30 July 2019
True Representative of Tamils of Sri Lanka
In Sri Lanka, Jaffna Tamils tended to lead the Tamil community. This was true of the LTTE also. But the ultimate leadership comes from within. Those who have endured deep pain have natural vision and hence natural leadership. Yesterday, a young couple from the toddy-tapper village of Thunaivi thanked me profusely for sharing my family experiences with them. The husband said ‘Ammah when you spoke to us – at times our thoughts got so muddled that we thought and said that we did not understand you. But now that we have gone through that pain in our own families – we realise that those who are being disciplined by us are going through what we went through with you back then.’ That made me very happy. This meant that I have already developed true heirs in Northern Sri Lanka. They would not look like my heirs here in Australia or in Colombo. But they would naturally merge to produce a reliable structure in which each group takes its place.
On that basis I rejected the opinion expressed by Mr Shivajilingam – as if he were the Sole Representative of Tamils:
[Former Northern Provincial Council Member M.K. Sivajilingam said that Tamils would not support any Sinhalese or Southern-based candidate at the forthcoming presidential election.] Daily Mirror report headed ‘Tamils won’t support any southern leader: Sivajilingam’. The parallel of that in our environment is for the above Thunaivi family to express on behalf our Paramasivam family. Officially like the TNA in Politics – I am the leader of the family. Unless I delegate my power to a junior – the junior has no authority to take my place. Even at Council level – Mr Sivajilingam does not have the authority to express on behalf of Northern Tamils. In provincial matters he has to submit to the Council leadership who would then represent the whole Council. This is a Federal issue where Mr Sivajilingam has natural authority to participate but not lead.
Assuming leadership was confirmed by Mr Sivajilingam when he took oath – reported as follows by Wikipedia:
[He took his oath as provincial councillor in front of Justice of Peace Mayilerum Perumal at a beach side Hindu temple in Mullivaikkal, a village on the north-east coast of Sri Lanka which was the scene of the final battle of the Sri Lankan Civil War, on 14 October 2013]
Had Mr Sivajilingam taken oath at Valvettithurai – that would have confirmed respect for his own birth. Most Tamils perform only the very last rites at the cemetery. Most of the rites are performed in the home area of the one who has passed away. No one celebrates their birth at the cemetery of their elders. Mullivaikkal is the cemetery of the LTTE. Taking oath at the cemetery is of a different culture to that of the Common Tamil of Northern Province. That is like eating in the toilet (the cemetery of the food we eat).
If Tamils are to be self-managing – they as a minority in Sri Lanka need ancestral blessings and/or lateral partnerships of global leaders – not to merely show but at the roots – as belief. Every person who has been deeply hurt due to loss of their natural heirs – acquires power from the side that hurt her/his right to enjoy the returns through her/his heirs. When the heirs were killed unjustly – that parent / family member acquires the right of the killer to that enjoyment. In this instance the killers were LTTE also.
To my mind, it was on this basis that Tamils voted against Mr Rajapaksa who won the position initially due to the LTTE support. Hence a vote against Rajapaksa with feeling (not mere emotions) – is a vote against the LTTE also. As per the above report:
[When asked about the stand taken by the main Tamil coalition, the Tamil National Alliance, he said that Tamil people were disgusted by the actions taken by the TNA so far. He said that the government that came to power in 2015 had already hoodwinked the Tamil people and the TNA had also done the same to the Tamil people.]
Those who are driven by their own truth would find their area of self-governance and also their true heirs. Deep and genuine pain takes them there. When we share in others’ pain through service – we no longer dwell in our pain only. Mr Sivajilingam is not likely to identify with the pain and suffering of Colombo Tamils who are the first targets of Southerners where there is conflict. Had the LTTE not set out to ‘show’ it mighty power with the 13 soldiers – but respected them as human beings and equally respectable soldiers – Colombo Tamils would not have suffered Black July pain. Tamil youth who joined the LTTE also took their militant oaths on the basis of Black July – i.e. – mental cemetery.
Contrary to Mr Sivajilingam’s advice – I would say vote for the Southern leader who opposes in orderly manner - the group that killed Tamils – unjustly – in a disorderly manner. Then WE give birth to orderly Sri Lankan leadership. Militants who block that participation would continue to promote militancy. As per my assessment - Sajith Premadasa seems the best fit as such a political leader. But our investment in other leadership positions are more important than political leadership – especially when it is unreliable. This is what Americans have shown us.