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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2553

An Open Letter to All Tamils – A Sinhalese perspective

This note is for all Tamils in Sri Lanka and in the Tamil Diasporas throughout the World (it does not apply to the 60 million Tamils in Tamil Nadu, South Indian).

This article is a suggestion to all Tamils to take stock of the Tamil situation as it stands today. To examine all factors from a fresh perspective that is not tainted by LTTE propaganda. If you consider deeply, perhaps you might decide that the time has come for a change. Remember that everything the LTTE has said before, and is still saying is disinformation and either complete falsehoods or based on deliberate provocation designed to incite the security forces to react so that their actions can be photographed and video’d to be used in their propaganda.

The government or the security forces did not cause or start the troubles that prevail in Sri Lanka today. These troubles arose because a group of Tamils, for whatever reason, decided to take up arms against the sovereign State of Sri Lanka. The government is merely defending the sovereignty of the country as any government will do, must do, to protect its citizens. The actions of the security forces are the means by which the country is defending itself. Neither the government (past or present) nor the security forces did anything before or during this conflict to provoke or cause reason for this or any other group to seek to divide the nation.

First of all, it must be understood that the call for a Tamil Homeland in Sri Lanka will never come about, not only because the Sinhalese people, however meek and mild they are, will never accept it (and any government that tries to force such a thing will be chased out of Parliament), but because it is morally wrong, there is no reason for it and it is totally unjustified. It is morally wrong because Sri Lanka is equally the land of the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, and Burghers who now constitute its population, and each must be free to go anywhere in the land as they please. Today, most citizens of Sri Lanka are not free to visit the areas given to the LTTE by a weak and naïve Prime Minister. It is morally wrong because no one race or creed or religion should enjoy special privileges, and should not have the need for special privileges. Everyone should be treated alike by the State. If not, redress should be through legislation or the courts, not by taking up arms.

Hypothetically speaking, if such a ‘Homeland’ was to be formed, ask yourself what sort of population will it have? None of the Tamils living in the diaspora or now living in the government-controlled areas will want to live under the jackboot administration that Prabhakaran has planned. The uncommitted Tamils in the area will want to escape such an administration at the first opportunity, if only to save their children from forced conscription or to give them a ‘real’ education. As such, only the 8000 or so LTTE cadre will be left in this so-called ‘Homeland.’

There is no justification for such a ‘Homeland’ because there never was. The call for a federal state was merely a token political idea that was used at election time by Tamil politicians. There is no justification because there was never any discrimination by any government, past or present, and there was never any harassment by the security forces before 1978. In 1975, as we all know, the Tamil politicians decided to force the issue of a federal state by taking up arms. A federal state that was only in their imagination, and not at all a popular demand of the Tamil population. They made a fatal mistake by hiring the criminal elements in Jaffna to carry out their intentions and were the first to suffer the consequences when the criminals turned upon their erstwhile masters and murdered almost all of them. Whatever the background, there is no justification because all the demands of the Tamils (except that for a federal state, which was an impossibility) were acceded to by one government or the other.

Try to identify even one act by the security forces Before 1978, that could be called harassment, and any act ever, even after 1978, that could be called genocide. You will find that there isn’t even a single incident. Note that the photographs in the propaganda packs the LTTE sells are the result of ethnic cleansing of Sinhalese villages by the LTTE, which they are portraying as Tamils butchered by the Sinhalese. Don’t take my word for it, just find out the name of the village through official records.

Today, as a result of this grave mistake on the part of the Tamil politicians, there is an uneducated and uncivilised criminal controlling the destinies of almost all the Tamils in the diaspora. Those Tamils living under the protection of the Sri Lanka government are perhaps the only Tamils who are safe from this madman (and also those in South India, who have the protection of the Indian government). How does the LTTE control? They control through intimidation. Is that the way a lawful organisation should behave? You all know what happens if a Tamil family does not make the monthly contribution.

You have heard about the kidnap and ransom cases, the credit card scams, the protection rackets and the ships that have been hijacked by the LTTE. You have heard about gun running, perhaps excusable through tenuous logic when you consider they are fighting the Sri Lankan security forces, but what about the drug running and human smuggling? Do you know of any legitimate government doing these things? Do you condone such acts as being necessary to raise funds to fight for a Tamil Homeland? Do you know that the LTTE is one of the richest organisations in the World, through the money that you, the Tamil diasporas contribute? The collection is estimated to be between $10 million to $100 million per month.

I need hardly ask whether you condone the forced conscription of children as young as 10 years old. Of course you don’t, not even to fight for a homeland, because that is adult stuff. The children must be left to enjoy their childhood, not be brainwashed and worse by persons who know nothing else but killing. They have warped the minds and turned the heads of a generation of Tamil youth, and I do not mean only those who have been conscripted. Included are all the Tamil children since 1983, particularly in the diasporas, who have been forced to listen to the false propaganda spouted by the LTTE. Those adults who lived among their Sinhalese, Muslim and Burgher friends know how false this propaganda is, but cannot openly say it, not even to another Tamil because the LTTE has turned their own children against their parents to inform on anyone ‘betraying’ the LTTE. Children who are gullible enough and impressionable enough to believe everything forced on them by LTTE propaganda.

Today, the word ‘Tamil” is being increasingly associated with terrorism, kidnapping and financial scams, the same way that ‘Muslim’ is being identified with terrorism because of Al Quaida. It won’t be long before ‘Tamil’ will be treated with contempt and loathing, not so much in Sri Lanka as in the rest of the World.

The Homeland concept and Eelam being false and impossible, the Tamil community should start disassociating itself from the concept as soon as possible. For a start, the remaining Tamil political parties in Sri Lanka should change their names, removing “Eelam” and “Liberation”. There is nothing to liberate from, just ask the one million Tamils who continue to live happily among their Sinhalse neighbours in the government-controlled areas. Or do the Tamil people want to be ‘liberated’ to live under Prabhakaran? From what I hear, there are more Tamils and Tamil businesses in Colombo and suburbs than Sinhalese and Sinhalese businesses. Does that sound as if these Tamils are being discriminated against?

So please take a fresh look, without the blinkers that LTTE propaganda has placed over your eyes, search for the truth and decide for yourself whether you should blindly follow the propaganda of an acknowledged criminal and terrorist organisation, or do the right thing by condemning the LTTE and the call for a Tamil Homeland. The Tamils started this absurd nonsense; they should at least attempt to stop it. There are a few Tamils with character in certain diaspora who are attempting to do so, Give them your support.

Jayantha de Silva
Victoria,
Australia – 21 July 2007.

- Asian Tribune -

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