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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 > Struggle for Tamil Eelam   > Sinhala Buddhist Ethno Nationalism - Masquerading as Sri Lankan 'Civic Nationalism' > Meeting of Sinhala Ethnonationalists in Stockholm - Report by Peter Schallk

- Masquerading as Sri Lankan 'Civic Nationalism'

Meeting of Sinhala Ethno Nationalists in Stockholm
Report by Peter Schalk

31 October  2000

On Saturday, October 28, a meeting about the conflict in Lanka took place in Stockholm arranged by the Christian socialists and the Olof Palme Foundation. The theme was Obstacles to Peace. Both organisations are serious in their approach to conflicts in the world and their ambition is to find a way out of the conflict for all parties involved. In May 2000, they had organised one meeting with Rohan Gunaratne confronting the professors John Neelsen, Margret Trawick, and me. This time, they had invited three Lankans only. The plan was to invite an Ilavan also, but there was none that wanted to join. The following Lankan speakers were invited: there was a Pautta (Buddhist) monk, the Ven. Kurunegoda Piyatissa from NY. There was a debater from London, chairman of Federation for Sinhala Organisations, Mr Douglas Wickremaratne, and a professor of history, H B N Ilangasinha from Kälaniya.

The monk spoke first. He had a special theory about the origin of the conflict. He identified the originators as Christian Tamilar who had been converted by colonial priests. Pauttar and Caivar can agree, but Pauttar and Christian Tamilar cannot. So, the obstacle for peace is the Christian Tamilar. He also said that the first Tamilar to arrive in the island was in the 15th century. When confronted with the name of Elalan, he said that Elalan was a Colan and THEREFORE he could not be a Tamil. This monk was corrected not by me, but by professor Ilangasinha. It was an embarrassing incident to find a Lankan hami corrected by a Lankan professor in public. But the professors own slogans were not better.

The professor of history spoke next. His slogans were: "There is no ethnic problem in Sri Lanka. There is only a terrorist problem". "There was no kingdom of Yalppanam". "The Aryaccakkiravarttin were not Tamilar". -We have heard this many times before, but I was astonished to hear it in the year 2000 again. The speech was an atavism.

The debater from London spoke last. He spit out all well-known defamation about the Ilavar.

The speakers' conclusion of the meeting was: The main obstacle to peace are the terrorists.

There was one single, but important point with this meeting. It showed the low level of education that these propagandists had. The Swedish listeners lost all respect. The meeting became counterproductive to the speakers’ intentions. Now the Swedish people started to understand why there is no peace in Lanka. The Lankan Ambassador in Stockholm has already lost dignity and confidence among Swedish intellectuals when she intervened in two meetings in May 2000. She violated elementary rules of conduct in Sweden and of international civil law. She behaved as if she was in Lanka.


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