Wigneswaran Should Know Eelam (Ceylon) Tamil Ethnicity is Only 105 Years Old
Posted on February 8th, 2016

Dilrook Kannangara

The artificial ethnic group called Ceylon (Sri Lankan or Eelam) Tamils was introduced in 1911. It never existed before. It was an artificial and erroneous invention. Until then in all censuses (1881, 1891 and 1901), all Tamils were called Tamils – a people of Indian extraction. The 1911 census introduced this artificial ethnic group that never existed in Sri Lanka before. Some of the early censuses were carried out under the supervision of a Tamil. In 1922, he created the Ceylon Tamil League and called for the unity of Tamil Eelam” (Wilson, AJ). He died in South India in 1924. The definition of a ‘Ceylon Tamil’ was (in 1911), any Tamil born in the island (even to Indian born people) or anyone else who wished to assume the Ceylon Tamil ethnic identity.

Tamil Eelam Campaign

The 1948 Ceylon Citizenship Act changed the definition. So-called Indian Tamils were given the choice between Ceylon Tamils and Indian Tamils. Since then those who are born even in Sri Lanka to the Indian Tamil” community can be (if they so wish) classified as Indian Tamils. All others are classified as Sri Lankan Tamils. It is purely voluntary.

This artificial creation of a new ethnic group proved crucial to the subsequent Tamil separatist campaign. Ceylon Tamils started to argue of a Tamil homeland in the island while Indian Tamils” naturally assumed they are recent arrivals from India. If the pre-1911 ethnic classification continued, Tamils would not be able to claim Tamil homelands in Sri Lanka as they were called Tamils – an ethnic group found mainly in Tamil Nadu, India.

There are no local Tamil inscriptions. All inscriptions found in Sri Lanka that contain Tamil writing are of Indian (mostly Chola – a south Indian dynasty that is now extinct) origin. The only Tamil historical chronicle relating to Sri Lanka is called Yalpana Vaipava Malai. It was written by a South Indian in 1736 under the colonial Dutch patronage.

Even today, all Tamil artwork – songs, films, dresses, religious statues; and, even traditional food ingredients are imported from Tamil Nadu, India. None is made in Sri Lanka and none was ever made in Sri Lanka.

Malaysia, Burma and Singapore – the other nations like Sri Lanka that received a large influx of South Indians during British time – didn’t do this mistake. To this date, they classify all Tamils as Indians in ethnic group. As a result, Tamils are prevented from claiming homelands there. It is timely for Sri Lanka to follow suit and classify all Tamils in the island into one ethnic group. It may be called Tamil or Indian. Given the geopolitical context, India too will be supportive to classify them as Indians.

Not Just Wigneswaran, All Tamil Chief Ministers Infected With the 13A Virus

Writing an opinion piece, Dayan Jayatilake finds fault with Chief Minister Wigneswaran for a derogatory statement he made against the Sinhala language. It is not the fault of Wigneswaran as he is just another casualty of the 13A virus just like all his Tamil predecessors. The disease is the 13A virus (and infections), the symptoms and victims are Tamil chief ministers. The other Tamil chief ministers were also infected with the 13A virus. Chief Minister Perumal made a UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence) in 1989. Interestingly, Dayan was an original councillor of Perumal’s council! The other Tamil Chief Minister is currently serving a jail term for grave offences. Of course, his previous crimes including terrorism were pardoned. Therefore, the disease here is not the Chief Minister, but 13A that keeps producing monsters. Only a Tamil extremist or a terrorist can be chief minister in the north and/or east under 13A? We should not miss the woods (13A) for the trees (individual chief ministers).

How Constructive Application of 13A Has Allowed Police and Land Powers

However, the infected of the 13A virus are not just chief ministers. It infects many other aspects of the nation. The latest to be infected is police powers. According to 13A, provincial councils have police powers. Unofficially, the government has not allowed provincial councils police and land powers.

Almost all police officers in the north are Tamils. They unofficially take instructions from Tamil MPs and Tamil provincial councillors. The Tamil media in Jaffna also heavily influence their action. These media follow a very strong Tamil communal line. Essentially, the northern provincial council is exercising police powers. As it is within the law, there is nothing anyone, except the president, can do.

Similarly, it is using the Tamil-only demographic character of the north, communal bonds and the atmosphere created by Thesawalamei law to exercise land powers. Once again, it is within the powers of the provincial council according to the 13A and prevents anyone from taking action.

Northern provincial council is also interrupting archaeological work. Although archaeology is not within its purview, provincial officers and the police act in a way that ensures the disruption of archaeological work.

The Indian government through the northern provincial council is building 75,000 houses for displaced Tamils in both Sri Lanka and India. Essentially, the Northern Province is receiving foreign donations and reserves the right to its utilisation! 13A on paper does not allow it but the wording of 13A leaves enough room for it to happen. Tax collection, election administration, schools and hospitals administration and even census administration are all done by northerners who are almost entirely Tamils. Given the TNA stranglehold of northern politics and the provincial council, these activities are severely influenced by TNA politics. 13A has placed many loopholes to even exercise powers not devolved to the council.

The passage of two resolutions on war crimes investigation in 2014 and 2015 is another example of how creeping powers of the northern provincial council beyond what is allowed under 13A is affecting the nation. Nothing was done about it which has given it de facto acceptance that the northern provincial council can pass resolution affecting national security, international relations and law and order.

16 Responses to “Wigneswaran Should Know Eelam (Ceylon) Tamil Ethnicity is Only 105 Years Old”

  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    We do totally agree with Wht Dilrook has stated in his article here. Thank you, Dilrook.

    Yes, it is the 13-A virus of 1987, MADE IN INDIA, that has given new filip to the existing Vadukoddai Resolution of 1976, for Tamil Eelam formation !

    This 13-A virus, which has the Prov Councils attached to it, has a built in Separatism clause attached to it ! When funds were given by the the MR govt to the PC of the North, after the LTTE was vanquished, this Northern PC purposely used only a meagre 23% of the total funds given. This way they made out to all and sundry, including foreign interested parties, the UN, etc. that poor ol’ North is neglected. What perfidy !


    *. That the 13-A (1987 – Cold War times) was imposed under Duress by INDIA on the JR govt UNP. Therefore, it is null and void and has to be removed.

    *. INDIA trained the LTTE in Tamil Nadu in the 1980s (Cold War times).

    So the Cold War influenced INDIA to do these acts of grievous harm to her small neighboring country, Lanka. Tamil leaders eariier Separatist aspirations were a godsend to INDIA at that time. JR was with the west, that we know. So why did INDIA go against the JR govt with the above two dastardly acts ? Whose side was INDIA on during the Cold War ?

    The Cold War finished in 1991. But the after effects remain to damage Lanka !

    Now things have changed for INDIA and INDIA is running with the west.

    What is the best thing for Lanka to do ?

    – Instead of pretending to be still in Cold War times, Lanka govt has to ‘take the bull by the horns’ and lease out Trinco to the Allies through USA – for isn’t that the prize the west is after ?
    – Next, remove the Tamil Language (N&O) as it is division of Lanka through spread of the Tamil Language.
    – Do please STOP bringing Tamil folk now in so called Tamil refugee camps in Tamil Nadu over to Lanka. These folks belong in Tamil Nadu. India has to naturalise these people and let them live on Tamil Nadu. TN MPs had made that request – INDIA must honor that.

    The objective here is to make Lanka whole and wholesome again for everyone here.

    The US desire for internal peace in Lanka for unhindered use of Lanka’s ports for trade purposes (per US official Shannon), will then be fulfilled.

    The desire of the vast majority of Lankans to see an undivided Lanka will also be fulfilled.

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    ead as ‘ with what Dilrook has stated … ‘

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    No one has the BACKBONE to SCRAP 13 amendment. That is the REAL TRAGEDY. Far worse than 13 amendment itself.

    Prevention is better than cure. But people still get sick. Then they should take medicine than blame because of this and this thye got sick. If they refuse to take medicine they will die.

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    What is the purpose of the 13-A – to serve whom ?

  5. Ramanie Says:

    Even the great patriot who redeemed the country from terror took absolutely no interest in repealing this rogue amendment to our constitution- I don’t know what the secret is! I can’t fathom why repealing this nonsense is such a scary thing for a President with executive powers! The LTTE rejected 13A in 1987 when it was given; so did the Sinhala! We could have got rid of it all these years but most of us are lethargic about 13A now. One fine day, we will wake up to the news that Tamils have gained full implementation of the North and large parts of the East through this and it will be too late! It is not in our nature to act in the nick of time to nip things in the bud! We let cancers grow out of control and then look for remedies!

    We need to find a political leader who has the guts to get rid of 13A and any other versions of it! As Fran repeatedly says in this forum Tamil language having equal status with majority language Sinhala is a nonsense! This must be scrapped. This is a concession that 77million Tamils in India do not have? No wonder the minorities don’t respect us! We have the collective mentality of a door mat when it comes to critical matters such as this!

  6. mario_perera Says:

    Thank you for a very nice piece of research, Dilrook,

    Ramanie says: I can’t fathom why repealing this nonsense (13A) is such a scary thing for a President with executive powers!

    There must be a root cause for ‘this nonsense’.

    The only answer I find is what I see during my wanderings through the streets of Pettah. I see lorries parked and labourers tendering their denuded bodies to be loaded with heavy gunny bags from within the lorries. The labourers groan under the weight then walk away shakily under the load.

    So are our Executive Presidents. They groan and curse but continue to bear the weights.

    Sometimes the groaning and cursing is for public sympathy and support. So was J.R’s constitution. Every subsequent SLFP president cursed it. They did not groan because that weight lay lightly on theirs shoulders. Chandrika even called it ‘Bahubootha’. But did she throw of the ‘bahubootha’ load? Mahinda lambasted it too. While cursing it they exulted because carrying that ‘load’ made them show-cases of POWER.

    So with the load that is the 13A. They curse and groan but dare not throw it away.

    Remember the words of the negro spiritual? Tote that barge, lift that bale…

    What is the root cause of having to carry loads? Some loads help the concerned labourers to demonstrate their power. It is as if they were saying: hey look here guys, see what a powerful bloke I am’. Other loads only show their abject powerlessness. It is as if they were saying: what to do machang, have to carry this, no! Have to live no machang.

    Did you get it, Ramanie?

    Mario Perera

  7. Dham Says:

    Those labourers have no choice. If the don’t carry the weight, their craving for evening shot of Kasippu cannot be fulfilled. More than showing the power, it is the greed that keeps them groaning.

  8. SA Kumar Says:

    What is the purpose of the 13-A – to serve whom ? to unite Mother Lanka like in Indian union states – to serve Indian

    because We-Ilankai Demila want Thani (Separate) TE & You Sinhese want whole Sinhela Lanka !!!

  9. SA Kumar Says:

    The Criminal Investigations Department of police on Monday informed the court that the private hospital where Cecil Kotelawala .

    is any one can explain me if any one arrest always will be admitted in private or General hospital in Mother Lanka ???

  10. Christie Says:

    Ceylon means the land of the Sinhalese (Chigalese). So Ceylon Tamils means they are Tamils in the island of Ceylon the land of the Sinhalese.

    We Sinhalese have to unite and stand up to the Indian Empire, Indian colonial parasites and vermin.

  11. SA Kumar Says:

    The labourers groan under the weight then walk away shakily under the load.- mario You know those Shakily are Demila Lanka puth (not only him his father also born in Mother Lanka) !!!

    More than showing the power, it is the greed that keeps them groaning- Thanks Dham , some time I feel anger myself because how good human being are Sinhalse it is very sad & madness We-Tamils could not live with them happily – is it Our Karma ???

  12. Fran Diaz Says:

    We think it is INDIA that does not want the 13-A removed as that is how INDIA controls overly westward bound Lanka.

  13. Fran Diaz Says:

    It is high time the Pettah merchants had proper trollies given to workers to carry heavy sacks from lorries. There can be another local industry to provide trollies, through a co-op style organisation. These are the needs of the ordinary working people of Lanka.

  14. Lorenzo Says:


    During MR’s time we tried it.


    But traders protested, Endians protested (ALL PETTAH traders and NATAMIS are Endians) and the govt. gave up. Their leader PRABHA GONASON was with the govt.

    Same with TEA plucking. A man operated machine was developed by a SL man that would CUT DOWN man power by 60%. THONDA opposed it and the Endian relative BANNED it. Remember there was a LANDSLIDE just before the 2015 presidential election that killed Endian Tamils? The entire govt. visited them (but still LOST their vote!). When Singhala people were asking for clean drinking water in Rathupaswala NO ONE visited them (and they lost their vote).

    Endians rule SL in EVERY aspect.

  15. Cerberus Says:

    After 68 years we should know by now that appeasement does not work. MR was trying to treat all the Sri Lankans equally. In fact he was giving more benefit to the North and East because of the damage done by Prabahakaran. The present Govt thinks that they can bring reconciliation by giving in to whatever demands the Tamils make is a grave mistake.Even in India Tamils are not at peace with the Central Govt of India. If we wish to unify the country we must eliminate the Tamil language and have Sinhalese and English as a link language. All three people in the Govt RW, CBK, MS are damaged people. They seem to hate the Sinhalese and the Buddhists. Every action they take seem to be irritate and anger the Sinhala Buddhists. I guess RW is waiting to have a riot so that he can unleash the army on the Sinhalese like he did in 1988 under Premadasa and open another Batalanda camp where he can watch people being tortured in the most gruesome ways.
    Why don’t they sing the Indian national anthem in Tamil in Tamil Nadu? How about Malaysia, Fiji, Mauritius,Canada, Australia, Norway, parts of Africa, where there are lots of Tamils do they sing the respective National anthems in Tamil. Why is only Sri Lanka selected for all these antics? As former Prime Minister of Singapore said we have to govern with a firm hand and ensure each district or area has equal numbers of all communities. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KDjjXUx9bY

  16. SA Kumar Says:

    Why is only Sri Lanka selected for all these antics? because mother Lanka is Our Mother Land not India or Malaysia !!!

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