By S. Sivathasan –
A great opportunity comes but rarely and it has come to the Tamils now. The North needs the goodwill of the South to resolve its problems. The South cannot eschew the allegiance of the North if central governance needs to be stable. To convey a truism bluntly, both ethnicities Sinhalese and Tamil need one another to go towards peaceful times and to look for new horizons. Options may seem many but are limited to a few. Bipartisanship is the name and it is a compulsion. Support from other minorities is sure to follow when forward movement is seen.
By a strange quirk of fortune a set of circumstances has turned favourably locally and internationally. Taken in its flood, the prospects can be handsomely great. Yet the peace process has to run its course for a decade or more. If the political environment has changed, how did it come about? In close succession were two epochal changes. The bloodless revolution of January 2015 and the silent revolution of August 17. The former triumph complemented by the latter victory compose an earth shattering achievement. Together they have dislodged a regime brought forth through dishonesty, sustained by violence and trumpeted so to the Sinhalese. President Mahinda and his cohorts found culpable for them all, are both sent out of power. Intelligent voting has ended their vision of eternal continuity.
At this nodal point in the nation’s growth, the twin victory of the year needs to be consolidated. With the victory of August 17, the UNF will get better integrated, adding to its strength by the day. The TNA representing a whole ethnicity will set itself to regaining lost rights. UPFA’s descent into disintegration will be unstoppable. Soul-saving pursuits against their evil will be the obsession of the fraying UPFA and its constituents. The TNA will sustain its reputation of a well-integrated political formation maintaining its objectives without compromise. Growth, Fairness, Equality will compose the mantra for the government and the TNA to work on.
Tamils feel safe in their leadership. Quite adroitly the leaders have reached the threshold to parley with the government – the national leadership. The nation has gone through all the miseries that an ill-fated people can undergo. Linguistic discrimination. Ethnic oppression, Religious persecution, Language-based educational marginalisation, bloody suppression of insurgencies – class and irredentist – perpetual emergency rule and a host of other denials. A full circle has been described not bypassing a single misfortune. The country is bled white and the Tamils have had the worst of it. The deposed President who visited tragedy upon tragedy is defeated again with vengeful decisiveness. Never again a repeat cycle is the people’s vow. Never ever should Tamils be constrained to think or say, sufferance is the badge of our people.
If such be the determination, where do we begin? We hark back to 1948 to 1952 when the nation had good governance. This can be the pointer for a new beginning. Paradoxical it would seem, to move forward we have to look backward. We have to get to principles and rectitude and venture to resuscitate them. It is here that the country stands today. At this propitious moment, Tamils it is wished will act with circumspection, having wisely brought to the fore TNA as the third largest party.
The UNF at 92 is likely to reach 105 with national list added. When Maithripala loyalists join in, seat strength will rise to 125. If TNA moves even alongside the UNF yet buttressing it, the governing party will raise it’s vote strength to 140. This is a healthy threshold for the President and the Prime Minister to construct a two-thirds. A National Government will then be well and truly in place.
If the TNA enters and stays in the katpagraham – the sanctum – the powerhouse – the cabinet, it will be a sagacious move.