22 September, 2020

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UN Resolution And The Tamils

By S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

No need for any more annual pilgrimage to Geneva. Every Tamil would say this from now on. The UN labored and brought forth nothing. By comparison even the mountain brought out something. For the Tamils of Sri Lanka the UN Resolution signifies emptiness. The Tamil people’s faith in the UN system is terminated for ever. They are now freed of this paralytic incubus giving them greater elbow room to organize their lives. They would prefer to veer from the UN-IC snare.

Those with a violation baggage doddered, IPKF perpetrator dithered and MR triumphed. Never again will he be hauled over the coals. He is set for life. There is a telling proverb in Tamil. One who has a boil on his back will not agree to creep under a shrub. The relevant powers shuddered at such a prospect and SL has benefited.

A happening at the Nuremberg Trial provides adequate warning. The defense of Ribbentrop, a co – signatory to the Hitler Stalin Pact was that if Hitler and the Nazis were guilty of crimes in West Poland, then by the same token Stalin and the Communists were as much culpable for the killings in East Poland. Court rejected the plea in the absence of documentary evidence regarding spoils apportioned to Russia. When Court adjourned, a sergeant approached the lawyer and said that he possessed a copy of it which he could provide the following morning. This was overheard. The sergeant died under ‘mysterious circumstances’ that night itself. The eventuality of Stalin sitting in the dock or the Nazi accused being released was preempted. IPKF atrocities on Tamils are too fresh to throw away circumspection. The uneasy prospect of sitting together in adjacent seats with MR was not lost on them. The pen that drafts was in their sullied hands and they have made sinister use of it.

Tamils now have a solitary option – to hasten the descent to mother earth and to the world of reality. In the last phase of the war not a single power gave assistance to the Tamils. Four years were taken to know that we do not have a single country with us having sufficient clout to craft a document in our favour. What did the Resolution convey? Reposing great faith in the fidelity, sagacity and prudence of SL, the UN entrusts the inquiry into the offence to the offender himself. The UN is plodding it’s spineless way like it’s parent the League.

In both war and peace we are left to ourselves and our forlornness. A listless vote for a toothless resolution is of no consequence. Whatever the reason, we have met only with consistent failure. Trust in the Tamil Congress 1947-1956 and betrayal. Trust in nonviolence 1956-72 to no effect. Trust in violence 1975-2009 and deadly destruction. Trust in the UN and the International Community and being left in the lurch is the lesson of the last 4 years. Tamils are compelled to inquire, is it misplaced trust or trust belied? Every arrow in the quiver has been used. 65 wasted years are good enough to turn a new phase and to trust to one’s own resources.

Swami Vivekananda said that the decline of India started the day she coined the word milechcha ie barbarians to describe aliens. In SL too all groups have given expression to these faults. We have to abandon them all to build fresh relationships. The task before the Tamils is to evolve a modus vivendi with all entities of the nation’s polity. But the way the government is proceeding with its work, any Tamil who steps forward will be termed a traitor and rightly so.

Sri Lanka is not for Tamils is the entrenched feeling. It is for the state to take the first few steps. Scaling down military presence in the North is a worthwhile practical step. But this commonsense attitude never seems to dawn. With the end of the UN saga, obsession with romantic ideas has to be cast aside. Let there be a fresh beginning with no relapse to deadened habits of thought. We should continue to remember that an year is only a second upon the clock of history.

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Latest comments

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    The travails of the Tamils is similiar to the Pilgrims progress by John Bunyun.

    Christian is weighed down by a great burden, the knowledge of his sin, which he believed came from his reading “the book in his hand,” (the Bible). This burden, which would cause him to sink into Tophet (hell), is so unbearable that Christian must seek deliverance. He meets Evangelist as he is walking out in the fields, who directs him to the “Wicket Gate” for deliverance. Since Christian cannot see the “Wicket Gate” in the distance, Evangelist directs him to go to a “shining light,” which Christian thinks he sees.Christian leaves his home, his wife, and children to save himself: he cannot persuade them to accompany him. Obstinate and Pliable go after Christian to bring him back, but Christian refuses. Obstinate returns disgusted, but Pliable is persuaded to go with Christian, hoping to take advantage of the paradise that Christian claims lies at the end of his journey. Pliable’s journey with Christian is cut short when the two of them fall into the Slough of Despond. It is there that Pliable abandons Christian after getting himself out. After struggling to the other side of the bog, Christian is pulled out by Help, who has heard his cries.

    On his way to the Wicket Gate, Christian is diverted by Mr. Worldly Wiseman into seeking deliverance from his burden through the Law, supposedly with the help of a Mr. Legality and his son Civility in the village of Morality, rather than through Christ, allegorically by way of the Wicket Gate. Evangelist meets the wayward Christian as he stops before Mount Sinai on the way to Legality’s home. It hangs over the road and threatens to crush any who would pass it. Evangelist shows Christian that he had sinned by turning out of his way, but he assures him that he will be welcomed at the Wicket Gate if he should turn around and go there, which Christian does.

    At the Wicket Gate begins the “straight and narrow” King’s Highway, and Christian is directed onto it by the gatekeeper Good Will. In the Second Part, Good-will is shown to be Jesus himself.[11] To Christian’s query about relief from his burden, Good Will directs him forward to “the place of deliverance.”

    The so called place of deliverance, UN Geneva is a place of Politics and Intrigue. Take the case of the Palestinians who have been cast into the wilderness for the last 63 years. So best for the Tamils to depend on their own resources and do what is best for their community. Dont depend on the Sri Lankan govt or the UN.

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    The sooner the expat Tamils realise that they are no longer serious stakeholders in the issue, the better. If they want to contribute in any way to a lasting settlement, let them build up the intellectual capacity of the Tamils here to find a peaceful solution to the problems they face.
    Although it takes a huge amount of blind faith for Tamils to expect any sort of dignified reaching out from the current majority regime, I feel this will change for the better once this regime passes as all regimes do. After all, the people will have to certainly realise that just as a person can’t develop as an individual when he has a festering wound on his body, so too a nation can’t ever fulfil its potential if it has this gangrenous ethnic conflict festering forever.

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    ” Than kaiye thanakutthavi ( Only our hands can help us) and ” Arasanai nambi, purishanai kaividaathey (Do not divorce your husband, placing trust in the king)”.

    Words of wisdom in Tamil for the Tamils.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 0
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      Very good words indeed especially for you to take to heart, haven’t you abandoned your people (Tamils) trusting the King (MR)????
      Think about it……..it applies to you

      • 0
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        I am with my people in my country. It is those like you who have abandoned both, but yet talk big.

        Dr. RN

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          where do you think I am ??? Unlike you I don’t have foreign passports and come as diaspora here
          (any one in doubt do a google search !!!) Now who is betraying this country (and we all know in exchange for what).

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            Dev,
            You keep insinuating without providing any proof. At least Dr RN has shown his bravery and commitment to the war-affected Tamil peoples by being there and doing something.

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      Shame on both Dr Rajasingham and his brother Jeyadevan.

      There is a Tamil proveverb, “Paddipathu thevaram iddipathu Sivan Koven” (Sing Thevaram while you destroy Temples).

      Tell the readers how you and your brother have damaged the Tamil struggle.

      You both are opportunists.

      • 0
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        This is applicable to Mr Sivathasan as well.

        What was his contribution to the Tamil struggle when he was with the government?

        “Paddipathu thevaram iddithathu Sivan Kovel” When Mr Sivathan was with the government he has distroyed all the Tamples and now singing Thevaram.

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          Nada,

          Thank you for acknowledging our role in the destruction of the LTTE. It was log overdue. The LTTE was not a temple and the armed struggle a blessing. Both were curses of the worse possible kind.

          The Tamil struggle for equal rights as citizens and as a community will continue peacefully, sanely and wisely. The Tamils are now struggling to regain their footing on this earth as humans, as the first and step in this struggle. My Thevarams are directed at helping this process.

          Pray tell me what your contribution was to the armed struggle of the LTTE and the destruction it precipitated on the Tamils?

          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        Moorthy

        “You both are opportunists.”

        How Dr Rajasingham has benefited being an opportunist?

        I love bit of gossip now and then.

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        Moorthy,

        Thanks for the acknowledgement that was long overdue. The LTTE was no temple, it was a curse on the Tamils. The Tamil struggle to find accommodation as equal citizens within Sri Lanka,will go on peacefully and sanely.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        The persons who make personal attacks must first be honest to themselves by reveling their true identity without taking cover under cooked up Kanthan, Poothan and Vethan names.

        For them, the Tamil nationalism is limited to a struggle that has reduced the Tamils to a fragmented society to further stampeded by the state. LTTE is gone and Tamil nationalism will live. LTTE progressively failed the Tamil nation. It carried out a war using forced recruitment. That is why its struggle reached to naught in 2009.

        There are many proverbs and quotes all over from the world communities and the conditioned minds that cannot look forward further will know only to behave like lap dogs of the dead mission and misquote in anonimity.

        I appeal to those who make belittling statements to reveal their true identity and say a few words about their sacrifices for their redundant cause. Our family has paid a heavy price in various forms due to the state hegemoney against the Tamils and failed armed struggle of the LTTE. But we have not sold our self respect like these anonymous opinion makers who attempt to further basterdise their own failed cause.

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      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      So you don’t trust King Mahinda.

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        Native Veddah,

        I am beginning to think that MR does not have what it takes to solve what are the fundamental problems haunting this country.

        Dr.RN

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          Narendran,

          You may remember that I told you a couple of years ago on Groundviews that your faith in MR was misplaced, and I said that despite your belief in him, you would be hung out to dry, just as Anandasangaree was. “Beginning to think….”

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            You may be proven right and I wrong, in terms of political solutions. However, I give credit for what MR has done on the IDP, LTTE cadre and the infra-structure development fronts. It is remarkable achieve not given the time frame. My main grievance against MR centre on the national front, relating to many fundamental aspects of governance.

            Dr.RN

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              This man is naive not to understand International Intrigue that helped MR to be a War Victor in the eyes of the gullible Sri Lankans. Is it any wonder that MR has no solution to the Tamil issue as MR failed to oust Ranil from the UNP leadership so he could get the masses to swallow the devolution pill easily. Now that RW is yet remaining as Leader of Opposition, MR after agreeing has gone back on his promise and MR’s benefactors are also in a quandary and has to save MR from being probed on War Crimes lest their involvement gets exposed.

            • 0
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              This man is wise enough to understand that the LTTE is gone for ever and Tamil Eelam , a dream that became a nightmare, is not the thirst of the Tamils any more. This man was of course naive to warn the LTTE that its actions will destroy it, in the hope that it would listen to reason. This man may not be naive to believe that given time and support, the war-affected Tamils will recover and become a vibrant community in this country. This man may not be naive to believe that the Tamils have to find accommodation within a united Sri Lanka and the Sinhalese are their best friends. This man is also not naive to believe that the Tamils and Sri Lanka will outlive MR and solutions will be found even after him, if he fails to do so.

              Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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          Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

          I am sorry to learn that you are disappointed with MR. If anything past history should have reminded you all Sinhala politicians are first and foremost Sinhala/Buddhists. All Tamils are Tamils Saivaite.

          Both people are very very stupid people.
          They don’t learn from mistakes.
          Both people are in denial.
          Both deserve to be insulted on regular basis.
          Both people have to be made stateless and sent back to their homeland in India.

          Why did it take you so long to realise MR is also a Sinhala/Buddhist?

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            Natuve Veddah,

            Hope should spring eternal in the human heart! Hopelessness stunts, destroys and kills. I have to once again emphasise that my hopes were not totally misplaced. MR has done what was the most urgent and necessary, but has yet not done, what he should have done to resolve long standing grievances in terms of the post-war circumstances.

            Dr. RN

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          Dr.Narendran, Do you really expect him to deliver your expectations while he is being haunded,insulted and degraded all the time. There is are ways of getting things done (not neccessarily begging)and I do not think the the present way is the right way. One other thing,one must ask only what the other can give.

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            NAK,

            MR is reacting the way his detractors want, without comprehending that he is playing into their hands. The defence secretary is also contributing to this situation with a tortoise like defensive response- withdrawing into the shell. While security concerns in the aftermath of the 30 year long blood letting and the last war were necessary, they should have given importance to resolving outstanding and political concerns. Good governance should have come to the fore and not made to recede further. The perception that the defence secretary – a military man- is defining The GOSL response to minority issues, is a reality that has to be confronted.

            The government made a series of serious serious fundamental mistakes on the political front in the aftermath of the war, despite admirable efforts on what could be termed the physical front. It would have been the governments initiative if it had taken action to implement the APRC recommendations. Now whatever it does would be perceived and represented as coerced. By its very nature this government will become increasingly intransigent and muddle headed. Both the APRC and LLRC were set up by MR and were touted by him to all and sundry as his means to solutions.

            Further, imposing his choice of Tamils as leaders in the north and east was a cardinal mistake. The decision to ban singing the national anthem in Tamil was a mistake. Taking under its wing former LTTE front liners and mollycoddling them in the public eye was a critical mistake. The decisions being made on the dual passport issue are a mistake. Permitting politicians affiliated with the government to play suspect roles in the affairs of the north and east was a serious mistake ( I acknowledge this is also happening in the rest of the country). Lastly and quite importantly the tolerance and association displayed with the likes of the BBS are unpardonable mistakes. All these combined are sending the wrong message to the minorities and the world.

            Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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              NAK,

              Concluding words:

              The manner in which MR is being pursued, insulted and degraded is well planned and well designed. He is now a bull having the red cloth waved in front of his face. He is reacting the way the flag wavers want- beligerantly. They seem to be winning. They are smelling blood.

              MR has to gather around a better set of advisors , who will have the courage and honesty to disagree with him. In effect he has to calmly change course in many fronts. He is on a very slippery slope at present and only sensible and wise responses will help him climb back. The ball is in his court. He should take his eyes off elections and do what needs to be done. The country and all her people, should be his only concern.

              Dr.RN

  • 0
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    The UN after labouring to deliver an elephant, has delivered a rat. DISGUSTING is not the word. North Korea should open the door to Nuclear Warfare if America wants to taste it. These buggers sitting in high posts in these Organizations should be liquidated with their families. They have no right to live in society. Let the entire Human race perish as either way it is happening to some in this society. Why should only some? Let it be all.

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      gamini

      From the beginning the Americans did what they wanted to do at the UNHRC.

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    I would respectfully disagree with the author’s views. He is a learned man, an individual who has served the country for many years. Mr. Sivathasan appears to argue that the way forward is ethnic reconciliation within Sri Lanka. In an off itself, it is a good recommendation. But reality suggests otherwise.

    The Sinhalese Buddhists view Sri Lanka as their exclusive domain refusing to concede that pluralism and multiple origins had defined Sri Lanka since the start of its history. The veneer of liberalism aside, deep down their is a perception that Sri Lanka is theirs and others live in the island at their behest.

    And yet, this is not a Buddhist country, it is not a Sinhalese country. It is a multi-religious land, it is a multi-ethnic land. Deep down, the Mahavamsa mentality of the majority denies any accommodation. Tisaranee Gunasekera has time and again illustrated that in her Op Eds but then – she is a voice in the wilderness in the Sinhalese backwaters.

    So is there hope for the Tamils after all? I do think so. I do not view the Geneva events as a setback. I see them as a herald of things to come. Sri Lanka will increasingly be confined, constrained and out of options under Mahinda Rajapakse. The noose will be tightened – slowly but surely. The mills of God grind slowly but finely.

    The Tamils will need to leverage international currents, geo-strategic trends and use it to their advantage. The days for reconciliation within a unitary state are gone. I had hoped for change post 2009 but all I witness is a hardened Sinhalese mind set – epitomized by the Bodhu Bala Sena, the justification by the brute masses of the impeachment of the Chief Justice, the legitimization of the imprisonment of a General who had led his forces to military victory, the disappearance of southern journalists and dissenters, a breakdown in the rule of law. This is not a country we want to be part of. There has to be change. And change will be there.

    Having said this, lets distance ourselves from the peurile opposition to the Geneva resolution by the likes of TamilNet, G.G. Ponnambalam junior who otherwise counts for nothing and the antics of fringe extremist groups in Tamil Nadu who momentarily obtained the media spotlight but otherwise having nothing to offer except their mob value. Geneva was good, it was a start. The rest will follow – although it would take time.

    We Tamils need to return to our Hindu roots. And as Meykanda devar said in the 13th century – “the tree may be cut down but the roots remain uninjured and strong; and it springs up to life again”. This is where we are today. As the Mahabharata had it – history repeats itself – it is cyclical. Rajapakse had his window to resolve issues in 2009 – he failed.

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      if sinhala exclusiveness is the problem,can creating an exclusive ghetto for tamils them selves to act like the sinhalse, be the solution?

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        billy

        You are concerned about Tamil Sinhala Ghettos.

        I am concerned about my ancestral land. Both the Sinhalese and Tamils cannot find solution.

        I have a solution, please take both peoples back to India, their homeland.

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    Lets also not forget that the economy is not robust. Our exports are down. Our Balance of Payments are not in great shape. The budget needs to be financed. This ultimately will bite our rulers. The numbers may be fudged by the Central Bank, but the reality suggests otherwise. Even China refuses to lend anew until part of the outstanding debt Sri Lanka owes it is first settled. They are after all hard nosed business men, not idealists.

    Guru Nanak, venerated by Hindus and Sikhs, quite rightly said ‘Victory breeds hostility, because the defeated ones live in resentment’. Well -Rajapakse refused to see that, did he?

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      An unwarranted,premature and provocative call by Tamil ethno fascists for a separate Tamil state in 1976 and the launch of the armed struggle and terrorist attacks in the 1980s to achieve that goal is what galvanized Sinhala-Buddhist and Muslim ethno nationalisms culminating in the present unfortunate state of affairs for all the people in the country. The way out for the Tamil people obviously is not continuing on the same suicidal path, but to engage with the government and the Sinhalese and Muslim people to work towards a pluralist Sri Lanka where all communities can live as equal citizens.

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    Hopefully more and more Tamils will come to the realisation of what Sivathasan tries to articulate. Whether one likes it or not the destiny of both Sinhala and Tamil people are bound together (including Veddas). No exclusive approach/solution would succeed. USA & EU cannot bring them a solution either. Tamil Eelam doesn’t have a place in such a common destiny.

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    DD

    The patent sincerity in your comment is appreciated. Your perceptions accord with reality and the thought process is rational. To which end Tamils will be led will depend on the sanity of the path they themselves choose. It will be wise not to be lured by any and every will o’ the wisp that appears. If the future is as per your perception many will be happy.

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    Pontifical last words
    Bensen

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    Why don’t Tamils open their eyes and see that the other Communities are not after them but asking them to cooperate to make a one Nation of all Communities ?

    In such a nation every one will be same and free to respect and continue with their cultural and religious affiliation, but be a Qri Lankan Nationally.

    Why do Tamil do not try to understand that they are better off than they were ? Becoming a one Nation every one will have their privildeges without one becoming different of the other.

    Forget you Tamilness and be a Sri Lankan that is the way out for Sri Lanka from being contunually pursued by the West to fulfill their political strategies. You who write this article seems to be educated, but suffering from a terrible inferiority complex , which apparently is the case of all Tamils.

    At lease now try to think as a Sri Lankan and not as a Tamil.

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      Charles Perera,

      Would what you suggest imply that Sinhalese would forget their Sinhalaness? Would the Sinhalese also think of themselves as Sri Lankans and not as Sinhalese? The BBS is propagating the notion that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala-Buddhist country and not a multi-communal country. What is your take on it?

      Dr. Rajasingham Narendran

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