Tamil Nation & Sinhalese Nation

| by Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

(May 31, 2012, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) I write in response to the Sri Lanka Guardian article ‘Breakout blueprint : ITAK's attack plan’ by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke.

Dr. Jayatilleke states about the Hon R Sampanthan, MP’s recent speech ‘It sheds light on a number of key strategic issues and should make clear to the international community that the matter of political dialogue leading to ethnic reconciliation is, has become or is becoming rather more complex and fraught than is customarily thought.’

I identify with this difficulty and allocate the main reason as being delay in implementing the main LLRC recommendations. The greater the delay, the stronger the claim for Devolution of Powers and therefore the weaker the need for Reconciliation. Faith needs no reconciliation and the main reason for Devolution claim is lack of common faith between the leaders of the two sides.

This is confirmed by Mr. C. Naganathan in his Sri Lanka Guardian article ‘Tamils, it's time to wake up!’ where he quotes the Hon R. Sampanthan:

“…Our patience however, will not be everlasting. Our patience too, has its limits. Once we have reached that limit, we will move onto the stage of our effort. We will not hesitate to gather our people together and with the support of progressive forces in our country, and the international community, even engage in a non-violent struggle. We will decide on specific deadlines and when the time comes for such action, we will act…”

Dr. Jayatilleke highlights further from the speech ‘If we behave in a manner that results in the international community getting embroiled in problems or controversy it is our community that will face the consequences. Our priority now is to expose the Sri Lankan government that for so many years in the past attempted to describe the ethnic problem and a ‘terrorist problem’. We must clearly prove to the international community that the Sri Lankan government, which has delayed for so long in giving the Tamil people their rights, has never made any genuine effort to do so. In other words – we must prove to the international community that we will never be able to realize our rights within a united Sri Lanka. We must be patient until the international community realizes for itself that the effort we are involved in is doomed to fail. To put it more strongly, the international community must realize through its own experience, without us having to tell them, that the racist Sri Lankan government will never come forward and give political power to the Tamil people in a united Sri Lanka. (My emphasis- DJ)’

I agree with Dr. Jayatilleke identifying with this as an indicator of weakening prospects for Reconciliation. If the Sri Lankan Government was also honest to its People, they would come out with similar statements for their side. That is our reality. The moment LTTE was classified as Terrorists, ethnic divide being the cause was naturally suppressed. Without this, there is no need for Reconciliation. Reconciliation is part of the cure only if racism is recognized as the root cause. If Terrorism is recognized as the root cause – then there is no need for reconciliation – as per the mind of such a concluder. The fact that Tamil leaders are declaring that racism is the root cause and the Government is declaring that terrorism was the root cause – automatically sends us in different paths. We may reach the same goal of independence but through different paths.

So long as majority Tamils believe and their leaders think that the war was due to race related problems (which may include the Tamil side racism also) one has the responsibility to take that as the right reason given that Tamils as a Community suffered more than any other group due to the war. Common Belief / Faith in General Administration needs to be higher than Belief/Faith through the Cultural path for the Unitary system to successfully lead all people towards self-governance.

Belief is identified:
(i) At the objective surface level - through Common identity or Repetitive manifestation of one form - as in prayers (this is confirmed through the net balance of objectively measurable outcomes)

(ii) At the subjective level – through common path - continuous use of common principles and cultures. This is confirmed through the exercise of the right of a person to express her/his views without needing to prove to others following in the same path - the rights and wrongs of her/his expressions and/or conduct through objectively measurable means/evidence – as is required at level (i) above (this is confirmed through adherence to Due Process which confirms the common path). The travel through Common path develops faith based belief directly between persons – without the need to calculate through objectively measurable outcomes. It is confidential sharing.

(iii) At the root level – where one acts as per one’s conscience. This is beyond calculated measures and is observed through the self confidence with which one naturally connects the law to the experience. At that level, the law and the experience are One to that person.

Unitary State requires (i) above for which each individual citizen ought to feel free to produce her/his own outcomes without interference. This is not the case even with the Sinhalese who have the majority power to elect government. Sinhalese voters have the natural powers to elect those who are like themselves. Through faith based voting, the voters share also their weaknesses with the elected government. That is the way of Nature. As per public reports the common Sinhalese does not feel free to produce her/his independent outcomes at the public level. How could Tamils be justly expected to believe more than the Sinhalese with voting power, that they would be free to produce their own independent outcomes as per their interpretation of the law and/or as per their belief?

(ii) above is the path of Devolution based on particular faith. Those using subjective powers need this common faith when judging others outsider the path of the law.

More and more Tamils are expecting the gap to become wider. The Hon. R.Sampanthan has just confirmed this. The more Tamils connect to other Tamils outside Sri Lanka, the greater the likelihood of them becoming a Tamil Nation which would include part of Sri Lanka. That is the way of Nature. Similarly, Sinhalese connecting to Sinhalese outside Sri Lanka would become Sinhalese Nation which also would include part of Sri Lanka. In both instances the Sri Lankan parts may exclude those who fail to connect beyond their local borders.

We may not have the authority to Administer and directly influence the outcomes we believe to be just. But each one of us has the power to show at our individual as well as group levels the effects of the causes that hurt us and led us to lose faith. Those who have lost faith in the current Sri Lankan Government would be punishing that Government by using the express path to realizing nationhood without needing Sri Lanka’s status as a country. That would be the broadest non-violent way to realizing the freedom we have earned.