13th amendment, is it enough for Tamils to drop Eelam?
Posted on July 2nd, 2009

herold leelawardena

A man named EVR Periyar is a Tamil. And Tamils are only one of the races among Dravidaians. In the 1930s he had wanted all the Dravidaian of then Madras state to get together and ask the British for a separate country. However, Periyar had not claimed Dravidaians face problems for being Dravidaians.

 Periyar had set up a political party named Dravida Kazhagam (DK) solely for separation purpose in the 1930s, and came up with a slogan; “ƒ”¹…”Dravida Nadu for Dravidians.’ What is also notable is; Periyar had come up with his slogan on the basis of race long before Jinnah thought of demanding the separation of Pakistan on the basis of religion.

 The Chief Minister M Karunanidi of Tamil Nadu had been one of Periyar’s staunchest followers. So much so, Karunanidi’s DMK and Jayalalitha’s AIADMK are both off shoots of Periyar’s party DK.

 Soon Periyar realized that other than Tamils, not many Dravidians had a lot of interest for “ƒ”¹…”Dravida Nadu.’ So, he changed his slogan to “ƒ”¹…”Tamil Nadu for Tamils.’ It was a more refined, racist and an apt demand for Tamil mindset. Perhaps that was the first clear demand for a separate country for Tamils.

 Like for Dravidaians in India, Tamils in Sri Lanka never had any special problems for them being Tamils. In fact, Tamils were the privileged lot during the British Raj. But, eminent writer, DBS Jayaraj says; a Sri Lankan Tamil named Visvalingam had first mooted the demand for a separate state or Eelam in the 1930s.

 For one thing; the Tamils demand for Eelam has nothing to do with the so-called discrimination. For another; we could visualize how desperate Tamil leaders had been to get a separate country for Tamils. Therefore my endeavor here is to show that the 13th amendment in full, or federal, or con-federal will not be enough for Tamils to give up what they longed for all this time.

 When DMK won the elections that was contested on the platform; “ƒ”¹…”independence for Tamil Nadu’ in 1962, all exploits by Periyar and his supporters have reached the peak. A huge number of DMK supporters descended to Chennai to scream; independence for Tamil Nadu.

 It was a deciding moment for India. And Pundit Nehru, the Prime Minister of India had acted swiftly. He amended the Indian constitution such that all legislators and aspirants were compelled to stop using words that would have deemed to promote to divide India. Indeed, it has been a simple but an effective stricture on the separatists ever since.

 Would be legislators had to drop such word like “ƒ”¹…”separation’ from their vocabulary if they wanted to contest elections in India. M Karunanidi, MG Ramachandran and many well known separatist leaders dropped their vociferous demand for separation and choose to contest elections. From then on, separatists could only dream for “ƒ”¹…”an independent Tamil country’ in India.

 To date our politicians failed to understand or appreciate the smart move by Pundit Nehru. Perhaps very many of them do not know it. Had we follow him and amended our constitution accordingly; Sambandan and company may not have gone around the world as Mps of Sri Lanka to degrade our forces.

 Indian law had not banned its legislators seeking a separate country for Tamils outside India. So, not only they dreamt but had become very active supporters of the Eellamists in Sri Lanka in time to come. And later on, they had pinned all their hopes on Peripaharan to get their dreams come true.

 Anyway, all Dravidians other than Tamils had decided to hang on to one India.

Hindis, the majority race in India appreciated their move. So much so, they have endorsed two non -Tamil Dravidians, Narasimha Rao and Dev Gawda to be the Prime Ministers of India later on.

 A number of Tamils too have aspired to be the Prime Minister of India as well. But none reached that high position to date because they couldn’t get the support of the Hindis. Besides, Hindis may have thought that the Tamils were jingoists and the most untrustworthy of all Dravidians. The situation of the Tamils of Sri Lanka for the past thirty years has not been different.

 Tamil leaders of Sri Lanka continue to have a similar mindset to that of Periyar and company. They were no different to their Indian cousins. The criminals that waded for Eelam by war are all but decimated. So, Eelam protagonists may be in disarray right now; but they are certainly plotting for new schemes.

 Some of them want to follow the footsteps of late Ponnambalams, others want to follow Chelvenayagams and yet some others want to follow Amirthelingams. But the most vocal and the powerful of the lot, the Diaspora Tamils wants to follow the footsteps of Peripaharan. In spite of their different roadmaps; they all have one goal. And that is Eelam.

 Diaspora Tamils are the most vocal and most powerful of all Tamils. They are more than one million in numbers. They are not the type that accepts offers based on 13th amendment, federal or con-federal. They want an offer that is based on ISGA. Otherwise, they say; they would continue their Eelam project from the lands of the west or beyond the shores of Sri Lanka. NGOs, INGOs, evangelists, neo colonists and the liberals know this very well. It is those that they bribed or duped that do not know it.

 Minister Witharana and his mafia ought to tell us how he intends to satisfy Diaspora Tamils within the ambit of Mahinda Chinthana? Or is he going to dangle with Mahinda Chinthana to satisfy them. Or is he telling us to ignore the Diaspora Tamils and settle with the puny lot.

 Indian Tamil leaders are buddies of the Diaspora Tamils in their heart and to their soul. They are as powerful as the Diaspora Tamils or even more. They too are determined to have an Eelam in Sri Lanka because they cannot have it in India. Soon or later this powerful combination will swallow the puny Amirthelingams the same way LTTE did it before. So, what do we get by satisfying the puny lot. Problems, and nothing but problems.

 Those that follow Amirthelingams footsteps may not believe in the NGO prophesy of the comings of Peripaharans to get them Eelam. They may not believe that they will ever get Elam by war as well. Pilleyan, Devananda and Sangaree are only some to name a few of them.

 Pilleyan has been asking police and land powers even before concluding the Eelam war. Upcoming chief minister of the Northern Province too would do the same in time to come. Mr. Sangaree wants to start with federal but name. They want to compete and sell to their voters who could get more. They want to get back to the typical Tamil politics of yesteryear. It is evident that their road map to Eelam is through the 13th amendment in full.

 None of these people would be content with the powers through the 13th amendment that is constraint by the unitary constitution. The fact that they are determined to get 13th amendment in full and what they say next, I quote “ƒ”¹…”to start with’ show their dogged determination to get more and more power. Their hanging on to separatist party tags is a proof of their long term aim.

 These Amirthelingams have no power of their own as they are. But with the powers of the 13th amendment they will have the necessary muscle to organize “ƒ”¹…”peaceful’ campaigns to demand more power. Mr. Sangaree has the expertise to organize the Sathygraha and to craft conflicts with the government as his predecessors did in 1970s.

 Key question we should ask them is; would majority Tamils benefit from the 13th amendment? We say; no because; majority Tamils lives outside the Northern Province. So what is the point then? We say; it is to bread Eellamists for another war.

 Tamils cannot have both worlds; equal status and open ends here, and hundred percent Tamil status and close ends in the north. This country should be open for all citizens, anywhere and everywhere. There should be no historical home lands, no internal self- determinations or no Tamil nations here in Sri Lanka.

 Tamil Nadu was demarcated from Madras state on race basis. Ninety percent of the citizenry of “ƒ”¹…”Tamil Nadu’ are Tamils. There are sixty five million Tamils live there. That is as much as twenty five times of all Tamils that lives in Sri Lanka. That is where the Tamil nation should be based on. That is where the historical Tamil land had been all along. There is no dispute for the existence of three Tamil kingdoms that was there in Tamil Nadu since the time of written Tamil history.

We have no problem in agreeing with anyone that Tamil Nadu is the traditional home land for all Tamils.

 The claim that North and East of Sri Lanka are traditional home lands of Tamils is only a devious scheme of their road map to Eelam. Other than LTTE stooges no scholar has come up with any historical proof of a lineage of Tamil kingdoms of Sri Lanka like that in the Tamil Nadu.

 The said Tamil kingdoms of Chera Nadu, Chola Nadu and Pandya Nadu had their share of internal fights. But never once any of those kingdoms sought help from their brethren, the so-called Tamil kingdoms in Sri Lanka. How could they, there were none.

 However, there was an interesting outcome of a fight between Pandayans that took place in 1163 and 1179. Parakkirama Pandyan is said to have held the capital city of Madurai when Kulasekhara Pandyan had laid siege to it. Parakkirama Pandyan had sought help from the Sinhala king Parakramabahu the great. He had sent an army under Lanka Putra that defeated Kulasekhara and put Parakkirama Pandyan back in his thorn.

 Scholars say; those three Tamil kingdoms have taken turns to invade Sri Lanka throughout their history. At times they had colonized part of Sri Lanka by chasing Sinhala kings away from their capitals. But invaders had never settled down in Sri Lanka like the Sinhalese did because they were mare raiders who wanted to plunder the wealth of our country. Just like the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British. Had they brought down their kiths and kin in large numbers and settled down in Sri Lanka, Tamils would have assimilated the Sinhalese and would have been the majority of this country long long ago.

 British had brought down all most all the Tamils that live in the upcountry. Dutch had brought down the bulk of the Tamils that live in the north and east before that. Even so, Tamils make up less than sixteen percent in Sri Lanka. What is more important is that seventy five percent of the Tamils live outside the Northern Province. That is why, the 13th amendment is a wrong solution for a non-existent problem.

 All Sinhalese accept that Tamils are citizens of this country with equal rights. So, the government should do everything within its power to safeguard that right. It should continue to make room for all races to reach highest political and civil administrative positions in the country.

 However, the government should not alienate its will, the legislative power or any part of this country to Tamils, Muslims or a section of Sinhalese for that matter.

 Herold Leelawardena

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