A television station in its prime-time news bulletin on Saturday showed footage of TNA Parliamentarian Sivagnanam Sridharan arguing with a group of Sinhalese in Navatkuli, Jaffna last Tuesday, over allotment of land for them by the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA). Sridharan was heard protesting against the allotment of land to Sinhalese in Jaffna, on the grounds that Tamil people in the North had suffered to the core due to the war.
On the other hand, Sinhalese residents in the area, while accepting the fact that the Tamils suffered a lot during the war contended that they too were deprived of their rights, owing to their involuntary eviction by the LTTE from the North through the creation of a fear psychosis among them way back in the 1980s.
" It is sad to note that at a time when the new Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council C.V. Wigneswaran from his own party has initiated a process of conciliation with the South, Sridharan and a few extremists in the TNA are attempting to rock the boat "
Some of them showed their national identity cards to prove their birth in Jaffna and one woman said even her grandmother was born in Jaffna. Interestingly, they argued with the Parliamentarian - in fluent Tamil with the typical Jaffna accent - as if to vouch their claim to lands in the North. Finally the MP and his adversaries parted, throwing mutual challenges to meet each other another day.
It is sad to note that at a time when the new Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council C.V. Wigneswaran from his own party has initiated a process of conciliation with the South, not necessarily with the government, Sridharan and a few extremists in the TNA are attempting to rock the boat. It is appropriate to remind here, of an aborted provocative effort in the same week by the Chavakachcheri Pradeshiya Sabha led by Illankai Thamil Arasu Katchi, the main constituent party of the TNA, to renovate an LTTE cemetery or what many Tamils call Maveerar Thuilum Illam (abode of rest for great heroes), as if all was well for Tamils except for a renovated war cemetery.
Sridharan is not too young to be unaware of the Sinhalese populace that once lived in the North before they were driven away, and there was a Sinhala Maha Vidyalaya as well in the heart of Jaffna, the cultural capital of the Tamils. Tamil leaders, especially those closer to or sympathetic to the LTTE has a moral obligation to offset the injustices meted out to the Sinhalese and the Muslims who lived therein and were chased away from the North by the LTTE, by way of accepting their inalienable right to live where they preferred to, more importantly where they were born.
There was a time till the mid-1990s when one could hear largely Sinhalese voices while walking alone the Galle Road in Welawatte, whereas now it is mainly Tamil that you hear in the same vicinity. Except for some Sinhalese or Muslim versions of Sridharan no one would describe this situation as an occupation of a part of the country’s capital by Tamils, since everybody knew that the swell of the Tamil population in the capital was an inevitable result of an internal migration with the mounting heat of the war in the North, though with the financial help of the Tamil Diaspora.
Ridiculously the Tamil Diaspora, while pumping funds to the LTTE’s war machinery also transferred money to their kith and kin who escaped the war zone to the Sinhalese-dominant South, to avoid conscription of their sons and daughters by the LTTE as well as air raids by the Air Force.
It is in conformity with the basic tenets of democracy that the people from the North have now migrated to the South irrespective of their birth having taken place somewhere in the North. Also, claims by those evicted from the North to their right to live where they were born would also conform to the same tenets.
Well written and thanks for reminding enemies of the nation including the Tamil diaspora that Sri Lanka belongs to every citizen (Sri Lankans) of that country and they can choose wherever they desire to live.
sarojini Tuesday, 22 October 2013 10:43 AM
This is a change from the daily Mirror which only highlights the plight of the Tamils .Wonder why this sudden diversion from its norm . A very welcome change .
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