Lanka Newspapers

Sri Lanka News Updates with Discussions

Lanka NewspapersRobins's Home PageThis Page




Tamils appointed for Key positions in SINGAPORE - Jaffna orginated becomes deputy PM

Saturday, 21 May 2011 - 10:50 AM SL Time

In the new cabinet of Singapore, headed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong that will be sworn in on Saturday, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam of Jaffna origin becomes Deputy Prime Minister holding Finance, Manpower and Monetary Authority portfolios, Mr. K. Shanmugam takes over Foreign Affairs and Law, Mr Vivian Balakrishnan becomes Minister for Environment and Watr Resources and Mr. S. Iswaran holding the rank of a full cabinet minister will function in the Prime Minister`s Office as Second Minister for Home, Trade and Industry. The new cabinet has two Deputy Prime Ministers, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Mr. Teo Chee Hean. General Elections took place in Singapore on 7 May.

Claims that could be of much interest to students of diaspora studies and contemporary politics of the establishments in South Asia were made in Indian and Sri Lankan media over the identity of the Singapore Tamils in the new cabinet.

While the Indian media preferred to apply a blanket term `Indian` for all the Tamil ministers, the so-called Sri Lankans, who have all sort of diabolical meanings to that identity, wanted to apply the word `Sri Lankan` to Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam. Both didn`t want to see Singapore Tamils as Singapore Tamils.

Because of geographical position and feasible maritime routes, people of Tamil identity had their own relationship with Singapore and Southeast Asia since very early times, going back to the dawn of the Christian Era, if not earlier.

According to many researchers, the founder of Singapore city in the 15th century and the first Sultan of Malacca, Iskandar Shah Paramesvara, was a prince from Naakappaddinam in Tamil Nadu, who embraced Islam. The early Tamils were assimilated into the Malays of the region. The very name of the identity, Malay itself (from the hill-country), is of Dravidian etymology.

Meanwhile, the demography of the modern day Chinese and Tamils in Singapore and in Malaysia is a result of the waves of migration that started in the 19th century and continued well into the 20th century.

Naakappaddinam region in Tamil Nadu and the Jaffna Peninsula played key roles in the migrations from South Asia, and hence the predominant South Asians in Singapore and Malaysia today are Tamils. Many other identities that went from former British India merged into the Tamil identity, as they were small in number.

Deservedly, Tamil has become one of the four official languages of Singapore, along with Chinese, Malay and English. Singapore Tamils have their own identity in the country thanks to the farsighted policies of Singapore`s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew.

However, there exists a line of thinking that wishes to bring in certain imperialist patterns in the people-made diaspora identity formations. This line of thinking sees Southeast Asia a meeting ground of `Greater India` and `Greater China.`

No wonder, Singapore Tamils complain that forces operating in liaison with New Delhi and are highly placed in the institutions of Singapore, try to imbibe them with an idea of `Indian-ness` over `Tamil-ness,` where as the track record of New Delhi on the issue of Tamils is well known.

The Hindu on Thursday in a news item by P S. Suryanarayana on the new cabinet in Singapore said Key portfolios for Singapore Indians, making Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam too an ethnic Indian minority in Singapore.

The Jaffna Tamils are predominantly large in number among the people who went to Singapore and Malaysia in the 19th and early 20th centuries from the island that gained the name Sri Lanka much later, only in 1972. Tamils in the island have democratically rejected the constitution that introduced that name and also their identity associated with that name and state in 1975 and 1977.

The 19th and early 20th century Tamils from this island, ever since their arrival in Singapore and Malaysia, were identifying themselves either as Jaffanese or Ceylonese, as could be seen from the names of the associations they formed at that time. The Ceylonese identity is officially recognized.

Even though the identities continue to this day, matrimonial and cultural relations at the grassroot level are fast merging them with the Tamils from Tamil Nadu, who are more in number, and thus bringing in a common Singapore Tamil identity.

But in the very recent years, forces operating for Colombo government in Singapore and Malaysia have started promoting a new `Sri Lankan` identity to the affluent Tamil Jaffanese/ Ceylonese.

Even though the true face of these forces are well known in the community, through their high connections, influences, economic interests and close collaboration with Colombo`s ruling circles, they try to simulate a `Sri Lankan` identity as existing among the Tamils in Singapore and Malaysia.

That`s how, while Sri Lankan government as well as the State itself is long known for committing genocide against the nation of Eezham Tamils in the island, the Singapore Tamil, Tharman Shanmugaratnam of Jaffna ancestry, on becoming Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, has become a `Sri Lankan` for the Colombo-happy media.

Source(s)
TN

 Post a reply to this

 E-mail this to a friend




Roshan2007
Senior Member

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12687
Member Profile
LK Information  21 May 2011 04:18:57 GMT  Report for Abuse  
You need a Lee Kuan Yew to tame them. :)
Rambutan
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 1440
Member Profile
LK Information  21 May 2011 04:56:09 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Because of geographical position and feasible maritime routes, people of Tamil identity had their own relationship with Singapore and Southeast Asia since very early times, going back to the dawn of the Christian Era, if not earlier.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLWv0Ri1h_8&feature=related


Chitty Melaka, a 600 ++ yr old Tamil community, whose ancestors were Tamil traders from Nagapattinam married to local Malay women. Culturally they are malays in term of cuisine, dress and language. Recently granted bumiputra (chidren of the soil) status by the Malaysian govt.

Edited By - Rambutan - 21 May 2011 04:56:47 GMT
vibhushana
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 1054
Member Profile
LK Information  21 May 2011 05:21:28 GMT  Report for Abuse  
These Jaffanese were lucky. They were obviously blessed with a lot of good karma. American missionaries set up so many schools giving them a quality education. They were perfect for the British colonial administration. The small minority of Jaffanese become powerful in Ceylonese ruling classes. The rest of the island lags behind.

Suddenly they begin to feel insecurity as 1931 universal franchise beckons. Democracy means power will be shifted to the larger classes of low caste Tamils and Sinhalese. If fact the Jaffnaese takes their protest to London. They demand not to give low caste Tamils political power.

The first ethnic stone throw is very interesting too. Arunachamalm demands himself a seat in Colombo south on account of him being Jaffanese. He does not want to contest election. He demands the seat in the parliament gifted to him. When it was refused he breaks away from Ceylon congress creating the first ethic division in Ceylon.

Slowly things begin to break down. The Jaffnese with their superiority complex in one hand insecurity in the other increase the intensity of the clashes with the Sinhalese. When they cannot get power at the centre in the form of 50/50 etc they demand Eelam in NE. An interesting conversation here between Felix DB capture mind and mood among the Sinhalese politicians at this stage.


Felix R. Dias Bandaranayake had approached Mr. Navaratnam and commented that the Tamils were always demanding for something, which they cannot obtain, and cited G. G. Ponnambalam's cry for fifty-fifty and Chelvanayakam's demand for Federal State. All of them were rejected by the Sinhalese.

http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=21080
vibhushana
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 1054
Member Profile
LK Information  21 May 2011 05:33:32 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Singapore is different because Lee Kwan knows how to handle Jaffna Tamil problem. Ceylon on the other hand cursed with Srimawo. A woman who clashes with the Jafffanese instead of cleverly manoeuvring around the problem.
vibhushana
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 1054
Member Profile
LK Information  21 May 2011 06:06:50 GMT  Report for Abuse  
What must be recognised here is a common human frailty - 'fear of losing'. The Jaffnaese fear losing power and status they had prior to 1930. The fear causes the clash. The clash develops into a struggle that ends 101 years after at the end of Nadidikirall lagoon.
KnightOwl
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 240
Member Profile
LK Information  21 May 2011 06:11:26 GMT  Report for Abuse  
What about asking for part of Singapore for the tamil eelam?
Rambutan
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 1440
Member Profile
LK Information  21 May 2011 06:14:33 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Singapore is different because Lee Kwan knows how to handle Jaffna Tamil problem.


Stop spewing crap, according to LKY's 'Hard Truth', the only problems faced by Singapore pre/post indepedence was communist threat ( Malaysian Communist Party) and present Malay Muslims (none integration). The tiny minority Jaffna Tamils (about 10,000) consititute less than 0.01% of Singapore's 6 m population .

Edited By - Rambutan - 21 May 2011 06:16:29 GMT
vibhushana
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 1054
Member Profile
LK Information  21 May 2011 06:34:36 GMT  Report for Abuse  
the only problems faced by Singapore pre/post indepedence was communist threat


Did I disagree? Jaffna people indeed Tamil language had been given pride of place in Singapore even though they were a minority. Lee Kwan with his close alliance with people such as Jaffna bon Rajaratam were instrumental in development of Singapore into an economic powerhouse. Had Lee Kwan neglected the Jaffanese or Tamil language on account of them being a minority, none of this would have been possible. There was no 'Jaffanese Problem' as it was cleverly avoided by Lee Kwan.

SL on the other hand exact opposite that happened. SWRD on the insistence of Srimavo rejected Tamil as a national language becuase it was simply a minority language. Srimawo did not have any Tamil let alone Jaffnaese alliances. Her entire cabinet was Sinhalese except for one Muslim chap. She then stripped little power Jaffanese had with the rebublicn constitution. Not only that she gave Buddhism state protection enraging Jaffanese further.

Edited By - vibhushana - 21 May 2011 06:41:13 GMT
Robins
Senior Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 19903
Member Profile
LK Information  21 May 2011 07:05:30 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Vibushana

moral of your story is majority community should secure the minorities rights then you will see progress and avoid tensions
NiceNewbie
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 167
Member Profile
LK Information  21 May 2011 07:24:17 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Luckily for him no We Thamiz decided to put a couple of bullets through his chest while he was taking a dip in the pool. Or run into his car strapped with explosives. Lucky indeed.
Page | 1  | 2  |  >Next
 Post a reply to this      E-mail this to a friend

(C) 2000-2008 www.lankanewspapers.com - Sri Lankan News & Discussions - Contact Us - RSS Feed - News Archives - src - FAQ