Multi-ethnic Re-colonization of North-East, the Only Solution – 2: Remedying the Double Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing Done by Tamil Elamists
Posted on October 26th, 2009

Kumar Moses

Sri Lankans of all races love to live in multiethnic communities. As Tamils live in the South, Sinhalas and Muslims were living in the North until a few decades ago. Their numbers were small but sizable. This was before communal politics hijacked Northern politics. It was very unfortunate. Never would this have happened had the North was a vibrant multiethnic community like the south. The Tamil Elam concept was finally officiated in 1949 with the formation of the ITAK (Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi which means Lanka Tamil Kingdom Party). This catchy name was a ploy to fool unsuspecting Tamils. Its English translation – Federal Party – was another ploy – this time to fool the Sinhalas. Using aggressive communal politics ITAK rose to prominence winning seats at the 1952 election and later expanding at the 1956 election much the same way National-Socialists won increasing number of seats in the 1930s in a European country.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The ethnic composition of the North was such that a budding politician could totally disregard Sinhalas and Muslims and still win the election overwhelmingly.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ WhatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s worse, when the ITAK and ACTC (All Ceylon Tamil Congress) entered into a fierce competition to be the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”sole representativeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of Tamil people, they indulged in overdoing communal gestures as if in a competition to be crowned the worst tribal-minded. Despite the leaders of these two groups associating Sinhalas, Muslims and others all their lives from school to profession, it didnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t change a thing.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Velupillai to Velupillai

One popular slogan of the ITAK was to salvage ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-traditional Tamil homelandsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ from Sinhalas by making them leave. It was spearheaded by Hon Velupillai Chelvanayakam, the leader of ITAK. In 1958 Hon Velupillai Chelvanayakam, the Opposition Leader of the parliament of Sri Lanka, commenced the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-tar-brushƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ campaign against the state and against the Sinhalas. This was a copy from the Dravidistan & anti-Hindi agitators of Tamil Nadu who tar-brushed Hindi letters.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ After brushing tar over Sinhala letters on a number plate of a bus in Jaffna, he traveled all the way to Batticaloa to repeat his actions. His willing followers also indulged in this act. It started the 1958 riots killing hundreds. Though the riots ended within days, the message was loud and clear – the North and the East has no place for Sinhalas.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Tamil people disliked this form of politics but had no political choice as communal politics ensured that no collective multi-ethnic politics take root in the North by eliminating everything non-Tamil. ITAKƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s escalation of aggression saw it graduate into the TULF (Tamil United Liberation Front) by merging with its arch rival the ACTC.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ At the same time there was a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”promisingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ development. Young Velupillai (Prabhakaran) and a number of armed rebels were making their presence felt in the North. ITAK and other Tamil communal political parties eagerly observed these developments and waited for the right moment. In 1975 young Velupillai shot dead the then Jaffna mayor and ended his ideological grandfathersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ wait. In the immediately following year, the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Vaddukoddai ResolutionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ which calls for a Tamil-only nation in the North-East of Sri Lanka, was adopted by the TULF.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Young Velupillai started doing what old Velupillai could only wish for. While young Velupillai had the opportunity, the motive was old VelupillaiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s. It took him only 12 years to complete the ethnic cleansing of Sinhalas from the North and 16 years to complete the ethnic cleansing of Muslims from the North. Although peace loving Tamils peacefully protested the move, they didnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t have enough clout to stop it.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Double Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing

Tamil Tigers led by Velupillai waged a savage war in the North and East of the country. The North includes the districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar and Vavuniya. Vavuniya district is the furthest away from the other 3 and closest to the other parts of the country. Tamil Tigers completely genocide and ethnically cleansed the Sinhalas and Muslims in the districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ In 1971 Jaffna district (and Kilinochchi district which was then a part of the former), had over 20,000 Sinhalas or 3% of the population. Mannar district and Mulaitivu district had Sinhalas comprising 5% of its population. (Department of Census and Statistics). In 2007 security forces carried out a census and based on these data, district population figures were enumerated for these four districts. To the horror of a nation, by 2007, Sinhala population of these four districts was zero!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Muslims comprised 2% of Jaffna district (and Kilinochchi district) in 1971. Close to 27% of Mannar and Mulaitivu districts were Muslims. By 2007, Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts recorded no Muslims. Mannar districtƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Muslim percentage fell from 27% to just 8%.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ A clear, indisputable and completely substantiated case of genocide and ethnic cleansing. It affected not one but two ethnic communities.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The fifth district to suffer complete genocide of Sinhalas is the Batticaloa district of the East. Sinhala population percentage of Batticaloa district was 5% in 1971 but by 2007 it has fallen to zero percent!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ During this time the Tamil population percentage went close to 100% in all the above districts except Mannar (92%) and Batticaloa (75%).

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Today there are three districts that are wholly Tamil only that were used to be multiethnic. Meanwhile the Tamil population percentage in all the 25 districts of Sri Lanka increased since 1971.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Rewarding the genocide

Instead of acting upon it to redress it, and punishing Tamil Elamists, both peaceful and violent, for the two genocides they committed, a small section of the international community rewarded them. Tamil only north was a dream come true for Tamil Elamists and in 2002 they made it official by signing the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA). CFA recognized de facto Tamil Tiger controlled territory for the first and last time in history.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Emboldened by the enormous success of genocide of Sinhalas in five districts and Muslims in three districts, Tamil Tigers took on their new challenge – the Trincomalee district – in 2006. Due to Tamil Tiger atrocities the Sinhala population of Trincomalee had decreased from 29% in 1971 to 25% in 2007. The plan was to further reduce this to zero percent. Tigers launched an attack in Mavil Aru against farming families under the cover of the ceasefire. Little that they realized it was to be the beginning of their end. The war that was renewed following the Mavil Aru incident ended in the complete defeat of Tamil Tigers in 2009.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Had it not been for the courage shown by security forces, Trincomlaee Sinhala residents would also have ended up a mere statistic.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Reversing ethnic cleansing and pre-empting its recurrence

This silent horror must be reversed. However, that is not sufficient. Its recurrence has to be stopped. As long as the North remains Tamil only, it will only breed more Velupillais. The third Velupillai may be already waiting in the wings. Mono ethnic societies are their breeding grounds like stagnant water holes to mosquitoes.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ITAK has changed its name to Tamil National Alliance and continues communal politics with even more vigour. All TNA MPs have their families safely living among the Sinhala majority in the south but oppose all moves to allow Non-Tamils settle down in the North. They have absolutely no right to object to Non-Tamils living in the North because they are living examples of ethnic integration in the south. The north too deserves ethnic integration!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ As of today 1.3 million Tamils live in the North-East of Sri Lanka, 1.3million live in other parts of the country and 1.3 are in the Diaspora. In other words, two thirds (67%) of Tamils from Sri Lanka live in multicultural and multiethnic communities. So whatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s the fuss?

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Thirdly, people in the North must be given more political choices in addition to ACTC, ITAK, TULF and TNA. There got to be parties other than ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-TƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ parties. It can happen only if people of all races are settled in abundant land in the North. Laws that hinder proper ethnic integration should be streamlined into one set of national laws. Different laws to different races is nothing less than racism though it appears incredibly innocent!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Fourthly the perpetrators of ethnic cleansing and genocide must be punished. Promoting the ethnic cleansing ideology must be banned with equal force as the PTA.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Fifthly, power sharing to provinces should be delayed until all acts of ethnic cleansing have been reversed and multiethnic colonization has taken root in war affected areas. Putting the cart before the horse will land Sri Lanka in deep trouble. If power is shared with Velupillais of tar-brush fame, it justifies their racial aspirations.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Once people are adequately integrated in war affected areas, thatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s the time to empower them. They have earned the respect of each other and proved they deserve more power.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ – Kumar Moses

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