6 Milliom Kandyan Peasants are not worth a wild animal in this country
Posted on September 9th, 2015

Dr Sudath Gunasekara President Senior Citizens Movement Mahanuwara 10.9.2015

That may be why the present Government has not set up a Ministry to rehabilitate the Kandyan Peasants who number over 6 million in 16 Districts. I ask this question from the Government that talk so high of good governance to alleviate people’s problems within a high sounding frame work of Yahapalanaya. The subject of Kandyan Peasant Rehabilitation has been much debated ever since 1949 when a Commission was appointed to address the question of alleviating their problems. In spite of releasing one of the most comprehensive and authentic reports on Kandyan matters in 1951 by a group of an extremely eminent men, I must state with much regret that nothing substantial has happened to attend to their problems up to date. The only lukewarm and toothless organization set up in late 1980s was also closed down in Jan 2014.

 Isn’t it a national tragedy that this Government which has set up separate ministries for 48 loosely connected subjects  and appointed 48 (so far) Cabinet ministers, some of which are utterly ridiculous and meaningless  like one even for wild life has completely ignored the Kandyan Peasants as they are not worth a wild animal in this country to this Government. That may be why it has forgotten to have a Separate Ministry for them who number over 6 million living in the Central, Sabaragamuwa, Uva and North Central Provinces and in parts of NWN, Southern, Eastern and Northern Provinces living in 16 Districts out of the 25 Districts.

 In this essay I am particularly querying regarding the fate of the Kandyans who are living in the Hill country. They are the real and undisputed Bhumiputras of this land more specifically the Central Hills and who have a birth right over this very territory from the dawn of history. It was uninhabited thick jungle, except few spots, declared as Thanachi kele by Kings and it formed the master watershed of the nation that guaranteed the entire life system and the civilization in this country. This was their beloved land inherited from their ancestors that was taken over by force by the British since 1840 under draconian and repressive laws, opened up for plantations and where nearly 1 million south Indian Tamils labourers brought by them were settled; this was the land their ancestors lost for the British and on which they died in battle in thousands; this is the only land in the world where they have to fall back and pray and get buried when they die.

 According to the latest reports they are the most neglected and betrayed people in this country and they are among the poorest of the poor and the most neglected and betrayed by all Governments since independence. But this is how their own government treats the Kandyan Peasants, the descendants of those millions who have died between1505-1948 to protect the motherland and leave behind their heritage for the present generation.

What is worse is that while this Government treats the natives in this manner the same government has created a new Ministry called Ministry of Upcountry New Villages, Estate Infrastructure & Community Development only for estate Tamils and appointed P. Digambaram as its Minister, introducing a new type of Villages to this country called ‘Upcountry New Villages’ unheard in the annals of history in this country since the dawn of history. I also would like to point out at this stage that these were the very lands denied to the native Sinhala people who were evacuated in thousands from Kotmale and other landslide affected areas in the past to satisfy Thondaman. They were sent to the LTTE infested Dry Zone then. How come the present Government is generously handing over land denied to the sons of the soil to the Indian Tamils who should have been sent to India in order to create Tamil villages in the heart land of the Sinhale.

I am sure these Villages will be the future mono-Tamil villages referred to by Ra nil Wickramasingha and Kiriella during the pre-election period when they were handing over outright ownership of lands to estate Tamils. The ultimate result of this programme is the establishment of a separate Tamil country on the central Sri Lanka comprising Kandy, Matale, Nuwara Eliya and Badulla which will be extended to parts of Kegalla, Ratnapura and Monaragala districts in the near future. This is travesty and blatant violation and betrayal of the birth rights of the native Kandyan peasants. I am lost to understand as to why the Kandyan politicians and leaders, if there are any, do not protest against this selective discrimination against their own people.

Apart from the importance of the Central hill country as the ‘Geographical Heartland’ (Major watershed of the nation) as the area from where the Islands entire river system of the Island begins when you think of its geopolitical and strategic importance, I am sure, no man or woman who loves his/her motherland can approve this treacherous political betrayal. Putting this region under the control of South Indian Tamils whose allegiance is still with India will be the end of the Sinhala Buddhist civilization in this country. From an Indian perspective I don’t think God could bestow a better deal on them than this as this will complete the age old Indian hegemonic dream over this Island. In fact this is exactly what they have been dreaming from the days of Ramayana. In other word what Rama and the whole chain of invaders like Sena Guttika, Elara (2n C BC) and Kalinga Magha( 12th C AD) failed to do for 5000 years will be done by the  Ranil and Maitripala Sirisena government in the next few years.

In reality these estate Tamils should have been sent back to India or taken to Briton by their owners when they left the shores of this country. Anyway now that has not happened in time and also as these people have no place to go let them be here. But of course not as South Indians, but as people of this country, mixed up with the natives without trying to create another Tamilnadu here.

But the tragedy is they are not prepared to do so. They want to have a little India inside this Sinhala land. That is why we have been against Tamilizing this part of the country right from the beginning. That is why we suggested creating Sinhala-Tamil mixed villages for those who get displaced from the plantations together with landless peasants from the neighboring Kandyan villages as mixed village settlements so that there will be permanent  ethnic and social harmony in this part of the country.

Now look at the following news item that appeared in the Daily FT of 5th May 2015 on a 10-year National Plan of Action for Plantation Infrastructure Development.

 The Ministry of Plantation Infrastructure Development has initiated an action to formulate a 10-year National Plan of Action 2015-2025 for social development of the plantation community with the technical assistance of the United Nations            Development   Progrogramme UNDP 

The key objectives of the National Plan of Action (NPA) are to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the plantation areas, especially in the estate sector.

The comprehensive 10-year NPA is expected to be finalized by end of July 2015.
Given the national importance of this”

The 10-year National Plan of Action for Plantation Infrastructure Development is intended for social development of the plantation community with UNDP assistance to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the plantation areas, especially in the estate sector. This is also classed as a Top Development Project of the present Government. The short period of completion stipulated, broad areas of development covered and the tight time frame and the national importance given to it clearly show the high degree of priority the present  Government has assigned to the estate Tamil votes, while criminally neglecting and betraying shamefully all the Sinhala people particularly living in the Central, Sabargamuwa and Uva Provinces

I am only happy to see the subject of plantation has now being taken out from Kiriella an dgiven to Naveen Dissanayaka and I sincerely hope he being the son of Gamini will not be a party to this vote hunting political treason deployed by his predecessor.

I request the government not to take this type of short sighted policy decisions for narrow political expediencies without thinking of the future of the country. Our politicians should be ashamed for playing with the destiny of a great nation like this. None of them have the brain, vision or the political will to sit down with knowledgeable and patriotic people and work out a long lasting reconciliatory solution to this problem. The same is true of both Sinhala and Tamil politicians.

I can assure you with hundred percent certainty that if you go ahead with this programme without heeding to my observations, definitely you will be guilty for creating another Israel right at the centre of this country in five years.

Therefore I request the Government to immediately stop creating these mono-Tamil settlements at least now in the hill country for short term political gains. Then create the Ministry of Kandyan Peasantry Development to implement the rehabilitation programme outlined in the KPC report of 1951 and start a vigorous settlement programme under a village expansion project as Sinhala Tamil mixed villages with your eyes projected to the future where one can see Sri Lankan (not Indian) villages where ethnic and socio-cultural harmony reigns without any distinction as Sinhalese and Tamils. Once that is done both Sinhalese and Tamils in the hill country could be called Kandyan peasants, all sons and daughters of mother Lanka with no one having any allegiance to South India thereafter. This in my opinion is the best solution one could think of to bring about a permanent solution to this vexed problem.

11 Responses to “6 Milliom Kandyan Peasants are not worth a wild animal in this country”

  1. LANKAPUTHRA Says:

    Dr. Sudat, don’t waste time on NAVEEN Dissanayake. He has no resemblance to his father who scarified his life with his closest friend Lalith Athulathmudali on behalf of the country. Naveen hates MR from the time MR was the prime minister.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Remember SAUMYAMOORTI THONDA publicly claiming they are KING MAKERS in SL?

    He was right.

    SLFP or UNP win, Thondas are the KINGS.

    Still trusting demo-crazy to deliver solutions? Get real.

    Only a FOOL would think British out of love for us introduced demo-crazy to SL first – before ANY OTHER colony!! Mind you they did this AFTER changing SL’s demographics.

    Their plan was the keep SL CONSTANTLY in a DIVIDED state where minor-rat-ies are KING MAKERS.

    SL has perpetual ministers – THONDA, HACK-HIM, DEVANANDA – are minister hail or shine. UNP or SLFP.

    Down with USA!

  3. Ratanapala Says:

    It is time to call on the two Kapuralas of the Malwathu and Asgiri and get their considered opinion on what is happening in the Kandyan Lands. Their party is in power and they should have some say if they are even slightly inclined to call themselves Kandyans!

    There is no point in depending on Naveen Dissanayake. His father Gamini Dissanayake was the one who denied lands to the Kotmale peasants who were displaced by the Kotamale Hydro Electric project to placate the interests of Thondaman. Thondaman refused to give a single square inch of land to those who were diplaced, not even to bury the dead. These hapless hill country people were sent to a lands of the lower Mahaveli – Aralanganwila, Girandurukotte etc where they died by the scores. In the eighties what was most prominent entering those villages were the cemeteries with freshly dug graves.

    Yes, the people have chosen and collectively all Sinhala political leaders without the exception of any party affiliations have betrayed the Sinhala Nation. They are only looking after their own personal interests.

    These shameful political and religious leaders continue to occupy the political space!

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    It is a shame that Sinhala people are marginalised in their own country. High time that our Leaders are made aware of this. Our thanks to Dr Sudath Gunasekera for his untiring efforts to do so.

    The Upcountry Sinhala people must have back their land which was usurped earlier. Land Rights must be watched carefully in present times too, now especially with various Development work requiring land.

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    It is a shame that Sinhala people are marginalised in their own country. High time that our Leaders are made aware of this. Our thanks to Dr Sudath Gunasekera for his untiring efforts to do so.

    The Upcountry Sinhala people must have back their land which was usurped earlier. Land Rights must be watched carefully in present times too, now especially with various Development work requiring land.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    It is a shame that Sinhala people are marginalised in their own country. High time that our Leaders are made aware of this. Our thanks to Dr Sudath Gunasekera for his untiring efforts to do so.

    The Upcountry Sinhala people must have back their land which was usurped earlier. Land Rights must be watched carefully in present times too, now especially with various Development work requiring land.

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    Dear Editor,

    I have no idea how the same clip I sent repeated itself twice more. Please remove the extra two entries. Thank you.

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    Dr Sudath, Fran, Ratanapala and other people with SAMMA DITTI

    Do you honestly think this PATHETIC situation can EVER be changed via elections, parliament, president, PCs?

    NO!

    WHATEVER PARTY comes to power, WHOEVER becomes president or PM, THONDA and HACKHIM will be ministers. They will NEVER allow Singhala people their born rights in what they call MALAYA NADU.

    (People with SUMMA DITTI and US agents can keep biting the bone left behind by the British hoping meat will somehow come from it.)

  9. Independent Says:

    Lorenzo,
    Please stop using Buddhist values with the intention of insulting Buddhism. I beg you Sir. Please help. I have no other help Sir, in this forum.

  10. aloy Says:

    Sudath, I think there are no kandyan peasantry people any more. Those living in Kandy areas are a diversified lot. If not can you attempt to unify them first?.

  11. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo,

    No need to bring religion into this.

    It is political common sense to take care of the indigenous people (Sinhale) of Sri Lanka. That is what is done in almost all nations throughout the world.

    No need to blame Upcountry Tamil leaders either. Just do what has to be done. The present Coalition GoSL has the clout to do it.

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