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Unforgivable Act of Brazen Savagery of the Singhalese Rule Over the Tamils in Sri LankaM.R.Wilson Special to Salem-News.com
Sri Lanka's Constitution is based on racial, linguistic and religious hegemony.
(LOS ANGELES) - His Excellency the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa with his jumbo cabinet and hawkish policies has successfully manoeuvred to achieve his sole aim of personal aggrandizement. He safeguards his position scoring 2/3rds majority support from the parliament members by enticing other party members to cross over to his party benches by offering them full freedom for corrupt practices with all sorts of perks and perquisites and also for his survival he has created bountiful ministerial posts wherever possible at tremendous cost to Sri Lanka.
The numerical strength of the majoritarian Singhalese community could defeat any proposals of the Tamil community at any referendum. And also, the numerical strength of the Singhalese representatives in the legislative assembly or any ad hoc All Party Representatives Committee or conference could defeat any proposals submitted by the Tamil representatives on behalf of the Tamil community.
The Singhalese with an excessive ambition to foist their extremist policies on Tamils are unprepared to loosen up or change the system to share powers with them and greedily arrogate all the powers to themselves.
After the Independence in 1948, former Prime Minister S.W.R.D.Bandaranayake from SLFP prioritized Singhalese only policy of 1956 and captured power defeating the U.N.P. Next year, S.W.R.D.Bandaranayake- S.J.V.Chelvanayagam pact of 1957 was abrogated because of the UNP protests.
To be something like adding insult to injury besides being laughable that Dudley Senanayake S.J.V. Chelvanayagam Pact of 1965 was also abrogated because of the SLFP protest. Furthermore, the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987 was also abrogated by the National Singhalese protests and a court ruling to vouch for the fact that even the judicature or the judicial system in Sri Lanka is of a bias favourable to the Buddhist Singhalese extremism. Even the Ceasefire agreement of 22/02/2002 formulated under the patronage of the International peace monitors also had been jeopardized, declared null and void and sidelined by the present regime.
The major stumbling- block on the path of any peace process in Sri Lanka is the Constitution induced with ethnocentric assumptions based on racial, linguistic and religious hegemony.
The Republican Constitution of 1972 robbed the minorities of even the scanty safeguards against discrimination provided under Section 29 of the Soulbury Constitution introduced at independence in 1948.
Since independence in the year 1948 for the last 65 years, successive chauvinistic Singhalese Governments obsessed with Communal extremism and a mindset devoid of any genuine will and desire sincerely to solve the problems, had never evinced any readiness or ability to negotiate to quench the aspirations of the Tamils.
One after the other they had only tantalized the Tamils with false hopes and assurances in a desultory fashion from time to time with tiring and boring treadmill of pacts, accords, conferences, talks, agreements, memorandums, appointments of committees, discussions etc,etc, which all had turned into a complete fiasco.
The Constitution enacted by the Singhalese emphasizes that, only a Buddhist Sinhalese could be the Head of government and State, Buddhism could be the State religion, Singhalese could be the official language, colonization of Tamil areas by Singhalese could be done at State expense, together with a contrived standardization procedure to enter higher education to benefit the Sinhalese with the suppression of Tamil children who thrive on education.
Since what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, given that Sri Lanka is endowed with sovereignty, any powers devolved should be provided with adequate constitutional safeguards to ensure that the Tamils are empowered to live as they were before the advents of Colonial rulers in the year 1505 with their basic, fundamental and equal rights just like any Buddhist Singhalese.
The tyrannical regime had already done its best resorting to all tactics possible to bully the Tamil community into submission by threatening them with extortions, extrajudicial killings, torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, aerial bombardments, closures of highways, forced starvation and displacements besides denial of their other basic facilities expedient and necessary to achieve their extremist objectives.
It is quite natural that Tamils, due to the dreadful terror and spree of violence in full spate unleashed in the Tamil territories during the past wish to escape recrudescence of the similar tyrannous atrocities. Under the pretext of emancipating the Tamils from terrorism or starvation in the war-ravaged areas, launching on any developmental, rehabilitation or resettlement ventures are all tricks and nonsense besides being a cunning stratagem intended to deceive the whole world . And also, all these are simply meant either to entice or coerce under duress the ruthlessly oppressed Tamils obsessed with fear psychosis in desperation and untold hardships to capitulate to the extremist policies of the State and sacrifice their goals and ambitions compromising their political aspirations and grievances . Targeting on the destruction of the Tamil heritage, Singhalese armed forces have had crept into the Tamil territories displacing them in tens of thousands by force and army camps have had mushroomed all over together with Sinhalese colonization.
When the Tamils struggled since independence in 1948 for their basic and fundamental rights by ways of ahimsa, all their struggles were crushed by the Singhalese armed forces and the thuggish extremist Buddhist Singhalese precipitating several riots unleashed on the Tamils without confronting any counter-attacks from them.
The militant elements which were only at an embryonic stage somewhere in 1970 indulged in their retaliatory attacks in self-defence only since1983, after 35years of independence in 1948.
The fourth World Tamil Research Conference, was held in the city of Jaffna between January 3 and 9, 1974. Police action resulted in the loss of nine lives, the loss of civilian property while more than 50 civilians sustained severe injuries.
An organized mob of Sinhalese origin went on a rampage on the nights of May 31 to June 1, 1981, burning the Jaffna public library. At the time of its destruction, the library was one of the biggest in Asia, containing over 97,000 books and manuscripts.
1983 black July riots in Sri Lanka which began in Colombo, spread to Gampaha, Kalutara, Kandy, Matale, Nuwara Eliya and Trincomalee, areas where Sri Lankan and Indian Tamils were concentrated and converted the country into one of the most notorious killing fields in the world.
Since 1983 well over for 26 years in the war that ensued between the armed forces and the Tamil militants within the Tamil territories, churches, temples, schools, refugee camps, houses and business establishments were bombed and destroyed. Tens of thousands were killed, wounded, maimed or mangled including children.
Furthermore, many more children were left orphaned and men and women were widowed besides internal displacements and mass exodus of the Tamils to foreign countries.
The extremist Singhalese leaders were not perspicacious and competent enough to realize that any conflict by way of freedom struggle or terrorism is all a symptom of an underlying cause of an unjust system, aggression or denial of rights that could automatically vanish on elimination of the root causes for the conflict.
Even the Ceasefire agreement of 22/02/2002 formulated under the patronage of the International peace monitors also had been jeopardized, declared null and void and sidelined by the present regime.
Priority should had been given to the identification and extirpation of the cause of terrorism or related activities before defeating the militants indulged in terrorism. Mulling over on all activists of all those categorized as terrorists and putting them together in one class regardless of their policies and ideologies cannot be the basis for any deciding factor on terrorism because of its inherent ambiguity.
It is comprehensible even to a man of low intellect that the only panacea to cure the Sri Lankan ethnic ills is an optimal devolution of powers facilitating a self rule with greater autonomy in the Tamil territories under a federal unitary system based on the notions of equality the central principle of democracy and liberty.
Special thanks to Donald Gnanakone
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