President’s unique speech that defined the nation and its historic values
To understand contemporary national politics and its complex combinations and permutations it is imperative that any student of politics must first get a firm grasp of the two political cultures that divides the North and the South. The gap is much wider than the Palk Straits that separates us from India, thankfully. For instance, the Tamils have never tasted equality, dignity, liberty, justice and peace under any of the Tamil rulers starting from the time of Sankili who went down to Mannar and massacred 600 innocent Tamil Catholics on the eve of Christmas 1544 to Velupillai Prabhakaran (2009) who massacred 600 Sri Lankan policemen who surrendered to him. The Tamils got their first taste of these cherished liberal values only under what they called “the Sinhala state”, or “Sinhala-dominated state” – two terms used interchangeably to label it as a racist state.
From the time of the rise of oriental despotic rulers in the 14th century in Jaffna – Marx defined Asiatic kings who had centralised control of water in hydraulic societies as “despotic rulers” — and the subsequent rise of Vellala sub-rulers under the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial masters, to the final rise of Prabhakaran, the average, grassroot Jaffna Tamil (I am excluding the Vellalas, the oppressive subalterns of the colonial rulers) never had the political or social space to experience dignity, equality, liberty, justice and peace in Jaffna. The Dutch who legalised slavery in 1707 by codifying the customary law in the Tesawalamai, with the consent and advice of the Vellala mudliyars, laid the legal foundation for the exploitation of the Tamils as slaves. The Vellalas treated slaves as subhuman pariahs. The rest, of course, is the history of Tamil tyranny that denied Tamils their basic rights to be human. In some cases, they were even refused the right to walk like all other human beings in the sunlight in case the low-caste despicables polluted the pure eyes of the Vellalas. The last mission of even distinguished Sir. Ponnamb@|