A fresh wave of attacks by Racist elements and influencing Racism
**I dedicate this article to Lakshman Kadirgamar, a person I valued so much and brought tears to my eyes when I heard about his death. Please watch,
I abhor any kind of sentiment expressed that are either racist, or influencing racism in any way. This post by me is to highlight that a fresh wave of attacks have been launched in international circuits trying to drag Sri Lanka once agian on a path that we have traveled many decades ago. Sri Lanka was dragged onto a racist path many decades ago by power hungry politicians who played with the feelings of the people just to win their own ends.
I will begin by quoting Sebastian Rasalingam, a Lankan Tamil who lives in Canada now. However, do not interpret this article as an attack on any ethnic community, I simply want to point out that the inter communal conflict in Sri Lanka was created by a few who thought they would benefit from it. The people never were racist in essence.
I went to live in Hatton and then Colombo. The society that I found in the Sinhalese areas was much more just and equitable than the social ethos of Jaffna and Mannar that I had already seen. The Tamils in Colombo had a dominant position in commerce, banking, professions and every walk of life. I felt that we, too, could easily prosper in Sri Lanka, even with Sinhala only or virtually no Tamil, just as the Jews have done in New York, with no Yiddish recognized as a national language. I began to understand the evilness of individuals like S. J. V. Chelvanayagam and E. M. V. Naganathan.
Mr. Rasalingam further states,
Would the Tamils living in the south be deported to the North if Arasu were achieved? Surely, Sinhalese discrimination against Tamils is nothing compared to what I and my wife, an estate Tamil, had to face within the Tamil society.
Mr. Rasalingam is one person who always writes that the conflict was created. In reality, no ethnic conflict did exist in the hearts of the Sinhala and Tamil people.
I could doubt the political programme that was gaining ground among the Tamils because I happened to be an educated low-caste Tamil with Estate-Tamil connections. The Tamil politicians worked very hard to polarize the people and drive a wedge between the two ethnic groups. The Arasu Kadchi people were actually happy that the Banda-Chelva accord was torn asunder. Ethnic division was necessary for creating the exclusive "Tamil homelands" Given such an inflammatory extra-parliamentary objective, the final struggle had to be war.
Why am I writing about this now? Because during the past few weeks, I was watching how a huge wave of attacks were being launched by various different sects in an attempt to take us back to those days where the people who were together in everything, suddenly became each other's enemies. Sri Lanka and its citizens have come a long way since those evil days, and I don't think we will ever go back to that, however much various elements try.
1) Here in NowPublic, some pro-LTTE elements suddenly started posting many stories that directly attacked Buddhists of Sri Lanka as a group. The attack there is on Sinhala Buddhists.
2) In NowPublic, someone with a Sinhalese name started saying in many comments that all the other Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka are campaigning for a country with no other Race but Sinhala living there. The exact words were a 'Sinhala only Land'. However no evidence for this claim was provided.
3) Sonali Samarasinghe, the widow of Lasantha Wikramatunge is seen writing outrageous lies about how Racist Sri Lanka is. She claims that there are placards all over Sri Lanka saluting the armed forces for their sacrifices and these placards say in Sinhala "Our Race salutes you" - She has no shame because this is a horrible lie. All the placards say in Sinhala that "Our Nation salutes you". "Jaathiye Pranaamaya" means "The nation salutes you".
Finally I must mention that there are some disillusioned members/editors here in NowPublic itself, who always, if and whenever they comment on Sri Lanka's war, try to throw a comment influencing Racism. They do not understand the first thing about the complexity of Sri Lanka's war. They do know a little bit they have heard about how a "Sinhala Only Act" was brought in 1956 (which was not fully implemented and in 1987 was fully corrected) and this is the card they play to show their knowledge on the subject. I find these comments horribly in low taste because it influences Racist mentalities. If one comes down to the real soil of Sri Lanka (not the cyber Sri Lanka and cyber Eelam please) one would know that Racist mentality in people are no more in Sri Lanka, of course excepting the few extremes like one would find in many countries.
Mr. Rasalingam finally states,
The IDP camps in Vavniya are far better than the IDP camps in India. The Diaspora has not risen to help our Tamils in the IDP camps in Sri Lanka or India. Instead, it chooses to wave Tiger flags in western capitals and use political blackmail by "fasting unto death", immolation and such undemocratic methods.
The Tamil Diaspora has to cure itself of the Eelam Virus. Then and then only can it help the Tamils.
In western countries when they look for Al-Qaeda, they have taken Muslims and can this be interpreted as Racial descrimination? In Sri Lanka during '88-'89 a Sinhala militant group (not as ruthless as LTTE, but they were terrorists too) was crushed ruthlessly by the then government and was that interpreted as Racial descrimination against Sinhalese? Whether the tactics are correct or not, crushing terrorism cannot and should not be labeled as anything other than what it is. Those who try to portray it as something else, have other agendas and interests at heart.
For those non-Sri Lankan people in NP: Unless you have experienced Sri Lanka in the south today, you cannot know what you are talking about.
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Moratuwa, Western, Sri Lanka