30 May, 2020

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With Maithri, Ranil & Mangala – Real Change Should Occur For Tamils Too

By Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

Would Tamils be forced to play the ‘waiting game’: Examining some legitimate questions and concerns that Tamils have about their future in the uncertain world of Sri Lankan politics that they are inexorably tied to.

Part 1

I would like to offer my congratulations to President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and External Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Co and wish them the very best towards restoring this island paradise, with a rich heritage, now known as Sri Lanka, to its original glory, where all its inhabitants, living there since pre-historic times and having their distinct traditional homelands in the island, are treated with equality, their distinct socio, political, cultural, ethnic and religious identities and rights preserved and furthered; where real change occurs for Tamils too; meaning the Tamil nation[1] is recognised as such and can govern itself, be it in a united and undivided country[2] – or otherwise.

I say “..be it in a united and undivided country or otherwise” – “otherwise“ because I believe a referendum is a fair, just and democratic way to decide our future destiny whether we live as one country or two.[3]

I can`t help but part take in the people`s euphoria

However I can’t help but be happy and part take in the people’s euphoria that a new chapter, even a new era is beginning in Sri Lanka with the hope of real change. That makes me happy for the people, for every community holding on to a glimmer of hope albeit based on its distinct needs.

I only ask and hope that with Maithri, Ranil and Mangala, real change should occur for all – and for the Tamils too!

Here I proceed to examine some legitimate questions and concerns:

Did the Tamils win the presidential elections for Maithri only to lose it for themselves? Can Maithri Ranil and Mangala really deliver,“to those with the biggest stake in change”

It is an indisputable fact that the Maithri, Ranil and Mangala ticket – the Rainbow Coalition received the total and unconditional support [4]of the Tamils with presumably nothing in return, helping them to win with an “overwhelming number” of Tamil and Tamil speaking Muslim votes that made the difference between victory and defeat – its abundantly clear with the release of the final results and several info-grams – that 70-80% of the Tamil vote went to Sirisena.. “the scales had been tipped in a very closely fought election,” the NDTV reported.[5]

So will Tamils have a big stake in the change? Can Maithri, Ranil and Mangala really deliver change to Tamils? Now these may be dumb questions, because in Maithrpala Sirisena`s own words, we know. he made,”no deal with the TNA in secret or in the open”.

There is no doubt that from the start Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe had it so good. Happily for them neither did they promise nor had they to deliver anything to the Tamils.

Maithri - using Children in politicsWe know that as the Presidential elections started to reach fever pitch Maithri spelt out[6] his unflinching position to the people that mattered to him – on the subject that he thought mattered to them; which his opponent would surely exploit to the max if not explained.

We know Maithri was all out to assure the Sinhala people he wasn’t going to withdraw the army from the North. It shouldn’t be forgotten he was the Secretary of Defence at one point during the war. Responding to allegations that he was going to withdraw the military from the Tamil heartland and that he was going to divide the country, Maithri went on the offensive and clarified his position to the Sinhala masses so that there wouldn’t be any ambiguity.

I quote:

“…In response to the false allegations levelled at us that after we come into power we will divide the country, leave room for a war to arise, for the LTTE to re-emerge and remove the military presence in the North – as your presidential candidate and as our coalition I would like to clearly state that we have not at any instance made any agreement with the TNA or the Muslim Congress in secret or in the open with the intention of dividing this country or dividing power among these factions.”

End quote.

It’s plain to see, is it not, that Maithri’s comment that, “we have not at any instance made an agreement to: “.. dividing power among the factions,” if simply analysed eliminates the possibility of any kind of decent power sharing arrangements envisaged by the Tamils?

We also know that this clarification was also directed at the followers of the JHU who joined the coalition on condition that the new government not accommodate any demands for a federal solution.

Now consider the 63 page manifesto[7] of Maithri’s – it lists eradicating terrorism as one of his many achievements whilst in office as secretary of the SLFP, the only achievement he cares to name, describing terrorism, “as the most serious socio political challenge Sri Lanka faced during three decades in recent history.”

You must know the biggest and most unconscionable omission in the Maithri manifesto is the lack of any genuine conciliatory offers or measures to the Tamil community – the way it was “silent” about Tamil concerns – were rather revealing.

One thing I am not sure, but someone must know that there were several inquiries whether the manifesto was published in Tamil in addition to English and Sinhalese, up to now I don’t know the answer to that. If there was no translation I would conclude that there was no attempt made to inform the Tamil people, because there was nothing in it for them.

There was no mighty hurry to pacify the Tamil people or address their particular grievances, although when mentioning relief for lands being taken over, Maithri did see it fit to only address the grievances of and announce relief and compensation measures to the “citizens” of Colombo who lost out as a result of their properties being expropriated for beautification purposes.

Maithri didn’t see the national question or reconciliation as one of the crises facing the country only mentioning crises facing, ” the total breakdown of the rule of law, fraud, corruption, wastage, inability to identify national priorities, environmental degradation and moral and spiritual degradation as obstacles to the country’s march forward.”

Titled “A Compassionate (Maithri) Governance, A Stable Country – there was no mention of a political settlement for Tamils, no concessions offered, not even a mention of Tamil concerns or the national question in general. Though it mentioned constitutional reform – it didn’t include promises to examine the unitary character of the constitution which is the bone of contention for Tamils that perpetuates a majoritarian stranglehold on Tamils and dominates over them – or give due consideration to adopting a federal structure that would give Tamils a power sharing arrangement. The constitutional reform mentioned was to scrap the executive presidency and revert to a parliamentary system for which they needed a regime change.

Maithri made sure he made it loud and clear to the Sinhala people that he wasn’t going to permit the UN investigators into Sri Lanka or, cooperate with the UN mandated international probe and vowed that he, “will not allow President Rajapaksa, his family or any member of our armed forces to be taken before any international war crimes tribunal,” with the Arab News portal[8] stating the obvious that any move to cooperate with the investigation would be unpopular with the Sinhalese people: “Resisting international pressure to cooperate with the UN-mandated probe is seen as popular among the Sinhalese community from which both Rajapaksa and Sirisena hail, ” the news portal said.

So is the present Maithri government, “the same government with a different face?” The world icon M.I.A shares her insights and analysis with Channel 4 News[9] in her own inimitable style, coming out as the best ambassador in the hour of need to explain to the world, Tamil concerns.

Will Tamils and Tamil politicians as usual be forced to play the ‘Waiting Game’ this time to get past the Parliamentary Elections. Or settle for the 13th amendment qualified in the proposed amendments to the 19th amendment that may be introduced before the 100 days are up?[10]

Was regime change a set up planned in Singapore in 2013 and were some Tamils in on it and Is it true that they have been short changed? [11]

It’s my feeling Sinhala politicians have a fear complex that stifles their inner urge to be decent and statesman-like. They are in fact forced to play the race card for fear of losing elections. And Tamils have been the victims of such unconscionable behavior. And sadly for us we saw it in this election too. Frankly does this attitude not go against all Buddha’s teachings and shouldn’t this not come to an end.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines the ‘waiting game’ as the, “stratagem of deferring action and allowing the passage of time to work in one’s favour” or the postponement of action or decision in order to gain advantage.”

It’s my conclusion that Tamil politicians have been, at peace times, almost always been invariably forced into playing a ‘waiting game’; postponing their agenda in the hope and anticipation the right moment would come by – favourable to the new colonial masters, in the not so distant future, to pop the question to the powers that be, waiting for a more receptive Sinhala leader – one at that they can place their faith in – evident by what Meera Srinivasan for the Hindu wrote: that when asked whether, “the TNA was hopeful of realising its long-pending demand for substantive devolution of political powers to the Tamils in Mr. Sirisena’s leadership — given that his manifesto is silent on the subject, Mr. Sampanthan said “we would rather repose faith in Mr. Sirisena.”[12]

“Repose faith in Mr. Sirisena“, Sampanthan summed up the fate of Tamils.

Repose faith – in the hope that the other side is listening, that what the TNA are, “looking for is a permanent solution.” :

“We are looking for a peaceful, honourable and a permanent solution within the framework of a united and an undivided Sri Lanka.” were Sampanthan`s words

And understandably it seems and more so at this juncture they have to play the waiting game – For Tamils it’s a routine exercise having to endure one betrayal[13] after another, having come to the end of their tether with the Rajapaksa regime, it’s only natural for the TNA to feel they can do with anyone but the old guard, “accusing the “regime of being particularly harmful to the well-being of the Tamil-speaking people of Sri Lanka.”

Sampanthan’s enthusiasm and faith in this Maithri, Ranil, Mangala Regime is real, he has called on the Tamils to be, “patient on demilitarisation,”[14] the Tamil Guardian reported; showing an optimism that makes Tamils play the “waiting game“ hoping against hope that the situation will change for them.

Despite the fact that, “Prior to the election, over a hundred war affected women and a number of women`s groups in the NorthEast called on the future president `to take, immediate steps to demilitarise the country, particularly the North and East and return all lands occupied by the security forces, police and others to their rightful owners and to provide compensation.”

The thought that 16 out of 19 divisions of the military still occupy the Northeast is mind boggling – Tamils need to see some action on the ground.

Is the Tamil expectation for power in the areas of competence, resulting in adequate measure of self rule , “hope or illusion?“

On Truth vs Hype – Sri Lanka – Hope or Illusion, NDTV reporter Sreenivasan Jain stated the obvious when he said, “one of the reasons credited for Sirisena`s victory was the fact that the coalition of Tamils parties known as the TNA came out and endorsed him at the very last minute leading to an overwhelming vote for him in the Tamil areas of the North and East.“ It became clear that Samapanthan was talking in riddles and with a lot of hesitation, struggling for the right words to use as he answered Sreenivasan`s question whether he is convinced that (this vote) is going to finally result in him (Sirisena) going to meet the demands of the Tamil population in Sri Lanka – which is concrete greater autonomy ?

Map Usha“We have discussed it with the president after his elections – other political leaders – the Indians are aware of the Tamil position – I am not saying he would do everything possible – i am confident that he would come up with an excellent scheme of devolution ( pressed what that was in real terms by Sreenivasan) we would want something more credible – division of power between the center and provinces that would give us an adequate measure of self-rule in matters of economic concern, social concern, cultural concern (Jain asking if it included police powers, land powers) yes yes of course yes.“

Is Sampanthan`s overreach beyond what the Maithri Ranil Mangala team have in mind? Have the Tamil people`s aspirations and TNA`s vanguard proposal for Federalism for which the Tamil people have duly given them a mandate been quashed by Ranil`s 13th amendment mantra?

Ranil is a good man in many ways – he spearheaded the cease-fire and peace process, that started with the promise of Federalism (internal self-determination) but never went far – yet some say he worked behind the scenes with the Americans and had meetings in the US on aid allocation where the LTTE wasn`t able to attend; that he orchestrated the split between renegade Karuna and the LTTE that later did the dirty work as paramilitaries for the government against LTTE during the so called cease–fire. Although the LTTE established a defacto state some say dejure state, the cease-fire itself weakened LTTE`s military prowess immensely). It did not bring the peace dividend for Tamils that was promised – not only did Chandrika torpedo the peace process in a power struggle that resulted in Ranil being sacked as prime minister (with plans a foot for Chandrika to appoint Kadirgamar for the position of PM that did not materialise because of Rajapaksa`s vehement opposition) a move that propelled Rajapaksa into prime minister and then president – which led to him unilaterally abrogating the cease-fire agreement and engaging in war.

Some say because of the Tamil boycott of the 2005 presidential elections we ended up with Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brothers who turned out to be worse – worse than was ever imagined or envisaged – who now stand accused by the Tamils of genocide of the Tamil people.

Ranil`s courteous response to some pertinent questions I asked him through his #AskRW twitter hashtag shows he saw the 13th amendment with land powers (the police powers he wasn`t sure about) as the political solution to the Tamil national question:

Usha Sriskandarajah ‏@UshaSris  Dec 1

@RW_UNP Does your 13th amendment include land, police and fiscal powers? #AskRW

Ranil Wickremesinghe‏@RW_UNP

@UshaSris The existing 13th amendment will apply but with a depoliticised police.

When asked about the possibility of a referendum he replied no one asked for it in this country:

Usha Sriskandarajah ‏@UshaSris  Dec 1

Would you @RW_UNP Follow UK’s Example & Hold That Referendum On Independence In The NorthEast #AskRW https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/follow-uks-example- …

Ranil Wickremesinghe‏@RW_UNP

@UshaSris No one has requested it in this country.

When i pressed him for an answer he did not reply.

Usha Sriskandarajah ‏@UshaSris  Dec 10

@RW_UNP No one has asked b’coz Tamil aspirations cant be fully expressed under 6th A. Would you abolish this law that’s undemocratic? #AskRW

As a result of this Twitter exchange I had with Ranil, (hats off to Ranil for courageously opening his communication line to any one on twitter for questions, the TGTE Media issued a press release which I give below:

No one made the call for a Referendum in Sri Lanka: Ranil’s Tweeted response:

Map UshaThe Sri Lankan Opposition Party Leader, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, has said that no one in Sri Lanka had called for a referendum to determine the political resolution pertaining to the Tamil people. Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said this in response to a question posted via Twitter by Mrs. Usha Sriskandarajah, a member of the TGTE Senate, asking whether UNP would follow the UK example and hold a referendum on independence in the NorthEast of the island of Sri Lanka similar to the one held in Scotland. When Usha Sriskandarajah followed with a comment saying that no one had asked for it because Tamil aspirations could not be fully expressed under the 6th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution which criminalized even peaceful advocacy of independence, and asked Ranil Wickremesinghe if he would abolish the undemocratic 6th Amendment, he failed to respond.

I still think Ranil is a very reasonable man and can be trusted to bring about change for the Tamil people if he gets the support of the Sinhala people , but what would that change entail beyond the 13th amendment[15] is hard to say – the only thing he said in that direction is the correction he made to NDTV`s Sreenivasan`s reporting – that he did not say he supported full autonomy for the Tamils.

Should we Tamils and will the Sinhala masses give emerging statesmen like Mangala who offer a ray of hope, a chance to demonstrate the “political will” that’s hitherto been lacking or rarely seen in Sinhala politicians to achieve genuine peace and reconciliation?

What a breath of fresh air this Mangala is – his plan,[16] “to achieve national reconciliation in the civil war-ravaged island-nation,” must resonate well with Tamils who were crying out for some comforting words from the new government:

Showing the courage of his convictions, Mangala in direct opposite to Maithri promised, “to demilitarise the Northern Province, order a domestic probe into the excesses reportedly committed during the last phase of the so-called Eelam War IV in 2009… dismissed apprehensions that such a probe may upset the majority community in the island, proposing to take suitable steps to provide relief and justice to victims of the civil war that tore the country apart for nearly three decades.. initiate a dialogue with the one-million-strong Sri Lankan diaspora scattered across the globe to seek its help to rebuild the North….expressed the hope that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will respond positively to President Sirisena’s invitation to join the government and actively participate in executing its plans to transform the country into an inclusive liberal democracy…

Introducing the most hopeful proposals so far, Mangala may be the man to break the vicious cycle of subterfuge, procrastination and deception that Tamils have been facing with previous governments.

I couldn’t help but read parts of Venkat Narayan’s report and feel a tear coming in the corner of my eye:

I quote:

“When he made an appeal to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who fled the island during riots and civil war and living in India and other parts of the world to return home, a journalist said former LTTE cadres and banned Tamil terrorist groups may come back and make trouble again, the minister said nothing of the kind will happen.He explained: “They all are our people. They left their homeland for certain reasons. We are now trying to set things right by running an inclusive government. For decades, we have been trying to achieve national reconciliation without success. People of all communities have voted our government to power. There is a consensus that we all must live together in peace and harmony.”He said it was primarily to dissuade the Sinhalese from voting for the opposition that the previous regime tried to instil in their minds the fear that the LTTE will be reborn if drastic steps are not taken to put the Tamils down. I have met some of the people in London whose groups were banned by the earlier government. I do not believe that they are terrorists.”
He said there are already lots of proposals made to achieve national reconciliation, such as the Thimpu Proposals, the Mangala Moonesinghe Proposals, the CBK (Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga) Proposals, to name but a few. Who would go for a new Parliamentary Select Committee? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. All these years we failed to achieve national reconciliation because there was no political will. Now there is a political will. We are optimistic about pulling it off this time,” the minister asserted.”

End quote

Do we suffer fools gladly – like Dayan Jayatilleka[17] and Radhika Coomaraswamy?[18]

The worry is people like Dayan could act as spoilers for the forthcoming Parliamentary elections – the only saving grace being his recent campaign for his old boss did not sit well with the voters who made Maithri the victor.

Now Radhika is another case. She continues her harangue without let, talking down to the Tamil Diaspora as irresponsible and self-absorbed as she engages in serious innuendo. If you read her latest article on “Why the elections last week made me triumphantly proud of my country“ she aligns the TNA with the fundamentalist Sinhala Buddhist supremacists JHU – JHU joined the Sirisena coalition on condition that a federal model or any power-sharing arrangement will not be on the table for the Tamils. She calls us Tamils “minorities” – She being a Tamil shouldn’t be referring to us as minorities -that’s a no no for me. And there is no denying that it was the Tamil speaking vote i.e. Tamil and Muslim vote that secured the victory for Sirisena. She goes on to use the words “terrorist” that’s a no no for me too and fund raising and mobilisation. (what a contrast to Mangala) How is it only she can be “triumphantly proud of her country“ and wants the best for it – is it because as long as everything is ok in her world she is happy – Can’t the Diaspora want the same for the people of the NorthEast?  Is that not reasonable to ask? I give here parts of her article :

I quote:

“Particularly interesting has been the slow transformation of the rhetoric of both the TNA and JHU…..There is no leader, the people of Jaffna have no stomach for violence and even the irresponsible and self-absorbed diaspora are strangely talking about Mahatma Gandhi….It is the split in the Sinhala vote more than the minority vote that delivered this election to M. Sirisena… we must ask- “how can the terrorists and violent rebellion ever come back? .. The western countries and India, especially after this election, will not tolerate fund raising or clandestine mobilisation.“

End quote:

On the other hand the `genocidal` Dayan[19] who rejects the idea of Tamil Nationhood and has no qualms about taking pride in covering up war crimes for Rajapaksa at the UNHRC is typically assuming the role of spoiler wasting no time to put a spanner in the works on Mangala`s proposal for national reconciliation:

I quote:

“The Foreign Minister is bullish and he is on the record. ‘”All these years we failed to achieve national reconciliation because there was no political will. Now there is a political will. We are optimistic about pulling it off this time,” the minister asserted.’ (Ibid)

What is the Foreign Minister upbeat about pulling off? ‘National reconciliation’ it would seem. Why has no one pulled it off as yet? Going by Minister Samaraweera’s version it was because “there was no political will”. I am deeply appreciative of this perspective because I had mistakenly thought for thirty years it was because of the war and the obduracy of the Tigers, and in the decades before and the half-decade after the war, it was the lack of broad bipartisan consensus. Now I know different. It was the lack, not of consensus or of a reliable peace partner, but precisely of political will. Well, you live and learn.“

Mr, Dayan Jayatilleke is flawed in his argument – `lack of bipartisan consensus` means lack of political will – in my book? Let me remind his short memory that there has been no southern consensus at all ever since independence.

Dayan I say to you:

“Do not pass the buck. It was your kinsmen who were unreliable peace partners. You should blame it on your hawkish boss who came to the table with little integrity and not on the Tigers, It was Rajapaksa who claimed the peace process and the cease-fire agreement were both unconstitutional and later abrogated the ceasefire.“

Do we ignore this man who takes pleasure in wallowing in triumphalism – who is now left to swallow the bitter pill of his candidate Rajapaksa’s loss – Do we let him stew in his own ( genocidal) juice for he has missed the bus and his time has long gone?

Would Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lanka come out of its insecurities and show it’s a mature democracy and truly give Maithri Ranil and Mangala their support so that real changes could occur for Tamils too, leading to prosperity for all? Alternatively would the Tamil National Question be a non issue like how it was in the presidential elections and would the charade be played out again at the parliamentary elections?

This is the question for Sinhala politicians and the Sinhala people to answer – The end result if they don`t give their support would only help make Rajapaksa and his family make a comeback through the back door and all would be lost.

Let’s face it, Tamils have been exploited, betrayed and used time and time again. As Thomas Raj Johnpulle rightly surmised, “will Tamils be taken for a disposable napkin again?[20]

I think as he said the TNA must run in Colombo too and in all the Tamil strongholds to increase their seats in parliament!

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” -Martin Luther King

It’s time to reflect on Martin Luther King’s words. [21]

It’s time to show courage and conviction and negotiate the best deal for Tamils, This is not merely a patriotic duty but the bounden duty of our Tamil leaders.

And what better time to do it than now.

Let them not succumb to fear and suffer mediocrity.

Let’s resonate with Shakespeare, appreciating that time and tide wait for no man. Let’s act in spite of our fears. “If you fight your fears and seize the opportunity it would lead you to victory and to fortune`[22]`:

There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures. -Shakespeare

Let the Sinhala people hear what Prime Minister David Cameron said[23] a few days ago and open their hearts to the Tamil people.

“Scotland spoke, we listened and now we are delivering”

With these words Prime Minister David Cameron spoke of the Bill he would be introducing in Westminster that, would in his view make, “Hollyrood (Scottish Parliament) the most powerful devolved parliament in the world.”Although the Scottish National Party (SNP) standing firm on its commitment to Scottish independence found the new reform plan watered down, it’s no denying here we have a rare phenomenon, where leading UK political parties, honouring the “vow” they made to clinch the ‘no vote’ in the Scottish referendum for independence, putting away their differences, accepting the Smith Commission report, reaching a remarkable consensus on devolving significant powers to Scotland assuring Scots substantial home rule, giving them, as Nick Clegg said, “the best of both worlds” be it in the United Kingdom!

Announcing the draft legislation Cameron spoke to the people of the United Kindom:

I quote

“These are new powers for Scotland securing our united future..Be in no doubt who ever forms the next government after May the 7th these new powers are guaranteed. The Scottish parliament would have more control over its tax and spending making it one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world. The Scottish parliament would combine the freedom to decide what happens in Scotland’s schools, hospitals, surgeries, police stations with the responsibility of determining how around 60% of the public money is spent. Because for the first time the majority of the money the Scottish parliament spends will be raised here in Scotland. This includes a substantial new package of welfare powers worth 2.5 Billion pounds to tackle long term unemployment, disability and poverty. We have already moved the Scottish parliament to extend its franchise so that 16 and 17 year old can vote at the Hollyrood 2016 elections. And here we are stating in law the permanence of the Scottish parliament so that there can never be any question Hollyrood is here to stay.”

Contrast that to this island and the predicament of the Tamils.

Here we are with only a glimmer of hope thus far after this election of securing a decent devolution package – one which we have sought with no avail so far.

The need for devolution or autonomy or power sharing or self- determination whichever way one might call it, became apparent soon as independence was gained from Britain and before the ink dried on the unitary constitution. Things became critical as time went on with more oppressive and discriminative measures taken against us by successive Sinhala governments that resulted in the occupation of our lands, persecution and marginalisation of our people, bigotry, even worse genocidal acts being perpetrated against us and wars. Not that we, when the situation became untenable, resolved to break-away, even fight violence with violence.

Here we are with many of our men women and children dead and gone, crippled, orphaned, widowed and traumatised.

I like to end by quoting Sanjayan Rajasingham who makes a clarion call[24] to all communities in Sri Lanka to change to effect change:

I quote:

“In the end, society is changed by the everyday acts of ordinary individuals, in classrooms, offices, fields, towns, cities and villages. If we don’t change, things won’t change. Only when we become a new us, will we begin to see a new Sri Lanka.

Of course it won’t be easy. Change never is, and there will be failure, discouragement and disappointment. But since when do we only fight for something because it’s easy? We want equality, freedom and justice because they are good and because they are right, not because it’s easy to get them. Whether we win or not is a different matter. But you can be sure that we have a better chance of winning if more of us try.“

“The first step to a new Sri Lanka is with us. We need to act,” Sanjayan says.

[1] https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/s-j-v-chelvanayakam-the-father-of-the-tamil-nation/

[2] http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/quebecers-form-a-nation-within-canada-pm-1.624141

[3] https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/follow-uks-example-hold-that-referendum-on-independence-in-the-northeast/

[4] http://www.ft.lk/2014/12/31/tna-thumbs-up-for-maithri/

[5] http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/truth-vs-hype/truth-vs-hype-sri-lanka-hope-or-illusion/352756

[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XxyZgMPE8s#t=51

[7] https://www.colombotelegraph.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Manifesto-English.pdf

[8] http://www.arabnews.com/world/news/666671

[9] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxP4micahCc

[10] http://ceylontoday.lk/16-82743-news-detail-unitary-status-to-remain-pm.html?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

[11] http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=79&artid=37606

[12] http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/tamil-national-alliance-backs-opposition-candidate-in-sri-lanka-presidential-polls/article6738507.ece

[13] http://www.tamilnation.co/forum/sivaram/041010t.htm

[14] http://www.tamilguardian.com/article.asp?articleid=13494

[15] http://ceylontoday.lk/16-82743-news-detail-unitary-status-to-remain-pm.html?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

[16] http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=118038

[17] https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-new-governments-real-agenda/ 

[18] http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/37334

[19] https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/tamil-perspective-dangerous-and-genocidal-dayange-chinthanaya/

[20] http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2015/01/will-tamils-be-taken-for-disposable.html

[21] https://play.spotify.com/artist/4lWl4G5wgAH9i3GwumUDkB

[22] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuG-TJdYnUA

[23] http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-30915457

[24] http://srilankamirror.com/features/item/1735-insignificant-individuals-and-a-new-sri-lanka

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    I know … I know it is not your fault mam, when you have given a position in the august Senate you got to be seen as doing some thing, do not you. You guys have lost the credibility with Tamils who live here. They knew what they need, not what you want them to have. Your PM couldn’t tell our voters to vote for MR, yet, tacitly implied that Tamil voters should think and do the right thing come to the day of election. Of course they thought… Thought hard and did what was appropriate. Because of their deed I am happy to note you and your elks able to gloat on the twitter response you received from Ranil. If not, Tamils who live here keep getting the shafting from MR and enjoying the ‘ vadakil vasantham’. While you guys still having a fun with MR, expecting the UN would one day haul them to Hague.

    Mangala is a nice guy and his outlook about the national issue is much better than others who wield the power, luckily he was still able to sustain his parliamentary seat while having and expressing such views. Even madam CBK shares such views, but you didn’t even mentioned her name in your article, rather a little bit carried away with RW’s twit. Anyway that is away from the point I make. What makes things harder for people who are here and trying to resolve this problem is you people tossing these kind of opinion which is definitely not helpful for any including Ranil, Mangala or MS. This would give further fodder to spoilers like DJ and help stir the hard liners on the other side. You would have heard that you have to be in it to win it. RW has to be the PM if he wants to sort this issue, so was Manga and MS on their respective positions. To sustain their position, they have to play hard ball. Although Scottish were given with the choice, they didn’t want to break away, why? Mr Karunanithi noted to express his 2 cents saying he welcome Ranil’s effort, why does he do this, do you know, he expects the same effect from hard liners here so he could go on with his politics and build a future for his family. The whole affairs of Tamils live here is a fun for them, and for some it helps make a living too. The same guy was having a nap at the Marina beach saying he was on a fasting while MR and Gotta bombarding the innocents in the NFZ inviting them into it announcing it was the only place they could take refuge.

    Please try to understand the delicacy of the issue and don’t demand anything that are not practicable. TNA knows what is a practical solution is, let them to handle the issue, you know, it needs some diplomacy. Mr Sampanthan is a well respected person, alas he was still with us. Their resolve to not present themselves in an eccentric parliamentary select committee under MR despite the pressure from the IC is testament for their diplomacy. Confrontational politics will never solve the issue but aggravate the situation even further. And, we are the people who will face face the brunt of the distrusting. You seem to suggest not to fear, it is all well and good to play with words sitting in the super cool rooms, but for us we don’t have such luxury and we have lost every thing including the will to live. As they say, time heals, only now we comes to grips with what we have lost and trying to accept the reality, that is, live has to go on. We saw every thing, not sarcastic; seen both men of brave and coward, bad luck we didn’t have people like you, the fearless ones, here when we were asked move place to place. Have waited 65 odd years now, waiting other 80 odd days won’t hurt us. Do not put unnecessary pressure upon the new leaders and make things harder for them. Tamils voted for MS without any conditions, which is much better than not voting, like we did in 2005, and then being herded like animals on the order of the power that be, we helped put on the driving seat. Is not it utter stupidity?

    Having said all this, we also understand your dilemma, particularly people like you have a guilty feeling of fleeing this country at a crucial moment and now once you have settled down in your jobs and children education, etc most of you feel like want to do something’s for the home land. That is not a bad thing by any means, but sometimes ” do nothing” is also an option being considered before doing some thing, unfortunately with hindsight, we could say that would have been the best options than throwing your weight behind LTTE, which pushed the destiny of your homeland back at least a 100 years. If you say at least such a situation help migrate you, maybe you have a point there and I have no qualm with it, yes it is an outcome. If experience is anything, do the same, be patient at this juncture and see the result.. Do not jeopardise the goodwill that seems to be holding. Don’t blame Sinhala leaders for every thing, if you see the general election result of 1947 which is still in the SL election office Web site, you would know how many Tamils were elected for the parliament. What happened since, who helped to deport them? Those were the leaders who with such foresight guided our destiny, and this lack of foresight is all along. There was a moment in 1987 but we didn’t have the knack of saying enough, because VP was the captain of the ship, who knew only one thing that is his live, he could see a live for him without arms. Now what we do, pleading to get Land and Police powers. If India said, it is ok without police, that is it. End of the day, what is nett gain, loss from either side. Do we need this situation to last any longer without finding a solution that is acceptable for all who live here. I am sure the current leaders are smarter than the one which got riddance, and they understand every one concerns including yours.

    If you are so used to and want to pick a fight, go after Mr Basil, he came back to somewhere you folks live.

    • 1
      2

      HI Aia With due respect to your reply I wish to say that I totally agree with you. However, the Present Sinhala mind set is based on Mahavamsa. This was kindled by British ruler then in early 20th century. Though, Mahavamsa was written in Pali in the 5th Century. There are no evidence in history to show there was this enmity between the communities. Both communities had existed peacefully. Early 20th century saw the first German translation of Mahavamsa and this was quickly translated into English by the British Governor and was presented to Anagarika Dharmapala the Catholic turned Buddhist Chauvinist to set the hatred fire between the two communities. Later after the independence a myth was created by Sinhala Politicians, that the Tamils were favoured by British this led to innovation of Sinhala only in 24 hours and gradually to present day Sinhala dominance and the chauvinistic out look. We have waited 66 years and few more days if at all to undo the past by MY3 and his team be patient. Let TNA handle the problem The Tamils living out side the shores of Srilanka need to dismantle their past baggage’s and get out of box thinking habit. let us help our brethren by supporting TNA and its agenda. thank you

    • 6
      2

      Aia,

      This is Amma speaking. Get back to bed you [Edited out] you have had too much toddy.

  • 3
    6

    To Usha Sriskandarajah.

    I did not read your article fully as I read half of it and I felt real headache. If you are really concerned about your kith and kin in Sri Lanka, I ask you why does the Tamil Diaspora needs a government in exile- TGTE, and holding the Tiger flag and diaspora Tamils holding positions in the TGTE. What is the purpose and what benefits you are going to gain for the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. It is really an idiotic and confronting move. The LTTE is finished for many reasons. It is not going to rise again as LTTE or in any other name or form. The Tamils in Sri Lanka do not want to know about the LTTE. Why cannot the Tamil diaspora form one body similar to that of Tamil global forum for the entire global network and fight for the freedom of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. Of course the Tamils there needs the support of the Tamil Diaspora, individually or collectively, financially or otherwise. The Tamil diaspora doesn’t seem to be sincere and realistic.
    The Mithiri, Ranil and Mangala combination is hard to explain although Ranil and Mangala had said something to be done for the Tamils. Those are just words or the Media principle. Maithiri has still has not acknowledged his winning goes 100 percent to the Tamils and Muslims in the North and East. The Sinhala community and the Tamil community in Sri lanka has gone apart with racial hatred and fear of difvision which cannot be easily erased. People may write lot of things about reconciliation but nothing will happen practically.
    I listened to one of the TNA MP speaking at a ceremony of opening up of a school in Vanni about the Army presence in the Hall with small children participating. The participation of the army in civil matters in the North is still continuing. As a priority what the President has done is to restore the civic rights, ranks and pension and all other benefits to General Fonseka but whereas 250,000 families are not resettled in vali North and the Army is still occupying their homes and lands. This is no priority to the President who was elected by the same people. Those families are still in camps, with relatives in other parts and in rented homes, still suffering from the trauma of evicting them from their homes and lands by Arial bombardment in 1990s and thereafter. Can anyone imagine 10 villages in Vali North is occupied by the Army. Maithiri has not yet thought about the problems of those Tamil people because they are Tamils.
    Maithiri has sent a representative to the UN to discuss UNHCR investigation to be cooled own and to proceed with internal investigation. What is he worried about? How can he investigate his own crime. This government is not going to give Land and Police powers to the Northern Provincial council. The Sampanthan, Sumanthiran and Wigneswaran group seems to me a reluctant participants to lead the Tamils and their approach doesn’t satisfy the Tamils. The Tamils needs a referendum as I have right throughout voiced, to stay in or out. That is the only proper and democratic way to solve the Tamil problem. I once said Maithiri is other face of the same coin.
    Yes it is another waiting game for the Tamils.

  • 2
    6

    The 100 days program is nothing but saving war criminals, the old King and the new King. First, very important project has been done is reinstating the greedy Chris Norris and Jeyantha Dhanapala. Mangala has been appointed as the new FM. New King is vising to China. That is same old way, as in the old King’s Government.
    When these 100 days are over, the election will be there. There is no need of TNA’s support for individual parties to win in south. Then the talk will change. TNA will take the blame from there. It is again the past patters. After tigers were defeated, the blame went for TNA did not attend the PSC.

    India invited both, Mangala and the new King. Ranil, the UNP-west has not gone anywhere. New King is vising to China. So far there is no serious visiting has been made by senior officials to West. Mangala is not on any political matters or goodwill visit, but to talk about the fish export and probably revive the GSP+. They will be asking from West more for them on the fake promises they give it to west. TNA will not have gut to ask not to give back the fish export right until anything substantial is offered to Tamil. There is nothing new so far for Tamils, not even a Tamil Governor (even one like Karuna or Douglas) for North or East,. The card for the West will be “if you are not giving back the fish export rights and back off from the war crime investigation, we will allow china to continue the projects.” (Interestingly, the main halt on the China projects is about the Northern High way.) That is not going to be different from what the old King did.
    What, in fact has happened is International Community, America and India has dragged and pushed the Tamils in to another Mullivaikkal, in the name of 2015 election. But none of them so far is able to find out the LTTE to put blame as using human shield. But, when they are ready somebody, it is not going to be diaspora, but it is the TNA who will be labelled as the one kept the Tamils as their shield for their April election victory.

    For the first time, in Tamil Political Parties’ history, TNA wrote false statement to get Tamils to vote for MY3.
    Old King said there is no minority.
    America’s undersecretary said they expect the New King to give (or do) whatever the people want.
    TNA claimed they did expect or ask anything from MY3’s government.
    Ranil said “anything” is only 13A.
    JHU said they agreed only to dethrone the old King nothing more than that. There was no agreement with anybody for 13A.
    This is the Solution to the Tamil Minorities who suffered from the time British troops left the land.

  • 3
    5

    Tamils protest against govt. and army in Jaffna and Trinco. NEWS BLOCKADE prevents this new from reaching others.

    There are protests against the govt. and army camps in Jaffna and Trinco. People don’t hear because there is a NEWS BLOCKADE.

    Tamils and muslims begin extremism and they want Sri lankan Virathu to stay silent.

  • 5
    3

    Hi Usha,

    You could write to explain the historic, continuing and expected atrocities of Sri Lankan Governments against Tamil nation and Tamil people. Explaining to the world could be your prime target and then bring it to the attention of good Sinhalese, who may be handful.

    Make a prediction of how this time around the Sinhalese are going to cheat the world at UNHRC so that smaller nations will become aware of situation by learning through experience.

    • 2
      2

      Dear K Chevvez,

      Couldn’t help but notice what you wrote about the UNHRC.

      Consider the following,

      The FOUNDATION for the UNHRC Investigation is the report produced by the UNSG’s POE, Mr. Darusman, Ms. Yasmin Sooka and Mr. Steven Ratner.

      Let’s first look at the International Law (https://www.icrc.org/ihl/WebART/585-08?OpenDocument)

      Rome Statute of the ICC, 17 July 1998

      Article 8

      War crimes

      (b) Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:

      (xxiii) Utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations;

      The Key words in the above definition are “Presence”, “Civilians” and “Immune”

      The meaning of course is very clear. Anyone holding Civilians to protect either, military forces (in this case LTTE cadres) or any area or any location from attacks is guilty of a serious War Crime.

      Thus the use of Civilians as a shield is a war crime. Which of course is generally referred to as a Human Shield.

      Now let’s look at what the POE report say

      UNSG’s POE Report

      237. Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions: Credible allegations point to a violation of Common Article 3’s ban on the taking of hostages insofar as they forced thousands of civilians, often under threat of death, to remain in areas under their control during the last stages of the war and enforced this control by killing persons who attempted to leave that area. (With respect to the credible allegations of the LTTE’s refusal to allow civilians to leave the combat zone, the Panel believes that these actions did not, in law, amount to the use of human shields insofar as it did not find credible evidence of the LTTE deliberately moving civilians towards military targets to protect the latter from attacks as is required by the customary definition of that war crime (Rule 97, ICRC Study)

      The first thing that you notice is that the POE DOES NOT refer to the ICC Statute, which is the International Law. Instead they refer to a study made by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) which has no standing in Law.

      The second thing that you notice is that the POE affirms the PRESENCE and FORCIBLE retention of Civilians in an Area where LTTE Cadres were present. They also affirm that LTTE shot and killed civilians who attempted to leave this area.

      This is Rule 97 from the Red Cross Website that the POE refers to. Though this is not the law, even this does not require “MOVEMENT of Civilians” as the POE Fraudulently claims in section 237.

      Human Shields
      Definition of human shields
      The prohibition of using human shields in the Geneva Conventions, Additional Protocol I and the Statute of the International Criminal Court are couched in terms of using the presence (or movements) of civilians or other protected persons to render certain points or areas (or military forces) immune from military operations
      (https://www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_rul_rule97)

      We know from photographic evidence published by the Times of London whose photographers overflew the NFZs (along with Ban Ki Moon) that military equipment including heavy weapons were moved into the NFZ by the LTTE.

      Thus we have a situation were Civilians were PRESENT and restrained within an Area were LTTE Cadres, LTTE Heavy Guns and LTTE Munitions were also present. We also know from the POE report that the civilians who attempted to leave the area was shot by the LTTE.

      Thus the conditions stipulated by the ICC regarding the Serious War Crime of employing a Human Shield is satisfied.

      However very surprisingly the UNSG’s POE EXONERATED the LTTE and says the Panel believes that these actions did not, in law, amount to the use of human shields insofar as it did not find credible evidence of the LTTE deliberately moving civilians towards military targets to protect the latter from attacks as is required by the customary definition of that war crime

      Obviously Mr. Darusman, Ms. Yasmin Sooka and Mr. Steven Ratner has had a very strong incentive to SUBVERT and IGNORE International Law by declaring that the LTTE was not Guilty of the war crime of using a Human Shield.

      There are other such dicey statements made by them.

      Thus it is very clear that the members of the UNSG’s POE has committed a Criminal Offense (if not a War Crime) by covering up a very serious War Crime committed by the LTTE.

      This is concrete evidence that the UNSG’s POE report is full of Fabrications.

      What happens to the foundation on which the UNHRC hopes to act?

      Kind Regards,
      OTC

  • 3
    3

    Given the history of the Sri Lankan state, this article asks some valid and fair questions that are very pertinent to Tamils.

    The TNA’s strategy delivered a victory for Sirisena and hopefully has opened up a ‘democratic space’ for Tamils. The TNA now has to be equally smart and deliver on the demands of the Tamil people. To do that they have to untangle themselves from the so-called Sirisena coalition and maximise their votes in the upcoming Parliamentary elections. That may even mean running for elections outside of the Northern and Eastern provinces.

    • 3
      6

      Dear Richard Kaz,

      What History are you writing about?
      The History you learned from Separatist sources?

      Radhika says (http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/37334)

      quote
      There are still many obstacles are ahead and the promises and the expectations may never be fulfilled. In addition, the discourse and rhetoric of fear, rumour, darkness and hatred is still trying to make a comeback. It is true that the minorities did make a difference in this election but we must also ask why the former incumbent’s share of the Sinhala vote dropped from 65% to 55%- that is what made him lose the election since the minorities have always voted against his policies. It is the split in the Sinhala vote more than the minority vote that delivered this election to M. Sirisena. To see it as anything else is to deliberately obfuscate the issues.
      unquote

      If the questions Usha poses are “Valid and Fair” she should be able to defend them. She has failed to do that.

      BTW as a Tamil why are you using a Non Tamil name?

      Kind Regards,
      OTC

  • 2
    0

    If history is anything to go by it would be safe to be pessimistic and brush off our expectations as illusionary. If politicians are always ready to do the right thing we will all be inhabiting a different planet. Basically, politicians will never embark on initiatives inimical to self-preservation. If we do need illustration thereto the Rainbow Coalition’s manifesto serves best. As Usha has pointed out the waiting game for the Tamils shall continue eternally and the TNA, disqualified to be proactive, has to keep the Tamils in good humour just extolling the virtues of those now at the helm carrying on business as usual, nevertheless. Yes, even the most optimistic among us will not expect any positive change from the Tamil perspective, despite the apparent silver lining attributable to Mangala Samaraweera’s assertions on his recent visit to India, most of which diametrically opposed to the current President’s declared stand pertaining to Tamils’ immediate interests!

  • 2
    1

    My view is that there is no such discrimination in Sri Lanka due Ethicity. All happend due to communication gap between two languages widely spoken in Sri Lanka. This GAP created due to 1)Lack of openness 2) Lack of Education 3)Political system. In both cases particular illtreat (not discrimination) happend to the citizen in north as well as south. Only way forward is enhanse Education and Develop infrastructure North and South in the same manner.

    There is no discussion about referendum.It is not needed as long as if we address people need and develop a proper system. It is more realistic to be as one Country and one nation called Srilanka and Sri lankans. Deviding the such a small country to have two administration will lead to more problems in future. Further citizen in north will NOT be entertained in West as refugees but real truth is that who ever who leave sri lanka is not due to descrimination but their own benifit and good system in developed countries. It is the same case for people in south who move to west not becuase of anything else but system west implemented.

    But the reality is many of the people in north and tamil speaking people in south enjoy the equal opportunity in the country. All social benifits, Jobs in Government sector as well as private sector.

    APart from the above under priviledge are common in North and South. In my eyes what I have experienced is that so called politicial represent in North have ignored their people than in south. Even Though they are influential in the government. It is not about the Mjority central government. The representative not kept their promises. So fight for it through democratic means rather than spreading the ideology of self autonomy.

  • 3
    2

    Usha:

    It is good to hear from you after your enforced hibernation following Jeyalalthas demise.
    But as I predicted she is on her way back so keep your spirits up. As for whether we are on our way vback only time will tell.

    With Maithri, Ranil & Mangala – Real Change Should Occur For Tamils Too

    *** Let us hope so but in Sinhala Lanka with the Majority opting for MR the future is not cosy and we have a fight on our hand but with the threesome in charge I am hopeful but not confident and a lot depends on how we play our cards and the International Community.

    Would Tamils be forced to play the ‘waiting game’:

    *** We have waited for 64 long years and after RW denying that the solution will be found inder a Ferderal Arrangement I say that it amounts to a premature baby and the baby in Incubation.
    But babies from Incubation have grown out to be healthy with a full life span.

    1) I can`t help but part take in the people`s euphoria

    *** You are not alone but the entire Tamil Nation and a Minority Sinhalese also joined in but for different reasons.
    We broke the back of the Camel MR.

    2)I only ask and hope that with Maithri, Ranil and Mangala, real change should occur for all – and for the Tamils too!

    *** First impression is the lasting impression and I am impressed.

    3) Did the Tamils win the presidential elections for Maithri only to lose it for themselves? Can Maithri Ranil and Mangala really deliver,“to those with the biggest stake in change”.

    *** If they dont they will pay a heavy price as we have Plan “B” at the UN.

    4) There is no doubt that from the start Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe had it so good. Happily for them neither did they promise nor had they to deliver anything to the Tamils.

    *** The good news is to their credit they havent played the Race Card.

    5) We know Maithri was all out to assure the Sinhala people he wasn’t going to withdraw the army from the North. It shouldn’t be forgotten he was the Secretary of Defence at one point during the war. Responding to allegations that he was going to withdraw the military from the Tamil heartland and that he was going to divide the country, Maithri went on the offensive and clarified his position to the Sinhala masses so that there wouldn’t be any ambiguity.

    *** Implementing the 13th Amendement and merging North & East will settle the above as when we have a Tamil Police force the Army will be confined to barracks as the CM will appoint the IGP for NPC.

    6) Now consider the 63 page manifesto[7] of Maithri’s – it lists eradicating terrorism as one of his many achievements whilst in office as secretary of the SLFP, the only achievement he cares to name, describing terrorism, “as the most serious socio political challenge Sri Lanka faced during three decades in recent history.”

    *** Dont worry post LTTE he was referring to State Terrorism by MR and his cronies. Our was a Freedom Struggle.

    7)You must know the biggest and most unconscionable omission in the Maithri manifesto is the lack of any genuine conciliatory offers or measures to the Tamil community – the way it was “silent” about Tamil concerns – were rather revealing.

    *** I take the above as a clever piece of Electioneering.

    8) One thing I am not sure, but someone must know that there were several inquiries whether the manifesto was published in Tamil in addition to English and Sinhalese, up to now I don’t know the answer to that. If there was no translation I would conclude that there was no attempt made to inform the Tamil people, because there was nothing in it for them.

    *** There was no need for translation as we live in the 21st Century and TELEPATHY was the means of communication and the message got accross and Tamils voted overwhelmingly for MS & RW.

    9)Maithri didn’t see the national question or reconciliation as one of the crises facing the country mentioning, ” the total breakdown of the rule of law, fraud, corruption, wastage, inability to identify national priorities, environmental degradation and moral and spiritual degradation as obstacles to the country’s march forward.”

    *** This was a World away from previous elections and at least he didnt play the Race Card.

    10) Maithri made sure he made it loud and clear to the Sinhala people that he wasn’t going to permit the UN investigators into Sri Lanka or, cooperate with the UN mandated international probe and vowed that he, “will not allow President Rajapaksa, his family or any member of our armed forces to be taken before any international war crimes tribunal,” with the Arab News portal[8] stating the obvious that any move to cooperate with the investigation would be unpopular with the Sinhalese people: “Resisting international pressure to cooperate with the UN-mandated probe is seen as popular among the Sinhalese community from which both Rajapaksa and Sirisena hail, ” the news portal said.

    *** Dont worry he has now come down to Earth and I reminded him of Milosevic and he has taken note.

    11) It’s my feeling Sinhala politicians have a fear complex that stifles their inner urge to be decent and statesman-like. They are in fact forced to play the race card for fear of losing elections. And Tamils have been the victims of such unconscionable behavior. And sadly for us we saw it in this election too. Frankly does this attitude not go against all Buddha’s teachings and shouldn’t this not come to an end.

    *** To put your mind at rest this time we have an Elite Army ” The Womens Brigade” headed by none other than you friend Sharmini Serasinghe to come to our rescue.

    We have reached a point of No Return and there is no going back.

    MR is history and the Tamil Kindom lives on for another 1000 years.

  • 1
    1

    rights for the tamils can be achieved only with the support of the progressive forces within sinhalese and muslim community. It should be part of general struggle for genuine democracy and multiracialism in srilanka. anything else will only end in disaster like mullaitivu .i never agreed with the concept of separate state for Tamils. Disaster at mullaitivu proves it. Contradictions in south africa was worse than srilanka. South african liberation struggle by having the support of all the communities was able to defeat apartheid. In srilanka Tamils can only win their rights( which are still much better than what blacks had in the apartheid rule) by winning the support of progressive segments of ssinhalese and muslims.. ..

  • 6
    2

    OFF TH CUFF off yr [Edited out] ,, you are nothing but a wretchard racist bitch on heat ..

    • 3
      1

      Dear Pradeep,

      I thought I replied your post earlier but anyway let me do so again.

      First of all let me thank you for responding with an intelligent argument to my comments. What I have written here is mainly as a response to what Usha has written.

      Do you believe that she is a bitch in heat?
      I don’t think so. But you know best about those matters.

      But I know that she is trying her level best to stir the Ethnic Pot knowing very well that it will not be her who will have to face the music.

      BTW did she ever campaign for justice on behalf the Tamil Children who died at the hands of Prabahkaran and Adelle Balasingham?

      Give a thought

      Kind Regards,
      OTC

  • 0
    0

    Nishanthan,

    South African struggle against Apartheid is unique for the reason that it was the majority trying to assert itself democratically with international support. It is not so in Sri Lanka. Here it is a struggle for a distinct nationality to free itself from an oppressive majority, paying heavily for a Colonial blunder of handing over the colony to the majority community, expecting it to do the right thing, conceding equal rights to the Tamil citizens- Or did the British care at all?

    We have to take note that each and every struggle for freedom is unique in that it shall be governed by a set of unique factors. Generalization without an in-depth understanding of the factors is about the worst commentary. To illustrate, allow me to draw your attention to a statement attributed to BJP’s Advani a few years ago: ” How could Tamils who went as labourers to the Island claim a separate State ? ” Advani had no knowledge of the indigenous Tamils in the Island !!

  • 0
    0

    Sridas,
    “How could Tamils who went as labourers to the Island claim a separate State ? ” Advani had no knowledge of the indigenous Tamils in the Island !! “

    Is tamil claim for a seperate state including Eastern Province justifiable??

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