5 years post-LTTE defeat – Time for grievances of Sinhalese and Muslim victims to be addressed
Most seem to be of the opinion that the 3 decade conflict in Sri Lanka affected only the Tamils and that only the Tamils are victims and to only Tamils post-conflict dividends should be granted. It will become a grave travesty of justice if the record is not set straight and the other victims - the Sinhalese and Muslims are also given equal attention and their grievances are looked into as well.
It is time we all accept that the common enemy of the 3 main communities of Sri Lanka (whether the Tamil National Alliance or its supporters agree or not) was, is and remains the LTTE.
When LTTE sent suicide missions, placed bombs inside buses, cars and exploded them through remote control, sent suicide cadres dressed like pregnant women or children the outcome of the explosion killed Sinhalese, Muslims and Tamils. This happened over 3 decades and constitute close to 400 suicide attacks excluding the other terror attempts made by LTTE since the 1980s. Assassinations by LTTE targeted politicians of all communities and ethnicities and ensured that all moderate thinking Tamil politicians were wiped out leaving the likes of Sampanthan and coterie ready to worship LTTE to remain as stooges. For their part they were simply buying time to take over leadership when the foreign allies were prepared to deliver an “Eelam” conducive to bridge and break up India handing them the role of puppet leaders of the new carved out Kosovo from both India and Sri Lanka. That gameplan is still in the running and the resolutions, UN inquiry and future Tribunals will be forerunners to this end initiative.
What has been forgotten so far is that there were thousands of Sinhalese and Muslims living in the North, their children born in hospitals in the North, having purchased lands in the North and running businesses in the North and living happily in the North among the Tamils until the LTTE and other armed groups came along and evicted them carrying only their clothes. These people have been living and languishing in refugee camps and living beggarly lives since the 1980s-1990s when they were evicted by the LTTE.
What role has the International Community, India and even the Government of Sri Lanka played in voicing the injustice to these Sinhalese and Muslims?
When Governments and donors have come forward to build homes for ONLY Tamils and the Sri Lankan Government itself has been going over board in providing lands, homes, facilities to the Tamils why have they forgotten that in the same measure the Sinhalese and Muslims that had been living in the North need to be resettled with the same passion?
Why has the Government not raised objection at international level giving in statistical numbers the Sinhalese and Muslims that had been living in the North since the 1940s and had been engaged in business in these areas and have even purchased land in these areas too?
5 years on the chants cannot be that victims were only Tamils.
Let us remind all parties that the LTTE dished out its terror on areas outside of the North though it was from the Vanni, areas where Tamils were lowcaste and low class that the LTTE ground force was built from. The LTTE upper strata were high castes/class but the ground troops were all low caste and these cadres were all picked up from poor families of the Vanni.
What should shame Tamils living in Colombo and overseas is that they did not mind these poor low caste Tamils becoming prey because the LTTE terror and the propaganda built up through the ‘Sinhala discrimination’ ‘genocide’ campaigns helped a lot of Tamils to apply as refugees and asylum seekers to western countries. Today 1million Tamils are better off because of this global campaign and they are all looking after their families back home so naturally they feel a sense of gratitude to the LTTE. Though there are Tamils who have realized the wrongs taking place and have now come out to speak against the LTTE against much odds realizing the true dynamics at play. These Tamils are now being targeted by their own for speaking the Truth.
Nevertheless, the wrong version accepted globally which is why most are reluctant to accept the ‘terrorist’ notion of the conflict is because the Government and its representatives have failed to highlight the plight of the Sinhalese and Muslim victims and the emotional, physical and economic hardships they are suffering from to this day. Families have lost the sole income provider, Sinhalese and Muslims have had entire families wiped out, Sinhalese and Muslims suffer life-long injuries and unable to work and therefore become a burden for their families especially families with low-incomes. The emotional sufferings of Sinhalese and Muslims watching only Tamils becoming recipients of state and international sympathy and empathy is something crusaders of peace and justice have conveniently omitted from looking into!
It is time these statistics came out into the open starting with the Kent and Dollar farm attacks where Sinhalese villagers were murdered, Palligodella is an example of how an entire Muslim village was wiped out by the LTTE, similarly scores of temples, mosques were attacked by LTTE and people in prayer were killed in cold blood, children were cut to pieces and student monks killed one after the other, army informants who were Tamil and Muslim were not only killed but their families were eliminated as well.
Nevertheless, if the State and foreign players are going overboard in providing for Tamils to return to their homes/lands and facilitating their livelihoods it is now time for the Sinhalese and Muslims who lived their to be provided that same gesture of assistance.
Moreover, as per constitution of Sri Lanka with people having the right to decide their residence and with the right to freedom of movement any Sinhalese and Muslim wishing to newly settle in the North should also be facilitated by the Government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil National Alliance has no right whatsoever to cry ‘colonization’. In fact legal action needs to be taken for stopping people from desiring to live where they like by scaring tactics that are being adopted via the Chief Minister and his political party.
To understand the true nature of who was victim from the LTTE among Tamils, it is good to explore this comment taken from the web!
November 4th, 2014 at 9:26 pm
November 4th, 2014 at 9:26 pm
The NET impact of the LTTE to SL Tamils is POSITIVE. In other words Tamils are BETTER OFF thanks to the LTTE. Sounds like a terrorist but let me explain.
LTTE abducted Tamils, killed them, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. But that affected only less than 0.5% of SL Tamils. That too LOW caste Tamils who are a MINORITY among Tamils. If you assume a family of a Tamil who suffered from LTTE has 6 people, only 3% of Tamils were BADLY affected. 97% of Tamils were unaffected by these.
About 35% of SL Tamils around the world live in RICH countries enjoying luxuries they NEVER DREAMT of! Thanks to the LTTE. ALL Tamils in SL have relatives abroad. They get ASSISTANCE from them. Obviously they too thank the LTTE for the asylum opportunity of their relatives.
Then there is RECONCILIATION. GOSL is giving away everything to Tamils. Why? Because MR, GR, etc. fear war crimes. Who made them panic in fear and give ANYTHING they could give to Tamils? LTTE diaspora.
LTTE killed Amirthalingam, etc. but MOST Tamils don’t give a fart about them now because they “betrayed” the “Tamil cause”. Good Tamils like Kadirgamar, Fernandopulle had NO Tamil support anyway.
This is what non-Tamils don’t understand. For you to understand how MOST SL TAMILS feel about the LTTE, you have to be a SL Tamil.
If you understand the TAMIL FRAME OF MIND from the above, now look at HOW a LOCAL Tamil would feel when travel restrictions or inconveniences are placed on their RICH relatives!! This is what TNA howls about and it makes sense for them to howl.
This does NOT mean we should NOT have these restrictions. We MUST because it is essential for national security. It is just that Tamils don’t give a DAMN about national security.
For them (excluding a few) SL is like a cow for a parasite. Suck blood while the cow is alive, feast on the carcass if dead and then fly away to another. (Colombians are the same).
The point is NOT to HATE anyone. The point is safeguard what is ours. SL is Sinhalese people’s baby. Sinhalese should take care of it. Expecting Tamils to respect or understand SL national security is foolish.
We must recall a letter sent by the Swarnahansa Foundation to the US ambassador complaining against the behaviour of one of its diplomat who had visited Navatkuli to question the Sinhalese who had returned to their original abodes in 2013. This is the same diplomat now exposed by the Sunday Leader newspaper for his links with Sun Master of the TNA to whom the rehabilitated LTTE cadre had supplied scores of blank UNHRC submission forms with only signatures and no date – that has put the UNHRC/OHCHR and the OISL investigators in a very embarrassing situation wherein they cannot answer publicly and admit how many false accounts they had accepted as ‘genuine’ ‘bonafide witness accounts’ because the likelihood of the same signature appearing on numerous forms has now also been raised! The arrest and discovery has thrown the entire investigation outcome into the dustbin and made a mockery out of the whole inquiry.
Nevertheless, on the part of the GOSL what it cannot escape from is to now
1. facilitate Sinhalese and Muslims wanting to return to their original homes and villages from which they were chased out from by the LTTE as well as to
2. facilitate Sinhalese and Muslims wanting to newly settle down and indulge in business in the North.
Two key areas for which the GOSL needs to now put up an action plan and implement without reservation or giving into wails from obvious corners.
Shenali D Waduge