Ilankai Tamil Sangam

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA


Unanimously adopted at the First National Convention of the


held at Vaddukoddai

on May 14, 1976

Chairman S.J.V. Chelvanayakam Q.C., M.P. (K.K.S)

Whereas, throughout the centuries from the dawn of history, the Sinhalese and Tamil nations have divided between themselves the possession of Ceylon, the Sinhalese inhabiting the interior of the country in its Southern and Western parts from the river Walawe to that of Chilaw and the Tamils possessing the Northern and Eastern districts; And,

Whereas, the Tamil Kingdom was overthrown in war and conquered by the Portuguese in 1619, and from them by the Dutch and the British in turn, independent of the Sinhalese Kingdoms; And,

Whereas, the British Colonists, who ruled the territories of the Sinhalese and Tamil Kingdoms separately, joined under compulsion the territories of the Sinhalese and the Tamil Kingdoms for purposes of administrative convenience on the recommendation of the Colebrooke Commission in 1833; And,

Whereas, the Tamil Leaders were in the forefront of the Freedom movement to rid Ceylon of colonial bondage which ultimately led to the grant of independence to Ceylon in 1948; And,

Whereas, the foregoing facts of history were completely overlooked, and power over the entire country was transferred to the Sinhalese nation on the basis of a numerical majority, thereby reducing the Tamil nation to the position of subject people; And,

Whereas, successive Sinhalese governments since independence have always encouraged and fostered the aggressive nationalism of the Sinhalese people and have used their political power to the detriment of the Tamils by-

(a) Depriving one half of the Tamil people of their citizenship and franchise rights thereby reducing Tamil representation in Parliament,

(b) Making serious inroads into the territories of the former Tamil Kingdom by a system of planned and state-aided Sinhalese colonization and large scale regularization of recently encouraged Sinhalese encroachments, calculated to make the Tamils a minority in their own homeland,

(c) Making Sinhala the only official language throughout Ceylon thereby placing the stamp of inferiority on the Tamils and the Tamil Language,

(d) Giving the foremost place to Buddhism under the Republican constitution thereby reducing the Hindus, Christians, and Muslims to second class status in this Country,

(e) Denying to the Tamils equality of opportunity in the spheres of employment, education, land alienation and economic life in general and starving Tamil areas of large scale industries and development schemes thereby seriously endangering their very existence in Ceylon,

(f) Systematically cutting them off from the main-stream of Tamil cultures in South India while denying them opportunities of developing their language and culture in Ceylon, thereby working inexorably towards the cultural genocide of the Tamils,

(g) Permitting and unleashing communal violence and intimidation against the Tamil speaking people as happened in Amparai and Colombo in 1956; all over the country in 1958; army reign of terror in the Northern and Eastern Provinces in 1961; police violence at the International Tamil Research Conference in 1974 resulting in the death of nine persons in Jaffna; police and communal violence against Tamil speaking Muslims at Puttalam and various other parts of Ceylon in 1976 - all these calculated to instill terror in the minds of the Tamil speaking people, thereby breaking their spirit and the will to resist injustices heaped on them,

(h) By terrorizing, torturing, and imprisoning Tamil youths without trial for long periods on the flimsiest grounds,

(i) Capping it all by imposing on the Tamil Nation a constitution drafted, under conditions of emergency without opportunities for free discussion, by a Constituent Assembly elected on the basis of the Soulbury Constitution distorted by the Citizenship laws resulting in weightage in representation to the Sinhalese majority, thereby depriving the Tamils of even the remnants of safeguards they had under the earlier constitution, And,

Whereas, all attempts by the various Tamil political parties to win their rights, by co-operating with the governments, by parliamentary and extra-parliamentary agitations, by entering into pacts and understandings with successive Prime Ministers, in order to achieve the bare minimum of political rights consistent with the self-respect of the Tamil people have proved to be futile; And,

Whereas, the efforts of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress to ensure non-domination of the minorities by the majority by the adoption of a scheme of balanced representation in a Unitary Constitution have failed and even the meagre safeguards provided in article 29 of the Soulbury Constitution against discriminatory legislation have been removed by the Republican Constitution; And,

Whereas, the proposals submitted to the Constituent Assembly by the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi for maintaining the unity of the country while preserving the integrity of the Tamil people by the establishment of an autonomous Tamil State within the framework of a Federal Republic of Ceylon were summarily and totally rejected without even the courtesy of a consideration of its merits; And,

Whereas, the amendments to the basic resolutions, intended to ensure the minimum of safeguards to the Tamil people moved on the basis of the nine point demands formulated at the conference of all Tamil Political parties at Valvettithurai on 7th February 1971 and by individual parties and Tamil members of Parliament including those now in the government party, were rejected in toto by the government and Constituent Assembly; And,

Whereas, even amendments to the draft proposals relating to language, religion, and fundamental-rights including one calculated to ensure that at least the provisions of the Tamil Lanaguage (Special Provisions) Regulations of 1956 be included in the Constitution, were defeated, resulting in the boycott of the Constituent Assembly by a large majority of the Tamil members of Parliament; And,

Whereas, the Tamil United Liberation Front, after rejecting the Republican Constitution adopted on the 22nd of May, 1972, presented a six point demand to the Prime Minister and the Government on 25th June, 1972, and gave three months time within which the Government was called upon to take meaningful steps to amend the Constitution so as to meet the aspirations of the Tamil Nation on the basis of the six points, and informed the Government that if it failed to do so the Tamil United Liberation Front would launch a non-violent direct action against the Government in order to win the freedom and the rights of the Tamil Nation on the basis of the right of self-determination; And,

Whereas, this last attempt by the Tamil United Liberation Front to win Constitutional recognition of the rights of the Tamil Nation without jeopardizing the unity of the country was callously ignored by the Prime Minister and the Government; And,

Whereas, the opportunity provided by the Tamil United Liberation leader to vindicate the Government


Posted May 17, 2004