Feature Article

Tamils, Muslims should unite as one force against Sinhala Buddhist nationalistic machine: Guruparan

[TamilNet, Saturday, 06 June 2020, 13:16 GMT]
The Gazette notification on the SL Presidential Task Force (PTF) for Archaeological Heritage Management in East has particular instructions on allocating lands to archaeological sites. It is a move to give legal force to the dubious archaeological claims made by the Sinhala Buddhist groups in the East, commented Jaffna-based Attorney, academic and civil society activist Kumaravadivel Guruparan. Giving a detailed interpretation and sharing his perspectives on the terms of reference and composition of the PTF, he said: “If there is one message that the Tamils and the Muslim must take, and particularly for the Muslims I hope, we are in this fight together,” he said urging Tamils and Muslims to unite as one political force against the Sinhala Buddhist nationalistic machine. “If Tamils and Muslims unite in the North-East, we are an unshakable force against the onslaught,” he said.





Kumaravadivel Guruparan from Tamil Civil Society Forum
Kumaravadivel Guruparan from Tamil Civil Society Forum
Guruparan paid particular attention to the appointment of Archaeology Professor Rajkumar Somadeva of Kelaniya.

“Professor Rajkumar Somadeva’s ideological underpinnings, which we weren’t aware of before [during Mannaar mass grave excavations], but which are now very clear. It brings in huge question of credibility into his involvement because of appointments like this,” he said.

Somadeva was the archaeologist who led the Mannaar mass grave excavations. The process ended with the findings that those were remains from a period far back in history.

The PTF comes as no surprise for anyone aware of the use of archaeology in furthering the Sinhala-Buddhist nationalist agenda for the last 30-40 years, Guruparan noted.

What is surprising though is the brazenness with which it has been done, he said.

Usually, there is a nominal Muslim or a Tamil appointee to give the impression that it is an ‘inclusive’ and ‘accommodative’ task force.

None of the past governments was exceptional to the trend in portraying the North-East as a uni-national Sinhala-Buddhist space that it goes hand in hand with the identification of Sri Lanka as a unitary state negating the claims of the North-East as the homeland of the Tamil people.

But, SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s brazen Sinhala Buddhist nationalism is “so bold that it doesn’t even require the appointment of members of the numerically smaller communities,” he said.

It shows how confident Mr Rajapaksa is in his nationalism and his politics. It also shows how Sinhala Buddhist nationalism has solidified to an extent where it is probably looking much more potent and dangerous in the post-war context, Guruparan added.

“I would argue that it is looking much more stronger than even the immediate aftermath of the war,” said the civil society activist, attorney and a lecturer at the Law Faculty of the University of Jaffna.

“The November [2019] election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa signifies a further consolidation of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism of an extent we have never seen before.”

Commenting on the second PTF that deals with ‘disciplining’ the society, which Guruparan referred to as a Foucauldian term in the context of Gotabaya Rajapaksa using it consistently since the election manifesto, he said the Gazette notification was extremely vaguely worded.

While there is a reference to ‘drug menace’ in the country, the Terms of Reference (TOR) in the Gazette notification were extensive, he said.

The Tamils and the Muslims know very well that it is this kind of legislative decree and Gazette notifications that were used in the past to curb the legitimate dissent of the numerically smaller communities.

“What is scary is the fact that the Gazette notification refers to in three places of the TOR for the need for curbing ‘unlawful’ activities, but then doesn’t say what the specific type of work that the task force is empowered to do. It just gives them a free hand to do whatever they want,” he said.

“It seems like an implicit authorisation for the triforces, and the police included in the Task Force to do whatever they want”.

* * *


Excerpts from a special lecture on historiography by Professor S Pathmanathan at the University of Jaffna on 18 June 2018, are reproduced below for the edification of the readers on the background to SL Archaeology related conflict in the island:



* * *


The Sinhala-only Archaeology was not only undeterred, but sustained by the SL Archaeology Department and the intruding extremist monks during the previous so-called good-governance regime as well.

The following is a TamilNet interview with Mr Mano Ganesan, made in July 2019 when he was SL Minister of ‘National Integration’ and Hindu Religious Affairs. It is a prima facie witness to the workings of SL Archaeology during the previous regime:



Related Articles:
27.07.19   Politicians whipping up ‘sovereignty’ fears in South, déjà v..
22.07.19   SL Archaeology must be reconfigured to respect Tamil parity ..
06.05.19   PTA-arguments of SL Police detaining Tamil student leaders b..


Chronology:

 

Latest 15 Reports
23.03.21 12:41   Photo
No focus on Tamil genocide, geopolitics gets played out in Geneva in favour of QUAD formation
21.03.21 13:34   Photo
Navi Pillay explains ‘human rights’ limitations in Geneva on Tamil genocide
15.03.21 20:36   Photo
Deceived Tamil activists in UK falsely claimed ‘substantial changes’ to Zero draft
09.03.21 21:34   Photo
UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice
26.02.21 11:53   Photo
Tamils witness false dilemma in Geneva as geopolitical formations pit against each other
19.02.21 14:02   Photo
UK not prepared to push for ICC option in new UNHRC Resolution
07.02.21 23:16   Photo
Unprecedented P2P uprising paves the way for rights-oriented politics of Tamils and Muslims
22.01.21 08:01   Photo
Gotabaya sets up deceptive COI citing ‘sovereignty’ and ‘non-aligned’ foreign policy
18.01.21 23:44   Photo
Tamil activists resisted three sources of outside influence while drafting demands to UNHRC
16.01.21 11:03  
Tamil national parties demand UN to inquire into crime of genocide and set up IIIM
09.01.21 09:37   Photo
Demolition of Tamil genocide monument, fourth emblematic trauma since 1974: Rev Fr Sakthivel
08.01.21 23:51   Photo
Colombo destroys Mu'l'livaaykkaal memorial monument at Jaffna University
07.01.21 11:22   Photo
With emphasis on genocide, Suresh calls for ICC-referral, IIIM and referendum
07.01.21 00:04   Photo
Boyle prefers IIIM demand over ICC-referral, says specific reference to genocide essential
06.01.21 14:26  
Indian Minister of External Affairs Jaishankar trades off Tamils’ sovereign rights
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=79&artid=39849