Ilankai Tamil Sangam

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

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Why a Solution Within a United Sri Lanka?

by K.Mylvaganam

Now several countries are calling for a political solution under a “United” Sri Lanka. One can understand their desire to find a political solution by peaceful means. But what right do they have to proclaim, or even to suggest, what that solution should be?

It is a well known fact that in the past, Eelam, or Sri Lanka as it is called now, had for a long period been under the rule of three different kingdoms until the British colonized this island and called it Ceylon. The kingdom of the North was ruled by the Tamils. The Portugese and the Dutch who preceded the British did not alter the system, but ruled the country without amalgamating the three kingdoms. It was the British - to make the island easier for them to administer from London - who made a 'Goulash' or 'Sambar' of the three kingdoms. But the biggest blunder the British did was to leave Sri Lanka as one country in the hands of the majority.

Now several countries are calling for a political solution under a “United” Sri Lanka. One can understand their desire to find a political solution by peaceful means. But what right do they have to proclaim, or even to suggest, what that solution should be? Do I have the right to tell my neighbour and his wife how to run their life? Isn’t it up to the two parties in conflict, viz the Sinhalese and the Tamils, to work out the solution that is best suited for both them?  

America, for example, is one of those countries which have suggested that a political solution should be found within a “United” Sri Lanka. By stating this, do they mean that the country should not be divided into two, are they trying to tell the Sri Lankan government that the cry for a solution within a “Unitary State” should be dropped, or are they trying to kill two birds with one stone?

What baffles me most is why these countries are crowing over the “United” Sri Lanka slogan when these same countries masterminded the division of so many other countries in the world. Of all the countries suggesting this solution, America has the least legitimacy to talk about such a solution for Sri Lanka. Was it not America that caused the disintegration of the great Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) into several satellites, as they are now? The other striking example is the former Yugoslavia. Under the efficient governance of General Tito, his country flourished very well and remained peacefully united. But no sooner had Tito died than the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) set the ball rolling for dividing Yugoslavia. The end result is we now have several independent states – Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro. Actually, Montenegro was in Union with Serbia and has seceded from it recently. It is going to be the 193rd country in the United Nations (UN).

A pertinent question is popping up in my mind just now. “Will Tamil Eelam be the 194th country to join the UN?”  

The white man’s America itself came into existence on the blood of the Native Americans who are the original inhabitants of that continent. Hundreds of thousands of those Native Americans were massacred by the European invaders before they conquered the land. They consisted of the British, Spanish, Germans, Netherlander, Portugese and French. Where are those natives now? They are pushed into “Reservations.” Do these white Americans - illegal immigrants - have the right to talk about Human Rights? No they can’t as there is blood dripping off their ancestors' fingers. Even now the Americans are committing drastic violations of Human Rights in their detention camps at Guantanamo in Cuba and Abu Gharaib in Iraq.  

If we take Britain, who boasted in those days with their famous – or was it infamous slogan – “the sun never sets in the British Empire;” they colonized a greater part of Asia, Africa, Far East and islands in the Pacific Ocean by force. They, too, like the invaders of America, killed thousands and thousands of innocent people when they forcibly colonized these countries in their greed to plunder their wealth and to rule the world.

Just to mention one example of a Tamil king killed by the British was the most famous and popular Kattapomman. They executed him by hanging – for what? He refused to surrender his country to foreigners. He gave his life in trying to preserve the freedom of his country and his people, or for the sake of Suthanthira Thakam. If we take India as an example, it was a single country when the British set foot (boots) on the Indian soil. But when they left – they left because they knew Subas Chandra Bose was coming with an army to drive them out – they divided India into two countries – Pakistan and India. Why did not the British then suggest to the Muslims of India, or to their leader Jinnah, a political solution within a “United India”?  

The other country which is very vehemently advocating a “political solution under a United Sri Lanka” is India. Theirs is a typical case of double morals. When Pakistan was wrenched out of India in 1947, there was hue and cry from the Indians (Hindus) and their leaders including Mahathma Gandhi, who had gone into several hunger strikes, risking his life, to safeguard the Muslims from the Hindu extremists, who killed thousands of Muslims during the Hindu Muslim riots. But later when the relationship with Pakistan got strained, India was keen to weaken Pakistan. Its intelligence agency, RAW, started its dirty work and helped the Bengalis, who lived predominantly in the Eastern part of Pakistan, to rebel against the government of Pakistan. India gave all the financial and military support and, thereby, the dawn of Bangladesh became a reality. The pertinent question one is tempted to ask is, why did not India suggest at that time, to the Bengalis and the Pakistan Muslims, a federal set up just like the one in India under a “United Pakistan?” The Indians could not because their aim was to weaken Pakistan so that Pakistan will not be a military threat to India.  

One of the reasons given for India not supporting the Independent State of Tamil Eelam is because that would send ripples to the people in Tamil Nadu and they, too, would claim a separate Independent State of Tamil Nadu. If that is the case then why did the Bengalis of Calcutta not ask for separation when Bangladesh was formed?  

I cannot understand why all these countries are unanimous in the cry for “Devolution of Powers under a United Sri Lanka.” The LTTE originally demanded a complete cessation from Sri Lanka for the formation of an Independent State of Tamil Eelam. But, at the Talks held in Oslo, they agreed to consider a Federal solution as an alternative to Tamil Eelam. To this end, they traveled to several European countries, taking along with them intellectuals specialised in that field, to study the various forms of Federalism practiced in each of those countries. They even invited experts from Canada to brief them about the Canadian model of Federalism. This only goes to emphasize the fact how serious, dedicated and devoted the LTTE are in their mission.  

The aspirations of the Tamils are well written quite legibly in bold letters to the whole world. Not only the LTTE, but the Tamil people in general are preparing themselves to get what they want. We know what we want. We thank the western nations and India for their concern and advice.

But this is our business and we will mind ours and will you kindly ---- ----- please.  

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