Time ripe for an all-inclusive Sri Lanka
Posted on January 31st, 2012

 Nimal Fernando

 Over the past two years, there have been detailed and factual analyses of the Sri Lankan situation by such well-informed writers as H.L.D. Mahindapala,
Gomin Dayasri, Philip Fernando, Charles S. Perera, Dayan Jayatilleka,  Shenali Waduge, Kumar Moses,  Dilrook Kannangara, Malinda Seneviratne
and many, many more …

The single factor underpinning all their efforts has been the national interest and the integrity of the nation. Now, as the nation prepares to mark yet another Independence Day, a question that begs to be asked is: Why is there no demand for more urgency in relegating all this to the past tense?

The historical pointers … doctored geography … minority fantasies …colonial manipulations … and all the rest of the baggage that goes with the so-called ethnic problem that has bedevilled post-independence Sri Lanka  has been analyzed and explained both at home and abroad.

The only people who have still not got it, or refuse to do so, are a small band of Sisyphean separatists, malevolent Tamil Nadu meddlers, corrupt NGOs and selfish influence-peddlers used to throwing their weight about in the international arena.

Does it not make sense for the great majority of Sri Lankans –Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Malays, Burghers and others — to demand of all their elected representatives that they solve the issue, finally, in the most fitting democratic manner by implementing the will of the majority?

Thus, if said representatives have been listening to the majority, they will know, by now, that some of the things that should be relegated to history forthwith are the  13th Amendment (a definite plus!); more discussions on provincial mergers; and tolerance of unwarranted interference by India (specifically India); other ‘fading’ voices in Western Europe; and such other smaller noises as Australia and Canada.

What all Sri Lankan patriots should be asking is why respected and broadly representative organisations have not called on the Rajapaksa administration to take this matter to its logical conclusion by creating the conditions necessary for every part of this small island to be settled by a healthy mix of all its people …

This, the most lasting of all outcomes, will put to rest such outrageous demands as police and land powers by a small section of the population. It will also dilute unhealthy ethnic enclaves. With a majority of the Tamil minority already going about their lives outside the ethnic enclaves of the north and east, this is eminently doable.

A rising chorus of patriotic voices should be also urging an even faster push toward development and modernity throughout the nation. A nation that
has already lost a generation to a separatist war and precious years before that to foot-dragging by successive governments, guilty of both commission and omission over this issue, should be alive to the possibility that time will not forever be on its side.

A nation which boasts a Constitution that guarantees more rights to its minorities than anywhere else on Planet Earth should have no difficulty in ensuring that all Sri Lankans, living wherever they please in a fully inclusive nation, have a fair shot at reaching their full potential in dignity and  safety — provided by a government of the people.

It is no flight of fancy to suggest that a united Sri Lanka that reaches its full potential will even surpass the ‘Miracle of Asia’ mantle that is surely within its reach.

United, however, is the operative word in the pursuit of lofty goals. It is in  this context that all patriots should be concerned about the distractions and politicized posturings that serve to take the collective mind off the larger picture.

Among such distractions is the preoccupation with the Rajapaksa ‘Family Tree’ and accusations of dynasty-building.

From an independent standpoint, it is hard to imagine a majority of Sri Lankans not giving the Rajapaksa brothers credit for their competence and achievements. As for an emergent Namal Rajapaksa, is it not natural for an educated young man, who hails from such an accomplished political family, and boasts a grandfather who  was a founder-member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, to opt for a political career?

If memory serves me right, as I embark on my golden years, the Father of the Nation gave us Dudley Senanayake; S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, madam Sirimavo and
Chandrika Kumaratunga; J.R. Jayewardene Ranil Wickramasinghe. And there’s Sajith Premadasa, displaying a lot of patience even as he loads his resume with
experience.

To be sure, in their own way, despite some missteps, all these leaders served Sri Lanka admirably.

And in the larger neighbourhood, Jawaharlal Nehru gave India Indira and Rajiv Gandhi (and Sri Lanka a near-fatal stroke); Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto gave Pakistan
Benazir; Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gave Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina.

So what else is new?

In a nation where it is common to see children following their parents’ careers to become doctors, engineers, lawyers, accountants, architects, technicians, business tycoons and so on, somehow entering politics is viewed as a misuse of power. As they say, mindsets are hard to change.

To be fair, in this still unsettled, even dangerous phase in the country, with so many forces out there with hidden agendas, let’s cut some slack to
an administration that needs the security which comes from family and trusted aides even as it stays the course with true grit.

It is surely within the realm of possibility that a fully healed, united Sri Lanka will one day elect a Tamil, Muslim, Malay or Burgher president.
It is also a given that any such Sri Lankan leader will have true grit.

6 Responses to “Time ripe for an all-inclusive Sri Lanka”

  1. stanley perera Says:

    I have a drem and I have a solution to this non-existant fake Tamil issues. Wait for my next article in the Lanka web and Sinhale Hot news.

  2. Kit Athul Says:

    Mr. Fernando, you forgot PRAMADASE? Why is that!

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    So long as the Tamil Caste/Poverty issues of Tamil Nadu prevail, Lanka had best beware of Eelam formation here.

  4. gamunu6 Says:

    YES! Mr. Nihal Fernando!

    TIME is right for a UNIQUE solution, when we know that there is NO PROBLEM at all. The creators are tamils in Sri Lanka & in India who always DREAM of a seperate state in Sri Lanka.

    Their OWN place is in INDIA. The present Govt. with 2/3 + majority should ONCE & FOR ALL DECLARE, that prsent Tamil population is around 4 -5% of the total poulation of 21 Million. should assimilate, learn Sinhalese although other languages are necessary according to their prference for conduction business. NOT A GIVEN RIGHT as stipulating in the constitution & NOT even granting any special status.

    This is the ONLY way to solve the problem, nobody should dictate to the GOVT. when their strength is only 5%. Will USA, UK or Canada will give equal status if the minorities in their respective countries CONSTITUTE only 5%?? NEVER. I know beacuse I lived here in Canada for over 30 years.

    There should be FIRM unwavouring statement, if any person cannot or will not learn the main stream languages ENGLISH & Sinhalese, they should emigrate. Any criticism or disention means that person is a ANTI Sri lankan, and CITIZENSHIP should be revoked.

    2……Re-introduce Sirima – India pact to repatriate any TAMIL or INDIAN origin living in our motherland to India or Tamil nadu. ABIDE by our laws, regulations if you want to stay in Sri Lanka. No ifs or buts, law is teh law.

    3….Have special monitoring of ALL arrivals from India, irrespective of their VISIT, duartion of stay, Finances & any other lame excuse to circumvent IMMIGRATION laws.

    4. …Already too many INDIANS are in Sri lanka, very soon Sinhalese will be a minority as Buddhist Clergy have enunciated.

    5…..Take action head ON, do not give into Indian pressure, arm twisting, diplomatic jargon. STOP CEPA & any enahanceent of Free trade agreement with INDIA, because already INDIA has enjoyed MORE benefits, while Sri Lanka has lost her sovereignity by associating with India.

    6. .. Intl. Community is NONE other that India threatening, BULLYING, Interfering, in lawful governing of our country.

    7…; Remove ANY laws, signing ANY agrremnets with INDIA without prior approval of the parliament in Sri lanka.
    There are MUCH & MANY more. India has found a subordinate to push around from FISHING, OIL & GAS Exploration, TRADE and many others, where our leaders have to run to India to get their permission.

    8….Seek compensation for ARMING LTTE & draning our people & funds in no-nonsence excersices, which our people VEHEMENTLY disapprove.

    9. Take a MORE PRO – SRI LANKA stand in any and all matters concerning foregn policy with respect to INDIA.

    For now these have to be adhered to by our President & majority of Sri lankans as a whole, then ALL this fake tamil problem, Tamil language status, will be solved once and for all.

    These are just my views & feel as a Citizen of Sri lanka, I have every right to express, for the good of my motherland.

    Thanks very much for the opportunity… ~ Gamunu Alahakkone. retd Engineer – Canada

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    “Re-introduce Sirima – India pact to repatriate any TAMIL or INDIAN origin living in our motherland to India or Tamil nadu. ABIDE by our laws, regulations if you want to stay in Sri Lanka. No ifs or buts, law is teh law.”

    Absolutely!

    Repatriation of Tamil ILLEGALS can EASY ALL the problems faced by natives. Not Sinhalised Tamils. Sinhalised Tamils belong to SL not India.

    * There will be MORE food.
    * MORE land.
    * Sinhala percentage would be higher.
    * MORE jobs.
    * MORE opportunities.
    * MORE income.
    * MORE business.
    * LESS racism.
    * LESS votes for racist parties.
    * LESS Tamil percentage.

    All these good things can be achieved simply by repatriating Tamil illegals to Tamil Nadu where they belong and where they are loved (not killed or “abducted”) or treated like “second class” citizens IN THEIR OWN WORDS.

    Pack them to India.

  6. Christie Says:

    To do all these let us Sinhalese unite.

    Indians and Indian colonial parsites divided the Sinhalese majority in 1951 by providing funds to SWRD. Before that Sinhalese were united under the UNPO and SWRD was part of UNP.

    The Sinhalese again united in 2009 after defeating the Indian terrorists outfit.

    Aagain India and Indian colonial parasites did the same by financing SF.

    So if we unite and help our poor and look after our own few with a bit of money then the Colonial parasites willintegrate or leave.

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