Tamil leaders, drop your error of considering the Sinhala polity as a single chauvinist element
(September 18, 2009 - Lanka Polity) “We cannot achieve anything through disunity and violence. There is a pressing need for us to unite under one umbrella. This is essential. In such a situation, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and other Muslim parties should also be accommodated,” said R. Sampanthan, the leader of the Sri Lanka’s major Tamil constituency in parliament, Tamil National Alliance (TNA).
We consider this as a progressive proposal made in the context of total disarray of the minority political parties in Sri Lanka whilst the majority Sinhala polity has united at least in one aspect, i.e., not granting the rights of the minority communities.
Sri Lanka government totally annihilated the rebel Liberation Tigers for Tamil Ealam (LTTE) that fought a bloody battle for national liberation for three decades and eliminated the entire local leadership in May this year. The executive-President led government has taken control of the entire island now and the limited devolution of power under Provincial Councils has become a mockery. The Tamil dominated Eastern Provincial Council that is administered by ex-rebel Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan is taking the brunt of the anti-devolution policy of the President Mahinda Rajapakse as the Province is governed either by the President’s brother Basil Rajapakse, MP, or by the Governor, an Army official, designated by President Mahinda Rajapakse instead of the Provincial Council. The Northern Province where most of the population is displaced and held in refugee camps with blocked mobility is also under a military Governor.
Almost all in the world were blaming the ultra-nationalist LTTE for the plight of the Tamils and the entire Sri Lankan polity and the Sinhala chauvinism went unheeded amidst the pandemonium. Now the LTTE is no more and the blamers have the responsibility to render their yeoman services that were blocked by rebels to the polity.
But the Tamil leadership is divided into molecules and atoms. Even the pro-nationalist elements like LTTE’s international wing and the TNA are now speedily departing. TNA should first of all try to unite the Tamils before they stretch their hand to the Muslims who were once thrown out of the Tamil lingual unity by the LTTE with the silent approval of the other Tamils.
Sri Lankan Muslims are also in total disarray and not only the political parties but also the religious community is divided under petit inclinations. A severe rift can be seen among the followers of ‘orthodox’ Islam and the newly erupted chapters. Two persons were killed and more than 100 were arrested by police recently in Beruwala, a Muslim coastal town in Western Province, due to clashes between Islam groups.
One thing is too sure now. In the post-LTTE context, as the entire polity is held by a new tyranny upheld by the Sinhala chauvinist majority, the minority communities will never have their rights without uniting and fighting. It is true that the violence will take them nowhere sans further destruction in the context the violence of the rulers is unmatched in any way.
Minority parties like TNA should not forget that there is a Sinhala minority too. That is comprised of leftists, workers, progressives and liberal democrats who really need the unity of nationalities with respect to each other. There are Sinhalese that wish to accept minority communities as equals with the same dignity. They want share power as well as life with Tamils, Muslims and other minority communities.
Minority community leaders should drop their long-held error of considering the Sinhala polity as a single chauvinist element.