The Geopolitical Matrix of Sri Lanka’s Conflict

Image courtesy South Asia Monitor

I am appreciative of the fact that this is a seminar on geopolitics. I think geopolitics has been underestimated; perhaps overestimated earlier and then there was a reaction, the pendulum swung too far in the other direction. I am not a geopolitical determinist. I do not believe that geography is destiny. If we look at the case of Cuba for instance, it is very clearly a dramatic rupture from any notion of geopolitical determinism. However, if we have a notion of long term history as recommended by Braudel, Marc Bloch and Lucien Febvre, then we understand the importance of place. We are materially and psychologically constituted at least in part by where we are. Though I would not say that who we are is determined in a monocausal sense by where we are, it is certainly one of the decisive and perhaps one of the determinant factors.

So Sri Lanka, as most of us know is an island and this itself is a constitutive factor because Sri Lanka is shaped by the fact that it is embedded in the sea. It has no land borders, and this is important.

In the tourist books, in the journal articles, we would say Sri Lanka is that island off the tip of India. That would be the most obvious introduction, the shortest introduction to Sri Lanka. But that again is a fundamental factor in a geopolitical sense, in understanding the history and the trajectory of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has been defined by India but it has also defined itself, demarcated itself, as against India. So it is this dialectical relationship with India that has been the most important single geopolitical component in Sri Lanka’s evolution.

Now, it is usually the case that we tend to forget the specificities, the concreteness of a society, a nation, and we tend to put them in categories -which is necessary- but without due reference to their concrete specificities. However, there is also the other and opposite phenomenon, and this is true certainly of Sri Lanka but it is also true of the Unites States of America. Specificities are often confused for, or give rise to, notions of exceptionalism and of manifest destinies. It is true of Sri Lanka as well.

If we use the notion of the very long term of blocks of several thousand years of history which historians like William McNeill, theorists like Gunder Frank, Giovanni Arrighi and Immanuel Wallerstein have been using, then we would see that to understand Sri Lanka today you perhaps have to go back to an early version of the struggle between Catholicism and Protestantism, the struggle between Hinduism –the Brahminic concept- and Buddhism which did not unlike in the case of the Protestant reformation, result in major clash of arms as such. But there was a Counter-Reformation. I say Counter-Reformation because Buddhism had no notion of and even made a critique of the notion of caste, the sociological hierarchy into which one is born, which the Brahmanic or Hindu faith placed great emphasis on. In India after the zenith of the Emperor Ashoka, who was a Buddhist, there was a counter-reformation, and Buddhism itself was pushed back, pushed downwards to the South. It also migrated to the North and to the East; that is: Nepal, Tibet, China, the Far East and Japan. But in the South there was only one place that it could go and that was Lanka, or Sri Lanka.

So the successful counter-reformation or counter-revolution -ideological, sociological, and not violent in terms of well-known great wars (this is of course interesting) – pushed Buddhism to this little island to the South of India. And there, this philosophy was retained, one might even say contained, because unlike to the North of the subcontinent where there was the Silk Route, this was an island. Buddhism either converged or became an over-lay, on an ethnic community, the Sinhalese, who may have been auto-centrically evolved or who may have come from India -this is open to debate.

The Sinhalese constitute the arithmetical majority of the island, roughly two thirds, living in two thirds of the island. Three factors converged: ethnicity, language (which is Sinhala) and the religion of Buddhism. Buddhism appraised itself as a philosophy rather than a religion, but when it was absorbed and retained by this island it naturally took the sociological coloration and configuration of the pre-existing society. And one might even say that it shifted from a cerebral philosophy to a religion. So you had an amalgam of a religion that no longer dominated or was even no longer existent in the vast landmass of the Indian subcontinent and had no co-religionists anywhere around. In any case there were no neighbors; this is an island with only one neighbor, the Maldives, and nothing to the South of Sri Lanka. The next constellation of Buddhism was far away in what you would know as Indo-China, the Far East (Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar). So a religion on an island, adhered to by an ethno-linguistic community which had no co-ethnics or co-religionists. And the language itself, which had some affinities with one or two other languages in the area but not many, is not spoken by a large collective anywhere else in the world. Though for a language that was isolated in the island it developed considerably. It did not remain an underdeveloped language, and it is said that at least one of the texts is among the oldest pieces of history writing: the Mahavansa. Thus the combination of language, religion and ethnicity became a very strong amalgam.

In a strange inversion the domestic geopolitics of the island of Sri Lanka are the reverse, a camera obscura, an upside down image of its giant neighbor India. In India the Southern most part, contains Tamil Nadu: 70 million people who speak the Tamil language, who consider themselves of the Tamil ethnicity and who are for the most part Hindu. On the island of Sri Lanka, which is separated from India by a very thin strip of water, it is exactly the opposite. It is not the Southern tip but the Northern tip that is pre-eminently Tamil. So, one third, the top of the island, is predominantly Tamil, the Southern two thirds is predominantly Sinhala.

This domestic geopolitical configuration has given rise to a certain narrative. Now I would not call it a history because I do not know whether we are talking about objective facts all the time. At least from Nietzsche we know that interpretation is as important and perhaps more important than fact –though that itself is an interpretation. The interpretation or the pre-eminent narrative, the hegemonic narrative of the history of the island has been one of a southward push from South India by the Tamil kings invading the island and leaving behind a residue from ancient times; of constant waves pushing southward and the Sinhalese pushing back northwards and attempting to rule the entire island. So this is partly a story of dual power, of shifting balances in a bipolar situation and much longer periods of uni-polar hegemony. We can see how the geopolitical configuration gives rise to a kind of a domestic geostrategic narrative of competing centers; of bipolarity and the attempt of one pole in the North to be auto-centric, and the other in the South, which considers that it has no strategic ‘defense in depth’ because it is a small island, to attempt constantly to prevail, to re-impose itself in a project of unification or reunification, reconquista.

The point I made earlier about specificity and exceptionalism comes in at this point. There are more than two major communities in Sri Lanka. In terms of religions you have the Buddhists, the Hindus, the Christians -which is the only religion that has both Sinhalese and Tamils (about 7%) as adherents- and you have Islam, the Muslim community. So, four religions, but two major ethno-lingual communities. Each of these two ethno-linguistic communities has a specific, distinctive kind of a collective psyche where both the Tamils and the Sinhalese consider themselves at one and the same time a minority and a majority. The Tamils feel that they are a minority on the island and therefore discriminated against as a minority and oppose that discrimination, but at the same time they see themselves as a majority because there are 70 millions co-ethnics across the water and of course another million in the Diaspora including in the West. This is possibly why the Tamil armed movements and even the unarmed Tamil Nationalist parliamentary parties will not accept the kind of solution that Northern Ireland’s Catholics, including the Sinn Fein, have accepted. This strange duality is true also for the Sinhalese. The Sinhalese feel that they are the majority on the island and therefore they deserve a certain special status, but this is reinforced by the sense of being a minority in the sub-region and in the larger region and in the global space. So there is a striving to assert itself as a majority but also to defend itself as a minority. And the fact that Buddhism in what is considered in a pure or more rigorous form (Theravada) is the most predominant faith among the Sinhalese, gives them a sense of exceptionalism. They are defending, protecting Buddhism in the area in which Buddhism hardly exists, and a Buddhism which they feel is purer than the variant of the doctrine that you find in Japan or China. If you look at it in terms of the history of Christianity, the parallel is the kind of Catholicism that prevailed on the Iberian Peninsula in Portugal and Spain until a few decades ago, a somewhat rigid orthodoxy. This is part of the matrix of conflict.

I would embed the contemporary violence and history in this matrix that I have set out. It is in this matrix that the war took place, the war of 30 years. We have been an independent State for 64 years and a little under half of this has been in a situation of war. Interestingly these wars have not only been between North and South or the two power centers which are preponderantly Sinhalese and Tamils. There have also been wars, anti-systemic wars, waged by an ultra-left insurgent movement, two insurrections in the South of Sri Lanka. Even in the North while the secessionist war was going on, there was a struggle between the left of the Tamil movement which was drastically weakened and the ultra-nationalist right of the Tamil movement represented by the Tamil Tigers. Now we have testimonies from former founder members of the Tigers, testimonies which say that at the beginning of the movement, the leader of the Tigers, Prabhakaran, was already an admirer of Adolf Hitler and that Mein Kampf had been translated and that even the LTTE’s salute was the fascist salute. As a political scientist, I note that in the 1920s and 30s you had in some parts of Central and Eastern Europe, movements that were ethno-nationalist but also of a fascist character- but this is another discussion all together.

The two power centers on the island, almost naturally, instinctively, tried to play the larger geopolitics of reaching out to allies, in the region and outside the region, over the past thirty years. These attempts of alliance and of blocs of power balancing underwent drastic, radical recomposition. It was not the same set of alliances that prevailed during the period of thirty years. Most dramatic is the role of India, which, because of Tamil Nadu, was originally supportive not of the project of an independent Tamil country but of the armed movement as a kind of counterweight to the central government in Sri Lanka, the power centre in Colombo. For one phase of the war, from the late ’70s through the ’80s, Delhi was dragged in by Tamil Nadu. The role that Tamil Nadu played and still plays is rather like the role of Miami in the USA, in relation to Cuba.

There was a dramatic turning point, when the grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, used coercive diplomacy but played a kind of Bonapartist role and got the Sinhalese government to sign a peace accord which provided provincial autonomy to the Tamil majority areas and sent a peace keeping force of 70 000 Indian troops to police this ceasefire. Now, dramatic as that was, what was more dramatic and illustrative of the specificities of the Tamil ultra-nationalist movement and of the Tamil Tigers, was that the Tigers, far from supporting this reform and making it work and perhaps playing a longer term game of greater autonomy, instead fought a war against the Indian peace-keeping forces, and after the peace-keeping forces were withdrawn not least because of the Tamil Nadu politics, assassinated Rajiv Gandhi by suicide bomber, on the soil of Tamil Nadu, exactly 21 years ago. That caused a dramatic shift in all these alliances, and from that point on, it was not that there was a convergence or an open alliance between Colombo and Delhi but there was a steady rapprochement. When the decisive stage of the war arrived three years ago, the enormous -and now, stronger than ever- geopolitical weight of India was on the side of the Sri Lankan State in determining the final outcome.

From the point of view of geopolitics, it is also interesting that not only India but also China supported the Sri Lankan State in the final phases of the war. This is interesting because as we know the relationship between India and China in Asia is not devoid of an element of competition though there is also great economic cooperation as well. Why did India and China put aside their competition and support the Sri Lankan State in the end game of the war? There we come to the term “Eastphalia” because even Dr. Henry Kissinger in his new book on China has made a point -made by others as well- that the classic Westaphalian notion of State sovereignty which is no longer observed strictly, in the West, certainly in Europe, has migrated to Asia. Why? This is another discussion, though Dr. Kissinger does not go into that in his excellent book on China. I would say that perhaps Asia is at that particular historical stage of State-building -which had been superseded by Europe- where national/State sovereignty becomes of paramount importance.

So it is the convergence of a particular historical moment and particular geopolitical balances on the island, in the region and beyond, between the East and the West, you may even say the global North and the South, which jointly determined the outcome of the Sri Lankan conflict.

Of course the story is not over. It is still being played out, in the aftermath of the war, in the debate and struggle on the kind of peace. While Sri Lanka has won the war could it lose the peace? We have seen this happen in the Middle-East in the decades after the 1967 which Israel so brilliantly won.

There are many questions, but I will conclude by saying that while domestic dynamics and dialectics led to the Sri Lankan war and its outcome, we may, borrowing a term from Lacan and Althusser, say that geopolitics played a role of “over-determination”.

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On 6th March 2012, Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka participated as a special guest lecturer at a seminar organized by Prof. Michel Korinman, professor of geopolitics at Sorbonne University (Paris IV). Prof. Korinman is also the editor of “Outre-Terre” a French periodical on geopolitics. Among the participants present were French officials, journalists and academics.

  • wijayapala

    The Tamils feel that they are a minority on the island and therefore discriminated against as a minority and oppose that discrimination, but at the same time they see themselves as a majority because there are 70 millions co-ethnics across the water and of course another million in the Diaspora including in the West. This is possibly why the Tamil armed movements and even the unarmed Tamil Nationalist parliamentary parties will not accept the kind of solution that Northern Ireland’s Catholics, including the Sinn Fein, have accepted.

    The bolded part is untrue, the Sri Lankan Tamils never saw themselves as being a majority because of their co-ethnics, because few of them identified with their co-ethnics. Why else did none of the militant groups in the 1980s recruit south Indian Tamils?

    The Sri Lankan Tamil mentality probably originated with the Colebrooke-Cameron system where one Tamil representative in the Legislative Council was equal to one Sinhala representatives regardless of the actual demographics. The subsequent communal representation systems maintained this identity.

    • yapa

      Dear wijayapala;

      Your “possibly true cause”, does not negate Dr. DJ’s “possibly true cause”. They might co-exist or yours may be an effect of Dr. DJ’s possible cause.

      Don’t you think so dear wijayapala?

      Thanks!

    • yapa

      Dear wijayapala:

      “Why else did none of the militant groups in the 1980s recruit south Indian Tamils?”

      Other than that they got almost all other forms of support from Tamil Nadu, individuals, activists, political parties and even from its government and still continuing.

      You can see Jayalaitha’s racial statements, hostile activities based on it against Sri Lanka and the pressure from the DMK to the Indian central government.

      What is the main reason for Indian “on the fence stance” on American resolution against Sri Lanka in UNHRC, in Geneva?

      Isn’t that an evidence for the effect of that majority complexity of them? I think it is an obvious very clear fact even a kindergarten kid knows.

      What is your justification for the opposite view?

      Aren’t the Tamil Nadu acting based on common racial and ethnic relations? How do you deny the “common aspirations” on the two sides of the Palk Strait?

      Thanks!

      • Burning_Issue

        Dear Yapa,

        “Aren’t the Tamil Nadu acting based on common racial and ethnic relations? How do you deny the “common aspirations” on the two sides of the Palk Strait?”

        Please outline the “common aspirations” that you have referred to. Also what proportion of the Tamil Nadu Tamils share this so called “common aspirations”?

      • wijayapala

        Dear yapa

        Other than that they got almost all other forms of support from Tamil Nadu, individuals, activists, political parties and even from its government and still continuing.

        The Tamil Nadu government did not support separatism until the 1983 riots. MGR was particularly anti-Eelam and had the police tear down Amirthalingam’s exhibit in the 1981 International Tamil Conference in Madurai. He switched to become Prabakaran’s patron after the Tamils got massacred by Sinhala thugs.

        Like most Sinhalese you fail to see how unity among the Tamils never existed until the Tamils were intimidated and attacked.

        You can see Jayalaitha’s racial statements, hostile activities based on it against Sri Lanka and the pressure from the DMK to the Indian central government.

        Jayalalitha in the 1990s was famously anti-LTTE to the extent of risking her life. All the Eelamoids who are singing her praises today were cursing her over 10 years ago. Once again you are showing how little you know about Tamil Nadu and its politics.

      • yapa

        Dear Burning_Issue;

        “Common aspirations”, as I have mentioned are “racial and ethnic aspirations”.

        It is difficult to quantify that aspirations, so I cannot give you the proportion, however, it seems to be a significant proportion, assessed on the basis of things happening in there and its effect on the issue.

        I know well that there are some people like you, who do not share those aspirations in full, however, denying facts does not cease the existence of facts, wijayapala is just denying them.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear wijayapala;

        RE: Your post of March 15, 2012 • 4:19 am

        Any way, now you do not deny at least the existence of the “present Tamil Nadu Factor” taking place in the issue, to whatever interpretations you give as its cause?

        Appreciate the slight deviation of your course, for the moment.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear wijayapala, Burning_Issue and Nithy;

        “DMK threatens to pull out over Lanka resolution”

        http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/nation/south/dmk-threatens-pull-out-over-lanka-resolution-392

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        (Dear GV; I think this post more suits here, please post it here, not in the place I posted before, Thanks!)

        Dear Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka;

        This is the first time I am personally addressing you, though I have been reading your views for about 31/2 years on Groundviews.

        I should say and congratulate you that in my opinion with this zenith of article you have shown the signs of becoming the next Luxman Kadiragarmer or you have already become him.

        I have read and listened to some of his gems of speeches and the present one of yours is a match.

        Congratulations!

        Thanks!

      • Nithyananthan

        Dear Mr. Yapa, Greetings to you!
        Reference is made to your posting: March 15, 2012 7:19 am. It makes me wondering about the type of school / college that you have graduated from! What a silly sarcasm is that you cast across this forum! Okay, I will try to explain, briefly within the reach of my little knowledge, as to what this ‘Thesa’walamai; is all about.
        Thesa’walamai – the word is made-up of two Tamil words. ‘Thesam’ means country and ‘Walamai’ means customs. Thesa’walamai speaks elaborately about family and social-setup, disciples in property matters, behavioural patterns / ethics and customs that prevailed in North Ceylon for several centuries before the advent of the Portuguese.

        Thesa’walamai was the customary law applicable to the Tamils who inhabited the Jaffna district even before it was firstly codified and promulgated by the Dutch occupiers in 1708. In 1665, the Commander of Jaffnapatinam is quoted as saying, “The natives are governed according to the customs of the country, if these are clear and reasonable; otherwise according to our laws”. The Roman-Dutch law applied when the Thesawalamai is silent.

        Thesa’walamai is recognized within the overall laws governing Sri Lanka – applicable to the inhabitants of the province of Jaffna. It is being recognized as the ‘Customary Law’ along with other systems of Common Civil Law in the Sri Lankan legal system, namely known as, Roman-Dutch Law. It recognizes the customs of the people of Jaffna as distinct and different from those of other peoples in the island. The SUCH EQUAL RECOGNITON has been accorded to the customary laws of the peoples of BATTICALLO (Mukkuvar Law) and KANDY (Kandyan Law) and those of the MUSLIMS (Muslim (Islamic) Law).

        In 1665, the Commander of Jaffnapatnam is quoted as saying, “The natives are governed according to the customs of the country, if these are clear and reasonable; otherwise according to our laws”. The Roman-Dutch law applied when the Thesawalamai is silent.

        Therefore / by, Mr. Yapa, please bear in mind that the Thesa’walamai was not either new or unknown to the Ceylon Tamils, the Jaffna Tamils in particular, nor brought by aliens as they brought Christianity and introduced by your colonial powers as you claim. Thanks, Nithy!

      • yapa

        Dear Nithy;

        Then you don’t deny the fact that Thesa’walamai was introduced to the Legal System of the country by the Colonials?

        I can understand the existence of Customary Laws regarding family and social-setup, behavioural patterns / ethics and customs in a distinct social group of a country to protect them from other cultural aspects of different social groups. Why a customary law in property matters was there, lands to protect from whom?

        If it was to protect the lands of natives, there should have been a considerable community of non- natives, in 1665, during the Jaffnapatinam Commander’s time, your proposition points to an existence of non-natives in Jaffna. Who were they? Are there still the descendents of these non natives in Jaffna, and if so, do you still consider them as non-natives? If not so and if you consider all the Tamil people now in Jaffna as natives, what is the purpose of prevailing that customary law anymore?

        Further, can you tell me who were the people belonged to the community known as natives, during the period of that Commander?

        Can answer these naturally conceivable questions of a mind of an ordinary simpleton like me?

        Thanks! Nithy.

      • Burning_Issue

        Dear Yapa,

        Dear Yapa,

        “I know well that there are some people like you, who do not share those aspirations in full, however, denying facts does not cease the existence of facts, wijayapala is just denying them.”

        Historically, there were not much affinity between the Sri Lankan Tamils and their counterparts in Tamil Nadu. I am not ashamed to say that the Tamils in Sri Lanka elevated themselves as if to say, we were a higher group in every sense of the word. There would not have been much connection if one were to take away the Tamil film industry; this link kept the connection alive. Sri Lankan Tamils have always been proud of their Sri Lankan heritage. This situation has started to change with the emergence of the Sinhala Buddhist Nationalism and the subsequent political expediency of the mainstream political parties. I am not saying that the Tamil parties did not make mistakes. What I am saying is that the Tamils in Sri Lanka have been pushed into a situation that drawn them towards the Tamil Nadu.

        One other thing I would like to say is that, I am sure you would agree that, if the entire Sinhala population or vast majority of them were to be chauvinistic, there will be no place for the minorities in Sri Lanka. But this is not the case. Similarly, if the 60+ million Tamils in Tamil Nadu were to share the so called aspirations of the Sri Lankan Tamils, where would that leave the Sinhalese? If the LTTE had recruited young people from Tamil Nadu, where would that have left Sri Lanka? VP; at one point consciously decided to fight the Indian Army; he clearly had no intention to include the Indian Tamils in the spoils that he was hoping to achieve. If this aspect can be clearly understood by the Sinhala people, a form of reconciliation will be forth coming.

      • yapa

        Dear wijayapala;

        Why did Tamil Nadu mobs attacked Sri Lankan pilgrims, if they didn’t share the same aspirations, did those Sinhalese pilgrims do any wrong to Tamil Nadu or its people or particularly to those mob?

        Why the people of the other parts of India did not attack them?

        How do you explain this phenomenon, if not through “common aspiration theory”?

        Do you deny such phenomenon occurred?

        You cannot clean your room just dumping the dust under your carpet. It is only easier, but not the correct way of doing it.

        Hope you will defend your position.

        Thanks!

      • Nithyananthan

        Dear Mr. yapa, Greetings to you!

        Already late – still I am obliged to respond referring to your post on this subject dated March 16, 2012.
        Thesa’walamai describes how customarily the materials and properties are passed within families through various conduits. Firstly, let me confess that Ceylon Tamils are still a self-centered and village-conscious society. A name of a village plays big role in consciousness of one’s social identity / status with others in a specific social level of society. ‘Jaffna men/women’ take a sense of self-satisfaction to identify themselves by the village of their origin and marriage – (I come from … / So & so is my so & so / I am a friend / nephew of so & so; and so on). Even the locality within a village also carries weight, as it provides information on the person’s ancestry, lineages and geometrical family connections. Thesa’walamai customs evolved out of a far-sighting, family-oriented and self-reliant possessive society – but it’s peeling away much of its irrelevancies to match today’s needs of society. Device

        Difference between a Native & a Non-Native
        A native is a person born, nurtured, groomed and has lived in a particular place / region and paid estate & inheritance taxes. But a Non-native is a visitor or a resident who resides temporarily as part of fulfillment of tour of private business or duty / assignment entrusted to him / her by his / her employer.

        Heredity / Inheritance means that it does not stop only receiving as a right title descendible by law, the movable or immovable properties, from parents or ancestors; but also means the inheritance of genetically transmitted / permeated demonstration of the possession of civility, characteristic qualities and potentialities derived one’s ancestors / parents to descendants.

        An outsider is person who does not belong to particular family / group. The patrimonial system of Jaffna Customary law, in an event or situation of intestate, effectively advocates and defends the living sons and daughters as the sole heirs for material and property inheritance; and thus effectively disqualifies and precludes the next-of-kin – (uncles, aunts and cousins). So cousins in a typical Jaffna family-tree are reduced to / rendered as ‘outsiders’. In a situation of ‘Intestacy’ where there is no heirs the next-of-kin becomes rightful claimant, reaps and enjoys the yields.

        Dear Mr. Yapa, please understand that the ‘Thesa’walamai’ codes are not the customs of the whole Tamil Race living in India and Diaspora around the world; or common to all persons who bear Tamil Names and speak Tamil in our Island; but they are the customs of a region and apply ONLY to Tamils of Ceylon (Not to whole Tamil Speaking People) who happen to be the inhabitants of the particular Northern Province of this land. This why and how we, the Ceylon Tamils, distinguish us from other Tamil Speaking brethren (Communities) in our country and differ from Tamil Nadu – in particular. In the sphere of social fabric and politics we are more attached, intertwined and closer to our Sinhalese brethren than to our Tamil Nadu Brothers.

        Now, please go ahead and find my answers to your doubts.

        (A) … to protect from whom?
        To protect the inheritance from Non-natives

        (B) … who were they? They were & are visitors and repatriates – by way trade / commerce, pilgrimage and tourism.

        (C) … do we consider all who live in Jaffna are Tamils…
        Answer is an emphatic ‘No’. There are Non-Tamil immigrants who belong to different ethnicities and religions, immigrated on their own free will / choice – without being sponsored by any institution, from other parts of the country and have become natives of the land and pay inheritance and estate taxes to the local authorities. But, it is noteworthy and they are free from ‘Thesa’Walamai’ code. It‘s not applicable to them.

        (D) … do we still consider them as non-natives?
        No, not at all! As at present, there are no such persons to be branded or considered as non-natives – except those who reside temporarily as a part of fulfillment of their tour of duty / assignment entrusted to them by their employer.

        (E) … What is the purpose of prevailing / continuing that law anymore?
        In-order to protect from such Non-Natives, as describes earlier, whom you speculate still coming under various alleged reasons.

        (F) … can we tell you who were the people belonged to the community known as ‘the Natives? Tamil Inhabitants only!

        I believe that I have clarified the doubts you raised and hope it will meet your requirement to understand what you don’t want to realize. Let’s stop with this whether you are convinced or not since the relevance is important but not the main subject of the Article. Hope for the best in Good Faith! Thanks, Nithy!

      • Nithyananthan

        Dear Mr. Krish, Greetings to you!

        It is nice to read you after some time. The contents are well taken and appreciated. Thank you for the interest you have shown to know about Thesa’walamai’ and the people who belong to it. I am neither a lawyer nor educated or matured enough by experience to engage in this type sensitive legal matter. Yet, my knowledge and awareness is good enough to defend the facts and straighten wrong perceptions perpetrated with ill-conceived interpretations by many.

        I am also not a critique to elevate myself to evaluate others opinions. Yet, hope you too will concede that Facts are stubborn. But when the facts are twisted and distorted I am trying to say what I know about it for sure. While doing so, I am also always careful to discreetly give credit by way of commending my appreciation where it is due and deserves. They are not simple compliments from my fingers. That is why I found Mr. Wijayapala’s observations and comments were worthy enough to register my heartfelt commendation to him whereas another learned friend sends his appreciation for dreadful and far-reaching twists and distortions by a notorious individual.

        I find Mr. Wije, among many other intellectuals of high nobility, being a Buddhist Sinhalese, as a Nationalist – but not a Tamil-barring / bashing Chauvinist. He is well-read and informed and exhibits sharp in-depth knowledge of world history in general – especially the Lankan Civics, History, Geography and neighborhood. He employs efficiently such capacity for rational thoughts and discussion guided not by mere emotions / experience but by intellect. He is consistent in his thoughts and deliveries.

        We, the Ceylon Tamils, feel much comfortable and eased by mind and welcome to join hand with our noble gentlemen like Messrs. Wije, Buddhika, PitastharaPithraya, Gamarala, David Blacker, Sarath Fernando and others to look forward with confidence in ‘Reconciling & Nation Building’. I thank GV for creating consensual environment for a Noble cause! Nithy!

      • yapa

        Dear Nithy;

        Thanks, for the response.

        I have read a good advice, given in a book that teaches “Writing”. It says “When monkey ask for a mango give him a mango, not an apple.”

        It is true that any fruit would fill up the belly of the monkey, however, it does not truly satisfy the desire of the monkey.

        I asked some specific questions from you but you gave a general answer.

        Dear Nithy, the monkey is worried, please do not be adamant, give me the mango, you are hiding it in your inner pocket.

        Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

      • Krish

        Dear Nithyananthan – Very nice to see your response and apologies for responding back after a long while! Your points are well appreciated. Yes, I agree with you about the rational people that you mentioned. Although I have not interacted with every one of them, I can say that they are all good, nice hearted folks who care about their country in general and don’t take sides.

        Dear Burning_Issue – Nice observations about Sinhala folks. I completely agree that all Sinhala folks aren’t bad or chauvinistic, although a few Tamil folks try to generalize it a bit. Dr. Rajasingham Narendran went on to say that in some instances some Sinhala folks lost their lives protecting Tamil lives during riots. Even from a historical standpoint, Sinhalese and Tamil folks were a lot closer and cordial to each other than is normally known. While these 2 communities (or race/groups) probably started drifting apart during and after colonial times, their ancestors were wiser, tolerant and knowledgeable. Or atleast that is the impression that I get when I try to learn the basics of SL history.

    • Nithyananthan

      Dear Mr. wije, Greetings to you!

      Once again, you have imprinted your mark as a Classicist.

      It is a good article to read. Dr. DJ has tried a new approach to trace the origin and causes for the inter-racial problems that evolved into ethnic cleansing. While doing so, as usual, he has tried to insert a few counterfeit bills in the bundle of good ones.

      Good observation and excellent rebuff, Mr. wije! I too have ear-marked it to respond in kind. You have relieved me from such pains of strenuous rebuke. Ceylon Tamils have had, still have, excellent cultural and religious relations throughout centuries – but not political, until the 70’s of 20th century. Yet, Ceylon Tamils have always maintained a sort of superficial distinctiveness. There has always been a sense of invisible membrane (See-through Curtain) dividing us, the Ceylon Tamils, from the people of Tamil Nadu in so many areas of social lifestyle and political activities. Our traditions, customs and customary codes are completely different from that of the Tamil brethren of Tamil Nadu. Our Thesa’walamai’ law is a good example which is based purely ONLY on our customs and locals practices – not on Hindu Law as it is in Tamil Nadu.

      Our post-independent Tamil leaders never developed nor encouraged any sort of political affinity towards anybody outside of Ceylon. GGP neither visited nor approached India on political grounds. SJVC didn’t even run after Madras State for help when the racial riots started firstly in 1958 and continued intermittent pogroms unleashed against Ceylon Tamils until 1972. To ensure that the dirty water is spilling over into the neighborhood, GGP and SJVC tried their best to settle the disputes within the House – with the main occupants. Thank you, Mr. wije! Nithy!

      • Nithyananthan

        Gentlemen,

        Sorry! A correction, please.

        Please continue to read as – … To ensure that the dirty water is NOT spilling over into the neighborhood….

        Thanks, Nithy!

      • wijayapala

        Mr Nithy, it’s very good to hear from you again.

        GGP neither visited nor approached India on political grounds. SJVC didn’t even run after Madras State for help when the racial riots started firstly in 1958 and continued intermittent pogroms unleashed against Ceylon Tamils until 1972.

        Thanks for adding the information about GG and Chelva, who as educated lawyers had little if anything in common with their counterparts in Tamil Nadu: Kamaraj and Annadurai (although I rate Kamaraj as a far superior leader to any Sinhala or Sri Lankan Tamil leader).

        However, what were the intermittent pogroms that took place between 1958 and 1972?

        Regarding Dayan’s explanation of the Sinhalese and Tamils, it is most useful to interpret it as a Sinhala perception rather than absolute fact (although it is an absolute fact that unlike the Tamils, the Sinhalese as a civilisation do not exist anywhere other than Sri Lanka). Most Tamils are totally unaware how ignorant the Sinhalese are of the Tamils. In Sinhala language, the word for “Tamil” was often synonymous with “foreigner.” Most Sinhalese only know about invasions that took place 700 or more years ago. Even that is a rather shallow analysis because the Tamils in India were divided among a number of kingdoms that only rarely unified and spent much more time fighting each other than invading Sri Lanka.

      • yapa

        Dear Nithy;

        “Our Thesa’walamai’ law is a good example which is based purely ONLY on our customs and locals practices – not on Hindu Law as it is in Tamil Nadu.”

        You must be a colonial blooded Tamil then as, “Our Thesa’walamai’ was introduced by “Our colonial brethren”.

        Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks, Nithy!

      • yapa

        Dear wijayapala;

        “Regarding Dayan’s explanation of the Sinhalese and Tamils, it is most useful to interpret it as a Sinhala perception rather than absolute fact..”

        It is a very happy news that eventually you have come about to your sense.

        “Most Tamils are totally unaware how ignorant the Sinhalese are of the Tamils. In Sinhala language, the word for “Tamil” was often synonymous with “foreigner.” Most Sinhalese only know about invasions that took place 700 or more years ago.”

        True, the debate took place in another thread proved the fact. Many thought even Sri Lankan Nayakkar kings as Tamils.

        http://groundviews.org/2012/02/06/can-gosl-implement-llrc-recommendations/#comment-42245

        http://groundviews.org/2012/02/06/can-gosl-implement-llrc-recommendations/#comment-42254

        Ha! Ha!!

        “Even that is a rather shallow analysis because the Tamils in India were divided among a number of kingdoms that only rarely unified and spent much more time fighting each other than invading Sri Lanka.”

        You mean Tamils or Dravidian?

        Thanks, wijayapala!

      • Krish

        Dear Nithyanandan, thanks for mentioning the “Thesa Walamai” law which I was not aware of until I saw your post. Your point is well taken in the context of the difference between Indian and SriLankan Tamil folks. :)

        Dear Wijayapala – I hate to bombard you with compliments, but it is so amazing to see that you are very well informed about Indian politics, especially the details of TN. I have 2 questions/observations for you based on your earlier points! Please respond whenever you feel like.

        1. Regarding MGR tearing down Amirthalingam’s picture in 1981, MGR was a popular state leader who was not averse to the concept of India itself, like say someone like Annadurai or Karunanidhi would be. He always used to say “We need Periyar and we also need Gandhi”. And in 1981, Indira Gandhi came back to power in the center and he was just wanting to develop/maintain cordial relations with her as well. But, in 1983 the relationship was more cordial and with election in 1984, he probably saw an opportunity to support armed groups in SL, given the attacks on Tamils. However, why he supported Prabhakaran so much is beyond me. Any idea from your understanding as to why he was leaning towards heavily on LTTE?

        2. You are fairly right about Kamaraj vs Annadurai. However, if you compare any leaders from TN (Periyar, Rajaji, Kamaraj, Bhaktavatsalam, MGR, Annadurai etc) with Karunanidhi, Karunanidhi is by far the worst TN ever had. Everyone had their own positives and negatives. Where Annadurai seems negative was his call for separate Tamil country which he eventually gave up. And his strong anti-Brahmin (by extension anti-Hindi) feelings. Some of his writings in Tamil were specially targetted against Brahmins and were even made academic courses in TN in the late 80s and 90s by Karunanidhi. But Annadurai’s family lived a relatively simple life after his death. Rani Annadurai (his wife) led a quiet personal life and neither she nor Parimalam (their son) sought any post in DMK. BTW, Mr. Parimalam committed suicide 4 years ago. My question is, why do you consider Kamaraj better than Annadurai? Your perspective is what I am interested in. :)

      • wijayapala

        Dear Krish,

        It’s great to hear from you again!

        However, why he supported Prabhakaran so much is beyond me. Any idea from your understanding as to why he was leaning towards heavily on LTTE?

        Do you mean why MGR supported Prabakaran over the other militant leaders? I can only speculate, but perhaps Prabakaran struck MGR as more simple and straightforward than the others. Also, MGR may have perceived the LTTE as the most effective group. Up to that time, it was the LTTE that had committed the most attacks.

        On the other hand, it was also the LTTE that provoked the 1983 riots by attacking the army patrol. MGR should have gotten a hint that the LTTE wanted Sinhala reprisals against the Tamils. For that, I have no answer.

        My question is, why do you consider Kamaraj better than Annadurai?

        I think you more or less answered your own question- Kamaraj was not a divisive leader and did not have to scapegoat any communities to make progress. Here is what D.B.S. Jeyaraj had to say:

        Unlike the DMK which thunders frequently about its commitment and devotion to the Tamil language, Kamaraj seldom talks emotionally of Tamil. In any event he was a man of few words. But in his own, quiet way Kamaraj enacted many measures to empower Tamil.

        The Congress under Kamaraj in 1956 made Tamil the official or administrative language of the state. It was the Kamaraj-led Congress that submitted a budget in the Tamil language for the first time. Tamil as a medium of instruction was expanded to university level. Glossaries in Tamil for all subjects were compiled. An encyclopedia in Tamil was published the first of its kind in India.

        http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/1195

      • Krish

        Dear Wijayapala,

        Sorry it took so long to respond. Here are my observations:

        Kamaraj was not a divisive leader and did not have to scapegoat any communities to make progress.

        Yes, that’s because DMK is a state party and Congress is National party. It is easy for state parties and their leaders to be divisive and still get away with that. Leaders like Anna did that precisely. Despite his divisiveness I personally like

        Anna for certain things. He failed in English in 10th grade (or standard). 6 years later, he finished M.A (English) with honors and was the ranked first in Madras state. When he came to power, he openly admitted his lack of governing experience and let almost all bureaucrats, collectors, administrators from previous Government (Bakthavasalam of Congress) to continue in power. Karunanidhi wanted to dimiss and remove from jobs all policemen, who invoked violence on anti-Hindi protestors in the mid-sixties and Annadurai refused to do so. Despite his severe anti-Brahminism, he was never personally opposed to Brahmins the way DMK under Karunanidhi turned out to be. And when DMK broke away from DK (due differences with Periyar), Anna had an empty chair on the podium for Periyar as a mark of respect. Even in dissension, he was sincere and respectful.

        I read your article from DBSJ. A few observations though Wijayapala:

        1. Brilliant observation on Justice party CMs being non-Tamils. BTW, Karunanidhi, Vaiko, Vijayakanth are all Teluguites and they are heading three of the top 5 parties in TN now. Indian Tamils are such dumbos (or very tolerant) that any non-Tamil can misuse them by dividing them by using race/language. Teluguites are true smart burgers in this regard. :)

        2. Regarding “Kulakkalvi Thittam of Rajaji”, I am not sure if anyone knows the truth about it (including DBSJ. Quite likely, the Dravidian propoganda has completely overshadowed the truth on that. Rajaji was the first Tamil leader who introduced temple-entry for Dalits in TN and did it several times. And for a highly educated man like him to close 6000 rural schools when the state literacy level was 20% is unbelievable. He had his own flaws but on “Kulakkalvi Thittam”, Rajaji has been made villian in my view. I am a Tamil Brahmin and might be sub-consciously defending Rajaji but someone whom Mohandas Gandhi calls his “soul” likely didn’t intend it be “hereditary” from a casteist standpoint.

        3. C Subramanian saved India during it’s worst times. He (along with MS Swaminathan, who is also some kind of advisor to Rajapakse) introduced high-yielding rice crops in India thereby saving plenty of lives that might have been lost to famine and mal-nutrition. C Subramaniam is not that popular in India like say Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. :)

  • rita

    One big factor contributing to the intractability of the conflict is that successive Sri Lankan governments have been controlling damage (=lying) at the UN for decades by ”appointing commissions” to ward off action by the UN and not to bring any solution. This government alone has appointed seven commissions and seven committees whose reports are with the President without being made public. If the reports are made public, the voters will know where they go wrong and correct themselves.
    Yesterday the Sri Lankan Permanent Representative told UNHRC many untruths:

    1. Permanent Representative(PR): ”if the ‘Council is to remain credible, it must give equal attention to a. ”economic, social and cultural rights as to civil and political rights”

    Sri Lanka: ”But that truth cannot excuse human rights violations that currently afflict the nation as a whole; or for that matter obscure the looming threat of the cultural and political colonisation of the north by the Sinhala Buddhist majority” – Biased and Prejudiced Collection on Sri Lanka, *Gananath Obesekere, Economic & Political Weekly, Mumbai, 28 January 2012 b. ”the collective dimension as to the individual dimension” Sri Lanka: Karuna, Pillaiyan, Devananda get special treatment from the government. The people in the North are under conditions that the LLRC has asked the government to remove, eg. militarisation, military administration, …. c. ”the international as to the national” UN: has UDHR and Conventions. when individual members violate the principles, UNHRC has to talk about individual countries.

    2. PR: ”25 years after the adoption of the Declaration on the Right to Development and the consensus achieved, obstacles were still being placed in the way of its implementation”

    Sri Lanka: there has been economic oppression of ethnic minorities from the time of independence driving individual Tamils to various parts of the South in the last 5/6 decades – submissions to LLRC by retired Representatives to the UN

    3. PR: ”President Mahinda Rajapaksa has continuously emphasized that economic growth must be accompanied by equity”

    Sri Lanka: ”The nineteen person-Presidential Task Force implementing the government’s “Northern Spring” program has not a single Tamil member and does no consultation with the local communities involved or with their elected representatives, (mostly TNA). Here is what the LLRC says in that regard “The Government should ensure that development activities should be carried out in consultation and with the participation of the local people. Such a transparent approach in administration would make the people feel an ownership to the development activities, as well as give them a sense of participation in nation building (LLRC Final Report 8.207) – LLRC report, an inconvenient truth? , 5 January 2012, http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/15903-llrc-report-an-inconvenient-truth.html

    4. PR: ”Sri Lanka recorded an unprecedented GDP growth rate of more than 8%”

    Sri Lanka: ”World Bank reclassified Sri Lanka in late 2010 as a middle-income country. Food security is becoming a growing concern in Sri Lanka´s war ravaged north where a majority of the inhabitants live on less than a dollar a day” – WFP. The occupation army (owning restaurants, hotels, tourist centres, taylor shops, barber shops, cycle repair shops, sand delivery…) and Sinhalese brought from the South for manual and administrative work in the North take away the livelihood of the local people – numerous submissions by retired diplomats and civil servants to LLRC.

    5. PR: ”external pressures, threats and conditionalities that continue to, threaten its reconciliation process and the fragile peace”

    Sri Lanka: Which foreign country is asking Sri Lankan government to oppress its own people? In the last six years alone reports by seven commissions and seven committees appointed by the President sre with the President and not made public.

    6. PR: ”There can be no development without effective international cooperation and solidarity”

    Sri Lanka: UN, ICRC, and many other willing organisations have been severely restricted from helping the war-ravaged – too many to quote here but just one example: CHAP Action Plan 2009/2010 was not endorsed by the government and we all know what sort of situation has been prevailing in the Northeast.

    7. PR: ”In keeping with this requirement, my delegation calls upon the Working Group, in defining criteria and operational sub-criteria, to ensure that the multidimensional aspect of the right to development is respected”

    Sri Lanka: That’s exactly what LLRC recommends Sri Lanka to do. When the government stops lying and start implementing the recommendations by the Sri Lankans we wouldn’t have to send 54-member delegation to UNHRC.

    TRUTH can be told once by one person. LIES have to be told many times by many persons to make up an ”UNTRUTH”. Successive Sri Lankan governments have not only been lying to the outside world but also to the people in the South about what they do to the people in the Northeast. That is why during many critical moments in the last 64 years, journalists have not been allowed into the Northeast and the news from the Northeast has not been allowed into the South. Journalists have been attacked in various ways, killed or abducted and killed. Investigations are not held mostly. A few pretentious investigations have been held.

    Yesterday International Commission of Jurists told UNHRC:
    The Government of Sri Lanka has a long history – since 1977- of using national commissions of inquiry as a means of circumventing the criminal justice system and of not implementing commission of inquiry recommendations.

    This is compounded by the very recent examination of Sri Lanka by the Committee Against Torture, where the Committee referred to information from the Government of Sri Lanka that over 100 police and intelligence personnel had been indicted or were being investigated on allegations of torture. It transpires, however, that there have been only four convictions under Sri Lanka’s Convention Against Torture Act since its inception in 1994.

    It is therefore critical that this initiative receive wide support by Council members, and that it be treated as a first step. The credibility of the Human Rights Council depends on this. Words must be translated into action.”

    • luxmy

      Rita
      Thank you. Please note:

      A/HRC/19/NGO/6

      Written statement submitted(13 Feb 2012) by the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, a non-governmental organization in special consultative status
      The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in
      accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31:

      Sri lanka: Land grabbing and development-induced displacement

      The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), in association with three Sri Lankan non-governmental organisations, draws the attention of the United Nations Human Rights Council to the alarming trend violations of the rights to adequate housing, land and property in post-war Sri Lanka.
      The government of Sri Lanka?s push for “development” is playing out in the form of forcible acquisition of land by State and private actors, including foreign corporations, displacing thousands of vulnerable people across the island. These actions undermine efforts towards reconciliation and recovery after almost three decades of war as they are only further alienating, marginalising and disenfranchising communities of farmers and fisher-folk. …. ….. ……”

    • luxmy

      ”external pressures, threats and conditionalities that continue to, threaten its reconciliation process and the fragile peace”:

      Who has been asking the Sri lankan government to unleash terrorism on the people of the Northeast:
      ”…….. IDP’s being denied access to their former places of residence
      Challenging the right to title of the properties traditionally owned and /or occupied persons living in conflict affected areas
      Large tracts of previously occupied lands being demarcated as high security zones
      Unjustified land acquisitions on security considerations but allocated for non security related purposes
      The publicly announced resettlement benefits to internally displaced persons not being distributed equitably and in line with the announced scheme
      Lack of basic amenities like water, sanitation, power and proper housing for the newly resettled families
      Resource allocation not determined on community priorities and allocated without consultation and outside the need base and at times missing the most vulnerable and in need, possibly due to identity based biases
      Some areas like Jaffna receiving more than necessary resource allocations and peripheral areas lacking in even basic allocations
      Preventing willing and capable NGO’s/INGO’s, international community and Diaspora from helping people in need at their most vulnerable moment of need
      Building of new permanent military cantonments with residential facilities for military personnel and their families
      Plans to settle majority community families in order to change the traditional area demography otherwise than by natural development oriented migration
      Arbitrary arrests and detention in the post war period as well
      Continuing active engagement of unauthorized armed groups
      Continuing disappearances of civilians
      List of persons in custody, camps and detention centres not being made public
      Failure to assist families in tracing missing persons
      Negative impact on civilians during the conflict due military excesses
      Unease of single women headed families fearing for their safety in the presence of large number of armed personnel of the forces
      Removal of burial sites of persons affected by the conflict
      Some important cultural, religious and remembrance sites being damaged and destroyed
      Disrespect shown by visitors to holy sites and sites held in high esteem by resident communities
      Free availability of liquor, cigarettes and narcotics
      Emerging consumerism promoted by business houses who fail to participate in adding value to the civilian communities
      Savings of the region being channelled to other areas whilst unmet needs of area community remain
      Decision making in the hands of the military or officials from the Central Government. .…’’

  • rita

    There is a turning point in our history: Independence from the last external coloniser (it’s fortunate that it happened just after another turning point to the whole of the biological species Homo sapiens: Establishment of the UN).

    Though our politics is influenced by our history and geography and current politics in the rest of the world, there are a lot of things that can be controlled by us in our ”independent” state as we have a large amount of ”sovereignty” to do so (inverted commas are used for these two words because they are not strictly absolutes at least in terms of humanism).

    We have been having leaders doing things mostly with the next election in mind rather than the long-term prosperity of the country. Of course any human being will have that to a certain extent. But if it exceeds that certain extent, it’s misery for the country. That’s what has been happening in our country.

    The author speaks of the MATRIX and the 30 years of war by the insurgents. He doesn’t speak of the most crucial 30 years preceding the war responsible for creating the war. Most reasonable people, not necessarily the academics, look at the causes of the problem and try to remove it ( all around the world academics – political scientists, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, etc. – blame the structural violence of states that create insurgents). There have been recommendations in decades of reports by national and international bodies ignored by successive governments. Nearly the same recommendations have been made by LLRC and we have yet to see signs of any political will to implement them.

  • rita

    Hitler?
    1.DS Senanayake disenfranchised 75,000 Tamils in mid-20C when many others around the world were struggling to get franchise.
    2.SWRD Banadaranaike
    i. was in the parliament looking through the window at the mobs attacking the satyagrahis while the policemen (ordered not to interfere) stood by in 1956
    ii.refused to declare emergency (even after two days of carnage) when 1958 riots spread across the country and the Governor General, persuaded by conscientious Sinhalese, had to break his protocol and went over to Temple Trees to press the Prime Minister to declare emergency. When he at last came on air what did he refer to? A private dispute between a Tamil and a Sinhalese uncomnnected with the mobmania.
    3.JR Jayawardene refused to declare emergency for more than three days of carnage in 1983. When he at last came on air what did he say? Sinhalese wanted to teach the Tamils a lesson which he had already told a British journalist two weeks earlier.

    What worse things would have Hitler done in the circumstances of Prime Ministers Senanayake and Bandaranaike and President Jayawardene (leaving aside the blatant discrimination of Tamils by their government institutions)?

    Mein Kampf?
    Not possible in a small island embedded in the sea.
    But there are other possibilities:
    1. 1958, 1977 and 1983 – Tamils were in camps in Colombo before being shipped to the Northeast. In 1958 SWRD Bandaranaike visited the only camp for Sinhalese who arrived from the North. Was he the Prime Minister for only the Sinhalese when Prabhakaran was a toddler?
    In the last 35 years of aerial bombing and intense shelling and economic embargo Tamils have been living in camps the access for aid agents restricted but some handouts likely at least some of the time. Return to their lands seized by HSZ impossible. A few months ago Ethirveerasingam commented in this website that when he went to his house in HSZ, he was not even allowed to photograph it but was asked by a soldier if he would sell it to him. People with original homes in HSZ are still in camps but the army brings Sinhalese from the South and grow vegetables and fruits and sell it in Jaffna market and other markets in the South. They have even built a luxury hotel in HSZ – brisk business is being reported.
    2. Menike Farm camps – any need to go into details here a hundredth time?
    3. Gordon Weiss wrote about the CAGE – the last slither of land where hundreds of thousands were trapped.
    But there have been activities in the last several years, if not decades to make Sri Lanka a cage for Tamils. Large chunks of coastal villages from which Tamils were driven away by bombing and shelling have Sinhalese fishermen sttlers with the protection of purpose-built army camps. Even the Tamils remaining in coastal villages are actively pushed inland to make room for Sinhalese fishermen and protective army camps – a video showing it has been on this website.
    Some of the IDPs from Mullaitivu coastal villages are the last group left in Menike Farm – forest has been cleared in Komabavil to settle them – http://groundviews.org/2011/10/03/re-displacement-of-menik-farm-inmates-to-kombavil-mullativu/
    When EU parliamentarians came here in July 2008 they were prevented from going to Trincomalee – the drama of their numerous trips to Ratmalana airport and stories of first the plane and then the pilot not functioning properly is not to be missed in film-making.
    Mannar coastal villages taken over by the army and then slowly given over to Sinhalese fishermen as are the lands appropriated from Tamils along main roads for ”development” in the Northeast and then given over to Sinhalese.

    There is a great deal of research for academics on the ownership of various pieces of land in the Northeast in the last 6 years alone.

    Internal colonialism in this island is parallel to what is generally spoken of as ”Holocaust”. It may die down – such is the scale of socio/economic/environmental carnage of Northeast Sri Lanka – without being known not only by much of the world but also by the South of the country.

    • rita

      sorry:
      ”There is a great deal of research for academics” should read ”There is a great potential material for research for academics”

    • rita

      That some Sinhalese have been converting to Buddhism when they are about to enter politics tells a great deal of the problem caused by some of the ”Buddhists” = arithmetical great majority wins elections and can do anything it deems right.

      New Humanism hasn’t reached many yet and hence the ganging-up of members (representing the arithmetical great majorities of individual countries in most cases) at the UN and the Commonwealth block initiatives based on the founding principles of the intergovernmental bodies to resolve conflicts around the world. This doesn’t let enough time and material and man-power tackle the natural problems of a physical planet on which the exploding population of inter-dependent biological species exist.

      UN and the Commonwealth need to change with the change in circumstances. Last year the Eminent Persons Group appointed by the Commonwealth made recommendations some of which(mainly human rights) are too bitter to be swallowed by CMAG and CHOGM.

      UN needs a great deal of reform – many around the world have put forward many ideas, but change is very slow with human beings. Spreading the idea of New Humanism should help at least a bit. The initial stages may be difficult but as changes are exponential it will pick up speed later on is we have the strategy and determination.

    • luxmy

      Rita ….

      Tamil’s Civil Disobedience Campaign of 1961

      The first Civil Disobedience Campaign was inaugurated by the Federal Party, on February 20, front of the Government Agent’s Secretariat or The Jaffna Kachcheri and in front of several government offices in the Jaffna peninsula. ….

      on 18 April 1961, at about nine in the evening, the soldiers belonging to the ‘Sinha Regiment’ of the Ceylon Army, swooped down on all the centers in the Northern and Eastern provinces simultaneously, where peaceful picketing was on.The peaceful protesters thrashed by the government military forces. Several sustained serious injuries, when the armed forces used brutal force to disperse the peaceful protesters. The Tamil volunteers who were present during that time were beaten and chased out. The army took control of the Kachcheri (Secretariat) and Major Udugama of the Sinha Regiment, was placed in charge of the Military Administration in the Jaffna Kachcheri. ….

      On the orders of the Secretary to the Ministry of Defense N.Q.Dias, the volunteers and the Tamil leaders were arrested by the Army under the emergency powers, taken to the Army Cantonment at Panagoda, Maharagama, where they were held in custody. This custody lasted for well over six months. Ninety detenus, including Chelvanayakam were released from the custody, by the end of October 1961.”

  • PitastharaPuthraya

    Mahavansa was written in Pali not in Sinhala. ( However, it may have been based on Sinhala Aththakatha. But it was written in Pali)

    I do not buy the interpretation that tamils feels as a majority because there is 70 million Tamils in TN. In my opinion, they consider themselves as a different entity.

    The facts are that there was no TN Tamil presence among Sri Lankan Tamil militants (As Wijayapala correctly pointed out.)and Prbakaran was fighting for ‘liberation’ of only SL Tamils and not of TN Tamils.

    Northern Ireland situatin can not be compared to that of N/E. It is not practical for the Northern Ireland to have two parliaments for Republicans and Unionists for obvious reasons. Tamil nationalists do not agree to such as a system not becasue they think that they have this so-called ‘majority comples’ but becasue such a solution is irrevalent in N/E. Instead, it is simple and effective to have a some form of self governing body in N/E.

    World and regional powers have a chance to meddle with smaller countries mainly becasue of their (small countries) behaviour. The ‘Tamil’ problem is simply a craving for ‘political power’ being unbale to control their own affairs due to the inherent restrains of democracy and centralized government with its majority rule. If we had solved this problem in the past the global/regional powers would not have been able to meddle with our affairs like they did it in the past and do in the present.

    Although there is an intrinsic abhorrence to the geopolitcal hegamony of India over Sri Lanka it was because of them that ‘Tamil Ealam’ is never going to be a reality. As long as India remains the same without being disintegrated to smaller states we do not have to worry. Although, MR and his supporters try to show that it was MR, who defeted LTTE, in reality it was India, who won the war for Sri Lanka.

  • Buddhika

    Geopolitical matrix can be made very benign by Buddhism:

    “Buddhism locates a vast cosmos deep within human life. This cosmos contains a boundless treasure or goodness, reverently called the ‘Buddha Nature.’ This radiant nature is inherent in all living things. Each inner cosmos is one with the evolving greater external universe. In Buddhist terms, the great universe and the self – the great macrocosm and microcosm – are one. Since the self and all phenomena are one, all things are interrelated. Termed ‘dependent origination’, this teaching explains that all things weave a single whole in which individuals live in relation to all others. In other words, all beings and phenomena exist or occur because of their relationship with other beings and phenomena, and nothing in either the human or the nonhuman world exists in isolation. All things are mutually related to and interdependent with all other things. They all form a great cosmos maintaining the rhythms of life.” (From Planetary Citizenship, 2004, by Daisaku Ikeda and Hazel Henderson)

    Buddhism has been used malevolantly to accentuate the differences between the different ethnicities and religions in Sri Lanka at least in the last 64 years. UNESCO and UNICEF (besides Sri Lankan researchers) have found education has been used to complement the work of malevolent Buddhists. It is not difficult to bring peacebuilding into education IF we have the political will. Please let us not delay purging out the hate-mongering education.

    Let us talk about the last 64 years for we have been responsible for that period and it isn’t too late to start NOW. To counteract the 5/6 decades of hate-mongering education, we need to tell our children what happened in the first 30 years following independence because it has been repeated in the last three years in a different mode. People who loathe the war of 30 years should push for a change. A change in direction in order to avoid another war.

    • yapa

      “Let us talk about the last 64 years for we have been responsible for that period and it isn’t too late to start NOW.”

      Why Buddika, the specialty in number 64? Is something to do with your age? Why not consider older people like 100 years of age?

      Don’t you think they should be revered more?

      Thanks!

      • Buddhika

        We’ve been in control of running the country and making the policies in the last 64+ years. Previously there were outside rulers.
        The rulers should take responsibility for what they do and nobody should be blamed for what others do.

      • yapa

        Dear Buddhika;

        What is your justification that only injustices taken place during our control should be corrected and the others should not be corrected just because they were done by outside rulers?

        Please educate me on this.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear Buddhika;

        If I suggest to you Buddhika, the formula you suggests gives you more benefits than to others’ and if I say that is the reason why you want to limit the formula to 64+, what is your responsive explanation?

        Thanks!

  • Ward

    What happened in the first 30 years of independence might have created the LTTE but it had been sustained by what had been going on unabated in the state structure (structural violence) which has only become more vicious after the demise of LTTE.

    B-C pact and D-C pact and their abrogation accompanied by
    i. a section of Buddhist clergy that became unbuddhistic and killed a Prime Minister for trying to serve the ‘other’ some justice
    ii. ethnic outbidding between SLFP and UNP – trying to serve their citizens some form of justice when those on the opposite benches opposed it and when they changed the benches those in the government were obliged to do some justice to the ‘other’ while those on the opposite benches (who were earlier in the government) opposed it. This of course drastically changed with the present regime poaching the opposition MPs with (politically powerless) ministries, ballooning the cabinet.

    The new constitution of 1972 and the overall ruthlessness of Mrs Bandaranaike towards the Tamils (REFUSING to hold inquiry into the 9 deaths in the 1974 Tamil Conference stampede caused by the Police, drastically reducing intake of Tamils into government administrative service – sending Sinhalese for even the most menial of jobs to the Northeast, nationalising private schools and not giving them as much government funding as to the Sinhalese schools that were privatised,etc
    and continuing lack of investment in the Northeast was telling enough to drive Tamil youngsters to the LTTE in the early years without much coercion. But as the prosperity in the South kept increasing, the need for coercion into the LTTE ranks increased. ”Peace talks” – government delegates were mostly unsuitable and untrained with no authority to decide what can be offered as devolution, were an eyewash.
    There was no building of peace constituency in the South after hate-mongering education and hate-mongering speeches of politicians and ordinary citizens, ….

    All these have been argued endlessly without the political will to serve justice to the ‘other’. Independent International Group of Eminent Persons left Sri Lanka after finding that there is no political will to solve the crimes – it’s the ‘other’ who were affected very much by these crimes.

    We can resolve the conflict either by using the UN system or by adopting Budhhist precepts in practice. Neither has been happening. That proves the inhuman nature preventing us from resolving the conflict.

    People around the world all have history of conflicts. But some of them choose to use the advances in the evolution of our thinking for good governance. Thousands of years of conflicts should not prevent us from living a humane life at present or from educating our children for a peaceful and prosperous future.

  • Tony

    Geopolitics affects all countries, esp. at intergovernmental bodies where oppressive regimes protect each other and defeat any due action expected of such bodies. That helps the oppressors oppress their own people more and more. Mr and Mrs Banadaranaike as Prime Ministers had done so much damage in the first 29 years that the effect of any geopolitics was negligible then. But politically naive Rajiv Gandhi was dragged in by the very cunning President JR Jayawardene and geopolitics began to complement the oppression of Sri Lankan rulers conspicuously. But then the LTTE did what was unpardonable – what the Sri Lankan rulers have been doing to the ethnic minorities since independence has been equally unpardonable.
    Sri Lankan rulers used Buddhism as a tool to come to power and to stay in power.
    But true leaders with the long-term interest of peace and prosperity for their country will not make policies to oppress their own people creating conflicts. Sri Lanka is still waiting for such a leader.

  • Tony

    Sri Lankan way of making use of geopolitics at intergovernmental bodies has been like this:

    While Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has assured the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions in Geneva of the government’s intention to implement the LLRC recommendations, member of the government delegation to Geneva, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has been quoted in a press interview saying the government has not agreed to implement the recommendations.

    Now Ambassador Jayatilleke adds a dimension misleading UNESCO, Sorbonne University, journalists, academics, ….

    It’s the first 29 years, not mentioned by the Ambassador, that generated the conflict and Prof Richardson’s Paradise Poisoned tells how Sri Lanka’s policies of the Bandaranaikes created the conflict.

    • Tony

      Numerous submissions to LLRC have spoken of the first few decades generating the conflict.

      The Ambassador has been talking about New Humanism at UNESCO and praising the Rajapakses in this website and other media outlets in Sri Lanka. He should be talking about New Humanism to his countrymen.
      His omission of i.policies/practice of the first few decades of independence, ii.mahavamsa mythology (to take refuge in) and iii.hatred-generating school textbooks (to poison the future generations) can only be malice:

      ”The statistics provided above indicate that despite mixed opinions about the causes for ethnic conflict, there is acceptance on the part of the majority community that lack of equal treatment for all and legitimate grievances held by the minorities were causes of the conflict” – http://ices.lk/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/20111207_PSRP_Booklet.pdf

      Many submissions to LLRC by various professional categories of the ethnic majority point to the first few decades of independence as the cause of the conflict.

      The protracted conflict can be retracted by including at least the history of the first three decades of independence in all the school textbooks. It is not difficult for any young mind to weigh facts and figures presented to them – hiding these from them is blighting their future.

    • Tony

      Paradise Poisoned: Learning About Conflict, Terrorism and Development from Sri Lanka’s Civil Wars(2005) by Prof John Richardson:

      ”Paradise Poisoned is the principal product of a seventeen year project, devoted to understanding linkages between deadly conflict, terrorism and development, by viewing them through the lens of Sri Lanka’s post-independence history, from 1948 through 1988.
      What have I learned about preventing deadly conflict and terrorism from
      Sri Lanka’s civil wars?
      What I have learned, of fundamental importance, from Sri Lanka’s civil
      wars, is this.
      We know more than enough to choose policies that will help
      prevent protracted deadly conflict and terrorism. We also know more than enough to avoid policies that will cause protracted deadly conflict and terrorism. Our state of knowledge is analogous to our knowledge about the relationship between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. We know that smoking is a principal cause of lung cancer, though there are other causes. We know that refraining from smoking is the best way of avoiding lung cancer, though some abstainers may still contract the disease. ……”

  • yapa

    (Again the wrong place, I am extremely sorry, GV for the inconvenience caused, please post it here, thanks.)

    Dear Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka;

    This is the first time I am personally addressing you, though I have been reading your views for about 31/2 years on Groundviews.

    I should say and congratulate you that in my opinion with this zenith of article you have shown the signs of becoming the next Luxman Kadiragarmer or you have already become him.

    I have read and listened to some of his gems of speeches and the present one of yours is a match.

    Congratulations!

    Thanks!

    • http://www.groundviews.org Groundviews

      No bother.

  • Barr Ratwatte

    Man has been evolving his system of governance over the centuries and millennia. The biological man lives around a hundred years and thus we shouldn’t be now blaming the history of thousands of years for our present faults, but should look at the tremendous changes we have made in the last hundred years.
    We can determine the type of governance we wish to have. The most important part of geopolitics preventing the resolution of the Sri Lankan conflict is the blocking of attempts by intergovernmental bodies by the group of members who are guilty of various kinds of oppression in their own countries facilitated by the expert damage control through promise of appointing commissions/committees by successive Sri Lankan governments.
    This government alone has appointed about 15 commissions/committees and the reports are with the President without being made public.
    We have been seeing in the last few weeks how the Permanent Representative to the UN and the jumbo delegation to the current UNHRC sessions have been uttering things contrary to the ground reality. On top of all these, our Ambassador Jyatilleke misinforms many institutions in Paris.
    Dear Ambassador, please listen to your conscience and stop contributing to the intractability of the conflict.

  • Barr Ratwatte

    A lot of Tamils would have begun to move en masse over the borders of Sri Lanka in the 50s/60s had Sri Lanka been attached to a land mass.

    • yapa

      If it was attached to Europe or North America and not to the southern tip of India.

      Ha! Ha!!

      Thanks!

  • Bedrock Barney

    Geopolitics? or country with feudal mind set in the modern world?

  • wijayapala

    Dear yapa

    Why did Tamil Nadu mobs attacked Sri Lankan pilgrims,

    The question you should be asking is “How come Sinhala Buddhist pilgrims were able to travel to Chennai during the entire 30-year civil war period without being molested until only now?” I look forward to hearing your answer.

    You mean Tamils or Dravidian?

    Those feuding kingdoms were TAMIL (Chola, Chera, Pandya). There were no such thing as “Dravidian” kingdoms.

    • yapa

      Dear wijayapala;

      Didn’t [TAMIL (Chola, Chera, Pandya)] they invade Sri Lanka as you said, due to unavailability of time as they had been engaged in incessant internal fighting among themselves, dear wijayapala?

      Then who were the early invaders of Sri Lanka, before the 16th century? Do you say invasions during that period were non phenomena?

      You said,

      ……”Tamils in India were divided among a number of kingdoms that only rarely unified and spent much more time fighting each other than invading Sri Lanka.”

      Thanks!

      • wijayapala

        Dear yapa

        Didn’t [TAMIL (Chola, Chera, Pandya)] they invade Sri Lanka as you said, due to unavailability of time as they had been engaged in incessant internal fighting among themselves, dear wijayapala?

        The Cheras never invaded Sri Lanka to my knowledge, and if anything were allied to Anuradhapura. The Pandyans were either neutral or allied with Sri Lanka against the Cholas, except for later in history when they became powerful and attacked Sri Lanka. The Cholas were more hostile, but interestingly Buddhism was strongest in their kingdom. It is likely that the Mahayana influences in Sri Lanka (as shown by monuments like Aukana Buddha) came through the Cholas.

        Therefore my friend yapa, you are still proven wrong that THE Tamils were always enemies of Sri Lanka. As you have shown, anyone who is ignorant of the Tamil history necessarily will have a limited knowledge of the Sinhala history.

      • yapa

        Dear wijayapala;

        Don’t you think the following stance of yours is inconsistent with the preious one, that is “……”Tamils in India were divided among a number of kingdoms that only rarely unified and spent much more time fighting each other than invading Sri Lanka.”

        “First of all, if you actually read the Mahavamsa you would know that this Tamilphobia pops up only when the island is invaded”

        http://groundviews.org/2012/03/17/martyrology-martyrdom-rebellion-terrorism/#comment-42645

        Consistency, dear wijayapala, consistency!, It is expected especially in prolonged writing.

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear wijayapaa;

        “Therefore my friend yapa, you are still proven wrong that THE Tamils were always enemies of Sri Lanka.”

        Above is your statement, I never said “THE Tamils were always enemies of Sri Lanka.”. I was just countering your statement that Tamils did not have time to invade Sri Lanka, that is all. Do you still hold that view, dear wijayapala, that was what I wanted to clarify from you?

        Thanks!

      • wijayapala

        Dear yapa

        Don’t you think the following stance of yours is inconsistent with the preious one

        No.

        I was just countering your statement that Tamils did not have time to invade Sri Lanka, that is all. Do you still hold that view, dear wijayapala,

        Yes.

      • yapa

        Dear wijayapala:

        ****“Don’t you think the following stance of yours is inconsistent with the preious one”

        No.****

        How?

        ****“I was just countering your statement that Tamils did not have time to invade Sri Lanka, that is all. Do you still hold that view, dear wijayapala,”

        Yes.*****

        How?

        Thanks!, dear wijayapala.

      • yapa

        Wijayapala’s mouth has dried up for some reason that he cannot talk more than one or two words at a time these days.

        Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Unlike wijayapala, Nithy seems to be wordless!

        Ha! Ha!!

      • wijayapala

        Dear Yapa

        How?

        Why don’t you show how they are inconsistent?

        ****“I was just countering your statement that Tamils did not have time to invade Sri Lanka, that is all. Do you still hold that view, dear wijayapala,”
        Yes.*****
        “How?”

        Why don’t you first tell us what your point was, since it is not really clear?

        If the south Indian kingdoms (a more accurate statement than “Tamils”) did have time to invade Sri Lanka, then how come they did not do so more often? And how come all of them did not invade the island?

      • yapa

        Dear wijayapala;

        I wonder why all the countries in Europe did not invade the island, why it was only Portuguese, Dutch and Brits?

        Anyway dear wijayapala, didn’t the Tamils lived in those South Indian States come to Sri Lanka when those non=Tamil South Indians invaded the Island?

        Thanks!

  • wijayapala

    Dear Tony,

    Prof Richardson’s Paradise Poisoned tells how Sri Lanka’s policies of the Bandaranaikes created the conflict.

    Actually Richardson properly put the bulk of the blame for the war itself on JR Jayawardene.

  • yapa

    Dear Nithy/wijayapala/Buddhika;

    Here is the final comment of the article “Mr. Minister, my name is Sunanda Deshapriya. I am not a terrorist.” It was posted by none other than our friend Saban.

    http://groundviews.org/2012/02/05/mr-minister-my-name-is-sunanda-deshapriya-i-am-not-a-terrorist/#comment-41616

    Ha! Ha!!

    Thanks!

  • wijayapala

    Dear yapa

    Sorry for the late response. You did not answer the question why Sinhala Buddhist pilgrims in Tamil Nadu were not attacked consistently over the last 30 years of war.

    I wonder why all the countries in Europe did not invade the island, why it was only Portuguese, Dutch and Brits?

    Since that question is irrelevant to the point I made, I will not dignify it with a response.

    Anyway dear wijayapala, didn’t the Tamils lived in those South Indian States come to Sri Lanka when those non=Tamil South Indians invaded the Island?

    Tamils have been coming to Sri Lanka during periods of both war and peace. Before the collapse of Rajarata, many of them became Sinhalese. Can you answer why they did not become Sinhalese afterwards?

    • yapa

      Dear wijayapala;

      Never mind not responding to difficult questions, they were not posed expecting answers. Ha! Ha!!

      Anyway it is good to hear that you have accepted that early Tamils who came to Sri Lanka became Sinhalese and reluctantly admitted Tamils invaded Sri Lanka. A fact is a fact whether wijayapala accepted it or not.

      So now you reject Prof. Indrapala’s recent theory that there has been two parallel civilizations prevailing in Sri Lanka from time immemorial?

      The answer to the question you posed to me is very simple if you know what cultural assimilation is. It is in simple terms big fish eats the small fish.

      “Cultural assimilation is a socio-political response to demographic multi-ethnicity that supports or promotes the assimilation of ethnic minorities into the dominant culture. The term assimilation is often used when referring to immigrants and various ethnic groups settling in a new land. New customs and attitudes are acquired through contact and communication. Each group of immigrants contributes some of its own cultural traits to the new society. Assimilation usually involves a gradual change and takes place in varying degrees; full assimilation occurs when new members of a society become indistinguishable from older members.”

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

      Bottleneck of elephant pass made the Tamils the big fish once they invaded Jaffna Peninsula. In Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa or any other places of the country, Sinhalese were the big fish.

      Understood the fish theory, dear wijayapala?

      Thanks!

      • wijayapala

        Dear yapa

        So now you reject Prof. Indrapala’s recent theory that there has been two parallel civilizations prevailing in Sri Lanka from time immemorial?

        Could you kindly show us where he described such a theory?

      • yapa

        Dear wijayapala;

        Why dear wijayapala you have been advocating the theory in Prof. Indrpaa’s latest book “The Evolution of an Ethnic Identity”, throughout the discussions in this blog?

        Ok!, tell me what you meant at least in the following statement.

        “You are correct. The ancient Sinhalese and Tamils were bilingual, unlike their descendants. The collapse of Rajarata isolated Jaffna from the rest of the island, hence the Tamil monolingualism there until independence.”

        http://groundviews.org/2012/03/17/martyrology-martyrdom-rebellion-terrorism/#comment-42782

        Please clearly mention your view whether there has been two parallel civilizations prevailing in Sri Lanka from the very beginning. Otherwise tell me your opinion when were the Sinhalese civilization and Tamil civilization began in Sri Lanka. My opinion is Tamils civilization began to establish here after the 13th century with the invasion of Aryachakravarthi.

        Thanks!

      • wijayapala

        My opinion is Tamils civilization began to establish here after the 13th century with the invasion of Aryachakravarthi.

        Aryachakravarthi did not invade Sri Lanka.

      • yapa

        Dear wijayapala;

        ok, then say “after Aryachakrawarthi came to Sri Lanka”, then what is your answer?

        (You seems to be stingy with your words lately dear wijayapala, why is that dear wijayapala?)

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear wjayapaa;

        Your answers now to me are like “Epa vaheta hodi bedanava vaage” (show a massive reluctance), dear wijayapala, why is that?

        Ha! Ha!!

        Thanks!

      • wijayapala

        Dear yapa

        ok, then say “after Aryachakrawarthi came to Sri Lanka”, then what is your answer?

        There may have been a distinct Tamil “civilisation” but that is not the same as “nation.” “Nation” implies a sense of exclusivity whereas “civilisation” implies the influence of other civilisations. The Jaffna kingdom most certainly had Sinhala influence just as the older Rajarata civilisation had Tamil influence.

      • yapa

        Dear wjayapaa;

        Your recent comments indicate to me that you are becoming a “Quantum Physicist”. Only the people who have a clear understanding of the queer nature of Quantum Physics gain the ability to express in such a fine way.

        You know about Schrödinger’s Cat, who can be both alive or dead at the same time?

        Please watch.

        Schrödinger’s Cat

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrxqTtiWxs4&feature=channel

        Thanks!

  • wijayapala

    Krish,

    Thanks for the info on Rajaji and Anna, I learned quite a bit and slightly revised my impression of Annadurai.

    I don’t think that DBSJ believed that Rajaji was casteist either, but the name of the plan was poorly thought-out and I think you agree that this mistake caused his downfall. Regardless of his intentions (he wanted to improve employment), Rajaji should have been aware that his primary opponents operated on a platform of anti-Brahminism and were waiting for such an opportunity. He may have been Gandhi’s soul, but he was no politician!

    Not to worry, plenty of Sri Lankans have made similar if not worse mistakes (Catholic leaders antagonizing Buddhists, Tamil leaders antagonizing Sinhala etc)!

    Yes, that’s because DMK is a state party and Congress is National party. It is easy for state parties and their leaders to be divisive and still get away with that.

    I suppose my point was not so much to denigrate Annadurai than to elevate Kamaraj, who fought the elections at the state level and won without resorting to these things. Congress doesn’t have this sort of leader now which is why it is so weak at the state level. India may not get this kind of leader until it faces a truly national challenge on the scale of the independence struggle.

    Karunanidhi, Vaiko, Vijayakanth are all Teluguites and they are heading three of the top 5 parties in TN now. Indian Tamils are such dumbos (or very tolerant) that any non-Tamil can misuse them by dividing them by using race/language. Teluguites are true smart burgers in this regard.

    I don’t see the Indian Tamils as being dumbos, it’s simply that the Andhra folk are intelligent enough to represent their interests. SWRD Bandaranaike could not read/write Sinhala yet he came to power on Sinhala-Only. He was by all accounts a failure as a leader, but the fact is that no other leader for the previous 8 years had shifted the official language away from English.

    The Sri Lankan Tamils could have done the same thing as the Andhras and come to power by being more Sinhala than the Sinhalese, but they were too proud and more importantly too ignorant of the Sinhalese to pull that off. There is this Tamil fellow Premakumar Gunaratnam who became the leader of a Sinhala JVP faction because he had this knowledge of the Sinhalese without the ethnic chauvinism.

    More on Telugu folk: I’m sure you have heard about Thanjavur and Madurai Nayakkars? Not only did they rule over Tamils, they came to Kandy and ruled over Sinhalese as well! Also, Tamil civilisation in Sri Lanka was more or less established by Magha who may have been from Andhra Pradesh and was a Virasaiva.

    • Bharath

      Mr.Wijepala,

      I am amazed at your knowledge of history and enjoyed your writings(comments/replies), thanks.