21 June 2017

Blood shortage in North Sri Lanka: “War criminal’ Sri Lankan soldiers give blood because Tamils high castes don’t want their blood to get mixed with low castes.

Have you ever heard of a group of people demanding self-determination, carrying out global campaigns for an ethno-religious homeland for themselves to look after their own, getting the backing of world powers and organizations and then to find out there is a shortage of blood because high castes don’t want their blood to get mixed with low castes! No one is giving blood in Northern Sri Lanka because they don’t want their blood to get mixed! Therefore, 200 Sri Lankan soldiers had been sent to donate their blood because hospitals in the North were short of blood. These are the very soldiers that the TNA, the Chief Minister and the Opposition Leader together with LTTE fronts had been humiliating, claiming they were responsible for genocide, calling for war crimes tribunals, demanding they be removed from the North and against whom signature campaigns and tarnishing campaigns continue unabated. It is alright for them to tarnish the good name of our brave soldiers and it appears they have no qualms of obtaining their blood for survival. Northern Sri Lanka population is close to 1million and not a word of appreciation or gratitude to our soldiers!

This is a fine example that nullifies entities that are promoting a separate state or even a mono-ethnic solution similar to the one created in Kosovo. By the example of Tamils not giving blood because they don’t want their blood to get mixed up due to caste is a solid reason why constitutional amendments too should not entertain these bogus demands. By the example of the blood we have been shown that Tamils cannot live together, therefore all of their arguments about ‘letting us carve our own destiny’ falls flat on the face with this situation that has come to the open.

This is nothing new. It has been kept well hidden. One of the reasons to lure Tamils into an armed struggle was primarily the caste factor. A good study of the LTTE hierarchy will show that from Prabakaran downwards all were of low castes and discards of their own society. They were having a hatred for their caste system far beyond the promoted hate against the Sinhalese.

Tracing matters further, though presently there is much hype over the 1956 Official Language Act which made Sinhala the only official language while allowing reasonable use of Tamil language, when it was introduced there were only a few protests and no large demonstrations. What is important to note is by 1956 English was the language in use though less than 6% Tamils were fluent in English though 50% of clerical positions in railways, postal, customs, and 60% of all doctors, engineers and lawyers and 40% of other labor force was held by only Tamils.

However, Tamils opposed the Prevention of Social Disabilities Act when it was passed in 1957 giving lower castes the rights to attend schools and kovils, which thus far they had been denied by Tamils themselves. Let it be recorded that it was the Sinhalese who gave low caste Tamils the right to attend schools and kovils, which was taboo to them by their own. How did high caste Tamils react? They began massive satyagrahas. A further amendment to the act in 1971 further annoyed the Tamil high castes. Just as the high castes were annoyed with the university standardization in 1973 which enabled students of less developed districts to enter university which had previously been enjoyed only by the developed districts. Vellala Tamils opposed the 1973 standardization because it enabled low caste Tamils to enter university! Not too many have highlighted this enough! We have also not forgotten how even in the refugee camps in 1983 as well as immediately after the military victory over the LTTE, high caste Tamils refused to share the toilet facilities with the low caste Tamils, so much so that the military had to arrange separate toilets for them! The caste factor is such that while Vellala leaders think themselves God Almighty, Jaffna Tamils look down on both Trinco & Batticoloa Tamils and all together they look down on the Estate Tamils. So the caste factor is embedded into the mental and upbringing of all and the bottomline is when Tamils cannot reconcile with themselves what is this big talk about reconciliation with others! Who are they all fooling?

There are enough of examples of riots amongst Tamils because of caste and these go back to 1871, 1923, 1931 while violence broke out in 1929 following the government directive for ‘equal seating’ giving low caste Tamils the right to sit on benches as they had been previously made to sit on the floor! This is how a bunch of high caste Tamils were treating their own! They went so far as to petition London. Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan requested the Colonial Office in London to encode caste into legislative enactments!

So the West that cannot be ignorant of these factors given that they have NGOs placed to gather information on the polity and psyche of the people in Sri Lanka need to be told that under this scenario even devolution is nothing that the majority of Tamil low caste really wants as they are certainly happier to live with the Sinhalese than be treated like low-lifes by their own Tamil high castes. Just take a look at the Dalit statistics in Tamil Nadu to confirm the treatment.

The English News daily that reported it has probably been influenced to remove its report that cited caste differences resulting in the shortage of blood and soldiers having to donate, but hiding facts cannot remove the reality.

We are utterly disgusted and disappointed with the manner that high caste Tamil leaders have ridiculed and humiliated our soldiers. They have slandered their good name, they have created lies and funded false propaganda and they have not minded getting their help to make their roads, their houses, their toilets and now for them to survive our soldiers are giving their blood. Not a word of appreciation or gratitude. Donating blood is not in the job profile of the soldiers. Soldiers are defenders of the nation. Donating blood is something additional and warrants appreciation and gratitude not slandering and humiliations that they are getting from the likes of the Northern Chief Minister, the Opposition Leader, his Party and other supporters of separatism. The international community that is propping these people and clapping hands as their racism increases should be ashamed themselves.

Shenali D Waduge