8 May, 2021

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Presidential Elections: Tamils’ Choice – A Deadly Dilemma!

By Karikalan S. Navaratnam

Karikalan S. Navaratnam

There is no need to labour the point why Tamil people reject Gotabaya Rajapaksa outright as persona non grata. That does not imply that the other contenders vying for the Presidency are happily acceptable to the Tamils. On the UNP front, they have decided on Sajith Premadasa as the candidate. Sajith has been out of the blocks even without waiting for the whistle. An Indian daily had even earmarked him as the next President: “The minister-in-attendance who will accompany PM Modi throughout the visit will be none other than 52-year-old Sri Lankan Housing minister, Sajith Premadasa, a man who may well be the President of Sri Lanka by the end of the year.” (Hindustan Times, 08 June 2019 – “PM Modi, first foreign visit to Lanka after attacks…..”)

Ranil or Sajith – immaterial

From our perspective, it does not make a difference whether it is Sajith or Ranil. Largely due to Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leaders’ cohabitation with the incumbent government and their camaraderie with Ranil, there is a perception among the Sinhala voters that the Tamils have a weakness for UNP and, in particular, an intimacy with Ranil. In this context, TNA leaders’ frailties and foibles need not be mixed up with the character of the Tamil polity.TNA propped up UNP in the legislature and had rushed to Ranil’s rescue every time he was in dire straits.

TNA MPs successively voted for every annual budget including Defence allocations. TNA did not move, at least by way of protest, even a motion for Token Cut on budget allocations for different Ministries including the Defence Ministry. It is preposterous that the TNA leaders later shout in holy horror about militarization of Tamil habitats and mushrooming  Buddhist  temples and statues in Tamil areas. By implication, TNA has been privy to this proliferation and the structural destruction of our heritage in the Tamil habitats. 

TNA – An appendage of UNP?

Is TNA’s capitulation to the UNP is so complete that the media and Southern politicians treat TNA as an appendage of the UNP? It is an affront to the pride and dignity of the Tamils that TNA support for UNP nominee has been taken for granted. The Island reported:“Sources said with the UNP reaching a consensus on its candidate, Premadasa would receive the backing of the Tamil National Alliance.” (Island, 26 Sept.2019– “Sajith Prez candidate, Ranil retains leadership)

Ranil is no Prince Charming

Ranil is too cocky to believe that the Tamils are fascinated by his puerile and jejune politics. Reportedly, he has undertaken to get the support of the Tamils for Sajith: “….Ranil Wickremesinghe had undertaken the task of wooing the Tamil and Muslim votes for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Sajith Premadasa at the presidential elections….” ( Daily Mirror, 27 Sept. 2019-Ranil to woo Tamil Muslim votes for Sajith”). Mr. Prime Minister ought to know that he is neither the Prince Charming nor a Patron Saint of the Tamils. Also, Tamil constituency is not a “rotten borough” or a “pocket borough” controlled by patrons as some British constituencies were known before the Reform Act -1832. Ranil’s barefaced betrayals of the Tamils’ trust and breach of pledges are too many to recount. Let me cite some of the issues :-

* Return of army-occupied lands in the North-East to civilian owners

Responding to a question during his address at the Oxford Union in England, in Oct. 2018, Ranil said: “As far as the lands of the Tamils are concerned, bulk of the lands have been returned. There are some areas in which there are some issues, mainly about 600 acres in and around the major cantonments of Palaly and Kankasanturai. But within it development is taking place. Now, the Indian government is developing the KKS port. We are opening up many of the areas. Actually lands have been given out….”

On the contrary, what is the ground reality? According to Verité Research, Continued military control over land has prevented IDPs returning to Mullikulam in the North, despite pledges to release the land in 2018. Verité Research also said military-occupied land is often used for agricultural and commercial ventures. Over 1,000 acres of state land in the Northern Province have been used as farms run by the Army and were identified for release on 30 December 2018.” The military continues to be engaged in commercial tourism ventures. Meanwhile, the military has reportedly engaged in harassment and intimidation of civilians and civil society actors (including IDPs demanding land return and families of the disappeared) in areas in the North and East.” (EconomyNext, 15 March 2019-Sri Lanka only partly met UN promise to release military-held land, study finds) 

Northern Province Governor Dr. Suren Raghavan has decided to appoint a committee to identify alternative lands for the army and the police in Jaffna in place of the private lands used by them………..” (Daily Mirror, 22 Sept.2019 –“Steps taken to release private lands in Jaffna”)

* Reneging on commitments made to UNHRC to set up hybrid Court

In reply to a question on the Geneva Resolution at the said Oxford Union gathering , Ranil began to prattle on: “We feel the present system is functioning well. ..…..So the work is going ahead and we feel in such circumstances it is better for us to do the investigations and anyone is welcome as observers. Sometimes it is slow…. Slow in any country. But the process is working….And, at the moment we do not feel there is a need for foreign intervention in the investigations…”

* Demilitarization of Tamil habitats in the North-East

“(T)he army has also reduced its presence in Jaffna. No one has asked the army to move out fully from Jaffna….Army has not been a major issue as far as the Tamil people are concerned there and the relations are good with the army.” (Ranil at the Oxford Union meeting – supra )

* ‘Sinhala-Buddhistization’ – Structural Genocide of the Tamils

Under UNP regime, senior officials of the Departments of Archaeology, Forest Conservation, Wildlife Conservation and Mahaweli  Development Authority have been doing their bit to accelerate the structural genocide of Tamils in their traditional habitats. Destruction of a Hindu temple in Kanniya, Trincomalee to erect a Buddhist Vihara and the desecration of a Hindu temple in Neeraviyadi, Mullaitivu by Buddhist monks, defying Court Order, are the latest trendy tales !

* Repeal and replacement of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA)

The Sri Lankan government has been all talk and no action on repealing the reviled PTA. ….”- Brad Adams, Asia director, Human Rights Watch.

* Abduction and forced disappearance: Sri Lanka’s missing thousands

For the past 900 + days families of the missing persons have been holding daily vigils in several towns in the North-East Sri Lanka, crying their heart out for information on the fate and whereabouts of their loved ones, most of whom were personally handed over to or abducted by the military ten years ago. “Can the Office of Missing Persons provide answers in a country with the world’s second highest number of disappearances?”(Aljazeera, 14 May 2018). Ranil had, with utter callousness, well in advance, provided the answer: “Those that surrendered at the end of the war and are still missing in Sri Lanka are ‘most probably dead’ said Sri Lanka’s prime minister….in an interview with Channel 4 News.” (Tamil Guardian, 24 Jan.2016)

Ruki Fernando, a prominent human rights activist, said “Wickremesinghe’s remark about the likely fate of those missing had caused a lot of anguish amongst the relatives of the disappeared. [It] brings out the question: ‘what is the purpose of the proposed office of missing persons if the prime minister already knows what happened to them?’” (The Guardian (UK), 29 Jan.2016 Sri Lanka’s missing thousands………..”)

* Tamil political prisoners languishing in limbo in different jails in Sri Lanka

Over 20,000 JVP rebels involved in attacks on army camps and police stations, were granted general amnesty and released from custody by Ranil’s  uncle J.R.. in 1977. Some of them had later become M.P.s and Cabinet Ministers. The issue of Tamil political prisoners detained under the PTA has been ongoing since the end of war. Protests and hunger strikes have followed, promises were made by government leaders only to be broken later. Nearly 105 Tamil political prisoners are in custody.“ Out of these 37 have been convicted while 17 others are appealing their sentences. Many of the prisoners …… have been subjected to prolonged detention often without charge for a significant number of years. Some detainees have been acquitted in recent times after spending over 10 years behind bars….Muthaiya  Sahathevan died of illness, after 14 years of detention.”( Sunday Observer, 28 July 2019– “PTA Detainees: Tamil politicians must pressurise government for solution” )

* Ranil did not give even a whimper of protest when war criminals were promoted or decorated by President Sirisena, in defiance of the UNHRC 

After flirting with Ranil for almost five years, by courtesy of his chicanery TNA is left fully denuded, bereft of even a fig leaf to cover the nudity of TNA leaders’ sleezy, self-serving politics.  In the circumstances, Sajith is setting about to solicit Tamil support using the public persona of Ranil and Ranil, in turn, relies on TNA.

Sajith Premadasa

What is the mindset of Sajith Premadasa on the ethnic issue? Recently, The Economist Intelligence Unit (UK) produced an essay, presenting “The Case for a Sajith  Premadasa Candidacy”. Local media outlets had carried the article. It says, inter alia,: “the late President Premadasa combined a multiethnic, multicultural, multireligious, multilingual pluralism with a robust patriotism, and that his son would be the closest approximation of a non-ethnocratic, pluralist, inclusionary nationalism; a nationalism that heals rather than an aggressive one that dominates and imposes….” (Daily News, 17 Aug. 2019).

Pious platitudes

Sajith’s mixed priorities and pious platitudes tend to falsify the positive image presented by the essayist. He appears to be an ‘evangelist’ anointed as such by the saffron-robed Ayatollahs. Evidently, he had pledged his primary loyalty to the prelates and had, therefore, refused a seat on the UNP’s Leadership Council because the party Working Committee had not adopted proposals mooted by Buddhist monks:

UNP MP Sajith Premadasa who has refused a seat on the newly appointed Leadership Council said he was forced to bow out of the nomination he was given by the Working Committee out of respect for the Buddhist monks…..Premadasa said the Working Committee had not adopted the three points put forward by the monks at the Sunday meeting in Kurunegala and added that he could not insult the monks by sitting on the Council.” ( Colombo Telegraph, 04 Nov. 2013– “I Can’t Go Against Buddhist Monks Proposals – Sajith ”)

Sajith’s  most urgent priority is to construct 1125 Buddhist temples under the Sasunata  Aruna” program. Implementation has started and  the work is in progress. Under the initial phase, 25 temples are constructed in 25 districts. North-East districts are not immune to this invasion. Tamils have reason to fear that the venture is the tip of another iceberg. 

“Khema’s boy”

Minister Mangala Samaraweera has been a leading protagonist of Sajith’s campaign. Known to his electors as “Khema’s boy”. he owes his liberal views (“Sri Lanka is but a multi-racial, multi-religious country not a Sinhala-Buddhist country”) to his mother Mrs. Khema Samaraweera. If I may strike a personal note, Khema and I were colleagues working together at Lake House and were good friends. She was a charming lady, free from any prejudice or bigotry. How does Mangala reconcile his secular views with Sajith’s ?. Would he be able to keep ‘President’ Sajith on a short leash? Chandrika could not do so vis-à-vis Sirisena.

JVP antecedents

What are the credentials of the JVP and the JVP-led  NPP candidate?.  Anura Kumara Dissanayake, in relation to Tamil issues,  is an unknown quantity. But JVP’s antecedents as racially-motivated revolutionaries are well-known. In particular, JVP’s 1987-89  insurgency and terror campaign targeting the Leftists and liberal-minded intellectuals in the South was triggered by the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord 1987, which promised a degree of autonomy to the Tamils  in their traditional habitats in North-East provinces, which were merged into one unit. 

In 2006, JVP filed petitions in the Supreme Court challenging the merger and the Court ruled in favour of the Petitioners. The Demerger took effect from January 2007.  Anura Kumara was a M.P., an ex-Minister  and a leader of the JVP at that time. It is not strange that when it comes to defeating Tamil demands, Sinhala leaders, cutting across party lines act in solemn solidarity.  North-East merger is the core component of our aspirations, which is abhorrent to Sinhala nationalists.  

Boycott the elections?

A vocal minority in the community feels that we should boycott the Presidential Elections. What for? After silencing the guns, burying the bullets and saying adieu’ to armed struggle, ballots are the primary weapons the Tamils have to strategically fight Sinhala-Buddhist fascist forces. Let us not throw them away.  That we have failed in our electoral strategies is no reason to blame the weapon.

Field a Tamil candidate?

Sections of our people believe in running a common Tamil candidate. It is an aberration. We have no stake or claim in conducting the affairs of the people in the South. Our stakes and strength are in our own regions. Let us not encroach upon other peoples’ domains and, thereby, legitimize their arbitrary encroachment upon our domains.  

Conclusion

International actors, especially India and USA, have an inherent interest in the outcome of the elections. They are conscious of the critical role the Tamil electors can play. TNA is susceptible to their pressure. Once the elections are over, these power brokers would leave us in the lurch and pursue their own interests. Leading candidates covet Tamil votes and have been talking to TNA. TNA has, quite rightly, told the contenders that details of any offer they make touching on Tamil issues should be included in their Election Manifesto in  Sinhala and made known to Sinhala electors. Bravo!, TNA. But, will there be any takers? Sagacious sections of the Tamils are clueless as to what choice we have. We are not at the crossroads, but in a deadly dilemma !.

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Latest comments

  • 5
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    “That does not imply that the other contenders vying for the Presidency are happily acceptable to the Tamils.” (Navaratnam)

    In other words, Tamils have to choose the least inimical.

    Not having real hope, they have no real choice.

    The author labours to establish that which is obvious and clear.

    Pentheus

    • 22
      4

      While I completely agree with much of what the author says, we Tamils have to come out in large numbers and vote for Sajith.

      Gothabhaya is dangerous. He’ll take over our private lands, settle more Sinhalese in our midst, arrest more of us, have more white vans, introduce more routine surveillance and never ever relinquish power for the foreseeable future. It will be the Rajapakses all the way through. Many of us will disappear.

      Yes, Ranil and his TNA stooge, Sumanthiran, are utterly hopeless. But we can’t have Gotabhaya. Let’s turn out in large numbers and vote Sajith. He ain’t great. But the alternative would be Rwanda under the the Hutu President Habarimana.

      • 1
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        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

        For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

      • 3
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        TNA will decide on what India wants them to do. SAM/SUM/SEN combination are nothing but lackeys of India. TNA will concoct reason to ask Tamils to vote for him. This talk of meeting with candidates to find out their stand on Tamil demand and get the agreement incorporated in their manifesto is to hoodwink the Tamils. It is obvious to any person that no Sinhalese candidate will ever go against the Sinhala chauvinists. UNP may be the lesser evil, but once again Tamils are going to be taken for a ride. Another five years of support to UNP with little or nothing to allay the sufferings of Tamils. If India wants Sajith to win, you can be sure that India will not rock the boat to pressurize him to grant justice to Tamils. Sajith is a thug and a chauvinist from the way he had behaved in the past. One month ago TNA said that Sajith has no understanding about Tamil aspiration or has any tangible plan to handle it. How do you expect him to change in a short time. His talk of maximum devolution under a unitary state is an empty rhetoric which demonstrates that he has no clue about it. Will he ever say that I will implement 13th amendment in full (Including police and land powers) and go beyond to fullfil Tamil demand. Tamils should vote on the basis that an enemy who behaves like an enemy is easier to confront than an enemy who pretends to be a friend.

    • 2
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      Presidential election is not important for Tamils.None of these three candidates are going to say even they will implement 13th amendment. It is parliament that is important for Tamils However Tamils should participate in this election without any influence of TNA. TNA should encourage Tamils participation but let the people to decide which candidate they have to choose. I am sure people have enough information and knowledge about UNP,JVP and SLPP. It is always better if none of these candidates not reach 50%. After electing President only whoever wins need sufficient majority in parliament to run the government as they wish and Tamils should unite to get maximum seats to the parliament. At this point Tamils may get an opportunity to bargain their demand.

    • 13
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      Not only Tamils, even many Sinhala people feel the hopelessness. I am Sinhala from deep south, but at this point I feel like I have no hope for a meaningful future to our country. Specially after seen the way SLPP supporters hooted Hirunika Pemachandra. I am not a fan of her, I don’t support her, but we had some decency in this country. We used to respect women as mothers or sisters, it is no more. If one is not from SLPP, they treat that person like a traitor. Is this Democracy? People cannot have different opinion, or political affiliations. SLPP is like a culmination of all the evil of mankind. The faces of the people who are around GR is devillish, filled with hatred, anger and hostility. I am dreading even to think of a country governed by SLPP. By ruining the moral values of the country by Rajapakses, I think Prabhakaran got his wish fulfilled even after his death. He is the winner, not Rajapakse.

  • 6
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    Very good article . Now let us hear the howls of Sinhalese Buddhist Fascists and the Wahhabis

  • 7
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    Tamils have been always the king makers but without realising the benefit

  • 19
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    Tamils safe with UNP but the country will fair better with Anura Kumara Dissanayake. If you want Natzi type death camps vote Gota.

    • 11
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      Richard, you know as a Tamil I think AKD might do good for the country. He looks eternally poor and honest. I hope he wins. The only thing is he needs training on foreign affairs. If Gota comes, as you said death camps will fill Lanka. UNP with Ranis as the tail twister, this lazy bugger will never allow this country to move forward.

  • 5
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    Your statement that Gotabaya will not get any Tamil votes is incorrect. Several Tamils who did not want to sacrifice their children to terrorism and, those Tamils who want peace and get on with life will vote for him. It is this ‘I know what all Tamils want’ attitude that comes from Colombo, London, NY, ect. that does not get any Tamil voted in a President!

  • 8
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    Dear Mr Karikalan S. Navaratnam,
    .
    I understand the dilemma that you face.
    .
    On the other hand, we will have a new President on the 17th of November. Gota will be totally unacceptable. As you say, we get only platitudes from Sajith.
    .
    Although it will be nice to see a serious Tamil candidate, we’ve got to be realistic. I’ve found a full list of candidates here:
    .
    http://www.sundaytimes.lk/article/1105097/final-list-of-presidential-candidates-released-35-candidates-to-contest-poll
    .
    I know that what you want is somebody who will at least listen to the problems you are faced with. As you say, Mangala Samaraweera is a man without racial prejudices, but he is strangely backing a candidate who doesn’t have a definite stand on your problems.
    .
    Over and above all considerations is the strategy that you should use in voting. After the First Preferences are counted, a possible winner has to be in either First or Second Place. After that, the Preferences. Gota will get very few of them. Those who vote for him, are not people who do any thinking. They are all Sinhala supremacists, but I’m sorry to say that there are a huge number of them. If they get to 50%, then that’s curtains for us all.
    .
    We’ve got to get some non-racist candidate into Second Place at least with First Preferences, but, thereafter, we’ll be hoping that all those voting for eliminated candidates have used their other Preferences – it doesn’t matter if it is Second or Third. If you have placed a Tamil candidate second (or a Muslim for that community) that fact won’t even be recorded.
    .
    For a start, please start educating people on the system of voting. I’m trying in Sinhalese with people whom I meet, and in English in these comments. Few get it straight away. Let’s compare notes a fortnight from now.

  • 7
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    Karikalan S Navaratnam,

    Re: Tamils Choice: A deadly Dilemma

    The Rajapaksas, have latched on to Para-Sinhala “Para” Buddhism, as a strategy, just like SWRD had at an earlier era, and others to various degrees, to exploit the low mean IQ 79 of the Para Sinhala “Buddhists”. They are influenced by the Para-monks.

    In that equation, all the non Para-Sinhala are Aliens, Paras, in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, except Para-Sinhala, despite overwhelming mt-DNA evidence.

    If you really want to understand this, suggest you read and comprehend, Buddhism Betrayed by Dr. Stanley Thambiyah, Chicago University Press, with forward by Lal Jayawardena.

    You will understand the Sri Lankan Politics since 1948 and the current monks and others running berserk and commuting crimes.

    • 1
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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

      For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 1
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      Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah is a descendant of a Malabari brought to Sinhale by colonial parasites. His family became Christians and served their colonial master. This is a person who got free education at St. Thomas College and University of Ceylon and wanted to become popular among ‘Para’ Suddas by ridiculing Sinhala Buddhists and Buddhists monks. So the Native Sinhala Buddhists do not care for what this kind of traitors say about Buddhism, Buddhist Monks or Sinhala Buddhists.

  • 4
    16

    If Tamils and Muslims are going to vote en bloc for Sajith the Sinhalese should vote for Gotabhaya. En bloc voting is anathema to me. This is subjugation of individual self respect to political masters. Political masters take their groups as cattle and enter into various deals with other formations. I can’t understand the stupidity of Tamil/Muslim political masters by antagonizing the majority of the majority by aligning with the minority of majority. These pre election deals have no validity after the elections and usually not honoured, need not be honoured. And cannot be honoured as the majority of the majority will protest. Muslims are going to do fundamental mistake at a time they need the goodwill of ALL the Sinhalese.

    Soma

    • 14
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      soma

      “If Tamils and Muslims are going to vote en bloc for Sajith the Sinhalese should vote for Gotabhaya.”

      You nasty little rotten islanders don’t tell us you don’t vote on caste basis.
      Caste consciousness, bigotry, racism thuggery are the pillars of your Sinhala/Buddhist fascist society. Tamil and Muslim en bloc voting is another clever dick ploy to hide all your nasty characteristics.

      As dirty Dayan suggested minority votes should not count towards electing the president, hence you racist/casteist little scoundrels should demand election commissioners withdrew voting rights of Tamils and Muslims.
      Or Sinhala/Buddhist fascist should be given two votes each.
      Alternatively when final results are announced Gota’s share of votes should be multiplied by three.

      • 2
        0

        Let Tamils be free to vote.

        Soma

    • 1
      1

      soma,

      “If Tamils and Muslims are going to vote en bloc for Sajith the Sinhalese should vote for Gotabhaya”

      Have you heard the phrase Sinhalaya Modaya, Sinhala are Fools, (mean Q 79) ?

      Do the Sinhala Modayas constitute 50% of the voter base, to give supremacy to the Rajapaksa Mafia?

      Fortunately, not all Sinhala are fools, and will vote for AKD, Sajith Premadasa and the rest, except Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Alien , Para from USA. The Tamils and Muslims will probably take a similar path.

      • 0
        0

        Amarasiri aiya
        When you say ‘Tamils’ and ‘Muslims’ in lumps you are insulting them as cattle who would vote as herds goaded by political masters. They are waiting for the orders from above to decide the side depending on the deals their political crooks have struck. What a shame. In my family each votes according to his/her own choice.
        .
        An advice to my Muslim brothers and sisters:
        When you walk down the street after the election day your beard, cap, hijab or burka should not be an identification mark of your political party. You need the goodwill of ALL the Sinhalese.
        .
        Let Tamils and Muslims be free to vote.

        Soma

  • 4
    3

    Don’t think too much Karikalan. Modi will decide it for TNA like he did in 2015 and Tamils will follow what TNA tells them.

  • 4
    7

    I am repeating what I said elsewhere. This kind of thinking is a clear opportunity for Gotabhaya. If he wins sans support of these racist Shylocks, he will be in a stronger position to carryout his programme without bending to their whims.

  • 9
    2

    I feel that Tamils should back Anura Kumara Dissanayake as the front runner in this elections to test his commitment to what he has said on the platforms. Obviously the other two main candidates have failed us and therefore of no value.

    • 4
      0

      MM
      What did AKD do for the Tamils between 1987 and 2005, and a littler after?

  • 3
    4

    If you think that there is no choice, do not complain. Act.
    In this case, DO NOT CHOOSE: That way you will not make the wrong choice.

  • 13
    5

    For Tamils Gota is absolute “No, No”, he leads an essentially racist lobby of Shangri-la businessman, mulitarists and Gnanaseeya type monks. I don’t think Sajith is a racist, but he won’t and can’t do or achieve much on minority issues.

    That leaves the tricky question of whether the Tamils should trust Anura on minority issues despite the JVP’s sorry record on this matter. Yes the JVP has failed to make a full and public statement and analysis of its mistakes; it’s only after that is done that one can be confident it will not repeat these mistakes. But looking at trends I think the Tamils are better off supporting AKD than in abstaining.

    • 1
      0

      Does Dr David think that the JVP will be good for the Sinhalese?
      There is a JVP mindset which which seems hard to cure.
      His friend VBK declared in the mid-1990s that they were cured (even after a life attempt on him only a few years earlier).
      They took him for a thundering ride and through him wrecked the New Left Front.
      *
      Sadly, it seems much easier to learn that we seldom learn anything from history than to learn anything at all from history.

    • 3
      0

      The JVP has put itself into a cul-de-sac position and cannot afford to admits it’s past mistakes nor atone or make amends because it fears that it will create defections from it’s ranks that could weaken the support of the majority community from which it has evolved.
      That is why it is unable to come out openly and allay the fears of the minority communities on the subject of Buddhism being given the foremost constitutional position, let alone on the question of devolution of powers for the non Sinhalese inhabitants of the NE.
      But it should be acknowledged that it is the least racially bigoted political party having it’s roots in the majority community.
      In that sense I too think that Tamils should support the JVP In the forthcoming presidential elections.
      I say this in the context of what another commentator has said in this forum about how Sinhala Buddhist leaders make frequent pilgrimages of to Hindu Shrines in India for salvation and the images of Hindu gods and goddesses in busses,autos,and taxis despite the fact that those who propel them are Sinhala Buddhists let alone the majority of the passengers who travel in those vehicles.

  • 5
    0

    ……..We are not at the cross roads,but in a deadly dilemma………
    Opines the essayist.
    He has hit the nail on its head.!
    As for the TNA who have been in cohabitation with the UNP [ or with Ranil only? ] it is to their eternal credit that they did not conceive!!!
    I cannot but think of only that Nursery Rhyme …./….
    Round and round the rugged rocks the ragged Rabbit [TNA ] ran….

  • 7
    3

    Mr. Navaratnam: US is using minorities – Muslims and Tamils – and their corrupt politicians as cats paw to land grab and set up their military bases in northeast of Sri Lanka- Mannar, Willpattu coasts and Eastern Province. USA pretends to care about Human rights and minorities but is the biggest violator of HR and set up and spread IS terrorism in Iraq and Syria and mideast.
    US and its buddy Saudi have been buying Tamil and Muslim politicians to further its strategic ambitions in the Indian Ocean Cold War.
    Sumanthiran’s off spring got free education in USA and Bathudeen and Hizbullar are funded by Saudi Arabia, the US partner in crime that owns and operates Islamic State to Weaponize ethnic and religious divides in multi-religious countries like Lanka to set up US military bases to fight the Cold war on China and Iran and stop the rise of Asia.
    All the inter-ethnic and religious dialogues in the world will not prevent another US Special Operations Forces (SOF), attack to get SOFA and the MCC land grab project though to set up US military bases after dividing the multi-religious coastal communities of Sri Lanka.
    The name of the game is Maritime Hybrid Warfare” and Economic Terrorism as we saw at Easter with the attacks on churches as a thin disguise of Superpower Terrorism in the Indian Ocean.
    Tamil politicians and Tamil public should wake up and see that the US is the biggest Security threat to minorities in Sri Lanka as they are weaponizing divides and inviting attacks by Saffron Thugs like BBS against minorities.

  • 6
    9

    It does not matter who the Tamils vote for. They will be losers as long as they think of themselves as Tamils first, and not Sri Lankans.

    • 0
      0

      Hey Bawa,

      Plenty of Tamils did think of themselves as Sri Lankans for a long time, but it didn’t prevent atrocities like July 1983. They were murdered or got sent to the North-East in ships. Since then, the massive scale of the crimes committed against the people has made it even more impossible for them to think of Sri Lankans first.

      Putting GR behind bars, or maybe sending your white van to give him a treatment of his own medicine, could be a start to them rethinking of themselves as Sri Lankans.

  • 3
    1

    With all the insincerity, Ranil W and other Sinhala Buddhist leaders rush to Hindu shrines in South India to beg for their salvation – which obviously they do not expect from a Buddhist-way-of-life.
    Many Buddhist temples in the south, have Vishnu Shrines in their premises which are visited by these Buddhist devotees.
    Meanwhile, the mostly Buddhist army, along with the monks are busy trying to convert Hindu places of worship, assisted by the Department of (Buddhist imaginary) Archelogy “identifying” them as even ‘2000 years old sites’ of Buddhist Civilisation.
    Tamils should field a candidate – though he/she will not be elected – and vote for this candidate only, giving all three preferences.
    This will be an effective “protest vote” – a show of distrust of all Sinhala Buddhist – there wont be any other – candidates.

    • 2
      0

      Dear Justice,
      .
      Although you presume to dispense “advice”, you don’t even understand what sort of Preferences are available at the Presidential Elections. You cannot give “all three preferences” to one candidate. That’s possible when you elect Members of Parliament at District Level.
      .
      Here you have to assign numbers 1, 2, and 3 to three candidates in order of preference. Or you can stop with one – which is what most people have been doing. Actually, they haven’t been marking 1: they used to mark either “X” or put a tick, and then swear that there were no Preferences for this particular election.
      .
      Please at least learn who the candidates are (I’ve given a link for you see all 35). Only two have “Tamil names”.
      .
      What your comment shows is that however much some of us Sinhalese try to understand your sufferings (we have our own!), people like you are not going to accept us as friends. Fortunately, not all Tamils are as foolish.
      .
      That’s what you have proved yourself to be – foolish, not evil.

    • 0
      0

      Justice
      Nobody rushes to Hindu shrines to beg for salvation.
      They strongly believe that Hindu gods are amenable to material inducement unlike the Buddha; and that the ones in South India are more influential than the ones here (although they do make vows here as well).

    • 0
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

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  • 1
    3

    Sinhala_man
    You are promoting Ranil Wickramasinghe strategy of securing en bloc Tamil and Muslim votes – intensive propaganda that the other is anti minority. Short sighted minority political masters are swallowing the bait and risking the goodwill of the majority of the majority.
    _
    Soma

    • 2
      0

      I’m not suggesting any en bloc voting, Soma. I’d like to see individuals working things out for themselves, and then voting intelligently.
      .
      Unfortunately, a huge number of Sinhalese (not Buddhists only – there are some poor Christians near my Bandarawela house) who say that they have always been SLFP, and so this time they will vote SLPP. They acknowledge that “all 225 M.Ps” are rogues, but still vote for the Rajapaksas.
      .
      Ask them if the SLFP wasn’t Bandaranaike property, they say yes, but now it’s Rajapaksa property.
      .
      Doesn’t make sense? This is NOT what I’m saying.

      • 0
        0

        What you are describing is not en bloc voting based on ethnicity or religion. Those are ” maruwath kolapata”, ” maruwath nilpata” types. Fools of course. Still individuals. Not cattle herded by some masters.

        Soma

    • 1
      2

      soman

      “intensive propaganda that the other is anti minority.”

      Why doubt?

      “Short sighted minority political masters are swallowing the bait and risking the goodwill of the majority of the majority.”

      Shove your advice to Tamils wherever yo find holes.
      The Tamils and Muslims have first hand experience under Gota’s iron fist, daily shelling, bombing, shortage for food, impunity for all kind of crimes, kidnaping by Navy, Army, …and Police was a lucrative business, disappearance, mass murder, illegal detention, rape, ………………………… stop, search, harass, torture, ………………..

      Vote against Gota means risking their life!!!!!!!!!!
      In case if AKD polls majority of the majority votes does it also mean it is risky for the minority?

      Shove your majority, threat, goodwill, majority of the majority, ………………….. wherever you find holes.

  • 4
    4

    There are two types of fools in srilankan Tamil community. One is educated and the other one is uneducated. ( people with paper qualifications are called educated and others are uneducated ). These educated and uneducated fools elect a few from their foolish community as their political representatives. Although these reps are basically fools, they are good at cheating lying robing and achieving personal gains from the govt. There were instances when these reps got caught by their inborn foolish nature but the foolish people with short memory keep on electing them since 1952. When I say educated, don’t think they are clever or intelligent. They get qualifications in paper by memorising the teachers or lecturers’ notes and repeat it in the answer papers. Whoever goes beyond the teachers’ notes get failed in the exams. ( Jaffna teachers and lecturers are specially good at this ) There are very few exceptional persons, as you find in any community, who got wider knowledge intelligence skill and tact but the Tamil community does not recognise respect or elect them. Karikalan is one of them. As he said Tamils are in a deadly dilemma, now and for ever.

  • 3
    0

    what dilemma is the author talking about.It is obvious that tamils should vote fo sajit.Does the author prefer to have gota instead.It is not a case of whther sajit or ranil is this or that,but the alternative.

  • 4
    0

    as for the missing persons,ranil is quite right,they are all dead,killed by gota. To get gota,you have to see that the rajapakshes don’t come back to power.You can’t resurrect the dead,only get justice.

  • 3
    1

    as for the missing persons,ranil is quite right,they are all dead,killed by gota. To get gota,you have to see that the rajapakshes don’t come back to power.You can’t resurrect the dead,only get justicefor them.Gota can be got for many other things than the missing persons,eg ekneligoda,lasantha etc.

    • 1
      0

      Why have they not got him?
      *
      The dead are more likely to be resurrected than to get justice.

  • 4
    1

    One thing the Rajapakse family and the SLPP MPs have successfully done during their reign and even after 2015 was to create a “Racially Charged” Sri Lanka. They have recognized that they cannot win any election other than PCs as Sinhalese votes are split and without the support of the Tamil and Muslim votes. In order to win elections they have created racial bias among Sri Lankans especially the Sinhala Buddhists.
    t
    Cardinal Ranjith who is a supporter of Rajapakse has joined the band wagon by splitting the voter base adding another group namely Catholics. The strategy of Cardinal is to create another voter base similar to Tamil and Muslim base a new Catholic base which he and Rajapakse anticipate will split the Tamil votes and also part of the UNP supporting Sinhala votes.

    This election is a crucial election as Rajapakse victory in this election would damage Sri Lanka and communal disharmony will raise to a level which is not seen anywhere in the world. Peace in Sri Lanka is in the hands of the voters.

  • 2
    6

    “There is no need to labour the point why Tamil people reject Gotabaya Rajapaksa outright as persona non grata.”

    Ungrateful Malabaris. Rajapakse family took a great risk and eliminated Malabari terrorists and brought peace to all communities including Malabaris pretending as Tamils who were suffering under megalomaniac Prabhakaran. Killing of Sinhala, Malabari, Muslim, Malay were started by LTTE. Rajapakse family stopped that killing. But they are being branded as killers of Malabaris.

    Koti Diaspora, LTTE cadres, Wellala Malabaris who find it difficult to accept the fact that they were defeated by ‘Sinhala Modayas who eat Kewum’ are suffering from inferiority complex.

  • 3
    1

    All should vote for Premadasa as he is a mature politician , willing to discuss with any person, most politicians around him are good people and done projects successfully.

    If you look at the opposition candidate. He is politically inmature, hides from media, person who ran away from country during difficult times, no leadership qualities, popular mass murderer, hides from legal system and surrounded by extremists n dangerous elements (eg mad rathana who created the shafi saga, thunmulle panikkiya, 100 rupee gonpila, heroin dealers, ethanol dealers )
    It is dengerous to hand power to a person like hitler..

    So best option is to vote for premadasa. So it will totally end Rajapaksa’s who are always creating problems to minority people and decent people.

  • 1
    4

    In Sinhala there is a saying ‘Kata Boru Kiuwath Diwa Boru Kiyanne Ne’ (even if the mouth lies, the tongue does not)
    At the recent UNP convention, where the party’s presidential candidate, Sajith Premadasa, was officially named, UNP General Secretary and Minister of Education Akila Viraj Kariyawasam lamented that his party had not been able to take revenge, the way it wanted and in order to continue with their revenge program Sajith should win.
    People think taking revenge is the only thing that this Government did quite well but Akila thinks what they achieved is not enough. If Sajith wins, what happened in 1977 might repeat. Be prepared.

  • 1
    1

    One thing for sure is that Gota was so easily got away with his citizenship case,they haven’t scrutinized properly there is no evidence for.applying should have reveal it how does he paid the fee,
    They knows very well he won’t succeed that’s why they’re Chamal and now he is not contesting.
    If anyone can comes up with forged certificate you can contest.
    As far as Tamils concerned it doesn’t make any difference at all.they all same rot.

  • 0
    7

    Tamils should vote for Gotabaya as his focus will primarily be economic development. Under Mahinda, the country experienced significant GDP growth.For example, GDP growth for 2013 was 7.2% while GDP growth for 2014 was 7.4%. Rather than look for ways to punish Sri Lanka internationally, the Tamil diaspora should work with a Gotabaya regime to encourage foreign investment. After the Easter Sunday attacks, it is not practical to expect much in the way of demilitarization of the North and East. A Sajith-led regime will not help Tamils, as the UNP under Ranil does not have a comprehensive economic plan. Inflation will continue to increase, as will unemployment.

    • 3
      0

      Lester you have let the cat out of the bag when you say, “After the Easter attacks, it is not practical to expect much in the way of demilitarization of north and east”. This is what the Sinhala politicians of both side wanted to happen and did not take any action to prevent the bombings despite several warnings. Gotabaya may have his focus on economic development, but that is not what Tamils want. If you think that you can make Tamils to forgo their self respect for this economic benefit, then you are sadly mistaken. Sri Lanka will never have adequate resources to be distributed equitably among the communities and there will always be discrimination in employment and economic development. In the name of development Sinhala areas will get mega projects some of which will be white elephants, while Tamil areas will get some eyewash projects to show that Tamils are not being neglected. Tamils will never be allowed to prosper under any Sinhala government. Instead devolve power to Tamils to develop their areas according to what will be the most beneficial. Only few Tamils who will be lackeys to Gota will become rich by swindling. If you do not want to reduce the army from north and east, replace the Sinhala army with Tamil army who will see eye to eye with Tamils to usher peace in those areas.

      • 0
        1

        The Tamils chose to fight a war with a zero-sum outcome. Now that they lost the war, the Tamil political leaders should think about possible outcomes. Another militant struggle is obviously out of the question. India or White lawyers coming to the rescue is also unlikely, as there are no Tamil interests with leverage in Sri Lanka (you need leverage to bargain). All that’s left is for Tamils to join the mainstream democratic process, similar to the JVP, IRA, and FARC. All 3 of these formerly armed militant groups have experienced good outcomes. The JVP is even running it’s own candidate for President. Devolution should not be the main concern of Tamils right now. It is not logical for a government which fought a 30 year civil war to compromise its security apparatus in such a manner. Devolution may be possibility 30 or 40 years down the road.

  • 1
    0

    Soma
    …..The majority of the majority…….line.
    I think what you are implying is that the Tamils should vote for the winning candidate!
    Pray Soma, how will the Tamils know who will win?
    Gota has ensured that they are no longer an entity to be worried about!

    • 0
      0

      Plato
      Of course not. Tamils should be encouraged to vote freely between major parties, JVP and TNA. I mean they must not enslaved by cattle mentality.

      Soma

    • 1
      2

      Plato

      Gota recently found love in Muslims. He invited the Muslims to join in his victory.

  • 2
    1

    When Dog eat Dog attitude prevails among politicians and civilians alike in Sri Lanka, why anyone wants an election. It is only a change of faces. As far as Tamils are concerned, they are individualists. They are not at all worried about community but self interests. Take our Tamil leaders. Are they genuine and sincere? No they are all self motivated humbugs. They too have followers who are humbugs themselves, because they too are self motivated It is better the Tamils stay away from these elections.

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