18 September, 2021

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Understanding The Demographic Decline Of Tamils In Sri Lanka

By Krishna Kalaichelvan – 

Dr. Krishna Kalaichelvan

Dr. Krishna Kalaichelvan

“A virtuous wife should never do anything displeasing to the husband who took her hand in marriage, when he is alive or dead…When her husband is dead she may fast as much as she likes, (living) on auspicious flowers, roots, and fruits but she should not even mention the name of another man. She should be long-suffering until death, self-restrained, and chaste, striving (to fulfil) the unsurpassed duty of women who have one husband” – The Laws of Manu, verse 156-158.

Since the destruction of the LTTE in May 2009, the Eelam Tamil polity’s constant solicitude is all about its lost collective power projection.  The crisis was exacerbated by Mahinda regime’s deliberate policy of instilling insecurity in the post-war Tamil regions by continuing military occupation. Also the Tamil public space has been inundated with the troublesome prospect that the Tamil population is on the decline in Sri Lanka, especially in the North and East. In the backdrop of Tamil nationalists’ claim of ‘Structural Genocide’, they view the shrinking of Tamil population as politically ominous to their project.

It is in this context, the Jaffna Science Association organized “popular talk” titled “Future of Tamils: A demographic perspective” by Dr Murali Vallipuranathan was held at the University of Jaffna campus on 26/06/2014. Though the transcript of the speech was not available in the Internet, but few online Tamil media outlets reported that speech in detail. The UK based Global Tamil News (GTN) website originally reported Dr Vallipuranathan’s speech, and few other Tamil websites had reproduced that reportage. Dr Vallipuranathan, a distinguished public health professional attached to the Ministry of Health, has provided links to these websites favourably in his Facebook, therefore I presume that the GTN reportage on the speech as accurate, since he didn’t claim of any erroneous reporting by the GTN.

The purpose of this note is to highlight the salient points of Dr Vallipuranathan’s presentation, and intend to problematise some his claims and suggestions. The texts in italics are translation of the GTN reportage. Towards the end of this note I present my critique.

The primary objective of Dr Vallipuranathan’s presentation seems to be to ring alarm bells on the declining trend of ‘Sri Lankan Tamils’ (here after Tamils) population size and the risk of ‘Sri Lankan Tamils’ being pushed down to third place by the continuously growing ‘Sri Lanka Moor’ (here after Muslims) population. He provides us with population trajectories for each ethnic group based on current growth rate by utilizing the historically available census data.

Pic1According to this projection, by 2031, the Tamils population will be 10.3% and the Muslim population will be 10.8% of the total population. In other words Tamils are facing the prospect of being pushed down to third place in Sri Lanka’s demographic ranking. Obviously this has many political implications, and likely to complicate the balance of power in the North and East. However, I cease the discussion on the political ramifications of this demographic shift, and continue to focus on Dr Vallipuranathan’s presentation.

Muslim Demographics YouTube video

At the very beginning itself Dr Vallipuranathan’s presentation clearly indicates that the main thrust of it to give a sense of alarmism and urgency in relation to growing size of Muslim population in Sri Lanka. One cannot avoid comparing similar concerns raised by the Sinhala Buddhist nationalist groups. Interestingly, the title slide of Dr Vallipuranathan’s PowerPoint presentation depicts the picture of a traditional Hindu/Saivite couple.

pic2To my disappointment, Dr Vallipuranathan relies on the infamous ‘Muslim Demographics’ YouTube video to substantiate his claim of growing Muslim population [1]. By a combination of clever usage of numbers and alarmist projections, this video, tinged with Islamophobia, depicts an alarming future of a Muslim dominated Europe. The reason behind this claim is that the “native” women’s Fertility Rate (FR) is far less than immigrant Muslim women’s FR; hence the Europe will become a Muslim majority region in few decades time. The problem with this video’s claim is that there is no way of confirming the authenticity of the data used in that video. However there had been serious efforts to debunk these wild claims, for example, More or Less programme of the BBC Radio Four, through a robust methodological analysis, exposed the video’s claim that in the Netherlands “50% of all newborns are Muslim” as “implausible” [2]. This video is part of a plethora of literature – generally called Eurabia: emerging of a Muslim dominated Europe from the mid century onwards – by several western commentators in the last decade [3]. Pew Research Center, the reputed US based “fact tank”, through its ‘Religion and Public Life Project’ carried out an in-depth research titled “Future of the global Muslim population” and its findings poured water on the wild claim of Eurabia [4].

The report notes:

“The growth of the global Muslim population, however, should not obscure another important demographic trend: the rate of growth among Muslims has been slowing in recent decades and is likely to continue to decline over the next 20 years, as the graph below shows. From 1990 to 2000, the Muslim population grew at an average annual rate of 2.3%. The growth rate dipped to 2.1% from 2000 to 2010, and it is projected to drop to 1.7% from 2010 to 2020 and 1.4% from 2020 to 2030 (or 1.5% annually over the 20-year period from 2010 to 2030, as previously noted).”

A 2009 Harvard University working paper by Ronald Inglehart and Pippa Norris notes:

“As we demonstrate, cultural cleavages do exist. They are not monolithic. The largest differences between Muslim and Western societies are found in religiosity, gender roles and sexual norms. This does not mean that migrants are constructing a sub‐culture that is entirely separate from the mainstream national cultures of Western societies; instead, Muslim migrants living in Western societies are located roughly in the center of the cultural spectrum, located between the publics living in Islamic and Western societies…In the long‐term, the basic cultural values of migrants appear to change in conformity with the predominant culture of each society.” [5]

These findings give credence to the Pew Research Center’s prediction of declining trend in Muslim population growth rate in coming decades. Hence we can conclude that the alarmist Eurabia claim is wildly exaggerated and has no scientific basis for that claim.

More than anyone else, I would expect Dr Vallipuranathan, a distinguished medical professional with regular teaching commitments at the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine (PGIM) – University of Colombo, to check the authenticity of ‘Muslim Demographics’ video’s alarmist and Islamophobic claims on the growth of Muslim population, before using that video to backup his claim. That doesn’t mean his calculation of projected ethnic composition in Sri Lanka by 2031 is flawed, in fact his projection is most likely to be right. My contention is that he doesn’t have to rely on this discredited Islamophobic video to back up his claim in Sri Lankan context.

Based on the figures provided in the presentation, I have calculated the annual population growth rate of Tamil and Muslim populations for the period of 19 years covering from 2012 to 2031; they are 0.63% and 2.25% respectively.

Analysing the declining Tamil population growth rate

Dr Vallipuranathan identifies the Islamic practice of polygamy and the Muslim women marrying at early age as reasons for the fast growing Muslim population in Sri Lanka. And he juxtaposes the aforesaid Muslim practices with factors purported to be causing near-negligible Tamil population growth rate. He attributes following factors for declining Tamil population growth rate:

(1) In the past few years, there have been a campaign of “forced contraception” [Kaṭṭāya Karuttaṭai1] in the North and East, Dr Vallipuranathan notes with sadness that the Northern Provincial Council representatives have issued misleading statements about this issue. He provides the testimonies of the affected women from Kilinochchi to backup his claim of “forced contraception”.

Pic3According to the government statistics, in 2012, 2877 Sinhalese, 1035 Tamils, and 450 Muslims, had undergone sterilization. However the number of Tamils had undergone sterilization was above the Tamils’ proportion in ethnic ratio.

Pic4

Dr Vallipuranathan has highlighted the practice of systematic campaign of sterilization in the areas of Hill-Country-Tamils, and the cash incentive of 500 rupees to undergo sterilization. On the other hand, since 2009, the Sri Lankan government is multiplying the [Sinhala] ethnicity by encouraging the members of the armed forces to have a third child through a cash incentive of 100,000 rupees.

The Kilinochchi incident happened August last year and it was reported widely in the local and international media. It was alleged that mothers with children under the age of five from three villages in Kilinochchi district were deceptively asked to attend vaccination/nutrition clinic and then they were coerced to accept the insertion of Jadelleâ subdermal implant, which contains synthetic progestogen, levonorgestrel. The Jadelleâ implant belongs to the category of Long-acting Reversible Contraception (LARC): it can provide effective contraception for up to five years, and a woman’s fertility returns to normal up on its removal.

I have no intention of discussing of this incident in detail, simply because it deserves a detailed scrutiny on its own. All I can comment is that this was a case of medical malpractice and not part of an elaborate genocidal scheme operated by the Sri Lankan government to reduce the Tamil population in Sri Lanka, as propagandized by the Tamil nationalists. What was lost in the loud cacophony of outrage at this incident is the fact that whether the women from rural Kilinochchi or rural Moneragala or rural Anuradhapura, they are all facing the same predicament of powerlessness: doctors and health service know what is best for them. Whatever the level of coercion applied in Kilinochchi is prevalent in the rural clinics in the Sinhala South as well.

Dr Vallipuranathan raises another issue regarding this incident; in his PowerPoint slide he notes, “consent from husband was not obtained” by the health professionals. In Sri Lanka, doctors are expected to obtain consent from husband only if a woman is seeking permanent method of contraception – Sterilization. Therefore Dr Vallipuranathan’s insistence on husband’s consent for reversible contraception undermines a woman’s ability to exercise her reproductive rights. It is not clear, what was the basis of his insistence for husband’s consent, when a woman is opting for contraception not sterilization.

(2) The decline in the number of young males in the community is causing difficulties for the Tamil women to find an appropriate partner.

I am inclined to believe that this is a critical factor in the decline of Total Fertility Rate (FTR) of Tamil women. The sex ratio of the Northern Province, for the age group of 20-44, is 89 men for every 100 women2. This figure is almost at the lowest end of the sex ratio spectrum along with countries like Russia and Estonia [6].

(3) Many Tamil women postpone their marriage beyond the age of 30 years, due to higher education. Naturally women’s fertility declines after 30, hence the chances of those women having children are also lesser [than younger women] 

(4) The return of casteism in Tamil community and the increasing demand for dowry, along with displacements and economic deprivation are either increasing the number of unmarried women or leading to late marriages.

(5) The post-war baby booming never took place in Tamil regions because overwhelmingly men who died or disappeared during the war.

The plight of women who have lost their partners during the conflict

According to statistics, in North and East, there are 89,000 women who have lost their husbands [during the conflict period]. The Tamil community is only thinking about providing self-employment opportunities like poultry farming. The social, religious and political leaders are not thinking about facilitating the remarriage of 18 – 40 age group women who have lost their husbands. The Tamil community is refusing to think about the naturally occurring sexual needs of these women. But the community’s indulgence on talking about [some of] these women are being subjected to prostitution by ‘other community persons’ [Māṟṟu Inattavarkal] shows the community’s irresponsible nature.

Tamils faced with the post-war situation, should create laws like Islamic laws in order to sustain the community. [The Tamil community] should be thinking about legalising polygamy with adequate [legal] protection for women.

Contrasting Hindu practices with Muslim practices

In Indian history, there are instances of mass Sati by [widowed] women after the defeat of Hindu kingdoms whereas Muslims remarry the women who had lost their husbands during the war. Some historians opine, India would have become an Islamic republic, had it not been conquered by the British.

The Tamil political failings

Whilst other ethnic groups are increasing their birth rate [Pirappu Veetam], and keen to protect their ethnic groups, it is unfortunate that those who are claiming to be the leaders of the war affected Tamil community are not concerned about Tamils’ destruction. Neither the Tamil leadership nor anyone else has come forward to incentivise the families to have a third child in order to increase the birth rate of the destroyed Tamil ethnicity.

If this condition continues Tamils will become an endangered species in Sri Lanka like wild elephant, leopard and whale, once proudly lived animals now facing the threat of extinction.

Critiquing the plea for polygamy, manufacturing of refugees and realism

Though I have made a few comments above on some of the issues raised by Dr Vallipuranathan’s presentation, here in this section I attempt to give a comprehensive critique on the talk “Future of Tamils: A demographic perspective”.

Dr Vallipuranathan has immensely contributed to the ongoing discussion on the declining number of Tamil population in Sri Lanka by scientifically providing a snapshot of the future demographic landscape of Sri Lanka, albeit with undue alarmism. He has exemplarily demonstrated that how the Tamil intelligentsia should be working to face the post-war challenges of Eelam Tamils.

But I find a critical flaw in his interpretation of this crisis and his suggested action plan.

As we discussed above, the most critical factor is the decline of young male population in Tamil regions. Obviously, as highlighted by Dr Vallipuranathan, the war has eaten the young male population disproportionately. What is not said was the ongoing post-war emigration of young men and women in the form of asylum seeking from all parts of the North and East [7]. To my surprise, Dr Vallipuranathan didn’t say a word (according to the GTN reporting) on the continuing post-war emigration in the form of asylum seeking. This downplaying of asylum seeking may be due to his personal political conviction, since the Tamil refugees abroad are providing enough ammunition for the LTTE inspired Tamil diaspora activists to continue their activism ‘by other means’. In short term, this post-2009 asylum advocacy may help the LTTE inspired Tamil diaspora activism, but in the longer term, this mass emigration will invariably lead to more Sinhalasization of Tamil land. One can’t fathom the prudence of Tamils themselves actively aiding the Sinhalasization of Tamil Homeland.

Dr Vallipuranathan rightly condemns the Sanskriticed, Manu inspired Hindu moral values – such as negative attitude towards remarriage of widows – prevalent in the Tamil community. However, Dr Vallipuranathan’s plea for legalising polygamy is problematic in three ways; firstly, though he insists on “adequate [legal] protection for women”, the harsh reality is polygamy undermines the equality of women in the society. The practice of polygamy is not specific to Islamic culture, classical Tamil literatures (Sangam period) have many references to the practice of polygamy and socially sanctioned practice of Kazavozukkam. H. W. Tambiah notes, the Tamils in the North and East were practicing polygamy and polyandry in the past [8]. Therefore, Dr Vallipuranathan is not advocating a practice that is alien to Tamil culture and customs. However it is directly at odds with the very idea of equality of woman and man in the society in spite of whatever the level of legal protection given to women under a polygamous relationship. I hope Tamil women activists comprehensively responding to this call for legalising of polygamy among Eelam Tamils will bring about a better discussion on this topic.

Secondly, the feasibility of legalising and institutionalizing the practice of polygamy in Eelam Tamil life in the Sri Lankan context. It is not clear what does Dr Vallipuranathan mean by “legalising” in Sri Lankan context. There is no place for a Hindu/Saivite jurisprudence in Sri Lanka’s legal system (in this matter even Indian constitution says clear no), apart from the personal law Thesavalamai that only deals with the inheritance of property amongst Jaffna Tamils. Legally it is clearly a dead end for polygamy in Sri Lanka. Or Dr Vallipuranathan may be referring to a socially sanctioned informal arrangement, rather than a formal legal sanction.

Thirdly, Dr Vallipuranathan’s assumption that the practice of polygamy amongst Muslims helps to fuel the growth of Muslim population in Sri Lanka is problematic, since there is no empirical evidence to prove that the polygamy is widespreadly practiced by the Sri Lankan Muslims, especially amongst the younger generation. With women’s education, the practice of polygamy is virtually nil amongst the young middleclass Muslims. Sri Lankan Muslim population growth is also likely to slow down in coming decades, like the trend in global Muslim population forecasted by the Pew Research Center’s study.

Therefore the challenge of how to revive the Tamil population growth has to be realistic as well as a progressive one. Throwback to medieval practice of polygamy will undermine women’s equality in the society and also it is not feasible to legalise. In fact there were several failed attempts in Russian Duma to legalise polygamy [9], Sri Lanka too a similarly illiberal democracy with popular cultural revisionism – where the BBS has advocated polygamy – still Sri Lanka is unlikely to legalise the practice.

Irrespective of political situation regarding the national question, a resolute and coordinated attempt to revitalise the Tamil life in the North and East is the need of the hour. Every household, from every village in the North and East should be empowered to look after themselves with dignity and pride. The Tamil intelligentsia should be thinking creatively in order to attain the goal of self-sustaining Tamil life in the North and East, in spite of an institutionalized discrimination of the governance system. There will be nothing left, if we are going to wait for the 100% righting of the so-called systemic wrongs to rebuild the shattered social fabric of Tamil life.

Footnotes

1. The word Karuttaṭai in Tamil is used to indicate both the contraception and sterilization. Here in this context it is meant to note contraception.

2. The numbers from the 2011 census in the Northern Province, ‘Enumeration of vital events’, are used to calculate the sex ratio. http://www.statistics.gov.lk/PopHouSat/VitalStatistics/EVE2011_FinalReport.pdf

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Reference

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-3X5hIFXYU

[2] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/more_or_less/8189434.stm & http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/legacy/radio4/2009/08/does_muslim_demographics_abuse_numbers.html

[3] http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/01/04/eurabian_follies & http://www.economist.com/node/7086222?story_id=7086222

[4] http://www.pewforum.org/2011/01/27/the-future-of-the-global-muslim-population/ & http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2011/01/27/will-pew-muslim-birth-rate-study-finally-silence-the-eurabia-claim/

[5] http://pippanorris.typepad.com/pippa_norris_weblog/2009/02/muslim-migrants-and-cultural-integration-into-western-societies.html

[6] https://www.unfpa.org/gender/docs/Sex_Ratio_by_Country_in_2013.pdf & https://www.census.gov/population/international/files/ib96-2.pdf

[7] http://groundviews.org/2012/07/19/troubled-waters-corruption-and-human-trafficking-in-post-war-sri-lanka/

[8] http://archives.dailynews.lk/2002/05/28/fea03.html

[9] http://www.theguardian.com/education/2009/oct/27/polygamy-study-russia-central-asia

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Latest comments

  • 7
    4

    Krishna Kalaichelvan –

    RE: Understanding The Demographic Decline Of Tamils In Sri Lanka

    Good write up.

    Part of the reason why the Ceylon Moor population growth is higher is because

    a) The average education Level of the Ceylon Moor is lower than that of the other communities.
    b) The average Ceylon Moor Girl marries younger than the girls from the other communities.

    Now, “May all women be reborn as men: Maithripala” Minister

    This Will Chnge the Demographics of the Sinhala “Buddhists”

    Is Sinhala Buddhism, Fake Buddhism?

    http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/50254-may-all-women-reborn-as-men-maithripala.html

    “May all women reborn as men in their next incarnation,” said SLFP general secretary and Minister Maithripala Sirisena when he addressed the Polonnaruwa Sri Lanka Freedom Party Women’s Federation meeting yesterday at the Mahaweli Prathibha Hall in Manampitiya.

    “Today women’s dominance is visible everywhere, women constitute 53% of the country’s population and 80 percent of government servants. The village society and the whole country depends on a mother’s strength,- and her strength is immense and of great importance. Whenever I leave home my wife kneels and bows, and as Buddhist I wish her to be reborn as a man”

    The minister said that, as a representative elected by the people he had done his part for the benefit of the people.

    From the beginning of next year cigarettes packets will carry a pictorial health warning which would compel smokers to rethink their smoking habit, he said.

    He said he would take steps to use similar methods to discourage liquor consumption next year. He said that as a responsible minister he would work to create a society free of Arrack, cigarettes and drugs.

  • 4
    6

    Well, after 2025 the Hispanic population of USA will overtake the white Anglo Saxons. White America may build walls. However natural phenomena and population dynamics eventually win.

    A brief study of Anthropology will reveal it is geography that builds nations of people. Its mountain ranges and oceans that keeps people apart creating a tribal order. Although even these superficial barriers will become less significant as the world converges via new media.

    Just as there isn’t any geographical barriers in North America to keep whites and the Hispanics apart there isn’t any barriers in the island of Ceylon that keep people apart.

    The first ever Malabar settlement in the island of Ceylon takes place around 10ce after a massive South Indian incursion. The Malabar settlement expands when the Capital of Sinhale is forced to move southwards. The north become Malabarised. Gunaranta’s become Gunarantam. Rajasingha becoms Rajasingham etc.

    Although after reunification Malabaris numbers are subjected to attrition until Dutch Colonise NE. The Dutch imports Malabar labour from their South Indian bases and reinvigorate the population. The English pretty much neglects NE. After the colonists leave Malabars numbers will revert to normal attrition.

    Its useless trying to circumvent natural phenomena. Attempts at circumvention has only accelerated the process.

    • 3
      1

      Vibhushana

      “Well, after 2025 the Hispanic population of USA will overtake the white Anglo Saxons. White America may build walls. However natural phenomena and population dynamics eventually win.”

      New World was given by the Infallible Pope to the Spanish and the Portuguese. So, technically, it should have been Spanish. What about the natives? Technically, according to the pope, they are savages and therefore have no rights to life and ownership. They can be owned.

      One Must thank The English and french for bringing some , yes some civilization to the Spanish.

      Will it be lost to the Spanish again?

      • 0
        0

        “Hispanic” is not Spanish but a term coined to refer to Central American people who speak Spanish.

        • 0
          0

          free edu boy living down under.
          Please dont get involved in a subject you know nothing- Christopher Columbus Basque is our problem moron.

  • 5
    5

    This author does not want to talk that tamils desire to move to greener pastures looking for better opportunities.

    They are very happy if they can earn lot of money. Then they don’t talk like or behave like Tamils.

    • 2
      0

      Jim, both our Sinhala and Tamil communities are on the move, the great migration of 70,000 years past continues. As we move to new countries, we practice our home culture, at least in the first generation, after, we adapt, as we should.

  • 2
    2

    Understanding The Demographic Decline Of Tamils In Sri Lanka

    Understanding Flight MH17 – What You’re Not Being Told

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b67OGUsQC44&feature=youtu.be

    Published on Jul 27, 2014
    Sources transcript and bonus clips: http://scgnews.com/flight-mh17-what-y

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  • 1
    2

    Hello All, Fat-shit-ma fuck-u-shima is back [Edited out]

  • 0
    5

    Krishna
    Thank you for writing this urgently needed piece of writing. (i haven’t even heard of Dr Vallipuranathan’s speech or even the event so far).

  • 4
    8

    Dr. Vileimpurenathan’s article proves once again that tamilians have no compassion for anyone other than themselves. Many tamilians say that the Lanka government comitted a “genocide” against them. In fact, when those tamilians controlled the north and east, the tamilians comitted a much more severe genocide against Muslims. As such, I find it quite difficult to feel sorry for the tamilian war victims.

  • 2
    10

    If Tamils go extinct in SL there will be an interesting situation.

    Muslims are already the largest minority. Tamils better become Muslims.

    • 3
      2

      AlCIAd Wowla,

      High hopes in the alu porata war.

  • 2
    2

    See I told you in my previous post, that fat-shit-ma fuk-u-shima will be back with her garbage as this relates to Tamils.[Edited out]

  • 3
    5

    Whatever the author says it is well known that there were many a complaint that young Sinhala women from the hill country, in their early twenties were near forcibly taken to the operating theatre for sterilization after the second child by Tamil doctors.

    Why the ‘gopis’ should obey the Laws of Manu is questionable. I am not aware that ‘Sati’ has been banned in Sri Lanka. The Bishop’s 147,000 ‘disappeared’ also does not seem to have registered with the author. There is also the 150,000 or so Sri Lankan Tamils who seem to be more than happy to enjoy Jeyalalitha’s hospitality while awaiting arrangements to go to Australia, where their fortune awaits them.

  • 2
    1

    Good write up.

    Will we have another Malabari invasion ? The JVP stopped GOSL’s COPE agreement with India on these grounds.

    Already the S. Indians rape our seas and are looking to get access to our North-East Land.

    Invasion, through the backdoor with the help of the GOSL ?

    What do you folks think ?

  • 1
    1

    it appears that your space is used for promoting ill feeling among communitiesby giving unsubstantiated data. original article by the author is not to be seen. we have to depend on the interpretation of kalaicelvan. there are lot of other factors which have to be considered. number of tamils getting reduced due to migration after 1983 and again indian tamils repatriation to india (more than 7 lacks ?). it is well known that indian tamils now report that they are SL tamils because they are SL citizens. several lacks of muslims have gone to the middle east.unlike tamils mulsims will come back. tamils look for greener pastures and migrate at the same time worried about becomin3rd minority. you canoot have the cake and eat the cake.if you put both the tamils together the situation will be different. so there are several ramification to the issue. i wish the full article is published or a recognized demographer explains the real phenomena.a muslim says that he was not worried for the killing of tamils for such and such reason.tamils will try to say the same thing about aluthgama. then there is no end.
    sundara

    • 2
      0

      When you talk about Tamil migration after 1983, please reflect on what exactly happened in 1983!

      If, as you so carelessly suggest, they were simply after greener pastures, why weren’t they looking in 1982?

  • 18
    2

    Krishna Kalaichelvan is a diaspora Tamil without a brief. He can not speak for us in Sri Lanka. There is no Eelam Tamil polity. Its a Sri Lankan Tamil polity.

    Let Krishna first travel here and understand us before trying to speak on our behalf. Tamils issues are a past time for the diaspora. Do they really care about us back home? No.

    I doubt his publications, if any, will get published in any reputable international journal!

    His quote on Manu was taken out of context – as always a Christian ploy to strengthen their hold on us and ensure that we keep fighting the Sinhalese..

    • 0
      2

      Machan Sri Lankan: the term “Ealam” in classical Tamil refers to the whole of the island! The part that the stupid fellow Prabhakaran wanted for himself had to be called “Tamil Ealam” to make it clear he wanted only a part of the island for himself.

  • 2
    0

    Dear Editor,
    As speaker of the popular talk titled “Future of Tamils: A demographic perspective” I am thankful to Dr.Krishna Kalaichelvan for translating the media report and discussing under the title “Understanding the Demographic Decline of Tamils in Sri Lanka”. I however, wish to clarify the following:
    1. The media report published in GTN website and other media was prepared by a media personnel who attended my talk in Jaffna University on 26/06/14. That report was however, not comprehensive and in fact left out two other important aspects of my talk affecting the population growth: migration and mortality. Just because I had posted those links in my Facebook does not mean that I had agreed it as a complete report of my presentation. Please note that public officers are not allowed to publish media reports under the Sri Lankan Law. The main objective of my presentation in Jaffna was to create awareness among Tamils of their declining fertility and discuss ways to recover the population suffered heavy losses due to war.
    2. Although part of the Youtube clip Muslim demographics was shown during my presentation neither that part of the clip nor I made any derogatory statements against Islamic brothers. I have in fact appreciated some of their ways and suggested Tamils to follow those during my presentation.
    3. I do agree that the abovementioned clip released in 2008 made some exaggerations on forecasting though that was due to the inherent weakness of any projection where the assumptions were made that the trends in the past would continue. As reported by Dr.Kalaichelvan with several references the author of that clip had failed to take note of the recent declining fertility trend of Muslims. On the other hand the reports used by Dr.Kalaichelvan also contain errors due to the same inherent weakness and underestimate the growth of Muslim population in several countries. For example the report of the US based PEW Forum forecasted the percentage of Muslims in Sri Lanka as 8.5% and it would not increase between 2010 and 2030, estimated Muslim population in 2010 as 1,725,000 and projected Muslim population in 2030 as 1,876,000 (1). After the 2012 Census in Sri Lanka we now know the figures of the PEW Forum was an underestimate and the Muslim population in Sri Lanka has been expanding in percentage as well as in numbers more than their estimates. The fact that the fertility of Muslims is higher than other races cannot be disputed and consequently the world will be dominated by Muslims in future though the time frame for that change can be disputed.
    4. I do not agree with Dr.Kalaichelvan’s claim “whether the women from rural Kilinochchi or rural Moneragala or rural Anuradhapura, they are all facing the same predicament of powerlessness: doctors and health service know what is best for them. Whatever the level of coercion applied in Kilinochchi is prevalent in the rural clinics in the Sinhala South as well.” There was not even a single report on coercion in birth control in rural Sinhala areas while the Kilinochchi incident is one of the several incidents reported in Tamil areas where I had visited personally and confirmed. Under these circumstances, comment by Dr.Kalaichelvan from UK “this was a case of medical malpractice and not part of an elaborate genocidal scheme operated by the Sri Lankan government to reduce the Tamil population in Sri Lanka, as propagandized by the Tamil nationalists” raises serious suspicions. In this juncture one need to consider the following facts before arriving at a conclusion: a) Essential medicines including antimalarials were disallowed to citizens living in areas not controlled by the government during the civil war for several years and there were increased deaths due to malaria at that time b) During 2008 and 2009 It was claimed that only 70,000 people were living in Vanni and provisions were sent only to cover that population. That resulted in severe malnutrition and deaths due to starvation leaving aside the disputed figure of deaths directly due to the last phase of the war. Finally truth came out when more than 285,000 came alive to be held in the forced detention camps for more than a year.
    5. I do agree with Dr.Kalaichelvan that husband’s consent is needed only for permanent sterilization. But here the women who went to the nutrition clinic wanted to discuss with their husbands before taking a decision when they were unexpectedly coerced to take the long term (5 years) contraceptive implants. They were however, compelled to take the implants without providing an opportunity to come back to the clinic after discussion with their husbands. In fact one woman informed us that her husband chased her away from home demanding that she could come home only after removing the implant.
    6. Historically Tamils had been practicing polygamy especially in post-war periods by marrying war widows and having children. They are unable to do the same now to recover the population lost in war because in 1907 they had agreed to the General Marriage Law instead of resorting to an own marriage law based on their culture like Muslims. It is the bounden duty of Tamil leaders and other human rights activists to find feasible solutions for the large number of war widows and half widows and make them contributing to recover the population loss due to war.
    Thank you

    Dr.Murali Vallipuranathan
    References:
    1. http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/jan/28/muslim-population-country-projection-2030

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      The legal and illegal abortions that have become rife in NE have not been considered. Whether Polygamy or Polyandry the rights of children for the rightful care of both parents must be upheld. The fundamental issue of 21 children for 10 parents has not been brought to the attention of the target audience.

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    It is an sensitive issue that was put in the back burner by even “advance women” due to issues of polygamy. When one should contemplate introducing the polygamy which may lead to all kind of exploitation, the legal standing for child welfare is more important than adult right and should not overlook. Not only an agency must be dedicated to monitor children’s welfare, parental care, education, health (mental and physical) but also their self-esteem and care of both parents must be addressed too.
    It is important to address polyandry as women have managed this culture in Mongolia and Nepal. Tamils had a matriarchal culture not so long ago even address the children after the mothers’ name!
    Palestinians quote the loss of foetuses of pregnant mother during war and also the chances of lost opportunities and add to the lives lost. We seemed to count dead bodies only for that matter.
    A learned person who came from Mullivaikaal lamented that Muslims are marrying our Tamil widows without offering any solution for their betterment of these forgotten living souls. Is it not better to have a husband, even as “second bed” to take care of existing children and raise more children as he/she desires. Has any Tamil organisation or marriage brokers thought of these women. Today also an unmarried pretty young woman from Kilinochchi who is mobile with artificial feet asking me to find her a match as she has no one to settle her with dowry. Who will come forward?
    Migrant fishermen had two families and still has families. Take for example VVT men had families in India and in Ceylon!!
    Population growth alone cannot sustain society. In fact over-growth of population of trading community is desirable while in agro-society in detrimental as can be witnessed in certain part of farming community among Muslims. It has lead to aggressive land take over even at the risk of harvests. As agro-society is vulnerable for land disputes flaring up in large scale conflicts/destruction, they castes/community tends to negotiate harmony in their business. But the population increase has dwindled the land allocation for the growing population, thus the middle-east excursions of paddy cultivators.
    Absentee partners and the new culture is not discussed.
    Do not deprive any women or men of their full livelihood.
    Most of all the children may not have any say here but their interest is paramount including foetuses.
    Population dynamics is a study of its own. Hope some experts shed some light on these matters.

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    No tobacco plantations in SL anymore!

    So no need of Tamils. MATGE! Ameen.

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    Dear Dr. Krishna Kalaichelvan,

    Forget about demographic projections. Growth in population has now been assessed as grossly inadequate to sustain the economic growth. There will be a National Family Policy in September 2014. The chair of the committee, when posed with the question, stated that “No Limit” should be the policy. If that is the case, production and use of contraceptives and sterilization need to be banned. “Kama Sutra” needs to be included in the curricula for demography, sociology and biology etc.

    Women’s Lib will be affected and patriarchy will dominate the society. TOR of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs will need a complete revision and rape may have to be removed from the penal code. fertile women will have a great opportunity to be in business as surrogate mothers.

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      be buddhist lay buddhist
      tantric is buddhist

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        Hon. Javi,

        Good to learn that you practice Tantric Sex. That may be the reason for the youthful aggression expressed in your comments.

        Best regards,

        The Professional

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    Krishna,

    Dr Vallipuranathan obviously envies the Muslims for their seemingly higher fertility. He is even envious of the Muslims who are allowed to practice polygamy. He advocates polygamy for the Tamil men. I wonder how well this will go down among the Tamil womenfolk in Jaffna.

    His mathematics are not too dissimilar to that of Gnanasara in making the absurd claim that Muslims will take over the world one day. He also knows by spreading rumours about Muslims taking over he is currying favour with Gota and co. You watch this space. He is bound to go higher in the Sri Lankan Health Administration.

    The minorities have a lot to gain by uniting than playing into the hands of Gota and BBS. That is exactly what Vallipuranathan is doing.

    Krishna, thanks for citing the reliable Pew Research Publication that debunks Vallipuranathan’s and BBS type hype that is purely based on the racially biased youtube video “Muslim Demographics’.

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    it is sad to read these things after all.

    Such social changes can be predicted in the aftermath of a war. If there is a tamil organisation that is NOT for eelamists and honetly for the life improval of Tamils in forme war zones i would like to support.

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    How could you say that Tamils are an endangered species? There are 2 million in Sri Lanka, and there are almost 70 million in Tamil Nadu (2 hour boat ride away).

    The reason for the increase of Muslims is, those were Hindu Tamils who were converted to Islam, that’s why most muslim’s first language is Tamil.

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    tribalism is the root cause of 30yr problem – how about projecting sri Lankan population in 20 -30 yrs and not Sinhala , muslim and tamil- hopefully everyone will forget their ethnic origin and remember only they are part of humanity. How idiotic to compare tamils with leopards or elephants- how about remembering all are part of humanity.

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    Why are women looking to marriage as a solution? Why are they not looking forward to careers of their own and becoming self supporting single mothers? Or adopting children if they cannot have them?

    It disheartens me that today we are reverting to the old mantra in tamil culture that a marriage is everything. I was fortunate in having a mother who told both her daughters that it wasnt necessary for us to get married. She is now 82 (divorced at 40) and tells me she is happy she can lead her own life and not have a husband who expects to be looked after. She has worked(in all kinds of roles, including housekeeping), faced a lot of problems with courage, and is financially independent.

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