17 April, 2024


What After BBS? CBS – Chaiva Bala Senai?

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof.  S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Representation for the Low-Castes

Former CM, Annamalai Varadaraja Perumal, asserted at a recent seminar that Non-Vellalas have risen from 40% to 60% (with 35% Low-Castes, LCs) while their representation remains weak.

This Vellala predominance is maintained through the 25% non-Vellala, non-LCs – Kovias (Household Servants), Chivias (Palanquin Bearers), Portuguese-mixed pinkish Kaikulas (Weavers) et al., and closet LCs, besides marginal Vellalas – from the Islands (where the Portuguese lived) and Jungles (where Palla agricultural labourers rebrand themselves), and Hindu reconverts from Christianity.

Considered “clean” but low, instead of defending fellow-sufferers, these marginals ingratiate themselves to consolidate their status. They all have origin myths claiming high status but the test is in whether Vellalas would marry them. Marginals aspiring for upward mobility adopt Vellala lifestyles like vegetarianism. A Dhoby-caste defeated MP made enough for a large SUV and driver who drives up to his building, comes around and, bowing, opens the door for him. Reconverts campaign against Christians to prove their Hinduness.

The Low-Caste in Jaffna

N. Tamilalahan (All Ceylon People’s Maha Sabai), says Chaiva virulence is unshakeable. The 38-member Northern Provincial Council has only 2 LCs, both Pallas, and perhaps a third closet LC. All MPs are high-caste. Additional GA Mullaitivu (Ilavalai Pallan) has been denied a GA post while 5 of his seniority are GAs. Of the 15 AGA divisions, only Changanai got an LC AGA (that too only recently). Two new female Paraiya teachers posted to Chunnakam Nageswary Vidyalayam were rejected by the principal and reposted. An Ambatti (Barber girl) in Nelliady was elected head prefect but the teachers objected. She received justice going to the HRC. When the President visited IDPs for Pongal, he was not briefed that those in camps for 25 years are all LCs – the key to any solution.


With declining population, schools serving LCs are shut down and the children shifted to places where they cannot dominate. Officials who shut Nallur Ananda Vidyalayam citing lack of money, constructed air-conditioned offices there for themselves, says M. Vidyananthanesan, Kachcheri Statistician.

Caste Abolitionists Earning Wrath

My grandfather, the Rev. Canon Samuel Sangarapillai Somasundaram, BA, was in line to be the Chief Trustee of the Maviddapuram Kandasamy Temple after his brother Viswanatha Mudaliyarpillai until he converted and became an Anglican priest and Dean of St. John’s. Anglican priest V.P. Thanedra (Those who Seeded Social Change, Jaffna, 2012, in Tamil) records Somasundaram’s efforts in abolishing caste and holding adult night-schools in English for the LCs. His assistants were Miss. Muriel Hutchins, BA Oxford (First Class), CMS, and Dr. Miss. Evangeline Muththammah

Thillayambalam, PhD Columbia. They brought literacy to Thanendra’s community in Ariyalai. They cooked and ate with them. Soon commensality extended to those outside the school. Nallur St. James’ Church where Somasundaram was Vicar paid. The horrified elite objected and shut down the night-school. However, the dam had burst. St. John’s and Chundikuli helped Paraiyas produce diplomats, SLAS officers, bank managers and whatnot. Ariyalai’s Chivias too advanced with them. Younger members asked me to help advertise Paraiya achievements through a website but have faced objections: “Do you want to tell the world who we are?” When Devanesan Nesiah, another Somasundaram grandson, nominated a Paraiya to a big post, he declined: “I am functioning well where I am. If promoted, I will have to leave Jaffna.”

E.M. Thillayambalam

E.M. Thillayambalam

Many Tamils have upheld inclusivity, but the people who matter are making Jaffna a Hindu-Saivite preserve, the Chaiva Bala Senai, Bodu Bala Sena’s counterpart:

  • The Chief Minister begins meetings praying in Sanskrit, wasting non-believers’ time. He, says Muttukrishna Sarvananthan, follows the late “Swami” Premananda, convicted of raping and murdering his disciples and, in 2015, wrote to Narendra Modi pleading for Premananda’s co-convicts.
  • VC P. Balasundarampillai (pinkish Theevu Vellalan), TNA nominee to the Delimitation Committee, argues that Nallur must be annexed to the Jaffna electorate which is a Karaiyar (independent fisher-folk) preserve. Unless Nallur is annexed, Jaffna with the Muslims banished, is likely to return a Karaiyan, a Vellala nightmare. Balasundarampillai’s ostensible object: Nallur Temple at the heart of Jaffna.
  • S. Anpuraasa, a Paraiya nephew of Late S.T.N. Nagaratnam who agitated for Maviddapuram Temple Entry, says Ward 3 in Chunnakam will normally return a Paraiya, but Balasundarampillai &Co have delimited that into 2 others to deny Paraiyas representation.
  • Arular (EROS, M.I.A.’s father) on 09.01.2016 promoted his Global Sustainability Institute at Nallur Baghavan Restaurant by the Temple. VC S. Mohanadas (Chiviya), chairing, claimed that the seminar being by Nallur Temple augured well! Arular wants no western medicine, women at home looking after the children, and LCs bound to the land to sustain traditional production.  The next speaker, Prof. K. Kandasamy (Poonari Jungle Vellalan), promised that the university would do all it can to support – no wonder that at a Jaffna University interview, Kandasamy joining forces with caste-fanatic Dean R. Kumaravadivel grilled my wife on why she took leave to have her 5 babies. At seminar opening, Mohanadas announced “as our custom” we will light the traditional lamp. Muruhan’s cockerel lamp had to be lit, daubing Holy Ash on ourselves.
  • Hutchins 1Around 2002, Balasundarampillai advertised the posts of Professor Electrical/Electronic/IT and Civil. I was the only applicant. He promptly cancelled the advertisement, saying they need a civil engineer to build buildings and advertised Civil! Nobody applied. The UGC ruled it unlawful to advertise and then suppress that advertisement after an application is received.
  • A subsequent advertisement for Senior Lecturer in civil elicited only one applicant, Dr. Sahayan, a Christian. He was rejected. Presumably fearing that Sahayan would apply for civil and I for electrical, both posts were illegally filled recently without advertisement.
  • Dr. Charles Sarvan (English Special) volunteered his services. The university where Balasundarampillai’s letter to the Japanese embassy was checked by the embassy for authenticity because of its horrible English, did not respond. Vasuki Rajasingam (Peradeniya English first class, Rajani Tiranagama’s sister) was denied an appointment.
  • D. Ambalavanar, FRCS, a Christian, is deemed unqualified. Previously a Dr. Gunanandan with the same qualifications was appointed.
  • Complaints on recruitment-malpractices documented by the Science Teachers’ Association have been dismissed as a Christian Conspiracy by the tenuously orthodox VC with Christian relations and a father whose mistress held his funeral. The UGC Chairman has been repeating her anti-Christian tirades. Valampuri newspaper’s columns too. Editor N. Vijeyasundaram (Theevu Vellalan) at a university function publicly declared Christians out of place and must reconvert.
  • A university exhibition for schoolchildren under VC Shanmugalingam (Palaly Vellalan with Kaikula admixture) praised Navalar for blunting Christian influence. School texts falsely claim that Navalar translated the Bible and that C.W. Thamotharampillai who received infant baptism, was a Hindu pretending to be a Christian for benefits.
  • When Dushyanthi Hoole applied for an advertised Senior Lecturer post in her area, Mohanadas rejected it saying the vacancy was in another area. Recently she passed the tough external professorial reviewers for research and national development, but was failed on the easy teaching experience by the internal panel under Kandasamy marking her US professorial experience at zero.
  • When I was being considered for VC in 2011, the Clough family’s Dr. Mrs. Kumar Ponnambalam campaigned at the UGC untruthfully claiming the Ramanathan Trust required the VC to be Hindu. A physician says that the CM and M. Kathirkamanathan (Theevu Vellalan, President, Tamil Sangam and Secretary Ceylon Hindu Congress under pinkish Neelakandan whose child married into Kaikulas, making Neelakandan an unlikely Vellala) refused to sign a letter asking for my appointment as VC. They cannot as Hindus support a Christian, they said.
  • I fled terror on leave while VC in 2006. Oru Paper (UK-Canada) editorialized that a Christian cannot be allowed to walk on campus because there is a Hindu temple. A Canadian newspaper claimed I had murdered our son whom we lost in 1991.
  • Kumaravadivel by UGC letter dated 02.06.2006 was “appointed to carry on the duties of the office of the Vice-Chancellor.” He had a seal ready, pretending he was “Acting Vice Chancellor.” The university lists him among the past VCs but not me. On 02.02.2016, the University Services Appeals Board ordered that I be listed as VC and paid.
  • Dean-Science Srisatkunarajah (Non-Vellalan) forces his staff to watch weekly his Guru Maharaj’s videos during work-hours. He is in charge of moving the university entrance to face the Temple, and give the university a Hindu look.

So on it goes: Kovias, Theevaar, Kaattu Vellalas, Kaikulas and reconverts proving their caste, serving as Vellala tools of oppression. If Tamils are serious about devolution, all of us must have a place – not just CBS types.

Good Saivites must take a stand – does this behavior reflect your values?

*S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole, Christian Outcaste

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Latest comments

  • 2

    See the article in CT today on Jaffna University imposing a dress code. This lady VC implemented the code at the gates preventing an eminent person from entering in shorts. But when the heat came pprotesting discrimination, she denied having anything to do with it and left the Dean of Arts holding the bag.

    This VC cannot be trusted. After all Dean Arts Gnakumaran is the one who tried to save the VC’s friend Dr. Darshanan from sexual harassment charges. Then she undercut Gnanakumaran who was forced to withdraw his memo on the dress code and saved her skin

    • 1

      Kindly check your facts.
      She put a stop to it.
      The Council has endorsed the decision I am told by a feminist source.

    • 0


      What flight of fantasy!
      You can give JK Rowling a good run for her money.

  • 0

    There is no Anthony without Cleopatra and as such there is no ……without Mary!

    • 0


      In a nursery rhyme, Mary also had a little lamb!


  • 0

    Let me mention with pride that Miss Hutchins came to Sri Lanka as a teacher to Chundikuli Girls’ College and then headed Kopay Christian College.

    Dr. Miss Thillayambalam with her Columbia PhD was our principal.

    I am a very proud old girl. They not only taught us but also changed us and the world around us for the better.

    They saw our good side and our bad side which all societies have. In a poem Miss Hutchins says she came to Ceylon with visions of serving in jungles with elephants and leopards, and was pleasantly surprised at our high level of civilisation.

    • 1

      Chundikuli Old Girl

      ” Miss Hutchins says she came to Ceylon with visions of serving in jungles with elephants and leopards, and was pleasantly surprised at our high level of civilisation.”

      You mean the Aryan Sinhala/Buddhist civilisation?

    • 1

      Thank you, Chundikuli Old Girl. A nice story from my mother, also an old girl of Chundikuli Girls’ College (CGC), about Dr. Miss. Thillayambalam.

      There was in Jaffna one Richards, an eccentric but immensely inventive and lovable old man, who enjoyed entertaining St. John’s boys and Chundikuli girls with his jokes (all clean). It was said that he was a medical college dropout. He was always in a cream colored cotton business suit.

      Richards was habitually on the CGC campus with a bunch of girls around him laughing at his jokes as he rolled them off one after another. Dr. Miss Thillayambalam thought this unacceptable and rather sternly told him, “Mr. Richards, you not to step into this school again.” Richards was very upset and heartbroken, and went off apologetically promising to do as instructed.

      Later that morning Dr. Miss Thillayambalam was disturbed by a constant ringing of a bicycle bell. She came out of her office to find out the cause of the commotion.

      There was Mr. Richards on a bicycle going around in circles repeating, “Dr. Miss Thillayambalam, Dr. Miss Thillayambalam, I am not stepping into your school.”

      The highly educated woman that she was, Dr. Thillayamblam saw the joke immediately and was moved. All was forgiven. Richards became a fixture of the school once again.

  • 1

    The Rev. Canon Somasundaram looks like a chaamiyar. His son taught us. We were told that Canon lived an ascetic’s life in a wood house behind the Church house in Nallur and sang Christian Thevarams at 4 o clock in the morning and kept the hours.So I attended his Anniversary talk. Here is a quote I found online of one of the talks:

    “D.T.Niles in his tribute spoke of the Canon as a witness to both God’s immanence and His transcendence. Miss.M.V.Hutchins referred to him as a person of uncompromising integrity, to whom his duty to God came first and as one who cared nothing for convention. Kulandran echoing what Niles had first said wrote, “He has a right to be considered not merely the greatest figure in our history during this century, but perhaps the greatest during the last 150 years. The response he evoked was “Awe”. Bishop Lakshman Wickremasinghe once said, “He was the nearest approach to a saint.” Kulandran prefers the description “holy man” denoting strength and firmness of character and utter dedication to God. H.E.R.Goonawardene reflecting on his period as Principal of Christian College, Kotte, calls him “God’s Good Man.”

    No wonder he started a night school to help those denied a basic education because of society’s blindness.

    Sad even in his own Anglican Church such men are now history!

  • 1

    Kindly do not let your imagination fly out of control.
    Car chases of trains are Tamil movie stuff.

    There was no car chase. It was found by the ticket checker.
    The wife well knew Rajadurai’s travelling with the sister.

    Do not stereotype Tamil women. Batticaloa Tamils had a less suspicious mind than their Northern counterparts.

    Remember the story about Karnan playing dice with Duryodhan’s wife Bhanumathi?
    Bhanumathi was playing dice with Karna. She got up half way as the husband entered the hall. Karnan thought that she was disrupting the game as she was losing and pulled her by the ornament on her waist. Pearls got unstrung and fell on the floor. Duryodhan casually responded ” Shall I gather them or string them?”
    This too is ancient Indian culture.

  • 0

    I fully endorse your stand.
    My comment, however, was about a very personal remark about his private life.

    There are other Hindus in the judiciary who deeply believe in god-men, black magic and astrology. That is not my concern. That I guess is their “Hindu belief”.

    There is nothing wrong with his appearing as a character witness or certifying miracles as long as it was only as a witness. (A good Christian Professor of Physics in Sri Lanka certified ‘miracles’ that violated the laws of physics. To me it was only funny.)
    Anyone can be a character witness, and his being a judge was irrelevant to the merits of case. That was his personal view. Would one blame him for doing it for a close relative. People may have if he had refused.

    Where he erred in his writing to “the Indian Prime Minister asking for release of convicts” was not in forwarding the plea of relatives of the convicts, but in his forwarding remark.
    He used official stationery and added a remark that questioned the legitimacy of the trial. If he was an Indian national he could have been hauled up before a court for “contempt of court” the way Arundathy Roy was for what was in my view a fair comment on the injustice in refusing bail to Prof GN Saibaba, a severely disabled person.

    Thee are other instances of abuse of privilege by CVW as Chief Minister on which one could challenge him. But, before commenting on any, let us be sure that he has violated the law of the land or the professional code of ethics.

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