මහ ඇමති විග්නේශ්වරන් සහ ආචාර්ය සුර්ය ගුනසේකරයන් අතර “සිලෝන් ටුඩේ” පුවත්පතේ පලවන සංවාදය
Posted on March 26th, 2017

සුර්යවංශය යලි ගොඩනැගීමේ පදනමෙන්  

I like to talk to diehard Sinhala chauvinists – Wigneswaran (සිලෝන් ටුඩේ පුවත්පතේ පළවූ මුල් ලිපිය )

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

Nothern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran said, ” We need to have the North and East merged to avoid Sinhalisation of the North and East. Today Sinhalisation is taking place at a rapid rate”.

Excerpts:

?: The second of the “Eluga Thamil” series was held in Batticaloa recently. People say its the name that is different from “Pongu Thamil” that was hosted by the Tigers. Isnt it the same concept; awakening the Tamils to fight for a cause? What was the result of Eluga Thamil held in Jaffna last year and the one in Batticaloa?

A: I do not know the purpose of Pongu Thamil. The word Eluga Thamil (Arise Tamil) does not mean Eluga Thamilar (Arise Tamils). We are stating the problems faced by a group of people whose mother tongue is Tamil and many of whose forefathers occupied the North and East of Sri Lanka from pre-Buddhistic times.

The “Eluga Thamil” demonstrations have brought out the fact that grass-root level Tamil speaking people including Muslims of the North and East very much want to live in amity with the Sinhalese under a federal arrangement devoid of discrimination. They want to live in dignity and in equality with the members of the so-called majority community. I say so-called because the Tamil speaking people are the majority community in the North and East.

The Batticaloa meeting just like the Jaffna meeting was a roaring success in bringing in ordinary people to the forefront. They want a permanent solution to their political problem. Merger of the North and East with appropriate arrangements for Muslims is the only basis for a permanent solution. Once it is granted, you can rest assured the whole country will unite as equals.

?: In a single line, are you an Eelamist as projected?

A: I do not know who an Eelamist is. I am an ‘Ilangaiyist!’

?: If you are for a Federal structure, is it a Canadian, USA, Indian or a Wigneswaran Model you prefer?

A: A federal structure seems to be the only plausible answer to the Tamil speaking majority of the North and East. What form it should take needs to be discussed. The less interference from the Centre, the better. Any attempt at majoritarian hegemony will never bring peace, reconciliation and prosperity to the country. We must learn to respect the rights of those weaker than us in politics.

?: You have been seen as someone disturbing the peace achieved after 2015. You had been judged to be on the wrong path and also called a ghost instigating disharmony between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. Are you willing to sit down with the government to hold talks? What conditions would you place if you are to meet the government for talks?

A: I am always available for talks. In fact I like to talk to the most diehard Sinhala chauvinists. Most of those in the government are my friends. Quite a few are old boys of my school. But when it comes to the North and East merger and Federal Constitution they get annoyed with me. What they forget is that a solution must fit the problem. Their solution should not again become the problem. The 13th Amendment was expected to be a solution, but Sri Lanka tampered with what India proposed and the solution has now become a problem.

The Tamils have been continuously discriminated. That is a fact. Tamils have been brutalized just because they asked for their legitimate dues. That is a fact. The systematic manner in which violence has been unleashed against the Tamil speaking to drive them out, kill and maim without taking action against those who indulged in such high-handed activities has been identified as genocidal. We are firm that only self-government to the Tamil speaking Tamils and Muslims under a Federal Constitution after merging the North and East of Sri Lanka could bring about amity, goodwill and progress.

?: You and TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran have locked horns. Why do you hate him?

A: Whoever told you I hate Sumanthiran or vice versa? Why should I hate Sumanthiran? He was a student of mine and continues to be my friend. We have not locked horns. That’s how your press views our relationship. Our perceptions may be different. That is to be expected within a democratic dispensation such as a multi-party alliance like the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). Press, no doubt, is capable of breaking friendships!

?: TNA is the Tamils representative, but you have waged war on them. What is wrong with the leadership of TNA?

A: I belong to the TNA. I have no problems with the leadership of the TNA. I am airing the terms of the Mandate given to us in 2013 by way of the TNA manifesto. Everything I say can be traced to what is stated in that manifesto.

?: Many people also say you are with the wrong people meaning that you have fancied the Tiger sympathizers overseas. Why are you embraced by them?

A: I look upon the Tamil speaking people whether Christians, Muslims, Hindus from the North, East, Central Hills, Colombo and other areas or Diaspora wherever they are living as part of a large family unit. When my heart embraces all Tamil speaking people, I do not care to find out whether they are Tiger sympathizers or not. The Tamil Tigers were created by the successive Sri Lankan governments by discrimination and using violence against the Tamil speaking people. But they are our children, brothers and sisters. I for one, unlike them, have been nurtured in non-violence.

Please remember Mahathma Gandhi did not criticize Subash Chandra Bose. Their ways were different. But they considered each other as fraternal Indians. Both had to fight against the atrocities of the British. We Tamil speaking are all demonstrating against the short sightedness and stupidity of the erstwhile Sinhalese leaders. But in reality the entire country is one family. As soon as merger and federalism are granted the Tamil speaking family will extend to encompass every Sinhalese and any other Sri Lankan.

?: TNA went to Geneva and persuaded for a Hybrid Court. What else do you want them to do to satisfy the Tamils? Do you want them to give up everything and come to the North?

A: If you are purporting to reflect the thoughts and feelings of the people of the North and East, you must live with them and understand their plight. Thereafter you need to tell Geneva what the feelings of the people there are. We must not prejudge our case thinking that the Sinhalese will not like it or the international community would not support it. By compromising on fundamentals we will perpetuate the ethnic strife for all time. The government thinks it could drag on the problems of the Tamils until the international community loses interest and meanwhile they could hurriedly colonize the North and East with the help of the armed services and make the Tamil speaking people minorities in their own areas of traditional residence. Once that is done they could say, ‘Hey Presto! Where is the problem? The North and East are now Sinhalese! We are all one nation – the Sinhalese nation!’ Such thoughts are genocidal.

?: While you were a Supreme Court Judge, you never voiced for the Tamils but enjoyed the Southerners friendship. Today you are called the saviour of the Tamils. What was that Wigneswaran compared to this Wigneswaran?

A: I did mention the plight of the Tamils as soon as I ascended the Supreme Court in my acceptance speech. Wigneswaran has always been the same. He is on the side of truth and justice. But sometimes truth hurts. It hurts those who have wallowed in untruths and falsities for long. It hurts those who have an inflated notion about themselves. When those thus hurt venture to say that I have changed, it does not mean that I have changed. It simply means I am pursuing truth and justice just as then! I am still a simple ordinary man.

?: You visited Canada and the UK on invitations. Why does the Tamil Diaspora respect you more than other Tamil politicians?What is the reason?

A: Because I am not a politician, but a simple man pursuing politics!

?: Given a chance, will you contest again? If so, how is that possible?

A: I came into this much against my wish. For over six months I tried to ward off coming into politics. May be it was divine intervention. So, let Him decide what is best. I have no preferences in these matters. If God wills I must get back home, I shall do so. If He wills that I continue, I have no alternative, because it is His will that prevails.

?: Last week Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera said Sri Lanka will give priority to the Constitution drafting over accountability mechanisms and also hinted about getting 2/3 majority which is mandatory in a referendum. What do you gather from this statement?

A: I have not seen this statement. Hence I cannot respond.

?: Should the Tamils accept a solution without a North East merger in the new Constitution?

A: No. The merger is not a fantasy desire of ours. If merger does not take place now, within the next 10 years the North and East would be sending many Sinhalese Members of Parliament for the North and East with the Tamil speaking Members of Parliament and progressively only Sinhalese Members of Parliament would be elected. Meanwhile, may be more and more Tamils will be forced to join the Diaspora. We would refer to the North and East Tamils as a dying race like the Veddahs in 25 years’ time because our people would be slowly but steadily chased out from their places of residence like how the Tamils in the Provinces south of the Northern Province were progressively chased out after Independence by pogroms and riots. When I was young there was a sizeable number of Tamils in the Anuradhapura old town. They have all been chased out barring a handful. Hence, the recognition of the North and East as traditionally Tamil speaking areas is a must in the Constitution. This was recognized in the 13th Amendment as well as in the earlier abortive political agreements.

Already Sinhalese names are given to traditional Tamil villages in the North and East quoting fantasy histories about the North and East as having been the abode of the Sinhalese resident earlier and the Tamils during the time of the Cholas in the 10th century AD had captured those areas and chased the Sinhalese away.

I am happy that there are intellectuals like Prof. Sunil Ariyaratne who have identified the Demala Baudhayos (Tamil Buddhists) in the early period of the Christian Era. That is long before the Chola invasion. I find that there is a well-planned move by certain Sinhalese pseudo intellectuals to rewrite history to suit their whims and fancies.

?: The government hints that it will urge for an extension of time at the next UNHRC session. What is your take on this and how is the NPC gong to meet such new challenges at the upcoming events at the UNHRC?

A: The government is only interested in showing progress on paper, not in reality. There were 18 rounds of talks with the Tamils during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s time. Nothing has come out of it. Nothing will come out of such talks. The government, old or new, is only interested in showing progress on paper to convince the international community that further time should be given. The purpose of such postponements is to erase the memory of our problems from the international minds. Finally, they force the Tamils to compromise. If the present government had the heart to give our dues, they would have done so as soon as they were elected with our help. The international community should go deeper into the steps taken by the government after September 2015 and see whether any long lasting changes at the ground level has taken effect as far as the Tamil speaking people are concerned. We have not decided what to do during the UNHRC sessions.

?: You have called the Tamil speaking Muslims to join hands at the meeting held in the East. Is it a call so that the North and East could be merged?

A: Certainly. We need to have the North and East merged to avoid Sinhalization of the North and East. Today Sinhalization is taking place at a rapid rate.

You can contact the writer on [email protected]

http://www.ceylontoday.lk/article20170101CT20170331.php?id=4066

මහඇමති විග්නේශ්වරම්ගේ අභියෝගයට  සුරිය ගුනසේකරයන්ගෙන් පිළිතුරු.

Ceylon Today,

Colombo 07.

 

Dear Madam,

This refers to your interview with Mr. C. Viganaeshwaran published in Ceylon Today on 19th February 2017.

In the same he has mentioned, I am always available for talks. In fact I like to talk to the most diehard Sinhala chauvinists” Therefore I would like to have either face to face talks or written conversation on print media with Northern Council Chief Minister Mr.C .  Vignashwaran regarding his views expressed at the interview. Therefore, I hope you would make arrangement to have a suitable type of conversation with me in the form of private discussion or as a Chairman of a Registered Political party called Sinhaladipa Jathika Peramuna” 

  1. Infect I would like initially to focus our conversation on certain statements he has made at the interview and elaborate the matter further more.  His Statement I find that there is a well-planned move by certain Sinhalese pseudo intellectuals to rewrite history to suit their whims and fancies”, Should further be explained, what necessities should be fulfilled to write a countries history. 
  2. Occupation of North & East of Sri Lanka from pre Buddhist time by forefathers of Tamil people, was not taught either in school or in universities during our student days. There for we expect a briefing on that matter.
  3. There are two sets of boundaries to North & East provinces demarcated in 1833 and 1888. Which North and East boundary is claimed as the Tamil Home land?
  4. Leader of TNA and the Opposition leader of Government Mr. R. Sambanadan states that Tamil people occupied Jaffna since 1215 AD and he claims for a Tamil Kingdom of Jaffna From 13th Century to 17 Century. But Mr. Vigneshwaran being a member of the same political party and Chief Minister of Northern Provincial Councils Claims that Tamil people occupied North and East before 3rd Century BC. Accordingly two different type of statements made by two main leaders of the same party reveals that there is a controversy about the Tamil history. We need a proper explanation on this with relevant facts.
  5. Concept of Federalism is to bring together two or more separate states. What are those separate states within Sri Lanka to amalgamate into Federal States? Declaration of a separate Federal State in North & East of Sri Lanka, will be against the definition of Federalism, and it will only be divided Sri Lanka into two. We expect his explanation on this matter.
  6. What does he means by Signalization  ? and Who is an Ilangaiyist ?  

Since, Mr. Viganashawaran is very keen on having talks with diehard Sinhala chauvinist, and also as these controversies have done so much of damages to both communities for over 3 decades.  I would like to hold talks with him on a very professional manner in order to clear this conflict on mutual grounds theoretically, as the theory only leads into a physical devastation act. Therefore I hope you pay your early attention to this matter and will come back to me with favorable early response.  

Dr. Sooriya Gunasekara

Tel. 0718262917

මහඇමති විග්නේශ්වරම්ගේ  ප්රතිචාරය

Date 2017-03-23

Forefathers of Tamils of SL were original inhabitants of this Country

Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran responded to Dr. Sooriya Gunasekara, Chairman of a registered political party called “Sinhaladipa Jathika Peramuna” who called the CM for a debate, on his interview that appeared in Ceylon Today of 19 February.

Dr. Gunasekara, a retired civil servant, requested the CM to come for a debate on the topic, and the CM responded, “I am always available for talks. In fact I like to talk to the most diehard Sinhala chauvinists.”

Dr. Gunasekara sent a mail to the CM, through Ceylon Today Journalist Sulochana Ramiah Mohan stating that he would like to have, either face to face talks or a dialogue in the print media, with Chief Minister Wigneswaran, regarding the views expressed by the CM at the interview.

Chief Minister Wigneswarans note to Dr. Gunasekara:

I would like to hold talks with you on a very professional manner in order to clear this conflict on mutual grounds theoretically, as the theory only leads into a physical devastation act. Therefore, I hope you pay your early attention to this matter and will come back to me with favourable early response. I promise to respond to the questions. Allowing it to be a debate will be difficult for me to cope with. I have got together the ideas I wish to share with my Sinhalese brethren in this Q and A document for publication.

Questions posed by Dr Gunasekara and the CMs answers are given below:

Dr. Gunasekara: What proof is there for your statement that North and East of Sri Lanka have been occupied by the forefathers of the Tamils from pre Buddhistic times?

CM: You must pardon me for looking up my notes to answer your question. According to S.U. Deraniyagala (The Pre Historical Perspective – Department of Archaeological Survey- 1992 – page 61) Sri Lanka which had been part of the land mass of the Indian subcontinent became an island about 7,000 years ago when it physically separated from Southern India. On that basis the populations of South India and Sri Lanka were of the same ethnic stock prior to and after separation.

Studies on the early people of Sri Lanka have been carried out in the last fifty years. Some Western Universities, UNESCO, and certain universities of Sri Lanka and qualified archaeologists were engaged in this research. Their findings have provided us with reports, archaeological artefacts, stone inscriptions and evidence from ancient literature all of which contain significant information on the pre historic people of Sri Lanka.

The stone tools used during the Stone Age (Pre Historic Period) in the North, East and North West regions of Sri Lanka and those used in South India, particularly along the Thirunelveli coasts in Tamil Nadu, are almost identical. Thus it would be seen that the early people living in these two regions shared common cultural traits.

The dawn of the Iron Age, the next phase after Stone Age, occurred in South India and Sri Lanka about 3,000 years ago. The culture of urn burial in which the ashes of a person dead and cremated are placed in a large earthen urn along with the dead person’s favourite tools and buried in the earth was widely spread among the Iron Age people in South India and Sri Lanka. This culture began nearly 3,000 years ago and spread out until about 200 B.C. This culture was followed widely among people in South India and the Northern Region in Sri Lanka. The findings in the Mannar Region, Kantarodai and other areas in Jaffna Region, Puttalam and Pomparippu in the North West Region, Pooneryn and other areas in the Vanni Region have unearthed these cultural artefacts. (Vide Professor Indrapala – pages 91 to 111 – The Ethnic Identity – The Tamils in Sri Lanka, Circa 300 Before Christian Era to Circa 1200 Christian Era – MV Publications –The South Asian Studies Centre, Sydney, 2006)

Full details of the researches made in recent times have been given in the latest book brought out by Dr. Murugar Gunasingham under the heading Tamils in Sri Lanka – A Comprehensive History Circa 300 BC to Circa 2000 AD published by aforesaid MV Publications in Sydney in 2016.

It is significant to refer to the fact that many reports of excavations carried out recently are yet to be published. In fact when a seal inscribed with Brahmi letters was unearthed in the 1980s containing an ancient Dravidian word inscribed on it, the then Government of Sri Lanka refused permission to continue the excavation. Many inscriptions and historical data are mysteriously missing in recent times. Recently an earthen urn similar to what had been found in the North of Sri Lanka and in South India belonging to the relevant period was found in Hambantota District. One wonders what has happened to such important findings.

This is typical of conditions in Sri Lanka. There are certain pseudo intellectuals among us in Sri Lanka who would like to barter truth and cogent evidence for their fanciful ideas to distort history.

The Sangam Period Tamil Literature provides clear evidence that the Tamil Language developed into a classical language about 2,000 years ago. This language in use in South India at that time is said to have been in use at the same time in Sri Lanka too.

Certainly it could not have been the Sinhala language that existed at that time since the Sinhala language which emerged from Tamil Prakrit, Pali and Sanskrit gained currency only around the eighth century AD in the Anuradhapura kingdom and those speaking Sinhala acquired a distinct identity as Sinhalese people only then. The Sinhala language prior to its origin in Sri Lanka did not exist either in Sri Lanka or India or any other region.

It is evident from stone inscriptions of the Early Iron Age and references made in Prakrit and Pali literature that Tamil was the language used by the people of that time. (Vide
B. Krishnamurthi – Dravidian Languages – Cambridge University Press, 2003, Page 2).

It is interesting to note that King Dutugemunu could not have been a Sinhalese since the Sinhala language had not been born at the time he lived!

Professor Indrapala in his book The Evolution of an Ethnic Identity, earlier referred to (2005), at page 106 says that the old popular notion of our Island being settled by Aryan migrants during the Early Iron Age has no basis. The term Aryan and Dravidian cannot justifiably be used to describe any section of the Island’s population in the Early Iron Age or even later. The archaeological record does not offer evidence for any significant migration of people into the Island in this period. In other words the Mahawansa had been identified as a Chronological legend for the glorification of Buddhism and not a historical treatise as some people try to make out. It is significant to note that other eminent scholars such as Professor Lesley Gunawardene, the famous archaeologists P. Deraniyagala, Siran Deraniyagala and Sudharshan Seneviratne have made similar inferences in their studies with regard to migration of people into the Island during the relevant period.

Thus my statement that North and East of Sri Lanka have been occupied by the forefathers of the Tamils from pre Buddhistic times was not a racially biased statement. It is supported by latest researches and findings. I have no need to deviate from the beaten track traversed by eminent historians as well as their findings based on research.

I am quite aware what sort of reaction the above historical and archaeological data could bring among our diehard Sinhalese brethren. It is my humble submission that most of our political leaders and Sinhala elitists living in a world of make believe isolating themselves from reality must realize the harm done by pseudo intellectuals among us in the past when they portrayed a history of the Sinhalese which was not in consonance with archaeological research and findings. A matured appreciation of our past might pave the way for greater understanding between the major communities in this Island.

Dr. Gunasekara: What are the boundaries of the North and East claimed as Tamil Homelands?

CM: Many Agreements have been entered into between leaders of the Tamil and Sinhalese communities since Independence.

Many clever manoeuvrings have been undertaken by successive Governments to bring traditional Tamil areas like ManalAru and Kantalai, under other provincial boundaries to colonize them with persons from outside the Tamil speaking Provinces. Some villages to the South of Amparai District were annexed and co-opted into the Moneragala District. In recent times colonization with the help of the military is going on at a rapid rate. The idea seems to be to distort the demography of the areas traditionally Tamil speaking by disturbing the contiguity of the North and East by colonization. Actually there is no need for the military to be in the North and East after eight years since the end of the War. The reason for continuing to keep them in such large numbers occupying extensive tracts of lands seems to be connected to hidden agendas unrelated to security.

Under the circumstances boundaries if referred to would only be relevant theoretically. We must not forget that Tamil speaking people lived until recent times up to Negombo along the western coastal areas but many have now preferred to call themselves Sinhalese. Their Christian or Portuguese names have helped them to undergo transformation without much difficulty. Their Tamil Deeds of title to land up to the early twentieth century will speak volumes regarding their past before transformation. If they were Sinhalese the Deeds need not have been in Tamil.

Thus boundaries to the North and East must be subject of discussion after proper study and understanding.

Dr. Gunasekara: A statement made by TNA MP R. Sampanthan that Tamil people occupied Jaffna since 1215 AD and his claims for a Tamil Kingdom of Jaffna from 13th Century to 17th Century. But you being a member of the same political party and Chief Minister of Northern Provincial Council claim that Tamil people occupied North and East before 3rd Century BC. Accordingly two different types of statements made by two main leaders of the same party reveals, that there is a controversy about Tamil history. Would you comment?

CM: There is no controversy or contradiction. I have made a general statement based on archaeological and historical research and findings. I do not know what Sampanthan said and where he has said so. But it appears he has referred to specifics while I referred to the general. To refer to the existence of the Kingdom of Jaffna in 1215 AD is specific and refers to a particular historical event. My reference is to the general history. There is no contradiction. One complements the other.

Dr. Gunasekara: The next question refers to Federalism. To ask for Federal Units amounts to separation seems to be the comment.

CM: The request for Federalism is based on the existing ground situation. We are not asking the Government to carve out a new State. There are existing characteristics on ground, which ideally suit the recognition of Federal Units. A series of aborted Agreements between the Government and the Tamils have recognized the existence of Tamil speaking areas on ground. The Federal Unit under a Federal Constitution would only confirm and conform to the understanding the parties to such Agreements possessed so far.

Federalism has been given a false and distorted interpretation by the leaders of this country since Independence. Let us not forget even though the late S.W.RD. Bandaranaike was the first to moot the idea of a Federal State in 1926 on his return from Oxford it was the Kandyans who moved officially for a Federal Unit for the Kandyans circa 1944 to preserve the individuality of the Kandyans. They referred to inter alia specific areas occupied by them, special customs and way of life that characterized their individuality and special Laws. Somehow we have lost sight of such matters after independence. I sometimes wonder whether Mr. Bandaranaike, a Low Country Sinhalese from Veyangoda, marrying Sirimavo, an Up Country Sinhalese from Balangoda, had something to do with Federalism losing favour among the Sinhalese!

We must remember Federalism helps different people with divergent views and ways of life to come together. It was the stupidity of our political leaders to attempt to impose their way of life on all other communities in this country which has led to the impasse we have been facing so far. In fact one of our leaders of the past had been referred to as the leader of the majority community with a minority complex. We find the tendency to dominate politically still persists among our leaders. Federalism could ease the situation.

Dr. Gunasekara: Another question refers to words used by you in your interview on the 23rd of February. What is Ilangayist vis-a-vis Eelamist? And what does Sinhalisation connote?

CM: Though in fact Eelamist means Ilangayist, we have narrowed down Eelamist to mean Tamil Eelamist. In other words though Eelam meant Ceylon and referred to the whole Island the war was for only Tamil Eelam. So when I referred to Ilangayist I referred to the Island as a whole not to Tamil Eelam.

Sinhalisation is a word used by me to connote attempts by successive majority based Central Governments to go against the accepted norms of colonization. When you colonize jungle areas or abandoned areas, the rules are that the people of that area must be given first preference. If there are no such persons interested then persons from the same District and thereafter the same Province must be given preference. If they too are not interested, people from the same community who inhabit the surrounding colonization areas hailing from other Districts or Provinces must be given preference.

In Sri Lanka that was not followed. An opportunity for locals was not given. In areas which should have been colonized by Tamils from the same Region, District, and Province or from the entire Island, straightaway Sinhalese from other areas were brought and colonized. In the early days it was IRCs (Island’s Reconvicted Criminals) who were brought in. I have had opportunities of meeting these Colonists around 1970s when they were forcibly brought down to live in areas around Trincomalee. Many Sinhala villages now dotting the Trincomalee District were not there before 1970. Forcibly Sinhalese were brought in from outside the District and helped by the State to colonize the areas around Trincomalee District. I say ‘forcibly’ because I remember speaking to some of these Colonists who took me for a Sinhalese official from Colombo. They complained that the Government had brought them into that God forsaken place and forcibly left them there to fend for themselves. They had no water, no proper shelter nor money. They wanted me to speak to the Government and get them some benefits!

So what I meant by Sinhalisation was forcible tampering with the demography of an area with ulterior motives to transform non Sinhala areas into Sinhala areas. In this respect, our successive Governments had been following the Zionist colonization methods adopted in Palestinian areas. The continuation of occupation by a large contingent of Sinhala soldiers in traditionally Tamil speaking areas is part of this process of Sinhalisation.

 2017-03-24 දින පළවූ ලිපියේ ඉතිරිය

The following response was sent by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran to Dr. Sooriya Gunasekara, Chairman of a Registered Political party called ‘Sinhaladipa Jathika Peramuna’ who called the CM for a debate on the issues discussed in his interview, which was published on 19 February 2017 in Ceylon Today.

Dr. Gunasekara, who is a retired civil servant, requested the CM to come for a debate on the topic where the CM mentioned, “I am always available for talks. In fact, I like to talk to the most diehard Sinhala chauvinists.”

Dr. Gunasekara sent a mail to the CM through Ceylon Today Journalist Sulochana Ramiah Mohan stating that he would like to have either face to face talks or written conversation on print media with Wigneswaran regarding his views expressed in the interview. “We would like to keep this interview as a clarification by you of the various questions that Sinhalese intellectuals and others pose regarding Tamils rather than a debate between individuals.”

Below are the questions thrown at Wigneswaran by Dr. Gunasekara

Dr. Gunasekara: How could the CM speak of traditional areas and merger of North and East when most Tamils live outside the North East and they occupy Sinhala areas?

CM: Firstly, the question of occupation of Sinhala areas by Tamils. Tamils in large numbers do live in Greater Colombo area. But, Colombo is not a Sinhala area. It is the capital of the Island. From British times and may be Dutch times too, lots of communities have resided in Colombo. Inter alia apart from Sinhalese, Tamils from North, East and Upcountry, Indians, Muslims, Dutch Burghers, Malays, Borahs, Chinese, Africans and Europeans have all resided in Colombo at some time or other. None of them were forcibly brought by the government and made to colonize Colombo. Since the business capital was Colombo, since a number of good schools were in Colombo, since sports and recreation and entertainment facilities were available in Colombo, since Departmental Head Offices were in Colombo and for various other reasons many communities settled down in Colombo. They bought lands with their own money and settled down.

Many Tamils had Hobson’s choice in selecting Colombo to live in recent times. Successive governments were making it difficult for the Tamils to live in their own areas. When the Tamils asked for their legitimate rights our successive governments refused to grant them or cheated them after promising to grant them. They thus forced the youth to take up arms. Their violence was equated to violence found elsewhere in the world and all were called terrorists. My friend the late Desmond Fernando, PC once said, “One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist”. Thus conditions in the North and East made many Tamils to take up residence in Colombo or leave the shores of the Island. But, they were not provided lands or houses free by the government. In fact, when I was quite young, before we obtained Independence from the British in 1948, I had resided in Kurunegala and Anuradhapura before coming to Colombo. The old Town at Anuradhapura had a sizable Tamil population. A Tamil was Chairman of the Local Authority for over 17 years. The Tamils used to be resident then in all parts of the Island from North to South. Tamils owned vast acreages of paddy land in Tissamaharama to my knowledge. Still Trust lands belonging to Hindu Organizations exist in Galle and Matara. But, they had been forcibly taken over during the riots in 1958 and 1983 among other pogroms. The point I am making is that the Tamils were chased out from the Sinhalese areas systematically during the period after Independence especially after the Sinhala Only Act was brought in. They were sent in the aftermath of the respective riots initially by the different governments only to the North and East thus recognizing that they belong to the North and East. As I said earlier all Agreements entered into by different governments with the Tamil leaders recognized the North and East as the traditional homelands of the Sri Lankan Tamil speaking people. Even the 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement recognized this as a fact. After chasing out the Tamils from mainly Sinhala areas to their traditional homelands now to allege that the Tamils have no claim even to their traditional homelands borders on sadism to say the least.

So my answer to the said observation is that the Tamils no more occupy in large numbers, areas characterized as Sinhala areas. They had been chased out from there very systematically. Colombo is the Metropolis. It is not a ‘Sinhala Area’. Tamils living outside their traditional homelands could not be precluded from claiming their legitimate rights in terms of International Covenants and Law.

The next part of the question is about the merger of the North and East. The claim for merger has become more urgent today than ever before. The need for merger is intimately connected to the genocidal activities of the successive governments of the past. When it is quite patent that successive majority community governments have been hitherto only interested in protecting the majority community at all costs the need for the Tamil speaking people to consolidate their position in the country of their birth at all costs becomes even more urgent.

When I say genocidal activities of successive governments I speak the truth. The chasing out of the Tamils systematically from areas outside North and East through riots and pogroms, the patent lethargy and indifference shown by successive governments in bringing to book those who harassed, killed and maimed apart from looting and burning the residences of the Tamil people which in turn developed a culture of impunity among criminals among the majority community, the attempt even now to avoid punishment of those who indulged in criminal activities against the Tamils particularly the brutal war criminals and for political reasons trying to hobnob with criminal elements to paint such criminals and wrongdoers as patriotic personalities all contribute to the genocidal instincts of those in authority so far.

If only the wrongdoers at Inginiyagala on or about 5 June 1956 were brought to book immediately and steps taken to show that the government does not tolerate any criminal activities against any person whomsoever the path of our post Independence history would have been different. There is thus a necessity to protect our people from the thuggery and brutality of violent elements within our majority community.

Added to what took place in the past, certain violent and brutal activities have still continued under this Good Governance Government.

There is thus an urgent need to put a stop to the surreptitious colonization presently taking place both in the North and the East with the active help of the military.

Already the East which did not have a sizable Sinhala population at the time of Independence has swelled to nearly one third its population becoming Sinhalese. Those who ask “If you can be in Colombo why cannot we be in the East?” the answer is simple. It is after chasing out the Tamils from all the other areas outside the North and East this question is posed. As I said earlier the Tamils used to live throughout the Island during the time of Independence. They were forcibly evicted to take refuge in the North and East. Now the argument is trotted out “What’s wrong?” regarding the North and East. The whole episode savours of genocide.

That is what is wrong. Without acceding to the legitimate rights of the Tamil speaking people, to swell the ranks of the Sinhalese Buddhists in the North and East through dubious governmental methods only means that there is a planned displacement of the indigenous people with the idea of making the whole Island Sinhala Buddhist. With that idea in view, in recent times forcible colonization of the Northern Province is taking place with the active help of the military. The refusal to demilitarize has nothing to do with security. It has everything to do with this process of evicting the Tamil speaking people from the North and East and replacing them with the Sinhalese, especially the Buddhists.

That is why the preservation of the Tamil speaking areas of the North and East has become very urgent in recent times. The merger will give a chance for the Tamil speaking people to consolidate their position and fight the might of the Central Governments determined to change the demography of the North and East. The Muslims must join the Tamils in this venture in return for the creation of a Muslim dominated sub division of the Tamil speaking North and East to look after their interests.

Dr. Gunasekara: One final question; it is nothing to do with your interview to Ceylon Today. This concerns our former President.

He has picked holes on the efforts of the government to meet some of the demands of the Tamils. Any efforts on the part of the present government to grant concessions to the Tamils would end up firstly in punishing the armed forces for winning the war, secondly, devolving more and more power to the provinces until the central government ceases to be relevant, thirdly, destroying the ability of the Sri Lankan State to respond adequately to a breakdown in law and order, fourthly, demoralizing and breaking the will of the majority of the population and the armed forces and fifthly, creating a favourable space for separatism.

What we will be left with, will be a fragmented Sri Lanka made up of nine federal states with a very weak central government which is legally prevented from responding effectively to situations of internal disorder. From that point, it will be just one step towards a separate state. What are your observations?

CM – Firstly, I must point out that history is repeating itself. When Madame Chandrika brought out a document to solve the problems of the Tamils around the year 2000 I believe, the UNP burnt copies of the document in Parliament. Finally, no solution was found. That is how it is. The government and opposition seasonally trade on the plight of the Tamils. Meanwhile, both are surreptitiously undermining the existence and continuation of the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Secondly, the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa like any other Sinhalese politician is pandering to the baser instincts of the Sinhalese people to obtain their votes. He is this time cautioning the Sinhalese against giving any rights to the Tamils.

Whether this Good Governance Government or any other Central Government would grant any worthwhile rights to the Tamils is another question. The chances are they would not. All of them lack statesmanship and the will to give up part of their powers.

But, nevertheless, let me comment on the views of the former President.

Whoever asked the government to punish the Armed Forces for winning the War? That is a complete distortion of facts. The whole world is asking the government to identify the criminals among the Armed Forces and deal with them in terms of the Law.

By trying to support such criminals Hon Mahinda Rajapaksa might open himself to a charge of trying to protect criminals and preventing Law taking its normal course.

Secondly, I wish to ask the former President – has devolution of more and more power to the periphery in other countries made their Central Governments cease to be relevant? Have the Central Governments of Canada, Switzerland and Belgium among others become irrelevant due to power sharing? Mr. Rajapaksa might be insulting those countries by his stupid statement.

Thirdly, would power sharing destroy the ability of the Sri Lankan State to respond adequately to a breakdown in Law and Order?

Has that been the experience in India? With so many States and so much of diverse population, has India lost its ability to deal with breakdown in Law and Order in any part of India? Mr. Rajapaksa should realize more often the obligation to deal with local breakdown of Law and Order is with the State (Provincial) Government. The Centre would be called upon to deal with a situation only if the Province cannot cope. Why would the Central lose its ability just because certain rights are vested with the periphery?

His statement lacks substance and rationale.

Fourthly, he has said that power sharing would demoralize and break the will of the majority of the population and the armed forces.

Mr. Rajapaksa has let the cat out of the bag! He in effect says that it was the majoritarian hegemonic attitude of the successive governments in Sri Lanka that have kept the enthusiasm of the majority and its armed forces so far. Drop such hegemonic attitude and we would be lost, he in effect says! What he proposes is a continuance of discriminatory and even brutal and inhuman attitude towards the minority to ensure majoritarian hegemony and happiness. Hon Rajapaksa should realize that the International Community is trying to tell Sri Lanka that its majoritarian stance so far has been the cause for the impasse in Sri Lanka and sooner such attitudes are discarded the better for this country. To continue in the same strain might bring in votes for some time but people would soon realize the folly of it and they would chase out such personalities pursuing puerile political gimmicks and bring in more matured and responsible persons in to govern. Hon Mr. Rajapaksa must not forget the lesson he learnt on
8 January 2015.

Mr. Rajapaksa’s fifth and final observation that power sharing would create a favourable space for separatism is not borne out by the experiences of other countries. His statement in effect says keep your wife happy and she will want to file a divorce case!
He has also said that what we would be left after power sharing will be a fragmented Sri Lanka made up of nine federal states with a very weak Central Government, which would be legally prevented from responding effectively to situations of internal disorder. From that point, it will be just one step towards a separate State.

Is his statement true? We have large Companies functioning in Sri Lanka. Often they grant internal self governance to their peripheral units. Except for certain matters almost all decisions at the periphery are taken internally without harassing the Head Office. Who would say by such activities the Central Head Office of these Companies often become weak? On the contrary, they become stronger by devolving powers to the periphery.

We must appreciate Mr. Rajapaksa for envisaging nine federal units for Sri Lanka. Not so long ago when there was unanimous opposition to the Central Government’s draft Bill on Development from the Provincial Heads I had remarked that the North is no more alone. Our brethren from all other Provinces now realize the need for devolution, I said. Nine federal units conforming more or less to the existing Provincial boundaries with the option given to two or more Provinces to merge would be an ideal basis to solve our problems, I said. With certain reservations with regard to the existing Provincial boundaries this is an idea that may be examined positively.

Mr. Rajapaksa when he refers to the inability of the Centre to deal with internal disorder if powers are shared with the periphery, what he forgets is thatthe chances for such internal disorder that he envisions would hardly ever arise. It is the centralized hegemonic majoritarian rule by a coterie in Colombo so far that has given rise to heartaches and discontent at the periphery.

When power is shared with the periphery why would the periphery want to secede? Quebec did not want to in Canada. Scotland did not want to in Great Britain.

There is an important matter that needs to be realized by Mr. Rajapaksa and others of his ilk. The ‘Tamils may secede’ has been a hidden fear among Sinhalese politicians for a long time. The path they chose to prevent secession was the path of discrimination and violence. Once the Sinhalese come to realize that the forefathers of certain Tamils of Sri Lanka had been the original inhabitants of this country long before the Sinhala language was born, they would then shed their wrong perception that Sri Lanka belongs to Sinhala Buddhists and so on. Once the Sinhalese and Tamils and other groups of citizens begin to look upon the entire country as their own, the need to secede would disappear.

Therefore, the statement by the former President lacks substance, cogency and validity. He is talking like any other street politician to pander to the baser instincts of the Sinhalese. I am sure the Sinhalese have learnt sufficiently in recent times to take him seriously.

http://www.ceylontoday.lk/print20170101CT20170331.php?id=17714

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සටහන :-

  • උපුටාගැනීම් සුර්යවංශය යලි ගොඩනැගීමේ පදනමෙන්  සහ සෙලෝන් ටුඩේ පුවත්පතින්.සංවාදය දිගටම පැවත්ව්ව්මට නියමිත බව සලකන්න.
  • මෙයත් කියවන්න GTF is working on a 4-pilar strategy

7 Responses to “මහ ඇමති විග්නේශ්වරන් සහ ආචාර්ය සුර්ය ගුනසේකරයන් අතර “සිලෝන් ටුඩේ” පුවත්පතේ පලවන සංවාදය”

  1. Christie Says:

    “Sinhala chauvinists”. Chauvinists the word to describe all natives of Indian colonies first appeared in Socialists Media in the West. A Sinhalese, a Fijian, a Zulu or a Malay was awarded the description.

    Wigneswaran is another Indian Colonial Parasite like Indian Colonial Parasites in Fiji, Mauritius, Guyana, South Africa or Malaysia etc.

  2. Hiranthe Says:

    “We are stating the problems faced by a group of people whose mother tongue is Tamil and many of whose forefathers occupied the North and East of Sri Lanka from pre-Buddhistic times.”

    Wow!! This is news to us Wiggie. I can see your argument. In other words, the homeland of Tamils was North & East of Sri Lanka in historic times… What was the name of this place during that pre-Buddhistic period?? Were the poor natives got chased away from this Island by the Buddhist Chauvinists then??!!!

    That means the Tamils in Tamilnadu were migrants from these people. Or.. in other words, refugees from this Island’s North & East. That means they lost their motherland and went across to Endia and settled.
    Nice theory. You should be given the Nobel prize for new inventions.. Now everyone will play back movies from end to beginning and see a different story. Everyone will read novels from end to the beginning..
    And also we should stand from head and try to walk. All upside down.

    What a clever invention!!

    But if the Nobel prize council did not pick you, you should check your matter in that old shell above your body Viggie. Or else go to the village Auto Electrician and get the wiring changed from + to – . your poles were wrongly connected.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Viggie is TWISTING history like his masters in the LTTE.

    The BIGGEST time bomb MR left is Viggie.

  4. plumblossom Says:

    it is quite amazing how this Vigneshwaran totally fabricates the history and archaeology of this island. I would like to ask this Vigneshwaran, please tell us who built the Yoda wewa? It was King Mahasen, I think. Who built the Kanthale wewa? It was King Agbo II. All the ancient irrigation reservoirs in the North were built by the Sinhala Kings. The North was a part of the Kingdom of Rajarata while the East was a part of the Kingdom of Ruhuna. Vigneshwaran. please tell us who built Kandarodai near Jaffna and the many ancient Buddhist artefacts found all over the North and even more in the East?

    For Vigneshwaran’s information, almost all the ancient writing found on the island is Sinhala Prakrit, first written using the Brahmi script and then using the Sinhala script. There are no Tamil writings found on the island until quite recently, possibly only a few centuries ago only. If there are no ancient Tamil writings, if there are no ancient ruins of cities, how can you claim a homeland?

    Vigneshwaran, please also go visit the Colombo museum and see how many ancient Buddha statues have been found in Jaffna alone let alone the North. Even the Jaffna museum has many ancient Buddhist statues found in Jaffna.

    Also, how is it that even the ancient South Indian Tamil Kingdoms etc. referred to Sri Lanka as the ‘Sinhala Kingdom’ in their ancient scripts? Even the Greeks, Romans, Persians, Arabs, Chinese, Indians, Thais, Myanmarese, Laotians etc. all referred to this island as Sinhaladeepa in their ancient scripts? Are they all wrong then?

    The ancient Sinhala Kings built an extensive irrigation system comprising over 10,000-15,000 small, medium and large irrigations tanks, canals, anicuts etc. in the dry zone of the country. Mannar was the ancient port used by the Kingdom of Rajarata. There is so much archaeological evidence regarding this.

    This Vigneshwaran should be reported for totally falsifying history and challenged by real historians and archaeologists sooner rather than later. He is insulting the ancient Sinhala Buddhist civilization of this island which all Sri Lankans whatever their ethnicity can be proud of.

    Vigneshwaran, for your information, the present Sri Lankan Tamils in the North do not have a history going back beyond the Arya Chakravarthi invasions which happened just prior to the arrival of the Portuguese. Even then, only the Jaffna Peninsula was forcefully invaded by Aryachakravarthi. It is subsequent illegal immigration and the Dutch and the British bringing in Malabars from India who then became the Sri Lankan Tamils, and even then mainly confined to the Jaffna Peninsula.

    Even during the census in the early 1900s Sri Lankan Tamils were referred to as Malabars, meaning those from the Malabar coast of India. I would urge Vigneshwaran to please accept that you are a descendent of immigrants and please respect the ancient Sinhala Buddhist civilization of this island which everyone, all Sri Lankans whatever their ethnicity, can and should be proud of.

  5. plumblossom Says:

    It is quite amazing how this Vigneshwaran totally fabricates the history and archaeology of this island. I would like to ask this Vigneshwaran, please tell us who built the Yoda wewa? It was King Mahasen, I think. Who built the Kanthale wewa? It was King Agbo II. All the ancient irrigation reservoirs in the North were built by the Sinhala Kings. The North was a part of the Kingdom of Rajarata while the East was a part of the Kingdom of Ruhuna. Vigneshwaran. please tell us who built Kandarodai near Jaffna and the many ancient Buddhist artefacts found all over the North and even more in the East?

    For Vigneshwaran’s information, almost all the ancient writing found on the island is Sinhala Prakrit, first written using the Brahmi script and then using the Sinhala script. There are no Tamil writings found on the island until quite recently, possibly only a few centuries ago only. If there are no ancient Tamil writings, if there are no ancient ruins of cities, how can you claim a homeland?

    Vigneshwaran, please also go visit the Colombo museum and see how many ancient Buddha statues have been found in Jaffna alone let alone the North. Even the Jaffna museum has many ancient Buddhist statues found in Jaffna.

    Also, how is it that even the ancient South Indian Tamil Kingdoms etc. referred to Sri Lanka as the ‘Sinhala Kingdom’ in their ancient scripts? Even the Greeks, Romans, Persians, Arabs, Chinese, Indians, Thais, Myanmarese, Laotians etc. all referred to this island as Sinhaladeepa in their ancient scripts? Are they all wrong then?

    The ancient Sinhala Kings built an extensive irrigation system comprising over 10,000-15,000 small, medium and large irrigations tanks, canals, anicuts etc. in the dry zone of the country. Mannar was the ancient port used by the Kingdom of Rajarata. There is so much archaeological evidence regarding this.

    This Vigneshwaran should be reported for totally falsifying history and challenged by real historians and archaeologists sooner rather than later. He is insulting the ancient Sinhala Buddhist civilization of this island which all Sri Lankans whatever their ethnicity can be proud of.

    Vigneshwaran, for your information, the present Sri Lankan Tamils in the North do not have a history going back beyond the Arya Chakravarthi invasions which happened just prior to the arrival of the Portuguese. Even then, only the Jaffna Peninsula was forcefully invaded by Aryachakravarthi. It is subsequent illegal immigration and the Dutch and the British bringing in Malabars from India who then became the Sri Lankan Tamils, and even then mainly confined to the Jaffna Peninsula.

    Even during the census in the early 1900s Sri Lankan Tamils were referred to as Malabars, meaning those from the Malabar coast of India. I would urge Vigneshwaran to please accept that you are a descendent of immigrants and please respect the ancient Sinhala Buddhist civilization of this island which everyone, all Sri Lankans whatever their ethnicity, can and should be proud of.

  6. Senevirath Says:

    ඉදිරි සංවාද ලිපිත් ලන්කාවෙබ් එකේ පල කරන්න .මුළු මහත් සිංහල ජනතාවම මේ දෙමල තර්ජනය දන ගත යුතුය් .ඒ සඳහා මේ ලිපි සිංහලට පරිවර්තනය කිරීමට කටයුතු කරන්න හැකිනම්. 74%න් ඉංග්‍රීසි කියවන අ ය ඉන්නේ කීදෙනාද.සිංහල පාඨකයන් තමය් මේ අනතුර දන ගත් විටඅවදිවෙන්නේ ඒ අවදිවීම තමය අද අවශ්ශ්‍යමවන්නේ ..මහින්ද ප්‍රභා මැරුවත් ඊටත් වඩා භයානක එකෙක් නායකයෙක් කළා. ආයෙත් මෙහෙම මෝඩකම් නොකරන්න මහින්දටත් මේවා පාඩම්

  7. Ananda-USA Says:

    Senevirath,

    Mahinda did not make Wigneswaran Chief Minister of the NPC.

    MR just permitted local govt elections in the NPC. All Tamil parties got together and supported Wigneswaran to become the CM. Once he was elected by the people of the NPC, MR had no recourse to swearing him in.

    The fault lay with JRJ who allowed the Constitution to be amended under duress to include the 13A.

    At MOST, we can bkxme MR for NOT REPEALING the 13A when he had defeated the LTTE, and had the Parliamentary majority to get it done.

    But, MR could not do it then, because to prevent the intervention of India and the West in the war, he promised to implement 13A! Had he said he was going to REPEAL the 13A, he may not have gotten the freedom to defeat the LTTE completely. As we know, it was touch and go with the whole crew of Milliband, Kouchner, Bank Ki Moon, and Blake were frantically trying to stop the offensive snd rescue VP, until the last day when VP and his entire LTTE leadership were wiped out.

    EVERYBODY is a PUNDIT NOW pontificating how MR could have done better, after the war was won conclusively in a way that makes the Pentagon foild in their own futile wars in the Middle East drool and salivate, but NO ONE KNEW HOW TO DO IT before MR!

    We rose from the ashes because of MR and his TEAM, but failed to give him the TIME to complete his plan, to rebuild the war zones, placate the ordinary war-weary Tamils, strengthen Sri Lanka’s economy and establish strong alliances with China and other countries so as to be able to resist the pressure that would inevitably follow on the heels of his REPEALING the 13A and creating a National Government without ANY internal sub-national local governments.

    We, the Sinhala Modayas, who helped to OUST the MR/UPFA GOSL should BLAME OURSELVES with arm-chair quarterbacking the DECISIONS of the ONE MAN who ACCOMPLISHED what all his predecessors and detractors could not!

    Even now, it is to MR and his TEAM that the Nation is looking to be RESCUED from the PARA-GATHI Yamapalanaya that is rapidly mis-governing our dear Motherland into a SINKHOLE!

    My FERVENT PLEA to our Sinhala Buddhist people is: PLEASE DON’T BE MODAYAS. Do not work against your own interests listening to the “divide & rule” siren songs of the Yamapalanaya activists and their foreign masters!

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