Ilankai Tamil Sangam

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

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Powersharing or Partition?

by M.R. Wilson

Democracy as envisaged by the former American President Abraham Lincoln prevails in a country only as long as the rule of the people, for the people and by the people survives in the absence of any racial, linguistic, cultural or religious dominance.

Power sharing by federal government in the NorthEast within a United Sri Lanka or Partition? 

Violence begets violence, because there is an equal and opposite reaction to every action. There are old sayings to emphasize that necessity has no laws, all is fair in love and war and what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. “Hara kiri” by the Samurai in Japan is based not on motives, but on tactics to avoid disgrace in an honorable way. Almost in a similar manner, Tamil militants resort to suicidal attacks, contending that those are inevitably unavoidable to arrest and crack-down the rampageous atrocities unleashed by the Sinhalese armed forces over the Tamils.

Recruitment of cadres to the Paramilitary groups and armed forces   When the government is accused of harboring the renegades and paramilitary groups who perpetrate atrocities on the Tamils, it completely denies and rejects any responsibility with distorted or prevaricated stories. When the accusation is proved with facts, it goes behind the sources concerned that provided the facts and terrorizes them. The International Monitors and the media have repeatedly exposed the existence of the Paramilitary Groups in government-controlled areas, operating from sanctuaries provided by the SL Army and its denial by the government is a puerile attempt to hoodwink and camouflage the International Community. If the government cannot stop the atrocities unleashed by the renegades on the Tamils, will it allow the LTTE to look into it?  

Sinhalese governments are destined to reap what they sow, when they entice Tamil renegades who pose a baneful threat on the aspirations of the Tamils as a wooden handle of an axe to the free growth of its kind, to their paramilitary groups with a subtle move and degrading strategy to disintegrate the infrastructure of the LTTE.  

Further, they do not fear any divine retribution or seem to be realistic to the fact that the ramifications of the aftermath of such recruitment would pose an incurable threat to the prevalence of peace in the entire country in future.  

What happened to America... America nurtured Bin Laden and helped him to rear his movement to chase out Russian forces from Afghanistan in 1979.  Finally, the same Bin Laden rose against America, just as a home-reared ram gores the chest, and blew up the twin towers in New York on 11/09/2001 with the help of his Al Qaeda movement, and now poses a security threat to the American interests throughout the world. Paramilitaries, nurtured by the armed forces for their own ends, are now a major barrier to peace in Sri Lanka.

Superpowers sponsor the tyranny and add fuel to the flames...The Sri Lankan armed forces, which persistently continue to terrorize the Tamil civilians, have crept into the Tamil territories and made a hellhole of it, where once peace and harmony prevailed.  As a result, making every endeavor, Tamils vie all alone to get their land extricated from the ethno-religious chauvinistic Sinhalese armed forces, which are sponsored by the superpowers internationally and regionally.   If the Tamil militants who fight for a noble cause of saving the Tamil Nation from genocide are to be branded as terrorists, why hesitate to designate the Sri Lankan Government as a Terrorist Regime since it is the authority responsible for the atrocities and mass murders committed by its armed forces?

Democracy as envisaged by the former American President Abraham Lincoln prevails in a country only as long as the rule of the people, for the people and by the people survives in the absence of any racial, linguistic, cultural or religious dominance. But it is the extreme opposite in Sri Lanka, as only a Buddhist Sinhalese could be the ruler, Buddhism could be the State religion, Sinhalese is the official language, Buddha statues could be erected at random anywhere in the island, colonization of Sinhalese could be done at State expense and standardization could be enforced to suppress the Tamil children who thrive on education.

Territorial integrity: The Sri Lankan government contends that Sri Lanka is of the Sinhalese, for the Sinhalese, should be ruled by the Sinhalese and the Tamils cannot claim equal rights or a homeland for themselves within Sri Lanka.

Tamils depend on the Sinhalese for their equal rights Since the grant of independence to Sri Lanka by the British on 4th of February 1948, the Tamils depended on the Sinhalese for their independence and with the passage of Sinhala Only Bill on 5th June 1956, they were reduced to second class citizen status without equal rights. As a result, the Tamils clamoured non-violently, resorting to ways of “ahimsa” to regain their fundamental and basic rights, and all their efforts proved futile. The Sinhalese, who lived together with the Tamils amicably until independence, started to look down on the Tamils as their subordinates, crush all their agitations and reject their demands.    

Periodic violence targeted at Tamil civilians   Catastrophic disasters and terrorism were unleashed on the Tamils when communal violence erupted in the country especially in the year 1958, 1977 and during the ‘Black July” 1983 in the Sinhalese areas. These barbaric violences were followed up by atrocities perpetrated over the years to date on the Tamil civilians by the Sinhalese armed forces in the NorthEast of Sri Lanka.  

Factors that led to the mass exodus of the Tamils   Because of the prolongation of the tyranny of the armed forces without a lasting solution to the ethnic struggle, men, women, young and old with children are killed, maimed, mangled or displaced with the destruction of their own properties, besides properties such as churches, schools and so on for the public patronized by them. Further, children are left orphaned; men and women are left widowed in tens of thousands while families in tens of thousands inclusive of children are displaced from their legally owned properties.  

The aggression of the anti-Tamil Sinhalese rule was mainly a motivating and contributory factor for the large-scale exoduses of the Tamils in hundreds of thousands to escape either death in organized periodic pogroms by Sinhalese mobs or entrapment in the crossfires, detention, harassment, torture and indiscriminate aerial or naval attacks by the armed forces.    

North America and European countries recognized the plight of the refugees and the tyranny of the Sinhalese   When the Tamils fled in a desperate plight to North America and the European countries such as U.K., Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy, these countries magnanimously volunteered to shelter them, and look after their uplift, betterment and progress in life and thus the Tamil Diasporas have dawned in all those countries by the inflow of Tamil refugees. Tamils who fled to India could not enjoy any facilities similar to that which were provided to the Tamil asylum seekers in North America and Western countries. 

Tamils who did not flee the country  live in complete destitution and in a desperate plight   Tamils, whoever could not flee the country, yearn for a better life and struggle undauntedly from within their territory with the aspiration for their “homeland, nationhood and self-rule.” Unfortunately, as an obstacle, aggressive Sinhalese armed forces have usurped control of certain areas within the Tamil territories to suppress and subdue the Tamils hegemonistically, depriving them of their rights and freedom. There are no words to express the plight of those downtrodden people, displaced within the country, undergoing the experience of a roller-coaster ride, in order to save their lives from a campaign of genocide perpetrated by the Sri Lankan Sinhalese armed forces. They all merely eked out a meager existence in straitened circumstances even before the ethnic conflict by toiling hard in the fields, sea or doing odd jobs undergoing untold hardships.  

Governments’ concentrate mainly on weapons and reservation of funds in the budget for war    An iniquitous state of affairs prevail in the country as the Sri Lankan governments are engaged inhumanely in amassing sophisticated weaponry and armaments when it could very well, by settling the nagging issues with the Tamils in the country, avoid the colossal wastage of money spent on weapons and utilize it for the development of the country.  

Sri Lankan armed forces are not capable of waging a war to overpower any country in this world other than terrorize the Tamil community within Sri Lanka. As opposed to the indiscriminate attacks by way of aerial blitz and strafing and shelling and cannonade from naval ships carried out in the Tamil homeland against the Tamil civilians, during the insurgencies of the Sinhalese JVP extremists in the Sinhalese areas, the governments’ forces never resorted to such tactics in consideration of the safety of the Sinhalese civilians.  

Allegations of child recruitment  leveled against the militants   During the gory attacks of the Sinhalese armed forces in the Tamil territories, even children are not spared and they too are killed, maimed or mangled. The international community, who feign sympathy for the children and shed crocodile tears without doing anything constructive to stop the war and bring about an amicable settlement of the contentious issues, should bear in mind  that it is better for the children to have fought and died on their willing rather than being bombed, killed or maimed.

Sri Lankan Constitution is replete with flaws and snags by being partial and one- sided   Population-wise, in Sri Lanka, the majoritarian Sinhalese community is the most numerous and exercises its most oppressive and cruel rule over the minorities. The Sinhalese community by virtue of their majoritarian status and voting strength could arrive at any decision of their own at any referendum and defeat any opinions or proposals voiced by the Tamil community with regard to their aspirations and fundamental rights.  

Further, their representatives in the legislative assembly can enact any law or frame any constitution unilaterally at any time to the advantage of the Sinhalese community only, by their voting strength surpassing the opinions or proposals put forward by the Tamils. The Buddhist Sinhalese have framed the defective Sri Lankan Constitution that is in effect without any consideration or provisions for the protection of the rights and aspirations of the different ethnic groups in Sri Lanka. Further, it is replete with flaws, besides being partial towards the Sinhalese and discriminatory towards the Tamils due to the inadequacy found in it.  

1) The Republican Constitution of 1972 robbed the minorities of even the scanty safeguards against discrimination provided under Section 29 of the Soulbury Constitution introduced at independence in 1948.  

2) The Government and the Tamil militants framed a “joint mechanism’ to alleviate the sufferings of the Tamil victims of the tsunami disaster and that also has been jeopardized by the Sri Lankan Jurisdiction on the grounds that it is inconsistent with the constitution. Further, the heartless in the Sinhalese community have also not allowed even humanitarian aid to reach them.  

3) The incumbent President jettisoned all the aspirations of the Tamils for peace by prioritizing war and captured power with his formula called “Mahinda Chinthanaya” which emphasizes “no Norway, no federal constitution, no right to Homeland, no self-determination, no nation-hood for Tamils, no PTOMS, no recognition as sole partner in negotiation and no Oslo as venue for talks.” 

4) The objective of a Cease Fire Agreement being framed, the conflicting parties signing and peace brokering co-chairs to the peace process attesting, certifying and subscribing to it with the coverage of the mass media to make it known to the entire world is all lost, if it is violated or not honored to the letter. In this connection, the Sri Lankan government stands accused of reneging since the basic main clauses of the CFA remain dead letters even after four years of signing!  

5)  By being inconsiderate to the fact that man is not made for the law and only the law is made for the man, under the prevailing circumstances, it will not be a surprise if the Sri Lankan jurisdiction gives an order that the Ceasefire Agreement signed on 22/02/2002 is null and void and ultra vires to the Buddhist Sinhalese constitution. 

Power sharing within a united Sri Lanka or partition      If a federal government is not be feasible in Sri Lanka, the only viable alternative would be the formation of Tamil Eelam in the NorthEast, with recognition of its existence and independence by the international communities as done with regard to UN Member States like Israel, Bangladesh and so on in the past or East Timor recently in the year 2002. A community with its own linguistic identity and identifiable homeland is free to live with equal rights with other communities and determine its political status. Further, by virtue of the right to self-determination, it is entitled to pursue its economic, social and cultural development, and establish its self-autonomy, and self-identity within the purview of the accepted International norms and standards to conform to the United Nations' Charter. We can have two States in Sri Lanka, which is approx. 65,610 A few of the UN Member States actually smaller than either the future Sinhalese Sri Lanka approx. 46,777 or the Thamileelam approx. 18,833 (in order of Area) are as follows:

Fiji, Kuwait, Swaziland, East Timor, Vanuatu, Qatar, Gambia The, Jamaica, Lebanon, Cyprus, Brunei, Cape Verde, Luxembourg, Comoros, Mauritius, Singapore and so on.

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