Flying with one wing and the countryless

By Maduranga Rathnayake

(May 03, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) What wretched balderdash it is, who said it takes two wings to fly? SL [Sri Lanka] is on the verge of pioneering in its most cutting-edge technique of defying the two-wing theory and will soon be off in the air with one wing. The newly elected all-mighty government is all out to perform the first miracle in Asia while the so-called Tamil Diaspora is building a transnational castle in the sky. The hallucinating Sinhala-Buddhists, now believing that no mission is impossible so long as you defy western-powers, have now exhibited their desire to unilaterally see the miracle through a benevolent dictatorship. The equally hallucinating, and also humiliated to the bone, the so-called Tamil Diaspora is displaying a sudden countrylessness, desperately making an unnecessary government in the space. This is one hell of a dilemma. Both sides unfortunately and catastrophically have begun to tread in diametrically opposite directions, in such dreadful rivalry, to see their own miracles. One thing is spine-chillingly clear; that is, though in all probability both camps would realise sooner or later the futility of this nonsense, if they fail to make mature decisions to reverse their journeys and channel their energy towards a country co-owned by all communities, SL will eternally remain in the dark abyss of destruction.

The new almost-two-third regime is blessed in many ways. A reading of the last two elections shows a resolute desire by the voters [including millions of election haters] to be governed by a benevolent dictatorship for economic miracles. The theory has it that a benevolent dictator derives power from the people and could be sacked by the people at anytime. Be that theory as it may, in whatever form dictatorship is always preferred and loved by governors. So, blessed are these governors; firstly, what more! A nicely castrated opposition run by the biggest loser, perhaps, in the entire commonwealth. Secondly, the total non-existence of any Marxist, socialist or leftist forces or pressure groups, all groups labelled as Marxists etc. forming part of the regime or lost in small pleasures of regular blather against the regime. Thirdly, the presence of a Buddhist monk community propagating a new nirvana of setting up a Sinhala-Buddhist State by hook or preferably by crook. Fourthly, a disenfranchised media by whitevanism. It is in this elegant state of affairs that we hear of the government’s revelation that it does not believe in an overall constitutional change, but is seriously concerned with amending the constitution as a matter of priority enabling the President to contest the presidency for a third time, and then, amending the electoral process.

It could not be emphasised more that if SL is to move forward as a country, much less miracles, overall constitutional changes that sufficiently address the Tamils’ claim for political power is indispensable. To condemn this proposition as “rubbish” or “simply gratuitous” for the armed-arm of the Tamils is no more would be disastrously myopic in as much as the Tamil politicians are unlikely to give up their claim for devolved political power. It is indeed factually true that at the moment governance seems much easier with the Tamils’ claims forgotten [Tamils’ claim for political power should not be confused with the process of resettlement of IDPs and the infrastructure development in the war-destroyed districts or happily living Tamils in Wellawatte] and the so-called Tamil Diaspora left to its own experimentations. The bitter truth, however, is that so long as the Tamil politicians claim devolved political power, SL will continue to be plagued by a perennial ethnic conflict until and unless the concerns of the Tamils are constitutionally addressed in an overall constitutional reform process.

On the one hand, the conduct of the so-called Tamil Diaspora has been pathetic and it is indeed time they renounced once and for all this nonsense of a separate state in SL and stopped this circus of going around the world crying over an imagined countrylessness. On the other hand, the new all-powerful regime in SL should stop believing that harbours and bridges alone could do miracles. Though, no one could meaningfully resist the government’s forthcoming “constitutional quickies” in the present power imbalance, it would certainly be in the paramount interest of SL to make all efforts to push for overall constitutional reforms as a solid basis for socio-cultural and economic progress of all communities.