Indian national parties, the congress, the Bharatiya Janata party, the communist party of India and the Marxist communist party, have been urging a solution to the Srilankan Tamil problem within “united Srilanka”. But the real history is that there has never been such a thing as a “united Srilanka”.
Before the British(European) rule there were three kingdoms in Srilanka. A Sangli king who ruled the country of Jaffna was betrayed by a traitor and captured by the Portuguese and brought by sea to Goa, India, where he was tortured to death.
Vickrama singhan, the Tamil king who ruled the kataragama area of Kandy was captured by the British and imprisoned at Vellore fort in Tamilnadu and died there. The Sinhalese rule in the name of the “Fort government ” was in areas including Colombo. It was also captured by the British.
With the exception of the Colombo fort kingdom, the administration of Jaffna, Mannar and other area was centred on Chennai during the British rule. Later, due to their administrative difficulties, the British divided the island of Ceylon into nine provinces and formed a Srilankan government with Colombo as its headquarters.
In 1903, the equality of Tamils was affected due to the British rule of the Sinhalese in Ceylon. Therefore, the ” Tamil council” was formed in Jaffna as a people’s organization demanding autonomy for the aboriginal Tamils of Srilanka by people like Tensman kasipillai.
In 1915, Sinhala leader T.S. Senanayaka was arrested and imprisoned by the British government in connection with the Islamic- Sinhala ethnic riots.
Famous Tamil leaders of the time, Ponnambalam Ramanathan and Ponnambalam Arunachalam, went to London and defended the Sinhala leaders.
The Sinhalese and Tamils formed the “Ceylon National congress” in 1919 to liberate themselves from the British. The Sinhalese deceived the Tamil leaders because the Sinhalese were not ready to live in harmony with the Tamils. In 1921, all Tamils left the Ceylon National Congress and formed the “Tamil Mahajana sabha” in Jaffna.
If the Sinhala Lion and the Tamil lamb live together, the lion will swallow the lamb. Therefore, Tamils should not be deceived, said J.V. Sellaiah. Sinhala leaders of the Ceylon National congress party reached an agreement with the Ceylon Tamil Mahajana sabha on June 25 1925. The so- called “Maha deva” agreement was abandoned by the Sinhalese as a party.
From 1920 to 1935, Sinhala leaders waged struggles against the Kerala malayalees of Indian descent and tried the expel the malayaleed from Colombo. In 1939, A.K. Gopalan, the communist party leader from India, went to Colombo and talked to the communist party leaders there and tried to stop the expulsion of malayalees. But the attempt did not succeed due to the stubbornness of the Sinhala fanatics. The malayalees were expelled.
Since 1936, Sinhala leaders have been campaigning for the expulsion of the upcountry Tamils. The number of people from Tamilnadu who migrated to work in the tea estates in the Upcountry of Srilanka during the European rule from 1830 to 1939 was 6 lakhs. It is 14 percent of the total population of Srilanka.
In 1939, Sinhala extremists in assembly passed a resolution calling for the expulsion of fifteen thousand upcountry Tamils. The resolution was passed by Sinhala leader Senanayaka despite the opposition of all Tamils.
After this, a group of upcountry Tamils came to New Delhi and met Mahatma Gandhi and asked him to save them. On Gandhi’s orders, on July 18, 1939, Jawaharlal Nehru visited Colombo and spoke with Sinhala leader T.S. Senanayaka. Due to the failure of the negotiations, the “Ceylon Indian Congress” was started by Nehru on July 25, 1939 for the protection of the upcountry Tamils.
On July 26, 1939, the Sinhalese caused a stir at a public meeting where Nehru spoke in Colombo. Nehru could not speak. When the British left Srilanka on February 4, 1948, at the mercy of the Sinhala majority parliament, the political future of the whole Eelam was left in a unitary political system.
After the British rule, the Sinhala majority government refused to grant citizenship to 10 lakh upcountry Tamils. Prime minister Kottalwala, who visited Jaffna in 1954, promised that ” Sinhala and Tamil will be the official languages” and that “Sinhalese and Tamils will he treated equally”.
But on his return to Colombo, he was strongly opposed by Sinhala bigots and passed a resolution declaring that “Sinhala is the only official language”.
In 1957, an agreement was reached between Bandaranayaka and Selvanayagam. The agreement was torn down by Bandaranayaka as a dictator in 1958 in front of everyone in the Srilankan parliament.
In 1964, the Sirimaro shastri agreement was reached by India. As a result, four and half a lakh upcountry Tamils were forcibly departed from Srilanka.
1n 1965, the Dudley Senanayaka- Selvanayagam agreement was reached. In 1969, Dudley unilaterally announced that the contract has been abandoned.
After this, during the tenure of Prime minister Indira Gandhi, Kachchativu was annexed to Srilanka on the name of an agreement. But the fishing rights of Tamilnadu fishermen have not yet been protected as per the terms of agreement.
In 1987, Rajiv Gandhi signed Jayawardene accord. The Sinhala government has not compiled with this agreement. Rajiv Gandhi, who signed the Rajiv Jayawardene agreement is 1987, was attacked with a pistol by a Sinhala naval soldier. By the grace of God, Rajiv Gandhi escaped.
Thus, at various times many agreements were made with the aim of enabling Sinhalese and Tamils to live in equal harmony and were accepted by the Tamils. But the Sinhalese never accepted reconciliation agreements. All the agreements were violated by the Sinhalese as a whole.
In 2002, a memorandum of understanding and a ceasefire agreement were signed between the government of Srilanka and LTTE. The agreement came as a result of efforts by countries including the United states, Japan and India through Norway. The agreement was unilaterally terminated by the Rajapaksa government on January 8, 2008. The Rajapaksa government expelled Norwegian mediators and ceasefire monitors. The Sinhalese as a whole have distanced themselves from the agreements reached with the Tamils almost nine times.
The Rajapaksa government was declared Victorious in the war against the LTTE in 2008 after the Mullivaikkal terror.
Following this, the government of India has repeatedly contacted the Rajapaksa government on the issue of equal rights for Tamils, devolution of political power, resettlement and relief work. But not all relief aid provided by the Indian government has reached the Tamils.
Continuing Sinhalaization and generalization is being carried out systematically by the government of Srilanka. The occupation of Tamil areas by the Srilankan army persisted.
The area is still an open prison for the indigenous Tamils living on the island of Srilanka. All goodwill efforts by the Indian government are being thwarted by the Sinhala side.
Sinhalese have allowed China to set up military bases on the island of Srilanka.
The fishermen, Indian citizens, continue to be shot dead by the Sinhala army. The government of India have no choice but to conclude that the only solution is to to create a unique Tamil Eelam so that Srilanka Tamils can live in peace.
Indira Gandhi declared war on Pakistan in 1972 and granted independence to Bangladesh so that Bengali muslims could live peacefully. Everyone expects India to take such a bold decision in the case of Srilanka.
It is enough to be constantly deceived by Sinhalese by making deals with them. Let India not be deceived anymore by Srilanka.
Author – Arjun Sampath
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