Plus - Letter to the editor

Tamil leaders sowed the seeds of Tamil ‘problem’

Pray tell, what is the “Tamil Problem”? Sinhalese, Muslim, Malay, Burgher and most Tamil citizens are wondering why the Tamil leaders are so vociferously agitating for a “solution to the Tamil problem”.

The Sri Lanka Constitution guarantees all citizens equal status, whatever their ethnicity. Members of all communities are flooding the capital to enjoy the plums available in Colombo. They live and work side by side, amicably and with mutual respect. If Sri Lanka had a problem, it was caused by the LTTE. For almost 30 years they waged a war for a mythical homeland called Tamil Eelam, to be created within the sovereign state of Sri Lanka.

Writing in The Sunday Times (May 24, 2009), Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) president Veerasingham Anadasangaree said the President was in a position to persuade the Sinhalese to resolve the Tamil “problem”. But this “problem” is something the Tamil leaders themselves have created. The ordinary Tamil citizens do not manifest any such concerns about a “problem”.

Sunderalingam, G. G. Ponnambalam and Chelvanayagam were ambitious, and it is they who spoiled the soup for the Tamils.

Ponnambalam made a preposterous demand for 50-50 representation in Parliament, when the Jaffna Tamilian citizenry formed only about 12.75 per cent of the population, and the Indian Tamils 5.5 per cent. Chelvanayagam agitated for a federation.

It was those early leaders who sowed the seeds of the problem, agitating so they could consolidate their leadership among the Tamils. The Vaddukoddai Resolution betrayed their secret ambitions for a separate Tamil state. Those leaders are the true fathers of the terrorist movement.

Illustrious Tamil leaders like Neelan Tirruchchelvam, Kethees Loganathan, Rajini Thiranagamar, Lakshman Kadirgamar, among others, sacrificed their lives in a search for peace and amity for all Sri Lankans.

As leader of the Opposition, Amirthalingam went around the world talking about a non-existent “Tamil Problem”. Finally, he was eliminated by the very “boys” he was secretly encouraging. The LTTE “boys” got rid of Amirthalingam because they wanted to lead the “Tamil Struggle”.

In 1983, innocent Tamils got the worst of it. The riots were triggered by the incipient LTTE, comprising “the boys” trained in India. Anandasangaree rightly places the blame on the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), and has called on them to resign, but they were only singing for their supper. Their paymaster was the late LTTE leader. The TNA members should be deprived of their Parliamentary seats and all private property for fostering a “separate state”.

The President says there will be no more minorities, and that all of us are Sri Lankan citizens.
If the Tamils reject a solution that ensures the country’s unity, another proposition will emerge. Provincial Councils, single or merged, will lead to competition and probably bloodshed. Federation will be the short road to separation.

The ethnic war should be forgotten like a bad dream. Delving into history will only take the country back to the Dutugemunu era, and this will not bode well for the Tamils.

Ivor Samarasinghe

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