Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Rahul Gandhi from Indra Gandhi Clan, calls for Justice for Tamils in Sri Lanka while Dalits are being burnt alive in India.

A Dalit woman awaits her daughter anxiously at the door. Photo by : Danielle Da Silva

Rahul Gandhi the Congress Leader tries out his ancestral inheritance of interfering into political affairs of Sri Lanka, apparently imbibed into his gene system, even before reaching political maturity.

In his delayed rebellious adolescence he tries out a dangerous manly statement which may have dangerous consequences saying "….We are concerned that enough is not being done for Sri Lankan Tamils by the government there," adding that he would take up the matter with "appropriate persons" at the Centre and see that Sri Lankan Tamils got justice.” His pompous declaration shows that he is no where near political maturity.

Rahul Gandhi should look around him and first try putting his own house in order, before looking through his looking glasses into Sri Lanka to concern himself of what is going on there.

So far Sri Lanka has managed itself well, and since 2005, even better than India. It has successfully fought a ruthless terrorism, rescuing in a most daring humanitarian rescue mission ever undertaken by any Armed Force anywhere in the world, bringing to safety around 300000 Tamil civilians forcibly kept under despicably degrading conditions as a human shield by the Tamil terrorists.

Rahul Gandhi’s uncalled for statement becomes all the more deplorable in the context of what is taking place under his very nose in the country of which he is the President of the ruling political party.

Unfortunately for India Rahul Gandhi does not show any interest in those important issues, the phantoms of the past still troubling a “developing” Indian society, for selfish reasons of his own, and instead he is feigning an interest in the Tamils of Sri Lanka to satisfy the TamilNadu political supporters.

Avinash Pandey Samar, Dalit, India, Worldview had filed the following report,
“The ghoulish killings of two Dalit girls in Moradabad, an industrial town not far away from the national capital Delhi, is yet another reminder of almost everyday recurrence of attacks on Dalit communities in India. They encompass, also the grim truth of the complete failure of the Indian state in containing, leave aside eradicating, violence committed against the Dalit communities. The incident is a sad indicator to the reality concerning the exceptional collapse of the rule of law institutions in the country.

The incident happened on 19 December. On that day, an angry mob burnt alive two young girls aged 25 and 22. The mother of the girls alleged that they were also raped by the mob. The crime they had committed to meet this ghastly fate was nothing more than the fact that they were Dalits and were sisters to two brothers accused in a double murder case. One of the brothers is absconding while the other, a sweeper by profession, is already in police custody.”

The failure to establish Dalits as respectable citizens of a democratic India is still a dark smear despite India’s effort to be the rising star of Asia.
Is Rahul Gandhi aware of the crimes committed against the Dalits which have not received attention of the government with the police colliding to mitigate the offences? When Rahul speaks of justice to Sri Lanka Tamils he should ask himself, why he should not call for justice for the Dalits in his own India ?
i) in Khairlanji a Dalit family is butchered for aspiring to escape the age-old dehumanisation forced on them.
ii) in Gohana a whole community of Dalits find their houses burnt, their property looted and themselves chased out of their village for wanting to live a life with dignity.
iii) in Jhajjar the Dalits were lynched on the suspicion of trading in cows and the survivors listened to a proud proclamation of the president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, that the lives of cows are more important than that of the Dalits.
iv) in Madurai, human excreta is forced down the throats of Dalits for committing the crime of refusing to obey the orders of the 'twice-born'
v) in Chakwada, Rajasthan a secular government orders its police to open fire upon a Dalit procession that was asserting their right to drink from a common pond,

Mr.Avinash Pandey Samar in his report to World View writes in conclusion:
“ This despicable failure of the Indian state in ensuring justice to one fifth of its population is not just a simple breakdown, but is a criminal dereliction of duty and violates the constitutional premise of legitimacy for any government to operate. A government that does not care for such a large proportion of its population cannot be expected to do justice to the rest, irrespective of caste or other denominators. Had India been a true democracy having a functioning rule of law setup, an event as gruesome as it happened on 19 December would not have happened. That it happened in this self-proclaimed largest democracy of the world proves that democracy and the rule of law are mere delusions in India.”

Does Rahul Gandhi still think that seeking to get justice done to Tamils in Sri Lanka is more important than the justice denied to Dalits in his own country where he is the leader of the Governing Party ?

In Sri Lanka the Tamils whether they are of lower caste or IDPs in shelters are not treated in the manner the great India treats its Dalit population. Rahul Gandhi should be ashamed to call himself the political leader of a country which despite having the atomic bomb and adventured in to the satellite age has still failed to treat its own people with dignity, as human beings, and offer justice, sympathy, and generosity what ever their caste , class or profession.

Mr. Rahul Gandhi before he ventures out to imprint his seal of importance in world politics should climb out of the dark well of Indian politics to see what actually is happening in his India which is stepping out to promote its importance as an emerging leader in Asia. A great leader would not seek popularity interfering into the internal affairs of a Sovereign State without paying attention to more urgent needs of its own people. For the Dalit population who are treated less than the animals in India , a new concept of political reality has to be imposed by this young aspirant for leadership of the Indian Nation, before crying for justice for other people else where.

Rahul Ghandhi should as a respect to the name he bears, which reminds of the Great Mahatma Gandhi , should begin by assuring that all its citizens no matter their caste or creed is treated as equals before the law. This other Ghandi Clan has been more interfering a lot , conniving with terrorist criminals to divide the nearby Island of Sri Lanka. The Indian expansionist dream began with Indira Gandhi , which was continued by Rajiv Gandhi who made the supreme sacrificed in his misplaced political adventurism.

Rahula Gandhi’s grand mother Indra Gandhi created the terrosists for Sri Lanka with which it was burdened for 30 years, and Rahul’s father Rajiv Gandhi trespassed into Sri Lanka air corridors to drop “parippu” to sieged terrorists in 1987 thus interrupting a decisive military operation against terrorism by the Sri Lanka Government Forces.

Rajiv Gandhi continued thereafter to impose the Indian Army as a peace keeping force and forced a naïve UNP president to accept as conditions to maintain peace, the merge of North and East and introduce the 13 amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka. This gave a new “amunution” to 13 percent Tamils already asking for equal rights with the Sinhala, to demand instead the establishment of a separate Eelam State.
Rahuls Mother Sonia Ghandhi as the Leader of the Congress party also playing to the tune of the Tamil Nadu asked the Indian Government not to sell arms and ammunition to the Sri Lanka Government when requests were made by the Government of Sri Lanka during the military operations against the terrorists.

To this Sri Lanka which has already been callously interfered into by his clan , Rahul Gandhi seems to be making his political “debut” of interference by appealing to the “Centre” to get justice to Tamils in Sri Lanka?

Rahul Gandhi should know that his “ centre “to which he has appealed , has failed yet to do justice in Jammu and Kashmir. The People of your borderlands are suffering from the bombardments of American Forces, running after an Al Qaida, and Talibans. You have to wake up to problems with Pakistan. Relations are gating stale with Sikh population in Punjab.

Rahul Gandhi has to wake up to other things than getting justice done to the Tamils in Sri Lanka. The latest I read is that the still “left over” terrorists after the leadership sank dead into Nandikadal are gathering somewhere in India, and they have the names of the Prime Minister and Karunanidhi in their death list. In the meantime in Orissa and Andrapradesh the Maoist movement is gathering force. There is trouble brewing in Punjab. Your relations with Pakistan has to be re-established. Pakistan is not “breeding” terrorists, if the terrorists occupies some parts of Pakistan. If the terrorists are hiding in the border villages of Pakistan, you cannot say Pakistan is harbouring terrorists.

You have to think of some means to bring the two governments India and Pakistan on to a civilised track of discussing the problems and settling them on friendly terms. Such an arrangement will help both countries economically and socially and maintain a more peaceful relationship . Such a move by Rahul Gandhi will make him a National hero. That would be a far better investment than his attempt to get justice done for the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Tamils in Sri Lanka is not Rahul Gandhi’s problem it is the problem for the President of Sri Lanka which he is quite capable settling, as he has so far settled greater problems with out any “young brat” from India or his “ centre”, having to prompt him what he should do.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

We should not accept the UN Panel in Sri Lanka

The appointment of the UN Panel to investigate in to the violation of human rights in Sri Lanka was a unilateral decision taken by Ban Ki Moon the Secretary General of UN. It was taken despite a protest by the Government of Sri Lanka a Member State of the UNO.

Ban Ki Moon has failed to show that he has acted in the interest of the Member State and that his decision was objective, as he has not appointed a similar panel to investigate into the continued violation of human rights by the US Armed Forces in Afghanistan .

There is ample evidence that large numbers of Civilians had been killed in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq by American bombardments , unconcerned of the safety of the Civil population. But Ban Ki Moon has shown a highhanded connivance with these American human rights violation in not appointing a panel of investigation to probe in to those criminal acts as quick as he was to do it in respect of Sri Lanka.

Ban Ki Moon’s interest is apparently the coming election of the Secretary General of the UN for which he will be seeking re-election. Therefore, the civilian casualties in the war in Afghanistan and Iraq is not important enough for him to appoint a panel of investigation until he is re-elected.

Because Ban Ki Moon cannot antagonise America and its Western friend who are an essential voting-block for his re-election. He knows it from the previous experience of his predecessor Koffi Annan, “….…. Annan fell afoul of George W. Bush's administration when he opposed, if ever so diplomatically, the plan to go to war in Iraq. Opposition from the White House and the American right made the remainder of his tenure hell…..”.

Could we therefore place any confidence in the bona fides of Ban Ki Moon in sending the UN panel to Sri Lanka, when we have our own Commission of Investigation ? His second term in UN as its Secretary General depends not on the question of human rights for which Ban Ki Moon does not give a dime, but to what an extent he could discredit Sri Lanka for the pleasure of the West which has lately become the Zombie of its expatriate Tamil followers.

The fact that Ban Ki Moon wants to continue with his panel of investigation despite Sri Lanka informing him that it has its own commission of investigation, is evident lack of trust and confidence in our own Commission of Investigation whispered in to his ears by the White West, which thinks that only their grey matter could be counted upon as possessors of worldly wisdom. Therefore there is no reason why we should allow him to have his way sending his panel to Sri Lanka.

Ban Ki Moon’s appointment of his own panel of investigation in to the violation of human rights in Sri Lanka, when Sri Lanka has already informed of the Commission it has appointed for the same purpose is an evident abuse of power of the Office of Secretary General by Ban Ki Moon.

He should be aware that any military operation against terrorism is very complex, fraught with enormous safety risks to the legitimate Armed Forces as well as to the civilian population. It is doubly so when the Military operations are directed against terrorists as they are least concerned with the safety of the civilian population.

The terrorists target the Armed Forces “sitting” amidst the Civilian population taking cover behind them, expecting the Government forces to shoot back causing evident damage to the Civilians around them. But the Sri Lanka Government Forces alive to the situation did not use heavy artillery in the areas where the safety of the Civilian population was at risk.

Ban Ki Moon does not act with any intelligence of his own, being a sort of “His Masters Voice”, as it has been said that, “…… there was no chance that Barack Obama's administration would seek to deny a second term to the most pro-American SG in recent memory, if not ever. ( http://www.foreignpolicy.com/ ).

The role of the Secretary General of the UN is to act as a mediator to settle disagreements with member states and bring the parties together without any attempt on his part to take unilateral decisions, and avoid such disagreements degenerate into more serious political situations. Specially with regard to the developing countries , he should be an “elder “, to advise and avoid other powerful countries from interfering into the internal affairs of the developing Nations.

But Ban Ki Moon is doing exactly the opposite, interfering himself into the internal affairs of it Member States aggravating confrontational politics between developing and developed countries.

We cannot expecting any positive impact from the visit of Ban Ki Moons panel to Sri Lanka and it is in the interest of Sri Lanka to keep the panel away.

Sri Lanka is awakening into a new dawn as a Middle Income Level Country, and we cannot sell our souls, when the powerful West is forcing to weaken us to make us one of their “slave states” dependant on them.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Why it is necessary to have one National Anthem sung in one language ?

Ananda Samarakoon

The necessity to sing our National Anthem in Sinhala is being debated now. It appears to be an appropriate time to discuss the importance of a National Anthem and in which language it should be sung. There are comparisons of the language of the National anthems sung in different countries.

It is time that we in Sri Lanka should in certain matters take our own decisions evaluating our own situation, cultural values , our national construct etc. without having to do some thing because some others are doing it, or some others are not doing it.

It should be the same with regard to the choice of the language in which the National Anthem is sung, or even what flag we should have as our national symbol. Sri Lanka has evolved since its Independence from the British Rule in 1948. Our Independence took significant changes. The first Independence was negotiated by the then National political leadership. We were then able to face the British rulers as a united Nation and demand Independence.

There were no Communal differences then. In 1951 the Sinhala lyrics of the song Apa Sri Lanka was initially accepted as the National Anthem, the beginning of the song was subsequently changed. It was thereafter translated into Tamil and those who wanted to sing it in Tamil was allowed to do so, for the sake of convenience.

A nation should have one National Anthem and it should be sung preferably in the National language. It is not important that in India it is sung in Bengali, or in Malaysia it is sung in Malay, or in South Africa it is sung in several ethnic languages. If Sri Lanka were to be a true nation without communal distinctions, we may also have our National Anthem in Tamil. For that the Tamils should make patriotic moves.

But India , Malaysia, and South Africa or even Canada have a reasons for having their National Anthem in different languages . It is simply because in those countries the different ethnic communities have no “unholy” wars with the respective governments about setting up “homelands” or demand recognition of different ethnic languages as National languages.

In India, whether one comes from Gujarat, TamilNadu, Kerala or Maharashtra, they are all Indians. They speak different languages as well, but Hindi is the National Language. It is the Same with Malaysia- they are all Malaysians, or in South Africa they are all South Aftricans.

Unfortunately in Sri Lanka the Tamils want to make it different. The Tamils in Sri lanka are not Sri Lankans, but they are Tamils in Sri Lanka. That is the problem.

That is also the problem in every thing in Sri Lanka with the Tamils. They want Tamil also as the National Language. The Tamils have aspirations, the Tamils have grievances, Tamils want political devolution, Tamils want North and East for themselves,

Every Tamil Journalist pretends to be more intelligent than any one else. In Transcurrent DBS Jeyaraj, who sometimes writes objectively, is not without his Tamil “blinkers” when writing about the National Anthem. As he says the singing the National Anthem in Tamil had been left without objection. But it does not mean that we should not remind that the Official Version of the National Anthem is in Sinhala.

He says , “ It could be seen therefore that this Island nation has displayed a sense of accommodation towards the usage of Tamil language in the sphere of “officially” singing the national anthem throughout its post independence period.” Many things had been left as they had been for many reasons. “, because of terrorism for instance.

And as I pointed out it took a long time for the real Independence to come to Sri Lanka. After changing of hands from the British rule to Independence in 1948, Mr.SWRD Bandaranaike broke away from the UNP and formed the SLFP. MEP lead by SLFP came in to power replacing the UNP in the elections of 1956. It was the Independence won by the active participation of the people. The idea of a Nation came into being after the 1956 election.

It was this idea of a Nation that prompted Mr.SWRD Bandaranaike to declare Sinhala as the National Language. It was also the beginning of the Communal separation of the country with the racist politicians like Chelvanayagam, Ponnambalam and Amirthalingam opposing the Sinhala majority , sowing seeds of separatism. The Tamil Leadership in Jaffna was more interested in themselves and claimed official recognition of Tamil language with the idea of setting up a separate territory exclusively for the Tamils.

This resulted in the subsequent armed intervention by a group of Tamils from Jaffna trained by the RAW of India to resist the Government of Sri Lanka through armed terrorism. Sri Lanka suffered under terrorism for thirty long years and thanks to the election of Mr;Mahinda Rajapakse as the President of Sri Lanka , terrorism came to an end in 2009.

We now come to the third change of the 1948 Independence. This change into real Independence was after the elimination of terrorism, hand in hand with infrastructural developments, and an economic awakening and the election of Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse as the President of Sri Lanka for the second time.

The people are at last experiencing the real Independence of Sri Lanka, separating itself from the dependence of its former Colonial rulers, and distancing from unfriendly Western Nations who for still unknown reasons are conniving with the expatriate Tamil communities living in their countries to divide Sri Lanka between the Tamils and the Sinhala, probably to maintain their control over a divided Sri Lanka.

In the meantime perhaps to the greater chagrin of the West the World Bank has declared Sri Lanka a Middle Income Country. It is therefore a pride for all- the Sinhala, Tamil, the Muslims and other Communities to be awakened to this reality of being an Independent Middle Income Nation, and re-evaluate ourselves to rise to the occasion as a united Nation of Sri Lankans.

It is in this light we should evaluate the symbols of Independence as a Nation and revitalise our National cultural symbols such as the National Anthem, the National Flag and the National Language to fit into our real Independent Status.

The Tamils should at least now come forward to be recognised not as Tamils, but as citizens of Sri Lanka, and hold hands of friendship with the Sinhala, the Muslim and others as compatriots.

The Tamils have the very rude manner of calling the Sinhala, racists, chauvinists, supremacists and trouble makers, the moment a Sinhala stands up for his rights or make favourable demands in respect of matters of unity, not withstanding the fact that the Tamils as of right speak out loud all the time for Tamil aspirations, Tamil grievances or Tamil rights.

The Tamils should now realise that the Tamil “ aspirations” they emphasise are not for unity with other communities, but for division, to stand apart from other communities. Therefore, at least now the Tamils should accept the National Anthem in Sinhala without rejecting it as a discrimination against the Tamils. The two communities should now try to build a cordial relationship “brick by brick” without the Tamils rejecting anything related to Sinhala as a discrimination against them.

It is said that before we make demands from our parents we should ask ourselves , “ what have we given them ourselves for us to ask for more from them ? “.

The Tamils always keep on asking ever since the end of terrorism (and even before), for more Tamil rights, for Tamil aspirations, for political devolution, for Land rights, for settlement of Tamils in lands occupied by the HSZ, and for settlement of Tamil grievances and so on. The Sinhala and Muslims and yet others also have rights, aspirations , and grievances, but that is not important for the Tamils, because what is important for the Tamils is their rights…...

But what have the Tamils given in return to Sri Lanka, to consider that they have a better right to make demands ? The Tamils are not happy because the Sinhala is the “majority”. And therefore the Tamils think it is the Sinhala who should make sacrifices.

Haven’t the Sinhala already made enough Sacrifices more than the Tamils had ever made and will ever make in the future ? Doesn’t that it self make the Sinhala deserve a little more ? The Sinhala do not ask any thing for themselves, but they ask for unity , they want to work with the Tamils, and Muslims together as a Nation, so that there will be peace, and with peace there will be happiness.

The National Anthem sung in Sinhala by the Sinhala, Tamils and Muslims would be a symbol of unity. It will be an acclamation of unity with all the people living in this little Island which is nobody’s homeland, but every bodies motherland.

If there is again another terrorism it will again be the Sinhala Buddhists who will rise up to fight against the terrorists. Could we depend on the Tamils to join with the Sinhala if there is such a misfortune again ?

This is not political myopia-as DBS Jeyaraj would say.

DBS Jeyaraj says, “ After decades of a separatist conflict the alienated Tamil population is slowly struggling to be re-integrated into the political mainstream of a united nation. Now they were being denied the right to sing the national anthem in their mother tongue and dealt a symbolic blow .”

It is the role of the people like DBS Jeyaraj educated Tamils, to bring all the Tamils in to the mainstream of a United Nation of Sri Lankans.

Another Tamil journalist Shanie, writing to the most virulent anti Sinhala website Sri Lanka Guardian , says , “We trust the government will therefore re-think their short-sighted move and not make any changes in the use of the National Anthem in both languages throughout the country. The members of the Tamil Mandram at Royal College, for instance, should be able to sing the national anthem in Tamil at any official function; similarly at the Royal College Prize Giving, the students should stand to attention and sing the National Anthem each in his own language to the same tune. If any change is to done, we could think, as one writer has suggested of using the South African model in having the National Anthem sung partly in Tamil and partly in Sinhala so that all citizens get used to the idea of a bi-lingual national identity.”

These are the same educated Tamils who want the National Anthem sung in Tamil even in Colombo, but against Sinhala people settling down in Jaffna and the East, and who refer to ethnic chauvinism to insult the compassionate Sinhala people. Why cannot they even now use their poison pens to call for Sinhala-Tamil unity not as Tamils and Sinhala but as Sri Lankans.

Do they not realise that to pontificate in this manner is to provoke Sinhala to react against the Tamils for their intransigence , and they have a right to do so without being called chauvinists ?

The Tamils were not alienated by the Sinhala. The Tamils are alienating by themselves on their own accord. The Sinhala people are beckoning the Tamils to come and join them as citizens of Sri Lanka , as they are not Tamils just living in Sri Lanka.

Let us therefore begin by singing our National Anthem only in its original language

Monday, 13 December 2010

A submission to Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission

The Secretary,
The Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Commission,
The Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations & Strategic Studies,
24 Horton Place,
Colombo – 07,

Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the Commission,

In ancient times it was to the elders the people took their problems. It had been so in Asia Africa , Europe, and even with the American Indians. The King Alexander went to the priests to consult oracles. In Sri Lanka the elders including the Buddhist Monks were consulted by the kings and the people to get their advice. These elders knew the people their customs, their beliefs, the way they lived and were able to impart wise counsel.

Hence, to appoint Sri Lanka’s own respected elders to inquire into what happened during the military operations and learn from the findings the solutions to our problems is most appreciable.

For the people of Sri Lanka the most reliable investigators in to their past to understand what went wrong , and advice what steps should be taken to avoid a recurrence are their own seniors-the wise elders, who knows their customs , and the way they act in a given situation according to their religious and cultural dispositions.

Therefore, Mr Chairman and distinguished members of the Commission, permit me as an ordinary Sri Lankan who had lived in a village with the Tamil, and the Muslim as immediate neighbours, and studied in a Christian School with their children to make my modest contribution from my experience and knowledge, of what I think of the unfortunate three decades of terrorism, and my ideas of its probable beginning and my candid opinion what facts have to be taken into consideration, to find a solution for a reconciliation of the two communities- the Tamil and the Sinhala.

The key to the solution for a reconciliation I presume is the extent to which the Tamils could be made to understand the Sinhala, without their veil of suspicion.

The definition of the word “ reconciliation” is: re-establishing of cordial relations. If in the context of LLRC, reconciliation is to re-establish cordial relations that existed between the Sinhala and Tamils before the terrorism began, it would be a vain attempt as in reality, even in that distant past, there had been no cordial relationship between the Tamils in the North and the Sinhala in the south, or between the Tamils in the North and the governments.

Even if we were to look further back in to the history of Sri Lanka, there had been no cordial existence between the two communities. Each one had existed without an outward show of any real dislike but with distrust. There was a story among the Tamils that one could trust only three Sinhalaya, the dead, the unborn, and the image of the one on the wall. That in short was the situation before the commencement of the armed terrorism.

The Tamils did not mix with the Sinhala. Most of the Jaffna Tamils who came to work in the south came alone, leaving their families back in Jaffna. The young Single Tamils working in government departments or provincial offices in the south lived in what was called “chumaries”. The traders, the barbers, and the other merchants lived in their shops , boutiques or their saloons.

Therefore the Tamils coming to South to work kept their distance from the Sinhala. I do not know the statistics but the intermarriages between Sinhala and Jaffna or Batticaloa Tamils and vice versa were few or none at all.

That is to say there was no social interaction between the two communities. Those executive officers who were provided with Government quarters brought their families along with them but even among them it was not many who came with their families.

In the South as well intermarriages were insignificant despite a greater Tamil population. The non existence of social contact between the Tamil and the Sinhala families sealed the development of deeper social relationships. Hence the absence of a cordial relationship between the two communities.

Permit me Mr.Chairman , let me give some historical details regarding ancient Sri Lanka from “Early History of Buddhism in Ceylon” by E.W.Adikaram, in which he says that immediately after the arrival of Venerable Mahinda Maha Thero , during the reign of the King Devanampiyatissa in the 2nd century BCE, Buddhism spread through out Sri Lanka.

At that time there had been neither Tamil settlements, nor Chola invasions from south India. Though there seem to have been visitors or immigrants from the North of India, visiting Brahmins, merchants, and persons invited by the Sinhala Kings.

But during the reign of the King Suratissa the first Chola invasion had taken place. Sri Lanka during three centuries of peace had grown rich. Two merchants Sena and Guttika, visiting Sri Lanka had seen that pious King Suratissa had not prepared a military defence system and was not ready for any military opposition. The two Indian merchants profited from the situation and defeated the king in a military intervention. That was the first Tamil invasion. They reigned for 20 years. During that period and there after, there had been Tamil intrusions from time to time.

Sena and Guttika were finally defeated by the old King Asela, and regained the kingdom. He was hundred years old when the Dravidian Elara from Chola invaded Sri Lanka, defeated King Asela in battle and reigned over the territory for 25 years . During this period many people left Anuradhapura to Rohana in the South.

That is how the Tamils had come to Sri Lanka- as invaders, marauder, and looters of rich temples, and palaces. Some of these invaders may have started settlements. The King Gajabahu who carried out a successful military offensive against the Cholas brought 12000 Cholans to Sri Lanka as prisoners from South India and allowed them to settle down with all their Hindu Gods and Goddesses- Vishnu, Natha and Pattini, impacting thus the purity of Buddhism.

We do not know much about early settlements in the North. The Archeological Department does not seem to have made archeological research in these areas, and it is time now that excavations are begun in the North and the East to ascertain what type of settlements had existed in the peninsula, and elsewhere. There had nevertheless been Buddhist settlements to which the Nagadipa Purana Vihara stands witness.

This reference to history is to show that the present day Tamils come from these different stocks of invaders. Thus, they still continue to live with that mentality of invaders and therefore their attitude towards the Sinhala have not changed. The Tamils remain “ outsiders” without any feelings of patriotism to Sri Lanka despite it being their motherland.

These unpatriotic Tamils remind me of the Biblical story of the woman who took away a child from its mother and claimed the child was hers. They were brought before the wise King Solomon to decide to whom the baby belonged. The King listened to them and as there was no solution other than satisfying both of them ordered the Child to be cut into two and give each one a part. The woman who had stolen the baby from the mother, agreed to the Kings decision. But the other woman wailed and pleaded with the King to give the baby to the other woman , as she would not want the baby harmed. The King Solomon then knew the baby’s real mother.

The Tamils who demand division of Sri Lanka for them to have a part of it to set up their Tamil Eelam are like the wicked woman in the Biblical story who took away the baby from its real mother. Similarly the Tamils do not care whether the country is divided , and mutilated as long as they can have a part of it to spite the Sinhala.

How could we expect the Tamils to be patriots when they want to mutilate our motherland, without loving it as it is with whatever defects they find in her ?

This had been the history, and we have much to learn from it. The Tamils having lived with distrust of the Sinhala, their anger and jealousy burst out in 1983. Helped by India , and with the environment which had already been created by ambitious high caste Jaffna Tamil politicians like Chelvanayagam, Ponnambalam, and the Sundaralingams terrorism was its natural consequence.

During the thirty years of terrorism in the North and East, the people who suffered the most were the Tamils living in those areas. As it had been during the days of the ancient Kings, it was the awakening of the Sinhala Buddhists lead by a man from Ruhuna who had taken over reins of leadership, that defeated terrorism and brought peace to the country. It had always been the Sinhala Buddhists rose in defence of the country and contributed to its development.

The Tamils await to reap benefit from the country without participating in its defence, security or development.

However the Tamil population of the Indian origin brought in by the British do not fall into the category of the Tamils of the North. They have not created problems as the Tamils of the North and live peacefully with the Sinhala.

We should now forget the past leaving aside the history just mentioned, and find a solution to build some sort of ” cordial relationship” that had not so far existed. The change of this unfortunate attitude of distrust has to come from the Tamils.

It is easier to understand the problem, if we see that there are two types of Tamils in Sri Lanka (other than the State Tamil population with who there is no problem):

The first are the ordinary Tamils who want to live peacefully, but who could yet be influenced by the second type of Tamils appealing to their inborn Tamil sentiments.

The Second type of Tamils are the Educated Tamils, the politicians , the journalists, and the expatriates Tamil Community. They are the manipulators of Sri Lanka Tamil opinion.

It is the mentality of the second type that has to be changed, to make them understand the inane danger of distrusting the Sinhala their own compatriots, and to convince them of the necessity to work along with the Sinhala for the benefit of the country which is also their motherland. They should not remain “ outsiders “, but citizens à part entière along with others, and they should refrain from manipulating the ordinary peace loving Tamils.

APRC had been sitting for several years but it had not attempted to convince the Tamil political leaders to agree to support a political system where the political parties are not identified with a community.

What is important is to substitute communal identity, with the identity of citizenry. All citizens are Sri Lankans. This should have been agreed upon at the APRC, but perhaps the subject had not even been broached in the discussions.

Therefore Mr. Chairman , this transferring of Communal identity to the identity of citizenry should be the aftermath of the “learning lessons” from past events. It is the educated Tamils , that should convince the ordinary Tamils to accept Sinhala without prejudice, without mistrust, as partners for the creation of a Nation.

What has to be buried and forgotten, is this complex of being an “outsider “ arising from the “primordial instinct of being an invader”. That is why people like Narapalasingham of the Tamil Sangam want to write a new history of the Tamils discarding Mahavamsa as an irrelevant writings of a prejudiced Buddhist Monk.

The American Blacks were not invaders, but brought in as slaves wrenched from their African families. They grew up to become a sort of “adopted American people”, and therefore was assimilated into the main stream of Americans, even though initially they too had problems of segregation. They were able to overcome those problems and get assimilated into the majority population to the extent of being able to make one of them the President of America.

They did not make the mistake like the Tamils in Sri Lanka to identify themselves by their ethnicity. The American Blacks did not encourage political parties to separate them from the white population as a different community.

Therefore if the Tamils could integrate into the main stream of Sinhala population without hatred, but with a fraternal attitude they could repeat the American miracle, having one of them as a President of Sri Lanka.

There is no other ethnic minority group in the world of Nations that have been well looked after like the Tamils in Sri Lanka, still while minorities among other Nations have integrated and live amicably with the majority, the Tamils in Sri Lanka refuse to integrate. They study Constitutions of different Nations and propose federalism for separation, They setup provisional Governments etc., rather than make a sincere attempt to integrate with the majority.

In foreign countries the neighbourhood relationships are not very cordial, it is true even among their own people , let alone with the immigrants. Therefore the immigrants tend to flock together. The diaspora Tamils may have experienced this difficulty in white neighbourhoods even if they do not want to accept it, but they will not have the same difficulty in integrating into Sinhala neighbourhoods in Sri Lanka, as it is evident in the South.

Mr. Chairman, and distinguished Members of the Commission, the people of Sri Lanka did not have to fight to get Independence from the British, though the early Sinhala rebellions against the Colonial rulers were ruthlessly clamped down. It was the National leaders who “negotiated” the Independence in 1948. Therefore, the people did not see a real difference in the transformation of Sri Lanka from a British Colony to an Independent Nation in 1948.

Therefore, when Mr.SWRD Banadaranaike formed the SLFP in 1956 , his landslide victory at the election after which he became the Prime Minister marked the real Independence of the people. SWRD Bandaranaike’s desire was to make this Independence meaningful to the people, revitalising the old national values, and make of Sri Lanka a great Nation among the other Nations of the world.

It was in that noble effort he declared Sinhala the National language, and even mutilated the ancient National flag of Sri Lanka to make it acceptable to the Tamil and the Muslim Communities.

His motive was a large hearted effort to give Sri Lanka a Nationhood. But as usual the Tamils led by the high caste Tamil political Nobility made it an occasion to condemn the noble act of SWRD Bandaranaike as a discrimination against the Tamils.

The 12 percent of the Tamils wanted more than even the equal rights with the Sinhala. They wanted a separate “Raj “an Eelam all for themselves. Even the subsequent grant of reasonable use of Tamil for administration purposes did not satisfy them.

Was it not similar to Mohammed Ali Jinnah, manipulated by the British breaking away from greater India to form a separate Pakistan despite Mahatma Ghandhi asking him to be the Prime Minister of an undivided India ?

The terrorist Prabhakaran was the same, he was never satisfied with what ever political solution was proposed to him, he wanted the Tamil Home land and nothing less.

It is the same now with those who want to negotiate, on behalf of the Tamils. They will continue demanding the “ pound of flesh”.

Mr.Chairman, I pray that this respectful Commission will find a solution to satisfy them, without breaking the unitary status of Sri Lanka just to satisfy the Tamils, and convincing them to give up their divisive politics to agree to create a true Sri Lankan Nation.

Too much have already been sacrificed to satisfy the Tamils. Sri Lanka is today in the “eve” of rising above its poor developing status to become a full fledged National State., with a developed infrastructure, a comfortable economic development, with one flag, one language and one National Anthem. We cannot sacrifice all that to satisfy the Tamils who given more will demand more, without giving anything themselves for the development of Sri Lanka.

The Tamils should integrate in to Sri Lankan society, without their divisive politics with sincerity to make this Island home a true Nation of Sri Lankans. The Tamils should at least now after the terrorist debacle, love Sri Lanka as true patriots.

However, we had been fortunate to have had Tamils who had risen far above the norm of real patriots to bring honour to Sri Lanka, two of them we could never forget are the late Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar and Jeyraj Fernandopullai.


Another Tamil patriot I cannot leave without mention is Karuna Amman or Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, who is an example of a Tamil man who was ready, having had been a terrorist, to forget the past and preferred to accept Sri Lankan citizenry, to narrow communalism.

After 30 years of terrorism Sri Lanka should change radically, not to allow terrorism ever again to creep into our midst. For that our school in the North and East should have a mixture of children from all communities. In order to make that possible the Sinhala people should be allowed to settle down in the North and East to make North and East multiethnic provinces.

The lessons to be learnt are not only from the conflict we had with Tamils and terrorist, but also from the way the Sinhala , Tamil and Muslim politicians opposed to the President and the government behaved through out the five years since 2005 during the decisive military operations carried out by the Sri Lanka Armed Force.

Mr. Chairman , the behaviour of the main opposition party UNP during the Military operations against the terrorists was most deplorable. The fight against terrorism was a national issue and the opposition politicians should have cooperated with the government giving it moral support. But unfortunately to date the opposition parties to the government have not stopped their virulent attacks against the government.

They think that the political role they have to play as the opposition to the Government is to find ways and means of defeating the President and his government. And in that effort they continue to divide the Communities and allow the Tamils to foster their opposition to any type of unity with the Sinhala.

LLRC in Jaffna

Mr. Chairman, while you and the distinguished members of your Commission are carrying out a very difficult and a most praise worthy attempt to find solutions for the reconciliation of the Tamils and the Sinhala , the members of the UNP the main opposition to the government are requesting the President to cooperate with an international inquiry, warning that if the President does not act wisely, he could be summoned before an international court on various allegations levelled against the Sri Lankan government.

This is most distressing and lamentable , when the Government has already appointed you and your distinguished members to this Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission to make a complete inquiry to find dependable solutions.

The opposition parties instead of demanding the President to face an international investigation should rally round the President to demand the International Community to keep away from interfering into the internal affairs of our country.

We the people are quite satisfied and we do not for an instant doubt your ability to do a better and a comprehensive inquiry and come to reliable, satisfactory and acceptable conclusions, more than any international inquiry conducted by a panel foreign to our culture, way of life, and our way of thinking, could ever be able to accomplish.

Mr. Chairman, I wish you and the distinguished members of the Commission every success.

Theruwan Saranai,


Friday, 10 December 2010

Any one heard about retribution.

If you do a bad turn to some one it may rebound on you. You cannot escape from it if the person humiliated or put into an embarrassing position had no bad intensions. They say these retributions normally take place within 7 days or three months from the day of the occurrence of the humiliation or the untoward act.

It was on the 2nd December that the President of Sri Lanka Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse who was invited by the Union of the Oxford University to deliver a speech to the Union members, was stopped from delivering the speech giving a flimsy excuse of the in ability of the police to control an expected manifestation against the President by the pro-terrorist Tamil expatriate community in UK.

The President Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse took it calmly and regretted his inability to have spoken. He added that he intended to inform the Oxford Union, his future projects for the development of his country, and said that he promotes unity of the Communities in Sri Lanka rather than their division.

On the 9th December, just seven days after the incident in which the Oxford Union humiliated or caused an embarrassment to the President of Sri Lanka Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse, the Prince Charles, and the Duchess of Cornwall was attacked by protesters. The Prince Charles is the future King of UK and the second highest personage next to the Queen.

Therefore any embarrassment cause to him during his visit is an affront and a disgrace caused by the inefficiency of the Police Force of UK, who was unable to have given appropriate security to Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The Daily Mail reported Charles and Camilla were visibly shaken after their armoured car was targeted as they made their way to the concert. The car was daubed in paint and a rear window shattered as protesters vented their fury after MPs voted to raise tuition fees.

Parliament Square was flooded with angry protesters clashing with police. Officers stalled hundreds demonstrating on Westminster Bridge.

Prime Minster David Cameron expressed his shock at the attack, saying it was a disappointing move by protesters. Police announced that they anticipated more than 20,000 demonstrators to attend.

The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square was burnt, while windows were also smashed. Approximately 150 students held a sit-in at the National Gallery.

Beware Great Britain and the West, it does not augur well to humiliate a democratically elected President of a Sovereign Member State of the Commonwealth- Specially a good man like Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse the President of Sri Lanka. This may be a warning. The retributions to come may be worse.