DBS Jeyaraj’s third idea
Posted on February 13th, 2014

C. Wijeyawickrema 

Mr. DBS Jeyaraj under the title, “Sixty-six Years of Independent Sri Lanka and the Tamil State of Mind,” (6 February 2014) on his own website, an essay that he says was, “an updated version of the DBS Jeyaraj Column article that appeared in the Daily Mirror of February 2nd 2013, appeals moderate Sinhala and Tamil people to find a third way to live amicably in the island of Sri Lanka. DBSJ says there are three schools of thought clashing, hegemonism, secessionism and pluralism… the Sinhala hardliners want Sinhala-Buddhist domination. They see this country as theirs alone. Others are excluded or reduced to subservient status in this ‘Chinthana.’….

the Tamil hardliners want a separate state for the north-east known as Tamil Eelam. Just as Sinhala hawks say Sri Lanka is for the Sinhalese, these Tamil hawks say Tamil Eelam is for the Tamils…”

             “…..A state for the dominant ethnicity within, excludes by definition, other ethnicities living within these real or imaginary borders. Both these ideas have brought about disunity, violence and destruction. The nation bled profusely and the country diminished drastically.

The third idea is that of establishing an egalitarian and plural society where all children of this country can live together in amity and fraternity. It incorporates a vision where no one will claim superior rights on the basis of belonging to the majority race/religion or claim exclusive rights to their historic habitat…..Power will not be confined to Colombo but shared with the periphery. All people regardless of race, religion, caste or creed will have their say and a role to play…”

 Tamil Obama

                         Lakshman Kadiragamar’s and Jeyaraj Fernando Pullai’s funerals showed that a Tamil Obama in Sri Lanka is not an impossible idea. Both of them were given Buddhist funeral rites by monks came from all over the island despite the fact both were Christians by birth. Take Arun Tambimuttu’s case. What Sinhala Buddhist voter will not vote for him as he is not telling anything different from what the Bodu Bala Sena has been telling for the past two years? Except for a few adjustments needed DBSJ is advocating a position that I have been writing for the past 15 years or so. Sri Lanka has a third way, if it can get rid of the two political camps under SLFP and UNP. These two parties destroyed Sri Lanka, so said the monks Ven. Walpola Rahula and Ven. Balangoda Anandamaitreeya. The third way is based on reasonableness which is also the Buddhist way.  This must be the way that two Indian ex-presidents meant when they said that “solutions to world’s problems could be found from Buddhism.”

            The Tamil state of mind that DBSJ presented was based on facts he considered true and relevant. There are other facts that one can list which would modify what DBSJ used to interpret his side of the story of Sinhala-Tamil drama. Suffice it to say that the black-white ruling class in Sri Lanka converted a Buddhist-Christian clash into a Sinhala-Tamil clash so that the black-whites could thrive while the country goes down. Local black-whites are supported by global black-whites who use R2P, HR, pluralism and Interfaith as tools of exploitation. Living in peace with minority communities should not make a majority a minority, and if pluralism means that then pluralism will not work. As the army commander Sarath Fonseka once clarified, “Sri Lanka is the country of the Sinhala Buddhists. Minorities could live with equal rights and equal opportunities, but they cannot make unreasonable demands.” This is a good Buddhist approach.

             For example, a pluralism pioneer France is however, not ready to deny that France is the country of the French, just like Norway is not ready to deny that Norway is the home land of the Norwegians. Pluralism should mean a majority allowing a minority to live with equal rights and equal opportunities like the majority and no discrimination based on religion or language. But this has to be governed by the doctrine of reasonableness. A Muslim woman should not expect a right to cover her face with only two hole and walk in public street in a crime-filled, bomb-carrying country because that is not reasonable. Same way a national anthem or a national flag is a symbol that cannot be dismembered with translations. The Indian national anthem cannot be sung in Tamil or Telegu. Then it is not a national anthem. The Indian national flag has a Buddhist symbol and not a cross or a crescent moon. Hindus, Muslims and Christians cannot modify it.

 Sri Lanka’s two problems

            Sri Lanka has two problems created by the black-white politicians of green, red and blue colors. One is mismanagement of economy, or their inability to change the colonial economic system. In 1948 there was a majority and a minority. That was Sinhala and Tamil-speaking majority and an English speaking minority. Then there was a rich Colombo crowd and the poor villagers. 1962 coup represented the minority. 1971 JVP insurrection represented the majority. Rather than learning lessons from these the politicians who came to power tried to keep in power by dismembering constitutions at first, and changing constitutions, and changing parliamentary to executive presidency thinking that they outsmarted the opponents. Today the country is in a big mess, because these changes gave rise to an evil triangle, the politician, officer and the NGO.

            The other is the ethnic problem. There are two aspects to this. First is the fear of Sinhala people that Tamil Nad will grab Sri Lanka. Statement by SJV Chelvanayagam, GG Ponnambalam created this fear which during Dudley Senanayaka’s time came as DMK threat in immigration and Indian Tamil areas in upcountry. 1976 Vaddukoddai resolution and the behavior of the leader of the opposition Amirthalingam added more fear and then came Prabhakaran. Today the fear is even worse with western white countries trying to break the country into two. Then we have the second aspect, Tamil political leaders looking for recognition for them, and in that process creating a thing called; Tamil have aspirations. Tamil politicians living in Colombo talk about it. Whatever its origin, one has to accept that they need a reasonable geographical area for them to promote these aspirations. When Ven. Maduluwave Sobhitha asked Kumar Ponnambalam to name any item that the Sinhalese have but Tamils do not, he thought for a while and said, “Tamils have aspirations.” Tamils have a source region just 22 miles of shallow sea away. The only real esate for the 16 million Sinhala people in a 6 billion world is this tiny island.

             The reasonable solution to this ethnic problem is to remove Sinhala fear and to give fairly reasonable geographical areas for the Tamils to engage in their aspirations. One immediate requirement is that Sinhala and Tamil should be taught to school children from grade three. If a solution to these two needs could also handle the first problem of mismanagement so much the better. If the solution also takes care of the ecological problems and global warming related environmental threats then it will be perfect. If it could be in agreement with Buddhist and Hindu principles people will be happy.

             I presented such a solution for consideration by LLRC and when I read between the lines of LLRC report I see it written there. The problem was that Lalith Weeratunga who was asked to examine it did not see it in the LLRC report or in the documents forwarded to him by me directly and indirectly. Instead a Divi Neguma thing came, and Geneva March 2014 is a direct result of this bad behavior of the top government officer. If Sri Lanka is to remain as one country, if Sri Lanka wants to come out of mismanagement and does not want to get labeled as a corrupt, crime-ridden land, I think it has to follow a solution like what I have suggested.

 Here is the solution in brief:

 1.Demarcate GSN units in Sri Lanka as lowest level ecological units.

            Rpremdas increased them from 4,000 to 14,000, god only knows why. But following the trinity of village-water tank-temple in ancient Sri Lanka, an ecology/hydrology-based GSN unit is an innocent/pragmatic gift rulers can grant to people. Engineer D.L.O Mendis  recently documented that this kind of eco villages were part of both Jaffna and dry zone  farming communities.

2. Empower a ten-member committee elected on non-political party basis to run the basic daily     affairs of the unit (if one unit is too small due to geographical reasons then combine them   as needed. This should not surprise anybody as under the Gami Diriya program this   method of empowerment has been in practice, yes despite the anger and jealousy of local  and national politician crooks.

3.Because Sri Lanka has 103 river basins, use these GSN units to create Seven River Basin Regions for Sri Lanka.  See the map attached. This map has seven units so that Jaffna  region gets one large basin area for them to feel that there is territory for aspirations to  grow.

             This division gives a sea face to each region, all of equal size and most importantly  because it is language-blind, western white countries or Tamil Nad or Prabhakaran   remnants in New York or London cannot talk of a homeland based on the eastern province. That takes away the fear of Sinhala people.

             At GSN level there will be so many Tamil units, Muslim units and mixed units who can at  that level also think of aspirations. The beauty is that no one unit can become a threat to    another unit. They will learn to respect others because, if one unit act selfishly then the  other units will also act selfishly and both will be in trouble.

4. When one looks at problems of living people face today they are not big complex problems.  How to dispose garbage, how to control Dengue, water supply, water pollution, basic   health and basic education, how to get a birth certificate, how to prevent GSN asking    bribes or school principal asking sex bribe; these can be easily and effectively handled at   local level. This way 70% of peoples’ basic issues can be transferred to local units, which is what people want, empowerment, not devolution of powers to provincial politicians.  13A method has proven to be a disaster with sex and beauty has become now the hot   selling item for council candidacy.

5. Because the basic unit is an ecological/hydrological unit they can be combined to represent an electorate or district-size units before becoming one of the Seven River Basins. Thus this horizontal division can go upward administratively with representatives sitting at a separate national body.

6. What should be done at the national/central government level to allow minority participation, if more is needed than what is proposed by item 5, such as a new constitution for the country, this GSN system can remain intact, without political interferences.

 I hope DBSJ print this essay on his website.

 Seven River Basins


  1. Yalpanam
  2. Raja Rata
  3. Dambadeni
  4. Mahaveli
  5. Deegavaapi
  6. Kelani
  7. Ruhunu

(Compare this map with the nine-province
map which cuts all major rivers into artificial


5 Responses to “DBS Jeyaraj’s third idea”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    NO divisions whatsoever.

    In your map #1, #4 and #5 are TAMIL/MUSLIM MAJORITY areas. The problem gets worsened.

    Lets see how to FURTHER UNIFY SL, not divide.

  2. nilwala Says:

    Jeyaraj says here “… the Sinhala hardliners want Sinhala-Buddhist domination. They see this country as theirs alone. Others are excluded or reduced to subservient status in this ‘Chinthana.’….”

    NOT TRUE!! This is a misrepresentation by those who accuse “Sinhala hardliners” as Chauvinists, simply because they do not support the territorial division of the island based on ethnicity, and want Sinhala people to be able to live anywhere on the island, just as the Tamil and Muslim people do. In fact, the Tamil people who moved down to the South for safety from the LTTE are still living and working among the Sinhalese in the South. What most so-called “Sinhala hardliners” want is recognition that Sri Lanka’s population is largely Sinhala and Buddhist, and that their views and aspirations also be considered within the perspectives of the island as the home of all its citizens.
    This has become necessary since all the emphasis by Internationals is on recognition of Minorities whose populations total less than 1/3 of Sri Lanka’s population. The ground reality is that whatever inadequacies are experienced by the Minorities, are also experienced in greater numbers by the Majority Sinhala populations as well – i.e., there is poverty, crime, lack of opportunity, alcoholism etc. etc. in all.
    As individuals, each Sri Lankan has the power of self-determination, i.e., to determine his/her life’s objectives….there are no Group Rights, and this goes for all ethnic as well as religious groups. While the Constitution gives a foremost place to Buddhism on cultural and historic grounds, NO SINHALA BUDDHIST PERSON HAS ADVANTAGES OVER A PERSON OF ANOTHER ETHNIC OR RELIGIOUS GROUP IN A COURT OF LAW OR IN HEALTH & MEDICINE/EDUCATION etc..

  3. SA Kumar Says:

    map #1 is NP Now !!!
    Our problem has been shorted on 19th May 2009 !
    Now We have only administration problem that will short out itself over the time.

    live & let live !!!
    United Seven River Basins ( sooner or later 9PC become 7SRB ) council of Mother Lanka !!!

    Lasting solution
    Implement 13A & 6A & settle 100,000 Shinhala Bhuddist family in NEP & connect Mahava River to Iranamadu tank !

  4. NAK Says:

    The surest solution to this Christian orchestrated problem is for the Buddhist’s and Hindu’s to get together.There has been no problems among Buddhists and Hindus, they respect each other and Hindu’s practice their religion through out Sri Lanka with out any hinderance. In all major cities there is a Hindu temple and all get together to celebrate temple organized functions.
    It is the Christian/Catholic/Evangelical and other denominations of Tamils who have a problem but they never come out as such, they always take cover behind other Tamils.

  5. NAK Says:

    The surest solution to this Christian orchestrated problem is for the Buddhist’s and Hindu’s to get together.There has been no problems among Buddhists and Hindus, they respect each other and Hindu’s practice their religion through out Sri Lanka with out any hinderance. In all major cities there is a Hindu temple and all get together to celebrate temple organized functions.
    It is the Christian/Catholic/Evangelical and other denominations of Tamils who have a problem but they never come out as such, they always take cover behind other Tamils.

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