The need to end the tyranny of antics of minority politics in Sri Lanka -Part 1
Posted on December 23rd, 2018

Dr Sudath Gunasekara

20. 12.2018

Minorities in Sri Lanka

Demographically there are two groups of major minorities, as they are called, in this country at present, though we never had any before 1815 or even up to 1948,when the concept of minority was created by the British and entered it in the Soulbury Constitution, we had only one nation that was the Sinhala nation, who found  the civilization of this Island nation and ruled the land of the Sinhala people 2500 years at least from 543 BC.

They are Tamils and Muslims. Tamils are again divided in to 4 groups and in order of numbers they are a) Lankan Tamils mainly living in the North and East, comprising those who had been there  from mid-13th century and those who were brought by the Dutch and British to work on their projects and tobacco  farms after 1667, b) Estate Tamils, those who were brought to this country from South India in the late 19th century and early 20th  century by British as indentured labour  to work on their coffee and Tea plantations and left behind as stateless when they left in 1948: c) those who have come later from South India on temporary visa and living in  Colombo and suburbs and urban settlements like Kandy and Matale and finally d)  those illicit immigrant Tamils who have migrated from South India from time to time on their own or brought by Tamils living in the country, to increase their numbers.

Muslims on the other hand are of two major types. The fist category is those who have come from South India with their wives for trade. They are Tamils by ethnicity and  Muslim by religion. The other category are those who have come from the Arab world in middle ages  from the Middle  East on trade and settled down mainly in the South West littorals and subsequently  migrated to the Kandyan Kingdom in 1560s to escape from  Portuguese atrocities and found new settlements in the South East  littorals of Lanka and other parts of the interior under the protection of the King of Kandy as refugees.

In addition, there are few other minor minority groups like Burghers  who descend from European colonial invaders and smaller groups like Malays and Gypsies who do not create any problems like the Tamils and Muslims.

Ethnic Tamils and Muslims minorities are the subjects that come under discussion in this essay as the subject matter  of tyranny of  minority politics in Sri Lanka

The origin of tyranny and antics of minority politics, in modern Sri Lanka could be traced back to the divide and rule policies of the British colonial rulers in early 19th century. They were craftily and viciously designed by the British Colonial looters to divide and rule this country and eradicate the Sinhala Buddhist imprint on this Island nation. Subsequently these antics were subvertly carried on by Tamil and Muslim, has come to stay as the biggest stumbling-block for political stability, economic, social advancement and nation building in this country.  The second  reason is the absence of patriotic national leaders of standing who have a broad  understanding of the country’s history, its latent potentials,  love for the people and the motherland, and who lack a far-reaching vision of nation building and also don’t have  a back borne  and the courage  to call the spade a spade  and who lack dedication and selfless commitment to steer this country  to progress and development.

Historical background of anti- Sinhala, anti-Buddhist  ethnically generated politics in Sri Lanka

The history of minority being used as a leverage to suppress the native majority Sinhala people in Sri Lankan politics goes far back to the earliest days of British rule in this country. It started first with engaging crafty Muslims by the British in the 1817-1818 Uva Wellassa first freedom struggle by the Sinhalese against British colonial suppression and oppression where they were used as decoyers and transport agents to take British merchandise from the ports to the interior of the country. The appointment of Hajji Muhamdiram a local Muslim man to a high post in Wellassa was the first incident noted on record. Similarly, during the 1848 Matale uprising Governor Torrington used Indian Tamils to fight against the local Sinhalese. Torrington writing a letter to the Colonial Secretary in 1847 requested permission to import more South Indian Tamils, first to fight against the Sinhalese and then to settle them all over the central hill country to displace the native Sinhalese in future as a long-term strategy to wipe out the Sinhala nation and the Buddhist culture from this country. This was followed  by importing millions of South Indian indented labours to work on the Coffee and later tea plantations in the Central hill country. This influx of Indian labour radically changed the demography of central Sri Lanka by adding over 1.2 million Indian Tamils  between then and the next 60 years.

Direct communal intrusion through divisive politics however first began with the formation of the Legislative Council in 1910 by giving undue recognition to Tamil minorities ignoring the majority native Sinhalese who constituted nearly 90 % of the total population in the Island at that time. They  appointed Ponnambalan Ramamnadanelected (1911–21)  as the first elected Ceylonese representative under the educated Ceylonese label to the Legislative Council in 1911. This appointment on the part of the British Government clearly shows the carefully designed conspiracy,  and the discrimination the British hatched against the Sinhala Buddhists in this country right from the beginning. This also proves  the concentrated effort by the British to elevate the minority Tamils above the Sinhalese Majority.

This discriminatory trend is further proved by the following sequence of appointments made to the Legislative Council  over a prolonged period of 22 years until the State Council was formed in 1931.Part 11

Under  the  first Manning Report in 1920 out of the 4 members appointed by the Governor 2 were sihalese,1 Muslim and 1 Indian Tamil. The latter M&T Indian representation were made for the first time. Under the Second Manning Reforms of 1923 of the Legislative Council was increased  from 37 to 49, of which 12 were official and 37 were unofficial. Of the non-official members, eight were appointed by the governor (three Muslim, two Indian Tamils and three others) and the remaining 29 were elected (23 on a territorial basis, three Europeans, two Burghers, one Ceylon Tamil for the Western Province). The 23 territorial constituencies were distributed as follows:

Central Province 2

Eastern Province 2

Northern Province 5

North Central Province 1

North Western Province 2

Sabaragamuwa Province 2

Southern Province 3

Uva Province 1

Western Province 5

Note here that the Western Province that had a very much higher population and Northern Province were given equal  status which also shows the prominence the British gave to Tamils.

The Donoughmore Commission recommendations replaced the Legislative Council with the State Council of Ceylon in 1931.It was responsible for the creation of the Donoughmore Constitution in effect between 1931–47. In 1931 there were approximately 12% Ceylonese Tamils, 12% Indian Tamils (migrant and immigrant workers employed in the Tea plantations established in the late 19th century), 65% Sinhalese, 3% Ceylon Moors. The British government had introduced a form of communal representation with a strong Tamil representation, out of proportion to the population of the Tamil community. The Sinhalese had been divided into up-country and low-country Sinhalese.

The State Council gave universal adult franchise to the people of the colony for the first time in 1931.

There were only two State Councils: The First, elected in 1931, and the Second, elected in 1936. The 1947 Soulbury Constitution replaced the State Council with the Parliament of Ceylon, as part of a process of constitutional development leading up to independence, which took place on 4 February 1948.  Although communal representation under the new system was reduced vestiges of  representation in the legislature by communities remained, as I.D.S.Werawardhana has pointed out.

The imprisonment of all Sinhala leaders  during the Sinhahala-Musslim conflict in 1915 was also nether calculated conspiracy by the British against the native Sinhalese.

1948 fake Independence

Next the so-called Independence Act of 1948 and the  Soulbery Constitution meticulously couched in legal jargon, was the last trap of colonial divide and rule policy imposed on this nation by the British colonial looters. It first imposed long lasting limitations on the power of the native majority Sinhalese to make legislations and assert as aa fully independent nation by keeping the dominion under the British Commonwealth of ‘British nations’ under imposed a more dangerous barrier against sovereignty of the majority Sinhalese under the guise of protections for the minorities under sect 29 (2). This section prohibited legislation in violation of Sec 29 (2) without a 2/3 rd. majority in Parliament. What is more significant was it was the first time in the history of this country’s 2500-year-old history a subject called minority rights was recognized and entered in to the Law book by the British manipulators. This provision in the Constitution set a  permanent limitation, perhaps the most dangerous for the Sinhala majority to make laws for the governance of the country as a fully independent sovereign State.

It is a pity and a tragedy too that the leaders who blindly brazed this so-called independence in 1948 never realized that this provision killed the  spirit of true independence of the Sinhalese as the majority and the Sinhala State that was handed over to the British by mutual agreement in 1815 under the Kndyan Convention of 2 March 1815 between  the United Kingdom and the sovereign State called Sinhale (Ceylon =meaning the land of the Sinhala people -as they called it).

Regarding the religious rights of the Sinhala Buddhist Sec 29 (2) also was a blatant violation of the Sec  5 of the Kandyan Convention which provided the supreme place for Buddhism, the religion of the native Sinahalese continuously for 2500 years.

Again, up till 1815 for 2500 years there was no class of people called minority in this country. The whole country had only one nation and that was the Sinhala nation although few small areas in the north were temporally under South Indian usurpers for few years. No section of its populations was ever identified as a separate nation at any time. All minority communities  like Tamil and Muslim who lived within this country  at that time  and before were all called Sinhalese being the people of the Sinhale, the Independent sovereign State.

Now let us take a brief look at the political system and the machinery of governance  introduced by the British  to perpetuate their vicious and exploitation in the dominion. The Parliamentary system of government, political Party system, legal and administrative system, education, health and even food, dress  was all alien to us and inappropriate to our environments, both physical and social. The land forcibly occupied by the British for plantation for 133 years  were not returned. The Indian labourers the British brought to work on their plantations were not repatriated, though the law and justice required them to do so to hand over vacant possession of the law  to its original owners and thereby they left behind a legacy of Indian labour force over I million, that constituted an everlasting demographic, political social, cultural and economic headache for this country. The appellate power was reserved with the Privy Council, Trinco and Ratmalaan bases were not returned; the Governor was appointed by the Queen of England and the legislation in the so-called independent Lanka also continued to be enacted in the name of the Queen of England up to 1972, when Sri Lanka was declared as an Independent Republic. The MPP elected to the Independent Parliament of Sri Lanka also had to take their oath in the name of the Queen of England u to 1972. Therefore, I  say that  we never got any independence in 1948 and it is only a fake independence  our leaders blindly embraced in 1948. The independence act  was a huge bait to keep the Sri Lanka fish eternally hooked to the British colonial hook and  crafty deception conferred on this country and a vicious geopolitical trap laid by the British to keep us eternally dependent on them as a protectorate of the Commonwealth of the British Empire for ever. Trapped and bogged in this British Colonial conspiracy and remotely controlled strategic colonial mechanism even today  we remain under the control of the of British rule and their allies helplessly struggling to emerge as an independent Severing nation with no hope until we free our self from this ugly colonial trap.

Therefore, the Soubury Constitution with its paraphernalia is an externally  manipulated colonial trap laid down and left behind by the British to keep us permanently down trodden. As a country that has no nation, no law and order, no national leaders, divided on ethnicity, religion, language, party politics, has no clear national or foreign policy, no government,  fighting each other for language, land ownership,  territory, self-rule, equal rights, self-respect etc. In  addition to this boiling pot of activated by the colonial pandora’s box they also have now introduced additional traps like trade and economic sanctions and bans  to weaken the economy. The latest hegemonic colonial tools like Human rights, self-determination and RP2 etc which they have invented to  constrain other nations and to circumvent the restrictions laid down in international treaties like the Vienna and (1961) Geneva (1965) conventions  on non-interference in domestic matters of other countries and diplomatic relations  are  being discriminately  used to destabilize the governments of those countries that are not in their good books.

During the pre- Colonial times we had to defend the country only against the South Indians invaders. Since 1815 we had to face the brunt of the European invaders such as Portuguese, Dutch and the British. But today in addition to the remnants of the European colonial invaders we also must face their allies of the so-called international Community of white neo-colonial forces the world over and even India  that try to treat us as one of their protectorates without realizing that we too are an independent, free and sovereign State as much as they are. In this shameless exercise the ex-colonial countries and India violate all these international treaties for their own benefit with utter disregard for the independence and sovereignty of other States.

With regard to own country, there are many other  new enemy forces abroad such as those Tamils  living all over the world  ( mis-named as Diaspora), who have voluntarily gone there  for their own betterment and now  living in large numbers in these countries, and  the anti -Sinhala and anti -Buddhist Communal elements at Home such as extremist racist Tamils, Muslims fanatics, treacherous NGO vultures belonging to all communities who subsist on foreign funds, certain  sections of the Catholic Church and even some traitorous  Sinhala men and women and even some crazy Buddhist monks like Damabara Amila and unpatriotic  self-seeking payara politicians moulded in the Western crucible of  ideological and social  values and therefore who have completely lost their native identity and roots against whom we have to fight day and night  to protect our 2500 year old  pristine national identity.

Part 11 to be followed

6 Responses to “The need to end the tyranny of antics of minority politics in Sri Lanka -Part 1”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    Let us stop this analysis paralysis and get onto the job of uniting the Sinhalese against the Minority Tyranny. Since 1951 the Sinhalese are evenly divided between two traitorous political parties the UNP and the SLFP who for all intents and purposes are there to grab power for themselves by giving into Minority Demands as they are the true kingmakers of Sri Lanka since 1951.

    If the Sinhalese are united the minorities will not make these absurd demands for they know for sure that they will not succeed. As time is of the essence, what is needed is to educate the people to understand the tragedy that is unfolding before our eyes right here and now.

    The last 70 years and especially the years since 1978 has seen the politicians separating themselves from the ordinary people and becoming a power unto themselves. They feed on the innocent sensibilities of ordinary people and exploiti their simple needs and aspirations to gain power. In the process, it has become imperative for the politicians to go for votes of the minorities, year on year giving into their unjust demands regardless of their implications on the livelihood and continued welfare of the majority Sinhalese in the only land they know and have as their homeland.

    Due to the division of the Sinhalese between these two traitorous political parties, no politician of either hue be they green or blue have the courage to take the singular path of uniting the majority to end for good the tyranny of the minorities. They simply count votes and especially those of the minorities for each of these parties have a captive base who are – Kapuwath Kola or Kapuwath Nil – whom they can easily rely on and at the same time disregard because they are not in the power equation and do not matter in the final political outcome!

    We must end this Analysis – Paralysis, though good as an intellectual exercise, it will not be of practical use for problems the majority Sinhalese face in current imbroglio. It is of paramount importance for Sinhalese to start talking to each other and unite disregarding party differences to bring about a government and a leader who is fearless in taking the nation forward in a direction that is good for all – the majority and the minorities.

    It is also important for the minorities to realize that they are better off in a single unitary Sri Lanka and that only the United Sinhalese who can bring about a justifiable solution that is good and honorable to all – regardless of ethnicity, caste, religion etc.

    Trying to feed on the majority nation ( Ange indagena kana keema) and trying to carve off fiefdoms for themselves will only bring about more and more Nandi Kadals and endless war. The ordinary people regardless of the above mentioned petit difference have no taste for war. They are only envisaged by politicians whose only interest are those of power and enrichment of family and friends.

    LET THE SINHALESE UNITE TO END THE TYRANNY OF THE MINORITY POLITICIAN!

  2. Randeniyage Says:

    Can anyone comprehend Sirisena’s mindset who did not objected to Vijayakala’s states minister appointment and his objection to Fonseka ?

  3. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Randeniyage

    Even a child can comprehend the Sirisena’s mindset when he did not objected to Vijayakala’s states minister appointment and his objection to Fonseka.

    It is purely on security ground and threat to his life.

    If Fonseka get a ministerial post it will be easier for him to plot against Sirisena as there is an alleged accusation already made by a third party that Fosnseka’s role in the plot to assassinate Sirisena which is now under investigation. Police Chief and CID can say that Fonseka was not involved. Can Sirisena believe that statement without completing the investigation.

    There is no such threat to his life from Vijayakala.

  4. Randeniyage Says:

    @NMY,
    Do you really believe this “threat to life” ? Well I may be a child then.
    Please let me keep in touch until Scotlandyard concludes.

  5. Dilrook Says:

    The threat from Vijayakala, Vigneswaran and Ananthi Sasitharan (next NPC CM) is not to Sirisena but to Sri Lanka.

    @Ratanapala

    Sinhalese (or any other community) will not unify without a unifying set of policies for the Sinhalese. This is not forthcoming. No politician particularly those who want to be or remain executive president will never allow it. Until such time Sinhalese must remain divided than commit to one traitor over another. In fact, as long as no politician presents pro-Sinhala policies, the Sinhala community must further disintegrate and spread out the risk.

    Every time Sinhalese united for the sake of unity without pro-Sinhala policies, minorities benefited massively. Best examples are 1994 and 2010. Chandrika won about 70% of Sinhala votes and Mahinda won about 68% of Sinhala votes. But there was no pro-Sinhala policies then. As a result minorities extorted the maximum from them and dumped them.

    On the other hand, in 1956, 1970 and 2005 there were pro-Sinhala policies. This must come first.

  6. Vaisrawana Says:

    All of us who love our Motherland wherever in the world we happen to live at present should appreciate this passionate piece of writing by Dr Sudath Gunasekera, which truthfully explains the root cause of our present trouble. Actually, we have to wait until he completes the article (the next part is yet to follow) to see whether he has any suggestions for remedying the issues he raises. However, what Dr Sudath G has already given us invites comment.

    In my view, this is by no means ‘analysis paralysis’; on the contrary, when properly grasped, it will galvanize the young (to whom it is implicitly addressed) into greater endeavours to secure justice for our nation. What is our (nationalist) goal? Securing our country (territory) for ourselves to use it in freedom, to express our identity as an independent people with a unique history and culture, and to claim our place among the sovereign nations of the world as a modern people, working out our own destiny according our lights, without surrendering to foreign interlopers. We are not violating anybody else’s human rights, we are not encroaching upon others’ territory, we are not discriminating against any other racial, religious or linguistic community, and we are not claiming for ourselves what legitimately belongs to others. Even if we may not be able to prevail upon our current enemies (because we are a global minority with little economic, political or other form of influence), we should be left free to put up a fight in our defence. We have always done that and survived to date. Now, again, we are facing an existential threat. Let’s brace for it as best we can. From time immemorial we have been a single nation (Sinhale) comprising diverse races, religious and communities enjoying equal rights, and sharing similar responsibilities. The Sinhalese speakers, being the largest ethnic group, lay claim to Sri Lanka (originally Sinhale/Sivhele/Sihala/Seylan/Ceilao/Ceylon, etc) as their homeland (a nation cannot have a multiplicity of homelands); and Buddhism has shaped our defining culture. There is no other religious doctrine in the world which is more amenable to co-existence with other peaceful religions. By making their claim to Sri Lanka as their only homeland, they do not mean to discriminate against other communities. As Dr Sudath Gunasekera says, the concept of ‘minorities’ didn’t exist among our people until the British introduced it with the vicious purpose of setting other racial, religious and linguistic groups against the Sinhalese in order to weaken the latter as a challenger to their invasive power. The British have departed, but their malevolent influence still lingers.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

 

 


Copyright © 2019 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress