Why Foreign Countries Violate Democratic Rights of Sri Lanka ?
By Jass Ranasinghe
I have frequently seen statements both in printed and electronic media by foreign countries particularly the government officials of the Western European countries and India requesting Sri Lanka to go to the negotiation table with the LTTE in order to resolve the "ethnic conflict" which is, in other words, the LTTE's claim for a separate state for the Tamils in Sri Lanka, the Tamil Eelam.
To comment with regard to this issue, I have to be honest with you that I am neither a historian nor a political analyst, but I strongly believe that I have the right to come out with my views as an ordinary Sri Lankan, no matter how sensitive the issue is.
Sri Lanka has an explicit documented history of more than 2500 years according to Mahawamsa. [Mahawamsa, ("Great Chronicle") of the kings of Sri Lanka. is a historical poem written in the Pali language. It covers the period from the coming of King Vijaya of Kalinga (ancient Orissa) in 543 BCE to the reign of King Mahasena. The first printed in 1837 by George Turner, an historian and officer of the Ceylon Civil Service. A German translation of Mahawamsa was completed by Wilhelm Geiger in 1912.]
Portuguese, Dutch and British invaded our country and as a result it has been a colony of those countries from 1505 against the will of Sri Lankan citizens till 1948. Sri Lanka became an independent nation in 1948 being a democratic country till to-date.
The literal meaning of the word "democracy" is power of the people.
The idea of democracy has been derived as an anti-theory to "autocracy" and "aristocracy" which respectively mean "power of a single ruler" or "power of a superior group". In this idea of "power" of government being the privilege of the ruler. Accordingly, in an autocracy an all powerful king/dictator rules the country for his own pleasure, and in aristocracy a privileged group rules over the lower classes again for the benefit of the ruling group. In a democracy it is the will of the majority of the people that is supreme and the elected government rules the country. This is the theory of democracy. Since all the people cannot in any meaningful sense govern a country, in practice, a "democratic government" means a government comprising of a person or group of people at the top of the government elected by some form of voting system for a specific period to govern the whole country enacting laws without making any distinction of the voters irrespective of their political interests.
Democracy as a method of decision making is deciding an issue by a majority vote. The only option left with the other groups is to seek justice under the constitution of the country if their fundamental rights are deprived or any other matter not consistent with the law of the country. However, those who are elected to govern the country, in other words the government, should have a tradition to respect the law and civil liberties of citizens as enshrined in the constitution.
Let us see the role played by the so-called foreign countries who think that they have a universal right to intimidate into the internal matters of a democratic country whether political or otherwise? I am of the firm belief there is absolutely no room for such blatant intimidation. They have to respect the democracy of our country.
Sinhalese being 72% of the country's population has become the majority and Tamils being 12% eventually are the minority. The Sinhalese are 72% simply because they have had been living in this country for more than 2500 years by now whereas Tamils are 12% because they settled down in the north of Sri Lanka in the 13th century [www.localhistories.ord/srilanka by Tim Lambert] despite the fact that there were invasions from south Indian Tamils from time to time in the Sri Lankan history.
These counties do not care that 72% of Sinhalese has been deprived of some of their basic rights by the colonial rulers prior to independence. The majority of the public sector employees were Tamils during the colonial days with a handful of Sinhalese here and there. After the independence under the democracy, legitimate rights of the Sinhalese were gradually restored and integrated into the system. Why it is not respected and accepted as an element of democracy without making a big issue. Why the Sinhala Buddhists are condemned as "Sinhalese Buddhist Chauvinism".
I need to say one thing. It is the "Eelamism" propagated by the Tamil Nationalists way back from 1930s in connivance with the Indian politicos and the colonial rulers destroyed the co-existence of the communities in the country. This is the fact. Tamils are the very people who originated hatred among the people of this country by asking a separate state.
Are those Western European Countries so sure that Eelam to be achieved by LTTE will be a democratic country where Tamils can live happily with their civil liberties uncompromised. Do they have any conviction that LTTE has any respect for democracy or to human life irrespective of whether it is Tamils or Sinhalese? Absolutely no. LTTE leader, Pripaharan, is a psychopath who has no any humane feelings even towards their own people or any respect towards democratic principles of governing a country.
Now, having created an issue as an "ethnic conflict" in this country by these foreign counties, they have been asking a democratic government to budge and go for negotiation with a ruthless gang of terrorists simply because a war has been perpetrated and innocent civilians of this country are killed everyday by the LTTE with suicide bombers. The above countries should be ashamed of themselves for stooping to such a low degree without a proper conviction and without any regards to the basic principles of democracy.
In addition, it is the Tamil Diaspora who propagates the Eelam saying they face torture and discrimination in Sri Lanka by the Sinhala people simply because they want to survive by creating false propaganda for them to migrate to the Western European countries. Having been born and bred in Sri Lanka, they have become traitors to their motherland.
One has to read the historical facts contained in the Mahawamsa to
understand actual existence of Sinhalese and Tamils in Sri Lanka. I
need to cite one significant incident from the history prior to the
Independence of Sri Lanka as compiled by British historian Jane Russel
as to how GG Ponnambalam of the Tamil National Movement in 1930s attacked
the Mahawamsa, being the history of Sinhala Buddhists. The inflammatory
speech in 1939 attacking the Sinhalese and the Mahawamsa by him as the
leader of the Nationalist Tamils lead to the first Sinhala -Tamil riots
engulfing Navalapitiya, Passara, Maskeliya and even in Jaffna in Sri
Lanka. However, the riots were rapidly put down by the British colonial
government and did not lead to the terrible magnitude of the post-independence
It was the Nationalist Tamils in the colonial era and well after that, who were responsible for creating backgrounds for communal riots in Sri Lanka. They have reaped what they sow, in consequence of which our motherland has had to suffer unfortunately.
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