Tamils Sandwiched Between Militant Islam on the Ascendancy and Sinhala-Buddhist territorial expansion!

Tamils Sandwiched Between Militant Islam on the Ascendancy and Sinhala-Buddhist territorial expansion!

Veluppillai Thangavelu

History, it is claimed repeats itself first as tragedy and then as farce. In Afghanistan, the Western countries, notably the US, trained and armed Muslim Taliban to fight Soviet invasion in the seventies.  It took ten years of grinding insurgency before Moscow finally withdrew, at the cost of millions of lives and billions of dollars. In their wake, the Soviets left a shattered country in which the Taliban, an Islamic fundamentalist group, seized control, later providing Osama bin Laden with a training base from which to launch terrorist operations worldwide.

Taliban like Al-Qaeda is an Islamic fundamentalist outfit which enforces the Islamic Sharia law, which resulted in the brutal treatment of many Afghans, especially women.

The war lasted for 9 years from December 1979 to February 1989.  Thereafter, the Taliban used the same weapons provided by the US to fight its enemies and capture power. Today, the Taliban, which rose from the ashes of Afghanistan’s post-Soviet civil war, is fighting the US and US-backed Kabul government. The US and its allies declared war on the Taliban on October 17, 2001. Daily scores of innocent civilians are dying.

We witness a similar scenario in Sri Lanka.  Till 2009, the Sri Lankan government armed and used the Muslim Home Guards in its war against the LTTE.  This outfit aided and abetted by the Sinhala army killed and drove thousands of Tamils from border villages in the east.

At least 10 villages in the eastern provinces that were once occupied by Tamils 100 % are now occupied by the Muslims. Worse the village names have been Arabised like Meeravodai, Jinnah Nagar, Meelath Nagar etc.  Prior to 1985, the Muslims lived mainly in Oodamavadi, Eravur and Kaththankudi. Today more than 50 Muslim villages have sprung in the eastern province thaSecurity personnel inspect the interior of St Sebastian’s Church. The bombings occurred in at least five other locations, including three Colombo hotels: the Cinnamon Grand, the Shangri-La Hotel, and the Kingsbury Hotel.nks to Arab money!

In 1990 Muslims destroyed the Kalikoil temple at Oodamavadi.  MLAM Hizbullah, presently the Governor Eastern province boasted that it was he; he alone as the Chairman of Batticaloa District Development Committee took over the Hindu temple land (once 100% Tamil village) and handed same to the Mosque Trustees. This takeover took place despite vehement opposition from Tamil MPs. Hizbullah also boasted that it was he who was instrumental in building a three storey market that included meat https://youtu.be/YKy75wxbDpI) stalls! Obviously, he was promoting Islamic fundamentalism.

The above is the general pattern in the eastern province since 1983. Tamils became victims of militant Islam aided and abetted by power wielding hungry Muslim politicians.  The periodical riots between the Sinhalese and Tamils were used as a cover to dislodge Tamils from their homes using brute force.  Successive Sinhalese governments pampered Muslim militancy and Islamic fundamentalism at the expense of Tamils.

Today, both Trincomalee and Amparai are Muslim majority districts. TABLE 1 below shows the ethnic–wise demographic changes that took place between 1827 and 2012 in the Trincomalee District.

TABLE 1

Population of Trincomalee District by ethnic group 1827 to 2012
Year
Muslim
Tamil 
Sinhalese
Other
Total
No.
No.
%
No.
%
No.
%
No.
%
1827
3,245
16.94%
15,663
81.76%
250
1.30%
0
0.00%
19,158
1881 Census
5,746
25.89%
14,304
64.44%
935
4.21%
1,212
5.46%
22,197
1891 Census
6,426
24.96%
17,117
66.49%
1,105
4.29%
1,097
4.26%
25,745
1901 Census
8,258
29.04%
17,060
59.98%
1,203
4.23%
1,920
6.75%
28,441
1911 Census
9,700
32.60%
17,233
57.92%
1,138
3.82%
1,684
5.66%
29,755
1921 Census
12,846
37.66%
18,580
54.47%
1,501
4.40%
1,185
3.47%
34,112
1946 Census
23,219
30.58%
33,795
44.51%
11,606
15.29%
7,306
9.62%
75,926
1953 Census
28,616
34.10%
37,517
44.71%
15,296
18.23%
2,488
2.96%
83,917
1963 Census
40,775
29.43%
54,452
39.30%
39,925
28.82%
3,401
2.45%
138,553
1971 Census
59,924
31.83%
71,749
38.11%
54,744
29.08%
1,828
0.97%
188,245
1981 Census
75,039
29.32%
93,132
36.39%
85,503
33.41%
2,274
0.89%
255,948
2012 Census
152,854
40.42%
122,080
32.29%
101,991
26.97%
1,257
0.33%
378,182

The population of Muslims climbed from a mere 16.94% in 1921 to 40.42% in 2012 while the population of Tamils declined from 81.76% to 32.29% during the same period. And thanks to planned state-aided Sinhala colonization the percentage of Sinhalese dramatically increased from 1.30% in 1921  to 26.97% in 2012!

In the Amparai district carved out of Batticaloa district in April 1961,  the Tamil population has decreased from 23.23% in 1963 to 17.40 in 2012 while the Sinhalese population increased from 29.28% to 38.73%!

TABLE 2

Population of Amparai District by ethnic group 1963 to 2012

Year
Sri Lankan Moor
Sinhalese
Sri Lankan Tamil
Indian Tamil
Other
Total
No.
No.
%
No.
%
No.
%
No.
%
No.
%
1963 Census
97,621
46.11%
61,996
29.28%
49,185
23.23%
1,312
0.62%
1,618
0.76%
211,732
1971 Census
126,365
46.35%
82,280
30.18%
60,519
22.20%
1,771
0.65%
1,670
0.61%
272,605
1981 Census
161,568
41.54%
146,943
37.78%
77,826
20.01%
1,411
0.36%
1,222
0.31%
388,970
2001 Census
244,620
41.25%
236,583
39.90%
109,188
18.41%
715
0.12%
1,891
0.32%
592,997
2007 Enumeration
268,630
43.99%
228,938
37.49%
111,948
18.33%
58
0.01%
1,145
0.19%
610,719
2012 Census
282,484
43.59%
251,018
38.73%
112,750
17.40%
165
0.03%
1,640
0.25%
648,057

In the Amparai district, the Tamil population has decreased from 23.23% in 1963 to 17.40 % a drop of 5.83%.

Today, the Tamils once a predominant majority in the eastern province, consisting of Amparai, Trincomalee and Batticaloa, has been reduced to a minority. A glance at the following Table 3 confirms the present status of the Tamils.

TABLE 3

Population of Eastern Province by ethnic group 1881 to 2012
Year
Tamil
Muslim
Sinhalese
Other
Total
No.
No.
%
No.
%
No.
%
No.
%
1881 Census
75,318
58.96%
43,001
33.66%
5,947
4.66%
3,489
2.73%
127,755
1891 Census
86,701
58.41%
51,206
34.50%
7,508
5.06%
3,029
2.04%
148,444
1901 Census
96,917
55.83%
62,448
35.97%
8,778
5.06%
5,459
3.14%
173,602
1911 Census
101,181
55.08%
70,395
38.32%
6,909
3.76%
5,213
2.84%
183,698
1921 Census
103,245
53.54%
75,992
39.41%
8,744
4.53%
4,840
2.51%
192,821
1946 Census
136,059
48.75%
109,024
39.06%
23,456
8.40%
10,573
3.79%
279,112
1953 Census
167,898
47.37%
135,322
38.18%
46,470
13.11%
4,720
1.33%
354,410
1963 Census
246,059
45.03%
184,434
33.75%
108,636
19.88%
7,345
1.34%
546,474
1971 Census
315,566
43.98%
247,178
34.45%
148,572
20.70%
6,255
0.87%
717,571
1981 Census
410,156
42.06%
315,436
32.34%
243,701
24.99%
5,988
0.61%
975,251
2001 Census
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
2007 Enumeration
590,132
40.39%
549,857
37.64%
316,101
21.64%
4,849
0.33%
1,460,939
2012 Census
617,295
39.79%
569,738
36.72%
359,136
23.15%
5,212
0.34%
1,551,381

 The deliberate state policy of Sinhala colonization pursued by all the successive Sinhalese governments since independence has drastically altered the demography of the east.

Today, apart from Sinhala colonization which has slowed down, the Tamils are losing land to illegal and aggressive encroachment by Muslims aided by their politicians who wield tremendous political power.

Added is the conversion factor. Tamil Hindus are converted by radicalized Muslim groups like National Thowheed Jamath. One of the Muslim women who committed suicide by exploding bombs at Sainthamaruthu was a recent convert to Islam. Her husband died in the suicide attack on the Christian church in Katana, Negombo Easter Sunday. Routinely girls from poor Hindu families are enticed by affluent Muslim youths. This is termed Love Jihad by Muslim youth in targeting women belonging to non-Muslim communities for conversion to Islam. The concept rose to national attention in India in 2009 with alleged conversions in Kerala and Karnataka.Sri Lankan security personnel inspect the debris of a car after it exploded near St. Anthony’s Church.

Since the 70 s Arab countries, notably the oil-rich Saudi Arabia, are awash with petrodollars. This has led to the resurgence of political. Saudi Arabia began to spend tens of billions of dollars throughout the Islamic World to spread Wahabbi Islam.

Wahhabism is named after an eighteenth-century preacher and activist, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1792).  He started a reform movement in the remote, sparsely populated region of Najd, advocating a purging of such widespread Sunni practices as the veneration of saints and the visiting of their tombs and shrines, that were practised all over the Islamic world. The protection and propagation of the Wahhabi movement meant “power and glory” and rule of “lands and men”.

The world reduced to a global village as a result of improved real-time communications, media, travel, and migration makes meaningful the concept of a single Islam practised everywhere in similar ways, and an Islam which transcends national and ethnic boundaries.

Wahhabism is named after an eighteenth-century preacher and activist, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703–1792). He started a reform movement in the remote, sparsely populated region of Najd, advocating a purging of such widespread Sunni practices as the veneration of saints and the visiting of their tombs and shrines, that were practised all over the Islamic world, but which he considered idolatrous impurities and innovations in Islam (Bid’ah). Eventually, he formed a pact with a local leader, Muhammad bin Saud, offering political obedience and promising that protection and propagation of the Wahhabi movement meant “power and glory” and rule of “lands and men”.

The Sunday Easter attack on Christian churches by Islamic fundamentalists could be traced to the influence of Wahhabism.

A    private Sharia University, the largest in South Asia, in Arabic architectural style has been built in Punanai, Batticaloa at a cost of Rs.3, 000 million. Not surprisingly the funds for the University came from Saudi Arabia and other Muslim states. This super University is slated to enrol over 5,000 students next year to study Bachelor of Arts in Sharia and Islamic Studies in Islamic Law in Sri Lanka. It will produce 1500 Ulaam priests a year free of charge for Sharia Laws.Security forces inspect the St. Anthony’s Church.

The University is expected to produce 15,000 Islamic theologians at the rate of 1,500 per year for the next 10 years.  Islamic Religious Ideology graduate courses in Business Management, Medicine, Information Technology and several other subjects were also available.

The authorities have decided not to charge any money for the degree students, and they have already started pre-campaigning through Islamic organizations in Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh.

The name of the Malik Abdullah University College, named after the king of Saudi Arabia, has been called the “Batticaloa campus”. The Hira Foundation sponsors Saudi Arabian financial aids. Saudi Arabia’s main bodyguard, Sheikh Yahan Abdul Aziz Al-Rashid, came to sign the agreement in 2013.article_image

Wahhabism — a hard-line strain of Islam blamed for breeding militancy — proposed a direct path to God, albeit one that aimed to return the religion to the time of the Prophet Muhammad.

Kattankudy town with an area of just 3.9 square kilometres, it has more than 45 mosques. It borders the Tamil towns of Manjanthoduvai and Arayampathy has 66,000 Muslims. It looks like an Arabic satellite town with delicate swirls of Arabic calligraphy. Date palms line the roads,  Cafes offer tiny cups of Middle Eastern coffee; a rarity in the land of Ceylon tea. A monument in the shape of a rehal (book rest) adds to the Arabic ambience of the town. Not surprisingly Zaharan Hashim, the man accused of masterminding the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, grew up. And it was here that he preached his ideology calling for the killing of nonbelievers of Islam and even other Muslims.

In the eastern province, Tamils are squeezed between militant Islam on the ascendancy and Sinha-Buddhist territorial expansion.

Tamils Squeezed Between Militant Islam On The Ascendancy & Sinhala-Buddhist Territorial Expansion!

 


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Writer and Journalist living in Canada since 1987. Tamil activist

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