Lee Kuan Yew rewrites Sri Lankan HISTORY!
Posted on June 10th, 2010

Ananda De Costa

Lee Kuan Yew’s latest’s comments on Sri Lanka are outrageous, racist and inaccurate by any standard. Recently he said, “Another example is Sri Lanka. It is not a happy, united country. Yes, they [the majority Sinhalese government] have beaten the Tamil Tigers this time, but the Sinhalese who are less capable are putting down a minority of Jaffna Tamils who are more capable. They were squeezing them out. That’s why the Tamils rebelled. But I do not see them ethnic cleansing all two million-plus Jaffna Tamils. The Jaffna Tamils have been in Sri Lanka as long as the Sinhalese.”

2 million Jaffna Tamils? Is there such a race? How about Trinco Tamils, Batticaloa Tamils Wanni Tamils, Kandy Tamils, Madras Tamils and Kerala Tamils? Sri Lankan census does not show any ethnicity called “Jaffna Tamils”.

He goes on to add that Rajapakse is an extremist and agrees to the suggestion that what took place last year was ethnic cleansing. We could discard this as an “old man’s” tale but who fooled him to make such an outrages statements? If not, what research did he carry out to conclude the timeline of existence of Sinhalese and this super race called “Jaffna” Tamils? Singaporeans always claim that Malays are lazy, incapable and Chinese are smart and capable. Lee hates what is happening in Malaysia where he considers the smarts are bullied by the retarded. But the truth is, Malays are easy going, unassuming but as capable as the Chinese. More importantly they are much more sociable people than Chinese who will definitely return you a smile, unlike others.

 A decade ago LKY published a book, “Third World to First: the Singapore Story: 1965-2000″ which contained a lot of comments on South Asian countries and politics. Every leader in South Asia was a fool according to him. Among some correct facts Lee Kuan Yew went on to add blatant lies possibly because he was fooled by some Tamil Tigers or he wanted to get his ideas into others by any means. Lee says,

“Bandaranaike did not seem troubled that the Jaffna Tamils and other minorities would be at a disadvantage now that Sinhalese was the national language, or by the unease of the Hindu Tamils, the Muslim Moors, and the Christian Burghers (descendants of Dutch and natives) at the elevated status of Buddhism as the national religion. He had been president of the Oxford Union and he spoke as if he was still in the Oxford Union debating society. I was not surprised when, three years later, he was assassinated by a Buddhist monk. I thought it ironic that a Buddhist monk, dissatisfied with the country’s slow rate of progress in making Buddhism the national religion, should have done it.”

May be he got this idea from a Tamil Tiger. Surely he could have read better and refereed to court proceedings before attacking Buddhist monks in general.

In the same book he goes on “At the university in Kandy, I had asked the vice chancellor how three different engineers educated in three languages collaborated in building one bridge. He was a Burgher, and wore a Cambridge University tie so that I would recognize he had a proper Ph.D. He replied, “That, sir, is a political question for the ministers to answer.” I asked about the books. He replied that basic textbooks were translated from English into Sinhalese and Tamil, always three to four editions late by the time they are printed. “

Are there any Bridge Engineering or any other Engineering book written in Sinhalese ? Why did such a prominent world figure easily believed such shameless lies? Who is this Burgher vice chancellor of Peradeniya University in 1966? May be a reader could enlighten us. Knowing the Singaporean mentality, one could think that he must have assumed this “vice chancellor” as a Burgher because of his skin colour. Without properly checking the facts how irresponsible was Lee to make such comments?

 Singaporeans are not the laziest people in the world but their knowledge is generally like that of frogs in a well. They do not know where Sri Lanka is in the world map. They know where India is roughly but they think all Indians are Tamils. Singapore government officials assume all from Indian subcontinent as one “Indian” race similar to China (where Tibetans can be easily ethnically cleansed to make them Chinese) and they assume all of Indians should speak Tamil. If a non Tamil Indian sends his son to a Singapore school and he wanted the second language to be Chinese (because he does not speak Tamil) they will be very surprised and you will have to do a lot of convincing to get that approved. Not only that, the teachers will harass the child simply because they are angry with the Indian parent wanting his son to study Chinese (not Tamil) as the second language. This is not because they are evil but they seriously lack knowledge about other people, countries and races.

How can a man from such a society know the culture of India and Sri Lanka to offer simple solutions to ongoing problems (created by westerners and their bum-lickers) of these countries with such complex social, religious and racial blend of citizens, without living there for long periods? To give opinions about leaders of foreign countries he should associate with them for long time, not just a visit now and then. Otherwise it is extremely unfair to make negative comments. If someone has done that to him, he would not hesitate to sue him and make him bankrupt. There are a plenty of “less capable” University professors from Sri Lanka teaching Singapore students in their Universities and there are many prominent “less capable” professional serving Singapore to keep their economic progress afloat. They have been educated “free of charge” in poor Sir Lanka, thanks to Bandaranayake. Rather than thanking them why is Lee insulting them?

To understand such strange mental status of the Mentor Minister, one should learn about Singapore, and visit their shops and offices. Singapore is an island of size about Jaffna peninsula with less than 5 million people in an approximate racial mix of 75% of Chinese descent , 10% of Indian origin and 15 % of “Bhumiputra” Malays. As every Sri Lankan knows, this was a Malay country, flooded by Chinese migrants taking advantage of Malay hospitality, outnumbered and finally snatched power to marginalized them. In a way, this racial mix is very similar to that of Sri Lanka but distinctly different simply because it belonged to Malaysia 50 years ago. This means 85% of the population invaded Singapore form foreign countries because their own countries were unlivable. Under such conditions any fool from non-Malay race elected as the prime minister would chose to make English the official language. This is because it is impossible to use a Chinese dialect as the official language in a completely non-Chinese region. Even if you make Mandarin as official language it will be very inconvenient for all the Chinese (in 1960s’) to learn Mandarin because they speak so many dialects. Furthermore, Singapore has probably less than 500 years of recorded history compared to 3000- 30000 years of history in South Asian countries. All migrants obviously prefer to speak English. Size of the country makes it easy to govern.

Everyone on earth accepts that he had done a good job by establishing proper law and order in his country but he is not in a position to teach other much more complex countries how to rule. Has he demonstrated what service he has done to his own “capable” Tamil community (which enjoy a higher percentage than Sri Lankan Tamil population in Sri Lanka) and to Bhumiputra Malay Muslim community in his own country?

There are so many Tamil medium schools in Sri Lanka. Is there a single Tamil medium school in Singapore? There is however a very good school called “Anglo Chinese School”.

In Colombo, at 5.30 am we can hear Mosque prayer invitations loud and clear. Can you hear that in Singapore? Do the Malays pray silently?

Singapore passport says what race you belong to. Is there such unnecessary racial discrimination in Sri Lankan passports?

We are not saying this is wrong, this the Singapore way. There should be a reason for it and we accept it.

We have also learned that every previous Sri Lankan minister responsible for ports was bribed by Singapore to stop developing Hambantota Port. This time they did not succeed. Singapore also lost a lot of arms sales because the Tamil Tiger war came to an end. There is no Vietnam War or Cambodian War at the moment but some people are instigating problems in Buddhist Thailand. There is no need to sling mud on Sir Lanka and or insult Sinhalese Buddhists “”…” Singapore can compete with Sri Lanka on the same platform economically for ten years and see who are more capable. Being a true Buddhist country, Sri Lanka will compete without producing arms to kill fellow human beings, they will compete with whatever intellectual capacity they posses.

Rajapakse did not call Lee an extremist “”…” although many others in the world may have done so. But in Sri Lanka we do things differently. You may have hidden agendas to reignite Tamil separatism to destabilize the region including Malaysia and India. Just do not spread blatant lies when adding fuel to Tamil separatism in the world. That is the Buddhist way. Have some compassion towards Sinhalese too. That is all we demand from Mr. Lee.

“Dogs bark but the mountain does not shake” should be Sri Lanka’s motto for coming years.

12 Responses to “Lee Kuan Yew rewrites Sri Lankan HISTORY!”

  1. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    Lee Kwan Yews biggest worry or envy could be the construction of the Hambantota bunkering facilitiy which may result in halving the business now going to Singapore. When this project was mooted over a decade ago by the then UNP Govt, Mr Yew visited SriLanka and coincidentally the project tapered off, till the present Govt revived it. At the time Mr Yew had full of praise for SriLanka and mentioned how Singapore once had a goal of following in the footsteps of SriLanka, before the Tamil Terrorists started their mega-distruction campaign. So Mr Yew might be referring to the capabilities of LTTE terrorists for having set up such a formidable terrorist machine but nothing else. Educational statitistics in post colonial SriLanka and especially the performance of migrant SriLankans living overseas, do not show any difference between the achievements of Sri Lankans whether Sinhalese, Muslim, Burger or Tamil. So what is the motive behind Mr Yews sudden unverified statement, especially when in Singapore the Tamils are considered lower class and many of them living in poorer suburbs engaged in tasks not requiring much capabilities?

  2. Weeraya Says:

    Well said Kumar! I did encounter a few Singapore students when I was in university in Australia some years back and they were blankfaced when I said I am from Sri Lanka. Shocking what Mr Yew can talk about Sri Lanka? Seems he is worried that growth of India and Sri Lanka will be a problem for Singapore. Also, Yew must be shocked that Chinese chose Sri Lanka to build the Hambantota port.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Weeraya,

    And the bigger threat of the Kra Isthmus Canal becoming a reality and linking up with Hambantota. That will wipe out Singapore.

  4. Sri Rohana Says:

    What does LKY knows about Sri Lanka’s history. He must be repeating like a parrot what Tamil racist expansionists told him.It is better LKY talk about Singapore’s history and he has a right on it but LKY don’t talk on topics which you don’t know!

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    If Lanka tries to please each & everyone in the world who want our leaders to do things inimical for the growth of Lanka, we will perish as a Nation. I am greatly surprised by LKY’s absurd remarks. To think we thought of him with some admiration earlier – now he has lost that from us. He has joined the ranks of mediocre leaders looking for mere survival ! LKY is definitely no great statesman in our eyes now. Some senile decay setting in here ?

  6. Leelawardena Says:

    Ananda: Now that you have exposed what is underneath the glitter of Singapore I must first offer my sincere gratitude to you.

    Next I propose; we ask Minister mentor Mr. Lee, what rights Tamils in Singapore has but they don’t have in Sri Lanka. And how dare Lee says; President Rajapakse is an extremist and is unreasonable to Tamils. Let us tell him that Rajapakses has been reasonable to Tamils more than anyone else. What more reasonableness than getting them out of the clutches of a lunatic dictatorship by Piripaharan. Lunatic I say because Piripaharan has eradicated all the so-called moderate Tamils.

    In spite of what Lee says, I can list a whole list of rights that Tamils do not get in Malaysia and Singapore but they do get here in Sri Lanka. I am glad that Ananda has named some of them. I add Malaysia for a special reason. But first let us see the background of Lee and what he has done in brief.

    Lee, Singapore’s Mentor minister was born in China and immigrated to Malaysia as a child. Some say, he had manipulated the expulsion of Singapore from Malaysian Federation. For one thing Lee has given Malaysian Chinese a country of their own. I have gut feeling Lee fancy Tamils do the same thing to Sri Lanka what he did to Malaysia.

    There are other nationalities in Singapore all right. But make no mistake, its a Chinese Singapore. Mandarin (Chinese) is widely spoken and has spread largely as a result of government-sponsored public campaigns. Unlike our guys (rulers) Lee had played his con game very well: In a country where Lee’s word is the rule of law, he has made 85% Singaporeans do not speak Malay. But he has made Malay the national language. Not just that he got the national anthem sung in Malay. Lee put the Malays in pedestal and kept them quite. What a joke.

    As for Tamil, Lee had made that also a national language. But does the government issue its gazettes in Tamil like in Sri Lanka? No. Can Tamils write to the government in Tamil and get a reply in Tamil like in Sri Lanka? No. Its a national language for the name sake. But Tamils are quite, why? Because Lee has made some of them ministers and others had been allowed to earn as much as they like. Crafty devil? But it worked.

    Now, lets talk about Malaysia a bit. Wikipedia says; The Chinese and Indians established trading ports and towns in the area in the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE. And Rajendra Chola 1 is said to have ruled parts of Malaysia from 1025 AD. In that sense, it is amazing that Tamils do not lay a claim to parts of Malaysia to set up their Eelam. Dare Lee talk the rights of Tamils in Malaysia.

    The population of todays Malaysia is; 65.8% Malay & other Bumiputra, 25% Chinese, 7.5% Indian (mainly Tamil), 1.7% other. Bumiputras are the legally privileged people but Tamils and Chinese are not. And Malay is the only official language of Malaysia. And Tamil language and Tamils have fewer rights in Malaysia than in Sri Lanka.

    Lee talks about unreasonableness on Tamils by Sri Lanka and its President; but dare he talk about the same on Malaysia or its Prime Minister. What a hypocrite.

  7. Andare Says:

    I think many do not know that Chelvanayagam who is the father of Tamil separatism in Sri Lanka, came from Malaysia. He migrated to Sri Lanka to start the separatist movement. How come he did not wait in Malaysia and try to create a separate state in Malaya for the Tamils ? The Tamils in Malaya have far less rights than the Tamils in Sri Lanka. The Malays have the Bhumiputra laws which give them advantages in many ways. In Sri Lanka it is the Tamils who have Thesavalami laws which enable them to own land exclusive way in Jaffna, but Sinhalese do not have such rights anywhere in Lanka !. Tamils have property in the heart of Colombo but Sinhalese cannot own property in Jaffna. As for Lee Kuan Yew, as pointed out by others, is very ignorant of many aspects of Sri Lanka and the Tamils them selves, their origins & their culture. No one has investigated why such large numbers of Tamils got out of their home land of Tamil Nadu to search for other homelands elsewhere. They are in Malaysia, Fiji, Mauritius, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Europe etc. The Tamil diaspora keep hammering only Sri Lanka to give them a separate state because the Lankans have been so good to them ! Tamils in Sri Lanka should be grateful to Mahinda Rajapakse who has delivered them from the dictator Prabahakaran. They are now free to move around in Sri Lanka and live any where they want. All Lankans can now live free of fear. In the end truth always wins however long it takes. The motto on the Indian flag says:
    “Truth Wins” …..

  8. cassandra Says:

    It seems that, like undemanding shoppers who are happy to make their purchases without checking the ‘use by’ date, some people still beat a path to Lee Kuan Yew’s (LKY) door to deferentially seek his views – and it seems the old gentleman is only too willing to oblige. I wonder why they bother. With all due respect to LKY, he is now well past it. Age takes its inevitable toll of even the brightest. Stated bluntly, he is in his dotage, and I cannot see we can expect any enlightening comment from him, on current affairs.

    LKY did an incredible job to haul Singapore to what it is today. And for that he deserves due credit. His great achievement does not, however, make him some omniscient, all seeing being, some latter day oracle, full of wisdom and good counsel. But his success has clearly gone to his head and over the years he’s been dispensing his advice to anyone who’d care to listen. But expert though he may be on Singapore, his comments on other countries – certainly, in respect of Sri Lanka – have been poorly informed. Ananda de Costa has already referred to the many inaccuracies in a book published some years ago. LKY had failed then to even get right, such basic things like the names of the prime ministers. Now, in the interview with Professor Tom Plate, referred to in the professor’s recently published book, LKY has again demonstrated his poor grasp of Sri Lankan politics and of the country generally. But his ego has suffered little with the passing of the years, because we now have him saying of President Rajapakse, “I’ve read his speeches and I knew he was a Sinhalese extremist. I cannot change his mind”. Perhaps, someone should tell LKY that we don’t regard it as his role to tell other leaders how they should think.

    Clearly, LKY has met many Sri Lankan Tamils and been impressed with their abilities. And so he should have been. But how many Sinhalese does he know as well, to be able to pontificate that “the Sinhalese who are less capable are putting down a minority of Jaffna Tamils who are more capable.”? Or is LKY simply going on what he has been told, which he accepted without verification?

    To get back to Professor Tom Plate, it seems to me the learned professor is less than bright to have asked LKY, in relation to Sri Lanka’s fight against the Tigers, “So what Asia saw was ethnic cleansing?” LKY’s reported answer “That’s right” seems just as dumb. Here are two supposedly intelligent, educated men and neither seems to know the true meaning of “ethnic cleansing”. It beggars belief.

    It is said nothing succeeds like success. LKY’s success has blinded many people – including those in Sri Lanka who glibly say Sri Lanka needs a Lee Kuan Yew – to the less attractive aspects of his dispensation. LKY beat all opposition into servile submission. He sued through the courts, anyone who dared to publicly oppose him. Only a few like the late JB Jeyaretnam, dared, and he was eventually rendered financially bankrupt. Another one who saw fit to publicly say anything uncomplimentary of LKY was Devan Nair, the third President of Singapore who in a 1999 interview had remarked that Lee was a “an increasingly self-righteous know-all” surrounded by “departmental store dummies”. Sri Lanka should be thankful its leaders had not copied LKY’s example and followed his ruthless methods – like keeping dissenters incarcerated for more than 20 years.

    In the meantime, let’s not worry over-much of what LKY has had to say about Sri Lanka.

    It is said that when Harry Truman finished his term of office as President, he simply got in his car with his wife and drove home to Missouri to enjoy the contentment of a quiet retirement. Out of office, Truman did not make a nuisance of himself, neither was he given, in his old age, to offering gratuitous advice on topics he was not conversant with. Today, Americans remember Harry Truman with great respect and affection.

    I wonder why other political leaders don’t see fit to follow his example.

  9. Nanda Says:

    Only capable Tamil LKY met was JB Jeyaratnam who could have originated from Sir Lanka. He embarrassed Lee to the point that he could not argue any longer in the parliament with him. Other than that Sinhalese have served much more than Tamils in general, in Singapore. There is no reason for Lee to say so; it is a deliberate attempt to discredit Sir Lankans in general.

  10. Nuwanjith Says:

    Every body knows Mr. Lee Kuan Yew speaks outrageously about Sinhalese people just to get the popularity among Tamils in Singapore. This just shows the Hypocrisy of Mr Lee Kuan Yew who is too old now to make wise decisions like he did earlier. We know Chinese are well capable people but not Lee Kuan Yew any more who is just a Singaporean used the advantage geographical location of land. We were not able to do that because of stupid Leftist in SL. Wait until we get that ….. :D

  11. Fred Says:

    I saw your (Ananada de Costa’s post) of June 10th 2010 only today January 2012 . The Burgher Vice Chancellor referred to in LKY’s book was the Head of the Engineering Faculty and highly respected academic Professor E.O.E. Pereira who did not need to wear the Cambridge tie or a suit to establish his worth as a scholar and a gentleman( forget the Burgher part that is irrelevant).Prof. Pereira obtained his Phd from Cambridge, that’s the same university that Lee Kwan Yew attended for his degree and I guess it was part of Cambridge tradition to wear the(Cambridge) tie on occasions like this, so Iam disappointed with LKY’s comments, assuming the reporting is correct.

    Iam also passing this on to the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka for whatever action they may deem necessary.

  12. Seriously Says:

    Hey guys, LKY’s comments do not represent SGs sentiments. Many SGs consider him a senile old man going around the world spouting rubbish and a great source of embarrassment notwithstanding his early achievements.

    AND, seriously, you guys have some misconceptions of SG as well…

    1 (In Colombo, at 5.30 am we can hear Mosque prayer invitations loud and clear. Can you hear that in Singapore? Do the Malays pray silently?)

    No lah, the call to prayer can be heard from meters away and yes, just like in colombo, during Friday prayers, cars are parked all around mosques causing traffic jams but it’s life in Sg just as it is in SL and nothing to quibble about.

    2 (If a non Tamil Indian sends his son to a Singapore school and he wanted the second language to be Chinese (because he does not speak Tamil) they will be very surprised and you will have to do a lot of convincing to get that approved.)

    There are lots of Non Tamil Indians studying Mandarin or Malay in schools and many learn Hindi as well. And not all schools provide Tamil classes (lack of teachers) and these kids sit in with the Chinese kids during Mandarin classes and then go to Tamil language centers after school for their Tamil classes, the same as non Tamil Indians who go to Hindi/Punjabi language centers.

    3 (There are a plenty of “less capable” University professors from Sri Lanka teaching Singapore students in their Universities and there are many prominent “less capable” professional serving Singapore to keep their economic progress afloat. They have been educated “free of charge” in poor Sir Lanka, thanks to Bandaranayake. Rather than thanking them why is Lee insulting them?)

    Come on…we all know that the SLs in Sg are not here to selflessly help the Sg economy, it’s for personal economic reasons so maybe they should be thanking Sg for giving them the opportunities?

    4 (There are so many Tamil medium schools in Sri Lanka. Is there a single Tamil medium school in Singapore? There is however a very good school called “Anglo Chinese School”.)

    Don’t be fooled by the name – Anglo Chinese School is not a Chinese medium school. All subjects are taught in English. This school provides ‘Higher Chinese’, advanced Chinese language classes. The Singapore Chinese Girls school provides Higher Chinese and Higher Malay. In the 1980s all schools (even former Chinese medium schools) became English medium schools.

    There are Tamil kindergartens though and that’s really because there is a lack of Tamil teachers in SG so not all Kindergartens have Tamil language options. But these are not Tamil medium schools, both Tamil and English languages are taught as part of the curriculum.

    Seriously, SL can learn from SG when it comes to providing every citizen an avenue and option to be schooled in English Language medium schools. In today’s world, lack of English proficiency is a great hindrance to job opportunities and social mobility. SL Tamils who attend Tamil medium schools are probably more disadvantaged and would be better off studying in the same schools as the Sinhalese and this can actually promote more racial tolerance and understanding and ultimately a more cohesive and harmonious society.

    Other stuff you guys have mentioned…

    5 (Being a true Buddhist country, Sri Lanka will compete without producing arms to kill fellow human beings, they will compete with whatever intellectual capacity they posses.)

    Really, this one is funny! But it’s ok to buy arms and kill and rape your fellow countrymen..

    5 (What does LKY knows about Sri Lanka’s history. He must be repeating like a parrot what Tamil racist expansionists told him.)

    Hmm…Tamils fault – seriously?

    6 (He (LKY) goes on to add that Rajapakse is an extremist and agrees to the suggestion that what took place last year was ethnic cleansing. )

    Not ethinic cleansing – seriously?? Er…have you watched the killing fields by Channel 4? http://www.channel4.com/programmes/sri-lankas-killing-fields/4od

    7 (President Rajapakse is an extremist and is unreasonable to Tamils. Let us tell him that Rajapakses has been reasonable to Tamils more than anyone else. What more reasonableness than getting them out of the clutches of a lunatic dictatorship by Piripaharan. Lunatic I say because Piripaharan has eradicated all the so-called moderate Tamils. )

    You should watch the follow up to Killing Fields -War Crimes Unpunished http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/9144300/Sri-Lankas-Killing-Fields-War-Crimes-Unpunished-Channel-4-review.html

    8 (Singaporeans are not the laziest people in the world but their knowledge is generally like that of frogs in a well. They do not know where Sri Lanka is in the world map. They know where India is roughly but they think all Indians are Tamils.)

    Hmm, talking about frogs in a well…I was in SL recently on a 8 day holiday and travelled from Colombo to Dumbullah, Kandy, tea plantations and Bentota. Beautiful country, warm and friendly people and yummy food – had a great time.
    Everywhere I went, locals kept asking me if I was Sri Lankan and I smiled and said ‘no I’m Singaporean’ to which they’d reply, you look Sri Lankan to which I replied with a smile, ‘I’m Indian’. And I’m not talking about people on the street alone but educated, well spoken SLs. My point is, most locals thought I was SL just because I have a dark complexion (as you would have guessed, I’m Tamil) and it made me wonder if they knew there were other dark complexioned people in the world other than SLs, I mean seriously, do they know Tamil Nadu, just up north from SL? Found it very amusing.

    I’m not defending LKY and appalled by some of the comments he’s made in the last few years but you guys need to do some soul searching too…

    I agree that the Tamils and all the minority (Malays and non Tamil Indians) in SG don’t have equal opportunities as the majority.

    But giving someone opportunities with one hand and taking it away with the other is no better. SL may have equal rights/education for Tamils but do they have equal job opportunities, do they not face discrimination?

    Two cents worth from a SG Tamil aka “especially when in Singapore the Tamils are considered lower class and many of them living in poorer suburbs engaged in tasks not requiring much capabilities?”

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