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The British created SL ethnic strife - Champika Ranawaka

26 November 2013 05:16 am - 17     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Minister of Technology and Research and the General Secretary of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) spoke to the Daily Mirror on issues resulting from the recently concluded Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and other issues

Role of Britain and the ultimatum issued by David Cameron

Britain is a submerging economy, next year they are to have a referendum as to if Scotland would break away from the union. In the event that happens, one third of the current population of Great Britain would secede resulting in the economic and political power of the country further deteriorating.

Apart from that Britain, is planning to pull out of the EU. They are pulling out of the EU because they could not maintain the set standards of being a party to the Union. Therefore, literally like the Economist magazine pointed out, Great Britain is moving towards becoming “Little England”.

Therefore under these circumstances they are trying to impose themselves on us. For example David Cameron prior to coming to Sri Lanka visited India but he did not speak a word about Human Rights abuses. He spoke of them once before and had to face a major upheaval. Now does India not have problems with their Human Rights? If you Kashmir, Punjab or the fact that 14 states have a presence of Mao rebels, the issue of Dalits who do not have any right whatsoever, but none of that was brought up by the Prime Minister.

Subsequent to his visit in Sri Lanka, he flew directly to the UAE- he went there to sign a multiparty agreement with regard to fighter jets to be used by a private army. Not one word was spoken about religious freedom, democracy, women’s rights or any other such issues.

The only thing he spoke of when in these two countries was about furthering their trade agenda. There was not a word mentioned when conducting business about Human Rights and that itself personifies the hypocrisy of the Prime Minister’s conduct.

Now moving on to Britain’s ultimatum and its conduct during the Summit it must be clear that the Commonwealth does not provide scope for bilateral issues to be brought up. If Cameron and his ego thinks this basic norm could be defied, it is wrong and he has committed a mistake because to us his ego is not important.
The second factor is the issue he raised is a complete lie. The fact that war-crimes have occurred in Sri Lanka is a complete lie. They allege that 40,000 or 60,000 were killed and if that was so these numbers must be proved without plucking them out of nowhere. I’m saying this because in 2011 there was a census carried out by the government and it was Tamil officials who handled it in its entirety.

What the census revealed was that those among the category of “ missing” or those who had died due to unnatural causes  in the entirety of the Wanni which included Kilinochchi, Mulaitheevu and the adjoining areas from 2006 - 2009, was 7878 - this includes those who were a part of the LTTE as well.
There were many LTTErs who were killed and another significant number who might have fled the country during that period, then there is a section who have changed their identities and are living in the country- therefore this number that is thrown has been picked out of thin air. The base of the number 40,000 was the evidence that a medical student had given in Pudumathalan.

Then let us take the next allegation regarding disappearances. So far we have had only 671 complaints of disappearances. The term disappeared means a person is in legal custody of the forces and thereafter there is no trace of him. If this had happened it must be looked into and that’s the stance we have maintained. However, during the 88/89 insurgency there were 66,000 cases that fell within the above category.

Therefore it is clear that Cameron is making this claim with no factual basis whatsoever.

The British were responsible for ethnic and religious tensions

The next issue is what moral right does Cameron have to talk of this? The British came to this island in 1796, the coastal belt was ruled until then by the Dutch. When the Dutch ruled there was not a single Muslim who lived in Colombo. When the English came there was no concept of an Eelam. If there was such then the British would have had to sign an agreement with them as well right? They only signed an agreement in 1815 with the Sinhala Kingdom.

So, it is clear that there was no notion of an Eelam until the British occupied this country, it was their creation. What they did was similar to their modus operandi in Scotland- it’s called the Harrington theory, according to it they brought in Jews in to Scotland and created a new elite. An elite that was opposed to the Scottish nation. That’s the same thing they did in Sri Lanka. They created a priviled ged Tamil elite in Jaffna and tried to trample the Sinhala Kingdom. That’s what we call provinces today. They first broke the Kingdom in to 5 then to 7 and then finally to 9.

They first broke the Kingdom and created a different elite. Apart from that they colonized the people. They brought in people from Tamil Nadu and then after the Coffee industry was shattered they located them in the North on the costal belt.  This is fact.

The next thing they did was in 1935, they brought the Colebrook and Cameron reforms and they brought this separatist agenda politically. They first made the social basis, then the economic basis and through this they stamped it politically.

During that time they nominated two local representatives a Sinhala and a Tamil to portray that the two communities are equal when numerically this was far from reality. That’s how this entire issue cropped up.
The fascinating fact in all this is the Tamil Representative was a resident of Madras and not even a local. That’s how they created this problem.

Similarly they did this with Muslims using Hadji Naina Muhandiram during the 1818 revolt and by locating them in Kandy, Colombo and places like Mulleriyawa.

Therefore the ethnic division between Sinhalese, Muslims and Tamils was created by the British Colonialists.
Even in the recent past London was a hub for the terrorists wasn’t it? Adele Balasingham still lives there, Fr. Emmanuel is another case in point.

Our question is very simple, what if our President went to Britain and met Gerry Adams of Northern Ireland or held talks with the Sinn Fein? What if our President called for an inquiry into those who were killed during the crackdown against the IRA where 38,000 people were killed? How would the British Press have reacted?  The answers to this would give a good guideline to understand the magnitude and the double standards of the action of the British Prime Minister.


The reasons for the emerging racial tensions

A lot of people try to portray that racism of the minorities is the results of Majoritariansim. This is far from the truth.Let us take the Tamil separatist struggle, this was never the result of Sinhala chauvinism.

The first elections held in Sri Lanka were in 1910, and was completely for the elite. In order to qualify for the vote a person had to be male, had to have an income of over 3000 pounds and you have to be fluent in English. Therefore only 2400 people qualified to vote. Who won the election? It was Ponnambalam Ramanathan. That itself shows the positions of privilege the Tamils were given, who only formed 11% of the population.

It was not because of a caste issue,  there were close to 1400 Tamil votes in that list who represented 42% of the voters. So clearly this demonstrated the fact that the Tamils were a privileged elite. Then Ponnambalam Ramanathan after the 1915 riots told an audience that he is the Big Brother and that the Sinhalese and Muslims were his little brothers and they should not fight. That was the Big brother mode they lived in.

The first race or ethnicity based party was formed by the Tamils in 1925 by Ponnambalam Arunachalam. There was no Sinhala Only Act or, the 1893 riots, or the BBS at the time. Then the ACTC was formed in 1936, there were no BBS or any other Sinhala political party at the time. The ITAK was formed in 1945 with the call for secession what was the Sinhala extremism during that time in Sri Lanka?

The Amadyapa movement was formed against the British occupiers and to fight against alcoholism. What did these other parties do to fight against the occupiers?  No it was us from the time of Keppetipola to the present day it was the Sinhalese who fought.

That is the truth; the Tamil racist movement existed from that time. This was correlated with the Tamil Nadu factor where Annadorai formed a movement against the Hindus in 1931 and interacted with Jinnah to secede. This was the Nayakkar movement which was suppressed. It was after that the DMK was formed after the DK was banned. That’s the history. It was not Sinhala racism but the other way around. Sinhala chauvinism was only a reactio.

What happened was the Tamil hegemony thought they could rule this country, later on they understood they couldn’t and that’s why they agreed to the 50% / 50%. Again for example one thing that was used during the 1971 uprising was the standardisation requirement for univesities. Did you have a look at the Z- score this year? When the child in Colombo has to obtain 1.99, the child in Mullaithivu has to only obtain 0.25 to enter the engineering faculty. Now the Sinhalese also have to revolt isn’t it?  The same applies to the year 5 scholarship examinations. In that 22 districts have Tamil students who passed but there are Sinhalese students in only 18 districts. Then tell me where is the ethnic cleansing occurring? It’s not here but in the North. What exists here is complete Tamil racism and the Sinhalese only reacted to it.

I am asking you one question, has the Tamil population in Colombo increased or decreased? It has increased, so then where is this Sinhala racism that they are talking about? Has a brick being thrown at Wigneswaran and Sumanthiran to this day? When Indira Ghandi was killed in 1984 by a Sikh, 6000 Sikhs were massacred during a single night for which there has not been an inquiry. When Premadasa was killed did we murder or assault a single Tamil?

Narendra Modi who speaks of Tamil rights was responsible for the massacre of 760 Muslims in a single night in 2002 which happened over a small incident. There were bombs all over Colombo was one Tamil assaulted by the Sinhalese? Where in the world has this happened? In Britain when a soldier was stabbed  recently what happened? 889 issues of assault or intimidation against Muslims were reported.
Now there are people who are going around claiming that the Muslims are being harassed by the BBS. The only thing I want to ask is, from 1991 the LTTE massacred Muslims, burnt down mosques, cleansed certain areas, tell me one Muslim leader who called for the Muslims to join the Army to defeat the LTTE? There was not a single Muslim leader who called for this.

Today the rights of the Muslims over land in those areas were won by the Sinhalese, 26,978 of our children died for this.  My point is that the leaders never called for the youth to join the Army and defeat the LTTE. Only 93 Muslims have died in the battlefield and out of them a majority are Malays. But there are more than 93  muslims who have died as a result of being a part of the LTTE. I have all the data. Now they are talking about Grandpass, when a mosque was attacked in Manirasakulam it was we who went there and saved the Muslim people. None of these Mulsim leaders including Rauff Hakeem were there. I buried the five bodies with my bare hands. Hakeem was signing an agreement with the LTTE at the time, what right does he have to speak on behalf of them, the Muslims now?

One thing I want to tell the Muslim people is not to segregate, don’t create social segregation by doing what Prabakharan did. We are not the ones segregating ourselves from the rest- from the way the Muslims dress, the way they eat and act they should not segregate themselves from the rest of the country.

We have to accept the truth that Wahabism prevails in this country, this is the truth. What happened in Grandpass? I also went there together with the Muslim leaders. The Buddhist Priest asked them what the problem was and they said they could their was nor space for females to pray , the prelate asked them to use the “ Bana Maduwa” in the temple. Now tell me where in the world does this happen?  Then they said there was a Bo tree, the Priest told them to cut it. Tell me where in the world did this happen? On the other hand Rauff Hakeem spoke for 15 minutes in Parliament regarding a statue that was situated in Panama.
Today Nindavur and Samanthurai are the best examples of this segregation. What happens in the end is that the educated, broad-minded and non-extremist Muslims living in the country would suffer as a result of this. That is what is going to happen.  Do they want to turn back the progress and the vast strides Muslims have made in all spheres of life ? Is that what they want? To stop the females from education, to cover them from head to toe? Is that what they are looking for to make this another Saudi?

I am not afraid to say that the Sinhalese of this country have not done a single act of wrong to the Muslims. Not one single act. The 19% of the Muslim population in Colombo rose to 40% but we did not do a thing. We haven’t stopped the lounds speaksers from blaring the Azan or stopped the way they dress have we?
Why  is Palestine is at war with Israel? Because their land has been occupied by the Jews. Then how must we have to fight against Muslim expansion. That’s what I am saying. The real Muslims lived in peace but a few of these extremist created an unwanted psychosis among them and are trying to turn these Muslims into Wahabism. Please don’t do that because if that happens the Sinhalese are not going to be the ones who suffer but it is the moderate Muslims who are living in peace with the rest of the country.



Why have you been silent  during the past few weeks?

That’s a complete lie. I addressed the Commonwealth Business Forum that was held and told them that countries such as ours could not be developed through FDI’s or the “fun economy-” which include casinos and other such service oriented modules. Our economies should be based on the SME ( Small and Medium Enterprise) sector , I made it clear that we have to focus on an innovative economy which would be sustainable and would be the long and medium term answers to our country . I made this very clear to the audience which included all these businessmen.  The thing is that the Casino mafia controlled the media and portrayed or to look like I was silent. The people in Sri Lanka know about us. They know about our policies. We are not worried about these paid agents.

Is Sri Lanka isolating itself through its actions from the Western world?

No we are not. Let us first understand the reality of the global dynamics. China was the most industrialised state in this world and the most developed economy till 1820. Thereafter Britain surpassed China not based on any other factor but due to force and not because of the industrial revolution or technology but simple due to this fact which they extensively used to exploit other states.  They used this to supply resources like slave labour and other such material. Vast territories in Africa, Asia and other territories such as USA and Canada were all used for this exploitation. They simply used force to build this industrialized modern country called England. Their offshoot -the USA surpassed England as the biggest economy in 1875, thereafter Germany took over.

Having understood the historical evolution let us look at how it is today. The year 2010 was a very significant year in the re shaping of these global dynamics. Asia took over as the biggest economy in the world with Britain and other western countries  are currently submerging.

So what we are advocating is to look towards Asia, they are an emerging economy, they are the innovators. The entierty of present day innovations take place in China, India, Korea and other Asian nations. The west are only depend on Israel and the Tel Aviv University for these Innovations.
Therefore we must understand this new re shaping of global dynamics, not that we have to forget the massive markets in Europe, and Latin America, but they are in a state of submergence. What we have to do is to shape a fine balance within these two and then there would be no such isolation at all.


Pix by Nisal Baduge

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  Comments - 17

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  • raj Tuesday, 26 November 2013 03:27 PM

    so please let the British to solve this problem too.

    sammy cooper Wednesday, 27 November 2013 09:24 AM

    Champika Ranawaka should know that international relations or diplomacy is about Interests and accordingly countries will align themselves. The same goes for Sri Lanka.
    Champika Ranawaka says that Cameron didn't raise human rights in India or about religious freedom in UAE. But did Sri Lanka take up the issue of the killing of Buddhist monks in Myanmar by the military junta? Or the killing of Buddhist monks in Tibet? No they didn't. Why? Because of Sri Lanka's interests. And so with the rest of the world. But the western countries have come out of their troubles and created systems that work for all groups of people living among them but sadly Sri Lanka pushes the Sinhala-Buddhist agenda. That's the real problem.

    Andrew Pitugala Wednesday, 27 November 2013 05:38 AM

    Even if it is true, should we use it as an excuse to continue it.
    You think that you have brilliant brains, then you should have solved it long time ago.

    Sammy Wednesday, 27 November 2013 05:37 AM

    @Kusuma Indians colonized this island nation from the time of Vijaya or before that?

    sammy cooper Wednesday, 27 November 2013 05:32 AM

    It must not be forgotten it was the British who gave universal franchise to Sri Lanka. With that the Sinhala people captured power! Last King of Kandy was from Thamil Nadu.

    mohammed Tuesday, 26 November 2013 06:29 PM

    administration is no need of your lectures or advises

    Ranza Tuesday, 26 November 2013 04:35 PM

    This guy is an idiot and should focus on his job of supplying gas and electricity. Why is he sticking his nose in matters or politics that's none of his business. Stupid bugger!

    Naveen Pagnaratna Tuesday, 26 November 2013 04:31 PM

    Sorry Kusuma You are out of your mind, British colonized former Ceylon. India try to colonize Srilanka (former Ceylon) by creating Tamil (LTTE) terror, But it backfires in their own face, after the Rajavi Gandihi senseless LTTE, Learn history more..

    Oh Yeah Tuesday, 26 November 2013 04:27 PM

    Brits were responsible for Kahyapa-Dutugamanu war too.

    willows Tuesday, 26 November 2013 09:16 AM

    Very well said Sir.

    Sumathy M Tuesday, 26 November 2013 03:00 PM

    Excellent! ! Hon.minister.Let cameron release Chilcot report first and then talk about the HR in other countries.Let cameron do something to stop killings in Iraq.Cameron doesnt understand the mind set of the Tamils living in Britain.They will vote for those who are going to win,not those who spoke on their behalf.

    Rohan Fernando Tuesday, 26 November 2013 01:49 PM

    I am a Sri Lankan living in UK since 2006. I do not have the time to read through the entire report. What I can say is that right along the SL politicians have been hoodwinking the SL population. I can prove that the prices of essential items in SL is almost the same or little less than in England. It may be a better idea for the minister to try bring the cost of living down without talking bullshit

    Das Tuesday, 26 November 2013 01:45 PM

    The british left in 1948 and the government forces commenced killing tamils in batches for the only reason that they were tamils.
    The government also killed thousands of sihala youth in 1971 and during 1987/88/89 for political reasons.
    The islandwide pogrom of 1983 created the militancy of tamils and emergence of the LTTE.
    The british had nothing to do with these slaughters.

    Kusuma Tuesday, 26 November 2013 01:41 PM

    British never colonized Ceylon. It is the Indians who colonized the island nation.

    Nalla Thambi Tuesday, 26 November 2013 01:25 PM

    As a Sinhalese citizen, you spoke the real truth. But in Sri lanka, most of the Sinhalese people,Especially Sinhalese parliamentarians do not even know how the British made this mess. Soma Thero was right. He told the truth several time in middle of 1990ties. Only few people believed it. They were organize to fight against terror and won it.

    Bernard Tuesday, 26 November 2013 12:31 PM

    Minister Champika, be prepared to confront and bring the solution to the crisis the country faces and pl stop commenting about Britain and its economic situation. We are suffocating with mounting debts over and above and this is not the time you utter your comments about Britain. Being one of the superpowers they can salvage their country from any crisis. But what are we going to do? Still we enjoy the roots for transportation (road & railways) are given by them. Our main source of export was also introduced by them. Just because of their comments you all are out to find a fact finding mission and holding a campaign of malicious. I love my country more than anything, better than you politicians, they ruin Sri Lanka. Our country needs more productive thinking. Not simply mud slinging against a country that is one of the donors to develop our nation.

    Roy Tuesday, 26 November 2013 12:16 PM

    Mr Willows,

    With all respect, please look at the situtation in Srilanka.

    You call these guys Sir. They are robbing the country.

    These guys have no respect for any one.

    They show respect only for liqid CASH.

    MOTHER LANKA is finished.

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