Myopic view of Sri Lanka won’t help anyone
– Submitted by Walter Jayawardhana –
After being silent on an issue of global importance for years, Congress president Sonia Gandhi spoke the bitter truth on Sri Lanka the other day. But she spoke, sadly, only half the truth.
Addressing her party MPs in New Delhi March 19, Gandhi accused Colombo of denying “legitimate political rights” to its Tamil minority. And then she used language not heard from an Indian leader in a long time: “We are anguished by reports of unspeakable atrocities on innocent civilians and children, especially during the last days of the conflict in 2009.”
It may be that she was forced to say what she did due to domestic political compulsions; but her comments betrayed a truth that the Sri Lankan state, having crushed the LTTE, is increasingly uncomfortable with. Even those who initially thought that the charges against the Sri Lankan military were exaggerated have come to terms with the reality of what happened when the Tamil Tigers went down in a region crawling with helpless Tamil civilians.
Yet, knowingly or unknowingly, Gandhi spoke only a part of what happened in the first half of 2009 in Sri Lanka’s north. The military blitzkrieg would never have been able to target so many civilians if the LTTE had not forced a mass of helpless Tamil civilians to stay put in the conflict zone in the hope that their presence as a human shield would slow down the escalating war.
Indeed, the Lok Sabha election of April-May 2009 played an unwitting role in the slaughter that took place in Sri Lanka. Wary that a possible Congress rout would lead to a new regime in New Delhi that would pressure Colombo to go slow, the Sri Lankan military was determined to vanquish the LTTE at the earliest – come what may.
At the same time, thanks to foolish advice from at least one Tamil Nadu politician that the Congress was on its way out, LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran dragged on a futile war, eventually losing everything he had and leaving the Tamil community in the lurch. It is significant that his death took place around the very days a new Congress-led government took office in New Delhi. The DMK was then – we know from the Niira Radia tapes — angling for plum cabinet posts instead of shedding tears for Prabhakaran.
Equally important, the Sri Lankan war did not ignite passions in Tamil Nadu during the 2009 parliamentary elections. Neither the DMK nor the AIADMK made an issue of the brutal war. The one politician who did, and vocally, Vaiko, lost badly. So much for “Tamil sentiments”!
Why is Tamil Nadu angry now?
This is where Sri Lanka got it all wrong. When the war was raging, President Mahinda Rajapaksa pledged more than once to Indian leaders that he would embark on a path of genuine political reconciliation after the LTTE became history. Not only did he renege on the promise but his words and deeds since then have given a clear impression that for all practical purposes and intent he saw the LTTE defeat as a victory for the Sinhalese – his constituency — over the Tamils.
With foresight, Rajapaksa could have publicly lamented the deaths of Tamil civilians in the war and announced financial compensation so that families in the war zone could start new lives. He was politically so powerful then that no one in Sri Lanka could have dared him if he had unveiled a new political path that would be genuinely pluralistic.
Instead, he chose to deny what everyone alleged – and which his own gloating soldiers recorded for posterity on their mobile phones. These were pictures of brutalities that would one day leak — and become a huge liability. Even India’s reluctant vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in 2012 (New Delhi repeated the vote Thursday) failed to wake up a glum Colombo, resulting in the street protests in Tamil Nadu. That this turbulence in Tamil Nadu can be counter- productive for Sri Lanka’s beleaguered Tamil community is another story. (Indian Express)
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well sonia, this is the truth as we all know.you know better than these foolish people.
ASHIQQITA NANA DON’T BETRAY YOUR COUNTRY TO TRAITORS
Seems like you have forgotten the past. Or could be you have forgotten you had a husband called Rajiv Gandhi. The person who literely fed LTTE that time? Who sent Indian forces to Lanka and raped many Jaffna females.
If this is forgotten then GOSL and other will remind you soon.
When you point a finger to SL you will be pointing another 4 towards to you, don’t forget that.
GOSL should take top gear to show the truth soon, to the world, Not inside Lanka.
Sonia, you are trying to subjugate your western Christian ideology by accusing the GoSL. Stop shedding crocodile tears for the Tamils. You are either unfaithful to your assasinated husband, Rajiv or have become senile due to your age.
Observe the five precepts, below.
1. Have a single standard policy.
2. Get rid of your current double standard policy.
3. Have law and order in India. Follow UN Charter.
4. Have Plebiscite in Kashmir.
5. Stop harboring terrorists in Tamil Nadu.
Sonia where were you when the brutal terrorists LTTE on the orders of VP slaughtered innocent Sinhalese civilians, raped women, cut open the wombs of preganant Sinhalese women and dashed on rocks Sinhalese infants held by their legs? Did you shed tears for them and protest about them? The diaspora Tamils and Tamil Nadu politicians are really angry about the total defeat and massacre of the LTTE including their evil leader. THAT IS THE REAL ISSUE HERE AND NOT SO CALLED TAMIL CIVILIAN DEATHS. The Tamil civilians numbering about 300,000 were held as a human shield against the onslaught of tyhe SL army, who through the Humanatarian |Operation rescued them. The few thousands who died along with the SL soldiers who tried to rescue them died due to suicide bombing among the fleeing civilians to the SL army side acrtoss the Nadrikadal Lagoon and due to deliberate killing of them by the LTTE to stop them fleeing.
madom sonia this has happened many years ago,but real srilankan did not forget…
Instead of harping and claptrapping, is it not better for you to spend some half an hour to travel to north and east of Sri Lanka (and to Colombo too to see how much truth is in how the Sinhalese majority in south mistreating Tamils in Colombo as the pathetic TN racist politicians say)before you start babbling?
Instead of harping, is it not better for you to spend some half an hour to travel to north and east of Sri Lanka (and to Colombo too to see how much truth is in how the Sinhalese majority in south mistreating Tamils in Colombo as the pathetic TN racist politicians say)before you talk?
What I can not understand is why the Srilankan government does not do some propaganda of their own and do a documentary on all the improvements that they have made in the infrastructure in the north and telecast these so the world can se the actual picture. I have not been up north so I would not know and being a Sri Lankan if I am not sure if things have changed for the better for the tamils in the north then how will the rest of the world know. They are made to believe that the poor tamils up north are starving to death and are being treated very badly because they don’t know any different.
“Instead of harping, is it not better for you to spend some half an hour to travel to north and east of Sri Lanka (and to Colombo too to see how much truth is in how the Sinhalese majority in south mistreating Tamils in Colombo as the pathetic TN racist politicians say)before you talk?”
“What I can not understand is why the Sri Lankan government does not do some propaganda of their own and do a documentary on all the improvements that they have made in the infrastructure in the north and telecast these so the world can see the actual picture.”
VERY TRUE, BUT NEEDS TO BE FACTUAL AND NOT SELECTIVE
1. That was the peaceful case until 1956.
2. Then 1958 riots, 1977 riots, 1983 riots etc. Those years should have been avoided.
3. 1983-2009 War years, and ethnic cleansing,should have been avoided.
4.Ignore the Mahanama Thero Mahawamsa Myths regularly spilled out by Sinhala “Buddhist” chauvinists for the past 100 years and still continues todau with Budu Bala Sena, JHU and others.
5. Explain why the Mahanama Myths are still entrenched, and that Sinhala Buddhism is not Buddhism, and why there are no or hardly ant Tamil Buddhists in Sri Lanka.( There are no Jewish Nazis in Germany-Not Welcome-Not German, Not Sinhala).
6. Explain why going forward, Sri Lanka will shed its Indian Imported Prakit and Buddhism mix, and form a Sri Lanka nation, devoid of these myths. That way the people can practice Buddhism as taught by the great enlightened teacher Buddha, and Tamils and others will not be excluded with the freedom of religion.
6. Elevate the natives, Yakkas, Nagas and Veddhas to their proper place in history, away from the demonic descriptions in he mythology of Mahanama.
Haunted By Mahawamsa
By Tisaranee Gunasekara
“Hatred of one group can lead to hatred of others”
Amartya Sen (The Argumentative Indian)
So the Mahawamsa created the myth of the ‘Chosen race’ with its ‘sacred space’. This myth became the foundation for what I call the ‘Hosts and Guests’ concept of Lanka. According to this, the island belongs to Sinhala-Buddhists, who are its sole real owners. This ‘sacred bequest’ must be protected by whatever means necessary, including the use of violence.
In the teaching of Gautama Buddha there is no concept of holy war, no space for the use of force/violence in the protection of either the Dhamma or those who practice it.