Lessons:| Past, present and possible futures
Posted on November 26th, 2010

Susantha Goonatilake Ph.D.-written submission to LLRC

 I am going to begin this submission by two preambles: one on my motivation and secondly, on a background as to who the Sinhalese, and Tamils are, the two major presumed actors. I am currently among others, the President of the 166 year old Royal Asiatic Society and was several years ago, the General President of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science, two leading academic associations in the country dealing with the humanities and sciences respectively, my presentations here are my own private views.  

As for myself, in my school days there was no ethnic tension in class. In fact, my classmate and later best friend was Chelvanayagam Vaseeharan[1], the son of Chelvanayagam, the founder of the Federal Party (Vaseeharan had contempt for his father’s politics). And so was my classmate Kumar Ponnambalam whose father G.G. Ponambalam started the Tamil Congress. Both of my classmates spoke fluent Sinhalese and although Kumar carried over his father’s politics he confided that his racist attitudes were purely to counteract the activities of Neelan Thiruchelvam (perhaps a disingenuous confession). My first job was as an engineer in Kankesanthurai where my friends were mostly Tamils. In the 1978 and 1983 riots, my wife and I were in the forefront of rescuing Tamils. After the 1983 riots, three families continued to stay in our house for over six months. A few years, later I moved at the OPA a proposal to have a Human Rights Unit which was the beginning of the current OPA interests in national issues. At the SLAAS, I attempted a motion on the right to life.  

Interest in false propaganda   

 My interest in the false propaganda surrounding the ethnic issue occurred when I was in New York in the early 1990s as I worked for a short time in New York at the UN headquarters. The Internet was very new then and I could see that a large amount of distortion was occurring in it. For example, in an e-journal Serendipity,edited by Jayadeva Uyangoda (who had done propaganda in the then Lanka Guardian emphasising the need for a separate Tamil state), Peter Schalk, the LTTE propagandist from Sweden was fraudulently stating that a Buddha statue found in Jaffna and gifted by the then British governor in 1908 was a Tamil statue! I alerted the Sri Lanka UN office in New York, but found that the then Ambassador was not interested. Only the then First Secretary Palihakkara showed concern, especially when I showed him on a computer terminal what was happening. I was happy to note that although Palihakkara could not do much officially, he got his teenage son and friends to respond on the Internet.  

There are other incidents where at academic conferences, completely unrelated to Sri Lanka at free time, I was asked some strange questions. One was how come Sinhalese Buddhists ate Tamil meat (I tracked this down to statements in a book published in Tamil Nadu by the TULF politbureau in which the moderate Thiruchelvam was a member). At a conference in Finland, I was shown its leading newsmagazine Helsingen Sanomat on whose cover was the picture of Lal Jayawardene, the Sri Lanka head of WIDER, an institute for economics of developing countries. Jayawardene was accused of various wrongdoings. Following the WIDER publications trail, I found a large amount of distortions and fiction about Sri Lanka. At this stage, I decided to do a formal study.  

I first studied all the academic articles in international journals relating to Sri Lanka and presented it in an international conference on anthropology theory in Amsterdam. The findings showed gross distortion of basic facts on Sri Lanka. I then decided to read all the recent academic books written on Sri Lanka (most of them in anthropology) and after several years of research, I wrote the book Anthropologizing Sri Lanka: A Civilizational Misadventure (Indiana University Press, 2001). Here I documented huge distortions on the Sinhalese (almost all anthropology writings on Sri Lanka are on Sinhalese). An illustrative example is Bruce Kapferer who made a career based on four books on the Sinhalese and his shoddy methodology is revealed when one realises that ultimately his entire distortion of Sinhalese culture is built on just three Sinhalese who believed in exorcism! Very few of these books are read by sociologists in Sri Lanka. In fact, I volunteered to buy the whole set of anthropology books for the Colombo University Sociology Department on condition that each book would be discussed in a seminar. The offer was not taken up. Realising that many of those writing partial fiction in anthropology was connected to foreign funded NGOs, I began to research on how NGOs presented Sri Lanka, especially to their funders in the West. As a result of this research, I published a book again by a recognised Western academic publisher Recolonisation: Foreign Funded NGOs in Sri Lanka (2006 Sage). Once the word leaked out that I was publishing such a book, several leaders in the NGO sector tried to stop its publication, much to the amusement and surprise of the publisher which had not faced such a situation of attempted censorship before.  

Realising that there was much misinformation on many sides of the ethnic issue, I helped organise a major conference on the topic with circa 500 participants through the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science SLAAS. We wanted all the serious past writings on the ethnic issue that had defined the debate presented in one open forum. The political and scholarly debate had moved away from the public sphere such as the Universities as it was in the 1950s to little hidden groups in the 1970s. These latter were largely foreign funded NGOs outside the real civil society as represented by open bodies like the SLAAS. Claims were now being made from these little groups and exported to the outside world without adequate open discussion and peer review.  

Everybody who had written serious material was invited after a literature survey to present their views. We went out of the way to identify persons who had written on key Tamil and separatist positions such as the so-called traditional Tamil homelands. SLAAS informed the writers that in the event of their absence, their publications, now in the public record would be summarized.  

 The SLAAS program bent over backwards to accommodate Tamil/separatist positions (“Topics separatist”) found in the literature, such as: “the Mahavamsa is a lie”, “the Sinhalese were invented only from the 12th century”, “Anuradhapura was invented by Europeans for the Sinhalese”, “the traditional homelands were true”, “separatism was justified”, “it was necessary to unmake the Sri Lankan nation”. The program hardly had any papers from an overtly Sinhala position except as responses to the separatist positions. An exception was that of the Sinhala Commission findings which were immediately to be followed by the presentations of Sumanasiri Liyanage, and Jayadeva Uyangoda’s published reply to the Commission. (Liyanage and Uyangoda in spite of repeated invitations by registered post did not appear.)  

 The Conference was a death knell to most of the underlying bases for the then announced so-called Package as well as the Indian imposed 13th Amendment. The traditional homelands of the Tamils out of which flowed much of the separatist positions, the presentations on the subject showed, were completely untenable.  

Around the same time, I was doing this research on Sri Lanka (all my other books have been unconnected with Sri Lanka, actually they were on theory), I started writing to Sri Lankan newspapers to correct the mischief and mis-information being generated by NGOs who was spreading mischievous untruths with large doses of foreign money. The presentation I make today is but a summary of these writings of mine in both the academic sphere as well as in the popular newspaper sphere. Before I do so, I should make an aside on who, the Sinhalese and Tamils, are.  

False “racial” categories  

 Sri Lanka has for a significant part of its circa 2,500 year history being run as mostly a Sinhalese kingdom. For a brief period, a small Tamil kingdom in Jaffna did exist from the 13th century to the early part of the 17th (in fact only a “kinglet”, the term used by the Portuguese to describe it). But except during the brief heyday of its power, it seldom controlled any thing more than Jaffna peninsula. And the first detailed map of the Jaffna Kingdom by Baldaeus 1672 AD shows the Jaffna Kingdom confined to the Jaffna and Mannar peninsulas. Even after the collapse of the Jaffna Kingdom, Portuguese give details of the persistence of Sinhalese in Jaffna. Boccaro writing in 1632 notes that the Portuguese in Jaffna employed two interpreters, one Tamil and one Sinhalese indicating that there was a sizeable Sinhalese population there. In 1612, the local official for elephants in Jaffna is referred to by its Sinhalese name “Kuruwe Vidane”. Couto mentions that just after crossing Elephant Pass, they found the bodies of 40 dead Sinhalese.  In 1645, reference is made to the rice field of Buddhist monks in Jaffna. It is said that the Koviar caste are remnants of the Sinhalese. And up to the 1960s, one could still find in the Peninsula  persons with names like Mudiyansalage Sinnathamby, a reminder of how recent, the complete Tamilisation of Jaffna had occurred which occurred only under the LTTE. As for the East before colonial powers, it was ruled by the King of Kandy.  

 I do not subscribe to the now discredited Aryan and Dravidian theories of the 19th and early 20th  century. Recent research based on molecular biology (by Ruwan Illeperuma from Genetech) suggest that those who call themselves Sinhalese have the largest genetic diversity meaning that they have a large admixture of “racial” types. This is not surprising in that the “Sinhalese” have inhabited the island the longest and our island is in the middle of the crossroads of the Indian Ocean traffic which would have brought people from all over to create the genetic mixture which we call the Sinhalese. Tamils, according to this research, have far less genetic variation indicating that they were recent arrivals from South India not having sufficient time for much mixing with others. So Sri Lanka, especially the Sinhalese are a biological admixture. Sri Lanka is also an admixture of cultures; I am not using the word multicultural deliberately here because that term is being rethought in the West from where it was first imported and because in Sri Lanka, the term was used as a slogan without understanding what it meant.  

But there are cultural differences between Sinhalese and Tamils, Buddhism and Hinduism being one factor. Sri Lanka is the one country with the longest continuous Buddhist tradition in the world and this has shaped the predominant Sinhalese culture. Although Buddhism and Hinduism have many common cultural characteristics, it also differs foundationally on philosophical aspects. And so the Hindus and Tamils have both commonality and differences with the Sinhalese Buddhist majority. The religion that came from the West, Christianity was initially brought through the brutal activities of the Portuguese and has its stamp on sections of both the Sinhalese and the Tamils.  

But we should remember that “Sinhala” or “Tamil” identities are acquired. People through their upbringing become Sinhalese and Tamils, as I mentioned in a popular article several years ago (“The Search for “ƒ”¹…”true’ racial identity” Island 3rd February 1985).  

 In recent centuries, elements of whole caste groups migrated from South India to the coastal regions in Sri Lanka and gradually became Sinhalese. In addition, within the majority caste in Sri Lanka too, quite often, names such as Illeperuma, Ponnamperuma, Illangakoon occur which are undoubtedly Tamil in origin. Through gradual processes of cultural absorption, these South Indian migrant streams or influences gave way to an acquired Sinhala identity, and in fact, a “Sinhala Buddhist” one. Some migrants to the Negombo area still speak Tamil at home, whilst talking Sinhala outside, an ongoing process of Sinhalization.  

 At the end of the Island, Jaffna Peninsula, there are several cultural markers which remind one of a not too distant Sinhala cultural heritage. Not only does the Peninsula has extensive Sinhala Buddhist remains (unfortunately with some Jaffna University academics trying to hide them), but names of some of the major towns of Jaffna are derived from Sinhala names as listed in the 16/17th Century Nampotha (Hunugama for Chunnakam, Kadurugama for Kandarodai). Often there are also names of lands (such as Buddhawatta – Puttawattai etc.) which are clearly of Sinhala origin.  I had also come across in Jaffna, over twenty years ago, names such as Mudiyaselage Sivathamby which indicated a very recent Sinhala identity.  The Tamilisation of Jaffna Peninsula as a rigid mono culture was only completed by the LTTE during the last few years as they killed or chased away all the Sinhalese and all the Muslims.  

 Beginning of the ethnic conflict  

 The beginning of the current crisis is often misleadingly given by those inspired by the false history spread by NGOs and LTTE supporters as the introduction of “Sinhala only” which we should again note the “Reasonable Use of Tamil” soon following. This was adopted so that locals who did not know English (only around 2 per cent could) might do their work. The beginning of our civil war is also not in 1983 after the tragic riots which itself was triggered by a skirmish in an already existing war.  The military and ideological attack on Sri Lankan sovereignty however began very much earlier.  

 Already in May 1973, two Indians and a Sri Lankan Tamil, Kutimani were found transporting 20,000 detonators to Jaffna  (Gunaratna 1990). And by 1981, gun battles between rival armed Tamil separatist groups from Sri Lanka in Tamil Nadu had already broken out in Madras (Palanithurai, Mohanasundaram, 1993). And the word “Tigers” itself as a group rejecting non violent means had actually appeared in 1961 within a group of Sri Lankan Tamil bureaucrats who called their group Pulip Padai “Army of Tigers” (Narayan, 1994). The Tiger was not an innocent symbol; it was the symbol of the Cholas that devastated our country, a thousand years ago. It was a symbol deliberately chosen to represent South Indian Tamil designs on the country.  

 The roots of the armed conflict itself are also not in post Independence Sri Lanka but in a nexus between Tamil racist elements in South India and those in Jaffna going back to the 19th century. (This was a time when the Sinhalese Buddhist, Anagarika Dharmapala was berating the Sinhalese while extolling the virtues of Tamil Madrasis, and asking the Sinhalese to follow Tamil’s better qualities (Guruge 1965). It was also a time, current research by Indian Dalits (the “untouchable” castes) indicate, a South Indian Buddhist movement was begun with Sinhalese connections and inspiration to free downtrodden castes in South India but was later turned by Tamil racists into a chauvinist direction (Aloysius 2000).  

 A “Jaffna School” had dominated the literary scene in Madras in the late 19th century (Tambiah 1986). Tamil was declared a “Goddess” and considered divine and sacrosanct in South India (Kailasapathy, K., 1987). Significantly Tamil Christian scholars in India and Sri Lanka played active roles in this Tamil chauvinism. This led to accusation by some Hindus that the Tamil cultural movement was infiltrated by Christians. This is a pattern we see so vividly today in Sri Lanka. Catholic connections with the separatists’ project are well recorded. The founder of the International Tamil Studies Conference which became the intellectual face of the LTTE was Father Thani Nayagam. Catholic priests in LTTE Pongu celebrations drew the boundaries of Tamil Eelam. And Father Emmanuel, the former Vicar General of Jaffna, who justified LTTE suicide bombings in the Independent newspaper, was last month contesting for the post of LTTE chief.  

 The Sri Lankan Tamil community had, Kailasapathy noted “been “always [emphasis mine] influenced by South Indian developments “¦[in]”¦. both politics and culture. [This included]  South Indian regional movements that resulted in the DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazagham)” (Kailasapathy1984). From its formation, the D.M.K. and its offshoot Nam Tamizhar “We Tamils” strongly championed secession from the Indian Union and the establishment of a separate “Dravidanad”. The Nam Tamizhar went further, and wanted the creation of a greater Tamil Nadu that included the Tamil speaking parts of Sri Lanka (Palanithurai, 1993).  

 The details of this South-Indian/Jaffna-Tamil link connecting both events in South India and Jaffna are very revealing.  Thus, the Ponnambalam fifty-fifty demand in Sri Lanka arose parallel with the growth of the Indian separatist Tamil Justice Party under Ramasamy Naicker in the 1930s. The Federal Party of Sri Lanka (in Tamil called the Tamil State Party) was formed in the same year – 1949 – as the DMK was formed in India. Chelvanayagam, the founder of the Federal Party (FP) the precursor of the separatist TULF had as early as 1941 declared the Tamil right to secede from the then British Empire and to federate with a South Indian Tamil state (Kailasapathy1984, Palanithurai, 1993).  

 The D.M.K. thus established early on a working relationship with the FP (Palanithurai, 1993). The Sri Lankan Tamil opposition to the Official Language Act of Sri Lanka went in parallel with the DMK opposition to the Indian official language Hindi. During the 1965 anti-Hindi protests in Madras, the Federal Party leader Chelvanayakam expressed solidarity with the DMK, saying that there was an “identity between your great struggle and the resistance we are putting up here in Ceylon.” From its beginnings, “the fervent nationalistic ideals of D.M.K. had an appeal to the Tamils in Sri Lanka” (Palanithurai,). In 1971, the D.M.K. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, participated in a celebration of the birthday of the Federal Party leader S.J.V Chelvanayagam.  Karunanidhi said in 1975 Sri Lankan Tamils: “look to us for support” (Palanithurai,). As part of this support, D.M.K. personnel went to Sri Lanka to actively work for TULF candidates at the 1977 elections, a clear interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. When the TULF contested on a separatist platform, the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka itself was worried about this development (Ibid ).  

 Piyasena and Senadheera (1986) describe how “Tamil Nadu politicians who failed to establish a separate Tamil State in India focussed their attention to aggravate the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka”. Consequently “the movement of separatism in Sri Lanka was guided more from Madras and Madurai than from Jaffna or Trincomalee” (Ibid,). A separate Tamil State that had become difficult in India was now transferred to Sri Lanka.  

 As a result of these connections, and India’s then strategic (mis)perceptions (hopefully now abandoned), there was a massive arming of Tamil groups by the Indian state at least  from about November 1982, some others since early 1983 and others beginning in 1984.  This training also occurred in eight North Indian locations (Gunewardena, 1986). The Indian Express gave details in 1983 of a planned Indian invasion of Sri Lanka (Dua, Indian Express, 10th August 1983). India Today of 30 March 1984 described how in training camps, set up by the Lankan Tamil insurgents inside Tamil Nadu new recruits got “ideological grounding from rebel theoreticians”, as well as advanced arms training. They were “by a strong emotion of ethnicity”- that is by Tamil chauvinism – the journal noted. Mrs. Gandhi’s own daughter-in-law Menaka Gandhi gave details of the Indian proxy invasion in September 1984 in her magazine Suriya. Meanwhile all the different Sri Lankan separatist groups had developed their own links with different Tamil Nadu groups (Gunaratna, 1990).  

 Although separatism was banned in India in the late 1950s by the 6th Amendment to the Indian Constitution, this dream still survives among some South Indians albeit in an attenuated form. The investigation on Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination revealed elaborate plans by the LTTE for a proposed Greater Eelam that included South India.   

 Highlights of the Indian ideological and armed incursion were the arm-twisting at the Timpu talks and the proxy and direct incursion resulting in the Indian Accord. The Indians were in the process pushing some fabrication when they imposed their “solution” on this country by the force of arms. A key element was the fictional Tamil traditional homelands arbitrarily carved in the North and the East; acts directly reminiscent of Nazi discussions on Lebensraum. Many Sri Lankan professional scholars like historian Professor K.M.de Silva, geographer Professor G.H. Pieris, and the Tamil historian Indrapala in his Ph.D. thesis have shown these traditional homelands to be a total fiction. The Economic and Political Weekly of India which had hitherto uncritically accepted the myth put it this way in 1995: “the theory of traditional Tamil homeland corresponding to the present North-Eastern province is largely a hoax”  

 The ideological underpinning for the mostly Tamil-only North and East was the Vaddukkoddai Declaration of 1976 with its mischievous invention, the “Traditional Tamil Homeland”. Later another completely fictional traditional homeland was invented, this time for the Muslims and announced as such as a special Declaration at Oluvil (earlier known by the Sinhala name Oluwila).  Muslims who had once been given refuge in the East by the Sinhalese kings when they were attacked by the Portuguese, had now invented their own separatist fiction.  

 Muslims in Sri Lanka were tolerant like those of Indonesia and Malaysia.  But now marks of a very narrow interpretation of the Koran and fundamentalism are appearing. For example, the fundamentalists’ female dress -complete black from head to toe – is now seen in the South Eastern University. Already the museum of the University distorts Sri Lanka’s history. It ignores completely the well known Buddhist history of this area of which so much evidence is found in chronicles, stone and brick remains, inscription and numerous statues.   

As we are dealing with the Northern and Eastern Provinces, we must note that before the year 1932, there was no Northern Province or Eastern Province as such.  The Dutch-Sinhalese Treaty of 1766 and the English-Sinhalese Treaty of 1815 affirmed Sinhalese sovereignty of the Eastern Province.  Tamil settlements of any significance in the East are only from the mid 19th century; the British Governors Torrington in 1848 and Ward in 1856 settling Tamils in the coastal areas of the Eastern Province.  

The stage had thus been set during several decades to disturb our relatively tolerant multiethnic society and to carve out artificially created false ethnic homelands. Sri Lanka is the homeland of all.  

 Having made the above brief background, I should mention that Sri Lanka is not the only country in the world with ethnic and religious groups. Because we have been subject to deliberate brainwashing by foreign funded NGOs, it is useful for us to take a detour and see the various ethnic arrangements in other countries, specifically Western ones who preach to us.  

European arrangements  

In all current European countries, as in Sri Lanka, freedom of religion is guaranteed and no one can be legally discriminated on grounds of ethnicity, language or religion.  And in some, like Sri Lanka introducing reasonable use of Tamil immediately after Sinhalese was declared the official language, special rights exist for linguistic minorities. But there are interesting differences in the case of language, land use, religion and federal/unitary status.  

 Let me take the big players France and Germany. France has a highly centralized political system while Germany is less so.  Both have linguistic minorities of around 10 per cent, roughly comparable to Sri Lanka, but French and German are their only respective official languages. And in Austria, a country to which a package tour on federalism was arranged by Sri Lankan NGOs, there are nearly 12 percent non German speakers, a figure again roughly comparable to our non-Sinhalese speakers. Yet the only official language is German. Austria is also a federal state – but without linguistic boundaries.   

Although Italy has regions that speak French or German, Italian is the only official language.  Portugal, our first European master has a unitary state and has an interesting provision for new migrants – a parallel to our recently arrived Estate Tamils. Her Constitution “secure[s] for emigrants’ children the teaching of the Portuguese language and access to Portuguese culture”. In Spain, although her autonomous communities could use other languages internally, and while only 74 percent of Spain have Spanish as the mother tongue, its Constitution requires that all its inhabitants have “the duty as well as the right” to use the official language, Castilian Spanish.  

It is in religion that these “secular” countries have much to say. Denmark has a culture similar to our seemingly neutral arbitrator Norway, and like the latter is a constitutional kingdom where the King, must be of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  Unlike in Sri Lanka, Denmark and Norway, also has this Church as the “Established Religion”. A special relationship exists between the Italian state and the Catholic Church.  The Italian Constitution says “The State and the Catholic Church shall be each within its own order, independent and sovereign”. And the Constitution of the tiny kingdom of Luxembourg goes further: the state pays the salaries and pensions of Christian priests.  

As the Northern Ireland problem has been pushed by NGOs (with much foreign travel thrown in) as an example for Sri Lanka to be studied and possibly emulated, let me go to the Irish Constitution which the IRA – a far milder equivalent of the LTTE – wanted imposed on all Ireland. The Constitution opens “In the name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred, We, the people of Ireland, humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial”. Lest people are not convinced, it adds “The State acknowledges that the homage of public worship is due to Almighty God. It shall hold His Name in reverence.”  

My European tour, of course selective, shows: Many European countries are multicultural yet unitary. Several like Portugal, Italy and Ireland have centralized control of land. Unlike us who have full legal equality between Sinhalese and Tamil, the majority do not allow complete equality for all languages. Many require recent migrants to know the majority language. Many have theocratic overlays.  

Let me now briefly turn to the issue of units of governance including the contrast between unitary and federalism, an argument which was artificially propped up in Sri Lanka in the last decade or so with large doses of foreign money.  

Federal and Unitary States  

 As the issue is federalism versus the unitary state, let us make some facts very clear.  By far the unitary system of government is the norm in the world while the federal system is the exception.  Thus of the 191 states that are members of the United Nations, 127 countries have unitary forms of government.  Countries that have unitary characteristics include France and Japan.  The number of countries with federal forms of government is only about 25.  Prominent among them are the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany and India.  But federalism in the USA, Australia and Germany has no ethnic or linguistic boundaries.  

 Federal states had in some instances grown up as a country enlarged bit by bit by adding different territories.  The classic case is the United States where from the original 13 states who made a Declaration of Independence from the British (all of them were of European stock and the majority ethnically British).  Later the United States gradually added new states by acquisition, by war, treaty and other means.  The striking feature of anybody who has lived in the United States is that of a considerable degree of ethnic and religious variety perhaps the largest such variety anywhere else in the world.  This is most vividly seen in New York City where perhaps 150 to 200 nationalities speaking nearly 200 different languages and live side by side, and sometimes, especially for new migrants, without a common language to communicate with their neighbours.  I personally have experienced this very well having lived in New York City and enjoyed every minute of it.  Ethnic variety can be a source of strength.  

 Yet, the United States is not a melting pot as was popularly imagined earlier.  It is a melange of ethnicities and religious cultures with some overlap.  Thus, in New York City itself, there are ethnic pockets, for example Chinatown in downtown Manhattan, Little Italy next to it, Astoria for Greeks, Afro-Americans in Harlem, Latinos in parts of East Harlem, Russians in Brighton Beach, Flushing changing hands from Jews to East Asians and so on. In some of these neighbourhoods, signboards are in different languages for example Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Greek, Hindi etc.  Yet, there are noformal ethnic boundaries in New York City or for that matter in the whole of the United States.  There are areas such as states near the Mexican border which have large Spanish speaking populations but there are no ethnic boundaries.  The nearest Sri Lankan illustration of this diversity without borders is in areas of Colombo where recent Tamil and Muslim migrants have come pouring in from the North and the East. In Wellawatte, Tamils – some poor, others rich from expatriate money in high-rise air-conditioned comfort – jostle with Sinhalese selling vegetables and Muslims outside the mosque.  The message I want to give is that the most powerful country in the world, the United States has say 50 federal states but does not allow ethnic borders.  

  Let us now turn to India.  

  Indian solutions  

  India has a very much larger population than Sri Lanka and with a larger collection of social divisions than Sri Lanka based on ethnicity, religion, caste and tribe. India had been foisted on Sri Lanka as an example for us to follow.  How about Indian states, in the Indian federation?  

  Again a few forgotten facts require mention.  India at the time of Independence was not just British territory, there were also independent kingdoms ruled by Maharajahs and Nawabs.  These were all initially amalgamated into independent India.  Later there was redrawing of internal boundaries based on linguistic states – although there was considerable debate whether there should be states based on language.  A striking feature of these linguistic states is that they are not mono linguistic.  Many have other language speakers within them.  In fact, minority language speakers in such a linguistic state can be surprisingly very high.  Significantly many of these states have a larger proportion of minority speakers than the proportion of Tamil speaking persons within Sri Lanka.  

  Professor G.H. Peiris has given much plain statistics.  Thus, in the North West of India, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir 47.8 percent of the population are minority language speakers while the North East state of Assam has 39% minority language speakers. Of the South Indian states, Karnataka has a 34.1% minority that do not speak as their mother tongue the majority Kannada language, Tamil Nadu has 16.1%   of non-Tamil speakers, Andra Pradesh has 14.7% who do not speak Telugu the regional and official language.  The average of minority language speakers for all linguistic states in India is 17.1%.   

  It should be noted that Sri Lanka has an area roughly comparable in size to the average Indian state.  What this means is that if Sri Lanka was a part of India, it would probably be a state and the proportion of Tamil speakers would be no different from the proportion of minority language speakers in the average Indian state.  There is however one difference in today’s Sri Lanka.  Whereas in Indian states, only the principal language is considered, the official regional language (apart from Hindi and English) in Sri Lanka, the minority language namely Tamil whose proportion of speakers is equivalent to that in the average Indian state, is given recognition as an equal official language on par with Sinhalese.  So Tamil speakers, at least at the legal, formal, official level have more rights than they would in an Indian state.  But of course practice would be different from legal formality.  

  But we have a 13th Amendment brought in by Indian gunboats and forced on a hapless JR Jayawardena and to this theme, we must now turn.  

  13th Amendment: a Forced Treaty  

  The popular opposition to the so-called Indian Peace Accord, which forced on us the wasteful 13th Amendment, led to the “largest large-scale demonstration and uprising in Sri Lanka since Independence” according to the sympathetic biographers of J.R. Jayewardene, namely K.M. de Silva and Howard Wriggins.  

  But elsewhere, Constitutions are made by discussion among citizens. For example, the US Constitution was made in Philadelphia where delegates could express their views freely. After the French Revolution, a National Constituent Assembly of representatives created the Constitution. In 1814, the Constitutional Assembly of Norway designed its broad outlines. After the Russian Revolution, a Constituent Assembly created a new Constitution. Nearer home, the Indian Constituent Assembly of people’s representatives meeting first in 1946, drafted its Constitution and when the country became independent in 1947, the Constituent Assembly became India’s first Parliament. The list goes on of representatives sitting together and deliberating on new Constitutions.  

  In Sri Lanka, the Donoughmore Constitution was created after wide consultation from 1931-47 as was later the Soulbury Constitution. The 1972 Constitution was passed after consultation with members of Parliament acting as a Constituent Assembly. The constitutional changes brought under JR Jayawardene, although of a dubious nature, were still passed with a people’s mandate in that his government had a 5/6th majority.  

  Proxy invasion   

  The Indians at its Central Government keeping with the doctrine of Panikkar promulgated before Independence and which wanted Sri Lanka to be part of India together with chauvinist South Indian Tamils who had once wanted a separate Dravidistan had begun arming all our separatist groups. This was a blatant act of cross-border terrorism. The first Indian consignment of 20,000 detonators for 20,000 explosions in Jaffna was discovered in 1973. The armed intervention intensified in 1976. By early 1980s, the Indian Central Government was having training camps for Tamil separatists in both South and North India to wage its proxy war against Sri Lanka.  

  This training occurred in Tamil Nadu and eight North Indian locations. The Indian Express gave details of a planned Indian invasion of Sri Lanka. Indira Gandhi’s daughter-in-law Maneka Gandhi gave details of this Indian proxy invasion in her magazine Suriya. India Today described how in training camps, recruits got “ideological grounding from rebel theoreticians”, as well as advanced arms training. The journal noted they were “driven by a strong emotion of ethnicity” – that is by Tamil chauvinism. In this “psychological training”, the Indians fed to the separatists not only hatred of Sri Lanka but also total myths and false histories. One book published by the TULF said that Sinhalese ate Tamil meat.  

  “Peace”  

  In 1985, while engaging in this covert proxy invasion of Sri Lanka, the Indian government hosted so-called “peace talks” at Thimphu, Bhutan, a small country under strong Indian influence. There, the Indian trained separatists demanded the so-called Thimphu principles which included the recognition of the Tamils as a nation, acceptance of Tamil homelands and self-determination. The Sri Lanka government (UNP) rejected these as they violated both truth and Sri Lankan sovereignty but accepted the fourth demand of citizenship to recently arrived Indian Tamils.  

  The Sri Lankan government fought against this proxy war waged by Indian cross-border terrorism. We were about to defeat them in Vadamarachchi. Prabahakaran was about to be captured when the Indians whisked Prabahakaran out of danger in a helicopter. Falsely claiming a humanitarian disaster, the Indians crossed our borders, now in a direct act of invasion. Initially they sent a convoy of ships which was intercepted by our Navy and turned back. Immediately, India called our ambassador in New Delhi and warned that if food parcels that it planned to be air dropped on Jaffna were hindered, there would be a full-scale military invasion of Sri Lanka. Soon gunboats were parked outside Colombo Harbour in a classic display of what in the 19th century was called gunboat diplomacy.  

  The so-called Indian Peace Accord was now forced on the hapless JR Jayawardena. Going by statements made subsequently by Jayawardene in Lankadeepa, the UNP government itself hadn’t supported the Accord. They were driven to sign the Accord only by Indian threats. The Indians twisted his arms under the pressure of gunboats, over-flying aircraft and a threat of invasion. And while his Prime Minister Premadasa and Defence Minister Lalith Athulathmudali showed their dissent, the Accord was signed and the 13th Amendment brought in as part of a projection of Indian power. The rest of the country, including the SLFP and the JVP opposed it through huge countrywide demonstrations. Only the old left (the LSSP and the CP), a sorry rump of its former anti imperialist days supported it.  

  Later the IPKF that was brought under the “Peace” Accord was to be called Indian People Killing Forces by Jaffna citizens. Shortly afterwards in the Punjab, the Indian government let loose on Sikhs a reign of absolute terror under K.P.S. Gill and suppressed a similar revolt organised by Indira Gandhi by physically eliminating separatists through death squads.  

  Foreign observers  

  Foreign observers saw the Indian Accord in a very harsh light. The British Guardian noted:  

  “India’s pact with Sri Lanka is the most infamous contract imposed on a small country short of military occupation  since the Munich Agreement of 1938.  The Island’s ethnic conflict and her relations with India have drawn comparisons with many post-war situations.  There are no more striking parallels, however, to the course of events in Sri Lanka than those which preceded the Sudeten-German crisis of the 1930’s [which began the consolidation of the Nazis overseas]”.  

  The London Evening Standard said “India … is the colonial power in the region today.  If the Indian navy had shut off the Palk Strait Tiger reinforcements and supplies, if in fact Mr. Gandhi had behaved with that rigour he demanded from Britain in our treatment of the Sikhs, the terrorists would have been defeated by now”. The New York Times editorialized about “Mr. Gandhi’s…. big-stick diplomacy in Sri Lanka”.  Another leading American newspaper Wall Street Journal editorialized that India was like “A rogue elephant trampling upon its neighbors”.  

  Support of Foreign Spies  

  Only “foreign spies” in the form of foreign funded NGOs supported this Indian invasion and subsequent forced imposition of this Constitutional change, the13th Amendment. One such antinational threatened Sri Lanka with the Indian army. Another wanted Sri Lanka to accept geopolitical realities namely to bow to Indian pressure. I have given in my books in much greater detail similar traitorous statements made by these NGO mudalalis.  

  These actions all reminded us of “Unequal Treaties” imposed by the West in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Such treaties were imposed on China, Japan and Korea which these countries never forgot. This foreign imposed 13th Amendment was also a replay of what has been called the Monroe Doctrine whereby the US was to be the sole arbiter in the Americas. Indians were to call their incursion into Sri Lanka as its new Indira Doctrine (after Indira Gandhi) paralleling the colonial attitudes of the Monroe Doctrine. It was also reminiscent of the 1815 defeat of Sri Lankan sovereignty and the 1818 Treaty that followed, done under British guns. A subsequent OPA study a few years ago showed that the 13th Amendment resulted in a total waste of money. Like we rejected the 1818 British treaty brought under British guns, we should now reject outright the 13th Amendment brought under Indian guns -on the same grounds.  

  After nearly 40 years of an Indian imposed direct and indirect war, our troops have now finally won. All this chicanery did not stop the LTTE genocidal war.  

  The New Foreign Factor: NGOS  

  But the Indian factor was not the only major external element influencing the ethnic war against Sri Lanka. During the time of JR Jayawardena, democracy was strongly curtailed and real civil society organisations such as trade unions, political parties and other free groups were either silenced or worked under severe pressure. During this time entered a new group, foreign funded NGOs, falsely labeling themselves as “civil society”. But unlike real civil society, they were not responsible to any local base or electorate but were artificial props responsible only to themselves and to their foreign donors. Their social role was similar to Christian missionaries during the colonial period that spoke on behalf of humanism and charity but actually was serving the interests of their Western masters – their sponsors and employers. In a book Recolonisation: Foreign funded NGOs in Sri Lanka, I have detailed how these NGOs have worked against Sri Lanka sovereignty. Unlike real civil society, they often operated behind closed doors. In fact, when the word got around that my book describing their machinations was being published (by Sage a well-known Western academic publisher) several of them wrote to the publisher asking the book be not published. The publisher had never had this experience in censorship before and rejected this undemocratic move.  

  Throughout the war, the NGOs helped develop a defeatist attitude in the country, especially through the journalists and academics they funded. After the Indian Accord over 20 years ago, I wrote an article in the newspapers showing that two groups had fattened themselves due to the war – one was the arms industry and the other was the ethnic studies industry – the NGO groups. 20 years later we still battle against these anti-Sri Lankan NGO elements.  

  One of the major NGOs in the anti-national propaganda is the self-styled National Peace Council (NPC). During the Indian incursion into Sri Lanka, its Jehan Perera had threatened Sri Lanka with dire consequences from the Indian army if we did not bow down to Indian pressure. He had subsequently questioned the need for sovereignty and had called among others for “shared sovereignty” and “two near-states”. Once in Geneva, the organiser of the NPC participated in a March and rally of the Tigers and spoke at the rally. According to the LTTE front magazine Hot Spring, the “rally ended with [the LTTE] liberation song sung in chorus”. And during the disastrous ceasefire, Jehan Perera pointedly asked the government not to respond to the LTTE war saying “the LTTE is ready and willing to go to war, but the Government “¦ should not be willing to go to war”. He added the “Government “¦ [should not] escalate violence in the same way as militant organizations”. This was a demand for a government not to fulfill its first obligation, namely to safeguard sovereignty. In other countries, such sentiments are uttered only by foreign spies.  

  The NPC launched propaganda for the Interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) which would have further enhanced the semi-sovereign powers already given to the LTTE under the Cease Fire Agreement CFA. It congratulated the government and LTTE and the Norwegian facilitators for signing the Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS) which would have given further sovereign powers to the LTTE. After P-TOMS was suspended by the courts, the NPC advocated the UNP and SLFP to come together to accommodate P-TOMS. The NPC went further and wanted the constitution itself changed to accommodate the ISGA and P-TOMS. The National Peace Council as part of its carefully spelt out programme which is in the public sphere also infiltrated state radio. The SLBC’s live radio programmes “Subharathi” in Sinhala and Tamil was then hosted by NPC and put out their pro-LTTE propaganda line. The NPC also operated through the Norwegian financed TV station “Young Asia”. One of the latter’s programmes was on two national anthems for Sri Lanka, one in Sinhala and the other in Tamil, a totally preposterous idea not found anywhere else in the world.  

  One of the major proponents of the LTTE line was International Alert (IA) which was formed initially in the 1980s specifically to be a supporter of the Tamil separatist line. IA distributed a map with over half Sri Lanka as the future Tamil state. These “Tamil areas” included the central highlands as well as substantial sections of the South. This area of the future Tamil Eelam State demarcated by IA had 5/6th of our coastline as LTTE territory and was much bigger than even the LTTE had claimed.  

  Kumar Rupesinghe had become Director of IA and when in 1995 Sri Lankan troops were about to take back Jaffna from the LTTE, he in a BBC broadcast called for UN intervention to prevent Jaffna being regained. IA under Rupesinghe was accused in the 1990s by the deposed President of Sierra Leone of staging a coup in his country in support of an LTTE type of cruel entity there. Rupesinghe’s IA soon faced a string of accusations that went up to the UN and the Organization of African Unity. In parts of official Africa, IA’s name turned black with allegations of diamond smuggling, arming of illegal groups and supporting a coup under the cover of “conflict resolution”.  

  After a major series of scandals including in Sierra Leone, IA was internationally attacked, then probed. It lost law suits by London employees on charges of gross discrimination. Its funder, Norway commissioned an inquiry which found fault with its Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka activities. Under this cloud, its Director Kumar Rupesinghe soon resigned.  

  In its Sri Lanka activities, according to its own publications, IA attempted a process of comprehensive infiltration of the entire power structure using IA’s already published pro separatist agenda. IA accordingly targeted the Sri Lanka intelligentsia, the military, the business community, press and other media, religious organizations and above all, politicians. This was a cross section of the entire Sri Lankan political structure.   

  Back in Sri Lanka, Kumar Rupesinghe campaigned for separatist positions such as the ISGA and P-TOMS and which would have strengthened further the hands of the LTTE. He said the ISGA reflected “the maturity of the political debate in the country” and added that “the ISGA is the only vehicle”. He also campaigned for P-TOMS as “the only way out”. Just before the government was to directly challenge the LTTE militarily, an outfit with ample foreign funds, “The National Anti-War Front” (NAWF) was created with Rupesinghe in a leading position. He was already Chairman of another NGO with ample funds, the Foundation for Co-existance (FCE). The National Anti-War Front called upon the Government to invite the pro-LTTE Norwegians. Taking the pro-LTTE line, they asked the Sri Lanka government to take steps to prevent violations by “para-military groups”. Para-military group was the LTTE codeword for their biggest thorn, the Karuna faction. Enraged citizenry attacked one of the meetings of the NAWF and their pro-LTTE stand appeared to have dimmed subsequently.  

  A most insidious organization was the Berghof Foundation. Berghof accepted the fiction of Tamil traditional homelands (as did all NGOs). And it wanted to “explore a range of models of governance and local governance for the North-East and the rest of the country”.  It wanted to train the Sri Lankan security sector for a total remaking of their thinking. Berghof wanted to “disarm”, “demobilize” and “right-size the political and economic role of the military” and aspired for its “demilitarization”. And among “institutions with a role in managing and monitoring the security sector”, they included NGOs and “the international community”. Foreign funded NGOs and the so-called international community were to manage our security forces. For the first time since Independence and at a time of grave danger to our sovereignty from the LTTE, Berghof was attempting to bring our armed forces under foreign heel.  

  Berghof wanted to change radically the minds of Sri Lankans by “promoting curriculum changes and research in academic and research institutions, and in defence academies”. The Berghof Foundation, aimed at restructuring not only the armed forces but also the nature of our State. Berghof also wanted to bring in foreign countries as so-called “international stakeholders on Sri Lanka’s process of conflict transformation”. They thus wanted to institutionalize foreign interference in our internal affairs, especially its defence.   

  Some of these foreign funded NGOs had also welcomed the Indian intervention in Sri Lanka and asked that Sri Lanka bow down to foreign pressure. And some had continued to ask for foreign intervention in the country. The list is too long and I have listed some of them in my books but one should mention organisations like Marga and ICES Colombo as among the leading organisations in this category. Some of them had also been in the forefront of exporting mistruths as I have pointed out.  

  While local academics have been not publishing much, there has been a whole writing industry based outside the country especially in anthropology that has undermined truth and produced plain fabrications or had given wrong interpretations about the country especially on the Sinhalese. I have carefully detailed some of their misinterpretations in my book, Anthropologizing Sri Lanka: A Civilizational Misadventure. For example, one anthropologist David Scott wanted to “de-historize” Sri Lanka, that is, to remove the sense of history from Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka, one should note is the only country in the South Asian region with a continuous written history, outlining major events from around the fourth century BC onwards. And our tradition of history writing eventually gave rise to history writing in South-East Asia. Many of these fabrications also fed into the anti-Sri Lanka and pro-LTTE propaganda because it is these technical social science works that serious foreign commentators or scholars would refer to. Common local clearing houses for these anti-national mistruths I showed have been foreign funded NGOs like ICES Colombo, Marga and the Social Scientists Association (SSA). Many of the academics publishing abroad and misrepresenting Sri Lankan reality had worked with or had associations with these institutions.  

  It would appear that all these NGO groups are independent from each other. But nothing could be further from the truth. Seemingly independent of each other, most of these in the anti-national foreign funded NGO sector are interlocked. They constitute a joint front of a few individuals propped up by huge doses of foreign money.  

  Thus Jehan Perera was the NPC Media and Research Director and he was the General Secretary of the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL).   PAFFREL returned the NPC favour. PAFFREL’s Chairman Kingsley Rodrigo was also the General Secretary of the NPC.  PAFFREL’s Director Programmes was S. Balakrishnan, whose writings within the NPC repeated much of LTTE propaganda. The National Anti War Front included Kumar Rupesinghe, S. Balakrishnan – NPC, Kingsley Rodrigo of PAFFREL, Oswald B. Firth “”…” Director, Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), S. Sivagurunathan – Movement for Defence of Democratic Rights (MDDR). Berghof lists several similar NGOs linked to them and include the Center for Policy Alternative’s (CPA) Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Jayadeva Uyangoda of SSA, and IA’s Kumar Rupesinghe. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Those taking stands against Sri Lanka’s sovereignty are a very small group connected with each other and having access to large amounts of foreign money.  

  To achieve its aims, Berghof had a careful plan of brain washing. They targeted “decision makers, their advisors, politicians and political practitioners, senior civil servants and influentials from all parties and sections of society.” Other NGOs like the NPC and International Alert, had almost identical programmes of infiltration spelled out in their publications detailing plans to brainwash the country from the top political hierarchy to the grass roots through comprehensive propaganda.  Some of them even lectured to the Sri Lankan military at the Kotelawala  Defence Academy and the Staff College at Batalanda till they were stopped a few years ago.  

  Such NGOs have stood continuously for foreign intervention, worked against our sovereignty, wanted to restructure the state and armed forces, accepted the Tamil traditional homelands hoax, have infiltrated political parties, the armed forces and media and advocated directly and indirectly the break-up of the country.  They in inviting foreign intervention are in effect sponsoring re-colonization. This banding together of unrepresentative groups based only on foreign resources to suppress the will of the people seems to be very much like old fashioned colonization.  

  During the war’s end, direct connections with the LTTE of NGOs were being discovered and several key figures were deported as security risks such as Directors of the ICES and the Berghof Foundation.  

  Ceasefire agreement CFA  

  The so-called Ceasefire Agreement CFA was the nadir of Sri Lankan sovereignty after its independence. The draft of the CFA was not shown to Sri Lanka’s then head of state, Chandrika Kumaratunga, the Norwegians saying that they will do so only if the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe wanted it shown (Helgesen in Sunday Island, March 17, 2002).  But neither was Wickremasinghe consulted about the wording of the memorandum.  “The Norwegians composed it together with the LTTE and then brought it to Colombo for Mr. Wickremesinghe’s signature” as the Economist (March 2, 2002) reported. This LTTE-Norwegian document allowed the LTTE to illegally carve out no-go areas for the government while the LTTE was allowed to carry their so-called political activities all over the country. Meanwhile the Norwegian Foreign Minister Petersen had warned the then Sri Lankan President not to interfere in her own country’s peace process (Oct 19 2003(AFP) and Norway Post). No wonder the London Economist labeled the CFA as “Viking Rule”, actually Viking Rule for the South but in the LTTE areas a different situation existed.  

  The LTTE established courts, police, border controls and all other trappings of a sovereign state. They already had a military, naval force and were building an air force. In all but name it was, if not a state, a near-state. After the CFA, the Deep Penetration Unit DPU of the Army was made inoperative and after a Sri Lankan Minister had allegedly given Balasingham the list of the DPU operatives they were eliminated by the LTTE. In the meantime intelligence gathering on the LTTE virtually became defunct. A section of the private sector was arranging events in support of the CFA. State media was seen extolling the LTTE- a process actually started under Chandrika Kumaratunga when she appointed Vasantharajah and LTTE propagandist as head of Rupavahini and Lakshman Gunasekara as head of the Sunday Observer. Vasantharajah and Gunasekara had hosted many pro separatist media personnel and so prepared for the pro LTTE propaganda during the CFA.  

  After the CFA, the Director General of Rupavahini, Nimal Lakshapathiarachi was quoted in an Indian news report as saying that it would be a “privilege” to broadcast live Prabhakaran’s so-called “Heroes Day” speech. The Sunday Times which reported on the continuing build up of the illegal Tiger apparatus of a sovereign state under the CFA, as for example, its courts was denounced and attacked by the state. The state TV pilloried the Island for carrying a lead story saying that Balasingham “”…” LTTE’s theoretician for mass murder – was now talking of two states, one Sinhala, the other Tamil.  

  Breaking all diplomatic norms, the Norwegian Embassy helped establish by smuggling to the LTTE, six tons of electronic equipment for international communications – under cover of diplomatic privilege violating the Vienna Convention. A taped conversation on the Internet, released probably by Indian intelligence, reveals Bradman Weerakoon, then Secretary to former Premier Wickremesinghe and Pulidevan of the LTTE making arrangements for the transfer of the communications equipment. Indian intelligence reported that the equipment was used to eavesdrop on the Sri Lanka government. They also reported that the equipment has been used to trace and kill political enemies.  Ambassador Westborg had handled this secret shipment – in regular cloak and dagger fashion – from his private address and not from the official Embassy. Westborg, in his earlier role as head of Redd Barna had transferred thousands of upcountry Tamils to eventually strengthen the LTTE’s human resources.  

  Norwegian links with the LTTE were manyfold. As Canadian Intelligence Services (# 77 March 17, 2000) testified, Norwegian ex-Special Forces provided underwater demolition training to the LTTE in Thailand. Weapons confiscated from the LTTE operatives in Thailand were similar to those used by the Norwegian Special Forces.  Meanwhile Sri Lanka’s navy found Norwegian truce monitors helping the Tigers, when they jeopardised the Navy’s attempt to capture a suspected LTTE arms shipment. Further, an LTTE delegation was invited to the Norwegian Special Forces training camp at Rena, Norway. LTTE sympathizers had also met with military personnel from Norwegian military headquarters. And the Norwegian military admitted meeting with the LTTE “Utrop“ editor Majoran Vivekananthanan.  

  In early 2003, the SLMM sided with the LTTE when an illegal arms shipment it was smuggling in against the CFA conditions, was sunk by the Navy.  Later again, when the LTTE sank a Chinese trawler, it did not blame the LTTE as responsible but a “Third Force” hurriedly invented for the purpose by the SLMM itself.  It also had the gall to propose that the Sea Tigers be recognised as a legitimate naval unit (thus adding one more trapping of a separate state to the Norwegian-LTTE conspiracy to create a separate state).  The previous head of SLMM Teleffen, again a Norwegian, leaked to the LTTE Sea Tigers that the Sri Lankan navy was about to sink an arms carrying ship, allowing it to get away.  

  Funding, supplying and supporting the LTTE were not peace “facilitation” but support of terrorism. There is overwhelming evidence against Norway for their indirect and direct support of LTTE terrorism for the past two decades. This is verified both by witnesses, documents and even Norwegian intelligence reports. Our legal experts should enquire whether a case can be made against Norway in the International Criminal Courts as a sponsor of terrorist crimes.  

  Emboldened, those against the sovereignty of the country introduced a Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS) which would have further strengthened the LTTE. Fortunately the Supreme Court stopped it. A similar attempt, the ISGA Proposal was termed by the USA State Department as “something aimed to create a de facto separate state”.    

Fortunately, all these machinations were defeated and in May 2009, we finally attained liberation. For two generations, for those who had not experienced peace it was a sense of release. This is evidenced by the tens of thousands of persons travelling freely all over the country enjoying themselves.  

   Lessons for the future  

   We have sketched some of the background of Sri Lanka’s ethnic war and examined our actual ethnic reality and the external machinations that clouded basic facts as well as tried to dismember Sri Lanka. The question we have to now pose is, how can we prevent this recurring. We should remember that our nearly 40 year war was one of the longest wars in the last century and in fact, one of the longest wars in world history.  

   Areas of the North and East have missed out on the development that has occurred in the rest of the country – because the LTTE did not allow for the full reach of the government there. We must ensure that in the next few years, massive investment occurs in these areas, if necessary at the expense of investment in other areas. The North and East should immediately integrate with the rest of the economy, especially with the more developed Western province. False notions of exclusive traditional homelands imposed into the Constitution by Indian gun boats should be removed or ignored; Sri Lanka as it had been throughout its history is the homeland of all its peoples “”…” Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. It is very useful to learn all three languages, but for those most disadvantaged today, namely in the former LTTE areas the surest way of getting integrated into the economy of the country and to increase their life chances is to learn Sinhalese.  

   One should dissolve the geographical ethnic separation brought about by Wilpattu and Yala parks by having sea hugging roads on their borders. Second, as in other countries, one should prevent entry to foreigners; include those of Sri Lankan origin who have supported separatism. And thirdly?  

   The government has realised that foreign funded NGOs had been a threat to the sovereignty of the country and they have been brought recently under the purview of the Ministry of Defence. Because organisations such as IA, NPC, CPA, ICES had taken overt and documented stands against the sovereignty of the country and questioned the need for sovereignty, they should be closed down. There must be a ban of inflow of foreign funds into any NGO that deal with matters sovereign. (They could make money by converting themselves into social welfare NGOs).  

   All the phony “Peace” and “Conflict Resolution” departments which sprang up in the universities sponsored by foreign countries and their NGO agents and which could not resolve the conflict or bring peace should be disbanded as being but fronts for demoralizing the country. The war in any case is over. All those who participated in them should be treated with utmost suspicion.  

   Those who sponsored the CFA, P-TOMS and the ISGA whether they be politicians or government servants should be denied civil rights as they went against the sovereignty of the country. Some of those have come here to the LLRC have said that they tried to prevent obnoxious clauses in the CFA but that the Norwegians persisted. This cowardice is untenable and here the “Nurenberg rules” should be applied that ignorance or carrying out unethical orders because a superior said so is not an excuse. These gentlemen should have resigned. They should now be stripped of their government pension and denied civil rights for betraying the country. So should all other politicians and government servants who created these traitorous acts dolled up as good deeds. This would be a prime lesson to be learnt by all future traitors.  

   But these acts alone are not enough.  

   The war arose partly because of external politics. We must, while trying utmost to be very friendly with India develop strategic interests in the region such as with other SAARC countries and further afield such as China and – as important with South East Asia which from the 11th century onwards had a strong influence from Sri Lanka. The latter efforts would be a projection of our soft power.  

   In Tamil Nadu, pro LTTE sentiment has died down. In recent elections all those who stridently supported the LTTE in the last battles of the war lost. We should now play our own politics with other Indian states to counteract any future Tamil Nadu factor. For example Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh did not subscribe to the Dravidian racist ideology and its attendant separatism in India. In fact, some of these states have considerable problems with Tamil Nadu as well as with their own Tamil minority populations. We should cultivate these states. In North India, there is much sympathy for Sri Lanka privately expressed. In states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, there is strong sympathy for Buddhism. And as Sri Lanka was in the forefront of reintroducing Buddhist ideas to India, one could easily make use of this. Especially dalits, who under Ambedkar embraced Buddhism enmasse would be an important part of any Sri Lanka soft power projection especially through Buddhist activities.  

   Key Indian opinion making centres like Jawahralal Nehru University (JNU) and the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), the major Indian opinion making centres in the civilian and military establishments respectively, had as I found when visiting these institutions as their key Sri Lankan contacts persons like Jayadeva Uyangoda. Especially during the latter end of the war, these Indian experts on Sri Lanka in JNU and IDSA took anti-Sri Lankan positions on international TV. The government should see that contacts are made in the case of IDSA with our defence authorities and in the case of JNU with well-informed academics who have not questioned our sovereignty. Unlike in Sri Lanka, all Indian academics have a basic nationalist orientation.  

   The Western world faced in World War II in the form of the Nazis a fascist adversary like the LTTE. The Nazis had one leader; carved out exclusive homelands, chased out or killed other ethnic groups and established a one-man dictatorship like the LTTE did. The Nazis brainwashed the entire German population on its racist ideology. After World War II, there was consequently a period of denazification imposed by the winning Allies (a similar process also occurred in Japan). Denazification covered the whole gamut of German society which had been tainted by the Nazi virus. Its aim was to remove any Nazi elements and ideology from society, press, economy, judiciary, culture and politics. Those who opposed the Nazis were brought in to identify those elements that collaborated with the Nazis. All those who had positions of influence in spreading Nazi propaganda were removed. There was a five fold classification of Nazis from major offenders to those exonerated.  

   A report at the time said that only an “inflexible long-term” programme would lead to removing the vestiges of Nazi philosophy. There was a special “Law for Liberation from National Socialism and Militarism” enacted for the purpose. As a result nearly 30,000 books were banned for carrying Nazi propaganda and were confiscated and destroyed. Possession of these books was considered a punishable crime. All symbols of the Nazis were banned. Once active Nazis were forbidden from participating in public life and were sacked. Even now over a half century later those who supported the Nazis find difficulty in getting certain jobs. The Norwegians, who under Quisling had been one of the major collaborators of the Nazis, made special denazification efforts after the Nazi defeat. The leading supporters of Nazis in Norway were publicly demonized while Quisling himself was shot on charges of high treason.  

   After World War II therefore, there was unanimous recognition that a military defeat alone would not be sufficient to get rid of the falsehoods and racist ideology which fed the Nazis.  

   The Sri Lanka government is still identifying caches of arms hidden by the LTTE and also those who collaborated militarily and ideologically with them. This is done through some of the former LTTE cadres in custody. Although national parties have made strong inroads into former LTTE areas partly through alliances the raw racism and ideology of the LTTE could still remain. Accelerating resettlement and rapid development is an absolute necessity but it is not enough. Those who have been made to believe through decades of brainwashing, racist fiction might tend to continue in their mindset. That is why a local form of “denazification” is required for the country. Otherwise the chances are we will have a resurgence of separatist activity.  

   We need not go so far as what the West did for Germany and Japan. What can we then reasonably do?  

The government regulation banning the LTTE says that the ban “shall also apply to every other organization and to everybody or group of persons engaged in activities substantially similar to those carried on by the [LTTE]”, meaning Tiger fronts. The gazette lists the offences as “making, printing, distribution or publication of any writing” by or on behalf of the LTTE. The minister is authorized under the regulations to look into any person or organization and if it is fronting for the LTTE, to forfeit its property.  The minister’s actions shall be final.” But these laudable aims were never fully implemented. We should do so now.  

   First, would be to remove following Western post World War II practice, from positions of influence all those who propagated racist Tamil fiction. These would include those, who in spite of ample evidence to the contrary, propagated the false traditional Tamil homelands. It would include those who supported or justified separatism. It would include all those foreign funded NGOs who had supported directly or indirectly LTTE propaganda. These NGOs should be denied their foreign funds and closed down if necessary under emergency powers. Those media personnel and University academics who had been funded by anti-national NGOs to take positions against our sovereignty should also be sanctioned. They should simply, as in Germany, be denied their livelihoods in government and positions of influence in society through their use of foreign money. We should not pay for our own destruction.  

   These are necessary surgical operations that will prevent future deaths. Some of these actions may require recourse to emergency regulations whose purpose was to preserve the sovereignty of the country. Those personnel in the mass media who directly or indirectly supported the LTTE by spreading false information (let me repeat, false information) should be named publicly and openly shamed and ridiculed – as was done in Norway and the rest of the West. (No physical threats or attacks, definitely not). At the moment, the government media ridicules opposition figures for party political gains but the public is unaware of the far greater harm done in the pro-separatist propaganda field. While we remove the influence of proven ideologues against both truth and sovereignty, other legitimate democratic criticism of the government must be maintained.  

   This presentation was a short foray into how we can regain the ethnic innocence I experienced in my childhood in school especially with my classmates like Vaseeharan who abhorred his father Chelvanayagam’s racist politics. The fallout of such politics has given us nearly 40 years of misery. We should prevent it recurring. Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims are brethren.  

 



  

[1] In  keeping with standard academic procedure, titles are not included here when referring to persons.

13 Responses to “Lessons:| Past, present and possible futures”

  1. Leela Says:

    Thank you Goonatilake for exposing traitors, turncoats, imposters and charlatans, and also for the ammunitions provided to load our guns to keep firing at them. Thank you once again.
    Leela

  2. Kit Athul Says:

    This is a true story, but I do not have the proof. During the second world war, Germans developed a “Heavy Water” plant in Norway to build the ATOM Bomb. While transpoting “Heavy Water” Barrals to Germany from Norway, British RAF sank the ship. To make a documentary film in 2004, Norwigens brought out of the sea bed 10 of these barrals and stored in a secure warehouse. Later they found, two of these barrals were missing. What I got from the grape wine is that these two barrals were transpoted via Colombo as diplomatic goods, then to a building called NORDIC EELAM Security, which was located in Point Pedro or Killinochchi. A Tamil professor, I think his name is Alasrathnam, was in charge of this R&D work; as soon as Mahinda Rajapkse became the president he went back to Australia. I hope the Sri Lanka Military intelligence took note of this and porve me wrong. As SUDATH says there should be harmony betwwen Sinhala and Tamils. But I don’t think this can happen without implementing “THUN RATA KARMAY” to the constitution, I am using Dr. SUDATH’S own thoughts.

  3. samaraweera Says:

    Capt.Kit Athul says is accurate and with his Military background we need no proof. And as he says there should be harmony between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. I may add here a good question asked from Tamil parties by the President. “If more than 50% of the people in Colombo are Tamils and Muslims , what is wrong in the Sinhalese settling down or doing business in the North”?

    The Tamil Homeland is a cooked up story for separation by Tamil political parties since Independence .
    Sam Samaraweeera

  4. Kit Athul Says:

    Sam, thank you very much for your comments. You are a very patriotic person. I was never in the military. I studied at Ananda College, Maradana and my class mate was General Daluwatte. Then there was other generals like Wanasinghe who was two classes ahead. I have a relative who was in the same batch at sandhurst military academy; after retiring from the army, he now lives in Washington D C, USA. I am 70 years old and live in Florida, USA. How I got this info is not from a Sri Lanken source, it is from a Norwegian, who was against what Norway was doing in Sri Lanka. He sent e-mails every where and suggested that these two barrles would have ended in the hands of LTTE. I lost this e-mail and cannot remember his name. At that time 2003-2004 Norway was transpoting containe loads to LTTE in the north and I string these events togather to suggest that these two barrels might still be in this NORDIC EELAM SECURITY building. I spoke to an SL army officer at that time, who was in US for traning and he had a good laugh. He said “you better come and locate it we will them bomb it”. Not me not you or any one else thought that “Mudisooda Mannan” (uncrowned King of Northern Province) could be killed and his kingdom captured by the Sinhaha Amy. (http//:news.outlookindia.com/item.aspx?687850 P. Chidambaram). I am a retired computer network engineer and can only write technical reports. I used to send e-mails to Charles Perera who live out side Sri Lanka giving such details. One day he suggested that I publish on Lanklaweb. That is how I got in to publishing on the Lanka web, those days there was no comments facility. I hope they will add a spell checker to this. My spelling is very bad.

    Some thing I got from an e-mail: Susantha, the author of this article, has a son who lives in England and he is a millionaire. His wife publishes some kind of a internet news letter. Suasntha and his wife are very patrioic people. So SAM if you see my articles please add your comments. I do not know what time it is Austalia, but it is 5.30 pm in Florida, USA. Kithsiri

  5. Charles Says:

    We are grateful to your very informative exposition.

    It is frightening to imagine how our own people could turn traitors to our country.

    Under the former 17 Amendment the name submitted by Ranil Wickramasinghe for the Constitutional Council was that of Jayadeva Uyangoda. I wander Ranil Wickramasinghe was a party to the conspiracies that were being hatched against Sri Lanka, by Norway, in connivance with Kumar Rupasinghe, Jehan Perera, Pakiyasothy Saravanamuttu and the rest.

    Under article 6 of the Indian Constitution India had banned Separatism in 1950s , why cannot Sri Lanka also adopt such measures.

    It is very true that Sri Lanka belongs to all, therefore why cannot we legally prohibit political parties with an ethnic Identity. After all the first step in unifying into a Nation should be to separate communal identity from the National identity. If a Tamil becomes a citizen of America he will identify himself as an American .

    One Language, One Flag, and one National Anthem should be a basic requirement of a Nationhood. That would in no way be derogatory to the Communal identity.

  6. M.S.MUdali Says:

    Interesting article with facts . But I ask how the ARYA-SINHALA theory bring UNITY while Sinhalese cannot go any of the Aryan areas of India ethnically.

    If the Sinhalese are honest, will they do a DNA test?

    Further the current mess of EELAM is backed by USA,UK and their agents the Catholic Church. But Sri lanka spent money for Molcolm ranjith on his promotion.

    I noted a strange “incidents” when UNP was in power. In the North many army installations were overran by LTTE. How? On later inqueries I found millions worth of munitions were guarded by few new recruits. That is the way LTTE recieved arms from UNP government under JR Jayawardene.

    How did this army agreed to do some mockery? Vatican has invested billions in the GUN INDUSTRY.

    If Kit Atul is an army man, he must explain how LTTE overran military installations in the North in the 90s.

    What is the LOVE AFFAIR of Catholic Church, UNP and LTTE? Even Premadasa gave shelter and millions of money and weapons to LTTE.

    Now Rajapaksa put a full-stop for this foreign backed fiasco. Many who are barking at “TAMILS” keep silent why LTTE was given a “partnership” under UNP in all affairs. Ranil went further and carved out an area for the LTTE and the Nordic criminals as Middlemen.

    I know very well the majority middle and lower middle class Sri lankans cannot afford to a war on any basis if no FOREIGN SUPPORT.

    India is a slow learning country with British Educated officials. Indian RAW supported these EELAM terrorists after swallowing baits from Americans. One Unni Krishnan who was a RAW officer and in-charge for these Tamil groups was a CIA agent and supplied J R Jayawardene all the informations. Now this man in Indian jail!

    Why should the CIA operative of the RAW inform JRJ about the daily activities? Are the Sinhalese now going to praise JRJ as a CLEVER man?

    The issue here is India and not Sri Lanka but Sri Lanka is a useful base for any POWER. US and UK are still try to TAME India by killing many leaders, bribed many politicians with GREEN cards and so on.

    I think President Rajapaksa is right in mentioning he fought a war on behalf of India.

    Historically Language never played a role in Sri lanka during the days of the Kings!

  7. Sirih Says:

    Susantha, with a Phd, you have responsibility be analytical.. Be respectful for the countries heros.

    Anagarika Dharmapala explanation is wrong and you have taken his comments out of context and with out asking why he did it.. At that time ruling Sinhalese were basically anglophiles and was trying to destroy the Sinhalese Buddhist culture and all of them came after him since he was using his family’s wealth to counter it..
    His legacy is on record and hope you read it and respect it.. We have been working behind the scene for almost 80 yrs to create greater Buddhist revival all over the world and in China, UK and Japan we use our own funds to achieve it.. Korea is a challenge and tough nut to crack.
    Late Dr Sadhathissa Thero from London temple is classic example and now we have highly educated English speaking Buddhist priests that take our noble message globally ..
    Even at war Servawila and Thiriyawa temples were funds by us and I am grateful for Dr Sadhathissa kind guidance on me when I was young boy..
    Also remember that, it is not the poor Tamils that are evil, it is the educated tamil class that want the whole cake and they are same as the corrupt Colombo class..

  8. Kit Athul Says:

    M.S. Mudali, KIT ATHUL was never in the army. I clearly state this every time I write. All I said was I had friends in the SL army.
    What M.S. Mudali doesn’t wnat to know is that the SINHALA AND TAMIL DNA is the same, but their cultures are differnt.

  9. Chintha Says:

    Thank you Susantha, for taking your time to research and present such greate piece. This shows how vulnarable we are as nation. Bieng close to ndia has been the greatest problem we had in past , in the present and will be in future. The danger is our people have absolutely no idea what is happenning behind thier back and will be effecting thier future generations.Ealam is the greatest FRAUD in the history. It is not a innocent myth. It is a well planned FRAUD. What ever devolution in the ethnic lines will result in continuation of this FRAUD further. More and more TAmil Nadu Tamils will end up in thier “home land” and the area they demand will increase. More planned FRAUD will take place wiping out all the evidence to prove it a fraud.

  10. samaraweera Says:

    Kit Athul, Thank you for your note on the presentation by Susantha. Sorry about the confusion between you another by the same name who wrote with me some time back. You have cleared it .

    We have to keep on fighthing against the propaganda by the Tamil Diaspora against the mythical concept of a Tamil Home Land.

    P.A.Samaraweera

  11. M.S.MUdali Says:

    Kit Athul:
    Thank you for the answer on DNA.

    Cultures must be understood through mingling in public life. I noted Sinhala Buddhists and Hindu Tamils have manythings in common in cultural life. That is why both have NEW YEAR DAY at the same time.

  12. jimmy Says:

    Pray for Peace Love is God it is not too late

    Do not fight , Do not hate , do not insult

    I am shocked big times to see the hatred . It is unimaginable in this newspaper lankaweb

    what is the point? honestly I do not see such hatred for colored people in USA where I live .
    Look why so much hatred in Lanka between Tamils and sinhalese

    Only If you pray to Jesus instead of idols you will develop compassion on others

    Surrender to Jesus

    click the tune in tab

    http://www.bennyhinnnetwork.com/

  13. jimmy Says:

    Pray this

    Every body say “Jesus We love you we surrender to you
    change us change the way w e think
    forgive our sins .Give Peace let us not hate each other

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