Reparations Sri Lanka
Posted on January 31st, 2023

Senaka Weeraratna

Independence Day – Demands

An accountability process for these colonial crimes is warranted through an apology, catharsis, and adequate reparations. An Apology must be particularly directed to the descendants of the Sinhala Buddhist Kandyan people who were singled out as victims of colonial brutalities. These are the descendants of a highly oppressed group of people who were also deprived of their inheritance by the colonial rulers planting thousands of indentured Indian labour of Malabar descent in their traditional homelands without their consent. 19th-century British official documents reveal how the freedom struggles against British colonial rule were suppressed in a most brutal, genocidal manner in one of the darkest pages of European colonial history.

1)     The Government of Sri Lanka must demand from all three colonial powers i.e., Portugal, Netherlands, and Britain:

a) Accountability for crimes committed against both humans and non – humans e.g., the holocaust of elephants in the upcountry, including seeking

a)    Apology and Repentance

b)    Atonement and Remorse

c)     Catharsis

d)     Reparation

e)     Restitutio in Integrum (in Latin this means ‘Restoration’)  

b) Inquire into Colonial Crimes committed by the three Colonial Rulers including Genocidal crimes and wholesale destruction of Buddhist Temples and illegal seizure and occupation of Buddhist Temple lands, and the building of Christian Churches on top of destroyed Temple sites (see the ‘Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon’ by Father Fernao de Queyroz), and the prohibition of the practice of Buddhism.

c) Establish a museum dedicated to remembering the freedom struggles of the people of Sri Lanka against Colonial Rule (1505 – 1948)

d) Research and rewrite the narrative surrounding gaining independence taking into consideration both the internal and external factors

e) Plan a celebration that gives due place to all those who fought against all three Euro – Christian powers that ruled Ceylon in an unjust way

f) Convene an International Conference on Colonialism jointly with former European colonies

g) Consider changing the format of the celebration to exhibit more the historical, cultural, scientific, and Ayurvedic medicines and medical achievements in improving the quality of life, and the creative abilities and contributions of our people in our 2, 500-year history including the names of our freedom fighters i.e., the brave Kings and Queens who fought and protected this land from foreign invasions, and help build the pre-colonial and admirable Buddhist Civilization of Sri Lanka.

Reparations Sri Lanka

February 01, 2023

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