LTTE - A Hindu Separatist Movement?

On 25 October 1997, the US Secretary of State Madeline Albright, speaking at the Catholic University in Washington, branded the LTTE as "Hindu Separatists in Sri Lanka." A US Tamil replies...


Dear Mrs. Albright,
I was shocked and dismayed to read in the press that in a recent speech at the Catholic University in Washington you branded the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) waging a war of liberation as "Hindu Separatists." This is the first time anyone in the world including the Sinhalese Government has called them "Hindu Separatists." This not only shows a tremendous ignorance on your part, but also is a dangerous statement by a person of your stature. There is a danger that others too may follow suit.

We realize that you rely on speechwriters, but person of your calibre should have the responsibility to know the facts and the implications of your statement. Many would think it was true.

One of the many reasons for the war of Liberation Tigers is the imposition of Buddism as virtually the state religion in Sri Lanka. The Tamils (and the LTTE) want a secular state.

The "Father of Federalism" in what was then Ceylon was the Federal Party Leader, the Late Samuel James V. Chelvanayagam, a Tamil Christian (and a distinguished member of the American Ceylon Mission) who tried to obtain a Federal System of Government by democratic and non violent (Satyagraha) means, and on failing to do so, obtained a mandate from the Tamils to ask for a separation.

One of the chief deputies and closest friends of LTTE leader Mr. Prabaharan was the late Mr. Charles Anthony who died on the front was a Christian. Mr. Prabaharan named one of his brigades the "Charles Anthony Brigade ". Mr. Prabakaran also named his son Charles after him. The political advisor of the LTTE is another Tamil Christian Mr. Anton Balasingham whose wife, an Australian born U.K. citizen is the advisor of the LTTE women fighters. The LTTE cadres are made up of Hindus, Christians and even Moslems.

If you look at the video-news releases of the LTTE you would see how much prominence is given to Christmas and other religious festivities of Christians. Over the last several years bishops of the Catholic Church and Church of South India and priests of the Methodists Church in Tamil areas have supported the liberation movement and LTTE. The American Ceylon Mission work is on Annexure for your enlightenment.

It would be a correct and gracious gesture for you to issue a statement apologizing for what has happened as it would offend sensitive religious sentiments.

R. K. Samuel
California, USA


Milestone in the history of the American Ceylon Mission Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India - J. D., C.S.I. 1816-1991

1806 - Five young men from William college, Massachusetts resolve to found a Missionary Society at the Haystack Prayer Meeting. Samuel Mills, James Richards, L. Robbins, H. loomis and B. Green.

1810- The founding of the American Board of commissioners for foreign Missions (A. B. C. F. M.) at Farmington, Connectcut.

1816- The first batch of Missionaries from America arrive in Ceylon and start work in the Jaffna Peninsula. Rev. & Mrs James Richard, Rev & Mrs. Daniel pool, Rev & Mrs. Benjamin C. Meigs. Rev and Mrs. H. Bardwell and Mr. Edward Warren. They found the American Ceylon Mission(A. C. M.)

1816-1818 - First twelve Tamil Schools established.

1819 - Second batch of Missionaries arrive. Rev. & Mrs Miron Winslow, Rev & Mrs. Levi Spaulding, Rev & Mrs. Henry Woodward and Dr. & Mrs. John Scudder.

1820 - Dr. john Scudder founds the first Western Medical Mission Center in Asia at Pandaterrupu.

1820 - James Garret arrives with a Printing press.

1823 - Batticota Seminary-The precursor of Jaffna College established. DR Daniel Poor was the first Principal.

1824 - Uduvil Girls' College the first Girls Boarding School to be established in Asia. Mrs Harriet Wadsworth Winslow nee Lathrop the first Principal. One of her descendants to become prominent in public life was John Foster Dulles- Secretary of State in the Eisenhower administration.

1831 - First five congregations of the A. C. M. recognized. Vaddukoddai, Tellippali, Uduvil, Manipay, Pandatrruppu. A "Consociaion" of the churches formed.

1834 - Dr. Poor and other missionaries along with Tamil Assistants trained at Batticota Seminary leave for India to found the Madurai Mission.

1838 - "Consociation" changed to "Presbytery"

1841 - The Morning Star begins as an English and Tamil weekly paper of the Mission. The SECOND OLDEST ENGLISH PAPER in Ceylon and the FIRST TAMIL paper in the world.

1847 - Dr. Samuel Fisk Green arrives in Jaffna. Founds the Hospital in Manipay in 1848 later to be called Green Memorial Hospital. He begins medical School in Manipay to train doctors and translates the Standard English Medical texts into Tamil.

1848 - J. N. E. S. Jaffna Native Evangelistic Society founded by the national church leaders.

1850 - Tamil translation of the Bible brought out in Jaffna. Levi Spaulding collaborated with the chief translator Peter Percival of the Methodist Mission with help from SRILASRI ARUMUGA NAVALAR.

1850 - More than 105 Primary Schools and 16 English Schools established by this year.

1855 - Anderson Deputation - The first from America to visit the Mission field in Ceylon.

First Tamil Ministers ordained. - Revds C.M. cornelius T. P. Hunt.

1859 - Training College established at Tellipalai shifted from Vaddukoddai.

1862 - Rev. miron Winslow brings out " A comprehensive Tamil English Dictionary"

1866 - During the 50th anniversary of the Mission, Churches become organized as an "Ecclesiastical Association".

1872 - Jaffna College established as a continuation of the Batticota Seminary. The Rev. E. P. Hastings the last Principal of the Seminary becomes the first Principal of Jaffna College. His wife Anna was the sister of Grove Cleveland, PRESIDENT OF THE USA.(1885-1889; 1893- 1897)

1884 - he first student Y.M.C.A. in Asia established at Jaffna college.

1886 - The first Christian Endeavor Society in Asia started in Uduvil.

1898 - Mcleod Hospital, Inuvil established as a hospital for women and children through the efforts of the two Missionary Sisters Mary and Margaret Leeitch. Dr. Isabella Curr from Scotland the first Medical Superintendent of the Hospital.

1898 - Jaffna College Y. M. C. A. established mission work in South India at Thondi. This example stirred V. S. Azariah an Indian Y. M. C. A. secretary to found the Indian Missionary Society. Azariah later was consecrated Bishop of Dornakal.

1899 - Women of our Churches established the Women's Missionary Society.

1900 - There were 19 churches in the mission recognized by the Ecclesiastical Association and 14 ordained pastors. More than hundred Primary Schools had been established. Besides Jaffna College and Uduvil, there were Secondary Schools at Udupiddy (One for boys and one for girls), at Tellipalai (later called UNION COLLEGE), Atchuvely Chavakachcheri(Driberg College) and Manipay(Memorial English School).

1901 - Barton Deputation - The second Deputation from America to to visit Ceylon.

1904 - The churches become organized as the Congregational Council of Ceylon with jurisdiction over the churches. The institutions continue to be administered by the missionaries who constituted the A. C. M.

1908 - When Congregational and Presbyterian Mission churches in South India including the American Madurai Mission united, the churches of the Congregational Council of Ceylon (The American Ceylon Mission) also joined to form the South India United Church - S. I. U. C. We become designated as the Jaffna Council of S. I. U. C.

1926 -R. Harmon Potter Deputation - Deputation from the US visits Ceylon. The movement for devolution of responsibility to the nationals and the movement for the integration of the Mission and the Church Council receive new impetus.

1935 - Mr. I . P. Thurairatnam put in charge of the Mission Station at Tellipalai. First national to take the place of a missionary.

1941 - Miss Ariam Hudson Paramasamy appointed first national Principal of Uduvil Girls' College.

1943 - Work began in Colombo. The Rev G. M. Kanagaratnam sent to organize work among our people. Dr. S. L. NAVARATNAM, Mr. S. J. V. CHELVANAYAGAM and Mr. P.E RAJARATNAM members of the first church committee.

The Colombo Congregation gets its own Church Building 1987, Parsonage - 1990.

1947 - The eight councils of the S. I. U. C. including the Jaffna Council united with the Methodist Churches in S. India and the four Anglican Dioceses of S. India to form the Church of South India.(C. S. I.) The first instance in history of Union between Episcopal and Non-Episcopal Churches. Our Council becomes constituted the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India.(J. D., C. S. I.)

The Diocese also integrates the Church Council and the Mission bringing the Churches and Institutions under the unified administration of the Diocesan council.

1947 - Sabapathy Kulandran consecrated first Bishop of the Diocese.

1947 - Jaffna College reopens the Undergraduate Department preparing students for the degrees of the London University. The Rev. Dr. Sydney K. Bunker first President of the College.

Mr. K. A. Selliah appointed first national Principal of Jaffna College.

1948 - The Jaffna Native Evangelistic Society (JNES) and the Women's Missionary Society(WMS) merged with the Diocese.

1957 - Choral liturgy introduced for the first time.

1960 - Paranthan Medical Clinic established.


1961 - 72 Primary Schools and eight Secondary Schools of the Diocese taken over by the government.

Jaffna College and Uduvil Girls' College continue in the Mission as Non-fee levying private schools.

1967 - Dr. W. L. Jeyasingham first national to be President of the undergraduate department of Jaffna College.

1971 - D. J. Ambalavanar consecrated as the second Bishop of the Diocese.

1973 - Jaffna College Institute of Technology established.

1973 - Varany Mission Multi-purpose farm established.

1979 - New mission and outreach work south of Elephant Pass. The Rev. S. Jeyanesan goes as the first worker.

1979 - First Childrens' Home established at Manipay-Arulmani Boys home.

1981 - First Day care Center established at Delft.

1981 - The Diocese is admitted as a member church of the Christian Conference of Asia(C. C. A.)

1981 - Home for disabled Children - House of Hope established at Inuvil.

Uduvil department of further education established.

1983 - Establishment of the Christian Theological Seminary of Sri Lanka and Institute for Lay people at Chunnakam.

1989 - Mission and outreach work begins in the Eastern Province. The Rev. E. P. Solomons goes as the first worker.

1991 - 175th Anniversary year.

73 church centers; 57 day care centers (Serving about 3000 children;) 6 vocational training centers; 1 press and publishing house.; 3 hospitals; 4 educational institution; 10 children's homes(serving about 550 children); 5 farm and development projects; 1 theological seminary & institute for lay people; various refugee relief and rehabilitation programs.

Present Ecumenical Partnerships of the Diocese.

Synod of the church of South India.

The National Christian Council of Ceylon.

The Christian conference of Asia.

The council of the Christian Medical college, Vellore. S. India.

The Council of the United Theological College, Bangalore. The Council of the Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary, Madurai.

The Christian Institute for the Study of Religion & Society, Chunnakam.

The Christa Seva Ashram, Chunnakam.

The William Mather Memorial Women's Centre, Maruthanamadam.

Chaplaincy and Christian Students Centre, Jaffna University, Tinneveli.

Chaplaincy - N.C.C Peradeniya University.

Casurina Camp House - An Ecumenical camp centre The Jaffna Christian Union.