The Secessionist’s Mission
Posted on February 17th, 2015


If we believe that we are a nation, then we must start behaving like a nation”.

The question is whether we can mobilise it to a point where we create sufficient leverage so that the Sri Lankan State also takes us seriously. I think that is the key. I believe that they will have to take us seriously, if we are prepared to actually take ourselves seriously with regards to the fact that we are a nation.” – Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam recently stated in an interview with TamilNet-Palaka’ni in respect to the Tamil Eazham cause.

I am a strong advocate for an equal society and mutual respect for all ethnicities in Sri Lanka. I believe it’s essential for prominent figures in minority groups to bring adverse issues facing those groups into light. As well as this we need members in government to be a voice for minority groups and represent their matters at the state level. We should have open dialogue between all groups to come up with better ways that Sri Lanka as a country can represent all communities and their needs.

However, I strongly reject and request from our government to also reject any person or group that promotes secessionist agenda.

I find it disturbing for one to be labelled as racist or ‘Jathi Wadi’ if they start this conversation. We must not forget that we are all Sri Lankan, all of us should identify with it and be attached to it. It should be the desire of all Sri Lankans to live in ONE country that is safe and equal.

Sadly there are persevering separatist groups that keep rearing their ugly heard. They have many faces and come in the guise of ‘human rights’, ‘democracy’ and ‘equality’ but the true underlying intention is its secessionist national campaign. Many have started to ridicule people like Dr Dayan Jayathilleka for voicing their fears and dismiss them as out-of-touch or insane. However this interview cements the fact that these groups not only exist but are also spreading the germ of separatism to the general Tamil public.

I recently read ‘The Dr DJ Syndrome’ by V Kanthaiya in the Opinions section of the Colombo Telegraph. Upon reading the article, my opinion of the writer was that he/she though very intelligent and reasonable was also naive. He/she failed to consider some crucial elements and complexities in the Sri Lankan ethnic problem.

Kanthaiya states ‘The solution is simple. Give the autonomy that the Tamils ask for. DJ’s problem is that giving such power to the NPC would lead to the proclamation of an independent state by C.V. Wigneswaran. Suppose DJs argument is correct, then India wouldn’t be a country, instead there would be 35 countries. There will not be a country the United States of America; instead there would be 50 countries at that geographical location. There would not be a country called Australia, instead there would be countries called Northern Territory, Western Australia, Southern Australia, Victoria, Queens Land, New South Wales and Tasmania.’

I personally guarantee that the central government doesn’t need to fear the possible secession of NPC from the country, no such thing will ever happen. The present Tamil youth in the country are more willing to fight on ‘Facebook’ with their comments, rather than in jungles with semi-automatic rifles. The new generation is more concerned with integrating with the global community, rather than fighting in the name of race and religion, which have become irrelevant concepts in our present life dominated by information communication technology. (V. Kantaiya – Colombo Telegraph)

In normal circumstances I too would agree with V Kanthaiya and say that giving autonomy to the NPC is a reasonable solution to the Tamil ethnic problem. However, Sri Lanka’s history has been far from normal. Up till 2009 we were in the midst of a 30 year long civil conflict during which both Tamils and Sinhalese committed atrocities.

Although I am happy that the war is now over, I wish it could have ended under different circumstances where lives of many Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims could have been saved. Sri Lanka has had a bloody past and I believe 6 years isn’t long enough for the wounds to heal properly. The same extremists that supported the LTTE and the Ealam cause are still prominent members within some Tamil groups in Sri Lanka and overseas.

From what I could fathom, V Kanithaiya like many ordinary citizens of Sri Lanka sounds like an intelligent, level headed and reasonable person. There are probably more of such moderate people within Tamil groups that most likely share the same vision as V Kanithaiya. However if you examine History, you will also see that there were moderate Tamil groups during the early 80’s when LTTE was still in its infancy, all of which Prabahakaran eventually destroyed. History proves that you only need a few rotten apples to spoil the barrel. This is true for all ethnicities and the BBS is a recent example.

Kanithaiya also states that the new generation is not interested in fighting in the name of race and religion and they have become ‘irrelevant concepts’ since our lives are now ‘dominated by information communication technology’. In response, I ask this – Were our lives not dominated by ICT between the years 2005-2009?” Were there no young people who fought in the LTTE during these years? Therefore the concept that the youth will not fight for race and religion in the present day, I believe is incorrect.

In fact, Facebook and Info Communication Technologies were used in the recent coup and ousting of the Ukrainian president as well as the Arab Spring. ISIS have also been known to use ICT and other modern technologies to recruit and spread their message. Therefore we must not dismiss or underestimate the probability of Tamil and Sinhalese youth to fight in the name of race and religion again if misdirected by lunatics like Gajendrakumar and BBS.

Another incident which further proved extremist or separatist behaviour within Tamil groups is the rift caused in the TNA party due to R. Sampanthan’s and M.A. Sumanthiran’s attendance at the recent Independence day celebrations. This noble and diplomatic move by the two M.P’s were rejected by the Party as a whole. If Tamil groups don’t believe in secession, then the independence of our country from the British should be symbolic to all citizens. Suppose that certain disagreements with the Rajapaksa government prevented TNA members from attending in the past, surely attending this year’s celebrations would have been a step in the right direction for the interest of all people in the country, especially Tamils. Sadly even the most moderate of members within the party like M.A Sumanthiran have stated that they ‘will seek to go beyond the 13th Amendment and make it meaningful’ and that the full implementation of the 13th Amendment is only the ‘first step’. (Sunday Observer, 2015)

To summarize, the ethnic problems in Sri Lanka whether it is Tamil, Muslim, or Sinhala are very complex. I’m afraid that Sri Lanka needs a much longer time to heal and gain each other’s trust than 6 years. It took us 30 long years to come out of the war and it may well take another 30 years to move on from it. The ethnic and indigenous problems still affect countries like United States, Australia and New Zealand even after 100’s of years. However, similarly to what Kanithaiya said, we need to look at these countries and perhaps learn something from them. Although there are unresolved ethnic issues in these countries, ultimately they all have a unitary vision. I believe that the full implementation of the 13th Amendment is necessary at some point later down the road. However the combination of a powerless presidency along with a fully autonomous NPC if done too quickly may increase the risk of the formation and uprising of secessionist groups within the country.


7 Responses to “The Secessionist’s Mission”

  1. Geeth Says:

    Actually Sri Lanka, a country of 25000 sq. miles doesn’t need a wide arrangement of devolution of power. Similar extent of land in the USA, such as state of West Virginia has only one administration. But there are so many different ethnic groups living there. None asks separate states. That is the truth.

    The realistic thing to do in SL is to increase the efficiency of our administrative structure into regional level, and increasing the proportionate minority participation in decision-making process in the center, which they already have now. (They are still unhappy about it. It is a different story)

    Anyway we are living under this obscenity of the demand for devolution of power on ethnic line since colonial time. However we can live with the concept of ‘devolution’ although it makes us poor and poorer day by day, and that may be the hidden objective of India an the west, but what we cannot live with is the devolution precisely on ethnic lines.

    Majority fear has valid reasons about devolution. They fear of secession as the next move immediately after full devolution; because in the case of Sri Lanka, the concept of devolution was introduced as a substitute or as an object of bargain to prevent separation. So separatism was the sickness although we try to force devolution as the medicine. We can see that the medicine doesn’t bring any progress, instead it worsening the sickness. For the Sinhalese politicians, devolution was a logical answer for the so-called Tamil grievances/logic or the reasoning of secession. For the Tamils, it is a rest area in the long journey of separation. Anyone can argue otherwise, but this is the bitter truth.

    The reason of the majority to fear is the actual reason why Tamil minority, India and the west vehemently demanding for it. Because they know devolution can be used as the catalyst for secession. That is the exact goal they want to achieve. When the provincial government declares UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence) the west and India will swiftly recognize it. And if necessary, will send military to protect the new state. That is the hidden agenda. But they won’t say it in public. This ‘not telling’ in public must be our point of exit. We must use it for our advantage.

    Abolishing 13 is the only answer for the prevention of secession of regional units based on current provinces based on ethnicity. Introducing new concept of devolution based on newly demarcated regions created on boundaries of river basins (I don’t remember who proposed this concept of river basins) will be a good answer to permanently seal the entire future plans of ethnicity based secession.

    Then the Tamils, India and west might say that Tamils harbor aspirations to have their own ethnic enclave and violating it is a crime. Our political leadership must have courage to tell them that satisfying all unrealistic aspirations of different ethnic groups that undermine the concept of nation state is beyond the power of national politics, but remains within power of almighty god. Therefore all with aspirations mustn’t bring their unrealistic aspirations into national politics but must take them to kovils and smash coconuts.
    Mahinda must come back to undo this 13th, and he is the only one can do it.

  2. Geeth Says:

    Dear readers, pardon me for going away from the main theme of the article.

    Since currently we all are experiencing a political turmoil (backstabbing and cutthroat and wholesale betrayal of the nation) in Sri Lanka, let me suggest the following proposal as a solution that we must bring onto the bargaining table for the winning of ex president Mahinda Rajapaksha back into reigns.

    Dear folks, ex pres. Mahinda needs us, we need Mahinda, so we must come to a deal with him. A political contract between us. We must ask MR/GR to come back to politics solely for the abolition of 13th. If he declares that he will abolish 13th and will adhere to national development policy based on the consensus of a national task force for a production oriented economy, then the UNP and the My3 faction will end up in the political wilderness. May the triple Gem bless Mahinda to be enlightened with this simple political wisdom.

    අපි මේ වෙලාවේ 13 අහෝසි කිරීමේ කොන්දේසිය අනුලන්ගනීය කොන්දේසියක් විදියට දේසපාලන සාකච්චා මේසයට ගෙන්න ඕන. මහින්දට එක කරන්නද පුළුවන් බව මට විශ්වාසයි. එතුමාට සිද්ධ වෙච්ච සියලු දේවල් ගැන හිතනකොට එය ඉටු කිරීමට අවශ්‍ය සියලු සාධක ඉටුවෙලා තියෙන්නේ. මෛත්‍රීට එක කරන්න කොන්දක් නැහැ කියන එක අපි දන්නවා. රනිල් කරන්නෙත් නැහැ. සිරිපාල ගොයියා කරන්නෙත් නැහැ. මේක කරයි කියල හිතන්න පුළුවන් එකම කෙනා තමයි මහින්ද. ඒ හින්ද මහින්දව තමයි ඉස්සරහට ගෙන්න ඕන. හැබැයි, 13 ගැන පැහැදිලි ප්‍රකාශයක් ප්‍රතිපත්ති ප්‍රකාශනයට ඇතුල් කිරීමේ කොන්දේසියට යටත්ව.

    මෙවර මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතා දේශපාලනයට ආයුත්තේ selfless ජන නායකයෙකු මිස තවත් එක කුට දේශපාලකයෙකු ලෙස නොවේ. ඔහු ආයුත්තේ ඉතිහාසය වෙනස් කිරීමේ අභිලාෂයෙනි. එනම් ජනතා ශක්තිය හා ඔවුන්ගෙන් ඔහුට ලැබෙන ආරක්ෂාව පිලිබඳ විශ්වාසයෙනි. ඔහු 13 වෙනස් කරන බවට ප්‍රතිඥා දී, ජාතික ආර්ථික ප්‍රතිපත්තියක් අනුගමනය කරන බවට සහතිකයක් ජනතාවට ලභා දෙන්නේ නම්, ලක්ෂ ගණන් ජනතාව ඔහුගේ නිවස අසල කඳවුරු බැඳගෙන ඔහු ආරක්ෂා කරනු ඇත. එවිට යුධ අපරාධ බිල්ලන්ට ඔහු රැගෙන යාමට සිදුවන්නේ මහා ජන ඝාතනයක් සිදු කිරීමෙන් අනතුරුවය. ඔහු ජන නායකයෙකි. අහක ඉන්න පෙන්දන්ගෙන් ආරක්ෂාව ඉල්ලා බැගපත් වීම ඔහුට තරම් නොවේ. ඔහු සැබෑ ජන නායකයෙකු ලෙස කැප්පෙටිපොළ කෙනෙකු මෙන් මරණය පිළිබඳව තුට්ටුවකට වත් මායිම් කල යුතු නොවේ. හැකිනම් තමාව යුධ අපරාධ වලට අල්ලා දෙනලෙස වත්මන් රජයට අභියෝග කිරීමේ හැකියාවක් ඔහුට තිබිය යුතුය. මංගලලා මෛත්‍රී ලා ඉන්දියාව සහ බටහිර සමග දැන් තමාව කොටු කිරීමේ කුමන්ත්‍රණයක නියලී සිටිනී නම් ඒ බව ජනතාවට ප්‍රසිද්ධියේ කීමට ඔහුට හැකි විය යුතුය.

    ඉන්දියාවත්, බටහිරත් ඔහුට පිටුපසින් පිහියෙන් අනින ලද බව ඔහු දැන් දන්නෙහිය. එය දන්නා නිසා ඔවුන් සතුටු කිරීමේ වගකීමෙන් ඔහු නිදහස්ය. උතුරු නැගෙනහිර ද්‍රවිඩ චන්ද දායකයා ඔහුව කරපොත්තෙකු මෙන් පාගා දමා තිබේ. ඔහු අනවශ්‍ය තරමට ඇත පත ගෑ කොළඹ ආත්මයක් නැති තුප්පහියන් රැල ඔහුට වස දී ඇති බව ඔහු මැනවින් දනී. දැන් ඔහු නිදහස් මිනිසෙකි. මේ පරාජය ජාතියේ අනාගත මාවත වෙනස් කරන ආශිර්වාදයක් වියහැකි සිදුවීමක් බවට පෙරලීමට ඔහුට හැකි විය යුතුය. පරාජය ඔහු අත තිබෙන දෙවියන් විසින් ඔහුවෙත ලභා දෙන ලද වරයක් සේ සලකන්න.

    අපේ මුළු පරපුරම ශ්‍රී ලංකා නිදහස් පක්ෂය නිසා සියලු දේවල් නැති කරගත්ත මිනිස්සු. අපි පක්ෂයෙන් ගත්තු දෙයක් නැහැ. අපි පක්ෂයට දීල තියෙනවා මිසක්.අඩු තරමින් රක්ශාවක්වත් අපි අරන් නැහැ. එනිසා, ඔය දේශපාලකයින්ට වඩා පක්ෂයෙන් යමක් ඉල්ලා හිටින්ඩ අපිට සදාචාරාත්මක අයිතියක් තියෙනවා. මම පෞද්ගලිකව දෙසපාලකයෝ පස්සෙන් යන බූරු පැටියෙක් නෙවෙය්. නමුත් මහින්ද වගේම දෙවෙනි පරම්පරාවේ ශ්‍රී ලංකා පාක්ෂිකයෝ හැටියට අපි ඉල්ලා හිටින්නේ එක දෙයයි. 13 අහෝසි කරන්න, ගංගා නිම්න පදනම් කරගත් කලාප අනුව හෝ දිස්ත්‍රික්ක සභා මත පදනම්ම්ව බලය විමද්‍ය ගත කරන්න, ජාතික ආර්ථික ප්‍රතිපත්තියක් ගෙන්න. මේක මහින්දට පුළුවන්, සිරිපාලට බැරි දෙයක්.

    මේ ඓතිහාසික කර්තව්‍යය ඉටුකරලා, රටට සදාකාලික සාමයක් සෞභාග්‍යයක් ලබාදීල ඉතිහාස ගත වෙන්න මහින්ද ලැහැස්තිද????????

    මා මේ කී දෑ ඔහු සැලකිල්ලට ගන්නේ නම්, ප්‍රථමයෙන්ම ඔහු ඔවුන්ගේ නිවසේ නම වෙනස් කරනු ඇත. කාල්ටන් Carlton වෙනුවට සිංහල නමක් නිවසට යෙදුවොත්, ඔහු selfless ජන නායකයෙකු ලෙස දේශපාලනයට අවතීර්ණ වීමට බලාපොරොත්තු වන බවට අපට දෙන ලද සංඥාවක් සේ එය පිළිගැනීමට අප බලාපොරොත්තු වෙමු.

    The advantage of the declaration of repealing 13 is far reaching. Many UNP supporters and other party supporters will vote for the candidate (hopefully Rajapaksa) who pledges to repeal 13 is a definite result. That will even happen among the JHU supporters. As an effect of coming back to politics, MR and GR can shun away war crime allegations as well. On the other hand, president Mahinda Rajapaksa can make his defeat a boomerang to the conspirators, especially for India and the west. The entire conspiracy will be backfired by this decision. Let us make them eat their own s..t!

  3. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Quoting the article: “However, I strongly reject and request from our government to also reject any person or group that promotes secessionist agenda”

    and quoting Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam “If we believe that we are a nation, then we must start behaving like a nation”.

    The question is whether we can mobilise it to a point where we create sufficient leverage so that the Sri Lankan State also takes us seriously. I think that is the key. I believe that they will have to take us seriously, if we are prepared to actually take ourselves seriously with regards to the fact that we are a nation.”

    That is what the philosophy of a nation state. but Sri Lanka would still be under the British Empire for that governance dictates the same as above. The right of Sri Lanka (or for that matter India and Pakistan) to dissolve the Empire and proclaim their independence is the same reasons why those who want to form Elam.

    There is not a single grievance the National Congress party had against the British Empire except the right for self determination. it was one of the world’s best run governments. There were no blaring grievances clearly stated by the National Congress in the late 19th century to agitate for Home rule except for self determination. India (and as for that Sri Lanka) had a stellar infrastructure, brand new clean cities, and all the modern trappings for an Empire to forge ahead and yet India (and by that Sri Lanka) wanted out. why? Later on in the early 20th century such issues as the salt tax was an irritant but that was removed. The “subjects” of that empire continued to prosper in the 20th century. Issues ranging from health, laws (and the enforcement of them), commerce was thriving. Sri Lanka gained new industries such as the tea, rubber and coconut plantation. her Trincomalee harbor was developed with Asia’s largest crude oil farm.

    India was doing even better. Asia’s oldest stock exchange located in the British built city of Bombay was a showcase. India became the first place outside of Europe for the movie industry (not Hollywood). New Delhi built by Lutyen was a city planners dream. From there to Singapore to the Middle East massive development was going on. None of India’s major cities of Bombay, Madras, Calcutta, or Delhi (including New Delhi) had a single slum in them. people’s lives were improving and Yet they all wanted out.

    To this day what the world under that Empire has inherited (including the media, the printing press, the common English language the common wealth) continue to propel the parts that made up that Empire. so why even bother to demand independence when all the issues of a civilized society were in place?

    The American President Woodrow Wilson at the Versailles Treaty stated this in his 14 points on Self Determination:

    “National aspirations must be respected; people may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent. Self determination is not a mere phrase; it is an imperative principle of action. . . . ”

    NO people are bound to the state. If a group feels that the unwritten contract that binds them to a nation is no longer working they have the right to seek independence. the Mahatma’s ONLY issue with the British Empire was self determination. He did not have a list of grievances to START ihis Satyagraha (active non violence) movement.

    Then Self determination is an integral part of the older concept of a nation state. It would be natural for the state to stop the process of a group seeking self determination as much as it is natural for anyone to seek their own freedom. The trick is balancing the two. Sri Lankan Tamils are far better off than their Indian counterparts where a good deal of them are of the Dalit class, where Chennai (Madras) now is home to 1200 slums, where the Global hunger index places that state as “alarming” and yet the Jaffna Tamils wanted Elam and still do. Question is whether to give them that choice or demand from them to work out their issues within the framework of Sri Lanka? (the same can be said of the British Empire).

    In Sri Lanka’s case if the “nation state” is to triumph sometimes one has to place nationalism ahead of all other issues. If the Tamil Tigers prospered under a Democratic system then question how far this system is viable in modern day Sri Lanka without allowing the concept of Self Determination divide the nation. If it works great but keep in mind that

    “DEMOCRACY LOSES ITS IMPACT WHEN A SOCIETY LOSES ITS VIRTUES” Simply put only in a virtuous society can a true Democracy thrive. It dies in a corrupt one. It is murdered when those who use it to divide a nation. Tamils have done so, are doing so and will do so as long as they twist the concepts of Democracy to slowly push more and more autonomy, more voice in Colombo such as an official status for Tamil (when it is denied in every Dravidian state of India that was carved out of the Madras Presidency)

    That is why if Sri Lanka is to see decades of unity it has to become a Buddhist theocracy. Do not do that and eventually through the use of law the Tamils will get their Elam.

    Keep in mind that the US has troops in wars we fought in the 1940’s (Japan and Germany) in the 1950’s (South Korea).Winning the military campaign against the Tamil Tigers has only shifted them to the UN, the UNHRC and through India. The movement for Elam is an ongoing issue and it is not even as old as that for Khalistan, or the independence of Kashmir or that of the North East states of India.

  4. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:




  5. Fran Diaz Says:


    Some thinking on the questions you raise.

    Christ said “the Kingdom of Heaven is WITHIN YOU” (quoting Mathew, the Disciple of Jesus). This quote from the Bible is not emphasised by todays churches.

    If all the people govern themselves by their Hearts (which is the Kingdom of Heaven), then wars will never happen. Here the Heart is not the physical structure, but refers to the seat of the Soul, which is also called Truth in Buddhism. Also, the word Islam means PEACE, NOT war on others.

    The Kingdom of the Heart (the Human Heart/Soul/Truth revels in the FEELING of Heaven within) that Jesus refers to has its own Laws, shown by the Masters such as Christ, Buddha, etc. It is the confused human mind that tries to interpret these Laws in muddled ways and bungle them.

    The confusion in the human mind arises due to the Five Hindrances : Anger (Hindu : Krodh), Greed (Lobh), Lust (Kam), Attachment (Moh) and Ego (Ahankar). Each of us has these traits. It is up to each of us to remove these hindrances and move toward Enlightenment through Meditation (Bhavana) and mental purification. Because of death, there is Fear too.

    Not easy to stay with the Heart mostly, but try we must.

  6. Ratanapala Says:

    Federation is for those formerly independent states to come together as one nation. This is what we see in the US, Australia and other similar nations. Secessionist’s are for the breakaway from an existing state to two or more states. This rarely happens in the absence of external intervention. This is what happened in Kosovo, now happening in Ukraine, Iraq and Syria to name only a few. Session in Sri Lanka will lead to bloodshed and unending war across an undefined border.

    It is sad to see people talk of Tamil Eelam as a distinct area with definite boundaries. One has only to look at Eelam maps and see how they have continue to get bigger in proportion to the ever imaginative racist mind of the Tamils. There are neither pre-existing borders nor existing physical/geographical boundaries such a hill ranges nor rivers that separate the mythical Eelam from the rest of the island.

    The 1980 Tamil Eelam stamp issued by the Eelamist then differs considerably from the one that is depicted now. The lesson for Sinhala idiots is that this indefinite border which has moved relentlessly southward in a pincer move to encircle the Sinhala Buddhist will continue to advance even after giving the 2015 Eelam.

    First it will be border wars on lines similar to Mahaweli Oya – wrongly called Mavil Aru. There will be unending water wars half heartedly or not defended at all by the traitors in the South. This will continue to happen till 2015 Eelam merges with Malaya Nadu in the centre of the Island and possession of the head waters of Mahaveli Ganga. Do I need to go on?

    Read my earlier posts – What if Sirisena Wins Part I, II and II – under Categories: Ratanapala

    The capitulation geographic, political and physical ( kallathoni invasion to fill us personal space) will continue. Even Golu Muhuda will not be there for the Sinhalese. Sinhalese will end up as house servants of the Vellalas and the Muslims! and Sri Lanka a vassal state of India administered by Tamil Nadu!

    Present Sri Lanka administration under United Christian Party aka UNP will do the midwife work to deliver the Eelam child.

    Siri Lakata Jesu saha Allah deviyange Pihitai!

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    We think that Tamils of or from Lanka who were really fighting their Caste wars in Jaffna area earlier, especially after Independence in 1948, found themselves needed by some foreign vested interests. Tamils are doing in Lanka what they CANNOT do in Tamil Nadu i.e. Creating a separate state for Tamils only. At the same time they are trying to bring together their broken Tamil community through Eelam creation and Tamil language. The Plan is to use Dumb & Dumber Sri Lankans to achieve this end. Mind you, they are trying to unify Tamils All Over the World using D&D Lankans !

    Vested interests galore to help Tamil aspirations. India especially would like to foist Tamil Caste based problems disguised into something else on D&D Lankans !

    Make sure the next Elections are not fixed like the last one !

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