In Sri Lanka the Tamil Community is seeking to separate itself from the Sri Lankan identity to assert their Tamil identity separate from the rest of the Sri Lankan Communities. They refuse to accept the Sinhala as the majority Community. They clamour about an ethnic problem , and make demands seeking parity with the Sinhala Community.
Take for instance Sampanthan and the rest of the members of the TNA, they do not stand for a united Sri Lanka, but a Sri Lanka divided between the Sinhala and the Tamils. Even Anandasangaree, or even Douglas Devanada peddle their communal “label” to remain with their separate Tamilness. The more vociferous of them the so called Tamil intellectual s and Tamil journalists like Kumar David, Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu, Rajan Philip or Lynn Orkersz are all Tamils troubled by their ethnic identity, demanding the settlement of a nonexistent ethnic problem.
Through out the nearly three decades of living with the “cancer” of terrorism, the Tamils did not raise their voice against the terrorists. Their silence was acceptance, or a sentimental attachment to the idea of a separate Eelam demanded by the terrorists, therefore contributing to the idea of the division of Sri Lanka for the creation of a Tamil Eelam.
The war against terrorism was left for the Sinhala Buddhists, because the Tamils did not have the patriotic love for the country of their birth to denounce terrorism and stand with the Sinhala to save the motherland from being divided.
Not wanting to live together with the Sinhala Community, they did not mind the country divided to make place for a Tamil Eelam. No Tamil died to save the country from being divided by the terrorists. Instead they were willing to fight along with the terrorists, sympathise , and contribute financially to make a success of their cause to divide the country in which they were born.
In that climate of danger to the motherland , its division and devastation, there was no one Tamil voice demanding unity with the Sinhala majority. None of them would dare accept adhering to Sinhala political norms.
It was in that atmosphere of Tamil hatred towards the Sinhala, that one Tamil man rose above the fires of hatred to shoulder the burden of the effort of the Sinhala Buddhists to save the unitary state of their motherland , fighting a ruthless group of terrorists.
Ironically that Tamil man, a colossus, above all the local and expatriate Sri Lankan Tamils, rose from the blood drenched terrorists themselves, having realized the utter futility of fighting against the Sinhala to solve an ethnic problem. The ethnic problem if there is one he thought could be settled by being with the Sinhala, and not by being separated from the Sinhala.
No laws, or legal devolution of political power could bring about unity of the people of different communities. The desire to unite has to come from within each one of the partners seeking unity.
Karuna Amman has knowingly or unknowingly stepped outside his communal identity to show his Tamil compatriots that it is not by being racists and forsaking the Sinhala Community as supremacists that we could make Sri Lanka a true nation state. The identity of a nation, is an indication of unity, but if there is disunity between the communities composing the nation, how can there be a nation
Sri Lanka to rise above the state of a developing nation, to be a developed nation should give up bickering about ethnic problems, seeking to settle differences in peaceful dialogue without the show of hatred and animosity towards each other because of the inherent Communal differences.
Karuna Amman in giving up communal politics to become a member of the SLFP has shown that a member of the Tamil Community could work along with the Sinhala politicians and pave the way to build a true Nation of Sri Lankans. The problems a nation has, due to its communal composition has to be settled by itself, without being interfered into by any outsider, even if that outsider has cultural ingredients common with on of the communities making up the Nation. Interference by Tamil Nadu in the affairs of Sri Lanka for instance.
It is time that the Tamil racist politicians, intellectuals, journalists and others such as Mano Ganeshan , Sampanthan , Kumar David, Rajan Philips, Lynn Ockersz, Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu or even Leela Isaacs, take a lesson from Karuna Amman. It is time that they living in their cozy comfort give up divisive rhetoric to speak a language of tolerance, unity and brotherhood towards the Sinhala , to make Sri Lanka a true Sovereign Nation State.
The racist Tamil politicians, intellectuals , journalists and other Tamil writers, call names and insult in different ways the Sinhala, but despite that it is the Sinhala politicians, intellectuals, journalists and writers who incessantly call for Communal Unity .
All nations have ethnic problems , but such problems have been solved in cordial interaction with the respective majority communities and not by constant confrontation with them.
Karuna Amman has set an example and it is time that the other Tamils give up their extremism and join hands with the Sinhala Community to solve whatever problems in an atmosphere of tolerance, peace, and understanding.
The realization of the futility of terrorism seeking separation from the Sinhala, after all his own compatriots, came to Karuna Amman having gone through the worst of situations , and risking his life to rise above that hopeless extremism. The Sinhala have accepted him as one of theirs despite his past. Why cannot the Tamils accept the Sinhala despite their past ?
The expatriate Tamils having left Sri Lanka have adopted their countries of residence as their own. They have demonstrated , by their support for the terrorists who wanted to divide Sri Lanka to set up a separate Tamil Eelam, that they have no patriotic love for Sri Lanka they had left behind .
These pro-terrorist Tamil expatriates are not patriotic Sri Lankans, but Tamils who wish to remain separated from the Sinhala Community in an Eelam of their own. They cannot unless they give up their demand fro a separate Eelam State , be a part of the Sri Lankan Nation.
Karuna Amman’s bold decision to give up being separated from the rest of the communities in accepting a nationalist political platform , should even open the eyes of the Western politicians such as Robert O Blake, David Miliband, Bernard Kouchner and the rest, that their call for the settlement of an ethnic problem in Sri Lanka , is only to perpetuate division . It is an uncalled for interference into the affairs of Sri Lanka. The problems of Sri Lanka, both ethnic and political, could very well be settled by the Sri Lankans themselves.
The ethnic problem cannot be solved by going against the Sinhala, but being with them and getting involved with them to work towards the common objective of developing our motherland to make it a happy place for ourselves and our children, making ourselves a united Nation of Sri Lankans without any distinction of a minority or a majority.
That is the lesson Karuna Amman has given us.