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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 911

The Deplorable Conditions of the Eelam Tamils and their future

Bangalore, 17 April, (Asiantribune.com):

Eelam National Democratic Left Front (ENDLF) led by Gnanapiragasam Gnanasekaran, is an Indian backed Tamil militant group. It was formed in 1987 presently based in Bangalore, India. The outfit has presented a memorandum each Parliamentary Members to the Indian Parliamentary Delegation led by Smt. Sushma Swaraj, which is visiting Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka in its former glory:

Sri Lanka is an island nation that remains after the vast Lemuriya Continent was drowned into the Indian Ocean. It is the historical truth that innumerable Tamils lived a glorious life in it around 30,000 years ago. There are many historical evidences to prove that the Tamils have been living there since India and Sri Lanka were on the same plain. The Entire Sri Lanka belonged to the Tamils and they lived all over the Island.

The Noble Emperor Ashoka who ruled North India during the 4th Century B.C., is said to have sent his heirs to Sri Lanka for propagating Buddhism. At that time the island Nation was ruled by a Tamil King and alone accorded reception to those propagandists, even though that King was a devotee of Siva religion, he magnanimously permitted the entry of Buddhism in his Kingdom.

In fact, Buddhist Monks first entered Naina Theevu near Jaffna and tried to convert the Tamils to Buddhism . They even constructed the first Buddhist temple in that small island. In spite of their enormous endeavours and attractive preaching, the Tamils who were practicing Hinduism, did not desire to adopt Buddhism so easily.

But, the Buddhist Monks found it easier to penetrate Buddhism into the Sinhalese as they had no proper form of language, religion, script and were un-civilized. The Sinhalese found a form of life only through the means of the Buddhist Monks, and formed their own script only in the late 10th Century A.D.

The Sinhalese themselves have mentioned in their history that their ancestors migrated from Vanga land(Bangladesh) in 500 B.C. This clearly shows that they are out and out foreigners. They proudly say in their book of history 'Mahavansa' that a man Dutta Gemunu by name fought with Ellazhan the Tamil King in 161 B.C. at Polanaruwa, conquered him and captured Anurathapuram in the North Central Province in Sri Lanka. Nevertheless the mighty Tamils conquered the Sinhalese, recaptured the Central Province and Anurathapuram and reigned the entire Island.

The 'Mahavansa' which is highly regarded to portray the history of the Sinhalese is only an imaginary text written by the Paali speaking Buddhist Monks from India.

Whereas, the Tamils' History which has stood the times of Sinhalese, Portuguese, Dutch and finally the British were all stored in the Great Jaffna Library which was burnt by the Sri Lankan Military in 1981 led by two Cabinet Ministers, Gamini Dissanayeke and Lalit Athulath Mudali of UNP Govt led by J.R.. Jayawardene.

From time immemorial till the Portuguese came to Sri Lanka in the 16th Century A.D., the Tamils and the Sinhalese vied with each other and ruled over the Island alternately. It's a matter of pride to mention that the Tamils never parted with Jaffna, Vanni, Trincomalee and Batticaloa. The Tamils had erected five Siva Temples around Sri Lanka even before the Sinhalese intruded into the Island.

They are:

1. Naguleswaram Siva Temple in the North(Jaffna),

2. Koneswaram Siva Temple in the East (Trincomalee),

3. Munneswaram Siva Temple in the West (Silabam i.e, Chilaw in Sinhala),

4. Thirukedeeswaram Siva Temple in the North East(Mannar) and

5. Tondeeswaram Siva Temple in the South (Thevendramunai i.e, Devanuwera in Sinhala)

Thus the Tamils constructed everlasting monuments around Sri Lanka to confirm their existence in the dim past before the intrusion of the Sinhalese. Particularly the hilltop Murugan temple was built at Kathirkamam in the South part of the Island.

Effect of the arrival of Portuguese:

The Portuguese came to Sri Lanka in the 16th century A.D., and found it almost impossible to capture Jaffna, Vanni and Trincomalee. After a long struggle they could capture Colombo and Mannar regions and held their sceptre. The Portuguese converted those Tamils who lived in Mannar to Christianity. Enraged by this conversion, the Tamil King of Jaffna invaded Mannar, defeated the Portuguese and drove them away. As he was thoroughly displeased with the converted Christians who were 600 in number were beheaded mercilessly.

This bloody massacre infuriated the Portuguese who therefore levied army from Portugal, Goa, and Colombo and invaded the Tamils' Capital city Jaffna. The Portuguese army fell upon Jaffna and captured it. Innumerable Tamils were butchered. Historical monuments were vandalised. The five famous solemn Siva Temples which were built by the ancient Tamils around Sri Lanka were razed down . The blood thirsty Portuguese did not spare any of the Tamil monuments including the King's Palace in Jaffna. This devastation was caused by the Portuguese to the Tamils in the year 1560.

At the same time the Portuguese never caused any havoc to Buddhist Temples or the Sinhalese. It is thousand pities that only the Tamils fell a prey to the heavy wrath of the Portuguese. Even in those sad and bad days the Sinhalese joined hands with the Portuguese to torment the Tamils. The anti-Tamil attitude of the Portuguese was quite favourable to the Sinhalese. The Tamils were in a helpless state. The Sinhalese King turned it to his advantage and forced his people to intrude on Tamil Provinces and colonize there unlawfully. Thus the North Central Province and West Province came under the control of the Sinhalese. The Portuguese were followed by the Dutch from Holland and the English from Britain. These three European Countries ruled over Sri Lanka. Even in those days the Sinhalese Provinces and those of the Tamils were under separate administration of the Kings belonging to the two different races.

The British influence:

The British passed a bill on March 10, 1833 and brought the Provinces of the Sinhalese and the Tamils under one and the same administration. To start with, the British ruled over Sri Lanka as a provincial part of India. Later on they brought Sri Lanka as a Nation under a separate administration. The city with the name Colombo was made capital of Sri Lanka. Therefore those Sinhalese who were in and around Colombo became very close to the English administrators. Those ships that passed through Indian Ocean sailed via South West Province and carried the cargo of fuel and other provisions. Colombo was very convenient for that purpose. Hence Colombo became a prominent Capital for those three European rulers.

Years passed. Because of the dreadful disasters faced by Britain in the Second World War (1939-1945), the hour came for the British to leave Sri Lanka and other Colonial Countries for reclamation of their own Kingdom. They gave freedom to Sri Lanka in February 1948. The British ignored the Tamils and left the baton of political power only to the Sinhalese. It was a blessing for the Sinhalese who were considering the Tamils as their inveterate enemies. What the Sinhalese could not achieve during the past 2000 years was easily thrust upon them. They became all powerful to keep the Tamils under their thumb after the Independence. The Sinhalese strengthened their army as the first step. They formed the army and named the regiments after the names of Sinhalese Kings as Sinha regiments, Gemunu(Gamini) regiments, Kajabahu (Gajaba) regiments and Vijayabahu regiments. The Sinhalese were of the opinion that freedom was given only to them and not to the ancient Tamils.

The Sri Lankan army was not meant for invading far off countries but to subjugate and nullify the Tamils. The Sinhalese Government is the only one under the sun that maintained an army to suppress only the Tamils who have been living in one and the same Island from time immemorial. The Sinhalese have been callous and selfish to the core since they entered Sri Lanka during 500 B.C.

Suppression by Sri Lankan Govt after Independence from the British:

As soon as Sri Lanka attained Independence, the Sinhalese rulers designed their own National Flag with the figure of the Lion embroidered on it. The Buddhist Monks drove home the idea that the Sinhalese were born of the Lion. This fanciful idea was established as a Historical fact. The Buddhist Monks wrote a book entitled 'Mahavansa'. Through an imaginary concept mentioned in this book the Buddhist Monks put pluck in the hearts of the Sinhalese. The Sinhalese were made to believe that they were born of the Lion. This is quite contrary to the scientific truth which maintains that every human is born of a human. Even in this computer era the Sinhalese pin their faith in this irrational and imaginary belief. This is rather deplorable.

When the whole world takes for granted Darwin's theory of Evolution and believes that man is the advanced stage of the monkey, the Sinhalese still believe that they have come of the Lion. This again is ludicrous. That is perhaps why the bestial Sinhalese are ruling over people like an irrational animal and hence the symbol of the Lion on their National Flag. The Sinhalese call Eelam as Sri Lanka, whereas the original name of the present Sri Lanka is Eelam. The word Eelam has been mentioned in the books published in Tamil Nadu of South India and in Idikash. Eelam is a pure Tamil word whereas Lanka is a Pali word. Lanka means island. The Buddhist Monks from far off countries called Eelam 'Lanka'. There is no equivalent for Eelam in Sinhala. Hence they accepted the Pali word 'Lanka' as their own word.

In the year 1972 Mrs. Srimavo Bandaranaike came to power in Sri Lanka as the Prime Minister. She amended the Constitution and declared Sri Lanka a Republic. She added the prefix 'Sri' to the word Lanka and called it Sri Lanka a Republic. Thus Sri Lanka was born and Eelam was concealed. The proper name of the island is Eelam and nothing but Eelam. Eelam means 'Seven Sea Land' (Ezhu Kadal Naadu).

Before and after the Independence of Sri Lanka, the Eelam Tamil race and their country have been neglected. After attaining Independence the ethnic discrimination by the Sinhalese rulers raised their awful head. The vigilant Tamils set their face against it. The objection they raised was in the form of non-violence, lobbying and negotiation. The Tamils trusted in Gandhism that professed non-violence. The Tamils resorted to Gandhism of India and believed that non-violence would bring them equality and the desired human rights. Their state of inaction was favourable to the Sinhalese. Hence the Sinhalese government colonized its people in the Provinces that belonged to the Tamils being bequest of their ancestors.

When we mention the words 'Tamil Northern and Eastern Province', - they denote not only the residential earthen areas, but they include - agricultural fields, thick forests, barren dry lands, coastal beaches and even the vast surrounding seas which provide livelihood to the poor Tamil fishermen.

Since 1948, the year of Independence itself, the Sri Lankan Govt through their Army began aggressively colonising their Sinhalese people in all such parts of the Northern and the Eastern Tamil Provinces. Consequently, the ancient Tamils were forced to lose the nativity of their own Mother Land of Tamil Eelam

After 2009, the Sinhalese settlements which were made secretly here and there, have now been made openly throughout the Northern and the Eastern provinces, without any hesitation with inner motive to assert that those Tamil areas belong to the Sinhalese only.

Sinhalese settlements and other cruel plans depriving Human Rights to Tamils:

As in March 1993, according to the figures of the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, the total number of persons displaced in the North and the East through military activity was 514,048, of whom 198,776 were in welfare centres, and 315,272 were without accommodation and outside welfare centres. None of these people were ever given any land to settle out of any land alienation programs of the district, or even elsewhere in the West or the Southern Districts.

While the official policy of land allotment was as above, sinister as well as open threats were employed by Buddhist monks with the military. They consisted of the following patterns:

• Ancient Hindu temples were destroyed, followed by planting a Buddhist shrine in the vicinity of the old Hindu temple. Muslim or Christian places of worship did not suffer any destruction, but Hindu temples were picked in priority as they symbolised Tamils.

• Then application and grants for development including lands for construction of halls, meditation centres are made. The neighbouring Tamils' houses are either acquired or through fear, driven away, and the land become part of a Buddhist entity.

• The Archaeological Department will, in selected Tamil areas, locate some ruins and declare them to be ancient Buddhist remains, destroyed by the then-Chola kings, leaving no room for recorded history that Buddhism flourished amongst Tamils at some periods, and that this was part of Tamil culture. Around this would start a restoration society, leading to this area of over 5,000 acres being declared sacred, and entitled only for Buddhist activities. This, in similarity, happened to the Hindu Temple complex in Kathirkamam (Kataragama) in the South and the Ramakrishna Mission operating there being made ineffective.

• From about 1979, a devious plan was adopted by the then-President Jayawardena by effecting a gazette directive annexing several Assistant Government Agents (AGA) Divisions from a Sinhala electorate like Madawachiya to the Vavuniya District, which was a Tamil area, transgressing centuries-old provincial boundaries. By these additions, overnight the Tamil residents of Vavuniya became a minority and many Sinhala officers were then transferred to Vavuniya to serve the additional Sinhala people in the district. Boundaries of many districts were so arbitrarily altered in the borderline districts of Trincomallee and Batticoloa, changing the ethnic composition. If one is to seek for an example in the Indian context, it would be like annexing several villages speaking Gujarati, and who have adopted to the way of life within the state of Gujarat, being overnight annexed to Rajasthan, and having to deal with officers speaking Rajasthani languages and adjusting to Rajasthani customs.

• President Jayawardena, under protest then told he would suspend such controversial annexations, but in practice the gazette notifications remained in force and officialdom administered these changes, along with the army.

• From 1983, unprecedented violence from Trincomallee town to drive out the Tamils, and particularly those of Indian origin who took refuge in the area, were assaulted, their houses burnt and were forcibly taken away in army vehicles and driven beyond the Tamil districts into Sinhala areas to find their way to the tea estates. These lands were then occupied by the families of the Sinhala security forces, and protected by them. Such activities engaged can be verified personally from Tamil Parliament Member for Trincomallee, who could speak of the number of telegrams and letters he wrote to the President in that period detailing each such incident and the atrocities of the security forces. This continued until the arrival of the Indian Peace Keeping Forces in 1987 according to the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord, by which these Sinhalese who forcibly settled themselves, were seen to be packing their bags and hurriedly leaving the area in army vehicles and any other mode of transport they could get.

• This pattern of military drive in chasing Tamil populations was then adopted routinely, when the government drew the plans to end the conflict militarily, and withdrew from the ceasefire entered through Norwegian efforts. Claims were made that the Eastern Province was liberated, but it was through chasing the people from heavily-populated villages like Sampur, Eechalampathai, and Adampan, stating it was needed for the military operation, after which they would be allowed to return. The contiguity of the villages were destroyed, with many Sinhala settlements encouraged by the Buddhist monks who followed the security forces. These settlements initiated by the monks are now permanent, and with the residents of Sampur still out under the trees, or having to accept anything by the government to resettle their lives elsewhere. This was then applied to the Northern Province with the recent war, of which much need not be said.

• There are several international documents of how a population of over 300,000 trapped in the warzone of a few square kilometres were then interred into camps, and still await to be settled in their original lands. However, with triumphalism, Buddhist temples and army cantonments are rising fast, with supporting infrastructure for security forces, “to protect and preserve the territory liberated by the sacrifice of the heroic Sri Lankan forces”. The actual situation on the ground in the Tamil areas after the war has been submitted to the parliament by the Tamil MPs which would demonstrate the critical condition.

In addition to these, the Sinhalese colonized on the coastal and border lines of the entire North and East Provinces. The social cohesion among the Tamils was thus rendered impossible. The Sri Lankan Govt succeeded in dividing and ruining the Tamils utilising the Govt funds. The Sri Lankan Govt threw its heart and soul with a determined will in strengthening the hands of Sinhalese and weakening the Tamils, the ancient indigenous people of the island. The long dream of the Sinhalese came true in the reign of the British.

The Portuguese deprived the Tamils of their leadership. On the other hand the Sinhalese were proposing under one head. Buddhism also was there to guide them. There was none to accord guidance to the hapless Tamils. The British were thoroughly displeased with the Tamil as they stuck to Gandhism. In the year 1927 Gandhiji paid a visit to Sri Lanka. At that time, only Tamils gave a warm welcome to him and organised the Youth Congress Movement in Jaffna. This displeased and enraged the British. The Sinhalese turned this to their advantage. The Sinhalese suppressed the Tamils in such a way that they could not rise up and prosper.

The Donoughmore and Soulbury commissions appointed by the British before they left the country turned a deaf ear to the grievances of the Tamils, denied justice to them and danced to the tune of the Sinhalese. Even when the British gave freedom to the island they vested all powers only with the Sinhalese. We girded our loins to redeem the Tamils from the clutches of the 'fell and cruel' Sinhalese. Our relentless war against injustice has been raging since 1948. Since then we have been facing danger and death. Yet undaunted remains our spirit. As non-violence could not bear any fruit, we the Tamils began to resort to violence with the motto 'Eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth'. We have to 'expel by fire'.

Plight of the Tamil people:

Untold were the sufferings we experienced and irreparable was the loss incurred in our struggle for freedom. Irretrievable were the lives of innumerable people both young and old who died in the carnage. More than two and a half lakhs of Tamils including infants were mercilessly massacred. This was more pathetic than "The slaughter of the innocent".

Thousands of people were rendered houseless. Countless people were rendered homeless. More than 50,000 children and elders were miserably maimed. Innumerable children in their formative years were rendered parentless. More than 1 lakhs young ladies lost their husbands and became helpless widows. More than 15 lakhs people lost their kith and kin, ancestral immovable properties and their valuables. It's a pity the sons of Eelam soil fled away for life as refugees to India and other foreign countries. Thousands of people who were imprisoned are living death in cells. More than 1 lakh students have been deprived of the gift of education. They are wandering aimlessly in the murky water of woebegone life. "Our tale also would cure deafness".

In the name of resettlement, the Sri Lankan Govt is colonising the worst affected Tamils in congested habitation without making them settle down in their own regions. The Tamils are robbed of their landed properties. The Sinhalese have encroached the lands that belong to the Tamils and colonised there. The heartless Sinhalese never hesitate to perpetrate such atrocities unmindful of the consequences.

We were subjected to inexplicable sufferings. Now we stand alone without any help from any side. It little profits us to speak about the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and their activities.

Eelam Tamil’s Earnest Request To Indian Parliamentary Delegation:

The whole world witnessed the atrocities perpetrated to the Tamils in the years 1958, 1961, 1977, 1981 and 1983. The blood thirsty Sri Lankan Govt indulged in slaughtering the unarmed Tamils in the year 2009.

We have lost the hope of having reconciliation with our enemies. It will be a utopian idea to live with the Sinhalese in harmony.

The eminent Parliament Members of the Indian Delegation, which is to hold discussion with the President of Sri Lanka, are solicited to pay visit to the Northern and Eastern areas like Mannar, Poonagari, Koudharimunai, Mathagal, Vasavilan, Mullaitheevu, Kokkuthoduvai, Kokulai, Nayaru, Trincomalee, Batticaloa etc., These places are currently being colonised with Sinhalese by the Sri Lankan Army.

We request you to also meet all the Tamil Political Party Leaders who are not with the Government of Sri Lanka to unravel the real ground situation and to get first hand reports on the Sri Lankan Governments' actions against the Tamil people.

As long as the Sinhala Colonisation exists we believe that the Tamils can never live peacefully nor will find peace.

The Government of India is our only hope. We strongly believe that the Govt of India alone will champion our cause and, protect our people of Tamil race. The Indo-Sri Lankan accord signed on July 29, 1987 by the then Prime Minister of India and the then President of Sri Lanka was meant for promoting equal rights to the Tamils.

- Asian Tribune -

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