“Sri Lanka did not become Singapore ("Sinhapoor") because of the mal-effects of Chelvanayagam's myopic policies. Hopefully, the policy that Deavananda, Thondaman, Karuna, Pillaiyan, and AnandaSangaree are spear heading, albeit as a result of dire necessacity. Rajapaksa has created a "Mandala" where the gentlemanly Anandasangaree and the ex-terrorist Karuna can co-habit with ex-che-Guevara (JVP) politicians and right-wing free loaders like Bogollagama. "Mandalai" is a Tamil word which means "company", or "crowd", while it has its roots in the old Sanskrit word, "Mandala" of the Rig Veda.”

by Sebastian Rasalingam

(October 19, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Tamil Tiger front men, the Sampanthans and Adaikalanthan's had run to the Tamil Naad politicians and supplicated at their feet. The Tigers, in their last ditch stand has loosened the purse and disbursed funds in Chennai and Thirunveli. Power and politics of the Sri Lankan Tamils have been handed over to the Tamil Naad politicians. Colombo, New Delhi, the International community and the "Diasporan Damila" are engaging in a show of force and counterforce. Meanwhile Prabhakaran is holding a large number of hapless Tamils to hostage in the Vanni.

The Diasporan Tamils are NOT "Damilas"


I have referred to the "Diasporan Damila" to emphasize what it is NOT. The old Prakrit word "Damila" has little validity with respect to these individuals who claim to exude and extemporize the aspirations of the "Tamil Nation". The diasporan Tamils are a fringe group which uses English in its communications, and are most at home in Karuvakkaadu (Cinnamon Gdns), London, Toronto, Sydney and other affluent locations. They do not know what the poor Tamils need. They organize meetings and academic seminars, and commemorations, all in English. They fund the LTTE and provides the Tigers a Tame countenance in the civilized world. They are the pro-LTTE opinion makers who insist that we should "stop the war and begin talks with the Tigers for meaningful power devolution". They gloss over the massacre of the Tamils by the LTTE, the child soldiers, the assassinations, the suppression of dissent, and write in the "Lanka or India Dissent" claiming that the government of Sri Lanka, by its attempt to put down the LTTE, is engaging in genocide against the Tamils. The Kumaaran Satheesans, Naraplasinghams, Wakeley Pauls and others who have waxed eloquent on Tamil Homelands and called for a "federal solution" are, wittingly or unwittingly, LTTE fellow travelers. These are the people who are NOT "Damilas". They are the "Thimpu Tamils". Their "Tamil nation" cannot assimilate with the Tamil nation proper, as found in Tamil Nadu itself.

The Federal Solution and Tamil Nadu

There is indeed, a priori, nothing wrong with a federal approach to power sharing and there is much to commend in federating two separated groups. However, such groups must already be in a state of cooperation and good will if they are to operate efficiently as a federated group. The federal party of the Tamils was, from its inception, a Tamil Arasu Kadchchi which refused to build goodwill, and instead worked hard to polarize the two communities with the objective of separation. When the "Arasu Katchchi" transformed itself to the "Tamil United Liberation Front" (TULF), and spawned various militant groups, it began to get large amounts of financial and logistic support from Nedumaran and other Tamil-Nadu politicians. Even in the 1930s, 1960s and 1970s, the political statements of the Tamil leaders were often an echo of the language of the Tamil Nadu politicians.

Thus we see that history is repeating itself. The Tamils of Sri Lanka, even when there was some sort of a "Jaffna Kingdom", either surrogated themselves to the Sinhala Kings of the south or the Dravidian Kings of Tamil Naad. There has been NO ability to forge an independent political destiny. The readiness of the TNA leaders and the Thimpu Tamils to rush to India and rouse the millions of Nadu Tamils against the Sri Lankan state is the very nightmare that the Colombo government fears, in granting federal devolution to the Tamils of the North. Even the briefest experiment with the Perumal of the East ended up in a unilateral declaration of Independence not so long ago. The cry of the Arasu Kadchi, the Vaddukkodei TULF, and the TNA leaders in Tamil Naad have done little to allay the fears of the Sinhala majority, and instead they have flamed the fire of suspicion repeatedly. If the federal deal is to be between the Sinhala majority and the Tamil minority (which is fast becoming a minority second to the Muslims), then the actions of the TNA and the Thimpu Tamils are designed to explode any possibility of a Federal deal.

Gen. Fonseka asserts that the minorities have to accept the Majority rule of the Sinahlese. The Tamil Nadu politicians are asserting that even a sovereign state has to accept the Majority power of the Tamils in this geographic region.

On top of all these, Anandasangare has rather imprudently talked of the "Indian Model". Under the Indian model, in Tamil Nadu, the 60% Tamils impose and enforce a policy of "Tamil ONLY" on the Kannada, Telegu, or Malayali Indians. There is NO provision for these minorities to have basic lingiusitic or educational rights. They cannot ask to be heard in their own language in a court of law or a police station in Tamil Nadu. So, if the "Indian Model" were introduced to Sri Lanka, the vast area where Sinhala dominates would become unilingual Sinhalese, and the Tamils of Kottachennai (Kotahena), Galle or Vellavattai (Wellawatta) would NOT have an iota of an official right in the Tamil Language. Similarly, the Singhalese who happen to live in th East will have to forsake their language and culture, even in "Digamadulla" which had been under the Rohana kings even in the second century BC. Clearly, Anandasangare is proposing a model which is useless to the Tamils AND to the Sinhalese. And yet, he is mesmerized by it because it is "The Indian Model" of Federalism.

Mahinda's "Mandalai" politics

It is sometimes claimed that the Buddhists monks who staged a satyagraha in front of the home of the then prime minister Bandaranaike destroyed the Banda-Chelva "Federal Pact" of the 1950s. Far be it; the fissures of federalism had been set in place in 1949 by the Tamil Arasu Katchchi itself, and by its precursor, the Tamil congress by their racist agenda of exclusive Tamil hegemony. These fissures were widened with "sathyagarahs" for "language rights", when a very different policy, based on inter-communal cooperation could have enabled the Tamils to maintain the commercial, social and financial head start they initially had over every other community. Sri Lanka did not become Singapore ("Sinhapoor") because of the mal-effects of Chelvanayagam's myopic policies. Hopefully, the policy that Deavananda, Thondaman, Karuna, Pillaiyan, and AnandaSangaree are spear heading, albeit as a result of dire necessacity. Rajapaksa has created a "Mandala" where the gentlemanly Anandasangaree and the ex-terrorist Karuna can co-habit with ex-che-Guevara (JVP) politicians and right-wing free loaders like Bogollagama. "Mandalai" is a Tamil word which means "company", or "crowd", while it has its roots in the old Sanskrit word, "Mandala" of the Rig Veda.

This "Mandala" politics, with its informal non-definition of the structure of power is precisely what Sri Lanka needs today, when the political situation is very fluid. In this system the power patently resides in the hands of powerful chieftains, be it Karuna or Keheliya. The Vanniyar chieftain Prabhakaran could have renounced his terrorist approach, and even he too, with his hands reeking in blood would yet have found a place inside this Mandala. But he has chosen his path of sacrificing all the Tamils who are not strong enough to escape his clutches. The TNA leaders can still play a role if THEY WOULD DENOUNCE THE POLITICS OF TERROR and present the truth to the Thamilians of Tamil Naadu.

District Councils, a "Nalla Vedilla"

Michael Roberts, in a recent article has decried the suggestion of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party that power devolution is best carried out at the district level. He has called it a "Pus Vedilla"( "Kalla Vedi" in Tamil). In this he is simply echoing the outdated attitudes borrowed from the Thimpu Tamils that he is likely to be in a state of osmosis. In reality, the concept of district devolution is the best that Sri Lanka could have, given its multi-ethnicity and the inhomogeneous micro-distribution of Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Malay, Burgher and other minority groups. Hulugalla had given a detailed and well-argued analysis supporting the concept of District Councils in an article in the Island newspaper. We have to await a Colombo parliament with a majority, a Tamil Naadu government which has stopped frothing at its mouth, as well as the clear defeat of terrorism, if Sri Lanka is to herald a sensible approach to power devolution with a true "Nalla Vedilla".
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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