| by Sebastian Rasalingam, Canada
( February 25, Toronto, Sri Lanka Guardian) The trans-national Tamils (TNT) living in Canada have been super-active in gearing up forces against Sri Lanka, and wielding ‘human rights’ as their ‘clean weapon’. Canadian parliamentarians were paraded on February first by the ‘Canadian Human Rights Voice’, run by ex-LTTE Tamils. The most recent show was by the ‘Centre for War Victims and Human Rights (CWVHR)’, held in Toronto February 18th. This was run by Anton Philip (Father Sinnarasa), well-known more as a war monger than a victim. He was a dangerous LTTE-er who escaped from the Batticaloa maximum-security prison in the mid 1980s. Well-known LTTE figures like Father Emmanuel and top Trans-national Tamils hobnobbed with John Argue (Amnesty International) and other leaders of various ‘Human Rights’ organizations. The Eelam-nexus of the ‘human-rights commission’ in Hong-Kong was also clearly displayed. Thus veteran child-kidnappers and extortionists who trained suicide bombers have now become bed fellows of the human-rights industry, and wooed by all Canadian political parties!
The nexus between the TNA and the Trans-national Tamils.
These TNTs insist that ‘self-determination’ for the Tamils creating Tamil Eelam is the only way to ensure ‘human rights’ for them. The TNTs tighten the screws on the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) if it shows any amity towards the ‘Colombo government’. It is no secret that just recently the TNA was met by ‘civil society of Tamils’ with direct links to Western Eelamist organizations. Similarly, a group of hard-Eelamist intellectuals admonished the TNA to stick to ‘self-determination’ for the Tamils, and nothing less.
The expatriate Tamils, and the TNA domiciled in Colombo, are typical absentee Landlords of the North. The best land is owned by a small 15% of such upper-caste Tamils. The Human-rights organizations never talk of the humiliating oppression of the ordinary Tamils of the North by these land-owning Tamils. Instead they claim that the Sri Lankan government practiced genocide for the last thirty years, reaching a crescendo in May 2009. These ‘human rights’ accusations have become a choice ‘casus belli’ to the fund-hungry western NGOs looking for easy trophies.
Mr. Sumanthiran is a prominent TNA parliamentarian who grew up in Colombo, i.e., far away from his ‘Eelam homeland’. Unlike low-caste Tamils oppressed by the high-caste Tamils, Sumanthiran went to Lanka’s best schools, and practices at the Colombo courts like any other citizen. And yet, he talks of genocide, and of his human rights being transgressed! So, in order to put right the claimed grievances of rich land-owing upper-caste Tamil politicians like Mr. Sumanthiran, the TNA wants devolution of power to the North, specifically with land, police and financial power vested to a chief minister of their choice. But that is not enough. They also demand a referendum, restricted only to the Tamils, allowing self-determination for the ‘Tamil homelands’.
Even during British times, when Tamils prosper they leave their ‘homeland’ and move south, and then perhaps to foreign climes like Canada. Given that nearly half the Tamils now live in the south, among the Sinhalese, the proposed referendum should include the southern Tamils as well. But then, here is the conundrum left unresolved by the expatriate Tamils and their agent, the TNA. If the Tamils ‘win’ the referendum, the southern Tamils would face pressure to move to the ‘Tamil Homeland’ in the North. Large displacements of peoples always lead to hardship and bloodshed. Why is the TNA not addressing this issue?
Clearly then, the 13th amendment creating a provincial council for the North with a chief minister with land and police powers is the first step towards consolidating the caste-dictated land-ownership pattern threatened by modernization. This devolution of power to the north is also dispensation of power to the Eelamist Transnational government of via the TNA. A depressed-caste Tamil in Mavittapuram who used to be governed by the Chelvanayagams and Anandasangarees living in Colombo will now be subjects of Rudurakumarans, Ponnambalams and other expatriate Tamils.
The 13th amendment and social oppression.
The central government legislated against caste discrimination in 1956, ensured that even low castes could go in buses and trains, and introduced university admissions on a district basis giving a chance to schools of depressed regions etc. These would not have occurred under a chief minister in the North. Justice demands that the government re-allocates the land in the north on an equitable basis. Handing power to a local high-caste lord (‘chief minister’) and to trans-national Tamils should be prevented by establishing a strongly centralized system of government.
Caste discrimination is not a matter of the past. It exists with equal ugliness even today as discussed by Ahilan Kadirgamar, Thomas Johnpulle and other writers. The 13th amendment would hoist a high-caste chief minister to rule Jaffna. India learnt from Prabhakaran that such a chief minister could be a terrible terror to India itself. Mr. Chidambaram (the Home minister) is finding that this ‘Indian model’ has become an obstacle to forming a National Counter Terrorism Center even after the 2010 Mumbai attack. The 13th, a folly foisted by Rajeev Gandhi should be expunged from Lanka’s constitution.
The government should craft a new constitution, and demarcate provinces anew, stimulating multi-ethnicity, and rejecting entrenched ethnicity as well as casteism
inherent to it.