Colombo Telegraph

TNA; ‘Paddy & The Paddy Husk’

By S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

Reference is to the developing schism, which is now a yawning chasm in the TNA. The split is real and earth slip is next.

As a political alternative to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the Tamil Peoples Council (TPC) was launched in Jaffna on Saturday, 19, December, 2015. Justice C. V. Wigneswaran, CM of Northern Provincial Council, is the chief person among three co-chairs. The above news having a wide reach, stunned the Tamils. The following article is an immediate response to it”.

A grain of rice is well ensconced in a husk of paddy. Once separated there is no germination even when both are put together. Bringing them again is of no avail is the undisclosed moral. This is the wisdom of Auvaiyaar the Tamil poetess. She has shared it for posterity with an inimitable simile of rice and husk. “Even a person of great ability cannot succeed when not supported by capable assistants”. Who is what, readership can discern. How it may develop can be waited for.

“Only God can save the Tamils”. So said SJV Chelvanayagam soon after results were announced in the General Election of May 1970. Since then on every occasion that came my way, I have said “Not even God can save the Tamils”. It was always received as of good humour. No; I was dead serious. Now we see “The God That Failed”. From age 10, I have heard ad nauseam, ‘Tamils are not united’. Yes; Jews too were never one. The holocaust also failed to make them whole. One can read the early history of Israel from 1948. The Reparations payment of Chancellor Adenauer was spurned with street fights and Begin in the lead. We will do the same with whatever is on offer, now with credible people on both sides among Tamils. When such a stance ceases to be taken mechanically, there is a chance for new ground to be plumbed.

When issues arise among the Tamils, either personal or political, how are they striven to be resolved? Through the pedestrian and hackneyed device of splintering. This has been so from 1949 through yesterday, though the first one had a sound ideological base. The last act of forming the Tamil Paeravai at this point of time, seems the unkindest cut of all upon the Tamil body politic. United effort seemed to be coming about and yet its consummation got dashed.

Was the eruption sudden? My conjecture was and which has strengthened now is that origins are traceable to the PC MANIFESTO, which was an inept and more a manipulated fiasco. A historic document was anticipated. What came out was a washout and feathers were ruffled when CM came out in poor shape. If my information is correct, not without reason were sensitivities ruptured and have remained so. The space is 30 months which is quite long. Time is not far when truth will be out.

While accepting this harsh reality of the Tamils never solidifying into a single entity or coalescing with any other formation, what next? Abandoning unity, precious, mythical or mystical; where to begin and how?

When the searchlight is thrown within, our infirmities centred around self will seem to abound. Burning them all, our concerns have to encompass the weakest in material wellbeing and the poorest in educational pursuits. Taking just these two areas amongst a myriad avocations, will time or energy be left to engage mere names that are labels for political vacuity? Needy hands are countless and opportunities aplenty. Yet self-satisfying political tirades are on parade. Truth will be out on 31st December, whether millions or billions were lying unutilized in the North.

Far too many hands have reached the central throat to squeeze out accountability on very many issues. Is it not the responsibility of the Northern leadership to shift the people’s concerns to matters more mundane? Creating more fields of labour, widening areas of investment, land back in the hands of the dispossessed, trawlers to fishermen, adequate placement in universities and positions of value in state and semi-state institutions; to name just a few.

Many have expressed their forlornness and anguish at the inordinate amount of energy spent on: Self-Determination, Sovereignty, War Crimes and Accountability. By all means they can be done when alleviation of the most affected proceeds apace. The formations wasting the energy of PC personnel we tended to believe were mere acronyms making unwanted noise. No; today they are given a place in higher counsels. Did the people defeat them to be picked up and elevated by those who won? When the occasion would arise for a mandate to be obtained, one doesn’t know. Such a vote will be the stamp of endorsement.

The need that is paramount and immediate is to search for, identify, select, persuade and knit together men and women known for single mindedness. People who will plot the points on the road map most clearly and to move forward. Evolving society leaders who are so steadfast that none can take them to waywardly nooks. Whoever treads along sure unconventional paths and yet towards the promised land will win the day. As early as in 4 to 5 months the day of reckoning may come. Let the endorsement be won the democratic way; TNA or TPC. The choice for the Tamils is Tamil National Alliance or Tamil Peoples Council. Future lies on the political vibrancy of the Tamil people.

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