Thoughts on reconciliation using ideas from Singapore
Posted on October 17th, 2015

Harvey Perera 

The purpose writing this article is to tie up some of the incidents of the past few decades and find solutions to the problems we have today, especially Tamil Separatism. Sri Lanka finished a 30 year old war with Tamil Terrorists due to Tamil leaders wanting a separate state for themselves. If we examine the reason as to why it started we can see how misled our leaders were in 1948 when we got independence. Misleading was done mostly by the ‘Kalu Suddas’ of Colombo and large numbers of well educated Catholic, Christian and Tamil advisors we had in the Administrative service of the Govt., at that time.

In 1948 Singapore was just a collection of junk boats while Sri Lanka was poised to develop with 2,600 yrs of history behind us.  Yet our confused leaders wasted the opportunities. By offering free education, free health care, free food etc., while being next door to a country such as India seething with poverty. Did they not realize that the Tamil untouchables will pour in? I think free education and free health care were good for the country overall, but it should have been done with a lot of controls to make sure no illegals came to the country to better their own prospects. It is likely that  the Tea industry needed some of the labor so they just allowed them to come in. It was only JR who created the TAFFAI to control illicit immigration. Then during the 30 years of war about a million Tamils just walked in illegally. Even Prabahakaran said 35% of his fighters were from Tamil Nadu.

Singapore is seen as a model state by Lankans. There is a talk worth listening to by Singapore’s great leader Lee Kuan Yew. He gave this talk in 1990 when a student asked him whether Singapore would face religious intolerance. His answer is brilliant. See:

Mr. Lee Kuan Yew was so intelligent, and so aware. I have seen several of his interviews with Charlie Rose on PBS, USA over the years and he was one of the most impressive world leaders (albeit a small island nation, if you will) I had ever listened to. And what captured my attention most acutely was his explaining to Mr. Rose how he arranged the city of Singapore with specific rules, very strict rules, as to including one of each of the four religious groups on each city block! And this harkens to the last few words he spoke in this snippet from Facebook, in which he said that the situation of ethnic disharmony must be dealt with firmly (whatever word he may have used, this was the meaning), and not in a laid-back manner. As he seemed to be clearly stating what he was learnt in his years of governance was that as long as the religious groups sought to increase their numbers, well then, we’ll have to enforce integration of the groups in neighborhoods, otherwise, you end up with “mischief” as he called it, and “bloody mayhem”, in fact, as he detailed it to Mr. Rose. As, indeed, that’s what always occurs: a tendency for such violence to erupt from time to time when people are allowed to live in separate enclaves (IF they’re holding securely to their narrow, intolerant beliefs). Eventually there’s always some incident that occurs, resulting in people lining up on each side, along sectarian or religious lines, and there you have it, the battle lines are drawn and the fight begins.

And Lee Kwan Yew truly understood this phenomenon, the tendency for such events to occur among a mixed populace. And he also learned that a very strict policy was needed to be adhered to on the ground  by the Government so as to prevent this powder-keg situation from ever developing. As a person is far less likely to destroy the property — or person! –– of a neighbor that they’ve lived with for years, simply because they’re of one faith or another. They get to know each other as INDIVIDUALS (if forced to live within a strictly integrated neighborhood), and this dampens any potential for mass battles occurring in the cityscape. 

Wise man!, Mr. Lee Kwan Yew. Here is the interview with Charlie Rose and Lee Kuan Yew (2011)

Lee Kuan Yew Interview on Charlie Rose (

Based on his ideas, I believe we can build a similar social structure for Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has faced more separation between the Tamils, Sinhalese and Muslims over the last 67 years. One of the great lessons we can learn from Singapore is that we have to govern with a firm hand and have strict rules to ensure that ghettos do not form. I would suggest that each district must have a certain percentage of each group in the district by law, with no ghettos. We must ban all calls for Separation and strictly implement the 6-A.  Even Federalism must be construed as Separatism as that it is where it leads. However our leaders have not enforced it unlike India which is very strict about these matters. Better still, remove the 13-A.

Sinhalese speak and write a unique language, which is there only in Sri Lanka and nowhere else. The type of food they eat and the customs are unique to the Sinhala culture. Furthermore it was the Sinhalese who preserved Theravada Buddhism which is a great Philosophy now benefitting the whole world. Many as you may know are turning to Buddhism in the West. Western Psychotherapy borrows from Theravada Buddhism. The Sinhalese have no other place to go other than Sri Lanka.  Tamil People have Tamil Nadu in India and large groups sacattered all over the world.

Therefore, if we are to speak in terms of nationhood, there is one Nation, which is Sinhala Nation in Sri Lanka, which has existed for 2600 years, and the other one is in Tamil Nadu, the Tamil Nation. It is imperative that the Tamils of Sri Lanka integrate into the local Lanka culture, which accommodates them so well, instead of asking for a separate state. Otherwise as Prime Minister Modi has stated they are welcome to return to India. This fact has to be made very clear to the whole world. We should not be embarrassed to speak out.

Please see attached link below which shows clearly that there are about 76 million Tamils total 12 miles away while there are only 14 million Sinhalese in Sri Lanka. We have to also remember that there are about 15 Million Tamil Dalits in Tamil Nadu and there is a total of 167 million Dalits in India.

For nearly 30 yrs. the whole world was told by the Tamils that they are a minority in Sri Lanka and the majority are suppressing, killing and ill-treating the Tamils. On the contrary, they have more rights in Sri Lanka than in Tamil Nadu as they have Free Education and Health Care in Lanka only.  None of the States adjoining Tamil Nadu allow Tamil as a National language. However, even though there are only about 9% Tamils in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka has adopted Tamil as a National/Official language at that time. They get free education, free medical care and are free to live in the South among the Sinhalese. Sri Lanka also does not put the caste on birth certificates like in Tamil Nadu and India.

Most of these Tamils were Dalits or Untouchables from South India brought by the British and Dutch to work the plantations. In India ‘Untouchability’ is an institutionalized form of slavery. If someone is born to the Untouchable caste (now known as Dalits), they have little hope. Their station in life is fixed. In their birth certificates they have to state their fathers caste so it is fixed for life. To escape caste many of them have migrated to other countries – a move which is most likely encouraged by India. They are in Malaysia, Fiji, Mauritius, Madagascar, Australia, Canada, Europe, Sri Lanka, South Africa, etc. Sri Lanka is particularly vulnerable to illegal migration since Tamil Nadu is only 12 miles away across the Palk Straits. So by encouraging the emigration of the Dalits from India, the upper caste people have reduced the Dalits the way U.K. got rid of their convicts by sending them to Australia. Sri Lanka is particularly vulnerable as land claims are being made for a separate Tamil state, Eelam. 

Those in India and the West must look at the claimed Tamil issue in Sri Lanka objectively and realize that there are no real issues. Between Tamil Nadu leaders, Tamil diaspora and Tamil leaders in Sri Lanka, they have hyped up between them so called grievances” in order to create a separate state called Eelam. Creating a separate state for Tamils will be suicide for Sinhalese due to the large number of Tamil Dalits in Tamil Nadu  (about 15 Million) dying to get out of that caste ridden hellhole in Tamil Nadu.

This is the main reason as to why the Tamils have deliberately created issues in Sri Lanka while in all the other countries they migrated to they have been law abiding. They are hoping that by creating issues where there are none, they can justify creation of a separate state in Sri Lanka for Tamils, which will empower them to import the millions of Tamil Dalits from India and take over Sri Lanka.  This method of exporting their unwanted to other countries is also a way by which India has been slowly invading all the countries mentioned above. In case of Fiji, which is another small Island, the current percentage of Indians is 51%. They have banned Indians from migrating to the country any more.

These Indians who migrate to other countries also set up shops to sell Indian groceries and the Indian culture. Especially in countries such as Africa where there is no strong culture established the people take to the Indian culture easily and adopt the Indian eating habits etc. As you can see in the world today anywhere you go there are Indian restaurants. Therefore by exporting their Dalits they have also created an avenue for export of their culture and the groceries, which are made in India. I have nothings against such economic activities, but when it is tied to separatism through violence then an issue arises. Separatism through violence has gone on in Sri Lanka since the Vaddukodai resolution of 1976 by Tamil leaders.

Tamil leaders in South India have hyped up hatred against the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka by using the rhetoric that the Buddhists are against the Hindus. Another one – they use is the Ramayana (an Epic poem from Hinduism where Rama is supposed to have invaded Sri Lanka and killed Ravana King of Lanka who was considered to have been evil and abducted Rama’s wife Sita. This is only an allegorical tale of the eternal war between the Heart (Rama) and the Mind (Ravana), but ignorant people think it is true. They have spread mythology to make the uneducated Dalits believe that their sins are forgiven if they read the Ramayana and if they cross the sea go to Lanka, land of Ravana. The people are so stupid that at one time when M.G. Ramachandran, who was an actor of the Bhagavad Gita characters, used to ride in a cart they would throw themselves under the wheels to commit suicide since they believed Ramachandran was God himself so that if they died under his cart, they go to heaven. Ramachandran was only a poor actor who came from the tea estates of Sri Lanka. The current Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu is Jayalalitha who was a consort of his for a long time. One can therefore imagine the level of ignorance of some of the people of Tamil Nadu.

Most of the present day Sri Lankan Tamils migrated from Tamil Nadu during the 19th Century. It was mostly the British who imported indentured labor (virtual slaves) from Tamil Nadu to work the tea and coffee plantations. Since many of them were from the Dalit or Untouchables caste they were grateful to the British for bringing them across the sea waters of the Palk Straits. The Tamil people believe that by going across seawater they lose caste and also gained better social status among their own people. (This is another myth propagated by the upper caste to encourage Dalits to leave India).

Many early migrant Tamils of Lanka who were earlier servants of the upper castes in Tamil Nadu called themselves Vellala and put themselves as high caste above the low caste that came later to Lanka. It is also probable that low caste Tamils who acquire an education and land pose off as Vellala Tamils. All these points show that they do not have a case to show that they have a unique Tamil culture in Lanka. If the culture is really important then they must migrate back to Tamil Nadu where they will be completely at home. 

Their Tamil caste factor is something we do not want in Sri Lanka.  Yet, if Eelam is formed, the upper caste and Tamil Nadu  will impose the Caste structure on Eelam.


Based on the ideas of Lee Kuan Yew and the situation in Sri Lanka which I have outlined, what can be done to create harmony among the different communities? One thing is certain that if we create a separate state for Tamils in the North and East it will be eternal war between the two communities. The “divide and rule” of the British Colonists will be complete. Tamils will be free to live anywhere in the island while the Sinhalese will be not allowed to venture to the North and East.

  1. We must therefore have strict rules and ensure there is an even distribution of the different communities by districts.
  2. We must activate the amendment 6-A and enforce it.
  3. We must insist of retraction of the Vadukoddai resolution as a start for any negotiations.
  4. We must remove the 13A and eliminate the possibility for separation of North and East.
  5. We must remove the Tamil language as a official and National language to prevent more Tamil illegals migrants pouring in to Sri Lanka.
  6. Ensure that everyone is free to live anywhere they like in the island.
  7. There must be only one set of rules for everyone unlike now where the Tamils have Thesavalami law and Mulims have Sharia law. We cannot let Muslims have up to 5 wives while all others have only one wife.
  8. As many have already pointed out we must never ever agree to a bridge or a chunnel between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.
  9. Again as others have pointed out there should be no CEPA agreement with India. It will be death to all local industries since we cannot match the very cheap labor they have.

4 Responses to “Thoughts on reconciliation using ideas from Singapore”

  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    Several good ideas by Mr Harvey Perera. We wish that people would all get together to implement such far reaching truly good changes.

    As Mr Perera says, a Separate State or even a Federal state will result in permanent conflicts.

  2. Independent Says:

    Lee Kuan Yew openly in labour day speech said ” We must retain racial balance” ( I was watching in the TV). What he meant was that regard to migration, if they offer citizenship to 1 INDIAN( Sri Lankans also considered as Indian) they must offer 7 places to people from China, also means 1 or 2 Malays but he secretly avoid taking Malay and take 1 more Indian and I more China man.

    We don’t give citizenship to Sinhalese, but we give only to Tamils, Pakis and Maldives. WHere is the racial balance ?

  3. Independent Says:

    RE-CON-SILLy ation. Dedicated to Ranjt

    මහින්ද – රාජිත මාතරදී සුහද සාකච්ඡාවක!

    හිටපු ජනාධිපති මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ පසුගිය සති අන්තයේ මාතර තෙලිඡ්ජවිල ප්‍රදේශය බලා පිටත්ව ගියේ තම පැරණි මිතුරකුගේ නිවසේ පැවති දානමය පින්කමකට සහභාගිවීම සඳහාය. මිත්‍රයා කලක්‌ ඔහුගේ වෛද්‍යවරයා ලෙස සේවය ද කළ වෛද්‍ය අජිත් රණවකය. අජිත් රණවකගේ හා ඔහුගේ සහෝදරයා වන නීතිඥ කිංස්‌ලි රණවකගේ මෑණියන්ගේ තුන්වන ගුණානුස්‌මරණ පුණ්‍යකර්මය පසුගිය ඉරිදා දහවල් මාතර තෙලිඡ්ජවිල පිහිටි එම නිවසේදී පැවැත්විණි.

    මේ සඳහා දේශපාලනඥයන් ගණනාවකටම ආරාධනා කර තිබිණි. ආරාධනාව පිළිsගෙන කොළඹ සිට තවත් මිතුරෙක්‌ මේ දානෙ ගෙදරට පැමිණියේය. ඒ සෞඛ්‍ය අමාත්‍ය රාජිත සේනාරත්නය.

    මේ දෙදෙනාගෙන් පළමුව පැමිණ සිටියේ රාජිතයි. රාජිත එම නිවසේ නෑසිය මිතුරන් සමඟ කතාබහ කරමින් පැරණි තොරතුරු කතා බහ කරමින් සිටින අතරතුර මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ ද එතනට ආවේය.

    තෙලිඡ්ජවිල ප්‍රදේශයේ මෙන්ම මේ රටේ ද බොහෝ දෙනෙක්‌ සිතා සිටින්නේ මහින්ද හා රාජිත දෙන්නට දෙන්නා මුහුණ බලන්නේ නැති තරමට තරහ ඇති කියාය. මේ නිසා මහින්ද එන විට රාජිත මඟහැර යාවි කියා ද කියූ අය එතන සිටියහ.

    ඒ සියල්ලෝම පුදුම කරවමින් මහින්ද පැමිණි සැණින්ම කතා කළේ රාජිත සමඟය.

    “ආ…. රාජිත මමත් මේ එන්න හිටපු ගමනක්‌ නොවෙයි ඒත් මේ ගෙදර වැඩකට නෑවිත් කොහොමද….?”

    මටත් එහෙමයි මමත් මේ කොළඹ ඉඳන්මයි ආවේ. දැන් විනාඩි 15 ක්‌ ඇති මමත් ඇවිත්… කියමින් රාජිත ද බොහෝ ලෙංගතු මිතුරන් දෙදෙනෙක්‌ කලකට පසු එකට හමුවුණා සේ කතා බහ කරන්නට පටන් ගත්හ.

    මේ නිවසේ ඉදිරිපස වූ විශේෂ කාමරය මෙසේ පැමිණෙන අමුත්තන් වෙනුවෙන් වෙන්කර තිබිණි. රාජිත හා මහින්ද අසුන් ගෙන කතාබහ කරමින් සිටියේ ඒ කාමරයේය.

    දෙදෙනාටම මේ කාමරය පිළිබඳ ඉතා දිගු අතීත මතකයක්‌ තිබිණි. ඔවුහු ඒ අතීතය මතක්‌ කරමින් පැරණි කතාව කියන්නට වූයේ අසා සිටියවුන් පුදුමයට පත්කරවමිනි.

    “ඩොක්‌ට අජිත් විවාහ වෙලා නෝනව කැන්දගෙන මේ ගෙදරට ආව නේ. එදා මෙහෙත් මඟුල් ගෙයක්‌. එදා රෑ අපිත් මේ ගෙදර. අපි දෙන්න මේ කාමරයේ තමයි හිටියේ. අම්මා අපට හොඳට සලකනවා…”

    රාජිත හා මහින්ද දෙදෙනාම ඉතිහාස කතා කියන්නට දක්‍ෂය. කතාව හරි රසවත් විය.

    ඉන් පසු විශේෂ අමුත්තන් වෙනුවෙන් දිවා ආහාරය වෙන්කර තිබූ කාමරයට ගොස්‌ දෙදෙනාම ආහාර ගත්හ. කිරි පැණි මේ දෙදෙනාගේම ප්‍රියතම ආහාරය වූහ.
    ටික වේලාවක්‌ මෙසේ අල්ලාප සල්ලාපයේ යෙදී සිටි මේ දෙදෙනා කිසිම ආකාරයකින් දේශපාලනය ගැන කතා නොකිරීමම විශේෂත්වයකි.

    රාජිත…. මම දැන් යනවා මට ලෝයර්ස්‌ලා වගයක්‌ හමුවෙන්න තියෙනවා. මම දැන් යන්න එපායෑ විශේෂ විමර්ශන ඒකකවලට…

    දෙදෙනා මෙසේ සමුගත් පසු වෙන්ව ගියේ නැත. මහින්ද එළියට බසින්නට ගොස්‌ නැවත ඉදිරි කාමරයටම ගියේය. රාජිතත් එහි ඇතුළට ගියේය. දෙදෙනාම වෙනම පුද්ගලික කතාවක්‌ ඇති බව තේරුම් ගත් සෙසු අය එතනින් ඈත් වන්නට වූහ. දෙදෙනා සැලකිය යුතු වේලාවක්‌ කාමරයේ කතාබහ කරමින් සිටියහ. කතා කළේ මොනවාද මොකටද යන්න දෙදෙනාම ඉන්පසු ප්‍රසිද්ධ නොකිරීම විශේෂත්වයකි.

  4. NAK Says:

    Unfortunately we have lunatic fanatics like bahu’s who suck up to Eelamists. And when most sinhalese behave as if they are a cursed nation what hope is there for them?

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