Sri Lanka must republish Sansoni Report – Expose Tamil Separatist Mentality
Posted on July 2nd, 2015

Shenali D Waduge

 Sri Lanka’s leaders have failed to defend the nation and expose to the world the racism and separatism that were hallmarks of Tamil politicians initially which later transferred to armed militancy. The malignant campaigns to ridicule and formulate a foundation to argue the need to function as a separate state conveniently omits to cover the separatist/racist actions/statements and propaganda of Tamil politicians and supporters. While also publishing the Sansoni report there is also the need to republish the Press Commission Report of 1964 that will help bring to light and connect the sinister ploys involved and kept shelved because the majority leaders of Sri Lanka fail to realize the dangers lurking to safeguard the unitary status and territorial integrity and the civilizational history of Sri Lanka.

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry under Section 2 of the Commissioner of Inquiry Act (Chapt 393) appointed by President William Gopallawa on 9 November 1977 to inquire into the riots of August 1977

  • Milani Claude Sansoni, the retired Chief Justice appointed
  • The Sansoni Commission mandated to ascertain the circumstances & causes that led to incidents that took place between 13 August 1977 – 15 September 1977
    • Death/injury to persons
    • Destruction/damage to property – individual and state
    • Robbery / theft of property
    • Person(s) / organizations connected conspired to commit or aided & abetted
    • Recommend measures to rehabilitate or assist persons affected and ensure safety of public and prevent recurrence of such incidents.
  • Sittings began on 8 February 1978 & concluded on 12 October 1979 (1 year 8 months). 298 sittings held. 952 victims and witnesses gave evidence. 275 affected persons filed affidavits. 7 TULF MPs gave evidence. Anandasangaree did not.
  • The Sansoni report was published as Sessional Paper No VII – 1980. Report was 277 pages
  • Recommendations of Sansoni
    • “… Whatever may be the rule in this island under normal conditions, the incidents which occurred during the specified period were of such an extreme nature and so widespread that an exception should be made as regards the payment of compensation to all those persons who were adversely affected … I recommend that all persons who suffered damages arising out of the incidents which occurred during the period 13th August, 1977 to 15th September 1977, be paid full compensation to the extent of such damages.”
  • Noteworthy : Sansoni, in his lengthy report, to an extent, places the cause of the violence on the TULF leadership for fostering a climate of hostility.
Incident : 13 August 1977 to 15 September 1977

Anti-Tamil riots causing civilian deaths & displacement

Duration of riot: 1 month
Death toll: 100 / displacement of 25,000

Daily News of 29 Aug reported 112 deaths and property worth Rs.1000m damaged or looted. 4000 arrested and 2500 in remand prison.

Reasons for riots: – killing of 2 policemen in Jaffna by LTTE

– Demand by TULF for a separate state

Background info & important dates – 5 May 1976 : Prabakaran founded LTTE and immediately afterwards LTTE began attacking Tamil police officers. The clashes between Tamil youth and police are mentioned in the Jain Commission report (following assassination of Rajiv Gandhi)

– Tamil youth were involved in numerous violent acts against state police. It was a means of enticing reaction. Sinhala shops in the North were attacked, government property were attacked.

– 21 July 1977 – Polls for 8th Parliament (nominations June 6, 1977) – 756 candidates contesting the 168-member parliament / 6,667,589 eligible voters

– 21 Feb 1977 Sirimavo Bandaranaike calls meeting with Tamil & Muslim MPs to identify genuine grievances. Felix Dias confirms Govt will not accept idea of a separate state. Chelvanayagam said that TULF would not compromise on issue of a separate state and TULF would only accept an interim arrangement. Tamil youth demanded TULF leaders not to compromise Vaddukoddai Resolution separate state stand.

– 26 March 1977 Chelvanayagam said , “My advice to the Sinhalese leaders is to allow us to go our way .. Let us avoid bitterness and agree to part peacefully. This will pave the way for greater cooperation between the two nations on a footing of equality. The Tamils are not with any other alternatives. Bitterness is growing in the midst of the younger generations. Without allowing it to grow any further, which may lead to inevitable confrontation leading to foreign intervention, therefore a method of peacefully working out this entanglement is necessary. We are confident that the truth will ultimately triumph and we will win in the war of endurance.”

– 5 April 1977 – Chelvanayagam dies and Amirthalingam takes over and turns to UNP reading the pulse of likely change in Govt.
In 1977, the Sinhala population of Jaffna was 10%

False flags – Sansoni report acknowledged that the riots was sparked by a false radio message from the police in Jaffna stating that CTB buses and police had been attacked by Tamils
In contrast the SLFP manifesto of 1977




The UNP manifesto

“National unity and national problems,” ….”A state advisory council would be set up representing all nationalities to advise the government to discuss essential factors and to take steps including institutional reforms on cultural, social, economic, national and language problems of the people of all minorities.”

‘Dharmishta government’ with a campaign highlighting corruptions of SLFP, allegations of nepotism. UNP won the 1977 election with 140 seats. Nearly 6,243, 573 people voted (86%) UNP polled 3,179,221 votes (50.9%)

Violence broke out islandwide after JR was made Prime Minister. UNP gangs unleashed a reign of terror on SLFP.

Killing of Tamil policemen in North by Tamils – June 1977 retired police inspector gunned down

– August 1977 killing of 3 Tamil policemen

– January 1978 M Canagaratnam who contested Pottuvil from TULF but crossed over to UNP was shot by Uma Maheshwaran and Prabakaran in Colombo.

– April 7, 1978 Inspector Bastiampillai, 2 other Tamil policemen and a Sinhala driver shot dead in Mannar (LTTE then called Tamil New Tigers claimed responsibility on 25 April) This letter issued by TNT was typed in Amirthalingam’s Leader of the Opposition office. The letter was published in the Virakesari

– September 7, 1978 LTTE blows up Avro aircraft belonging to the Air Ceylon, at Ratmalana airport. LTTE London office issues a communique “Let this blowing up of the aircraft serve as a lesson for all aggressors who are under the illusion that they can barter our ideal or arrest our struggle by doing out concessions.” (shows foreign patronage upto 1978)

Separatist ideology among Tamil Leaders – 1977 TULF election manifesto Tamil United Liberation Front seeks in the general election the mandate of the Tamil nation to establish an independent sovereign, secular, socialist state of Tamil Eelam, that includes all the geographically contiguous areas that have been the traditional homeland of the Tamil-speaking people in the country.”

Tamil United Liberation Front declared that following shall be the citizens of the Tamil Eelam:

·  All those people now living in the territory of Tamil Eelam.

·  Tamil-speaking persons from any part of Ceylon seeking citizenship in the state of Tamil Eelam.

·  Tamil-speaking people of Ceylonese descent living in any part of the world and seeking citizenship in the state of Tamil Eelam.

Action will be taken to enlist international support to achieve the freedom of Tamil Eelam.”

– 19 July 1977, Amirthalinga “Ours is no longer a national problem. Ours is a dispute between two nationalities. The election day after tomorrow [21 July] is no ordinary election. It is a plebiscite. It is a plebiscite to determine whether the Tamil people want to continue to live with the Sinhalese or they want to separate.”

TULF separatist ideology won 18 seats! TULF obtained 421,488 votes (6.4%)

Amirthalingam became Leader of the Opposition. He was shot dead in 1989 by LTTE.

Proof of Tamil politicians canvasing for Eelam Amirthalingham, the Secretary General and M.Sivasithamparam, the President of the Tamil United Liberation Front appealed to Sri Lankan Tamils living abroad to contribute to the Eelam cause.

14 August 1979 the letter sent from TULF Office Jaffna had heading


“Dear Friends,

“At this momentous stage of our freedom struggle, every Eelam Tamil, he be in Eelam or he be in the Capitals of the world, must play his part. London-based Eelam Tamils have played and have yet to play an important role in calling world’s attention to the justice of our cause, to the reasonableness of our objective of freedom, to every instance of the flagrant violation of human rights in Sri Lanka, to gross discrimination against the Tamils in every field of governmental activity. While we appreciate the tremendous tasks undertaken by our compatriots in London, we have, at times, been grieved to witness the multiplicity of organizations, the conflict of personalities, which often lead to fissiparous tendencies among our brothers. We have before us the lessons of the past. We have seen how repeatedly, in spite of our many virtues and our great abilities, we have failed in our aim to win freedom for our people. We have learnt this lesson here at home; the tremendous force that the TULF is today, is undoubtedly due to this unity. This is the message we wish in all humility, to convey to our brothers abroad.

“A first step in the right direction has been taken by the Eelam Tamils Association, Eelam Liberation Organization and Thamilar Viduthalai Peraney, (Tamil Freedom Mass-organ)coming together to take joint decisions and to take collective action through the Tamil Coordinating Committee. We appeal to all organizations and the individuals who share the ideals of Thamil Eelam and who are ready to cooperate with the TULF to join the TCC. We wish to assure all that the TCC shall function in democratic way, taking decisions, as far as possible, on the basis of consensus; if decisions have to be taken on the basis of a vote, it shall be after a full and free discussion.

“Our tasks are many and onerous; the path we have to traverse before we reach our cherished goal of freedom is long; our resources are limited; let us not fritter our limited resources and waste our energy in useless inter-fighting; let us , on the other hand, close ranks, co-ordinate our actions in an organization like the TCC and forge ahead with our many tasks.”

1st mention of GENOCIDE by Tamils October 5, 1978 at the UN a Tamil took the podium before Foreign Minister Shahul Hameed

– “Mr President! Leaders of the World! If oppressed minority nations such as Tamil Eelam cannot make representations to this supreme body, then where we go? My name is Krishna and I come from the 2 1/2 million strong Nation of Tamil Eelam, lying between Sri Lanka and India. The Sri Lanka Sinhala government is continuing a policy of genocide aimed at the destruction of our Tamil Nation.

“There is every danger of the Tamil problem threatening the peace of the Indian region. The problem in Sri Lanka will develop to be as serious as the Palestinian and Cyprus problems unless you, the world leaders, intervene and help in its solution now. We appeal to you for such help! Thank you. I apologize for speaking without permission. Long Live Tamil Eelam.”

What we should deduct from the incidents that took place in 1977

  • Indiscipline of the Sri Lanka police (an area that continues to need attention) on account of the manner the police treat all communities.
  • The need for Tamils to accept that they cannot expect to claim peaceful co-existence while promulgating the notion of a separate Tamil nation while enjoying full privileges throughout the island as a non-homogenous minority.
  • Tamils fictitiously believing in a mythical homeland that has no historical basis apart from being used as a political slogan and a means to advance minority privileges unfairly.
  • Unfair of Tamil politicians to use the ethnic card to come into power via the Tamil vote (a political strategy used by Muslim politicians as well)
  • The selfish power hungry behaviour of Sinhala politicians (of all political parties) that have played the ethnic groups against each other for their own political survival and rule

Noteworthy Quotations

Militant Tamil Youth from the North were organizing guerilla groups with support from offices in Tamil Nadu, India. When they killed two [Sinhalese] policemen in Jaffna in mid-August 1977, anti Tamil rioting broke out in many parts of the country. The violence lasted more than a month. Over one hundred people were killed and over 25,000 were displaced. Many Indian Tamils fled to the Eastern Province. … This time the government did not declare a state of emergency to quell the violence. This failure to deploy official forces has been interpreted as an indication that the government could no longer trust the army and police to enforce the law. Criticism was leveled against the government for placing the blame for the riots on the Tamil politicians. Basing its conclusions on the [Sansoni Commission] the government attributed the violence to the killings of the two policemen in Jaffna, to inflammatory statements by Tamil leaders, and to Tamil separatist aspirations.”

Playing the communal Card”: Communal Violence and Human Rights,

Cynthia G. Brown and Farhad Khan (1995).

“He (a W.P. Gunathilake) will be remembered for ever for the services he rendered to the Sinhala Buddhist cause before the Sansoni Commission. The Sansoni Commission was appointed by President J.R. Jayewardene at the insistence of the Tamil racist parties led by Amirthalingam, to look into the so called racial riots in 1977. The aim of the Tamil parties was to have a report condemning the Sinhala people and to go round the world with the report. However, a team of lawyers ably led by Gunathilake ruined the hopes of the Tamil racists. The Sansoni Commission report came out with all the racist activities of the Tamil parties and in particular how Amirthalingam and the rest incited the Tamil youth against the Sinhala people…Tamil racists bought almost all the copies and made sure that they were destroyed.”

All Ceylon Buddhist Congress

“People become restive when they hear that a separate state is to be formed, that Trincomalee is to be the capital of the state, that Napoleon said that Trincomalee was key to the Indian Ocean and that it is going to be the capital of the state. I do not thing Napoleon ever said that – I do not think Napoleon ever made a foolish remark like that. Whatever it is, when statements of that type are made, the newspapers carry them throughout the island, and when you say that you are not violent, but that violence may be used in time to come, what do you think the other people in Sri Lanka will do? How will they react? If you want to fight, let there be a fight; if it is peace, let there be peace, that is what they will say. It is not what I am saying. The people of Sri Lanka say that.

 J R Jayewardene of Sri Lanka

18 August 1977

Shenali D Waduge

5 Responses to “Sri Lanka must republish Sansoni Report – Expose Tamil Separatist Mentality”

  1. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    Thanks Shenali!
    This is an integral part of a key aspect of the root cause of the Tamil problem which was outlined ddecades ago, overlooked almost in apathy by the administrations to which it was served ny then Chief Justice Sansoni who saw in hindsight and conventional wisdom the dangers posed by the Tamils through an impending insurrection which was what was alluded to mainly in the Report. The rest of course is history.It is however never too late to use the advice in it as a buffer against the Tamil threat to sovereign Sri lanka which does exist even today.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    TNA is doing the same thing today. Unless militarily handled TNA will cause lot more bloodshed.

  3. Christie Says:

    Namaste: It was in 1927 I am sure the most celebrated Indian Colonial Parasite in the world Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi set foot in Ceylon and Jaffna where he planted the seeds of Indian Colonial Parasites supremacy. Jai Hind

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Thank you, Shenali. Yes, it is important to examine Tamil Separatism over the many decades in Sri Lanka.

    There are some salient points to address :

    (1) Ever since PM Nehru imposed anti-Secessionist Law in India in 1963, the separatist push by Tamil leaders was transferred to Sri Lanka from Tamil Nadu.

    (2) Tamil Separatism & Caste problem wars were also transferred to Lanka and found a politicial focal point in Lanka culminating with the Tamil language being made an Official/National language.

    (3) The Cold War (1946-1991) played its part in the Tamil Separatist move with major foreign countries getting involved in the push for Tamil Eelam, thus further alienating the Tamil community of Lanka with the rest of the people of Lanka.

    It is also pertinent to note that the new Tamil political party has been formed called ‘Crusaders for Democracy’ consisting
    of ex-LTTE cadre. Their aim is to do re-hab work, livelihood programs, work to release Tamil political prisoners, co-operate with fair minded southern groups, and amicable settlement to the Tamil Question.

    Question : What is the Tamil Question ?
    Generally speaking, all minority groups all over the world tend to integrate into mainstream life in the countries they have chosen to live in.

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    Correction – please read as ” ….. that the new Tamil political party formed called “Crusaders for Democracy” consists of ex-LTTE cadre”.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2024 All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress