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Wednesday 14 January 2015

The minority supremacy

It was in 1833 the Legislative Assembly was established by the English colonialists, which comprised 10 official members and six unofficial members. All the unofficial members and four of the official members were appointed by the English governor while six of the official members were members of the executive committee. Thus in essence all the members were appointed by the governor. Of the six unofficial members three were Europeans, one was Sinhala, one Tamil and the other Burgher. There were no Muslims. This was the beginning of minority communal politics with the blessings of the English who nourished Tamil racism that had been established by the Dutch, and 2015 Presidential elections saw the continuation of it. The Sinhala people especially the Buddhists were denied of their due place in the country ignoring their history of more than two thousand years compared with the history of Vellala Tamils who were brought here by the Dutch, the demography of Sri Lanka with more than seventy percent of the Sinhala people and above all the culture the Sinhalas have built in this country. Tamil racism has since 1833 grown into Tamil separatism in the forties of the last century and into Tamil terrorism in the seventies. Muslim racism which first began as a phenomenon against Tamil racism in the final decades of the nineteenth century has since the seventies turned against Sinhala people. The history of Tamil racism is described in :Prabhakaran, ohugeseeyala, baappala ha massinala (Prabhakaran, his grand uncles, uncles and cousins – of course political), which is now in its fourth edition.

There was a reason for the English to encourage Tamil racism against the Sinhala people in addition to its divide and rule policy. The Sinhala people could not be conquered  by any nation, ethnic community, dynasty in their history of more than two thousand years, and finally exactly two hundred years ago in 1815 the cunning diplomacy of Doyle and others made some of the Sinhala leaders to sign a pact with the English, erroneously called the Kandyan Convention by the English and their imitating “educated” Sri Lankans, establishing English Christian colonialism over the whole country against the wish of the Sinhala leaders. There were two important clauses in the Pact, I am not tired of repeating, namely that the country will be ruled according to Sinhala customs and that Buddhagama and Devagama, meaning the Buddhism as practiced in Sri Lanka (not pure Theravada if there is any such religion), would be protected. However, the English being gentlemen breached the two clauses in no time.

There are parallels between 1815 and 2015. Having experienced 2015, it is not difficult to imagine now how the English would have propagated myths against Sri Wickrema Rajasighe the last king of the Sinhala kingdom. The false propaganda by the present government party against the previous government has not stopped even after the formation of the Maithripala- Ranil-Chandrika (MRC) government with the assistance of Champika, Rajitha, Rishard, and Sumanthiran though the latter has not taken up a portfolio. Mangala Samaraweera goes to town claiming and proclaiming that there was an attempt by Mahinda Rajapaksa to cling to power with the assistance of the armed forces in the morning of the ninth of January, and this is a serious allegation. Ranil Wickremesinghe should either confirm or deny this allegation as he was involved in the transition of power and not Mangala Samarweera. By his silence Ranil is only adding fuel to this propaganda by Mangala and it is not a good augury for the so called good governance that the present government promised. Promises and Pacts in the tradition of English colonialism that is with us even today are meant to be broken.

The English in 1815 had turned most of the Sinhala leaders against the King and we tend to forget that even Keppetipola Nilame had decided to serve the English after the Pact. When the Sinhala people who were virtually leaderless turned against the English when the latter breached the Sinhala English Pact of 1815, it was Keppetipola who is supposed to have led the English army that was sent to overcome the first independence struggle of the Sinhalas against the English. However, Keppetipola listened to the Sinhala people sent back the English army with the weapons, without following the westerners and their traditions, and led the independence struggle against the English. This was in 1817, and Keppetipola was defeated, murdered and finally the Sinhala people in Wellassa were massacred by the English. Even after that some Sinhala leaders continued to serve the English and today the situation is not much different. Are we heading towards a 2017 massacre of the Sinhala people this time with the assistance of the JVP and the JHU? We have to work with the SLFP (Mahinda) to avoid such scenario.

The Rajpaksas are blamed for the establishment of the Bodu Bala Sena. However, my understanding is that it was established by a person(s) now in the MRC government but the BBS having understood what was happening somewhat lately had turned against its mentor referred to as the “usa man” (tall man) by the leading Bhikkus in the BBS. The irony is that Rajitha who was vehemently opposed to the BBS and Rishard who had had verbal fights with the mentor in the cabinet are again with the latter in the new cabinet after defeating Mahinda.

There were at least five factors that contributed to the defeat of Mahinda, the major being the minority supremacy the Tamil leaders had been expecting from 1833.  I will describe them in detail in the forthcoming articles but the above map,  with courtesy from Sunday Times, would give a picture of what happened on the 8th January of 2015, a date which the future generations of Sinhalas will remember with 2nd March 1815. It is a case of establishing minority supremacy through the ballet in one case and through the pen in the other case. The wish of the majority has been defeated through western knowledge, maneuvering, false propaganda etc in both cases. In 2015 western technology that was not available in 1815 was also used. The areas marked in red in the map are those where Maithripala had won while those marked in blue are Mahinda territory. The map is nothing but the so called Eelam map with up country, urban areas and the Catholic belt also marked in red.  

Mahinda would not have been a nationalist in the beginning of this century. I have known him for more than thirty years and I have some knowledge of his evolution as a politician. Unlike some others in the Jathika Vyaparaya (nationalist movement) I did not expect him to be a confirmed nationalist. He was a pink socialist in the beginning and I had opposed his non nationalist policies in the nineties. However, I never forgot that Keppetipola had served the English, and that Mahinda had never served the English colonialists. He has been for the Palestine liberation from his youth, a fact that the Muslims in Sri Lanka conveniently forgot to support MRC trio following some of their leaders who identified themselves with western colonialism against the Sinhala people whose kings settled them in the present day eastern province to safeguard them from initial western (Portuguese) colonialism. Mahinda had gradually turned to be a nationalist and his evolution is far from complete. Unlike the “usa man” Mahinda has not followed a sig - sag policy shifting from nationalism to whatever ism the former could think of for the purpose of getting power. If Keppetipola turned a nationalist after 1817, Mahinda became a nationalist before 2015, but not before 2005. However, we worked for him in 2005 as we had realised his potential even then. It was in 1889, he and SB Dissanayake invited me to deliver the first Bandaranaike Memorial lecture when the SLFP was in dire straights, probably due to the fact that the speakers could not be found those days. I chose “panas haye daruwo” as my title, a term that  has entered into the political vocabulary of the country. It was a turning point and the SLFP has not looked back after that. I have no doubt the SLFP, not the Chandrika clique that has no legal validity at all, will come back in a short space with Mahinda as the President and a dynamic strong person as the secretary.   (To be continued) 

Nalin De Silva