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Sri Lanka government must stop bashing the Tamil Diaspora

The Sri Lanka foreign missions have become the mouthpieces of the extremist Sinhalse nationalist sentiments.

by Rajasingham Jayadevan

(June 11, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Since the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009, the government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is on the spree of whipping up anti Tamil Diaspora sentiments. Unable to articulate a peaceful way forward to resolve the conflict in Sri Lanka in a positive and pragmatic way, the GoSL is preoccupied with its hysterical anti sentiments to silence and paralyse the vocal cords of the Tamils overseas by branding even the legitimate democratic campaign of the Tamils as extension of LTTE campaign.

Diaspora Tamils are the product of the failures of post independence Sri Lanka. Thirty years of indiscriminate violence has dispersed millions of Tamils all over the world. The emotional attachment to Sri Lanka of these Diaspora Tamils is so overt that until a peaceful resolution is found, they will not rest peacefully. The post war Sri Lanka is wilfully failing to understand the psyche of the Tamil Diaspora and is engaging in a spree to randomly ridicule and denounce it without substantive justification.

The foreign missions of Sri Lanka have become hellholes for majority of the Sri Lankans and these missions are unable to reach to the powerful Tamil Diaspora community due to the inaptitude of the GoSL to direct a positive accommodative political process in Sri Lanka. Generalising the entire Tamil Diaspora as pro-LTTE bandwagon and making humiliating comments are further straining the much needed engagement with the Diaspora Tamils.

The Sri Lanka foreign missions have become the mouthpieces of the extremist Sinhalse nationalist sentiments. They are the information feeders to the Sri Lanka foreign missions about the Tamil Diaspora community which result in the absurd anti-Tamil diaspora rhetoric’s by the GoSL hotheads. The only theme of the Sinhala extremists in the Sri Lankan Diaspora is the anti-LTTE bashing. There is total disconnect between the Tamil and Sinhala communities in the Sri Lankan diaspora that these Sinhala extremists nor the Sri Lankan foreign missions have the full awareness of the conduct of the Tamil community. Their knowledge and campaigns are limited to the failed historical activities of the LTTE and their inherent paranoia is only further damaging a better relationship to develop between the communities.

When on occasions Tamil activists bump on to these extreme Sinhala mindsets, they will vehemently argue about LTTE fundraising activities without realising that there are no public fundraising campaigns by any groups in the Diaspora as happened in the past. They make big issues about the residual funds of the LTTE and quantify the amounts in unrealistic multiples to espouse a sense of fear to undermine the entire Tamil diaspora.

Their ignorance is such that they attribute the activities of the few LTTE as collective effort of the Tamil Diaspora. When their hyped up comments are challenged and asked for justification, they become agitated and go on the raving, making personal attacks without attempting to explore the facts presented. Such ignoramus mindsets are the today’s foot soldiers of the Sri Lanka’s foreign office that result in the vituperation of the infamous GoSL spokespersons in Colombo.

The defeat of the LTTE has opened the gates for the Diaspora Tamils and their democratic engagement in their host countries is progressing in a escalating scale. Such involvement is welcome and is a positive way forward for the Tamils. Within the next decade, Tamils will be seen elected to the Australian, Canadian, British and even European parliaments and taking on important positions in the world. The talents of the second generation Tamils are already felt. They are strongly progressing to hold positions that the first generation of the Tamils could not achieve. The ability of these Tamils can be harnessed for the betterment of Sri Lanka if the GoSL wake up to the reality and deal with the burgeoning political problem without which Sri Lanka is expected face a long drawn out conflict with the Tamil Diaspora.

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