Thursday, August 28, 2008
Provincial Council Elections of the 23rd August, was a demonstration of peoples’ demand for an end to terrorism, and the confidence they have placed on the President Mahinda Rajapakse as the one who is capable of responding to this popular demand.
In analysing the peoples’ choice at the polls, one should be careful not to not mix ,(1) the liberation of the civilian population in Wanni, (2) the rampant corruption, and (3) the ethnic problem. These are three different problems, which in my opinion were not uppermost in the minds of the voters. The solution to these three different problems, have to be found in a sequential order, one at a time.
If the political analyst is a Tamil, you can bet your “ last rupee”, that the racial hatred towards the majority community will be seen through the analysis, with the assertion that there are those of the majority community who seek to dominate the minority communities. The relevance of this argument may not have any direct relation to the topic under analysis, nevertheless, rhetoric of hatred has to be spewed out. The “cancer” is this mental attitude, which stops the Tamil political analysts from thinking beyond the so called “majorities’ desire to dominate the minorities”. It is this biased opinion, perhaps springing from an inferiority complex, which is the root cause of the “ethnic problem”.
If we are to profit from the results of the polls, after twenty five years of spouting venom at the Sinhala majority in various ways, and the possible end to terrorism which is in the horizon, we should make these two events the catalyst to rid ourselves of all prejudices with intelligent apperception of the different aspects of the problem, that keep the Tamil and the Sinhala Communities away from a meaningful integration.
On the other hand, the Sinhala people, who would analyse the political situation after the polls keeping the “ethnic problem” in mind , and bracing to the continuous potshots taken at them as the “ majority”, by unconcerned Tamil racists, they will be awakened to the fact that they are after all the “majority”, and question what right the 13 percent of the Tamil Community has, to ask for equal rights. Therefore, it is pertinent to ask why the heavens do these morons of Tamil political analysts, have to systematically broach the question of Sinhala majority. They should merely ask for the rights of the Tamil speaking people, not claiming to equate themselves to a majority.
However, it has to be emphasised, that the Sinhala people do not claim special rights over and above the minority communities. It is only a figment of the biased, complexed minds of the militant Tamils-the politicians, journalists, and political analysts. Therefore, it is relevant to ask what, after all, are the rights that the Majority Sinhala Community enjoy, that the minority communities are deprived of ( other than the language )? This claim for equal rights is a creation of the interested politicians beginning from Ponnambalm, Chelvanayagam, and the rest, to wield political power within their communities. For the last 25 years I have heard about an existing “ethnic problem”, without any one explaining what exactly is this “ethnic problem”.
Of course, the Sinhala people have a special claim which they profess as a duty to save, for which in a way the Sinhala Buddhist soldiers are giving their lives in numbers to rid this blessed Island, from being desecrated by the terrorists. They want to save this Island from being divided and mutilated, as it is the land that was visited by the Sublime Buddha, the blessed One, and where his teaching, the pinnacle of Buddhist faith, is enshrined.
This claim the Sinhala people make, is not in any way to subordinate the rights of the Tamil, Muslim, and the people of other faiths. On the other hand the preservation of this Island as a whole, with its sacred glory, would be a common heritage for all the people, their children and the generations to come.
That said, every one agrees , that the Tamil Speaking Communities( Tamils and Muslims) should be given the right to use their mother tongue Tamil, in all correspondence with the government and receive replies in the same language, thus giving Tamil the same official status as the Sinhala Language. Secondly one also agrees that the Tamils should be given equal opportunities in education , without any racial discrimination. Thirdly , one agrees further more that there should not be any racial discrimination in providing employment opportunities to the persons of the three communities.
These are matters that could be settled without calling names to each other, harbouring intense racial hatred towards the Sinhala, because they happen to be the “Majority”. This continued anti Sinhala racism, condemning every thing connected with the Sinhala, such as their religion- Buddhism, their history, their historical chronicle- the Mahavansa, may harden the Sinhala peoples’ attitude towards the Tamil Community, which will not help to construct a durable Unity of Communities.
There is no question now, for the army to withdraw from Wanni without having removed the terrorist scourge. As long as the canker of it continues, there would never be an opportunity for the civilians in the Wanni to revolt against the terrorists.
The UNP and the JVP are adopting a divisive political attitude. Their continued opposition is to matters that the Government will attend to according to its election manifesto Mahinda Chintanaya, when the times would be propitious after the elimination of the terrorists, which is its priority at the moment.
The people who vote for the UNP are the people who are still attached to the old UNP of the D.S.Senanayake, Dudley Senanayake, CWW Kannangara, A.Ratnayake, DB Wijetunga and other role model politicians, and those who inherited an old guard political affection to the UNP, from their parents, and the elders. The People, on the other hand, seems to be running away from Ranil Wickramasinghe, with his band of windbags, the market politicians- Lakshman Kiriella , Tissa Attanayake, SB Dissanayake, and the rest. If the UNP leadership is not changed, the present UNP politicians will soon end up in the political morass, despite their cache of the block votes, which seems to seep from the seams.
Since the departure of Wimal Weerawansa, JVP has lost its political attraction. Amarasinghe, Lalkantha, and now Anura Dissanayake drive people away from the JVP. These three are negative personalities that have dimmed the light of an essential young political group which had vast possibilities, and a bright political future. The ordinary members of the JVP should revolt against its present outmoded leadership to bring back the break away group lead by Wimal Weerawansa, and be a part of the governing body, if it wants to revitalise its political image. Lal Kantha that opposes every thing, and Anura Dissanayake who speaks of blood baths, hark back to the days of JVP’s tumultuous revolutionary period, which may frighten away the people from JVP.
Mahinda Rajapase is a great political figure- a rare gem in the political landscape. He is a world class political leader, a statesman. He is a charismatic politicians, who has a personal magnetism that exudes confidence. He is sincere and dedicated to the political cause he spouses to unite the people without discriminating against their racial, or religious differences.
He is a genuine leader of the people, who is simple, who is uncomplicated, who thinks like them, and acts like them. He is a person who could be identified with the ordinary masses.
Mahinda Rajapakse is the only political leader among the many we have had, who having evaluated the immense material and intellectual riches of the nation, is driven by a passion to muster these potentials to develop the nation economically, socially and culturally to bring it in line with any developed country in the world.
As an example from the developing countries, we could mention the political leaders of Singapore, Malaysia, Cuba, China or Viatnam. Julius Nyerere, the President of. Tanzania, was such a visionary leader. But he was never given a chance by the International Community. So were Milton Obote of Uganda and Kwame Nkruma of Ghana..
Mahinda Rajapakse’s inherent leadership capacity should be recognised, and we should rally round him to make him realise his vision.
It is an insult to one’s intelligence to compare Mahinda Rajapakse, to Ranil Wickramasinghe who has no leadership qualities- a politicl moron.. He is a politician running after his own gain, like a grey hound running after the lure. People of the North and East will surely place their trust in Mahinda Rajapakse, rather than on Ranil Wickramasinghe. It is already evident in the East. If the people of North and East do not trust Mahind Rajapakse, it would be because they are lead by their nose by selfish political leaders and Ullemas, for whom the political vision for our country does not go beyond the end of their noses.
However, the Provincial Council elections show that the ordinary Tamil and Muslim people are turning to Mahinda Rajapakse, and they are ready to turn away from the old Political Parties like the CWC of Thondamans, and the SLMC of Rauf Hakhim, that they were forced to follow through sentimental attachment roused by rhetoric, or zealotry( or Muslims Religious Councils).
Once the war against terrorism is over the Government may have the time to turn to eliminate corruption, set up development projects, begin progressive programmes to unite the communities in to a Nation of Lankans , bound by the common object of brining peace and prosperity. In order to make it a reality we should not turn away from now available forces, to seek alternative forces else where, in another time.
To chew and digest by the Tamils, and the Muslims of Sri Lanka, who seem to consider the Sinhala majority a barrier to unity and development of Sri Lanka, I give below an extract of Michelle Obama’s speech made on the opening day of the Democratic Convention in Denver, “…..You see, Barack doesn’t care where you’re from, or what your background is, or what party, if any, you belong to. You see, that’s just not how he sees the world. He knows that thread that connects us — our belief in America’s promise, our commitment to our children’s future — he knows that that thread is strong enough to hold us together as one nation even when we disagree.”