The only way forward for the people in the North and East is to find a durable political solution

Reconcilation & conflict resolutionI am one of those who believed that bringing back Mahinda Rajapaksa as President was the only way forward for the people in the North and East to find a durable political solution – with the support of the International Community, especially the help of India. I wrote extensively on this subject during the last Presidential election.

It is crystal clear that President Sirisena won the Presidential election with the overwhelming support of Tamils in the North, East and the upcountry – obviously Muslims as well. The fact of the matter is that although Tamils are a numerical minority, they are capable of determining the political future of Sri Lanka. It was proved not only in the last Presidential election but also on several other occasions since independence. The Sinhala racist parties and individuals like the Rajapaksa’s in the South are well aware of this and are paranoid because of it!

Since losing the Presidential election, Rajapaksa has said on many platforms that it was because of Tamil votes that he was defeated. Anyone who listened to Rajapaksa’s speeches during the Presidential campaign and on another occasion in Jaffna will realise that he is an arrogant racist.

Since the new regime came into power, the international community has been watching their activities and progress closely. Former Parliamentarian and member of the Northern Provincial Council Mr Sivajelingam said in one of the NGO briefings in the last (28th) session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, that the present regime has made some ‘cosmetic’ changes in the North and East. However on the basis of recent information we receive from the North and East, we will agree that since the new regime came into power, aggressive activities (arrest, detention, rape, murder, land grab, etc) have decreased, compared to what the tyrant Rajapaksa’s regime did to the people in those areas.

Land grabs carried out by Rajapaksa’s regime in the North and East have not been practiced by the present regime. But the wrong-doing of the tyrant regime in the past has still not been rectified. There is still a long way to go.

Rajapaksa’s shedding Crocodile tears

Defeated Rajapaksa now talks about so-called ‘national security’. The person who allowed his family members to draw fortune from public funds is talking about ‘national security’! After all, Rajapaksa’s ruined the wealth of the country; he has now found a trump card – ‘national security’. This must be the ‘joke of the year’ or ‘century’.

As far as the Rajapaksa are concerned, national security means, the people in the North and East should be harassed, raped and killed, also religious places like mosques, churches and temples should be set on fire by hooligans. However, there is a long way to go before one can consider the present regime as promoting good governance and following democracy norms.

According to the information that we are receiving – the innocent parents and family members of ex-cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam – LTTE are to a certain extent living peacefully after many years. Under the earlier regime, they were harassed to the maximum.

However, the power-crazy Rajapaksas are still trying to do their bankrupt politics by bringing up the name of the LTTE. This is to gain sympathy and votes in the South. They are using the LTTE as their scapegoat to avoid the corruption charges made against them.

In other words, as the Rajapaksas lived alongside inflicting sorrow and blood-baths in the North and East, they expect the present regime to do the same, in the name of ‘national security’. Some fools in the South are also supporting the Rajapaksa’s, driven by the ambition of getting a high post, in the event that Rajapaksa comes to power again.

I am not denying that there are some Ministers in the present regime who are also capable and would be happy to do all this too. But as the present regime is answerable to the international community they are moving carefully.

It’s very sad that it took such a long time for the International community to understand Rajapaksa’s attitude. It was an utter lie that Rajapaksa’s regime rescued the Tamils from the “clutches of the LTTE”! If this were true, then why was tyrant Rajapaksa spending so much on Sinhalalisation, Buddhisation and Militarisation and keeping more than 200,000 soldiers in the Jaffna peninsula alone?

13th Amendment and India

During the peak hours of the war and end of the war, Rajapaksa told the international community, especially India that his government would give more than 13th amendment, the “13 plus”, to the people in the North and East. Since the end of the war, Rajapaksa was in power for nearly six years with a two third majority in parliament. During this period what did he do about the root causes of discrimination and oppression and the six decades of bloody ethnic conflict? Under his orders more and more innocent people were ‘disappeared’, killed, raped, arrested and tortured.

While Rajapaksa continued to give bogus promises to the international community and especially to India, his lobbyists were making use of India. For example, some with the earlier regime supported the 13th amendment and possible Indian negotiations, but presently, they are totally against it. One, who won a pro-Sri Lanka resolution with the help of India in the UN Human Rights Council – UNHRC in June 2009, recently said that India can’t be a mediator any longer, in Sri Lanka!

At the same time another who claimed India to be their main friendly country to African and Asian states, thus gaining their support in the UN HRC, recently said that India can’t force Sri Lanka to implement the 13th amendment.

Does this mean that both expect China, Cuba or Venezuela to be negotiators or to demand Sri Lanka implement the 13th amendment? Then neither of them knows the history of the 13th amendment. Racist thinking is deep in their hearts, even if it doesn’t show in their pen and voice!

Hope Indian decision-makers will make a note of what is being said and what is happening today regarding the 13th amendment in Sri Lanka. To my knowledge, India is being taken for a ride by all governments in Sri Lanka.

A few reasonable questions are being asked by some political analysts and Members of Parliament belonging to TELO, one of the political parties in the Tamil National Alliance – TNA. The analysts ask why there is a delay in investigating – Karuna, Pillayan, Iniya Bharathy and Douglas for their involvement in many murders, intimidation, bribe and corruption. There is enough evidence – so lack of evidence can’t be a reason. Furthermore, TELO made a statement on 24th April 2015 that the present regime has not made a start on even fundamental needs of Tamils.

On the evening of Saturday 18th April 2015, after 11pm, I was followed by a stranger, a Sri Lankan in the Paris Metro (underground train). He told me that it was him who was assigned by the Sri Lankan embassy in Paris to ‘deal with me’. He proudly told me that, as he was not interested, he let me off the hook! This incident took place in front of two other. The important question is, whether this person was assigned by the earlier or the present regime? Whoever holds this ambition should realise that ‘I am not an orphan’!

Hope, President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and Ex-President Chandrika Kumaratunga will make a note of all this. (Sri Lanka Guardian)

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