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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Selected Writings
Subramaniam Sivanayagam

Subramaniam Sivanayagam, born under British colonial rule in Jaffna in 1936, has had a chequered writing career spanning nearly half a century. He has been on the editorial staff  of two Colombo newspapers, the Ceylon Daily News (1953-55) and the Ceylon Daily Mirror (1961-69). Sivanayagam was the founder editor of the Jaffna based Saturday Review, which was banned by the Sri Lanka government on 1 July 1983. Fleeing to India as a refugee, he soon headed the Madras branch of the Tamil Information Centre, London. While in India he edited the fortnightly Tamil Nation. Previously he had written for the Tamil Times, London and later for the Tamil Voice International under the pen name Kurushetran. Incarcerated in India for a one year jail term under the National Security Act, and further detained under police guard at the Madras hospital for six months - for no other reason than the fact that his views were found unpalatable to the establishment - he left India under duress in January 1993. Having spent the next one and half years in Singapore, Hongkong, and several African countries, he sought political asylum in France in June 1994. While in Paris he edited the newly launched monthly journal, Hot Spring which later shifted base to London.

see also S.Sivanayagam - One Hundred Tamils of 20th Century

1 April 2005 Tamil children orphaned by Sri Lanka�s war and tsunami - and maligned by UNICEF!

"UNICEF, an organisation that has been long playing anti-LTTE politics in Sri Lanka had according to a report counted 3516 cases of child soldiers since the war stopped in February 2002. One does not know how they did the counting. Obviously by using a telescope and a calculator. A drunken man soaked in liquor can sometimes see a pink elephant. But other mortals, however hard they try can never see a pink elephant. To the UNICEF man in Colombo, to Kadirgamar, to the columnists of the Island newspaper, neither of whom had ever set eyes on the suffering orphan Tamil children in the Vanni taken care by the LTTE and TRO, every child there must look like a child soldier..." more

12 February 2005 Sri Lanka: Witness to History - A Journalist's Memoirs, 1930-2004

In this book, veteran Sri Lankan journalist and editor S.Sivanayagam traces the roots of the ethnic problem, and records in chronological detail the troubled island�s post-independence history up to contemporary times. As a witness and a victim himself of the historical process, his account takes on the form of a first person narrative as well, while foreign correspondents and Sri Lankan journalists are themselves quoted extensively in recording the events of the war years. Apart from being the first-ever comprehensive documentation on Sri Lanka covering a period of 47 years, Sivanayagam�s own insights and his memoirs lend additional unique charm to the book.

23 January 2005 On Rumour-mongering,  Sinhala Chauvinism and Hindu's Ram

"The recent vicious instance of rumor-mongering was the spread of false rumours reporting the death of Tamil leader Velupillai Pirabakaran. Reports of the "death" of Mr. Pirabakaran are nothing new. But what is surprising is the number of people in high places who have been deriving a morbid pleasure in wishing that Mr. Pirabakaran were dead.Who are these people in high places? The President of Sri Lanka, Madame Chandrika for instance. .. At a time when the whole of Sri Lanka was reeling under the biggest disaster the country had known...how did these people occupying such seats of responsibility lose their sense of humanity to relish the prospect of the Tamil leader�s death, even it were the 'dreaded' Pirabakaran? The case of the editor of a leading Indian newspaper � The Hindu �Ram by name, is even more shameful.  No sooner than the wishful conjecture of Mr. Pirabakaran�s death spread in Sri Lanka and in the West, Ram jumped on the bandwagon. "Where is Prabakaran?" was the title of his editorial on January 11, as if that was a fit subject for an editorial in a reputed Indian newspaper, at a time when both his country and Sri Lanka were reeling under the tsunami tragedy. It was very obvious that the poor man was wishing that Mr. Pirabakaran was dead, from the kind of doubts he raised in that editorial about the Tamil leader being alive. What a disappointment for him to find Mr. Pirapaharan is very much alive..." more

5 December 2002 The �Death� and �Rebirth� of Prabhakaran

"The first-mentioned �sad� event took place in the year 1989! The happy �rebirth� occurred within 72 hours!.."

5 March 2002 An Open Letter To Lakshman Kadirgamar
2001 The Pen and the Gun, 2001 - Selected Writings 1977 to 2001

 "..Having lived a life with neither glory nor ignominy for the first fifty years of my life, the next twenty (from 1981) was to become a roller-coaster ride! Hounded  by the Sri Lankan government, escape to India by a midnight country boat, separation from  the family, jailed by the Indian government without charge for one year,  incarceration in two jails, Vellore and Madras, chained to the bed in the Madras General Hospital... a nomadic life for one and a half years through six to seven countries... There are no regrets however. Journalism is no journalism if it lacks passion. But it goes with a price. Having paid that price, I believe this book is its own reward..."

11 March 2001 An Open Letter to the American Ambassador in Sri Lanka

"..Mr.Ambassador, you say you have lived in Sri Lanka for six months. I have lived in that country for 53 years, born and bred there along with my Tamil forefathers for several centuries; long before America was discovered. So I should know that country better. Today, I am 70 years old, having spent 17 years in the evening of my life searching for some country in "this globalizing world" to take me in. You say you have lived in Romania, South Africa, the West Indies, Yugoslavia, Belgium, India; in good comfort I believe. I have been to as many countries as you have - even more - but as a refugee, a wanderer, cut off from my family, looking for safety. That was because that country which in my naivety I thought was my own made me a "wanted man". Not because I was a terrorist Sir, not even by the American yardstick..." more

15 September 2000 Asian Age & Truth

"While not wishing to dispute figures as given in your paper, may I take the liberty (as one who has been in the journalistic field for 45 years), to suggest that you please adopt some safe journalistic norms while reporting. Instead of merely saying 98 killed and 230 killed, your sub-editors could either put the news within quotes, or source the information to the Sri Lankan government, such as, "230 Tigers killed, claims government." Your readers might not be conscious of the fact that your correspondents and news agencies are merely passing on to you what the government tells them. They accept whatever you publish as authentic information that you provide them; hence, as a news paper of some standing it is your credibility that would be a stake. Truth being the first casualty in war, one would prefer that The Asian Age does not become the second casualty in the process..."

13 May 2000 The State against the Tamils: A Historical Overview
1 November 1999 The Birth Throbs of a New Nation State
August 1999 Neelan Tiruchelvam � The Assassination & the Fall-Out
15 March 1999 The Role of Tamil Expatriates, S.Sivanayagam, Hot Spring Editorial

"...A child of the new millennium asks: "Grandpa, where were you when the Tamil people were fighting for freedom in Sri Lanka?". "Well, I was minding my own business, darling, and making pots of money, here in England"..." more

27 November 1994 On Reading the Tamil Mind -  A Response to Ketheswaran Loganathan
16 October 1994 War and Peace and the Tamil Mind
15 January 1987 On S.Nadesan Q.C. - A Life Extraordinary

"In Asian Societies where popular adulation is mostly reserved for politicians and cinema stars it would be foolish to try to remember the lives of men like S. Nadesan by conventional yardsticks. To say that the country in which he was born and which he served, the profession in which he distinguished himself and the people among whom he lived are deeply poorer by his loss, would be a trite tribute; and a hardly adequate one. In a world that searches for consensus at the lowest common denominator, Mr. Nadesan exemplified the highest common denominator. He was an uncommon man. He will remain a perennial symbol of individual excellence; a nonconformist who stood outside systems and conventions, but yet made a mark in public life..." more

1 October 1985

Concerning April 1956

"It was the 5th April, 1956. Almost a 30-year old memory. I was journeying to Colombo from Jaffna, and had boarded the night mail at Kokuvil, one station north of Jaffna. I had found myself a comfortable corner seat in a 3rd class compartment, and in those days, (as it is probably even now) securing a corner seat in a Jaffna-Colombo train was no mean achievement. When the train grated to a halt at the Jaffna station, the sight that met my eyes puzzled me. Instead of the usual bustling and jostling with people charging in with upraised bags and baggage there was a kind of mute inactivity..." more

12 August 2005  'Tiger Terror' - A Response to the London Times
15 March 1985 On C.Suntharalingam
15 January 1985 Tell the World What We Want

" Do we want a Tamil Eelam ... or a "viable alternative" to Tamil Eelam. If it is going to be "viable alternative", what does that mean ? Does that mean District Councils, Provincial Councils, Regional Councils and Village Councils, or regional autonomy, specila autonomy or Federalism ? What do we want � Fish, Flesh, Fowl or Pure Veg. ?.. Gentlemen, it is time we tell our friends, tell the world, and above all, tell our own people, what we want. And tell it publicly. Out with it, please...  It is our failure to spell out our objective that makes the world think that it is non-achievable. The Tamil man is known to survive many a crisis. What is left to be proved is that we can even triumph in a crisis."

15 January 1985 You can help combat  Sri Lanka Government Terrorism - Here is How...



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