamil Nadu show different genetic affinities and admixture of various degrees in different studies, than the caste groups – there itself you have a problem, with your claim, because Tamil people in Tamil Nadu itself are not homogeneous. So, how you can make up a story about two recent genetic studies discovering that “the core genetic material in Sinhalese ……. is South Indian” is beyond me.

    • 1
      0

      Punchi

      I am not Gana Sankaralingam, I asked you to google “Gautam Kshatriya” on Sinhala DNA for your information.

  • 0
    0

    PV,
    This study (Genetic affinities of Sri Lankan populations. Gautam K. Kshatriya – 1995) does not involve any DNA at all, but is a study done using data from previous studies using blood proteins. So when Siva Sankaran Sarma begins his comments about “DNA studies shows...” and present distorted versions of this study, it is wrong to begin with, since the study itself does not use any DNA at all.

    Anyways nobody can say “Sinhalese DNA is 70% Indian Tamil” using this study. What the study has done is compare available blood protein data from previous studies and chosen 3 parent populations to compute relative affinities for the Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamils.

    For the Sinhalese they have chosen – Indian Tamils, Bengalis and Veddas
    For the Srilankan Tamils they couldn’t use the Veddas as a parent population, as SL-Tamils show no genetic admixture with the Veddas, so they have chosen Sinhalese, Indian-Tamils and Bengalis.

    The results are given as a proportions of admixture of the chosen parent populations. This does not mean that “Sinhalese DNA is 70% Indian Tamil”. If they had chosen other parent populations, Siva Sankaran Sarma could have also said “Sinhalese DNA is x% Y-population”.

    If we forget the Sinhalese and concentrate on the Tamils – isn’t it interesting that Tamils who claim that they are indigenous to this island, and even claim that they are the aborigines of this island, claiming also that they are the Nagas and Yakshas mentioned in the chronicles of the Sinhalese people do not show any genetic admixture with the Veddas, the only true indigenous people of this island? If the Tamils have been in the island as long as they claim, then they should have had some genetic affinities with the Veddas.

    • 0
      0

      All racists like you must read the article written by Prof. Harendra de Silva titled “Purity of blood, symbolism & divide and rule” which appeared in Colombo telegraph on 18.04.2016 to purify your bigoted mind.
      For your information the following two studies were done as mentioned by me :
      1. Mitochondrial DNA history of Srilanka ethnic people by Lanka Ranaweera et al
      2. DNA studies on Sinhalese< Tamils and Muslims by Rohan Jayasekera et al.
      There are also other articles on this subject:
      1. Study of genetic polymorphism of five major ethnic groups and Veddhas in Srilanka by Ruwanthi Ranasinghe et al.
      2. Genetic affinities of Srilanka population by Gautham Kshatriya

      • 0
        0

        Really Sankaralingam! You must stop mixing up stuff and you should stop calling innocent people names, like racists. I have told you several times now, that the Tamils and Sinhalese are of the exact same race. How can a Sinhalese be racist against a Tamil? Please explain.

        PLEASE TELL ME WHICH PART OF MY COMMENT IS RACIST.

        Genetic studies are not going to prove any of your claims. A few examples of your most obnoxious claims:
        1. Sri Lanka belongs to the Dravidians – On what grounds? Because there are many of you in Tamil Nadu? Note! There are no people called the Dravidians, only a language family.

        2. Urn burials are a hallmark of Dravidian civilization (Really! There is a Dravidian civilization too? Urn burials have been used by many cultures, and definitely not a “hallmark of Dravidian civilisation“. Moreover as far as I can see the Galewela site is only a cist burial site).

        3. The original language that was spoken in Srilanka is Elu which belongs to Dravidian family and considered as proto-Tamil – Original language of the island would have been the language of the Veddas. Not any Tamil or Dravidian. And you must be speaking of some mysterious language called Elu, which there is no record or reference to in any Tamil literature. The Elu language of the Sinhalese, is just a form Sinhalese, without any foreign loans. There is a whole corpus of literature written in Elu Sinhala, and the Tamils hear of this language called Elu for the first time in the 19th century, and then they start making all sorts of obnoxious theories about it. If Elu is some kind of mysterious Tamil dialect, why don’t you give an example of it?

        The list goes on-but No more space.

Leave A Comment

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