By Shenali Waduge
Delaying actions concerning the welfare of the Sri Lankan people by allowing a handful to create unprecedented strife based on a notion of “ethnic separatism” not shared by the majority has led to decades of terror resulting in unnecessary damage control allowing Sri Lanka to be compromised to opportunist nations pursuing neo-colonial agendas and India desiring to turn Sri Lanka into an Indian protectorate.
Sri Lanka’s Government has been warned enough. What is stopping Sri Lanka from drawing up its foreign policy without bending to Indian will?
In 1949 the ITAK was formed to work towards a Tamil Eelaam. In 1976 the Vaddukoddai Resolution called upon the Tamil people to join to create an Eelam and called upon the Tamil youth to take up arms. Why did the then Governments not take action?
Then came Prabakaran and several other Tamil militant groups all assisted by India not because India wanted to create any Eelam but simply because India thought it could bleed Sri Lanka on several fronts to realize its own South Asian agenda. The then JR Jayawardena Government had to bow down to Indian dictates as Sri Lanka’s military was not in a position to defend the nation. That however, led to the greatest betrayal and compromising of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty resulting in constitutional changes and the thirteenth amendment leading to a provincial council system that appears to be India’s way to acquiring Trincomalee harbor moving on to taking complete control of the island at a future date.
Is this what Sri Lanka’s Governments are proposing to allow by their inaction?
What needs to be cleared before analyzing anything related to the Sinhala-Tamil issue is the fact that the ITAK was formed in 1949 a year after Sri Lanka’s independence aspiring to create an Eelam when Tamils were enjoying all the privileges of English education, Government employment and social status far more than the Sinhalese? Why would ITAK create a political party masquerading itself as Federal Party in 1949 but aspire to separate well before any of the so-called Sinhala-Tamil issues surfaced? It does make any wonder whether these “issues” over the years including that of 1983 “riots” was pre-planned and had little to do with anything racial or ethnic but all connected to India! There remain unanswered questions as to India’s intelligence being involved in triggering the 1983 riots that paved the way for India’s intrusion in Sri Lanka on the guise of helping Sri Lankan Tamils.
Therefore, the government must tell the world that if any investigation is to start it must start with India’s role in arming, training, and financially sponsoring the LTTE and other Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups, India’s intrusion of Sri Lanka’s airspace in 1987, India’s demand to stop the capture of Prabakaran, India’s forceful drafting and signing of the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord forcing amendments to Sri Lanka’s constitution and the human rights and war crimes carried out by Indian Peace Keepers upon Sri Lankan Tamils in Sri Lanka. These must be investigated FIRST.
What needs to be reiterated is that ITAK is clearly heading towards another attempt to create tension in Sri Lanka. Let us all remind ourselves that members of the TNA were all associated with the LTTE and functioned as LTTE proxy never voicing outrage at any of the LTTE’s barbaric assassinations upon political leaders or suicide attempts on ordinary civilians. It goes without saying that their parliamentary status is attributed to the assistance given to them by the LTTE. These members are all a bunch of obsolete Vellala’s attempting to lead the Tamil people astray.
It is good for the Tamil people themselves to look back and see what they have gained in aligning with LTTE/TNA/ITAK and India against what they have actually lost over three decades? Look at the colossal loss of Tamil lives, the destruction to their property, children turned into terrorists when they should have studied and improved their lives. Can the Tamils really be happy at the turn of events? Do they really propose to allow the TNA/ITAK and the Tamil Diaspora to ruin the futures of Tamils once again while they make merry profiting from the conflict by kick starting donation campaigns which is going to begin with a satygraha campaign as was done in the past?
The West enjoys confusing matters with terminology brought in to coerce Governments to do their bidding. Thus these calls for “power sharing”, “devolution” without knowing any of the ground realities that prevail interested in only what they are to gain by having a disintegrated Sri Lanka. Our objective then should be to remain united.
Sri Lanka’s military defeated a globally banned terrorist organization. Sri Lanka’s military did not carry out a military exercise against the Tamils in fact the military carried out a humanitarian rescue that left hundreds of soldiers sacrificing their lives to save the lives of 294,000 Tamil civilians.
Unlike any nation Sri Lanka has given prominence to less than 12% of its population. Tamils enjoy denoting its ethnicity on the national flag, every public document includes Tamil, road names, public event telecasts are in Tamil, Tamil cultural events have all been given due place. Tamils hold key portfolios in both public and private sector. Where is the discrimination and why can’t Sri Lanka’s politicians argue these facts when questioned?If the Defense Secretary can confidently say that the North does not belong to ONLY the Tamils and every Sri Lankan citizen has a right to settle down in the North, why can’t the politicians voice the same sentiment clearly so that they do not leave room for inconsistencies? If the North is meant for Tamils only why are Tamils purchasing property and taking up residence in the South amongst Sinhalese. There are more Tamils living amongst Sinhalese than in the north and east together.
Just as the Sri Lankan Government needs to wake up and take legal action against the TNA/ITAK, the Tamil people must not allow their lives to be manipulated once again. If charges could be framed against the former army commander what is stopping any Government from charging the TNA/ITAK legally and constitutionally against what they are proposing to do. The people of the Vanni are now beginning to realize how they had been fooled by Tamil politicians – their heroes today are the military and not the TNA and there is no argument on this fact!
This is no time for niceties – as a nation we have been bitten too many times and our goodwill has been misused, abused and manipulated. There should be many patriots filing FR’s against the current trend while awaiting Government action.
Internally, we are a nation suffering because of corruption by politicians and inefficiency by our public service. If we can set this right first while properly handling our foreign policy in keeping with the central policy theme that the country remains united, sovereign, without devolution and for all the people who desire to be SRI LANKAN, then we are on the right track.
For all that to happen the Government now needs to take some stern action and it must start with legal actions (6th amendment to the constitution) against anyone attempting to break up Sri Lanka and extend to undoing the wrongs that have prevailed starting with annulling the thirteenth amendment, doing away with the provincial council system and breaking the barriers that ties Sri Lanka’s progress.
There is nothing a government with a two-third majority cannot do if they have the political will to do so. The military won the war, the battle lies now in the political arena and we are still waiting to see the success of our politicians in ensuring Sri Lanka remains sovereign against all odds.
The people are bearing all the hardships of life believing that the Government has a plan for the country’s future. The people are ready any time to safeguard the nation and it is now time for the Government to do their duty towards the nation.
– Asian Tribune –