Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
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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Tamil National Forum

A Visitor from Australia, 14 June 2001

Thank you very much for your coverage of the events in Nepal. The interesting way it was presented conveys many untold messages...

I have been always fascinated by Nepal and it's monarchs from the time I learnt that Nepal is listed as the only Hindu country in this wide world. Further more, Nepal monarchs looked and dressed very much like us and embodied our own culture in someway. They were also simple and looked so innocent compared with the pomp and glory, which surrounds other monarchs. It was a shock bordering on disbelief to learn about this tragedy which benumbs us even today. Yet, there is this nagging feeling whether they were the victims of their own innocence and whether the same Hindu religion and astrology is being used to cover up something more sinister. The article in the Sydney Morning Herald (5 June 2001) has some salient points. The following is an excerpt:

" Although Devyani was flawless on the surface, the tense backdrop of Nepal's troubled relationship with India made her heritage a political problem. Her mother came from India, which continues to seek to impose itself politically and commercially on its smaller neighbour, resulting in anti-Indian sentiment. The late Queen Aishwarya had let her eldest son know that the royal family would not tolerate a queen with Indian blood in her veins, even if that blood was royal...Devyani is thought to have fled to India…."

The haste and secrecy surrounding the cremation of the bodies of the royal family in the name of the Hindu religion and the muted response and the partial media coverage in the so called (pro western) free media baffles us all. The reports always say 'so many members' of the royal family, but the reports never fully reveal who the members were and whether they also included little children. How can an enraged king, kill even his own family's little ones and make sure that no one is left of his family? Are there any historical parallels? It may be pertinent to analyse history for clues in the events that took place in other neighbouring countries too.

Also it is intriguing that, today, there is no lineage of the Chera, Chola and Pandiyas from the South, but there is still a lineage from the North. It was said, that we Tamils lost our own history irrevocably with the advent of Vedic Hinduism and the practice of cremation, in our midst from about 1000 AD, which left no trace of our ancient history or evidence. But all other religions such as Buddhism, Christianity and others had religious edicts to record and preserve history. In any civilization, it is the total collection of every citizen's individual history that finally evolves as the history of a nation.

One shudders at the thought of whether the modern adherents of Kautilya are in total collusion with the modern adherents of Machiavelli in their collective quest for the containment of the adherents of Sun Tsu and world dominance...We can only pray that Almighty God will provide some answers and bring in some checks and balances so that this world may not be torn apart by such horrid excesses.

From: Thiru Nellinathan 26 May 2001

A Tribute to Marie Colvin - Will Truth Continue to Sleep?

From: Thaya, Eelam - 5 May 2001

Justice and Peace

The understandings of peace in today's world are many
It is the absence of war and harmony
Abolishing or overcoming violence
And also overpowering rebellions
How it is achieved is immaterial
But establishing silence is important!

Being rebellious is to protect
Ones right to life as I put it
When self respect is damaged
And self- determination is denied
When selfishness destroys others
The tendency to rebel emerges!

Manifestations of the rebellious action
Are the non-violent civil disobedience
Non-co-operation and resistance
'Cause they are counted as violations
And 'cause they are counteracted by violence!
They metamorphose into war situation.

The suggestions by the 'neutrals' to attain peace
Is submission, passiveness, non-resistance
Compliance, obsequiousness and obeisance
It is to 'kiss the rod', and to 'lick the dust'
Which are regarded as the only options
Taken to attain peace with out 'blood shed'

The 'cycle of violence' will continue
Until the root cause is attended to
With repentance on the part of the oppressor
And accommodation on the part of the victim!
However justice should be done to the affected ones
If lasting peace is to prevail on earth!

From: D.Appadurai, UK 16 April 2001

(Re Tamil Names by C.P.Goliard), I agree that using Tamil names in the UK as we would in South India would cause confusion when filling in forma which ask for first name and surname. The simple thing would be reverse one's name if one chooses to settle in the West. My given name is Devarajah and my fathers given name was Appadurai. While living in Malaysia, I always wrote my name as A Devarajah and in official papers it was shown as Devarajah son of Appadurai. Since coming to England, people found A Devarajah inconsistent with the information on forms. I simply decided to give my name as D Appadurai. I have used this for 30 years and my children now carry Appadurai as the surname. This is simpler than trying to use initials to depict place of origin.

From: David Davies, USA 8 April 2001

Hi, I am studying for a doctorate on Frantz Fanon. I noticed with interest your article on Tamil immigration to Martinique. Fanon's father was a product of an African/"Indian" relationship. As "Indian" most probably meant Tamil, then it can be asserted that Fanon was partly of Tamil descent. I think it is important to stress this point as the emphasis has been up to now on his "African" parentage and his white grandfather, rather than the plurality of his origins.

Additionally I would also like to say that the quotations, on your web site, on Fanon, concerning violence and decolonisation are based on the deeply flawed English translation by Constance Farrington. Fanon's words have been distorted by this translation. The French, he wrote in, provides very different interpretations to the English version.( Examples abound, but when Fanon writes about genocide its excised from the translation.). I suggest it's an essential task to compare the translation to the original and in that way the distortions become apparent. The actual words of Fanon express a far more coherent and radical discourse than the English translators version.

I hope these points are of interest to you. I worked for 8 years in Algeria and Tunisia, and am working on the importance of Algeria in Fanon's conceptualisation of the colonised in "The Damned".( The original English title)

From: Nathan Ananthan 6 March 2001

Pongu Thamilee, Pongu...

From: V. Thangavelu Canada, 27 February 2001

My thanks to Sachi Sri Kantha for recapitulating the summary execution of Dr.K. Visvaranjan by the fascist Sinhala army which is still in occupation of Jaffna peninsula. There are hundreds, if not thousands, who met similar fate like Dr. K. Visvaranjan but remain unheard, unsung and unwept. The same goes to the doctors, nurses and hospital staff gunned down without any provocation by the murderous IPKF on October 21, 1987. The tragedy is that none of the perpetrators of these dastardly crimes were ever brought to justice. Politicians like G.K.Moopanar and journalists like N.Ram and Cho are still mourning the demise of Rajiv Gandhi who despatched the murderous IPKF on a killing spree, when they have no tears for the thousands of innocent Tamils who perished like Dr.K.Visvaranjan.

(However, I fail to see a parallel) between Amirthalingam and Duraiappah, the latter a third rate politician who had no principles except to lick the boots of his Sinhala masters. Amirthalingam with all his faults and political blunders committed late in his life has to be remembered for his courageous fight on behalf of his people at a crucial period of our non-violent struggle within the confines of parliamentary politics. The same should be said about Thanthai S.J.V. Chelvanayakam, C.Vanniasingham, Dr. E.M.V. Naganathan, S.Kathiraveluppillai, N.Rajavarothayam and many other leaders who sacrificed a greater part of their wealth and health for the liberation of the Tamil Nation.

From: Jan Heynen 28 February 2001

Hi, On nationalism and nation - Could you answer my question: Does nationalism ALWAYS precede nation? Thanks

Our Response: Here, it may be useful to first inquire what do we mean when we say 'nation'? We ourselves have found Professor Hugh Seton-Watson's words in Nations & States helpful:

"...The belief that every state is a nation, or that all sovereign states are national states, has done much to obfuscate human understanding of political realities. A state is a legal and political organisation, with the power to require obedience and loyalty from its citizens. A nation is a community of people, whose members are bound together by a sense of solidarity, a common culture, a national consciousness... ...States can exist without a nation, or with several nations, among their subjects; and a nation can be coterminous with the population of one state, or be included together with other nations within one state, or be divided between several states. There were states long before nations, and there are some nations that are much older than most states which exist today..."

For a fuller discussion please see What is a nation?

From: Azmath Aboosally Mohamed, Stratford Upon Avon
Warwickshire, UK, 21 February 2001

It's very difficult to decide what exactly to say to you. I do not, in any way, want whoever reads this to interpret it as any kind of hate mail. This is not hate mail.. I certainly agree that it was the 'Sinhalaya Jayaveva' attitude that was/is the root cause of this problem (if I may be so bold as to use such a trivial word to describe what has and is obviously still going on).

However, does the answer lie in total separation from the Sri Lankan mainland? To make more sense of what may seem like bullshit rambling, take into account the Israel - Palestine conflict which, as I come to understand, has been going on for as long as the two countries have existed and shows no signs of stopping. One side hits another and the other retaliates, and knowing the average Sinhalese thug (as with any over patriotic, uneducated lout of any race) it would be safe to say that the only way he is going to react to the sudden surrender of a third of 'his country' is through violence. Unless you are willing to promise that the average Tamil man or woman has an almost inhuman power of foresight and restraint in his reaction to the death of his or her family at the hand of a Sinhalese mob (a situation which would drive any human, including me, to violence), I cannot see the logic in the solution the LTTE put forward.

Another danger we, as a nation may face is that, like post First World War, Germany, a loss in the war would leave Sri Lanka with a badly bruised national ego, and an atmosphere highly conducive to the rise of an extreme nationalist regime, like Hitler and the Nazi party in Germany. A situation like this, as you may well agree would be immensely dangerous to all minorities, but especially to the Tamils.

Belonging to a minority myself, I have felt the effects of the policies of the chauvinistic Sinhala politicians, namely the Sinhala only act, forcing my family to have to be educated both in international schools and abroad. Although this doesn't give me even the slightest idea of the kind of persecution the Tamils faced at the hands of the Sinhalese, it has given me a sense of cultural and racial alienation as well as a lack of a national identity. In other words I have been made to feel that I'm not Sri Lankan coz I'm not Sinhalese.

Perhaps I am being the naive teenager that everyone expects me to be when I say in more words than is necessary, why can't we all just get along. In my defence however, the Nation of Islam wanted a separate living space for the black people in the United States itself. That was at a time when racial conflict was at its highest in America the 1960's, today however the situation is much improved, although it is not perfect, the call for a separate home land has subsided, something viewed by most to be a good thing. As a person who views religion and race as the worst enemies of peace, the only answer I can see is the separation of religion from politics and government and the implementation of a neutral common language (English).

I am really looking forward to hearing what you have to say. .. as I plan to incorporate your feedback in an upcoming seminar I am conducting at the Stratford upon Avon College.

Our Response: Why can't we all just get along? Ofcourse, we can - and we should. But 'getting along' does not mean the subservience of one people to the rule of another alien people. 'Getting along' means that each people recognise the existence of the other as a people. 'Getting along' means agreeing the terms on which two independent peoples may associate with one another in equality and in freedom. It is true that the German defeat in the first World War coupled with the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles led to the rise of Hitler. But it is also true that German defeat in the Second World War, did not have the same consequences, but led to the creation of the European Economic Community and later the European Union, where a political framework was created for the free association of independent nations. The lessons of the First World War and the Treaty of Versailles had been learnt by both the defeated and by the victors. It is said that the wise learn from the experience of others and that the foolish do not learn even by their own experience. The question which faces the peoples of the Indian region, including those in the island of Sri Lanka, is whether they too have to go through the pain and suffering of cataclysmic conflict before learning the lessons that Europe learnt albeit after two world wars.

Again, it is true that the Nation of Islam wanted a separate living space for the black people in the United States. But, several factors may have, together, contributed to the failure of that effort. One factor was that the black people in the United States are dispersed and do not live in a contiguous territory. They live interspersed with the whites, in the same way as the plantations Tamils live in the central parts of the island of Sri Lanka.

Again, though the Nation of Islam sought to build a togetherness around the Islamic religion, the majority of blacks in the United States continued to retain their Christian faith. Nations cannot be created to order. They grow through a process of opposition and differentiation. It is nature and nurture - it is not either or but both.

The common language that the blacks in the USA share with the non blacks has also helped to bridge to some extent the divisions amongst the different ethnic groups. But in the case of the peoples of the Indian region, with their separate (and rich) literary traditions, it will be futile to believe that a togetherness can be built by English speaking Indians (constituting less than 10% of the total population) speaking to each other in English. The togetherness of the one world of the future, with Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, and Tamil (to mention a few of the world languages) will be built by recognising the rich contribution that each language makes to that togetherness - it will not come by recourse to an English strait jacket.

In the case of the US, conflict has also been reduced (some may say, postponed) by the continuing growth of its GNP - a larger cake reduces acrimony concerning questions of how the cake should be shared. If the GNP becomes static, or if there is a serious depression, ethnic conflicts have a way of coming to the forefront. The Indian region, with a 'third world economy', may not have a large enough cake to share without the emergence of destabilising violence. There may be a need to secure an equitable political framework in order that the peoples of the region may then be energised to secure economic growth. We cannot go forward by denying our separateness. But we can go forward by recognising our separateness and by associating in equality and in freedom. We take the view that the political framework of the emerging Indian Union will need to promote the free association of the separate peoples of the Indian region - and here, the European Union serves as a pointer to that which we may need to achieve.

From: Ravishankar Dixit, 16 February 2001

Though my mail to you contained a few obscenities for which I owe apologies to you, you have elucidated a concept that is very relevant in a very tolerant tone. Thanks for such a maturity.

Mr. Nadesan Satyendra's commentaries and opinions are thoroughly compiled and presented as a reaction to my outburst. There is a very conscious effort on your side to make me understand things that I might not have. But, I am an Indian and I repeat that. I uphold that which is Indian basically. A Tamilian is not basically un-Indian. He might even represent the whole sub-culture of the South India.

According to me, Tamilian separatism stems from a deeply rooted psychological reason which can be applied to a mass. Tamil language for example, is loud (not being offensive here). If five languages are spoken simultaneously, Tamil is the one which can be recognized immediately. Tamils have a distinct taste for strong colours like deep red, dark green and dark . Tamils are the ones who showed nationalistic fervour when Kannadigas, Telugus, Malayalees and others in South India were virtually sleeping. Tamils are the ones who stand apart in a loud way. As I gather through my limited Tamil knowledge, Tamil has extreme words for even milder substances, strong intonations; the usage of 'ta' and 'ra' which are considered to be harsh consonants are the most easily identifiable phenomenon of Tamil.

The reason behind this elaboration is to analyse the mass-psychology of the body of Tamil people. I am not even a poor student of history or geography or even literature, but as a common Indian who has a sensibility whose wavelength matches that of common-Indian-sense, I have my own opinions and thoughts regarding this effort of a Tamil Nation. With this background knowledge, what I feel is that Tamil culture has a deep and very edgy sensitivity. This sensitivity has become the reason for the willingness to 'stand apart', 'show to this world' and 'stand up and in front'. There is this wretched question of Brahminism and Non-Brahminism in Tamil Nadu too. Iyers and Iyengars who by and large make up most of the opinion-building and pathfinders of ideologies are shunned away by the non-Brahmin society. Iyers and Iyengars do have to be extremely canny, smart and opportunistic in Tamil Nadu to get what they want. While the Brahmins of Tamil Nadu are extremely touchy about being proud Tamilians, others hate them. While they hate others, they would not go as far as to belittle the Tamilness which is essentially the same factor that forms their ideological inclinations as those of the non-Brahmins. The issue of Brahmins and Non-Brahmins is not such a mangled one, in say, Karnataka or Andhra or even Maharashtra (where I believe Brahministic superiority sways its head in a vulgarity unseen anywhere).

This sensitivity has been carefully nurtured by the Cholas, Cheras and all others. Tamilnadu is on the eastern side of Karnataka. Karnataka which is the western demon to Tamilnadu has been built upon the ideologies of the 13th Shankaracharya of Sringer Mutt Vidyaranya (again a Brahmin!). Tamils see Kannadigas as their evil twin, since they are towards their west. Kannadigas are the traitors, cunning people holding the flowing water and the slayers of Tamil kings. These curious insights towards the animosity grown within the Tamil psyche have been carefully grafted by the political ideology of exclusivism, Tamil-supremacy propaganda and the almost ridiculous EVP anti-Rama agenda of yore. The chequered mass-mentality of Tamil Nadu is extremely difficult to rationalize. The extremely intelligent Tamil, the supremely hard-working Tamil, the highly sensitive Tamil is also the most vulnerable to chauvinism. This chauvinism is encashed by the political hegemony of the state. Tamil political agenda are in no way different than say that of Bihar's politicians or Gujarat's.

The history of Sri Lankan Tamils that has been presented here in this site is no different than a biased, opportunistic, populist, mass-sympathy-encashing propaganda. The atrocities against Tamils are ofcourse condemnable, but at the same time, it is the headlong attitudes of the Tamils that make them easy targets everywhere they go.

Less on an ideological side, my own experiences with Tamils have been a mixture of extremely calm, serene and friendly reach-outs to irritating and most discouraging encounters of chauvinistic attitudes.

As I told you, I am not even a student of history. I just rationalize things with common sense and with the knowledge that I get from reading and observation. Thanks for the elaborative insights into the ever-surprising Tamil mind though!

Though I never hope for a separate Tamil nation to exist, I always wish all Tamilians to live in a way that is dignified and with their own cultural identity respected by everyone in India. That can only happen when Tamils stop feeling too touchy and sympathetic about themselves and commingle their aspirations and ambitions with that of the common, less-fortunate (and culturally inferior according to Tamils) states (like Karnataka, Kerala or up Bihar). Good luck. Thanks.

Our Response: There is one matter to which we may usefully respond - and that is the view that you have expressed that the matters presented in this site are 'biased, opportunistic, populist, mass-sympathy-encashing propaganda'. The Oxford English Dictionary defines propaganda as 'any association, systematic scheme or concerted movement for the propagation of a particular doctrine or practise' and to the extent that we are concerned to propagate our stated mission of nurturing the growing togetherness of the Tamil people, it is perhaps right to say that it is engaged in 'propaganda'. But it is in this 'neutral' sense of the word 'propaganda' and not in a pejorative sense, that we would describe our efforts. We seek to present the matters relevant to the history, language, literature, culture, suffering and aspirations of the Tamil people (living today in many lands) in a fair and truthful manner, and the extent to which we have succeeded (or failed), is ofcourse, a matter that visitors to the website will judge for themselves. At the same time, we have often asked ourselves why it is that we write and we have found Sundara Ramasamy's reflections in this regard helpful. We do not agree that 'it is the headlong attitudes of the Tamils that make them easy targets everywhere they go'. Here, a fair minded perusal of Sri Lanka's Broken Pacts and Evasive Proposals may prove useful.

"One of the essential elements that must be kept in mind in understanding the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict is that, since 1958 at least, every time Tamil politicians negotiated some sort of power-sharing deal with a Sinhalese government - regardless of which party was in power - the opposition Sinhalese party always claimed that the party in power had negotiated away too much. In almost every case - sometimes within days - the party in power backed down on the agreement." - (Professor Marshall Singer, at US Congress Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Hearing on Sri Lanka November 14,1995)

Chauvinism is the expression of an exaggerated nationalism. tamilnation.org is not chauvinist. We do not say that we are better than other peoples. We say that we are as good as - and that we too, are a people, and have made and will continue to make a rich contribution, as such people, to the one world to which we all belong.

From: Bill Zegarlowicz, 14 February 2001

A question of separation: I am much interested in the struggle for Tamil independence in Sri Lanka. As a matter of fact I need much information, which your site has provided some of. I have two major questions which I need answered.... Why is it that Tamils in Sri Lanka are seeking to gain independence at the cost of millions when peace is free? Lastly, what nations of the world have aided the Tamils cause in Sri Lanka and in what way?

Response by tamilnation.org: The peace that comes from surrender to alien rule is not free, but comes at a price. The price that the people of Tamil Eelam have paid for Sinhala rule will appear from the documented record, Indictment Against Sri Lanka. Additionally, it may be useful to recognise the assimilative approach of Sinhala Buddhist fundamentalism. "What is the point in all this?" and "Why Division?" may also provide some insights. We ourselves have found Clausewitz's comment to be helpful:

"The would be conqueror is always a lover of peace, for he would like to enter and occupy our country unopposed. It is in order to prevent him from doing this that we must be willing to engage in war and be prepared for it."

India aided the Tamil struggle to a limited extent in the early 1980s - but unsurprisingly, that support was limited by its own perceived geo political interests. Unsurprising, because apart from anything else, all states have a shared interest in securing existing territorial boundaries and the International Frame of the Tamil Struggle examines some of these related issues. Here, it may be helpful to remember that, for instance, India's struggle for freedom led by Mahatma Gandhi eventually succeeded, though it did not have the support of the then international community, which thought it prudent to support the continuance of the British Empire. As we have said often, if democracy means the rule of the people, by the people and for the people, then it also follows that no one people may rule another alien people. It is this appeal to democracy which secures the enduring appeal of struggles for freedom - and their eventual success.

From: Dulamani Liyanage UK, 9 February 2001

Dear webmaster, Prasanna Withanage's Pura Handa Kaluwara, the subject of your article of 22nd November 2000 - Tales of Two Ambassadors by Sachi Sri Kantha, will be shown in London on the 25th of February 2001. The film will be shown at the Edgware Cinemax, Station road, Edgware, at 12:00 noon. (opposite Edgware Underground - Nothern Line) We would like as many Tamils as possible to come and see this anti-war movie which is banned in Sri Lanka under the military censorship. The director will be present at the screening. The film will be shown as a double bill with his other film Anantha Rathriya. We would appreciate if you could pass this information to the Tamil community in the UK. If you need any more details of the screening, please contact, Dulamani - 07932 661543.

From: Darren J. Moore, US 8 February 2001

Hello, my name is Darren Moore and I have been reading a lot on Indian history. I had no idea that the Dravidian people had been treated so maliciously. I guess it is the same old story like what happened in the Americas, South Africa and elsewhere. It seems to be a very destructive pattern with so much emphasis and importance being placed on skin color. I am an American of African descent and know that it is all around. Its a shame that most people don't know how deeply ingrained racism truly is. I empathize.

From: A Visitor, USA, 3 February 2001

Freedom is not Free by Cheryl Berger

Why do we call it freedom
when freedom is not free.
The cost was blood and sweat
and tears that bought our liberty.

Look beyond our nation's banner
waving proudly in the breeze
Across the plains and mountains
thru the valleys, o'er the seas.

And see a people of variety
living side by side
In God we trust, our motto
just laws our leaders' guide.

Yet some still take for granted
they neglect to understand
How great a sacrifice was made
to dwell in this free land.

For many left their loved ones
their friends, their families
Standing true to oaths once taken
to defend our liberties.

Holding fast they fought for freedom
both at home and then abroad
Spilling blood upon the waters
o'er the ground on which they trod.

Wounded from the many battles
in mire and blood their bodies lay
The dead with mouths wide open
forming words they'd never say.

Seeing eyes no longer seeing
hearing ears no longer hear
Hearts once beating stilled and quiet
loved ones close no longer near.

And though their hopes and dreams were shattered
let their deaths not be in vain
We must keep forever burning
freedom's torch, the victor's flame.

For they died for you, America
your freedom was not free
For t'was their blood and sweat and tears
that bought your liberty.

So when you speak again of freedom
may your hearts be filled with pride
And your gratitude for those
who for your freedom fought and died.

From: Nagalingam Ethirveerasingham, USA, 21 January 2001

Your annotated response to the President of Sri Lanka is an excellent analysis of her speech. I hope she, her advisers, and the Sinhala people can read your commentary to understand what the Tamil people think of her speech full of lies and half-truths. The Sinhala people are also being fed with lies and distorted views of the Tamil aspirations by the government and the dailies in SL. It is a lesson to those Tamils in and out of Sri Lanka who sit on the fence or assist the SLG with the false hope of receiving justice. Thank you for your mission to bring justice to the Tamil people.

From: Jagbirsingh, USA, 16 January 2001

The Vegetarian Myth: We are of the opinion that vegetarianism is a myth that holds no scriptural water. For upholding the Truth and denouncing this blot on the Sanatana Dharma, myself had to endure a marathon spamming by certain tamilnation.org members. Now we have provided 28 pages of PDF text titled The Vegetarian Myth. If tamilnation.org claims to uphold the Truth we dare them to print this comment so that every visitor will have the opportunity to examine the myth of vegetarianism. However, we feel this email may not be posted as Truth is sometimes as shunned as meat.

Response by tamilnation.org: Vannakam. It appears that some body (or bodies) have used the tamilnation.org web address in postings to your site. Please be assured that we have had nothing whatever to do with these postings.

From: Thaya, Eelam 6 January 2001

I wish to send my response to Mr.S.Thillairajah's message that appeared on the 1st of January on Tamilnation. It is in a poetry form. I would appreciate if it is published for I like the message to reach all my people living abroad.

Response by a refugee

The message for your dear ones
In our war-torn home land
Does give us hope! Nevertheless,
It brings back the darkest memories…

It might be the same 'darkness'
As you describe, you and I experience
But we pay the prize here
For the traumatic episodes dear!
The irreplaceable human loss is close to us
As our loved ones are blown into pieces
Or maimed for life by the cluster shells!
Some of them even sleep in the mass graves!
Our houses have been turned into tombs
Even the toilet pits have become the graves
The bare necessities have become luxuries
Detention, torture and murder are our monsters!
Panic, psychic numbing, dissociation,
Paralysis of action, confused behavioural patterns
Denial, Distortion and stress reactions!
We battle to overcome these feelings!
'Suffering with someone' demands action
It originates with identification
It calls for total participation
It also requires a heart of compassion!
The redeemer has come already,
Not one, but many!
They are those who lay down the lives for a cause
But it is up to us to identify them all!
We all hunger and thirst for peace with justice
But the cost of it is the discipleship!
It is based on commitment and sacrifice
And devotion to the leadership!
Let us not wait with hope,
Rather join together and work with the hope
That the long awaited liberation
Will be a reality, and not an illusion!

From: Punithan Rajoo 5 January 2001

I humbly bring to your notice that the above (Bhavad Gita) is an appreciated task but incomplete to its credentials as a spiritual text. A brief summary as such would not suffice the transcendental needs of a true "bakta"(devotee). The literature work done by Swami Prabhupada (may peace be upon him) is/was unparalleled for spiritualist and the and materialist to read under the guidance of a spiritual master. The text is available in the iskon web site link.

Response by tamilnation.org: Mikka Nanri. The link to Swami Prabhupada's English translation has now been included.

From: Sara Ananthan, Australia, 1 January 2000

I am enthralled and enlightened by Mr.Siva Ratnam's in depth article. I agree that science and religion are two different aspects of life. He also wrote about the divinity of our ancient temples in Eelam. Their very names evoke spirituality and reverence amongst Eelam Tamils. But many people outside Eelam would not have known much about them. It would be a great service if description of these temples with their concise history or "Thala Varalaru" were also be incorporated in the section - Spirituality & Tamil Nation . Once again my sincere thanks to tamilnation.org for providing us such a useful Tamil National Forum.

Response by tamilnation.org: It may also be useful to explore the views of K.M.Pannikar on the Hindu Reformation and in particular his examination of the 'fundamentalist' Arya Samaj and the 'reformist' Brahmo Samaj movements. On the question of religion and science, the reflections of the discoverer of the atom bomb, *Julius Robert Oppenheimer in Science and the Common Understanding (Oxford University Press, 1954) may help to bring to bear an additional perspective:

"The general notions about human understanding ... which are illustrated by discoveries in atomic physics are not in the nature of things wholly unfamiliar, wholly unheard of, or new. Even in our own culture they have a history, and in Buddhist and Hindu thought a more considerable and central place. What we shall find is an exemplification, an encouragement, and a refinement of old wisdom... To what appear to be the simplest questions, we will tend to give either no answer or an answer which will at first sight be reminiscent more of a strange catechism than of the straightforward affirmatives of physical science. If we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say "no"; if we ask whether the electron's position changes with time, we must say "no", if we ask whether the electron is at rest, we must say "no"; if we ask whether it is in motion, we must say "no." The Buddha has given such answers when interrogated as to the conditions of a man's self after his death; but they are not the familiar answers for the tradition of seventeenth and eighteenth century science..." [see also The Song of Ashtavakra]

From: Arul Dass, Malaysia, 1 January 2001

May This Year Bring Victory. I've made many visits to your website. I'm sure that the year 2001 will brings happiness to our Tamil people in Eelam. Sathya Yugam is now replacing Kali Yugam. Whatever measures that may be taken by other parties to undermine the Tamil struggle wanting to have their homeland, they will definitely have no effect anymore. May This Year bring victory to the Tamils' Sathya Porrattam. May God be always with Sathyam. Thanking you.

From: Pathy Gana, Malaysia, 1 January 2000

The Aryan Light Skinned Myth: In the Mahabarata, Dronacharya is referred to as a black Brahmana, Beema one of the Pandava brothers is dark-skinned so are Krishna, Vedvyasa and more.They were Aryans. In actuality Aryan means one who maintains or follows the dharma. In Tamil they are referred to as Maravas.

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