Bandaranaike Assassination– due to Banda – Chelva pact?
Posted on September 28th, 2015

Chanaka Bandarage

During the 1956 election campaign Bandaranaike promised to make Sinhala the only Official language.  But, after he came to power he was slow to implement the promise.

Staunch protests were initiated by nationalists including a fast to death demonstration by AP Jayasuriya MP, which was strongly supported by KMP Rajarathne MP and Wimala Wijeyawardena MP, who was also the then Health Minster.  Bandaranaike had no other alternative but to introduce legislation to legalise his ‘Sinhala Only’ policy. The Act was passed by a majority in the parliament in 1956.

But, Bandaranaike could not live with his nationalist policy for too long.  The pressure put on him by SJV Chelvanayakam (Federal Party Leader) was too much, Bandaranaike could no longer take it.  He signed the Bandaranike – Chelvanayakam pact (Banda – Chelva pact) in 1957. This gave equal status to both Sinhala and Tamil languages and covered a broad range of areas.  Effectively, what the two leaders consented was to have a federal administrative system in Sri Lanka.

This (Banda – Chelva pact) infuriated the Sinhala Buddhists.  There were mass protests in the country against the pact and Buddhist monks took the lead role in them.  Hundreds of Buddhist monks (about 200) camped outside of Bandaranike’s Rosmead Place residence.  Bandaranike had to erect a barbed wire fence to keep them away from entering his residence. Ven Mapitigama Buddharakkitha, the chief incumbent of the Kelaniya temple was the leading figure who marshaled the camping monks.  Bandaranaike went out of his house and met the monks; he promised to abrogate the Banda-Chelva pact.  He also confirmed this in writing and sent a hand written note to the monks through Wimala Wijeyawardena .  The monks dispersed.  This was also in 1957.

The Banda – Chelva pact seriously dented the excellent relationship that existed between Bandaranike and the Buddhist clergy (and aspects of the ‘pancha maha balawegaya’).  Mapitigama Buddharakkitha had spent hundreds and thousands of his own money to bring Bandaranike to power; but, by 1957 the two had become enemies (some say Buddharakkitha’s animosity towards Bandaranaike was not due to nationalist reasons, but personal – Bandaranaike refused to award a lucrative shipping contract to Buddharakkitha’s brother’s company; and Wimala Wijewardana’s son was also engaged in that business).

Mapitigama Buddharakkitha was an extremely influential monk of the time.  This can be illustrated from the following two incidents:

  • After he was sworn in as the Prime Minster, Bandaranike, rather than paying homage to the sacred tooth relic at the Kandy temple, went to worship the Kelaniya temple where Buddharakkitha was the chief incumbent.
  • Immediately after Bandaranaike’s death, the then incumbent Prime Minister, Dahanayaka, requested Buddharakkitha to give a sermon on national radio praising Bandaranaike, which Buddharakkitha did (Buddharakkitha was arrested a few days afterwards).

Buddharakkitha and Wimala Wijeyawardena  were close friends, it is also well known that both were ardent nationalists.  There were incidents to prove this; some are mentioned in this article.

The Buddhist clergy was angry with Bandaranike about the Banda – Chelva pact; and by 1959 the pact had very much resurfaced.  Despite his promise to the monks, Bandaranaike was very committed to implementing the pact.  He wanted to bring in legislation to legalise it (JR Jayawardane initiated a walk from Colombo to Kandy to protest against the pact which was thwarted by SD Bandaranike MP at Gampaha).   Bandaranike genuinely thought that the pact would bring a lasting settlement to the Sinhala – Tamil problems (in 1958, the first ever Sinhala – Tamil communal clashes occurred over the issue of ‘ශ්‍රී’ vehicle number plates).

Buddharakkitha and Wimala Wijeyawardena were accused in the Bandaranike murder trial.  The latter was acquitted during the course of the proceedings, but, Buddharakkitha was convicted and sentenced to death.  The death sentence was commuted to a life imprisonment by the 1965 Dudley Senanayake government.  Buddharakkitha died in the prison, at the age of 46.

The primary suspect of the murder trial was Ven Thalduwe Somarama (4th accused of the trial).  It was alleged that Buddharakkitha used Somarama to commit the murder.

Somarama was also a well-known nationalist.  He lived at a temple in Borella. He was an Ayurveda Physician and a lecturer at the Borella Ayurveda College.   He hailed from a paddy farming family in Mathara.  He became a monk when he was 14.  He was ordained at the age of 21 in Kandy.  After he was found guilty of the murder by the jury, he was hanged to death in 1962.  He was 47 then.

Immediately after shooting Bandaranaike, Somarama  repeatedly uttered the words  ‘country, race and religion’(‘රට, ජාතිය, ආගම’).  These are words of an extreme nationalist, not of a person with a different motive to kill.

Somarama, the strong nationalist, would have never got involved in the murder,  unless the killing in his eyes was definitely political.

Somarama’ s above words allow us to draw the inference that he killed Bandaranike due to Banda – Chelva pact.

Various other conspiracy theories have emerged in regards to the assassination such as it being a CIA plot, the involvement of one Ossie Corea etc.  They have proven to be bunkum.

It seems the real motive to kill Bandaranaike was the Banda-Chelva pact, but, no one can say this with absolute certainty. This is because the two murderers did not confess to the killing.  They pleaded not guilty to the offence of murder that they were charged with.

It is stated that Buddharakkitha privately attributed that his motive to kill Bandaranaike was his failure to aggressively pursue the Nationalist reforms”.

The then press did not give publicity to the nationalist statements made by Somarama and Buddharakkitha following the incident of shooting.  Today, they allow us to draw inferences in regards to their motive to kill.

The writer stresses that it was a despicable act to kill Bandaranaike in such a horrendous manner; the popularly elected Prime Minister.

32 Responses to “Bandaranaike Assassination– due to Banda – Chelva pact?”

  1. Christie Says:

    One of the Sinhalese to finance Banda was Wimala and Budhdha Rakkitha duo. Banada was financed by Indian Colonial Parasites of Colombo and the Indian Empire. Sinhala only policy was the bait used by Banda and the Socialists to lure Sinhala voters. W&B tendered to transport rice from Indian Colonial Parasite Merchants in Burma which was the monopoly of the Indian Colonial Parasites merchants of Colombo. Indian parasites asked Banda not to give the tender to the duo. If he did he would have been on the road and he would have lost Rosmeed Place that was mortgaged to an Indian parasite. (This was to hold the bugger and family). Banda was the first leading politician to rely on funds from Indian colonial parasites and the tradition continues . Banda reaped what he sawed.

  2. Christie Says:

    බන්ඩට සල්ලි වියදම් කලේ කොලොඹ ඉන්දියානු පරපෝසිත වෙලෙන්ඳන්ය. විමලා හා බුද්දරක්කිත ජෝඩුව සින්හල සල්ලි දුන් අයය. මේ ජෝඩුව බුරුමයේ සිට සින්හලයට හාල් ගේන්න ටෙන්ඩර් දැම්මම පරපෝසිතයෝ බන්ඩට බලපෑම් කර ටෙන්ඩරය නොදුන්නේය. හාල් ගෙන්නීම පරපෝසිතයන්ගේ සතුව තිබින.
    බන්ඩ කාපු ජරාව බන්ඩම වෑමෑරුවේය.

  3. Dilrook Says:

    A good analysis by Chanaka. A few errors.

    The abrogation of the illegal B-C Pact took place in 1958 as promised to monks. Not in 1957. The first known Sinhala-Tamil riot took place in 1939 over a racist remark made by a prominent Tamil politician in Nawalapitiya. The “Sri” affair happened before 1958. Probably before 1956. The 1956 Gal-Oya riot was a regional issue.

    Prevention of Social Disabilities Act of 1957 was the main reason for Tamil agitation, not the 1956 Official Language Act. All agitation campaigns started after the 1957 Act. No agitation campaign was there until then. The small protest by Tamil parliamentarians following the passage of the Official Language Act in 1956 was not followed by Tamil people. The 1956 act allowed “reasonable use of Tamil”. Having accepted into the UN after 7 years of rejection in 1955, Sri Lanka was obliged to pass laws to end social discrimination. After delaying it for 2 years by 1957 the ruling elite had to pass it with some reluctance.

    Interestingly, the B-C Pact had no solution to the alleged Sinhala only! It left the matter untouched. This clearly proves Tamil agitation was to get federal rights so that traditional Tamil Hindu discriminatory practices can be carried out in the north and east. The Sinhala only allegation was just a cover.

    Bandaranaike also ended “colonisation” schemes as demanded by Tamils. He also attempted to pass Tamil Special Provisions Bill. His nationalisation of small industries badly affected Sinhala businessmen and helped Tamil civil servants (most civil servants were Tamils then) administer these assets to the detriment of the nation.

    Bandaranaike and Chelvanayagam were school friends who attended the same school. Chelvanayagam’s highly racist and illegal tar brush campaign (defacing Sinhala letters using tar) was not stopped and he was not arrested for his act and instigating others to do the despicable act. The tar brush campaign originated in Tamil Nadu against Hindi. 1958 riots originated from this racist act. When the crime was not punished, Tamils considered it to be normal.

    The B-C Pact was not approved by the parliament or the Cabinet. Hence, it was illegal from the start. Bandaranaike should not have given into devolution demands. Unfortunately he goes down in history as the first to cave into this demand.

    If Somarama indeed uttered the words ‘country, race and religion’, he must be commended for being a true nationalist but condemned for his violent act. However, there is no credible evidence of his utterance. The need to separate national interest from personal loyalty to politicians (no matter how good they are) is felt very badly today.

  4. Chanaka B Says:

    Thanks Dilrook

    The facts in my article are correct. I have not made up anything

    The facts were obtained from several reputed sources

    DBS Jeyaraj has written about the utterences by Somarama in his article “The incident that rocked Ceylon 55 Years Ago The Assassination of Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike.” I obtained Buddharakkitha’s quote directly from Wikipedia

    There is a film produced by Sahajeewana and directed by Dharmasiri Bandaranayke named ‘’පාරාදීසය සොයා’. I saw this film and it also narrated the same facts – about the Sinhala Only policy and the associated Buddhist protests (the film did not analyse the assassination or the motive) .

  5. mario_perera Says:

    While commending the historical survey of the SWRD Era and its impact on the so called ‘Tamil’ issue, I must nevertheless support the arguments of Dilrook.

    In the pre-independence period Sinhala and Tamil caste adherence was a amalgam. That perfectly blended caste consciousness merged with equal ease with the notion of class. The ruling elite of that time, Sinhala and Tamil, were ONE with respect to caste and class. It was ONE caste, ONE class policiy among them. They preferred to enjoy their status as the agents or executives of colonial rule rather than unseat the latter and rule in its place.

    Ramanathan visited England twice to instill the idea that caste was of divine origin and therefore could not be dethroned. The Sinhala leaders thought on the same lines. It will be remembered how they forced Ramanathan to context the Karava candidate Sir Marcus and defeat him with SINHALA votes! The Caste=Class consciousness was so strong among the Sinhala that the Kandyans demanded a Federal State for themselves. So also the low country Sinhala ‘new’ aristocrats merged with the ‘old’ Kandyan aristocracy through intermarriage.

    With the the dawn of self rule caste and class were rent asunder.

    The Sinhala Language and Buddhism were always the life saving vital forces of the Sinhala masses who formed the overwhelming majority of the total population. That they would one day be constitutionalized was certainly not unknown to the Tamils. What the Tamil leaders feared most was not the langage and religion essence of the Sinhala nature, but that the Tamil masses would equally assert dominance and hold the Vellala in subjugation.

    It is therefore obvious that the Sinhala-Tamil conflict was aggravated beyond very point of return by the Prevention of Social Disabilities Act of 1957.

    While the Sinhala masses broke free led by the Sangha (it will be remembered that the burgeoning local country rich created for themselves new monastic orders to break free from Kandyan comination), the Tamil socio-religious structure being devoid of a parallel institution like the Sangha continued under the dominance of the Vellala. The instrument of that domination was mainly and essentially CASTE, NOT language and religion (It will also be remembered that during the Portugese and Dutch periods Jaffna was predominantly CATHOLIC). So it was and so it remains.

    Even today, the striving towards Federalism (under the eye-wash of ‘right to equality, dignity…and what not) is nothing but the irsn will to maintain the Caste dominance and RULE of the Vellala.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  6. mario_perera Says:

    Correction:

    While the Sinhala masses broke free led by the Sangha (it will be remembered that the BURGEONING LOW COUNTRY RICH created for themselves new monastic orders to break free from Kandyan comination),….

    Mario

  7. Independent Says:

    All Sinhalayas who were bright enough to benefit directly and not so bright who were cunning enough to fool the public using “Rata Jaatiya Aagama” to their benefits shall be in debt to Bandaranayaka.
    Without him none of us possibly could have come up to a completely different social status than out parents.
    Thanks to DS Senannayake’s foresight there are a considerable of Sinhalese in the east but stupidness of others and specially the more recent fools, it has become a Tamil Speaking province recently. Even Colombo has become Tamil and English Speaking district , thanks to “NEW RICH” who completely disregard the cultural values, worse than the Kalu Suddas may be we should call them Kudu Suddas.

  8. Chanaka B Says:

    The Sinhala Only Act (Official Language Act) was passed on 15 June 1956 by a majority of 27 votes.

    Prevention of Social Disabilities Act was passed on 13 April 1957. It was not a race based Act. It was an Act to proclaim that imposition of social disabilities on persons by reason of their caste is an offence

    Banda – Chelva pact was signed in 1957. It was not a legal document. I stated “He wanted to bring in legislation to legalise it “.

    Buddhist monks (correction; it should be about 100 monks and 300 civilians) protested outside of Bandaranike’s residence against the pact. This was in 1957, precisely on 4 October 1957

    The pact resurfaced in 1959 after the communal riots in 1958.

    It is universally accepted that the first Sinhala – Tamil race riots happened in 1958; not the alleged 1939 incident.

    The ‘ශ්‍රී’ vehicle number plates were first issued in 1956, it became a race based issue in 1958. ශ්‍රී’ was a main reason that triggered the race riots – Sinhalese attacked Tamils in Ambepussa and Polonnaruwa, and Tamils attacked Sinhalese in Batticaloe and Jaffna

  9. SA Kumar Says:

    mario_perera
    Caste dominance and RULE of the Vellala.- Agreed

    Chanaka
    Tamil race riots happened in 1958; not the alleged 1939 incident.- Agreed but 1939 also start but not big scale as white man was ruling us.

    1958 to 1983 our record breaking Vasak festival than 1983 to 2009 was Theepawali festival !!!

    at last We are United living in United Mother Lanka !!!!

  10. Christie Says:

    What I have stated are from the Court cases. Poor Somarama was hanged for killing one of the worst leaders od Ceylon. His daughter is no different. Both Indian Empire suckers.

  11. Chanaka B Says:

    The article was never written with the intention of attacking Bandaranaike personally. It is an analysis of evidence that was not properly examined during the trial. Motive is important in sentencing an accused person. If Buddharakkitha forced Somarama to commit the crime (see Jeyaraj’s article – “…..Being highly emotional Somarama was easily manipulated by Buddharakkita who convinced him into believing that the PM was a traitor to the country, race and religion and therefore should be eliminated. Somarama was a mere cat’s paw.”), Somarama should have pleaded not guilty on the basis of duress. Under the law, he should have then received a total acquittal, or a reduction in the conviction from murder to manslaughter. Death sentence cannot be imposed on a person convicted for manslaughter. The defence of duress was not raised during Somarama’ s trial.

    Buddharakkitha’s motive to kill is a mystery. Was it due commercial or nationalist interests? One could argue it in both ways. His nationalist interest argument was not given due publicity by the then media. Whatever the motive, he was the mastermind of the whole operation. Due to a legal loophole, instead of the death sentence, he received a life sentence. I made an error saying that Dudley Senanayake commuted his death sentence to a life imprisonment. What Dudley did was commuting the life imprisonment to a 20 year sentence (also that for the , 2nd accused). The error is regretted.

    The 2nd accused, HP Jayawardane was a close friend of Buddharakkitha. He owned a printing press in Wellampitiya. Whether or not he received a fair trial, I am unable to comment

  12. anura seneviratna Says:

    Many thanks to Chanaka for this post reminding us the past we tend forget easily and to others of their interesting comments with much past data which calls for skill and effort to find.
    Important to remind when Chelva. said “we are also a nation” in response to Sinhela only act, Banda went quiet. This highlights one basic fact that even today we are yet to discover that Tamils are not a “nation” within Lanka. It is a self evident fact in one country only one nation. While in Lanka the nation is Sinhela i.e. inclusive of all migrant communities. The only Tamil nation is found in Tamil Nadu.
    ” Somarama repeatedly uttered the words ‘country, race and religion’(‘රට, ජාතිය, ආගම’).” To point out another mix up with words that race is not nation but “varigaya”.
    It is paramount to find the truth as it is no matter who committed good or bad acts.
    On caste issue, the negatively discriminating caste was the result of Indian intrusions along with it brought their inhuman caste system infecting the Sinhela nation. In pre- historic Hela civilization caste was a practical and noble economic strategy based on human equality and diverse skills.

  13. mario_perera Says:

    I join you all in thanking Chanaka for dwelling skilfully on this very interesting topic.

    As Anura says: it is paramount to find the truth as it is, no matter who committed good or bad acts.

    Mario

  14. Fran Diaz Says:

    I would like to thank Chanaka for bringing up this important topic.

    I am summarising some facts as I found them, in the hope that real solutions be found by all our leaders. So far, the thin bandages applied on the wounds of Lanka will not work.
    I am addressing the so called National Question in relation to Chanaka’s article.

    Sri Lanka has made herself very attractive to Tamil Nadu Dalits (now some 15 Million in number) with the following
    points :

    (1) Prevention of Social Disabilities Act (1957) by SWRD, enabling Tamils of Dalit origin to actually enter the class rooms of various schools, as well as enter Hindu Temples, etc.

    (2) No mention of caste in the Birth Certificates issued in Sri Lanka. This must have been a feature even during the Colonial times when over one and a half Million Tamils folk of Dalit origin were brought to Sri Lanka by the British & Dutch colonists to work the plantations sector.

    In the Birth Certificates issued in Tamil Nadu, Caste is mentioned. Therefore, a Dalit child in Tamil Nadu will bear a birth certificate mentioning his/her Dalit status. There is no such stigma attached to any Birth Certificate issued in Sri Lanka.

    (3) FREE Education (incl. University & College incl) and FREE Health Care for all, including all Tamil folk.

    (4) The Tamil Language is in place with the Tamil Language (Special Provisions) Act, 1958, making Tamil a National Language and the 13-A imposed under Duress by India making the Tamil Language an Official Language.

    (5) The Hindu religion is in place in Lanka.

    Chanaka is quite correct in saying that SWRD was assassinated because he brought in the Tamil Language (Sp Prov) Act of Aug 1958. One year later, SWRD was assassinated in Sept 1959. It is likely that the assassin’s assistants/handlers were also peeved over SWRD putting a spoke in the wheels of their private income activities.

    (6) Conversion to various religions in order to lose Caste is easy in Lanka, as opposed to doing so in Tamil Nadu. There is real gain by converting to other religions in Sri Lanka, but not so in Tamil Nadu.

    (7) Tamil Leaders have always asked for a Separate State from the 1930s.

    On the part of Sri Lanka, the gain was Cheaper Labor, following the footprints of the Colonial masters for same. Nothing else. The losses from the tussel with Tamil folk have been many, in terms of lives, money & wealth and international reputation, and loss of security and independence. It is a colossal loss trying to accommodate the social problems of Tamil Nadu. The Dalit Caste RAGE has been transferred to Sri Lanka. This is a massive problem that the UN should handle at Tamil Nadu level. Sri Lanka has no jurisdiction over Tamil Nadu social issues.

    In addition to the above, Ranil wants to add a Bridge to Tamil Nadu !! Only those who want to annihilate Lankans would do such a thing.

  15. Fran Diaz Says:

    The part “Chanaka is quite correct in saying ….” is part of # (4).

  16. Chanaka B Says:

    (1) According to Wikipedia:

    “Somarama Thero was hanged on 7 July 1962. He gave up his robes a fortnight before his hanging and, two days before his execution, was baptized as a Christian by an Anglican priest. It was speculated that this ritual was forced on the assassin by the authorities as it would bring shame to the country, when a Buddhist priest was hanged for committing the murder of its prime minister”

    (2) According to Jeyaraj:

    “An SLFP government led by Bandaranaike’s widow was now in office. The most powerful minister in her cabinet was a nephew Felix Dias Bandaranaike. Despite SWRD’s plea for clemency the SLFP government was unforgivingly ruthless. Angered by the Appeal Court decision the government decided to go ahead and enact special legislation.

    On January 18th 1962 the Parliament’s order paper carried notice of presentation of the Capital Punishment (Special Provisions) Bill. It was presented by CP de Silva, Leader of the House.The bill dealt specifically with the Bandaranaike assassination and made express provision for execution of those convicted for murder and conspiracy to murder the former premier. Clause 3 of the bill rendered null and void the Appeal courts decision to alter death sentence to life imprisonment for those guilty of conspiracy.

    The malevolent nature of the bill evoked loud protests and outcry. It was obvious that a vengeful government was planning to condemn to the gallows persons who benefited from a legal loophole. LSSP leader and eminent lawyer Dr. Colvin R de Silva summed up the bill pithily by observing that the “barbarous bill amounted to murder by statute”.

    Above (1) and (2) show the determination of the then government to exert maximum punishment (death sentence) on the three accused who were found guilty.

  17. Lorenzo Says:

    “Clause 3 of the bill rendered null and void the Appeal courts decision to alter death sentence to life imprisonment for those guilty of conspiracy.”

    A FANTASTIC BILL.

    It should have been enacted. Then it would have saved SL from JVP, LTTE and UNP regime change conspirators.

    LSSP has become REFUSE today thanks to insane acts. Another things was LSSP calling 2 LANGUAGES, ONE NATION. ONE LANGUAGE, 2 NATIONS.

    What bunkum. Look at USA. ONE LANGUAGE, ONE NATION!

  18. Fran Diaz Says:

    Dilrook has stated that : “Prevention of Social Disabilities Act of 1957 was the main reason for Tamil agitation …”

    This fact is very surprising as the PSD Act of 1957 was meant to help the Caste trodden Tamil masses to gain a proper education with some dignity. It was meant for them to gain entry into the Hindu Temples – so why the agitation ?
    The only possible explanation is that the Vellala Tamils of that time misled the Tamil masses and made them protest against a Law that is meant to help them get accepted socially.
    Tamil Leaders misled the Tamil People of Lanka. They still do. It is high time Tamil People of Lanka started thinking of issues for themselves as Vellala Tamil leaders tend to mislead them.

  19. Chanaka B Says:

    Lorenzo, that Bill only dealt with the Bandaranaike assassination; it was not meant to cover other life imprisonments for conspiracy imposed by courts.

    As stated before, the Social Disabilities Act was passed to eliminate certain caste based discrimination. The intention of the Act was to assist low caste Tamils. I have not heard that it was the cause for the 1958 Sinhala – Tamil riots. ‘ශ්‍රී’ was a definite reason for the riots.

    The monks protested in front of the Rosmead Place residence to oppose the Banda Chelva Pact and nothing else.

  20. Dilrook Says:

    There is no “universal acceptance” of first Sinhala-Tamil riots to have taken place in 1958. This claim is popularised by the LTTE lobby to pin the blame on Sinhalese for riots. The first race riot in Sri Lanka was in 1915 and the first Sinhala-Tamil riot was in 1939 instigated by racist remarks publicly made by a prominent Tamil politician. Riots spread in Nawalapitiya, Lahugala and other parts of the upcountry and also in Jaffna (The Hindu Organ, November 1, 1939). First sectarian riots date back to the 19th century when caste riots took place in Jaffna (Dr Thomas Johnpulle; Tamil Caste Discrimination).

    Opening the Sinhala Maha Sabha office in Nawalapitiya in 1940, Bandaranaike commented: a statute of (the Tamil politician who instigated the 1939 riot) must be erected here as he galvanised support for the Sinhala Maha Sabha. Sinhala Maha Sabha was the decisive force behind the UNP victory in 1947 and SLFP (MEP) victory in 1956.

    The Criminal Law Special Provision Act of 1962 was made against the accused of the January 27, 1962 coup (24 of them). The Privy Council struck down these provisions (as ultra vires the Constitution) and eventually released all the accused of the coup (1965). Samarama on the other hand faced the death penalty.

  21. Dilrook Says:

    Fran, you are right. Dr Thomas Johnpulle’s article on Tamil caste discrimination explains how maintaining caste differences were at the heart of the Tamil society. Even the British failed to enforce the equal seating directive (1927) which ought to have allowed “low caste” students equal learning opportunities. Tamil leaders opposed democracy (one man one vote) on the basis it would give political power to “low caste” people who were excluded until then (1931). The caste system benefitted some Tamils. Landed Sinhala farmers were robbed of their lands and condemned to “low castes” (Koviya and Nalavar) by Tamils. Thesawalamei Law ensured all land remained within the circle.

    The caste system helped industries in the north as “low caste” people had no avenues of improvement forcing them to work as slave labour. This reduced cost and increased profit of owners. Removing caste discrimination had a hit on profit as well. It had a huge political, economic, cultural and spiritual impact some people were not ready to take in.

    Under these circumstances, Bandaranaike should have expected a violent response. LTTE managed to level the caste system to some extent as power for the first time shifted to “low caste” people. But even the LTTE fell victim to it eventually leading to divisions.

    Although on a different matter, DS Senanayaka opposed free education claiming he may not have anyone to pluck coconuts in his estate. However, he subsequently agreed with the Father of Free Education.

  22. mario_perera Says:

    Fran Diaz Says:
    September 28th, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Dilrook has stated that : “Prevention of Social Disabilities Act of 1957 was the main reason for Tamil agitation …”

    This fact is very surprising as the PSD Act of 1957 was meant to help the Caste trodden Tamil masses to gain a proper education with some dignity. It was meant for them to gain entry into the Hindu Temples – so why the agitation ? – Fran.

    It is of worth to consider the issue from a Tamil point of view.

    Reference: October 03, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Writing to Sri Lanka Guardian, Dr Sebastian Rasalingam made a bold revelation about the nexus between Tamil caste discrimination and the ethnic problem.
    Official Language Act (1956) and Prevention of Social Disabilities Act (1957)

    ” Contrary what some observers propagate, the ethnic problem didn’t start in 1956. The concept of Tamil Elam was inaugurated by Sir Ponnambalam Arunchalam as far back in 1923. …

    …. After a resounding political mandate, the Official Language Act was passed in 1956 making Sinhala the only official language while allowing reasonable use of the Tamil language. It was a very peaceful transition. There were no violent acts, no satyagrahas, no large demonstrations and no serious protests apart from a small protest near the parliament without mass participation. ..

    ….As a UN member Sri Lanka upheld equal rights to all individuals and caste stood in the way of equal rights to all persons. Going by this commitment on 12 April 1957 the Social Disabilities Act No. 21 was passed in parliament…
    … However, it didn’t go down well among the Vellalar ‘high caste’ people…

    … Resentment grew against the government. Tamil politicians sensed the double danger of dismantling the caste system and mainstream political parties penetrating into the Tamil community. They took up a racial slogan that pit Tamils against Sinhalese. It worked well in the short run as racial sentiments and fears were drummed up. In the short term it unified Tamils across the caste/region/class divide. Large scale protests, satyagrahas and demonstrations broke out. Ministers were mobbed, Sinhala letters were tarred over a petty issue (having a Sinhala letter instead of English letters in vehicle registration numbers) and a civil disobedience campaign was launched by Tamil race based political parties (Tamil Kachchi and Tamil Congress)…

    ….All this happened in 1957 more than a year after the Official Language Act was passed (within 24 hours) and implemented.
    However, it was blamed for the trouble in 1957. Further agitations continued.

    “In 1957 Bandaranaike and Chelvanayagam (the leader of the Tamil Kachchi) came to a secret pact widely known as the B-C Pact. People, the parliament and even the Cabinet were not informed of let alone sanctioned it. It wasn’t approved by the parliament and therefore lacked legal binding on the parties. ( External Link )

    Strangely no resolution of the language issue is found in the B-C pact. Instead it was more about devolving regional power! This is clear proof that it was the Prevention of Social Disability Act and not the Official Language Act that triggered Tamil resistance although the latter was cited as the root cause. The proposed solution had nothing to do with the Official Language Act. By gaining regional control, Tamil race based parties would make the provisions of the Prevention of Social Disability Act powerless and continue to rule over ‘low caste’ Tamils.”

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  23. SA Kumar Says:

    In 1957 Bandaranaike and Chelvanayagam (the leader of the Tamil Kachchi) came to a secret pact widely known as the B-C Pact.- if it was secret pack between these leaders than how come people demonstrated outside SWRDB’s residence.

    You Sinhala Sakodaya all write what ever suit you well .

  24. mario_perera Says:

    Kumar,

    I cannot teach you English.

    If you read the text correctly you would have seen that it is a quote.

    Secondly, the author of the text explains what he means .by ‘secret’: that “People, the parliament and even the Cabinet were not informed of let alone sanctioned it”.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  25. Fran Diaz Says:

    Mario,

    Many thanks for clarity on the issue raised.

    I am truly surprised that Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam led the Separate State thinking as far back as 1923 !

    Quote : “The concept of Tamil Elam was inaugurated by Sir Ponnambalam Arunchalam as far back in 1923. …”

    ——–

    I always thought that the ongoing Tamil Leaders have MIS LED Tamil masses of Lanka. It is a ‘Divide & Rule’ matter for the Tamil Leaders (Vellala led – or God ordained higher caste led, per Hindu religious beliefs of 3,000 yrs). It is an archaic Vellala/Cold War mind set of Colonial times, cherished and relived by Vellala and UNP/Colombian folks. It is leadership via birth ! It has nothing to do with the Nation, the People, honor, life supportive action, identify real problems of the People and the country as a whole, Law & Order, Progress with Peace, etc.

    Vellala Tamils of Lanka got their clout from Colonial masters or after Independence, ex-Colonial masters. Same for present UNP leadership under Ranil. So, today we have a govt & Opposition in Lanka which is totally loyal to ex-Colonists ?? Wither National minded leaders working for the common good of the People of Sri Lanka ?

  26. Fran Diaz Says:

    Kumar,

    I stated earlier in response to you on another thread that Sir P. Arunachalam’s statue still stands in front of the old Parliament building, and we honor those who deserve to be honored.

    I had no idea that : “The concept of Tamil Elam was inaugurated by Sir Ponnambalam Arunchalam as far back in 1923. …”

    My sense of honor was through ignorance, was it not ?

  27. SA Kumar Says:

    My question is the B-C Pact has been given( not question about approval) to the Parliament ? ( is it in the book or not) ?

    If not (secret deal) how every one know about B-C pact ?

    I read some where, B tear the pact

    Why he done it ,he could have told no pact ???

    mario_perera my Sinhala brother We had so many pact (CFA) , so many talk end of the day , will you implement ? NO

  28. mario_perera Says:

    Fran,

    If you consider yourself ignorant, then I am one such too.

    Our common endeavour is to light up the torches of our minds to trace the footsteps of the past in the ever sifting sands of time. What we discover we lay before each other in a spirit of fraternity.

    Thank you Fran,

    Mario

  29. SA Kumar Says:

    I had no idea that : “The concept of Tamil Elam was inaugurated by Sir Ponnambalam Arunchalam as far back in 1923-wrong

    He was the Chairman of the Ceylon Reform League. In 1919, Sir P Arunachalam managed to bring the Ceylon Reform League, the Ceylon National Association and the Jaffna Association into a single national organization – the Ceylon National Congress.

    The Ceylon National Congress later paved the way for the formation of the United National Party. In 1943.

    We always for United Mother Lanka !!!
    2 LANGUAGES, ONE NATION –

  30. Fran Diaz Says:

    With you, Mario, in the endeavor to know the truth about our past.

    ———-

    In an attempt to be as fair as possible to Sir P. Arunachalam, I am giving below his career details in then Ceylon under British Rule.

    That still does not explain why Sir P.A. wanted a Separate State for Tamils : ” The concept of Tamil Elam was inaugurated by Sir Ponnambalam Arunchalam as far back in 1923. …”

    “Career :
    He was one of the first Ceylonese to enter the Ceylon Civil Service in 1875. He was appointed Registrar General in 1887. He showed his eminence in all the positions he held. His scientific compilation of the National Census Report in 1911 was a masterpiece. The introductory report contains “the most luminous dissertation on the ethnological, social and economic conditions of the Island”. On his retirement from the Public Service in 1913, he was Knighted in recognition of his distinguished service to the country. He was also nominated by the Governor to a seat in the Executive Council.

    He was the first Ceylonese to be elected President of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. As President of the Saiva Paripalana Sabai he took much interest in Hindu Cultural matters. Along with Sir James Peiris and Sir Marcus Fernando, he was among the first to start agitating for a University for Ceylon (the Hall of residence at the Peradeniya University, formally the Peradeniya campus of University of Ceylon was named Arunachalam Hall, in 1951). He was the Chairman of the Ceylon Reform League. In 1919, Sir P Arunachalam managed to bring the Ceylon Reform League, the Ceylon National Association and the Jaffna Association into a single national organization – the Ceylon National Congress. He died at Madurai on 9 January 1924, while on a pilgrimage worshipping at the Hindu Temples in South India”.

  31. mario_perera Says:

    In an attempt to be as fair as possible to Sir P. Arunachalam, I am giving below his career details in then Ceylon under British Rule.
    That still does not explain why Sir P.A. wanted a Separate State for Tamils : ” The concept of Tamil Elam was inaugurated by Sir Ponnambalam Arunchalam as far back in 1923. …” – Fran

    Fran, I suggest a book that will clear all your doubts.

    Title: The Beast – a liberation theology for Tamils (published by Godage Brothers, Maradana)

    This is my last contribution on this theme

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  32. Fran Diaz Says:

    Thanks, Mario.

    ———-

    More ….

    * I am of the view that if the powers that be want a less populated world, it is far kinder and less expensive than wars to give FREE birth control material to the entire world.

    * As for the Tamil Caste problem, they have to have the guts to take it to the UN & Delhi govt. Lanka cannot and will not be the ‘sacrificial goat’ for that problem. Lanka has no jurisdiction over Tamil Nadu either.

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