The Naked Truth

By D.B.S.Jeyraj

(May 13, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Whatever you may say the bulk of Sri Lankan Tamil people will live in Sri Lanka in an undivided country. The destiny of Tamils is inextricably inter-twined with that of the Sinhalese.

The LTTE has caused irredeemable harm to the Tamil people. Now we have to face bitter realities and pick up the pieces and get along with life.

The Tamils in Sri Lanka are a battered and shattered people. At the moment it is a case of “we dont want alms. Just call off the dogs”.

But I have immense trust and pride in the resilience of my people. If we get a period of peace we can slowly pull ourselves up gradually.

The Tamils need to avoid irrational confrontational politics and adopt a pragmatic approach. If we try to take a hardline we will get decimated further. The Sinhala hawks are itching to demolish us further and the policies of the Diaspora idiots and Tamil nadu jokers are helping them.

Today the TNA is slowly trying to disown its LTTE past and move forward. We need to encourage that.

Today the Rajapakse govt is right on top. Whether we like it or not we have to try and reach some amicable understanding with him in power.

The Sinhala hardliners will try and put us down further.We have to defend ourselves and protest the Sinhala hardline activity. But this cannot be countered by continuing to advocate a separate state.

We must try and contain Sinhala hawkish actions within a unitd Sri Lanka and move forward. Our discourse should not be secessionist but within universally accepted standards of human rights, democracy and pluralism.

There is no magic wand to change things overnight. It is an uphill task. But there is no other way. Tamil Eelam is no option.

The Tamils living in Sri Lanka can only decide what is good for them. We can only help and support them humbly without trying to dictate or engage in rhetoric.
The Tamils have been resisting Sinhala domination from the thirties of the last century. Today that struggle has been defeated militarily. But the political roots of that struggle remain.

In the process of resistance the armed struggle also commenced.If we had translated the “military muscle” we had at one point into bargaining power we may have had federalism.

The LTTE had golden opportunities which it missed. The best was the 2002 Oslo accord declaring an exploration of federalism.

Fully realising the futilty of an armed struggle I repeatedly implored the tigers to change course and go in for a political settlement.

I was ridiculed and harassed and intimidated by Tamil tiger sycophants for that .
Today the LTTE is no more and the Tamils are in a terrible plight. I did not cause this. The LTTE caused it.

Tamils who kept silent or cheered the LTTE on its destructive cause are asking me now ‘What do you say about Tamil situation”? as if I was the architecht for this plight.

I have been saddened immensely by recent happenings that I dont really want to talk about the past.

But tiger sycophants and fellow travellers irritate me into touching on that.
Today the Tamils will have to accept reality and try and make the best of a bad situation.

We must slowly re-build ourselves first. Our priorities now are repairing and restoring damages of war.

We need full re-settlement of our people, We need reduction of high security zones, we need massive reconstruction, we need to get the 10,000 plus LTTE cadres released and re-integrate them into society. We need to get release of detenues under PTA. We need to revive agriculture, fisheries, small and medium industry etc and boost our economy. we must develop tourism and also encourage foreign investment.
There is so much to be done.

To do all this we have to work and cooperate with the Sinhala President and Sinhala dominated government. There is no other way.

On another track we must also try and push the case for greater devolution. If we had negotiated from a position of strength when the LTTE was vibrant we could have got more. But now we have no clout and so will have to rely on the good sense and magnanimity of the President and govt.

There is no point in relying on the west or India. We the Tamils must reach out directly to the Sinhalese.

There is no point in getting external pressure to compel Colombo into entering political arrangements.

Even if the Sinhalese do so under compulsion they will always fight rear-guard action to scuttle or prevent it (as in the case of 13th amendment).

The Sinhala polity or majority of Sinhala polity must give willingly and not yield under pressure.

In that case Mahinda Rajapakse is ideal because the Sinhalese will trust him. So whatever he does in this respect will be accepted. His Sinhala credentials are impeccable.

But we have to be realistic. We cannot expect Mahinda to give all that we ask. That is impossible. For one thing Mahinda himself is not amenable to some of our demands . Also he is fully conscious of the trust placed in him by Sinhalese and will not like to be seen as letting them down.

So we can only hope for some limited rights and concessions at present. But That is enough for me now.

What we must avoid at all costs is a return to violence and militancy. It would be suicidal for Tamils.

Mahinda will not give up the UNITARY state. He will NOT agree to a North – East merger.

The practical course to follow would be to strengthen the current provincial council system. While keeping full – fledged federalism as a long – term goal the Tamils must work together with the Sinhalese and Muslims to gain as much devolution as possible within a unitary state.

WE can strive for full implementation of Tamil as an Official language. It is in the Constitution already.

We should try and use the devolutionary powers we get and develop our areas and address our grievances. But these should be very clearly within a UNITED country. Reasonable minded Sinhalese (not the fanatics and paranoids)must be convinced that secessionism will not rise again.

If we can work together the current hostile atmosphere will get gradually reduced.
If we Tamils find that the powers and rights within a unitary state are adequate to fulfill our needs and accommodate legitimate aspirations then fine. We need not agitate further.

But if we genuinely find them as inadequate then we can try to make the Sinhalese understand why more powers are necessary and ask for more. In a cordial non – confrontational situation the Sinhala polity would be in a better state of mind to understand these concerns and be more sympathetic.

The Tamils have to adjust to a situation of accepting the attainable instead of striving suicidally for the desirable.

We had a verti but we thought that was of poor quality or feared it would be stripped away and strove for a silk verti. We were offered a khadar verti but spurned it demanding and fighting for a Pattu verti Now we have no verti and only have a loin cloth to cover our nakedness. If we continue to be confrontational there wont be a Komanam too.

When I say the Tamils must shed confrontational politics and reconcile to reality I am not giving them a choice. There is ACTUALLY no choice at the moment.

I am only trying to cover up the pathetic plight of the Tamils and trying to give them a semblance of self – respect.

I am asking the Tamils to make a virtue out of necessity because Sri Lanka is the homeland of the “Ilankai Thamizhar” and the bulk of our people have to live there whatever the problems.