– by Shenali D Waduge –
Would anyone imagine that a Tamil would say that Tamils were pinching themselves still because they did not believe that the LTTE could be defeated? Would a Tamil say that Tamils thought that LTTE would be revived months after its demise? Would a Tamil say that Tamils were mostly economic refugees and NGOs were using them to project a wrong picture. Well one gentlemen has come forward to confront the lies and his questions are simple – where were the calls for war crimes against LTTE when his parents were gunned down, where were the human rights angels when he was abducted by the LTTE or when children were taken to be turned into child soldiers and he has left even Navi Pillay speechless. He is Arun Thambimuttu who epitomizes Tamil youth and adds a breath of fresh air arguing articulately why Tamils and Sinhalese now need to share and start life afresh and the golden question is how many Tamils are now ready to think like Arun Thambimuttu and more importantly how many are prepared to hang the cloak of separatist ideology or let TNA and the rest of the LTTE Tamil Diaspora to rot hanging on to it?
Speaking at the successfully concluded Defence Seminar 2013 held from 3-5th September at the Galadari Hotel, Arun Thambimuttu’s speech dispelled many a myth floated locally and internationally. He is now giving a totally new outlook and dimension to the myths that prevail backing historical facts to claim credibility for his assertions. Adult and youth need to take serious note of what Arun Thambimuttu says.
He clearly demarcated how in ancient times the Tamil and Sinhalese shared and lived together, how the British dented that unity with their policies and how politics has evolved using the ‘ethnic’ label to demand a separate state to gain control of an area whereas Tamils were living in all parts of the island and more than ½ of Tamils in fact were living outside the North and East. These statements can be corroborated with facts which next ask how many Tamils would even think of such logic.
He went on to explain how many Tamils were shocked at the defeat of the LTTE because they believed the LTTE would be revived in 3 months or 6 months and while some Sinhalese also held similar views the issue now is how many of these Tamils or Sinhalese still explore the possibility of the impossible? How many Tamils continue to want to cling to a ‘dream’ sold by people holding foreign passports but promising to deliver an Eelam land while they continue to live abroad and how real is this ‘aspiration’? How many Tamils would question the games that politicians and the Tamil Diaspora along with the LTTE front organizations are playing with their minds drilling a bogus ‘Tamil Eelam’ something unlikely to result in either Sri Lanka’s North or even Tamil Nadu?
When Arun Thambimuttu says ‘devolved unit is in the minds of politicians’ how many Tamils would agree with him? When he says that Tamils do not need provincial councils, land or police powers, are Tamils ready to accept and demand that the TNA desist from selling lies to the people even when a retired judge joins the sing song of separatism with an added clause of involving foreign interference in their new manifesto? When Arun Thambimuttu says Tamil National Alliance represents hardly 7% of the Tamil vote base are Tamils ready to add to this total or completely cleanse their minds and their lives from TNA lies and false promises that they know they cannot deliver but sufficient enough to place them in power? Is it not opportune now for Tamils to think of their destiny amongst the majority community instead of attempting to distance themselves from the historical links that prevailed? Is it not time for Tamils to seriously wonder whether Eelam is actually meant for Hindus given the stakeholders involved in continuing to promote Eelam. Why don’t Tamils now think of this aspect of the equilibrium? Is it not better to align with the Sinhalese with both ethnic groups belonging to the Hindu civilization and create a new destiny together devoid of separatism – that is how Arun Thambimuttu thinks and it is time Tamils started to also think of Arun’s path instead of following the no-destination journey of the TNA and the LTTE fronts promoted by meddling do-gooder nations which had ‘lionized the LTTE’ bringing it to the level of a salvation army as Dr. Subramaniam Swamy has pointed out.
When Arun Thambimuttu says that he joins many Tamils who say ‘Give the army to build our roads’ is that not a show of confidence in the Sri Lankan military and is that not why the Tamils that lived without proper roads and infrastructure for almost 30 odd years now can travel from Batticoloa to Trincomalee in just 1 ½ hours when it took 7 hours to travel previously? So, when Arun says that the armed forces have become part and parcel of the lives of the Tamil people and that they want the Army to do their roads, houses etc it is on the simple logic that the army does a far more genuine job than the civilian public service would do. We in the South wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Arun Thambimuttu and the languishing state of roads in the South is example of such poor delivery by the civil administration whilst in comparison the Sri Lankan military has done an amazing job in the North and the East post-conflict.
If Arun Thambimuttu says the Tamil people living in the areas are happy with the military presence in the North and East and the amount of humanitarian assistance they provide to the people on a daily basis is highly appreciated what right does the Colombo living TNA have to claim otherwise or human rights organizations and diplomatic missions to read out scripts prepared by their local stooges who again are living and devising ways to distance the Tamil civilians from the military? That these entities are attempting to send a message to Tamils not to mingle with the military was evident when Arun quotes an instance of a Tamil lady been hung for handing a soldier a thambili (king coconut drink) who was on duty in the area. In short what these ethno-dividing politicians are attempting to do is to divide the civilians from ties with the military because it is a direct challenge to their political existence and when the military and the civilians create a bond it simply means the TNA is thrown out of the equation for the civilians would find it easy to make their requests directly to the military and the military is ready to deliver on these requests.
This bond has become a nightmare to the selfish self-seeking politicians of the TNA and those bankrolling their existence. The TNA should be shown the door at the September Northern Election for Tamils to move on with their lives meaningfully without keeping them brainwashed.
Arun Thambimuttu is certainly challenging the status quo and he is starting the dice rolling to help the Tamils to readjust their brainwashed ideological minds to accept reality and to move on and not continue to be mesmerized by a notion that is being sold merely to bring a handful of people into power.
When Arun says ‘the world has failed to understand these realities and if the Army services are pulled out from those areas, people will certainly encounter difficulties while creating space for another fundamental force to creep in exploiting the lapse.”, it makes us to wonder whether this is exactly the gameplan. Remove the army – create the chaos and resurrect the LTTE appears to be the goal.
Who is Arun Thambimuttu and with what authority does he have the right to challenge the status quo thus far not questioned or articulated by Tamils?
Arun belongs to a prominent and respected Tamil political family and is the son of Sam and Kalar Thambimuttu of Batticaloa in the Eastern Province. Both parents were gunned down in front of the Canadian High Commission in 1990. He fled to the UK and has returned a qualified economist.
Arun says that nearly 40,000 families in the East have lost at least one Tamil member in the family.
If Tamils are feeling cautious about post-conflict speaking with Arun Thambimuttu would certainly relieve their doubts for hearing from a Tamil that ‘the army did not see ordinary Tamils as a terrorist’ has to be a comforting thought especially when soldiers confined to barracks would have continued to keep people in doubt about the army but now their doubts are well and truly over. What is still keeping the distance is that the people have been forced to accept an ideology that is not getting them anywhere and it is time that the Tamils cleansed the separatist ideology from their minds and started to look at life without the notion of being fooled by separatist ideology being promoted by the decrepit TNA.
And when Arun says he is taking a different path from the political journey that his parents took, his words demands us to give an ear to his logic ‘ why do I need to do something different’ ‘somebody has to make the start and truly understand why we have gone through this……………….my view is that the only way one can start to make a change from this historic reality is to break from those historic constraints and take a new path’.
Arun Thambimuttu is certainly breaking the ice. He is taking up topics and giving a new dimension to how Tamils now need to think. When he says ‘my father in 1987 was a supporter of the 13th Amendment, but I myself have looked through and seen the potential impact of the 13th Amendment is creating divisions and homelands’. ‘They must understand Sinhalese people are not against equality’. ‘The only thing they have been against is the idea to devolve and rightly so as the Tamil nationalist parties have claimed that they will first take district powers and then ask for more powers and more powers and then create separation.’
If Arun Thambimuttu next asks what does separation next lead to should that not be how other Tamils should think as well?
Arun’s answer is for every citizen to put the nation first – to think with a national identity and we think Arun’s philosophy for the future is the correct path to follow and not the selfish separatist ways that the TNA-LTTE factors and factions are promoting.
It is now time for Tamils to become part of the nation building instead of being spectators for 4 years of post-conflict, the bond with the military has shown that the civilians and the military have created an unique bond to foster development. Sri Lanka has shown another exclusive success in burying the West-promoted scenario of keeping civilians and military distanced in development. Anyone visiting the war-torn areas in the north and east will as Arun has rightly shown visually see the development taking place. Arun thanks the military and he says many Tamils share the same views – we would now like that this be translated to completely nullify and deny the TNA any scope to continue to disturb and disunite the Tamil people from the rest of the populace of Sri Lanka.
Arun Thambimuttu has shown the way it is now time for the Tamils to think and follow. Shared cohesive living is far better than separatism in the mind only.