Singapore Tamils: A 200-Year History


In 2019, Singapore would be marking an epochal event that is often referred to as the founding of Modern Singapore. On 6 Feb 1819, Stamford Raffles, representing the East India Company (EIC) and Sultan Hussein as the sovereign head of the island of Temasek (now Singapore) signed a treaty that gave EIC the right to set up a trading post in the island. It also marked the birth of Singapore as a British settlement. In 1965, Singapore became a fully independent nation and, in 2015, celebrated

the Golden Jubilee of Independence.

Stamford Raffles was accompanied by some Tamils in his very first voyage to Singapore in 1819 and till this day, Tamils form a small but significant minority of the Singapore society. It is their story that this project will present in book form in 2019, on the occasion of the 200 th anniversary of Singapore Treaty. There will be two versions, one in English and the other in Tamil. The book does not attempt to be comprehensive or definitive because we do not have the time or the intellectual resources. Rather, it would provide wide coverage and some in-depth analysis of selected aspects. On the whole, it aims to be a meaningful introduction to the life and history of Tamils in this country in the last 200 years. Hopefully, it will stimulate further exploration.

Chief Editor: Mr Arun Mahizhnan