Expatriate Tamils, TNA and 13-A


The trans-national Eelamists (TNE) living in Canada have been super-active in gearing up forces against Sri Lanka and wielding ‘human rights’ as their weapon. Canadian parliamentarians were lobbied on February 1st by the ‘Canadian Human Rights Voice’, run by ex-LTTE Tamils. The most recent activity was by the ‘Centre for War Victims and Human Rights (CWVHR)’, held in Toronto on the 18th of February. This was run by Anton Philip (Father Sinnarasa), who was well-known as a war monger rather than a war victim. He was a dangerous LTTE member who escaped from the Batticaloa maximum-security prison in the mid 1980s. Furthermore, well-known LTTE figures like Father Emmanuel and top Trans-national Tamils hobnobbed with John Argue (Amnesty International) and other leaders of various ‘Human Rights’ organizations. The close LTTE-nexus of the so-called ‘human-rights commission’ in Hong-Kong was also clearly displayed. Thus veteran child-kidnappers and extortionists who trained suicide bombers have now become bed fellows of the Human-rights industry, and wooed by all Canadian political parties!

Nexus between TNA and TNE

These TNE insist that ‘self-determination’ for the Tamils creating Tamil Eelam is the only way to ensure ‘human rights’ for them. The TNE tighten the screws on the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) if it shows any amity towards the ‘Colombo government’. It is no secret that just recently the TNA was met by a ‘civil society of Tamils’ with direct links to western Eelamist Tamil organizations. Similarly, a group of hard-Eelamist intellectuals admonished the TNA, indicating that the TNA’s goal has to be ‘self-determination’ for the Tamils and nothing else.

The expatriate Tamils and the TNA parliamentarians mostly domiciled in Colombo are typical absentee landlords of the North. The best land is owned by a small 15% of such upper-caste Tamils. The Human-rights organizations never talk of the humiliating oppression of the ordinary Tamils of the North by the land-owning Tamils. Instead they claim that the Sri Lankan government practised genocide on them for the last thirty years, reaching a crescendo in May 2009. Tamil ‘human rights’ have become a simple casus belli to the fund-hungry western NGOs looking for easy trophies.

Mr. Sumanthiran is a prominent TNA parliamentarian who grew up in Colombo, i.e. far away from his ‘Eelam homeland’. He went to its best schools, and practises in Colombo courts exactly the same way as other citizens. And yet, he talks of genocide and of his human rights being transgressed! So, in order to put right the claimed grievances of rich land-owing upper-caste Tamil-lawyer politicians like Mr. Sumanthiran, the TNA wants devolution of power to the North with land, police and financial power vested to a chief minister of their choice. But that is not enough. They also want a referendum, restricted only to the Tamils, allowing self-determination for the "Tamil homelands".

Even during British times, when Tamils prospered they left their ‘homeland’ and moved south, and then perhaps to foreign climes like Canada. Given that nearly half the Tamils now live in the south, among the Sinhalese, the proposed referendum should include the southern Tamils as well. But then, here is the conundrum left unresolved by the expatriate Tamils and their agent, the TNA. If the Tamils ‘win’ the referendum, the southern Tamils would face pressure to move to the ‘Tamil Homeland’ in the North. Large displacements of peoples always lead to hardship and bloodshed. Why is the TNA not addressing this issue?

Clearly then, the 13th amendment creating a provincial council for the North with a chief minister with land and police powers is the first step to consolidating the caste-dictated land-ownership pattern practiced from time immemorial. This is not devolution of power to the north but dispensation of power to the Eelamist Transnational government of the Tamils via the TNA. A poor depressed-caste Tamil in Mavittapuram, who used to be governed by the Chelvanayagams and Anandasangarees living in Colombo, will now be governed by the Rudurakumarans, Ponnambalams and other expatriate Tamils.

13-A and social oppression

The government legislated against caste discrimination in 1956, ensured that even the socially disadvantaged castes could travel in buses and trains and introduced university admissions on a district basis giving a chance to schools of far-flung regions etc. These would not have happened under a chief minister in the North. Today the government must act to re-allocate the land in the north on an equitable basis. Handing power to a local high-caste lord (‘chief minister’) and to trans-national Tamils should be prevented by establishing a strongly centralized system of government.

Caste discrimination is not a matter of the past. It exists with equal ugliness even today as discussed by Ahilan Kadirgamar, Thomas Johnpulle and other writers. The 13th amendment would help elect a high-caste chief minister to rule Jaffna. India learnt from Prabhakaran that such a chief minister could be a terrible terror to India itself. Today, Mr. Chidambaram is finding that this ‘Indian model’ has become an obstacle to forming a National Counter Terrorism Center even after the 2010 Mumbai attack. The 13th, a folly foisted by Rajiv Gandhi should be expunged from Lanka’s constitution.

The government should craft a new Constitution and demarcate provinces anew, stimulating multi-ethnicity, and rejecting entrenched ethnicity as well as casteism.

by Sebastian Rasalingam


animated gif
Processing Request
Please Wait...