by M K Elaventhan, Former member of Parliament, Sri Lanka, July 10, 2020
The third general election after the end of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam”s rule in the North and East is due to be held on August 5th 2020. At the outset, it has to be stated that the current Sri Lankan Government is ruled by the Rajapaksa brothers, a President and a Prime Minister, both accused of committing war crimes who could one day could stand before the International Criminal Court at the Hague after United Nations or other International investigations.
The victimised Tamils continue to undergo inhuman treatments at the hands of alleged war criminal military. Seeking remedies from the perpetrators of war crimes etc. is like a rat pleading for mercy from a snake.
11 Years have passed after the alleged genocide and the desperate Tamil victims and families are still searching for crusaders who can deliver accountability, justice and a life with dignity, self-respect with equal rights. Tamil National Alliance blessed and endorsed by the leader of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2002 has been carrying the mantle of Tamil leadership, but they have miserably failed to deliver anything – No Justice to victims and failed on Tamils’ aspirations. But on the contrary, they have been playing the role of accomplices to the alleged war criminal Sinhalese racist Government’s machinations and turning blind eye to the Government’s hidden agenda of genocide aimed to convert Sri Lanka as a pure Buddhist Sinhalese State which is now openly declared and touted by the rulers as well as the Buddhists and clergies. The deadly silence of Tamil National Alliance and other Tamil leaders is nothing but implicit consent to the Government’s racist and hate criminal agenda. The writing is on the wall as Rajapaksa family is predicted to rule for another 10 years or more which would see a Sri Lanka becoming a Rajapaka family dictatorship rule that recognizes alleged war criminals, most from the military with hardly any opposition which could be either muted or silenced by the state authorities including the security forces.
The looming Sinhala Buddhist Military dictatorship coupled with the pathetic failure and dismal empty record of Tamil National Alliance has created a vacuum in the political scene of Tamils which has opened the gates for opportunist politicians some unheard and untested to mushroom and spring into action by forming political parties which is now about 20 in the North. The prominent political parties appear to be Tamil National People’s Front and the Tamil People’s National Front, the former led by Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam and the latter by a retired Justice C.V. Wigneswaran
The permanent pledge of all the Tamil leaders is that they will take steps to achieve the national aspirations of the Tamils. One would notice that almost all the parties carry the word “Tamil or National or both“. The objectives of all the leaders are to occupy the chairs of Parliament. In this respect retired Justice C.V. Wigneswaran openly stated his desire to have his voice heard in Parliament. The naked truth is the mercurial voices of past great Tamil leaders coming from Sir Pon Ramanathan, Sir Pon Arunachalam, S.J.V. Chelvanayagam, G.G Ponnambalam, Amirthalingam and C Suntharalingam were heard loudly in Parliament and elsewhere but their voices were buried in the sands of Sinhalese chauvinism and majoritarism and surely C.V. Wigneswaran’s voice would be no exception to this treatment.
The tragedy of all Tamil leaders is the failure to realize the supremacy of Sinhalese Buddhists and clergy trying to enforce the existence of religious, linguistic and cultural supremacy in the manner discrediting the Great Lord Buddha who never practised politics and are controlling whoever Government is in power, like Myanmar Military controls the radical Buddhist racist Government in Myanmar. There is little doubt the Tamil leaders know this stark reality but are now exploiting and thriving on the miseries of the Tamils promising to achieve and win the aspirations of Tamils which have become a permanent pledge since 2009. The need of the hour is a strong ground action by not parliamentary speeches and participation. In this respect, Tamil National Alliance has drawn a complete blank record while all the other parties except TNPF of Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam who at certain occasions has staged some protests and demonstrations despite the Covid-19. All the other leaders are making occasional appearances for photo sessions seeking to register their names in the political record of Tamils without any political contributions, but only aiming to boost their image and popularity exploiting the 70 years old Tamil grievances and miseries of Tamils without any declared agenda and program of action outside the Parliament.
The past history shows that Parliamentary participation and making eloquent speeches are like lightning which dissipates in no time. Furthermore, the speeches of Tamil Parliamentarians are mostly echoed in an empty parliament before empty chairs which is nothing but a humiliation and insult thrown at our veteran members of parliament.
It is sickening and disappointing to note that the Tamil leaders are recently blowing hot and cold over the issues of Tamils due to their fixation and obsession to win the Tamil electorates while TNA leader Sampanthan is praising an alleged war criminal Mahinda Rajapaksa as the man of the people and leader of all people, Retired Justice Wigneswaran is dishing out conflicting and contradicting statements sometime praising LTTE leader and very recently calling the Tamil voters not to vote for parties who are backed by the former LTTE freedom fighters.
There is no doubt that Tamils are at their lowest political strength having leaders who are self-centered, unpredictable, undependable and vacillating but only focused to win elections and live a privileged and enjoyable life as a member of Parliament.
The biggest joke is the calls for unity by the Tamil political leaders while indulging in hurling accusations, passing the blames and washing the dirty linen in public. A hypocritical unity was forged on October 14, 2019 when all Tamil leaders signed a joint memorandum containing 12 demands. The so called unity proved to be deceptive and ended as soon as the party leaders exited the premises.
The present campaign of Tamil political leaders is switched to exploit the LTTE sacrifices and its young fighters as a trump card to sway the Tamil voters. However, the Tamil voters will surely realize the duplicity of Tamil leaders.
A solemn duty and responsibility therefore lies on the Tamil voters to choose sincere, determined and committed youthful leaders with a clear cut political program and agenda of ground action outside the Parliament while weeding out political leaders whose ambitions are only parliament seats paying lip service to the causes of Tamils and thriving on the miseries which commenced in 1948.
As Edmund Burke stated “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”