A response to T. Manoharan's open letter to Rauf Hakeem.
Although I am not Rauf Hakeem (No, I have self-respect and character integrity), I feel compelled to respond to your letter as it is badly flawed in fact, meaning, intent, and wordage. I respond to a few excerpts (in quotes) from your letter as follows:
During the past couple of weeks, the commonplace gossip among the Tamil community - in whispering tones - is the contribution or the lack of it, of the Muslim community towards peace in Sri Lanka.
- Since when did the chauvinistic Tamils from the NE of Sri Lanka sincerely extend a hand of friendship to the Muslim community of the same? Tamils have always exhibited a superiority attitude over the Muslims, not only in racial sense, but also where religion was concerned. Their superiority stemmed from their sense of superior racial number in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu (60 million Tamils) that is mere 15 nautical miles away from Sri Lanka, and also their close proximity to the world's largest Hindu community, India. This superiority arrogance was not only directed at the Muslim community, but also at the majority community of Sri Lanka, the Sinhalas. It also gave birth to the current so called "ethnic problem" in Sri Lanka. See below for further analysis.
A grave agitation that has been simmering beneath the surface in the East reared its ugly head over this period. I refer to the inopportune opportunism of the Muslim leadership.
- These statements are asinine! This agitation reared its ugly head as that is exactly what the LTTE wanted! The ugly LTTE, renowned for its murderous and sadistic tactics, always harassed, battered, and even carried out cold-blooded massacres of the minority Muslim community (as recently as a few months ago based on accounts from the Muslims as well as the University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR) (Jaffna) report). The irony of it is that this savagery against the Muslims was perpetrated while the separatist Tamils were whining about the so called discrimination at the hands of the majority Sinhala community of Sri Lanka! Yes, highly ironical indeed! Yes, the LTTE have massacred Muslims on many occasions and there were number of massacres while the Muslims were praying in their mosques! Consequently, now that the Muslims feel that the LTTE are on the verge of getting their so called eelam, naturally, they are terrified and want to know what security guarantees are provided to them by the state and the LTTE. They have already got a taste of whats to come since the "MOU" between the LTTE murder-king and Ranil, the dishonest current Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. I suggest you read the latest UTHR (Jaffna) report for an eye-opener!
Let us take a logical path to understand the undercurrents of this poignant development.
- Logic has indeed escaped you. On the contrary, your rant is full of the egregious contentions. See below for clarification.
The peace talk on the table is to address the grievances the Tamils have long raised with the Governments of Sri Lanka.
What grievances? This notion is entirely in the imagination of the chauvinistic separatist Tamils. Tamils have done very well for themselves as a minority in Sri Lanka. While enjoying the same rights as all other citizens, for example, their representation in the esteemed professions in the country (lawyers, doctors, engineers, accountants, dentists, etc. as well as postings as Sri Lankan diplomats abroad) have been far in excess of their proportional representation in the demography of the country. At the time of Tamil agitation for separatism in its present form, they were represented in excess of 30% in most of these professions a number far in excess of the 12% of the population that they represented. Therefore, their collectively elevated socio-economic status a status that could not have been achieved if there had been systemic discrimination - blatantly contradicts this claim of grievance. True, the legitimacy to this nonsensical "grievance" claim was given by none other than corrupt Sinhala politicians from both the UNP and the SLFP/PA parties who wanted to woo-in Tamil votes at election time. Do not ever be misled on this accord No sensible Sinhala will ever concede that this claim of grievance is real. The Sinhalas see it as an excuse for the agitation for a Tamil separate state, severed from Sri Lanka. This agitation started in the immediate post-independence era by a handful of UK educated Tamils who descended on Sri Lanka with a sudden majority complex a majority complex stemming from their ill- gotten education at the hands of the British masters who favoured Tamils over the Sinhalas as the Sinhalas were not pliant to their designs. As well, the misguided sense of superiority due to the Tamil Nadu factor that I noted above came into play simultaneously to give life to this agitation. Of course, being the descendants of the successive invasion forces (oppressors) of Sri Lanka (from South India) since the early history of the island, in their minds, these separatist Tamils decided it was time to teach the Sinhalas who the masters in the region were! History clearly states that these oppressors repeatedly attempted to wipe out the flourishing Sinhala civilization of the day and each time they thought they did it for good. To their frustration, each time it was magnificently restored by the resilient Sinhala heroes of the day.
The Memorandum of Understanding reached between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as the authentic representatives of the Tamil people and the Prime Minister of the country is consequential to Tamil freedom.
- Bosh! When did the Tamils proclaim with a majority vote that the LTTE are the authentic representatives of the Tamil people? LTTE are self-appointed dictators. They became so at the expense of vast bloodshed in their own Tamil community whereby they carried out wholesale slaughter of other Tamil groups as well as systemic assassinations of moderate Tamils. Who are you trying to deceive? As for the MOU it is for all practical purposes a non-event. This was a document signed by a man who executed deceit to get elected - at any cost - and by another man who is wanted for murder! Although this MOU did exist with corrupt Ranil and the LTTE murder-king during the last election campaign, Ranil cleverly concealed this fact from the Sinhala masses as he knew well that the LTTE wounded Sinhala psyche would not buy-into his idiocy. This MOU and the so called interim administration discussions that are to commence soon in Thailand were not in his election manifesto and consequently, the masses have not given him a mandate for any of these short-sighted measures. Today, Ranil is acting as a dictator not unlike the LTTE murder-king.
It has been long accepted that 'Sinhala Only' was the turning point in the life of Sri Lanka. Every nagging grievance of the Tamil community got aggravated from that day onwards.
- This is the lame-duck excuse for what I stated above re. Tamil separatism. The Sinhala Only act (which was effected to correct centuries of persecution of the Sinhalas in their own land by foreigners) became the scapegoat for separatist Tamils' insidious designs that were already hatched.
Our fight is not about language or religion. Our fight is about the fundamental rights of the Tamil community. Our struggle is about the rational aspirations of the Tamil people.
- rational aspirations of the Tamil people should not entail the resort to terrorism. Wholesale slaughter of innocent non-combatants including infants who were taken by the legs and smashed against trees so that their skulls would burst open, stabbing of pregnant mothers, waylaying of civilian busses and tossing grenades and spraying machine-gun fire to a kill the maximum, bombings of passenger buses, trains, and other vehicles indiscriminately, sadistic bleeding to death of captured soldiers, assassination of elected leaders including Mr. Rajiv Gandhi of India, colossal loss of life and property through mega-explosions, kidnappings (including children for use as cannon-fodder), extortions, etc. should not be actions stemming from rational aspirations of any people! If you intended to white wash LTTE atrocities, you are sadly mistaken. The world today knows well what terrorism is! LTTE as an organization has been banned in many western countries not because of mere militancy as you have referred to.
We are minorities. We steadfastly chose proven democratic avenues all along to air our grievances. Even the current peace initiative springs from our democratic outlook.
- This is the prize catch! This is undeniable sewer-waste! Democracy and the LTTE? Oil and water mix better! Do not insult our basic sense of intelligence and fair play! I am surprised your piece moved to this forums print then again it is democratic rules that we abide by here and even the most deranged mentality must be given a chance to air its diabolique!
We do understand minority grievances. We will agree that the Muslims should be given a fair hearing of their own separate grievances with the Administration.
- Muslims grievances are with the LTTE and not with the Administration. Like most living in the NE sector, they, along with the Sinhalas and sensible Tamils, are terrified of this impending LTTE interim administration.
Unlike with our leadership, the Sinhalese chauvinists were widely awake when the British colonialists were preparing to leave the country in the hands of the locals. The Sinhalese had their blueprint laid out to confiscate Tamil Eelam. One of the schemes they had hatched was to replicate the art of 'divide and rule' that was well practiced by the colonial masters. Since the dogged days of Independence it was the turn of the Sinhala masters to turn on the screws against the Tamils, with the tacit consent and connivance of the Muslim leadership.
- There you have it! Re-inventing history as have been done by separatist Tamils many times before! Dismissing this as utter nonsense having no basis in historical fact, I must say that I regret the Muslims did not join in with the rest of Sri Lankans to eradicate Tamil Tiger Terrorism at its infancy. If there had been better partnership, Muslims would not be having their grave concerns of today!
Tamils have been reasonable even in times of adversity. We are not blaming the Muslims for our misfortunes. No Muslim ever suffered in the hands of our youth any more than our bad apples.
- Remember the wholesale slaughters at the mosques? So, they were all bad apples that were praying inside? In these instances alone, the LTTE certainly did a horrendously fine job of blaming the Muslims for their misfortune! I am sure the blood-soaked mosques will be etched in Muslims mind forever!
Freedom for Tamils is freedom for Muslims also.
- So said the tiger to the fawn!
PEACE TALKS - OPEN LETTER TO RAUF HAKEEM
BACK TO LATEST NEWS
Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.