Tamils in Sri Lanka are among the most privileged minorities in the World.
You speak of oppression of the Tamils. That was your propaganda. It
is pointless saying that to me, because I know the facts, and the misinformation
methods pursued against our people. The strident claim of a few ambitious
persons for special position for the Tamil people within Sri Lanka was
born long before the SLFP or even the UNP was founded. It was the same
claim that was later advanced to Federalism and Eelam: and many inaccuracies
and distortions, including that of our national history, became necessary
to propel that political line; and whereas the facts and statistics
of national performance will show that the Tamil people in the country
have always been among the most privileged minorities in the world.
This was the reply sent to the late TULF leader Mr. Amirthalingam,
by the eminent nationalist and Sri Lanka's greatest and world-renowned
politician the late Prime Minister Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike when Mr.
Amirthalingam requested her to extend her cooperation to the 1987 Indo-Lanka
Accord. Despite her close ties with the Nehru family she stood firm
and led protests against the Accord even endangering her life as she
cherished the interest of the country over and above the self. Today
in her 2nd death anniversary her absence is profusely felt by all patriots
due to the lack of such dauntless, bold, stalwart personalities to confer
leadership to save the nation from the current systematic betrayal.
Although circumstances jettisoned her to embark on her political life, her political achievements paled and made trivial the work done by the so-called political veterans. She was the only Sri Lankan leader with steel will who fearlessly stood against the dictates and threats of the United States and the World Bank. The two agreements signed by her with India known as the Sirima-Shastri Pact and the Sirima-Indira Pact can be construed as her greatest achievements despite enormous other contributions made by her to the welfare of this nation, and in the international arena. These pacts helped reduce the British imposed Indian Tamil population in Sri Lanka from 11.7% in 1946 to 5.56% in 1981. The adverse effect made by this listless manipulative vote bank in the last general election would have been horrendous if it was not for these Pacts.
Tamil chauvinists incorrectly and deceptively labeled her a Sinhala Buddhist extremist. When in power she was the greatest Sri Lankan treating everyone alike, without any discrimination whatsoever, but she had a sympathetic heart for the toiling masses and the poor segment which earned her enmity from the so-called elite and the kalu-suddhas. The baseless allegation against her by the Tamil chauvinists is disproved by the affable support extended to her by the people of Jaffna themselves in gratitude to the enormous benefits they reaped from her nationwide food production drive. In the two Presidential elections held in the 1980s, majority of Jaffna masses voted for the SLFP candidates over the UNP candidates. Although she did not contest in the 1982 election due to deprivation of her civic rights by the tyrannical JR regime SLFP candidate late Mr. Hector Kobbekaduwa received 77,300 votes against 44,780 polled for JR Jayawardene. In the 1988 election that has been recorded as the heavily rigged Presidential election, Jaffna voters polled 44,197 votes to Mrs. Bandaranaike against 33,650 polled for Premadasa.
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