The inability of the Sinhalese to uphold the constitutional parameters of a unitary state and provide a democratic and just government to the North East, contributed substantially to the crystallisationofthe revived concept of Tamil homeland in recent times. Failure to accommodate the will of all the people in a unitary state41 by the emerging idea of Sinhala Nation and the subsequent usurperment of the constitution and government for the advancement of Sinhala interests precipitated the Tamil Homeland demand.
The breakdown of the 1948, 1972, and 1978 constitutions has led to the demand for a new constitutional arrangement which permits the powers now retained and exercised only by the centre to be devolved back to the people in the North East so that the people vest part of this powers with the centre to retain the unity of Sri Lanka. It is by recognising this inevitability which is dictated by the hitherto unrecognised political realities, the unity of Sri Lanka can be preserved.
The alienation and disappointment felt by the Tamil people as a whole living in every village and town and the danger and threat they face from those who make dubious and illegal claim to their territory, have rekindled the Tamil national consciousness. The strong foundations of culture, language, religion, social norms, inter relationship and the existence of an economic base and a history of self rule, fuelled the ideas of national resurgence among the Tamils.
There were historical reasons that convinced the Tamils, that the Sinhalese cannot be trusted to grant their legitimate rights. The Tamils also feel that the Sinhalese would not share power willingly. The Tamil communit,v could not be pushed in to a corner by the new found power of the Sinhalese to dominate the whole island.
When the foreign powers subjugated the Tamil areas, the social, political and economic life naturally got suppressed and marginalised but they were never destroyed. They remained dormant for a considerable time. They cannot be destroyed because these traits are the essence of life for a Tamil. The withdrawal only creates an illusion of weakness, uselessness and poverty which dissuades the enthusiasm foreign rulers. It is not surprising the difficultywhich the collaborator layers have in understanding the dimensions of the Tamil resurgence, as their views are inherited from their masters who have departed.
When there has been such differences and historical antagonism between the Tamils and Sinhalese, the decadent idea of a unitary state left behind by the British could not have ever been realised. The national resurgence of the Sinhala nation was a historical imperative which could not have been avoided. An idea of a unitary state outside this national imperative was an illusion. Now the Sinhala Nation has reached a stage of development, fully utilising the idea of unitary state, where it cannot be reversed, cramped and thrust into the plural society idea that is to be clamoured on Western values of ideology and culture.
Today the conflict has risen between the Sinhalese and Tamils because the Sinhala nation opted to realise the historical idea of domination of the whole island using the idea of a unitary state. It attempted to take over land and resources of the whole island as a base for its establishment and advancement. This right of domination was legitimised by reasons of history and the opportunities to abuse the state power provided by the parliamentary democracy.
The attempt by the Sinhalese to bring the total area and resources under their control to benefit the Sinhalese has only brought about a togetherness among the Tamil people from Pottuvil to Point Pedro, in a way unknown in the history of the North East. The Sinhalese designsfor territorial control and annexation of the North East has brought about the support of the Muslims living in the Northeast to the idea of permanent merger of the North East Province.
It is in this background the Tamils have come together to demand and establish an arrangement of self government facilitating the retention of their attributes of nationality and territoriality. They added to this, a demand for an independent state as a bargaining ploy, so that they shall be free from any abuse of any constitutional contract that will lead to the loss of their national attributes and endowments in the name of a unitary state.
Today the Tamils of the North East are spread all over the World. They are at the mercy of the Sinhalese forces in the N orth East and the selective Police rule directed against them in the South, exploited as refugees all over Europe and made to feel unwanted in camps in India. There is no end to their suffering.
The hope that a unitary Sri Lanka will provide them with opportunities and facilitate their self preservation has come to an end. The misgovernance by the Sinhalese and the resulting alienation has pushed them to the conclusion that there is no other way but to establish self rule within their homeland that will bring an end to their plight.
The Sinhalese, having taken power in their hand were able to bring an end to their differences some of which were historical The differences that existed between the Kandyans and the Low Country Sinhalese were well pronounced and irreconcilable even during the time of independence. The political power the Sinhalese gained has enabled them to get over these differences that existed as a result of the divisions between various principalities and kingdoms and were able to achieve the unity of the Sinhala Nation as it is today. This was possible because the political power in their hand was exercised to achieve this.42
The Tamil nation too has its differences and divisions which can be expected as the Tamils have endured the colonial rule, which did not provide an opportunit,v for social and political integration. These differences are territorial, religious, cast and village based. During the period under the Sinhala rule for the last 50 years, Tamil people have witnessed some of the very desperate and hideous attempts by the Volkists schemers to divide a wedge between the Tamil people and place them at disadvantage politically so as to achieve the objectives of the renegade Volk. Abuse of the constitution and government and national security concerns to achieve these objectives was the order of the day.
The Volkists even go to extent of bribing the Tamil people with various inducements in the pretext of development to have their way and very often succeed in fooling the foreign donor Agencies who are anxious to support development but cannot see through the designs of the Volk. Ironically these desperados consider such attempt at dividing the Tamil people as a clever move and the Tamil people cannot understand what they are up to.
The Tamil people look with deep suspicion any pronouncement of policy and promise that is made by the Sinhalese leaders regarding development. This has come about as a result of the naked policies and development programmes initiated within the North East by the successive governments with an aim of exploiting their natural resources for the benefit of Sinhala settlers. Now it has become clear that these settlements were initiated with the aim of carving out territories and placing the natural endowments at the disposal of the Sinhalese voters. The Sinhalese leaders, other than as a pretext for the extension and realisation of the Volk, could not comprehend the development of the North East.
The other reasons why the Sinhalese leaders have shown interest in the development is to overcome the exigencies caused by the struggle and adverse international opinion and sell the argument that unitary state can be made to work as a result of the newly exhibited reasonableness. Added to these factors the opportunity provided for obtaining foreign exchange which could be used elsewhere for such purposes as purchase of arms and the possibility of diversion of the foreign funds for development elsewhere. The age old dictum that development rvill neutralise political upheavals, and resolve the problems arising out of assertion of self determination is effective only for a short time. The naive belief that the Tamils will Compromise their basic demands as a result of this seeming sincerity and concern to develop the North East have been obsenZed among the Sinhalese leadership .
But this only demonstrates a lack of sincerity, cowardice and arrogant attempt to evade the recognition of the political realities that underlays the Tamil aspirations. No one could believe that anything serious and sincere in the pronouncement of the people who are unable and are not interested in stopping the destruction of the Tamil homeland. The under estimation of the political realities and the inability to see the Tamil will and the self concerted attempts at evasion of real issues and to sell the Tamil people, through deception, some political arrangement is abhorrent.
The folly of getting carried away by the eloquence of arguments, which are based on setting up policy positions to defend and get round every difficult situation that arises, that has continued from the days of independence has brought enough misery to the Tamil people.
The sacrifice and struggle of the Tamil people today are for winning their inalienable rights that will allow them to care for themselves. The pretensions of the inch map kings who have been in recent times straining themselves to come out with these wonderful ideas for development of the North East do not seem to excite the Tamils in any way. More than these inch maps, there are people in these areas who know better what is good for them. There are instances when bulldozers were used to raze to ground houses occupied by Tamils for centuries to build houses for Sinhalese settlers.
The objective of progress within the Tamil homeland cannot be attained without a new vision for the development of Northeast.43 The devolution of power is needed to realise this vision for the future development.
The under development and the lack of opportunities that is found in the North East has persisted since the time when a highly developed socio economic organisation was disrupted and thrown into disarray by the Portuguese. During the earlier period of the Kingdom of Jaffna, it had a powerful economy built on the social organization of the villages spread throughout the North East linked by a vibrant cultural and religiouslife.
Export of clothing with unique natural dye that was available in the North East was an important industry in the North East. The Kingdom of Jaffna had a monopoly over the export of pearls and elephants which were in great demand in India. The smaller divisions of principalities provided for the security that was essential to the functioning of economic life. Fishing and paddy cultivation was spread all over the North East to provide people with adequate nutrition. Cattle and poultry were reared in every house. People were healthy and strong and free from want. There were extensive literary activity in Jaffna and Trincomalee which were important centres of Saivite literary achievements.
The streams and rivers, the shores and the seas, the trees and their shadows, the soil and its vegetation of the North East are a part of the life of the gamin people that has been cherished for centuries. On the map it may have been marked Crown Forest, but for centuries before these forests came to be marked out as Crown Forests during British period, these forests have been part of the village. When crops fail the entire village has to depend on the forest for its survival. Hunting always supplemented farming . Timber, honey, medicines, fruits and yams were sought after in the forest. Grazing lands over which the village held a collective right were very often marked out as State Lands.
And these village people know that pronouncement of development from Colombo is very often are the pretensions that undermine their livelihood, deny them their resources and the insurance nature has provided them. More trouble is caused by the criminal elements who would be brought and settled. The outsiders settled by the State do not appreciate the importance of goodwill with adjoining villages and do not have to respect the local norms. These people who symbolise the state and whose side the state has to place itself in times of dispute, naturally cause the distrust and alienation the state and the constitution has so distinctly suffered in the North East. Pronouncement of development from the South least interests the people in the North East.
The development has become the new vehicle for the Volkists to advance their course within the North East. There are enough people among the Tamils to plan and execute the programs of development of their homeland for the benefit of the people whose struggle and sacrifice against criminal political manoeuvring has had no parallel anywhere. When Sinhalese leaders speak of development of North East, it only invokes a sense of fear, insecurity, and threat to their livelihood and the very existence.
One of the main reasons for the Tamils failing to assert their national rights and seek self government during the time of independence is the assumption that the unitarv state will be realised in such a way that a more developed and prosperous South will provide them smith a more secure life and opportunities than the less developed North East. Such an escapist approach only brought disaster to the Tamil people.
Not only the Tamil people were denied access to the resources in the South but it also provided opportunity for grabbing the resources in the North East and exploit them for the benefit of the Sinhalese. Where there were pockets of Tamil prosperity such as in the professions, trade and industry, the factor mobbery was effectively deployed and disruption brought and threats made a permanent feature and such pockets of Tamil resourcefulness are now things of the past. In recent times the Sinhalese leaders in an attempt to perpetuate the unitary state idea that has brought such benefits to them, have been making wild claims that all could be part of a multiethnic society.
The Sinhalese have often grumbled over the unreasonable share of the Tamils in the Public Service and today they have reduced this to less than one percent in responsible positions. Cohen the Sinhalese found that, in spite of their greater numbers, in terms of merit that they will not have an advantage, such discriminatory procedures as the Sinhala only Act and Standardisation in Education were legitimised undermining the principle of equal opportunities. This enabled the denial of opportunities to the Tamils in the government service and professions and ended hopes that a nation can be shared with the Sinhalese on the basis of equality
Today evely effort has been made under the pretext of war and national security to completely end the education and advancement of the Tamils in the North East.44 The experience has further eroded any hope that trust can be kept on the words of Sinhalese leaders to provide the children of the North East with good education.
The orientation of the Tamils towards education and professionalism is a national trait supported by cultural values. There is great sacrifice by the people in these achievements. The missionaries were induced by the favourable conditions found among the Tamil people for higher education. Irrespective of the great disadvantage in which the Tamil students have been placed today, they have continued their achievements in education much to the surprise and disappointment to the Southern schemers.
Education calls for the opening up of opportunities in employment and these opportunities were not created in the North East and denied to the Tamil youth in the South and they no more look for employment other than temporary employment in Colombo before they leave to foreign countries.
The Tamils in Jaffna have migrated to foreign countries like Malaysia and Singapore as there were not enough opportunities in this countr,v even under the colonial rule during early part of this country.
The solution to this problem of creating employment to the Tamil people in the Tamil Homeland can be resolved only by winning the political rights that will enable the people of the North East to undertake their own development and open up opportunities for employment of their own people. It is unreasonable to burden the leaders of Sinhala nation with the responsibility of providing employment to the Tamil people when they cannot find employment to their own people. Settling for a political arrangement of this nature will end the accusation of discrimination and partiality which has been heaped on the Sinhalese leadership and of self centrednessand greed against the Sinhalese people.
It is the recognition and respect afforded to this desire of the Tamil people to care for their own development by the Sinhalese leadership can lead to accommodation and trust and understanding.
Since the destruction ofthe economiclife that existed earlier by the Portuguese and Dutch and the neglect of the British, the North East has remained barren of any development. During the British time and after, the emphasis was on the South.
Even the historical lines of communication fell into disuse. Numerous villages that are found in the Dutch map have disappeared. Sirlce the bitter experience in Mullaitivu in 1803, when Bandara Vannian put them to flight, the British could only interest themselves in growing jungle in the once prosperous Wanni. The wreath of malaria also kept everybody away.
But thanks to the discriminatory policies and the experience of the Tamils under the Sinhala governance, the Tamils have now opted to look seriously at the resources that are available at their disposal, and are confident they shall establish a successful statehood in their homeland without being a burden on any other community or country.
Nearly 80 percent of the useful crops known to mankind can be grown economically in the north eastern Tamil Homeland Rice, Tobacco, Cotton and Timber were exported from the Kingdom of Jaffna. The export of these produces were stifled by the tariffs imposed by the colonial government in India during the early part of this century. The ban on the export of goods direct fromJaffna by sea also brought an end to this economy.
Crops that there once considered as that could not be grown like grapes, carrot, beet root, and cabbage have been profitably grown in the North East. There is vast potential untapped in agriculture. The gravity irrigation system which now exist throughout the North East other than Jaffna, could be improved considerably by adopting new designing principles and methods of irrigation. There is an extensive programme for the development and deployment of water resources of the North and East that does not depend on any generosity or supply of seater from the South.
The economy of the South Eastern regions of Tamil homeland have been for centuries the base for extensive animal husbandry. Today these have become abandoned. The Sinhalese governments who worked from inch maps have ear marked these areas for settlements of Sinhalese, not knowing the purpose of these lands. There can be little doubt that the resource endowments of the East will favour the development of a modern farm industry. Export of agricultural products and food processing to support the agricultural sector are Important sectors in a modern agriculture.
The agricultural development will be relieved form the pretensions of the state which has only undermined the local acumen and organisation. The local customs will be codified and provided with necessary legal authority and the villages empowered so that they become engine of growth. Management of irrigation and maintenance of irrigation systems svill be placed in the hands of villages. The services such as banking, inputs and marketing will be brought to the door step of the villages so that they shall not be at the mercy of traders, government officials or NGOs.
A new dam has been proposed across Aruvi Aru at Madhu Road which allow diversion of river further North up to Pooneriyan. This will greatly enhance the agricultural potential of the North
For long the fishermen of the North East have enjoyed a traditional right of fishing throughout coast line of North East. For centuries they have made the seas from Pottuvil to Katpity their field of harvest.
Though no attempt was made at providing a legal back up to the customs and rights followed by the fishermen of North East, there has been a strong foundation of traditional rights that has governed the fishing industry of the people of the North East. These norms are very rarely violated . There is an extensive migratory fishing tradition practised throughout the length and breadth of the North East. Whenever there is a new idea in either in location, methods of fishing, it is brought into practise only after traditional rights are considered and consensus arrived at among interested parties.
There is great prospect for modernisation at all levels, catching, processing, storage, marketing etc. in the North East and the fishermen of the North East who have suffered as a result of governmental neglect and war, will look forward for Substantial improvement in their life standard and security which will greatly improve their well being. New fishing harbour and storage facilities will form the back bone of infrastructure of modern fishing industry.
The pearl industry which has provided a significant income to the people can be improved including the introduction of artificial pearl culture and made a valuable source of income to the North East. The resources of the sea is not yet fully studied. A scientific survey will reveal considerable wealth that is lying untapped in the seas of North East.
Special care needs to be taken to improve the education of the children in the coastal areas. The constraints and impediments that prevents the furtherance of education has to be won over by providing incentives that will keep children in continued education. The suppression of a more broad economic life based upon sea that was caused by the onset of colonial rule has to be revived providing for expression of traits and culture that has become dormant among the people of the coastal areas .
From time immemorial fishermen from the West have shifted to the East and the North to continue fishing avoiding the vulgarities of weather. There has hardly been any conflict mainly for two reasons; one is the fishing methods adopted by these fishermen was complementary in nature and did not obstruct or exploit the resources of local fishermen; secondly many of these fishermen maintained kinship as the fishermen from the West coast too were Tamils.
Problems started when the fishermen were en couraged to violate the customary norms and assert themselves with the protection provided by local policemen who are usually Sinhalese speaking and the fishermen from the West increasingly becoming Sinhalese by the Volkist schemes. It is only by dialogue with the local fishermen and establishing good will and accommodation by complementary fishing that a cordial relationship can be reestablished.
Very often fishermen from the South are used in the \'olkist schemes of settlements so as to violate the traditional norms and rights and have been cause for serious accusations of involving violence against the local fishermen. As long as the fishing industry in the North East is based on unwritten customary laws which are adhered to by the local fishermen, migratory fishermen too had to adhere to these norms. This cannot be achieved without the migratory fishermen enteringinto a dialogue with the local fishermen.45
Codification of these customary rights and giving therm a legal status is an important exercise that needs an urgent and careful consideration.
There can be little doubt that major thrust of economic development of the North East will be in the industrial field. The human resources and the attitude of the people in adaptingto newtechnologies will provide the base thatwill effect the industrial development of the North East. As contrasted with the conditions in the South, with its excessive labour requiring a different programme, where labour intensive industries are needed, the the nature of human anfl financial capital that exists in the North East, high technology capital intensive industries could become the basis of industrialization of the North East. Opportunities and policies have to be provided for the return of Tamil capital and know how which is now concentrated in foreign countries.
This necessarily entails a programme of growth centred high technology, labour saving industries which will exploit the unique endowments of Tamil Homeland. The importance of Trincomalee as the centre of socio political and economic development cannot be over emphasised. Proposed Trincomalee Industrial Park will play a pivotal role in the industrialisation of the North East. Jaffna will be preserved for its values and way of life which are unique in nature and the private resources ofthe Tamil people is quite sufficient for the development of Jaffna.
Infrastructure development will take place with Trincomalee as the centre of development with linking of other identified growth centres. The present infrastructure of the Tamil Province is Colombo centred. This will be changed. The growth centres will be identified taking into consideration the natural endowments and the need for specialisation, technology integration and concentration of people. The selection of and coordinating of agriculture and fishing with an export oriented industrial development will be the basis for an integrated industrial development programme.
Apart from the Industrial Park at Trincomalee, industrial estates have been proposed at Kankesanthurai, possible centre for Chemical and Bio Technological Industries; Murikandi as a satellite industrial centre linked toJaffna and taking advantage of the University and the Faculty of Engineering; at Madhu Road taking advantage of water of the Aruvi Aru, which has llOW become a perennial river, Mankulam becomes an important administrative centre of Northern mainland resiving the economic base of Wanni. In the South at Karadiyan Aru and Amparai becomes centres for agro based industries.
The traditional link the North East economy had with the South Asian markets, the Asia Pacific markets and the Middle Eastern markets will be revived to facilitate further development of the economy of the North East.
Once this industrial base is established, it will become a power house and inspiration for the industrial development of the whole of Sri Lanka.
There has been very little investigation to find out what is beneath the calcium sediments that cover the land and sea bed of much of Tamil homeland. The Indian investigation adjacent to the boundaries between the Tamil Homeland and India have revealed the existence of oil on the other side of the boundary. It can be reasonably inferred that there exists oil under the surface of sea and land of the Tamil Homeland. This resource once proven will make a tangible contribution to the well beingofthe Tamil people withoutdepending on the resources and natural endowments of other communities.
Coal and diesel generation of electricity will be the mainstay of power generation. Solar and wind energy can contribute substantially to the power grid.
Service sectors such as banking, insurance, shipping, telecommunication and tourism will be developed to provide a necessary backing for development without a coordination between manufacturing industry and service sectors development cannot take place. A strong private sector with a global out look will emerge in the North East.
Research and development plays an important role in the development of high tech industrial development. Institutional support and infrastructure for successful research and development work creating necessary conditions for success in this field is vital. Greater use of English in higher education is also vital for the success of an outwardly looking economy.
The education has to be programmed so as to be able to contribute the realisation of the new vision for economic development.
Trincomalee as the capital of the Tamil homeland will emerge as an important centre linking the global Tamil economic interest with international interests. It will provide employment also for many Sinhalese who will not be seen as threat anymore. The proposed Industrial Park will emerge as the important centre for research and development ideas providing employment to the scientific labour.
From ancient times Trincomalee has been a centre for Saivite religion. It will also become a centre for cultural renaissance of the Tamils arising to meet the demands of modern world. All effort will be made to make Trincomalee the centre of new civilisation based on Tamil values which will be a source of stability and inner peace peculiar to the Tamil way of life in an new era of freedom and democracy.
The political and social life of Tamil homeland will be distinguished as a unique experience in South Asia. The Tamils of the North East have remained independent and self asserting holding their head above water through the turbulences during the colonial rule, and any assumption of their subjugation had little meaning in reality.
The Sinhalese could not share on one platform and Compete on equal terms with the Tamil people. The social structure of the Buddhist hierarchical feudal Sinhalese society differ remarkably from the more democratic religious and village structures of the Tamil people of the Northeast. The Tamils have consciously sought after modern values and carefully integrated what is useful and not harmful to their way of life. The message of peace is in built in the life of the Tamil people which has only afforded a secondary place to religion.
All religions were afforded hospitality by the Tamils and in them they have divulged deeply to the extent such involvement cannot be found where these religion originated. Though the Tamils of the North East are not Buddhists today, their way of life and religious disposition and the language of day to day life carry many Buddhist nuances which are unique to the Tamils of the North East and signifying their deep involvement in Buddhist religion in the not so distant past.
Only a genuine democracy which will not subserve any dubious interest can become an acceptable political system to the Tamils. Any other form of political system can hold only temporarily.
The settlements that have consumed great amount of national effort since Independence needs review for reasons other than their unconstitutionalit,v.
These agricultural settlements within the North East which exemplif,v the incompetence of the Sinhalese leadership to provide employment to the Sinhalese within their territory, were designed more with the objective of land occupation, lacking scientific input and need a review to determine their usefulness and effectiveness. The sense of insecurity that has often been aroused and exploited by politicians and made a pretext for military occupation of the Northeast, originates from the nature and the way that these settlements have been carried out.
For the vast majority of the people in the villages, the sense of togetherness is the source of his security. Anyone pulled out of his village and implanted into a system whose parameters were determined on a drawing board is thrown into a source of insecurity. The violence which is said to have originated from these settlements is a build up of insecurity over a time. People have not migrated and reestablished themselves in a manner that existed in earlier times. The settlements do not provide for the cultural values that support the stability and sense of security of the people.
People do not usually integrate in the context provided in these settlements. Every plot is a village. The settler is more loyal to the village of his origin a'nd the first question a settler asks a new face is from which village he has come and the new person will announce proudly that he is from Kalutara or Matara. His village identity is carried with him all the way adding to the difficulty of integration.
When there are groups belonging to the same village, a strong sense of togetherness develops among members of one village triggering a similar phenomenon all over pitching one village group against another. The house holds are distanced in such a way in large plots and providing infrastructure becomes a costly affair and a nightrnare. And people are placed in far remote corners with no transport which adds to the sense of isolation that pervades the entire settlements.
The ancient tradition of demographic spreading and settling is the people spread as villages and not as individuals. A village splits up like a biological cell when an overgrowth occurs. This provides a more secure extension that facilitates an even distribution of population. The settlements which have not taken the social and cultural dimensions into consideration needs total revamping and restructuring and placed in congruence with cultural norms and local customs. And these settlements should notbe used for political and military experiments and should not be made instruments of Volkist schemes.
If matters are left to the people, they exhibit a mature approach based on tradition even when new frontiers are opened up. Once the mutual suspicion is ended and that the presence of the settlements made not a pretext for carving out territories, their reorganization as Tamil and Sinhalese villages can lead to great improvement in conditions that now prevails in the settlements. Land settlements with the objective of giving land to the landless without shifting them as industrial labour have led to unprofitable agriculture. The world over profitability in agriculture is achieved by mechanisation of agriculture and shifting to industry. The settlements are a bonded agricultural programme giving little opportunity for the farmers to change and progress.
In spite of a demand for separation which came about as a result of the collapse of a unitary state and the ailure to provide a political alternative that could meet the aspirations of the Tamil people, the Tamil people have hoped a reasonable and acceptable alternative could be found to separation. Tamil people have close affinity to various parts of Sri Lanka. Before the idea of linguistic nation state and nationalities developed, there has been no pronounced division as Tamils and Sinhalese on this island.
The monarchy and the government were representative of a plural identity. But these are things of the past. Historically the Tamils have maintained relationship with the South. There has been close economic relationship. The dry zones of the North East complemented the economy of the South. Tobacco, onion and chilies were cultivated inJaffna to cater to the market of the Sinhala Nadu. Dry fish and other sea products were sent to the markets in the South.
The cattle and goats were walked down the roads in long journeys which took many days to reach their destinations in the South. People walked to the annual pilgrimage fromJaffna to Kathirkamam and Adams Peak taking days and weeks to complete their pilgrimage.
Though the Kings competed for the possession of the whole of Ceylon, there has been an extension of social, cultural and economic life unhindered throughout the island between both communities. Sinhalese travelled to the Buddhist centres of Nagadeepam annually. Though there were political divisions, a strong bondage has existed between various divisions. Conflicting interests were accomodated without leading to strife. There were well defined customary rights, which were adhered to.
The war against colonialism was fought by Tamils and Sinhalese together. Even the struggle against British colonialism was ajoint affair.
It is these traditions of bondage and mutual dependence that has made separation incomprehensible to the Sinhalese and separation was a vain threat to achieve more equality and mutual accommodation by the Tamils. But the Volkist wanting pretext to persist with their criminal onslaught made it into a serious war of attrition and division.
The demand for merger of the North East is also a demand for the recognition and containment Sinhalese national aspirations within the seven provinces of Sinhala Ratta. The revival of the Sinhalese culture, language, the Buddhist religion will be a perfectly a legitimate affair within the Seven provinces and shall not be a matter for protest from the Tamils. It is precisely so as not to demand the unrolling of gains of the Sinhala nationalism, the Tamil people seek a demarcation that will allow their self rule within the North East. This concedes an arrangement where Sinhalese will prosper within the seven provinces without being accused of unreasonableness.
As the economies of the two divisions can continue to complement each other and prosper in a way so as to benefit both communities by availing the opportunities provided by the increased scale and greater market, an economic union is imperative and useful. The common market is the foundation of a united Sri Lanka. The two economies of Tamil Province and Sinhala Ratta will share the same common market of Sri Lanka. Though a demarcation has become inevitable, both communities will continue to live in large numbers as minorities for many more years in each others territory.
Today the idea of national security has become the sole domain of the Singhalese, though the real history demonstrates that national security could be safeguarded only if the Tamils and Sinhalese join hands. Taken together, as a nation colossal energy and resources are wasted for mutual destruction. No one can tell for sure how long the war can be continued if the problem is not going to be resolved . But one thing is certain. The real security lies in evolving a national security concept that could be shared by the two principal nationalities and is going to be jointly implemented by the Tamils and the Singhalese.
The union cannot become a vehicle to ideals that Tamil people cannot share.
Before the Tamil problem came to be internationalized, the foreign affairs of Sri Lanka was meant to give an impression to the out side world that Sri Lanka is a country of the Sinhalese Buddhists and the Sri Lankan missions were more interested in dissipating myth rather than truth. After the eruption of civil war, the international community could not be deceived with such propaganda.
The foreign service should serve the national interest not of one community but should be based on a national perspective based on political realities and assist in achieving the aspiration of the people. The foreign relations of a united Sri Lanka has to be evolved so as to give accommodation to the Tamil relationship to the world. The problems of the Tamil expatriate community and their return and participation in the economic life of the Tamil homeland has to be a concern of the foreign service.
Apart from message of Buddhism the Sinhalese people want to spread to the outside world, the Tamil people have their own message to the world. This is the message which is the integration of a dynamic cultural, social and economic life with a life of peace, harmony and religiosity and inner contentment which is not found with any other cultures. The
Sidtha traditions of inquiry and research are the first traditions of scientific research of mankind. The concept of Bhakthi could evolve and be practised only in Tamil due to its close relationship to nature and human feeling. All the religions of the world have taken a holy dip in her and Tamil language has provided opportunity for reaching to new heights in all walks of life. When the world is dominated by values of greed and dominance, the Tamil massage of peaceful life can be very useful.
Trincomalee which was a great centre or Saivaite devotion and inquiry from times of antiquity will remerge as a centre for Tamil inquiry and revivalism in her new role as the Capital of Tamil Homeland.
The powers of the new government in the Tamil Homeland has to be so devolved and vested in such a way so that it facilitates the realization of Tamil peoples aspiration of self rule, security and success without any outside hindrance or obstruction.
After the oppressive rule of the Portuguese, Dutch and the British, the Sinhalese rule has over taken all others in terms of oppressiveness. In just forty seven years the damage the Sinhalese have caused to the Tamil community has overtaken the damage caused by the Portuguese Dutch and British put together. The formal devolution of the powers, which the Sinhalese are finding extremely difficult to part with, has to be carried out in an atmosphere of mutual accommodation, and tl ust.
Provision to perpetuate the designs of the Volk in the new arrangement of constitution by casting unnecessary suspicion on the intentions of the Tamil people as a pretext, will not enable the operation and smooth functioning of government. Such a move will only give credence and legitimacy to the last ditch battle to hold on to the ill gotten positions and perpetuate the strife, discord and war among the people of this island and seek to strengthen the arguments of separation. The ides of the Volkists who are out to misdirect and and imprison the elected government for their own self interest manipulated by foreign forces, cannot be allowed to determine what is good for national interest.
The existence of a new vision for the development of the Tamil homeland undoubtedly calls for the evolution of a it similar vision for the Sinhala Ratta, taking into consideration the special problems and resource endowments and employment needs of Sinhala Ratta. The Sinhalese leaders, administrators and experts should occupy themselves with such an issue without straining themselves with problems of development of Tamil Homeland.The economy of Sri Lanka is derived from the totality of the economic life of her regions linked by a common market and monetary policy.