Right to Reclaim – Part Three

Right of the Sri Lanka government to reclaim its historical sovereignty over North of Sri Lanka

Link to Part Two

History of the terrorism in Sri Lanka

by. PBS. Hemachandra

(October 30, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Sri Lanka’s population is about 74% Sinhalese, about 12% Tamils (known as Ceylon or Sri Lankan Tamils), 6 % Tamils of Indian origin who were given citizenship after independence and the balance 8% consists of Muslims, Malays and descendants of Europeans. Most of the Tamils of Indian origin brought to Sri Lanka by our British masters to work in tea plantations do not live in the North and East of Sri Lanka which Tamils claim as their traditional homeland without any historical evidence. None of the Tamil leaders cared about the Tamils of Indian origin when they promoted Tamil Nationalist Movements.

The racist extremist Tamil movement started long before our independence in 1948 from the British. It started in 1939 with G.G. Ponnambalam attacking the Sinhalese in a virulent speech, resulting in the first Sinhala Tamil Riot. Then Tamil leaders wanted 50% 50% representation in our legislature. I have not heard of any form of representation by Tamil Leaders to the British, asking for a separate state or forwarding any historical evidence of a separate Tamil kingdom. These Tamil leaders even voted to disenfranchise Indian Tamils. Then these racist extremist Tamils started singing the discrimination song to the world, though the 12 % population of Ceylon Tamils in Sri Lanka had the major share in education, jobs, business and the economy in Sri Lanka. Even The Soulsbury Commission appointed by the British observed this fact much before independence in 1948. I fail to understand why the Indian Tamils now blame the Sinhalese for their problems, which were created because our British masters abandoned them. At no stage did these racist extremist Tamils leaders say that there was a separate Tamil Kingdom in Sri Lanka and ask for a separate Tamil State because at that stage they had not had enough time to destroy all historical evidence of the Sinhalese Buddhist civilisation in the north and east of Sri Lanka. Jaffna is the capital of the northern province of Sri Lanka, which even today has more number of high schools than the entire southern province of Sri Lanka. Southern province has about 20 times the population of Jaffna.

Even as late as 1982, Tamils held a disproportionate number of positions in the public services, private sector, university admissions and business in Sri Lanka, which is the case even today. Please see the statistics I found about employment in 1982.

In these terms Sri Lanka is a good example to countries in the developed world like Australia and the USA, compared to their treatment of Aboriginal and African-American people respectively.

I have copied a few following paragraphs from the Soulsbury Commission for every one to read and understand what Tamil leaders represented and how racist they were.

172. "Jaffna has benefited for over a century from first-rate secondary schools founded and endowed by missionary effort of various denominations. But the complaint was made to us that despite the immense increase in the education vote since 1931, a negligible provision of State schools had been made for those parts of the Jaffna district which did not enjoy the benefit of English elementary and secondary education".

173. "... as in the case of agriculture and health, we are more disposed to attribute the discrepancies in expenditure and disproportionate allocation of public funds of which complaint is made, to the government's desire to redeem certain localities and communities from the neglect of past years than to any deliberate partiality towards racial interests. Education among the Muslims, for instance, has in the past, for various reasons, been relatively backward. We were much impressed by the efforts of the minister for education, himself a Sinhalese and a Buddhist, to promote the educational advance of this community".

Public Appointments

174. "We received from the All-Ceylon Tamil Congress complaints of discrimination against the members of their community in regard to appointments in the Public Services. This matter provides a common source of dissension between majority and minority communities.
But in this case the complaint did not, as might have been expected, disclose that the proportion of posts held by the Ceylon Tamils was smaller than the size of their community would justify. On the contrary, the Ceylon Tamils appear, at any rate as late as 1938, to have occupied a disproportionate number of posts in the public services".

175. "... The Tamil witnesses maintained that in order to improve the chances of Sinhalese candidates, various small changes in examination syllabuses and conditions of entry have been made as a result of the intervention of Sinhalese Ministers, who have also endeavoured in various ways to use their influence, e.g. with Selection Boards, to favour candidates of their own race..."

176. "It appears to us that there have been minor instances of this kind of discriminatory action by the Sinhalese... but it would not in our opinion be right to regard the Sinhalese challenge to the predominant position of the Tamils in public appointments as based on such small acts of discrimination; rather it is the natural effect of the spread of education and of the effects being made to bring other portions of the island up to the intellectual level of one portion of it..."

“In this connection, we cannot help recalling a period in our own history when, as a result of the superior educational facilities and better teaching prevalent in Scotland, a minority was enabled to secure a larger share of administrative and executive posts in the United Kingdom than could have been justified on any proportional allocation. Since then the English have made strenuous and not altogether unsuccessful endeavours to redress the deficiencies of their past".

Racist extremist Tamils and some expatriates play the same tune today and destroy beautiful Sri Lanka. All the Tamils have had their education and employment experience in Sri Lanka. 75 % of the cost of that education was borne by the Sinhalese tax payers. The Sinhalese tax payers pay today almost 100% of the cost of education of Tamils in the North where Prabhakaran collects all taxes. While children of expatriates who send blood dollars to LTTE are having a good life in Western countries, poor Tamil children are killed in thousands by using them as the first wave in attacks, cannon fodder and as suicide bombers.

Sri Lanka never sent back the Tamils like the Germans did to Turks nor did the Sinhalese, with 75% of the population, enact Bumiputra laws like in Malaysia. Nor carpet-bombed north and east like the Americans in Afghanistan or Iraq, even after 2/3rd of suicide bombings in the world were proved to have been done by Tamils in Sri Lanka.

(PBS. Hemachandra, M. Com, Post Grad Dip in Bus, MCP, MACS, is a retired. Lt. Commander of Sri Lanka Navy)

To Be Continued - Sri Lanka Guardian