Next move: go forward or back to 1976 Vadukoddai?
Posted on July 10th, 2011

H. L. D. Mahindapala

Wars are evil exercises that must be avoided at any cost. But history tells us that wars are also unavoidable. From time to time, wars occur to win over-ambitious goals going beyond established political and territorial borders or to eliminate or neutralize enemies that threaten national interests. This is the short term goal of wars. The long-term objective of wars is to define and reinforce national identities, boundaries and values. The Sri Lankan government launched a counter-terrorist war to reinforce the national identity, territorial boundaries and the democratic political values.

The Jaffna Tamil leadership which launched the Vadukoddai War gambled, throwing all their financial, international, local and military might to achieve their separatist goals, based on fictitious geography and concocted history as outlined in the Vadukoddai Resolution of 1976, and lost. They lost ignominiously partly because the Tamil people lost faith in their leaders and ran way from them even when their leaders were shooting at them for running away from a lost cause.

A great responsibility now lies on the shoulders of the Tamil leadership in taking the next step. The question they have to answer is simple: is there a future in going back to the failed past? After the debacle in Nandikadal in May 2009 is there any sense in dragging the Jaffna Tamil people once again to Vadukoddai of May 1976? President Mahinda Rajapakse too is under great pressure from the defeated remnants of the Vadukoddai ideology to go back to 1976 “”…” the year in which the Jaffna Tamils declared war against the rest of the nation in the Vadukoddai Resolution. The violence unleashed by the Jaffna Tamil leadership in the Vadukoddai Resolution killed more Jaffna Tamils than any other forces put together, according to declared statements of Jaffna Tamil leaders. So what can the Jaffna Tamils gain by going back to Vadukoddai of 1976?

The Jaffna Tamil war-mongers were hoisted by their own petard when they resorted to a military solution and they have no one to blame except “the stupid Tamil leaders of Jaffna” (Prof. Kumar David) who misled the Jaffna Tamils and dragged them all the way to Nandikadal Lagoon. Mahinda Rajapakse’s forces defeated not only the Vadukoddians but also the pompous intellectuals, the theoretical devolutionists, the Marxist fossils, and “Pacha” Pereras and Silly Silvas, allied to NGOs. The tragedy is that despite the grim realities of their futile past this mob of political troglodytes are making a desperate bid to reverse the trends of the post-Nandikadal period and take the nation back to square one, as if nothing has happened between May 1976 (the start) and May 2009 (the end). The same old mob has ganged up again to deny the bloody past and, consequently, force the people to relive the horrors that the war-weary nation is determined to leave behind.

As opposed to this the post-Nandikadal period has opened up ideal conditions to re-define and reinforce the threatened identity of the nation, its geographical and constitutional boundaries, historical legacies and political values. Eliminating the political monsters that came out of the womb of the Vadukoddai Resolution was a sine qua non for peace, reconciliation and progress. President Mahinda Rajapakse removed the 33-year-old Vadukoddai violence in a swift surgical operation that lasted just three years. The vast majority of the people backed him all the way to Nandikadal and in each subsequent election of the post-Nandikadal period he was rewarded for rescuing the nation from the plague of a futile war. Now the eyes of the nation are focused on how President Rajapakse would define the identity of the nation, its geographical, constitutional and political boundaries and values.

The military solution chosen deliberately by the Vadukoddians in May 1976 was to force the will of a mono-ethnic minority of the north down the throats of the majority. The formulas proposed and enacted between 1976 and 2002 were all designed to appease only one community “”…” the Jaffna Tamils. All formulas “”…” from the Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement to the Ceasefire of 2002 “”…” failed because they were tailored only to address the “aspirations” of the Jaffna Tamils, dismissing the “aspirations” of the other communities. After the failure of several formulas and particularly after Nandikadal there is a growing awareness that any viable solution must address the “aspirations” of all communities. There is also a growing awareness that the destiny of one community is linked inextricably with all the others. The separatist ideology has had its day and is now lying at the bottom of Nandikadal Lagoon.

The fundamental flaw in all the formulas introduced in the past was primarily in ignoring the “aspirations” of the majority community. It is now an inescapable political fact that no lasting peace can ever work without the consent of the majority. This necessity was underlined emphatically by the International Crisis Group report written by its Colombo-based representative, Allan Keenan. He wrote in a press release to the report titled Sri Lanka: Sinhala Nationalism and the Elusive Southern Consensus (November 7, 2007) : “Lasting peace will not be found in Sri Lanka until Sinhala nationalism and the grievances that give it power are understood and addressed.”

He added:: “Recent history shows the Sinhalese are not unalterably opposed to a fair deal for the minority Tamils but competition between their major parties, the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), together with the violence and intransigence of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), has led President Rajapaksa to adopt a hardline nationalist approach. Until the sources of Sinhalese nationalism are taken more seriously, it will continue to challenge attempts to produce a political settlement.”

He also quotes Asia Program Director Robert Templer, who says: “Domestic and international actors should begin to fashion long-term strategies that take into account the power of Sinhala nationalist ideology, while aiming to minimize the sources of its appeal and its ability to set the political agenda”.

Both statements are absolutely relevant to find a way out of the prevailing tensions in the current political climate created essentially by the failed pundits who still act and talk as if the Jaffna Tamils have the ability to set the political agenda. They did have the power once upon a time when Vadukoddai violence was at its peak under the brutal power of the Tamil Pol Pot, Velupillai Prabhakaran. But the rag-tag army of Vadukoddians agitating in Western bases lacks the military clout to dictate terms to the Sinhala majority as they did in the six rounds of talks which culminated in Ranil Wickremesinghe caving in, on bended knees, to install Tamil Pol Pot as the “sole representative of the Tamils” in the north and the east. Wickremesinghe’s surrender to the Tamil Pol Pot marks the peak of Vadukoddian power. Mahinda Rajapakse’s greatness is in reversing that trend and regaining and restoring the power given on a platter to the Tamil Tiger terrorists by Ranil Wickremesinghe, the spineless political freak ever produced by the UNP.

The post-Nandikadal undercurrent struggling to enter the mainstream through the back door “”…” a favourite port of entry for the likes of Mangala Samaraweera, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Malik Samaraweera who are forever ready, willing and gay to sell the nation — is pushing the President to go down the path of Wickremesinghe. If, by any chance, Mahinda Rajapakse decides to descend into the abyss of Wickremesinghe (from which the latter has never come out, praise be to the people of Sri Lanka!) then the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces cannot claim to have won the war. Then he becomes a loser like Wickremesinghe.

The people backed him all the way to Nandikadal and in subsequent elections not to go back to 1976 but to consolidate and reinforce the gains won with the sweat, blood and tears of the self-sacrificing soldiers. The forces and the people fought for their Commander-in-Chief because they trusted him to be the only leader who would stand by them. He was the only alternative to the combined forces of the UNP-TNA-NGOs whose agenda was to take the nation back to 1976 and hand it over to Tamil fascism. But the people stood with the President militarily and politically, undergoing economic hardships and serious threats to their daily lives, to fulfill the aspirations of the forces that backed him to the hilt, unequivocally…

Whether we like it or not let’s face the reality: the Vadukoddai War was launched by a minority to impose their will on the majority. It is not only in Sri Lanka but the global theatre is currently haunted by aggressive minorities trying to dictate terms to the majorities. (More of this majority vs. minority issue later). After dithering with various formulas to end violent minoritarianism the majority decided to say “enough is enough” and marched all the way to Nandikdal. The military and electoral victories confirm that “lasting peace will not be found in Sri Lanka until Sinhala nationalism and the grievances that give it power are understood and addressed” by President Rajapakse.

The NGO and academic pundits failed because they assumed that only the Jaffna Tamils had grievances and aspirations. Their strategy has been to denigrate the Sinhala-Buddhists and blame them as the mono-causal force that led to the north-south crisis. They refused to acknowledge that the majority “”…” as in all ex-colonies “”…” had a right to reclaim the rights they lost to colonialism. The meaning of “1956” is in the rise and enthroning of the majority that was suppressed and oppressed under colonialism. It was the historic year that opened up new vistas and institutional means to redress the historical imbalances which had, for nearly five centuries, denied them their cultural, linguistic, political, territorial and historical heritage. President Rajapakse is the crowned legatee of “1956” “”…” a political awakening led by S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, the greatest Sinhala-Buddhist liberal. Now it is the task of President Mahinda Rajapakse to take the heritage of “1956” forward to give meaning and honour to the historic achievements of the founding fathers of the SLFP which includes his father. .

But the anti-national gang in the UNP-NGO combo and their allies in the media and academia are still bent on promoting “minoritarianism” knowing that it was a total disaster for the minority, let alone the rest of the nation. The unmistakable lesson revealed in the bloody past is that the appeasing of the dwindling minority of Jaffna Tamils alone is not the solution to go forward. Any future formula must necessarily take into account the aspirations of the majority too.

This takes me back to the realities emphasized in the statement of ICG cited above. There are two parts to it: 1. to take into account the power of the Sinhala nationalist ideology and 2. to minimize their ability and power to set the political agenda. All the theoretical punditry propounded by various factions of anti-Sinhala-Buddhist lobby is to diminish the power of the majority. Devolution and power-sharing are two calculated strategies to reduce the power of the majority and increase the power of the Jaffna Tamil minority.

At the bottom all mono-ethnic extremism that ruled peninsular politics was the twin goals of (1) grabbing power (“little now and more later”, as stated by S. J. V. Chelvanyakam) and also (2) territory on the self-serving accusation that they were discriminated by the Sinhala majority — a myth swallowed not only by the loony left and their fellow-travellers in academia and hired NGO apparatchiks but also by the quirky and rather muddle-headed liberals in the right. Even if you concede the fiction of discrimination for the sake argument there is no cause now to blame the Sinhala majority because there has been a “paradigm shift from 1956″ to accommodate the “grievances” of the minority, as stated by Radhika Coomaraswamy and Malini Parathasarathy, the Brahmin power-brokers of The Hindu in Chennai.

Besides, history of the Jaffna Vellahla elite, starting from colonial times, has confirmed that their appetite for power is insatiable. The peninsular political culture is based on the Oliver Twistian cry of never ending demands. The more you give them the more they demand “”…” a political trait never pursued by them in foreign countries they settle down. Though they have far less rights and political status in other countries they meekly accept their second class citizenship as long as they are allowed to enjoy first class economic conditions. Nevertheless, they continue to wallow in their myths. Their ability to concoct political fairy tales can be only matched by Baron Manchausen, Hans Anderson or Enid Blyton. Take the recent myth which claimed that only Prabhakaran gave them dignity and security. Now that Prabhakaran is no more what is the plight of the Tamils? Have they lost or gained their dignity and security?

The capacity of the Jaffna Tamils to be victims of their political illusions is inexhaustible. They thrived on fictitious theories of victimology aided and abetted by half-baked theoreticians in NGOs and academia. However, they have now in their memory banks sufficient existential experience to consider seriously how the political monsters that came out of their delusional beliefs exploited them and their children to protect their bodies and families till the last day they collapsed on the banks of Nandikadal.. It is sad to see Sambandan and Sumanthiram of the TNA going down the suicidal path taken by Chelvanyakam. They know they can’t deliver their promises to the people of Jaffna. So should the Jaffna Tamils believe in their leaders now when they have nothing to offer except the same old recipe that took them to Nandikadal Lagoon?

Can the demands of this Vadukoddian rump save the Tamils by demanding (1) police powers (2) land and (3) the merged territory of the north and the east? Ranil Wickremesinghe gave them all this and more. Did it save the Tamils? Or did it lead to the most abusive oppression of the Tamils? Didn’t Prabhakaran kill more Tamils than all other forces put together? The Tamils demand more powers in the name of gaining dignity and equality. But the known historical experiments have proved that giving more powers to the Jaffna Tamils have only led to Tamil fascism, denial of human and political rights and total loss of dignity. The abuse of power by the Tamil leaders “”…” even under Pillayan “”…” raises a critical question: are the Tamils fit to rule themselves? They have yet to prove that they can run a better democratic society than the Sinhala majority.

Besides, international reaction to assertive minorities in Christian/Caucasian nations leads to the ineluctable conclusion that the Jaffna Tamils and other minorities enjoy a status far superior to that of the European nations. The majority/minority issue has now reached to top of their political agenda and the new trend is for the majority to impose their values on the minority. In leading Western democracies, driven by Islamaphobia, the trend is for the Christian/Caucasian majority to reclaim their power to set the agenda against the rising demographic power of the Muslim minorities. Not only are the anti-minority parties gaining ground but the heads of states also are proclaiming that they will not compromise on the established values of their majority culture. David Cameron (UK), Angela Merkel (Germany) Nicolas Sarkozy (France) are insisting that the minority should conform to the majority values.

They are even decrying the minority cultures and saying that multiculturalism has failed. “We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him,” said Nicolas Sarkozy in a television interview in which he declared the concept of multiculturalism as a “failure”. Prime Minister David Cameron last month pronounced his country’s long-standing policy of multiculturalism has failed. He is now calling for better integration of young Muslims to combat home-grown extremism. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Australia’s former Prime Minister John Howard and former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar have also in recent months said multicultural policies have not successfully integrated immigrants.

Sri Lanka has never imposed “majoritarianism” as practiced by the Western democracies. While France is legislating against the hijab Sri Lanka is distributing free head gear to the Muslims. While the Western democracies are insisting on the minorities speaking the language of the majority and assimilating into the dominant culture Sri Lanka allows all minorities to maintain their identity and welcome their contributions to the multi-cultural society. The Tamils have a status far superior to that of any Western country where they have chosen to settle down. As in other countries they will never get their separate state in Sri Lanka. And they don’t need it because the Jaffna Tamils always had a better deal living with the Sinhalese in the south (54% know it) than living in the casteist feudalism or modern Prabhakaranist north.

Finding the balance between the majority and the minority has never been an easy task in any democracy. There is no one-size fit for all conditions. In Sri Lanka, however, the pet formula touted around is devolution of power “”…” a cry raised by only the Jaffna Tamils who have been aspiring to set the political agenda from colonial times. In fact, as stated by Sri Lanka’s foremost historian, Prof. K. M. de Silva, in his perceptive and penetrating analysis of the Ceylon National Congress in Disarray (The Ceylon Journal of Historical Studies, July-December, 1972, Vol 2), the Jaffna Tamils assumed the role of the majority and was treated as such by Governor William Manning, the master manipulator of the divide and rule policy. But the next census is bound to tell a story that would demolish, once again, the myth of their “majority complex”.

Of course, if the misguided Jaffna Tamil leaders want more they always have the option of getting a visa from their Prime Minister, V. Rudrakumaran and migrate to no-man’s land and live in it happily ever afterwards, instead of making life difficult for the war-weary Tamils whose main aspiration after Nandikadal is to live in peace. But the Vadukoddians in the TNA show no compassion for their fellow Tamils. They are bent on making life difficult for the Jaffna Tamils with promises they can never achieve. Besides, after Nandikadal they do not know whether they coming or going. They want to have one foot in Rudrakumaran’s “transitional state”, they want to have the other foot live in the Western states which are a part of Rudrakumara’s airy-fairy state, and they also want to have their head in a separate state in Sri Lanka. How many states will satisfy the needs of these Tamil Olive Twists? Isn’t it time that they got real and came down to earth and live peacefully with the rest of Sri Lankans?

16 Responses to “Next move: go forward or back to 1976 Vadukoddai?”

  1. dhane Says:

    Mahindapala you are correct. These Talims are worst than Oliver Twist. They will cry of never ending demands. Even if Tamil Nudu their birth place become homeland or country for Tamils in the word map still they will demand North & East of SL. Hence there will be no peace for the rest of Sri Lankan.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Well said, HLDM.

    But the Jaffna Tamil leadership and the voters (they sustain them) would never give up. On one side they can’t give up a separate Tamil nation due to huge pressure from Tamil Nadu blood relatives and from Tamil Diaspora blood relatives. All their “T” political parties survive solely on racism. The day racism is no more, these “T” poltiical parties will go bust. They don’t allow that to happen.

    In 1977 Tamil people in the north overwhlmingly approved the Vada-Kundi Resolution. Given a chance to vote for it, they will do so.

    Isolating the Jaffna Tamil leadership and blaming them serve no purpose. Structural issues in the north must be addressed. Mono ethnic Tamil only north must be converted to a multi ethnic area. Until then racism and racist political parties will rule the north and time to time launch violence.

    As you say, it is good if they get visa from their PM in USA and leave SL in peace. But they don’t want to give up Tamil Elam which is only possible in SL.

    This majority-minority nonsense should stop at least now. Everyone are equal human beings. Equal individual rights and nothing more.

  3. andylingam Says:

    This majority-minority nonsense !
    Whether We like it or not We have to live with this nonsence ,until We have religies belive.

    if Tamil Nudu their birth place become homeland ?
    My birth certificated issued by our Govtment department in Maligawaththa.

    Please sort out with our elected memberS of parliment TNA.

    Be honest atleast between us, We can live to together in one falg as one Nation for ever !

  4. nilwala Says:

    Mahindapala has put it all down in a clear and incisive analysis, without any mincing of words, or of “who is what” in the majority-minority politics that has dominated post-independence Sri Lanka’s democracy and culminated in a war and a finally decided outcome at Nandikadal. The Sri Lankan Tamil “leaders” whose greedy ambitions one thought would have been sensibly laid to rest after Nandikadal have not as yet come to terms with the reality of that outcome. Nor have they realized that the world over, the true colors of minorities with insatiable appetites for power are being revealed and dealt with, especially in countries where majorities are accommodating and tolerant. The wheel has swung back full circle and majorities are reasserting themselves with the same sense of “enough is enough” that led to Nandikadal. Thank you Mahindapala for saying it like it is!

  5. andylingam Says:


    “enough is not enough”

    Our head of Govtment leader failed first 30 years to solve this majority-minority problm with Srilankan Tamil elected MPs, than 33 years with VP & Co, now The wheel has swung back full circle first 6 month talk failed now with Srilankan elected MP but talk will continue for another 30 years.

    Hope & pray New Parliment committe (what happent to APCR wasted of Prof Tissa time) report will be honored by our President & 2/3 MPs .

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    Many thanks to Mr Mahindapala for this truthful article.

    For Tamils abroad, and some Tamil politicians, bashing Sri Lanka is the favored action to bring together the Tamil community
    together, to erase Caste & Dalit barriers, gain favor with the west with lies, cheat & deceit, whilst Tamil Nadu itself with all its short comings remains unscathed. What we have in Sri Lanka is an “imported war” from Tamil Nadu which started with the Caste Wars of Jaffna.

    However, now it is the right time for both Tamil Nadu & Sri Lanka Tamils to face and solve the real issues of Development and issues in Life itself, and move on, or bring disaster to everyone in the whole region.

  7. dhane Says:

    Lorenzo you have valid point. Mono ethnic Tamil only north & east should be converted to a multi ethnic area. D.S. Senayanake had foreseen this and had colonization in these area. Those early days Land Development Dept: main task was to developed North and settled people from South. It’s the racist tamil political parties who made circumstance to change and abandon this policy. LTTE chased out Sinhala & Muslims from North. Hence at least those Sinhalese & Muslims who lived these areas also should be re-settled ASAP.

  8. andylingam Says:

    As our first Head of leder Why Hon D.S. Senayanake failed South & West to convert multi ethinic area?
    I hope Hon Mahinda Rajapaksa will make Hambatota as multi ethnic area & build a bigest Ganapathy Tamil to proof He is man for Every one of us !

  9. nilwala Says:

    Yes of course – “Enough is not enough” has always been the problem with the Tamil community that has always asked for MORE a la Oliver Twist!

  10. Lorenzo Says:


    East is done thanks to DSS and JRJ. North is the problem. LTTE knew very well this is the right solution. That is why they chased away all the Muslims and Sinhalese from the north.

  11. Leela Says:

    andylingam: I am not a resident of Hambantota district. But as a citizen of Sri Lanka, I have no objection whatsoever for Northern Tamil settlements in Hambantota dstrict. I thought we already have big Hindu temples (Ganapathy temple) there in Kataragama which is in Hambantota disrtict. I see Sinhala Buddhsts attend everyone of them, at times more than Tamils to pay their homage.

  12. Sajith Says:


    South and west of Tamil Nadu?

  13. andylingam Says:

    I am not complning about Sinhala Peoples or Sinhala Buddhsts, as we know last 2600 We live together .

    Our Head of states no point of saying one nation ,one county ,Samatharma samuthayam (JRJ) etc…
    They should act to make our lanka for all of us than only TNA will loose deposit money in elections.

    Leela FYI, You know We have five Eesvarar koyil (Sivan Temples) in Our Mother lanka in North,South , East, West & Middle for last 1,000 years .

    If you have visited resently to chella Kataragamam ( Ganapathy Temle) you will find big Lord Bhuddha’s viharai also now.

  14. andylingam Says:

    Sajith Maththaya , I am lanka puththa !

  15. Dham Says:

    Lingam Putha,
    Hambantota is already a big multilingam town. After the sunami many houses built for our 3/4 lingam brothers by Buddhist brothers. But they are growing at an astronomical rate to full lingams. Hope they will remain loyal to Lanka like you and unlike LTTE 1/2 lingams.

  16. andylingam Says:

    Thanks Dham that is good news.

    hope our Govt’s next project to build multiculture port in Kankesanthurai (KKS).

    I hope & pray soon I will return to our motherlanka ( since 1983 living in white man land as third class citizen thanks Hon JRJ ) to live as first class citizen.

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