Feature Article

'Conquerors feed language to the conquered'

[TamilNet, Sunday, 24 January 2010, 01:45 GMT]
The signboard in the illustration, displayed outside of a newly started food joint along the A9 Highway in the Tamil heartland of Vanni is self-explanatory. This should open the eyes of those who still don’t want to see Sri Lanka and Tamil Eelam are two countries of two different nations, the former colonising the latter after conquest, commented a Tamil academic in Jaffna. With the opening of the highway after the war, nuclei of new townships are planned along the highway with military establishments, Sinhala trade and Buddhist temples. Already they have become new halting places for the buses operated by the government. This ‘development’ plan is to eventually push the native population to the hinterland and to demographic oblivion, cautions a senior Tamil civil servant now engaged in development work.

Choaru chaappungka
The signboard saying first in Sinhala ‘Bath Kamu,’ meaning ‘eat rice,’ comes out with its corrupt and deformed Tamil translation, "Choaru Chaappungka," instead of "Choa'ru Chaappidungka'l". [Photographed for TamilNet by a Sinhala traveller through Vanni.]

The nation of Eezham Tamils is traditionally acclaimed even in Tamil Nadu for the perfection in the use of Tamil language.

Eezham Tamil contribution to ‘Tamil in print’ in the last two centuries was immense. The British editors of the extensive volumes of Madras Tamil Lexicon personally went to Jaffna just for getting guidance from Tamil scholars like Chunnaakam Kumaraswamip Pulavar, since pioneering work in Tamil lexicography had come from Eezham Tamils.

For decades now, The Sri Lankan State-conspired curriculum of Tamil language and textbooks of the other disciplines in an artificial language of translation from Sinhala originals, have done enough damage to generations of Tamil youth in language skills, proficiency and enthusiasm.

The LTTE administration took a special interest in promoting the use of good Tamil in speech, writing and in day-to-day affairs of life.

Such signboards of desecration dominating the scene of a territory where until last year people prided the use of their language is painful to every Tamil, said the academic in Jaffna.

Even European colonialism cared to contribute to the languages of the nations they conquered, but genocide will not, he commented further.


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