26 September, 2020

Blog

TNA’s Suicidal Path To Federalism

By Vishwamithra1984

The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it”.  ~Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) for the umpteenth time has resorted to its grand old tactic. At a time when the crying need, both from the greater majority of the ethnic groups, Sinhalese and Tamils, is for reconciliation and co-habitation with dignity and equality a divisive strategy would not pay any dividends. How much of dignity and equality is forthcoming, especially from the Sinhalese side of the social spectrum is suspect and particularly from the leadership of the Sinhalese action and thought has proven to be blinkered and sometimes exceptionally harmful to a thriving nation grappling with centuries-old antagonisms. Wigneswaran and Sampanthan

Before we step into the examination of actions and events originated by the Tamil leadership of Sri Lanka that defined and shaped the current socio-political milieu, let us look into what the Sinhalese leadership have been engaged in since the turn of the Twentieth Century. In fact I have written many a column on the various aspects of this festering issue in the relationship between the two major ethnic groups. Many accomplished historians such as Professors K M de Silva, G C Mendis and Jeyaratnam Wilson and social scientists of the caliber of Michael Roberts, Jayadeva Uyangoda, and Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka and many others, have written books and essays and delivered talks abundantly on this subject.

The political background at the dawn of the Twentieth Century was greatly different from the one that encompasses today’s polity. Under the aegis of the British colonial powers, Ceylon and her political leadership at the time, though well-educated all around unlike most of those who enter politics today, was quite alien to the nuanced underpinnings of the Colonial Office of the United Kingdom Government. The emergence of eminent Tamil leaders such as the Ponnambalam brothers and later G G Ponnambalam during the Legislative and State Council era and their ready cohabitation with the leaders of the Sinhalese majority at the time and considering the prevalent socio-econo-political conditions, an exchange of ideas and policy-stances by both parties assumed more of a sophisticated and nuanced shade rather than real-life experiences of the proletariat and middleclass of the two peoples- Sinhalese and Tamils. What is even more ironic is that at this time and up to early Nineteen Sixties, it was the Indian Tamil-component that comprised the largest portion of the minorities in Sri Lanka and not Ceylon Tamils as the indigenous Tamils are called.

On the other hand, when the whole nation was ostensibly engaged in a ‘freedom struggle’ against the governing British Raj, issues dividing the two ethnic groups took a secondary seating, so to speak. Yet one cannot forget that the Tamil leadership at the time, especially in the last two decades of the Nineteenth Century and the first thirty years of the next Century, lent their unequivocal support to the national leadership of the country through the offices of the National Congress, the main political entity at the time. Sinhala Maha Sabha of S W R D Bandaranaike, even then carried out a mutually exclusive political campaign in that while being the first politician, even before the Tamils of the North, to propose a Federal System of government carried out a campaign of nationalistic veneer. This difference, between the rhetoric and actual policies, blemished his political life and ultimately paid by his life for the dangerous game he chose to play willfully. That is why the Tamil leadership never trusted Bandaranaike throughout his political career. The same could be said about J R Jayewardene too. While J R introduced the Sinhala only as a medium of instruction in government-owned schools, he also led the famous Kandy March against the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayagam Pact in 1957. The greatest t irony is that most of the chapters and clauses, the implementation of which in the Bandaranaike- Chelvanayagam Pact J R campaigned against, he himself had to concede when he signed the Jayewardene–Gandhi Agreement in 1987. Our recent history abounds in such bizarre political ironies and we are feeling the live effects as we have been living those very ironies in that half century or so.
Nevertheless, the response emanating from the Tamils during the last century, particularly in relation to the ‘Tamil Question’ as Kumar Ponnambalam, G G’s son termed it, was both strategic as well as tactical. Their strategic response, during the Chelvanayagam-period was slow and steady, non-violent and ‘democratic’ approach based on deal-making with successive governments. They opted to join or lend support in parliament to whoever was in power. But the rhetoric and bombastic vitriol on the part of some Sinhalese leaders coupled with the ’56 revolution, the whole complexion of the game changed for ever. And when Bandaranaike’s widow, Sirimao Bandaranaike introduced the University quota system- the Sri Lankan version of affirmative action on reverse- the Tamil youth thought enough is enough.

The pros and cons of the University quota system were debated among academics, politicians and intelligentsia and now it’s a dead issue. But one must not be so careless to ignore the long-term ill-effects of this atrocious scheme as it paved the way for the arming of the Tamil youth and also gave them a ‘legitimate’ cause to fight the successive national governments dominated and led by the representatives of the Sinhalese majority. The thirty-year war with the Tamil terrorist groups led by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) was the zenith of this struggle. The results were painful and devastating to the Tamils. A defeated army left behind a distressed civil population and the wounds and scars are still fresh. The Sinhalese leadership at that time, the Rajapaksa-led Government and their cohorts, while engaging in an orgy of triumphalism and victory, completely forgot the root causes of this festering issue- the corrosive divide and mistrust between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil minority. Instead of becoming gracious and magnanimous, they opted to bask in the pseudo-glory of Sinhalese superiority. A narrative based on historical entitlement by virtue of numbers and Mahavamsa tales. Reconciliation and empathy were thrown out the window and the ruling clan gave refuge and support to fringe groups such as Bodu Bala Sena and Ravana Balaya.

What was termed by A J Wilson in his book, ‘The Breakup of Sri Lanka’ as the concept of ‘the land, the race and the faith’ took over the psyche of the majority of Sinhalese Buddhists and what was practiced throughout our storied history between the two major ethnic groups gained legitimacy. As I have repeatedly pointed out in my earlier columns, a sense of ‘self-righteousness’ defined and shaped the path that these fringe groups adopted to travel.

However, that is all recent history. The cycle which was from Fifty-Fifty to Federalism to Elam is now repeating. The latest call from Tamil National Alliance, as expressed the other day by its spokesperson M. A. Sumanthiran, MP that ‘a resolution seeking the re-merger of the Eastern Province with the Northern Province adopted by the TNA-led Northern Provincial Council (NPC) on Friday (April 22) could be considered by the government as well as all other political parties represented in Parliament’. He went further and stated that the ‘TNA would throw its weight behind the NPC proposal for the re-merger of the Eastern Province with the Northern Province, MP Sumanthiran said that the TNA always stood for the amalgamation of the two provinces’.

Same old cycle is turning again. Whatever their flaws and frailties, the TNA leadership cannot be blamed for lack of intelligent strategizing; nor could they be branded as naïve and uneducated. Yet when they come out with a demand for Federalism and re-merger of the North and the East, it looks to be bordering on desperation and ill-timed. Considering the voice of the ‘Diaspora’, an entity which did not exist at the earlier times of the Tamil struggle, the additional strength that they derive from these groups abroad buttressed by some Western governments and India, the case gets further reinforced in their favor. The isolationist policies of the Rajapaksas have given way to some of the personalities at international fora and the aftereffects are yet lingering on.

It appears that the TNA too has chosen to keep on playing the same isolationist drama. The latest version of calling for Federalism is not only ill-timed, it’s ill-thought of. Thinking outside the box does not seem to appeal to our Tamil brethren. Sampanthan, the Leader of the Opposition as well as Wigneswaran, the Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council seem to be entrenched in traditional and conventional way of achieving their political objectives. Without any effort being made to combine their macro objectives for the country with those of the majority Sinhalese, nothing tangible can be achieved.

The numbers are real and in the modern world they matter. The Tamil leadership should realize that they are overwhelmed by greater numbers of the Sinhalese populace. Those very numbers have given strength and muscle, rightly or wrongly, to the Sinhalese majority. That is a fact that the Tamils seem to be willy nilly disregarding. So long as they continue to do that, they are only prolonging the agony of their own people and strengthening the will of the majority Sinhalese. A strategically wiser mindset is the need of the hour.

*The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com

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  • 18
    2

    “The Tamil leadership should realize that they are overwhelmed by greater numbers of the Sinhalese populace. Those very numbers have given strength and muscle, rightly or wrongly, to the Sinhalese majority.”…

    Exactly. Shouldn’t Tamils have the rights to breath on their own without getting approval from Sinhalese?

    So the current leadership of TNA knows exactly what they are talking about.

    Tamils are like your overachieving former girlfriend. If you cannot handle her with respect then forget about her. All you can do now is dreaming about the good time you had with her. Hey, it’s still not late to say sorry to her for your bad behaviours.

    • 17
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      “The Tamil leadership should realize that they are overwhelmed by greater numbers of the Sinhalese populace. Those very numbers have given strength and muscle, rightly or wrongly, to the Sinhalese majority.”

      This is the very reason the Tamils and Muslims demand some form of security and safety under federalism, not to mention dignity.

      If the Sinhala/Buddhist populace cannot understand what is needed to enjoy democracy and freedom, just because of their sheer numbers then they ought to be educated.

      Failing to do so will bring outside interference as we have seen in the past.

      It was left to the Hindian to enforce parity among two languages. It appears nothing has been learned from the past nor would be in the future.

      Sheer numbers alone would not make a people wise nor strong.

      • 11
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        “Sheer numbers alone would not make a people wise nor strong…”

        What did Hon. Mody say when he visited Sri Lanka last – a solution
        based on quasi-Federalism. So be it. This is the last must abide opportunity to step into the next century.

        The Sinhala Intelligentsia must decide, not leaving it to the brains of MS-MR kind, for the benefit of Sri Lanka in the long term.

      • 4
        17

        Native Vedda,

        You are the most prolific responder (often absurd and Tamil racist) to various articles on Colombo Telegraph. You must be unemployed or unemployable to have so much time to respond.

        Most Tamil live in the Sinhalese areas. A lot of them extremely comfortably and well to do, in Colombo 7, Colombo 3, 6, 8, Kandy and so on. (eg Wiggie is from Colombo 7). Better off than most Sinhalese. The Muslims are even better off than the “Well to do Tamils” taken as group.

        Besides Trincomalee was nt Tamil area. It was called Gokanna Harbour/Varaya in Sinhalese before it was given a Tamil name. Tamil have therefore encroached in to Sinhalese areas. That is the truth. Tamils living in Colombo and Kandy etc. feel very uncomfortable with the excessive and selfish demands by Tamil leaders such as those of TNA, which was a just front organisation for the LTTE.

        Besides even if you give Tamils Federalism/ Provincial councils or any damn thing, can the Tamil leaders run the system. Evidently they cant. We all saw how Velu ran the Tamil areas and cannibalised his own Tamil community with the help of the diaspora. The heroic Sinhalese had to rescue their Tamil brethren and sisters from Tamil villains in case you have forgotten. And Wiggie is utterly incompetent, cant do the job. Dereliction of duty and should be sacked. The job given to a competent Sinhalese administrator! Tamil leaders are only good for engaging in propaganda and time wasting and causing mayhem and neglecting their own people big time.

        Regarding the Muslims they don’t like the Tamils at all after being ethnically cleansed 60,0000 from Jaffna by Tamils in Oct 1990 and have to live in Sinhalese area. Also Tamils massacred the Muslims in the Eastern Province (eg Kathankuddy. And tried to suicide bomb Muslim Minister Mr Fousie in Matara (March 2009 at the Prophet Mohamed’s Birthday celebrations. So you Tamils don’t worry about the Muslims. You mind your own business!

        • 5
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          Foogeyman, (good student)

          come on get up and boggie with me?

        • 2
          10

          Also when this wiggie started a fight with his racist tamil pals in TNA years back, remember how he responded…’I can go to Colombo and live in my home’ ….lol

          • 7
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            Sach ooooooooooooooothe stupid!!

            toxic settler it’s his holiday home where he would meet his kids.

        • 10
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          [Besides Trincomalee was nt Tamil area. It was called Gokanna Harbour/Varaya in Sinhalese before it was given a Tamil name. ]

          IT is a pure Tamil name. It is attested in Tevaram itself as māgōṇam @ mākōṇam.

          நிறைக்காட் டானே நெஞ்சத் தானே
          நின்றி யூரானே
          மிறைக்காட் டானே புனல்சேர் சடையாய்
          அனல்சேர் கையானே
          மறைக்காட் டானே திருமாந் துறையாய்
          மாகோ ணத்தானே
          இறைக்காட் டானே எங்கட் குன்னை
          எம்மான் தம்மானே

          niṟaikkāṭ ṭāṉē neñjat tāṉē
          niṇṟi yūrāṉē
          miṟaikkāṭ ṭāṉē puṉalsēr saḍaiyāy
          aṉalsēr kaiyāṉē
          maṟaikkāṭ ṭāṉē tirumān duṟaiyāy
          māgō ṇattāṉē
          iṟaikkāṭ ṭāṉē eṅgaṭ kuṉṉai
          emmāṉ tammāṉē

          Sivaṉ who is an example for strength of mind!
          who dwells in the hearts of devotees!
          who is in Niṉṟiyūr!
          who does not subject his devotees to sufferings!
          who has on his caṭai water of the Kaṅkai!
          who holds in his hand fire!
          who dwells in maṟaikkāṭu!
          who dwells in tirumāntuṟai!
          who dwells the great Kōṇamāmalai in Lanka.
          the father of my father!
          will you not reveal a little bit of your nature to us?

          Kōṇamāmalai is also called as mākōṇamalai.

          Thiru is a prefix meaning auspicious. Kōṇa means Angular (adj. Malai means Hill, hillock

          In the 7th Century ACE, the Saivite saint Champanthar in his hymn refers to this place as Kōṇamāmalai, meaning ‘the great angular hill’.

          The word Kōṇa standing for angle, corner, end etc., is found in all South Asian languages and is a common prefix or suffix for place names, displaying the said geographical features.

          Gokanna means ear of the cow. It is not a Sinhala word. It is an Indian Word.

          Gokarna (Kannada: ಗೋಕರ್ಣ) is a small temple town on the western coast of India in the Kumta taluk of Uttara Kannada district of the state of Karnataka. The main temple and deity is Lord Siva. Gokarna means Cow’s Ear. It is believed that Lord Shiva emerged from the ear of a cow (Prithvi, the Mother Earth) here. It is at the ear-shaped confluence of two rivers Gangavali and Aghanashini. it is associated with Ravana as in the case of

          Trincomalee was one of the chief trading centers in Lanka. Sri Gokarna, Siri Gokanna, Sri Gonapura, Siri Gonamala, Gonagamaka Pattana, Gonagama-Patuna, and much earlier Gokannatitta were some of the names attached to this place in the chronicles.” Sanskrit Sri is the translation of Thiru (which became Thiri or thri in ThiruKōṇamalai/ThiriKōṇamalai. Gona is the translation of Kōṇam. It is very childish to claim it as Sinhala word.

      • 3
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        India is not interested in you Tamils. Don’t be deluded. India is only interested in annexing NP & EP (especially Trincomalee harbour)and all of Sri Lanka, little by little, by stealth under the guise of “helping the Tamils”!!!

        • 7
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          “India is not interested in you Tamils.Don’t be deluded. “

          you must be ChiCom?? You must be walla wakebar Boom??))))

          But you are Hegel Egghead Ambude who funded the murder of dear Rajiv Gandhi.
          In one year Premadasa went as diced meat and the island has never changed in governance from being a Jing Jong Un North Korean vassal state.

          from 48 the Mus_slims and Sinhal Buddhist have governed the island. with the closure of Suez Cananl pan_arab Terrorist Hussians lover SirMao are holding flags even today to support walla wakebar Boom??))))

          From 1970 to today do you have a stock pile of energy for the unstinted support to Arabs of medieval middle east?? keep selling your sinhala buddhist females sex xlaves and say dharmista –
          Sunday Sil, Monday kil, Kill the Veddha, Blame the Suddha.

          Akhand Bharat is a reality. Jai Bolo. Jai.

          When the English discovered Diesel a Portuguese crusader owning Iran became the richest man in the world. Princess Braganza’ of Portugal’s Dowry to Charles 2 of England was Bombay in 1661 to keep away the Christian VOC from killing them – they were at India until 1970 when the indian Army drove away the Fascist Estado Novo Portugal – the largest slave traders of Asia.

          you came by boat- Buro` with the new Kamise seated at Mesa- you borrowed sanskrit from us recently.

          Time you swallowed your own saliva ambude pute!!

        • 8
          1

          Good student

          “India is not interested in you Tamils.”

          I hate to agree with you.

          Tamils were stupid and still they are. However, they haven’t revered from the pain and humiliation inflicted on them by the Sinhala/Buddhist state. VP and Hindia won the war for MR.

          “India is only interested in annexing NP & EP (especially Trincomalee harbour)and all of Sri Lanka, little by little, by stealth under the guise of “helping the Tamils”!!!”

          Hindia is not interested in North East nor in Trincomalee. Hindians believe Sri Lanka is the Sinhala state of Hindia.

          Full stop.

          • 4
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            Native Vedda

            `Hindians believe Sri Lanka is the Sinhala state of Hindia.`

            Yes its true and it was cordial.

            My experience in all parts of India – N,S,E,W from the 60’s was that Ceylon/Lanka was a westernised state (because socialist policy Indira had closed the doors- there was only Chandhi Chalk terrible duplicates) After the Yellow submarine issue India has hardened and would not change in swallowing Lanka by whatever means it takes. While little Buddhist Bhutan is surviving by not antagonising because it is observing and moving towards a prosperous non dependent Nation.
            See the Warlords of Lanka on the pretext of Tamil Terrorist- with 250 military personnel each. Buruwanse would be the next to have them and finally the Eggheads.

    • 3
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      Sorry

      It is to be safe, for protection of Liberty and pursuit of happiness by Tamils and Muslims.

      For some reason, the Sinhala “Buddhists” do not like that. Is it in Buddhism? Where did this evil of the Sinhala “Buddhists” come from? Wahhabism? No. This was more recent? LTTE ? No. It was more recent too.

      Mahawansa and its lies and imaginations?

  • 14
    1

    The very last opportunity to achieve a homeland/self-rule/federal governance for the Tamil speaking people of the NorthEast of Sri Lanla – in my opinion, a highly legitimate aspiration of these people – was in the aftermath of the Indo Lanka agreement. Bastard [The CT editor, please permit me to use this word] Prabaharan destroyed this golden opportunity once and for all by started killing the Indian soldiers in Oct 1987 and killing Rajiv G in 1991.

    Now any fool can write long articles giving reasons [quite rightly] as to why Tamils won’t get federal governance.

    • 4
      1

      Real Peace
      The Sinhalese should be eternally grateful to Prabakaran for having fought against the Tamils.
      They should erect gigantic statues of him in the Sinhalese hinterlands instead of Buddha’s statues.

      • 2
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        Uthungan

        ….and Tamils can build statues for Mahinda all over the NorthEast for finishing off Prabaharan. If JSC-qualified Prabaharan had been alive for another 10 yrs, the Tamil race would have become extinct in Sri Lanka….!!

      • 2
        1

        There was an article written by a Sinhalese in Asian Tribune, some years back, titled, ‘ Prabaharan, the best friend of the Sinhalese’ . He considered national leaders D.S.Senanake downwards as representing Dutigemunu principles, and the Tamil leaders since independence (including Prabaharan) as the modern versions of Ellalans, and discussed how everything desired by the modern day Dutugemunus, was made possible by the actions and reactions of the modern day Ellalans. It was very perceptive writing. He was quite right.’

        Modern day Ellalans made us dissipate our (Tamil) energy fighting on winnable issues, starting with the anti-Sinhala Sri Campaign to the last war. We dug holes that the Dutigemunus wanted us to dig. VP made the hole much deeper and wider and would have had them covered, if he had lived longer. We missed that by a hair width! Sambanthan and company have started digging new holes now.

        Indeed, our Ellalans are the best friends of the Dutugemunus! They fought symptoms and let the disease get worse, because they lacked the ability to diagnose the root cause. The Jaffna Youth Congress, had the intelligence and wisdom to understand the grievances of the Sinhala peasantry, their consequences in an independent Sri Lanka and impact on the Tamils. This wisdom is yet lacking among our Ellalans yet.’

        Unless the Sinhalese in large numbers are sympathetic towards our cause and join us in finding solutions, we will not make any headway, against the modern day Dutugemunus. We have to win the confidence of the Sinhala people and make them our best friends and allies, if we are to make any headway. We cannot afford to alienate them with our stupid and shortsighted rhetoric. We cannot be partners if we do not trust each other. The trust of the Sinhalese cannot be won with ambiguous words- that mean one thing Iin the dictionary, but have come to mean quite the opposite in this country. Federalism has become a dirty and obnoxious word in this country. Why use it? The word Thamil Arasu ( Tamil government) used in Tamil in the past, as the equivalent of Federal, has done immeasurable and permanent damage.

        Some consider being wise, patient and restrained in political disputes is cowardice and traitorous! This has been the curse of us Tamils and pushed us to box above weight, and get pulverized as a consequence. We have to also to learn that we have to find solutions to our problems within this country, without relying on solutions imposed by elements outside. It is a banal hope that we will be delivered by an outside force. This is untenable, in terms of our past experiences.

        It is the turn of the Sinhalese to become our best friends and let us encourage them to do so. This is the only thing we have not done in our post-independence history. Why not try it in a substantive way, without being fork tongued. This does not mean that we cannot and should not highlight and discuss our problems, but do so in a non-combative and friendly manner.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Dr.Rajasingham Narebdran

        • 2
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          To win the hearts of the Sinhalese it will take another 1000 years and by that time there will not be any Tamils left in Srilanka. Jutice Minister Wijedasa Raja—-ya has declared that by the year 2054 Buddhism will be the only religion in the country!Ha ha ha!

          • 0
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            as long as it is a dictatorship it would be like Hegel Eggheads Paradise.
            where you lick the feet of cheap British tourist- Still our colony common moron.
            Never as a prosperous democratic multi-party.

  • 6
    2

    Tamil lands needs to be returned. We know that it cannot be done immediately, but there has to be something like a 10-year plan to give back the land incrementally, for about 50-75% of the l70,000 acres. We know it is essential for the military to have some occupancy to obstruct terrorists, but 6 years after the end-of war is about time some kind of plan is in place for the return of lands.

    Tamil, as before and now, will be the medium of language of the Northern Province. Sinhalese and English would be taught as 2nd languages. Police powers will belong to more Tamils, although there will be a Sinhalese component in it. National army will need to have larger numbers of Tamils. North and East will remain provinces like all the other provinces. Provincial and National taxes will be the same for each and every province.

    • 5
      2

      Alternative land or due (market value ) compensation (whatever the cost ) must be paid to the land owners.

      TNA , North and East provincial councils must corporate with the govt to return the land grabbed from Muslims when they were chased away by the LTTE and presently occupied by the Tamils.

      Soma

      • 0
        3

        Compensation can be given based on current rates, in lieu of resettlement. Resettlement done after careful screening. 25% of the l70,000 acres to be returned to the Muslims.

      • 5
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        somaaaaassssss

        “Alternative land or due (market value ) compensation (whatever the cost ) must be paid to the land owners. “

        It is a fantastic humane gesture towards the Tamils hope, they would be grateful to you and the Sinhala/Buddhists.

        Your judgement is sound whereas your intention is suspect.

        • 0
          0

          Why do you suspect, because I am a Sinhala Buddhist?
          Bad luck mate. We ARE the majority.

          Soma

          • 4
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            somaaasss

            “We ARE the majority.”

            You have proportionally more stupid people than all the minorities put together.

            Great achievement.

    • 0
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      There is no such thing as “Tamil” land and “Sinhala Land”.
      Stop thinking in racist terms.

      When we Muslims talk of “Muslim land” the Tamils tell us that we are
      just low caste Tamils, while the Sinhalese tell us that their king gave us
      the land to save us from the Dutch. The ancient Tamils got assimilated and the
      modern tamils are really Malabars.

  • 2
    14

    Has the TNA got any low caste Tamils in their membership?..

    How can North East be given to a Political Party which does not include even their own low caste and low class inhabitants?.

    What about the 1.5 Million Indian Tamils?.Do they want to live under the Vellalas

    The largest minority ethnic group soon will be the Muslims.

    They are predominant in the East.

    Do they want to live under the Vellalas?.

    What about rich and famous Tamils in Colombo who are the majority in the City alongside the Muslims?.

    When Sumanathiran and Sambandan get their federal Eelaam in the North East,are they going to relocate all the Muslims and the Tamils including the Estate aka Indian Tamils there?.

    These are the hard questions no body including the academics and the journalists who appear here do not want to address and discuss .

    Poor inhabitants in the country whether they be Tamil Sinhala or Muslim only want a chance to educate their kids, find a job to put the food on the table and lead a peaceful life.

    No one cares about them. No one writes about them, although they are the great majority and they are the ones who have to approve any Federal or other constitution.

    But this Yahapalana Government carries on as if the 225 half wits, some elected and some not even elected can bring a new Constitution and give Sambandan and Abraham and Surendran what they want because they in combination they made possible for the President and the Yahapalana PM to grab power.

    TNA is using heavy handed tactics now, because they have the upper hand now .

    And it is because of the the above reason.

    TNA knows that the President is a puppet who has taken the pill from the West .

    He has no power in the Government or from the masses.

    Otherwise which Commander in Chief of a country, even a Banana Republic cop the ultimate insult of the ex Terrorists and their supporters forcing themselves in to a major Military base and boast about it.

    • 3
      2

      K.A.S

      “When Sumanathiran and Sambandan get their federal Eelaam in the North East,are they going to relocate all the Muslims and the Tamils including the Estate aka Indian Tamils there?.”

      This is the question I am posing over and over and over again in all my comments. Repeat and repeat this question until that becomes a major component of the discusion on this so called ‘political solution’. What I am fighting against is this ‘North AND East for us and the rest is for ALL of us’ stance of the political Tamils.

      Soma

      • 3
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        Good on you Soma…

        • 5
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          Sumane
          Trump my man is going to win and we are going to have a better economy.
          You are going to sink. Tamils are fighting and may not get what they wish for.
          Neither would be happy and neither would have clout in the west- totally insignificant because Korean Jung would go missing.

      • 1
        2

        Your question – see the number of Tamil enclaves in Delhi to
        know what happens in a quasi-federal set that is the answer to
        our unsolved problem. The broadmindedness of a majority community
        will solve our problems, before foreign interference.

      • 6
        2

        Goma,

        Don’t you it? You have no brain!

        In the case of Scotland everyone who is a registered resident and national UK is allowed to vote. If and when it concludes and Scotland agrees to part ways then the persons resident would be the nationals of Scotland. The Scots living would not be asked to leave- we are an advanced society and do not behave like animals among ourselves.

        Anyway when Donald Trump wins things can be different and it won’t be easy for Lanka to do shape shape shape because Trump would bomb you. Xi and Putin want him to win to put the world in order. I
        I am not for division because I loved it all but if you kill the rest of tamils and they do not feel happy you will regret every day and end up like syria but no refugee in the west.

      • 0
        0

        If Sri lanka gives every thing that tamils ask, what will be the fate of TNA ?

        Say, every thing allright or fight for more.

      • 1
        1

        [What I am fighting against is this ‘North AND East for us and the rest is for ALL of us’ stance of the political Tamils. ]

        somaaaaassssss

        Indians will have not objection to reclaim your homeland west Bengal. Not sure about Bangladesh.

        It is very close to your beloved Bodh Gaya.

      • 1
        0

        [What I am fighting against is this ‘North AND East for us and the rest is for ALL of us’ stance of the political Tamils. ]

        somaaaaassssss

        Indians even Tamils will have not any objection about reclaiming of your original homeland west Bengal. Not sure about Bangladesh.

        It is very close to your beloved Bodh Gaya.

  • 17
    4

    You have mentioned that Tamils are overwhelmed by greater number of Sinhala populace. This is exactly what happened in other countries where the overwhelming majority not only failed to grant justice to their minorities, but also continued to suppress them, resuting in foreign intervention to either a full independence such as Bosnia, Bangladesh, East Timor, South Sudan, Eritrea etc or defacto states in North Cyprus and Kosovo. If Sinhalese continue to deny legitimate rights of Tamils to power and territory, International intervention becomes inevitable, similar to the above.

    What Srilnka needs is unity in diversity and not monoethnic Sinhala Buddhist racism. The best way to achieve this is Federalism. Just because Sinhales are either ignorant of or unwilling to grant federal arrangement, Tamils should not continue to suffer. MS/RW government promised TNA in exchange of the votes to grant federal set up in a merged North-East Tamil homeland, and now on the face of Sinhala extremist attack, are back tracking on that. International community is not going to tolerate Sinhala intransigence indefinitely, and at one stage will definitely call the bluff.

    • 0
      0

      How come you don’t mention USA where there are close to 19% HISPANICS with
      no Spanish version of the “star spangled banner” sung in Spanish, and no
      linguistic rights what ever.

      • 0
        0

        Manoharan
        The US had no official language for long.
        I cannot remember exactly when, but it was introduced late last century to keep in check the place of Spanish. It was intentionally discriminatory.

        Dr GS
        Bosnia had no national oppression. It was secession induced by the West. All violence was after secession was announced.

        In Bangladesh it was a struggle for political power that led to secession. Had Zulficar Ali Bhutto agreed to share power with Mujibur Rahman secession may have been at least delayed. There was no national oppression but the hegemony of the West. Decline of democracy in Pakistan was a factor in the tragedy of E Pakistan (later Bangladesh).

        East Timor was colonized by the fascist Indonesian regime in 1974 with the blessings of the West. It was a painful struggle and Indonesia hurt E Timoer even after granting ‘freedom’.

        Eritrea was annexed by Ethopia under Emperor Haile Salazi in the 1950’s. There was much foreign meddling and changing loyalties in the liberation struggle. There was more Ethiopian domination than national oppression.

        South Sudan had a problem, but is secession was facilitated by the West to punish Sudan. Today South Sudan has a worse conflict on its hands than before secession.

        North Cyprus suffered Cypriot Greek domination but today it is a Turksh colony and not a free state.

        Kosovo liberation was designed in the US. Today it is under US-NATO military occupation.

        If Tamils want unity in diversity, there are many Sinhalese who are wiling to help. But Tamil nationalism has always spurned progressive forces anywhere.
        We cannot talk of “unity in diversity” while secretly craving secession.

        • 1
          0

          SJ/sekara

          “If Tamils want unity in diversity, there are many Sinhalese who are wiling to help.”

          Could you name them.

          Anura Kumara, Dinesh, heads of all three Sangas, Wimal Weerawansa, Champika, Mervyn Silva, Gamanpilla, Nalin de Silva, Sarath Fonseka, ….. Dayan Jayatilleke, …. .. Heads of all three armed forces …

          Please stop kidding.

        • 0
          0

          India conspired to split Pakistan and the Mukthi Bahini was its instrument . Zulfikar Ali Bhuto, played into its hands. India achieved its objective of weakening Pakistan which had evolved into an implacable enemy. Pakistani rulers made the grave mistake of alienating the Bengali population in East Pakistan. This gave India the opening ambit.

          Dr. RN

  • 6
    12

    Vishwamithra 1984 is quite correct in lamenting that the Tamil polity “has for the umpteenth time resorted to its grand old tactics” and pointing out that “the call for Federalism is not only ill-timed, it is ill-thought of”.

    On the question of North-East Merger & Federalism,

    •It is not possible to have a merged North East Province without the consent of the Muslim populace in the East and any merger without an alternative arrangement would be vehemently opposed by them. The inter-communal relations in the East have been ruined. The Muslims are apprehensive of Tamil nationalism and majoritianism, as the Tamils are of the Sinhalese. Mistrust of the Muslims by the Tamils is also there. Merger at this juncture would be also opposed by the majority of the Sinhalese.

    •If North & East are to be merged, the Muslims demand a separate unit for them by carving areas from the Eastern Province where Muslims are in a majority. Apart from the Muslims, the Tamils from the upcountry are also now staking a claim (evidenced by their submission) that that they are of a distinct national identity and therefore entitled to a land of their own creating district by re-organising the existing district of Nuwera Eliya (Central Province) and linking it with other contiguously-located areas of other districts in Uva and Sabragamuva provinces where they are in higher concentration. Such moves will be vehemently resisted by the majority Sinhalese.

    •Any proposal should not, instead of solving the island’s ethnic problem further complicate it by adding the Muslim or Hill-country Tamil dimensions or accentuating the majority –minority division. Ethnic problem should not be allowed to take another form and remain unresolved.

    •Favourable climate for any merger not only of the North & East but also any two provinces can only happen in the future when suspicion and mistrust between the communities are removed and by confidence building measures, a sense brotherhood, goodwill, coexistence and trust evolves which is absent at present.

    •‘Federalism’ is unfortunately in the mind -set of the Sinhalese as synonymous with ‘separation’. No attempts have ever been made to educate them on the good of federalism for the country as a whole. In the current climate of suspicion and mistrust the claim of for Federalism would be construed only as a subterfuge for separation. Only when in the future, there is a realisation by the Sinhalese that a ‘Federal system’ is good for them too and consequently when they too embrace the need of a federal structure, can the Sri Lankan constitution be one of federal structure.

    •Therefore, in the context of the political reality and the current political climate, insistence by the Tamils of the merger of the North & East and Federalism, although admittedly has been the bulwark of the Tamils’ demand, is an unrealistic cry in the wilderness that would only serve to scuttle all hopes of a political solution. Furthermore, it would only help to serve the chauvinists elements to find excuse to torpedo the whole process and end up with a stalemate and continuation of the present status with no progress, further complicating the existing ethnic problem instead of resolving it.

    •The need of the hour and the goal now should be, through the new constitution, to obtain maximum devolution to the Provinces with entrenched constitutional safeguards for their effective implementation without any interference or sabotage by the Centre at any time.

    •It is important to emphasise that this constitution is not merely to address the Tamil grievances, it is not just devolution to the Tamil areas of North & East, it is devolution to all the regions of the country. The accumulation of powers at the Centre is a big impediment to the socio- economic development of people. Only by strengthening the regional units, the country can be developed uniformly to uplift the living standards of the people. Greater autonomy means greater efficiency and greater good for the people.

    • 5
      2

      “It is not possible to have a merged North East Province without the consent of the Muslim populace in the East”

      your well is not the only well.
      the Walla O Wackbar Boom;))) and Hegel Eggheads(sinhala buddhist) have copulated since 1948.
      Both are considered to be terrorist in today’s world-
      Check Any Rin Poche- yours is more of satanic verses in borrowed gear.

      your problem is Badagini!! your intentions have always been suspect- shap shape shape.

      Go negotiate with holman!!

  • 5
    1

    Vishwamithra 1984,

    Please see the recent article on CT by Dr Dayan Jayathileka (a person you give credence to in your piece)titled, “The Unilateralism of Tamil Nationalism”. https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-unilateralism-of-tamil-nationalism/

    His opening remarks, “As always Tamil nationalism has overreached; acted unilaterally and overplayed its hand. As always this overestimation based on (congenitally?) misplaced arrogance”

    Now replace the word Tamil with Sinhala. It will read,

    “As always Sinhala nationalism has overreached; acted unilaterally and overplayed its hand. As always this overestimation based on (congenitally?) misplaced arrogance”.

    Herein lies the dilemma. Both statements would be absolutely true. There is a distinct and definite and irreparable schism between the two communities. When are we going to realise that it is futile trying to patch this hate, arrogance and ignorance filled divide which runs deep and irrevocably in the mind sets of both communities?

    It is time to revisit what Dr Brian Senewiratne wrote in CT recently, titled “What the Majority Sinhalese Must Know”. https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/what-the-majority-sinhalese-must-know/

    Though my humane emotions drive me to desire for a united Sri Lanka where people of all colours and creeds and nondescript could live in mutual respect and harmony the ground reality drives me to decide in favour of Dr Brian Senewiratne’s ideas.

    A divided Sri Lanka may be best option after all.

    • 2
      7

      Sinhala nationalism is the legitimate nationalism that protected this country for millenias and would take this country forward. As this is sinhala homeland there is nothing wrong with Sinhala nationalism in SL…

      And again the power is already devolved and that is called the 13A. Any power devolution should take into account the historical context, the fact that this is the homeland of Sinhala ppl and national interests of the country. Given its geographical position and the nature of tamil politics we cannot go more than the current state of 13 A.

      • 2
        0

        milleninna?? lol?? may be sach the stupid born millennia back and living a decayed corpse still to assert this..

  • 10
    4

    Ultra-nationalits from both sides are the real cause of our strife. They need to be ditched by our politicians if we are to be at peace.

    There are plenty of moderate Sinhalese who support equality of the minorities and who do not need SL to be consitutionally defined as Sinhalese and Buddhist.

    However the power of these moderates can be harnessed to help the Tamils of SL only if the Tamil leadership decide to directly work with them, and not triangulate with TN/India/US etc. to bully the Sri Lankan state.

    • 8
      3

      “”Ultra-nationalits from both sides are the real cause of our strife.””

      1.During the commonwealth heads of state you included was hiding in womans skirt.-
      like your fathers of independance.

      2. You were given the opportunity to cast vote and voted One egghead to another.-
      RM1 to RM2 await RM3

      Who is ultra nationalist?? Stupid you

      Who rules the island from 1948 but Hegel Eggheads.

      Scream Whooo Hoooo and jump in the sewer.

  • 3
    9

    A feedback loop is crucial in the context of systems. An organisation’s policies are subject to positive and negative feedback it gets.

    The bulk of TNA funding I believe comes from overseas. That is perhaps why the policies and the environment is not in sync. The TNA operates isolated from its own feedback loop.

    If TNA cannot afford to run a locally funded campaign that suggest they need to step aside.

    The external dependency forces them to work on agenda that does not compatible with the environment it operates.

    • 2
      0

      “”A feedback loop is crucial in the context of systems. “”

      That is for Robots but never for Human Affairs- Even Communist China Systems have not been able to stop the corruption Folk are running away to where you are as permanent residents.

      Dialectic Marx never understood the English and American way of doing thins.

  • 6
    1

    So what the author this article want the Tamils or its leadership to do !! Also you have to tell them the what to do !! Do not criticize !! With out telling them the way they have to start traveling to their path !! The so called reconciliation is happening the same way as it done by the previous goverments !!

  • 5
    0

    The demand for federalism is not something new to Sri Lanka. Mr.SWRD
    Bandaranaike, soon after his return from UK, completing his education at Oxford university,entered politics and he felt that Federalism was the only solution that could unite the people. His daughter CBK will
    vouch for this statement. He had his hassles with UNP and in the 50s, he formed a govt.under SLFP and at the same time another eminent person
    in the Tamil community, Mr. SJV. Chelva formed the Federal party. An agreement was signed between SLFP and FP and this was called Banda/ Chelva pact, which SWRD abrogated it before the ink dried up on the agreement due to pressure form the Buddhist clergy and the rest is history.
    Armed struggle commenced by disgruntled Tamil youths with a demand
    for separation. The successive Governments shouted from roof tops
    saying to Ltte to give up the demand for separation and we will consider federal status based on 13A, combining N/E provinces as
    one unit and the current govt. did a somersault and said federalism
    is not the answer as it means separation or division of the country and the Tamils are back to square one. Over to Mr. Sampanthan.

  • 13
    0

    The last para confirms the fear that the Tamils have always had which is that the majority community purely on account of their numbers want to assimilate the ‘other’ main group of people, namely the Tamils. It is specifically to thwart that danger they always sought for solid political measures through which they could safeguard their identity as a community for posterity. It originated with the ill conceived fifty- fifty cry which later transformed to the demand for federalism which again out of frustration caused by repeated discriminatory measures degenerated to the demand for a separate State!
    It is nearly an year since the yahapalanaya government was launched. During this period, what solid measures were launched to alleviate the grievances of the Tamils such as the continuing militarisation and occupation of grabbed lands, the enforcement of the PTA act continuing etc.,etc.?
    Sengodanm. M

  • 2
    3

    “The numbers are real and in the modern world they matter. The Tamil leadership should realize that they are overwhelmed by greater numbers of the Sinhalese populace. Those very numbers have given strength and muscle, rightly or wrongly, to the Sinhalese majority. That is a fact that the Tamils seem to be willy nilly disregarding. So long as they continue to do that, they are only prolonging the agony of their own people and strengthening the will of the majority Sinhalese. A strategically wiser mindset is the need of the hour.”

    Thank you Vishvamitra. Could not have been expressed more lucidly.

    This is precisely what the ethno racist and religious fanatic dumb heads shroud clearly understand. I urge every Tamil to remember and relish every word of it. Not in the modern day, it mattered for the last 2000 years, not here, everywhere. It mattered in 2009 – you can’t push a this big majority to the wall. Numbers spring back.

    A landmark pronouncement last week by TNA passed unnoticed. They have officially declared that those Tamils who practise Islam as their religion are a separate “nation” (as if they are the UN!) and something to the effect that Tamils working in the plantations are yet another group. I presume no more ambivalent use of ‘Tamils’, ‘Tamil Nation’ and ‘Tamil Speaking People’ by TNA Now ‘Tamil nation’ has been confined to Hindu and Christian Tamils in the North. TNA will henceforth be representing only them. It has been calculated that TNA electorate is only 4.9% of the total. Now where does that leave us?

    “A strategically wiser mindset is the need of the hour”
    Strategy is clear. Keep the Tamils in a perpetually agitated state. Theoretically, reconciliation is the the greatest hindrance to the Ealam project. For if people adopt a forgive and forget attitude, unite and share the resources peacefully ethno reigious enclaves become superfluous.
    Wingeshwaran started the ball roiling by stating ” Prabakaran is a hero” . Then he advanced his ‘genocide’ agenda with the devilish intention of driving a permanent wedge between future generations of Sinhalese and Tamil. Now this ‘federal’ bombshell ( ill timed according to the writer) followed by a gate crashing into an army camp – replay of hartal days.

    TNA ,let us not forget, was the political wing of LTTE or rather LTTE was the military wing of TNA? Either way Sinhalese should be well aware of the strategy.

    Let us put behind whatever happened and determinedly move towards a just system where every inhabitant of this island is equal in all respects. Political units based on ethnicity or religion will lead to more and more disunity -period. This is biggest ruse in our history. Entire media is full of virtues of federalism – propaganda to the hilt. Once achieved they will shift the gear and we will be listening to lectures on the virtues of separatism.

    A word to Islamic brothers. Don’t ever think of units based on religion. You have more freedom (yes real freedom) to practise your religion in Sri Lanka and India than in Saudi Arabaia. That is the point where you will push both Sinhalese and Tamil to band together. SLMC is not worthy of calling even for a discussion.

    Above all let us ALL be mindful of the fact that Sinhalese are 74 % and every Sinhalese should be conscious of the moral responsibility that goes along with that to treat others as equals, further realise that it is not being charitable but their constitutional and legal right to be treated equal. If this attitude is labeled as ‘racist’ so be it.

    Soma

  • 2
    3

    Today’s banner headlines in the newspaper-” LTTE revival bid confirmed”..

    Thank you Yahapalanaya.. Ranil is doing what he has always done best.. endanger our country and promote terrorism! Any right thinking SLFP in this so called National Government should QUIT! Shameful!

  • 6
    0

    The bottom line is, majority of the Sinhalese ,Tamils and Muslims have Indian ancestry be it religion, language or culture.

    If Sri Lanka ( even though it claims democratic and sovereign ) becomes a threat to India geopoliticaly then SL can not progress and achieve its potential. The latter part of 20th Century has given enough lessons to all the successive leaders of SL ( from UNP & SLFP ) since 1947. That was the reason there were both Sinhalese and Tamil youths took arms against the state.

    Because SL is not in peace with itself it can not be strong and diplomatic to ward off both Chinese & Indian Influences. In addition SL has no choice but to accomdate the international community’s goodwill too

  • 8
    1

    How about looking at it from another angle. Yes, the Sinhalese have the strength, the muscle, the numerical superiority and the political ascendency in the country at its highest since independence. The Tamils are of absolutely no political threat to them (not that they ever were).

    Considering the Sinhala people’s strong unchallenged political position in the country and the geo-political opportunities that the ‘Asian Century’ presents in the form of world powers wooing Sri Lanka, why not think big from a position of strength. Why not loosen the levers of powers to share power with the Tamils in the form of a true federal state? Should the Sinhala leaders in the south be so concerned with power that they want to decide when the rubbish gets collected in Jaffna? With all the levers of power at their disposal, with full control of the country, it is the Sinhala leadership who have the opportunity to reconcile the divided country once and for all. Instead of asking the Tamil leadership to think outside the box, you should be asking the Sinhala leadership (who unlike the Tamil leadership are in a position to make a difference) to stop thinking small and think big.

    • 1
      3

      Thinking out of the box is fine, and so is looking at it from another persepctive.

      So let’s look at our common goals: we all want to live in peace. We all do not want war. As John F. Kennedy said “we all breathe the same air, we all love our children”.

      Our common goals are justice and economic equality. I believe the former president was engaged in developing the North, but maybe it was not quicly enough, maybe he thought he had more time.

      As far as I know Good Governance means following the existing laws and processes in spirit as well as letter. So what do the existing laws and agreed processes say about the issues at hand?

      An investigation into the conduct of the war has been agreed to in principle by the government, and so is giving back of lands.
      The movement of the military is strictly a national issue and should not be confused with devolution: it is the armed forces experts who should decide on the placement and size of army camps, not one section of the country.

      The TNA needs to have a friendly talk with the Joint Opposition and the other parties and see what benefits they can obtain for their constituents now, including economic development.

      Talk of Federalism, a great scare tactic, and a motivator, can be a good way to start the ball rolling, but serious talk of Federalism and police powers really need to be put off for much later, maybe five years or so.

      How will patience hurt the well being of the Tamil people is not clear to me.

    • 2
      9

      why should sinhalese devolve power? Does any Tamil have any problem in being a tamil, or do their access to education, employment gets limited because of that? What is this ‘special’ thing Tamils want?

      This special thing is the new way of getting back Vellala caste hegemony…it is this Vellala caste project that is still continuing in the form of a racial issue.

      1. SL history is without any question centers around Sinhala civilisation
      2. Sinhalese are the only ones to build a civilisation in SL.
      3. Tamils came much later in the form of labour by Dutch and British planned demographic engineering.
      4. Majority of Tamils live outside NE

      why should there be a federal state and at the same time, a federal SL cannot survive and mind you Wiggie is not asking for a federal state, he is asking for a confederation level of restructuring of SL. Such an SL cannot survive..

      • 5
        0

        Sachoooooothe stupid,

        “” What is this ‘special’ thing Tamils want? “”

        They are the owners of the land and you are now the terrorist.

        “why should sinhalese devolve power?”

        your next generations would die in your saliva.
        War is not guns alone!!
        walla O wackabar Boom and Hegel Eggheads are now seen as one and same.
        Check any Rin poche.

      • 3
        1

        One of the tragedies of Sri Lanka is that the Sinhalese have never understood the meaning of federalism or they pretend not to understand. Federalism is not separation and it is the rights of North & East Tamils. Only its denial will force the Tamils to seek separation. Tamils may have lost the war but they have not lost their rights to federalism or self-determination.

        Whatever said, nobody can change the demography of North & East of Sri Lanka (Tamil homeland). At the same time, the Tamils have no intention what so ever (they never had) to take the Sinhala-Buddhist part of Sri Lanka. A self-confident Tamil nation will have no need to conquer and rule the Sinhala people.

        In 1956, Dr. Colvin R. De Silva said in parliament,
        “If we come to the stage where instead of parity, we through needless insularity, get into the position of suppressing the Tamil Federal Demand, there may emerge separatism.” (Dr. Colvin R. De Silva, Opposition Member of Parliament, Hansard, June 1956).

        What Dr. Colvin R. De Silva predicted in 1956 may become a reality in the future if (I repeat if) the Sri Lankan government further delays in solving the Tamil problem. The Tamils are NOT asking for a separate country, what they need is a federal state to look after their own affairs and it is their right.

        The North & East of Sri Lanka was Tamil, is Tamil and will be Tamil forever. The Tamils of N&E Sri Lanka are not just a minority, they are a territorial minority, a minority with a separate territory (N&E) and they are the majority in their territory.

        The Sinhala leaders and right thinking people should educate the Sinhalese by drawing examples from other countries on the goodness of federalism for the country as a whole. Instead, if the Sinhalese continue to deny the rights of Tamils and insist that the whole of Sri Lanka belongs to them, it will only push the Tamil leaders to seek alternative measures like mobilizing large masses, if not all of the Tamil people, for a Non-violent campaign with Direct Action or even go further by calling for a UN sponsored referendum to be held for the North & East Tamils in Sri Lanka to establish a separate state like just like ‘Kosovo’, ‘East Timor’, ‘Montenegro’ and ‘South Sudan’.

      • 2
        0

        “SL history is without any question centers around Sinhala civilisation”

        SL History is unfortunately not in favor of the Sinhalese. None of the Pali chronicles or stone inscriptions talk about any Sinhala civilisation in SL.

        According to the research done by the historian Prof. Leslie Gunawardane, the Sinhala speaking people were considered as a nation only after the westerners came to this part of the world.

  • 2
    3

    Thank you for your excellent article.

    Dramas are fine, the stage is the best place to act out violence and conflict, it’s all play acting, not ‘for real’. It may come as a surprise that I prefer heated verbal rhetoric and conflict to actual armed confrontation, but that is a second best to peace, and hopefully a way to peace. “Encourage Confrontation’ is the advice for business meetings, according to business management theory.

    How would we resolve this as friends? What if the Sinhalese and Tamils were friends, not individually but collectively as ethnic groups? We would have a friendly talk, under the assumption that coming to blows (ie hitting the other person) will never be an option (we are friends, remember?) The first step would be an underlying gentlemans agreement to never come to violence.

    Next would be to discuss options and a timeframe. Of course, whatever happens the friendship will remain.

    “Without any effort being made to combine their macro objectives for the country with those of the majority Sinhalese, nothing tangible can be achieved.”

    I believe this is the reality. The future should consist of exciting new options for our common path rather than clouds of darkness.

    Comments?

  • 7
    1

    Past Sinhalese politicians, had advocated federalism as a solution. The late Prime Minister S.W.D.R.Bandaranaike in 1926; Dr.Colvin R.De Silva and Dr. N.M. Perera during the days that the Federal party put forward the idea in the early fifties; Mr. J.R. Jayawardena after he left office as President in an interview with a newsman; and Mr.Gamini Dissanayake, ex-Minister and Presidential candidate, according to an article titled “Gamini’s last testament was Federalism” by Dr.Jehan Perera of the National Peace Council.

    • 2
      4

      Be realistic. Federalism may be the answer, but talking about it now is good to get the interest of the country, but it is not good to dwell on this contentious issue.

      So let’s ask, what else can be done, now, besides Federalism.

      Our Sinhala brethren should ask our Tamil brethren, so how can I help you? How can we as a Sinhala race, and majority, help you achieve your goals – some of them, like economic prosperity, which we share? What about justice?

      Above all, communication should be open and honest. Let’s see what happens in parliament, where open and honest communication takes place. I’d like to see one parlimentarian ask the TNA and Leader of the Opposition one simple question:

      How can we help you help your people improve their well being?

      • 2
        1

        In which language the question should be framed? Will it be in Sinhala, Tamil or English?

    • 0
      0

      ANPU:
      You say:
      “Dr.Colvin R.De Silva and Dr. N.M. Perera during the days that the Federal party put forward the idea in the early fifties”.

      Please explain.Give citation and context

  • 1
    0

    “While J R introduced the Sinhala only as a medium of instruction in government-owned schools”
    This is incorrect and it was Sirima and the baduddin Mahmood who abolished the English medium in schools.

  • 3
    1

    The TNA leaders are not foolish. Why do they choose this moment to bring up Federalism and the merging of N & E provinces? They must know that it will cause outrage. Why are they providing MR with ammunition? It doesn’t make sense.

  • 7
    1

    GO ON WRITING. If federalism is separation-separation is federalism? Why continue to create confusion. If unity of Sinhalese is good, unity of Tamils also will be good. If united Sinhalese and United Tamils get united you will have a united Srilanka.
    A united family does not mean they all live together. They live in separate houses extending cordiality on all occasions, helping each other at times of need.
    Do you think families of brothers and sisters- if they live together they would live amicably? Each family should have their own agenda in life and extend/exchange happiness and sorrows with each other.

    • 1
      9

      It is because N and E is a part of Sinhala homeland

      • 4
        0

        that is what Goota thought because of his masters education at Nadu.

        now Orgy porgy has run away.

      • 1
        0

        [It is because N and E is a part of Sinhala homeland]

        When did N and E become part of West Bengal and Bangladesh?

  • 1
    9

    The only reason SL saw a bloody conflict with innocent people of both tamil and sinhala ethnicity dying in both ends is solely because of arrogant racist power machinations of the yesteryear Tamil politicians from Sundaralingams, Ponnambalams, and Chelvanayagams…same this is continuing with wiggies…

    After being a stupid but a staunch supporter of federalism and having first hand knowledge of Tamil politics in SL now I understand if SL is to proceed as a nation these tamil political class needs to be removed.

  • 2
    0

    There is a sustained and concerted campaign by a section of the Colombo based English media to discredit the demand for federalism. The Island newspaper the flagship of Sinhalese – Buddhist chauvinism is in the forefront of this campaign followed my Daily Mirror. At a time when Thamils have given up separation and instead willing to accept federalism as an alternative solution to the ethnic conflict within a united and undivided Ceylon, the Sinhala chauvinistic elements have unleashed a virulent propaganda war against the Thamil leadership.

    This will reinforce the claim by ultra-nationalist Thamils that Sinhalese will never accept a reasonable solution to solve the ethnic
    conflict. Once again the racists elements among the Sinhalese are pushing the moderate Thamil leadership to the corner and thus laying the foundation for another bout of civil strife and disunity. This article is a reflection of the typical mind-set of some educated but communal minded Sinhalese!

    One does not know how the Sinhala media is reacting to “TNA’s suicidal path to Federalism.’

    Tongue in cheek this writer pays left handed compliments to the eminent Ponnambalam brothers and GG Ponnambalam for their readiness to cohabitate with the leaders of Sinhalese.

    But, history says the Ponnambalam brothers were treated very shabbily by the Sinhalese leadership and died broken hearted.

    Ponnambalam Arunachalam founding President of Ceylon National Congress was denied nomination for the Colombo Town seat despite a written agreement to that effect by two prominent Sinhalese leaders.

    The betrayal by the Sinhalese leaders Sir James Peiris, President Ceylon National Congress and E.J. Samarawickrema created the first deep rift between the Sinhalese and the Tamils which continues to this day.

    Stung by the betrayal by the Sinhalese leadership Ponnambalam Arunachalam formed the Tamil League (The Tamil Mahajana Sabhai) at a meeting held in Jaffna on August 15, 1921.

    Arunachalam was engaged in a prolonged war of words with his former Sinhala colleagues before he formed the Tamil Mahajana Sabhai. He accused the Sinhala leaders of self-interest and of failure to realize the importance of building Ceylonese nationalism.

    Arunachalam was prophetic when in a statement he said that the most devastating effect that the breaking of the pledge would have was the profound distrust the Tamils may develop about the Sinhala leaders. The Sinhalese and Tamil political trouble is at present creating much turmoil among the Ceylonese. Whatever view they may hold as to the wisdom and expediency and whether or not it is binding on others, to the unsophisticated mind there can be no question that these two gentlemen are bound by it, and ought to keep to it and use their influence with their followers to do likewise. But they have both repudiated it…Is it any wonder that the Tamils refuse to trust the Sinhalese leaders of the Congress any longer and have decided to take independent action to safeguard their interests. My own duty is clear. I must stand by the pledge.

    Addressing the inaugural sessions Arunachalam said,

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

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

    Thus, Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam was the precursor for the demand for an independent and socialist Tamil Eelam in 1976 by the TULF.

    The great betrayal by the ungrateful Sinhalese hastened his death. He went on a pilgrimage to the Hindu temples in Thamil Nadu. He died in Madurai on January 9, 1924.

    As for Ponnambalam Ramanathan, he too died a broken-hearted man unable to convince the Donoughmore Commission that abolition of communal representation and introducing universal franchise will spell political doom to the Thamils.

    He stated in the State Council that “Donoughmore means Thamils Nomore!’

    GG Ponnambalam was another victim of Sinhalese political machinations, trickery and gross betrayal of mutual trust.

    He was unceremoniously kicked out of the cabinet by Sir John Kotalawela as soon as he succeeded Dudley Senanayake as Prime Minister in 1952.

    Viswamithira is illegimately and deliberately revising history to fit his archaic r political, social, and ideological agenda.

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