LG polls in North


The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and the UPFA (The United People’s Freedom Alliance), as well as fringe parties like the United National Party (UNP), the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JV) and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) have contested the local elections in the North. It is with utter shame that I note that the ‘Tamil’ parties have failed to shed their communal names and continue with the old racist labels even in the 21st century. Although the UPFA has made some inroads into the vote base of the North, the racist Tamil parties have largely prevailed, while the UNP, the jingoist-Marxist-JVP and the Muslim party have lost badly.

Political analysts writing in the south have as usual failed to note what has happened. I am sure the acronym TNA in effect stands for ‘Thamil Namptiri Alliance’, and the ‘Namptiri’ are the descendants of high-caste Malabars. They have always been powerful enough to imagine that they are the Brahmins who are destined to rule over the rest (80%) of the landless Sri Lankan Tamils (depressed Tamils). What about the TULF? The acronym in reality stands for ‘Thamil United Landlord’s Front’. This, too, is a cabal of the landed, i. e. the privileged gentry - the ‘Saami’ class. They are the descendants of the ‘Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchchi’ (ITAK), the party that wanted a kingdom (Arasu) for itself. They do NOT represent the majority of the Tamils.

Then how did they win the vote, in spite of the efforts of the government in rehabilitation, spending far more in the North than in the South, in de-mining the land and resettling the IDPs post haste? Most working class Tamils obey the upper classes with a bowed head, even when it is not in their interest.

So, when the TNA and the TULF go and tell the Tamils in the North to vote for them, they just follow the DCM and vote for the dicta of their ‘Saami’. The leftist parties, with liberating doctrines never succeeded in the North. In contrast, the leftists had a vast influence in the more receptive social climate of the south.

Political parties should not be allowed to have racial or caste based names. Land reform and not just infrastructure engineering, is essential in the North. Extensive land reform and demographic engineering are absolutely necessary. We have to stop re-settling IDPs in their old (caste-based) villages. This is equivalent to reconstructing the old caste-based structure of the Northern villages. Instead, they must be given land and a new dignity. The land of the ‘Peri-Dorei’ class should be nationalized and redistributed among the depressed classes and among settlers coming from the demographically over-bursting hill country and the South. 

Sebastian Rasalingam,
Toronto, Canada.

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