By A Nameless Tamil –
An Open Letter To Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka: The Northern PC Resolution: A Dangerous Escalation
Dear Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka,
I like your political articles, I love them. I find the flow of the writing awesome and always feel that they have the power to irk certain readers.
Let me introduce myself to you as a courtesy; I am a Tamil, an ordinary one. Trust me, I never liked to identify myself by my race, and never want to be.
Dear DJ, (Hope you won’t mind calling you DJ, it’s quite funky isn’t it?)
I really have a name. But I don’t like to write this letter under it. Once, I wrote an article, based on some questions, regarding the political environment of Sri Lanka to a major website, and after that, my father-in-law started having symptoms of a mild heart attack, whenever a “white van “ passed our house.
I did my best to explain to him, that if somebody was to abduct me, that it would definitely be, because of the quality of my writing, and not because of the content. But all my explanations were in vain, as it seems, he has fallen too deep into the “international conspiracy” theory. Let him be like that!
There is another reason too. The moment I fail to praise the “hard earned peace” and the post war development, there is a greater possibility that I will be branded as a “Non-patriot”, “Traitor”, or even an “LTTE Terrorist”.
In Sri Lanka , the easiest and the most effective way to become a ‘patriot’, is to identity who the “traitors” are, among the people around you. I don’t know who has invented this technique, but we have to be proud, that a Sri Lankan “patriot” named Wimal Weerawansa, excels in this field.
All right DJ! Let me explain, why I write this letter to you…
I read your article The Northern PC Resolution: A Dangerous Escalation posted in Colombo Telegraph. It’s quite an intriguing one. It’s really clear from the article, that you see the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) as a leftover part of the LTTE, despite the fact, that it was elected by 80% of the people in the Province.
Prior to May 2009, the South’s marketing concept, for the justification of the war, was liberating the Tamils from the brutality of the LTTE. The government/s always made the clear distinction between the LTTE, and the Tamil people.
But in the post May 2009 political scenario, especially after the landslide victory of the TNA in the NPC election, the concept has changed. Now the concept is as follows;
NPC=TNA=Tamil Diaspora = Leftover LTTE = Tamils.
Your argument that the Japanese never called for an investigation of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings, and the Germans not calling for an inquiry into the Dresdon fire bombings indicate, one thing- let me put it in this way.
There was a perception after World War II, both politically and among the general public, that both the Japanese and the Germans deserved it, for supporting the aggression of Aryan Supremacy and Japanese Imperialism.
Your argument implies, that you too believe, that Tamils deserved all those atrocities committed against them, in the name of fighting terrorism. Is that what you want to tell the readers?
I don’t need to explain to you, the causes and the background of World War II, who started it and how. The way you project the Tamils, as equivalent to the Nazis, and the nationalistic imperial Japanese, is hilarious.
We Tamils are not aggressors; we have been systematically victimized by State organized pogroms, since 1956. It was not a one-off event. The governments changed. But both UNP and SLFP adopted the same policy of pogroms, towards Tamils of the Island.
Tamils fought and continue to fight for their own territory, and their own rights, which are legitimately endowed to them. I believe, the best comparison for the Sri Lankan Tamils, would be the Aborigines of Australia, and Red-Indians of Americas.
Another interesting point in your article, is your indication, that the Tamils need to be grateful to President Rajapaksa, for conducting the first ever NPC election, and subsequently setting up the NPC, which is a constitutional right of the northern people.
When other Sri Lankans can have their democratically elected Provincial Councils, why not the people in the Northern Province? On the other hand, why don’t you expect the rest of the country to be grateful to the President (and also to the Elections Commissioner) for holding the provincial council elections?
I would like to remind you, that the election, for local government bodies in the Northern Province, was held in an abrupt manner, soon after the end of the war, in which the government met, a humiliating defeat. It took nearly four years, to hold the NPC elections, just prior to the CHOGM, and of course, for the CHOGM.
You have to read again, what you have written regarding the Weliweriya Massacres. You justified the struggle of the Weliweriya residents, for clean drinking water. You criticized the government, for unleashing brutality on them. You never compared it to a child playing with fire, when they blocked the main road, and disrupted the normal lives of many. Only a few columnists supported the government’s barbarism in Weliweriya.
Weliweriya is now a forgotten incident. Nobody talks about it. Nobody talks about the children and the family man who were massacred that day. They are all, erased from our memories.
The Tamils are not different, from the people of Weliweriya. Our voices are never heard. The resolution by the NPC, for the international investigation, is a democratic one. It is a result of the ultimate in frustration.
But for you, this reminds you of the “monkey with a razor blade”. But if you look at the Weliveriya People and the Tamils objectively, both are in the same situation. But what went wrong with the Tamils, DJ? Why has the NPC suddenly become a “monkey”?
Sri Lanka is moving from the “Land like No Other” to “Land of Mass Graves”. In 2011, a mass grave with over 150 skeletal remains was discovered in Matale. These remains were said to be those of the JVP rebels, who could have been subjected to torture before being killed, by the security forces.
Hope you would remember, how Mahinda Rajapaksa, then a Member of Parliament of Sri Lanka, advocated for the missing persons of 1988/89 JVP uprising in the south. Now, the same Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the Executive President of the country, is delaying (and eventually deny) the justice for the people he advocated, two and a half decades ago.
Now another mass grave has been identified in Mannar. This would probably be of Tamils, and I do not need to tell you, who the perpetrators could be. Soon, there will be yet another Presidential Commission appointed, to look into this matter.
There cannot be a worse way, to humiliate these massacred people, by appointing a Presidential Commission, as it is not going to bring justice to the victims.
DJ! Do you think, the President knows, how many Presidential Commissions he has appointed?
When I think about the Matale and Mannar mass graves, I see one similarity. At least the skeletal remains of those massacred, despite the ethnic differences, are treated equally- they don’t get justice.
With love and love only,
A Nameless Tamil