Main Logo

Saturday 27 August 2011

TNA Nadagama

Nadagama in Sinhala does not mean quality drama in spite of so called adaptations from Nadagam to the Sinhala Theatre. Prof. Gamini Dela Bandara of the University of Kelaniya has brought my attention to the terms “Gee Naluwa” and “Kavi Naluwa” that had been in usage even during Dambadeniya period. However, in this article I am not interested in Sinhala Natya but the behaviour of Sambandan and the other leaders of the TNA which amounts a deadly nadagama at best in common Sinhala parlance. The TNA leadership consisting mainly of Tamil Vellalas who speak English in addition to Tamil, or of so called bilinguals, is attempting very hard to put the clock back by fifty to sixty years.

I have argued in few articles after the humanitarian operations and also in many articles and in a book before and during the operations that Prabhakaran only continued the politics of Ramanathan, Arunachalam, G G Ponnambalam, Chelvanayakam, Amirthalingam and Ananda Sangaree by other means. If the latter campaigned for devolution of power and for Eelam through the legislature at various stages the former adopted what may be called the military method. Of course from the time of Ramanathan, the politics of Tamil leaders have evolved around the much quoted phrase little now and more later of Chelvanayakam, and one could say that the Tamil racist movement that has attracted many a Marxists not to speak of liberals, university lecturers and NGO pundits, also wanted little now and much later. Little now and more later though formulated by Chelvanayakam, if we believe in the implication by his son in law A J Wilson in his biography of the former, has been the main strategy of politics of Tamil Vellalas from the very beginning.

The evolution of Tamil politics has been described by me in many articles and in the book, “An analysis of Tamil racism in Sri Lanka”, and it is clear that it was a movement by the English educated Tamil Vellalas in the Legislative Assembly against the Sinhala Buddhists and their culture in general. The Tamil Vellala leaders who were instigated by the English governors fought against the Sinhala Buddhist culture and the Sinhala people and their leaders again appointed by the English in the nineteenth century. The English were not interested in teaching English to the locals, especially to the Sinhalas, but were interested in breaking the leadership given by the Bhikkus to the Sinhala people imposing various conditions on the Bhikkus. The intrinsic leadership of the Sinhala provided by Anagarika Dharmapalathuma was defeated by the English, the leaders of the Sinhalas appointed by the colonialists and also by the nobodies described by Kumari Jayawardhene, who were trying to become somebodies using Sinhala nationalism also to a certain extent. The UNP that was established in the early part of forties was nothing but a grouping of the somebodies who were mainly Christians and nobodies who were mainly Buddhists, and of course, some so called minority leaders. The leadership struggle in the UNP even at present basically reflects the fight between these two groups, now consisting of somebodies such as Ranil Wickremesinghe and Ravi Karunanayake and nobodies who have become somebodies such as Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa, though nobodies like Tissa Attanayake could be found with somebodies such as Ranil Wickremesinghe and Ravi Karunanayake.

The Tamil Vellala leaders were interested in denying the Sinhalas and their history and culture the rightful place that should have been bestowed and in this regard they were used by the English rulers. However, both the English and the Tamil leaders with their propaganda machinery were able to propagate various myths from time to time to tell the world that the Tamils were being discriminated against by the Sinhalas. A so called ethnic problem was created and solutions were offered by parties with vested interests. The English who wanted the Tamil Vellalas to be the leaders of the entire country and the aborted Ceylonese nation tried various tactics in their book until 1931 to achieve their objective. However, the English did a blunder from their point of view giving universal franchise against the protests of not only the Tamil leaders but also of the somebodies among the Sinhala “leaders”. That prevented a Tamil becoming the leader of the country and the aborted Ceylonese nation without the English realizing it.

Since then G G Ponnambalam cried for fifty – fifty, but Chelvanayakam took the most racist decision of establishing the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi at least six years before the Sinhala Only Act. The so called solutions offered from Bandaranaike Chelvanayakm agreement, the Dudley Senanayake Chelvanayakam agreement to the thirteenth amendment are all geared to solve a non existing problem of the Tamils, but of a problem of Tamil English educated Vellalas. The problem was to deny the Sinhala people and their culture and history their due place and what Chelvanayakam did was to make the ordinary Tamils feel that they share the problem of the Tamil English educated Vellalas. Prabhakaran was the result of a process initiated by Chelvanayakam, and the Vellalas who called the terrorists their boys (our boys concept) thought that the non Vellalas would carry on the “fight” of the Vellalas. However, Prabahakaran had a different agenda and he had to fight against the real oppressors of the Tamils, especially of the Tamil Hindus, namely the Tamil Vellalas. At the same time Prabhakaran who was assisted by the westerners and the Indians fought against not only the Sri Lankan government but also the Sinhala people, especially the Sinhala Buddhists, indicating clearly what the Vellalas instigated by the English and then by the westerners led by USA wanted. The NGO pundits in Sri Lanka whether they were on the pay roll of the west or not justified LTTE killings arguing that the “innocent” Tamils had no other option but to take up arms when they were discriminated against and when the Sinhala government was not interested in so called peace talks.

We all know that discussions had been held with the Tamil leaders such as Chelvanayakam, Amirthalingam, Ananda Sangaree, Sambandhan, but failed due the fact they wanted to solve the problem of Tamil Vellalas under the pretext of solving a non existing problem of the ordinary Tamils. Prabhakaran continued with the same politics with the addition of a fight against the Tamil Vellalas. The Sinhalas will not agree to any devolution for historical, cultural and demographical reasons, and the discussions failed as the Tamil leaders wanted devolution of power to establish an Eelam having failed to become the leaders of the entire country. The discussions, so called solutions including the thirteenth amendment, the terrorist activities are all connected and form a continuous political process. This process has been defeated and any attempt to restart the process with the help of the westerners is a nadagama and nothing else. If the TNA did not have the support of the west and India they would never have attempted to resurrect a dead political process and in that sense the TNA nadagama has grave consequences as it amounts to a breach of sovereignty. Thus it is not only a nadagama but a deadly nadagama which does not have even a scant respect for the Sinhala people. If the TNA and the pundits think that with the help of India and the west they can suppress the Sinhala people then they are sadly mistaken. The thirteenth amendment is not valid in post conflict Sri Lanka in the words of the pundits and it is time that the TNA stopped this nadagama and opted for a paradigm shift and took into consideration the problems of the Tamils, which are not different from those of the Sinhalas, and not the ambitions of the English educated Tamil Vellalas.

Copyright Prof. Nalin De Silva