19 October, 2017

Presidential Election And The Tamil Dilemma

By S. I. Keethaponcalan

Dr S.I. Keethaponcalan

Dr S.I. Keethaponcalan

Will there be a Tamil boycott of the election? Last week, in an unexpected move, Maithripala Sirisena, General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, was declared the common opposition candidate for the forthcoming presidential election scheduled to be held on January 8, 2015. Now, it is clear that the presidential election will be a two-horse race between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena, although, as usual, there will be many more candidates on the list. Until Sirisena’s entry was announced, the Sri Lankan Tamil position vis-à-vis the election was simple and straightforward. They would have voted for a UNP or UNP approved candidate without even the endorsement of the TNA. The Sirisena candidacy has altered this situation considerably.

Sirisena’s entry as the common candidate has created two specific dilemmas within the Tamil community. First, since the end of the war, a majority of the Sri Lankan Tamils have rejected not only the president but also the government and government allies. They have resisted voting for the government and government-sponsored parties or groups. They assume that the government is responsible for the post-war difficulties they encounter. This was one reason why the Eealm People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), despite undertaking substantial economic development projects in the North, could not win elections. Therefore, voting for the incumbent president in the presidential election was not an option for a majority of them. If they participate in the election, they have to vote for a person who until recently was part of the very same government they do not want to support. Maithripala was not an ordinary member. He was one of the leaders and he vehemently defended the government policies, which the Tamils see as problematic. This factor could mute their enthusiasm for the election and voting.

Sampanthan

Sampanthan

Second, the most important predicament might emanate from the alliance with the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU). JHU is a Sinhala-Buddhist party. By exclusively promoting Sinhala-Buddhist interest, it has become an anti-minority, especially anti-Tamil political entity. Of course, the JHU opposed the LTTE and its politics. It also opposed civilian political control of the Northern Province after the provincial council election in the North. The party also is clear about its opposition to devolution of power of any sort. The Tamil people view the JHU as a Sinhala supremacist political party (and the JHU believes that the Tamils and TNA are racist as well). Therefore, an alliance with the JHU is bound to create doubt about the promise of the opposition alliance. This would force the Tamils to think twice before voting for Sirisena.

Also, a segment of the Tamil community do not know much about Sirisena as he was not involved directly in the Tamil issues. The Tamil issues were handled either by top leadership of the present government or through the allies like the EPDP. It is not even clear if the Sinhala community has an in-depth understanding about Sirisena’s background and principles. The Sinhalese are however, curious and seem keen to get to know the man. This keenness may be lacking within the Tamil community. Although this factor might help mitigate possible Tamil hostility towards Sirisena, they will not be too enthusiastic about going to the booth and voting for a man they do not know much about.

It is interesting to note that the TNA so far remains evasive on its support for the common opposition alliance. According to one news report, TNA leader Sambandan has stated that the party is exploring all of its options before making a final decision. Another report indicated that the party will “indirectly” support the common candidate. These two positions are notable because, the TNA does not have the luxury of deciding between the two candidates. It can only decide between participating in the election and boycotting. A formal or even informal boycott would amount to supporting President Rajapaksa. Given the voting patterns, Rajapaksa can win without Tamil votes, but Sirisena cannot. Therefore, he should be more concerned about Tamil votes than the government.

In theory, the TNA can decide not to formally endorse Sirisena and as stated in the news report, agree to extend its support informally or indirectly. This could happen if the agreement between Sirisena and the JHU contains any real or perceived anti-minority or anti-devolution provisions. Such a situation could also be illustrated as a setback for Sirisena because given the possible Tamil apathy towards the election, getting Tamil people to go to the polling booth and vote might need some serious encouragement. The TNA will be able to do that.

A segment of the Tamil community comprising mostly radical nationalists who still believe in separatist ideologies, assume that presidential elections are an affair of the Sinhalese and the South. The Tamil do not have to take part and should ignore them is the idea. This assumption formed the basis of the LTTE enforced boycott of the 2005 presidential election. A vast majority of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora and a group within Sri Lanka still subscribe to this notion. Therefore, there will be calls to boycott the 2015 election as well. There is however, an increased understanding within the Tamil community that they need to participate in national elections in order to shape their political future. This facilitated greater Tamil participation in the 2010 presidential election. A change of government at this point in time could create fresh space for constructive politics enabling them to break out of the present stalemate.  Therefore, a formal boycott is highly unlikely, unless there is a clandestine understanding between the TNA and President Rajapaksa. However, an informal and unforced boycott could take place if the Tamils do not feel the benefit of voting for Sirisena.

The point therefore, is that Sirisena cannot take Tamil votes for granted or assume that the Tamils will vote for him automatically. Since Mano Ganesan has already aligned himself with the grand opposition alliance, a majority of the Western province Tamils will vote for Sirisena. The opposition alliance might need a concerted effort to convince the Tamils to vote for Sirisena and might need a concrete campaign in the North-East. A serious publicity campaign in the North-East to introduce the candidate and his policies would address the first issue. Formally having the TNA on its side will make this task easy.

The second issue, i.e the doubts created by the alliance with the JHU, might need careful interaction with the monks. It should not impart the impression that the agreement between Sirisena and the JHU contain provisions against the Tamils. Sirisena in fact is in a better bargaining position with the JHU. The JHU has already left the government without negotiating with the opposition candidate. Therefore, it will negotiate from a position of weakness. Otherwise it needs to stay neutral in this election, which will not serve its political objectives. Also, the JHU will be immensely helpful to target the Sinhala-Buddhist votes. Therefore, Sirisena, while accommodating JHU’s good governance related concerns, could make sure that the opposition coalition does not lean towards anti-minority tendencies. An informal Tamil boycott of the presidential election or apathy would prove to be costly for Sirisena.

*Dr. S. I. Keethaponcalan is Chair of the Conflict Resolution Department, Salisbury University, Maryland

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Latest comments

  • 6
    14

    Look here, let me help you with this one.

    Imagine one day you went to heaven. Who are you going to vote for then? There will not be Sinhala Lord or Tamil Lord is there? The Lords and Ladies there will not have ethnicity or skin colour etc. You will need to think their godly qualities and vote appropriately.

    I can imagine this would be too novel a concept if you are a Tamil. But I urge you to be broad minded. Don’t look at a mans colour, caste or creed. Think of their human qualities and vote appropriately. That will prepare you for the next world too.

    • 0
      6

      Oh ya.

    • 11
      2

      Vibhushana
      This is very rich indeed, coming from someone like yourself whose anti-Tamil prejudice is all too obvious. The professor’s analysis, as usual, is detached and independant, interesting and useful.

      • 0
        7

        Professor’s analysis is completely incorrect.
        There was no dillema for the TNA to support Fonseka
        who was a bigger racist than either Mathreepala or maninda R.

        • 1
          1

          Yes manoharan, you are right. He has to learn a lot, he always just write without go to the field, just I phone couple of my tamil friend and had a chat, they all support common candidate,
          Keertha, don’t just write without having any base, this is how you taught at the colombo uni, learn politics well before you come to a wrong conclusion.

        • 1
          0

          Modaya,
          He is talking about Tamil dilemmas, not TNA dilemmas. You cannot even understand this.

    • 9
      1

      Dr S.I. Keethaponcalan

      Imagine you are in the middle of the Dessert, and you are dying of dehydration within the next 24 hrs.

      No food, bur the food in the body can last for 2 weeks.

      what do you do? Try to get food or water.

      Similarly, first things First. Give Help to the common Candidate to get rid of the MaRa, Mara, the devil as per Buddhism.

      Food can come later.

      That is what the wise people are doing.

      For heaven’s sake, do not take money from Mara like VP did in 2005.

      Otherwise We all are dead or slAves to the Medamulana MaRa, aka Mara..

      • 15
        0

        Tamils should not make the same mistake as in 2005. We should balance the priorities. A boycott of the election will amount to a vote for MaRa. To put it crudely, even if the two are devils, we have to choose the better devil. Didn’t the Tamils vote in large numbers to SF so soon after Mullivaaikkaal?

        Tamils are a cool lot of people and will always exercise their common sense which is above all political analyses!

        Sengodan. M

      • 1
        4

        Amarasiri, Sure you will find water?

        Looks like your efforts are in vain. 85000 lunch packets laid to waste at Polonnaruwa following Sirisena’s meeting shows that people are not hungry!

        Keep your desperate, frustrated sole (not a spelling mistake) moving by dreaming of a change.

        You will wake up to your misery on 9 Jan 2015 just as the day before.

    • 7
      0

      I think your analogy is wrong. Tamils or any community will think about their immediate concerns when voting. You cant expect them to think about national issues when they have problems of their own. It is not practical.

      So the common candidate will have to listen to tamils’ concerns. I think writer has a point. The joint candidate should promise that he would go ahead in implementing 13A with success preventing problems emerged during MR era.

    • 1
      0

      But he is a professor not a Bishop you must understand. Address the main issue chap. Dont talk like a Sri Lnkan. Always out of point and wander all over the place. If you go to heaven they may send you back to go back and learn to think properly. that is think first if you can and then write. Not the other way. Good luck.

  • 4
    17

    A Tamil is a Tamil is a Tamil is a Tamil. Just look how that Sitsabaiesan compared Tamil terrorists to Canadian heroes.

    • 17
      3

      Terrorist to one is a hero to another.
      Terroist one day is a Hero another day.

      Nelson Mandela is one example
      Tamils LTTE fighters is another example

      • 2
        5

        there is a tendency among tamil racists to equate mandela to LTTE terras. Freedom fighters dont kill their own people :) LTTE was exact opposite.

        Even hid behind normal tamils…did mandela do it?

        Mandela tried to safeguard the majority black community from discrimination and oppression from a minority white community. There is none to equate to mandela in SL. A close fellow would be Dharmapala.

        • 6
          2

          Sach “there is a tendency among tamil racists to equate mandela to LTTE”

          I am not equating Mandela to LTTE. Just read what I said. I said Mandela was once a terrorist.

          Liberating a mjority form a minority rule is not that hard!.
          Liberating a minority form majority oppression is harder.
          Liberating a mjority with a minority comlex is impossible

          • 1
            1

            when one brings ‘Mandela too once a terrorist’ in a context where LTTE terrorism is talked about somewhat suggests otherwise. I have seen writer Sivathasan too had suggested so in his writing.

            If you do not equate Mandela with LTTE that is good of you.

            Liberating a majority from a oppressive minorty is hard if the minorty has links to powers, as it was the case in South Afrcia. In SL as well, Sinhala english elite was oppressive on a sinhala buddhist (as they say Yakko) majority

            • 0
              1

              Sach”If you do not equate Mandela with LTTE that is good of you. “
              It’s good for LTTE and Mandela as well, as they were fighting different liberation as you say.

              Sach “Liberating a majority from a oppressive minorty is hard if the minorty has links to powers”

              very true is case of Sri Lanka as well, the war would not have been won without the help of the same powers you are talking about.

              Sach “In SL as well, Sinhala english elite was oppressive on a sinhala buddhist (as they say Yakko) majority “

              Sinhala english elite ? it was Tamil English elite helped the Sinhala English elite.

              Rajash “Liberating a mjority with a minority comlex is impossible”

              I preseume you agree with me on this

  • 5
    2

    There is of course a difference in this PE (Made-in-China anyway), the
    talk of “abolishing EP”, “National Govt” “RW as PM”etc. gives some hope of participatory-democracy and no open mention of deleting the 13th Amend; Given the harms arising from a N/E boycotting, wise counsel must prevail among the moderates there. My3 will make it to the N/E at the latter stage of electioneering as a tactic I guess.

  • 1
    5

    Asuras, Gorrilas, Tamil Terrorist.

  • 7
    4

    First of all create an environment where Tamils can have open political discussion without fear and then talk about Tamil voting.

    • 3
      1

      For that MaRa MUST go!

      Sengodan. M

  • 12
    4

    This is an election war between Mahinda Regime and Chandrika Regime. Both candidates rightly or wrongly assume that Sinhalese vote is the key to win this election.Both candidates think any association with TNA will give a disadvantage for them. That is the reason the Mahinda group clearly said they can win the election without TNA support. For the Chandrika group, the main purpose is to defeat Mahinda and if they make an agreement then Mahinda group will use that as a propaganda against Chandrika group. Mahinda initially played a game through BBS but Chandrika group played well because muslims cannot go with BBS. TNA’s stand to not to support both sides is a good move. However, Tamil votes are going to be the difference between both. Tamils have substantial evidence and experience that Mahinda will never move in his stand on the devolution because his aim is creating a Sinhala Buddhist only Sri Lanka. That is the reason for his continuous victory in all elections since 2010. In order to keep this going on Mahinda used LTTE threat as a propaganda. Unfortunately his greediness made him to put his hands on his political rivals, journalists, justice system and allowed corruption and criminals to enjoy the freedom. Sinhalese people have realised that they have been used for such a mess to create a permanant Rajapakse kingdom.

    Tamils have to be rational and contribute to the well being of this island. Tamils will be better off under a system and governance where the law and order return back to normal and independent justice system established. I don’t know what the other group will do to resolve the national question of power devouluion but at least we will be satisfied morally by helping Sinhalese from getting their rights back and creating a true democratic system.

    • 6
      8

      That +1 is from me. That is because I just saw a light at the end of a long dark tunnel.

    • 7
      2

      Ajit,

      Your conclusion is right, intelligent and wise. The Tamils can get their problems resolved only in a democratic and well governed Sri Lanka. The Tamils should vote as Sri Lankans at the on-coming elections. We have nothing to lose.
      Let us hope that the transitional government of the common front will act right by the Tamils. We will also have nothing to lose by hoping.

      ‘Arainanaintha koelikku, kulireythu aethu pani aethu (It does not matter to a half wet chicken, whether it is cold or dewy)!

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • 0
        13

        What happened to Tamil Elam?

        Why Tamils now think like Srilankans?

        Is it because the army hammered them so hard that they changed their nationality?

        Cow-ards.

        • 4
          2

          Tamils are always wanted to live inside the island of Ilankai as equals with Sinhalese. Tamils are not against Sinhalese as Sinhalese rascists claim. Tamil Ealam is still a valid and justifiable call if Sinhalese fail to realsie this truth. It is up to the Sinhalese to decide whether they want a military rule or to live peacefully along with Tamils as equals.

          • 1
            1

            Dear Mr Ajith
            in order to proceed with a practical, rational discussion on the subject
            it is important that the category of population group known as “Tamils” is clearly identified.
            Can you kindly tell us when YOU use the word “Tamils” which of the following sub categories are included:

            1) Tamil speaking Hindus and Christians in the Northern Province
            2) Tamil speaking Muslims in the Nothern Province
            3) Tamil speaking Hindus and Christians in the Eastern Province
            4) Tamil speaking Muslims in the Eastern Province
            5) Tamil speaking Hindus and Christians in Colombo / Wellawatta
            6) Tamil speaking Muslims scattered in various pockets among Sinhalese in areas outside Nothern and Eastern provinces
            7) Tamils of recent Indian origin in up country estates.
            Thanks

            • 2
              1

              Soma

              Similarly

              can you define what sub categories Sinhalease fall in to?
              1) Sinhala speaking Hindus and Christians in the Northern Province
              2) Sinhala speaking Muslims in the Nothern Province
              3) Sinhala speaking Hindus and Christians in the Eastern Province 4) Sinhala speaking Muslims in the Eastern Province
              5) Sinhala speaking Hindus and Christians in Colombo / Wellawatta 6) Sinhala speaking Muslims scattered in various pockets among Tamils in areas outside Nothern and Eastern provinces
              7) Sinhala modayas clingingon the recent Rajapakse clan
              8)Sinhalease of recent MY3 clan
              9)Sinhala thugs dressed up as monks
              10)Sinhala maids toliling in the middle east earnig valuable foreign exchange
              11) Sinhala Modayas like you

              Thanks

              • 2
                1

                You can repeat all of the above for “Sinhala speaking Sri Lankan Brand of Buddhist”

              • 1
                0

                Rajash

                Can you not think something positive out of the division which might lead to unity in diversity?

                Though divided by religion they can still be united by language.

            • 3
              1

              Dear Soma,

              I consider all Tamil speaking communities living in this island as Tamils. However, there are Tamil speaking communities who are living in the north east region of Ilankai island are historical Tamils. This inclues islamist Tamils and Other Tamils (Hindus, Christians). There is another group of Tamils who were brought by British rulers to develop Upcountry for plantation industry. The so called Colombo tamils are those Tamils who moved from North East and upcountry for employment and business purposes because Colombo is the capital of Ceylon under British occupation.

              • 1
                1

                Majority of the tamil speaking people in North and East are people brought by Dutch for coffee plantations. brits werent the only one who did demographic changes. There are dutch records showing that.
                There was constant immigration even during British period

              • 0
                0

                “I consider all Tamil speaking communities living in this island as Tamils.”
                Thanks Ajith. You are the only one who gave me a clear answer without about the bush.
                Now dear Ajith can you me the reference of any proposal of a political solution which covers at least 75% of the Tamils.

            • 1
              0

              Tyring yor best to divide the Tamils. They are Tamil Tamils not Sinhalese Demils.
              Try something else if you are intelligent.

              • 0
                0

                No my dear Liar I am trying to unite them all and find a political solution to cover at least 95% of them. All what I read applies only to 50% which I strongly object to.
                Soma

        • 3
          1

          Tamodaya Madaiya:

          The flame of Freedom is still burning bright. ” Entru Thanium Intha Suthanthira Thakam”

    • 3
      0

      Well said Ajith!

      Let us at least ‘Give Peace a Chance’!

    • 2
      2

      “Tamils have substantial evidence and experience that Mahinda will never move in his stand on the devolution because his aim is creating a Sinhala Buddhist only Sri Lanka.”

      On what ground do you say so? In 68 years MR gover was the only one who did a proper devolution and implemented 13A.

      • 2
        1

        I don’t think Mahinda was the president when 13th amendment was implemented in 1987. There is no proper devolution and 13th amendment is not implemented fully by Mahinda. Mahinda hold the election because he thought that he can cheat India but every one understand what is going in real life.

        • 1
          0

          In 87 13 A was not implemented, it was sabotaged by LTTE. The only tamil governing NPC was created under MR. There is some improvement in that with all the drawbacks.

          I am pretty sure if implemented in full and with cooperation between NPC and govern that will be a good devolution.

  • 4
    0

    Mr. Sirisena was a part of the regime until last month, which passed
    anti Tamil legislations & supported military operation in N/E for the last ten years or more and now he says that he will look into implementing LLRC recommendations, which is still under discussion stage with few leading parties, including TNA ,not participating in it
    This will get dragged for a longer time like what is happening to 13A, tho’ Indian govt promised to put it right after Mr.Modi took over as PM, India. Mr. Sirisena has also commented that Retired General Sarath Fonseka will be made defence minister if he wins, which is not acceptable to the Tamils as he was the northern commander during the war and he is the one who brought in large contingents of armed forces and extended the security zone,ten fold, taking nearly 1/3 of Jaffna area including the coastal areas and made North a battle field. He chased the farmers and fisher folks away from the fertile lands and costal areas and put people into severe hardships and the present predicament of the Tamils is due to him and will the Tamils of N/E accept this proposal and will he undo what he did ?. TNA has no moral right to support either party and what they should do is to allow the Tamils to vote according to their consciousness instead of an official boycott and keep away from official participation as Tamils too have self respect. Both parties are reluctant to talk to TNA, sole reps of Tamils as Sinhala political parties have brainwashed the majority for vote catching purposes, that Tamils are terrorists and aliens and does not want to treat Tamils as equals and rightful citizens of this country.
    Let TNA take a neutral stand and if the ruling party wins, face the music in a lesser tone due TNA remaining neutral and if the opposition wins, start negotiations afresh, with a strong third party mediation with a time frame to solve the issue for good and Tamil dilemma is
    will be solved.

    • 6
      0

      Tamils can never ever achieve anything on a ‘stand alone’ basis. India, so long as it remains a single country ( most likely for at least the next 100 years!) under whatever government will never be supportive of a separate Tamil Eelam. Similarly no other country in the world will support such a move. We should also not imagine that the Tamil diaspora has immense power. We should get down to Earth, be realistic and look for ways and means of inching towards progress. The days of adventurism and miracles are well behind us!

      Sengodan. M

    • 1
      2

      “Mr. Sirisena was a part of the regime until last month, which passed anti Tamil legislations & supported military operation in N/E for the last ten years or more and now he says that he will look into implementing LLRC recommendations, “

      Are you saying the last war waged by LTTE and gover defeating LTTE was wrong?

  • 1
    1

    Tamils as King Makers. Shah!

    • 5
      0

      Not king makers. Co participants in progress!

      Sengodan. M

      • 0
        3

        I agree. The TNA long before the Opposition got their bloody act together was asking for what the opposition is asking now.

  • 0
    5

    Obviously Dr Keetha hasn’t seen the SRA ,,,

    Can someone email him a copy !!!

    The one I saw was the original . It was all in Sinhala…

  • 3
    0

    who says he is not supporting My3,
    “A change of government at this point in time could create fresh space for constructive politics enabling them to break out of the present stalemate”

    “The opposition alliance might need a concerted effort to convince the Tamils to vote for Sirisena and might need a concrete campaign in the North-East. A serious publicity campaign in the North-East to introduce the candidate and his policies would address the first issue. Formally having the TNA on its side will make this task easy.”

    • 1
      3

      No campaign will work for this Chandrika-Ranil puppet.
      Frustrated thieves are wasting their time.

  • 5
    1

    Sirisena has already announced that he has not entered into any agreement with JHU. Even if he does, we should bear in mind that the JHU will only be a minor partner to be more than counter balanced by moderate forces in the grand coalition. The JHU, of corse always portrays a bloated image of itself.

    Sengodan. M

  • 2
    1

    Ajit – If your real name is Ajith and a Sinahlese, My hats off to you for a well defined article on the current political situation and you had been frank in your assessment.
    Your last para explains it all. Most importantly, minorities look for law and order in the country and independent justice system established
    to protect themselves from arbitrary arrests and so on and then comes politics.To create a true & successful democratic system of governing,
    devolution of power is important as in India and other major countries
    like USA, Canada & Switzerland, as an example of a smaller country like
    Sri Lanka.

  • 3
    1

    It is interesting that many Sinhalese now want Tamils to vote for Sirisena so as to ensure that Sinhalese get their rights back, law and order is restored etc. But these same Sinhalese were never interested in the rigths, welfare and justice for Tamils when the Rajapaksa regime unleashed its brutality on the Tamils. Why should Tamils vote for Sirisena? to go back to the pre-Rajapaksa days when Tamils were second class citizens? Which party was responsible for the 2003 pogrom?Tamil votes should not be taken for granted. Tamils made a mistake both in 2005 and 2010. This time around, they should ensure the candidate they vote for will deliver on a Federal solution, something Sirisena has already rejected. The TNA should think this through carefully before endorsing a candidate, a lot is at stake.

    • 0
      2

      So you want the Tamils to boycott the election and hand over victory for Rajapaksa, who will ensure Tamils are exterminated during his Third Term?

      Kaz, are you talking for cash, or are you a moron, that is assuming you are a Tamil? If you are a Rajapaksa shill that’s another matter.

      • 0
        0

        Read my comments more carefully before calling people names. I did say Tamils should not repeat the mistake of 2005. But Tamils should not settle for Rajapaksa ‘lite’ either. Tamils can and should demand more from Sirisena before endorsing him.

  • 0
    2

    Dr S.I. Keethaponcalan,

    This Article illustrates the many many delusions you are suffering from. Your most glaring delusion is the following:

    “A segment of the Tamil community comprising mostly radical nationalists who still believe in separatist ideologies, assume that presidential elections are an affair of the Sinhalese and the South. The Tamil do not have to take part and should ignore them is the idea. This assumption formed the basis of the LTTE enforced boycott of the 2005 presidential election.”

    The truth is that Mahinda Rajapaksa bribed your hero Velupillai Pirabaharan who accepted the money, and forced the Tamils to keep away from the polling booth, on pain of death. Most of your brothers and sisters had no choice but to remain home, even if they desired to exercise the vote. The rest is history: The Tamils experienced a near genocide as a result.

    On which side of the fence you stand at this time is of grave importance: whether you are a Tamil seeking to build a land in which you can live in dignity and peace, or whether you are seeking a path towards enriching yourself personally by acting as a paid mouthpiece of Rajapaksa, mislead the Tamils to boycott the election, and to hand over victory to him.

    The latter possibility is very real of course, if you hero worshipped the Tigers. I do not know who you are; so I don’t know where you stand.

    The need of the hour in the interest of Sri Lanka, the people, the animals, the birds the trees and all that is in the Country is to get rid of Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya, Basil, Namal, Rohitha, Chamal, their lackeys, stooges and lickspittle. THAT IS THE PRIORITY. The Common Candidate Project can do this. Support it. I am hopeful, you too should be, that after the ruling predators are banished, mechanisms will be put in place under a Parliamentary system of government to establish and maintain a just society.

    So if you have a Tamil heart inside of you beating as one with your Community, please use your pen in the noble cause to get rid of the present rulers and serve your community. Most importantly STOP MUDDYING THE WATER TO CONFUSE. If you have succumbed to the temptation to betray your people for ten pieces silver, sorry gold, please change course. Otherwise pray to the Almighty for guidance or take this advice: Tell the Tamil people to enthusiastically go to the polling booth and vote for the common candidate.

  • 1
    0

    Dear Dr Keethaponcalan
    in order to proceed with a practical, rational discussion on the subject
    it is important that the category of population group known as “Tamils” is clearly identified.
    Can you kindly tell us when YOU use the word “Tamils” which of the following sub categories are included:

    1) Tamil speaking Hindus and Christians in the Northern Province
    2) Tamil speaking Muslims in the Nothern Province
    3) Tamil speaking Hindus and Christians in the Eastern Province
    4) Tamil speaking Muslims in the Eastern Province
    5) Tamil speaking Hindus and Christians in Colombo / Wellawatta
    6) Tamil speaking Muslims scattered in various pockets among Sinhalese in areas outside Nothern and Eastern provinces
    7) Tamils of recent Indian origin in up country estates.
    Thanks

    • 2
      0

      Dear Soma,
      Why can’t you proceed with a practical, rational discussion with or without that catagorization of Tamils?

  • 1
    0

    By the time this practical and rational discussion is completed the Elections will be over and the Post-Election violence will be in full swing.

  • 3
    2

    Dr S.I. Keethaponcalan

    No disrespect but if you were guiding me through my Thesis for a PhD I will think twice and let me explain why.

    Let us look at the following.

    1)”If they participate in the election, they have to vote for a person who until recently was part of the very same government they do not want to support. Maithripala was not an ordinary member. He was one of the leaders and he vehemently defended the government policies, which the Tamils see as problematic. This factor could mute their enthusiasm for the election and voting”

    2) “Also, a segment of the Tamil community do not know much about Sirisena as he was not involved directly in the Tamil issues”.

    I am sure having read 1 & 2 you will spot that that there is a contradiction. But to give you the benefit of the doubt what % would you say is this segment you are talking about because that will make a huge difference if the Tamils decide to vote.

    I am not sure how you arrive at the following conclusion and perhaps you would like to clarify.

    ” A formal or even informal boycott would amount to supporting President Rajapaksa”

    *** If you feel disenfranchised with the whole Sri Lankan system why would abstaining make you siding with one side. It simply means that you don’t have any faith in the Democratic Process.

    ” Given the voting patterns, Rajapaksa can win without Tamil votes, but Sirisena cannot. Therefore, he should be more concerned about Tamil votes than the government.

    The above is interesting as if what you say is correct the Opposition should openly address the issue of Tamil Grievance otherwise it will be political suicide. But then again the problem for the opposition is the fear of antagonising the Majority by promising to address the Tamil issue which will boost Mahinthas vote bank. The Tamils have a problem in choosing who back if any as even Srisena has said that he will protect MR.

    The Tamil vote numbers about 800,000 and they cannot support the opposition unless they have it in their manifesto that they will address the 64 year old Tamil Grievance. If it is not in their Manifesto I will not trust them but if it is in their Manifesto that will lose them votes so my advise to the Tamils would be STAY at Home and let the Sinhalese fight it on their TURF.

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    Keethaponcalan

    In your synical letter you have stated “Post-War difficulties” that you are having to encounter. If you have the courage can you state here-in few of those difficulties that you are unable to cope with please?

    Did you have a better or more comfortable life before the war or during the war ?

    You ungrateful Tamils (and Muslims), remember, nearly 28000 of our brave Sinhala soldiers paid with dear lives for you all to be in this peaceful and comfortable state.

    If I may assume that one of your grievance is not being able to get the northern province and eastern province under your ruling as your home land, you are sadly mistaken. This is one country, one flag and one national anthem. As Prabakaran had attempted, if you are contemplating a “Tamil home land or Elam”,
    again, that will be another bigger blood bath.

    I understand that Tamil is a nation, the language spoken is Tamil and that country is “Tamil Nadu”.where all Tamils belong to. One nation cannot have two home lands. Please get that into your Thick skull. For any reason if you feel uncomfortable in this peaceful Sinhala country, please seek refuge in Tamil Nadu.

    For Muslims whose mother tongue is neither Sinhalese nor Tamil, may seek comfort in a middle eastern Muslim country if they find uncomfortable here in Sinhale. If they are having in their mind to convert this country to a Muslim country, again, that also will end up in huge human sacrifices.

    Please remember, this is “Sinhale” , the only country in this world where the language “Sinhalese” is spoken and it belongs to Sinhalese. You Tamils (and Muslims) are quite welcome to live in this peaceful country as our good law abiding neighbours.

    Sam

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