19 May 2021
ET TU OBAMA!
I was directed this morning to the article ‘Erasing Tamil Legacy in Sri Lanka’ by Human Rights Lawyers Samir Pasha and Naga Kandiah of London. I feel that it would be helpful to the reader to know how I, a Sri Lankan Tamil received the above about my own heritage which is firmly intact and cannot be damaged by anyone, leave alone being erased. My response below to a Christian Tamil would help. The question was in response to my article ‘SUICIDE & NOT GENOCIDE’
Q: Don’t you think the war in Sri Lanka was and is towards establishing a Sinhala only and Budhism only one Nation resulting in fighting for a Tamil State in the Country and not against terrorism?
Hasn’t the Sinhala leadership brainwashed the Sinhala populace towards achieving the goals of that leadership?
Response: In Sri Lanka there are three Nations. First in order of declaration of alleged belief - Sinhala, second Tamil and third Sri Lankan. I am able to identify with two nations – Tamil and Sri Lankan. I respect that Sinhala Nation exists and that it was declared due to fear of Tamil Nadu. Likewise Tamil Nation was declared due to fear of Sinhala Nation. It was THIS connection that promoted the armed war and yes resourced by India and it was this connection that resulted in the partnership with China – which is majority Buddhist country. Is it then morally wrong to protect Sinhala Nation from takeover by India? In the final outcome – if IPKF had won – we would have become a territory of India. As a Tamil I believe that VP knew this and hence the partnership with then President, Mr Premadasa to clear the scene of foreigners.
In terms of the Sinhala Nationalists – I have no intuitive connection with them. Hence I do not think for them. I can for Tamils including Tamil only Tamils and for Sri Lankans. I am yet to be proven wrong with these two groups. They have both existed for me and they continue to do so whenever I am in need.
Brainwashing happened also by LTTE – the effects of which continue with those who migrated on false basis to more affluent nations. They are now politically brainwashed to think they were right in blaming the Sri Lankan government. The return is votes. This was also the reason for Buddhism foremost article in the constitution. If they are wrong we need to mark Tamil Politicians also wrong in declaring the Vaddukoddai Resolution. Both were true but both led to armed rebellion by those who wanted to lead. Hence JVP in South and LTTE in North. Enforcement was hidden through Communist values – largely to find fault with the democratically elected leaders. Indiscriminate mixing of the two systems amounts to cheating true believers. To justify – they ‘show’ more and more – including through the promotion of suicide killings. President Premadasa failed to elevate the status of LTTE but kept the credit to himself. The IPKF left in March 1990 and LTTE showed its might in May 1991 by killing Rajiv and taking the credit – by showing how clever they were. Premadasa himself was assassinated in 1993.
The LTTE allowed the credit to come to them but it is possible that the killer was infected by Southerners who considered Mr Premadasa to be a traitor for colluding with the LTTE. That kind of collusion of minds happens naturally when we are free of boundaries. The collusion by the leaders to expel IPKF killed the leaders – Mr Premadasa in 1991 and Prabhakaran in 2009 due to Karuna doing to him what he did to Indian Tamils.
The authors of the above article published by the Jurist state:
[The Tamil community in Sri Lanka was subject to some of the most brutal and inhumane torture and killings during the civil war. In fact, the crimes committed against the Tamil community were so heinous that they have been labeled as genocide and ethnic cleansing, with former President Barack Obama recently describing it as an ‘ethnic slaughter’. The numbers involved of Tamil victims have been staggering, with death estimates as high as 146,000 and a further 280,000 put behind barbed wire concentration camps – scenes which the world would not have contemplated repeating since the Second World War.]
How did former President, Barack Obama know that it was ethnic slaughter? Did he have evidence that all those who carried arms were Sinhalese and not Sri Lankans or Tamils? As per my knowledge there were Sri Lankans as well as Tamils who carried arms. It was these Sri Lankans who forwarded evidence to outside world about what happened. The other two groups did not have the authority of the law to carry arms and kill.
IPKF came in because LTTE could not cope. IPKF left due to LTTE which colluded with this very government that they claimed to be fighting against. That collusion naturally infected them with the same mentality as Sinhala Nationalists.
As a Tamil I believe in the following by Universal Tamil Leader Thiruvalluvar:
[Ennandri Kondraarkkum Uyvuntaam Uyvillai
Seynandri Kondra Makarku./ There is salvation for faltering on any virtue
but not for ingratitude.] couplet 110 of Thirukural
LTTE acted in breach of this basic requirement to be a Tamil. Their collusion with Sinhalese leaders was repeated in 2005 Presidential elections when Tamils were blocked from voting – so Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa could win.
Ethnic cleansing is confirmed only in cases where Tamils did not participate in the attacks.
In terms of outsiders like Obama – they have to show the measure used and also the evidence that the killings were purely by Sinhalese. Every Sri Lankan has the moral authority to discipline Tamil only or Sinhalese only citizen as per her / his interpretation of the law. Once nationalism is declared at community level – that authority to discipline outside that level is lost. One needs to be cautious in making declarations due to this law of limitations.