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Saturday 30 April 2011

A paradigm shift needed

If the Tamil leaders still believe in “Sinhalaya Modaya” then they are mistaken. The Sinhalas have a very large heart and from the time of the Portuguese or even before, the Sinhalas have been misled by various political leaderships and had entered into agreements that had finally cost the Sinhalas the country itself. The Sinhalas believed the Portuguese and entered into an agreement to “give” the latter a plot of land equal to that of the skin of a bull. However the Portuguese had intended something else and it cost the Sinhalas a land area much bigger than the area of the skin of a bull. The Dutch did not honour the agreement with the Sinhala king and continued to occupy the Eastern coast while commissioning Tamils to write so called history books such as Yalpana Vaipava Malai which according to some Tamil historians are nothing but poetry. The English deceived the Sinhala leaders with the Sinhala English treaty of 1815 and finally occupied the whole country. The Sinhalas have been cheated through out history because of their friendliness and hospitality and the Tamil leaders have been following the English, of course with the connivance of the latter, and have tried to displace the Sinhalas from the centre with various kinds of “orders” emanating from the English.

The Tamil leaders still think of so called devolution of power to the North and Eastern Provinces as a solution to what they call the national question or the ethnic problem. To begin with there is neither a national question nor an ethnic problem in Sri Lanka but a refusal by the Tamil Vellalas first, then by the rest of the Tamil community and finally by the Muslims to admit that a nation had been built in Sri Lanka at least during the time of King Gemunu (not Dutugemunu, a name coined by the NGO agents of that era) and that they could join that nation without losing their cultural identities including the language of communication. It is not a big problem to be solved and what is needed is a paradigm shift from the so called ethnic minorities.

The Muslims did not have an ethnic problem vis-à-vis the Sinhalas until Ashroff came into the scene. It is true that there were Sinhala Muslim riots in 1915 but until Ashroff joined the Tamil leaders in the seventies there had been no ill will towards each other and 1915 riots were used by the English to suppress the Sinhala Buddhist leaders who had sprung locally in various areas and who had been nobodies until then. The attitude of the English towards the new Sinhala Buddhist leadership enabled the latter to become “somebodies” in no time and in fact it helped the new leadership to establish themselves as against the old English speaking Sinhala Christian leadership trained by the English. Ashroff knew how to play the ethnic card in the seventies and joined the Tamil leaders in Vadukkodai in adopting the infamous resolution by the name of that town.

The Muslims ironically had an ethnic problem vis-à-vis the Tamil Vellalas in the latter part of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century as the Jaffna Vellalas wanted to be the leaders of the Muslims as well. Ponnambalam Ramanathan had proclaimed that he represented the Muslims as well in the Legislative Assembly as they were Tamil speaking. Muslim leaders such as Abdul Aziz and Siddhi Lebbe resented this idea and they claimed that the Muslims were a separate ethnic group though they spoke the same language as the Tamils. The English colonialists finally had to give in to the demands of the Muslim leaders and appointed a Muslim member to represent the Muslims in the Legislative Assembly. Thus if there was any ethnic problem it was between the Muslims and the Tamils and not between the Muslims and the Sinhalas.

In the seventies as the demand for devolution of power to the Northern and the Eastern provinces gained momentum under the auspices of the English and the Indians under the pretext that these provinces had been so called traditional homelands or historical habitats of the Tamils, Ashroff saw an opening for himself and joined the bandwagon to become the yuavaraj of the Muslims in the eastern province and thus created the Muslim Congress in order to achieve his ambition. He knew that he could become the yuavaraj only by carving out probably a non contiguous Muslim area from the so called North Eastern province which could not be substantiated on historical, geographical, demographical, cultural or any other basis, and hence supported the idea of devolution of power on an “ethnic” basis with ulterior motives. Ashroff conveniently forgot that it was the Sinhala King Senerath who settled the Muslims along the east coast when they were harassed by the Portuguese. For the Sinhala king to settle such large numbers in the eastern province in the seventeenth century and for his son to lease the coastal area up to a guava to the Dutch it is mandatory that the present eastern province came under the Sinhala kings. Perhaps Ashroff did not know that when Robert Knox was captured in present day Muttur, he was not taken to a Muslim ruler but to the Sinhala king in Mahanuwara. In spite of all these history behind the Sinhalas Ashroff wanted to deny the eastern province to the Sinhalas and shouted against so called colonization by what the racists called the Sinhala government. He forgot that the Muslims are in the eastern province as a result of “colonization” of certain areas of the eastern province with the Muslims. If the Sinhalas in the area had shouted against so called colonization by the Muslims there wouldn’t have been a Muslim population in the eastern province.

Further, in 1817 or so the English appointed a Muslim tax collector in Uva Vellassa completely defying the Sinhala English treaty of 1815, which said that the country would be ruled according to the Sinhala laws. The gentlemanly English cheated the Sinhala leaders with the treaty. The Sinhala leaders would not have signed the treaty without that particular clause and the clause on protection of Buddhism, which have been parts of the unwritten constitution of King Gemunu some two thousand two hundred years ago, which the Tamil and Muslim racist leaders wanted to erase with the support of the English colonialists. When the treaty was breached by the English the Sinhala people rose against the gentlemanly act of the English and it became the first independence struggle by the Sinhalas against the English Christian colonialists. The English who were and are not only gentlemanly but humanely, perhaps not as much as Prabhakaran, massacred the Sinhalas in the present eastern province making them to run for their lives to the present southern province. It was how the present eastern province became devoid of the Sinhala population and the government has a right to settle many more Sinhala people in the present eastern province irrespective of what the racist Tamil and Muslim leaders and the NGO lapdogs and lapbitches of the western Christian colonialists and the Blakes and other westerners have to say. The history again shows us that the Tamils and the Muslims were silent when the Sinhalas were harassed by the western Christian English, very often taking the side of the colonialists. The Muslims at least now should realize that the western Christian modernity and Judaic Christian culture is against the Muslim culture in the whole world and that they should unite with the Sinhalas to fight against western Christian colonialism. (To be continued)
Copyright Prof. Nalin De Silva