| by Nalin de Silva
( January 04, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) My intention is not to comment on the LLRC report which has made a number of recommendations on what is fashionably called reconciliation. The Sinhala and Tamil communities could have lived amicably if not for the Tamil Vellala politicians who were used by the English (British if you wish) to deny the Sinhalas, especially the Sinhala Buddhists their due place in the country and to weaken if not destroy the Sinhala Buddhist culture. The LLRC is another commission appointed in the tradition of the Colebrook –Cameron Commission, which I suppose is the first commission appointed by the English. Colebrook – Cameron took the first step to weaken the Sinhala Buddhist way of life by abolishing the Rajakari system and paving way to introduce the English educational system building on the then existing schools established by the Dutch. Almost all the members of commissions appointed by the governments even after so called independence that gave us limited political independence but not cultural or economic independence, have been products of the schools established by the English, and their thinking is invariably guided by the education that they had received. There are people who have broken away from this educational system and those who have attended so called vernacular schools (the word vernacular demonstrates the contempt that the English had for Sinhala and Tamil) but they are not appointed as members of the commissions appointed in the Colebrook – Cameron tradition.
Though the Jathika Hela Urumaya has objected to the LLRC for going into the root causes of the “Ethnic Problem” I have no objections as such and I am of the opinion that any investigation has to go back to history as far and as much as possible to understand the problem. When I myself was invited to make submissions before the LLRC, I made use of the opportunity to present a brief history of the problem. I knew that the commission would not believe my story as they had been brainwashed with a story created by the English for nearly two hundred years. I wanted them to grill me on my story but unfortunately they followed a different path and one of the commissioners told me that in spite of my logical story they thought that the Tamils wanted some concessions or words to that effect. It was time for me to leave hoping that the government would not buy the story of the commission on the history of the problem. In that sense JHU objections to the LLRC report, though not logical, would make the government think twice on the history of the problem without being guided by the story of the English which the latter had established through their schools and “informal” educational systems.
The question what the injustices caused to the Tamils merely because they are Tamils has been asked without the LTTE, TNA or any other party among the Tamils or some socialists both red and pink among the Sinhalas being able to offer a satisfactory answer. A student from Velvatithurai, the village of Prabhakaran, has come first in the Physical Science (Mathematics) stream at the GCE (A/L) Examination and as a student of Physical Sciences in the Buddhist tradition, I am very much happy for him and his family and the teachers and hope that, he, fifty years my junior, would become a first rate Mathematician or Theoretical Physicist (or even a Chemist) and contribute towards Hindu Mathematics or Hindu Physics in time to come, instead of becoming another Engineer in the western tradition. If my memory serves me correct during the time Prabhakaran was alive he did not allow a Tamil student from the Northern or Eastern Provinces to achieve this feat. If anybody had done any injustice to the Tamils it was Prabhakaran and his mentors in the TNA who were proxy to the LTTE in the Parliament and of course the Tamil Vellala leaders of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
I do not want to repeat my story of the problem in detail but it can be summarized in few words as follows. The Tamil Vellalas (agricultural labourers) were brought by the Dutch in the eighteenth century for their tobacco cultivation and the present population in Jaffna peninsula are descendants of the Sinhalas who were present in the peninsula (Nagadeepa) then, the Malayalam Wellakaras and the Vellalas brought by the Dutch. The Sinhalas have been absorbed into the Tamil culture after making them members of the so-called low castes. The Dutch first used the Vellalas against the Sinhala Kings and in the process commissioned a mudliyar to write a bogus history of the Tamils called Yalapanam Vaipava Malai in order to deprive the Sinhala Kings the present Eastern Province. The English as usual were worse than the Dutch and wanted to make the Vellala leaders not only the leaders of the Tamils but the leaders of the entire country. The Vellala leaders were brainwashed with this idea and the English manipulated them against the Sinhala Buddhists and their culture. From the time the legislative assembly was established following Colebrook Cameron, the Tamil Vellala leaders were given an equal or more representation than the Sinhalas thus creating the present problem. The Tamil leaders always fought for the so-called equal representation with the help of the English governors and officials, and the former went before the other notorious commissions appointed by the English on constitutional amendments to argue in essence that the Sinhalas should not be given the opportunity of becoming the majority in the legislature. Not even the English could make the Sinhalas a minority and with the introduction of the universal franchise, it became obvious that the Vellala leaders could not aspire to be the rulers of the country. However, the Sinhala Buddhist culture has not been given its due place even by the post independent governments. It remains to be the problem of this country and it is the English Christian (Judaic Christian) culture that still dominates the thinking of the so called educated.
SJV Chelvanayakam, who realized first that a Tamil could not aspire to become the leader of the country after universal franchise, formed the Illankai Thamil Arazu Kadchi (ITAK – Lanka Tamil State Party) to establish a separate state in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces and the LTTE only followed him with weapons and aid supplied mainly by the western powers. The TNA which is only a remnant of the ITAK, TULF and other Tamil racist political parties is not following the LTTE, as it was the latter that followed the former parties. It is wrong to ask the TNA leaders to drop the policies of the LTTE as it was the LTTE that followed the policies of the predecessors of the TNA leaders. The TNA and the so-called diaspora should drop their anti-Sinhala policies instilled in them by the English, and join hands with the President to improve the lot of the Tamil people in the country. The Sinhalas, Tamils Muslims and others living in the country need to improve their living conditions, not necessarily following the western model, and in Sri Lanka the non Sinhalas while adhering to their cultures could join hands with the Sinhalas to develop the country based on the traditions established by our ancestors.