Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

Home Whats New  Trans State Nation  One World Unfolding Consciousness Comments Search

Tamilnation > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Conflict Resolution - Tamil Eelam - Sri Lanka > Norwegian Peace Initiative > After 2005 Presidential Elections >  The Finale of Tamil Patience - Roger Ratnarajah

The Finale of Tamil Patience

Roger Ratnarajah
The Tamil Mirror - 19 January 2006

19 January 2006

Time is running out for a peaceful political solution for the long festering ethnic crisis that had eaten into the very core of the Sri Lankan society rupturing the social fabric. The result had been arising grave crime including white collar crime, economic depression, family dislocation, general lawlessness, etc. This was the situation under the Chandrika Kumaratunge regime for the last eleven years. If this trend is not arrested soon, the country will slide into an abyss from which recovery on any front would be impossible for another 100 years.

During the Presidential election campaign the southern and south eastern coastal voters who are predominantly 99% Sinhalese except for pockets of Muslims in Hambantota, Galle, and Beruwela ,were expecting a change in the situation of their lives consequent to the devastation caused by the Tsunami. Unfortunately they became enamored by the chauvinist slogans of the right wing nationalist parties like the (Jathika Vimukthi Peramuna), (Jathika Hela Urumaya), (Sinhala Urumaya), which were out doing each other whipping up anti-Tamil hysteria during the election campaign which ensured the election of Mahinda Rajapakse for the Presidency.

The force of the chauvinist line winning over the reality of the misery of the Tsunami victims becomes clear from the results, where Mahinda Rajapakse received the majority of the Sinhalese votes over his rival in south and south-eastern Districts with 829,562 votes against his rival�s 517,869 votes.

This paradox occurred despite the fact that Mahinda Rajapakse as the then Prime Minister was assailed from all sides for the corruption and scandal in the Tsunami aid distribution and disregarding the misery of the Tsunami victims and allowing his political stooges, bureaucrats, and others to line up their pockets.... These facts were well known to the public, but still the majority of the Sinhalese elected him over his rival who was untainted by corruption.

The Sinhalese psyche possess short memories, which could be gauged from the fact that the they appeared to be against the continuation of the War, as thousands of their youths in the army were returning home in body bags.

They returned Ranil Wickremasinghe, and his United National Party(UNP), to power, in the General election of December, 2001 which then set about peace negotiations with the LTTE, resulting in the Cease-fire agreement.

Unfortunately, the then President (Chandrika Kumaratunge), disrupted the process for peace when she visualized that in the event peace succeeds, via Ranil Wickremasinghe, her political career would be doomed. She forcibly took over the Ministries of Defense, Information and Media, and Internal Security and undemocratically dissolved Parliament, despite the Ranil Wickremasinghe Government holding a working majority in Parliament and had two and half more years of Parliamentary life.

In the April, 2004 General Elections, Ranil Wickremasinghe lost the majority to the current Government. So in a brief two and half year, the Sinhalese decided that the peace at least the uneasy peace that was prevailing was enough and voted in the present Government for a change. Perhaps for war?

The election of Mahinda Rakapakse as the new President of Sri Lanka is a water-shed in the recent Sri Lankan Political history since a leader with the backing of almost 100% Sinhalese electors had won a Presidency.

He promised the Sinhalese electors to scrap the Cease-fire Agreement (CFA) signed with the LTTE and renegotiating it, scrap the joint setup with the LTTE for the re-habilitation of Victims of Tsunami called P-TOMS for the Northeast of the country; disband the services of the Norwegians as Peace facilitators and call on India to shoulder the responsibility; maintain the Unitary structure of the Constitution without devolution of power to the Tamils, rejecting autonomy for the Northeast where the majority of the Tamils live.

No doubt a salivating proposition to the Sinhalese Buddhist chauvinists who numbered 4,887,152 at the last count. The President in his inaugural address to the Nation, in the Sri Lankan Parliament reiterated these promises as part of his Government�s policy. All what had been achieved by the Ranil Wickremasinghe Government albeit with short comings had been laid to waste, not to speak of the time, the energy, the money of several nations in the process. In short he enunciated a retrograde policy to confront the Tamil people of the country challenging the Tamils with a take it or leave it attitude to satisfy his Sinhalese Buddhist chauvinist supporters.

Subsequent events in the country clearly point out the fact that the President is moving on a collision course with the LTTE and as a first step hurriedly removed the Army Commander � Lieutenant General Santha Kotegoda, who was involved in the then Government team during the Peace negotiations and considered a peacenik, with the hawkish Colonel Sarath Fonseka, who was appointed as the new Army Commander and promoted to the rank of a Lieutenant General .

The Commander has asked for three months to reorganize the army and prepare the army for hostilities against the LTTE. The appointment of the hawkish Ratnasiri Wickramanayake as the Deputy Minister of Defence, the appointment of the President�s brother as the Secretary of Defense, the appointment of Kotakadeniya, the dreaded former DIG and treasurer of the JHU, as an advisor on Police affairs suggests that the President is appointing hardliners into the defense establishment..

As a sequel to Kotakadeniya�s appointment search operations are underway and nearly 900 Tamils of both sexes have been arrested and detained in Colombo .To bolster the hard-line approach, the President who is also the Minister of Finance voted Rupees 91.6 Billion for Defense spending under the 2005/2006 Budgetary allocation, being the highest monetary allocation for Defense in its history.

Subsequent to the appointment of the new Army Commander, he beefed up his units in Jaffna .Reports speak of Army movements to strategic locations in Jaffna with heavy weapons being moved in from the main Army camp at Palaly and army personnel taking up positions as well as undertaking intense patrolling of the regions. Civilians engaged in their day to day routine in Jaffna District were stopped, subjected to body search and questioning.

Girls and young women were molested during these body searches, while men were harassed and threatened at gun point. Under the guise of the High Security Zone, productive land had been made a no-go area for civilians. The owners of these lands have been denied their livelihood and from 1995 onwards are now living as refugees in camps. Likewise, people who earn their livelihood by Fishing have been effectively blocked, since they are allowed to go to sea during day time and that too within a 2 mile limit, when there is the least likelihood of catching fish.

What fish is caught, the Navy personnel who keep a close watch on the fishing boats forcibly take away a part of it for their consumption. The worst affected was education , since Tamil society as a whole is education oriented and any disruption is viewed as an assault on the on the Tamil culture, since pride of place is given to education over other achievements.

There is also a sinister design in place by the Srilankan regime to disrupt the educational base of the Tamils, so that in due course of time the Tamil population would be left with dunderheads and easily maneuvered into a state of passive submission. This could be the reason why leading boys� school � Heartly College and its sister institution Methodist Girls� College, have been included into the High Security Zone, with barbed wire fences all around it often resulting in undue intrusion by the Army into the schools and disrupting studies.

The latest is a bund right across the play grounds, which is more a shortcut to the school by the students to by pass the Army sentry points close to the schools. Likewise several leading schools in Jaffna city have been subjected to the focus of the Army resulting in the students being attacked by the Army personnel.

The most recent worst case scenario was when the body of a 20 year old girl was detected in a deep well close to the Navy camp in the village of Punkudutivu. Forensic examination reveals that she had been raped and murdered, pointing to culprits in the Navy camp close by.

This incensed the Tamil public that the students of the Jaffna University and the Technical College were making arrangements to go over to Punkudutivu, when the Army intervened and stopped them from leaving. The following day, the entire University population, including the Vice Chancellor, the Dons and Lectures and were marching in a procession towards the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission were forcibly stopped from marching with a tear gas attack and then shot at. The Vice Chancellor, Lectures and several students were injured in the attack.

Tension has risen to such heights that it is neigh impossible to contain the Tamil peoples� resentment towards the Sinhalese Army of occupation any more, resulting in the present violent reaction by the People. It appears that the basis for any chance for a lasting peace in the country had been wiped clean by the obstinate attitude by President Mahinda Rajapakse and his Defense establishment.

The Tamils in Srilanka are constrained to believe that they could live with respect and honor only under a separate state of their own.The LTTE�s two Nations policy appears to be close to realization.




Mail Us Copyright 1998/2009 All Rights Reserved Home