The TNA has an obligation to help in the reconciliation process.
Posted on December 17th, 2013

Dr D.Chandraratna,

The stance of the TNA in the actions of the NPC members as reported in the media lately is suggesting to all rational minds that they are either not keen on reconciliation or at worst totally opposed to it for fear of laying the ghost of the LTTE for good. We are not privy as to where they get their instructions from but what is apparent from their actions is that they would like to prepare the ground inadvertently perhaps, for another war with the connivance of forces outside. By racializing every policy demand the objective is to keep the two ethnic groups on a polarized position. Of course there are the local politicians, and the roving fleet of human rights cohorts that will rejoice any catastrophe as long as it brings them dollars from foreign lands.

Reconciliation is an exceedingly difficult task as the recent exposure on South Africa clearly shows. Governing South Africa after apartheid was problematic. The reality in South Africa even after twenty years ought to remind Sri Lanka that its post war record is exemplary, without exaggeration. South Africa after twenty years on is one of the most unequal societies according to the IMF. While there are hundreds of billionaires in South Africa half the population earns less than two dollars a day. It records on average 50 murders a day and 70,000 rapes annually. Seventy five per cent of businesses are targeted by white-collar criminals. Rampant burglary and car jacking is a cancer in the body politic. The only difference is that with the assistance of vested interest groups led by David Cameron and the so called ‘international community’ the TNA would like to see that we be despised as a pariah nation for getting rid of the their much loved terrorist out fit. Mr Mandela’s heroism in the moral sphere only saved South Africa from racial conflagration to which it appeared doomed but the political and economic aspects of reconstruction have a very long way to go.

In traumatized societies such as Sri Lanka psychological reconciliation is the biggest of hurdles. It applies to all communities. TNA as the elected leaders of the Tamil community needs to change form. The Greek word metamorphosis summarizes the ethical implications of this changed form. In order to meet the ‘other’ (those outside one’s own community) this change will be necessary. It involves the capacity to gain and lose, to cope with fears and resistances, and also to transcend given identities. When difference alone becomes the banner the results turn out be, at most times, violent. The TNA cannot be unaware of the consequences of flogging exclusive identities. The nation has experienced that  for many decades.

At a time when none is free from ambivalent feelings towards ‘the other’ peaceful coexistence calls for a leap in consciousness, which allows people to accept each other as separate individuals and groups but still firmly believe that they can communicate and co exist as one nation. The TNA must lead the Tamil community to understand the fact that taking responsibility for one’s own identity means also an acceptance of the limits of such identity. Opening up to the ‘other’ through a negotiated partnership is not a denial of the shadow of identity that one invariably carries in oneself.

3 Responses to “The TNA has an obligation to help in the reconciliation process.”

  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    Our thanks to Dr Chandraratna for his enlightened write up here.

    The TNA leaders harken not to needs of Tamils or others in Lanka, but listens to only to their own Caste based problem and Tamil Nadu leaders and Tamils Diaspora plus vested interests.

    Their unfortunate choice of ‘Enemy’ is the GoSL & the Sinhela/Buddhist people. This is ironical when the very food they eat and the money and pensions they get is from these sources they call the ‘enemy’ !

    A perceived ‘enemy’ is essential to transcend the Caste divide for Tamils, but it CANNOT to be the GoSL or the Sinhela/Buddhists, but it can never be so as it is based on an UNTRUTH. Sinhela/Buddhists plus ANY Government of Lanka did not create the Caste/poverty problems of Tamil Nadu or any problems of Tamils of Lanka. TN problems are self created.

    If the the perceived ‘ENEMY’ is Poverty, Joblessness, Education not geared to jobs or is impractical, not enough good health care, not enough good shelter, not enough clean Water & Food, Ignorance about the nature of Life, etc., then we have Common Ground as to who the perceived “ENEMY’ is. These perceived ‘Enemies’ are the true Enemies of all the People of Lanka, not just enemies of Tamils. We have Common Ground to fight together here. Till such Common Ground is acknowledged by the TNA, there will be no peace for Lanka or her People.

    In a tragedy that is the TNA, it is best to take a firm hand in matters and guide the Tamils of Lanka to a better life for all, away from the nonsensical and untrue reasonings of TNA. Messing around in Indian elections and TN politics & Caste/poverty problems will not help Lanka or her People.

    We need a sincere National Govt. to tackle such difficult problems.

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    read as ” …. and it can never be as it based on an UNTRUTH”.

  3. jayasiri Says:

    Thank you Dr. Chandraratne!….. I feel we have allowed too much freedom to minority parties to NAME their parties with Seperatism overtones & distructive agendas. If we had take action from the start THAT TAMIL ELAM, or Parties with separatist agendas, mascarading as Fredom or Liberation parties, this type of political parties would NEVER had got off ground.

    NOW they are aTHREAT to soveriegnity & fredom of Sri Lanka. First mistake was NOT TO DECLARE SriLanka is PRE-DOMINANTLY a Buddhist country. Even now our own political leaders are RELUCTANT TO DECLARE so. Why this hestance, 70+ population is Sinhalese /Buddhists & why not do it now.

    Next is BANNING minority parties with ANTI – Sri Lanka overtones, and destructive agendas. Running to India is NO OPTION, we govern our Island the way we want NOT LISTENING to all TOMS, DICKS & HARRYS have not helped us at all. Must be FIRM WITH INDIA for encouraging our enemies to VISIT INDIA often is counter productive, They come back with COMPLETE receversal to RECONCILIATION or promoting UNITY among our races.

    THE BIGGEST problem we have is INDIA and its presence. We have to learn to LIVE without India, Pakistan, CHINA & other friednly African countries will be welcome addition to our foreign exposure. ANY COUNTRY OTHER THAN INDIA should be our policy.

    Only yesterday or Today a leading Lankan newspaper carried an article, BY A DEPUTY Minister to BAN TNA. So far no takers, and GOSL is keeping silent. By attemting NOT to dissociate India in our day to day affiars has cost our country dearly. EVEN now it is not too late to avoid BUYING anyhting that India produces, exports, as they are inferior.

    It is time GOSL ban TNA for a start and see what the outcome is…………Thank you all…..J

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