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Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Tamils - a Nation without a State> Tsunami Disaster &  Tamil Eelam > R.Cholan Writes to President Kumaratunga 

Tsunami Disaster & Tamil Eelam

R.Cholan Writes to President Kumaratunga
12 January 2004

Hon. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga,
The President,
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka,
Sri Lanka.

Dear President Kumaratunga:

I got all choked up when I heard of your announcement to adopt a �Tamil� child orphaned by the tsunami. What a wonderful gesture it is, for the �ethnic� Sinhalese president of the country to adopt an �ethnic� Tamil child, at a time when the country is torn apart precisely by this �ethnic� difference. Your secretary�s statement that it is a �personal decision� and not a �political� one, adds to the nobility of your decision.

In an era where your neighboring country, India, has experienced difficulties with adoptions across ethnic and religious lines (Brahmin v. non-Brahmin, Hindu v. Muslim), your intention is indeed a courageous one and I commend you for it.

I would like to, however, ask that you to follow Mahatma Gandhi�s advice in a similar situation.

Gandhi was fasting to protest the Hindu-Muslim riots, where the Hindus and Muslims were killing each other. A remorseful Hindu, who had killed an innocent Muslim to avenge the killing of his son by a Muslim mob, approached Gandhi to beg for clemency. The Mahatma said to him: �Go adopt a child� Be sure it�s a Muslim child� Only, raise him as a Muslim��

Please adopt a Tamil child, Ms. Kumaratunga, but be sure to raise that child as a Tamil.

Be a good mother and talk to that child in Tamil. Teach him/her the Tamil language (you have to learn it first, of course). Sit with that child, all day if you can, and teach him/her the wonders of his/her heritage� the arts, the music, the drama, the literature, the customs and the magnificent history. Raise that child to be a proud Tamil � A Tamil child has every reason to be proud of the Tamil ancestry.

Sri Lanka, painfully divided along ethnic lines, needs a magnanimous gesture like the one you have just announced.

Only, please do it right.

Sincerely and with warmest regards

R. Cholan



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