Tamils are not oppressed in Sri Lanka and never were
Posted on June 28th, 2014

 Shenali D Waduge

Efforts are being made to project a notion that Tamils are oppressed. The mischief behind this endeavor has nothing to do with Tamils but simply as a slogan to create precedents. The organization outsourced to create precedents legally is the UN. Conflicts have become easy to engineer and all it takes is a single skirmish or isolated event for paid media to go to town. There are many ways to silence people and to make people talk as well. Conflicts are begun never to end which is why international charities, humanitarian organizations, peace builders, are all in a thriving profession. The notion that Sri Lanka has an ethnic problem has been an effective mechanism for a handful of people. This notion has bled the country because the problem was never identified as a terrorist problem and dealt with as a terrorist problem. Caught into this milieu are Tamils in whose hands rests the extent to which foreign interference is allowed.  

Let us be clear that Sri Lanka faced a Terrorist problem and not an Ethnic problem. Therefore, it is imperative that solutions being proposed do not confuse the two.

The confusion has prevailed because Tamils have not voiced their opinion against LTTE terrorists. If they had done so, we would not be faced with such confusions. Tamils have enjoyed using the conflict to settle in foreign climes as refugees. Anyone claiming right of stay in a country needs to protect the country from foreign incursions. It is a good time for Tamils to wake up to the manner states are being re-divided according to a template that suits imperialists motivated to ride on conflicts and create armed groups so that the imperialists can take over the resources for themselves. Kosovo is an example that Tamils now need to look carefully upon wondering how far the bogus ‘self-determination’ bid will lead Sri Lanka.

No one can claim 1/3 of Sri Lanka’s land & 2/3 of Sri Lanka’s sea & call it Tamil Eelaam whilst also gaining the right to live in other parts of Sri Lanka. Which country will allow this when historically Sinhalese have been living far longer than any other ethnic group throughout Sri Lanka?

30 years of terrorism was inflicted mostly upon non-Tamils, it was they who were the targets of LTTE. The only other Tamils to be targeted were those that were moderate and wanted to get along with the rest of the communities and the Vanni Tamils from whom the LTTE plucked its foot soldiers. The hierarchy of the LTTE enjoyed all the comforts and are still enjoying fooling Tamils with a promise they know is not real.

The Tamil population at independence was just 880,000. The high caste English educated, English speaking Tamil representatives of this 880,000 began asking for 50-50 representation because they were enjoying benefits virtually on par with the Sinhalese though population-wise they were less than 7% of the total population at independence. The Tamils brought from India by the British numbered far more even at independence.

LTTE’s first target was a Tamil. He was a Tamil Mayor. LTTE went on to shoot Tamil police officers on duty in the North. It was this that made Tamils fear to join the police force.

LTTE’s next targets were Tamil public officials – mayors, principals, intellectuals, politicians even Lakshman Kadiragamar Sri Lanka’s foreign minister. LTTE has killed over 200 such Tamil public servants.

 The negative propaganda makes the world believe that Tamils are discriminated. Sri Lanka’s media are not interested to set the story straight.

Let us see how the Constitution has provided for Tamils.

  • Sinhala & Tamil have been made official languages of Sri Lanka under the 1978 Constitution, Chapter IV (Language Provisions) – Article 18 (1) & 18 (2) amended by 13th amendment. Under Article 20 amended by 16th Amendment – a member of Parliament or a member of a Provincial Council or a local authority shall be entitled to perform his duties and discharge his functions in Parliament or in such Provincial Council or local authority in either of the National Languages.
  • Article 21 (1) amended by 16th Amendment entitles a person to be educated through the medium of either of the national Languages.  
  • Article 22 (1) amended by 16th Amendment entitles Sinhala and Tamil to be languages of administration throughout Sri Lanka. – Article 22(1)  
  • A person has the right to receive communications from, communicate with in Sinhala, Tamil or English.
  • Article 24 (1) amended by 16th Amendment –

 Let us now move on to look at what Tamils enjoy presently in Sri Lanka.

  • In the national flag, ethnical minorities are denoted by color orange for Tamils and Green for Muslims
  • All public documents are in both Sinhalese & Tamil – marriage certificate, death certificate, immigration forms etc
  • All Sri Lankan currency and notes are in Sinhalese & Tamil
  • All public events are presented in Sinhalese, Tamil and English
  • Tamils have rights to own property, land, run business ventures (together Tamils and Muslims outnumber Sinhalese in Colombo) Non-Tamils cannot own land in Jaffna. Tamils openly say they will not sell land or property to Sinhalese.
  • Tamils work in both private and public sectors
  • Tamils can send their children to public, private, semi-government, international schools.
  • Tamils enjoy all healthcare – private and public without impediments. No doctors have denied treating Tamils because they were Tamil. No hospitals have refused admission because they were Tamil, no hospital, doctor or nurse have refused to administer medicine because anyone was Tamil.
  • Tamils enjoy access to every mode of public transport. No Tamil is denied a seat because they are Tamil. There are no separate seats allocated for Tamils. There are no places anywhere in Sri Lanka that is allocated only for Sinhalese. Sadly even the sacred sites of Sinhalese Buddhists are now been transgressed/trespassed under bogey of multiculturalism.
  • Tamils enjoy access to all public utilities.
  • Tamils enjoy access to indulge in any sports and are even selected to represent Sri Lanka at national sports event not because they are Tamil but chosen because of selection criteria.
  • Tamils can visit any hotel, restaurant, guesthouse etc. No Tamil is denied access because they are Tamil.  There is no sign board that says ‘Tamils are not welcome’ or ‘No Tamils’.

 Where there was and perhaps is discrimination

Discrimination, existed not in Sri Lanka. Discrimination in its essence took place in America, in the UK and in South Africa and by the whites against the black people. Discrimination in its essence took place earlier during colonial rule again by whites against the Africans and Asians.

Blacks of America – were treated as slaves, they had to eat separately, sit separately, attend separate schools, use separate toilets, sit on separate park benches, drink from separate water fountains. Blacks had to sit separately at restaurants and some stores forbid blacks from entering. Cinemas had separate ticket booths, libraries had separate black sections, blacks had separate telephone booths. Signboards were everywhere ‘Whites Only’ ‘White neighborhood’. Blacks had no rights to even vote. Democracy prevailed in US but not for blacks.

Blacks of UK – Treated no differently to the blacks of America, UK was home to plenty of racial riots and many types of discrimination in employment, housing allocation and social services exists still.

Blacks of South Africa – their homeland was taken over by whites who ruled South Africa plundering the nation of its resources. Apartheid is a dark chapter in the lives of these black people.

 Tamils Treating Tamils

Tamils in Tamil Nadu – Tamil Nadu means State of Tamils and there are 72million of them. However, close to 20% of Tamils in Tamil Nadu are Dalits (low caste) 60% of them are illiterate. In a state that 99.9% are Tamils, these Dalits suffer verbal abuse, physical abuse, sexual harassment, assault, and 23.2% of them are even raped. The Tamil Nadu Tamils are asking Sri Lanka to take care of Tamils when in Tamil Nadu, Tamils are themselves suffering and living in poverty.

 Discrimination of Tamils by Tamils in Sri Lanka

It is not just in India’s Tamil Nadu, but Tamils in Sri Lanka are divided themselves. The Jaffna Tamils think they are superior to the rest. The Trinco Tamils think they are superior to Batticoloa Tamils and Tamils of Jaffna, Trinco and Batticoloa together have no regard towards the estate Tamils.

In Jaffna members of the same caste only eat together. High caste Tamils don’t marry low caste – those that do are shunned. Unclean Tamils are forbidden from entering Tamil kovils.

At post independence low castes were forbidden from entering schools. S W R D Bandaranaike Prime Minister of Sri Lanka changed this by introducing the Social Disabilities Prevention Act 21 in 1957. The high caste Tamils opposed giving education to their own people. They even wrote to UK against this.

Post-conflict the Government Agent in the North is on record for the number of rapes rising – these were Tamils raping Tamils.

 What happened to the peace between Sinhalese & Tamils

We need to go back in time to recall a history where Sinhalese & Tamils lived at peace with each other until that peace was destroyed shrewdly by the Portuguese, the Dutch & the British. Essentially, the dharmic religious connection must prevail between the Buddhists and Hindus. It is a strength that needs to be nurtured. We suffered 443 years of brutality & oppression whilst a handful benefited from education & conversion. Of the 64 years of independence half of it was plagued with terrorism. Much of the trouble in reality prevails not amongst the ordinary citizens but politicians and their henchman who see opportunities by keeping people divided under whatever theme they can devise. The same opportunities are viewed by external players for these become avenues to advance their power blocs, bases and remunerations.

 We have to now rewrite our history books. The older generation need to separate the realities from the lies, the younger generation should not be taught to carry the aspirations of the old and must be encouraged to live in peace & harmony in a country that belongs to all wherever they choose to live. Those communities that have made their home Sri Lanka arriving as immigrants and traders must acknowledge the historical truth that Sri Lanka was built by the toil of Sinhala Buddhist blood and it was these people that sacrificed their lives to save the nation from those out to invade it.

We must say no to homelands, no to ethnic based solutions or devolutions and no to external interference. This message needs to be clearly carried to all external stakeholders and the local lascoreens who have greatly contributed to the lies that prevail. To this list we need to also add those in Government and those who had previously served in Government because they have by their self-centered decision making created worse problems whilst keeping unworthy characters who are not serving the nation.

 What needs to be clearly said is that Tamils were never discriminated by any constitutional, legislative, judicial provision and that should clearly negate the false propaganda made to the advantage of a handful.

 Shenali D Waduge

 

10 Responses to “Tamils are not oppressed in Sri Lanka and never were”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Who make these allegations? LTTE? No. But by MODA-RATE Tamil leaders.

    LTTE wiped out all of them until LTTE was wiped out.

    Now people realize we got rid of the SYMPTOMS ONLY not the disease. The disease was always TAMIL RACISM not LTTE.

    We should have used the LTTE excuse to wipe out Tamil racism.

  2. AnuD Says:

    Tamils are oppressed in Tamilnadu. that is why Tamils like Sri Lanka and they don’t want to go back to Tamilnadu even when their the job opportunities are better.

    Why Do tamils prefer West than Tamilnadu ?

  3. Chancy Says:

    Thanks, Shenali. You always provide excellent information. Of course we are singing to the choir. These must be sent to the new UNHCR head and to the new team appointed by the UNHCR.
    I personally think we should be prepared for this team whether we agree with the process or not.
    The powers that be MUST gather all Sinhalese victims of the war and document their stories of suffering and loss. The TNA is gathering their information of Tamil suffering during the conflict. Why aren’t the Sinhalese suffering being overlooked? We have to fight fire with fire and not be complacent about it.

  4. jayasiri Says:

    AS Shenali says so well, THEY ARE MAKING these issues to get MORE. Once they get more from the govt. where SINHALESE have not, then they will be happy.

    I said it as a MANTRA that Tamils never had it so good as it is TODAY. They enjoy all benefits & yet complain they are being discriminated. THERE IS NO TAMIL PROBLEM, and there has never been a Tamil problem. Politicians of Tamils & some Sinhalese as well, COMPLAIN to get their voter bases enriched, NOT beacuse the concerns of Tamils. JUST TO GET ELECTED.

    That is why we MUST agree FULLY there is NO PROBLEM with the Tamils, except they want Sinhalese to be a second class citizens in their own country. As one responded to Shenali by saying that WE SHOULD LIST ALL OUR grievencies & go before UN agencies & demand compensation.

    Not only for Tamils making undue demands, BUT being here in Lanka and DE-stabalizes our country. It has proven they continue to bee supporters of TRAITORS of Lanka. That is why the NGOs & INGOs clamour for issue regarding minorities.

    IT IS IME to say NO to Tamils….There is NO Tamil problem, never has been……….J

  5. Senevirath Says:

    JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE TAMILS THEY DONT HAVE SPECIAL PROBLEMS IN SRI LANKA

    PROF.. NALINDA SILVA HAS SAID THIS LONG LONG TIME AGO AND HAS CHALLENGED OTHERS TO COME FORWARD FOR A DEBATE

    WE ALL HAVE ECONOMIC PROBLEMS – NOT ONLY TAMILS . THE BIGGEST PROBLEM FOR SINHALESE IS THEY CANNOT LIVE IN THE NORTH AND TAMILS HAVE INVADED COLOMBO . TAMILS ARE BENIFITED BY THESAVALAMAI AND SINHALESE ARE SUFFERING

  6. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Quoting the article:”The Tamil population at independence was just 880,000. The high caste English educated, English speaking Tamil representatives of this 880,000 began asking for 50-50 representation because they were enjoying benefits virtually on par with the Sinhalese though population-wise they were less than 7% of the total population at independence.”

    The same can be said of the Muslims who like the Tamils have a greater clout on the economy than their numbers. The Muslims like the Tamils are also well represented in the central government and both communities have a large voice from abroad. The Tamils have 80 million of their fellow brotheren just a few miles north of Sri Lanka and from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu have a direct voice in New Delhi

    So do the Muslims who have a voice in New Delhi, Islamabad, Dakar to the Muslim world. Many commenters point to their 10 or so percentage in Sri Lanka as an indicator that they are a “minority” without any voice or power and are “bullied” by the majority extremist Buddhists. These same commenters refuse to state that these minority communities (including the Christian community) have the support of many powerful nations that claim the faith of these minorities.

    Looking at it this way it is the Sinhalese Buddhist that does not have such a voice outside Sri Lanka. Even within Sri Lanka there are plenty of Secularist Sinhalese who oppose the Buddhist Sanga in every way.

  7. Ananda-USA Says:

    I have OFTEN called for the GOSL to PROSECUTE and PUNISH the the Murderous LTTE cadre who have committed AWFUL crimes against the People of Sri Lanka, forgetting about the “RECONCILIATION” that is THRUST upon Sri Lanka by its International Critics.

    I have maintained that the ONLY RECONCILIATION needed is to bring these CRIMINALS to Book, for every Sri Lankan murdered by them CRIES OUT FOR JUSTICE!

    Finally, since the International Critics who hound Sri Lanka with “War CRimes Investigations” do not RECOGNIZE the conciliatory posture of the GOSL and its drive to make life better for the LIVING in Sri Lanka FORGIVING even those who committed those crimes, the GOSL now seems to be following the path I have LONG ADVOCATED: Bringing those Murderers to Book!

    Allowing Murderers to run scot free only ENCOURAGES them, and their SEPARATIST TERRORISM SUPPORTERS to CONTINUE and INTENSIFY their activities.

    WAY TO GO, GOSL! Jayawewa!

    ………………..
    Four Tamil Tiger cadres to be indicted for attacking Sri Lanka Air Force base

    Colombopage.com

    July 01, Colombo: Judiciary of Sri Lanka today permitted the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Police to indict four hardcore cadres of Tamil Tiger terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for the attack on the Anuradhapura Air Force Base and massacre of soldiers.

    The LTTE cadres are accused of killing 14 Air Force and Army personnel, completely destroying 10 aircraft and partly damaging another six.

    The four suspects are to be indicted before Anuradhapura Special High Court.

    High Court Judge Khema Swarnadhipathi also permitted the CID to amend the charges of one accused, R. Thaboruban.

    Tamil Tigers launched an air and ground attack on the Anuradhapura Air Force Base on October 22, 2007. Two LTTE aircrafts dropped two bombs targeting the air base while a small group of Tigers infiltrated the air base and carried out a ground attack in the pre-dawn hours.

    ………………

    Sri Lankan court remands LTTE suspects who shot down plane in 2000

    ColomboPage.com

    June 30, Colombo: A Sri Lankan court has ordered to further detain two cadres of the defeated Tamil Tiger terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for bombing of a military aircraft 14 years ago.

    The Anuradhapura Special High Court Judge Khema Swarnadhipathy has instructed to detain the suspected former cadres of the Missile Brigade of the Tiger organization till the 22nd of July.

    The two LTTE cadres, Jegan alias Kulawan and Vallami alias Sinnathilakan, both residents of Irasathurai in Jaffna, are suspected of shooting down an Antonov-34 aircraft flying from Palaly to Ratmalana on the 30th of March over Anuradhapura killing at least 40 people including 4 Russians.

    According to the police, the two LTTE suspects arrested two years ago in Kilinochchi had revealed that the rebels had fired missiles towards the aircraft from Wilpattu jungles. The Police have recovered parts of the missiles used in the attack.

    The Anuradhapura Special High Court has issued orders to the officer in charge of the Terrorist Investigation Division to submit reports relating to the incident without delay.

  8. Ananda-USA Says:

    Finally, the Government of India ACTS RESPONSIBLY according to International Law.

    Does this new display of common sense spring from Narendra Modi’s sensible hand at the helm of India?

    …………………….
    Indian government tells court TN fishermen have no rights to fishing in Sri Lanka’s Katchatheevu islet

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    July 01, Chennai: India’s central government told a state court today that Tamil Nadu fishermen have no rights to fishing in Sri Lanka’s Katchatheevu islet in the Palk Strait.

    In an affidavit filed before the Madras High Court in Chennai, the Indian government said the Katchatheevu islet is a sovereign property of Sri Lanka ceded to island nation by the 1974 and 1976 agreements between the two countries and the agreements do not confer any fishing rights on fishermen from India in the islet, Press Trust of India reported.

    “Under the agreements of 1974 and 1976, Indian fishermen and pilgrims will enjoy access to Katchatheevu and will not be required by Sri Lanka to obtain travel documents or visas for these purposes. The right of access is not understood to cover fishing rights around the island to Indian fishermen,” the Center said in the reply affidavit.

    The affidavit was in response to a PIL filed by Fishermen Care President L A Peter Rayan seeking to retake the islet ceded to Sri Lanka by India in 1974.

    Disputing the PIL claim, which does not recognize Sri Lanka’s sovereignty of the island and says that the agreements had clear provisions for allowing Indian fishermen to do fishing around the island, the center government said the boundary between the two countries had already been clearly delineated and it would not allow Indian fishermen to cross over and exploit the marine resources in the waters of another country.

    Under the treaty agreement of 1974, Indian fishermen have lost the rights to fishing around the island as it is within the territorial waters of Sri Lanka and the 1976 agreement has established the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), which the fishermen in the two countries are not allowed to cross into each other’s territory.

    It said the fishermen could rest, dry their nets and attend the annual St Antony’s festival in Katchatheevu.

    The transfer of the uninhabited island with only a Catholic shrine has been under dispute since the transfer as Indian fishermen claim they have the rights to fish around the island.

    Last year, the Tamil Nadu government under Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa filed a petition in the Indian Supreme Court seeking the declaration of the 1974 agreement between India and Sri Lanka on ceding Kachchativu to the latter as unconstitutional.

    The Centre, however, said government of India had continuously emphasized to the Sri Lankan government that there was no justification for use of force against Indian fishermen even though almost all instances of alleged harassment of fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy occur in Sri Lankan waters.

    A bench, comprising acting Chief Justice Satish K Agnihotri and Justice M M Sundresh, adjourned the matter by two weeks for further hearing.

  9. Ananda-USA Says:

    Bravo, Mr. Defense Secretary!

    INDEED, Gothabhaya, Sri Lanka will not allow any terrorism to rise against India on Sri Lankan soil.

    Not as long as you are at the helm of Sri Lanka’s defenses!

    JAYAWEWA!

    ………………………….
    ‘No possibility of Lanka-based terrorism against India’ : Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    July 01 (PTI) Sri Lanka today ruled out any possibility that its soil could be used for terror attacks against India, after the recent discovery of an alleged terrorist plot to attack foreign missions in South India.

    “The Indian intelligence agencies have told me that there is a possibility of Islamic terrorism being based in Sri Lanka to act against India. However, we investigated these concerns and found that there is no merit in these concerns or claims,” said Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in an interview with the Daily Mirror newspaper here today.

    Indian authorities recently started investigating an alleged plot by a Pakistan-based terror group to carry out suicide attacks on US and Israeli consulates in South India.The conspiracy was reportedly planned overseas including in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and the Maldives.The plot was foiled by effective coordination of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) with countries such as Malaysia which tipped off India about the plan being hatched from Sri Lankan soil to attack the consulates in Chennai and Bangalore.

    Rajapaksa, the brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, spearheaded the military campaign which crushed the LTTE’s 30-year campaign for a separate Tamil state.He denied any involvement or backing of the Buddhist nationalist BBS group, or the Forces of Buddhist Power, that is blamed for recent attacks against the Muslim minority.

    “I will give up this post if they can prove this. I will leave this post if they can prove that I have any connection with any of these things or organisations,” he said. Responding to opposition accusations of his involvement with BBS, Rajapaksa said there was no need to create any organisation to counter any threat.”That is not the way I work, that is not the way the intelligence agencies or the government works. If there is a problem we have more than adequate resources to quell it. I don’t need to create organisations to do this.”

    Rajapaksa said besides the BBS, there are many other organisations that are based on ethnic and religious lines.”Is the BBS the only organisation that is based on these lines? No, there are Muslim and other religious organisations,” he said.

    He added that the government had thwarted attempts by the LTTE to regroup. “There were so many attempts by the LTTE to regroup and destroy the peace in this country. We were able to prevent that,” he said. The government in April said at least three people had been killed in the Tamil-dominated north who were allegedly working towards a resurgence of the militant group.

  10. Ananda-USA Says:

    Without Chillies, Sri Lankans wither. Self-sufficiency in Chillies, Parippu, Cocunuts, Dry Fish and Maldive Fish is ESSENTIAL to Happiness of Sri Lankans!

    ……………………..
    Heavy bill for dried chilli imports

    By Shirajiv Sirimane
    DailyNews.lk
    July 1, 2014

    Sri Lanka spends over Rs 7 billion annually to import dried chillies and this bill could be easily saved by encouraging local growers.

    Anura Weerakoon, an expert in this subject said that one of the main reasons for farmers to refrain from making dried chillies it the high price the farmers already earn from green chillies. He said that today green chillies is even produced in Jaffna and a kilo fetches around Rs 350 and farmers earn around 300,000 from an acre.

    Weerakoon who has several farms in Dambulla said that around three kilos of green chillies are needed for a kilo of dried chillies and farmers prefer to sell green chillies.

    He said with proper government incentives farmers could be encouraged to produce dried chillies which in the long run help government to save billions of rupees in foreign exchange.
    – See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=business/heavy-bill-dried-chilli-imports#sthash.RjDZ1Wcz.dpuf

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