By C.V. Wigneswaran –
A Colombo based Journalist asked me: There seem to be divisions in the Tamil Camp. While some time ago attempts were made to bring all Tamil Parties together, why have such divisions cropped up now?
My response was: Political Parties are formed for the benefit and welfare of the People. People are important. Not the Parties. We need to keep that in mind. Divisions among the Political Parties crop up when individuals in Parties try to use their Parties for their selfish ends. Their interests may be personal like wanting to become a Minister by joining the Government in power or amassing wealth, or religious like using their Parties to propagate their religious fervor, or partisan like wanting to move their Parties towards a particular Camp or Group, inland or foreign. There are various expectations among Politicians and they try to make use of their Parties to fulfil their expectations oblivious whether their activities are favorable to the People in their Electorates or not.
This is wrong.
A Political Party must always look after the interests of the People for whom they formed their Parties. Some so called Leaders think, since they have been elected, all what they think and do have to be accepted by the People who voted them to power. And once the People vote them, they, the Politicians, have the right to do and act as they please. This is sheer arrogance and undermining the intelligence of the members of their Electorates.
In point of fact we Politicians must have a system whereby we could find out the views of our People constantly. But if we are arrogant and exclusive in our outlook we would lose sight of what our People think and want. Specially so when the Parliamentarians live in Colombo distanced and divorced from their Electorates.
Presently we are witnessing the arrogance of some of our so-called Political leaders.
Let me give an example of what happened to us in 2015. Our Northern Provincial Council was bent on bringing a Resolution against the genocide practiced by successive Sri Lankan governments against the Tamils. So without knowing what the views of a certain politician was or presuming he too had similar views as us, I called upon him to prepare a draft Resolution. He readily agreed. But over three weeks had passed and he had not even started on his errand. But he would not say that he did not intend to prepare the draft. It was patent he was indifferent to his task. I then contacted our friends inland and abroad and brought out the Resolution on the 10th of February, 2015.
This time too something similar happened. Majority of Tamil National Parties met and decided a common missive must be addressed to the High Commissioner, Human Rights Council in Geneva. A particular Member of Parliament undertook to prepare a draft. But he was dilly dallying. Time was running out. So we prepared a Draft letter on our own. We asked leaders of Parties to read and approve. Many signed but the Leader of the Illangai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) though he consented on principle to sign did not sign. Finding time running out since the Report of the High Commissioner was due on the 13th of this month, we forwarded our missive with the signatures of those who signed.
Around this time the particular Member of Parliament brought out his draft which was a non-starter. For reasons best known to him, he referred to the LTTE having been mentioned somewhere earlier as co- culprits and so many years after the War where the LTTE leadership had been decimated, he referred to LTTE as co-culprits when the task before us was to refer to the atrocities committed by the Sri Lankan Government in recent times against the Tamils specially after the Resolution 46/1 was passed.
One cannot understand the reason for any Tamil politician wanting to ask the UN to make a decision on human rights’ violations of LTTE since the Sri Lankan Government is already addressing this issue to their heart’s content by arbitrarily arresting Tamils and harassing the North Eastern Tamils in innumerable ways. Tamil politicians must ensure extra judicial killings/ disappearances of Tamils will not happen in the future. The UN is willing to hear complaints of excesses by the government towards the Tamils. UN does not need to run a parallel inquiry on crimes said to have been committed by the LTTE before 2009.
This particular Member of Parliament, instead of trying to get consensus on every line and paragraph of the draft letter to the High Commissioner, HRC, UN from among the leaders of Parties, was bent on creating controversies for reasons best known to him. Maybe he wanted to show him to be a turncoat to the Government in power or the President in power.
The document we signed listed the problems facing the Tamils today in the aftermath of Resolution 46/1.
To answer your question indeed polarization is taking place among the Tamil National Parties now on grounds of policies. It is a healthy sign. After all united efforts must be on the grounds of agreed policy rather than seeming tolerance among Parties. Indeed the Tamils as a whole are important not individual Parties.
Justice C.V.Wigneswaran, M.P.