| by Rajasingham Jayadevan
( April 20, 2012, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) It is with much humbleness, I write this appeal expressing my sincere feelings on the stands taken by both India and America on the issues affecting the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. Both are powerful nations on their own strengths.
It is no secret that thirty years of painful war in Sri Lanka, only reached the international corridors within the last three years, due to progressively changing world politics in dealing with nations that treat their own citizens abysmally.
|An Appeal to Hon. Hillary Clinton, Smt. Sonia Gandhi and Smt Jayaram Jayalalitha|
America’s role in reshaping the international politics since nine eleven and in particular in the last few years have paved the way for Sri Lanka to be made accountable for its acts of undue violence against its citizens. It is timely and is appropriate. Such farsighted way forward of the international community will forestall the criminal behaviour of nations that act against its citizens by suppressing, exterminating and exercising undue control over them to extend the authority of the majority under the guise of enjoying the sovereign status and demanding non interference to international cries.
The conduct of the countries that do not truly respect the constitutional principles of separation of powers and rule of law to evolve good and accountable governance gives birth to abusers of authority-the very state terrorism against the people due to inherent prejudices and controlling mindset.
Sri Lanka carried out unjustifiable violence against its citizens in appalling scales but the dumbfounded world until recently gave the government of Sri Lanka the cart blanch to brutally and indefinitely continue with the culture of violence. Sri Lanka’s aggressive behaviour towards its national minority Tamils, produced the violent LTTE that became a machinery to match the evilness of the state and it even overstepped its limits to challenge the state brutality- finally seeing its end with the bloody massacre of thousands of innocent Tamil people in 2009 by the state.
Until the final assault on the LTTE, sufferings of the Tamils were only heard twice in the UN previously – the very first time when a Tamil activist Late Krishna Vykunthavasan forced his way into the UN general assembly podium in the 1970’s and saying few words about the Tamils demands for justice, then in the early 1990’s, the UN Secretary General Boutruos Boutrous Ghali making a casual remark about the human tragedy facing the Tamil people in the Sri Lanka government’s Jayasekuru operation in Jaffna.
Thousands of people of all the communities have died with the deadly silence of the world for decades.
However, it is satisfying to see that the world is not going to be the same, as the compulsions are changing to deal with the internal issues of Sri Lankan type internationally.
In the changing international order, US Secretary of State Hon. Hillary Clinton, India’s behind the scene political head Smt. Sonia Gandhi and the very outspoken and just Smt Jayaram Jayalalitha-the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, are the only hope the Tamils of Sri Lanka have in the ever progressing repressive governance in Sri Lanka, that is determined to make the Tamils a manageable minority under its military dictate.
My humble appeal to Smt Sonia Gandhi
You are an important leader in leading the India’s affairs on many fronts. Your silence on the Tamil suffering at most critical times pains us most, as we feel that you have not redeemed your anger over the tragic death of your husband Rajiv Gandhi. Your silence is puzzling and has been India’s silence and indifference.
We can understand your feelings on the killing of Rajiv Gandhi, but unfortunately the Tamil people have incurred the collective punishment for over two decades due to the indifference shown for what LTTE did to the former Indian Prime Minister. Lots of blood has been spilt in Sri Lanka, since then and India has terribly misbehaved and had been a sadistic spectator over the volumes of crimes.
India’s engagement facing the insurrections in Sri Lana was an unpleasant one, and its pro-active involvement failed to bring about any meaningful change in the governance in Sri Lanka until now. Rajiv Gandhi was even attacked with the rifle in a military parade in Colombo. The intensions of both the conflicting parties have been brutal against Rajiv Gandhi, but India took comfort to totally abandon the Tamil people due to the acts of the LTTE.
My family too suffered in the Indian intervention, when my innocent mother and brother were callously murdered by the Indian Peace Keeping Force in 1987. It is 25 years since they were killed, but justice was never meted out on the killings. My brother Dr R Narendran who went through the painful experience of disposing the decomposed bodies of our dear ones, publicised the extent of the crime perpetrated, that was even published in the leading Indian Express. I too followed it up with a passionate personal appeal to you, but there was deadly silence from India due to the embarrassment caused by its troops.
We screamed after our dear ones brutal demise and are still mourning within ourselves. As the time passed our mature sense said to keep our pain to ourselves and we are living with the only hope such tragedies will not revisit us anymore.
The souls of the victims like Rajiv Gandhi and many thousands of innocent Tamils like my mother and brother will not rest in peace, until Sri Lanka achieve tranquillity by accommodating its minorities with honour.
We want mature approach from India, by putting aside its anger and offer the hand of friendship to its historical Tamil friend, who are linguistically and culturally attached to India. The present policy of India of providing lip service to the war victims is inadequate. India must go further to make Sri Lanka to address the core issues of the problem responsibly. Unfortunately, India’s regional role in this regard is limiting its engagement to mollycoddle with the unbending Sri Lanka, possibly to preserve its investments in the island nation.
Even the 13th amendment brought about with the Indian intervention is proving to be a façade. It must be either dumped or the heavy constraints placed in it with the concurrent list therein removed to give the real tooth of devolution for regional governance in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is a hate ridden stubborn nation. Any amount of pats will only strengthen its stubbornness and timely slap/s that would deal with its obstinacy could help the country track its future in the correct path.
It is also timely that Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement is revisited and reviewed in the climate of aggressive stance of Sri Lanka to upset the regional power balance.
It is your silence that worries us most. To this date, since the defeat of the LTTE, you have not made a word of consolation to the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. This is a perturbing development indeed. I have to contend that your anger is un-mitigated and is beyond the LTTE and is on Tamil people as a whole.
It is that opportunity of expressing your feeling that is much awaited and hope that you will break the impasse with a mature sense and sincere feelings like Hon Hillary Clinton and Smt Jeyaram Jayalaitha.
My personal appeal to Hon Hillary Clinton
I have my greatest admiration for America for putting Sri Lanka on the international agenda.
Hon Hillary Clinton’s statements gives us the satisfying feeling that one of the worlds powerful democracy will speak for the brutalised and traumatised Tamil people of Sri Lanka in the future.
In the international economics of giving priority for financial gains, engaging in a country like Sri Lanka is not a financially rewarding effort. The change in international approach spearheaded by the USA recently and followed by the other established democracies has given the Sri Lankan Tamils the hope that international justice will help them to put them in a place of ownership in the country of their birth.
Any intervention to influence the behaviour of Sri Lanka can only come from the regional power India and the only super power USA. Failing which, the Chinese economy built on the western globalisation programme will oxygenate Sri Lanka to play its ping pongs in an unorthodox way.
In the day and age when Britain is asserting the right of self determination for the 2,500 Flatlanders and controversial Sri Lanka upholding the right self determination of the Palestinian people whilst Tamil people are effectively held at gun point, international pressure must work to uphold the right of self determination of the Tamil people through democratic means.
It is contempt for the Tamil people to demand for the right of self determination but the very same government that denies the right to the Tamil people upholds the same right for the Palestinian people. The changing international political climate must give the democratic opportunity for the Tamils exercise their democratic rights like the Scots, Northern Irish, Quebecers, Sudanese and many other nations of people who are enjoying with the mature political approach.
As a prerequisite, uncompromising stand of Sri Lanka must be taken on a broader reconciliation process that must give the much denied right of self governance for the Tamil people to live with their head up without being trampled and heavily pressurised by the centralised state of the majority community.
Sincere thanks to Smt Jayaram Jayalalitha
You have powerfully articulated your position by distancing yourself from the LTTE to support the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. Your firm stand has put you in a unique position to speak for the Tamil people- a stand that is much needed when Sri Lanka is using all its resources to paint a bloomy picture about the Tamils.
Government of Sri Lanka is continuing to expand on the agenda of marginalising the Tamils to make them a manageable minority. Instead of going through a thorough reconciliation process to honourably deal with the deep rooted issues, the government is single handily putting in place barriers to dilute and down size the Tamil population in Sri Lanka.
Militarisation, para-militarisation, colonisations and subtle visa controls to prevent expatriate Tamils resettling in Sri Lanka are issues imposed on the Tamil people.
Even the Tamil people in the plantation sector are subtly and systematically Sinhalised by the state. It is none other than the Late Tamil parliamentarian Chandrasegaran who brought to our attention that government is denying education facilities in Tamil in certain areas in the plantation sector, resulting in the Tamil children being made to go to Sinhala schools to be Sinhalised.
We need greater change in the policy of India towards Sri Lanka. India must play its due regional role effectively, instead of being bullied by extremisms of surrounding states.
Tamils must be given the opportunity to decide their future whether to stay with Sri Lanka or be part of a federal arrangement with India. Though the Tamils went to the extent of claiming their right of separation, it is proving an un-plausible claim due to the inherent and historical animosity shown by Sri Lanka and the internal compulsions for India.
Tamils safety and security can be achieved by being part of India, as the Tamils in Sri Lanka has reached the status of wife being brutalised in the hands of the brute husband needing external help to proceed through a matrimonial divorce process for her safety and security.