Saturday, April 25, 2009
First, a bagful of congratulations for the brave hearts of the Sri Lankan army, for ultimately achieving (it is now just a matter of time) what they have been trying to achieve for such a long time – the elimination of LTTE menace, thus bringing peace for their beautiful mother land. Having grown up in India, a country so badly affected by terrorism, I have witnessed since my childhood how unhesitatingly our soldiers and other security personnel shed their blood for protecting their countrymen from the peril of terrorism, and thus fully understand the value of the service delivered by the gutsy Sri Lankan soldiers for their beloved countrymen. Our Sri Lankan friends, brothers and sisters must feel proud that they have such a courageous army.
Now, with the LTTE being on the verge of final crumbling, it is time to think over a crucial question - what will be the status of the ethnic Tamils in the post-LTTE Sri Lanka?
While discussing this question, the very first thing that we all must understand is that the innocent Tamils of Sri Lanka have absolutely no connections with the dreaded LTTE. So, any attempt to treat these Tamil civilians as a part of that terrorist group will be absolutely outrageous. Rather, the truth is that they are the most hapless people in that country. On one hand they have suffered due to the LTTE menace in the same way that their Sinhalese brothers have suffered (in fact, the Tamils have suffered more, as there was forced grafting of young children by the LTTE). And on the other hand, ironically, they have faced hatred and malice from the Sinhalese community just for the “crime” of belonging to the same community that Prabhakaran and his followers come from.
Our Sinhalese friends absolutely cannot be blamed for developing an ill-feeling for their fellow Tamil countrymen. When a country suffers from terrorism, it is very natural for the people of that country to develop a feeling of malice against the people of that community from where the terrorist group draws most of its strength. The LTTE, the self-proclaimed messiah of the Sri Lankan Tamils, have sucked the blood of the Sri Lankans for such a long time. And it is quite natural that the ordinary Sinhalese people are not very much fond of the ethnic Tamils of that country. It is just the outcome of a basic human emotion.
However, an emotion can not be justified simply because it is a natural development. Our Sinhalese brothers and sisters must understand that whereas they have certainly gone through a terribly bad phase due to LTTE’s mindless activities, the innocent Tamils of that country were by no means responsible for that. Therefore, under no circumstances our dear Sinhalese friends should channelize their justified anger against LTTE towards their Tamil brothers and sisters, who, I repeat, have been the victims of LTTE menace in the same way as they themselves have been.
Rather, I will request them to welcome their fellow Tamil countrymen with cordiality and warmth, helping the latter to overcome the unnecessary complex and guilty feeling that they are suffering from for being from the community that LTTE has claimed to be fighting for. As I have already said that the Sri Lankan Tamils have actually been worse sufferers in comparison to the Sinhalese, because they have faced the double blow of being the victim of LTTE menace and also being suspected of collaborating with the same. What they now need (and rightfully deserve) is sympathy and love of their Sinhalese friends, and not malice and hatred.
Our Sinhalese brothers and sisters must ensure that their fellow Tamil countrymen can continue to live in their mother land with equal dignity and status, without facing any unjustified discrimination or malice. Let us not forget it that while nobody can justify what LTTE has done in this beautiful country for so many years, it did get a space to grow because there were indeed some discriminations against the ethnic Tamils. The Sri Lankan history is replete with proofs and evidences that for long the ethnic Tamils had been treated like “second class citizens”. And it was this constant discrimination that resulted in a strong grievance among the community, which eventually resulted in the monster called LTTE.
Therefore, our beloved Sinhalese friends must ensure that there is no more such discriminations and injustice against the ethnic Tamils, and that they are treated absolutely at par with their Sinhalese brothers. Now with the long elusive peace being there in the horizon, the Sinhalese and the Tamil communities of the country must start working hand-in-hand for the utmost development of this beautiful gem on the Indian Ocean, a spectacular country that I will love to visit someday.
Photo Courtesy - www.daylife.com