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Can Tamils Seize a new opportunity ?

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Hello Friends

Ajith Ratnarajah is one of the enthusiastic readers of this blog. Apart from posting some pertinent comments under pseudonyms Ajith also sends me e-mails frequently

I discovered to my delight that he and I had similar thoughts on matters concerning the long term future of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

I have gone on record that the destiny of Sri Lankan Tamils is inextractably inter-twined with that of the Sinhalese.

After reading a few of his recent comments I asked Ajith to write up his thoughts about the future of Sri Lankan Tamils as an article and send it for posting

What I expected was a short piece but to my pleasant surprise I found the conscientious Ajith giving much thought and effort to the idea.

He has written up a whole paper examining the issue in detail and providing his own suggestions too. It is titled “Can Tamils Seize The New Oportunity”?

Because of its length I was wondering whether I should post it on www.transcurrents.com instead of my blog.

However this blog is now becoming a forum for discussions on a number of relevant issues regarding the future of Sri Lankans in general and Tamils in particular.

Therefore I decided to carry it in my blog dbsjeyaraj.com itself

The second question due to length was whether I should break it up in two or three parts.

Again I thought it best to carry it as one whole article so that readers can react to it as one single entity and respond accordingly if necessary.

Once again let me say that I sincerely hope Ajith’s views would generate a serious,healthy discussion about the future of Sri Lankan Tamils

So here it is friends – d.b.s.j.

Can Tamils Seize a new opportunity?

By Ajith Ratnarajah

Introduction

Most Tamils started supporting the LTTE after 1983. Over the years there is no doubt their support was on the decline and some in the Tamil community felt reconciliation was the way forward. The LTTE showed its political immaturity in many peace treaties and its inability to build global political alliances. The latter weakness is what really killed the organisation not it’s inability to fight as a military organisation against the Sri Lankan Government.

The 1987 Indo-Lanka accord and the 2002 Ceasefire accord showed its lack of understanding that these treaties take decades to work out not months. International treaties take time to agree and implement. It’s an evolution towards peace not a revolution. Today the Palestinian cause and the Irish situation are good examples.

There is no doubt the support for them increased after the 2004 Tsunami due to the way the SL govt treated the Tamil population and the election of MR. Then many supported the LTTE as a necessary evil. I am not sure how many Tamils are in the later category, but they were the ones who caught the tiger’s tail and couldn’t let it go. LTTE’s success and failure The next what I am going to say would probably make those who worship VP very angry. VP was given 37 years (from 1972) to achieve his vision of a separate state. To this every Tamil sacrificed their wealth, health and life.

Right at the end the community had to protect the leader and not the leader protecting the community. That’s what happened for the most part of Eelam War IV. VP didn’t have to face elections or justify his track record for public scrutiny, unlike a politician or a CEO of a company. He was given all the authority, support and sacrifice by the Tamil community to achieve his vision. He even gun down the elected Tamil representatives (TULF) as traitors.

There was no logic in that argument yet the Tamil community supported with blind faith. Having said about their weakness, there is no doubt the fight VP had given was not just a good fight but a great one. LTTE’s greatest weapon was secrecy and unquestioned blind loyalty. Both these weapons got decimated when Karuna left in 2004 and Bala died in 2006. The LTTE or its supporters never ever realised the ramifications of the 2004 split. Sidelining Balasingham & KP was their death nail. The departure of Balasingham did not allow them to build global alliances, especially with the co-chairs & Eric Solheim. Not leader had such an uninterrupted rule over a community and in the end made the community look at the abyss.

The good things that came out of this struggle are a well organised and economically developed Tamil Diaspora outside Sri Lanka. Unfortunately it too is becoming like the LTTE. It doesn’t encourage diverse opinions but follows a vision from an elusive leader in blind faith. Does not believe their future lies in integration with the Singhalese, interdependence with the world and not separation.

So it too, would get marginalised around the world, unless it change course immediately. It rallied and supported a cause rightly or wrongly did not have global support. This too partly contributed towards the destruction of its loved ones and an entire nation. The world realised, only way to defeat this Diaspora was for global powers to rally in defence of a nation (Sri Lanka). This shows the immense organisation capability of this community.

At the same time, its ignorance and arrogance towards the global community is quite puzzling and disappointing. If its energy is channelled in the right manner, it could do wonders to uplift its people and not destroy its soul. The question remains, will this Diaspora switch from “fighting for the rights” to “develop the rights” of its’ people. The need of the hour is the later not the former. But will it swallow its pride and in True humility accept the responsibility for the latter. Save its people from extinction or in anger take revenge to destroy itself and its loved ones forever ?

We need to resurrect our community for the boys and girls who sacrificed their lives to fight for us. VP might have mislead them, but we should never ever forget those brave young souls who believed in their people. They were the true heroes. We owe it to them and prevent any future generation from making the same sacrifice. Whether VP is alive or not is not the point and that is irrelevant. Whether he was the right or wrong leader is irrelevant. What I think we can all agree, is that the future is bleak unless we define a new way forward. If enough believe in VP’s way then another VP will emerge. The question is whether it is the right way or should we change course.

Adopt different tactics for changing circumstances of our people and in an ever changing world ? Tamils have to go back to the drawing board and re-define their goals. We are not in 1950, with a prosperous North & East boasting high educated workforce but it is 2009. In 2009, we have the highest suicide bombers per capita, nearly 300,000 Tamils in refugee camps and a large percentage of the Tamil population outside the country. More than 10% as of last week are refugees. These people are not fighting for university admissions or jobs, but are fighting for mere survival and freedom of movement. One thing is for sure, we cannot ignore the change around us. Not adopting to change, has also contributed in our ability to leverage our strengths to progress forward.

Our lost sympathy

The Tamil struggle in 1983 had an overwhelming amount of sympathy. We had many friends, including India which trained our boys as opposed to kill them today. India supplied weapons and setup our militant struggle. We were not labelled as terrorist, but as freedom fighters around the world. Rightly or wrongly, LTTE contributed towards the change in this situation and to the detrimental of the Tamil cause. Today there is a simple equation the world uses to determine who Tamils are and that is Tamils =Tamil tigers=terrorist!!. This is the stark reality.

I feel MR has the same characteristics like VP. Someone who feels the international community needs to serve his interest. Give what I want and don’t ask any questions. Opponents need to be eliminated at all cost. The way MR is reacting to this victory shows a lot of the Singhala VP in action. Today the so called terrorist is gone. Suddenly the Sri Lankan government is on the spot light and not the LTTE. I say, so called terrorist leader, because in my opinion he was not a terrorist according to the current definition. If I did use the current definition, then several present and past national leaders especially from the West who created the definition would fall into it. He was a failed leader. Fought for a very justified cause with the wrong strategies and one of them was terrorism.

Do our politicians give us too little too late ? Both Singhala and Tamil politicians, have proven consistently after independence that they develop yesterday’s solution for today’s problem. When ever they managed to devise a solution, it would be to whip up emotions in the short-term on racial lines to win elections. By the time, the Singhalese realised they had to actually engage the minorities and not marginalise them with Singhala only act, the minorities wanted devolution.

When they were considering devolution, the ugly head of separatism had already taken a strong hold. Today the Singhala polity, is dancing in celebration rather than focus on implementing devolution for reconciliation. I feel by the time we implement devolution, which is still several years away, the country would have missed the opportunity for reconciliation. We might be in a situation, where devolution would still not unite & heal the nation from its wounds. It might be too little too late. In our post independence era, we as a nation delay solutions to only enlarge the problem.

On the Tamil side, we still cling onto the 1950’s. Our solution is very much dependent on protecting the culture of the community, with ideas that belong to the past. Economic well being protects a 3 community’s culture in today’s globalised economy and not the other way around. A global community will not protect us unless we are interconnected to them and become interdependent with them. Unfortunately the Tamil politicians believe in leaving the cart before the horse. In today’s world, their ideas have past their time to address the Tamil community’s hour of need.

Instead of focusing on ideas that build interdependence with the Singhalese, India and the rest of the Tamil Diaspora, they have buried their heads in the sand to still champion the separatist dreams of the 1950’s. We hold onto the separatist ideology of independence or fight for devolution. The latter is done as an alternative for independence and not for genuine interdependence. The entire Diaspora has been misused and the Tamil community has lost. By the time they wake up and realise they need interdependence with communities, not only in Sri Lanka but around the world it might be too late. Are Tamils and India the ultimate losers?

If India had supported the Sri Lankan state to defeat the LTTE, it will come to regret this in the future similar to the way LTTE did for killing Rajeev Ghandhi. LTTE killed its separate state dream when it killed Rajeev Ghandhi. India on the other hand, has laid the foundation to kill the regional super power status by eliminating the LTTE. With China entering Sri Lanka in 2007, India did a massive miscalculation in running to support the SL government and not support its enemy. No two global powers ever support one side in a conflict and expect to meet their geo-political ambitions. I am not sure why India did not follow the tried and tested model of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”. LTTE was a necessary evil for India to check on China.

I am not sure whether the Indian politicians thought LTTE was a bigger threat than China. This is extremely puzzling. In the future, the Sri Lankan government, with the help of China will dictate terms to India. With China entering Sri Lanka in 2007 now a divided Sri Lanka is in the best interest of India. A divided Sri Lanka would always be on conflict. Both India and China can pick a side and ensure their self interest is protected. At present, the separation ambitions of Tamil Nadu should be the least of India’s worries. Today India is completely encircled by China in Nepal, Pakistan and now in Sri Lanka. Over the years, India has always let Singhalese and Tamils down at their hour of need.

So much so, now both don’t trust India. It has embarked on a strategy, that kept chipping away on its own credibility, there by shooting itself on the foot. The demise of the LTTE is a major setback for India and its future regional security. Rajeev Ghandhi’s death was a death nail for the Tamils and so will the demise of LTTE be for India. A strong partnership that existed between Tamils and India has changed towards both of them becoming arch rivals. At the end, both lost. The only victors were their enemies. Tamils lost to the Sri Lankan state and India lost to China. The Singhalese have China & Pakistan, while the Tamils today have no one. Increasingly the Diaspora will seek the support of the Western governments and this will create a larger role for America. The Tamils have to realise American & Western power will decline in the future. Both India and the Tamils have to realise they desperately need each other for their future.

Is will off the people alone enough ?

The Tamil community should learn from the Jews in this hour of need. The manner in which the Jews handled the holocaust is something no other community in the world has ever done. They did not go in a process of seeking revenge. They invested first to rebuild themselves from an economic and political point-of-view, in & outside Israel. They did not seek to build an army to create a nation but used silent diplomacy which started as early as 1917. They did not protest on the streets by disrupting life everywhere, instead they created powerful movies in partnership with Hollywood. Over years they forged alliances with the global media, it launched a significant public relationship campaign to support their cause and also keep the memories of the holocaust alive forever not just for a day or month.

We could use MIA and her relationships to activate Hollywood & Bollywood to start developing movies. How long will people remember the street protests and the 20,000 civilians that were killed in Sri Lanka ?. Who will remember this genocide in 50 years time ?. How do we ensure that no one forgets it ?. In no time, the Jewish Diaspora became very powerful by building inter-dependent relationships with the western countries. This enabled them to influence the foreign policy towards Israel and enhance its protection. This lobby was able to convince the world to do something that was unjust towards the Palestinian people. United Nations voted to create Israel ignoring the rights of the Palestinian people. Why should the Tamils trust the UN to investigate war crimes in Sri Lanka when it knowingly aided and supported the Sri Lankan government?

Today the Tamils are unable to sell a justified cause to the international community. This shows the “will of the world” is more important than the “will of the affected people”. The Tamil Diaspora has to build strong links into Asian countries not merely to Western countries. A strong alliance has to be developed by the Diaspora towards reaching out to China, India and Japan. Have we got our right priorities and methods ? At present, the diaspora is more focused on protesting in the Western streets against the SL govt, instead of looking at ways to constructively rebuild their down trodden community.

We have decided not to work with the international community to define a substantial devolution package but continue fighting for a separate state. At the end, just like the LTTE we might end up with nothing leaving our down trodden people at the mercy of the Sri Lankan military. We need to first focus on immediate rehabilitation, reconstruction, and redevelopment of our people. Much to the delight of the SL Govt the Diaspora too is getting into the same trap the LTTE got into. That is to defy the international community, instead of using it to negotiate for a compromise. They will do more good for their community, if they do strengthen the TNA by lobbying on its behalf to negotiate for a Canadian, US or Indian style federal model. This would strengthen the Tamil case for higher devolution rather than beat their old drum of separation.

I personally feel this is a colossal blunder we will be making if we continue in this path. Continue in the path of seeking revenge but not seek the opportunity at hand to reconcile for the future. More importantly these endless street protests will only end up alienating our support in the western countries. What is amazing to witness is that most of these protests is exclusively made up of Sri Lankan Tamils and does not include large number of local people. This trend is very worrying. It shows the Sri Lankan Tamil community in these countries have not built strong alliances into local communities that can support their struggle. If we continue in this path, my feeling is that we would become another African tribe in Asia or like the Aboroginies in Australia. The Sri Lankan Tamil community would not have any chance of gaining economic or political freedom unless it changes its strategies ASAP.

“Never again” for an armed struggle

The Jews said “Never Again” for a concentration camp. I feel Tamils should say the same for an arm struggle. We have sacrificed enormously. If we compare where we were in 1970, 77, 83, 87 and now we have rapidly decelerated down hill at an alarming speed. LTTE fought for a dream that had no global support. In my opinion, Rajeev Ghandhi sacrificed his life to ensure Sri Lanka will remain a united country while VP was alive. This is something the LTTE supporters and VP never ever understood. Certainly 1987 accord was short of what we needed. But it was a great foundation to start, compared to what has been achieved after that. After so many years of struggle, LTTE’s only great political achievement was to get a ceasefire accord!!. VP killed many Tamil politicians as traitors, for striking deals with the SL govt, but he did the same for much less at the pinnacle of his power.

What is disturbing to see, is the Tamil community abroad is focusing more of its effort on fighting the Sri Lankan govt and not devise strategies to rebuild the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. Both the Sri Lankan government and the expatriate Tamil community need to reach out to each other. The Tamils are in worse situation that what the Jews were after World War 2. The Jews came out as victors, but dazed people from gas chambers and to be comforted by the world. The Tamils came out as losers, dazed from beach graveyards to barbed prison camps and to be abandoned by the world. The only commonality is they are both very resilient people with a large Diaspora.

The Sri Lankan govt will benefit better by devising strategies to “reach out” to the Diaspora rather than use the same brush they used to fight the LTTE. The SL government can use the Tamil Diaspora as the link for reconstruction and win them over to their side. Both the Diaspora and the SL govt need each other. They missed a golden opportunity in 2004 after the Tsunami. Most of the younger Tamil Diaspora got radicalised when they visited Sri Lanka after the 2004 Tsunami. When the PTOMS agreement, was rejected by the Sri Lankan government it lost a golden opportunity to win the hearts and minds of this Diaspora. If it had, today Sri Lanka would have resurrected a national identity, with this Diaspora extended it beyond the shores of Sri Lanka. I feel they would miss this opportunity again in 2009, because of the naivety of both. SL government is better off wining this Diaspora over and it is not used by other powers to destabilise Sri Lanka in the future. The Tamil Diaspora and Sri Lankan state should understand they gain more by being friends and not foes. The failed Sri Lankan state is in no way going to help the Tamil people, but helping to develop a more accommodative country with reconciliation would improve life for all communities in Sri Lanka.

Two communities living in the past and have they missed the future ?

Is separate state a solution or a problem ? I like to make a couple of observations before I define what Tamils need to do. First the goal of a separate state was a solution to a problem (fighting economic & political discrimination) not the end in itself. This idea of a separate state as the solution was relevant for the 1950’s and not for today’s world.

We live in an ever interconnected and interdependent world with global trade that make or break communities. Just like a separate state is a disaster for Tamils, so will a majority rule be would be for the Singhalese. Over the years, the Tamil politicians never changed their methods and change the solutions inline with a changing world. They devised a solution in 1972 (Vaddukotai resolution) and stuck to it. Let us learn from the Singapore politicians. They adopt dynamic long-term strategies to a changing world and then lead their people.

Second, In 1977, Sri Lanka opened its economy for foreign direct investment as one of the first countries in Asia. But then Singapore leader Lee Kuwan Yew, completed the implementation of the Colombo plan devised in Colombo for Singapore, before Sri Lankan politicians could locate Colombo. In more advanced capitalist world they were forming trading blocks.

European Union was in motion. Europe was progressing towards a single currency at an alarming speed. Countries realised they needed each other, not just self reliant communities to gain their economic & political independence. More trading blocks were created to give opportunities to their communities rather than divide and separate. We on the other hand stuck to our ideas of the 1950’s and adopted just the opposite. I am not saying globalisation is perfect, but it is a significant factor that plays in a community’s political and economical well being.

Third, a Tamil homeland would have been a failure due to LTTE. It’s leader was wanted in India. India would have never allowed them to breadth. It would have had an enemy down south and an enemy up north. A great way to start a nation!!. India would have even put a blockade of Tamil Eelam and it would have economically collapsed. We would have been surrounded by enemies and no friends.

For those die hard please do not quote Israel as an example. There are reasons as to why they are surviving and those reasons would have not & will not happen for Tamil Eelam. The two enemies join together to kill LTTE’s Tamil Eelam before even it became a problem. Eelam War IV was India’s war fought by the Sri Lankan state. Fourth it is more to do with the logic of argument to the international community. I don’t know how the Tamils can explain to an outsider, that we are discriminated as a result we need a Tamil homeland that makes up 1/3 of the country and 2/3 of the Sri Lankan shoreline for nearly 15% of the population.

Singhalese are 72% of the population and if not more due to large Tamil migration. It is a hard sell at a time when countries around the world are embracing immigration and multi-cultural societies. Any outsider would think it is the Tamils who do not want to integrate and not the Singhalese. Similar to the 50-50 GG asked this too was a liability and was a difficult sell to the world. Successive Sri Lankan governments were able to gloss over their issues and shown the need to fight the LTTE due to the fact it is an unreasonable demand. When the LTTE evicted the Muslims out of Jaffna that showed actually LTTE is a racist Tamil organisation. It showed we Tamils would not accommodate other races. Unless large scale migration happens into Sri Lanka’s North & East from Tamil Nadu there is no way it can stay as a Tamil homeland.

The current population levels will not be enough to sustain it. Can Tamils “work with it” rather than “fight against it”? Malaysia has more discrimination towards minorities than Sri Lanka. Yet the Chinese minority has “worked with it” than “fight against it”. Inturn, this minority has ended up taking a large slice of the Malaysian economy, its people are highly educated, protected it’s culture and enlarged its influence on the majority. They learned Malay, employed Malay board members to start companies and eventually ended up taking a larger slice of the economy to the utter dismay of the Malays.

Today the same people who enforced Malay only policy, have decided to change course with a massive “U” turn. A successful Sri Lankan Tamil, who has mastered this art is none other than the owner of Maharajah’s Raja Mahendran. In situations, where the minority decides to “work with” the system would produce a hard working, flexible and driven race. The Majority race becomes less equipped, rigid and lazy. Over the years the minority generations invest more on education and entrepreneurship while the majority tends to live off them.

Our Tamil Political leaders, took the obvious way to react to an immediate crisis, react to the “Singhala only act” rather than thinking of the long-term. This was no different to what the Singhalese did with the Singhala only act. They too pushed their politicians to react and enforce hegemony rule. Again you cannot blame leaders from both spectrum, both populations urged them to adopt divisive rule over racial lines in the 1950’s. Inturn, the politicians guided the people in confrontational politics from an emotional point-of-view, rather than use collaboration politics from a rational point-of-view for national unity. Both races are guilty of it. We very conveniently blame our politicians. But in a democracy you get the government you deserve. I feel this is a big cop out from the Singhala and Tamil population. Has majority rule destroyed the majority ?

Singhalese too have missed the opportunity along with the Tamils. They too didn’t realise that the world is actually embracing immigration, multi-cultural societies and not a purely majority driven hegemony rule. They were struggling to even accommodate the minorities of the country, let alone embrace immigrants. This reduced the economic opportunities for them and the minorities. Thanks to other countries, attracting the best and the brightest of the Sri Lankan minority, today the Tamil Diaspora’s per capita income would be substantially greater than Sri Lanka’s per capita income. Due to an ageing population, highly militarised state, with scores of young killed and even with very high FDI, the chance of this country succeeding is very slim.

If Sri Lanka does not accommodate the minorities, create a net migration inflow into the country, it would collapse economically even if there is peace for the next 10 years. If the Singhalese want the only Singhala country to succeed they need to get their minorities to rapidly develop the North & East economy. At present, the North & East would become the greatest economic liability for the South. If this situation is not addressed it could economically destroy Sri Lanka and inturn the Singhalese.

They need to empower the minorities and also attract talented high-skilled foreigners to develop the country. Today, Japan is paying a terrible price for not allowing migration into the country. It has been in economic distress for the most part of 1990’s and 2000’s. That’s nearly 20 years. It’s ageing population and lack of diversity has contributed to this stagnation. China too will eventually face the same problem, with an ageing population due to their one child policy. In Sri Lanka, the in fighting within the Singhala community was kept at bay, largely because all their energy was directed towards fighting the Tamil community. But economic depravation is their biggest enemy.

This enemy has never left the Singhalese from 1950’s. JVP uprising in 1971 and 1988 came due to lack of economic opportunities. This cannot be ruled out especially in a highly militarised state. Unlike the Tamil community, the Singhala community does not have a large Diaspora. At best, it has low income house maids scattered around the world. The Tamil minority in Sri Lanka, has the opportunity to tap into the Diaspora community, and develop itself at grass root level similar to the way it did to fund the war. Today the country has 200,000 soldiers and it still keeps expanding. Economically this is not viable anymore. The cause to keep this Army is gone too. Sri Lanka has one of the highest ratio of soldiers per capita in the world. Today it is a highly militarised state. The danger for the country, is whether the military will one day takeover the government. This will kill democracy in Sri Lanka much to the delight of China. Sri Lanka would become another North Korea or Burma, unless the military is trimmed.

Sinhalese and Tamil futures are joined at the hip

The Tamil politicians today should be pitching their federal solution not as a cure for ethnic reconciliation, but as an economic necessity for all provinces in the country to fight Colombo’s corruption. The Singhalese in the South would benefit the most than the Tamils. Unfortunately from 1950’s onwards, our Tamil politicians proposed this as a cure to give more rights to ethnic minorities. If it was not pitched as a political necessity for minority rights, but an economic necessity for all, then even the South would have supported us.

Majority rule in the South would become its greatest enemy for its own existence. Both communities desperately need each other, for their own survival, due to the current global geo-political & economic environment. Unfortunately several global powers, have managed to adopt divide and conquer at these two helpless communities, to further their geo-political interest. What I would highlight is that their current path is suicidal for them.

If they do not make reconciliation their no 1 priority, then both these races would be ruled by foreign powers unknown to them. The IMF aid is the first step. The Sri Lankan nation is very close to becoming another African nation. They have lost their financial sovereignty and eventually will lose their political one too. One should also not underestimate the rapid technological change and global trade that would affect this small country. Not all of it will be positive, because they are less prepared and equipped to deal with it. If there is no reconciliation between these two communities they are destined to be doomed.

Security comes from Interdependence and not from independence

Two separately funded nations never united. Soon after independence, Sri Lanka was a country which had Singhalese in the South and Tamils in the North. There was little or no integration between the two races, compared to now especially in the Western province. No economic, political or cultural integration. They were effectively two separate nations. But before they became independent, they were funded by the British and they could afford to stay polarised. After independence they had to fund their own destiny. Sri Lanka was a country that never fought for its independence with blood and tears. It got it at the back of India’s independence. For the British it was not economical to have Sri Lanka as a colony when they lost India.

As a result, we didn’t have a nationalistic identify that united us. But an independent Sri Lanka, could only succeed if the two races had become interdependent on each other. Unfortunately over the years both races behaved independently of each other, while blaming the other for their failure. The Singhalese relied on majority rule for their security and the Tamils relied on restricting themselves to an independent homeland for their security. Both adopted divisive politics, as the answer to their problems supported by their opportunistic politicians.

Both went for independence rather than interdependence. Global case for interdependence At a global level interdependence can be seen in the current financial turmoil. In the 80’s when Japan faced its meltdown, the rest of the world carried on without much hue and cry. The 2nd largest economy in the world was less connected and maintained a very independent market. But the current financial crisis, which originated in America has happened when the world is more interconnected. The whole world is paying a terrible price after the reckless lending happened in the American mortgage market.

Why is that ? America has open markets and is interconnected to the rest of the world. As much as the American people, have to worry about outsourcing of jobs to the 3rd world, they also get help when things go belly up by the whole world pumping money into the global financial system. The rest of the world cannot afford a fallen America. The most to lose would be Chinese, which holds majority of the US treasuries and where jobs were outsourced.

Reconcile and reach out to exist I firmly believe both these races need each other due to the current global realities for the reasons outlined above. So far they have failed to do so, because they never paid a national price to get their independence and freedom. The end of the LTTE gives a good opportunity for both races to reach out. This can never happen unless the SL government comes up with a substantial political package close to a Canadian style federal model. The current situation in Sri Lanka gives the golden opportunity to commence reconciliation.

What was so damaging, in Rajapakse’s recent victory speech he thanked the security forces, but mentioned nothing about the sacrifices and agony the Tamil civilians underwent in the whole process. He did not mention a word of any form of condolence to the families who had lost their loved ones. Some of them live abroad in the Tamil Diaspora community. So many Tamil civilians are living in IDP camps and aren’t they suffering ? In 10 years time, if we have done true reconciliation, then the Singhalese in the South would feel ashamed of themselves for allowing so many Tamil civilians in destitute levels. The Tamils will look at VP as another Adolf Hitler who took everyone to destruction and will feel the same. Embrace the Singhalese into North & East and the benefits of it.

Having Singhalese in the North & East would not make us lose our identity but strengthen it. This is something those who prefer separatism do not understand. Just as there is Singhala racism we also have Tamil racism. LTTE was the epitome of Tamil racism and the Singhalese too were justified in hating the LTTE with a passion. As Tamils, we hated the SL government & JHU for their chauvinistic attitude. We justifiably complained about the lack of investments in the North & East, economic embargo on our people during the War and not offering the inclusiveness to our people.

The LTTE too was the same. It too failed in providing the inclusiveness to Singhalese and Muslims of the North & East. If we had taken a rational action, then we would have encouraged interdependence with the South. If more people had migrated to North & East the govt would have been forced to invest in that region too. More importantly, there was no way they could have bomb the living daylights out of the people in the North. It would have also caused destruction for the Singhalese and Muslims in that region too. More importantly, the hand of the government would have been forced long time ago.

Not all the current military options would have been available for them in a multi-cultural society. Mass scale destruction by aerial bombardment and economic embargo cannot be applied in a multi-cultural environment. One can compare the level of destruction between North and East. Soon after 2002 ceasefire accord I visited Jaffna, then the east after the 2004 Tsunami. The destruction levels were world apart. The level of destruction in the North was unimaginable. Today, I am sure Killinochi and Mullaithivu would be worse than anything man has ever seen since World War 2.

A new Tamil vision in a globalised world compared to the past independent Sri Lanka

The Tamil community has to now reform its methods, principles and goals. It needs to understand, it faces different problems as a community compared to 1950 and 1983. It cannot live in complete ignorance to the fact its community is now one of the poorest, least educated and a war ravaged society in Asia. It also needs to understand globalisation demands interdependence and not independence. Unfortunately it faces much bigger issues than what it faced in 1950’s. If the Tamil community doesn’t change course, they have a disastrous future after their failed independent struggle. In humility, they need to muster the will, to rebuild with new ideas, otherwise they would become extinct in Sri Lanka or at best would become like one of those failed communities in the world.

There were critical turning points for this community, in 1948 (independence day), 1977 (opening up of Sri Lankan economy), 1983 (anti-tamil riots), 1987 (Indo-lanka accord) and 2009 ( the death of VP). In all these cases, the community never realised, that actually the problems were different and the solutions needed were different. But 2009 is probably the last chance. To reflect as a community and redefine a new way forward. Singhalese and Tamils have to realise they wont have independence unless they build interdependence with each other. They are in danger of being used as tools by global powers to further their geo-political interest. Some principles to consider:

• We should say “Never Again” for an arm struggle. Similar to the Jews saying “Never Again” for concentration camps. This community prided itself, to produce the most educated professionals per capita in Asia. Today it provides the highest suicide bombers per capita in the world. It has been devastated to the point, much against it’s wish, had sent the future generation to die in battle fields and not to universities to full-fill it’s wish. Today, it is starring at the abyss without a plan.

• Build inclusive leadership and not exclusive leadership. In a new world order it is a must to enhance a community. Some people say China is not democratic and I strongly disagree. China is lead by one party and not by one man!!. The remaining LTTE under KP, Karuna, Douglas, TNA under Sampanthan and Anandhasangakaree will have to first unite and then reach out to the Tamil Nadu politicians. Immediate need for Sri Lankan Tamils would be to protect their survival. Progress and development can be only achieved if more global Tamil alliances are formed with politicians in South Africa, Malaysia and wherever Tamils are 10 around the world.

We need to build more interdependent relationships to protect our independence by making our vision to relevant to them too. A separate Tamil state is not one. But none of this can be done if we don’t reconcile and reach out to the Singhalese. The Tamil politicians first need to develop mutual respect for each other. They should realise, there is a common goal that would unite them and yet the way to it would divide them. But in that we would develop our strength and not a weakness. This is something VP never understood. In my opinion exclusive leadership, builds a single point of failure and that might suite the individual concerned but not the community.

• Build interdependence with the world and not independence. The Tamil community does not need a separate state to build their security any longer. This was true in the 50’s and 60’s but global trade changed all that. To make it worse, this 30 year war has put us even at a worse state to create a nation. Today we have a large Diaspora that could rival any in the world. Our community is dispersed around the world and this is an asset not a liability.

We should build interdependence in our local communities. In Sri Lanka with the Singhalese. We need to adopt a strategy of “work with it” rather than “fight for it”. This requires a substantial mind shift. I feel it will take generations before this can be achieved. This is where I say, building bridges with the Singhalese is an advantage for the Tamils not a disadvantage. We should grasp the opportunity when it is being facilitated by the international community.

• Back to basics. The community should go back to basics. Focus on education and create a new breed of entrepreneurs. We spent 40 years building many VP’s and now it is time to build the next generation of Raja Mahendran’s. We should not restrict this vision just to Sri Lanka, but extend it to outside Sri Lanka. Here is a man, who adopted a strategy similar to the Chinese in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Unfortunately, not that many followed his foot steps instead followed VP. I hope one day the Tamil youths would say their hero is Raja Mahendran of Sri Lanka and not VP of Tamil Eelam. Raja Mahendran, is a very good example of a person who has built this culture of interdependence. Unfortunately, Rajapakse has gone about attacking him too, instead of cultivating him as an example for Sri Lanka. I hope the international community, would educate Rajapakse to leverage an asset and not convert it to a liability.

• Protect the next generation from violence. Violence in our community should be eliminated. The passions of the Tamil youths abroad need to be guided in the right direction. The Diaspora abroad can do wonders by focusing their energy on nation building and rehabilitate their loved ones. Not focus on revenge attacks on the Singhalese. The latter is the ultimate stupidity. This action would make us lose the sympathy all around the world. This will play right into the hands of the SL government. A future crackdown internationally against the Diaspora’s violence cannot be ruled out if we continue in this path.

Conclusion

In the 1950’s, a community’s progress dependent on first obtaining political freedom, then military security and finally economic freedom. The first two were very strongly linked. But the rise of capitalism and globalisation has changed all that, especially after the fall of communism. Now, as a first step, a community develops inter-dependent relationships to build its economic progress. That helps it to influence the political landscape locally and globally, depending on their economic influence. The political and economic influence helps it to, build its own military or hire one to protect itself. Unfortunately the LTTE thought the barrel of the gun will give it a separate state. Inturn it will force the world to accept it politically. Finally it would build a self-sufficient economy. This is the North Korea model for failure. Purchase a nuke and then you’ll get rice.

This flawed logic was really built on Tamil chauvinism, similar to Singhala chauvinism. Both have one thing in common-majority hegemony. Something the world has discarded long-time ago as a blue print for success. Over the years the Tamil community has sacrificed its freedom to the SL govt and the LTTE. The absolute butchery of this community in the hands of the SL govt and LTTE cannot be forgotten. Today the Tamil community is back at the mercy of the International community & SL govt. The latter is no better than the LTTE. So have they got their security or freedom ? The answer is no.

The Tamils would find the extreme racist Singhala Buddhist clergy more reasonable and less scary than the co-chairs. The Diaspora certainly has lost all confidence in the UN and the co-chairs. The United Nations, increasingly has lost its moral authority and has become essentially a defunct organisation. The corruption in this organisation, would rival some of the failed states it seeks to change. Massacres from Darfur, Rwanda and Sri Lanka have taken place while the UN was asleep.

In Sri Lanka, it redefined its mission statement to aid and support genocide. The creators of the UN would be rolling in their graves. It supported a government to carry on with military operations while 20,000 civilians perished in couple of weeks, if not more. Their loved ones buried them, on a beach, while they were hoping a shell would not fall on their head. I wonder how the soldiers who landed on Normandy beach, would feel today. They fought and died on the beach to save humanity.

If Ban Ki-moon has any self respect or dignity he would resign as the UN secretary general. In his grave, Hitler might say, I wish I was alive today and they might have not stopped me too. Unless the UN reforms itself, it would collapse under the new world global order. Much worse, it would very soon become the direct contributor for the rise of terrorism in the world. The most serious issue the world faces is the threat to international law and order.

A highly corrupt UN, is losing its effectiveness, to stop nation states from committing genocide and inturn that is giving rise to terrorism. When communities believe they need to build their own protection, not rely on the world, then violence around the world would increase. The manner in which the International community, holds the Sri Lankan government responsible for human rights, will show whether the current world order can make failed states accountable for human rights or not. If they do, then terrorism will diminish.

Otherwise, it will be in the rise in many parts of the world. When more communities realise, you cannot trust the world order to protect them from failed states, then they would try to build their own protection. Unfortunately the loser would be international law & order. LTTE and VP always told the Tamils, don’t trust the International community or UN to protect you. One has to fight to obtain security. VP might be dead and gone, but will his belief too die with him or would it resonate with a vengeance elsewhere ? I hope it will not be the latter. If it does, the next VP in any race might be more ruthless than the one we saw in the last 30 odd years.

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99 Comments

  1. I only read half-way and (unfortunately I have to leave) I agree with you.

    All I can say is, in this century, there is no single country that is totally independant. We are all dependant on each other.
    More to come……
    🙂

  2. This article is so typical and so lame but contains very distinctive thoughts. What you need to do is stop writing and start acting. Stop blaming and start working. Why don’t you stop pointing the fingers on a dead man and use your wisdom to apply what you believe. Writing an article and expecting others to do the work isn’t going to cut it. Rather, right or wrong, VP acted in what he believed and he globalized the cause. So stop being another moderate Tamil who complains on other tamils and start to show what you think in actions.

    DBSJ RESPONDS:

    People like you take pleasure in insulting Tamils concerned about their future.

    You talk of Prabhakaran as some great man of action who has delivered the goods for Tamils.

    I dont like to talk ill of the departed but idiots like you compel me to do so.

    What has VP achieved constructively other than bringing disaster upon the Tamils through his ill -thought out “action”?

    And what has the LTTE achieved for Tamils through their so called “action”?

    Tamils are in deep shit right now thanks to the LTTE and the mindless idiots who followed the tigers blindly.

    Tamils have to extricate themselves from the morass they are in carefully and slowly through well thought out positive and progressive action

    Remember what Thiruvalluvar said –

    “Ennith Thuniga Karumam -Thuninthapin
    Ennuvathu Illukku”

    (Think well be fore you begin action.Trying to think after embarking on action is wrong)

  3. Hats off to Ajith Ratnarajah for his unflinching realism. I hope all the LTTE supporters and Tamil diaspora read and digest what he says. Comments on few of his points.

    “Certainly 1987 accord was short of what we needed. But it was a great foundation to start, compared to what has been achieved after that”

    I wholeheartedly agree with this assessment. Even at that time India had made clear that it has no intention of seeing the breakup of Srilanka for the sake of Tamil militants. If the Tamil militants especially the LTTE had worked with the Indian govt. , Srilankan Tamils would have gone ahead far by this time. By the same token, if the Srilankan government had not used underhand tactics to sabotage Indian involvement, India would have finished LTTE and Srilanka would have been spared the agony of 20 more years of war. If the LTTE gets the gold medal for stupidity, Srilanka govt gets the silver medal.

    All that is past. I agree with him that Tamils need to work with the Sinhalese since they don’t have too many options.

    About the global strategic assessment, Mr.Ratnarajah says ” LTTE killed its separate state dream when it killed Rajeev Ghandhi. India on the other hand, has laid the foundation to kill the regional super power status by eliminating the LTTE. With China entering Sri Lanka in 2007, India did a massive miscalculation in running to support the SL government and not support its enemyTamils lost to the Sri Lankan state and India lost to China. “. While this theory looks plausible, it is not yet a foregone conclusion. Srilankan govt may be oppurtunistic with China also and not give it strategic alliance..

    He also says that all remaining ex-Tamil militants and moderates unite now for the sake of their community. This, I think is a worthwhile recommendation. I hope the Tamil leaders realise that how internacine warfare among Tamils has made them very very weak. Internacine warfare among Tamils has probably killed as many as anti-Tamil riots and SL Army. So, I hope the Tamil leadership has 2 mottos now 1.No to arms 2. No to disunity. Disunity at this dark hour among Tamil political leaders will spell death knell for Tamils as a community.

    Then he says “The remaining LTTE under KP, Karuna, Douglas, TNA under Sampanthan and Anandhasangakaree will have to first unite and then reach out to the Tamil Nadu politicians.”. While this is wholly worthwhile idea, it must be kept in mind many Tamilnadu politicians have the same pro-LTTE sentiments as the Tamil Diaspora. That has been made them totally ineffective in making any positive change in Srilanka. While Karunanidhi is realistic enough to understand that pro-LTTE sentiment does no good for anybody, he is total politcial coward and does not explain his ideas to other politcial leaders or people at large. While he acts in an underhand way to go along with Govt. of India’s policies, in public he went along with pro-LTTe, pro-VP demonstrations to encash public sympathies for himself. Even while he co-operates with the Indian govt, usually he sets up scapegoats – usually Brahmins are his scapegaots and blames the scapegoats for his inability. Because of his lack of moral and ethical fibre, Srilankan Tamil ledaers will find him a dodgy customer to co-operate with them in good faith. At present his overriding priority is make sure his family gets the plume of politcial and financial positions. The primitive political culture of Tamilnadu is not an easy place to do honest business for SL Tamil ledaers.
    Still they must try. Working in partnership with the Sinhalese is their best bet. I hope the Tamil Diaspora, makes this path of co-operation easier.

    Vijayaraghavan

  4. This is long and at times rambling. It traverses the political causes of the conflict, the economic opportunities that have been lost because of it etc etc etc these are all catalysts andconsequences of conflict. it does not recognise that the CAUSE and CRUCIBLE of Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict is from transformative demographic change in the 1960’s – rapid population growth, population pressure on resources at a time of global economic stagnation inflaming communal jealousies leading to violence.

    Put simply, if Sri Lanka’s population had not doubled in the 20 years after independence, the underlying tensions would not have exploded into varying forms of communal violence among young people BOTH Sinhalese and Tamil.

    Overpopulation is the problem underlying extremism in nations like Pakistan today.

    Any solution must address overpopulation as a structural factor and its potential devastating effects in a environment of global downturn and shrinking economic prospects. The 1970’s can easily recur, and may already be recurring.

    In such an environment, democratic leader are always left in situations where they have to compromise with extremists.

    This will require international support, foreign aid, expertise and investment to overcome. That will require good governance – rule of law, an end to corruption alongside devolution.

  5. I agree with every word Ajith has written. I sincerely hope someone would translate this article in Tamil and find a way to circulate among the tamil diaspora, who are still prisoners of LTTE propaganda. Mr. Jeyaraj, please start a news paper in Tamil again. This will be a great service you could render to our community. Over the years, LTTE and it’s vested interest groups have intimidated and destroyed all media forms that didn’t tow their line. So there is a big information vacuum that could only be filled by people like you and Ajith. I would even go to the extend of saying this is your moral responsibility. There aren’t a lot of people who could shine the light of wisdom on my/our people who had been for too long blinded by foolishness and selfishness of the LTTE.

  6. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that the Sri Lankan Tamils were let down by none other than the LTTE. 20,000 civilians were killed because of the LTTE kept them as human shields to protect their leaders. Please do not expect us to be fooled by another VP or KP. All of them have dug their own graves. Sri Lankan Tamils are civilised enough to believe in democracy and peaceful coexistance. Please do not try to poison them. They have bit the bullet once and know the taste of it very well.

  7. I do agree with the writer except for his views about India’s ‘wish’ to resolve out issues.

    India started it because they wanted to disturb Sri Lanka since the latter was pro western during JR time and pro chinese during Srimao time.

    They wanted a pupper military. So they trained some Tamils. When they realised that LTTE would not act like a puppet, they want against them.

    Tamils should have trustered Sri Lankan than they had trusted the Indians. The formar was not really very good; But it was much better than the latter.

    Apart from the above, I agree 100 % with the author.

    Raj

  8. Ajith is absolutly right, but I can only picture a bad situation where borth communities anable to seethe big picture harping out communal hartred. SL wehter tamil or singhalese are both very short sighted and an ignorant people(majority from counrty communities, including north), bad combination which will ultimatly destroy a potential economy. they will never agree to look after and repect each other. that’s what their ancestors did and that’s why they were able to survive peacfully for 2300 years before the whites came. but I hope and pray that this won’t happend. develution is good but these idiots from both communities won’t agree to that only educated or person with high general knowlage in will understand the value. a typical SL will not agree to this, without them nothing will work.

  9. Some good points. But still written in the mindset that Tamils are better or Sinhalese are lazy.

    I think both Sinhalese & Tamils are fools.

    Both Sinhalese & Tamils deserved this war & the destruction.

  10. Glad to see some positive thoughts from Tamil side. Whether we like or not, we have to live in this tiny island togeather. The future lies on co-existance and unity. Time to think as Sri Lankans not Tamils, Sinhalease,
    Muslims ect. It is the time for all communities to to be engaged politically as Srilankans and policy based politics, and not ethnicity or race based politics. Just emagine, had Obama represented a political party based on Black/Afro American ideology, well, you tell me where he could be.

  11. Very thoughtful analysis.Concept of nation building along current geo political needs and belief.
    Questions
    1.Who is going to reach out to diaspora if the GOSL as we know is not interested as it believes this will be counter productive to the current order of power?
    2.Building interdependance within SL. The tamil politicians are as polarised and not interested in any unity as their sinhala counterparts.Wouldn’t it be appropriate for Fringe players with credibility like Mano Ganesan,Left leanging sinhala politician and north eastern politicians to form a coalition of national reconcilation and work on common agenda of nation building and creating a credible alternative to current political system of UNP,SLFP,JHU,JVP,TNA,TULF,PLOTE &EPDP.
    3.Will the diaspora decide it’s time to stop being emotional accept reality and work on a constructive plan to improve the lifes of their loved once in North and East and all of SL including the hill country and think of ecconomic devolopment with the all the opertunities it will bring to appreciate and propagate your own culture while understanding and respecting other cultures.

  12. As a Sri Lankan i can’t see that Tamil Diaspora in abroad will consider Sri Lanka as their country. They still is fighting against Sri Lanka. When come to Tamil people in IDP camps they will reach out to the government & in this case as a nation we should & need to help rebuild their lives. People in IDP camps have suffered from LTTE. No doubt that government can reach to Tamil people in IDP. In this case government will take this opportunity but Tamil Diaspora will reject because their mental attitude & blind faith to LTTE is a problematic. End reult is government will focus on Tamil in IDP camps & will gain trust of these people rather than Tamils who are still fighting for seperate state.

  13. Nice article! Actually according to my research VP fought Britain’s War Against Sri Lanka. Transfer to him by TULF. TULF got it from Arunachalems ( and Ponnambalams). If you read the history, in 1956 when the Sinhala only act brought by Banadaranayake, who suffered ? Not majority Tamils. Only English Speaking Tamils. So English speaking Tamls started this issue. For the non English speaking Tamils it was just changing the languages which they could not understand. At least 80% of Sinhalese were justified by then because Sinhalese believed they were marginalized by British. At that time most of the white collar jobs were done by Tamils. British tried to rule our country by dividing Sinhalese and Tamils. So VP fought for somebody else’s War
    My dear Diaspora Tamils! Please don’t try to do the same mistake again!. Don’t try to fool your fellow innocent Tamils living in Sri Lanka. Just think!. Because of LTTE Tamils became a manageable minority in Sri Lanka. Sinhalese did not start this war. It was Tamil terrorists who challenge the Sinhales majority by risking innocent Tamils lives. At the End of the war thousands of Tamil youth sacrificed their lives for VP.
    On the other side of the coin there were solders scarified for defending our mother land. For Sinhalese, They were heroes! Bottom line is we lost so many youth from both side.
    Can we learn the lesson and reconcile?

  14. A excellant thesis on the Way Forward to Tamils… very well articulated and pitched perfectly.
    Great to know that DBSJ is also on the same page – I hope more Tamil will be….
    I liked the federalism for economic freedom idea very much – this is what the Tamil Diaspora should use to lobby the Sinhalaese masses.

    Ajith – Thala (your name sake in Kollywood) Simply superb..!!

  15. Simply in Sri Lanka, Sinhalese need Tamils and Tamils need Sinhalese. Individual level we are human beings and have same basic needs and friends.
    We should not politicians to mess us what they have done in the past

    As a Christian , we worship God together

  16. Ajith
    I quickly read it and I will go over again to understand some of the issues in depth.
    I am happy to say that similar kind of thinking is already catching up among diaspora.
    Thank you for putting your thoughts in writing. Keep it up.

  17. i also go through your blog very carefully,but i do not write to you,wheather i agree or disagree with your ideas,but i register it. there are many so called think thanks.this artical
    from ajit i stopped reading half way.the whole problem is the sinhale mindset and the tamil mindset.,and iam sorry to say the tamils specially from the north wants a solution according to their way of thinking.please remember the tamils from the eastern p.,the s.l. tamils of indian origin,and even tamils living in the so called sinhale areas think otherwise.diaspora tamils may feel they are very important,but their mindset is harmfull for the s.l. tamils living in s.l. ranjit de mel . srilankan mindset

  18. I have supported LTTE’s struggle all along, but VP’s arrogance, ignorance and greed pretty much destroyed both mighty LTTE and tamil people. Over 30,000 young talented men and women sacrified their precious lives so that this guy can screw things up. For him, it was never about the people, it was all about him. VP is gone, but the real terrorist (Sri Lankan militayr/Bhuddist monks) still rulling the country. Only option tamils have is GET OUT OF THAT COUNTRY.

  19. I read it half way through and article seems to be heavy !!

    Its glad to see moderate Tamils want to reconcile and live in harmony, rather than promoting ethnic hatred, with Sinhalese as indicated in this article and as vividly described by Mohan Sekaram, few days ago.

    Please count my name also as someone who would support that cause.

    I loved truly admired Lakshamn Kadiragamar and trusted him much more than our idiot Sinhalese politicians and I know thousand more Sinhalese felt the same about Great Statesman.

    I keep my fingers crossed, sincerely hope to to see a day during my life time, that Sri Lanka will have a good, moderate Tamil Politician like LK, would be selected as the Prime Minister or President of the country.

  20. 5. Jaybee

    ” I sincerely hope someone would translate this article in Tamil and find a way to circulate among the tamil diaspora, who are still prisoners of LTTE propaganda…”

    Can’t they (diaspora) understand English…only language they speak.

    Not quite. There are many mono -lingual Tamils even in English speaking countries……DBSJ

  21. To Mr.Vijayaraghavan,
    sorry to disappoint you but the gold remains firmly with the then GOSL for what they did in July 83. If not for that this would not have come to this scale and if you look at presidential election results just prior to 83 will prove this.

  22. Unfortunately this article confirms the mindset of tamils.Very self centered ,fanatic,very focussed but completely unrealistic. VP was only reflecting the Tamil mindset. In the 21s century integration and not isolation is the answer. The Singhalese what ever there faults has allowed 55% of the Tamils to live in the south.They have a few problems all emanating from the LTTE. Now that the war is over things should improve. Tamil Diaspora from the safety of the west has been supporting a war that used child soldiers whilst there children went into the best of universities. Hence the diaspora has lost any moral grounds to influence what is happening in SL. The best tha diaspora could do is to leave SL alone so that tamils in SL can live in peace not to be used by the diaspora as cannon fodder for there jingoism

  23. Ajith.
    It is a well articulated,well researched and a perfectly written article.I congrtulate for your openness directed to broadning our mind.I shall read it again.

    DBSJ
    Thank you for providing Ajith’s excellent writings.

  24. Nicely written.

    However, instead of RM you should have proposed TAK as the alternative Tamil icon of the future.

    Raja Mahendran can stand nowhere in front of T.Ananda Krishnan of Malaysia.

    TAK has his origins in Jaffna. He is the richest Tamil alive and has a Global Empire spanning Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, UAE, Egypt, Germany and the UK. He is also close to the Chinese establishment.

    He has the global quality (that you seem to admire) to mystify the rulers of every country on the earth.

  25. 20. Ramesh Pathiraja

    I wish to repeat the same comments for myself. It is really good to realize that at least some people appreciate the value of co-existance. Let us hope that we’ll see a future without hatred and mistrust between each other.

    True, Lakshman Kadirgamar was far above a mere politician. We were very unfortunate to lose such a great statesman so tragically. He could have done a lot more valuable service to our motherland than any other politician.
    I’m really glad that at least a few people are trying to build a bridge.

  26. If you guys think your future is with the Sinhalese no one is stopping you to go and live with them. We respect your wish. Why are you opposing other people’s views who think that there is no future for us within the united sri lanka.

    Even federalism will fail without any backing of tamil army.
    Only VP understood this. VP was not the only one who believed in the armed struggle.
    Even Sinhalisation of tamil areas happening at the moment now reiterates why we need the armed resistance.
    I do not think that there is not a single tamil soul who could qualify to judge VP.

    From Tamil’s point of view I support everything what VP and Pottu did.
    Your enemy chooses your weopen.

    They know with every thing equal they lose their

  27. Ajith’s article serves to illuminate several areas of the problem which the people of Sri Lanka have to consider.

    No purpose is going to be served by blaming “Sinhala Only or Prabakaran’s LTTE” Why live in the past and think of Ellala, Dutta-Gemunu or the Mahavamsa and get hot under the collar and raise hackles. It’s all in the past.

    The task for the people of the island nation is to learn from the mistakes of the past. They have to accept realities, and learn to live reconciled,and think of the future now.That is what matters.

    There is no other way other than to effect plans for reconstruction and progress; to build up a secular, free democratic Sri Lanka. That’s the only possibility which presents itself to the island’s peoples.

  28. Well done Ajith. It is time all fair thinking and level minded individuals from both side of the political and ethenic divide come to gather. for the sake of humanity. Our people have suffered a lot as a result of misguidance by VP and the lot. Man of NILISTIC Idelogy Fusion is what is needed and not fission to put it in nuclear terms.
    No man is an Island. We need to built Bridges. If the temporaly victors of the conflict do not adhere to what you have been suggesting SL will be a failed state. MR & co will be remembered in history as the man who missed the boat on all counts

    Kasi
    London

  29. Dear DBSJ / Ajith

    Can we find a way to circulate these articles which you a publishing in this website among ordinary Sinhalese and Tamil population worldwide. You have to understand that people who read these now are belong to a certain category. Educated, English speaking web goers. But there are millions of Sinhalese and Tamil ordinary people who are getting fooled by either MR’s GOSL or Pro – LTTE ( Like JJ – UK ) one sided propaganda and taking decisions based on that.

  30. The leadership and the people interdependency is a cycle.
    The leader changes the people and then the changed people decide the leader. This cycle continues.
    At a turning point, good leader changes this cycle as a good cycle, then people become knowledgeable and start to select the good leader.

    They, who assassinated the Martin Luther King, selected Barcak Obama as President. The people have become knowledgeable because of the some good leaders. Now they could be able to select the good leader. No leader can cheat them by racism.

    Now the thing is, up to now, we couldn’t see any good positive leadership abilities from Rajapaksa other than the strong decision making skill. But, still there is a lot of time to wait and see. But it’s the responsibility of the Journalists and Leaders to let him to understand the positive leadership with the long vision.

  31. My worst fear should not happen; Some big nation trains and arms some for the vested interest.

    That should not happen;

    Having said, I do not deny Tamils had a reason for resistence or even armed struggle for those who participated.

    But why did all start? Not because we were treated badly. No one will care if we were treated badly. They will care only if it suits them. That is why India ‘cared’ in the past when the helped LTTE. Similary, that is why India helped to decimate LTTE. The Sinhala majority have to understand that there is a reason India helped the SL army.

    OK enough past. Future, a bright, beautiful Sri Lanka.

  32. In my opinion, making sinhala the official language is the most stupid decision a sri lankan gov has ever done. all of you think of only about the tamil aspect in this regard. but what good has it done to us sinhalese? this i realised not recently, but when i was a village kid struggling to learn english to equal my colombo school class mates. it is not a lie that every school going kid in sri lanka are struggling so hard to learn english. only exception are those coming from english speaking families. what good has happened to ourselves learning science, maths or even sociology in sinhala or tamil? we had to learn the terminology all over again when we entered the uni and so many suffered because they were unable to understand the text books written in english. as a nation we went backwards. our so called sri lankan scholars are not suitable to the global market. we became frogs in the well. how many us are using our mother tongue in our working environment today? therefore, if english remained the official language and equal opportunities were made available to all communities by then leaders, sri lanka could be in a better position today. this is not my own thinking, there are so many sinhalese i know who think the same.

    another point i would like to mention is that we sinhalese and tamils have a lot to learn from sri lankan muslims. today muslim politicians are in a much more powerful position than tamil politicians. there are politicians from muslim only parties and some even join the SLFP or the UNP and contest. but interestingly those who are in SLFP or UNP are not considered as traitors to their nation. all of them when they are in power serve their nation and their areas and people also vote them. recently i read that 1st lot of resettlement starts with displaced muslims. i have never heard any cases of discrimination against muslims and even if such cases exist, their politicians are in a better powerful position to demand the gov to enforce law. one day when the gov gives a political solution, muslim politicians will come forward for their share of power as well. but what is the position of tamil politicians in sri lanka today and what have they gained for tamils? my dream is to see a sri lanka one day where there are no political parties based on the race or religion and nobody feels insecure that their race or religion is in danger if someone from another race or faith comes to power. i know right now it is only a dream and sri lanka has a long way to go.

  33. “LTTE and VP always told the Tamils, don’t trust the International community or UN to protect you. One has to fight to obtain security”

    I think VP said something like “The world does not spin on an axis of justice therefore … one has to fight one’s own fight without depending on the world’s sense of justice etc”

    Whether one likes VP or not what he said has certainly been proved absolutely true – at least 20,000 times in less than a week!

    However it is the same geo-political machinations responsible that must be engaged with even now.

    As Ajith correctly notes, India lost the plot.
    Until the Killinochi phase was over the GOSL pretended to be India’s friend. Then having got the support of the West (recall what the US said after Killinochi!!) and more weapons from China it was bye-bye India.
    There is also a reason for building up the SL military (with China’s full support). This was mentioned only after the things were over.
    This became a necessity from China’s point of view because the Indians finally saw that they had been ‘check-mated’. One of the ways for India to come back is to revive some kind of movement, or step in itself under some pretext. Hence the military deterrent thanks to China.
    So the West is also displeased with India and kicking itself for believing the Indians as to their supposed control of Lanka and the MR gang!
    And this is why especially now the GOSL is very worried about the Tamil Diaspora influence.

    Another angle to explore is to what extent China can be made to insist on fairness to the Tamils via using India as leverage.
    Nothing wrong in Tamils engaging with China given that India now only has annoyance capacity left!

  34. I think the writer lost the plot when he start arguing both ways for way forward for tamil. Interdependence with rest of the contryman and Building Global Tamil alliance.

  35. Federalism s good not because of the tamil problem, because if we give powers to the 9 provinces, they could develop it respectively and used their provincial taxes to build infrastructure for them selves. that is fabulous, each will complete with colombo to build their respective area. like australia or canada. they should also get the police and biuld a reserve force, provincial parliament and judiciary, every thing coming under federal gov. beauty only if the politicians had the vision. I don’t think SL understand what federal system is, cause Rajapaksa keep saying to them that fed means separatism so people are afraid. Sorry for the typos people.

  36. I aplogise to peace 1 for unwittingly using his pen name. So I will change mine to Safa in future.
    I think this is good article, though rather heavy, provides a good analysis of what went wrong and suggests a course of action for Tamils in the future.
    I always thought that all conflicts should be addressed constructively rather than destructively. Construction benefits and uplifts people whereas destruction does not benefit anyone except the arms dealers, opportunist and vultures who thrive on the conflict of others. Similarly unity is strength and the more people get together and work together, the more we will progress.
    Thus the Tamil Diaspora should consider working for the upliftment of its people through the legal channels currently available as opposed to spending money to promote armed conflict and division. If they do so there is no doubt that the Tamils will be able to stand tall alongside the Singhalese instead of being a discriminated minority. There is nothing to prevent free enterprise and charity in Sri Lanka and instead of depending on the largesse of the Government the Diaspora should spend on the upliftment of the displaced Tamils which will yield rich dividends in 5-10 years. Being economically independent is the key to ending the problems of the minorities.
    I note from the varied comments being recieved that there appears to be some division and uncertanity as to the future course of action amongst Tamils. So unless this is resolved the Sinhala Chauvinist will benefit by adopting a divide and rule policy in the North and East.

  37. By the same token, if the Srilankan government had not used underhand tactics to sabotage Indian involvement, India would have finished LTTE and Srilanka would have been spared the agony of 20 more years of war.

    But the Indian troops were under instructions not to finish off the LTTE as to have done so would have left the GOSL with a free hand.

  38. DBS,

    I believe Agith has hit the nail on the head.
    I am a sinhalese whose best friends are Tamils,Muslims and burgers. I have lived their area’s for long long times. Therefore I belive I can pass an unbiased comment.

    singalese are rather impulsive but good hearted people. Tamils in my assesment are humble but resourceful people. The trick is for the Tamils to get under the skin of the singhalese to achieve a good working relationship.

    Of course some of the foreign Tamil dispora tells me I am expecting the Tamils to suck the sinhala b…lls. Defineatly not so but what is the dispora doing right now? Arnt they sucking the white ones to live comfortably in the white peoples countries? More over that is also what I am doing !!

    We cannot stop discrimination because we are human. even Vellala tamils discriminate against batticola tamils, estate tamils etc but it does not mean tamils cannot achive their ends just as Obama got to the top in USA which in my openion has not stopped discrimination against the blacks.

    I agree 100%, Tamils need Sinhalese and vice versa but this can only be realised if conditions are there for both parties to mix. This is how I found out that there is really nothing different among any ethinic group except that in all groups some are bad and others are good!! Because I had many oppertunities to live and work with these people in their communities..

    Great example of working in harmony was demonstarted by R.Premadasa ex-SL president, vocal sinhala buddhist whose behind the scene power brokers and advisors were with Paskaralingham, Mahalingham,Sivalingham,Balendra etc all Tamils!!

    The greatest calamity LTTE did was to make the gap between the sinhala and tamils very wide. So to bring them together today is going to be a task but I feel Tamils are much more equipped to be flexible to achive these ends rather than the sinhalese.

    Although I agree that there has been considerable human right violations under Rajapakse, a man who is capable of breaking the LTTE is also capable of reconciliation if he wants. So I am willing to see what he does trusting in good faith.

    But my worry is if tamils support TNA who were lackies of the LTTE and who recently had saught advice from TN chief minister, then tamils are going back to the same old racist politics practiced by tamils and sinhala politicians of the past.

    The foreign Tamil dispora who probably have not lived in SL for most of their lives or cannot speak proper Tamil must realise that it is not the UN or human right people who can settle our problems but only ourselves. The more noise we make from outside the more muddy the water iwill become making people emotional without a lasting solution.
    It is like asking our neighbours to intervine when we are having an argument with our sprouses. We just become a laughing stock of the neighbourhood.
    I just cannot understand how Tamils who I consider as very intelligent people got into this mess as it has ended up currently. I hope one day I shall be able to take my family back to SL and have a bath at Keerimale, eat kothu rottie in Jaffna town and have a drink under the palmarah tree. Or will it be just another day dream of mine….

  39. This and much of DBJ’s articles keep alluding to the ethnic factor, tracing history and solutions to situations that are out of date and problems that never existed. The progress in countries like USA and Australia is because they do not live history but in the present..just forget the past and live in the future where the less you talk about the past, the better it is to succeed in the future.

  40. I just finished reading Ratnarajah’s essay and I would have to say that I generally agree with what he has to say, apart from a few minor points. He does yeoman service to the community as a whole by penning such a timely essay. However I disagree with the assumption the author makes about the Diaspora Tamils. He states that they are for a separate state than for a United country where power is devolved and everyone is treated the same. In my personal opinion, as a person who lived most of his life in Lanka and as one who is part of the Diaspora; most of us would welcome a federal solution that ensures the rights of every community, be it Sinhalese, Tamil or Muslim. But as everyone who observes the current situation knows; this is certainly not possible/to be found in Lanka as it is now.

    I strongly agree with Ratnarajah that the last thing we in the Diaspora should be doing now is to parade with the LTTE flags. I for one never understood the minds of those who did this, especially in countries where the LTTE is banned. It did/does more damage to the message we are trying to get across than many would like to accept. This is why I keep on telling people not to use such flags, with some success. But then again, one cannot impose one’s will on others…as they say, “one can take a horse to the water but can’t make it drink”. I humbly request my Tamil brethren to stop waving that flag around and derailing our message any further. If you want a flag, please make one up, but don’t use the LTTE flag. Kudos to Ratnarajah for seeing this practice for the debilitating one that it truly is.

    Yet another point I find myself agreeing with is Ratnarajah’s call for //“no more armed struggle”//. Yes, it is time for us to evolve with changing times. And yes, I also agree with his statement that those boys and girls who fought and died in the LTTE are no more/less evil than those soldiers who fought and died in the Lankan military. They were but pawns in the hands of their masters, VP on one hand, and the Lankan politicians in the other. One is no better than other, regardless of however some would like to spin it. The only difference is that one lies dead while the others still reign with impunity. Choosing between the two is like choosing between Scylla and Charybdis.

    As Ratnarajah says, the armed struggle by the Tamils was a failure. We should accept this. We failed not only due to China, Pakistan and India ganging up against us, but also because of the lack of (political) flexibility exhibited by VP. There were some opportunities he should have used, but alas he was too rigid in his worldview. This is what happens when an organization, be it a rebel group or a country; becomes too dictatorial. What I meant by dictatorial is that it stifles any and all opposing/counter view it encounters. Due to his unwillingness he wasted the sacrifice of tens of thousands, to no avail.

    However, I disagree with Ratnaraja when he says that //“The question remains, will this Diaspora switch from “fighting for the rights” to “develop the rights” of its’ people. The need of the hour is the later not the former.”// If the Tamils were to live as Lankan’s, then they ought not “develop their rights” let alone “fight” for it. If Tamils have to fight (or develop??) for their rights, it’s obvious that they are not treated equal. There cannot be any shades of equality. Tamils will be either “fully equal” or “not equal”. One would have expected the Srilankan government to have learnt lesson after 60 years of strife, but apparently they have not.

    Yet another thing I disagree with him is his example of Malaysia and how its minorities dealt with its government. What Ratnarajah perhaps fails to see is that the Chinese and Indians minorities of Malaysia are not the “natives”, whereas the Tamils and Sinhalese are BOTH natives of this island. Its one thing for a native populous to have some restrictions on outsiders(even though I personally do not think it’s a good policy to do so) but for a country to discriminate against part of its populous which has as much of a claim on this land as the majority is a travesty of justice. Would I oppose the natives of say…Japan having more rights than me if I were to reside in Japan? Nope, because it their country, I’m but an outsider… But will I fight for my rights in my own native country? Yes! As I would also fight for the rights of the Sinhalese if our positions were reversed. Unless everyone has equal rights and are treated equal, Lanka would never be a unitary nation,

    I’m a Tamil who was born in Colombo, as were my parents. We have been living there off and on for nearly four generations now (the “off” refers to the times when anti Tamil riots happened.). I’ve gone to school with Sinhalese and my better half is one too. The views I express below are mine. Many of my friends share these as well. Maybe not word to word, but the gist of it. I do not claim to speak for anyone but me though, and would like to get my message across to the readers of this great blog. I do accept that my views are the product of my experience and worldview even though I do try to look at things objectively. It’s true for everybody as we are all products of our environments and experiences. The following are my thoughts on what we should do, for us; Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims, to succeed as a nation.

    Reconciliation sans accountability does not a nation make

    The Japanese say that all men have three hearts, A false heart in his mouth for all the world to see, a second in his breast for his special friends & family and his real one, his true one which is known to him alone. For us to succeed as a nation, we have to speak from this innermost of our hearts. Mouthing platitudes such as “living as brothers and sisters”, “reconciling and living as one nation” would be of no avail of we do not back up our words with action. What we see now in Lanka is the classic case of “After all is said and done, more is said than done”.

    Reconciliation is a two way street. The LTTE are done away with, for their crimes. Now that leaves the culprits on the other side. Both sides committed crimes and they have to be held accountable. One should not claim “ok the tigers are done away with, so lets reconcile”….its akin to saying that “one terrorist defeated the other, so its time to reconcile”. As long as people feel that they are denied justice; they will not be willing to reconcile, at least not in their hearts. If we are really friends, we would talk about our grievances to each other and settle them amicably. But if we were to just hide the real grievances and just act as if it’s all ok, we run the risk of undermining any bridges that could be built across the communities. I know that face-saving is a big thing in the Sinhalese community (as it’s in ours too) but what I tell my Sinhalese friends is that by prosecuting the culprits in their ranks, they would not be losing face but gaining respect. Face-saving only works when what one tries to hide is not known…if it’s known already, why try to sweep it under the carpet? Let’s do the right thing and without a doubt this country would be able to attain its proper place. This is not some which hunt, but a quest for equality and justice for all.

    I’m not talking about prosecuting the common soldiers, because most are but poor southern kids who joined the army in order to feed their families. But there are some who obviously relish killing civilians, especially those in power/command. Even though we might not agree about the casualty count in the last few months, by all accounts is in the 5 figures. This is but a one example. What’s wrong with punishing those who perpetrated human rights abuses? What better way to ensure that the minorities feel that they are part of the country? This is not just my view, but that of most Tamils I’ve talked to too. They are all willing to be part of a unitary nation as long as they are treated equally. Again, one is Equal or one is not, there are no shades of equality.

    South Africa is a good example of the success of this system. It was called the Truth and reconciliation commission. There anyone who felt that he or she was a victim of its violence was invited to come forward and be heard. Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from prosecution. The TRC, the first of the nineteen held internationally to stage public hearings, was seen by many as a crucial component of the transition to full and free democracy in South Africa.

    The suffering of the IDP’s should be immediately alleviated. Even as we speak nearly 300 000 civilians suffer behind lines of concertina wire. Not only are they deprived of their basic human rights, but are also in need of food and medicine. Why does the government deny access to the NGO’s that send aid to them? Why are soldiers allowed to set up shops and sell basic food items at astronomical prices, preying upon the already decimated? Is this the “reconciliation” the government talks about? The same government that turns back desperately needed aid to the IDP’s? This underscores what I said earlier, about one terrorist group being defeated, while the other reigning unchecked. Fear the tears of the innocent, because their curses hold more power than that of a thousand sages.

    Rome was not built in a day, or on shaky foundations

    A unitary Lanka would not materialize when we snap our fingers and wish it to be so. It will be the result of years of hard work. This is not an easy task, because we have to lay the groundwork for it first. Just waking up one morning and thinking “alright! Let’s do this!” will probably not bear any fruit; even if it does it will probably be one that’s unpalatable. Any Endeavor that is as serious and as essential as the one facing us should not be embarked upon without careful thought and deliberation. We have a saying in Tamil, “Muthal Konal, Muttrum Konal”. This translates into English as “A mistake on the onset would derail the whole Endeavor”. Not only would we be making a mistake, but would be compounding it lest we start without a plan and with any loose ends to trip us over halfway though. This is very pertinent to the current situation.

    Lets liken this “nation building” process to that of constructing a building. . Anyone who has seen a building being built knows that the “foundation’ has to be adamantine. If it’s built in shaky ground the building will come tumbling down. No amount of “patching up” will prevent the collapse of the building if the groundwork is not solid, it will but delay the inevitable. Therefore the “foundation” is the most important part of the building. In order to lay a strong foundation we have to find the right materials. These materials would be equality, justice and freedom of speech. They go hand in hand; one cannot have a “taste” of equality, a “pinch” of freedom and a “sample” of free speech and expect people to reconcile. In order to do this, we have to remove any doubt/ill feeling/animosity people have towards each other. The SA style truth and reconciliation commission I talked about earlier would be a splendid solution for this.

    Otherwise any “reconciliation” would be but an illusion that habours simmering ill intent within. Also its time, that we look deeper, rather than skim over the causes and grievances. It would entail many a person to rethink his most cherished convictions, but that’s what happens when we need a paradigm shift. Let’s hope that people are brave enough to undertake this essential task.

    “Acceptance”, not mere “tolerance”. Justice , not mere “concessions”

    I’ve seen people talk about tolerance and concessions. I know they might not mean it that way, but tolerance and concessions would not be enough to build bridges, let alone rebuild the nation as a whole. Instead of Tamils “tolerating” the Sinhalese and the Sinhalese “tolerating” the Tamils, let us learn to “accept” each other as an essential part for the existence of a unitary lanka. I do not want to split hair over semantics; but lest we learn to accept each other as people who are both equal and essential to this country, we will not break the glass-wall that exists between these communities. What we need is not a “melting pot” but a “bowl of fruit”. A melting pot results in a gooey stuff that is neither this, nor that. On the other hand, a bowl of fruit displays the diversity and the uniqueness of the different fruits (ethnicities) side by side. The result is a much more desirable and multi-faceted society, unity amongst diversity.

    The rule of law is not a “concession”. If it’s a “concession” one should start worrying about the future. Justice should not be “doled out”…the rule of law should be the supreme law of the land. The moment it gets influenced and/or twisted, the main pillar that supports a nation ceases to exist. Prince and pauper are the same before the rule of law; apparently this does not exist in Lanka now. We might not want to accept it, but that’s the truth. Right now the politician’s will trumps over everything. Unless people give the pride of the place to Justice and the rule of law, we can all kiss reconciliation goodbye.

    Separation of the church and State, and safeguarding media freedom

    The moment one religion is given priority over the rest in a democracy; it ceases to be a democracy. The pride of the place given to Buddhism is Srilanka is a case in point. For all its talk about “democracy” and “equal rights”, I’m yet to see any member of the Lankan government talk about this issue. This is one prime example of the underlying problem that caused this ethnic issue in the first place. This “assumption” by certain segments of the majority that their religion (or philosophy) should be given “special status” in the constitution underscores their need to impose their will on the “minority”. Not only does it lay bare the hegemonic attitude of this segment of the majority but also points out the abject failure of the Lankan justice system to prevent such a travesty of justice from taking place in the first place. This is the curse of the centralized government model. One man, one vote, unless coupled with stringent legal oversight, would lead to majority dominion over the minorities. SriLanka is a prime example.

    I wonder why people even gave Buddhism special protection in the constitution. Do the Sinhalese Buddhists really think that Lord Buddha would condone such an action? I seriously doubt it. The reason given for this by some people is that this is to “safeguard” Buddhism. I find this doubly insulting to Buddhism and its adherents, let alone to the non Buddhists who are made second class citizens. Apparently, according to the Srilankan government, they are all so “weak minded” and so “easily swayed” by other religions that they should be protected constitutionally. Do not the Hindus and Muslims face the same “threats” Lankan Buddhism supposedly faces? Something I admire about Tamil Hindu priests is their unwillingness to voice or take part in any form of politics. This is not a recent phenomenon, but one that existed even before the pre independence times. Religion should not interfere in politics, and politics should not poke its nose into temples/place of worship, this way everyone gains. But apparently that is not the case in lanka

    Secularism is a cornerstone of democracy. Religion should not be allowed to enter politics, let alone influence it. In order for people to truly reconcile, the special place given to Buddhism should be revoked from the constitution. Yes, I know many would not like it, but one cannot have the cake and eat it. It is of paramount importance that if we are to be a truly unitary nation; to do away with things that perpetuate differences and ill feeling between ethnicities.

    Another cornerstone is media freedom. Without a free media, people would be led to believe anything and everything the government wants the people to believe. Unless there are strong safeguards that guarantee the life and limb of reporters/media personnel, it will be impossible to expect people to trust the government. The fate of Lasantha, Sivaram and recently Jayantha are prime examples. These men stood for the core values of the media personnel, values which are harder to find in lanka now than to find life in the moon.

    Even as we speak any dissenting voice against the government is being suppressed. Keep in mind what happened when Jeyantha was in the ground, bloodied; calling for help. No one even moved a muscle to help. This is because; even though a lot of Sinhalese claim to have beaten the “terrorists” they know in the heart of hearts that they too live under a de-facto dictatorship. They did not try to help not because they did not care about him, But because they were afraid. They have traded one form of terror for another. They have sat silent when democratic rights were peeled away one by one in the name of “fight against terrorism”…now they themselves face the monster they have created. Therefore, unless everyone works together to ensure the rule of law is alive and well, our attempts at reconciliation would be like trying to keep the sinking titanic afloat by bailing out the water using a teaspoon. Too little, too late.

    If we do not know where we are going, any road will get us there.

    Unless all communities work towards a genuinely equal and just Lanka, we will fall by the wayside. I’ve seen some people blame everything on the “west”, on the “whites”. It’s embarrassing, and misleading. The so called “whites” had nothing to do with our current situation. It’s about time people start taking responsibility for their actions than trying to pass the buck. As for what stance the Tamil Diaspora should take regarding the west? I would say they should pull all plugs and support it fully. I know for a fact that China is not a country that we can negotiate with. It does not even bat an eyelid about evacuating tens of thousands without their consent just so it can build its “grand” Olympic buildings…nor does it worry about the fate of the oppressed and occupied Tibetans. It’s doubly Ironic to see a country that supposedly upholds “Buddhist” values fraternizing with one which brutally oppresses a Buddhist nation. its apparent to me that the government is taking its Buddhists for suckers.

    India, as Ratnaraja rightly said, will reap the results of its current actions in the near future. When China is breathing down its back from the south, east, & north and Pakistan from the west; India would belatedly realize the grave mistake it made. But the dynastic Congress party is a far cry from the noble self it was during the late 40s and early 50s. The current party has neither the vision nor the clarity of thought of the former.

    As for SriLanka, everything depends on the willingness of its people to questions their dearly held views and to uphold the rule of law. I believe that this is the last chance this country will ever have to redeem itself. As they say, once the bus leaves; it will be impossible to catch it. The only way forward is to educate the public on both sides about what happened. One cannot “move forward” from a position of ignorance. People who do not understand what happened are bound to repeat the same mistakes. Let both communities be informed about what transpired. And let no one be denied recourse to justice. I will willingly work towards a united country as long as everyone is treated as equal, and as long as no one is left wanting, either in justice or opportunity. If all of us are willing to work towards something that’s greater than the sum of its parts, something that treats everyone as equal, one fine day we can look back and say “we made it work!”.

  41. Very long article. Lot of food for thought. But could have been more to the point.

    But I have a worry.

    While agreeing reconciliation is a necessasity, it should not have hidden agendas. Things like “The Majority race becomes less equipped, rigid and lazy. Over the years the minority generations invest more on education and entrepreneurship while the majority tends to live off them.” suggests the writer still believes the ‘Tamils’ should beat the ‘Sinhalese’ only in a different manner. Or, or prefers it to happen.

    I fail to understand why there should be any ‘competition’.

    Today, I think twice before calling myself Sinhala. Because that could also have a racist connotation. I currently work outside SL and at any point any new person here asks me if I am Indian, I answer I am Sri Lankan and sometimes, the next question is Sinhala or Tamil? My response always is why would that matter and I refuse to answer. I prefer to be Sri Lankan first. When moderate Sinhalese are thinking like that, an article like this which still tries ‘to keep the divide while not keeping it’ is in my opinion racist too.

    Building a Sri Lanka where all can prosper and coexist should be the priority. NOT building a Tamil community which can overpower the Sinhalese economically or politically or otherwise. This article too in some ways is as racist & chauvinistic as some of the ramblings by the Sinhala extremists. I do not want to look at a Tamil associated with me and think he is very nice and cooperative now but wants to eventually ##### me. I want to look at him as a friend and associate that shares the same dreams and aspirations as me.

    We should be proud of each other’s achievements. I think a Sri Lankan Tamil should be proud of a Sri Lankan Sinhalese before they are proud of a Canadian or South African Tamil. Same applies for Sinhalese & Muslims. The same way we are all prod of Murali.
    One American politician once said referring to the Asian emigrants in the US and the position of the US in global economics “We will beat Asia because our Asians will beat the Asians from Asia”

    I also have a suggestion to DBSJ. While I fully acknowledge that this blog was started as one that discusses Tamil issues, it is now becoming more of a forum to discuss Sri Lankan issues and has a large following of moderate Sinhalese. Sri Lanka is our country too.

  42. Interdependence is good for all societies.

    Let all understand it not only Tamils or Sinhalese in this world.

    Mr.Ajith’s observations and ire on UN functioning is understandable .

    But that paragraphs had a tamilnet taste.

    Be careful of Tamilnet pasting it to their site, violating copy rights and make chivandi as its author.

  43. Good thinking.

    But it is sad for a Tamil to ask for reconciliation of the present crimes against Tamils , even when your evil VP is no more there.

    Tamil Diaspora is living in democratic countries, with freedom of information. They know what happened on Sep 11th , they know who is Ben laden and who is VP. It audacious to speak of Tamil Diaspora as if it was blindly supporting VP.

    Tamils abroad have much more information than Tamils in Sri lanka who are even punished of supporting ” mentally” separatism ! Many of our families back in Sri lanka ask us about what is really happening in Sri lanka , because the gvt propaganda is so important.

    There are no freedom fighters in the world who were not called terrorists. Even Dalai lama is called terrorist.

    VP is not GOD , he did mistakes – Which leader in Sri lanka did not do a single bad thing?

    What the Sri lankan regime did to reach the Tamil Diaspora ? Recently Gotabaya sent back the Vanagaman ship, like a school kid , instead of using this opportunity to communicate and bring Tamils abroad closer to Sri lanka. Instead Sri lanka regime is spending its time in discrediting and humiliating Tamil people around the world.

    I think it is cynical to put the blame on the defeated side indirectly justifying the war crimes. And talking about the past without looking for solutions for the present situation. If there were no China , no India , no Russia , if the LTTE had upper hand the same people who criticize VP , will glorify him.

    If VP did mistakes , we all know he paid the prize. Now it is the turn of Rajapakse brothers to face international justice for their War crimes.

    VP’s biggest mistake is his disregard of the sacrifices of a population as small as Tamils. Technically a small race like Tamils should not have taken such a big risk of armed struggle even if it is 100% legitimate. Who really initiated the arm struggle without helping Tamils to find a fair solution in Sri lanka : India ( old story)

    Tamils should approach modorates= Singhalese and communicate their struggle and make the majority that Tamil were hit very badly even if the gvt was fighting LTTE.

    Tamils also should stop looking at India for a solution. Only solution India can give us is misery. TN has no influence at all in India , they should first sort their water problems before talking about us. There is no hope from India.

    Tamils should approach singala moderates, at the same time fight for justice for the war crimes committed against them. Tamils should also support Singhalese moderates actively in order to show our strength and also to show ordinary people that Tamils are not terror supporters as the sri lankan regime is trying to label us.
    Like Jews , Tamils should do only things that can help to avoid any harm to our race which is in big danger at the moment. We should support Tamil businesses , educations , media. And we should lobby for our people not only in the West but also in Sri lanka.

  44. And also some advice for Rajapakse..

    The Rajapakse Government has a unique opportunuty to re-unify this country, but from the signs and rhetoric so far I feel very worried this opportunity is going to be sqandered.

    He should have visited the internment camps and personally given the internees a guarantee that 80% of them will be back in their homes by December.

    He should talk about ther internees at every given opportunity and in every speach he makes. He didnt miss an opportunity to talk about them when they were the LTTE’s hostages. But now when they are OUR hostages he has all but forgotten them.

    He should have accepted the aid ship graciously once it was confirmed there were no arms in it and thanked the people who sent the aid. Isnt he on record as wanting a new relationship with the Tamil diaspora? Well, this would have been an ideal opportunity to engage with them as well as eleviate the suffering of the internees.

    Call a halt to celebrations and state that the Nations first priority is to re-settle the displaced.

    Stop indulging in excessive Buddhist symbolism. Jewels for the Sri Maha Bodhiya, Ruvanveliseya replicas in the provinces, Titles from the mahanayakas all go to show that he is very much a creature of the “Majority” even though he stated in his victory speech that there will be no “majority” and “minotrity” henceforth.

    Distance himself from the Sinhala right namely the JHU and Wimal Weerawansa. He seems to like using them as an excuse as to why he cannot make any concessions to Tamils. This excuse is wearing a bit thin now as he has an almost 80% approval rating among Sinhalese. If he holds an election now and wins a total outright majority he will have no excuse whatsoever. Which is why I think he has not called an election so far..

    Stop provoking friendly countries that have given generously to Sri Lanka’s poor. Remember how the money flowed in after the Tsunami? The president’s own electoryate Hambantota was rebuilt with charity from the people these countries. We now show our buddhist gratitude by vandalising their embassies in Sri Lanka. It is well known that these actions were endorsed and even encouraged by the government.

    I would love to be proved wrong but I am beginning to feel more and more convinced that this is only another chapter in Sri Lanka’s tale of woe..

  45. I dont agree that Indian influence in the region is being undermined by the Chinese. Why cant both these powers have influence? Why is it a given the India and China should automatically be enemies? India and China are devoting a lot of energy to ironing out their differences and to co-orporate with each other more fully. Perhaps the Sinhalese and Tamils should take a leaf out of their books and learn. In the 70s Mrs. B maintained extremely good relations with both Indiara’s India and Mao’s China. It was a far more honest and sincere friendship than the opportunistic friendships that MR is in the habit of cultivating.

  46. Comment 2 Piratheep Siva

    Because of your blind faith, I thing you are not sure whether you wanted to keep the picture of VP in the Pooja room or not…

  47. Indeed this article in a view no one ever explored. Thought provoking indeed !

    The Tamils should consider this avenue. I hope both Sinhalese and Tamils will reach out to each other !

    The GoSL should interact with the Tamil Diaspora and vice versa. Definately something can be worked out .

  48. Thanks DBS for your effort to bringing peace In our country.

    Hi Ajith,

    This is very good analysis reflecting twenty first century trends. You are well said that Singhalese and Tamils have to realise they wont have independence unless they build interdependence with each other. They are in danger of being used as tools by global powers to further their geo-political interest. I totally agree with this. Also Singhalese and Tamils have to realise they wont live peacefully unless they build confidence with each other. Both communities should work together to build peace in Sri Lanka. Global powers always using our problems for their own interest. Whatever so called assistance they provided us based on their hidden agenda. That is not helpful to us in long run.
    Also you said that The remaining LTTE under KP, Karuna ,Douglas, TNA under Sampathan and Anandhasangakaree will have to first unite and then reach out to Tamil Nadu Politicians. These people except Sampathan made lot of bad things to our people as militants, paramilitary ,Killer squads, and white van armed thugs. How could we accept them as a political party representing Tamils. I think at present TNA under Sampathan is right political party which can take leading roll and be a legitimate voice of Tamils. Tamil Diasporas should encourage and support TNA by all means. At the same time Tamil Diaspora should create a Global Body that could liaise with TNA and facilitate the political process and activities. Also that Global body should engage links with Sinhala moderate right wing organisations in overseas and build up understandings and reconciliation with two communities. By doing this I believe we could give a collective pressure to the Sri Lankan Government. Still some Tamil Diasporas creating a hype as VP still alive and make our people Muppets again. (Then only they can fill their pockets). As Agith said this could be a last chance to do something proactively to our people. So please dont be silent any more. Come forward! Unite together! Work together! Build Our Nation! Save Our People! We should act now! Who is willing to take initiative ????

  49. These are nice thoughts. Israelis had/have support from britain(Balfour dDeclaration) & USA (massive financial aid).
    But tamils are right now helpless against the sinhala dominated state which does not even allow material aid to
    the suffering tamil IDPs by the diaspora – the aid ship with 850 tons of food & medical requirements and health care personnel was turned back on a mere technicality.What price “partnership with sinhalese”?

  50. Dear DBSJ, PLZ start your news paper agin to educate this uncivilized educated diaspora. As a tamil we knew all of the LTTE media mafia want to keep these group under emotinal for their benifts. We hope that you are the only one replace this vacum.
    Thanks Ajith for this hard work – wel done

  51. Brothers and Sisters – lets put this into perspective, in the past both Tamils and Sinhalese have messed up – 30 years and 70,000 deaths later neither side has achieved anything but destruction and humiliation in the international arena. Nevertheless, lessons have been learnt, the Sinhalese govts will not make the same mistakes – they will not underestimate the needs and aspirations of the Tamil people. But if the Tamil people distance themselves from the govt and fail to accept the olive branch of peace then all those lives have been lost in vain. Engage the govt, help shape policy – don’t see the defeat of the Tigers as a defeat of the Tamil people. The Tamil people have proven themselves to be resourceful and resilient – they deserve better than the Tigers, with the Tigers gone – informed, intelligent discourse can prevail without the fear of being silenced by them.
    Seperatism is not the answer, it is in fact the problem! I am Sinhalese but I urge my Tamil brothers and sisters to allow our children to grow up free of hatred, distrust and dishonour. To look around and not see Tamils, Sinhalese, Malays or Bhergers but to simply see Sri Lankans. We have fought for too long and achieved nothing – time for a different gameplan.
    One Nation, One Love

  52. The Title it self is contraversy.

    I stoped reading halfway through.

    No point in discussing the past.

    By the way do you think you can see a future for Sri lanka?

    I don’t even see a future for Sri Lanka, then how do we care about oppertunities for Tamils?

    Sri Lanka to become a prosperous country, ecconomically as well as morally, It has to be run by Civil people. I mean LITTERARALLY by CIVILISED people, not RELIGIOUS FANATICS.

    There is no hope for Sri Lanka as whole until a revolution occurs and get rid of Maha Sanga from state affairs and keep them where they belongs.

  53. #35 Nothing wrong in Tamils engaging with China given that India now only has annoyance capacity left!

    Indeed!! India has planned to cough up Rs 500 Crores for the betterment of Srilankan Tamils and under India’s pressure, MR has promised to send the IDP back to their villages within 6 months. I suppose all this is annoying to the SL Tamils :(. This was the attitude which made LTTE fight with IPKF in 1989 becuase India did not hand over Independent Elam to LTTE.

    SL Tamils need all the help, monetary and political , from all quareters.

    Vijayaraghavan

  54. Happy to know there are lot of Tamils who think like Jeyaraj and Ajith.
    Then it will be a good idea to bring a solution such as federal.

    But still there are lot of Tamil leaders who want to fight for a separate state solution.
    What will they do with the powers of federal?
    What kind of organisations will they start to attract Diaspora money?
    Will they genuinely help Sri Lanka to go forward as one nation?
    Im really sorry about mistrust.

    -JT
    London

  55. I labored through this article with great difficulty and I must admit it left a rather bad after taste. The factual inaccuracies, the spurious argumentation, the contradictions and the underlying proposal of let’s get there by stealth and wealth rather than by might, I hope, is only a reflection of the dissonance of the current situation.

    What exactly is he arguing? Does he want the Tamil people to pursue a greater Tamil homeland similar to the Zionist project, or is he talking about the Tamil people, together with progressive Sinhalese, Muslim and Burghers, contributing to create a pluralistic, multi-lingual and diverse Sri Lanka that is just and equal for all?

    The poor people from the south killed the poor people from the north while the rich absconded with the cash….. it ain’t about “Sinhala” and “Tamil”. What are the objective differences between a Sinhala and Tamil farmer from Moneragala or Vavuniya, or between three-wheeler drivers in Colombo?

    Please, I hope that the post-war period focuses on the root causes rather than let ethnicity hijack once again the struggle that should have been waged by all during the post-colonial period. That is the struggle to fundamentally realign the relationship between the nation state and the people, from one of expropriation for the benefit of the rich, to an equitable division of wealth among the population be it Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher or Malay.

  56. Hi,

    The only way SL achieve peace will be eliminating racism . There should not be anything base on Race including political parties,develution of power. There should be no areas confined to only one race. There should be a equal rights and opertunity. There should be Sri Lankans not Sinhalese or Tamils. Any race should be able to live any where in SL. The biggest problem in SL is limitited resources and powerty. These shoul be addressed.

  57. Tamil are idiots in my option.
    Why? I have seen them supporting SL Govt.
    How? In Tamil shops here in UK, they sell SL products such as Lion beers, Lakspray And these are purchased by Tamils.

  58. Can Tamils seize the opportunity?

    No signs so far showing “yes we can”. Death of VP is a golden opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. VP never allowed emerging of credible Tamil leadership during his life time. Now, He is gone for good. VP’s henchmen have not leant the lesson yet.

    I have not seen or heard any of those diehard fans of VP showing concern for the plight of IDPs. LTTE fans still saying “We shouldn’t get distracted with the concern for IDPs, Our struggle should continue”. What struggle are they talking about? Building a memorial VP in Vanni?

    Don’t you think that we have to hang these idiots by their balls (Thanks to Vladimir Putin)?

    We missed many opportunities, Thanks to our leader “Sun God”. Let be practical and realistic, we will never have a “Perfect solution” to our problems. Tamils in N&E not fighting for their political rights anymore.

    They are fighting for their very basic rights.

    • The right to life, liberty and personal security,
    • The right to very basic needs , i.e. food, water, clothes and medicine,
    • Freedom from slavery,
    • Freedom from torture and degrading treatment,
    • The right to recognition as a person before the law,
    • Freedom from unfair arrest and exile,
    • The right to a fair public hearing,
    • The right to be considered innocent until proven guilty,
    • Freedom from interference with privacy, family, home and correspondence,
    • The right to free movement in and out of the country,
    • The right to marriage and a family,
    • The right to own property,
    • The right to social security,
    • The right to an adequate standard of living,
    • The right to education, and
    • The right to a society. Everyone is entitled to a live in a free and fair world

    The above all have been denied to our people. GOSL has proven to the world time and again, Tamils are nothing to us. Where to start the reconciliation process when GOSL broke all the well accepted international norms of a good government. There is nothing to be proud of GOSL or LTTE.

    Let’s begin with caring for our people. Let them know we care for them by doing whatever we could do.

    Let me share an eyewitness account from Vanni

    A little boy lost his both hands. He went and asked someone to scratch his head to alleviate his itchiness on his head.

    Two little boys fell into the toilet pit when the wooden platform caved in. While one died other one was pulled out alive. These are not isolated incidents, daily occurrences.

  59. could the real peace and peace 1 please stand up?
    When I write under my original blog name peace some one else used it .Now when I write under peace 1 again it’s used by some one else. This might be a co incidence. But 2 out of 2….Who ever this might be please be yourself .No need to hide under some one else’s blog name.

  60. Thanks DBS for publishing Ajith’s comments. Though his article is too long, each line is very true. Unfortunately, Our Tamil community is not seeing all these. Not only there vision is very short sighted, their children who are born abroad are brain washed. All young generation should read Ajith’s article to get a clear idea. Our tamil generation in SL now is diminishing tremedously and here in other international countries, we are letting our younger generation to participate in protests and spoiling their future. We are indirectly pushing our children to get involved in terrorism. I have been living in upcountry from child hood. We got effected during 1977 and in 1983 riots. May be the SL govt was not in the position to help us. But if you ask any Tamil person who got effected during that time got saved by a Sinhala brother or sister. Also, we all communities, sinhala, Tamil and Muslim are dependant on each other. We need a solution for sure, but we have to work with the SL govt to achieve this. We will never be able to get this by going against them. Now Tamil diaspora is still on streets with so many requests. They should not forget our Tamil brothers and sisters are under SL control in the camp. Now, protesting against SL Govt is equal to destroy the remaining Tamil people. DBS, thanks again for publishing this article. I think this article should reach to all young Tamil children. I am not sure how you will do that. I am sure this will let them think.

  61. An eye opening and interesting article, though the writer does make an effort to ‘over-sell’ the idea that Sri Lanka’s future success is completely dependent on how it helps minorities (read Tamil, Tamil and Tamil which is obvious in this case) to be successful. The fact is in numbers, and numbers never lie.
    When trouble started in the 1980’s in a vastly different world, Sri Lankan Tamils were almost 17% of the population and were the second largest linguistic community in Sri Lanka. In present day numbers, Sri Lankan Tamils stand in the 4th place, behind Sri Lankan Moors and Indian origin Tamils of thes estate sector. In comparison, Sinhalese and other populations have literally exploded and their numbers and talent provide a base of opportunity that any government with an iota of a brain among all the hundreds of bodies occupying the Parliament could use to help build a prosperous nation In a worst case scenario, the economic impact of the entire 4th minority failing even totally, will have marginal consequences in the context of the potential the country currently wields. Thus it is upto the 4th minority to make certain that they find ways to make the level of inclusivity in Sri Lankan society work for them.
    Secondly, reading each article written by a tamil is an experience in realizing again and again that each and everyone of these people are always racially motivated to an extent not seen among other homogenous groups. The lack of any other identity other than ‘Tamil’ is not only an irritant but a scary reminder that there can never be any expectation of loyalty to a nation beyond the borders of what may be deemed “Tamil”. Such ethno-centrism is not only a continuing danger to the world but one which deserves to be stamped out in pursuit of the safety of the majority who consider themselves citizens of one nation or another, rather than a racist and thus an exclusive entity.
    The references most Tamils often make to Israel is false and has absolutely no basis. Israelies do not necessarily consider themselves primarily Jewish. In fact the numbers of Jews in Israel will soon be smaller than Arabs and other ethnic groups. However, they all consider themselves Israeli, which the Tamils lack.

    The solution to the ‘Tamil problem’ is one which needs to arise from the tamils learning to become a part of the nation of the nation of their birth or domicile. As long as the racist streak remains and is kept alive by the recitation of myth and fiction making for an imagined superiority above all else, the ‘Tamil problem’ in the eyes of the outside world will be a problem to deal with prejudice and summary justice.

    We make conscious decisions and their outcomes define our destiny. The Tamils have chosen to remain ‘racist’ primarily, even if non-violently, and the consequences they face will continue to be the very same adverse ones as they have been all these years.

    As a Sinhalese who wishes to see all Sri Lankans live in harmony and have a similar sense of belonging to the small nation we call home, I am not so optimistic that the ‘Tamil problem’ will be solved in my lifetime.

    The reason is because those who need to do the solving, the Tamils themselves, will always remain the same and blame their racist attitudes on us.

  62. Another schizophrenic diatribe. OK I’m willing to reach out to sinhalese and build interdependence, then what?

    If my goal is to make money and be happy, and loose my identity except my name, like Raja Mahendra, then it’s fine.

    As long as Sri Lanka is ruled by racist mad men like Rajapakse and his brothers, we are wasting our time. Going forward, unless there is structural protection against such goons, there is no point in reaching out to the Sinhalese.

    Even after praising your proposed role model, Mr. Raja Mahendran, you caution that Rajapakse is after him. He is an exception to the rule and even he is living under threat from the Sinhala rulers.

    Tamils should continue to fight and not take any option off the table, including separation. You can’t negotiate with half the options.

    Your view of this modern era is also fundamentally flawed. The world has many organizations like the UN, but the way it handles conflicts is still based on power. Any powerless soul still lives in a jungle as far as this world is concerned.

    The LTTE made many blunders. They had part of the formula right about asserting power, but they failed in building alliance and created enemies. The opposite which you are proposing, which is never again fight, but just build interdependence, also won’t work. We need to do both.

    Overall these are poorly thought out ideas. It appeals to Rugby playing, Kotthu eating Colombo Tamils & Sinhalese.

  63. Ajith,

    Hats off, The best analysis and solutions embedded.

    I am a muslim, I love both tamils and sinhalese equally. More than that I also love my mother country. People should realize the grave mistakes made and not follow that.

    In 70’s when JVP rioted against the government, they didn’t care if it was their own community, In 1987’s when they returned with vengence it was attacked with venom.

    This article should be publisized in all possible media and make sure every srilankan get an opportunity to read and digest. Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, the governments ……
    Work together to save the innocent victims suffering in IDP’s, Build a better Lanka for all communities, not just tamils, sinahalese and muslims…….

    Shanawaz

  64. What Tamils need now is the capacity to anticipate the various moves by the different players, particularly Sri Lankan civil and military leaders (watch out for the powerplay within them) and India, and understand how this would affect those in Sri Lanka not only the Tamils but also the moderate Sinhalese and the political, military and civil structures in SL.

    The starting point is that the SL military that had fought and won the war losing more than 6,000 troops in the last round alone, is not going to allow it to be relegated to second tier – if read carefully the statements of military chiefs and the writers sanctioned by them, one would know the military is taking ownership for the victory and claim that victory was denied to them previously by political leaderships making deals with the LTTE. The military will ensure their primacy is maintained and will have a say on political decisions of the future.

    The Rajapakse brothers, having won the war and kept the West at bay, are in for the long haul (endorsed by Asgiriya Mahanayake to lead the country for next 30 years). They can only do this with the help of the military and the Southern hardliners. Surely if Gaddafi and the Burmese junta can rule for 40 years, Kim I Sung for 46 years (to be followed by his son) – why not Rajapakses and/or the military?

    It is not the West or China, but India that could make the difference for the Tamils and for the future of democracy and freedom in SL. Didn’t matter India’s support for GoSL against VP and LTTE, but in post-LTTE era Tamils and moderate/liberal Sinhalese should reach out to India NOW to actively intervene to stop the slide.

    In 12 months time, with 300,000 strong SL military, even India would be bloodied if it tries anything.

  65. I think this article elaborates the history of failures successes, missed oppurtunities and what the future has on offer if all communities in Sri Lanka worktowards a common goal that is to bring peace reconciliation to the people and the country. My assumption is the arm strugle of LTTE for a seperate state has proven futile. What VP started as a genuine strugle for the tamils became a personal struggle for him. VP thought he was god, in today’s world people expect even God to deliver the unbelivable in order to have faith in there religion otherwise they switch allegiance as and when they llike. We have to be very clear that everybody has there day the day one person fails and the other person gains. Karuna amman is the real hero of the Tamil people he (armed and dangerous) has fought for the cause for over Twenty Years and now wants to serve the people as a political leader unlike other Tamil leaders. Why could not Vp capitalise on this oppurtunity when he had rather than passing it on to Karuna. I think in the 2002 Peace process LTTE was in a very strong position locally and internationaly then why VP wasn’t happy after LTTE earned the reputation as the most ruthless terrorist organisation classified by the CIA of United States isn’t this the biggest creddential that VP can offer to his comrades for sacrificing there childhood to fight for there rights, then why couldn’t he bring all his experiance in the battle field to the table (as one CEO wrote in a recent daily after the crushing of LTTE how we can apply military strategy a winning formula to the company boardroom) . The tamil people should not encourage another Armstruggle instead should work hand in hand towards building the homeland It’s not only Tamils who have lost from this struggle every Citizen of this country who lived here and abroad has been deprived of there rights irrespective of which community they came from. Ex. I’m a sinhalese my brother completed his higher studies in the UK but he was deprived of his right to come back and serve his motherland because educated people thought there was no future in this country unlike us who thought that tommorrow will be a better day, i can give you many more examples to this effect. This emphasises the need to bring peace to this country, there are lot of other countries watching the devolpments that are unfolding who have vested interest in the issue which will directly or indirectly be effected by the future course of action of Sri Lanka.

  66. This is probably the best and unbiased analysys i have ever read about the cinflict. I wish someone translates this to Sinhala and Tamil and let everyone read.

    DSBJ should undertake this as a project.

  67. He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.
    Abraham Lincoln

    Please stop staying away like Mr. DBS jeyaraj, If you truly concerned and the legacy of the armed struggle is over. You can lead and Tamils are waiting to follow you. We need those who throw ideas and suggestions, must come out and help the cause. it is the time of you guys who had been in the fence and merely sending emails and writings to the group. Please show up to the meetings and make the change. The people are capable of listening and following reasonable suggestions and ideas.
    Time for action..whatever what is.

  68. A Tamil person can do good things for his community but if he is not a LTTE supporter or sympathizer he is a traitor this is what LTTE philosophy is.

    Author said good thing about retaliation and revenge those are not only stupid things but also counterproductive. I don’t know why so-called sole representative of the Tamils couldn’t understand these things. This is a major reason for the demise of so-called sole representative. Those who accepted their sole representative rhetoric has no representative now!.

    Author mentioned about the Maharajah’s Raja Mahendran that in an exceptional case in generally white collar job seeking Tamil community. An exceptional case can’t be an example.

    Sri Lanka’s Muslim community doesn’t concentrate in seeking jobs as a result SL government discriminatory policy doesn’t affect them very much. Most of them are small traders.

    We were under British rule almost 125 years. Under British rule they wanted to produce people who could run their administration smoothly they didn’t care about producing entrepreneurs. This tendency influenced the Tamils and they became inclined to seek government jobs. As result SL government discriminatory policy severely affect them. Unfortunately Tamils don’t have entrepreneurial flair as well.

    Author mentioned about Chinese community in Malaysia but Chinese community has entrepreneurial flair for example take Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Honk and now China.

    Jewish community also has entrepreneurial flair I read a paper in 1984 that said around 84% of business was either indirectly or directly control by the Jewish community in USA therefore they were able to influence the USA policy decision as a result whatever the atrocities Israeli’s did against the Palestinian USA would make a blind eye.

  69. Whatever said and done and whatever theories and hypotheses are offered as the solution to the problems the solution remains one that each one of us must ourselves make as fair minded individuals.To that extent there is only but one solution and that starts right in our own hearts and minds no matter what Race,Caste ,Creed or Status we belong to.That is;
    “If there is Righteousness in the heart
    There will be beauty in the Character;
    If there is beauty in the Character
    There will be harmony in the home;
    Where there is harmony in the home,
    There will be order in the nation.
    Where there is order in the nation,
    There will be peace in the world.”

  70. Kumar,

    You are so right. Sri Lanka is sleep walking its way into becomming a paranoid and inward looking state like Burma or a North Korea. Prabakaran would have had his revenge on the Sinhalese without them even knowing it!

    I hope I am wrong and sanity will prevail, but I am afraid the initial signs dont portend well.

    I dont think India is too intimidated by the 300,000 army. I doubt if they’ll ever want to put troops on Lankan soil ever again. If they want to hurt Lanka they will go for the achilees heel of the Lankan defence i.e. the Navy and the Airforce. They will own the planes, sink the ships and blockade the ports and we will slowly starve. Like the people of Puthumatalan.

  71. Despite the lengthiness, this article have a lot to offer for anyone who is willing to be ‘objective’ rather than driven by hatred, bias and animosity. It is very difficult to be objective when one is blinded by hatred, bias and animosity. But I don’t think it is fair for the Tamil Diaspora to try and dictate terms based on these feelings. This will only make things worse. This applies to the SL Government and leadership as well.

    There are a lot of useful proverbs in Tamil which we only use when it fits for us – most often then not for all the wrong reasons when come to our struggle.

    Here are some of them that we can take advantage of – depends on how we look at where we are and what we want to do:

    வல்லவனுக்கு வல்லவன் வையகத்தில் உண்டு – For some reason we always forget this – I don’t know why??

    காற்றுள்ள போதே தூற்றிக்கொள்

    எண்ணித் துணிக கருமம், துணிந்தபின் எண்ணுவதென்பது இழுக்கு

    இன்னா செய்தாரை ஒறுத்தல் அவர் நாண நன்னயம் செய்து விடல்

    ஊர் இரண்டு பட்டால் கூத்தாடிக்குக் கொண்டாட்டம்

    கையில் வெண்ணெய் இருக்க நெய்க்கு அலைவானேன்?

    சுவரை வைத்துக் கொண்டல்லவா சித்திரம் எழுத வேண்டும்.

    Last but not least – this is what I can think of on the current situation among the Tamil Diaspora (with or without their knowledge)

    வேலியே பயிரை மேய்ந்தால், விளைவது எப்படி?

    DPR

  72. I totally agree with you R Maran. There is a huge gap between thinking of Tamil Diaspora and Tamils in IDP Camps in Sri Lanka.

    Any solution should reflect wishes and aspiration of the affected Tamils in Sri Lanka.

    Anban.
    Sri Lankan Canadian Tamil

  73. The article is too long and too many scenarios and issues repeated over and over again I stopped reading half way but I doubt I missed the gist of what the author is trying to say.
    However there is a distinct difference in opinion to the way forward between Tamils who were educated in Jaffana and to whom Colombo/Kandy is in a different country and Tamils who were educated out side Jaffana (the Kalu suddha’s of Tamils for lack of better description). Unfortunately We are both in ground Zero now. Before trying to build bridges with the Sinhala people we need to forge as one unit and build bridges between so many factions of Tamils. We need to start fresh, we need good leaders with vision and who can articulate that vision to the world. I have not seen that leader either among the Tamil diaspora or within Sri Lanka. (Temple owners and so called leaders who organise street protest are a liability and waste of time)

  74. reply to #73 DPR

    i guess i will reply in Tamil as you have listed some Tamil proverbs,lest some claim that we diaspora are but mere “english educated” elite.( I humbly ask others to please bear with me. I have said what i have to say about this thread on post#42 itself)

    வேலி பயிரை மேய்கிறதோ? நீங்கள் எந்த உலகத்தில் இருந்துகொண்டு மற்றவர்களுக்கு அறிவுரை தருகிறீர்கள்? கனவுலோகம் போல இருக்கின்றது.

    தங்களுக்கு நிலைமை தெரியாவிடின், கேளுங்கள். தற்போது தமிழ் மக்கள் ஒன்று அல்ல மூன்று வேலிகளுக்குப்பின் அடைபட்டுக் கிடக்கின்றனர். கிடுகு வேலிகள் அல்ல, முள் வேலிகள்!

    ஒரு வேளை உணவுக்குக்கூட மண்டியிட வேண்டிய நிலை. என்ன , ஒற்றுமை ஒற்றுமை என்று கூவும் அரசாங்கம் இந்த மக்களுக்கு ஒரு வேளை உணவு கூட கொடுக்க கஞ்சப்படுகின்றது. பட்டாசு கொழுத்தி கொண்டாடுவதிலும், புத்த தருமத்தின் காவலர் என்று பட்டம் எடுப்பதிலும் செலவழித்த்த பணத்தில் ஒரு சிறு பங்கைக் கொண்டே இம்மக்கள் பசியை தணித்திருக்கலாம்

    அதுமட்டுமல்ல, நீங்கள் வசைபாடிய “புலம்பெயர்ந்தோர்” அனுப்பிய உணவுப்பொருள் கொண்ட கப்பலைத் திருப்பி அனுப்பியது யாராம்?

    அரச சார்பற்ற நிறுவனங்களின் உதவியை மறுத்தது யாராம்?

    இந்த வதை முகாம்களினுள் கடைகளைத் திறந்து மக்களின் மிச்சச்சொச்ச்ச காசையும் பறிப்பது யாரம் ?

    கண்முன் நடக்கும் அவலத்தை விடுத்து பழமொழி பேச இதுவா தருணம் ?

    தயவு செய்து எங்களுக்குத் தமிழ் படிபிக்க வேண்டாம்.

    திருவள்ளுவரின் “யாகாவாராயினும் நாகாக்க காவாக்காற் சோகாப்பர் சொல்லிழுக்குப் பட்டு” குறளை மனதில் இருத்தி, மக்களின் நலனுக்கு உழைத்தல் சாலவும் நல்லது

  75. Dear DBSJ

    can you please delete my post 76, because even though i posted on Unicode; my Tamil font seems messed up. its strange thought because i was able to see it for a while after posting it.

    or is it my browser acting up? If you can see it, then don’t delete it, if you cant, pls do because i dont want to clutter up your blog comments with posts which dont serve any useful purpose

    lol i guess i should just stick to english

    kind regards
    Ulysses

    I can see and read your Tamil post clearly. Guess you cant quit writing “Tamil” now….DBSJ

  76. Reply to #78 tranquility

    Hi

    I used unicode. it did show up earlier, but when i checked it later it was all gibberish. then i refreshed it a couple of times(the web-page) and i was able to view it.

    now, its not visible again. strange. Unicode should be visible…. 🙁

    try refreshing and/or reopening your browser and see if that helps. sorry for this inconvenience

    regards
    Ulysses

  77. Hi All,

    Thank you DBS for publishing this article. I did circulate this to politicians, reporters and several other agencies.

    I like to thank all of you who gave feedback especially to those who did not appreciate it or disagreed with me. It helped me learn and understand your perspective too.

    Once again thank you all. I am sorry I couldnt respond to you all as I was traveling on work.

    Regards

    Ajith

  78. #47. dingiri “I dont agree that Indian influence in the region is being undermined by the Chinese. Why cant both these powers have influence? ”

    In an ideal world run by reasonable people you would be right.
    But India wants to be seen as the super-power of the region if not a global super-power.
    China too has its pride – hence its position on Taiwan. Why not live and let live?
    And again you may wonder why the US bothers with Taiwan that is so far away.

    Then there is the matter of controlling trade and the wealth involved.

    #55. V.C.Vijayaraghavan “MR has promised to send the IDP back to their villages within 6 months.”

    Ah! If only these politicians kept their promises!
    As I recall promises were also made about not shelling and bombing the safe zone!

    Ajith Ratnarajah has made a worthy effort and brought many issues up. So thanks.
    However as with many other constructive comments in regard to Ajith’s article the elephant in the room is not mentioned.

    What do we do about Sinhala-Buddhist fanaticism?
    It won’t go away by itself and the normal minded Sinhalese have no power to do anything about it.

    What do we do with the likes of the present regime that holds that even thoughts about the LTTE must be punished?

  79. In the name of reconciliation there is no need of a war crime inquiry.Did we have any inquiry on Hiroshima,Nagasaki?Vietnam?Afganistan and Iraq?

    The demand for WC is to satisfy most arragont Tamils who lost their pride due to the loss of war and VP.Also this is an attempt by the pro-LTTE diaspora to humilate Sinhalese.

    In fact if there were loss of lives the tamil diaspora is responsible cos they were dead silent against keeping civilians hostage by LTTE.

    Also this article is a non starter because it talks about canadian federal system as a solution.Also lot of contradictions.

    In fact the Ajith has taken the milk from the cow but at the end of the process with or without his knowledge he has let the cow’s shit fall in the milk pot.Whether or not the shit is small the milk is spoilt and can be used.

  80. In Post 42 Ulysses seems to imply that the experiences of minorities in Malaysia are not relevant to SL simply because Chinese and Indians are not natives. I am a Malaysian, and do not blame Ulysses for being ignorant. Indian influence in Malaya began as early as 3rd century BC with the arrival of traders from India. Both Hinduism and Buddhism were well established here by the beginning of the 1st century AD, and the Hindu Maharajas ruled much of Peninsular Malaya and Borneo long before the influence of Islam took hold in the 15th century. Traces of both Hindu and Hindi influence remain till today in the Malaya language, literature and art. Chinese settlers started arriving in Malaya from the fifteenth Century onwards. Admittedly immigration of Chinese and Indians picked up during the British colonial rule in the nineteenth century. My own grandfather migrated from Ceylon in the late 1800s. My late father lived thorough the horrors of the Japanese occupation of WW2 and the communist insurgency thereafter.

    Many Malays are themselves of mixed parentage. For example Dr Mahathirs father was a Malayalee Indian. Malaysias bumiputra polices were not created based on whether your ancestors arrived before the birth of Jesus Christ or just one month before independence in 1957. They were created primary to reverse discriminations on the majority population due to the way British colonial administration ruled the country that left the majority Malays as farmers in rural areas, Chinese and English educated Indians and Ceylon Tamils in urban areas. Resentment that successful Chinese businessmen preferred to hire only Chinese staff in their business establishments was another factor.

    Contrary to what Ulysess thinks, Malaysia is an EXCELLENT example of how the minorities which comprise 35% of the population have worked with the system as Ajith put it, to come up in life, despite facing worse discriminations than the Sri Lanka Tamils ever faced in SL. The polices that Malaysia adopted has helped the country avoid much of violence the SL has experienced.

    Malaysia is a far better example for SL than Singapore for numerous reasons among them having a past Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial history, a majority that felt discriminated because of the British colonial administration, a large minority of Chinese and Indians that to this day feels discriminated because of policies that the Malay dominated government implemented to rectify inequalities caused by the British as well as to ensure political survival, a population only slightly larger than SL and just like SL, Malaysia has a large rural farming and fishing population and plantation sector. Additionally, Malaysia is a federation of 13 states. Singapore is on the other hand is a small city state with a population of about 3 million with a negligible rural population. When you have a large rural population, the politics is different than that of a city state.

    I have already explained at length in a previous article / comment why the minorities in Malaysia did not rebel despite all the discriminations and nationalist and religious (Islamistic ) chauvinism that exists. The gist of it is that Malaysia completed rejected the socialist policies of Upali Cooray and the communists. It went aggressively for job creation in both rural and urban areas, invited with open arms foreigners to invest here, let the private sector be the engine of growth, privatized many government services like electricity, telecoms, postal, water, and garbage collection because despite having oil and gas reserves it realized that it could no longer afford to support these services and to be independent of IMF loans. It also allowed private universities to be set up and let private companies build and maintain tolled highways, thus saving the government funds to build these universities and highways. Education is free only up to primary level and health services are not free.

    Below is a link that gives a brief history of Malaysia and another about Malaysian Ceylon Tamil investors.

    http://mboe-gov.com/mboe%20directory%20sample.pdf

    http://sundaytimes.lk/070527/News/nws14.html

  81. I read half the article by Ajith and it is very ellaborative and educative. I was one of the followers of LTTE and now I believe the path mentioned by Ajith is the best way. It is a middle path and we should strictly adhere to democratic principles and give our hands of support for a genuine Government which should show sympathy, tolerance and dignity towrds the tamil community . This will evolve the middle path to be followed. At the moment I do not see any positive effects from the SL government to make the tamils to spread their arms and embrace the middle path. So will wait and see and the majority and minority both should be educated in this path towards peace, love and hope.
    regards
    chelvashan

  82. Thank you Ajit / Jeyaraj for posting this.
    I read this at least 3 times today. I have learnt some new things from reading this. Very interesting and nicely written.

  83. DBSJ
    This author has indicated taht there was genocide in SL which is utter rubbish, I was hoping you would have a rebuttal for that. However misguided and aloof he is, I agree the new state of SL must recognize tamils as equals and work hard to integrate both. Both tamils and singhalese have to lean on each other to improve economy and racial harmony and by extension their own well being. This is a golden opportunity for the politicians to have thoughthful plans to integrate people with various cultural backgrounds and to develop trust amongst them. Otherwise it is only matter of time before the next VP emerge from the dust!

  84. Although it is difficult to concur entirely with some of his views, interpretations and deductions (as is normal in any meaningful discussion or debate), Mr. Ratnarajah has produced a very sensible and thought provoking piece. The article should serve as yet another stimulus for a beneficial dialogue between and within different ethic communities.

    Mr. Ratnarajahs synopsis of the genesis of the conflict is pretty much on the money. In 1948 the situation in the island of Ceylon was not ripe enough for independence. Those to whom the reigns of power were handed over by the British, trapped in a colonial mindset, were ill-equipped and ill-prepared for the task of leadership, and by extension for the process of nation building. I would venture even further to state without reservation that the aforementioned contention is aptly applicable to every Sri Lankan leader and regime to-date. I do not excuse any Tamil leader, moderate or otherwise, from the censure.

    In contrast, independent India had an army of national and regional leaders under the stewardship of Nehru to kick start the process of governing and steer the nascent nation through various, rather daunting, challenges. The Indian government had at least twenty potent linguistic nations and a restive and apprehensive muslim population (in the wake of the partition) to reign over. The visionary that Nehru was devised a secular pluralist constitution decentralising power and authority in several domains to states roughly divided along linguistic lines.

    Nehru paid special attention to education. Although the subject fell under state jurisdiction, the Indian central government established a parallel track strategy from a national perspective. Premier institutes like Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) were established and funded liberally. Merit was the only criterion for admission. These portals of higher learning produced top grade scientists, engineers, technologists and managers. Today, every major corporation in the world has many IIT and/or IIM alumni in the top management. There was an IIT hand in almost every major technological breakthrough in the last forty years. Today these influential and wealthy Indians play a critical role in strategically positioning India Inc in the world stage and attracting enviable levels of investment to India. The lesson for Sri Lanka: AS YOU SOW SO YOU REAP.

    IMHO the current Indian position vis-a-vis the conflict in Sri Lanka is well thought out and correct given the geopolitics. Mr.Ratnarajah may disagree with me on that. The proponents and practitioners of Kautilya’s Arthasastra, Indians have a multi-faceted and multi-pronged foreign policy. Having well positioned itself as an indispensable link in the global production-supply chain India is under understandable compulsion not to allow its Sri Lanka policy subvert its brand India appeal in the international stage. Thus, for instance, contrary to the pronouncements of politicians like Vaiko and Ramdoss, the people of Tamil Nadu are far more concerned about the GDP numbers and per capita income than the conflict in Sri Lanka. This is even more so after Rajiv Gandhis brutal assassination by the LTTE. It is not in Indias interest to allow a brutal secessionist conflict spearheaded by a terrorist outfit continue indefinitely in its backyard, very close to the economic nerve centers like Bangalore, Madras, Coimbatore and Hyderabad.

    It is not in Sri Lankas interest to partner with China. No country ever prospered as a result of its association with China. Just look at North Korea, Pakistan, Burma and Zimbabwe. Our country has a lot more to gain from the natural alliance with India than from an alliance of necessity with China. The West (Russia included) seems to love India and fear China. With the West seeing, hence supporting, India as the bulwark against expanding Chinese influence, I would say India is really sitting pretty.

    Whether we like it or not Sri Lanka is an inconsequential player in the grand scheme of things. And the bitter truth is that the Tamil issue and the demonstrations by the diaspora are all but a blip in the global radar. So, as Mr. Ratnarajah rightly pointed out we Sri Lankans are left to our own devices to work out a settlement; and the more inclusive the solution the better it is for all of us.

    We the Tamils have a lot to sort out. Need to do a great deal of soul searching and introspection. Following the dictates of Prabhakaran and his coterie have led our people right up to the doorsteps of hell. A proud nation that is fabled to have primordial links with the mighty Elamite empire and proven to have traded with the ancient Egypt is now reduced to begging for basic necessities of life. As Mr. Ratnarajah advices say no to armed struggle we live in a very different world today. Try to live in peace and harmony with the Sinhala, Muslim and Burgher brethren. But we need to be pragmatic.

    All peaceful options should be explored. If coexistence is to be rendered impossible by ground realities then mass emigration may be our last resort (this may seem preposterous to many). Which is preferable: a well endowed life in a western country where fundamental rights are assured and where the only criterion for success is hard work or a wretched existence under the gun in a third world country deprived of all rights and freedoms? Human history is marked by several episodes of mass migrations. We the Tamils could end up establishing sustainable communities in many countries from North (Norway) to South (Argentina), from East (Japan) to West (USA). We would be a nation without borders. This could very well happen. Last year I saw a documentary titled Tamils of the Tundra it is a very interesting story of migration, adaptation and integration (available on YouTube)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTMn3UmZ-5Y

    As Mr. Ratnarajah postulates, a new crop of leadership, untainted by the LTTE influence, need to emerge from among the Tamil youth. No hero worship please. The days of Thesiya Thalaivar (National Leader), his neradi nerripaduththal (on the ground leadership) and mathi nutpam (supreme intelligence) are over and done with. We now need leaders who have the interest of the people as their utmost priority. We need leaders in every spheres of life. The ball is in the court of the Tamil diaspora.

  85. reply to #83 wesley

    Dear Wesley

    I apologize if i offended you by saying that Indians and Chinese were not “native” to Malaysia. but look at my post in the context in which it was posted..as a reply to the following statement by Ajith

    ///
    employed Malay board members to start companies and eventually ended up taking a larger slice of the economy to the utter dismay of the Malays./////

    This is inherently not equal. The fact that both languages/people are not treated equally does not mean the minorities should change themselves to accommodate the wishes of the majority at the expense of their own values. I speak Tamil and Sinhalese fluently, and i would have no problem using Sinhalese or Tamil in the workplace. but if i’m supposed to change myself/ my policies and employ board members for the sake of sucking up to those in power..sorry..thats where i draw the line. i will employ anyone who has the qualification for it, regardless of race or religion. But what the Chinese did in Malaysia(according to Ajith) is that they employed Malay board members to offset the anger/resentment of the Malays. such policies are nothing but a form of bribery. i respect myself enough to not to stoop to such level. If i a person is qualified, i will hire him, and certainly not for any other reason. If the Tamils in lanka were to accept the Sinhala only policy, they would have been selling their values and self-respect. and to top it all, such a policy was illegal in the first place..so why perpetuate it with bending ourselves to fit such a policy? Its like cheating in exams…a thoroughly dishonorable practice.

    As for the Indian influence in Malaysia, from what i learnt that even though there was Indian influence in the south east Asian region; especially during the 7-12th century time period, the permanent settlements ceased to exist after the 12th century. Ive been to Malaysia and I’ve been to places such as Malacca where they have this belief that hanuman rested there while jumping from India to lanka (i still do not understand why he would take such a long detour but i guess its just the beliefs of people) , Also bali is still a Hindu island. But Hindu practice and sanskrit/Tamil influences do not mean that the Indians were living there in large numbers or are native to that place. (i guess what you meant by Hindi influence is in fact sanskrit influence).

    the last thing we want to do in lanka is to be in a situation that we have to placate the majority as if they are the sole natives of the island while the rest are but “invaders” (as some claim). Genetic evidence clearly shows that both ethnicity have close affinities and have been here for the same amount of time. and the Sinhalese identity is a result of cultural/religious diffusion. the same way an European has a middle eastern name such as “joseph” (derives from middle eastern Joshuah)

    so yeah..my post was but a reply to that aforementioned point by Ajith. The Malaysian situation does not fit us.

  86. Dear Ajith
    This piece of your writing is the political bible for SL tamils.

    All your opinion reflected my my mind too.

  87. Sorry Ajith Sorry DBSJ couldnt read the whole article, so i really dont know what you are saying. but let me tell you this. WE WANT PEACE, The singhalese and tamils want peace, Peace in their life in this precious period on earth. We dont want theories. We dont want politics. just to live without bombs and guns, live a simple life. what you are saying is for a greater race or rights. where do we take it when we die. For Gods sake come down to earth move towards reconciliation heal the wounded minds heal the suspicions. You remind me of the JVP and JHU . Please lets first have peace then you build whatever empire you want. I may have not read your article fully but i gathered your article was not in keeping with what i have said above. but more in line with the famous tamil saying ‘a little now more later’ see where that got ALL of us.

    Without reading it in full you rush to comment on mere assumptions,Is it?………DBSJ

  88. While all are good points, tamils should not be naive once again to sinhala chauvinism, and gullibly resort once again to purely political struggles. Political struggles does not work in majoritarian systems. The military option must remain, even if rarely used. The only thing that stood between the tamils and pogroms was the LTTE, and today the tamils stand once again naked to sinhala agression. White van abductions will continue unabated – that is the slow genocide.

    The way I see the sinhala govt’s non responsiveness, and diaspora outrage and reaction, it is only a matter of time the insurgency starts once again, probably within six months. Those who think the LTTE is finished are hallicinating.

  89. Whether Rajiv was killed or not, India never going to let solve tamils ‘legitimate aspirations’ in sri lanka. India armed tamils to keep sri lanka under its control when JR went towards west/usa. Again india armed sri lanka to keep sri lanka under its control. But sri lanka played well, Sri Lankan Puppets in the Hands of Emerging Superpowers now. SL try to share its War crimes with india that is the result of UN Human right councle meetings. When the SL escape from crimes charges it will go out of india. Then india will have find some tamil to take arms again…

  90. Dear DBSJ & Ajith,

    I have to applaud the sense and open-minded comments and ideas you both have shown. Thanks to Rajapakse Bros. Syndicate, people are starting to realise that their grip on power has strengthened through the last few months. Many idiot Sinhalese believe they have done a good job, while forgetting the lack of media freedom, autocratic state system, complete police powers, etc. that a truly “liberated” and “free” country should not entail. On the other hand, being hard-line against a hard-line government is in essence just fighting fire with fire. We have seen that this has not worked in our motherland. Let us all hope that something will bear fruit in the future.

    One more thing to comment: let us all remember, Tamil, Sinhala, Muslim, Malay, Burgher, Chetty or otherwise… when we close our eyes and remember our homeland, it is of the scenic beauty, the green, the warmth, the smiles of the people. Let us not forget the people that we love, the country that we love, the reasons why we love it, which inevitably have become the reasons why we have fought over it.

  91. Interdependence, I believe is the only way forward for humanity, let alone for Sri Lankans. I applaud Ajith for encouraging Tamils to take this approach.

    However, as quite a few have commented, the underlying objective seems to make sure that Tamils reign supreme in the end, and I find this quite devious.

    Is Tamil race superior to others?

    Should Tamil supremacy be cemented by hook or by crook (by hook now as crook didn’t work)?

    Or Should Tamils learn to give as much as they want to take?

    Other than the apparant contradiction between the methods proposed by Ajith and the ultimate objectives, he offers much food for thought for going forward.

    As for the diaspora (and I mean LTTE / Seperatism supporting one), I don’t see how anybody can seriously take them as a legitimate and credible stakeholder after all these years of lying, terrorism funding and hijacking the debate without proportion.

    It takes two to tango (and both must want to tango, and not one to trip the other one).

    Peace.

  92. Can you please say in 100 words what the Tamils should do. No point talking about the past that can be debated. If you think you have a solution now why didn’t you announce to the Tamil world earlier. You would have prevented the loss of thousands of lives.

  93. I write to Ulysis #42. You got some excellent points. I would like to respond to the areas where you disagree with me too. I was using the Malaysian example as a way of how the minorities “work the system” in their favour. However I understand your point that you were trying to make saying they were not natives but migrants. Fair enough yet i feel “working the system” can be still adopted.

    I think lot of you have raised this point about Malaysia. What I am saying there too the minorities face tremendous discrimintation. Yet they somehow did not adopt the violent approach. Where as we did and that too for too long which only ends up destroying the minority.

    As for the answer to #95.

    Two things

    1) Create a movie of the tamil holacuast of 2009.

    2) Form alliances with Singhalese to serve the camps. Let the guilt overwhelm them that they will demand the shutting down of these camps.

    Humans are not evil but our actions to each other make us evil.

  94. Sri Lanka is a Democratic Country Democracy means by the people of the peoplle and for the people..

    Wasting our precious time is not going to help any one. It is the duty of the Head of the Government to announce immediately that all Government jobs including army,navy and police in future will be selected according to the population of all ethenic groups, ‘Almost all the problems will vanish in double quick time One could see the difference over night. No one will lose anything.No expert advice is necessary.
    There is no need to wait till the IDP are settle down.
    No amount of money or power could buy peace.

    Besides all can transact their business with the Government in the language of their choice
    Sinhalese and Tamil being official languages.Keep English as the link language.

    Then all will be happy, there will be no discrimination and peace making is very easy and everlasting.

    It must be understood the needs are same both for majority and minority. [Food Cloth and Shelter.

    All the government jobs including army,navy and police must be distributed according to the population of each ethinic groups.

    Past is history,Future is mystery and only the present is reality.

    It is not the time to investicate who is right and who is wrong. It will not serve any purpose.

    I am sure thatall are aware of the solution but afraid to implement for reasons best known to them.

  95. You say, Ajith;
    “We need to resurrect our community for the boys and girls who sacrificed their lives to fight for us. VP might have mislead them, but we should never ever forget those brave young souls who believed in their people. They were the true heroes.”

    No, they are not true heroes, but a bunch of killers without a mind! And their mind was stolen by the mass murderer.

    You say, Ajith,
    “Sidelining Balasingham & KP was their death nail. The departure of Balasingham did not allow them to build global alliances, especially with the co-chairs & Eric Solheim.”

    Balasingham was a cancer like prabakaran, and his Australian wife has to answer for misleading Tamil schoolchildren to bite cyanid capsules, and brought to book, as a killer of Tamil youth! She was just a bartender in Australia, and what a theoretician!

    Solheim lived off the misery of Tamil people, and more he incited the ‘conflict’ he got better chance for good take home salary. He’d pay in the end, like getting a terrible stomach cancer or something like that.

    You write, Ajith;
    “I feel MR has the same characteristics like VP…”

    That’s your feeling, Ajith, for you are an overseas Tamil, and you’d want to say something slandering of MR. But that won’t do, for there is nothing to describe Prabakaran in this world, maybe that he was the Pol Pot of Tamil people, but then again, I might be insulting Pol Pot…

    You write, Ajith,
    “The Tamil community should learn from the Jews in this hour of need. ”

    This should go without a comment, but knowing Jews in other countries for more than 3 decades, I’ve considered Tamils as Jews of Sri Lanka and the world long time ago – same thoughts, same characteristics. Sometime in the future Toronto would find out that, if not already!

    You write, Ajith;
    “We could use MIA and her relationships to activate Hollywood & Bollywood to start developing movies.”

    Mia is finished. Who is going to touch Mia now, if the music industry knows how to earn money? Mia had become a headache to the Music Industry already…

    You write, Ajith;
    “Today the Tamils are unable to sell a justified cause to the international community.”

    You lost it the day Prabakaran got shot. Now, Tamil overtures in foreign lobbies would become a headache for them, for they have other priority matters in hand – N. Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, etc. There is nothing overseas Tamils can sell, and when the recession hits harder in those Western countries, there would be pogroms. All you Tamils abroad had a pointed sight, like the horse attached to the carriage. You have forgotten that you overseas Tamils would never be fully fledged citizens, even though you might carry a Western passport. You forgot that for a Sri Lankan Tamil, Sri Lanka is the ONLY country that you can call your motherland, not some eelam, a uneducated smuggler turned terrorist tried to carve out of Sri Lanka.

    Oh, yes, you’d come and live in Prabakaran’s fascist land after living in the relative safety in those Western countries! Come on, Ajith, do you really believe that you would have had a place in Prabakaran’s eelam?

    You write, Ajith;
    “We have decided not to work with the international community to define a substantial devolution package but continue fighting for a separate state.”

    Try, Ajith, try, and whoever is this ‘we’ would get one, just like Prabakaran got!

    You write, Ajith;
    “I personally feel this is a colossal blunder we will be making if we continue in this path.”

    No comments on that line!
    ————————————–
    One thing, I’d like tell you all overseas Tamils to think and understand is that after six months overseas, you lose your connection with the reality of the country you left behind, and if you have left behind that country with anger, you’d never survive, for anger eats up, and then eats up your children lives too.

    When you step into the country after 1-2 decades, you’d find different Sri Lankan Tamils here, than you are. Same goes to overseas Singhalese too! They’d find different Singhalese here.

    Of course, you’d find many Tamils (and singhalese) who’d want to go abroad for economic reasons, but not for unpatriotic reasons, even though I consider, anyone who left for economic reasons as not enough patriot of this country!

    The Sri Lankan Tamils, who stayed behind, and worked for the country are much more worth than any overseas Tamil for Sri Lanka!
    ———————————
    You write, Ajith;
    “In my opinion, Rajeev Ghandhi sacrificed his life to ensure Sri Lanka will remain a united country while VP was alive.”

    No, your opinion is wrong! Rajiv gandhi DIDN’T want to die, nor his children and his wife wanted him to ‘sacrifice’ his life for a mass murderer.

    Finally, its really too bad that SL Forces couldn’t get this madman earlier, and if they could’ve, this country would be better earlier!

    You, overseas Tamils have no country to call their own, if you don’t drop your eelam dream and embrace Sri Lanka as your country. The countries you live now, don’t really need you, but tolerate you, until they feel the pinch. And you would not like to go to Tamil Nadu too, as you feel its inferior to this little Island Nation.

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