6 July, 2022

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TNPF For ‘Two-Nations in One Country’: Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam

This statement is being released with the intension of clarifying the Tamil National People’s Front’s (TNPF) policies regarding what we consider to be a solution to the Tamil National Question and our position on accountability regarding international human rights law and international humanitarian law violations that were committed against the Tamil people.

Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam

Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam

As regards the solution to the Tamil National Question, the TNPF stands for a policy based on the notion of ‘Two-Nations in One Country’ – namely that the Sri Lankan State (country) comprises of the numerically larger Sinhala nation and the numerically smaller Tamil nation and other Peoples – a model quite well known to scholars and practitioners of pluri-national/ multi-national constitutional ordering across the world. Examples of a bi-national state (country) include Canada, Belgium and Bosnia-Herzegovina. We reject the notion of a Sri Lankan nation-state (one nation-one country) for the reason that the numerical strength of the Sinhala Buddhist people, being a permanent majority, would make Sri Lanka in practical terms a Sinhala-Buddhist state (country). Accordingly, we insist that the recognition of Tamil Nationhood, its right to self-determination and the recognition of the North-East of the island as its territorial unit – its traditional homeland – in line with the Thimpu Principles of 1985 is quintessential to any solution.

We accept that self-determination and nationhood need not be necessarily manifested through the institutional settings of a separate state (country) but that a multi national state (country) can also recognize the plurality of nations and the self-determination of its constituent units. We are hence committed to exploring a political solution within an united state (country) despite the history of failed negotiations between the Tamils and successive Sri Lankan Governments. We have made this very clear in the party manifesto that was release for the purposes of contesting the 17 August 2015 Parliamentary General Elections.

The TNPF is of the view that the “Two Nations in One Country” notion can be accommodated within a federal structure. However the TNPF has consistently rejected a devolutionary path to federalism, which we believe is contradictory to the assertion of the right of self-determination. The term devolution concedes the location of state power/ sovereignty with the political entity in control of the state / country (in this context the Sinhala Buddhist Nationalist order) and seeks mere devolution of power not as a matter of right but as a goodwill gesture of the Sinhala-Buddhist Nation. Given bitter experiences of solemn pacts being abrogated unilaterally by the Sinhala leaders and unfulfilled promises, we think that this is the wrong way of approaching the Tamil National Question. Instead we stand for the ‘pooling of sovereignty’ of the constituent nations approach to federalism, which will provide the necessary legal safeguards against the thus far experienced unilateralist majoritarian approach of the numerically larger Sinhala Nation. This approach believes that both the Sinhala and Tamil nations are sovereign in their own right and pool their respective sovereignties to create a new social contract producing a multi-national Sri Lankan state (country). This would ensure genuine collective equality amongst the constitutive nations of Sri Lanka.

The TNPF categorically rejects the Unitary State structure of the current Sri Lankan constitution and is of the firm position that no arrangement within such a Unitary State structure can form the starting point for any negotiations regarding finding a solution to the Tamil National Question. For these reasons we reject the 13th Amendment and the Provincial council system as providing the basis for a political solution.

The TNPF wishes to emphasize that we have in our manifesto made it very clear that our reference to ‘Two Nations’ does not mean that we cast aside the rightful place of the Muslims and Up Country Tamils in Sri Lanka. We have explicitly noted therein that we believe that the Muslims and Up Country Tamils have the right to self-determination but as to whether they wish to conduct their politics with the consciousness of such is up to them. We have pledged solidarity politics with them towards justice and collective equality for all constituent Peoples in Sri Lanka. We have also explicitly stated in our manifesto that we are willing to work with progressive sections in the Sinhala Nation for genuine reformation and democratization of the Sri Lanka.

The TNPF has been quite unequivocal in its demand for accountability and justice for crimes committed during the 30 year long war and before. Given that the Sri Lankan Army is seen as protectors of the Sinhala Buddhist order and the Army and the Police are the primary accused parties regarding the grave crimes, including the crime of Genocide, committed against the Tamil people, we are of the firm view that no internal / domestic mechanism or inquiry can result in genuine prosecutions against the Sri Lankan Army, Police and members of its political class. To hold an internal / domestic accountability process will be tantamount to “victor’s justice” and hence we insist on an international criminal justice process as part of a wider programme for accountability, truth seeking and justice.

The TNPF has also warned the Tamils consistently about attempts to use the Tamil people’s struggle as leverage for geo-political contestations. We have argued that we are not against the national interests of any country, but are opposed to Tamil national interests being sacrificed by any global power for the attainment of merely their goals and interests.

We urge and welcome our detractors to engage us with the issues that we stand for. Despite the electoral setbacks suffered by the TNPF, the party will remain committed to the Tamil Nation’s struggle for self-determination, justice and genuine democracy.

(Signed)
Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam
President, Tamil National People’s Front

29 August 2015.

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Latest comments

  • 37
    5

    Did you not run away to Malaysia in 1983 when Colombo was burning. You should instead gone and lived in The north to really feel what the Tamils had to put up with. You jokers don’t represent most of us Tamils. Your ideology is bordering terrorism and we don’t want another war. We are happy to live as one country one nation.

    • 24
      2

      Oma yang,

      I just gave you a thumbs up. Now it is up to me to ensure that you can hold on to your Tamil identity and still be safe and happy in our country.

      • 7
        0

        I don’t speak for others but I am very proud of my Sri Lankan Identity. And just like you I will standby my brethren to ensure we live as one.

    • 7
      3

      Oma yang

      “We are happy to live as one country one nation.”

      If that is so why do the people of this island irrespective their race, religion, region, … are happy to catch the first available boat/plane out of the country and travel far away and live in inhospitable places including medieval middle east kingdoms?

      ” Did you not run away to Malaysia in 1983 when Colombo was burning.”

      He was only 9 years old in 1983.

      • 4
        1

        Dear Native Vedda,

        FYI Its not just the tamils who jump on the first available boat citing terrorism, but mostly these people go as economic migrants. Worst is they land up in a foreign country and live in camps and immigration detention centres. They lose the freedom they feared most.

        Secondly there is a difference between those working abroad, especially the middle east. In fact the Middle East is more westernised than most developed countries. Their laws are ancient, but thats what has kept a tight tab on people from doing wrong things. You have your freedom but don’t abuse it.

        I can understand if this family had their house burnt, kin killed and valuable looted, lived in a refugee camp. and then struggled to rebuild their lives. He may have been 9 or ten, from the time of his grandfather, to his father, all of they have shed crocodile tears, while the rest of us have had to suffer. They ensured their children had the best education, whereas most of us had to struggle to get an education.

        Yet with all this education, they have no class or apathy. yet they want to play heroes for the Tamils and Minorities, when in Truth They genuinely don’t care and represent.

    • 1
      1

      Born Joker

  • 28
    0

    The people have spoken. Defeated candidates should learn to just shut up and find another source to earn money.

    • 3
      16

      Shameless hypocrisy. If some defeated candidates can go to Parliament, why cannot other defeated candidates engage with the public/ put out a clarification?

      • 3
        5

        Well said! I don’t agree with Mr P’palams views but I fully endorse his right to put forward those views. Besides, he has returned to Sri Lanka in good faith whereas, he could have lived a good life in London, Paris or NY. Like his late father and grand father he speaks harshly of the Sinhalese at times but, he still likes them.

    • 12
      1

      His grandfather GG asked for the impossible during the early days (1960s) knowing fully well and being an educated and cleaver criminal lawyer demanded 50/50 when SJV was asking for federalism and at the end of the day betrayed the tamil people.

      This inexperienced lawyer in politics should learn to read the pulse of the people. His theory and or ideology was not bought by the voting tamil people. This means – shut up and enjoy your life lawyering if you do find briefs or go back and enjoy the palm oil estates of Malaysia your grandfather amazed during his hay days.

      • 4
        3

        nic

        “His grandfather GG asked for the impossible during the early days (1960s)”

        Did he? Are you sure it was in 1960s GG Ponna asked for 50/50?

        Could you tell us what he exactly mean by 50/50?

        “SJV was asking for federalism and at the end of the day betrayed the tamil people.”

        How did SJV betray Tamil people? Are you saying he had Federalism in his pocket or in pantry which he refused to share with his own people or return it back to the Sinhala people?

        ” His theory and or ideology was not bought by the voting tamil people.”

        I know what you mean, isn’t similar to JVP? However, its a matter of years before people started really listening to unpopular policies of JVP and may be supporting in the near future. Sit tight and listen, watch and vote.

        ” This means – shut up and enjoy your life”

        I am sorry if he shut his mouth and enjoyed his life how do you want him to campaign under a democratic system which allows party to sell its stupidity to the people?

      • 2
        0

        Hi Nic, you said; “His grandfather GG asked for the impossible during the early days (1960s) knowing fully well and being an educated and cleaver criminal lawyer demanded 50/50 when SJV was asking for federalism and at the end of the day betrayed the Tamil people”. You need this history lessons and need to understand what he really meant! Again It was not in (1960’s), your chronological timing is wrong. He debated the 50% 50% to convince the British Rulers, that too long before the Soulbury Commission came in, early 1940’s. He had to stress the need to have equal power share in governance, that too for all minorities(not only for the Tamils) with the Sinhala majority. I wish to stress here, He did not advocate this for the Tamils alone, but for all the minority communities in Ceylon. However, which was maliciously interpreted by the Sinhala politicians and sold to the Sinhala masses as the Tamils want 50% 50% to create a disturbance, which did occur in 1939. GGP expressed the genuine fear of the Tamils. He was prophesying what would happen in the future for Tamils and others in Ceylon if only the majoritarian rule was allowed to govern. How true his fears had become. It became clear within 0ne year of Independence; Upcountry Tamils were disenfranchised and made stateless humans in 1949, by the 8th year 1956 Sinhala Only official language was introduced with the culture of communal riots/hatred. GGP and SJV were able to predict what would the Sinhala majoritarian rule could bring in the future. Disaster! Yes; the Sinhala majoritarian rule had shown its true colours of its communalism. Secondly, the Sinhala politicians and/or the lay Sinhala people did not want or do not want to know what exactly the meaning of federalism . Unwanted fear had been introduced and hatred flame was lit by educated Sinhala Civil Society and the politicians who have a good knowledge in political science and law. I agree that federal system should have been introduced as advocated by late SWRD &JR in 1926 by the time British gave us Independence in 1948. Today we conform to federalism or we have to accept the ‘Two State’ solution. There is a huge Mistrust and Fear for one another between the two major communities. For us to live in peace the two state system has to become a reality. There were three states in Ceylon before the Portuguese came. It was British who amalgamated all three kingdom for their administrative convenience. They used the divide and rule policy creating enmity between the various groups in Ceylon. The British Rulers, parochial and myopic vision has caused this present day calamity for all Srilankan. We need to open our intellectual visionaries, and use our cognitive powers, to resolve our differences. Let us be rational and work out ways and means to settle this festering wound and resolve our enmity, prevent any future wars and reach out for peace. Thank you

        • 1
          0

          Let me add a few historical facts to the above.

          Regarding the controversy surrounding All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) leader Senior GG Ponnambalam (grandfather) who was known as a Traitor (betrayed the Tamils), was for the following.

          He supported the D.S. Senanayake government by voting against Citizenship Act No.18 of 1948 which deprived a million Tamils of Indian origin their citizenship. His vote was so important to the Sinhala government.

          That was the time when the power hungry GG Ponnambalam was believed to have been secretly negotiating with D.S. Senanayake to join the government as a Cabinet minister.
          Coming to know this, S J V Chelvanayakam who was the deputy leader of the Tamil Congress broke away in protest and formed the Federal Party.

          The burning battle that took place between the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) lead by S. J. V. Chelvanayakam and the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) lead by GG.Ponnambalam in 1952 was over the Indian citizenship act. The ITAK declared GG Ponnambalam a Traitor.

          Right from the day the British gave Sri Lanka independence and handed over the entire country including the historical Tamil homeland to the Sinhala leaders, the Sinhala leadership had a hidden agenda. They wanted to transform the multi-ethnic Sri Lanka into a mono-ethnic (Sinhala) country. The first Sinhala leader, DS Senanayake started the Sinhalization process by colonizing the Sinhalese in Tamil areas, changing the Tamil area names into Sinhala names and systematically dilute their (Tamil) strength until finally they all assimilate/naturalize and become Sinhalese.

          Even Dr. Colvin R. De Silva who once professed the famous dictum “one language two nations, two languages one nation” made the Tamil people second class citizens through the 1972 constitution of which he was the architect.

          By introducing the 1972 Republican Constitution, it was the Sinhalese leadership, and no one else, who are to blame for inspiring the Tamil regional majority to officially demand a separate Tamil state (Tamil Eelam) in 1977. This was further influenced by their denial of equal rights (it robbed the minorities of even the scanty safeguards against discrimination) under the law to the minorities, evidenced by their deliberate exclusion of the provisions of Section 29 of the Soulbury Constitution (introduced at independence in 1948).

          To prove Tamil opinion rejecting the 1972 constitution, SJV Chelvanayakam resigned his parliamentary seat and won a by-election. The Tamil United Front (TUF) was also formed in May 1972. This became the TULF in May 1976. After leading the most favored Tamil political party and struggling for federal solution for more than 25 years that found no success with Sinhala leadership, SJV Chelvanayakam ultimately presided over the Vaddukkoaddai Resolution that called for Tamil independence (separate state) in 1976.

          On the other hand, in 1972, dozens of Tamil youth were arrested and incarcerated for putting up black flags (against the 1972 constitution). Those arrests in 1972 did not help stabilize the situation but it created the Tamil militancy, it created the TNT (Tamil New Tigers) and its leader Prabakaran.

          • 0
            0

            I think Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam should apologize to the Tamils for his grandfather’s Sins (betraying the Tamil people for his personal gain) before talking about two nation one county and so on.

    • 2
      0

      Not a defeat it is a slap on the face. Still want to be in politics. All those who supported him should shut up and wind up their organizations, especially the uneducated diaspora flag wavers.

  • 3
    5

    If defeated candidates should shut up and go into oblivion as paddy contends we would not be having the present day PM and many others like JR who have just come out of thin air in a troubled uncertain political background. Some have even fished in trouble waters after upsetting the waters themselves. Failures are the pillars of success as an old saying goes.

  • 2
    1

    Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam

    TNPF For ‘Two-Nations in One Country’

    TNPF For ‘Two-Paras in One Country, the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

    Aren’t the Paras from South India, Para-Sinhala and Para-Tamils , the same species of Paras in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho

    [Edited out]

  • 14
    2

    This should be one country-SRI-LANKA.
    two nations one in queen street Colombo other in rented house in karaveddy Jaffna.very good proposal.this should be sent to ban-kee-moon of UNITED NATIONS FOR HIS CONSENT.

    • 1
      1

      paragon

      “This should be one country-SRI-LANKA.”

      This should be one country- THE LAND OF NATIVE VEDDAH AETHHO Infested by Paras.

      The Land of the Paras.

    • 6
      0

      Further this guy Gajendrakumar was born with silver spoon in his tongue , inheriting 21 Mercedes benz car collection from his dad.

      Can he sell few mrecedes & do some welfare for poor tamils in north, just to begin with ? before creating 2 nations etc

      • 3
        3

        Johnny

        “Further this guy Gajendrakumar was born with silver spoon in his tongue , inheriting 21 Mercedes benz car collection from his dad.”

        Whats wrong with collecting cars?

        Don’t you collect stamps, coins, butterflies, match boxes, …… vile thoughts, ……?

        “Can he sell few mrecedes & do some welfare for poor tamils in north, just to begin with ? before creating 2 nations etc”

        The cars could form part of car museum. I am surprised as to why the Sinhala/Buddhist thugs didn’t set fire to his collection of cars. The Sinhala/Buddhists are prone to the criminal act of arson which this country witnessed in the past including the Jaffna Library.

        What makes you think Gajen Ponna is not a philanthropist?

        Your attack on Ponna’s grandson is driven by your sheer envy for their wealth and status in the community and nothing else.

  • 20
    0

    The TNPF badly lost the elections. At least, keep quiet for some time, knowing that few people in the NorthEast support your policies. Give the other guys a chance. If they fail, then, let the people turn to you. But, for the moment, it is best for you to keep quiet.The other lot are also for self-determination. The people seem to think they are better. No one could disagree with the policies that you state. The other lot are not that very different. Maybe, it is how you say it, your antecedents and fellow travellers are the difference. That may be all the more reason to sit down and have a rethink and wait till the other guys make mistakes, if at all.

  • 13
    7

    It quite ironic really. It must have been this donkey’s grand daddy. His grand daddy made an alliance with UNP and got into the cabinet.

    His arch rival used this slogan to unhinge the guy. That was swan song of ACTC. Its ACTC rival ITAK who now owns it.

    This donkey tries to out do that racism with even higher level of racism. This is how this donkey culture operates even in Tamil Nadu.

    The Tamils out do each other pandering to racism and casteism to keep others from competing political leadership.

    No Tamil ever does any actual work to uplift economy or living standards. I cannot remember the last time a Tamil donkey actually built anything.

    • 6
      11

      It is because of donkeys like you people like gajan p has a voice!

      • 8
        6

        Whats your name again? … Burning fart is it?

        Listen BF, this guy belongs to Right side of Tamil politics. Yet all problems stem from the Left side of politics.

        If ITAK allied themselves with SLFP just as ACTC allied themselves with UNP right at the beginning your problems would have been halved.

        You are just a small minded fool not to see that isn’t it?

        • 6
          4

          Imbecile,

          You spewed enough anti-Tamil racist garbage on these forums. People on these forums know as to who you are! Since indemenance, people of your ilk kept the Tamil nationalism alive.

          The Tamils have voted for TNA in the hope for a viable negotiated solution for the Tamils. They have voted intelligently by giving a platform for the TNA. If people like you were to derail any progress on this front like your fathers and forefathers did to derail B/C and D/C pacts, mark my word, Gajen P will become relevant.

          So my advise to you, a racist imbecile, is to keep your filthy mouth shut and give the moderates to work out a way forward.

  • 5
    2

    Gajen u damn fool, we damn Tamils and Sinhala modayas must obey Indian command…if not we all have to gone through what we gone thorough last 65 yrs….as long as Sinhala Buddhist modayas & Tamil fools live in their own shit hole world no one can….only god will save them. If their is a god…I doubt it…

  • 12
    0

    Dear G P
    People of North have given their response to your philosophy and policy options. We need not devolve in the high rhetoric of nations and country. These may me good for academics to debate and earn a living or a Ph D. Tamils in Sri Lanka yearn for peace and stability and reasonable quality of life. Lack of political wisdom of Tamil politicians have caused hue sufferings to Tamil. There have been many injustices in past against Tamils by the state apparatus. But Tamil political leaders did not chart a path to address the same without causing sufeering. Muslim political leaders have well managed the emotions of their community to address their grievances.
    It is time we work with the state power to get the best for the community without talking on nations and country to flare up emotions. United Nation is a collective of sovereign nations and the whole island of SL is sen as only one nation. We have to stop dreaming any other nation in this island

  • 12
    3

    Gaje Ponna

    For you the non-Tamil ethnicities in your fantasy Tamil Nation are just “other Peoples” – exactly the same way the Sinhala racists look at all non-Sinhala ethnicities. You moron you should realize there are five “oppressed” nations in Sri Lanka all of whom are entitled for separate states according to your own stupid logic: Tamils, Muslims, Malays, Burghers and Native Veddas.

    Stop “OTHERING” people you don’t like. They also have their own interiority and selfhood. They are not “others.” They are people.

  • 4
    6

    As things stand, the 2-Nations in one undivided country formulae will be strongly opposed by the Sinhalese. But so long as they refuse to give the Tamils their historical recognition and dues, the Sinhala-Tamil issue will continued to be a festering wound sapping the resources of the country. Economic development and peaceful coexistence will continue to be a difficult issue. The more recent political activism of the fastly growing Muslim numbers complicates the matter further and will inevitably attract outside players.

    It is futile for the Sinhalese to refuse or deny there remained, for many consecutive centuries, a Tamil Nation with all the defined features of Nationhood, as recognised by the UNO, north of the Wanni divide as well in many parts of what is now the Eastern Province. The determining features of the Tamil nation is language, cultural features including cuisine, literature, dress, song and dance as well as religion, places of worship etc., It cannot be denied these are different from the Sinhalese in the South – underlying the fact there were two separate nations occupying and ruling separately this island for many centuries.

    Unless the Tamil National Question is satisfactorily resolved soon, it shall not be long before other larger Tamil political formations officially subscribe to the 2 Nations in one country formulae. The region and the world too will eventually yield to this claim unless the matter is judiciously addressed. Fortunately, there appears to be much re-thinking on the part of the Sinhala extreme notably among the clergy and the now considerable factor of the largely Sinhala Buddhist armed forces.

    Kettikaran

  • 10
    3

    Dear Gajendrakumar,

    In the 1960’s, The Singhalese majority rejected the word ‘federalism’ as a solution to our problems. Then the LTTE fought a war for a separate nation and lost very badly.

    Now you are talking about a ‘two nation -one country’ policy. And your party lost heavily in the recent elections.

    Why are you still talking about a ‘two nation ‘ solution to our problems.

  • 7
    2

    Dear Mr Kumar
    I respect your right to put forward a solution to a national political problem facing Sri Lanka. What you perceive as a solution is not practical as you know very well it is not acceptable to the majority community. There never will be an acceptance by the majority community of a demarcated area reserved to benefit a minority community only whilst the rest of the land mass is open to all communities. What you are proposing is an “aparteid” state. Please conceptualise a solution acceptable to all communities; a multi ethnic, multi religous state without borders where each person is free to fully partcipate and contribute without favour or fear.

  • 13
    3

    G.G.P jnr’s jnr,

    I thought the Tamils in the North and East gave you fitting response on the 17th August’ 2015? Have you not heard it or understood it?

    Do not insult a people, in whose behalf you and your party are claiming a two State solution? They are not claiming even five villages or five houses as Krishna did on behalf of the Pandavas!

    Try to understand what the real day to day and long term needs of the Tamils presently are and come up with a program of appropriate action, if you want to make yourself and your party relevant to the Tamils and this country. If not, your party, will not favour even in the next ten general elections! Grow up young man!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 3
      3

      Dr Rajasingham Narendran,

      “Try to understand what the real day to day and long term needs of the Tamils presently are and come up with a program of appropriate action, if you want to make yourself and your party relevant to the Tamils and this country.”

      I believe that Mr Ponnambalam is out of touch with reality due to his background. So are his diaspora and Jaffna elite supporters.

  • 13
    3

    Gajendrakumar

    You are like a briefless lawyer now.

    You became the mouthpiece of the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora and mainly because of this the Tamils of North East totally rejected you and your party. Had you not stooped so low in running down Sumanthiran and others in TNA, you would have received more votes. I understand that it was the unethical attack on Sumanthiran that angered sober TNA leaders like Mavai to request the Jaffna people to give their preferences to Sumanthiran.

    If you want to be still in Tamil politics, be more realistic and join hands with TNA in a meaningful dialogue with the Sri Lankan government for devolution of more powers that would at least make the provincial council system workable for the benefit of the Tamils.

    Your call for the recognition of two nations in one country will never be accepted by the Sinhalese and Muslims of this country who constitute nearly 85 per cent of the population. And Eastern Province as it is presently constitued will never be part of your so-called Tamil nation.

    Elsewhere in Colombo Telegraph, to a piece written by Izeth Hussain on Self Determination, I mentioned that the contemporary world hardly recognises the right to secession under the principle of self determination. No countries in the world, not even India, will recognise that the Tamils of Sri Lanka have a right to secession on the basis of their alleged right to self-determination or grant the Tamils right for Two nations in one country. Neither US nor India will support your call for self determination or two nations in one country principle.

    Forget it man. You are only wasting your time. Now see what happened in the case of the United States support on the Geneva resolution. When the US brought the resolution calling for international inquiry against Sri Lanka at the Geneva HR conference all these pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora were full of praise for the United States not realizing that it was US way of bloodying the nose of Mahinda. Now that their man Ranil is in power they have changed their position. There is now no more US call for international inquiry.

    Now that you have nothing more to do in Tamil politics better go back to the courts and practice your father’s and grand-father’s profession.

    • 4
      2

      Naga,

      “I understand that it was the unethical attack on Sumanthiran that angered sober TNA leaders like Mavai to request the Jaffna people to give their preferences to Sumanthiran.”

      I know many “common villagers” who dislike Mr Ponnambalam since a long time. The reason is that they consider him a “dirty opportunist”.

      At the same time I know many well educated persons who actually openly supported Mr Ponnambalam in his campaign. Tamilnet was also clearly behind him.

      Luckily there are more “common villagers” than well educated Tamilnet readers in Jaffna.

      Mavai and Sumanthiran appeared together in a sticker.

    • 4
      3

      Naga,
      Your remark on eastern province amounts to racism. The position today is due to murder and ethnic cleansing of Tamils, large scale planned settlement of Sinhalese and to some extent uncontrolled population explosion of Muslims. If you take the census conducted evry 10 years since 1881, it will be clearly shown that Sinhalese who were 2% in Trincomalee district and 10% in whole eastern province have become 30% and 25% respectively. If the displaced Tamils from eastern province who are now living in Northern province and Tamil Nadu are resettled, eastern province will regain it’s Tamil majority status. Unfortunately government does not want to do it, to deny the claims of Tamils. Also in 1956, revenue districts of Maha Oya and Padiyatalawa were removed from Uva province and attached to eastern province in order to carve out a Sinhala majority Amparai district. All these racist actions by the government is the cause of present problem in eastern province. Pleassd note that in B-C pact, D-C pact and Indo-Lanka accord, eastern province has been classified as a land of historic habitation of Tamils. If you are honest, you could remove Amparai electorate with 90% Sinhalese and AGA divisions of Lahugala in Amparai district and Gomarankadawela in Trincomalee district and link the balance eastern province as a contiguous area with northern province. I also wish to point out to you that international community does not accept any claim of land on the basis of ethnic cleansing or planned settlements to alter the demographic pattern. In the solution for Bosnia, the lands appropriated by Serbs by ethnic cleansing of Muslims, were re-instated to Muslims. Similarly the Jewish settlements in Palastinian lands has no international recognition. So please give up your racist mind set and grant justice to Tamils, as we hear from politicians that they are prepared to grant restorative justice to Tamils.

  • 3
    5

    An internal/domestic mechanism or inquiry will turnout to be an eyewash.The TNPF is quite right on this score.
    Eventually,it will end up like the Kodeeswaran case.

  • 7
    3

    You have nothing to do in SL politics. Tamils have rejected you. Just go and fly a kite. We know you guys are working for diaspora and here to make a split among the people and try to fish in troubled water. What we need is a reasonable solution which is acceptable for all Sri lankans. That is the reason hardliners like you were rejected by the people. Let the government and TNA do the work. We trust Mythri, Ranil , CBK and TNA not guys like you.

  • 2
    1

    I think at this stage talking about a solution to the ethnic problem is putting the cart before the horse. I’m sure Mr.Ponnambalam will agree with me that the events of 2009 should be factored into that solution. However, at the moment there is a massive chasm between the two narratives that are offered by the two communities regarding the events of 2009. What’s needed now is to have a single narrative that all communities including the international community subscribe to. It shouldn’t be hard to do this because the narrative will be based on the truth. The Tamil narrative is quite clear. I think a vast majority of the Tamil people agree that the Channel 4 videos, even the parts that show LTTE transgressions, is an authentic narrative of what took place in 2009 in the NE. However, on the Sinhalese side, even respected mainstream media personalities like Dayan Jayatillake and Bandula Jayasekera completely reject this narrative as a fabrication. I would say that at this point, a majority of Sinhalese people believe that the Channel 4 video is a fabrication, and that the events shown did not appear as depicted. This situation is very different from July’83 where both communities accepted a single narrative: that Sinhalese people rioted and burnt Tamil houses and businesses. No one, not even Dayan and Bandula argue that it was the LTTE that burnt down the homes or that it was Muslims rioting against Tamils. I believe that this acceptance of a common narrative was crucial for having the eventual response and proposed solution: The 13th Amendment.
     
    I understand Mr. Ponnambalam’s sense of urgency. He is a relatively young man in the prime of his life and with each passing year where there is no permanent solution in the NE, the likelihood that he can enjoy true freedom in the land of his birth while he is still young is fading. Trust me, I know the feeling. However, all of us owe something to the next generation. I always take inspiration from Mr. Sambanthan: He has been involved with the Tamil struggle for decades: From the time of Chelvanayagam, to the war years to the post 2009 movement. If there is anyone who has reason to seek expediency it’s him, because he doesn’t have many years left. But, he is being patient and is supporting a process that is focused on getting it right regardless of how long it takes.

  • 8
    3

    Mr Gajan, you were not elected in the democratic elections held in Sri lanka. The statement you have made now, “two nations in one country” is just the cheap way of trying to get votes for the next elections. Please forget about a seperation in any way, just try your best for a solution. Of course a there has been a lot of injustice to the Tamils, but find a solution whithin one Sri Lanka.

  • 1
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    The view of Most Sinhala Buddhist people including some leaders and veteran politicians and some renowned Priests I perceive their idea as Sinhala Buddhist are supreme and by perusing History they are trying to say Tamils should be placed some what below…. Our people consider me as mad I do not know I understand thier idea like that since I am mad

    According t my knowledge Lord Buddha stated no one becomes inferior due to his birth but only by action.

    Lord Buddha stated when you consider other’s pain compare it similar to your experience.

    In Karaneeeya Meththa Suthre any udhdha asked to be kind and soft to all the creatures in all the three worlds as parents of only son protect him for the sake of securing his life.

    This is what I have learnt in Buddhism. I am aperson expelled from the whole society including professional society. No one like to have any communication with me even my very intimate people.

    Therefore I may be wrong Because all these Supreme Buddhists are in top place s of the society

    But since i have experienced pain I feel any other’s pain as my pain

  • 3
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    Of course, the brickbats will come flying, more so from the Sinhalese when “the two-nation, one country” suggestion or idea is floated, not just from Gajendran for that matter. It can be from anyone. But that is not to deny that such responses are more politicians and politically inclined rhetoric from politicians who only know too well the emotional vulnerability of voters who get carried away and election results have by and large put a face to that.

    What is SL’s history since independence? Both the Sinhalese and Tamils were holding hands together, at least that was what appeared outwardly, to present a united front to the British to seek and gain independence. It seems like from the word go, both have been at loggerheads. It is not that SB did not try to reach an understanding with the Tamils despite his political stand unto the Sinhala Only Act 1956. In time he got consumed and SL politics have been sailing in the sea of blood.

    The successive years have had been hotly pursued by politicians who saw their hope and opportunity in raising the notches up by upping the Sinhala agenda that saw the pushing of unilateral policies and laws that forsook the “gentleman’s” understanding worked out during independence. It became abundantly clear that politicians knew their trade well – pit the Tamils and throw them into the ring as punching bags between the two Sinhala contenders. Those who inflict the most injury on the Tamils have their place secured in the hearts of the majority Sinhalese and thus their political careers. The infamous saying of JRJ “Really if I starve the Tamils out, the Sinhala people will be happy” bores out this truth. What was he thinking really? On that day, JRJ has tacitly told the world that the Sinhalese and Tamils can never live together. All the subsequent history of actions was actually the prelude of the bloody and checkered history that would follow, not to forget the international condemnation that swiftly followed. Sri Lanka had become an international problem despite its vehement protestations of its sovereignty.

    When Prabhakaran (PB) stepped into the void scene of the Tamils, to most Tamils he was godsend. With a hostile Sinhalese regime and majority and being trampled upon on physically and emotionally, the Tamils did not pause to think whether it was one of between the devil and the deep blue sea, quite literally speaking. Unfortunately, the odds were stacked against PB even in those early days.

    The world order changed after 09/11 but such wisdom was abandoned by PB and while he could have consolidated the real estate and the rights of the Tamils if he knew the meaning of a statesman, he deluded himself of his invincibility. The host of factors that targeted also would mean the target on Tamils, too. Not only the numbers weren’t there, he did not have the sort of firepower that the SL regime was able to summon. Add to this the feud with India which was hell-bent on taking him out, no matter what damage that may inflict on the Tamils as a whole. That fateful day when Priyanka met Nalini seemed to have paved the impetus for an all-out war against PB. Mahinda Rajapakse used that to his advantage. If India had wanted, quite frankly Mahinda would not have taken the risk of going for an all out war. He bid India’s war, as was his revelation.

    We are at the cusp of a hopeful future. It always, and I mean always started off in the same way. It will be foolish to think that My3 will be holding the reins forever. There will always be politicians who would like to stand out and it won’t be long before this becomes a reality. Even with 08/01 win there was so much of uncertainty. The CBK govt passed the two-term presidency but it was so easy for MR to pass the 18A to reverse that. CBK promised to abolish the executive presidency, and so did MR. What happened with their promises?

    Will sanity prevail? When Prabhakaran “decreed” not to vote for either presidential candidates, he had forgotten that at that point in time whoever was elected the president will be so for the whole nation. There can be no doubt whatsoever that My3 will have lost without the minorities lending their support. Of course, there was a slight shift in Sinhala votes but truth be told, if the candidates are to bank only on the Sinhala votes, MR would have won thumbs-up. While the minority stake and participation is obvious, more of it will be on frustrating their despised candidate, as MR found out and was taking it out on the minorities for losing.

    I don’t know the extent of the reasons why Gajendran believes in the two-nation, one country notion. Mine is very simple. The bad breath between the Sinhalese and Tamils have been long running and has been checkered with blood and bruises. It is a matter of time that whatever little sanity that prevails now would be a thing of the past. Politicians will ensure that. For those who believe that I am throwing a spanner in the wheel with such a pessimistic outlook, let me end with a simple question – will the majority Sinhalese ever accept a Tamil as president? Pockets of ayes will not mean it is an island-wide nod. We all know the fate of Kadirgamar, who is revered as a fine Sri Lankan statesman only to face so much adversity in CBK’s wish to see him as the PM. If anyone believes much has changed since then and will change in the forseeable future are simply hoodwinking themselves. Will the two-nation, one country option be a fair crack at reality?

  • 3
    2

    Mr Ponnambalam’s statement is consistent with the policies of all Tamil major political parties since 1956-the Federal Party,TULF and the TNA for that matter going by its manifesto and pronouncements during its election campaign, ie – a solution reflecting the reality that Sri Lanka comprises two nations. It was the refusal of the majority nation to cling to power and refuse to share it with the smaller nation that forced the TULF in 1976 to seek an independent state. It is argued that the TNA’s objectives are no different to the TNPF’s. Mr Sumanthiran has rejected ‘devolution’ where the power is held by the centre and is seeking a model where political power that resides with the Tamil people cannot be ‘taken away’ by the centre.

    As for Mr Ponnambalam’s poor performance at the election, it has nothing to do with his policies which are principled and were voiced by another respected man of integrity, former Justice Wigneswaran who is no separatist.

    The reason the Tamil people voted overwhelmingly for TNA the was mainly because they wished to strengthen its hands to be able speak with once voice.
    There was an earlier statement by Mr Ponnambalam that he would support a federal state should TNA seek one. Also going by TNA’s manifesto and its leaders’ pronouncements, that’s exactly what the TNA is seeking. Indeed if the country is to have a durable enduring peace. The constitution should be restructured to reflect Sri Lanka’s reality, a bi-national country . At the same time steps ought to be taken to reassure and guarantee the Sinhala nation plagued by the fear that they are a minority in the region, that the international community will preserve the unity of the country under a federal structure.

    It is time to discuss the conflict between the political power deprived Tamil nation and the politically all-powerful Sinhala nations.

    • 1
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      Yes Gajan P’s stand is NOT inconsistent with that of the TNA and only differs in the details.
      The Tamil Congress was part of the TNA at one time, but the differences came when Gajan insisted on three seats for the his party he found himself excluded, so he figured out a way out of that and the TNPF was conceived to add something extra.
      The Tamil voter on the basis that a known devil is better than the unknown devil preferred the known TNA devil, that is what exactly has happened.
      I think Gajan P should be patient and wait for his chance till his time arrives, and in the meanI time be prepared to work to convince the Sinhala nation that it is in the best interest of the UNITY of the two nations in the country to opt for a federal solution which is the only way out for all the people in the island.

      • 1
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        The surprise, or shock rather, to Mahinda Rajapakse when the name of the opposition candidate was released must have rattled him. He was, as well as everyone around him, believed the adversary to be Ranil but when it turned out to be My3, it was indeed a shocker. And this was not the first, although his general who helped him defeat the LTTE, was desperately sending and feeding subtle messages that he had prepared arsenal to take on the president. That was Sarath Fonseka, the avowed and bitter enemy of the Tamils but it looked like he was not only patronised by the Tamils but also givena rousing welcome when he visited Jaffna during the campaign rounds.

        The apt understanding of the Tamils now is they are willing “to clutch on any straw”, with the hope that the next round would offer better hope, driven through despair and hopelessness. Torn between a horrific past and a hopeful future, they live for a day at a time. The embrace of Sarath Fonseka, their once adversary tells a story of their determination to get even with the Rajapakse regime, no matter what the route that would be.

        The pathetic history of SL is littered with thugs and butchers, and consequently both the Sinhalese and Tamils have suffered from these hoodlums. Much as My3 or Ranil or Mangala may desire or wish, the majority Sinhalese are not going to extend the parameters within which the Tamil issues have become sandwiched and suffered suffocation. Like and rubber-band, any further stretch will return to its original but with a force inflicting pain. There are more than enough Sinhalese politicians who will know how to get any leader into “shape”.

        Don’t get me wrong. I wish very much that the present leadership will succeed in bridging the wide gap between the races but none of us can take comfort if the past history is of any indication. One of the main reasons why the Tamils were drawn to the LTTE was the “second-class” treatment of the Tamils by the Sinhala regime but that is not the only reason. The Tamils felt that the Sinhalese politicians were using moderate Tamil leaders to bid their shadow play. The present Tamil leadership has been coy to the central leadership and the success of future endeavours will depend on how the Tamil leaders get things done. I wish a bright future although the deepp fault lines in my heart beats otherwise.

  • 2
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    sooner we create two separate states better it is for all of us and we urge the new government elect not to lose time in paving way to achieve this noble goal..

  • 1
    1

    As “nic” said all the Tamil Politicians, including GP have failed to read the “pulse of the people”. For a long, long period of time this was the prime mistake done by the Tamil politicians and they repeat it without admitting their mistake. The moment, as a matter of fact, if anyone speaks of and mentions the terms such as, “self determination”; “distinct identity”; “homeland”; “ethnic recognition”; “right to live in and manage their homeland” etc. and any other terms that denotes “separatism” the “majority community” comprising mainly of Sinhalese gets a “shock wave”. When that happens, the “vultures” waiting to grab power spring up to action and set fire to the emotional awakening and that prevents any type of amicable settlement. This trend will continue and all the “vultures” waiting to grab power will walk into Legislature and “profit” by the opportunity. So long as this “wound” is nurtured by both sides, the “returns” are very lucrative to all.

  • 2
    2

    The electors who gave Srimavo a 2/3 mjority in 1971 gave her only 6 or 7 seats. The same electors gave JR more than 2/3. Tricky Dicky made sure no party will ever get 2/3rd. The electors then choose Srimavo and her daughter over the UNP that gave them a lot of goodies. So on and so on.

    The electorate that rejected Gajan P and his supporters – mostly the older ones, will think again if the present lot of the Sinhala majority choice fail to devise a political solution that is acceptable to the Tamils.

    For such a solution will need a new constitution that will have to have 2/3rd in Parliament. Very unlikely unless the King Makers wave their magic wands. The One State two Nation or a solution that recognises such a decision making process may seem palatable with western and the neighbour’s economic magic wands. If not Sri Lanka will gradually descend into chaos. Let us remember it is the local and international economic giants who support the UNP and TNA.

  • 2
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    What is the difference between Gajendran’s Ponna Party and Sambanadan’s Illankai Thamil Party?.

    Nothing really.

    They both want two Federal Nations , One Eealam for the Tamils and a mixed Eelaam for the rest.

    A few differences however are that Gaje is more specific with the assumption that all non Buddhist Sinhala people will come to live in his Eelaam in the North and the East.

    Gaje seems to have no issues with the Thamil people, because 100 % of his clients are already in the North and the East.

    Whether the non Sinhala Buddhists take up his offer is entirely a matter for them.

    In other words take it or leave it ..

    Mr Sambandan and his Illankai Thamils don’t have that luxury …

    Because Vellala people are all in Colombo and London .

    Will they relocate. And leave their assets behind , especially the ones who are not in London?..

  • 4
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    His Seeya died in Malaysia. He is one of those who started Tamikl Racism in Sri lanka.

    This donkey will die in Malysia too.

  • 1
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    Gnana Sankaralingam

    I refer here to your previous reply to my earlier comments here.
    You are saying that my remark on eastern province amounts to racism.
    I do not know what racism you find in my remark on eastern province man.

    You must be stupid to call this racism?

    I only mentioned the present demographic reality in Eastern Province man. Do you know that the population of Sri Lankan Tamils in the Eastern Province at the latest census taken in 2012 was just 39.29%? Muslims are a close second with a population of 36.69% and Sinhalese are 23.15%. Muslims and Sinhalese put together outnumber Tamils by 58.84 % to just 39.29%.

    If a referendum is held now on the basis of the 13th amendment, the call for merging Northern and Eastern Provinces will certainly fail. Muslims will never agree to a merger of the Eastern Province with the North. Vote by the Sinhalese will be a definite ‘No’.

    You are saying that if all the displaced Eastern Tamils return from Northern Province and Tamil Nadu return to East, then Tamils will become the majority. Where are the facts? Will you give the verified numbers of Eastern Tamils living in Northern Province and in Tamil Nadu? As far as I know, very few Eastern Tamils are now living in Tami Nadu because very few left the Eastern Province either during the 1983 riots or thereafter. Eastern Tamils faced the brunt of the attack of the SL forces during the time of the LTTE, yet few left for India because India is far way to reach by sea. I do not think many left East to live in the North. Compared to the North, East is a land of plenty and Eastern people can earn a decent living from the land, lagoon and sea. Therefore most of the Eastern Tamils remained where they were. There was no mass exodus of Eastern Tamils at any time.

    There are Sinhala colonisations in the East and this is undeniable. But, will any Sri Lankan government come forward to disband all these Sinhala colonies? Tigers chased away hundreds of Sinhala people through killings and other forms of terrorism but the bulk of the Sinhala colonists remained with the protection provided by the SL army.
    It is possible to re-demarcate the boundaries of the Eastern Province excising out the areas with a concentration of Sinhala residents. But, no Sinhala leader will be brave enough to do that. Neither it is possible to excise the Muslim pockets in the Eastern province because Muslim villages sit next to Tamil villages like “Pittu and Thankai Poo” in the pittu cooker. The reality is that Muslims will never agree to a merger of the East with the Tamil North.

    This talk about creating a Pondichery style set up for Muslims is very unrealistic. It will be unworkable in practice. Pockets of Muslim villages in the Eastern Province in Sri Lanka cannot be compared to the disjointed regions of Pondichery Union Territory. The two main regions of this Indian Union Territory, Pondi and Karaikal, are populated with Tamils who seamlessly mingle and identify themselves with the adjoining Tamil Nadu Tamils. Of the remaining areas, Mahe is a coastal region in Kerala and the inhabitants are mostly Keralites and in the other region Yanam in Andhra Pradesh the population is mostly Telungites. Thus the people of Pondicherry continue to co-exist peacefully with the adjoining Tamil or Kerala or Andhra areas. That is not the case with the Muslims of the Eastern Province who continue to assert their separate identity as Moors though they speak the same Tamil language in contrast to the Tamil Nadu Muslims who consider themselves first as Tamils and then only as Muslims. In the North and East when the Tamils rallied behind the Tigers, Muslims never took any interest in the armed struggle of the Tamils. They remained aloof and many Muslims hated the LTTE for interfering in their lives. That is one of the reasons why Prabaharan considered the Muslims as fifth column and chased them away from Jaffna.

    TNA’s Sampanthan has given a dead rope to the Tamils during the just concluded general election in the North East. No Sinhala government will give Sampanthan a solution on the basis of autonomy under a federal system he had been talking about.

    The most Sampanthan and the Tamils could get is an enhanced Provincial Council system with a few more powers. Nothing more will be given.

    I assume you are a guy from Jaffna and all you Jaffna guys are the same. You people do not see reality. That is the reason for your stupid call for Tamil nation, separate state, self-determination etc. etc. which will never be acknowledged by any country in the present world.

    Eastern Tamils hate the thick headedness and arrogance of the Jaffna Tamils who think they are superior to other Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims. This Jaffna man’s attitude is reflected in your comments.

  • 1
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    Well the Tamil people gave their verdict. Your party ran on this platform and did not win any seats! Your politics is as old as K.A Sumanasekera’s and Jim Softy’s Sinhala chauvinism. I am hoping both Tamils and Sinhalese have learned the bitter lesson of this decisive politics. As a country Sri Lanka needs to balance its diversity with a unified vision where people off all ethnicities and religion are equal and enjoy economic prosperity.

  • 2
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    There seems to be a misunderstanding of G G Ponnambalam’s demand. I quote from my Public Writings on Sri Lanka, Volume 2

    “G G Ponnambalam’s demand of “Fifty – Fifty” was deliberately misrepresented and ridiculed. “Ponna” saw that in a multiethnic country, the majority would always vote on “racial” lines, resulting not in democracy but majoritarian dictatorship. (In a true democracy, there is no fixed voting bloc, and the electorate changes support for a party according to the issues that are considered important. It is not a firm and predictable allegiance based on “tribal” lines.)

    I quote words from the speech made by G. G. Ponnambalam in the State Council (1939) on the Reform Despatch of Sir Andrew Caldecott:

    “The demand, as far I as I am aware, of the minorities of this country has been for balanced representation, for representation on the basis that no single community should be in a position to out-vote a combination of all the other communities in the Island.”
    “Thirty-four Members belonging to one community united by a common language, united in most cases by a common religion […] as opposed to another 34 Members, consisting of a number of thoroughly heterogeneous groups – of Tamils, Indians, Muslims, Burghers, and Europeans and Malays […] I ask you, ‘What have the Sinhalese to fear’?”

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      Thanks for the clarification. Both points seem to be reproduced from the letter written by Mr. Arunachalam Sabapathy(with inputs from Sir A. Kanagasabhai) representing the Tamil Mahajana Sabha to Sir Pon. Ramanathan; to prevent James Pieris from imposing a majoritarian and tribal decision making structure in the CNC and thereby Ceylon itself.

      I quote the two points from the letter dated 7 Dec 1921 (p.22-23) (K.M.De Silva : THE CEYLON NATIONAL CONGRESS IN
      DISARRAY II: THE TRIUMPH OF SIR WILLIAM
      MANNING, 1921-1924*)

      1. “we are anxious that the principle of twenty eight territorial seats required
      by the Hon’ble Mr. James Pieris should not be admitted by the Council.
      It should be left to the committee or commission to decide the matter”.

      2. “In no case should any single community be allowed to have such a
      majority as would not require the co-operation of at least a few members
      of other communities for passing or adopting any measure”.

      A generation old memorandum reproduced in the State Council, if anything without proper acknowledgement.

      More than the Sinhalese it was the Colonial Administration/Rulers that prevented a feasible solution. Maybe they wanted a Country on the edge forever.

      The Tamil standpoint has always been if not as partners in the Country, self-rule in territories where we are majority. Consistent from the early 20th century.

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