– by Shenali Waduge –
We feel for Jayalalitha, Karunanidhi, and a handful of other not so popular Tamil Nadu politicians who can gain fame only in protesting against sovereign nations. Their misery and anguish have dragged on for too long. At 80, the former Chief Minister should not have to subject himself to fasts. The ugly competition between the present and former Chief Minister is not healthy for the entire state of Tamil Nadu. Precious time and energy is lost on issues and money spent on posters related to a sovereign nation when there is much to be done in Tamil Nadu. There is a way to come out of the woods. The solution is to offer citizenship in India and to reside in Tamil Nadu to ALL Tamils in Sri Lanka who also feels that the “Sinhalese chauvinistic Government discriminates against Sri Lankan Tamils”. The Tamils in Sri Lanka can be given a choice and that would solve a matter that is unnecessarily causing friction between 2 nations and their people.
The issue of Tamils is the one and only factor that binds Sri Lanka’s Government to India and is keeping bilateral relations at a deadlock in view of Tamil Nadu ranting.
For too long the issue of “rights” “dignity” “respect” blah blah blah have been the cornerstone of diplomatic statements issued from India accusing Sri Lanka that it is not doing enough for the Sri Lankan Tamils. These unfair accusations are humiliating an entire nation internationally. We would have loved to see these same statements appear during the last 30 years directed to LTTE from India along the same lines. Now everyone is in competition with the other on who issues the most strongly worded condemnation letters to the President of Sri Lanka and the prize is sponsored by the West.
This charade cannot continue year after year. It is now affecting non-political areas like education, sports, tourism and religion as well creating unwanted tensions.
When Tamil Nadu says they are concerned about their brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka in view of their origins from Tamil Nadu we should not ignore this. Unfortunately, the brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka do not hold placards in protest for issues in Tamil Nadu. Be that as it may the bottom line is that no one should come between these filial bonds.
For far too long we have been running around something called “political solution” like a dog running behind its tail – some do catch it but most don’t. We are in the “most don’t” category. What if the dog didn’t have a tail!
Political solutions are meant to benefit only Governments in power. Years of blabbering “political solutions” needs to look at things practically and what directly suits the people concerned. To solve that the only solution is to take into consideration the main factor – The Tamils and what would help them live in peace without any discrimination. Tamil Nadu offers that choice.
If India is not going to give a Homeland and neither will Sri Lanka agree to a separation of its country those Tamils that feel imprisoned to live in Sri Lanka should by all accounts be given a choice. No one should live in a country that he/she abhors. That is not democracy.
It is a perfect time for India and in particular Tamil Nadu that has managed to uproot Delhi’s role on the international arena to be magnanimous and offer citizenship to ALL the Sri Lankan Tamils who detest living in Sri Lanka among “chauvinist Sinhalese Buddhist Government” so that they may go and live in India and as tourists they would always be welcome to come to Sri Lanka. With this solution offered we can put to rest all ill will though we believe those who sincerely love Sri Lanka enough to want to remain Sri Lankan will finally make their voice heard.
This offer of citizenship will certainly break the deadlock and the Sri Lankan Tamils that remain will live as Sri Lanka going through all of the ups and downs that all citizens go through whilst those Sri Lankan Tamils that hate to call themselves Sri Lankan can live happily in Tamil Nadu and that offer must also be extended to the Sri Lankan Tamil politicians as well and perhaps all others who detest living in Sri Lanka.
The solution offered will help all issues that are in stalemate and break the deadlock that currently exists.
Bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka can then be pursued without Tamil Nadu – as there is a saying that two’s company and threes a crowd.