An open letter to Mr. K.H.J. Wijayadasa, former Secretary to the Prime Minister and Secretary to the President (1984-1994)

[ TamilCanadian ] [ 13:05 GMT, Sep. 6, 2000 ]

By: Dr. Victor Rajakulendran

Dear Mr. Wijayadasa

I read your article titled "Tamil Eelam: A myth founded on a fictitious homeland concept" appeared in the Internet version of "The Island" (29/08/2000) via . While reading it, most of the time I felt laughing at you because of your foolishness in trying to convince your audience, at the Symposium on the Causes and Consequences of Terrorism where you were suppose to have presented this article as a Paper, with your own re-written history of Sri Lanka to support your argument. At times I got angry too, when you misquoted others and distorted the history to legitimize your blatant lies.

The organizers of the symposium, the Council of Liberal Democracy, must be either too liberal or too ignorant to let a liar like you to present this rubbish in their symposium. The International Centre for Ethnic Studies must be regretting for letting you utter this nonsense at their centre and thus aided to further polarize the two major ethnic communities of Sri Lanka. It is interesting to note that you have chosen the 23rd of July, considered by the Tamil community as the Black July Day, to make your divisive utterances.

The only truth in your article I could find is that the Sinhalese constitute 74% of Sri Lanka's population. The rest is all-full of lies and distortion of facts. You have said in your article that "there is overwhelming historical, archaeological, epigraphical, cartographic, anthropological and literary evidence to prove that the entirety of Sri Lanka, including the Jaffna peninsula, was inhabited by the Sinhalese for well over 1800 years, from the 6th century B.C to the end of the 12th century AD". Mr. Wijayadasa, are you aware of the following:  

Mr. Wijayadasa, if you are not aware of these documents, please pay a visit to the British Council Library and ask for these documents and educate yourself. Can you quote any non-Sri Lankan, who has documented any evidence to substantiate your claim that the entirety of Sri Lanka including the Jaffna peninsula was inhabited by the Sinhalese for well over 1800 years from the 6th Century B.C to the end of the 12th Century AD.

Mr. Wijayadasa, you have quoted Professor Karthigesu Indrapala, who was a Professor of History at the Jaffna University at one time, to have stated that the colonization of the Jaffna peninsula by Tamil settlers from South India commenced in the latter half of the 13th Century resulting in the emergence of a sub-kingdom called Jaffnapatnam under a Tamil sub-ruler who at all times ruled under the overall control and direction of the Sinhalese kings. Mr. Wijayadasa, Professor Indrapala now lives in Australia and his house is situated only 3 km away from my house. I have spoken to him about your mischief before I started to write this open letter. He only laughed at your mischief and was keen on having a copy of your article.

Mr. Wijayadasa, the historical truth is that the entire island of Ceylon was under the sway of Tamil kings at times and the Sinhalese kings at other times. The entire island of Ceylon came under Chola rule (Indian Tamil king Raja Raja Cholan) in 1017 and the Tamil king of the Jaffna Kingdom has served under Chola dynasty. But, a Jaffna king has never served a Sinhala king. The only period the Yalpana Kingdom was under Sinhala dominion was for 15 years from 1450-1467. In 1450, Sempaha Perumal, on behalf of Sinhala King Parakrama Bahu IV, captured Jaffna. Sempaha Perumal, called Sapumal Kumaraya by the Sinhalese, too was a Tamil (the son of Pannikkan), was raised by Parakrama Bahu IV. The ousted Jaffna king Kanagasuria withdrew to Thamil Nadu but returned with an army in 1467 and retook Jaffna.

Mr. Wijayadasa, when referring to the traditional homeland of the Tamils you are trying to establish that this is a concept originated at the Federal Party convention held in Tricomalee in 1951. You are also trying to say that it was further elaborated in the TULF, 1977 Election Manifesto. In attempting to convince your audience with your falsehood, you have once again misquoted something to support your version of the story you are trying to create. This time you have modified the portion of the TULF Election Manifesto. What you have quoted from the TULF Election Manifesto in your article reads as follows:

Mr. Wijeyadasa, I am giving bellow the portion of the TULF Manifesto from where you have extracted and distorted the portion you have quoted in your article. This is what I found in the official copy of the TULF 1977 Election Manifesto. In trying to prove that the present republic of Sri Lanka is in reality a union of "Sinhala Land" and "Tamil Eelam" the TULF has given the following account in their 1977 Manifesto:  

Mr. Wijayadasa, by comparing your distorted version and the original version of the TULF Election Manifesto, it becomes very clear to any one that all what TULF has done is to, give all the historical evidences to prove that the Traditional Homeland of the Tamils existed even before the Christian era, and more certainly before the advent of Europeans. It is also very clear that you have miserably failed in your attempt to disprove historical evidence by distorting others' writings.

Mr. Wijayadasa, you are trying to distort facts to the extent of calling the 60 million Tamils of Tamil Nadu as the Tamil Diaspora. If you know the meaning of the word Diaspora (according to the Oxford dictionary - The dispersion of the Jews; (situation of) any group of people similarly dispersed), where do you think this 60 million people have dispersed from? As you have suggested why they need to set up a Tamil State there? They also have a traditional homeland called Tamil Nadu but not like in Sri Lanka, this homeland has been accepted and accommodated in the greater union of India under a federal set up. This was possible because the Nehru and Ghandis were better statesmen than Senanayakas, Bandaranayakas and Jeyawardana and also there were no Wijayadasas to feed their statesmen with distorted stories.

Mr. Wijayadasa, you have stated in your article that there are many convincing arguments to prove that the Tamil separatist claim for the Eastern Province, are false and fabricated. You also have stated that;

I have given enough evidence to show that the Tamils occupied the Eastern Province from ancient time and what British found when they invaded Sri Lanka. You have accused the British for colonizing and Tamilising the Eastern Province. Can you show any evidence for this? If so why you could not give any in your article to support your claim? Mr. Wijayadasa, you know very well the British brought the Indian Tamils to work their plantations, but they settled them only in the estates in the Central Province. These people were disenfranchised by the first Sinhala government and the Eastern Province was systematically colonized by Sinhalese through state sponsored colonization scheme. The census statistics of Sri Lanka will bear witness to this. I would like to quote a paragraph here, from Dr. Jehan Perera's (Media Director, National Peace Council) article entitled, "Balanced compromise on the north-east unit" published in "The Island" Sunday issue in late 1990s.

Mr. Wijayadasa, do you need anything more than this living testimony of Dr. Jehan Perera, to prove that what you have said is a blatant lie?

Mr. Wijayadasa, you also have stated that:

Mr. Wijayadasa, can you realise now that you yourself has proved to your audience on the 23rd of July, 2000, that there was a movement of Sinhalese into this area between 1921 and 1981? As you have admitted if there was no displacement of Tamils or Muslims, how could have the proportion of Sinhalese increased from 4% to 25%. Even a child will tell you that the only way would have been by an influx of Sinhalese into the area. Obviously colonization does not mean displacement of the existing people, but establishing new population among the existing population. There is nothing wrong if landless Sinhalese peasants are provided land in the Tamil homeland and let to coexist with the Tamils. However, what is wrong is to use this deliberate alteration in the demography of the region to claim now that the East was not part of the Tamil homeland.

Mr. Wijayadasa, you have presented your paper in a Symposium on the "Causes and consequences of terrorism". You have neither discussed about the causes for any terrorism nor consequences of such terrorism. All what you have done is to valiantly try to disprove the Tamils' claim for their traditional homeland in the North-East of the island of Sri Lanka. During this process you have misquoted others, distorted history and also lied profusely. You have also demonstrated that you did not even know the meaning of certain things you were talking about.

One could only imagine, to what extent a person with such a mentality would have contributed to the polarization of the ethnic communities in Sri Lanka, over the 10 long years while you were functioning as the Secretary to the Prime Minister and the secretary to the President, to plunge this island paradise to such a pathetic situation that is in today. Mr. Wijayadasa, if you really want to help your country and its people, please desist from attempting in the future to cultivate chauvinistic ideology among your audience as you have tried through your article. Instead, please try and work towards bringing the two major Sinhalese political parties and the Buddhist Clergy together in reaching a consensus on how to settle the burning issue of Ethnic conflict.

God bless you

Sincerely Yours
Dr. Victor Rajakulendran

Courtesy : TamilCanadian