DBS Jeyaraj’s third idea
Posted on February 28th, 2019

 C. Wijeyawickrema

(A respected journalist, DBS Jeyaraj, operating from Canada, makes suggestions from time to time on how to solve the ‘Tamil issue’ in Sri Lanka. Jeyaraj presents himself as a Tamil Moderate. If you just take R Premadasa’s (and now Ranil W’s) servant cum master Paskaralingam as a test case, no sane person could believe that there are Tamil moderate souls in Sri Lanka, meaning Tamils who will refuse a Tamil state with a UNO flag, if it is possible within their life time. Jeyaraj revolves around the ‘F’ solution, just like Anandasangaree’s ‘Indian F” solution in the past. But is he willing to come out of the Tamil homeland in east myth of SJV Chevanayagam? During Mrs. Chandrika’s package deal days, Neelan Thiruchelvam, a symbol of Tamil Moderatism, did not want to accept the Pondicheri model (other ethnic enclaves within) as a compromise to mono-ethnic Tamil N-E region. He did not want a moth-eaten like Tamil homeland.

Jeyarj’s latest proposal (February 25, 2019, Daily Mirror), this time promoting a Supreme Court three-judge decision dated August 4, 2017, on a thesis that federalism is not separatism,” needs a critical analysis, because the judges’ illogical thesis was based on their lack of knowledge in history and geography of the island and their poor understanding of local and world politics and geopolitics.

Before that, readers need to be aware of a previous attempt made by Jeyaraj and a reply sent to him requesting him (dbsjeyaraj@yahoo.com) to print it on his website so that his readers get an opportunity to see the other side of the story. If Jeyaraj is sincere in his quest for a peaceful Sri Lanka unbroken, I cannot understand why he is afraid of a dialogue. Fortunately, that reply was printed on Lankaweb on February 13, 2014).


Mr. DBS Jeyaraj under the title, Sixty-six Years of Independent Sri Lanka and the Tamil State of Mind,” (6 February 2014) on his own website, an essay that he says was, an updated version of the DBS Jeyaraj Column article that appeared in the Daily Mirror of February 2nd 2013, appeals moderate Sinhala and Tamil people to find a third way to live amicably in the island of Sri Lanka. DBSJ says there are three schools of thought clashing, hegemonism, secessionism and pluralism… the Sinhala hardliners want Sinhala-Buddhist domination. They see this country as theirs alone. Others are excluded or reduced to subservient status in this ‘Chinthana.’….the Tamil hardliners want a separate state for the north-east known as Tamil Eelam. Just as Sinhala hawks say Sri Lanka is for the Sinhalese, these Tamil hawks say Tamil Eelam is for the Tamils…”  …..A state for the dominant ethnicity within, excludes by definition, other ethnicities living within these real or imaginary borders. Both these ideas have brought about disunity, violence and destruction. The nation bled profusely, and the country diminished drastically.

The third idea is that of establishing an egalitarian and plural society where all children of this country can live together in amity and fraternity. It incorporates a vision where no one will claim superior rights on the basis of belonging to the majority race/religion or claim exclusive rights to their historic habitat…..Power will not be confined to Colombo but shared with the periphery. All people regardless of race, religion, caste or creed will have their say and a role to play…”

Tamil Obama

Lakshman Kadiragamar’s and Jeyaraj Fernando Pullai’s funerals showed that a Tamil Obama in Sri Lanka is not an impossible idea. Both of them were given Buddhist funeral rites by monks came from all over the island despite the fact that they both were Christians by birth. Take Arun Tambimuttu’s case. What Sinhala Buddhist voter will not vote for him as he is not telling anything different from what the Bodu Bala Sena has been telling for the past two years? Except for a few adjustments needed DBSJ is advocating a position that I have been writing for the past 15 years or so. Sri Lanka has a third way, if it can get rid of the two political camps under SLFP and UNP. These two parties destroyed Sri Lanka, so said the monks Ven. Walpola Rahula and Ven. Balangoda Anandamaitreeya. The third way is based on reasonableness which is also the Buddhist way.  This must be the way that two Indian ex-presidents meant when they said that solutions to world’s problems could be found from Buddhism.”

The Tamil state of mind that DBSJ presented was based on facts he considered true and relevant. There are other facts that one can list which would modify what DBSJ used to interpret his side of the story of Sinhala-Tamil drama. Suffice it to say that the black-white ruling class in Sri Lanka converted a Buddhist-Christian clash into a Sinhala-Tamil clash so that the black-whites could thrive while the country goes down. Local black-whites are supported by global black-whites who use R2P, HR, pluralism and Interfaith as tools of exploitation. Living in peace with minority communities should not make a majority a minority, and if pluralism means that, then pluralism will not work. As the army commander Sarath Fonseka once clarified, Sri Lanka is the country of the Sinhala Buddhists. Minorities could live with equal rights and equal opportunities, but they cannot make unreasonable demands.” This is a good Buddhist approach.

For example, a pluralism pioneer France is however, not ready to deny that France is the country of the French, just like Norway is not ready to deny that Norway is the homeland of the Norwegians. Pluralism should mean a majority allowing a minority to live with equal rights and equal opportunities like the majority and no discrimination based on religion or language. But this had to be governed by the doctrine of reasonableness. A Muslim woman should not expect a right to cover her face with only two hole and walk in public street in a crime-filled, bomb-carrying country because that is not reasonable. Same way a national anthem or a national flag is a symbol that cannot be dismembered with translations. The Indian national anthem cannot be sung in Tamil or Telegu. Then it is not a national anthem. The Indian national flag has a Buddhist symbol and not a cross or a crescent moon. Hindus, Muslims and Christians cannot modify it.

Sri Lanka’s two problems

Sri Lanka has two problems created by the black-white politicians of green, red and blue colors. One is mismanagement of economy, or their inability to change the colonial economic system. In 1948 there was a majority and a minority. That was Sinhala and Tamil-speaking majority and an English-speaking minority. Then there was a rich Colombo crowd and the poor villagers. The 1962 coup represented the minority. 1971 JVP insurrection represented the majority. Rather than learning lessons from these, the politicians who came to power tried to keep in power by dismembering constitutions at first, and changing constitutions, and changing parliamentary to executive presidency thinking that they outsmarted the opponents. Today the country is in a big mess, because these changes gave rise to an evil triangle, the politician, officer and the NGO.

The other is the ethnic problem. There are two aspects to this. First is the fear of Sinhala people that Tamil Nad will grab Sri Lanka. Statement by SJV Chelvanayagam, GG Ponnambalam created this fear which during Dudley Senanayaka’s time came as DMK threat in immigration and Indian Tamil areas in upcountry. 1976 Vaddukoddai resolution and the behavior of the leader of the opposition Amirthalingam added more fear and then came Prabhakaran. Today the fear is even worse with western white countries trying to break the country into two. Then we have the second aspect, Tamil political leaders looking for recognition for them, and in that process creating a thing called; Tamils have aspirations. Tamil politicians living in Colombo talk about it. Whatever its origin, one has to accept that they need a reasonable geographical area for them to promote these aspirations. When Ven. Maduluwave Sobhitha asked Kumar Ponnambalam to name any item that the Sinhalese have but Tamils do not, he thought for a while and said, Tamils have aspirations.” Tamils have a source region just 22 miles of shallow sea away. The only real estate for the 16 million Sinhala people in a 6 billion world is this tiny island.

The reasonable solution to this ethnic problem is to remove Sinhala fear and to allow fairly reasonable geographical areas for the Tamils to engage in their aspirations. One immediate requirement is that Sinhala and Tamil should be taught to school children from grade three. If a solution to these two needs could also handle the first problem of mismanagement so much the better. If the solution also takes care of the ecological problems and global warming related environmental threats, then it will be perfect. If it could be in agreement with Buddhist and Hindu principles people will be happy.

I presented such a solution for consideration by LLRC and when I read between the lines of LLRC report I see it written there. The problem was that Lalith Weeratunga who was asked to examine it did not see it in the LLRC report or in the documents forwarded to him by me directly and indirectly. Instead a Divi Neguma thing came, and Geneva March 2014 is a direct result of this bad behavior of the top government officer. If Sri Lanka is to remain as one country, if Sri Lanka wants to come out of mismanagement and does not want to get labeled as a corrupt, crime-ridden land, I think it had to follow a solution like what I have suggested.

Here is the solution in brief:

1.Demarcate GSN units in Sri Lanka as lowest level ecological units.

Rpremdasa increased them from 4,000 to 14,000, god only knows why. But following the trinity of village-water tank-temple in ancient Sri Lanka, an ecology/hydrology-based GSN unit is an innocent/pragmatic gift that rulers can grant to people. Engineer D.L.O Mendis recently documented that this kind of eco villages were part of both Jaffna and dry zone farming communities.

  1. Empower a ten-member committee elected on non-political party basis to run the basic daily affairs of the unit (if one unit is too small due to geographical reasons then combine them as needed. This should not surprise anybody as under the Gami Diriya program this method of empowerment has been in practice, yes despite the anger and jealousy of local and national politician crooks.

3.Because Sri Lanka has 103 river basins, use these GSN units to create Seven River Basin Regions for Sri Lanka.  See the map attached. This map has seven units so that Jaffna region gets one large basin area for them to feel that there is territory for aspirations to grow.

This division gives a sea face to each region, all of equal size and most importantly, because it is language-blind, western white countries or Tamil Nad or Prabhakaran remnants in New York or London cannot talk of a homeland based on the eastern province. That takes away the fear of Sinhala people.

At GSN level there will be so many Tamil units, Muslim units and mixed units who can also think of aspirations at that level. The beauty is that no one unit can become a threat to another unit. They will learn to respect others because, if one unit acts selfishly then the other units will also act selfishly, and both will be in trouble.

  1. When one looks at problems of living that people are facing today, they are not big complex problems.  How to dispose garbage, how to control Dengue, water supply, water pollution, basic health and basic education, how to get a birth certificate, how to prevent GSN asking bribes or school principal asking sex bribe; these can be easily and effectively handled at the local level. This way 70% of peoples’ basic issues can be transferred to local units, which is what people want, empowerment, not devolution of powers to provincial politicians.  13A method has proven to be a disaster with sex and beauty has become now the hot selling item for council candidacy.
  2. Because the basic unit is an ecological/hydrological unit they can be combined to represent an electorate or district-size units before becoming one of the Seven River Basins. Thus, this horizontal division can go upward administratively with representatives sitting at a separate national body.
  3. What should be done at the national/central government level to allow minority participation, if more is needed than what is proposed by item 5, such as a new constitution for the country, this GSN system can remain intact, without political interferences.

I hope DBSJ print this essay on his website.

Seven River Basins


  1. Yalpanam
  2. Raja Rata
  3. Dambadeni
  4. Mahaveli
  5. Deegavaapi
  6. Kelani
  7. Ruhunu

(Compare this map with the nine-province
map which cuts all major rivers into artificial


3 Responses to “DBS Jeyaraj’s third idea”

  1. Charles Says:

    You have said the whole of it….they are all the same. The idea of a reconciliation is the biggest joke. the Proposers of reconciliation should shove it up their…………..you know what.

  2. Dilrook Says:

    Do not do this.

    If done, provinces 1, 4 and 5 will have a Sinhala minority. This is 3 out of 7 or 43% of provinces. At the moment it is only 2 out of 9 or 22% of all provinces. Tamil and Muslim power will double if this proposal is carried out.

    It will also join Malaya Nadu with Trincomalee with tea and the longest river also! The perfect setting for India.

    The current PC system is much better. It gives Sinhalas the right to control water.

  3. Randeniyage Says:

    Don’t do this !
    Please don’t propose any kind of divisions, provinces, states… you name it.
    There shouldn’t be any devolution.
    There should only be ONE government, ONE state, ONE parliament, ONE cabinet only one set of crooks is enough. NO chief ( or rather thief) ministers, No governors , No agents who worship other countries.

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