The Srilankan Tamils -What is to be done?

published on April 6, 2013

Students are holding rallies in the streets of Tamilnadu. Chennai, Madurai, Kovai, and other cities have gone into the agitation mode against the Srilankan government and the Indian National Congress. College campuses are turning into venues for fasting. DMK has come out of the UPA fold. The Tamilnadu assembly has passed a resolution calling for a referendum on Tamil Eelam. Is it a replay of the 1965 anti-hindi agitation is the question that is being asked everywhere.

This situation remainds me of a story from the life of Buddha.

Once, Bhuddha was asked about the karma theory. The question was ‘Does one suffer because of his deeds in earlier births? Buddha maintained a stoic silence. Pestered again with the same question, He replied, “You are talking about the cause of the conflict; but I am busy offering succour to the affected”.

The Sri Lankan imbroglio involving the Tamils is much akin to the above. The political leaders in Tamil Nadu are hell-bent on punishing Rajapaksa for violation of  human rights. But the reality is that this sort of misplaced bravado will not a wee bit alleviate the suffering of the Tamils. The Tamils need all the help and support that can be given.

Eric Golsheim, the Norwegian peace negotiator, in an interview to the daily Afton Posten said, “It is clear that there has been no respite for the sufferings of the Tamils even after the LTTE has been vanquished. If the Sri Lankan government does not immediately set in motion steps to bestow upon the Tamils their right to living , ethnic strife will again rise its head”.

Cho, Editor, Thuglak, the popular weekly from Tamil Nadu, says, “Adequate compensation to those affected by the LTTE – Sri Lankan government war, immediate logistical facilities for the displaced to return to their own places, ensuring equal status to Tamil, equal opportunities to the Tamils, in education and employment; installing a federal governance as in India, implementing the Rajiv- Jeyavadana accord are some of the activities that beg the immediate attention and concerted effort of the Sri Lankan government. “

Karunanidhi, the DMK leader said “It is my ardent desire to see the dawn of Tamil Eelam in my lifetime”. But in the TESO meeting held in Chennai, no one whimpered about Eelam. It is an open secret in Tamil Nadu that Karunanidhi and his associates were simply acting according to the compulsions of the alliance at the centre.

Karunanidhi’s stony silence during the killings of Mullivaykkal is too well known to credit him with any expectation. TESO created by Karunanidhi might perhaps get his son Stalin some publicity but certainly not any political solution to the struggling Sri Lankan Tamils.

“Give me half-an-hour to speak in the UN; I shall attain Eelam” claims Seeman, Leader, Nam Thamizhar Party. This is a call from a leader who has not contested any election so far.

Thol Thirumavalavan, Leader, Viduthalai Chiruththaikal Katchi, is moderate when he says, “Freedom struggles have never succeeded without the support of the world nations. So, let us garner their support”.

But all these have not helped to change the situation.

Politicians in Tamilnadu crying for Tamil Eelam want to raise their flaccid political fortunes. Sooner the Sri Lankan Tamils realize this, quicker will be their relief.

The most horrific violation of human rights has happened In Sri Lanka. The victims of this horrendous crime are our own brethren, who had migrated to erstwhile Ceylon. They still speak the same language, follow the same customs. It is puzzling why the Sri Lankan Tamils do not get what is their due.

The oral submissions made to “Lessons learnt and Reconciliation Commission set up by the Sri Lankan government point fingers squarely at the Sri Lankan army for the crime. Human right violations by the LTTE was also recorded by the same committee.

It is quite incomprehensible how Tamil Nadu has not fully grasped the fact that evidences of wrongdoing on the part of LTTE also have been recorded. It is even more pathetic that the rest of the country is quite oblivious of the ethnic cleansing that Sri Lanka is indulging in.

Let us recall that India and other 23 countries supported the resolution in the United Nations Human Right Council in March 22, 2011. Fifteen countries including China and Cuba opposed while eight abstained from voting. One must realize that only after incorporating the words, “in consultation with and with the concurrence of the government of Sri Lanka” could the resolution be passed.

It is quite evident that the political forces in Tamil Nadu are not capable and hence cannot create any support for the Sri Lankan Tamils in the comity of nations. It is equally clear that it is the people of India who can rise up to the occasion.

There is only one way out of this. The concerns of the people of Tamilnadu over this issue should be made into the concerns of the Indians as a whole. The entire country must understand the seriousness of the situation in Sri Lanka, the untold sufferings that the poor Tamils are put to.

It is India which will bring lasting peace in Sri Lanka and alleviate the sufferings of the Sri Lankan Tamils by getting them their right to living alongside the Sinhalese.

This must be explained to the people of India; it must be dealt in each and every language of the country. Public meetings must be organized in Jammu to Jamnagar; Surat to Bhubaneshvar; Delhi to Dornakal. People of Punjab, UP, MP, Odisha, Maharashtra, Gujarat must be apprised of the atrocity against the Tamils. Conclaves must be convened in Cuttack, Kolkatta and Kochi.

Indian society must realize that what is happening to the Sri Lankan Tamils does affect India. Only then the Government of India will feel the enormity of the situation and act decisively. Geopolitical compulsions and generally accepted ethics of governance will prevent other countries from supporting the Sri Lankan government. It is India’s strength that will stand the Sri Lankan Tamils in good stead. The Sri Lankan Tamils and the Tamil diaspora must realize this.

It must be remembered that it was the support that the Indians gave that resulted in the birth of Bangladesh It was the Jan Sangh which facilitated Bangladesh. When Sheik Mujubir Rahman won in the elections in East Pakistan, the democratic rights of the East Pakistanis were denied because of the adamantine attitude of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, The then Prime Minister of the undivided Pakistan. The Pakistan army massacred the Bengalis. Lakhs from East Pakistan escaped to India as destitutes.

Jan Sangh, under the leadership of Atal Bihary Vajpayee, staged a massive demonstration for the “Freedom of Bangladesh”. A mammoth public meeting was organized at the Marina in Madras. In the final rally at Delhi, thousands courted arrest. Edward Kennedy, the prospective President of the USA, was amazed at seeing the groundswell of participation.

Smitten by the support India gave to Bangladesh, Pakistan attacked India. Indian armed forces gave a stunning reply and defeated the Pakistan. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s determination helped in the birth of Bangladesh.

A similar situation has arisen now. India has the opportunity to show its strength yet again. The historic task of teaching a lesson to the Rajapaksha government and ensuring peace, justice and prosperity for the Tamils is awaiting the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Date Line:

3rd Century BC : Tamils from India migrate to Sri Lanka
1796 – 1948 : British rule in Sri Lanka
1830 : Tamils come to Sri Lanka as plantation labours
1944 : All India Ceylon Tamil Congress by G.G. Ponnambalam
1948 : Sri Lanka attains freedom
1948 : 10,00,000 plantation Tamils lose citizenship
1949 : Selvanayagam forms Federal Party
1956 : Prime Minister WRT Bandaranayaka makes Sinhala as the sole official Language

1959 : Sirimao Bandaranayaka becomes Prime Minister
1961 : Sinhala as the official language in Tamil provinces
1964 : Shastri – Sirimao Bandaranayaka pact
1972 : New constitution
          Birth of TULF
1974 : Birth of TELO
          World Tamil Conference at Jaffna
          Police attack
1975 : Birth of EROS
1976 : Birth of LTTE
1976 : Call for Tamil Eelam
1977 : Prime Minister Jayavardane
          Riots against Tamils
1981 : Riots against Tamils. Jaffna library gutted
1981 : Birth of EPRLF
1983 : Riots against Tamils
1984 : Tamil militant groups get training in India
1985 : Clash among Tamil groups – Killings
1987 : Rajiv – Jayavardhane accord
          13th amendment
1987 : IPKF – LTTE war
1987 : Premadasa – LTTE negotiations
1989 : Amirthalingam killed by LTTE
1990 : EPRLF leader Padmanabha and twelve others killed by LTTE in Chennai
1990 : IPKF withdrawal from Sri Lanka
1991 : Rajiv Gandhi assassinated by the LTTE suicide bomber
2000 : Mediation by Norway
2002 : Prabakaran and Ranil Wikramasinghe sign accord
2004 : Karuna breaks away from LTTE
2005 : Mahinda Rajapaksha becomes President
2007 : War

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  1. Ravi Reply

    April 2, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Lankan tamils
    There were Tamils of Lankan orgin even before the plantation workers went there.

  2. Prasad Reply

    April 4, 2013 at 3:07 am

    Hellow, calm down please..
    Hope you didn’t miss “the many Balachandrans of Jaffna ” in The Hindu dt 3rd April 13. Whole country will not erupt in anger, because there is a yet un explained account of IPKF personnel’s coffins and living dead of them who made it alive. Someone still alive have to answer before the next dose of generosity they expect India to dole out. Regardless of the din for various reasons by various sections, there shall be no earthquake even in other states of South India, forget entire country.

    We can’t even govern our own State and provide employment to it’s people but want to create Heaven for Tamils of Srilanka ! State’s highest revenues are from TASMAC, the Tamilnadu liquor retail business of the Government ! Industries of Hindus here are going bust and shutting shop all over the State! In every Human Development Index, why Srilanka, even Bangladesh and Nepal are ahead of this ‘Super Power’, India.

    No, India doesn’t want a militarised Srilanka 40 kms away – it can’t afford it . Even the present hullabulla is because of General Elections fast approaching. Everybody knows that the church of Germany and US are behind this drama. Cool.

  3. Sri Lankan Reply

    April 5, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Good Article
    This is a balanced article. I agree with the author that we need to make the Sri Lankan Tamil issue a pan India issue, a Hindu issue. Yashwant Sinha of the BJP has taken the first steps in that direction as did the RSS Karyavah and the ABVP. This is not just a Tamil Nadu issue. Further, we do not seek a partition of Sri Lanka. What we seek is the economic, political and cultural empowerment of the Sri Lankan Tamils. The Sri Lankan Tamils have had a distinct political kingdom in Sri Lanka since 1215 AD.

  4. Aron Reply

    April 7, 2013 at 5:59 am


    Subbu had authored Dravidian Maya-and I have pointed out to him that the Maya is so powerful that even he had fallen in its net of lies and half truths.

    I had sent an article long before all this but HK no longer considers my writing of any worth.

    Let me summarise-

    Tamil eelam is not a solution but the problem.

    Idea of Dravidian seperatism and tamil sub nationalism demanded a seperate eelam as a goal-not any empiric factors on ground -but this ideological linguo-ethnic political fanaticism.

    Tamil eelam as the Only solution to issues with sinhala majority is a logical extension of Dravidian ideology.

    It was not based on any real incompatibility of tamils living there.

    Remember just this basic fact- most tamils lived outside LTTE control areas for decades even as it kept attacking the sinhalese and their tamil rivals from North.

    Liberation theology sponsored this Eelam movement of LTTE since most tamil rebels were Marxist Leninist during cold war.

    Today Global Tamil Forum is headed by father Immanuel and ‘student uprise’ spawned by Loyolla college a jesuit setup and Father Gaspers and similar Liberation theologist outfits like Liberation Cheetas and Simons.

    They know that Eelam and LTTe cannot be revived there-since deployment of Human shields by LTTe at war had estranged tamils from it.

    Instead they kicksart Eelam issue and hope to create a Nagaland at tamilnadu through similar Liberation theological operations like Koodangulam stir.

    So far over 20 students have been traumatised by One sided depiction of lankan conflict with Tamils alone as victims-and killed themselves.

    That is thanks to Channel 4 an evangelist owned former BBC channel’s LTTe propoganda videos and the wide lament.

    Thier real aim is -to reach next step where 20 such youth will be desperate and persuaded to kill themselves as Revived LTTE’s suicide bombers.

    Behind this eelam issue movement is Liberation theology, Tamil Ultras, Dravidian seperatists Pope Francis a liberation Jesuit.

  5. pvas Reply

    April 9, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Tamil Eelam just wants part of India
    @Aron below has already given the correct agenda of this Tamil Eelam propaganda. I want to just emphasize that this Tamil Eeelam thrust is, and was, never about justice for SL Tamils or rehabilitation of the SL Tamils.

    This deviant and dangerous plan of the LTTEs and Eelam supporters is all about partitioning India, with the help and aid of certain European governments who are bent on separating India into tiny christian pieces that they can ultimately control and rule with the help of these wealthy SL Tamil ‘refugees’ living in Europe, Australia and Canada.

  6. Manoj Reply

    April 12, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Tamil Eelam
    I have worked with Sinhalese and I know them. Their skill level/IQ level is no match against Tamils. Therefore there is lot of jealousy against the Tamils in the minds of Sinhalese. They are also extremely anti-Indian. We as Indians must support the Tamils in lanka otherwise they will be exterminated. Again I do not understand the fear in the mind of North Indians that Tamil Eelam will lead to separation of Tamil Nadu from India. Bangladesh became independent but that did not make Bengal to separate from India. The Indian tamils are patriotic and will not think of secession from India.

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