Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism: Its Origins and Development in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

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UBC Press, 2000 - Political Science - 203 pages

Through a succession of key stages since Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) became independent in 1948, its Tamil minority, historically concentrated in the north and east but with an important segment in Colombo, became alienated from the Sinhalese majority and, after peaceful opposition failed to secure its rights, resorted to an armed struggle.

The Tamil Tigers (LTTE) today appear to hold the key to their people’s future. While they have suffered setbacks, including the loss of the Tamil capital, Jaffna, they remain a potent guerrilla force, able to strike with impunity at both military and civilian targets. The Tigers’ grip on the Tamil population seems secure, as does their overseas support and funding from Tamil exiles in Britain, Canada, and Australia.

This book offers a concise history of the Sri Lankan Tamil nation, its culture, social make-up, and political evolution. In a final chapter, A. J. V. Chandrakanthan gives a first-hand account of life and attitudes inside the embattled Tamil areas today.

A. Jeyaratnam Wilson teaches in the Department of Political Science at the University of New Brunswick. He is the author of The Break-Up of Sri Lanka and S. J. V. Chelvanayakam and the Crisis of Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism. A. J. V. Chandrakanthan teaches in the Department of Theology at Concordia University, Montreal.


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Navalar did not assist Percival in Bible revision (not translation which was already extant from 1779).
Arumuga Navalar left Percival as a student, See Morning Star Aug 1848 and Christianity in
Ceylon Tennent,1849.
Rev. Elijah Hoolewas employed by Percival as the native assistant in Bible translation. Elijah Hoole also translated the book of Common Prayer. They were ordained the same day into the Anglican Church from the Methodist.
Hindu NationalistPropaganda should not be repeated, It further marginalizes and threatens the Christians in Jaffna andCeylon,
Why ask a rabid Hindu, though born a Christian and baptised Piraat by the Dutch Reformed Church =when C,W, Thamotharampillai,Carol bothB, A were there and more qualified and able than Navalar.
It would appear that the entire narrative on Navalar needs revisiting. The whole Navalar story seems a nationalist, religio-communalist hoax imposed on the rest of us.


Nineteenth Century and up till 1930
G G Ponnambalam the AllCeylon Tamil
Tamil Nationalism the Tamil Federal Party
A J V Chandrakanthan
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About the author (2000)

A. Jeyaratnam Wilson, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of New Brunswick, Canada, has written extensively on Sri Lankan politics and Tamil nationalism, and was for several years the late President Jayewardene's adviser on Tamil affairs. A.J.V. Chandrakanthan (contributor) is Professor of Theology at Concordia University, Montreal.

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