SRI LANKAN ETHNIC ISSUE
Posted on May 25th, 2010

JANAKI CHANDRARATNA – PERTH, AUSTRALIA

Recently your column published an article from The Independent World, under somewhat a mischievous title “ƒ”¹…”How Beijing Won Sri Lanka’s War’. Whilst the article did list the chronology of the terrorist activity, it failed to identify the fundamentals underpinning the conflict. The following analysis attempts to highlight some of the realities needed for a lasting reconciliation.

It is true that Sri Lanka is a multi ethnic community comprising of an estimate of 8-10% of Tamils. The majority Sinhalese accounts for more than 70% of the population with Muslims, Burghers and other ethnic groups forming the remainder. It is also true that Tamils live all over the island and the other communities are restricted mainly to the centre and the South. A division of the island on ethnic grounds will never be a plausible solution. It would only create another Palestine.

There is rhyme or reason in historical terms for the above division. The archeological and literary evidence in the country dates back the Sinhala civilization to 500 BC. There is no such evidence to support that Tamils were part of the Sri Lankan community until the 12th and 13th centuries where there were invasions from Tamilnadu under the Pandyans and Cholas. Therefore any division of the country in terms of possession and tenure is unsubstantiated.

It is also true, as pointed out in the main article, Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country. Every country has its national identity and whether we like it or not we have to accept Sri Lanka’s national identity as Sinhala Buddhist country. The solution to the Sri Lankan issues, no doubt, needs the recognition of this fact. Once we get past this reality of identity then other issues such as alleged racism and discrimination, can be resolved easily resolved with adapting the laws, regulations and processes in place in other multi ethnic countries.

Fortunately, if you take terrorism out of the equation, Sri Lanka has the necessary legal and social structure for a harmonious multi ethnic society. The answer to a simple question such as “ƒ”¹…”how the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora had earned the knowledge and skills to exert such world wide campaign for a non existent cause, in a discriminated society, ‘ should satisfy the West and other misled critics that the Diaspora had equal, if not more than equal access to all legal and social benefits of the country.

The only assistance the West and the others can provide to Sri Lanka, at this juncture, is to be open-minded and facilitate the current efforts of assimilation and development. In this way over 20 million people would be allowed to live in peaceful future. Looking back on LTTE crimes, army crimes and other unfounded allegations would only prolong the agony of these innocent people who have suffered under brutal terrorism for the last 30 years.

JANAKI CHANDRARATNA

PERTH, AUSTRALIA

2 Responses to “SRI LANKAN ETHNIC ISSUE”

  1. Dr.K Says:

    Dear Ms Chandrarathna.

    You have given the reality of Sri Lanka’s ethnic situation in tablet form. Good message for any one to understand the truth of Sri Lanka in short.

  2. anura seneviratna Says:

    “It is also true, as pointed out in the main article, Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country. Every country has its national identity and whether we like it or not we have to accept Sri Lanka’s national identity as Sinhala Buddhist country. The solution to the Sri Lankan issues, no doubt, needs the recognition of this fact. Once we get past this reality of identity then other issues such as alleged racism and discrimination, can be resolved easily resolved with adapting the laws, regulations and processes in place in other multi ethnic countries.”

    Thanks, Janaki for the statement of this inviolable fact SL is THE Sinhela B. country, not A as there is no other. Our society is also multicultural and should be like other countries i.e. unofficially. The demand for Tamil nationhood is ONLY in Tamil Nadu (Tamil Country) and NEVER in any host national country. No matter how much agitation or heckling continued JUSTICE will prevail.

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