Feature Article

Stop treating Tamils as minority: Premachandran MP

[TamilNet, Sunday, 31 July 2011, 20:37 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran on Sunday touched on an important conceptual issue related to the national question in the island that affects equality between Tamils and Sinhalese, when he criticized those who treat Tamils as a ‘minority’. “We will not allow the government or anyone else to treat the Tamils as a minority anymore. If the Sri Lankan government thinks the Sinhalese are the majority and the Tamils are the minority, then they are mistaken,” Mr. Premachandran told The Sunday Leader.

Suresh Premachandran, TNA MP
Suresh Premachandran MP, Tamil National Alliance
Premachandran had said this answering the SL minister Champika Ranawaka, reported The Sunday Leader feature by Easwaran Rutnam.

But political analysts in the island observed that the conceptual connotations of Premachandran’s statement are far-reaching and are addressed to a wide-range of players harping on solutions within a ‘united Sri Lanka’: ranging from those who are within the TNA seeking terms acceptable to the Sinhalese in finding models of solutions to those who are in the international arena seeking ‘innovative and creative ways’ of solutions.

Commenting, Tamil national politicians inside and outside of the TNA said that the nation of Eezham Tamils are resentful and are hurt at the use of the word ‘minority’ by some international politicians, diplomats and media who either do it deliberately or do it by oversight of their conditioned minds.

The permanent majority and minority in the island originated from British colonialism inappropriately applying democracy in a wrongly conceived unitary state. The very term ‘minority’ goes against the equality of the members of a historically existing nation in the island, the Tamil politicians said.

The reality in the island is that unless the status of Eezham Tamils as a nation and their territory are not conceded to, there could be no emotional equality between Tamils and Sinhalese. Psychological feeling of equality is the basis for all the other equalities, the Tamil politicians further said, adding that players who can’t be sure of achieving the emotional equality in the context of the island, talking about equality within a united Sri Lanka is mere rhetoric.

Last Tuesday SL minister Champika Ranawake accused the TNA for attempting to use the USA to try and intervene in order to win Tamil demands.

“We the Sinhalese will not kneel down before the US or any other power. As long as the power of the saffron robe of the Buddhist monks remained they will not be able to achieve what they aim for,” Champika Ranawaka said.

The SL minister also interpreted the 56-per cent participation of Tamils in the civic elections as a sign of their support to the unitary character of the island.

“Just because they [TNA] won a few councils they must not demand police and land powers. They need to take note of the fact that 56 per cent of the voters had voted to retain the unitary character of the country,” the SL minister said.

Former JVP militant Mr. Ranawaka is currently the advisor to the Buddhist-monks-led Sinhala ultra nationalist party, the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU).

Meanwhile, TNA leader Mr. Sampanthan and nominated parliamentarian Mr. Sumanthiran are severely criticized by Tamils in the island and in the diaspora.

Political circles allege that at the instance of India the duo try to deviate Tamils from their political course and try to blunt the focus of the struggle in Tamil Nadu and in the diaspora. Even large sections of the TNA and especially its younger generation of supporters in the island are enraged at the line of their recent statements, news sources in the island said.

Mr. Sumanthiran, who was in London recently said that there was an expectation that Tamils should seek political solutions acceptable to the Sinhalese and therefore they should avoid the use of terms such as federal, autonomy etc. that are sensitive to the Sinhalese. He also attacked the diaspora for not abiding by the expectations of the UN panel report and organisations like the International Crisis Group.

Lawyer and nominated parliamentarian Mr. Sumanthiran has reportedly said in London that he had been chosen by the TNA to liaise with the diaspora because of his residence in Colombo and because of his language abilities.

What the ‘counterinsurgency’ outlook of the ‘reconciliation’ paradigm of some establishments tried and failed in inspiring the world of the political triumph of their monstrous military course through enacting KP-collaboration immediately after the war, is now tried again through luring Tamils into the electoral hoodwink of the Sri Lankan state and by making people like Sampanthan and Sumanthiran to misrepresent the wishes of Tamils, young generation of Tamil politicians in the island and in the diaspora said.

Understandably, Mr. Sumanthiran and Mr. Sampanthan found a lot of appreciation in the editorial of the SL government controlled media The Daily News on Friday.

“The majority of the people of the North should be seen as overwhelmingly supporting current state - TNA efforts at resolving the conflict politically. Implicit in this position is the wish of the majority of the Tamil people to live within a united and unitary Sri Lanka,” The Daily News editorial interpreted the Tamil support to the TNA in the civic elections in the light of the position taken by Mr. Sumanthiran and Mr. Sampanthan.

After setting the limits of the solution within “united and unitary Sri Lanka,” the Daily News editorial in an intimidating tone said that the diaspora by following a collision course with Lankan state would lose the chance for ever to work towards a solution.

Threateningly reminding that “considering the current balance of political forces in the north,” the Tamils “through an improvement in their lot” could be helped only by the Sri Lankan state, the editorial said that Tamils criticising the Sri Lankan state would only be grist to the mill of anti-Sri Lanka forces on the international scene, who are all out to undermine Sri Lanka and do not really care a straw for the Tamil people.

At the end of the internationally abetted war against Eezham Tamils, SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a genocidal sense said that there wouldn't be any ‘minority’ in the island.


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DailyNews: A call that should be wholeheartedly heeded


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