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Response of a disgruntled Tamil

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The Jaffna man is neither uneducated nor needs to be educated by others about his rights and privileges. Expecting him to cast his vote to a party, which has done the maximum possible damage to the Tamil community, was irrational and illogical. Expecting him to cast his vote to a leader who has brought the war to an end and taken a step forward by signing a cease-fire, was rational, but where that leader had gone wrong was when he thought that the Jaffna people had no choice but to vote him in order to prevent another war. Many people in Jaffna had taken a decision, well before the LTTE announced its ‘non interest’ in the polls, that they should not vote to any candidate. It was further fortified by the LTTE’s backing. The Jaffna man was not a stupid to cast his vote in gratitude to a leader for the mere reason that the particular leader stopped the war. He had realized that particular leader’s inability to mobilize or change the mindset in the South to deliver a reasonable political solution to the Tamil people.

There is one opinion doing the rounds in the South now that the Jaffna people had betrayed the UNP. UNP had to sign the cease-fire agreement to prevent the division of the country and for economic revival. The UNP leader did not sign the CFA for the love he had for the Tamil people, but he had no option but to stop the war immediately in order to prevent further destabilization of the country. Now with the CFA in force for three long years, there had been some revival of the economy and the people in the South had totally forgotten the effect of war. The people in the South, who voted UNP to power in 2001, had already betrayed the UNP in 2004 by bringing that government down. They were given another chance in 2005, but they had decided to betray the man who brought the war to an end and stopped the arrival of coffins in dozens to the villages in the South. Hence, it was not a betrayal by the Tamils, but by the Sinhalese, who had forgotten the effect of the bloody war, in which they were losing heavily.

It should be noted that Tamils played no role in electing Mr Wickremesinghe the Prime Minister in 2001. Hence they took the right decision this year to boycott the election so that the world could sense the support for a federal solution in the South.

I still remember the speech by former Prime Minister R Premadasa made at the Union College grounds in Jaffna in 1981, when he said: “we should snap the sword from the enemy’s hand and cut his head with his own sword”. The Jaffna man is no fool to place his confidence in a leader from the South, leaving aside the Tamil leadership in the North East, let it be a democratic leadership or a dictatorship or even a terrorist leadership. There is a saying in Tamil, “arasanai nambi purushanai kaividaathe”, which means, “do not abandon your husband, placing your reliance in the king”.

Tamils have passed the stage of looking for concessions from the South. Now they have reached a higher platform of negotiating on their aspirations. They are not going to be hoodwinked by those who thought that by giving carrots they can win the support of the people in the North. The people will, of course, accept the carrots, but will not abandon their husbands for the sake of the kings.

I challenge any author to list down the reasons as to why the Tamil people should have participated in the elections and more specifically, as to why they should have voted the UNP. I am prepared to counter them in a rational manner.

Failure to understand the psyche of the Jaffna man and continuing to write columns as if you are the newly found saviors of the people of Jaffna, is not going to help in any way towards bringing inter-territorial harmony. Try to read the minds of the people, who have been affected by a bloody war waged by their own governments, for over three decades. Try to bring out their stories in the newspapers and let the people in the South know what their ‘Heroes’ had been doing in Jaffna during the times of war, like dropping human shit from the skies over the heads of the Tamil people. Let the leaders, who had been in the governments that waged those wars, come out and tender their apology to the Tamil people in public on their own behalf and on behalf of their parties. When that process starts, we can expect some reciprocation from the Jaffna man.


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