Shouldn’t Tamil Eelaam Be In Tamil Nadu? – OpEd

By Shenali Waduge

Tamils in India want a Tamil homeland, Tamils in Malaysia are also voicing similar sentiments, the LTTE Diaspora and TNA in Sri Lanka want a Tamil homeland and probably with time Tamils in Canada and Tamils in the UK may also start joining in the chorus. If this be the case with 72m Tamils already living together in one single State, where the language of Tamil is officially the majority language in a state whose name Tamil Nadu translated means Land of the Tamils, a state that originated the call for a Tamil Homeland should ideally be the place to declare that Tamil homeland.

Location of Tamil Nadu in India
Location of Tamil Nadu in India

It is up to India since India’s Central Government is consistently harping on “dignity and respect” of the Tamil people to facilitate this and put to rest the time being wasted in exploring different places to flag the Tamil Homeland. That homeland is in Tamil Nadu (Tamilakum – by virtue of being the only land that Tamil is spoken by the majority). This delay is causing undue problems because the bottom line is that one ethnic group cannot demand several mono-ethnic-homelands in different continents and countries – this is likely to create an ugly precedence globally, the UN and the West must not ignore this fact.

Bringing a dream to reality

For starters we need to accept that Tamils the world over are angry that they remain the single significant ethnic group without a homeland to call their own. Let us accept this as the problem. In order to solve this problem we need to trace the origins of Tamil ancestry. This leads us to India where in the state of Tamil Nadu 72m of the world’s 77m Tamils already live in a state where the majority is over 95% Tamil and is the only Tamil speaking state covering 130,058sq.km ample area for all the Tamils of the world to congregate to enhance their cultural heritage and ancestry.

Has Tamils in Tamil Nadu or Tamils the world over not realized they already have a place called “homeland” – they have and there is enough evidence to depict that Tamil leaders since early 1920s have been voicing their desire to live separate of Brahmin-controlled India – a concept promoted by the Justice Party (South Indian Liberal Federation) in 1921. The Tamils accused the Brahmins of destroying Dravidian civilization using the Ramayana made worse by the prominence given to Hindi and Hindustani. This led to the Justice Party bringing a resolution stressing Tamil people’s right to a separate sovereign state under the direct control of the Secretary of State for India in London and led to the demand for a separate Dravida Nadu state (encompassing Tamil speaking states of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnatak and Tamil Nadu). The British delegation (Cripps Mission) that came in 1942 refused the request for a separate Tamil state upon Indian independence. A month before India gained Independence, Tamil leaders celebrated “Dravida Nadu Secession Day” which Mahatma Gandhi and Jinnah opposed leading to India gaining independence on 15 August 1947 without giving Tamils their separate state. In 1949 the DMK – Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam was formed continuing calls for a Dravida Nadu and that same year under Chelvanayagam the Federal Party was formed in Sri Lanka whose English name was meant to camouflage its meaning of a separate Tamil state.

The argument Tamil Nadu separatist leaders used was that India was cobbled together by the British empire. They are technically correct and historically there is enough evidence that when India was being decolonized the application of the “self-determination” concept should have been given to the Tamils to form their rightfully argued Tamil Homeland.

Note how things are falling into place and where the dissent has been originating from. In India the Dravid Nadu supporters used the slogan Brahmin discrimination while in Sri Lanka the slogan was Sinhala discrimination whereas Tamils pre and post-independence were enjoying the best of education and state employment.

In 1950s the Tamils dropped calls for Dravida Nadu (since it included other states) and from “Dravida Nadu for Dravidians” the slogan became “Tamil Nadu for Tamils”. When India weakened the separatist movement through the States Reorganization Act (along linguistic lines) in 1956, the same year Sri Lanka introduced the Sinhala Only Act which gave the perfect excuse to build the momentum. The people of Tamil Nadu realized that the “Tamil homeland” calls was nothing but a tool being used to emotionally attach Tamils together by politicians to win votes that realization has yet to dawn upon Sri Lankan Tamil voters. DMK dropped the separatist demand in 1963 but India’s Central Government craftily used the Tamil factor to start militant groups covertly in Sri Lanka so that India’s Tamil Nadu would be safe from separation and India could keep Sri Lanka’s development and political leaders under Indian noose.

It was in importing India’s ailment to Sri Lanka that makes India continue to think India can interfere into the affairs of citizens of another nation even if by ancestry they are from India. Does India have any right to issue statements on behalf of Tamils living in other nations who are citizens of those countries? Since these Tamils are no more citizens of India realistically India or Tamil Nadu has no locus standi to comment.

Such was the case in Malaysia where Muslims constitute 64% of the population with 8% Indians. Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese make up 74% of the population with Tamils making up less than 10% but both Sinhala and Tamil are official languages. Malaysia’s ID differentiates by ethnicity while there is no such differentiation in Sri Lanka. Malaysia’s constitution establishes Islam as the religion of Malaysia (Article 3) and its Government funds construction of mosques in Malaysia – following the defeat of the LTTE, the Sri Lankan military renovated numerous kovils in the North and even built several new ones.

But the Malaysian Tamils are voicing their discontent that they are unhappy over the preferential support for the Bhumiputras (sons of the soil) and are angry that Hindu temples and Hindu idols are being demolished and angry that the Malaysia Government is denying the historic influence of Hindu religion and culture and projecting Islam as existing before Hinduism in Malaysia. This culminated in a 2007 demonstration before the British High Commission requesting it to move a resolution in the UN condemning the “ethnic cleansing” in Malaysia as well as to take Malaysia before the World Court and the International Criminal Court of Justice. Let us also note that the Indian Tamil population in Malaysia was brought in as labor by the British just as was the case in Sri Lanka.

Not surprising Tamil Nadu’s M Karunanidhi came to the “rescue” of the Malaysian Tamils. However, the Malaysian Government has been able to clearly indicate to India’s Government and to the Tamil Nadu state that India should keep away from internal matters in Malaysia – so why has Sri Lanka not done the same.

A member of a Malaysian trade delegation to India firmly told ethnic Indians that the Tamils in Malaysia considered themselves Malaysians FIRST and Tamils later and that they were not interested in ethnic origins – so said Mr. R. Karunakaran, himself a Tamil.

The same delegation pointed out that the richest Malaysian was a Tamil – Ananda Krishnan. The Indian Tamils do not have a fantastic record in Malaysia – according to the Aliran journal Indians commit 40% of crimes in Malaysia, Indians were the highest detained under emergency regulations, 14% of squatters in its capital were Indian and had the highest suicide rates, 41% of beggars were Indian Tamils, 20% of child abusers and juvenile delinquents were also Indian Tamil.

Sri Lanka will no longer carry India’s burden – Tamil Eelaam is in Tamil Nadu and nowhere else

The subject of decolonization came up because the world was made up of colonies ruled by colonial powers. The concept of self-determination arose to enable the “people” of these colonies or territories to decide the future status of their homeland. Thus self-determination applies only to people of colonies being decolonized. Here is where the Tamil Eelam propagandists have been misusing UN declarations.

Tamil Eelaam propagandists use the following international laws to cite their case:

  • UN International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination ( G A Resolution 2106 of 1966) – we would like the Government of Sri Lanka to clearly demand examples of where the GOSL has legally and constitutionally discriminated Tamils.
  • UN Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (G A Resolution 1514 of 1960) stating that “process of liberation is irresistible and irreversible and all people have an inalienable right to complete freedom, the exercise of their sovereignty” – this is where the ball returns to India. It was prior to India’s gaining independence that Tamils of India put forward a case that India was joined together by the British for their administrative needs and that the Tamils wanted a Dravida Nadu or at least a Tamil Nadu. This was denied by the British. Therefore the self-determination was applicable to India at the time of independence when India was being decolonized where Tamil Nadu should have been granted self-determination. It is not too late. This factor needs to be clearly put across by Sri Lanka’s politicians whenever “SOLUTION” demands are made by the UN, the West and even India.
  • UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (G A Resolution 2200 of 1966) Article 1 : (a) “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development”. They (b) also quote Article 3: states: “States Parties to the present Covenant.. shall promote the realization of the right of self-determination and shall respect that right”.
  • (c) UN Declaration on the International Status of “peoples” and their Right of Self-Determination (G A Resolution 2625 of 1970) – “The establishment of a sovereign independent state, the free association or integration with an independent state or the emergence into any other political status freely determined by the people constitute modes of implementing the right of self-determination by that people”.

It is just as well the Tamil Eelaam lobbyists are forwarding these arguments because they all lead back to India and not Sri Lanka. It was India that failed or neglected to hear the voice of Tamils for their own homeland and self-determination at the time of decolonization. That homeland for Tamils based on self-determination is what India has denied Tamils and not Sri Lanka. So let us set the story straight. Sri Lanka’s eelam quest was started by India importing and outsourcing the struggle to Sri Lanka to avoid Tamil Nadu breaking away from India.

Sri Lankan Tamils are better off ….

When Tamils in Sri Lanka were not eating together, allowing others to educate themselves because of Tamil caste, it was the Social Disabilities Prevention Act 21 in 1957 that enabled low caste Tamils to gain education – this was opposed by all elite Tamils who even wrote to the British Government against this. Sinhala and Tamil are official languages in Sri Lanka and both are declared languages of administration (16th amendment – to communicate, publications, translations, records), Sinhala and Tamil are the language of the Courts throughout Sri Lanka. In addition, Sri Lanka’s national flag depicts both Tamils and Muslims through the colors orange and green. All public documents – marriage certificate, death certificate, immigration forms etc are all in Sinhalese and Tamil, so too is currency and notes. All public events are presented in all 3 languages, Tamils have no restrictions on owning property, starting business ventures, obtaining state loans, owning land – whereas Sinhalese and Non-Vellalas are denied from obtaining land in North (thesavalami a law), Tamils have access to all state services and public utilities – hospitals, schools, healthcare services, public transport (at no stage did Tamils suffer as the blacks did in the US and in South Africa), Tamils have access to all forms of sports with Tamils even representing national teams, all road signs, buses etc are all in both languages. While Tamils will not allow low caste Tamils to enter hotels or restaurants of high castes, there is no hotel, restaurant, shop that says “Tamils are not welcome”. Those that accept false propaganda and lies may like to visit Sri Lanka to realize that Tamils in Sri Lanka are better off than Tamils in any other part of the world. Can we then please know where Tamils are being discriminated against in Sri Lanka?

As for Tamil Nadu – close to 20% of its population are Dalits and 80% of this number live in villages where illiteracy is over 60%. 62% of these Dalits suffer from some type of abuse ranging from physical assault, sexual harassment, verbal abuse to even rape. This is how Tamils appear to be treating their own in India where the Indian Government is telling Sri Lanka to treat Tamils with “dignity and respect”.

If Tamils cannot integrate – Tamil Nadu is the best option

We have warned India out of good faith that the balkanization of India with maximum foreign involvement will start with Tamil Nadu in view of its strategic location and nuclear capacity unless India wakes up to the seriousness of allowing Tamil Nadu to dictate terms to the Indian Central Government. India has been able to delay that Eelaam by showering Sri Lanka with 30 years of terrorism and not a word of gratitude except to stab Sri Lanka at every opportunity.

Sri Lanka’s politicians may be friends of India – but the Indian Government is not a friend of the people of Sri Lanka. We are no longer prepared to hide from the world the truth that Eelaam for Tamils is nowhere else but in Tamil Nadu and India is morally compelled to facilitate this without continuing the charade that Eelam should be in Sri Lanka.

The people of Sri Lanka are now determined to demand that its Government discontinue being party to this charade starting with revoking of the 13th amendment to restore the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka as rightfully suggested by the Defense Secretary Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The views expressed are the author’s own.


Enjoy the article?

Did you find this article informative? Please consider contributing to Eurasia Review, as we are truly independent and do not receive financial support from any institution, corporation or organization.


 

19 thoughts on “Shouldn’t Tamil Eelaam Be In Tamil Nadu? – OpEd

  • October 19, 2012 at 3:12 am
    Permalink

    Writer clearly wants to live in a Sinhalese fairyland that only belongs to the elite massacres! We can hear you clear and loud.

    Reply
    • October 19, 2012 at 7:48 am
      Permalink

      You can’t be mad about this article cause its the truth . I’m not a racist . My best friend is Tamil. We have to live in peace in Sri Lanka . If you don’t like the place still you can go back to your motherland .

      Reply
  • October 19, 2012 at 3:23 am
    Permalink

    I take this opportunity to insist that we must abolish 13th amendment to constitution without delay.this is a utter waste of time and money.As writer correctly said neither tamils in TN or Indian Goverment are not friends of Srilankans.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2012 at 4:37 am
    Permalink

    This great analysis remind me the fundamental theory provide by Dr.Guhunadasa Amarasekera from the very beginning of this misled issue. What he said which have been proven this day than before is that Tamils needed a homeland in Tamil Nadu, but because it cannot be realized in India because of India strength they found to do it in a weaker pint, Si Lanka. All can easily understand that if there should be a Tamil State there is no any other place except Tamil Nadu.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2012 at 5:26 am
    Permalink

    Iam so happy for the disaffected tamils there is a homeland in India where they are at peace with themselves and their fellow travellers like Israel for the jews of the world.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2012 at 5:27 am
    Permalink

    Well said. India has no right to put there hand on Sri Lanka. If any Tamil wanted more, let him go to India and live. then he realise the value of Sri lanka.

    Still I cant understand that why GOSL tell Indian to hand off from our internal problems. We should never consider India as a driend. better we allow our trincomalee habour to China for Naval base

    Reply
  • October 19, 2012 at 9:19 am
    Permalink

    Lets all work towards getting the 13th amendment off the statute books. This was forced on us at gun point by India and should have been abolished long time back. It has served only to create thug politicians at divisional level which is not required as we have enough of them at island level.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2012 at 9:20 am
    Permalink

    Well written, eye opening article. As a former British Civil Service officer acquainted with Sri Lanka, I knew many Sri Lankan Tamils who held top goverment posts. In India ratio was marginal.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2012 at 10:31 am
    Permalink

    No. While it is none of our business, as should we be our affairs to India, Sri Lanka in principle should not condone an India divided by an ethnic line. The question though is one logical. Tamil Nadu is nothing but a nosy neighbor offering counsel peaking over the fence. Thats how disgusting it is, and we should leave it at that. Oh – and also, its about time we reminded our ill-cultured that we Sri Lankans have a unique identity, and being good neighbors does not mean kissing their a***s!

    Reply
  • October 19, 2012 at 11:22 am
    Permalink

    The statement”Let us also note that the Indian Tamil population in Malaysia was brought in as labor by the British just as was the case in Sri Lanka.” is a complete untruth.It applies only to the “Hill Tamils” . Out of them also as per Sastri- Srimavo accord, India has taken back majority of them.

    The Tamil Eelaam demand is raised by the North/ eastern Tamils of SL who are original inhabitants of that place & were also rulers before the advent of Portuguese/ Britishers.

    While the author is against the interference of India in Srilanka’s internal affairs,by proposing a Tamil Home land in India, is he not interfering in Indian internal affairs?

    Reply
  • October 19, 2012 at 11:30 am
    Permalink

    Let us all support for Tamil people all over the world to achieve their dream-home in Tamil Nadu. I for myself would help them get their country that has long been denied by the Brhamins of New Delhi. Please support to petition the UN on this regard. As far as SL is concerned we welcome any ethnic group to live in peace as long as they recognized it is a one nation in the past, present and the future.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2012 at 11:59 am
    Permalink

    India to plan the 1983 black July pogram..you guys brought it up on yourself. Before you point one finger at India just realize the rest of your fingers are pointing at you.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm
    Permalink

    The problems of the Singhalese extremists like JHU and Waduge can be solved by federating Tamil Eelam with Indian Union. In that event Tamils will not be going to Singhalese areas and all can live in peace.

    Tamil in Eelam have to be saved from Singhalese criminals.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2012 at 12:40 pm
    Permalink

    Excellent article by Shenali. The LTTE must spend their energy and money in fighting for a homeland for Tamils in India.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm
    Permalink

    What a crappy and extremely bad, unpleasant, inferior, lousy writing without any in-debt analysis. Comparing Malaysia with sri langka shows that the writer is totally ignorance about the both countries history and background. First of all everyone indian sub-continent origin people know as Malaysian indian (include north and south indian as well as Singhalese) not tamil alone. It is really a joke saying they are demanding for homeland, never happened in the history. Writer also totally ignored about wealthy chinese in Malaysia who control the economy The writer should compare Singapore with sri langka since tamil is a official language in both country. Singapore has progressed due to tolerance, equal opportunity and understanding. Sri langka doomed because of corruption, intolerance and race fanatics. The situation in sri langka similar to Scotland and England situation. Scotland never been English nation eventough it is a small and single island. Don’t simply write like grandma story…..

    Reply
  • October 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm
    Permalink

    The main theme of this article makes perfect sense – the establishment of a Tamil homeland in Tamil Nadu for those who need it. However, I would not classify all Tamils in Sri Lanka as being brought in for labor by the Brits. Many have lived in SL since ancient times and are SL citizens. In fact, there is very little distinction between Tamils and Sinhalese in ancient past, with many royals importing wives from South India. The separate identities for sinhala and tamil is a myth and a relatively recent creation by colonial masters and promoted by sinhala buddhist chauvinists for political gain.

    Reply
  • October 20, 2012 at 1:05 am
    Permalink

    India is a strong nation and the Tamils cannot fight as they did in Sri Lanka and were rejected by India. The Tamil’s claim for a Tamil state should be in the Tamil soil itself which is Tamil Nadu. It is the Tamil nation and the Tamils found Sri Lanka is a powerless country where the Tamils dreamed of a separate nation for 10% Tamils.

    I think the Tamils have got too much by being too smart in Sri Lanka and now the Tamils are dreaming of Tamil Eelams in Malaysia, Singapore, Canada, UK and also in Australia.

    Main cause for this is the politics of the Moda Sinhala politicians. However much the Tamils dream of a Tamil State there will never be a Tamil state in the whole world.

    Any Tamil Eelam will only be a dream for ever.

    Reply
  • October 20, 2012 at 3:07 am
    Permalink

    Very BIG THANK for the Author for taking the facts and STATISTICS right!
    I’ve never seen any Srilankan politician nor the journalists until now , who are supposed to negotiate and voice on behalf of its people has taken the Statistics into the picture. Sinhalese are one of most fairer and moderate people on this planet. This can be proven with the FACTS and STATISTICS.

    Sri Lankan Tamils ( less than 3% of the SL population ) are the ones asking more than 30% of the Land for them. In my opinion , The SL Tamils are enjoying the lion share of rights even at this very moment.If the government could have taken the census right after WAR, This figure might had been even far less than 3%.

    P.S Indian Tamils 5% and Muslims 7% are also ethnic minorities in SL and they live with majority Sinhalese with total harmony.

    Shenali, Thanks again and you had better write to the main stream news too. We need more FACTUAL and statistical articles of this nature to simply prove the point as well as to bring the massage across to the wider audience.
    Well Written, and keep it UP !

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CLOSE
CLOSE