Who are the racists ?
Posted on July 18th, 2009

Ananda De Costa

The natural tendency in the world these days is to condemn the Sinhalese as those who started racism in Sri Lanka. Most Catholic priests in Sri Lanka, Anandasangaree & Co , retired Chief Justice and a lot more overseas pundits ( Ignore Indian politicians for the time being) like to advise GOSL not to keep “civilians” in camps, implying Sinhalese as racists who suppress the minority.

Even some educated and reasonably wise Sinhalese have some guilt in their hearts on this. Just because we called Tamils as “Tamils” in a naughty tone (there is underlying friendliness even in that tone!), do we have to carry this guilt?

Reading Lee Kuan Yew’s book to watching any TV documentary overseas on Sri Lanka, Bandaranayake seems to be the culprit. Is this true ? Leave aside LKY’s book which a lot people think perfect, for future discussions; let us look back and recall our own experience. One of the wisest writers to Lankaweb Charles Ppererah as already presented a very good analysis on this subject, but there is no harm to contemplate again, because some Sinhalese seems to have been convinced, not only by foreigners by but also by our own politicians to the extent that (specially) the younger generation tend to have this guilt and some blame on Bandaranayake. It is good to hear the opinion of young Sri Lankan Tamils on this, so far only a few have spoken up with correct understanding, even those born overseas and never been to Sri Lanka or Wellwatte actively spread hatred in world wide web.

How many of Sinhalese have brainwashed their children ? Try doing it and fortunately they have the natural ability to think correctly and turn back and call you a racist in 13 years time. This is the truth and unfortunately we cannot say this about young Tamils. This is why it is imperative that they speak up, as well as the Sinhalese.

How many of you know that G.C.E O/L and A/L papers in the past consisted of three question papers in all three languages Sinhala, Tamil and English, back in the 70’s ? How many of you know there were classes in all three mediums in Colombo schools and some teachers addressed school assemblies in Tamil too? Sure, we Sinhala kids used to laugh a bit listening to Tamil words sounding a bit like light swear words in Sinhala, but that is not racism.

I spoke to an Indian Tamil friend recently on LTTE (before their defeat). I asked him whether he like Prabhakaran. The answer is an empathetic “no” with some explanation added, “he killed Tamils too” as the reason. I asked him “how about poor Sinhala and Muslim men women and children in rural farming communities mercilessly killed by Tamil Tigers ?” He remained silent, no regret there. Apparently this is how majority of Tamil minds look at the problem, be them Indian, Malaysian, South African or any other nationality. But I can only tell my experience to them, whether they believe or not. This is the experience of ordinary citizens, unlearned, unbiased and truthful. There is no need to read lengthy statistical data to understand the origin of racist killing field created by Indian and Tamil politicians, to those who had firsthand experience.

My experience is that the Tamils drew first blood by employing only the Tamils in Tamil businesses, flooding the Tamils in government institutions where they had the superior power, giving higher marks to Tamil students in exams answered in English and failing so many bright Sinhala students in so called University Entrance Exams. This is how they started.

With a great gratitude towards Bandaranayake the poor Sinhalese gradually started to enter universities which were only limited to elite few in Colombo. Yet we treated our Tamil brothers better than our own, if not equally. I cannot forget how Tamil lecturers set up questions in exams such a way that only our Tamil brothers (including not so smart ones) can answer. I am proud to say that not a single Sinhala lecturer did that. This the time Prbhakaran started as a bandit and a criminal. Sri Lanka had law and order those days. Police tend to catch the perpetrators and somehow bring them to justice, much better than how they currently do it in London. Why the police could not catch him? The reason is racism, not the fear. This does not mean that there were no non-racist Tamils. When some students could not find vacation jobs there was a Tamil official who helped. There were a lot of extremely intelligent, wise, honest and very well behaved Tamils those days, but they had to give way to the racism and ugly criminality, gradually.

Sure, our politician behaved like idiots. But are those in Tamil Homeland (Nadu) better? Are they not taking bribes? How about the behavior of lawyers and doctors there? How about behavior of Tamil politician in Malaysia? Are they any better? Therefore, a Tamil in anywhere in the world has no right to blame Sinhala politicians in the South, only the Sinhalese have that right, because there was at least a well behaved Ceylon, thanks to our Buddhist culture which was mixed into the Sri Lankan Tamil culture too. Sri Lankan Tamils could identify themselves with pride, those days. They looked different and they behaved differently. There was a common Sri Lankan identity in Ceylon, no doubt about that. That was the culture Lee Kuan Yew was claiming to be in the pre-Bbandranayake era. That was the country he wanted to copy. But he did not have enough wisdom to clearly see the origin of this culture. Later he, being a shrewd politician, gave a doosra to this story with a 90 degree arm straightening (with all my respect and love to Murali).

I invite some Tamil friends who worked in Singapore to speak about LKYs honesty of the so called “non-racial” and “fair” Singapore. The others can talk about their nice treatment they received in the Middle East, Malaysia, UK, Canada and Australia.

In my view, there is no racism in Sri Lanka, even today. But IDP’s cannot be re-settled that easily and quickly because they will return and dig up the hidden treasures to start another racist war.

2 Responses to “Who are the racists ?”

  1. jana Says:

    How true. Let the Tamils who shout about discrimination answer how sinhalese as a group have got peferential treatment than a Tamil as a group . If it is university admissions the batticoloa and wanni tamils benefited. Let all the tamils also talk about the Muslim IDPs and Sinhala IDPs for the last 19 yrs who were ethnicaly cleansed from the north by the LTTE well supported by the LTTE.

  2. shaz Says:

    Thank you for this. I am British and only connected by family to Sri Lanka but I have found in the Sri Lankan Sinhalese peasant something really honerable. I follow the news almost daily and have read so many opinions and articles on your forum. I have been struck by the guilt of the Sinhalese, so willing to take the blame for all the horror brought to your beautiful country. Of course there are silly comments by Sinhala and Tamil youth but that is to be expected. The deep thinking Sinhalese people should remember what happened, always the Tamils ask for apologies always the Sinhalese oblige but there were so many wrongs perpetrated by the Tamils, they really brought so much on themselves. (I am not speaking about the peasant Tamils who were offered a dream of a better life, the more affluent in the world should never fault people in poverty for wanting to raise themselves up. The Sinhalese and Muslims are also poor and it is about time the world learned how much they really suffered, the awful crimes commited by the LTTE to their own peopl and the others in the island. I hope your government will not make the mistake of forgetting the Sinhalese peasants, particularly in the rainforests of the West and in the South in their eagerness to satisfy the massive problems of the Tamils in the North. This can only lead to disharmony and revolt and anyone who is in touch with recent Sri Lankan history knows what that could unleash. Sometimes a people without a real land of their own can cause enormous problems. It is unpolitically correct to say it but if you read the bible the landless Jews were a little like this. I am seriously not a racist, I have 2 Sri Lankan children and would die for them if anyone threatened them in a racist manner but the reality of a situation has to be faced and I would not have my two beautiful girls if the politics of your country had been different.
    With love and hope to you all.

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