Sunday, January 31, 2010

Yet another reason why the Sinhala Civilization vanished from North and East of Sri Lanka….

Assimilation by Sinhalese with Tamils has also been one of the main reasons for vanishing the Sinhala civilization from the North and Eastern parts of the country. Due to the mass scale migration of Sinhalese to the southern parts of the country, Sinhalese population became a tiny minority in the areas which were the original place of living of Sinhalese before settling of a majority of Tamils by colonial powers starting from Portuguese in the North and East.    
There are innumerable evidences of existence of a flourishing Sinhalese civilization in NE from time immemorial. They include vast number of Buddhist places of worship, their ruins and other monuments, large number of inscriptions, tanks and irrigation works, the original Sinhala place names (now Tamilinized) and the evidences from the chronicles. Apart from all these evidences the accounts by civil servants of the colonial governments who ruled Sri Lanka provide a wealth of evidences too. 
As an article appeared in the Island paper on 02nd May 2009 written by professor Prof. Shantha  K. Hennayake of the University of Peradeniya points out assimilation by Sinhalese to Tamils have been one of the major reasons for depopulation of Sinhalese from NE. This disqualifies the popular belief that it was the Tamils who have been acculturated into the Sinhalese society     
The article also includes lamentation by Mr Lushington, an Assistant Government Agent of the British colonial government over the vanishing Sinhala civilization from the North and east.
Some parts of the article are quoted as below
"It is clear the process of depopulation of the Sinhalese in sparsly populated Dry Zone had started even before the advent of the British and continued well into the early years of the 20th century. This was followed by the simultaneous infiltration of Tamils and Muslims from their populous pockets located along the eastern coast and also from Jaffna in the case of the former.
One of the most significant, yet hardly investigated or discussed facts about the changes in the ethnic population in the sparsely populated periphery is not one of spatial but sociological. It is a striking feature to observe, contrary to the popular and cultivated view held by both the Sinhalese and Tamils, that Tamils have been acculturated into the Sinhalese society, that the Sinhalese peasants who remained behind in the isolated rural villages in the Dry Zone periphery were in fact increasingly getting assimilated into the Tamil community. Then Assistant Government Agent Mr Lushington lucidly elaborated this process in his 1898 Administration Report:
'This part of the District (Kaddukulam West) is inhabited by Sinhalese villagers of Kandyan descent forming an outlying community which is, I fear rapidly dying out or becoming effaced.
This District is most interesting, being dotted over by numerous village tanks, some of which are restored and others abandoned„ The villagers retain many of the primitive customs of the Kandyans, but they are rapidly becoming 'Tamilized', which is a great pity. They inter- marry with Tamils and many of them speak Tamil as well as they speak Sinhalese. Even the Government School Master is Tamil and only that language is taught in the only school and unfortunately in some cases lands in Sinhalese villages have been bought out by the Tamils, who now own all the paddy lands of some villages. The Sinhalese have given up their patronymics and adopted the Tamil custom of perfexing father's name instead of the usual patronymic and even the names of the villages are assuming a Tamil dress.
This perhaps not to be wondered at when the interpreters of the court and the Kachcheri, the petition drawers and all through whom the villagers have access to Government officers, can speak nothing but Tamil.'
This is also the self admission by the British rulers that they were using the Tamils over the Sinhalese in government positions in these areas.
It can be safely argued that this process of assimilation was not limited only to the villages that came to the attention of the AGA in 1898. This process perhaps had been happening all along the interior and maritime areas of the north and east. At the same time, it can be confidently argued that this process might have started several centuries prior to Lushington's observations and no doubt that it continued even after that. Although we lack documentary evidence for the earlier period, even as late as 1911, Denham (1912) observed: "The Sinhalese villagers of Kaddukulam Pattu appears to be decreasing in number or to become merged in the Tamil population."
Thus one can identify three mutually related processes happening in the sparsely populated Dry Zone periphery, which includes most of the present Eastern Province and southern Districts of the present Northern Province.
1. Economic Processes:
The Tamils and the Muslims who were concentrated in the economic centres of the Northern and especially the Eastern Province and to the same extent in Colombo have bought both the developed and undeveloped lands in the interior parts of the periphery, especially in the Eastern Province. Some of these lands were earlier in the possession of the Sinhalese.
2. Spatial Demographic Processes;
More and more Tamils from the Jaffna peninsula and other concentrations in the Eastern Province moved into the interior areas that had been traditionally owned and occupied by the Sinhalese.
3. Sociological Processes:
The Sinhalese living in the isolated settlements or those that came to be located among the Tamil settlements were increasingly getting assimilated into the Tamil culture or being 'Tamilized '.
What comes out of this discussion of the facts, i.e. that there were Sinhalese settlements dotted over most parts including the farthest corners of the present Eastern Province and certain parts of the southern Districts of the present Northern Province; that almost all of the area of the present Eastern Province and some parts of the Mannar, Vavunia and Mullaitivu Districts came under the political authority of the Kandyan Kingdom during the greater part of its existence; is that these areas do not qualify to become a "historical homeland' of any one ethnic group and certainly not the Tamils in terms of historical facts. It has been an ethnically heterogenous region ever since the Sinhalese began to drift south-westward. The social and economic processes during the last few centuries witnessed a large increase of Tamils and simultaneous decline of the Sinhalese in certain parts of this region. This evidence is in direct contrast to the Tamil ethonationalist argument that it was the Sinhalese who were forcibly brought into this area. By the end of the first quarter of the 20th century a clear and a new ethnic distribution pattern had emerged."
So the responsibility of the present government should be to take all initiatives to resettle the Sinhalese at least in an around the places where the ruins of Buddhist worship places exist. The huge mandate given by the people in the recently concluded presidential election underscores the fact that this country cannot be divided based on a bogus Homeland theory introduced by power hungry Jaffna Tamil Elite spearheaded by Tamils from Malaysia and Singapore. But the disturbing fact is that Tamil racists have deliberately settled Tamils in and around most of these places with the support of Eelam supportive government servants and I/NGOs in order to ensure the furtherance of the bogus Tamil Homeland theory.

Friday, January 29, 2010

It is the people’s verdict on the ownership of the victory of war

Following is a translated version of an article written by Mr. Sirimevan Kasthuriarachhi, an eminent journalist in the country. This appeared in Divaina Newspaper on 29th. Jan. 2010. 
General Fonseka who had earned the honor and the appreciation from people for giving leadership to the SL army which contributed to the end of the biggest curse that the country had been plaguing for 30 years, also earned a lot criticism after his controversial entry to the politics. I am not tempted to write about him due to some personnel responses I got from him. However, I think if he had come to power in any case, I would have not even got a chance to write this. Whatever differences and agreements existed between us it is the common understanding among the majority in the army too that he was a tough officer. And also there are enough evidences for anyone to get an understanding about what his common vocabulary is, how he uses it and what his attitudes are.       
 It is very much clear now that the majority of the people in this country were not prepared to hand over the leadership of this country to him. There is also a lot criticism about the forces behind him. It is apparent from the election results that there have been much favorable responses to him from the areas where he was engaged in military operations. There were people who were eying for positions and other benefits by helping him to come to power. Politicians, government servants, businessmen and media men are said to have been among those people. They were elated by General's contribution to the war victory and put him on the Murunga tree to achieve their ulterior motives by encouraging him to enter into politics.        
But the general's perch on the Murunga tree was short lived. He has now fallen from the Murunga tree and is in unbearable pain with his back hitting the ground. The opportunists who put the General on the Murunga tree are now leaving him. The president, when general Sarath Fonseka decided to contest as his rival in the presidential election, told him " Sarath, reconsider your decision, this is wrong decision which will affect your life, you can't win this battle, when you lose all these people who are now around you will leave you, then come back to me I will be accepting you". It was the president as the commander of the armed forces who made him the commander of the army when he was in a helpless situation having decided to leave for the USA after losing the chance to be the army commander.
The president was, however, magnanimous enough to treat him kindly and not to consider him as a political enemy. But the General ignored president's kindness and decided to be his rival in the presidential election race.       
 Some allege that the General's decision to contest in the presidential race was not his alone but is a result of an exercise carried out by JVP and UNP to instill an exaggerated pride in him, thereby to achieve their political goals. Muslim Congress joined with this exercise and TNA too joined at the later stages. Many allege that the biggest folly and the betrayal committed by the General to the country was his decision to join in the hands of TNA.
Our memories are still fresh with harsh criticisms made against him and how he was being ridiculed by persons such as Lakhsman Kiriella, Mangala Samaraweera, Ranil Wickramasinhe and Ravi Karunanayaka when he was leading the army victoriously. He joined with Rauf Hakeem and Sampanthan who dedicated their political careers on behalf of Prabhakaran.
His political battle was adversely affected by his decision to join with TNA, the official political front of the LTTE. This resulted in him wining the appreciation of the Tamil people. The success he displayed in the Tamil dominated areas are evident for this. It is very clear to us why he got the majority votes from Muslims and Tamils in the North and East. 
The overall result shows that how the people from South showed their gratitude to the president for giving political leadership to save them from terrorism that plagued the country for 03 decades.  It is also the acceptance by the people that it is the president's political leadership that contributed for the war victory.        
 It is the general Sarath Fonseka himself who should take the responsibility for the unfortunate fate that befallen in him by coming into politics in order to satisfy his power hungriness and hatred. He did this by claiming the sole ownership to the war victory.
It is quite pathetic to see how sorry, unfortunate and tragic situation that general Fonseka and the opportunistic politicians and media men who pushed him to this abyss are in now. How tragic it is to see General Fonseka who had earned gratitude and honor as a brilliant war hero just a few months ago has reduced to be branded as a traitor and a defeated politician! The majority of peace loving, grateful and patriotic people of this country have proved that the ownership to the war victory does not go alone to him and the president is the only owner for the political leadership that pave the way for winning the war.
This victory goes into history as not only a political achievement of the President Mahinda Rajapaksha but also a victory for the gallant war heroes who gave freedom and peace to this country. This victory is also an utter defeat to the treacherous political forces of this country and local and international LTTE supportive forces who intervened to stop our victorious war.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

President Mahinda’s win: a story of mixture of displaying gratefulness by rural Sinhala masses and ungratefulness by opportunists.

By judging the presidential Election results it is very much clear that it is the Sinhalese Buddhist rural masses that have put their weight a lot behind President Mahinda Rajapaksha (MR) while Sarath Foneska (SF) has gained significant majority in the areas dominated by Tamils and Muslims. Muslim dominated areas such as Potuvil,  Digamadulla, Samanthuraya, Kalmunai and Muttur etc have given a significant margin of total votes to SF over MR. So has been the case in the districts of Jaffna, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Killinochchi, Vavniya and Mannar,  Tamil dominated areas.   
Apart from the fact that MR did a great service to the Eastern areas by freeing the area from the clutches of terrorism, there have been a significant number development projects benefitting the masses. Those project include construction of a more than 100 KMs long road and bridges connecting Trincomalee and Pulmudai, the 100% of the beneficiaries of the project are Muslims and Tamils and the longest bridge in SL, the Kinniya bridge, again 100% of the beneficiaries of the project are Muslims and Tamils: more benefitting the former in the both the cases. Many other projects undertaken in the district benefit the two communities. This has been the case with Baticaloa and Ampara districts too with innumerable number of development projects being underway. Almost all the villages in the province have been provided with electricity with many paved roads. All signs of ushering a great economic revival and other benefits to the both communities in the province are quite visible. All these achievements have been made within a short span of two years while a full scale war had been raging in the north.  However, MR has not been lucky enough to enjoy the gratefulness from these communities. Though MR has done great services to the Muslim IDPs in Puttalm by giving them a chance to resettle in Jaffna and has made all measures to resettle them soon, the latter has, however, preferred SF.
Sarath Fonseka has also fared fairly well in some areas of the Colombo District too, again a district that constitutes significant portion of Muslims and Tamils.  In most of the polling divisions in the North Western Province, North Central and Southern Province there has been a significant majority behind MR.  These districts comprise of most of the rural Sinhala masses who have shown a remarkable display of gratefulness to MR for the great services done by him winning the secessionist war. It should also be noted that a great bulk of the members of the armed forces come from these provinces.  
So it is a story of mixture of displaying gratefulness by majority of rural Sinhala masses and ungratefulness by opportunists. This is undoubtedly a victory of defeating secessionist and foreign forces who were hell bent of ensuring president Mahinda Rajapaksha's defeat.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Should we ensure President Rajapaksha’s victory or should we defeat the opposition coalition?

This is a translated version of an article appeared in Divaina newspaper on last Sunday (24th Jan 2010) by Dr. Damma Disanayake,  a senior lecturer at the University of Colombo in Political Science.  
There are only a few days left for the presidential election. The main question before us is that whether we should ensure President Rajapaksha's victory or we should defeat the opposition coalition. My answer to both questions is "Yes". That means we should ensure President Mahinda's victory. The opposition coalition should be defeated. Why should we do so? Why should I, as a lecturer at a University, make a similar request?   
I'm neither a member of any political party nor have any intention to be a member of any political party. But I have a political vision. Therefore, I don't have a habit to be a passive observer in a meditative mood at a time when our country is in a politically, economically and socially critical stage. Therefore, we should play a role of intervention. There have been instances where these interventions have yielded positive results.
Interventions we made in 1994 have been such an example. The UNP government that came to power in 1977 promised to create a "Righteous Society" and provision of 08 pounds of grain to the masses. But what in fact happened was an entirely contrasting thing. Instead of a "Righteous Society" a society replete with thousands of deaths and mayhem was created. The circle of violence unleashed subsequent to the election held on 22nd July 1977 went on unabated for weeks. What then president said was that he would give the police compulsory leave for one week. The properties of people belonging to the opposition parties were set on fire and looted and the people were tortured. The executive presidential system and Proportional Representation were introduced by the amendment to the 1978 constitution. The democratic system was adversely affected by this Proportional Representation system. The civic rights of one of the leading and prominent figures of the Non- aligned movement and also the first women Prime Minister of the world Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranayake was abolished for 06 years by Presidential Commission. Forty thousand government servants who participated in a mass scale general strike in 1980 were expelled and the vacant positions were filled up with their party supporters. There were rampant malpractices such as vote rigging and stealing of ballot boxes in the District Council Election held in the same year and also the Jaffna library was set on fire.                        
Further, the duration of the parliament was extended in 05 years in a most undemocratic manner by an election held in 1982.  The Election Commissioner declared that It was the most corrupt election that was ever held. The president election held in 1983 was worse than the one held in 1982. Though It was the supporters of  UNP who were responsible for attacking Tamils in 1983, the parties that were abolished were Samasamja Party, Communist Party and the JVP which had no connection whatsoever to the violence unleashed. In addition, those who had different political views were assaulted and imprisoned. Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero and Professor Ediriweera Sarathchandra were assaulted. Wijaya Kumrathungas was charged as being a Nastalite activist and was imprisoned.
In 1987, the Vadamarchchi operation against Prbakaran was stopped giving into the pressure from India and Indu-Sri Lanka agreement was signed. This happened because of the immature manner in which the foreign policies were handled by then government. The terror period unleashed by killing and burning more than 65,000 men, women and adults were so traumatic that it was no second to the horror unleashed by the JVP opposing the Indu-Sri Lanka agreement.  No legal actions were taken against the perpetrators. The May Day in 1987 was prohibited and a few who tried to attend the prohibited May Day was shot dead. No one can erase the experiences of the terror period in 1987-90 from their memories. I was a university student then and was about to be abducted and killed. A random stroke of luck saved my life.
By 1994 we demanded only one thing. We wanted the life instead of the death. We wanted a government that respects the life.  We came forward to defeat the UNP government and made a decisive intervention.  We campaigned in every village, town, and junction and requested from the people to give us a government that does not kill people and respect the life. People listened that request and the UNP government was defeated.
When the UNP government went out of power, it left a trail of destruction. The country's economy had entirely been sold to the foreign countries. Our society was pushed to an extreme consumerists society and a reckless privatization. National culture had been destroyed. Sectors like education, health and transport had been ruined. National assets had been sold and the sovereignty and the dignity of the country had been compromised. Though the government that came in to power in 1994 failed to undo these things we got a government that gave the life instead of the death.
However, we could not get rid of terror completely. We were under the impression that we could never get rid of the LTTE's terrorism. Every person in the society lived in wonder and fear whether their loved ones are safe and news of deaths of them caught to a bomb blast had been a common thing. Chandrika's government could not give a solution to this problem.        
 As a result of Chandrika government's failure to give solution to this question UNP government came in to power again in 2001. The UNP government gave a legal status to the LTTE and as result the sovereignty of the country was compromised. The armed forces and the people of the country were betrayed. It gave a chance to the LTTE to kill the intelligence officers. We realized the perilous consequences of Ranil and LTTE combination. We again made a decisive intervention in the political arena after 11 years in 2005 in order to defeat the Ranil and LTTE combination and to elect a leader who could save the country from the clutches of the LTTE.
This effort results in with President Rajapaksha coming into power. We did not expect miracles from him, an ever enjoyable society, Bracelets, Chewing gums or Reloads. We expected from him a country for our children who can live without fear. Mahinda not only took that responsibility but made it happen in 100% perfection. It is an undisputed truth that he did this with an immense pressure exerted by Miliband, Kushner, the entre Western Europe, North America and the I/NGO's clan who support them and the opposition. With all these internal and external pressures Mahinda was stable and strong as a magnificent rock. When the world famous film stars from Tamil Nadu such as Vijay Kumar, Rajini Kanth and Kamal Hasan were organizing mass rallies against us it was Basil who went to India to douse the fire and created a conducive environment for us. It was Gotabhaya who gave the much needed glory to our armed forces who were subjected to humiliations by LTTE and were constantly attacked by claymores and pistol gangs. In the Asian context the family is a strength rather than an obstacle. It can be used either for good or bad pursuits. But the Mahinda, Gotabhaya and Basil combination was a blessing for us.
For last 7-8 months we Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims live in peace without any fear. This makes some people in abroad and here feel uncomfortable.  It is obvious that the combination of LTTE's political arm TNA, Mano Ganesen, Hakeem, Mangala and Ranil are again trying to drag our country to a disaster. LTTE, UNP and JVP who are responsible for killing people in various degrees are in this combination. So It is not a surprising combination then. The sole aim of this combination is to create a chaos politically, economically and socially in the country resulting in heaps of dead bodies of innocent people and achieve their power hungry political goals filled with hatred.
Therefore, it is our responsibility to preserve the freedom we won defeating this dreaded combination. Our children also need the life as we do. Let's give victory to the Life over the Death. Mahinda is the Life at this moment. I wish you all a Brighter Future!   

Saturday, January 16, 2010

In recognition of President Rajapaksha’s magnification victory over the biggest diplomatic war that the country ever faced………

After realizing that the so called "impregnable Fortress of Killinochchi" was about to be fallen into the hands of our gallant security forces the panic stricken Tamil Diaspora tried to get it stopped by any means  under the sun in order to save their 'invincible freedom fighters'. One of their biggest strategies had been to force the tiger supporting "international community" such as the UK, the USA, the EU and the UN to pressurize the SL government to declare a ceasefire.
So apart from leading an armed war in the North the president Rajapaksha had to fight another war: a Diplomatic War. To president Rajapaksha's credit he withstood the huge pressure being brought in and waged and led this war too as elegantly as the armed war. 
 As this article in the last Sunday's The Nation nicely points out there had been an array of sinister attempts of which pivotal role being played by the UK who thinks that Sri Lanka is still her colony.   This pressure was hugely supported by traitors such as Mangala Samraweera.  The article can be summed up as below.
·       The British PM wanted to send former British Defense Secretary Des Browne to Sri Lanka to hold talks aimed at halting the military operations against the Tigers. The response from the president was '. "Don't send Des Browne here. Let him have a dip in River Thames and stay back home." The CNN described the curt reply sent by President Rajapaksa as the biggest slap given on the face of Britain for the last 25 years.

·         When David Miliband and Bernard Kushner came to SL last April to save the terrorists the Swedish Foreign Minister too wanted to join with to strengthen their hands. But the latter's visa was rejected.

·         Miliband and Kushner had to go back home empty handed as they were categorically told by the President that he had no idea whatsoever to stop the military operations and the lives of the civilians will be protected without using the heavy wopens.

·         This was followed by an another attempt by UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes, Representative of the UN Secretary General on Human Rights of IDPs, Walter Kaelin, Japanese special peace envoy, Yasushi Akashi and UN Under-Secretary General Vijay K. Nambiar. They presented various proposals ostensibly to rescue the civilians who, they said, were being used by the LTTE as a human shield. The president politely turned down their requests.

·         Undeterred by all those failed afforts the die-hard tiger supporter Erik Solheim together with Miliband and Kushner tried their best to adopt a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Security Council. This was hugely supported by both Hillary Cliton and Obama. This attempt was also very tactfully handled by the President thanks to the diplomacy played by Dayan Jayathilka

·         Due to unprecedented expenses for military purchases during the last stages of the war, president Rajapaksha had to seek loan from IMF. At this stage the United States pressed the IMF to impose on Sri Lanka a condition that she should halt the military operations against the LTTE if she were to qualify for the loan. The European Union also threatened to suspend the GSP + duty free concession for our exports as leverage for getting Sri Lanka to declare a ceasefire. However, the president gave a pledge to the people that he would not declare a ceasefire no matter what threats would come or what sanctions were to be imposed on Sri Lanka.
The article also points out how Mangala Samaraweera, by giving an interview to the London telegraph, ably supported all these moves by the so called international community hell bent to rescue the terrorists. He said to the paper that "The Sri Lankan government does not want either to solve the problems of the Tamils or provide a solution to the North-East problem. Another Mugabe has come into being in our country."
The article gives an apt conclusion highlighting the consequences that, we, as a nation would have faced had Presedent Rajapaksha given in to the those LTTE supporters 
 Today General Fonseka is engaged in a puerile attempt to hog the glory of the war victory. If President Rajapaksa, as the Commander-in-Chief, had ordered a ceasefire meekly giving into pressures from the Western countries and the UN, there would not have been a war victory for General Fonseka to take the credit for. He would have had to wait at least for a few more years to savour such a euphoric hour! Therefore, we have to face the bare fact that had it not been for the unwavering leadership provided by President Rajapaksa, Tiger bombs would continue to explode in this country. The Tiger leaders too would be still among the living.