New Constitution Forces behind the scene
Posted on July 20th, 2017

By Ananda Ariyarathne Courtesy Ceylon Today

Feeling proud about one’s own ‘ethnicity’ is a very normal human behaviour. It is applicable to any community. It is also natural for some to go to extremes. It becomes absurd only when such extremists become so self-centred and delve into their own dreams. When the military power of a community grows beyond its limits it becomes a cause for concern. The enthusiasm that sprang up in South India due to the social conflict that came into being as a movement of Tamils Against Brahmins who exerted their authority over the others who were in majority was the beginning of a movement that tried to unite people for one cause, the Tamil language.

During the peak of their influence, even the Northern and North Eastern Sea Belt in Sri Lanka were affected. Consequently, the regions bordering Tamil Nadu felt the impact of the Tamil language which remained even after the invading forces were driven back. The historical blending became an inseparable feature. It was that justification that the Tamil Extremists exploited when they promoted their concept of ‘Dravidasthan’ in India and the maps drawn show the Northern and North Eastern Sri Lankan Coastline as part of the aspired land for their Nation.

Is the Sri Lankan situation purely indigenous?

It is a concept that started gaining momentum for a secessionist movement in India, dragging the bordering regions also into the picture. The influence of the Tamil Language spread not only through military expeditions, but also through the peaceful commercial developments on one hand and in some cases it happened with the movement of skilled artisans and craftsmenwho ventured into neighbouring regions.

It was the influence of the Tamil Language that strengthened the aspirations of people like E.V. Ramasamy who ensured that they achieved their goals. It is an actual fact that in the neighbouring States, we can see more Tamil speaking people than all we have in Sri Lanka, but is there any attempt by those Tamil extremists to claim such lands as parts of Tamil Nadu? The area that covered ‘Dravida Nadu’ or ‘Dravida Desha’ started with the Tamil speaking region initially, but expanded later to the neighbouring states and the Northern and Eastern parts of Sri Lanka. The trend started by E.V. Ramasamy, awakened the aspiration of Tamil people, as far back as the 1920s, when India was still under British Rule, creating a temperament resulting in the formation of supporting organizations. On the threshold of Independence for India, the separatist Tamil leaders in India had gone to the extent of celebrating a ‘Dravida Nadu Secession Day’ on 1 July 1947, and it is said that they passed a resolution on 13 July 1947, at Tiruchirappalli demanding “an independent Dravida Nadu.” However, within three days, on 16 July, it was opposed by Mahatma Gandhi. Also, in 1947, Muhammad Ali Jinnah refused to support E.V. Ramasamy in his bid to create a Dravidastan.

When the Indian Leadership got wind of this, they immediately took action and forbade any kind of secessionist activities. The Constitutional amendment in 1963 very clearly and categorically banned such activities. It was that development which pushed the Tamil nationalists of India to divert attention to the best option they had, just separated by a narrow strip of sea. It was the ideal solution to their problem. The way it has been developing, despite the fact that the promoters have been trying to impress upon the world that the Tamil People in Sri Lanka have undergone great hardship, information is surfacing that most of this is exaggerated. It can be clearly seen that the ‘promoters’ have not been just the Sri Lankan Tamils whom they allege have undergone great hardship at the hands of the majority (Sinhalese) who are about 74%. At the time of Independence, the Sinhalese were the majority as Indian Tamils did not have citizenship, under the British who were the common masters for all and there was no allegation of domination and the Sri Lankan Tamil people did not feel discriminated. However, the irony was that the Sri Lankan Tamils preferred to be identified separately and the reason for such thinking was natural as Sri Lankan Tamils always felt at home here. The other reason was that the Tamil people in Sri Lanka belonged to the same biological community that made up the Sinhalese. It is obvious now that there had been a pattern in the international political scene initially, having South Indian influence initially from Tamil Nadu as a very large number of Indian Tamils were in Sri Lanka. Initially, India was not ready to take back those Non-Sri Lankan Tamils and the Indo-Ceylon Agreement sorted out the issue with some going back to India and the others obtaining citizenship in Sri Lanka. That increased the number of Tamils in this country.

Later Developments in Tamil Nadu

The ‘We Tamils’ movement was initiated by S.P. Adithanar, a proponent as far back as 1958. It was he who openly called for a ‘Greater Tamil Nadu’ to merge the Tamil speaking regions in India and Sri Lanka. The result was the statewide agitation demanding a ‘Sovereign Tamil Nadu,’ in 1960. Some agitators went to the extent of burning maps of India which did not show Tamil Nadu, but in the 1962 elections those extremists lost, which clearly showed that people were opposed to that.

As a result, the Indian Constitution was amended in 1963. The ‘We Tamils’ movement became a part of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).

With the political scene in Sri Lanka changing and the emergence of militancy, a liberation movement emerged in India and carried the name Tamil Nadu Liberation Army, led by a militant known as Thamizharasan. It was banned in India and after his death, the group did not last long. Then came another group that came to be known as Tamil National Retrieval Troops (TNRT) founded by P. Ravichandran, in the latter part of the 1980s. The objective was to form an independent Tamil Nadu and join in with Tamil Eelam to create the Greater Tamil Nadu. The DMK became a force that started agitating in Tamil Nadu to pressurize the Indian Government to stop the military operation in Sri Lanka against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), but the DMK was losing its popularity. The fact that Tamil extremism did not stop completely is proven by the emergence of another Tamil nationalist party which came into being. The party known as Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) came into being on 18 May 2010, just after the Sri Lankan Armed Forces defeated the LTTE. The main objective of this new party was clear, Tamil Nadu should be ruled only by Tamils and went openly to call for unity without being restricted by religion and caste, the thing that mattered the most was the Tamil language.

Post-Prabhakaran Developments in Tamil Nadu

The bloodshed in Sri Lanka stopped with the defeat of the LTTE. Even though the LTTE used the “Tamil language” as a justification when it started its campaign for Tamil Eelam, later on Velupillai Prabhakaran lost sense of direction and became a warlord. The defeat of the LTTE was a major blow to the Tamil Extremists and the Tamil Diaspora who were pulling strings in the International Arenas. In short, they wanted another war. A student movement called the Student Federation for Freedom of Tamil Eelam started consequently and became the main promoter of a series of Anti-Sri Lanka protests. They went to extremes like demanding justice for Sri Lankan Tamils and for a UN Referendum on the formation of Tamil Eelam. It was fortified by the demands from Tamil Organizations and a demand from the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, to have an International Investigation of War Crimes and a Referendum on Tamil Eelam. It has taken a new face now with a popular figure like Tamil Actor – Kamal Hassan becoming a mouthpiece.

The above tendency had been strengthened by ‘Dravidianism.’ This has led to action in all the possible spheres and even to some doctrines linking to National Mysticism to prove the greatness of Tamil civilisation. The level of uncontrolled extremism can be understood by the ideas like “a land that had been there in the Indian Ocean and had submerged about 16,000 years ago.”

Continental Drift and things like the Ice Age are thrown aside. Those are some of the aspects and developments that took place in the Indian Sub-continent where Sri Lanka had no choice regarding its location and the evolutionary aspects that took their natural course. In the so-called modern world being compelled to undergo such rigours caused by such tribal minded people is really a misfortune. All the people are trying to build bridges to achieve harmony. Here we have a situation where efforts are made to prove some past greatness. Of course all can be happy and proud about their own glorious pasts, but that does not mean that they should drag people into such an atavistic situation. Can Italy claim that it has rights in France and the United Kingdom, where the glorious armies dominated and left behind proof about their greatness? The same would apply to the Greeks because of Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan who brought the Mongolian culture to the doorstep of Europe. As there is a language that had been left behind, some Tamil Extremists try to prove to the world that they have a right to interfere in other countries matters.

Sri Lankan Situation

In Sri Lanka, only the cultural footprints were left behind. As human beings of such an advanced age in human history, what a nation has to do should have been the attention that was due to be given to the crucial matters relevant to people. Not just for Sinhalese or Tamils. The innocent people of both communities, the Sinhalese and Tamils existed without grumbling, leaving their future in the hands of some members of the educated class. It became just a pastime for them. Studying history, trying to interpret according to their preferences, trying to change the fate of people who know only to trust and therefore be guided as well as misguided so easily, just exist like the sheep for slaughter. Slaughter is the most fitting word as there are no signs of anything positive in the future. The most immediate reasons for the New Constitution are shown as the need to preserve the right of the people and ‘power sharing.’ What is this power sharing? What better rights do Sinhalese citizens enjoy, that Tamil citizens are deprived of? Power sharing is not for the common people. It is for the so-called champions of the people. When you see what is happening, it becomes very clear that there is a well orchestrated effort to hoodwink the common people and the Sinhalese majority is targeted. As long as this country remains as one administrative unit with a strong majority like 74%, the aspirations which have now become die-hard determinations to carve a geographical area out of this land which had remained so, in most of the time in history, cannot be achieved. The best way is to divide the majority by political parties and geographically so that they shall never be together to stand up for unity.

The false assurances by Tamil Politicians

Except for the Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran most of the fire-breathers in the past have started talking now about a unitary state as a gesture to make the majority of people believe them. Fine, if they truly believe in what they say, why hasn’t anyone spoken about the Oath of Allegiance? That is because they have no plan to do so. At this point, it must be mentioned that it will be very refreshing to learn how the Indian Government ensured the Unitary Principles.

Here they want land powers, Police powers, and so on. What does this indicate? It indicates that they have not given up their struggle for a separate State. If they are genuinely concerned about the people, they should be more worried about the welfare of the people.

Instead, they are busy trying to paint the Sinhalese as monstrous individuals. What does all this prove? Isn’t the New Constitution just a front to hoodwink people and to have a hearty laugh at the expense of true and honest democracy?

One Response to “New Constitution Forces behind the scene”

  1. SA Kumar Says:

    they should be more worried about the welfare of the people.- when We-Tamil have worried about people to worry now ??? (in Tamil -entha kalaththilada we worried about people?)

    Naalai pirakkum TE !!!! Tomorrow We will get TE (not today) will repeat again tomorrow .

    Modayas & Sakkiliyas never learn !!!!! It is Our both Karma !

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