Amity after the War
by Gomin DAYASRI
The dissolution and the dismantling of the LTTE is not a defeat for
the Tamils. Sri Lankans have a rich ethos of togetherness at all social
levels to bind the nation which was disturbed by separatist forces with
the connivance of mischievous NGO elements.
Majority of the Tamils are law abiding citizens of whom few became
terrorists. These terrorists were the deadliest in the world and
subjugated the Tamils wherever they were, to become captive pawns;
Tamils without a political and national leadership were incapable of
countering the strategies of the terrorists.
Unfortunately Tigers political lackeys, the TNA sold their soul to
the terrorists and presently are in hiding. Lack of political leadership
with foresight and flexibility is a problem that Tamils have encountered
and which they themselves will have to overcome in the coming months.
Muslims and Sinhalese have diverse leadership to give alternate
platforms sadly absent for the Tamils since the LTTE destroyed their
political nurseries as they were not tolerant to political diversity.
Presently Tamils are not identifying themselves with the terrorists
almost on the verge of defeat or the TNA which are the front men for the
terrorists. Soon, the LTTE will become an embarrassment. Many Tamils,
some under duress, yet never did over- identify with the LTTE except the
Diaspora (nobodies abroad, wanting to be some bodies at home on return
and were duly exploited by the terrorists) and those attached to the NGO
sector; in the glory days of the LTTE most did cheer their achievements
to have a pledge with a potential winner and for the sake of an common
ethnic background. (To add flavour interested foreign countries and
their NGO agents were bent on securing a military defeat of the armed
forces and make the LTTE the winner at the negotiation table).
They were proud of their own “boys” trashing legitimate governments
which none can be proud of except to those deriving benefits and which
governments were blowing hot and cold with the LTTE. (To the credit of
Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gothabhaya Rajapaksa they have taken a positive
unwavering stand against the LTTE which has paid rich dividends though
in other respects this government is no different to previous
But on the prime national issue Mahinda Rajapaksa administration has
shown positive results none can dispute and deserve acclaim) But the
LTTE, like the SLFP or UNP will be treated like trash immediately on
defeat but always a revival is a possible like with the political
parties of the South, unless the Tamils are weaned away from their
present mind set.
The mischief makers will set an agenda for the Tamils which will be
unreasonable and unattainable. This would be the next game plan of the
NGO poodles once there is no war for them to peddle. They need causes to
be kept alive permanently to attract foreign sponsors for financial
support to maintain their current lifestyles.
The Tamils must establish their grievances are legitimate and the
government must examine and satisfy their validity and thereupon ensure
that remedies of a lasting nature are provided while assuring that no
harm befalls the other communities. Tamils, if they fall prey to extreme
elements and the NGO community; if the Sinhala leadership listens to the
fanatic elements- the hand of friendship cannot be extended in the hour
of need, after the culmination of the War. It is the Sinhalese being the
majority that must act with maturity. The end of the War may not
necessary mean the end of terrorism as there would be pockets of
resistance that again will surface unless the minorities can be assisted
to overcome their legitimate grievances.
The War must end with the psychology there are no victor and
vanquished except the terrorists and terrorism. The Tamils must allow a
national leadership to evolve from within their own sources in the
absence of an effective leadership and not permit the NGO community, to
be the path finders fishing in troubled waters to take them on a route
to clash with other communities with demands that are not possible to
grant which could lay the groundwork for a fresh secession movement.
Minorities can gain much if they can convince the majority that they do
not make claims that give rise to separatism.
It has to be conceded terrorism would have succeeded if not for the
valiant efforts of the less privileged sections of the majority
community who displayed bare bodied patriotism against sophisticated
opposition from local and international elite forces. They were not the
sons and daughters from the drawing rooms of Colombo 7; majority of whom
were clandestine comrades of the terrorists through the upbringing of an
The middle class and the poor have sacrificed so much not to permit
the division of the country with their blood sweat and toil by
permitting their children to serve in the armed forces, notwithstanding
campaigns such as Sudu Nelum initiated by some who are still cabinet
ministers. The credit for crushing terrorism is with the armed forces
and the supporting patriotic elements. If the People did not support the
War Machine it would not have succeeded especially as most of the UNP
rebels holding Cabinet portfolios presently were in the vanguard of
movements to stall the war.
Having fought against such odds it is the entitlement of the People
to ask the rulers to leave no door open to maneuver an operation to sow
the seeds of secession by way of federalism or otherwise.
Most of the present problems are common to all communities-
nevertheless after a 30 year war, it is necessary to be gracious as to
display good faith of a caring majority for the legitimate grievances of
the minorities and such statesmanship is required in guiding the nation.
The benevolence can be achieved only by the forces that gave
leadership to the downfall of the terrorists and not by those who
assisted the LTTE to survive and strengthen itself as the patriotic
forces have to be rallied again to establish harmony between the
communities. Otherwise a cry of a sell out could reverberate from the
masses that sacrificed their lives and limbs, stoically and steadfastly
stood with the armed forces at crisis time when the terrorists targeted
civilians. This requires priority attention in a nation building
The Sinhala majority should give leadership to achieve these
objectives to convince the Tamils of their sincerity. It is the
Sinhalese leadership that must be in the forefront of the struggle to
attend to the legitimate grievances of the minorities, after the
annihilation of the terrorists. It would be an ideal rejoinder to the
cries of federalism which can lay the seeds to futuristic secession
movements that will once again surface after the defeat of the present
terrorists to breed fresh terrorism.
Grievances of the minorities can be addressed forthwith without the
tinkering of Constitution which is an impossibility to amend with
provisions dealing with 2/3 majorities and a referendum. Therefore a
pragmatic and a priority approach are paramount and not introduce weird
provisions as in the Bill of 2000 of Chandrika Kumaranatunga which were
fortunately shot down at conception.
Some of the prime grievances of the Tamils can be identified as
follows:- 1.Failure to implement language provisions enshrined in the
law 2.Security Concerns 3. Acquistion of Land and payment of
compensation and/or release 4.Land and Water 5.Child Recruitment 6.Lack
of development 7.Multi ethnic defense and police force 8 Lack of
Employment opportunities 9.Rehabilitation of internally displaced
persons 10. Inadequate infrastructural benefits.
The fly in the ointment could be the Muslims if they succumb to
extreme elements or to the SLMC (which had an Understanding with the
LTTE) and attempt to exploit the situation at the expense of the two
major communities seeking to extract unfair benefits. It is the Muslims
that have been at the mercy of the worst form of ethnic cleansing at the
hand of the LTTE which has gone unnoticed due to the hibernation of
their political leadership.
Eastern Province Muslims stood as a bulwark against the thrust of the
terrorists. Fortunately the Muslim community has varied shades of
political opinion and has acted with restrain and maturity at times of
crisis.However the legitimacy of these grievances needs examination.
Some are common to all communities.
These are issues that have to be attended to by the central
government and not by provincial authorities. In any event the
Provincial Council system has proved to be a colossal failure-another in
the series of blunders made by J. R. Jayawardane who can be described as
the father of terrorism in the North and the South with Prabhakaran and
Wijeweera as the offsprings.
The satisfaction of the grievances will directly benefit the
minorities while devolution alone will enhance powers acquired by
politicians and how much of it will trickle down to the constituents, as
past experience has shown, is doubtful. Provincial Council and the
conduct of its members at elections and thereafter, is a sufficient
illustration. Naturally politicians will seek devolution for their own
enhancement of power.
However if grievances are eliminated or reduced, the minorities as
individuals, will be satisfied their needs have received attention and
leaves less room for another Prabhakaran to emerge. Devolution alone can
breed more Varatharaja Perumals and his legion of Ministers with a
declaration of an independent state and federalism will be the spring
board continuous power struggle between the centre and the periphery.
In the context of the military efforts to thwart terrorism, defense
related matters such as police powers and right to state lands for
defense purposes such as High Security Zones (until the threat of
separatism fades away) are necessary instruments to abort separatism in
Therefore the 13th Amendment can be implemented taking into
consideration time frames and security concerns mindful that terrorism
has yet not being eradicated.
Therefore after 20 years of the unsuccessful 13th Amendment imposed
by India on a feeble J. R. Jayewardane, it requires a revisit for
rectification because it has failed to deter separatism the purpose for
which it was enacted; simple statutory provisions could be utilized for
transitional purposes to guarantee future generations do not experience
the dislocation suffered by those among the living due to brutal
terrorism primarily directed at innocent civilians. Grievances must be
on a faster track than devolution if the minorities are to be satisfied
If it is to pamper- minority politicians, NGOs, foreign governments-
look to the devolution road map which will be a longer and hazardous
route for benefits, if at all, to reach the people but a short cut for
politicians to gain power and fortune, Wars never create permanent
Though Americans made a holocaust of Nagasaki and Hiroshima after
World War II relations between Japan and the USA were more cordial after
the War than any time before the War and has remained so for over 50
years. So is it between Germany and the rest of Europe after the Second
Nevertheless, as a safety valve, after the victories, as an
enlightened measure the Allied Forces ensured that history will not
repeat itself by leaving any opportunity for a Hitler in Germany or a
War Command in Japan to emerge. But it was the harsh and the humiliating
treatment accorded to the Germans after World War I that enabled Hitler
to come to the forefront.
A lesson was learnt and the spirit of goodwill was extended to the
people of the defeated nations after World War II.
Relationships are again cordial between Argentina and United Kingdom
notwithstanding the Falkland War. Similarly the relationships between
Vietnam and the USA or between Vietnam and China are most cordial-though
both those countries fought against Ho Chin Minh’s North Vietnamese
Forces in the Indo-China War.
For the communities to work in harmony after a War is an achievable
phenomenon provided the leadership is statesmanlike and can convince
their electorates that it is in the interest of the nation that harmony
must be maintained and concessions made.
But no germ should be permitted to remain to resurrect terrorism or
secession otherwise the bravery and stoic nature of the people in
overcoming the LTTE would be in vain.
Those who did not want terrorism defeated will now wear new masks to
defeat reconciliation by urging impossible demands. Friends of terrorism
are worse than terrorists because they survive to unsettle another day
on another front.
Courtesy: Asian Tribune
The mischief makers will set an agenda for the
Tamils which will be unreasonable and unattainable.
This would be the next game plan of the NGO
poodles once there is no war for them to peddle. They need
causes to be kept alive permanently to attract
foreign sponsors for financial support to maintain their current