Way for True Conciliation!
By Ananda Ariyarathne
"It is high time, the 'Know-Alls' stop defining a 'condition' like 'conciliation' and interfering with the 'natural path' that has to be taken. Conciliation is the highest level of 'Mutual Respect' having achieved the 'status of feeling oneness' without uncertainties and any form of discrimination. It can be facilitated only by allowing people to be together." Can there be anything more hilarious than some working hard to highlight differences and then taking action to establish and consolidate such differences through a process of continuous pricking and looking out for more opportunities to invent more methods for pricking the minds? How can there be any 'conciliation' where suspicions and doubts remain and continuously grow instead of disappearing?
It is very obvious now that what is really behind the movement to insist on a new Constitution is not really the deficiencies in the current Constitution of Sri Lanka but an honourable sounding excuse to gain a foothold for some bigger plans of the die-hard Tamil Extremists who are bent on carving a country for Tamil people who may be now over 100 million in the world but without a geographically identifiable place. Although the Great Tamil Civilisation originated and flourished in India, the efforts made by Tamil visionaries to win recognition for Tamil Nadu based 'Dravidasthan' as a separate country never happened.
In those maps, they showed coastal areas in the Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka too, and it was nothing new for Prabhakaran's LTTE to mark the very same areas in the land identified as Tamil Eelam. Although such an area was shown as Tamil homelands, it was more an area which was influenced by Tamil Kingdoms from time to time. That should not be misunderstood as those areas were completely occupied by Tamil people. The South Indian invaders did not come here with their families and what really happened was that they started families here, blending with the Sinhalese who were in those regions.
To answer that, let us see where else in the world do Tamil people have what they have in Sri Lanka. For that matter, not even in Tamil Nadu, where the Tamil Civilisation and related sub-cultures started the Tamil language is used on currency notes and passports, as in Sri Lanka. In any part of Sri Lanka, a Tamil citizen can attend to any official matters in the Tamil language. Although there was some inconvenience caused to Tamil Citizens when Sinhala was made the official language of the country.
That unfortunate error which was caused by extremists Sinhalese was rectified later and all what a Sinhalese can do as the majority of this land can now be done by a Tamil citizen too.
Any Tamil citizen can own property anywhere in Sri Lanka, but ironically, it is the Sinhalese who cannot do that in Tamil areas.
How many Tamil citizens have business ventures in Sinhala areas and serve as respected professionals in the regions in the country outside the so-called traditional homelands. Sinhalese have no problem with Tamil citizens being among them. It is the 'mentally sick' Tamil extremists that complain – their 'Traditional Homeland' is the same land shared with the majority Sinhala people. The significance of this fact can be understood if one does a serious study about property ownership in the so-called Sinhala areas.
To find out the truth, if every Tamil household in the so-called Sinhala areas is visited, will anyone find Tamil people living in fear, cannot practise their cultural ways of life, are their instances Tamils being prevented from observing the religions they follow, and so on? In that case where are those Tamils, located, who have been discriminated, harassed, raped and murdered and so on?
The main reason given in support of a 'Possible New Constitution' is the absence of true and fair opportunities for Tamil people in Sri Lanka, is purely a fabricated scenario. There were no measures by the Sinhalese majority to make Tamil people suffer, even before the so-called independence this country was supposed to have been granted. The presence of Tamil citizens in any part of the geographical area of this country was proof enough and that was the best 'conciliatory' condition that was there. The acceptance of such itself had been and has been a true indication of the absence of discrimination by the majority Sinhalese. If the Sinhalese people had such hatred towards Tamil people as alleged by the Tamil extremists was true, how can the presence of Tamil people in the so-called predominantly Sinhalese areas be explained? It was marred only by the 'opportunists' among both communities who managed to keep 'feelings' against such conciliatory relationship.
Estranged and Conciliation
The 'variety' of measures promoted by them not only looks contradictory but also clearly contributes to consolidate and aggravate differences, rather than paving ways to bring estranged communities together. The excuses or justifications given by them that the United Nations and connected authorities insist on certain recommendations make them sound silly as it is obvious that they preserve differences more.
The most powerful barrier faced in pursuing conciliatory efforts is the feelings spread and established seeking retaliation of some kind, all the time. While claiming that the most important measure is to have a 'Constitution' that guarantees 'self-determination', they have other measures which cause further friction. It raises the inevitable doubt about the genuineness about the actual intensions of the promoters who pretend to be the champions who are committed to achieving the best.
It is no secret that former President Chandrika hates former President Mahinda and that there is a kind of a 'cold war' initiated by the former madam President to block all the avenues for the Rajapaksas, it became more open when she publicly committed her plans to bring her son into politics. It is not what Sri Lankans want. What Sri Lankans want now is not the 'dramatics' of 'elite' families who claim to be the saviours of the people, who may be thinking that they are "God Elect'.
Her dedication towards her goal becomes more obvious with the active role she played in promoting the 'Consultations Task Force' ( CTF ) , to make use of the 'sentiments of some Tamil enthusiasts' to stage a 'drama' in having consultations and giving her opinion. The 'motive' is also very obvious and clear as it is aimed at the complete annihilation of the Rajapaksa clan politically and beyond.
Motivated by her obvious desire to secure SLFP control away from the Rajapaksa clan, pretending impartial but obviously enjoying the misery of the Rajapaksas, former President Chandrika succeeds in achieving a two-pronged result.
Changes to the Constitution intended to please the United Nations officials and the mechanisms for transitional justice and reconciliation, meeting the stipulations per UN Resolution of October 2015 on Sri Lanka. She would have been enjoying thoroughly the discomfort caused to the Rajapaksa clan, as the recommendation by the Consultations Task Force (CTF) to have foreign judges.
Identifying 'devolution' as the answer to the highly publicized grievances she promoted the idea of the new Constitution. In addition, by tagging numerous charges holding the majority Sinhalese responsible for the suffering of the Tamil community, prioritized attention was given to the 'Constitution'. Silencing the Sinhalese using powerful allegations, while making no attempts to redeem the image of the majority, the process continued. If a Tamil had a grievance, it was justified as discrimination and other graver allegations. Although the Sinhalese are about 75 per cent of the population, they cannot have a voice. The moment someone takes it up, he or she will become a racist or a chauvinist.
However, the dismissal of the recommendations of the CTF by the Minister of Justice shows how shallow the impact had been. The subsequent disagreement shown by the current President on the recommendation for foreign judges would not have happened if it was acceptable. May be the enthusiastic former lady President thought that the present President was supported by her and her closest similar elitist politicians and therefore, he should not have a mind of his own. Simply because she is quite at home with the high Western society, she may not have any feeling for the community where her name is linked. The current President might have seen it as too much to ignore and looked the other way.
A Unitary State can be preserved only by a 'Unitary Constitution' and if it is not blinded by ethnicities, it will have one system for all. Isn't that what all the people would aspire to have? It is correct not because some Buddhist monks may say it. They may say it out of desperation as it looks like a huge conspiracy to achieve one single goal. That is the achievement of a separate state for extremist Tamils. Unitary State is a must, because, all the people will have access to all the resources without any restrictions. And that is a reality experience even now.
The moment the country is fragmented, the systems to ensure fair usage of the same resources will be beyond imagination. Why create problems? What this country needs are straight and fair laws and mechanisms to enforce those. Those are the changes we will have to be worried about if such are not provided for now.
India may not have seen, or may be, does not wish to let it be known by the world that there is the possibility of Tamil Nadu taking strong action by going against the Indian Constitution even, if the opening is made in Sri Lanka.
What is funny here is that it is a matter of treason for Tamil extremists to call for separation in India. But it is good for some mentally sick and extremist Sri Lankan Tamils to scream for separation. It is not a crime here meaning Sri Lankan Tamils have more political freedom under the existing Constitution even. In India legal action would have been taken for the same.
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