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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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > International Frame & the Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom> "Sri Lanka - the Country will Never be Put Together Again" - Lee Kuan Yew

THE STRUGGLE for Tamil Eelam

"Sri Lanka - the Country will Never be Put Together Again"
Lee Kuan Yew, 1998

Lee Kuan Yew: the Man and His Ideas  is the title of a book published in Singapore in 1998. Written by three Straits Times journalists Han Fook Kwang Warren Fernandez and Sumiko Tan, the book carries fresh interviews with Lee Kuan Yew on the events that shaped his life and the way he governed Singapore.

Now in his graying years - he is 74 now - the founding father of Singapore is regarded as virtually a national institution at home. In transforming a busy ramshackle port city on a resourceless island into a prosperous multi-lingual nation, he created a model for other developing countries. He left the premiership in 1990 and assumed the role of , senior minister, but wields as much prestige and influence today as he did while holding office, a distinction rarely earned by any politician in any other country.

In talking of Sri Lanka, this is what Lee Kuan Yew says: -

"We have got to live with the consequences of our actions and we are responsible for our own people and we take the right decisions for them. You look at the old Philippines. The old Ceylon. The old East Pakistan and several others. I have been to these countries and places. When I went to Colombo for the first time in 1956 it was a better city than Singapore because Singapore had three and a half years of Japanese occupation and Colombo was the centre or HQ of Mountbatten's Southeast Asia command.

And they had sterling reserves. They had two Universities. Before the war, a thick layer of educated talent So if you believe what American liberals or British liberals used to say, then it ought to have flourished. But it didn't.

One-man one-vote led to the domination of the Sinhalese majority over the minority Tamils who were the active and intelligent fellows who worked hard and got themselves penalised. And English was out. They were educated in English. Sinhalese was in. They got quotas in two universities and now they have become fanatical Tigers. And the country will never be put together again.

Somebody should have told them - change the system, loosen up, or break off. And looking back, I think the Tunku was wise. (The reference is to Tunku Abdul Rahman the Malaysian Prime Minister under whose rule Singapore separated from Malaysia). I offered a loosening up of the system. He said: "Clean cut, go your way". Had we stayed in, and I look at Colombo and Ceylon, I mean changing names, sometimes maybe you deceive the gods, but I don't think you are deceiving the people who live in them. It makes no great difference to the tragedy that is being enacted. They failed because they had weak or wrong leaders ".



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