Uneven-handed treatment of Muslim and Tamil MPs who are alleged to have terrorist links.
Posted on July 31st, 2019

Bodhi Dhanapala

Thank your Mr. van der Poorten

You are most welcome to push forward your own analysis of the events that had occurred in Sri Lanka and hold your own analysis of the Eelamist Racist program of “an exclusive Tamil Homeland” put in place since 1949 that has been the cause of the calamitous evolution of Sri Lanka’s ethnic history.

I find it strange that you write “Sri Lanka has paid a serious price for all the dabbling that has been done by well-meaning” expatriates and we hardly need another voice to stoke those fires”.  And when you say  WE in the “we hardly need”, who are these We, especially because you are yourself a Canadian, by your admission! What hypocrisy!

You seem to believe that only you have the right to speak, and only your perspective is good and useful?  May be you do not have a vote in Sri Lanka, but I still have a vote, and live there sufficiently long each year and pay taxes there.

Here are some points for you to ponder.

1).  I feel that you begin the discussion by applying the tar brush to your interlocutor  instead of giving an evidence-based analysis because you have NO FACTUAL basis for what you say.

 If you feel that my analysis is biased by “sinhala-Buddhist”, thinking, I could have equally well stated that your analysis is biased by your Dutch- Burghur background (jusging by your name – I don’t of course know if the name is authentic).
 But such personal attack is not my approach to  discussing these matters as such a demarche is totally counterproductive and in the end leads to what has happened in Sri Lanka over the years. In fact, it was this attitude shown by people who think like you, but went further and took matters to their own hand that led to the coup d’etats attempted in Sri Lanka on two occasions (e.g., against Sirima’s government) and foiled.

2. The tone of the narrative IN  Sri Lanka and abroad, ON Sri Lanka, has been set by the Land-owning upper class  and upper Caste communities of Sri Lanka, which constitute the Tamil Vellalar, Sinhala Goigama and European Colonial -planter progeny.

When SJV Chelvanayagam declaired the North and East “exclusive Tamil Homelands” and launched a program  to extricate the northern  fiefdoms of the rich Vellalar living in in Colombo 7, he expected this to be quite easy because in the 1950s the public service, the GCSU,  the professions, the private sector mercantile trade, import-export (shipping lines etc) were in the hands of the tamil community. Remember that the ITAK, and before them the Tamil Congress in the state council, PREVENTED the  building of causeways and roads in the Jaffna peninsula as they felt that it will make the olow caste people “uppity”.  Jaffna was maintained as an Urban council so that the Vellalar living in Colombo did not have to pay municipal-level taxes, even though Jaffana had become a big town. It was SWRD Bandaranaike who passed laws against explicit and implicit caste discrimination, and moved Jaffna to the status of a municipal council.

 But this did not happen due to complex reasons explained in detail by historians and by perceptive journalists coming from the Tamil community itself. Nevertheless, the atttude the ITAK is seen in the fact that Dr Navaratnam, the chief ideologue of the ITAK at that time even wrote a book entitled the “Irreconcilability of the sinhalese and the tamils”, published I think, in 1952.  The standard narrative is that the Banda-Chelva pact was torn apart by the actions of Buddhist priests. It is only rarely mentioned that Navaratnam and other federal party stalwarts held a shut down of all Jaffna shops and government services protesting AGAINST the B-C pact because the core-component of the Jaffna ITAK were too and nail against the BC pact. Chelva assuaged them by saying a little now, but we will get full control later. Such statements, made in tamil, not reported in the English press, did nevertheless percolate to the south. You CANNOT HAVE federalism and

3. Who  are these historians?  I hope you are familiar with the writings of the Oxford historian Dr. Jane Russell. See for instance her book “Communal Politics under the Donoughmore Constitution, 1931-1948”. You can also read Professor K. M. de Silva.s writing on the ethnic conflict.

4. See the writings of Dr Sebastian Rasalingam, one of the few Tamil journalists coming from a “depressed cast”. In fact you should ask why there are virtually NO low caste politicians, journalists or academics in the Tamil community, and how the social engineering has controlled that society so that the Periya Dorei class controls the vast majority of low caste people so that they continue to be landless and educationless.

5. The most incisive  writings of Dr. Rasalingam are in  Tamil. But it is quite probable that you do not read Tamil (while you may know enough pidgin Tamil to speak to servants and workers). So let me send you some references to Dr. Sebastian Rasalingam’s English articles. Many of Dr. Rasalingam’s articles have appeared in the columns

of  D. B. S. Jeyraj, a Tamil journalist who lives in Toronto, and in the Sri Lanka Guardian.

Of course, you will say that Rasalingam and Jeyraj are expacts “dabbling in Sri lankan politics” and that only you and your voice should be heard.









and so on, many many articles.


On Wed Jul 31 2019 02:29:35 GMT-0500 (EST), Emil van der Poorten <emilvan@sltnet.lk> wrote:

Mr. Dhanapala:

With all due respect, you are comparing apples with oranges in comparing the LTTE, its roots and the Sri Lankan political history that gave it traction with the Jihadists who are driven by VERY different needs.

Or is this simply, yet another exercise in trying to justify the gospel of Sinhala Buddhist Supremacy?”

Sri Lanka has paid a serious price for all the dabbling that has been done by well-meaning” expatriates and we hardly need another voice to stoke those fires. 

In case you are wondering about my credentials, check them out because I still hold citizenship of the country in which you reside.

Emil van der Poorten

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