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Time ripe for your intervention

An open letter to Dr. Kalaignar M. Karunanithy. Chief minister of Tamil Nadu

By V.Anandasangaree

(November 01, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) I am aware of the concerns you have for our problem which was in existences even at the time when the Late Hon C.N. Annadurai, fondly referred to as “Arignar Anna” was your predecessor in office in whose cabinet you were a member. The whole world is anxiously waiting to see an end to the problem. Unfortunately Sir we have lost several opportunities of finding a solution. You may remember how I pleaded with you a few years back, to use your good office and offer to help the Sri Lankan Government to find a solution . A copy of one of the letters I sent to you is annexed for your reference. I have proposed that the Sri Lankan problem should find a solution based on the Indian model. I found very good response coming even from unexpected quarters. The powers similar to those devolved on various states in India if devolved on Provincial Councils in Sri Lanka it may satisfy the aspirations of the minorities and also will be acceptable to a large section of the Sri Lankan people. Further more it will silence the entire Tamil population in Tamil Nadu and may even give credit to Tamil Nadu for helping to solve a half a century old problem.

The Indian Parliamentary delegation that visited Sri Lanka recently, when met the Hon. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, he seems to have informed the team that a Sri Lankan Delegation is due to visit New Delhi shortly and that the two important matters, a political solution and re-settlement of the IDPs are to be discussed. This is the matter that prompted me to write this letter to you.

I hope you are aware that I am in politics for well over fifty years and am well acquainted with the Sri Lankan Ethnic Problem having lived through from the time the problem started with the passing of the Ceylon Citizenship Act in 1949 and got aggravated with the passing of the Sinhala only Act in 1956. Several attempts made to find a lasting solution were disrupted by the hardliners and the problem that got aggravated day by day reached the climax early this year. Everything came to an end with the defeat of the LTTE on the 18th and the death of its leader the next day in May this year. The net result is destruction of the eight Tamil Speaking majority districts in the country, comprised of 25 districts. All ethnic groups whether they are Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim or of any other group had undergone untold hardships during the past quarter of a century . Billions and billions worth of private and public property were destroyed. The damage caused to Tamil and Muslim lives and property are comparatively much more than those of the others. The number of widows in the Eastern Province is more than 45,000 and in the North is almost the same. In addition to this a lot of combatants’ wives have become widows on the Government’s side. The number of orphans created are not less in number. Even today there are 1100 orphans with no one to take charge of them, except a handful of relatives. Several thousands of men women and children have died. Many have lost their limbs, eyesights, hearing and their dear ones. According to some reliable source one in ten in the IDP camp has some disability. Thousands of houses had been destroyed. Fishing, farming cultivation and other activities were either curtailed or came to a complete stop. In spite of several restrictions the people in the districts of Killinochchi and Mullaitivu, both of which were fully under the control of the LTTE, there was no starvation. The Government sent them food without discriminating them and they on their own were doing well. Many had lorries, tractors, cars and thousands of motorcycles. A good number of them were having dairy and poultry farms and also doing extensive cultivation. All these are no more.

The people during displacement moved from place to place and ultimately lost everything. Some without their wives and children and dear parents reached the area under the control of the Government and were brought to the IDP camps as paupers, some only with the cloths they were wearing. All of them became paupers within a couple of months, that too after living under the worst conditions. They are now detained compulsorily and unnecessarily without any consideration for the utmost hardships they are undergoing during the past several months. Almost all the hardcore LTTE cadre had escaped from the IDP camps. The Government had screened 150,000 of the IDPs and more than 10,000 of their children are labeled as LTTE trained Child soldiers, taken away from the parents and sent to rehabilitation centres for some vocational training, when they should be in schools studying. They are capable of doing well in studies. The real culprits have escaped while the innocent ones are harassed. The detention of elders, pregnant women, children and the injured, for so long cannot be justified under any circumstances. The government has now started releasing the IDPs in batches for resettlement. Merely sending these IDPs with dry provisions sufficient for six months, some implements and some money as subsistence will not be sufficient. All the IDPs should be considered for the payment of compensation for their losses. Only with your participation the IDPs can hope for any compensation.

No one in this country or elsewhere want to see these things happening again since the people and the country had suffered enough and lost enough. Repetition of these even in a small way cannot and should not be allowed. Any solution under a Unitary Constitution will leave it open for hard-liners to meddle with it in the future. That is why I am insisting on a solution based on the Indian Model which promotes Unity in diversity, an ideal concept that should be acceptable to those who are allergic to the terms “Unitary” and “Federal”.

Hence Sir, your participation by mustering the support of all in Tamil Nadu forgetting all political differences is indispensable. As for our part we the minority parties are getting together to work on a common programme to defend the rights of the minorities in a United Sri Lanka.

While urging you to give serious consideration for my request and make use of this opportunity to convince the Central Government that a solution as proposed by me will be one acceptable to the Sri Lankan minorities. I kindly request you to give me an early date to meet and brief you further on these two matters.
-Sri Lanka Guardian

1 comment

nadesan said...

The "Indian model" itself has failed, with
so many problems, naxalites, caste based parties etc., and the center intervening to control state governments. In Kerala a tamil cannot educate his children in Tamil.
There is no justice in the Indian model.
It is outdated and unnecessary for a country smaller than 1/3 of Tami Nadu.
The correct model for Sri Lanka was that set up by DS Senanayake and GG Ponnambalam in 1952. We need to go back to it.

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