20 September, 2019

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Unresolved Ethnic Divide Can Once Again Stall Development

By Jehan Perera

Jehan Perera

Jehan Perera

Addressing the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, President Mahinda Rajapaksa explained to the country’s business leaders what his government had achieved in the past nine years.  His government had eliminated the LTTE and created an environment in which business led development was possible.  In addition, the government had invested massively in infrastructure.  Government leaders frequently report on the rapid strides that the country is taking to achieve its development goals.  They are able to show concrete evidence in the form of visible assets that include new expressways and many greatly improved roads, the newly opened Independence Square shopping arcade, and the new metropolis of Hambantota.

But there is a problem with the government’s development.  This is its compartmentalization.  Some sectors of society are prospering. They are rich, articulate and at the cutting edge of progress.  But there are even larger sectors in the country, and of its people, that have been left out.  This is a recipe for inequity and injustice, and for polarization and bitterness as its fruit. An example would be the hill country where the Tamils of recent Indian origin, also known as estate Tamils live.  The towns populated by the estate Tamils are much like they always were.  They look like fifty years ago.  The gap between Hambantota and Hatton is even wider than the gap between Singapore and Sri Lanka.

The line rooms in which most of these people live was set up by the British when they ruled the country.  They established the line rooms to house the Tamil laborers they brought down from South India for the purpose.    The tragedy is that even today most of the estate Tamil population continues to live in line rooms. Those who were mortified when the displaced Tamil victims of the war in the North were put into welfare centres at the close of the war, would see a resemblance between the tin roof shelters of those refugee camps and the line rooms in the estates today.  But as they are hidden away in the midst of beautiful tea estates they do not excite comparable indignation either from the media or from oganisations in Sri Lanka and abroad who campaign for the rights of people.

Most Marginalised

Most of the land under tea cultivation is owned by the state.  On the other hand, most of the tea production comes from small holders who own the land.  This indicates that the old method of having big companies run big estates is not efficient or cost effective any more. The better way seems to be to have small holders who own their land and have an incentive to work hard for their own upliftment and thereby increase the country’s level of tea production and its foreign exchange reserves.  At the present time, due to the lower productivity on the big state-owned estate, the estate companies are only willing to pay Rs 480 per day to the estate labourers, which goes up to a higher rate of Rs 620 per day if they exceed a minimum requirement of days of work.  Few of them meet that minimum requirement, so they end up getting paid the lesser amount as their day rate.  This is hardly a living wage.

Except for those living near urban areas, estate workers are largely dependent on the estate’s management for their basic needs – housing, health, and education.   The estate population living closer to urban areas such as Hatton, Badulla, Kandy, Nawalapitiya, Nuwara Eliya, Gampola, Bandarawela and some of the small towns like Kottagala and Maskeliya are able to access regular government services which are of higher quality.   However, only a small number of students are able to benefit from the urban schools close to the estates that belong to the regular governmental system.  It is the same with regard to health services

According to a recent research study of the Institute for Policy Studies, people in Sri Lanka’s estate sector are one of the most marginalized groups in the country.  According to its findings, families working on estates are among the country’s poorest in terms of nutrition. About 30% of children under the age of five are underweight, nearly 1 in 3 babies have low birth weight, and one-third of women of reproductive age are malnourished. This is a serious issue as it leads to a possible ‘vicious cycle’. The report also points out that in the estate sector, the households’ socio-economic status is considerably lower than in the rural and urban sectors. Almost 61% of its households fall into the poorest category, while in the urban and rural sectors this was at 8% and 20% respectively.  Households’ poor socio-economic status affects the health and welfare of people in the estate sector adversely.

I had first hand experience of their poverty when I went to Hatton and interviewed several young students from the estate sector for a scholarship scheme donated by the Rotary Club of Carmatheon, Wales, who had gained admission to university.  Most of them came from families in which the parents took home no more than Rs 8 – 10,000 a month.  One showed me his mother’s monthly pay slip which showed a take home pay of Rs 8,500.  Although the total earnings were 13,000 there were deductions for EPF/ ETF and also for salary advances taken.  In addition, there was a Rs 5 charge for the pay slip itself, which indicates how careful the estate management is to extract the maximum from the worker.  In some cases I found that only one parent was working, as the other was no longer living or retired.  It was difficult to believe these families could make ends meet.

Main Cause

I took the opportunity to ask these young university students what they thought the main problem in the estate sector was.  Many of the students referred to the cost of living and the low incomes of their families that made it difficult for them to manage.  Some spoke of the difficulties of studying in a line room, with neighbours and disturbances all around them.  I had the good fortune to be accompanied by Dr A.S.Chandrabose, Senior Lecturer in Social Studies and involved in teaching the subjects of Economy of Sri Lanka and Comparative Economies.  He is also a scholar who has done much work on the Tamil people of recent Indian origin living in the estate sector.  It was his view, as an academic who has studied the estate sector over the years that the main problem of the people living within that sector was that they could not own their own land and their own house.

In an academic paper Dr Chandrabose has written that “nearly 89 percent of the people in Sri Lanka live in a single housing unit and people occupying slums or shanties has drastically reduced and constitutes less than 1 percent.  However, the national housing conditions do not exist in the state sector and around 56 percent of the estate workers are still living in line rooms which were constructed by the British in the early 19th century.”  According to government statistics presented in the Consumer Finance and Socio Economic Survey of 2003/04, 83 percent of urban families and 95 percent of rural families own their own homes, but in the estate sector it is only 22 who own their own homes.

The only hope of the poor people in the estate sector for their economic progress can only be that the benevolent eye of the government leadership will fall once more upon them, and will keep the promises made.  In his last election manifesto, Mahinda Chintana, President Mahinda Rajapaksa promised “One of my major goals is to make the plantation community a house owning one.  Accordingly, instead of living in line rooms, every plantation worker’s family will be a proud owner of a new home with basic amenities by the year 2015.”  As the coming year, 2015, is set to be an Election Year, there is every possibility of the government seeking once again to woo the support of the estate Tamil community.   The President’s budget speech for 2014 contained the promise of constructing housing complexes with 50,000 housing units to replace poor quality housing available in the estate sector.

The estate Tamil people I spoke to are still hopeful of the national leader who will look after their welfare, and of Hatton as much as Hambantota. It is important that President Rajapaksa seeks to make the estate Tamil people feel they are an integral part of the larger Sri Lankan nation to which he and his government are committed.  Unless the government is able to heal the ethnic and religious fissure in the country, the development process can become come unstuck due to unresolved ethnic conflict.  This has been the experience of the past and must not be repeated.

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  • 3
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    Jehan Perera –

    Given Below is the Mindset of Para-sinhala “Buddhist” Racists and Chuvanists.

    This is NOT Buddhism, It is Called Para-Sinhala -Mara-“Buddhism” Ideology. If you want peace. Thurn the “Sinhala Buddhists” into Agnostics or even Atheists and free them from Rebirth Myths. Then neither the Christians and Muslims will be able to do conversions.

    http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2014/08/03/no-mahavamsa-no-theravada-buddhism/

    NO MAHAVAMSA, NO THERAVADA BUDDHISM
    Posted on August 3rd, 2014

    Amarasiri Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    August 3rd, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Dear Prof. Nalin de Silva,

    RE: NO MAHAWANSA, NO THERAVEDA BUDDHISM
    Interesting hypothesis. However, there are lots of errors in your writing. Let me point out a few. Remember, whatever the Church or the ancients said about the Sun and the Earth, the facts support a rotating Earth going around the Sun. However, the church could not make the Sun go around the Earth, and apologized to Galileo, 350 years later.
    If you said, NO MAHAWANSA, NO SINHALA BUDDHISM, it would have been somewhat accurate.
    1. Theravāda is the oldest surviving branch of Buddhism.[
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theravada
    Origins
    “The name Theravāda comes from the ancestral Sthāvirīya, one of the early Buddhist schools, from which the Theravadins claim descent. After unsuccessfully trying to modify the Vinaya, a small group of “elderly members,” i.e. sthaviras, broke away from the majority Mahāsāṃghika during the Second Buddhist council, giving rise to the Sthavira sect.[3] According to its own accounts, the Theravāda school is fundamentally derived from the Vibhajjavāda (or “doctrine of analysis”) grouping[4] which was a division of the Sthāvirīya.”
    “Theravadin accounts of its own origins mention that it received the teachings that were agreed upon during the Third Buddhist Council under the patronage of the Indian Emperor Ashoka, around 250 BCE. These teachings were known as the Vibhajjavada.[5] The Vibhajjavādins in turn split into four groups: the Mahīśāsaka, Kāśyapīya, Dharmaguptaka, and the Tāmraparṇīya.”

    “The Theravāda is descended from the Tāmraparṇīya sect, which means “the Sri Lankan lineage.” In the 7th century CE, Chinese pilgrims Xuanzang and Yijing refer to the Buddhist schools in Sri Lanka asShàngzuòbù (Ch. 上座部), corresponding to the Sanskrit “Sthavira Nikāya” and the Pali “Thera Nikāya.”[b][c] The school has been using the name Theravāda for itself in a written form since at least the 4th century, when the term appears in the Dīpavaṁsa.[d]”

    2. So, the Theraveda Buddhism would have survived in India, whether or not, Lanka the Land of Native Veddah or Sinhala-Buddhism existed or not. The Tipitaka would have been written somewhere in India, instead of at Aluvihare Vihara or temple in Lanka.

    3. The Title “Mahawansa” or “Mahawanso” which means literally the “Genealogy of the Great” properly belongs only to the first section of the work, extending from 543 B.C.E to 301 C.E ( Before Common Era, or B.C. Before Christ, A.D. Anno Domini are commonly referred to , as a reference point. There is consensus[9] among modern scholars that the historical year of the birth of Jesus was around 6–4 Before Christ.).

    The Primary goal of Mahawansa was to record the genealogy of the Vijaya Invaders Dynasty. The others were called “Sulu-wanse” “lower race”

    4. You Say “My story of Sinhala history does not agree completely with the story in Mahavamsa as I believe that Hela people were Buddhists even before the arrival of Arhant Mahinda Thera.”
    This is incorrect, and your imagination only. The historical data does not support this assumption, including the claimed three visits of Buddha to Lanka and to Samanala Kanda or “ Adams Peak”.
    I was checking with Ceylon, an account of the Island by Sir James Emerson Tennent, The Fifth edition, Printed March 2, 1860, before the contamination of Mahawansa with Sinhala Buddhist nationalism and Chauvinism in the 20th Century. The information is from Tennett.
    5. Chapter II , The aboriginal inhabitants of Ceylon. Page 327.
    “ To the question as to what particular race the inhabitants of Ceylon at that time belonged , ands whence or at what period the island was originally peopled , the Buddhist Chronicles furnish no reply.”
    6. Page 329. “ Whatever momentary success may have attended the preaching of Buddha, no traces of his pious labors long survived him in Ceylon. The mass of its inhabitants were still aliens to his religion, when, on the day of his decease, B.C. 534, Wijayo, the discarded son of one of the petty sovereigns in the valley of Ganges, effected a landing with a handful of followers in the vicinity of the modern Puttalam”
    7.
    “There had been Arabs who were Muslims as well non Muslims who had come before the 13th Century but who were non aggressive in Sri Lanka and were involved in trade”

    This is partially correct. Before Islam, there were Arabs, Persians, Greeks, Phoenicians, Indians and Romans who had known the Island and used as a trading post and transshipment point. It was the Arabs and Persian who converted to Islam and spread o Tamil Nadu and Kerala and later arrivals from there.

    Reference: Tennent Chapters I, II, II, and V. Pages 549 to 643.

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      Again I say : Monk Mahanama was good……..it was ANAGARIKA DHARMAPALA who betrayed Sri Lanka and Buddhism!!!

      Otherwise, by now, Thamil tea-pluckers would have integrated with the local population, and everybody would have been Sinhala-Buddhists. Sinhala gene would have been further strengthened with the hard-working and hardy Thamil genes. Sinhala-Buddhists could also have been plucking tea by now, it would have been the most honorable of occupations.

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        ramona therese

        There isn’t much difference between Sinhala and Tamil gene. Both share M20 marker with their South Indian Tamil brethren.

        I wonder how the Tamils have become a hard working people whereas the Sinhala/Buddhists seem happy go lucky guys even if they are unemployed. Maybe their women folks are working as hard as possible in the medieval middle east kingdoms. The Sinhala/Buddhist can afford a relax life style.

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          Thamils seem more hardworking as per their Hindu religion which gets them to work hard in hierarchical fashion. About 90% are lower castes and untouchables, therefore making most of them hardworking. Buddhists, on the other hand followed for 2,500 years, the egalitarian precepts of the Buddha. The tranquility of the Island imprinted in them well-ordered lifestlyes of little stress.

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        ramona therese fernando,

        You say: “Again I say : Monk Mahanama was good……..it was ANAGARIKA DHARMAPALA who betrayed Sri Lanka and Buddhism!!! “

        1. Anagarika based his Sinhala Buddhist Racism and Chuvanism based on Monk Mahanama Buddhism.

        2. Now Prof. Nalin de Silva claims, contrary to Mahawamsa, the Yahoos and Naga, the so-called “Hela-people” were already Buddhist after the three visits of Buddha. Mahawansa talks about 3 visits, but says they were Yakoos and Naga , not Buddhists. So, Prof. Nalin de Silva is trying to reinvent history.

        http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2014/08/03/no-mahavamsa-no-theravada-buddhism/

        I wonder if “Prof” Nalin de Silva still believes the Sun goes around the Earth as the ancients and the church said. After all the sun rises from the east ans settles in the West.

        Reference:

        An account of the Island by Sir James Emerson Tennent, The Fifth edition, Printed March 2, 1860, before the contamination of Mahawansa with Sinhala Buddhist nationalism and Chauvinism in the 20th Century. The information is from Tennett.

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          ramona therese fernando

          “both Tamils and Sinhalese clusters were affiliated with Indian subcontinent populations than Vedda people who are believed to be the native population of the island of Sri Lanka.”

          The Vedda Tribe

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f89NuukY32U

          Tamil-speaking Veddas of Vaharai await war recovery support

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeFCuZwexRw

          Scientific DNA Support For Above

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24196378

          J Hum Genet. 2014 Jan;59(1):28-36. doi: 10.1038/jhg.2013.112. Epub 2013 Nov 7.

          Mitochondrial DNA history of Sri Lankan ethnic people: their relations within the island and with the Indian subcontinental populations.

          Ranaweera L1, Kaewsutthi S1, Win Tun A1, Boonyarit H1, Poolsuwan S2, Lertrit P1.
          Author information

          Abstract

          Located only a short distance off the southernmost shore of the Greater Indian subcontinent, the island of Sri Lanka has long been inhabited by various ethnic populations. Mainly comprising the Vedda, Sinhalese (Up- and Low-country) and Tamil (Sri Lankan and Indian); their history of settlements on the island and the biological relationships among them have remained obscure. It has been hypothesized that the Vedda was probably the earliest inhabitants of the area, followed by Sinhalese and Tamil from the Indian mainland. This study, in which 271 individuals, representing the Sri Lankan ethnic populations mentioned, were typed for their mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) hypervariable segment 1 (HVS-1) and part of hypervariable segment 2 (HVS-2), provides implications for their settlement history on the island. From the phylogenetic, principal coordinate and analysis of molecular variance results, the Vedda occupied a position separated from all other ethnic people of the island, who formed relatively close affiliations among themselves, suggesting a separate origin of the former. The haplotypes and analysis of molecular variance revealed that Vedda people’s mitochondrial sequences are more related to the Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamils’ than the Indian Tamils’ sequences. MtDNA haplogroup analysis revealed that several West Eurasian haplogroups as well as Indian-specific mtDNA clades were found amongst the Sri Lankan populations. Through a comparison with the mtDNA HVS-1 and part of HVS-2 of Indian database, both Tamils and Sinhalese clusters were affiliated with Indian subcontinent populations than Vedda people who are believed to be the native population of the island of Sri Lanka.

          PMID: 24196378 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

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          I am still learning Amarasiri…..still reading the articles.

          However, it doesn’t matter- those Helas, Nagas and Yakkas etc. Those are all ancient things. No Darwinian theories at that time to experiment upon and form personal theories according to one’s racist inclinations. All belonged to South Asian Vaddha-type gene pool.

          But with British like Olcott coming down with all his theories, that was when the Sinhalese mind became contorted. That is when our country became damned. Thankfully there’s DNA-testing nowadays to put such nonsense to rest.

          Buddhism was always well in Sri Lanka. It was implicitly part of the culture and heritage- Veddhas included. It never needed any revival as per Anagarika Dharmapala. It was an excuse for British such as Olcott, to come interfering in our land, and have a field day of racism. What pride and perverse satisfaction it must have been for him to influence the darkies with such divisions.

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            ramona therese fernando,

            “I am still learning Amarasiri…..still reading the articles.”

            Yes, all are still learning from the day we were born, without a religion. I try to be selective, on what I read.

            “But with British like Olcott coming down with all his theories, that was when the Sinhalese mind became contorted. That is when our country became damned. Thankfully there’s DNA-testing nowadays to put such nonsense to rest.’

            Some correction.
            Colonel Henry Steel Olcott (Sinhala: කර්නල් ශ්‍රිමත් හෙන්රි ස්ටීල් ඔල්කට්;2 August 1832 – 17 February 1907) was an American military officer, journalist, lawyer and the co-founder and first President of the Theosophical Society.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Steel_Olcott

            Olcott was the first well-known American of European ancestry to make a formal conversion to Buddhism. His subsequent actions as president of the Theosophical Society helped create a renaissance in the study of Buddhism. Olcott is considered a Buddhist modernist for his efforts in interpreting Buddhism through a Westernized lens.

            Olcott was a major revivalist of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and he is still honored in Sri Lanka for these efforts. Olcott has been called by Sri Lankans “one of the heroes in the struggle of our independence and a pioneer of the present religious, national and cultural revival”.

            Reading Sir James Emerson’s Translation of Mahawansa and its description before the contamination by Sinhala Buddhist Racism, Chauvinism and nationalism, will give you a picture that is closer to the truth than the crap Prof. Nalin de Silva Spills out.

            Sri Lanka’s Monks had slaves and indentured Serfs to work the land. One third of the fertile land was owned by the Monks as Temple Property. That was Veddah land. The Naga land and Yakoos land were Controlled by the Bengali-Orissa people , the so-called Sinhala. The Yakkos and Naga had to give free labor to the king foe construction projects , called Rajakariya. They were treated as low caste and lower people and there was very little mixing.It was like the Dutch and English. Yakoos, Nsahas were of South Indian Gene stock, but the Native Veddah were earlier arrivals. The monks retained the caste system. This was Sinhala Buddhism ans Sinhala Buddhist culture. Caste-Racism and Chauvinism of the Bengalis-Kalinga.

            When Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton,overturned the Ancients and the Church, they had to back off.

            Reference:
            An account of the Island by Sir James Emerson Tennent, The Fifth edition, Printed March 2, 1860, before the contamination of Mahawansa with Sinhala Buddhist nationalism and Chauvinism in the 20th Century. The information is from Tennett.

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              Upon my word! I am really learning now, Amarasiri. Thanks for the info.

              Pertaining to Sir James Emerson’s Translation of Mahawansa : Guess that is really what is written in the Mahawamsa. However, even if that Aryan-hierarchical system was in place, it was only there 2,500 years ago, and for about a few hundred years after that. Actually these kinds of chronicles are world over, and not only in Sri Lanka. But only in Sri Lanka has it got to become embarrassing.
              Truth is, after Vijaya, non-racial words of the Buddha would have ingrained into the people, and much more mixing would have taken place.

              2,500 years is too far a long time for any hegemony. In light of Dravidian kingly invasion time and time again, mixing must have been rampant. In reality of numbers of the Bengal-Orissa fathered people, their blood-line couldn’t have survived unless they mixed with the local Veddhas, Nagas and Yakkas. It was too improbable for Orissa-Bengali men to have come down to Sri Lanka with their women folk also. They would have mixed with the local women. Therefore if it was a ½ : ½ ratio of Aryan:Dravidian 2, 500 years ago, it is probably a ¼ : ¾ Aryan:Dravidian ratio as of 2014, for the Sinhala heartland.

              Nowadays, with genetic studies, the father’s father’s father bloodline doesn’t hold, although certain modern Sinhalese love to extol it for reasons of bolstering up their ego. For 23 chromosomes come from the male and 23 come from the female. But some Sinhalese claim that Vijaya and his men brought down their wives, but 2,500 years ago, that would have been almost impossibility, considering the rigours of sea and/or land travel all the way from North India (ok, one or two might have come down).

              But let’s assume it happened (some Sinhalese claim that they had flying machines to achieve this, and Vijaya and his 700 men brought down their wives to produce a pure-blooded race of Sinhalese…..indeed, many Sinhala archeologists are trying to prove the flying machines). Then if it was the kings and monks who retained the Aryan bloodline (monks do not count for they do not have wives, and any misconceived offspring were therefore minuscule in number), recent history tells us that the Kings of Kandy mixed with the South Indian Dravidian dynasty. That goes to show that this Mahavamsa mindset was never really in place by the time of King Narendra Sinha and the many kings before him. Sinhala-Lion-Race regarded Mahawamsa as a chronicle that belonged to ancient times that had no perceptions of reality by the time of King Narendra Sinha. Also if the people who worked on the lands were the Nagas and Yakkas, and no mixing took place by the kingly Aryans, then the modern day Goivigama clan is of the Nagas and Yakkas( oh!….is that why there are stories about the kings going down to the fields to work with the govias?…………hmmm, anyway, this means that Aryan-genes got further watered down).

              However, however,……sigh……sigh….we do see in this present era that the Southern Kingdom is trying to distance itself from the Kandyan kingdom, for some reason (isn’t there something in the Mahawamsa that can show that Aryan kings, after landing on the coast went only to Kandy or something?). It is therefore imperative that UN-mandated DNA testing will confirm this, and help the Lion Race people get out of the Mahawamsa mindset that is crippling our country, and keeping many the Lion-Race people mired down in poverty and the inability to progress in modern civilization…..unless they establish themselves in the Russia-China axis of non-involvement in racial affairs. Someone told me that in Lankan Parliament, ministers from different kingdoms keep hurling Mahavamsa racial slurs at each other.

              (As per terms of building of structures, it was the Dravidians who had the grasp on these things as regards to the Indus civilization. The Dravidian Indus civilization even had sewer systems in place).

              Yes it was Olcott and such persons who egged on Anagarika to instill and enact the 2,500 year old document into modern-day reality and from 150 years ago, these things have been embarrassingly trying to re-emerge again, if not already re-emerged.

              Solution : UN-Mandated DNA testing will put to rest forever the Kuveni curse on Sri Lanka!!!

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    Whose development?

    The country developed very well during the war.

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    Jehan Perera,

    We should be grateful that you brought up the plight of Tamils working in the estates.

    They are working virtually like slaves, and are exploited by the capitalists, and the parties of their people.

    In the mean time the racist state of Sri Lanka does not care for their well being.

    Mano Ganeshan and his party are trying their best to get them uplifted through education and employment.

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    Jehan Perera:

    Can you name some western developed countries, which are made up of immigrants, developed based on what you say. In those countries the European descendants of Christians are the majority and the decision makers. But, others are allowed to live and work for their living.

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    Estate Tamils are a neglected lot. I think the present leader Thondaman has failed to take any constructive action other than enjoying the plums of power.

  • 0
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    It would open the eyes of all concerned if someone was to reveal the No.
    of Line rooms, District-wise with the corresponding No. of families at
    date. I wonder if the so-called Estate Trade Unions, living off the
    monthly subs. deducted from members pay and remitted to them regularly,
    will be able to disclose any such Numbers?

    The 50,000 units is OK IF and WHEN THE MONEY is available!

  • 0
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    dr, thanks for bringing out the plight of the most disadvantaged community in SL. both the colonial and independent srilankan governments did not promote them and they remain as plantation workers for more than 18 decades without that much of social mobility. their mobility was to shift to urban areas as shop and domestic workers. they are disadvantaged in terms of education, health, government employment and every social indicators.
    out of one million govt. workers only a hand full are from this community.fortunately because of tamil medium education there a good number of teachers. except two there were none in the top govt. bureacracy. those two are also retired. out of 5000 university academic staff how many are from this community? after 70 years of university history how many were able to reach the highest echelons of university? out of 90 thousand university undergraduates only about 400 (?)are from this community. dr, do you know the free education scheme established to promote the education of the disadvantaged groups in SL did not benefit this particular community. Dr.chandrabhose will give more details on this subject.
    finally i wish to say that there wont’ be any development in our country until this community is given its due for contributing towards its growth through their labour and sufferings. british, local planters. government, nonplantation people, traders all exploited them and they continue with life below poverty line.more than 700000 were repatriated to india and around 100000 went to the north. the community became disintegrated. in a way they are the most mobile community in SL.
    there was a 10 year plan drafted by the govt. for the benefit of this community. i do not what happened to that report.

    -sundaram

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    The so called representatives like for instance Thondaman do not raise their voices regarding the pathetic state of the up country population and yet these people continue to elect these morons. to the parliament at every election. These representatives prefer to keep these people in abject poverty so that they do not rise up against them. It is a sad situation.

  • 0
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    dr, thanks for bringing out the plight of the most disadvantaged community in SL. both the colonial and independent srilankan governments did not promote them and they remain as plantation workers for more than 18 decades without that much of social mobility. their mobility was to shift to urban areas as shop and domestic workers. they are disadvantaged in terms of education, health, government employment and every social indicators.
    out of one million govt. workers only a hand full are from this community.fortunately because of tamil medium education there a good number of teachers. except two there were none in the top govt. bureacracy. those two are also retired. out of 5000 university academic staff how many are from this community? after 70 years of university history how many were able to reach the highest echelons of university? out of 90 thousand university undergraduates only about 400 (?)are from this community. dr, do you know the free education scheme established to promote the education of the disadvantaged groups in SL did not benefit this particular community. Dr.chandrabhose will give more details on this subject.
    finally i wish to say that there wont’ be any development in our country until this community is given its due for contributing towards its growth through their labour and sufferings. british, local planters. government, nonplantation people, traders all exploited them and they continue with life below poverty line.more than 700000 were repatriated to india and around 100000 went to the north. the community became disintegrated. in a way they are the most mobile community in SL.
    there was a 10 year plan drafted by the govt. for the benefit of this community. i do not know what happened to that report.

    -sundaram

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    ”Few of them meet that minimum requirement”

    How about changing the ”minimum requirement” if only few of them can meet it?

    Trade Unions countrywide should press for it.

    You may start a petition online and many will give their signatures.

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    ”visible assets that include new expressways and many greatly improved roads”
    Is it on this website we read that some parts of the Vanni have got 6-lane roadway when people are hard up because of the economic activities of the army? Is Basil Rajapakse who still holds the reins of Presidential Task Force for Northern Development with the elected Northern Provincial Council remining powerless unleashing unsustainable development on the North?

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    Are there any Estate Tamils in the Management Team of the TNA?.

    Aren’t the TNA the sole representatives of the Srilanka Tamil population according to Ms Pillai, Messers Cameron and Harper who of course now look after the ex SL Tamils?

    Did these Western leaders give any Protection or Economic Visas to the Estate Tamils?.

    If they did, can Dr Perera through his connections find out how many and where they are?.

    Do the Sinhala Buddhist own the companies which run these Tea and Rubber plantations?.

    100 Km along the Southern Highway on both sides, are land marked with MacWoods or some other Colonial name boards..

    Will Cameron allow these land to be taken over and given to the poor Sinhala Buddhists and poor Estate Tamils?.

    But they are demanding the Government to give the public land in the North to the Vellalas who live in Wellawatta..

    How much is that going to help these ever so poor Estate Tamils, who have been toiling along all their lives.

    Even the few kids who go to Uni nowadays from the Estate labour families, are thanking the present government for providing the schooling facilities in those areas which enable them to get an education and breakaway from the poverty cycle.

    NGOs who visit them only advise them on safe sex and encourage them to join protests.

    At least Dr Jehan has done a mini Poll.

    It is about time Dr Jehans in Colombo take this advice and suggestions to their new mates in the Rainbow Lot, and ask them to form a policy framework to improve these poor Dalits, whom Vellalas never liked and will never accept as equals.

    If anyone doesn’t agree, I will get my elders to tell you how the Kallathonies were given the cold shoulder by the TNA’s uncles and dads.

    And apparently it was more than half a century ago.And nothing has changed.

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      K.A Sumanasekera, leela, Lorenzo et al. and Avtars,

      Why is that Amarasiri causing Indigestion and constipation at Lankaweb.com

      CT has no constipation with K.A Sumanasekera, leela, Lorenzo et al ans Avtars.

      Reminds me of the Catholic Church with Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler. They gave constipation to the Church.

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