I look at Maaveerar Naal with an immense sense of sadness for the thousands of lives that were needlessly killed and sacrificed, all for an unattainable and counterproductive goal of a separate state. If only the Sri Lankan people had listened to the peaceful voices of dissent, throughout Sri Lanka’s independent history, calling for pluralistic unity—we as a people would undoubtedly be in a better place today.
There was a peaceful voice of dissent coming from a man named Senator Murugeysen Tiruchelvam, who throughout the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, strongly voiced objection to dividing the country and believed in solving the ethnic tensions under a united Sri Lanka. November 23rd marked the 40th death anniversary of Senator Murugeysen Tiruchelvam. Senator Murugeysen Tiruchelvam, throughout his career, was a strong proponent of federalism. Tiruchelvam was opposed to the Vaddukoddai resolution, an overwhelmingly mandate calling for a separate state of Tamil Eelam in the North and East of Sri Lanka, and strongly advised SJV Chelvanayakam against it.
Senator Tiruchelvam perhaps foresaw that Tamils plunging into a separatist war will result in needless bloodshed, further educational and economic impoverishment of the Tamil people, all for a goal of separatism which was inevitably unattainable. However, Senator Murugeysen, much like his son Neelan Tiruchelvam, was disliked and deeply criticized by fellow Tamil politicians for much of his political career.
Tiruchelvam, while serving as a Senator in Parliament, poignantly stated, “We do not want to divide this country. In no part of the world is it accepted as a political philosophy that a federal form of government divides a country.” Senator Tiruchelvam strongly advocated for the Sinhalese parties to stop fighting amongst each other for narrow political gains and instead he advocated that all parties should come together and unite on behalf of the interests of all the people in Sri Lanka, “We of the Federal Party will be attacked because ‘we have betrayed the Tamils.’ The U.N.P. will be attacked because it has ‘betrayed the Sinhalese.’ But there comes a time in the history of a nation, in the history of a people, when certain circumstances have arisen, when it is all the more necessary for all people to come together to meet such situations and agree on a common programme.” At the time of Tiruchelvam’s death in 1976, his proposals and pleas for ethnic reconciliation were belittled and ridiculed by the political parties of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka, for decades, would pay a deadly price for its political inaction in peacefully resolving the ethnic tensions.
An activist, Yalini Dream, eloquently stated what I believe Maaveerar Naal genuinely represents: “I remember Tamil peoples killed by Tamil hands because they did not believe the end justified the means. I remember the Tamil peoples coerced into martyrdom; exploited in the name of liberation; the violated used as weapons. I remember Tamils who dreamed of a deeper practice of liberation & put love for Tamils before a failing military strategy. I remember Tamil peoples who defended against army, paramilitary, gangs & rebels sacrificing the exploited for liberation #Maaveerar Naal.”
lasith / November 28, 2016
War is bad but terrorism is worse.
Anyway all who died were children of some loving parents. Let us mourn for these poor parents.
malik / November 28, 2016
The 62nd birth anniversary of slain LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was on Saturday celebrated at a university in Jaffna. Am So where is trhe CMB telegraph reporting on these incidents, where are the Hacks who write articles condemning so called Sinhala triumphalism when we remember the war dead with our military parades. As a Muslim who had relatives who served in the Army. So much for Inter racial harmony CMB telegraph highlights.
old codger / November 28, 2016
Terrorist Wijeweera’s birthday can be celebrated. But not terrorist Prabhakaran’s birthday? Prabhakaran wanted part of the country. Wijeweera wanted all of it.
Bitter-truth / November 29, 2016
(very) old codger, The Brain washer , child snacher , the Killing machine of Sri lanka , the Hitler of Asia – killed thousands of innocents regardless of the race.Can you name one person who was killed by Wijedasa ? – Prabhakaran is a serial killer – You pro-LTTEers can never wash his sins done – Mind it….
Native Vedda / November 30, 2016
“Can you name one person who was killed by Wijedasa ?”
old codger mentioned Wijeweera and not Wijedasa.
Run along to the local optician and then find appropriate anger management counselling.
Real Siva Sankararan Sarma / November 29, 2016
Lots of Muslims members of the armed forces were committing atrocities on the Tamil civilian population, especially in the east and in the Vanni area. Were your relatives one of them? Were you offended by that?
janik / November 29, 2016
@ Real Siva Sankararan Sarma ‘committing atrocities’
ha a LTTE supporter talking about the horrors of atrocities. That is a JOKE right????
The LTTE wrote the book on atrocities.
Native Vedda / November 30, 2016
“The LTTE wrote the book on atrocities. “
Could I have a copy if you don’t mind.
Could I also have a copy on nonviolence (Ahimsa) published by Armed forces.
Real Siva Sankaran Sarma / November 29, 2016
Lots of Muslim members of the armed forces committed untold atrocities on innocent Tamil civilians. Especially in the east and in the Vanni. Were your relatives one of them? If so do condone it?
Native Vedda / November 30, 2016
“As a Muslim who had relatives who served in the Army. So much for Inter racial harmony CMB telegraph highlights.”
Did you know LTTE’s marveerar list includes 32 Muslims as well?
Did you also know Muslim Home guards committed atrocities in the East?
Ajith / November 28, 2016
War is bad. Terrorism is worse, but Fundamentalism is worst. Fundamentalism is the cause for Terrorism. All who died were children of this land. All loved this land.Let us pray for all.
SinhalaPropaganda / November 28, 2016
state terrorism is the worst. Democide has claimed millions of lives.
adivasi / November 28, 2016
Very True Velupillai Prabhakaran’s Defacto State Terrorism was the worst, And people today celebrate him. Wonder where speechless MANO is now, Lets all Imagine Velupillai Prabhakaran was in yellow saffron robes, then we will see Mano taking action, CMB telegraph non stop articles and the rest writing how bad racism is, As when tamils openly do it not a peep. Racism from all is Vile and evil not just one side. Condemn the tamil as well.
SinhalaPropaganda / November 30, 2016
They don’t celebrate him. They celebrate their fallen brothers, sisters, friends, sons and daughters. If Sinhala populace can celebrate their “war heroes” despite all their human rights abuses Tamils should have the same privilege. Besides suppression will only have the opposite effect. Tamils need a space to mourn their dead.
Pacs / November 28, 2016
!956.1958, 1977, 1983 Terrorism by and with the blessing of the state is worst. If the the LTTE terrorist were not there what would have happened to the unarmed non state people.
Pacs / November 28, 2016
Sing for his supper
Dr.Rajasingham Narendran / November 28, 2016
Let us all mourn the history that permitted mass violence- riots, social upheavals, terrorism and wars that killed hundreds of thousands, let blood and tears flow, impoverished hundreds of thousands and left our country poor and divided in soul,if not physically.
Liverpool Suddha / November 28, 2016
We should all look at Maweer naal in sadness
Firstly it is commemorated on Pirabhakarans Birthday.
It only recognizes LTTE members who died in the struggle.
Thirdly it considers ,Com.Pathmanabha,Amirthalingam,Rajini Thiranagama & Neelan as ‘THROGHI’ to the Tamil cause.
Therefore this day is totally unsuitable for Memorialisation or mourning.
Let us have a day set aside for all to commemorate on one day. For soldiers ,civilians,Militants and others .
We need to see all death as a waste of human life and try not to solve issues through war.
Let us decide on a single place and a single date for commemoration so that we can heal the nation.
Sylvia Haik / November 28, 2016
We should celebrate the day the needless war ended, whatever was the cause. I am glad we do. We should also condemn most stringently the people egging on for a repeat probably for a morbid reason, people without families and nothing to lose E.g. Buddhist monks for whom death is a reward, and mudalalis who profited selling their wares at inflated prices during the war. That war also started a brain drain to the West and Australia, which we’ll never get back unless we offer them an incentive and from the look of things, our politicians foolishly don’t want to except hinder.
SinhalaPropaganda / November 28, 2016
“Firstly it is commemorated on Pirabhakarans Birthday.”
Get your facts straight. Prabhakaran was born on November 26. Maaveerar Naal is observed on November 27.
Sundaram K / November 28, 2016
There were good, bad and horrible Maaverars.
Kittu was number one womanizer abused Tamil women under his mandate.
Though Castro was disabled he was a horrible man inflicting so much harm for others.
There were cadres who committed so much harm for their own people.
Even in the last leg of the war, they treated the innocent civilians so badly.
Killing,torture, threat, intimidation etc., were the rule of LTTE hypocrisy.
The very war fought to win the rights of the Tamils killed many Tamils in their own hands and caused untold misery for the very same people they claimed to defend.
I will not shed a drop of tears and watch those celebrate with contempt.
Ravi-Telugu / November 29, 2016
[I will not shed a drop of tears and watch those celebrate with contempt.]
you hybrid crocodile need not shed a drop.
[Kittu was number one womanizer abused Tamil women under his mandate.
Though Castro was disabled he was a horrible man inflicting so much harm for others.]
Is it. can’t believe it. ok we believe it (அப்புடியா கண்ணு, நாங்களெல்லாம் நம்பி விட்டோம்).
Upali / November 28, 2016
There cannot be enemies among the dead. They are fast asleep and can do no harm to anyone. Human beings are considered civilized because they remember their dead. “speak nothing but good of the dead”. Down south we remember the late JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera. Let us not be so cruel not to allow the kith and kin of war dead to commemorate their dearly departed ones. We cannot compare a mothers love to any other type of love in the world.
Good Sense / November 28, 2016
For once, this young looking guy is writing some sense. Let us put aside his previous articles for the moment.
The innate fear that devolved arrangments of power leads to separation is the real barrier to any devolution of power. If this fear is at the back of one’s mind then even if you devolve it will be with some “safeguards” and those will be criticized by both across the dividing line; one group claiming that the measures are inadequate and the other group claiming them to be barriers of devolution. People are aware of examples. Both Australia and United States are a collection of states federated at the center. On no occasion in the recent past was there an attempt of breaking away and those countries act like a single country to the outside world. India is another example but if the ethnic feelings run high there could be some rebellion. There is something that binds them together. The old Soviet Union which was a union of republics instantly broke into parts no sooner there was the opportunity to do so. Those Republics were formed on ethnic lines. whereas the states or provinces, either in US or Australia are not. Some Indian provinces are based on ethnic lines some cases but in each of the states there is a substantial amount of minorities. 870 odd ethnicities in about 29 states. There was one attempt of secession and that was thwarted.
People can put all kinds of constitutional arrangements but if they ulimately do not work in practical terms then all the efforts to draw new a constitution would be in vain. Let me illustrate my point. I was fascinated by the arrangement where the local government exercise considerable authority and provide services to the people in the locality, from schools, hospitals (Primary Care) and even the Police. But what is wrong with our local government? Its chair gets a pittance of a monthly allowance. So he performs the corrupt act that most local politicians do. This reaches a climax with the annoucement of the verdict of the Nuri Estate Superintendant murder case. Then people with good backgrounds, having not been seasoned politicians but professionals with a good record, are made to be defacto provincial heads with perhaps some International support. But what on earth are they doing? A lot of political talk and less ground work.
I may look the odd man out. But my contention is that first paractical arrangements must be put in place within the existing frame work so that any change arising out of a constituional change bears greater fruit. If not there would always be frustration.
MR / November 28, 2016
I do not know what senior and junior Thiruchelvam have done for the benefit of ordinary Tamils, as a minister and M.P respectively. Please list them.
Why did not Senior T resign from the F P if he opposed Vaddukoddai resolution.?
Why did he support Indo Ceylon agreement implementation bill and registration of persons bill? Don’t you know nearly five hundred thousand Ceylon Tamils living in upcountry were deported under the Indo Ceylon agreement. Do you support this expulsion?,
Pitasanna Shanmugathas / November 30, 2016
Murugeysen Tiruchelvam had already resigned from the FP long before the Vaddukoddai resolution was adopted.
Naga / November 28, 2016
What are you trying to say here man?
You are praising Thiruchelvam and quoting from him. You say that he did not want the division of the country. But, he was part and parcel of the Federal Party which ignited the Tamil youths to revolt. He was the sole beneficiary from among the Federal Party leaders when he accepted the Ministerial portfolio. I do not think that M.Thiruchelvam ever openly said he was against the Vaddukoddai resolution. His son Neelan too was part of the Federal Party hierarchy. Neelan like other moderate Tamil leaders was confident that the rights of the Tamils could be achieved via negotiated solution. History should have taught him that the no Sinhala leader would ever come forward to give the Tamils their rights. Neelan was naïve to believe Chandrika and paid the price when LTTE gunned him down. Sampanthan and Co. are making the same mistake now. They will not get even 13 plus under proposed new constitution.
There is no way for a separate state and there is also no way for federalism. The only chance the Tamils had to achieve something was when Prabaharan ruled the roost and ran a parallel government in the North East. His Tamil Eelam or nothing policy put paid to that. With all his faults Prabaharan remains the only Tamil leader who could have achieved the rights of the Tamils. Had he been a statesman and a leader with foresight he would have achieved it with the war machine he built up. He was not.
As for the Maveerar Naal, it is a day of commemoration of the dead LTTE cadres. As DBS Jeyaraj has rightly pointed out it is a day of the LTTE by the LTTE and for the LTTE. TNA hypocrites are now trying to portray Maveerar Naal as common day of remembrance of all the dead Tamils. They never remembered their own assassinated leaders when the LTTE was in power.
Kettikaran / November 29, 2016
The late senior CWC leader S. Thondaman was the only prominent Tamil leader of the triumvirate at that historic Conference to publicly demur from the Separate State project of the Vaddukottai Revolution. His visionary decision proved right. This is the first time I hear of Senator M. Tiruchelvam holding the same view.
If the LTTE or their successors insist on Mahaveerar Naal only for the LTTE slain in battle, this will not engage wide Tamil acceptance. This was Prabakaran’s main folly. To him it always was “my way or the highway” which saw him lead much of the Tamil Nation to mass tragedy.
It is equally disastrous a liberation movement should be split along the lines of caste – which was a principal reason the Tamil insurgency was doomed to fail from the beginning.
For the Sinhala South and the army to allow and encourage the commemoration of JVP’s Wijeweera while denying honours to the Tamil heroes remembrance is utterly untenable and hypocracy at its most intense form.
srinath.gunaratne / November 28, 2016
Teach our kids right and wrong and live like decent human beings!
There is nothing to remember in wars, only death and destruction!
Sooner people forget, lesser the hatred in their souls!
Native Vedda / November 28, 2016
“There is nothing to remember in wars, only death and destruction!”
How about jolly good riots, well from 1915 to 2014?
“Sooner people forget, lesser the hatred in their souls!”
Sooner the Sinhala/Buddhist noisy minority convert to Buddhism lesser the hatred in their souls!
I haven’t included, land grabbing, book burning, ethnic cleansing, …. in your vocation.
Ravi-Telugu / November 29, 2016
[Teach our kids right and wrong and live like decent human beings! There is nothing to remember in wars, only death and destruction! Sooner people forget, lesser the hatred in their souls! ]
Is it possible for Lion human hybridization to live like decent human beings?
titfortat / November 29, 2016
yeah ! I think its not hard for a nation who belive deeply that a elephant head can be fitted for a human body…hiki hiki hiki
MR / November 28, 2016
I fully agree with you.
Prabhakaran was the only leader stood for his goal of Tamil Eelam till his end whereas others gave up Eelam for regional council district council district development council etc. Furthermore P was the only leader sacrificed his life and his family members’ lives for the cause he had chosen. We all should respect them for these reasons.
There is no leader in this world without faults and killing his own people. Lenin Stalin Trotsky Mao Castro Che have killed his own people and comrades worked with them. Lenin justified these killings saying these are necessary evils for the cause. Why can’t we apply this to P? Amirthalingam & co are not saints. They are the worst hypocrites I have seen.
Riyaz / November 28, 2016
This is ok. It is in the open. What is not okay is spineless poufta creamcakes ignoring and slighting the armed forces who fought hard to end this war and beat this smuggler from VVT soundly. Appeasement is only one way in SL with My3, Mangy and RW etc. PATHETIC to ban war memorial day and ignore troops. Yes the ones who committed excesses can be tried if there is solid proof but vast majority of the troops including Muslim troops even sacrificed their water and daily rations during the last day to help the fleeing refugees who were forcibly kept as human shields. The losers here are the cream puff appeasers in the name of reconciliation. Muslim soldiers and intel officers worked hard to defeat the fascists Tigers
SinhalaPropaganda / November 28, 2016
“help the fleeing refugees”
Who asked you to “help” them? You just had to respect their aspiration for self-determination and let them be instead of dropping bombs on them because they opposed your forced territorial unity.
Real Siva Sankaran Sarma / December 1, 2016
Worked hard to defeat the fascist tigers or worked hard to kill rape and loot innocent Tamil civilians in the Vanni and in the east in conjunction with the armed Muslim home guards in the east? Muslims thugs and mobs in the south mobs egged on by certain Muslim politicians were bust burning looting raping and killing Tamils their homes and businesses.
Whom are you trying to fool sacrificed their water and daily rations! Most probably stole what littler water and food the Tamil refugees had.
Muslims in Sri Lanka are the biggest turncoats and backstabbers. They are descended from immigrant largely low caste Indian Tamil Hindu converts but always deny this truth claim a fake Arab/Moorish origin and work against the Tamils, who gave them refuge in the east. Other than a small microscopic minority, if there is any Arab amongst the island’s Muslims it is very deeply hidden not to be seen at all
Doctor / November 29, 2016
You Singhalese never changed much since 1950. Just like how President J. R. Jayewardene blamed the Tamils for the black July incident, you still carry on his good work “thousands of lives that were needlessly killed and sacrificed, all for an unattainable and counterproductive goal of a separate state”. They fought for equal rights and only when that was not granted by your government they requested a separate state. Unless you overcome your ignorance there couldn’t be any reconciliation even in this civilized age.
MR / November 30, 2016
Thanks for replying to para two of my comment of 28th Nov
Can I have your response to para 1& 3 please.
Pitasanna Shanmugathas / December 4, 2016
Senator Tiruchelvam did a lot for the benefits of Tamils. To list them would be a subject of another article. One of his most seminal achievements was the Tamil Languages Special Provisions Act. Senator Tiruchelvam’s parliamentary speeches were recently published in the form of a book by Ram Balasubramaniyam. I believe the book can be purchased on Amazon. I encourage you to read it. As it pertains to your para 3 comment, the expulsion of the Indians due to the Ceylon Citizenship Act was atrocious and the fact that it was supported by people like GG Ponnambalam highlights the caste divisions among Sri Lankan Tamils. However, there is not any evidence to suggest that Senator Tiruchelvam was a proponent of it. Although members of the Federal Party may have been. I can’t condemn Tiruchelvam for it because I do not have any substantive proof he was in favor of such a policy. Bear in mind, Senator Tiruchelvam was the subject of constant ridicule among other Tamil politicians for his progressive views and willingness to work so closely with the UNP.