25 September, 2020

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The TNA And The ‘Trust Issue’

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) does not trust the Government.  Nothing wrong in that.  If all political entities trusted and agreed with one another there wouldn’t be separate political parties for too long, never mind the fact that politics would be quite boring.  Mistrust, however, is not a one way street.  Those who do not trust and harp on the fact all the time in order to play ‘No Show’ can but expect their political ‘others’ to distrust in return.  If ‘trust’ is an issue to say ‘no’ to all exercises initiated by the Government, it amounts to a ‘no’ to all discussion on all issues.

The TNA has every right to say ‘We don’t trust you’, after all no entity, least of all political ones, can be trusted totally.   The TNA has on this basis repeatedly refused to submit names to the Parliamentary Select Committee set up to deliberate on grievances and formulate solutions to alleviate the same.  Now the TNA has said that it will reject the findings of the census on missing persons. One of the reasons cited for this rejection is ‘circumstances of disappearances and deaths not accommodated’.  This is a barefaced lie and has been roundly refuted by the Department of Census and Statistics.

Director General of the Department D.C.A. Gunawardena, while pointing out that the exercise was modeled on international standards and practices of data gathering, responded to the TNA’s concerns thus:  “If it’s a loss of life we even inquired into who the people they thought were responsible and whether it was people in civilian clothing or in uniform. We also checked the documents or any other material evidence of the relatives or family possessed in order to ascertain the authenticity of their claims.”

The TNA could of course charge that numbers and information can be fiddled around with.  That’s always a possibility.  However, if all relevant information was made public there would be ample opportunity for any interested party, the TNA included, to point out any error.  As things stand, the Director’s assertion that the TNA was merely ‘playing politics’ seems to be an accurate sum-up.

Let’s flip the story.  Is the TNA scared of the truth?  Is the TNA scared that the numbers won’t support party rhetoric?  Is the TNA scared that it would be revealed that many of the allegedly ‘disappeared’ are alive and kicking outside Sri Lanka?  Are interested sections of the expatriate Sri Lankan community scared that the world would have to acknowledge that their perennial whines are based on falsehoods?

Some in the TNA have said the party will carry its own census.  Even if we assumed that a political party has the money, personnel and expertise to conduct such an exercise, why on earth should anyone trust the outcome, considering the TNA has its own ‘trust issues’?

The TNA, after all, was the mouthpiece of the LTTE. The LTTE not only held Tamil civilians hostage but fired on those who tried to flee.  The TNA remained silent through it all.  The TNA claims it speaks for the Tamil community and voices their grievances, but remains silent about the greatest threat to the livelihoods of Tamil fisherman – Indian poachers. The TNA does not acknowledge that such an issue exists in the first place only because Sri Lankan Tamil fisherman can take to the sea, a privilege that accrued to them thanks to one fact alone: the military defeat of the LTTE by the Sri Lankan security forces.

There’s a lot of half-talk from the TNA.  Those silences do not help build trust.  If it’s all about ‘independent inquiry because of trust-lack’ then the TNA can move to reject all state programs in the Northern Province.  Roads, after all, may be mined. Vaccinations maybe doctored.  Curricula could be full of ‘distortion’.  There is a Government minister at one end of each one of these programs.

The absence of wholesale rejection can be defended on the case-by-case principle, but then again the TNA has appeared to follow a principle of ‘outright distrust’ and given its long history of servility to gun-rule by a thug and a manifest tongue-twist when it comes to censuring even a single act of Thug-Thambi, the charge of ‘Political Fraud’ will be made.  It will stick too.

Brinkmanship is allowed of course, but this is not a matter of trying to get the other to blink first.  The TNA seems to be scared out of its wits to confront issues head on.  Instead it draws from myths and legends, tendentious claims and outright lies.  Rhetoric is good for elections but can be disastrous when it is pushed beyond the point of sobriety.

As of now the TNA is on the verge of falling from the edge of reason.  That is not astute representation of constituency.  That’s the art of political survival.  That has been the bread and butter of the likes of R. Sampanthan and S. Premachandran.  The tragedy is that people like C.V. Wigneswaran and M. Sumanthiran can do no better than tagging along behind these two-bit politicians.  Perhaps they like the ‘Spoiler’ label.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com

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    oi, chingala geezers are liars and con artists. how could you expect tamils to trust them. history has proved time and time again that chingala race cannot be trusted. they say one thing and do another. then they go on and deny that either they never said it or didn’t mean what they said or the other party misunderstood what they said. look rajapaksa the liar denied he made any promises to mr singh. mr singh an honest person stopped talking to rajpaksa. he didn’t even want to see him .
    prbha fought a war because he didn’t trust the chingalaas. prabha’s was a legitimate struggle based on the track record of the enemy.however, the enemy gave an unceremonious term for his legitimate freedom struggle.
    tna too is sceptical about the true intentions of rajapaksa. it’s abundantly clear that chingalas are not prepared to concede even reasonable demands of tamil people. i have no doubt that failure to accomodate the reasonable demands of tamil people , in the long run will result in an enforced solution.

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    Dear Malina, why don’t you find out from your government (Mahinda) about the talks between Govt and TNA and what was agreed upon? Both Mahinda and Malinda looks like similar towards “LIE”. Why can’t give the responsibility of counting the death to the elected NPC?

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    Only a fool would trust a Tamil.

    “Only two Tamils can be trusted – a dead Tamil and a Tamil who is dead.”

    – SL proverb

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      Here the “Fat Fuk” tries to show that he knows something by pulling a communal singhaleese proverb, this time at lease he/she makes and effort rather than barking away madly

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    Its quite tragic some even propose ‘truth commissions’ when truth is not what TNA and their backers interested.

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      here we go again wih camel urin asanka alias D* softy.

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    Malinda
    Will the following ever change:

    ” …In each, the party previously in opposition gained decisive power on a platform that promised fundamental change. After each election, there were missed opportunities for initiatives that could have addressed many concerns of Tamil community members, while simultaneously respecting the concerns of all but the most radical Sinhalese nationalists. In each instance, however, Sri Lanka’s political leaders chose not to expend their political capital in this way but instead, to accede to demands of the radicals. … it will be useful to seek lessons from periods when Sri Lankan political leaders, like President Mahinda Rajapaksa, had such overwhelming political support that they were in a position, if they chose, to expend political capital by taking concrete steps toward communal reconciliation. …” – Prospects For Post Conflict Reconciliation And Development In Sri Lanka: Can Singapore Be Used As A Model? Prof John Richardson, Text of a presentation at Global Asia Institute Speaker Series (2010), National University of Singapore, Prof John Richardson, http://groundviews.org/2010/11/05/prospects-for-post-conflict-reconciliation-and-development-in-sri-lanka-can-singapore-be-used-as-a-model/

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    I am confused as the politicians in srilanka can’t talk or answer other than that they are good Buddhist signalise ,
    We are out side of srilanka still talking politics of inside srilanka.
    Come out and talk how we can negotiate and live together or separate that is what needed from all off you now

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    Malinda,
    Don’t write stuff for the sake of writing….. The government never agreed to do the census…Why?…..It’s the pressure from International community and upcoming meeting in March, made the SLG to do ‘somthing’…..No one is going to buy their ‘something’…….If SLG is very genuine, they would have done long time ago…….:-)

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      He gets paid for writing. This is Lie Lie Lankan Style
      Lap Top Mal 2
      One for the master
      one for the Mister

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    Mr.SeneviRotten, do you expect readers of CT to trust what you write? If the TNA was the mouthpiece of the LTTE, are you not the mouthpiece of the MARA regime?
    Tell your bosses to hold an independent investigation…until then, nothing this regime does will be believed.

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      PJ,

      This regime was voted in by the people of this country. Accordingly, overwhelming majority of the people trust this regime. That is the supreme mandate this regime has which cannot be subjugated by so called ‘independent investigations’.

      Ultimately it’s the people’s will that matters and not your masters in USA and UK.

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    Ah Malinda, its you again. But your cover is blown. Once Fathima Jumps in your bearings are clarified. Her unfailing love is reserved for racists like you.

    Yes, Tamils are traitors.

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    Malinda,
    Government cannot even trust their own PC council members. They have to conduct an investigation to find out why the budgets getting defeated in PC councils. UPFA don’t trust UNP, JVP and even JHU.

    So just stop writing nonsense and UPFA-TNA trust.

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

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    Mr. Seneviratne. You have tried to give some logical structure to your argument by quoting Census Dept.Let us take the history. What about Band-Selv pact and Dudley-Selva pact. These were also “pacts” where SriLankan govt. signed with the predecessors of TNA. The Sinhalese leaders know an anti-Tamil stand is the short cut to electoral victory. This because of the Mahavamsa mind set of the unfortunate Sinhalese majority. I say “unfortunate” because they are slowly drowning their island with their chauvinism. People like you must understand the entire war for the last 30 years is also from mistrust. You could not trust nonviolent Tamil politicians like Selva who wanted Federalism for his people and asked for it in an “Ahimsa” manner in a Gandhian way. The Sinhalese leaders unleashed violence against the unarmed Tamil civilians again and again in 1958,1977 and 1983.Now how can you ask our leaders to trust your government.

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      RR,

      Tamils or their leaders are no saints either. Yet, dialogue is the only reasonable choice available.

      If you and your leaders think that USA, UK, India and Navi Pillai can deliver your utopia, history will tell you how mistaken you would be.

      It is up to us to select the most appropriate from the choices available. At the moment Tamil leadership seems to have decided to play the great geopolitical game. As I mentioned somewhere else, such exclusivist mono ethnic gamesmanship will have a tremendous cost to Tamil people. Let’s see what happens.

      Please don’t grumble after the opportunities are missed.

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    This fraudulent apologist for the Rajapassas is at it again.
    “This is a barefaced lie and has been roundly refuted by the Department of Census and Statistics.”
    You expect ANYONE to believe creatures of the regime that pays you when they talk about “census and statistics” when they have a documented history of lying and distortion?
    You might be unprincipled enough to dance to that tune, none of the rest of us are, you ….!

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      PY,

      Other than a handful of you, millions of Sri Lankans trust this regime. UNP is about to create history by being in the opposition for two decades!

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    Was this written using the laptop received from MR regime?

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    Malinda – you and MR family are not different to this minister who said (Ceylon Daily News of 27 the August 1974)

    “In fact one of the things happening now is that, many Indian Tamils who were earlier isolated are now learning Sinhala and even adopting our names and religion This is part of the social assimilation.”

    Tamils elected TNA and thought under the leadership of CVW can work with this govt to find a solution.

    It is not working and not going to work. Now TNA is joining Tamil diaspora in Geneva in March 2014.

    You and the readers might be interested in this.

    Memorandum By SJV Chelvanayakam President of TULF to THE 20th COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE IN SRI LANKA 1974
    Page 27
    http://www.tgte-us.org/pressrelease/CHOGM_2013_Booklet_by_TGTE.pdf

    This memorandum is presented to you in the hope that through you, world conscience will be awakened to the present plight of the Tamils in this country, who are being systematically subjected to a denial of human rights, various forms of racial discrimination and other practices which could lead to the genocide of the Tamils.

    The Tamils of Ceylon constitute a separate nation divided from the Sinhalese nation by territory, language, religion and culture. (See Appendix) At the beginning of European conquest, there were THREE SEPARATE KINGDOMS in Ceylon: A Tamil kingdom in the North and two Sinhalese kingdoms in the South. The Tamil kingdom fell to the Portuguese in 1619. The Dutch replaced the Portuguese in 1659, who in turn capitulated to the British in 1796. The British also took over the Kandyan Sinhalese kingdom in 1815, thus gaining mastery over the three kingdoms covering the entire island. These territories which were isolated from each other and administered as separate areas were brought together into one administrative unit by the British in 1833. This was done for reasons of administrative convenience without consent of the peoples of the island. In fact the Kandyan Sinhalese protested against this unification.

    The British thus imposed a common administrative system on the whole island with English as the Language of the government. In this way they brought together two peoples who had lived separately through the ages. When it became clear that the British were ready to share some of their authority with the local leaders, the conflict between the Tamils and the Sinhalese came to the surface. In 1945 when the time came for the transfer of power to the peoples of this country, the Board of ministers submitted their own proposals for a new constitution. The Tamils almost in one voice rejected their proposals in-as-much as they were calculated to place the minorities of Ceylon in a position of subordination to and dependence on the racial majority.

    A Royal Commission under the Chairmanship of Lord Soulbury was sent to Ceylon in order to examine and discuss any proposal for constitutional reform in the island. Recognizing the general state of apprehension and suspicion in the minds of minority communities when power was to be transferred from neutral British hands to the people of a country, the commission became alert to the need for minority safeguards.

    The Commissioners therefore accepted the assurance of the Board of Ministers in the belief that the latter were fully aware that the contentment of the minorities is essential, not only to their well-being but to the well being of the Island as a whole.

    Moreover the British Government issued a White Paper on the basis of the Commissions report and made it clear to the Board of Ministers of Ceylon, that any legislative action by the British would be conditional on the acceptance of their proposal by the minorities. This acceptance was secured by many promises and assurances by the Sinhalese leaders, the hollowness of which have been manifest by the actions of successive Governments. It is significant that Lord Soulbury himself was later disillusioned by the disregard of these assurances by the Sinhalese leaders. Lord Soulbury has in his forward to the book, Ceylon a Divided Nation by Professor B. H. Farmer said:

    “The Commission had of course a cursory knowledge of the age long antagonism between these two communities but might have been less hopeful of a solution had
    Mr. Farmers book been available to underline the deplorable effect of centuries of troubled history upon the Ceylonese today… Needless to say the consequences have been a bitter disappointment to myself and my fellow Commissioners…”

    The Tamils however hoped that the administrative unity established by the British
    Government could be preserved and towards that end made three significant suggestions.

    (a) Balanced Representation:
    Our earliest request was for balanced representation in the legislature as advocated by the Duke of Devonshire, who was Secretary of State for Colonies. It was based on a balanced scheme of representation that would avoid the danger of concentration of power in one community but would ensure its equitable distribution among all communities and the people as a whole. But the Soulbury Commissioners did not grant this.

    (b) The demand for a Federal Constitution:
    Secondly, within a year of independence, when the position of the Tamils was fast deteriorating, the demand for a federal form of government was put forward. It was felt that this was the only way of keeping together two distinct nations in one state. It may be remembered here that Mr. S. W. R. D. Bandaranayake strongly advocated federalism as far back as May 1926 or even earlier, but would not concede when he came to power. The following excerpts are taken from his speech of his in the Ceylon
    Morning Leader July 17th.

    “If they considered past history then they would see that the three communities, the Tamils, the Low-country Sinhalese and the Kandyan Sinhalese had lived for over a thousand years in Ceylon and had not shown any tendency to merge… A central form of Government assumed a homogenous whole…”

    But when the objections were dissipated he was convinced that some form of FEDERAL GOVERNMENT would be the ONLY SOLUTION.”

    The New Constitution of 1972 and the six-point formula.
    Thirdly, these suggestions were finally rejected and a new constitution was unilaterally imposed in 1972. This Constitution took away even the meager safeguards provided in the Soulbury Constitution and in addition imposed further disabilities on the non-Sinhalese, non-Buddhist population. This brought the Tamils together under the banner of the Tamil United Front (TUF). comprising all Tamil political parties, major trade unions and prominent non-party Tamils. The TUF is today recognized as the voice of the Tamil people.

    The TUF rejected the Constitution and put forward a six-point formula as the minimum prerequisite for keeping the two nations together., while preserving the territorial, linguistic, religious and cultural integrity of the Tamils. The Tamil United Front demands that the Constitution should be amended so as to secure the aspirations of the Tamil people in respect of the following:

    (a) The Tamil Language should be given the same status in the Constitution as the Sinhala Language.

    (b) There should be constitutional guarantee of full citizenship rights to all Tamil-
    speaking people who have made this country their home. There should be no different categories of citizens and no discrimination between them, and also no power to the state to deprive citizen of his citizenship.

    (c) The state shall be secular, while equal protection is afforded to all religions.

    (d) The Constitution should provide for valid fundamental rights guaranteeing the equality of all persons on ethnocultural grounds.

    (e) The Constitution shall provide for the abolition of caste and untouchabilitty.

    (f) In a democratic and socialist society, a decentralized structure of government alone will make it possible for a participatory democracy where power will be peoples power rather than state power.

    The reasonableness of the demand put forward by the TUF is amply demonstrated by the fact that every single political party with the Sinhalese leadership had accepted the demands in some form or other both before and after independence, but this Government has not even cared to consider these proposals.

    The Tamils have traversed a long road and are now at the end of their tether. When two nations cannot get on together they come to the parting of ways. Has the parting come? That is the problem of the Tamils of Ceylon.

    UNDER NEO-COLONIALISM.
    The Sinhalese leaders have one objective, of converting the bi-national, bi-lingual, multi-religious state of Ceylon into a uni-national state with one nation – the Sinhalese, a uni-lingual state with the Sinhala only and with one religion – Buddhism, involving genocide against the Tamils. This is substantiated by the following statement to the Press by a Cabinet Minister of the present Government and reported in the Ceylon Daily News of 27 th August 1974:

    “In fact one of the things happening now is that, many Indian Tamils who were earlier isolated are now learning Sinhala and even adopting our names and religion This is part of the social assimilation.”

    For the sake of brevity we give, in some detail just six areas where there is pursuance of the above policy, and list the others;

    1. CITIZENSHIP AND DISFRANCHISEMENT.
    Within a few months of gaining independence, it was not difficult for the Sinhalese leaders to forget all the promises and assurances they had given to the Tamils, and by the Citizenship Act. No. 19 of 1948 to make a million Tamils stateless, who prior to Independence enjoyed the same rights as other Ceylonese.

    This act affected adversely the totality of Tamils and even Muslims. Those who had
    Tamil or Muslim names had to submit proof of Citizenship in regard to many matters connected with the Government. The following are some of them:

    (a) Employment in public sector.
    (b) The issue of Passport or other travel documents.
    (c) The issue of certificates of citizenship.
    (d) The issue of Rice Ration books.
    (e) Inclusion of names in the Electoral Registers.
    (f) The registration of transfers of property or shares.
    (g) The registration of a person as a Ceylonese Trader.
    (h) Other spheres reserved partly or fully for Ceylonese.

    In the following year the Ceylon (Parliamentary) Elections Amendment Act. No. 48 of 1949 was passed which again deprived the same group of Tamils of the right to vote. At no time did the Board of Ministers (all Sinhalese) of the State Council of Ceylon, who negotiated the Independence with British

    Government ever give even an inkling of their intention to deprive half the Tamil population of Ceylon of their Franchise rights. On the other hand, in the memorandum they submitted to Whitehall on constitutional reforms they devised a scheme of representation under which they expected the Sinhalese to have 58 seats, Ceylon Tamils 15 seats, Indian Tamils 14 seats.

    The deteriorating position can be seen in the following table:
    COMMUNITY
    1947 1952 1956 1960 1960
    % of seats % ofseats

    Sinhalese 63 73 73 78 77
    Ceylon Tamils 13 12 12 11 11
    Indian Tamils 7 Nil Nil Nil Nil
    Muslims 6 8 7 6 7

    The above figures will show that a constitution devised and fashioned to give weightage in representation to minorities was in fact perverted to give weightage to the majority-

    2. INROADS INTO TAMIL TERRITORY

    The Government implemented schemes of State-aided colonization of traditional Tamils areas by colonizing Sinhalese and thereby increased the Sinhalese voting strength in the legislature. Within the first few years of Independence, colonization of the Eastern Province, a Tamil area, by the Sinhalese had proceeded at such rapid rate that before the end of the 1950s there were enough Sinhalese to return a Sinhalese member to Parliament. Apart from such colonization, special licenses were given to Sinhalese to obtain lands in Tamil areas in preference to the Tamils of the area. Illegal squatting on Crown land by Sinhalese was encouraged and regularized while Tamils were punished and driven away. All this was not a natural movement of population but a Government directed plan.

    3. LANGUAGE.
    It is in regard to the right to use their language on the basis of equality with their fellow citizens that the Tamils have experienced the greatest humiliation and disappointment. Up to 1955 there was never a doubt that Sinhala and Tamil would be on equal footing and enjoy equality of status. Indeed in the State Council a resolution to the effect that Sinhala and Tamil would be the official languages was accepted by a large majority.

    Speaking on the occasion the late Mr. S. W. R. D. Bandaranayake said:
    “But generally speaking there is no question that one of the most important ingredients of nationality is Language, because it is through the vehicle of language that the aspirations, the yearnings and triumphs of a people through the centuries are enshrined and preserved. Therefore all that it means to a nation from the psychological, from the sentimental, from the cultural points of view, the value of nationality from all those points of view are expressed through the medium of language. That is why language is such an important ingredient of nationality… What then is the object of having Sinhalese alone as the official language? If the objection is that it is rather awkward to have more than one official language, I should like to point out that other countries are putting up with more than two official languages and are carrying on reasonably satisfactorily… I do not see that there would be any harm at all in recognizing the Tamil language also as an official language. It is necessary to bring about that amity, that confidence among the various communities which we are all striving to achieve within reasonable limits. Therefore, on the second point, I have no personal objection to both these languages being considered official languages; nor do I see any particular harm or danger or difficulty arising from it.”
    (Official Report State Council, 25h May 1944: Vol. I c809)

    The Official Language Act No. 33 Of 1956, however, provided that Sinhala shall be the one Official Language in Ceylon. The Tamils considered this act a great betrayal and have not ceased to agitate for equality of status for the Tamil Language.

    In 1961 for 57 days the Tamil speaking people performed Satyagraha outside of the Chief Government Offices in the Principal cities of the Tamil territory — Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Vavuniya, Mannar, Jaffna — thus bringing the administration in these areas to a stand-still.

    The Government imposed a state of emergency and used the Armed Forces to unleash a reign of terror in these areas. The Tamil M.P.s and leading Tamils like Kanthiah Vaithianathan were placed under detention. When some legislative provision has been made for the use of the Tamil language in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, Sinhala continued to be largely used as the sole language of public business causing inconvenience, embarrassment, and humiliation to the Tamils.

    4. EDUCATION.
    We list herein specific areas in education where there is severe discrimination:

    (a) Education amending Acts Nos. 5 of 1960 and 8 of 1961 took over Schools run by
    Tamils and Christian denominations but Buddhist Privena Schools were allowed to continue as voluntary schools with state aid.

    (b) Estate schools for children of Tamil plantation workers were not taken over and continue to remain the extremely poor standard in which they have been all the time.

    (c) Tamil medium schools in Tamil areas were converted into Sinhala medium schools, thus forcing them to study in Sinhala medium.

    (d) After the take-over of the schools, some schools in South Ceylon where there were predominantly Tamil children were converted to Sinhala schools without alternate provisions for the Tamil children.

    (e) The medium of instruction in four schools in the North was changed from Tamil to Sinhala.

    (f) Access to Higher Education.- Since the present Government came into power there has been racial discrimination. In 1970 admissions, a higher standard was required of Tamil Students. Merit was abandoned. and under cover of giving weightage to students in rural areas, the Government instituted a racial system of admission. We give below the minimum aggregate marks required of Tamil and Sinhalese students in 1970.

    Aggregate marks required for admission to the University from:

    Tamils Sinhalese
    Peradeniya- Engineering 250 225
    Katubedde- Engineering 232 212
    Medicine and Dentistry 250 229
    Agriculture, Veterinary & Bio-Science 184 174
    Physical Science 204 183
    Architecture 194 180

    Since then Government has conceded that this ww a mistake, but it continues with the same objective through a secret scheme of standardization based on language media and area quotas: the consequential effect is to whittle down the admission of Tamil students wbo on the ground of merit alone would be eligible for higher education.

    5. VIOLENCE AGAINST TAMILS.
    The Tamils have been subjected to violence in 1956, 1957, 1959, 1961 and 1974. In
    1958 Tamils outside the Tamil territory were set upon by organized groups of Sinhalese and were subjected to murder, torture, rape and looting. In 1961 it was used to disperse the Satyagrahis; in 1974 violence was used to disperse large crowd listening to a non-political cultural address where nine persons were killed. The Police and Army often ran berserk and spread violence and terror over a much larger area than the prescribed scene.

    6 STARVATION AND DEATH.
    The plantation industry of tea, rubber and coconut constitutes the backbone of the economy of this country. It is a tragedy of the worst magnitude that the very Tamil workers on the plantations whose labor provides the life blood for the economic life of this country have been made political, social, and economic outcasts by the operation of national laws, since this country attained independence. The extent of the problem faced by over a million Tamil people concentrated on the plantations has assumed the character of genocide by reason of starvation due to unemployment, low wages, and drastic cuts imposed on the quantities of food items made available to them. The cumulative effect of all this is a sharp increase in their death rate and plantation workers and their families have been forced to move into towns to beg for food.

    We conclude by merely listing the other means whereby the Tamils are put to grave hardships:
    1. Denial of equal opportunities of employment to Tamils in Government Service and
    Government controlled corporations.
    2. Sustained propaganda against Tamils through Government approved school textbooks.
    3. Continued Police and Army action in Tamil areas.
    4. Denial of the right of peaceful assembly.
    5. Denial to many Tamils and Tamil leaders the right to leave the country.
    6. Absence of effective provisions in the Constitution protecting the Fundamental Rights of minorities.
    7. Arbitrary arrests and detentions (at the moment there are 42 Tamils under such detention) and
    8. Cruel and inhuman treatment at the time of arrest and during detention.
    9. The grant of :the foremost place to Buddhism and imposing on the State a constitutional duty to protect and foster that religion.
    10. Denial of the right of representation to 50,000 in the Kankesauthurai Electorate by maliciously refusing to hold the by-election for the last two years.

    THE COMMONWEALTH AND TAMILS

    Sri Lanka is today a State with two nations and the Tamil nation there in seeks its inalienable right of self-determination. The Tamil problem is not an internal affair.
    The Shri Rajagopalachari, the First Governor General Of India has stated:

    “Most private wrongs are done within family walls, and most public wrongs within the borders of States. If world opinion is to consider state frontiers sacrosanct then there will be no chance for world progress as a whole; tyranny would have received a world charter.”

    Any attempt therefore, to regard the Tamil question as an internal affair of the State of Sri Lanka, would amount to an evasion of recognizing the political and social realities in the country. There is little doubt that the situation, fraught with many dangers, is gradually getting out of hand and is one for which there are unfortunately many parallels. From all accounts the Tamils of Ceylon are beginning to despair of obtaining their right, through discussion, compromise, and peaceful means; tensions and frustrations are beginning to crystallize around issues which sooner or later am likely to lead to a point of no return.

    In Ceylon today there is closely a situation where immediate action and assistance are necessary to stop a bad situation from getting worse. The question would arise whether the subject of minority nationalities in Commonwealth countries could be discussed even if such a subject is not on the agenda of the conference. There have been occasions in the past when the conference did consider subjects like Kashmir and Apartheid even though they were not on the agenda. The rapidly deteriorating situation here, demands in the name of common humanity that the Tamil question of Ceylon be considered at the 20th conference. Recent history shows that the nations of the world have moved to help a smaller nation in distress, only after many paid with their lives for their legitimate rights.

    The CPA is an Association of Commonwealth parliamentarians who, irrespective of
    race, religion or culture are united by community of interest, respect for the rule of law and the rights and freedoms of the individual citizens and by pursuit of the positive ideals of parliamentary democracy.

    THEREFORE, IT IS OUR HOPE THAT THE PROBLEMS OF THE TAMILS IN
    CEYLON WILL RECEIVE SYMPATHETIC CONSIDERATION OF THE
    DELEGATES ASSEMBLED AT THIS CONFERENCE AND THAT THEY WILL
    USE THEIR GOOD OFFICES TO HELP IN THE SOLUTION OF THIS PROBLEM.

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    1

    Malinda wants us to believe that he is very objective about what he writes but the loads of crap that he carries along is understandable, lest he may be the next white van victim.

    It was not the TNA that walked away like creeps from the talks. The regime absconded. Successive Sinhala regimes cheated the Tamils and Malinda is talking about ‘trust’. He should be preaching his erstwhile masters, who are not only first class conman but also international cheats. What did Mahinda and Basil tell the whole world? What credibility is left for the SL regime?

    The issue of accountability was there right from the end of the war. Malinda’s statement that TNA or the diaspora may be scared of the truth is laughable. While the accountability issue has been hotly pursued, the regime had this opportunity right from the time of the end of the war to conduct this census. It is only after it was slapped several times that it seems to have come to its senses. It looks like the naughty child started to behave decently after Cameron showed the whip.

    Why should the TNA or the Tamils trust ANY census conducted by a regime that is bare-faced liar. When news broke out recently over how Isaipriya may have been alive in the custody of the army before being sexually molested and murdered, it did not take a second for the army spokesperson to deny it. No investigation or nothing. If the Trinco 5 and the ACF 17 are still awaiting proper closures, the IIGEP, invited by Malinda’s honourable master left even before their mandate period was over, after issuing a scathing statement. Malinda would have read that report. Lies, lies and lies, that is what the SL regime is, period.

    The good old Tissa Vitharana and his team spent a lot of taxpayers’ money and consumed a lot of time and resources to come with the APRC report. The Tamils were skeptical that it would ever see the light of day and true enough it was consigned to the dustbin. Even signing agreements to win elections but to tear them out later is an art that has been perfected by all Sinhala regimes. The only problem is that Mahinda mama tried his luck with the same art but got pinned down and is now facing the heat for lying through his teeth. Uncle GL Peiris should be able to enlighten Malinda on this. With a joker as the head of the judiciary, the testament of two independently commissioned reports by uncle Sharma should leave no doubts whatsoever of the legitimate trust deficit among the Tamils. In short, Malinda should advise the regime to grow bananas in abundance – SL is nothing more than a banana republic.

    I would advise Malinda to conduct a “census” on how many civilians of its own race a terrorist regime murdered. If he wants, we can go for an international inquiry to find out how a murderous regime murdered more than 70,000 during the two JVP uprising. In fact, we would be pursuing that to prove what a murderous regime is indeed masquerading as a legitimate democracy. This would be one way to point to the Sinhalese majority that the regimes have killed more of their brethren than the LTTE.

    If the LTTE held civilians as human shields, what do you call those who are murdered after being guaranteed by a president, no less, that it will be ok if they wave the white flag? Those who surrendered also went missing. So, Malinda can write to please his masters but crying wolf at this late hour cannot provide any reprieve.

    Staring at another resolution, and this time it may not be so polite, the regime is talking about a TRC. May be the regime should send Malinda as its rep to the UNHRC and we have no doubt that he will do a wondeful job.

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    jansee,

    You talk about 70,000 Sinhalese being killed by the regime. They were killed not by this regime but your beloved RW’s regime. Were there any Camerons, Ban Ki Moons, Navi Pillais when it happened? Where was the accountability? Is it because UNP is the darling of the West (the so called IC)? Are Sinhala lives lesser in value than Tamil?

    Let’s take the current debate on accountability. Why is it limited to the last phase? Was it because by then Tamil terrorists have lost their teeth, nails and tails so they can be excused? Why is the whole 30 years of armed conflict is not considered? If the entire 30 years of armed conflict is considered Sambandan led TNA will be a prime accused too. Rudrakumarans, Adele Balasinghams, etc will not be able to live their luxurious lives with protection provided for by their Western masters. Again the question is are Sinhala and Muslim lives have a lesser value than Tamils?

    Your white washing of LTTE keeping civilians as human shields thereby creating the conditions for their deaths or forcing children to take arms and led them to face a well equipped army as cannon fodder doesn’t hold any water. They and their mentors and financiers are the worst violators of human rights in Sri Lanka.

    UNHRC resolutions are not to protect human rights. They are designed to further the geostrategic interests of the US and the West in the Indian Ocean region (a part of their Asia Pivot strategy). People of this country are well aware of it and they will defend their right to exist when pushed to the wall.

    • 2
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      Hela:

      It is sometimes very puzzling to me as to how long you Sinhalese lose your ostrich heads deeply into the ground. Interestingly, the LTTE that you so lovingly dread was actually well nourished by your president, Premadasa, providing arms and money in abundance. And you mean to say that you jokers are just eunuchs, including all your leaders, to allow the Indians and RAW to get away with their deeds, if what you say is correct and for that you should kick yourself, not us.

      “Were there any Camerons, Ban Ki Moons, Navi Pillais when it happened?” You see, this is the kind of intelligence you have that still allows the Rajapakses to continue knocking your heads. To begin with, quite literally, none of those whom you mentioned were around at that time. Quite apart, you ought to be ashamed in even asking this question? A majority race with the majority vote talking silly really. Why do you need Camerons, Bans or even Navi Pillay? Whatever happened to your collective voice. In the case of Tamils, they are in the minority and being continually cheated, lied to and bullied by a racist Sinhala regime and the majority Sinhalese are so racist that they can only see their race in their mind and not any sense of logic and reason. After trying to talk sense to the regimes and having failed, the Tamils have no choice but to turn to international help. If a racist Sinhala leader announces that the more of the Tamils he causes to suffer, more of the Sinhalese who would be happy, then that speaks volumes. That is the record. Of course, I emphathise for the Sinhalese suffering but the Tamils can only lend their voice out but you are the majority race and above all, you have the bickering and violent monks who are simply good for nothing who failed to prevent these atrocities. Go and have a word with them, you will be more at peace.

      Oh, we have no problem in extending the accountability period since independence, if that is what you and regime want. At least, the history can show what kind cheats and liars your leaders have been and how they have built their political careers by causing misery to the Tamils. The entire history of the island is checkered with rapes and murders of Tamil civilians, so if you are kind enough to suggest that, why should we have a problem?

      So, if the LTTE allegedly had held civilians as human shields, there cannot be any justification in using that as an excuse to kill civilians under the guise of taking on the LTTE, more so when your president kept on preaching the “humanitarian operation” gimmick. There are international covenants to which SL had signed and subscribed to and warring parties breaching those covenants had to face the music. Quite frankly, we have reached a stage where we are not interested what happens elsewhere or even to the Sinhalese, that is a job you have to take care of. We are only interested in the welfare of the Tamils and we are not ashamed of that. After all, the Sinhalese clap their hands when the Tamils are victimised.

      ” People of this country are well aware of it and they will defend their right to exist when pushed to the wall.” You can continue to take the position of defending a crumbling wall and shift it the way you want it. Do we really care? You can advise the regime to withdraw from the UN and UNHRC if you are so upset with them. That would be the choice of your regime. And why are you getting so worked up? Whoever questioned or denied your right to exist? The Rajapakses may have told you guys pantomime stories but isn’t that somewhere you should use your brains? You guys have still a few months left to enact some sensational dramas and I have been wondering why your hero Wimal Weerawansa has stopped his stage plays?

  • 2
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    Malinda Seneviratne is in kicking distance. He is an incorrigible anti Tamil Singhalese extremist. To him everything about TNA and Tamils are wrong, and Mahinda Rajapakse correct. People like him make co-existence impossible.

  • 0
    1

    Jansee,

    “In the case of Tamils, they are in the minority and being continually cheated, lied to and bullied by a racist Sinhala regime and the majority Sinhalese are so racist that they can only see their race in their mind and not any sense of logic and reason. “

    You cheat yourself.The unreasonable demands put forward by racist Tamil leaders, can not be met by any political party in Sri Lanka (UNP/SLFP).

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      Ravi Perera:

      Agree with you none of the SINHALA parties will give what is right for the Tamils. We knew this long ago. Whatever they PROMISED are just to hoodwink the Tamils. And no, we are not cheating ourselves. And speaking of these “unreasonable demands” by Tamil leaders, whatever happened to agreements and promises by SB, DS and was the APRC by your uncle MR also a hoodwink. Doesn’t that make you people liars and cheats? Yes, we cheated ourselves but not for the reasons you allude, but for trusting worthless and half-past-six Sinhala regimes. Aren’t you ashamed to even calling it a Buddhist country? Unfortunately, the Buddha in your country has a lot of blood in his hands. Shame on you people, and no thanks to you people, the image of Buddha has been consigned to the garbage bin.

  • 0
    0

    MS we don’t trust you. We know who you are and for who you are working for and what you get from who.

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