Vellala victimisers exposed by Tamil victims of Vellala crimes | Sunday Observer

Vellala victimisers exposed by Tamil victims of Vellala crimes

31 January, 2021

Guess what?

An anti-Vellala caste segment of the Tamils in Jaffna, classified as ‘minorities’ by the dominant Vellalas, is now daring to proclaim publicly in an organised fashion, for the first time, what I have been saying for some time: the English-speaking, Saivite, Jaffna, Vellala (SJV) leadership, including the high-flying Vellala human rights activists in the Tamil diaspora, never defended, protected or stood up for the oppressed, suppressed and persecuted Tamil ‘minorities’. They never stood up for their dignity, their equality, their need for justice or peace.

And when the SJVs duped the world with their claims for dignity, equality, justice and peace they meant the preservation and the perpetuation of the casteist rights, privileges, powers and perks of the Vellala elite who packaged their political claims wrapped in the larger label of Tamils because they could not claim their casteist privileges within the narrow and despised brand of Vellalas.

It was a pleasant surprise for me to know that the Jaffna Civil Society Centre (JCSC) had demonstrated “criticising the actions of Tamil National Alliance and the LTTE” at a time when the Vellala elite pretend to be the sacred cows of Jaffna Tamil politics standing up for Tamil rights in the American Ambassadress’ residence and UNHRC in Geneva.

They are the ones who go to sit in front of the American Ambassadress -- probably cross-legged to make an impression of their political piety! JCSC hit the nail on the head when they revealed and emphasised that: the TNA members never advocated Human Rights and freedoms of the people there was no freedom and democracy in the north before 2009 (defeat of Prabhakaran) the LTTE carried out all forms of atrocities our (oppressed low-caste) aspirations and grievances have not been addressed by the Tamil politicians and urged the international community not to fall for the claims of TNA politicians.” (p.1, 3 – Daily Mirror, 26/1/2021).


In a broad sense, this covers almost the entire gamut of what I’ve been saying all along. Of course, these are generalised statements of the deeper layers of SJV political culture that oppressed the peninsula Tamils, particularly, those who did not belong to the exclusive elite in the SJV, from pre-colonial times.

The fact that the oppressed minorities of Jaffna who have been silenced by Vellala thugs and superior propaganda machines – mainly in NGOs and academia – have decided to come forward boldly to state their case confirms that the SJVs can no longer hide behind their fake cover of being victims of the Sinhala majority. The latest organised cry from the platform of the Tamil ‘minorities’ – that is how the Vellala masters described and dismissed their low-castes – reveals incontrovertibly that the Vellalas have been the traditional oppressors, persecutors and killers of the Tamils more than any other force.

They can’t now run away and hide their crimes saying that these are the accusations of anti-Tamil propagandists. The victims of Vellala political crimes have decided to speak and expose their victimisers as the most inhuman oppressors in their recorded history. The Vellala victimisers who tortured the helpless ‘minorities’ with Vellala fascism throughout the ages, can no longer parade as the holy cows of Tamil politics.

The voices of the oppressed and the persecuted ‘minorities’ of Jaffna are rising to challenge the Vellala ideology that gave respectability and credence to their fake claims of grievances, discrimination and denial of their rights by Sinhala-Buddhist majoritarianism.

It is not that there was no empirical and persuasive evidence before. There is, for instance, the magisterial study of Vellala casteism by Prof. Bryan Pfaffenberger of Syracuse University. His The Religious Foundations of Sudra Domination in Tamil Sri Lanka, documented with overwhelming evidence of the origins, the nature and the vile characteristics that made Vellalaism an evil force of oppression.

Then there is Jane Russell’s study on communalism during the Donoughmore period which also documented graphically how casteism dominated Jaffna politics, starting from G. G. Ponnambalam who lit the first fires of communalism by attacking the Mahavamsa and the Sinhala – Buddhist civilisation in Nawalapitiya in 1939.

Then there are the records of the Portuguese, Dutch and British regimes that documented the perennial crimes committed by the ‘Vellalas’ against their own people. The British records are most forthright in condemning Vellala oppression of the Tamil ‘minorities.’ Of the modern studies, the Bible Trembled, written by Bishop S. Jebanesan and K. Young, makes an incisive study of the caste fanatic, Arumuka Navalar and his impact on Jaffna political culture.

Vellala oppressors

Besides, there are the writings of the Hoole brothers, Rajan and Ratnajeevan. To top it all comes the brilliant novel KANAL (The Mirage) which delineates dramatically the lived experiences of a low caste victim of Vellala oppression. It was written by K. Daniel, a Thurumban, the lowest of low castes who were forbidden to walk in daylight by the Vellalas.

His vivid representation of the plight of the ‘minorities’ under the heel of the Vellala oppressors depicts the Vellalas as vicious, vindictive, venomous, venal vipers ever ready to raise their heads and sting the helpless, powerless ‘minorities’. They come out of the novel as murderers, rapists, and persecutors of their own people and the others as well, just to satisfy their basic urges and political agendas.

The greatest tragedy of all this is the failure of our intellectuals to focus on the core issues that corroded and warped society. For instance, it is the moral and intellectual duty of the Jaffna University to study the caste system that dominated and distorted Jaffna society into a cesspit of Tamil tyranny throughout its recorded history and ethnic fascism in the end. Bible Tremble, for instance, sets the standard for historians to follow.

However, reports coming out from knowledgeable sources reveal that the University has not only discouraged but rejected the studies made by researchers on the caste issue. Above all, Jaffna University should hang its head in shame for not producing a standard and authoritative history of Jaffna.

If they are so proud of their history and boast about it how come the Jaffna University which was established by Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s ‘Sinhala government’in 1972, has yet to produce a history of Jaffna? It has, of course, to face the grim realities of its cruel history of terrorising, humiliating, persecuting and killing its own people. Is this why they are reluctant to reveal their history?

The statement quoted above targeting the SJVs was made at a demonstration organised by Arun Siddarth, head of the JCSC NGO in the heart of Jaffna last Monday.

He is daring to expose the hidden history of Jaffna in which SJVs pretended to be the victims of the majority Sinhalese who had, according to the SJVs, denied the Tamils their dignity, equality, justice and peace. The SJVs had deliberately and craftily hidden their crimes against their own people from feudal times to gain political sympathy to their fake claims by posing as the victims of ‘the racist Sinhala majority.’

With this line of victimhood they had conned their way into the hearts and minds of the world. Even the Indian Foreign Minister had swallowed this bait hook, line and sinker. I am not blaming him. He must have been fed this line by the crafty Tamils who are playing on the Indian heart strings with their fictitious yarns of victimhood.

In the absence of an alternative narrative he had no option but to accept the SJV narrative as the truth. Now the alternative narrative which was hidden deliberately by the SJVs is coming out of the mouths of the victims of the Vellala victimisers. Vellalas have escaped blame so far by pretending to be the victims of the Sinhala majority, hiding their criminal role of denying their own people a drop of water from their ‘Vellala pure’ wells, or to walk in daytime in the God-given sunlight. The persecuted Tamils were allowed to walk only at midnight when the ‘pure eyes’ of the Vellalas were fast asleep.Arun Siddarth’s voice is coming out of the oppressed depths of the suffering Jaffna low-castes. He is a Nalavar, a low-caste according to the oppressive casteist hierarchy of Jaffna, and he is proud to say that he comes from a line of toddy-tappers. His voice is still a lone voice. No NGO, which claims to represent the cause of the human rights of the oppressed, has gone out of their way to embrace him and the cause of his oppressed people. They hobnob only with the Jaffna priviligentsia that consists of the elite in SJVs.

The American Ambassadress who is shedding copious tears about the rights of the minorities will not invite Siddarth who represents the most exploited and oppressed minority in Sri Lanka. Their suffering does not fit into her partisan agenda of human rights because they can’t be exploited to serve her neo-imperialist interests in Asia. M. A. Sumanthiran is invited to her residence because he is willing to dance to her drum beat.

Siddarth operates from a small office at 238, KKS Road, Jaffna. He has a tough time facing the might of the SJV forces ganged up against him. Last Monday’s demonstration in Jaffna town was confined to about 200 because the Police had told him to keep the crowd down to ward off Covid-19. The Tamil diaspora and the SJVs are out to vilify him.

Tamil diaspora

They call him a deshap drohiya, (a traitor), kudukaraya (drug peddler), womaniser etc. They even accused him being in the ‘AVA’ gang that terrorised Jaffna recently. The Tamil diaspora has put out a video to denigrate him and blacken his image. All because he dares to taken on the Jaffna casteist establishment. Not since N. Shanmugathasan, head of the Chinese-wing of the Communist Party, challenged the procession of Arumuka Navalar’s statue going around Jaffna town, has anyone else organised an opposition to the Vellalas.

The LTTE though it decimated the Vellala leadership was a protected animal of the Vellalas. The Tigers were financed by them, internationalised their cause, lobbied for them and kept them alive internationally and locally. Arun Siddarth, of course, goes beyond Shanmugathasan. He sees no hope for the Tamils in the politics of the TNA or LTTE. While Shanmugathasan stopped at the point of opposing Vellala casteism Arun Siddarth goes out of the conventional mono-ethnic extremism of Jaffna politics to join hands with the South.

He sees the future in peaceful coexistence with the other communities and not in separatism, federalism, devolutionism, etc. He is attempting to make a counter-culture – one that goes against the mainstream politics of Jaffna. His chances of succeeding on a mass scale may not be rosy. But he’s going to be a thorn in their flesh. He will cast a shadow on the image of Jaffna being a monolithic, undivided solid bloc against the majority.

Victims of Vellala crimes

Their presence will be unnerving to the casteist establishment of Jaffna. The SJVs who continue to dominate Tamil politics are scared that they will lose political mileage in their anti-Sinhala-Buddhist campaigns if they are forced face the victims of Vellala crimes perpetrated against their own people.

It is easy and advantageous to blame the ‘other –e.g., the demonised Sinhala-Buddhists – and win political sympathy than examine their own backyard and expose the pile of bloody dirt and skeletons heaped by their ancestors.

How many of our political pundits writing columns, or editorialising, or theorising on ‘armed Dharmapalas’, have ever bothered to even peep at this layer of society that has been the victims of the Vellala masters of Jaffna? How many of them have dealt with the ramifications of the terrors of Tamil tyranny that had plagued the peninsula for centuries, particularly from the Dutch period? To begin with, how many of these pundits know the subject to deal with the overflow of peninsular politics into the south?

What is the validity of their half-baked analyses of the South without evaluating the impact of the mono-ethnic juggernaut that came down from the North and bedevilled the democratically elected states of the South since independence? Aren’t they living in a fool’s paradise in believing that history begins and ends with a mono-causal force of the South without factoring in the dialectic of the North-South interactions impacting on each other and determining each other’s political landscape?

For instance, when did that pretentious Marxist oddball, Kumar David, ever devote his reams in the Sunday Island to the suffering of his own people at the hands of the SJVs whom he has the gumption to call ‘Tamils ‘as if their casteist grievances and aspirations represent the totality of the grievances and aspirations of all the Tamils? How much of Jaffna history does Dayan Jayatilleke, the man who never fails to advertise himself as a political scientist, know to pontificate on Sri Lankan politics? He certainly is obsessed and saturated with Gramsci whose theories should be confined to the industrial workers of Turin in Mussolini’s time. And those theories didn’t save the workers there either. Nor would they work in Chelvanayakam/Prabhakaran’s Jaffna.

So, how does he, his fellow ideologue, Kumar David, and the entire Marxist Club at Peradeniya University propose to apply and make Marxist theories work in Jaffna when those theories collapsed in toto in the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, etc? If they knew their Marxism well enough they should know that they can’t jump from feudalism to socialism without going through the intermediary capitalist stage and exhausting its potential to remain as a viable class. Marx stipulated that each economic stage must exhaust itself before it can transit to the next.

Trotsky too made this fatal mistake in theorising in his Permanent Revolution that it was possible to leap from Russian feudalism, or ‘the Oriental despotism’ (Wittfogel), to international socialism. In short, man can move history only in inches. The giant leaps envisaged by revolutionary heroes were doomed to fail. All Marxists planned to make giant leaps and they all came crashing down, even with the might of totalitarian states, behind them, as seen in the communist empire, better known as the USSR.

Great founders

That is why D. S. Senanayake, Dudley Senanayake, and S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike remain in the memory of the people as the great founders and makers of modern Sri Lanka and not Dr. N.M. Perera and Colvin R. de Silva and Pieter Keuneman who were absolute failures in moving history forward. It was the Sinhala-Buddhist bourgeois elite that took history forward step by step.

It was they who shaped the constitutions. It was they who gave free education. It was they who gave universal free health services. America is still struggling to get there. It was they who gave subsidised food and transport services. Sinhala-Buddhist bourgeoisie has been the engine of progress and democracy. It has been the force that pulled the nation out of the pitfalls each time it fell into one. It has won all the major battles they fought against fascist forces of the Right, Left and racist extremists.

The pathetic attempt of Kumari Jayawardena to belittle their achievements as ‘nobodies trying to be somebodies’ brings her down to the level of a frustrated woman belittling the glories that will never be denied in the annals of time.

In contrast, in her biography of her father-in-law, N. U. Jayawardena, she tried to white-wash his tainted record for which he was sacked from the Central Bank and the fairy tale of falling asleep in the car he spun to account for the loss of jewellery.

Sinhala-Buddhists had to face partisan intellectuals like Kumari Jayawardena ( I must admit that she is a brilliant researcher as shown in her pioneering studies of the labour movement) who had no qualms about selectively manipulating the evidence to fit into their anti-Sinhala-Buddhist political agenda.

Her husband, Dr. Lal Jayawardena, diverted resources of UNU World Institute for Development of Economic Research (WIDER) to finance anti-Sinhala-Buddhist tracts like S. J. Tambiah’s Buddhism Betrayed? and Prof. Carlo Fonseka’s Six Lectures to Undergraduates – another cheap anti-Sinhala-Buddhist tract written to portray Sinhala-Buddhist history as a record of parricides, nymphomaniacs, murderers, etc.

Both earned a packet from the UN thanks to the anti-Sinhala-Buddhist bias of Lal Jayawardena who had to leave the UN under a cloud with international newspapers questioning his integrity. Selling anti-Sinhala-Buddhism was the most lucrative way for our intellectuals to make a quick buck from anti-Sinhala-Buddhist NGOs and Western funding sources. Studying Sinhala-Buddhism to condemn it as an evil force was not only intellectually fashionable but also a means of advancing careers in academia and NGOs.

The Marxists were the first set of intellectuals who not only distorted Sri Lankan history with their dogmatic and narrow interpretation of Marxism but also misled the youth into futile violence. They hoped to ride into power on the backs of the misled youth with a ceaseless string of strikes and immature political violence.

With their misreading of Sri Lankan history, they not only retarded the progress of history but in the end surrendered to the very forces they condemned as the enemies of the people. The most sickening spectacle was Dr. Colvin R. de Silva and Doric de Souza carrying ‘mal vattiyas’ to pay pooja at the Temple of Tooth! They pushed history back with their ideologically driven misadventures that did not serve them, their naïve followers and the nation.

Democratic front

The Sinhala-Buddhist bourgeoisie did not mislead the people by promising to make paradises that were never achievable. They worked pragmatically within the existing democratic class structure and they refined the system until they lifted the nation to the best available and affordable welfare heights. Sinhala-Buddhist leaders worked within that framework to refine the Sinhala-Buddhist culture to make it more relevant and viable to serve the modern needs of post-colonial, multi-cultural, democratic Sri Lanka with, of course, its numerous infirmities.

The Sinhala-Buddhist bourgeoisie led the most enlightened democratic front that fought the fascist forces of the Right-wing, Left-wing and mono-ethnic extremists while maintaining the best welfare state in Asia within a democratic framework even when they were fighting the longest war in history. Despite the many infirmities that white-anted its structure from within, their achievements outweigh their failings.

If they failed we would be a failed state today. So, are we there today? Hasn’t the ‘armed Dharmapala’ leading the nation held a steady course in steering the ship of state? Doesn’t his men hold a fine balance between militarism and civil administration to save the nation from the pandemic plaguing the world? Even President Biden has brought in a military man to handle the pandemic.

The Security Forces must be commended for doing their humanitarian duties and retiring into the camps without interfering in the civil administration. Keeping the political distance is a speciality of the Sri Lankan forces applied at all times. It has been a commendable political culture which can come only from a disciplined and democratic tradition.

Of all the cultures that came in from the North and the West it is the Sinhala-Buddhist culture that has been most tolerant, flexible and democratic.

Tamil tyrannical fascism ruled the North until it was liberated by the Rajapaksas. The mindless Muslim massacres on Easter Sunday exposed the fanaticism of its culture which was fomented by some of its leaders who should have known better.

The violence unleashed by the Tamil and Muslim and Sinhala Marxist leaders should teach them one solid lesson : never let the leadership slip out of the hands of the leaders into the youth. They should have followed the wise Thondaman who was the only leader who managed to keep his community stable without letting the youth run berserk.

The classic example is the idiotic Tamil leadership who legitimised Tamil violence against the Sinhala-Buddhist by declaring war at Vadukoddai on May 14, 1976. What happened was tragi-comic : the Tamil leadership became the first victims of the violence they unleashed.

Producing violence is fairly easy. Managing it to achieve the planned goals is not. Violence is a gamble that can cut both ways. So why can’t the minorities coexist like Thondaman and achieve all the goals as well non-violently. How many Nandikadals must they face before they come to their senses and realise that peace and reconciliation can be achieved only in Sri Lanka and not in Geneva?