Letís hold President Rajapaksa tight to his promise of equal rights
From the Editors of Sri Lanka Watch

Armed movements for liberation or violence of any kind are not the path for solution for any political problem; for that matter anything that needs an amicable resolution even in interpersonal relations. Anger, hatred, domination and prejudice are an anathema and abomination to the pursuit of solutions. There are no exceptions even if we face hostilities that are brutal and ruthless. Nelson Mandela learnt that very early in his political career and his long imprisonment gave him the opportunity to search for solutions the Gandhian way.

Committed to non-violence Martin Luther King Jr idealized his dreams into practical reality and with all the disadvantages of being a Black American impacted richly and powerfully on his nation. Corazon Aquino led her people in the Philippines against the Marcosian tyranny planting flowers in the cannons of the armed forces. The way the Filipinos rose first in their dozens, then in their hundreds and finally in their thousands within a matter of few hours as the call for liberation spread far and wide with just flowers and prayer books in their hands was a testimony to the power of non-violence.

When cannons melted

As one army general observed on that historic day, it was as if the steel in the cannons melted. He even wondered where the food for the demonstrators were coming from, and so moved by such spontaneity of the masses, he thought it was like the feeding of the five thousand on five loaves and two fishes when Jesus blessed which was what they all had available on that day. No Filipino went hungry on that day when Marcos and his cronies fled for their lives aided by the US.

Five hundred long years, people of most parts of the southern hemisphere were beaten, subjugated and enslaved by the powerful lands of the north to appropriate and steal our riches and assets; in the process our civilizations were despoiled and desecrated. Our regions were made into colonies through callous and cold-blooded massacres and conquests. The people of the South American continent were the first to suffer from Spanish and Portuguese invasions, and the worst too.

British, French, German, Belgian, Dutch and the Italians followed with equal destruction of our countries and people. It was exploitation of the worst kind and they hooked us into two terrible world wars too. Unlike most countries of the southern hemisphere, we came under three colonial conquests, the Portuguese, Dutch and the British and natural as a consequence, we bear the three-fold wounds of hurt and destruction. Let no one has the audacity and impudence to say that we have benefited in any way by these succeeding conquests. If we have, it is minimal and weighed against what we have lost, it is not even a whine or a whimper to bellyache like the Brown Sahib.

Pillage and Plunder

Bereft of their colonial might and taking advantage of the material wealth they accumulated by pillaging and plundering the lands of the southern hemisphere, these ex-colonial masters are using every device and trick possible to keep their former colonies dependent on them. In recent years the growth of China and India as great powers has caused much consternation among them; even alarm and panic that their powers and fortunes are on the wane, the slope down becoming steeper as it rolls down.

Their terror and trepidation became all the more clearer as Sri Lanka dealt with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a force wedded to armed revolution and terrorism of the worst kind to achieve an independent state of Eelam for the Tamils of Sri Lanka. The former colonial western nations that struck heavily on terrorism with their armed might in Iraq and Afghanistan and having watchful eyes on North Korea and Iran, strangely played a different drama in respect of Sri Lanka.

Not only they behaved as if the LTTE is an ally of their own ignoring totally over the years its utter ruthlessness and training of suicide bombers and conscription of child soldiers even as young as ten years old, as the war against this force was drawing to a close, a concerted effort was made by many forces in the West to blacken the image of Sri Lanka as a violator of human rights. But the truth behind this false façade of the western interests was the authenticity from their point of view that the LTTE could have been a powerful force in destabilizing South Asia in particular.

Mafia Smuggler State

As a matter of fact the LTTE’s major interest was the creation of a mafia smuggler state, and of the western powers was never the rights of the Tamil-speaking minorities. Into this state of affairs the Tamil Diaspora, especially those hurt by the 1983 neo-genocidal racial riots in Sri Lanka planned, fanned and activated by the pro-West rank communalist Junius Jayawardene, saw the LTTE as the right weapon against the Colombo government which they identified as racist.

Most of the Tamil Diaspora is either professionals or those materially well-greased to reach the shores of the west and claim refugee status but strangely most of them claimed it not on the grounds of racial discrimination in Sri Lanka but because of the way the LTTE terrorized them including the snatching of their children into the LTTE forces.

The western countries with their aging populations needed workers in their industries especially in the service sectors. Educated in Sri Lanka as doctors, engineers, civil servants and also having learnt various trades, countries like the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Canada and the USA need not have to invest more in education to get their personnel in various fields although they will never admit or even have the decency to acknowledge this bonanza from the colonially exploited countries.

The young Diaspora families and new immigrants are also the major consumers in these countries which keep their economies in healthier conditions. The high consumer consumption that is generated through rampant and epidemic advertising prevents the new citizens to invest in their homeland on productive and development activities and ventures.

Now this Diaspora was the very voice of pro-violence in Sri Lanka through the LTTE which it funded freely and in millions. This Diaspora has kith and kin in Sri Lanka and if only it had invested in developing projects there instead of arms and enrichment for the LTTE, the story would have been different. All that it wanted was for the LTTE to strike heavily on the majority people of Sri Lanka in revenge for the 1983 racial riots in particular and for the various discriminatory acts passed against the minority Tamils.

Warped in Revenge

That was all in 1983 and the Tamil Diaspora became not only warped on it but also obsessed with the LTTE as a force of revenge not realizing the Tigers were developing into a major global underworld of terror, drugs, alien smuggling, illegal arms trade and all kinds of evil activities.

If the LTTE was politically motivated, they would have helped to seek a political solution in Sri Lanka, the opportunities for which came their way many times. Norway is a stunning example of how a country was using the LTTE for its own selfish gains. The sixth largest arms producer and never hesitant to use any means to vendor their weapons, Norway had eyes on the ocean resources of South Asia and even certain raw materials, oil included. As Norway’s representative, Erik Solheim was desperately flying from capital to capital to save the Tigers even at the last minute, and the country recognized as a US proxy, Tiger leader Prabhakaran had faith that the US will rush to his aid even at the nick of time.

Eventually the brutal truth emerged and even what was traded as invincible and thousands believed came to naught, and a shock too that the Sun God did not have the guts to take the cyanide he forced on thousands in the ruthless power he wielded over them for almost three decades. If he had taken the cyanide even 24 hours earlier, he would have saved the lives of at least 10,000 of his cadres most of them teenagers. They never ever mattered to him.

The Tamil Diaspora has also impacted negatively with violence as the means on the new generation of its young people. Irresponsible leaders for droplets and eyelets of cheap popularity have misled the younger folks into the stormy straits of violence especially teenaged females just like the way LTTE immersed emotive young girls into the ranks of suicide bombers in Wanni. Some of these young people are in the universities and their minds have been politically conditioned to violent ideas.

For example, it was atrocious and repulsive to observe that a man of such reputation as an alien smuggler like David Poopalapillai in Canada to be flanked by shrieking young ladies who may not know their people at all in Sri Lanka and for whom this is an issue where they are made to feel important. This is more marked in Canada than anywhere else the Tamils have made their new homelands. Most of these young ladies come from families whose parents do not speak English and when their children speak English they feel proud as if they had achieved the very ultimate of the English tongue. They are hardly aware that the language of their progeny is colourful to the extent of being so spicy that their words and phrases are the very ones used by those who produce porno movie; that much for culture and people like David Poopalapillai and not just in Canada only.

Tamil Pressure Group

What the Tamils need today is a pressure group worldwide and it should be committed to non-violence under any circumstance, independent, proud and dignified. The voice of the Tamils need to be heard loud and clear and this must be expressed as the voice that respects non-violence as a means to all solutions and share their aspirations and ideals with the Government of Sri Lanka even as a means to neutralize the forces of racial and religious extremes that may be impacting on the government.

Sri Lanka needs help and is best if the Diaspora is involved in it. If the Tamil Diaspora could have enriched the LTTE with billions which will now move into the hands of people like international arms dealer Selvarasa Pathmanathan and beyond the reach of the Tamils, they could do the same to enrich their people in Sri Lanka in no small way.  

In other words the Tamil Diaspora must now address itself to be a positive pressure group on the Government of Sri Lanka and invest heavily in activities that will help their kith and kin and open up streams of new hopes for the Sri Lankans. We have to hold tight President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the promise that he will make Sri Lanka the land truly of all communities without any discrimination whatsoever not as a demand but partners in the developing of the country.

ENDS