by Wakeley Paul, Esq.
The JVP is now indulging in the ridiculously provocative action of poking a thumb in the eye of the President by virulently opposing both the joint mechanism and the recognition of the right and need to have a regional regime in the NorthEast. Such an impasse between the coalition partners stymies the already tortured peace negotiations; and will - if it is allowed to continue - put these negotiations in a state of permanent diplomatic limbo. The two coalition partners are at present talking passed each other.
This is an impossible state of affairs for the progress of the nation, which cries for foreign financial assistance to survive. That will not be forthcoming if the peace negotiations continue to be subject to an endless slog. The President knows this. The Communist and fascist coalitionists scoff at such assistance; claiming with the Buddhist monks that this is all part of a western, Christian conspiracy to dominate them. Sadu, Sadu, is all I can say in response to this medieval reaction to the financial infrastructure of todayís world. These intricacies and realities seem to elude them, as does the non-acceptance of racist discrimination that they so fiercely and uncompromisingly espouse.
The JVP and the Buddhist monks are part of an inadvertent twelfth century conspiracy to strangle the island economically. The question is whether the Sinhalese people, tutored and trained in the art of racial supremacy and ethnic intolerance, are capable of realizing what their preferences should be. Sadly, I doubt that they do, or will ever be able to.
What is needed now is not just a sharply unambiguous rebuke from the President, but for the President to indulge in a leap of faith by yanking the JVP from the coalition; dissolving parliament and calling for a fresh election. Can she afford to risk taking such a step? It depends on whether she has the backbone to risk the possibility of losing power; or whether her hunger for power is her all-consuming passion. It is a sad dilemma for a nation to be in.
A dogged desire by the President to remain in power at any cost may amount to a widespread betrayal of her own Sinhalese people, who - in turn - may unfortunately prefer to opt for such a betrayal, rather than surrender one iota of power to the Tamils in the NorthEast.
This leads to the broader question: Are the Sinhalese capable of even ruling themselves, leave alone others? They are ready to be deprived of bare necessities, while they remain emphatically unbowed about conceding any semblance of power to the Tamils. They are aeons away from realizing that some day they will wake up to realize that they are on the wrong side of history. They remain visionless, blinded and unconcerned.
Can we Tamils possibly rely on them to opt for sensible alternatives to the strong possibility of unending strife and turmoil? Their passion to retain power over us is absolute. Any effort to concede power to us by any Sinhalese leader will lead not only to virulent opposition, but hugely vocal and violent protest.
While we Tamils realize this, the fact is that this harsh reality continues to elude the international community. They live in the eternal optimistic hope that the Presidentís insistence that peace and tranquility are her goals, are genuine. They continue to be influenced by her vapid pieties. Our worry is, "When will these dreams crash on the rock of reality?" The disturbing answer to that is - certainly not in the immediate or even the reasonably foreseeable future.
This does not mean that we can sit passively on the sidelines. We cannot, like inmates in a nursing home, afford to concede that we who have been forcibly boxed into a United Sri Lanka, cannot forcibly check out of the foxhole that we have been boxed into. We have to adopt the attitude that the current difficult crunch that we are in can be transformed to the achievable goal of separation. We need to emphasize the obvious to the world at large - that a lack of permanent political clout can only lead to an enforced separation. This is not an easy task when dealing with nations bent on seeking to avoid any semblance of violence anywhere, regardless of whether it affects them or not.
However, these nations cannot ignore not only the reality that they have indulged in violence when it suits them, but, more importantly, that they have applauded the successful freedom movements from Soviet domination in Georgia, Ukraine and, most recently, on the Chinese border. They embraced these separatists, even though they were cautious about such movements and even opposed some, while they were yet pending. They will most likely support the Chechnyans if they should succeed.
In short, the success of the separation struggle is the only answer to our subjugation, as it has been in the case of the separatists from the Soviet Union. The international community will oppose every pending effort till it becomes an irreversible reality.
Posted April 17, 2005