The Sunday Leader

Time To Establish A Self-governed Tamil State In Canada

By Blind Spot

The issue regarding a separate homeland for the Tamils of the world has been a matter that has evoked considerable interest over the past half a century or so. From the 1950s to about the early1980s, a strong campaign took place in India for the carving out of a separate state of Dravidastan in the southern part of India. That campaign reached a level where it nearly threatened the break-up of India, but with some strong arm tactics and quiet diplomacy, India was able to manage the issue. Nevertheless, as is well known, the yearning is still strong among the Tamils in India to set up a separate state, and many are waiting for a new spark from anywhere in the world to trigger the call once again.

The Tamils in Sri Lanka too had attempted to establish a separate State in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka, even prior to Sri Lanka’s independence from the British, and have made many efforts to realize such a goal.

Interestingly, when the call for a separate state in Sri Lanka was mooted, it was no secret that the Tamils in Tamil Nadu were overtly and covertly assisting the effort of the Sri Lankan Tamils to do so. That support was akin to the support that the Tamils in Sri Lanka gave to the Tamils in India when the Tamils in India tried to realize their dream of a Dravidastan nation. In fact, it is well known that Tamils in India weresupporting the Tamils in Sri Lanka, not because of their sympathy or affinity towards the Tamils in Sri Lanka, but rather as a result oftheir own compelling desire to create a separate Tamil State, which then, could be of benefit for all Tamils, worldwide.
Unfortunately, the separatist effort in Sri Lanker transformed itself into a violentand terror phase because of the ruthlessness of the terrorist leader Prabhakaran.

But even so, the Tamils worldwide tolerated the terror and the cash extortions, since they perceived Prabhakaran as the possible conduit through whom the elusive Tamil homeland could be won for all Tamils of the world.

It is estimated that there are about 100 million Tamils living in many countries across the world. Therefore that makes them one of the few races in the world with such a large population, yet without a geographical land mass to call their own. This drawback perhaps may be the psychological factor that drives the Tamils’ inner desire to carve out a homeland of their own in some part of the world. However, since their attempts to do so in India and Sri Lanka have failed, it is necessary for the Tamils to now examine the option of identifying a new location or a part of a country to create a homeland of their own.

It is only if they are able to do so, that they will be able to practice self-determination, nurture their culture, and protect their customs in a comprehensive and sustainable manner.
To achieve that vision, three important factors need to be fulfilled in the identification of a country to host the Tamil nation. First,that country must be sympathetic to the cause of the Tamils, and be one which would encourage the Tamils to express themselves in their own style. Second, that country must already have a critical mass of Tamils. Third, that country must have a sufficient land mass to be able to allocate an area of (say) 200,000 square kilometers to set up such a new Tamil homeland. Then, the billion dollar question would be: who would fit those specifications?

A host country that could comfortably fulfill the conditions as referred to above, is undoubtedly Canada. Canada is the second largest country in the world. It has a land mass of almost 10 million square kilometers, which makes it 153 times the size of Sri Lanka! It practices bilingualism and is one of the most ethnically diverse, multi-cultural nations. It has a population of only 35 million. Nearly 15% of its people are Asians, with a large proportion of them being Tamils. Canada is already divided into three territories and ten Provinces, many of which are very sparsely populated. That also suggests that the influx of a few million new immigrants to Canada could be accommodated without much tension or displacement of the existing population. In addition, Canada’s Constitution provides for a significant degree of autonomy to its Provinces, which would conveniently allow a new ethnic group to establish themselves as an autonomous group, living in a specified location within a Federal system of government.

The number of Tamils living in Canada as Canadian citizens is estimated be around one million, and therefore a critical Tamil population mass has already been established in that country. Many Tamils from Sri Lanka and India have made Canada their home and serve Canada diligently and loyally. In return, Canada has been sympathetic and generous towards them. At the same time, based upon the benign and tolerant attitude that the Canadians have developed towards minorities, the Canadians have also been able to understand and appreciate the aspirations of the Tamil people. Therefore,Canada will be in a position to actively provide the Tamils with the opportunity to express themselves in a separate State of their own. Moreover, many European Canadians, especially the current leadership in Canada, have openly supported the Tamils’aspirations to establish a separate homeland for the Tamil people. They have done so at many world fora,and also canvassed for the Tamils at many global organizations, including the UN. Taking all these factors into consideration, Canada seems to be the ideal host country to provide the necessary framework for the Tamils of the world to help establish their own nation.

The recent demonstration by a fewTamil students in Canada has given expression to this growing sentiment, and that must now be recognized by the Canadian authorities. Hence, a suitable official response should be given by Canada to the Tamils of the world, without allowing such peaceful demonstrations to take the shape of more violent expressions, as those that took place in Sri Lanka and India. In that regard, the best course of action for Canada would be to respond in a fair manner and grant the Tamils in Canada the freedom to exercise self-determination in a demarcated part of Canada in a land area of around 200,000 square kilometers, which would, in effect, be only about 2% of its massive land mass. That would then provide the Tamils in Canada the political and economic space to engage in self-rule within the demarcated territory, thereby fulfilling a long felt need of the Tamils.

In that context, the Province of Manitoba in Canada seems to be the ideal Province from which a suitable segment of land could be conveniently demarcated for the new Tamil nation, since that Province has one of the lowest population densities in the world. This new nation of the Tamils could, in due course, accommodateTamils from India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius, Fiji and any other country, who wish to migrate and make a home in the new nation within the Canadian territory, in much the same way that the Jews from different lands migrated and settled in Palestine, and established the new state of Israel.

This type of a gesture by Canada would not only be a magnanimous humanitarian expression, but also one which would surely position the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper as the foremost contender for the next Nobel Peace Prize. Even more importantly, that action would also lead to the Tamils of the world being finally able to realize their cherished dream of having a separate nation for themselves, with land under their control, and with their own government.

29 Comments for “Time To Establish A Self-governed Tamil State In Canada”

  1. rakavan

    The author is blind as well as dumb.

  2. Premalal Ferdinando

    There should also be about 10% sinhalese living in this Tamil homeland so that the Tamil majority gets a chance to discriminate against them.

  3. ranjit demel

    who is this idiotic writer..

  4. Malin

    Tamils is the only ethnic entity that does not have a country on their own. They tried India first and then Sri Lanka to form a nation calling their own but failed. I therefore strongly endorse the above suggestion that the Tamils be given separate state/country in Canada and Canadian PM should give this matter a serious thought and help the Tamils a country of their own in Canada.Taking all these factors into consideration discussed in this article, Canada seems to be the ideal host country to provide the necessary framework for the Tamils of the world to help establish their own nation.

  5. Tamils for Canada

    I think this is the best idea I’ve seen for a very long time in this conflict. A brilliant and well researched thought process. This would resolve many “homeland” issues for the Tamils everywhere, especially those who are fighting for such a state in Sri Lanka where land mass is so limited. Why no one thought about this possibility until now is beyond me. But now that this is a possibility I’d support wholeheartedly to put this in motion so that the Canadian government can initiate the legal framework to complete this within one year so that the Sri Lankan govt doesn’t have to spent so much money in sending delegations to Geneva.

    I would even go as far as Canada giving the Tamils the entire Quttinirpaaq National Park or even Ellesmere Island which is not inhabited by anyone allowing the Tamils to be part of Canada and not having to integrate in to the western languages or cultures.

  6. marcus fernando

    i feel sorry for blind spot, for his baseless note. better he reads the mahawansa for the history about the kings of the western and southern parts of the island, the vibahamalai for the kings of the northen and eastern parts of the island.It is the british who ruled the full island for more than a century with one administration.the dutch and the portukese had different administrations.

  7. Eng. M.V.R.Perera

    will the Canadians allow such a proposal for they will support a proposal to have a Tamil state in another Country but not in their Counyry

  8. kumaraya

    How about the Palestinians, the many peoples from Africa, Syria etc where the big Western powers caused all the havoc?

  9. Max

    Parts of Toronto is already is Tamilland, these parts are avoided by the White Canadians.

  10. sana

    Tamil population in Canada is 200,000 not a million. It is 0.5% of total population of Canada.The writer has not got basic facts write, which are publicly available. Furthermore, Tamil Canadians have never have expressed interest in a separate state in Canada, probably because they were not discriminated or their security threatened.

    • sana

      Tamil population in Canada is 200,000 not a million. It is 0.5% of total population of Canada.The writer has not got basic facts right, which are publicly available. Furthermore, Tamil Canadians have never have expressed interest in a separate state in Canada, probably because they were not discriminated or their security threatened.

  11. Myil Selvan

    Once again factual inaccuracies galore in the sinhala extremist fermement. We don’t need land in Canada. Our homeland is here on this island. Those who are ignorant, narrow-minded and racist say otherwise.

  12. Hadeniya

    Wishful thinking! There are a lot of inaccuracies and misconceptions in this piece.

  13. Richard Kaz

    The homeland of Tamil people originally from the island now called Sri Lanka is the North and the East of that island. This article is a wasted argument.

  14. Sangaralingham

    No need to. Freedom to participate in daily lives with a elected democratic government that is not essential.

  15. bodhi

    Great idea. Also, 200,000 sq km is much largwer than Sri Lanka.

  16. Pras

    Excellent article. Canada should seriously consider this option if they are genuinely interested in the welfare of the Tamil people.

  17. Anil

    Very good idea to implement & Canadian PM Harper will get more votes from Tamils in Canada .
    Well done !!!!! Keep away from Sri Lanka…

  18. Bandara

    This is the dream of another famous Tamil Diaspora product; Navaneethan Pillai, the current UNHCR chair. A prominent Tamil lived as a Diaspora community member in South Africa. The tigers come in many disguises. The international community must understand why Pillai has forgotten all of her other responsibilities and taken Sri Lanka and the defeat of LTTE very personal issue. She is a product of TAMIL Diaspora looking for a soft corner on earth to establish “Dravidastan” so she and all Tamils can dream of having “Rest In Peace’ in a Tamil Homeland.

  19. ram

    First, Harper and his minions will need to learn to respect the long despised, dispossessed and hence impoverished Canadian natives and not intern then in ‘ reservations’. What happens to their children would be worth looking into if one is interested in their welfare in the least. neoCanadians do make ‘good’ preachers.

  20. Manuelpillai

    Sri Lankan Tamils have lived here in this land from time immemorial and history proves that they were in the majority in the Northern and Eastern parts of this land with their own Kings and Kingdoms.Time is coming when wisdom doesn’t prevail in allowing the Tamils to rule themselves in North and East with no hinderence, they would carve out a place of their own in what is now called Sri Lanka.

  21. THIS IS A SENSIBLE PROPOSAL.D WHILE BENEFITING THE HOST COUNTRY, BY NOT ONLY CONSOLIDATING THE LOYALTY OF THE ‘MIGRANTS’ already in residence ,WILL ALSO attract HIGHLY EDUCATED OR SKILLED WORKERS WHO DUE TO PERCEIVED HANDICAPS IN THEIR COUNTRY OF ORIGIN, WILL COME Over AND ADD Their TALENTS .

  22. sena

    I live in Canada this is a stupid suggestion .

  23. Ira de Silva

    Members of Parliament & Senator Segal

    I am forwarding an article that appeared on March 23, 2014 in a Sunday newspaper in Sri Lanka. http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2014/03/23/time-to-establish-a-self-governed-tamil-state-in-canada/. Please review it urgently as it provides a solution not only for Sri Lanka, but for Tamil Nadu, India in their goal to separate from India. In your quest to get the Tamil votes in Canada you constantly harass Sri Lanka. If you create a Tamil Eelam in Canada it would greatly help you in getting the so-called bloc of Tamil votes which could be a million or more, depending on how much each party will offer this new “province”, as you can be sure that the demands from the Tamils will be never ending.

    This solution should prove to be a win-win solution, the Tamils will have a “country” outside their homeland of Tamil Nadu, India, all Sri Lankan Tamils who want to live in a Tamil only state can emigrate to their new country greatly enhancing peace in Sri Lanka which all of you profess to want, you will no longer have to propagate lies about Sri Lanka to get Tamil votes in Canada, all the Tamils who were transported by the British to various countries as indentured labour who are now creating problems in those countries will be able to “return home”, although not to Tamil Nadu, to which they do not want to return because of the poor economic and social conditions that prevail there.

    Please consider this “solution” on a priority basis. There will be an unanimous vote in the Canadian Parliament as all political parties in Canada are in favour of the Tamils having their own “country”. It may even win for Canada, rather than just Mr. Harper, the Nobel Peace Prize.

  24. sinhala majority govt in power not willing give miniority powers equal to all community, no one above the laws. if not tamis will sepatrment will in action.then srilanka budhhist critise the india now you have go after them. mr Modi will be the prime minister, take orders or leave it. tamilnadu population 7o millions. 42 miles disatnce to both country,srilanka politician must mind the languge,OHRC srilanka failed very badly. please do not fool the public.millions and million money worsted by govt loans,

  25. warren

    thank God so at last they can take all the tamils that want to make Canada their home all so from Tamilnadu

  26. sinniah

    It is not clear why such an imagination being expressed by this Authour .

    Really TAMILS want their traditional HOMELAND in the island now called srilanka as they have had PROTECTED till 2009.

    The Auther seems to show TAMILS greedy and want to exploit others.

    But, His assumptions cannot be ruled ot totally.

    If it happens well and good.

    Tamils will show who are they and how will they lead the world through honest pious way of governing.

    Yaathum oore yaavarum kelir. i.e The whole world is my homeland and all are my kith and kin.

  27. logi

    Sure they will but before that we want to make sure you Sinhalese are punished and thet tamils in Srilanka sorry in ealam have the OWN RULE before they we have any opportunity on any other land.
    But for you info, sure you don’t know much about freedom,the people in other countries enjoy the freedom. sorry you need to grow up. We don’t have white van. no military NO GOTA and you need anymore. Sure this media will not publish because they have no answer. The tyical sinhalses mentality is to igone any logical argument or DENIAL of any truth.

  28. Chula Rajapakse

    Support entirely. Would solve alot of worlds problems Chula R

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