14 November 2006
What is the future of the Tamil politicians in Sri Lanka? They have one of two options – to join the Government and survive, or not to join the Government and be assassinated.
What about representing the Tamil people? Representing them where? It cannot be in the Sri Lankan Parliament because for decades, if not longer, it has been a Sinhala Parliament concerned about the Sinhalese people.
One Sinhalese leader, President J.R.Jayawardene, in an interview given to Ian Ward of the London Daily Telegraph, on 11 July 1983, days before the attempted genocide of the Tamils in Colombo said: “I am not worried about the opinion of the Jaffna people now….Now we cannot think of them, not about their lives or of their opinion about us”.
“The more you put pressure in the North, the happier the Sinhala people will be here…really, if I starve the Tamils out, the Sinhala people will be happy”.
This is what his successor, Mahinda Rajapakse, from the other side of the Sinhala political divide is doing right now.
The Tamils are mentioned in this Sinhala Parliament only when it is time to renew Emergency Regulations, not because there is an ‘Emergency’ but because these repressive Regulations, adopted from Apartheid South Africa, can be used, and are widely used, to intimidate, harass and murder Tamils, with no questions asked.
I have suggested that the 22 Tamil MPs should review their position and consider quitting Parliament rather than provide a degree of legitimacy to an irresponsible, ruthless and barbaric regime that masquerades as a ‘Government’.
If the Tamil MPs are to remain in Parliament, and survive, the responsibility will be with the International Community, to unleash the entire weight of public opinion on the GOSL There must be some real consequences for the GOSL.
Unfortunately, despite the recent ‘condemnations’, by foreign governments, human rights groups and NGOs, I doubt if there will be the necessary sustained pressure on the GOSL or the ‘real consequences’ I have referred to. So, ‘the fate of Raviraj’ awaits many more.
Sri Lankans must have a sense of déjà vu, as the murderous regime of President Mahinda Rajapakse, complete with ‘white vans’ which pick up those destined for life outside this planet, appear.
They must surely think that President Ranasinghe Premadasa’s regime, the most murderous regime that Sri Lanka has ever known, has been ‘reborn’ in true Sri Lankan Buddhist style.