Sunday, 2 May 2010

Why a two third Majority, when according to Feizal Samath’s Article “Jaffna Tamils Decry Development Plan of Gov’t”

Mannar Bridge

Part One.

Why a two third majority ? If it is to amend the constitution to allow devolution of political power to the Tamils; it is far better to leave the constitution alone for the time being. It serves no purpose to accept the most undependable politician Rauf Hakeem, the shameless opportunist ManoGaneshan, or the slaves of the terrorists Sampanthan and the rest into the government fold merely to increase the numbers to have the two third majority.

The Tamils should engage themselves completely with the government to participate in the Nation building activities as a part of its citizenry. We should not give in either to the expatriate Tamils who live in their own world as third class citizens in foreign lands pushed from pillar to post by the whites, and yet conspiring with them to divide Sri Lanka for an Eelam where they hope to be first class citizens, nor the dishonestWestern Governments. Neither the expatriate Tamils nor the Western pseudo democracies, care or feel for our people, nor understand our cultural difference nor our national interests.

If the Tamils would like to remain apart, claiming an Eelam State it is better they set it up in Tamil Nadu, leaving Sri Lanka for the Sri Lankans. If they remain in this country they should learn to be a part and parcel of it accepting the fact of the Sinhala being the majority and that they are the minority. The Sinhala Governments have denied them nothing but had always come forward to help them in the worst of times, and they continued to be helped to come out of the misery into which their own people had pushed them.

It was not the Sampanthan and his TNA that helped the Tamils to come out of the throes of suffering under ruthless terrorism. If not for the Government of Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Sinhala Buddhist Armed Forces the Tamils would still be suffering, and living in continuous fear of death, their children being kidnapped, threats and demand of ransom.

There was an article “ Jaffna Tamils Decry Developement Plan of Gov’t “ by Feizal Samath in IPS of the 26 April,2010. It is interesting to read that article to fathom the extent to which the Jaffna Tamils wants to distance themselves from the Sinhala Community, and prefer to immigrate even to wash dishes in white homes and restaurants in Foreign lands. It is time that the Tamils in Sri Lanka change their attitudes, and at least now, begin to love their motherland in which they were born, with its environment, and with its population of different communities.

The mentioned article begins with an incident, “ Two cyclists from the minority Tamil community are shooed away by government soldiers as they approach this northern Sri Lankan city’s only Buddhist temple while President Mahinda Rajapaksa is paying a visit.

But when a family from the majority Sinhalese ambles toward the guards, they are treated more amiably.

These twin incidents during Rajapaksa’s rare visit to Jaffna on Apr. 1 illustrate the contrasting ways in which soldiers from an army made up largely of Sinhalese treat the majority and minority ethnic groups. ………”

This also happened during the period of terrorism when Tamils residing in some areas in Colombo were checked by the police, and a big hue and cry was then made calling it a discrimination against the minority Tamils. But don’t these Tamils who cry to high heavens that they are still suspected, know that it is they who have brought suspicion upon themselves, and why they are suspected and barred from coming closer to where the President had been ?

There was a chance for the Tamils in Jaffna and the East to prove that they are honest citizens who love their motherland as much as the Sinhalese, if they had the gumption to vote for the UPFA to show that they at least now understand that the Sinhala people are not the enemies of Tamils they have so far thought, but their friends. That would have removed the stigma of suspicion that unfortunately continues to be attached to Tamils.

But the Tamils in Jaffna and the East, shamelessly voted for the TNA- the political Party which represented Prabhakaran and his terrorists, and not the Tamil people, during the 30 years of terrorism in Sri Lanka. Even today the TNA are the flag bearers of Prabhakaran’s doctrine of Eelam and a separate homeland concept for the Tamils. Yet the Tamils who had been saved by the Government Forces, from the thirty years of misery, and the confiscation of their freedom by the ruthless terrorists, seem to dream of Prabhakaran’s Eelam as their heritage.

How can these Tamils now decry the difference of treatment meted out to them by the Military at check points ? Are they willing to be accepted as the children of mother Lanka entirely without reservations ?

If they do not, and follow the ghastly “remnants of terrorism” the TNA, seeking self determination and a separate Eelam for Tamils, they will always be suspect and treated differently from the Sinhala who are entirely the children of mother Lanka , who had all along accepted to live with a fraternal acceptance of their fellow compatriots , even if they seek to treat them differently.

Feizal Samath’s article further reads, “…….Right through the late 1970s, Tamils claimed discrimination from the majority community. In 1977 Tamil parties swept the polls in the northern capital of Jaffna on the call for a separate homeland. A few years later, Tamil militancy emerged and led to almost three decades of civil war.

Many fear the government still has a long way to go in winning the hearts and minds of the Tamil community, which dominates Jaffna.

"There is nothing we can do," explained a veteran Anglican priest, who declined to be named, when asked whether the government was bending backwards to win the support of the Tamils. ”…….”

The Christian Church, in the North and East of Sri Lanka, is a dominant obstacle to unity between the Tamils and the Sinhala Buddhists.

We have evolved since 1970, but have the mental attitude of Tamils evolved since then ? Apparently not. Is it the Government that has to go a long way to win the hearts and minds of the Tamil Community which dominates Jaffna ? Have the Tamils nothing to give to inspire the government to do more to help both the Tamils and Sinhala Communities ?

Why do the Tamils always expect the Government to do things for their welfare ? The Government is responsible for the wellbeing of the people of all communities. As it is the government, since it eliminated terrorism , has undertaken and carried out more development projects in the North and East, than in the South.

But what does the Government get in return for the yeoman service it is rendering to the Tamil population in Jaffna ? More they are given more they want. Their demands are greater than their own contribution to the government and the rest of its people for unity and development of Sri Lanka as a Nation.

They haven’t had the simple gratitude to vote for the government by way of an assent for the Communal unity of Sri Lanka breaking away from the rude concept of a separate Eelam. That was no show of patriotism , but a shameless show of utter racism of the Tamils towards the Sinhala Buddhists.

Feizal Samath wrote incorrectly , “…..Tamils are the largest minority group in Sri Lanka, representing about 13 percent of the country’s total population of 20 million. Many of them live in Jaffna, considered the seat of Tamil nationalism and the second most important city of Sri Lanka, next to Colombo……..” . It is incorrect, as he failed to mention that of the 13 percent of the total population of Tamils, 55 percent live in the South with the Sinhala people.

Feizal Samath continues in his article “………Nearly a year after the war ended, burnt out, shell-shocked buildings can be seen lying side by side with spanking new ones for banks or financial services as Colombo firms rush to grab a share of the new business opportunities in Jaffna.

But youngsters and city elders clamor for a different kind of development. "We need to be able to own rather than be bystanders (to development)," said a city businessman, who declined to be identified for fear of reprisal. “

This “different kind of development” does not come overnight. It is only about a year since the Government eliminated terrorism that had halted all possibilities of development projects in the North and East. Though the Tamil media and interested parties keep harping that progress has still not come to Sri Lanka, the Government of the President Mahinda Rajpakse has been able to develop the country in multifarious ways despite the war against terrorism in which it was forced to be engaged .

But the fact is that the Tamils coaxed by the Tamil media want progress to come to them immediately. They have no patience as if they expect the “Sinhala” Government to come with a magic wand to Jaffna to solve all their problems.

With the elimination of terrorism things have changed in Sri Lanka both for the Tamils and the Sinhala. The development in the North cannot be heralded with only the Tamils in mind, but all communities will have to share in the development of the North and East. And at the same time they have all the right to expect benefit from that development.

Therefore the Tamils in Jaffna should understand that they are no more alone in Jaffna. Jaffna is as much a part of Sri Lanka more than ever before, to the Sinhala and Muslims as much as Colombo is to the Tamils.

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