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Apr-01-2013 10:23printcomments

Gate Closed After the Horse is Bolted!
Controls against Non Resident Tamils Introduced After End of War!!

Non resident Tamils are maintaining dumbfounded silence!!!

Sri Lanka
Courtesy: Rajasingham Jayadevan

(LONDON ) - The government is doing everything possible to undermine a meaningful and transparent reconciliation process post warfare with the Tamil Tigers.

Its inventive and stubborn yardstick is reconciliation through infrastructural development process and anticipates it would give the economic upliftment for the war victims to pull through a better life and ultimately provide the economic reward to submerge the political divide.

The government is doing everything so insensitively through the development process to undermine the much needed reconciliation efforts as it fears the much demanded overt process will open the skeleton cupboards wide open.

Forget what we did to you and follow what we tell you is the dictum that is guiding the government on the Tamil issue.

The supernatural authority of the pseudo demigods in the centre of governance is even enslaving the very people whom elected them to power.

Slowly but surely the jumbo (not the UNP) in the room is starting to show serious cracks on the walls with progressively emerging governance difficulties and international pressure on the accountability issues.


Prevarication from the real reconciliation efforts and implanting a creative infrastructural development process to side-tract the real issues being addressed will only escalate the problems further.

Sincerity of the government to honestly take through a development process is also doubted, as it does not involve the resident stakeholders in any way. Regretfuly, the government’s ulterior motives to change the demography of the Tamil areas through the very same hyped campaign is undermining the much wanted wider reconciliation process.

The government is doing everything so insensitively through the development process to undermine the much needed reconciliation efforts as it fears the much demanded overt process will open the skeleton cupboards wide open.

Whilst the development effort of the government is marketed as a big fat decorated rooster, there are systematic measures undertaken to make Tamil minorities a manageable stock to make the majority Sinhalese an absolute controlling majority in the island nation.

The process of making Tamils as a manageable minority is further extended with the immigration and land controls through the Ministry of Defence with the direct involvement of the alleged war crimes hero Gotabaya Rajapakse. These are:


1. Introducing visa controls for the foreign nationals soon after the war ended. With over one million Tamils world-wide, the scheme is intended to get some valuable foreign currency earnings for the state Treasury. But the timing of the controls introduced without even embarking on a accountable reconciliation process clearly shows that the government is targeting the Tamils in its on-going campaign against them for monetary and controlling reasons.

2. Suspension of the dual nationality applications and the announcement that the controversial Defence Secretary will be involved in the approval of applications in the future is intended to prevent the Tamils from applying for dual nationality. Only those Tamils who prop up the government or those who have not engaged in anti-government activities will have a chance of getting the approval. Some suspect heavy bribery will pay a part in awarding dual nationality.

3. The announcement that the asylum claimants will not be granted Sri Lankan passports is another step in the wrong direction. Such controls are pre-emptive move and does not indicate the government is serious in the reconciliation process. In that process, concessions are given to those who have been given exceptional leave to remain outside the immigration rules in the host countries, provided they produce their national identity card. Using the national identity registration lost passport details are traced and new passport is issued following the due process.


But there is impediment on this process. The Passport Office only has computerised records for the past ten years. For those who obtained passport prior to that have to go through a very difficult process. The Sri Lanka foreign missions will issue a Travel Document and the applicant has to fly to Colombo and make a new application for a passport. In the prevailing climate of fear, how many will venture out is not an issue difficult to understand. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka foreign missions are not allowed to entertain any passport applications on behalf of the government of Sri Lanka.

4. Then the control introduced by the government to purchase or transfer real estate to foreigners has serious bearing on the expatriate Tamils. By this, the Tamils cannot buy properties or the ancestral properties cannot be transferred to them. There is no room for family arrangement to transfer estate to a family member who has become a foreign national due to war circumstances. The new rule comes superseding the previous 100% tax on properties bought since 2004.

The government was able to introduce these control without any protests from any quarters and the Defence Ministry is subtly engineering the controls and so far have not invited any pressures. Any reconciliation process must involve the non resident Tamils as they too are victims of the war. Subtle way in which measures have been introduced without big drum beating has helped the government to extend the marginalisation process of the Tamil further.

First published by Sri Lanka Guardian

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Rajasingham Jayadevan is a London-based writer who frequently writes about the Tamil Genocide in Sri Lanka.

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