Friday, November 20, 2015


according to Hardt and Negri's Empire, the rise of Empire is the end of national conflict, the "enemy" now, whoever he is, can no longer be ideological or national. The enemy now must be understood as a kind of criminal, as someone who represents a threat not to a political system or a nation but to the law. This is the enemy as a terrorist....In the "new order that envelops the entire space of... civilization", where conflict between nations has been made irrelevant, the "enemy" is simultaneously "banalized" (reduced to an object of routine police repression) and absolutized (as the Enemy, an absolute threat to the ethical order"

Friday, October 16, 2015



19, OCTOBER 2015

Dear Mr. Manning;

Sir, I am writing you to appeal to you in these last days of this election, before voting day, to speak out about the undemocratic and downright Un Reform Party and actually Anti Reform Party principles and ethics on democratic governance  by the Prime Minister, your student and apprentice, Stephen Harper.

I know the old days were full of idealism like the West Wants In and that would change things for the good, like ending MP’s pensions.  Oops that’s perhaps not the best example since you and your MP’s did take them.

Ok how about Senate Reform, the triple EEE Senate, the PMO not appointing Senators but they be elected by the provinces. Sheesh sorry another Oops; how did that work out to become the PMO appoints Senators, 56  in all, the largest by any PMO which means larger than any Liberal Government ever appointed.

Recall, remember recall, if you didn’t like you MP you could get a petition together and kick em out between elections. Remember Recall the very core principle of the Reform Party, the Reform in the Reform Party.  How’s that going under Harper. Ahh come on I know, don’t blame Stevie you dumped that one yourself when you became Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

About Stornaway, that was of course foolish youthful braggadocio on your part as a green Party Leader, boasting that as leader of the Reform Party in Opposition you would never live there, so really this is not all on Stevie. The Reform Party of Preston Manning. reformed once in power as the Official Opposition you just became another parliamentary party.

 Heck you guys on the right split again, like an amoeba into three conservative parties and so the whole focus of Stephen Harpers campaign was to win power by bringing you all back together under the strong leadership of one man him.

Oh dear perhaps this is a bit farfetched to ask of you, to opine on how Stephen Harper is BAD FOR DEMOCRACY but you have since retirement from parliamentary politics set up a foundation  Manning Centre for Building Democracy  for the promotion of Edmund Burke’s and John Locke’s classical liberal interpretation of governance and democracy, the two not necessarily being synonymous.

I know like many in the old Reform Wing of the party, you harbor secret dreams of being a libertarian like those of your ideological counterparts south of the border. Even here you must admit that your libertarian shadow self must surely cringe at Harper’s draconian police state law Bill C51.

Of course you have had some victories with Steve in power  you and your Reform Party base did manage to undemocratically reform the Canadian Wheat Board out of existence as promised by you way way back when. However I am sure like many Albertans and Canadians who believe in a fair deal not a fixed one no effort was put into reforming the wheat board to become a democratically run producer cooperative.

 So congratulations your privatization ideology succeeded in destroying the farmers cooperative and having it sold , no pardon me, given away for free to a Saudi Arabian corporation owned by the Sovereign Wealth Fund of the Saudi Arabian Government.  This then is the free market principle in practice not in theory.  Another failure that began under you.

Perhaps you really can’t criticize Stephen Harper, because you like him have a fuehrer complex, the need to be the alpha male, the big man on campus, the boss.  Unfortunately for you you truly do love the ideal of reform, as with most conservative thinkers, it is an ideal, when it comes to political practice democracy is abandoned for power, and as we know from at least one other conservative thinker absolute power corrupts absolutely.

In this I think we can both agree that Stephen Harper has abandoned all principles except that of staying in power, and changing the country to fit his ideology, not yours, mine or anyone elses and certainly not the Conservative Party. And he learned that ideology at the feet of Barry Cooper, Tom Flanagan, and the right wing political think tank at the University of Calgary. That once hot bed of neo conservative braggadocio about how it was all new, an alternative to the failure of the government welfare state and the socialist economics of Keynes.

Add in a dash of prairie populist Reformism the spirit of recall, reform of the senate, and the right to vote on legislation by petition; Referendum, the three R’s of your Reform Party . All old Alberta ideas from even before they were adopted by you, the son of the Socred Premier of Alberta. The reform agenda was and is prairie populism spread by socialists and social creditors.
In fact in Alberta it was socialist labour and the United Farmers of Alberta that attempted to implement these practices, years before Social Credit.

You know that and so do I because I am a historian of the labour movement in this province.

Doesn’t Stephen remind you of someone?

Dare I say your father; Ernest Manning  and before him Bible Bill Aberhart the creators of the Social Credit movement and Party here in Alberta. Bible Bill despite his name was more  Fuhrer than Premier, he is actually Steve’s ideal, for after only being in power for a short time Aberhart brought in a draconian censorship law prohibiting criticism of his regime, which to its credit to this day the Edmonton Journal challenged to the Supreme Court and won in having it overturned.

Sounds familiar, ignore the charter and constitution and the principles of law, while declaring yourself a law and order government. These of course are the classical principles and practices of what we now call fascism. Harper declares himself a democrat a libertarian free marketer, but in reality as Tom Flanagan now admits to the ‘horror of'’ having created a Prime Minister who considers himself  The Great Leader, and it does not help that 9/11 Truthers believe he shares a birthday with the Fuhrer.

 One does not need to invoke Hitler, to remember that fascism arose following failed revolutions in the Twentieth Century, Aberhart’s Social Credit suffered as much from being a socialized credit system and a National Socialist ideology.

This ideology is still with us within the right wing around the world, at its base it has never changed, it is anti-parliamentary, anti-democratic, but you can vote, as you are told, because all this just gets in the way of the great leaders will.

Unfortunately now that I think of it perhaps it is too much to ask you the founder of the  Manning Centre » Preston Manning, President and CEO, to speak out for defence of our democratic freedoms, of speech, assembly, protest, etc. Principles now challenged by Harpers bill C51.
Or his bill C24 which strip Canadians of their citizenship in violation of UN principles and the principles of the Magna Carta

Or the bills to demand Unions provide financial information to the public, while political parties and corporations don’t have too. We have an identical bill used against First Nations when they receive government funds

We have the total destruction of Science and Research done by the Federal Government. Including libraries and research document holdings being destroyed, the only thing missing is the mass public bonfires. Perfect for Halloween or Guy Fawkes day.

Of course among conservatives there are those proponents of individual freedom and personal choice  that call themselves democratic or libertarian, as in civil libertarian, civil liberties do not conflict with conservative principles based on English jurisprudence.

On the other hand there is the right wing school of thought that embraces Pharaonism, Caesarism, the  Fuhrer Principle, the Strong Man theory of history. In this case the writings and teachings of two University of Chicago professors, Leo Strauss, and Carl Schmitt both idealized the leader of the nation ruling over and uninhibited by the peoples tribunes their parliament, judiciary, senate, all bodies of the state. The strong man simply walks over, tramples, or ignores, all such laws as he does not need or approve of. This of course was one of the schools of thought in the think tank that bred Harper at the University of Calgary.

It is time that those conservatives like yourself decide which side of history you are on those of civil libertarian democrat or those of the strong man Stephen Harper school.

Since you have not spoken out opposing his actions at the time, perhaps now in the final days of this historic election you can once again dig deep into your democratic morals and ethics to really see  Steve in that light how can you remain unmoved to speak out against him.

Mr. Manning you have a chance to make a real difference this election, one that says principles are more important than the party or the man running it. But rather the will of the people, and the people themselves rule, and are not ruled by the party or the leader.

This election we have seen quite clearly it is about one man, not his party, or the Conservative MP’s or Senators, it is about Stephen Harper, as much as he says its not about him. Of course it is.

You once believed that our MP’s were responsible to the voters, and to their constituents, not that they were party men and women who simply transmit the will of the PMO down to the peons.

Sir; as a conscientious compassionate conservative democrat and civil libertarian how can you sit by and remain silent.

Yours for Democracy,

Eugene Plawiuk

Notes and References

Manning Centre for Building Democracy - Facebook

Populism in Europe and the Americas: Threat Or Corrective for Democracy? Populism and Democracy in Canada's Reform Party  

Preston Manning Wikipedia Bio

Thursday, October 01, 2015

A hundred years ago my grandfather a Ukrainian immigrant worked in the coal mines in Wayne Alberta.
Forty years ago I went to University in Lethbridge, Alberta, the home of coal mining in southern Alberta.
Alberta exports more coal than oil by rail.
Alberta' now strip mines coal next to power plants, Genesee Plant lake Wabamum owned by EPCOR
For sixty years even after the discovery of oil in Leduc Alberta remains a coal province.
Most of our GHG comes from the emissions from coal fired power plants.
Rachel Notely and the NDP government wll now transfer coal fired power plants to natural gas, another fuel we have plenty of.
Former Premier Lougheed was never an oil man he worked for Mannix Corporation which owns Luscar Coal Mining. They wanted to open up an
open pit mine just outside Jasper National Park.
But that project became fiscally and socially unfeasible..
Alberta was home to the United Mineworkers, the Western Miners Union, IWW and OBU, the first western coal mining strike was in Medicine Hat, later the miners organized in Southern Alberta, building a base along with the Communist Party in the Crowsnest Pass Blairmore area of the Rockies in Southern Alberta.
Edmonton at the turn of last century was a mining city, with coal mines criss crossing underneath the riverbank. Ukrainian mining families dug into the riverbank 1912-15 to live in caves.
So while we are known now for oil, oil sands, we were once like Pennsylvania in the USA a coal mining region. with a large Ukrainian population and with oil which is why we both survived unlike West Virginia .
Today both Alberta and Pennsylvania also have shale oil. we have long histories of fracking.
The myth of clean coal comes from the experimental and not yet proven Carbon Capture and Sequestration CCS. This has nothing to do with being green or reducing the use of one form of fossil fuel, coal. Instead CCS takes coal gas (methane) by making it into a liquid by putting it under pressure and injecting it into existing played out oil fields, including shale oil, to extract residual oil. In other words CCS is just another form of fracking  
Coal was and is our dirtiest energy

Posted on Facebook

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Eugene Plawiuk
August 14, 2015

The second week of the election saw lots of news around the various parties and leaders. The  most important story of the week involved the NDP but it was quickly lost in the other news stories that swirl around Tom Mulcair and the NDP. The story and the political impact of most news stories from this week will disappear in the distance as we get closer to October 19 voting day.  But this news will have an impact far beyond its one day news story in the press.

The press is English you see, and it represents English Canada, the events and politics of Quebec get little coverage in the Postmedia Monopoly. And when they do get covered it is with little depth, as there are few reporters versed in the politics of Quebec that write in English or for the English Press in Canada.

The news event that was of greater importance than all the others was that the second largest labour federation in Canada had  endorsed the NDP and Tom Mulcair for PM.  The FTQ or Quebec Labour Federation is larger than the Ontario Federation of Labour, as a provincial body and for affiliations it rivals the CLC, the Canadian Labour Congress. In fact it is a National Labour Federation that is as important as the CLC. Yet you hear little about it in the Canadian press.

This week the federation did the unexpected and surprised the nations of Quebec and Canada by endorsing a Federalist Party for the first time in forty years and that Federal party was the Social Democratic  NDP and its Quebec born leader Tom Mulcair. This is no small thing, because for those last forty years the FTQ has been the backbone of Quebec Inc. as much as it has been the base in both the PQ and the BQ. It was and is the left wing of the established Quebec Nationalist movement, until this week that is.

This week the FTQ announced it had abandoned the Bloc Quebecois (BQ) formed by Brian Mulroney Conservatives from Quebec, as well as liberal and social democratic Quebecois. It came about with the fall of the Mulroney Government, resulting in a Liberal government and the official opposition being a Quebec  Nationalist party the BQ. The Bloc as it was called in the English language press was an unholy alliance that scared the bejesus out of English Canada.

Mulcair 'proud' to see FTQ unions support NDP instead of Bloc
More from Giuseppe Valiante, The Canadian Press
Published on: August 11, 2015 | MASCOUCHE — A major and sovereignist-leaning labour federation in Quebec has dropped its long-standing endorsement of the BlocQuebecois and some of its member unions are supporting the NDP, making party leader Tom Mulcair “extremely proud.”
Mulcair said New Democrats will work hard to maintain support from Quebec’s unions — who have traditionally supported sovereignist parties at the federal and provincial levels — in order to “expand our traditional base and rally progressives across Quebec and Canada.”Quebec’s FTQ federation is heavily involved in politics; it covers 37 labour unions and counts 600,000 members.Its secretary-general, Serge Cadieux, said Tuesday the FTQ is not officially endorsing any political party, but that two of its unions have so far come out in support of the NDP.
The federation has officially endorsed the Bloc in almost every federal election since the early ’90s and it favours the sovereignist Parti Québécois provincially.
This time, however, Cadieux said the Bloc is not best-placed to beat the Conservatives, whom he called “catastrophic” for working people.
Cadieux said the FTQ has targeted 10 ridings in Quebec where support for the Conservatives is relatively strong and where it will “focus its energies.”

Formed in the 1990’s it was victorious in the federal election of 1996 after the defeat of the provincial Parti Quebecois sponsored referendum on Soviergnty Association with Canada. It’s leader was the charismatic former Mulroney Conservative Minister Lucien Bouchard. With the narrowest of votes the referendum (like those later in Catalonia, and Scotland) for separation was defeated. In that defeat the then Premier of Quebec exposed the nationalist agenda as one of racism and exclusionism, with the dark tinge of Duplesis’s racism and anti-Semitism. He denounced the loss as being the result of foreigners and immigrants and those of Upper Westmount, the historic Jewish enclave in Montreal.

With the failure of the referendum there was an immediate leadership race for the PQ and then leader of the BQ in a controversial opportunistic decision went from leader of the BQ to the Leader of the PQ and provincial premier in the following election.
In 1997 the BQ elected a new leader, a left wing leader, Gilles Duceppe, who was a former union leader and Marxist-Leninist. He remained leader till 2011 when he lost his seat in the Orange Wave that swept Quebec during that federal election.

Duceppe is back now as leader of the BQ, a decimated party that is a skeletal ghost of itself.
From its once lofty position, ironically, as Her Majesty’s Official Opposition, the BQ has had a massive decline in power and seats,  last election left the party with four sitting MP’s, two of which abandoned the party half way through their terms to sit as independents. The BQ ended its days with as many seats as the fledgling elected Green Party in the House of Commons.

Duceppe was brought out of mothballs this spring to take over the leadership once again of the BQ for the upcoming October 19 election.  The hope was that his charm and charisma could cobble together some kind of opposition to the NDP this election. And key to that ability was not just Duceppe but the support of social movements, cooperatives, and the labour movement. All of whom had abandoned the BQ after the NDP overwhelmingly swept through Quebec last election.

To have lost the FTQ support means that Duceppe and the BQ, which once had the most powerful political organization in the province, have to run cap in hand with little or no base of support.

Even the BQ’s provincial counterpart the PQ can do little for the party or Duceppe, despite a recent photo op of him and the leader of the PQ riding bicycles together. For unlike Mssr. Duceppe a former Marxist Leninist and trade unionist, Karl Pierre Palideau the PQ leader is  a captain of industry, a union busting boss of the Quebecor empire, virtually synonymous with Quebec Inc.

Peladeau suddenly became a nationalist in the last provincial election which saw the defeat of the PQ, in part thanks to Mssr. Peladeau’s nationalist exhortations,  resulting in a majority Liberal government in Quebec and Mssr. Peladeau now leader of the Party Quebecor.  Mssr Peladeau as a politician is a stick in the mud, a one trick pony. Duceppe can expect little of the old communal support from the PQ if only because the party is a shadow of its former self.

When Duceppe was rolled out as the savior of the BQ for this election English Canadian pundits ruminated about the possibility that this would dent the NDP majority in the province. Yes two seats and a defeated Duceppe were going to be a real threat to the NDP.

And as it has turned out no such thing occurred, indeed the opposite did the FTQ and its financial cooperative the Fond Solidare, or the Solidarity Fund, the largest single source of workers investment capital. the only successful labour fund in either Canada’s. The FTQ manages this investment fund for its members, and public investors, making it the thirds largest investor in Quebec Inc after the Casse Populair;  the Quebec Pension Fund, and the Desjardin Funds. As far as private capital goes the Power corporation sontinues its historic domination of that sector while Peladeau’s Quebecor follows not far behind, Old Capital meet New Capital.

The Solidarity Fund invests its member’s money into Quebec infrastructure for instance Rona, and Hydro Quebec, if there is a chocolate factory that needs funding Fonds Solidaire is there. It has been criticized by those in the business press, as both being an investment monopoly with undue influence in Quebec Inc. and a dangerous investment vehicle, which means it is successful and a model to follow, which had not been done in English Canada where the closest labour would come is the BC Construction Unions Labour Fund, which CLC Ken Georgetti helped set up.

Fonds de solidarité FTQ Applauds NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair's Commitment to Reinstate the Labour Fund Tax Credit Record Year for Fonds de solidarité FTQ and its Shareholders: Profits of $992 Million

So you have a base in a very activist and political labour federation and its investment fund, endorsing the NDP and Tom Mulcair, and this is no big thing in English Canada.  Lets understand what this means, the federation has officially abandoned the BQ. That means it is dead, let me repeat that dead. Duceppe was defeated by the NDP in a safe riding, and now he has been resurrected to lead a zombie party, in order to take votes away from the NDP, giving them to either Trudeau  Liberals, or Harper Cons. 

The hope was that this would be enough to halt the Orange wave spreading across Canada.
But this fifth column has collapsed into dust now that the FTQ has thrown its complete support behind the NDP, despite its protestations that it is only promoting ABC. This should be headline news, almost as important as the NDP winning government from Harper.  This is the final stake in the heart of this undead creature the BQ, what had begun under Jack Layton, has finally met its finale under Tom Mulcair.

Here is the headline if the media and pundits were honest, and even conceived its importance the NDP  a nominally federalist party wiped out the BQ. This is what has pissed off Trudeau Jr. and scared the bejesus out of Harper. Both also lost seats to the NDP wave last election and could lose again.

Four years after facing a scoffing political punditry in English Canada, the NDP wave in Quebec has not weakened but solidified and gotten stronger.  It also has now fully transitioned from Jack Layton to Tom Mulcair, different men, different political styles, both popular beyond what pundits expected. Tom Mulcair in both Canada’s is enormously popular for a leader that few knew little about even last December.  The NDP has a charismatic and talented leader who many can see as Prime Minister, after all his opponent the current PM Stephen Harper came from exactly the same position; an untried Leader of the Opposition.\

With the FTQ and the Solidarity Fund backing him in Quebec, this shifts the power dynamic in Federal politics forever. The BQ is gone, a Federalist party is surging in Quebec, and maintaining that hold, frustrating Trudeau Jr. who lashed out at Mulcair in the first debate over the NDP success with its Sherbrooke Accord, giving Quebecois the right to a simple majority 50 plus 1 if they were too hold another referendum, that is enough to satisfy the Nationalists in the FTQ and across the province.

Whether they use that option in the future is questionable, as we have seen in Scotland, even there the Nationalist sentiment did not deliver a simple majority in their recent referendum vote. Why would it be different in Quebec’s case. The NDP and Tom Mulcair are counting on that and the Sherbrooke accord to satisfy the nationalists who no longer trust the Bloc to speak for their values, which remain social democratic in nature, just like the NDP.


Sunday, April 05, 2015

 The guide is an output of the Focusing Capital on the Long Term initiative, which has input from 20 investment professionals from managers and asset owners including CPPIB, OTPP, PGGM, New Zealand Super and Washington State Investment Board, all of which contributed to the guide with case studies of long-term “ideas in action”.
For any asset owner wishing to put in place an effective set of implementation strategies and tools to help realise their aspiration to be long term, this is a must read.
The guide focuses on areas where asset owners and managers have the ability to act immediately, and outlines examples of that in practice through case studies of institutional investors.
The areas of focus in the guide are investment beliefs, risk appetite, benchmarking process, evaluations and incentives, and investment mandates.

The Long-Term Portfolio Guide is an output of the Focusing Capital on the Long Term (FCLT) initiative. Its development was led by Anuradha Gurung with co-editor Colin Carlton and a working group, co-led by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The working group was comprised of more than 20 experienced investment professionals from BlackRock, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Capital Group, GIC, New Zealand Superannuation Fund, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, PGGM, and Washington State Investment Board.

To read the paper click below or go to

Monday, February 23, 2015


The Lemuria myth
How it permeated the Tamil tradition through folklore and writings as the lost continent of Kumari.

THE LEMURIAN AS conceived by W. Scott Elliot, a staunch Theosophist who published, in 1904, 'The Lost Lemuria'.
THERE is an old, persistent Tamil tradition about a land that existed south of India called Kumari kandam (continent), a belief that is linked to the myth of the lost land of Lemuria, a figment of Western imagination. Accounts of the lost continent vary, but the common theme is that a large area went under the ocean as a result of geological cataclysms, a theory that geologists of today do not subscribe to.
The last Ice Age had a profound influence on the prehistory of humankind. So in prehistoric studies of coastal areas, it is crucial to understand the consequence of changes in the sea level. About 14,500 years ago, the sea level was lower by 100 metres. With subsequent global warming and melting of large masses of ice, the level started rising, in stages.
As the sea level rose, the low-lying lands in the coastal region and the exposed continental shelves were inundated. This phenomenon gave rise to the stories and legends of deluges that permeated the African, Amerindian and Australian aboriginal folklore and Greek, Roman and Hebrew legends, and the Indian puranas, which referred to pralayas. The coastal areas south of India that were submerged in ancient times evidently gave rise to the Tamil myth of the lost continent of Kumari, while myths of the lost continents of Atlantis and Lemuria were generated in the Western world.
Lemuria is the name of a mythical continent purported to have been in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The lost continent derives its name from the primate lemur belonging to the group prosimians. Lemurs now inhabit Madagascar island, the surrounding smaller islands and Comoros island.
The term “lemur” comes from the Latin word lemures, meaning “spirits of the night”, a reference to many species of lemur that are nocturnal and so have large reflective eyes. Their distribution once extended from Pakistan to Malaya. The English geologist Philip Sclater (1864) coined the term Lemuria in his article ‘The Mammals of Madagascar'. Trying to explain the presence of fossil lemurs in Madagascar, he proposed that the Indian Ocean island and India had once been part of a larger continent, Lemuria. His theory was put forward before the concepts of continental drift and plate tectonics provided the explanations for the similarity and distribution of formations and fossils in different strata and continents.
During the 19th century, scientists frequently postulated the presence of submerged land masses in order to account for the present distribution of species. As Lemuria gained some acceptance within the scientific community, it began to appear in the works of scholars such as Ernst Heinrich Haeckel (1834-1919), a German biologist who promoted the work of Charles Darwin in Germany. Haeckel suggested that there was a land bridge that remained above water long enough to facilitate the migration of prosimians from Africa into India and the Malay peninsula.
To explain the distribution of species across Asia and the Americas, certain other scientists hypothesised that Lemuria had extended across parts of the Pacific Ocean. But advanced research and geological findings have made clear that continents did not submerge or disappear and that Lemuria never existed. The Lemuria theory disappeared from practical consideration after the scientific community accepted the theory of plate tectonics and continental drift.
Esoteric theories
However, certain occultists adopted it. In 1888, Helena Blavatsky, a founder of the Theosophical Society, incorporated the concept of the lost continents of Lemuria and Atlantis in her controversial book The Secret Doctrine. Her information, it was claimed, was based on esoteric ancient books from the east and messages received through mystical transference and clairvoyant trances.
While explaining the evolution of man, there is a subtle but conscious attempt in the book to establish the superiority of the Aryan race. Later, some members of the Theosophical Society published essays, presented in the garb of scientific writings, on Lemuria and Atlantis. Thus the myth of Lemuria was perpetuated.
According to the teachings of the Theosophical Society, human beings evolved through seven successive root races, each of which populated and occupied different continents. Lemuria was occupied by the third root race called Lemurians, who were primitive beings. Subsequently, the more advanced inhabitants of Atlantis, called Atlanteans, replaced them. Aryans, the descendants of Atlanteans, were the fifth root race and were considered the pinnacle of evolution.

The ring-tailed lemur. The term “lemur” comes from the Latin word lemures, meaning “spirits of the night”, a reference to many species of lemur that are nocturnal and so have large reflective eyes. Their distribution once extended from Pakistan to Malaya.
W. Scott Elliot, a staunch Theosophist, published, in 1904, The Lost Lemuria with two maps showing the distribution of land areas at different periods. There is mention about Lemurians who domesticated reptiles resembling the Plesiosaurus, which places Lemurians in the era of dinosaurs, an obvious anachronism. This writing, which uses scientific terminology extensively, is basically esoteric.
In 1931, Harvey Spencer Lewis, the founder of the mystical society called the Rosicrucians, wrote on the evolution of Lemurians in his book Lemuria: the Lost Continent of the Pacific. Maps of the lost land were produced by taking the idea from the palaeo continent of Gondwana, which existed long before the advent of humanity.
The total confusion of chronology of geological epochs and a lack of understanding of the evolution of humankind is evident in the book he wrote under the pseudonym Wishar S. Cerve. He gave details of their lifestyle and advanced technology and also wrote about floating continents, such as California and the west coast of the United States, being parts of Lemuria and of their subsequent destruction. It was claimed that the survivors of Lemuria were living in Mount Shasta in northern California (F.S. Oliver, Dwellers of Two Planets, 1894) under a network of tunnels and could be seen occasionally. This belief is repeated by certain other groups and cultists.
Lost land of Tamils
The narratives about Lemuria found their way into colonial India about the time when folklore began to permeate historic knowledge as though they were fact. The writings of Wishar Cerve and the maps of Scott Elliot were brought into Tamil writings by K. Appadurai, in his book Kumari Kandam Allathu Kadal Konda Thennadu (Kumari Continent or the Submerged Southern Land, 1941). The term Lemuria found its way into certain Tamil textbooks and was given the Tamil name Kumari kandam, or continent of Kumari. Names from Tamil classics were given to the mountain ranges, rivers, places and areas. For example, the puranic geography of an axial mountain called Meru as the centre of Jambudvipa (Sanskrit) or Navalan Theevu (Tamil) was accepted, and, later on, these names were attributed to certain parts of Lemuria, giving it acceptability among Tamil readers. In the 1920s, with Tamil revivalism and the efforts to counter the “Aryan” and associated Sanskrit dominance, the concept of Lemuria was wedded to the notion of the lost land referred to in Tamil literature.
There are a few references in Tamil Sangam classics to a landmass that was swallowed up by the sea. Historians consider the first three centuries A.D. as the Sangam period. The reference to the tradition about three Tamil Sangams (assemblies or academies) is noted in Iraiyanar Kalviyalurai, attributed to Nakeerar. According to this commentary, the Pandya kings patronised Tamil poets in their capital, where the Sangam was located. According to tradition, the Mudal Sangam (first assembly), was located in Thenmadurai. When the sea swallowed Thenmadurai, the capital was shifted to Kapatapuram and the second or Idai Sangam was established. The Idai Sangam functioned until a deluge destroyed Kapatapuram. After the deluge, the Pandyas shifted their capital to the present-day Madurai where the last or Kadai Sangam was established.
Some of the important references from Tamil Sangam classics are as follows: 1) in Purananuru 9, verses 10-11 are interpreted as a reference to a Pandya king who ruled a part of the lost land where the river Pahruli flowed. 2) in Silapathigaram (Kadu Kaan Kaathai) (11:17-22) is a reference to a Pandya king who won over kingdoms in Imayam (the Himalayas) and Gangai (the Ganga) to compensate for his land lost to the deluge. Tamil scholars such as Devaneya Paavaanar consider the deluge under reference to be the one that destroyed Thenmadurai. 3) According to Adiyarku Nallar, poem 104:1-4 from Mullai Kalithogai indicates that the Pandya king resettled the survivors of the deluge in certain Chera and Chola territories. It is portrayed by certain Tamil writers that the series of deluges destroyed the Tamil civilisation and the survivors spread out and civilised other parts of the world.
The Tamil tradition about a lost land was committed to writing after the 10th century by commentators like Nakeerar in his commentary on Iraiyanar Akapporulurai. Nachinarkiniyar and Adiyarku Nallar followed him. Those who wrote the commentaries exaggerated the extent of land that was submerged by the deluges referred to in Silapathigaram and Kalithogai. According to the commentators, there were 49 countries ( nadu) in the lost land of Kumari and the distance between the river Kumari and the river Pahruli that flowed in the lost land was 700 katham, which according to one calculation is about 770 km.
The crucial question is whether the land referred to as Kumari was as large as a continent? The advocates of Kumari kandam interpreted the term nadu to mean country. In Tamil Nadu and Kerala many small towns and villages have in their names the term nadu, which basically referred to a settlement, as opposed to kadu, or forest. In the above Tamil references there is no mention of the term kandam, referring to land the size of a continent.
According to Pingala Nikandu, a lexicon of ancient words, k andam means country. In the words of the historian N. Subrahmanian (1996), “It is possible that a small area of land (to the extent of a present-day district) was lost by sea erosion and Pahruli and Kumari were parts of that territory and that the king shifted this capital to some other place. But in all probability that event occurred only in the 5th or 4th century B.C. Such erosions on a limited scale were not unknown to the southern and eastern seaboards of Tamil Nadu. If the fiction is removed from the fact, the entire romantic superstructure called the theory of the Kumari kandam will stand exposed, as non-history” ( The Tamils - Their History, Culture and Civilisation; pages 26, 27).
If the oral traditions and the subsequent writings exaggerated the size of the submerged land called Kumari, what was the background to the lost land referred to in Sangam literature?
Sea-level changes
Geology emerged as a scientific discipline in the late 19th century when both scientific and popular imagination was dominated by Biblical accounts of creation and deluges. Dramatic geological events were attributed to catastrophes like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Eventually, the understanding of phenomena such as plate tectonics, continental drift and sea floor spreading dismissed the catastrophe theories. The speculation about land bridges and lost continents faded into obscurity elsewhere in the world but not quite so in Tamil Nadu.
Since the early part of the last century major strides have been made in the geological and geophysical understanding of the earth. For instance, in 1912 Alfred Wegener, a German meteorologist, explained the concept of continental drift; in 1924, the British geologist Arthur Holmes explained that the convection current in the mantle could cause continents to drift; in 1962, the American Geologist Harry Hess pointed out that continental drift could be explained by sea-floor spreading; in 1966, the concept of sea-floor spreading was established by independent oceanographic data involving microfossils, sediments of the sea floor, measure of heat flow from the earth's interior and palaeo-magnetic and seismic studies.

THE LOST LAND of Lemuria. This representation is from the book 'Lemuria: the Lost Continent of the Pacific' by Wishar S. Cerve, which was the pseudonym of Harvey Spencer Lewis, the founder of the mystical society called the Rosicrucians.
Since the first oceanic sounding in 1840, the study of oceans, including their chemistry, biology, geology and physics, has advanced in the last century. Improved coring devices have enlarged our knowledge of the oceans, and deep ocean floors have been mapped by echo-soundings and ultra-sonic signals. In the 1940s, seismic methods were also used to study the ocean floor.
Evidence of former glaciations on a wide scale became overwhelmingly conclusive in the last century. During the past two million years, there have been five major glacial advances and five glacial retreats as the globe began to warm. The last of such periods is the present period known as Holocene. The last Ice Age caused the fragmented distribution of Homo sapiens, and the enormous environmental changes that took place with global warming had a profound influence on the prehistory of humankind.
Extensive studies were done to understand global warming during the interglacial periods; sediments were subjected to meticulous analyses to establish the age and palaeo-geographical conditions in many parts of the world.
For instance, about 18,000 years ago, during the time of the last Ice Age, ice sheets in the poles spread much wider and the sea level was more than 100 metres lower than it is today, exposing a large area of land along the continental shelf. Then Siberia was connected to Alaska and along this land bridge, the peopling of the Americas and migration of animals happened over a long period. At this time, the landmass of present-day Papua New Guinea, Australia and Tasmania were joined together as were the British Isles with Europe. After the last Ice Age the level of the Indian Ocean, like the rest of the oceans, fell. Sri Lanka was connected to the Indian peninsula by a landmass, which now lies under the Gulf of Mannar. In the following 8,000 years, global warming continued and large masses of ice and glaciers melted, raising sea levels in stages and inundating low-lying lands. The portion of the continental shelf of the south Indian peninsula and the land that connected it to Sri Lanka also went under water as the sea level rose.
Records of sea-level fluctuations and related climatic changes are preserved in the layered sediments of the seabed. These can be studied through data such as faunal contents and nature of sediments. Rajiv Nigam and N.H. Hashimi of the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, have done extensive work on sea-level rise by analysing sediments for microfossils such as pollen and foraminifera to determine palaeo-climate and by dating corals from the continental shelf in the west coast of peninsular India. The team studied marine sediments to generate proxy climate records through which changes in palaeo sea levels could be deciphered.
Nigam and P.J. Henriques, also of the NIO, have developed a regional model for palaeo depth determination on the basis of percentage of foraminifera in surface sediments of the Arabian Sea. The significant results of the study on palaeo sea levels are that the sea level was lower by 100 m about 14,500 years ago and by 60 m about 10,000 years ago and that during the last 10,000 years there had been three major episodes of sea-level fluctuation. These sea-level changes had affected human settlements and peopling of the coastal areas and had left their signatures on archaeological events.
Once the status of the periodic sea-level rise was established, it was easy to decipher the configuration of the coastline, giving allowance wherever applicable to tectonic activities and deposition of silt at the confluence of rivers. The Naval Hydrographic Office, Dehra Dun, has produced hydrographic charts (INT 717071-1986 to the scale 1:10,000,000 and INT 7007706-1973 of scale 1:3,500,000) pertaining to Cape Comorin-Gulf of Mannar, where it surveyed the depth of the sea floor with echo-sounders, which measure the sea floor contours with great accuracy.
Changes in southern India
It is possible to demarcate the land lost to the sea in the south of India from postglacial inundation maps that indicate the significant changes in the coastline.
The author has prepared inundation maps on the basis of bathymetric contours and the sea-level curve for the central west coast to work out the configuration of the coastline south of India since the last Ice Age. This study shows that about 14,500 years ago the sea level was lower by approximately 100 m than the present sea level. The land between the present coast and the bathymetric contour of 100 m roughly was the land that was exposed during that time.
In other words, hypothetically, if a 100 m column of sea water were to be removed, the land that went under water would be exposed. At that time the present Gulf of Mannar was a landmass of 36,000 sq. km connecting Sri Lanka with peninsular India and the coast was wider by about 80 km to the east, south and west of present-day Cape Comorin exposing a triangular mass of 6,500 sq. km adjoining the Cape. The coastline was 25-35 km wider than the present near Cuddalore and about 25 km wider near Colombo.
Global warming
The increased rate of global warming between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago saw the sea level rise almost 50 m, inundating low-lying lands and covering a major part of the exposed continental shelf. About 10,000 years ago, the sea level was about 50 m lower than the present sea level. At that time, the land extended about 25 km south of the Cape and the coast was about 40 km broader than the present coastline along the east and the west, which exposed about 1,000 sq km of land near Cape Comorin. Rameswaram and Mannar were joined by land and the land that extended in the present-day Gulf of Mannar was a 2,500-sq km stretch marked by sedimentary formations and coral reefs.

AN INUNDATION MAP by S.C. Jayakaran. He prepared the map on the basis of bathymetric contours and the sea-level curve for the central west coast to work out the configuration of the coastline south of India since the last Ice Age. It shows that about 14,500 years ago the sea level was lower by about 100 m than the present. The land between the coast now and the bathymetric contour of 100 m was the land that was exposed then.
As the research of Rajiv Nigam indicated, sea levels continued to rise and reached the present level around 6,000 years ago. This is about the time Sri Lanka evolved as an island. Between 4,000 and 3,500 years ago, heavy rains, in addition to melting of snow, also contributed to the sea level rise. It rose by a couple of metres and fell to the present level about 2,000 years ago.
It is scientifically uncontested that the earliest Homo sapiens developed in Africa 100,000 to 200,000 years ago and migrated to Europe and Asia. Genetic evidence and fossil records of early human beings indicate that they came out of Africa as early as 100,000 to 60,000 years ago. Their descendants migrated to the Far East, probably along the coastal areas adjacent to the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal around the Indian peninsula, Sri Lanka and then north into China and south into Sumatra.
As the sea levels rose, resulting in periodic flooding and deluges, prehistoric settlements that were located in the low-lying coastal lands and the exposed continental shelf were inundated. The people who lived in the coastal area of the Indian peninsula and Sri Lanka and who escaped the deluges perpetuated the oral tradition of a lost land. It is my considered opinion that it is this development that gave rise to the legend of Kumari kandam.
1. Barnett T.P.; ‘The estimation of global sea level change: A problem of uniquness'; Journal of Geophysical Research, 1984.
2. Blavatsky H.P.; The Secret Doctrine, Vol 12; Theosophical University Press, online edition, 2001.
3. David Shulman; ‘The Tamil Flood Myths and the Cankam Legend'; The Flood Myth; Berkeley, 1988.
4. Geiger, Wilhelm (translated by); ‘The Mahavamsa or The great chronicle of Ceylon'; Asian Educational Services, New Delhi, Madras, 1993.
5. Hashimi N.H., Nigam R., Nair R.R. & Rajagopalan G.; ‘Holocene sea-level fluctuation on western Indian continental margin: An update'; Journal of the Geological Society of India; Bangalore, 1995; Vol.46; pages 157-162.
6. Jayakaran S.C.; ‘Lost Land and the Myth of Kumari Kandam'; Indian Folklore Research Journal; Vol.1 No.4.; National Folklore Support Centre, 2004; pages 90-108.
7. Stephen Oppenheimer; ‘Out of Eden: The peopling of the World'; Constable and Robinson Ltd., London, 2003.
8. Scott Elliot W.; ‘The Lost Lemuria' (1904); Kessinger Publishing Company, Montana, U.S., 1997; paperback.
9. Subrahmanian, N.; ‘The Tamils, their History, Culture and Civilisation'; Institute of Asian Studies, 1996.
10. Sumathi Ramaswamy; ‘Catastrophic Cartographies: Mapping the Lost Continent of Lemuria'; Representations 67; The Regents of the University of California, U.S., 1999.
11. Wishar S Cerve; ‘Lemuria – The Lost Continent of the Pacific' (1931); Supreme Grand Lodge of the Ancient & Mystical Order Rosae Crucis; published by the Grand Lodge of the English Language Jurisdiction, AMORC, Inc., 1997.
12. Personal communications with K.H. Vora and Rajiv Nigam of the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa.
1. Hydrographic chart, Sheet no. INT 709 7706 of scale 1:3,500,000 (1973); hydrographic chart, sheet no. INT 717071of scale 1:10,000,000 (1986).
2. Cochin to Vishakhapatnam (hydrographic chart), Scale 1:1,500,000 (1974) – all the above three charts produced by Naval Hydrographic Office, Dehra Dun.
3. Hydrographic chart, Sheet no. INT 709 7706 of scale 1:3,500,000 (1973); hydrographic chart, sheet no. INT 717071of scale 1:10,000,000 (1986).

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