Name a single country that has given ethno-religious minorities privileges as Sri Lanka has done
Posted on March 6th, 2016

Shenali D Waduge

When global powers are in the hands of Christian West and their media, human rights and other spokesmen come out in a chorus to say that Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhala Buddhists are the wrong doers, the world believes them without looking at the facts. For the majority Sinhala Buddhists to accept guilt they must know the allegations with evidence. So far other than a tirade of name calling there is nothing to show that legally, constitutionally & legislatively minorities suffer grievances because they are a minority. Will countries entertain demands to change national anthem, national song, national flag, insidious campaigns of baseless allegations, demands for homelands when minorities show no indigenous roots and now even the demand to change the country’s constitution to fulfil their aspirations?

Name a country that has given status to minorities in the country’s national flag as Sri Lanka has with orange symbolizing Tamils and green symbolizing Muslims. The original national flag did not have the two strips and these were incorporated as an act of good will. How have minorities reciprocated?

Name a country that has violated the constitution to sing the national anthem in Tamil instead of the language it is to be sung in? Those that said singing the anthem in Tamil ushered unity cannot explain why Tamils created a party seeking separatism in 1949 and are now asking for a separate state in 2016 via a new constitution even after singing in Tamil.

Name anything legally, constitutionally and legislatively denied to minorities which legally, constitutionally and legislatively is allocated to only Sinhalese.

Name any insistence where the law and the judgment has been changed because a person was a minority

Tamils came from Tamil Nadu. Muslims came from Middle East & the Christians/Catholics of both Sinhalese & Tamils arose after forced conversion following the arrival of the 3 colonial invaders. Globally there are 76million Tamils, 1.3billion Muslims and 2.2billion Christians. Their institutions are rich and expansionism of their faith is the job of their religious institutions through their religious heads. Inspite of this minorities of Sri Lanka have freedom to practice their religion. They cannot expect individual religious freedom to be entangled with the global mission of conversion through their religious institutions.

There are only 14.8million Sinhalese. They built the nation as is evident from archaeological and historical data. They built the civilization and developed the nation to what it was when colonials arrived to take over it.

Name any country that has reciprocated Sinhala Buddhists in their countries by giving a similar place to Sinhala Buddhists in the same manner that the ethno-religious minorities are enjoying in Sri Lanka? Isn’t it legally accepted that one cannot demand what one is not prepared to give?

Is it not because Abrahamic religions use minorities to demand rights of religion so that their institutions can influence society incrementally to eventually replace Dharmic faiths with theirs?

Did Singapore Hindus not object to hijacking pongal by Christians in 2004? Were Christian missionaries not accused of hijacking yoga, Bharatanatyam in 2006?  http://www.asiantribune.com/index.php?q=node/4959 Are Churches not setting up Hindu type of buildings and calling them ‘ashrams’ run by ‘saffron robed padres’ who project themselves as swamijis’ with the intent to project that there is no difference in Hinduism and Christianity so it is easy to convert masses? Have Christians not gone to the extent of creating statues of Jesus in ‘meditating posture siting cross-legged on a lotus like Buddha? Are these initiatives not with evil motive?

When Hindus or Buddhists react they are bashed by the Christian media as intolerant, racists, fascists and radicals.

Name a country that has given refuge to Maldivians because for over 3 decades they have been saying their islands are going under water and now over 300,000 Maldivians are living, working, studying and even marrying and thereby owning land in Sri Lanka. How have Maldives reciprocated? They have removed the Buddhist history of Maldives from their history, they attempt to destroy whatever Buddhist archaeological artifacts remain in their museums, they deny Sinhalese Buddhists visiting Maldives to even carry a Buddhist statue.

When countries have strict moratoriums on religious structures especially in Islamic and Christian countries just travel from Colombo to Ja-Ela, or Colombo to Beruwela and to the North and East to see how freely Islamic mosques, Churches, Evangelical churches, madrassas and all sorts of new religious faiths have set up shop. Even residential areas have been turned into prayer centres disturbing residents.

Name any country that has given key cabinet level portfolios concerning national policy to minority leaders representing ethno-political parties as Sri Lanka has. Many countries are very specific about positions that minority leaders hold in governance.

What Tamil Hindus enjoy

  • Pongal national holiday in January
  • Mahasivarathri Day a public holiday in March
  • Deepavali Festival Day a public holiday in October
  • Tamils have held cabinet portfolios in government
  • There have been Tamil IGPs, Tamil Foreign Minister, Central Bank Governor, 3 Tamil Chief Justice, Judges, Ambassadors

Stamps issued for

  • Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam 1977
  • Ponnambalam Ramanathan, lawyer, educator (1975)
  • Ananda Coomaraswamy (1971)
  • G G Ponnambalam in 1986 (founder of the first Tamil political party the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, pushed for 50-50 representation for Tamils & Sinhalese which were rejected by the British as a mockery of democracy given that Tamils were less than the Indian Tamils in Sri Lanka at the time of request)
  • Vipulananda Adigal
  • Jaffna Central College 1996
  • Swami Vivekananda, Indian Hindu monk (2013)
  • S Thondaman, Politician
  • Jeyraj Fernandopulle, assassinated by LTTE
  • Birth Centenary of Dr. Pandithamani Kanapathipillai (Tamil scholar) 1999
  • 2nd World Hindu Conference 2003

What Muslims/Islam enjoy

  • Id-Ul-Fitr (Ramazan Festival Day a public holiday in July
  • Id-Ul-Alha (Hadji Festival Day) a public holiday in September
  • Holy Prophet’s Birthday – Milad-un-Nabi a public holiday in December
  • Muslims have held cabinet level posts including Justice Minister.

Stamps issued for

  • M.A, Azeez (Sri Lanka’s first Muslim civil servant) 1986
  • centenary of Zahira College 1993
  • Abdul Cafoor in 1993
  • 120th Birth Anniv of Abdul Cader (lawyer) in 1995
  • Translation of The Koran into Sinhala 1985
  • 95th Birth Anniv of Dr. Badiudin Mahmud (Islamic politician) 1999
  • All Ceylon Young Men’s Muslim Association conference 2000
  • A C S Hameed, former Minister 2002

What Christians/Catholics enjoy

The spread of Christianity/Catholicism began after the arrival of the Portuguese in 1505 and as a result of forcibly converting Sinhala Buddhists and Tamil Hindus to create a new group of Sinhala Christians/Catholics and Tamil Christians/Catholics loyal to the Church before loyalty to their native country (the enlightened have realized that country comes first)

  • Good Friday a public holiday in March
  • Christmas day a public holiday in December

Stamp issued for

  • Every year Christmas
  • 150th Anniv of Talawila Church
  • Papal Visit and Beatification of Father Joseph Vaz 1995 (the person responsible for mass forced conversions of Tamils & Sinhalese and killing those that refused)
  • Anthony’s Shrine – Kochchikade 2010
  • Anniversary of St. Patricks College, Jaffna 2000
  • 300th Anniv of De La Salle Brothers (Religious Order of the Brothers of the Christian Schools) 1981
  • Reverend Father Tissa Balasuriya, Roman Catholic priest and theologian (2013)
  • Pope John Paul II, leader of Catholic Church from 16 October 1978 – 2 April 2005 (1995)
  • Joseph Vaz, Indian Catholic missionary, “Apostle of Sri Lanka” (1992)
  • 300th Anniv of Arrival of Father Joseph Vaz in Kandy 1987
  • Centenary of St. Lawrence School 2001
  • Diocese of Kurunegala, Golden Jubilee
  • Centenary of St. Servatius’ College, Matara 1997
  • Centenary of the Freemansons Hall Colombo 2002
  • Holy Cross College, Kalutara, Centenary 2002
  • Uddupiddy American Mission College 2002
  • Kopay Christian College 150th Anniversary 2002
  • Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya – Centenary 2003

Name a single Christian/Islamic country that has reciprocated by issuing a stamp in honor of the world’s greatest visionary/philosopher Buddha or any country other than Russia and Austria that has given official religious status to Buddhism?

Can anyone name a country that allows minorities to declare areas as belonging to them when they have no historical or indigenous roots to showcase except well-palmed propaganda? In the North Tamil politicians cry no Sinhalese while in the East the Muslims are putting up Arabic towns with Arabic names/culture which even the Muslims cannot read.

Name any country that allows laws like Thesavalamai to exist where purchase of land is denied to others and is an affront to equal justice.

While the world enjoys denigrating the majority Sinhala Buddhists they are totally silent when minorities actually pay to put adverts like below. To test this further anyone can go to flats/apartments owned by Tamils & Muslims in Bambalapitiya, Dehiwela, Wellawatte and ask whether it is for rent. They will immediately say it is for only Tamils/Muslims.

http://www.lankapropertyweb.com/sale/property_details-77227.html

Why are the differences among the minorities never highlighted? How many are aware that high caste Tamils do not donate blood because they do not wish their blood to be mixed with low caste Tamils?

How many knew that it was the Sri Lanka Armed Forces that were keeping the blood bank in the North supplied with blood donated by our soldiers? The Chief Minister of the Northern Province can say no Sinhalese can live in the North but he does not mind when Sinhalese soldiers donate blood for them or these very soldiers who do not have proper homes of their own build houses for Tamil IDPs. Why does the media, human rights and others never highlight this side of the story?

If minorities are discriminated who can explain

  • Can you think of any sizeable population where industry and property are dominated by the minority communities as in Sri Lanka?
  • Colombo the commercial hub of Sri Lanka is populated by Tamils and Muslims leaving Sinhalese in the minority
  • The largest supermarket chain – Cargills is owned by the Page Family who are Jaffna Tamil Christians
  • The largest brewery – Carsons (brands Lion, Three Coins Beer) is owned by the Selvanathan family who are Tamils
  • The largest media network – MTV, Sirasa are owned by the Maharaja family who are Tamil
  • The largest hardware manufacturer – Slon, Kevilton are also owned by the Maharaja family who are Tamil
  • The largest construction conglomerate – St Anthony’s (Anton, Tokyo Cement) are owned by another Tamil family the Gnanam’s.
  • Tamils and Tamil speaking Muslims dominate gem/jewellery industry as well
  • Tamils and Tamil speaking Muslims dominate the wholesale trade too.
  • Tamils and Tamil speaking Muslims dominate the property ownership in Colombo as well
  • The rich list of minorities include the Captains, Kundanmals, Pestongees, Mahendrans and now Patels and Singhs are entering too.
  • Go around Colombo on a Friday noon time to gage the number of Muslim owned shops which would all be closed including the supermarkets owned by them.
  • When the LTTE prevailed the Hindus never celebrated or demanded to celebrate Vel… now virtually every month there is a kovil procession blocking the traffic systems across Colombo.
  • Has no one wondered how minorities can thrive if the majority did not buy from them when 7 out of 10 are Sinhalese? How can minority owned businesses succeed if the majority do not buy from them? If there was discrimination shouldn’t you now ask how minorities have come to dominate important areas of business and property throughout the country?
  • By this same logic why is no one asking why Tamils can buy property in South and live and why they should say Sinhalese cannot do the same in the North, when the constitution affords right of residence anywhere and right of movement.

There are many other examples to showcase the rights and privileges enjoyed by all the minorities in Sri Lanka but no one has stopped to ask what the majority grievances are.

Shenali D Waduge

16 Responses to “Name a single country that has given ethno-religious minorities privileges as Sri Lanka has done”

  1. AnuD Says:

    Minorities have too much, that is why there is reverse discrimination In sri Lanka.

    Sinhala buddhists are marginalized.

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    Thank you, Shenali !

    ———-

    This is the very reason why some groups want to OWN/Take over Sri Lanka. But that will kill the ‘goose that lays the golden eggs’. They may not even mind that !

    High time proper ways to protest Sri Lanka are formulated and carried out. LKY of S’pore said that unless ‘you govern firmly, mischief will happen’.

    Wither the 6-A of Lanka ?

  3. Dilrook Says:

    Tamils have very successfully pushed the case for separation by distracting Sinhalese. Today it is better for Sinhalese to divide the country in some form than keep feeding the proverbial “panikkiyas”.

    Tamils are not after the arid, relatively worthless and economically useless north and east. They are after the rest, most importantly the wet zone. By distracting Sinhalese with the north and east, Tamils have invaded, colonized and eliminated Sinhalese from major economic activities in areas outside the north and east. Of course, Tamils dominate the north and east completely!

    In this case, separation (division of the country in some form) actually helps Sinhalese survive!

    Folklore has it that a farmer and a cheat (“panikkiya”) shared a cow. The foolish famer taking the front of the cow while the cheat taking the hind. The farmer was losing money at every turn and the cheat was making money. Nevertheless, the desire to have the entirety of the cow in good shape kept the farmer allowing the cheat to profit at his expense. This is where most Sinhalese are at even today. Finally, sense prevailed and the farmer dragged the cow to the butcher and earned his due despite severe protests and begging by the cheat.

    Sinhalese are like an abused partner in a marriage. They do everything they can to keep it intact while the abusive/exploitative partner does everything to break it up but actually fears divorce. The innocent party can survive divorce and the aftermath but the abusive/exploitative party cannot.

    If things go on like this, Sinhalese will lose the rest as well (they have already lost the north and east and Colombo City). Ironically, an Indian style federal structure can save Sinhalese economic survival with Tamil language only for north and parts of the east and Sinhala only (language) for the rest as they voted in 1956. Once this language restriction is put in place (as in India and all federal countries) it will be a matter of time all major business owners, managers and workers in areas outside the north-east are Sinhala speaking (whatever their ethnicity is). It will also deter Indians exploiting economic resources left for the Sinhalese.

    Ironically, it is our patriotic desire to have the entire island nation as it is (while all politicians obsessed with a Tamil ethnic problem) that has ruined us politically and economically. The sooner we accept some form of division (federal) where Sinhalese have their legitimate share for themselves, the better.

    I urge all nationalist writers to consider this fact leaving aside unrealistic ideals for a second. I can understand that still some self-styled hard-core patriots will demand we run after the mirage called unitary Sri Lanka where Sinhalese have the same right in the north as a Tamil. It is only a mirage; running after it will only hasten our extinction.

  4. mario_perera Says:

    Dilrook,

    Thank you for your comment.

    The problem I see is the ‘domino effect’ such a division would have.

    The winner in such an eventuality would be Tamil Nadu (and INDIA). There would be no need of a bridge. the country will soon be overrun by South Indian Tamils, and the infiltration into the south will commence. The Sinhala rulers will be powerless, they are such spineless jelly fish.

    With such a solution the process of extinction will inevitably follow for the Sinhala race.

    Furthermore, and with all due respect to you, I see such a solution as ‘anti-historical’. It is true they had the semblance of a kingdom but a fragile one considering that the Sinhala kings invaded it and brought it to naught.

    I sincerely think, that such an eventuality would arouse a greater hornet’s nest than what is being enacted now.

    And will the division end with the north and the east? What about malayalam? What about the ambitions of the Muslims of the East?

    I see this issue as a birthday cake. As long as it is not cut it is intact. The moment the knife splits it, then the cutting goes on until. nothing is left.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  5. Dilrook Says:

    Mario, I hear you. It is not outright independence I propose but a power devolved structure that sufficiently recognises Sinhala interests in areas outside the north and east. Most of the east will be a Muslim majority province with Batticaloa,e tc. going Tamil. Sinhalas will also have a province in the east. Malayanadu in the centre is not possible given their dependence on other parts for survival. That is why this demand has died a natural death. However, the central provincial council will have a significant presence of Indian Tamils.

    Indian exodus is going to happen anyway. However, by recognising Sinhala interests outside the north and east, it can be prevented. Surely Indians will get into north-east despite security forces manning the seas and national borders remain in the central government. However, there is very little economic incentive for them to go to north-east. Besides they will be severely discriminated if they do so.

    A powerful provincial unit will lessen the dependence on national poltiics for north-east people. It gives Sinhalese a bigger clout and more electoral power elsewhere.

    My argument is based on the fact that Sinhalese don’t have even the rights and privileges of native Hindi speakers or Keralites within the Indian union.

    India and USA are after a permanantly friendly foothold in Sri Lanka to exploit as they please to counter China. Given their power, the absence of an all weather friend and the calibre of our politicians, we cannot resist them completely. A compromise is needed to prevent what India did to Goa, Sikkhim or Kashmir.

    It is highly controvercial but needs to be discussed as dispassionately as possible taking into account our capabilities, economics and political/geopolitical realities.

    We would not be discussing these bad options and Plan Bs among worse possibilities had our leaders removed 13A or at least now plan to do so.

  6. mario_perera Says:

    Thank you for the clarifications, Dilrook

    Mario

  7. Dham Says:

    Fran,
    LKY was a strong Tamil supporter for obvious reason that his country would loose its share if we become strong. As long as Tamils have power, he is safe.

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    Dilrook,

    What a Fed State will bring is too horrible to think of.

    It will be a case of Tamil Separatists having their cake and eating it too.

    With the Tamil Language in place in Lanka, and over 15 Million Tamil Dalits of Tamil Nadu who have suffered atrocities for several thousand years, what will happen ? We do not need to be rocket scientists to conclude that these Dalit Tamils who seek relief from Caste based suffering, will end up in Lanka.

    To make matters worse, it is more than likely that even adjoining sub-states of TN will allow their Dalits to enter Lanka too. It was said that large numbers of Andrapradesh Dalits had entered Tamil Nadu, in anticipation of Eelam in Lanka – probably to also cross over to Eelam.

    Why should Lanka GoSL ask for more troubles when they have enough problems as it is. Why is Lanka expected to solve Tamil Nadu problems re Caste/poverty and Unemployment. TN is a strong sub-state and ought to be absorbing Tamil FROM Sri Lanka, not vice-versa.

    ———-

    Questions to the Readers :

    *. Why has the 6-A NEVER been activated ?

    *. Why had the illegal 13-A NEVER been removed ?

    If Lanka is so weak that we cannot do these things to protect ourselves as a country, it is not a Democracy, and Independence Day is a mockery.

  9. Dham Says:

    Dilrook,
    It looks like in your opinion, Sinhale “the island nation” is dead already. When even a person like you think strategic withdrawal, it make me angry. 2009 sacrifices completely in vain, it means.
    For Fran Diaz it is too horrible to think of but his devotion has brought us to this reality, which I too would like to discuss – it is a reality now.

    I believe you are completely wrong to think this method. LTTE is prepared to do anything for survival unlike our greedy leaders who waste the youth of our nation. If they are given Federal they will bribe Ranil, MY3, MR , Namal, Basil or whoever the politician is power to allow a huge change such as allowing strategic USA of Indian security installations, military bases , Naval bases you name it, for survival. They will reach or GDP in not time and become a another Singapore in 5 years. They don’t need a fertile land to do it. The area can easily be heavily industrialised with energy resources and water from India.

    This will further accelerate Elam ( that is capture of the whole island). They will capture the whole island in 25 years, if not earlier.

    You might question, if they cannot why can’t we do. Unfortunately we don’t have even a 20% honest nationalist leader who can take BOLD decisions to even consider inviting a Chinese naval base. Will MR do it ? N E V E R. India is his brother.

    This plan B is not going to work.
    We have to do our best to make use of one greedy politician for the National cause. MR is beyond repair in my view. I believe people must demand Gota.

    There is a big push from MR to discourage Gota.

  10. sarathk Says:

    Shenali, your articles and facts are needed to be written in Sinhala language as well. Most Sinhala majority people have no idea about how powerful those minorities are.

  11. dingiri bandara Says:

    The trade and industries are controlled by non Sinhalese because they are united and have acted very smart.They help each other. The majority Sinhalese have too many differences among them. The majority of the consumers are the Sinhalese. These non Sinhalese help each other financially and in other ways . The Tamils and the Muslims have their financial systems. If one of their businesses are going down , they will get together to prevent it from failing. I do have first hand experience. Their was and industry in Dehiwala that was failing and was to be auctioned. The company I worked for was interested in purchasing the machinery and I was trying to negotiate. The auction never took place. Some of the Muslim businesses got together an purchased it.
    We the Sinhalese, whatever our religious faith is ( religion is a state of mind ) should admire these people, learn from them and unite. Unfortunately, the Sinhalese Buddhists have no central organization unlike the other religions. These central organizations are reluctant to support the Buddhists. It is up to the people to come together.

  12. Fran Diaz Says:

    I am stating that if a country such as Sri Lanka, 25,000 sq mls in size, situated next to a sub-constinent such as INDIA, with a strong and ancient CASTE SYSTEM now written in their birth certificagtes, with some 77 Million Dalits there, and over 15 Million TAMIL DALITS in Tamil Nadu, the twice as big as Lanka Taml Nadu having 15 Million Dalits, and Lanka is willing to give a Fed State with all the plums that Shenali mentions, then there is a word for such an act – it is called SUICIDE, Hara Kiri, or alternately, the GENOCIDE OF THE SINHALA PEOPLE & OTHERS too, and may include even the Sri Lanka Tamils, as Tamil Dalits of India could be ruthlessly ungrateful. The lack of gratitude has already been proven, over and over again, by Tamil leaders of Lanka, anxious to get the low caste folk off their back, and acquire their own Fifedom, using Cold War fears from the west to push forward such an agenda.

    Generous and foolish Lankans will find themselves without a country – you know the story of the Arab and the Camel.

    Suggestions to save Lanka :

    *. An Oath of Allegiance taken by one and all in Lanka may turn folk to a saner way of thinking.
    *. An MoU with the UN/India that Lanka will not be a threat to India & west Security Issues, may help.

    Right now, under Yahap, the Law is an ass in Lanka ! Right now, the seemingly visionless leadership of CBK/RW (Fascist/Sadisti govt), will not help. ALL truly able, caring and time tested leaders will have to get together to save Lanka.

    ———-

    Dham,

    LKY was a sensible leader who saw that Tamil labor was useful to build up S’pore. He protected his country at the same time – as far seeing leader should.

  13. Fran Diaz Says:

    Dham,

    As I have stated before in these columns, LKY was lucky NOT to have INDIA next door with their Caste System, one billion citizens and huge numbers in poverty/unemployment, together with 15 Million Tamil Dalits having Castge on their birth certificates. I doubt very much that S’pore would have been allowed to prosper like it has done, if they were. next door to INDIA.

    I am truly sorry to say that Lanka is unfortunate in this regard.

    ———-

    Lanka has never ‘competed’ wtih S’pore. LKY himself was ‘nominally a Buddhist’ and I doubt he wanted to ‘compete’ with Lanka. He just wanted S’pore to be a success story in SE Asia, doubtless with British blessings added on during each step of the way, and continues to do so. Ex-Empires never seem to give up …. work with them, or depart.

  14. Fran Diaz Says:

    Re the Economy : We agree with digiri and the plight of the Sinhala people. It is the political system and easy bribe money (institutionalised greed & corruption) that breaks up countries. Also, foreign introduced ways to calculate the wealth of a Nation through money, goods & services, and not through the wellbeing of the People, gets in the way of real prosperity.

  15. Dham Says:

    Fran,
    I told you your Singapore threat discount is WRONG. Did you live there for 15 years?
    Don’t discount unmatched statesmanship of LKY. Listen to his speeches, compare with our liars. See how any why he achieved and they did not.

  16. Fran Diaz Says:

    Dham,

    No discount here of LKY. He won S’pore through, at least for some decades. Only the future will show for how long – things change. But the facts stand that S’pore is NOT next door to India & Tamil Nadu, therefore a big plus for them.

    The world today is in a state of flux as never before, armed to the teeth and with Climate Change to boot. These are the realities we have to face.

    —————

    Are human beings up to the challenge toward a lasting “Peace on Earth” – that was the old X’mas message, remember ?.

    Christ said : ‘the Kingdom of Heaven in within You’
    Buddha said : ‘Truth is within You’
    Islam means Peace.

    Our best wishes to the hairless Apes of Planet Earth.

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