| by Rajasingham Jayadevan

( January 12, 2015, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) It is with much hope all the people of Sri Lanka and her friends around the world celebrate your victory at the Presidential election on 8th January 2015. We fervently hope your tenure as president will make Sri Lanka rise to her true potential by lifting her from the morass of failures on many critical fronts relating to governance, reconciliation, national unity and the economy. We deserve to be great nation and it is your opportunity to make her so.

What haunted us as Tamils in Sri Lanka, haunt our Sinhalese and Muslims compatriots too, to various degrees now. We stand today united in being victims of extremely bad governance, institutionalized by your predecessor. I rejoice at your election, while praying that you will not let us down, as your predecessor did with gay abandon, callous disdain and vulgar deviousness.
I write to you as a Tamil, who was compelled by the unsavoury circumstances prevailing in Sri Lanka to become a non-resident Tamil in the UK thirty five years ago. I and many others like me have paid a heavy price for being born Tamils in Sri Lanka. We as expatriates are successful professionally and materially. We enjoy the blessings of rule of law and good governance. We have security to be what we are and hence feel free. However, we yet miss Sri Lanka and yearn for the life we had there long years ago. She is yet our anchor. My attachment by birth to Sri Lanka is my right and I have cherished it more than anything else during my long years as an expatriate. Sri Lanka’s pain is my pain and her joys are mine too. Many Tamil expatriates feel the same too. We want to be proud of our dear island.

What haunted us as Tamils in Sri Lanka, haunt our Sinhalese and Muslims compatriots too, to various degrees now. We stand today united in being victims of extremely bad governance, institutionalized by your predecessor. I rejoice at your election, while praying that you will not let us down, as your predecessor did with gay abandon, callous disdain and vulgar deviousness.

All Sri Lankans are a great people. Unfortunately, their greatness has been tarnished by the quality of leadership they have had over several decades. The worst being those under your predecessor. They are a kind and compassionate people, who have been led by cruel persons, rogues and thugs. I/we hope you will become the leader we have awaited for almost seven decades. Please do not miss this opportunity to become a man of destiny for our mother land and a statesman.

I know that you cannot deliver everything overnight – but I am sure you can make some meaningful progress during your term in office. You have plenty to do. There is however much you can do now. Set the pace now and rally the nation behind you. The people have to be your motive power and not the sycophants, self-seekers and self-promoters of many hues and in many varieties who will assiduously cultivate you, surround you and overwhelm you.

Your hands are strengthened with the support of the Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, who as an intelligent, educated, cultured individual has exercised much restraint over many years despite being battered and bruised for being a fair minded and decent. Fairness and decency are qualities that have no value in what Sri Lanka is being shaped into. The substance in him was eclipsed by the oratory, demagoguery, showmanship and dazzle of those who contested against him. Beyond his political affiliation to the UNP, he is a decent human who did not thrive on the communal politics, though his party played bears much responsibility. He has paved the way for you to become president and he has the ability and experience to help Sri Lanka cleanse and renew herself.

In their search for equality and security in their country of birth, Tamils and Muslims have rallied behind you in droves. They hope that you will do right by them. This rally, is not yet based on confidence, but in only the hope that you will be different from all your predecessors. The Tamils and their elected leadership, have turned to you to do what your predecessor, miserably failed, after May, 2009. He did not trust them and did not act in a manner that he could be trusted. Please trust them and take them into your heart. They have suffered much and paid a heavy price, for what was largely thrust on them. They are a proud people, despite their misfortunates. They are equal citizens, though minorities as communities.

Concrete, bricks and tar, were necessary after the war. But what the Tamils needed most was to be treated as a community that had the right to be equal in every way and manage their internal affairs, unhindered. Their progress, will contribute to the progress of Sri Lanka. The Tamils, as said many a time by the TNA are willing to live within a unitary state, but with a measure of self-governance in the Northern and Eastern provinces, and with equality, security and freedom all over the island. Grant them these through enlightened governance and implementation of the 13th amendment to the constitution.

You have a huge responsibility to meet the aspirations of all citizens and communities in Sri Lanka. Please discharge them with honesty, sincerity, dedication and of course speed. It may not be smooth sailing. But the people, all of them, will be the wind behind your sails, if your actions are right and your intentions are above board.

I attach below the message of goodwill from the Non Resident Tamils of Sri Lanka to you that I represent and we together with the other Diaspora Tamil organisations wish to engage with you to progress an inclusive and decentralised Sri Lanka where cross section of the people could enjoy a culture of unity in diversity- a balance between wholeness and difference, between integrity and variety takes its uppermost place.



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