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Reconciliation cannot come without parity and dignity

When the Second World War was ending in the Western Theatre in May 1945, the British public made one of its wisest decisions in history in sending Winston Churchill to political retirement and electing Clement Atlee who was able to evoke new hopes about freedom of peoples all over the world by announcing independence to colonies.


Postal votes cast by British soldiers experiencing the pulse of peoples in different parts of the world in fact made the edge of the decision.


The war that is declared ended in the island of Sri Lanka fails to evoke any hopes in the minds of the masses in the island as well as in the civilized world because no formula other than further repression is what forthcoming in addressing the underlying issue of national question in the island.


The Sri Lankan government and the military chief aspiring for political power are only competing in who could prove more repressive to the national question of Eelam Tamils.


The plain truth is that political justice cannot be expected from the guilty and the paranoid ones unless they are ‘Dharma Ashokas’ of the Buddhist fame. Even Ashoka who shed much tears in his inscriptions for the war he waged in Kalinga, never thought of giving independence to that country.


For reasons yet to be understood fully, the war in the island was collectively and determinedly fought by all the powers of the world. What is that sane point of global polity they wanted to achieve and if they have achieved it where is the political justice long due for Eelam Tamils, remain as puzzles.


Many diplomatic circles were long hinting at the bankruptcy of ideology in the powers of today. According to them, the island of Sri Lanka was a test case for ‘trial and error geopolitics’ of 21st century and except China the others fought the war with an ‘extraordinary vision’ of ‘what comes later will be addressed later.’ As a result, at the end of the war, the geopolitical configurations became more precarious than before.


Now comes the great idea of ‘reconciliation.’


A widely expressed opinion considering all what had gone before is that reconciliation has to first take place between the powers and Eelam Tamil psyche.


Probabilities for such a reconciliation taking place genuinely are remote unless the powers recognize the national question as national question and come forward to address it in ways fit enough for chronic cases.


In this respect the US state department’s paradigm of reconciliation is wanting in Hillary Clinton’s pre-election vision on recognition of national questions.


The war and its aftermath have indisputably proved that 'human rights' and 'development' are not sufficient enough to handle a crisis like that of Sri Lanka. Any approach to the diaspora about which the West is particularly interested in may not bear much fruit unless there is open commitment of them to the national cause of Eelam Tamils.


India has no excuses now in recognizing the national question as the ‘terrorism’ it was complaining about doesn’t exist and as Mr. Karunanidhi has proved that the Eelam Tamil nationalism is a separate entity of its own.


But the Indian Establishment is far behind in politically gearing itself to meet the requirement. Its traditional approach through bureaucrats and intelligence agencies to create and manipulate factions will not work anymore. Only an open political confession acknowledging the national cause will mobilise masses in its favour and that is its greatest security.


On boldly specifying the national question even certain friendly sections of Eelam Tamil cause in India seem to be slipping at a most wanted time. There is a view among sections of them that an independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam will not be acceptable to the peoples of India and the issue has to be addressed as a case of ‘self-determination.’


TamilNet has written at length how ‘self-determination’ is vague and ambiguous in contesting 'right to security of a state' and thus often meaningless in international vocabulary in addressing ethnic questions and ‘intra-state’ national conflicts.


What puzzles Eelam Tamils is how ‘ideology’ of some Indian political parties that once staunchly upheld the creation of Bangladesh could not now justify Tamil Eelam to the peoples of India. Is it because Tamils are inferior to Bengalis or is it because genocide is less in Sri Lanka or is it because ideology has to be adjusted to the whims and fancies of the Indian Establishment are questions asked in Tamil circles.


The most fundamental political freedom is the right of a people to tell what they politically want for them.


The Sri Lankan state has disenfranchised Eelam Tamils in this respect long back by the 6th Amendment to the constitution in 1983. Today, one finds some other states too engaged in either telling Tamils not to reveal what they wish in their heart or intimidating directly or indirectly expression of opinion in favour of their national cause.


Mr. Karunanidhi is not alone in deleting the word Eelam but there are also countries in the east of India that frown at their citizen’s solidarity with the cause. In the so-called globalized world, political fundamentalism of Establishments in the name of state has become the worst threat to transnational political opinion and people to people solidarity.


The free world will certainly appreciate the refreshing example set by Norway last May in allowing Eelam Tamils to democratically express their opinion and mandate independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam. Now similar exercises are pursued in several other countries of the West.


Eelam Tamil diaspora should pick up the cue and what they could demonstrate democratically will sure to be a novel contribution to global polity, besides benefiting their own cause.


Re-mandating independent and sovereign Tamil Eelam of the Vaddukkoaddai Resolution of nonviolent politics, forming democratically elected country councils and evolving a democratic transnational government are three major steps for Eelam Tamils in the diaspora. The steps in principle are not contradictory to one another but contributory as well as safety locks, and any affliction to the success of even one of them will affect all.


Eelam Tamils have to demonstrate that ‘self-determination of people’ is some thing that is exercised and not received from others.


Those in the international community who aspire for reconciliation and peace in the island may do well by encouraging the Eelam Tamil diaspora in evolving political structures culminating in transnational state so that a platform of dignity and identity could be there to smoothly facilitate reconciliation first with the international community.


Of course ultimate reconciliation has to take place between Sinhala and Tamil nations for peace in the island and in the region. But genuine reconciliation cannot come without parity and dignity.


The said political steps of the diaspora may immensely help to enlighten the Sinhala nation of the democratic realities of the national question in the island and could pave way for reconciliation. At present, the Sinhala nation has no avenues for learning the true democratic opinion of the Tamil nation that is in captivity in the island.


The current psychological and political reality in the island is that 'reconciliation' is an issue between two nation states, and it has to be approached acknowledging this reality, not only for political formulas and peace in the island, but also for achieving shared sovereignty of the EU model in the region, if that is what going to be the demand of time in future.


Present day International Community will register a point of progress in the polity of human civilization by collectively eradicating baneful states like Sri Lanka that habitually blackmails, using the card of geopolitics, to resist restructure.


A situation is not far away that the Sinhala nation too will be demanding this from the international community and reconciliation would perhaps come at that point, if at all not by other means.

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