We are one people on a small island
Posted on December 15th, 2013

By  Kanthar P (Nathan) Balanathan Courtesy Island

December 14, 2013, 6:38 pm

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DipEE(UK), GradCert(RelEng-Monash), DipBusAdm(Finance-Massey), CEng, MIEE, MIE(Aust), CPEng.Retired Director & Specialist Power Systems Engineer

Like all right thinking people born in Sri Lanka, my wish is for the country to go forward to a period of Peace and prosperity for all its citizens. I am a Tamil from the North and have lived in peace with Sinhalese, Muslims and Burghers in the South of Sri Lanka and enjoyed their friendship which I look back to with immense happiness. I have also lived and worked abroad for many years and been able to integrate with people of different cultures. This too has given me a dimension to widen my thinking and be spared of being enslaved with archaic ideas, which several of my people back home are saddled with.

When approaching the problem of Sri Lanka from this distance I have looked at the following facts which are most relevant to me:

1. The statistics and the demographic pattern in Sri Lanka are as follows:

Department of Census & Statistics, Sri Lanka -Year 2012

With a total population of 20,263,723, the Sinhalese people; 15,173,820, Sri Lanka Tamils; 2,270,924 and the Indian Tamils; 842,323. On a percentage basis, Sinhalese strength is 74.88%, SL Tamils 11.21%, and Indian Tamils 4.16%.

Proportion of Sri Lankan Tamils in the North and East (N&E) to the total numbers in the country

From the statistics, Sri Lankan Tamil population of 29.66% dwell outside the North and East, and only 43.49% of the Sri Lankan Tamils populate the North. If the Upcountry Tamils are merged with the Tamils from the North and Eastern Provinces as a Tamil entity, the percentage of Tamils living outside the North and East is 49 percent.

231,318 Tamils live in Colombo.70 per cent of the population of Wellawatte, in the city of Colombo is Tamil.

What has to be accepted is that the people living outside the North and East generate a large income and on no account should their livelihoods or their capacity to earn be endangered.

Post independence

During the last 64 years, the qualitative facets of human life in the North and East was badly affected with crime, terrorism, racial conflicts, and social class division among Tamils, which affected the minds of the Tamils to take to terrorism, separatism, and a racial xenophobic outlook.

2. Comparison of the Indian model for Sri Lanka

India has a population of over one billion people. The wealth distribution, natural resources and their technical capability, is totally different to Sri Lanka. India cannot be governed by one Parliament in Delhi.

The population of North Sri Lanka is around 1.5% of the population of Tamil Nadu, and that of East Sri Lanka is less than one percent.  N&E Tamil population together is around 2.28% of the population of Tamil Nadu.

Can we think of dividing Tamil Nadu into states at the rate of 2.28% per state, in which case Tamil Nadu has to be divided into 44 state administrations? This is not practical.

India will have to be divided into several hundreds of federal states.

The population of Tamils in Sri Lanka is small and does not warrant separate administrations. Without strong integration with the rest of the country the North is not a viable unit.

A Federal government or Provincial Government system for a country is germane from the following criteria only:

= The ethnic group(s) should be comprised with large population

= Gross natural resources are distributed around the country.

= Revenue accrual in each district / province / state is large.

= Industrial concentration is distributed.

= The country should have its income adequate to meet expenditure.

= Export earnings should be sufficient to accommodate state allocation.

= People concentrated in districts should not be racial / xenophobic / religious fanatics / practice superstitious racial beliefs.

= All citizens should be nationalistic and patriotic.

3. The reality of the situation in the North of Sri Lanka

Jaffna is not a highly fertile land and has no resources and has limited water supplies. The only products are rice, tobacco farming and fishing. Even this is inadequate to feed the Tamils. Foreign exchange earnings for the country are earned in the South through rubber, tea, gems, some agrarian products, garments and now the large remittances from workers abroad. The foreign exchange income from these activities is what helped the people in the North and financed all the activities like health, education and employment. The trend has always been that when a person from the North qualifies in medicine, engineering or any other profession he or she sought employment in the south of Sri Lanka, which has many more opportunities.

4. Provincial Council System

The current Provincial Council system imposed by the Indian crafted 13th Amendment has no real value. It has not accelerated economic development, nor has it improved ethnic relationships, nor can it bring about good governance.

Some Tamil Politicians both in India and in Sri Lanka are promoting this for their own agenda.

In real terms the main engine of growth is in the South. The entire free education system which has enabled Tamil professionals and scientists to get employment abroad is financed by the Sri Lankan Government, with funding generated in the South.

The best economic option for Sri Lanka is to have one government in Colombo with all communities working and sharing a common objective towards a national development without discrimination of any group. Each community has its strength. The skill is to work out formats, and institutions to make the best use of this energy and make all Sri Lankans feel that they are a part of a common enterprise. This structure has to be stimulated to enable the Districts, the Pradeshiya Sabhas, Municipalities and Village Councils to have powers to develop the areas at the periphery efficiently without excessive expenditure.

5. Importance of Language

Sri Lankans should be encouraged to learn their mother tongue, English, and have an effective competency in the third language. If Sri Lankans can learn and speak Italian, Latvian, Hungarian, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and all those languages around the globe where they have gone for employment, as students or refugees, what stops them from learning Sinhalese or Tamil as the need be in Sri Lanka?

In Tamil Nadu, most Tamils can speak Hindi, and they consider it prestigious to speak it. Most Tamil MPs in Delhi do speak Hindi. Why are the Tamil MPs in Sri Lanka so myopic and possess devastating inhibition when it comes to learning Sinhalese?

This originates from a complex haunting the more irrational Tamil politicians. Although in real terms the DNA of the Sinhala and Tamil is almost identical, there are atavistic tendencies to consider the Sinhalese as Aryans. Even the legend of the killing of Dravidians by Vishnu, an Aryan, is cited to divide the two communities.

6. It is time to work

It is time for all to work on a formula to live in Peace, and live fruitful lives in the small island of Sri Lanka. Actually, we can never go to the madness of war again. We need hard headed and rational thinking, which will give leadership to the Tamil people, which in turn will integrate with all the people in Sri Lanka and make a collective contribution for its betterment. This call goes to all the people of Sri Lanka. Everyone has to work to create the correct climate with prudent thoughts, words and deeds.

The Tamil politicians should exit from the folly of naming their political parties as “Tamil Ealam Liberation..…” or “Federal Party”, but initiate naming starting with “Sri Lanka….”. The Tamil politicians should respect the Sri Lankan Constitution.

Finally, we have to realize that the bulk of the people are here to stay. They have no other country to go to.

Ref: http://www.statistics.gov.lk/PopHouSat/CPH2011/index.php?fileName=pop42&gp=Activities&tpl=3

11 Responses to “We are one people on a small island”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    Kanthar,

    Bravo! You are voicing the ideas expressed by most Patriots here at LankaWeb, but it is very important that YOU as a Sri Lankan Tamil, goes on RECORD supporting those ideas as well.

    Your statements:

    “The best economic option for Sri Lanka is to have one government in Colombo with all communities working and sharing a common objective towards a national development without discrimination of any group. Each community has its strength. The skill is to work out formats, and institutions to make the best use of this energy and make all Sri Lankans feel that they are a part of a common enterprise. This structure has to be stimulated to enable the Districts, the Pradeshiya Sabhas, Municipalities and Village Councils to have powers to develop the areas at the periphery efficiently without excessive expenditure.”

    It is important that all governing Structures that can be exploited by separatists be DISMANTLED. The National Government, deriving its legitimacy from ALL Sri Lankan citizens nationwide, remain the ONLY Governing Body having authority over land, police, the judicial system , national defence, coastal defence, immigration and emigration, education, foreign relations, taxation, etc. Accordingly, Provincial Councils should be dissolved, 13th Amendment REPEALED and replaced with government appointed Government Agent system as in the past.

    ………….

    “Sri Lankans should be encouraged to learn their mother tongue, English, and have an effective competency in the third language. ”

    This is a reasonable solution and is the National Language Policy today, and has been so for many decades. However, let us not stop at “encouragement” but make proficienvy in all three languages MANDATORY!

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    A good move but PROPAGANDA is only 10% of diplomacy. REAL reason to target SL is GEOPOLITICAL (75%). Tamilian votes is also a SMALL consideration (10%). Others 5%.

    We cannot expect any positive from the UKUSA-EU-Endia camp after another year of CHINESE developments.

    When UKUSA-EU-Endia looks at SL through their ANTI-CHINA glasses, they see an ENEMY!!

    Faced with the prospect of a third UN human rights council resolution in as many years, Sri Lanka on Sunday launched a diplomatic offensive to counter international pressure over alleged rights abuses during the final phase of its civil war in 2009.

    Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya, the military spokesman, said some eight video documentaries produced by the army had been dispatched to Sri Lankan missions overseas and the UNHRC member states.

    “These videos will give real facts about the true situation with regard to allegations levelled by the Channel 4 (British TV) and others,” Wanigasooriya stated adding that “the world will come to know about the many crimes committed by the LTTE”.

    The videos are part of the external affairs ministry’s briefings to Colombo’s diplomatic community on the post-conflict developments.

    The government has also debunked the figures thrown at it by international agencies including the UN that some 40,000 people were killed in the Tamil-dominated north during the final phase of the 30-year ethnic conflict.

    Minister Champika Ranawaka who is a senior figure of the Sinhala nationalist JHU party told Japanese peace envoy Yasushi Akashi that if the army wanted to kill Tamils it would not have accepted the surrender of around 11,000 LTTE cadres four years ago.

    Akashi was on a visit last week. Ranawaka told Akashi it was unfair for war crimes charges to be raised against Sri Lanka based on false data.

    He said a large number of the Sinhala majority community evicted from the north and east during the LTTE’s separatist campaign had not been allowed to return.

    He said that in 1981 there were 20,000 Sinhalese living in the north but today the figure was as low as 800.

    Sri Lanka is expected to face its third successive resolution criticizing its human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council next March.

    Both previous resolutions urged Sri Lanka for speedier implementation of recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

    India and US had voted in favour of the resolutions.”

    – PTI

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Sinhalization of the north (as Tamils call it) is the ONLY solution.

    ALL others FAIL.

  4. NAK Says:

    Very well put Kanthar, but this is the truth that must be told to the stupid suddhas in the west. They seem to be taken for a ride by the stupid LTTE diaspora. So,your articles can do a much better service if you can get them published in UK,US and Canada. Especially you being a Tamil carry extra weight as, if the same were to be said by a Sinhalese, will be rejected as propaganda.

  5. Nanda Says:

    Currently the GOSL, on their behaviour, can only be compared to a bunch of thieves trying to avoid police.
    Even the priminister appears to be a Kudu bastard.

    They are no longer proud of their achivements, they are shivering in fear. Why ?
    Because they are not clean enough to raise the heads like lions.

    Hanuman Naatyam should come to an end. Do not let the Hanuman burn down every institution using its tail.
    We need another Vishnu.bDravidians can only be ruled by the Gun.

  6. Lorenzo Says:

    Nanda,

    The ONLY hope is a MILITARY TAKE OVER, change constitution to a good one (NON POLITICAL) and hand back power.

    There is NO other hope for SL.

    But our BLUE-GREEN-RED camps want to continue because they BENEFIT (to hell with the country).

  7. SA Kumar Says:

    We need hard headed and rational thinking,which in turn will integrate with all the people in Sri Lanka and make a collective contribution for its betterment !

    no short cut ( MILITARY TAKE OVER, Sinhalization of the north etc…)
    Unit in diversity ! united provincial council of Mother Lanka !!!!
    One country , Two Languages ,Four Religions !!!
    live & let live !!!

  8. Nanda Says:

    A new hotel near Kalkudah is well managed. Sinhala kollos from hotel school doing a good job in a ex-Tiger area. There are Tamil workers too. Asked them, they said now it is good time, thanks to the Gov soldiers. They do not want Tamils to rule.
    Then why let naked Hanumans rule these PCs ? Scrap them and send the monkeys back to India.

    The road from Kalkudah to Maha-Oya is still bad. Previous empty paddy fields are beatifully lush green, a vast area with people not in sight. Tamils are working hard again, leaving their guns, amongst the bullet ridden walls of roof-less houses. After Maha Oya is a differnt story. Regular motor cycles, business and less farming.
    All shows Tamils SHALL and ONLY can work under Sinhala master. Not the other way around. Like good dogs, they will obey the proper master.

    But the master is taking drugs, his police is involved in crime. Tamils are confused. They are becoming not fearful of the master. Our buggers should recieve dog training to run the country.

  9. SA Kumar Says:

    but it is very important that YOU as a Sri Lankan Tamil, goes on RECORD supporting those ideas as well. !
    It can be done if you have offer political solution to Tamil if not Kanthar P (Nathan) Balanathan or Doucles Devannda’s voice not get RECORD support from Tamil like last NP election !

    eg: If DD had political solution in last NP election manifest he would have been first NP CM
    manifest should be… If you elect us you will get with 5 years

    1) Full implementation of 13A & 16A (If any person or party support separation would be criminal offence if found guilty may get capital punishment)
    2) All language& religion ( Tamil, Muslim, Jathika, Sinhala etc…) party’s name should be changed if not ban from election
    3) 100,000 Sinhala family would be permanently resident in NEP .

  10. SA Kumar Says:

    All shows Tamils SHALL and ONLY can work under Sinhala master. Not the other way around. Like good dogs, they will obey the proper master- fully agreed
    Dog is not only obey his master also look after his Sinhala master in night with out sleep !
    but Master should be Honest & respect Tamil dog basic right to live with his family otherwise its get mad !

    Why this Kolaveri My Chinhala brother !

  11. jayasiri Says:

    Happy to see a Patriotic Tamil expressing his views. This conclusion by many, have arrived at MOSTLY by Sinhalese people. If other Tamils speak up & continue to INSIST on action to be taken by the Lankan Leadership. UPFA cannot ignore a mass movement.

    Winning the war, is NOT ONLY THE solution BUT just the start of process of getting back lost years totalling 30+ years. In those years ALL SRI LANKANS including some Tamils suffered UNNECESSARYLY. A dream REPEATED 1000 times till MOST Tamils beleied it. AN ELAM like in Tamil Nadu.

    There is no Masiah coming to help Tamils get a seperate state. IT IS AGAINST ALL form of solution to Lankan issue. IT IS NOT a problem Tamils made it a problem, to get Internatioal support. All stories related about discrimination is HEAR SAY, there is NO PROOF.

    They know, the Tamil Diaspora, Tamil priests in CLOTHES, not real priests(they are supprters of LTTE) in a different name to get favours, as GOD’s spokesmen. Many are hindus who gave up ther religion to become Christians or other religions to GET FINANCIAL BENEFITS, If Buddhist monks who are corrupt ARE PUNISHED, I do know why clergy of other faiths who PLAN & EXECUTE ANTI-SRI LANKA activities walk freely doing inseperable damage to Sri Lanka EVEN NOW.

    We always say we must do this & that, BUT there arn’t a single person or leader who will PRESENT him/herself to SEE THE PRESIDENT & demand action, like the TAMILS & MUSLIMS do. Sinhalese have to be SECOND CLASS CITIZENS in their own country. UK, USA & EU have no other business in their agendas, EXCEPT annoy & talk down to Sri Lanka. MAINLY becase OUR leadership is NOT INTERESTED in concrete action, they are most interested in MAKING STATEMENTS .

    Only when election time comes, they continue to say the same thing over & over again. I say TAMILS & MUSLIMS have enough concesions already & its time to ask GOSL to look after Sinhalese.

    Thank you all…Although I complain, & write, its about the most I can do, as many expats. The INITIAL steps MUST be taken by Sri Lankans IN LANKA NOW, then the expat community will support…………J

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