Thursday, May 28, 2009

History of Tamil Persecution

Tamils, belonging to the Dravidian Race are the original inhabitants of India. They have been persecuted since ages. The first attack on Dravidians are done by the nomadic Aryans who were looking for an ideal country to settle in. This happened couple of thousands of years back.

There is a language called Brahui, which is spoken in parts of Balochistan Province in Pakistan. This language belongs to the Dravidian Family of languages. Some historians consider that Brahui might be a remnant of the language spoken in the Indus Valley Civilisation. This itself proves that Tamils are persecuted since hundreds of years.

As Aryans advanced, Tamils were pushed into what is called as the present day Tamilnadu in Southern part of India. The Britishers took Tamils to Srilanka and Malaysia to work in the Tea Gardens. Even for this day, Tamils in Malaysia are persecuted by the Muslim majority country through its "Bhumiputra" policy.

British policy of Divide and Rule placed the minority Tamils capturing most of the Government jobs in British Srilanka and once Independence was granted to Srilanka in 1948, the majority Sinhalese saw this domination of Tamils in Government jobs as a strategy to keep the majority sinhalese in Control and in 1956, they came out with a "Sinhala Only Language" (Official Language Act) making Sinhala as the only official language of Srilanka.

This enraged the Tamils and they protested through Satyagraha (Non Violence). Sinhalese mobs reacted through violence and killed more than 300 Tamils in what is called as the "58 Riots". Sinhalese gangs attacked Tamil labourers in Polonnaruwa farms. Tamils who tried to hide in sugar-cane fields were surrounded there and the fields set ablaze by the mobs. Those who fled were clubbed down or hit by machetes. In Hinguarkgoda, rioters ripped open the belly of an eight-month-pregnant woman, and left her to bleed to death.

Here is a list of Anti Tamil Riots in Srilanka:

* Gal Oya (1956)
* 1958 riots (1958)
* 1977 riots (1977)
* Jaffna library (1981)
* Black July (1983)
* Welikada (1983)
* Kalutara (1997)
* Bindunuwewa (2000)

All these riots let to the formation of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Background for Black July Riots:

The events dubbed Black July began after members of the terrorist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (the Tamil Tigers or the LTTE) organization ambushed a military convoy in the North of Sri Lanka on the evening of July 23, 1983 outside the town of Jaffna in the North of Sri Lanka.

In the July 23 massacre of 13 soldiers, initially, a road-side bomb was detonated beneath the jeep that was leading the convoy, injuring at least two soldiers on board. As soldiers traveling in a truck which was following the jeep dismounted to help their colleagues, they were ambushed by a group of Tamil Tiger fighters, who fired at them with automatic weapons and hurled grenades at them. In the ensuing clashes, one officer and 12 soldiers died immediately, while two more were fatally wounded, bringing the total death toll to 15 along with number of terrorists.Kittu, a regional commander of the LTTE later admitted to planning and carrying out the ambush.

This enraged the Sinhalese and in the following days, massacred 3000 Tamils.

Now, with LTTE wiped out of Srilanka, India should ensure that Tamils were given equal powers along with Sinhalese in the Government.

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