Colombo Telegraph

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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