The international community has made a tremendous blunder in ascertaining the aggrieved party. For too long the Tamils have succeeded to project themselves as the aggrieved minority when in reality there is need to take stock of the entire Tamil populace as against a very minuscule number of Sinhalese who have only Sri Lanka to claim as their own. It is time that the world re looked at who the aggrieved party is considering that the slogans self-determination, homeland invariably apply and become relevant to the Sinhalese while the same slogans are relevant to Tamils and their homeland in Tamil Nadu.
The genesis of the Tamil problem finds its origins to India where as far back as the 1920s attempts had been made to separate from a nation that colonial British cobbled together to christen India. The Dravidian movement diluted to turn itself into a Tamil movement attempting to break away from India on the premise that there was no India and Tamils did not wish to live under Hindi rule.
There is sufficient proof and evidence available to confirm that India imported the Tamil struggle to Sri Lanka going so far as to even arm, train and fund Sri Lankan Tamils in order to transfer India’s head ache to Sri Lanka. India was more than willing to allow Tamil Nadu politicos to demand Eelam in Sri Lanka so long as it did not make its way to India.
India’s investment lasted 30 years and caused tremendous damage to Sri Lanka in terms of deaths, destruction and economic disintegration of a country that had done no harm to India. Needless to say, what we need to realize is that the entire Eelam exercise has been choreographed to perfection over the years interchanging leadership roles. Today, Eelam is a quest between India and the West. Just as the West have found it easier to hire Islamic fundamentalists bred by their Islamic allies, are more than happy to outsource to India what the West intends to do because eventually the West will anyway balkanize India.
The Tamil militants that India handled have over time fallen under the control of the Christian West through NGOs/INGOs, the Church hierarchy and Evangelical groups as well as Western Governments who took over LTTE to manoeuvre according to their agendas using the Diaspora networks that were grazing on their shores. This should explain why despite a UN ban no action has been taken against the 16 organizations and 424 individuals declared as terrorist fronts by the Sri Lankan Government in April 2014.
Negating myths that the Sinhalese descend from Prince Vijaya is the fact that there is sufficient proof of humans living in Sri Lanka 34,000 years ago. The world’s oldest anatomically modern man (Balangoda man) was found in Sri Lanka which means Sinhalese (unique to Sri Lanka) must have a strong genetic connection indigenously. The Sinhalese as a community is far distinct than the South Indians.
The Sinhalese identity is based on its distinct language, historical heritage and religion. Nowhere else other than in Sri Lanka, is the Sinhala language found. The Sinhalese are known as ‘Hela’ tracing their origins to the meaning ‘Lion People’. The nation was known as Sinhale and it was with the Sinhale Nation that the British signed the Udarata Givisuma (Kandyan Convention) in 1815 where the nation was ceded to the British.
The recorded history of the Sinhalese is chronicled in the Mahavamsa written in Pali around 4th century CE and the Culavamsa. The marvels of the Sinhala kings and their man-made irrigation systems, rivers etc have not been given due credit and international recognition. The man-made hydraulic technology is unique to the Sinhala people and has yet to receiving the international distinction due. The ancient tanks, systematic ponds with fountain moats and irrigational reservoirs like Kawdulla, Kandalama, Parakrama Samudra have not been matched by modern technology still. The traditional osariya and national dress are distinct to only the Sinhalese. The Sinhalese culture is unique dating over 2600 years held together through the State patronage given to Theravada Buddhism by over 180 Sinhala Kings that ruled the nation following the concepts of dasa raja dharma. Another marvel has been the ancient Sinhalese stone sculpture and inscriptions found throughout Sri Lanka from North to South, East to West. There are numerous traditional Sinhala instruments found nowhere other than in Sri Lanka as well. The architectural skills of the Sinhalese found throughout the remains of ancient Kingdoms is found nowhere else in the world.
Even in the realm of performing arts/dance Sinhalese have shown great distinction – Kandyan dance, Pahatharata dance, Sabaragamuwa dances are all exclusive to the Sinhalese. Even in the martial arts, the Sinhalese have made a distinction in the angampora combat techniques. We should also not forget the Sinhala medicine started during the great Hela king Ravana, medicines which are accompanied by Buddhist chantings (pirith). In fact the Mahavansa records of Ayurveda hospitals establish with documentary evidence that there had been institutions dedicated to take care of the sick in Sri Lanka before such were established in any other part of the world.
The language of the Sinhalese is Sinhala also known as ‘helabasa’ it varies in its written and spoken formats. Again what needs to be reiterated that despite Tamil remaining the same throughout all regions of the world where Tamils reside, the Sinhala language is found and spoken only in Sri Lanka.
In short what needs to be said is that the only unique ethnic group in Sri Lanka is the Sinhale people. Sinhala language is spoken only in Sri Lanka and the distinct cultural, traditional, historical, military and religious identity are all embedded into the Sinhale people. Genetically both Sinhalese and Tamils differ. Tamils of Sri Lanka are virtually identical with those in Tamil Nadu (which Tamil separatists do not wish to promote for it will dent their separatist moves). Yet when Sri Lankan and Tamil Nadu Tamils share the same genetic, linguistic, traditional religious and customary sameness invariably their Homeland is Tamil Nadu. What is even more intriguing and relevant to the argument that Tamils are NOT a distinct race in Sri Lanka is that they would have had different genetic structures if they did come a very long time ago (which they don’t).
There is no evidence of the Sinhalese and Tamils at odds against each other though various invasions from South India have taken place. South Indians chose not to return while throughout colonial rule South Indian laborers were transported as slave workers to Ceylon and other parts of the world. Despite the affinity and genetic links Sri Lanka’s Tamils find it difficult to mix with Tamil Nadu Tamils though for political gains the amities prevail.
Nevertheless, the Eelam project ironically is one which is neither meant for Tamil Hindus or Sri Lanka’s Tamils. It is high time this reality is accepted. In not doing so Tamil Hindus are creating a very vulnerable situation for the entire country.
It is now time for people to think inward. In realizing that Eelam is not meant for Tamil Hindus or Sri Lanka’s Tamils, Sri Lanka’s Tamil should realize they cannot bargain with a country and risk losing it. Much of that fault lies with the colonial rulers who realized that to reign over the indigenous natives they needed to adopt policies that would keep people divided. Thus, they made use of castes, created positions that divided people socially and economically, the Sinhalese who were once all Buddhists were converted to create Sinhala Christians/Catholics and now Evangelicals and other cults. They did the same to the Tamils and with these religious entities finding their head quarters outside of the nation it has become easier to influence them using their faith.
The Education system was designed in such a way to remove any patriotic sentiments among the natives. This was initially done by denying education unless natives converted and gave up their religion and their language. The colonials created through the education, social and economic systems plenty of brown sahibs who were shown through education that the real culture was not their native culture but that which was foreign to them. Post-independent governments have not realized the crucial need to incorporate among the early learners the patriotic sentiments for it is only the feeling of wanting to protect one’s nation that will find people defending the nation. The funds and research being drawn up to denationalize people are penetrating into the fabric of third world society and it is only a handful of people who realize what the gameplan is all about. Even the learned who have sought education abroad, who are employed in foreign establishments and working on orders of foreign establishments will never take the cudgels against their paymasters.
What needs to be reiterated is that this island nation is one nation and it is no one’s right to divide or separate it. If people find it difficult to live no one keeps anybody by force and there are enough of avenues to leave the nation and live elsewhere. Dividing and separating territories does not provide any solution to problems that are in the minds of people. Their ailment is in the mind and that is what needs to be changed. Carving territory is no solution.
For far too long the world too many distortions have been promoted through well-funded campaigns. The 14.8milion Sinhalese have ONLY Sri Lanka as their homeland. Tamils find roots to a homeland in Tamil Nadu where the first self-determination bid kickstarted in the early 1920s. The Sinhalese 14.8m are a miniscule number against 76million world Tamils of whom 72million Tamils live in Tamil Nadu alone.
The separatist chants presently resurrected as a result of a weak government has got India actively involved in realizing their dream of annexing Sri Lanka to its territory. If this happens through various initiatives already in place – false ‘refugee’ claims, inundating Indians through open visa schemes, trade agreements that are beneficial only to India, illegal immigrant influx, Indian intelligence operating throughout the island, bogus Indian businesses and Indians marrying and settling down and using film and other perks to mentally align the communities towards India, will all eventually result in an extinction of the Sinhala race/ethnic group altogether and possibly the extinction even of the Sinhala language. These factors need to be seriously addressed and if there are international entities geared to address threats to ethnic races/distinct languages, cultures etc it is the Sinhala race that needs to be given due attention, assistance and empathy which has been lacking all these years.
The Sinhala race/ethnic group are the real minority in Sri Lanka despite being the majority in term of population.
14.8m Sinhalese against 76million world Tamils and 16.9billion Muslims.
These statistics are what should wake up people.
Shenali D Waduge