Higher Quality of Life and Lower Unemployment of Tamils are the Root Causes of the ‘Ethnic Problem’
Posted on May 31st, 2013

Dilrook Kannangara

Telling the truth in a world full of deception is revolutionary. Decades of Tamil propaganda has turned lies into truths. Widely acclaimed Nazi principles of propaganda are practiced by Tamils more than anyone else. Thanks to their highly successful Nazi style propaganda, most Sri Lankans belonging to the majority Sinhalese community needlessly feel guilty of wrongdoing by commission and omission. Often quoted Tamil grievances are not the root causes of the so-called ethnic conflict.

In fact higher PQLI (Physical Quality of Life Index) and lower unemployment among Sri Lankan Tamils are the real root causes of the conflict and what they call the ethnic problem.

One need not be a beggar to use the tactic of “ƒ”¹…”beggar’s wound’ to extort undue favours

PQLI is a development index. It measures various indices including literacy rate, mortality rate, mortality rate at birth and other relevant matters. Although better indices have been developed today, PQLI is still considered indicative of quality of life. In 1970s to 1990s, PQLI was the key development index along with per capita income. The following table contains PQLI data for the districts with a comparison from 1971 to 1981. Only one district has recorded a PQLI higher than 90% and that is Jaffna with 98% of its population being Tamil.

The entire Jaffna district with a population of 831,112 of which 812,247 were Tamils in 1971, and in every year thereafter enjoyed this feat thanks to disproportionately larger government investments in education and healthcare. It was not achieved overnight. Like all other districts, it also shows a remarkable improvement from 1971 to 1981. However, from 1971 to 1981 Tamils in the Jaffna District became increasingly hardline racist leading to the war that engulfed the nation for nearly 30 years. Essentially the higher PQLI in Jaffna district was a root cause of the ethnic problem and the conflict.

DISTRICT

1971

1979/81
Colombo           85.3           86.0
Gampaha           85.3           86.0
Kalutara           87.3           88.4
Kandy           75.1           78.2
Nuwara Eliya           64.0           71.6
Matale           78.0           83.0
Galle           86.6           86.8
Matara           85.6           85.6
Hambantota           84.6           87.4
Jaffna           88.1           91.2
Mannar           79.8           86.7
Vavuniya           84.2           86.3
Mulaitivu  n.a            89.3
Batticaloa           68.1           72.5
Ampara           79.1           78.5
Trincomalee           79.0           85.1
Kurunegala           85.4           86.8
Puttalam           85.6           88.4
Anuradhapura           80.2           86.4
Polonnaruwa           86.2           89.6
Badulla           72.4           75.4
Monaragala           80.4           86.2
Ratnapura           76.6           79.5
Kegalle           81.6           87.3
Sri Lanka           78.9           84.2

Quoted from: Economic development and social change in Sri Lanka: a spatial and policy analysis edited by Paul A Groves

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=F_3OCQ3jDgsC&pg=PA228&lpg=PA228&dq=%22Literacy,+infant+mortality+data+1971%22&source=bl&ots=ldi9YWZsf4&sig=QjItqNTBP2UoYYK0Lj6A7iQ7DHY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=B56mUfuOL-K3iQfzsYDIDg&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22Literacy%2C%20infant%20mortality%20data%201971%22&f=false

 

Source: Literacy, infant mortality data 1971, 1981 “”…” Census of population 1971, 1981 “”…” Department of census and population, 1973, 1984.

Life expectancy data 1971 Bulletin of vital statistics 1979, Registrar General’s office, department of census and statistics 1981.

Life expectancy data 1979 “”…” unpublished data. Department of census and statistics, 1985.

Source: Ethnic Conflict and Economic Development in Sri Lanka, SWR de A Samarasinghe, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka

Source: Economic Development and Social Change in Sri Lanka: A Spatial and Policy Analysis Edited By Paul A. Groves  

Similarly, Sri Lankan Tamil majority areas had the lowest unemployment rate by 1971 and 1981 which were only 2.6% and 1.7% respectively. Sinhalese had an unemployment rate many times higher. But it was the Tamils who took up arms against the state during this time alleging marginalisation, discrimination and grievances. Lower rate of unemployment or in other words, higher rates of employment of Sri Lankan Tamils was a root cause of the ethnic problem and conflict.

Unemployment details

  1978/79 1981/82
Zone 1             6.8             5.6
(Western and southern coastal districts mainly Sinhalese)    
     
Zone 2             3.3             2.4
(Dry zone colonization districts mainly Sinhalese)    
     
Zone 3             2.6             1.7
(Northern and Eastern districts mainly Sri Lankan Tamils)    
     
Zone 4             5.8             4.0
(Central highland plantations Sinhalese and Indian Tamils)    
     
Zone 5             7.2             4.0
(Colombo Metropolitan)    

Quoted from: Economic development and social change in Sri Lanka: a spatial and policy analysis edited by Paul A Groves

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=F_3OCQ3jDgsC&pg=PA228&lpg=PA228&dq=%22Literacy,+infant+mortality+data+1971%22&source=bl&ots=ldi9YWZsf4&sig=QjItqNTBP2UoYYK0Lj6A7iQ7DHY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=B56mUfuOL-K3iQfzsYDIDg&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22Literacy%2C%20infant%20mortality%20data%201971%22&f=false

Source: Computed from report on consumer finance and socio-economic survey, 1981/82. Central Bank of Ceylon 1984

Source: Ethnic Conflict and Economic Development in Sri Lanka, SWR de A Samarasinghe, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka

Source: Economic Development and Social Change in Sri Lanka: A Spatial and Policy Analysis Edited By Paul A. Groves  

These are indisputable facts Tamil extortionists wish no one to look. Unfortunately for them these are well documented.

How to Explain this Apparent Parody?

Explaining the conflict using the Tamil grievances and discrimination theory is easily understood. However, as can be seen, Tamil grievances and discrimination were not the root causes of the problem. In fact the root cause is the better quality of life Tamils had by the late 1970s compared to others! How can this be explained?

Abraham Maslow was a prominent social scientist who used the highly influential Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory to explain human behaviour. What drives humans? What are the things humans crave to have? The answer depends on the circumstances the individual is in. It also applies to communities.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory lists down various types of needs “”…” physiological needs, security needs, love and belongingness needs and self actualisation needs. Physiological needs are basic human needs like food, clothing, housing, other physical needs, etc. A human or a community that has satisfied physiological needs moves up a notch to achieve security needs. Security needs include food security, job security, security in family relationship, security from harm, security in beliefs, etc. Once these needs are also substantially satisfied, the individual or the community in concern craves for love and belongingness needs. Love and belongingness needs include communal feeling, recognition, being part of the society, etc. Once they are also satisfied a human or a community would crave to satisfy self actualisation needs. They are about reaching their full individual or communal potential as a distinct entity. It ranges from seeking truth to feeling exclusive.

Generally a nation would march forward taking all it’s people with it. Uneven development is not tolerated. Most people enjoy higher development benefits while only a small percentage would be left behind. However, what happened in Sri Lanka from 1971 to 1981 and from 1815 to 1971 was the opposite. Sri Lankan Tamils were positively discriminated giving them various favours at the expense of others. Due to this, there emerged two separate hierarchies of needs- one for Sri Lankan Tamils (12.5% of the population) and the other for the rest of the people (87.5% of the population). Having satisfied themselves (comparatively more than others) in physiological, security and belongingness needs Sri Lankan Tamils made a move towards self actualisation as an exclusive community. This was when the Vadukodai Resolution (1976) was passed by Tamil leaders with the full blessing of Sri Lankan Tamils who overwhelmingly voted it a year later.

The Vadukodai Resolution (1976) was aimed at reaching self actualisation for Tamils in creating exclusivity around them. They claimed the north and the east as Tamil exclusive areas and Tamil homelands. They expelled all the Sinhalese numbered over 24,000 in 1971 out of the north in 1977 and 1983. A decade later they expelled all the Muslims and other small ethnic groups as well. They demanded the creation of Tamil Elam, an independent Tamil-only nation ruled by Tamils for Tamils.

Had the Jaffna Tamils a lower PQLI than the rest of the country and higher unemployment, this move towards exclusivity would never have happened.

In that case, physiological needs, security needs and belongingness needs would have become dominant. Ironically, it was successive Sinhala majority governments that elevated Sri Lankan Tamils above the rest of the population which caused the ethnic conflict!

In order to sustain their exclusivity they claimed 37% of the island and 65% of its coastline as Tamil areas whereas the total Tamil population in the entire island (including Indian Tamils) was just 18%. This is very similar to Nazi and Apartheid thinking of exclusivity.

When looked from this correct perspective, it is easier to understand the conduct of various Tamil groups in the country. Sri Lankan Tamils centred in Jaffna were the most prosperous of the lot by then. As a result they were the ones to agitate for Tamil exclusivity (their preferred form of self actualisation). Major political parties were unable to give them these apartheid demands and hence they picked hardcore racist political parties that were exclusively Tamil. Upcountry Tamils were the poorest people in the country but never agitated for exclusivity or self determination. They were more interested in meeting their physiological, security and belongingness needs. Major political parties were providing them these needs and they continued to stick with them.

If the Tamil grievances theory had an iota of truth, the agitation for Tamil exclusivity would have started not from Vadukoddai in Jaffna but from Maskeliya in the Nuwara Eliya district.

Implications for the Future

These truths have huge implications for the future. Before the enactment of a “ƒ”¹…”political solution’ to address Tamil only apartheid demands, the government must consider the dangers in doing so. Massive development activities in the north that benefit only Tamils have once again created a similar situation. Now popular Tamil political parties are not asking for food, jobs, rehabilitation, alleviation of poverty, better security, etc. These are givens for them today. In fact they are willing to sacrifice excesses in these for self actualisation needs. Once again Tamil apartheid politics raises its ugly head in the north, east and also in Colombo.

This problem cannot be resolved by giving into their demands or giving them more and more economic clout. That will further aggravate the situation. Sinhalese and Muslims should be made to share in the massive economic prosperity in Jaffna. At the moment the entire Jaffna and Vanni economies are benefitting only Tamils. However, Tamils have a stake in economic activities in every district of the island nation.

Tamils should not be allowed to assert exclusivity. They must be integrated into the general Sri Lankan society. Certain apartheid-like laws elevate Tamils to exclusivity. These include Thesawalamei Law and 13A to the Constitution. Thesawalamei Law gives exclusive land rights to Tamils. These exclusive benefits are not available to others. 13A which was imposed by India with the backing of 70 million Tamils in South India, has made Tamil an official language in Sri Lanka with merely 3 million Tamils. Tamil is not an official language even in India where there are over 70 million of them! 13A has also created governance entities for the northern province that occupy a very large part of the island devoid of non-Tamils following their elimination by Tamils from 1977 to 1990. Thesawalamei law and the 13A must be repealed without any delay.

Tamils must be made to feel like citizens with no more than equal individual rights. The Indian-Soviet-Yugoslav model of ethnicity based governance units should not be created in this island nation.

Dangers of Getting it Wrong

There are grave dangers in getting this wrong. If the false Tamil grievances theory is to be believed, Tamils will be showered with various exclusive benefits like Tamil-only districts, Tamil-only schools, Tamil-only universities, Tamil-only hospitals and other apartheid era situations. This will further push Tamils towards self actualisation via Tamil self determination. It is foolhardy to wonder what went wrong despite all these exclusive benefits. They are the problem!

Unlike in late 1970s, Tamils have spread far and wide the world over. They exert more influence today than 40 years ago. Their media clout is what Nazi theoreticians hoped they had. Therefore, all possibilities of Tamil exclusivity must be contained and neutralised. Externally inspired Tamil agitations threaten both Sri Lanka and India. If a political solution is given that satisfies Tamil political parties, it leads to more bargaining for the rights of India’s Tamils. When India faces with the threat of disintegration, it “ƒ”¹…”passes the buck’ to Sri Lanka. If Tamil nationalism reaches an uncontainable level, India will have no choice but to use Sri Lanka as bait once again to manage Tamils. India used this strategy from 1962 to 1990 which started with a piece of law but ended with open military confrontation with Tamils. By the end of it, India feared more reprisals from South India and gave up but not without transferring India’s problem to its neighbour.

Economic clout of the nation and all its provinces must be centred in the control of nationalists. Tamil exclusive industries in Jaffna, Batticaloa, Colombo, Kandy, etc. feed into Tamil separatism. These must be replaced by state and other investments. One argument against these equitable moves is that they create new Tamil grievances. But the problem is Tamil exclusivity not Tamil grievances.

USA has an African American population percentage of 12.5% the same as the Sri Lankan Tamil population in 1981. The two are identical minorities. However, USA never offered any devolution, language rights or special privileges to its African American minority. This is the right solution for the island nation. It can integrate Tamils into the mainstream Sri Lankan culture without creating exclusivity. African Americans with totally different cultural, language and religious affiliations to that of majority Americans have been very successfully integrated into the majority American society and culture. Tamils should be similarly integrated into the majority Sri Lankan culture.

10 Responses to “Higher Quality of Life and Lower Unemployment of Tamils are the Root Causes of the ‘Ethnic Problem’”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Tamil RACISM is thriving today.

    Go to facebook and see (sometimes you have to join) Tamil Elam groups and their membership from SL. There is a HUGE increase. Old people don’t know facebok. It is youngsters who are getting racist. They find it a way to connect with Tamil Madu and Tamil Diarrhea too. Check the membership from SL university students (Tamilians). Very high.

    RUN-NIL gave them a ceasefire and lost the election.
    MR gave them peace in 2010 and lost their votes.
    MR gives them everything and will lose the election.

  2. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    My experience in SriLanka was, ‘high caste’ Jaffna and Colombo Tamils practiced racism against the Sinhalese, Muslims, Eastern Province Tamils and Indian Tamils, in the fields of education and employment, by virtue of them holding high positions in the SriLankan Public Service and University systems, thanks to the Colonial Powers. They did not want to lose their privileges, virtually given on a platter by the British under their policy of controlling the majority Sinhalese, with the help of minority Tamils. Therefore, the privileged Tamils opposed anything and everything where they had to compete on a level playing field with those they were used to stepping on during colonial rule.
    The other reason for this conflict is India exporting to SriLanka their problem with Tamilnadu Tamils who had aspirations for independence. India thought and still thinks, the Tamilnaduans could be pacified by creating an independent Tamil state in SriLanka’s North and East.
    As for the much talked about discrimination against Tamils, it must be just poppycock, as to date they have not listed out what these discriminatory issues are.

  3. Christie Says:

    It is the same in Fiji. Mauritius, Kenya, Malaysia and any other Idian Dominion.

  4. Christie Says:

    “Unlike in late 1970s, Tamils have spread far and wide the world over.”

    Indian intelligence service and other Indians supported Tamils in the seventies as they do today. If you have access to Letist news papers during that time you will see how Indians and Indian intelligence service mislead the West.

    In Canada it was an Indian who came from Tanzania, In Austraklia it was an Indian from Malaysia.

  5. S de Silva Says:

    Thank you Dilrook for your in-depth analysis. Hope GoSL and others in power will take note. All I need to add is that the Tamils cunningly converted the “privileges” as you have indicated into a “loss of basic Human Right” so that they can call upon the busy body HR organisations like Amnesty, HRW etc and the gullible West for minority Tamil Votes. S de Silva – London

  6. mjaya Says:

    The remedy for this is to abolish the 13 Amendment and dilute the monoethnicity of the north.

    Stop fooling the people and take credible steps to abolish the 13 Amendment

    ….or else loose the next election ….. no need to tell who will win the next election and what will happen after that!

  7. sridaran Says:

    @A. Sooriarachi : I am sorry I have to agree and disagree with you dear . Now, your first para :

    “My experience in SriLanka was, ‘high caste’ Jaffna and Colombo Tamils practiced racism against the Sinhalese, Muslims, Eastern Province Tamils and Indian Tamils, in the fields of education and employment, by virtue of them holding high positions in the SriLankan Public Service and University systems, thanks to the Colonial Powers. They did not want to lose their privileges, virtually given on a platter by the British under their policy of controlling the majority Sinhalese, with the help of minority Tamils.”

    Your comment about the ‘high caste ‘ jaffna tamils is correct . I agree with you .

    Your second comment :

    ” The other reason for this conflict is India exporting to SriLanka their problem with Tamilnadu Tamils who had aspirations for independence. India thought and still thinks, the Tamilnaduans could be pacified by creating an independent Tamil state in SriLanka’s North and East.”

    Absolutely WRONG !! I note that your knowledge on our regional politics is minimal. When Indira Gandhi was PM of India, she followed a doctrine called the “Indira Doctrine “. It said, if India was to be a super power of the region, then the neighborhood had to be unstable – so that India can exert pressure on those neighbors. The Tamil issue was a convenient tool for Indira to manipulate matters in Sri Lanka , and armed groups were given training and sent back to Jaffna to start the insurgency . This is an open secret. Indira had no need to pacify Tamil Nadu as the ‘Tamil separatist’ tendencies had died a natural death and the Tamils of India had joined the mainstream. And Indira Gandhi was never serious about helping the Jaffna tamils win that imaginary land of ‘Eelam ‘ . She was just interested in creating instability in Sri Lanka so that she could have the SL administration under check . Once the Eelam war progressed, she started playing a double game by helping the SL Army by way of training and material – and also helping the LTTE. This was a ploy to set up brother against brother – so that the country as a whole could go to dogs. India was never serious about Eelam since it was already fighting separatists in Kashmir ! And barring some fringe political groups, the majority population of Tamil Nadu too are not interested in creating a Tamil Eelam ! All this talk about an ‘Indian Threat ‘ is pure imagination – the SL administration has to make the way forward – with or without help from India . That is the reality .

    And lastly , your following comment :

    “As for the much talked about discrimination against Tamils, it must be just poppycock, as to date they have not listed out what these discriminatory issues are.”

    A few days ago, while I was debating a point on Lankaweb with Asada , I put forward my arguments. Suddenly, a guy called Susantha Wijesinghe appeared from nowhere – and called me a SAKKILIYA !!! Why ? Because I was a Tamil, and I had NO right to enter into a cross talk with a Sinhalese !! I am a chief executive of a big Indo Lanka joint venture in India, and I have 120 Sinhalese working under me along with 1000 locals. It’s one big family without any racial bias. As long as this racial hatred lingers on in your mindset, I am sorry it will be like the ‘hingannaage thuvaalaye ‘ .

  8. Christie Says:

    Indian imperialists engage in internal affairs of all Indian dominions and clolonies, be it Ceylon, Fiji, Mauritius, Kenya, Uganda, Malaysia etc etc.
    Tamils in Ceylon do not want to loose their priviledges they enjpy since their arrival under the British guns. It is the same in other Indiasn colonies.

  9. Fran Diaz Says:

    Dilrook has proven that there is NO Tamil Problem in Sri Lanka.

    What Sri Lanka has is a Labor Problem. Modernise & Mechanise Labor here, particularly for the existing plantations sector. Education & skills training required for the industrial sector must happen soon too. USA has granted one Million dollars to study the Labor Problem in Sri Lanka.

  10. Senevirath Says:

    all knows that tamils were a priviledged clas under british . sinhala buddhists were suppressed by british and tamils. after 1956 sinhala buddhists got 50% of their rights but not al. U.N.P , marxists and Chandrika regime with blessings and advices from british took tamil side and betrayed sinhalese. british still safeguard ADELA BALASINGHAM AND CHANDRIKA KUMARA TUN – GAM- both.

    DUTCH AND BRITISH ARE NO MORE IN SINHALE BUT STILL OUR SINHALA POLITICAL LEADERS ARE FRIGHTENED TO ABOLISH THEIR “”thesavalamai””…… SO FRIGHTENED………. SO HOW CAN THEY SCRAP 13 A WHEN ALL THE WESTERN CONTRIES AND INDIA THREATNING.
    MAHINDA KILLED PRABHAKARAN TO SAVE HIS LIFE. HE WILL SHARE LANKA WITH OTHER TAMIL””” MACHANGS””””””

    S ORRY MAHINDA ONE TIME U WERE MY HERO I AM LOSING HOPES . GO FOR A REFERENDUM AND SHOW THAT U CARE FOR THE MAJORITY

    ‘oka daala gedara giyath kanda nethuva merennenehene thamunnehe..””””’ SHOW YOUR COLOURS.

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