06 January 2021
DIASPORA & LOCAL TAMILS
I have been invited again by our government to make submissions in relation to immigration intake. I usually base such submissions on my own experience as an Australian and blend it in with the community that includes me as part of itself. From that point onwards I become the Common community with the eligibility to represent the Community. This feeling of ownership should not be overridden by cleverness by a section of the community – especially the younger section.
Interestingly, the largest intake category for last year was the family category which amounted to 50% of the total allocation. Within that, 90% was partner category. To my mind, this promotes Equality and therefore Democracy.
In many ways immigration is similar to marriage. We become relatives in law. The greater the diversity, the stronger the need for Equal status, until known otherwise.
Canadian Tamils seem to be the most active participants in the upcoming UNHRC session. What about the Tamils in Sri Lanka? In his Ceylon Today article ‘Wanted: A Credible Ally for the West’, Mr N Sathiya Moorthy of the Observer Research Foundation highlights as follows:
[Going by Media reports and related analyses and speculation, western sponsors of the UNHRC resolution on war crimes probe and reconciliation at the UNHRC in March, is there someone who is in Sri Lanka that could convincingly carry the weight of their masses, to target the Sri Lankan State, the armed forces, individuals and other institutions? In this, the role of or for the Rajapaksas may be more political than criminal, unless otherwise someone wants to take it all the way up to the International Criminal Court (ICC), but that is at best an ify situation, which could make them even more popular nearer home than recent twin-poll results have shown in as many years.]
The answer to the above seems to be a NO. But one does feel that UNHRC participation helps those who seek to be global, to mind-merge through the Tamil issue. This is not necessarily through politics. The political angle is seen as the main pathway to global mind-merger. But the actual outcomes seem to happen through many other avenues, including the performing arts. This happens in the same way we access Universal power of Democracy through our votes.
By itself, Jaffna Politics is getting weaker and weaker. Recently, a Canadian Tamil expressed the view that he opposed Sinhalese looking Business development in Jaffna. But Jaffna itself has evolved to become more business oriented than it was before. Pro-Rajapaksa EPDP seems to have had some influence in the recent election of Jaffna Mayor. Mr Sathiya Moorthy presents the following picture:
[There are a few issues the Jaffna Mayor Election, and the one for the chairmanship of the adjoining Nallur Pradeshiya Sabha, highlight. Like in Jaffna, the Nallur chairmanship was also held by TNA with external support, but the Alliance lost it too in the recent Election, held after the TNA chair had to quit over the very same reason – losing the Budget vote twice.
All of it reflect and highlight the continuing squabbles that has been a part and parcel of the Tamil polity, inherited from the larger Tamil society, for decades since, before Independence. In Jaffna, for instance, what went wrong with the TNA’s supposed management of the EPDP ally? In a way, it was a queer alliance, especially after the Rajapaksas returned to Government and with that the EPDP and Minister Devananda. Yet, the EPDP shouldered along, despite TNA allies having targeted the party as anti-LTTE since the Alliance’s formation some 20 years ago.]
To my mind, the reason is Diaspora money. Those who have strong families would know that money transactions need to be strictly through firm structures. Where money is scarce one is pushed to say ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’. When one feels thank you and sorry – one completes the transaction and becomes common owner of the outcomes. Any contribution on the basis of ownership feeling – goes towards the Universal connection.
When therefore – Canadian Tamils feel such ownership with Tamils they left behind, the issue becomes Universal. When Tamils currently in Sri Lanka connect to their own true experience – through their own local avenues – they also connect to this Universal power. It is then the Universal power that brings each group its own support in the most appropriate form as per the common need of that group.
It is therefore inappropriate for Canadian Tamils to structure Jaffna directly . As a group Canadian Tamils have the right to draw as per their own independent current contributions. What happened in Sri Lanka is the asset of Sri Lankan Tamils and Canadian Tamils have the right to become Sri Lankan Tamils at least in their minds and connect to the Universal pool as Sri Lankans.
As for the UNHRC issue – no I do not see any particular group carrying that weight. But in terms of small scale business development – yes there are many of us - including those of Sinhalese origin who are contributing to business and thereby overriding the need for reconciliation.