What Sri Lanka has given Tamils but will not give the Eelaamists
Posted on January 8th, 2012

Shenali Waduge

It is apparent that inspite of the elimination of the LTTE that the sole obstacle to reconciliation remains the inability to differentiate between what the Tamils have or do not have and what the Eelaamists desire and aspire but will not be given. Therefore, it is important that those proclaiming to forward proposals for future peace must first determine if Tamils have been marginalized throughout Sri Lanka and how far the aspirations of the Eelaamists have become jumbled into these demands giving rise to the confusion to find any solution. In so far as determining rights denied exclusively to Tamils, it is obvious that such discrimination in the public sector or the private sector, socially, economically or even politically is clearly non existent.

  What is often avoided when analyzing the true reasons for the LTTE to emerge and gain popularity is the factor of the division amongst the Tamils themselves in terms of caste & class. This important factor is often sidelined to avoid the real reason that resulted in large numbers of Tamil youth joining the LTTE in the initial years of its formation. It was against the social discrimination suffered by low caste Tamils that inspired the movement to take up arms which explains why Tamils ended up LTTE victims. It was only after the LTTE became internationally linked that non-Tamils including foreigners ended up part of the LTTE movement.

 The LTTE went on to becoming the sole champion of the Tamil “cause” by ruthlessly wiping out all other Tamil rebel groups & eliminating all learned Tamil leaders including Sri Lanka’s distinguished & respected foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, himself a Tamil. Lest people may have forgotten LTTE started out its killing rampage with the slaying of another Tamil “”…” Alfred Duraiappah the Mayor of Jaffna in 1975. LTTE stands charged with the assassinations of 7 cabinet ministers, 37 parliamentarians & over 50 political figures whilst proclaiming to be championing the cause of the Tamils.

 Those pointing fingers at Sri Lanka may like to first explain what their response is to the long list of killings attributed to the LTTE which included all acts that clearly goes down as crimes against humanity defined under UN conventions. Therefore, all those in support of the LTTE need to first place on record their statements on the LTTE killing people at places of worship, killing people in slumber in villages, forcefully driving out over 100,000 Sinhalese & Muslims who had their homes in the North and East of the country. The LTTE has killed almost 10,000 civilians & injured a similar number. Where is the justice for these people? When will the world demand explanations and accountability for these killings?

 Leaving aside the civilians who have perished what about the colossal damage to Sri Lanka’s infrastructure over 3 decades? Calculated attacks on public transport, civilian infrastructure, essential public services were all meant to target civilians and to gain media coverage in a world where terrorists enjoy providing media the wow factor in terms of relaying the latest breaking news!

 The best way to compare life without the LTTE is to go back & imagine what life was like whilst the LTTE prevailed. Can we still recall the fear & uncertainty that prevailed in all parts of the island? Can Tamils recall the terror of losing their child to be taken away and made into a child soldier? Can Tamils recall how much they had to pay towards the maintenance of the LTTE killing machine and the consequences of not contributing to the LTTE kitty? Can Tamils recall how they had to pay “taxes” at the Omanthai check point or had to show their deeds or hand over gold in order to go down south for medical treatment? Regularly looking back and reminiscing the times when the LTTE prevailed suffices to feel happy that we can look forward to times without bombs or suicide cadres amidst us. Were Tamils ever able to ask the LTTE why they had failed to make roads, repair damaged schools, houses & other infrastructure? Were Tamils able to deny giving their child over to the LTTE to be made into a killer machine?

 If Tamils sincerely assess life with & now without the LTTE they would agree that the growth of Tamils intellectually, socially & economically were deprived by none other than the LTTE. Schools that had been turned into LTTE training centers are today picking up from decades where children were deprived of learning and only taught to hate the Sinhalese. Young girls and boys are enjoying what it means to be free and surprisingly girls are seen cycling even after 10p.m. In this backdrop the real social & caste status amongst Tamils has arisen again where many Tamils of high class & caste are none to happy with the freedom being enjoyed by their children who are mingling together abandoning the age old traditional barriers that existed. Unfortunately amidst this has been the rise in the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions and it is issues like these which require the attention of Tamils instead of championing around separatist agendas.

 The feeling of freedom and the expression of such need not be said by others for it must essentially come from the voice of the Tamils themselves especially those living in the North. For it is only they who experienced life under the LTTE and it is they who have nightmares of life under the rule of the LTTE. It is obvious that Tamils are finding difficulty from breaking away from decades of being mentally prepared for an Eelaam with Prabakaran and the LTTE as the sole rulers. It is this systematic programming that has given sustainability to the TNA political stooges. It came as no surprise that inspite of the elimination of the LTTE & its hardcore cadres, the people of the North went on to vote for the LTTE political puppets “”…” the TNA.  

 So what is the truth. Where 4 Presidents & equal or more defense secretaries failed, the incumbent President alongside his able Defense Secretary proved to the world that terrorism needs to be defeated militarily if terrorism is to be defeated at all. To take on the LTTE militarily came after decades of failure in peace talks, cease fires, negotiations, compromises.

 Terrorists are who they are because they know only to strike terror. Terrorism is camouflaged by commercial & political desires of those that sponsor or fund terror in other climes. In the case of the LTTE “”…” these terrorists are not Tamils fighting for a Tamil cause. The LTTE is made up of different ethnic groups which include foreigners and the LTTE is partnered by commercial and even Governmental units which use terror groups like the LTTE for their own political agendas.

 The US & NATO have gone to wage wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya “”…” millions have died, thousands are injured and thousands are without homes or displaced. It is over a decade and the US have failed to home a single civilian and neither have US and NATO nations been held accountable or given deadlines to resettle these innocent people to their homes. Against this, of the 294,000 civilians rescued during the humanitarian military operation only 3000 remain. Sri Lanka has managed to demine 42,000 antipersonnel mines. . Similarly, while there are present calls for investigation into civilian killings in the North it is prudent to ask if orders to kill civilians was given to the military why would they suffer 6000 deaths and have over 25,000 injuries?

 If that is not enough can critics draw examples from other nations that have rehabilitated cadres who surrendered or were detained by the military? Over 10,000 have been rehabilitated & reintroduced into society while over 500 child soldiers went on to sit for the ordinary level & advanced level examination, something that would have been beyond any dream since they had been taught only to hold a gun and shoot innocent people. Would their parents ever want the LTTE to prevail?

 Tamils are able to provide education to their children in public, private, international schools. Most of the top public and private schools all have Tamil medium the same cannot be said of major Tamil schools offering same to Sinhalese children. One third of the Tamil population reside amongst the Sinhalese of their own choice. It is in these areas that Tamils enjoy greater prosperity owning homes, land, property & business while enjoying employment in private & public sectors. There are over 200 kovils everywhere & an equal number of flats all owned by Tamils who don’t hesitate to say that rent is only for Tamils.

 Throughout 3 decades what the Tamils did not receive from the LTTE who practically ruled the North & East, the Government has provided in a span of 2 years and much of the loans taken has been steered towards the North and its development. If development was non-existent in the North the Tamil people must blame the LTTE & question the LTTE foreign chapters at least now.

 It is not too late to disassociate from arguments issues that are associated with the Eelaamists attempting to combine separatist demands with popular slogans that attempt to align the Tamil cause to self determination themes which are in reality attempts to realize the desires of the Eelaamists and which have nothing whatsoever to do with making life better for Tamils. Had that been the case when the North and the East were liberated the Tamil people of these areas would have been living prosperously instead it was only the LTTE and its members who were enjoying the fruits of terror both locally & internationally.

 Sri Lankans will never allow any Eelaamist demands in Sri Lanka!

 Shenali Waduge

9 Responses to “What Sri Lanka has given Tamils but will not give the Eelaamists”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    “Most of the top public and private schools all have Tamil medium the same cannot be said of major Tamil schools offering same to Sinhalese children. One third of the Tamil population reside amongst the Sinhalese of their own choice. It is in these areas that Tamils enjoy greater prosperity owning homes, land, property & business while enjoying employment in private & public sectors. There are over 200 kovils everywhere & an equal number of flats all owned by Tamils who don’t hesitate to say that rent is only for Tamils.”

    This is bloody dangerous.

    Government must change these disparities immediately. Sinhala medium schools should be set up in the north and Sinhala villages.

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    Thank you, Shenali, for an in depth analysis of the so-called ‘Tamil problem’. It appears that there is no such problem, after all.
    We think that if illegal migration from Tamil Nadu is stopped forever, then our Lankan Tamils will integrate into society here.

  3. mario_perera Says:

    Thank you for your interesting articles, Shenali. On this particular I have to defer. Ever since the grant of universal franchise, the Tamils of the North vote exclusively for racists parties. that trend has never changed. You make a difference between Tamils and Ealamists. The difference, if it does exist, is razor thin, so thin as to be irrelevant. the Tamils of the north because of their social structuring,especially with caste consciousness seeping into the marrow of their bones, do not fall into our evaluations. It is totally useless to sow the seeds of our good-will on a barren terrain. I feel that this is what you are trying to do. the Tamils will NEVER grow out of their Ealam dream. Just consider the role the Catholic church played in fostering, promoting and sustaining that dream. Think of personalities like S.J.Emmanuel, Rayappu Joseph and Thomas Savundaranayagam. The two latter individuals are still pushing the TNA to demand and to stick to the demand of nationhood. The Catholic church was and is the backbone of the Ealam struggle, and its tentacles are world-wide.
    The Tamil people of the North are seeped in a mind set akin to that of frogs in a well. You mention LTTE atrocities on those people. But for this in-the-well folk, all that transpires ‘in the well’ is ‘well’. It is even really ‘well’. thus they are ‘well” assaulted, ‘well’ murdered, ‘well’ raped, ‘well’ pillaged.
    I think some of us are leading ourselves astray with our good intentions, which I consider as being naive and infantile. the only solution to the Ealam aspirations of the northern Tamils, is the breaking up of their mono-ethnic enclave. This means creating multi-ethnic settlements in the north. Jaffna has to be as multi-ethnic as Colombo. Of this government with all the powers it enjoys cannot do it,then the Sinhala people can legitimately ask them then why the hell did you sage this bloody war that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of our village youth metamorphosed into soldiers. For me the issue is a live or die issue for the present government.
    I repeat let us not waste our time sowing the seeds of good will n barren northern soil. Being ‘in the well’ is their ‘well-being’. When they open their eyes from within their ‘well’ all they see is the sky of Ealam and the god of Emmanuel, Rapappu and Savun telling them, I will lead you out of bondage. Be ‘well’.

  4. Christie Says:

    The govenment lost the plot since 1956.

    SWRD nationalised Sinhala businesses and destroyed the education among the Sinhales.

    He stopped providing land to landless Sinhala masses by appointing Maithripala Senanayake. Minister of Irrigation. His wife ran the show. His brother in law was post humously awarded the ‘Mahamthiar’ title by the Tamil terrorists.

    In 1958 Tamil terrorists killed hundreds of Sinhalese in Jaffna and destryed all Sinhala businesses. The destroyed Naga Vihara and Naga Deepoa. SWRD kept all these information to himself.

    SWRD and the Socialist gang was not different to the Socialists of today.

  5. lingamAndy Says:

    Father Hon DS Senanayaka made a mistake his Son Dudly Senanayaha tried to correct but failed

    Father Hon SWRD Bandaranayaka made a mistake His Daughter Hon Mrs Chanrika Kumaradunha Bandaranayaka tried to correct but failed.

    Today Hon M Rayapaksa time ! hope His son Namal MP will try to correct than will fail ?

  6. thurai Says:

    Tamils are community who live all over the world. We can see in Indonesia many Tamils forgot their Language
    but Areas like medan in Sumatara near Malaysia Tamils speak Tamils more than 100 years.
    Eelaamist try to bring a man back into the mother´s womb. Tamils are not belong only to TNA , TGTE, Sampanthan
    or Uruthirakumar. Eelaamist is part of tamil Community who want economic & Political advantages more
    than Sinhalese Majority in Sri Lanka. Last 30years during the Terrorism Some Eelaamist achived economic
    advantages in the International Level from the blood money. The Group achieved Economic advantages
    are silence now and friendley with Sinhalese and SLG like Tigers removed the skin and covered with cow´s skin.
    Innocent Tamils who belive in Eelaamist will never identify those peoples who are real terrorist.

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    MP,

    “The Catholic church was and is the backbone of the Ealam struggle, and its tentacles are world-wide.”

    What complete nonsense?

    Sure SOME idiots of the church are involved in the struggle but how can you generalise? It never was the BACKBONE of the struggle. NEVER!

    The backbone of the struggle was always racist political parties. Tamil intellectuals, bishops, actors, journalists ALL supported their move.

    Other than a few racist Tamils like Emmanuel from SL, the church outside the country never supported the Tamil Elam struggle. Today even the church in the north is divided between TE and SL supporters. We should not push pro-SL Tamil priests into the TE camp.

  8. May182009 Says:

    Re: Sinhalese not settling down in the north willingly

    This is not true.

    1. Harsh climate – Except a very small stretch from Mannar to Delft, the entire Northern Province falls within the DRY ZONE. Hambantota, parts of Matara and Monaragala districts fall within the ARID ZONE!

    For people in the ARID ZONE, the DRY ZONE is like the wet zone!

    2. Water problems – There are NO water problems in Jaffna and Vanni districts! The island’s LARGEST underground water reserves are in Jaffna. You don’t have to dig deep to get water in Jaffna wells.

    Vanni has more rivers per 100 square kilometres than anywhere else in the country.

    3. When Father of the nation DSS settled people in the east under COLONIZATION schemes (for which we should be very grateful for him), came across many obstacles mainly within the Sinhala community. This type of losers should be punished as Tigers were punished. However, he did it.

    Mahaweli the same story. Now what? Those people are there DESPITE LTTE attacks.

    Based on the discussions in Lankaweb, Asiantribune, Defencewire, Defence Analytics, Sri Lanka Defence Forum, etc. the following courses of action have been arrived at.

    What should GOSL do?

    1. Give army families land from the north near army camps. They need not live there. May be there poor relatives, older people can live there. Then a momentum will begin. Register them in the north elections register to vote. They will not vote for TNA!

    2. Give prime mining, farming, fishing lands in the north to Sinhalese. They will go. Expand these. Don’t touch flood prone lands.

    3. Use agricultural produce, fish from newly created Sinhala villages (like this) to supply to the army. This way these villages will do better.

    4. Jaffna has too many schools for too little percentage of people. Convert some of them to Sinhala medium near new settlements.

    5. Follow Premadasa’s Gam Uthawa concept to build new Sinhala villages (Tamil villages are already there).

    6. Give Sinhala speakers incentives in the north.

    7. Resettle ALL Sinhalese and Muslims who were displaced with land. Doesn’t matter they live there or not.

    8. Introduce Sinhala Thesawelamei for the north.

    9. Stop illegal immigrants. Deny medical, educational facilities to illegal immigrants.

    10. Encourage disgrntled Tamil Tiger cadres, etc. to leave the country. Some may leave as asylum seekers. With a few creative solutions, they may NOT necessarily reach their destination! They may lose their way and end up in Tamil Elam!

    11. Ban all race based parties Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Moor, etc.

    12. Divide Tamils into areas, caste, politics and rule them. NEVER allow them to unify. Unifying agents should be eliminated.

  9. jimmy Says:

    Solution to Srilankan problem is to make Meditation mandatory for all Srilankans from age 5- 100
    Thoughts are important than words
    People should learn to replace bad evil thoughts with good thoughts
    I can tolerate any one but not racists
    when a person think he or she is superior to another human being he or she becomes a racist
    when a person thinks other person is inferior to him or her he or she becomes a racist
    When a person thinks good, he does good things , he becomes a good human being ( child of God)
    when a person thinks evil or bad he or she becomes an evil person ( child of Satan)
    The choice for All Srilankans is either to become a child of God or child of Satan

    I have a dream oneday All srilankans will live together without fear or intimidation as a family
    look after each other , help each other be kind to each other, respect each others cultcure and each others religion

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