After three decades of a protracted armed conflict and its invariable legacy of polarised mindsets in the parties involved, Sri Lanka now finds herself arguably in a more difficult position than in times of war, with the abundant opinions and interpretations of her various ethnic entities disturbing that precarious balance of affairs unique to a post-war context.
The problem here is the commonly catered misconception that the armed conflict was between Sinhalese and Tamils. This distorted version cloaks the reality of the conflict being between the government and a terrorist organisation. Some fragments of the Tamil diaspora seem to be promoting the former view and consistently vitalising their campaign through the promise of a separate Tamil state within the sovereign boundaries of Sri Lanka. The fierce response of the misguided Sinhalese majority to these claims has only added legitimacy to the accusations of the diaspora about discrimination against the minority in the island. Sri Lanka’s diplomatic war of unifying the country in its truest sense has only now begun.
Idea Of A Tamil Eelam
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), led by Vishvanathan Rudrakumaran, is one of the two chief LTTE Fronts – the other being the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) – that have taken it upon themselves to revive the dream of a Tamil Eelam within Sri Lanka. In its mission statement it is plainly vocal about its desire to establish a separate state for Tamils as set out by the Vaddukoddai resolution. The movement is founded on the basis of nationhood, a homeland and the right to self determination of the Sri Lankan Tamil community. Though TGTE views itself as a democratic experiment, in actual terms its activities in the realisation of its goals indicate otherwise. The very idea of a separate state as their ultimate goal blocks any space left for healthy compromise and negotiation to work out a politically comfortable and satisfactory arrangement for all Sri Lankan communities.
Myth Of Elections
The myth of the so-called democratic representation of Tamils is evident when studying TGTE’s voting base. Their voters consist only of Tamils living abroad whereas the Tamils in the North and East who lived through the war for almost three decades have a better claim to elect the representatives of the so-called government for obvious reasons. While it is granted that the reason for the diaspora to be formed in the first place was founded on very concrete fears indeed, the fact that the future of Tamils living in Sri Lanka should not be determined by ones who did not personally experience the horrors of war cannot be negated. Like mentioned earlier TGTE’s failure to acknowledge LTTE brutality and the false information it communicates to the diaspora consistently promote the same false precept that has cost thousands of lives for three decades – the uncompromising call for a Tamil Eelam.
The military victory over the LTTE should not be inflated to block from view the looming possibility of a separate State of Eelam that is being progressively more accommodated in the collective mindset of the Tamil diaspora, specifically LTTE fronts and their increasingly fierce call for endorsement of this cause.Also the potential threat of the TGTE emerging as a military power in the event they are given footage in Sri Lanka should be seriously entertained by the government so as to take necessary preemptive measures to prevent violence in general and terrorism in particular from engulfing the country yet again. The absolute firmness with which the government is denying accommodation of the notion of a Tamil Eelam should not, by any means, imply that space for negotiation on a political solution is blocked. Genuine fraternity can only be fostered where there is a genuine commitment to understand and address actual grievances. Such a bona fide approach would discourage the local Tamil populace from pledging their allegiance to extremist foreign factions.
It is the responsibility of the government to prepare a new generation of Tamil leaders who are committed to reconciliation and peaceful co-existence. Also tactfully negotiating an arrangement on power-sharing with radical factions like the TGTE would help facilitate a middle path in which both Sinhalese and Tamils could tread hand in hand without compromising the security of the country.It is therefore pivotal to counteract false propaganda by TGTE and other radical elements while being committed to true reconciliation that would acknowledge and address the deep rooted grievances of Tamils and bring forth a political solution satisfactory to all communities. It would quash any excuse the TGTE and its allies may produce to resurrect the Phoenix from ashes.
Comments - 7
vaidy Saturday, 14 July 2012 04:57 AM
Our embassies abroad should consist of tamil and muslim employees as well and ensure national functions are conducted in a language known to all be it English, French, Roman,German without attaching importance to the national language. Cultural activities can be in the national languages Address by ambassadors should be understood by all and not contribute to divisions. Amity should be cuktivated from the embassy level so that everybody takes a pride as a sri lankan without discrimination
kanchana Saturday, 14 July 2012 04:29 PM
Yes Thanks to EU,US and other western countries Sri Lanka is unstable than the war time.
ifthikar lafir Saturday, 14 July 2012 11:17 PM
Re name it to CEYLON
Ganapathy Sunday, 15 July 2012 12:38 AM
Sad to see Rudrakumaran & his diaspora faction poisoning the minds of All Tamils and destroying the sincere efforts of the neutral and law-abiding Tamils LIVING in Sri-Lanka yeaning for a respectful and peaceful co-existence with rest of Sri-Lankan population.
Thanga Saturday, 14 July 2012 02:11 AM
The Portuguese and Dutch ruled Northeast as a separate province till the British for administrative convenience unified the country in 1833. So Sinhalese only zealots should thank not their stars but the imperial British for giving a "unitary" country on a platter to the majority Sinhalese in 1948. Sinhalese deliberately makes the weird claim that in a democracy the majority prevails. That is fine but not in a country like Ceylon which is multi-lingual, multi racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious.
Herby Padmaperuma Sunday, 15 July 2012 08:25 PM
A politically perepetually power hungy miniscule portion of disgrunted and frustrarted irresponsible and Tamils here and abroad, are day dreaming of an Elaam as a separate country within the confines of souverign Sri Lanka soil, which will bneveer ever come to pass.If every community having amazingly negligible population yearns for a separate segment to them, what an utter comical concent it would be. The present day Sinhlese are not fools like the olden days Kings including King Senarat. They knw how kindness and sympathy shown to vermins, who when grow to real Worms immagine to be snakes. No Elaam but sympathetic reconcilition is possible.
GnanasssooriyamGV Sunday, 15 July 2012 02:58 AM
We are increasingly drifting away from 'By the People, For the People' whether in the North, South, East or West in Sri Lanka. A 'U' turn will solve all the problem including the issue of 'Tamil Elam"
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