16th January 2000

Front Page|
Editorial/Opinion| Plus|
Business| Sports| Sports Plus|
Mirror Magazine

The Sunday Times on the Web


It's not just a Wanni war

By Kumbakarana

"The advances made by the Tamil Tigers in November 1999 are not a mere tactical victory, but reflect the long term rise of pan-Negroism in Southern Asia. What has arisen in the Lankan civil war is a Transnational pan-Negroist army on the lines of pan-Islamist armies in Afghanistan.

"The collapse of the Apartheid regime in South Africa has meant that a large number of Negro volunteers are willing to assist blacks worldwide in the struggle against oppression. Indeed, the recent Tiger victories were due to large funds and manpower that has been made available from South Africa."

This is an extract from a Dravidian Web on the Internet. This exposes the international dimension behind the Tiger movement.

The Tamil separatist movement has an international spread to its ideology and operations. It makes at times tenuous arguments linking their struggle with others around the world. This is not simply a battle that can be restricted to the Wanni, as the Sri Lankan government has thought so far.

This process began in Sri Lanka with the failure of the British Colonial to enlist the support of the Sinhala elite in ruling the country Doyle, the British colonial master mind, discusses the apparent 'betrayal' of Keppetipola in 1818.

The British thereby decided to foster the Tamil elite in Sri Lanka. This was successful to such an extent that they could not find adequate employment to these elites who were trained by the educational system to play a middle level role in the British administration of their colonies. Therefore this Tamil elite turned bureaucrat was sent by the British to other parts of the colonies such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and South Africa.

This brain drain around 1833, gave rise to a Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora of expats around the Colonies, whose axis was situated in London.

The first strong feelings of Tamil nationalism was aroused amongst the community by Chelvanayagam from 1961 onwards. The high-water of his attempts was the 1974, world Tamil conference in Jaffna. The LTTE has subsequently taken over this role from Chelvanayagam and has been able to exploit this source effectively.

The South African, African National Congress was initially dominated by the relatively better educated Indian expat community, in which was also found some Tamil, Indian and Sri Lankan origins. There was a reaction to this domination from the black community and the Pan-African Congress, which took the position that all communities other than the blacks were foreign.

The Dravidian community aligned themselves with this new formation, by claiming closeness based on blackness and historicity. They were first able to link up with this historical South African connection, by their participation in an umbrella organization supporting the Palestinian cause.

It was furthered by J.R. Jayewardene's arms and commercial linkage with the Apartheid white South African regime.

The linkage between South Africa and the LTTE is at present strong. There have been photographs of LTTE training camps around Durban in the South Indian Frontline magazine.

The support is so strong that Nelson Mandela thought it prudent to refuse the invitation to be the Chief Guest at Sri Lanka's 50th Independence celebration. There is a supply line of arms, funds and trained LTTE cadres at present from Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

The LTTE conspiracy to hijack the 32000 mortars ordered from Zimbabwe by the Sri Lankan government was carried out in connivance with these South African connections.

This tilted the military equation in the LTTE's favour. The danger of these linkages with the African war lords and ad-hoc military formations, should be recognized by the Sri Lankan government.

Not the way to go Norway

Buddhist groups to protest Norwegian FM's visit

By Shelani de Silva

Several Buddhist organisations have protested over the proposed visit of the Norwegian Foreign Minister to Sri Lanka to initiate a peace deal between the Government and the LTTE.

The National Joint Committee consisting of more than 40 Buddhist organisations have opposed the foreign ministers intervention.

NJC secretary Piyasena Dissanayake told The Sunday Times that the organisations were planning to hold a protest opposite the Embassy if the diplomat visits the country.

'The NJC has always opposed any type of foreign intervention, whether by facilitation or mediation. The ethnic issue is an internal problem which we can solve, we don't need foreign mediation,"Dr. Dissanayake said.

The NJC claims this is not a new move by the Norway Government to solve the problem since it had already helped in the ethnic issue.

"Two years ago the Norwegian government gave a large sum to the Government for propaganda in connection with the devolution package. This was used for the Tavalama program. We once again call upon the Norwegian Government to refrain from getting involved in our internal problem," he said.

The Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek who was scheduled to visit Sri Lanka next week called off his visit due to Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar being away in Europe.

The Norwegian Minister who planned a two day mission was expected today. Minister Vollebaek who began his tour from Portugel was scheduled to visit Thailand, Nepal, Bhutan and India.

The Norwegian Government is yet to reconfirm the new dates for his visit to Sri Lanka.

Index Page
Front Page
Sports Plus
Mirrror Magazine

More News/Comment

Return to News/Comment Contents


News/Comment Archives

Front Page| News/Comment| Editorial/Opinion| Plus| Business| Sports| Sports Plus| Mirror Magazine

Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to

The Sunday Times or to Information Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd.

Presented on the World Wide Web by Infomation Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd.

Hosted By LAcNet