Batakotte (Vadukoddai) Resolution written by Tamil Pinocchios
Posted on March 9th, 2017

H. L. D. Mahindapala

Starting from the Dutch period to modern times, the Jaffna Tamil leadership, which consisted exclusively of the Vellalas, relied entirely on two fundamental ideologies to retain their power and  privileges in the peninsula. Both ruling ideologies were defined in two separate documents. First was the Tesawalamai codified by Class Isaacksz, Dissawe of Jaffna, on  January 30, 1707, for the guidance of Dutch rulers. Second was the Batakotte (Tamilised as Vadukoddai) Resolution (1976) written by the Vellalas for the preservation and glory of the Vellalas.

The Tamil translation of the Tesawalamai was vetted and endorsed by the twelve Jaffna mudliyars (all of whom were Vellalas) as the primary laws and customs  of the land. In essence, it legitimised and consolidated the power of the ruling elite, the Vellahlas. Like most laws it represented the social, economic and political interests of the ruling Vellalas. It confirmed the hierarchical status of the Vellalas which included the right to own and rule over the low-castes and the slaves imported from S. India. The oppressed low-castes were legally condemned as human beings unfit for Vellala society. The  low-castes remained as slaves and outcasts. They neither  had the organisational power nor a leadership (example: Dr. Ambedkar  of India) to challenge the oppressive might of the ruling Vellalas. The Dutch and the British accepted Tesawalamai as the  legal norm and they turned a blind eye to Vellala oppression, as long as the  Vellalas played their subservient role to  the colonial masters.

The  Batakotte Resolution, on  the other hand, defined the ultimate political ambitions of the Vellalas to retain their political supremacy which was under siege by the invasions of modernity in the dying days of the British raj and post-independent era. On May 14, 1976 the creme de la creme of the Tamil elite met at Batakotte to present their political manifesto to establish a separate state – the last refuge of Vellalas to retain  their power, prestige and privileges. In the feudal and colonial periods they legitimised their oppressive rule on the casteist ideology derived from Hinduism. In the post-independent era they switched to Tamil nationalism because the divine rights  guaranteed in Hinduism could no longer justify their supremacy over the restless non-Vellala population rising against Vellala oppressors.

The Batakotte Resolution produced the alternative ideology of Tamil nationalism” to replace anachronistic Hindu casteism. It now stands as the political Bible of the Tamils which contains the essential arguments for the establishment of Tamil Eelam – arguments derived from their version of history. It also outlined their means / strategies to achieve Eelam.  It is necessary to examine this document even at this late stage because there isn’t a greater declaration of the Tamils justifying Tamil separatist politics and Tamil violence that went along with it. After the Batakotte Resolution a whole new industry  began to  justify Tamil separatism and violence.

Among those who drafted it are S. J. V. Chelvanayakam, the  Father of Tamil separatism, Appapillai Amirthalingam, Dr. E. M. V. Naganathan, joined by the elitist Vellalas. The authors of the Batakotte Resolution scoured the nooks and corners of history  to produce a plausible justification for the creation of a separate state. Every word in it was written to  pave the path for Eelam. They never expected it to end in Nandikadal.

Like all politics of Jaffna in British and post-independent times, it was drafted by the English-speaking, Saivite, Jaffna Vellala elite for the power and  glory of their caste. It  is the ultimate political manifesto of the Tamils which laid  down the central arguments for (1) the declaration of war against the rest by the Tamil leadership, (2) on the promise of creating  a separate state for the Tamils of the North. What is examined here is not  their tragic political  miscalculations which led the Tamils into the arms of fascist tyrant, Prabhakaran, and through him to Nandikadal. The focus here is on one of the central arguments of the Batakotte Resolution which is stated in the opening paragraphs of the Resolution.  This is how it is worded in the second paragraph :

Whereas, the Tamil Kingdom was overthrown in war and conquered by the Portuguese in 1619, and from them by the Dutch and the British in turn, independent of the Sinhalese Kingdoms; And,

Whereas, the British Colonists, who ruled the territories of the Sinhalese and Tamil Kingdoms separately, joined under compulsion the territories of the Sinhalese and the Tamil Kingdoms for purposes of administrative convenience on the recommendation of the Colebrooke Commission in 1833; And,

Whereas, the Tamil Leaders were in the forefront of the Freedom movement to rid Ceylon of colonial bondage which ultimately led to the grant of independence to Ceylon in 1948; And,

Whereas, the foregoing facts of history were completely overlooked, and power over the entire country was transferred to the Sinhalese nation on the basis of a numerical majority, thereby reducing the amil nation to the position of subject people;”

Error 1 : The Tamils blame the  British for overlooking the  facts of  history and  handing  over power to  the Sinhalese nation on the basis of numerical majority.  In  saying  this the Battakottians contradict their own claim that they joined  hands with the majority to win independence. According to the argument of the Tamils, independence was granted because the  majority and the minority joined hands together to live together as one nation. If they were  in the forefront of the Freedom  movement to rid Ceylon of colonial  bondage” and if they fought together for the birth of one nation how could the British transfer power to the Tamils who never asked for a separate state?   So why should  the British be blamed for the miscalculated afterthoughts of the Tamils? The Battakotte argument that the Tamils joined  hands with majority disprove their claim that power was transferred on the basis of numerical majority.”

Error 2 : According to the Batakotte argument, power was transferred by the Tamil king (Sankili II) in 1619  to the  Portuguese, who handed it over to the Dutch who handed it over to the British and, at independence, according to Tamil logic, the British should have transferred power back to the Tamils who transferred power initially to the Portuguese. This argument stands out as the central argument argument for the creation of a separate state. They argue that the British should have recognised the sequence of historical events and transferred power back to the Tamils who initially handed their power to the Portuguese.

The bankruptcy of Tamil politics is  revealed in this Resolution. It confirms that the best of  Tamil leadership had no better argument than this unsustainable assertion drawn from their  version of history. In the first place, there are no credible records in history to justify this argument. More of this later. But  on the surface of it alone, this is argument reveals the failure of the Jaffna Tamil leadership to justify their claim even with  a modicum of commonsensical reasoning. In examining this argument closely it is clear that it verges on the edge of irrational  absurdity.

The implication of this argument is that the British had a moral, political and legal obligation to hand over power to the Tamils in 1948 because the Sankili II handed over power to the Portuguese in 1619. If this argument is valid then the British should have handed over the territories / kingdoms they acquired from the maharajas of India to their descendants and not to Nehru or Jinnah. Where would India be today if the Batakotte argument was raised to break-up the sub-continent into separate states?

The argument that the British should have handed over the territory they held under colonial rule to extinct regional powers  who held it once upon a time is not  justifiable because both India and Sri Lanka fought for freedom not on a regional basis but on a common national front. This is conceded by the Tamils in the Battakotte Resolution. If, as stated in the Batakotte Resolution, the Tamils were in the forefront of the independent movement of Ceylon”, there was no necessity for the British to  recognise regional borders. More so, because the Tamils never asked for a separate state in 1948. That began on December 18, 1949 when S. J. V. Chelvanayakam launched his Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachci at the GCSU Hall in Maradana. Mark you, not  in Jaffna – the so-called homeland” of  the Tamils!

Nor did the Nallur Convention (1619) contain  a clause to prove that the Portuguese, or  their colonial successors, undertook to hand over Jaffna to the descendants of Sankili II at the time  of leaving  the shores of Sri Lanka. The plain historical fact is that they captured Sankili II, took him to Goa and hanged him. End of story. So on what basis did the Tamil legal eagles who assembled at Batakotte conclude that the British should have handed over Jaffna to the Tamils? In any case, the successive colonial masters (the Dutch and the British) had no contractual agreement with each other or with the Tamils to hand over power to the descendants of  Sankili II. If this argument is valid then the British should have handed over power in 1948 to the Kandyans which is the only state with whom they concluded a treaty of accession. There is no tenable theory to prove that the regional borders of feudal times should remain valid in mid-twentieth century. The fact that there was a separate kingdom in feudal times does not necessarily mean that the colonial masters had to restore in 1948 the bygone borders of 1619.

Besides, why stop at the borders of 1619? Why not  go beyond that to the time when the Sinhalese borders circled the entire island. The British, in fact, did nothing wrong. They transferred power to the nation as a whole, based on the original borders established by Dutugemunu and Parakramabahu who, among others, were the sole sovereigns from coast to coast without any regional borders obstructing their supremacy. Their claim supersedes that  of  latter-day feudatories of Tamil rulers, who invariably paid tributes to the Sinhala kings. Fr. Queroz states that Jaffna was one of the fifteen kinglets that paid tribute to the Sinhala kings. The British, restored the historical borders of the Sinhala sovereigns that ruled the nation before the itinerant  Tamil migrants established, for the first time, a permanent settlement in the 13th century.Tamil historians dates the Tamil kingdom from 1215 – 1619. The British, therefore,  rightfully transferred power to the Sinhala sovereigns who ruled Jaffna before 1215 without any borders..

Besides, this there is a more telling historical argument which debunks their claim of Tamil power being transferred by the last King of Jaffna to the Portuguese. The Batakotte argument assumes that power was transferred to the Portuguese by the last Tamil King of Jaffna, Sankili II. If this claim is historically accurate then there is the possibility of mounting an argument on the grounds that power was transferred by Sankili II, however flimsy it may be. But history records a different story. The last battle for Jaffna was not  fought by Sankili II but by the King  of Kandy, Senarat in 1629. This makes  him  the  last king of Jaffna and power finally flowed from him to  the Portuguese. So this knocks the bottom out of the Batakotte argument that power was transferred by the Sankili in 1619.

In 1629, King Senarat of Kandy, whose two sons had married princesses of Jaffna, sent his kinsman, Mudliyar Atapattu to rescue Jaffna from the tyrannical grip of the Portuguese who were persecuting the people of Jaffna. Mudliyar Attapattu swept through Jaffna, virtually unopposed with the backing of the oppressed Tamils. For a short while Mudliyar Atapattu was the master of Jaffna, as stated by Queroz,  until Constantine de Saa sent his forces from the south to defeat him.

History records that the  last battle for Jaffna was fought by the Sinhalese. And power flowed from Sinhala-Buddhist king to the Portuguese. This negates the basic argument in the Batakotte Resolution that power was transferred by the Tamil king to the Portuguese.

In an earlier article (see : The last king  of Jaffna was a Sinhala-Buddhist – Lanka Web) I cited the Portuguese historians who confirmed that it was the Sinhalese who waged the last battle to save Jaffna from the Portuguese  oppressors. Mahinda Rajapakse repeated that history when he fought the final battle to save Jaffna from the fascist oppression of Velupillai Prabhakaran – the first born child of the Batakotte Resolution. Ironically, it was the children of the Batakotte Resolution that turned the guns on the Fathers who legitimised their brutal violence.

It seems that history has a way of making  those who distort its sacred contents pay dearly for their inexcusable sins.

11 Responses to “Batakotte (Vadukoddai) Resolution written by Tamil Pinocchios”

  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    Thank you, HLD for more details on the V’koddai Resoluntion etc.

    ———-

    Question : If Tamil Eelam is formed, will not the Tamil Nadu Caste System be brought back in full force to Tamil Eelam ?
    The Caste of people in Tamil Nadu is stated in their birth certificates and INDIA does the Census based on Caste.
    Buddhists, Catholic & Christian people, Muslims etc are all categorised under Scheduled Castes.

    As that is what would happen if any Eelam is formed, then where do the bulk of the Tamil folk stand in such an Eelam re Caste ?

    Wouldn’t it be a gain for all Tamils to stop the call for Separatism and join up with the Others of Lanka to move forward toward Peace & Prosperity for all in Lanka ?
    PATRIOTISM is a wonderful thing – a sense of belonging and safety, growth and happiness, are the rewards.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    And we helped it enormously by replacing Velupillai with Vigneswaran in 2013.

    Even TNA considers Vigneswaran to be far more extremist than Sambandan.

    I consider Vigneswaran to be far more dangerous than Velupillai. The latter was foolish with no legal knowledge and long-term planning. He thought he could win it all ‘someday’ with total disregard to reality. The former is very clever and is a legal expert. He knows the power of compromise and manipulation.

    We only have a glorious history to our claims and no future. What we say about Jaffna above will have to be said about Colombo in a generation if 13A stays. Chances are 13A is here to stay.

  3. Hiranthe Says:

    It is a sad thing that no politician with grass root level support will get rid of 13A since it will destroy his support base and all the “golayas” will lose their jobs and other attractive perks & income.

    We need someone like Gota to come to the driving seat on his own popularity, not based on grass root level party politics but the hearts of the people. He has nothing to lose and he is a big fan of getting rid of 13A.

    He will think only on Mother Lanka.. so in my opinion, he has the power base which Sarath Weerasekara does not have and also he is a straight forward leader, who can also exercise tough measures in certain things..

    We need discipline as a nation and he will make sure it is re-stored. We need the dignity as a nation and he will re-store it. We do not want Indian colonial parasites to tell how to rule our country as Christie always say… and Gota will see to that as well.. We have to stop corruption and demolish the “Paathalaya”. He will do that also. We need to raise our standard of living… He will do that also.

    Only thing is, we will have the West and India trying to swallow us… The whole nation has to be together to cater for this..

  4. Hiranthe Says:

    I forgot to praise H.L.D. for the valuable information in the article. Thanks for the info…

    We need someone strong to remove Thesawalamei rule as well.. Can that be removed by the Executive??

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    It is the ILLEGAL 13-A & the vicious V’koddai Resoln (1976 – prior to the trumped up 1983 Riots), that gives power to the Tamil Leaders, then and now.

    Remove BOTH and invite all Tamils to be PATRIOTIC citizens of Lanka.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lorenzo suggested NOT TO VOTE for any politico who promises (our suggestion : at a sacred place ?), NOT to remove the
    13-A.

  7. Christie Says:

    Jaffana Kings?

    Indian Colonial Parasites started to arrive after the arrival of Portugese. There were some Indian vermin before that but they were always barred from forming their own kingdom. The Country was always run by one ruler. The arrival of Europeans weakened the Sinhala rulers.

    Large numbers of Indian Colonial Parasites came after the arrival of the British. Starting with the Vellars from the Malabar Coast who came to replace the Dutch administrators.

    These are the Vellahs the writer is talking about.

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    SURE!

    Singhalese must NEVER vote for ANYONE or his sons and daughters who has worshipped at THIRUPATHY, MECCA or the VATICAN.

  9. Fran Diaz Says:

    Let me be clear :

    Lorenzo earlier suggested that Lankans VOTE ONLY for politicos who PROMISE (suggestion: at a sacred place) to REMOVE the 13-A.

  10. Lorenzo Says:

    That is correct Fran.

    SLs should NOT vote for ANY politician who does not promise to SCRAP 13 amendment. This vow must be taken at a sacred place.

  11. Fran Diaz Says:

    There are THREE items the Tamil leaders of today have to retract/revoke officially/agree to officially remove, in order to live peacefully in Sri Lanka with the Others.

    These items are :

    (1) Thesavalami Law

    (2) The Vadukoddai Resolution (1976)

    (3) The ILLEGAL 13-A imposed by INDIA on the pro-west JRJ govt in 1987.

    These three items give the minority Tamil people a huge and unfair advantage over the Others in Lanka.
    These items are divisive and does not help Tamil people to fit into mainstream life and integrate into society in Lanka.

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